{something new}

Of all the things I've done in life, of all the risks I've taken and all those times I've put myself out there, nothing is as terrifying as this.
It's still not done, and it probably won't be for another few months. But I'm closer than I've ever been before, and it's the thought of actually finishing my book that terrifies me. What am I supposed to do with it once it's done? I want to put it out there; I want to share this little piece of myself with all of you, but I don't know how. I guess it's a good thing I have a little bit longer to think about it.


{leo evidente photographers}

Way back in May of last year, I got an email from some photographers in my area. We decided to get together, since that's what wedding vendors do, over a cup of coffee and some cupcakes. Since then, we've bonded over weddings and photography and Korean BBQ, among other things. Kat and Leo have become good friends of my husband and I, and we am so thankful that I've found these two. It helps that we live about thirty seconds away from each other too! Not only that, but they are some of the most talented photographers I've met, and I'm so excited to share some more of their work with all of you today!
We are Leo Evidente Photographers. We are ferocious for details and a feel for the story. 
A wedding is just that. A story unfolding. We love working with people like you who have these genuine storytelling moments already woven into the details of your day, so you can feel like your true selves. Just together. 
We capture these artistic but authentic archive of who you are in that very real moment, so these images of light and love can help you share that story forever.
Isn't their work just beautiful? I am seriously amazed at their talent, and I just know that they are going to be big someday. I'm just happy that I met them now, before every other wedding planner in the area gets to them (I'm a little selfish like that).

I'm really excited to work with them on a few projects this year, and I just know that 2013 is going to be an amazing year for this amazing couple. I mean, look at this video that they have up on their site about their photo book:

Fine Art Photo Book
from Leo Evidente Photographers on Vimeo.

Oh, and as a little surprise for you, Leo and Kat are offering an engagement session to one lucky couple in Southern California! Here are the details for the giveaway:
The winner will receive a 2-hour engagement session. In addition, a full featured blog post and a flash drive of the photographs will be included.
One entry is allowed per person. Which means your partner can also join. Furthermore, you are allowed to submit an entry if you know someone who qualifies for this contest (but be sure to let them know).
To qualify, you (or someone you know) must be engaged and getting married in 2013. In addition, you must be a resident of or willing to travel to counties of Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Ventura, CA or surrounding areas.
This contest is open to anyone who qualifies.
To join, please ""Like"" us on Facebook and leave us a message (on Facebook) OR email us (hello@leoevidente.com) with your name, wedding date, email, and a brief story about you as a couple.
Hint: there is a pleasant surprise waiting for anyone who submits an entry. 
If you are looking for a photographer in Southern California (or anywhere in the world, really...they love to travel!), you should check out Leo Evidente Photographers.

{wedding paper divas}

It can be really easy to get so caught up in the actual planning of your wedding that you forget about all of the fun parts of actually being engaged. I loved getting all of my girlfriends together for a night of drinks and dancing for my bachelorette party, and I had some really amazing friends and family pull together two bridal showers for me. I love the thought of showering a future bride with love and gifts, as she gets ready to commit herself and start a home (if they don't live together already, that is). 

If you're the one actually throwing the shower for a friend or family member, Wedding Paper Divas has an amazing selection of adorable bridal shower invitations for you to choose from. Invitations are a great way to start off the theme for the shower, and let the personality of the bride shine through!
I'm basically in love with those navy invitations up there. I really hope that my best friend will let me plan her shower this year, so I have an excuse to use them (and to plan a fun party...hint hint...). 

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Wedding Paper Divas. If you are interested in advertising on Something Charming, please visit my Advertising page or contact me!


{wedding wednesday: a personal touch}

One thing that I love about weddings is how personal they can be. There are endless combinations of ideas to make a wedding truly special and unique to the couple getting married. I also love how these personal touches can really give insight to who the bride and groom (or bride and bride or groom and groom) are as a couple. Most of your guests should be close friends and family, but that doesn't mean that they know both of you equally. Adding a personal touch is a great way to let them get to know you better, and have fun in the process!

There really are so many ways to add your own personal touch to your wedding. It's really easy to get caught up in trends or tradition, just because it is what it is, but that doesn't mean you can't add your own spin to it.

In my mind, the food and the bar are two of my favorite things about weddings. There really are a thousand different ways that you can make a wedding unique, just by playing a little with the menu. To add a personal touch, why not have your caterer make a family recipe for dinner? Most caterers will, even if they only have a few options on their menu. Or why not offer your favorite cocktails for your guests to enjoy? Signature cocktails are a great way to show your personality, and give insight as to who you are as individuals!

For many couples, engagement photos are a must. Obviously, you'll want to use them for your Save the Dates or at your wedding, but this is a great way to let your personality shine through! You aren't confined to one location or one look, so go crazy. I love the shoot from that picture above, where the couple went to the boardwalk and played arcade games and went on the ferris wheel. They are obviously a fun loving couple, and that really shows. Do you two love the outdoors? Get your pictures done on your favorite hiking trail. Are you big wine drinkers? Then you should obviously go wine tasting. The possibilities are endless!

This one is a little personal for me, but I just love when couples integrate their past together in their wedding. For many, this meaning showing a little school spirit. You don't necessarily need to use your alma mater's colors (purple and gold for us? no thanks), but think of how you can add little details to pay tribute to your university, especially if that's where you two met!

Though you may be creating a new family on your wedding day, both of you already come from families that have loved and raised you to be the person you are today. Why not honor that and incorporate some important family heirlooms? This is the perfect way to check off that something old requirement, by wearing your grandmother's bracelet or even your mother's dress. 

5 // Go Local

If you love where you live, why not let your guests in on it too? I absolutely love where we live, and I can think of a thousand ways to incorporate the area into our wedding, especially by using local products. We live only an hour away from wine country, and it would be so fun to share our favorite wineries with our guests. Does your city have the best ice cream? What about honey or produce or anything else? Use it! I promise it'll make your wedding that much more special.

Now, I know this is a splurge for a lot of people, but I really think that it's a splurge that completely worth it. There are a lot of places out there where you can buy pre-designed invitations, but having a graphic designer custom make an invitation for you is such an amazing way to incorporate your personality into your wedding. I love the idea of having a custom portrait or drawing included somehow, which obviously represents who you are. It doesn't just need to be invitations either; why not have a piece of jewelry custom designed, or have cake toppers made that look like you?

How are you adding a personal touch to your wedding?
There are no real rules for Wedding Wednesday, I just ask that your post be wedding related. It doesn’t need to be the same topic that I’m posting about. I also ask that you try to visit a few other blogs to say hi, and I would love it if you would use my button (found here). 


{write it down and link it up: coming soon}

Way back in November of last year, I hosted this really fun handwriting link up for all of you. It turned out to be an amazing success (66 people linked up), more than I ever thought it would be! I got a few requests to do the link up again, so, here you go.
I'm really excited to see what you come up with for this one! And if enough people like this feature, I may start offering it regularly, with a different theme each time. What do you think?

Oh, and just in case you want to use one, here's a button for the link up!
Grab button for Something Charming


{monday's mantra}

What's your mantra this week?


{five things}

This week has gone by really quickly, probably because I didn't work on Monday. I'm really looking forward to a weekend off (my first in a while, and my last for a while), and spending time with Robert. We're going to see Gangster Squad tonight, which I'm really excited about. It'll be raining all weekend, so we'll probably spend a lot of time inside, drinking wine and watching Netflix (I still need to catch up on Downton from last week). And just maybe I'll be able to track down some more macarons to hold me over the weekend.
I was really excited when I found a new little bakery near my parents' house last weekend that sells EIGHT different flavors every. day. It's probably a good thing that we don't have one here, or I'd have a constant stash of macarons.

Anyway, here are five things for your week:

1 // How to get the most out of Alt, even if you aren't attending (like me). 

2 // It may be an old video, but it never gets old. Bradley Cooper speaking French is seriously swoon-worth (thanks Betsy for sharing!). 

3 // No, I'm still not okay with Chris Brown or Rihanna (by Megan).

4 // Please, I'm begging you, stop tearing Taylor Swift down.

5 // I'm hosting a giveaway over on Aunie's blog. Check it.

Happy Friday friends! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you back here on Sunday night!


{sponsor spotlight: james photography}

Happy Wednesday friends! I have a really amazing photographer for all of you to meet today, someone that I've been fortunate enough to know in real life. Amanda is so sweet, and captures those special moments with such perfection. I just know that you'll love her just as much as I do!
James Photography is a culmination of different photography projects. I shoot weddings, engagements, proposals, and I like to experiment with models and film cameras. The name "James" is really special to me for a couple of reasons, so it's nice to have that personal touch when branding my business. At James Photography, my biggest goal is to break out of the norm; to experiment with light, color, texture, film; to bring my photography business back to the basics. For me, forming personal relationships with people and knowing how to take a damn good picture WITHOUT photoshop are the two most important things that mold my business model. 
I've "known" Amanda (in the blogger sense) for a few years now, and I am so excited that she's started her own wedding business as well! It's always fun to watch people live their dreams, especially when it's a friend. She really is so talented, and has such passion for photography, something I've seen first hand!
If you are looking for an amazing, genuine photographer in Southern California, you absolutely have to check out James Photography. To make things even better, Amanda is offering a discount to all Something Charming readers!

Are you interested in advertising on Something Charming? I'm offering 50% off all sponsorships for the month of January. You can visit my Advertising page for more information!


{wedding wednesday: the perfect proposal}

Does anyone else feel like they missed a day? I was at my computer all day today thinking it was Monday, and didn't realize it was Tuesday until I looked at my calendar to see what my post for tonight was. I think I'm going crazy guys...

On Saturday, I drove up to beautiful Santa Barbara to sign a client that I'm so excited to work with. We hit it off right away, and met with some really amazing vendors. Oh, and did I mention that I get to work at my dream venue come September?

We were drinking coffee in the morning, meeting with some photographers, and she told me how her fiance proposed. Not only did he propose over the water in New York City on December 12, 2012...but he actually had a videographer there the entire time! I watched the video and I just knew that I had to share it with all of you.
Mimi + Alan 12.12.12 from MimiAlan on Vimeo.
I know that engagement season is nearly over, but the video made me think about all of the things that go into a perfect proposal. I guess it can be argued that as long as you're engaged at the end of it, it's a perfect proposal, but there's quite a bit of planning that goes into it. Or, that can go into it. It all depends on the couple, really, and their own preferences and personalities. 

So, like I was saying...
1 // 2 // 3

How did he propose to you? Do you have any good proposal stories?
There are no real rules for Wedding Wednesday, I just ask that your post be wedding related. It doesn’t need to be the same topic that I’m posting about. I also ask that you try to visit a few other blogs to say hi, and I would love it if you would use my button (found here). 


{life, lately}

So sorry I didn't get a mantra up for you this week! I've been out of town, visiting my parents, and I was too busy watching HIMYM last night with my mom to remember that it was Sunday and time to post. I've been a little down lately too, so I highly doubt you want to see whatever emo quote I would have come up with anyway!

I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, but I wanted to stop by and share a little of what I've been up to these days.
Those shoes up there are Kate Spade. I found them at TJ Maxx. On clearance. In my size. Score one for Joelle.

Hope you all have a fabulous week. I'm excited to get back to blogging, which has taken a back seat to...life. Don't worry, it won't be that way for long! Oh, and what do you think of my new header? I thought the bow added that perfect touch...


{five things}

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have fun plans for the weekend. Tomorrow is ridiculously busy, like most Saturdays are these days, but I am seeing friends a few times this weekend. I really need it...these past few days have been rough, and I need the break.

Here you go. Five things for your weekend.

1 // Loving this pretty hair chignon tutorial. I think I need something new to do with my hair right now!

2 // Ob.freaking.sessed. with this dress. Completely obsessed.

3 // Prioritizing for your blog. 

4 // What's your choice for Best Picture? I know what mine is.

5 // The etiquette of two weddings.

Have a great weekend friends!


{sponsor spotlight & giveaway: lovebirds goods}

I'm really excited to share an amazingly adorable Etsy shop with all of you this week! I absolutely fell in love with these custom cake toppers the moment that I saw them, and I just knew that you all would love them too. 
Isn't their tagline adorable? I love it!

About Lovebirds:
Our tiny shop focuses on the "little things" that make your wedding day even more special: An adorable and personalized cake topper that doubles as a keepsake for your home. A custom designed wedding program that is small enough to pin to the fridge and hold it’s meaning for a lifetime. A custom illustration that you can frame and hang in your bedroom for remembrance of your special day. It’s not just another project to us. It’s about a custom, tailored to you product that you can touch, feel and hold on to forever.  
I really, really love their concept, don't you? I'm all about customizing your wedding in every way possible, and ordering a cake topper that looks like the two of you is a perfect way to do it! If you haven't already, be sure to go check out their Etsy shop. They are even offering a discount to all Something Charming readers!

Are you interested in advertising on Something Charming? I'm offering 50% off all sponsorships for the month of January. You can visit my Advertising page for more information!


{wedding wednesday}

There's no way I can lie to you right now. Probably because I've been sitting at the computer for the past three hours with the most ridiculous case of blogger's block. I've actually had it for the past few weeks, which is terrible since it's the beginning of January (not how I envisioned 2013 starting), but Wedding Wednesday is actually the worst. I have an entire list of topics I want to talk about, but I just don't know where to start!

Do I figure out some arbitrary schedule as to where you might be in the planning process? It feels weird talking about wedding day details, when a lot of people are just now figuring out their wedding date. But I've already posted about the first steps in the planning process. I hate that I am such a perfectionist, that I'm so picky about something like this, but I am. I think I need to just take the next few days and actually put together my editorial calendar for the next few weeks, and get going on that. I'm really neglecting this whole planning in advance thing that I should be doing right now. Forgive me?

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you though. I'm keeping the linky open this week, but I may be making a few changes to it in the next few weeks. Definitely let me know what you think can be improved upon for Wedding Wednesday, or if you'd like me to keep it. I'm feeling really conflicted right now...
There are no real rules for Wedding Wednesday, I just ask that your post be wedding related. It doesn’t need to be the same topic that I’m posting about. I also ask that you try to visit a few other blogs to say hi, and I would love it if you would use my button (found here). 


{my work space}

It's no secret that I have some unwarranted anxiety about my work space. I think it's because in this age of blogs and Pinterest, it seems like everyone has the most perfect home office, except for me. I really liked this post that Becka did a while, on the reality of where people work during the day. I guess that perfect isn't really the norm. Functional is much more important.

I sit at my desk for most of the day now, obviously, so I really wanted a space that I wouldn't mind spending time at. Though my office is a work in progress (and you won't be seeing the rest of it, since I do share it with a boy), it's definitely good enough for now. Until I get a real office someday, of course.
What do you think? Is it what you expected?


{monday's mantra}

Hope you all had a fabulous, amazing weekend! Mine wasn't so fabulous or amazing, but it was decent. I'm looking forward to a productive, decent week now.
I'm having a problem with this right now. I'm always so anxious about things, and I really need to take a step back and just be happy with the way life is going. Because honestly? It's going really well, and there's no need to worry about small things, or the future, when there's nothing I can do about it. Maybe I just don't really know how to be in the moment? That's definitely something I need to focus on this year.

What's your mantra this week?


{five things}

I hate being one of those people who complain about being sick all over social media, but really? I can't afford to be sick right now. Not with a photo shoot today and a day full of client meetings tomorrow. Let's just hope I can make it through to Sunday, and then I may need to take a few days off. I'm allowed to, right?
I have a feeling I'll be drinking quite a bit of tea these next few days. At least it gives me a chance to get started on those 52 books I want to read this year...

Anyway, here are five things for your week.

1 // A potential client mentioned these fun, monogrammed cakes, and I can't wait to try them!

2 // I'm completely in love with this farmhouse wedding

3 // What do you think of these four rules for highly successful bloggers?

4 // Here's a really interesting post in defense of David's Bridal

5 // These birth announcements just might be the most beautiful pieces of stationery I've ever seen.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


{a pink ojai ranch house wedding}

I just got the pictures back from a wedding I did back in October, and I'm really happy that I get to share them with all of you today! I really loved everything about this wedding, and I got to work with some of my favorite vendors on it. Not only that, but it turned out to be just beautiful, don't you think?
 photographer :: stephanie hogue photography // venue :: the ranch house // floral design :: stella bloom designs // cake :: jana's creative cakes // coordination :: a charming occasion