Category Archives: Travel

defined: destination.


noun. the place to which someone or something is going or being sent OR an amazing way to celebrate the beginning of the rest of your life with your love.

photo cred: {mexico by jarruda photography via style me pretty} {france by amy and stuart via intimate weddings} {italy by jessica lorren organic photography} {by corbin gurkin via 100 Layer Cake}

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Filed under Bride & Groom, Defined, Travel, Weddings

BLOGSHOP round two!

July has just flown by hasn’t it?! So when I realized on Monday that I would already be leaving for the bay area on Friday (TODAY!!!) to attend another round of blogshop I did a little happy dance. Okay I did a BIG BIG happy dance.

In June I attended a condensed version of blogshop (an interactive workshop intended to help bloggers, event creatives, photog’s, stylists etc. etc. learn the ropes of photoshop) and I had the time of my life! I met some fabulous new friends, and learned how to do things with my blog that I’d only dreamed of…placing text on pictures, creating inspiration boards, doing fun graphics and more!

Graphic design genius bri emery has to be the raddest teacher I have EVER had in my entire life, so I’m super stoked to see what other tricks she has up her sleeve this weekend. I also have an opportunity to get my picture taken by the amazingly gifted photographer angela kohler which should be super fun and super stressful all at the same time….hmmm….what to wear, WHAT TO WEAR?!?!

I can’t wait to get home and share all the exciting details of the 2 day workshop and my weekend in San Fran and Berkeley. More to come soon! Happy weekend friends!

photo cred: {free play life}

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Filed under Design, Travel, Workshops

real wedding: vanessa + tony in cabo san lucas.

Vanessa and Tony are truly some of my most favorite people in the world. They are genuine; loving; witty as hell; crazy intelligent (they are both doctors in Peoria, IL – Vanessa in obstetrics and Tony in emergency medicine); they are both admirably athletic; and when they tell me they love me and care about the success of my business I REALLY believe them.

Their wedding is one I will FOREVER hold near and dear to my heart. For starters it officially marked my very 1st international destination wedding. 2nd I was given full design liberties which felt increadibly refreshing and exciting, and 3rd I was able to support my best friend in walking down the aisle to the love of her life.

So it should come at no surprise that my responsibility to plan and design their destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this past April came with just a wee bit of pressure as well…just a tad. I wanted their day to be perfect on all fronts…guests gettin’ down on the dance floor til the very last song; design elements that spoke to who they are as a couple and as individuals; a relaxing atmosphere full of fun in the sun; an overall crazy fun time and of course Vanessa and Tony grinning from ear to ear at the end of the night. Well I’m thrilled to say that all of my wishes came true!

Since Tony and Vanessa’s professions are a GIGANTIC part of their lives (we’re talking 100’s of hours a week at the hospital people!) and they met in medical school, I couldn’t resist incorporating multiple “medical” details into their day. I hung antique stethoscopes from their reception chairs, shredded an old medical book and placed the shreds in both their “message in a bottle” invitations, as well as in the base of the cake stand and on the reception table.

I incorporated an abundance of antique medicine bottles on their reception table adding florals to the vases the morning of the wedding. I accented the medicine bottles with flag bunting, buttons and twine. A 27 foot burlap runner ran across the entire length of the reception table providing an amazingly organic feel to the day. Each place setting was highlighted with a gorgeous calligraphied place card and wine cork (Vanessa loves wine), an individual menu tucked into a burlap colored napkin, and a teeny succulent on top.

Succulents were the one thing that were an absolute must for Vanessa and they were definitely the most beautiful floral detail of the day…just gorgeous!

Vanessa really liked the idea of getting married in a small intimate affair away from home and she and Tony couldn’t have done it in a better way! Cabo Surf Hotel was an absolutely amazing venue (staff, food, guest services…you name it – this resort has it going on!) and the destination wedding lends to a significantly relaxing experience for the bride and groom. There is WAYYYYY less pressure on the couple to entertain and mingle with 100’s of guests and I mean who doesn’t want to come home with a new husband AND a killer tan?!

I loved Tony and Vanessa’s guest book table which included square pieces of fabric for each guest to sign well wishes on. The pieces will be sewn together to create a lasting momento for the couple…love it!!!

Vanessa and Tony were super excited about the idea of having a dessert table and I’m so glad they did one! Whoopie pies, fruit tartlets, mini brownies, cheesecakes & key lime pies were the perfect addition to their tiny wedding cake. I accented the dessert table with hand marbled dessert card labels, more medicine bottles and antique platters & stands. Each mini dessert had a curly paper flag on top as a means of tying in the pretty color palette of the day. I added fabric flag bunting, a butterfly & a tiny mountain bike (Vanessa means “butterfly” and Tony is a crazy, mad talented mountain biker) to the cake itself. Butterfly accents were also included in the ribbon tied to the back of Vanessa’s chair.

Could she be any more beautiful?!??! Simple stunning.

The ceremony site was kept simple with an ivory satin covered canopy as the focal point, which was tied off on all 4 corners with burlap. The aisle was lined with various colored wine bottles and more curly paper details. The ocean was the most perfect backdrop! Stunning, stunning, stunning!

Tony and Vanessa, thank you so much for allowing me to play such a major role in crafting your wedding day. Thank you for trusting in me and for allowing me to create a day reminiscent of who you are. Thanks for a week full of laughter, love and friendship – I enjoyed every moment in Cabo with you! I wish you mountains of happiness and a lifetime of adventure together! Love you both!

event design, styling & coordination: {bow tie & bustle} venue: {cabo surf hotel} photographer: {mo hines photography} calligraphy: {letters by ellen} paper goods including invitations: {bow tie & bustle} floral design: {mazarte floral} bride’s hair: {mandi rhodes} floral concept & styling: {bow tie & bustle} bride’s dress: {jim hjelm}

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Filed under Bow Tie & Bustle, Bride & Groom, Centerpieces, Ceremony, Decor, Design, Florals, Invitations, Paper, Personalized, Real Wedding, Reception, Travel, Weddings

coordinator confab.

This road has been far different than any I’ve ever traveled before. There is no instruction pamphlet. No schooling. No classmates. No grades. Or even a diploma. There are no hard and fast rules, or perfect formulas.  There are no colleagues to your immediate left or right to engage in water cooler conversations with, and your office is whatever you make of it. Formal training is practically non existent, and high marks and rewards of achievement are far from the traditional form.

Wedding coordination is something you just do and hope you are doing well. The only true marker of success and a job well done is a happy bride and groom up to 12+ months down the line. Wow. 12 months before you know if you’ve done it all right? Ummmm, just a wee bit of pressure, no?

So where does 0ne turn for support and guidance?


Jeannie of Details Details is one of the kindest women I have ever met. From the moment I arrived at Coordinator Confab this past week, Jeannie was warm, inviting and eager to share her wisdom. She was immensely generous in sharing every last detail of all that she’s learned over her years of coordination, and her fabulous team (Alicia, Carrie, Nicole & Chelsea) made the 2 day conference more than I could have ever hoped for. I learned crazy amounts of tips and tricks and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. I left CA wishing there had been a day 3, 4 and 5…I had such a blast!

It didn’t hurt that the conference was held at the immaculate SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and everything from the food, to the room decor, to the perfect sunny weather made the entire experience totally mind boggling. I literally had to pinch myself a few times over, as the entire trip felt too good to be true! I was also fortunate enough to find a roommate for the conference (hi Stacie!) and we stayed at the Thompson on Wilshire, just a few blocks down from the conference. The rooftop views from the Thompson were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and our stroll down Rodeo Drive the afternoon of our arrival was just what this Vitamin D deficient girl was in need of!

I found myself daydreaming of life in the 90210 zip code, soaking in every last drop of the glitz and glam. The only hiccup of the entire experience was a bathtub drainage problem that resulted in Stacie and I being forced to take our morning showers in a room other than our own (WEIRD, RIGHT?!). We decided at the end of the trip that the entire bathroom experience was a direct result of us staying somewhere other than the SLS and we vowed never to make that mistake again : )

Upon arrival for the first day of the conference, Stacie and I were greeted by smiling faces and one of the most scrumptious breakfasts I’ve EVER had. NO JOKE. You’ve got to know that when you have 12 women swooning over the taste of the greek yogurt you must be in the presence of one mighty fine breakfast. After chowing down, we were escorted to the Cornelius Room for the day where I learned everything from legal strategies, to social media tips to linen & table sizes. By the end of day 1 my brain felt immensely heavy but in that “oh boy did I learn a lot of rad stuff!” kind of way.

Oh, and feel free to call me a total dweeb, but I practically did a happy dance when I realized I had a desk of my own – name tag, clipboard and all! Jeannie and her team clearly put tons of effort into making each one of us feel super welcome and I totally felt the love. We even got to take home the adorable arrangements placed on each of our desks – how freaking awesome is that?!

One thing I absolutely could not go without mentioning was the flowers….OH. MY. WORD. There were gobs of gorgeous arrangements and thoughtful floral touches over the span of the 2 day conference and when I finally met the mastermind behind these gorgeous spectacles I about fell over. Sunny of White Lilac has to be one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. She is this far from ordinary, totally adorable woman who has clearly followed her passions with incredible intention and drive. The way she spoke about event design totally blew my mind and left me pondering what my own future might evolve into. I felt so incredibly fortunate to meet her, and it was a total honor to hear her story.

What I found most beneficial about the entire experience was being surrounded by others who are in the same life transition as my own. Amazing women and men (hi Sam!) who are striving just like me, to have successful and thriving businesses of their own. The process of starting your own venture is a winding one, and at times a touch lonely, so being being able to share my own experience and hear the experiences of others was SOOOO rewarding. Just as I have, many of the attendees have left behind degrees and years of experience in other industries to follow their dreams and passions – this realization was exactly what I needed…uber inspiring stuff! I felt super fortunate to meet so many amazingly talented new friends and I can’t wait to see how everyone evolves over time!

Overall, I was probably most impressed by was the multitude of fabulous speakers Jeannie lined up. There’s nothing better than sitting in a room with some of the biggest, most respected industry leaders…people you’ve only dreamed of meeting in person. Michelle Rahn was kind enough to share some tips with us around tying bow ties, fixing broken zippers and sewing up holes in veils…ALL info that coordinators clearly need in their bag of tricks, right?! Also, Becker was hands down one of my most favorite speakers of the event. He was incredibly generous in sharing his personal story and even sat with me for a few minutes while I bombarded him with endless questions…the guy just rocks!

And to Jeannie, Troy, Libby, Peter, Katy, Kelly, Jamie, Christopher, ElaineMichelle, Summer, Becker, Sunny, Jeff and Jessica thank you so much for sharing your amazing talents! It was such a pleasure to meet you all!

On the last day of the conference we were lucky enough to see a full fledged styled shoot take place and boy was I BLOWN A WAY. Sunny and Alicia did an amazing job with the concept/design and everything from the antler chandliers to the custom designed table, to the vintage touches and jewelry pieces were spot on…gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! It was also incredibly insightful to get first hand tips from Jessica Claire as we watched her (pregant belly and all!) work her photography magic at the shoot. I’m so excited to see the pictures AND video from Elysium Productions…by the way Libby from Elysium was a total rockstar and one of the nicest most genuine people I’ve met in the industry thus far.

Some of my most favorite parts of the trip? Breakfast potatoes. The SLS. Jeannie. The super kind people. The attention to detail by the Details Details team. The weather. My roommate. Yummy cocktails on the Thompson rooftop. Palm trees. Meeting people in the same boat as me. Dessert yogurt. Meeting Sunny. Watching Jessica Claire in action. Our hotel room shower issues (i can laugh about them now!). The flowers. A full belly 3+ times/day. Finally learning how to tie a bow tie. The advice. Dinner at Villa Blanca with Katy Carrier. Strolling Rodeo Drive with Stacie. Early morning workouts. Watching Christopher Aldama fan out table linens. And coming home with more information than I ever dreamed of receiving.

Long story short: the experience was incredibly eye opening. I learned some of the most amazing tips from Jeannie and I am incredibly grateful for everything I learned. I’m so excited to see where this new knowledge leads me and if there is ever Coordinator Confab round 2…sign me up!

photo cred: {moi iPhone}


Filed under Business, Coordinator Confab, Travel

a saturday in portland.

Where do I even begin?! This past weekend I had a total blast and half attending bri and joy‘s workshops at the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland. I’d been waiting weeks and weeks to attend and *boy oh boy* (or shall I say joy!) did these gals NOT disappoint. Bri and Joy are two of the most kick ass business women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting…I left the full day of fun, feeling incredibly inspired and refreshed in continuing on my own path of discovery…wherever that may lead.

I learned gobs and GOBS of invaluable information about blogging and photoshop, so much that I couldn’t help but sign up for the extended version of blogshop this July in berkeley…can’t wait! I also ate some of the yummiest food I’ve ever tasted, and met some fabulous new gal pals.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pics from my Saturday in Portland…I can’t wait to go back! Oh and check out my last few blog posts for my very first attempts at using photoshop to spiffy up my blog…yip yip yippeee!

my portland rundown:

1. hello portland! love all the pretty bridges.

2. stumptown coffee. yum. yum. yum.

3. kenny and zuke’s delicatessen. ok. let’s just say i have NEVER experienced breakfast potatoes that tasted quite this good. i was practically moaning over my breakfast plate as i inhaled every last crumb….too darn yummy!

4. the ace hotel. um. wowza. this place has a serious case of “attention to detail” and i was oh so happy to see it. everything from ceiling to floor is absolutely gorgeous and well thought out – so in love with this place!

5. blogshop with bri! 3 hours of photoshop yumminess and i left feeling crazy confident and WAY less intimidated by Ps. can’t wait for more in july!

6. flatbread at zeus cafe.this picture does not do the taste justice. despite having to scarf this meal (ate this puppy in 5 mins!) i was in complete heaven. the flavor was unreal!

7. building beauty. one of the things i find most endearing about the city of portland is the gorgeous industrial and distressed advertising on the sides of the buildings. obsessed!

8. powell’s books. just go. you won’t regret it! crazy, amazing book store. oh and i couldn’t help but snag a shot of some umbrellas…it was raining…surprise! gotta love that PNW weather.

9. bye bye gorgeous PDX! until we meet again!

p.s. a super duper big thank you to brendan, steph, eamon & kellan for allowing me to crash on your couch friday night. i had such a blast spending time with you! love you guys!

photo cred: {moi iPhone}

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Filed under Design, Inspirations, Travel


I can barely contain my excitement!!!

This afternoon (actually this instant) I’m heading down to Portland from Seattle to attend some really REALLY rad blogging workshops with bri and joy tomorrow! Now, you might be saying to yourself: “Jenn, you haven’t even attended these workshops yet. How do you know they are going to be rad?”

Well, let’s just put it this way: when it comes to Bri and Joy, you just know.

Don’t believe me? Take one look at their blogs, branding, adorable personal styles, professional achievements etc. etc. and you, like me, will just know.

I can’t wait to come home to share all that I learned, and to give my blog a little creative love. Yipee!

photo cred: {portlandia via nubby twiglet}

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Filed under Just Because, Travel, Wedding Event

trip to paris?! yes, please!

Not that I want to lessen my chances of winning a free trip to Paris, but I couldn’t help but share the most BEYOND AMAZING giveaway I’ve ever seen! Jordan of the adorably cute and super inspiring blog OH HAPPY DAY is giving away a week long trip to Paris for you and your favorite peep!

Did you hear me?!


As cheesy as it sounds this giveaway nearly brings me to tears. Paris is the one place in the world that makes me feel MOST alive and I would give anything to go back tomorrow (okay, I probably wouldn’t give away my husband or my english bulldog B-Bug, but I would give lots!) – Paris is just that amazing. There is not another place like it, and if you’ve never been there, PLEASE drop everything you are doing right now and enter this giveaway…seriously!

And if you enjoyed my blog way back when I was blogging about my time in Paris then get on board with OH HAPPY DAY. Jordan is currently spending a YEAR in Paris with her hubby and kiddos and her adventures are SO SO inspiring.

So what are you waiting for?! Get your little self over here and enter to win!

Oh, and by the way…if you do win I hope you know who you’re taking with you ; )

photo cred: 1 {OH HAPPY DAY giveaway}

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Filed under Giveaway, Just Because, Travel

inspired by: america the beautiful.

rawlins, wy

ogden, ut

wendell, id

ontario, or

somewhere in the middle of nowhere

prosser, wa

photo cred: {moi iPhone}

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Filed under Inspirations, Travel

road trip!

This morning I’m hopping in the car with my pop-in-law to make the trek from Denver to Seattle with a bunch of my vintage goodies that I’ve yet to have the opportunity to bring out to Seattle. I’m so excited to finally get all of my possessions in one place! It’s about time!

I’m just hoping I can actually help Pete with some of the driving. I hate admitting it, but I have this wicked habit of sleeping excessively and quite obnoxiously on long drives (think: mouth wide open, hair a tangled hot mess and body hanging half way out the window).

I gave up caffeine over a year ago and it looks like I might be saying “hello!” to that grande double shot skinny vanilla latte faster than you can say “starbuckies”.

R-O-A-D   T-R-I-P!

photo cred: 1 {photography by Oliver Schwarzwald via blue pool road} 2 {black and white coffee by Hugh Forte via sprouted kitchen} 3 {open road by the fashionography}

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Filed under Just Because, Travel

inspired by: cabo.

Its been two weeks since I was in Mexico setting up all the decor for Vanessa and Tony’s wedding day…boy does time fly, or what?!

The trip was a total blast and incredibly inspiring. All the bright colors, yummy cocktails and textured patters of Cabo got my detail obsessed self clicking away on my camera…1400 pictures in all. Clearly I was liking what I was seeing.

A few of my favs…


Filed under Travel, Weddings

jet me.

And…I’m off! This time: CO.

That’s Colorado for short.


photo cred: 1 {colorful colorado – artist unknown}

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Filed under Travel

the last 48.

6:37pm cabo time: frolicking on the beach with Mr. and Mrs. Cameron after a yummy meal of shrimp ceviche, calamari & french fries, 1 chili rellano, 1 chicken enchilada, a miami vice and 1 1/2 tequila shots at the office.

6:45pm cabo time: witnessing a tattoo that eeringly resembles michael jackson being placed on my new friend Tommy’s dairy-air.

8:07pm cabo time: watching as my hubby lives out his american idol dream while singing “old time rock and roll” at a bar that looks more like a shack than a fully functioning establishment.

9:42pm cabo time: licking my fingers clean of mickey-d french fries.

10:02pm cabo time: scoffing at the mean, mean man who gave us grief for wanting 2 for 1 drinks at el squid row.

11:35pm cabo time: laughing hysterically as the taxi driver argues with adam in spanish about the exact count of our group, minus the random dude who suddenly appeared outta no where and decided to join our group right as we are climbing into the taxi.

12:02am cabo time: returning to the hotel and setting my alarm for the royal wedding – yes! i can actually get all the action on blurry channel 15.

3:45am cabo time: royal wedding alarm going off. leaping out of bed. television turned on.

4:00am cabo time: just as kate is about to step out to show her sarah burton dress to the world for the very 1st time, the television in my hotel room shuts down for “maintenance” and will not turn back on. wtf?!??!

4:01am – 4:36am cabo time: i sob uncontrollably, and whimper “why?! why?!” as a result of missing all the live wedding action, and from just being ridiculously tired.

4:37am cabo time: pulling myself together and managing to download the cnn app to my iphone. genius!

4:45am cabo time: breathing a big sigh of relief as i watch the end of the ceremony…ah that dress, THAT dress!!!

5:20am cabo time: after setting another alarm i wake up to watch the 2 kisses on an english balcony.

7:25am cabo time: packing like a madwoman. why did i bring so much stuff?

11:05am cabo time: hugging my best friend goodbye while fighting back tears.

2:20pm cabo time: catching a flight home. sunburn in tow.

5:10pm san diego time: eating my 1st “american” meal in 6 days of pizza and salad while moaning about my painful lobster appearance.

7:21pm seattle time: landing in seattle.

10:05pm seattle time: picking up our puppy dog from our surrogate parents house. thanks for taking such good care of our girl bill and krista!

12:15am seattle time: snoring.

6:05am seattle time: jumping outta bed to shower and get ready for a floral workshop in portland.

7:14am seattle time: dog, hubby and i in the car. driving down to portland.

11:00am – 1:45pm portland time: attending floral workshop with the amazing chelsea fuss of {frolic!}.

1:55pm portland time: purchasing an adorable antique chalkboard and red lantern from bernadette breu for an upcoming shoot.

2:15pm portland time: driving back to seattle with my bee-ute-e-FULL and yummy smelling bouquet of spring flowers!

2:30pm – 5:30pm portland/seattle time: snoring. don’t worry – adam is driving.

5:31pm seattle time: pulling into our driveway and practically crawling towards our front door.

6:37pm seattle time: writing this blog post and decompressing from my recent whirlwind – 2 countries and 3 states in 48 hours…boo-yah!

me and my bestie poolside in mexico.

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Filed under Just Because, Travel

royal affair.

I’m in Mexico right now and yes, it’s awesome. BUT (even if it’s a small but) I’m a wee bit sad to be missing the live minute by minute action of the royal wedding. Totally cheesy, I’m aware, but 1. I’m a chick totally obsessed with weddings and this is the creme de la creme of ALL weddings 2. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I’ve had a crush on Prince William since I was seven 3. I am DYING to see what Kate is wearing and 4. I really wish the best for Kate and William – I cannot even imagine the pressure they must be under.

So today, as I reapply another layer of SPF 100 sunscreen, I daydream about all of the most amazing, glittery, golden, luscious and magnificiantly stunning details that are sure to be oozing out of television screens around the world.

Thank gosh for DVR.

a pic I snapped of the glorious westminster abbey last year. can only imagine what this street feels like today.

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Filed under Travel, Weddings

cabo or bust.

photo cred: 1 {vintage luggage}

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Filed under Travel, Weddings

green wedding shoes feature!

I am officially calling today: green thursday! Why?

bow tie & bustle and some of my favorite wedding peeps were featured today! Our Montmartre Inspiration Shoot made its way onto the front page of Green Wedding Shoes!!! Green Wedding Shoes is only one of the most spectacularly awesome and popular wedding blogs out there, and the amazing Jen Campbell featured our shoot today on her blog! I’m incredibly honored to have my very first styled shoot posted on her site, and I am so thankful for all the amazing friends and industry pros that assisted me in making it happen!

Photography: Monica and Seth of MoHinesPhotography

Floral Design: Teressa of Cashmere Floral Design

Desserts: Judy of Tallant House

Makeup: Cris of Glamour Cris

Hair: Brittany of Bartlett Bridal

Dress: Pricilla of Boston courtesy of Calla Bridal

Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella

Studio: Chalk Studios

Event Design, Styling and Coordination: me as in bow tie & bustle

Hair accessories, veil and paper goods: bow tie & bustle


Filed under Antiques, Bow Tie & Bustle, Brights, Buttons, Cakes, Color Obsessed, Decor, Dessert, Details, Envelope Liners, Fabric, Favors, Florals, Fun Fonts, Inspirations, Invitations, Paper, Paper Suite, Props, Reception, Styled Shoot, Themes, Travel, Vintage Finds, Weddings