noritake unique wedding favors unique wedding favors
Learn the 4 C's of diamonds at Abazias.

organic wedding rings

(left to right) Diamond Ring, by Studio Waterfall. Gold Leaf Ring, by Sarah Perlis. Champagne Ring, by Nicole Landaw.
I found all these gorgeous wedding rings on Dilsey Coal, a wonderful source for boutique designer jewelry.

cover your shoulders young lady!

Propriety be damned! We like dresses with sleeves because they're pretty! They're unique! And gosh darn it we all don't love our triceps!
1) White and Pink Striped Shirtdress: by Carolina Herrera
2) Avignon: Pronovias Couture 2006
3) Agata: Elie by Elie Saab for Pronovias
4) Tirana Angel Wings: Jenny Packham Bride
5) Odette Roma: Jenny Packham Bride
6) Emele: Ulla Maija
7) Duchess Silk Cape Dress: Bonaparte-NY
8) Debora: Valentino Sposa for Pronovias
9) Estepa: Pronovias Collection 2007
10) Pouf Sleeve: Kirstie Kelly 2006
11) Short Sleeve, High Neck: Kirstie Kelly 2006

we like toronto

Hello everyone! I'm back. I was in Toronto for the weekend to see my family-in-law. We like Toronto.
I came across some fun things there that I think you all might like. First stop: The Beadery. Gorgeous beads from all over the world, but better yet, the website is full of instruction on how to use them! Everything from instructions on making your own chandelier earrings to a glossary of tools for jewelry making. Check that out.

Next stop: The King Edward Royal Meridien. The nicest brunch buffet! Hot food = hot. Cold food = cold. Harpist in the corner, 40 foot ceilings, super service, great coffee, all the fresh squeezed OJ you can drink, beef wellington, and a chocolate fountain! If you're in Toronto, don't skip this place. They have one of the nicest banquet spaces I've seen so if you're getting married in the area, it's worth a look. If the wedding spread is anywhere near as great as their Sunday brunch buffet, your guests will be totally overjoyed. (I'm seeing about photos I'll post them in a bit).

Last stop: Karen's house to test a paper poppy pomander. See pics...the results were amazing! The unfortunate part is that we used every last flower we made on one center piece/pendant light combo. In order to finish enough flowers for 13 of these, we'll need to enlist more helpers or we'll need to sell our souls to the devil. It's up to Karen, which ever she wants to do. *that's brother Jay who's cut in half in the photos...hi Jay!*

antique engagement rings

I can't stop! It's totally addicting to browse thru Marlene Harris's Collection of antique estate and engagement rings. I want to post pictures of all of them, but I guess you can always go there yourself and browse around. I'd advise not to go unless you've got some free time, it has a way of sucking you in. The ring in the middle is my favorite, the vine goes all the way around to form a little illustration around your finger!

paper poppy pomanders

Something posted on design*sponge a while back reminded me of a project my soon-to-be sister-in-law Karen and I are working on for her wedding. She wanted to have huge flower pomanders hanging from the ceiling of the tent (one above each table), and we decided to make them out of felt and paper flowers so they'll last. The flower making process is fun, (if a bit daunting), but in the end I think they'll look awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing if we can light them from within like the lamps above from Mixko. The pictures in the bottom row are the flowers I've made so far, and I think I might have enough to cover one globe... or a half of one, or maybe a half of a really small one...Sigh.

eat wagashi with your eyes

I discovered wagashi on the plane returning from Hawaii last year. I was reading one of those inflight magazines, and was entralled by an article about this ancient Japanese art of candy making. I have a sweet tooth that just won't quit. I never in my whole life understood how my parents could take one swig of my pixey stick, then squint, pucker, and complain about it being too sweet. I still don't totally get it. So you can imagine my delight, stumbling across a sweet treat that looked so appealling, and yet was so unfamiliar.
So, I found some here in New York at Minamoto Kitchoan. You can also order them online. It's seasonal, (you can't get the pretty peach flavored ones unless it's August and you can't get the nice cherry blossom ones unless it's April). Some have the texture of a really soft cream puff, while others resemble a more sophisticated gummy candy. All the ones I've tried, I've liked, and I think they could make really unique and elegant favors. I'm picturing just one at each place setting on crisp white china...
*note* When you place an order, make sure you tell the sales person what occassion you are ordering for and when it is. These delicacies expire within days, and can have different meanings. Some are given at funerals as gifts, while others are symbols of fertility or luck.

paper lanterns

Take your que from Tavern on the Green and hang paper lanterns from the trees, or from the ceiling in clusters. Two or three hung low over a table would look just smashing, and at $6.50 - $12.50 a piece, you can afford to hang a bunch. These are available at Pearl River Mart on Broadway in Soho, or on their website. They come in a variety of interesting shapes, colors and sizes, don't be afraid to mix them up!

more unique wedding cakes

More fantastic cakes: Confetti Cakes top row and Alice's Tea Cup bottom row

I love the folk art cake by Elisa Strauss of Confetti Cakes, top right.

lovin sullivan cakes

Cakes unlike anything I've ever seen! Lovin Sullivan designer Kate Sullivan names her cakes after her favorite movies. My favorite is the "Monsoon" cake in the upper left corner.

the kindness of caterers

Because things will go wrong, and when they do, you're going to want helpful caterers. Let me illustrate:

Picture a bride (me) standing in the "ready room" getting ready to make my grand entrance. I was nervous, my parents had walked down the aisle ahead of me, and I was waiting for my queue. I was supposed to be escorted, fluffed, primed and prepared by the staff at our venue, however, said staff was nowhere to be seen. It was just me. I was due to make my entrance via freight elevator, (the huge manually operated kind with the big metal doors and pulleys and stuff). So I had to wait. Still no staff, no fluffing. I stood there with my nerves building, thinking about all my friends with their necks craned, waiting for me to come down the aisle. Finally, in a moment of panic, I asked a server working for the caterer what to do. In the midst of clearing up wine glasses, she looked around, there was no one. Dropping what she was doing, she told me not to worry. She straightened my train. She took a loose piece of my hair, and gingerly pinned it back into place. She told me I looked beautiful. And lastly, she manned the elevator. I don't think she really knew what she was doing, and I have no clue how she figured it out, but she did it.
So here's to the lady in the black pants and the white shirt! If I could be there to fluff her skirt and man her elevator, I would.

petit fours

I love the idea of a big elaborately decorated wedding cake, and the whole cupcake tower thing is cool too. But, you know me, always looking for something different. Why not petit fours? They're like mini cakes that you can polish off in a couple bites. I think it would be really cool to have an elaborate display of these, instead of cake, intermixed with vases or jars filled with other yummy confections. Then when you serve them to your guests, give each person an artful arrangement of 2 or 3 petit fours. The particularly delicious looking bites above are from Petit Fours in Dallas, TX, but you can find them at almost any bakery. I think they would be especially nice for an afternoon or morning reception, where a lighter dessert might be more appropriate.

*bonus* it'll be hard for the groom to do too much damage if he decides to smush one on these in your mouth.

ananda khalsa

Ananda Khalsa is a jewelry designer I stumbled across while looking for unique wedding rings. While she doesn't really do bridal jewelry, I was struck by her beautiful pieces non the less.
Each piece is painted with a delicate image, and each image is designed to symbolize a concept of love, strength, honesty or happiness. As a gift from a groom to his bride, or a mother to her daughter on the occasion of her wedding, the pair of bluebirds (symbolizing happiness and the rebirth of spring) would be a beautiful and meaningful choice.
Personally I love the maple tree necklace (a symbol of the eternal cycle of life).

unique wedding bands

High and low girls. HIGH and LOW. That's where I searched to find something different in the world of wedding bands. In the end, I've realized that there are a sea of of beautiful eternity bands, gold bands, platinum bands and claddaghs out there. Finding something else... is really hard. The only place I had any real luck was with a few vintage jewelry dealers.
Try The Marlene Harris Collection. She has an enormous cache of antique and antique-y wedding bands, from back when wedding bands were really interesting (bottom row).
And for those of you who want to splurge on the wedding ring, rather than the engagement ring, try Kentshire, (top row). Personally, I think the scarab is stunning. (Egyptians wore them as a symbol of strength and endurance, two things I think we all strive for in our marriages)

vintage dress shapes made modern

I'm not sure how the wedding industry arrived at it's currently status quo: Strapless Ball Gown. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a beautiful shape, but woe be to the bride who saunters confidently into Kleinfeld's and asks to see something other than the status quo, because she will try on a measly few.
Fortunately, there are some alternatives out there for those of you who can't find what you are looking for on the rack. Whether you want to go vintage or custom, your first stop is The (top row), a huge website boasting vintage couture gowns by the likes of Dior, Halston, and Cassini. If you don't end up finding exactly what you're looking for here, you'll get some fantasic ideas to bring to your dressmaker. So many vintage shapes can be reproduced in a modern way with very few changes. The black, short sleeve number in the bottom row is from 1937, but would not look out of place in white on the runway next spring. When you visit the tailor, bring a picture of the dress that strikes you, ask them what materials it would work in, and how much it would cost. You can either scout the materials yourself, or pay the dressmaker to do it. They'll be more than happy to help you.
Some other great places to collect ideas:
Circa Vintage and Unique Boutique oh, and of course Vintageous


OK, OK, I know these cute little necklaces don't have much to do with weddings. But they're too beautiful to pass up! I couldn't resist. Ooo, I've got it! They'd make great gifts for bride's maids! There. I did it. I tied them in. They are now bridal. So check out jewelry designer Teresa Robinson and her Smallthings, made entirely out of silver and stained glass. (so cool, right?)

oh joy!

I've recently come across Oh Joy!, a creative blog with a wedding twist. Joy's "Here Comes the Bride" section is kind of like a designer's online wedding binder. Loads of style. Don't miss the creative cakes, funky hair pieces, and unusually stunning jewelry by Cynthia Kagoshima. Oh Joy!

vintage hair how-to's

Have you ever looked at pictures of your mom or your grandmother in the olden days and wondered...How the heck did she make her hair do THAT? Well ladies, wonder no more. The Hair Archive is a catalog of hairstyles from the 20th century, complete with comprehensive how-to's. That's right, I said HOW-TO'S. Just what you never needed! (but I love it). Check it out. It's oddly fun. You might be able to dig up some long lost hair styling secrets from the days of yore. (don't dig up any secrets on that one in the top right corner though, that one's just for fun. Yikes.

Even though you may be tempted to show up for work on Monday with a full on beehive, don't. Just don't. Because I said so.

our first dance with ben harper

Ben Harper sings a beautifully poingant song, called "When She Believes" that would be perfect for a first dance. I wish I could find a link, so that you could listen to this amazing song, start to finish, but all I can find is the link. But at least you can preview a little bit of it.
At a more informal affair it might even work as a walking down the aisle song. It's just so...moving. You should check it out. I know how hard it can be to find something different and unique that has just the right message.

be conscious

The Conscious Bride, by Sheryl Paul. Read it, cry a little. Have a real heart-to-heart with your mother. Give your dad a big hug. Tell your best friend you love her. Bask in the glow. Thank me later.

a pattern as a theme

I love the idea of choosing a pattern as a theme for a wedding. Carry it thru from invites to menus, to favors to thank you cards. It's a great way to unify your wedding and create an overall look. Vary the size of the pattern on different pieces to keep it interesting. (These patterns are from my upcoming invitation collection). Consider giving the pattern to your cake desinger, for her to paint onto your wedding cake as a border or an overall pattern. Have a rubber stamp made, (very inexpensively) with a part of the pattern. Stamp the edges of your aisle runner, your napkins, or even hankerchiefs for your lady friends.

a bridesmaid's dream

If I told you there was a way that you could get all your bridesmaids to buy the same dress, in the same size, and have it look fantastic on everyone, yet have it look completely different on each girl, you'd tell me I was crazy, right? No fittings, no drama... you're tempted, aren't you? It's not an urban myth, Butter by Nadia has done it. Her Convertible Jersey Dress, available in just one size (and it really does fit all), can be worn a litany of ways. Over the shoulders, for a Greek inspired look. Halter style, a la Marilyn Monroe. Criss-crossed around the back for even more drama. You are only limited by your imagination. This dress comes in a variety of colors, short or long, and can be found in Brooklyn at Neda on Seventh Avenue or online at I own one, and I can honestly say it's the most comfortable, versatile dress I own. Your bridesmaids will thank you, I promise.

tiara alternatives

Mondays, it's a ponytail. Tuesdays, it's that flippy thing with the big clip. Wednesdays, we might blow dry. Thursdays and Fridays, back to the ponytail. When it comes to our hair, we don't get a chance to do anything really exciting or glamorous that often. So on the big day, why not do something really special? Lori London makes some gorgeous, vintage inspired pieces that work with any type of dress. They can also be a clever enhancement if you don't have enough hair to create that really full updo, or if your hair isn't as long as you'd like it to be.