Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest Dress Picks

Wedding season is upon us, and I have been scouring the sites for dresses to wear this summer. Of course when you are on the search to find something, you can never find anything you want to wear. But when you are broke as a joke, you want to buy the whole store. 

Here are some of my picks for different occasional weddings this season:






I'm still up in the air on what to wear. I ordered the French Connection dress, but it hasn't come in the mail yet. I will share with you a picture if I wear it, but only if the damn thing fits! Stand by...



Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Started off Memorial Day Weekend with a trip to Fiesta Hermosa. If you all are ever in Los Angeles over Memorial Day or Labor Day, you have to stop by Hermosa Beach!

The streets are shut down and filled with art vendors, carnival rides, fair food, and beer gardens. Where can one go wrong? 

Our favorite band, Mara & The Big Rockstars, who played at our wedding, played at the beer garden, although the environments we're very different. Who I am kidding? They probably looked completely the same. 

But as I awoke this morning with a headache and crusty eyes, I proclaimed to Kyle that it would probably be best if I didn't bring children into this world. At least when Harry wakes me up I can just push him off of me. You can't do that with kids right? 

Well I hope you have a great Memorial Day UnBrides! It's off to the dog park - just hoping they don't deem me an unfit parent when they smell the booze permeating from my pores...

xo


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Guesterly Giveaway

Remember Rachel & Lorne's wedding mission statement? Be Inclusive. Well now they are carrying that over into their mission for their business guesterly! They believe weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime moment: all of your favorite people are in one place, so you should celebrate and introduce them to each other with a miniature magazine — designed by you! 

guesterly, the first and only photobook about your guests, has a new easy breezy software platform. Couples can now create a guesterly in 30 minutes or less and experience the guesterly magic for under $500. It’s a great new idea for wedding welcome bags, programs, and more, and guaranteed to wow your guests.
 
A couple’s customized guesterly mini-book includes photos and fun bios of all guests at a wedding, and it’s guaranteed to get everyone talking and partying like old friends from the minute they meet. Envision guesterly as the ultimate wingman! Imagine knowing who is single, who has children, and who shares your common interests, all before cocktail hour!

Here’s how it works: 

Fast & Easy: List the people you want to feature, and we’ll instantly gather their photos (update your list as RSVPs roll in). Write fun facts about your guests, or go with just names and photos—your call!
 
Your Style: Choose from our hundreds of style and color combinations at the ready, or have one of our top designers customize your guesterly. We’re here to make it perfect.
 
Just $5 Each: Print guesterlys start at $5 a book (minimum of 25). We print on luxury Mohawk paper and include a FREE cover review by a top graphic designer.
 
Wow Your Guests: There are so many ways to use a guesterly: Make them the star of a welcome bag. Mail them out a week before your wedding. Use as programs. They even make memorable invitations or thank you notes! 

And now is your chance to win some guesterly goods! Click HERE to enter for a chance to win a $100 guesterly gift card. And since Rachel and Lorne are so awesome, they are giving you a $20 coupon just for entering! Winner will be chosen MONDAY, MAY 26th.


Best of Luck everybody!


Photos Courtesy: Thomas Liggett Photography


 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rachel & Lorne : Shea Roggio Photography

Meet the adorable couple Rachel & Lorne. You can learn a lot about someone through their wedding photos, and what I've learned about Rachel and Lorne is that they sure know how to have a good time, and more importantly make sure everyone else does too!

Rachel, a former editor at O Magazine and her husband, an engineer at General Electric, got such great feedback on their DIY "Wedding Facebooks" at their own wedding, that now they are making it possible for you to have one too!

They launched guesterly, the first and only photobook about your guests! It includes photos and fun bios about your wedding guests and is a great way for people to get to know each other before the wedding even starts! How cool is that? Not only are they doing a Giveaway this Thursday, but you guys now get an intimate look at the couple behind the breakthrough guesterly brand.

Their I Guess I Do moments include some unwanted weather and forgotten bouquets, but as you can tell from their pictures, nothing was going to rain on their parade! Enjoy Rachel's story in her own words below!
...
Mission: Inclusive! 

I’ll admit it: within a week of getting engaged, I told my (now) husband Lorne that I wanted to discuss our “wedding mission statement.” Oh, yes. It was a bit cheesy, but that one conversation spent envisioning how we wanted our wedding to feel—for both us and our guests— made the next nine months so much easier. We ended up coming up with one word that would guide every step of our planning: Inclusive. We’re both big “people people” and love hosting dinner parties, introducing new friends, and being a part of close-knit communities. For our wedding, we wanted to give everyone that feeling of “starting at the third day”—being a beloved part of a community of great people. It was a great filter for everything we did: if it helped create that inclusive vibe, it was important. If it didn’t, we could make it low priority! 

Inclusivity was the most important goal of our wedding, but it was going to be a challenge: Not only had we grown up and gone to school on opposite sides of the country, but Lorne and I didn’t even live in the same city—meaning both our family and friend groups were as far-flung and disparate as possible. People would be coming in from all over the country and we wanted each and every guest to feel like they were part of the wedding inner circle. (So we skipped things like a traditional wedding party and each asked our closest friend/family member to hang out with us all day.) 

Since it was going to be a destination wedding by default, we next decided to make it easy for everyone to stay for more than a night or two. Every year, my whole extended family of 40+ people converges in the little town of Cape May, New Jersey, for a beach vacation. We’ve been doing it since I was little, and it seemed a natural fit to piggyback our celebration on what was already the best week of the year. After trying to find an old Victorian house to rent for the week (and host the wedding at), I finally headed to the iconic Congress Hall Hotel on a lark. I was only six months out from our ideal wedding date, and it turned out that they had one day left in their calendar: the exact night we wanted. And it turns out that the night, a Sunday, was a price we could afford (unlike Saturday!). Since most of our guests were talking about staying into the week, it was a no-brainer. 

Once we lucked out with Congress Hall, everything else fell into place. I loved that the super-saturated colorful walls meant that I could take the lazy girl’s path to decorating, and let the rooms speak for themselves. Flowers, dresses, ties, etc. weren’t under the category of “inclusive” so we could make fast, easy decisions on them. For example, we went all-in with the standard things available at Congress Hall: everything from their trademark china dishes to their teal starfish cake. The majority of the details came together in just a few hours. Even the food was simple (even though my day job as a food editor at O, the Oprah Magazine would suggest otherwise!): for a hot summer day at the beach, we thought that crab cakes, thick-cut French fries, and lots of freshly sliced Jersey tomatoes would be easy, breezy, and delicious. 


Then it was happening: kicking the weekend off with a beach side welcome barbeque that everyone was invited to (I Guess I Do moment—we skipped the fancy venue and food and instead focused on having everyone!); a sunrise beach run that drew friends and family from ages 6 to 76; my uncle playing the accordion as I walked down the aisle; ceremony readings from both the Catholic and Jewish sides of our families; roles for the majority of our 30+ cousins in the ceremony; singing our boisterous family grace before dinner; and an after-party that ended with pizza for everyone at 3am—on the floor of our wedding hotel room! 



And our big (and only!) DIY moment was the highlight of our inclusive mission: our wedding “Facebooks”. Lorne and I spent a week straight creating a little booklet that featured colorful photos and fun facts of every single guest—it included everything from which of our friends were ‘single and looking to mingle’ to which guests should bond over mutual interests like running or baking. We printed them off and mailed them out a week before the wedding, and they were most definitely the “inclusive wow factor” we were hoping for—and it brought everyone together and made each guest feel how important they were to us. (In fact, it was such a hit that we now help others create the books at our new site guesterly!) 



A lot of things went “wrong” in a very I Guess I Do way, but it’s funny how they didn’t matter. If anything, it made the weekend more special. Our welcome beach party ended up with a dramatic thunderstorm and everyone running home—and my family and I tucked up around the kitchen table and drank wine and ate hummus. Lorne’s cellphone was ruined in the storm, but he just took mine and it was actually lovely to not have my phone on wedding day. (My best friend handled anyone who needed to reach me.) Sure, the next morning we were back on the beach hunting for our sunglasses and cameras, but the memory? Amazing. And I’m glad I didn’t put too much energy or money into bouquets, because we forgot to take them to the ceremony! At some point during our wedding night I heard that the bartenders ran out of shot glasses...and just seamlessly transitioned into using regular tumblers. And of course, there were the things you can only do because it’s your wedding: like switching into running shorts and a tank top halfway through our reception so I could really rock the dance floor. All part of the fun :-) 


The morning after our wedding, Lorne and I ordered in plates of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns and sat on our Congress Hall balcony overlooking the ocean. Our conversation basically consisted of euphoric appreciation of all of our family and friends: “I love my sister!” “I love your mom!” “I love Max!” “I love those guys!”. Then we went and joined the whole crew again for a backyard brunch—and kicked off a week-long “familymoon” at the beach with our 100 nearest and dearest. I’d say it was mission: accomplished. 

Photographer: Shea Roggio  Venue: Congress Hall Hotel   Dress: Janet Nelson Kumar (local NYC designer) Flowers: Karin at Blooms


...And stay tuned Thursday for your chance to win a $100 Gift Card toward some guesterly goods! Plus you get $20 off just for entering - it's a win-win if I do say so myself...


 





Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life in a Marital Institution

We here at I Guess I Do pride ourselves on sharing with you all the "Stories Behind the Pretty Pictures." So while we are constantly talking about weddings, it is also important to talk about what it's truly about - marriage.

James Braly of NPR has teamed up with Meredith Vieira Productions for an Off-Broadway one man show that is a hysterical take on his 20-year tumultuous relationship. It's an honest and refreshing take on marriage, parenthood, and life!
A live audio recording of the performance is now available on iTunes & Amazon. Be sure to get your digital copy here!



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Meet the Halloween costume master herself! In all seriousness, she's been a great sport about the blog. When I started this thing, she told me I'd end up being like Howard Stern getting rich at her expense. (Yes that is the goal, but when she's living in her house on the beach, I don't think she'll complain)

Because in reality, I do owe her a house. I owe her everything. Without her I wouldn't be who I am and where I am in my life. She's my best friend, the only person I can shop with, and the only person in their right mind who would answer my phone calls three times a day.

While my dad is the realist, my mom is the dreamer. She's instilled in me how important it is to believe, to believe that you can and will make a difference in this world, in a big, big way.   

When I moved to LA, there was no hesitation or worry in her voice as I drove away. All she said was "Go follow your dreams." But my dreams would have never been possible if it wasn't for all the sacrifices she's made for me. 

Someday I hope to be half of the mom that you were to me...

Happy Mother's Day Mom!





Thursday, May 8, 2014

Make it Work

For me it was hard to find my dream dress, a dress that had every single detail that I liked. That task would have been impossible. But I did find a dress that I could work with - Enzoani's Demi dress. Here are the before shots..

And the after...
Finding your dress can be a tedious and stressful experience, not the champagne popping, joyous experience the bridal world makes it out to be. So when you find a fit you like but with some details you don't, do not get discouraged.

You can tweak and edit the dress to get the dress you envisioned, and as my boy Tim Gunn says, "Make it work!"



Monday, May 5, 2014

Boobzilla




God didn't bless me with huge gozongas, but I've never been one to complain about these B cups. When my alterations lady said she could build a bra with cups inside the dress, I quickly obliged. 

On a side note, growing up if I ever wore anything remotely low cut, my grandma would say she could see "my valley." Well after trying on my dress for the first time, she was about to see the f@#$ing Grand Canyon. 

I knew Kyle wouldn't complain, but I also knew this situation needed to be toned down. We took out a layer of padding and I also planned on losing weight. Since that is the only region I seem to lose inches from, hopefully it would all work out. Because at this point walking down the aisle, I truly would look like a holy cow.

Tune in Thursday to see how it all turned out, including the complete overhaul I did on the original dress design...

Have a great week Un-Brides!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Agent Provocateur Giveaway

Agent Provocateur is a luxurious lingerie company that is world-known for their beautiful designs and exceptional quality. I've always been a fan! And now you all get the chance to win a £200 gift voucher toward their amazing lines with their Pinterest Contest! The contest is open to anyone (whether your engaged, married already, want to be married, or just love weddings!) 

Entering is simple - just create a dream wedding board called ‘Wedding Belles.’ Anything goes, just remember to include four images from their Agent Provocateur Pinterest Board that shows off their bridal lingerie collections over the years. Check out the contest HERE! 


The competition runs until May 8th. Remember you have a chance to win a £200 gift voucher plus a bridal lingerie fitting, so ENTER NOW!

Best of luck Un-Brides!

xo