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I did a short stint as an intern at one of the bridal mags in my post-college/pre-real world days and completely and totally loved it. Obviously. While I was there, I had to file my way through countless stationary samples from invitation companies hoping to be featured in the next big article on paper goods. I’m a pretty simple girl, so it’s tough for me to differentiate between all the loopy, letterpress that’s out there, but there’s one thing I totally fell in love with while I was there…custom wedding maps.

I know they’re not SUPER necessary. But they’re kind of great. Especially if you’re having a destination wedding where most of your guest have no idea where to find you, the happy couple, the hotel their staying in, or the nearest happy hour.  If you have the funds to splurge on one more thing to shove into your envelopes…opt for these, and if there happens to be no more room left in those envelopes, they also fit nicely and look great in welcome baskets for guests upon arrival.

Calligraphics, on Etsy does custom drawn and digitally colored custom wedding maps. The price varies depending on the number of details you want to include and how many you’ll need. It’s best to contact them directly to discuss.

Custom Wedding Maps- Calligraphics- Etsy

Custom Wedding Maps- Calligraphics- Etsy

For this custom map design it’s $25 and printing is either additional or on your own accord. Again…check with the seller at checkout.

GoAgainstTheGrain Custom Maps- Etsy

GoAgainstTheGrain Custom Maps- Etsy

Laura Hooper Calligraphy and Lucky Orchid Invitations are Etsy sellers that offer some of the best custom wedding maps I’ve ever seen. She offers 100 custom drawn maps for $415 and for $150 you can have you map enlarged to a watercolor painting.

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations (front)

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations (back)

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations (back)

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations- Etsy

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations- Etsy

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations - Etsy

LH Calligraphy & Lucky Orchid Invitations - Etsy

Mira Aster is one of the most amazing wedding invitation designers around, and her work has been featured just about everywhere.  They’ve been doing custom hand stitched invitations since 2000 and for some seriously incredible wedding maps Mira Aster teams up with the unbelievable Stephannie Barba of Couture Maps. Design starts at $400 for one color, but each order’s cost is different based on what you’re looking for as far as printing, paper and design go.   To get an estimate for what you’re looking for go to their order page and fill out a form to see what kind of cash you’re gonna have to lay down to get these in your possession.  Samples are available for $10 in the US and $15 internationally.

Couture Maps with hand stitching by Mira Aster

Couture Maps with hand stitching by Mira Aster

Couture Maps by Stephannie Barba

Couture Maps by Stephannie Barba

Couture Maps by Stephannie Barba

Couture Maps by Stephannie Barba

If you don’t have the funds to pay someone else to draw, paint and print your beautiful wedding maps, make your own! There are plenty of DIY templates out on the web, or you can get someone with some serious artistic ability to draw them for you and then scan and print.  Wedding Mappers offers custom DIY Map Guides so you can create your own map right online with icons and styles that match your wedding!

My love affair with Froof continues…

I’m all for letting your bridesmaids carry whatever bag they want on the day of your wedding, but how cute are these clutch/wallet/cosmetic case bags from Made by Hank.   They are of course one of the many talented Etsy vendors, and I am a big fan of the froof on the bags! Fill it with some of your favorite makeup and skin care products and tuck it into an adorable welcome basket for the bachelorette, shower or wedding weekend for your bridesmaids, or buy each of your lovely ladies their own personal color as a thank you! Plus they are completly unique and totally affordable!

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20 (back side of pink bag)

Made by Hank- Etsy $20 (back side of pink bag)

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $20

Made by Hank- Etsy $18

The wedding cake is so often a detail that is pined over by the bride and groom, but I’ll be honest here… A lot of people don’t even eat the cake.

I know! It’s so much money, there are so many choices… blah blah.

But some people ( your college roommates) are  too busy throwing elbows at the bar and gettin’ down on the dance floor to worry about red velvet vs. carrot.

BUT I know… some people eat the cake.

Personally, I just think it looks pretty…

So I wanted to give you some of my favorites as inspiration for whimsy and excitement in the dessert department.

So with that said… let there be cake.

Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo's courtesy of Brides.com

Photo's courtesy of Brides.com

Photo's Courtesy of The Knot

Photo's Courtesy of The Knot

There are SO many different kinds of cake toppers out there for the newly engaged to choose from. I feel like it’s a detail that’s often left until the end, or is left up to the bakery as an afterthought. I have to say though, after watching one too many episodes of Ace of Cakes, you can get some pretty bad ass cake toppers that say a lot about you as a couple and wow your guests.

I have a total love affair with Etsy so when it’s time to buy anything I ever need I always start there. It’s unique and beautiful and the odds that you’ll be the only one in possession of it at your given event…way better than if you go the department store route.

Goose Grease DIY Cake Toppers

Goose Grease DIY Cake Toppers $10

These DIY cake toppers from Goose Grease are SUPER Cute and you can make them look however you want! I love them. AND they are so, so affordable at $10. Plus the decorating options are endless! But if you don’t trust your own artistic abilities let the professionals handle it and just send them a photo to customize hair and clothing for your big day!
Look what Goose Grease has done with their custom designed cake toppers so far!

Custom Cake Toppers from Goose Grease $60

Custom Cake Toppers from Goose Grease $60

Custom Wedding Cake toppers from Goose Grease $50

Custom Wedding Cake toppers from Goose Grease $50

Custom Cake Toppers from Goose Grease $55

Custom Cake Toppers from Goose Grease $55

Also this Wedding Cake topper from Miss Avocado on Etsy is ADORABLE. It’s so vintage and so different not to mention completely creative!
Plus available in two of my favorite colors! Pink and Green!

Miss Avocado Vintage Cake Topper $45- Etsy

Miss Avocado Vintage Cake Topper $45- Etsy

Vintage Cake Toppers from Miss Avocado $45- Etsy

Vintage Cake Toppers from Miss Avocado $45- Etsy

Cotton Bird Designs has beautiful hand crafted cake toppers made from linen, cotton and lace.
And if traditional isn’t really you’re cup of tea check out all of the beautiful designs they have to choose from! They have word birds, map birds, linen birds, cotton birds, music birds…and the list goes on and on! Check them out!

Cotton Bird Designs Sculpted Bird Cake Toppers $130- Etsy

Cotton Bird Designs Sculpted Bird Cake Toppers $130- Etsy

Ann Wood Handmade Designs is another one with seriously beautiful fabric cake toppers! There are birds, yes, but there are also “other creatures” like owls I think…but the best part is that Ann names them all! So the “sweethearts” that she has have names like Bess and Ollie, Pearl and Teddy, Clementine and Harper and my personal favorite Roslyn and Schefield.  Right now her “sweethearts collection” is completely sold out. So keep an eye out for new items and buy when you have the chance! Plus you can check out her blog and see her work in progress and get updates when new items are available. Her work is truly amazing.

Roslyn and Schefield $270- Ann Wood Designs

Roslyn and Schefield $270- Ann Wood Designs

Eve and Thurston $280- Ann Wood Designs

Eve and Thurston $280- Ann Wood Designs

Oil Painta another Etsy shop has some really great custom cake topper options too that are whimsical and fun and very, very you! She’s taking orders for Spring and Summer weddings now.

Custom Cake Toppers from Oil Painta $100- Etsy

Custom Cake Toppers from Oil Painta $100- Etsy

Custom Cake Toppers from Oil Painta $100- Etsy

Custom Cake Toppers from Oil Painta $100- Etsy

The other thing to do is ask around in your family. There are probably hundreds of heirloom materials that could be worked into DIY cake toppers at your wedding to make it both simple, sophisticated and meaningful. Craft stores are LOADED with things to create and make. Go easy on the be-dazzler and don’t let it cross over  from DIY to DIY disaster. There’s a fine line.

New bridesmaid dresses from Ann Taylor for Spring 2009. I for one am very happy the Ann Taylor dresses are back! (Even if they are a little bit more expensive than they used to be.) They’re still very chic, simple and elegant.

Ann Taylor Weddings & Events

From Left to Right: Iridescent Dupioni Dress by Unger for Ann Taylor $229, Crossdye Dupioni Flower Sash Dress $199,  Karen Crossdye Dupioni Dress with Charmeuse Waist $199

Courtesy of Brides.com

Courtesy of Brides.com

Well ladies there’s finally something practical to do with that closet full of taffeta and satin.  Modern Bride is partnering with Planet Hope for a rockin’ day of beauty, shopping and fashion all to benefit Planet Hope!

Planet Hope is a charity created by sisters Kelly and Sharon Stone to provide hope for a better life by offering new clothes for kids, counseling and image makeovers for homeless women and women who have been victims of domestic violence.

If you’re based in the NYC area ladies, an old bridesmaid dress is your FREE ticket into the Hammerstein Ballroom for Project Bridesmaids on Saturday, March 7.

RSVP here and enjoy a fun filled day with your friends for a very worthy cause!

Some lovely “reds” in honor of Valentines Day and looking forward to Spring…as always

Photo's Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo's Courtesy of Brides.com

Ok. As most of you know I was way excited to see He’s Just Not That Into You. What I forgot is how annoying the movies in Manhattan are. I mean…this was absurdity at its finest.

So my cousin and I went and saw this movie with about 200 other people in Manhattan at a 10pm show. THE MOST OBNOXIOUS PEOPLE IN THE WORLD sat next to us. I mean come on. In my imaginary blissful version of me going to see this, I had not accounted for them.

A couple, he seemed genuinely unhappy to be there and laughed only at the parts of the movie that made the women look ridiculous. At one point he turned to his girlfriend and said, “Glad to see this all first hand.” Seriously?

They each came prepared with JUMBO buckets of popcorn, and a drink that was EMPTY by the end of the movie, so yes, please stop trying to get anything else out of it…

You would have thought this man was digging for gold in his bag of popcorn. Seriously. I’ve never heard a paper bag make so much noise in my life. And apparently his little lady was sitting too far away from the speakers because any time anyone would say something in the movie, I got this, “Wait what did she say? Chocolate and what? Ice cream and what?” RIBS! I wanted to scream she said RIBS. STOP CHOMPING ON YOUR POPCORN AND LISTEN!

And at one point, the guy fell asleep. HA. He feel asleep at He’s Just Not That Into You. I mean…come on. Take a hint honey.

“Are you sleeping? Hello? Are you sleeping during the movie?”

I can’t make this stuff up. I swear.

The other funny thing about going to the movies in NYC is that the ENTIRE audience feels the need to react OUT LOUD en MASSE. It truly is hilarious.

You’ve ALL seen the preview for this movie. Everyone knows that Bradley Cooper is led astray from his beautiful wife played by Jennifer Conelly and ends up in the pool with a neked ScarJo in the pool.

Well…you’d have though something completely unexpected had happened when this scene arrived on screen. A gasp swept across the theater. Really? You didn’t know this was going to happen? Whenever anything remotely cliche, predictable or to terrifying to watch happened, there was a slow murmur of “Oh No…mmmm hmmmm….what an idiot” that filled the theater. Everyone in that theater has been as stupid as one of these characters once in their life, and if you say you haven’t you’re a liar who doesn’t have friends. But it was like those old episodes of Mystery Science Theater- where those 2 guys sit in front and comment on the movie. It was like that, but there were 200 people talking.  So distracting, yet utterly hilarious.

On a side note the movie actually was good. It was a little bit strange in that it reminded me of the very first episodes of Sex and the City when the camera panned away from the main characters and instead sought advice from random individuals on park benches or in restaurants. The trailers give away almost all of the wit and humor, which left the rest of the film feeling a little bit depressing at times, which was definitely not what I signed up for.

Ginnifer Goodwin plays a great crazy and in my humble opinion is a really sensational actress. She and Justin Long are really wonderful in this and along with the Jen/Ben story line really were the all-stars in this. My poor cute little E from Entourage. Man, he got done up to look a mess in this. He is the only guy in this film who doesn’t realize that his girl (ScarJo) is just not that into him. Quite the twisty. I still love Kevin Connolly though.

Also… this to me seems worth mentioning. The ScarJo/Bradley Cooper Office scene…seemed strangely grabby for the on screen PG-13 world. Strangely uncomfortable, but maybe that was the point.

At any rate it’s definitly worth seeing. Choose your seat wisely, and spread out.

I can’t take any credit for this, but that’s ok.

This is a fabulous find from Ariel over at Off Beat Bride, and I’m totally obsessed.

Ok sorry.  Super 8 film is so much more magical and incredible to watch than plain old digital video. Boring. Remember film…it was like what the beginning of The Wonder Years looked like. Old crackly film catching all of the raw and true beauty of emotion and love. Wouldn’t you rather remember your wedding like that?!

Hello Super 8 is based in New York and London, but they often travel all over the country to shoot weddings. They have an incredible Guest Book video, (which is totally my photo booth obsession in motion), which is set to probably the best song ever. If you don’t know it… again there is a hole in your childhood that you must be patched immediately. Check out the complete post at Off Beat Bride for more on Hello Super 8.


As everyone pinches their purse strings and adjusts to our not-so-hot economic climate, wedding goers can expect some changes in the air.


Smaller weddings with fewer guests

This is especially true now. The best way to cut your budget is to cut your guest list first. That way you can still treat your guests to a beautiful wedding with the unique and wonderful things you want without blowing your budget.


Destination weddings or destination type weddings closer to home

Again… your guest list can seriously shrink with destination weddings. People simply can’t afford the travel, hotel accommodations, gift…the list goes on for everyone they know. Your closest friends and family will make the trip, the others will skip but still send a gift. It’s a win-win.

More green and eco-friendly products and services
Green weddings have crossed the trendy threshold and are now in a full blown category as more and more people strive to live more sustainable and eco-chic lives.  Because of this, the “green wedding” has gone mainstream and vendors are tweaking existing services to accommodate the environmentally friendly couple.

Simplified decorations, centerpieces and wedding invitations
We’ll see a step back toward sweet and simple as people continue to have beautiful weddings without the fuss and fluff. This means simple yet elegant and budget friendly centerpieces alternatives and DIY invitations and decorations. More of that to come.


Increased use of online RSVP’s vs. traditional main-in RSVP’s

We’ve had this discussion already. But I for one feel there are ways to cut paper, postage and the killing of trees for some of your invites including the bachelorette, the shower and maybe even the wedding depending on what kind of party you’re planning to throw. Although I have to say I still really love a real paper invite. You can always do recycled.

Buffet Meals, Hors D’oeurve and cocktail receptions
Opting for one of these budget friendly options eliminates the stuffiness that can accompany a sit down dinner, and if done right can make for a really great party atmosphere with tons of dancing, mingling and snacking throughout the night! These are especially great for outdoor receptions! The possibilities are endless!

Cheesecakes, cupcakes and miniature desserts
Again. I’m a cupcake whore and I think having them at your wedding is an excellent alternative to pieces of stale cake that often go uneaten because the dance floor is full.  For go the cake. Downsize to miniature versions that look beautiful set out, and won’t cost you the farm.

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