Dressed to the Nines {bachelorette party on the brain}

I think the one thing no one really talks about with wedding planning is that most brides (at least those getting married in a "popular" area like Wine Country) have planned all of the big things (venue, caterer, dress, DJ, photographer) 9-12 months before their wedding. So, there's this lull where all you have is Pinterest and a bazillion wedding magazines and blogs to make you think of the omgsupercute details you should have at your wedding. Let's just say that choosing a caterer was a bit more fun, and less stress-inducing than the details lull. While I still have a few months, and it's not exactly part of my wedding planning, I am feeling totally excited by the idea of a no-holds-barred night out with my favorites to blow off some of that wedding-induced steam. I have been bitten by the bachelorette bug hard, and with all the cute Valentine's Day dresses all over the place, it's a miracle that I haven't bought 15 potential bachelorette dresses!  Here are some of my faves:

From Rent the Runway (1, 2, 3):


From Asos.com (a favorite of mine for party dresses) (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

From bebe.com (which seems primarily meant for bachelorette parties, no?) (10, 11, 12):

Veil-ed It! {headpiece or veil?}

My wedding gown has a lot going on. I knew that I would never be that bride that can effortlessly and elegantly pull off a crepe sheath dress (Gwyneth Paltrow I am not). That being said, my accessorizing options are somewhat limited by the fact that my dress brings the bling in a major way. Herein lies the problem: I love headpieces, like true love. I have been searching for a headpiece that combines my love of vintage, my love of bling, and is understated enough that I won't look like Honey Boo Boo (think modified tiara, not full-blown tiara). Here are a few that I love:

 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Recently, veils have seemed a little more alluring. I had honestly completely written off veils, since we're not religious, not having a religious ceremony, and the back of my gown is intricate, and I wanted it to be visible. However, BHLDN has struck again with a couple of very sheer, very delicate options that are making me rethink this whole headpiece obsession.

Source: 5, 6

Showered with love {what to wear to your bridal shower}

While my bridal shower is a good four months away, and there will surely be white and cream-colored dresses a-plenty as the weather gets warmer, lately, I find my fingers wandering to sites like Nordstrom, BHLDN, and Anthropologie to search for the perfect dress to wear to my bridal shower. Requirements are as follows: 1) Effortless (no dress is ever truly effortless, but it'd be great if it at least looks effortless)

2) Chic

3) A little something extra (my mantra for all things wedding....sequins! Just kidding...sort of)

4) Bride-y (a bit hard to wear white lace on occasions when you're not being showered, no?)

What you wear should somewhat depend on the look and feel of the shower, as well as the attendees. Lucky for me, my most favorite ladies in the world know that I like to sparkle like it's my job. So, I don't think they'll mind if my dress is a bit much for a backyard ladies' luncheon in May. Here are some of my favorites so far:

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Let's hear it for the girls! {over-the-top flower girl dresses}

Warning: this blog post involves not one, but two humble-brags. 1) I have two ridiculously adorable flower girls: the daughters of our close friends. And they are at just that perfect age of ALL PRINCESS EVERYTHING, so no flower girl dress is too over-the-top. Sequins? Duh. Feathers? You betcha! Tulle? Obviously.

2) My previously mentioned crafty mother has graciously accepted the task of hand-making these flower girl dresses! So, we get to design them together!! My mom is an incredible seamstress, and while regular school play costumes were de rigueur around my house, my mom also tackled more substantial projects like my kick-ass prom dress. So, yeah...she's pretty legit.

Humble brags aside (fine...they were mostly just brags!), my mom and I are on the hunt for adorable and inspirational flower girl dresses that are unique, fantastical, and totally over-the-top. Here are a few of my favorites:


Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Put Her Best Foot Forward {flats for your bridesmaids}

My sister is my MOH and sole bridesmaid, and, while she is amazingly smart, gorgeous, and funny to boot, she is not a heels girl. Lucky for her, I am not a bridezilla (hate that word), and couldn't give two hoots about the shoes on her feet. That being said, her dress is short, so I'll take it upon myself as bride and the more shoe-obsessed sister to find her a lovely, wedding-friendly pair of flat sandals to wear with her dress. Her dress is similar to the below, from David's Bridal and J. Crew:

Source: 1, 2

Here are a couple of shoes I think would be fun and unique for a bridesmaid...who ever said all bridesmaids need to wear silver kitten heels from Chinese Laundry? Ugh.

And a few more sparkly options:

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

As for me, I'll be in these... ; )


A Walk in the Park {Sneak Peek Engagement Pictures!}

Greetings from Beijing! I'm traveling for work, and let me tell you, it is Cold here (with a capital C), and that's coming from someone that lived in Chicago for two years! About a month ago, my fiance and I had our engagement photo session with the enormously talented Shang Chen. I'm actually lucky enough to know Shang in real life (we went to business school together), so the shoot was even more fun! We walked around the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and Golden Gate Park, on a stunningly beautiful fall afternoon.

I'll admit, I was a bit obsessive about outfits, and brought three (yes, three) pairs of shoes to our photo shoot. If you're unsure, your photographer is an amazing resource for advice on what will photograph well. We sent Shang photos of our outfits ahead of time, and she had some really excellent feedback.

Source (all photos): Shang Chen Photography 

I highly recommend taking engagement photos, particularly with your wedding photographer. They are a great time to build rapport, and to work out any of the kinks with your photographer before your big day. Shang is amazing at what she does, and her blog is a great source of inspiration to me.

Have you had your engagement photos taken yet?

the meeting of the mom's

I'm a family person, I always have been & always will be; it means everything to me.  It's not the old days where the parents meet at the wedding & exchange pleasantries but nothing more.  I want more than that.  My dream is to one day be one of those couples who have both parents visit for the holidays.  I'm lucky that both of our families raised us this way & that hopefully this dream will come true.  But first, the families need to meet!  I decided mother's first.  And, I couldn't think of a better event for them to meet than to go wedding dress shopping with me!  It gives the perfect backdrop: excitement, smiles, laughs (ok, maybe also some happy tears), and of course champagne!

Source (from top left): Westside Wedding, Bijou BrideIntimate Weddings, Wedding by ColorIntimate Weddings, PronoviasWhat Anna Lovesthemette

I had previously fallen in-love with this adorable vintage wedding dress stamp, so I decided to make invitations using it to send to my mom, future mother-in-law, and 3 of my local bridesmaids.

And this gave me the opportunity to try out this DIY faux calligraphy.

Source: Side by Side

 I've recently become obsessed with my embossing gun & this was the perfect time for me to add another project to the list!


Gray Bridesmaid Dresses from Asos

Who's ready to hang up those blush pink bridesmaid dresses and go for something a little more bold? This patterned dress is just killing me big time. I absolutely love it, and boy would it look so amazing on a group of gals! Head on over to Asos (my GO TO place for bridesmaids dresses BT-dubs) to pick up this one.

I do realize that all of you might not be ready to go so bold, so these gray bridesmaid options are perfect for a a subdued look.

Gray Bridesmaid DressGray Bridesmaid Dress

Who is planning on having their girls rock gray on your wedding day?

Flights of Fancy {feathers as wedding inspiration}

My fiance, Mark, and I have a long-running joke about me walking down the aisle carrying a live white peacock instead of a bouquet. I'll take the flowers, please and thank you. The last thing I need is a frantic animal in my arms during our wedding. Needless to say, I have a strong and deep love of all things feathered, which I've inherited primarily from my mother, who is about as obsessed as they come. Feathers are popping up all over the place in wedding decor, bridal attire, accessories, even invitations. Here are a few of my favorite iterations:

Surely, I wouldn't look this glamorous carrying a bird.




Feathers as decorative details...

Source 1, 2

Feathers in your hair...

Source 1, 2

How will you be incorporating your feathered friends?

P.S. If you've seen my Pinterest, you know I have much, much more feather inspiration, so just wait for shoes and dress posts!

He's Got the Look {Groom's Style}

Last week, I talked about picking out unique bridal accessories that can add a little somethin' somethin' to your bridal "look."  So I thought it might be fun for this week to be about grooms and their wedding look!

Doesn't it seem like their "look" is waaaay easier to put together than ours?!  It probably is; however, I thought picking out a tuxedo would be a breeze and surprisingly, it wasn't as easy as I thought! Going into the tuxedo appointment, I thought for sure that I didn't want the guys to wear vests. It just seemed too "prom-y" for me plus I was obsessed with this photo!  (The grey and the black, the ties, no vests....perfection!)
Groom Black Suite
Eric wanted to wear a vest and convinced me to go in with an open mind.  When he came out in his black tux with the black vest, I LOVED it!  So maybe it is a little bit like wedding dress shopping, sometimes, the style you thought you would hate ends up being just right for you!
The thing I have always loved about accessories is they can add character and personality to a rather plain outfit.  Here is a list of some accessory options I am loving for grooms right now!
Anyone who knows my fiancé knows that suspenders are not his style at all but I do love this look!
Groom Suspenders
Such a great way to incorporate one of your wedding colors!
Groom Colored Socks
Fun socks don't have to be just for the groom either! What a fun groomsmen gift! I found a lot of fun sock options on BoldSocks.com and they are affordable ($9-$35)!
Groomsmen colorful socks
Cuff Links
Eric and I are incorporating scrabble and other games in some of our wedding decor and we absolutely will be doing this! Love!
Scrabble Cuff Links Wedding
Cotton boutonniere?! Who would have thought!
Cotton Boutonniere
Lots of fun unique boutonniere looks! I am; however, questioning the penguin. I think there is a time and place for animals at a wedding. (Another blog post, maybe?)
Groom Boutonnieres
Is your groom wearing something fun or unique? Do you love/hate any of these looks?
Until Next Week!
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