Destination Wedding Inspiration: Bridesmaid Clutches and Other Goodies

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted any sort of update about my own wedding plans. In fact, I think the last full update that I posted was back when we were planning to have our wedding in Chicago on July 31. So, if not for the venue snafu, we would be gearing up for our wedding this coming weekend (by the way, have you ever looked up the origins of the word snafu? I just did, and I was quite surprised—but that word perfectly describes what happened to our original plans).

So, with that behind us, Jeff and I will be heading to the Riviera Maya the second week in November to celebrate our wedding with a small group of close relatives and friends. And after reading about all of Rachel’s destination wedding inspirations, I thought it would be fun to show a few little inspirations of my own.

First off, anyone who has ever planned a destination wedding knows that there are a lot of things that are completely out of your control—a good part of the detail planning happens after you arrive. This has left me striving to find any sort of detail that I can set in place now. Here are a few of those details:

Bridesmaids clutches: Since destination weddings are somewhat “nontraditional” anyway, I figure that anything goes. So rather than get the bridesmaids flowers that they won’t even be able to take home to enjoy for a few days, I decided to go with these clutches from Vera Bradley. They also make a nice package to deliver some of the other little details.


Seaside Dreaming…Turquoise Flower Earrings: I found these earring on PrettyParis’ Etsy shop. Whenever I’ve been a bridesmaid, I’ve always failed to bring along pretty jewelry, so I thought I’d make it easy on the girls and include a little something that they can choose to wear.


Simple Bracelets: I’ve been making these simple little bracelets for myself and the bridesmaids. It’s a subtle way to tie in our colors (and since we’re not doing much with the beach theme, I figured this would be a small nod to the destination side of the wedding).


Vows and Notes: We found these Field Notes notebooks at J. Crew, and we thought these would be a fun place to keep our vows. They’re made by Coudal Partners, a Chicago company, so we get to bring a little piece of our city with us. Since there are three, we’ll likely put the last one out at the reception for our guests to write us notes or bits of advice that we can keep and look back on.


DIY Envelopes: We’re going to design our own invitations, programs, menus, etc. and order them from We’re waiting to nail down a few details before we order them (we’re going to host a few additional mixers/cocktail parties for guests during the week we’ve there), but in the meantime, I’ve started putting together these DIY envelopes using patterned matte paper from Paper Source.


Besides that, we’ve got our navy bridesmaids dresses, Jeff’s outfit, groomsmen outfits and a few other plans through the resort. And I went for a dress fitting last week with Susan, my brilliant designer friend (and bridesmaid).

We’re looking forward to taking our time and enjoying a relaxing last few months of planning.


I was going through some of my old photos last night when I came across this one. At the time that I took it, I was just looking for an object to practice my photography on. I had no idea that this park bench would eventually hold so much meaning—be the very place where I would get engaged later that same year.


Etsy Vintage-Style Earrings

I’ve admired Etsy for a long time now (I think I can thank Jamie for turning me on to it), but it took me a solid year and a half to finally purchase something from the site.

I was definitely not disappointed! Many thanks to Amy from cayennepeppy for these beautiful vintage-style lemon earrings. I just couldn’t resist the urge to get out the macro lens and capture the exquisite detail on these bad boys. I love them— I’m totally sold on Etsy.




Last week ended up taking a very unexpected, bittersweet turn. I got a call from my mom on Monday night. My grandma Osmar had a stroke while walking on the beach that evening. She passed away on Tuesday morning.

I was back in Michigan by Tuesday evening, and by Thursday I was about ten hours north of Chicago in Michigan’s upper peninsula. It’s hard to express the range of emotions from the week—sadness and grief over losing my grandmother, relief and joy over being around so many loved ones and an uplifted spirit from reading the memoir that she had written about growing up poor during the Great Depression and then going on to raise eight children.

As sad and shocked as we all were, I think we all took comfort in the fact that she was on the beach of Lake Superior surrounded by such pure and peaceful beauty—a full circle back to her childhood on the great lake. As my uncle Ken said, “Sign me up for that exit.”

(She would always puts little smiles in the “O” when she gave us birthday or Christmas cards)


This next shot was completely unintentional—I was changing the settings on my camera, and I don’t think I even looked when I took it. But something about it strikes me. It’s such a candid and honest moment. My brother’s face really expresses the underlying feelings from the week.


The view from Mission Hill Cemetery. Again, the setting up there is just gorgeous. That’s Canada in the distance.


My cousin, Rose, and her beautiful new baby.



And, of course, I got to see my favorite little nephew, Henry (here he is playing with my cousin’s little girl, Addison). Baby with bear ears? Adorable.





Yes, we buried him up to his knees to see if he could stand. I think he decided he’d rather munch on rocks and dirt.


Henry and his gramps.



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