Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes: Leslie Knope, Besame, and Vintage Trinkets

One of the wedding responsibilities I was most excited about was making my bridesmaid proposal boxes. I couldn't wait to ask the ladies I'd chosen, and I wanted the gesture to a special one.
 I opted for these antique-looking faux books to serve as the boxes themselves. I've always loved the look of old books and they were the perfect size. I found these on Ebay for a pretty good deal.

 I spent hours looking at "Will you be my bridesmaid" cards. I mulled over pages and pages on Etsy and nothing really stood out. Partly because after a while they all started to look the same. Then, it occured to me that I was probably overthinking things. Somehow I stumbled upon these Leslie Knope compliment cards, and thought what better way to introduce my bridesmaid proposal than through the praise of Ms. Knope. I'm a big Parks and Rec fan so it felt like the perfect alternative bridesmaid proposal. I also love the idea of using cards that focus on how utterly awesome my bridesmaids are. Naturally, I matched each card to the personality of the recipient.

I don't have a decent photo of the handkerchiefs I used, so here's an image I found on another vintage wedding blog. I just love vintage handkerchiefs. They're just so gosh pretty. I know people don't realistically use handkerchiefs anymore but I just love the gesture. 
I also included these darling, little lipstick matchbooks from Besame. For those of you who havent heard of them, Besame is a company that specializes in luxury vintage makeup. I have a few of their lipsticks and I absolutely adore them. I figured that the lipstick matches would really give the boxes a vintage look and also give the girls a chance to try one of my favorite brands. I'll probably end up buying their Red Velvet shade for my bridesmaids closer to the big day. 

I also purchased this set of DIY mirror compacts. You essentially choose your own fabric, sew it onto the disks they provide you, and then hot glue it to the compact. 

I used a vintage floral fabric and I love how they turned out. 

Lastly, I added these mini leather-bound Shakespeare books. Each is a different play. I just love how cute they are and they really complete the box. Plus they solve the problem I've always had of never having a book small enough to fit in an evening bag. :)

So, these are the final products and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. I think the girls liked them, too. With wedding planning, it can feel like there's an infinite amount of things to get done, and most of it is tedious, but I really loved this part. The bridesmaid boxes were so fun to make, and it was such a great feeling to share them with the people in my life that mean so much.

Oh, and even though Jim claimed Victor as his groomsman, he's obviously got a VIP pass to all bridesmaid-related events. Yup, with this crew, I think I've chosen wisely. It's fair to say our wedding is going to be one I might actually enjoy. 

Bridesmaid Box Contents
Faux Book Box (Set of 6) - Ebay
Leslie Knope Compliment Cards - Etsy
Besame Lipstick Matches - Sephora
Leather Bound Mini Shakespearean Plays
Vintage Handkerchiefs

Maid of Honor Gift
Vintage Mother of Pearl Maple Leaf Earrings - Etsy

Monday, February 8, 2016

Vinatage Wedding Week at Crompton Collective

Yesterday, a few of us from the Stevens Soper Wedding Planning Committee (my mom, Jim's mom, and Tayla) attended Vintage Wedding Week at Worcester's Crompton Collective, a self-described "curated boutique...designed to celebrate our local, independent makers and our love of old things." Tayla and I had always wanted to check out Crompton, so, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to satisfy our curiosity and get some ideas on wedding decor in the process. Having already figured out our venue, caterers, and photographer, we knew that our time would primarily be spent ogling pretty centerpieces and place settings, and getting a sense of what Crompton's vintage and handmade vendors might be able to offer in the way of general aesthetic.

We loved this ceremony backdrop idea!

SwoonBooth - an event photobooth that comes with an attendant who sets it up and helps guests take photos. The coolest part is that it has a screen that allows you to see yourself while it takes your photos and you can send the photos to yourself via text or Facebook immediately afterwards. Tayla and I were really impressed. I'd love to have this at our wedding, but for $800 for 3 hrs, it falls under the "would be nice but not a necessity" column in our budget. 

It was nice to catch a glimpse of some floral centerpieces. I love the idea of peonies, and the peachy tones look so pretty beside the berries and pale green leaves. However, dosing myself with reality, peonies are crazy expensive and don't hold up well. Flowers are one of those expenses, at least for me, that didn't really factor into my original estimate. We're going to have to get REAL creative if we want flowers at our wedding. I'm thinking probably the wholesale DIY route or fake flowers. 

I died over these deadstock 40s peeptoe shoes. Vintage shoes always torment me with what I cant have. Luckily, Re-Mix Vintage has my back, or my feet rather. 

One of the coolest parts about perusing Crompton was the eclectic variety. On every bend, there's something new to discover: vintage valentines, record players, locally made soaps and skincare, then turn a corner and there's a vintage vanity beside a collection of 50s bullet bras and lacy slips. The event made it somewhat treacherous to navigate (it was packed!), but we still enjoyed our time. 

With Valentine's Day so close, I opted to wear my Dita Von Teese cardigan. It's just got the sweetest detailing between the embroidered flowers, the peter pan collar, and the velvet buttons. It's probably the most expensive thing I've ever bought myself (way before I was planning a wedding), but I've gotten a ton of wear out of it and it's super flattering. 

And who doesn't love a good mink stole? Friends and followers of this blog know that Tayla is as thoughtful and talented as she is beautiful and stylish. When assembling the list of ladies that I absolutely want by my side on the big day, she was the the natural choice for maid of honor. I mean c'mon, the lady found my wedding dress! 

Lucky for me (and Jim), she accepted the job! I know she's going to be absolutely instrumental in the wedding planning process and I'm so grateful to have her insight and support. 

Stay tuned for future posts. Next up, my bridesmaid proposals!

Friday, February 5, 2016

We're Getting Married!

Getting engaged is exciting. It's awesome. It seems like everywhere you go, people are eager to wish you well. Now, I've never been the kind of girl to obsess over when this would happen. I never felt that if I wasn't married by a certain age that I had somehow missed an important womanly rite of passage. I don't even like weddings! With that said, getting engaged has a few significant perks. For one thing, it puts an end to nagging questions from well-intending relatives about when it's going to happen. I've known for a while that Jim would always be "my person," so, in many ways, this isn't a dramatic shift in commitment for us. It is, however, an excuse to share what we've known for sometime with the people closest to us, and on our own terms, and that's pretty cool. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

On January 17, 2016, just a few days shy of our three year anniversary, I went on a celebratory date with my boyfriend, now fiancĂ©, Jim. I wore this 1950s pink knit dress, a dress I will now forever associate with that memorable night, and he wore the tie that he wore on our first date. It was snowing and we were outside my old apartment in Somerville, the site of our first kiss. We were there recreating the night we met, a coffee date that ended up lasting about five hours, much of which was spent walking around Harvard and Porter Square, plus a stop into the Lizard Lounge for poetry night, where we witnessed a wedding proposal in the form of a spoken-word poem. As Jim knelt in the snow, addressing me by my full name, he told me that he knew that first night that I would be the one he'd marry, and he asked me. It wasn't a complete shock to me (Jim is horrible at keeping secrets and there were signs that gave me an inkling--more on that in a bit), but it was happy moment for us. With a laugh and a kiss, I said yes. 

Shortly thereafter, we asked some passersby to take our picture and the snow caught the flash, casting an awkward spotlight. They're not the most perfect pictures, but I love how happy we look. 

Now to the ring. Flashback to last summer when Tayla and I were vending the Somerville Flea, and she had "casually" asked me about my ring preferences (she was already enlisted as a covert agent in Jim's plot). Truth was I had seen vintage engagement rings on Etsy and Instagram, but as I told her then, I'd never seen one I actually liked. I shrugged, and figured I just didn't like engagement rings. That is, of course, until I saw mine.

It's a 1950s atomic starburst design with gold and white gold. I honestly couldn't imagine anything more perfect. He modeled it after my favorite midcentury print of the same name. For months, he had been searching for an atomic starburst ring until he happened upon this one on Ebay. Come to find out, the store listing it was 5 minutes from our house! 

So, once the news had been shared, the ring had been re-sized, and dust had settled a bit, we began the planning. The practical aspects like the venue and catering occupied about 2 weeks straight of pouring over details and costs. Neither of us are "wedding people" so this definitely was the unfun part. It was daunting and nerve-wracking, but ultimately, we found some creative ways to make a wedding that we could envision ourselves actually enjoying and being able to afford. We found out that getting married in November and on a Sunday would save us a buttload (that's the technical term), and we weren't quite financially ready to get married this year, so that's how we came up with November 5, 2017. Plus getting married on Guy Fawkes day felt kind of badass (Remember remember, the 5th of November save the dates?!). We still need to finalize everything within the next few weeks, but it's safe to say we managed to find our dream venue within our budget (more on that in a future post). 

With those practical aspects of the wedding mostly sorted out, I felt confident moving on to the part I was most looking forward to--other than marrying Jim, that is--finding my wedding dress. I knew one thing for sure; I wanted a vintage dress. 

It feels cliche to say my dress found me, so I won't say it. Fittingly, the woman who knows me best happened on a dress the week before I was engaged. Remember how I said I had an inkling? Anyway, she tagged me on Instagram in a photo of the bodice of this incredible 1940s wedding dress, and I was in awe of it, but at that point, didn't give it much thought. 

Once we were engaged, I immediately started looking on Etsy and Ebay for vintage wedding dresses from the 40s and 50s. I knew that it would be difficult to find a dress with my measurements, so I widened my search by looking at dresses a few inches smaller than my current measurements, but even then, it was pretty slim pickings. Most vintage wedding dresses from that era are a size extra small or small. Mediums are few and far between, and the ones that were my size were pretty enough, but nothing gave me pause. Around that time, I remembered the dress that Tayla tagged me in. It just so happened to be my exact measurements, and the shop owner, Dana of Concetta's Closet, just happened to be located about an hour and a half away. So, I made an appointment to try on my first wedding dress. And I decided to wear my favorite something blue for the occasion, this 1950s beaded cardigan, a gift from my mother a few years back. 

Dana's studio alone was amazing. If you haven't seen her shop, take a peek. She runs one of the most stunning, well-curated vintage shops out there, and her studio is a reflection of that exquisite beauty. My mom and I were in complete awe of the space, and Dana was so helpful and accommodating. Plus, it was lovely to be trying on one really special, one-of-a-kind vintage dress instead of browsing racks upon racks in a bridal shop filled with other brides to be. It felt so much more personal. 


Now, back to the dress. Somehow it happened that the very first wedding dress I tried on was also my last. It was that perfect. So perfect that it requires no alterations. So perfect that it's killing me not to go around showing it to everyone I know. So perfect that I wish it wasn't approximately a year and 8 months until our wedding. So perfect that once I put it on, there was never even a question as to whether it was the dress. I can't overstate this; it's the most beautiful garment I've ever worn. I wish I could show it to you, but there's a rule about that. Here's the next best thing, my shoes. 

They're an exact reproduction of a late 1940s shoe, and you'll just have to trust me on this, a perfect compliment to my dress. 

Stay tuned for more posts. On Sunday, Tayla and I are off to Crompton Collective's Vintage Wedding Week with my mom and Jim's mom. In the meantime, you can also check out my Pinterest boards (Vintage Bridal Inspiration and Our Wedding). 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

On to a new blog!

I have enjoyed blogging so much with Sara that I decided to set up an account of my own! Come find me over at Memoirs of a Vintage Vixen to find out all about my amazing halloween costume!  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Brimfield Antique Show!

The Brimfield Antique show is the most amazing antique show, flea market, and yard sale rolled into one! It takes place in May, July, and September every year in western Massachusetts. An excerpt from their website describes it best.

"The Brimfield Antiques Show began in the 1950's and has become the largest and best-known outdoor antiques show in the country. Running along Rt. 20 for a distance of perhaps a half-mile on each side of the highway, the Brimfield Show is a huge, vast undertaking. Filled with thousands of dealers over the course of the week, selling everything from the finest antiques to 'yard junk', it requires a day or two to see everything there is to see. Food courts and rest facilities abound, the Shows are filled with hidden treasures and is a safe and fun environment for everyone."

I sadly haven't been to the show in a few years, so I was very excited to go to their last show in September. The weather on Friday and Saturday was absolutely perfect, and this was great way to cap off the end of the summer. The greatest thing about Brimfield is the variety of items you can find, I tried to photograph not only items that I like, but the random oddities as well!

The first stop on my Brimfield journey was the giant fashion tent. There are many vendors who have vintage clothing throughout the show, but this is always the best place to start!

Under this tent are so many vendors selling clothes that it was almost overwhelming, but I accepted it as a heavenly challenge! I found 2 amazing skirt and jacket sets, as well as a few other dresses for myself and more to resell!

It's hard to explain just how massive the show is, so I made sure to get plenty of photos to try and show the range of items you can find.

I stopped at this booth and bought some of the beautiful dresses you see hanging in the background. Keep an eye on our etsy page to see which ones will be for sale!

This dress was absolutely stunning. Sheer on top with floral embroidery and a big beautiful full skirt! Sadly just a bit too small for me, but I needed to show how gorgeous this piece was.

Button, button, who's got the button?! There was a whole tent filled with vintage buttons. I really wished that I brought some of my vintage dresses with me that need buttons replaced!

The Brimfield Antique show is a really incredible experience. If you're someone like me, the thrill of hunting down your new favorite vintage items should certainly be enough to lure you out to this awesome event.


I only purchased a few knick-knacks this time around. I found a beautiful gold mirror compact with flowers, a painted metal mermaid figurine, a Napco April birthday angel, and last but not least, the adorable ladder earring holder! That kitty on top of the ladder sealed it's fate of coming home with me, and after a cleaning and a few pairs of earrings added it looks just precious.

On the last day I also found this corner etagere shelf! I have been wanting one of these forever. I normally go for the ones that are a little more detailed with spindals and carved wood, but this will do for now! It certainly helped to clean up my Alice in Wonderland collection very nicely. And since most vendors will do deep discounts on the last day of the show, I got this piece for only $35!

These are some photos of what I found at the past two shows! I'm realizing now that Brimfield started my collection of hand mirrors and lighters.

Outfit Details

My last day at Brimfield was a hot one! So I jumped at my last chance to wear a pretty summer dress. 

This floral stunner was purchased at Bobby from Boston's vintage warehouse in Lynn, the very first blog that I posted with Sara back in May! The pink, yellow, and orange flowers are my favorite. It even has a little bow right at the bust line.

And of course, any chance to wear my favorite summer hat. I still love how massive it is! I got so many compliments on it while walking around the show.

I took a yellow belt from another dress and tied it in a bow at the back. Paired with my neon pink sperry flats I was so comfortable and it was the perfect outfit for walking all over the show.

My Brimfield trip was such a success, I can not wait to see what next year's fair will bring! Stay tuned for my next blog all about my favorite fall activity, apple picking!