Holidays {registry inspiration}

Last week was Thanksgiving and, after registering a couple months ago, I could not stop looking at all the things around the kitchen on Turkey Day and making mental notes of what I needed to add to my registry. It's one thing walking around Williams-Sonoma with a scanning gun and it's quite another to actually be cooking a feast and realize all the utensils, tools, and serving dishes that go into making it! Luckily we were at my fiance's family's place and they had all the necessities.

Sources: left, right

So, I took the holiday as a chance to take a little inventory of the things on our registry. Some items got the boot. I'm continuing to take mental notes as the holidays get into full swing...roaster for 25 lb. bird? Check.

Sources: left, right

At the moment I have two stores going - I chose Macy's, because they have everything and I know people will be able to go in-person if they prefer that, and Williams-Sonoma, because sometimes I like less options to choose from (and also because I love everything in that store). Potato masher? Check. is a great option for couples that don't want to commit to a few stores. The world is at your fingertips (or mouse in this case). It aggregates any item you want into a central registry. You can even scan a barcode with your MyRegistry phone app and add it that way. Genius! If you'd like to do a non-profit registry or feature one that's close to your heart, you can do that too.


I have to admit, when you are in the throngs of saving for a wedding, registering feels like the shopping you don't get to do!

Sources: left, right

I love knowing that the things I'm picking out will end up being the gravy boats, casserole dishes, and platters that my groom, and our family, use on holidays for years to come. It's about more than getting presents - it's about making a house a home :)

Source: my phone + Instagram (movember anyone?)

Do you have any registry favorites?

Saving the Date {paperlessly}

This week I have been checking things off the list! We are about to sign a contract with our caterer (post to come), I went dress shopping again and went to Paper Source to look at different invitation styles. We also decided to do e-Save-the-Dates and have them almost ready to send out. It's getting real!

Like I've mentioned before, I love paper! My first choice would have been to do a crafty and unique Save the Date, but we decided to go the 'e' route for a couple reasons - cost: by going through a website we were able to get a really cute design for almost free. Time: we were able to get our Save the Dates picked out and ready to go in a matter of a few hours. Logistics: we needed to get people to our website where they could get more info on accommodations. By creating a save the date that will come through email to our guests, our wedding website is just a click away. I was pleasantly surprised to find a ton of super cute designs on sites like Paperless Post and cocodot. Many of the designs are free and the rest are very reasonably priced.

Sources: Paperless Post and cocodo

Did you or would you consider doing an e-Save the Date?

Wedding Website Sneak Peek

I got a call from my future sister-in-law (or just sister to me!) the other day with a very excited "Hey!!!". It seems that she was wondering if we had made our registries yet while on her lunch at work and decided to turn to Google to find the answer. Upon googling our names, she came across the Save-The-Date Video that the Mister had made for our wedding website. This of course reminded me that I haven't shared anything about our choices for a wedding website with you lovely readers! Surprise, we made one!

After sampling lots of different options we ultimately went with Wedding Wire's offerings. With unlimited pages and lots of add on's like maps, the ability to check on accommodations and even a reception song request tab, we couldn't go wrong. I also loved that the important things were available through a mobile version for people that were accessing the site through their phone.

Source: Our Website on Wedding Wire

With that said....I have to admit I am also using Appy Couple. The overall design of the app is ridiculously cool and new features are added all the time. I also like that our friends and family who have smart phones can follow along on our journey right from their home screen!

 Source: Our app from Appy Couple


I"m really happy with how both sites are turning out and cannot wait for our guests to use them.

What lead you to choose your wedding website host? How do you feel like having an app just for your wedding info?


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Save-the-Dates {and the 10-Month Countdown}

Right now, I'm looking at the 8 to 10-month check lists (our wedding is July 20, 2013)...and if you've planned a wedding, you will know they are serious lists! They may look small as far as number of check boxes, but, in reality, they are some of the BIGGEST decisions of all! The wedding dress, the officiant, DJ/band, caterer, photographer, the registry and so on. Two months ago the date was July 5th. I had my ceremony and reception venue and day-of planner booked, our wedding parties all figured out, our guest list lined up - I was feeling good. Fast forward two months and I now have a new job that is keeping me crazy-busy, and nothing else booked for our wedding. Don't get me wrong, we have been looking into things and thinking about things, but you can't have a wedding by thinking about it ;-). Needless to say, it's time to get back in the wedding planning zone. The 10-month countdown begins.


So, that brings me to what we need to figure out this week. A couple, seemingly-unrelated, things that all tie together. The hotels/lodging, the wedding website and save-the-dates. Because we are getting married in a small town along the Columbia River Gorge that also happens to be a destination spot for many outdoor activities, from windsurfing to hiking to wine tasting (I consider wine tasting an outdoor activity), the lodging is in high demand. In a perfect world, we would love for our guests (or even just us and our wedding party with their family's) to group together and rent a couple houses in town. There are so many within walking distance of each other and downtown and we think it would be a great way to spend time together. Whether we can figure the house thing out or not, we will still need to find a hotel for people to stay at, which leads me to the two other things on our list needing to be done ASAP - the wedding website and the save-the-dates (if we do them). I wrote this post a while back about websites and save-the-dates (just realized you shouldn't abbreviate that, yikes!). Bottom line is we need to get the word out about our lodging recommendations to our guests so that they can book soon. Our wedding still 10 months out, but time is flying and we don't want to have last picks on the places to stay.

This brings me to the last thing on our list for this week - Save-the-dates. We are trying to figure out whether or not to do them. I think they are so fun and you can do so many creative things with them, but I'm trying to figure out if I can justify the time and cost for something I ultimately just want to lead people to our website where they can find the details on lodging and the weekend activities. Thoughts?!

Here are some I like:




If only we could get our cat to sit still for a minute...


Did you or didn't you use Save-the-Dates? Are you using a wedding website that also offers 'virtual' Save-the-Dates? What do you think about renting a house/houses for the bride, groom and wedding party to stay at over the weekend?

Wedding Websites :: Getting Social

This week I'm looking at wedding websites! They have come a long way in the last few years. The main point of the website for me (and probably most engaged couples) is to have a place our guests can go and see the travel information and wedding weekend events. I want the weekend to be a time when our friends and family get to spend a lot of fun times together and feel relaxed! I am the sort of person who likes to know what I'm doing, when and that considered type A or control freak?? I'm not sure. But when I know these details, I feel like I can relax and just enjoy myself. So, I want the wedding website to be a place people can go and see everything; the travel information, events during the weekend, things to do in the area, etc. By the time the wedding comes around, they can just sit back and enjoy. There are a ton of wedding site options, but I'm loving the social element of the newest one on my radar - Weduary. I first learned about it through our very own Allison of E&I in her post here and also in the Style section of the SF Chronicle, I work at SFGate - article here. Weduary was created by a fellow Bay Area lady (and her then-fiance, now-husband). Leave it to Silicon Valleyers (not sure if that's a term) to bridge the gap between wedding website and Facebook.  And I think it's a great idea! I would love for my guests to connect before the wedding and maybe find out they have things in common or mutual friends.


Another company bringing the wedding website scene into 2012 is Appy Couple. This option also integrates the social features by connecting with Facebook and Twitter, but the focus is on the mobile side.


Not only have these sites come a long way as far as features, they also seem to have much cuter template options and also seem more customization (it's about time!).

This makes me wonder if at some point in the near future 'save the dates' will be no more. The point of save the dates (besides the obvious saving of the date) are to inform guests of your wedding plans so they can arrange travel and to direct them to your wedding website where more details can be found. If you can send them a virtual save the date, do you really need the paper version? On the other hand, I don't think paper wedding invitations will ever go out of style. There are some things that technology just can't replace.

Well I'm off to Oregon for the weekend for a wedding. The bride was my roommate in college and a great friend ever since and the groom has been a close friend since high school. Needless to say this is going to be a fun wedding and I can't wait! Updates next week.

Until then, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the newest wedding website options. Have you used one of them? Do you plan to send out physical save the dates in addition to using the social elements of their sites?

Save For Your Honeymoon With Honeymoon Pixie

There are so many alternatives to the traditional registry popping up these days! And I have to say, I love every second of it. New ways to do cool things? Count me in! Honeymoon Pixie is a honeymoon registry website that allows you to build your dream honeymoon and allow guests to donate toward it.

What I love about the site is the ability to list as many different fun attractions, pampering appointments and hotel accommodations as you wish. Guests can have a little fun checking out your to-do's (and obviously living vicariously through you when they see what an awesome trip you have planned.) and choosing to pay for their favorite piece of the puzzle.

I love the idea behind doing something instead of getting things. As I have said before, I had a traditional registry with lots of stuff, and after all was said and done, I really didn't need all the stuff. It was incredibly generous of our guests, but I like the idea of putting the money toward something that will allow you to build experiences and memories together. Check it out in action:

Are you doing something different for your registry? Spill the beans, would love to hear your thoughts on Honeymoon Pixie!

Create Beautiful Wedding Websites with Weduary

I like to keep you all super updated on all the websites and apps that can help you plan your wedding much more efficiently, so today I must share something totally awesome (that just launched on Monday) with you all. When your husband is a designer, you really miss out on some of the things you would go through in the wedding process. Invitations, for example, were rather easy since I could just send him inspiration and he would design something. No spending endless hours finding invites that are not super cheesy, not overly expensive and not popular. Much different than the norm, I know.

A question I get ALL the time, "where to find a good wedding website company?". Seriously, I get it all the time. Again, I never had to look at those horrific  themes and try to make something pretty. Instead, my husband designed and built a site for us. (I'm started to realize that I might be a little spoiled here.) My answer on wedding websites has always been "ummm...I don't know", until now. Introducing Weduary.

This new site has template websites that are actually....wait for it.....good! This has been a need for a very long time, so if you are just getting into your wedding planning, you're really lucky that this resource has come about just in time.

The above is a free template. There are a few free options (which of course have several color options). Below are options you can pay for, but it is only $20. I'll tell you right now, you can't find a $20 website anywhere else :)

Remember the slogan of Weduary is "social wedding websites"? Well, here we go! You can invite friends to view your wedding site through email or even Facebook. I don't think sending information about your wedding through Facebook  is tacky unless you forgo actual invitations.

Each wedding website that you build through Weduary comes with lots of fun and useful features. Check out just some of the things you can do when you create a free Weduary site.

What do you guys think of this new wedding website builder? Does it fulfill the need of a pretty wedding site that you have been searching for? Would love to hear your thoughts and if anyone else is using it!

Wedding Happy :: Plan Your Wedding With Your iPhone

I didn't find a wedding app that actually helped me plan my wedding. Honestly, most of the planning apps on the market are filled with far too much information which render it practically irrelevant to me and my wedding. Honestly though, SO much has changed since I got married, example, I didn't even have Pinterest. I know, back in the old days, right? I came across Wedding Happy and my love of apps + weddings took over and I had to find out what this was all about. I spent the night playing with it, and I have to say, I quite liked most everything about it.

First and foremost for me was the app icon. (Here is a little peek into my iPhone home screen :) Wedding Happy is that colorful little icon to the bottom left). I swear, as a fan of good design, I was intrigued the moment I saw the icon. The app is nice and clean without much filler, which is really important when you have bridal-brain. You really don't need unnecessary stuff crowding your brain. The main screen (the shot on the right) only has 3 windows complete with a simple textureed background. This means you can easily focus on the things you need to, and nothing that you don't. (On that note, I don't think the "Completed Task" window needs to be there. Seems irrelevant and sort of a waste of space to me.)

The "tasks" list tells you about everything you should be doing and when you should be doing it. If something is irrelevant to you, it is easy to just mark it and go on to the next thing. No need to have it sitting on a list forever and ever. For the task "book venue" I checked the complete tab and listed "Holman Ranch". Holman Ranch then jumps to my "Vendors" page and allows me to associate it with a contact in my phone. Well, doesn't that just make life easier!

These next two features are definitely not for everyone and something that could easily become a newsance (or something you get really into and get excited about). Not sure how achievements help me plan my wedding, but maybe they help you remember to keep using the app (it worked for Foursquare didn't it?). And of course, you can tweet your progress quite easily right through the app. This isn't a feature I would use often, but would be kind of fun every once in a while.

I love how detailed the task list is, but more importantly, how it allows you to store so much information in the app so you don't forget all the billions of things that need to be done (bridal-brain!).

There are a few things I would love to see improved about the overall experience though. First up, the ads are insanely obnoxious. Most of the time I don't mind the occasional ad, but these are always listed all the time, and kind of take away from the overall experience. But, that is the price you have to pay for a free app I guess.

Overall, this is the best app I have seen thus far. It is even better than most online resources I have seen. There is definitely potential. if you are a bride who needs some organization in your life, especially if you plan to do your wedding yourself sans planner, this app is a great resource to help you navigate it all.

Would love to hear what apps and other fun resources you all are using to plan?!! Spill the beans!

Hatch My House - Wedding Registry That Let's You Save For Your Dream Home

How are you guys loving finding out about new ways to make your wedding planning life just a little easier? I hope that you enjoy us sharing these alternative ways to do things because I get really excited to share them with you! So today, let's talk about something really awesome, wedding registries!

I had the chance to meet Erin (co-founder of Hatch My House) a few weeks back. It was great to chat weddings, awesome products and ways to make bride's lives easier. And I think you guys are going to really love this one.

Hatch My House launches a unique online wedding gift registry that lets couples save for a house of their dreams with the help of closest friends and family. Hatch My House is designed as a fun, interactive experience where couples design a virtual house and guests get to donate towards its parts.

What I love is how interactive this site is. Guests aren't just checking off a list or gifting a dollar amount, instead, they have the chance to get involved and have fun gifting money to the bride and groom.

First, create a free account (yes, free). Then comes the fun part – designing your dream home! Do you see yourself in a cozy cottage on the beach or a stylish brownstone in the big city? You get to pick a style of house (craftsman, brownstone, cottage, modern, Victorian or Tuscan), a color and a setting where you’d like to build your nest.

Once you create your awesome home, invite your guests to view your house and purchase anything they want! From windows, to walls, and even furniture inside, guests can take a tour and feel like they are contributing to your dream of home ownership! In the shot below, you scroll over and click the item when you find something you want.

For me, registries were quite a pain. There were some items I really wanted and some that I sort of threw on there to help keep all the pricepoints available. What ended up happening was I received some things I didn't care as much about having, yet didn't receive some things I really wanted such as my dish set. So after the honeymoon I spent a few days organizing and figuring it all out, then made several trips lugging boxes upon boxes of things that I wanted to return. Luckily I didn't get stuck with all gift cards, so I actually created a small savings account for the home with the money I had. I wanted to spend our wedding money on something special instead of spending it on who knows what.

Of course I appreciate the gifts we did receive and the gesture was so thoughtful, but for me the process wasn't as smooth as the idea of people getting excited to buy us pieces of our new house.

Who else is loving this idea?

Appy Couple :: Create Your Own Mobile Wedding Site

There are two things I love, weddings & technology. When the two combine I just get far too excited to see what the awesome possibilities it will bring about. And today, we are talking wedding apps + wedding websites, combined! This world is definitely going mobile so there isn't any reason why the wedding industry can't do the same. Brides, check out this awesome new iPhone/Android app that takes care of the wedding website that so many are opting for these days. Appy Couple allows you to create a wedding mobile app for your guests.

My husband made our wedding website so I honestly never had to go through the issues of finding the perfect design and creating a website for myself. But after speaking to A LOT of you (it might be the number one question I get asked, where is there a good wedding website company) I understand what you go through to try your best to find the closest thing that fits your style. That is why I get so excited about Appy Couple. It allows you to create your own wedding mobile app that fits your style, is filled with your photos, and resonates the uniqueness of you at least more than some of the traditional wedding sites out there.

I love the design, look at how easy it is to get started!

Check out this theme, definitely better than most out there, don't you think?

Looks like the only way to get started is to request an invite right now. I did have a chance to play with the demo a little bit, and it looks like it could actually be a really good resource, and if nothing else, I totally different way to go about the traditional website. Maybe I get excited because I literally don't put my phone down for more than 5 minutes, so I get how this could be of use.

I'm definitely excited to see more from Appy Couple and see how it really does work in real time with real weddings. If they added in a gallery feature so people could upload the images they take from the wedding right onto the app that would be brilliant.

Update: I just found out that they do have in-app gallery options for guests. BRILLIANT! It is so awesome that everyone can download the app for all the info about the wedding, THEN they can use it to store the photos they take the day-of so that the couple can see the wedding from so many different perspectives. OMG I just got so much more excited about this app and the possibilities it holds :)

See how excited I get? I'm telling you, it is an unhealthy obsession I have with both weddings and geeky stuff like this, and pairing the two makes me rant about the possibilities quite like I'm doing now!

Ok, who is going to give this a try??