Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is this a thing now?

this Burberry Prorsum taffeta dress juxtaposes a polished strapless neckline with a contrasting built-in bra.

I mean, I'm all for a built-in bra. But. Really?

via Tessa

sorry, but you're not invited to the *ceremony*

Dear ESB,

I'm the MOV for a friend's wedding and I have a question with respect to the ceremony. The bride wants to have her ceremony on a balcony at the hall where the reception is being held (ceremony at 5pm, reception at 6pm). The balcony is small and won't hold all the guests so she wants to only invite close friends and family to the ceremony and plans to do this by word of mouth.  

I think that people will be confused and maybe even offended if they don't get invited to the ceremony. I told her if she wants to have a smaller, more intimate ceremony to do it on another day prior to the reception.

Is it okay to have a smaller ceremony the same day as the reception and just not invite all the guests?


yeah, no. that's rude.

you can have a big wedding or you can have a small wedding, but you can't have BOTH. not at the same fucking location.

p.s. wtf does MOV stand for? maid of valor? matron of videography??

kati nescher in miu miu, shot by patrick demarchelier for vogue uk (february 2013)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pls help dress me for the (German) Emmys!

Hello ESB!

In the midst of my wedding planning (which you have helped me through immensely so far!), I have come upon another dress dilemma: I have been invited to go to a red carpet event. Basically, it's the German version of the Emmys. So naturally I had a look at what guests have worn in past years and it's a major evening dress from major designers in every seat. They are very serious about their black tie dress code. So I guess the little black Maison Martin Margiela number I had picked out just won't do.

So what's a girl to do? I do not have a suitable gown in my closet. I am willing to splurge, but so far what I have found is past splurging. This 4.000 euro Elie Saab [pictured above] in hot pink looked pretty great on me - but it is just way out of even my splurging price range.

I have scoured the internet for options already, but maybe your lovely readers have an idea I have missed? I'm actually accompanying a nominee, so hiding in the back is not an option. I'm not afraid of color, but just a little timid with sequins and beading, I have a tiny waist and wider hips, so I often can't pull narrow dresses over them so anything too mermaid-y looks terrible if I even get it on. But at this point, I'll try anything on! So desperate... 

Thank you!,


okay so what's your budget?


Ah yes, good question. I'm going to say 1.000 euros, which is somewhere around $1300, but that's really the maximum.


Do you also have tiny boobs?

How bout this beaded Mara Hoffman?

($924 at Free People, international shipping available)

Quentin Tarantino's date wore our old fave Mara Hoffman dress to the Golden Globes, and she looked SMASHING.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marriage is no walk in the park (the follow up)

Dear ESB,

you may or may not remember me from my looooooooong e-mails full of problems. :)

Like this one and the more dramatic...

Now I will keep it short and just say: thank you! 

When my marriage ended (because it did end) and I was too ashamed to talk about it to anyone in real life, you and your readers gave me the push I needed to take action. Or not to take action. I let go... Because you can not be married to a person that doesn't want to be married. All my thoughts about marriage were about "making things work even when it's really really hard" and "being there no matter what." So I felt like a complete failure in marriage. But slowly but surely I don't anymore. Because marriage does not mean hanging on to my husband when he was so unhappy and desperate to get out. So... I let him go before things got out of hand. 

Now I can think of our wedding day as one of the most beautiful days of my life. We tried, but it didn't work out. And that's really sad and really hard. But also real life.

Thank you again for your spot on advice. 




Image from "Skeletons in the Closet" by Klaus Pichler via kidchamp. If you're into taxidermy (and who is not into taxidermy??) you can see more over here.

The booties have it.

They beat out the wedges by 84%.

I guess my quiz was too easy?

And I like that they don't go with the dress. That's what I like about them. Just because you're going with Pronovias doesn't mean you have to wear Kate Spade fucking slingbacks, amirite?

what do you do with your wedding rings when you split up?

my husband and I were married september 2011, and the last day of our honeymoon was the first day of our difficulties, which i won't bore you with.

short end of the story is he turned out to be an alcoholic.


currently my rings are sitting on my desk at work (a safe place don't worry!)

do i give them back? keep them forever? throw them in the sea?

also, i was a bad bride who never sent out all the thank you cards, mostly because things were getting worse from the minute we got back from honeymoon (this had a plus side since i didn't feel comfortable doing all the joint bank account stuff we'd planned... and now all my own money is safe etc..) anyway. i haven't sent out thank yous, and i feel embarrassed by this.

should i just chuck the rings and let the thank you cards go??

apparently ungrateful, soon to be divorced wifey :(


The sea should be reserved for items you want to memorialize. Your grandmother's ashes. Goose's dogtags.

Sell the rings or melt them down or whatever and go out for a kick ass meal.

As for the thank you cards.... I wish I could tell you to just let em go, but those suckers will nag at you forever. Try to muster the strength to write notes to your friends and fam. "Thank you for the terrific chef's knife, which I am now using to cook for myself!" type of thing.

You can do it.

(Whiskey might help.)

Image courtesy of inflated/deflated

Monday, January 28, 2013

The best is the enemy of the good.

I procrastinated writing about my wedding for ESB because I wanted to write something perfectly awesome, but there are no such words to encapsulate everything I want to say about it. Thankfully Jessica Schilling did one hell of a job with the photos, so they do most of the talking.

I had many of the same struggles all brides have with their weddings, but it was the first (god willing, only) time for me, so of course it felt like I was the only person dealing with xyz. That being said, I highly recommend working full time and being a full time grad student while planning your wedding. You find that you have no time to be indecisive. My mantra became "The best is the enemy of the good."

For instance, we didn't give much thought to how long it would take for the various parties to get down the aisle versus the songs playing. We just cut that shit about 30 seconds into each song (the dudes - "Going the Distance" from the Rocky soundtrack, the ladies - Neutral Milk Hotel "In the Aeroplane...", and me/my parents - Bach's Cello Suite #something - 1?) with no fancy fading. Sounded kind of hilarious and half assed in retrospect, but world did not end! Laughed a lot instead.

We did this low-ish budget style (for LA at least) but spent a much higher percentage on our officiant than most wedding budgets will tell you to. We hired Gina Zimmerman - the one wearing a glittery shawl and harem pants blessing our marriage site with sage - and it was one of the best decisions we made.

Knowing we had way way WAY too much going on while wedding planning meant we wanted to make sure the one part that actually mattered - the ceremony - was exactly what we wanted. Gina came to our home, nestled up with our cats and listened to us for hours one evening so she could write extraordinarily beautiful things for the ceremony about us, the partnership we have, and the partnership we strive towards. It was totally, completely awesome.

I totally expected to be a crying mess during our vows etc, but it took till our first dance (The Breeders - Off You) for me to totally lose it. And lose it I did! Makes for fun pictures.

Photos by Jessica Schilling. Check out tons more images of Erin & Mike's totally, completely awesome wedding (along with dets about location &c.) over here.

♥ ♥ ♥

POP QUIZ: Which shoes go with this dress?

Dear ESB,

Which do you prefer? There can be only one:

Let's have a little Monday morning pop quiz and then tomorrow I'll tell you the right answer.

Fill out my online form.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fare thee well, Anonymous.

I really didn't want to do this. I've been avoiding this forevs.


I just disabled anonymous comments.

This was the last straw.

Most of the offers for fake vagina, Loans for Bad Credit and 49rs jersey cheap just go straight through to my inbox and don't hit the blog.... But as Rob pointed out, if you subscribe to comments they go straight to your inbox too. And lately the ol spambots are getting way out of hand.

I really really love all you anons (no, really), but something had to give. Please just create a silly fake profile name for yourself and keep on keepin on, mkay?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The moral of the story is....always listen to ESB

Dear ESB,

This is not a question, but a word of warning to any bride who doesn't heed your wise words about not inviting people to your wedding who you don't really want to be there. 

During university I had a tight-knit group of great girl friends, and despite the fact we all moved across the world after graduation we have always stayed on each other's radars. There was one girl who was always on the fringes of the group, because, well, she was pretty annoying. Very bright, but really competitive (particularly with me), judgmental, intense and uptight. The kind who always wants to know what your new X cost, or how much you weigh, or how obscure the band you were listening to was, so she can try to one up you. She didn't seem to actually like any of us, yet she was kinda always hanging on to our group, just sulking and judging. After university, she got a boyfriend and moved out of the country and no one in our group really heard from her again. 

Flash forward five years, to this past year, and I'm getting married to my rad partner on the other side of the world. My awesome friends from university are all traveling from different countries for our wedding, and it is the first time since graduation we will all be together again. Despite the fact that I don't really want the girl there, and against ALL YOUR GOOD ADVICE ON THE MATTER (and against the rest of my friends' advice!), I felt bad for not including her and decided to send her an invitation. What's the worst thing that could happen?, I rationalized. She probably won't even come, and, if she does, I'll just have to see her that one night and then probably never hear from her again! Right? 

But come she did, as annoying and judgmental as ever, and fresh from a break up with her boyfriend. And she went straight for my new husband's lovely, shy brother. 

After just one very drunken weekend together, and a lot of long distance phone calls over the last five months, this girl and my brother-in-law just got engaged this week. (They still live on different continents, but as I said, she is intense! And apparently has a very charming phone manner? I don't know, I don't get it.) I'm trying to be happy (?) for them in that abstract way you're supposed to be happy for your family, but, selfishly, I just can't believe that I am now going to be related to the most annoying person I've ever met. 

The moral of the story is: don't invite people you don't want to come to your wedding. Or you might end up related to them. AND ALWAYS LISTEN TO ESB.

Very Sorry I Didn't Listen

(For the love of god, if you post this please don't put my name since my future fucking sister in law will be wedding planning soon!)


Wow that is not how i expected that story to end

Image: Aimee Song courtesy of The Coveteur via Allie Stefan

THIS BABY doesn't need a matching band

Mid-1700s Diamond Cluster Ring from Erie Basin (obvs)

Here's a new one


After a lengthy engagement, my fiance and I are finally getting married in April. I love my engagement ring: vintage-style halo setting in platinum. Now, on to the wedding band. I know we've already covered if the bride and groom's (or bride and bride's or groom and groom's) need to match, but does MY wedding band need to match my engagement ring? Is having a rose gold band with a platinum engagement ring ridiculous? I can't tell. 




also: only invite the people you really want to hang out with.

Do you even read this blog??

Image: ilovejezebel

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

my *new* new year's resolution (spoiler alert: IT INVOLVES TACOS)

my new year's resolutions are bumming me out.

i do this to myself every year. tell myself i'm going to write every morning, then spiral into depression and anger when i don't write (or don't like what i'm writing) and drink whiskey while watching the bachelor and playing fucking letterpress for four hours in a row just to punish myself.


here's my new resolution.


try a new taco place once a week, or once a month, or whenever i fucking feel like it.

just. eat. tacos.

the photo is my own, from Tacodeli in Austin, which, HOLY SHIT.

i now plan to eat my way through the 10 Essential LA Tacos. if the rest of the recommends are anywhere near as good as Guisados....

Seeking: a RACERBACK wedding dress

Why so few? 

I'm not a super sporty person or anything, but I know that my top half looks dang-good in a racer back. My wedding is outside, but a lot of the racer back gowns I've found are all froufrou on the bottom. 



Is this Acne racerback enough for you?


Photo at top: Sally Gall

Monday, January 21, 2013

Seeking: Valentino heels (for a gazillionth less)

Hi ESB, 

So my FH and I are getting married at the end of October. Basically all I want is these shoes for a gazillionth of their actual price. We are getting married on a fruit farm with a little French style courtyard, cobbled stones and all. So, I love the idea of the midi heel on these Valentinos, plus I want to keep these babies on while dancing all night. And no, I don't have a dress yet - but I know it won't be white and it will most probably be an off the rail vintage lace thing.   

Here is the catch - I live in South Africa and since the rest of the world thinks that people in Africa don't do online shopping I can't get anything delivered here. But my salvation is that I will be spending about 3 months in Paris from April. So will the good people that read this here blog please scour the net for me? 

Thank you so kindly, 


Let me get this straight....... You're about to go to MOTHERFUCKING PARIS, but you want us to shop shoes for you on the internet??

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pregnant in SoCal

Dear ESB,

My fiancée and I are getting married in a small ceremony at the old Orange County courthouse in Santa Ana in exactly one month. I purchased my dress a few months ago and absolutely love it, a simple cream  lace sheath with a nipped in waist. However, about 3 weeks ago I found out that I am pregnant (which we are over the moon excited about, by the way). 

I will be exactly 3 months along on our wedding day. I won’t be showing by then, but my breast are growing rapidly and I anticipate a little extra in the middle at that point. I need recommendations on a simple, chic dress that won’t make me look frumpy. 

We won’t be telling anyone but close friends in the meantime since it is generally considered best to wait until after the first trimester to make the announcement. I don’t necessarily need to conceal what’s going on, I just want to look beautiful and feel comfortable on my wedding day. Help?

Preggo Bride


How bout this lil Malene Birger dress?

Feel free to tell me I nailed it.

(In case you need convincing, here are some photos of my favorite preggo bride.)

At top: Valentine Fillol-Cordier styled by Jennifer Eymere and shot by Alexei Jay for Jalouse March 2012 via Fashion Copius

Thursday, January 17, 2013

another installment of: CREEPY OR AWESOME?

The faces are cut out of Victorian photos, but never fear..... Crystal does custom!

while we're on the subject of wedding websites....

(thank you all for the recs, which are pouring in)

Any advice/tips on what to include? Do people really read those long "how we met" stories?

I read them. AND I LAUGH AT YOU.

THE WAY WE MET. IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST. - Patrik Svensson via ßrady ßlack via Caitlin Peters

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

hey you guys, i have a question.

i've been avoiding this one because it's really boring, but people keep asking me....

where's the best place to set up a (preferably free) wedding website?

we all know the wedding channel/the knot* sucks (right? okay good) but are there any out there that don't suck?

clip art via ETC

*don't even get me started on the knot. and don't -- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD -- put your dates/dets in there. you'll never get away.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

do [we] have to dance

Dear ESB,

My fiance and I are often incredibly bored at weddings, especially when the only people we really know are the bride and/or groom. You see, we don't really enjoy dancing. (Though, oddly, I grew up studying ballet rather rigorously.) So we end up parking at a table like the elderly family members.

Now that we're engaged and starting to plan the basic framework of our wedding, the question of dancing at the reception is coming into play. While initially my fiance was on board with my no-dancing declaration, he has since back pedaled, claiming that this is "just what people do." When I asked my fiance if he wanted to dance at our wedding, he was very adamant that he didn't. Yet, we are still discussing it.

So I wonder if it wouldn't be helpful to think of something else for our guests to do. Other than the standard "mingling," how do we occupy our guests so they don't feel awkward or bored themselves? And if we can't come up with anything, how do I stop my guests from dragging me onto the dance floor all night without being snippy or rude?



fuck dancing. give em cocktails, they'll be fine.

Titania Inglis via I'm Revolting via La Petite Magazine

Monday, January 14, 2013

What do I wear to greet my SAILOR?


I won't make this a novella. My sailor is returning home from deployment. I can't wait to stand on the pier and watch him return...except it is New England, late February, on a pier.

What am I going to wear to this? A large luscious sweater sounds excellent but I can't seem to find anything good.

Help the Floridian be fashionable in the winter!


I'm pretty sure "a large luscious sweater" is one of those things that women think are luscious and men think, like, "What is that? I can't see her boobs."

How bout a sweater DRESS?

(Steven Alan, $139 down from $229)

Knee-highs also highly recommended.

Image at top: Ashley Smith by Nico for Harper’s Bazaar Spain July/August 2011 via Fashion Gone Rogue

Friday, January 11, 2013

Anna Sheffield Digs East Side Bride!

After you guys clicked through like crazy to Anna Sheffield here and here, the staff took note. They just sent me these images from their first bridal campaign. I didn't even have to cop them off Refinery29!

The Astarte Ring is the centerpiece....

(UM $19,500)

But I like the Hazeline even better.

(Black Diamond, $2,500)

(Rose Gold with a hidden champagne diamond, $1,100)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

for the Mormon Hipster bride*

Roksanda Ilincic's Hillin Dress at Opening Ceremony

*You think I'm kidding? I am so not kidding.

Dear ESB: Want to keep running with the men's ring theme?

My fiancé is the WORST shopper ever, and I need help getting him to shop smart for a ring. He claims he doesn't care about things, but then is very picky when it comes to actually purchasing/wearing anything. He's the kind of guy that is perfectly content with a limited wardrobe, has to be convinced that yes he does actually need a dress coat, even if he'll only wear it twice a year, but will spend 3 months shoe shopping to replace the shoes he wears almost every day even though the ones he's currently wearing are so worn down they almost have holes in the sole.

He is convinced he will never get used to wearing a ring, that it's too bulky on his finger and he doesn't like jewelry. In the same discussion, he says he will wear his wedding band. He says he's not picky, but doesn't want to spend "a lot" of money on it. He works in food service management, so he uses his hands a lot, but he's not chopping things all day long. He gravitates towards rings in the 6mm size with more of a matte finish.

My dilemma is I know it's possible to get used to a ring, he doesn't yet believe that. I think the best plan of action is to get him a cheap ring now, let him get used to it and let it get beat up a bit and then I'll gift him a ring with nicer materials as his forever ring in a year or so when he's more comfortable wearing one. However, the cheaper rings all seem to be heavier and more bulky, which sorta throws a wrench in the idea that he'll get used to the ring. He also has slender fingers (size 7.5) so we haven't been to a store where he can try on rings and get a true idea of what they'll feel like.

He really liked this ring at Bario Neal in Palladium, but he thinks it's too expensive for "just a ring." 

I think he'll also like this Bittersweets ring from Catbird in a white gold. 

He'd like it Hammered, but I think down the road he'd be happy if it was just a traditional finish. If I was the one making the decision, I'd just get him one of these.

Any ideas of a good "temporary" ring I could get? Or a way to make him see the light and get something that's more likely to last and be comfortable now?

Thank you!


This guy makes me REALLY TIRED.

Tell him it's his fucking WEDDING RING and he'll be wearing it EVERY DAY for THIRTY YEARS. For the palladium band or the thin band in white gold, that comes to approx 5 cents per day.

If he needs a training ring, tie a fucking twisty tie around his finger and make him wear it until the wedding.

Fuck's sake.

Iggy Pop by Pierre et Gilles via Room 26 via Vejde Gustafsson via Susannah

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

really awesome or kinda creepy?

Custom engagement ring by Digby & Iona with a tiny photo of the couple underneath the diamond.....

I think I have to go with creepy.

What did I tell you about laurel wreaths?

One Love Photo has the cutting-edgiest brides.

Snarky Comment Required

Here's the gist:

-Destination wedding in lovely family spot (partially because we didn't want a huge wedding in our mutual hometown).

-Our dream is family + 20ish friends who will actually enjoy the spot and can afford to travel, which would be about 60 people in total.

-F-MIL keeps making passive aggressive comments about how we could just elope to save her money (jokingly, of course...only she's not joking, based on sheer repetition).

-FILs have the money, easily, but just hate spending it on travel/their kids (insert complicated back story- aka we know better than to ask for any help with actual ceremony/dinner, so their costs = their travel & stay).

-However, she is fine spending our money inviting 90 people to our wedding to which she herself does not want to travel (another issue, which I believe I can solve or overlook, given that her friends likely won't travel; she just wants them to be given the option).

Please help me keep a smile on my face and endure the "why-don't-you-elope-and-save-me-some-money" mutterings under her breath. Or help me see the situation differently?

exhausted Future Daughter-in-law trying to keep the peace


Tell her, "We really are trying to keep things small, so no sweat if you can't make it!"

Photo by Meinke Klein for the Maarten van der Horst Fall 2012 Collection via Fashion Gone Rogue

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

cute little wedding flats


Via cevd

Seeking: A black wedding band for the groom

I found my ring on your blog (thank god I was prepared and had been reading you for fashion reasons) but need help with my groom. I've searched in vain - we/he'd prefer a solid black ring, circle or square, preferably no shiny metals or jewels (eww).

We're not trying to match or anything obviously. Can you help?

snobby fashion bride


Guess what, snobby? I think black wedding bands are eew.

They're almost all made of tungsten or titanium, which a) EEW, and b) Who is this guy, SUPERMAN? He doesn't need a ring that is HARDER THAN STEEL. What happens if he gets it caught on something? Or they need to cut it off in the ER??

Allow me to recommend Macha's Ragged Wedding Band in yellow gold.

It wouldn't kill you to match just a *little*

Alternatively, you could try to convince Bernice to bring back the Misshapen Men's Ring in oxidised sterling silver.

I hesitated to recommend silver. Not sure it will hold up to 30+ years of daily wear. But this is a sexy, sexy ring, and (obvs) you won't have to worry about it tarnishing.