a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Modern Art Deco March 30, 2008

Inspired by our ongoing condo/house quest, I put together an inspiration board based on the theme of one of our favorite buildings so far: modern art deco. We visited some new upscale condos close to downtown yesterday, and the building design was really innovative. Most of the units are built around curves or interesting angles and each floorplan is unique.

I love the graphic and vintage style of art deco, but it can be a little heavy so lightening the mood with fresh colors and twists on patterns can be really effective. I think this would be a cool and artsy vibe for a wedding that still leaves a lot of wiggle room for personal taste.



Invitations: XoXo Cake: Cake That Gown: Amy Kuschel Bouquet: The Bride’s Bouquet Reception: Bouquets by Bell Engagement Ring: Patten’s Jewelers Deco Print: Istock Car: Lasting Impressions Bridesmaid Dress: Nordstrom


I never thought I was a garter kind of girl… March 28, 2008

That is, until I found these sexy yet classy handmade garters at where else, but Etsy. That place is quickly becoming my online mecca for all things quirky and unique in wedding planning. Most garters are enormous frilly lace affairs that look bulky and uncomfortable, but these by Piper Ewan look sleek enough to go incognito even under the slimmest of gowns, not to mention the sophisticated and delicate color palette. She also offers brooches, hairpieces, and even a corset on her site. Am I in love? Yes. Am I buying one of her garters? Yes. Will I toss it at the wedding? Probably not. Its totally worth it anyway.



Follow-Up Feature: Donna Wilson

In addition to her line of bridal illustrations butterflieskiss, artist Donna Wilson has introduced her line of sexy illustrations aptly named donnamatrix and they are fairly gorgeous. Take a peek, although maybe not at work. You might raise a few eyebrows!



“Oh, Swish!” March 27, 2008

If you haven’t already seen this hilarious and in some ways eerily prophetic video posted on YouTube, you should definitely check it out. Narrated by a sassy young man that we people of the future would definitely label metrosexual, the clip shows what different fashion designers of the 1930s predicted our clothes would look like in the year 2000. Some of their guesses are way off (I personally don’t own a climate controlled belt yet) but there is one designer in particular who seems to be oddly in synch with the couture world of today. That model is dressed in a chiffon jumpsuit and reverse heeled shoes, both of which were big looks on the runway this year.


As for the bride of the new millenium, the style is romantic, glamorous, and dramatic….ok really, its just twenty years off. This bride looks straight out of the ’80s but with better hair and an oddly plastic looking veil. And the groom? According to Mr. Saucy Narrator he wears nothing but a “worried look.” I would too if someone told me that in the future I would have to wear this hat.



Confession and Inspiration March 26, 2008


Ok, I admit it. I was watching The Hills last night. I don’t have an excuse, other than it was shot in Paris and I will usually stop on any show that has beauty shots of that city. Shockingly, however, something more came out of the episode than me just really wanting to pack my bags and hole up on the Champs-Elysées. It was only a split second image, but I was really inspired by these whimsical flower arrangements at Le Grand Hotel (I apologize for the bad quality of the image by the way, I had to do some technical blundering to find it for you). What an original yet simple way to liven up centerpieces with something as cheap as food coloring! I was already considering using green orchids in water for my reception, but having them in chartreuse water would definitely punch up the overall effect. There are lots of other variations on this look that would be killer as well.  You could substitute candles for flowers, jars or fishbowls for vases, and experiment with different materials like rocks or grass. So far I haven’t been able to find a lot of examples online which leads me believe this look hasn’t been made popular yet. This way you have a fresh slate to create your own exclusive design (and to validate the fact that I watched and enjoyed a trashy reality show).


It seems I’m all about the UK lately

Lord knows I don’t need an excuse to buy more pairs of shoes, but the people at Shoewawa seem to be bent on tempting me. I hadn’t heard of Schuh and am still guessing how to pronounce it, but what I do know is that their high heel selection is crazy eclectic. Some of their shoes are sweetly feminine like these:


And some of their shoes are frankly a little frightening, like these:


But hey, to each her own and I love that you can find all of these and more at the same place. And really, I have enormous respect for any woman who could pull off an outfit with any of the above shoes.


The bling factor March 25, 2008

I was really touched when my fiancé asked if we could design my engagement ring together. While we did lose the element of surprise, we gained an opportunity to create a ring that represented us as a couple, and since I intend on wearing it for the rest of my life, I wanted to make sure it was something that we both loved. Neither of us are particular fans of the diamond industry so we wanted something with a classic vintage look but with a unique centerstone. We ended up with this emerald cut natural yellow sapphire with a diamond band that still causes me to drive recklessly due to my staring at its sparkle.


Since we did a lot of ring related research, I figured I would share a little of what I learned for any other ladies out there that are looking for an alternative type of ring. If you are like me and want to wear it constantly, you do want to keep in mind that certain stones hold up much better and won’t be damaged as easily. While diamonds are the hardest stone, emeralds and sapphires are very close behind and in fact used to be the most popular stones for engagement before the DeBeers campaign.

Sapphires are especially appealing because they come in literally every color of the rainbow and in terms of sparkle and quality are very close to diamonds for a fraction of the cost. The Natural Sapphire Company is a good place to research what colors and cuts you like, and they also have a selection of cut stones and pre-made jewelry. We chose to go with a local jeweler, but we did a lot of our initial looking here and its a great place to start.


If you aren’t concerned about wearing your ring everyday then you have a lot more freedom to choose different stones and settings. Just browsing department stores you can find some really beautiful rings that will still be high quality and make a statement. This ring from Saks has that luxury look about it, and could have special personal meaning if your birthstone is a topaz.

Of course if you’ve dreamed of a diamond ring all your life, then go for it! But why not avoid supporting diamond cartels and go fair trade or vintage instead? Green Karat makes amazing ecologically friendly jewelry with recycled metals. Their diamonds are lab created, which can sound unappealing but really they have the exact same physical characteristics that diamonds do, without waiting for the whole thousands of years in the ground thing to happen.


Searching for a quality vintage ring can be a little like looking for a needle in a haystack if you have a really specific idea of what you want, but even if you do the looking is half the fun. You do want to be careful of condition obviously, but there are some great reputable dealers out there. One that I like is Adin Antique Jewelry. The other advantages of a vintage ring are of course that it is completely unique, and while it might turn some people off, I think it would be really cool to have a piece with a history, even if you don’t know exactly what that history is.