Posts in the 'wedding themes' Category

Get Inspired: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Meets Carnival in Aubergine, Burnt Orange and Rose Gold

Affiliate Disclaimer New

We had some great requests for color scheme inspiration on Facebook, but this one from Lily stood out as an interesting challenge. She’s looking to pair dark purple and warm orange over ivory, accented by rose gold in a Midsummer Night’s Dream-meets-carnival theme. To me, the great Shakespearean play reminds me of Greek-style flowing dresses, floral crowns and an organic feeling while carnivals are bright and showy with lots of light and sparkles. We scrubbed the interwebz for some dreamy inspiration to bring these two great ideas together.



1. Get your guests geared up for the party with these Eventide rose gold foil stamped invites from Minted ($260 for 100 invitations).

2. Shine a light on the night with rose gold lanterns from Etsy seller OpenVintage Shutters ($15.99).

3. You’ll look like a dream come to life in the airy Lucca gown from BHLDN ($520).

4. Top your wedding day look with this etherial Floral Crown with blush pearls from Etsy seller NoonontheMoon ($125).

5 & 6. Have your girls channel their inner Greek Goddess with a one shouldered or strapless bridesmaid gown. Both from Target ($79.99).

7. These purple candle holders from Luna Bazaar are lined in a yellow gold hue, but light a candle and they glow a lovely burnt orange shade from behind the aubergine ($6).

8. Calla lilies look amazing mixed with a variety of flowers and greens. The mango orange variety from Blooms by the Box are a wonderful color to match this palette ($37.90 for a box of 10).

9. Blue by Betsey Johnson’s Wed pump is a classic and demure style in a medium high heel that won’t kill your feet, but when they’re covered in rose gold sequins, they bring out the fun, flashy carnival vibe!’s awesome discounted price is reason enough to party ($52.99).

10. A dreamy night calls for stars and these huge 24″ paper star lanterns from Luna Bazaar are a lovely marriage between the two themes ($7.95).

11. Reminiscent of crescent moons, the rose gold links in this 1928 Vintage Lace Half Circle stretch bracelet on Amazon adds a pop of metallic without being overwhelming ($22).

12. Bring out the ivory in your palette with a beautiful show of deep purple with the Picasso mini calla lily from Blooms by the Box ($37.90 for a box of 10).

13. These rose gold and rhinestone Constellation Earrings from Etsy seller BearfruitBoutique are delicate enough for a fairy and add a whimsical sparkle to a wedding day ensemble ($36).

{Confession} If I Could Do It All Again

OK. Can I tell you girls a secret? My wedding was perfect, and lovely, an we had a grand old time, and were successfully married. But. As much as I love my wedding, I have to confess… It wasn’t my Dream Wedding Day.

Now, don’t get me wrong… All my dreams came true. And I married the man of my dreams. But cutting our timeline like we did, and taking into consideration that travel capability of the overwhelming majority of our older relatives… The main goal of the day (the getting-married) became the only thing that mattered. The devil in the details that make wedding days Dream Wedding Days, well… we had to make some concessions.

I. I had to make some concessions. The Hubs was one of those amazing grooms that coasted through the whole wedding process in his laid-back, happy-go-lucky, keep-calm-and-carry-on sort of way. He would have been happy with anything (except eloping to City Hall, which I begged him to do on numerous occasions with no success). We had a million reasons to do things the way we did, and I stand by them…

But how would you girls feel about re-planning my Dream Wedding with me? :) Flipping through my blogroll this week, I realized that I’m a country girl at heart– and a summer, country wedding is what I’d put together if I could do it all again.

Image from Tec Petaja Photography

Images from Hilton Pittman Photography

I’d keep it DIY, of course– from the bouquets to the menu to the bar to the lights in the trees. What do you say, ladies? You in?

And how would you do your wedding if you could do it all differently?


Mourning the Weddings I’ll Never Have

I saw a Roller Derby match tonight (the Blitzburg Bombers killed it, by the way).  Roller Derby is unstoppably cool.  It kind of makes me feel like an eight-year-old girl staring at a bunch of sixteen year-olds, who simply by virtue of their age seem cooler than Steve McQueen and Debbie Harry combined.   Derby chicks are so freakin’ cool.

[Photo by Mike Rubino]

The Steel City Derby Demons next bout at home is on July 16, my wedding date.  When I heard that, I started to fantasize about a wedding I’ll never have:  a roller-derby themed wedding where the ceremony happens with our bridal party circling us in a jam.

I’d be BrideKilla.  I’d have a white derby outfit, with ripped up white stockings and fake blood stains on my veil.  I’d make up derby names for all my guests and put them on their escort cards. The reception would be an epic free skate. Doesn’t that sound like an awesome wedding?

Fantasizing about a super cool roller derby wedding got me thinking about all the other cool weddings I’ll never have.

I would make this work. [Source]

1.  A July 4th wedding where I wear a flag dress and put my bridesmaids in red and blue dresses.  Guys, I love the USA with all of my heart, and I’m a huge sucker for patriotic regalia (it is dangerous to get me in a party store around this time of year).  Collin’s first idea for my engagement ring? A white diamond as the center stone with a red stone and a blue stone on the sides.  The jeweler talked him out of it? Honestly? I would have loved that ring. It’s probably for the best, because people would have made fun of me behind my back, but I would have loved that ring.   My teddy bear is red white and blue and named Abearica.  My first year of law school, my roommate Abby and I threw parties on Constitution Day, President’s Day, and Flag Day, and each was more epic than the last.  So shouldn’t my wedding, a.k.a the biggest party I’ve thrown thus far, be on the biggest patriotic holiday of them all?  Well, no, because a Monday wedding would kind of blow.  And my friend Liz throws a killer barbeque every Independence Day and it’s so important to her she might skip my wedding to throw it. And she’s in my wedding.  So the Fourth of July wedding is another wedding I’ll never have.

2. The Wedding Where I Recreate the Dream weddings of the characters in Clueless.  You know, Dionne says she wants a sailor gown and her bridemaids in sailor hats, so I do the ceremony like that.  Tai wants everything to be very floral, so I deck the cocktail hour in so many blossoms I have to provide Claritin as party favors.  And I’ll come to the reception dressed as Cher in her iconic Yellow Suit.  Crazy obscure reference to a fifteen-year-old movie? Totally valid wedding theme.

3. The November Rain Video Wedding. I wrote about that months ago on my blog, hoping it might get it out of my system.  But still, when I hear that song (or Regina Spektor’s “On the Radio”) I feel a little sadness in my heart that my wedding dress has a front on the skirt.  Because if anything could top a wedding that is an inscrutable reference to a fifteen-year-old movie, it’s an inscrutable reference to a twenty-year-old music video.

What are the imaginary weddings you’re kind of sad you’ll never have?


A Broke-Ass Primer on Popular Wedding Themes

Did you ever see the movie Bride Wars? [If you haven’t, stop now… and pat yourself on the back for your discerning taste.]

In it, the eponymous warring brides meet with a wedding planner, and the first item of business is to share their wedding themes. The brides spout off well-rehearsed nonsense phrases: one seeks “elegant minimalism with romantic textures;” the other “classic traditionalism with trendy infusion.”

That might sound like a load, but chances are you have a buzzword or two that you toss around with friends or vendors to give an idea of what you want your wedding to look like. Today, I’m going to walk you through a few of the most common wedding theme buzzwords, and what they really mean for the Broke-Ass Bride.

Your buzzword: Rustic.


What you want to express: My wedding ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. I just slapped these charming pieces together into a warm (if rough-around-the-edges) bundle of homey warming unifying warmth.

What you worry it will express: The peeling paint on my recovered-cabin-log ceremony benches is a metaphor for where my marriage will be in ten years. Also: I don’t care if you get splinters on your tush.

Budget-friendliness: Moderate. The key is to find things that are actually rustic, as opposed to new things that have been distressed. Because paying someone to make something brand new look old and used is rarely budget-friendly.

Sanity-friendliness: High. Every DIY mishap can be chalked up to enriching the lived-in, hand-made ambiance. Matching is a very low priority, so you can throw pretty much whatever you have on hand or whatever you can find at the wedding.

Your buzzwords: Simple and elegant.


What you want to express: Had representative government failed to find a global foothold, I’d probably be a princess right now.

What you worry you will express: I have no personality other than holding up a mirror to my imaginary royal self.

Budget-friendliness: When the emphasis is on simple, high. When the emphasis is on elegant, moderate to low.

Sanity-friendliness: Moderate. It will be easy to find the building blocks for a simply elegant wedding, and not too difficult to stay on budget, but there is always the risk that arranging 20 centerpieces out of 700 identical ivory votive candles will push you over the edge.

Your buzzword: Vintage.


What you want to express: My kids are NOT going to laugh at my wedding for being dated. My wedding will transcend passing fads, floating across the years in a bubble of timeless class.

What you worry you will express: My grandkids are going to be seriously confused about how old Nanny and Pop-Pop are. Also, does it smell musty in here?

Budget-friendliness: Varies. Here, the era you’re shooting for can make or break your budget. As can your dedication to true-vintage pieces vs. “vintage inspired” items. Which isn’t to say that one is always more budget-friendly than the other… leading me to…

Sanity-friendliness: Low. Do you ever want to ask yourself “Is this border swirl more Edwardian than Art Nouveau?” Do you want to worry if your grandmother will recognize that your 40’s-style victory roll hairdo doesn’t really go with your 50’s style tea-length party dress? Do you want to add hours of library research to your wedding to-do list? If you answered YES to any of those questions, you might be a history dork like me. But if you answered NO, than you are a SANE PERSON, and you should NOT try to have a vintage wedding. Hint: swap in the buzzword “timeless,” which is like “vintage” minus any effort toward historical integrity.

So, fellow broke-asses: do you have wedding buzzwords? Have you found them budget- and/or sanity-friendly?


Her Pants May Stink – Her Invitations Do Not.

If you followed my wedding plans, you know there’s nothing I love more than custom illustrations. They add a level of personal flair and uniqueness that truly befits a  unique wedding. We had custom drawings done for our save the dates, our invitations, and even for our maps and thank you cards (more to come on those later) – but if I could go back and do it again (or run into a future project that could use our cartoon likenesses), I’d have Sara from Stinkerpants Celebrations do something for us, too!

I love her sunny style and rich, colorful backgrounds! All her characters have tons of personality infused with the classic Stinkerpants touch. She makes a point of including little things that help define a couple’s style, and I love how quirky and sweet all of the designs are! Ultrafly!

Check out this cutesypie Venice themed Save the Date

Or this feast for the eyes tri-fold invitation – aren’t the settings the sweetest?

Her thank you cards give props in a personal and memorable way!

She also does greeting cards. I mean, who could resist this hysterical invitation? (ps: I have a photo of my MOH and BM holding up my dress while I pee, pre-ceremony. It happens to everyone!)


Now, I might be a tad bit biased, since Sara is also the inimitable Mrs. Creampuff, but her creativity and talent here speaks for its adorable self! She also stands up for what she believes in, which I really admire, and has a sense of humor about her business that I really appreciate. See?

I hope y’all love her work as much as I do – it just makes me smile every time I see it!


Lovely Hands To Hold

I just love the way Mehndi looks on a bride. Its such a lovely, delicate and sometimes surprising detail with big impact.

(image source)
How frickin’ sweet are those shoes?

Mehndi is an intricate henna application typically done to the hands and/or feet of brides of mid-east/eastern descent, but is gaining popularity among other cultures for its beauty, and is even making appearances in fashion these days.

Mendhi is one of the sixteen adornments bestowed on a Hindu bride during Solah Shringar (the pre-wedding beautification process). In this way, mehndi marks the rite of passage of marriage in a girl’s life and her initiation into womanhood. Very sweet.

(image source)

Once we decided on our wedding theme, and started researching, designing and imagining the possibilities, I started toying with the idea of having a subtle mehndi done on my hands for our big day. I knew I didn’t want anything overstated or obtrusive, but just didn’t find a photo that sparked my fire…

…Then I saw this:

(image source)– click to enlarge
From the lovely “When Mehndi Met Mariachi” wedding featured in Nirali Magazine.

The lotus pattern is so romantic and delicate. I love the idea of doing just the palms of my hands so the design is more unexpected and muted…. I’m sold! I’ve just made Mehndi a Must-do on my list.

What about you? Are you incorporating unexpected multi-cultural elements in your wedding look?


The Elephant In The Room

Here’s a teaser of an image I interpreted into a “Wedding Logo” of sorts….
Fear not – its uses will be revealed, in time…..

(I lost the source drawing which inspired this! If its you, let me know! – click to enlarge)

But, what does it mean? Well, I’m glad you asked!

We chose the Ganesh because he is known as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings. According to Kundalini Yoga, Ganesha resides in the first chakra (at the solar plexus), and Ganesha holds, supports and guides all other chakras, thereby “governing the forces that propel the wheel of life”. That’s right folks, Ganesha is the captain of your Chakra ship. Or maybe in our case, the captain of our Magic Carpet Ride!

I love how this interpretation of him is loose and romantic – even his ears resemble hearts! I included the lotus flower, known for its divine beauty, because the unfolding petals can be seen to represent expansion of the soul. How fitting, I think!

Now, in case you’re wondering – neither Hunter nor I are Hindu, or Buddhist. But we are lovers of Eastern arts and cultures. We also respect many aspects of their respective faiths, and try to integrate those things into our everyday lives. We’re designing a very eclectic ceremony which borrows our favorite bits of many world religions and spiritual practices, and integrating that sensibility into our design as well. Hence, our Magic Carpet Ride theme!

That’s right, friends. My name is Dana, and I’m a bit of a dirty hippie. Represent!


The Theme That Dreams Are Made Of

Deciding on a theme was a difficult decision for my meaty man and me. We both wanted to love the Moroccan idea but it felt kind of limiting to us, and we wanted something more unique and whimsical… more us. I searched and searched for inspiration, and then I struck gold.

This is what I’m talking about, people! This is the kind of whimsical, vibrant, unexpected, romantic and quasi-eastern feeling we want our wedding to exude!

(image source– click to enlarge)

I love it so much! I love the whimsy of the artwork and its echos of the east. I love the sensual swirliness, the juicy, fruity color deliciousness! I mean, c’mon! The colors here totally echo our bright color board and gorgeous bridesmaid dresses! How fortuitous is that?!

So, yes, I’m still inspired by Morocco. I’m still lurving its magical palettes and tiles and exotica. But, I am also loving India, Indonesia, and beyond! So, taking a hint from the wonderful left side of that amazing picture above, and seeing as our style love crosses country borders (and even continental ones), I hereby submit to you our new wedding theme:
(yumm, how tasty is this “Caliph” Font?!?)

This way we can incorporate elements from all the styles we love, places we’re inspired by, and not feel tied to one specific theme. Plus, we wanted our theme to be more of an idea and not entirely literal, and I think this fusion is perfect for that! Its offbeat, kooky, fun and romantic – we just love it! It works really well with our venue, and I think it will brighten up the space really nicely.

I can’t wait to show you all the ways we’re weaving it into our design. Stay tuned!

What do you think? Are we crazy? Have you found a picture which unlocked all the potential your wedding has to offer?


Mid-East Inspiration

Our “dream wedding” went through many incarnations over the 7 months it took us to find the right venue. We agonized over decor for several styles of potential weddings: an enchanted garden party, a mexican fiesta wedding, a rustic wheat-y winery wedding, and a rustic spanish adobe wedding… but none of them really felt right. I was starting to get really nervous.

Finally, we settled on the perfect location (stay tuned for details), and suddenly the decor became a no-brainer… lo and behold it was perfect for us! Our reception venue has a bit of a Moroccan feel to it, so we’re riffing off of that theme to create a magical, moody and mysterious and bad-ass party!

Check out the BEAUTIFUL inspiration board that the incredibly talented and loverly ladies at Elizabeth Anne Designs made for me:


I just love the colored glass votives and the sexy room at bottom left.

And here are some other great photos from Moroccan-style events that inspire me:

(image source)

(image source)

Don’t you love the lavish feel of this style, and the rich, vibrant colors? I am LOVING jewel-tones, drape-y fabrics and cushions! Its so luxe, but still bohemian. I likey.

I think hookahs would be a fun decor item, but impractical and probably expensive. Sari table runners are definitely in order. There’s so many great Middle-Eastern decor options out there!

(source1) (source2) (source3)

Ebay is proving a fruitful shopping ground for many of the items we need. Anyone got any leads on where else to find more Moroccan kitsch on the cheap?