Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Help! I'm in London! And sad.

Dear esb,

I know your internet access is an issue, but I'm still hoping you can help me.  

I'm from the States and traveling alone in London until May 6th, and I learned that my super amazing grandmother passed away today. She loved to travel second only to church and her family (& maybe brigham's ice cream) so I've decided to continue on with my trip. 

Here are my questions:

What are the best places in London for a weary heart? Where can a girl go to feel a sense of peace?

What are the best places in London for great rings?  I need a wedding band for my vintage (1910s) engagement ring and I thought looking here might add a sense of purpose to my trip.

Lots of love, 


P.S. I'm staying in Bloomsbury, if that helps. 

P.P.S. Is it weird to ask if any London esb readers want to grab a drink this week? It is. I'm a weirdo.


Sometimes I fantasize about doing away with the blog. Especially when I'm gallivanting around eating oysters and drinking cocktails (and oh yeah working another job. two other jobs.). I start to think: Blah blah blah weddings. Blah blah shoes. Blah blah bridesmaids dresses.

And then I get an email like this and I instantly feel a sense of purpose. And a weirdo feeling of kinship with all you lovely weirdos....


And for the love of god somebody take her out for a drink.

audrey marnay by paolo roversi for vogue italia october 1998 via

Monday, April 29, 2013

As if cupcakes weren't bad enough....


ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I might stop doing Dear ESB's and just focus on ridiculing the ridiculous press releases that keep hitting my inbox.

p.s. Hi! I'm home!

Friday, April 26, 2013


I finally have wifi for one quick minute and I wanted to say hello! and I miss you! and I'll be back to regular programming early next week….

In lieu of a real post, allow me to offer you a short list of things I've eaten/imbibed thus far on my travels in Seattle + NYC:

1 1/2 doz oysters (YAYS!)

1 rare burger on a gluten-free bun (YUM)

1 Gogol cocktail (horseradish vodka + pickled quail egg -- I mean, how could I not??)

1/2 container of mixed schawarma purchased on the street at 2am last night (perhaps I shouldn't have)

Photo by Thomas Hannnich via Celia

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear ESB: How do I make this stop??

Met the couple a week ago. They are both great, really. 

But. I sit down and the woman sits next to me at every chance. Then, at a new place I think I pick a tactically advantageous seat to avoid encounters, but she sits next to me again. She hooks her leg around mine, I try to get free, but can't without making it extremely obvious to her fiancé across the table, so I hold still and sweat. 

She continues to invite me to events (her place tonight with the others and distant excursions) and I just try to ignore the whole thing to keep the peace. 

How do I make this stop while not blowing up all the friendships involved?


This woman is clearly trying to get caught.

All you can do is STAY THE FUCK AWAY.

Fragments de Mémoires by Alfredo Figueroa, Alexandrine Gingras Slater, Benjamin Lafaille and Samuel Rivoir via Fucking Young!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Poppy-red dress for my sister's wedding

Dear ESB,

My sister is getting married in August, and I honestly could not be even an ounce happier than I am for her and her future hubby. She asked me to be her MOH, and I truly feel like it is just that -- a huge honor to be asked. I have helped the two of them plan a really fun, creative and seemingly rustic (though trust me, nothing will be left to chance) wedding. We have her dress, her wedding-and-honeymoon-undies, flowers, food, music, bouncy castle -- the works. Pretty much the only thing left missing now is something for me to wear. Since they also asked me to sing at the wedding, hoping nobody will notice the girl in the jersey beach-dress from 3 years ago isn't really an option. Poo.

Being the rocking bride she is, my sister changed her already loose dress-instructions for me and the other 5 bridesmaids of "everyone can wear a different dress, as long as it is red, yellow or orange" (the wedding-colors) to "wear whatever the heck you want, you are all gorgeous and will look amazing." She rocks, I know. However, I still want to wear red. I have been sporadically scanning through shops and the internet for more than half a year now, and have not found anything I really loved yet. And now I am starting to get nervous. I know I theoretically still have time, but what if I suddenly realize it is 2 weeks to the wedding and I don't have anything to wear? That would be so typical. I do have this beautiful light yellow BHLDN dress with a keyhole back detail, but I wore it to two weddings last year and also, and maybe this is just the wedding-adrenaline talking, I sort of feel like I should try to wear the popping-est (it's a thing.) of the wedding colors. And I just feel like buying a pretty new red dress.

I would like something poppy-red, maybe lace, more like a summer dress than a gown though, since it really is going to be more of a fun garden wedding with games and before-mentioned bouncy castles. My sister's wedding dress has a bateau-neckline, and she has said that she wouldn't mind but actually even like the symmetry if my dress had the same. I have a curvy but nice figure, bit more busty (DD) and hippy (31), but I do like my waist.

I really hate turning the attention from the brides to a MOH, but I really am getting a little flustered -- I've just been spending much more time planning the wedding itself, and it's looking to be so perfect that I would hate to fall out of pattern, though my sis will look so stunning, maybe nobody would notice after all... But we better not risk it -- I would really appreciate some help!

Thanks so much,


MOH of the millenium. Holy shit.

What you really need is this. (Anyone seen similar for not-$680?)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear ESB: How do I acknowledge my father?

I've always said that I would not have a wedding. "I'd rather travel and elope abroad!" Now, I'm so glad that we decided to have a wedding because all of our favorite people, from all over the world, will be in the same city, having all sorts of fun together. 

My dad and I have always had a great relationship, so despite the fact that I was never crazy about the whole wedding thing, when I attend weddings or see them on TV, I've always pictured my dad walking me down the aisle. I've thought about what song we'd dance to for the father/daughter dance. He was just always...there. 

My dad committed suicide 7 months ago. It was a shock. I had no idea he was depressed. Preparing for a wedding that he won't be a part of has been difficult. It's been nice keeping busy, but now we're planning the ceremony and reception and I know I need to acknowledge him in some way. I've read that a lot of people have a moment of silence during the ceremony, but that seems like a huge downer. We're not religious so a prayer isn't going to happen. When is an appropriate moment? 

I'd also like to include/honor my step-father in some way. He's really amazing and has been very supportive. I feel like if my dad hadn't died so recently, I could handle a father/daughter dance or something like that with him. However, at this point, I think any of the traditional father roles would highlight my dad's absence and make me lose my shit. 

I don't want to completely lose my shit. 

Any advice on how to handle this would be very much appreciated. 


Lady, I am so so sorry you are going through this.

My mother's father committed suicide when she was 19, and though it wasn't a complete shock, I know how gut-wrenching it was for her to deal with.

Write a toast for your dad and give it at the reception.

This will make you bawl, but that's okay. Give yourself permission to bawl. Then maybe you won't have to worry about losing your shit for the rest of the night.

(And don't sweat your stepdad. He knows you care about him. Maybe get him a little present if you feel like it.)

So much love,

Collage by Matt Wisniewski using photography by Derrick Leung via Ez Pudewa

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm getting married and I have a vision....

Dear ESB,

I'm getting married and I have a vision. I want to get married on a small lake involving row boats -- I love the idea of all our guests being in rowboats but understand that realistically that would be a nightmare and at least 10 people would fall in. So maybe my dad rows me in? The concrete part of the vision is that after we say "I do" we jump into the lake and later after my dress and his white linen suit dries -- they will be beautifully encrusted with lake residue forever.

The only problem is that this vision doesn't seem to exist in Southern California where we are planning on getting married. It's really more Northwest or East Coast. I have searched high and low for the lake but alas can't find anything that doesn't include jet skis and a kind of barren desert look. I'd like it to look like this... and all the better if it is private. Any magical lake ideas would be much appreciated.

Thanks you and thank you and one more thanks....

Miss Lake Lover


Pick Two:

[  ] A wedding

[  ] A Southern California wedding

[  ] A wedding on a small lake involving row boats

Also, please bear this in mind.

YOu're welcome.


Photo by Christin Eide via Pretty Chic

Monday, April 15, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Speaking of Stone Fox Bride....

I am all about Jemima Kirke + all about Pam Love, but DID YOU REALLY HAVE TO MAKE THEM KISS?

Is it that hard to find a couple of women who aren't already married to men??

These two fine young gentlemen in wedding dresses, however, almost make up for it.

(Photos by Cass Bird for Stone Fox Bride)

Feel Like (More) Shoe Shopping?


First of all: thank you. I've been reading ESB since I got engaged, and you helped me develop my wedding planning philosophy: As long as people have a place to sit and I end up married, I do not care.

So now I need some shoes. I've been scouring the webs for days, and I've found some options, but nothing I feel really thrilled about. I wish I had a picture of the dress to share, but I'm having it custom made based on a dream I had. It's above the knee white light-weight cotton with three quarter sleeves, and a sort of henley/scoop neckline. It won't actually look anything like this but it's got a similar sort of attitude... I guess. I will also be wearing a flower crown. I know that flower crowns aren't cool anymore, and I do not give one fuck. I like flowers, and crowns, and wood nymphs, so that's what I'm wearing.

My initial plan was to wear something in a neutral leather with a wooden or cork heel. That way everything would stay soft, natural, and romantic. I have this pair of Swedish Hasbeens, which would be perfect, except mine are a little scuffed and my mother thinks old shoes are inappropriate for a wedding. Whatever.

So then this bride convinced me that cobalt shoes are the only way to go, and I love these, but I'm worried that bright blue shoes might clash with my whole wood nymph thing. Or is it just right? The LR's are a little expensive; I'd like to keep the shoes under 200, so I'm also considering these as a low cost alternative.

So anyway, I'd love some advice from you and all your wonderful readers. Some final specs: I'm barely 5'1 if I round up, so I will need some sort of heel. We'll be on grass, so wedges or thicker heels are ideal. As I said, I'd like to try to keep it under 200, though I can stretch a liiiitttle. It's a backyard barbecue wedding, so nothing super fancypants. Oh, and I wear a 5, 5.5, or 6 depending on the brand.

Thank you!!!!


Yah, I'm not feeling the blue for a wood nymph.

Neutral leather recommends, you guys??

(Pls let me know if you know who took the photo.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I feel like there's a bride that belongs to these shoes....

Rachel Comey at Shop Nouvelle

Is it possible to revoke a wedding invitation?

Dear ESB,

I just found your blog and have been reading it for hours. You are amazing. I wish I'd looked for wedding advice before the wedding was already half planned but hindsight is 20/20.

So I realized pretty quickly while reading that I have broken one of your golden rules. We invited some people to our wedding that we really don't want to be there. Most of them politely declined, some did not RSVP at all, but one couple with a newborn baby (who will be about 1 year old by the wedding date) excitedly accepted our invite. Back story is that we know this couple through a group of mutual friends that we used to hang out with more in the past before they all started having babies. To be honest we have never really liked them much but they were always involved in parties/events/other weddings of our mutual friends so when we were drafting our guest list we included them, not really thinking it through. We've never even really hung out with them on a one-on-one basis. I think we just got overzealous with our invitations. We also figured that since they would have a fairly new baby (their first) that they wouldn't want to attend because the wedding is out of town, they don't own a car, and live a pretty budget lifestyle so we didn't imagine them springing for a hotel room and bus tickets or a rental car and all that.

So until today we hadn't really thought much more about it other than to comment every once in awhile that we wish we hadn't invited them because they are tedious to talk to and we are worried they won't get along well with our real friends. This morning one of our mutual friends told us she was surprised to discover recently that she had been de-friended on facebook by the female half of this couple. We laughed at the weirdness of this. Since the baby they have been pretty aloof and not really interested in hanging out with any baby-free friends of theirs. Nothing weird had happened, she just one day noticed this woman had stopped showing up in her feed. There had been no falling out, she just randomly dropped her. I jokingly said, wouldn't it be weird if she de-friended my fiance and I too, even though she is planning on coming to our wedding. We all agreed there is no way she would do that. I just had a look on facebook when I got home and discovered both my fiance and I have been de-friended too. WTF?

I know facebook friendship is a terrible indicator of actual friendship. I'm not a particularly avid facebook user at all which is why I never noticed she defriended me at the time. Honestly I kind of hate everything about facebook. BUT, I'm actually super weirded out that she would de-friend us in a virtual sense but still plan on coming to our wedding. Part of me sees this as an opportunity to somehow un-invite them, or at least check in with them to see if they are still planning on coming since they seem to not be interested in maintaining a virtual friendship with us anymore. But I can't decide which I'd rather avoid more, a confrontation with them now, or having them actually attend and take up 3 seats at our wedding (er... wait... does a 1 year old get a whole seat?) What do you think? If I did talk to them about it do you have any advice on what I should say?

Should I just shut up and concentrate on more important things like what shoes and accessories I am going to wear with this dress? I'm thinking these or these. I'm quite tall so not into wearing heels higher than 2". Plus the wedding is outdoors so flats or wedges would work best. I kind of want the shoes to be a statement so am unsure if the LF ones are enough. I can't really spend more than $350. Would love to know what you think about all of this. Also please (duh) avoid using my name if you post this lest my non-friends discover I am gossiping about them on the internet like a total asshole.

Love your blog and will continue reading your entire back catalog now...


I know I rant about how you should never invite anyone you don't want to hang out with. And I mean it. 

BUT. The truth is, you will be so deliriously happy running around in that RAD DRESS (which, you should totally get the LF wedges, nobody will see them anyway) that you won't even notice these two duds and their dud baby.

It's not worth the bad karma to uninvite them.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Brooklyn travel guide for wedding sh!t?

Hi there,

I've loved the travel guides you've been posting recently. As a new reader, please forgive me if I missed the Brooklyn wedding version. (I promise I did look through the archives.)  

Where besides Catbird should I go to find interesting/artisan/unusual/finely designed/ohpleasegodnotthis rings, and to browse wedding dresses that don't make me feel like the dress is wearing me? The honest truth is I used to live in Brooklyn, but at that time I was 100% never ever ever going to get married, so now that I'm eating my words I need someone to remind me where all those awesome places I saw out of the corner of my eye but insisted on ignoring can be found!



Brooklyn is the jewelry-that-I-love capital of the world. Catbird, Scosha, Macha, and Erie Basin are all worth visiting, and if you don't find SEVERAL rings you love, there is something wrong with you.

Brooklyn is not, however, a good place to shop for a wedding dress. I am sorry to say. (Or maybe not that sorry actually. Go to Soho? Or make an appointment at Stone Fox Bride. While you're in the neighborhood, you should probs make an appointment with Anna Sheffield, too.)

Miranda Kerr by Terry Richardson for Harper's Bazaar

Why do I need an effing MAKEUP ARTIST? (Sponsored by Joy Does Weddings)


Joy Fennell of Joy Does Weddings wrote a long post for you guys about why it's a bad idea to let your 16-year-old cousin do your wedding makeup (DUH), and why makeup for photos is different from everyday makeup, and why it is so worth it to hire a professional (who shows up with her own bucket of products) and not have to worry about that shit on the day…..

And there was a good bit about the Makeup Artist's Wedding Oath, which Joy takes very seriously: "Thou shalt not allow the bride to walk around looking like a hot mess."

But I think we should just let her work speak for itself.

I mean. Right??

I flew a hair/makeup artist across the country for my wedding, and it was -- I'm not kidding you -- some of the best money I've ever spent.

Joy is based in NYC, and she comes personally recommended by that rad lady who did my wedding makeup. Joy Does Weddings provides makeup services for brides, bridal parties, engagement parties and destination weddings. She will make you look AH-MAZING!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dear ESB: I have a gnarly knuckle rash....

Dear ESB,

I have been married almost a year now, and still continue to be in need of your advice :)

I have developed a nickel allergy and I cannot wear my engagement ring or wedding band without developing a painful rash. My rings are my Grandmother's and this development sucks. I still want to wear some type of wedding band. 

Problem is, from what I read, platinum and titanium are the only 100% nickel free rings. I normally wear yellow or rose gold metals. Also, all the platinum/titanium rings I have found are ugly. Really ugly. 

Any chance you or you readers can help me find a new nickel free that is attractive?

-Gnarly Knuckle


If you search "platinum" on the catbird site, you'll come up with a bunch of options. I'm partial to Satomi Kawakita's eternity band [pictured above]….

Friday, April 5, 2013

Holy shit, this woman is cool.

Makes me feel a little better about approaching 40.


(Linda Rodin courtesy of The Coveteur)

Dear ESB,

I may not have planned a single detail of my wedding yet, but one thing I do know is that...

I want to get married in LEOPARD PRINT SHOES. Priorities and all that.

Yes, I am after a pair similar to these beautiful Charlotte Olympia Love Dolly shoes (£620), only cheaper and lower. I'm already 5'11". An extra 6 inches and the "You may now kiss the bride" thing just won't work. That said I don't want flats, I want to strut not shuffle. Know what I'm sayin?

Thanks in advance,

British bride on the wild side



Cheap leopard print can look pretty cheap. Actually, so can expensive leopard print. Those Charlotte Olympia heels are FUG, imho.

How bout these Moschino Cheap & Chics?

Is £254.17 more in the ball park?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

you guys you guys you guys

You guys, the guest post I did for Barneys is finally up and I am really super pleased with the way it turned out.

I feel like they get me.

Barneys gets me.

p.s. Who knew I would ever recommend converse ever again?

Tim Walker for W April 2013 via Visual Optimism

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No reason.

Just needed this to be on top of le blog.

Tim Walker for W April 2013 via Visual Optimism

Pls help me find a Route 66 dress....

Hi there,

I'm a big fan and a "no frills" type of girl. I never thought I'd care about weddings and dresses, but here I am caring. Whatever.

Here's the issue. My fiance and I are photographers and are going to be taking our own engagement photos along Route 66 this summer. I'm excited and have planned out various outfits for when we get to certain stops, but one of the dresses I'd like to use is this nice number from Mara Hoffman.

Well, it's sold out everywhere. I've called and begged.

Any ideas of a dress similar?  

Thanks for any suggestions,
Suddenly Giving a Shit


Dear SGAS,

Please don't wear a white dress in your engagement photos.

I mean. How do you plan to top that at your wedding? With a fucking BALL GOWN??

I thought you were a "no frills" girl.


(Finds photo of woman in blush dress walking down highway. Thinks, fuck, that looks pretty great.)

Hilary Rhoda by Lachlan Bailey for Harper’s Bazaar via Searching for Style

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Brunch with Anna Sheffield

The ADORABLE Anna Sheffield was in town last weekend, and though I generally avoid meeting internet friends/colleagues IRL.... I couldn't resist making a date for chilaquiles* and seeing all the gorgeous sparkly things in person. 

Michelle Pullman of Rad + In Love was kind enough to tag along and snap some photos for you guys. 

(And I should also mention that they took very good care of us at Franklin & Company -- managed by this dapper groom.)

Are you noting the stacked two-finger rings? Fucking KILLER.

Anna explains how these little guys stack.

I came this close to recommending the amulet ring to our Fussypants bride, and I should have. It is really so lovely in person. *Everything* is so much more lovely (and more delicate) in person.

Sterling silver horse hooves. I mean, COME ON. 

And I fell in love with that egg bangle. I almost tried to wear it out of the restaurant.

How adorable is Anna in her Lindsey Thornburg dress?? Plus her bag coordinates perfectly with her tats. nbd.

(Photos by Michelle Pullman of Rad + In Love)

*Chilaquiles are not pictured. Bonnie + Bri may feel free to shoot me a big fat I TOLD YOU SO.

Monday, April 1, 2013

What do I wear to an Indian wedding?

Dear ESB,

What do I wear to an Indian wedding? (I'm white if you haven't figured it out.)

I'm accompanying my man to this wedding in May. The couple is interracial (Chinese and Indian) and there will actually be three events across two days. Also, do I need to have a second outfit for the second day? Oh by the way, did I tell you that my man is Indian-American, is close friends with the groom, and is actually in the wedding?! When I appealed to him for help, he assured me that whatever I wore would be fine.

Because it is an interracial wedding, I'm sure there will be people from several different backgrounds attending. I'm comfortable wearing almost anything but I have no idea what's appropriate and I'd hesitate to wear something that felt like a costume. Mostly I would like to fit in with the general color, mood, and modesty level.


When I put out the APB on twitter, Anna immediately volunteered to write this one. (My readers rule. What else can I say??)

So let me start out by saying I'm not Indian, but I had a sorta-Indian wedding and have been to several of them as a guest. The first one I ever went to was back in the fall of 2009, when I traveled to San Francisco for my now-husband's cousin's wedding (the first time I'd met his extended family). My then-boyfriend's sister had excitedly told me I should wear a sari, and that her parents would bring a few of hers from their house in Los Angeles, but it made me incredibly nervous—I'd never worn one—so I packed a dress just in case. This sounds ridiculous in retrospect, but the dress I packed was actually my prom dress. It was really pretty and not prommy, though, and it would have been a really good option (elegant, colorful, long enough). But I'm so glad I didn't go with it.

My now-sister-in-law helped me pick out a bright lime green sari and, with the help of a jillion safety pins and some very tightly-tied drawstrings, got me into it. And let me tell you, I honestly had never felt more beautiful. I don't care what kind of schlub you are; if you put on a sari, you look gorgeous. I was a little self conscious that my tum was sort of hanging out, and I was worried about, like, being able to pee without having to take the whole thing off, but it worked out so well. And I think it helped make a good impression on his family—that I was willing to put myself out there and try something new, and that I was obviously really happy and excited to be giving this part of their culture a shot, etc. Also, peeing was way less hard than I expected. Good stuff.

So I'd say, if one of your guy's Indian lady-friends (or a sister or cousin or someone) has a sari you can borrow—and, importantly, if you know that someone will be around on the day of to help you get yourself into it—then go for it. You'll look awesome, not at all out of place, and I am certain you won't feel like you're wearing a costume. The other thing you could do would be to buy (or rent: Borrow it Bindaas has really pretty stuff and is like Rent the Runway for Indian garb) a lehenga or salwar kameez—they're just as pretty but require way less skill in terms of assembly/draping. And pile on the bangles.

But if you're just too anxious about all that, you shouldn't feel weird at all wearing your normal stuff to the wedding, especially since it's almost certain there will be guests from lots of different backgrounds there. Out of respect for older family members, I'd suggest avoiding anything too short or low-cut (if you really want to play it safe, don't do strapless or super-skimpy straps, either). Bright colors are always good. And I would bet that most people will have a different outfit for the second day; remember that the focus is very much on the couple and not on the guests' outfits, but if you want to feel uber-prepared, you might want to have a costume change ready, too.

Most of all, don't worry too much about it. Have fun and dance your butt off.

p.s. Unrelated but is this not the best DIY ever??

Anna bought plastic animals online and spray-painted them gold. SUCK IT, BHLDN

(Photos by Oh, Darling! See more over here)