The Chalk Art of Dana Tanamachi

If you appreciate typography (and chalkboards!) as much as I do, then you probably already love the work of Dana Tanamachi.

She’s a graphic designer who moonlights as a custom chalk letterer. She starts with a sketch like this:

And turns it into a work of art like this:

Amazing, right? She’s available for commission, so you could have this kind of gorgeousness at your own wedding! If your budget doesn’t allow for a grand installation, she does work on a smaller scale too:

I’ll leave you with my favorite piece, designed as a part of National Novel Writing Month. Doesn’t it just bring you back to the wonder of childhood, awed by fireflies in the night? For more information on how you can bring that same wonder to your wedding guests, visit Dana’s website.

Papercuts by Joe

I love paper. Adore it. I might have been known to buy gorgeous paper just because it’s pretty, even if I don’t have a specific project in mind (I find a project for it! Usually.). So as you can imagine, I love amazing paper art, and one Etsy store that has been on my radar for a while now is Papercuts by Joe. Joe makes intricate, lovely, and sometimes cheeky papercuts, and I love his work! In chronological wedding order…

Joe does custom wedding and event place cards. These cows would be fun for a fun country wedding, but if cows aren’t your thing, he’ll work with you to create papercut place cards that are totally you!!

As you probably know, your first anniversary present is supposed to be paper (my husband and I gave each other tickets to a show). This couple kissing on a bicycle would be such a cute 1st anniversary gift!!

{All images from Papercuts by Joe}

Some of my absolute favorites are Joe’s building papercuts. The one pictured above is a silhouette of the Chrysler Building, but check out Joe’s website for more stunning architectural papercuts. Seriously, wow!! Wouldn’t a custom papercut of a couple’s first home make an absolutely AMAZING housewarming gift??

All papercuts are make from archival black paper and come mounted on acid-free white mat board, so it will last! Custom framing is also available, or you can hang your new artwork in your favorite frames — everything I saw was a standard size, so finding a frame shouldn’t be a problem.

Which of Joe’s papercuts is your favorite?

Check out this great modest wedding today on Style Me Pretty. Photography by Kate Osborne Photography.

Check out this great modest wedding today on Style Me Pretty. Photography by Kate Osborne Photography.

Maids Monday: Shabby Apple

Think finding a modest wedding dress can be a challenge? Just wait until you look for bridesmaids’ dresses!! After looking for a modest dress for my ladies that was the right color, right price, and right fit for everyone, I finally decided to go with a coordinated but not matching look. They looked gorgeous, but I wish I had known about Shabby Apple then: it would have saved a LOT of time looking for dresses!!

Shabby Apple’s founders, Emily and CK, started the dress company after they got tired of searching for dresses that didn’t show too much skin (sound familiar?). Shabby Apple sells dresses that offer a “return to what dresses were always meant to be,” in that you don’t have to spend hours searching for the perfect cami or cardigan to make it modest. And these are modest dresses that are way stylish: they’ve been featured in Glamour, People, Marie Claire, on the Today Show…the list goes on and on. That’s right…modern, modest dresses that are ready to wear straight off the hanger. (I’ll wait while you go do a little happy dance)

So what do these paragons of dress amazingness look like, you ask? Like this:

Cleo and Antony

Anne and Andy

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Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
Michael Leunig
from Green Apple Photography, via Ruffled
Wedding Project: Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows

I came across this fun project on goodLife {eats} (which I adore, by the way), and thought it would make a fun wedding project. Katie made it as a Valentine’s Day project, but wouldn’t these marshmallows be great individually wrapped as a wedding favor? Paired with some hot chocolate mix, this is one wedding favor that would definitely make it home with me!

photo from goodLife {eats}

Go here to get the marshmallow recipe, and here for a great hot chocolate mix to pair!

Design Your Own Wedding Shoes: Milk and Honey

You know how I feel about customization. While I don’t subscribe to the theory that it being “your day” means you get to stomp on everyone’s feelings, I do think that it should be “your day” in that everyone who attends your wedding should feel like it’s so you. In my book, the more customization, the better!

So as you can imagine, Milk & Honey is right up my alley! They offer custom shoes for weddings and other special events. You get to choose the style of shoe and choose from a bunch of difference materials and embellishments to make the shoe yours.

Here are some sample shoes I created using their design tool:

You can see the many options on the left side of the image — you can choose the height, color(s), heel style, embellishments, and lots more!! What design would you pick?

Demure Design: Alta Moda Bridal

Alta Moda Bridal definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite bridal boutiques. Many brides who are looking for a modest wedding gown have one of three choices: choose a gown that already has sleeves, add a jacket of some type to a gown that doesn’t, or alter a finished gown to make it more modest. Well, Alta Moda adds another option: they work directly with the gown designers to modify the actual dress pattern before the dress is made. That’s right: rather than trying to add a top to a strapless dress you love, or find a seamstress to make a similar gown, you can have a custom, modest dress right from the designer! Pretty great, isn’t it?

You can see the difference very clearly in this comparison from Alta Moda. A “traditional” alteration of the gown would have left a clear line where a bodice was added. In this dress, you can see that the entire top of the dress was reworked to include sleeves from the start of the gown’s creation — no line!

{Photos via Alta Moda Bridal)

This dress is another of my favorites. Again, the entire top of the dress has been altered before it was sewn. Personally, I don’t know that this gown would have altered well — a lot of its charm is the flow of ruffles. But in the Alta Moda version, the top of the dress looks like one continuous flow because it is! And if you wanted more sleeve than the cap sleeve shown here, I would hazard a guess that Alta Moda could accommodate you there too! For more gorgeousness from Alta Moda, check out their website, as well as this post, offering gown shopping tips for brides.

Wedding Bouncers

Forgive the late post…I’ve been having winter travel “fun” and am typing this from the airport, where my flight just got delayed for the fifth time!

Despite that, it’s been a good day. I attended a training session on facilitation, one of the parts of my job I love the most. In one of the exercises, we were discussing the fact that when you’re dealing with public meetings, you can’t just have security eject anyone who is being difficult. It made me think of weddings.

At some point during the planning for your wedding, or even on your wedding day, someone is going to do something that frustrates you. Maybe the frustration is with cause, maybe you’re just stressed and that gets the best of you for a moment. Whatever the reason, everyone who plans a wedding has a moment where they want to shout “security!!” As tempting as it may be, though, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that’s just as impractical for you as it is for the rest of us! So how do you deal with frustrating people during the wedding planning process?

First, take a step back and examine the situation. I know as well as anyone that wedding planning can be stressful and can make you prone to bite people’s heads off for the slightest “infraction.” If you really do have a reason to be mad, take a step back anyway. Is this worth the confrontation? It may be. While I don’t ascribe to the “my day” theory of weddings, you are the keepers of your wedding vision. If something is a key element for you, stand up for it! If someone is trampling that vision, let them know how you feel! Polite doesn’t mean doormat.

BUT. Neither does justified mean blank check. Remember, if someone is close enough to make you mad, you’re probably going to have to see them again after the wedding, and you want that interaction to be pleasant. So if you have to speak up to defend your choices for your wedding, do so gently. Do so lovingly. But also do so firmly—trust your instincts and believe in your vision. You don’t need “wedding bouncers” to stand up for your wedding…you’ve got this! Just take a deep breath, remember how much you love them (whoever “they” are), and share what’s in your heart. You’ll be amazed at how much a little understanding can diffuse even the worst situation. Good luck!