Introducing LC Vintage!

Mar 31, 2011

I'd like to give a warm welcome to CB's newest sponsor, LC Vintage. This sweet Etsy shop is brimming with exquisite statement necklaces and fabulously posh bracelets - hello, perfect bride and bridesmaids gifts! Lindsay Van Cleave, curator and creator of LC Vintage, found her passion for vintage jewels and baubles through her grandmothers's collective styles {which I love!}. Let's hear about it:

Most of my designs are inspired by vintage fashion and my grandmothers - Ida, Constance and Sara - whose jewelry I still wear today. I love to blend vintage beads and brooches with modern high-quality materials to create a new chic look. I find the story behind the vintage items I collect by scouring flea markets, antique shops and vendors online fascinating. It just adds a little something extra to each piece. Two of my great loves are piling on fantastic jewelry and the 1950s! I'm so enamored with the time period because people dressed to the nines just to take a Sunday stroll or go shopping. I swoon!

Here's a few of my favorites currently in Lindsay's shop:

Above: Custom Knot Necklace {love the modern meets vintage vibe} + Simple Vintage Long Necklace {perfect for layering in the fall!}

Above: Seed Beed Vintage Brooch Necklace {those colors ... gah!} + Lauren Dark Hue Necklace {I'd love to see this as a statement necklace on a bride for a seaside wedding ... doesn't it look like it's fit for a mermaid splashing about in the waves?!}

Check out the entire selection at LC Vintage, too - there's lots more pretties to be found! I love the stackable bracelets she makes, too! {and you can order them in almost any color!}. Enjoy!

LC Vintage is a sponsor of Classic Bride.

Soaps from Provence - escort card holders + favors!

Mar 28, 2011

Last weekend, I came across a cute German shop with my friends that specializes in soaps and lotions from the Provence region in France. Each bar of soap was beautifully stamped. I couldn't help falling in love with their beauty and divine scents. As I was talking with the store owner, he told me that a few years ago, he used countless Lily of the Valley bars in his sister's wedding - they placed a bar of soap at each seat in the reception hall and used it as an escort card holder by slicing the soap at the top and inserting the escort card. The soap ended up serving a dual purpose - card holder and guest favor! And the scent was apparently incredible. Isn't that a great idea?

Click here to do some online shopping at the cute shop I found. Or you could always book a trip to the Provence and do your shopping at a local market! That's exactly what I plan to do in a few weeks - J surprised me by wanting to visit the Provence together so we'll be exploring St. Remy, Arles and more very soon! If you have any suggestions for our trip, let me know!

Want to help Japan? Plan a couples shoot in Switzerland!

Mar 21, 2011

Just a quick note to my European friends + travelers:

If you'll be in or near Zurich on April 3 and would like to have some fabulous couple shots taken AND help the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan, then you're in luck! ;o) Tag 7, a wonderful husband and wife photography team, will be shooting that whole day and donating 100% of the proceeds to Japan! Click here to learn more details!

Wine Country Bridal Tour {Sonoma, Calif. | March 27}

Mar 18, 2011

When Shaunna, an old contact of mine from Pacific Weddings magazine, e-mailed me to let me know about this super-sweet event, I couldn't wait to share! Shaunna now works with The Collection Event Studio and they have partnered up with Dream a Little Dream Events on a Wine Country Bridal Tour - sounds fun, right?

Here's the full deal, straight from their site:
On Sunday, March 27, a group of brides and friends will meet and greet in Sonoma. A champagne brunch will follow at a favorite spot in town, then we'll take you on a vendor tour of sorts where you'll meet with wedding designers and professionals in the area for the insider scoop on products and services. We'll gather at our studio to answer all of your remaining wedding planning needs and of course, gift you with a swag bag of goodies.

For more info on the event, purchasing tickets {and a giveaway!}, click here! Bottoms up!

Registry Find: Mason Cash line

Mar 17, 2011

Don't these darlings look like they'd be found nestled away in a quaint English farmhouse kitchen? I think so and I love the idea of registering for a collection of boutique-style kitchenware.

I recently discovered the Mason Cash line which specializes in mixing bowls like those shown above and I love that while they're perfectly functional for whipping up some serious baked goods, they are designed in such a charming manner that they make perfect serving bowls, as well. Dual function = love!

While not carried in big-box stores {usually found in small brick-and-mortar shops}, the entire line is available online and the good news - they have a registry program!  

So you could register for a collection of these sweet mixing bowls and ramekins ... maybe a mortar and pestle, too? They also have lots of other sweet and super-functional kitchen-related items.

Wednesday Nesting: Brocanting in Europe {for your wedding?}, p.2

Mar 16, 2011

Did you miss my first post on my European Brocanting adventures? Click here to catch up. 

A few weekends ago, I made the trek back to my beloved Belgium {It is such a fantastically fun country, I just adoooore it!} with a few girlfriends to check out the new wares at the Tongeren flea market. Here's a peek at some of the pretties we came across:

Looooved the beautiful French chairs and settee! If they're still there next time we go, I'm getting them! ;o)

update MONTHS later, this vendor showed up with the chairs and settee and I scarfed them up. They're sitting pretty in our little abode now. :o)

I finally found a miniature dress form {above left}! I saw it inside a sweet little shop and as soon as I did, I near-galloped in to ask how much it was. She was quickly tucked under my arm and headed home with me. I think she looks lovely with one of my prized necklaces draped around her neck! ;o) I also scored another larger dress form that is too adorable for words! {Click here for my ideas on incorporating dress forms in a wedding}

Love, love, love French caned chairs {and most any other French chairs}!
(I brought that beauty on the left home with me!)

And, lastly, I thought I'd give you a tiny non-antique peek at the town of Tongeren! I have fallen madly in love with the way Belgians artfully prepare their delicious sandwiches ... I can't even describe it but they are glorious - definitely try one if you find yourself in Belgium {that and a waffle - they're crazy good, too!}. So when I saw the fabulous sandwich shop "sign" below, I had to snap a shot. The stuffed bunnies were in a butcher shop a few blocks away ... a little disturbing but definitely interesting. Must say, husband was quite put off. haha.

Have you been antiquing/brocanting for your wedding? What are you looking for? What have you found? Share your favorite find - I love hearing stories!

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Paris, France

Mar 14, 2011

Entry No. 5: Paris

Continuing with CB's European Honeymoon-Inspired Travel Journal series, this entry is all about the glorious City of Light. J and I traveled to Paris for Valentine's weekend this year and I must say, it was the best Valentine's since 2004 {when my love proposed! ... Little hard to beat that!}. Even though I had been to Paris several times before, this was the first time I had visited with my husband and it was even more beautiful and romantic than I ever remember.

Hope you enjoy the photos I snapped and scroll down for some of my top tips for visiting lovely Paris!

One of our first stops upon arriving was, predictably, the iconic Eiffel Tower. I'm not sure if it was an early morning haze in the sky or just heavy pollution {:-/ let's hope for the former} but I loved the greyish cast that seemed to drape the city. It was so moody and felt oh-so-Parisian - oh, can you spy Sacre Couer atop the hill on the left?

I think I enjoyed walking the winding streets of Montmartre more than anything else. That area has always spoken to me and I feel like the neighborhood possesses such a creative vibe and a magnetic personality. After climbing the steps to Sacre Coeur, we came across a lovely little square filled with talented artists selling their gorgeous paintings. Almost immediately, my eyes settled on a collection of sepia-drenched acrylics that depicted the square we were standing in ... they all had Sacre Couer peeking out from behind the shuttered buildings ... my heart melted. And the artist was such a kind and passionate man ... even kinder for giving me a steep discount on my favorite piece of his. So, I can finally say I own an original work of art now and I love the story I have to go along with it.

Left: Our view from the hotel | Right: Perhaps my favorite shot of the trip ;o)

I couldn't visit Paris without a stop to Ladurée! We walked about a block from our hotel and arrived at the beautiful Ladurée along the Champs-Élysées. While waiting in the long line inside, I snapped a few photos.

I think I first heard about Ladurée on a blog about four years ago so it only seemed right to share a photo indulging in my first bite of a Ladurée macaron! ;o) It didn't disappoint! Très, très yummy. Favorite flavor? The bright green - Pomme Granny Smith! The one in the pic above was pétales de roses - divine, too.

This smattering of photos really only highlights a small portion of everything we were able to do and see in such a short amount of time. We had such an incredible time but I can't wait to come back and finish checking off all of my to-dos in the City of Light - namely, visiting Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen in Montmartre {the largest flea market in Paris!!} ... a trip to Musée d'Orsay and a long and leisurely visit to Deyrolle {I am so fascinated with good taxidermy!}.

But, as I was able to experience some wonders of the city, I'll share my faves below ...

CB's Top Tips for Paris:

- This should be a no-brainer but do take the ride to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. It's super touristy but the views are so worth it. We went up in the early morning but I think a late-night visit would be uber-romantic and beautiful, too.

-  Find a cafe/bistro with a killer view and stake a table out near sunset. My love and I found a streetside bistro with an unbelievable view of the Eiffel Tower and we sipped on artsy-sounding drinks while watching the clouds turn glorious shades of pinks and blues and purples. Oh, and when the sun finally went down and the Eiffel Tower lit up, it was all kinds of amazing.

- Do the tip above again ... only this time, enjoy a long meal with lots of people watching. Out of all my European travels, I'd have to say Paris is no. 1 for people watching. I really do think the most beautiful and stylish people in all the world inhabit this darling + dreamy city. :o)

- Ummm, the Louvre. How can you not? I didn't share any photos of our visit but we scurried through every last exhibit and it was wonderful. Oh, we also enjoyed a quick lunch at the cafeteria in the Louvre - have to say, it was incredibly healthy fare and incredibly zesty and flavorful. Definitely recommend.

- Please do not skip Montmartre. The winding streets, artsy vibe, street musicians/performers, wine bars and cute bistros will make you *almost* feel like you're a local. We had the most fun here and I would love to come back and explore this area more. Plus, you can score original artwork for pretty fair prices. I splurged big-time on mine but I love it to pieces and it was my only Parisian souvenir, which I love.

I could keep going but I thought it might be more fun to open the floor and let you guys share your favorite tips for Paris? Any tips for my next visit? ;o)

If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Hope you enjoyed this installment of the European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal! And I promise, up next {really this time} is Luzern, Switzerland! ;o) Happy Honeymooning! And to catch up on my other European travel entries, just click here.

{All images by me}

A Sun-drenched South African Safari Ceremony

Mar 11, 2011

A safari adventure has slowly been making its way to the top of my dream vacation list for a few years now. If it's on your list, too, maybe you should take a cue from Terri-Ann and Berchaun. This sweet NYC-based couple decided to take their dream safari and turn it into an incredibly intimate first wedding and honeymoon. Two weeks later, they flew to their new home of Nashville, Tenn. to celebrate a 'vow-renewal' and reception with family and friends.

Isn't a two-continent/two-part wedding such a great idea? Enjoy the images below and click here and here for a peek at the couple's gorgeous celebration in Nashville!

From photographers Sven and Karen Musica of Phonix Capture:
“We arrived at Singita, and what a stunning, wonderful place (Singita Game Reserves, South Africa)- it really has a wonderful atmosphere."

“The ceremony took place at a confluence of two rivers, with a stunning atmosphere, Hippos ten meters away and Fish Eagle calling nearby, all setting the mood. After the ceremony we took a 30 minute drive to a lookout point where Terri-Ann and Berchaun cut the cake, drank champagne and had their couples photo session. It was a spectacular atmosphere!!! The views over the park were incredible. As the sun was setting in the valley below, two elephants were moving about. This was Africa!"

How seriously cool is this? I am really smitten with the fact that Terri-Ann chose chic-yet-practical sandals to wear with a trench coat - LOVE that! I must say, her dress is gorgeous, too! And Berchaun's seersucker suit with RayBans is too killer. Congratulations, you two!

From Terri-Ann:
What was unique about your wedding?
Rather than having an average wedding with all of our respective families and friends present, we wanted to start our journey together as husband and wife in an extraordinary way. We decided that the best way to do that would be to combine our wedding ceremony and honeymoon. So we traveled 7,000 miles to one of the world’s most beautiful destinations to exchange our vows in a private ceremony and spent two weeks enjoying our surroundings and each others company. When we returned from our honeymoon, we felt it was important to have an equally extraordinary celebration with our families.

What were the highlights of the reception at Cedarwood in Nashville?
Renewing our vows after about two weeks of marriage! Seeing everyone having such a good time during the cocktail reception despite the hot and balmy conditions. The fairytale-like atmosphere highlighted by spectacular floral arrangements, delicious food and friendly service.

What was the best thing about the way you structured your wedding?
We were able to splurge on our honeymoon. We were also able to afford better flowers and food for our guests.

Bride's attire: Ceremony dress (Africa) Nicole Miller Reception/vow renewal (Nashville) Alvina Valenta
Photographers: Phonix Capture (Africa) and Daniel Meigs (Nashville)
Venues: Singita Game Reserve (Africa) Historic Cedarwood (Nashville, Tennessee)
Planners: Guided Safaris, Inc. (Africa) and Cedarwood Weddings (Tennessee)
Flowers: Cedarwood On-site Design Team
Cake: Patty cakes
Catering: A Dream Come True Catering
Grooms Suit - Tommy Hilfiger
{Photos in this blog post by Phonix Capture}

European Find/Trend: Votivos

Mar 10, 2011

I found these lovely antique Italian votivos {$150-400 ea.} over on French Pedestals and Dreams but I have been spotting them every so often at the flea markets here in Europe and everytime I see one, I fall a little harder for them. Aren't they gorgeous?

When I first saw one, I didn't know the story so the German man selling them explained to me and my friend that {his particular selection} came from tiny chapels scattered throughout the hills of the Black Forest. People would bring the hearts to the chapel and say a prayer/wish for a loved one and leave the heart in the chapel as a type of offering. As you can imagine, the hearts began to pile up so the chapels began to sell them to tourists to make some income and now they're showing up at antique shops and markets throughout the world.

I thought they would make beautiful Christmas ornaments. Or maybe they could be used as escort card holders? What do you think?

WellWed's Cape & Islands Wedding Affair

Mar 9, 2011

Click over to WellWed's blog here for a chance to win a pair of tickets to this wonderful event.

Haven't heard about it yet? It's WellWed's 3rd annual vintage carnival-themed Cape & Islands Wedding Affair. Taking place on March 12, the event is set against the scenic backdrop of the Cape’s Chatham Bars Inn, offering couples a fun and inspiring showcase of inventive décor and complimentary, fair-worthy fare — including candied apples, cupcakes, and, of course, cotton candy. Even better, a silent auction of fabulous wedding-related gift certificates and other items will benefit the Make a Wish Foundation, and each lucky bride-to-be will receive a luxury gift bag containing over $100 worth of goodies. Additionally, couples will able to meet and mingle with the region’s most celebrated wedding professionals.

Chilly Park Slope Engagement Session

Mar 8, 2011

The weather here is in a total in-between state ... inching toward sunny spring days but still desperately clinging to the cold and chill of winter. So, while I'm feeling happily autumn-esque, I thought we'd revel in a real fall shoot today that was shot in Park Slope:

Isn't their Boston terrier, Roger, adorable? Love the red nails, too. :o)

Thanks to photographer Lisa Weatherbee for sending this session over!