Wedding Vendor Booking

You’re engaged, congrats! Being engaged is one of the most exciting and special times in one’s life, but it can also be stressful if you don’t know where to start with the planning. Not only can you create a wedding checklist but also, this handy guide below, from Wedding Wire, walks you through who you should book and when.

Our engagement was quick, we were ready to say “I do,” and we didn’t want to wait a whole year. With six months to plan, we had to find a way to condense a year’s worth of planning into half the time. Finding a venue that has catering and bartending built in, is a great way to save some time and get a few major vendors checked off all at once.

No matter how long you have to plan, locking down a wedding planner (if you plan to hire one) is the most essential first step. Your planner will help you find vendors and customize your timeline to fit your timing. Websites such as Wedding Wire are a great resource for finding vendors specific to where you are tying the knot. Wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty also show weddings and vendors by state and area, and of course there is always Instagram– hash tagging where you want to get married (ex: #healdsburgweddings) will give you a quick look at other weddings (and vendors) in your desired area.

With the right help and resources, wedding planning should be fun and relatively low-stress. The seating chart however…can’t help you there. Good luck and happy planning!




What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

If you’ve never given birth before, and you plan to do so in a hospital, it can be overwhelming wondering what you might need for your delivery. Have no fear, lifestyle blogger and mother of three, Chandra Fredrick (of Oh Lovely Day) spells out exactly what you need to take with you, as well as some of her favorite brands (Doie Lounge included!).

{ Photo: Chandra Fredrick }

Chandra spills it all to the Land of Nod blog, and you can read it right here.



Happy New Year

Doie Lounge bridal Robes

{Photo: Keepsake Photography}

After Googling beautiful robes for days I came across someone claiming Doie Lounge robes were amazing. I checked out the website and sure enough, fell in love with these robes. Unfortunately, at the time shipping to Australia was a little tricky. Sara was extremely helpful and made sure we got our robes for our New Year’s Eve wedding.

I have not had a better experience in dealing with a company direct about their products, than this. The robes are so soft and comfy. We loved getting ready in these and lounging around relaxing on the day. A huge “thank you” to Sara who made it possible for us to have these in Australia for our wedding day.

~ Sophie B. married 12.31.14 in Australia


Today, even those friends and family members who couldn’t make it to the wedding can instantly enjoy special moments by simply pulling out their smart phones and opening a few apps. It now seems customary for couples to create a wedding hashtag (ex: #joanieloveschachi or #jackandjill2014). Since guests are usually alerted, via social media, to the carefully chosen hashtag, everyone near and far can instantly enjoy images of the event. Guests can laugh over memorable moments during brunch the next morning, and newlyweds can easily peruse the organized photos together on their honeymoon.

hashtag wedding

{Via Etsy}

As it is with technology and social media these days, the level of its presence at a wedding spans a wide spectrum. On one hand, some couples prefer not to look out and see all of their guests typing away on their phones all night. After all, there is something to be said for living in the moment and allowing the experts to take care of the photographing. And let’s not forget that we can’t always invite everyone we know; some uninvited guests will undoubtedly see these photos online.

No Photos

On the other end of the spectrum, some couples choose to include a program like Instaprint — basically a modern photo booth, which allows guests to print photos with the chosen wedding hashtag at the actual event. With all of this in mind, couples will need to decide how much or little social media they wish to have at their wedding and alert their guests of their preferences, in some unobtrusive way. A few things to keep in mind:

* Do a little research: make sure your chosen hashtag is not already in use.

* Decide how you will share the hashtag – in the save-the-date or invitation, at the entrance to the wedding, or maybe as part of the place cards.

* For those brides and grooms who relish the many opportunities these technologies afford us, give your guests a chance to play a game of I Spy. Create a list of moments you wish to have captured. See here for ideas.

* After the wedding has passed, remind the guests of how they can share their photos.

* If you prefer to not have hashtags and social media, kindly share this message – perhaps with an insert in the save-the-date.


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La. Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{ Eco-Friendly Weddings }

Though it has been said the Princess Di’s lavish and extravagant wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 launched the extremely prolific wedding industry that followed over the past few decades, the current culture of brides and grooms seem a bit more aware of their carbon footprint. While magazines and newspapers still dutifully cover every aspect of wedding planning and execution, many smaller zines and web sites are covering the eco-friendly weddings side. After all, at the end of the day it’s truly about the marriage, not the wedding, right? With that in mind, we want to look at how brides and grooms have consciously considered their impact while planning their nuptials.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas_Chalk Board

{Chalkboard instead of printed programs, photo Alyse French}

Weddings begin, of course, with sending invitations in the mail. While most guests are still alerted via snail mail, many esteemed graphic designers have created e-cards, save-the-dates, and invitations that rival the most beautifully letter-pressed cards out there. Yes, you lose the physical object to hold in your hand and pin up on your refrigerator, but off the bat you cut down costs dramatically by keeping the invitations electronic, while also reducing paper waste. Recently married San Francisco couple Robin and Clarke Dempsey chose a hybrid, using Paperless Post for their save-the-date, and foregoing the multiple inserts that usually come along with the wedding invitation.

Also a DIY-er hobbyist, Robin selected fabric for her table runners and sewed them herself: “we’re currently using the table runners in my house! We’ve also have gifted a few of them, and I’m planning to re-use some of the fabric to make bags/coasters and other stuff too.” This often-overlooked aspect of interior design for the wedding became extremely resourceful and meaningful with just a few personal touches. Robin and Clarke were also able to gift the orchids they used for each table, in lieu of cut flowers, to local guests. The trees used to flank the couple during the ceremony are also now living in their apartment.

Doie Lounge Bridesmaid Robes_Photo Scott & Dana

{Eco-Friendly Bridesmaid Robes by Doie Lounge, Photo: Weddings by Scott & Dana}

A few others ways keep your wedding green:

* Not having a wedding party? Skip the program; use a chalkboard at the entrance to the ceremony to identify key people/family members, readers

* If you are having a wedding party, go with eco-friendly bridesmaid gifts

* Work with what you’ve got! Use household items, furniture, and treasures for wedding décor and natural items – rocks, large thick leaves, sticks, dried flowers, or tree stumps in lieu of place cards or seating.

* Avoid paper items – use linens instead of cocktails napkins. Forget about disposable coasters, matchbooks, or paper napkins in the bathroom.

* Choose recycled gold for wedding bands, and either antique jewelry or conflict-free jewels.

Remember, less is often more. What matters is the pledge and promise being made between two people in front of family and close friends.


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La ( Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{Farm to Table Weddings}

A few years ago, you may have heard the term “farm to table” in the same sentence as “wedding” and assumed that such a pairing would only exist in certain rural, mountainous, or more down-home venues. You might have imagined a more laid-back bride and groom who probably didn’t work or live in a big city. These days, of course, it seems that both cooking and eating out is all about the farmer’s market, sourcing local ingredients, and most likely eating meat, dairy, and other organic products from a farm not too far away from where you’re sitting.

Farm to Table{Photo via Style Me Pretty}

Today, many caterers and vendors may use terms like “fresh and local” to describe their ingredients, products, and flowers, as more and more people are joining the movement of producing and consuming locally grown food and products. And many brides and grooms are shunning the traditional wedding reception dinner, for which guests are often given the option of meat or fish. Instead, some weddings feature tasting menus with wine pairings; as a guest, you may just be served a dish featuring a piece of beef, lamb, and fish, for example – all from local farms, of course.

Farm to Table Insp{ Photo Via Green Wedding Shoes}

With farmer’s markets now abundant in most suburbs and cities, farm to table menus are accessible from almost anywhere. Let’s say a bride or groom chooses to create a farm-like setting in a suburban back yard or on the roof deck of a high rise in the city. In this case, the farm to table theme can be carried through as much by decor as by menu. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate the trend:

  • Seat your guests “family-style” at a few long “farm” tables instead of the typical eight or ten tops
  • Incorporate herbs and colorful vegetables into floral arrangements
  • Use vegetables names or types of animals to identify tables
  • Use or rent vintage crystal, china, or linen
  • When in doubt, use candles and lanterns – on the tables or hanging on the outskirts
  • Use small chalkboards or whimsical fonts
  • Instead of benches, use hay bales
  • Research local farms near your wedding venue to ensure you’re providing the freshest food available


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La ( Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{Doie Down Under}

When you own your own business getting away for a few weeks can be pretty difficult, but nothing recharges and inspires me like traveling to a new place.  Australia, although similar to California in a lot of ways, did not disappoint when it came to gorgeous landscapes, hip boutiques, and awesome art.

The blues and greens of the water were breathtaking.

IMG_0548 IMG_0320 IMG_0335The rock formations were impressive




Most people head to Australia for the gorgeous beaches, but the cities had a lot to offer in the way of great art, cool cafes,  and trendy boutiques and gift shops.

IMG_0511 IMG_0334 IMG_0285 IMG_0278 IMG_0461{Painting by Amy Howard}

I wasn’t expecting such an awesome street art scene! Melbourne especially was teeming with art around almost every corner.


{Byron Bay}





Where have you been lately? What inspires you? Leave a comment below.



{July Giveaways}

To celebrate “wedding season,” we are giving away robes all month long! If you missed our giveaway with Green Bride Guide and have yet to enter our contest with Style Me Pretty (going on until August 1st). Head on over the Emmaline Bride, for another change to win.


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