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happy 4th of july!

For some reason my pictures won’t post right now—so just imagine there is a really cute picture of a newly married couple, making a heart with sparklers! (how cute is that!?)

Happy 4th of July to all you wonderful guys and gals out there! My husband and I took the train into Chicago for the day and spent a wonderful lunch at the Taste of Chicago, dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and shopping downtown! Now, I’m exhausted, and will be out and about the rest of the weekend!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

the {not so} beautiful beach

(Actual Lake Michigan “Snow fence” via Flickr)

I shared this information with a prospective client today, and realized it would be useful to anyone planning a beach wedding….

One thing many people don’t know (especially if you’re not near the lake year round) is that the beach is not always the lovely, pristine gem it is in the summer. In the winter, massive waves roll in (it’s incredible to see) causing an amazing amount of erosion on the beaches. To help curb this, “snow fence” is put up along many city and county beaches. Snow fence is a wood and wire fencing combo that is placed along the length of the beach at different intervals.

Okay, so now you’re thinking, “Get to the point Jessica, I don’t care about snow fence!” Well, if you’re planning a beach wedding, it’s something you’ll want to consider! Even though those snowfalls and waves don’t roll in until late November(knock on wood!), snow fencing gets installed as early as mid-September on many city and county beaches. Mid September! I think this is total overkill on the part of those parks people, but they’re not listening to my vote on it these days! So if you’re planning a beach wedding after the first of September, I would advise you to contact the city or county who governs your beach (if it’s public) to check on the status of snow fences. Not all beaches put it up, and your local parks department should be able to give you the 411 on which beaches will be picture-friendly after September!

Happy 4th of July!

“Something old” never looked so good

(Top Left:1940 Vintage Cameo Shell Brooch $476 ,Top Right:2000 VIntage diamond cultured pearl brooch $1.596.00 , Center:1920 Diamond Brooch $3,116.00 , Lower Left: 1950 Vintage retro period pearl diamond brooch $2970.00, Lower Right: 1910 Vintage Edwardian Sapphire and Diamond Brooch $3,996.00)

If I had a thousand dollars (or three or four) to buy “Something old”….what about one of these beauties? Brooches look gorgeous pinned to a bouquet or on a gorgeous sash on your dress. I had a recent bride {the lovely Miss Claire} who pinned a family heirloom brooch on her bouquet, and later for the reception, we pinned it in her hair for a beautiful vintage touch! {Note to Self: Find some “budget friendly” brooch options this week}

(photo by Stella Event Design)

summer style at pottery barn

( Top Left: Coral 29.00/39.00, Top Right:Glass Oil lamps $7.99 , Middle Left: Glass Votive Holders $12.00/set of 6 , Middle Right: Resin Starfish $16.00/set of four , Bottom Left: Vase Fillers $12.00, Bottom Right: Green Glass Votive Holders $14.00)

I love this time of year—even though summer has just started, many stores are already marking down their seasonal summer accessories! I love a sale. And, if you’re planning a beach or outdoor wedding for 2008 or 2009, this is the perfect time to snag some great deals on beach-inspired decor! These are some of my summer sale faves from Pottery Barn!

My favorites are the sea urchin, starfish and sand dollar vase fillers which would look amazing in vases, candle holders, or scattered on a table. You could also use them to affix to boutonierres or your bouquet (maybe dangling with ribbons?).

(the Knot)

Even better, use the sand dollars as place cards, and have each guests’ names written on them–it will be much easier than using the real thing, and will be a beautiful and personal touch!

great weekend+great brides


I didn’t have a wedding this weekend—but the weekend was still filled with brides and planning regardless! I had a meeting with Tracey at Foundry Hall in South Haven to go over decor details for her reception setup for her wedding July 11th. The Foundry is such an awesome urban location, and I love how versatile the space is. So we spent a few hours going over how we would work the lighting in the room, played around with a gobo projector, and came up with a complete decor plan the space, so it will be exactly what Tracy+David are hoping for! The best part…we discovered the ceilings are covered in orange and pink christmas lights, which happen to be Tracy’s colors—how perfect!

Later in the day my father in law came down to visit for the afternoon, and we headed downtown for a late lunch at Shu’s downtown. As we were heading into the restaurant I ran into Kate+Mitch (plus her mom and his parents) enjoying a Shu’s lunch after a little of their own wedding planning that day! I haven’t seen Kate in person since our consultation (Kate+Mitch live in Chicago) so it was so fun to bump into them and hear about the band-scoping they had done that weekend! Their wedding isn’t until June 2009, but I’m already excited, because I know it will be fabulous, and they have been great to work with so far!

Even later that day, I got an email from bride Kelly, confirming a centerpiece proposal I had sent—-so we are all set on that, and I will get to hit the floor running this week to get decor ordered! I love it when weekends are uber-productive! Plus, it was fun to get to see & talk to so many of my clients this weekend—I am so lucky to get to work with such a sweet and fun group of brides in 08/09, and I count myself truly lucky to have such a great group of clients!

let them eat {old} cake?

(photo courtesy Ben Pancoast Photography)

A lot of people {whom I blog stalk} are celebrating one year anniversaries–congrats Aletha & Emilie! So all of the recent blog-talk of anniversaries this weekend made me think about 1 year anniversary traditions. Mainly, why am I going to be eating year old cake in a few months? So, I did a little investigating, and here is the explanation I found…

It used to be common occasion that by the time a couple’s first anniversary rolled around, they were also welcoming their first child. So, instead of shelling out the extra cash for a bright and shiny new cake for the baby’s christening, they served the leftover wedding cake. The wedding cake was made larger than needed, and the extra was served at the christening party! I don’t know about you, but I feel like the baby got the short end of the stick on this one!

To be completely honest, I have no intention of eating old cake, but we will be having our top tier re-created to enjoy!

custom cake toppers {elegana handcraft}

I don’t know about you, but when I saw these adorable cake toppers by Lily Tsai at Elegan Handcraft, I couldn’t believe I didn’t have one for myself! Each topper is made by hand, and you can’t believe the detail on them–it’s absolutely incredible–each individually crafted flower, jewel, and you can even see the stitching!

Better yet, you can have a custom topper crafted to look like you and your fiance! I love this idea! Check out some of the custom pieces…

I actually came to the site to check out some of the amazing jewelry, but the cake toppers are what kept me there to check it all out! Visit the site—there are so many more fantastic toppers to check out, and the jewelry and handbags are just icing on the cake topper!

(all photos via Elegana HandCraft!)

etsy Love {petalbypetal}

I have been an absolute Etsy fiend this week! I’m absolutely loving these beautiful clay flowers created by Etsy artist PetalByPetal. They look so real! These would be beautiful to incorporate into your cake design, or to use for decor—no wilting! Check out the PetalByPetal store for more beautiful creations. You can also request custom pieces to match your wedding motif!

*all images via PetalByPetal

city inspiration

(Citybird via With This Ring)

The always wonderful blog With This Ring never fails to delight me with fun finds! Check out today’s post on fun chicago-inspired finds to incorporate into your guest bags, favors, or as gifts! I have lots of Chicago brides who plan destination weddings with me in Southwest Michigan, and I think these would all be wonderful ways to incorporate a little bit of Chicago love into your beach side nuptials!

BUT, the city-inspired fun isn’t just for the Chicago gals! Etsy seller Citybird is located in Detroit, Michigan and offers a TON of fun Detroit-inspired items like this vintage detroit map journal! Please excuse me while I shop!

(via Citybird)