{wedding wednesday}

Sorry friends, today you don’t get a fun guest post. You just get me. Hope that’s alright.

Oh, and happy February! That’s kind of crazy, right? I mean, that January is already gone. I like February. It is the month of my birth. But it’s kind of boring otherwise…for me, at least.

Anyway, I thought that for this week I would give a few ideas on how to really make your wedding “you.” Hope you enjoy!


Monograms have been really popular in recent years for weddings, but they are on the decline. Instead, how fun would it be to have your silhouettes made and use them on different elements of your wedding? You could even hire a silhouette artist to create silhouettes of your guests. Neat, right?



Use Cultural Elements

Just because you’re of a certain ethnic background doesn’t mean your wedding needs to have that culture as a theme. Inter-cultural marriages are obviously happening, so why not blend your two cultures from the start? Serve your family’s food for dinner, or play their country’s music {mariachi, anyone?} during the cocktail hour. And what a lovely gesture, to surprise your bride or your groom on your wedding day with an unexpected touch from their family’s culture.



School spirit

Did you two meet in college? What a perfect way to add a personal touch! Even if you don’t use your school’s colors {purple and gold? no thanks…} you can still show your school spirit with flags and pendants in the centerpieces, playing your alma mater during the ceremony, or even having your engagement photos taken on your school’s campus.



Travel as a theme

If you and your honey love to travel together, why not incorporate the places you’ve visited into the wedding? You can name tables after your favorite countries, decorate with passport stamps like the ones that you two have, or {and I know this is crazy…} even have a destination wedding in your special city.



What are your favorite ways to add a personal touch to a wedding?

And don’t forget to link up your own Wedding Wednesday post below! I love visiting your blogs and seeing what you write about each week.



{virtual coffee}

It’s Tuesday, and it’s time for coffee. I know it’s been a while, but I’m back. For this week, at least.


If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I finally made new pillows last night. I got my sewing machine from my mom last year {as in, 2010} for Christmas, but I probably haven’t touched it in at least six months. Our throw pillows on the couch were getting dirty though, and so I made some new ones. Finally.

photo 1photo 2photo 4

And apparently, Olive has claimed both of my new pillows for her own.

I made the white one from an old {read: ugly} sweater, and the second from some fabric I picked up last year. They don’t match, but I don’t care. I think they’re cute.

And now, because I love you {and because I love my dog more}, here’s some entertainment for your Tuesday:

My dog is terrifying.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I really, really, want March to be here. Like, I don’t know if I can wait through February. There’s just so much fun stuff happening in March, and I want this next month to just disappear. This whole waiting thing {among other things} is making me really anxious too. I’m anxious to actually start working with clients {which I am, I know…I have a wedding next weekend, but things could still be better…}; I’m anxious to do it full time; I’m anxious about using this blog for big, important things; I’m just. anxious. And it sucks.

I know it will get better. But that doesn’t make right now any easier.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m happy though. Very happy. I’m finally happy with the mini-makeover I gave to our apartment this week. I really am happy with my business. I’m incredibly happy with my husband {I don’t know that I tell you enough how much I truly do love him}. And I’m happy with my life. Well, most of it anyway.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that the picture up there makes me happy too. Because I love peonies, and sometimes we need the little things in life.

{broken heart}


Friends, I have sad news. Today, my heart is broken. Why, you might ask? Because during my glorious day at the flea market yesterday, a certain idol of mine was there and I didn't even see her. I didn't even hear about it until today.

Excuse me while I go bury my head in my pillow and cry.

Oh, you didn't know that I'm ridiculously kind of obsessed with Taylor Swift? You should probably read this post then. And this one. Oh, and this one too.

{monday’s mantra}



{weekend links}

It would be nice to say “happy Sunday,” but I’m not the biggest fan of Sundays. Don’t get me wrong, Sunday evenings are my favorite time of the week, but it’s the thought of what will come after I wake up on Monday mornings.

Regardless, tonight was just as wonderful as most Sundays are. I made the most comforting food imaginable: pot roast and mashed potatoes, followed by leftover apple pie {which I made last night}. Sunday morning was spent at the flea market, in search for China and antiques and other fun things for my home and my photoshoot. I ate brunch with my best friend, who got home from Germany only a few weeks ago. The rest of the weekend was successful, with some great purchases, a mini home makeover, and fun times with friends. I even made Indian food last night {chicken curry and rice and raita and vegetables; naan wasn’t so successful}. I’m really hoping that this week is just as good as these past two days.

photo 1

{my favorite pieces from my new China}

Here are a few links for the end of your weekend:

A mini Alt recap. I’m telling you now I’m going next year. I am.
We all need to throw ourselves a pity party sometimes.
This couple just looks so happy. So beautiful!
This letter from a big brother is just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever read!
A great post about how to build your personal brand.
Low commitment projects? Sounds like my type of project.
I’m guest posting here with my best blogging advice.

photo 2

{I made these a while ago but just now put them up}

A look at my posts from the past week:

Monday’s mantra.
A few announcements, including sponsorship opportunities and my wedding packages.
Some advice for those thinking of starting a small business.
This week’s Wedding Wednesday has some pretty inspiration!
Have you entered my Anthropologie giveaway yet?
And, of course, Friday’s Fancies.

photo 3

{my new placemats from Target}

And now a look at the week ahead:

design :: blogs for Jenna and Betsy
figure out :: organization. I seriously need to figure this one out.
read :: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People {yes, I know it’s 90’s, but it’s also necessary}

photo 4

{that is a picture from Robert’s senior prom, six years ago}


{friday’s fancies}

Thank goodness it’s finally Friday! I am so excited for the weekend, because I get to see one of my best friends tonight {haven’t seen her since October} and Sunday I’m going to the flea market.

This week’s Friday’s Fancies is inspired not only by my flea market trip on Sunday, but also by my Anthropologie giveaway! If you haven’t entered to win a $50 gift card to Anthropologie, you have until February 10th, so you best get on it!

Friday's Fancies

{dress, shoes}

Isn’t that dress just the most adorable thing ever! I tried to find the perfect canvas bag that I would use with it, and to store my vintage goodies in, but I just couldn’t find one to fit my taste. Those TOMS are perfect though, don’t you think?

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend, and don’t forget to link up with miss {av} with your own Friday’s Fancies!


{anthropologie giveaway}

So, if you didn’t know…

{which is probably impossible}

I’m kind of in love with Anthropologie.

I mean, really. Who isn’t in love with this dress right now?


Vintage Harvest Halter Dress, $249

$50 won’t buy you this dress, but it will at least start the savings, right?


Which is why I’m offering one lucky reader a $50 gift card to Anthropologie in my…



In addition to one $50 gift card, three lucky winners will also receive 2 months of sponsorship, free, on this blog.

There are a few ways to enter this giveaway, including:

Leave a comment with what you would buy with your gift card.
”Like” A Charming Occasion on Facebook.
Follow me {@joelleduff} on Twitter.
Tweet about the giveaway {please use my handle, @joelleduff, in your tweet}.
Blog about this giveaway, and leave your link.

Each of these things gets you one entry in the giveaway, with the exception of blogging about it. If you want ten additional entries {five for each survey}, you can take my “Blogging” and “Wedding” surveys, accessible from the right sidebar. These surveys are completely anonymous, and I created them out of an honest curiosity for my readers. If you’d all like, I would be happy to release the results of the surveys when they are complete {with the exception of any negative comments toward my blog}, so that you can use the results as well, at your own discretion.

When you’ve done these things, just leave a comment for each below. I will draw names on Friday, February 10th, 2012. The first name drawn will win the Anthropologie gift card, and the three names pulled after will each win 2 month sponsorships. Note that you can only win once.

Good luck!

{wedding wednesday, part two}

I have two Wedding Wednesday posts for you today, and I might have two from now on. I thought it might be nice to answer any questions about wedding planning that you all might have, so here it goes!

Jillian, from Cornflake Dreams, asks…

My fiancé and I both have 2 brothers that we'd like to include in the wedding but we're not having them as groomsmen. Any ideas?

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Depending on the age of your brothers, there are a variety of options for you. The most obvious of which is to have them as ushers, which means that they would seat guests as they arrive. Traditional etiquette dictates that you have sides for guests {a groom’s side and a bride’s side}, and ushers are very important for seating guests on the appropriate side {bride on the left, groom on the right}. Ushers also ensure that family is seated in the correct location, such as in the first few pews. Obviously, sides are only optional these days, so ushers are typically more of a formality than anything, but it does give men who aren’t in the wedding a chance to participate.

Another option for you is to delegate tasks to them, such as standing by the guestbook and asking guests to sign it as they arrive, or to hand out programs. You can also ask them to participate in the ceremony by lighting the unity candle with your family, if you’re having one, or do a special reading.

Even if it they aren’t standing up as groomsmen, it’s still important that they be included in the family pictures.

At the reception, you can do a special brother-sister dance after you dance with your father. Or, you can ask them to give toasts, pass out cake, or even sit with you at the head table.

There are quite a few options for you, but I would definitely ask your brothers how they would like to be involved. Even if they aren’t groomsmen, there are still plenty of ways to make sure that they feel appreciated and special on your wedding day as well.

Thanks Jillian!

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If you haven’t already, make sure to link up for Wedding Wednesday! And if you have a question for next week’s post, feel free to email me.


{wedding wednesday, part one}

Hi all, I am Alex from Things That Sparkle. I am so excited that Joelle asking me over here today for Wedding Wednesday! I am in the throws of planning my wedding right now and have a WW feature every week too.

So... here is a little look at my wedding planning:

The very handsome groom (picture from our engagement shoot)

The flower inspiration. Lots of white.

The table inspiration. Again, lots of white but a lot of texture too.

The venue (top right) is a big drapey tent (top left) at Northerly Island. These four pictures were my main inspiration for the setting of it all. So what do you think? I am in love. I am counting down the seconds until it all becomes real. Only 9 more months to go!

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Thank you Alex for agreeing to guest post today! It looks like your wedding is going to be absolutely gorgeous. These next nine months are going to fly by, and your wedding will be here before you know it! And I can’t wait to see the pictures.

Now it’s all of your turn to link up your own Wedding Wednesday post!


{small business 101}

Advice for small business owners even newer than me {I guess that would be people just thinking about starting a small business…}

Part One {because there will plenty more where this came from}

Just go for it.

There will never be a perfect time to start. You just have to do it, or you never will and you’ll regret it.

Start Something


Believe in yourself.

As of only a few weeks ago, I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in doing a photo shoot with me. But after a few encouraging words from a fellow coordinator, I decided to at least ask around. My shoot isn’t scheduled until March, but I’m already amazed at the response that I’ve gotten for it. I have so many vendors willing to work on this with me, and it truly amazes me. Before I could take that leap, however, I needed to believe in myself, and believe that I could actually do it. And now, I’m doing it.

Network. Network, network, network.

At first, you can’t think of your competition as your competition. Think of them as your mentors, the people that you can learn from, even if they aren’t willing to work with you. When I first got started and launched my website, I decided to go out on a limb and contact another local coordinator. She immediately offered to get lunch with me, and started inviting me to local networking events. Her support and knowledge has been invaluable, and I would be nowhere without her right now. I’m obviously a lot lower on the totem pole than she is, so we don’t need to think of each other as competition right now, which is great. I can pick her brain for now, and she seems perfectly willing to let me.

In the wedding business, networking really is key. Without a well-rounded list of vendor contacts, I would get nowhere. Which is why I’m constantly emailing vendors, asking to meet for coffee or a drink, and they are always willing to meet. Because not only does it mean more clients and more credibility for me, it means more clients for them as well. Networking shows that you are serious, and that you are willing to put in the time and effort to make relationships with the people you will be working with.

Check your pride at the door.

When starting a small business, your ego will be bruised more often than not. You’ll face rejection by both other professionals and prospective clients. But what you have to realize is that it’s nothing personal. The business world, and for me the wedding industry, isn’t about you as a person. It’s about what you can offer. And starting your small business is a constant learning experience. You will not get everything right on the first try {which I’m learning the hard way right now}. But eventually you’ll learn how things work, and use it to your advantage. You just can’t let your pride, or your ego, get in the way.

“To some people, I am a kind of Merlin who takes lots of crazy chances, but rarely makes mistakes. I've made some bad ones, but fortunately, the successes have come along fast enough to cover up the mistakes.” ~Walt Disney



Hi all. It’s been a while since I’ve had an announcements post, so I thought I would drop by to let you know about a few things.

Accepting Sponsors for February

I’m now accepting sponsors for February. If you are interested in sponsoring Something Charming, email me so that we can set something up. I have a few options available, all of which include a feature for the sponsor.

If you have a shop or a service to offer, and are interested in hosting a giveaway on Something Charming, please email me!

Sponsor Ad

If you need an ad made, I can help you with that as well. Contact me for more information.

A Charming Occasion Packages

If you live in the Southern California area, and are getting married soon, I would love to work with you on your wedding! I offer a variety of different packages at a variety of different price points, and everything is customizable according to your needs. Email me for more information and a quote! Or, you can view my packages here.

If you don’t live in Southern California, but need help coordinating your wedding, I also offer hourly consultation. I would love to schedule a phone or Skype appointment if you are interested!


Wedding Wednesday Features and Questions

I run a weekly series on this blog called Wedding Wednesday. Sometimes I feature weddings, sometimes I have guest posts for you with advice or design inspiration, but I always have a link up for my readers to participate as well. If you are interested in being featured for Wedding Wednesday, please contact me so that we can chat!

I’ve also decided to start a weekly wedding advice column, that will also air on Wednesdays. If you have a question or issue that you would like me to address on the blog, feel free to let me know and I will try to answer it here.

If you want to participate in this week’s Wedding Wednesday, feel free to grab a button to put on your post.

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Thanks everyone, and I hope you have a great week!

{monday’s mantra}



{weekend links}


{all images via}

Here are a few links for your Sunday night:

I love Taylor Swift.
These vintage kitchens are seriously awesome!
The best-kept beauty secret can now be used by you too!
Love these words for 2012.
A great post about hiring a wedding coordinator.
Which Disney prince would you marry?
{Another} great article about setting goals in 2012.
Love these words for 2012.
Prints made from literature? Amazing.
Seriously? How have I not signed up for Foodgawker yet?

A look at the past week here on the blog:

Love this week’s mantra.
A great Wedding Wednesday guest post.
It’s time for a new home office people.
And, of course, Friday’s Fancies.

And the week ahead:

cook :: this amazing looking baguette-slash-frittata
book :: my birthday trip {I’m thinking Paso?}
attend :: the Mindy Weiss book signing
shop :: the Ventura flea market


{friday’s fancies}

So this week didn’t go by nearly as fast as last week, but I am looking forward to this weekend! It’s a busy one, with two {potentially three} clients ranging from North Orange County to Seal Beach to Santa Barbara. I see a lot of driving in the next two days…

Anyway, I was really excited about this week’s Friday’s Fancies theme, and definitely think we should do it again! We get to model our outfit after something we’ve found online recently, and I knew exactly which outfit I wanted to use as soon as I heard the theme.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the original source for this picture since I found it on Pinterest {linked from the homepage of a Tumblr…}. I do love that site, but it can be a pain sometimes when trying to give credit to the original source. Does anyone know who this is or where it came from? I would love to give credit where credit is due!

Anyway, here is my interpretation for this week’s Friday’s Fancies:

Friday's Fancies

{shirt, bag, scarf, skirt, shoes}

I’m going to be driving a lot this weekend, so comfort is key. With this outfit, I would be comfortable and chic, a necessity in a job like mine! Nobody wants to hire a frumpy coordinator… {this outfit isn’t frumpy, is it?}

I wasn’t having the best day today {writing this on Thursday}, but something really turned it around. I decided I needed to get out of my office on my lunch, and went to the nearest mall {which is five minutes away…dangerous}.


That, my friends, was my receipt from New York and Company. And while most of you are probably thinking New York and Company, really Joelle?!?, I can assure you that my purchases are actually very stylish and practical. I got three pencil skirts {black, gold, and fuchsia}, two dresses {hot pink and gray}, two suit jackets, and a whole bunch of belts and jewelry. I hope I can actually get my s*** together soon and take some pictures for you!

Anyway, I hope you all go link up with {av} over at Long Distance Loving with your own Friday’s Fancies this week!

And I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.


{home office}

Robert and I are hoping to move in May when our lease is up, and in true Joelle fashion, I’m already dreaming up my next home. More specifically, with this little venture of mine, it’s safe to say that a home office is going to be relatively important. We definitely need at least two bedrooms, and they would need to be larger since we both would use {and share} an office.

Here are a few ideas that I have right now:


The colors are all wrong, but you get the basic idea. I’m thinking of one navy wall {the rest would be white}, with a chevron rug and yellow curtains.


{rug, curtains}

I also like the positioning of that desk, away from the wall instead of against the wall. Like this one:


I also love the look of a dresser or buffet behind the desk too. It’s extra storage space, as well as something pretty to look at.

As for artwork behind my desk, I’m thinking of channeling my teenage years, and just doing a bulleting board with my favorite inspiration.


Do you have a home office space? What does it look like? Is there anything that you have to have with your office?

{I know that I’ve written about this a lot, and I’ll probably write more about it in the future. It’s just important!}


{wedding wednesday}

I have a very special treat for all of you today! Sarah from Fairy Tales are True has graciously agreed to guest post for Wedding Wednesday today!

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Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a wedding stylist and coordinator out of the gulf coast of Florida.  I'm a big fan of the little things.  And just like with life, it is true with weddings as well - the little things make it.  I am attentive to details to a fault.  Sometimes I laugh at myself, my eye, my perspective... the things I find interesting and appealing for spaces.  For example, why do I love chicken wire?  I just do.  My friends giggle with at me over the things I just can't get enough of.  I am always on the hunt for something obscure.  "today I am looking for a 1950's doctor's bag ..." I will announce... they look at me like I have three eyes.  I really love finding something that's overlooked, has been hiding in someone's garage for 30 years, and discovering a new life for it.  I also love finding new and creative shops online.  Modern touches totally make my heart skip a beat. The blending of new and old is always appealing to me.  Nothing seems to look right all one way or the other.  Okay, maybe Versailles ... but I digress. Today I'd love to share with you about what is catching my eye on the design side and those little things that I'd love to incorporate into a wedding I style one day.  Not all at once mind you (:
{purchase here - $6-$39}
First up, Mercury glass.  I know this is nothing new... I've been seeing it in my mom's subscription of Victorian Magazine since I was little.  But I'm even more drawn to it now.  and lanterns!  I could picture trees covered in these babies.  The light it would cast - magic.
I love watercolor invitations. Oh My Deer makes the most gorgeous ones ever.  But no need to stop there - you can make it a bit more cohesive throughout the wedding with more watercolor touches.  Watercolor place cards, food markers ... i just love the romance and easy breezy-ness of watercolor.
This australian bride had these gorgeous varied apothecary jars.  Hello, favorite color family.  I love the soft turquoise you find in apothecary jars and the way they age gracefully.  I'm constantly on the hunt for these beauties.
Oh how I love ghost chairs.  I am crazy for lucite and these chairs are no exception. Chivari, you might need to look out! 
Just wanted to share a couple of the things my eyes have been drawn to lately. 
Thanks Joelle for having me! 
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Thank you Sarah for taking the time to guest post for me! And I absolutely adore every single one of these things, especially the watercolor! So beautiful.
Now it’s your turn to link up your Wedding Wednesday posts!

{happy tuesday}

I don't have much time today, but I just wanted to stop by quickly to say hello and show you what I'm dreaming about right now.


I can't wait to move this year so that I can redecorate. I'm dreaming of framing part of a wallpapered wall and hanging a chandelier. Isn't it pretty?

Don't forget to get your Wedding Wednesday posts ready for tomorrow's link up!