Introducing Tissage!

Apr 29, 2011

I'd like to give a warm welcome to one of CB's newest sponsors, Tissage. This sweet Etsy shop is always filled with a great variety of stunning statement necklaces and bracelets as well as lovely casual pieces. {Read: Great wedding presents!!!} Tory Browning, curator and creator of Tissage, found her passion for creating at a young age and has since been inspired by a number of different locales and experiences. Let's hear about it:

I think I might have been making things in the womb. All I know is I haven't ever not made things. I studied painting in France, weaving in Italy and sculpture in college. Currently I make all sorts of things, from jewelry to stained glass to candles. I started making hats a few years ago. Every time I pick up a new skill or hobby my friends all roll their eyes, but then they start requesting things.

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

Featured above: Pearl, Vintage Rhinestone Bridal Bracelet, Handmade, Jillian, $58; Lemon Quartz, Sterling Silver Necklace, Handmade, Lemon Drop, $36; Pearl, Vintage Rhinestone Bridal Necklace, Handmade, Aimee, $122; Pearl, Vintage Rhinestone Bracelet, Silver, Handmade, Beverly, $68

Seriously, wouldn't those pearl and vintage rhinestone numbers be absolutely maaahvalous for a bride?! There are lots of fun accessories at great pricepoints for bridesmaids and flowergirls, too .... or for you, just because! ;o)

Check out the entire selection at Tissage and have fun shopping!

Tissage is a sponsor of Classic Bride.

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Provence, France, p.3

Apr 28, 2011

Welcome back to the final part three of our Provençal getaway! I think my favorite day of our stay was when we visited the towns of Aigues-Morte and Ste. Marie de la Mer. Both towns were super tiny but possessed so much personality ... the energy was palpable ...

Right outside the walls of Aigues-Morte {the small town, like many others in the area, is fortified} we came across another outdoor market. There was eye-poppingly vibrant produce for sale along with beautiful French linens {I scooped up an embroidered ivory coverlet to take home} as well as fragrant spices that made my mouth water .... ohhh, and don't forget the macarons ... I found that these treats seemed to be much cakier than others I had tried but I wasn't complaining!

Lots of heavenly-scented fromage and mountains of olives ... yum!

One thing we didn't have time for was a boatride through the Camargue marshland ... we heard rave reviews from a few friends who had spotted flocks of flamingos as well as beautiful snow-white Camargue horses. Did you know flamingos naturally inhabit the South of France? I didn't until I started researching the area for our vacation - isn't that terrific? J&I did spot a few pink flamingos as we made our way to Ste. Marie de la Mer but they were a little too far away for any good photos.

After a long lunch, we made it to Ste. Marie de la Mer ... we saw the famous church where {supposedly} Mary Magdalene washed ashore with several other biblical figures {see below} and then we quickly bought our tickets to the French Bullfight at the local arena which is located right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea ... the views were tremendous!

The seats slowly filled up and my hubby somehow caught a short siesta before the excitement began. Even though the French bullfights proclaim the bull as the hero of the fight {as there is no killing that takes place like there is in a Spanish-style fight}, I still couldn't help but feel a little sympathy for the bulls ... that did change a little when one of the gardians/cowboys was gored right in his backside! Oww! We watched him be taken out on a gurney to a parade of three ambulances! Poor guy!

Our last day was spent in Avignon, and I have to say, it was my least favorite part of the trip so I'm going to be brief at best ... we enjoyed the views from the park above the Palace of the Popes {below} and enjoyed a leisurely lunch followed by some divine lavender-flavored gelato. And then it was off to home, sweet home.

I hope you enjoyed my 3-part series on our experience in Provence! Below are my top tips for visiting the area but, as always, if you have any other suggestions or comments, please do share! Au revoir!

CB's Top Tips for visiting Provence:

-- If possible, coordinate the days you're in certain towns with the market schedules. We made it to two markets {Arles and Aigues-Mortes} and I truly enjoyed all the interesting products for sale and the lively banter that goes along with the market scene. Here's what I would recommend coming home with: Soaps, soaps and more soaps! They are fabulous and you're bound to find at least one scent {I found about 30!} you're in love with! I also bought a bouquet of freshly dried lavender and wheat - they look lovely and smell even better. Both are a great reminder of our trip. Also pick up some Fleur de Sel {flower of the salt .... it's as fresh as salt comes and has a great flavor}, some olive oil {I chose a Citron-flavoured one} and some local herbs {try Herbs de Provence}.

-- If you're at all interested in Van Gogh, definitely include a trip to Saint Rémy to see the sanitarium he stayed at for 15 months. During his stay here, he painted roughly 300 canvases including some of his most famous works ... just walking around the premises, you'll encounter many of the scenes that inspired him, including his own bedroom ... I absolutely recommend a visit to the Clinique St. Paul - truly amazing. And the town of Saint Rémy is quite charming, as well. Perfect for a lunch/shopping stop.

-- When in Rome France ... you will find that things are a little different than say, Paris, where restaurants and cafés tend to cater to Americans who like to eat early dinners at say, 6 or 7p ... in the Provence, make sure you don't skip lunch or that you have some small snacks on hand because this region sticks to French traditions ... meaning restaurants typically don't start serving dinner until around 8p ... and dinners can last up to 4 hours so sit back, enjoy an afternoon apertif and indulge in a 5 or 6 course meal.

-- When we were in Arles and Aigues-Mortes, I stumbled upon a few little antique shops tucked into what appeared to be residential areas. It was like coming across a diamond in the rough. Antique souvenirs are the best - definitely check them out if you come across any!

Restaurant recommendations in Arles:

-- Le Plaza
This restaurant is quietly tucked behind the main square that holds the famed Van Gogh cafe. We had impeccable + perfectly attentive service, delicious courses and a wonderful time. I lost track of how many courses actually came out but here's a glimpse at a few of our favorites:

-- Le Café Le Nuit
I have to recommend going here only if you are a fan of Van Gogh, as this was {supposedly} the cafe he famously painted at night. And honestly, I'd recommend sipping a drink here before dinner and then heading a block down to Le Plaza for dinner.

-- Finally, if it's your dream to see the lavender fields and sunflowers in full bloom, head to the area between July and September. I missed out since we were there in April but I definitely wasn't disappointed. There was still plenty of beauty!

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 to catch up on my other European travel entries, just click here.

{All images by me}

Lovely Easter-inspired faux wedding shoot

Apr 27, 2011

This cheerful inspiration shoot found its way to my inbox last week and I thought the colors and soft textures really defined the essence of spring. The color palette and tone would lend itself incredibly well to an afternoon garden wedding, don't you think? Scroll down for more eye candy and all the details from the shoot.


Thanks to stylist and photographer Alyssa Vincent for submitting this great shoot!

Here are all the details Alyssa kindly included:

The Dress is from Nordstrom and a was a steal at $100
Hair Flower/ Pin is $12 from Pearly Peacock
Blown Eggs decorated in Scrap book pearl stickers from Michaels Crafts and Cameo Rub ons from Robert's Crafts.
Tea Pots 3.99 from Tai Pan Trading co.
Flower shaped dish and lace plates from Pier 1
Flowers were all free- Thank you Spring and the Brides back yard.

{Photos by Alyssa Vincent}

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Provence, France, p.2

Apr 21, 2011

Welcome back to part two of our Provençal getaway! Since we were staying in Arles, we did quite a bit of meandering through the narrow + twisting streets of the town everyday. With almost every step, there was something that seemed to demand a photo ... so for a majority of the time, J was patiently waiting on me while I tried to capture the beauty before me. ;o)


We came across a great little hill in Arles that gave us the commanding view shown above. I loved all the weathered clay roof tiles and the "little Alps" in the distance. And, I have to add, I don't think I've ever been somewhere as peaceful and laidback as Provence ... so if you're looking to experience French beauty but don't want to deal with the hustle and bustle that often comes with Paris and other larger cities, I would absolutely recommend a vaca here.

Lavender was everywhere ... and I was in love. The color, the smell ... so heavenly. I think it would be fabulous to use this bloom as the sole inspiration for a countryside wedding {bonus points if it's actually in Provence!}. Unfortunately, April is not the month to come if you're hoping to see the lavender fields in bloom {that's more July-September} but I was satisfied with all the fresh and dried lavender available in the towns. :o) And maybe I'll just have to head back in a few months to see the lavender fields in full bloom {and the glorious sunflowers!}.

Oh, the soaps {see below}! Yes, I do believe I was slightly obsessed with the soaps spotted at the local markets and local shops + boutiques. I came home with bags of them! And lucky for me, I actually found a local German retail shop that sells them, as well! They are made in the Provence and come in a rainbow of different colors and scents - all intoxicatingly divine! My favorite? Chocolat and Pastis.

Love fallen confetti - the pastel hues made me smile. They had just had a small carnival/parade in Arles.

There were so many scenes and vignettes that we came across that made it so clear to me why so many artists flocked to this region for inspiration ... the line-up of boats looked like they were just begging to be transported into a watercolor ...

We ended one day with a leisurely dinner at Le Café Le Nuit {aka The Van Gogh Cafe}. This cafe in Arles is supposedly the same café that Van Gogh painted in his famed The Night Café. I have to admit, it really does look like it! If you go, definitely grab a drink and enjoy the atmosphere but I'd recommend staying away from the entrees ... subpar at best and the service was lacking. I'll share some yummy finds in my top tips coming up + Aigues-Mortes, Ste. Marie de la Mer + Avignon!

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 to catch up on my other European travel entries, just click here.

{All images by me}

Todd Hunter

Aren't these Todd Hunter paintings the perfect way to usher spring into your home? I think the color palettes would be great inspiration for a warm weather wedding, no?

And these cheerful colors might just be inspiring a brand new look and design for CB ... stay tuned! ;o)

More Provence yummies coming up, too.

{Paintings: Todd Hunter}

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Provence, France, p.1

Apr 18, 2011

Entry No. 6: Provence, France

Continuing with CB's European Honeymoon-Inspired Travel Journal series, remember all my teases about my impending trip to fabulous Provence? Well, the photos are finally edited and today I get to share with you Part One of our incredible escape to this magical slice of French countryside. Like I said last week, I firmly believe that this location would make for a dream honeymoon ... J and I were swept away with the beauty ... the landscapes, the lighting, the incredible architecture and the phenomenal history make this region such a fun place to see and enjoy - perfect for a pair of lovebirds! ;o)

We stayed in the charming city of Arles and I instantly fell in love with the rustic stones and the faded pastels that made up the sweet homes and shops lining the twisting cobblestone streets.

Our first afternoon in the area, we headed over to St. Rémy, a quiet and beautiful little town that seemed perfectly nestled in between fields of olive trees and lavender. Vibrantly-coloured wisteria draped many terraces and framed the cutest of doorways:

I loved the casual elegance spotted everywhere ... random flowerpots scattered behind faded French shutters {ps. Did you know they typically have non-louvered shutters to protect against the strong Mistral wind that can spontaneously blow through the region?} and cheerfully-coloured pet birds basking in the sunshine. Such a happy place.

Next, we drove to the outskirts of St. Rémy to visit Clinique St. Paul, the sanitarium where Vincent Van Gogh stayed for 15 months after his "ear incident." Van Gogh's time at St. Rémy was his most prolific, painting around 300 canvases. The grounds were breathtaking and we even got to see his old room {which he painted a few different times}:

Below is the gorgeous view Van Gogh had from his bedroom window ... please try to imagine the lavender fields in full bloom. ;o)

And below is a photo of the delightful olive orchards that surround the sanitarium. If you're a big fan of Van Gogh, you would recognize many of the subjects of his paintings just by walking around the grounds ... the twisted trunks of the olive trees, the gorgeous irises in full bloom, the tall cypress trees creating shadows against starry skies {yes, Starry Night was painted during his 15 months here! How cool, right?!} ... Being a pretty big Van Gogh nut, I really enjoyed this visit. {If you want more Van Gogh, check out my museum recommendation from our trip to Amsterdam.}

We later headed back into the town of St. Rémy and enjoyed a relaxing lunch at one of the adorable streetside bistros along with some very important shopping! ;o) I picked up a bundle of fresh lavender and fresh wheat to decorate with at home, along with a fabulous new bag for when I head to the fresh produce markets {see below}.

This was just our first day ... I have lots more to share but thought I'd break everything down into several posts. Coming up: Arles, Aigues-Morte, Ste. Marie de la Mer and Avignon! I'll end with a recap of my favorite spots as well as my top tips for visiting. Hope you enjoy and happy honeymooning!

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 to catch up on my other European travel entries, just click here.

{All images by me}

Home Sweet Home {but I wish we were still on vaca!}

Apr 15, 2011

Back from Provence! Here's a little sneak peek from our escape to the fabulous French wonderland. We had an absolutely fabulous time and I'll work on editing the rest of the photos today so I can share a full recap with you early next week!

{And, I must say, if you're at all considering traveling to Provence for your honeymoon, I would truly urge you to go for it! It's one of the most beautiful + laidback {yet still full of history!} locales I've ever been. J and I ended up thinking of this trip as our true second honeymoon! I would go back in a heartbeat - there's so much to see and do!}

{Images by me}

Guesting: Tulip Louise's {Honeymoon-Inspired} Packing Guide for Provence!

Apr 7, 2011

As I briefly mentioned last week, my love and I are jetting off to Provence this week and I can't wait to explore the French countryside, the fresh markets and hopefully, a little flea market or two! I'll be sure to share some highlights of our trip soon {as it might help to inspire a honeymoon locale! (o;} but for now, the lovely and always stylish Anna, of Tulip Louise, is going to help us get in the Provençal frame of mind with some fabulous packing tips! Welcome back, Anna!

While we may be a bit envious of Classic Bride getting to travel the breathtaking Provence countryside later this week, we should still see her off in style {and hope she brings back a lot of photos for us}! Today, I’ve put together a fun little mood board to help her through the daunting task of packing for such a jaunt.

I am constantly inspired by my surroundings, and enjoy packing my travel wardrobe to flow accordingly. Since Provence is best known for the beauty of its villages and landscapes covered with vibrant yellow sunflowers, you will see quite a few playful yellow hues mixed inside our imaginary suitcase:  

1- A floppy hat is oh-so-chic and will shield you from the sun.

2- Rounded sunnies are all the rage this season and will protect your pretty peepers.

3- A small camera, so you can have it readily available!

4- We can’t pack for France sans stripes; this playful skirt can easily be dressed up or down by simply switching footwear.

5- Always throw in an oversized woven knit sweater, in case it falls chilly.

6- Over the shoulder hobos are ideal for a low maintenance handbag option.

7-A travel journal -- Memories get foggy and these are just too cute.

8- Dressy sandals; look pulled together, but remain comfy. . . what a concept!

9- Provence is known for April showers, so add a cute umbrella just in case.

Wishing you safe {and chic} travels!!
Until next time-

Shopping Guide: 1. Monaco Wide Brim Hat, Coolibar // 2. Number Six Sunglasses, Karen Walker // 3.
Camera, Canon G12 // 4. Kari Skirt, Tilly Boutique // 5. Slouch Jumper, Annie Greenabelle via topshop //6. Bahia Hobo, JCrew // 7. Notebooks, Brookfarm Postalco // 8. XOXO Ripple Gladiator, endless // 9. Dot Folding Umbrella, Barney’s New York

What great tips - Thanks for sharing, Anna! I'm excited to edit my wardrobe for the next week now and bring along a few of these recommended staples! Anyone else headed to Provence??? :o)

Make sure you visit Anna's wonderful blog, Tulip Louise, for more style tips! It's one of my favorites!