Vera Wang Does Not So Basic Black Wedding Gowns

by Jamie Sanford on October 25, 2011

Vera Wang Does Not So Basic Black Wedding Gowns

I would have worn a black wedding dress 5 years ago when I got married, if I had been able to get away with it – ie, if Vera Wang black wedding gowns had been on the market as an example. However, black wedding dresses were not all the rage, so I ended up with a white dress with a big black sash. I chose black and white as the wedding colors, and encouraged everyone else to wear black, since I wasn’t able to.

I will be wearing black for our upcoming vow renewal, even though that plan turned into a hot mess. (More on that soon.)

Anyway, I was surprised/disappointed/left calling out “FINALLY” when I saw that Vera Wang presented a number of dark and black gowns during her Spring 2012 bridal show. (Photos via

It’s about time, Vera. You’ve been teasing us with hints of black on dresses for years, but now you’ve taken the plunge. I hope this trend continues and I hope that brides who are like me will take this as an excuse to wear the black dress they want to wear for their wedding, regardless of it being a “wedding dress” or not.

Would you wear a black wedding gown? Talk about it in the comments.

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Royal Wedding Fever

by Jamie Sanford on May 3, 2011

Royal wedding fever can impact anyone really, but I feel like I had a preexisting condition that contributed to my case.

My family heritage is very British. My grandmother was born in England and came to the United States as a war bride, and on my father’s side, the first grandfather in one of the lines came to the United States from England in 1630!  Anyway, I’ve grown up an Anglophile, I had an amazing book about the wedding of Charles and Diana (that I hope is at my parents’ house because I don’t know where it is) and I totally got sucked into royal wedding fever.

This is where the comparisons to my own wedding began, and I started to think that I needed a bigger budget back when I got married in 2006.  I was lacking horse-drawn carriages.

Score one for me, I totally married a prince named William too!

Ooh that’s another one for me! I too have a sassy British grandmother. Are you seeing why royal wedding fever was predestined for me?

My bouquet was bigger than Kate’s! Of course I’m quite a bit bigger than her, so that was probably the best choice.

White dress and veil? I had those too! Wait, what? Hers was personally designed and created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen? Mine…was not.  It’s too bad she didn’t get married before me, because I would have wanted my wedding dress but with the fuller skirt that Kate has on her dress.  I can do without a train though.  Even though, for a royal wedding, Kate’s train was pretty understated.  Big enough for impact in pictures and from those overhead shots in Westminster Abbey, but small enough to manage without needing 15 people to carry it around. Vogue also approved of the dress and provided the photos I’ve used in this post.

Darling moments like this? I can only hope that every wedding has these moments. I hope that Kate and William see this picture and love it, the sort of candid photos from my wedding are definitely my favorite. Posed portraits are great but the pictures that actually show joy are the best ones.

Location, location, location. My husband was obsessing over the floor there in Westminster Abbey and then I was obsessed too.  Absolutely stunning.  One thing I would maybe change about my wedding would be ceremony location.  The weather was such that day that we could have potentially been outside and that would have been nice.

This gets me, because they were so formal with each other all day.  While my husband and I watched yesterday (the spectacular BBC coverage instead of the NBC coverage I should never have bothered with), we noticed that after the wedding, while Wills and Kate were in the archway at Horse Guards, he grabbed her hand and pulled it onto his leg and they leaned in to each other – not to kiss but to have a cute moment that was almost to themselves. That, for me, was one of the best moments of the day.

Did you get royal wedding fever?  Has it cleared up now that we’re a few days out from the big day?

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Agate Christmas Tree Ornaments

by Jamie Sanford on November 23, 2010

I collected rocks when I was a kid.  I don’t know how I got into it, but I had lots of books on rocks and minerals, other books on gemstone identification, and of course, a collection of rock specimens. I loved them.

I still love rocks, even though that love now is mostly represented by gemstone pendants of which I have quite a few.  This particular stone has been very hot lately, showing up in high-end jewelry in addition to random eBay shops.

What is agate, you ask? From

Agate is a banded, multicolored, variety of Chalcedony. It occurs in an infinite amount of colors and patterns, and no two Agates are alike. The extraordinary beauty and uniqueness of Agate is responsible for its great popularity.

Agate must be polished to bring out its full charm; unpolished specimens are dull and ugly. It usually forms in rounded nodules or knobs which must be sliced open to bring out the internal pattern hidden in the stone.

There’s some more on Wikipedia too.

So, today’s item is a set of agate slice tree ornaments.

They’re pretty, right? They are edged in 24-carat gold, so the set of 4 comes in a slightly pricey $125.  However, I see these finding their way from the tree to hanging somewhere else in your house, like on the windows or from a chandelier.

Check out the Agate Tree Ornaments on

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