Our wedding: the registry

June 29, 2017

When it comes to registries, you need to think about what you want, but also what you need (ain’t that the truth for more than just registries).  I had this childhood vision they’d close Tiffany’s for us and we’d gallivant through the store scanning whatever we laid eyes on.  Of course we need that 24k gold leaf Venetian glass vase, and why yes, we’d make use of a set of sterling silver mint julep tumblers, on special occasions.  But the Internet makes things too easy and we have no business registering anywhere that even shares a wall with Tiffany’s.  We knew there were some home basics we could use, but were also in the midst of planning our honeymoon and knew money would help even more.  I think it makes the most sense to do a combination of both (make the moms happy, make your credit cards healthy).  We decided to go with Crate & Barrel for the basics, Thankful Registry for the off-the-registry assortments, and Honeyfund for a playful way for peeps to contribute to our honeymoon.  I’ve outlined them below, both pros and cons, hoping its helps!

Crate & Barrel  Because, classic.  I truly didn’t know which Big Girl Store was appropriate to go with (some are so expensive, some come off pretentious, some feel cheap) but Crate & Barrel has always been a classic in my eyes.  We were gifted everything we needed, and didn’t need, and our house, especially our kitchen, feels so complete.  A few of my favorites picks were the welcome dinner plates, edge champagne glasses and omg, our white linen sheets.  There are always coupon codes or sales, and I’m pretty sure its free shipping within the registry, so you really can’t go wrong.  I’m also a huge fan of CB2.

It’s the teenager with champagne taste in me.

Con: This was the first list to deplete, probably because it’s so straight forward and easy to use.  Not a bad thing, but my mom kept asking me to add items, to which I responded, no!  I’m not going to add things we don’t need, and we still have available items on Thankful and Honeyfund.  She understood.  

Thankful  This was hands down my favorite.  If you know me, you know I enjoy giving gifts, and I’m typically an off-the-registry kinda girl.  This site was perfect for me.  Collecting things for our condo, especially with my eclectic taste, doesn’t translate well with Pottery Barn, or just one store for that matter.  With Thankful I was able to pull things from anywhere on the Internet – Anthro, Etsy, Australia – and I love its UI Design.  These were also the most fun gifts to receive because people were able to get creative.  Even if friends didn’t purchase the exact item from our registry, they had guidance to find something similar to the items we picked.  For example, I registered for a cute fabric umbrella and one of my best friends/bridesmaids upgraded us to an even cuter version.  I loved having the freedom to add (or subtract) items from all my endless searching.

★ A few things we registered for below ★

Con: It’s a one-time $30 fee to use, which really isn’t that bad.  However, we didn’t get as many items from our list as I thought we might.  I think it was a little trickier to use, as the items were pulled from all over the web, and things don’t automatically update (like if they sell out or go on sale) like they would if it was all under the same brand.  Or, maybe we didn’t have enough options in different price ranges.  I’d love to know your thoughts and/or feedback if you’ve ever used it!  

Honeyfund  Some of my mom’s friends had a hard time with this one because it’s just money, right?  And I totally get that.  I’m such a tangible gift-giver.  But there are two main reasons, and a bunch of minireasons, why I love and recommend Honeyfund.  First, lets face it: we’re young and we’re planning a wedding and SHITS expensive; we need the money!  In my eyes, its so much more rewarding to get help towards your honeymoon over a sterling silver trinket IF you don’t need the trinket but could use the help.  Second, its such a fun, interactive way to let your friends and family know where you are honeymooning and what you have planned.  There are general categories you can add like flights and accommodations, but you can also get more detailed and highlight ‘Couple’s Massage’ or in our case, ‘Futbol Tickets’.  Erik knew his friends would love to contribute to us going to a Chelsea game, and they did.  And it’s so fun to see the email alerts pop up in your inbox!

Con: Honeyfund charges a percentage of the gift, which is a bummer, but its a business so I get it.  There wouldn’t be a fee on cash otherwise.  There is an icon you can add to Thankful that gives people the option to contribute to your Honeymoon via check or PayPal but again, that feels more like giving money than Honeyfund.

Hope this helps all you blushing brides & golden grooms.  Happy registering!  Here are a few things

Kelly’s bachelorette fiesta itinerary!

June 28, 2017

When my best friend in the whole world decided to pick Cabo as her bachelorette party destination, I might as well have quit my day job.  I was so excited to plan every last detail, but I still wanted there to be an element of surprise.  I sent this itinerary a couple of weeks before departure so she had a subtle hint of the shenanigans.  I don’t think anything could have fully prepared us for what was to come ♦

Our wedding: my bridal details

June 27, 2017

All photos via the talented Andria Lindquist

Oh the details.  A girl could get used to all the outfits and accessories you’re allowed to collect throughout the engagement for all the festivities along the way.  But we all know the pivotal piece of the bride’s wardrobe.  The item you’re dying to ask about once the groom and venue are decided.  The one garment so important, it can take months to find and even longer to alter.  Yes, the dress.

The Dress

Omg, I can’t say enough about my dress.  I am so in love with my dress.  Remember when I said there were a few things throughout the wedding I was indecisive about?  I didn’t even give myself a chance to be indecisive about the dress – I flat-out had no idea what I wanted.  My only requirements were classic (timeless, elegant, beautiful) NOT CUTE.  I have a thing with the word cute.  I think it’s a complex shorter girls develop from always being called cute because they’re petite and then never outgrow cute and are deemed forever cute instead of pretty for the rest of their (my) lives.  So nothing that even suggested cute.  And not trendy.  I LOVE me a daring trend.  I love to test the waters and wear something funky and I don’t even regret it years later, most of the time (except when nighties were a ‘going out dress’ thing in college, that was not a good look for me).  Anyways, I couldn’t have cute and I didn’t want trendy, so timeless it was.  I also wanted an element of sexy, because hello its my wedding, and I tend to dress more flowy than fitted and I needed to eliminate cute.  So I went on Pinterest.

Go on Pinterest.  Do a lot of research.  But also listen to what the inner girl who’s been planning her wedding since she was five wanted.  Don’t agonize so much that you’re postponing your wedding because you’re waiting for next season to roll out their latest, but try on enough to educate yourself.  You will find that sometimes the style you always thought you wanted doesn’t necessarily complement your body, or maybe you did want a little more flare.  But it will happen, you will find it.

Over the last few years I started to fall in love with French Designers like Laure De Sagazan and Rime Arodaky.  Problem was, they weren’t in the States yet.  When I found out Rime was bringing her dresses to SF and later, having a trunk show at the Loho Bride in Los Angeles, I told Erik I had to go, with or without a ring. The trunk show ironically fell ~three weeks after we got engaged, so I had the ring.  Check.  We made a day of it and tried on alllll the dresses; my sister even dazzled in some fabulous maid of honor gowns, and it really got us inspired for the real deal.  The dresses were stunning, representing the rock-n-roll, alternative bride with a classy touch, but it felt too early, and they weren’t the ones.

A few months later, I decided to plan a shopping day with my mom and sister, and Erik’s mom and sister as one of those commemorative, girl bonding days.  I did not intend on finding my dress that day.  The only other time I had dress shopped was the day my sister and I met with my wedding planner in Orange County and decided to pop into Panache Bridal.  It was fun to try on some Inbal Dror show stoppers, but I had yet to find the one.  So I made appointments at Elle Bridal and The Dress Theory, and off we went.  I loved Elle, they had the sweetest designs and an even sweeter stylist helping me.  I had a few great contenders, and I almost felt guilty not leaving with one of their dresses just because they made me feel so special, but I knew they weren’t the ones, and today wasn’t the day.  By the time we got to the Dress Theory, everyone had let their guard down a little.  Champagne was popped, opinions were flying, and it was more relaxed – more fun.  I probably had 25 dresses draped all over my dressing room, not even knowing where to start.  Long sleeves, floral appliques, you name it.  Dress 6: By the time I got my Alexandra Grecco Evette Gown to my knees, I had a really good feeling.  One of those feelings where you’re almost nervous to feel the feeling.  The feeling like “this isn’t supposed to happen but I can’t stop it” feeling you get few times in life.  The buttery material, the rich color, and then the way it felt.  I walked out of the room and I was glowing.  My mom on the verge of tears, my sister and future sister-in-law pouring more champagne, my mother-in-law-to-be exclaiming “I love it, it’s the one”.  I had a mini panic attack.  My mom looked at me and said “do you need to try on a few others?”  I did.  It wasn’t that I didn’t love it – it was love at first sight – but it wasn’t supposed to happen this soon.  I wasn’t ready to commit that easily, and I had a million other dresses in the room.  So I went back in and sped through a handful of others, each one beautiful but something a little off and finally, I was ready to commit.  I walked back out in the one, was handed a veil – the veil – and next thing I know we’re off to Madison to celebrate.

I looooove The Dress Theory.  From their insanely dreamy boutique (I want to live there) to the coolest stylists and their amazing in-house seamstress, Karen Thomas, it was such an amazing experience.  They have a killer selection of dresses, hand-picked and carefully curated with all the best designers.  You walk in there and this whole world of wedding dress magic is unleashed.  I didn’t even grab my dress off the rack, but Shannon understood me.  I am forever grateful to The Dress Theory and their team of wonderful.

PS. I added the buttons down the spine of my dress because I’ve always loved the look.  They add such a regal touch without being too overwhelming, and my dress designer and seamstress made it so easy.  It was exactly what I had envisioned.

And even though I planned to wear my dress for the entire wedding, I had to have an after party dress.  I found this Leanne Marshall Silk Tafetta Dress on Etsy and I died.  It was a no-return sample sale (sz zero, I’m generally a two), so I said ummmm I’ll think about it.  And that little dress wouldn’t get out of my head and I had to have it.  Sample sale = sketchy, but I was willing to take the risk.  Not a chance I could fit into it right now but yolo.  I want to frame it it’s so fabulous.

Getting Ready Gown

Got this vintage beauty on Etsy from now one of my favorite shops ever – The Unordinary Vintage.

Again with the vintage, it ended up fitting me like a GLOVE.  It was so beautiful some girls might actually wear it as a wedding dress.  It felt so meant to be, and I will cherish it in my little wedding keepsake box forever.  Or pull it out on occasion when I’m feeling Belle of the Ball-ish.  My mom and sis also got me the most gorgeous vintage-inspired robe from BHLDN.  It made me feel like a queen.

The Accessories

The Shoes

Since the day I saw this Brides Magazine cover (2008) and those fuchsia Louboutins, I knew I wanted a pop of color for my wedding shoes.  As I matured I started to fancy a jewel tone like Merlot or mustard yellow, but I’m so glad I went with the olivish green-gray goodness I did.  The velvet made them feel even more romantic and Old Hollywood.  My Joie heels were butter and I will love them forever.  And this pic of my bb sis helping me put them on ♥

Nabila Velvet Heel Ash Green

The Earrings

I was planning to borrow my mom’s diamond studs to wear in my second holes (and as my something borrowed) and then Erik surprised me with these.  Holy wow – I’m in love.  And my husband has really good taste.

The Veil

The veil kinda spoke for itself.  Since my dress was so simple, any little desire I had for lace that my dress lacked, my veil made up for [in big ways].  My only disappointment is I wasn’t able to wear it longer, but the photos I have are all I need.  I felt like an Italian / Greek goddess walking down an outdoor cathedral aisle.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Do people still do this?  I love the tradition of it, but sometimes its hard to check all the boxes – I almost did.

For my something old, I wore my mama’s gold chain that she gave me (normally worn with her gold unicorn pendant that I cherish, but not for the wedding).  I just wanted something that would kinda glimmer when the sun hit it, but almost unnoticeable.  I knew my earrings would be my statement jewelry.

For my something blue, my mom gave me the cutest baby blue panties with Swarovski crystals that say ‘I Do’.

Besides me dress, my something new was my beautiful chandelier earrings by Samantha Wills.  Added bonus, her packaging is SO cute – the earrings came in a fabulous hand-carved wooden box.

I guess instead of something borrowed I had something made – my leaf applique barrette.  I wanted a show-stopper hair piece to wear after I took off my veil.  I had been drooling over this Casablanca Headband by Bo + Luca, but it was $390 and I couldn’t justify that, especially for something I wasn’t even sure would fit right.  You guys.  I bought this leaf applique on Etsy and added backing and a barrette, and it looked like a million bucks.  It was $5!  I can’t believe how perfect it turned out – it was the ultimate statement piece for the reception.  A huge thank you to Glory’s House for being so sweet.

Our wedding: gifts!

June 22, 2017

Its pretty overwhelming how many gifts you are showered with, literally, as an engaged couple, between engagement parties, showers, and the big day.  Its amazing being able to give back, and show your appreciation in little ways for those you love.  But for the extra special ones – like the ones who raised you or the ones by your side helping you every step of the way – it’s so fulfilling to spoil them a little more.  It was one of my favorite things.

Bridesmaid Gifts

All photos via the talented Andria Lindquist

I’ve mentioned I love giving gifts, probably a few times.  And I clearly love anything vintage.  I can’t just get my bridesmaids matching robes, they have to be vintage, or at least unique.  Inspired by this bride’s sundry bridesmaid dress lineup, I wanted to find gorgeous robes that reminded me of each special girl (and mine and Erik’s moms, of course).  I searched high and low on eBay, Etsy, in vintage stores – even hemming one from a long robe to a short – until I had the perfect compilation.  I paired them with vintage hangers and I envisioned them hanging with each girl’s name delicately attached when they walked in that morning.  Obviously, that’s not how it went down.  The casita we got ready in was slightly chaos, I forgot the robes at Erik’s dads house, and they weren’t fabulously on display when they arrived.  But they got them, and loved them, and looked UNREAL in them.

While I was at it, I decided to do vintage perfume bottles as well.  Yes, I’m an overkill freak, and it was SO worth it.  I filled each carefully selected bottle (it took me a year to find 10 perfect, working bottles) with a signature scent (Gucci’s Gorgeous Gardenia) and was able to pull off having them on display when they arrived.  I still wear that scent to this day, and probably always will.  OMG and I almost forgot.  I also got the girls their earrings to wear on the wedding day.  I thought they’d look so good in black tassel earrings to compliment the low-cut, simple neckline of their dress.  I am soooooooooo happy I did, because they all looked gorgeous in them (obvi).

Bridal Brunch

I don’t think gifts are absolutely necessary, especially for couple’s paying for their own wedding.  Things can get so expensive SO quick.  I think experiences are just as fun, maybe even more memorable, as an alternative to tangible gifts.  The Thursday before our wedding I hosted a brunch for my maids and a few special mamas.  Luckily, we had taken residence in our wedding venue by then, and I was able to have everything prepared early.  We brunched in the beautiful courtyard and relaxed, or at least reflected, on the wedding week so far, and the days to come.  I’ll never forget being able to spend some down time with my closest ladies, and spoil them a little as they had me throughout the year.  And then I thought taking a ride up the Palm Springs Tram was a good idea.

I considered having a yoga instructor come to the house to guide us through some much-needed poses, but decided to do the tram as something totally different; something most of us had never experienced.  I wish I had gone with yoga, had I known the day we picked would be among the windiest Palm Springs has ever experienced.  What was supposed to be a quick jaunt to the top, snapping a few commemorative pics and returning happily to the ground, turned into an afternoon-long staycation at the top of Mt. San Jacinto.  It ended up being a hilarious memory, washing away our fears with bottles of sparkling rosé and maybe even a tequila shot, but thank God it wasn’t rehearsal dinner night – we would have missed it.

Groomsmen Gifts

Erik had these gorgeous Original Grain Watches engraved for his groomsmen and both of our dads.  I was so proud of him when he said he had gone to the store last-minute and grabbed an assortment of Palm Springs postcards as name tags.  He paired them with a cigar and mini whiskey, and the guys loved it.  Remember how I said some things you plan for a whole year and other things happen unexpectedly, but they all turn out perfect?  The cigars ended up being an unexpected yet KILLER prop during our bridal party photos.  The pics look so GQ and Mad Men and sexy, I love them.

Couples Gifts

I’m a big gift giver, but I don’t necessarily think wedding gifts to each other are necessary.  They need to have meaning, significance in my eyes (a car or Chanel bag is not really sentimental, but no judgement).  However, I think a card to and from your love is a MUST on the wedding day.  I could barely make it through writing, and reading, Erik’s card the morning of the big day.  It’s so emotional to have this overwhelming build up the morning of your wedding, not seeing and barely talking to the person you see and talk to every day, but to have a piece of him with me, and read words he’d written me hours before we walked down the aisle; it was priceless.  I had to get him a few tokens of my love to open, so I decided on matching cuff links for him and my dad.  Erik surprised me with the most gorgeous, vintage-inspired diamond studs, which I wore in my second holes on our wedding day.

When we first got engaged my sister gave me the most amazing engagement gift/bride box with the sweetest handmade hanky that said “No Ugly Tears”.  I cherished it, and then quickly lost it.  So when I reached out to Wren Bird Arts, I had an idea.  I not only replaced my hanky, but I personalized a few more for wedding gifts.  For my dad, Father of the Bride, my mom, Mother of the Bride, Nana, Nana of the Bride, and Erik,

Erik’s never been a jewelry guy, its taken me years to get him comfortable in an everyday Armani watch, and I’m shocked he’s kept his ring on since the wedding day (I’d kill him if he didn’t and I LOVE seeing it on him).  But once Erik started wearing his watch voluntarily, I decided to upgrade him to a ‘special occasion watch’, and my mom fitted it before I gave it to him so he could wear it that day.  I think he liked it.


Not to sound cheesy, but the whole experience is gift enough.  Getting married – having all your loved ones surround you in celebration of the most incredible commitment you could make – there’s nothing like it.  All the other things are just fluff, but fun fluff.  The way I see it, there are few other times in life you’re able to indulge in so much indulging.  I’d love to hear some of the creative gifts you’ve seen or experienced, too!

Smithkowski engagement party invite

June 21, 2017

I loved making Alie and Tyler’s engagement party invite, mainly because I love them.  I must have made Alie five options to choose from, but she chose my favorite.  It was fun to do a whimsical, metallic, champagne theme for a winter party. Forever my fiancés.  xx