Inspiration: Songs in the Key of Life

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Decor & Details | No Comments
Inspiration: Songs in the Key of Life

I was listening to Stevie Wonder the other day as I often do and remarking to myself what an amazing ALBUM Songs in the Key of Life is. (again, as I often do).   Released in 1976, it not only spawned countless timeless hits, but also a remarkable number of fabulous “B-sides” (Summer Soft) anyone?   And, yet, while timeless, it’s album cover is just so… retro and fabulous!

Songs in the Key of LifeIt got me inspired, and so I present to you: A Songs in the Key of Life/ 70’s awesomeness mood board.   I personally have never had a knack for rocking this loose, flowy, au natural gorgeous kind of style.. (I’m more of a fitted, tailored kind of girl… it’s probably the “planner” part of my personality), but I have a major appreciation.

From top left to bottom: Vintage Car from Ruffled, a PERFECT 70’s style bouquet, The guests should obviously wear VINTAGE, But the bride can go retro, but new with BHLDN, Album covers are fabulous inspiration… this was actually Stevie’s wife’s album.. Syreeta, Period desserts?  Love this baked Alaska with sparklers, The fonts from the best seller The Thorn Birds is fabulously 70’s, Want some lounge?  Don’t give up on glamour, to be period, The style icons: Mick and Bianca, Want to take your tabletops 70’s chic?  Bo bohemian and a little bit wild.  LOVE this vintage Vogue Wedding Dress pattern. See something you want to Pin? All these images are on our AlwaysaBlogsmaid Pin Board…

Literary Inspiration: The Great Gatsby

Posted by on Feb 4, 2011 in Blog | 6 Comments

After our post about the NYPL, Mayra and I started chatting about some of our truly favorite books.  We thought it would be kind of fun to do “inspiration” boards around our favorite novels.. the only problem is I apparently don’t like any novel that actual has a happy ending or doesn’t end in death.  So, since everything I loved was equally “chipper”, my deciding factor was a site visit that we had earlier this week to the de Seversky Center, a Gold Coast mansion now nestled on the campus of NYIT. It was so evocative of one of my favorite novels from my teenage years, The Great Gatsby, that I went home to try and find my beat up copy from Mr. Faciano’s Senior AP lit class. (A testament to his teaching skills, I actually remember EVERY single book that we read that year and I actually think I have all of my original books).  Found it I did and only after skimming it did I remember, “wow, that ending is kind of a downer.” BUT, you know what isn’t a downer?  Jazz Age Glam, bootlegging whiskey and fancy mansions!

So, from left to right, we have a Paris Society by Max Beckemann, Harlem Renaissance Wedding by James VanDerZee, the De Seversky Center exterior, Retro Glam headpiece and gown by  Johanna Johnson via Ruffled Blog , Josephine Baker, a fabulous Art Deco table setting, roaring 20’s glam bride, 20’s cafe society couple in Chanel, “The Figure 5 in Gold” by Charles Demuth, Flowers by Saipua and photo by Heather Waraska from our SMP photoshoot, Retro 20’s textile design (20th Century Pattern Design by Lesley Jackson), Glam pink bouquets, Gorgeous Jenny Packham gown.

Avoiding Inspiration to Frustration

Posted by on Aug 26, 2010 in Blog | 6 Comments

We’ve been slacking on the posts lately because, frankly, we’ve been busy little bees here at Always a Bridesmaid over the last couple of weeks.  We had a wedding on Long Island last week, a wedding at the Pratt Mansion and this weekend we are up at Caramoor, for a wedding whose details I absolutely CANNOT wait to share.

Recently, (and I mean recently, my client for this weekend was only engaged for about 15 weeks!) we were at Ron Ben Israel’s studio exploring cake options for our client’s wedding at Caramoor.  The bride loved this relatively simple cake of Ron’s featured  on the cover of Elegant Bride Magazine:

Screen shot 2010-08-26 at 3.17.41 PM Ron explained to her though,that while this cake, designed expressly for this cover, works well on this small scale setting, this same kind of cake would vanish in the oversize tent it would be displayed on at her wedding.

His point to her made a bigger point to me that I thought I would share with you.  Sometimes Inspiration can lead to Frustration.  The same way that we always know that what we see on “reality” TV isn’t real, is the same way that not everything in a photo shoot is actually real.  What works on camera and in a photo studio is totally different than what works in real life.  And the same can be said for a lot of nuances and details in a wedding.

This is more food for thought than it is anything else.  When you see a photo shoot that makes you drool, remember that it was produced.  By that I mean it was designed to be created in close quarters, for examination under a microscope and not replicated 10, 15 or 20 times under time constraints.  By the same token, photo shoots are often designed to make an impact to a camera, which is an intimate eye, and may not be the kind of thing that in a large room, or a tent or ballroom that actually translate well to the human eye that is actually there.

Photoshoots are inspiration points, not replication points, so keep that in mind when you start working on the design and details of your event. If you  are working with a designer or a florist, trust them to interpret your inspiration points on a scale and with a degree of originality will show off you and your location.

A Good Read : Unexpected Wedding Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 9, 2010 in Decor & Details | 11 Comments

While looking through the January issue of Brides New Jersey for like the 8th time (great issue & not just because AAB:NJ is featured!), I re-discovered an article that made me smile. It was simple, fun and nostalgic. The article was about how children’s storybooks can make for great wedding inspiration. I love taking it back to the good old days, so what a great concept. Yep, we’re all grown up now but there’s nothing wrong with remembering a time when your biggest woes were somehow related to silly putty.

Being that sadly my horrible memory leaves me with little recollection of my fave stories of old, I called upon my ridiculously awesome intern Stacey to give it a whirl. As to not bombard her with the trials that can sometimes occur whilst creating an inspiration board, I had her pick her inspiring literary piece and told her to dig deep and tell me what and why this was where she took it. She sent me her goods and let me have some fun!

This made me smile, a lot. I hope it does the same for you. In Stacey’s words

“Make Way for Ducklings” by  Robert McCloskey, published in 1941, is a story about two ducks name Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who have decided to raise their family in Boston’s Public Garden.  After their eight ducklings hatch on the Charles River, it is up to Mrs. Mallard to safely lead her children to their nest by the lake in the Public Garden.  However, this journey requires the crossing of several busy streets.  Fortunately, Policeman Mike comes to the rescue and escorts the family through their travels.

Why I chose the book:

My freshmen year of college I attended Northeastern University in Boston.  For my birthday that year, my mother sent me this book because of its setting in Boston and specifically the beautiful Public Garden.  I quickly fell in love with the story as not only is it an adorable tale on its own, but also provided a small bridge linking my home to my new environment and giving me that comfort every new college student living away from home needs.


The great thing about the colors and feel of this book is that it has the potential to inspire an event that would work in both the spring or fall.  The golds, greens, and browns are great colors for either season, though the springtime does have the advantage of greenery that would only add to the translation.  An outdoor ceremony would really capture the book’s tone, especially if it’s near a lake!  The water backdrop would make beautiful pictures.  For the reception, a switch to an indoor venue would be ideal for the cooler evenings.  But in order to maintain nature’s presence,I would incorporate plants into centerpieces and other decor and experiment!  Flowers aren’t the only choices – cattails and willows are unique and will definitely reflect the story.

Stacey - Ducks!

Dress by Valentino Sposa for Pronovias to me has a vintage style that reflects the stories setting

Bouquet of yellow roses and brown pheasant feathers by Beautiful Blooms are the same colors as a duckling.

Cake with fondant cattails, by Cakes of the Lakes, resemble the lake where Mr. and Mrs. Mallard have created their home.

Brown escort cards with oak leaf graphic fit into the color palette as well as park theme.

Stationary by Print Icon features the same gold and brown coloring as a recently hatched duckling.

Grass-filled pots by Steven Moore Designs in the ceremony space create an outdoor tone.

Satin bridesmaid dress with boat neckline has the classic elegance of the time period. $99

Pair Badgley Mischka “Randee” High Heel Ruffle Flower Sandals with your bridesmaid dresses.  The gold resembles the duckling’s feathers while the flower gives a garden tone. $215

Curly willow and cattail centerpieces, by Lime Greenery, not only reinforce the outdoor mood but also use the same color pallet as the illustrations in the book.

Stacey, thank you for proving that just because you are moving on, doesn’t mean you can’t look back.


Stacey & Sal

Just a Reminder

Posted by on Apr 10, 2009 in Blog | No Comments

Space is filling up really FAST for our fantasy shower in the Penthouse at The Morgans’. Unique favor and gift ideas from Melangerie, DIY floral demos from Fleurs, gifts from Agent Provocateur and themes and advice from us, and, many, many more surprises!  Free Registrations  with promo code BLOGSMAID until April 13th! Register here!