don’t tell anyone I told you this, but…

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So, I’m getting married in a year. 361 days to be exact. Since the moment I laid eyes on this man, I knew this day would come. Even when he was drunk and sloppy off one too many Red Stripes & tequila shots. I knew he was the one. Love really is blind.

While I feel like we have everything under control, my neurotic NY self can’t help but feel like something is bound to go wrong. But until it does, I’m going to just go with this odd feeling of being in control.

We’ve been ironing out all our vendors which seems to be pretty seamless for us. So far we’ve got:

  • venue
  • photographer
  • florist
  • caterer
  • day-of coordinator

If you’ve been following along, you know that I ran into a minor panic when I got a 5 digit floral proposal. Just thinking about it gives me hives. If you give two hoots, you’ll be happy to know that’s all been figured out. We’ve found someone lovely who is happy to stay within our budget but won’t make us look budget. You know?

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone do this, but I did put that astronomically priced proposal to good use. I mean, it’s a gorgeous floral design and pretty much exactly what I wanted. But let’s get real, we’re looking for vintage champagne on a Miller High Life budget. Anyway, I passed over the proposal to my current floral designer and we figured out a way to execute most of the components for 1/3 of the price. Now again, I don’t suggest purposely seeking out a luxe floral design company just to rob them of their creative ideas, but if you happen to run into it like me…don’t waste it! I can see why they charge so much – these ladies are pros.

So if anyone out there is listening, I wonder, would you feel OK taking a proposal from one company to another? Or is that like a totally bawdy move?

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ummm, excuse me? those flowers cost how much!?

So it’s be a couple weeks since my last post. I have been so busy, it’s insane. When you think about summer, you think, “oh how lovely it will be to finally relax.” LIE. BIG LIE. The summer is great and all but there’s always something to do! Which frankly has left me extremely exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I love to socialize, I wouldn’t be able to breath without a cocktail party and quality time with friends. But when you’re tired you’re tired. I’ve just been non-stop the past few weeks.

Anyway, when I finally got to stop and take a breath, I decided it was time to tackle the next big part of our wedding planning: finding a suitable floral designer.  I have a pretty clear idea of what our flowers should look like so I assumed it would be a piece of cake.  We’re going for soft and ethereal yet slightly rustic with a dash of chic. Pretty detailed and very us.

I’d prepared a list of venues a while so I began to reach out with barely an idea of what I wanted, just an inquiry. Well, holy Christ on a cracker are flowers expensive. Most places have begun their quote at 7 grand! I mean, is that normal or just NYC prices? No really, if you’re not from NYC I’d love to know how much you paid for your flowers because I feel violated.

OK, so maybe I have unrealistic expectations when it comes to my floral arrangements, I guess blame Pinterest? I dunno. I just don’t understand how a baby’s breath bouquet could cost $150?! Yes. That is the base quote for bridesmaids bouquets.

But no fear, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. And as Diana Vreeland is my witness (today is her birthday by the way –  you literally have her to thank for sandals), I will make my floral dreams come true without giving up food and manicures and falling behind on rent for the next year. Flower inspiration below. Strategy to follow.

*For more of my wedding inspiration, check out my overly detailed Pinterest profile.

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I love this bouquet of lush peonies with a splash of green via Style Me Pretty.

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Another perfect pick of lovely peonies & gorgeous wild flowers from Style Me Pretty.

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There’s something about this table of mixed beauties that makes me swoon. I could see this being the setting of a cocktail or dessert station.

via Polka Dot Bride.

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We are almost definitely doing this. We’ve already started saving the wine bottles. We actually might have too many. Lush much? via Style Me Pretty

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Style Me Pretty, can I just live in every wedding? I mean, for cryin’ out loud this is gorgeous.

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Astilbe bouquets for my beautiful maids. I feel like a rain drop floating in the universe when I see these. Too much? via Wedding Obsession

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Pretty much the floral crown of my dreams. Thanks again Style Me Pretty.

You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes. – Diana Vreeland

four little brides went to the market

It seems like everywhere I look couples are taking the big step of getting married. This means a couple things:

  1. I am getting old
  2. The % of wedding photos in my social stream is about to blow

The getting older thing is whatever, I guess it was bound to happen. But the wedding photos in my social stream? Exciting for a gal like me. Yes it can get annoying, especially when the bride makes questionable choices. But look, there’s a wedding for every bride. We can’t all have the same taste. That would be no fun!

Now yes, I am getting married too so of course I’m into it. But I’m also just really into looking at photos of brides. I always have been. You can tell so much about a woman from the style of dress, shoes, and overall wedding decor she chooses. I’m convinced there are four types of brides. Of course brides can be a mixture of two or even three bride archetypes, but essentially, there are 4 types of brides. So the questions is: what kind of bride are you/will you be?

Classic Bride: The hopeless romantic. She loves history & idolizes Jackie O. Her Pinterest is covered in images of Kate Middleton’s Sarah Burton designed gown. She thinks a solitaire cut diamond is the only way to go and will 100% wear a blusher on her big day. Her bridesmaids will wear navy, nude or blush. Simplicity fuels her but beautiful things rule her.

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*Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen, Marchesa Collection, Grace Kelly in custom dress designed by Helen Rose for MGM

Glam Bride: Also known as Fashion Bride. She lives in the pages of Vogue and follows all major fashion blogs. Her big day style is filled with sleek lines and offsetting textures. Intricately planned out decor and shoes that kill. Half-way through the reception, her costume change involves something mini but the shoes remain sky high. She is bold, plays by her own rules and can only be described as fabulous.

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Carrie Bradshaw in Vivienne Westwood, Man Repeller in Marchesa, Charlotte Olympia Heart Pumps

Boho Chic Bride: Comfortably chic is the name of her game. She wants to be bridal but wants to maintain her everyday look. Minimal makeup and natural hair will suffice. A floral crown, outdoor space and her closest friends and family is all she needs to dance the night away…barefoot. She lives to get free but looks damn good doing it.

ImageKate Moss in Calvin Klein with her bridal party, Bianca Jagger, “I Am Beautiful” gown by Reem Acra

Girlie Bride: She epitomizes femininity in everything she does. Immediately drawn to ball gown silhouettes, but insists on trying on everything because she just loves dressing up.  She’s followed all the bridal blogs and has endless ideas on how she will coordinate every little detail to match her vision. She’s been planning this day since her Barbie hay day. The Girlie Bride lives deep in most women but only really surfaces for those that embrace her.

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Portia Di Rossi & Ellen DeGenerous, Gorgeous Rivini dress via Style Me Pretty, Bow Top sling backs from BHDLN

So what kind of bride are you? I’m definitely a hybrid of all of them, well at least three. Yes, we put so much emphasis on how we look on this big day but what really matters is the prospect of a beautiful and fulfilling life with whomever you choose to walk down the isle with. Choose your dress carefully but be even more mindful when choosing your partner. This goes without saying, but it’s always a nice reminder ❤ Don’t get too wrapped up in the actual day, get wrapped up in the act of love.

If I get married, I want to be very married. –Audrey Hepburn

ring around the color wheel

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So yesterday I wrote a little about our wedding and decided, you know what? I really enjoyed it! So expect a lot of wedding chatter from me. And if you hate weddings, well then, I can’t help you. But who in their right mind would hate a wedding?!

Anyway, onto the good stuff. Now that we’ve got our venue (we’ll get to that another day) and our photographer, the real fun begins.

We’re having an outdoor wedding on the water, so the color palette is almost already planned out: green. Lot’s of green. So when thinking about the color scheme of our wedding we want to make sure everything kind of blends and has this soft, romantic, laid-back yet chic look. A mouthful, I know.

When thinking about colors I immediately reverted to my fashion school days and pulled out a basic color wheel. We knew we wanted something soft so I flipped the color wheel and turned it into a pastel wheel. Voila!

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Looking at this color wheel really helped me see what works well together and what I should just completely forget about. Not that orange was on my top 10 lists of must have wedding colors, but the visual definitely helps rule things out. The most prominent color in the scheme is green so I wanted to make sure everything worked in harmony. This was pretty easy because green’s complimentary color is red, meaning I can use as much pink & purple as I’d like as well as its analogous color, blue. From there we were able to really dive in and choose a beautiful color scheme for our day that we’d base our flowers, decor and wedding party outfits on. Hooray!

Once we figured out the basic colors, we took to the Pantone website to take in everything the Wonderful World of Color had to offer. After browsing around, we came up with what I like to think to think is a pretty damn gorgeous color scheme!

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Zach and me are such a balanced couple in everything we do in life. He has expressed that I get to call the shots for the wedding decor, but I didn’t want him to feel like he was getting married in a fairy princess land – not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, there is something to be said about making your space (home, social life, wedding, etc…) representative of the two. We feel really good about this palette. It speaks to both of us. Why can’t we get married tomorrow?!

It is the things in common that make relationships enjoyable, but it is the little differences that make them interesting. –Todd Ruthman

 

a silver lining

It’s been a little while since I’ve taken to WordPress, the holidays always seem to throw me off my game. Call it a meat and wine coma I guess. Between sifting through emails and suffering an unbearable yearning for the beach, I just haven’t found the time or energy to sit down and write. But alas, finally, I am here. Sitting on my couch, watching the Yankees with Zach and writing. Hooray!

The long weekend was wonderful. We spent a few days in the country with a bunch of friends and a couple of days in West Hampton with Zach’s mom and little brother. It was both a debaucherous and relaxing holiday. God bless America.

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As soon as we got home it was back to the grind and my week just got increasingly hectic. Once again, it was Tuesday and I was already wishing it was Friday. But! A silver lining was cast over my week. I’m not sure if I’ve shared this, but Zach and me got engaged in December and will be getting married in September of 2014. Yes, a long engagement. Hold the comments. We’ve been dating for 6 years, the jig is up. So anyway, the silver lining: we booked our wedding photographer! This may seem like a silly silver lining but for us this is huge. We are both extremely visual people and wanted to make sure we had the creme de la creme of photographers to capture our day. After chatting with our coordinator we settled on Twah Dougherty of styleartlife.com

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The second we visited her website and saw her amazing work we were hooked and slightly obsessed. Twah’s airy, romantic and artful style of photography is exactly what we’re looking for. We also really enjoyed the limited amount of “posed” shots. Like Twah said, we want to see who was at our wedding and how much fun they were having. 20 years from now we don’t want to look back and have a million forced smiles and weird prom like poses. We want real, raw emotions. This isn’t a Norman Mailer painting.

There was one shot in particular that really clinched it for us. This one moment on the beach at a small destination wedding. She captured the details of the table right before the guests had taken their seats. It was like a beach fairytale. The light was perfect and it just seemed to encompass the wedding. Even though we weren’t present, we could feel the love and happiness of that day. I really don’t know how else to explain it except that I knew I needed Twah to shoot our wedding. There was absolutely no other option.

After having a half hour convo with Twah and getting to know her a bit we were even more smitten. She explained that she doesn’t just take any wedding and needed to chat with the couple before to make sure it would be a good fit. So when she told us she’d be happy to shoot our day, we were over the moon with excitement. It was almost like landing a date with your middle school crush. Yea, it felt that good and we were that excited. When did I become such a wedding nerd?

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The picture that made me swoooooon!

Planning our wedding has really become a source of comfort for me. I’m so inspired by all the beautiful and creative options that are out there – my Pinterest has gotten a little crazy. But more than anything, I can’t wait to stand next to Zach and become Mrs. Darton. He is my real silver lining ❤

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu

Taste: The Most Simple & Refreshing Treat Ever

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Summer is here guys, and she’s taking no prisoners. This past week’s weather has transformed NYC from a metropolitan mecca to a caribbean island. I’ve become a thunderstorm-fearing coward every time I look at my weather app. Shoving an umbrella into a bag that is always way to small to hold anything other than my wallet, phone and lipstick has become my routine. Well, the joke is on me because it has barely rained. Maybe an hour here and there – you know, because we live in the tropics. So since it’s been “about to rain” for the past six days the humidity has become oppressive, or as one of my girls said, “it feels like we’re in the bayou.”

Sunday afternoon was especially bayouesque and Zach and me really needed to cool down. Cold showers just weren’t cutting it, so I whipped up one of my favorite summer treats: a lemon-lime slushy. This is not your ordinary 7-11 slushy, it’s all natural and is just plain better.

I love this tasty treat because it’s a no brainer and you can easily make variations by adding different types of fruit/herbs. It’s also got a pretty serious dose of vitamin-c, making it healthy, delicious and easy – the trifecta! The recipe for the basic slushy is as follows:

You’ll need:

  • a blender
  • a paring knife
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups of ice
  • honey/agave nectar or any other sweetener you prefer

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To Make:

  1. Peel the lemon and lime
  2. Cut the lemon in half and remove the seeds
  3. Combine the lemon, lime, ice and honey in the blender
  4. Blend until the consistency is that of a slushy
  5. Boom! Easy, peasy home made slushy

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For a variation, I picked some fresh blueberries and basil from my garden. This was actually better than the original! The blueberries added a little extra sweetness and a beautiful color while the hint of basil enhanced the blueberry flavor. Whenever I add herbs to a cocktail, people seem to think it’s extra special and sophisticated, which makes this a great treat for daytime parties. Just add a little tequila and you’ve got a gourmet margarita! No one needs to know that it’s pretty much idiot proof.

This is also a satisfying libation if you’re in the need of something sweet and don’t want to pound on the calories. If you’re anything like me, this is pretty much every single day…and night.

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So let’s cheers to the week, America’s birthday and pray that the sky opens up.

We all eat, & it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.

–Anna Thomas

*photos altered with the A Beautiful Mess iphone app, my new favorite toy.

BREAKING NEWS: Michelle Obama joins Instagram!

BREAKING NEWS: Michelle Obama joins Instagram!

I don’t plan on posting more than once a day and don’t have plans to post “news” per se, but this was just too much to handle. Thanks to my friends at Refinery29, I have learned that Queen Obama has joined Instagram. Well, not her personally, the Office of the First Lady, but still! We’ll now get daily eye candy from the best dressed woman to step foot into the White House since Jackie O. Bring on the tres chic political looks form one of the most inspiring women in the world. If only I could be this driven and  effortlessly classic. One day!

Follow the FLOTUS @michelleobama. FYI: she’ll post “-mo” when the ‘grams are directly from her. THIS IS JUST GREAT NEWS.

You all are role models for my daughters, which is why I brought them here today – so that they could be inspired by you just like I am.

–First Lady Michelle Obama at MLK Middle School in Dakar. #FLOTUSinAfrica

*image via Michelle Obama Instagram