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.


Bargains and more at Monsoon March 24, 2008

I’ve already posted some fairly gorgeous flower/feather hairpieces as veil alternatives, but the only downside was their relatively high cost. I understand that a higher price tag from designers like Haute Bride and Leah C. comes from the handmade quality and customizable options that they offer, but like any girl I also love a good bargain. These cheekily named hair “fascinations” from the UK store Monsoon are not only fabulous but much cheaper, even with the unfavorable exchange rate for the dollar right now. Sure they may not be made out of quite as luxurious materials but they look lovely to me.


The store itself is also worth checking out, with a full range of pretty things from clothes to home goods, and even some simple bridal gowns! Wrap that all up with the company’s commitment to supporting fair trade and multicultural products, and you’ve got one stop wedding/decorating/fashion shopping with a conscience. Thank you to Harrods Girl at I am Fashion posting about this store!

To the left is an example of one of Monsoon’s bridal gowns. I’m partial to anything with a sweetheart neckline and the textured quality the embossing gives the dress is really appealing too. If you’re looking for this no-fuss, streamlined look for your wedding they have quite a few options and they also offer outfits for bridesmaids, flower girls and ring bearers.

On the fashion front, this black openwork top has a chic Art Deco feeling and has the versatility of being dressed up or down easily. Coincidentally it also has another one of my weaknesses, namely fabric covered buttons. I may have to order it.

To complete the shopping circuit, I really like this bedding collection. Since we are in the process of shopping for a new house or condo (very exciting!) I have decorating on the brain. As of now, I’m pretty decided on using calm, tranquil colors for the bedroom and this subtle blue, green, and gold floral print would accomplish that nicely, I think.


Favorite Favors March 23, 2008

Wedding favors are another one of those traditions that I have issues with. The idea, in itself, is great. Guests spend a good deal of money on attending a wedding between the travel costs and gifts, so it only makes sense that in addition to giving them a party to remember, you would reciprocate with some sort of gift of your own. However with the cost of weddings rapidly rising (in my state it is $26,000 people) favors can turn into a cheap necessity. You feel obligated to get them, but don’t want to spend a lot of money so your guests end up with some rhinestone emblazoned chotchke which they will never use. This seems like a lose-lose situation to me.

I’m not anti-favor. But I do believe strongly that if your wedding budget is already stretched, no one will notice or even really care if they get a shot glass with your wedding date on it, or Jordan almonds in your wedding colors. Instead put the money you save toward better food, another hour of music, or an open bar. I guarantee your guests will appreciate these things.

If you do have money to spend on favors, there are lots of creative options out there that both you and your guests will enjoy. In general, anything edible (or drinkable) is a crowd-pleaser as well as adaptable to whatever type of shindig you are hosting but there are plenty of other choices too. Here are some ideas I love.

Customized *Beverages


I start with this, because bottles of wine are most likely going to be the favor we give our guests. We love wine, most of our friends and family love wine, and it strikes a good balance between something immediately enjoyable and a keepsake if you choose to save the bottle. There is a company here in Columbus (Camelot Cellars) that lets you help make the wine itself, bottle it, and design the label so you get the satisfaction of a do-it-yourself project without all the hassle. If you or your family doesn’t drink, or if you have kids at your reception Jones Soda allows you to make custom labels fairly inexpensively, comes in every color of the rainbow, and tastes pretty excellent too.

Interactive Favors


This could go several different ways, but I do like the idea of anything that allows your guests to create their own favor. Candy buffets and vintage photo booths are two popular options right now but you could personalize this as well by having a sundae bar instead of wedding cake or a dance instructor teach salsa lessons. Whatever you’re into really. This gist of this type of favor is creating memories instead of just giving things.

Favors that Do Good
And while we’re on that thought, some couples are doing donations to their favorite charities in lieu of favors. This is a worthwhile option on a lot of levels, because the donation can be as big or as small as you like, and doing something like this not only benefits a cause that means something to you, but is a reminder of the more important things in life.


Feature: ButterfliesKiss March 21, 2008

Everyone probably knows by now that I have a weakness for anything custom designed or personalized, which is why I’m crushing on these awesome illustrations by Donna at ButterfliesKiss. She contacted me with a link to her work and in addition to our mutual appreciation for Candy Girl, I saw that we shared a basic wedding mantra: your wedding should be one of a kind. Donna takes inspiration from your wedding, whether it is your dress, your colors, your cake, or your flowers and creates a unique artistic version of your event. The illustrations can be used for anything from gifts to invitations or cards.

What makes this business especially suited for BridalCheek is that she specializes in diverse weddings, which covers a wide range from ethnicity to lifestyle and soon to style as well! She has a new line of “indie bride” illustrations in the works, that will feature more edgy brides as well as a line of sexy illustrations to be used for bachelorette parties or naughty personal stationary…how cool is this chick? I asked Donna a few questions about her work and she had some great insights to share about her work and her own wedding.

  • What sets your card company apart from others? What elements from a wedding do you use to make the cards personal and unique?

    “I think the most important thing that sets my cards apart is that they are personally illustrated by me and can be customized with a drawing in the likeness of the bride, her bridesmaids and colors, her particular dress style, and her flower choice. The other thing is that my cards are racially diverse. I’m told by Asian and African American brides that designs reflecting diversity are almost non-existent in the stores.”

    • Do you have plans to add any other categories to your cards?

    “Yes! I’m currently working on an alternative section where I will feature designs for the indie bride, “tattoo bride”, “Rock n’ Roll bride” etc.- and a brides of different cultures section featuring brides wearing their traditional wedding clothing. I also welcome any custom request. Finally- I am also in the process of creating a third website featuring sexy girlie illustrations. Targeted to bachelorette parties, lingerie bridal showers or just personal love notes- (for the Candy Girl in us all) Should be up in a week or so- I will forward.”

    • What is the most important piece of advice you can give to those who are planning a wedding?

    “Your photos will be what you have left when all is said and done. Choose your photographer carefully.”

    • What was your favorite part of your own wedding?

    “Our ceremony in the rose garden of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.”

    The possibilities for her work are endless. How sweet of a gesture would it be to ask your friends to be your bridesmaid with a card personally designed to look like them in your wedding colors? Adorable. As for me, I’m pretty set on those bachelorette invitations…here is a sneak preview!