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Ohhh I have such a fun wedding to share with you all!  I love me an off-beat bride, and Jessi was just that. Wanting to do everything and anything that was as much fun and unique as she and her fiance Benjamin, they put little bits of themselves into all of the best details of their wedding! Jessi and Benjamin married on November 14, 2009 in Washington, PA, and fab photog  Randi Voss was there to capture the day.

As soon as I saw the pink crinoline and the polka dot shoes… please. I was totally hooked.

I mean, how could you not be? So much fun!

From the bride… Benjamin and I are far from your typical couple therefore we couldn’t have a typical wedding.  I wanted to put as much of Benjamin and myself as I possibly could into our wedding as individuals and as a couple. My attire was my favorite part of our wedding.  My dress with my pink crinoline down to my polka dot shoes.  I feel like it just fit my personality.

Like many couples these days, Jessi and Benjamin opted to see each other before the ceremony.

From the beautiful bride…  I loved, for our first kiss as husband and wife Benjamin picked me up and I wrapped my  legs around his waist and kissed (our cake topper matched).  Our son, Keagan, joined us during our first dance and sang every word of our song while strumming his chest as if he were playing his guitar.

From the bride… It was important to me to remember my grandmother on such an important day of my life so I had her picture in my bouquet.
Years ago, Benjamin found a ring while working and as a joke he sent it to me in the mail (in a regular letter envelope) when it got to me it was half falling out of the envelope with a note saying “Jessica, will you marry me?”.  Joke or not, I wore it then had it sewn into my dress.

From the bride… To down play it, Benjamin and I are Dave Matthews fans.  There was no doubt that we had to incorporate the band into our wedding.  I walked down the aisle “Steady as we go”, at our reception our bridal party was introduced to “Best of what’s around” while we were introduced to “So Right”, our first dance was to “You and Me”,  and Benjamin did the garter toss to “Smooth Rider”.  We named each of the tables a DMB song.  And of course we told our DJ to play as much DMB as he wished!  Our wedding wouldn’t have been complete without DMB.

From the bride… Benjamin’s favorite part was when we were announced at our reception, we were wearing our personalized hockey jerseys… his a Flyers jersey and my Pens jersey.  We may not like the same team but we love the same game.

From the bride… It was also important for us to have a child friendly wedding.  Not only b/c we have a child but because we love children!  We had 2 flower girls and 2 ring bearers and about 20 children attending the wedding.  I had coloring books, crayons, and fun straws at the tables with children and my favorite was hula hooping with all the kids!

Photographer: Randi Voss– ” I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else.  She is absolutely outstanding!
DJ: Andy Hutelmyer“He was fantastic!
Bridal Salon: Sorelle Bridal Salon“They went above and beyond anything I could’ve asked for!”

I’m so excited to share this wedding with you today! I’ve been waiting awhile to share this very special day with you all. Chris and Jill are two wonderful and super fun people that I have the pleasure of having around in real life. Which is pretty great.

Chris and Jill got married at St. James Church in Binghamton, NY and then boarded a trolley with their bridal party to head to Brackney, PA for a lakeside reception with their closest family and friends, at Quaker Lake, where Chris’s family lives.But not without a quick stop at the State Street bar, Tom & Marty’s where the couple met at Wednesday Night Trivia.

Mother Nature was not cooperating that day.The side panels of their dinner tent went up and down about three times before the sun peaked through and everything dried up just in time for cocktails. It turned out to be a perfect summer night… finally!

Here are some beautiful photos from Maria at Strinni Studio Photography. Enjoy!

Getting Ready...

Descending the Stairs...


On the way to the church...




The Newlyweds aboard the Trolley

Groomsmen aboard the trolley which carried the couple and their bridal party from the ceremony to the reception and everything in between.

The Groomsmen aboard the Trolley...

The couple met at Tom & Marty’s a local bar, where the bridal party and close friends joined the couple following the ceremony.

Chris & Jill at Tom & Marty's

Wedding at the lake...

The Newlyweds at the Lake...

Chris & Jill...

The bridal party enjoyed cocktails on the dock at a close family friend’s home while the bride and groom took pictures. The newlyweds joined them aboard a pontoon boat, to head to the reception.

Cocktails on the dock...

The Groom's son takes a spin on the boat...

Party Boat...

Guests were bused from town, where the ceremony was held, to the lake for the reception, on a school bus. This was perfect, and easy to come by for the groom, a local elementary school vice-principal.

Guests were bused from their hotels in town to the reception...



Toasting the Bride & Groom...

The Groom dances with his Mother...

The bride gets a dip from her father...

Fireworks closed out the evening…

Fireworks to finish off the night...

My dear friend Katie and her boyfriend of… a very long time- we’ll call it over ten years for our purposes- got married as only they could- in a beautifully rustic setting in rural New Hampshire. I affectionately refer to this wedding as the “The Wedding in the Woods,” because that’s what it was, and it perfectly fit Katie and Chris’s laid back personalities.

Katie and Chris chose a beautiful camp on Lake Winnipesaukee for their wedding, which was casually chic, just like the them. While Mother Nature had  other plans,the little bit of rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. These amazing photos come to us from photographer Kari  Herer, who not only photographs amazingly beautiful things, she also creates them. Check out her Etsy Shop too!

Here’s an early look at some of Kari’s amazing images. More to come!


Katie & Chris...

Katie & Chris's beautiful

Flower Girl...


The Wedding Party...

Seriously. I feel like I have been on 18 months of straight weddings. Oh wait I have. And the next leg of wedding season is about to kick-off again. One of my dearest friends… I’ve known him since first grade… is getting married in just three weeks! Kind of hard to believe! Then, my college roomate ties the knot two weeks later at what I’m expecting will be a very laid back and beautiful wedding in the woods of New Hampshire. The couple rented out a camp for their guests for the entire weekend. More details to come on that.

Then we have a little lull, until November, when one of my newest and sweetest most wonderful friends marries at a ski resort in Maryland. Up and down the east coast… here we go 🙂

I love it.

In the meantime, I’m taking a much anticipated and much needed little break from the vacation wedding- which is all I’ve been on lately- out west to California for a few days of relaxing with a little wine, and a little shopping… ahh.

That said, I might be missing for a few days, but don’t panic. I’ll have lots of West Coast wisdom to share when I return.

Happy early weekend!

Um. Yes. What is wrong with you?

Alright. Here’s the thing. Thank you notes can be a huge pain. HOWEVER. There is really no excuse to NOT send thank you notes out after your wedding. It’s your WEDDING. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.

The very first wedding I attended as an “adult” (I was in my early twenties) required money for a shower gift, wedding gift and travel to leave my wallet forever.  I never got a thank you note for the shower gift, and I never got one for the wedding gift. But neither did anyone else. Seriously. What is up with that?

Let me break it down for you. 150 of your closest friends just bought you a seriously expensive gift that YOU picked out, slapped some serious cash into a card, rearranged their schedules, paid for a rental car, a hotel, a new dress, stomached plastic tasting potatoes and watered down vodka tonics, and paid attention to you for at least one whole day. (two days in some extreme cases).

You best find 5 minutes to say thank you.

I don’t really understand why etiquette is dying. I’m not saying the prim and proper laws of Emily Post still stand, but remember what your mother taught you… always say “please” and “thank you”.

Kind of necessary kids.

Here’s why you’re ultimately screwing yourself over if you don’t send a thank you note after your wedding.

Someday… most of you will have children. You’ll invite a lot of those people that came to your wedding and bought you pretty, sparkly things to your baby shower too. This is a sure fire way to ensure your child will come into this world with a room full of rattles and bibs without a crib to sleep in. I’m not saying one is entirely related to the other… HOWEVER, how likely would you be to spend money on a gift for someone who can’t even bother to say thank you from the first go around?

That’s what I thought.

Don’t do it.

Technically, you have a year to send a thank you note from your wedding. Personally, I think it’s best to get it done early. I’m not saying you should spend your honeymoon licking stamps, but you should get it done as soon as you get back. If you keep putting it off, you’ll never do it, and your friends will wonder allowed if their note got lost in the mail someday, inadvertently igniting a series of whispering conversations about how no one has received a thank you card yet…

Do you really want your friends talking about your poor wedding form? 

Oh, also. Email thank you notes are not allowed. If you want to go the extra mile and send out both, absolutely go for it. My Invitation Link has great personalized options for digital thank you notes. But you better buy bulk to send out some handwritten thank you notes to ANYONE who bought you a gift.

It’s really bad form not to.

Check out My Invitation Link’s latest  blog post about this too.


 Sigh. So this Real Wedding is pretty special because I have known the bride for a very long time!  We used to play tennis and listen to Wilson Phillip’s tapes (yes TAPES) together when Wilson Phillips was the jam. Ahh the good old days…

 Anyway, when I saw her wedding photo’s I HAD to share them with you. Such magical, magical photos from photographers, Alisha Clark and Luke Walker of Luke Walker Photography (together they make up Lillie Studios.) Very different shooting styles, yet completely enchanting from every angle!

Don’t miss the link to Annie & Dan’s amazing wedding video (at the bottom of the post) from Lillie Studios and videographer Chris! It’s incredible and so touching given their joint musical background! 

From the beautiful bride on how she met her groom…

“Dan and I met in college at Ithaca. We were in the same violin studio (Dan’s also a violinist; turned to Architectural Acoustic Design, but different circles of friends. We were friends but never really thought about dating each other due to relationships we were in. We were both single during our senior year, and happened to be working together on a project together – my graduate audition CD. Post recording session, we decided to go out for a drink. We had a great time hanging out, we decided to hang out again the next night… and the next…. and before you know it, we were dating. After college, we dated long distance, and worked very hard to keep the relationship strong. About a year after I finished grad school, Dan surprised me with a proposal on the beach on New Year’s Eve, while we were visiting our relatives in FL. He apparently had asked my Dad for permission to marry during Thanksgiving. So everyone knew, except for me. Soon after the engagement, we set a date and started planning.”

Photo Courtesy of Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Alisha Clark



From the bride… “Our main mantra throughout the wedding process was to be as practical as possible. We did a lot of research on pricing and so before we dove into actually booking anyone, we made sure to plan a reasonable budget. We knew we wanted to splurge a bit more in certain areas like photography and food. Less in other areas like flowers, invitations, decorations, reception venue, etc. We didn’t want to start off in debt. Especially with today’s economy. So having the budget really kept us on track.”

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography


From the lovely and very budget conscious bride…(WE LOVE THIS)

“I found my dress at a liquidation sale from a discount bridal store that was going out of business. I actually didn’t expect to find a dress there. But the ladies at the store let me loose in their store and I came out with 2 dresses. I ended buying both dresses because it cost me only $500 for both and I couldn’t make up my mind because they were so different. So I was a 2 dress bride. Now, I chose my dress over the other because the other dress was your typical wedding dress- silk, diamond white, plain. The dress I ended up wearing is a Casablanca Bridal Dress, and it had lovely lace on it with a bit of sequins. Just enough to catch some light. Plus it had a really pretty hem. So I felt more drawn to it after trying it on many times.” 

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography


Photo Courtesy of Photographer Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer, Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer, Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer, Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer, Alisha Clark

 From the bride…“Our church (Westminster Presbyterian Church, Albany, NY) was a combined effort. We fell in love with it the first time we stepped through it’s doors. We knew that it was our church, and it worked out in our favor. March was a less busy month for weddings, so they were quite open to doing a wedding. “

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

 From the bride… “We went with a florist that had a background in horticulture for the bouquet, bouts, corsages, and church decoration. We wanted something a bit more unusual and not your typical rose bouquet, etc. So I took clippings from bridal magazines and brought it to him, and basically told him to be creative. We didn’t want it to be too matchy matchy. Dan and I liked more modern designs with shape and simplicity in mind. The day of the wedding, I was blown away with all the bouquets, bouts, and church decoration. It was better than we imagined.” 

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Alisha Clark

 From the bride… “Our reception venue (The Appel Inn in Altamont, NY) was actually chosen by Dan, who’s actually been there prior to planning the wedding. So when we started the process he suggested for us to take a visit, and I loved it and booked the place. From there, we connected with our DJ, reception florist, and limo – and because we were working with the reception venue, we were able to get some good deals and great service.” 

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Alisha Clark

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Alisha Clark

 From the bride… “I can’t really pin point a favorite moment because of how fast the day went, and there was so many things going on. But, I really enjoyed my first dance as husband and wife with Dan to our song “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine. It was beautiful and touching and completely sweet. It was also when I felt relief from the day, from the planning, and from experiencing a life changing experience. It was very emotional for me- especially after having planned the wedding for over a year and to finally see everything come together. “

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

Photo Courtesy of Luke Walker Photography

From the bride on her photographers… 

“We chose Luke Walker after an intensive search and interview process for about 3 months. We had about 10 photographers on our list, local and non-locals. In the end Luke stayed in our mind because of many reasons. 1) he did photojournalism, which we were in love with. His work was fairly vibrant and colorful, and we appreciated that a lot. 2) he was moving to the area from NYC, so he was local! 3) we talked to him over the phone and he was so laid back and candid with us 4) we had a common connection: ITHACA. He used to live in the Ithaca area, and both Dan and I were Ithaca College alumni 5) he was open minded to a different package set up. In the end we ended up with a very nice package with items that were important to us. Luke has now become good friends of ours through this whole process. We frequently go on double dates. That’s how we became friends with Alisha, and how she came to be the other photographer in our wedding. “

Check out Annie & Dan’s Wedding video from Lillie Studios. It’s amazing and so beautiful. It completely blew me away…

Hello Hello lovelies! Hope you are all well. I just got my new LaFlor cosmetic bag today! I LOVE IT! It’s even better in person. Seriously. These are adorable. I opted for the second fabric pattern – the dark pink and light pink swirly whirly. So great.

I’m also working on some really amazing Real Weddings to share with you very soon! I can’t wait to show you these incredible photos. They will make you excited to attend the 9,000 weddings you have to go to this year. I mean… I’m excited for the ones I have. And there are plenty. These are just the ones I know about… but the year is young and the potential for over-sized envelopes is great.

I honestly thought this year would be a little bit lighter in the wedding load department. Such a lie.

I have just as many, except this year, they’re all on the same days. Here’s my 2009 Wedding breakdown:

Memorial Day hometown kick-off in May, a lakeside wedding for June, a set of same day weddings (one Boston Bruh-ha-ha and a down home southern Tennessee throw-down) for July, three in August (The NH Wedding in the Woods and the 1000 Islands Wedding are same day – think I can make both?) and a Tarrytown, NY weekender wedding. Closing it all out is a Maryland Wedding Thanksgiving Day weekend.

Now, if that doesn’t sound like the best way to spend my vacation days I don’t know what does 🙂

I kid. 

I was born to go to weddings.

I know I already posted a yellow edition of the Spring Flowers post…BUT it’s really cold today and yellow makes me happy…and warm.

So here are some more of my favorite flowers to keep you “thinking” warm in this brutal cold weather.

Photo's courtesy of

Photo's courtesy of

I had to share this with you all. My friend Lisa is getting married in the fall, and I can’t wait for her shower. Bet you never thought I’d be this excited for a shower right? Well Lisa is having my all-time favorite kind of shower… the DISPLAY SHOWER! No wrapping of gifts and more importantly no unwrapping of gifts! Just a nice fun afternoon with friends to celebrate your engagement with oversize boxes of stemless wine glasses, ice cream makers and Tupperware looking on naked from the corner.


If you remember awhile back, I told you about how display showers are my favorite kind of bridal showers. They take the “stuffiness” out of the shower and make the day about the bride rather than the gifts and the three hours it takes to open them all. It’s a tricky thing to word on an invite without offending the more old-fashioned women folk, but if you can do it right, it’s a great alternative to tradition.

Here’s how Lisa’s shower invite was worded:

” At the request of the bride, this will be a casual “display” shower.  Please bring your gifts unwrapped, so that Lisa has more time to enjoy your company.”

Wonderful.  Can’t wait!










Two of my favorite people got married in what proved to be one of the most beautiful and all around perfect weddings I’ve ever been a part of on the coast of Maine a few weeks ago.    The weather was incredible, the bride was stunning and the priest managed to make it through the ceremony with only one reference to global warming. Killer right?


Fun, would be an understatement and I intend to tell you all of the reasons why. There was lots of dancing, (some was even choreographed) a teeny tiny bit of drinking of adult beverages, and even a little country music for the rednecks in the bridal party.  But really, as a virgin bridesmaid this was one of the best experiences of my life. My cherry got popped, and I loved every minute of it.

The setting was incredible on a golf course overlooking the coast of Maine, with perfect, perfect weather.  The weekend was full of delicious food from the Lobster and Duck served at the rehearsal dinner to the seafood hors d’oeuvres and entrees at a formal sit down dinner.

Jenn is pretty organized…she was yelling orders over the top of her laptop to a very bewildered priest, who, I’m sure it’s safe to say, hadn’t given a mass in the last ten years. At least.  He was kind of a nightmare, but I’ll be honest it made for a really animated mass, and we’re already looking back laughing, so it wasn’t that terrible. So they lit the unity candle after everything was over… ehhhhh god doesn’t judge right?


The rehearsal dinner was at a beautiful Inn/Restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating which worked out perfectly. Jenn handed out personalized itineraries to the out of town bridal party telling them exactly what time to be where and what to be wearing when you got there. Not as crazy “bridezilla” as it sounds. Trust me. It was hilarious, and really truly helpful. 


The day of the wedding, the bridesmaids were shuttled in shifts back and forth to the hair salon and the makeup place while the groomsmen slept off the post rehearsal dinner antics. (There’s a small chance golfing was involved the morning of the wedding… but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a whole lot of activity happening on that front.) The limo was a really nice touch and something that was completely unexpected. Who doesn’t like champagne at 10 am?

 We carried sunflowers, which went beautifully with our dresses, and Jenn carried a small bouquet of white roses. It was a  gorgeous summer wedding set against some of the most  magnificent scenery I have ever seen.











They did a Sunflower Chardonnay from Pindar Vineyards for a favor and tall Sunflower centerpieces at tables which were named after the people sitting at them.   Jenn, Jason,the maid of honor and two best men sat at the “VIP table”, college friends sat at a table named after their freshman dorm, and some of the Jason’s Northeastern teammates sat at tables named after college bars in Boston.



As always… I give you my list of reasons why this wedding rocked my world and made it to the top of my list as one of the best, most perfect, and most memorable weddings I’ve ever attended.

  1. Seeing people you haven’t seen in a long time (3 years) is kind of awesome.
  2. Guys, especially good looking ones, who enjoy to dance are pretty darn great to have around at a wedding.
  3. A beautiful bride calms any grooms nerves.
  4. Dancing around a beer bottle in the center of the dance floor, yields incredibly inappropriate behavior but is so entertaining it should probably be mandatory at every wedding you attend.
  5. Hockey guys can drink more than baseball guys… yeah I’m sayin’ it… and might be a little bit more fun… just a little though.
  6. Kicking your new husband around the dance floor…literally… to the tune of “Maneater” is a great way to break in the in-laws, AND become famous on You Tube.
  7. Someone falling is funny. Someone losing half of their pants mid-split on the dance floor is HILARIOUS and unforgettably amazing.
  8. A midnight romp across a golf course and down a rock wall after two or twenty cocktails is a great way to break your face, OR catch up with friends.
  9. Jews aren’t the only ones who get to lift people up in chairs at weddings.
  10. Wine bottles can be opened and enjoyed without a corkscrew. For further information see Keni Gibson.
  11. Suspenders can do much more than hold up pants.
  12. Bribing bartenders is a great way to get a round of shots.
  13. Having a slideshow is a great way to relive the good old days, show guests the wonderful times you spent together and embarrass the hell out of your bridal party.
  14. Vodka AND tonic dry magically on satin
  15. Watching two people, who you’ve only known together, finally get married is a wonderful thing to be a part of.




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July 2020