Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shoes, Guest List + THE BATHROOM SINK

Dear ESB,

So, it's not like I waited for all this to happen and then email you. Nope, it all happened yesterday. I'll start off with the fun:

I'm wearing this dress (front, back). I'm in love with it. If possible, I'm in love with the shoes equally as much. So, our wedding venue is an art studio loft space on the top floor of a building in Washington DC. I recently discovered there is access to the roof via a ladder that looks like this. Clearly, I want pictures on the roof, there are views of the Capitol, Washington Monument, etc. But, definitely won't be walking up that ladder in heels. I found these for ladder climbing and beyond. I love them, so do my MOH and BM. Problem being, FH doesn't like them, but says I'll be gorgeous no matter what, plus, the dress covers the shoes. I'm leaning towards not getting them, advice?

I own my house, I have two roommates. One I love, one I don't. The one I don't is moving out 3 months earlier than I planned for. Which equates to nearly $2K in losses. I'm happy to have her go, but worried about money, and what that means for wedding budget (we're paying for it ourselves). I would give it a 95% chance I will not see said roommate in the 3 months between my wedding and when she moves out. Before I felt obligated to invite her. But, does this get me off the hook?

So, why not have FH move in? I'm actually surprised how unopposed I am to having him move in 3 months early. But, I'm worried that my motivations for this are purely financial, which makes me think this is a bad idea. Then there's all the stuff you learn about each other when you move in, and we'd be doing that with a roommate instead (who we both love, but still). Should we just save that for marriage, or does it not really matter in the scheme of things? If he moved in, he'd live in the open room, not mine. (We're both church-going, religious, and virgins -- and intend to stay that way.) Then there's the stigma at church -- but I don't *think* I care about that too much. We both feel the same way about this, sort of unsure, sort of surprised by thinking it would be okay.

OH, and about halfway through engagement my parents told us they are getting a divorce (after 29 years) and my dad cheated on my mom. That shattered all kinds of things in my heart. Still trying to figure out what, if any, part my dad plays in the wedding. But, that's a whole other email I suppose.


1. I'm more concerned about you climbing the ladder in THAT DRESS than in the heels.

2. Yes.

3. Move him in. The sooner the better. Maybe it's not ideal for you to learn all the he-throws-his-dirty-socks-on-the-floor-and-leaves-his-mustache-trimmings-in-the-sink stuff with a roommate, but better now than after you get married.

Image courtesy of Cymbeline

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

EAT, or go to my best friend's wedding?

My best friend is getting married and she appointed me and her sister as maids of honor. The wedding was supposed to take place next Summer, which gave her and everyone involved plenty of time to save and plan, etc... She and her fiance have now decided to basically elope and get married at city hall with just very close family and friends invited. They will have a photographer, and will be holding a reception dinner at a low key, trendy place. The reason they decided to go this route is to save money and take a large amount of stress off of their shoulders. I love my best friend dearly and I absolutely adore her fiance and they are such an amazing couple. I want her to be happy no matter how she decides to tie the knot. Here's my dilemma...

The newly proposed wedding is in 8 weeks. I live clear across the country and cannot afford the hefty price tag of the flight. I have to eat and support myself! I could save up for it seeing as I have 8 weeks, but the flight will only get more expensive. My best friend said that they could try to work half of my flight into the budget, but me being who I am, told her that that wouldn't be necessary. It's important for me to be there for her and I really want to experience that day with them, but it's going to be so painful to my bank account. And I can't help but think that this day has lost some of its emotion involved, I mean, what's the rush? If they changed their minds once they could do it again potentially. And I'm using my last two vacation days which would allow me to be home for 3 days.

When I think about what she means to me and how much fun I know I will have, I am positive about the whole thing, and I don't care if I starve for two weeks. But when I think about it realistically, the money, the time, the fact that she doesn't really need me there anymore, it makes my decision impossible! Everyone that I have asked says that I should just tell her the truth, that I can't really afford it, and that it's a lot of money and effort to come home for just a few days. But my heart is telling me that I should go, and be there for my best friend no matter what.

What should I do?!


Dude, it's your BEST FRIEND?

That's what credit cards are for.

Photo by Todd Hido via Charles Hall + photokaboom

Monday, August 29, 2011

In support of the kaftan...

...I was going to comment on your recent post.  But at the time I read the post the comments on other posts were getting, shall we say, slightly tetchy. And frankly I didn’t want to get torn to shreds. I’m a coward and I’m ok with that.

Anyway, to get to the point (and I appreciate I’m slightly late in getting there) and in support of the venerable garment that is the epitome of all things 70s, I thought I’d send you the above photos of my wedding last year. I wore a Temperley kaftan. I am led to believe that it was supposed to be beach-wear. I loved it. My husband loved it. The guests said they loved it. My brother said I looked like I should be in Blake’s 7.  

And that’s all I have, other than to say that you evil club of mean hipster brides rocks. But you knew that anyway.



(Images 1 +2 by Laura Hall, Image 3 by Carl Lewis)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

omg i love you guys.


And the winner of the Bona Drag contest is Galerie, of the Racerback + Silver Fringe!

That Lauren Manoogian Cotter Fringe Necklace was THE most popular item you guys included in your outfits, and she really did work it the best.

Update: Photo by Kate Daigneault (thanks, Maddie!) via The Lane.

p.s. Galerie, email me!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

quick question

would it be inapprops for brides to straight-up start wearing CROWNS?

i welcome your nominations for the next headpiece.

louise bourgeois by bruce weber for helmut lang via la garçonne via wool&misc via woodleyparkzoo

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bona Drag Shopping Contest: THE VOTE!

So, I challenged you guys to put together an outfit for the Philly Bride featuring a dress for under $250 and at least one item from the Bona Drag online store. 

I also said I'd give extra points to anyone who found a way to incorporate small dogs/cats/bunnies. No idea what I was thinking.

Anyhoo. You guys did really well. And some of you made me look like a complete photoshop amateur, but I tried not to hold it against you (TONIA).

from Johnna (pictured above): This dress. These shoes. This bracelet. This ring. <-- jaguars count as cats.. right?

from Galerie: amazing acne naia dress with braided racer back, silver fringe necklace, grey suede platform sandals, and to splurge, a fabulous lace cape

from Tonia: The dress is here, the shoes here, the bracelet here and the DOG CHARM (!!!) here (hopefully I am not the only one in-love with wiener dogs.)

from Aimee: hello lovely! ($216), with this necklace ($545, i knooow), and these shoes ($398) and if there is a chill this jacket ($98)

from Melissa: Alright, the reformation dress, with these gorg pearls and the highest, comfiest heels or wedges you can find.

Pls use your vote wisely. The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate from Bona Drag.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Perhaps you'll forgive my dilly-dallying on getting the Bona Drag vote up if I give you a new my maid of honor is a cunt?

I was up all night packing for a wee trip to my dad's while H took my computer apart and put it back together again. (Okay, not really. But he did update my old-ass version of photoshop, which took FOREVSBALLZ.)

Christina Ricci by Mert &amp; Marcus via Fashion Gone Rogue

Brought to you live from the Vancouver airport. I LOVE YOU, VANCOUVER!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

happy tuesballz.

I just had to post these photos from oh, darling! Lovely faces, lovely light. Fabulous dresses on the guests.

Speaking of... There's a new Dear ESB regarding guest attire for you over on 100 LC.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Dear ESB,

I have long, thick, heavy hair. And by long, I mean like I have to ensure it doesn't fall in the loo when I take a wee.

I usually wear it down, or piled high in a messy rat's nest bun on the top of my head, held together by three, yes, three elastics.

Problem is, I want to look somewhat less like a hobo, and more like a sexy biatch for my wedding.

I went for a hair trial (ugh) on the weekend, and got them to do something like this. Looked great... for about an hour, then it lost all its volume with the weight of my hair, and turned into a saggy mess that looked worse than my usual tangles. Even with the 6 million pins the hair dresser used.

Any suggestions on a badass sexy hairstyle that will hold up my heavy hair? I also have a killer low backed dress, and didn't really wanna cover it up by having my hair down. Or should I just suck it up, and chop a foot or so off my locks?

Cousin It



Image by Riitta Ikonen

Dear ESB: What do I get my [BLANK]?

I've been getting a lot of requests for gifts lately. 

Gifts (under $200) for the 8 friends flying to Ireland for a destination wedding. Gifts (under $100) for the rad future in-laws. Gifts under $40 for the bridesmaids and the artsy parents and the "well.... um... lame" in-laws-to-be.

I don't do lame. But you can't go wrong with a porcelain skull or a handmade salt bowl, amirite?

Porcelain Beaver Skull by Beetle & Flor at Smith + Butler ($175, pictured at top) or Skunk Skull ($80, pictured above) at Magpie & Rye

Alder Fruit Bowl ($175) + Arbutus Salt Bowl ($45) from Herriott Grace 

Note: This shop sells out FAST, so if you're serious about buying one of their pieces, join the mailing list.

Signature Bracelet from Scosha ($25)

I finally invested in Tarot Deck after Leigh tipped me off that it smells like records. So best. It makes the bedroom smell good even when it's not burning.

Deborah Lippman Boom Pow Nail Polish with 24K gold dust ($20)

Image via Accidental Chic

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dear East Side Bride: I feel numb

Aug 20 2:18AM   

So I have been reading for awhile but never really needed to write until now, since most of the planning has been done by other people (I know, lucky me). My wedding is in exactly one week and I feel like a zombie. Everyone is way more excited than I am and expects me to be over the moon, but I just can't find it anywhere in me to even fake it. This has been going on for over a month now, I thought it would go away as the date approached but no luck.   

Some details - I was living in the US (until a week ago) and am currently trying to finish grad school which normally sucks all my mental energy. My FH lives in Paris and the plan is to live with him and work on my thesis from there until I am done. I used to live with him in Paris, the move is of course a big one, but I've done it before. The wedding is actually in Rome, because that's where his family is, so I have a bunch of friends and family coming from CA and then he has a huge family (who did most of the planning before we finished saying 'we're engaged' - although my parents jumped in and helped quickly). The wedding itself should be great - I'm not so worried about the details and I don't have any misconceptions about how 'perfect' things should be, etc. I originally wanted to do it next spring when I know I would be finished with many years of grad school hell, but his family and my family convinced us to do it sooner (our gramma's are getting old). I agreed, got a little stressed about it again recently, but I think I'm over that.

I should also mention that getting married was mostly my idea. My FH is somewhat against the idea for political reasons, but since we are from two different countries we don't have much of a choice. Since the engagement he sort of took over the planning and got excited about everything, so I know there is no resentment there on his end. Actually - he is great. I'm super super super lucky. In fact I remember talking to a good friend about 2 months ago about how lucky I have felt in this relationship because of how well things work.

My problem now though is that I have developed some sort of amnesia.... I remember saying that, but I don't remember how it feels. I don't remember how anything feels. I don't care about the wedding anymore, I don't care that I am in Rome, I don't care about moving to Paris, all I want to do is sit in a pool with a drink in my hand or run off to some island far away and hang out at the beach. It's hard to talk about because I know the whole thing sounds like a fairy tale and I should be so super happy and excited.... I'm not sure if this is some sort of adrenal fatigue from grad school (for those of you who haven't experienced a PhD program, it's like getting repeatedly punched in the face and trying to keep working and smile through it). I WAS excited about it before. I haven't changed my opinion on my FH. He's awesome. I was hoping when I arrived in Paris and saw him again after 3 months all of this would go away, but it hasn't. Has anyone else gone through this at all? Part of me is scared, which I know is normal, but the rest of me is completely blank.   

Any advice would be helpful at this point. Our families have planned a super fun wedding for us, with several other parties before and I really would like to enjoy everything - I have no idea what happened to me.


Aug 20 11:39AM

Are you IN LOVE with him?


Aug 21 12:58AM   

Yeah, I am.


That's all that matters. Don't beat yourself up about enjoying the stupid wedding.  

Gemma Ward by Craig McDean for Vogue Italia February 2005 via Mari M

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Seeking: A new signature necklace

Hey ESB-
I'm searching for a *new* signature necklace, as mine tragically perished on a roadtrip as of late. Sadface. You know, an every day small metal charm kind of thing. Help a sister out?


I spotted this little faceted necklace on etsy and thought of you immediately. It comes in antique gold (pictured), oxidized silver and oxidized gunmetal.

Via n &n, who just pinned the little faceted studs

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wedding? Yes! Rehearsal? NO.

I am having the super funsiest time perusing your Shopping Contest entries. Nicole almost stole my heart for doing the above layout herself in Polyvore.

But you guys should know better than to suggest any kind of dress in white/ivory/blush for a rehearsal dinner.


I'll give you til Monday afternoon-ish PST to post more entries/redeem yourselves.

Erin Fetherston dress on The Outnet ($195), Big Bunny Ring by Digby & Iona at Catbird ($180), Rabbit's Foot Necklace from Cities In Dust Inc. ($60), Jeffrey Campbell Rose Floral Platforms from Bona Drag ($130)

The new BHLDN?

(click to enlarge)

Stone Fox Bride. Could be genius. Could be a faux-indie-wedding nightmare.

Note: Not all stone foxes need the hook-up on yoga studios, acupuncturists and ASTROLOGISTS. (I just threw up in my mouth a little.)

Anyhoo. Can I get a volunteer to go check out the store -- and snap pics, obv -- the instant they open?

Thank you, Stephanie, for the heads-up. Whatever would I do without you??

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hey ESB, Remember Me?

I wrote in months ago asking about engagement rings under $100, and then again about how much bhldn pissed me off (which it obviously still does.) :)

Turns out, Mr. Demented-Psychotic-Ex-Boyfriend-as-soon-as-I-could-make-it-happen wanted a cheap engagement ring as a way of latching onto me for a few months and sucking my soul dry. It worked.

Lucky for me, I woke up one day smacked in the face with the realization that, despite everything I believe about love and marriage, this huge series of verbal/psychological/emotional domestic violence was not it. I ran for it. HARD.

Turns out, I was right. Mr. Demented-Psychotic-Fucking-CRAZY-NOW-IMMEDIATELY-MY-EX decided to steal all my money (which, as a bfa grad March 2011, have been working and saving for MONTHS for a move to NY,) my CAR, explode into a terrifying rage which in turn convinced me very quickly to leave my city, ruin everything I owned (laptop, cell phone, books and journals,) oh, you know, as well as my sanity for oh so, so long.

and brrreeeeaaaathe.

Things are good now.
I will be stronger because I know how to.
I will be wiser because I owe it to myelf, after letting all this happen.
I will be happier, because I choose to.

And I don't know what I'm saying except hello, and here's one hell of an update, and i don't want this to happen to other people. :(

All my love,
Lady X


Oh, lady.

Do you have any advice for the four-months-ago you??

<3 <3 <3


Oh shoot, ESB, isn't that a hard one?

My advice to myself four months ago?
Four months ago I needed someone to be real with me. He had moved me in with him and had gigantic, terrifying rages when I tried to spend time with other people. And he told me he loooooved me. He held me and petted me and it was a sick kind of "I keep you here because I love you," kind of thing. And because I was alone, because I was secluded, because I had nobody to bounce my sanity off of, I bought it, hook, line, and ultimate sinker.

Well, honestly, the question becomes really simple then. Four months ago, I needed someone to slap me and take me out for a drink. I needed to get into the real world, and I needed to be honest about the relationship.

Here's what I would say to myself over drinks, four months ago:

Girl. This sucks. This really sucks. Look at what you've done to your plans. This is not okay. Where is your family? Have you asked your family for their opinions? You have two experts on health and relationships right in front of you, dingbat: your parents. They're older and wiser for a reason. And your brothers and sisters aren't so bad, either. (My 9-year-old bro, Chester, was incredibly astute about it all.)

And let's Get real. This guy doesn't have a job, doesn't look for one, never claims responsibility, never lends a helping hand, never lets you see your friends, never lets you run your errands, throws fits when you wear pretty things, and gets mad when you talk to your Mom in the evening. Who does he thinks he's kidding? What fucking kind of inane behavior is that?

Question those Indescrepencies. There are loads of excuses and falsehoods being spoon fed to you right now. First of all, stop eating 'em up, and then calmly, openly, unassumedly, question them. Then, GET REAL, again. If all is well and clear, then all will be well and clear. And if it's not, then now you know. Don't worry about not knowing, NOW you do, and NOW you are responsible for the truth.

And girl, my love, Be brave enough to do something good for yourself. Being patient and "weathering the storm" is only going to cause more frustration, more investment, more of the same. You've communicated your needs in every way, and they're not being met. Leave. Leave because you know you need to, know you want to. You are strong. You are beautiful. You have a whole history of good choices to support this one. You can trust those guts, trust those years of practice you have taking care of yourself, and trust that you can create a better life than this. Go for it, baby. <3

Love love love love love love love love love eighteen million times,
Lady X

Masha Novoselova by Txema Yeste for Vogue Spain via Soph Mueller + Image Amplified

A custom suit for under $500

Grand Street Suit has finally answered the "Where can I get a badass, slim-fit suit that won't cost me a KAJILLION DOLLARS?" question.

If the catbirds recommend em, I have no qualms.

Suits may be purchased online (hallelujah!) or private fittings can be arranged for customers in NYC.

Update: Whoopsy. So the suits aren't actually custom. But I just got this email from Andrew of Grand Street, which makes me even more excited...

So to be clear the suits are off the rack and extra slim fit. They are full canvased non-fused garments. This means that the lining and body work of the jacket is sewn in by hand and gives a structure to the suit. A fused uses glue on the lining and is a very cheap way to make clothing. Also I saw that a person said they were not small enough -- we specialize in extra small sizes. The smallest size you can get in a store is usually 38. We go down to 34. (The number 34 indicates the chest size not the pant.) Hope this clears up some stuff for you!

I like the idea of wedding parties. I would even be willing to cut the price if a groom and best men wanted suits. I could set it up like a wholesale account and charge about 40% less the retail price...

Andrew's girlfriend Martha added:

I have seen these suits on many fine young men, including the gentlemen of Panic at the Disco and most recently a Brooklyn groom, and no one has required alterations other than a shortened pant leg.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

signet wedding band

Is this a new trend or is Refinery29 just trying to make it into one?

Anyhoo. I'm digging this vintage men's band (avail at Erica Weiner). Any AR's out there??

Oooooooooooh. There's a heart-shaped one too. It would take a BALLSY dude to rock that.

Dear ESB: I want to cancel my wedding.

My fiancé and I have been engaged since last December and we are getting married next June. I can't wait to marry him. He is my best friend and just basically all around wonderful.

I have been reading various wedding blogs since before we were engaged. I love the idea of an awesome DIY wedding. So, soon after he proposed we found an awesome barn and started developing our vision for the wedding. We've also secured most of the major vendors, i.e. photographer, food, dj.

My problem is that for the past few weeks I've been re-thinking all of our plans. I love the idea of our wedding, but the cost has quickly started to add up. I know I should be better about sticking to a budget, but I'm the type of person who, once I have an idea, I want to do everything I can to execute that idea. So, I'm not the best at making cuts. Also, the planning is intense. Nothing is included with the venue or the caterers we have chosen so I have to plan for everything. Down to things like bringing salt and pepper. My fiancé and I both work crazy hours and so, even though we have a ton of time still, I'm worried about my ability to do this. Also, most of the wedding is going to be outside, including the ceremony and dance floor. And so, I'm paranoid it's going to rain. Which I know I should have thought about before I picked the venue, but again, I tend to let the vision overwhelm the practicality of things.

Finally, this brings me to my point. I'm not even sure I want to do this anymore. All that I really want is to marry my fiancé. I'm not sure if I want to spend the next year saving every penny we possibly can so that 170 people (70 of whom are the obligatory invites) can eat green salad and dance on a soggy lawn. I feel like our money would be better spent on an intimate ceremony followed by a less crazy/ involved bash (maybe something in a restaurant?) with those people we really want to celebrate with, and then going on a kick ass honeymoon.

I think if it were up to me, I'd say screw it all and cancel everything. However, my fiancé is reluctant to take such drastic measures. He doesn't disagree with my feelings that it's insane for us to spend such ridic amounts of money on one night when all we want is to be married. But, I also think he likes the idea of a giant shindig with everyone we've ever met present, because he feels like we should celebrate to the fullest extent.

So, my question: am I crazy for wanting to cancel the venue, food, etc. and try to totally scale this thing back? Am I just having a momentary freak out? (This did begin after seeing the proposal from the caterer.) 

Any advice is much appreciated!


Fuck the obligatory invites. Cross them off of the list right now.

I've heard a lot of brides express regrets about not shelling out the money for a kick-ass photographer, or not splurging on the shoes, but never once have I heard anyone say, "I wish we had a BIGGER WEDDING."

Defaced image from Margaret Howell via Kylea Borges

Monday, August 15, 2011

don't want to look skanky at my rehearsal... (It's a SHOPPING CONTEST, you guys!)

Dear ESB,

First, your website rocks.

Second, I need some advice. I'm getting married to the best man ever in the suburbs of Philadelphia in November. The wedding itself is a bit more rustic/chic. To satisfy our urban/chic sides, we've opted to have the rehearsal dinner in the penthouse of a steakhouse in the city with a sick view of the Philadelphia skyline (yes, there is one).

My wedding dress is pretty traditional, all lace, strapless, corset back, beautiful, etc. So for the rehearsal, I want to wear something a bit edgy/sexy/urban. I'm having trouble finding the right dress in my budget (less than $250 please!) that isn't total skank or total bo-ring. I'm slender, nearly 5'11'', and not afraid to wear some serious heels. Got anything for me?

Your help would be, well, awesome.

Philly Bride


All right you guys, here's the challenge:

Put together an outfit for our Philly Bride featuring a dress for under $250 (obv) and one item from the Bona Drag online store. Bona Drag has a rad selection of edgy/sexy/urban dresses, but feel free to shop their shoes and/or jewelry if you find a kickass dress elsewhere.

Extra points for ppl who find a way to incorporate small dogs/cats/bunnies into their ensembles. (Or would that not be edgy?? I'm losing perspective.)

Paste as many entries as you can dream up in the comments below (one entry per comment), and PULEEZE use this little bit of html to create links:

<a href="">Le Website</a>



(Get it? Blogger very thoughtfully offers a preview, so you can see if the link worked before you publish your comment.)

I'll do like with the Country Club Wedding Crisis, and post my favorite outfits for you guys to vote on.

My lady at Bona Drag is offering a $200 gift certificate to the winner. WOOT UP!

Pictured: Pamela Love Single Porcupine Needle Pendant (I die) + Society for Rational Dress Blue Stripe Open Back Maxi

This is not a paid post.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

If Jack Kerouac emailed ESB....?

Dear ESB,

A wonderful and sage friend was the one that introduced me to your blog (and I can not thank her enough!) Presently, I am writing this email from work (a restaurant where my fiancé is the executive chef). I could say that I run the front of the house but I really am just an over-glorified server. There is a reason I am setting this scene as my latest crisis of conscience has hit a pinnacle after we have just served a Bridal Shower at the restaurant.)

I have been trying to keep as even keeled with my planning (my wedding is 7-7-12...because I have to get married on the one week a year the restaurant closes...because we are like a staff of 6, we would need to make this happen when the restaurant is closed) but I know this might be one of the few times i will be able to break from this black uniform and just be beautiful, dance and eat and just have a party of it. I am an artist (though I often hesitate to use such a term) and I did want to treat the whole wedding ceremony/reception/attire/details as an art installation. (I am trying to stay away from spending money on flowers...but was thinking about how to make a multi-tiered cupcake holder out of plexiglass and tree stumps cut on the bias to make a "cupcake tree" I am about making the day special without blowing money on things I that think are a waste- we have budgeted heaviest on food and wine!)

I suppose I have all these wonderful ideas and trying to plan a Miami DIY wedding from NJ probably will start to prove more difficult and I am starting to feel like I will lose more and more sight of keeping it simple...and get caught in this wedding quicksand.

Shit, up to a couple months ago, I would scoff at the thought of buying a bridal magazine (I'm up to ten) and now I am on the other side of the coin and taking back much of my initial ignorance of how easy it is to get sucked in.

But then we have one of these events at the restaurant and I have to take care of a room full of woman who dote on this freaking bridezilla of a girl and I I would just be so grateful to have all these wonderful people around me and not have to carry a zillion plates and run around at these over hormonal woman. (Actually I think I would even have a reverse shower where I would invite all the people I am sure I will start to drive crazy by the end of this process to just have an afternoon where we have amazing eats, have some libations and play some of those obnoxious silly games I have had to sit and watch while taking care of these parties...because for me that is what is about...not stilling though a gazillion presents and oohing and aaahhhing like its the greatest thing since sliced bread. And however lame those games are to some...I am such a geek and love them...especially those that would really result in some quirky amazing things by way of my art friends.)

And the the one thing I thought I would not have burned out on...the sheer disillusionment.

I would have to agree that I was really hoping that I was going to have a solution through BHLDN....but that was not the case. I have even wavered on the original budget of $2000 that has quickly scaled down as I tried on dresses at that price point and I started to think of all the house things I could buy with that money (we just purchased a home in May and just finished a soup-to-nuts redo of our master I know what $2000 can buy in materials...) and then I remember the black uniform I wear 6 days a week....and the quicksand creeps in. I am wondering if a dress can be purchased ::gasps:: for the $1000 I was budgeting (with the wiggle room of $1500, but then all the extras pile up just as fast.) Thinking vintage and I have not totally lost hope, since some of my greatest party dresses to date have been purchased that route.

As you can see...I have rambled but this has been such a catharsis. I had started this email at work and am finishing it up in the quiet of my home, able to reflect that I have been wanting to write to you for a couple weeks now. Don't know how the response works through this email outlet...but I will hope this email finds you in good spirits to deal with my all over style of writing, certainly how Jack Kerouac might have written this kind of an email (at least I will say that to justify the feel of this whole stream-of-consciousness....does it make me seem less insipid...because in dark moments I feel like I may be there already.)

I know there was no direct question...but perhaps just a need to write to what I have viewed as great source for perspective and humor.

Thanks ~!


(Smiling on the other side of the computer screen.)

This made my whole week.

JK via The Flashdance via A Conversation On Cool.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Please note Holly's DIY glittah

It is awesome.

Friday, August 12, 2011

F*ck flowers?

Dear ESB,

My wedding is in one week. There will be no flowers in attendance. None. No bouquet. Will I regret this??? Is this my one chance to have one hand occupied with a bunch of flowers all day and I'm missing it?

I mean, I like flowers and all and there is still time for me to throw something together.

I need to opinions from people who have done this whole wedding thing before, you know?

Thank you.


I am not a flower person especially, but I REALLY REALLY loved my bouquet.

It was super fun to carry around (and it gave me something to do with my hands during the ceremony).

Polaroid by Jen Altman

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Emergency! My guy is scared and the wedding is a week away

Hello ESB

My guy and I have been together for 10 years. We have faced every problem that has come our way, and come out stronger for it. We have loved and respected each other, and he is everything that I want in my partner and best friend. We got engaged a year and half ago, and the wedding is in one week. We are both extremely busy people but have always been able to make time for each other, and take care of each other. The problem is 2 weeks ago we got off track and we can't get back on, he keeps imagining a life without me, trying to place failures in his life on me, and has cut me off. I feel like I'm losing my best friend.

At this point, if we need to cancel the wedding we can, even though I don't want to, all that matters is making us work.

But how could someone go from 10 years of healthy, happy communication to complete shut down in such a short period of time, with no major problems leading into it.

Is it just cold feet?

Thank you
Girl who misses her guy


You're right. He's scared.

Tell him exactly what you just told me. That he's everything you want in a partner. That you're willing to cancel the wedding (though that's not what you want) -- "all that matters is making us work."

Then step back and give him some space.

Another photo from Olivia Bee

Blog of the Week(ish): olivia bee

Her photos make my heart hurt in the best possible way.

Do I invite the Bat-shit crazy aunt??

Hello ESB,

I'm consulting a professional on this matter. You'll get why. My wedding is two months away. Hoping for only 100 guests, we sent out over 100 invitations, most of which are more than one person per. So, you see how my mother and grandmother went overboard. Mind you, my mother is not the "jump up and down I can't believe you're getting married" type. She has her moments, but majority of the time she's the "frugal, simple- you don't need your hair or makeup done professionally" type. Which doesn't fly with me -- I'm doing this Go Big or Go Vegas. Which brings me to my dilemma.

My family is extra large and extra close. We've had family businesses and family investments together. Think Gotti without the mob and murders, or Real Housewives (Danielle might be a good example of my aunt). So our family finally came to blows last year and we experienced a rift and drama. Aside from the money, there were words that shouldn't have been spoken between family members. But forgiveness is divine and my personal opinion is that everyone was at fault in the end. 

That being said, my aunt/ godmother -- invite or not invite? My other aunts have forbid me from doing so because of their own personal preference. My mother is just as torn as I am. For me I would have the opportunity to be the bigger person but risk a disaster. While if I don't my mom has the potential to get even more drama from her later on (and my cousins won't come). There are a lot of opinions and I'll admit, I'm actually tempted to let her come so that I do get to finally say something to her if the situation arose.

So far I've been told to keep my mouth shut because it's between the older generation. But it's family and isn't a wedding day about inviting family? I could really use some no nonsense do or do not. Considering her children are invited she is going to know about the details.

(Mind you, it's not a mere squabble either, between you and me, we're talking millions of dollars and years worth of issues.)


It sounds like you want to invite Ms. Bat-shit Crazy. I say DO IT.

p.s. The Real Housewives reference is totally lost on me, thank god. That's one of the few reality tv shows I can't stand to watch.

Photo: Astrid by Bo Brinkenfalk for Schön Magazine via Fashion Gone Rogue

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My bridesmaids want to copy my HAIR

Dear ESB,

Ok, long time reader.. First time writer. I'm getting married in 11 days and I need your brutally honest advice. Seriously, hit me with the realness.

Here's the situation. 

I live on the west coast but getting married on the east coast so planning and going to appointments has been challenging for me. The last time I was home I had a disastrous hair trial and after 2 hours the lady finally did my hair the way I had originally asked (she kept telling me she knew what I really wanted and wouldn't do what I asked). Anyway, I showed some of my bridesmaids my hair pictures and now they are saying they want their hair done the SAME way.

Now, I have remained calm during this planning process and I've gone out of my way to make sure the BM's feel beautiful on the wedding day.. I've let them pick their dresses and shoes but this is one thing I just feel strongly about.

Do I pull the bridezilla card and forbid them from my hair style? Or do I just fucking get over it?

I'm not getting home in time to do another hair trial for myself (nor do i feel like spending the money to do so) so I need to figure out what I'm gonna do.


Sent from my iPhone


Take it as a compliment. You picked a great hairdo.

Now tell em: "NO WAY. IT'S MINE."

Photo by Amy Gwatkin of Katie Shillingford in her Stephen Jones veil (via littlewinterbride). You really have to go and look at photos of the dress.

Naked pale anti-bride: THE FOLLOW-UP

Hey ESB,

I wrote to you many moons ago about this.

And this is what came of our wedding. The dress I ended up with was pre-owned but never worn and fit like a glove while also hiding my white parts...i.e. most of me... but it wasn't too prudish, more understated vintage/modern-esque). Oh, and I found it just a week and a half before our wedding. Ha!

I'm a little embarrassed that I'm even sending this to you but since folks **seemed** slightly interested in seeing the outcome I thought why not.

Oh, and it was 77 degrees two days before our wedding and ended up SNOWING on us on the actual day. BUT, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way now. Girls need to realize that they won't melt if they get a little moist. Yup, I said moist.


So. You look amazing. You're even pulling off THE BOOTS, which, I'm not always a fan of brides in cowboy boots.

I'll work on forgiving you for the Style Me Pretty bullsh*t.

(Photos by Jenna Walker Photography)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here's someone who actually needs our help

Dear ESB,

I've been reading your blog for months and though I have no idea how I found you, I heart you dearly! Come join my crew in NY soon! We'll take you to tequila trivia on sunday night which is as fun as it sounds: lots.

Anyway, to the point: My fiance and are one of those couples who like the DIY aesthetic but work 100 hours a week combined so by the time we have a free minute the last thing we can muster is the energy to craft anything worthy enough to be involved in our wedding (except we made our own invites but that's only because I had a hookup through work so that was essentially part of the 100 hrs... I'm rambling but you get the point. We're spent). We are madly in love 4 years strong but I'm starting to worry about pulling this whole shebang together with only 1 month left (Sept 10 yay!) and so much left to do.

Part of the "we're so busy" is that we're in the throes of planning Dr's visits instead of the wedding because we found out a few months ago that he has a brain tumor. WTF right? Wtf. Total shock that definitely helps keep those "what should my bridesmaids' dresses color be" dilemmas in check but it also put all planning on hold for a few months. Weeks and weeks into this stuff and we are feeling good about his ability to kick this shiz, we're optimistic like that, and both agree the show will go on with the wedding on the date as planned. At last the point: because of the crazy medical issues that arose, and needing to put those at the forefront of our attention we have seriously slacked on planning the wedding and I'm now beyond stressed.

Biggest obstacle: help us find good tunes to make this party a celebration of LIFE! LOVE! JOY, and that we even get to HAVE this day together. We're in the market for:

- DJ to spin tunes at the reception, preferably for no more than $1000. Wedding is at 4ish on Montauk, reception follows 6-11 or so in Bridgehampton*

Also would LOVE recommendations on:

- cheapish rehearsal dinner ideas in Montauk for about 30 people ($50 a person ideally)

- hair/ makeup people for 3-8 people (still seeing who wants this but at least it would be 3 people) who would be willing to come to Montauk and would be ok with $100 for the bride and closer to $50 per bridesmaid/mother/etc.

- sexy but tasteful stark white dress I can dance in at the reception, ideal price is like $30 but I'd go up to $100 if it's awesome and re-wearable. My dude is into my arms so a halter would be good.

We're paying for the wedding and on a budget, everyone's favorite word. We are super creative fun people but feeling totally drained and not able to make this party the awesome shin-dig we'd love it to be, to celebrate the once-in-our-lives gathering of our favorite people with. The above are the broad strokes of what's missing to make this happen. Any other recommendations would be super too...

I'm attaching my dress which I got from Bridal Garden in NYC (which I highly recommend... it's a thrift store/ sample store all in one and I combined 2 dresses for half of the price of a retail dress) in case that helps? Or maybe just because I love it, despite how it is so traditional and far from what I thought I'd want, which is why I think I'm jonesing for a shorter-funkier party dress if I start tripping all over it.

Thank you thank you thank you...

*Oh and for the record I feel like I have to make a disclaimer: I have a very generous colleague who scored us a deal on our venue as a thanks for some of that hard work, as we are very far from "hamptons" types, which is part of why I'm having a hard time finding some of these elements that will make it "us" or "us on a sojourn in the hamptons...


FWIW, I don't think you need a second dress. You look so gorg in the first one, why not wear it for as long as you can??


Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear ESB: Please do the icky part for me.

I'm getting married in September 2012 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The ceremony is going to be on the beach. I am having about 100 guests (I think) and am having a lot of trouble figuring out the reception. This is a budget wedding, I want good food, laid back reception. No banquet halls, restaurants are looking expensive...any ideas? Looking forward to your guidance



I'm not a fucking wedding planner.

Photo: Poppy Delevingne via WHOWHATWEAR via Kelly Edmonson


Instead I'll have to make do with a nap.

I've been up since 6am pst FOR NO REASON I CAN COMPREHEND. Just yesterday I admitted to myself, "I think I've turned into an Angeleno." But does this mean I'm gonna start waking up that bloody early ALL THE TIME??

I haven't gotten anything DONE. I've just been diddling around, pinteresting and godknowswhatelse for the past 6+ hours.


Photo by Jacinda Russell and Nancy Douthey posted here with their kind permission (via Claire Cottrell)

We want to wear our rings RIGHT NOW


My man and I are picking up our rings this week and we love them. We want to wear them right now. But the wedding is in November.

I've heard some cultures (Scandinavians?) have a tradition in which the bride and groom to-be wear their wedding bands on their right hand until the wedding, and then during the wedding ceremony they switch the rings to their left hands. This is what we're thinking of doing.

What do you think? Will that kill the mood on the wedding day? Should the rings be "sacred" and not taken out of their box until the big day?




Why don't you wear your wedding dress out to the bar while you're at it?

(Image from papiermache via PAPERFASHION via Pennyweight via les zigouis)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

(Bummer. I guess I have to pay for the font to get the B.)

Someone should really use Botanica Caps for a wedding invitation, no?