Sponsored Post: Gorgeous Ring Line-up from Brilliant Earth

Sep 28, 2012

If I hadn't been lucky enough to inherit antique diamonds from both my and J's family for my engagement ring, I guarantee I would have spent a ridiculous amount of time in front of my laptop drooling over Brilliant Earth's exquisite ring designs. Using conflict-free diamonds and recycled gold and platinum, Brilliant Earth offers a terrific variety of rings ranging from the utterly classic solitaire to the gorgeous + glittery halo styles to seriously drool-worthy Edwardian and Art Deco styles from their antique collection ... or you can even custom design your own ring! And I love that everything they carry is completely eco-friendly. My absolute favorite rings to browse on Brilliant Earth are the Antique Engagement Rings and Vintage Rings ... hello, my pretties! Here are my current faves:

Ooh, and there's always the classic, can-do-no-wrong solitaire ...

And I honestly can't get enough of the halo trend. 
Here are my top three favorite halo styles from Brilliant Earth:

And after all this "research" I've done to share the most gorgeous of the gorge with you ... I've started thinking that maybe I need a new wedding band ... or two or three ... don't these look bands look maaaahhvelous stacked together? 

Shop the full collection at Brilliant Earth and tell me which ring you have eyes for ... if you can narrow it down to just one! ;)

This post is sponsored by Brilliant Earth.

Bridal Trendspotting: Natural Stone Statement Necklaces

Sep 27, 2012

I've always been a huge fan of turquoise and I wear the stone fairly frequently but lately, I am falling hard for jasper and magnesite which are both shown below. Jasper almost resembles simple river rocks or pebbles and I love the natural look and feel. I'd love to see this trend extend to the wedding world ... hello new favorite bridal accessory:
Faith and Spirit necklace by Elva Fields with jasper ovals.
Wouldn't this be amazing for an intimate forest wedding in Vancouver?

Gentle Words necklace by Elva Fields with magnesite.
I'm totally seeing this at an at-home wedding in the Connecticut countryside.

This Gracious Part necklace by Elva Fields with turquoise, obvi
While not so daring, I do think this beauty would look amazing for any coastal bride!

Well, would you rock one of these on your big day? 
If not, what kind of necklace are you thinking about wearing? Dish! ;)

This is not a sponsored post. I just happen to have a minor obsession with Elva Fields. :P

{Secret!} Low-Key + Vintage Elopement at San Fran's City Hall

Sep 26, 2012

There are too many reasons to list why I love this elopement but I'll go ahead and name a few. SF's City Hall! What's not to love? {If you need extra help with that question, just reference this post or this one or this one. :) It also doesn't hurt that one of my favorite photographers, Laura Monfredini, shot this lovely elopement. And last but not least {although not really last because I could certainly go on} is the darling couple, Rob and Dawne - I just adore their vintage-y outfits {doesn't Dawne look like an actress straight out of the late 1950s?! And isn't her black cardi the cutest?} and I almost feel like I know them from the photos. You know how some weddings the bride tends to look unrecognizable because she's melting beneath an absurd amount of make-up? Rob and Dawne look so beautifully real and so, so, so happy ... it makes me happy! Enjoy!

Says photographer, Laura, "This couple, Rob & Dawne, live in Albuquerque and have been together for 10 years. They decided it was time to get married and planned a secret elopement to San Francisco's City Hall to coincide with a vacation they were planning to take here. They kept everything low key and simple -- they made their own bouquets and boutonnieres out of baby's breath flowers. Dawne wore the cutest short lace dress by Pim & Larkin that she found on Piperlime with her own accessories. Afterward, Rob (a graphic designer) put together a slide show to send to their friends and family to announce their marriage (so cute, apparently a lot of people thought they were already married!)"

Says the cute-as-pie couple, Rob and Dawne, "Quiet, quick civil ceremonies are actually big business at San Francisco’s City Hall. As we waited in line, twice, according to their system, with couples on both sides, we thought our photographer was joking when she advised to save our 'Please take a number' number. As we think back on the day, the bureaucratic processes are really quite charming. And, unlike the DMV, everyone was always smiling. 

Literally surrounded by other couples in love and caught up in the architectural beauty of this grand hall, when it was our turn, we were led to the rotunda by the most wonderful civil servant - we like to call her Judge Mary. Her entire day, all week, as Deputy Marriage Commissioner, exists of this routine, and there’s a comfort in her familiarity. 

The entire ceremony took less than 5 minutes, including extra time for Judge Mary to gently admonish Dawne who misspoke her contractual vows the first time. As Rob was thanking her afterwards, she looked at us and said her standard closing greeting: 'Have a nice day. And, have a nice life.'

The park outside of City Hall was filling with people on their lunch breaks, vendors, and other tourists. We were greeted by repeated congratulations and a small cheer when we left City Hall. It is often said that it’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage. We couldn’t agree more. And, yet, there is no more fitting memory for that day than the image of couples waiting for their number to be called and realizing when we were up, we were ready."

Thanks so much to Laura for submitting this gorgeous elopement!
Would you consider eloping to SF's iconic City Hall?

Photography: eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY.

Introducing Ooh Baby Designs

Sep 25, 2012

I'd like to give a warm welcome to one of CB's newest sponsors, Ooh Baby Designs. This sweet Etsy shop is brimming with adorable tote bags which would make fabulous bridesmaids gifts, welcome bags and/or favor bags! Etsy shop owner, Stephanie, even allows you to customize different sizes! Here's a few of my personal favorites currently in the shop: 

Love, love, love the rope detailing on this nautical tote
Perfect for a coastal wedding! Or just a day of sailing!

Fun chevron navy blue mini tote. So crisp! 
These would make wonderful welcome bags, no?
Cheerful polka dot extra large beach tote
What bridesmaid wouldn't love this happy bag?
I also think it would make a great workout bag - 
don't the colors just make you want to dance?

Classic meets current large beach tote. Lovely for any occasion.

Cute selection of small beach totes - hello, bridesmaids!

I love that Stephanie also sells her totes in packages {for example} and the packages are already discounted from 10% - 15% - perfect if you're bulk-buying for your bridesmaids or wedding welcome bags! Also, you can mix and match bags if you don't see the perfect package. Stephanie is happy to customize any combination you see in her Etsy shop. :)

And ... for the rest of the month, Stephanie will be offering an additional 3% off the already discounted packages when you use coupon code classicbride at checkout! Enjoy and shop the full collection here.

Ooh Baby Designs is a current sponsor but this is not a sponsored post.

Sneak Peek: Snow White Shoot at an 11c. German Castle

Sep 24, 2012

Over the weekend, I did some prop-styling for the sweet and fabulously talented Krystal Durden on a Snow White-inspired shoot. {Remember J&I's at-home shoot? That was Krystal's handy work}. We shot on and around the grounds of a nearby castle in Rittersdorf, Germany, that dates back to the 11th century. I can't wait to share Krystal's sure-to-be gorgeous photos with you but until then, I thought I'd share a few I was able to grab in between carting gnomes up hills and dragging crates with apples to and fro. ;) Hope you enjoy:


ps. Would you consider a Snow White-themed event or wedding? I think a SW-themed bridal shower could be fun!

Photo Credits: Sarah Darcy

Tartan and Sequins Style File: Fall Wedding Guest Looks on a Budget

Sep 20, 2012

So happy to welcome back Julia {from my favorite style blog, Tartan and Sequins} to chat with us again! Today, J is sharing her insider tips on pulling together flawless wedding guest attire ... on a budget to boot! Whip out that pen and paper, ladies! ;)

If any of you brides-to-be out there are like me, you are currently saving for your own wedding. Which would be MUCH easier if you stayed home every night and just ate Easy Mac. Unfortunately, that's simply not reality. Many of our friends and family members are getting married and we must look fabulous. So how do you look your best on a budget? Ladies, this is how I plan on faking it until I make it.

1. Splurge on the basics
Get yourself some fabulous black pumps and a killer clutch. You can then pair them with pretty much anything! I've styled them here with both a LBD and a second RTR look. Both looks would be perfect for a fall wedding or event.

2. Stock up on accessories
As you can see in the two looks I've styled today and in pretty much every How We Style It post on the blog, I love me some statement costume jewelry! I currently have four containers of statement necklaces and a whole drawer of bracelets that I use to change up my look. A different necklace can can completely transform a dress from one style to another.

3. Rent the Runway
Okay RTR is a life-changer. For a fraction of the purchase price, you can rent a designer gown for four days. The first time you order a specific brand, you get the dress in two sizes to ensure it fits. Attending a weekend-long event? Your second rental is only $25! Amazing right? Above one of my favorite RTR dresses styled for a fall wedding :) Here is the link to RTR to learn more!

Do you all have any other tips for looking chic on a budget? If so, do share! Xo J

Wow, I'm a bit obsessed with the red look Julia put together - wouldn't it be insanely perfect for a holiday wedding? Love!

The Search for the Perfect Dark Red Lip

Sep 19, 2012

Since I've been doing some serious red lip research for our upcoming shoot in Paris and the shade seems to be making a huge comeback {though did it ever really go away?} for the fall, I thought I'd share a little of my findings with you. Plus, I think a red lip would look fabulous on a fall or winter bride.

Marion Cotillard via Reuters here
A few weeks ago, I asked you to share your favorite red lip with me. Several of you recommended MACs Russian Red. After google imaging it to death, I was sold and put my order in {one of the small issues of living in Europe - no local MAC counter - ugh} ... but then it arrived and I decided I looked like a total clown ... way too orange-y for my fair skin tone. {I should have consulted the link below under Red Lip Intel first} But I forged on and visited the Smashbox counter. They were amazing and I now feel like an expert on the Smashbox lineup of reds but in the end, none really wowed me. So that leaves me with what I will be wearing. It's the first red I ever purchased and I think it cost less than $5. It's NYC's 309 Sheer Red. I like to apply, blot, and cover with a clear gloss. It's definitely the right shade of red for me - I just wish it had more staying power but it will have to work! Here's hoping I'll look a teensy bit like Marion. ;)

Want more Red Lip intel?
Read Joanna's trick to applying the perfect red lip.
And find out how to choose the right shade of red for your skin tone here.

Do you have a favorite red and would you rock one for your wedding? 

Classic Black Tie Weddin in Missouri

Sep 18, 2012

I have a few favorite things about this gorgeous black tie wedding - I love the range of  group shots, from the proper shots in the library {don't those boys look like they're having fun?} and on the staircase to the more candid and relaxed shots. I'm also a bit in love with the bridesmaids' ballerina buns and LBDs - so Audrey - how can you go wrong? I hope you enjoy Molly and Tim's wedding:

Says Molly, "As for style, we wanted our personalities to shine through - we like to have fun yet be fancy! I think we accomplished that by having a formal venue, formal tuxes, formal wedding dress, formal table settings as the backdrop for a pizza buffet and live band kicking out tunes you'd most quickly find at a neighborhood bar.

Molly and Tim's ceremony was a low-lit affair that provided a very intimate 
and warm atmosphere and it was officiated by one of their dear friends. :)

The location was never really a question. In a small town like Joplin, MO, there are limited options and the Scottish Rite Cathedral is at the top of the list. It meant so much to us to have our ceremony and reception in a place based on faith and brotherhood. We were both Greeks in college and it reminded us of our respective fraternity and sorority. To be able to go through an incredibly powerful ceremony and then have the best time EVER was a direct reflection on how much of an impact our Greek lives were on each of us.

The precious 30 minutes we spent right after the ceremony taking pictures of just the two of us [was a favorite memory]. We finished all the group pictures prior to the ceremony so it was just me, my husband and our photographer. That was the closest we got to alone time the entire evening and we had someone telling us to keep kissing the entire time (which was NOT a problem :) After that it was a wonderful whirlwind of bouncing from friend to family member trying to see every person and losing each other on occasion in the process.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how our guests would experience our wedding and reception ... from the handmade programs that we spent hours making and the giant M&T chalkboard letters we used for our guestbook to the 'Thank You' note on every person's place-setting that described how the reception would flow and the goofy photobooth where EVERYONE lined up to snap a picture, we wanted each of our guests to have the most amazing time while knowing that we were extremely grateful for their love and support."

And here's a little wedding-related advice from Molly: "Most people probably say that they would relax and enjoy it more. After spending over a year stressing about every detail of the ceremony and reception, I approached the day with the mindset that I was. going. to. be. relaxed. No question. I didn't wake up until 10 am the day of my wedding and none of the bridesmaids had a hair appointment before noon. In looking back, I wish I would have been a little more on top of things the day of to ensure that ALL the little touches we had planned were executed. I know none of our guests knew the difference, but we sure did."

Credits: Photography: DuRall Photography / Legacy Events / Scottish Rite Cathedral: http://www.joplinaasr.com/ / Woody's Woodfire Pizza / Diversity Band