It's raining, it's pouring...

Although you would be hard pressed to find a bride hoping for rain on her wedding day, sometimes nature happens. To err on the side of caution, Spring brides are often encouraged to have back up plan after back up plan and to have an umbrella handy.

In the spirit of Spring showers (& not to mention my affinity for rain - yes, I am a Westcoast girl), I wanted to highlight some of the weddings that have used umbrellas in a practical-yet-stylish fashion. After all, if an umbrella is going to be in your wedding shots, you may as well have some fun with it.

Don't they make you want a vintage style parasol?

{Photo by Steven Myers via Once Wed}

{Photo by Lisa Kae via Pearls Events}

{Photo by Braedon Photography via Once Wed}

{Photo by EVS Media via Once Wed}

{Photo by Jonathan Ong via Polka Dot Bride}

. . .

I really enjoy the following use of umbrellas in event decor: a perfect (& quite literal) option for a shower.

{Photos via Amorology Weddings}


Saja Wedding

It's not often that I get excited about wedding dresses.

Although I appreciate a well-designed dress and adore bridal style, I rarely get giddy about the dress; however, when I saw the following Saja gowns on Polka Dot Bride I gasped.out.loud.

Saja is a New York based-company with a fantastic press reel. When looking at Saja gowns from real weddings, they can be characterized by their classic cuts, flowing fabrics, and pretty details; the perfect look for an outdoor ceremony. The classic bohemian style paired with modern touches is right up my alley & oh-so-lovely. Check out the Collection below {click to enlarge}

{Images courtesy of Saja Wedding via Polka Dot Bride}


Sunday Sweetness {xvii}

I simply adore this photograph and the wedding it came from (found via snippet & ink).

Their beaming faces within the simplicity of the rest of the shot make me feel that we've witnessed a special moment, captured so brilliantly by Jonas Peterson.

Again, have I mentioned that Australia is the place to get married? Between Jonas and Natasja Kremers how could you not have the most amazing wedding photos... I'm in awe.

Now, while on the topic of adorable babies, I'm off to a shower.
Happy Sunday, friends.


Family Tree

I always love sharing unique ideas for ceremony and reception decor, especially when they are as creative and unique as this one.

I love the effect of the empty vintage frames with the framed photographs against the forested background. It's altogether whimsical and romantic. It's also beautiful to see such a pretty project used at the site of the couple's ceremony. Quite often the ceremony venue is overlooked and the "special projects" are saved for the reception site. I just love this idea for the fact that it keeps guests in the moment of the ceremony for a little longer.

The rest of the wedding is equally amazing.

{Photo is by Amanda Bevington and the wedding planned by Duet Weddings, found via snippet & ink}


Flowers for Jaime, part one

While putting together an inspiration board full of plum lovelies I noticed the wide array of purple bouquet & centerpiece options. So many unique options stood out to me that I wanted to showcase them individually. Jaime is at the fun stage of hammering out a colour palette (she's leaning towards this dark shade of purple) and beginning to imagine her florals (which is one of my favourite parts).

: : Bouquets : :

Succulents: I just love that succulents are becoming so popular in wedding design and I'm particularly fond of them in bouquets. I understand this style isn't for everyone, but I wanted to share this option with Jaime as it's quite stunning and jives perfectly with her colours. {Photo found via Ritzy Bee blog; check out the blog for more succulent options}

Monochromatic Combination: the combinations of plum dahlias, eggplant mini calas, lavender ranunculas and purple tulips (for the bride's bouquet) & of plum dahlias, eggplant mini calas, and purple tulips with chocolate brown cymbidium instead of the lavender ranunculas (for the bridal party) are stunning. This style would allow you freedom with dress colours and seasonal variations of flowers. {Photos by Marianne Lozano and found at JL Designs, my new favourite hub for floral inspiration}.

The combination of calla lilies and tulips is perfect for Spring and classically beautiful. There are so many shades to choose from, again, providing a bit of freedom for the exact shade of the bridesmaids' dresses (the same bouquet in a different shades for each bridal party member would be quite stunning). {Photo via Martha Stewart Weddings}

: : Centerpieces : :

Orchids: Jaime has indicated she is interested in this option and we've talked about hurricane vases with anchored orchids and tea lights to create a simple yet elegant centrepiece. The plum table runner used here adds the needed punch of colour to juxtapose the centerpiece. {Photo via the knot}

I really enjoy this version of green submerged orchids set against the dark linens. This shade of green is so fresh and so complimentary when paired with deep plum. {Photo via Clover & Bee}

Monochromatic Combination: I adore this combination of cabbage roses, peonies (my favourite) and begonia foliage, especially arranged in the square vase. Square vases and candles look best when displayed on a square table; however, when styled appropriately, they can also be pulled of quite nicely on round tables as well. {Photo via the knot}

Another option for monochromatic (or like shaded) flowers is to bunch them individually in smaller arrangements, similar to what this option has accomplished. I love the rustic look. {Photos by Corbin Gurkin via Duet Weddings, flowers by Modern Day Design}

. . .

Jaime: I hope this is at least a starting point to begin thinking of floral options (what do you like? what don't you like?) and that it assists in choosing the perfect shade of purple (if that ends up being your colour). As seen here, purple is very pretty with both the fresh green we spoke of but also with the lighter shade of lavender. Things to ponder...

Up Next: Your Inspiration Board

A relaxing Spring playlist

This time of year I quite often find myself racing around making plans for the months ahead and not enjoying this gorgeous season. Although I have some exciting projects in the works, I have decided to take a more chill approach and to enjoy Spring in its entirety (After all, Summer will get here eventually).

I thought it would be fun to share with you the tracks that I'm currently cycling on my iPod's chill list as they're all 'love' related (go figure). Enjoy.


Sunday Sweetness {xvi}

{Photo by Our Labor of Love via Once Wed}

Could a sweeter face exist?

There are three babies in my life these days; one I have met while the other two haven't arrived yet (I am anxiously awaiting their birth dates). As I am finding myself drawn to sweet baby faces and fun little things, it's no surprise that I was drawn to this photo. I hope you all enjoy a relaxing Sunday.


Half-Broke Horses

"Most important thing in life... is learning how to fall."

{Photo from Simon and Schuster}

I may put the Slow in the Slow Reader's Book Club but I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this clever true-life novel and didn't want to post until I could devote the appropriate amount of time to doing it justice.

I must preface this review by stating I was quite nervous to read this book and by asserting my love for Jeannette Walls' first novel, The Glass Castle. Although I didn't necessarily have "expectations" for her sophomore release, her writing in The Glass Castle was so powerful and the story was told so uniquely that I didn't quite know how she could follow it up with another story of her family. Thankfully, I can wholeheartedly confirm that these whatever non-expectations/expectations I had were surpassed; I devoured every snapshot of Lily Casey Smith's life.

Walls' writing sets the tone for the novel and resembles that of The Glass Castle. The voice is different but her uncanny ability to handle raw human interactions becomes a linking factor between the two novels. Her ability to address family stories that are both difficult and tragic so honestly and so candidly is amazing: her literary style and form is refreshing and - more importantly - real.

The novel, chronicling the life of such a unique female protagonist - Walls' maternal grandmother - touches on various layers of human nature and family dynamics. Although it can stand alone, the novel essentially adds another layer to the characters and stories that surfaced in The Glass Castle and those were exciting to uncover. I found myself become quite emotionally attached to Lily's story, particularly her relationship with her daughter: Jeannette's mother Rosemary. Although she's labelled it a "true-life novel" rather than a biographic piece of non-ficttion, Walls' depiction of her grandmother is so telling and so authentic its "genre" is irrelevant. A story about family, the ownership in the voice is what makes it work.

I am so thrilled to begin the Slow Readers' journey and really felt this was the perfect platform as I was able to sink my teeth into this novel. Above all, I have great respect for Jeanette Walls' willingness to share so openly as it inspired me to open some of the doors that I've 'closed' in my own life.

If you're looking for a good book (or books in this case) I suggest picking either one up. With that, I leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

"Dad was a philosopher and had what he called his Theory of Purpose, which held that everything in life had a purpose, and unless it achieved that purpose, it was just taking up space on the planet and wasting everybody's time."

Now, as aptly identified by a young Lily, we all must figure out what our Purpose is.

Afternoon Tea

Happy first day of Spring, everyone.

I hope you had the chance to enjoy the sunshine. In true Spring fashion, I was sporting my flip flops this morning while running errands and I spent the rest of the afternoon pruning in my garden for the very first time (eek!). I love this time of year when neighbours emerge from the hollows of winter hibernation & mingle in the cul-de-sac. Welcome Spring!

I felt that this pretty tablescape (found on Mary & Gabrielle's event blog) was the perfect way to welcome the season and remind us all that meals (& teas) al fresco aren't too far off.

{Styling by Joy de Vivre, Photos by Ian Grant Photography, Flowers by Florette Flower Design, Found via Events by Mary and Gabrielle}

They may not have included a single tea cup or saucer in this design but I feel it would be the perfect setting for afternoon tea. After all, what goes better with delicious cakes and cupcakes than tea?

I just adore the mix of girly details and rustic elements in the afternoon sunshine. It's a perfect setting for a shower or birthday luncheon. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I will never tire of chandeliers hung in trees. Perfection.

{I'm pretty sure I love this tablescape so much because it reminds me of this garden wedding}.

How did you celebrate the first weekend of Spring?


Unique Rustic Decor

Let me preface this by stating I love birch trees. They remind me of my childhood summers spent at my cabin and hold a special place in my heart. (I am aware that my love for branches, twigs, and anything else tree-related is apparent).

It's no surprise that I was enthralled with the following event design by Nest Event Loft when I spotted it on Erin ever After. The clever use of natural elements paired against the crisp white background is simply flawless.

A few of my favourite details...

Pillars wrapped in birch trees: why have I never thought of this? I love this feature against the white walls and also think it would be utterly romantic in a darker, candlelit environment.

Moss: has moss ever looked so fresh and Spring-like then when paired with yellow and white blooms? I always enjoy using moss as an accent and it has been styled so well here.

Unique photo & floral arrangements: I love single buds in clear glass vases. There is something so classic and so fresh about this look. I am really digging the twine-hung vases and empty frames with photos hung by clothes pegs. Such a unique and eclectic look.

Counting down the hours until Spring is officially here...

{Photos Courtesy of Hatch Creative Studio, taken by Jenny Ebert and found via Erin ever After}


It's glamorous being green

Although I love green it's not a colour I gravitate to when dressing up. In honour of St. Patty's Day I decided to challenge myself and create an outfit for a night-on-the-town inspired by one of my favourites. Clearly not an outfit to celebrate this infamous Saint, the following would be better suited for champagne cocktails with your girlfriends or dinner & dancing with your sweetie. {Click to enlarge}

{Photos: Natalie Portman, Anthropologie Dress, Jimmy Choo's,
Nine West Clutch, Banana Republic Ring}

That being said, in the spirit of the holiday, make sure you enjoy a pint o' green beer (or two).



Unique Save the Dates: Taking the Plunge

So... this is the coolest photo shoot I've ever seen. Ever. Not to mention, it's a brilliant Save the Date spread...

One part amazing vision, one part fantastic photographer, and two parts beautiful bride-and-groom-to-be, this underwater shoot is absolutely stunning.

Suffice it to say I can't wait to see their wedding (& I have a new photographer crush).

The final product:

{Photos by Kelty of Steep Street Photography via Green Wedding Shoes}

I can't stop staring at these photos; they are so hauntingly beautiful (& they remind me of this photo).

Goosebumps + butterflies.


Sunday Sweetness {xv}

I was instantly smitten with this shoot when I saw it on Love & Lavender's blog. The couple is gorgeous, their choice of location (kitchen, library, and car junk yard), amazing, and the photography, beautiful.

Clearly, I'm enjoying everything literary-related these days (& on that note, look for my review of the first book from The Slow Readers Book Club later this week).

I hope your weekend has been relaxing and that you had the chance to curl up with a good book in the afternoon sunshine.

{Photo by Alisha of Oakstream Photography via Love & Lavender}


Schoolbook Style

One of my favourite people and bride-to-be also happens to be a new teacher. She and her man met and fell in love in high school and her passion is teaching; she's interested in ways of incorporating school into their wedding (without being tacky or going overboard).

The following wedding, recently featured on snippet & ink, was captured by One Love Photo and is altogether lovely. Several details from this couple's library reception stood out to me as fun-yet-classic, perfect for Matt & Jen.

Vintage Typewriters have made a comeback in a big way. A unique prop, they can also be fun alternative to the traditional guest book.

I simply adore the card catalogue escort card feature. So clever and so unique, it adds a vintage feel and pays homage to their library venue.

I love vintage books. I love the smell, the sound they make when they open, and the faded colours. Whether arranged on a bookshelf or stacked as a centerpiece, they're awesome. This is such an adorable way to incorporate your personality into your decor.

{Photos by Heather and Jon of One Love Photo via snippet & ink}

Noteworthy Detail... I also love the following memory the bride shared with snippet & ink:
Since we didn't have a ring bearer, Cameron and I tied our rings around our wrists before the ceremony. We untied each others' ribbons before we exchanged rings, and I will remember that forever.

What is your favourite school-themed detail that you've seen incorporated into a wedding?


Happy Birthday, Papa

I'm so excited to head (back) to Vancouver tomorrow and - more importantly - to celebrate my Papa's 80th birthday party.

We have an amazing party planned and I'm just working on a couple of the final details. Per his request, we're planning a party with a yellow palette, a jazz soundtrack, and delicious food. (I'm clearly over the moon excited for all of the above).
You rock, Papa.

So, for some last-minute-inspiration...

Our florals will consist of spring buds in a few larger arrangements, several smaller vases, and a number of bud vases. We're planning on a combination of yellow tulips, daisies, and daffodils with bear grass.

{Martha Stewart}

I'm currently jamming to the amazing soundtrack of Nina Simone, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday, and Frank Sinatra I'm compiling on my iPod.

{dAyS - 66f via here}

The Menu will be brought to us by none other than the Lazy Gourmet, Susan Mendelson's amazing Vancouver-based catering company. Their Menu is too-die-for (I was hungry after reading it) and the hospitality, amazing.

{The Lazy Gourmet}

. . .

Since I wasn't able to get my act together to put a blog post together, I thought I'd share my favourites of the week found here-and-there... enjoy:

Cookie Love: I will be trying this recipe as soon as possible.

Colour Crush: I'm trying to figure out how I can incorporate burnt orange into my home & my wardrobe (I think this purse would do the trick).

Flower Power: I'm lusting over this wallpaper (& trying to figure out how I can con the b/f into letting me paper a wall in our home) and this centerpiece (gorgeous).

Sleepy Time: It's official. I need these bookends in my life.

Black Beauty: I'm dreaming about this dress and beautiful poppy bouquet. **Amazing**

Paris je t'aime: I want to move to Paris and dress like this adorable lady (see more of her, here).

That's a wrap for me, this week.

Whatever your plans are, I hope you enjoy .
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