Top Trend: Whimsical Wildflowers & Enchanting Wedding Bouquets

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

With fairytale classics being remade into blockbuster gold like Mirror, Mirror and Snow White & the Huntsman, it’s no wonder why enchanted wedding decor is at an all time high for brides.  Both artsy and fanciful, woodsy inspired details just seem to capture the kind of ambiance brides want for their ourtdoor, forest or barnyard weddings.

And one area I’m truly pleased to see reflecting such a whimsical look is none other than the bridal bouquet.  Ethereal in inspiration and decadent in design, these one of a kind bouquets create just the right amount of “once upon a time” magic that will easily have couples living “happily ever after.”  (Yeah, I totally went there.)

Start the pallet with large blooms, such as cabbage roses, robust ranunculus, heart stopping peonies or diva-esque dahlias.  Then, mix in wildflowers or other natural, earthly, nonfloral elements to your already blossoming bouquet.  Finish it off with a dash of sparkle or touch of flowing feathers and see how fantasy can turn into real life enchantment.

But don’t take my word for it.  Simply check out below and be amazed for yourselves :)

photos courtesy of (tope to bottom, left to right) thefrenchbouquettulsa.com, marthastewartweddings.com, floweropera.wordpress.com, acephotographs.com (inset), marthastewartweddings.com, greenweddingshoes.com, greenweddingshoes.com, ruffledblog.com, kristynhogan.com, floweropera.wordpress.com, Google Images and ashleysbrideguide.com

New! Personalized Aisle Runners: Because Every Bride Deserves a Proper Runway

Due to the runaway success of our previously launched Personalized Aisle Runners, we’ve received some seriously high demands to create even more personalized fabulousness for your wedding day celebrations.  Well, ask and you shall receive, my dear brides-to-be; because here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we like nothing more than to please…

… And yes, I totally just made that amazeballs rhyme up.  All I need now is two turn tables and a microphone :)  But until then, I’m SUPER PUMPED to introduce to you our 4 NEW! Personalized Aisle Runners!  Still available to be accented in one of today’s hottest wedding colors and still personalized at absolutely no extra cost to you… I give you, your proper runway…

Classic Monogram Aisle Runner

Classy Aisle Runner

Our New Monogram Aisle Runner

Modern Love Aisle Runner

Bridal Shower Alternative: Give the Couple a Proper Toasting

courtesy of I Love To Laugh! via facebook.com

Recently, a friend of mine (holler for a dollar, Candice!) had her “bridal shower” here in town, and I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the theme.  Thrown by her mom and aunt, they decided to do a “Wine & Whiskey: Stock the Bar” themed celebration, and I gotta admit… I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

Instead of bringing your typical BB&B / Target / Crate & Barrel / fill-in-the-blank-of-your-fave-registry gift, friends and family were requested to bring their favorite bottle of booze (be it beer, wine or otherwise) and / or their favorite barware accessory to stock the couple’s latest home remodel: their new bar!  Now, before anyone starts calling the authorities for potential abuse, I think it’s important for me to state their case :)

Candice is everything but traditional.  Since moving to Chicago six years ago with her long term beau, they’ve really already built a life together.  Candice is the kind of girl, if she wants a gravy boat – for whatever reason one would want a gravy boat – she’ll buy it.  If she wants to drop everything and take a trip to the Canary Islands next week??  Well then, by golly, she’ll book her plane ticket that day at lunch.

She really is one of a kind, and after already living together for such a significant time anyway, they really did have mostly everything they needed to make their house a home, which generally includes all the appliances, dishware, kitchen accessories, towels etc. that would normally be put on a registry.  Therefore, her mom came up with the brilliant bar themed idea to complement their newest renovation, as well as their love for entertaining!

I mean, how can you not love that??  After attending such a celebration and seeing all the fun, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the fabulousness of such an event… but what’s even more amazing is the practicality of it all too!  Candice and Jared (or her gentleman caller, as C refers to him, haha!) love to entertain!  With the majority of both their families living in Indiana and them posting up shop in the Windy City, they highly encourage their “open door” policy and vow to never turn away a wearisome traveler or friend from their welcoming embrace.  Hence, the theme becomes even more amazing!

Heck, even for the less open / more closed door couples, I still stand by this being a good idea!  While I may have hung up my party hat after an incredible four year stint at IU, there are still the throw back occasions that cause for toasting.  And while I’m country born and bred and will always have a taste for brew-ha-ha, it’d be nice to be able to offer something for the classier pallets that come my way when need be… especially without spending half the grocery budget to do so!  Haha, booze is expensive!

In the end, it’s OBVS up to every individual couple on what will work best for them, but this was one I knew I had to share!

Cheers to C and Jared and many. MANY years of happy toasts!

C+J (courtesy of Candice)

Could Fourth Time REALLY be a Charm for J.Lo?

Could wedding bells be ringing for Jennifer Lopez and current BF and back-up dancer, Casper Smart? (courtesy of hellomagazine.com)

According to recent reports from online celebrity sites, such as E!, there has been talk around the water cooler that Jennifer Lopez may be making her fourth trip down the aisle to say “I do.”  Rumors sprung into action after a mysterious tweet from Roberto Cavalli – fashion legend and long time friend of J.Lo – buzzed through the blogosphere yesterday afternoon.  The tweet went as follows:

“Today , Jenifer Lopez. Call me…… She ask me. To create a special dress. For her next weding. ! Wich color … Do you advise me. ?” (twitter.com)

While the spelling, broken English and horrendous grammar (dead sere, can’t even look at it without my former editor noggin twitching!) should’ve been a dead giveaway this was not THEE Roberto Cavalli, the press went haywire over the coulda-shoulda-woulda of it all!

J.Lo – famous the world over just as much for her unspeakably good looks as her incredible cross-media / cross-cultural talent and appeal – has been a long time supporter and friend to Roberto Cavalli.  Her body is no stranger to his clothes (as shown below); so, it seemed a bit out of place to have such a long withstanding, respected friendship be blasted over a place as public as Twitter.

J.Lo dubbed three Cavalli (pictured with her) ensembles at the World Music Awards in 2010 alone! One for the red carpet; one for her perfomace, and one while accepting the Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts. (photos courtesy of fashionwindows.net)

After further reading, however, my suspicions were – in fact – proven true, and no, Roberto was not behind the “nails on a chalkboard” tweet that caused all the commotion.  Apparently, Mr. Cavalli’s twitter account was hacked… I mean really?!  Getagrip, people. 

After her separation from Marc Anthony in July 2011, she began dating back-up dancer, Casper Smart, and while they may be hot and heavy on the media radar, there have been no confirmed reports that marriage has even been part of the conversation.

I suppose it wouldn’t be totally off mark though… Just like J.Lo’s body is no stranger to Cavalli’s clothes, the girl herself is no stranger to marriage.   At 42, she’s already had three failed marriages, one long term relationship with Sean “Puffy” Combs / Puff Daddy / P.Diddy / Diddy / whatever he goes by these days and one infamous nickname forever linking her to Ben Affleck.  Oh, Bennifer, how I miss thee.

But no matter what the future holds for Ms. Lopez, one thing is for dang sure… the girl knows how to rock a wedding dress :)  So, if the path should wind her back down the marriage brick road again, she’s sure to look devastatingly stunning.  I mean, just look at the girl’s history…

First Marriage

The first marriage sprung from love with Cuban-born Ojani Noa. The two were hitched in 1997 but sadly ditched by 1998. (photos courtesy of latina.com and examiner.com)

Second Marriage

The second marriage came after her split from P.Diddy back in 2001 to back-up dancer, Chris Judd. The two were divorced by January 2003. (courtesy of people.com)

Third Marriage

The third and longest lasting marriage was to none other than Grammy award winning artist, Marc Anthony. It lasted from 2004-2011 and resulted in the birth of two beautiful twin babies, Emme and Max. (photos courtesy of popsugar.com and fanpop.com)

7 Ways to Save on your Wedding Dress

courtesy of weddingwindow.com

Huffington Post’s Kara Reinhardt reported 7 tips on how brides can budget on their wedding gown shopping, and they were soooo good I knew I had to share!  She makes her money as editor of Cheapism.com; so, you can imagine, she’s quite the expert :)

Check out below and see how some brides choose to save and still stay sassy on their wedding day:

1. Consider a bridesmaid dress in white. A sales consultant at a salon may not volunteer this option, but many elegant designs come in an array of colors — including white or ivory. If you prefer a clean, simple silhouette to a full skirt and sequins, a bridesmaid dress could play a starring role for the cost of a supporting player.

I actually had a friend who did this – wad up, Leah!  Not only did she looked absolutely b.e.a.uuuutiful on her wedding day, but she OBVS saved moolah on the gown; therefore broadening up her budget on other areas!

courtesy of Leah Matis

2. Plan a less formal event. If you imagine yourself at the altar in a cathedral-length veil, skip ahead to the next tip. But couples open to an outdoor wedding or any other casual setting can save a lot on attire. A lightweight dress for a beach ceremony is likely to cost far less than yards of embellished silk satin.

3. Seek out sample sales. Bridal salons offer big discounts a couple of times a year to clear out sample dresses, selling them as is. You may cringe if you’ve seen scenes of brides-to-be lunging at piles of marked-down gowns. But things may be more civilized at a local salon — some even take appointments during these sales. Ask about upcoming events and sign up for email lists.

4. Don’t overlook department stores. Off-the-rack retailers such as J. Crew and Ann Taylor have become go-to sources for brides on a budget, offering attractive styles and prices. But department stores have also embraced the bridal business. Cheapism found that Nordstrom is one of the best places to buy a cheap wedding dress. You can order online or make an appointment with a wedding stylist at select locations. Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor also feature “wedding shops” on their websites. The dresses don’t take months to come in and can be returned.

5. Don’t assume mass-market means cheap. While these retailers set prices as low as a few hundred dollars, sticker shock is still possible. Most styles by BHLDN — the Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie wedding brand — carry four-figure price tags, and the most expensive is $6,000. Bebe is introducing a bridal collection expected to start near $1,000. Many salons carry lines that start well below that level.

6. Give secondhand sources a chance. You may balk at consignment shops and classified websites, despite the alluring prospect of a designer gown at a discount price. But sites such as Recycled Bride and Encore Bridal often feature new and sample dresses as well. New dresses don’t necessarily carry the bad karma of a called-off engagement, either. One bride is selling a $1,430 Mikaella for $600 on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com because she switched to an outdoor venue and a simpler dress. My own bargain was hiding in the basement of a bridal consignment shop and could be ordered in my size. The experience came complete with a pedestal in front of a mirror, an attentive sales consultant, and a tearful sister-in-law exclaiming, “This is just like ‘Say Yes to the Dress’!”

7. Choose a color other than white. At New York’s bridal fashion week this fall, none other than wedding dress doyenne Vera Wang showed not one white or ivory gown. Many of her designs were black (can you believe it?), but even blush could help you sidestep the markup on anything labeled bridal. White isn’t always the easiest color to wear, and a different shade might better complement your skin tone. If you’re the type of woman who likes to turn heads, refraining from white is a surefire way to make a statement with your wedding gown.

(Kara Reinhardt, huffingtonpost.com)

Really Razzle, Dazzle ‘em with Rhinestone Garters

So, here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we always like to brainstorm new product ideas… no idea is too big, too small, too ugly or otherwise.  Thus, why brainstorming is fabulous… even the ugliest idea in the ‘storm can turn into a beautiful rainbow after all is said and done!  (And yeah, I totally just took it to that cheese level.  Boom.)

At our most recent brainstorm sesh, one of the girls (holllerrrr, Tonya!) brought an idea to the table that I absolutely loved: Pure Rhinestone Wedding Garters!  One, because I love sparkle.  Two, because there’s no better day to sparkle than your wedding day, and three, because it’s a Zsa Zsa twist on an age old tradition!

But I wanna know what you all think.  Do you like the idea of a garter that dazzles?!?!  Obvs, it would have to be done right, fastened with an enclosure that wouldn’t pinch and inset enough where the stones wouldn’t scrape, but pending those two factors… would this be a look you’d love to sport on your wedding day??

courtesty of Amy Ressa via pinterest.com

A Love So Bright, Guests Gotta Wear Shades!

courtesy of bowtiesandbliss.tumblr.com

With warmer weather springing into action and the chill of winter rapidly thawing into brighter days, it’s time for outdoor weddings to – alas! – find their place at the center of the bridal arena once again .  Hopefully after properly shaking off Old Man Winter’s blues, brides can revel in breathing in the fresh air and say “I do” in Mother Nature’s finest surroundings. 

Because outdoor venues become more and more popular every year, brides are constantly looking for ways to one up all the other return-to-nature couples and find ways to stand out amongst the crowd!  And even though your wedding day is said to be all about you (and I guess the dude saying “I do” too, hehe), brides still have a pull to make sure their guests all well entertained and properly taken care of.  And one of the CUTEST ways I’ve seen brides take advantage of this is by offering their guests favor sunglasses to wear throughout the ceremony! 

I mean, helllooo???  How can you not absolutely adore this idea?!  The play on words here alone is worth the favor… **Don’t get blinded by our love **Our love’s so bright, you gotta wear shades **Take a pair for the love we share… oh, you get the idea :)

And not only do the shades provide a suitable service during the ceremony, they can provide an even more fashionable one after.  Simply, watch as your guests have fun sporting them during the reception, dancing the night away to “I wear my sunglasses at night,” making funny faces in the photo booth or simply posing Joe Cool for pictures.  Check out below and see what I mean:

photos courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) ispwp.com, mebophoto.com, weheartit.com, sunglasswarehouse.com, headvsheart.com, weddingbee.com, leafophoto.com, disneyweddingsblog.com and greenweddingshoes.com