Swarovski Elements Wedding Directory + Contest

So, we all love Swarovski right? I mean, how could you not? If you are a bride who wants a little bling on your wedding day, you'll be excited to hear that the Swarovski Elements Wedding Directory is now your go to spot to find a lot of bridal designers who use their coveted crystals. This directory is filled to the gills with pretty, seriously, trying to pick which pieces to showcase here was so hard. Just a take a look at some of these designs, of course, go poke around the Wedding Directory for yourself.

Jennifer-BehrJennifer Behr

Want a chance to win something sparkly? Head over to the Swarovski Elements Facebook page, pick what you like, and pin it with hashtag #somethingsparkling ! Today is the last day to enter, so go fast!

Another bit of bling

Bri RingSource: Carina Skrobecki

While Erik was home on military leave this summer, we went shopping and bought his wedding band, a simple matte tungsten band. Seeing a ring on his finger somehow made things start to feel really real, can't wait for it to be there permanently! Now that we have his, I spent some time thinking about what I really want.

My ring, in the image above, is a custom designed band with small floral accents around a rose cut center stone, creating the look of a wide band. I absolutely love it on its own, and because it was custom made for us, it doesn't come as a set with a wedding band. Because I love it so much on its own, I don't really want something that nestles in perfectly to make it even wider, I feel like it would really change the whole look of the ring.

For awhile I thought I didn't want another band at all. My mom never had a separate engagement ring and band, and I didn't want something that would make me like my ring less. But, we do travel quite a bit internationally, and I wanted something I could wear in case I was nervous travelling with an obvious diamond on my finger. We also do a lot of gardening and house renovation, so again wanted something to wear in lieu of my engagement ring for weekends spent mostly at home depot. And then there's the symbolic aspect of having a band to bless on the day of our wedding. The engagement ring has so much symbolism, but I wanted another little something to have to remind me of the actual wedding day, even if I don't wear it 100% of the time.

So I started researching simple bands with some organic texture that brought the feeling of my engagement ring to them. I looked for very thin bands in hope of finding something that might work with the engagement ring for the rare day I might want to wear both. For this reason I was also looking for palladium or white gold options to match my diamond ring. Here are the favorites that I found:

Wedding bands copy

Source: [one] [two] [three] [four] [five]

I really like all of these for different reasons, but one night on pinterest I stumbled across a band that has the same feeling to me as my engagement ring in a much simpler form. They won't necessarily go together, but I will feel equally beautiful wearing either depending on the day. They're both architectural yet organic:

b1402w_003_1t_1_large (1)

Source: Anna Sheffield

One thing I especially like about this choice is that there is a matching band with diamonds that we can get down the road as an anniversary band. It would be a great wedding band option if you wanted something a little blingier. I've already started dropping hints for our 5 year anniversary.


A softer birdcage

Recently I met with the seamstress who will be doing some alterations to the gown I found at a charity sample sale earlier in the spring. This makes the whole thing feel real and has spurred me into figuring out the rest of my look. One of the images inspiring me was this fresh bride with smoky eyes, bright lip, simple curls, and a retro-inspired birdcage look. 20109

Source: The Bride's Cafe

Gorgeous, right? I really love the vintage inspiration behind the netted birdcage veil, but the more I looked for options to purchase the more I wasn't sure it was QUITE right. As you can see from my dress inspiration, the silouettes that inspired by gown purchase aren't particularly retro (they're not tea length circle skirts or anything), and have some more modern elements. So I started to wonder how to channel the inspiration of the birdcage but in a more streamlined, simpler way. Here are some of the options I found and what I love about them:

Tulle blusher from Tessa Kim. I love that this has the same general shape as a birdcage, but falls a little lower and generally softer. Plus, the simple tulle has a cleaner look than the vintage netting. The Tessa Kim option comes in varying lengths (my favorite is the 18") and varying colors.



Source: Tessa Kim

 Polka Dot blusher. I mean, Polka Dots. Originally I really wanted an Ivy + Aster gown in a swiss dot (unfortunately the bust line wasn't quite right for my girls), so I thought this might be a way to channel that sense of whimsey.


Source: Sibo Designs

Short Tulle Birdcage. I really loved the double-layer of this for a more modern line. Doesn't get more simple than this.



Source: BHLDN (No Longer available, but similar styles available at the other links in this post)

Circle Drop veil. I've been really loving the clean lines of drop veils lately since they avoid that ruched look at the comb. This veil is so simple its literally just a tulle circle cut to lay over your hair and face. Ultimately, i think the length is a little too traditional, plus I was worried about the logistics of uncovering my face during the ceremony with this one.


Source: Melinda Rose Design

Ultimately I ended up stumbling upon an amazing Tessa Kim pop up sale and chose hers because it fit the original birdcage blusher shape, had a soft simplicity, and I got an amazing deal. Actually, if I'm being honest, I actually bought a shorter one too that I might add some sparkle to and wear for my bachelorette and/or the rehearsal.

Now, off to finalize hair and find a hairpiece for the reception (I might DIY that, we'll see!). For more ideas on what I'm considering for my bridal look, visit my Bridal Attire pinterest board.

Wedding Shower Wears

My bridal shower is this weekend! I know that seems crazy because I'm not getting married until April. But in Seattle, when you really only get 2 months of solid sunshine, you want to take advantage of it. This will likely be my only outdoor wedding event, so we figured why not have it early and just prolong the celebrating. My girls have put together what I'm sure will be an amazing afternoon - I can't wait to share. Since they haven't let me lift a finger, the main thing I've been focused on is finding a cute dress to wear for the occasion. Originally I was leaning toward finding a pretty white or ivory dress, because I figure this is the one time in your life you can unabashedly wear white. After sifting through a few options, though, i just wasn't thrilled with anything. I went back to the drawing board and noticed that there are a ton of styles right now to choose from in our colors. So, instead of traditional bridal white I'm looking to pick up a summer frock that mimics the motifs in the pattern we had designed.

Here are a few of the favorite affordable options I've found and loved:

Summer Bridal ShowerSources (Clockwise from top left): One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Whats your shower style? Does it have to be formal bridal white, or can you get into the theme of the big day a bit?

Success at a sample sale

Oregon Trip 2013 027

 Source: Friend of the Bride 

Well, I've found a dress! And in an unlikely place (I think) - at a Charity Sample Gown Sale. I don't remember exactly where I first heard about this particular sale, Brides Against Breast Cancer, but I remember thinking how fun it would be to make an event out of it even if I didn't find a dress. I reached out to a group of my friends, and my mom, and it turned out a bunch of us could all make the 3 hour trek down to Portland the weekend of the sale, so we decided to make a little trip out of it.

Approaching the weekend of the sale, I was excited and optimistic about finding a gown. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have been. The sale was popular, and I'm not a teeny size, so my selections were more scarce than other girls. There were a lot of gowns, but some of them were pre-owned and not in great shape, so the options that were still pristine were even fewer. However, with a few tips, I found a gown I love that just needs a bit of seamstress alterations to make it perfect for me. I would totally recommend at least trying one of these sales because you can score an amazing deal. Here is what I would recommend:

- Go shopping ahead of time. This was so so important because it let me figure out not only what styles I liked, but also what looked good on me. As many brides experience, the style that you see pinned and LOVE may not be the best for your body type. Shopping at a couple salons gave me the chance to get some of my "dream dresses" out of my system and to realize that something else may be perfect fo rme.

- Make a cheat sheet. If you have friends and/or family shopping with you, create a cheat sheet of styles, fabrics, colors, etc to help them know which options to pull for you. This gave everyone a great start to know what I was looking for, even though I ended up trying on many many dresses and not every one stuck exactly to my guide. But, it also helped eliminate some dresses I knew weren't me at all.

- Go back one last time. I was about to throw in the towel on my search at the sale when we all decided to walk through the racks one more time. And I'm so glad I did, because after having seen a few good contenders, one caught my eye that I hadn't seen before. I don't know if another girl had been trying it on and it had just been put back on the rack, but it was just different enough to be perfect for me. I'm so glad I made that last lap.

I can't wait to share more about my wedding day look, but for now I'll share some of my favorite inspiration gowns from my Bridal Attire pinboard. They all have a romantic silhouette, sweetheart necklines, off-white color options, and architectural detailing that I love.


Source: Brides - Dress Nouvelle Amsale for Nordstrom

Junio Yushuoaka

Source: Junko Yoshioka


Source: Paper & Pearls

You can always read more about my wedding journey at my personal blog, The Ravenna Girls.


Sarah Seven Runway Show


We love showcasing the latest Sarah Seven collections at The Lab Event. This year we brought in the big guns and had none other than the top fashion bloggers of San Francisco model this collection! And boy did they bring it.  Huge thanks to Sarah Seven for creating so many beautiful dresses and Em The Gem for shooting!

sarah-seen-8sara-seven-9 SARAH-SEVEN-1 SARAH-SEVEN-2 SARAH-SEVEN-3 sarah-seven-4 sarah-seven-5 sarah-seven-6 sarah-seven-7 sarah-seven-8 sarah-seven-10sarah-seven-dress1

Biggest thanks to these amazing gals for coming out and modeling in our runway show! It was a blast. (Also, if you haven't checked out their blogs just yet, make sure you do! They are all so good.)

Gal Meets GlamAngela Tafoya of Refinery 29City SageThis Time TomorrowNatalie - DressedIn the City With CrystalinPancake StackerThirty Five Inch InseamVmac + CheeseLike Fresh LaundryBritt & WhitKitties & CoutureStylenikThe Drifter and the Gypsy.



Art Deco Brings the Sparkle

Like a magpie in a Zales store, or Honey Boo Boo at a pageant, I'm attracted to sparkle (I apologize that this post has become a statement of the obvious). Lately, the trailers for The Great Gatsby have me oohing and aahing over Art Deco jewels especially. I'd love to wear a statement bracelet, and while a belt wouldn't pair well with my dress, I've been obsessing over some architectural beauties. Here are a few things I've been admiring lately. *Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any distraction caused by this sparkly sparkly post.


Holman Ranch Courtyard Styled Shoot

holman-ranch-1 A month ago I had the privilege of doing a photoshoot at my favorite spot, Holman Ranch. In the coming months I'll be sharing all 4 (YES FOUR) shoots from that day, but here is a little glimpse of what we put together for the day. So many talented people helped me put together tons of wonderful details for this shoot. This Love of Yours Photography did such a wonderful job capturing these details and this gorgeous couple!

holman-ranch-2holman-ranch-4 holman-ranch-3holman-ranch-5 holman-ranch-6 Venue: Holman Ranch Design/Planning: Engaged & Inspired Photography: This Love of Yours Dress: Hayley Paige at Haute Bride Los Gatos Paper Flowers: Christine Cater Bouquet: Huckleberry Karen Designs Necklace: J Crew


Veiling It


My lovely future mother-in-law has offered to make my veil for me. She made her daughter's veil last year and it turned out great, so I trust that I'm in good hands.

Last week I went to Britex Fabrics and got some swatches so I could match them to my dress color. I can't wait to see how it turns out and get everything on!

Veil1Source: left, right




I want my veil to be simple and on the longer side. I'm getting married in a potentially-windy location and I've been told longer veils are actually better because they have more weight to them so they won't blow around as much. The one thing I'm concerned about is there being too much volume. My dress is somewhere between an A-line and a ballgown silhouette and I don't want it to be over-the-top. I think the last image, above, is a good example of a fuller skirt with a long veil that looks natural and tasteful.

Should I go Waltz, Floor-length, or Chapel?