Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harvest Love.

It's that time of year that we all seem to swoon over and get nostalgic about.  Perhaps, first and formost, because Autumn is that time of year where we all fondly remember picking out our first outfit for school and donning what we thought was the hippest backpack in the classroom.  Or maybe it's because Fall is a time where we begin to have more frequent family gatherings and fondly remember fireside chats complete with smores, cider and cozy blankets.  Whatever it is, Fall seems to hold a special place in all of our hearts.  We couldn't resist sharing some of our absolutely favorite Autumn inspirations!

~Apple Cider on an entirely new level~

~Mantle {LOVE}~

~Fall layers, knits and plaid = <3 ~

~Autumn beauty at it's finest~

~simply gorgeous~

~stunning fall tablescape~
~Can you smell how {delightful} these would be?~

~spicy fall colors~

What about Autumn is inspiring you??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

{Real Wedding}:: Amanda + Shawn: Summer Romance at Soiree

Real Wedding:: Amanda and Shawn
We have been absolutely tickled from day one to have the honor of designing Amanda and Shawn’s wedding.  We have always referred to Amanda lovingly as our ‘expo bride’.  When Absolutely Fabulous Weddings made its’ debut in January at the Pensacola Bridal Show we met with hundreds of brides, passed out countless business cards and spent hours describing to those that stopped by our booth exactly who we were.  We were unique.  We weren’t just flowers, or design, or makeup.  We weren’t separate entities hoping to reach out to brides, but instead the ‘AbFab Team’ looking to provide brides with a ‘one-stop-shop’ if you will providing three needed services for their wedding days.  While we chased several leads from that day, it was an e-mail that we received from Elisabeth, Amanda’s mom, that really got the ball rolling as our first opportunity to showcase exactly what AbFab was.  They would become our first official booking of the 2011 wedding season and were special to us already because they believed in our talents, motivation and desire to create the most perfect wedding day, stress free of course all the while having a blast in the process.
  Our initial consult with Amanda and Elisabeth was nothing short of sensational.  We laughed until there were tears in our eyes, listened attentively as Amanda shared the story of her and Shawn and just grew more amazed with the beautiful people that Elisabeth and Amanda were.  We walked away from the first meeting all three of us with the same though: can every bride and mother-of-the-bride be this awesome!?  They were truly special to us from the start and the journey that we took with them over the next several months couldn’t have been more perfect or gone more smoothly.  They both fell in love with the olioboard of what our vision was for the big day and gave us more creative license than we could ever have dreamed of.   Since the day we began designing and envisioning what their Big Day would look like everything was a breeze.  Elisabeth and Amanda trusted us to make design, flower and color decisions for them and that meant the world to us, seriously.  We love nothing more than for the bride to assist in giving us her vision but when we get to add to what she has already dreamt up it is literally a designers dreamworld; and we got to live it!
The day of the wedding went off flawlessly for us.  Church décor was setup early on to include the gorgeous greenery and rose garlands that wrapped around the candelabras and alcove pieces that filled the church with the sweet smell of peonies and roses.  Setup at Soiree was oh-so-fun.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to check out this beautiful gem of a venue, you definitely need to stop in.  It’s old-world chic with a hint of modern décor is the perfect venue for so many couples.   It can be customized in so many ways!  The centerpieces were carefully placed and the sweetheart table décor was intricately placed, special just for the bride and groom.  The bouquets were passed out individually to each bridesmaid and to Amanda.  We were so fortunate to have these few minutes with the girls to officially hand them their bouquets after they were finished getting ready.  The flowers completely set of their look and they looked absolutely sensational! Not to mention this was the first wedding where the entire wedding party, bride and mother -of –the- bride would receive an all-day wear makeover by Alaina Mitchell herself.  She worked her magic flawlessly on all of the girls, adding her special touch to each one of them and making them sparkle on this special day.  They were glowing when we left them to put finishing touches on the reception venue and expected nothing short of absolutely GORGEOUS photos to come.  Needless to say, although we were stunned to see Ms. Leslie Roark's images of this beautiful day, we weren’t completely surprised to see exactly what each picture captured: a loving couple, an amazing family and true friends there to help celebrate one on of the most memorable and incredible days of Amanda and Shawn’s life. 
 An incredible THANK YOU to Leslie Roark Photography for capturing each and every moment of this magical day!

We'll begin with a peek at Amanda + Shawn's olioboard that drove our inspiration!

Click here to see more details!

And now we'll let the story unfold.......
~All the girls enjoyed being pampered by Alaina and her fabulous assistant Tara~
~Amanda graciously agreed to be a part of our 'recycled bride' program.  As part of the 'perks', these gorgeous alter pieces were transported to the reception site so they could be enjoyed even more up close and personal while everyone was celebrating!   Alter pieces were a design of green hydrangeas, green amaranthus, lavender garden roses, purple ranunculus, lavender and pale yellow stock, white peonies, hypericum berries, curly willow as well as sprigs of camellia bush greenery.~
 ~Both Amanda and Shawn are FSU grads so we made sure to add touches of the gold and Seminole arrowheads to personalize.  Amanda's bouquet had touches of lavender and purple ranunculus, fragrant white peonies, and pittosporum greenery.  We placed a gold and pearl family heirloom brooch to add the finishing touch to her bouquet.  The grooms boutonniere had white ranunculus, hypericum berries, and sprigs of dusty miller. ~

~Amanda was absolutely glowing, and what a beautiful couple her and Shawn are! Amanda's dress was exceptionally stunning and made just for her by her grandmother.~

~details of the reception at the beautiful Soiree Catering and Events in Downtown Pensacola~
~blush spray roses, purple and lavender ranunculus, amranthus, pittosporum, sprigs of pale yellow and purple stock and hypericum berries composed the moss balls which hung from the sweetheart table as well as the flowers that were placed on the cake!~
~The girls, shining in their beautiful dresses, makeovers, and bright-eyed smiles!~ 
~From their first look to their exit at the end of the night, Amanda and Shawn are the epiome of a couple deep in love and happiness.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. H.!  We hope that you are blessed with an incredible life with one another and can’t thank you enough for letting us be a part of your beautiful day!~

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Too Cool For School: The Wingtip

Fall is in the air and school is back in session! This is the time to make a splash and leave your mark. Growing up, my Dad always bragged about his glory days. He took credit for introducing the "wingtip" shoe to all his fellow students...claiming he was sporting trends far before anyone else caught on. Well Dad, there is a new wingtip in town and its not those tap-dance looking shoes of your yesteryear. The wingtip we are referring to is an absolutely fab makeup trend that we are completely in love with! With the recent emergence of 60s inspired styles, makeup was bound to catch up and celebrities everywhere are jumping on board. Ladies, if you want to be a trend-setter, you need to hop on this train before it leaves the station! The wingtip eyeliner is sleek, sexy, fun, and flirty! You will have everyone wishing they could pull it off too!

Awe Marilyn and Audrey....How you still inspire us!!

You cannot go wrong by taking their impeccable style and making it your own!

The New Girl~ Wanna dip your toes in the water to see if you like the temp first? Ok. We Hear Ya! Try this half-wing Angie is sporting here on the left. She starts at the center of her eye and flares out slightly. Its a stunner and still so natural. Once you have mastered that, try your hand at something slightly more daring by sweeping all the way across the eye.

The Over Achiever~ You want to stand out in everything you do! Straight A's, super athlete, and show stopping style.....We get it. We Love it! This is a daring look with a flip that may boarder on too flippy, but some of you see this and your eyes light up with excitement. If that is the case, rock it, don't stop it!!
Show them what you are made of girl~

The Drama Queen~ They say, "Who does she think she is?" But they think, "Gosh I wish I could do my makeup like that?".......Sorry was that caddy? Its ok we are in the "Drama Queen" section. Be who you are! Makeup is not about covering up your face or morphing into someone else, makeup is about self expression and using color to tell the world how you feel. Its a beautiful thing my friends! We love both of these looks, they are confident, bold, and dramatic. Just be sure to practice in the mirror a few times first....hehe
Tell Us What You Think?? Are you going to give 'er a try?

Friday, August 19, 2011

{REAL WEDDING}:: Jenna + James: A Vintage, Coastal Kind of Love

Freshman chemistry class; the dreaded requirement that almost every freshman must endure. It’s a class packed with too many students, too many lab hours and far too many homework sessions spent cranking out formulas that many quite possibly will never use during the rest of their college career.   Most freshmen cheer for the day to finally burn the book (or rather sell it back for grocery money) but for Jenna and James, this was only the beginning. It’s where the initial sparks flew and not to spare the given cliche, where the true ‘chemistry’ of their relationship developed.

They are a couple that is near and dear to my heart as I have had the pleasure of being in Jenna’s life since 8th grade. Late, late nights studying for AP classes and test after test after test, afternoons spent practicing volleyball until our entire bodies ached and weightlifting competitions where I was constantly impressed by her stellar strength. Not to mention the ups and downs of our high school careers and constantly beating ourselves up over needing to better ourselves at everything and then finally, we reached college. A time in both of our lives where we would meet our soul mates and a time where even though for many years there were thousands of miles between us, we were always close.  We rendezvoused as much as possible from Melbourne, FL, to Washington, D.C.  Jenna, Meg (another dear friend of ours) and I picked up each time right where we left off, as if we saw each other every day, even though the truth was far from that. There were times where a month or two would go by without a chat, as our busy lives often got in the way. But no matter what, we were always there for one another for the joys, the tears and all the momentous occasions that wove the fabric of our lives.

Fast forward to the morning of her wedding day...having the opportunity to be a part of such a celebration still brings a glowing smile to my face. Sitting in that seaside hotel above the turquoise waters of the Atlantic as a warm spring breeze blew through the patio doors, I watched Jenna put on her stunning wedding gown. It was then that the memories of our friendship flooded back. She looked absolutely breathtaking. The details that she adorned suited her style, her sense of fashion and her detail-oriented personality where she strives for absolute perfection in everything she does. A quality I have always admired in her. From the small feather birdcage clip in her shiny blonde locks, to the peacock feather clips on her dazzling champagne-colored heels. She shined so brightly on this big day for both her and James, there was not a doubt in her glow that this would be nothing short of perfect. It was the day where she would become Mrs. P. in front of family and friends, Jenna and James would show the world their true love for one another by making a commitment to spend their entire lives together, and as Sugarland so truthfully puts it, ‘Stuck Like Glue’.

We at AbFab want to extend an incredible THANK YOU as well for an absolutely MARVELOUS job done by Shannon with Simply in Love Photography. She is based out of Melbourne, FL but travels the entire state of Florida, both East and West Coast, capturing couples' Big Days! Contact Shannon at for more information!

 ~'Love is Chemistry~

I am so incredibly happy for your journey together Jenna and James and wish nothing but complete happiness, years of traveling the world together and a lifetime of pure bliss and love spent building your new life together as ONE. Never forget the love, passion and stares of complete devotion that you two had for one another on this very day!

~Thank you guys so much for letting us be a part of this absolutely breathtaking day!~

 All Photo Credits: Simply In Love Photography
Design, Makeup, Flowers and Decor By: Absolutely Fabulous Weddings 

Friday, August 12, 2011

{Fab. Flower Friday}-Riddle me this, fiddle me that, introducing the {Fiddlehead Fern!}

Is it a flower? A weed?  A vegetable?  Frankly, and to your surprise perhaps, it's none of the above!  The  funky, mysterious-looking and lovely fiddle head is a young fern shoot.  It adds a hint of artistic whimsy to any bouquet, boutonniere, or centerpiece and will most likely have your guests staring at it in awe of it's unique presentation.  So if you're not afraid to take a walk on the wild side, consider adding these lovelies to your Big Day!  The plus side?  If you get hungry they are completely edible and we hear delicious sauteed in some olive oil and lemon juice!  How cool is that?

Designs from a recent AbFab Wedding!

Friday, June 24, 2011

{Real Wedding}:: Heather + Chris

When we had our initial consult with Heather and Chris at Starbucks this past winter we could tell that these two were a unique and beautiful couple.  First off, we thought it was extra awesome that Chris decided to attend.  Not many fiance's will endure the ‘pain’ that is wedding planning, many leave it up to their bride-to-be to make the decisions.  So Chris definitely earned extra brownie points in our book that night.

As the planning developed over the next few months we grew more and more excited to debut this fun, modern , spring-time wedding.   The pinks and greens that complemented the whites and pops of grapefruit were going to look stunning not only on the beach, but also at Chris and Heather’s fab choice for a reception site- The Four Points Sheraton on Okaloosa Island.  Complete with a pool (which Chris and Heather chose to take a newlywed dip in post ceremony!), signature cocktail and sweets bar, their reception was a reflection of a couple that was totally fun-loving and knew how to party!  Congratulations again Mr. and Mrs. Maurer, it was such an honor to help design your Big Day!

And now for a few pics of the design, makeup, as well as the olioboard that gave Chris and Heather our vision for their Big Day!

::The Inspiration::

For the full size inspiration board, click here

And now, for the design and the fabulous makeup!

~Lauren and Alaina hard at work!~

~Heather wasn't completely satisfied with her hair down and curled, she was going for more of the side-sweep 50's look.  Thanks to Lauren's multi-talented capabilities viola!  An absolutely GORGEOUS transformation! ~

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{Our Faves} Short-Length Wedding Dresses... IT'S SUMMER!

Summer is upon us... and, yes, we are aware that if you are having a 2011 summer wedding that you have most likely already picked out your dress. (If you haven't.... you better get to it missy!) Here are a few of our favorite short-length gowns for those brides having 2012 summer weddings, or our 2011 summer brides living on the edge who haven't found their perfect dress yet. Even better, maybe your having a wedding in the winter that happens to be in a place where it's going to be warm (LUCKY!).  Oh wait... we live in Florida... what do we have to complain about. There are no winters here.... well at least not ones that require to you wear parkas. :) OK OK... rambling on... wait... just you wait until you see the last dress we feature! IT'S GOING TO BLOW YOU AWAY!

So, you see the one on the right? It's kind of the opposite of a mullet, instead of "business in the front, party in the back" like the mullet (made somewhat famous by the movie Joe Dirt) this dress is "Party in the front, business in the back." Now for how we really feel about it.... GORGEOUS! What better way to show off a little leg at your wedding and keep cool, but still have a beautiful full length dress in the back. And the one on the left... that just screams FUN! It's like Cinderella meets Tina Turner... Plenty of leg, while still being a lady of course. 

Ok, so after seeing these next two beautiful dresses from David's Bridal, I drifted off into a wedding daydream. Ummm... the yellow car with that adorable 50's inspired gown... it doesn't get much cuter than that folks (chuckle, I said 'folks', chuckle). The gorgeous detailing on the short-sleeved dress on the right takes this one to the next level in wedding dress ranking! Go ahead... zoom in... you won't regret it!

And now for the main event!!!!!!! Drum Roll PLEASE.....

CHECK OUT THIS DRESS.... The romantic champagne colored one on the left. Look how chic and sexy you can look, while your dancing your little heart away under an outside tent in the middle of your summer wedding.... still 80 degrees outside and you're not even sweating! (Paint your own picture if this one doesn't suit your tastes) Unless you're like me of course... .then you may be sweating, but you'll be doing it in style! Then.... BAMMM.... the pictures immediately to the right, wait that can't be the same dress... can it? Yes, my dears, it is the same dress. Equipped with the most amazing design... a removeable Velcro bottom half. YES VELCRO! I know, I never thought it could happen, but it did, and it's fantastic. Walk down the isle in this gorgeous full-length dress with a train and just before the reception rip that bottom off, and VIOLA! Two looks in one!

So there you have it..... What did you think? Oh wait, I almost forgot about the sexy little dress with the feathers! Everyone loves feathers... right!?! Or do they? What do you think? Would you ever wear a dress with a hidden Velcro secret? Which dress is your fave? Would you even think about ever wearing a short-length dress? Tell us about it! 

Until next time... Shine Savvy!