21 December, 2010

You Asked For It: Invitations De-Mystified

Hey, Erin!

I love reading your blog.  I could use more recipes and how-to's though.  I need to know when to send my invites.  We skipped save the dates (oops!) and are now somewhat under the gun.  The wedding is in February, are we too late?  Will our attendance suffer? What do we do?  I'd appreciate some help!

Thanks for reading.  I'll tell ya, how to's will always be the bane of my existence.  One of my biggest bloggy resolutions for the fast approaching 2011 is to seriously amp up the number of how-to's and recipes.  I have a little idea in mind...

Okay, on to your question.  I know, I've said it a thousand times....but Save the Dates are a really helpful way to get the wedding invite ball rolling.  They can also buy you a little time, as well.

But enough of that.

Well, honey (can I call you honey?) I can safely say that you are not in a bind just yet.  I'd advocate for getting your invites out  ASAP, like yesterday.  Especially if you have a lot of out of town guests.  I say that because, Christmas is but days away and if you wait too much longer, your invites could get lost in, what I like to call, The Great Holiday Mail Kerfluffle. So here's what I would do:

1. Address and send out those invites.  Right now!  Go.  Run!

2. Follow up with a phone call.  You want to make sure people are getting your invites in a timely manner.  Have some extras on hand for lost or misplaced invites.  This is also a good time for you to answer any questions your guests might have, so familiarize yourself with the logistics of your wedding. If you are using a planner, you might ask for a short, one page document that lists the most important (and most commonly requested) info.  This is a great document to have on hand to e-mail to guests.

3.  Keep your eyes on the replies!  Because you are getting kind of a late start, you might consider keeping close tabs on your replies.  If your "reply by" date is fast approaching and your list of replies is lacking, reach out.  Get your attendants and SO to help you.  Contact your guests and ask them whether they plan to attend.

I hope this helps, doll! 

Photo Credit: Cracked Designs.  I love these so much, they literally kill me dead.  Awesome Website, Awesome Blog and Awesome Shop.

14 December, 2010

You Asked For It: Goldiluxe, Unpolished

Hello, all!  Like the new topic title?  I do.  I've used "From the Trenches" for so long, I decided it was time for something new.  Which brings me to what has got to be the most asked question in my Inbox.  And I have been meaning to answer you, I just couldn't find the right words.  Well, all that's changed, so here goes:

(To paraphrase, like, 30 questions):
Hey!  I liked 'Holy Matrimony'!  What gives? Aren't you concerned about confusing your readers/potential clients?

First of all, thanks everyone for your interest in me!  I am forever grateful that I have such great bloggy friends out there watching my back.  Now to answer your question:

This answer has three parts.

1.  I wanted something new and dynamic. I love making a splash!  I always have.  Goldiluxe started as a little dream I had nearly 4 years ago.  The seed grew while I work as a bridal consultant and finally blossomed sometime during the planning of my wedding.  I immediately began cultivating, blogging, dreaming and scheming.  The closer I got to taking Goldiluxe public, the more I knew I needed something I could really get behind.  After brainstorming over 50 titles, meeting with my besties for critiques and copious amounts of soul-searching, Goldiluxe Events and Consulting was born! And you know what?  I didn't worry about my readers and clients at all.  I deserve something spectacular, something I can be proud of and so do all of you!

2. This year is my golden birthday and Goldiluxe represents a re-birth of sorts. On November 29th, I turned 29.  29!!  Can you believe it.  I always tend to wax poetic around my birthday in anticipation of another year.  This year I took a long, hard look at all the things I've been through, all the things I've learned and experienced and I just felt.......new.  New, at 29.  Wow.  Goldiluxe is a representation of the beautifully luxe life I intend to have.  Goldiluxe exists to bring a piece of that spectacular beauty to you.

3. I love gold!  I mean, seriously y'all.  I LOVE gold.  I love the phrase, "You're golden." I love the bittersweet idea of gilded cages.  I adore Golden Ages.  There was a song we used to sing when I was a Girl Scout that went like..."Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold." I loved that song.  I still do.  I will teach it to my children, I will sing it until the day I die.  Above all, to me the idea of gold is something kind of magical.  Something everlasting and wonderful. 

So, there you have it.  A teensy, tiny little window into Goldiluxe Events.  I hope you like what you see.  I do.

02 December, 2010

A Royal Wedding!

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple weeks, you know that the scrumptious Prince William is getting hitched! Exciting!  The speculations are swirling on the blog-o-sphere about which designer the bride-to-be will choose (Umm, if it were me I'd be dying to get my hot little hands on some Dior...Or Vivienne Westwood).

Although I wasn't yet born when the last royal wedding occurred, I did grow up with the images.  And being in awe of the spectacular woman that Princess Diana was. I thought I might share a few of the iconic images with you as we dream about the splendor of the next Royal Wedding..

 1.  This is the ceremonial announcement.  This document announced the order of the procession and outlines the ceremony for the guest.

2.  The cake!  OMG, can you imagine?!  This five layer cake was crafted by petty chef, David Avery (in honor of the Prince's Navy ties) and was a traditional British wedding cake.  Fruit cake with raisins, nuts and brandy soaked dried fruit.  This is one of several cakes made (the process took 14 weeks to finish...yikes!) in case of an accident.  Pretty clever, Royal Family.    
3.  Prince Charles wore formal Navy dress.  Dig the ah-MAZING (!) detail on that dress.  This dress, by Emmanuels, is crazy beautiful (and sports a, get this, 25 foot train!)
4.  The dress.  Again.  You know, I know it was 1981 and all, but that dress is KILLING me with the beauty.  Seriously.  In this picture you can see a little bit more of that fab train.  Note the nosegay.  Something you don't see much with brides today...frankly, I think it's perfect.  The little girls?  Well, in Britain it is customary that your bridesmaids be young girls from your family.  Interesting, no?
Well, there you have it.  My tiny, little trip down Royal Wedding Lane.  I simply cannot wait to see what the Windsors have in store for us this time....(especially considering word on the street is Snoop Dogg is performing at the engagement party...I. Die.)

23 November, 2010

From the Trenches: Hair Affair

E:  Hey!  I am trying to book with a stylist for the big day.  How can I make sure everything goes smoothly?

Hello, doll!  Thanks for reading.  Now on to your question:

I don't know if it's my theatre background or my love of the 80's TV show Dallas, but I have always loved hair and makeup.  Even if only in my mind, I spent most of my formative years living by the phrase "the bigger the hair, the warmer the heart".  At the tender age of 3, I rocked the biggest, baddest afro puffs on the farm, y'all.  Makeovers were my sleepover bonding ritual of choice. So yes, dear reader, I have plenty in my hair/makeup arsenal.

Here are my five biggest, most helpful tips:

1.  Leave it to the professionals.  When you find someone you like, talk with them.  About your dress and theme for sure, but more importantly, about your style.  When you meet, bring your veil and accessories.  Doing this will give you and your stylist the best possible chance for success.

2.  Prepare your hair.  Be sure to get a conditioning treatment before your wedding.  My stylist recommends going in a week in advance.  If you are going to get a haircut, do it at least 3-4 weeks in advance.  This will give you a chance to grow accustomed to the new length.  And, as we all know, hair needs time to settle down and allow itself to be styled.

3.  Put it on trial.  Book yourself a bridal trial appointment with your stylist(s).  Your hair needs to be two things: exactly what you want and able to withstand the day.  It will be the best money you ever spend at a salon.  Ever.  Also, take pictures.  Front, back, sides, with the veil, without the veil...you get the point, yes? 

4.  Turn it down a notch.  Three days before your wedding is maybe not the best time to experiment with hot pink hair dye. Or to cut your hair into a rock and roll shag.  Now, if you want to try something bold and new, do it!  Just leave yourself enough time in case you decide the ice blue extensions weren't the best idea you've ever had.

5.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  My father's favorite saying...and ever so apropos.  You.  Are.  Beautiful.  Already.  Just as you are.  Try not to go overboard with the makeup.  You want to look like you, just an ever so slightly more fab version of you.  Your stylist should be able to enhance the best parts of that gorgeous face of yours without turning you into someone you don't recognize.

There you have it. I hope this helps.

Photo credit: This is ME.  Yikes.  Thank God for B&W.  And of course for Front Room Photography.  They say they aren't miracle workers, but they made me into something photogenic, didn't they?

22 November, 2010

Beauty Bathed in Gold

I happened upon this little lovely whilst scouring the Design Within Reach website for a desk to put in my office (currently under renovation).

Boom, baby!  This exquisite set from Skitsch is designed by the brilliant Front (a group of three Swedish designers) and is a DWR exclusive.  The brilliance of this literally kills me dead.  I am living for this...well, I like anything with "dipped in a gold bath" in the product description.  Although pricey (the large carafe alone will set you back 70 clams), it would totes make an incredible wedding (or 29th birthday...anyone...Bueller?) present.  The Midas collection will join this on my "Gorgeous Things to Pile Into My Modern Day Pyramid" list.

Photo credit: Design Within Reach dot com


09 November, 2010

Save the Dates: Friend or Fiend

Hello, Darlings!  You have been flooding my inbox with invitation questions lately.  Never fear.  Your questions have spurred some posts that will hopefully decode some of the mystery surrounding invitations.  So to answer your questions:

Today a word about Save the Dates.

If I had to pick the question I get most often- it would have to be, "Do I really need a Save the Date card?" And the follow up question: "Are they necessary.....I mean it's just another expense, right?" I tend to recommend them, so my answer is usually the same. It goes a little bit something like this: "Don't we want to do all we can to assist everyone we've invited in attending? Look, truth is everybody's busy. Everybody. So, it stands to reason the more lead time they're given, the more likely they'll be able to attend."

Now, I'm in no way advocating the use of  letterpressed, solid gold save the date cards nestled in a box made of pythons.  There are so many things you can to do save a little green while your guests are busy saving the date. Well designed magnets and postcards are two of my favorite ideas and are perfect for the budget savvy bride.

My piece of advice? Well, today you get more than one. First, your Save the Dates should hit the mail approximately 2 to 4 months before your invites go out. So, in real people time, about 4 to 6 months before your wedding. I'd say for those of you having destination weddings stick with six months. Use your judgment and if you're unsure, err on the side of giving guests more time.

Finally, Keep it simple. You're only asking your guests to save the date. Give them a taste of your event and then leave them wanting more. You've spent a lot of time putting the whole shebang together, so play it close to the chest. Also, don't wait for a response. You won't get one. Your guests will eagerly reply when their invites arrive.

Photo credit: That is MY save the date card in all it's glory.  Also, I took that photo, so please excuse the oddness of it....

08 November, 2010

Let This Serve as a Reminder....

AC (the fantastically handsome feline model), reminds us that November is well underway.  We all know November brings with it the start of the holiday season (even though it's 60 degrees here in MKE and my holiday bone is still buried) .  It's time to break out the gold chargers, dust off the 'fancy' recipe book and plan those holiday parties.

This November I hope to not only share with you some of my tips and tricks for a fuss-free Thanksgiving, I will be sharing some mood boards and sketches for upcoming festivities.  I also hope to give you some really wonderful how-to's and gift ideas.  I'm sooo excited to get started!

Want some more AC?  Well, you know, he has a blog.  And a calendar.  And his Momma is a friend of mine.

Photo credit: Katefunk dot etsy dot com (it's a picture of a Thanksgiving Day card I'm dying to buy)

I Saw the Signs...

Hello, dolls!

Ohmygawd, I am loving these cute signs that have been popping up all over the wed-o-sphere! In fact, I think I may be including some in my designs for a country-chic themed reception I've been working on.  I've included three of my Etsy favorites below.

1.  The Ritzy Rose.  I LOVE this one!  How cute is this.  J'adore!  What a lovely way to put the guests wise to all their favorite parts of the event.   
2.  Family Attic.  My favorite thing about this is the vintage feel.  I like that its not overwhelmingly shabby chic (not my favorite flavor), but the weathered feel would add nicely to any rustic, outdoorsy event.
3.  Our Hobby to Your Home.  So, cute.  I really appreciate the clean, chic look of this.  I'd like it even more, smack dab in the middle of a flower bed. 

All three of these little lovelies are winners for me and I suggest you go on over to the shops and see for yourself!

All photos belong to the etsy sellers...

02 November, 2010

A Message From Goldiluxe:

 Good Morning, dolls!

First, a statement:  I just wanted to remind you all to get out there and vote!  Vote, vote, vote!  Remind your friends and family!  We have a right that so many people all over the world are fighting and, quite literally, dying to have.  So, let's exercise it, already!  Who's with me?

Now, a caveat: I don't care who you vote for.  I really don't.  I will love you all, donkey or elephant.  But, I do care how you vote.  I want you to use that big, beautiful brain of yours.  I want you to turn off your TVs, drown out the pundits and make up your own mind.  We owe it to ourselves to make the most informed choice we can.  Isn't that what makes this country great, our right to think for ourselves?!  And lets face it, our country needs us this year.

Now, get out and vote.  Let Washington hear that big, beautiful voice of yours!  And honey, if nothing else, I know that voting never goes out of style.

29 October, 2010

Green your Halloween: Some Words of Wisdom from Cream City Green

So as you may or may not know, a new Greenie blog has hit the scene.  Written by MKE smarty pants (and friend of mine), Rachel Nadasdy, Cream City Green serves as a guide to help us get off our wasteful little tushies and join the fight to save Mother Earth.  My favorite part, you ask?  CCG encourages us to look at the small things we can do to clean up our own little corners of this wonderful world.  She reminds us that all our efforts are important and worthwhile.  For me this is HUGE, because by cramming huge, abstract ideas down our throats, some Greenie blogs can make helping out feel daunting and improbable. 

Needless to say, I love this blog and am so excited to watch it grow!  Now.  What does this mean for you?  Well, there's a brilliant little post over there today about Greening your Halloween.  It's smart, fresh and really helpful.  Not to mention her tips and tricks can be easily suited to your Spooktacular Soiree.  Give it a read and I'm sure you'll be as inspired as I am.

Here's the link, cupcakes, I hope you use it!

28 October, 2010

Rue the Day? Yes, Please!

Well dolls, I hit the style motherload the other day with the new Rue Magazine.  First of all, its totes brill.   This online mag is the real deal, y'all!  Stunning photo shoots, incredible color palettes and engaging articles are just the tip of the fabulous iceberg!  Also on the website you'll find recipes (hello!) and a photo gallery (that's yet to come, but can you imagine?).  So why share this with you?  Other than trying to drown you in the chic?

I'll tell you.

If there's one the thing that will tip the event design scales in your favor, it's possessing the ability to draw inspiration from anywhere.  Life is unbelievably, spectacularly beautiful and we are lucky enough to be smack dab in the middle of it.  All we have to do is look around.  Seriously!  I want my clients to know the keys to creating an unforgettable event are hiding in their houses, the building down the block, the curve of a musical instrument!

Don't know where to look?  That's okay too,  because publications like Rue Magazine can help you!  You can find your wildest party dreams in the pages of that magazine.

Okay.  Enough silly gushing!  Get your fantastic little behinds over to that wonderful magazine and check it out for yourself.  You might also want to follow them on Twitter.  I am.

Photo Credit: blogcatalog dot com via Rue Magazine

Bring Me the Funk

My friend, Miss Kate Funk, Milwaukee's own little design diva has done it again!  It's finally here!  Yay!  I cannot WAIT to get my paws on it.

That's right, this is a picture of the 2011 Kate Funk Cat Calendar.  Starring Kate's fashionable feline, AC the 2011 calendar pays homage to twelve of America's most beloved movie classics.  I have last year's calendar and let me tell ya, I didn't think anything could top it.  I am a HUGE movie geek, so this calendar is a perfect 10 for me!

Now for the recap:  1.  Kate Funk is my awesome friend.
                                   2.  She has a website and her cat has a blog (and a Facebook page).
                                   3.  There's an Etsy shop.
                                   4.  You should do yourself a favor and check it out!

13 October, 2010

Lowering the Bar: Remixed Part Deux

Here you go, darlings.  Part two of my answer on saving some green at the bar...Sorry for the delay y'all!

In my last post, I described three general rules couples should follow when attempting to control the liquid cost of their reception. So, what's to be done when you've chosen a venue? While it can be hard to avoid some expense, especially with soda and coffee, there are always things that can be done. Here are a couple of tricks I routinely employ to save a few clams!

1. Never underestimate the beauty of the signature drink. This is a great way for couples on a budget to save a little money while kicking the personal touches up a notch. Choose a drink you and your SO really like, give it a fun, flirty name and voila! A signature drink is born. Then, serve your guests soda, coffee, champagne for the toast and your signature drink. Also, consider making a colorful sign to announce your drink at the bar. Here's a drink idea* to get you started!

Love's First Kiss
Cranberry Juice
Ginger Ale
garnish with Lime, serve over ice in a cocktail glass
*This is one of my favorite drinks. I happen to really like Cape Cods, though. Great for summer!

2. Limit the free stuff to a few choice items. This works well for couples who would like to have a few free items on the menu, but maybe don't want to give away the farm. I suggest paying the corkage fee on a limited number of wine bottles and ordering a keg or two of beer. Also, if your venue will allow it, have them put any partially used bottles of the toasting champagne on the bar for the guests.

3. Consider the password. This can be used like a drink ticket/token, but less obtrusive. Perhaps you'll want to limit the number of free drinks for the entire guest list (two or three seem to be most common). Unlimited drinks for a small group of people (think bridal party, parents and a few close family and friends) are completely acceptable as well. Make the password simple and relevant to the wedding (like last names, dates, or something extra clever). Whatever you do, make it fair. Do not choose a group of people who, to a guest outside that group, seem to be chosen at random. Make the group and the reasoning behind it crystal clear. Confusion is usually not an element of an unforgettable wedding.

4. Keep an open dialogue with banquet staff. Inform the wait staff(preferably the Banquet Captain or Catering Manager) that you and your SO would like to be kept in the loop when deciding to open more bottles and tap more kegs. Timing is everything, so use your best judgment. If you seem to be running out and it's only 10pm you may need to rectify that problem, tout de suite. Is it 11:15pm and you have to be out by midnight? That's a different story-maybe you only refill wine. It's your call. Also, let the bartenders know not to open any bottles they don't have to. If you have Ketel One on the bar and no one asks for it, send it back unopened. If it's open, but unused, you will still pay for it. A little diligence goes a long way, trust me.

5. Get to know the menu and ask questions. I saved this for last because, in my opinion, it is the most important. Get cozy with the corkage fees and drink charges. The sooner the better.

Can you bring in your own alcohol? Is there a corkage fee? What percentage is the service charge? What is the general price difference between rail and top shelf liquor? What do "rail" and "top shelf" mean? These are all questions you should be asking. Get answers to them. Don't sign anything until you do. For beverages that come in bottles, but are charged by the glass-ask how many glasses count as a bottle (at our venue, it was six). It may be cheaper to buy a set number of bottles beforehand at the bottle price. This goes double for champagne. If you want an open bar, find out if they have any packages (3 and 5 hour packages seem to be the most common). Also, check to see what the price per hour is. You may save money by limiting the open bar to just one or two hours.

All in all quite a few money saving options exist when it comes to the bar. You just have to know where to look. If you are without a planner, it can be difficult. The best advice I can give you is to always remember that the vendors work for you. Not the other way around. Getting what you want can be tricky with weddings. Getting what you want at a price you can afford is trickier still.

Photo Credit: marthastewart.com

12 October, 2010

Lowering the Bar: Remixed

 From a reader:

Help, help help.  We want our reception to be memorable and we want to provide some free booze opportunities.  Everything is just so expensive.  Any tips?

Yikes!  If I had a dollar for every time I get asked this question, honey I'd be a millionaire.  I thought I might remix a little two part post I did on this before.  I think it answers your question rather precisely....

Liquid costs are sometimes the last thing on a couple's collective "wedding mind".  I'm not going to lie to you, the navigation of liquid cost is a tricky business. Luckily, I have a few tips and tricks at the ready.

1. Do your homework. Get familiar with any literature you have from your catering and/or venue candidates. Go to their websites and check out references. Talk to people who've used them.  Ask a local wedding planner for recommendations.  In other words, know as much as you can about the place you will be visiting before you get there. For instance, we searched for, like, six weeks before we committed.   It's a lot like dating. You gotta let 'em work for it awhile, before you go giving it up.

2. Ask Questions. I cannot stress this enough!  Take a list of questions with you on the hunt.  List everything you want to know, no matter how small.  Take it from me, there are no stupid questions when it comes to money.  Sample topics: Bartender fee, gratuity, tax, drink price and per bottle prices. Make sure you ask what bottles are included with your bar and how much upgrades are. For instance, Stoli may come in the bar, but it may cost $10 to upgrade to Grey Goose. Do not leave that venue until all of your questions have been answered.   

3. Consider your options and do the math. This is a bit complicated only because today's couples have so many. Once you've gathered all your info, work it out. Maybe it saves money to go with a venue that allows you to bring in your own bartender. Or perhaps it makes more sense to choose a place that has bar service and limit the "free" stuff. You'll have to decide, what's best for you.

So, after you've done all that what's next?! You've got some concrete decisions to make that will, perhaps, vary greatly depending on your choice of venue. The above three tips are general ones that can be used to effectively determine difference in cost and fees between all venues. Once the venue is chosen, the hard part begins. That's another post entirely.

Photo credit: marthastewart dot com

07 October, 2010

Happy Hallowedding...Etsy Style!

So, it's October, y'all!  My favorite month.  It's my favorite mostly because Halloween is my favorite holiday and October just happens to be the gateway to my birthday month.  If you know me or can read then you know that.  But, not only do I LOVE Halloween, I love Halloween themed weddings.

I also have a thing for Etsy.  So, on my morning cyber stroll, I stopped by to round up some lovelies fit for a spooky soiree.  I've decided to let you have a little sneaky peaky at my upcoming Hallowedding Roundup. 

1.  How freaking cute is this?!  This little ring bearer box comes to us from the fantastic, Bragging Bags.  I think this is pretty adorable, too.

2.  I'm loving this invitation design by Kindly Spoken.  The shop is full of ridiculously wonderful invites and designs.  With all the amazingly delicious papers out there, I'm sure this could be spooktacular (You might as well get ready for the cutesy Halloweeny words.  They aren't going anywhere, y'all!)

3.  This is one of my favorite things in the history of ever.  I have a huge crush on this ultra-charming Day of the Dead cake topper. This wonderful LA based design house infuses the rich Mexican and Italian cultures to create their fantastic wares. Visit DNA Creations, won't you?

4. Loving the loveliness of this luscious ensemble.  I found this little darling at Frigid Couture.  Based in Las Vegas, the design house has a really eclectic mix of skirts, dresses and fascinators.  Speaking of which, I am a huge fan of this.  Love!

5.  Oooh, these!  The gift tags come to us from Gypsy Eye Studio.  I love the fantastic Boho-Victorian vibe I'm getting!  The shop is great and I'm kind of having covetous feelings about this.  Mmmm, vintage-y looking things.

I hope I've given you enough to get your Halloween wheels a-turnin'.  I have so much more to say about Halloween and its innate awesome-ness, so stay tuned!

Photo Credit:  All photos belong to the corresponding designer.  So don't be a jerk.

30 September, 2010

You're Invited Part 4: Letterpress Dreams

Oh, letterpress! Where to begin? Hands down, my all time favorite printing technique. Just unbelievably beautiful. Elum Designs, Hello, Lucky, Peculiar Pair Press and Spark are among my favorite design studios.

Letterpress involves raised lettering on metal plates. This is the opposite of engraving. Think, typewriter keys. Ink is applied to the plates and then the plates are pressed into the paper. This causes the ink to rest in the indentations on the paper's surface. The result is irresistible. Today's letterpress trends mix the sophisticated beauty of tradition with fresh design. Look for unusual color combinations and bold designs that make an unforgettable statement.

Sadly, all that beauty comes at a terrible (read terribly high) price (sad flute). Letterpress is just about as expensive as you can get. Again, the hand-made nature of the product contributes greatly to it's price tag. Turnaround is typically 4 to 8 weeks. It's totally worth the price. And the wait. Believe me.  The savvy bride can follow the same cost-saving tips as engraving and it should bring the price down a bit.

 This is the "Poster" invitation from letterpress giant, Elum Designs.  People, I have held this delicious invite in my hands and if I could eat it to gain its tremendous beauty, I would.  That.  Amazing.  I dare you: go to that website and NOT fall in love.  Style, design, pizazz-a perfect 10.  Meow!

 Well, that's it! A crash course in printing.  Whew!  I'm so proud of you for sticking with me.  Now, I've had a lot of requests for some info on pieces in an invitation suite.  Should we discuss?

Photo Credit:
Elum Designs

I Just Couldn't Resist...

...showing you another fantastic brooch bouquet!

Okay, here is another unbelievably beautiful example of what you can do with color and theme.  This yummy creamy palette is one of my favorites this year.  I think the depth and texture of this particular bouquet would be perfect for a romantic, lush fall or winter affair! 
Simply enchanting!

This stunning beauty comes to us from Columbus, Ohio Etsy seller, The Ritzy Rose.  Oh.  My.  Blog, the lovelies in her shop-I could eat them!  But I won't.  Instead I'll tell you to go visit The Ritzy Rose and see what you can see.  I.  Die.  Now, that I know about The Ritzy Rose, I might have to do a whole post on them...

Photo Credit:
The Ritzy Rose via Etsy

29 September, 2010

Whooo Are You?

To help get you in the mood for some spooky fun...

Look at this fantastic owl mask from Etsy seller, Sundries and Plunder.  The shop is seriously fantastic. Go.  Check it out.

Photo Credit:

You're Invited Part 3: Lithograph-what?!

Lithography, or Offset Printing
This is a standard technique used for most printed material. Maps, books, sheet music, the sky's the limit!  An inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process (which is based on the repulsion of oil and water) the offset technique employs a flat image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film, keeping the non-printing areas ink-free.  Neat, huh?  I think so! 

This process allows for the most flexibility in color palette and design. A smart and well executed design can make offset invites look even more beautiful. The Wiley Valentine design team uses a combination of offset printing and letterpress grade papers to achieve stunning design. Offset printing is best left to commercial printers and design professionals.

Lithography is the least expensive printing technique and has the fastest turnaround.  You'll have to check with your designer and/or printer to get the exact lead time, but I've seen some come in under two weeks.

This is the lovely Adam Scott invitation by Wiley Valentine.  Totes brill!  If I could, I swear to Lady Gaga I'd have them design my life.  Oh, by the way dolls, they have a blog too.  Seriously, check it out.

Photo credit:
Wiley Valentine via Minted

27 September, 2010

You're Invited Part 2: Themography Basics

Good Morning!   I promised you more on invitations and here it is.  

A few words on thermography...

Thermography achieves a look that is similar to engraving. The process used to create it is much less labor intensive. The card stock is run through a printing press. The ink is then sprinkled with a powdered polymer. The paper is then heated, causing the polymer to melt and raise, giving the appearance of raised ink. The only noticeable difference from engraving is the absence of the bruise. Also, Thermography dries with sheen whereas engraving dries matte. The ink has a tendency to be slightly more transparent than engraving inks. With the higher end thermographers the differences are virtually undetectable.   

Because of its machine made beginnings, thermo is a much less expensive alternative to engraving. The difference in price is typically 10-20%. However the dark paper/light ink combo is out (boo). The extreme heat just doesn't allow it. Turnaround is shorter than engraving, clocking in at 2 to 4 weeks.

This little beauty is part of the exclusive Thermography Collection available at Wedding Paper Divas Online and designed by William Arthur (ooh, la la!).  I encourage you all to get a load of the fantastical and affordable offerings.

Photo Credit:
Wedding Paper Divas Blog

24 September, 2010

Brooching the Subject

Okay, so we all know by now that retro inspired lovelies are kind of my shtick.  Now I'm no one trick pony, but my love of all things vintage is sometimes too intense to ignore.  With that said, I thought I share my latest vintage-inspired obsession: The Brooch Bouquet

I love, love LOVE, them!  If I was getting married again, I would totes rock the look.  Instead, I'll be weaving it in to some of my signature designs (more on that later, y'all) and it will be an À la carte service that we will offer here at Goldiluxe (ooh, more on that later too...I am all about the secrets today).  Here are some of my favorites!

This beauty is from Studio del Fiore in beautiful Portland, Oregon.  I.  Die.  Notice how the design is based around a central floral theme and is expanded upon by the more suggestively floral pins.  The explosion of color adds major depth and drama to this piece.

This swoon worthy piece is from one of my favorite photo shoots of the year.  Couldn't you just die of the genius?!  When I first started getting into this type of bouquet, I saw a lot of collared styles.  How refreshing to see something like this.  So spectacular.

So beautiful for so many reasons.  This piece by Amanda Herr.  I like the use of color here to  capture a moody beauty. Exploring the moody side of love and happiness is a theme I adore. 

 Bright beautiful color with a touch of whimsy.  Who could ask for more?  I am dying over that little frog brooch.  I'm enjoying the playful nature of this bouquet.  Another Amanda Herr design is a total hit with me!  By the by, this design mastermind also has an Etsy shop, so get over there and check it out!

Considering a beauty like this to call your own?  Who wouldn't be after seeing some of the best out there?  My advice to you is to treat this like any other aspect of your big day.  Work with someone you trust, who can bring your vision to life.  Edit, edit, edit.  Also, while these little honeys are a bit pricey ($250-$500, depending on the artist/designer) you may be able to bring the price down if you can provide your own brooches.  This is also a great way to have a little more control as far as theme and mood.  Besides, who doesn't love weaving through antique stores, hunting for jeweled lovelies?

Photo Credits:
1.  Studio Del Fiore
via Neat Sheet

2. Flourish/Kate Miller Events
via Style Me Pretty

3&4. Amanda Herr

22 September, 2010

More Changes!

Hello there!

I hope you're having a lovely week. All's well in MKE!

Just wanted to let you know, Goldiblog has a new address!


Capisce? So, change it up, y'all! You aren't going to want to miss what I have in store for you!

You're Invited!: An Intro to Engraving

For many couples, the invitation suite is just as important as any other design aspect of their wedding. Unfortunately, the world of stationery can be a bit mysterious and frustrating, especially if you don't know what you're getting into.

This week we'll take a look at the four most popular printing techniques for wedding/party invitations. I will outline the process of each and give a few tips about design and cost. Quantity, design choice, paper selections and printing technique are the main factors when determining cost. Price can also vary greatly between designers, especially now that invitation trends have moved in the direction of combining beauty with functionality. Your invitation suite will be like a little work of art and will give your guests their first taste of the wonderful day to come.


Engraved invitations will give the most traditional look. It has also been a staple in wedding stationery for decades. Abby Jean and Louella Press are my two of my favorites. So beautiful I can't stand it! Exquisite lines and decadent detailing, one look and it's love!

The process is fairly labor intensive and is largely done by hand. Engravers etch lettering into metal plates. Ink is sunk into the depressions in the plates and loaded into a specialized printing press. The paper is pressed into the plate and the ink sits on the surface, creating the raised lettering. Engraving's signature feature is the bruising that occurs, like a halo around the lettering on the paper. This is a desirable effect and speaks to the beauty of the overall look. The bruise is caused as the paper is pressed against the plate.

Inks used for engraving are opaque and unique to the process. An array of colors are available including white and a number of metallic colors. For the bride looking for a twist on tradition, try printing bold, vibrant colors on darker stock.

Now for the bad news. Engraving, while beautiful is very costly (sad!). In nearly all cases, it is done completely by hand. Also, the pieces are put through the press once per color. So, the more colors you add, the more labor is required, and the pricier it gets. Budget conscious brides can make engraving more affordable by employing a few tricks. First, try to stick to one ink color, but make a statement. Use something like gold on red paper, white on green. Second, if you must have that incredible multi-color design, save it for the most important pieces (the invite card itself or the save the date). The reply card comes back to you anyway, so look for the savings.
Get ready for a long turnaround, typically 4 to 6 weeks (expect 8 weeks during the high traffic months of April-August). Some designers can get it back faster, but not by much.

This is the totally gorgeous Treasury invite from Louella Press. Hello, beautiful!
Notice that heavenly halo!

Photo credit: Louella Press

Sounds Inviting!

In the last few days, I've received numerous e-mails about the same topic: invitations.

So, rather than do an In the Trenches round-up post, I thought I'd re-post (and break up) an older piece of mine about this topic. Over the next few days, I'll answer some questions about invites and all that comes with them.

First up: Engraving!

21 September, 2010

Loving This...

I am LOVING this adorable Carnival party I found. I was passing through Preston Bailey's fantastical wonderland of a blog and I found this!

Sooo, cute! I really hope I get the chance to work on more kids' parties. Seriously! Who wouldn't want to spend their time dreaming up fantastic playlands for the littles?

I hope you'll move it on over to the comments and share some of your favorite childhood party memories!

So? What do you think...?

Here it is! My new banner displaying my fantastic new logo! Don't you just adore? I'm so happy. This moment has been 8 months in the making and I still have so many new things to share with you! I hope you'll join me!

A big thanks to Miss Allison for her unwavering support in this endeavor. I have a serious crush on my new logo!

09 September, 2010

The Lessons We Learn...

So I did something that I never thought I would do today, I caused someone I don't know to call me untrustworthy and, even worse, accuse me of trolling! Now, I haven't had a blog for very long, and I don't know too much about the ins and outs of blog etiquette, but one thing I do know is that being a troll is very, very bad. We all hate them. I haven't encountered any here, but I do write about party planning, so trolls aren't common (never had even one). But I do read numerous political and civil rights blogs and the consensus is, "If you don't know enough about what you're talking about, then shut your ignorant, privileged trap!" So, you know what? I do. On all sorts of topics, I wait until my initial feelings subside, regroup, read-up, then comment. One subject on which I believe I am able to comment accurately? Adoption. Or so I thought. (By the way, I am totes going to cross the "no more than 250 words" rule, but this is important)

So, adoption is something that wasn't much on my mind when I was little. My parents were honest with me about the process and the concept as a child, so it never really crossed my mind in any significant way. It made me feel special, like I was someone my parents chose to love. Out of all the other little souls out there, my parents chose me. That's how I felt. Some of those feelings changed when I started school. I have been told how to feel. I have been ridiculed. I have been ashamed to be adopted. I have been ashamed to be myself. I promised myself, after a particularly ugly moment in 3rd grade, I would never be ashamed again. Fast forward 15 or so years.

I'm great. My life is great. My family is great. The reality of adoption never crosses my mind until I need a bio fam for something. Medical records? I don't know. I'm adopted. The realization that, hey I am a biracial person in a modern world? Oh, yeah. I'm adopted. All the life I have and part of my identity is wrapped up in the fact that I am adopted.

Fast forward again, if you'll indulge me to two years ago. I stumbled across a blog crying foul on the adoption industry. Outlining its injustices, its evils, its harms. I was shocked. A wave of emotion flooded through me, my heart sank, my stomach churned and I nearly passed out. I have had few reactions quite like it in my life. I kept reading and reading, until I was physically and emotionally drained. I coped (and by coped I mean I blocked the knowledge out completely)

Today I read a blog (a comment on teen parenting) that led me to another blog (written by a bio mom), that had a post that for whatever reason, brought back all those awful, unhealthy feelings. And do you know what I did? I flipped. I completely lost any composure, or sensitivity or, common sense. I fired back a response so quick, I didn't even stop to think about what I was saying, or more importantly, how I was saying it. What a maroon, huh? Well, it gets worse. When she replied, a reply that I totally deserved, instead of fully getting the hint, I fired back with more ignorance, anger and stupidity...only I didn't just come out and say it, I sort of sarcastic-ed it in there. To which she kind of flipped, justifiably. So, I apologized. Finally. Probably not very well or very elegantly, but I apologized. I am appalled at how I handled the situation. I also didn't know that using an alias was a bad thing. Some of the other blogs I frequent have them, so I thought it was generally okay (now I know, not so much...) Needless to say, I took a chance to learn from someone with something very important to teach and royally cocked it up.

If she were here now, I would tell her how sorry I am and properly this time. The way I was taught to apologize to someone I have wronged. I would apologize for attacking her in her own space. I would tell her that even though I reacted badly, the experience has taught me a lot about her side of the issue. I would also tell her that even though my head knows adoption isn't perfect and needs reform, my heart can't believe it. My heart needs all those families out there to find their own little souls to love. My heart needs happy endings. My heart needs happily open adoptions as well as happily closed ones. That even with everything I know, my heart just isn't ready.

So why tell you all of this? Because we are responsible for our actions. For our words. Our emotions should not control us and when they do, we should be able to handle the consequences. When we make someone feel invalidated, marginalized and dismissed, we need to apologize for it. I have learned an important, albeit uncomfortable truth about myself. She said something that I find is sticking with me tonight:

My story does not dismiss your story nor does your story make adoption full of butterflies and rainbows. There is room enough for both of us.

She's right, you know. And hopefully someday, when I can check my privilege at the door, there will be.

18 August, 2010

A Very Sweet 13!

Today I am LOVING this post from Amy Atlas' blog, Sweet Designs.

I am DYING over this, y'all! I really needed some fantastic-ness after my horror show of a day.


It really is the only way to describe this little lovely from one of my event idols, Preston Bailey. By the by, I am dying to take his class. I just have to find it in my area...

Without further adieu, I give you this. Happy Wednesday!

Don't. You. Just. LOVE!

12 August, 2010

Movin on Up!

Hello, my doves!

Some big news for you. In an effort to streamline my life and my business, I have decided to combine this blog with Holy, Matrimony!. I think this move will be a great one! I love parties and events (obvs!) and I think it will be great to move this into a more "lifestyle-y" blog while promoting the work I'll be doing. I'll have so much more to say...

So what's to become of Holy, Matrimony!? Well, lovelies, over the next few days HMat will be changing, growing and morphing into something new and exciting! More news on that over the next few days!

Thanks for listening, dolls. I really feel so much better, like a big weight is off my shoulders...The chip? Well, that's still there.

Etsy Love: Serendipity

Ah, Serendipity indeed! I came across this fantastic designer this am on my daily Etsy crawl and I was blown away! Among the myriad of lovelies in this brill little shop from Saint Louis, I found some really amazing vintage inspired finds. I thought I'd share them with all of you!

I love these so much, I could just eat them! But I won't. I am constantly looking for attractive, stylish destination invites. I'm really loving the vintage inspired save the dates. Travel advertisements from the 40's-early 60's are really something. I find I pull inspiration from them quite a bit. And that boarding pass?! I die!

I am a huge fan of this!! Once upon a time, there was a couple with several family members attending the wedding in the states from all over the world. She needed two sets of invites, as well. We searched and searched for a passport inspired invite! If only we'd found this! More importantly, while I am not usually a big fan of rhinestone encrusted invites, I really like this. I find it just subtle enough to be elegant and not overpowering.

And, because my lovely friend is having a Vegas wedding and I have Vegas on the mind, I thought I'd show you these:

Be still my heart, a scratch off save the date?! You can't be serious?! Oh, am I ever! I am LOVING these so hard right now, I could just pass out from the brilliant! Couldn't you?

So, take my advice and get your cute little bride-y behind over to that Etsy shop and get a load of the goods!

Photo credit: Serendipity Beyond Design

10 August, 2010

Perhaps You Noticed...

...that things look a bit different around here. Well. Things are different. I am working out a few ideas and trying to spruce the place up a bit. I'm headed in a slightly new direction and I am trying to figure some things out! I hope you'll bear with me as I shake things up a bit.

And away we go!

If You Thought...

...that things looked a bit odd around here, you'd be right. I am trying a bunch of new things here and at Renegade Soiree. I'm getting ready to take this whole crazy thing to the next level. So, for the next few weeks we are going to be trying some new things and sprucing up the place. I hope you'll come along for the ride! Hopefully I'll have some big news to share with you soon.

Away we go!

06 August, 2010

A Whole New World

I think I just found my new favorite place.

Umm, hello McFly! How freaking fab is this?! Furbish studio is located in sunny Raleigh, NC and might just be home to the most brilliant collection of interior lovelies I have ever seen. In ever!
Don't believe me? Check out her blog. I am simply dying for her online shop to be up and running. I will spend way too much money purchasing way too many beautiful things. I can feel it.

Seriously darlings, her blog is great. Full of inspiration. And these great pillows with coral on them. And this fabric. I die!

Oh, why can't I live in Raleigh, NC?!

Logo Credit:
www dot furbishstudio dot com

03 August, 2010


Hello, Darlings!

Meet my new wedding magazine obsession!

This is one of Canada's premier wedding publications. They cater to "high-style, decadent weddings". I love! Talk about inspiration! Check out these fantastic links:


Swoon! Check out their fab website here and the editor's blog here.

I would've loved to post some pictures here, but I hadn't the time to ask properly. I don't break the rules, folks!

28 July, 2010


For 30 years, Cymbeline has been one of France's premier wedding gown designers. I thought I'd include one of my favorite dresses for a little late night inspiration. Enjoy!

Isn't this a dreamy dress?

From the Trenches: One Quick Thing...


Love the blog. I could use more tips and tricks, though. One quick question: If you had to give a bride one piece of advice on planning what would it be?

Ooh. Really great question! Well, if I had to choose one thing to say, it would be this:

"Seek out inspiration everywhere. From all aspects of life. You never know what will move you."

If I had had two things to say I'd follow up with this:

"When you settle on a budget, stick to it. A couple hundred dollars worth of wiggle room is okay, but you should try to identify the aspects of your wedding you think are the most important and make those your splurge items. Try to pull the reins in on everything else."

I hope this answers your question.

26 July, 2010

Oh My {At} Lanta!

Happy Monday, y'all. I just wanted to put you wise to a new (to me) blog on the radar. The fabulous Lemiga Events. I'm seriously LOVING this Atlanta-based design genius.

So, as you know, I am constantly on the hunt for inspiration. Today I found it in spades. Check out this incredibly designed wedding in a turn of the century warehouse! I die!

Click here for the fantastic-ness!

For this gem of the south, I say brava!

22 July, 2010


I am working on several things this summer, not least of which is cultivating ideas for a great big country themed party I'm hoping to design. I have been considering some unique lighting schemes that are fabulously, uniquely country and have found some great inspiration! I can't wait to get going on the inspiration board...I am after all, a country girl at heart you know. I thought I would share some of my finds with you. Consider some of these for your upcoming outdoor soirees.

This picture is one of my favorites. Made from upcycled mason jars, these sweet hanging lanterns cast a lovely warm glow over an entire event. I love this look. If I was to take hold of this, I'd probably pair it with a few more clean lines while perhaps doing a wildflower centerpiece...so many choices.

Here we have a variation on a really fantastic theme. These beautiful votives are porcelain! They've been cast in molds made from Bell jars. Lovely! We have mastermind Alyssa Ettinger to thank for these.

Luminaries. Beautiful, ethereal luminaries. I love to use these to illuminate walkways and driveways. They're beautiful on tables, hanging in trees, you name it!

Well, I hope that was enough to get you started! We've got some of the most beautiful days of summer coming now, and I hope you all can use them to host some amazing outdoor soirees...I know I will!

Photo Credit:
1. Lanterns by etsy seller, Cherry Grove. Found on bustedwallet dot blogspot dot com
2. Lanterns by Aylssa Ettinger. Found on re-nest dot com
3. Paper Luminaries by Martha Stewart. Found on marthsstewartweddings dot com

21 July, 2010

A Little Slice of Pucchi

I came across this 2009 gem from St Pucchi. There isn't much to say, except...Oh. My. Blog. Can you believe the beauty?! I almost gagged on the genius. Enjoy!

May Coco Chanel have mercy on our souls. St. Pucchi is one of my favorite couture designers in the history of ever and this is why. I die!

Photo credit:
stpucchi dot com

Illuminating Beauty

Well! I don't know about you, but I've been having a ridiculously busy summer. I have been a fairly naughty blogger, ignoring all of you and everything...but fear not! I am back with a vengeance and will attempt to keep you riveted with all of the great things I've been working on.

I am working on a few outdoor reception ideas and I've been trying to think up some really interesting lighting schemes. Seek and you shall find, indeed! I've included some ideas below.

I've really been inspired by solar lanterns. Lucky for me they are everywhere lately. These are examples of some of my favorites. Brides, if you are having an outdoor reception or cocktail party, don't underestimate the power of lighting. Solar lanterns give you so many unique lanterns and are perfect for creating several different effects. They are usually well priced and available in large quantities. Brainstorm with some of your 'maids and you will be able to come up with fantastic and creative arrangements.

Photo Credits:
1. Soji Lantern: furniturehomedesign.com
2&3. allsopgarden.com
4&5. mrlight.com
6. earthtechproducts.com
7. marthastewart.com