Friday, July 26, 2013

Star's Inspirations: The Perfect Five Year Anniversary Gift

Last week my husband and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary.  It was a wonderful day filled with love, memories, talks of the future, and gifts we will both treasure forever.  When we told people we were celebrating our five year anniversary, they congratulated us.  We appreciated the congratulations and agreed that being happily married for five years was definitely something to be proud of and celebrated!

In previous years we kept our anniversary gifts fairly simple but this year I knew I wanted to give my husband something special for this milestone.  Having just celebrated his birthday and Father's Day, I was feeling a bit stumped when it came to choosing his anniversary gift.  I wanted to get him something symbolic and sentimental - not necessarily expensive or luxurious though.  I knew there were symbolic gifts for every anniversary and thought that would be a good place to start (see for a complete list).  The gift for five years is "wood".  Kind of a tricky one in my opinion.  I was recently in Chicago and was fortunate enough to stumble upon Stitch - an amazing designer furnishings and accessories boutique in Bucktown.  There I found various cool "wood" options including clocks, bottle stoppers, and coasters; however, my favorites were their wooden boxes.  They come in a variety of sizes, wood types and finishes and to say they are gorgeous is an understatement!  Each box is unique, finished with a high gloss lacquer, suede lined and hand made in Italy.  They are stunning yet very masculine at the same time.  I ended up choosing a small and simple box with a dark finish.

My husband absolutely loves it!  He likes to empty his pockets as soon as he gets home from work and now he has a nice place to keep his things until morning.  I love that it is a beautiful piece of home decor that will always remind both of us of this milestone.  It was the perfect five year anniversary gift if I do say so myself!  If you are engaged and don't want to wait five years to give one of these beauties to your man, consider giving one as a wedding gift or even as a thank you gift to your groomsmen!



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Social Media and Your Wedding

Social Media is continuing to takeover the world wide web of a world we live in.  It's amazing to think where the social media world was even just a few years back and compare it to where it is today.  It often could take at least a weekend-- sometimes a few weeks or even longer, for word to travel of a couple's wedding and all of the details that went along with it.  Today, it's all accessible at your fingertips within moments and the best part is, you oftentimes get pictures too!!!    

According to Mashable, about one in ten brides update their Facebook relationship status within minutes of saying "Yes", and nearly one in three (31%) do so within hours of getting engaged.  It seems everyone is using social media to stay connected and share information about exciting life events with others.  Whether you love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and offers a unique way to connect with your guests.

Photo courtesy of Arkarthick

About 62% of brides like when their guests immediately post photos from their wedding onto various social media sites (according to Mashable).  If you do fall into this category, we suggest you create a hashtag to your event (e.g. #amenaandbrandonsayido #johnandcarrieswedding #bebowedding).  Share it with your guests and ask them to include it after any photos they post from your wedding.  This will provide you with the opportunity to view your wedding from various angles and see all of the unique and fun experiences your guests had while celebrating with you.  The best part about it is that it is free!  Check out these fun ways to share your hashtag with your guests:  

Photos courtesy of (1) CeeBeeandJ, (2) Pinterest, (3) In Bliss, (4) Style Me Pretty

If you like the idea of collecting photos from your guests but would prefer they not be shared via social media, consider using a company such as Wedding Snap or Photo Opp which provides a platform for couples to collect wedding photos and videos from their guests.  Guests can capture, store and instantly share their unique wedding photos in one central, password protected location.  This is a great option for guests that prefer not to use social media or don't understand the whole "hashtag" thing.  

Photos courtesy of Wedding Snap

Although some couples encourage their guests to immediately post photos from their wedding onto various social media sites, if you are unsure, we suggest that guests hold off until the newlyweds have had the opportunity to post their photos first.  If you are a more private couple that would prefer not to share photos from your wedding with the entire world, consider posting a simple sign like this at your wedding:

We just had to share this fun gift idea with you.  It is perfect for the social media/Facebook loving couple!

Photo courtesy of Etsy shop blushface

Oh and speaking of social media... are you following The Sterling Team?  Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!   

What do you think about social media and your wedding?  Will you or have you developed your hashtag?  If so, what is or would it be?  We want to know, share with us, by commenting below!

The Sterling Team

Monday, July 08, 2013

Sneak Peek: Donna + Sandy Say "I Do" Circus Style

Donna and Sandy were married at Calamigos Equestrian on a beautiful Sunday in June.  I started working with them the previous year and truly enjoyed every moment of it.  This wedding was so special to me and Sterling and we were so grateful to have the opportunity to guide Donna and Sandy through it.

Their wedding design was incredible, they wanted a fun, interactive and festive look circus style, while still clean and elegant of course.  So I came up with a concept that merged a tiny bit of both and as we continued to plan it evolved into "Vintage Love at the Circus".  Of course we had an amazing design team which included some of our favorite production partners like Shawna, Yamamoto Event Design, Prim and Pixie, Designer Specialty Linens, Stage Labs and Fantasy Frostings... A total dream team right!?!

Today I wanted to share a sneak peek of their awesome same-day edit courtesy of Ryan Geldermann.

Stay tuned for more amazing details and photos from SimplyTwo Photography!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Sterling Engagements Wishes: Happy 4th of July!

What a beautiful day it is to celebrate such a festive holiday!  Hoping you are able to get out, take the day off and enjoy some sunshine!

Photo courtesy of Examiner

The 4th of July is one my own all time favorite holidays for the sole purpose that I LOVE fireworks.  This year is an extra special one for me as I'm actually able to take the bulk of the afternoon and evening off.  So I'm going to share with you some holiday rules and guidelines that I made for myself for this special day.  Hoping it will encourage, inspire and excite you as much as it has me!
ӿ  Embrace the day: Do something a little different than what I usually do... 

ӿ  Be Kind: To yourself and others today, push yourself to somehow go the extra mile for you and for someone else in some way.  Even if you don't want to, it will come back.

ӿ  Have Fun: Be a little extra silly, laugh a lot and create memories with those around you to make this THE BEST 4TH EVER!

ӿ  Make New Friends:  Wish anyone you get the opportunity to a Happy 4th!  Whether it's a stranger on the street, a waitress at lunch or even a person you haven't met yet at the same party you are at.  Change their day, it's powerful and amazing and oh so rewarding.

ӿ  Be safe:  That's self explanatory!

Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Gown Alert: Monique Lhuillier Sample Sale

It's that time of the year ladies! One of our favorites, Monique Lhuillier, will be having their semi-annual sample sale next Sunday, July 14th from 10am to 4pm.  The sale will be at a pop-up shop in downtown LA.  They’ll have both Bridal and Ready to Wear dresses with markdowns anywhere from 40% - 90%.  Can you imagine the savings?!?!

This is the perfect opportunity for brides, friends and family to find not only incredible gowns but ready to wear items as well for showers, bachelorette parties and even the rehearsal!

This sale only happens twice a year so we definitely suggest avoiding that July heat and heading downtown to check it out next weekend!  Make a day of it and start with brunch or head to lunch after, enjoy some champagne or lemonade and prepare to get your shop on!
Happy Shopping!