March 12, 2008

Unless Someone Like You

Posted in Invitations and Stationary at 2:20 pm by Jess

I recently ran across these awesome wedding pieces on an etsy Handmade Wedding Forum. The company is called Unless Someone Like You. The idea stems from the artist’s own creative idea to send out a large poster as his own wedding invitation!!

Imagine sending each of your guests an actual poster, which to his credit, would look like artwork on the wall! The coupld could also opt to order one poster and have it framed. For the time being, leave the glass off, then have this set up at your wedding reception as your “Guest Book” which everyone can sign.

The artist, a self proclaimed “Chicago artist and proud mother!” can make a poster from drawings, a photograph or any other type of symbol or logo or significance. Sample posters are ten dollars. Note that the price is for the digital file, which you take to your local printers.


March 10, 2008


Posted in Jewelery at 3:54 pm by Jess

Though the colors in this jewelery post fit the color scheme for my own wedding, I have noticed a great trend towards the vintagey, thick gold dangling earrings. I have always found pleasure in the combination of white and gold anyway. Most of these jewelery pieces are very “bon marché”, as they say here. (Literally meaning Good Market). Some are etsy artists, some are from well-known shops. I love these pieces because I am not very traditional when it comes to wedding jewelery. I like vintage stuff in real life, and since thats “me,” why not on my big day too? All these pieces ares eye-catching without being obtrusive.

from the knot

from Impressionnen

from Tuesday’s Child

from Moxiebee

from Sudlow

from Lovemade

from PaperFlowerGirls


From Mariages Magazine: A great example of what these earrings would look like in person.

from relishdress

from Twist

from Kuukivi

from K-Amato

also from K-Amato

from elkemunkert

from Gingeroni


Are you daring to wear any less traditional jewelery on your wedding day? What does your jewelery say about you?

March 9, 2008

Kelly’s Board (and mine:) )

Posted in Inspiration Boards at 9:40 am by Jess

I was just reading along in my google reader when I noticed that one of my favorite wedding blogs was showing a whole post about some Jessica girl’s wedding. I read that her colors are teal, gold and white. Then suddenly I was all, “Hey…that’s me!” I am touched. Check out what they put together for me here.

I happen to have made an inspiration board for another bride-to-be recently. She and I exchanged a few comments, then emails and I decided to have a whirl at helping Kelly round out her vision for her wedding.

Kelly’s colors are green, white and black. Her mood: ” classic, fun, laid back and unique.”

She was torn between a damask print, or dots but finally (and smartly, I think) decided on dots, since those could be incorporated (in varying sizes) much more easily, and would feel more “laid back.”

One of Kelly’s small concerns is that she “also want to make sure to incorporate green in as much as possible. I am starting to feel like this will be a black and white wedding with splashes of green.”


So here’s what I suggested:

For apparel I threw in the bouquet on the bottom left and the green necklace on the top right. The necklace might look fab with the black dress she is having her bridesmaids wear. The green bouquet in the middle is a softer, more romantic look. She could use small ferns or palm fronds to get the more vivid green in the bridesmaid bouquets.

Her preference is for Kelly Green, but mixing greens of similar  shades like Lime, Kelly and Grape (perhaps not mint or forest…) would be fine if you mixed them throughout. The centerpiece photo in the board pulls this off very well.

Check out the photo of the OREO truffle. This has the black and white colors and could function as an adorable favor. The photo and recipe are from a baking blog, but most likely a good caterer could do this easily. (Or DIY, like the blogger, ha!) I also love the cake on the bottom with the polka dots.

That reminds me, I love the idea of a few things having polka dots (i.e. not everything). Since Kelly wants cupcakes in place of a cake, I picture white frosting cupcakes with little fondant black and green circles. The pins in the top right-hand corner are actually name tag/escort cards, but give off the polka-dot air.

(Isn’t it interesting that people don’t do nametags at weddings, when clearly it would help people tremendously!)

What about a candy buffet in these colors? Check out and click on By Color. Stash them in cheap Michael’s containers, grab a polka dot plastic bag and fill ’em up as a favor or dessert buffet! The only black candy I can come up with is Licorice, or any licorice flavored jelly bean etc. To cut a bit of cost, you could also include bright green apples in the buffet.

The white candle in the middle is Ikea (we just bought like forty of them) and the ribbon on top is just an idea. You could also wrap some sort of ribbon (polka dotted or not) around clear or white vases holding flowers (see photo below). The green centerpiece image is Awesome, and shows what all you can do that is green without even using flowers. Think ferns, fronds, palms, grasses. There is a bright green feather on the board to make you think of using feathers as well for a cheaper, fun idea.
Finally, the lamp: Just a crazy idea for a centerpiece to get us thinking outside the box!


If you have seen Kelly’s blog you’ll know she really needs no aid. She’s crazy creative, and I think she will have a beautiful wedding.


March 8, 2008

A few Parisian inspirations

Posted in Attire at 12:57 pm by Jess

Her dresses have something of the “bedroom” look to me, but in such a subtle way so as not to be “gauche” as they say here. There is also a real tendency towards sheer layers and an ethereal look.
Kristyne Rispoli – 7 rue Froissart – 75003 Paris
I cannot find a website, but goodness look at that back on the left. I love it. I do not, however, love the front. A simple, accessory-free, even border-line boring front would be wonderful, because then when you pass and people see the back it’s like “Whoa mama,” but on the front you are still “wedding.”
What I love about this designer, more than the dresses, are the photos. The model is SMILING. This is the look of an actual bride on the big day. His models look cheerful and happy. It is really refreshing.
Sebastien Payen
I love the collar with simple buttons. This has a very “garden elegance” look to it. I wish she were carrying a handmade small wicker basket overflowing with garden flowers down the aisle.

March 6, 2008

What is great about an inspiration board?

Posted in Inspiration Boards at 4:19 pm by Jess

It doesn’t have to be final! Use the space to try out many different ideas. This board took me over an hour, mostly because I threw out many ideas. When I make any inspiration board that happens. When I made my own – for my wedding – things got crazy. It took me at least two hours to finish the board. However, I had been debating between a yellow bouquet and a white bouquet for some weeks, with no decision seeming imminent. But when I put up a picture of each directly next to the photo of my dress, I saw immediately that I did not like the yellow. At all. The decision was so easy like that. As the process continues, and new ideas pop up (as they are apt to do up until the last minute) I change up the photos to either reflect these ideas, and/or try them on for size visually.
Casual Beach (details below)
Emphasis was put on the CASUAL here. The board was inspired by the table setting. If you zoom real close you can see goldfish in the vase around the flower stems! I loved the crazy orange ring, and decided the bride could wear a funky colorful pair of earrings also. The invites scream tropical and vibrant. The wraps look like a great item on a buffet of seasonal, casual and yet totally scrumptious beach food. Check out the sand castle wedding cake!
Another great thing about Inspiration Boards, in this modern age, is that they function as a memorble digital scrapbook! I have included things on my personal inspiration board that are actually a part of my event. Eventually I will have a polished wedding album, but I will also have a wedding scrapbook, and a print out of my Inspiration Board will probably be on the first page. It might just be me, but I put so much effort into the process of this event that I want to remember and immortalize that, as well as the event. It will be fun to look back on what tastes I had in dresses, invite styles etc thirty years from now!
I just hope I don’t look back on this inspiration board and think, “Gah, what was I thinking!?”
Does anyone else feel that their Inspiration Boards become friends?
Board Details:
Castle Cake: BridalwaveTV ; Invites: SaimasaysDesigns Earring; ScarlettGarnet
Wraps: Sweet Paul;Table: Mariages (French Mag); Ring: Top3byDesign
Bouquet: Blue Sky Weddings;  Dress: Jay Ahr

Mes Invites…are gonna love these favors.

Posted in Favors at 3:59 pm by Jess

I just wanted to share with you this website, MesInvites, which has some amazing favor ideas for the European bride-to-be.
3.20 Euro a piece
I actually own this, and the minute I saw it (was a gift from the Fiancé) I had yet another “Why didn’t I think of that!?” moment. 11 Euro a piece. Pricey, but the coolest thing since sliced bread.
A letter opener. We still get snail mail, right? 4.50 Euro a piece.

March 5, 2008

Finding the Wedding Clothes

Posted in Attire at 5:03 pm by Jess

I only looked at one bridal magazine before finding my dress. I bought it in the JFK airport while making my connection to O’Hare and read it on that flight. I dog-earred three or four. Of the four, only one really struck my fancy and tore it out so I would remember.
When my mom picked me up at the airport, we started talking wedding stuff so I showed her the four dresses in the magazine. She liked all of them, except the one I had torn out (my favorite). “I hate this one. No way!” she said.

The next morning I woke up with extreme jet lag. (i had flown all the way from switzerland). As I had one month in the USA to search for dresses, it wasnt on my list of things to do that very first day. But it was for my mom. She pulled me out of bed saying she was going to take me to breakfast. Aww, how sweet. Except half way there she blurted out “I just noticed this bridal shop the other day and well its on the way so lets just stop.” What a trick she pulled!
After six hours of sleep and jet lag I really wasn’t that keen on it. Plus, the tiny shop had broken front windows, which were taped together with duct tape, and it was nestled between a mechanic’s garage and a Walgreens. She basically had to beg me to go in.
Inside I tried on a few dresses. No luck. Then suddenly my mom was handing me a dress and saying “I know you will probably hate this, but humor me, because i think it is SO YOU.”
I laughed out loud. It was the same dress as the one I had torn out of the magazine. She refused to admit that it was at first, but insisted it was the best dress for me. (Later she would sheepishly admit that it was) I agreed. I was torn between the one that was “me” and one that was completely 1500s ball-gown with embroidered jewels and flowers. My mom and the shop keeper said, in eerie unison, “You look much thinner in the simple one!” Sold! We bought it and walked out after an hour in the store, and before I had even been 24 hours in the country again. Easy-peasy.

Jon and I spent this past Saturday looking for his suit. The consistent theme to our whole marriage-planning adventure is “Firsts.” The first place we visit, we love, we book. The first font we try, we adore, we use. The first day I try dresses, I love, I buy. The first suit shop we pass has a gray suit in the window – the color we’re seeking. We enter, he tries it on, we love it. Of course, just like with the reception hall I am the one to say “If we love it, let’s get it, and free up the rest of our Saturday!!” and Jon is the one to say “But let’s just go visit the other seven places on our list to be sure.” So we did. All seven. Then we made a bee-line for the first store to book the suit; It is the clear winner.

The only problem with the suit arose when Jon went to have it fitted while I was not there. He called me on the cell, frantic. “I cannot wear my brown shoes (his best shoes which he wears once a decade, and are handmade from Italy and cost more than my dress). I can’t wear them! The woman says they break the Three Color Rule!!

“The what? ” I ask.

“The Three Color Rule Jessica! She is so right, why didn’t I think about this!?” he groans, more to himself.

I ask him to explain: The three color rule means no more than three colors with a suit. The suit is gray, the shirt is pink, the tie is fuschia. So he cannot wear brown shoes. Or so she says.

I ask, “Then how can you wear black shoes?”

“Because black is a shade of gray so it is not an additional color.”

“Well fuschia is a shade of pink,” I counter.


To clear up the matter we’ve set another appointment to go in and try on the various colors of shirt/tie/shoe ensembles with the saleswomens’ help. The funny thing is, this rule, it makes sense. To a point. If it happens to look good with four, well, I say do it (though the Saleswomen would shoot me the evil eye and cluck their tongues under their breath). This whole conversation made me laugh because Jon was so…Swiss. So upset about possibly, nearing, contemplating breaking a “Rule.” While in the meantime, if I know him well at all, he really is more “American” in mentality, and he will listen to their well-intentioned advices about color theory, but if he (and only he) likes what he sees in the mirror, four, five, six colors or not, he will wear it.

What about you folks? Have you been abiding my, or hearing of any dress/attire rules throughout this process??

Cupcakes in a Cup

Posted in Desserts at 12:09 pm by Jess

If you are clinging to the cupcake idea, what about a little twist? Why not have your cupcakes served in a tea cup, like this: 


If I were doing it, I would pick a flavor that went well with chocolate sauce (which could be drizzled lightly over the top) or a small dollop of vanilla bean ice cream.  I would take the outside wrapper off (which is still on in the picture) so that people could dig in with a demi-tasse spoon!

March 3, 2008

The Proposal, Part II

Posted in Cultural Differences at 10:19 pm by Jess

For months after we had our secret official wedding, Jon and I did not discuss an actual wedding ceremony. Then, during the summer, the subject began to surface. We both felt ready for the next step, and what felt like the real step for us: a ceremony in front of cherished friends and family.

As we discussed engagements and weddings, and mostly how long one could be engaged before holding the ceremony, we fell upon yet another cultural difference. The Swiss don’t usually give engagement rings, and certainly not diamonds! As you can imagine, this was no light-weight discovery. Jon showed me the most impressive and popular wedding bands, and my face crumbled in dismay at the sight. Then Jon researched what people spend on engagement rings in America, and he felt his own staggering sense of despair. Worse than the price for him was the discovery of what the perceived expectations around an engagement ring were.  For the next six months, as he and I batted around the subject of engagement and a proposal in public terms, Jon also began to fret heavily over the subject of the ring.

When we visited America, instead of keeping his eyes at eye level to take in the sights around him, he would screen the feminine left hands that passed within his sight, and then let out a long sigh. Sometimes he would get downright pissy, and say things outloud like “Why do you even need a diamond ring, you Americans. Is it just to show off? Do you know where those stones come from!?” Throughout those moments I tried to remember that he was not angry at me, and to keep in mind that the man was encountering this subject, and the weight of the price and expectations, for the very first time in his life. Facing the thought of disappointing the woman he wants to marry must have been staggeringly rough (must be for even American men at this step), but so was swallowing the fact that he was going to be doing this for me only, and because it was my culture.

At times the subject saddened me. I said, “No diamond. Forget it.” I cried a few times.  I wanted to feel that he desired to make this effort for me. Then I was forced to ask myself tough questions: Why do I want a ring? Do I need one? Is my cultural expectation really grounded on anything?

In the end, I decided I did want a ring. I did want a proposal, preferably on one-knee – another idea I introduced to an increasingly shell-shocked boyfriend/husband. Did I need a ring? No. Did I want one? Yes. Did I need a diamond? No. I wanted an opal to replace a ring my favorite, inherited ring which I lost the dayI flew to meet Jonathan in Hawaii. What I wanted was a visible testament to his desire to make me happy, and a piece of tangible proof of our mutual commitment. The world sees this ring and, in my head, knows that I have committed myself to someone. Why do I care if the world knows it? Because I think this ring, or perhaps it could be anything I could wear everyday, is also a living compliment to Jon himself. With this ring, I pick him, above all else.

Also, I give him tangible proof. Perhaps not diamonds, or even a nice watch, but I try to give him tangible proof too. I hope our lives are filled with small exchanges of it.

As it turned out, my mom had  a loose diamond taken from my deceased grandmother’s wedding ring, which she decided to donate to Jonathan. One night he sat me down at the kitchen table and said, “You know that your mom is giving us a diamond. I will find a way to make you a ring, but from now on the conversations stop – this is my project.” As usual, he greatly exaggerated his ability to keep things from me.

Fall was one long season of torture. My engagement ring, which Jon continued to inform me is beautiful, was hidden in our apartment. I was leaving for the United States in Early November, and he still had not told me when he was going to propose.

This ring has been a series of small discoveries since our “final” conversation. Once I stumbled upon a piece of paper accidentally dropped into my personal “mailbox.” It was a drawing of the ring. That was discovery number one. Fortunately for him I had the good sense to crumple the paper before my eyes registered the design.  Then there were other discoveries, accidental, which meant that I knew where it was made, and I hoped, the relative time-frame he might give it to me.

For example, one day Jonathan seemed to have a temporary loss of memory and told his father in French where the ring was coming from, while I was standing in the room. I had to remind him, in French, that I understand French, ya know… for future reference.

Once the rings physical existence was somewhat known business, Jon thought it was acceptable to leave me in Neuchâtel one afternoon while he went to the ring maker and checked on it. I thought it was torture!

Then one weekend, about a month laster, while eating dinner at a colleague’s house, I I happened to walk past the open door to the coat closet, and I saw his colleague passing Jonathan the box.

Eek! I was only feet away.

From then on Jon teased me ruthlessly by showing everyone but me the final product – the ring he had hand designed for me. And I had only to wait, and hope in utter selfishness, that it came before I left for America for two months.

March 2, 2008

Cultural Tradition: The Cortège

Posted in Cultural Differences at 4:21 pm by Jess

Aside from the two seconds during which Jon and I say “I do,” or rather, “Oui” (There’s another cultural difference, that whole Famous Two Words thing is obsolete here!) the part of the wedding that I am looking forward to the most is the Cortège. I am looking forward to it for so many reasons: For the organized fashion of a caravan of cars all following us; for the antique car Jon will be driving, for the feeling of cruising through country roads with views of lakes and mountains; for the horns blaring for thirty minutes without pause; for the children racing through fields to grab the candy thrown from cards onto the roadside, for the elderly and adults waving to us from balconies as we pass through small villages; and finally, for my American guests to see, as I have every time I have been a participant in someone else’s cortège, that the Swiss can be loud, let-loose, fun and crazy.

This week we made the map of the route, in order to pass to our guests at the end of the ceremony before leaving. Normally there are two whole cortèges: from church to cocktail and from cocktail hour to reception. We’re just having one (no church). Everyone files into one long line of cars, so mostly people can just follow us, but given red lights, people need directions too – hence the maps. They are handed out along with a large sack of candies, each wrapped individually in plastic.

The key to the whole thing is the honking. From the second the leading (our) car begins to drive, the entire caravan begins to honk insanely – sometimes to a rather interesting beat – and doesn’t stop until we arrive at the reception. The honking alerts all villagers, and especially kids, that there has been a wedding and we are coming. Kids run down to the street to catch the candy thrown from cars.

If you like this idea, try incorporating it in America, and telling people in advance what to expect. Also, drive the route beforehand so you know exactly how you want to drive it, and what potential traps there are for getting lost. Google Maps gave us a set of directions online beforehand, but when we started to drive it we found a MUCH prettier road just along the lake to take, and it was only five extra minutes long.

Previous page · Next page