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Inspiration & How-To

As I’ve been lightly browsing (okay, let’s be honest: obsessively searching) through Pinterest, wedding blogs and magazines, one wedding trend that keeps grabbing my attention is “mix and match.” I love the look of multiple colors, textures and patterns paired together, in that perfectly imperfect way. Not only is it interesting and fun, it also seems easier to me than having to decide on just two colors or pick one type of pattern!

I especially love the mix-and-match trend for bridesmaids. I think it’s very important for my ’maids to feel comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing, so they should play up their personal styles! Hopefully, this means they’ll wear their dresses many times after being a bridesmaid, too. Here are a few real weddings I got inspiration from:

via 100 Layer Cake

via Amsale Bridesmaids

via 100 Layer Cake

Below are a few groups of styles I put together as potential combinations for my bridesmaids. (Hey, girls, what do you think?!) This coral palette is bright and summery, and I think it complements many other color combinations. The textures of each dress are so unique. I also like the idea of my maid of honor (my sister!) wearing a printed dress that has a little pizzazz, just to set her apart.

Donna Ricco | Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique | BB Dakota | Donna Morgan | Kathy Hilton

This below set feels very of-the-moment, with lace and off-white being big trends right now. I don’t mind having my girls wearing white (I’m pretty sure people will know I’m the bride!), and even though the shades are different, it still feels cohesive. To bring it together more, each dress could have a narrow belt like two of them do here.

Alice + Olivia | Taylor Dresses | Eliza J | BCBGMAXAZRIA | Eliza J

As I’ve been thinking about how to combine different dresses, I’ve collected some ways to make the mismatching look intentional, not messy. Here are my tips:

1. Keep with a similar base color. For example, floral prints are everywhere right now, and while they can be mixed, I think it requires the same background color like white or cream. Same with other prints—using at least two or three shared colors works best.

2. Choose patterns of approximately the same size. Huge designs paired with tiny ones can look unbalanced and random. All small or all medium patterns work well for most body types, too.

3. Look for similarities in silhouettes. One reason the coral collection works is because all the dresses are fit-and-flare, and they share the same waistline and approximate length. Same with the lace dresses: they all have higher necklines and hit above the knee with a natural waist.

4. Think monochromatic. Especially if you’re nervous about mixing! Choosing 4–5 colors within the same palette is an easy way to start. You can represent all shades in an ombre effect or use just a few shades (for example, maroon with rose and red is gorgeous).

5. Keep the rest simple. Depending on how far you go with mixed dresses, you may want to match shoes, accessories and bouquets. Even matching just the same color of shoe (nude and gold are great) or bouquet help pull the look together.

And my last tip is just to have fun with it! Get your girls together, have a few mimosas, go shopping and make a fun day out of searching for the perfect dress for each girl. Then come back and comment with your story of what you found!

Until next time,
Cara

Saukok Tiampo, guest contributor of REVEL, dreams up a garden party affair in this week’s inspirational collage. 

Some days, I fantasize about having my own secret garden. I’d throw lovely garden parties there, with vintage details, pastels, ruffles and lace, just like the one below! The pretty florals and decorative details are complemented by garden party-perfect pieces from the Wedding Suite.

Ted Baker London Dress | kate spade new york Pump | Amsale One Shoulder Dress | MARC BY MARC JACOBS Earrings

For details on how to create this party—or for more pastel inspiration—head over to REVEL!

‘Til next time,
Saukok

We are always huge fans of the wedding color inspiration boards from Lover.ly, but this month, we’re especially thrilled to share a special little project! We’ll let Mandy—and the images—do the talking.

It’s finally March! While the frost has been busy melting, we’ve been looking ahead to warmer months! And the summer event we’re most excited for? Nordstrom’s Bridal Project Manager, Cara, is going to say, “I do!” We absolutely adore Cara’s style—think a little bit of boho-chic with an elegant touch. We’ve put together some wedding inspiration via Lover.ly to help her plan her upcoming wedding in the woods, and we are so excited to share it here today!

Following Cara and her bridal adventures on Brideology, we had a few key elements swirling around in our heads—fresh, local, eco-friendly, organic, wildflowers, earthy—and we think we’ve got just the perfect mix of green and chic wedding elements to inspire her for her day.

Want this look? Check out some of our favorite picks from the Wedding Suite at Nordstrom:

Anne Barge ‘Emmanuelle’ Wedding Gown | Ippolita ‘Rock Candy’ Earrings | I. Madeline Swing Dress | L.K. Bennett ‘Bondi’ Sandal | Halo & Co Headband | Alexis Bittar ‘Elements-Floral’ Necklace | Ted Baker ‘Treasured Orchid’ Dress | Nina Beaded Clutch | Donna Ricco Chiffon Dress

XO,
Mandy and the Lover.ly Team

Inspiration images via Lover.ly

Photo by: Nikol Ramsay Photography on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly | Photo by: Melissa Schollaert on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly | Photo by: Heather Hester Photography on Snippet & Ink via Lover.ly | Headband by Serenity Crystal on Lover.ly | Photo by: Ben Blood on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly |  Inspired by This via Lover.ly |  Oak Tree Invitations on Minted via Lover.ly | Photo by: Elisa B. Photography on Inspired by This via Lover.ly | Photo by: Cafe Fernando on Inspired by This via Lover.ly | Photo by:  Sarah Culver Photography on Inspired by This via Lover.ly | Photo by: Papered Heart Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly | Photo by: onelove Photography on Santa Barbara Chic via Lover.ly

We’re excited to share the summer wedding of Erika and Jason, taking place in our own hometown of Seattle!

How it all began: Twenty-two years ago, we lived just a few miles apart and never knew each other. Ten years ago, we lived just blocks from each other near the University of Washington and never knew. Four years ago, we met and, over the course of a couple of years, knew that we were supposed to be together forever. And now we’ve made it official with our wedding! Funny how those things work!

Through the years of dating, we’ve learned many things about each other. Some are profound, some pretty silly, but the most important thing we learned is that we belong together—as our personalities, our individual wills and our goals and aspirations in life are the ultimate complement to one another.


The scene: August 18, 2012, Pan Pacific Hotel, Seattle, WA

I chose the somewhat mixed theme of modern/vintage/whimsical/elegant because I love mid-century design, which I feel is evoked by the warm wooden walls of the Pan Pacific Hotel, but I also love eclectic and clean design elements, which we incorporated to make the venue feel fresh. I wanted the floral design to be seasonal and rich, so we used lemons for organic accents and a summery color palette of coral, gray, raspberry, light blue and butter yellow.

Instead of a guest book, we had vintage post cards from around the world, which we’ll now frame into a collage. Some of our other details included succulent favors in egg cups, lemon accents on the tables and trees at the altar, and Glassybaby candle holders. Wands with bells and ribbons were used to celebrate our exit!

Additionally, after having a very difficult year what with the passing of my father, we wanted to bring the summer to a close with a wonderful celebration that he so badly wanted to attend, with elements incorporated throughout the ceremony and reception that celebrated his memory, whether the guests were aware or not.


My look: I wore a strapless taffeta trumpet gown by Nouvelle Amsale. It had a gorgeous sweetheart neckline and an asymmetrical bodice with a full skirt. I absolutely LOVED my dress! One of my favorite moments of the process was trying on the dress and immediately being able to perfectly envision it in the aesthetic we wanted to convey.

I wore special jewelry around my wrist to celebrate family members who have passed away: a cross made of the diamonds that were in my grandmother’s wedding ring on a white gold chain and a locket with a tiny gold heart inside that my father gave me before he passed away in the spring of 2012.


My Wedding Stylist: Ari from the Downtown Seattle Wedding Suite

Ari was amazing. I felt like I had a girlfriend with me, helping me along the way, giving me honest feedback and support. She was extremely knowledgeable and made both my mother and me feel incredibly comfortable with the experience. Ari understood the feel and ambiance I was looking to achieve for the wedding, and she provided me with options that fit my vision with 100% accuracy.

I booked a Laura Mercier make-up artist through Nordstrom, and the day of the wedding, she did make-up for me, my mom and my bridesmaids. She was fantastic and provided make-up for each of us that was consistent with the fresh-faced look I was going for, but she tailored the look for each bridesmaid. I gave my bridesmaids Dogeared necklaces as gifts, each one with a different charm based on our friendship.

My mom loved her look, too. She wore a dress by Rachel Roy, Majorica pearl earrings, and a Judith Jack bangle. It was important for us that we work with local Seattle businesses for our wedding, and Nordstrom was one of those—it was one of the best decisions we made for our special day!

A favorite moment: Our wedding party was tasked with creating movie soundtrack-themed entrances for the reception: songs from Footloose, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Top Gun. Jason and I entered last with the Star Wars theme and our dogs dressed as Darth Vader and Princess Leia—a bit of cheesy fun that my husband was in charge of! We loved having our dogs be a part of the wedding processional, ceremony and reception!

Photography by JKoe Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details about getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a wedding stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Our girl crush and bride-to-be Summer (a.k.a Lady Grey) of the amazing wedding site Grey Likes Weddings shares her tips on shopping for the perfect dress and her experience at our Wedding Suite in Brea, California!

Dress shopping was one of the first things that my mom, sisters, and I did as soon as I was engaged. It’s the kick off to wedding planning, right? While I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a decision until we had nailed down our venue, I knew I wanted to actually try on gowns and get an idea for what I liked on me. It’s pretty normal for brides to see dresses they love in a magazine, come in to try it on, and realize they totally hate how it looks on them!

I spent TONS of time dress shopping–I think I’m pretty particular. But I wanted to share with you a few tips for a successful experience and share with you images of our experience at Nordstrom Wedding Suite, which I highly recommend. (Yay for fun images by my sister, Hayley of T&H Photography!)

So here are my dress shopping tips:

1. Dress up. Go in with your hair and makeup looking fabulous, and with all the right undergarments. This makes a huge difference in how you feel and look in the dress!

2. Take just a few people you trust. I brought my sisters, mom and two girlfriends. That sounds like a lot, but it was nice to have the girlfriend perspective, mixed with the sisters and the mom. Either way, narrow it down and remember that YOUR opinion matters most.

3. Narrow down your silhouette favorites. If you walk in to a store and try on every single dress, you’ll feel exhausted and overwhelmed at the end of the experience. Trust me! I was able to figure out pretty quickly what I’d love and what I’d hate, so I was picky. That meant I tried on less dresses, but it was easier to save myself time and heartache trying on a dress that would look awful. (Like that belt above??? Click here!)

4. Be patient. Sometimes I’m surprised how quickly girls pull the trigger. If you are pinning tons of dresses with flowy tulle, make sure you track down that dress style and try it on! Don’t get distracted by dresses that look great on you and forget to go for what you’ve been obsessing over.

5. Take advantage of trunk shows! I didn’t realize this until I worked for a bridal atelier, but trunk shows are an opportunity for you to have access to a designer’s full line of gowns. Often times, designers make only one gown of each design, so the gown takes turns at each store. In order to have a chance to try on ALL of a collection, look for trunk shows in your area. Plus, you have the chance to possibly meet the designer, and/or get bonuses like discounts on things like alterations, accessories or your veil. (Obsessing over that necklace like I am??? Get it here!)

6. Try out Nordstrom Wedding Suite! Honestly, I ended up finding two dresses I loved–one for my shower and one for my get away! But both of them were not available in my size at the store. Our consultant got on the phone immediately and by the end of our appointment had located my sizes–one of which had to be found at a Nordstrom Rack–yes, they’ll do that for you! So I got this dress on a crazy sale and OF COURSE it was sent to me with no shipping charge. You can’t beat that. I mean it. Crazy crazy good customer service.

The other thing that is great is that they’ve got soooooo many dresses for bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride. ALL of us ended up trying on dresses, so it made for a really fun appointment! They also have every accessory you’d need for the big day–from a get away dress, fur caplets, jewelry, shoes–the list goes on. So you can get it all done in one place. (Love that sandal above on the right? So do I!!! Find it here!)

7. Lastly, if all else fails, bring your flower girl for comic relief. This is my niece Norah Mae–just shopping with the girls and having a grand time. She stole the show. She even tried on a few dresses and accessories. She’s as excited as I am about the wedding. It’ll be her big debut.

 

Bride-to-be Cara catches us up on her wedding planning, sharing details about her venue.

I’ve hit a couple of big milestones lately in wedding planning! First, we have a venue and date! Second, we are halfway through our engagement! I’m feeling a combination of excitement, nervousness, stress, giddiness, and fear—often all in one day (making me super-fun to be around, wink).

Choosing our venue was not easy; I was overwhelmed by choices. Although I did like the idea of a winter wedding at one point, we ultimately decided that we wanted to be outdoors—and warm! A summer wedding felt right. We did a ton of research online and made a couple of weekend visits to locations, looking at farms, wineries, beaches, hotels, parks, campgrounds… you name it. Finally, a friend suggested a bed and breakfast called Treehouse Point. As soon as we saw it, we couldn’t stop thinking about it!


Treehouse Point has—you guessed it—treehouses for us to stay in. So cool! The property is tucked away in the woods on a small river, with a grassy area for the ceremony and a lodge for dinner and dancing. Just imagine how green and lush it will be in the summer (when it’s not covered in fallen leaves and soaking wet from all our winter rain, that is)!


We really wanted to have our family and closest friends stay at the venue to spend extra time together, so we’re making a full weekend out of it. I’m hoping we’ll be able to decorate, arrange flowers, hang out by the river and relax the day before, in addition to having the rehearsal and dinner. Then we’ll just wake up and already be there for the big day!

I’m so excited to start planning the décor! But I’m forcing myself to tackle some of the bigger items first: save-the-dates, catering, photography, invitations—and of course, the dress—are all at the top of the to-do list. Stay tuned for more soon!

– UPDATE! Just saw that Treehouse Point is on Brides list of 50 Romantic Wedding Venues in the U.S.! So cool! Feeling really lucky this place is right in our backyard. Check out the article for some other amazing venue inspiration. –

—Cara

 P.S. Follow me on Instagram @Brideology for more pictures!

March 1, 2013

Trend We Love: Seascape

Flowing fabrics, watery colors and pearly shine make up a trend we’re calling Seascape—and we’re getting swept away! Seascape is all about bringing the beauty of water into wedding attire and décor, on land or sea! This trend is fresh, sweet and easy to incorporate, for the beach wedding and beyond.

In Seascape, we’re seeing colors like mint and gray being updated to seaglass, aqua and pale blue. These colors work especially well for bridesmaid dresses, in short or long chiffon and organza fabrics. For gowns, we love the mermaid silhouette, which is flattering on many different body types! We are also seeing gowns encrusted with just a bit of jeweled texture, like the top of the ‘Zinnia’ gown from Roses by Reem Acra.

For accessories, look for pearls in jewelry, hair pieces or embellishment on wedding dresses (like Olia Zavozina loves to do!). Iridescent jewelry, such as bracelets or earrings by Alexis Bittar, complement pearls AND work on their own. Light-colored metallics, especially in wedding shoes, can add some extra punch to the softness.

Giuseppe Zanotti Peep Toe Pump | Jenny Yoo ‘Vivienne’ Gown available at in-store Wedding Suites | Matthew Christopher ‘Moet’ Gown | Lela Rose ‘The Farm’ Gown | Alexis Bittar ‘Dust’ Bracelet | Alexis Bittar ‘Miss Havisham’ Earrings | Donna Morgan ‘Morgan’ Dress | Charles David ‘Icon’ Sandal | Cara Faux Pearl Sash

Are you inspired by the Seascape trend? How would you use it for your wedding?

All beach scene and décor photos taken by SnapKnot photographers: Josh Fisher Photography, Leah Valentine Photography, Vanessa Joy Photography

The lovely Anne Barge is one of our favorite gown designers, and we couldn’t be happier to carry new gowns from her La Fleur and Anne Barge lines in our suites this spring! Anne’s new gowns have a cohesively modern but also vintage feeling—a classic, timeless look that she manages to reinvent each season.

For her 2013 collection, Anne was inspired by the news of the Ritz Paris closing for a two-year renovation. Built in 1898 by César Ritz, the hotel was an immediate success and at its pinnacle from opening day through the early 20th century, serving as home to the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.

Anne describes more about her creative vision behind each uniquely designed dress: “My focus for this season was 1898 to the 1920s. I incorporated a silk organza hand-stamped lace motif gown into the collection and a number of watercolor pastel pieces in honey, oyster, blush and latte. It was all from a painter’s palette—think Monet and Renoir.”

We envisioned a palette and inspirations around the ‘Emmanuelle’ gown below. Ah, now we’re dreaming of a Parisian wedding! Ooh la la!

Renior painting | Paris rooftops | White peonies | Bouquet | Badgley Mischka ‘Cissy’ Sandal | Anne Barge ‘Emmanuelle’ Gown | Monet painting | Peony painting | Clutch similar to Sondra Roberts sequined pouch | Degas painting | Hôtel Ritz Paris

Ashley shares the details of her big day—and her friendship with Wedding Stylist Christy.

The Scene: October 27, 2012, at Still Waters Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA

From the day Jefferson and I got engaged, we knew we wanted our wedding to be an intimate, fun and nontraditional event for our guests—all about family and our love of wine. By having a destination wedding at a small vineyard in California, we were able to bring that vision to reality. The day was a dream come true for both of us.

We wanted our family and friends to feel as though they were attending an amazing party with great food and wine. To keep the guest count low, we made the decision to invite only those people who were in our life on a regular basis.

We asked my uncle to become “Deputy for the Day” to perform our ceremony. He has been an instrumental person in our lives, and we couldn’t think of anyone else we would want to marry us. Also, because I am an only child and my parents have been my best friends my whole life, it was fitting to have both of them walk me down the aisle. It is a memory I will hold close forever.

We also included our golden retriever, Napa, in the ceremony. She was the “flower dog” and filled her role with great stride!

My Wedding Stylist:
Christy Weidner at The Wedding Suite in Scottsdale, AZ

From the moment I met Christy, I knew I would be working with her for all our wedding needs. We just clicked right away, and I knew she would understand my style and desired look for the wedding, even though I didn’t have an exact dress in mind. We had e-mailed back and forth a few times before meeting, so when I arrived for the first shopping experience she had several dresses picked out for me. Christy was extremely professional, an excellent communicator through the whole process, personable and such a happy person.

My Look: The dress was by Nicole Miller, the Off-the-Shoulder Portrait Techno Metal Gown. It had shades of ivory and metallic gold. I accessorized with the Nina ‘Claire’ veil, kate spade new york ‘gerbera garden’ bracelet, Nadri ‘Princess’ earrings and the Badgley Mischka ‘Madalyn’ pump.

The Nicole Miller was the fourth dress I tried on, and I immediately knew it was THE dress! I had never envisioned wearing a veil, but when Christy had me try on the Nina cathedral veil, it was the perfect pairing to complete the look.

Christy made the entire experience so fun for everyone. We had a few fittings that included family members coming along, and each time we were in the suite we felt so welcome and appreciated! Little did I know that when I went looking for my wedding dress I would find a lifelong friend. We had a large reception in Arizona after the wedding and were delighted that Christy was able to attend. She is an incredible stylist and has become a great friend!

Our Special Moments: During the ceremony we passed around a glass dish that has been in my family for a hundred years. It held our rings, and we asked each guest to say a blessing over them before we recited our vows to each other. The entire day was full of emotion as we saw our dream unfold with the people we loved around us.

We worked endless hours on invitations, programs, menus, games and favors. Jefferson and his father made wine for each person to take home, a special reminder of a memorable day!

Photography by Scott and Breanna Chanson, Radiant Photography by the Chansons

Wedding décor provided by Modern Revival

In her sixth Brideology installment, Cara discovers 12 ways to put together an eco-friendly wedding design scheme.

The other night, while I was asking my fiancé if he preferred the color mauve over amethyst, it hit me that I needed to take… a… step… back. Meaning that I needed to get out of Ridiculous Minute Detail Land and think about the bigger picture of the wedding again. So I pulled out a couple of lists that we made right after we got engaged: the his and hers versions of what is most important on our wedding day.

Doing this little exercise in the beginning was really fun—our columns of “important” and “not important” were nearly identical. Some were bigger themes, like honoring our families, being outdoors and having a really comfortable, intimate feel. Some were more lighthearted, like dancing to Michael Jackson, having a campfire and serving mini-grilled cheese sandwiches (yep, that was mine). I think revisiting these lists throughout the planning process will help us stay true to our vision.

One main thing that our lists shared was “eco-friendly.” I will admit that my fiancé is better about this than I am—I can be a bit lazy and would probably choose style over green. (He would probably choose to have a wedding with no electricity; maybe I need to add “electricity” to my important list just to be safe!) But I’m going to make a really big effort here, because when throwing a party for a large group of people, it can be really easy to be wasteful.

Thankfully, there are a lot of great resources for eco-friendly wedding tips, and more and more eco-friendly real weddings and styled photo shoots are popping up. I was especially drawn to this shoot from Jasmine Star—it’s GORGEOUS. The tables feature super-sustainable cork used for vases, vintage furniture is utilized, and the wooden cutting boards under the plates could double as favors. I love how literally green it is too: the use of potted plants really warms up the space. (Also loving the dip-dye dress and the fishtail braid. If only my hair would do that!)

I started pulling together a list of EASY ways to be green with the wedding. A few may break from tradition, but I like knowing that I’m doing my part! An added bonus is that many of these are budget-friendly as well.

1. Email save-the-dates: it’s paperless, plus you get quicker responses if you need RSVPs right away!

Postcard Wedding Invite | Vintage Door

2. Send short, sweet, recycled-paper invitations: ditch the six envelopes for a postcard or simpler package and include extra info on your website. It can still look chic—see the proof above!

3. Write the program on a chalkboard or other sign instead of using printed programs. Same goes for the menu! (Extra creativity points to the couple who used this vintage door!)

4. Focus on local, organic food: try to find a caterer who uses sustainably farmed food that travels the shortest possible distance to your plate. It’s often the best tasting, and it’s fun to show off the local cuisine of your area! For us, salmon is a must.

Farmer’s Market Flowers | Apples

5. Think about what’s in season, not only for food but flowers too! Look to your local farmer’s market to see what’s fresh. I’m hoping to get flowers from the market and make my own bouquets.

6. Reuse drinking glasses: have guests write their names on tags instead of using multiple different glasses through the evening. Small things make a big difference! (Extra points again if the seating card is used as the tag!)

7. Use natural decorations! Flower petals, seeds, lavender and compostable papers can take the place of confetti, balloons, plastic or anything that’s bound for the landfill.

8. Place herbs and potted plants on tables rather than cut flower arrangements. They last so much longer, and you can give them as favors or use them in your home. I also love the terrarium idea!

Potted Herbs | Terrarium

9. Go vintage! This is such a huge trend in weddings right now, but you must make sure you get true vintage items and not just new stuff made to look old! Visit flea markets or ask your family and friends what they already have. My parents have some major gems in their garage!

10. Give consumable favors. Think jams, honey, bread, coffee beans or seeds in containers that can be reused. Or think about a favor that can be regifted beyond your wedding. Spread the love!

Homemade Jam

11. If you’re using disposable place settings, consider these eco-friendly plates made from palm leaves. Personally, I love this look! (Also note the vintage linens and potted plants—check and check!)

Place Setting

12. Promote reuse after the wedding by donating or selling your décor items on Etsy, Craigslist or eBay to help future green brides!

I’m sure there are so many more! If you have any tips or tricks, comment below!

Until next time,
Cara