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Cotton Wedding Dresses

I am back! After a much needed long weekend away I am safely back in Chicago and ready to dive back into planning and blogging. Besides a lot of time spent relaxing on a boat, I also had my first shower this weekend! More on that to come, but for now I wanted to share some pics from the Spring 2009 collection of The Cotton Bride. I know when I was looking for my dress I was focused on something that wasn't too heavy and hot, and even though I haven't tried them on I am guessing any of these would fit the bill.


More soon!

Ring Shots

Okay I lied, yesterday wasn't my last post of the week (I love that you can schedule posts). I was looking through Christine Farah's blog again and just love these ring pictures. I might have to invest in some buttons...

A Blue Wedding

I think I've mentioned it before, but I was this close to having a nautical wedding. My love for green won out, but if I were allowed to plan two weddings the second one would be blue and white. (Fiancé faints as he reads this...I said IF!)

There is no way to say this that doesn't make me sound like a weirdo, so I'll just come out with it. This inspiration board was unsolicited. A friend of mine mentioned that one of her friends is planning a wedding on the East Coast and I immediately started rambling about lobsters and sending her links to this wedding. Turns out she wants a blue wedding, so I put together the board above. Notice that I did work in a lobster...I clearly have issues. I don't know why, but I think any wedding near a lake has to have tons of hydrangeas. I think there should be hydrangeas on absolutely anything that doesn't move. Or maybe even things that do move. Children and most animals always look better when covered in hydrangeas.

I couldn't fit it into the board, but I also thought these chip filled cones from Brides were adorable:
While I was looking for the lobster wedding on Stacey Kane's blog, I also came across this wedding. Love the suits. This will be the last post of the week for me, but I'll be back next week with some new jewelery to show you and details about our invitations. Happy Memorial Day!

Picture Sources:
Row1 {MS Weddings; The Cake Girls; Brides}
Row2 {Ann Wood; Lisa Lefkowitz; MS Weddings}
Row3 {Brides; CECI New York; The Knot}

Honeymoon Supplies

These espadrille bags had me thinking about honeymoons, and what else would be great to take along. I feel like those bags would be great for the beach - easily packable but sturdy when I fill them with all my junk. And I will definitely need a hat...
I've always wanted a pair of cute, ridiculously high espadrilles. I would most certainly break my neck while falling off of them, but I would look cute on the way down.
I am lusting over this jcrew dress...it can also fold over into a skirt.

Out of Town Bags

I plan on providing all the guests staying in our hotel with "out of town" bags. I wanted to do something a little different, so I ordered canvas totes from cheaptotes.com. The basic cotton canvas totes are just 99 cents, so I figured I couldn't go to wrong! I ordered just 5 to test them out, but liked them enough to order the rest.I know some people haven't really liked the bags, so I tried to take some close up pictures to show the overall quality. They're definitely thin but they're sturdy, and I think they get the job done. I am thinking about printing a design of some sort on the front of each bag but as the wedding gets closer we'll see if that actually happens. I am not sure what I am going to fill them with yet but I'll be sure to write about the details!

Don't forget that you have until tonight to comment on the post below for a chance to win a copy of Perfect Table Plan software...

Table Seating Plans

As I am sure a lot of you have read on Weddingbee, some of the bees were given free copies of Perfect Table Plan software to review. I was one of the people given a copy and now one of you can have one too! I've been using it for a few weeks now...the software is really easy to use and I was even able to upload all our guest info from an Excel file. You layout your floor plan and then you can use the software to assign tables, assign individual seats, print place cards, even track RSVPs. You can also color code things for easy viewing: It took me about 20 minutes to upload all our guest info and start assigning seats...I thought it was pretty funny that you can even set codes for can't sit "next to" each other, can't sit "near" each other, etc. I was planning on mapping everything out in a spreadsheet, so this was a welcomed and easy to use alternative. The good news is, I was contacted about a giveaway so now you can comment below and enter to win your own copy! Its compatible with Mac and PC, and can definitely be used for events other than weddings so anyone is welcome to enter. Just leave a quick comment between now and 11PM CST Tuesday night and I'll randomly pick a winner on Wednesday. Good luck!

Magnets

I am not really a practical gift giver. I think its much more enjoyable to buy people fun, frivolous things that they wouldn't normally buy themselves. That being said, I love these magnets that I came across yesterday from iPop (via Parkside Papers).
Its $11.50 for four magnets, which will probably take them out of the running for favors but they would make great hostess and/or bridal party gifts. They even offer Chicago magnets! Ahh, to have the money to include these in all the OOT bags...

Black, White and Green Dress

Erin over at Lucky Me sent me an email about this dress - thanks, Erin! They even show it with this wrap. Whether or not I get the dress I definitely need that wrap...

Escort Cards

They completely stump me. I've gotten as far as deciding that we're going to only do table assignments, not individual seats. My Mom is making a runner for the escort card table (which will be a 6ft table) so we've got that covered. I know where the table will be placed in the tent. I've even found a calligrapher to write each card for a really reasonable rate. What stumps me is how to display those suckers on the table! Originally, I liked the idea of hanging cards from a "tree" (or multiple trees) like this idea via Style Me Pretty: And then we attended a wedding that executed a similar idea. It was one big tree with escort cards hanging from it and I walked around that tree no less than 73 times looking for our card. We're not having a cocktail hour (I know, I know, I'll explain later) so I need people to walk in and find their escort cards in a relatively limited amount of time...orderly alphabetical organization is key. A long time ago I discovered the wishing rock idea, which I am still drawn to. The basic idea is that there is a rock on or near each escort card, along with a sign instructing guests to make a wish for the couple on their respective rock and then place it in a large container (likely a hurricane vase). It would sit in our house, a container filled with good wishes. Here is another way I've seen it done:
Cute, but the OCD in me can't allow things to be that messy. I would need all those rocks to be aligned on one side or another. So then (clearly I've been browsing the escort card section on The Knot) I found this:
Those shells could easily be swapped out for black river rocks. And that way there could still be folded cards...I *think* that I like it better when they all stand up versus flat cards laid on the table. And then there is the picture at the top of the post, using little envelopes where you could include a personal message to each guest. Really like that idea. It would be some extra effort on my part for sure, but a really personal touch. If I lay all the envelopes together like that though, where would the rocks go? Could there just be a row of rocks next to each corresponding envelope? Or, I could just chuck the whole idea and go with something simple and classic:
Oh yeah, I am definitely over thinking this one. But if you're willing to share, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Invitation Preservation

If you're having your invitations engraved, you can use the plate that's created to print the invitations for lots of things. The example I've heard of the most is having a silver tray engraved with your invitation design...its gorgeous. But if you opt for a less expensive mode of printing and still want to preserve your invitations, Kaas Glassworks has the answer! They decoupage under glass, so your invitation can be made into trays, plates, coasters and/or paperweights. Obviously a tray would be the best way to still see the entire invite (the pictures on this post are example of trays from their site). Prices start at $62 and go up to around $175. I suppose I have to actually finish designing our invites and have them printed before I can consider this, but a girl can dream!

{Picture from whitebox weddings...I am not sure I can stop now}

No blogging from me tomorrow, but I promise to be back on Monday with lots of pictures from the weekend.

Polaroid Guestbook

Once again, all of these photos are from whitebox weddings. I know that Polaroid film is being discontinued, but I also know that there are a lot of people out there with petitions hoping to save it. I personally know a few people who are still planning on using Polaroid guestbooks, and this is the best one I've ever seen. The couple set up this old school desk chair and put a chalkboard next to it:
There is even an apple on the desk! I have to restrain myself from clapping with delight. Here are the results:
Notice that cute little mason jar that's holding all the pens? The bride made all of them herself, and used more at the reception which she filled with candles.
Now I am actually clapping. As if it could get any better, check out the bouquet:
Love the socks, boys:
Completely unique and fantastic!

whitebox weddings

Every once in awhile I come across a photography site that gives me goosebumps. Where the images are so amazing you can actually experience the emotion of the day they capture...I love that feeling. And if I lived in North Carolina, I would certainly have hired the ladies at whitebox weddings to capture our day. Their website and their blog are literally packed with inspiration:
If you have some time to kill, grab a cup of coffee and settle in to look at their blog. They've posted pics from one wedding that used a Polaroid guest book so well, it will have to be another post. As in, I am writing it immediately after this one...officially obsessed!

Black, White and Green

First of all, thank you so much to all who voted and/or provided feedback yesterday. I appreciate all of your opinions! I haven't made a final decision about how I am going to handle the situation, but rest assured that I will be up front about it all.

But, enough of that! The new Pottery Barn catalog arrived at our house yesterday, and while flipping through it I found a whole new section called "Black, White & Bold!" Maybe after the wedding I'll start trying to convince Brad to let me decorate the entire house in black, white and green. In the meantime, I'll just drool over this kitchen: I also really enjoy that they've started to list the paint colors - so helpful. If I had my way and could set up a lounge area at the wedding, I would be all over those pillows and that green & white ottoman. Well, if I had my way and I had untold amounts of money.

A Question...

A situation arose recently that I feel conflicted about and so I am turning to you, dear readers, to get your opinion. I am not going to give specifics about the situation but I would love to hear what all of you think. Please feel free to leave comments below or just anonymously log your vote on the right. And if this topic just annoys you in general feel free to ignore it, I promise to resume the regularly scheduled posts of aesthetically pleasing pictures and wedding topics immediately afterwards.

When I started this blog I never knew anyone would read it besides my friends and family. So, admittedly, I am a little naive about some aspects of the blogging world. I get emails almost everyday from vendors telling me about their services in the hopes that I will share them with all of you. I love the idea of helping out a talented person running a small business, so if I like the idea I blog about it. The last part of that sentence being the key - only if I personally like a service or goods do I share it with you. I don't post about things I don't like in a "if you don't have anything nice to say..." type of spirit.

Recently, I was approached by a vendor offering a service. We spoke several times and I truly enjoy her and what she has to offer. A little while later, she proposed that she would offer me her services for free in the hopes that I would blog about the process only if I enjoyed it and felt the need. I didn't and would never promise to review something out right, I would only ever share something that I feel all of you would enjoy hearing about. And I absolutely planned to be up front about the fact that I received the service for free.

Here is where my naivety comes into play...it never crossed my mind that by accepting the service for free my integrity could be called into question. I was thinking along these lines - beauty editors have free products sent to them by the truckload in hopes that they will review the product in their respective magazines. When I read their reviews I don't think they are biased, I think that they only write about the products they personally like and want to share with their readers. But apparently not everyone feels that way.

So - what do you all think? If I were to review a service that I were given for free, would you accept my review as an honest one? Or do you feel that its not possible to give an unbiased review of something you haven't paid for? I would love to hear your thoughts. As I mentioned, you can comment below or just vote in the poll on the right. And now, back to your regularly scheduled light and airy blogging...

Pear Soaps

I saw these soaps on Red Envelope, and couldn't help but think they would make a perfect gift for a shower hostess. They're on sale right now for $28, which includes 3 soaps, a leaf shaped soap dish, and this beautiful box:

Bathroom Baskets

I've had my eye on everything at The MacBeth Collection for quite awhile, but I could never justify actually making a purchase. All of their stuff is painfully cute, but I didn't actually need a damask trash can. Then this week Daily Candy offered up a 25% off coupon, which got my wheels spinning, and the very next day Tina blogged about using the oval tubs for bathroom baskets at the wedding...purchase justified! I got the exact tub pictures above for the women's bathroom, and this tray (in the same pattern) for the men's:I figured the boys need less stuff, and this way once the wedding is over I won't wind up with two tubs. The tray will work perfectly in our bedroom which, naturally, is painted green and the possibilities for the tub are virtually endless. Now my only concern is trying to control myself from using them before the wedding. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Don't Forget...

Mother's Day is next Sunday, don't forget to pick up something special for the person who's probably been working just as hard to plan your wedding as you have. I know if I were a Mom, I would love that green purse...it might be strange how much I love Kate Spade ads.