Tuesday, July 31, 2012


And you thought the wedding UGGS were ugly.

cool, now i'm sick of the flower crown


I feel like maybe we haven't fully explored feathers.

Photo by Erik Wahlstrom via Catbird via Abigail Lorick

I'm too young for orthopedic shoes

Dear ESB,

I live in ballet flats, especially for work, but I’ve just been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and advised that I have to switch to shoes with more arch support. A quick search only turns up hideous shoes that I think really must be part of some sort of Halloween costume.  

You seem to have magical shoe-finding powers, so could you or your readers suggest some cute flats with arch support?  By the way, I work in an office and usually wear dresses and skirts, sometimes suits.



I've been a fan of the geek-chic orthopedic shoe look ever since I spotted this photo of Lisa Mayock in New York Mag. (Maybe the secret is just to wear a TERRIFIC DRESS?)

But I realize that's not very helpful.



Where should our poor plantar-fasciitis sufferer shop for shoes??

(Photo: Jake Chessum)

Monday, July 30, 2012


Does this make up for the less than terrif Alice + Olivia shrug situation? I think yes.

Tsumori Chisato from La Garconne

Pamela Love wedding pics

Obvs, Pamela designed the rings. (The shoes are Yves St. Laurent)

Photos by Hannah Thomson courtesy of Vogue

Dear ESB: Since you're ASKED to be a bridesmaid, is it ever all right to say no?


Since you're *asked* to be a bridesmaid- is it ever all right to say no? One of my best friends asked 5 or 6 girls (none of whom I know) and I to be her bridesmaids in her incredibly lavish wedding-to-be (which is going to be held 10 states away from me). My husband & I recently (2 weeks ago) bought our first house, oh and speaking of your pre-pregnant question-asker- I may or may not be preggo. I know that being in her wedding is going to cost me a ton (realistically probably 2k), and we're saving every penny we've got. Plus, I've done the bridesmaid thing before & everyone knows it sucks. I don't want to feel resentful towards all of the requirements and "duties" that a traditional bride such as she expects. 

I didn't have her or any of my other friends/family as a "wedding party" and just let them relax, worry about themselves, and party down. I'd like to just go as a guest & enjoy her day. There is no way I can say "I'm just not into it"; If I find out I'm pregnant in a couple weeks then it's a no brainer- I wouldn't haul my 8 mo. pregnant ass down the aisle in a bridesmaid dress and I'm sure she'd understand. But if not- I'm hesitant to use the "we're strapped for cash" excuse because money is no object, she'd just kindly pay. So how the hell do you say thanks but no thanks? 

P.S. she's super sensitive.



Have you climbed up your own asshole??

I get that you are soooooooo over weddings, and you're fixing up your house and charting your cycle and all of that fun newlywed stuff, but when one of your BEST FRIENDS asks you to be a bridesmaid, you do not say "thanks but no thanks." You say "I would love to!"

Photo: Hailey Clauson by Aitken Jolly for EXIT Magazine Spring/Summer 2012 via Mode via Thunder In Our Hearts

Friday, July 27, 2012

I don't like my friend's soon-to-be husband


My old friend (haven't seen her in a while) from college is getting married and is inviting our mutual friend (my girl bestie), myself & my fiance to her wedding. I don't like her soon to be husband, he smokes too much weed and drinks too much, he makes her life a constant soap opera (police problems, extended family issues, etc) and has done for 6+ years, it's the primary reason we don't see each other often anymore.

I don't want to invite him to my wedding (in the future) (just her) so can I just decline my fiance's attendance to her wedding and rock up with my best friend to our mutual friend's wedding and just not invite him when I get married? Is that really a no no?


Doesn't matter if you don't bring your fiancé to her wedding. If you don't invite her (NEW) husband to yours, you will have some explaining to do.

Are you prepared to tell her you don't like her (NEW) husband?

Photo: Adrianna Glaviano via all the mountains

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An ode to eye cream

I've been avoiding writing this post. Probably because I just turned 39, and, well, I need eye cream.

I also need something for those grooves going down the side of my face that only show up in fucking HD iPhone photos. (Note to Self: Consider adopting a no-iPhone-photos policy?) I just did a quick google search, and apparently those grooves are known as "nasolabial folds." Boy do I wish I could un-know that.

But I digress. This post is about eye cream.

A few months ago one of my coworkers commented that another coworker looked far too fresh and well-slept considering how much she'd had to drink (and how little she had, in fact, slept) the night before. Ms. Fresh-and-Well-Slept divulged that she'd just begun using White Out+ from Sircuit. Everyone in the office instantly jumped online and ordered the stuff. 

Except me, of course. I emailed the company and asked if they would be willing to send me a free sample. Might as well wring everything I can out of this here blog.

Not only did the fab Sircuit rep send me a little vial of White Out+, she also sent a sample of Eye Tech. Kika recommends Eye Tech as a day-of product for brides or anyone else liable to encounter a photographer using flash. White Out+ is "specifically designed to help diminish shadows and to reduce the look of bags by camouflaging dark circles with light-dispersing, color-correcting diamond core particles" and a camera flash can sometimes reflect off the particles to bizarre effect.

I intended to do a very scientific experiment, use White Out+ for a few weeks, and then switch to the Eye Tech, so I could decide which one to recommend to you guys. 

My very unscientific recommendation is: They are both excellent. I honestly can't tell the difference. I theeeeeeeenk when my samples run out I will order the Eye Tech, because (at Kika's suggestion) I've also been using it on the teensy lines around my mouth.

Neither product is cheap, but a little goes a long way. My sample vials are still going strong. And the very act of applying the stuff every morning makes me feel like I'M DOING SOMETHING to counteract the aging process.

While we're on the topic of aging: You all use a daily moisturizer or foundation with sunscreen, right? I do now, but boy do I wish I had started when I was 22.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If you'll indulge me....

I used to share weird personal stuff on the blog.

You know, stuff about dirty dishes and my struggle with our finances and how sometimes my husband sleeps on the couch.

And then I went "pro" and readership went up and somewhere along the line I stopped sharing so much. I guess I worry that y'all are just here for the wedding snark and you have no interest in the rest of it.

But. I really liked the blog when I was putting myself out there. The posts that I am most afraid to publish always turn out to be the most gratifying.

And so, if you'll indulge me, I think I'll try to get a little more personal again.

Up next: An ode to eye cream

(You think I'm kidding??)

Photo: Vivienne Westwood by Juergen Teller



ERMAHGERD Translator (which unfortunately doesn't work backwards, but you all understand me, right??) via ERNERBELLER

Photo: Tsumori Chisato FW 11 via May Elsa

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

for the preggo bridesmaid

these hatch collection dresses are pretty great.

but wait until you're ACTUALLY PREGNANT to buy one, mkay?

a secret maternity dress in the closet is even worse than a secret wedding dress, imho.


it's not rocket science, people.


i am writing in hopes that your readers will come up with something lovely where i am failing... my sister is going to be married next april and her only bridesmaids are my sister and me. she wants something champagne in color and either knee-length or maxi-length. we're both well endowed and about 5'6" or 5"7, i'm a size eight and she's a size ten. 

here is the curveball: there is a good chance that i will be pregnant by that point (my husband and i have just started trying). so, i may not be pregnant at all, or i may be eight months along. ideally, we will wear the same dress or something very similar. we're also hoping to spend less than $200, but there is a little wiggle room on that.

any ideas?

thank you in advance for your help,
wearing champagne, but probably not drinking it



Bjork by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dear My Readers: Where should we stop on our west coast-ish road trip?

I've got two weeks left at this casting gig* and then H and are gonna get the hell out of LA. We plan to throw our shit in the car and meander up BC to visit my dad.

Which route should we take? Where should we stop along the way? Of particular interest are: Flea markets, rodeos, dive bars, lakes, hot springs, swimming holes. Beaches are pretty cool too, I guess.

And. Do you have recommendations for….. camping? We did the trip once before (on our honeymoon!) but we didn't camp. This time we're feeling braver, and thriftier.

Photo by Christina Richards

*Anyone in LA want a free tattoo?

Did everyone see this wedding already?

McKenzie & Jamie slay me. Slay me.

I haven't been slain by a wedding in a while.


Photos by Lydia Jane via Miss Moss

Can you ever say "I'm sorry I didn't invite you to my wedding?"

Hey ESB,

I'm one of those annoying ask-your-opinion-more-than-one-time people, but (to butter you up here) I did take your advice last time, and I could really use a dose of no-nonsense. I emailed you about the royal wedding inspiring me to purchase a fascinator, and thank you for talking me out of that one. It was terrible. I went with a headband from Twigs and Honey, which I loved. Our wedding was imperfectly perfect, and almost a year later, I am so happy with the memories... except for one thing.

We were strict with the guest list. It was the terrible combination of wanting an intimate wedding, coming from a huge (80+) family, and paying for it ourselves. As a result, it was only family and our close friends, but everyone was invited a guest. We bent the no-family-friends rule for one couple, the parents of a bridesmaid whom I have known forever and who are very close to me. 

We did not invite one couple that used to be close to my parents, and, in ways that I did not appreciate, still are close to my family. We used to have holiday dinners with them, but I haven't personally spoken to them in years. However, over and over again, they pop up in my life, always supportive, gracious, and lovely, and I immensely regret not extending the invite. I feel bad, and I'm not a sentimental, guilt-laden person.

To make matters worse (and this is where I blush, even as I write this), an old friend's mother threw me a bridal shower in my hometown and invited some old family friends, even though they were not invited to the actual wedding. (For the record, she wasn't invited either, and said she would make it clear that our across-the-country wedding was a family only affair). 

Hindsight 20/20. I would have nixed the shower because it made me feel awkward to be celebrated by people I didn't invite and I'm not sure the 'family only' bit came through. Ugh. The couple in question came to the shower (including the husband, who crashed the lady only event by sweetly saying, "No way I was going to miss seeing you and saying congratulations!"), were nothing but gracious, and even gave me a bit of money in a card. Did I mention they are great people? Which makes me feel worse. This is my one wedding related regret, and I have a pit in my stomach whenever I think of them or hear their names mentioned.

ESB, how do I say :Sorry, I should have invited you to my wedding?" or do I shut my trap, swallow my guilt, and don't bring it up?


Send these lovely people a wedding photo (I CAN'T BELIEVE I SAID THAT I NEVER SAY THAT) along with a little note to the effect of: "I just wanted to tell you both that I missed having you at the wedding. I wish we'd allowed ourselves to be more flexible with the guest list."

Then let yourself off the hook.

Photo: Laure de Sagazan

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wanted: Wedding Wrap for a free-love, barefoot, diamond-ring-craving material girl

Dear East Side Bride,

I will be wearing this lace, Monique Lhuillier, dress for my upcoming August Wedding. Our wedding is being held at our favorite Summer camp spot in Western Washington, with guests camping/cabin-ing all weekend, and all the bohemian, tree-hugging, activity and mischief I could ever dream of...or so that is the hope. We are not going for a theme aside from controlled chaos and the great outdoors, but we do have all the MAJOR traditions that make up a wedding covered: live music, food, open bar, flowers, even a seating chart.

So here is where I am hung up. I am a Gemini, and I never even for a second played into Astronomy predictions or horoscopes...until I started planning a wedding. I am part free-love, barefoot, flower goddess, and part diamond-ring-craving, Kate-Spade-wearing, "Can you add some more sparkles to my prom corsage?" material girl. I need some suggestions on accessorizing my simple wedding gown, in particular an overcoat, shawl, cape...for chilly Washington evenings around a rustic/yet glamorous camp-fire.

Help a Gemini find her wedding style PLEASE.


No idea how you can be free-love and diamond-ring-craving. Or barefoot and Kate-Spade-wearing, for that matter.



$99 down from $484 (if Gilt is to be believed)

Let me know if you need an invite or whatever. I can't remember how it works.

Photo at top: Thierry Lebraly via L'Officiel via Sasha Darling via Frederic Chollet

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Silver. Moto. Jacket.

Someone clearly needs to wear this over her wedding dress.

Bonus: It's vegan!

Q: How gorg are these botanical centerpieces??


Arrangements by Fleur de Cordeur + Photos by We Love Pictures

more than just a kegger

Dear ESB,

I'm getting married in a month and then having five parties across the country. Your fabulous readers helped me find a stand-in for the Alternative Gift Registry a few months ago (we went with WeJoinIn; thanks ladies and gents!).

Now I'm back with another question. Part of the reason we chose to do a very small (ten people max) wedding followed by five parties is because neither of us is keen to share our deepest emotions with a few hundred people. Instead, we want to do our own private thing for the actual act, and then party with a few hundred people.

However, we do want to acknowledge what we're celebrating at the parties. We want them to feel like they are coming to something that is more than just a kegger in a back yard. Maybe this is cheating, but we want to capture the feeling that everyone present is part of our community and our marriage, but without actually getting married in front of them.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to commemorate the fact that we got married at each of the parties without making either of us cringe? We're tending towards something lighthearted and maybe participatory. My better half nixed my idea of a tongue in cheek wedding re-enactment, which admittedly would have been challenging to pull off tastefully. 

Oh, and it would be helpful if the suggestion didn't require a projector, karaoke machine, or anything else that I would need to find and set up in five different locations.


The answer is so obvious I almost missed it....! Ask a couple of key people in each city to prepare toasts.

Also: CAKE

(Photo by Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head 60th Anniversary Set. No reason.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

how do I tell people once we've eloped?

Hey ESB,

I have a relatively drama-free question for you, but I'm hoping you and your readers might have some insight into a logistical problem I'm having.

My partner and I have decided to get married, but we're skipping the hoopla of a wedding in favour of a city hall ceremony while on a trip (that's as far as we've gone with planning, which is the main reason we realized we could never pull off a wedding - we're terrible planners!). We're both happier to make it low-key, and luckily our friends and families know us well enough that we're not anticipating any drama in that regard (knock wood!).

Where we're stuck is figuring out how to tell everyone - obviously we'll call/Skype our parents and grandmothers, but extended family, friends, and coworkers will all need to be told. I'd love to get some cute elopement announcements printed up and mail them to everyone, but collecting addresses in advance will surely raise eyebrows, plus there's the issue of delays in the mail, people not receiving them at the same time, people moving, etc.

I'm almost tempted to just let everyone know online, but I dread being one of those awful "lifestyle news" stories about the kooky couple who announced their wedding on facebook. What should I do?


Buy a wedding ring. Put it on your left hand.

When people ask, "Did you get married??" you say YES.

Image: Madewell Catalog via Marte Marie via Modern Hepburn

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Public Service Announcement

I am sick sick sick of grooms who neglect to hem their pants. [Update: I deleted the link to the poor guy whose pants needed hemming. Endeavoring not to be an asshole.]

Photo by Rad + In Love

For your Welsh forest wedding....

A flower crown. Obvs.

(Alexandra Grecco for Summerland via fieldguided)

Dear Readers: Pls help me find this in white!

Dear ESB.

I don't want to send you another dress hunt..... so I would like to ask your readers instead!! They seem to know what they're doing.

Let's set the scene.... My other half an I are having a handfasting ceremony in a Welsh forest next summer. I need a dress (going naked may cause some upset with my Grandparents) and I have found a gorgeous dress! (see attached)  

My dream dress in fact. It's beautiful and I just want to spew rainbows all over it. Problem is, it's only available in black. Not cool. I have searched high and low and found nothing, so I am asking for the help of your lovely readers.

Much love, 
little forest critter <3


It seems the lady doesn't want MY help.

(Perhaps she suspected that I wouldn't looooooove the dress, which I believe is intended for a 16-year-old.)

Friday, July 13, 2012


Since your sister is REFUSING to send you a photo of the dress with the Toms, a kind reader has mocked up a photo for you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Longest email correspondence in the history of ever about Toms and why you have to wear them in my wedding

from:    K xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
to:      eastsidebride@gmail.com
date:    Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 8:45 PM
subject: Fwd: Shoes dress

If you post these, please leave the names out.

Thanks - Oh, and there's a Part 2 to this.

After she insults my choice in this email, she sent another where she contacts Toms customer service to inquire about returning the shoes, before I even see anything.

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 5:39 AM, Vxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi K. I think the dress is awesome I need to have mine altered I obviously had it measured and fitted for me but I mean you know it is the standard size so I have to have it fitted down to fit perfectly so that it looks awesome or even awesomeror if that even is a word but it is great. I'm however worried I don't think that the shoes do it justice at all in fact even detract from how nice it is...
I took the shoes in with me when I picked up my dress and all the ladies at the bridal shop both young and old said that if you really wanted to wear those shoes with that dress you should really be above the knee at the very least because this shoes are so overpowering. On the bright side they are the right color navy which is very hard to do. But for a dress so beautiful they showed me a zillion options not because they were trying to sell them just because its better to have a very low Garden heel that is very thick and easy to walk on that looks very much like a sandal or even no heel at all and just go with the sandal that's elegant or whatever and just use those at the end of the night, they suggested.
Hope this makes sense I used dragon dictation during my commute!

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 10:12 AM, Kxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Hey Vixx -

I'm happy that you like the dress! I have to ask, does it fall below the knee? Because I thought that it was supposed to be knee length. The look I was going for with the bridesmaids is similar to the attached pictures, most of which have knee length dresses with the Toms shoes. Could you send me a picture of you in the dress with the shoes so that I can get a better idea of the look. It might help me understand where the concerns and to decide if changing all of the shoes is the better option. Understand that the shoes may not be able to be returned and the money we spent on them as a gift and for achieving the look is something I was hoping wouldn't be an issue.

Please send a picture so that I can get a better idea of what's going on (it is hard to plan these things with everyone so far away). Also, I've attached some pictures to help you see the unconventional/quirky cute that reflects who I am. Hopefully it gives you a comparison for dress length? I was hoping for at the knee to just above the knee but I really don't know what the dress looks like in chiffon so that might change things. 

Also, as I said before, you're welcome to dress up the canvas shoes however you would like in order to make it your own... (there's a picture for that as well)

Love ya!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: V xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Date: Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: Shoes dress
To: K xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

So, if you wanted it above knee, it'll definitely have to be hemmed...be a good 4 inches at least....chiffon will cost more to hem & there is an underskirt that is like a ruffled/poofy underlayer to give it a tiny big of volume (undetectable, it's just so that the chiffon doesn't do a cling-wrap thing to you, but if you hem it up too far that stuff might actually fling out and around like an 80s madonna like a virgin style...

I understand about not wanting to sacrifice the shoes, they aren't cheap, they were a gift to everyone, I LOVE tom's mission & what the company does and I am definitely going to wear them A LOT! at the same time...i can't force a fake "ya, um, they look okay" just to make them fit the bill for your wedding.  you want everything in your wedding to look be and feel spectacular and years from now when you look at pictures of all of us you might wonder who picked out the bridesmaid's boat shoes for the middle of the summer with that kind of dress... not trying to be mean, just trying to be ridiculously honest - something I just do...because that's no only what you might think years from now when you look at photos, that's what all the guests are actually going to be thinking and we're all gonna say "kxxx made us wear these" lol!

But, going back to the shoes.... we can definitely dress them up- to match the dress, the wedding, each other, etc...i have LIMITLESS ideas when it comes to this stuff... i'm a craft magician...and I don't mean, let's giltter glue them....i can make shoes that princess kate would mistake for a royal hat for her head! kentucky derby shoes? ever hear of them? well, i might just invent them... it would be amazing to put a white/cream color rosette on each shoe (not too big) and then have a feather or two in an arrangement wrapping out from and around to frame the shoe, maybe with a few other exquisite details, subtle, but exquisite.  In a way, it wuold be a metaphor for rags to riches and they'd also be going from (in a sense) something old to something new and of course, they are already blue... if you have while ones, we could decorate the same style-ish (or a mirror/suggestive) with a blue flower/feathers - essence of peacock?  that'd be awesome under your long dress...the devil is in the details...

I think the biggest problem with the shoe style itself is not that they are canvas flats, it's that they are like a FULL coverage boat shoe canvas flat.  I went to the website and saw the ballet flats style ones...you maybe could pass better with those - is it possible to do an exchange?  If it's too much of a hassle, then forget about it.  I also think it may have been better to not try to match the dress with a shoe like that and instead either go for something seriously neutral so that it's not overpowering (so you have to back that dress up), OR, go with something quirky and totally different altogether that simply says, yes! I DID pick out these fun, nontraditional shoes and they are SO different I want to showcase them, see how you can't help but look back and forth at my dress because you don't know *which* one is cooler????  Instead, the full coverage navy canvas shoe with the just below the knee dress kind of promotes a blind spot and not only do they not do the dress justice, they kind of overpower it.  

I hate to tell you all this stuff because you have so much to plan & so much stuff going on & I'm hoping everything is going easily otherwise!! I just think when you put these altogether, you might regret it later on if not right away.  I'll try to get xxx to get a picture of me in the dress with the shoes, but he keeps laughing at me and so do the kids (they call them granny shoes) and it's embarrassing and I KNOW you put everything on facebook (which i don't even have btw!!).   

In shrubbery: 
1.) the dress is SPECTACULAR as is- I definitely dont think we should hem it on account of those shoes - or ANY shoes!! the length is perfect! it's perfect! i was skeptical, but not i'm completely thrilled with it!!!
2.) the shoes are the frog to the princess dress.  i love the shoes on their own and will wear them all the time for other reasons if we dont nd up using them for this wedding.  if it's possible to exchange them without too much hassle, we should look into that versus having to hem the dress.  the chiffon and the underliner of the dress may prove more of a hassle to hem then exchanging tom's shoes.  nevertheless, if you still want to use those shoes, you MUST BELIEVE and TRUST FULLY, that I can come up with a MASTERPIECE for all of our shoes that might very likely make it into an art museum.  If you're willing to go that route, I'd be willing to help out with all the girls' shoes so that the design is consistent.  I know you haven't seen the sewing/craft/home decor/costume work that i've done for my paying clients, but I can assure you that you will be blown away!!!


from:     K xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
to:       eastsidebride@gmail.com
date:     Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM
subject:  Shoes and Dress Part 2

Here is the Part 2: where she sends the conversation between her and the Toms representative.

Again, no names when posting please! Thanks!

But yeah, I need to vent - I'm angry that 1) she's being stubborn and won't send a photo and 2) she flat out insults my choice in an attempt to bully me into what she wants.

By the way, this is my sister.

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM, Vxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   wrote:

Hi Kxxxxx- I just went on the Tom's website & chatted live w/ a customer service rep regarding returns/exchanges JUST SO THAT YOU KNOW IT'S A POSSIBLILITY THAT I AM WILLING TO COORDINATE FOR YOU - please don't feel pressured- I'm just trying to help & letting you know I'm willing to coordingate this if this is what the girls want to do... just in case all the girls want to do this.. Please don't feel pressured - I'm only trying to help so I'm pasting the chat conversation below so you can see exactly what the option for exchange/return is as a viable route:

[Sparing you an excruciatingly boring chat with the TOMS Customer Happiness Team.]

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 4:04 PM, K xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
The other two girls love their shoes. and I love mine and Dxxxxx loves them on me with my dress. I know you don't like them, but if you're not even giving my style a chance and I hate to say it, but it's my wedding and my vision and I'm getting insulted by these emails.

Give me a chance to think about things because it was one of the things I really wanted for my wedding - a decision I made months ago (actually I was originally going to wear my Chuck Taylors but opted for the ivory Toms). They are not your style, I understand - but they are MY style. Please stop trying to force me into this decision because it's not your taste.

And please send a picture so that I can see and decide for myself. Thanks.

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM, Vxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  wrote:
of course they look good with the wedding dress, tons of brides wear with long dresses with comfortable shoes because with a long dress you don't see the shoes anyway. lol.  

i'm glad the other girls like their shoes with their dresses when they tried them on.  it's funny mine took soo long to arrive at the bridal shop though- they seem to have gotten their dresses pretty quickly as I thought i was the first to order the dress - remember when we thought the navy color was different & you had to let the others know? oh well. 

in any case, you asked me for my opinion about the shoes, about the dress, and about the shoes AND the dress and i took the time to give you an honest answer. 

i'm sorry you feel insulted by my honest response and additionally by my suggestions for possible back-up plans in case the other girls had any of the same feelings as i thought an honest explanation, followed an offer to help in contingency options if needed was far better than simply stating "the shoes on their own are great, but put it with the dress and you get that 'just got out of the locker room at penn state; navy towel wrapped around & blue cozy slippers' look; you just need a navy turbie twist for the hair!".   i certainly was not just going lie and say something like; "oh ya, i just love them, they're wicked cute...they're gonna be so comfortable...and they look so good".  Sorry, but that would be a blatant lie and I just can't say that.  I expect that when i ask someone for an honest opinion in my life that i think i can trust they could give me an honest answer - that's why I ask for their opinion in the first place.

OF COURSE it's your wedding Kxxx and it is and has been your vision. please don't get/stay defensive and emotional or misinterpret my feedback:  i'm not trying to force you to do anything- you merely asked my opinion, and i gave you my truthful answer along with further explanation, in earnest.  if you don't like my opinion, simply don't ask me for my opinion. 

it's your wedding, you should have what you want, your style, your vision, the other girls should also have what they want and love.  i'm totally happy for you and with all that and as long as you are happy that's all that matters.. if you really already know everything you want for your wedding and planned these shoes as your "vision" long ago, then why even ask??   it seems your decision has been made and you don't need a picture from me that would help you decide anyway.  in any case, since the other girls already love their shoes with their dress and are also convinced they are great, i'm sure they'll have much more fun sending pictures back & forth with you as I have very limited time and I dont even have a facebook account... you can all decide among yourselves - i'll do whatever you want - it's your wedding.  but, please don't ask me for my opinions anymore: just keep me in the loop. thanks!

On Jul 10, 2012, at 7:59 PM, Kxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

V  -

It's not that I was insulted because of the options you gave - It seemed parts of your email contained failed contempt where you called them "granny" and "boat" shoes. I was also insulted when you told me you couldn't send a picture because xxx and the boys were laughing at you, making fun of you due to the combination of shoes/dress that I chose. I know they are not your style, and you can give me your opinion - but there is a better way to do so than through insults.

I definitely did not appreciate that you contacted Toms about their return/exchange policy before I could even make a decision. I have to look at the wedding from a whole perspective and one pair of shoes that might not be your favorite may fit into the theme. The girls love the shoes; however, they do not have their dresses yet to try them on so I (and they) are curious as to how they look. It would help me decide whether or not to change the shoe color/fabric etc. if I could see what it looks like.

I can tell by your emails that you do not like the combination, but I don't know whether or I not I like it without seeing it. You could have been more tactful in how you approached telling me your opinion, you were very hurtful and it upset me quite a bit.

I am asking that you send a picture so that I can make a decision and so that we are not making last minute changes. I've been planning this wedding with people long distance for months. You have no idea how difficult it is to coordinate long distance with no one locally to help. Since you are the only person who has seen the combination, getting back feedback that basically says "you did a shitty job and you suck at planning your own wedding and your taste level is sub-par" is extremely hurtful and in no way helps me continue to plan this wedding or make a final decision on this matter.

If I had a picture, I might completely agree with you - I am counting on my bridesmaids to help me out with this; but I cannot not blindly have decisions made long-distance. It's been stressful enough getting all the information out. If you are unwilling to send a picture than I am at a loss and might have to go with the original shoe especially if the other girls don't receive their dresses until much later. At which point, I won't be able to change anything. So it's not just keeping you in the loop - I need your help and snide opinions aside, it would be helpful if I could see what it looks like.

If you could please send a picture, I would appreciate it. It would be keeping me "in the loop". Thanks!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 8:14 PM
Subject: Re: Tom's Shoes Online chat re: returns/exchanges - option for ya! :)
To: Kxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Kxxxxx, my opinion on what the shoes look like with the dress have no bearing on how you are planning your wedding overall.  I think you are overreacting quite hastily and rudely to my feedback and taking it way too personally and in turn taking it way out of context and beginning to implicate every other aspect of your wedding planning. Im not lying when the boys said "boat" and "granny" to describe the shoes and I won't apologize for their comments either nor my honest opinion about the shoes with the dress as they nor I were not trying to make insults either, merely observations of what the shoes looked like to them because we are ALL entitled to our own opinions.  I get it Kxxxxx- it's your style, not mine, not th bridal shops, not the boys, nor xxxs, nobodys, its yours- u are unique- that's perfectly fine!!! Again though, If you don't want to hear my opinion then don't ask for it and if you ask me for my opinion and you don't agree with it don't FLIP out against me and every aspect of your wedding planning and style and who knows what's next...

Im not sorry for my own opinions, that would be dishonest, but I am sorry that all of my communication you feel you need to perceive as insult and it is really unhealthy.  I'm quite shocked that you are upset that I contacted Tom's:it was only a preliminary inquiry to find out how difficult any kind of an exchange *might* be *if* we needed to go down that route after you expressed it would be a hassle for u at this point my only intent was to try to take some load off your shoulders: I did not give them your name nor any other details that would have related Kxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx's order to the purchases made at Tom's therefore it still stands as a simple general inquiry to their general process.  I still see no harm in that- again, u need to understand that I made no decision for you, only provided you with additional information to HELP you make YOUR OWN choice.  If you want to choose to be upset about that, then you are overreacting and turning this entire situation into something it certainly isn't just because you're mad that I don't like the shoes. So what. Get over it- I'm the one that has to wear them not you.



Also: Toms suck.

Do you even read this blog??

Help a girl find some shoes?

Dear ESB,

Are you and your posse up to a little shoe hunt? 

I am getting married in the mountains in California on September 1st. The ceremony will be outdoors in the woods - very rustic. 

I will be wearing this amazing gown from Rachel Zoe.

For shoes, I'm envisioning some kind of platform. The reason for the platform is my aisle involves a little "off-roading" over roots and gopher holes. Spiked heels would spell certain face-plant. 

I need them to be tallllllll shoes, as my dress is too long for me without shoes and I don't want to get it altered. The shoes can be traditional, pretty, bizarre - whatever. We won't be seeing much of them under the dress and I'm down to get a little weird with the shoes. 

One more thing - I'm currently living in Omaha, NE (ಠ_ಠ). There's not a lot of great shopping out here, as you can imagine. I will need to order the shoes online from a place with a decent return policy in case of size issues.

Appreciate your infinite wisdom on this one! 


I want to recommend these...

(Pour La Victoire, $225 at Bloomingdale's)

But I also want to say, "Don't do it! Shorten the dress!"

Off-roading + platforms + a floor-length gown = Face-Plant-O-RAMA

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

please convince me to have my wedding


FH and I are having a very small, intimate wedding. We rented a big house in the woods, invited immediate family and a few dear friends to spend 5 days with us, housing / food (we'll cook) provided. Less than 20 people. At some point we'll do a small ceremony outside with FH's dad officiating and then have a hopefully affordable catered dinner on the deck and party all night. It's exactly what we wanted.

Except, my immediate family... are kind of assholes. Very, very tiny things regularly set them off. Last week, after discovering FH and I had taken down an online video of us giving wedding details, and my mother was outraged when she went to show it to someone and it wasn't there. This prompted her to say "she didn't even want to come," she "doesn't want me as her daughter," and "all I care about is her paying the bill." My sister seconded this with a lecture about how selfish I am to, and this is a quote, "rob (my family) of the dream wedding (they've) always had for me." She expressed that I have "stolen" from her the opportunity to be in the bridal party with "the dress" and place of honor in front of 300 people. She says it's not fair. (And no, she's not 12.  She's 22.) She's MOH, by the way.

Obviously, this really, really hurts. But to be honest this isn't outrageous coming from either of them. My mother has a terrible temper, she flies off the handle, and she says whatever she wants. By next week she will have gotten over/completely forgotten it. My sister is The Drama Queen. Several months ago she said she wouldn't come because we didn't give her a +1. (And no, she is not in a relationship.)

Please believe me that I am a strong, communicative person (despite my family, and thanks to years in therapy) and if I didn't know that trying to calmly express to them that this is a day about love, and intimacy with a few close people (based on expenses, not the desire to exclude extended family, etc) would only backfire into more vitriol from them... I would try. But this isn't how they operate. This is a cycle I am familiar with. Small issue, explosion and nastiness spewed all over me, and then they get over it and it just "never happened." Trying to defend myself (at all, evenly calmly and apologetically) only results in a longer, more drawn-out blow-out. All I can do is apologize (hollowly) and wait it out.

But. They make me so sad, and they hurt me so much. At this point, I don't want to have this wedding.

I want to go to the courthouse, do the deed, and move to the moon to avoid the anger eloping would cause. I don't feel able to finalize the catering bill that my mother is paying for, and/or all the other expenses we couldn't afford without help from my parents. She offers to pay (we never, never asked her to) but then says shit like "I'm only good for sucking her dry." It's a nasty, manipulative game. If I told her we would pay ourselves, she would be offended by that as well. It would be "shutting her out."

But FH is a supportive and strong darling and won't budge on the fact that we're having this beautiful wedding and it will be joyful and celebratory and my crazy family is not going to take that away from us. And he's right, I know. He is amazingly supportive and sweet. He is the family I got to choose for myself. But he has a darling mother and family, and probably can't accurately imagine what I feel like. I am just an adult child who wants my mother and sister to be sweet and happy for me.

I guess I was just hoping for some encouragement. I need you and your readers' spunk and support to help me put this in perspective. I need to get back to a place where I am excited to be having this beautiful, tiny wedding in the trees with my dearest friends, and yes, my immediate family. Because I do want them there. They are, after all, my family. But right now... I just want to crawl into a hole and stay there. With FH. And no telephone.


HAVE YOUR WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And for fuck's sake, stop apologizing to these people.

You can't make them be happy for you. No matter what you do. Haven't you been over this with your therapist??

Kate Moss by Juergen Teller for Vogue (December 1994) via Maia McDonald via Sasha Darling

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Duty-free vodka disaster

My cousin was having a destination wedding and wasn't able to pack her dress in her suitcases so my other cousin said he'd take a spare suitcase for her. While waiting in the airport he stopped a duty free, bought himself a bottle of vodka, and took it on the plane with him a long with the dress. Before getting on the plane the flight attendants told him he'd have to put the vodka in the carry-on (he had one personal bag (his laptop/briefcase), one bag the vodka was in, and the wedding dress carry-on). He stowed the carry-on in the overhead compartment and over the 13 hour flight, and day of traveling he spent getting to the wedding destination the seal on the vodka bottle had broken and it began to leak all over the dress. 

The dress looked COMPLETELY ruined, as if it had been in a fight and was bruised all over. I have no idea how vodka could do that to a dress, but it was all kinds of blue, purple, red and pink. It was awful. While everyone was freaking out he took it to a dry cleaner (I didn't even know he knew what a dry cleaner was to be honest) and it all came out. WHO THE FUCK KNOWS HOW, but you can dry clean vodka out of Spanish lace and silk.

The YAYs have it.

Just barely.

YAY! votes for the Carrie Dip-Dye went from 62% early yesterday down to 54% this morning.

I blame all the tampon comments for the dip in votes.

For the record, I'm not a big fan of the dress. Wai-Ching is just too Burning Man for my taste.

On a happier note: Ryan Gosling won the impromptu Is Ryan Gosling Cuter than a puppy? twitter poll with 100% of the vote.

The hazards of pre-engagement

Dear ESB,

I'm pre-engaged. The man and I will get married soon, we're not engaged yet but the details are in the works. Ring selected and such...

One of my girlfriends pre-asked to be a bridesmaid. We were talking about how well things were going in my relationship a few months back and before I could finish a sentence she excitedly blurted out "Can I be a bridesmaid?"

I hadn't even given it much thought at that point. I was kinda taken off guard because I was of the opinion that YOU WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO ASK YOU to be a bridesmaid. Am I wrong?  I answered something like "Umm I guess so, we're not engaged yet though."

Since then she has referred to my yet-to-be planned wedding and asked questions about it. Even though I already have a clear picture of almost everything I want I'm not really talking about it with people yet because afterall....I'm not engaged yet. She asked me what color I think I might want her to wear. When I replied "I don't know, maybe gray." She complained.

I'm not engaged, she's not a bridesmaid, and the wedding hasn't been planned...and she's already complaining. Ugh.

This is something that plays out in our friendship often over the past years. She can be moody. Not so moody that it's a deal-breaker but enough that it can be annoying.

I really wanted a tiny wedding party or even none at all would be fine with me. I would have asked her to be a maid anyways but her pre-asking took some of the happiness out of it. Sorta like she stole a little of my thunder.  Her pre-asking and pre-whining is making me have second thoughts. If this is how she is NOW, is it only going to get worse later?

Ok, so now I've typed it all out and I'm about to ask my questions I think I already know what you're going to say.

 *Am I obligated to have her as a bridesmaid?

 *If I choose not to have her, what is the best thing to say? Because she WILL pout if she's not a maid.

 *Should I put my foot down on any whining if I do choose her as a bridesmaid?



Un-asking someone to be a bridesmaid is kinda like un-inviting someone to your wedding. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. She may never speak to you again.

As for "putting your foot down on any whining," how do you propose to do that exactly??

Ellinore Erichsen by Johan Sandberg for Marie Claire Italia

Monday, July 9, 2012

Breaking News: These dresses are lovely

And they're on sale!

Juliette Hogan is based in New Zealand, but her design assistant assured me they'll ship internationally.

Clockwise from top left: Art Deco Dress ($390 NZD/$310 USD), Winter Garden Dress, Bohemian Dress from the bridesmaid collection (starting at $499 NZD/$400 USD), ($480 NZD/$380 USD), Cadence Floral Dress ($280 NZD/$220 USD)


It's been too long since we had a vote around here.

So what do we think about this Wai-Ching that Anon so kindly linked to?

(See the results over here)

Tie-dye or not tie-dye?!?!

Dear ESB,

We are doing a simple outdoor ceremony with 50-ish guests, followed by killer food and vino at a favorite restaurant in NYC for our wedding this fall. We are lucky to have many talented friends who are assisting us with such things as invitations, flowers, photography which is great for our limited budget (and moral opposition to spending a bundle on this) and guarantees that there won't be any chance of ridiculous, predictable wedding crap.  

I am also utilizing an acquaintance of mine who is a designer to make my dress. She has sent me some beautiful sketches, but what I am really grappling with is color. I had initially thought that in order to avoid tradition and the horror of looking "bride-y" that I was absolutely NOT going to wear any kind of white dress. I had been considering a smokey blue, or after the recent Vera Wang collection, a hot deep shade of red. Now that it is getting close to the time to pull the trigger, I am having second thoughts. I am only getting married once (fingers crossed!) and maybe this is my white dress moment?!? 

I also thought of the idea of utilizing gradient color that moves from white into a color at the bottom (or vice versa)?

Thoughts? Insight? General criticisms?


A tie-dyed or dip-dyed dress could potentially go really really bad. Remember April's ombre?

But if it's done well it can be gorgeous. (See: Ann Demeulemeester above)

If you are ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENT in your designer's dying abilities, I say go for it.