Friday, April 29, 2011

Concerned BFF

Dear ESB

In light of the recent posts about not knowing if your man is the one etc.. I was hoping you could give some advice on what to do when you know that your best friend's man isn't the one.

My bff has been with her man for a little under two years. She's always taking about marrying him, and he's always saying how if he can't have her, he won't have anyone. They got together when she was only eighteen (he's mid-late 20s). She's very mature (I mean, we're best friends and I'm in my mid 20s), so ostensibly the age gap isn't that big of a deal. But, she's also the sweetest, most innocent girl I know. (She's also a Christian, and as such values abstinence / purity / etc pretty highly.) Before him she'd never even kissed a guy. Their first date he rams his tongue down her throat, to the point that she cried herself to sleep because she felt so yuck about it. Then, a few days after they're officially together, he tells her that whilst they were dating he slept with someone (on some lad's trip to europe), and then proceeded to put it on my bff to be okay with it and to forgive him. No "sorry I know it hurts you" Or "I'm sorry that I knew how much you respect purity and still did something like that." Then, he proceeded to try and sleep with her at almost every opportunity, and he would always say something like he feels loved by physical touch, making her feel like she needed to be intimate with him or she didn't love him. Now, I don't necessarily agree with her views on things, but I sure as hell respect them, and respect her. And he absolutely doesn't.

Anyway, this has been going on for the entire duration of their relationship. There are many other ways in which he is controlling and manipulative (won't let her see her guy friends, won't come to her friends' social events, but makes her go to all of his (she missed my birthday for one of his friends'), things like that). She tries to talk to him, and he says sorry, but the next opportunity he has, he goes back to his 'old ways.' We talk about it, and she realises how controlling and disrespectful he is, and how crap he is, and how she can do better... but then she sees him, and he does *something* and all of a sudden she's telling me that he finally 'gets it' and they had a good time, and she loves him, and she doesn't want to give up, and he has potential and blah blah blah. This lasts anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks, and then he drops the act, and we repeat the whole cycle. I have been as blunt with her as I can. I have quite literally said (after 12 months of subtlety didn't work) "He isn't going to change. you need to leave him if you want to be happy." But then she still stays with him. He's been so awful to her, she quite literally seems to think this is the best she can do (even though she's the type of girl the boys line up to be with).

I just don't know what to do. He is hurting her so much, but she's just so manipulated by him that even when she sees it, he somehow makes her forget. And I feel like I can't push it any further without her shutting me out.

Please help, if you can.

- concernedbff

oh, and p.s. - she didn't tell me about all the crap at the beginning of their relationship for over a year because he said I would disapprove of them if I knew... that's the sort of 'wonderful' man he is.


She really needs to get out -- AWAY FROM HIM -- to be reminded that there are better, cooler, more fun guys in the world.

You say that he won't let her see her male friends, forces her to miss social events, etc. But if you can manage to drag her to a bar or a party or a football game* on occasion, the literal and/or metaphorical fresh air and sunlight will do her good.

Image: Dandi Maestre via Kylea Borges via Karyn Armour

*European football, obv. (Wait. Do women even go to football games in the UK? Are there, like, hipster leagues full of cute guys that play in the park, or is that just in Brooklyn? I'm actually not even sure if you live in the UK. I've got a lot riding on the British spelling of "realises." Which might in fact be a typo.)

F* the royal wedding

boring boring boring boring boring boring boring.

i thought the LEAD UP was bad, but if the recaps are gonna go ALL WEEKEND i might just crawl back into my hole.

at least i've finally stopped receiving press releases about How to Throw a Royal Wedding Party and Royal Wedding Worthy Hair and What to Wear to the Royal Wedding.*

Photo: Luisa Bianchin by Thomas Krappitz for Marie Claire Italia May 2011 via Fashion Gone Rogue


Thursday, April 28, 2011

engagement rings under $100

Hello ESB!

I've just recently found your site, and loooove it. Needless to say, I'm also truly looking forward to more posts on MMOHIAC. Hope I don't get in trouble for reading that one online at work. :D

Here's a question, and lord knows, there may not be an answer. Have you seen any rings online that would do super-duty as engagement rings, that any girl would be out of her mind to not love, that are under $100? We're poor/in love out of our minds, and want to get engaged asap. I showed the Love of my Life the catbird heart ring for $88 and he said he loved it, but in all due respect, he couldn't ask for my hand with it.


All my love,

Lady X


Here are my picks.

Erika Weiner Mini Hermiker Solitaire from Bona Drag

Snake Bone Ring from Macha

Pyrite and Sterling Silver Ring by Markhed (first posted here by Pour Porter)

Spanish Almandine Garnet from Rich Ruby Red (this one is $100 even, but I figured I'd sneak it in)

i'm kinda digging this ralph lauren.....

only $10,000!

it is made from "sweeping swathes of beautifully hand-embroidered cotton." so. you know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

dear esb: i ignored your advice

me again

pined for the dress for 2 more months. so i finally ordered it. heard nothing from the seller for 29 days. filed non-delivery claims. found a traditional dress in a real bridal store. put it on hold. cried over not wanting a traditional dress. told them i didn't want it. bought a different non-traditional dress. loved it. wasn't the same. then heard back from the seller. she'd had a family emergency. sent my dress immediately! but i got the flu. and either didn't hear the doorbell. or the mailman truly never rang the bell. but i was home that day. all day. no really. 11 days later, still had the flu. finally made it to the P.O. for my package. 7 days earlier it had been sent back to mexico. F the P.O.

so my question is: can i re-order it? ;-)


I want to tell you no, but I'm having trouble coming up with a suitable replacement.

(I spent exactly 43 minutes looking this morning, from 5 to 5:43am, I KID YOU NOT. This sched is killing me.)

Ideas? Anyone? We need a size 6.

Photo by David Hamilton via girl. by Band of Outsiders via science of the shot

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nearly Naked on My Way to the Courthouse

Hey ESB,

I'm freaking out a bit, and after reading your blog the past 6 months, I feel like you, of all people, are capable of giving me some sensible and tasteful advice. I'm getting married in 5 weeks, and what was supposed to be a sweet, laid-back "no big thang, just tying the knot" courthouse ceremony has become a shopping nightmare for me. For starters, I live in Omaha, NE, a near desert in the way of quality retail, so when I tried to just go out to the local department store and pick up something cute off the rack, I encountered styles that were more appropriate for women in their 50's than a stylish woman in her 20's. So I've been shopping the web non-stop these past couple months, purchasing and returning, purchasing and returning. My latest return occurred this week when I tried on this Geren Ford silk maxi dress, which was a couple inches too short, but otherwise awesome.

Am I screwed? Should I just go out to the Dillard's and buy the first thing that fits well and try to chill out? I was really hoping for something modern minimalist and cool, but I'm starting to give up hope. I've got some womanly hips, cropped brown hair and fair skin, so there are some parameters (like no strapless and not too too tight around the hips), but there are a lot of colors and styles I would be down with for this casual fete. I'm not seeing them out there, and I want to look beautiful for the cameras and the FH, so if you could use your style prowess to point me in the right direction, I sure would appreciate it!


Nearly Naked in Nebraska


My Dear NN,

I hope you won't mind (I'm sure you won't mind) but I called in cevd to help me with this one. I've been crazed, she's been knocking it out of the park, and plus I had a feeling you'd approve of her taste.

I mean. Right?

Figure 1: Bruce II Silk Racerback Tank,

Figure 2:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy bunny day

i miss you guys.

there will be more and better and more posts i promise as soon as i make it to the end of this shoot.

i'm off to try to convince myself to FALL ASLEEP so i can wake up at the oddball hour of 2am and go hang out in a bar for 12 hours. sans alcohol.


image: ruben ireland via lizzie & isaiah via d_ns via design you trust

p.s. there's a new mmohiac that needs your input. this one fell between the cracks and i've waited way too long to put it up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You should probably get married in this

Totokaelo via cevd

Also: if you don't follow cevd over here, you should really get on it.

Earlier this month a reader emailed me to ask what to buy as a kick-ass graduation gift for a friend who favors "chunky fashion jewelry, chandelier earrings and Coach purses." She waited 12 days for a response from my sorry ass and then wrote back: "Update: Found something via cevd's Pinterest"

Mama Drama

Dear ESB,

First, I find your blog hilarious. I love reading it (and not simply because it means I don't have to work during those 10 - 15 minutes). Second, I wish I didn't have to write you. But, I feel I've really tried to resolve a few issues that have arisen with my family following my engagement in an emotionally intelligent manner, but it's not worked and I'd appreciate your perspective and advice. Here's the skinny...

My parents have been divorced for 20+ years and my dad is missing in action. My mom is SUPER emotional and where I see everything in black and white, she sees shades of gray. My step-dad is relatively new to the scene, but I've never lived with him in the family house and I only see him 1 - 2x/year. He has repeatedly said he hates weddings and has criticized every family wedding we've been to. My fiance and I live abroad and I have not lived in or near my home town in the northwest for 12 years. He's from the south. We decided to consider venues in our current home abroad, the southeast, and the northwest. However, after looking at venues, we decided we were set on the south. We do not want a big event and I'm not a girl who ever thought about a wedding until I had a ring on my finger. In fact, I think the whole industry is a bit nuts (apologies).
[Editor's Note: Why would you apologize to ME?!] We just want to celebrate into the wee hours with friends and family we never get to see and I wouldn't mind doing so in a fab frock. My argument with my family has been going on for 7+ weeks.

After suggesting that we were going to get married in the south, my relationship with my mother really started to break down. She has repeatedly said that she doesn't care were we get married, but while we were trying to book a date, she kept changing her black-out dates. And, every time I'd suggest a potential time of year, she or my step-dad would book a vacation for that month. She's also criticized my ring saying it needs more bling. I was so frustrated with the process (as were my vendors, no doubt) that I finally just booked a date without consulting my mom or her husband and just hoped they could come.

Before I booked the venue, however, she and I had the dreaded budget conversation. She wasn't prepared for the cost of a wedding and said she would reconsider her contribution, agreeing it was too small. When she responded, she said that she didn't think she should contribute more to my wedding than my step-dad contributed towards his daughter. I was a little frustrated with this response not only because my mother and step-dad keep separate accounts (she still works and he is retired), but also because my step sister had 50 people at her wedding, no alcohol, no band, no flowers, no nothing. My mother's family alone is roughly 50 people so I didn't think we were really comparing apples to apples. I suggested as much to my mom by email (outlining our budget) and also raised my frustrations with the never ending vacation schedule.

My step-dad then responded to my email to my mother with an antagonistic email suggesting I was rude, selfish, and vitriolic and that my petty complaints needed to stop (something he wished he'd suggested ages ago). He also referenced his daughter's wedding several times and said that I could essentially copy hers and cut my budget by 50%. I think he is particularly protective of her as she suffers from learning disabilities, is extremely overweight, and has never really excelled socially. He closed by saying that he would delete any response from me. The email left me absolutely gutted. When my parents first got divorced, I paid the house bill with the earnings from my high school job and I've always tried to do nice things for my family. I volunteer regularly and worked with an inner city kid get into private school and eventually college. I like to think I'm kind and have a social conscience and if I don't, someone should have told me a long time ago (and not by email).

I tried to phone both he and my mom and they both ignored me for a week+. When I finally got a hold of my step-dad, he indicated that he could have used softer language but meant what he wrote. My mom does not think there was anything wrong or inappropriate in his message and just keeps telling me to move on. She's said that if I can't move on and improve my behavior, I'm not welcome to come home--my step-dad recently banned my brother from spending the night at their house.

A family member passed away yesterday and my mom yelled at me when she broke the news and then hung up on me. 

My fiance has been very supportive. He's not said anything ill about either my mom or step-dad, but offered suggestions for resolving my problem. He's also been super involved in the planning even going so far as to rally casual friends to help me pick a dress. I still don't know what to do. I don't think I want my mom's contribution under these circumstances and though I think my step-dad is a major source of the problem, I don't think I could ever say this. I'm a realist and don't think marriage is a walk in the park. I think we'll have our ups and downs and will need support and kindness from people we can count on to get through the difficult patches. I think my mom and step-dad's negative energy is counter productive to all that.

I'm also sad because as we're moving forward with the planning, I think my mom is really missing out. She's not been involved in any of the decisions so far and I would have liked to have shared this with her. I'm just feeling a little alone in all this. How do I resolve this without eroding the relationship with my only parent? And how do I feel a little less alone?


I suspect there is tension around money with your mom and stepdad, especially if her cash is more free-flowing than his. Unconsciously, your stepdad may be thinking it'll make him look bad if your wedding is more elaborate than his daughter's was.

And they may have other shit going on financially. (The yelling at you over the phone and then hanging up on you? There's something your mom's not telling you.)

Your only recourse is to pay for your own wedding.

Once the pressure is off, you can tell your mom you'd still like her help with the planning. I bet (I hope!) she'll be happy to hear it.

Image: Dan Tague via Charles Hall via 01 Blog

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Tuesdays

Q: How amazeballs is this dress Leanne Marshall made for the the Today show?


p.s. There's a new Dear ESB up on 100 Layer Cake for you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A non-froofy Disneyworld wedding

Okay, ESB! Our beyond awesometastic photographer finally blogged our DisneyWorld, non-princess-and-puffy-tulle-dress wedding.

It was thanks to you that I had a last minute, beyond awesome coverup for my dress (a brown leather jacket from Fossil). My purple dress was also last minute; I'd had a cream-colored, floorlength JCrew (ahem) dress in the closet for several months. I woke up one day and realized that I hated it. So, with the help of my fiance (who did not actually see me in the dress until the wedding day), I found a purple dress online at Nordstrom. It was totally me. And yes, I wore tights. It's my thing in real life (dress, tights, and boots), so I thought, why the hell not? And I wore my great-grandmother's pearls with a hair clip from Etsy. My glasses were on my face because I can't see without them. No contact lenses for me in real life, so again, glasses it was on the wedding day.

We went about planning our wedding as a "let's just pick individual elements that we love and hope it comes together" way. At one point I had an idea board, and then I realized that our wedding was not a photo shoot (thanks again to you), and just started to roll with single decisions. The folks at DisneyWorld made it all happen. We aren't cool, indie, hippie people who look like they walked out of a Todd Selby photo. We are just us. So we went with that.

We had a billion colorful balloons because Casey proposed to me on a trip to the International Hot Air Balloon Festival, donuts instead of a cake after we realized we don't even like cake, confetti cannons just because they are fun, and we drove away in a bicycle rickshaw that we pedaled ourselves because I hate limos and paying a thousand bucks for a vintage car that would take us around the parking lot was beyond ridiculous. Oh, and we were married on a Monday morning, which just happened to be Valentine's Day. Note the stark lack of lace and red hearts. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Our reception was outdoors, with a guitarist playing in the background, and we had a silhouette artist make silhouettes of our guests. Those were the favors. No DJ, no dancing. Just talking and beautiful weather and awesomely awkward family interaction and Jonathan Canlas, my favorite photographer in the world, capturing it all. [See more photos here.]

Our wedding day was better than I could have imagined. It was us, in every single way. It wasn't diy, or indie (does it get less indie than DisneyWorld?), but fuck that. My only advice to anyone getting married is to go with your instincts. Do what you want. Just because it's tradition doesn't mean it has to be in your wedding. And if you want to wear a colorful dress or even pants, then do that. I felt like a bride because I was *getting married* to my favorite person in the world, not because of my dress.

My husband and I both love your blog and irreverence. Keep it up, ESB.

-Jessica (one half of chesapeake and caseyfriday, aka the irritating Couple Who Comment on your blog)

I have just one thing to add: Jessica, you so ARE cool.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

you guys...............

i'm supposed to be decked out in sequins (or NOT SEQUINS) right now, on my way to that hill country wedding.

instead i'm holed up in an nyc office bldg, script-suping on a micro-budg feature.

i know. cry me a sparkly gold river, right?

(Photography by Will Davidson, Styling by Stevie Dance, Model Jessica Stam; via Vain and Vapid)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I don't know if I can keep this up.

Dear ESB,

This is "Anon 2:54" from the How do I know post. I figured what the hell, if nothing else I am at least typing this out, re-reading for proof and seeing how I feel once finished....
My fiance and I have been together for 6 years and have a beautiful child together. He is a wonderful dad and would do anything to make our daughter smile. We live in a nice apartment have decent things, always have food on the table...I shouldn't complain. However. (And please don't judge too harshly as I am going through some serious "beat my self up" moments.) From the minute we moved in together after we found out we were preggers, everything in our financial world became halved. Which, fine its cool, whatever. But our halves are so far from being equal that I barely had any money to get gas let alone anything else. After I had our daughter, I was out of work (obviously) and he KEPT TABS. Seriously. As in when the tax return money came in, he got it to make up for me not paying bills. Ugh that sounds so bad. But in my head, whatever it seemed fair.

Fast forward several years. I haven't finished college. Our daughter is about ready for preschool. Wedding is in 8 months. Things need to get paid for. I…don't have a lot to spend. My parents god bless them are paying for our wedding. I WANT my degree and we want to send the princess to a delightful private school. So, I ask him, can we split her school. "Sure." Haven't seen a dime. And this is how it always is. If I need something, it's on me. Anyone else, he had no problem handing it out. For 4 years, our daily grind has consisted of him working days, and me having daughter while he's at work, then going to work until 2:30 am. I get no f*cking sleep. My parents have gotten to the point where they are offering to let me move back in with them, help with daycare and let me work part time instead of full time so I can go back and finish school.  

While my folks are offering this, they are also behind me if I choose to stay. (In the parental department, I am so blessed.) I have dealt with all of this for years and it has become a normal thing to me. THIS is where I am losing my shit. 3 weeks after he proposed, he suggested we cancel the wedding because he felt like we were roommates. 3 motherf*cking weeks. Apparently he said he felt this way for a while. Why did he propose you ask? Because that's what he thought I wanted. No joke. Que deflation. I spent the past four months reading "couples" books, getting advice from loved ones....whatever I needed to do to make him happy. He has since "changed his mind" and wants to continue with the marriage. Then, my friend called me and asked me "WHY are you doing this!?!" It clicked. I am wearing myself out for nothing. He has not gone out of his way once to make me feel better. I am still deflated. I love him, and he is not an asshole. But. I don't know if I can keep this up for the rest of my life. So, after all that...Do I need a vacation and I'm just overreacting? Or is this really bad and I'm just blind to it?

In need of a double Jack & Diet,
"Anon 2:54"


Leave him.

(Image via Amateur Couture. Does anyone know who took the photo?)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speaking of necklaces....

These babies by Randi Mates came in a close second for apricot-dress-accessorizing.

(Shop Magpie & Rye)

apricot wedding dress success story?

Dear ESB,

Re. your commenter who said:
don't ask "do they make peach wedding dresses" just ask "can i find a awesome peach dress i want to get married in?" That's pretty much exactly what went through my mind as I shopped for dresses.

In a little over a month, I'm getting married outdoors on my family's sprawling farm in Kentucky wearing an Alberta Ferretti apricot dress that I got for a steal on the Outnet. No veil, but hair gathered low around one shoulder. We're going with a Great Gatsby, croquet-playing feel, and making Young's Double Chocolate Stout floats instead of a signature cocktail or some other bs. But as I work six days a week and my wedding date races towards me, I'm terribly afraid I will be barefoot and unadorned at my own wedding. Which wouldn't be the end of the world, but still...not preferable.

Can you suggest footwear? Anything more than a low heel is out bc my fiance in one inch taller than me. I'm thinking dependable yet elegant...maybe brogues like these from Madewell?

Also, since the wedding is outdoors, and Kentucky weather is always impossible to plan for, I'd love to find some sort of jacket or sweater to keep unsightly goosebumps far out of sight. Preferably one without ruffles or traditional bride-y accouterments.

Lastly, what the heck is a girl supposed to wear around her neck with a dress like that? As the queen of necklaces, I bet you know.

All the best,
Apricot Bride


I give the brogues a big fat FUCK YES.

For your neck, I'm kind of loving this Luv Aj Crystal Fragment Lariat.

And I think the apricot would be see-lammin with a classic jean jacket for late-evening croquet. (This one is Rag & Bone.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ivy & Aster read ESB


They also apparently give a shit about the royal wedding??

Whatevers. Check out the new collection here.

(Thank you, Jessica, for the heads up.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

When THE GROOM plans the details

I spotted these photos on the One Love blog, and I just knew Damiana and Lex's wedding was something special. Hello, CUSTOM TEMPORARY TATTOOS? GLOW STICKS?

Turns out the crafty groom was responsible for most of the details. Here's what the bride told me:

Lex and I went into planning the wedding with the mindset of wanting to make sure everyone that came would have a lot of fun. The goal was that everyone would have something cool to do, and I think it worked out since there are things I saw in wedding photos that I had no idea were even going on (People went out in boats! People actually used the putting green!) It all seemed to magically go off without a hitch (thanks to my 7 to-do-lists I made and amazing bridespeople not telling me about little hiccups) and it was what we wanted it to be, a cool party with tattoos and rad 90s music. Although frankly, after actually getting married, everything else was just the icing.

Most of our details are thanks to my crafty husband who worked at Michael's Arts & Crafts at the time and had a leg up on even knowing what type of stuff is out there. It turns out you can print out your own temporary tattoos! They're in the iron-on section, so you just print it out and they're sort of more like stickers, and you cut around the design and peel it off and stick it on. Lex's best man drew them because he is a like-minded crafty man.

[Editor's Note To Self: Really hope I'm never getting married again, but I HAVE TO borrow this idea. Nephew's birthday party? My birthday party??]

We got the glowsticks from We got 5 colors (meant to go with our color palette, as much as anything neon CAN go with a wedding color scheme) and 100 each, which I thought was excessive, but Lex was REALLY into them, and he turned out to be right! In the end we probably only had 3 or 4 left over.

(Photos by One Love Photo)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How do I know if he's the one?

Dear ESB,

I feel nuts writing to you, but I am desperately in need of some real perspective, and I think you are awesome.

I have been living with my boyfriend for 3 1/2 years. We are not engaged, but we treat each other like life partners, we talk kids, we talk wedding - all in that way like it's so obvious that we're doing those things. We are both broke and don't want to be engaged forever trying to save for a wedding, so we are saving up now and trying to pay off debt. But like I said, we are not *actually* engaged.

Okay, here is my problem. How do you know if someone is *the one*? All of my engaged/married friends say things like "you just know when you know." But, really? Will I "just know"? I have over-thought (i.e. obsessed over) every single major decision I have ever made in my life - from what schools to go to, what to study, what dresses to wear to parties, how to phrase emails (I guess that's not a "major" decision) - you get the idea. I have obsessed over our relationship, but I do not know if he is "the one." Maybe you can help, because I'm not getting any younger here.

BF is sweet and fun. When we go grocery shopping, he always carries all of the groceries, unless it is humanly impossible to do so. He understands me and he is really supportive. I can't imagine living with anyone else. But how do I know if that stuff is real, or if it is just the product of having lived together for so long? Because also when he is angry he slams doors really loudly or hits the wall, which I really, really hate. And he does really annoying impressions - like, the worst. And he always forgets to call me if he is going to get home from work later than usual, or if he decides to have a quick beer with his buddies. The last time we went to visit my parents, he read the paper all through lunch instead of engaging them in conversation. And if suddenly there was a nuclear war, and all of my best girlfriends disappeared, and it was just me and him, I wouldn't be completely happy. He just doesn't fill every need. And our brains do not match up 100%. For example, I always want to talk about why characters in movies do the things they do, and BF just wants to watch the movies and not analyze them. Also, his mom is bat-sh*t crazy, and I am pretty sure I will never feel close to her - aren't you supposed to feel so warm and fuzzy about your FMIL? Aren't you supposed to want to plan the wedding with her? Her taste is the polar opposite of mine. Finally, no one in BF's family has a college degree, and neither does he (but he works in a creative field, so it doesn't really matter), but my family is super degree-oriented. Is that crap important? Does it matter if his parents and mine don't become friends? Aren't we supposed to come from the same town, and have gone to the same schools, and our parents supposed to be in bridge club together? That is how all my friends' relationships are and they all seem really happy. I just don't know.

I'm sure I sound super annoying, but can you give me a hit of obvious? Am I in one of those relationships where people from the outside go "what are they thinking?" I just really don't want to be wasting our time. If this clearly isn't going to work, I want to cut and run so that I can start looking for that effing "you just know when you know" guy.

- Crazytown

P.S. I also have just started Law School after years and years in the working world, so that is not helping.


No single item on your laundry list sounds like a deal-breaker.

But the fact that you've MADE a laundry list makes me think you don't really want to marry this guy.

(Photo by Terry Tsilois for Muse 2010 via Vain and Vapid)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Country Bumpkin I ain't

Hello ESB,

After weeks of searching the canyons of Sedona, AZ, my patient and loving fiance and I have found the perfect veunue that will give us our freedom and give us the wedding we want for under $10K. The venue is called Indian Gardens Park and it's a bit outdoorsy, but a whole lotta lovely.

My thoughts are this: can I find a dress for $400-$900 that will fit the outdoorsy county theme, but which won't look made from a table cloth?
Thanks ever so.

Colors attached (apricot for a wedding dress? yes please! If they even make them...)

- Not Pocahontas


I am way late on this, so you probs already found a dress, but how bout this amanda dots dress by Girl by Band of Outsiders?

Hey, PEACH ain't easy to find.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I did a Rehearsal Dinner Style post for 100 Layer Cake today.

The ladies who wrote in asking for help with rehearsal dinner dresses (and maybe also the ones who didn't) really ought to head on over.


Bo Don photographed by Ezra Petronio for issue n°34 of self service magazine. Organza dress by Valentino.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My new cousin wants to copy my ring!

Dear ESB,

I was recently married...literally less than a month ago. Last night, my husband asked me if I still have the contact info for the jeweler he worked with in NY to build my ring (I know, he should have the info himself, but I was the last to work with the guy for our bands...and maybe a little more organized ;). Anyway, I said yes and asked why. He proceeds to tell me that his cousin asked for it because his wife really likes my ring and he would like to buy her the same for their 10 year anniversary.

My question is, should I be OK with this? My husband (boyfriend at the time), worked with this jeweler to find the diamond, find a designer to build the band, etc. - he was in and out of the place probably 10 or more times without me knowing so it was a total surprise when he proposed and I absolutely adore the ring! More than the ring itself though, I love the story behind it and how it makes my ring special and reminds me of our time living in NY (we're in Chicago now), so it bugs me a little how my new cousin wants the exact same ring less than a month after we're hitched...and just for a 10 yr anniversary, no less. Am I just being crazy?

Thanks for your help!

OverbeaRING Bride? (Ha ha! So cheesy, but I wasn't sure if you made these names up yourself or needed suggestions ;)


Dear Overbearing,

Tolerating a copycat or two is the price you and your husband have to pay for being cool.

You get to keep the story about how he sourced the diamond, worked with the designer, went in and out of the jewelry store ten times, etc. All your new cousin will get is a story about how her unimaginative husband went out and bought her the same ring just because she said she liked it.


(Lava Ring by Imogen Belfield with blue sapphires, citrines and fragments of white porcelain via Myan Duong)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I think someone should get married in this slip dress.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Did I say there'd be a new "If I were..................." for you today?

The mother of two I had lined up to write it totally bailed on me. BLAH BLAH freelance assignment, BLAH BLAH colicky baby.

She did offer me this:

If I could get married all over again, I’d get shitfaced and hire a babysitter for that night and the next day so she could watch my kids while I wallowed in a hangover and then got a full-body massage and drank some bloody marys. 

(Jessica Stam by Sølve Sundsbø via Ms. Mack via Laurel Thompson via SkinnyDipp)

Do our wedding bands have to MATCH?

Hi hi ESB,

I have a question that's not veil or drama related.

I love my engagement ring. It's a white gold solitaire with a marquee cut diamond, and I love it. Now that we're getting closer to the wedding, the subject of wedding bands has caused some unease. My FH wants a plain yellow gold band, and isn't budging from that. I don't want my taste to make him wear a ring for the rest of his life that he doesn't at least like.

Do we have to match? Will people still know we're married to each other if we don't?* Is there a nice way to coordinate without my engagement ring and wedding band clashing? Or does it not matter at all and we should just tell our photographer to skip the three-rings-on-a-clever-background picture?

Thanks thanks!


*there's an episode of House where he figured out an older couple weren't married to each other because their wedding rings didn't match.


I'm a big fan of matching wedding bands. I think it's cool to see his-and-hers* rings on a pair of people that, you know, go together.

But do you HAVE TO match?

Will people still know you're married to each other?  
I DON'T KNOW. Maybe you should wear name tags so it's perfectly clear to everyone at all times. "HELLO, I'm X's Wife."

If you coordinate the style of band, for example, if he gets a man-sized round band in yellow gold and you get a ladylike round band in white, I think they'll go together well enough.

(Classic Milla Round Band by Bario-Neal)

*Or hers-and-hers. Or his-and-his. Obviously.