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So a couple of weeks ago, my recently engaged bestie, who you’ve all heard me talk about, made a visit north to the big bad city for some birthday fun. When we realized that J.Crew was having a Weddings & Parties Showcase and sample sale just blocks from my apartment, I casually suggested dropping by for a “quick look”. I knew she wasn’t really interested in doing the whole white dress shopping, but hey, J.Crew has some pretty fab bridesmaid dresses that can double as guest dresses. Plus there were shoes. So we went.

There were probably 4 or 5 rooms just with bridal gowns and dresses, some as low as $200! I was expecting mayhem, but we were probably two of maybe 20 people total there, on Saturday. The sample sale was held at the Flatotel Hotel, 135 W. 52nd St. from February 19 to Sunday, February 21, but they still had A LOT of stock left.

The dresses were beautiful. Simple silhouettes, and beautiful lines, but there’s something not so special about looking at the same style dress stacked 50 deep on the rack. Takes away from the “this is my dress and only my dress” idea. BUT, for $200, you could find a dress that would have been perfect for a beach wedding, a second dress to change into after the formal ceremony comes to an end, or just something in white to trash the next day in a “trash the dress” photo shoot that’s starting to trend with bride’s now.

Aside from the bridal gowns, they did have two rooms of shoes, though digging through the boxes under the table to find my size wasn’t something I was really interested in, especially after they confiscated my coffee at the door. We both tried on a handful of the bridesmaid dresses, which were EVERYWHERE, and very affordable, but sadly, we both left empty-handed. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure we would be able to  find SOMETHING… but no.

I think the key to this sample sale ladies… know exactly what you’re looking for. Know your colors, know what style you’re looking for, and take your entire band of ladies with. I think if a bride had led her bridesmaids into that huge rooms with racks and racks of rainbow-colored dresses, she easily would have been able to outfit her entire party in under an hour.

It was a good first step in the planning process. Now if I can only get her to pick a date…

Ok soooo you all saw the Brother’s and Sister’s Wedding before the holiday hiatus right? Ok maybe not all of you did, but I did, and the Walker girls were sporting some lovely and non matchy match printed bridesmaid dresses. Which got the sisters in my house thinking a little bit… printed bridesmaid dresses. Kind of awesome. Oh, and Glamour has dubbed it a “Trend Alert” so we think it might be something worth mentioning… Mix it up though. Prints, solids, a whole bunch of different dresses in the same color scheme. We love it all.

Wine & Roses Pleated Dress $235 from Amanda Archer- Etsy

Wine & Roses Pleated Dress $235 from Amanda Archer- Etsy

Izzy Full- Length $480 by Thread

Muse Cutaway Sheath Dress- Nordstrom $148

Ashley Blossom Print by Thread $480

Stephanie Shift by Lilly Pulitzer $168

Or just do it in small ways… like at your feet. These printed shoes from David’s Bridal are great for a simple and solid colored dress that needs just a touch of fun.

Martha’s talking about it, and so is everyone else. This season’s hottest color trend… Sea Glass. I love it. Subtle, yet elegant and totally chic. Get inspired with some ideas below.

Photo's Courtesy of Martha Stewart/ Brides.com

Photo's Courtesy of Martha Stewart/ Brides.com

Here’s the “BUY-IT” breakdown…

Wafer Cake: Necco wafers– Mint shade available at necco.amazonwebstore.com; Invitations: HammerpressFavor Boxes: Materials from your local ARts Store. See How-To- Here; Bridesmaid Dresses (Blue): “Bellini” strapless dress, Siri, 415-431-8873. “Mallory” sweetheart crisscross halter dress, Jenny Yoo Collection; Collective Sea Glass Inspired Jewlery; Get a shot of something blue with a sparkling piece of jewelry that’s seaworthy and wedding-worthy. 1. Pendant necklace, by Danielle Welmond, from Twist, twistonline.com. 2. Beaded necklace with freshwater pearls, Rina Limor, rinalimor.com. 3. Quartz and chalcedony necklace, Suzanne Kalan, suzannekalan.com. 4. “Cleo” hoops, Rachel Leigh, rachelleigh.com. 5. Topaz and gold necklace, by TenThousandThings, from Ylang 23, ylang 23.com. 6 & 7. “Snowman” topaz earrings, and gold and topaz bangles, Ippolita, 877-865-5500. 8. Aquamarine chunk necklace, by Gabrielle Sanchez, from ABC Carpet & Home, 212-473-3000. 9. Brazilian agate bib necklace, Jennifer Rose, jenniferrosejewelry.com. 10. Bracelet with smooth fluorite, Becky Kelso, beckykelso.com. 11. Peruvian Amazonite earrings with diamonds, by Jamie Joseph, from Ylang23, ylang23.com. 12. “Stellar Mix” earrings, by Dana Kellin, from Fragments Prince Street, 212-334-9588; Earrings: Style GS688AQ, by Gabrielle Sanchez, from ABC Carpet & Home, abchome.com; Bridesmaid Dress (Green): “Orchid” jade shantung dress, Simple Silhouettes; Bottle Favors: Shop vintage shops, good will and $1 stores and then complete each favor with a typed out message inside from the you! ( Photo Courtesy of Brides.com)

So Brides.com today has this stellar piece up about Peacock inspired wedding ideas. And you KNOW I love me some feathers. Just remember… don’t go overboard. Integrate the colors into the wedding with subtle actual peacock elements. Otherwise it’ll just look like a complete and total mess… trust me.

First… this cake is to DIE for. Seriously AMAZING. $520- serves 40 by Mark Joseph Cakes

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Then there’s the flowers…

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

And the bridesmaid dresses…

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

There are loads more fun and beautiful peacock inspirations to choose from at Brides.com. In addition, head over to your my never fail… Etsy… like these below.

Peacock Ring Pillow $28 from Busy Buttons- Etsy

Peacock Ring Pillow $28 from Busy Buttons- Etsy

Peacock Feather Boutonniere $15 Ruby Feather- Etsy

Peacock Feather Boutonniere $15 Ruby Feather- Etsy

HOLLY Peacock Fascinator $19 The Sleepy Albatross- Etsy

HOLLY Peacock Fascinator $19 The Sleepy Albatross- Etsy

Vineyard Vines Fall- Sneak Peak

Vineyard Vines Fall- Sneak Peak

My favorite Preppy Men of the Cape are back with a quick little peak into their new Fall ties to get us excited for cooler weather and nautical themes… mmm.

Big fan of this guy…which also comes in navy, light blue, rasberry and red.

Polka Dot Woven Tie $85

Polka Dot Woven Tie $85

And this one in rasberry… which also comes in yellow, navy, blue and red.

Bold Stripe Woven Tie $85

Bold Stripe Woven Tie $85

And The Squash Tie… in pink. My personal favorite. Obviously. But it also come sin green and royal blue.

Squash Tie in Pink $75

Squash Tie in Pink $75

Ok- so chloe & reese just launched this fab new line called Ardour, after bridesmaids united and banning tulle and sating down the aisle.  A bridal strike if you will. So Ardour heard the ladies calling and VOILA… new versatile and modern dresses for the wedding party. Count it.

The Ardour Collection features a whole bunch of new product. Full- length dresses, high- waisted skirts, one shoulder silk faille party dresses and dresses with froof and strapless classics. Plus they customize, AND they’re made locally right here in NYC’s Garment District. Love it.

Here’s how it works. Bride picks dress style. Then chooses from hundreds of luxury fabrics and color options imported from France and Italy. The dresses ship worldwide and specialists will work closely with out of state and international customers to send swatches, photos and samples for brides who are unable to visit the Manhattan showroom.

For more information on choloe and reese visit their international custom shoppe at www.chloeandreese.com and for Ardour call 888-317-1695.

Ardour Champagne Party Dress

Ardour Champagne Party Dress

 Ardour Rasberry & Navy Party Dresses

Ardour Rasberry & Navy Party Dresses

Ardour Yellow Faille Party Dress

Ardour Yellow Faille Party Dress


 

Alfred Angelo Coupon

Alfred Angelo Coupon

Food, water, shelter… bridesmaid dresses. Maybe not for everyone, but I know there are a few of you that are saving up your couch change to walk down the aisle, catch the bouquet and empty your bank account. Well dress designer, Alfred Angelo is making life a little bit easier with this offer.  From May 23- May 31st print this coupon and bring it into any Alfred Angelo store for $20 off EACH BRIDESMAID DRESS. Who doesn’t love that. There are plenty of dresses, style and over 55 colors to choose from. Take advantage of the opportunities put in front of you… get shopping ladies!

I LOVE Vera Wang’s new bridesmaid collection. They’re beautiful, unique, totally wearable and MADE TO ORDER. Love it. Below are a few of my favorites. Plus, you can head over to Brides.com to check out an interview with Vera herself on this fabulous new collection! 

 

From Top: Dee $220, Lillian $230,  Alice $200 and Bridget $190

From Top: Dee $220, Lillian $230, Alice $200 and Bridget $190

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would think green and give you some of my WED favorite “eco-friendly” ideas to style your wedding all happy and green without wasting and killing unnecessary trees and shit…

Ahhh…It’s the little things… 

Dressed to Impress…

Go classic with this twist on the little black “organic” dress for your rehearsal dinner. The  CMarchuska  Sylvia dress is perfect for toasting in, and perfect for the environment using high fashion, and highly sustainable fabrics and a super reasonable price. This hot up and coming line from designer Christine Marchuska  debuts on the runway tonight in NYC, and I’m told her Spring collection offers a brighter eco chic look for your favorite ladies in waiting. Stock up on her “Vivons Vert” (Live Green en francais” organic  tees for welcome baskets or out fit your girls in them instead of those terribly tacky “bridesmaid” shirts for wedding day errands, and bachelorette party weekends. I mean… would you really prefer to wear a rhinestone encrusted tank top?

 

CMarchuska Sylvia Dress $164

CMarchuska Sylvia Dress $164

 

CMarchuska Vivons Vert T-shirt $38

CMarchuska Vivons Vert T-shirt $38

ALSO.  Brides… check out this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL eco-friendly wedding gowns from Natural Bridals on Etsy. They are really simply magnificent and elegant and totally great for the environment and you and your hubby and the bridal party… just about everyone. 

 

Natural Bridals (Etsy) Eco-Chic Wedding Gowns $6,800

Natural Bridals (Etsy) Eco-Chic Wedding Gowns $6,800

The dress above is made from Bamboo and Organic Cotton Jersey Dress with Organic Linen Flower Details and Charmeuse bust and sash. So pretty. And the one below is made from Hemp/Silk with Floral Jacquard Halter and a full gathered skirt… and that one is just $2,600.

Natural Bridal's Charlotte Couture Eco-Friendly Wedding Gown $2,600

Natural Bridal's Charlotte Couture Eco-Friendly Wedding Gown $2,600

Do Me a Favor…

Lose the favors altogether. thanks. Seriously. People throw them away… so instead of wasting money on cheap plastic doodads for weddings that will end up in someones junk drawer at home… keep it simple and donate to a charity. Your guests will understand, and probably be very impressed at your willing and giving spirit. If you MUST give your friends and family something to remember your special day by, keep it natural. Plant miniature herbs like lavender, rosemary and basil in tiny containers for guest to take home and plant in their own garden. Another idea… think locally and give your guests something that’s meaningful to you and your hubby. Jars of honey, homemade jam, and peaches might be local to your area and look adorable with a touch of ribbon.

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

 

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

 

 

Be Our Guest…

Paper is wasteful. Yes, yes we know. “But what about our invitations?!” She cried. Relax. There are plenty of recycled invitation options out there. Try 100-percent recycled paper from TwistedLimbPaper.com or plantable invitations from BotanicalPaperWorks.com are embedded with seeds that guests can plant and grow! How’s that for remembering your special day? If you’re feeling like you have a trendy and eco-chic crowd as it is who will understand your decision to opt for digital invitations over paper, go with MyInvitationLink.com and customize your invites with music and pictures.

CENTERPIECES…

Yes. Flowers are “green” already. But some of them are loaded with pesticides and garbage that make them less pretty, expensive, and dangerous to you and your guests. Stick with flowers that are in season to avoid shipping costs and fuel usage associated with bringing in exotic flowers from far away just because you refuse to settle on something that’s in season. Seriously. Pick your diva moments. This isn’t one of them. Go local and use fresh flowers from farmers markets and local gardens to decorate tables with recycled glass containers like these beautiful green glasses made from… beer bottles! So cute. Found objects and mismatched containers make great centerpieces.

 

Recycled Beer Bottle Glasses from Yava Glass (Etsy) 2 for $20

Recycled Beer Bottle Glasses from Yava Glass (Etsy) 2 for $20

 

If you’re still not sold on the eco-wedding and you think it’s totally impossible to integrate “green” into your wedding world check out the Etsy Handmade Wedding Blog post on “Crafting an Eco-Friendly Wedding”

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

I have to admit, when it comes to makeup I am completely overwhelmed. I rely on others to tell me what I should use to moisturize, brush, line, and apply.

The secret to this is that I have a band of very intelligent beauty experts hiding behind the curtain. So for your benefit, I bring you my favorite beauty products that I cannot live without.

FACE FIRST…

Moisturize. Kick the winter blues and invest in a little tube of summer. I like Jergens facial moisturizer, but there are a ton out there. Just do everyone a favor and make sure you match up your skin tone appropriately… “whorange” doesn’t look good on anyone.

bareMinerals

My sister introduced me to Bare Minerals. I tossed the liquid foundation and upgraded to powder, bronzer, mineral veil- 1, 2, 3. Perfection. Stays on all day and there isn’t a line at your chin that distinguishes your real skin color from your makeup. THAT is the worst.

 HAIR…

SO IMPORTANT. Especially for special events… like ohhh I don’t know WEDDINGS. For whatever reason I tend to want to cut my hair at the beginning of the winter, and then spend the next 6 months trying to grow it back by Spring. I’ve tried all kinds of shampoos that promise “fast growing locks.” Until my friend J introduced me to the new Pantene Pro V Beautiful Lengths Collection. I am kind of obsessed. Not gonna lie. It makes hair 10 times stronger AND it gives back to women undergoing cancer treatments. 

Beautiful Lengths from Pantene Pro V

So now that I’ve been using the Beautiful Lengths for awhile, my hair needs a jumpstart too. So, I switched to Nature Fusion Smooth, from Pantene Pro V, which smells amazing by the way, and combines Cassia seed extract, avocado, bamboo and grapeseed extract and I LOVE IT. Try it… seriously.

Nature Fusion Smooth Collection

FRAGRANCE…

I’d love to tell you but then I’d have to kill you. 🙂 A girl’s gotta have her secrets. But find one that works, and stick with it. Signature scents are like signature cocktails… completely necessary.

 

SMILE…

My best friend M bought me my first pot of NARS when I was in high school, and girl can’t get enough. These beautiful shades, a little goes a long way, and while it may cost a little bit more than your average drug store lip gloss, consider it an investment… for your oh so kissable future. My favorites… Hot Wired  and Bewitched Lip laquer. A little goes a long way… don’t overdue it here. It’s your wedding… not halloween.

NARS Lip laquer

While you’re at it, slap some of those Crest White Strips on. Yes. The real ones. Personally I don’t think the drug store wannabe’s really cut it. White teeth make you look ten years younger, and way way hotter. A beautiful smile is priceless.

 
EYES…

Sometimes MAC scares me. So many pretty colors that look they couldn’t possibly belong on your face…. Oh but they can live there. My personal favorite, their new Emanuel Ungaro line, specifically Lilac Touch, Phloof! and Mineral. I also switch back and forth with Bare Minerals Nude Beach and Queen Tiffany.

Eye colors

MAC Cosmetics

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