Sunday, June 30, 2013

Everything you need to know about the gown.

Here is an incredibly helpful infographic from WeddingMix for those of you who are (or will soon be) shopping for the perfect wedding gown. From the silhouette to the neckline, from the waistline to the style, from the back to the train...this will give you an idea of what something looks like, which body type it flatters the most, and what you should call whatever "it" is that you're referring to. It may be helpful to you when you are trying to describe the type of dress you're looking for to the sales associate helping you try on gowns at your next bridal salon visit!

the Bride

Friday, June 28, 2013


Happy Friday!

  1. Praise God for baby Lake and a successful surgery! 
  2. David surprised me at work with the exact thing I was going to go get from Panera for myself (You Pick Two: Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad.) 
  3. I am really into strawberry mojitos right now. (My favorite one is from Brixx!) 
  4. I love seeing these gorgeous Endless Summer Hydrangeas every morning when I let the dogs out. I just bought another one, as well as two August Beauty Gardenia bushes. 
  5. I had an absolute blast celebrating Kate's 27th birthday with LaurenCarrie, and Sam at Sparians.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


My future niece
, Lake, will be undergoing open-heart surgery at 7:00am PST on Monday, June 17 to correct a congenital heart defect. Please keep her--as well as her parents, friends, and family--in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare for, undergo, and recover from the surgery. Photos supporting baby Lake are welcome! #PrayingForLake :)

Lake will be put on heart/lung bypass during surgery. A synthetic patch will be placed over the larger hole in her heart, and the smaller hole will be sewn closed. The surgery is expected to take 3-4 hours and she will then be transferred to Peds ICU. Hospital stay is expected to be 3-7 days.

Lake's mom has requested the following specific prayers:

  • That all systems of her body will recover quickly and seamlessly from the shock of surgery and from being placed on a heart/lung bypass machine. 
  • That the electrical impulses in the heart will resume in complete order and perfect sync, so that there will be NO need for a short- or long-term pacemaker. 
  • Protection over her health before the surgery and throughout the recovery process. 
  • Wisdom for nurses as they manage her pain. 
  • Grace, joy, strength, and good sleep for the rest of us.
And I have added the following: Pray for wisdom and guidance to be bestowed upon the surgeons, doctors, and team as they operate on and care for baby girl.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You're invited.

There are 132 days until our wedding. That's 4 months, 1 week, and 4 days...but who's counting? :) That being said, it is time to start thinking about invitations.

According to Emily Post, "your invitation is the first important indication to your guests of the style and tone of your wedding, as it reflects the degree of formality of the celebration." Emily Post suggests a timeline of addressing the invitations no later than two months before the wedding and mailing them out six to eight weeks before the wedding date. Therefore, you should count backward from your mailing date.

Invitations are such a broad and lengthy topic that I have decided to just compile a few lists of general etiquette by topic. As always, it is your wedding and you are the one that ultimately decides whether you want to follow traditional etiquette or not. You should do whatever is comfortable for you.

Invitation Wording

  • The invitation to a wedding ceremony in a house of worship reads "Mr. and Mrs. ______ request the honour of your presence..." Note that the traditional spelling of "honour" is used, and this should be consistently used for other words including "favour."
  • The invitation to a reception or a wedding ceremony not in a house of worship reads "Mr. and Mrs. ______ request the pleasure of your company..."
  • No punctuation is used except for abbreviations such as "Mr." and "Mrs." 
  • Numbers are spelled out, though long numbers in a street address may be written in numerals (i.e., "the twenty-seventh of August" and "1234 Sycamore Street."
  • Half hours are written as "half after" and not "half past" (i.e., "half after four o'clock").
  • The invitation to the wedding ceremony alone does not include an RSVP.
  • The most common traditional wording used today for a formal wedding given by the bride's parents reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Earl Grover
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Katherine Anne
Mr. Michael Bryant Matthews
Saturday, the fourteenth of September
at half after four o'clock
Village Chapel
Richmond, Virginia

Reception Cards
  • Reception cards are generally enclosed when the ceremony and reception are held at different locations. 
  • The reception invitation is generally where one puts the RSVP information. "RSVP," "R.S.V.P.," "R.s.v.p.," and "The favour of a reply is requested" are equally correct. 
  • The most commonly used wording is:
immediately following the ceremony
Crest Country Club
Pine Forest

The favour of a reply is requested

There are a number of different ways to begin an invitation, as weddings are no longer always hosted by the bride's parents. Here are a few examples:
  • When the bride has one living parent -- when either the bride's mother or the bride's father is deceased, the invitation is issued only in the name of the living parent (i.e., "Mr. Daniel Watson Driskill" or "Mrs. Daniel Watson Driskill.")
  • When the bride's mother is divorced and hosting the wedding -- the mother will use her first and last name (i.e., "Mrs. Mabel Johnson").
  • When divorced parents are giving the wedding together -- the bride's mother's name appears first:
Mr. and Mrs. Michelle Walker
Mr. Richard Smith
request the honour of your presence
  • When the bride and groom issue their own invitation, an invitation is commonly worded as follows:
The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of
Miss Emily Russell
Mr. Jesse Grace


Miss Emily Russell
Mr. Jesse Grace
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

There are so many other combinations of families and hosts that I can only suggest you take a look at Chapter 7 of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette by Peggy Post. It seems to cover all possible combinations including step-parents, professional titles, military titles, double weddings, same-sex unions, etc.

  • Formal third-person invitations are traditionally inserted into two envelopes, an inner envelope and an outer envelope. The outer envelope is the one that is addressed and stamped, and the inner envelope includes only the names of the guests. This serves the useful purpose of permitting the bride and groom to be very specific as to who is invited.
  • If a bride and groom are inviting a friend and want him/her to bring a guest (whose name they don't know), the outer envelope is addressed to the friend while the inner envelope reads "Miss Crawford and Guest." If the inner envelope reads only "Miss Crawford" then this indicates that Miss Crawford is not supposed to bring a guest.
  • An inner envelope is not required, and it is appropriate to eliminate them altogether.
  • It is proper to write the names of intimate relatives and lifeline friends in informal and familial terms, so long as you refer to them the way the host (as indicated on the invitation) would refer to them (i.e., "Aunt Rachel and Uncle Thomas" or "Grandmother.")
  • Names should be written out and not abbreviated.
  • Children over the age of thirteen should, if possible, receive separate invitations. Young sisters and brothers may be sent a joint invitation addressed to "The Misses Smith" or "The Messrs. Jones" on the outer envelope, with "Andrew, Robert, and Pierce" for example, written on the inner envelope. If children do not receive a separate invitation, their names may be written on a line below their parents' names on the inner envelope and do not need to be listed on the outer envelope.
Addressing Envelopes
  • To a married couple -- the invitation is addressed to both members of a married couple, even though the bride may know only one of them.
  • To an unmarried couple living together -- these should be addressed to "Ms. Faye Fellows" and "Mr. Scott Wilson" with each name appearing on a separate line.
  • To a married female doctor/two married doctors -- if the woman uses her husband's name socially, the address is "Dr. Barbara and Mr. James Werner." If she uses her maiden name both professionally and socially, it is "Dr. Barbara Hanson and Mr. James Werner." If the husband is also a doctor, the address is either "The Drs. Werner" or "Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner."
Stuffing Envelopes
  • When two envelopes are used, the invitation (folded edge first for a folded invitation, left edge for a single card) and all enclosures are put in the inner envelope, facing the back. Enclosures are put from largest (on bottom) to smallest (on top) with the response card usually placed directly on top of the wedding invitation (tucked under the flap of its stamped and addressed envelope.)
  • The inner envelope is placed unsealed in the outer envelope, with the flap away from the person inserting it.
  • If you are using tissue paper, it is placed on top of the invitation and the enclosures are then placed on top of that.

  • Order extras. You will want to account for the occasional ink smear, mis-spelled name, etc. You will also want to order extras for yourself as keepsakes.
  • Consider where you want your responses sent. Usually gifts are also sent to the return address on the envelope. You will also want to consider who is keeping track of responses. Ask yourself if it is easier to ship responses or gifts back and forth.
  • Don't include registry or gift information. Although traditionally a wedding invitation demands a gift in return, it is in poor taste to insert a "helpful" list of places where the bride and groom are registered. This information can be shared with parents and attendants who can be useful resources for guests who care to know.
  • Don't include the following words/phrases: "No gifts" or "No children." Again, if no gifts are wanted, this information can be shared with your guests via parents and attendants. It will be indicated to the guest whether their children are invited or not by the names written on the (inner) envelope.
  • Don't dicate dress. It is incorrect to put "Black Tie" on the invitation to the ceremony. If it seems essential to include this directive, it can be added only to the invitation to the reception and is placed in the lower-right-hand corner.
  • Don't offend your guests. Inviting people at the last minute makes it obvious that they are last-minute invitees.
There are so many different points of etiquette to consider when it comes to invitations. If you are a stickler when it comes to etiquette, I recommend Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette by Peggy Post. Some other great resources include: Calligraphy by Cami, Crane & Co., Real Simple, The Knot, Bridal Guide, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Hope this helps while you're stuffing those envelopes!

the Bride

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ooh la la!

Check out my beautiful friend (and fellow alumna), Kristen Dalton, featured on the June/July 2013 cover of Rue Magazine! If this gorgeous face looks familiar to you, it's because she was Miss USA 2009, and is all over your TV! The 20th issue of Rue Magazine is its first ever wedding and entertaining issue. It covers everything "from the shower and registry to your big day" with tips from a number of wedding pros.

If you flip to page 74, you will find the gorgeous styled shoot featuring Kristen, her real-life fiancĂ©, Kris Wolfe, and their friends Alicia-Monique Blanco and Rafael Sweet. This shoot embraces passion "with a red hot cascade of tropical flora mixing in bohemian glamour in the form of vintage gold details." I saw it and immediately fell in love. Lush...stunning...GORG!!

My favorite part is the true love you see on the faces of the "bride" and "groom." Their real-life wedding is coming up soon, and I can only imagine how lovely Kristen will be on her special day!
"Ooh La La Shangri-La." Rue Magazine June/July 2013: 74-89. For details on this lovely shoot, check out Inspired by This.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Made in china.

My personal opinion is that every woman needs deserves a set of fine china. You may not agree with me, but what can I say? I'm an old lady deep down inside.

I love a beautiful tablescape with fine china, silver, crystal, linens, and centerpieces. Maybe it's because growing up, this wasn't a normal occurrence for me. Though we had lovely, beautiful dinners, my family just didn't invest in these things. Ironic, huh? (We're Chinese.)

Many brides these days are much more practical, choosing to register for everyday tableware and then maybe choosing a nicer brand-name earthenware instead of bone china or porcelain. Me? I'm fine with my Corningware, Corelle, and Pyrex for everyday--no shame! One thing's for sure: I knew I wanted to register for fine china when I got engaged, but was worried about the expense. Though we were blessed with a very special gift from David's Grandmama, inheriting china isn't your only option.

Back to the modern, practical bride--many brides these days choose not to register for fine china for a number of reasons: 1) It's too expensive, 2) They don't think they'll use it, 3) They don't think they'll receive a complete set. These are all legit reasons...however, I am here to tell you that it is absolutely possible to defy these reasons and complete the set of your dreams!

Obviously, if you have no use for fine china, or for whatever reason really just do not want or need it, this does not apply to you...but like me, if you would love a set of china, but are worried about the expense or being able to collect everything, then read on!

It is totally possible to purchase a complete set of (gently used) fine china (12 place settings!) for under $300 thanks to eBay, Craigslist, flea markets, and antique stores. It just requires patience, a bit of haggling, and time. David and I were even lucky enough to find a complete set of silverplate flatware for $125! Many of these sets are beautiful, quality pieces that retail for much more. (You can always compare MSRP at Replacements to make sure you're paying a reasonable price.) Another fun thing (for the trendy bride) to do is to collect mismatched sets. Here are some lovely examples from Heirloom Vintage for Hire, Style Me Pretty, and theKitchn.

If you love to entertain, would love to have a set of fine china to use for fancy dinners, holidays, parties, or even everyday, but are hesitant (for whatever reason) to register for it, don't give up. It can be done. If you want to be able to register for an antique set, you can add your own items to registries like GiftRegistry360 or SimpleRegistry. And don't let the fear of getting an incomplete set deter you. It's perfectly fine to collect the remaining pieces you need after you are married. Think: birthday, anniversary, and holiday gifts. For Christmas last year, I helped organize a family gift for David's sister and brother-in-law to help them complete a number of place settings. Heck, you don't even have to be engaged to start collecting your china! I started collecting china pieces when I was single. O:)

the Bride

For those of you who are wondering, here is a very good explanation of the difference between fine china and everyday china (or earthenware).