Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hooray for summer!

We made a Costco run on Friday and stocked up some of my favorite fruits – fresh figs, papayas, and white peaches – YUM! I also got some boccini (those little fresh mozzarella balls). I love using those to make caprese salad. When we got home, I remembered that I had recently seen a recipe in a Real Simple magazine that was like a new take on a caprese salad. You combine fresh peaches, mozzarella, a little olive oil, basil and sea salt (the recipe also said pepper, but we like it better without that.) Since we’d just bought both peaches and mozzarella, I was excited to try it! We always keep what I call “squeezy basil” on hand, so we were good to go. (Squeezy basil is actually Gourmet Garden Basil -- it’s seriously the closest thing to freshly chopped basil I’ve ever had, and sometimes I think I might even like it better because the flavor is so strong and fresh that you only need a little. Plus, it's a bonus to have it right there in the fridge.) I made the peach, mozzarella and basil salad Friday night, Saturday for lunch, and I'll probably make it again today. Dylan said yesterday, “I know this sounds stupid, but I would seriously just keep eating this stuff until it made me sick. It’s SO good!” (I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to know I quoted that on here. Sorry, sugar!)

Whether you’re planning a wedding menu or just looking for a recipe that tastes like summertime, try this deliciously unique and surprisingly simple salad! It’s so good!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 27, 2009

The song of the day is I'll Take Care of You by the Dixie Chicks. I thought it was a nice choice for today's theme, because it's sweetly feminie with a touch of down-home comfort.

Peachy Pink and Soft Moss Green

Today’s palette is a peachy pink that makes me think of pink grapefruit, balanced with a soft moss green.

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Martha Stewart always provides lots of wedding inspiration for me. Today she's responsible for:
  • The ribbon and floral boutonnieres
  • The ranunculus bouquets (you know how I love ranunculus bouquets for weddings!)
  • The bouquet of dahlias
  • The pink table setting in the center of the board
  • The pink grapefruit mojitos that I am dying to try
  • The green stationery
  • The pink dogwood flowers
  • The cutely packaged pink and green wedding favor

The pink table setting in the top left and the gerbera daisies are both from The Knot.

The bouquet of lovely pink roses are from Costco of all places! I think they’re one of the best deals you can find on roses.

The fantastic pink candy buffet is by byrd + bleecker. They have another great pink grapefruit addition – those pink grapefruit candy slices. I love those darn things!

The Marilyn style sage green satin halter dress is on Amazon. It’s available in sizes XS-3x, so it’ll fit almost any bridesmaid!

The fantastic star paper lantern is by Luna Bazaar.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

Everyone knows by now that Michael Jackson passed away. While I definitely think that he was an odd duck, it's sad. I've been watching tributes on TV, because it's dominating every show today. In the last decade, I've mostly raised an eyebrow at him, but I will say that as a kid I had four albums that I listened to over and over:

Madonna -- Like A Virgin (I hear my parents grimaced every time I dramatically and gleefully sang along to the title track, but felt it best not to make a big deal or tip me off that it was risque since I was oblivious.)

Cyndi Lauper -- She's So Unusual (To this day, my parents laugh and call to tell me if they hear She Bop on the radio.)

Olivia Newton-John -- Greatest Hits Volume 2 (That one is is so out of date, they don't even list it on Amazon.)

Michael Jackson -- Thriller

So when I was little, Michael Jackson was my favorite male singer.

Watching these tributes reminded me just how many of his songs I've liked through the years. So here's to you, Michael. Thanks for the memories and the musical influence you've passed along to some of my current favorites. I hope you find peace.

July 7th P.S. For all of the media coverage that I've seen since Michael Jackson's death, why haven't I heard a single mention of Captain Eo? Does anyone else remember that? It was like Michael Jackson meets Star Wars. And it was in 3-D, which seemed like the coolest thing ever in 1986! I wanted that floating cat with wings thing way bad.

Whether you remember it or not, now's your chance to watch it. I found the video online here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 23, 2009

Since I mixed it up for today's inspiration board, I decided to mix it up for the song, too. The song of the day is called Silver Lining by Rilo Kiley. The bonus is the remix of the song, so you can have one version for the wedding and one for dancing at the reception!

Plus, the lyrics are cute to me. "Hooray, hooray! I'm your silver lining. Hooray, hooray! But now I'm gold. I was your silver lining, but now I'm gold." I'm choosing to translate that into wedding speak to say: Awww, when we're together I've been your silver lining! And hooray, now that we're married, I'm gold! (I think I've just managed to take the blog to a new level of nerd. Whatever, I still think it's cute! Except for the unfortunate picture on the cover of the 2nd album / song. I didn't choose that.)

Metallic Silver, Crystal Embellishments and Hints of Blue

I keep finding amazing silver and jewel encrusted wedding accessories, so today's inspiration board is made up of metallic silver, crystal embellishments and hints of blue.

Often times I try to make my inspiration boards and ideas budget friendly. Today is a combination of everything from downright cheap to top of the line. Pick and choose to make it fit your budget!

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For starters, I LOVE the silver Miu Miu crystal embellished ballet flats. They are more than I can justify spending on shoes, but they're so cool!

The J. Crew silver Lulu pumps are a much more affordable option and the bow embellishments are another fun choice.

And this time, I'm including some uber-cool shoes for the guys: John Fluevog Men's Marcello shoes in silver! I dedicate these shoes to one of my best friends, Jeffrey. He could totally pull these off, and he's the one who first introduced me to John Fluevog shoes in Seattle. I can also picture Justin Timberlake pairing these with one of his white suits. I'm not big on white suits for men most of the time, but I'm feeling it with this palette.

The dark gray dress is by Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston. The light gray dress is that J. Crew dress that I love and showcased in chartreuse.

The stationery and favor boxes are both by Martha Stewart. I just found them on super clearance recently for less than $5 per box! They're actually a higher quality than I would've expected for inexpensive invitations. Plus, that particular pattern features love birds. You know how much I love that!

The Marc Jacobs Clare glass flowers are by Waterford Crystal. I recently saw them arranged as a lovely wedding cake topper.

The metallic bark candles were recently on clearance at Pottery Barn.

I don't know where the best place is to buy these, but I think the faceted diamond tealight candle holders could be very glamorous table accents or even posh wedding favors.

Glam it up!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I realize that most of the people checking out my blog probably aren't fathers, but today is still the day to pay tribute to our dads. You know me, I'm big on expressing myself via music, so today I have put together a list of father / daughter songs -- today they're for Father's Day, but when it comes time for the wedding, these are some of the best Father - Daughter Dance songs ever.

This is the list I put together of Father / Daughter songs, but feel free to leave a comment or send me a note if you have a great song I've missed! I decided to make it as easy as possible, so clicking on any of these links will take you right to the song or artist on Amazon.

Tissue alert: I may be on the sentimental side, but a couple of these songs have been known to make me choke up.

Father And Daughter by Paul Simon.

My Daughter's Father by Byron Hill.

Daughter by Loudon Wainwright III.

Dance With My Father by Celine Dion.

Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross.

I Loved Her First by The Heartland.

My Wish by Rascal Flatts. (I know, I already used this one for Dylan's graduation, but it's just an all around sweet song to wish someone well for their future.)

Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel.

Baby by Dave Matthews.

Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder.

An all around sweet Father's Day CD is Golden Slumbers: A Father's Love.

And for Father's Day, Amazon is also offering Song for Dad by Keith Urban as a free MP3 download today!

While most dads aren't reading this, MY dad probably is, so Happy Father's Day, Dad! xoxoxo

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 17, 2009

I already talked about how much I'm digging Ray LaMontagne lately, but I'll say it again -- he's good!

The song for today is Let It Be Me by Ray LaMontagne. It has a similar earthy, low-key quality to today's theme. Unfortunately, this particular sound clip doesn't highlight the best parts of the song, so I'd highly recommend just downloading it. It's so good!

Muted Tea Green and Mocha Brown

Despite the color names, today’s palette is inspired by earth tones, not your local espresso stand.

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The stationary showcases are both by Martha Stewart, as is the gorgeous clematis topped wedding cake, and the gladiolus bouquet.

I think the clematis cake is fantastic, but I think the green hydrangea cake at the bottom is also a nice way to work in this color scheme.

The tiered chiffon gown is the same style that I used yesterday in red, still found on Amazon. The other dresses are by Watters. They use color names like snapdragon, meadow and acorn. I don’t know if I could’ve pictured what color snapdragon would be, but I like it.

The cutesy lovebird cake toppers are from Red Light Studio on Etsy.

The glammed up champagne silk stiletto sandals are by Delman. The fun green pumps are DKNYC Foxy Pumps in bamboo green. I like the pattern on them, it’s somewhere between eyelet lace and paisley.

On a last note, something that really helps a wedding look well put together is to incorporate the palette throughout the wedding and reception. With this palette, I love the idea of using something like limeade and iced tea or sweet tea. It's nothing too fancy, it's budget friendly, and it just helps to bring the look together.

These are both pictured with lemonade, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 16, 2009

I know sometimes it sounds like I love everything, but it's just because I try to choose my favorite things to use on my blog. I'm not actually one of those girls.

Today is an exception, because today I DO love Everything -- the song of the day by Michael Bublé! (I know, I'm a nerd.)

I think this song is just easy going and sweet, so I thought it would be a great match for today's inspiration board.

Cherry and Berry Reds!

Today’s inspiration board offers a delightful taste of summer with cherry and berry reds!

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Since I was largely inspired by summer fruits, I looked at a lot of delicious dessert recipes and pictures to use with this board. Of course I searched the queen of the kitchen, Martha Stewart. These are some of the things I found from her that I included on the board:
  • Cherries with Kirsch over lemon sorbet

  • Cherry Bombs made with grenadine, lemon-lime soda, and plenty of maraschino cherries!

  • Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp

  • Chocolate strawberry thumbprint cookies

  • Summer shortcake with strawberries and blueberries looks like a perfect summer dessert.

  • Berry boutonnieres
The other beverage pictures are champagne pomegranate cocktails and fresh raspberries floating in champagne, but I can't remember where I found those pictures -- please email me if you know, so I can give the proper credit!

The red peonies are pictures that I took of some Letterpress ImPress invitations that I found for less than $20 per box -- they include 50 invitations with envelopes, and 50 response cards with envelopes. I love a great deal!

Speaking of great deals...

I found the cute, airy red tiered ruffle chiffon dress for less than $80 on Amazon.
I love the Miss Me Vernice-29 Ankle Strap Pump in Wine – they have a very va-va-voom vintage pin-up girl style, especially if you paired them with some bold red lips. Plus, they’re less than $50!

The Miz Mooz Jillian Wedge in Red are another fun option. They have a more organic and hipster quality to them. I think they’re cute as a button.

I also think these daniblack Wanda slides would be adorable with this theme.

What's better than FREE?!

I just got an email from Vista Print that I wanted to share. I went and checked out what kind of deals they were offering before I considered putting it up, but I think this one is actually worth checking out. They're giving away some cool free stuff that would be a big bonus for brides-to-be, including free customized return address labels, free postcards that you could use as Save-the-Dates or response cards, and even a free self-inking rubber stamp that you could use to stamp a return address onto your invitations or thank you cards! The offer is only good for two days though, so don't wait!

VistaPrint USA Inc.

Just sharing my fun freebie find!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Song of the Day -- Congratulations Graduates!

Today is for the graduates!

Dylan is graduating today with his mechanical engineering degree.


I'm so proud of him!

So I dedicate this song, My Wish by Rascal Flatts, to Dylan and the other graduates of 2009!

Way to go!

P.S. This song would also be a great Father / Daughter dance song.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 11, 2009

I'm giving a bonus song today, because I think both of these are good with today's board, but they're kind of opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to setting a mood.

I've Been Waiting by Matthew Sweet is the playful, sweet song.

Stay By Me by Annie Lennox is the more dramatic song.

Chartreuse -- A.K.A. Bright Yellow - Green

Today's inspiration board is another non-traditional color choice, but I'm digging it. I think I'd call this color chartreuse:

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I was inspired by the totally adorable dress that I found on J. Crew. It could be a sweet bridesmaid dress, a rehearsal dinner dress, an engagement party dress, even a "Let's run down to the courthouse and get hitched!" dress. I love the ruffle, the bow, and the details on the sleeves. It comes in several cool colors, but I think this one is funky and fresh. (Funky fresh? Really?) Okay, so how's this -- today's board is sponsored by the letter F because it's fun, feminine, flirty, funky and fresh! YEAH!

The shoes I used on the board are also by J. Crew, but I found a couple other pairs that I like with the dress. Seriously, could be my downfall. Just click on the shoe to get their details.

I love the fiddlehead ferns (I told you, sponsored by the letter F) in the bouquet to balance out the light and bright colors of the flowers.

The clematis boutonniere is also a sweet idea. I'm a fan of clematis and I think this is the first one I've seen used that way.

On a final F-related note: My fiance has finally finished school! He had his last final today. He graduates on Saturday! HOORAY! Way to go, baby! I'm so proud of you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 10, 2009

The song for today is Ain't That a Kick In the Head by Dean Martin.

The title is a little odd for a wedding song, but when you hear him croon the line, "If this is just the beginning, my life is going to be beauuuutiful!" you can't help but smile.

Hot Pink and Green - Watermelon?

Today's theme is all about bright and summery. I've always liked pink and green together, so I decided to amp up the combination by focusing on the bright and bold side of the spectrum.

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The majority of these pictures came from The Knot. The hot pink bridesmaid dress on the right is by Watters. The fuchsia luster satin pumps with the cute bows and ankle straps are by Electra. The green peep toe pumps are from J. Crew.

I thought this color combination lent itself nicely with this picnic reception idea. When I saw this picture, I swooned a little at the idea of a romantic picnic blanket reception. I'm guessing that particular event wasn't especially budget-friendly, but it certainly has possibilities!

And don't forget the watermelon balls!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 8, 2009

I chose today's song because there's a soft, airy quality to it, but it's heavy with romance and emotion.

The song of the day is Whenever You Call by Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight.

Ivory, Champagne and Slate Blue

I love today's palette! It's primarily shades of ivory, and champagne, with light, almost slate blue accents.

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The big bouquet is made up of roses, ranunculus, tweedia and lisianthius. That photo and the lovely ivory colored cake are both by Martha Stewart.

I like the symbolism of the Tree of Life, so I found the pale blue pearl necklace by Glass Goddess Jewelry on Etsy.

The wedding dress below the Tree of Life pendant is called Brier Rose by Kitty Chen.

The shoes were two pairs I'd found before I discovered The champagne silk shoe on top with the flower is called Catania by Versani. The lower pair are champagne silk stiletto sandals by Delman. I love the details on them, they look very glamorous without being too over the top.

The two piece Dupioni silk gowns are by Watters in slate blue with antique, and antique with acorn.

I think the champagne shutter pleat gown by Adrianna Papell (from Nordstrom) could be a unique wedding gown, or a lovely mother of the bride (or groom) gown.

The succulent boutonniere was photographed by Stephanie Williams, of course. I've been referring to her stuff almost as much as Martha Stewart lately!

The ivory and champagne ostrich feather ring pillow is from Weddings and Such on Etsy.

And last, but certainly not least, the dessert buffet details are all by Amy Atlas, an amazing event designer.

This is another versatile palette that I think you could really customize to suit any season.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Song of the Day for Shoe Lovers!

This song isn't about weddings, it's all about the SHOES!

The song of the day is Switch -- Ashanti's tribute to a hot pair of heels.

I've gone shoe crazy!

I have just spent more of my afternoon than I'd like to admit oogling potential wedding shoes at

I have never bought shoes online, because I have chubby, short little feet. When I look at all of these gorgeous shoes online I always think, "Those probably wouldn't fit me." or "I wonder if those run wide...?" I'd heard about, but I hadn't really bothered to look. Today I followed a link there, and I've been glued to it ever since!

I really have to give them props. They let you search by shoe size, shoe style, shoe color, and even shoe width! Yay! I currently have four pairs in my shopping basket, and I haven't placed the order yet because I have a feeling I'm going to find more. Beyond the chance to find shoes that might actually fit me, the reason I've decided to venture into online shoe shopping on their site is because they send the shoes to you for free (usually overnight!) and better yet, the return shipping is free! I love free! I can shoe shop without doing my hair, or even putting on pants if I don't want to. With as crazy and busy as things have been lately, this is my new definition of afternoon delight! ;-) Plus, they have a ton of shoes that are on good sales or clearance, so all of the shoes I'm buying right now are less than about $60.

I've just saved a ton of shoes to my computer so I can include them in with some of my palettes and themes. I am all for wedding shoes having style and character, without looking like you borrowed them from your little sister's prom gear and without costing you a month's rent.

Another bonus: I'm going to be ordering a stack of men's shoes for Dylan in hopes of finding him some nice shoes for work, and some for the wedding. If I thought I had a hard time finding shoes that fit, Dylan has it much worse. I affectionately tease him that he has Hobbit feet. He wears 4E width shoes, if not wider. (I know, I know, try not to point and laugh.) actually has a good assortment of shoes that wide -- it's a miracle!

Here's a little teaser for some of the cute shoes I've been swooning over today. You can click on the picture of the shoe and it'll take you right to them so you can see if they've got your size or if they come in the exact shade of your rehearsal dinner dress.

These DKNY sandals even have a $25 discount right now, and they come in four colors!

And these Dyeables silver frilly sandals are only $61!

If you find some fabulous wedding shoes, send me some pictures!

And stay tuned for tomorrow, I have a really beautiful color palette to show you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 5, 2009

Country isn't my favorite genre, but I think this is one of the most beautiful wedding songs. The lyrics are perfect. Today's song is From This Moment On by Shania Twain.

Aubergine and Pumpkin

Today’s palette includes the colors pumpkin and aubergine.

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The delicious looking cake slices are by the queen bee again, Martha Stewart, as is the chocolate cupcake.

I love that lovebird cake topper! A lot of cake toppers seem cheesy or over-the-top for me, but I think that one is so sweet and simple. I also really like the cake above them with the gumpaste hydrangea blossoms, but I’ll be darned if I can remember where that picture came from.

The beautiful wheat / exotic grass bouquets were photographed by a lady who is quickly becoming one of my favorites, Stephanie Williams.

The forever wood rings print is by Amelia Mae on Etsy.

The bridesmaid dresses are by After Six in eggplant and tangerine.

The mason jars are a clever idea – rather than paying twice as much for bouquets for your attendants and centerpieces for your reception, why not buy something that can be used for both? When the ceremony is done, your bridesmaids can just pop their bouquets into vases or jars and you’ve got extra floral arrangements!

I think this would be a pretty palette for autumn or late summer. It has a very homey, harvest time kind of feel to it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 4, 2009

The song of the day is Hold You In My Arms by Ray LaMontagne.

He's my favorite flavor this week, so I highly encourage you check him out. (You can just click on his name and it will let you check out a bunch of his music on Amazon.)

Aqua / Tiffany Blue Inspiration Board

I was originally inspired by Martha Stewart's cute cappuccino and banana honey cupcakes. When I started searching for color coordinated wedding ideas, it was harder than I expected. There are so many variations on this color. Teal, aqua, Tiffany blue, robin's egg blue... It gets complicated to find good color matches!

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The I Do decorated shoes are Jimmy Choo's. They aren't exactly budget-friendly, but you could do that on any wedding high heels. The aqua sandals with the rosettes are by Nine West. At a fraction of the cost, that's much more budget-friendly!

The bridesmaid dresses are all by Watters.

I think the DIY sugar crystal chandlier from Once Wed is fantastic. (I wanted to call it sweet, but I caught myself.)

The other pictures were found at The Bride's Cafe.

I think this could be a really versatile theme. It'd be great for warm weather, but I actually think it could be a nice winter theme, too.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My new favorite groom's cake!

I have been absolutely swamped with work, family and helping Dylan with last minute school stuff. I'll have a new board up tomorrow, but for today I have this terrific cake. I saw it online and went bananas, because my family has an on-going joke about how much Dylan loves cookies and his next favorite thing is cake. Best of both worlds, and totally adorable!

It's called the Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan. I picked it up at Williams-Sonoma today for $29.95. If I can easily make my own groom's cake that looks that cute, I am so in! Even if we don't use it for the wedding, I'm excited to make it soon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 2, 2009

In the same way that today's board could be used for weddings, or could just be something lovely to enjoy anytime, so is today's song -- Turn Me On by Norah Jones.

Wedding Succulents

Okay, I can admit it. I may be a little obsessed with succulents. I’ve always thought they were interesting and attractive landscaping accents, with their firm plump leaves and tricky “I look like a flower, but I’m not quite!” appearance.

When I found this bouquet by Ink and Peat, I was enamored.

The echeveria succulents, combined with unripe blackberries, hypericum berries, and scabiosa pods are such an amazingly earthy balance to the delicate roses and ethereal tufts of feathers and smokebush. I think it’s lovely, and it’s the bouquet I featured in our own wedding inspiration board.

Since then, I’ve started to notice that I’ve actually developed quite a collection of wedding related pictures of succulents. Yesterday I saw some pictures by Stephanie Williams that just about made my head explode. I had to send her a little note of admiration, and she’s given me the thumbs up to share some of her work.

Her gorgeous picture of a raindrop covered succulent was enough to inspire this unorthodox inspiration board. Rather than showcasing a specific color palette, I’m showcasing my love of these strange and versatile plants as wedding flowers and décor.

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Stephanie Williams also took the photos of the boutonnieres with the pearl pins.

The bouquet with orchids on the left, the centerpieces with lavender roses and succulents, and the succulent nest placecards are all from Martha Stewart.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wedding Song of the Day - June 1, 2009

Since I associate today's brightly colored board with a young bride, I went with a newer sound for the song of the day. No Frank Sinatra today!

Today's song is 1, 2, 3, 4 by Plain White T's.

Bright Purple, Green and Pink.

Today's theme is a beautiful summer assortment of bright purples, greens and pinks. Or in fancier terms: plum, orchid, chartreuse, and fuchsia. I was speaking to a young bride-to-be a few days ago, and she’s thinking about fuchsia and lime green. This was my own take on that.

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With colors this bold and lively, I tried to keep the details relatively simple. Fresh flowers provide most of the decoration.

I LOVE ranunculus and dahlias for wedding flowers. I love how delicate yet dramatic they look, and both manage to be full and hardy. It’s the best of both worlds! The purple ranunculus bouquets are photographed by Stephanie Williams -- I think they're the best part of this board. (If you haven’t checked her out yet, you should. She’s fantastic!) There is also a unique usage of purple tulips strewn about haphazardly under water in big cylinder vases. Kind of funky, but may be a better way to be able to use tulips since they tend to not hold up as well as you’d hope. Orchids are another obvious choice color-wise, but I know they can be spendy and I try to go for budget-friendly.

Speaking of budget-friendly, I found the pretty purple gown on Amazon of all places. And the bright chartreuse gown is from Spiegel for less than $50! I love empire waist gowns in soft fabrics. They're romantic and figure flattering for most of us! Plus, neither of these gowns look like the traditional bridesmaid / prom dress, which is a bonus in my book.