31 January 2013

photography // shenanigans

A week and a half ago, Leo & Kat Evidente invited a handful of Ventura County-based photographers (plus wedding coordinator extraordinaire Joelle Duff) over to their lovely abode for wine, hors d'oeuvres, and good company (did I mention the wine?).

Throw into the mix the appearance of Kat & Leo's awesome custom photobooth (plus Olive Duff, Joelle's ridiculously adorable Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix pup), and hilarity ensues.  Feast your eyes!

Dustin & Courtney of Waller Weddings!

Me and Emily Kappen (yes, the two Emilys) trying (and finally succeeding) to get some rad hair tossing photos...

 Nichole, me, Emily, & Peter

 Our amazing hosts, Leo & Kat Evidente

I have such a crush on these two... their work is amazing and they are super cool folks!

me, Alyssa, Kat, & Jillian

So, as you can see, we had copious amounts of fun.  So good!  The photographers of Ventura County are so rad and fun, and I can't wait for our next get-together!

30 January 2013

weddings // pink (+ other colors) for wedding gowns

There is definitely a trend in bridal gowns in the past couple of years (and way before that, if you look to trendsetter Gwen Stefani): pink wedding dresses.  Now, some wedding blogs are calling this trend a thing of the past, but I suspect we'll be seeing more of it in 2013 and beyond, especially because of the recency of some of the sightings of pink dresses at celebrity weddings (see Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel below).

My friend and wedding coordinator Joelle said to me that if she were to get married all over again, she'd don a pink gown.  And she's not alone.  We saw it in the celebrity world in both 2011 and 2012 with a handful of pretty high-profile weddings; actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Biel wore shades of pink during their weddings to Jim Toth and Justin Timberlake, respectively (though notice they're both "JT" ... but I digress), and Anne Hathaway also rocked a hint of pink when she married Adam Shulman in September.

As I mentioned, a wedding blog or two have announced that shades of pink in wedding dresses is "so 2012," but don't trends tend to take a few months (or even years) to trickle down into full-scale fad (for lack of a better term)? 

Either way, I'm firmly rooted in the belief that there is a RIGHT way to do a pink wedding dress, and a definite WRONG way.  Essentially, the right way is to stick to soft, feminine, barely-there shades of blush pink.  Even Jessica Biel's acclaimed gown was too pink for me.  I love Reese's version -- you almost have to squint to tell whether it's pink or a warmer shade of ivory.  I didn't love the style of Anne's dress, but I think the ratio of pink in relation to the rest of the gown was tasteful -- just a sweet, subtle hint of pink that didn't overpower the look.

More examples of pulling off pink:

dresses from Samuelle Couture, Jenny Packham, + Vera Wang White Label

Now.  Unfortunately, I found FAR more examples of what I'd consider the wrong way to wear pink on your wedding day.  I think most of the pink frock missteps can be adequately summed up with just one example:

a pink faux pas, to put it lightly...

I like bows, I occasionally enjoy a well-placed rosette, and a corset lace-up can be truly lovely.  But putting them all together on the same garment with shiny, Pepto-Bismol shades of pink?  Yikes.  And just... no.

I think it's fair to say that wedding dresses in lots of different colors have been executed at both ends of the spectrum: some tasteful and lovely, some tacky and loaded with the potential for regret.  For the sake of leaving you with a positive impression of colorful wedding dresses, here are some of my favorites (and I'll leave out the ones that are a big miss).

Thoughts?  Would you ever wear a wedding dress in a color other than white or ivory?

28 January 2013

lacquered up // neon

I started noticing neon nails as a trend a couple of years ago, but I feel like summer 2012 saw the popularity of these bright manicures rise drastically, and the trend has continued into winter.

I'm actually enjoying the neon fashion trend a lot more as a winter punch of color (compared to the all-over neon saturation of summer looks).  It means neon is an accent rather than the main event (which kinda makes it the main event, no?).  This means neon shoes, scarves, jewelry, and -- you guessed it -- nail polish.

A few of my favorite polish manufacturers, including Julep, have some great polish options for experimenting with neon shades.  Julep's January "Resort" collection offers a smattering of fun options, including "Fiona" (the neon lime I'm wearing below, with Julep nude accent "Teresa" and chevron nail stickers by "Nailed It").

So, the neon polish bug has bitten me (finally, after months and months of feeling a little dubious of such an "eighties-inspired" a look).  In the mail to me at this very moment are a couple of bright yellow and green neon shades from American Apparel, and I scooped up a few more of Julep's neons, too.  I haven't tried "Bethany" (a neon orange creme) yet, but I have tested "Nikki" and as much as I love Julep, "Nikki" isn't quite as Day-Glo neon as I was hoping for; it's more of a medium shade of yellow.  That's where American Apparel's neon yellow comes in (that's the one that's en route -- I'll let you know how it looks once I try it out!).

What are your thoughts on neon nails?  Have you tried them before?  Would you?

I am so honored to be co-hosting Mani Monday with Heather & Heather today!  Add your links to nail polish posts in the link-up below!

24 January 2013

weddings // bridal baubles

Jewelry is an important component of any bride's wedding day ensemble, and I am LOVING the selection available on Etsy.  There are a ton of gorgeous, luxe options that let you keep an eye on your budget and access handmade, indie baubles.

Anna Delores sponsor Earrings Nation is helping you get one step closer to bejeweled bridal bliss with a giveaway for a gold leaf drop necklace with a lovely minty-aqua glass gem. 

This pretty piece makes a great focal point for a bride's d├ęcolletage, a perfect bridesmaid gift, or a sweet Valentine's Day present for your BFF.

Earrings Nation has no shortage of classically lovely jewels for brides and bridal parties, including individual statement pieces and sets of multiple pairs of earrings for your maids.

To enter to win, simply visit Earrings Nation and come back here to leave a comment on which item in the shop is your favorite!  Plenty of extra bonus entries, too -- check out Rafflecopter below!

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

23 January 2013

weddings // first look photos

I've always thought the idea of first look photos is a neat one: you have a moment to yourselves, instead of in front of your entire guest list, to see each other for the first time on your wedding day.  As a wedding photographer, I really love first look photos because it alleviates a lot of the pressure to take a ton of portrait photos in the time crunch post-ceremony, which means you get to hit up your reception (i.e. PARTY DOWN) a lot sooner!

Need more reasons for taking first look photos?  Ask and you shall receive.  (And many thanks to The Things We Would Blog for helping me with this list).

  • You still get the impact of seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day.  Sometimes couples are concerned that they'll be losing the "wow" factor of seeing each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle.  But you're still about to get married.  The moment is HUGE. 

  • The two of you can experience that moment in private and really relish it with each other.  A bride I'm working with, whose wedding is coming up in the fall, said she'd much rather do some first look photos because otherwise she'll feel awkward once she gets to the altar to marry her man, because she'll want to chat with him in the excitement of the moment.  You can't really do that with your guests looking on as the ceremony begins.  You can do it with first look photos!

  • You'll get to your party faster (as I mentioned earlier), and thus feel less rushed and less stressed.  The photos you have to take during the cocktail hour will diminish significantly if you can take bridal portraits as well as bridal party photos before the ceremony instead of trying to squeeze them in with all your post-ceremony family portraits.

  • Perhaps a smaller reason in terms of the big picture of the day, but your hair and makeup look fresher if you do portraits before the ceremony instead of after!

Here are some of my favorite first look shots; my ultimate favorites are the ones with tears involved (what can I say?  I'm a sucker for an emotional groom).

And, if you still really, really want to wait for the ceremony to see each other for the first time, you can still take first look photos.  There is no shortage of cute ideas for taking photographs together without actually seeing each other.

What is your opinion on first look photos?  Will you be doing them for your wedding (or did you do them at your wedding)?  Why or why not?

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