Some Sales + Steals

February 25, 2015

Is it obvious that neutrals, specifically black and white, have been on the mind as of late? I even wore white jeans to work today. Mainly because I was still upset over not wearing them in the cold Florida weather last week that I made it happen with a cashmere sweater and boots. As far as steals go, The Outnet has kind of been killing me with their new arrivals. Every time I check the site (which is often due to the many upcoming wedding festivities!) there are countless things that I am drawn to. I encourage you to become a regular checker of The Outnet - you won't be sorry. I am really eying these sandals at the moment! Other good steals - the lemlem items (this and this) at J.Crew. I can't get enough. I know I'm not the only one with warm weather on my mind with all of the snow/ice/younameit throughout the country! (read on to get the sales + steals)

 

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: Today only, get 40% off your entire purchase before 5pm with code POWER40! (obsessing over this two-in-one top)
  • Bauble BarSample Sale! 50-70% off through 2/27
  • GAP: 30% off your purchase today only! Use code TREAT. And, the Get Intimates event is happening right now – bras on sale starting at $20 and undies starting at $4 till 2/27!
  • J.Crew: Extra 40-50% off final sale items with code SWEETSALE (these aren’t on sale but I finally ordered them because I couldn’t resist the color combination – or the thought of them selling out!)
  • J.Crew Factory: Get an extra 30% off everything with code HURRYSPRING. (make sure you check out the new arrivalsthis lobster sweater and this scallop drop hem dress are too good)
  • Kate Spade SATURDAY: 40% off everything!! Code EXTRA40 (I love the shape of this dress)
  • Matches Fashion: 50% off ski sale! (This has to be the best time ever to stock up on a warm coat. I love how this one is two-tone.)
  • Old Navy: TODAY ONLY, get 35% off till 3pm and then 25% off from 3pm-midnight with code AMPM. (adore this checked shirt and this dot-trim tunic Molly got in white already!)
  • Piperlime: Up to 50% off sale with code SALEONSALE (this is such a pretty take on a white blouse and the price is unreal! $34?!)
  • Saks Fifth Avenue: Take $75 off orders of $300 or more. (these are so beyond gorgeous in the nude)

Some Steals:

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Mara Hoffman Second Bridal Offering

February 24, 2015

I got so much good advice after I fist got engaged and before I really dove into planning and decision making. One pearl of wisdom was, "When you find your dress, stop looking at others." So smart. I spent a good amount of time on Pinterest adding dresses that I thought looked like me or fit the vision I was going for to a secret board before going to try on gowns. Unlike some of the brides on Say Yes to the Dress, I didn't try on 100+ dresses or spend and exhaustive amount of time going to as many bridal salons as possible. My dress was at the third place I went to and even though I didn't have a huge emotional moment over it I just knew it was perfect - both for my body and for the venue...

 

So – I felt like I had to preface this post with saying that I’m not going back on my dress decision! I did stop looking (and pinning, and researching) other dresses and designers once I “said yes to the dress” and after my first fitting a few weeks ago I feel even more sure about my choice. But, Mara Hoffman recently launched her second collection of wedding gowns and it felt wrong not to share the stunning images of the gorgeous dresses. Mara “Devotional Collection” of bridal pieces are only available through her site.

True to her aesthetic, the collection has a boho feel that pulls inspiration from nature. Each piece is named after a goddess (I’m particularly loving the Feya Beaded Gown) and prices range from $550 and $2,200. Pretty “affordable” when you compare them to the bridal collections from other designers. I’m not a boho girl myself (I just consider myself a hippie wannabe during music festival season) but if I was at the beginning of my wedding dress search I think there are a few of the Mara styles I’d want to try…the flowy silhouettes and intricate but unfussy detailing is definitely my style.

Maybe some of you future brides-to-be or recently engaged gals out there can test drive some of the pieces in the Devotional Collection and tell us how they look and feel in person. I have a feeling that they are just as etherial and goddess like on as they look online and in the campaign images…

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Toast Talk

February 23, 2015

Surpriseee - you have a guest author for this week's Toast Talk. During our trip to Florida last week and the extensive wedding discussions that ensued (after all, it was a trip tip tie up final details for my wedding in April) I had mentioned to Molly that I had wanted to write a Toast Talk on a topic that kept coming up in conversation: wedding guest lists. Dun dun dun...

 

The List. Once I got engaged and the ball started rolling on the planning, I kind of thought that a similar situation would play out in my family like that scene in Father of the Bride when the Banks family is deliberating the guest list. George Banks: “Two hundred and fifty dollars a head means that for the four of us to attend this wedding in our own home will cost one thousand dollars. Therefore, we are not getting up from this table until we cut this list down to the bare minimum….All right, let’s start eliminating.” We all know how this ends…they have a massive wedding, Danish relatives and all.

Because my fiancé are planning a “destination” wedding (it’s in Florida and every guest and family member has to travel), we have been conscientious of the guests being invited from day one. Our main goal was definitely to not get out of control in the amount of people that were invited, but at the same time neither of us wanted to sweat over a firm number…we wanted to feel like we could add people to the list if we wanted include them. We never really set a “hard” number to stop at, but did have an ideal range of people that we are hoping to have. Choosing people wasn’t stressful – it was actually pretty fun for us. Managing the budget, making choices for vendors, food, flowers and all that jazz was what made my blood pressure go up…making a list of people we love and wanted to help us celebrate and commemorate our new chapter together was easy.

With my family being so large (they account for about 100+ of the guests invited), it was almost inevitable that we would go over our initial numbers. Even so, initial numbers have always included giving “and guest” to anyone who is single or dating or whatever to allow them the choice to bring someone special to the wedding. I feel pretty strongly about this as I feel most people don’t want to go to a wedding alone, let along travel alone, and who I am to judge whether or not their current relationship is legitimate enough to allow for a plus one? On the flip side, I can understand why some couples can’t give this option…venues have limits, budgets can’t stretch, etc. I’m really fortunate that my fiancé, parents, and future in-laws all have the same “the more the merrier” attitude.

For me and my guy, what will make the wedding an ultimate success is that it is a fun, special, and memorable celebration with our family and friends. But we know that it’s a lot to ask people to travel, take time away, spend money, etc. The reason for everyone getting together might be about the two of us but we’re trying to do whatever it takes to make the weekend enjoyable and worth it to all who come. If that means friends bring dates, and the guest tally goes up then I am all for it.

I also feel like at the end of the day, more effort goes into excluding someone from a guest list than including them…I can’t imagine making a day that is supposed to be such a happy and special occasion about excluding people. I know that often times people won’t extend invites to friends that they may assume won’t come for various reasons, but why not let them be the judge of that? We might think so-and-so can’t/won’t come because we don’t see them all the time and they don’t live where we do but I believe that it’s usually those guests that make the biggest effort in coming – it’s a reason for them to see YOU and everyone else.

Molly and I are at the age where lots of people are engaged or have recently been married and I have noticed throughout the process that this can be a pretty polarizing topic and one that can really upset people. I am so curious to hear people’s opinions on this…how to you determine who gets an invite or not? Are the “plus one” guests extravagant or polite and proper? And do you feel more guilt or justification when you decide that that one friend from college can’t come? Like I said earlier, it’s a dun dun dun kinda topic!

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