31 December 2012

life // the start of a new year...

...means a chance to look back on the happenings of the last one.

I was sending some Twitter "shout outs" to say "Happy New Year" to some of the amazing people I met in 2012.  And I realized, there are a lot of them.

In 2012, I got to meet some photographers who have pretty incredible talent and inspired me to push myself in skill and commitment to my now full-time profession.  I got a lot of patience, advice, and encouragement from Megan, Mark & Candice, Jill, and Jessica and I thank them so much for the support they showed me.

I had opportunities to meet up with some crazy-awesome bloggers, too -- what an exciting thing it can be to meet, in real life, the people whose blogs I read every day!  Lots of love to Sandy, Julie, Evani, Joelle, Alissa, Kristina, Lauren, Nichole, Summer, and Maggie.  It was surreal to get to meet you ladies!  And so much fun.  I better be seeing each and every one of you again in 2013.

And I don't forget my virtual blogger friends I've connected rather profoundly with, either... we'll be meeting in person someday.  Sarah, I'm talking to you.

Tammy and Gina, we are seriously overdue.  Looking forward to something in January!

I just have so much to be thankful for.  I'm not going to cover up the yucky parts and pretend that 2012 was all butterflies and rainbows, but I won't sit here and moan about my misfortune, either.  I accomplished a lot, learned a TON about myself, and I'm starting 2013 as a completely different person than I was just a year ago.

It's now 11:30 p.m. in California and I'm going to head out to drink champagne with my loved ones (and my dogs.  No champagne for them; just bacon-flavored biscuits).

See y'all on the other side.

top twelve of 2012

Happy New Year!

I wanted to review the year via a list of my favorite posts of 2012 (in no particular order).  I have some 2013 resolutions, too, but I'm saving those for later in the week.

1.  Jill DeVries.  A read through the introduction of this post makes it pretty obvious that I simply adore Jill's work.  Discovering her was definitely a highlight of 2012 (and it ultimately led to us sitting down together for some coffee and a chat in Los Angeles in November, so that was pretty rad).

2.  What to wear for portraits.  I got a lot of good feedback from this post, and it helped me focus what I wanted to communicate to my clients when they asked me for wardrobe advice.  Win-win.

3.  The name game.  Where "Anna Delores" comes from and other interesting blog names with backgrounds.

4.  On trend: summertime.  I had a lot of fun stalking my favorite blogs for inspiration for this post.

5.  Back to black.  My first outfit post.

6.  Bridal photo shoot.  I just love these images.  And they recently popped up here.

7.  At home.  Awesome home tour by Laura of Roots & Feathers.

8.  Things I'm afraid to tell you.  Enough said.

9.  Shelter dogs + Susan Sabo.  Susan is an incredible photographer and I have such a special place in my heart for all dogs; shelter dogs are especially talented at pulling my heart strings.  And Susan is exceptionally talented at photographing them.

10.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  This is an important saying for me, one I've repeated to myself over and over since I first encountered it earlier this year.  I even have a small print of it in my office over my desk, so that when I start feeling inferior to all the amazing photographers I see out there, I have a reminder.

11.  Kristina + Eric's wedding.  I love Kristina from Nook & Sea and it was an honor to feature her wedding!

12.  DIY home decorating.  I LOVED getting to meet Lizzie of The Hip Soiree, take her photo, and scope out her AMAZING digs in Santa Monica.  I love this collection of images from her home.

And there you have it!  What were your favorite posts of 2012?  Any on my blog, and how about on your own blog?

28 December 2012

life // lately...

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday week!  And we're not through yet... New Year's Eve is just a few days away.

There are so many posts I want to write, like, NOW, for instance "Top 13 of 2013" (i.e. my list of resolutions) and tons of wedding-related posts for those newly-engaged among us (and soon-to-be newly engaged on New Year's!).

For now, here are some "life lately" updates...

Yesterday, I got to meet Sandy in person (hooray!) and photographed her extended family in celebration of Austin's first birthday.  I'll be seeing her again this afternoon to do a more intimate family shoot (just Sandy, Marvin, and Austin) at a park, and tomorrow I've got a "trash the dress" session with these two lovebirds.

I think the rest of my week can be well-summed up via Instagram... did you expect anything different from me?  ;)

1. Emerald green "Emilie" polish with "Mila" as my glittery accent nail (both Julep).
2. Merry Christmas!
3. Christmas jammies.
4. More emerald, this time in knit gloves...

5. Shadows in my driveway.
6. Reminds me of this meme.
7. My three-year-old cousin Rowan opening her Christmas gifts.
8. The aftermath on Christmas morning.

9. My new Kate Spade iPhone case #giftingmyself
10. Ruby slippers manicure: Chancer by butter LONDON.
11. Move over, Christmas -- it's St. Valentine's turn.
12. J.Crew post-holiday sales! 

How was your holiday?  Any exciting plans for New Year's?  

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend (last one of 2012!).

25 December 2012

life // a letter to my dog: part II

As I mentioned yesterday, I was already planning to blog about this book.  And I will still be sharing it with you.  But the focus on this post, after reading this letter from Fiona Apple about her beloved dog, Janet, has shifted slightly.

It has been a big year for me and Mickey.  I realized, reading Fiona's letter, that my relationship with my dog compares to her relationship with hers in the following sense: he "has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.  We’ve lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few makeshift families, but it’s always really been the two of us."

So, I decided to break this into two separate posts.  Yesterday, I gave you a little history about Mickey, my six-year-old Chihuahua/terrier mix here.

Today is part II: a letter to Mickey.

 Mickey under the Christmas tree, December 2012.

Before I get started, I want to issue a disclaimer that if you don't have a dog, or you don't feel like you have a particularly strong bond with your dog, this all might sound a little silly.  But I am comforted knowing I am not the only one who feels as though Mickey is a member of my family, as close to a child as I can get without having human children, and that there is this book (among many, many others) devoted to expressing the love people feel for their canine companions.

Here goes.

Dear Mickey,

I don't really know where to begin.  We've teased you this year for being grumpy; I even bought you a "Bah Humbug" ornament for the Christmas tree this year.  I hope you know that it's all in jest and that you know how much I love you. 

I know it probably hasn't been easy for you to get shuffled around so much the last couple of years.  I don't really love it myself, but as a girl in my twenties, I supposed I'm subject to a few relocations before I decide where I really want to be -- physically, emotionally, mentally.  Even though you don't have much choice in the matter, I appreciate you being there with me, along for the ride.  It means more to me than I'll ever be able to express to you. 

I think you are a misunderstood pup; you've always been a little quirky, with strange moments of aggression toward random neighbors or new friends.  I think there are some people in my life who would characterize you as a "bad dog" because of this.  But I genuinely believe you're just misunderstood, and if nothing else, I blame myself for not spending the time to better understand where you're coming from.  Maybe I'm a bad dog owner, but I hope not, and I do try to give you the best.  You can't see very well anymore (some days are worse than others), you're not familiar with cats and thus feel the need to growl at the one we're currently living with, and you just want to protect me and your domain (an instinct probably aggravated by the fact that your domain has changed so frequently in the last two years). 

I think you're a special dog.  The people who are lucky and patient enough to gain your trust and love are rewarded with snuggles, kisses, and a waggly tail. 

I love that you are a snugglebug.  I find it difficult to fall asleep if you're not nestled under the sheets against my legs, curled up, the warmth radiating from your little twenty-pound body.  I especially love when you sneak up to the crook of my arm, your chest in my armpit and your chin on my shoulder.  I can hear your breath in my ear and feel you twitch as you dream.  I love that when my feet are cold, I can put my toes under you for a quick warm-up and you don't object by moving away.

I love that even though your puppy fuzz gave way to coarser terrier fur, I can still see the cow spots on your belly, and that the fur behind your ears and under your chin is still downy-soft.  I love that I can still spy the white line down your face even though much of the fur on your snout has turned gray and white since the time when you were a puppy, when most of your sweet face was black.  

I love that just one of your ears stands straight up so that you're perpetually lopsided.  When you were a puppy, both of your ears were floppy and Claudia and I were so dismayed when they both straightened up as you grew older.  But now you're half-and-half, which is weird, and I love it.

I love the way your entire body snakes side to side with unparalleled enthusiasm when I come home from anywhere, even if it was just to the garage to do some laundry or out to the car to fetch something I forgot.  Your tail wags so fast it's a blur, your ears are pressed back, and you fight so hard to suppress the urge to jump because you know you're not supposed to, but you get too excited, hop up, and wrap your skinny paws around my leg.

I love that you know the words "walk" and "beach" and "treat" and get so excited when I ask you if you want to take a walk.  I'm sorry we don't live near the beach anymore; I know you used to love the dog beach, with all the sand to dig in (and chase and bite, when mama Claud would kick it into the air for you).

Even though it hurts, I somewhat secretly love that you paw at me when you want attention, or want to be held.  It's not the best habit but I think it's really adorable when you do it.  I love that you want to sit in my lap while I'm at my computer, even though it makes my legs fall asleep and I usually have to shoo you into your bed next to the desk. 

You're a strange specimen who can misbehave and act crazy, but you're also a sweet creature with unconditional love for me, a love I've never known before and one I doubt I'll ever know again.  It occurs to me now and then what it might feel like when you have to leave me someday, and I always push this unbidden thought from my head because it's just too awful to consider. 

Like Janet to Fiona, you have been the most consistent relationship of my adult life. You're always happy to see me, and all you ever really want is to be petted and loved.  And to lick my face and burrow under the sheets.  And you know what?  I kind of like that you're a little strange, because it makes our bond even more special.

I hope that for Christmas, and every other day, you know that I love you and that I love being your mama.  I feel so lucky that I get to be with you every day.  You're my Mickey-Moose and my sweet boy, and I want you to be happy.  I hope you are happy.  I love you.

Christmas 2009

24 December 2012

life // a letter to my dog: part I

I was already planning to blog about this book.  And I will still be sharing it with you.  But the focus on this post, after reading this letter from Fiona Apple about her beloved dog, Janet, has shifted slightly.

It has been a big year for me and Mickey.  I realized, reading Fiona's letter, that my relationship with my dog compares to her relationship with hers in the following sense: he "has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.  We’ve lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few makeshift families, but it’s always really been the two of us."

I'm going to break this into two separate posts because as I've been writing, I realize this is a topic with enough material to divide into two sections.  This is part one: life with Mickey.

This is Mickey when we first adopted him over six years ago, in the summer of 2006.

My college roommate and best friend, Claudia, and I adopted Mickey when he was about three months old from a foster home affiliated with Love 4 Canines rescue organization (via Petfinder, which I really can't recommend highly enough -- Claudia and I had a great experience finding our future dog with this online tool).

Mickey was one of a litter of four or five Chihuahua mix puppies up for adoption, and when we went to meet him, the crate where he was being kept with his brothers and sisters exploded with puppies when the little door opened.  There were cute wriggling bodies everywhere, but Mickey made a beeline for my lap.  I'd beaten Claudia to the adoption place, and I called her to see if she was close to arriving.  She said she was almost there, and I told her, "I think we've found our dog."

We took Mickey home the very same day.  I overdrew my bank account to pay the $400 adoption fee (I had just graduated college and my first "real job" paycheck hadn't come through yet, but I knew there was no way we weren't going to take Mickey with us).  He was so sweet and mellow during the car ride home and the trip to Petco to buy the necessities for our new pup, and Claudia and I marveled at how lucky we were to have chosen such a well-behaved puppy.  It turns out he'd just been tired from the excitement of the day and revealed his energy and puppy-like enthusiasm shortly thereafter.  But we'd already fallen in love.

Mickey's first bath in the apartment that Claudia and I shared in Huntington Beach -- Mickey's first home.

It took almost a year for Mickey to be fully, 100% potty-trained (a fact of which I am still embarrassed), and he ended up being a little sick when we first brought him home from foster care; he had an ear infection and some internal parasites, but the vet took care of the issues right away.  We quickly leash-trained him and as soon as he was potty-trained well enough not to relieve himself in our beds, that's where he slept with us; he often alternated between me and Claudia throughout the night or on various days during the week.

We decided right away that whenever the time came for Claudia and I to move out (we'd been living together for five years but figured we wouldn't be roommates for the rest of Mickey's life), Mickey would go with me.  When we adopted him as a puppy, Claudia was still in college and I'd landed a secure, stable job while she was working long restaurant hours, so based on those variables we decided that Mickey would be my dog when the time came.  Until then, though, he had "two moms" (and our friends teased us about our "life partner" status with our "child"). 

Claudia and I lived in that apartment in Huntington Beach for another four years, when I started looking for a new job outside of Orange County and she was applying to graduate school in Arizona.  It was incredibly sad to leave; not only was it Mickey's first home, but Claudia and I had lived together for almost eight years at that point and it felt like "the end of an era."  Think Monica and Rachel from Friends.

 Our last night in our apartment in Huntington Beach.

So, Mickey came with me.  I moved into a "temporary" apartment in Huntington while I kept looking for work and Claudia moved to Arizona.  After a couple of months I got a job in Los Angeles and moved to Hollywood.  

This was Mickey's second move in one year.  Around the same time, I noticed a cloudiness in Mickey's eyes and, remembering my parents' dog's glaucoma and the similar cloudy appearance, I panicked and took Mickey to the emergency vet.  I was referred to an animal eye clinic and they confirmed that Mickey, at the age of four, had developed cataracts.  They recommended surgery for him (upwards of $4,000) to remove the cataracts, but Mickey was adjusting pretty well (despite a few quirky changes in his personality, but he was always kind of a quirky dog anyway).  I got a second opinion and the new veterinary eye doctor said she didn't think surgery was necessary since Mickey was functioning so well with his reduced vision (he wasn't completely blind and could still get around, though the new apartment was an adjustment since he didn't know "the lay of the land" yet).

In February 2012, Mickey and I moved out of Hollywood and into Monterey Park with my boyfriend and his dog and cat.  Another adjustment period, especially with the steep, curved stairs -- it took Mickey a few months to get comfortable with getting upstairs and downstairs without prodding, encouragement, or just plain being carried around.

In October 2012, we moved again.  I started focusing on photography as my full-time gig (I'd been balancing it with my office job for a couple of years before that) and, unfortunately and very sadly, living with my then-boyfriend wasn't all I'd hoped it would be.  So Mickey and I packed our bags and here we are, in the fifth home Mickey's inhabited in the six years of his life.

Sweet Mickey in April 2012 (in home #4).

Come back tomorrow for my Christmas letter to Mickey and a peek at the "Letter to My Dog" book.

19 December 2012

handmade // Etsy gift cards + giveaway from Danette!

How on EARTH is it just 6 days until Christmas?  I'm sad.  I love December and January is always kind of a downer.  It's not the weather -- I love the cold.  It's knowing that the joyful holiday season is 11 months away again!  I won't let this ruin the rest of my week of holiday joy, however.  :)

I went to the post office today and the line was seriously ridiculous.  I left immediately and went to buy new ink cartridges for my printer so I could take care of postage at home.  Even the mailboxes were overflowing with last-minute holiday cards being sent out.  Yikes.

What does all this mean?  That if you haven't already taken care of holiday gifting for friends and family that you won't be seeing in person on Christmas, you're in big trouble.  Even expedited shipping may not be able to save you now...

Etsy gift cards floated into my periphery a few months ago and I immediately identified them as not only a great gift idea in general, but a wonderful option for holiday gift giving.  And now that most of our favorite e-retailers' shipping deadlines have come and gone, the brilliance of the Etsy gift card remains an excellent choice for last-minute slackers (like me).

Here's the rundown: Etsy gift cards can be used at any Etsy shop that has a little green gift icon with the words "This shop accepts Etsy Gift Cards" below the shop announcement (below the shop header).  Here's a peek at what to look for (and forgive my Paint skills; I was too lazy to open Photoshop for this one, haha!):

Etsy gift cards are available in $25, $50, $100, or $250.  I'm willing to bet that by this time next year, you'll be able to choose whatever amount you want to give.

If you're among those who still need to find a handmade treasure for a loved one who is out of state or overseas, you're in luck!  Etsy gift cards are, of course, still available for purchase, but wouldn't you like to win one?

The lovely Danette Dillon of All My Love for All My Days is giving one lucky Anna Delores reader a $25 Etsy gift card to help you tackle your panic during these last precious days of holiday gifting.

Please stop by Danette's blog to say "thank you" for introducing you to Etsy gift cards and giving you the opportunity to win one from Danette herself!  Use Rafflecopter below to enter, and hurry!  The giveaway ends on December 23 so you have a wee bit o' time to send your gift card off to its intended recipient.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 December 2012

life // week in review: instagram

Greetings, friends!  I am still playing some serious catch-up; I have so many good ideas and topics in the works for blogging, but between last week's wedding, a photo shoot (and sugar high) with this pretty lady, and general holiday festivities, I've been napping every spare moment I can get.

So, I'm working to flesh out all those good ideas I mentioned.  In the meantime, here's some Instagram excitement for ya.  ;)

1. Photo shoot with baby Poppy.
2. Blurry Christmas tree at the mall.
3. Photo Combine Christmas app (with a lovely fireplace!)
4. Post-rain clouds in California.
5. Our living room: Christmas threw up in there.
6. Lovely, lovely bride on 12/12/12
7. Lunch with Joelle at El Rey Cantina, Camarillo.
8. I got a little excited over Julep's sale...
9. Good morning. On a walk.
10. Peppermint macarons.
11. Joelle & Olive Duff!
12. "Christmas tree" in my neighborhood.

17 December 2012

weddings // bridal portraits

I sooo promise I'm working on blogger catch-up this week... for now, though, come and visit me over at the Wedding Party blog!  They're featuring Alex's lovely rock-the-dress bridal portraits, a la Anna Delores Photography.  :)

15 December 2012

photography // slacker.

So I want you guys to know: I had blog posts all lined up for this week.  Calendared and scheduled.  Problem?  I didn't actually write the content.  And then I had a mid-week wedding and any ambition I had for blogging was shot.

Can I make it up to you (or at least momentarily distract you) with a pretty picture?  This is Morgan, the gorgeous bride I had the privilege of photographing on 12/12/12!  More to come.  :)

10 December 2012

photography // giving credit where credit is due...

This issue comes and goes for me.  It wanders in and out of my peripheral vision, but after my experience tonight, I have to speak up.

It may seem like a small issue; I am often guilty of overlooking the importance of this myself.  But recently Pinterest, and the Internet in general long before that, really shines light on the issue of proper image credit.

My initial interest in this topic is pretty straightforward: I'm a photographer.  The idea of someone finding an image of mine and not being able to identify me as the creator of said image is an upsetting one, both for my business and for my creativity as an artist (or whatever you'd like to call me -- but be nice).  :)

This is why photographers watermark their images.  Yes, it's to prevent image theft (the risk of which is pretty highly debated in photography circles anyway), but it's also to promote image identification.  What a huge loss for me, as a wedding photographer, for a soon-to-be-bride to see one of my images (and perhaps fall in love with it, and want the photographer behind the image to work at her wedding), but not know that image belongs to Anna Delores Photography.  She's frustrated because she can't find and hire the photographer, and I'm frustrated because I'm unable to offer my services to this client.  Everybody loses.

I usually add my logo to the lower left-hand corner of images I intend to publish online as a way of making sure my images can be traced back to me.

This is, however, definitely not a problem limited to photographersCase in point: I was researching the origin of images I used in this blog post from yesterday.  I'd found all the images via Pinterest and was assuming (erroneously, I discovered) that the images I was re-pinning were properly linked and credited.  I was curious about this dress (it's stunning!) and set off to find it.  After an hour of searching, I now know that this dress was designed by Justin Alexander and that the photographers were McGowan Images.

Gown by Justin Alexander | Photography by McGowan Images

I was especially frustrated with the difficulty in tracking down the credentials for this image because its origin was Style Me Pretty.  The link, however, went to a web gallery on Style Me Pretty that did not link to the original blog post where the dress and other vendors are listed (though this gallery did at least have a link to the photographer's website).  I eventually found the original blog post, which is where I finally found the link to the Justin Alexander website, but to be honest with you, I'm kind of an Internet ninja -- I am really persistent at tracking down information.  I had to use Tin Eye (which I HIGHLY recommend) to find the dress on Style Me Pretty to begin with (the image from Pinterest was linked to a Tumblr site that had no forwarding link information), and frankly, I don't think a lot of brides are aware of this tool nor apt to use it.  Correct me if I'm wrong!

To my dismay, I had the same experience with this lovely pair of images of Keira Knightly in an ice-blue wedding-style gown.  I still don't know who the designer of this dress is, nor the photographer who captured the images.  I even traced the photo back to Green Wedding Shoes and thought to myself, "of course Green Wedding Shoes will have the original details!"  Nope.  Not a one.

What I think made me the most upset by seeing this image on GWS was that blog visitors who commented on this post asked in vain about who designed the dress.  No one had an answer, and much worse, someone provided a link to another designer saying "so-and-so will duplicate this dress for you if you take the picture for her to copy!"

This reminds me of a recent post by Leonora: it is not okay to take someone else's creation for your own use without proper credit (which, in some cases, is a simple copyright acknowledgment; in other cases, it may involve compensation).  Call it what you will: borrowing, stealing, copying, duplicating... regardless of the term you use to describe it, you are taking an original design from someone else.  Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when you're making a living from your creative juices, and someone else takes advantage of that...

This is obviously a slippery slope, and I've grappled with it myself: there is a very fine line between being inspired by something, and copying someone else's workI mean, there are a lot of wedding photographers out there, and most (if not all) of us have blogs where we share our work (not to mention there are at least a handful, if not more like dozens, of images that are considered "typical" or "must-have" wedding photographs -- are we all copying each other then?  Or just giving our clients what they want?).  I follow several other photographers' blogs and find daily doses of inspiration from their images.  But I don't go out and try to duplicate those images.  Again, there is a fine line at play here; do I take note of certain angles and techniques another photographer is using?  Yes.  Do I take my clients to the same location and put them in the same poses?  No.  But where does this distinction begin to blur?  For example, I love photographs of the bride and groom's shoes/feet.  Jill DeVries does this particularly well, in my opinion, and I love to follow Jill's blog.  I also photograph my own clients' feet during engagement sessions and weddings.  Am I copying Jill?  Or am I inspired by Jill?  I think an argument can be made for both sides here.  I will say, for the record, that I make a sincere and genuine effort to bring my own creative vision to a good shoes shot, and it wouldn't even occur to me (until now, trying to imagine a blatantly unacceptable example) to pose a couple's feet in the same way as an image I'd seen on Jill's blog.

Okay, so now I'm definitely rambling.  I'm impressed if any of you even read the past couple of paragraphs in their entirety, for all the tangents I followed.  

But I'll come back to my original point, my initial aim for writing this post in the first place: as a plea to properly credit any creative inspiration you decide to share with others.  Double-check the source of your Pinterest pins; link back to bloggers, writers, and artist websites when using images or quotes on your own blogs; correct dead links when you find them; and support originality as much as possible.

I don't think it's difficult for most people to imagine the frustration that accompanies a disconnection with your own hard work.  If your boss loves something you've accomplished but doesn't know it's you who executed whatever task or project it is that he's admiring, wouldn't you be at least a little bit upset?  For a pat on the back, a raise during your next performance review, a great recommendation for your next client, or even just to go home knowing you've done your job well?  Because your livelihood or even your own creative integrity is hinged on someone being able to trace your work back to you?  If nothing else, at the end of the day, it just feels good to receive acknowledgment for your endeavors and successes.  Credit where credit is due.

Thank you, friends, for enduring my rant!  :)

09 December 2012

inspiration // winter weddings

I've recently become quite convinced that winter weddings are my favorite.  And I've been curating a winter wedding Pinterest board and it's way too darn pretty to keep to myself, so check it out. :)

Here are my favorite tips and suggestions for planning a classy, timeless, drop-dead gorgeous winter wedding celebration.

1. "Winter" does not mean "Christmas."  Just because your wedding might be in December, your wedding colors do not need to be red and green.  In fact, they shouldn't be red OR green!  Although I am pretty smitten with a winter wedding palette of emerald and silvery grey, save this color scheme for a January wedding so as not to be quite so cliché.  The closest to Christmas you're allowed to venture for a December wedding is anything silver or gold.  Explore other jewel tones, like dark navy, aubergine, or even a rich, dark, understated magenta, for your main wedding colors.  It'll be fresh and unexpected but still appropriately winter-inspired.  And don't let any woodland themes get too carried away, either -- aim for centerpieces that incorporate branches and even some antlers, but no deer silhouettes.  It's too "Santa's reindeer" for a December soirée.

2.  Glitter, sparkle, shine.  I am perpetually distracted by anything shimmery or shiny.  If it's got glitter, I'll probably fall in love with it, be it shoes, centerpieces, bridesmaid dresses, florals... you get the idea.  This might be a little obnoxious for some people, and really, it has to be done right to look fabulous.  The wrong kind of glitter (yes, there is such a thing) can turn a wedding tacky real fast.  If your wedding shimmer reminds you of a fresh dusting of snow, you're probably in the clear.  My favorite sources of sparkle: mercury glass, luxe statement jewelry, sparkling cupcake sprinkles, glittery heels, metallic nail polish, and twinkle lights EVERYWHERE.  And don't forget the sparklers for your grand exit. 

{ via Emily Steffen Photography & Harwell Photography for 100 Layer Cake }

3.  Consider grey or ivory for your dress.  Some of the most memorable winter weddings I've seen feature a bride in a luxurious gown in a variation of winter white.  If your winter wedding sparkle is of the gold variety, I'd recommend a cream or ivory-hued dress.  If you've got some silver shimmer going on, go for grey.  Yes, grey!  Done right, this is one of the most beautifully chic wedding dress colors I've come across.  If you're not okay with grey for your own dress, it's a truly lovely, classic color for your bridesmaids (and, yes, they will wear these dresses again!).  Or go for grey accents (sash, jewelry, hairpieces, shoes).

 { via: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 }
Gorgeous greys for winter wedding alternatives to bridal white.
Another way to ensure your wedding dress is winter-inspired?  Lots of luxe details.  Leave the simple, plain sheath dresses for those beachy, summer brides and command attention with lace, appliques, embroidery, and other (tasteful!) embellishments.

{ photography via Tec Petaja & McGowan Images }

Alright, winter brides: go forth and show us what a glamorous wintry wedding is all about!  Remember to cruise by my winter wedding Pinterest board for more inspiration.

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