Friday, May 29, 2009

Real Wedding: Ashley and Walter

While perusing wedding photography blogs, I came upon Ashley and Walter's Costa Rican wedding shot by Whitebox Photography out of North Carolina. This wedding was stunning! Ashley and Walter were married on the hot but beautiful beach at Manuel Antonio park. I'm loving the colors, her big, bright bouquet, the tropical location - pretty much everything about these photos. They make me want to take a second honeymoon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

DIY: Button filled arrangement

The expression "cute as a button" didn't come about because it wasn't true. Buttons are an adorable, low cost and vintage-y way to add some flair to wedding decor. That Bride, Jenna, also known as Weddingbee's Mrs. Avocado, infused buttons into her wedding in lots of ways - as her something blue on her dress, on her shoes, on the boutonniere on the place cards, and scattered on the edges of the aisle runner. This DIY is super simple but looks amazing and would be a great addition to a guest book table, or even as a centerpiece!

From Martha Stewart Living: "Make a striking flower arrangement by displaying buttons en masse in a vase. The buttons create an eye-catching vision of a rippling pool of baubles."
You'll need a large glass vase, a narrower vase that fits inside it, and enough buttons to fill the space between them. (We used vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, which, unlike plastic ones, are heavy enough that they won't float.)

1. Fill the bottom of the large vase with buttons.
2. Place the second vessel on top.
3. Add more buttons, filling the space between the vessels, and then add water.
4. Fill the smaller vessel with water, and arrange flowers inside.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Makeup Box: The Sunless Tan Rx

I am pale, fair, light-skinned - whatever you want to call it. I'm not the palest girl out there by any means, but I can't be in the sun without a healthy slathering of SPF 30. Not because I'll burn to a crisp, but because I was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer the first week of my freshman year of college. As a result of this, I am a huge advocate of suncare and also of the sunless tan! Sunless tans get a bad rap - I think that once upon a time, people must have tried the original 'big blue box' MysticTan or a drugstore lotion and turned out streaky or bright orange. So there's this huge fear of using it around your wedding. Well fear not! Sunless tanning technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the past years. Here are my favorite sunless tanning recommendations for your wedding or anytime.

1. First up, the DIY method: My favorite sunless tanner you can use at home is Bliss' Tan For All Seasons. Here are it's awesome features: It comes in an aerosol can, so it sprays out evenly. It has a bronzer in it, so you can see where it sprays and where you need to rub it in. It dries nice and quick - no waiting forever and no sticky feeling (which I can't stand). It has a yummy citrus smell - it is hands down the best smelling sunless tanner I have encountered. It has anti-oxidants in it so it's good for your skin. And the biggest and best feature: It has a blue undertone to it, so you WON'T TURN ORANGE. I promise. Bliss is carried online at BlissWorld, Sephora, and Nordstrom.
Tips and Tricks: Always exfoliate first! (I like Bliss' Lemon and Sage Scrub, because it smells yummy with the tanner and will leave you moisturized). Spray in a back and forth motion, rub in evenly. Use dark towels to wipe down any spray that might have landed anywhere. Keep a jar of scrub (again I love Bliss' Lemon and Sage Scrub) next to your sink to scrub when you wash off your hands. They may look a little blue, but don't worry I have never gotten orange palms from this tanner!

2. The MysticTan "MyMyst" method
Like I said before, people have a stigma about MysticTan and sunless tanning in general. But MysticTan has come along way since it's "big blue box" days. Brides, meet the MyMyst. The MyMyst booth is the best thing to happen to sunless salon tanning in the last few years. First you can pick your own shades - Clear or Bronze, then Regular or Premium. I recommend clear premium three days before the big day, which gives the tan enough time to settle in and wash off, as well as being fresh enough to not peel off. Plus I think the clear develops more nauturally. Some salons even offer the MysticAroma fragrances that they can add to your solution to help with the smell. These come in Vanilla Creme, Desert Bloom and Coconut Lime - I personally like the Coconut Lime, it does a better job of covering the sunless tanning smell as it develops (which is atucally the DHA or sugar interacting with the proteins on your skin).
The booth itself is tear-drop shaped. You step inside, and there are four foot plates on the ground, all numbered. Basically, you will turn four times as the unit sprays you up and down as it moves in a back and forth motion that mimics a technician airbrush tanning experience. This is what makes the MyMyst so great in my book - it gives such an even tan! And the cartridge of solution is just the right amount so you wont be dripping and worrying about streaks or choking on the cloud of overspray. Prices vary per salon, but should never be more than $35 for a session. I recommend a package of at least 3 but preferably 5, that you start about a month and a half out. Then you can see a few times how many days it takes the tan settles, how many days until it starts to fade, etc. Check here to find a MyMyst location near you (if the salon has the MyMyst, you'll see a little symbol under their name and address).
Tips and Tricks: The booth talks to you giving easy to understand instructions, but don't be afraid to speak up and ask the attendant at the salon for her full attention and for her instructions and directions. So many tanning disasters happen simply because someone was afraid to ask for help!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Three Dresses under $500

I did a feature a while back where I featured three super cute wedding dresses for under $1000, two of which were under $500. This inspired me to find three more dresses that won't make you look like you skimped on the dress. There's the whimsical fun dress, the casual flowy dress, and then the formal dress - all for under $500!

The whimsical wedding dress:
Strapless mermaid tea length gown with lace up back and full tulle skirt by Raylia designs, around $400.

The casual flowy wedding dress:
Chiffon empire A-line gown with pleated bust, beaded spaghetti straps, beaded embroidered illusion back, and sweep train. From David's Bridal, $299.

The formal wedding dress (and my personal favorite!):
Satin mermaid gown with sequin band and fan folded bodice with bow by Group USA, $399.99.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Now that Memorial Day weekend is here, it is really starting to feel like the arrival of summer. To celebrate, the hubby and I are driving to the Rouge Valley of Southern Oregon to do a little camping and a little wine tasting. We just discovered the great Spanish and Italian style wines the region has to offer, and we got a tent for our wedding and Brandon has been dying to use it. I'm not a big camper (I don't like feeling dirty) - so when I came across this post by stationery mavens Wiley Valentine, I thought "This is my kind of 'roughing it'". Clayoquot Wildnerness Resort (shown here) is where Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds were married last August in British Columbia. Such a unique destination wedding idea!
(Click on picture to make it bigger - sorry it's tiny!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekly Favorites

Today I thought I'd share some of the things that inspired me or I liked. Here were some of my favorite posts this week from the wedding blogosphere:

*Budget Savvy Bride's post on her fun bouquets.
*"Boombox Love Mix" wedding over on Vintage Glam Weddings
*Insanely cute "bouts" over on 100 Layer Cake
*Tea cup chandelier on Peach&Pearl - perfect for a vintage-y wedding or bridal shower!
*And finally, a Palm Springs wedding on Erin Hearts Court.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Real Wedding: Jessica and Neil

I saw this wedding on Utah Bride & Groom and loved the outdoorsy feel, the cute couple, and the fact that the bride wore my all-time favorite wedding dress. From the article: "This fun-loving couple wanted a fresh, summertime affair to celebrate their nuptials, complete with cheery shades of blue and yellow and plenty of lemon-themed goodies, including lemon-flavored cake, lemon floral arrangements and sweet packets of lemonade for wedding favors. Two days after their June 28, 2008 LDS Temple ceremony in Salt Lake City, Jessica and Neil held a ring ceremony and reception at Millcreek Inn. With their closest friends and family present, they exchanged rings and enjoyed an evening of fine dining, tear-filled toasts and plenty of dancing."
Jessica wore the beautiful Melissa Sweet 'Fern' gown...I'm so jealous!

The florals were done by Every Blooming Thing and included mixed floral bouquets and centerpieces in lemon tones and Tiffany blue, including open-cut callas, hydrangeas, hybrid delphinium orchids, Frog Eyes, Kronas roses and fresh lemons for a “fresh-squeezed” feel.

"Dining tables and chairs were dressed up for the formal affair—and to match with the couple’s wedding colors—with Tiffany blue silk linens and chair ties. At dusk, the outdoor setting twinkled and glowed thanks to white Asian paper lanterns and candle towers."

Guests indulged in scoops of ice cream from a custom ice cream cart with six different flavors and toppings, hosted by Scoopology.
The Tiffany-blue, four-tiered square cake was made by Carrie’s Cakes and the flavors were lemon raspberry swirl and chocolate raspberry swirl.

According to the bride Jessica, the most memorable part of the evening was “having everyone at the reception out on the dance floor dancing to ‘Shout!’ It was so fun to have everyone get up and dance all night long.”
The bubble getaway. So cute.

All photos by PepperNix Photography.
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