Friday, February 18, 2011

"The Wedding Song" -- an original by Cameron Ernst

Choosing the right music for your wedding can be tough.  Brides are still trying to find an alternative to "Single Ladies" by Beyonce for the bouquet toss, and I think we're all a little tired of hearing Pachabel Canon in D.  Among other things, music is yet another aspect of your wedding that you can make all your own.  For one bride, my college friend, singer/songwriter Cameron Ernst, wrote a beautiful original piece for her wedding, "The Wedding Song" -- which just might be the wedding song you were looking for...    
The Backstory: My best friend's sister was getting married and wanted me to play at her wedding and I thought it would be cool if I wrote a song.  I had something I had been working on and decided to write a "wedding song." It turned into "The Wedding Song" which I performed at her wedding on December 11, 2010.  For the bridal party entrance and bridal procession, I played just the music of "The Wedding Song." For their first dance, I played and sang "The Wedding Song" that way people would recognize it from when she walked down the aisle! That was her idea :) I gave them the recorded version of "The Wedding Song" for a wedding gift, but then I was thinking I wanted to release it to the public.  I came up with a marketing plan with the help of my friend, Devon, to invite others to a private "Wedding Listening Party" where 8 fans were selected to hear the song before anyone else.  I officially released the song with a video on January 31st and the song is also on iTunes!

About the Video: The music video is all stop motion, which means I took a bunch of pictures and put them together to make a "flipbook" looking movie. All of the pictures were taken on my iPhone and then I Instragrammed (an iPhone app) them all. I used Bananagram letters for the lyrics, a ring box and Stella Dot ring, a Build-a-Bear, and roses. The couple at the beginning of the music video is my parents (pictures from their wedding a long time ago!) and the old couple at the end is my grandparents.  It was a blast putting it all together.  

I've known Cameron since my freshmen year in college and it has been exciting for me to see him pursue his dream as a musician.  Originally from the small town of Wichita, Kansas, Cameron is currently in the Texas area, constantly writing and looking for opportunities to get his music heard.  Most recently, Cameron wrote the song "Love is Louder," inspried by the Love is Louder movement started by actress Brittany Snow in response to all the recent suicides from bullying.  You can download this song for free at!   

If you would like to hear more of Cameron, or stay updated on his new music (he tells me that there's new music coming soon!), follow his fan page at!

Monday, February 14, 2011


it's finally here!  If you haven't heard already, Urban Outfitters Inc. (the company behind Urban Outfitters and Anthropology) is launching their new wedding line BHLDN online today! Pronounced "Beholden" (inspired by the dutch word meaning "to keep") this collection is nothing short from amazing, with unique, handcrafted details making each dress unique.  Although the designs are inspired by a desire to serve their Anthropology customers, BHLDN will stand on its own two feet as a separate brand.

BHLDN's collections includes bridal gowns, jewelry, hair accessories, dresses, and shoes -- a one stop shop for all your wedding needs!  Currently, the collection is only available online, but they're looking to open up a phycial store eventually.  On their website, you can put together a BHLDN inspiration board of your own, mixing and matching their different items to create the perfect combination for your wedding.  Their prices range from $1000 to $4000 for bridal gowns, and $200 to $600 for party dresses.
Love that their tag line is "Be You, Be Loved."
  I am beyond excited about this collection and hope you find as much joy looking at their site as I did!  Maybe one of these days I'll get to "behold" one of these myself.  And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without sharing a few of my favorites (it was really difficult to choose)!


 I'm sure you're all dying to see more, so go check out their site!  Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

a little Vera for everyone

Along with New York Fashion Week comes the introduction of an exciting new line for brides -- White by Vera Wang for David's Bridal.  This collection was developed out of Vera's desire to make her dresses more accessible to everyone.  Promoted under the tag line "Every Bride Deserves to Wear White," the prices range from $600-$1400 (amazing!) and incorporate the same beauty and elegance you would expect from Vera Wang.  This is a dream come true for budget brides who want all the fashion of high-end designers without breaking the bank.  The collection officially goes on sale today!


I think Vera said it best --

"I've learned that a wedding dress represents more than just 'a dress.'  It embodies a bride's lifelong dream and her own sense of who she is."

You can see more of the collection online at David's Bridal!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The term "lovebirds" has often been used to reference a couple in love, but I realized I never took the time to find out why.  Genetically from the parrot family, lovebirds today are depicted as tiny parrots.  They got their name because they sit closely to each and are known to keep in pairs, and keep in pairs privately (similar to behavior of a couple in love).  The symbol is used on Valentine's day because apparently in the olden times there was a belief that birds found their mate on February 14.  I don't know if it's just me, but I tend to see more hearts and explosions of red and pink overtaking the candy aisle more than anything else. 

Needless to say, birds can be creatively incorporated into a rustic and garden wedding theme.  Below are a few things I've found that I love!

For a personalized touch on a guest book, you can order beautiful hand drawn manzanita trees (below by Bleu de toi) and have your guests thumbprint "leaves" onto the tree and sign their name.  The ink color can reflect your wedding's color scheme and by the end of the night you'll have a memorable keepsake to take home and frame.  I also love the bride and groom birds at the bottom!

For an alternative card box, find a cute birdcage for guests to drop their cards in.

Source: Green Wedding Shoes.  Photo Credit: Taryn Kent Photography
Your centerpieces can resemble a nest (or be an actual nest!) with more earth tones like brown, green, and tan, with a neutral colored table cloth.  The cake toppers to the left are some of my favorites!  Of course there are tons more -- Etsy is an excellent resource for handmade cake toppers.  The black and white ones also double as salt and pepper shakers, another nice keepsake for your new home. 
Centerpiece: The Knot. 
Bird Cake Toppers: 1. Red Light Studio 2. Lauren Alane 3. buttoneyedteddybear - Etsy 4. Madame Pomme
Photo Credit: Once Wed
Moving right along to wedding favors and invitations! My friend Anna is in the process of planning her bird-themed wedding and shared these creative pieces with me, both from vendors on Etsy.

Hope you were inspired today!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flora L. Thornton Courtyard Dedication and Open House

Thursday, February 3, 2011 -- It was a beautiful day in February.  Though a bit chilly for an outdoor evening event, I was grateful for the 0% chance of precipitation on the weather report that morning.  The whole event was coming together quite nicely, save for one really important thing -- enough power to support all the lighting we installed on Wednesday afternoon, and an electrician that was proving to be very difficult to track down. 

Every event I've planned for the music school has come with its own set of challenges, but for some reason I felt a lot more pressure from this event than Dickens.  I think part of it was the added pressure of making sure this high-profile event not only represented our school well, but also represented Flora L. Thornton well, the individual whom our school is named after.  The other part was the fact that there was no "template" to how this event was done because this was a one-time event.  You could say that this was the first time I had to take someone's vision (in this case the Dean) and make it a reality -- student guided tours, an art gallery of Flora's paintings, an unveiling, carnival lights, etc.

One thing I learned from this event is how important open lines of communication and transparency to my team are to running an event successfully.  It's not enough that I know everything that's happening during the event, because realisitically I can't communicate that information to all the guests simultaneously.  The more my team knows, the better they can serve our clients if they happen to have questions or concerns when I'm not readily available.  Not only that, it creates another layer of accountability to ensure that no details fall through the cracks. 
All that being said, we thankfully got power around 2pm, (just 3 hours before the event) and the event went very smoothly.  Guests including the USC Provost, the Thornton Family, and many of USC Thornton faculty and staff came to celebrate the exciting milestone for the music school.  The night began and concluded with student-led tours of our new facilities as well as an open gallery of Flora L. Thornton's paintings -- a hobby not many knew she had.  Guests enjoyed delicious crepes and champagne before joining the Dean and the Thornton family for the unveiling of the letters put on the courtyard.  Below are some pictures from the evening -- enjoy!


Friday, February 4, 2011

love and football

This Sunday is the day that the Packers and the Steelers play in a (hopefully) epic game of football. Or as this picture shows -- Clay Matthew dominating the Steelers. 

In preparation for the SuperBowl, and as a football lover myself, I thought I'd gather some inspiration from one of my favorite sports.

Here's what I found --

If you want to carry the theme all the way through your wedding, have your officiant dress like a referee.  And instead of a floral archway that you're standing under as you exchange vows, make it a goal post.
Photo Credit: Glasses: -- ThisNext
The gentlemen can rep their favorite NFL team on their feet, while the ladies can rep them on their ears!
Photo Credit: Shoes for the Groomsmen -- The Knot.  Earrings for the Bride -- Jegas Creations

Photo Credit: Smoke on the Square
Party favors anyone?

Stadium cake
I wonder how many people this cake can feed...
One trend that was seen towards the end of last year was the rise of sliders and "comfort food" at events instead of having your filet of fish or grilled chicken dish.  Use these as your appetizers, couple it with some sweet potato fries and beer, and your guests will feel like they're back at the stadium.
The stadium cake doesn't really need a cake topper, but for all the non-stadium cakes, here are some of my favorites!

Photo Credit: Wedding Cake Toppers 1. Party Favors By Design 2. Magic Mud 3. Splendorcity (Etsy)
A couple of my friends incorporated football into their engagement photos.  It really captured their love for football and each other!
Photo Credit: SimplyTwo Photography

Just because you're in a wedding dress doesn't mean you can't play a little pick-up game of football on your special day  Or take some pictures on the field.

My favorite -- the ladies doing the Heisman!

Thanks for stopping by! Go Packers!