Flower Girl Dresses

Image and Dress from Posh Little Tutus

In three words: too much fun! If you know me it isn’t a stretch to know why I had the most enjoyable time picking out the flower girls’ dresses. Frilly? Flowers? Count me in! Our flower girls are totally the perfect age to play dress up at five and two years old. They are the age when they are super adorable in whatever they wear!

One reason why it was so easy is because I knew their style: “flower princess butterfly” as the five year old expressed it. As long as it was puffy and some shade of pink I knew they’d love it. It was a minimal pressure purchase. I figured as long as it wasn’t uncomfortable in fit or of scratchy fabric it would be just fine. Dealing with young children there is always the risk that their mood will dictate if they like it or not the day of the event. Really, children are a wildcard! But if the girls were happy and excited to wear the dresses from the get-go, then we were on track to have a good day.

Another reason why it was low stress was because I was paying. It could be as expensive or cheap as I’d like. I gave myself the responsibility to pay for all my junior bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. The five girls in total–three juniors and two flower girls–all came from one family. It would be a lot to ask of their parents to buy them all, especially since their mom, the Sister of the Groom, was buying a bridesmaid dress for herself and they were all tracking across the United States to be part of the wedding! So if I could ease any pressure off of them so they could attend happily, I had to do it.

I got a lot of help from the older sisters identifying styles that they thought would be cute on their younger siblings. The 10 year old junior bridesmaid took it on as her project and would always be calling me over to the computer to look at the one that had to be the one because it was way too adorable. From here I learned of some of the brands she liked for the youngsters: Kate Mack, US Angels, Biscotti, Hannah Banana, Halabaloo, Isabella & Chloe, Ooh La La, Posh Little Tutus and Le Pink.

Shopping I did in person on my own time. Hands down my favorite department store–and my recommendation for girl’s special occasion dresses–is Nordstrom. They have a huge variety of fancy dresses and so many of them were exactly what I was looking for. My other top department store was Bloomindales followed by Lord and Taylor, but they had less variety and less price points than Nordstrom. My other favorite shops were the outlets Nordstrom’s Rack, Century 21, Filene’s, and Daffy’s, all of these were great to find good deals. Unfortunately I could never find dresses in the sizes I wanted–they were always just a size off. I liked a lot of summer dresses at J-Crew where I purchased the junior bridesmaid dresses. They were all of coordinating colors (coral and blush pink were everywhere) but most of J-Crew’s special occasion dresses were either in white or too expensive (over $150). Some of the other stores at the mall had great sale rack options, like at Jacadi.

Here are some pictures of my most favorite flower girl dresses from my outings:

Jacadi Paris
Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Nordstrom
J-Crew
J-Crew
J-Crew
J-Crew

I ended up purchasing the girls’ outfits at Nordstrom. The two year old’s had a rosette on the bodice and the five year old’s had petals making up the the top. I just thought they were too cute and classic looking to pass up! Flowery? Check! Pink? Check? Flowy. Check!

Nordstrom

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Our Venue: The Catalina Country Club

After all of this, I haven’t even introduced you to our venue! Let me bring you up to speed.

Image from Arcadia Weekly

After deciding on Catalina Island instead of a hometown wedding, we eagerly searched for a location. This took me months and months! Where…without visiting the island in person? I searched feverishly on the web. Googling, Flickring, and aimlessly searching photographer’s sites that contained images of other weddings on Catalina Island. Yep, I pretty much stalked Catalina Island trying to find out what locations were out there and what I would like best.

There was one thing guiding my search: I had my heart set on was that the ceremony was going to be outdoors. This is what I always imagined for myself. For the reception, I’d like it outdoors as well but that was slightly more open to what was out there.

There were two sites that had what I was looking for: Catalina Island Conservancy and Santa Catalina Island Company. From what I understand most of Catalina Island is actually administered by the Conservancy since it is protected land, while much of the city of Avalon was once owned by Wiley Rigley (yes, the chewing gum guy) and now his property is ran by The Santa Catalina Island Company. Hence, these two sites were the major players on the island.

Image from The Santa Catalina Island Company

The Conservancy offered 10 locations that consisted of beaches, gardens, and scenic bluffs. While The Company offered a Country Club, Beach Club, and a Ballroom. Mr. Pash wan’t that crazy about having a beach wedding since we had been to so many the year before. So that took away all the locations where you would need to stand on sand. My preference was either a garden or overlooking the ocean on the bluffs. So this is what I focused in on.

At first it seemed like the final contenders were going to be between the Summit Overlook and the Botanical Garden, both owned by The Conservancy. But then the Overlook would need a vehicle to transport people and all ceremony items rented, so it got canceled out after pricing and logistics got factored in to it. Then after talking to a coordinator about the Botanical Gardens that idea got canceled out. The Garden’s memorial building courtyard was a bit too small for 75 people and would be quite dusty that time of year.

So after researching a bit more that left one place we both loved: The Catalina Country Club. It had an outdoor courtyard (yes!!) and beautiful, historic architecture (super yes!!). I had a vision of an vintage California wedding so it seemed like a perfect match for us!

Actually most of the Catalina Island was build in the 1920’s and The Country Club was part of this boom. In fact, it was built in 1921 as the Chicago Cubs’s spring training facility by Mr. Wrigley–the Cubs’s owner. Now the place has been turned into a country club/restaurant.

Here are a few pics of the place. I absolutely love the Mediterranean feel of The Club. The red tile roofs, the heavy wooden doors, the white washed archways, and the black wrought iron lights. All of this combined with my most favorite element: the colorful tilework on the floor and in the fountain. These tiles were created in Catalina Island due to Wrigley’s building projects. The tiles are glazed in the most beautiful colors and depict amazing geometric designs and also pictures of native animals and oceanlife, not just at The Country Club but throughout the island.

*all images from The Santa Catalina Island Company or Panoramio.com

 

What is Your Style?

There have been a handful of weddings that I have seen on the internet that have totally inspired me. They have proved to be immensely helpful, if even just for me to refer back to. But I’ve sent them to my vendors when trying to describe what I want. Showed them to friends and family members when asking them their opinion on something similar. I loved collecting images that captured a style that I liked. Even if I didn’t know why I liked the wedding, it was totally worthwhile to keep it and often times later on it came in handy.

The wedding between Jill Stonerock & Jason Schwartz was one of my most influential (check out my blog post What Wedding Has Inspired You the Most for more of my favorite nuptials). Rustic but not country. Relaxed but not casual. Beachy but not near the ocean. (?) I don’t know exactly how to describe it. It as if Malibu met Napa and had a baby that they named Austin. Perhaps I just should call it simply what it is…naturally beautiful.

Their wedding is set in one of my favorite wedding venues–The Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse. This location made it into our top five when we were narrowing down where to hold our own wedding. The Farmhouse is actually an old Appalachian home transported to the hills of Los Olivos, which is the most spectacular small town in Central California. Just two hours from Los Angeles and thirty minutes from Santa Barbara. The Farmhouse also could double as accommodations which is pretty nifty. But ultimately we would need to bring in a lot of rentals so it got crossed off our list. But ooh its location adds to this wedding’s rustic beauty!  The view, the rolling hills, it is just majestic.

Besides setting it is also the styling really struck me. Everything looks like it was plucked from mother Earth moments before the wedding! That is the main thing that I ultimately love. Rustic and raw–it so pretty! The greens from the herbs and the purples from the lavender, it is so scrumptious and sensuous. Early on I loved the ideas so using herbs for our wedding and seeing this sealed the deal.

Also, I love having a range of colors for the bridesmaid and MOH dresses. Its a great way to have your most honored girls stand out by having them wear the same dress in a different hue. Everything flows in the wind and with their loose curls all the ladies look so fresh, bohemian and free. Very relaxed and chic! And their organically arranged bouquets and the mini bouquets on the table are so underworked it really seems so new to me.

Was there a wedding that encapsulated your style? Did you collect images for visual reference like me?