Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Those Berliners know how to get MARRIED

I have no idea what's going on with this wedding. But I know I like it.

(Photos via glamcanyon, with special thanks to anonymous for the tip)

Monday, November 29, 2010

My FH wants to dress like Willy Wonka

Dear ESB –

My fiancé and I have had little to no issues while beginning our wedding planning. We’ve picked a lovely old house that has been turned into a restaurant for our wedding and reception. We’ve rented the whole place which has separate rooms for dining and dancing, and a little courtyard where we will have our ceremony. It will have a very low-key house party feel which we are so excited about. I’m wearing an ivory gown and a birdcage veil for the ceremony – I’ll be switching to a flower in my low chignon halfway through pictures and for the reception. My bridesmaids are wearing knee length cocktail dresses in pewter (with pockets!)- Something they all love and can wear again. To bring this all together, I fell in love with the idea of the guys in black suits with fedoras. The groomsmen would have pewter vests and to separate ourselves, my fiancé would have a cranberry vest to match the fun cranberry shoes I’ll be rocking under my dress. To my surprise, my fiancé has recently been expressing a desire to wear a top hat and coat tails – possibly with a cane! All I could envision is him whistling into a little flute and somersaulting down the aisle like Willy Wonka. I am having a hard time not viewing this top hat ensemble as something a little over the top for what would otherwise be a not black-tie event. Have you seen any recent pictures of grooms in top hats where they don’t look silly? Should I just embrace this newfound classiness in him and let him rock it despite what I had originally envisioned? Or is it too much? 


I think you know what to do.

Ix-nay the op-tay at-hay.

I don't want to invite my stepfather

Dear ESB,

Here is another one of those "to invite or not invite" problems: I will be getting married next summer and I do not want to invite my stepfather to the wedding. He has ruined most of my childhood and we are not speaking to each other since five years. In brief, I avoid him whenever I can. If it weren't for my mother I would not have a problem now but she is still very attached to him, although they have officially separated a long time ago. They spend a lot of time together, visit family together, travel. She understands how I feel about him, but does not want to come alone to my wedding. She says she will not have anyone to dance with. It might also appear strange to my family who see those two together all the time and I will probably have to explain a lot to them about why he is not present at the wedding. But it is not like I can invite him and have him seated at a table far away from mine. If he comes as my mother's plus one, he will be sitting at my table. I do not want my mom to feel sad and alone at my wedding. She already tries to convince me that he is not all that bad and reminds me of some rare nice moments we had as a family earlier on. How can I tell her that she cannot bring him, without hurting her immensely and having to listen to her complaints for years to come?!

PS: Sorry for my English, I am not a native speaker.


Grab your mother by the shoulders and tell her "THIS WEDDING IS NOT ABOUT YOU."

Is she also planning to wear white? You'd better nip that in the bud.

(Photo by Mert & Marcus via Rosie Keszek)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Elizabeth Dye for 2011

I'm digging Elizabeth Dye's new collection. It's boho chic meets 50's prom...

Via {frolic!}

p.s. It may appear that I am ignoring t-giving, but I'm just stoked that I don't have to cook anything. Happy happy everyone!!

here's a WEDDING NECKLACE for you

By Emma Cassi for Anthropologie

(What did I just say about all the cool kids getting snapped up?)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rocking the mother-in-law's pearls

Dear ESB,

Here's my dilemma: my future mother in law has asked me to wear a pearl necklace to my wedding that has sentimental value to her. Here is a link to the David's Bridal dress I'll be wearing. On my curvy figure the dress comes across as a little more sexy than it does on the model in the picture. The pearls are small, single strand and fall just below the collar bone. I think the necklace and dress look perfectly fine together and I want to wear it since it seems to mean a lot to her. But the look is
very simple and classic and doesn't really feel like my style. I've been thinking about layering a few necklaces together, but I'm worried that it might offend her if I wear more than one necklace. Also I'm wearing my hair down and I wonder if a bunch of necklaces, plus lots of hair, plus a sparkly dress is going to be too much? I actually don't usually wear much jewelry.

I've known her five years now and we are fairly close. I could talk to her about it but I feel like she's the type of person who would say it was ok when she was actually upset about it (or completely misunderstand my intent), so I'd like to have a better idea of what I want to do before I bring it up. If I do decide to wear more than one necklace when is the right time to tell her? I might feel kind of funny just showing up to the wedding like that without mentioning it first.


According to the Allure I picked up at the salon the other day, "A single strand of pearls is dated; a bold necklace of imperfectly knotted ones is strong and stunning."

But you knew that already.

Just tell your FMIL that you've decided to go a little nuts with the necklaces. This is your big day to be sparkly! Surely she won't begrudge you that.

p.s. Will someone please get married in this Vera Wang bustier?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Topshop wedding flats

Pretty sweet, right? And they're only $55!


Friday, November 19, 2010

My parents slashed our wedding funds

Dear ESB,

I am in Kenya interning and since I've been here my boyfriend (in GA) and I have realized how much we really mean to each other. We want to be married as soon as possible. My parents have not really had the chance to meet my fiance because they live in another state. We planned the date for 27 December 10 (2 weeks after I get back) after checking with both families to make sure this would work. My parents were very excited for me and approved the date. They had set aside $5000 for our wedding. A couple days ago my father informed me that out of that money comes the money for their accommodations, meals, and a flight for my brother and sister-in-law to attend. I was upset, because I was surprised by this new expense. I talked to my parents about it and they got really hurt and told me I was being incredibly selfish and greedy. The whole thing blew up and now my parents are incredibly hurt and don't want to speak to me. I apologized for being selfish and they have said they forgive me but still need time.

In the meantime, I asked my fiancee to write them an email introducing himself and "declaring his intentions." He did so, even though he felt my parents were being childish and doesn't like the way they treat me. In a second email, he mentioned to my parents that we were grateful for the money and he wanted to let them know that everyone else was paying for their own travel expenses. My parents haven't responded yet, but I can only imagine what they'll say, and it won't be nice.

I don't want to hurt my parents so deeply, it's important that they attend my wedding and support me, but I also don't agree with the way they're handling things. We have already started planning the wedding and his parents have already put money towards things so we can't change the date, not to mention the fact that I absolutely don't want to! My fiancee always tells me that I don't stand up to my parents, but I just hate to see anyone hurt! Especially by me! I don't know how everything went wrong all of the sudden, and I don't know what to do.

Parental Woes


Dear PW,

I'm sorry if your parents are acting like a*holes, but throwing a tantrum and insisting that they give you all the money they promised you is not the way to stand up to them.

Demonstrating that you and your fiancé are grownups and you're capable of working within the reduced budget (or coming up with the difference yourselves) is.



Another image from mother via all the mountains...

dried wedding flowers?

Dear ESB,

I've been thinking that I only want to have dried flowers for my wedding, specifically dried peonies. For table decorations, it would be a mixture of dried peonies, larkspur, sweet annie, german satice, sea lavender, and ammobium, all dried as well. I just really love the vintage feel they give, not to mention the price.

What say you? Is this too tacky?


dried flowers = much bettah than plastic flowers. but there is something a tad melancholy about them, i have to say.

(Image courtesy of mother via all the mountains... via scout & catalogue)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The perfect dress for winter in London?

Dear ESB,

I'm going to London for 4 months for a study abroad this winter!

Obviously, I'm psyched out of my mind. But this poses a dilemma: minimal clothes, but optimum warmth. The solution, i think would be a good shirt dress or shift that can be worn with tights and sweaters and adorable coats.

But I have searched high and low for a good dress that is vintagey, walkable, goes to my knees and has sleeves.

dilemma, dilemma, dilemma.



If I were searching for that perfect dress to wear 5 days out of 7, I'd go Steven Alan all the way.

p.s. The plaid one is on sale!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I may have found the perfect wedding flats

Embossed metallic suede leather? Come on.

And while we're at it, this spotted pony is pretty good too.*

Repetto + Golden Goose via Jeana Sohn


*Wait. They're not really made out of ponies, are they?? Forget I said anything.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kissing cousins

Dear ESB-

I have been engaged for 5 months now and am getting married in the summer. Since I have gotten engaged I have been constantly worrying about the guest list. I am not very close to my dad's side of the family and I have always felt uncomfortable around them, my cousin especially. I only have one cousin on that side of the family and he is mentally disabled. Since we were kids he has always insisted on sitting as close as possible to me, he is always trying to rub my back and kiss me on the lips, even when it is quite obvious it makes me extremely uncomfortable and I dodge him when he tries to do this. His mother, my aunt, never said anything to him. I finally mentioned something to my dad last year because I now avoid family events like the plague. It has gotten a little better but I still feel nervous around him and I can't relax.

To get to the point, I would really like to NOT invite him to my wedding. But at the same time I don't have an excuse to give to my family if I don't (since they think his actions are perfectly normal).  I am not having a small wedding either so i can't use that as an excuse. I feel like I am being a little ridiculous and I think I just need to get over it but I want to be able to relax at my wedding and not worry about what he might do.

Am I being unfair and if not do you have any thoughts about how to best handle this situation?

-Kissing cousins


Try to keep "mentally disabled" out of the scenario. If you had an agile-minded cousin who had been sexually harassing you since you were kids, you'd leave him off the guest list, right?

So leave him off the list. No apologies, no excuses.

(I have a feeling your aunt -- and the rest of the family -- are more aware of his behavior than they are letting on.)


Masquerade by Saul Steinberg & Inge Morath via modern nostalgic via Vejde Gustafsson

Thursday, November 11, 2010


H-town suggested that I share these creatures with you.

Also, I have a new Dear ESB up on 100 Layer Cake this morning re: The Dreaded Guest List.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I could make this, right?

Minus the fishhook thingee, which I happen to know would snag on everything.

Maybe I'll DIY a bunch of jewelry for xmas presents this year? It could happen.

Giles & Brother via scout&catalogue


Quick question: Is it inapprops/unethical to post photos of stuff that I am inspired to knock off? I mean, it's not like I plan to sell the stuff...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Men's Tea Party

These dudes are from Brooklyn (obv). But the fingerless gloves and the brown bread and the little tin of sardines remind me of my Da, who lives up on the West Coast of Canada.

This is pretty what my dad's lunch looks like every day. Maybe minus the cakes. Definitely minus the rabbit-fur cosy.

Anyhoo. I can't wait to get up there and have tea with him.*

Photos by Susanna Howe for the NY Times (via Scout Holiday via justlikehoney)


*You guys, I might be getting a teensy bit of Christmas fever. Is it too soon? I mean, I'm not DECORATING THE HOUSE or anything.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear ESB: Should I scrap my lovely summer wedding for the sake of my sanity?

Dear ESB,

My fiance and I were engaged this spring after having been together for 4 years. I love him dearly, but his parents (as much as I really do love them, too) can be a bit controlling and critical of our choices, and have "elite" standards. Our wedding has proven to be no different. To clarify everything I am about to write: my fiance's family is very well off and mine isn't. We're students (studying on the other side of the country from where the wedding will take place) and can't afford much, and seeing as the FINs didn't like any of our initial budget-friendly wedding options, we started falling down the path towards the FINs paying for a fifty-thousand dollar wedding. We had always dreamed about having the wedding at the FINs waterfront home, which has a built in bar and amazing downstairs area perfect for dancing, but they didn't think they wanted to host 70 people there. So we reluctantly moved ahead with finding somewhere else. It started small at first: we began planning to have our wedding ceremony outdoors at a neighbour's property, and then move it to another venue for the reception. The neighbour's place is remote and has limited parking, so we would have to pay to get all of the guests transported to and from the site ($$). And this wouldn't be just any old outdoor ceremony: there would be a tent (a fancy one) with caterers and cocktails and flowers and rental chairs etc. etc. etc. ($$$).

When our reception venue fell through (kind of a blessing (-$$$$)) we asked the neighbour if he wouldn't mind hosting the entire wedding on his property, seeing as it wouldn't be too much more going on than the ceremony anyway, and he agreed. His property is really really beautiful and we loved the idea of having everyone in one place and not having to over-complicate the logistics of the day. I personally loved it because then I only needed to worry about decorating one venue instead of two or three. I should mention that in our city there is a very limited amount of wedding venues, none of which really challenge the conventional wedding reception style. I spent weeks and weeks looking for a more interesting place where we could have a great dinner and also be able to dance, only coming up with the previously mentioned venue that eventually fell through. So anyway, we were excited about keeping everything at the neighbour's. But then the FINs didn't seem so keen. They worried about it getting cold at night, the minimal lighting on the property, bugs etc. - all of which are very legitimate concerns, but I felt that we could work around them (complimentary bug spray, anyone?). His mom additionally argued that holding everything there would get expensive, which is frustrating because she just uses this argument when she doesn't like something. As an example, she was more than excited about renting out another venue that would have cost $10,000 more (the likes of which my fiance and I refused on principle).

So now the agreement is that the neighbour's place is a fall-back if we can't find an appropriate reception venue in time, which I know we won't because I have already done all the leg work. But I just want things settled. Every conversation we have with his parents is about the wedding, and his mom is relentless in searching for "the best" place instead of agreeing to go with the place that makes us the most happy. I don't want to talk about wedding venues and logistics anymore - I want to study for my finals!

Suffice it to say, our plans to have a low-stress, beautiful but inexpensive wedding have been hijacked by the FINs incredibly high standards (which I have certainly participated in as well as a blinded-by-the-bling bride). Everything is snowballing, and when we start to look at the numbers, we just know that this thing is going to be stupid-expensive. Not to mention the fact that I am worried the whole event is going to be incredibly stressful with all of my FMINs nit-picking and over-spending. I really value my close relationship with her, and I am incredibly worried that this wedding might irreversibly strain things between us. Throw in her side of the family, all of which will most definitely expect a free ride across the country to come to our wedding in the first place, and this thing is starting to look like a soulless monster to me.

Then...the epiphany. I started to think back to all of the fantastic family New Years parties my FMIN throws at her home with great food, dancing, champagne and a "disco tree" (it's her very cute tradition to throw about 10 tons of tinsel on the Christmas tree for New Years). I wanted to capture THAT for our wedding, and so I started wondering why we couldn't just incorporate our wedding into the New Years festivities. It wouldn't be a stretch: we'd keep the guest list to immediate family, a few other family members who are very close and already live in town and a few close friends. Anyone who is invited to the New Years party would have been invited to our wedding anyway, and our families already know each other (in fact, our moms get along famously). Plus it will save about THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. This idea makes me very very happy - like, I haven't felt as happy as this since I initially got engaged. And my fiance is really warming to the idea....but he needs to tell his folks about it. I can't be involved in this because they seem to think that all of my ideas need to be second-guessed no matter what (yeah...another problem), and the only way they are going to truly be on board is if they understand how much this means to their son.

It really sucks that they get to wield so much control, but money is power in this case.

I suppose what I am asking from you, ESB: do you think I am insane for wanting to scrap my lovely summer wedding for the sake of my sanity? Probably one of the biggest 'pros' is that I would be eliminating about 7 months of additional stress and drama. There are only a few small details from the summer wedding that I care about but wouldn't be able to pull off for the New Years wedding, and we would have to wait for our honeymoon in the summer. I also wouldn't be able to order the dress I wanted in time, but maybe this is my opportunity to rock an awesome white cocktail dress and killer heels instead? Any advice/suggestions/therapists you can offer would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
The Game Changer


What does "FIN" stand for?


...Future In-Laws. I came to a rather quick conclusion that this plan of mine wasn't going to alleviate many problems, just create new ones. Who the hell tries to plan a wedding on New Years in less than two months?! It did, however, allow me to appreciate the wedding I was originally planning and look forward to it more this summer.... and the GORGEOUS dress I was planning to purchase. But please, if you can find the time, I would still love advice on navigating the in-laws/financial scenario.


ummm, and yeah....just realizing my incredibly stupid typo, too. FIL, not FIN... its mid terms and I am stressed in all directions! Sorry about that!


I still think you should do it. It is totally possible to plan a wedding in two months.

The question is, how do you get your FMIL on board? And: Are you willing to let her be in charge? (Let's face it, the woman is in charge already. The only way you can take charge is to pay for the wedding yourself.)

Start off by telling her how much you love her annual party, and how you'd always dreamed of getting married at her house. And then show her this post about the surprise wedding that Marisa and John planned in SEVEN DAYS.

I think a surprise wedding with an ginormous disco tree would be too terrific for words.

Plus you'd get to celebrate your anniversary on New Year's Eve every year. What's better than that?

(Image from Design Crush via Erin Dudley)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Emi Fukuda

I'm not quite sure how I feel about these.

I think I love them.

(via enid hwang)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dear ESB: Is this dress not appropriate?

my husband-to-be wants to veto my favorite dress because he says it looks too much like my robe (which is kinda precisely why i love it). we're getting married in central park at the end of may, and partying at a beer garden afterward. is this dress not appropriate? thoughts?


Who cares if it's appropriate? If your H-T-B doesn't think it's smoking hot, you shouldn't get married in it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

monday morning dance party

There's a dance party every morning in scout&catalogue's studio.

I may need to hijack the wee disco ball that's languishing in H's office and put it on the window sill above my desk....

I mean. Couldn't we all use a little dance party in the morning?

(Via fieldguided)

In other news, I love that I married a man who owns a disco ball. I don't know where I got this disco ball obsession, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the rad photos that keep turning up all over the internets.