Know: Peonies, ranunculus, roses ….

Now a days, most people see something gorgeous on pinterest (not hard to do), put it on their wedding board, show it to their florist, and then are surprised at how expensive it is.  If you’re like us, you don’t know everything about flowers (hence how you got into this expensive conundrum).   Well, we have a secret to share with you: neither do your guests!
They cannot tell the difference between flowers!  And no one except yourself and your wedding party is getting up close and personal with them.

pretty pink peonies

pretty pink peonies

Many a bride finds herself infatuated with the gorgeous peony – I would put a wager on it winning “most popular” in the high school called Bouquet.  So since peonies are one of our favorites (and let’s be honest, most people want them), we thought we’d introduce you to some of their spiritual sisters, since peonies can’t fit everyone’s budget or season. These are just a couple of the peony look-a-likes to get you started.

cabbage rose

cabbage rose

chrysanthemum

chrysanthemum

dahlia

dahlia

garden roses

garden roses

ranunculus

ranunculus

spray roses

spray roses

There are TONS of options out there that make gorgeous bouquets, so be sure to have a chat with your florist and be open to her ideas.  The key here is trust: so make sure you hire someone you are completely comfortable with to make creative decisions for you.  And as always, PLEASE, do not try this on your own.  Consult a professional, your mom and aunts and bridesmaids and everyone will thank you (they were just being polite when they said they’d help you with them if you wanted to DIY). This is your wedding, enjoy the day!  Let someone else do the dirty work 😉

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Admire: Paris

Bonjour belle lecteurs!

After a whirlwind week in Paris, I came back admiring and in love with the french lifestyle.  From the chewy macaroons to the ornate, art deco style, how could you not be inspired by beauty that is completely contradictory to our homeland, the US?  It is travel that inspires us to keep coming up with new things, and this trip was no different.

The architecture, the history, the cuisine and the fashion; that Paris is a hot spot for calling trends is no mystery.  Here are some of our favorites from the quick whisk away to Paris!

(fashion: elie saab spring 2014 during paris haute couture fashion week)

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Know: Wedding Guest Attire

“What do I wear today?”

Everyone is plagued by this question every day… but when it’s time to dress up for a wedding, it seems like the question is ten times more daunting than usual. So many more follow-up questions arise quickly: Where is the ceremony? Where is the reception? What time of day are we arriving? Is anything outside and what is the temperature? Does the invitation say anything?

These are of course important questions that will hopefully lead to the perfect wedding day outfit. But here are a few additional tips that might make creating your “wedding guest wardrobe” much more simpler.

Dress Code Guidelines

Some wedding invitations will cut straight to the chase and tell you what type of attire they are looking for.

White Tie: This is a rarity these days as it is the most formal of all! This requires gentlemen to wear a tuxedo with tails and a bowtie, while the ladies can go for all-out glamour in a formal, full-length ball gown with dramatic hair and makeup. It is almost like prom again for grown-ups!

Black Tie: Men still have to don those penguin suits (black tuxedos) while women can choose between a chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown.

Formal or Black Tie Optional: Men get more leeway here by deciding between a tux or a formal dark suit, while women are again deciding between cocktail dresses and long evening gowns.

Semi-Formal, Dressy Casual or Cocktail: Men can take it down a notch to a classy suit and tie (fabric and color can vary depending on the time of day), while women can bust out that cocktail dress or a fabulous and dressy skirt-top combo.

Casual: The easiest one of all folks! Men can wear dress pants with a button down (bring a sport jacket in case of a chill). Ladies can go with a sundress.

Perfect attire for Semiformal or Cocktail!

Perfect attire for Semiformal or Cocktail!

Variations

Beach Weddings: Formal beach weddings require a summer suit for the gentlemen (think linen and light) while a more formal cocktail sundress is appropriate for ladies (but you can wear sandals). More casual beach weddings will adhere to casual standards.

Theme Weddings: Yes, these do exist and are quite fun. Get into it.

Emo, Goth, or “Quirky Cocktail”: These variations also exist and can be difficult to define. Never be afraid to ask the bride or grooms for a better explanation.

Purple and casual fit the bill for an outdoor carnival wedding.

Purple and casual fit the bill for an outdoor carnival wedding.

Shoes

Always, always, always wear something comfortable. Men have it so much easier these days! Sports companies like Nike and Adidas are combining forces with amazing shoemakers like Cole Haan and Rockport to make gorgeous wingtip loafers feel like your favorite pair of running shoes. Women, on the other hand, will have to continue to search for the holy grail of women’s shoes: the pair that is beautiful, comfortable, and make your legs go on for days!  Some shoes are coming close, but thankfully wedges are now a popular and widely accepted go-to shoe for semiformal and cocktail weddings. We only request that if you are attending a beach wedding, to not wear flip-flops unless provided (or approved) by the wedding couple.

Weather Conditions

It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before a wedding, even if the entire shindig is taking place indoors. We’ve seen unexpected thunderstorms nearly ruin chiffon dresses, gorgeous stilettos marred by golf course mud, and a few great wet-dress-shirt-contests for men without jackets.

Color

Colors can actually be a difficult thing to judge for a wedding. It’s best to stick with neutral shades (you don’t want to be the neon standout in group photos!) like black, navy, or soft pastels. The wedding invitation might give you clues on the actual wedding colors so you don’t end up looking like a member of the bridal party.

But we at CLD can unilaterally and universally agree on the #1 RULE of dressing for a wedding (especially women): please, please, please do not wear white. This includes bright white, cream, off-white, ecru, or white with a different color print on it.  You also do not get to cover it up with a different color cardigan or blazer on top.  While we certainly believe that weddings never have to follow rules or traditions, this is one rule we are not going to budge on!

Happy shopping and here’s to looking fabulous at the next wedding you attend!

Wedding planners have it easy---we just have to blend in to the crowd!

Wedding planners have it easy—                         we just have to blend in to the crowd!

 

Meet: Frenzel Studios, from SoCal to Nashville

Upon my arrival to Nashville, I was overwhelmed with how many people had the same idea to move to this amazing city.  I had lived in the melting pot of Los Angeles for 12 years, so I am very accustomed to the idea of transplants, but it seems like people from all over are coming to Nashville by the truckload!

Now as you may guess, 90% of these people are coming for the music, so I was elated to meet another “bi-coastal” vendor like myself in the first month of my settling in (in case you didn’t know, Nashville is the “third coast” according to the locals).   Sarah and Derek, a fab photography duo with a team of support, were in the works of moving their business from SoCal to Nashville as well, while still working with their Cali clients.  Of course I knew that we must have so much in common, and I was right!  They moved here with their family in tow and are settling in to begin shooting a little more country and a lot of love.  We are looking forward to working together in the future.
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So meet Frenzel Studios, we know you’ll like them as much as we do!
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Indulge: Chocolate covered romance

Arguably, one of them most sensual and delicious treats during the most romantic season of the year, are chocolate covered strawberries.  Chocolate covered anything, really. That, and champagne, and we are sold on this holiday!

Whether you are going out or staying home to cook for two, we love to add a little chocolate and bubbles into the mix.  The best part is that you can make them in advance so even if you go out, they are ready to be devoured when you come home.

Get 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – morsels melt faster3 ounces white chocolate
1-2 baskets of strawberries
Bottle of Champagne!

Line a tray with parchment paper and clean strawberries for prep.  Put the chocolate in two separate bowls.  Heat in low increments of time, starting with 30 seconds, and stir with a spatula.  Dip some of the strawberries in the semi-sweet chocolate and some in white, then place on the parchment paper.  Take a fork or knive, dip it in the melted white chocolate and drizzle on top of the dark, and vice versa.  Wah-la!  Chill your champagne over night, and you have the perfect evening treat for you and your honey to enjoy!

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Inspire: Pink Ombré & Love Quotes

Valentine’s Day is only a week away, folks! CLD absolutely adores this holiday, not just because it celebrates the main thing that powers weddings (LOVE), but also because it comes with so many colors, flowers, and themes to get inspired by!

Our Los Angeles CLD office decided to host a Valentine’s Day party a little early and we actually were inspired by some of our own previous events and projects. We opted for décor that was a little rustic (mason jars), but peppy (pink ombré shades with metallic accents) and with a twist of thoughtful (by using some favorite love quotes).

Rustic: Mason jars, we could not live without you. Not only are they a key staple for storage in the kitchen (or for shaking up drinks in a pinch), but they are fabulous as flower vases. They come in so many sizes, almost any type of flower arrangement can work with them. When placing flowers around food or candles, you want flowers to be a little on the lower side so you don’t end up knocking things over! Half pint (or one cup) mason jars fit the bill beautifully, and they can be spruced up with little bits of lace, twine, burlap, or gold metallic paint (see our tutorial on painting glassware).

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White hydrangeas are great flowers for mason jars as one stem takes up a lot of room and they can be cut low.

White hydrangeas are great flowers for mason jars as one stem takes up a lot of room and they can be cut low.

Pink Ombré: One of our favorite floral pieces of 2013 was this amazing floral display on the escort card table at Brittany & Chris’ wedding at Casa del Mar. While we wish had the time and talent to put something like that together, we went the more simple and straight-forward route. We picked 3 varying shades of pink roses, cut them low for smaller mason jars, and made them the main display on the dining table.

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Thoughtful: After scrolling through our quotes Pinterest board, we decided to spread the whimsy feeling by incorporating some of our favorite love quotes throughout the party. We can’t lie, we actually have a healthy selection of chalkboards in storage to use at our weddings, so we got a little creative with some sidewalk chalk! We also printed a few of our favorites on colored heavy stock paper!

DSC_0184Here are a few more shots of the finished decor with all of our flowers and some soft candlelight.

DSC_0186DSC_0201DSC_0196 We hope this gives you a few fun ideas for your Valentines Day!