Monday, June 28, 2010

An Alternative to Wedding China

So, I love wedding china. When I was little, I'd look at my Mom's china dreaming of the day when I'd get my very own set. I couldn't wait to get to go and pick out my own pattern. To this day I still want my own set even though I know that it's completely impractical and will probably never get used (I'm too lazy to hand wash it). And honestly? I'd be just fine with letting it sit on display in a china cabinet with no intention of ever really using it.

Most couples nowadays aren't registering for fine china, but still want something nice to serve their guests with on holidays, dinner parties, and special occasions. So here is the compromise and meeting in the middle: everyday china. My Mom had a set that we referred to as the "old lady dishes" beacause they were pastel colors. We've gotten more use out of it than the fine china. I mean, who REALLY wants to hand wash dishes while in a turkey-coma?

Here are some more economical ways to get a more formal look from sets that can withstand daily or bi-yearly use.

For the Traditionalist:

If you still want the elegant look of fine china without the hassle, the Fleur de Lys dinnerware set from Anthropologie (pictured above except for large serving plate in the middle(that's Juliska)) is perfect. I absolutely LOVE it- if I didn't have to worry about paying bills and saving to get my own place, I'd go out and get the whole set today.

For the Middle of the Road person:

If you don't want your china to look stuffy but still want a look that is classic, opt for a punch of color. The Fiesta dinnerware is perfect for this and gives you a couple of options. Option 1: Coose 2 complementing colors and use one as the base color and the other as an accent color. In other words, register for all of your dishes and salad bowls in the chosen base color and register for items such as the gravy bowl, pitcher, chargers and butter dish in the chosen accent color (you could use the 2 colors pictured above- Dillard's did a similar combo with Cobalt Blue as the base and Shamrock as the accent color). Trust me, this looks really good together especially when you add in option 2. Option 2: Follow option 1 and then add a bit of elegance by registering for a silver serving platter and salad bowl. If you really want to "kick it up a notch", monogram your serving platter. (images below via Dillard's)

Option 3: For those of you on the more adventurous side, get a place setting in every different color (or at least the ones that look good together).

For the Bohemian or Artsy person:

Hand-painted ceramic dinnerware. While visiting the Amalfi Coast on a trip to Italy, I fell in love with the local ceramics and pottery. The beautiful, bright colors are cheery without being too overpowering. And apparently this look is all the rage- it was all over Anthropologie when I went last week. I found the set below online from a store on the Amalfi Coast called Il Ninfeo.

Mix and Match!

The possibilities are endless... Get solid colored chargers, pitchers, and serveware and pair it with the hand-painted dinnerware and vice-versa. You can even use a more neutral serving platter like the one from the Fleur de Lys collection with the hand-painted stuff. Just make sure that you have a few "anchor" pieces to keep it from looking like you have inherited every one of your relative's dinner and serving sets over the past 20 years.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


These Japanese lantern columns are simply stunning. Don't you think?

They'd be perfect for a garden or beach reception and even as decorations for the actual ceremony. The best part? They're fairly easy to make- all you need are Japanese lanterns, long dowels and strings of lights. You can find directions here on Martha Stewart's website.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What a Cute Idea!

"Breakfast at Sunset" reception- Go to Green Wedding Shoes for all the delicious details!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Father's Day for Brides Part II: Ideas

Sorry this is so late getting out- I've been dealing with computer issues over the past couple of days.....

Ok, so my Dad continually says that he can't wait to get rid of me- my parents have even plan to high-five when my Dad goes to sit down with my mother after he's given me away (they saw it on America's Funniest Home Videos and thought it was hilarious). But I know when the moment comes for him to walk me down the aisle, he's gonna turn into a big softie and I might even get a tear out of him. Because despite his tough exterior, I will always be his little girl- the one he protected and made constantly sure I was happy and comfortable. Which is why i feel that it is important to let your Dad know just how much you care about him on your special day- even if it's as simple as a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Let's take a walk....
Ok, so this is the obvious one- having your Dad (or father-like figure) walk you down the aisle. I think that this could be made even more special by the bride setting a aside a moment in private before the wedding to ask her father to walk her down the aisle. I feel that this shows that you cared enough to set aside a special time to ask him for the honor. Obviously, if the person who is walking you down the aisle isn't your father you will need to make sure that they know they are the ones you want to have the special honor. In, this case (and if you have this type of relationship), tell them why they are special to you and that you have appreciated the role that they played in your life.

Giving away....
I know most girls now balk at the idea of being given away since the ritual began as women being given away as "property". But I don't care! I want to have a big deal made out of my Dad giving me away- including the pastor saying "who gives this woman to this man?". Before you decide to never read this blog again, let me explain. Yes, this practice may be archaic, but I feel that over the years it has come to mean something different. In my case, my Dad is the one who provided and took care of me both financially and emotionally (as well as my mom). He worked extra hours to make sure I had the best and always had my best interests at heart. I feel that making the "giving away" apart of the ceremony is like a sign of respect- the final blessing that your parents give you of their hopes for success with your new husband and that he will provide for you just like they have (but in the role of a husband, not a parent). This is by no means to say that we are wilting flowers that need a man to do everything for us. Trust me, I'm one of the most independent girls out there. That's how my parents raised me and D knows I can function just fine on my own without him. I choose not to because of the love, joy and support that he brings itno my life. Marriage is a partnership.

*Sorry, I went off on a bandwagon there...*

Dear Sir....
Write a quick letter to give to your Dad/ father figure on the day of the wedding. It can me as simple as writing about a special memory that you have together or a more detailed affair that lets him know how much you love him and appreciate everything he's done for you.

Picture This....
Frame a picture that you like of the two of you together to give him. It's something that he'll always be able to keep and treasure for years to come.

Bottom Line? Do something for your Dad on the day of/day before your wedding (yes, even though you'll be super-swamped w/ last minute details).It'll mean a lot to him that you remembered him on the day that you're going to start your life with a new man (at least in his eyes), your husband.

Father's Day For Brides Part I: Reflections

My graduation trip to NYC. My Dad's great-grandfather came through Ellis Island.

With Father's Day this weekend, I decided to dedicate this post to remembering your dad/father figure during all of the wedding planning and the day of the big event. Part I will be about me and my relationship with my Dad and what he means to me (hopefully you'll be able to relate). Part II will consist of ideas and ways to let your father that although a new man (your soon-to-be husband) will be coming into your life, he will not be forgotten and how much you appreciate all he has done to help make you into the person you are today.

I wholeheartedly believe that when we are looking for a mate, we look for similarities in them that our fathers have (and yes, things we don't like lol). I know that i could not have chosen such a wonderful person if not for the example that my father set for me. When I look at D, I see so many of the qualities that I admire and respect in my Dad. D is hardworking, passionate, driven and will always put me and our family first- just like my father. They also share a love of aviation- purely coincidence(although I think it's funny that both my Mom and I ended up with pilots). Now, my father isn't one of those that tells me I'm his little princess all the time and I definitely don't have him wrapped around my little finger- he's on to me lol. He calls me out on stuff and while I wished he would've lightened up at the time, I realize in retrospect that he was preparing me to be self-sufficient and responsible and didn't want to me to fall flat on my face when I joined the workforce and got out on my own. One of the things I hated most when I was growing up is when I'd come home and tell him "Billy said in school today that he dug a hole so deep that he could see China on the otherside." He would stop me and say, "Let's go back and think about this logically..." and then he'd make me answer questions that he knew would point me to the conslusion that there was no way Billy could have actually done this. In the end I'd throw up my hands and give a big huff and say, "Can't you just go along with it?". He never did, and still to this day uses this technique on my younger brother. Of course now, it just makes me laugh- because it's always funnier when it's not happening to you,right? What I realize now is that he was teaching me not to believe everything I was told and how to think for myself - probably one of the most invaluable lessons a person can learn.

For those who are probably now starting to think that my father was only there to point out my errors, stay with me for a minute. My Dad has always been dedicated to us. When I started taking tennis lessons in elementary school and played on a team in middle school, he would always take me to the tennis courts and play with me to help me improve. When I was learning to drive, he would take me driving after he had just gotten in from a trip and had less than three hours of sleep in the past 24 hrs. (he's a pilot). My mom eventually had to take over, because having a former flight instructor teaching you how to drive is only an experience that can end badly. But even while I dreaded driving with him (even to this day) I always felt bad because he had been to willing to take the time to teach me- even when a nap sounded much more appealing. Also, despite his crazy schedule, he has made it to all of the recitals, school plays and graduations (5th grade, 8th grade, high school and college). As long as I told him in enough time, he would rearrange his whole schedule to be there for something that was important to me. And on the few occasions that he was not, he made it up to me big time. Like when he wasn't there for the actual day of my 16th birthday he drove 4 hours up to Aspen while on a trip in Denver to take me and my friend to a really nice restaurant while we were there on a church ski trip. My father has shown his love to me through his actions- which is proably one of the best ways in my book to let me know he cares since "actions speak louder than words".

While my Mom may have been the main one I went to about the latest drama that happened at school or when I needed comforting or to compain about something, my Dad always came through for the big stuff. Like break-ups or the time my date a dance thought the dance was on a Sunday instead of a Friday. I had spent that whole day decorating the gym scince I was on SGA and was really proud of it. My Dad gave me a big hug while I cried and then asked me if I really wanted to go with the guy (after I called him, he'd offered to come and go with me). I said no and he told me I didn't have to go with him and to find a different costume to put on so I could get to the dance. This was for Sadie Hawkins which was more like a costume party for us so I grabbed a pink dress with a bubble-hem bottom and emerged from my room as Paris Hilton *Disclaimer: This was before any of the sex-tape scandal business or her being notorious for going to events sans-panties. Back when she was just a plain old socialite (oh and I had blonde hair back then)* I came out to the kitchen and my Dad had made a sandwich for me (it was too late to go meet my friends for dinner) and scolded me for not being able to find a stuffed dog that I could pass off as Tinkerbell. In fact, that ended up being the question of the night- when I'd tell someone who I was, they'd say"where's the dog?". That's another thing- my Dad is always right- I think he and God have some kind of pact....

I have been so blessed to have two wonderful parents, but especially a Dad that loves and cares for me so much. I love you Dad!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Peach Inspiration Board

Those who know me know that I'm obsessed with MAC makeup. I love their new summer collection, To The Beach- especially their eyeshadow color called "Firecracker". Playing with my new eye makeup inspired me to put together a peach inspiration board.

The dress is by Romona Kevesa, the ring plate is from Paloma's Nest and the earrings are by Dana Rebecca Designs (images courtesy of I found the gorgeous chocolate brown cake accented with peach roses on The Knot. Hope you enjoy!