The Evolving Color Scheme

My wedding colors from nine months ago, post here, are a little different from my wedding colors today. Over the months, with all the decisions, I realized I was gravitating towards different colors. It was sort of a natural progression when I went through picking things like flowers, wedding party attire, invitations, etc. So what better time to take a second look at the colors and make sure everything is looking just right?! The bridesmaid dresses are still going to be mix-and-matched creams and tans, just a little darker than the original off-white I had in mind. We switched it up with the suits and are going to go for navy! I like it because it's a little different and sort of a nice in-between as far as formalness goes.

Color Change2

Source: left, right

Let's see how they look together...





I'm also throwing in some hints of a soft lavender.

Color Change3


And for the tables, we'll stick with the tans and lavender, and spice it up  with some additional flower colors - other shades of purple, blue, green, some white and off-white to balance it out, along with mercury glass.


Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 2.27.35 PM

Color Change1


It's hard to believe we're just four month out from the big day!

Bridesmaid Dresses {mix & matching}

I recently started using the 'Secret Boards' on Pinterest and am loving it for so many reasons! This past week I've been using it as I narrow in on the look of the bridal party. I am 90% sure we'll be doing the mix and match look for the bridesmaids. I like that with the Secret Boards, I have the option to pin my own as I gather inspiration and then share with all my ladies once I'm ready! And then instead of sending an email with a bunch of links, I can send them actual pictures that link right through to where they can buy them (I heart Pinterest). I'm leaning towards neutral, light dresses. Maybe keeping the same length to keep them consistent.

Sources: top left, bottom left, middle, right

Sources: top left, bottom left, middle, right

Sources: left, right

As you can see I'm thinking a light nude/tan/ivory color palate. When we're all together, it should look something like this...



Mixing and matching can be a challenge, but when done right, I love the way it looks! Did you have your bridesmaids in different dresses? Any tips on making everything look polished and pulled together?

P.S. In my unrelated search this week about DIY Christmas tree skirts, I came across this link with instructions on how to make one out of your old bridesmaid dress, click here. So funny.

Party Down {size}!

Well the wedding party anyway. Right after we got engaged, Derek and I quickly decided on our wedding party. We knew that for our own sanity (not wanting to deal with the friend politics of putting a label on who our "best" friends are) and for the aesthetic we wanted for our wedding photos, a small wedding party was the best option for us. On our wedding day I will have my sister and cousin (who is like another sister) by my side.  Derek will have his two brothers by his. This was by far the easiest wedding decision we have made thus far, and I couldn't be more excited about keeping it in the family.

My bridal party will be like the photo below from my cousin's wedding, except this time I will be the one in white.

 Source: Stacia's Photography

A little history of the origins of the wedding party:

Historically, the wedding party was the group of gentlemen who helped the groom to capture his bride. The first usher and groomsmen job was to help the groom fight off the bride's attacking family. Later, women joined the party to assist the bride in decorating for her wedding feast and dressing for her wedding. Initially the women all wore the same attire as the bride because it was thought to create a protective circle around her. My, how times have changed...

Sources: 1, 2 & 3

 As most brides say, I want my bridesmaids to wear a dress that they will actually want to wear again, so I would like to go a less traditional route for my bridesmaid dresses. I love the mismatched bridesmaid trend, but I'm not really sure how I could pull that off with only two ladies.

Sources: 1, 2, 3 & 4

I also know that even though I am not having sixteen bridesmaids, I would still like my friends to be a part of our wedding in some creative way. Whether that means joining me to get ready or a pre-wedding photo shoot.




Did you have a small wedding party? How did you incorporate all of the people who are important to you?

Wedding Colors :: So Many to Choose From

I have to thank blogging for keeping me on track with my wedding planning. While I consider the planning process fun and something I look forward to, I still have had weeks where life gets crazy and I don't do much thinking about the wedding. All of a sudden I realize the week has flown by and I have done nothing. I think it's good to have those weeks - we shouldn't let planning completely consume us, but at the same time, we have to stay on track and a weekly check-in, even if it's just taking a few moments to think where you are and what is next to do, seems to be just the right amount. The colors/theme/feel was one thing I felt a little stuck on and without knowing that piece, I was having trouble envisioning everything. For me it was more than just picking two or three colors I liked together, I want everything to complement the venue, not compete with it. Even when I envisioned colors I like together, I didn't see how that translated into the wedding party, the table settings, etc. So, this past week, I didn't book any vendors or try on any wedding dresses, but I did do a lot of thinking...and internet searching. A couple nights ago my fiance and I sat down, each with a laptop, and talked about COLORS! We did a lot of searching and saying what we liked and didn't. Here's how we started - I listed the colors already at our venue. It's an outside setting, so most are the typical natural colors. They were: greens, blues, browns, white, tan, and grey/silver. To see pictures of our venue click here.

After about 30 minutes of searching, I was a little many amazing colors, so many ways to coordinate it all. This wasn't the first time I had thought about the wedding colors, but when I actually sat down to try to make some decisions, it was hard. Chris's main focus was what the guys would be wearing, but thankfully he was patient enough to listen to me think out loud about everything else and give his opinion. Dozens of searches later, we knew there were things we liked and others we could rule out, but we still weren't sure how it all came together. I liked the idea of having more of a 'color scheme' or 'palette' rather than having everything be two-three colors. When we stepped away from the computers and let everything sink in a little is when we finally figured it out. What we ended up liking the most and agreeing on is similar to the images below - neutrals, greys, pops of a bright poppy/orange and light blue accents.  Here's how I envision it playing out...


Bridal party: guys in grey, ladies in light.

Source: Groomsmen, Bridesmaids

I love the bright flowers and the pale blue glass.


Here was our thought process behind the colors. It started with the wedding party attire. We knew we didn't want black suits because of the time of year (hot, mid-July) and the fact that we wanted more of a casual feel. We were thinking tans or greys and Chris preferred the grey. Easy! For the bridesmaid dresses, I was originally thinking a navy, but then I was having trouble imagining everything. Once I saw the wedding images above, I liked the lighter, more neutral look with the pops of bright colors. This was a harder decision for me. As far as silver vs. gold, we will go with silvers because our venue already has silver accents - the roof of the barn, the dance floor is a cement grey, etc. The flower and accent color inspiration comes from my infatuation with poppies. My mom's love of the Wizard of Oz rubbed off on me at an early age and I will never forget the fields of poppies. Over the past few years Chris and I have been going on runs through the Golden Gate Park and I would spot the state flower in the gardens of the Conservatory. I've heard the actual poppy flower doesn't hold up very well once it's cut, so I may have to go with other flowers, but the color is what I will be going for. The pale blue glass...I don't know where that came from. I just love the look of it with the bright colors!

Now that I picked the color scheme, I can envision everything coming together. What a good feeling!

How did you pick your wedding colors? Did it come easily for you? 

A little shout out to my dear friends, Serena and Kevin, who used the neutral colors as a base for bright color accents. It worked so well with their Mexico location.  Check out their feature on Style Me Pretty here.

Bridesmaid Dresses {An Update & A Dilemma}

Earlier this year, I asked you all for advice on bridesmaids dresses--I couldn't decide between mismatched coral, grey or a matching patterned dress. Well, I thought I had decided but my dress dilemma continues these many months later. I clearly need everyone's help! Here's the latest: I decided on mismatched coral dresses. The color is a big trend this year so I thought it wouldn't be too hard to put together the perfect pallet for my four bridesmaids. Unfortunately, that proved to be easier said than done! We've purchased a variety of dresses from a variety of sources and I'm still having a hard time seeing it come together.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

Why is this proving to be so difficult? First of all, coral is a tough color! It easily goes orange, pink or red and changes in different light and when compared to similar colors. Two beautiful dresses start to look not quite right next to each other. And it is a particularly difficult color to get a good sense of online with different screen colors.

Secondly, I'm a little too loving when it comes to this color pallet. I love them all, from almost pink to very orange, and can never decide which I like best!

Lastly, I seem to have an aversion to "bridesmaids dresses." I want something with a little pizzazz and style and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for in a bridesmaid dress.

Here are some dresses we've purchased, considered or may be ordered in the near future. Don't get me wrong--they are all gorgeous! It's just a matter of putting them together...

Source: Neiman Marcas, BB Dakota, Asos, Asos, Asos, Asos, Nordstrom, Zara

So I stand here with a handful of dresses and not sure where to go next! I'd love your advice or ideas. Should I keep trying to put together mismatched dresses or should I pick one dress for everyone? What's your favorite--coral, peach or orange? I'd love to hear your success stories!

But You Can Wear It Again!

I am pretty sure you know what I am talking about just by the title – yep, bridesmaid dresses. If you’ve been in a wedding, I bet you’ve heard the above statement and so desperately hoped it would be true as you handed over your credit card to pay for a very pretty, yet, likely, very expensive dress. Unfortunately, bridesmaid dresses do not grow on trees, and despite how beautiful they are, the second-time wear is probably rarer than the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (seriously, look it up). Since several of my bridesmaids live across the country, I really wanted to keep the cost of the gown in check. I’d rather the ladies spend it on airfare to come to my wedding or bachelorette than a dress. But, that being said, I didn’t want to stress about finding a gown that would suit the taste and body types of eight different women! As we all know, I haven’t had the easiest time shopping for myself!

Luckily for me, the trend of letting your bridesmaids pick their own dress has really taken off. This allows the bridesmaid to wear something that they feel amazing in, hopefully at a price point they are comfortable with. And, an added benefit for me is that all my bridesmaids have AMAZING taste, so I know they will all look awesome!

Hmm, but what color…

When we were originally planning a more rustic, outdoor wedding I was definitely leaning toward gray.

And I also loved a more neutral tan as well.

But then we decided on our present venue, The City Club, which I felt called for a darker, more formal color.

I liked navy, but my sister called dibs on that shade way back in high school, so that was out.

And then I started seeing images of black dresses and fell in love with them – especially long black gowns. There was a chance (I admit small) that the ladies may actually already own a black gown. And if not, maybe they knew a friend they could borrow one from (again, wishful thinking – but a higher likelihood than other colors!).

And of course if they decided to buy a new one, they are ubiquitous so it hopefully wouldn’t be too hard to find one they loved (or even just liked!) at a reasonable price.

I also love the way long black gowns look with a classic tux.

I actually haven’t officially made my decision about bridesmaid dresses – I am waiting to do one more round of dress shopping for myself before I make it official. But I would love your thoughts – did you let your bridesmaid pick their own dress? How did it turn out? Or were you able to wear a bridesmaid dress again? I want know!

Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Mix or Match? {Bridesmaids' Dresses}

I’ve had a pretty clear vision on most of the details of our wedding, but the one thing I just can’t decide on is bridesmaids’ dresses. I have too many ideas and I can’t seem to narrow in on one. I love the look of mixed and matched dresses, but I also love the idea of selecting a patterned dress. I love the trend of neutral dresses, but I’m also drawn to gorgeous color. Too many options! I want my girls to be comfortable and feel great, while everyone still knows that they are my bridesmaids.

So, this is where you come in, blogosphere! I’ve put together boards of the few different directions I’m considering (the dresses are mostly just examples for now). Share your thoughts! I need the help!

1. Mix and match coral and peach:

Sources: coral & teal, coral & peach, one shoulder, embroidered, strapless, sleeveless, lace

2. Mix and match blue-grey, pumped up a bit with coral and orange accessories: 

Sources: grey girls, grey with yellow, mrs., baby doll, belted, sleeveless, lace Jewelry: 1, 2, 3, 4

3. Finally, I found this amazing dress that has both the peach and the blue, with a general light and neutral feeling. It comes in a few different cuts, I’m just not sure I want the girls in the same dress. It is super cute though, and definitely still on the table.

Sources: Whitney Deal 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Asking My Dream Team

I'll be honest – I was pretty nervous about asking my bridal party (or “Dream Team” which I think better describes this group of women!) to be in my wedding. Being in someone’s wedding is a big commitment. It’s time, money and labor intensive. So I wanted to ask them in a way that they knew I wasn’t taking this lightly. But I also didn’t want it to be too time, money or labor intensive for me either! After scouring the internet, I came across an article about Dylan Lauren’s bridal shower and loved the little favors that were given out to guests.

Credit: Ring Box

I thought this would be a great favor to propose with to my bridal party! After several hours (yes several hours) looking for the boxes online, visiting a few different Walgreen’s to find Ring Pops, and buying some ribbon to put around the box (this project turned out to be a little more time intensive than I thought!) I began my little craft project. Thankfully I ordered more boxes than I needed because getting the ring to stay inside the box was more challenging than I expected (I will reiterate, I am NOT Martha Stewart). But after several unsuccessful attempts, I finally got it down.

I also wanted to include a cute note card so I could write individual notes to each friend expressing exactly why I wanted them in my bridal party. I wanted something fun and slightly irreverent. For me, the word “bridesmaid” is a bit antiquated and stuffy. So I wanted to find something that added some levity to this years-old tradition. So off to Etsy I went.

I loved the gold elements of this card and the playful prose. But I hadn’t 100% decided on the bridesmaid dresses (post to come on this!), so I didn’t want to make any promises I couldn’t keep.

Credit: Note Card

I also loved this card and that you could customize hair color.

Credit: Note Card

But I have eight bridesmaids, and this card limited it to six.

Finally, I came across this one and loved it.

Credit: Note Card

It has the beautiful gold font and envelopes (gold is one of our colors). And I loved the slightly irreverent tone – perfect to add some levity to my mission (it comes in both lavender and pink!).

And here is the end product.

I found some gold bags and replaced the handles with a more appropriate ribbon (it came with bright yellow) and put the ring boxes inside.

Again, nothing big, just a fun little favor to give to these women who mean so much to me.

Thankfully, everyone said yes! And I truly feel like I will have the most amazing Dream Team standing by my side on my wedding day. I know they will make me laugh when I am on the verge of a meltdown or keep me calm when I am stressing about something ridiculous. I couldn’t imagine my day without them!

How did you ask your Dream Team? Please share below - I am dying to know!

B-Maids, Bridesmaids, Bestmaids

My bridesmaids, bestmaids, are my very best friends from high school. I love each of them completely for being so adorably unique that I always knew I wanted them to each wear a dress of their choice. I gave them a color scheme and let them pick and things have gone even better than I could have imagined. Each dress looks like the friend that picked it, which is exactly what I wanted (how often do you and your friends get to dress up fancy and take tons of pics? I want them to all look GREAT). Three of my four besties have their dresses already:

one, two, three

Don't the colors look great together?! I'm in love, so sun-washed summer!

However, my fourth bestfran is still looking for her dress. We're thinking something in a caramel, warm brown color, but we're having trouble finding anything online that you can easily return for money back if it doesn't fit right. Let me know if you've seen anything you think would look great, because we're struggling!

My girls are all wearing neutral-ish shoes, but the accessories are what I'm currently excited about! The J. Crew champagne colored dress is going to be paired with a gold belt like this, and probably no necklace. However, I want my other two girls to wear some neat statement jewelry. I've been scouring the web for big ol' (affordable) statement necklaces for my friend in yellow and slightly more subdued ones for my friend in orange, but I just can't make a decision. Here are some of my faves, what do you think? Have you seen something better?

Clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four

We're also on the lookout for a belt or sash for the orange dress, pretty please send me anything you think would look good!

Happy New Year!

Next week I'll be sharing my Save the Dates because...I'm getting married THIS year!