sane wedding planning

wedding related ramblings revolving around sanity and practicality, with a little bit of geekery and crazy just for fun!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shoe obsession

I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Vegas in a few months. I am meeting up with several other APW sponsors and I am ridiculously excited about it. We've been online buddies for a while now, it will be so much fun to put faces to twitter handles and business names (and to talk awesome, practical weddings with other industry peeps from around the country).

Because of this trip, and my recent experience at the Get Hitched, Give Hope event, I decided I needed a pair of kick ass party shoes (and new, more trendy clothes, but that is another story). This first pair (below) was tweeted this morning by one of my fellow travelers/APWers. Because they just scream Vegas, yes? But I can see some hip bridesmaids rocking these too. And for only $38, you can't beat them.

Thanks to pinterest, I stumbled upon the most awesomely affordable site. Party shoes under $40?! I die!! I found these lacy beauties (below) and thought they'd be great for a more upscale event. Or, you know, a night on the town in Vegas.

And these booties. O.M.G. What a great bit of personality on your wedding day. They come in red too. I die again.

So what do you think? Where do you look, off the beaten path, for your go-to shoes?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting lost in the details

There has been a lot of talk the last week or so in the wedding world about getting back to basics. There is a mini movement starting, asking couples to stand up to the Wedding Industry and those who sell you on the fact that the important pieces of your wedding are in the details. I'm excited to be part of it.

I first stumbled upon this piece written by Meg at A Practical Wedding. My favorite line:
"the details that really matter are the emotional details ... not Buying All The Things."

photo by

In the same post, she also linked to a wedding manifesto, written by Jonas Peterson, which I am totally in love with (both the manifesto, and now Jonas). For the most part, it pretty much sums up everything I believe in. He talks about the wedding being about the love and the commitment, the gathering of those you love. He tells the reader to put down the magazines, to stop reading the blogs. To stop focusing on the THINGS and to remember it's about the love.

photo by

This is what resonates with me. It's time to put the focus back on the marriage. The wedding is a celebration, it's one day. The marriage is a lifetime of commitment, of ups and downs, of love and patience and respect and so much more. It takes a lot more work to build a successful marriage than planning a wedding ever will.

I appreciate the writers that are able to put into words the ramblings that are flitting through my head. I am thankful that there are other people in this industry who are passionate about not only weddings, but about marriage. And I love that I have the ability to connect with them, to be inspired by their work and to share with you this passion that we all have to bring reality back to weddings.

I don't think the message here is "don't spend your time on the details." The message, as I see it, is "don't feel the pressure to have so many details." Do what feels right. Do what feels good to you. If you don't like cake, don't have it. If you don't want the big princess dress, don't buy one. You want to hold true to the formal traditions? Go for it! Be true to the two of you, figure out what the important pieces are and embrace them.

I love being part of the happiness that comes with joining two lives together, with starting a new family. As a vendor, and as a guest, so many things stand out to me. Over on Offbeat Bride, Ariel wrote a great post about what guests remember from weddings, and I think these are words to remember as you are planning your big day. It's not the favors, or the theme, or what kind of booze you served. It's the passion, and the love and the bits of YOU that make up your day. 

photo by

Whatever way you chose to express yourself, as long as you are happy and in love and living in the moment, it's going to be an awesome day. Just remember to relax and enjoy it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vera Wang's Fall 2012 line

I am not normally one to write about main stream fashion - wedding related or not. I do my own thing and dress pretty conservative, but my taste tends to lean towards the funky and edgy. This week, I was pretty excited to hear the buzz about Vera Wang's new Fall 2012 line of wedding gowns. They are not your typical white and ivory gowns that have become industry standard. Finally, we are seeing something a little more dramatic.

You can check the line out on the Brides blog here. The inspiration was Witchcraft, with a little Gothic twist. I pretty much love them all.

Though the dresses are amazingly Vera, I'm not particularly fond of the look of death they gave the models. I'd like to think that brides are smiling and happy on their wedding day. But, who am I to judge her vision? To each their own, and I say if you want to wear a black wedding dress with 'death' make-up, you just need to own it!

I love that there is an, albeit tiny, switch in the wedding industry; that there are mainstream designers recognizing that not everyone wants to wear white to get married. Not everyone wants to do the traditional thing. Some of us want to have a little more fun on our wedding day, because it's the marriage that matters; and sometimes your personality just needs to shine through.

* Photo by John Aquino via

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My sister's closet

One of the local high schools has started a program collecting gently used formal dresses to donate to girls who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford them for their formal dances.
"We will be accepting dresses all year long for My Sister’s Closet. If you have a dress that your daughter no longer needs/wants and it has been cleaned and gently worn, we would love to repurpose it and let another girl wear it. We could use more dresses, both long and short. This program was very successful for Prom last year and for Homecoming this past week."
I love this idea. I really, really do. And I know there are a few of you out there with a bridesmaid dress or two in your closet.

publicity still for 27 dresses
So tell me, are you really going to wear that dress again? Wouldn't it feel good to donate it to a teenager in need; to help give some beautiful teenage girl a chance to go to her high school homecoming or prom? 

Last year, just posting a plea on my personal facebook, I collected nine dresses. It was pretty awesome turning them in; the staff was all smiles and so excited. 

This school plans to run the program twice a year, for homecoming (late October) and prom (late spring) and it is open to anyone in need. If you have a dress you are willing to donate, please contact me (you can leave a comment here, or email me at rebecca (at) blushcelebrations (dot) com) and I will happily pick it up and deliver it to the school.

happy girls going to prom. used with permission, please do not copy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Leigh & Davin's farmhouse wedding

Leigh and Davin got married this summer on a beautiful farm in the Snohomish Valley. So many things about this day stand out to me, but most especially the dress Leigh wore. I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped open a bit; I've never seen anything like it and I can't stop talking about how stunning it was, and how much it really fit Leigh's personality.

Leigh's brother officiated the wedding, which made it even more emotional and special and personal. Everyone in attendance that day was just all about spreading the love and making sure the happy couple started off their marriage as perfectly as possible. And it was pretty much perfect. And happy.

The newlyweds decided to borrow a Jewish tradition, and after the ceremony they retreated to a Yichud.

And then, it was time to have some fun.

When I first met Leigh and Davin, and asked them to sum up their wedding in a few words, they said they wanted a playful day. During the cocktail hour they set up lawn games around the farm, including croquet, bocce ball and ladder ball. Guests had a good time, after a few cocktails, relaxing and being silly together.

This was one of the most laid back and relaxing weddings I have gotten to be a part of. Leigh and Davin are just the cutest couple and are obviously surrounded by lots of love and support from all of their friends and family. It was a fun day and I know they have a lifetime of happiness to look forward to. Congratulations guys!!

Thanks to Non-fiction Weddings for the pictures. Proceeds from their wedding fees go towards their Girl World project, please check it out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Something blue

I spotted these babies on the Bride's Guide from Martha Stewart Weddings. Occasionally those mainstream folks throw out something stunning for the rest of us. I am so in love with these: I've pinned them, I've oogled them for several minutes, and now have decided to blog them.

For real, I'm still swooning. They're blue. They sparkle. They have some serious bling at the toe. And they are reasonably affordable.

I'm pretty sure I need them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wedding Voice: Gloria & Eldon.

In honor of my aunt and uncles recent 44th wedding anniversary, I wanted to share their wedding story, in my uncles words. I love the simplicity of the day. I love that the focus was on celebrating the marriage itself, with just a simple reception at the end. I love that my uncle admits he was a bit of a wreck. And I love that they decided to skip out on the reception early. Because at the end of the day, it's the wedding that is the important part. You can eat cake anytime.

We were married on September 9, 1967 at the United Methodist Church. We were on a very tight budget as I was on active duty in the Air Force and being a recent enlistee, was making virtually no money. Gloria was working as secretary and she too was making minimal income. I was on leave and was being transferred from Mississippi to Texas and only had two weeks of leave. Hence, we did not have a professional photographer and just got photos that friends took. Also, the reception was held in the basement of the church with just a cake and fruit juices.

Gloria was very cool, calm and reserved on the day of the wedding. On the other hand, I was a nervous wreck. Had it not been for my Best Man, who was staying at my folks house with me, I would have probably been late, or not fully dressed. I was so nervous that I could not even get all the words for the marriage vows out. I joke that since I didn’t say all the vows, I am not really married. 

Editors note: Those are my grandparents, on the left, at about my age, which is just strange to think about.

Editors note: See that fourth bridesmaid in? Isn't she cute? Yep, that's my mom. And the second one in, that's another aunt. 

Gloria & I were expecting some dirty tricks being pulled on us after the wedding and so shortly after the reception started, we snuck out the back of the church and skipped most of the reception.

44 years ... wow. Happy anniversary to you both. I love you! 

And to the rest of you, please send me your wedding pictures, or those of your family. I'd love to share their stories!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shannon & Ahren are getting hitched

Shannon & Ahren are getting married a week from today! I've been saving these, but I can't wait any longer to share them with you. They are kinda bad ass, I'm pretty excited.

It's going to be one hell of a party. I pretty much can't wait.

Happy three day weekend!

Photos by Gabriel Van Wylie

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Celebrating marriage equality with APW

One of my favorite blogs,, is hosting a huge party this Thursday in New York to celebrate the legalization of same sex marriage. They are putting on two legal weddings, followed by a most awesome reception. You can read more about the couples who are getting hitched here. It is also a fundraiser for Lambda Legal, which is a great organization fighting for civil right in the LGBTQ community. You can donate here, it would be greatly appreciated.

Those of us reading around the country wanted to get in on the fun, so we decided to throw some regional parties to kick off the festivities. The Seattle area gathering was yesterday.

We met at Rosebud down on Capitol Hill (thanks to my friend Status for the recommendation). It was a small group, just five of us. We had some fun getting to know each other, talking weddings and APW, trying new drinks (um, pomegranate martini. Yum.) and eating the rainbow cupcakes provided by my friend Sarah from The Chic Cupcake.

It was a relaxing few hours, making some new friends, kicking back a few drinks and spreading the cupcake love around the restaurant. The staff and other patrons got a kick out of the cupcakes, we probably sent a dozen home with the staff, a half dozen or so to customers, and we won't mention how many the five of us went through. Rainbow cupcakes rule. Clearly.

Thanks to Jane, Liz, Hannah and Becky for spending a Saturday night with me APW style (and thanks to Jane for taking pictures).

Looking ahead to the party to come, I wish Leanne & Anne, Cory & Aaron a very happy LEGAL wedding day this Thursday, and hope the party freakin rocks! My friends over at APW are working hard to make it one hell of a day and I can't wait to see the pictures!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wedding Dresses and Marriage

I read an article recently on NPR titled Why Are Wedding Dresses So Expensive? I thought, being NPR, that it would be an insightful article, well researched and full of information about the craftsmanship, the labor, the quality of material, etc. Though those things were mentioned, the part that got me was this:

"A bride's dress can signal how wealthy she is, what her status in society is. But it can also signal how seriously she's taking this marriage." 

Wait. What? Did the author just imply that those that chose not to spend four digits on a wedding gown aren't taking the marriage seriously?!


Let me just tell you that the amount of money you spend is in absolutely no way related to how much you love your significant other. If you chose to have a potluck dinner after a courthouse wedding while wearing your go-to outfit (the one that makes you feel like a rockstar), this is no way signifies that you aren't as in love as someone who fits into the '12 most expensive weddings ever' category.

Having a lavish wedding is not equal to a long and fulfilling marriage. Just ask Sir Paul. Or Christina Aguilera. Or Lady Di.

Folks please, listen to me here. Hear me. Believe me. Your marriage has no bearing WHATSOEVER on the amount of money it cost to celebrate it. Your marriage will not last longer if you spend multiple tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the wedding. Marriage takes work, it takes compromise, it takes love and respect. It does NOT take an $8,000 wedding gown.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Engagement Photos: Josh & Alicia

Josh and Alicia were referred to me a few months ago by a fellow soccer board member. I pretty much want to carry them around in my pocket because they are so happy and smiley and cute and REAL. It's been a blast getting to know them and helping them plan their wedding, and I just wanted to take a few minutes to share their new engagement pictures with you so that you will love them too.


They have endeared themselves to me in many ways, but most importantly by celebrating their love of all things Sounders FC ; as a season ticket holder myself this makes me sososo happy.  Their wedding colors are blue and green, and they have a few other related surprises that I cannot even WAIT to tell you about.

But best of all, they are just down to earth, normal, fun folks. Alicia posted on Facebook recently that she was thinking of trying out for a local Roller Derby team. This pretty much sealed the deal for me. I want to keep her.

Thanks so much, Josh and Alicia, for letting me come along on this journey with you. You guys rock.

Engagement shots by Fred Calma Photography

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rehearsal dinners

I recently read a wedding planner blog on the importance of a rehearsal dinner. It advised couples to do things like hire their wedding photographer (for an extra fee, of course) to come shoot pics of the evening, hire a party rental company to come jazz up the dinner space, perhaps hire a mini bus to transport all the out of towners. I read this and I thought "holy hell, its no wonder people have such a hard time with the wedding industry." Eesh, when I googled rehearsal dinner, I even found a website dedicated solely to planning just your rehearsal dinner.

There is no reason you need all this stuff to make your rehearsal dinner a great event. The rehearsal, and the following dinner, are meant to ease your mind. The purpose of the rehearsal is to make sure everyone involved in the wedding knows their place, knows what to do during the ceremony. The following dinner (which is by no means mandatory, but any excuse to surround yourself with those you love works for me!) is meant to gather all the wedding participants in one place so you have a chance to thank them, and to eat, drink, and be merry. (Traditionally, parties were held on the wedding eve to chase evil spirits away. The more noise the better. Oh yeah!!).

In sane and practical wedding land, lets try this. Wedding rehearsal (not necessarily at the ceremony site), followed by potluck dinner at mom's house. Or, one of my favorites, one couple I worked with went to their favorite drive-in for dinner, then invited everyone back to their place to unwind. Couples use the dinner as a chance to pass out any thank you gifts, hear and give toasts, sit back, relax and still have an awesome kick-off to the wedding celebration. There doesn't need to be any stress involved, nor does this need to be a huge expense. Put a little creative thought into the evening, absolutely. But be practical. You don't need to hire a party rental  company to make the evening memorable ... you just need to be creative and happy and know how to have a good time.

Just don't drink TOO much, because the next day YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I love Jimmy

Inspired in part by this Bridal Rehab blog, I went browsing on the Jimmy Choo website again. Not a good idea, since I can't afford anything on there, nor do I have a lot of places I can wear 4 or 5" heels. But a girl can dream. So here are my new favorite shoes, which look a lot like some of the other shoes I have posted lately. But these are gold. And that changes everything.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cutest wedding guest EVER

I might be slightly biased, but this weeks Wordless Wednesday post features pretty much the cutest little girl ever! She's the best looking guest from this weekend for sure.

Check out what this adorable dress looked like after her day of fun here.

*note, this picture was taken by my husband. You are welcome to use it, but please let me know first, and link back to this post. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shoes with bling

I'm getting in a little shoe fix today. I am obssesively hunting for these Christian Louboutin shoes that I saw on For Real Weddings this morning. I love the whole inspiration board she created, but I really must have those shoes. I've been looking for them for a couple hours and am not having any luck.

In my search for the above shoes, I did find these that I really really want. I do love the sparkly ones.

On the 'shoes I can afford' list, I saw these babies on postcards and pretties today. How cute are they? And for $30?!?! Awesome!

My last pair of goodness was a twitter find. The Budget Babe linked to these awesome Ivanka Trump shoes that would be stunning for a wedding. I love the sparkle!

Happy Tuesday peeps. It is time to go enjoy this beautiful, sunny Seattle day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Erin and Mary tied the knot!!

This weekend was crazy fun! As much as I love weddings, FAMILY weddings are even more awesome. Now that the festivities have come to an end, I am exhausted! It was a whirlwind weekend full of lots of activities - my sister-in-law and her other half (**note to self: must find out how they are referring to each other now.) live on the east coast so they opted for a whole weekend of celebrations here in Seattle. I loved having so much time to visit with everyone!!

I will give a wedding recap later, when we get the pictures back. But I wanted to leave you with two little wedding tips I brought out of this weekend.

First tip. Photo booths rock. Seriously rock!! Special shout out here to Say Cheez Photo Booth for providing all the props and fun. Here is a sampling of the photo strips my little family of five came home with (taken from my smart phone, the quality is much better in person, I promise). SO! MUCH! FUN!

Second tip. Think long and hard before you drop a lot of money on the kids attire. Princessy dresses on toddlers look beautiful at the beginning of the day. But here is what happens at the end of the day, after the toddler has eaten chocolate cupcake and danced and run and had lots of fun.

It is the sign of a good time though, right? I especially love the string of tulle hanging from the skirt.

I promise to post pics of the happy couple and the most beautiful sunny Seattle day soon. But for now, it's time to get out here and enjoy the fireworks! Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pride and Marriage Equality

Photo Credit: KING 5 news
It's Pride Month for various organizations around the country, trying to teach tolerance and acceptance of the gay community. In the wedding world I am seeing lots of posts this week, especially after the legalization of same sex marriage in New York. Having just attended the Seattle Pride Parade, I am inspired and passionate about marriage equality and felt it was time to put in my two cents.

This morning I read a great wedding graduate post on A Practical Wedding as part of their pride week. Written from one of the brides perspective, it included a piece of their ceremony that made me want to stand up and cheer, and I hope they don't mind that I share a bit of it here (but seriously, go read the whole post because it is awesome. And while you are at it, check out their blog too).

"... to those who might oppose why we're here today, I have one thing to say: you've already lost. Our generation doesn't care. Despite all the sham and drudgery in this world, we realize that love, where it can be found, should be revered, protected, and consecrated. Period."
I love this. So much. Why in the world would we want to discourage people from loving each other? I will never understand the reasons those opposed throw out there. Who cares WHO you love as long AS you love. Bring happiness to this world, find a place to belong, a corner of the world where you are loved and cherished ... that's what its all about. It shouldn't matter to anyone who you curl up with at night, who you choose to sleep with, who you fall in love with - it shouldn't matter. As I tell my kids, "as long as the person you are with makes you happy, treats you with respect and isn't doing anything illegal, I will be fine with it".

This all hits close to home for me, because this weekend, as everyone around the country is celebrating Independence Day, my family will be celebrating the union of my sister-in-law and her girlfriend. We are coming together to celebrate their love; the fact that they are happy and willing to commit to each other for life. And who wouldn't want to celebrate that? It's going to be one hell of a party - because this family KNOWS how to throw a party. And what better excuse to party than to celebrate a marriage!

I found this on the APW facebook page, and I think it just sums it all up.

“Personally, I am very excited about “gay marriage”, or as I like to call it, “marriage”. Because I had lunch this afternoon, I didn’t have “gay lunch”. And I parked my car, I didn’t “gay park” it.” – Liz Feldman
I also loved how my sister-in-law, who hates the term lesbian, put it to her girlfriend (and I am paraphrasing here). "I just love you. Why does it need a bigger label than that?"


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cutest little flats under $100

I have a bride who is a little taller than her husband to be, so she wants to wear a shoe with no heel on her wedding day. She's getting married in the spring, and her colors are blue and green. In honor of her today, I bring you some of my favorite shoe finds of the flat variety, all under $100.

You have to check out Tom's wedding line too. I love their white glitter shoes and their grosgrain ... I can't decide which I like better. These are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own! And you can feel good about buying these shoes because for every pair you purchase, they donate a pair to a child in need. Love that.

A couple more that I found that didn't quite make my top picks, but are still noteworthy mentions.

Cute flats from Chinese Laundry here, currently on sale at Macy's for under $40!

Look at these cute ballet slippers for the bride, here. They even come in their own embroidered bag and are marked at $24!

Happy shopping!