Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Venue...BOOKED! A rare post on our actual wedding.

So El Fiance and I have finally booked our venue. As I've mentioned, we were originally planning to do a ranch wedding in San Luis Obispo, but cost and logistics didn't end up making sense for what we could afford or what we wanted--proximity to bars for after-party, no portable toilets, an open bar where we could purchase the alcohol, etc etc. We still wanted to have a mini-destination from where we live, the San Francisco Bay Area, so we decided on Santa Barbara, where my fiance went to college. Santa Barbara is awesome, and like many beautiful places, expensive.

We narrowed it down to three places within our budget and decided on Rockwood Women's Club. Here's our space:

I love the venue for so many reasons: it's beautiful, close to downtown Santa Barbara, we can have the ceremony on the patio and then convert it into a lounge space for the reception with TWO fireplaces, the dance floor space is huge, they have FREE overnight parking and Sue, my contact, is a doll. It's hard to get a feel for how large and lovely the venue is from the pictures, but it's wonderfully spacious and airy. It was built in the 1920's and has that Santa Barbara, Spanish style feel. My only problem is I think I suffer from over-blog-itis. I hadn't originally envisioned a space so...classy, I guess. When I came up with words to describe my overall vision, I used adjectives like, rustic, sweet, charming, home-spun, fun. The boards, Amelie's Carnival Wedding, Spanish Vintage, and Rustic Brown and White, were originally for us. Of course, I plan on keeping the fun, but rustic works a little better for a barn than an indoor space with a red-draped stage and iron chandeliers.

I love vintage touches, and want to keep it closer to casual than formal. I'm thinking of a base palette of shades of brown, (darker wood chairs--not chiavari because we can't afford them, burlap, nude <--my favorite) and shades of white, (ivory, cream), and maybe some other accents like pale blush or yellow. Fortunately, they don't allow or need anything on the walls. There are worse existential dilemmas to have, but I'm just not sure where to go decor/theme/design-wise. I know I want to DIY as much as is possible/reasonable, keep the florals to a minimum, maybe even do some loose arrangements with wholesale flowers, but what should I do for centerpieces? Vintage birdcages and books? Lanterns? Small frames? Indecision ack!

So, blog-world, any ideas for me? :)

Classic Cocktails and Retro Style: A Mad Men Inspired Wedding Board

I haven't caught an entire episode of AMC's "Mad Men" but I've seen enough to know I love the style and feel of the show. Refer back to my first post for a little on my dreams of having 60's style cocktail parties every weekend. Although I first envisioned a board in black, white, and red, along the lines of how I'd imagine the Rat Pack designing a wedding, I was drawn to the cheeky, fun palette of blue and orange mixed in. Alongside my secret inner RenFaire nerd, and my steampunk cosplay geek, there resides a girl who dresses like Donna Reed and drinks Old-Fashioneds while baking things in Jello moulds. This is her board. P.S. That awesome wedding dress? Only $595 by Dolly Couture!

Mood: Retro cocktail party

Artifacts of Inspiration: "Mad Men", classic cars, geometric design, retro cocktails, one button suits, Jackie Kennedy

Color Palette: Blue and orange against a backdrop of black and white

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

The Beverlywood by Dolly CoutureCigar Bar by Sarah Q Photography via Wedding ChicksTurquoise Linen Tiffany Dress by Etsy artist digforvictoryMad Men Inspired Save the Date by Wedding ChicksMartini Glass via Paper Doll MBirdcage Veil via Brides.comCouple in Classic 60's car by Chicago Illinois Wedding PhotographyBlue and Orange Retro Cake by Jason McGrew via Merriment EventsMad Men Suit by Brooks Brothers via Make Pretend

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

High Glamor Inspiration: A Black and Gold Wedding

I love gooooold! As much as sweet, rustic weddings hold a special place in my heart, I can't help but love the kind of wedding that oozes glamor and drama, and dare I say, even a little sexy. This isn't just a party--it's the event of the year. Oddly enough, I don't think it needs to break the bank. Some wooden candle holders spray painted glossy black and shimmery gold, a few glass centerpieces wrapped in black tulle, some feathers, and some gold and black frames, and voila! You have yourself a wedding with more drama and class than Lauren Bacall.

Mood: Glamorous evening fete

Artifacts of Inspiration: Vintage brooches, black feathers, gold plate, texture, Old Hollywood meets modern aesthetic

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Candle Centerpieces by Angela Renee Photography via Elizabeth Anne DesignsBlack J. Crew Bridesmaid Dress via Bridefinds.comGold Tray by One and Only Paris Photography via RuffledblogGold Badgley Mischkas via Omwall.comBirdcage, Invitation, and Mercury Glass by Aruna B. Photography and Style Me Pretty via weddingsunveiled.blogspot.comBlack tux and yellow bout by Catherine Guidry Photography via Style Me PrettyBlack and Gold Brooch Bouquet by Ewan Phelan via Green Wedding ShoesGold Plate by Amy Nixon Events via WeddingwireGold Chiavari Chair by Mimmo & Naz via Caketress

A Little Something Extra:

That brooch bouquet is awesome (and eco-friendly!). I found another black and gold vintage brooch bouquet by Etsy artist BoxFairy83. You can purchase it here.

If you're into more traditional florals, or just want lots of bling, you could also accessorize with this amazing necklace from Etsy artist talulabelles. Click here to purchase.

Not feeling black bridesmaid dresses? J. Crew also offers these pretty little numbers in a muted gold here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Yellow and Gray Wedding: A Modern, Fun Inspiration Board

Happy, fun, fresh. These are all adjectives that spring to mind when I think of the color yellow. Although I think a yellow and gray palette could fit many different types of weddings: indoor/outdoor, traditional, rustic, vintage, a modern aesthetic with clean lines and a fresh, whimsical appeal is what spoke to me today.

Mood: Sipping lemonade after you've exhausted yourself laughing.

Color Palette: Lemon yellow and pewter gray

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Bridesmaids in Yellow and Gray by Chloe Murdoch for Mike Larson Photography via Style Me PrettyGray Bridesmaid Dress via Once WedYellow and Gray Pinwheels by Etsy Seller ElizabethStYellow Tie and Gray Vested Groom by Rebekah Westover Photography via Duet LetterpressYellow and Gray Clutch by Etsy Seller PaperFloraYellow and Gray Banner by Etsy Seller liddabitsBalsa Wood and Billy Ball Centerpiece via BridalHood.blogspot.comSweet Little Daisies Cake via Martha Stewart WeddingsWedding Couple and Yellow Balloon by Ampersand Studios via Soiree Boise

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

What kind of wedding blogger would I be if I ignored the excitement and buzz surrounding what has been dubbed "the wedding of the century." Big label considering we're only 11 years into 2011! Happily, it didn't disappoint! My favorite details:

Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, I am swooning over Kate Middleton's dress!

A white bridesmaid dress? Her sister, Pippa, looked absolutely stunning while managing not to detract from Kate's bridal beauty. Tres chic!

And that sweet getaway car is so fun!

Images courtesy www.thedailybeast.com

You know there's an inspiration board coming your way!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rustic Elegance: A Wedding Inspiration Board in Chocolate and White

Rustic weddings have become extremely popular, and for good reason. They evoke that warm family feel, the sweetness, fun, and intimacy most of us crave for our weddings. While I could do about a bazillion boards that take their cue from country fairs, I also love the juxtaposition of elegant romance and rustic rawness. I wanted the board to feel fresh and effortlessly stylish, so I chose a palette of chocolate brown, hay, and white. I wanted to show off how a barn, ranch, or farm wedding could still feel pretty and elegant by contrasting soft and dreamy florals against burlap, rough wood against the sparkle of chandeliers. Plus who can resist cowboy boots with a gorgeous gown?

Mood: Farmland sweetness gets a city stylist

Color Palette: Chocolate brown, hay, white

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Santa Barbara Wedding by Mark Brooke Photographers via Style Me PrettyBridal Party and Cowboy Boots by Priscilla Valentina via Green Wedding ShoesWedding Decor by Jack Wittbold for Sarah Yates Photography via C Star EventsDIY Rustic Cake Stand by Once WedEarl Grey Sandwich Cookies by The Sweetest OccasionSkeleton Key Placecards by Z Media via Red Carpet BridesHanging Mason Jars by Paloma Images via Wish Special EventsPeony and Burlap Centerpiece by Aileen TranBarn with White Drapes via Project Wedding

A Little Something Extra:

I love this ranunculus bridal bouquet by Etsy Seller braggingbags. It's gorgeous and soft with a hint of rustic from the burlap ribbon and a touch of sparkle from the brooch. At $59.99, the price is pretty hard to beat for a bride bouquet, and because they're silk flowers, it's also green! To purchase or view more pics, click here.

I also couldn't resist sharing this awesomely styled bridal party. I love how the bridesmaids are wearing different dresses in the same palette, and again, the boots! Ooh, and those belts! Le sigh. This image is by Leah Noble via Caitlin Carty.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Inspired Board

I read an article once that took a poll asking women which literary figure they would most like to go out with on a date, and Mr. Darcy was the runaway favorite. I love Jane Austen, and no one who has watched the A&E adaptation of Pride and Prejudice can tell me that a man can't look sexy in a cravat. (Here's looking at you, Colin Firth!) So despite my longstanding bias against frilly floral prints--a result of my mother's fixation with Laura Ashley home furnishings during the 80's--I thought I'd give a regency inspired board a shot. I think that choosing a wedding theme can often feel constraining, and if you're going vintage or literary, it's easy to end up with something campy. A little goes a long way, and the right touches can create a cohesive theme without feeling contrived. With an English garden motif, antique books, bridesmaid dresses that nod to regency fashion with empire waists, a soft palette, and the right gown and accessories, this is a contemporary take on the Darcy wedding.

Mood: Pride and Prejudice. 'Nuff said.

Color Palette: Soft pink, ivory, green

Artifacts of Inspiration: Jane Austen, English gardens, Regency era,

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Pride and Prejudice Prose in Vain Necklace by Etsy Seller justbedesignsDessy Bridesmaid Style 2759Claire Pettibone "Emma" by Miha Matei via Green Wedding ShoesTeacup and Book Centerpiece by Heather Balliet of Amorology via Style Me PrettyAntique reticule bag by Moyna courtesy of Anne SageBouquet by Karen TranChantilly and Rhinestone Self-Tie Headband by Twigs and HoneySuit with Cravat from Sandy's MenswearWedding Table by SugarLove Weddings via Polka Dot Bride

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm baaaaaack! A Post on Wedding Planning and An Engagement Shoot by Jonathan Roberts

So sorry I've been MIA on the blogging! My sister's wedding is coming up in June, and I'm the lucky gal who gets to be her (amateur) wedding coordinator. Although I've posted mostly inspiration boards, I have to share some photos from her amazing engagement shoot done by the exceptionally talented Jonathan Roberts. Funny story: as I've mentioned before I had originally planned to get married in my fiance's hometown, San Luis Obispo, so I pored over tons of blogs by photographers based in that area. I found Jonathan Roberts and had shared his work with my sister; particularly lots of the tres adorable, super sweet mini-videos he includes in all of his packages. She fell in love, too. Since her wedding is this June and mine is in the summer of 2012, she gets to work with him first! To see the full post and more pics, visit Jonathan's blog at http://www.bluephoto.biz/blog/.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Vintage Hollywood Wedding: A 1930's and Board

I've been a bad, bad blogger...I'm bummed I haven't had a chance to post in the past week, but helping out with my sister's wedding has eaten up my usual blog-joy time! More on that later. Buuuut, I have a new board to post and I'm pumped! I wanted to pull together some elements I've seen from weddings that I love and combine them in a way that was vintage, classic, glamorous, with just the right amount of sexy--and Jean Harlow typifies the classic screen siren.

Mood: A 1930's classic Hollywood fete

Color Palette: Black and white

Artifacts of Inspiration: Feathers, crystals, satin, art deco, vintage Hollywood, 1930's fashion, and of course, Jean Harlow. Check her out!

The above photo was courtesy of Macarons and Marie: My Modern Vintage Wedding, and I have to agree, I luurrve feathers. How bad-ass is that capelet? I want a feather capelet! You could be folding laundry and still feel like a fabulous vixen if you had a feather capelet.

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Classic Tux and Bowtie via Style Me PrettyOstrich Feather Centerpieces by Wedding Design StudioHarlow and the Signature Slinky Dress via LilPaisley.typepad.com, Johanna Johnson Wedding Dress via RuffledblogArt Deco Bridal Earrings by Etsy Seller nyjolejewellerySophisticated 30's Shoot via Hepwrights.comNapier Wedding Suite by Etsy Seller TulalooVintage Typewriter from Jon and JoAnn's 1930's Wedding by Paco and Betty via The Ebury CollectionCalla Lily and Feather Bouquet by Holly Chapple Flowers

A Little Something Extra:

I love this dress from Romantic Threads as a potential bridesmaid gown. It's vintage without being kitschy and goes perfectly with the theme--and at $150, the price tag ain't bad either. Find it here.

In searching for inspiration board pictures, I came across photographer Mukhina Ekaterina and just had to share this photo. How fun does that shoot look?!

You can see more of her work on her flickr stream here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Gentler Side of Paradise: Vintage Hawaiian Inspired Wedding

I've only been to Hawaii once, but that was enough to fall madly in love. Although I adore the bold colors and seashell motifs found in most weddings at tropical or beach venues, I thought it would be interesting and unexpected to play with a vintage Hawaiian theme: softer hues, vintage prints, antiqued decor pieces, and touches of crystal contrasting against the natural lushness. I took my inspiration from Hawaii, but I think any beach venue could take a cue from this board.

Mood: A trip to paradise in your grandmother's dress; the Andrews Sisters played with a ukelele

Color Palette: Wood, antique white, shades of teal and dusty blue

The Credits, Deets, and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Vintage Chair and Hawaiian Sodas by Jose Villa via Style Me PrettyChandelier on Hawaiian Chuppah by Christie Pham Photography via RuffledblogBox of Leis and Brooches by Christie Pham Photography via RuffledblogVintage Style Hawaiian Surfers Cake Toppers from Pacific WeddingsRidiculously Gorgeous Couple by Nineteen Owls PhotographyVintage Hawaiian Postcard via Design by TanyaKeishi Pearl Necklace by Etsy Seller KahiliCreationsPostcard Guestbook via La Belle BrideLei Strewn Chairs by Angie Silvie Photography via Hawaii Wedding PhotosVintage Birdcage and Hawaiian Stone Steps by Matt Alvarado of Beloved Weddings via Style Me Pretty

A Little Something Extra:

I love this wedding suite by Ott Design. The pirate map and hibiscus flower print would be puuurrrrfect for a vintage island theme!

Want some inexpensive, eco-friendly, island themed favors? Check out these buri fans from Eco Friendly Market:

Photo courtesy of Eye Expressions Photography

I'm pretty much bonkers over this couple's style and spent for-ev-ER poring over these gorgeous shots by Nineteen Owls Photography. The dress! That veil with the lei! The groom's awesome hat! Le sigh. Check out their full post here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Enchanted Forest Themed Wedding

The woods: there's something about trees lit by tiny lights that speaks to the magic-hungry little girl inside all of us. I wanted to tap into that glittering fairy tale world nestled deep in our psyches in a way that could be easily translated into wedding decor without being overtly kitschy. With the right centerpieces and a few decor items spaced throughout, any outdoor space with lots of trees--or even a properly lighted tent!--could be transformed into an enchanted forest setting. Check out a little something extra for some ideas on where to purchase some DIY materials.

Mood: Enchantment under the trees

Color Palette: moss green, wood brown, gold, candlelight

Artifacts of Inspiration: Fairy tales, fireflies, the forest

The Deets, Credits and Maybe Where to Buy Them:

Candle Holder Decor by Tricia Fountaine DesignButterfly Grapevine Ball via Style Me PrettyEnchanted Forest Centerpiece by Tricia Fountaine DesignCandlelit Trees via Design IndulgencesWood Placecards via I Do It YourselfMoss Chair by Jasmine Star via Style Me PrettyLighted Branches via My Cleveland WeddingFirefly Mason Jar via fightingsharks.blogspot.com

A Little Something Extra:

Save-on-crafts.com has become my new BFF as I help plan the decor for my sister's wedding, but I'm sure you could find similar items at other craft stores. A little creativity, time, and some of the items below, and I think the above inspiration board is totally DIY-able.

The gorgeous lighted branches run about $10 to $16 at http://www.save-on-crafts.com/li3.html.

I always wondered how so many crafty people got lights inside grapevine balls without having them attached to a Christmas light string: LED battery powered strings. From what I've seen, they run about $11 for four feet. You could stick them inside mason jars alone, or add moss from a craft store like so:

The moss could also be used to cover wood slabs to create centerpieces like this lovely number via gourmetinvitations.blogspot.com:

Short on time or craftiness? I found them for purchase on--of course!--Etsy by seller simplykacie here.