29 October 2011

today's the day

i'm marrying my favorite person in the world today.  and i can't wait.

28 October 2011

Three Royal Wedding Lessons for Brides

Hello there, darlings! I'm Melissa of I Pick Pretty. Belle on Heels, whom I've long consider a sort of blogging sister wife (except that she's marrying her own personal husband - SQUEEEE - this weekend, not mine), kindly asked me to talk weddings here while she's away. Over at my mish-mash of a blog, I don't focus on weddings per se, but I've been married for nearly five years in a row to the same person (!), so obviously I'm an expert on the subject.


Anywhoo, while we anxiously await snaps of soon-to-be-Mrs. Belle's wedding, let's do a show of hands - did anyone else stay up late / early to catch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton aka Princess Shinylocks this spring? No, just me? Whether you did or not, the hoopla surrounding those stunning nuptials was difficult to miss, even here on this side of the pond (all photos via Pinterest unless otherwise noted):

You may be suspicious that I've cooked up this post in order to relive those magical wedding moments. Duh. You may be right, but I ALSO believe there are three - yes, exactly three, aren't these things supposed to come in threes? - lessons any future brides and grooms reading this can take away from the Royal Wedding. And no, "Marry a Royal" isn't on there, though I certainly wouldn't discourage that:

LESSON THE FIRST - Take Your Time: If we were to believe the media, poor "Waity Kaity" was just sitting around waiting for her Prince to propose. While we've all known those couples where the man just kept draaaaaaging his feet, isn't it equally likely they were just taking their time about things, doing the stuff that young college grads in their 20s do (happy hour, travel, career, and quarter-life crises, if memory serves)?

I just object to the societal & media expectation that there's a magical timeline that this is all supposed to happen along. My only mandate is that a couple go through at least one knock-down, drag out fight to see how you cope when things aren't all first date hormone fizzy wonderful. My guess is that the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge had plenty of time in those eight years to have a doozy or two, and so this particular "waity" has my blessing - since, you know, of course I'm close personal friends with them and all, my good opinion surely means a lot to them.

For what it's worth, my own personal Anonymous Husband and I clocked in at two years from first date to wedding date - we dated for one year (during which I moved to Texas so that we could test things out in person), then we were engaged for a year. By Texas standards we were on the old side of getting married (each 28 years old); by my count I wouldn't have been ready sooner. A girl has to date the wrong guy or thirty to get things sorted sometimes.

I know, I know - it's like the AH & I are long-lost cousins of Wills & Kate, right? Except that might make us married cousins which, though legal in many states, isn't our thing. Oh, Hell - where was I going with this again? (Photo credit Winfield Little Photography)

LESSON THE SECOND - Look Like Yourself: My favorite weddings I've attended have been a like a personal extension of the bride and groom - it might not be the venue or dress I would have chosen, but it was so very *them* that something just felt at home about the proceedings. Whenever the bride decides to morph into Bridal Barbie, especially when that isn't her usual look, that same something just feels off. Like she - or her mother, usually - are trying to put on a show to impress versus celebrating the bride and groom as they are.

I suspect we can agree that our Princess Shinylocks here looked every bit herself, but even better, from this . . .

. . . to this . . .

. . . similar hair, similar makeup, similar style - on her wedding day, she looked like her (gorgeous) self, but somehow better. Longtime readers know that I stand for being Prettier Than Everyone Else; perhaps I need to rephrase for wedding purposes - let's strive to be the Prettiest Version of Yourself.

LESSON THE THIRD - Take a Moment for Just the Two of You: My absolute favorite bit of the Royal Wedding was the getaway car . . .

. . . not only because I dearly want an Aston-Martin when I grow up, but because it was such a sweet moment between the two of them. Sure, they were surrounded by crowds and on their way to entertain hundreds of friends and family, but they had a few seconds there where it was just them as new Mr. & Mrs. in that car - as apparently decorated by the world's most eligible ginger, Prince Harry.

One of the biggest challenges to planning a wedding is making sure you have a minute between the two of you to enjoy the day. Well-meaning people will not let you eat a bite nor dance a step without barging in to congratulate you, so if you don't proactive carve out an opportunity to have a minute to yourselves, you may not get one.

For our unfortunately non-Royal wedding, the AH & I got our moment by having a dinner table just to ourselves and designating a server to act as dual bouncer / waiter so that we could have a few seconds to chat and eat the catering we'd just spent too much on. Even a five minute ride from ceremony to reception venue can provide this sort of moment, though. Whatever you do, I encourage you to find a way to make a space for the two of you during the day itself.

What do you think - is my next career move wedding planning? Any questions for the expert here? Or should I just stick to obsessively pinning Princess Shinylock photos?

PS - BEST WISHES to you, Ms. Belle, on your nuptials this weekend!

27 October 2011

Set sail on your wedding day!

I am so excited to be guest blogging for one of my favorite blog friends (I actually met Sarah when she visited California in 2009). I can't believe her wedding day is almost here!

I dream of a nautical wedding (not surprising if you read my blog). I especially love the idea of incorporating nautical flags (using the bride and groom's monograms of course!). I fell in love with the nautical flag idea when I saw the idea below (use nautical flag matches to light sparklers for the send off!)



Programs (also match the invitations)


More placecards:




I think sailboats make the best favors (functional and cute)

To match our nautical flags and sailboat placeholders: a sailboat cooler! I love the idea of smaller boats on a table too (to hold other drinks, favors, etc).

I think the possibilities are endless! You can never go overboard with a nautical theme ;)

Sarah, I hope your wedding is everything you have dreamed of and much more! I know you will look just gorgeous and I can't wait to see all of the photos when you get back. Congratulations to you and the Beau!

Anchors aweigh!
Kate of Nautical by Nature

26 October 2011

Wedding Pretties

Happy Wednesday, Belle on Heels readers! I want to thank Sarah for having me over today to guest post while she is busy getting ready to marry her Mr. Right!

Even though I've yet to get engaged (hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later!) I still spend far too much time perusing wedding blogs, getting ideas, and planning my big day! This is perfectly acceptable, right? I thought so... :)

I picture having a small and intimate wedding. I also picture it being outside in the early summer. Right now I'm really loving rustic touches like wooden signs, mason jars, and perfectly placed bunches of wildflowers. Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite images from my inspiration board (aka Pinterest, the best invention EVER). I hope you enjoy!

(all images can be found on my pinterest board
the embed feature wasn't working.)

Congratulations, Sarah! I hope that everything is going flawlessly and that your wedding day is perfect! More importantly, I want to wish you and the Beau a lifetime of love and happiness!

Please join me in showering Sarah in best wishes!

Angela (Miss Sweet Tea)

24 October 2011

Wedding Bells for our Belle

Hello lovelies,
 I'm Trish from Pink Preppy Lilly Lover, and am happy to be filling in for our beautiful bride-to-be as she finishes up all her last minute wedding preparations.  It's hard to believe Wedding Bells are getting ready to ring for our Belle on Heels!  Her planning has been such a blast to follow along, and I for one am super excited to hear all about the delicious food at her reception...plus a pie bar?  Fabulous!

Sarah, I hope that your day is absolutely magical in every way possible, sweet girl!  Soak it all in and enjoy every moment.  You two deserve all the happiness that life has to offer.  As someone who just celebrated six years of marriage, I can honestly tell you through it all, it just keeps getting better every day.  Enjoy this little wedding tribute below with a few special quotes! 

"To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with."
-Mark Twain

"A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short."
-Andre Maurois

"Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years."
-Simone Signoret

"There is a French saying: ''Love is the dawn of marriage, and marriage is the sunset of love.''"
-De Finod

"The man or woman you really love will never grow old to you. Through the wrinkles of time, through the bowed frame of years, You will always see the dear face and feel The warm heart union of your eternal love."

"The lamp of love - may it burn brightest in the darkest hours and never flicker in the winds of trial."

"A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendships, all the enjoyment of sense and reason - and indeed all the sweets of life."
-Joseph Addison


Please join me in congratulating Sarah and her Beau below.
Happy Wedding week, love birds - Here's to you, and wishing you a lifetime of love and laughter.


(Images via)

it's here!

Oh hey, wedding week.  You sure snuck up on me!

Pardon my absence this week but i'm going to be a wee bit busy.  I've got another day and a half of work and then I'm headed home to wrap up all of the little loose ends before the wedding fun begins on Friday morning! 

My family has orchards in West Virginia, so yesterday the beau and I made the lovely drive over the mountains to pick up family-made apple cider for our signature cocktail.  This is what our refrigerator looks like:

for those of you counting, yes, that is 10 gallons.

That's a lot of cocktails.  Yikes.

I'm not leaving you hanging this week, I promise.  I have some unbelievably fabulous guest bloggers posting all week, so please show them lots of love!  Since we're not going on our honeymoon until December, I'll be back with recaps early next week.  Next time I post, I'll be a Mrs!

19 October 2011

wedding wednesday: the countdown

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I can't believe I'm saying {typing?} this, but holy cow, I'm getting married in 10 days!!  The royal wedding took place 6 months to the day before our wedding.  I distinctly remember watching the festivities that morning while stamping and addressing our save-the-dates and thinking that our wedding seemed so unbelievably far away.  And now it's almost here!  10 days out, the forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies at 69 degrees.  Here's hoping!

18 October 2011

fall wishlist

with all of this wedding hullabaloo, i haven't really done much in the way of fall wardrobe purging and updating.  it's on what my mom calls my AW list: After Wedding.  since i do like to be prepared, here are a few things i have in mind for AW purchases:

patagonia highlands dress.  i think this would be so cute with a belted cardigan over top and some tights and boots.

nixon time teller.  i've wanted a big, men's gold watch for a while.  a rolex or cartier aren't in the budget right now, but i just really don't like the michael kors ones that are all over the place.  this one is just right.

quiksilver waves cardigan.  i LOVE a big, cozy, shawl-collar cardigan, and the subtle navajo print is totally on trend. 

j.crew schoolboy blazer.  i've been gun shy the past two years about buying a navy blazer, but this may be the year i finally pull the trigger.  they're so classic and make practically anything look chic.

lanvin python ballerina flats.  ok, so i had to throw in one thing that i know isn't going to happen.  but i am completely in love with them.  if anyone would like to buy me a pair, i will happily accept.  any takers?

thanks to the wonders of the internet, i have been able to pick up a few items to perk up my closet.  some much needed button-down shirts, one in a spunky color and the other in a classic preppy print:

fun and functional fleece socks for my hunters.  i've been trying to get a pair of these for the past two years, but they're ALWAYS sold out!  i finally found success at nordstrom.

and i snagged a few items at old navy when they were having an extra 30% off online orders a few weeks ago.  i got a cozy cowl neck sweater {i plan to order a few more, i love it so much!} and a grey jersey maxi skirt since the madewell one i wanted so badly is sold out.  old navy is usually hit or miss for me, and right now, they are a total hit.

any fall pretties you've had your eye on or purchased lately?  i'd love to add to my list!