Winter Wedding Reception Trend Alert: Bring the Outside In

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This past weekend I attended a grand wedding (congrats again, Joey and Megs!) at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  Part of the historical Union Station, this black tie optional, evening event was nothing short of opulent and amazing!  Truly, it was a dream :)

I could go on and on with things I found interesting and appealing, but rather than bore the blogosphere with my rampant ramblings, I’ll focus on one trend that really stood and has been supported by the likes of David Tutera and Martha Stewart… and that’s to bring the outside world into your indoor celebration!

With outdoor and rustic weddings becoming more and more popular with each coming year, it’s no wonder that this kind of decorating detail is nothing short of HUH-UGE to winter wedding settings.  Sure, every one loves the extravagance of crystal chandeliers and dazzling icicle designs for winter’s wedded bliss, but there is a warmth and richness that comes from bringing in the beauty of nature to your big day!

While the Crowne Plaza in Union Station – a majestically reformed old train station – is already a ahhh(to the)mazing setting in and of itself… see for yourselves below :)

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Joey and Megan did a spectacular job at bringing the outside in with grand scaled centerpieces and rustic details, which paried perfectly with the old train station charm.  It was the kind of eye-catching beautiful that you would normally see in the movies.  And I mean that in the most literal sense possible: my eyes were caught and feverishly dancing from detail to detail in mad procession.

While J & M decided to bring the outside in with rustically matched decor, that’s not the only way winter brides can exploit this trend!

Consider dangling icicle lights to create either an outdoor crystallizing effect or rather, a wintery starlit sky, like below…

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Bring in branches, and create a look that has storybook fairytale written all over it.  You can even do it in HD color like a David Tutera dream…

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…orrr keep it simple, sleek and chic in all white…

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Combine one of the looks above with lots and LOTS of candles, and you’ll create a wintery look that is both merry, bright and bound to delight!

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Fill your space wisely with snowflake lighting that not only looks spectacular, but also functions seamlessly:

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But no matter what you do, just be sure to have fun with it!

Throwing a Bridal Shower for the 21st Century Bride


Let’s face it: getting married today is not like is was 50 years ago – heck, 30 years ago if we’re being realistic – and 10, if we’re completely honest :)  Brides and weddings today are no longer the cookie cutter ceremonies of our grandparent’s era – no sir!  In fact, they are very far from it.

Recently, I had the extreme fortune of being a part of such a discussion with my grandma, good ‘ole Dottie :)  Now, you see, Dottie, is from a very, very old school of thought.  Turning 87 this year, her and my grandfather have been married for 64 years!  And that, my friends, is nothing to shake a stick at!

Anyhoot, in lieu of my baby brother getting married this weekend, there has been nothing but wedding around the family water coolers, and as Jamie – the future bride-to-be – was discussing some of the final details of seating chart drama, Gramma Dottie couldn’t help but let out a large, low, long winded whistle, commenting, “Man, this sure ain’t like it used to be.  We served cold cuts at our reception, and there wasn’t all this fiddle about who could sit with whom or who was or wasn’t speaking to, for or against the other… eesh.”  Another long whistle and she was gone.  Haha!

This got me thinking about how much really has changed and how dissimilar things really are… how dynamic and different each couple’s situation is.  Today’s bride, not only comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles, but she also comes from a completely different background, school of thought and altogether situation in general.  Couples today aren’t just marrying each other, pending their age, race and religion match.  No way.  No how.  More and more couples today – in fact – are marrying who they want, how they want and when they want.

Sometimes, (Gramma, close your ears) sometimes, couples even choose to not get married at all!  Sometimes, they just live together with no deadline or direction on making it official  And when (or if) they do choose to make it official, for some, it might not be the first time they did.  For some, it might be the second or third  or fourth time around!  I think you get my point…

Marriages today are extremely unique – each providing a different situation to the next, and one area I’ve really seen this being broadcasted is in the wedding showers!  Recently, I’ve attended several of these “unique circumstances” showers, and it was very interesting the take some took.  Whether it was the couple’s second marriage or they’d already been living together or because they were getting married later in life and already had everything they needed, each shower was structured in the same uinique way as the couple, and it was very fun to be a part of!  Below are some examples:

  1. Let’s Hear it for a Holiday Theme.  I went to one shower that was holiday themed.  The couple had been living together for several years and had pretty much already established all the typical shower stuff  (ie. plates, appliances, kitchen utensils, towels, etc.).  So, they thought it would be fun to have a shower where each guest bring some sort of holiday decor — be it for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day etc.  That way, when they were decorating for all the most festive times of the year, they’d have all the ones they loved with them as well :)
  2. Looking to Build on Love.  For another shower, the bride and groom had both previously been married with children but had been living separately.  After months of searching, they finally found a home that would accomodate both families post nuptials – an old, super duper, fixer upper.  While neither one was keen on having a shower – as they both still had gifts from the first time around – their families insisted.  Hence, the Live off Lowe’s gift card shower was born!  Rather than going out and spending money on new place settings, the couple received money to go towards fixing up their new home.  Absolutely loved this!
  3. Not Big Enough for a Shower, just a Little Sprinkle instead.  (This is mayhaps my favorite!)  In this case, neither the bride or groom had been married before, but they were both in their forties, well established in their careers and home appliances.  Therefore, the couple’s friends chose to give them both a “Sprinkle” where they rented out a room at their favorite restaurant – the one where they went on their first date – and had guests bring well wishes, favorite stories or marital advice for the soon to be newlyweds.  It was sosososooo cute, and the couple really loved it!
  4. Wine  for the Win!  Okay, this was my favorite :)  Haha!  In this case, the futire Mr. and Mrs. were huge wine connoisseurs and collectors.  So, rather than have a typical shower, they threw a party for friends and family and simply asked that each bring their favorite bottle of wine to help fill their cellar with love, support and above all, the deliciousness of fermented grapes :)

So, you see, no matter what the situation, just find the one that’s right for you, and if it hasn’t already been invented, be the trailblazer and make a new one!  Who knows, you might just end up being a trendsetter too :)


Bridal Shower Alternative: Give the Couple a Proper Toasting

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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

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. ?” (

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

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 and

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

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 and

Wedding Day Must: Remember Your Favorite Faces with Pretty Panoramics

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Exclusive / Schmeglusive.

Whoever said exclusivity makes something superior is seriously mistaken.  This year, brides and grooms are taking it back to the old school (because I’m an old fool, who’s so cool… bah, couldn’t resist) with the ever famous, turn-of-the-century-inspired, all inclusive wedding portrait.

In typical watch-the-birdy fashion, couples are having their guests take a minute and say cheeeeese for the camera as a collective group.  These popular panoramics are a super fun way to remember all the people who celebrated the day you said ‘I do’… not to mention, they can make for one incredibly laughable experience!

Because the size of guest lists varies from couple to couple, it’s EXTREMELY important to keep your number in mind when creating the shot.  You need to be sure to work with your photographer and find just the right location.  Ideally, the best location would be found directly in or right next door to your ceremony site.  That way, all your guests are already together and your celebrant can inform them of the photo op before mass chaos ensues and a mad dash to the reception begins.

OBVI – the larger the number, the harder the shot; so, keep this in mind when finding your spot.  Consider areas with an aerial view or places with large staircases where guests can be staggered and tiered.  If your numbers get too high and the shot becomes too difficult, consider doing something more abstract… be less concerned about capturing every single face, and be more concerned with simply having everyone there for a more spirited shot.  Check out below for some examples :)

Take the shot from above to show some serious love :)


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Use a staircase to see every face :)

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Try something artsy… you’ll feel super smart-sy :)

photos courtesy of Google Images (top) and

But no matter what you do or if you even do it… just be sure to enjoy your day and all the people that go with it!

Congratu-gagement: Diamond Rings Ring in the New Year

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One of my favorite parts of a New Year is all the new bling that starts popping up amongst family and friends.  With the gift giving season picking in December, it’s no wonder that so many young men choose this time to get down on one knee and ask the four words so many women long to hear, “Will you marry me?”

While I love love loved everything about my wedding day, and the marriage has been one increds journey… I must confess that there was something sooo special and exciting about the planning process.  I like to tell brides it’s kind of like a 12-18 month long Christmas Eve.  With all the anticipation swimming around the talk of the big day, one can’t help but feel butterflies of excitement on the daily!  And according to, here are the top ten things newly engaged brides-to-be should do:

  1. Start a Wedding Planner.  Create a beautiful keepsake to house all your favorite engagement memories… from the down-on-one-knee story to favorite photos, inspiration ideas, to-do lists, favorite designers, venues, caterers and more!  Trust and believe, by taking a little time here and there from the beginning to end, you’ll easily have one of the best memory books evs!
  2. Plan an Engagement Party.  Whether you choose to throw one for yourself or let others take on the celebratory task, having an engagement party is a great way to officially announce your nuptials to family and friends, all while rejoicing in your love.  Plus, it’s one more reason to get out some pre-wedding partying!
  3. Pick a Date.  First things first.  You can’t start reserving venues or hiring vendors without knowing the date you’ll need them; so, be sure this is one of the first things you check off your list.
  4. Set a Budget.  Along with selecting a date, setting a budget is key in planning your big day.  After you know what kind of finances you’re working with, you’ll know what kind of wedding day to plan for.  From the most elaborate and over-the-top to the simply chic, DIY shindigs, all weddings must first start with a  feasible price tag to work around.
  5. Find a Reception Site.  Generally speaking, a couple uses over 50% of their overall budget on their reception; so, it’s important to find the one that works best for you and reserve it right away!
  6. Make a Wedding Website.  This is a great way to keep track of all your to-do’s, as well as provide information to family and friends as plans come along.  This is an especially useful tool for out-of-towners you hope to attend who will need to make transportation and hotel reservations.
  7. Consider a Consultant.  Many brides-to-be like the thought of hiring a professional to help ensure their big day goes off without a hitch, but if this isn’t in your budget, consider taking advantage of your family friends – especially moms and already wed maids – to help cross your t’s dot your i’s.  It’ll make them feel important and help take some of the stress off you!
  8. Start a Guest List.  One of the biggest factors in planning your wedding (and maintaining a budget) will all come down to the number of people you invite.  By merging two sets of family and friends, it’s important for everyone to have a voice and make sure all their A-listers are included!
  9. Find a Wedding Dress. YESSSS!  One of the BEST parts of being a bride is of course the wedding dress.  Try on lots of styles.  Search lots of websites, and have fun with it.  Most of us (hopefully) only want to do this once; so, make sure you make it count!
  10. Plan for Pro Engagement Pictures.  While the wedding day and all the days leading up to it will come and go, the photography will live on forever.  So, it’s oh so important for every couple to find their perfect photographer and get in a pre-wedding practice round with engagement pictures before the big day.  These can also be the shots your use for everything from your newspaper announcement to invites and more! 

Winter Wonderland Weddings with Snowflake & Icicle Inspired Décor

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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.

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Sprinkle in snowflake lighting to really make ‘em ooh and ahh.

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Drizzle your decor with draped crystals and create the look of poshly lit icicles.

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Sculpt an impeccable setting with ice, mini floras and fur (yes fur!!)

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Cover up with a chic cardigan and take your gown to celebrity status.

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Or for the super sassy, try a frisky fur wrap!

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Make your cake top pop with Old Man Winter’s prettiest creations.

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Surround your guest with chilling-inspired love from floor to ceiling — this is by FAR my fave!!!

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Real Life Wedding: Falling in Love is BEST Packaged by Family Fun

The gorgeous bride and her handsome groom. (courtesy of

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

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

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

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, 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

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!

‘Sprinkle’ Your Bride with Love: Bridal Shower Alternatives

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This day in age, there are all types of brides, and often times, many of those brides are second chance brides.  No matter what pomp or circumstance lead to it, there are several reasons why a first marriage maybe didn’t work out as planned, but more importantly than the reason why it didn’t is the fact that that these ladies continue to find enough faith to give it another try.  It’s these brides that I especially love… the ones who never stop believing in ‘happily ever after.’

Recently, a family friend (holler Jennifer!) got married to the man of her dreams, and even though it was her second husband, it was his first for everything; so, the sisters of said dream man wanted to spare no expense.  The dream man and Jennifer, however, had other plans in mind.  Being that they were both older and already living together AND that she already had the big, whoo-whoo celebration before, neither one felt the need to have all the hoopla a wedding can often bring.

One of the first “hoopla” items to go was the shower.  Because they already had several of your typical shower gift items under lock ‘n’ key, they didn’t find it necessary to register for a whole bunch of things they already had.  Plus, they were both already well established and struggled to combine what was already there in the first place…  But the sisters persisted and decided that if a shower was out of the question, then they wanted to throw a ‘Sprinkle’ for Jennifer instead. 

First of all, the name alone… Addddooorrrraaabbbllle… But the idea behind it???  Even cuter!  Instead of having Jennifer register at a bunch of places for gifts they didn’t need, they simply took her out to dinner at her favorite spot and showered her with well wishes, advice and sentimental gifts.  Ummm, helllooo?  Love!

And you wouldn’t even have to go out to dinner necessarily either.  You could even plan a luncheon or girls night in.  Really, the choice would be up to you!

It’s also a great idea for the non-traditional bride… or even the non-traditional groom to use.  Because Sprinkles are intended to be less formal, many couples may choose to make it a couple’s event.  This way, there’s no obligation for guests to get traditional gifts, but rather, still spend an afternoon or evening celebrating your love!  It would also work famously for older brides and grooms already living with each other, who don’t feel the need to register for new China or spatulas or couples looking to downsize what they already have.   The possibilities are literally limitless!

Wedding Day Trend Alert: Capture the Moment Without Spoiling the Tradition

courtesy of Gina Leigh Photography via

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