Monday, December 7, 2009

where, oh where, has muscari gone?

I'm in love with Easter Yu's designs for Muscari. She designed the hair flower that I wore for my engagement pictures, and subsequently got my photographer 5 demanding commenters asking for the source of said flower. She's been featured in all of the major wedding magazines and blogs, mostly for her unique birch and moss ring bearer "pillows," but she makes the most amazing floral arrangements for your cute little bridal head.

Closeup of my gorgeous Muscari flower

It also happens that every time I see a bride wearing a spectacular hair flower, I squeal and think to myself that I must have it... and every time, it's one of Muscari's creations. I kid you not. I think this talent for picking out Easter's flowers goes along with my talent to unknowingly pick out the most expensive item in a store as my "must have" purchase, while my brain glosses over the more affordable pieces in its quest to ruin my pocketbook. No really, it's an awesome talent.

Anyway, I would love to get my piece picked out and ordered, but whenever I navigate to Muscari's website, there are broken links galore and her previous site is gone! I really hope she isn't closing down shop... I think I would go into Bridezilla-induced shock, which I haven't experienced before but I hear is pretty bad. Just watch We TV on a Sunday.

Does anyone know where Easter and Muscari Designs have gone? I'm hoping this post reaches her or someone who knows of her status.

Up next - my revamped color palette, complete with Pantone swatches!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

decisions, decisions

Wedding planning today is nothing like it was 10 years ago. Future brides have got a million different channels of inspiration available to them - whether it's gorgeous wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty or TV channels who feature wedding programs all day (We TV) - weddings have become serious business.

I came upon this post on Elizabeth Anne Designs the other day, and it really hit the nail on the head for me. I consider myself to be quite the creative type, but unfortunately this also means that I am extremely indecisive about my overall vision for the wedding. Here's what I've done to help my process along:

I've hired a lovely DOC to help me out with small things and she has been fabulous in helping me stay on the right course to a cohesive, beautiful event. One thing that helped me immensely in narrowing down my vision was to revisit my venue at the suggestion of my DOC. I immediately saw that my muted color palette was not going to work for my venue, which is full of galvanized metal and wood detailing. I realized I really needed to use bright colors to pop out against the modern industrial setting. I also figured out that although I lean towards really whimsical weddings (Once Wed style), my venue almost demands a modern, minimalist approach. This isn't to say I can't incorporate a bit of whimsy into the event, but those lovely flower garlands that I was thinking of making really won't look right at our venue.

I made a list of key elements that I absolutely must include when thinking about 'branding' my wedding. The list includes modern calligraphy from our calligrapher (Mara at Neither Snow), using fabric (hand printed and store bought) in various aspects of the wedding, and keeping everything clean and simple while putting unexpected pops of color throughout.

I still waver on most design decisions, but this has helped tremendously. What are you doing to help narrow down your choices?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

our eco-friendly nuptials

I've always cared about the environment, and I try and make my life choices accordingly. I didn't even really think about having an "eco-friendly" wedding, but it appears our wedding is shaping up to be just that, and I'm liking the label.

We're having our reception at one of the most eco-friendly, LEED certified buildings in the country, the Philip Merrill Center at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Annapolis. It's right on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and is gorgeously modern, with amazing architecture and this stark sense of minimalism that I love. The rental price was pretty steep, especially since we're having the cliche Saturday-wedding-in-June due to scheduling restrictions at the Naval Academy Chapel (where we're having our ceremony). However, it felt good knowing that the rental fee was going towards a cause I support instead of the coffer of a hotel... and did I mention it's stunning?

Our caterer is literally 2 miles down the road, so our locally-sourced meal won't have far to travel to get to us. I'm assembling centerpiece decor from thrift store finds and other, recently married brides (thanks Weddingbee classifieds!). My wedding dress is a sample dress, so the time/work/energy that would have gone into creating a custom ordered gown isn't going to be an issue. Our florist is using locally-grown flowers whenever possible, and our potential cupcakery is run out of a friend's home using fresh and organic ingredients. I did all of the above without even thinking. Unfortunately, 90% of our guests will be flying in for the wedding (we're originally from Texas and are having our wedding in Annapolis) which doesn't do much to cut down travel waste, but Annapolis was really the one place we imagined ourselves tying the knot.

I'm trying my hardest to make sure my event doesn't put the universe out too much. Except for the part when the stars align under our wedding reception. That part I'm requiring.

registry woes

Our registry process has been a little choppy in terms of deciding what to add to our list. We've had nothing but great experiences with our places (Crate & Barrel and Macy's), but occasionally we'll stumble when it comes to picking out the important stuff, i.e. knives and pots/pans. For some reason, Mr. Starfish and I are really stressed out about picking such important pieces for our kitchen! We both cook a lot, so we can definitely appreciate a good utensil or two, but being young, we haven't had the luxury of top-notch kitchen gear. I guess we're just anxious about choosing good quality tools while still hitting the right price points for our guests.

We went over to Williams-Sonoma to talk to supposed cutlery and pots/pans experts and were extremely disappointed. We've done some research online, but still can't figure it out. I love the look and feel of the Shun knives (if I could do my entire house in faux bois, I would... hence my obsession with the texture of the Shun Classic set) but Wusthof is more popular and less expensive, we like Calphalon but want to stay away from nonstick due to chemicals, All-Clad is nice but expensive... I want to pull my hair out! Right now, no decisions have been made. Do you have any advice or product recommendations?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

my wedding pictures are going to be a blurb

I could be like most other brides and sit back and have my photog create a wonderful coffee table book for me with the best pictures from our special day... but that wouldn't be the very hands-on and fabulous miss starfish way to do things, right? Of course not. I've got a better plan.

When Mr. Starfish and I took a recent trip to Ireland, we took some a-mazing pictures. As in some are worthy of National Geographic, they're that good! Maybe I'm just biased, but I wanted them to be showcased in something other than a Facebook album or one of my oh-so-trendy Ikat picture frames on my bookcase. That's when I found Blurb!

Blurb is an awesome service that lets you upload your pictures, add pages, and do your own thing before they make it into a BEAUTIFUL, hard cover, dust covered, glossy piece of perfection that looks stunning on your coffee table. All for a price that's not too shabby. Especially when you google a coupon before you order. So that's where my wedding pictures will be going... straight into the Blurb machine!

the starfish spotlight: delicious links

No, I'm not talking about yummy sausages, I'm talking about delicious, i.e. the most amazing wedding/daily life tool I've ever come across! delicious is a self described 'social network for bookmarks,' meaning you can share your links with people easily. Basically, whenever I get inspired or see something I love on the internet, I click my handy delicious button on my toolbar (easily download for any browser) and tag it under whatever category I choose. I have a ton of things filed under categories from hair to honeymoon and inspiration to cupcakes. If you're brave, check out my delicious account... but beware, there might be too much information for you to handle! My delicious account is kind of what my room looks like now... yikes. I need to organize both.

my dress came from neiman's

Sample sale, that is. While at a bridal show in Austin last year with a good friend, we picked up cute little memos reminding us to head out to the Neiman Marcus Last Call bridal sample sale in a few months. I was ecstatic, considering I had never been to a sample sale, nor had I even started to think about the dress. I invited my mom and grandmother to come up for that weekend, but sadly they couldn't come. I was devastated, thinking there was no way I could even chance getting "the one" without my family there. My friend suggested we head over there anyway, just to look.

Well, that's what I thought. After trying on a few fluffy Veras and searching for the MS Dora to no avail, I was about to give up... when I saw it. Mermaid silhouette (check), sweetheart neckline (check), covered from head to toe in abstract chiffon roses?! I swooned a little as I got closer (the oddly shaped roses reminded me of a Monet or something) and then I did a double take when I saw the price. An Ulla-Maija, it originally retailed for $9,000. It was listed at $1,000. I had to try it on.

It fit like a dream. I called my mom, who actually wasn't too pleased that I was considering getting a dress without her, but I was in LOVE! Yes, there wasn't the cliche tear-on-mom's-eye or the gleeful clapping of commission-based salespeople, but there was me, the dress, and a good friend. In true Miss Starfish fashion, I chose a good deal over a bunch of brouhaha - I bought the dress and called it a day. And that is how I got the dress for 8 grand less than it should have been. Did I mention I already booked an appointment with the coveted seamstress/angel of the DC metro area, Angie? I'm on top of things, ya'll.