courtesy of oncewed.com
Alright, ladies and gents, let’s point the pinkies outward and get classy for a moment, shall we?
<sips champagne from her Waterford crystal… and go>
While weddings have always been and will continue to be an affair for every bride and groom to plan as they see fit, there has been a definite resurgence of refinery as of recent years… and the pip pip cheerio of it all has me pleasantly surprised :) Sure, this kind of a sophisticated splendor never really went away, but one way that it’s really made an impact of late is in plated dinners at reception hall feasts.
courtesy of laynecorban.wordpress.com
Talk about decadently delightful :)
During an interview with Bridal Guide, Elizabeth Creasey of an LA based catering company, WHOA, Nelly! stated one of their current, biggest requests from Hollywood A-Listers in reference to these plated feasts is for gold silverware, suggesting a “more sophisticated” affair. Check out below for some examples of this golden boy appeal :)
courtesy of mylittleapartment.com, unitedwithlove.com and bellethemagazine.com
And if adding entree choices to your buffet free meal is an option, might I suggest you consider adding a dish that showcases either yours, his or both your cultural culinary? This is an extremely popular take for brides and grooms cross all cultures, and it adds an additional touch of sentimentality to an already beautiful occasion.
But if you’re wondering what to offer that will have mouths watering for more, why not try 2013′s go to dish wish: pork! ‘Tis true, kiddos. Apparently pork has become the go-to meat for today’s modern wedding settings. While it is one of the oldest and most commonly consumed meats all over the world, it also has the ability to be transformed into sooo many delicious dishes… so, forks up, porks up! Ha, I couldn’t resist :)
But no matter what you decide – buffet styled, plated meals, pitch in or otherwise – just be sure you make it your own :)
March 19, 2013
courtesy of netsolhost.com
Like everything else in today’s modern weddings, the shoe selection has also taken on a less traditional approach. No longer are the days of white and ivory pumps and black tuxedo shoes – oh no, my friends!
Today’s modern brides and grooms are opting on the side of trendy and leaning towards shoes that showcase their personalities. Sure, sure, everyone knows that wedding shoes with color have been around for a minute, but I’m not just talking about color. I’m talking about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g from color and comfort to crazy and charismatic.
Chuck Taylors are now the new fashion forward flats. Cowboy boots are the edgier Manolo Blahniks, and trojan sandles are the cutting edge of slip-on’s.
I’m telling you what, there just doesn’t seem to be a limit to what brides and grooms will wear… and I la-LOUVRE it!! While I was all over the idea of colored shoes years ago, I can’t help but smile when I see this trend put into action. Don’t believe me?? Just check below and see what I mean :)
photos courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) magnetstreet.com, weddingsandeventsbymuse.com, onewed.com, stephen.lovelifeimages.com, weddingallabout.com, topthiswedding.blogspot.com, hionfashion.blogspot.com, greenweddingshoes.com, bridalbuds.com (insert) and joshuagenephotography.com
April 12, 2012
courtesy of michellewellsphotography.ca
There is just something so magical about winter weddings. The crisp weather. The sparkly icicles. The slow falling snow. The dazzling night skies. It’s a perfect setting for romance, snuggling up and dancing the night away with the one you love the most.
And after looking through several of these Frosty the Snowman inspired designs – featuring intricate lighting, crystallized ice sculptures and baby’s breath centerpieces – it’s super hard for me to believe that Old Man Winter remains the least popular season to say ‘I do.’
Below are some of my favorite wintry wonders. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
A dash of twinkling baby’s breath can make all the difference.
courtesy of myweddecorations.blogspot.com
Sprinkle in snowflake lighting to really make ‘em ooh and ahh.
courtesy of eyedialogue.com
Drizzle your decor with draped crystals and create the look of poshly lit icicles.
courtesy of foreverphotographystudio.com
Sculpt an impeccable setting with ice, mini floras and fur (yes fur!!)
courtesy of bellzandwhistlezblog.blogspot
Cover up with a chic cardigan and take your gown to celebrity status.
courtesy of dressestutor.com
Or for the super sassy, try a frisky fur wrap!
courtesy of ungovernableungraceful0211.blogspot.com and Oscar de la Renta via weddinginspirasi.com
Make your cake top pop with Old Man Winter’s prettiest creations.
courtesy of thecakeblog.com
Surround your guest with chilling-inspired love from floor to ceiling — this is by FAR my fave!!!
courtesy of myweddecorations.blogspot.com (top and bottom) and brendasweddingblog.com (center)
December 13, 2011
courtesy of coutureclosetboutique.com
These days, a wedding isn’t just a brief moment in time… it’s a monumental event for the ages! In fact, I’m often reminded of a quote from Wedding Date - the 2005 film starring Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney (dream!) - when I think of just how epic some weddings have become. Shortly after Kat Ellis (Messing) arrives in London for her sister’s wedding, her mom (played by Holland Taylor) informs Kat that:
“This is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve got welcome cocktails today. Then, tomorrow’s Young People in the Park and Stags and Hens. Friday’s the picnic, then the rehearsal dinner, and since you left you no margin for jet lag, I need you to hydrate.”
Of course not everyone goes that over the top when planning their big day, but that doesn’t mean their day feels anything less than a marathon. From sun up to sun down, a bride, her groom and everyone else in between have a lot of ground to cover… and while some might say the key to duration is hydration… others are more lenient towards sustenance of the chewable variety.
And in big cities like New York, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, grub is precisely what they get! These big time metro poles are famous for their food truck industries, which they are becoming all the rage in wedding day agendas! In LA, for instance, mobile grub doesn’t get much bigger than In-N-Out Burger, which has been providing years worth of service to brides and grooms looking to keep their guests full and focused well into the night.
It’s also a great way to talk to guests you may have missed! One bride (pictured below) used In-N-Out Burger at her reception and said, “We didn’t do a receiving line at the reception, but while everyone was lined up to order their food my husband and I went down the line and greeted everyone while they waited. It worked out really well and helped fill the time that people were just standing around.”
courtesy of weddingbee.com
Love love love. Of course, there are so many other ways to keep on truckin’ even if there are no trucks.
At my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding a couple years ago, there was a break between the ceremony and reception for the bridal party to get pictures; so, while everyone else was enjoying a wide assortment of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, the bridal party was schlepping through a park trying to capture the perfect shot. Matt and Jess (the SIL and BIL) didn’t want their favorite people to suffer however and provided all of us with White Castle burgers and fries to go, as a tied-me-over ’til dinner.
You might also consider:
- Food Carts
- Hot Dog Stands
- Popcorn Machines
- Goody Bags
- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
- Late Night Pizza Delivery
- Midnight Snacks
- Homemade Treats
December 6, 2011
The gorgeous bride and her handsome groom. (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Recently I had the distinct pleasure of not only attending but also rockin’ it out as a bridesmaid at my cousin Kimberly Lynn’s wedding. Marrying the man of her dreams, the former Ms. Kidwell wed Brian Mitchell during a b.e.a.uuuutiful fall fiesta ceremony in the heartland of the Midwest. Surrounded by their closest 450 - give or take – family and friends, the duo said “I do” at Kim’s childhood parish, St. Barnabus Catholic Church on October 15, 2011.
It was a celebration for the ages, sprinkled with all things fabulous, and to say it was a joy to be a part of it all would merely be the tip of the excitement iceberg! As many weddings as I’ve attended (Kim and Brian’s marking the 50th the Mister and I have attended together alone!), it never ceases to amaze me at how original each one is… how the individuality of the bride, her groom and their families seem to take the same occasion and mark it with something genuinely unique, something uniquely them… I’m telling you, it’s something nothing short of amazeballs.
And because it’s always such an honor to be included in a celebration, I like to glorify the creativity of each by sharing it with the masses (you’re welcome, haha!) and posting it for all to see! Below are some of my favorite parts… feel free to be inspired:
Post Rehearsal / Pre-Wedding Slumber Party. Kim had all the girls over for a final Girl’s Night In after the rehearsal, and in a word, it was fantastic. Giving one of the best attendant gifts ever, we celebrated the evening by watching one part of the gift, Bridesmaids and secretly “ooh’ing and aww’ing” the other… unique bridesmaids’ jewelry – picked out by the bride herself – for us to where on the occasion. Love love love!
How much do you la-Louvre those colors together? (courtesy of Google Images)
Killer Color Combo. As sampled above with the bracelets, the colors were purple, orange and green. The mother of the bride, my fabulous Aunt Gail, is a DIVA when it comes to decor; so, there was no doubt that the wedding would be nothing short of F.I.E.R.C.E. when it came to its overall layout… and I have to admit, just looking at the floral arrangements alone, you can see just how fierce it was… Tyra Banks, eat your heart out!
And yes, that would be my bouquet barely peaking in on the right and me totally cut out. Yep, haha! (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
The Bride wore Purple Pumps. Keeping in theme with the wedding day and the trendy modern bride, Kimmi sported her best plum pumps for the occasion, and showed off her boogie shoes in style!
I wanna put on, my my my my my Boogie Shoes, and boogie with you! (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Crowd Pleasing Priest, personalized by friendship. Being graduates of the local Catholic high school (Roncalli, what?), Kim and I had the pleasure of seeing one of our former classmates (and prom kings!), Dustin Boehm, reach the high honor of joining the priesthood. Kimmi decided no other priest would do, and Dustin, errr, cough cough, Father Boehm was the one chosen to oversee the whole newlywed nuptials! He did such a Tony the Tiger GRRREEEAAAT job!
Father Boehm in person and in action! (courtesy of yours truly and photosbyjennifer.com)
Father of the Bride Speech, marked with Love. So, being a complete sentimental nut, one of my favorite parts of a wedding day is always the time honored father of the bride speech, and my Uncle Rich did not disappoint! One of the best parts was when he totaled to the years of marriage Kim and Brian had backing them between the families, and because the Kidwell side is such a force to be reckoned with… he had all of us stand up and officially welcome Brian to the fam… all 900 and couting. Haha!
Kim giving her Papa a hug after his speech, so sweet! (courtesy of yours truly!)
Ceremony Shoes + Reception Runners. Kim’s nephews, Jackson and Austin, rocked it out as ring bearers and were both equipped with wedding shoes for the ceremony and running shoes for the reception. Genius. I also like how they took it upon themselves to ditch their jackets, ties and tuxedo shirts as well. Ahhh, boys :)
Work it out, Jackson! (courtesy of yours truly)
Glorious Groom’s Cake. Vastly becoming one of my favorite parts of the reception, their Groom’s Cake was one of the best I’ve ever seen! Courtesy of Cheryl Blessing of thecakestandindy.com, K+B’s groom’s cake was representative of their hometown pride and their fanatical love for the NFL. Kim, being a born and raised Indy girl, loves the Colts, and go figure, she falls in love with a Illinois native / Chicago Bear extremist. Yep. I can hope their kids are smart enough to make the right choice ;)
Touchdown perfection! (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Epically assembled with dance circles, laughter and all kinds of greatness, I could go on and on (and ON!) about Kim and Brian’s wedding, but sadly, like all good things, this post has to have an ending. So, here’s to Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell…
As you sit side by side on the roller coaster of life, remember to scream at the peaks, hold hands through the dips, laugh through the loops and enjoy every twist and turn! We love love love you and cheers to many years of happiness!
October 27, 2011
courtesy of Gina Leigh Photography via pbfingers.com
While traditionally speaking, it’s always been said to be bad luck for brides and grooms to see each other before the ceremony, we explored the benefits of kicking this tradition to the curb in our post, Catching a Glimpse ,and choosing to have a moment prior to the ceremony for just the two of you to see and be with each other. Perks remain:
- an intimate moment for just the two of you to share without having to share yourselves with everyone else
- it not only creates beautifully candid shots of the two of you…
- but it also can create time to get some of your ”formal” wedding pictures out of the way (ie. bridal party, portraits, family shots, etc.) while everyone is at their freshest
- and finally, can make for some uniquely beautiful memories
However – and this is a HUGE however - a girlfriend of mine (wad up, Linds!) sent me a link today exploring a ‘Behind the Door’ technique, which proves brides who are both trendy AND traditional can have her cake and eat it too when it comes to this! (Sooo stinkin’ sad I didn’t think of it myself!)
The ‘Behind the Door’ technique puts you and your main squeeze right next to each other without revealing the way either one looks. How, you might ask? Well, by leaving a door – be it the one that enters into the bridal suite door or the church or wherever – and giving you a moment to hold hands, share in the moment and capture the memory… all without ever having to give up the tradition of the grand reveal!
I mean how can you not love this idea?!?! My hubs is my best friend. He’s the one I talk to when I’m extremely happy or super sad or overly worried or incredibly annoying (you get the idea); so, it was very difficult to not have him there on the biggest day of our lives to share in that time with me. Because we chose to stay on the side of tradition on our big day and didn’t see each other until my Papa walked me down the aisle — we felt it added to the anticipation and excitement of it all, we weren’t able to talk to each other :( But if we would’ve done this, we could’ve had the BEST of BOTH worlds! Check out Julie’s pics from her Peanut Butter Fingers Blog below:
courtesy of Gina Leigh Photography via pbfingers.com
July 14, 2011
It’s June 21, and for those of you who don’t know, today marks the official first day of summer! Woot, woot! That’s right. After a long, cold winter and super rainy spring, it’s time for “livin to be easy!”
And what better way to celebrate it than with gorgeous wedding photography that captures it and all its happiness? Below are some of the happiest; so, check ‘em out and ENJOY!
photos courtesy of jillsphotoblog.com
photo courtesy of weddingbellsblog.com
photos courtesy of jaggerphotographyblog.com
photos courtesy of sarahyatesphotography.com
photos courtesy of wildflowerphotos.com
photos courtesy of tinywaterblog.com
photo courtesy of everylastdetailblog.com
photos courtesy of postcardsandpretties.blogspot.com
photos courtesy of bellagracestudios.com
photos courtesy of jaggerphotographyblog.com
photo courtesy of wedding-beauty.com
photos courtesy of thesweetestoccasion.com
photo courtesy of blogbytavin.blogspot.com
photo courtesy of beccadilley.com
photos courtesy of blogbykerrie.com
June 21, 2011
My unmistakable friend, Kimmi, on her wedding day! (photos courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
This past weekend, the Mister and I had the distinct privilege of witnessing one of my favorite people in the whole world say ”I do” to the man of her dreams, and if it’s alright with all of you, I’d like to share their fairytale now…
I first met my dear friend, Kimberly Marie Kessel (now Mrs. Witchger!), freshman year of college during our four year stint at the greatest place on earth… IU Bloomington (siiiiighhhh). And after nearly nine years of friendship, I can honestly say, she was and still is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been granted on my journey.
An endearingly quirky and sincerely loyal friend to the core, Kimmi has been my greatest teacher in the meaning of unconditional friendship. She has an innate way of making everyone around her feel appreciated and needed without the lull of motive or expectation. Her giving nature knows no limits, and her selfless demeanor and unbound caring, have provided some of my life’s truest blessings.
There wasn’t a single other person on the planet that I would’ve rather spent my “No Class Fridays” with – be it on a hung-over trip to the Wendy’s drive thru, an inevitably regretful trip to the tanning bed or a simple trip to our living room couches to watch Lifetime Movies (yeah, I said it) and anxiously await the return of our other roommates from class.
Kimmi’s the kind of girl everyone could use in their life, which is why I couldn’t have been happier when I first met her match, Billiam (pronounced Bill-lum because Kimmi already had a William and Liam in her life – haha!). It was two Halloweens ago, and if seeing them paired as Harry and Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber didn’t scream “meant to be,” I don’t know what could! **That would be them on the outside, surrounding Kim’s sister, brother-in-law and nephew. (story cont’d below)
Now, my dear Kimmi has always been a creature of habit and doesn’t necessarily stray far from her comfort zone or unorthodox guidelines created, written and followed by hers truly. While some may regard the reckless abandonment of proper etiquette and rules as discomforting, I should make it perfectly clear, Kimmi and her infectious personality are the ideal exceptions that prove this very rule… she’s simply too lovable to be considered anything less. So, you can imagine all our surprise – after Billiam had been sent half way across the world to start a branch of his company in the South of China – that Kimmi was still willing to give it a go.
We all knew after Billiam popped the Q, that there was a possibility for her to move; so, as time neared their December 18th wedding, the writing became clearer and clearer and was even spotlighted during the traditional Father of the Bride speech. Mike Kessel – the ahhhmazing papa of Kimmi – laid claim to the fact that his family of four – he, his wife, Sandi and their two daughters, Dani and Kimmi – were pioneers.
While they had family all across the US, they were the first four to venture into Indiana, which transitioned beautifully into the news that Kimmi and Billiam would be using the same pioneering skills for their move to South China… China… I just keep saying it, but it still seems unreal that our little Kimmi will be 7,200 miles away!!
I mean, heck, this is the girl who would never let us say “goodbye,” because she didn’t like the permanent tone of it. Instead, we had to replace all of our goodbyes with “just one second please’s;” as to soften the blow of the time we’d spend apart. And now that our darling girl has married her Prince Charming, we’ll be provided with our lengthiest “just one second please” ever! But funnily enough, I’m not worried in the least, because after seeing the two of them grow in love, there’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that Kimmi and Billiam would be the best, most lovesick pioneers for journeying so far away!
Their day was marked by epic moments of firework displays, confetti explosions, influential nods to their Asian Sensation future, regally assembled peacock accents and an insanely popular photo booth (propped by me!), and if it’s any premise to their future, we can all look forward to a truly beautiful love story! See what I mean… how freakin’ cute are those killer kimono bridesmaid gifts?? (story cont’d below)
All the pretty ladies getting ready! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Getting ready for their official entrance as Mr. & Mrs.! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Caught in the act heading up the elevator! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Such a happy couple - makes me smile! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Confetti explosion during the First Dance - GARG! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Warmed up with love! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Ha! Cutest! (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Photo booths are genius :) (photo courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Good luck to the wonderful Witchgers! May your journey be filled with more smiles, few tears and all the love and happiness you can handle! Billiam, I know there’s no man who could possibly love our Kimmi better than you, and as Dani – Kimmi’s sister and Maid of Honor – said when she ended her toast:
As you sit side by side through the roller coaster of life, remember to scream at the peaks, hold hands through the dips, laugh through the loops and enjoy every twist and turn… We love you, and cheers to many, MANY years of happiness :)
December 22, 2010
photo courtesy of koleksifoto.com
They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck. It’s said to be a sign of cleansing, growth and prosperity for the bride and groom; so, I figure that SNOW – which is waaaay cooler and stays much longer - has to be doubly as good, right? I knew it :)
Well, even if it’s not, one thing is for sure… it makes for some in-cred-i-ble wedding pictures! And in lieu of the holiday spirit (and the fact that it was the first day for snow in Indiana – whoop whoop!), not only am I dreaming of a White Christmas, but I can’t help but to also dream of sugar plum weddings as well!
Wedding pictures in the snow – for the brides bold enough to bear the cold – really do capture a sense of magic. I mean, who remembers Phoebe Buffay’s wedding to good ‘ole Mike Hannigan on Friends??? Snooowww romantic!!! (Pun intended, haha!) Many pictures look like the pages of a fairy tale, and it’s no wonder… surrounded by crisp white and twinkling ice, any girl would look all kinds of ahhhhmazing!
Just look at these bad boys (and girls, duh!)!
photo courtesy of rebekahwestover.blogspot.com
photo courtesy of robinroemer.com
photo courtesy of grazierphotography.com
photo courtesy of kerrymorgan.com
Haha! (photo courtesy of blog.photoskill.biz)
photo courtesy of manolobrides.com
photo courtesy of english-wedding.com
December 1, 2010
‘Cause after the show it’s the (after party)! And after the party it’s the (hotel lobby)!
What? Don’t even act like you weren’t all about R. Kelly’s ”Remix to Ignition” (hot ‘n’ fresh out the kitchen!) back in ’03 too! Just admit it… it was your ring tone, wasn’t it? I knew it.
Aannnnyyyyhoot, it would appear that the talented (be it somewhat troubled) R&B singer was right on track when it came to forecasting wedding trends – even if he was amiss to any others, hehe! Because these days, most matrimonial milestones are all about the After Party – duh!
Trending toward the wedding world for several years, the formality of wedding after parties is more than likely the genetic offspring of their previous, less formal counterparts. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please let me reassure you… you do. In fact, you’ve probably been a part of one yourself!
Because be it the low hum from one or the loud roar of several, there always seems to be a stable group of guests that long to keep the party going well after the curtain closes on the reception. This is most often times represented by the incessant, borderline frenzied streak of “Hey! Where are you going!!?!” questioning.
Recently, the Mister and I attended a wedding in Chicago – shout out to Alex & Tay, whoop whoop!…
Don't even act like Tay's not the cutest thing you've ever seen, love her! (photo courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)
- and I have to take my hat off to them both. (Tip to Tay. Tip to Alex.) The day was absolutely GORGEOUS and to date, contained the best wedding speeches and toasts I’ve ever heard – excluding my own of course, but that could be me just being partial :) But alas, I should’ve known their day would be epic when I received their invitation in the mail, containing detailed instructions for the following 3 wedding ingredients:
- The Ceremony
- The Reception, and (drum roll, please)…
- The After Party!
That’s right, my little chick-a-dees: a formal invite to a party after the party! La-LOUVRE it! The Groesbecks did such an amazing job about making their wedding day an event for everyone. They took their time to plan and truly considered their family, friends and loved ones on the day of their day of “I do’s;” which after being fortunate enough to experience firsthand, I can honestly say I felt honored to be included… and mostly because they made it their honor include everyone.
Taylor and Alex really relished in the excitement of having all their friends and family in one place celebrating; so, it was obvious they wanted to make the most of it. Because when you think about it, how often do we get bogged down by conflicting schedules, growing (or declining) careers, doctor’s appointments, ballet recitals, play rehearsals, sport’s team practices or “I gotta go here’s” and “Can’t make it there’s??” My guess is pretty often, which makes it even harder to gather and rally the troops whenever the mood strikes us and even better when we can.
Then, it dawned on me (ding!); of all the weddings I’ve been to – and there’s been a few ;) - this was the first one I’d ever attended where the invite included a formal declaration of where everyone could go when the DJ’s done spinning and the caterer’s done serving!
Which is fitting, considering the majority of receptions I’ve rocked, there’s always a good amount (if not the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle) of guests who aren’t quite ready to pack up and head home at 11. In fact, I can think of several off top where the night ended with a frantic shuffle in the parking lot of people getting in and jumping out of cars, trying hard to conjure makeshift plans through broken texts and interrupted phone calls, all to (fingers crossed) end up in the same spot. I’m sure some of you reading this right now have been a part of such shuffles yourselves.
So, why not take the circus act out of the equation and give your guests a place to point their honing beacons? Seems simple enough to me! Not to mention, after parties are especially great if you have a lot of out of town guests attending who rarely have the opportunity to get together and little to no knowledge of the area.
After parties by no means are essential, but they sure can be fun! Because let’s face it, the terminology “let’s dance the last dance” doesn’t always apply to everyone, and sometimes, it’s really nice to have an encore :)
Here’s to Alex and Taylor! Thanks for being awesome people and such a fabulous inspiration station to Marilyn’s Keepsakes!
November 19, 2010