In the Press: INSIDE Weddings Fall 2011

As many of you know I was married earlier this year with a wonderful wedding in Hawaii. While we can't quite share the photos from that magnificent day, I am delighted to share that my beautiful bridal shower designed by Beth Helmstetter Events and captured by Steve Steinhardt Photography was featured in the current issue of Inside Weddings!


From the amazing box-mailer invitations to the delicate Parisian theme, it was truly an afternoon to cherish. Beth even arranged for the lovely Jaimi Brooks of Fiore Beauty to set-up a mini-massage and mini-mani station for the guests to enjoy! With catering by The Food Matters and a decadent chocolate cake by Vanilla Bakeshop...I was in heaven!

{yes, they were printed on tea towels!} 

There were delicious tray-passed treats to start off the late morning fete...

Followed by one of my very favorites...french toast!

 And the queen of beauty, Jaimi Brooks, showing off the mini-mani station.

Beth even used photos of Jeremy and me in the table decor!

It was such a sweet day, and I couldn't have been a happier bride-to-be sharing the excitement surrounding my upcoming wedding celebration! 

{with my sister/Matron of Honor}


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

Adventures of a (Second Time) Bride-to-Be

After a brief hiatus, I’m back…May 24, 2011

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been furiously working on my invitations because I can never leave “well enough” alone. Laura delivered the most beautiful thermograved invitations, Rsvps, and inserts, but I went a step (or 20) further.

I always wanted to do a boxed invitation to an event, but figured it’d be for one of the birthday parties for my girls. I have a love of paper (I think that’s now been firmly established) and adore details, details, and more details...so I spent a lot of time glittering, finding handmade papers, assembling, and finally boxing my Laura Hooper Callligraphy creations.

Once again, not to bore you with details, you can see the pictures below. I used large silver jewelry boxes, but when they arrived in a larger corrugated box, I noticed a few had been crushed in delivery to me. So, to be sure they wouldn’t get crushed by the US Mail after all my work, I tucked the invites into white mailer boxes.
Yes, officially call me enthusiastic about my papers. OK…obsessive-compulsive.

I hope this inspires brides to DIY; make each and every item “your own”. This was my way of setting the tone for the wedding (which I started with the Save the Dates), and I must say, set the tone I did.

I sent these out on May 23 and even the fine women at the Post Office were impressed by the packaging. I was thrilled to drop them off, finally finished with all my hard work (thank GOD there were only 52 in total!), and ready to find out who would be coming.

Many were delivered locally, so the boxes were received the following day. The best comment I heard about the first impression was “I wondered what present I got!”.

Rsvps came immediately, but trickled in (driving me crazy, of course!), and I actually had three guests email to ask if they could Rsvp via email so they could keep the whole invitation intact.

Yep, I done good.

My love of paper is my own personal inspiration to make invitations that “wow”, but it truly makes my day when people give me compliments on my work when they receive them; asking if they could keep the invite intact (one had her teenage daughter ask if she could take it to her sleepover to show her friends that weekend!) put me over the top with sheer pride in something I did with my own talent and, of course, quite a bit of help from Laura Hooper & her great team!

(a new word I’ve seen used in magazines lately)

HANDMADE CORAL PAPER: Creative Papers Online
FUCHSIA SHIMMER PAPERS & CARDSTOCK: Stardream Azalea by Gruppo Cordenon
CORAL FLAT BANDS: Options Coral 2” belly bands
SILVER PAPER: Mirrorcard
RIBBON: Options Azalea Single-Faced Satin
SILVER CORD: Scrapbook supply
FUCHSIA PAPER FLOWER: eBay or scrapbook supply
GLITTER: Stickles by Ranger in “Icicle”
ADHESIVES: Tombow Powerbond, Xyron Permanent Adhesive, 3M Foam Tape
STAMPS: Zazzle
Until next time,

“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson



Inspiration Shoot: Wine Country Elopement

Armando Martinez of Alegria Design pulled together this beautiful shoot for Santa Barbara Wedding Guide and we were more than happy to contribute! The contrast between the soft florals and black touches combined with the enchanting backdrop of Santa Ynez Inn - and voila! Romance at its finest!

Get the look with these fabulous vendors!

Photographer: Linda Chaja Photography
Planning, Styling and Art direction: Alegria by Design
Location: Santa Ynez Inn
Jewelry: 33 Jewels
Dress: La Soie Bridal
Floral and Plant Rental: Village Gardener
Hair and Make-up: Flirt Make-up {Artist - Shannon Jordon}
Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes


Inspiration: Days of Summer

Often called the "lazy days of summer", those in the wedding industry know that the summer is usually far from lazy! But as the days of summer start fading fast, and kids are heading back to school, we still wanted to share a few of our favorite "summer" things!

{Sand Dollars}

{Seashell Invites}

{and escort cards!}

{Colors that  pop ~ like orange!}


{Fan Programs}

{And of course, Hawaii!}

Here's to savoring the last couple weeks of summer!


Real Wedding: Washington, D.C.

This elegant wedding took place at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and included our white programs with gold foil and Bickham Swash Caps calligraphy.

The ceremony site was stunning!

We also provided menus that were white with metallic purple foil letterpress.

How stylish is this couple?

Photography by Jennifer Lust Portrait Design.


Destination Bride-to-Be

I have to admit it, I’m exhausted! Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on being busy, but this is definitely a different kind of busy. I set a goal for myself: create, make and pack everything for the wedding by the end of August. Of course everything is taking way longer to finish than anticipated and now I know the perfectionist in me needs to take a back seat. Thank goodness Nate has been away for work over the past couple weeks, otherwise he would have had me committed. This is me taking a deep breath because everything will get finished, my goal will be met and I will have some fun along the way.

Nate and his friends in Yosemite for his Bachelor Party  

Nate with his Best Man and Groomsmen

Keeping me sane are some incredible friends who live in the area, Marisa, Maureen, Kara, and Kat (and of course my sister). They have been an amazing support system, coming over after work and for hours upon hours on the weekends; helping me to glue and tie menus together, stuffing the welcome bags, stamping napkins, etc. While I have so many random thoughts developing in my head because I want to put so much into our wedding, they have been able to reel me in, reminding me that certain ideas are totally excessive. My family and friends are very therapeutic, thanks for keeping me on track!

Candles for the Guestbook table, they match our wedding invitations perfectly!

So far we have four fully stuffed suitcases and I am expecting to fill up three more. Sabryna and I separated everything in half and placed each half in different suitcases, just in case one gets lost. We figure it is better to have 40 dinner menus than none at all! I am keeping very detailed lists of what we have and what we can wait to get once down in Mexico. We have come to the realization that certain items will be much easier to acquire in Cabo rather than trying to lug everything down with us. Real flowers in Cabo are extremely expensive (more so than in the states, since they all have to be flown in) making the largest box to be hauled down, all of the birch wood flowers that we are using to make the centerpieces, bouquets and hairpieces. Luckily they are extremely light!

Personalized Napkins and Dinner Menus - DIY

I love the fact that we can get away with using bright colors; it’s really going to make the pictures and decorations pop.

As I wrote in a previous post, we hired a travel agent thinking it would make our lives so much easier. Unfortunately, it has turned into a bit of a headache. We hired the agent for the expertise she could provide, and after answering all of our questions with flying colors we were sold. Everything was going along swimmingly and people were very happy with her service, until a few months ago when we started to get complaints from guests who were trying to book with her. The last 20 guests to book were not happy with the service or quotes provided so they all went through other channels to make reservations. We even divulged to the agent information regarding a couple friends coming in from afar, South America and Europe, who write for travel magazines and blogs. Yep, they booked elsewhere. It’s a terrible feeling to know that our friends and family were inconvenienced.

In all honesty we gave our travel agent the benefit of the doubt, while we continued to hope for the best, telling ourselves, that everything would turn around. I started to question the deal Nate and I were getting as well after talking to two other brides who will be having their weddings at the same resort in September and November. Their rooms have been completely comped and they are bringing half as many guests to the resort (with no upfront payment for group bookings, unlike we were lead to believe). We were never counting on a complimentary room, but I decided to call the RIU corporate office and talk through the situation. They were very helpful, but there is really nothing to be done unless if we re-book everyone, which really is not an option. The travel agent decided to go through a 3rd party instead of working directly the resort which also played a part in not being able to secure the special benefits for us and our guests that were promised in the first few meetings. I have come to realize that sometimes no matter how much research one carries out, substandard service can still be had.

Obviously I do not want to end this post on a downer. So on a positive note, one item I highly recommend all destination bride and grooms provide is a welcome bag filled with goodies for their guests. Nate and I chose to go with a non-woven polypropylene bag that will make a perfect beach/pool bag which dries fast after getting wet, with our wedding logo adhered to it. We are going to fill the totes with useful items for the adults and have special fun bags for the kids.

{Tags DIY}

My favorite part was coming up with the themes for each bag insert:
In Sickness and Health…
- Tylenol, Tums, Floss, etc.
Beautify Me for the Big Day…
- Nail kit, Comb, etc.
Resort Relaxation...
- Mad-Libs, Drink Stirrer, Chiclets, Beach Ball, etc.

I really hope the huge suitcase filled with all of these items doesn’t get misplaced, haha!

Less than 2 months to go…

Lots of love,


Spotlight on: Elizabeth Anne Designs

We love the wedding ideas and inspiration that comes from Elizabeth Anne Designs and are pleased to be included in her newly revamped vendor guide!

Visit our vendor portfolio or the Elizabeth Anne Designs blog today for some swoon worth wedding inspiration!

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