A personal style and lifestyle blog based in New York City, inspiring others with doses of daily style and a peek into my life. This blog is focused on everyday style, interiors, exploring the Big Apple and more!
It’s wedding season, y’all. After two years of being on the circuit nonstop from before Memorial Day to after Labor Day we’re pretty excited to have a low key year in terms of friends getting hitched. Our first wedding is in June for my oldest, closest friend and we’re both counting down the days.
I’ve loved getting dressed up since I was little – something about me that will probably never change. If there’s an excuse to wear a long dress and get a blowout I’ll probably take it. Even if the wedding isn’t formal I love opting for something either midi or long.
I actually tend to gravitate towards nicer dresses for the rehearsal and then something less expensive for the actual wedding. A few dresses that I danced too hard in later I’ve discovered that the sweet spot is really something under $150 or ideally less. The replay value on most of the dresses I’ve worn to summer wedding, especially, is tough. One of mine (RIP) was left in Cabo with a hole in it from getting stepped on by a stiletto from the dance floor and another was tossed after realizing it had about 7 wine stains in it from people who brought their glasses onto the dance floor. Anyways, you get the point. They’re not for keeps so don’t get too attached.
This particular dress caught my eye because of the silhouette and price point. I really wasn’t sure what to expect because I hadn’t tried this brand before, but it was perfect for someone who is on the shorter side. It fit like a glove and required absolutely zero tailoring – a true dream come true. This similar version is beautiful as well!
I’ll be wearing this one to a rehearsal, but for those of you daring enough let loose on the dance floor and I hope you are able to come out more successful than I’ve been.
Let me start by saying that I’m incredibly picky when it comes to jeans – MG as my witness I’ve probably ordered and returned over 15 pairs of jeans in the last year. I see them on the model and think “oooo those look like they’ll fit me right”… WRONG.
I’ve fallen into that trap too many times and now I am more cautious than ever at looking at the actual measurements and really assessing where they hit the model based on her height. I probably should’ve done a post at some point on all of my #jeanfails with the countless pairs with “ripped knees” that were ripped shins on me.
High-waisted jeans are everywhere and have such an effortlessness about them so naturally I wanted to find a pair that was right for me. Not only am I on the shorter side, but I’m not exactly booty poppin’ at the clerb either so it was a bit challenging to find someone.
I’ve always loved Madewell denim — the price point has always been affordable and material is really nice. I usually need to tailor them pretty heftily because I’m not as long legged as the models are, but at their price point it’s still very doable. I saw this pair pop up in a summer wash and thought I’d give them a try.
The reviews are in and they’re a home run. They’re comfortable, but snug and the wash is summer perfection. I’m probably still going to tailor them a bit more to my height (just being 100% honest), but overall I’m in love. For the taller ladies out there I have a feeling these will be a dream for you!
I paired it with two of my favorite staples that have recently joined the ranks in my closet. This bodysuit is gorgeous and SO comfortable (and not to mention currently on sale) and these mules were a recent Shopbop sale score. I’ve been looking for a classic, but elevated black mule and this Vince pair was calling my name. They’re very comfortable and will be getting a lot of burn over the next few months.
The other day I was asked to define my style and this outfit really is it – I gravitate towards everyday style that’s casual and comfortable and occasionally throw something unexpected into the mix.
It’s been a minute since I’ve shared anything on New York and as I mentioned here there’s just something so special about this time of the year.
More than any other time of the year we keep things relatively spontaneous – I love leaving work and going to meet MG in front of our building, only to answer the question “where to?”.
We have a handful of spots that we love down here and will change it up based on what we’re in the mood for–if it’s a dirty martini night we will end up at Mark Joseph steakhouse for ‘tinis and appetizers or if it’s a rose and oysters kind of night we’ll go to our favorite spot in the Seaport Dorlan’s Tavern. There are a handful of other great spots with outdoor seating to enjoy this gorgeous time of year. Here are a few of our other faves!
1. The Trading Post
We love this spot during the winter because of its cozy vibe, but with outdoor seating and the location right by the water it’s a spring and summer staple for us as well. The mussels are a favorite and they just added a crab squid ink spaghetti that I’ll be going back for!
2. Grand Banks
When we lived in SoHo we used to walk to the West Side Highway on weeknights–sometimes just for a little evening stroll, but other times to grab a glass of wine on the water. While I probably prefer City Vineyard now because it’s bigger, Grand Banks has a summer vibe that you can’t deny.
3. P.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson
If you’ve never been over to the area behind Brookfield Place you’re in for a treat – P.J. Clarke’s and 3 other restaurants have outdoor seating along with a massive area where you can grab things from Hudson Eats and just sit outside. We love grabbing a burger and a glass of wine and watching the boats on the Hudson at sunset (and yes all of that is as magical as it sounds).
4. Industry Kitchen
One of our favorite spots for drinks on the water with beautiful views of Brooklyn is Industry Kitchen. They have a massive bar and outdoor seating and it’s easy to get to if you’re coming over the Brooklyn Bridge or if you live/work downtown. It’s also pretty close to a pier with a second level and amazing views of the city for a walk after dinner or drinks.
5. The Paris Cafe
While we’re all for new restaurants and things that pop-up we tend to gravitate towards places with character and that have been around for a while. This is true of Paris Cafe. The outdoor seating and nostalgia of old New York really get us. The food is great and you’re on the East River so you can finish the night with a walk along the water.
Summer is so close! I can’t wait for a few trips we have coming up and Memorial Day, which is around the corner. What are you most excited for now that the weather is beautiful?
This is one of my favorite times of the year for a lot of reasons–we can all finally feel summer’s arrival around the corner, the days are longer and finally hotter, and there are a zillion sales to kickstart your warm weather wardrobe.
I wanted to round up some affordable pieces that could work well with your basics along with some standouts of their own. Jumpsuits are having a real moment again this season and I couldn’t help eyeing this striped jumpsuit that’s only $60. While I’ve been pretty good myself at not shopping too much lately, I did scoop up these wedges for this summer after nearly destroying mine last summer from walking everywhere.
I’m also really feeling this breezy jumpsuit and these linen pants–I can’t wait for those casual beach days where you just throw something on over your swimsuit to head home and grill outside.
I can’t believe Mother’s Day is next weekend and Memorial Day is around the corner! How are you planning on kicking off this summer?
Maybe it was our extended winter weather or the fact that I had rotated my favorite pair of jeans just about everyday for the last 5 months–whatever the real reason, I reached a point where I needed to try something new.
I found myself gravitating towards fun versions of pants that could transition well into Spring with something off-the-shoulder or like this Ganni top that I can’t seem to stop wearing. Between the varieties of culottes and flared hem pants out there right now, we’re really having a non-jeans moment and I’m here for it. This cropped flared version would be great with heels for a little something extra and this high waisted pair is a dream in this shade of green.
Although there were a handful that caught my eye recently, I landed on this version with the ties at the bottom for something simple and chic with a twist. I can’t wait to pair them with little summer tops and wedges as it continues to warm up!
Speaking of warm weather it’s supposed to hit 88 this week! Even if it’s not here to stay, I’m excited for some heat around here. Hope everyone has a great Monday!
In all of the conversations that Mickey and I had about our wedding both before and after we were engaged one thing was clear–the band was at the top of the list. We both love weddings and usually spend a majority of the night on the dance floor. If you’ve ever seen photos of him at the end of the reception he’s dripping in sweat and has a huge smile on his face. It’s the absolute best!
Neither of us have ever needed to look for a band for anything like a fundraiser or an event, so we were really starting from scratch. Everyone gave us great advice around listening to samples, what to ask them, and where to look. They say don’t mess with a good thing, so I started the search where everything else has begun–on WeddingWire.
Since we’re getting married in Texas it was a little easier to keep a larger radius on our search. The best thing about the way that WeddingWire lays everything out is that it’s super simple and clear. You can see exactly what each band specializes in, what they bring with them, and most importantly the reviews and videos. We learned a lot through the process and so I’m sharing a few things that really helped us find the one.
LISTEN TO AS MANY SAMPLES AS YOU CAN
We spent many nights after work listening to videos and watching how each band performed. We had a particular genre of music that we were looking for and also wanted to work with a band that was more flexible in allowing us to contribute to the song list. While it took a lot of time, I don’t think we would’ve realized how special the band we found was if we hadn’t heard so many other examples. It was just more proof that they were exactly what we were looking for. At the end of the day we wanted to find someone that we were confident would perform like that on the day of our wedding.
READ THE REVIEWS
This one may seem obvious, but it’s important. It can be taxing to read a ton of reviews on every band, but you’ll find common themes. Either they were easy to work with or not, their flexibility, and how much their party enjoyed the band will all come through in writing after the fact. Also, brides who loved their band so much want other people to know so that they continue to get booked and do well–the more people who took the time to write the band a review the more indicative it was that they were the real deal. The reviews were SO helpful in narrowing down bands that we liked the sound and vibe of, but wanted to ensure that they were going to be right for us. After all, this is definitely one of the biggest expenses of a wedding and you should be sure it’s going to be a good fit!
GO WITH YOUR GUT
The best advice I can give is to do a lot of research and go with what feels right to you–we were down to a few bands and there was one that really stuck out to us. It gave us all the feels when we heard their first song and everything we continued to see from them was exceptional. Some nights we come home and play their music and dance around our apartment just for fun. We can’t wait to have them play at our wedding!
Now that we’re nearly an exact year out I can’t wait to share more of the small details with you guys! I just started my checklist (an incredible tool that WeddingWire offers like the cost guide) and I also can’t wait to use their new hotel block tool. I’ll be working my way through save the dates, caterers, and every milestone along the way thanks to this easy management system.
For the other previous brides out there–what was your favorite part of the planning process? I’m curious to hear at this point if any of you have any tips!
It was the quickest glimmer of hope, but two weekends ago we had the most beautiful Saturday that anyone in New York City could’ve asked for. It came out of nowhere, and went as quickly as it came, but we all basked in the warmth and for a day found hope that Spring might actually come before it’s Summer.
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who is very affected by weather and how they dress. It’s been a double whammy lately having to continue to pull out my winter coats, sweaters and boots in late April! Yikes, guys.
We’ve started to see a little more sunshine, and while we’re not quite there yet a little goes a long way. I’ve been doing a little bit of sale shopping lately now that the seasons are changing to scoop up any pieces that I know I’ll love next year and that can transition into the next season. This striped maxi dress was one that I had been eye-ing since I visited one of my best friends in Houston in February. It’s so insanely comfortable (it feels like I’m wearing pajamas honestly) and flattering–I also love that the color scheme is right up my alley.
One of the things that I love about Spring (and hope we get a chance to experience) is that in-between weather. I love pairing a jacket with a mini skirt, or a sweater and shorts. I have always had a thing for stripes and find myself gravitating towards striped maxi dresses during this season for something transitional and let’s face it–easy.
In other news I’m excited to kick off the Q&A this week! You guys will be able to ask anything (I’ll post on Instagram stories this week) and I’ll follow up with answers in a recap post. Can’t wait to start this new series with you guys!
I’ve been really into fun pants lately so I thought I would give these a try and pair them with mules and maybe the one shoulder top! I also love this yellow pair for a pop of color.
On the accessory front this pair of flats would’ve been coming home with me if I didn’t already have a pair of gold flats – they’re such an easy way to dress up a simple outfit and I love that these are woven. If you’re looking for a cute summer bag that’s still practical, this black straw bag is cute and still big enough to fit all of your goodies. If you don’t already have a go-to pair of sunglasses and like something a bit more oversized these two-toned sunglasses are classic and a great shape. Valley is one of my favorite sunglass brands because they are so flattering on all different face shapes.
The sad thing about having new clothes for a new season that you can’t wear is that you see them in your closet everyday! I cannot wait to pull out these mules from the last Shopbop sale and pair them with this dress. I also love this dress for a summer wedding! Can’t you picture it with a low messy updo and heels?
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SHOP THE POST
Can I be honest? I’ve been in a rut lately. Let’s start with the fact that it’s April 2nd and it’s snowing again.
I’m one of those people who is super affected by the weather and likewise very inspired by my surroundings, so getting dressed lately has been a struggle.
I was in Dallas over the weekend and it’s amazing what a few days of sunshine will do for the soul! It was in the 70’s and I came back feeling more refreshed than I’ve felt in a while. I’ve learned that it’s important to listen to your body and mind and if you are needing rest, take it. If you need a getaway, book it. I was there to see my family and do a little wedding dress shopping, but the trip came at the perfect time for a lot of reasons.
I’ve also found that when you’re in a rut the best way to get out of it is to go with that you know and love. I have a serious things with kimonos. They’re fun, versatile, and such a beautiful addition to the most simplest of outfits. I wear them over jeans and top, over simple dresses, and the best is wearing them as cover ups (like this one that arrived recently). You really can’t ever have too many! My favorite version has been in my closet for almost 6 years and is actually from Topshop if you can believe it.
If you’ve never tried one before and are thinking about it I’d recommend starting with one that’s shorter and either floral or patterened. I fell in love with them for their flowy sleeves and have gradually moved onto longer, more interesting ones. You can also look for versions that work well for evening, like this velvet one.
Do you have any kimonos and if not, would you try one?
We’re back this week with more updates on the wedding planning front!
In case you missed it, we found our wedding venue a few months ago and we are SO excited to be getting married there. The plans are slowly starting to form, and even though we have plenty of time we’re trying to enjoy the process and not stress too much along the way.
Once we found our venue and locked down our date we were able to breathe a sigh of relief and take a little time before picking back up with planning again. Once we started jumping back into things, we were unsure where to start. “What’s next?”
Since we’re doing this without a wedding planner, I’m trying to stay as organized as possible and take in as much advice as I can get. There are resources everywhere you turn, but it can be hard to know what to listen to. We had such a wonderful experience finding our venue on WeddingWire that we’ve been looking to them for advice on everything else we’re starting to research.
Setting a budget is something that everyone advises you to do, even before locking down a venue. It’s important to set expectations and look for vendors within that budget–especially because they vary so greatly by location. I was really excited to learn that WeddingWire had launched a cost guide right around the time that we sat down to budget. It’s unlike anything I had seen and quite frankly, was a game-changer for us in planning.
Without having a planner to set the numbers for everything, we decided to prioritize the things that mean the most to us and work down from there. The tool will give you a range of average costs based on where you’re looking and then goes into major detail on what factors impact the cost the most and common questions to ask.
We laid out all of the key categories (band, catering, photographer, transporation, flowers, etc.) and used the cost tool to give us an idea of what each of those might range–both realistically and a high estimate as well. Once we had laid it all out we went one by one and noted the key questions to ask for each. Here are a few of the most important things we learned from using the tool:
According to this page, wedding musicians are typically among the first vendors that are hired. While the recommendation is to book at least 8 months out we were finding that many of the bigger bands were already taking dates in Spring 2019! We’ve been combing through reviews ever since, watching as many videos and demos as possible, and trying to get a sense of what each includes. We developed a list of questions to ask each band thanks to this info!
Our parents know much more about catering than us, but it was really helpful to understand what’s included other than just the food–everything from the linens to staffing and rentals. This is also one of the first vendors that they suggested you look at as well, so we similarly dove into various vendors through WeddingWire and started reaching out. It’s important to have an idea of what type of dinner you’d like to have and roughly how many people you’re thinking of inviting as those will be the two biggest factors that impact your quotes. We were also encouraged to make a list of things we like to eat to help guide the suggestions we were getting back!
One of the other things I knew very little about were flowers. The list of services that a florist provides was incredibly helpful (who knew that they would give you samples, too!) and gave us a much better idea of what to expect. While it’s recommended to hire a florist at least 8 months out, we have plenty of time to follow up on that and were able to de-prioritize that for now. When the time does come, we have a concrete list of questions that we can start with for outreach and also a private Pinterest board that I’ll share with potential florists to give them an idea of what I’ve found and liked to date.
As we continue to move forward with the planning it’s become an incredible asset to have this guide to refer to for questions, FAQ’s, and general guidance! Looking forward to sharing more with you guys after we lock down the next few items.
What are some of your tips for planning in these early stages?
This post was in collaboration with WeddingWire. As always all of my opinions are my own! :)