{birthday photo booth fun}

There are a lot of perks to knowing wedding vendors, but I felt especially blessed last week, when our friends Kat and Leo offered up their backyard for my birthday party. It was so much fun to have all of my friends in one place! Throw in a photo booth and a little alcohol, and I'm sure you know what happened next...
Don't worry, Olive is used to this by now. She's our favorite prop.

Thanks Kat and Leo for letting us use your home and your photo booth! Here's to many more fun nights like this!


{precious bugarin design}

I have a serious thing for pretty stationery and design, proven by all of the notecards and notepads and notebooks that clutter my desk. If I didn't love wedding planning as much as I do, I always say that I would go back to school for graphic design (I dabble in it as it is), so that I could create beautiful invitations and other things for print.

There are so many talented artists and over-the-top designs out there, however, that it's kind of refreshing to go back to a minimalist aesthetic, don't you think? That's probably why I love Precious Bugarin's work so much. It's clean and simple, but so distinct that you don't really need all of the extra ornaments and flourishes. It's something complete, all by itself. 
Precious fell in love with typography while completing her BFA in San Francisco. She developed her minimal aesthetic through working with clients of all sizes and collaborating with creatives throughout the west coast. 
After designing invitations for family and friends she decided to launch her premiere wedding invitation line in 2009. Soon after the launch her work graced the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. 
Precious works and plays in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter. She wears many hats; mother, wife, designer, design professor, business owner and mentor.
Precious makes timeless + modern social stationery with a touch of humor. Her social stationery is a marriage of unexpected details thoughtfully designed for you. 

Precious will announce her Spring Summer 2013 invitation line in early March. The new line features her signature minimal aesthetic inspired by the movies: In the Mood for Love, 500 Days of Summer and Moonrise Kingdom; 90ties fashion, condensed typography and bold pastels also play key roles. The new line is elegant + eclectic with a dab of quirky details.
I have to say these invitations are my personal favorite, though these are a close second! She also offers some free printables on her site that are just adorable. 

You can see more of Precious's work in her shop or on Lover.ly. If you are looking for something inspired, clean, and personal for your wedding, I promise that Precious is the designer you need! 

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


{about wedding wednesday}

So, I am going to have to admit that I'm having a pretty tough time with Wedding Wednesdays right now. It's getting a little difficult for me to come up with original content for this series, and I'm not exactly doing the best job at maintaining the link up either. It's not necessarily a blogging issue as it is a boredom issue. I love weddings, I truly do, but when you have that expectation that you need to put out some amazing content every week, things get stressful. I know a lot of you really like Wedding Wednesdays, so I really do want to keep going with the series (I love it too!), but things are going to have to change.

I know I've done surveys in the past about this type of thing, but I really do want to know about what you want to read. I've gotten some good feedback, I just can't build posts around a lot of these questions. I think that instead, I'm going to start answering your questions for a little while. I'm also going to start wrapping my head around all of the ideas that I do have, and plan for a few really amazing posts. I truly do want to write these, they just get overwhelming is all! So please bear with me for the next few weeks, as I get some things in order.

So, for now, definitely email me or leave a comment with questions or ideas that you have! I'll probably plan for some Q&A style posts for a little while, which means that I actually do need your questions. I know that a lot of you have already given me some great ideas (and I want to promise that I'm listening). I just need some time to get a few things figured out!

As for the link up, that's still in the air...What do you think?


{my beauty essentials}

I'm the type of person that when I find a product I love, I stick with it. I'm willing to spend a little more money on brands that I can trust, and that work with my personality. This is true for clothing (hello Kate Spade), and definitely true for my makeup and beauty products. I guess I just have too much experience with foundation that doesn't match my skin color or moisturizer that makes me break out.

For a lot of the items that I use on a regular basis, I've been using them for years and I don't see myself changing that any time soon. My beauty routine is pretty simple too, so I don't have a problem spending a little bit more on those perfect products for me. 
mascara :: Sephora // blush :: MAC // eyeshadow palette :: Stila // powder :: Bare Escentuals // eyeliner :: Sephora // moisturizer :: Cetaphil // hair oil :: Garnier Fructis // perfume :: Chanel

I've actually been using that same perfume for at least eight years now, though I only tend to use it a few days a week (because, I mean, that is a little too much for me). On off days, I like to use Victoria's Secret body mist, which is obviously more casual but doesn't smell too fruity for me. I also just discovered Laura Mercier HydraTint, which I love. It goes on like chapstick, but has color to it. I never remember to put on lipstick, so it's kind of perfect for me. 

What are your beauty essentials?

{monday's mantra}

I'm battling allergies this morning, and let me tell you, it's no fun at all. I had a great weekend though, and I'm so glad my weird face decided not to act up until after the festivities, which included a night celebrating my birthday with friends, spending Saturday with the brother, and an impromptu wine tasting trip with my cousins. But today, it's back to work, and I'm looking forward to actually being productive, and to a great week!
What's your mantra this week?


{five things}

I know it might be silly, but it's the middle of my birthday week and I am so excited for this weekend! I got to celebrate my actual birthday on Wednesday with Robert, but tonight I get to see all of my friends.  There will be pizza and drinks and a lot of laughing, I can't wait!
I absolutely adore my new Kate Spade ring that Robert got me for my birthday!

As always, here are five of my favorite links from the week!

1 // An interesting look at blog size, via IFB. It puts things into perspective, I suppose. 

2 // As an introvert, I can really relate to this post by Allie. 

3 // Have you ever had to let a friend go? This post on Hello Giggles really hits home for me. 

4 // I'm an unwavering, vocal supporter of gay marriage, which is why this post makes me so sad. 

5 // This list of outdated sites makes me pretty nostalgic...

Happy weekend everyone!


{on blogging: what i read}

I'm a firm believer that there is room in the blogging community for anyone who wants to blog. That being said, I don't necessarily believe that everyone can build their blog up to be something big (which is definitely not a bad thing). We all have the things that we like, and those things that we look for in new blogs to read. Not everyone is going to like you, which is perfectly alright. They don't have to read! And nobody should expect everyone to love their blog or what they have to say. That's why niches are so important, and figuring out exactly why you blog and to whom.

There are thousands of blogs in the world, and I so wish I could read all of them! But I can't, and neither can you. So, what do I look for in a blog? What is it about those blogs that I do read that makes them so special to me?
Good Design

This is a really big one for me. If I land on your blog, and the design is just not appealing to me, I'll leave without even reading. I know it sounds terrible, but I'm such a visual person, and design is such an integral part of my life. If a blog isn't aesthetically pleasing, I just can't get over the fact that we won't have a lot in common! It's also really hard for me to read blogs that don't have a good layout, or that are difficult to navigate.

Community Engagement

For the most part, I read blogs so that I can interact with the blogger and the community that they've created. If you aren't active on social media (mainly Twitter), that's kind of a deal breaker for me! I want to be able to communicate with you, and to get to know you as a person. If you ignore your readers, that's just not cool and I won't stick around for long.

Original Content

Everyone is different when it comes to the type of content produced, but I much prefer reading blogs where the majority of content is original (rather than just curated). I do enjoy a good round up post or collage every once in a while, but I want to see those content creators, you know, the people whose  images you actually Pin on Pinterest. I've tried to move away from curated content myself, and I'm not saying it's easy at all. Personally, however, I much prefer producing things that I can call my own. This doesn't necessarily have to be photos or images, but writing and ideas too! It's really easy to jump on a bandwagon when something becomes popular in the blogging world, but it's a lot more rewarding to be a trendsetter. 

Pretty Pictures

While original pictures aren't always necessary for me, having posts that are at least visually appealing are important. I don't care if you use stock photos (though please give credit appropriately), as long as you are adding your own spin to things. It's all about the pictures though, and they're really what pull me into a post. It's the actual content within the post (sometimes the images, sometimes the writing), that make me stay. 

Advice and Inspiration

I'm a sucker for self-improvement posts and books and articles. I LOVE reading posts where the blogger shares their expertise on something, even if it isn't something that I'm typically interested in. And bloggers who share their own personal story, along with tips on how they've overcome something they've struggled with, are always my favorite!

Favorites :: Elembee // Be Up & Doing // Katelyn Brooke Blog

What do you look for in a blog? Do you agree with my list?


{introducing emily the intern}

When I made the decision in December of last year to start looking for an intern, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. But with nine weddings booked, I knew that I needed help! I posted a listing up on my alma mater's career services site, and I got quite a few inquiries within the first few days. One stuck out to me, however, and I just knew that I needed to meet this girl.

To say that she is perfect for the job is kind of an understatement, and I am SO excited that I finally get to introduce the newest member of A Charming Occasion's team, Emily!
Why do you love weddings?
My boyfriend always tells me that I am the hopeless romantic in the relationship. Which I really am because I love, love! There is just something about helping to create that celebration of love for two people.
What do you hope to get out of this internship?
I feel like I am totally in my element when working with Joelle. I hope to gain more insight into the wedding side of event planning so that one day I will be able to put on that perfect wedding for a couple. I know this internship will allow me to find ways to use my creativity and express my passion for weddings! 
Can you tell us a little bit about how you and your boyfriend met?
My boyfriend and I met our freshman year at Cal Lutheran University. We had sociology together and on the first day of class we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves. As soon as he opened his mouth and that cute Texan accent of his came out, I immediately fell for him. The next weekend we were at the same friends house, he came right up to me and said, “Emily, right? From sociology? “ I remember the moment so well because I couldn’t believe that he had noticed me too! After many sociology homework “dates” he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. And now almost 2 ½ years later, he’s still my best friend and the best boyfriend I could ask for! 
How do you see your own wedding?
I always tell my friends that I want my wedding to be fun. Of course I picture all the details to be romantic and rustic, with soft grays, blues, and maybe a little pink. However, I want to remember that day as one of the most fun days of my life. I want to really celebrate our love with the people that matter most in our lives.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I love to golf! I was varsity captain in high school and it is hobby that not many people my age have!
photos by Anna Delores Photography

You'll probably be seeing Emily quite a bit around here, but I just know you'll love her just as much as I do!


{wedding wednesday: trend alternatives pt. 2}

A few months ago, I did one of my very favorite Wedding Wednesday posts, where I gave you alternatives to some popular wedding trends. I wanted to bring that back for a part two (and there will probably be a few more in the future). 

Signature cocktails are a really great way to have an open bar, but keep costs low. They're always the perfect way to insert a little personality into your reception. If you and your fiance prefer wine over cocktails, however, why not have a winemaker custom make a blend for you? It may not be very common, but many wineries do create blends like this. It doesn't hurt to ask! 

If you know me at all, you know that I'm completely obsessed with Parisian macarons. They come in so many different colors and flavors, and they just taste so good. Even I have to admit, however, that they are getting to be a little overdone (though I'll never stop loving them). Mini desserts are quickly becoming the norm, but why not try cream puffs as a classy and sweet alternative to macarons? 

Chandeliers are a really gorgeous and classy lighting option, but there really are a lot of weddings that use them these days. I saw this image of hanging bistro lights, however, and I thought that hanging them this way was a really inexpensive, and unique way to add some lighting to your reception!

I can't lie, I'm really not a fan of chiavari chairs. At all. They're easy enough to rent, and most companies offer quite a few different color options, but I say let's rebel. I'm actually a much bigger fan of these walnut bentwood chairs. They're prettier, classier, and actually cheaper than chiavaris (at least where I get them from). Definitely look into what alternatives your rental company offers. You might be surprised. 

What are your favorite alternatives to common wedding trends these days?
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). 


{what i'm reading}

So, if you're on Goodreads, you might know that you can set reading goals for yourself for the year. Up until last year, I've never really been the biggest reader in the world, unlike my mother who reads on average five books a week (not even joking). I did read a lot last year, but I wasn't keeping track then. I did give myself a goal of 52 books this year, so one book per week, and I'm happy to report that I'm actually a little ahead of schedule!
Now, I feel the need to remind you that I don't always have the best taste in books. I like to read books that will let me escape my own head for a while, and that includes (I'll admit it), a lot of new adult fiction. Some of these books are amazing, but some aren't the best. 

To be honest, I feel like there is some competition between authors to see who can come up with the most terrible thing a character can go through in their life. Usually it's abuse or the death of a family member, and I'm not always the biggest fan of this (which is strange, since I keep picking up these books). 

One of the better ones in this category, and one of the best young/new adult books that I've read recently is the Coincidence of Callie & Kayden. I also really liked On Dublin Street, which I read this year as well, and has that really hot billionaire love interest, but with an Irish accent. Does it get hotter than that?

I really didn't like Ten Tiny Breaths. There's not much more to say about that one.

Other new/young adult fiction novels that I've read this year that were decent (but not good enough to devote an actual paragraph to):

These all had that same tortured soul meets the only person who can save them theme. Most of the time, they were good books, but they're all so similar that I get the plots mixed up looking back and don't really remember the details very well. 

I'm currently reading the Mortal Instruments series, which I can't get enough of. Thank goodness there are six books in this series, because seriously? I can't handle the "relationship" between Jace and Clary (which, if you've read the books, you know what I'm talking about). I couldn't stop myself, and did look up what's actually there, so I'm really looking forward to getting through the third book and moving on from that little twist (I'm in the middle of the City of Glass right now). I really do like the world the author has created, though I'm not always a fan of the main character. I started reading it since it's being made into a movie, and now I can't wait for it to come out!

I really do need to move on from my obsession with young adult fiction, or I at least need a break for a little while, and I think I may read the Paris Wife next. I started reading it in Barnes and Noble the other day, and I really liked the first few chapters! Looking forward to that one!

Do you have any recommendations for me? Have you read any of these?

Oh, and I went and saw Safe Haven today with Robert! I read the book last year, and really liked both the movie and the book. Have you seen it? What did you think?


{monday's mantra}

It's my birthday this week! Usually I don't get so excited about my birthday, but for some reason I'm looking forward to it this year. Maybe it's just because I have so many things to be thankful for in life right now, or maybe it's just because I love being able to spend time with those that I love. Regardless of the reason, the fact that I'm honestly looking forward to this week influenced today's mantra a bit. 
What's your mantra this week?


{five things}

So, this has been one week, if you know what I mean. There have been lots of ups, but a lot of downs as well, and I can't say that I'm sad to see it go. I really just need the weekend to recharge and reevaluate a few things. I don't have much going on, since Robert is working all weekend and I don't have any meetings (thank goodness), but I get to help Carrie (that's my best friend, if you didn't know) with some of her wedding planning and I'm sure I'm going to be reading a lot (this is what's currently on my Kindle). 
A photo from the shoot that was featured on Style Me Pretty yesterday, shot by Lavender and Twine.

As always, here are five things from my work for yours:

1 // I've always really like Joy the Baker, and she has some great blogging tips (even if you aren't a food blogger). 

2 // Red velvet waffles? Um, okay. I guess that means I need a waffle iron?

3 // Do you dream of having your wedding at a private estate? You should probably read this then. 

4 // I know it's been passed around the internets for the past week, but these modern etiquette tips for social media are a must read. 

What are you all planning for the three day weekend? Whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!