Lounging Ladies

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Doie Lounge JM{ Photo: Greg Wyatt Photography }

I was so excited to give my bridesmaids these robes, I packaged up the robes along with my other bridesmaids gifts and presented the pretty boxes to my bridesmaids and mother at the rehearsal dinner. Everyone was ecstatic about the robes and the softness. I specifically looked for the softest fabric I could get and these robes are it! My bridesmaids even proclaimed they would use them for everyday loungewear, which was exactly the reason I decided to gift these robes to them. I wanted something they could have for a long time and would remind them of the day without being “bridesmaid” specific. Everyone enjoyed walking around in their robes the entire day before getting dressed. I absolutely love these robes and would highly recommend to any bride looking for the perfect bridesmaids gift. These are the perfect item to spoil your bridesmaids and mother with, they deserve it!

~ Jennifer M., married 9.3.2015 in California

{Real Wedding} Jenny & Rishi

When I first came across this gorgeous wedding, photographed by the talented Carlie Statsky, I knew that I had to have it! I love that they chose to do two ceremonies~ both insanely gorgeous.

Jenny and Rishi are two of the most heartfelt, joyful and dynamic people you’ll ever meet. Jenny became a doctor the week of her wedding and Rishi is the founder of a really cool start-up in SF called Sosh. Despite their crazy busy schedules these two managed to put so much of themselves into their wedding weekend, starting with their Baraat that included a surprise song from Jenny to Rishi an a flash mob bridal party dance, Bollywood style! They chose the Carneros Inn for their wedding for its natural beauty and laid back elegance, and Laurel and her team at Esla Events did such a great job with all of the details that complimented the space.

The day began with an intimate first look followed by family portraits in both their western and Indian attire. Then their Hindu ceremony began with Rishi riding in on a horse drawn carriage while his family danced their way down the promenade to meet Jenny’s family where they exchanged floral necklaces. The ceremony was full of symbolism and beautiful traditions, and it ended with guests throwing rose petals all over the couple. After a quick outfit change came their western ceremony, where Jenny and Rishi exchanged hand written vows that brought all of the guests to tears. The cocktail hour that followed was full of custom cocktails and food stations, including a station dedicated to fresh made risotto. After dinner and some amazing speeches Jenny and Rishi had their first dance that busted out into a surprise choreographed hip hop routine….no better way to get the party started.

Words from Jenny:  Our wedding day was everything we dreamed of and so much more. We are still basking in the glow of it! We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our incredible vendors, first and foremost, to our truly spectacular wedding planner, Laurel Anderson of Esla Events. To say that Laurel went above-and-beyond for us would be a huge understatement… she truly made all our wedding dreams come true. We asked Laurel to help us create a fusion wedding that would honor both of our cultures and families, embrace the natural beauty of Napa yet still be modern and sophisticated, and highlight the amazing local food & wine. Most of all, we wanted our wedding to be filled with personal details and surprises for our guests – from individualized welcome baskets filled with our favorite Bay Area snacks, to handmade programs (designed by Laurel) explaining the meaning of our Hindu and Christian ceremonies, to our personal vows, to Rishi’s carefully chosen wine-and-hors d’oeuvres pairings, to a dessert display featuring all my favorite sweets. The logistics of designing and executing such a large and complex fusion wedding were daunting – but Laurel rose to the challenge with tireless dedication and enthusiasm, and she made every detail fall into place flawlessly. She designed most of our print pieces herself, personally arranged every welcome table and food display, coordinated the wedding schedule down to the minute, and did it all with grace and poise. The result was more beautiful than anything we ever could have hoped for.
The Carneros Inn was the perfect setting for our wedding – we fell in love as soon as we laid eyes on it. It embodies the rustic beauty of wine country, but with a clean and modern twist. Brooke Baglietto and the whole Carneros team were so enthusiastic and collaborated with us to make our vision of a gourmet Farmer’s Market-inspired meal come to life. The food was absolutely delicious, which was a huge priority for us. We were thrilled to get a gorgeous sunny day for our wedding, so our guests could enjoy the beauty of Carneros Inn and wine country in its full glory!
We are endlessly grateful to our incredibly photographer, Carlie Statsky – a true artist, and also one of the nicest people we’ve ever met. Her photos capture all of the love and joy of that amazing day with such poignancy and authenticity, and looking through her pictures is like re-living our wedding all over again. And Luke Goodman blew us away with the truly gorgeous highlight video he created for us – it makes me cry every time I watch it (and I’ve watched it at least 50 times already!) Rishi and I will cherish these photos and videos for our entire lives.

Its hard to put into words how blessed I feel to have married my best friend, and to have watched our dream wedding become a reality. What a wonderful way to start the rest of our lives together!

Vendors:
Photographer: Carlie Statsky Photography, www.carliestatsky.com
Event Planning and Design: Esla Events, www.eslaevents.com
Venue and Catering: The Carneros Inn, www.thecarnerosinn.com
Florist: Crimson Horticultural Rarities, http://crimsonhort.com/
Videographer: Luke Goodman Cinematography,http://lukegoodman.com/
* Luke has a beautiful and artistic highlights video that I can share with you too if you’re interested
Officiant, Western: Reverend Joslen of Ceremonies of the Heart,http://ceremoniesoftheheart.com/
Officiant, Hindu: Pandit Prabha Duneja (no website)
Quartet: Synchronicity Strings, www.synchrostrings.com
DJ: DJ Salim, http://www.djsalim.com/
Hair and Makeup: Eliza Desch, http://elizadesch.com/
Rentals and Lighting: Classic Party Rentals Napa,http://napasonoma.classicpartyrentals.com
Carriage: Vintage Carriage Company, www.vintagecarriage.com
Sari Dresser: Meghna Patel, meghna32988@gmail.com
Baraat Drummers, Lal Singh Bhatti, http://lalsinghbhatti.com/

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #12

Real Bride #12~ Sararose Benham

Photographer:

Where did you get married and when?

St. Lukes in the Fields, New York City,  June 5, 2010 Reception at The Little Owl Restaurant in the West Village.

What was the best moment of the day?

The best moment for me was exchanging our vows. I got choked up and a little teary which I never imagined I would.  I think because I stayed so present I was able to really hear and feel the magnitude of the promises we were repeating.  We had written our own vows which made it all very personal and that much more special.

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?

After we said our vows and kissed, Tom leaned down and kissed my belly (I was four months pregnant) which was a total surprise and a really genuinely touching and memorable moment I will never forget. He did stain my dress with my lipstick though!

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)?  

I would have planned to go on honeymoon directly following the wedding. As wonderful as it all was, going back to work on Monday was not ideal and here we are two years later with two kids and have still not taken one!

What was the most stressful part of the planning?  

The only stressful part of the planning was the invitation list. We decided to make it a very small event and chose the venue (The Little Owl) which only seats 30 people.  Trying to figure out who could come and what space we had was really stressful as I wanted EVERYONE there! 

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle?

How handsome my man looked and how rad it was that my friends were all shouting so loud with such energy and love. It felt so awesome! I had gotten ready right across the street in my apartment and just had to walk across the street and into the garden with  my parents. I felt beautiful and lucky and happier than I had ever been. It sounds cheesy but it was really the best.

Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?

I trained three days a week with a trainer in the gym at my work.  Although I was pregnant I focused on my arms and back.

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?

I decided not to have bridesmaids. I had such a small wedding it didn’t really make sense to single anyone out. I had my oldest best friend come back with us after the ceremony to bustle my train as she had been at all of my fittings, and my sister handed Tom the ring during the ceremony.

What was your first dance song? We didn’t do one!

Our wedding was not the most traditional wedding. We did not have a cake (each guest got their own little chocolate molten cake and we did not have a first song).  We did get super down and dirty to Telephone by Lady Gaga during the party and our entrance song was We are Family by Sister Sledge. We focused the most on the entrance song as found it to be a really meaningful moment.  We had gotten married in a little garden in between our apartment and the Little Owl restaurant. After the ceremony we went back to our roof to take photos with the empire state building and NYC skyline behind us as well as have a moment with one another and our two best friends. While we were there our guests walked to the restaurant and had drinks and hors d’oeuvres while waiting for us. When we entered we wanted a really fun song playing that would get the party started instantly and be meaningful for everyone in the room not just us. We are Family was perfectly fitting.

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?

Some cheapo ones I bought online. They were NOT comfortable but looked pretty and didn’t cost a lot. I knew I would scuff them up walking around the streets of NYC and standing in the grass in the garden and wasn’t sure if it would rain or not (it didn’t, yay!).  So I decided not to spend a lot on footwear. I threw them away recently!

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”

Completely enjoyed! With just 30 people in attendance it was easy to feel at ease. There was no pressure or nudging each other to make sure to talk to anyone, it felt very relaxed and easy just the way we wanted it!

What is your best “day of wedding” advice?  

I think that staying present and having fun are the most important. 

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?

Surprisingly YES!  I didn’t think we could be any closer or feel any more connected but we did. It felt different. There was and continues to be a sense of security and complete dedication to one another that I must have not felt before.

The Gift That Keeps Giving

posted in: Blog, realweddings | 0

{Photography: Once Like a Spark}

My husband and I married on Oct 5 2012 in the perfect vintage chic ceremony. After searching and searching for the perfect bridesmaids gifts I came across the Doie Lounge website and I was in love. Knowing it was the perfect thank you gift that would keep on giving there was no need to look anymore. Every single one of the girls loved them, I even ordered two for myself. It was the perfect attire for us all to wear to get ready for the day.

~Katie H. Married 10.5.12, Georgia

{Looking Back} Real Brides Q & A #5

Real Bride #5: Ellen Gardner

RedFish BlueFish Photography

Where did you get married and when?

We got married at Kiana Lodge on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington (a ferry boat ride away from downtown Seattle) on June 10, 2011 (we’re about to celebrate our one year anniversary!)

What was the best moment of the day?

Everyone knows weddings are expensive and it can certainly seem outrageous to spend tens of thousands of dollars on one day of your life. But having everyone you love in one place is incredible and I think that was truly what made the day so amazing. Other highlights were seeing friends/family getting to know one another, hearing the great speeches, the “first look” (where my husband and I got to see each other for the first time in our wedding day finest), and finally leaving the after party to go back to our hotel room where we ate wedding cupcakes and candy, drank champagne, and recapped the whole day.

What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?

There were SO many! One funny one: My mother-in-law is a minister and has officiated tons of weddings, so she had a lot of great advice. One piece of advice she gave us was to NOT tie the REAL wedding rings to the ring bearer pillow, because so much can go wrong (the rings can get lost, they can be hard to untie from the pillow under pressure, etc.). So we had two fake, decorative “rings” on the ring bearer pillow, but the best man had the actual wedding rings. Well, apparently no one thought to tell the little ring bearer that because when the minister asked for the rings, the ring bearer (7 year old cousin) was ready for his big moment. Then he saw the best man hand over the real rings. The ring bearer looked at his pillow with the “rings” and then back up at the real rings, and was completely crushed! After the ceremony he asked his mom: “What was I even DOING up there? I was USELESS!”

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

I would eat a s’more! During the reception, we had a bonfire with s’more stuff and I didn’t get to eat one!

What was the most stressful part of the planning?

We had a pretty long engagement (1 year, 4 months), and I think that’s just TOO much time to plan — you end up not making decisions because you have so much time! But I’d categorize the most stressful part of the planning as “people management” — trying to keep everyone in the loop and happy.

What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle?

My 96 year old grandfather walked me down the aisle and he made several jokes (some of which the entire audience could hear), so I was laughing along with him. I also just kept looking around at all of the guests and it felt like a giant group hug from everyone I loved.

Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?

I joined a morning “boot camp” and worked out every day. The goal of looking good for the wedding was a great motivator (and my arms looked RIPPED!)

What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?

I’m not sure if this is advice, but I opted to pick bridesmaids from different “stages” of my life — even if we don’t talk every day now. So I had a childhood best friend, college friends, friend from when I lived in DC, friend from when I lived in LA, etc. A sort of “this is your life” of bridesmaids. Most importantly, the girls were all fun and helpful during the entire wedding weekend — love them!

What was your first dance song?

“You are the best thing” by Ray Lamontagne

What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?

I think I was actually more in love with my shoes than my dress — and I definitely bought them first. They were hot pink Kate Spade “Clarice” peep toe heels — and were super comfortable. My feet didn’t bother me at all.

Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”

I probably didn’t “work the room” enough! I was in the photo booth and dancing all night and probably neglected some long-lost cousins!

What is your best “day of wedding” advice?

Take as many pictures as possible ahead of time so that you can fully enjoy the cocktail hour/reception. And speaking of pictures, I think one of the best things we did was have our photographers take one, giant group picture after the ceremony. So we have a picture of us with EVERYONE who attended our wedding. Priceless!

Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?

Yes, which was actually surprising to me. We’d been dating almost 10 years before we got married (and lived together for 4), so I figured we had the commitment thing down, but the wedding made it all feel real and legitimate. Plus, there was the whole combining finances/changing my last name stuff that we chose to do that made us feel like a real team when we got married.

PS: You can get Ellen’s cute robe here (shameless plug).