Wedding Hair I: The Bride

Before I begin this post, I’d like to send a quick shout out to Snippet and Ink. While “researching” wedding hair options for brides and bridesmaids, I found myself continuously visiting Snippet’s Real Weddings for inspiration. What a comprehensive selection! But, I digress.

It might just be a personal preference, but I’m a huge fan of brides who look like themselves on their wedding day – brides who take a somewhat natural approach to their wedding look. There’s something about a soft, subtle, delicate beauty that (to me) will always be considered Classic, with a capital C. And, while I’m partial to brides who wear their hair down, specifically in loose curls, I completely appreciate a well-executed up-do. Below is a small sampling of some of my favorite looks. The only re-occurring theme is soft and natural...with a little bit of volume for good measure.

Bridesmaid Dresses: Tailoring Off the Rack

I stand corrected...

Months ago, when I saw post after post featuring this eggplant Adrianna Papell dress from Nordstrom, I secretly thought to myself: these ladies clearly want their bridesmaids to look fat. Clearly. As much as I loved (and I mean looooooved) the color and fabric of this dress, it would have been completely cruel to make my bridesmaids wear a dress that created a pooch - literally!

But then I saw Holly and Mario's wedding featured on Snippet and Ink, and my jaw hit my laptop. They seem to have tailored the puffy, pooch-creating midsection down to a smooth, sleek, almost form-fitting dress! So, the moral to that story is...if you're only paying $100+ for the dress, you can totally afford to tailor the shape if need be!!!!

photo credit: Nordstrom, Snippet and Ink, Snippet and Ink

Flower Girl Dresses: Us Angels

Finding a flower girl dress that fit my style and budget wasn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I went back and forth for MONTHS trying to find the perfect dress - seriously, months! I finally stumbled upon the perfect little eggplant Us Angels number at Nordstrom, of all places!!!! Who would have thought!?

If you're on the market for a stylish flower girl dress, take a look at Us Angels. Absolutely adorable!

photo credit: Us Angels

an eyelet and doily inspired wedding

These days, after 3 months of a particularly harsh and freezing winter, I find myself daydreaming about summertime fun in the sun! Can you blame me?!

So today I’d like to bring you my summer wedding daydream! Oh, if I had to do it all over again, I might have chosen a mid-June, outdoor, eyelet & doily inspired wedding! Talk about casual elegance! And, the number of ways you can showcase eyelet and doily details are almost limitless!

You or your flower girl could wear a fabulous (yet understated) eyelet dress. Your cake could feature eyelet- or lace-punched fondant. You could wrap your cylinder candle vases in paper doilies or eyelet fabric. You could purchase Martha's premade eyelet wedding invitations or decorations (fantastic prices, may I add)! You could use eyelet or lace inspired embossers or hole punchers to embellish your wedding paper, or adhere paper-lace doilies to a variety of your wedding paper like this fabulous DIY bride! You are limited only by your imagination!!

photo credits: Creative Odds 'n Ends, HWTM, Martha's Eyelet Collection via Redbook, Lee and Hamilton Blog, Lee and Hamilton Blog, Martha's Eyelet Collection via Redbook

Purple Bridesmaid Dress

Argh! Of course, oooooof course this would happen. JCrew has an absolutely gorgeous eggplanty-raisiny purple bridesmaid dress that would have been perfect for my bridesmaids! That's what I get for being slightly ahead of the color curve!

Purple wedding girls: capitalize on JCrew's "spiced wine" bridesmaid dresses! They are fabulous!

photo credit: JCrew

Vendor Review V: Fabulous DOC

Honey Bee Weddings: A+

Wedding designers, wedding planners, wedding coordinators, day-of-coordinators (whatever they classify themselves as) are truly amazing phenomena. Nothing, let me say it again, nooooooooothing could drive me to work with planning-crazed brides, unorganized vendors, or micromanaging mothers. But these professionals brave the chaos and revel in the challenge to bring order. They are like firefighters running toward a burning building while the rest of us are running for our lives. And, Misse from Honey Bee Weddings, was exactly that firefighter for me...

I had originally hoped to DIY a DOC by enlisting “a friend of a friend” who wanted to break in to the business. However, wedding coordination proved to be too hard a task for her, as she silently bowed out a few months in. So, I promptly got down to the business of sifting through dozens of overpriced Chicagoland DOCs – an exhausting and unsettling process, indeed. But, thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to find Misse. I hired her on the spot as my Day of Coordinator…but I quickly realized that the phrase “day of” didn’t begin to describe her services.

At our first meeting, Misse offered budget-friendly vendor references (fruitwood chivari chairs with any color cushion for $6.50 per chair, what?!). She later offered invaluable wedding paper assistance (the amount of proof-reading and correcting she did was almost criminal). And during the week of my wedding, she navigated impossible vendor communication (impossible because I was busy entertaining family and being the bride)!

The day of the wedding, Misse did EVERYTHING - everything from picking up the wedding cupcakes, (because Sweet Mandy B's has a no-delivery policy), to keeping everyone/everything on time, to DIY project set-up (menus, place cards, advice jars, etc.), to post-reception tear-down. She even put out a small “fire” when 2 guests were unhappy with their table, and decided they were going to pick up their place settings and move – literally. She was poised and professional and found a way to make everyone happy! And, I don't know how, but she actually found time to step in to the photobooth, which left us with an AWESOME keepsake, (photo to the left)!

From “phase one planning” to the “day of coordinating”, Misse proved to be an invaluable resource on so many levels! If I had to do it all over again, I would only do one thing differently: I would have hired her as soon as I got engaged! Seriously, ladies: contact her!

related posts: our budget-friendly wedding V: farewell brunch, our budget-friendly wedding IV: reception, our budget-friendly wedding III: DIY wedding paper, Vendor Review IV: Photobooth, Vendor Review III: Wedding & Reception Flowers, our budget-friendly wedding II: ceremony, Vendor Review II: Hair and Make up, our budget-friendly wedding I: Attire, The photos are in!!!, Vendor Review I: Reception Music