Friday, September 27, 2013

Pls help me shop for MUSIC

Dear ESB,

My wedding was about a month ago, and it was awesome and fun and spectacular and all that. Endless thanks for helping me stay sane throughout the process. You helped talk me into hiring a videographer, and now I need a bit of help in that department. The local guy we hired wants us to choose our own music -- for a 5-10 minute video, he asked for two suggestions each for slow songs that would be the backdrop to the ceremony, and two to match up with the dance party scenes.

The only songs we specifically asked our DJ to play were Spoonful by Howlin' Wolf (first dance) and Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (last song of the night), otherwise we asked him to stick to mostly 90's stuff, No Diggity, early Britney and the like. Makes for an awesome dance party, but none of it quite works for a wedding video... Some ideas we've tossed around and rejected include King and Lionheart by Of Monsters and Men (too epic) and Love and Happiness by the Rev (too bluesy).

So here I am, hoping your great taste -- and your readers' -- in other facets of life can help lead me to some good wedding video music. Got any suggestions? If songs are beautiful but actually about a stalker i.e. Sting, I would like to be aware of that. 

Totally thought I was done making wedding style decisions, ugh. Thanks in advance for any ideas! 


a) These are all good.

b) You are way overthinking it.


Collage by Richard Vergez via Jamaia Johns

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Here's what you should wear to CITY HALL

With a crop top.

PERF, amirite?

(Swedish Queen Crown from Fiori Couture)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Seeking: Un Courthouse Wedding Ensemble

Hey Lady,

So, I have another question. I am doing a courthouse wedding here in LA before we have the big over the top, come to jesus wedding. 
I would like to wear THIS

I am hoping your reader friends may have some ideas on how to piece this together- for less than $300? Maybe? Hopefully? 

Thanks lady. 


HEYREADERFRIENDS: Feel like shopping?

It's not that I'm too busy or anything. Lady asked for *your* ideas.

Monday, September 23, 2013

George + Lysa's Rad San Diego wedding

If you look closely, this whole shebang is PERFECTLY COLOR COORDINATED. And yet it's totally Brooklyn-meets-San-Diego cool and supremely unfussy....

George and I been together for 10 years and when we finally decided to make it official, we knew that we wanted 3 things: Mexican food, to have it be a fun & casual affair and for it to take place in San Diego, California (where I grew up and where we met).

With that said, the important things for this bride were:

Wedding Photography

Luckily, it was through a recommendation that we found Rad + In Love. I loved Jamie and Michelle’s photojournalistic approach and the command they had of the medium. They were on the ball in getting our "must have" photos as well as sneaking us away to snap us in the perfect light.

Wedding Invitations

My talented friend, Shiva King is the one who is responsible for these insanely beautiful invites. Since our venue had elements of mid century architecture, Shiva used Illustrator to impart a clean look that is characteristic of mid century design while adding a feminine touch with the bold florals and/or color. She designed the map, flowers, our caricatures and screen printed our cat Gustave Minda onto tote bags.

[Ahem, please note how beautifully Lysa's bouquet matches the save-the-dates.]

Wedding Dress + Shoes

I saw an image of a 1930s Nina Ricci dress and automatically knew that was going to be my wedding dress if I could help it. I scoured ebay, etsy, all the vintage stores in SD, LA and NY for similar styles if not the exact one but to no avail. So with the help of a friend, I decided to design my own dress, using design elements from the vintage one and giving it a modern spin.

I design shoes as a profession and am starting my own line called Aralêzano (stay tuned!) so it’s a no brainer to design my own pair. I collaborated with my friend Juniper Rose on the embellishment, and one of the factories I worked with was kind enough to make my wedding shoes.

And so after our must-haves were squared away, everything else fell into place. We got married at the San Diego Rowing Club on a summer solstice evening. It overlooked Mission Bay, which made for an interesting backdrop with bikini-clad kayakers, a John Mayer blaring boater and a jet packer aerialist.

I walked down the aisle to Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks and we walked out as a couple to Tusk by Fleetwood Mac, all performed instrumentally by Red Pony Clock. After the ceremony, the band continued playing during cocktail hour and we recorded the entire set list as a keepsake. The recording is our most favorite thing from the wedding. This party friendly 8-piece band is awesome and if you are getting married in the LA/SD area, book them!!

After cocktails, the wedding party gave their toasts and this was also another great memory. It was funny, sweet and emotional. No matter how many times I told myself not to cry, I did. Dinner was catered by Ortega’s -- delicious vegetarian enchiladas, fish tacos, chicken tacos, beans, rice, etc; and to cut down on costs, we ditched the wedding cake and bought Julian apple pies instead for dessert.

And from the dance floor, here are three of my favorite moments:

1st dance to The Killing Moon by Echo & the Bunnymen. We were opposed to first dances, but my mother insisted and she knows best. My uncle was kind enough to choreograph and teach us the moves the day before.

The same uncle surprised us with a flash mob Gangnam Style dance, which had my cousins, my mom and George’s parents on the dance floor.

And thanks to Red Pony Clock, they got me on a chair to do the hora and I’m not even Jewish. I told you RPC is party friendly!!

Some advice: the day will go by fast, you will be pulled for every free moment you have for photo ops, you will not get to spend enough time with everyone at the wedding, and you will suffer some sort of post-wedding depression after all is said and done.

Planning a California wedding from Brooklyn wouldn’t have been possible without help and advice from our friends. Everything came recommended to us and every recommendation was perfect.

Especially, thank you to our friend Chris Wojdak, who was our coordinator & florist. She made sure we were on budget, DIYed a few things to do so, and created the most beautiful bouquet I have ever seen. She is truly Wonder Woman (It’s true! She planned the wedding while pregnant and on the day of the wedding, was running around with little Jack strapped to her).

So it’s really our friends that made this wedding all the more awesome, besides marrying my best friend.


Your uncle is RAD.

So is that dress.

And the shoes!!! look even better on.

Basically you killed it, lady.

(Photos by Rad + In Love. Go see more over on their blog!)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You know I never sneak peek. BUT.

I have a hectic couple of days coming up. Figured I'd ply you with a sneak peek of these custom (!) shoes from a wedding shot by Rad + In Love.

Coming.... Monday? If I get my act together.

Also: I had to get this shit off the top of the blog.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear ESB: I need a rebound dress


I'm writing to you like a lame, lovesick teenager trying to get over a guy. Except I need to get over a dress. Go ahead and give me shit; I realize that BHLDN sucks. But that dress is gorgeous. Foolishly I tried it on, half hoping that it would look terrible on me since I'm shorter and more curvy than the model… but it looks even better on. 

It's roughly 2x my budget, they don't sell sample dresses unless it's out of stock forever (I asked, like the shameless poor girl that I am), if I wore the more affordable red version I'd blend in with the walls at my venue and the only person I found selling it used hasn't responded to me. 

Clearly I need to accept that it's not going to happen. So while I realize that this almost definitely isn't your style, if you or your readers are ever feeling bored and/or generous… I think I need a rebound dress.



Model looks like someone is blowing a doily at her with a huge industrial fan.

Feel better? 

Now someone find a new dress for this lady, stat.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why bother sending printed invitations? &c.

Good Sunday to you ESB,

I really enjoy the vendor-perspective articles (the DJs, the caterers, other sponsored posts) and I'd love to hear the definitive statements made for or against printed invitations and other wedding ephemera. "Do I need printed invites, why the f* do they cost so much?"etc. That would be cool. 

I've looked through the blog, but maybe not hard enough...


I have not taken a stand on this. Though I did once go on a tear about save-the-date postcards.

Here's a little perspective from my friend Joanna, who worked for three years as the custom and production manager at Sugar Paper (and continues to do freelance lettering design for them, even as she embarks on a badass career as a costume designer):*

Why should we bother sending traditional paper invitations?

Let's start by considering the alternative, which is most likely sending an online invitation to your guests. It's pretty tragic for someone to spot your wedding invitation between an emailed ad from Target and a daily Garfield comic strip. We spend most of our time on the computer, working or communicating with our friends and family electronically, so it's important to separate the gesture of inviting a loved one to one of the most important events of your life from, say, TPS reports and cat videos. Also: "I didn't see your invitation because it went to my spam folder"? Lame, yet totally a possibility if you email a digital wedding invitation to everyone.  

You have to remember that receiving a non-junk, non-bill item in the mail is a really lovely thing. When you're planning your wedding it's easy to justify axing paper invitations by saying "everyone is just going to throw our invitation in the trash anyway, so why waste the money?" First of all, no, not everyone is going to just throw your invitation in the trash - sentimental pack rats still exist, and I assure you there are some in your life. Second of all, while it's true that invitations are a limited-use item, so are a lot of things about your wedding, and you're probably not going to poll your guests about whether they think you should spend money on a dress you'll wear once or flowers that will be dead in 2 days. It's not really your problem whether or not your guests will cherish your invitations forever, nor is that the point of sending them out in the first place.

The bottom line: you are asking your friends and family to join you on an incredibly important day, and since they love you they will put in time and money to be there with you. Sending each of your loved ones a physical invitation for your wedding is a special gesture, especially when you consider the returned gesture of traveling thousands of miles to see you get married. Or, look at it this way: you're throwing a big party where you and your partner are the theme and a bunch of awesome people (who also think you're awesome) are joining you to celebrate. For once in your life let your communication wear an amazing outfit too, alright?

So…why is it that wedding invitations are so %$#*ing expensive?

It just depends on what you want. You can order invitations online for $1 or less, though you can expect the print and paper quality (as well as design limitations) to reflect that price. Options for invitations range from plain old digital printing to thermography to traditional letterpress with the price range to match. It may sound ridiculous to spend $15 per invitation, but once you consider what goes into your wedding paper it starts to make a lot of sense:

1. Whether you work with an invitation company or a single artisan, a lot of time is put into your invitations doing skilled work. From my experience working at an established letterpress studio, I can tell you that a handful of very talented people who are really good at specific parts of the process spend way more time than you would imagine producing your invitations. To you it seems like you simply send someone an email with wording, see a customized proof, and a few weeks later you've got your goods. In reality, there was typesetting, editing, plate-making, cutting, hand-feeding, measuring, inspecting, trimming, counting, lining, and packaging - and that's for each piece of the invitation suite.

2. There are super high quality materials available and good invitation companies use them on a regular basis. The options are limitless when it comes to paper - 100% cotton archival quality museum board, sheets with soft deckled edges made in Italy, even paper containing wool fibers for deep letterpress impressions - and the most luxurious kinds have much higher costs because of the craftsmanship and care that go into producing them.  

3.  Added details and assembly take time and skill. One of my first big projects at Sugar Paper was completing production on a 300-invitation wedding order that required carefully measured and stitched satin ribbon sleeves with an additional thick silk bow tied around the entire package. The assembly took me a week to complete, but taking the time to do precise and clean work meant the client received a beautiful product that I was very proud to have worked on. That is what you pay for when you hire someone to take care of the details for you - sharp eyes, careful fingers, and the treatment of your invitations as their own.  

Do what you will, but just remember that your wedding is one of the best excuses you'll ever have to create fancy and custom paper goods for yourself.  

Also: I hear the U.S. Postal Service could use the work.

Lettering by Joanna Reynolds

*This is NOT a sponsored post. It's just Joanna being rad.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dear Celia: Please help me dress my boobs! (NURSING EDITION)

ESB: Here's my boobs dilemma. I've always been a petite but busty girl: 5'2", and a 30DD... before I had a baby last month. And now that I'm an on-demand milk bar for my little piglet, I've jumped up a cup size or three. 

My nursing and maternity leave wardrobe is pretty limited; that I can live with for the time being. But I have two weddings to attend in the next few months, one on Cape Cod in September and a second in LA in October. The tot is coming along for both. I'm looking for a dress that will be easy to nurse in, not to mention accommodating of a huge, hideous but non-negotiable nursing bra. 

I'm somewhere in the 0/2/4 size range these days, depending on the dress and brand; something that is forgiving of a not-totally-flat post-baby belly would be nice. I don't want to spend more than $200 if possible, but for the right (versatile) dress, I could be persuaded to shell out a tiny bit more.

a new mama


WHOOPS I hope Celia and I aren't too late with this. I suspect we might be.....

Dear New Mama,

On the off chance that you have yet to find something, I highly recommend going the Nadia Tarr route. Her dresses are CRAZY stretchy, so nursing is not at all a problem in them. A nursing friend of mine recently attended her brother's wedding in one of her pieces and claims she couldn't have made a better choice. I know you said $200 was your limit, but GAH, look at this

The straps are convertible, so they can be worn higher on your shoulders to conceal even the nastiest of nursing bras. And it's not a dress that *just* works for nursing, so you know you can get plenty of use out of it in the future, too. 

But if you really are strict about your budget, Nadia also has her Signature Jersey Dress currently on sale. The Cap Sleeved version would probably be the best way to wear it if you're trying to cover a nursing bra and a post-baby belly.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

All that really matters

Dear ESB,

I've been an avid reader since I got engaged 16 months ago. I truly appreciated the attitude with which you approach the whole wedding process.

In lieu of writing in with my questions about flowers, money misunderstandings, table decorations, hurt friends and hurtful mothers-in-law, etc., I tried to focus on the main tenets (as I see them) of advice you give: Please yourself (its your fucking wedding) but don't prioritize your vision of an ideal wedding over your future life-long relationships with friends and relatives. I like to think I stayed mostly sane.

Then at 5:30am two days before my wedding, I got a call that my little sister (my Maid of Honor and closest person to me in the world other than my husband) was in the hospital. We found out that she had appendicitis and was going to need emergency surgery. My kind husband immediately came up with all sorts of ideas to make us feel better (skype, facetime, a helmet with ipads attached on all sides...) but that didn't help at all. I didn't want to have my big wedding without my sister. Flowers, centerpieces, first dance songs? What did any of those matter now?

She was rushed into surgery and, thankfully, it went very well. When I realized that she would be able to be at the wedding (albeit in a gentle state) I was overcome with happiness. Once I had to picture the wedding without one of the most important people, I knew that nothing else mattered. She spent most of the day in a wheel chair, but she wanted to walk down the aisle herself. I couldn't have asked for a better wedding. 

With three days of marriage under my belt, I want to tell everyone out there planning their wedding to picture the people you love at your wedding and remind yourself that really, nothing else matters.

Thanks for everything,
One less appendix at the wedding of my dreams

Photo credits Andy Clayton King (professional photographer)and one selfie from my sister in her wheelchair on the way to the wedding


Man I love you guys.

(All of you.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moping motherless maniac (the Follow Up!)

Hey ESB,

I wanted to give you a little update on what happened after I wrote you in May of 2011. I took your advice and stopped wedding planning for a couple of months to try and work through my grief and give myself some much-needed head space. In the fall of 2011, my then-fiance and I took a vacation to Italy to visit my father, who was living there at the time, and we fell back in love with Florence and re-solidified our desire (need) to get hitched there. When I got back to the states, my excitement was renewed about the whole wedding thing.

I don't know that I mentioned this in my first post, but I was studying in Florence years ago and my Mom and stepdad came to visit and I mentioned that one day (when I was ready to commit to anything other than cheap wine), I'd want to get married in Florence. The woman STOLE MY IDEA and married my amazing stepdad in Florence in 2006. She loved Italy more than any place on earth. After her wedding, I reminded her that I was still getting married there one day, to which she would laugh and point out my endless string of bad boyfriends and we'd laugh together. 

I totally lucked out when, about 3 weeks into dating, my then-boyfriend tells me that Florence is the most romantic place in the world and he loved it too. I took the perspective that planning a wedding there, to show off the glory of my Mom's (and our) favorite city, was like my final swan song to her. Because she had been privy to some of my super-early pre-engagement wedding ideas (and because we were closer than Charlton Heston and his guns), I felt like I could imagine how she would critique and improve upon my and my then-fiance's plans and ideas. In a weird way, planning my wedding was the last thing we would ever do together. And it felt like she was there with me for every step of the way.

I also was blessed to have an amazing network of people to help me: my fiance, my aunts, my grandmother, my two dads and my friends. They were there for all of it: the crafting, the bad wedding show marathons, the endless dress search (when I tried on 42 dresses and ended up in tears because I didn't know which one I loved and my Mom couldn't weigh in). Oh, and because my fiance wanted my dress to look like the one in the Guns and Roses November Rain video...boys are silly. Finally I found a dress by Carol Hannah, who was on Project Runway when my Mom was sick and she and I would lie in her bed and watch together (and be catty and bitchy and all that good stuff) and Carol Hannah was our absolute favorite. The dress was perfectly me and the connection to Mom through CH made it that much more special.

Anyway, this is us here.

We kept it small--20 guests, a morning wedding with an extravagant luncheon. Was it hard? Sure. Did everyone cry a ton? Yup. But Mom was everywhere. She had been married in the same room I was vowing to be with my husband for eternity. That was POWERFUL. The toasts were sobbing messes. But there's this wedding day magic that people who draw hearts above their "i"s talk about that is so totally real and takes over and all you can focus on is that you're marrying your best friend and nothing can get you down (bronchitis be damned). 

I don't know what I believe happens to people when they die, but in one way or another, Mom was there (in the art and the smell of the food and the architecture and the winding, cobbled streets of Florence) and she was so damn happy for us.

--No longer Moping or Hyperventilating. 


Way to go, ladypants!!!

It's so great to hear the real story behind some of the glossygorgeous images featured on SMP...

(Photo by Lisa Poggi)

It's just a wedding.

So, first off, THANK YOU for all of your straight forward advice with this blog- it definitely got me through some wedding drama leading up to the big day, which brings me to some advice I'd like to share (if not reiterate) to your readers.

My fabulous husband and I got married just over a month ago and while the wedding was pretty damn near perfect (we both said I DO, isn't that all that matters anyway?), there was plenty of craziness leading up to the wedding that mostly stemmed from our wedding parties. I particularly failed to heed the warnings put forth by miss ESB herself in previous blogs, and by doing so I had to do something that NO BRIDE ever wants to do: I had to fire a bridesmaid.

How did this all happen? Well, the "friend" in question had been a college roommate back in the day, and while we were pretty close as roommates initially, we definitely went through some rough roads together that eventually pulled us apart as friends. I should have taken this as a sign early on that some people just aren't meant to be friends, but years later we gave our friendship a second chance when a mutual friend (my best friend and MOH) sort of reunited us. As a group of friends, we traveled together, shared birthdays together, hell I was even in her wedding (which was actually an afterthought when she finally realized that it didn't matter if she had odd-numbers in her bridal party), but all in all I always did everything I could to support her as she got ready for her wedding, which was TWO YEARS of "what do you think about this dress?" and "You'll never guess how much flowers cost".  

So now it was my turn to get married and go through the whole wedding planning thing. Like an IDIOT, instead of taking my sweet ass time in choosing my bridal party (I actually didn't even want bridesmaids, but this particular friend told me one drunken night that if I didn't ask her to be bridesmaid, she'd never speak to me again......I shouldn't have taken that as a threat.), the moment I was engaged I immediately chose my bridal party without even thinking if they would make good bridesmaids, and of course, this friend was one of the chosen ones (the others were excellent choices, though, so that was good!).  

Almost a year before the wedding, the drama begins. I start receiving phone calls from this friend telling me that I NEED to pick a bridesmaid dress, or I NEED to choose a color ASAP because she is too busy and doesn't have time to browse dresses on the internet (at the time I was letting them choose their dresses). Then when she does find the time to find a bridesmaid dress, it's completely inappropriate (very short or low cut or backless....this was going to be a backyard garden wedding and all I asked was for something that wouldn't give my Mother in Law a heart attack). Finally I decided to end the frustration and just chose a dress for my bridesmaids that of course everyone was fine with except this friend. Her response to my choice (after the dresses were purchased) was to send an image of a dress that all the girls could rent instead. Not the end of the world, but just insulting enough. Things were said from "friend" about the bridesmaid dresses and how ugly they were, that she didn't want to look "cute", she wanted to look "fierce" (for the record, the dresses worked perfectly for the wedding and nobody looked "cutesy")- basically forgetting the cardinal rule that when you are a bridesmaid, you're just supposed to go with the flow. It was becoming more and more apparent that she was treating my wedding like her wedding "part deux"- something that I think a lot of newlywed brides do to their friends who are next in line to get married; you had your wedding, now let me have mine.

The real straw that broke the camel's back was my bachelorette party. I initially sent an email to all of my bridesmaids letting them know what the overall cost would be to be in the wedding and that in NO WAY were they obligated to attend ALL of the events, but would love if they could attend either the bachelorette or the bridal shower- and all of them agreed that that estimated cost seemed fair and that they were more than happy to be a part of the wedding. Well when the bachelorette party time came, my MOH planned a beer tasting tour in friend's home town. It was an absolute blast and so many of my closest friends came- including one bridesmaid who lives out of state and has a 2 year old (didn't bring her of course!), one friend who was 4 months pregnant, and one friend who is living with a brain tumor. Everyone seemed to be having a GREAT time and participated in all the fun, except for "friend" who kept to herself the whole time, kept texting her husband all night, wore a purple shirt and neon green bra when everyone was told to wear black (as planned by MOH), and left the party early. But the WORST was when my MOH came into my hotel room the next morning and gave me a napkin with some writing on it that my "friend" left in her hotel room that said she couldn't stay the night as planned but hoped I had a great party. (fyi- she left early to attend a yoga class)

This is where I was pretty damn close to writing you and asking for advice, but I knew the answer would be to confront my friend, so that's what I did. I gave her a call a day or so later so that I could cool off and make sure I wasn't being irrational, and I calmly told her that I felt she seemed preoccupied with other things in her life and that maybe being a bridesmaid was too much for her, but that of course I'd still love for her to attend the wedding. She was taken aback, but she agreed to resign, and since the dress was already paid for I promised her that I would pay her back. Not one day went by before I received a text from her asking when I would be sending her the money for the dress.

Two months before the wedding and I receive a card in the mail from said "friend." Who, on account that I no longer wanted her to be a bridesmaid and because I pointed out her inappropriate behavior, decided that we should no longer be friends at all and that she and her husband would no longer attend our wedding. It wasn't at all an angry letter by any means- it was more of a "I get to have the last word" letter....which, honestly, was fine.  I didn't need the drama.

In a very horrible, catastrophic turn of events, my brother happened to die from an overdose the day before my wedding. Let me tell you, any drama or planning that doesn't go right on your wedding day, it just doesn't matter. I had the most wonderful, amazing, supportive man at my side, and with the help of friends and family (friends and family that truly wanted to be there and celebrate the love and joy of that day), we had the BEST. WEDDING. EVER. I think back to that moment when I was debating about confronting my "friend" and releasing her from my wedding party, and I KNOW that I made the right decision. I can't imagine what sort of shenanigans would have erupted had she been there when I got the news about my brother- if she couldn't support me when times were good, how was she going to help me when the shit hit the fan? All I can say is that, honestly, anything can happen to throw a monkey-wrench in your big day, and the purpose of your bridesmaids is to keep you calm, hydrated, fed, and to make sure you have everything you need to make it down the aisle. If there is someone in your bridal party that you truly believe will be more of a burden than a blessing the day of your wedding, be a big girl and remove them from your wedding party. You don't need to be a bitch, but you do need to be a bride.

This is an exceedingly long ass story, but if you do happen to add this to your blog and your readers can sit long enough to read this, these are the few very important lessons to remember:

#1- Don't be hasty.  Choose your bridal party carefully.  And don't choose out of obligation, choose people who will love and support you NO MATTER WHAT.
#2- If you do have to cut out a bridesmaid, just be honest.  Be straight-forward.  If you're having doubts about them being in your wedding, chances are they are too.
#3- It's just a wedding. It's the marriage that counts. And I hope nobody fucking dies the day before your wedding 'cause that is WAY more dramatic than not having your flowers delivered on time.

The Bridesmaid Whisperer.


I don't think I would have said "confront her." I would have said: LET HER OFF THE HOOK, which you did, and well done, lady.

I am so sorry to hear about your brother. So so sorry. And so glad you managed to have the BEST. WEDDING. EVER. in spite of it all.

With this, we commence a mini putting-it-all-in-perspective series.... (Similar to the #weddinghorrorstory series, but more heartrending.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Accessorize Me

Dear ESB,

My best friend is getting married to his boyfriend in October, and has asked me to be in the wedding party, to which I said HELL YES!! I'm super stoked. My problem is that I'm having difficulty figuring out what the hell to wear. The restrictions we have been given is that we should wear their wedding colors (black, red, and hot pink). The other important factor is that the wedding is taking place in the woods in Maryland. We're staying at a camp in the woods all weekend. I've almost definitely decided to wear a black jumpsuit (this one, specifically), but I'm having trouble tying the other wedding colors into my outfit.

While I don't think I'll be kicked out of the wedding party for just wearing all black, it would be boring and not in the spirit of their request. First, I tried to look for red shoes (I'm a size 9), but the options that I could find were pretty ugly, or there was no way that I would be able to walk in them in the woods. So, I found a pair of black suede heels that I really like...and then I got stuck. I have no idea how to incorporate one of the other wedding colors into my outfit, let alone both of them.

My style is very simple. Jeans and t-shirts for day-to-day and tailored, nicely cut clothes with very few embellishments, and almost no accessories when I'm dressing up (it sounds really boring the way I described it, but I actually find it really fun, and, more importantly, very me). I'm also a big fan of anything menswear inspired, and I will not wear ruffles of any description. 

I'm still open to shoe suggestions, but I'm mostly looking for help on how to spice this whole thing up with a belt, or jewelry. Bottom line: I need help! Big time! He's my best friend and I want to look awesome at his wedding!

Don't Hate Me Because I Love Jumpsuits


Why does everyone always want to spice things up with a belt??

Has anyone ever SUCCESSFULLY spiced things up with a belt?


If you must go along with his hideous color scheme, you know you have to tie it in with the shoes.

I'm not mad at these chunkers from Zara. (v. woods-worthy)

Lowe House Creative Comes to LA! (Sponsored Post)

Elizabeth of Lowe House Creative is back on ESB with some very excellent news for LA brides (and LA vendors!): She's expanding her business.

I'm a sixth generation Northern Californian, but I have always loved Los Angeles, and I'd always had this thought in the back of my mind that when it came time to expand my business beyond the Bay Area, LA would be the place. And that thought kept nagging and nagging, and I was slowly doing research, and dragging my feet in an I'm-already-too-busy kind of way, and then this summer my best friend told me he was moving down there. It was the sign I needed to just do this shit. So, hey LA! I'm so excited to spend more time in you. 

I've written here before about why the f*ck you need a wedding planner/coordinator, but now I want to talk about why you specifically need a Lowe House planner/coordinator.

My team and I care a ton about our clients, and we project manage the shit out of their weddings. Yep. If you ask me, I'm a project manager, and my projects just happen to be weddings. But my clients are always the most important thing. Always. Ultimately, I'm not invested in whether or not your wedding is blog-worthy, or whether or not I like your colors or your bridesmaids' dresses or your choice of centerpieces (though my background is in fine art & interior design, and I would loooove to pore over paint swatches and flatware patterns and floral samples with you if you're into that). What I am invested in is simple: that my couples are happy with their weddings, and that they are able to enjoy their weddings, because they know I'm on top of shit, and I always have their backs, and I am going to make sure that the day unfolds just the way they imagined it would. 

It may also be worth mentioning that we're not the right planners/coordinators for every client. I define my style as "extremely casual and highly professional." I favor loud nail polish, I tend to swear more than I should, and while I have actually mastered the French Twist, the majority of the the time my hair is down. But my timelines make other vendors weep with joy, I have a knack for spotting most problems before they happen, and I am totally unflappable in the face of the world's most overbearing mothers. I have amazing relationships with the other vendors I work with because of all of these things -- they know I'm going to be super on top of stuff, which makes their lives infinitely easier, and also I'm fun to hang out with. Referrals from other vendors are my largest source of new clients, which is apparently not common in this business. That said, I will not hesitate to go to bat for my clients if necessary, no matter who the vendor is or how much business they've sent me before (this is the main reason I have a strict no-kickback policy -- it has to be clear at all times that my clients are my #1 priority).

I got a thank you note from a client last week that actually made me cry (and I'm not a crier). I won't bore you with the whole thing, but it began: "We cannot imagine our wedding without you. We hired a reputable wedding planner/coordinator/guru, and ended up with the raddest wedding planner/coordinator/guru and friend." And that, right there, is exactly why I do this. I work like a crazy person most of the year, but when, at the end of a 14-hour day, my clients, their parents, and their friends come up to me and hug me and thank me for making the day great? That's my kind of high. 

So! If you're an LA-based wedding vendor (or venue owner, or just generally rad person) please get in touch -- I'd love to buy you coffee, or a drink, and chat about the city and the crazy, awesome world of weddings. I'm working actively on expanding my vendor list down there, and always looking for more people I can feel good about recommending.

And if you're an LA-based potential client? Definitely get in touch. We're starting to get booked up for 2014, but I've been saving some slots specifically for LA clients, so grab them before they're gone! I'll be down there every 4-6 weeks for the next little while, because I always prefer to meet people over tables instead of internet connections. 

I'm so excited to see what kind of radness I can cook up with clients in Los Angeles. I'm excited about new venues, that gorgeous, smog-filtered LA light, and the fact that I will finally be able to suggest the In-N-Out truck for late night food (why oh why can't get we get the trucks up here!). I know LA and I are going to have some fun together. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wedding Registries + Googling Yourself

Dear ESB,

This is question is of a slightly different subject-matter than most, but throughout my engagement you were my true and trusted source of wisdom/snark/fashion and I thought you might be able to help.

Here it is: I have been married just under a year and I am in the beginning phases of looking for a new job. However, when I google myself (I have a unique name, so I am the only person who shows up) the first three results after my LinkedIn are my wedding registries. I don't want the first thing potential employers to know about me is that I was recently married. I have since made these registries "private" (outright deleting wasn't an obvious option at some stores' websites) but the caches remain.

Any advice on how to get these things out of my search results? 



I think it's his first one, isn't it????

Okay, I may have just pumped it up too much.

Um. Here's what he had to say:

The best defense is a good offense. Put up stuff you want the search engines to show and make it easy for them to find. Link them to each other for relevance bonus (and thus higher position in the results list). If your name is very unique, registering that, e.g., and putting something up will get an extra relevance bonus from Google and most other search engines.

Spaces in the search term are ignored when it comes to the extra relevance bonus because you can’t register domains with spaces, and it doesn’t matter whether it is .com, .net, or .org, or whatever.

Derek Powazek offers some good advice on search engine optimization (SEO) in 
this pieceaptly titled "Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists."

Annemara Post By Cedric Viollet For Jalouse May 2012 via Visual Optimism

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wedding Regrets: PRADA EDITION

April 18, 2013

Dear ESB,

PLZ HALP. I'm marrying the raddest man ever at a treehouse in Michigan this July, with a ceremony on the grass at the edge of the woods. It's gonna be some real fairy tale shit. At any rate, I've got the dress and just about everything else figured out, but have been searching high and low for shoes to go with this thing. 

These Prada wedges are haunting my dreams but also cost a trillion fucking dollars so not likely. Can you help me find my (size 9) wedding shoes for under $200? Thank you, thank you!


Sept 4, 2013 (4:47 PM)



Sept 4, 2013 (6:38 PM)

dude. had a full on second-guess-everything-except-the-groom panic attack in the months leading up the wedding (when my father threatened to keep his entire side of the family from attending the wedding if I had both him AND my stepdad walk me down the aisle (side note: jesus fucking christ)) and ditched the dress at the last minute, opting for a BCBG lace thing. see attached. bought some black wedges, my friend gifted me some jewelry from her beautiful line, the day was on point, and in the end we were married so, you know, who cares?

all the same: if i had it to do over again.. i would have bought the fucking prada.


Let that be a lesson to all of us. Just buy the fucking prada?

Or is the lesson: The shoes don't matter! At the end of the day, you will be married!!

I wanted to say JUST BUY THE FUCKING PRADA, but I'm digging the black wedges with all those black jewels.

Image 1: Clémence Poésy (in Prada heels, obvs) by Ami Sioux for Wonderland Magazine
Image 2: Stoffer Photography

Sidebar: When I do an image search for that first dress, I keep getting Gorgo, Queen of Sparta. Which amuses me to no end.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's not that the sex is bad or anything....

Hey ESB,

I have a non wedding related question for you and your wise minions.

I got married to my husband 3 months ago, after being with him for about 4 years.  

At the moment, he works away for 2 weeks at a time, and is only home for 1 week. This past swing, he was away for 4 weeks and has been home for 2.

You would expect that when he got home after being away for 2 weeks, I would be wanting to rip his clothes off and have sex with him then and there right? Wrong! I am not feeling it at all. We usually have sex the first night he gets home, and I am sort of into it, but then that's it. Right now, has been home for 2 weeks and we have only had sex that one time, the first night he was home.

It's not that the sex is bad or anything, I just can't be bothered and I know that sounds absolutely terrible!! I feel like life just gets in the way and sex is the last thing I feel like. I try to pump myself up for it because I know he is going away soon, but I don't know, I seem to have lost all interest.

I know that this hurts him too, and I think it is probably doing damage to our relationship as well. I am 23, if I don't want to have sex now, what will our future be like?

I think that before he started working away things were better, we had sex at least once a week, and maybe I felt more close to him or something?

I guess my actual question is probably...what should I do, and is this in any way normal?

Any advice you could give would be very welcome.

Thanks ESB


Sadly, this is very normal.

Sexual desire in any long-term relationship tends to have a kind of ebb and flow.

And contrary to popular belief, intimacy, affection, security and/or MOTHERFUCKING CUDDLING are not necessarily turn-ons for women. Routine can kill the excitement.

What is the solution to this??

Harboring fantasies, keeping a secret or two, having sex even when you don't feel like having sex because sometimes your body needs a kick-start to remember: "Oh, yeah. I like this!"

Initiating sex NOT AT BEDTIME, which, imho is the absolute unsexiest time to have sex (See: Afternoon Delight).

Are a few tricks I recommend.

Hormonal birth control can also be a libido-killer for a lot of women. If you're currently on the pill, trying going off for a little while.

Okay, dying to hear more suggestions/advice from the minions....

Louise Grinberg By Raphael Just for Jalouse February 2013 via Visual Optimism