Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Styled Shoot: Inspiration from Point-to-Point + Kentucky Derby

All photos by Hudson Nichols Photography
It is three days and counting to the Kentucky Derby (May 5th) and four days and counting to Winterthurs annual Point-to-Point steeplechase races (May 6) , so when I was asked to pitch a story for the Hunt Magazine, my first love came to mind... Horse racing! As the story goes, I spent 8yrs (from 18yrs-27yrs) working at Delaware Park Race Track, and inside grew a strong love and appreciation for horse racing. No, not the gambling (however, I will admit it lined my pockets a few times), but the beauty of the sport! I think I was meant to live in the forties, because I have an appreciation for the sport - the strength and beauty of the horses and what it meant to society during that time. I honestly own both the original and modern Seabiscuit on DVD, and have watched about every horse racing movie out there. Yes, I know... sap. Did I mention that I got to sit on the starting gate one day for a ten race card? Oh I did... and that was the best!

Since we were sharing our awesome tailgating tips with the Hunt (check out that here) for a horse themed tailagate for all of the upcoming races, we decided to a back it up with a styled shoot. Horse racing is all about strong patterns and bright colors with the jockeys silks. We decided on a pallet of mint greens, peaches, and corals, and added in some bold patterns with an ikat pattern on bowls (C.Wonder), salad plates (C.Wonder), and pillows (Christmas Tree Shop). We brought in natural elements through straw bales for seating ($2-$8 a bale), iron horseshoes, farmhouse tables, and added a bit of feminine and softness through lace and romantic florals (think peonies, garden roses, and ranunculus - however the peonies neon hues stole the show!). We decided to mimic the jockeys silks by spray painting gold striped and polka dotted patterns onto mason jars which would display our floral (this by far might have been my favorite element!).

AllieRuth Designs customized a themed invite just for us, and we couldn't have been more in love with its horseshoe shaped wreath, multiple vintage horse stamps, kraft paper, and white calligraphy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Diary of a Future "Mrs." - Part 2

I've given you tips from my planning experience thus far, now here's some advice from the pros. Former brides, planners, photographers and vendors learn so much when putting a wedding together. Whether you want a referral, have a budget question or want to know what colors look best together, they truly are invaluable resources. I have received amazing advice on everything from candles to spa treatments.
Here are my top-ten favorite words of wisdom I have received. They are in no particular order and yes, some of the tips will be a little random but hey, it's better to know these things a head of time!

1. Do NOT get a massage the day of your wedding. I was told by a former bride that she made this mistake and felt "too relaxed" during the ceremony and the reception. She was rushing around all day, forgot to drink water and was incredibly dehydrated.
2. Instead of a massive wedding cake, order a small cake to display and a sheet cake, made with identical ingredients, to serve the guests. It's a huge budget saver that doesn't require you to sacrifice anything.
3. Remember to wear a top that does NOT need to go over your head when you're getting your hair and makeup done (ex. a button-down shirt).
4. If you're decorating with candles, Ashland Basic Elements Pillar Votives burn for 12 hours! 
5. Tell vendors what you can afford to spend up-front. Not only does this save everyone time and back-and-forth emails but most vendors are actually more than happy to work with your budget.
6. Ebay, for new and pre-owned items, and Etsy are great spots for all the little things; cake toppers, money envelope holders etc.
7. For lovely and free printable save the date and wedding invitation templates, go to, and
8. Break in your bridal shoes before the big day.
9. Wedding favors are nice but not necessary. At the end of the day most people forget to take them or lose them.
10. Don't do anything to your hair (cut, color, Keratin Treatment etc.) any sooner than 2 weeks before the wedding day. One of our vendors shared a terrifying story about a blond dye job gone bad.

- Lauren G.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lovely Lady Lovin'

It’s customary (and thoughtful) to give the ladies of your wedding party a little something to thank them for being part of your big day. If we’re being honest, you’re also thanking them for supporting you during a Bridezilla moment you may had along the way. There are practical choices like paying for part of their Bridesmaid attire (shoes, jewelry etc.), their flight to the wedding or accommodations but, if you’re leaning more towards a tangible gift, here are some ideas for showing your best friends they are “like good a bra; always lifting you up and never leaving you hanging.”

1: Dani Notes monogrammed iPhone cover |
This monogrammed iPhone cover is not only adorable and functional but it’s an item your friends will look at every day. The pattern selection is fun and you can choose between an initial or first name monogram.

2: Danielle Stevens bracelet |
Following the same theme, but slightly more personal, a piece of jewelry can last forever. This bracelet is a beautiful and timeless keepsake.

3: Stephanie Johnson cosmetic case |
Multiple gifts are always better than 1. Fill a cosmetic case with a combination of items, ranging from practical to luxury; Rosebud Salve, Essie nail polish, Hanky Panky undies and your favorite fragrance.

4: Signature picture frame |
What is a better way to remember the fun at the Bachelorette party or another moment you all shared together? After you give the girls their gifts, have a silver pen on hand so all of you can sign the frames.

5: Plum Pretty Sugar robe set |
Not only will the “getting ready” pictures look fabulous, but a stylish robe is something every lady can use and most likely wouldn’t think to buy themselves.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bars (and not the drinking kind!)

With dessert and weddings on the brain, and their always on the brain, we were intrigued by the latest wedding trend: bars - dessert bars, popcorn bars, doughnut bars, cookie bars, sundae bars, smores bars, waffle bars, and cigar bars (had to throw one in there for the boys!). These options are endless and the list goes on. What makes this concept so perfect? More is always better when it comes to treats. Check out some of our favorite "bar" ideas.

For a spring or summer wedding, consider a sundae and ice cream bar. Make your own sundae bars are perfect for these warmer months shindigs. Think about the amazing (and affordable) selection you could provide - sprinkles, cherries, whipped cream, ooey goeey marshmallow sauce, and any thing you could imagine on an ice cream sundae. For a refreshing and lighter choice, offer a few flavored sorbets as well. If you're big day is during a spring month, integrate some of the seasons best fruits.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Short & Sweet: Macarons in Delaware!

Ever since I caught wind that Pike Creek Coffee was going to be serving up macaroon deliciousness from the MacarOn Cafe in NYC, I could not get there fast enough! Well, it took me about a month, but I figured what better gift to one of my besties (who has a hobby for desserts and pastries, especially of the Parisian sorts) for her 30th birthday than these delectables. Of course I dabbled in the "one for you, one for me", but hey, I needed some material to back up my blog post. Wow, were they amazing or what? So amazing! And yummy, and everything I wished for them to be. I decided to choose six different flavors (for each of us) - salted caramel, pistachio, honey lavender, raspberry, pumpkin cinnamon, and lemon. The barista at Pike Creek Coffee wrapped them up so daintily in their box, and I felt like I was staring at a rainbow of deliciousness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Diary of a Future “Mrs.” – Part 1

Top 5 Tips When Planning Your Wedding

The ring goes on your finger, your eyes fill with tears and the two of share a beautiful moment together as you mark the beginning of the next step in your lives. OK, that moment is passed and now it’s time to get your planning on.

#5 – Like a Game Show, Know Your Stuff

When we started inquiring about locations, we’d call or send venues casual (and excited e-mails) that said, “Hi! We are interested in having our wedding at ________ sometime in September. Would you mind sending pricing and information?” The responses were always the same; “What in your wedding date? Will you be having your ceremony on-site? How many people? What time?” Woah! I have no idea! First of all, I always thought you chose a month or season when you wanted to get married and your date depended on when the venue was available in that time period. Apparently, many couples have a specific date in mind ahead of time. Who knew?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Removing the "book" from guestbook

For the home decor enthusiast
When I think about guestbooks I'm reminded of a Sex and the City episode where Miranda's wedding duty was to "man" the guest book. In the episode she's standing next to a book on a table, with a pen in her hand saying, "sign the guestbook?". Gone are the days where a guestbook consists of a book and a pen. These days couples are breaking boundaries of creativity and being inspired by what they love... music, photography, home decor, and using their guestbooks to incorporate them into their guests into their daily lives.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words; here, your guests can have the best of both worlds. Set up a table with a Polaroid camera, blank-paged guestbook, and several pens. Each guests or couple can have their own page where they will post their Polaroid portrait and have ample room to write their best wishes, advice to, or favorite memories of the newlyweds. Larger weddings will require a larger guestbook (or just more paper) while a photo booth (DIY?) could take the place of a Polaroid camera. Not only will you have a special note from your loved ones, but you'll have priceless pictures of them the very momoment they wrote it!
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