Girly Time {Flower Girls}

Last week I sent cute little cards to my four flower girls (my 2 nieces and Kyle's 2 nieces) officially asking them to be in my wedding entourage, and they agreed! Lucky me! They're all so adorable, I cant wait to see them all dressed up and ready to lead the way down the aisle. Now I get the fun task of choosing what they're going to wear. And I love shopping. Particularly virtual window shopping. (Does that make me a bit strange?)

I really love this modern, sort-of bohemian princess look with the long tulle skirt and the the flowers in their hair.

sourced from Style Me Pretty, photos by Sara Donaldson

Or I can go with the always-a-good-choice clothing shop, J. Crew. I mean, let's face it, everyone else in my wedding is wearing J. Crew. I may as well put everyone in their beautiful clothes!

top: Style Me Pretty, photo by KT Merry; left: Brides, photo by Jose Villa; right: Style Me Pretty, photo by Veil and Bow

I really love all of the white dress options and their sparkly flats!

Girls' organdy plumeria dressGirls' glitter bow ballet flatsJ. Crew dress and shoes

I've also heard of brides who are way cooler than me that let their flower girls dress up as their favorite character and dance down the aisle. How great would that be for them?!

What are your flower girls wearing? Which style do you like better of the two above? I need to start making some decisions!


Choosing Our Wedding Bands

I've never gone jewelry shopping. Well, I've never really gone shopping for REAL jewelry. The good stuff. So when this last weekend Kyle and I went shopping for our wedding bands, I was really nervous. I finally got a little glimpse into how nervous he must have felt when he picked out my engagement ring. The poor guy!

There were only two places I wanted to go. First was the wonderful jeweler Kyle bought my engagement ring from. They have been amazing from the day Kyle met them, and anytime since that I have been in their shop. It's called Johann Paul Jewelers in San Anselmo, and it's owned by two Kiwis (New Zealanders, not fruit). Since I spent a semester abroad in New Zealand, we hit it off right away. I love those guys, especially Paul. We hadn't been in the store in over a year, but Paul remembered us and knew all these sweet little life details that I forgot we had told him.

By the way, here's a tip: get your ring cleaned every damn day if you can! I hadn't had mine cleaned for over a year, so when I walked in that's the first thing they insisted. Holy crap?! It was like 10 times more sparkley! Kyle and I were both shocked! Apparently I put my hands in dirty places too often. Needless to say, I've been enjoying the particularly special shine this week :)

We talked to him about what I wanted, which, truth be told, I wasn't sure about. I wasn't sure if I wanted a straight ring or a curved ring to fit snugly with my engagement ring. What if I wanted to wear the band by itself one day? Or if I wanted something simple for traveling and outdoorsy things? I tried on a beautiful straight ring that looked gorgeous with my engagement ring.

Then I tried on a curved ring, and knew that's what I wanted. I mean, it was just instantly WAY better, and it looked like a beautiful, cohesive (anyone else think of Project Runway when you hear that word?) piece of jewelry. So we talked to him about having the designer of my engagement ring (eco-friendly, local, and awesome designer Yael) make a custom band to fit together with my engagement ring. Yay! Easy!

Then we talked to him about bands for Kyle, and Kyle knew even less about what he wanted. I always thought he'd look great with something a little modern, a little rustic, but definitely unique and handmade. Since Kyle works with his hands a lot, the one thing we knew was that his ring had to be tough. Basically it needed to be able to be smashed with a hammer and not break in two or smoosh around Kyle's finger. That meant gold was out because it was too soft, and tungsten was no good either because it's too hard, you can't get it off a swollen finger.

He tried on some titanium bands that had rings of wood or carbon fiber by local designer Jerry Spaulding. He felt so awkward about wearing a ring. He was so quick to pull them off. He kept exclaiming how weird it was to wear a ring. Poor guy, it'll take some getting used to. He ended up loving a matte titanium ring with a thin offset carbon fiber band in it. But we still had one more store I wanted to check out.

Solid TitaniumSolid TitaniumSolid Titanium

Naturally we drove the Triumph convertible into the city to check out Manika Jewelry, which specializes in jewelry handmade by local artists. They had more limited options as far as wedding bands, but I loved the idea of something that had a really organic feel to it, so I wanted to check this place out. He tried on a few beautiful rings by Redstart, and especially liked one called "Stream" that had a hand carved line cut through the band, resembling a stream.

Mens Stream Collection                 Mens Stream Collection

After a beer at City Beer Store, Kyle decided he liked the ring by Jerry Spaulding best. A beer well spent, I say!

So there we are, we have our wedding bands picked out. I can hardly wait for him to slip it on my finger!!

How was your wedding band shopping experience? Was it easy? Stressful? Was your hubby equally as awkward about trying on rings? Do tell!

Breaking the Ice {Table Games}

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of one of my dearest friends Caroline who has been with her now-husband Carter almost exactly as long as Kyle and I have been together. Among many of the personal elements that I loved about the wedding, one thing that both Kyle and I loved was the little hand-stamped packet that was set at each place setting filled with one fake mustache and one set of false teeth.

We knew no one there before the wedding, but by the end we felt like we had made great new friendships with so many people. And I think we can thank the mustaches for that.

Needless to say, we loved this idea! Now I'm looking for inspiration for some other fun and awesome ice breakers for wedding reception tables. Here are just a few that I have found.

Photos by Emma Case

Isn't this cool? Guest pick a button out of the jar and write some "words of wisdom" based on the word on the button. Better yet, it doubles as your guest book. There's a great DIY with printables over at Rock My Wedding for this darling Jar of Hearts!

  Top left: Penny for Your Thoughts; Top right: Date Night; Bottom: He Said, She Said

Have you been to a wedding with some great dinner table ice breakers? If so, what were they? We really want to do this at our wedding, and want to hear your ideas!

Engagement Photos Revealed (and Featured!)

I have been DYING to share our engagement photos with you since we first got them from our photographer, as I am just absolutely smitten with them. And when I found out that Exquisite Weddings Magazine was going to feature them, I jumped out of my chair with excitement!!

Now that the post is live, I can finally gush over how amazing our photographer is. Fawn Christiansen of Sequins and Candy is a camera genius. I can't even tell you, I was genuinely shocked at how these photos came out. She was incredible at making us feel at ease, especially my camera-shy fiancé. Of all the photos we've taken over the last 6 years, I think I have a total of 5 photos of Kyle where he is not making some ridiculous face. Fawn literally quadrupled the number of nice photos I have of Kyle within the 2 hours she spent with us.

I must admit, though, that it's so funny to me to look at these photos because we felt SO awkward during the shoot. Kyle was giggling the whole time, which in turn made me giggley. This is the complete opposite of what I had always thought of engagement sessions. I always thought that you would just magically have the most romantic moment of your life and there was just a photographer there to capture it. Now I know that it's not quite that scenario, but looking at our photos, you'd have no idea. Or at least I've completely forgotten about any awkwardness and shyness we had!

Oh, and I absolutely have to thank Sasha Gold for my awesome hair and makeup (why can't I look like that every day?!). I was going to try to do it myself, but I am beauty challenged. I am SO GLAD that I trusted Sasha to fix me up. If you're taking your engagement photos somewhere other than where you're getting married, meaning you won't get to do your wedding hair and makeup trial on the day of your engagement photos, I highly recommend finding someone to take care of that task for you. Instead of having to rush out the door looking like normal, humdrum Kalista, I had a couple of hours to relax and chat with Sasha and her sweet rescue pup, Chica. It was just what I needed.

There's a number of photos that I love in the Exquisite Weddings Magazine feature, but here are a few of my favorites anyway! :)


I have no idea when Kyle turned into a J. Crew model, but my does he look fine! I'm a lucky girl.

It's so special to have these keepsake photos for the rest of our lives. Every time I look at them, I can't help but think about how much I love that man. I can't believe I get to marry him in just two and a half months!

Cocktail Hour {Signature Drinks}

Conveniently it seems that just as wedding planning stress kicks into an all-time high, it's time to figure out what our signature drink will be. Time to try 100 cocktails in 100 days!

  Style Me Pretty, photos by Shannon Moore Photography

Well, not really. But lots of cocktail is lots of days until I find the right one. And cocktails are proving to be quite valuable during the madness of doing completely DIY wedding invitations and creating a wedding website from scratch.

  Martha Stewart Weddings

I think I'm going at this a bit backwards though. I've picked the liquor I want as the base, and now I'm trying to find the right cocktail to serve that compliments it. Trouble is, since I'm far too obsessed with aesthetics, I really want this drink to not only taste great but to look pretty too. Ideally, it will be served in a coupe glass with no ice and lovely little garnish. Is that asking too much??

Joy the Baker

If I still haven't found my holy grail of a cocktail within one month of the wedding, I might need to make some concessions. But in the mean time, I've been trying drinks from a Gin Fizz with blueberries and fresh rosemary from our garden, to the classic The Fitzgerald, to Gin and Joe Rickeys.


St. George Spirits is a local Bay Area distiller that makes a series of 3 really delicious gins. I would love to feature one of these gins, since they're locally made and many of the ingredients are foraged from local areas, and they're all very well crafted to boot.

San Francisco Chronicle, photo by Liz Hafalia

So I've been loading up on mixers and pinning drink recipes like crazy in search of the cocktail that embodies the right balance of drinkability, creativity, and prettiness.

Do you have any favorite gin drinks? Or any good suggestions for where I can find great recipes? Time to experiment!

Watercolor Wonderment

Tomorrow will be the 3 month mark for our wedding day. EEK!! Time to start thinking about our invitations. We want to somehow relate them to our fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants Save the Dates, except without all the pirates... I'm really in love with the idea of incorporating watercolor, because that brings in a little of the water element of the Save the Dates, and, well, it's just darn pretty. Watercolor stationary is popping up more and more, and I just think it's so romantic.

love & lobster

Plus the watercoloring adds that handmade element that we loved (and loathed) about our Save the Dates.

source: jtru designs; invites by wedding paper divas (left and right)

Here's even a cute little DIY for that beautiful white font look I love!

Check out the step-by-step for these gorgeous "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" cards over at Glamour & Grace. Just stunning! I wish I had been that creative for my girls.

What do you think of the new watercolor trend? Yay or nay?

Dress Fitting Finale

Last Friday I flew to San Diego for a number of exciting wedding-related things, but the Kalista & Kyle-related wedding thing was my final dress fitting. Hooray! I zipped in for my 30-minute dress fitting, and slipped on my dress. It's like putting on a cloak of perfection, slipping into a wedding dress. I couldn't feel more beautiful, more glamorous, more sexy than I do in that little white dress. What IS it about wedding dresses?


The dress fit like a dream, and the seamstress just had to take off another half inch from the bottom. I picked it up the next day, and proudly carried it on to the plane with me, only to stuff it into the overhead compartment. What happened to the closets on airplanes?!

  sources: left, right

Anyways, it made it home in one piece, and now I just have to make sure not to wear it too many times before the wedding for fear of getting lipstick on it.


In case you're confused, yes, I did have my final fitting 3 1/2 months before my wedding. And yes, I need to pretty much stay the same weight until the wedding. But I'm not too worried about it. That's the nice thing about a sheath dress. It's relatively simple and doesn't need a whole lot of tailoring, plus I can fluctuate a few pounds and there's still room.

  sources: left, right

By the way, all of these dresses are by Jenny Packham. It's concerning how obsessed I am with her designs. But aren't they just to die for? It's a dream come true to be wearing one of them.

How many dress fittings did you have before your wedding? Did your size change a lot before your wedding day? Should I do another fitting 2 weeks before my wedding day?

A Much Needed Break

Over the past few weeks, I've been feeling like I'm on the verge of imploding. Exploding would be too dramatic. Combusting into a ball of nothingness seemed more appropriate. (Remember my elopement post?) And here's the reason I'm marrying Kyle. He knows exactly when I need to get away. It seemed like this trip he planned for my birthday three months ago had been perfectly aligned with my impending implosion. This couldn't have come at a better time.

Kyle planned a surprise trip away to one of my favorite places on the planet: Big Sur. The best part was that we had just bought an incredible vintage convertible that was just begging to be driven down Hwy 1. So we did just that.

I have to say, that this weekend away was just what I needed. A couple of days in the cleansing breeze that washes off the Big Sur cliffs stripped away a few pounds of the weight on my shoulders.

I know we all deal with it. Wedding planning. Life planning. It can get unfathomably overwhelming. I encourage you to take a weekend off and do what makes you both happiest. Whatever that is for you. Just take some time to get back to what is most meaningful to you and what inspires you.

It may just serve as a good piece of duct tape until you can make it through your wedding, but sometimes duct tape does a pretty damn good job.

What was the most peaceful, relaxing thing you did during the stress of wedding planning?

Head Piece Headache

It's been a while since I felt as clueless as I do right now about anything related to wedding planning. I consider myself a pretty savvy Googler, but I just can't sort this one out despite my endless nights of Googling. I remember when I started blogging for E&I, I had so many questions, and you guys have been so awesome about helping me out! Well, I really need your help today, as I'm completely at a loss about something. WHERE IN THE WORLD CAN YOU TRY ON A VEIL?!

Nordica Photography

So... here's been my experience: My dress fittings are so short, there's no time to try on veils and accessories at the bridal shop. Then when I look at any of the veils or headpieces online, they all seem to be made to order, and non-returnable. So really, how am I supposed to decide what to wear on my head if I can't try it on with my dress??

  top left: Jo Barnes; top right: Grey Likes Weddings, Johanna Johnson headpiece; bottom: Nomad Styling

I really don't want to spend the money on any of these things if I can't return them. Then, say I go into a bridal salon to try on accessories, I can't possibly bring in my dress with me so I can see the whole look. So what's a girl (me) to do?

  top left: BHLDN; top right: Lo Boheme, Katie Neal Photo; bottom: Doloris Petunia

How did you decide on your veil or hair jewelry? Do you have any shops or designers you can recommend? Please help me! I am at a complete loss.

From Fantasy to Reality!

If you can't tell already, I have quite an obsession with vintage cars and motorcycles. I've already written two blogs about it and had to restrain myself from writing every single blog about these beauties. Well, to fill you in on a few gaps... pretty much since the day Kyle proposed, we talked about driving off from our wedding in something that sputters and spits oil, but has so much character I could burst. We spent the first few months trying to sort out how we could get a motorcycle with a sidecar. Turns out they're not as easy to rent as I had hoped. Like, not at all available. Then, if you want to buy one, you either need to get a knock off Dnepr that isn't quite drivable or a way-to-expensive new Ural. So, sadly, one night we put that dream to bed.

Wild Weddings, photos by Nick and Bella

So next I started looking into renting a vintage car, but let me tell you, those are hard to come by! Although you can hire those beautiful old Rolls Royces instead of a limo fairly easily, finding a fun little vintage sports car that someone else will trust you to drive is a difficult thing. Finally I found a fantastic Porsche 550 Spyder replica (originally made famous by James Dean) that you could rent by the day. Success!


And that was our plan for the getaway car and wedding weekend fun car. That is until my dream car showed up for sale in our town. The car I've been dreaming about for years, that is quite difficult to come by, was for sale. It wasn't in perfect condition, but we can't afford perfect condition, so this was as close as we would get. After all, we had been saving for years for this exact reason.


We went to go check out this 1957 Triumph TR3 this past weekend, and the second we got into the car to take it for a test drive, I leaned over to Kyle, my eyes brimming with tears, and said "We have to have this car. This is it."

Needless to say, we made a deal that day. Well, today we were finally able to pick it up and drive it home to our very own garage!!! I can hardly believe that my dream car is really here! I'm BURSTING with excitement, I can hardly stand it. Here's my very own James Dean driving it home.

She needs a little love, but here is what we hope to turn her into over time.


So we finally have the vintage transportation I've been swooning over and I can't wait to show you pictures from our wedding featuring the new addition!!

Okay, now off to go sit in the car like an idiot.