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Nearlies: Becca + Gary!

POSTED BY Amanda

Becca is just the sweetest. And we totally love her for it. She hired us for a simple design-only package [we actually morphed our design-from-afar services to meet her needs because she’s local] for her January 2012 wedding. And the ideas are already brewing in the minds of Rachel and I. Add that onto the fact that she’s working with our photographic friends at Smetona Photo, and we’re happy little campers! So here’s a little tickle treat for you:

Think Becca plus Gary plus killer OC venue [Strawberry Farms] plus playful weekday date [Wednesday] and it all equals out to awesome. Trust me on this.

[the photo above was just in case you weren’t sure of the awesome. Now, you are sure of the awesome].

Thanks to Kristin and Dustin for the stellar shots. We love ya both. Rush to their blog to see more shots of these two!

xoxo,

Now, this may be a little out there [but when is something I love NOT ‘out there’?]. I’m talking about concrete jewelry. And I’m officially obsessed with it [just one branch of the modern stylings offered from Konzuk].

This large, chunky piece of concrete bracelet is my favorite. Just LOOK at it on somebody:

And don’t even get me started on all the fun we could have “for him”:

It’s what I like to think of as a classic example of “art outside of art”. Meaning- a lot of people make rings and cufflinks. A lot of people make them well, quite artistically and quite “different”. But thiscompany- this person made art OUTSIDE of the realms of art. What a way to push the box, to take it further- to be something truly unique and different.

Strike yourself out there today- do something better than it’s been done a thousand times before. Push yourself for newness and uniqueness. You may be making the next thing we never knew we always wanted.

xoxo,

How fun! The peeps over at California Wedding Wave gave us a *huge* feature from Melissa and Fonz’s wedding [recently featured in Ceremony Magazine]. Such a bummer to be SO GOOD LOOKING that everywhere wants to feature you, huh Mel and Fonz!! ;)

Go visit the site for a ton of detail images that didn’t make the mag [and seriously- their wedding was PACKED with details]!!

xoxo,

Congrats Dawn!

POSTED BY Amanda

Yay! One of our own got engaged over the weekend- so so SO much congratulations are in order for Dawn and her brand new fiance Jack!

Leave her some love and tell her how wonderful being engaged, married, and in love is for YOU!

xoxo,

Nearlies: Geno + Courtney

POSTED BY Amanda

Can I technically say I’m related to them?? Maybe. But I’ll say it with a smirk on my face as I brag about it. Because really, you guys, LOOK AT THEM. They’re adorable. They’re so in love. They’re genuinely gushing the excited-ness of the pre-married months. And it’s the best.

Geno and Courtney are crazy [in the best of ways]. In the midst of planning their own lavish April 2012 wedding, they stopped/dropped/rolled and took a year off the calendar. And thus, here we are. We’re planning a quaint, intimate wedding along side of them- my technical relatives [you see, Geno’s mom married my husband’s brother- who is 14 years our senior- so technically Geno is like… my step nephew in-law!]. Courtney came with the package, and I couldn’t be happier!!

They were caught in all their mid-motion adorable-ness by Allie Lindsey photography. I adore these photos, Allie!!

Totally LOVE that you can hardly see Court’s heel poking out of those long jeans! Adorbs!

Yes, there’s still more. No, it’s not my fault.

Aaaaaaand one for the road:

G+C: I am so so excited about your wedding. Not only about the day, but about the experience. For you guys and your guests, this wedding will be so important, so personal, and so moving. Everyone loves the way you love one another. Everyone is thrilled. And their excitement just adds more anticipation for the weeks ahead! Yay for taking the plunge THIS year, and knowing that it was right for you!

xoxo,

How To: Define Your Style

POSTED BY Amanda

I feel like, these days in particular the pressure to have the “right” wedding is immense [as weddings about 30 years ago were nothing like they are now; cake and punch on the church lawn after a humble ceremony where the pastor was nervous and left the crowd standing all of 15 minutes after the bride gracefully walked the aisle… no? Just my parents, then?].

The industry has, as I’ve put it lately, fallen into the idea of the “deconstructed wedding”- nearly anti all of the things that our parents have thought and accepted a wedding to be. We’ve tried cocktail style [you mean you aren’t providing a seat for every guest??], dessert-only receptions [wait, there’s no actual MEAL?], we’ve incorporated our own ideas [candy and cookie buffet] as well as gotten rid of a few we didn’t love [no, we’re not dancing- it’ just not US]. But I do think that now, we’re ready to invite back most of the beloved traditions of years past and appreciate them for what they are, while still showing who WE [the brides and grooms] are in the process too.

A major part in this has been to push the limits of expectations. If you’re in the right age bracket [say, 20 to 35] then you’ve been to your fair share of recent weddings. You’ve seen the deconstruction. You’ve been a part of the inspired group of young adults trudging on to make their mark on this industry through unique decor, tons of details, and new twists on old thoughts. But I want to admit something to you right now- and I’d like it to sink in.

Nothing is new under the sun.

It’s scary to say, but it’s true. We can only start conceptualizing things to be “bigger” and “better” for so long, before we wind up back at square one copying someone else’s old ideas. This echos the resurgence of mid-century styling, antique pieces coming into play, a new appreciation for older/historic venue sites [that would have 10 years ago been oh-so-bland and “out”]. The only thing we can truly do to make something US, is to find what we like, and do it “better”. Since the term better is relative to the individual, this will be the breaking point that makes something decidedly YOU instead of the next guy.

Here’s a great example that I have no choice but to blush over. I’ve been styling tabletop photo shoots for a few years now. Since this specific tabletop was blogged [images taken back in March of 2009], it’s been found all over the internet [as well as the kid’s table that was counterpart to it- very popular]. I’m not saying that to make myself feel anything in particular; it’s fact. In this day and age, it’s easy to be widespread on small, random, seemingly meaningless [to the general public] sites all over. Who is to say WHY something is inspiring to someone- it just is [perfect is example is why and how I post my Friday Lovelies as well as our tumblr page, just random stuff that we find all over to inspire us on a daily basis]. Here is what I coined as “Poppies | NOW”:

But this picture was recently featured in the brand new, Spring 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings [the only wedding magazine I consistently purchase due to the loads of authentic inspiration and ground-breaking ideas that it truly contains… all wrapped up into the cutest most thought through packaging ever, always]:

You can visit the picture online right here.

Seem similar to you? When I flipped through the pages of the new Martha, my jaw dropped as I got here. I literally couldn’t believe that here we are, two years later, and my “idea” was splashing over the pages of my favorite decor guru. Now, I’m not one to think so highly of myself- I have no idea if my images floated into their grasp [but I’d sure love to think they did]; and for now, we’re going to assume so… just to illustrate a point. The point is: make it you.

Clearly, the tabletop that I put together from 2009 is not current. So, how does one take into consideration that the idea needs an update as well as the fact that it needs to be established from THEIR [Martha Stewart] point of view? Simple. Tweak the colors. Add in some tulips. Update and simplify the place setting [making it very a la Martha]. Use flowers that accent the naturally curved stem in poppies even more than the inspirational photo.

This is what I’m trying to get you to think like. Don’t just pull images to replicate; pull images to inspire! Make them you without feeling the pressure to have your wedding be the ONLY wedding that’s ever done _____ in the history of weddings [trust me- it just won’t be the case]. Remember that creating beautiful weddings and inspirations are people’s full time jobs [not just magazine; blogs work more than 24 hours a day just to ensure you have access to lots of pretty and unique ideas at your darling little finger tips whence you choose to click around]. Real inspired weddings stand out because they put their unique twist and perspective on an already fabulous and flawless idea.

The ideas are out there- jump up and grab them! The ones that stick with you, in your heart and mind, are worth an effort to put into place at your wedding- with you written ALL over them!

Happy hunting- Lord knows the inspiration is endless [and pick up a copy of the new Martha Mag; it’s gorgeous]!!

xoxo,

What is better than being in love? I mean, is there anything? I live my life with the philosophy that if I’m choosing to wake up and be committed to loving myself and the man in my life- I am fulfilled. Love is truly a choice we make from moment to moment [thanks for the quote Barbara De Angelis].

I got this video emailed to me and immediately couldn’t wait to make it a lovely. I mean- once you watch it, you’ll understand why. Not only is the cinematography gorgeously crisp, vivid, and artistic… but the couple is truly wreaking [in all the best ways that one can wreak] of love for one another. This type of sincerity makes two people see-through and completely transparent. And these two love birds pass the test with flying colors. Watch on, and be inspired to love more today.

Andrew + Brittan Engagement Video from Lens CAP Productions on Vimeo.

Remember the choice you’ll make this weekend… to love and be loved. You’re so worth it.

xoxo,

Now- my precious, darling, sweet, innocent brides and grooms: this post isn’t for you. It’s for your maid of honor. For your best friend. For your mom, your sister, or maybe even your favorite barista at your daily Starbucks.

I recently posted a little query on my Twitter asking if there were things people wanted to know that we could blog about. We got a few responses and I was completely inspired by this one:

“maybe this is giving away too much, but any tips/tricks to managing expectations? I have had personal experiences with people who have fit the bill for bride-zillas (admittedly I lost my mind a couple of times durring the process) but if you are involved with a family member or friend who is going off the deep end how do you handle it, or help others handle it?? …and I know the obvious answer is giving them your phone number ;)”

You’d be surprised [or, okay, maybe you wouldn’t be] how many people ask me about bridezillas in the wedding industry. It’s nearly the first comment made from people when I tell them about my job [second only to “how FUN!”- which is an entirely different post]. They ask who my worst bridezilla was. If all my clients are bridezillas. How I handle bridezillas. Anything under the sun- that incorporates the word bridezilla. And here’s the authentic truth: I tell them I don’t work with bridezillas.

It’s not that I have different clients than anyone else. It’s not that I’m rejecting people because they just “seem” like they’ll turn into a roaring 3-headed monster. It’s that I have a different perspective than others. Because I’m in it with them. I am immersed in their stressing. Not only do I understand it, I’m squelching it. So, here’s my advice: have some grace. Have some patience. Really, really try to put yourself in it with them.

I’m not saying you’re already not doing so. But- people you love don’t just automatically turn into someone you hate for no reason. Remember these things about a wedding:

1. They’re balancing the expectations [and pushy comments] from others. Either their family [like mom wanting to add her entire bunko team to the guest list], their friends [like the fact that her sister is the flaky maid of honor and she’s planned her own shower], and themselves [they just want an ice cream cake and EVERYONE in the world has told them what an impossible idea that is].

2. They’re spending money. A lot of money. Even doing a wedding quite simply can cost an arm and a leg. I mean, think about it. $15,000 is a very modest wedding. Some may call that near impossible. But, $15,000 is a LOT of money. And when it’s coming from you- from your extra work shifts or your bank account that took two years of savings or your “house fund” or even your mom [when it makes you feel strange because she keeps guilting you about it]… it’s a hefty price tag. The fact of the matter is, to make it a “big deal” that you’re getting married, there’s hardly a way to keep the cost down low. And THAT is stressful.

3. They’re planning the biggest, most detailed dinner party that they will ever in their life plan. They’re taking into consideration things like Aunt Jan’s peanut allergy. How much it costs to host a bar so their friends can mindlessly get plastered. How the napkins should be folded, what they should give away as a wedding favor, and weather or not to rent prettier chairs. The decisions are mind-numbing, completely overwhelming, and seemingly endless.

So, they don’t just turn into this person over night. They’re chiseled into this person from the block of stone they’re desperately tried to keep themselves at. But it chips at them- day and night- for an average of 15 months. My honest answer: there are no bridezillas. Just bridezilla-inducing situations.

If you feel like someone you know and love is losing themselves… take them out to coffee. If you’re feeling more generous, treat them to a mani/pedi. Even more? Get them a massage or spa day spent together. I hate to say this, but this time period has to not be about you. Not always- not the whole length of the engagement- but just in those spurts of moments when you can tell tension and stress are at an all-time high. To avoid dealing with a ‘zilla? Be the ONE person that they know they can come to for a vent session. Someone who will listen, not try to solve the problem. Someone who will be there asking what they want, and willing to help truly make that happen. Of course if you’re feeling the most generous… hiring them a wedding planner will literally make all the difference!

Remember that things are bound to get worse the closer it gets to the wedding. The smallest detail can send someone anxious into a total tail spin. If you’ve already established yourself and your relationship to be on the GOOD side of things- you’ll avoid risking serious emotional damage and being used as collateral when the “crash” happens [and in most cases, at some point- it WILL happen]. Engaged couples don’t mean to do this… but if you put yourself into their shoes and allow your heart to guide you, you’ll realize that your friend is still in there- trying desperately to escape the completely life-encompassing stress they’re currently facing.

I’m not saying that your own life isn’t happening all the while. But honestly, who couldn’t use a girl gab session once a month to just be there together and for one another. You know later down the road- she won’t forget it, she’ll do it for you, and you’ll need it then like she needs it now. I used this quote last week, and I’ll use it again here:

Let it come from Your heart. People will see it. People will feel it. People will be changed by it.

True friendship is based on honesty. If you’ve spent time together, you’re alone, and the setting is right- don’t be afraid to say “you’re stressed. What can I do?”. You’ll both instantly feel better when you’ve lived on the other person’s page for a moment. And that way, you can act as a buffer to the stressers [like, say, the rest of the bridal party… or her mother] in a better way than she can manage. Get on TEAM BRIDE as quickly, as often, and as consistently as you can. Everyone needs a friend.

xoxo,

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