a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Gorgeous Wedding Photography…for free? June 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — laragale @ 4:52 pm

I’ve already raved about our awesome photographer, Kitty Maer, so I was thrilled when she let me know about her new sister studio called Print Photography which will feature the work of her associate photographers. All it takes is a quick look at the site to realize all the things I love about Kitty’s studio are the same: the focus is on personalized and unique photography that has an artistic flair (and a darling logo too I should add). Check out the site for some seriously gorgeous pictures.

Even better, the studio is hosting a contest for one lucky couple to get a free photography package which includes full wedding day coverage by Christa and edited high-resolution images on disc, an online slideshow of wedding highlights, and travel. (And just as note to any of you just beginning your planning, that first part is key since a lot of photographers won’t give you the high-res images for you to have separately). I checked out Christa’s work online and her photos seem to have a softness about the lighting and the tones that is so romantic, although she has some really interesting graphic shots too. The shot of the red prayer books below is especially cool because it’s something pretty you could hang in your house as a subtle reminder of your wedding instead of the usual posed shots. And as if I needed any more convincing that I had picked the right group of photographers to work with I read this on the site too:

“it thrills us to hear about couples who forgo conventions to create a wedding day that truly represents who they are.  we especially love weddings full of personal DIY touches and those that are mindful of the environment.  so go ahead – make us fall in love with you! “

Couldn’t have said it better myself. If you are equally enamored, enter the contest, especially since I hear time and time again that photography is one of the most important elements of your wedding because the actual day is such a blur you want to be able to relive it all over again. You can find instructions at the site!


Shoes on a Budget June 27, 2008

I’ll admit that when it comes to shopping I have pretty expensive taste, especially in shoes. I’m a sucker for super high stilettoes and luxe fabrics. However I also love a bargain so I figured I would scour the web for pretty shoes at even prettier prices.Fortunately for shoe addicts like me there are plenty of fabulous options out there that look much more expensive then they actually are.

These Bandolino slingbacks are by far my favorite find. I love the feminine detailing, satin fabric, and the gorgeous blue color. Even better, these shoes are on sale for only $39.99! The only catch is that I can only find them in size 6 and 6 1/2 so far…but I’ll keep looking because I want a pair myself!

Nine West is always a safe bet for reasonably priced shoes that are right on trend. Both of these looks have pretty classic shapes with fun details for a little more personality, and both are on sale for $49.99 and $39.99.

I love the idea of patterned shoes with a wedding gown, and these striped Jessica Simpson sandals hit the right note between classic and quirky, and at $54.99 they won’t break the bank either.

For a little more money you can go designer with these Stuart Weitzman’s. While they may not be quite as amazing of a bargain as the rest, $139.99 for a $300 pair of shoes isn’t too shabby. And I love the effect of the textured gold lace.


More Paper Flower Alternatives June 25, 2008

After a slight snafu with our new internet company, I am back online with plenty of new inspiration, including more paper flower ideas since I just can’t get enough of them.They work on so many levels, economically, creatively, ecologically….and more importantly they look so damn cute! This origami themed wedding featured on Offbeat Bride is absolutely gorgeous, and I love how all the paper items were handmade by the bride and her Mom. Obviously you would have to be a pretty skilled folder to pull this off, but if you have the talent what a cool labor of love to create your own decor by hand. My favorite would have to be the bouttenieres and the origami necklaces, which coincidentally you can buy online to help feed hungry families. It’s always nice when shopping and community service coincide!


In Transit June 22, 2008

Filed under: columbus,Uncategorized — laragale @ 12:17 pm
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You know that Ikea commercial with absurd amount of boxes piled on top of an itty bitty Volkswagen (just say “it only happens twice a year sale” to yourself with a Swedish accent until it rings a bell). That is pretty much what our move has looked like, except it has been our little Prius getting the workout the 3.5 miles between our old house and our new house. Fortunately, all of our stuff is now there, the furniture is (mostly) assembled, and we are (somewhat) organized and most importantly the house and the neighborhood are already have me over the moon with happiness. Unfortunately, we don’t get cable and internet until Tuesday which is when I think we’ll really feel settled…it might just be a little sad that we’re so dependent on technology but I think it’s pretty much a cliche at this point. So au revoir until Tuesday when I rejoin the world of the wired 🙂


Dress Therapy June 18, 2008

Nothing soothes the soul after an overly full day of work and moving heavy boxes from one house to another like staring at beautiful wedding dresses…I admit, maybe this is an odd relaxation method but I’m sure there are other overly zealous brides out there who do the same thing! And even if you’re just casually looking, the eye candy at Youlin New York is worth your while.

What originally inspired me to check out this line was a feature on Christine and Lawrence on What Junebug Loves. The bride’s Youlin dress was stunning: it was statuesque and delicate at the same time which is no easy combination. The rest of the collection follows in the same vein and feature some gorgeous gowns as well as one of a kind accessories including an intricate jade hairpin.


Recyclable Chic June 17, 2008

While I knew paper was cheap, recyclable, and readily available I had no idea it could be such a versatile decorating tool. These two pictures of receptions with centerpieces are both fabulous, but at totally different ends of the spectrum.

This set up is all about elegance. The muted color palette is gorgeous and the paper flowers are incredible works of art. Even though they aren’t real, they make the table look lush and full and they can be used again or saved which is a definite perk.

This table setting blew me away because it manages to make crumpled up newspaper look posh and avant garde. While the overall effect is still refined, I think this look would definitely get your guests talking! I’m intrigued by this whole idea so I’ll be on the lookout for more paper wedding decor…


Program Problem Solved June 16, 2008

Just the other day (I think I was on an airplane) I was musing about what type of programs I wanted to have for the wedding. Actually, that’s not true. First I hemmed and hawed about whether I even wanted programs in the first place and whether they are really necessary. The conclusion I came to was while not entirely necessary, programs are not only another keepsake for the scrapbook (if you’re into that kind of thing, which I’m not yet but stranger things have happened) but really helpful for your guests. Personally I always use the program to distract myself from the inevitable 20 minute delay of the wedding, acquainting myself with the order of the ceremony and what readings they will have. So having decided that programs were definitely a go, I then decided to look for something a little unusual.

Not surprisingly, Etsy the e- mecca of quirky wedding supplies had exactly what I never imagined I wanted…a cootie catcher program. On the West Coast we called these recess toys fortune tellers, but regardless of what you call them what a clever way to entertain your guests while they’re waiting and offer them something just a little cheeky and unexpected. Needless to say I’m into that!


Shiny New Things June 15, 2008

Filed under: columbus,shopping,Uncategorized — laragale @ 8:47 pm
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Now I don’t want to wax too materialistic in this post, but I have to say there is something really gratifying about growing up and being able to decide when and how to spend your own money. Drew and I have been saving for a year in order to buy a house and get settled with minimum pain and budget stretching. Our goal was accomplished on Friday when we closed on our house! We are both beyond excited, especially because we snagged a great deal in the Short North neighborhood, which is as close to Seattle as you can get in Columbus. Boutiques, bars, swanky furniture stores, and musty vintage shops crowd every block and in just a few weeks the whole area will be caught up in my favorite city tradition: Comfest and the Pride festival. I absolutely cannot wait to be living smack dab in the middle of all the festivities.

Since our current place is quaint and historic (read a matchbook sized converted carriage house) we had a lot of work to do in the furniture department. Clearly, a trip to Ikea was a necessity. We ended up with a bed, two night tables, a dresser, two desks and various and sundry chotchkes like an ice cube tray container that makes bottle shaped ice cubes and my beloved lingonberry jam (yay Scandinavia!) all for a comparably tiny price. One of my favorite unexpected finds were these sweet handblown wine glasses. At $2.99 a pop, I won’t feel too terrible if I break them.

And of course since we bought wine glasses, we needed a place to put them. Plus the rest of our booze accessories for that matter. We found this awesome wine bar at Crate&Barrel where I just happened to have scored some gift cards. I’m pretty excited to break in this piece at our housewarming party. I also revisited the copper top dining table I’m in love with at the store, but after the sobering realization that it costs more than the entire enormous load of furniture we bought at Ikea I’m willing to reconsider. For now.

I’m also thrilled to annouce that this is the inagural post on my brand new laptop. After lots of deliberation, I ended up with a Sony Vaio and I adore it. I have to admit I was very seduced by the Mac Air commercials with the manila envelopes and catchy music, but in the end I think this laptop will be even more functional and it’s pretty damn cute at the same time. Blogging will be a lot more enjoyable now that my lap will not be scorched by the rampant overheating of Drew’s castoff laptop. Goodbye 17 inch mammoth laptop, hello portability!


Blue Orchid Centerpiece Ideas June 12, 2008

One of my fellow teachers who is getting married in July asked me for some centerpiece ideas for her reception which will be at a gorgeous venue in downtown Columbus. Not only am I flattered because we’ve spent a lot of time sharing wedding details at work and she has fabulous taste, but I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to post some more floral inspiration since I think she is facing a dilemma that brides often struggle with.

After sticker shock at the florists, which is something I totally understand, she decided to use other more inexpensive materials to dress up her tables. Her original plan was to use blue orchids wrapped around the inside of a fishbowl filled with water and a floating candle on top, but something about the design just didn’t look right.

Without seeing it, I’m guessing that all the elements are competing with each other. A fishbowl is such a simple shape that usually only very minimalist flowers are used along with it, and the floating candle might seem out of place. I love the basics of the idea though, so here is a collection of ideas that will hopefully help reduce her last minute planning stress. I can’t wait to attend the wedding and post what she decided! I have no doubt the whole affair will be absolutely gorgeous.

Idea 1: Change the container shape

I think the fishbowl shape, while pretty is somewhat hard to work with. Cylindrical vases like these wouldn’t be much more expensive and are really elegant and streamlined with floating candles on top. You could either do a collection of different heights, or just one or two and scatter flowers on the table for more visual interest.

Idea 2: Use colored water

This would be incredibly inexpensive and I think the burning candle inside the turquoise water is a really cool effect. The website includes instructions on how to easily create the centerpiece yourself, and you could also add flowers either floating on the water or in between the two vases to incorporate the orchids.

Idea 3: Add branches for height

Another possible reason the fishbowl centerpiece wasn’t working could be the lack of height. Tall centerpieces definitely create more of an impact, although you do want to be aware that they can block conversation if you aren’t careful. Curly willow is a good element to use since you can get it cheaply and see through it enough to talk to the person across from you. I love how in this picture orchid blooms have been attached the the willow so it looks like a blooming branch. The advantage to this look would be you could really use any type of glass container as long as it was deep enough to hold up the willow.


Put the Lime in the Coconut

After far too long of a layover stint in Baltimore, I’m finally back in Columbus after my trip to Florida. Everything about it was wonderful, the laid back beach vibe was exactly what I needed right before our move. And let’s be honest, the abundance of slurpee machines that dispensed daiquiris didn’t hurt either!

Even more therapeutic was spending time with one of my two maids of honor and her two incredible kids. She, like me, is an incessant planner and organizational queen so she had lots of savvy advice especially on the logistical side that I tend to overlook. For example, I hadn’t put together the fact that my mother has gorgeous handwriting and the fact that I wanted handwritten place cards yet.

She also shared a story with me about some family friends that used an adorable tradition we’re thinking about adopting for our wedding. They each selected a phrase to be engraved inside each others wedding band which was a surprise until the wedding day. Of course these two just happen to be English professors, so they ended up with the same phrase “nothing else is.” Seriously, it gives me chills. While Drew and I will most likely not choose the same phrase I have no doubt that whatever we do choose will be meaningful and another way to personalize our wedding.