Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Formal & Everyday China Registry

 A few weeks ago, in a Wedding Wednesday post, I mentioned my first real wedding planning panic and how it revolved around finding a time to sit down with my mom and order our invitations. We got them ordered soon after that panic, thanks to my mom coming to Birmingham, and we rewarded ourselves after doing that by going to our local jewelry/china store to register! My mom since we got engaged has been eager to join in on “the fun stuff” which, to her, meant picking out patterns for china. So, since she was in town, we made it happen during her visit.

Truthfully, I think I had a bit of decision fatigue just from picking out our invitations right before and the other wedding-related tasks I had been trying to get to that week, so I think she may have had more fun than I did. Overall it was still a great experience, but there’s a lot to keep in mind when deciding where and what to register for and my previous career left me familiar with all of the options, but probably a bit pickier than some when it came to narrowing them down. 

Having styled so many tables for various editorial publications during my team as a magazine photo stylist, I feel like I had a bit of an advantage when it came to familiarity with different brands and places to shop for great tabletop options. Because of this, I knew Bromberg’s, locally and Over The Moon, online would be great hubs for our everyday and fine china registries. We’ve registered a few other places to give people options, but if they are looking to add to our china collection those are likely the spots where shopping will make the most sense. It was so nice to be able to see different options in person at Bromberg’s and play around with what I already had in order to create a place setting I love, and Over The Moon allows you to register for items directly on their website as well as from other retailers online giving us the flexibility to include smaller shops that we otherwise wouldn’t have found enough items at to create a registry. 

Formal China 

I am very fortunate to already have twenty-four (yes, you read that number correctly) place settings of Wedgwood’s Regal Gold china which gave me a great starting point when it came to registering for our formal place settings. It’s a simple pattern that has a white base and gold rim around the pieces, which I know will be useful when it comes to mixing and matching when I want to expand my china collection beyond what we’re registering for for our wedding. Mixing and matching is what we did so much of for editorial spreads, so I had no concern doing that on our registry since we’re starting with such a versatile set. In addition to all of the Wedgwood pieces, my mom started my silver collection on my first birthday with Towle’s Old Colonial pattern. so I don’t have to register for silver either! Knowing this, my mom was clever enough to think to bring some of those items along with us to our registry appointment to get a better idea of how everything would look together. 

One thing that I tried to do a good job of while making selections for formal china was hitting different price points for items. While I’d love a table full of Herend, their pieces are incredibly expensive, and I knew I’d only end up with a few things leaving our table feeling bare. Instead, I opted for one of their dessert plates in a pattern I loved so that I can have a touch of it at a lower price. Ultimately, I decided to go with a matching color and shape charger and salad plate by Packard and paired that with a William Yeoward footed tumbler and Waterford iced beverage glass. I love that the overall look feels age appropriate enough to actually want to set a table with now, but versatile enough to mix with other pieces should I choose to later down the road! 

I was looking back through my camera roll to find a photo of everything stacked altogether, but I realized I forgot to get the finished product and just had a couple of variations along the way (like above). That just means that eventually, when I set a table, I’ll be able to excitedly share the finished result with y’all! 

Casual China

I think deciding on casual china was even more challenging than the formal pieces since I knew they’d be used more frequently. There are still some holes in our registry here, and I may end up adding a plain white dinner plate or some melamine pieces into the mix, but for now, I’m excited about my selections! 

Growing up, our everyday plates were either white with a rim, or more frequently, a blue and white patterned plate. I blame that for why I was drawn to the blue and white “Jane” collection from Madison Madison. I hadn’t heard of the brand before, but I immediately stopped scrolling when I saw them on Over the Moon. Although that website says they are hand wash only (cue devastation since that does not work in my mind for everyday china), after some research and messaging with the brand turns out they are good to go in the dishwasher, hallelujah! The price point for a set of four also couldn’t be best, so we registered for the side plates, a few platters, and their pasta and cereal bowls! Because it was all so matchy and I love to mix things up, we also registered for Cabana’s dessert plates to get a touch of green in with our blues. I already have a collection of cobalt blue stemless glasses from Estelle Colored Glass, and we chose a variety set of plain wine glasses from Williams Sonoma to register for too. With Hunter’s love of golf, The Links set of Tervis Tumblers were a fun addition based on his interest. I picked out Rosenthal flatware at Bromberg’s and love the idea of having a few different placemats on hand to use for various occasions too! I’m staying on the lookout for white everyday plates and white coffee mugs, so if y’all have any favorite brands for those do let me know! 

Making all of these decisions felt a bit easier knowing that with a registry, pretty much everything is returnable/exchangeable. So, if once we’ve received our gifts we feel the need to make edits based on practicality or what we’ve been gifted I’m glad to know that that is a possibility. At the end of the day, I know I’m going to love setting these tables to host people in our home while thinking of the people who gifted the items to us! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

LAKE Pajama's Summer Sale

The end of July signals a lot of things for different people, but in the past few years for me, it signifies LAKE’s big summer sale. If you’ve been to my Instagram, you’re not surprised that this event is a bit of a highlight for me. The last thing I could possibly need is another pair of pajamas, but LAKE has so many cute prints and styles that it isn’t hard for me to be tempted. 

I know many of y’all have grown to love LAKE Pajamas, and with the summer sale taking place at the moment, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share some favorites and my sizing preferences with you here. 

While I still adore the classic scoop neck style that first helped me fall in love with LAKE pajamas, I've recently been gravitating toward their weekend sets which feature a higher neckline. Earlier this year I was able to try out one of their robes, and it has me guessing what took me so long on that! In the summer, my patio dresses are one of my most worn pajama pairs and even looks adorable as a coverup at the lake and beach, so I was thrilled to see them included. Some sizes are already gone in certain styles, but from the time I checked it after receiving a text that the sale had started, and now I’ve noticed that more patterns and styles have been added to the sale tab. I’ve included pictures below of many of my favorite LAKE pieces and although the exact pattern may not be available, the styles are! You can’t go wrong with any of them and. hopefully you’re able to find something you love if you’re shopping! 

I wash but don't dry my LAKE pieces, so keep that in mind as you're reading through my size preferences. I know many people like to size up so that they are able to dry their pieces in the dryer, but I tend to like to size up just for a roomier fit.

Size Preference: Medium
In the summer the Patio Dress is one of my most reached for styles. I've even worn it as a coverup over a bathing suit and the loose neckline would make it a great fit for bridesmaids' getting ready pajamas. I have the shorter style version which doesn't feel too skimpy on me at 5'7" but I'd also love to try the midi dress version.

Size Preference: Small
I love that LAKE is venturing into items other than just pajamas. This dress is fully lined, and I always get compliments when I wear it!

Size Preference: Medium

Size Preference: Medium

Size Preference: Small would probably fit better than the Medium ones I have

Size Preference: Medium but these are very oversized so Small would have worked too

Size Preference: Small
The adjustable straps and elastic across the back of this dress makes the size very forgiving!

Size Preference: Medium

Size Preference: Medium

Size Preference: Medium

Size Preference: Medium

Size Preference: I have a Medium but think I would prefer a Small since I tend to think these robes run generous. 

If I weren't trying to not further expand my LAKE collection at the moment, these are the pieces that would be in my cart!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Your Best Recommendations: Hostess Gifts, Wedding Day Heels, Jewelry and More

A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time on Instagram stories crowd-sourcing wedding questions I had and had so many requests to share the results. Since oftentimes I feel like I’m sharing my recommendations with y’all it was so fun to get your insight on different wedding-related items I need to be shopping for. Y’all came back with so many ideas that putting these graphics together took longer than anticipated and I wasn’t even able to get to all of them just yet. I’m eager to get to a couple of categories I asked and haven’t yet covered soon which includes Welcome Box Ideas and Bridesmaid Gifts. I’ve done my best to compile these responses for the graphics I did have a chance to get to along with different ideas I’ve come up with for the categories but have a feeling I’ll be coming back to stories in need of additional ideas before the big day comes! Thank y’all for playing along and sharing your insight with me, and hopefully, this helps all the other brides in the same boat as they begin to narrow down smaller details in preparation for their wedding day. 

Links to the items shown can be found beneath the graphic and links to follower-suggested items are right above them. I know I was hoping to feel like I weighed all of my options before making a decision and feel like I’m on the right track to ordering a few things now that I have all of these suggestions in front of me. 

Wedding Heel Recommendations —

So many of you were adamant that I wear heels for the ceremony and change into something flat and more comfortable for the reception. My future sister-in-law just did this for her wedding and I knew it would be something I’d want to copy. One of the big things I’ve been trying to keep in mind when deciding on items to purchase for the wedding is whether or not I’ll be able to re-wear or re-use an item bought for the occasion. Because of this, I’m definitely leaning toward a colored or metallic heel but was able to find so many white heel options that would be so pretty too!

Loeffler Randall // Bella Belle // Dolce Vita // Badgley Mischka // Anything with a block heel // Sam Edelman // Stuart Weitzman

From left to right by row:

Wedding Day “Flats” —

While I know I want to change into something more comfortable than the full-blown heel I’ll wear for the ceremony I’m not sure what that shoe will be. Given that it will be far I have to consider the temperature but many of you suggested sandals. I think no matter what I opt for I’ll be breaking in both my ceremony and reception shoes ahead of time. 

Loeffler Randall // Bella Belle // Jack Roger's Monogrammed Sandals // Veja Sneakers

Wedding Day Earrings (Bride) — 

Next time I’m home I have a feeling I’ll be looking through my mom’s jewelry box to see if there is a pair of earrings that may be my something borrowed for the wedding day. In case there’s not I’ve been eyeing styles with sapphires (to match my engagement ring) and pearls (because I like the way they brighten my face). I know not everyone gravitates toward that gemstone so I was sure to include other potential wedding day earring options below as well. I have a feeling I’ll opt for some kind of stud which is mainly what you’ll see pulled in the graphic below, but lots of the websites y’all recommended have a variety of earring styles. 

Jennifer Behr // Olive & Piper // Kendra Scott // Vivian Drew // Nicola Bathie 

From left to right by row:
Row 1: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 2: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 
Row 3: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Bridesmaid’s Earrings — 

I think once I decide on my earrings it may be easier for me to ultimately choose earrings for my bridesmaids which I am hoping to gift them at the bridesmaid’s luncheon. I am also leaning toward some sort of pearl material for these and am a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there. Y’all even suggested some brands that I hadn’t heard of before, many of which offer custom designs specifically for your bridal party.

 Susan Shaw // Lisi Lerch // Canvas Style // Susan Standeffer // Vivian Drew // Sidebar Designs // Made by Mary // Gorjana // Anna Cate // SJ Bailey // Nadri at Bloomingles // J.Crew 

From left to right by row:
Row 1: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 2: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 3: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 4: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Hostess Gift Ideas — 

Hostess gifts can be tricky. Depending on the number of hosts you have you want it to be something useful that they may not already have without breaking the bank! I ordered these to pair with cocktail napkins for my sweet friends who have organized a stock-the-bar party for us, but know I’ll need something nicer for the hostesses of my bridesmaid’s luncheon. There are so many different price points in the graphic below that hopefully you’ll be able to find something that works for the party and price point or at least get an idea to go off of! One suggestion I loved that isn’t an item that could be included in the graphic is a donation to a charity in the hostesses' names. Since the people generous enough to host an event for you may already have what they want this is such a thoughtful and impactful way to make sure the money that would be spent on this gift goes to a wonderful cause. 

Other tips y’all shared with me! 

Create a cute itinerary for family/bridesmaids for the weekend of with all times laid out and print it for them but also send it in a text so they always have it handy and won’t be reaching out with questions.

Have fun and don’t stress. It will all come together!

Enjoy it, you only get it one time and then it’s over!

Turn over everything to a planner the month out so you can have fun.

Don’t get lost in the trends/social media. Do what feels like you, not what you think people want.

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Don’t feel the need to do a thank you gift/party favor at the wedding, allocate those funds for something else.

No one will know anything went wrong but you! 

I’ll be sharing the other categories I mentioned and asked y’all for advice on in a Wedding Wednesday post soon! 

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