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Trend Talk: Number Me Fancy

POSTED BY carizza

Happy Monday!

To kick off your week, we’re starting a reader response driven blog convo about wedding trends. The heart behind this is to encourage discussion with brides, vendors, fans and friends, about anything from design to fashion to etiquette, bring it on! I know you’re dying to ask… :)

We’re starting off this fun topic with….table numbers.

We’re often asked about those boring pieces of plastic that you see at Carl’s Jr (or at table number two with your new in-laws). Or, they can be wire numbers hand bent to match the same font that’s on your invitation/programs/design suite…as evidenced below:

At ITN, we believe that every item on your tables (and in your wedding!) should be purposeful and aesthetically pleasing. Brides, you’ve put all this effort into the linens and china, why ruin it all with a piece of plastic on a metal stand? Let’s just make those numbers part of your table!

These stained wood blocks with a sophisticated vinyl application were conceptualized and handmade by our very own Rachel! What I love most about these table numbers (besides the adorable key that is just the cherry on top), is the contrast on the table. Your guests aren’t straining to see their table numbers – it’s not hidden amongst a centerpiece or blending into the linen – it’s functional and fabulous!

Photogs, how often do you remove that cut out piece of paper stuck onto cardboard in order to get that table shot? At Courtney and Geno’s wedding, that didn’t have to happen – because the table number was seamlessly worked into the set up. Less clutter – more efficiency.

And who says a table number has to be of actual numerical value? At Irene’s wedding, we used cities as table numbers, which were places that the bride and groom had visited together. Adorable and personal.

I hope that this added a smile onto your face this Monday – and that it gets you thinking about how to make things fun and functional =)

So don’t forget to email me some current wedding trends that you’re interested in discussing (or you can write on our facebook wall!). Then on Monday, we’ll respond. This is meant to be a conversation instead of a soap box, so friends, let’s trend talk!

How To: Define Your Style


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]!!


How To: Take Charge!

POSTED BY carizza

Whilst enjoying good company (and good food!) at Chick-fil-a last week, I excitedly gave my vision for an upcoming event. A perfect venue, cute tablecloths, fantastic chargers…wait. What?

Chargers? My waffle-fry eating friends didn’t understand what I was referring to. The San Diego Chargers? Phone chargers? A Dodge charger?

My dearest friends of ITN, please explore with me the tabletop-transforming, aesthetically pleasing, pop of fantastic that is a plate charger.

Traditionally, plate chargers are considered placeholders, so that a setting does not seem empty all by its lonesome before food is served. Though the men in your life might consider it just a larger plate for a more generous portion, food actually is never served on the plate, but rather, functions as a base for other plates (i.e. salad, soup, main, etc).

Not only does it serve a practical use, but it truly brings to your tabletop a design element that will make you think, “there we go – that’s exactly what we needed.”

A wonderful example of this was our bridal inspiration shoot with Jasmine Star‘s lovely sister Bianca Juarez.

A charger allows you to add texture. Glam. Glitz. It really aids in setting the mood of the table.

Of course you’re so enamored by the endless possibilities of a charger that you’re not even thinking of the cost. But allow me to deliver the wonderful news that this great addition to your table usually costs anywhere from $2 – $10 a setting.

Bianca’s charger above falls in the middle of that price range, even though it looks like a million. Settling into the same price range is this celebratory gold charger from a St. Patrick’s day shoot done last year.

Those classic clean lines and the Oscar gold make me stare at it for an unreasonable amount of time. Do you see what I mean when I say it adds just the right touch?

I think the part that makes me, you, everyone really fall in love with chargers, is seeing the whole thing come together. Not just one measly (but still awesome!) charger, but the total reveal of a complete setting. So behold. Our creative DIY bride Emily rocked the charger.

Simple red chargers turned this Smog Shoppe wedding into something that we gush over regularly at the studio.

Chargers can be made up of anything from china, to plastic, to even non-traditional materials, like the onyx ones we used at the Serra Plaza event where I met Amanda and the ITN team!

But! Before you totally discard the idea of classic white plates and go out to buy all things bright and shiny, please appreciate this latest design element that we’ve been encouraging many of our beloved clients to do.

What’s this? A white plate as a base charger? Don’t mind if I do. It’s just a proper complement. A simple, low budget, setting enhancer. It’s just proof that you can take charge now.

A charger can be flashy. It can be dazzling. It can be basic. But it will always add depth, heartfelt thought, and effortless wonder to your table.

And when the day is done, you don’t even need to wash it.

With love,

Invites: Christie + Seth

POSTED BY shannon

Hey ya’ll! It’s been quite the while. Don’t fret, I’m back with some amazing invitations to share with you.

I love how these invitations turned out. They got a bit of everything I think invitations should have – personalization, signature colors, a monogram of sorts, and awesome packaging.

Christie + Seth [you may remember them from here or here] wanted to have invitations that spoke to what they’re guests would experience at their wedding. Fun, rustic, eclectic, and full of loving details. What better way to say that than screen printed wood invitations?

The color palate for the wedding was a burnt orange, olive, and yellow. The wood seemed like a perfect backdrop to put the main invite on and use the other paper pieces pop with the rest of their bright colors printed on stark white.

The thing I love most about creating wedding invitations is when the design just “clicks.” A piece of information about the bride or groom, a special thing that’s going to be incorporated at the wedding, something about the venue, or just a simple color palate can all trigger these “clicks.” After that… things just WORK. Ideas come so rapidly and before you know it… we have something that is IT. For this invite, that moment came when I was told from Rachel that the ceremony was taking place under a huge oak tree. I loved it so much, it went on the invite, the direction card, and the RSVP card.

Doesn’t this look like the perfect sneak peak to what Christie & Seth’s wedding would be like? Lucky for you, The Wedding Chicks featured some incredible photos of the big day from Mathieu Photography. They are just incredible.

One tip for all of you who are thinking about invitations – whether it be for a wedding, a birthday party, or a fun get together – make it yours. Find a special “thing” to set your event apart from the others. Something that is special and will tie everything together. Something that speaks to who you are. Something that is … you.

Congratulations to you, Seth + Christie. May your life together be blessed with love forever!

With Love,


Have you ever had a secret so good that you just want to pinch yourself to make sure it’s true? But then you can’t really- because it’s still a secret. And the less you “can” talk about it, the more you want to talk about it but then you have to take about it in code and it really makes no sense anyway? I lost you on that last part, didn’t I?

Well- THIS was my secret! Ever since we had the chance to work with Jasmine Star earlier this year, we’ve been connected at the emotional hip. So when she called me to ask about designing a fabulous party for her twin sis, Bianca and her quickly approaching wedding, we were absolutely delighted [and honored, inspired, thrilled, literally laughing with excitement]! The best part? It was for an intimate group of good friends. So, one table to set, one delicious activity needed, one small cake and one day to totally leave a lasting impression for a girl I grew to love like my own family. Bianca is just as infectious as her twinner and I’m so honored to know them both. The shower we put together graced the pages of the most recent issue of Inside Weddings Magazine [their winter issue] and I couldn’t be bubbling with more joy from it!

The 2-page spread:

This is truly just the tip of the iceberg for images from this perfect soiree. I cannot wait to do a full feature of Jasmine’s gorgeous images in the near future [you’ll die at the fondue station, the mini milk shots, and the crystal chandelier that didn’t make the feature]!

Jas and B: thanks for entrusting this huge job to us! We truly loved being a part of it, whipping it together- making it classy, timeless and full of love for such a special lady. This is just the tip of the iceberg for you, too, you know. :)


Hi all! Rachel here to finish out the design recap of the year. It’s been a whirlwind for sure [but doesn’t every year seem like it passed by in a flash?] so I’m glad we’re revisiting it. Especially because I feel like I get to relive all the great experiences. Now let’s get to it!

Once we had models, it seemed we never turned back. After the Coco Chanel Inspired shoot we moved onto quite an adventure, building an outdoor cafe in the middle of nowhere at 3 a.m. The lovely Amanda over at the Ruffled blog asked us to produce this for her site [which you can see HERE and HERE] and I don’t think we dissappointed, if I do say so myself. The rich and bright color of Yanessa’s sweater sealed the deal for me…and that delicious lemon cake. Yum.

Moving right along, the awesome readers of The Wedding Chicks blog voted us the stylists for their next StyleLab [an honor to say the least]. We envisioned the bride being the modern bohemian daughter of well-to-do parents in Nantucket. Bringing a balance of traditional [a FULL place setting. Like, FULL full.] and modern [a snazzy cardigan for the bride] was our aim. We were lucky enough to get this on The Wedding Chicks blog as a two-parter HERE and HERE.

We rounded out the year with a Spanish Soiree inspired shoot, which landed us yet ANOTHER feature on Style Me Pretty. This shoot was especially fun since fellow Nowie Sharon and her hubby Steve served as our hotter-than-hot models.

Seriously, isn’t she just the cutest?

It’s been a great year and I can’t even imagine what 2011 has in store for us. But whatever it is, we’re more than ready to tackle it!

See you in the New Year!


We did a lot of designing this past year. Mainly because we love it. But more than that- because we really wanted to put ourselves out there. Collaborate. Learn. Grow. Mess up. Make it right. Make it better. Fail. Succeed. Get huge opportunities. Jump through hoops. Pull rabbits from hats. And keep a smile on our faces. So it’s only right that in this last week of the year, we take some time to pat ourselves on the back for contributing to the wedding world in 2010. And thank the people who took a moment to give us opportunity beyond measure. We loved each and every shoot we were a part of!

We started the year off right, capturing this tabletop in January that was featured on Junebug Weddings:

Our modern plexi-glass fireplace turned heads [the challenge was an industrial-focused centerpiece in lieu of floral] and our hot cocoa with marshmallows warmed hearts!

Moving right into the heart of the matter, we shot this quaint little table in our studio, which was featured with the table cuff as a simple Do It Yourself on Style Me Pretty [a must read for all nearly-weds out there!!]. The vivid colors against the grey walls make it one of my favorite shoots to-date. I love lush, saturated colors!!

We then moved right into full styling mode- meaning we stepped it up, started including real life couples as our muse/model figures, and made most of our shoots into actual, produced events that could have easily ran flawlessly on their own as weddings, showers, celebrations of many kinds! We started with a huge undertaking: an upscale bridal shower soiree with a delicious Coco Chanel vibe updated for the modern gal:

With about 7 stationed areas and 8 models to shoot, we definitely gave Jasmine a run for her money on this shoot [but it began a beautiful and real lifelong friendship that I couldn’t be more thankful for- and plus, she loves our aesthetic, so… it’s a win/win]

*Not only did this killer chic shoot get us featured again on the fabulous Style Me Pretty Blog, it also inspired a real life bridal shower that we had the honor of designing in August as well as another photo shoot feature that will debut here shortly!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so I truly hope you’re loving it as much as I am- taking the time to reflect back on the year. Where we’ve started and where we are now are two totally different places am I’m so thrilled that I love my job today even more than I imagined I could this time last year!

Stay tuned…



These cut glass votive holders are simply the bee’s knees in my eyes. Not only are they extra tall [at 3.5″, such a cute and elegant height] but their modern shape is accented with all of the old world classic charm expected at weddings or family gatherings of any importance. Plus, since their height is substantial, it should be a breeze to past most city’s fire codes! Pretty and functional? Double bonus!!

Thanks, as always, to Jamali Garden for being my everyday source of inspiration for design and decor! Hope these inspired you to stay on the cutting edge of things this holiday season!! :)


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