{Weekend Inspiration} Dream Dress Studios

Usually my weekend inspiration comes from things that I did and saw (in “real” life) during my weekend, but this weekend’s inspiration came from something that I came across in the virtual world, aka online. I had heard about Lani Telian’s Dream Dress Studios awhile back, but I revisited the site this past weekend to take another look at her gorgeous paintings.

As a bride herself, Lani knows what goes into finding the perfect dress and she also knows the sinking feeling that one gets when they know that they will only be wearing it for one day. With this in mind she came up with the genius idea of creating personalized paintings for brides based on photos of their dresses. These paintings are a beautiful reminder of not only the dress, but also of all the amazing memories and happy feelings from that once in a lifetime day. Would you like to see your dress immortalized in paint? Contact Lani

{Saturday’s Song} Lucky

Lucky

Do you hear me,
I’m talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I’m trying
Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Ooohh ooooh oooh oooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

They don’t know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I’ll wait for you I promise you, I will

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Lucky we’re in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I’m sailing through the sea
To an island where we’ll meet
You’ll hear the music fill the air
I’ll put a flower in your hair
Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you’re all I see
As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here right now

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I’m lucky we’re in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

~ Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillet

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #11

Real Bride #11 ~ Angie Bradshaw

Photographer: JP Kloppers and Kaitlin Yapchaian

Where did you get married and when?

July 25, 2012 Fillmore, CA, on the ranch of a friend’s family, about one hour north of Los Angeles

What was the best moment of the day?

So many! But I think seeing Steve when I walked down the aisle stands out. Everyone was there, and I was just so excited to be marrying him. It felt surreal. I was so happy, in fact, that when I finally got to Steve, we hugged… and then we kissed! Everyone gasped, and then laughed! When it came time for the ‘actual’ kiss, our minister said, “And NOW you may kiss!”

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?

Our families had been in town for a week or two in two houses, our out-of-town friends had stayed together in a big house on the beach, we had a karaoke night instead of a rehearsal dinner, most guests camped out on the ranch the night of the wedding, and we spent a few days post-wedding with friends and family from overseas at a friend’s cabin up near Yosemite. Add that all up, and there were so many funny stories from that time.

One I didn’t hear about till the day after the wedding was that my husband’s car began to overheat on the steep dirt road into the ranch. The grasses started smoking, and considering it was dry and hot, it was a big fire risk. The groomsmen were apparently racing down the hill to help put out the brush fire. I didn’t hear a thing till the next day when the story came out, but it did explain why Steve had mysterious dirt spots on his suit jacket.

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

The feeling of the overall day was pure joy and having our friends and family there to share it with us was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As for details, the number one I’d change would be our vows. Steve and I had planned to write our own, but then we both started feeling like nothing we were writing was quite right, and so we just went with traditional vows. However, my best friend got married last year, and her ceremony was one of the most moving I have ever seen. I immediately wished I could go back in time and do something similar with our vows. So I’m sharing it here in case someone else wants to take inspiration from what they did!

Their minister had been in touch with two close friends (not in wedding party) of each of them, asked them to describe their friend, and then read back a list of things–silly and serious–about each of them. Then they each wrote their own vows and read them to one another. They talked about three things: why they loved the other person, what they imagined their life together to be like, and what they promised to be for the other person. So in this way, their vows totally synced up and followed a bit of a format, but they also felt entirely fresh, personal, and special.

What was the most stressful part of the planning?

The most stressful part was also the most amazing part. We held our wedding on a friend’s ranch, and we had to bring in everything: electricity, water, port-a-potties, dance floor, tents for camping. We got married four months after our engagement, so it all happened quickly.

Despite the unusual problem-solving issues, it was worth it to have our wedding in such an intimate, beautiful place where we were given free reign to do whatever we wanted. In the end, it was amazingly cool and memorable, and I’m forever grateful to my friend and her family for offering up their property.

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle?

Well, apparently I was not thinking, “don’t kiss yet!” I was focusing on getting my dad to slow down his walk/run down the aisle and thinking about how surreal it felt.

Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?

No, just was really busy! I continued climbing and took Pilates lessons from my friend (and bridesmaid, Kristen Matthews) who is an instructor.

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?

I didn’t have to deliberate too much at the time over who I wanted to be a bridesmaid, and I’m not sure how to give advice on that, except to say do what you want!

My advice would be that friends who aren’t your bridesmaids still want to be helpful. So many people stepped in to help us and offer support, and it nice to feel love from everyone, bridal party and guests.

What was your first dance song?

Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” sung on acoustic guitar by Eric Kufs who is a busker we had always liked who plays in Santa Monica’s Promenade and downtown LA. He also provided the music for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and I really enjoyed the chill touch he lent to the day.

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?

They were incredibly comfortable–I still wear them. They’re off-white leather sandals with tie-around ankle strap from BCBG. I needed something flat b/c we were outside on uneven terrain. They were really simple, but it took ages to find them! And then I changed into light pink Converse late at night.

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”

I enjoyed myself. Until the ceremony, I was still on a schedule but once that was over, I was just floating. I was ready for the fun and to eat the Mexican asado–I was so nervous I had barely eaten since the night before!

We didn’t really formally work the room–so maybe we didn’t do a good job –but we danced till the wee hours with everyone and had a blast.

What is your best “day of wedding” advice?

Stick together. People are trying to pull you in every direction and it’s easy to lose each other in the crowd. I often was engaged in a conversation (or a few times, into logistical issues…) and then would lose Steve in the crowd. So, don’t do that, all you brides-to-be! One of the other brides interviewed in this Q&A gave (and followed) this advice, and I really agree with her.

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?

I wasn’t expecting it to, but it did. We starting talking about the future not as an ‘as if’ thing, but as a real thing to plan for, together.

{Weekend Inspiration} Navajo Print

This past weekend was spent at a friend’s gorgeous home in Jackson Hole, WY. No detail was overlooked in this house– it is just stunning and there is so much to take in. Of all of the gorgeous things in the house, I was especially drawn to the Navajo prints.

They seemed to be everywhere, from pillows, to blankets, to rugs, to chairs! Each one was different but they all seemed to go together. The four above were my favorites.

{Saturday’s Song} Shelter

Shelter

I guess you don’t need it
I guess you don’t want me to repeat it
But everything I have to give I’ll give to you
It’s not like we planned it
You tried to stay, but you could not stand it
To see me shut down slow
As though it was an easy thing to do
Listen when
All of this around us’ll fall over
I tell you what we’re gonna do
You will shelter me my love
And I will shelter you
I will shelter you
I left you heartbroken, but not until those very words were spoken
Has anybody ever made such a fool out of you
It’s hard to believe it
Even as my eyes do see it
The very things that make you live are killing you
Listen when all of this around us’ll fall over
I tell you what we’re gonna do
You will shelter me my love
I will shelter you
Listen when
All of this around us’ll fall over
I tell you what we’re gonna do
Hey you will shelter me my love
I will shelter you
If you shelter me too
I will shelter you
I will shelter you

~ Ray LaMontagne

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #10

Real Bride #10~ Franny Mulberg

Photographer: Michael Brannigan {David Michael Photography}

 

Where did you get married and when? September 24th, 2011 – The Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, CA

What was the best moment of the day? That’s a tough one, there were so many special moments. Seeing Brett for the first time was definitely at the top of the list. Our ceremony was very special to me too.  During the ceremony, our rabbi had us turn around to see all around us. That was very cool to see all our loved ones in one place. And, of course after Brett stepped on the glass and we were married– so exciting and just the best moment ever.

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)? After our wedding, I got the pictures. I saw moments that I hadn’t seen that were very special. Seeing my mother-in-law Shelley walk with my dad and Frank (father-in-law) down the aisle after us. She took in my dad and it meant the world to me (as we had lost my mom earlier in the year to Pancreatic Cancer). Seeing my dad happy. Realizing life is sweet. That with the hard times, comes amazing ones too. The wedding was so good for us all.  There were so many funny moments. Brett and I got on stage at the end of the night and sang with the band. What was I thinking? And I can’t believe he went along with it.

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)? I can’t believe I am saying this because I was nuts about this wedding (nick-named by my sisters, ZILLA), but nothing! I would not change anything except stressing so much leading up to it.

What was the most stressful part of the planning? Where do I begin? I was so indecisive. It had been a hard year prior and I made every decision a tough one. I told my new sis Jenny during the process, I questioned everything– calligraphy styles, photographers, what was in our wedding welcome bags, even got a second dress (don’t worry I returned and got a full refund on the first awful one thanks to Jenny), every except my husband!

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle? I wasn’t thinking.  I was just so happy and peaceful.  I was walking down the aisle to my favorite person. My partner in crime that just gets me. We had lost my mom (the best person) earlier in the year and I was just so happy b/c I knew how happy she was watching it all. I felt her right there with us. Oh, and I was thinking don’t trip and good posture. My dad was walking so fast. I kept telling him to slow down.

Did you do anything special to get in tiptop shape? PALEO DIET! Hunting & gathering aka cave man diet. Don’t ask but I Loved it and still try to follow it (well, to an extent). It’s the best and you feel great. AND, Lisa– the best trainer ever.  Plus, she’s a good therapist too. Listened to all the wedding drama and checked in on me when traveling so much leading up to the wedding. If in San Francisco, you must seek out Miss Lisa Freitas. Can’t say enough good things.

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids? We chose to go small-ish, just my two sisters and three best friends who are like sisters. Truly, our bridal party is like family. It was the perfect thing for us.

What was your first dance song? 34, by Dave Matthews. Brett is obsessed with Dave.

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable? Jimmy Choos in this amazing navy/slate sparkle style. They were so comfy until the end. Neimans has a heel that is only 3 inch (versus 4-5). They were amazing and meant I wasn’t too tall! Plus I now wear them all the time to weddings b/c they aren’t too bride-y or white!

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?” We had the best time.  We did the ‘working the room’ during cocktail hour and also got lucky, like 70% of our amazing guests checked into our wedding hotel (The Fairmont Santa Monica – our favorite spot) so we truly got to spend quality time with a lot of our guests over the weekend.

What is your best “day of wedding” advice? Be excited. Don’t stress! Have a great day-of-person who can handle anything that comes up so you don’t have to.  Just feel good and take it in– flies by. And have your family & close friends around you.  They make the day so special.

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding? Keeps on getting better. Sounds cliché, but true. Stress of the wedding is gone and you are a team/family. It’s the best. My husband took awhile to wrap his head around the marriage thing. Now, it’s funny, he says to people “we should have done it sooner”…get married. If only he would have listened to me sooner!

{Weekend Inspiration} Smog Shoppe Wedding

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get invited to a wedding at the Smog Shoppe! Although the name doesn’t sound very glamorous, the place is amazing. It’s an old smog-check center that has been redone and is 100% solar powered and one of the most sustainably designed places in the entire United States, not to mention it is pretty gorgeous.

The place is filled with “living walls,” outdoor couches, and exposed brick. They also have a huge movie screen, that plays silent old movies while you eat and funny dance montages while you dance. I was pretty obsessed with it all around. It did inspire me to want to buy some wooly pockets.

 

{Saturday’s Song} Beyond The Sea

Beyond The Sea

Somewhere beyond the sea
somewhere waiting for me
my lover stands on golden sands
and watches the ships that go sailin

Somewhere beyond the sea
she’s there watching for me
If I could fly like birds on high
then straight to her arms
I’d go sailing

It’s far beyond the stars
it’s near beyond the moon
I know beyond a doubt
my heart will lead me there soon

We’ll meet beyond the shore
we’ll kiss just as before
Happy we’ll be beyond the sea
and never again I’ll go sailing

I know beyond a doubt
my heart will lead me there soon
We’ll meet (I know we’ll meet) beyond the shore
We’ll kiss just as before
Happy we’ll be beyond the sea
and never again I’ll go sailing

no more sailing
so long sailing
bye bye sailing…

~ Bobby Darin

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #9

Real Bride #9~ Nina Bailey

Page Bertelsen Photography

Where did you get married and when?

Rancho Nicasio, CA on Sept 9th, 2009.

What was the best moment of the day?

Walking down the aisle with Kent just after the vows (a major high), dancing, being with friends and family.

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?

I have a teacher friend from my old school who misplaced his tan suit jacket at the reception when everybody was dancing. He came up to me and was very upset and wanted me to make an announcement, as it was a brand new jacket. Unfortunately, it was a balmy evening and 90% of the men at our wedding, including my husband and the groomsmen, were wearing tan suits that were nearly identical to his. A few hours later, my husband noticed that my father, who is tall and lanky, looked like he was wearing a jacket that was far too small for him. It turned out my dad had unwittingly filched my teacher friend’s jacket, and had had it on for several hours (even though my friend and my father could not be more different in terms of build, height, etc, hence the jacket sleeve went up to my dad’s mid-forearm). For some reason, Kent and I thought this was funny.

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

I loved the experience but I think I worried a bit too much in the months prior to the wedding about pleasing everyone when really you should just enjoy the experience and roll with the punches.

What was the most stressful part of the planning?

Making decisions quickly and learning to compromise—your loved ones will have opinions about everything from the wedding venue to whether or not you should serve russet or mashed potatoes at the dinner (we served the latter). You have to hear out the wishes of your loved ones, and also be true to your own ideas of what you would like the event to be like.

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle?

It was like everything was magnified, intensified, and loud. There were so many faces to take in. I was happy, and I was also nervous about being the center of attention. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person. I remember Kent had a huge smile on his face.

Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?

Yoga and running.

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?

Choose your best friends.

What was your first dance song?

“A Comet Appears” by the Shins. The Shins was our first concert together.

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?

Gold wedges. I thought they’d be comfortable but they pinched!

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”

I enjoyed it. I danced and drank. A lot.

What is your best “day of wedding” advice?

Let go and enjoy every minute!

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?

Yes, though it is hard to explain. Our day-to-day interactions were totally the same.

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