{Choosing A Venue}

April 9th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

As I think back over the many weddings I’ve attended over the years, I realize that these various nuptials have brought me to farms, lakes, rivers, oceans, botanic gardens, lodges, back yards, and of course several country clubs. When we were choosing our venue, we knew we wanted an outside venue and eventually narrowed it down to a farm (with a round barn) but looking back, I realize how naive I really was about the whole selection process. Of course, ignorance is bliss, and we can never predict the weather or any other events that may transpire to create obstacles to this special day, but you really should have a few things in mind when choosing your spot:

Barn- Venue{Photo: Our Labor Of Love}

  • Travel. How hard is it to get there? If you are among a fabulous jet-set crowd, congrats to you and ignore this bullet point. But for the rest of us: keep in mind that most people live within a budget. Don’t choose a locale so exotic that you end up exchanging vows with the five or six people who can afford it.
  • Budget. When thinking about your own budget, consider selecting a venue that provides basic tables/chairs/linens/china/glasses etc. You always have the option to rent fancier items, but these are not the things that guests usually remember anyway…
  • Back yards. If you or a willing family member lives on a great piece of property, consider using it. Especially for you creatives out there, back yards and farms are blank slates for you to work with. Yes, there will be the incurred expenses of having to rent tents, tables, chairs, etc. but if you can get past all that, I’d say the back yard weddings we’ve attended are some of the most unforgettable.
  • Sound. If you’re a music buff, think about how the band or D.J. will sound in your space. How are the acoustics?
  • Space. Will all your guests fit? Again, our reception was held in a round barn with a huge silo in the middle. Once the band set up, I realized there was not a ton of space left for the guests to dance. Of course we made do, and many guests ended up dancing from their seats, but it’s something to consider if you have a large guest list.
  • Temperature. Don’t forget about the heat. Again, I learned this one the hard way. We were married in Vermont in June. All I worried about was the rain; heat never crossed my mind. Well, as you might have guessed, the rain held off but my guests were dripping with sweat. I would have considered shorter dressed for my bridesmaids (rather than the floor length we chose) and perhaps a venue with air conditioning?

Tent- Venue{Photo: Sarah Kate}

As with most aspects of wedding planning, keep in mind that even the venue can cause unexpected problems. There’s the issue of weather of course, which most people do fret over for good reason, but you also have to contend with other travel obstacles if you’re having a destination wedding – even if it’s a local wedding with out of town guests. One of the first weddings we attended was the Saturday after 9-11. Needless to say a lot of people were unable to attend. There was an awesome group of college friends who loaded into a van and drove to the east coast from Ohio, but not everyone had the time to do that. Another friend told me about a wedding she’d been planning to go to in the Presidio section of San Francisco. Unfortunately, all government funded and run parks and buildings were closed for any type of business –or celebration –during the government shutdown. I don’t know what happened to all of those scheduled weddings, but as an engaged couple, it would make me think twice before booking a government-related venue.

Winery- Venue

 {Photo: Jeremy Chou}

My point is that unless you’re having a small wedding with only local guests, be prepared for a bit of fall-off due to travel, illness, unexpected super storms, or government shut-downs. Everything else about that day can be figured out – new food can be ordered or cooked last minute, flowers can gathered, clothes can be tailored, back-up band mates can (hopefully at least) but called in, but the venue is the venue. That part cannot be changed unless, of course, you have a relative or close friend with some serious real estate…


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.


{Something Blue Event}

April 8th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

San Francisco Bay Area, come join us for a fun bridal event! Doie Lounge is very excited to be a part of “What’s Your Something Blue?”

Something Blue

Something new, something borrowed, and something blue are all wedding traditions that can sometimes get overlooked as brides overwhelm themselves with the larger aspects a wedding can encompass. Thus, focusing on these small but important details, “Something Blue” showcases a variety of fun, yet classy, unconventional wedding options that are sure to modernize simple, bridal traditions, into personalized wedding memories. The event will showcase upcoming lingerie and swimwear trends, jewelry and accessories designers, favor and stationery vendors and much more. Guest will also enjoy amazing entertainment, workshops, food and free flowing beverages. A perfect girls night outing.  Hosted by, talented event producer and stationary designer, Karla Randolph “The Card Lady”, this in one event no bride or bridesmaid will want to miss.

Get your tickets HERE

{Style Me Pretty Giveaway}

April 7th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Want a chance to win a Doie Lounge robe? Head over to our giveaway on Style Me Pretty, before Friday. Enter here

Doie Lounge_ Charity Swords Photography{Photo Charity Swords}

{How to Train a Flower Girl}

March 28th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

When our five-year-old daughter was asked to be a flower girl in her aunt’s wedding this past fall, we heard a lot of comments like: “How sweet, what a perfect age to be a flower girl.” And I tended to agree – at five, she was no longer a toddler or even an early preschooler, but not yet that snarky tween we’ve been reading so much about. Yet, I also knew it wasn’t going to go off without a hitch. While she loved talking about and planning for the big day, I had a feeling she would become reticent when she realized what the job actually entailed. Obviously no two children are alike, and there are plenty of precocious extroverts out there ready to saunter down that aisle with ease, but I’d argue that they are the exceptions. Most young girls in the flower girl-age category (about 3-7) will have and express fear about walking down the aisle.

Mary McHenry Photography{Photo: Mary McHenry}

Here are few ways to assuage that fear:

  • –Talk to her about the wedding months in advance. Explain and show her what a wedding ceremony will look like. Use picture books, movies, or even previously screened Youtube clips to give her an understanding of how it will all play out. Don’t wait until the rehearsal (unless you think this would work better for the child’s personality, of course).
  • –Next, after she begins to understand what the job entails – set up pretend wedding ceremonies, and allow her to practice. There’s nothing girls this age like more than to pretend and play make-believe. Let her use her dolls or other props to stand in for the bride and groom, and to “play” wedding. It can’t hurt…
  • –For the actual ceremony, allow her to walk down the aisle with someone else- her mother, father, an aunt or someone else in the wedding party with whom she feels comfortable, or how about the ring bearer? Makes for a very cute picture…
  • –Don’t force her to actually drop any petals. Simply walking down an aisle in front of a large crowd may be challenge enough. If she scoffs at the basket of petals, don’t push it.

nexttomestudios{Photo: Next To Me Studios}

I’ve been to many a wedding in which all kind of deviances from the plan have taken place: the frozen flower girl, the giggly flower girl, the speedy flower girl, or the distracted flower girl, to name a few. As with all aspects of wedding planning, it’s best to be at least a little prepared that this small part of the day may not go exactly as planned. But then again, most of these unexpected (often adorable) moments are what people talk about over brunch the next morning. I remember one close friend’s wedding at the beach. There was the flower girl lying on her stomach drawing circles in the sand with a stick. It made for a gorgeous, innocent photo mainly because it was such a precious, spontaneous moment, and it didn’t take away from the ceremony. Everyone proceeded as planned rather than trying to usher the little girl away and put her back in her “place.” Sure, this might have worked so well since the backdrop was a beach – an innately relaxed locale, but I think the bride and groom’s relaxed attitude towards the children also helped to create a stress-free atmosphere.

Sitting Flower Girl{Photo: Clary Photo}

As for the reception – I suggest deciding on a departure time at the beginning of the night. We were fortunate enough to have a local sitter helping out. I highly recommend this. The party will most likely be at an unfamiliar location with a lot of strangers, and it was reassuring to know that we had an extra pair of eyes on her. We allowed our daughter to see the first dances, have her own fun dancing with the ring bearer, the bride and groom – and even sit in on some of the toasts. For most girls this age, this night will be full of many firsts and it was pure delight to watch the night unfold through her eyes. But all that is not to say that I was not relieved when 9:00 came and we kissed the little munchkin goodbye and goodnight.


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.


March 26th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Doie Lounge is now officially on Instagram! Follow us @doielounge for robes, weddings, fashion, and all things beautiful.


{Interview with Sarah Worden}

March 22nd, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Sarah is a Connecticut native who traded the hustle and bustle of her media career in New York City for the pastoral Litchfield Hills. In 2009, she launched Sarah Worden Natural Design, which delivers one of a kind floral design and styling for weddings and special events throughout Connecticut. SWND is dedicated to promoting quality and sustainability through the use of local and seasonably available flowers by supporting local farms and vendors whenever possible. Sarah relishes small-town life in the country with her husband Nat and young sons, Gus and Sam.

JAGstudios_Barasch1{Jag Studios}

1) How do you promote both quality and sustainability in your role as a floral designer for weddings?

The goal is to use what is in bloom in your area to get closer to the source and minimize shipping from around the world. Sometimes flowers that you see in the supermarket or florist have been half way around the world and alive for well over a week before they get there! Like with food, if you know where your flowers are coming from, you know more about their overall quality. Not to say that gorgeous flowers cannot be purchased from Africa or South America (they certainly can!) but it’s a nice thing to at least be aware of a flower’s source both for environmental reasons, to support your local economy, and because local often means the best quality — which means it holds up and looks the best! Not everyone feels this way but there’s something odd to me about a backyard wedding at a colonial home in Connecticut strewn with orchids and exotic plants; it doesn’t fit.

Also worth noting is that there is a wave of young and savvy farmers across the country who are working hard to improve their land and communities by investing in growing [often organic] food for restaurants and flowers for the trade. I like to try to support these people because they are my friends and neighbors here in rural Connecticut. I even get to send a list of what flowers I would like to see, and if I’m lucky, they appear in one of my weddings the next year!

JAGstudios_HoDown1{Jag Studios}

2) Explain how seasonal flower arrangements are different. Which flowers complement each season?

Again, seasonal flower arrangements really means paying attention to selecting flowers based on your location and event date. The most well known flowers for spring are bulbs like tulips, hyacinth and allium. And peonies of course, everyone’s favorite! Ranunculus has become very popular (a greenhouse grown plant that is imported, at least here in New England). Astilbe has also emerged as a popular accent flower in the last couple years. My favorite option for spring is to try to integrate local foliage into your overall design by incorporating spring blossoms (cherry/apple/quince/dogwood) and shrubs like viburnum and lilac.

Summer tends to have a lot of options as far as cut garden flowers, wildflowers, and herbs. The list is endless but the most popular tend to be hydrangea, garden roses, and some of the rustic textured accent flowers like queen anne’s lace, crespedia, and eryngium thistle. I love to incorporate all types of herbs, and even fruiting berries and their foliage like raspberry and blackberry in late Summer.

Late Summer and Fall is known for dahlias, sunflowers and fabulous grasses, berries and foliage.  There are many bright, jewel-type colors available in the autumn months like celosia and amaranthus. The cabbage flower, a smaller, stalked version of the ornamental cabbage you see at nurseries, has become quite popular in the flower trade and really mimics a large rose or peony.

Winter is all about branches, rustic greens, and berries. In New England especially, we have to get creative in the winter, as there is little to choose from — gold and silver accents and candlelight! I like to import lush flowers in deep colors and mix them with local pine and hemlock.

KrystianaandJames-79{Photo: John Kane}

3) What are the current trends (if any) with flowers? Any particular colors? Or add-ons, like feather, cottons, wheat for example?

The trend over the last couple years is natural, loose wild-looking arrangements incorporating large, petally flowers with more rustic accents and lush foliage. The bouquets are all of a sudden getting much bigger this year when they have been smaller in the recent past.  Colors go in and out of fashion but gray is a major accent again this year.  Pale, blush colors tend to be very popular for weddings but we are seeing a lot of bold pops of color this year like orange/coral and deep plum/burgundy. The black-centered anemone if very hot, as is clematis and other vining flowers like jasmine, but can also be very pricey!

Married Kate Rob-13{Photo: Bringham & Co}

4) Do arrangements every mimic or mirror any pop culture trends like say, “Downton Abbey”, for example?

Yes, I think cultural trends in film and art world certainly inform wedding design and specifically flower trends. The Great Gatsby and “Downton Abbey” were both referenced a lot last year.  I think the economy plays a part as well.  For example, a couple years ago it was all about mason jars and simple, rustic elegance. Now the economy is picking up and you are seeing bigger, more elaborate arrangements and more flash, like gold accents and metallics of all kinds.  Bronze, brass and copper vases are becoming fashionable again both for formal and informal weddings. The overall table design and container options are obviously closely influenced by fashion and interior design trends.

JAGstudios_0388{Photo: Jag Studios}

5) Where do you go to get inspiration, professional development or community within your field?

The wedding industry is a huge but also niche business of professionals of all kinds — bakers, stylists, florists, make-up artists, caterers, photographers, lighting experts, and so on.  Blogs are HUGE for the wedding business and the professionals within the field follow them as closely as our clients do. Pinterest is a very popular tool for floral designers to communicate with their clients and also stay up on wedding trends and the business at large. For example, I follow a select group of other floral designers on Pinterest and Instagram and I’m always inspired by their work! Most of them are obsessed with flowers like I am so we get really nerdy posting photos and talking about detailed flower stuff that most people wouldn’t really be interested in.

JAGstudios_0061{Photo: Jag Studios}

6) In which ways are flowers be using differently in weddings these days? Do you see unique ideas based off of, say, Pinterest pin boards or other web-based communities?  

I suspect much of what is popular for flowers in weddings circles back over time like fashion does. So I’m not sure if these ideas are entirely new but people are using flowers in all sorts of exciting ways these days — and yes, the wedding blogs and Pinterest have played a large role in helping to circulate a lot of these ideas.  Floral crowns are very popular right now. Clients are getting all sorts of interesting ideas for their escort cards and often want to display them on an elaborate table presentation that involves flowers and props.  Table numbers, dessert tables, lounge areas and ceremonies of course are all areas where floral and styling elements factor in in a big way.  Floral designers often play an instrumental role in and often even design and execute the entire look of the ceremony, the escort card presentation, and so on.  For example, in my own business, I rent antique prop pieces and a couple alters and chuppahs I have built from natural materials. I even rented a client my father’s vintage ford truck last year and decorated the back with flowers!


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{Spring 2014 Photoshoot}

March 20th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Happy first day of Spring!

Bike_Doie Lounge Robes

One of my favorite parts about being a designer is the photo shoots! I just love seeing the designs “come to life” on the models. This particular shoot was challenging as we did not plan for the fog to roll in (which rarely happens in Los Angeles!). In the end though, the fog made for some interesting and beautiful photos.

Bike_Valorie Darling Photography_ Doie Lounge

Balloons_Valorie Darling Photography_Doie Lounge

Valorie Darling Photography_Doie Lounge

It also helps to have a “dream team” to work with on the shoots. Luckily for me, we had Valorie Darling for photography, Trace Henningsen for hair, Belinda of Parasol of Design, for make-up, and the lovely Marlana Carter and Rachel O’Brien for models.

Doie Lounge_Valorie Darling Photography

These are only a few of the many photos that were taken that day, but you can see more, plus some “behind the scenes” photos in this little video that you can watch here.

{Choosing A Bridesmaid}

March 8th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Among the many details that a lot of women consider way before becoming engaged is who we will have stand beside us at our wedding. Choosing someone to be your bridesmaid forever cements her into your history. Even if you lose touch with this person, she will be always appear in the photos from your special day. I’m always curious about the one or two faces in my parents’ wedding album that I don’t recognize. “What happened to her?” I ask of the woman with the blond beehive hairdo.  “Why did you two fall out of touch?” My mother’s answers are not often sentimental. So much more of life has happened in between. But there she is standing besides my mom in a lime green shift dress.

Doie Lounge_ ES Creation Photography{Via}

Sure, we often include siblings, cousins, and old friends – people who have and will be in our lives most likely forever. But there’s always that small chance of growing apart. So your choices are always a little bit of a gamble. Some find these decisions easier to make than others; if you have, for instance, three sisters, two sister-in-laws and one clear best friend, you already have a solid wedding party. According to Emily Post, four to six bridesmaids is the average for a formal or semiformal wedding – though in my experience, many people choose even larger parties – (twelve in my case, yikes!).

So how do we choose? If you account for at least one sister or sister-in-law, and maybe a close cousin or two, you realistically only have a few spots left. Let’s say one or two more spots go to old high school or college friend, then one or two more to your close work friends – the ones you spent hours talking to during the time leading up to your engagement, then there are the anomalies – possibly the friend who introduced you to your husband? You’re not necessarily the closest to her – in fact, maybe she is closer with your husband, but how can you not include her? In some cases, this person is asked to be a reader. And, don’t forget about those people who have asked you to be in their weddings. How do you handle that? It can be tricky and a bit awkward. Of course you are not obliged to do the same, but you have to be prepared for how to address it if it ever comes up. And what about step-siblings? What if your parents divorced when you were young and you’ve grown up with these people basically your whole life? If you account for all of them, you may not have any room for friends, so perhaps it’s best not to include any of them.

Art Deco Bridesmaids{Via}

This little exercise is just to illustrate that this is not an easy process; it’s one that most likely takes careful attention and consideration. Logistically speaking, it’s a good idea to keep in mind how you want your bridesmaids to be a part of both your engagement and your wedding day. These are things I did not necessarily think through when I was chose to have twelve bridesmaids, but are good to keep in mind as you make your decisions:

  • –What kind of a bachelorette party do you want, if any? Bridesmaids are usually included and often even plan this party. If you want a small, intimate gathering, you may want to keep your wedding party on the smaller side.
  • –Brides often show their gratitude to their bridesmaids by bestowing a small gift the day of the wedding. While this is by no means a requirement or even an expected exchange, it is a common practice. Keep this gift in the back of your mind when deciding how large your wedding party will be if you are working within a budget. It has also become customary to host a bridesmaid tea or luncheon the weekend of the wedding. This is often when brides and their wedding party exchange gifts.
  • –Don’t underestimate the cost of being in a wedding. If you are selecting the bridesmaid dresses (as most brides do), your bridesmaids will be responsible for paying for: these dresses, their travel, lodging (though Emily Post maintains this part is the bride’s responsibility), wedding gift, possibly also contributing to joint gift to the bride, as well as possibly using up some of their vacation days. It all starts to add up. You obviously don’t want to exclude someone because you don’t think she can afford it, so if you can, you may want to contribute to some of these expenses. If not, try not to choose an unreasonably priced dress or a faraway, expensive location.
  • –How do you want your bridesmaids to be involved on the day of the actual wedding? Duties include but are not limited to: checking in with the bride to see if she needs anything like a drink, some lipstick or trips to the ladies’ room. During the ceremony and reception they often help pass out the programs, ask guests to sign the guest book, and encourage everyone to dance. Think about friends who have your best interest at heart. Include people who, while they are there to have fun and celebrate, will also work with you to make the weekend an enjoyable experience for everyone.
  • –Bridesmaids are also often present while a bride is getting ready. Here is where I underestimated the size of my wedding party. While I wouldn’t take any of it back, I might have asked for just my sister and my sister-in-law to be present during this part of the day. It was very hectic in there with nearly twenty people in the room!


Gray and Pink Bridesmaids{Via}

For some, the task of making these decisions becomes difficult to the point that a bride would rather not have a wedding party than unnecessarily hurt someone’s feelings. We’ve all heard or possibly been a part of a story that includes a scorn bridesmaid. Or perhaps even the choice of who becomes maid of honor when a sibling is not an obvious choice. But that’s a whole different post…

Be prepared for the unexpected and remember that everyone else’s lives are still happening as you plan your wedding.


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La (http://lalalaliz.com/). Her work has appeared in Quarterly Women’s FictionTown and Country magazine, and is forthcoming in Literary Mama.


{Blushing Bride}

March 4th, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

I know that “Radiant Orchid” is Pantone’s color of the year, but I’m having a major “blush” moment and it turns out, I am not alone. When asked what color you would like to see in a future Doie Lounge robe style, an overwhelming number of you said “blush.”

With this in mind, we created the “Betty” robe– blush and white (swatch below). This robe will debut in April!

Betty Swatch Doie LoungeBelow is some other beautiful blush inspiration from around the web.

Blush Cake{via}

Blush Wedding Gown{via}

Blush and Baloons{via}


Blush Bridesmaids{via}

xx Sara

{Doie Goes Hollywood}

March 2nd, 2014 | Posted by skirsner in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Happy 86th Academy Awards Day! The “Bling Ring” was not nominated for an Oscar, but I would like to nominate Leslie Mann as “Best Dressed” in her Doie Lounge robe.

TheBlingRing_Doie Lounge

xx Sara