Admire: White – Not Just for Weddings!

While Breaking Bad was the hit of the night last night, there was sure a lot of good fashion on the red carpet that we couldn’t keep our eyes off of!  Of course we LOVE bursts of color in the summertime, but we are going to have a little recap of how white can be worn for any occasion, not just your wedding!

These are some of our top fav ladies dressed in white … *sigh*, beautiful dresses make us swoon!

Kristen Wiig in Vera Wang

Kristen Wiig in Vera Wang

Anna Chlumsky in Zac Posen

Anna Chlumsky in Zac Posen

Lauren Parsekian in Lorena Sarbo, with husband Aaron Paul

Lauren Parsekian in Lorena Sarbo, with husband Aaron Paul

Laverne Cox in Marc Bauwer

Laverne Cox in Marc Bauwer

Lucy Liu in Zac Posen

Lucy Liu in Zac Posen

Taylor Schilling in Zuhair Murad

Taylor Schilling in Zuhair Murad

Padma Lakshmi in Ralph Rucci

Padma Lakshmi in Ralph Rucci

Michelle Monaghan in Giambattista Valli Couture

Michelle Monaghan in Giambattista Valli Couture

Sofia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli

Sofia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli

Photo Credit and thanks go to Daily News and Vogue.

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Celebrate: Madeline & Jason

Some times “small towns,” really aren’t that small. Take our beautiful couple, Madeline and Jason. Both grew up in the town of Lancaster, but they went to opposing high schools! They met a year after graduating from high school when Madeline interviewed Jason to become a campus tour guide at UC Irvine. They bonded over both being from Lancaster, and the rest is history.

I have to admit, when Madeline first called to talk about her wedding in Lancaster, I had no idea where Lancaster was! During my first drive up north to meet the lovely couple at their venue, I was very curious as to what I would find amongst the canyons and desert terrain. And did I find a gem! Jason and Madeline were married at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History (affectionately known as “MOAH” to the locals). Madeline used to work at the museum, which made the day even more intimate and special. This beautiful venue featured fantastically high ceilings, gorgeous lighting, and amazing art as the backdrop!

Madeline and Jason were intimately involved in planning every detail, down to the gorgeous coral centerpieces and picking out the most delicious cupcakes ever from local favorite, Double D Cupcakes! I had a blast helping them bring their final details together in what proved to be a beautiful ceremony with lots of tears capped off with a night of dancing on the rooftop. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your beautiful day!

Venue: Lancaster Museum of Art & History

Photography: Candice Benjamin Photography 

DJ: Extreme DJs

Catering: Stone Fire Grill

Flowers: The Wild Rose

Rentals: A-1 Rentals

Cupcakes: Double D Cupcakes

Desserts: Carmel Pastrie’s Bakery

Hair & Makeup: Jordan Curtin

Wedding Coordinator: Christina Logan Design

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Meet: A Wedding Registry Game-Changer

Oh, wedding registries. Couples both love and fear the wedding registry. Love comes from the fact that you get to make a huge list of items you want to start your new life and home, and your friends and family generously purchase some of them for you. Fear comes from registering for too many things, for the wrong items, or the fact that you may end up with that weird butter dish you had to register for to get the cool extra gift, rather than the new coffee maker you have been lusting for. And taking the bar-code-scanning-thingy to use to your heart’s content in Macy’s is actually really fun, but quite time consuming!

But times, they are a-changing! Like nearly 90% of everything we do, registries can now easily be made through stores’ websites. This actually can be quite handy if that perfect place-setting isn’t available in your local store. And thanks to everyone’s favorite website–that would be Amazon.com people–you can now build registries full of items from a wide variety of stores. You are no longer restricted to picking 2-3 stores.

Another great new trend revolves around the simplest gift of all: cold, hard cash. Card boxes seem to fill more easily than the gift table at weddings and gift cards are sometimes the easiest option to select (especially if you waited until the day before the wedding!). We know people think you need to take the time to pick out that personal, thoughtful, “this made me think of you!” gift, but that is a really hard thing to do! Luckily, cash is no longer viewed as the impersonal gift of choice.

So, let’s combine both of those new trends–the internet and cash–and present to you what could be the end-all-be-all for wedding registries: Zola.com. This amazing little site (which is still in the start-up phases) allows you to do so many things:

  • Create the cutest little registry site with greetings and photos.
  • Add any gift from nearly anywhere: you can shop their featured items and brands or put direct links to items from any website. For other websites, Zola will pull all the relevant information and send the cash for that gift directly to you to purchase.
  • Barcode scanner. Miss the experience of finding items in store? Upload a pic of the bar code and Zola will upload the item for you.
  • Want a big ticket item? No problem. You can create “group gifts” meaning people can contribute any amount towards that item. Even if you don’t get 100% of the money for the gift, Zola will still send you the funds.
  • Want people to contribute to your honeymoon or directly to the wedding? You can make different wedding categories or honeymoon experiences for people to contribute cash funds to. Similar to Paypal, there is a small processing fee, but you can give people the option to cover that fee for you.
  • One of our favorite things: experiences. Available in a few select cities (including Los Angeles!), guests can actually purchase curated experiences or services. Cool options include cooking classes for the couple, farmers market meal delivery service, CSA subscriptions, even cleaning/painting/handyman services!
  • Makes shipping super easy. The website allows you to decide when gifts should arrive (like after the honeymoon!), and how and when you transfer funds from the website into your own personal account. Another interesting option? You can convert cash gifts into credits to use for items in Zola’s online store.
  • Gift tracking all in one place. Addresses are logged for anyone that purchases you gifts (including the group gifts), so thank you’s are a breeze!

Pretty awesome, huh? We are sorting of wishing we could re-do the registry thing now… Happy shopping!

Inspire: Painting frames for a fresh look!

If you pay attention to a lot of what we do, you’ll notice that we’re big fans of picture frames around here … Even ones that don’t have pictures in them! They are a gorgeous way to spruce up a wall or any area of your home. But frames can get expensive. We love a good Aaron brothers sale, buy one get one for a penny, if we need them in pristine condition, but often times, we go with what we can find!

It truly is endless what you can do with spray paint, goodwill and a little inspiration. Here are a few of our faves for you to take a peak at, some mirrors, some empty, some recreated for a special meaning, all kinds of ways!

Goodwill frames hollowed out for wedding ...

Goodwill frames hollowed out for wedding …

Repurposed in my house as decor!

Repurposed in my house as decor!

More of the leftover frames used as bathroom wall art :)

More of the leftover frames used as bathroom wall art 🙂

$8 on sale shadow box framed image from Michaels, remade into crayon letter for my Godson!

$8 on sale shadow box framed image from Michaels, remade into crayon letter for my Godson!

Big Picture frame Molding from Lowes that I had cut and put on the wall and then painted myself.

Big Picture frame Molding from Lowes that I had cut and put on the wall and then painted myself.

$3 picture frame from Goodwill

$3 picture frame from Goodwill

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Rusted gold hanging on my wall!

Rusted gold hanging on my wall!

mirror before paint job

mirror before paint job

mirror after painting!

mirror after painting looks picture perfect for the baby room!

Admire: Hollywood Summer Weddings!

We all know summer is the most popular time for weddings, and Hollywood weddings are no exception! It has been a summer filled beautiful weddings (and some drool-worthy dresses!) for celebrity couples all over the world, so here are a few of our favorites:

Most Luxurious: Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson

This long time couple finally said “I do” at San Ysidro Ranch outside of Santa Barbara, California. With both of their young children and a bevy of celebrities, this twosome celebrated under thousands of lights, candles and flowers. And in a custom Carolina Herrera dress no less! The bride was inspired by her favorite film, the 1998 film version of “Great Expectations” (what a wild choice!), but alas, photos are limited. We highly recommend you go pick up that issue of People Magazine because the actual photos are gorgeous!

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Photo Courtesy of People.com

Most Out-There Dress Choice: It’s a tie! Piper Perabo AND Olivia Palermo

Both of these stylish ladies rocked very unique wedding day styles. Actress Piper Perabo stunned in a metallic silver, leopard print Michael Kors gown with a yellow veil (what a combo!) during her New Orleans nuptials to director Stephen Kay. Surprisingly, with the mishmash of textures and colors, it all seems to go together! On the other hand, while style maven Olivia Palermo looked very traditional in flowy white, she revealed that this Carolina Herrera confection was actually all about comfort–she’s wearing shorts! Hard to notice those while she’s standing next to one divinely handsome groom–Johannes Huebel!

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Best Take on a Traditional Dress: Cheryl Hines

While she was marrying political royalty, Cheryl Hines went for a whimsical take on traditional! For marrying Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Hines donned a cocktail length Romona Keveza dress with strappy metallic sandals.

Photo courtesy of People.com

Photo courtesy of People.com

Best Reunion at a Wedding (and coolest cake): Dave Coulier

Weddings are always a reunion of some type–family, friends, classmates, the list goes on! But Dave Coulier can brag he had a mini Full House reunion at his Montana ranch wedding to Melissa Bring. Doesn’t John Stamos make quite the dreamy guest? To top it off, look at this unique wedding cake made by the maid-of-honor’s mom!

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Best Surprise Wedding: Naya Rivera and Ryan Dorsey

Having only recently ended an engagement 3 months prior, actress Naya Rivera shocked Hollywood by announcing she had married long time friend, actor Ryan Dorsey, in an intimate beach side affair in Cabo san Lucas. But she did manage to find the time to get her hands on a stunning, lacy Monique Lhuillier gown!

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Best Tennessee Wedding: Kimberly Perry & JP Arencibia

Hollywood even makes it way out to Tennessee, folks! Singer Kimberly Perry married baseball player JP Arencibia in Greeneville, the bride’s hometown. Celebrities such as Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton trekked over from Nashville for the fete.

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Maybe the Cheesiest, but Most Hilarious Wedding Photo Ever: Jeff Goldblum & Emilie Livingston

Yes, every wedding does have its share of cheesy and staged photos. But to capitalize on his “Jurassic Park” fame, actor Jeff Goldblum raised the stakes with this awesome pic:

dinosaur-wedding-1024And that’s a wrap! Thanks Hollywood for another beautiful summer of weddings!

 

Meet: Easy Name Change

Nowadays, we may not all change our names upon marriage, but according to our new friends, 90% of their surveyed women do. So why is it still so difficult? You’d think that there would be an easy way … Until recently, we’d say they should call each and every company to figure it out. That’s because some companies want a letter, some have forms and some can be done over the phone. Now we have a much better solution!

Easy Name Change helps with this process, I mean, the how much more obvious could their company name make it? And they try to make it an affordable service for you by giving three options ranging $19.99-$69.99. So you can go basic with them giving you forms, all the way to premium with a much higher hands-on service.

Your wedding was enough to think about, feel free to get a little help to speed things up so everyone knows your new name! They’re a new and super innovative name change service. They help you check off all the companies you need change names with, then provide you with all the forms, letters, faxes and information each company requires. And because your notifications are pre-addressed to each of your companies, you can just sign and send!

We’re pleased to be passing out a number of Easy Name Change gift cards for a limited time, so if you’re recently married, hit us up for a complimentary kit! No matter how you end up managing your name change, here are our top tips;

Name change tips

  1. Aim to get your name change done everywhere at once. If you leave some records under your old name it can be difficult if you need to prove your identity.
  2. Always book international travel under the name that currently appears in your passport. Your tickets and bookings must match the name in your passport or you won’t be allowed on the plane.
  3. Either make your own checklist, or use the interactive company selections as part of Easy Name Change’s service. This way you can be sure you don’t miss any companies.
  4. Get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Apply to your county registrar. Many states also have centralized ordering. Easy Name Change can provide you with your state’s form and explain the application process.
  5. There may come a time in the future when you need to prove who you were. We recommend keeping some copies of photo ID and SSA correspondence in your old name. Passports and driver licenses usually need to be surrendered.

Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you so you can start enjoying your new name!

Know: Have Fun!

So, maybe it’s the heat of summer (or the rain in Oregon–it was pouring during a recent CLD trip up there!)… but it seems like everyone I am meeting right now in the wedding business is stressed. Hitting their limits. And I am so sad that I have even seen a few brides about to hit their insanity stage.

We get it, we seriously do. Wedding planning is HARD (which is why you have hopefully hired an amazing wedding planner to make it easier). But we also know that even if you have a wedding planner, there are times you are going to stress and totally freak-out: you have a lot of decisions to make, you might not always get every little thing that you want, that bridesmaid might be getting on your last nerve, and oh-my-goodness can you just be married already!!! Yup, we have had that conversations with our brides and in our own minds (because we were once brides too!).

This might sound totally lame, but it bears repeating: this process is pretty fun. We can’t promise it will be fun 100% of the time (floorplans are just the worst) but the really great parts will always outweigh those moments of panic (you had the perfect excuse to stuff your face with cake at the 3 tastings your scheduled).

When in doubt or in a moment of panic, we suggest you try remembering these moments:

– When you first received your engagement ring (or you had just received an acceptance of your amazing proposal), how excited you were?

– How diving into the wedding planning process was thrilling?

– How you felt when you found THE dress??  Or THE venue? Or picked THE date??

Let those happy moments flow through you, giving you awesome energy. Just keep breathing, keep smiling and power your way through. You are bound to hit something fun soon 🙂