Wednesday, September 29, 2010

how pissed off will my family be if I elope?

what seems to be the temperature of your reading audience regarding straight out go to city hall, no fam, no letting the cat out of the bag elopement?
see, we come up with these wacky ideas like let's do the rest of our lives together (and then earthquake happened) and now this at our favorite little greek bar.

there's a couple of main things prompting this:
he has no family that he is involved has always felt like it will be weird for him
i have a particularly high maintenance sister in law who's extra special talent is to make sure EVERYTHING is about her

i mean there WILL be a party later after announcements are sent out. we're just about doing this for us because we're not marrying everyone else or in it for the presents.

are you hearing lots of pissed off families, flinging themselves off the vincent thomas bridge...never speaking to the bride and groom again?
or is it one of the best things folks have ever done?

just curious.


Elopers (or family members of elopers), please weigh in! 

Image via Life in Lomo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

who doesn't love a bride in a ZEBRA MASK?

You know what I'm saying?

(Photos by Traci Griffin via Snippet & Ink and beautiful/wild)

Problem Child

Dear ESB,

My fiance and I have enjoyed a long engagement. In the earliest of wedding planning stages, we asked my fiance's sister if her son Eli* could be our ring-bearer. Eli is my fiance's only nephew. He is three years old. He's adorable. We love him to pieces. Over the past year, however, Eli has become a problem child. So much so, he has been kicked out of his preschool, and his exasperated parents are seeking behavioral therapy for him. He's ornery, unruly and unpredictable. My fiance and I are exchanging vows in a beautiful, impeccably preserved plantation home listed on the National Register. (Antiques! Winding staircase! Gardens! So many danger zones for Eli!) We are a month-and-a-half away from our wedding day, and my fiance's sister has emailed me about What Eli Should Wear. How do we tell her that we are not only having second thoughts about him being our ring-bearer, but we are now considering NO KIDS AT ALL at our ceremony?

Thank you,
Worried Bride

*name changed to protect the not-so-innocent little boy


WB, can I tell you something? Ring bearers kind of skeeve me out.

I’m willing to tolerate the occasional flower girl, but the whole idea of clipping a bow tie onto a little boy and sending him down the aisle clutching a beribboned pillow when he would really rather be whacking something (or someone) with a stick….


Tell your future sister-in-law the truth. You love "Eli" to death, but no way are you letting him anywhere near your impeccable antique-y plantation-home wedding.


(Photo by Christina Richards. Please note: This kid might actually be construed as adorable. Nothing to do with the bow tie, in my opinion.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blushless 2011

(Click images to enlarge)

How could a girl this cool not make some cool fucking wedding dresses?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dear ESB: My SIL is copping my style

Now I realize what I'm about to say is going to sound really silly and petty, but hear me out. My future sister in law is getting married very soon, I too am getting married this calendar year, but not until the summer time. I should have NEVER ever discussed any of my fabulous original ideas with her, who knew she's be stupid enough to steal them?! I had a fab idea I found on a blog for a cake topper, and wouldn't you know it my fiance told me his sister is doing it so we cant. really? really? get your own style and your own taste, why are you stealing mine? Given, it's just cake toppers but it enrages me! Not to mention she's already pinched my arm and told me I'm too skinny and need to gain weight, only to follow it up a few seconds later that she needs to loose 10 pounds before her wedding. I'm guessing these things stem from insecurities, but still annoying. Guessing I just ignore these things? Not worth calling them out? It makes my blood boil. 


maybe you should FAKE HER OUT.

like, you let it slip (from an outside source, obviously) that you're planning to do a baby sea turtle release, and then at the last minute when she's got the sea turtles all bought and paid for, you say "Omigod. That is so cruel."

(Photo: Wayne Tippetts via Le Fashion)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

have I got some wedding clothes for YOU.

Helmut Lang Spring 2011 (via Teen Angster)

No idea when this stuff will be avail, or how much it will cost, but if someone would pls get married in that shorts ensemble I swear to god I'll run your pics at the top of the blog for a whole month.

Amazeballs Headpieces

My lady Emily of Emily Thompson Flowers just sent me these pics of the headpieces she made for Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl for the new issue of Bust magazine.

Not only is Emily endorsing a headpiece for the brazen groom, she would also like to argue in favor of the good old fashioned boutonniere. She told me "The guy from a man from U.N.C.L.E once escaped using a tiny knife hidden in his..."

Just don't do both, okay?

(Photos by Glynis Selina Arban, styling by Priscilla Polley)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How can a slob reinvigorate her wardrobe?

Dear ESB,

I have never been one for dressy clothing; almost every place I've ever worked has been aggressively casual, and the dive bars in which I've been known to socialize hardly have a dress code. But I still have always had an interest in style and enjoyed playing around with clothing. I am particularly drawn to (1970s) vintage, colourful, and punk aesthetics.

However, for the last year, I have worked from home. As a result, my previously "casual" style has turned into "slovenly". My "work" uniform consists of yoga pants and a t-shirt and/or hoodie. On the rare occasions that I actually leave the house, I tend to swap the yoga pants out of that combo for jeans, and that's about it. While I value dressing casually and comfortably, and really can't get any writing done without my trusty yoga pants, I am still pretty bummed at how boring I've become. I don't think I've figured out how to have fun with clothing in the context of my new lifestyle. (Although I did just buy a killer pair of old school military style boots that I am in love with, so that's a start.)

Do you have any advice for how slobs like me who have no external motivation to dress well can reinvigorate our wardrobes?

Slobby Academic


Dear Slobby,

You say you have no external motivation to dress well, but I bet you have to appear in public on occasion to deliver those kick-ass papers you churn out 2,000 words at a time. I also happen to know you've started applying for teaching gigs.

So, yeah. You actually do need to get your act together.


And you've already got the boots! Now you need to go out and try on some clothes with the boots.

When trying on clothes, I always ask myself, "Do I feel great in this? Do I want to wear it out of the store right now?" If the answer is no, keep looking. Don't try to talk yourself into something because it's on sale or because it seems practical. It's always better to buy one amazing thing than ten crappy ones. (And sometimes the most impractical-seeming item will turn out to be the one you wear every day.)



Pictured above is the Autumn/Winter 2010 Lookbook from Stockholm-based Hope (via wikstenmade).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear ESB: What do I wear around my neck?


I am less than a month away from Le Wedding, and I'm so stuck when it comes to what to wear around my neck. I need to decide within the next couple of days, so things can be posted in time.

My dress is this one here, but I'm shooting for big hair, a big hair bow and a big veil. None of this fierce and sleek for me.

I found this necklace and thought it would work so very well with our accidental bell theme (ask people to rsvp 'with bells on', and they'll expect the darn things everywhere). But I have some concerns:

i) will it look weird if not photographed dead front on or from a distance? (and does this even matter?);
ii) will people spend the whole night trying to work out exactly what the coloured blobs around my neck are? (the piece is probably five inches across all up)
iii) too casual to go with the dress?

This is the fallback.

Too boring?

Argh! Help!


Option 1 is way too cutesy. I can't imagine anyone wearing that.

Option 2 is just ugly.

If you're going for big hair, a big bow AND a big veil, I say skip the necklace.

(Photo by David Slijper for Elle UK via a glamorous little side project)

Neil Young may be hazardous to your health

Exhibit A: Two plants after having been exposed to Bob Dylan (left) and Neil Young (right).

Save yourself! Stop listening to that shit.

BOB DYLAN VS. NEIL YOUNG (2007) by Tony Romano via I'M REVOLTING via Happy Accident via Limbo Youth

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dear ESB (BROUGHT TO YOU BY TWITTER!): Do I have to invite the nanny?

@tweetiebride dear esb: my fh's boss wants to bring her nanny to our wedding!

@eastsidebride did you tell her she could bring her kids?

@tweetiebride yes of course but doesn't it seem a tad crazy?

@eastsidebride totally crazy. lady wants her kids to hang out with the nanny she should leave them at home.

@tweetiebride her kids are in the party. Does that make it right?

@eastsidebride no.

@eastsidebride but you might want to let her bring the damn nanny just to keep the peace.

@eastsidebride maybe she wants to have a *good time* at your wedding

(Image via FFFFOUND! with thanks to The Flashdance)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

inter-continental wedding woes

Dear ESB,

I am a midwestern girl who's been living in Ireland with my fiance for the last 5 years (he was born and raised in Dublin, all his family are here). A good chunk of our friends live here too. However, I've a big ol' family back in Michigan, plus a good few college friends who live in Boston.

Neither of our families are made of money, we're paying for the wedding ourselves so that's not a problem, but we are getting really frustrated with wedding planning, as it seems in any wedding scenario one of our families will be largely absent. We're all about having two celebrations: one in Ireland, and one in America, but then we feel guilty about making our immediate families go to both (the flights alone are pretty expensive), and again, we're bummed about the idea that each celebration will pretty much only be celebrating with one family. We briefly thought about splitting the difference, doing something in NY or something, but rather than a compromise that scenario might just eliminate people from BOTH families with the costs of flights and hotels.

I know there's no perfect solution, I just need some inspirational words.


Have a big old party in Michigan and a big old party in Dublin.

Invite everyone to both parties (stressing that they are not obligated to attend).

I know it feels like a bummer that your family and his family won't necessarily get to meet and bond and drink together the way they would at a traditional wedding, but THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR MOVING TO DUBLIN AND MARRYING AN IRISHMAN.

(Polaroid by Raymond Molinar)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Jamie scooped me on some seriously gorg rings this morning.

Doesn't she know that cool hand-drawn desert tote type items are her domain, and KICK-ASS RINGS ARE MINE?

By Imogen Belfield
via h a b i t

(Buy here and here)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to help a guy who wants to look dapper


I have a friend who has historically not been very *into* fashion. Or clothing beyond jeans and a t-shirt (bonus points if it references Transformers, TMNT or X-Men). Recently, however, he's begun to get a little more comfortable in his skin and experimenting with clothes and he is debuting somewhat of a new look at a wedding of a mutual friend. Now normally I'd say "Who gives an eff what you wear to someone else's wedding? You're a guest" but I really want him to feel like he looks f*cking awesome for once. The way that only new clothes can make you feel. The way that boys so rarely get to feel when they're stuffed into uncomfortable suits. So the question is: He's bought a yellow and blue plaid bow tie and literally talked about nothing else for the past two weeks. He wants to marry it with a casual fedora and sport coat for a sort of Jason Mraz meets Dr. Who look. How does one pull this off without looking like Christopher Lloyd in "Back to the Future?"


P.S. Back story. This kid's been in the closet a LONG time. He's a huge Ghostbusters & Ninja Turtles nerd (and my husband's best friend). It's kind of a HUGE deal for him to care about this. Like the bow tie is his way of coming out without actually saying the words. If that makes sense...


Dude is jumping straight into the deep end here.

The best advice I can give him/you is to MAKE SURE EVERYTHING FITS. Guys who live in jeans and t-shirts always buy their dress clothes too big.

Photo of MGMT (a couple of guys who rarely wear shirts, let alone suits) by Richard Burbridge courtesy of GQ.

Friday, September 10, 2010

my least favorite part about being married: the nagging

i hate to nag.

i hate being perceived as a nagger.

but i also hate that weird blue desk that belonged to the previous tenant that is currently sitting on our back patio while H thinks about what he wants to do with it.

(Image via Le Fashion)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dear ESB: I don't like my dress

When I first started wedding planning, my grandmother offered me her dress to wear. It was too big for me, but it is a lovely old dress, simple and vintage, which is definitely my style, so I was very excited about it. Then my seamstress friend offered to alter it for free. Last week I got the altered dress sent it straight to the dry cleaners to turn it back from yellow to white. It was there for a week, and now, three and a half weeks before my wedding, I got it back.

And I don't like it.

Oh, it's nice enough. The silhouette is really pretty and it whitened up beautifully but-- I feel kind of awkward in it. It doesn't fit quite how it should, and the long sleeves make me feel really prim, and I feel sort of constricted in it. So my problem is this: I don't really have the time to find a new wedding dress, and even if I did, I'd feel like it was kind of a kick in the teeth to my grandmother and my friend who put all the free labour into it. I could try to get it further altered-- but can I do that in three weeks? Should I just live with it? Should I go on a panicked search to find a new dress? Maybe you just do feel kind of awkward in a wedding dress because it's a gown and when else do you ever wear a gown? I don't know. But I feel miserable.

Any advice?


Ditch the dress. Please.

Call in sick. Drive to Barneys or Bergdorf’s or Nordstrom or ANYWHERE and try on everything they’ve got.

(Photo: Steven Sebring courtesy of The New York Times)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm kinda digging this feathery headpiece....

Though it would help to see a photo of someone actually wearing it.

Laura Kranitz via NOTCOUTURE

boutonniere and suspenders - wtf?

Dear ESB,

I'm making a really great boutonniere for my fiance, but he will be taking off his jacket after the ceremony. Can I pin it to his suspenders or am I breaking some cardinal boutonniere rule? Do I just pin it to his shirt? That seems dumb. Does he just lose all boutonniere privileges by losing the jacket?

ps - I totally googled how to spell "boutonniere" and have copied and pasted it rather than typing it every time it appears in this email.


Yeah, no. When the jacket comes off the boutonniere is donesies. You can't just keep moving the damn thing around.

(As you may or may not know, I'm not a big fan of the boutonniere. But I do thank you for going out of your way not to call it a "bout.")

Photo: Andrew Garfield in Band of Outsiders

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear ESB: Is a potluck wedding REALLY that tacky?

My fiance and I are planning a very DIY, indie, seriously laid back, kickass wedding. Our venue is straight up awesome, it's an old timey town (really a museum but set up as a legit little town) with an adorable white church which we will be having the ceremony in and this amazing barn like building with a huge wrap around porch for the reception. And to make it even better, it is VERY affordable. Now for the smaller details. Our DJ will be my brother-in-law who will be manning the music (aka, playlist that my fiance and i will be putting together over the next 9 months); my mother-in-law to be is a florist and will be doing the flowers as our wedding gift (very minimal, non-extravagant flowers at that, seeing as how i am seriously a no frills kinda girl); a very close musician friend and neighbor of ours will be playing the music for our ceremony; and my father-in-law will be doing the ceremony. 

The area of controversy for this wedding is food. My fiance and I from day one have been very into the idea of having a potluck for our reception. We live in the south, he has a huge family, we have a ton of friends that live in the area, and food is what we do best. It's the south for goodness sakes, food is like a religion brings people together, it's a way of celebrating and socializing, etc. My mom however, is not into the idea at all. She thinks it's a tacky idea, that guests will be offended, that people will be expecting us to basically cater to them. Now keep in mind that my parents don't grasp the concept of laid back and casual. This will not be a huge wedding, there won't be tons of expensive frills, we won't be registering for thousands of dollars worth of stuff we don't need. We simply want an awesome laid back fun party with our closest friends and family. Is a pot luck REALLY that tacky and horrible of an idea??

Already Frustrated

PS:  We will be providing the main stuff like fried chicken and fried catfish as well as drinks and cake.


Dear AF,

I think a potluck wedding is a terrific idea.

Just be aware: You can ask people to bring side dishes, but you can't tell them what to bring, and you certainly can't tell them what to bring it in.

Since you've used the words "laid back" three times here, I assume you're not an uber-obsessive who will have trouble relinquishing control.


(Photos from Nancy + Ethan's potluck wedding by Kirsten Ellis)

Friday, September 3, 2010

How NOT to tell your guests what to wear.

(click to enlarge)

I mean, how the fuck would she know what makes me feel good about myself?

Judgemental Ren Faire Hippie.

happy friday, you guys

We are, in fact, going away this weekend. Just like regular people who celebrate holiday weekends and shit. AMAZEBALLS!

So what if there's a "client meeting" involved. The client is rad.

(Friday Socks by drywell. You may also need to check out Alyson's adorbz blog.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Celia's Gluten-Free Mac N' Cheese

(a wee guest post from our chef-in-residence)

Hi all,

So, I'm sure that those of you who've been reading ESB for a while know that she isn't exactly best friends with Mr. Gluten. I gave her a modified recipe for my mac n' cheese, and since she has some gluten intolerant readers out there, she asked me to share it with you as well. I'm usually not a fan of switching up recipes because you lose so much of what the dish is really about, but this one is definitely a winner in my book. (On that note, if you're lactose intolerant, you should probably skip the whole mac n' cheese pipe dream all together and go make yourself some tacos or something.)

Gluten-Free Mac N' Cheese

16 oz. pasta
4 cups heavy cream
(roughly) 1 1/2 cups cheese

First, cook your pasta to al dente, drain and set aside. Yes, I know you can't eat regular pasta... BUT you can use rice pasta which they sell at every Trader Joe's across the country. I also came across this corn pasta at a local gourmet shop the other day, and although I have not tried it, I think it's safe to say it would work just as well. Don't feel restricted to just elbows either. Rotelli, ribbed penne and shells are all lovely choices for mac n' cheese too. As far as portions go, I would say that one 16 oz. package of pasta is enough for four healthy servings.

Next up is making the bechamel. Traditional bechamel requires flour, but I came across a cream sauce by Ina Garten a few years ago that only uses cream. Keep in mind that you MUST use heavy cream for this technique, or it will not work. No cutting corners with half & half, or SOY MILK for fuck's sake. You're making mac n' cheese here, which in no way goes hand in hand with counting calories, mkay? As I was saying, put 4 cups of heavy cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Keep the cream at a boil for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will see that it will slowly start to thicken and become the consistency of a very smooth and silky cream sauce.

Now it's time to add the cheese (hooray!). Once your sauce has come to the perfect consistency, take it off of the heat. I've found that mixing the cheese in while it's still on the burner often leads to the sauce separating. Which is totally fine, it's just doesn't make for an attractive looking sauce. I like to use a combination of cheddar, parmesan and chevre* for my mac, and honestly, I do this completely to taste. I find the cheddar makes the sauce rich, the parmesan adds flavor, and the chevre gives it an unexpected kick. You can use whichever cheeses you'd like, but I think three different ones is best. I would use about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of all the cheeses combined for each cup of cream sauce (you want it cheesy, don't you?). Slowly whisk them in until melted and fully incorporated. If the sauce starts to cool and it's not melting the cheese very well, put it back on the burner for a minute just to bring the heat back up. Taste your sauce and season to taste.

Toss the sauce with your pasta over low-medium heat to bring it all back up to temperature. You can serve it like this or put it in a baking dish, top with gluten-free bread crumbs, and bake until golden and bubbly.

OPTIONAL: I toss in roasted garlic, halved grape tomatoes and baby arugula to my mac. For some reason, it makes me feel better about eating something that is VERY bad for me. I've also come across versions that incorporate peas, mushrooms, or chopped up bacon... all of which are so good!

(Photo by Peonies and Polaroids, our food-photographer-in-residence)

*Editor's Note: Don't be intimidated by the fancy chef lingo. Chevre = goat cheese, which you can also find at Trader Joe's.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

remember when I said I hated tights??

I may have finally jumped aboard.

Not for me, you understand... But for the cutie-pie who has the guts to rock this Carven taffeta bubble dress.

Should I let my sister ruin my wedding?

Dear esb,

okay, so. I have two best friends, as in, since we were little girls bffs. I've already been moh for one, and the other is engaged (but a looong engagment, so wont even start planning until after my wedding) and has already asked me. It's all great and fine, they are my two best friends, and I would have them in my wedding even if I wasn't in theirs. But here is the problem, I also have three little sisters. I am very close to the middle one, and I really, really, want her to be in my wedding party. The youngest is only 12, so she is a bit young, I'll just put a flower in her hair and have her show the grannys to their seats or something. But the older one... sheesh. We fight all the time, we are not very close, and I really hate to say this about my own sister, but she is really, incredibly selfish. Like, to the point that she will bitch and moan about dresses, flowers, hair, and the wedding would become ALL about her. Add to the fact that I don't want four bridesmaids (it just seems too many, and too weddingy, and like such an awkward number) and I just don't know what to do

I could just have my two bffs, and none of my sisters. But then I miss out on having the sister I do want. But I can just imagine the argument when not-nice sister finds out I'm having cool sister and not her. I broached the general subject of not-nice sister maybe not being a bm, and she threatened to not even come. I think she was joking, but still. She will flip if I tell her Im having cool sister but not her. But is that a reason to have her? I don't think so? The man will have his two brothers, and then as many of his good friends as required, so I can't even use that as a way out. 

Is it rude of me to not have all my sisters? I feel absolutely terrible, but I just KNOW my sister, and I KNOW she will make it more, not less stressful. What should I do?



I'm an only child, so the whole sister thing is completely foreign to me… But FUCK HER.

Stick a flower in her hair and give her a non-bridesmaidal job to do, just like the twelve-year-old.

Wedding planning is stressful enough when you're surrounded by your favorite people.