May 29, 2010


Sunday suppers will be the death of me. If I ever get to visit New York and they are still hosting classes, I would totally plan my trip around it. Check out this awesome rustic italian inspired dinner.
Dark wood surface, white dishes and tasty food:
"Pasta Frittata
Warm Robiola Cheese
Herbed Flatbreads
Asparagus with Frankie’s Olive Oil
Meatballs + fresh tomato sauce
Boozy fruit
Sandwich cookies
And of course martinis"
I would like to add just about all of this to our wedding menu. Can I make asparagus an appetizer food? It looks so darn pretty with those lemon wedges.
I LOVE the idea of cooking together. If you were having a super small wedding, or a rehearsal dinner at home it would be so lovely to cook the meal together.

And check out that olive branch arrangement. I love this look and there are actually olive trees and tuscan inspired landscaping in the town where Fiance's parents live. I love some olive branch inspiration.
Also can I steal some of these ladies' dresses? Especially the one on the right. It would be just lovely for some engagement photos :).

May 28, 2010

brought to you by the letter eff

(via yes please)

Last night, along my fellow group members, I presented my senior design project. We spent the past 2 quarters (since january) designing a 3 story commercial/residential structure with the help of a consulting engineer at a private firm. One of the things I learned: despite 4 years in college we knew surprisingly little about how to actually design a building. that's what you get from a research based university. Also because of our lack of experience and limited time, decisions had to be made on what we would actually do. We started out ambitious but the last month or so was a scramble. "wait don't we need to consider this?" "we really have to do calculations for ALL of that??" and our engineer (who is awesome and I feel like I learned more from than most of my classes) said "learn the concept, do one calc/drawing to show that you thought of it and move on". 

As we prepared for the presentation it became a time of "eff it". "crap we forgot this" "what if they ask a question about that" . It was about prioritizing the important foundation and basic structure (puns...unavoidable?) of the project and all the tiny little details that were unnecessary fell by the wayside. We got our point across. We showed drawings for a three story structure. One girl and I designed a foundation in under 2 weeks (aka I put in about 18 hour days at school for the past 2 weeks, hence my hiatus and those hair posts were scheduled). But in the end we had something we were all really proud of and the presentation was perfect.

I'm kind of hoping this level of prioritizing and letting things go has trained me a little for wedding planning. In the end it's about the marriage. Just like this project was about a safe structure that met the requirements. Maybe we didn't calc out the balcony or draw up the mechanical units but we thought the foundation plans were a bit more important. So for the wedding if we don't have programs or meticulously drawn chalkboard signs it will be because we decided to allocate more time to the actual getting married part, because it took priority.

May 23, 2010

paper battle

I can't help but feel like assembling graduation announcements is practice for wedding invites. It scares me a little. There's half a page of instructions on how to put this craziness together. inner envelopes, outer envelopes, sealing stickers, tissue to cover the text inside the announcement, addressing styles, folding directions. I kind of feel like emily post or martha stewart will jump out from behind my door if I screw up.

So this makes me want to take the easy route invite wise. ONE envelope. Possibly print address labels (GASP, blasphemy I know. What can I say? Sometimes I can be a rebel.) There's no way I can convince Fiance to spend a week putting together invites. Well, he'd probably do it if I asked because he like loves me and all that, but I'd end up being the whiney one...

May 21, 2010

hair part 4

So now my hair conclusion after presenting those options. I would like to introduce you to one of our many friendors (coined by the lovely & witty lady over at hitchdied) that we have been blessed with. One of my dear bridesmaids runs a business making custom veils, and doing hair and makeup styling. Miss Shawnie. She went to fashion school, worked at a bridal salon for years and is all sorts of fabulous. If you live in/are getting married in Orange County, contact her, she's awesome. Also she does beautiful hand drawn and watercolor illustrations of the bride in dress and veil, etc. She blows my mind with her talent. When she offered to help me out after I asked to stand at the altar with me, I couldn't say no!

She's going to help me with my hair, so I've been collecting photos for ideas so we can have some hair play days. Genius that she is, she suggested a combination of the two styles I love. She can tease the top, put it into a low bun/chignon for the ceremony. Then after the ceremony, she will remove a couple pins to let the bottom half down and voila! two styles in one! She will also be helping restore my headpiece and veil. Yay!

May 19, 2010

hair part 3

Hair piece options:
First I would like to briefly discuss the following awesomeness. That vine/claw thing in her hair is pure brilliance.

But since I've already got something and I probably can't afford something like that, here's a more realistic option. My grandmother/mother's headpiece is crown shaped, layered with starched lace, iridescent sequins and tiny pearl and gold beads. My grandmother wore it flat on her head like a head band while my mom wore it tipped up, like a crown. I definitely want to wear it flat. I have a fingertip length veil with blusher for the ceremony, but I want to change it up for the reception. Maybe switch out the veil for a little bit of netting with my beaded headband like these lovely ladies:

kind of like this gorgeous vintage headpiece I found on etsy:

via etsy

umm and then I had to find a way to stick zooey in here somewhere. we have the same hair and blue eyes!

May 18, 2010

hair part 2

Option #2: the updo
there's the messy, poufy updo:

 (via apartment 34)
The sleek but simple updo:

(keira knightley)

(scarlett johanssen in french elle)

And I really love fresh gardenias, especially in dark haired updos:

Which leads into tomorrow's topic: the headpiece/veil options...

May 17, 2010

hair part 1

Alright, I hereby declare this to be hairstyle week. I'm incredibly indecisive when it comes to my hair. At the moment it is long, dark brown, with layers and fringe, with a bit of a natural wave. My hair grows super fast so I've experimented a lot in the past. I've had (in the past 6 years) highlights, no fringe, fringe, side bangs, hair down past my waist, chin length a line cut, dark black brown, a bleach blonde streak and everything in between. I plan to keep the same cut that I have right now. I like a slightly less than perfect look when it comes to hairstyles, I usually just air dry my hair and use some defrizz/shine spray.

Option #1: the half up/half down, with volume/pouf, and messy waves/curls
a la Brigette Bardot

(google images)
Or Anna Karina

Or these beautiful brides:

May 15, 2010

classy pair

my brain is still mush from school and that possessive entity is demanding yet more of my time. So for now I daydream about running off on our honeymoon in 9.5 months. Hopefully looking like this:
hmmm a ferry ride is quite relevant to those plans as well. more clues coming.

May 13, 2010


More words of wisdom from Fiance:
(when we were visiting the red brick church)
Me: Can you see yourself getting married here?
Fiance: I can see myself getting married anywhere. It doesn't matter where as long as I'm marrying YOU.

(and anytime I start to freak out about...well anything.)
Me: I'm freaking out about xyz!
Fiance: You'll be alright.
Me: whatever! it's gonna be terrible
Fiance: You'll be alright. You always are.
Me: Ugh!
Me: you're right. love you.

and he never even says "I told you so". Now that's love.

May 10, 2010


Eeek! Things I love about discovering this little world of weddings online: Super brilliant advice. Today on ESB a reader asked for advice about what to serve at a cocktail party. So smart lady that she is, calls on Celia, a cocktail and culinary expert (!) to lead the way. SUCH GOOD ADVICE! She recommended super easy no-cooking-required platters to serve up, how much to serve based on the number of people and wine pairings via her sommelier husband. The roasted veggies, charcuterie and cheese suggestions sound amazing. This one has definitely been filed away for future use.
(both photos via 100 layer cake)

May 8, 2010


So I know a few people have mentioned it already but I'm totally over "trends". Like the word is no longer allowed in my vocabulary. As far as fashion goes, I feel like I've really got a good handle on my personal style, what I like and what looks good on me. I'll look to the runway for fresh ideas and inspiration, but by no means will I buy things because it's what's "in" (plus most of those items don't flatter a curvy figure ...90's comeback I'm looking at you...).

And as far as weddings go I feel like a trend doesn't mean anything anymore. (google it, the things that come up for 2010 are birdcage veils, sit down dinners, and strapless dresses...I'm pretty sure those have been around for a bajillion years already). People are just going to do whatever they want to do. If they're doing it solely because someone else did then that's their problem. I saw a wedding the other day with some beautiful bird imagery, which many people use as inspiration, and they seemed to feel the need to overemphasize that this was very personal to them, the groom learned ornithology from his father or something. Which is very cool and I'm glad that they could incorporate that, but since when did we have to JUSTIFY our wedding decisions to complete strangers? I could maybe see explaining key things about the ceremony or deciding to walk down the aisle together or something like that relating to your belief system (though that really doesn't require justification to strangers either).

But decor? Is it really super crucial to preface your choice of stuff you put on a table with elaborate stories for fear of backlash about the cliche? I think personal blogs are an exception. This is our space to sort out our thoughts for ourselves and find the true purpose and meaning in this day. But the general wedding blogs that feature "real weddings", your very personal story is being thrown out into cyberspace for random people to see. There's too much objectivity and no context. Personal blogs allow the viewer to follow the whole story and get to know your personality. The tiny wedding features we ogle are literally a snapshot. If a photographer ends up taking 1500 pictures we'll see maybe 1% of that one day. There's a difference between a little summary of the day and trying to one up each other.

There were some posts going around about wanting to see more emotion and (real) people photos and less photos of menus and vases. Which I'm all for. I'm not sure when the details became the focus of weddings, all my grandparents and parents' wedding photos are of people and the occasional cake (but a cake cutting so there's still people). Because while I am a detail loving lady, I'd much rather have more photos of me laughing out loud than perfectly arranged food platters (maybe after shots of demolished said food platters...)
(I was caught mid-laugh as we were displaying how awesomely white all of us were. pale and proud!)

So...after all that I'll show you what spurred this little monologue and present my "justification". My dear mother doesn't read wedding blogs, she's looked at maybe three magazines. She likes to secretly watch platinum weddings when my dad isn't around and balk at the ridiculousness. I grew up thrifting and antiquing. My parents were out and about today and my mom found this:
An antique bamboo birdcage. She suggested it would look so pretty with flowers to display somewhere at the reception. See she came up with this all on her own because she has awesome style, not because everyone and their mother last year used birdcages at their wedding. And I love old-world flea market bazaar type decor (dude cost plus world market is like my sanctuary. I'm still bitter they don't have a registry).  Also it is approximately $25. I get the thrifty genes from my momma. So I'm all for it. It's not that i-have-to-have-birdcages but my mom saw it and thought of me, it's inexpensive (I'll totally be repurposing it for future apartment) and I will not demand a refund if the photog doesn't get a pic of it. Especially if she's too busy snapping away at fiance and i enjoying each other's presence.

May 7, 2010

ribbons and pearls

For our very first valentine's day Fiance bought me a beautiful pair of pearl stud earrings. I wear them for special occasions and keep them safely in their little blue velvet box. One time I was too tired and threw them on my dresser before going to bed. One fell to the ground and I thought I had lost it for a week, I was freaking out. They are very special, I knew I would be wearing them for our wedding.

A couple of weeks ago one of my uncles got married (more on that eventually) and my grandma was wearing her long strand of pearls. We were chatting and she said "This is the necklace I want you to wear for your wedding." I'm so excited, I love me an heirloom. The necklace will be perfect with my look.

and because I have a never ending supply of inspiration boards:

May 6, 2010

luna de miel

I apologize I left you hanging on the honeymoon topic. Our plans aren't set in stone yet and we're still confirming availability. But I will start with our options and why we didn't decide on those places. Then maybe some clues until we for sure have plans!

When Fiance first showed me the timeshare website, I must have squealed with delight. So many locations to look at, and pictures to ogle. I'll tell you we nixed New York and Chicago right off the bat. We both really want to visit those locations, but we knew they'd be under a few feet of snow in February and decided that probably wasn't a good plan.

The world seemed to stop spinning when I discovered the "Europe" tab. Free hotel in Europe? That makes it totally affordable right?! I locked in on two locations in particular. Aberdeen, Scotland and Cortona, Tuscany, Italy. But long story short, we'll only have a week and it will be snowing in both locations that time of year. Next time I go to europe I refuse to spend half of the trip en route.

Until we receive confirmation I'll let you know that we'll be going somewhere in North America...

May 5, 2010


This advice speaks to me:

"5. Be the Life of the Party

If you want to have a wedding where guests dance into the wee hours of the night, then you must dance until the wee hours of the night. If you want a low-key dinner party with great conversation, then start talking. Simply put, guests are there to celebrate you and will follow your lead in how to act at your wedding day."

(By Beth Helmstetter via project wedding)

Because yes, I am a human being and I have some secret insecurities. Mostly irrational but they are there nonetheless. Basically I had this nagging feeling that riots would ensue and snickering would begin because we won't have a DJ or band (in that order - you must learn my exaggeration skills). The extent of dancing will be slow old blues music for a first dance and maybe father-daughter. Everything else is discretionary. But I shoved that crazy wedding voice out when I remembered "oh yeah, these people actually love us and are here for us. and i'm sure they won't mind trading dancing for good food/alcohol/conversation". Plus the wedding will be over by like 5 so they can go out and party to their hearts content.

So I'm the leader, you say Beth? Well then, I won't have to worry about people eating (seriously I know I talk too much about food, but who doesn't love it? and I'm kind of like a boy in that I get cranky if I don't eat every few hours. Fiance can read me like a book at this point), board games will be conquered, beverages will be partaken of, random and in depth chats will be had (usually revealing how insanely small this world really is, those are my faves), friendships will be deepened (or made between guests hopefully!) and don't worry there will be the occasional spontaneous dance. Because that's how Fiance and I roll, sometimes we even dance without music. Crazy talk I know.

May 4, 2010

it's like I waited my whole life

I don't know if I told you this yet. But I'm one of those touchy feely, ooey gooey sentimental type girls. I cry happy tears a lot. I cried when Fiance proposed. I cry during Liberty Mutual commercials. Sometimes I cry because I've been laughing so hard. Like during Jim Gaffigan's "Beyond the Pale" DVD (or King Baby, or anything that man does. Fiance had to pause it to make sure I was still breathing due to the combination of laughing/crying).

So yeah...I am just full of emotions. I feel things deeply. And even though it may be super cliche by now, I still watch the jk wedding dance and Jim and Pam's wedding from the office. Sometimes I need a cry, and it's better to have a happy one than a sad one.

May 3, 2010

Plus one

I love this advice from East Side Bride. We're really trying to keep the guest list small for intimacy, money and space's sake. This is exactly how I feel about the matter.

"Re: plus ones. If someone is in a serious relationship, it's only fair to invite the significant other. Otherwise, you can wait until someone asks you to allow her a guest. But why make the singletons feel like [jerks]? You want everyone to have a good time."
(via esb)