Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rent the Runway

The other day a coworker told me about this great website, Rent the Runway where her friends rented their dresses to wear to a black tie wedding they attended. I had heard of the concept of renting fashion online before but decided to look more into it. Well, I discovered that it. is. so. cool.

The basic premise is that the website rents out designer dresses for a tenth of their purchase price. Chances are, if you're wearing a fancy gown you won't be wearing it more than once so this is a fantastic opportunity to wear something special to a formal event. How it works is you select the dress you want, get to choose 2 sizes that they will send to you during your rental period (just in case you're not sure which size you are) and then they also send a prepaid mailer for you to mail the dress back after your event! They pay for the dry cleaning and even have accessories that you can rent as well. It's like Netflix for fashion! The website is so great because previous renters leave reviews and can upload pictures of themselves in the dress along with their height and sizing information. It really helps determine if a dress will look good on you if you can see real women in all different sizes in the dress! Honestly, this is such a great concept and business!

After scoping out the website for a few minutes, I thought that this would be a perfect solution for bridesmaids! Let's get real here, the majority of bridesmaids are never going to wear their dress again. So why not rent it for a fraction of the cost? Your bridesmaids will love you for this! (If my bridesmaids are reading this, sorry gals, didn't know about this at the time I was picking out dresses. Also, spoiler alert- they don't have much in my color purple!)

The website has hundreds of different dresses, and many of them can work as traditional bridesmaid dresses.
They carry serious designers: Badgley Mischka, Diane Von Furstenburg, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, Reem Acra, etc. so your bridesmaids can wear something really special!

They have so many amazing dresses! I seriously saved so many more but in order to keep this post brief (ish) I have narrowed it down! All of these dresses are rentable for less than $200 and most are under $100!  (For example, $70 for the short full skirted black number below, and only $65 for the cute short coral one next to it! The long dresses are around $125)

Why let your girls have all of the fun? You can rent something fabulous for your wedding related events too! Any of these lovelies would look fantastic at your bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner! 

So what do you think? Would you consider renting your bridesmaid dresses? 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Soul mates

Two of my favorite (and most pinned!) wedding elements to look at are cakes and dresses. Both are so wonderfully beautiful and can be so varied! Throughout my years of gazing at so many beautifully curated weddings, I've started to notice that cakes and dresses can have some of the same details and can even be heavily influenced by each other. I think it's a really cute touch for a bride to have her wedding cake design be inspired by her gown! I've come up with seven different dress styles and found their cake soul mates! Enjoy!


Classic: dress /cake
Floral pop: dress /cake
Lace: dress /cake
Ruffle: dress /cake
Floral Stamp: dresscake
Scallop: dress /cake
Sculptural: dress /cake


Friday, January 25, 2013

Product Round Up: What's on my Registry?

Hello there!

Today I've got another product round up for you! I thought I'd give you a peek at the products from my favorite stores that we're hoping to add to our home through the gracious gifts of our fantastic wedding guests! Of course we've registered for your typical registry fare: knife set (much needed), dinnerware, pillows, towels, etc. (no gravy boat though, the Bed Bath and Beyond consultant couldn't talk us into that one, though she really did try her best!) But then there are the fun things that are maybe not as necessary as say, new silverware, but really work to make your house a home and add some fun in your design! With no further ado, here's a list of my favorite things from our registry!

Diamond cut nesting bowls, $99 Dwell Studio
Glass and brass jars, $18-$24 Anthropologie
Brother Sewing Machine, $156 Amazon
Books: The Iconic Interior & Domino; $40, $20 AmazonAmazon
Meow Pillow, $27 Society6
Gold Rhino, $35 Dwell Studio
Ikat Blanket, $150 Furbish
Hobnail Tumbler, $10 Anthropologie
Fez Tumblers, $12/4 glasses World Market


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home/Style/Wedding: Moroccan

I'm going to be starting a new series on the ole blog. It will be called Home/Style/Wedding and will be a quick hit of how a particular theme or style that you love can be applied across all three! I'm going to start it off with Moroccan style because that is my absolute favorite!

1, 2, 3

 I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Home/Style/Wedding! I love Moroccan so much that I plan on delving deeper into it for a wedding style post later this week!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's Like Rain on your Wedding Day

Everyone has heard the saying "April showers bring May flowers" so when planning an April wedding, one needs to take into consideration the fact that it very well may rain on your wedding day. While I've got my fingers, toes, and everything else you can cross, crossed, I'm also taking precautions and planning what we might do should it be raining on our wedding day. First thing that was a must for me and my peace of mind was to plan an entirely indoor ceremony and reception. Having an outdoor wedding in April is just tempting Mother Nature too much. Although, in Michigan, it doesn't really matter what month you plan your wedding, an outdoor wedding is always risky.

You may be thinking, "well Dana, if your wedding is entirely indoors, what else is there to plan? Sounds rainproof to me!" And I would tell you that while all events are inside, I plan to take my pictures outdoors! There aren't many fabulous indoor spaces to take amazing wedding photos in, so rain or shine we will need to spend a couple of hours outdoors. (Unless it is pouring down rain and then I'll have to move to plan C which I haven't come up with yet).

Plan B is cute umbrellas!

These rainy day weddings are so lovely, and I think the umbrellas actually add to the beauty of their wedding photos.

1, 2, 3, 4

I just love that coral umbrella! Too cute! And that bottom picture? So romantic. 

There are two types of umbrellas out there; the clear ones, and the colored ones. The clear ones are usually more of a bubble shape and seem to have better coverage from the rain. But the colored ones have color (um, yeah...) and are therefore maybe a bit more fun! These purple umbrellas below add a great touch of color to an otherwise neutral bridal party!

I like how these colored umbrellas coordinate with each bridesmaid! Oh yeah, and they're purple polka dots! Can't go wrong there!

This bride is adorable with her clear bubble umbrella. A great thing about going clear is that it doesn't take up a lot of visual space so your eye goes right to the bride rather than going right to the umbrella.

Plus, isn't this just so intimate?

I went on an umbrella hunt across the internet and found a great website with affordable umbrellas in as many different shapes and colors as you could imagine! The only downside is they're based in London (makes sense due to their typical climate) so I'm not sure if I'll have to pay customs fees. Here are some of my favorites!

The ruffle-y umbrellas are so cute! I also like the pagoda shaped one with the subtle pattern. The bottom left umbrella was one of the "manly" ones I found for the dudes of the day. And that heart umbrella? Oh so precious. Then you could take a super cute photo like this:

Yup, a little cheesy but still pretty darn cute!

I'm not 100% sure of what kind I want to go with, but right now I'm leaning towards the clear umbrellas. Especially once I stumbled upon this one!

Gold polka dots?? Sold.

And just in case you're thinking, "yeah these umbrellas are great and all but it would still be such a bummer to have rain on your wedding day", I give you these AMAZING rainy day photos.

Mhmmm, bet you're changing your tune now!

So what do you think? Pop of color or clear bubble?


Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY Fabric Art

This is my last DIY art post for a while. My gallery wall is almost ready to go up! I can't wait to show you the result when it's completed! I've been busy crafting many wedding projects lately. Don't worry, I've been documenting the process as I've been going along so I can share all of the step by step details after my wedding! 

Today we are making some quick art using canvas and some fabric I had lying around.


- Canvas. I bought mine at Michael's. I decided to get four small canvases to group together instead of one large canvas but the concept works with either! 
- A fun patterned fabric. Mine was left over from our engagement session picnic basket, so a freebie for me!
- Staple Gun (borrowed from my future mother-in-law)

Step #1 (not pictured)- Cut down your fabric to size. If you have one large canvas, this is fairly easy. Just pull your fabric over the canvas to get the pattern centered how you like it and then give it a trim! For my four canvases, I'd like to say that I lined everything up perfectly and made careful cuts. But, this was my third DIY project for the day so I just made sure I was cutting enough to cover each canvas and went for it!

Step #2- Line up your fabric and use your staple gun to staple the fabric to the back of the canvas. Do this to the opposite sides and then move to Step #3.

Step #3- To make sure you have tight corners, fold the fabric over the canvas like you would a present on the remaining two sides. Then staple them down. See? Easy peasy.

Here's the final product. Even without having the foresight to lay my fabric out before I cut it, I managed to line it up nicely!

Here's a recap of the other DIY art projects I have under taken. These beauties will add some fun (and inexpensive) character to my gallery wall!

If you want to check out the other How-Tos for these art pieces, follow the links:


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jewish-ish Wedding Traditions- The Hora

Wow. Final Jewish wedding post! We've come so far! Well this last tradition is definitely the most fun. There is no question that we will be including it! It is probably the one thing I've been looking most forward to since I was a little girl.

The Hora is a circle dance that didn't start out as a Jewish dance but originated in Eastern European countries. In 1924 it was first danced in Israel and Jews everywhere haven't looked back since! It is a Jewish wedding staple and is commonly danced to the song Hava Nagila. The basic look of the dance is that everyone stands in a circle and holds hands. Then they move their left foot forward to the right, right foot forward to the right, left foot back, right foot back, and it starts over. Pretty simple. Also easy to fake if you don't get the precise footwork correct, just keep moving in the same direction as everyone else! The best part of the Hora is that the bride and groom are lifted up in chairs by some strong male wedding guests for the duration of the dance!

J actually found a fun punk version of Hava Nagila sung by the Me First, and the Gimme Gimmes that we're going to try to use at our wedding to bring a little of him into the tradition!

The Hora is good times had by all. It's always funny to watch the bride and groom worry about falling out of their chair and it's something that everyone can join in. For evidence of the fun and hilarity, I give you my beautiful cousins' in all of their Hora glory!

(If you look closely at the men hoisting the second bride, you'll see J!)

This next shot is hands down my favorite picture from a hora ever! 

Who can deny the fun after seeing those shots? 

Thanks for reading along with me while I worked through which customs from my heritage to include and which to toss! I'm excited to see them all come together in April! 

Final tally:

1. Ketubah signing- IN
2. Chuppah- IN
3. Separation- OUT
4. The Covering of the Bride- Half IN Half OUT
5. The Procession/Unterfieres- IN
6. Encircling of the Groom- IN
7. The Betrothal/Ring Ceremony- IN
8. The Kiddush- OUT
9. The Seven Blessings- OUT
10. The Breaking of the Glass- IN
11. Yichud- IN
12. The Hora- IN 


Sunday, January 6, 2013

DIY Scallop Art

It's time for another fun DIY art project! 

I've been drooling over this picture I found on pinterest for a loooong time now!

Fantastic, right? When I started brainstorming pieces I could accomplish on my own for my gallery wall, this was at the top of my list! It was actually pretty easy to figure out how to make it and to execute.

Supply list:

It only takes a few supplies. I purchased a circle cutter from Michael's, which was a major time savor, and I'll be using it for wedding projects as well! I bought three sheets of gold metallic construction paper however, only 2 are pictured because I had to go back for the third mid-project! Also not pictured is a plain piece of 11x17 construction paper to use as my base.

Step 1: Use your circle cutting tool to cut out your circles. Make sure to line the tool up so that the entire circle is on the paper. Also, to maximize your paper, line up the tool as close to the edges as possible. You'll want to do this on a flat hard surface. The tool does scratch underneath the construction paper so I would suggest doing it on top of a craft board or an old plastic place mat so you don't scratch up your table. Press down hard with your circle tool and spin it around a couple times to get a clean cut.

Keep going until you have all of your circles cut out. Note: this is time intensive even with the circle cutting tool. It takes some time to line up the circles each time. I did this all while watching the Sex and the City movie so I didn't mind putting in the time!

Step 2: Glue down your circles. Now for full disclosure, and to show that you may need to rethink things mid-project, I'll show you what I did first that ended up not being successful. Then I'll show you what ended up working so you don't have to rethink things while doing your project! I started out using a glue tape tool to glue the circles down onto my white construction paper. 

Once I glued down a few rows I lifted up my piece of construction paper to move it and all of my circles fell off. Womp womp...

Luckily, J had a ton of white glue on hand so I switched over to that. (Sorry for the burry picture, but I think you all know what white glue looks like!)

I used a paint brush to adhere the glue to the back of my circles. Make sure to only paint the top half of the circle so that the next row can slide underneath. For the top row I used another piece of paper to make sure I was lining the circles up straight. After that, you can wing it and not be so meticulous. Also, make sure your first row of circles hangs off the top a little to give the scalloped or scale effect.

Here's what it looked like in progress. Continue gluing only the top half of your circles and slipping them underneath the row above in a scalloped pattern. (Yes, I was also enjoying a lovely glass of wine while crafting and watching Sex and the City. Perfect evening!)

Now that the entire piece of paper is covered, the project is almost done! 

Step 3: Grab a pair of scissors to cut off the edges of your circles. 

This was done easily by flipping the art over and cutting along the edge.

And there you have it! I would love to do this on a much larger scale one day. 


Just stick your piece of art in a frame and you have a lovely addition to any room! 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cake Update

Happy Saturday!

It's time to check back in for an update on our cake situation! Everyone was so awesome by weighing in with their ideas on which cake design we should go with! After all of the input I was pretty sure that we were going to go with the option that mimicked my favorite wallpaper. Then we met our fantastic bakers and they really elevated the design of our cake! We're going with Sweet Heather Anne who has the cutest shop in Ann Arbor. We had such a great experience meeting with them! It started when they called me back to set up our appointment. Rachel, the business manager, called and asked me a survey of fun questions to get to know my taste and style! Some of the questions included "if you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life what would it be?" and "What did you have for dinner last night". It was so fun answering all of the questions! They also asked for my pinterest handle so they could get a feel for the style of wedding I'm planning. I mean, talk about being prepared! I actually gave them my blog address so they could review the "Personal Cake Dilemma" post I wrote. 

Meeting with Heather Anne (the owner of the shop and the artist behind it) was such a wonderful experience! She had, in fact, read my blog post and created some drawings of cakes incorporating all 3 of the ideas I was trying to decide between! I was seriously so impressed! They were also really nice about staying within my budget. When the first cake she designed went above she emailed me 3 other drawings at 3 different price points for me to choose from. I honestly can't say enough about our experience with Sweet Heather Anne. 

The final cake design we are going with mixes the "tendrils" of the Cate Blanchett dress I like, with the wallpaper print. I can't wait to see it! Now, I'll let Heather Anne's work speak for itself! She is so talented and I feel very lucky to be able to have her design the cake for our wedding! 

Oh yeah, and their cake tastes amazing too! We are going with a choice of two flavors: Strawberry vanilla or Caramel Praline Crunch with maple butter cream frosting. 

This art deco cake is absolutely stunning. I am in love with that scallop detail

Gold flowers are good with me any time!

Favorite, favorite cake ever! After seeing this cake I was tempted to scrap our cake design and copy this one! Although I have a feeling it'd be out of our price range! The fascinator on the top is to die for!

I think this painterly cake is super cute! Great birch cake stands too!

Those ruffles are so delicate!

This is a glorious sweets table!

Love this simple but adorable cake!

Love birds are the perfect topper to a wedding cake!

And of course, had to include the chevron cake!

So, what do you think of our baker's work? Can't wait to show you the final product of our cake!