Friday, April 30, 2010

Oh Yes she DID!!

I just read about this news yesterday over at the Bride's Guide and it is just such good news that I had to share it with you.  Ready?

... Vera Wang ...

is collaborating with David's Bridal to launch a new collection for 2011 at a $1500 or less price point! 

*cue Halleluiah Chorus*

That's right my friends.  I've noticed David's has really been stepping things up lately with more updated gowns and better looking fabrics... it's really a breath of fresh air to see retailers offering better gowns at better prices!  Hooray for affordable fashion!

And you know as soon as I get my hot little hands on some preview images, I'll be sharing, so stay tuned!

[caption id="attachment_2842" align="aligncenter" width="230" caption="One of my faves from Vera's fall 2010 collection"][/caption]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things (from the reception)

After cocktail hour, the guests headed up to the dining room with it's incredible picture windows and snow-globe atmosphere while the bridal party lined up for the grand introduction.  Fortunately, my photographer (Jessica Morrisy! All images are hers as usual!) made the rounds first and captured some of my favorite details before the party was in full-swing.  She's a regular reader, so she already knew what was important to me, and she caught it all with all the trademark style and flair I've come to love!  Here are some of my favorite little details from the reception!

[caption id="attachment_2817" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="The Location"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2819" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="The menus (double sided!)"]The double-sided menus (remember NY Strip Steak, more popular than it's distant cousin, the NJ strip mall???)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2818" align="aligncenter" width="436" caption="The tablescapes"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2820" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="The table names"]The table names![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2821" align="aligncenter" width="436" caption="The toasting flutes"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2822" align="aligncenter" width="409" caption="The escort cards"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2823" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="The hot seats"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2824" align="aligncenter" width="408" caption="The guest book"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2825" align="aligncenter" width="409" caption="The good stuff!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2826" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="The wisdom"][/caption]

Of course, you'll note there is one important thing missing: the cake!  You'll just have to wait for that one!  :)

And how did we get here?  Checking InPractice Makes Perfect: The Rehearsal!; The Rehearsal Dinner!; The Rehearsal Dinner Slide Show; Girls Gone Wild!; Got Mah Hairs Did; The Guys Get Groomed; The Girls Get Glammed!; Get Me To The Church on Time!; The Moments of a Lifetime: Our Ceremony!; Love, Snow, and Portraits!; Mayhem and Cocktails!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beachy-Casual-Budget-Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas?

Today, we have another great reader-question to share here at The One!  

My mom is getting married to her incredibly sweet and very-into-environmentalism fiance.  They initially wanted to throw a tiny beach wedding, but after realizing they couldn't accomodate all of their friends, they decided to move the party to a golf club.  So I'm wondering if you have ideas for how to bring the casual beachy vibe they love to a country club scene, while still being both budget and eco-friendly.  Thoughts?

Oooh this one's going to be fun!  It helps that I know the reader who posed this question, so I'll take some liberty with my assumptions as I answer this question.  And as usual, all images link to their source.

First, I suggest using beach-pails for the flower girl and ring bearer to carry down the aisle.  The flower girl's could be filled with flowers or shells, or flower petals for tossing- and all of this could be done very inexpensively using local craft store supplies.  And for the ring bearer, I say tuck crumpled fabric leftover from dress alterations inside the pail and call it a day.  Simple, cost-effective, and the kids can re-use the pails in the sand later!

[caption id="attachment_2804" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="for the flower girl"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2805" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="for the ring bearer"][/caption]

Next, I'm thinking repurposed centerpieces.  I've recently seen lots of brides picking up dozens milk glass vases at thrift stores, a trend I love.  And of course, you can DIY your own faux-milkglass out of old jars and bottles if you'd like.  Fill the glasses with a few informal buds, put 3-5 on a table, and voila, instant centerpiece!  Mix in some sea glass and sand, and you have a polished, not-too-matchy arrangement that has impact and casual softness.  And let's say you have 10 guests per table and five vases- the vases could double as favors, 1 per couple.  So cute!

[caption id="attachment_2806" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Milk glass vases"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2807" align="aligncenter" width="283" caption="Sea glass"][/caption]

Another thought that instantly comes to mind is using bamboo or wooden flatware.  As I've said previously, I'm madly in love with this concept.

[caption id="attachment_2808" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="And hey look, these can be done in the right colors too!"][/caption]

Instead of doing a fancy cake, the couple should definitely consider a small cake for cutting as part of a dessert bar.  This isn't a totally original idea, but since they live in Florida, there are a lot of great local ideas one could incorporate... like my favorites, Key Lime pie, honeycake, and orange cake (which is shockingly tasty, if you haven't tried it before).  And let's not forget cute sodas or ice cream as part of the spread!  Of course, these could also be used as table centerpieces if you have enough desserts!

[caption id="attachment_2809" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="yum yum yum"][/caption]

For escort cards, another adorable idea is to write the names and tables on found sea-shells or recycled paper, and then hold them up in a container of sand.  SO cute, and especially budget friendly and personal if you find the shells yourself!

[caption id="attachment_2810" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="the paper version"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2811" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="another variation on the theme"][/caption]

What other ideas do you have for this theme?  I just love the idea!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Real Wedding Friday: Kate and Justin's Coney Island Wedding

Get ready.  Get set.  Because today's wedding is an absolute stunner from start to finish.  I seriously have never seen a more gorgeous, personal, vintage-inspired wedding, and I think you're going to fall head over heels for it too.  Kate and Justin got married at Coney Island last fall and they planned an incredible, colorful, vintage wedding.  The celebration involved oodles of DIY touches.  Take for example the parasols: custom-made by the bride herself from fabric, with lace, beads, hot glue, silkscreens, paint, fringe, feathers, flowers and so forth.  The bride says they were a serious project but I think seeing the guests carrying them during their post-ceremony second parade- a nod to tradition in the groom's home town, New Orleans- makes it all worthwhile. 

Of course, it helps that the couple is so gosh darn adorable.  I love the juxtaposition of the bride's tattoo (tattooed brides unite!) against the ladylike wedding dress- an incredible thrift shop find.  And can we please talk about that birdcage veil (she made herself), not to mention the amazing hair and makeup?  I'm inspired. 

The ceremony was held at Our Lady of Solace church, where the priest played accordian and the guests threw fruit loops at the couple as they exited!  And the reception was held at Cha Cha's of Coney Island, right on the boardwalk.  The venue is both nontraditional and totally breathtaking and was the perfect spot for all the great entertainment the couple planned!  Jambalaya Brass Band led the parade, and of course there was a sword-swallower, a fire-dancer, and a fire-eater.  Al Duval played the banjo, and sparklers were provided for the guests.  One of the evening's highlights took place when Coney Island launched it's weekly fireworks display- the couple didn't even know it was going to happen, but they took advantage, enjoyed the moment, and told everyone it was their own special arrangement. :)

And those cupcakes?  They are from Babycake's bakery and they are both vegan and gluten free.  I can personally attest to the deliciousness of Babycakes because I recently sampled a red velvet cupcake, sweetened with agave, from their bakery, and I totally forgot that it was vegan/gluten-free/sugar-free!  Well that did it, now I'm hungry.

Congratulations Kate and Justin!

First, the incredible engagement shot.  And then, the spectacular wedding.  Who's in love?  MEEEEEE!





Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vintage Window Weekend

This past weekend, I decided to give in to my urge (it's a terribly persistent urge) to start another home improvement project.  But since my condo is for sale, I needed to make sure it was something we could take with us.  It didn't take long for me to start thinking about our living room- over the sofa, we have been using a set of Chinese watercolors (my first real art purchase, from a gallery in Shanghai) but I've been using them there for about 6 years, and I'm a little bored with them.  So I decided to swap them out.  But with what?

I recalled seeing a giant barn window in a friend's house a few years back, and that is when things started clicking.  I called my Dad, who is the best person I know for tracking down budget-friendly antiques (after all, he scored my vintage steamer trunks)...

Hey Dad, do you happen to have any old windows lying around?

Of course I do!  How many do you want?  Actually, I'll just send you them all...

And that's how I became the proud owner of five antique paned glass windows!!  Turns out our family friends had recently redone their farmhouse and had gotten rid of a slew of windows- I love knowing where they're from!  They arrived in great shape, but filthy, so the first thing I did was clean them up.  But even post-cleaning, the paint was chipping and peeling all over the place, and I was worried about lead.  I tested them and they tested negative, but given the condition of the windows (and just to be safe) I decided to give them a coat of paint anyways.

[caption id="attachment_2756" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="These are the two I didn't use yet- you can see that they are clean but need some work."]These are the two I didn't use, in their clean but original state.[/caption]

Some of the windows are from the house, and others are from old kitchen cabinets.  I selected one house, and two cabinets, and got to work.  First, one super-thick coat Zinser primer, leftover from when we redid our kitchen cabinets.  This stuff is pretty thick so it seals, covers stains, and also because of the thickness, it shows brush strokes- which was perfect here.  I went for a very rustic paint job- imperfections were ok because once finished, I took sandpaper all over the windows to distress the finish.  I further distressed the finish using watered-down antique white and brown paint (the white was leftover from a wedding project, the brown was a sample size from Home Depot).  Then I screwed eye hooks into the tops of the frames, along with 8-inch strands of chain (also from Home Depot).  It took me about two afternoons (not counting dry time) to get this project done from start to finish and I'm in LOVE!

[caption id="attachment_2757" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The finished project over my sofa!"]The finished product over my sofa![/caption]

Best part?  The cost!  Here's how I came out:

Windows: free (thanks Dad!)

Primer: free (leftover from past project)

Paint: $2.99 for tester of Behr paint from home depot

Lead paint test kit: $9.99

Eye hooks: free (leftovers from a past project)

Chain: $2.00 for 6 8-inch lengths of chain

30-Lb wall hangers: $.99

TOTAL SPENT:  $15.97

Ok I know what you're thinking: that's nice Sarah, but what does this have to do with weddings? Well, doing this project made me think... wouldn't it be awesome to use old windows like this at a wedding?  Old windows could be used to make a  folding screen to hold escort cards, a frame for old family wedding photos, or they could even be painted with chalkboard paint  to use as a menu like this bride did:

[caption id="attachment_2758" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="DIY Window Chalkboard Menu, from Ruffled Blog!"][/caption]

Or maybe you could have guests use permanent ink to sign your window as a creative guest book, one you could hang in your home later?  Or simply use a window to welcome guests into your space.  Oh how I love antique windows.

[caption id="attachment_2759" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This may be a Christmas vignette, but you could definitely do this to coordinate with your wedding too!"][/caption]

What uses can you think of for vintage windows?  Any ideas for what I should do with my remaining two?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mayhem and Cocktails!

I know it's been two weeks since my last recap, but for the reception recaps I have SO many photos it just takes me forever, and I've been busy doing other things in the outdoor world!  But, I've managed to get it together to bring you cocktail hour recaps!  Our cocktail hour at the Nyack Seaport was outstanding.  J. and I got to the Seaport and did photos before anyone else got there.  After photos, the chef made us our own plate of appetizers and we sat in a private lounge and reveled in our newlywed state!  It was both tasty and romantic good times.  The food was, in fact, outrageously good.  I didn't eat anything at cocktail hour because I was worried about getting my dress stained, but we served some good stuff.  15 different passed appetizers, a carving station with roast beef (with rolls and horseradish) and turkey (with gravy and cranberries!), and a pasta station with vodka sauce, bolognese, steamed mussels and mozzarella, tomato and basil.  Oh and did I mention the cold display with cheese (mmmmm) and crudite??  And all of our guests commented again and again about how much they loved the food.

Since most of our guests stayed at the Pearl River Hilton, they took the shuttle bus to the reception- which meant the guests arrived in waves.  That was actually perfect for us, because we got to enjoy guests in waves too!  My favorite favorite favorite part of the cocktail hour was the music.  Two members of our band played jazz on the bass and grand piano.  It was so elegant and perfect for a cocktail hour.

Meanwhile, the serves mingled with the guests as they brought out plate after plate of appetizers.  Baby lamb chops with mint aioli, mini quiches, and of course J.'s personal request, piggies in blankets.  Yeah, we take our food really seriously.

Once everyone had the chance to grab a plate and a drink, the mingling began.  J. and I were so excited to see everyone after the adrenaline had slowed back down!  I think everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly- and I think everyone appreciated the repast after driving in the snow!

I have to say, I was sad to see the cocktail hour end because it was so lovely.  But more fun was ahead, so off we went to line up for our grand introduction!

And how did we get here?  Checking InPractice Makes Perfect: The Rehearsal!; The Rehearsal Dinner!; The Rehearsal Dinner Slide Show; Girls Gone Wild!; Got Mah Hairs Did; The Guys Get Groomed; The Girls Get Glammed!; Get Me To The Church on Time!; The Moments of a Lifetime: Our Ceremony!; Love, Snow, and Portraits!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bacheloretting, Just $4.74

So, it's not news that I heart VistaPrint.  But I recently learned that VP makes T shirts and totes, with prices starting at $4.74 (or in some cases, free, if you have the right coupon).  And so I did some looking into it.  Turns out these inexpensive tees are actually quite cute, and of course you can even upload your own design.  Now, I love companies like Zazzle and Custom Ink too, not to mention the adorable custom finds you can get on Etsy or Wedding Chicks, but hey, times are tough.  Sometimes you have to make the call to cut costs, and this is a good way to do so while still getting a product completely personalized (for instance, you could put each gal's name on their own shirt; or make the bride's a little extra special)!

Wouldn't these be wonderful, affordable bridesmaids gifts?  Or perfect for an upscale out of town bag?  Personally, I always love wedding swag and have not stopped wearing my most recent wedding related item, a zippered hoodie from friend P's bachelorette.  In fact, I *may* or *may not* have recently designed some tees for two different events I'll be a part of in the near future, and I'm so excited with how they came out!  Here's some of my favorite VP options!

And remember, if you order from VistaPrint, be sure to use Ebates so you can get cash back too!! livepreview3gallerypreviewCA7WOMSFlivepreview2gallerypreview2



Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, they make tote bags and hats too.  What designs are your favorite?