1 year old!!

Nearly the entire day went by before I realized what today was! Today is the first anniversary of The Everyday Bride!

In some ways it's hard to believe that it's been an entire year, especially when I come across blogs that have been around for years and years and years... But, in other ways, it seems like an eternity has passed. I was in such a different place 365 days ago...5 months away from my wedding, knee deep in contracts and spreadsheets, spending over 8 hours a day on wedding planning...such a different place.

But, as always, I digress... Instead, I should be thanking you, the reader, for taking time out of your busy day to read whatever little blurb happens to be on The Everyday Bride! Thank you, readers!!!!! Here's to many years to come.

bouquet inspiration

With summer here, I've found myself day dreaming about flowers more than ever! I've been drooling over several fellow bloggers' inspirational bouquets, and skipping to posts on flowers on nearly every blog I've visited. And, after weeks of inspiration searching, it's safe to say that if I had to do it all over again, I would have used one of these photos as my inspiration!

However, keep in mind, I am an equal opportunity lover - I love any bouquet so long as it's full of texture and visual interest.

Whether it's organic in shape and style, like i heart peonies famous bouquet...

...or slightly manicured, like this 2 Excited Nests' beauty...

Whether it's bold in color like these gorgeous jewel tone bouquets...

...or bold in texture like these vintage-inspired bouquets with ruffled peonies and striking anemones...whatever the case may be, I LOVE them all!

And, on a side note, I love the idea of using ribbon for additional visual interest...I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be to have ribbon fluttering in the air as you're walking down a grassy aisle... Love it!

photo credits: 1) i heart peonies, 2) 2 Excited Nests, 3) unknown - if you know, email me!, 4) The Bride's Cafe via Green Wedding Shoes, 5) housemartin, 6) 2 Excited Nests

Renting Wedding Supplies on Craigslist

Genius! Seriously! I was just perusing the pages of Craigslist for a buffet (like an actual buffet for our dining room) when I came across a listing for RENTING candy buffet supplies. GENIUS! Apothecary jars can be insanely expensive. And, while I have utilized some of my (ill-fated candy buffet) apothecary jars in my home decor (i.e., on my book shelf, in my front hall, etc.), chances are, you'll never really use them again. So, my budget-savvy friends, Craigslist away...Craigslist away.

fiesta bachelorette party: beverages

I was recently enlisted to co-plan and host a friend's bachelorette party, and while I'm more than happy to oblige, I have to admit, planning and executing a sweet little fiesta-inspired bachelorette party in only a few short weeks (while in the midst of moving and keeping up with work) has me extremely nervous! Extremely!

So, my plan is to tackle it bit by bit. For instance, today, I did some menu development and beverage research. And I've come to one conclusion, as long as we have sangria and margaritas, all will be good - especially if they're displayed in my Crate and Barrel jars with lids and stainless steel ladles (I'm pretty sure the ones in the photos below are identical to mine)!

I found several highly rated drink recipes on my good-old-standby, AllRecipes.com, but I think a variation on White Peach Sangria and (would-you-believe-it) Beer Margaritas (don't knock it until you read the reviews!) are the winners! Of course, I'll have to test them with Nathan (I know, life's tough!) before I commit. I'll be sure to report back.

White Peach Sangria - variation
Serves 24
4 bottles dry white wine
3 cups peach flavored vodka
1-1/2 cups frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup white sugar
4 pounds small diced white peaches
3 cups small diced apples
3 cups whole raspberries

Beer Margarita's - variation
Serves 24
4 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate
6 cups tequila
6 cups water
6 cups light Mexican beer
4 lime, sliced

mod milk glass?

Nathan and I trekked out to Ikea yesterday (Nathan's personal hell) to brainstorm possible media storage solutions for our new place, and of course I spent an additional hour exploring all of the inexpensive decor possibilities... You really can't take me anywhere these days. :)

During my exploration, I came across these adorable modern white vases that reminded me of milk glass! If you're a mod girl having a mod wedding, wouldn't it be cute to incorporate these into your centerpieces!? Filled with a single bud or left empty displayed at varying heights, I think these vases would make a perfect addition to a sleek wedding design!

local goodness: uncommon ground

Nathan and I spent the afternoon looking at apartments...again. (I can't begin to tell you how excited I'll be when we find a keeper and stop wasting our weekends looking at the same crappy shotgun apartments.)

Anyhow, while driving from one crappy apartment in Roscoe Village to another in Andersonville, we decided to stop at our favorite little restaurant/cafe, uncommon ground! And, let me tell you, aside from the atmosphere and ambiance, there is one other undeniable reason to frequent this local eatery: the freaking delicious menu! Whether you get the fabulous turkey and brie grilled cheese with shaved red onions, arugula, and fig jam, or homemade maple and bourbon brioche french toast, it's be a party in your mouth every time! Quite simply, they're in the business of GOOD FOOD, period.

If you're in the city, make your way to Grace and Clark (or Devon and Glenwood, for that matter). You won't be disappointed!


Hi everyone! It's been a CRAZY few weeks: apartment searching, car searching, and working crazy hours at work (because I got a promotion!!!!)! Crazy, crazy few weeks - so crazy that I've neglected to write, read or do anything wedding blog related! I spent this afternoon indulging in some well-deserved blog reading, and came across my FIRST BLOG AWARD!!! Tara from the almighty In This Instance granted me the Attitude and/or Gratitude award! Me!!!??? Awesome; thanks, Tara!

Like all awards, this one comes with a set of rules:
1) put the logo on your blog or post
2) nominate at least 10 blogs with show GREAT ATTITUDE &/or GRATITUDE!
3) be sure to link your nominees within your post
4) let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award

The following are my nominees. Enjoy!

Hosting OOT Guests I

Every year I find myself slightly unprepared when Nathan and I host out of town guests. There's never been a comical disaster (except for our first Thanksgiving, but that's a story for another time); I've just never been at ease with the decisions I've made regarding meal choices, sleeping arrangements, etc. So this year, I decided I would be start preparing well in advance.

I'm beginning my hostess preparations with meal ideas, specifically, breakfast ideas, because I can't imagine anything more welcoming to a guest than waking up to the smell of a something scrumptious baking in the oven! Besides, breakfast is sometimes the only meal you eat at home, because you're so busy sightseeing and showing off local restaurants?!

Up until this point, I've stuck to recipes I've mastered: waffles (with my trusty waffle-maker), french toast casserole, a variety of crostata's... So, I'm in desperate need of new breakfast/brunch recipes; enter: Williams-Sonoma online recipes search. I'll spend the next couple of months trying to master a baked apple pancake, a classic dutch baby, homemade sausage, and three different types of filled pancakes: cinnamon glaze, banana/graham cracker, and lemon/marscapone!!!

I'm hungry...

photo credits: Williams-Sonoma Recipes

Wedding Hair II: The Bridesmaids

Wedding hair is important for everyone - brides and bridesmaids alike. Can you imagine looking at your wedding album 20 years from now and shaking your head in shame because your maid of honor's hair looked like a hot mess? (It happens to my aunt every time she opens her 1989 wedding album!)

I'm not suggesting that their hair should be nicer than yours; not at all, in fact. Rather, their hair should compliment yours, whether your hair is down and casual or up in a beehive!

These maids kept it cool and "everyday-down", while the bride donned a ultra-cute low updo.

These maids looked beachy and beautiful while the bride kept it understated and half-up.

This entire bridal party donned city-chic dos...

...while this entire bridal party coordinated a variety of "everyday" looks!

And, my favorite of all wedding party dos has got to be this vintage entourage.

...a closer look at one of the updos. Isn't it fabulous!?

photo credit: style me pretty, snippet and ink, snippet and ink, style me pretty, snippet and ink, snippet and ink

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