Starvation, my wedding dress, and our wedding … in Paris, France

My wedding dress arrived two weeks ago, and I did it. It’s black.

A cocktail dress, with lace edges and sheer sleeves. A dress for the ages, I think.

It channels Audrey Hepburn in Paris in 1954. It’s a runway dress. It even swishes around my legs when I walk. 

I’d been feeling timid about traditions (and damn that, seriously). But my friend Angela said that if I could see my own face when I talked about this dress, I’d buy it already, and stop looking at white gowns with a scrunched-up nose. 


And so, black. Audrey Hepburn-esque black. Black that fits like a dream with vintage chandelier earrings and satin pointed-toe shoes.

In Paris.

In October.

To Tyson, who has hired an accordionist for the vows, and tries to make me happy every day.

We’re eloping — just us two.

I think there will even be fall leaves.

And yes, I know.

Meanwhile, and this is guaranteed to assuage any envy, I’ve been starving myself lunatic-style since July to look good in a wedding dress of any color. It’s been a stressful couple of years with lots of change, which means I ate M&Ms and made pie every day and never went to the gym.

Come June, I couldn’t zip up my skinny jeans. I couldn’t zip up my regular jeans. I was living in yoga pants and a knit dress that I am now  tempted to burn.


I’m doing that HCG diet, which I know is terrible and crazy and unhealthy, etcetera, but it works quickly (20 pounds and counting), and I have a deadline and a plane ticket to France.

Do you think they have s’mores in France?

Do you think there’s such a thing as a s’more wedding cake?

I better not know.


By |2013-08-20T00:51:31-07:00August 20th, 2013|Style|3 Comments

The Royal Martha Stewart family wedding, by David Stark

“Did you see the wedding?” my friend Mark Karp wanted to know.

“What wedding?” I said.

“You don’t know?” he said, and sent me the link.

Sooo . . . if you are Martha Stewart’s fabulous nephew, and you and your groom are willing to let auntie set her staff (and the famous event planner David Stark) on your wedding, fabulosity occurs.

I love the twine-wrapped bottles and urns. Must try this.

Prettiest way to serve caramel lady apples ever:

Helps when Martha’s your aunt, and throws your wedding on her lawn . . .I’m crazy for this greenery arch:

The grooms are musicians, so cue the sheet music guest book.

Gatsby, anyone?

The requisite Hamptons-fabulous tent:

Thanks, Mark, for the eye candy. I’m thinking twine-wrapped urns when you decorate for the Derby party next year!

By |2011-08-16T16:09:11-07:00August 16th, 2011|Style|1 Comment

Berkley’s wedding, part two: the bash

This is what happens when an interior designer gets married. This is also what happens when said interior designer has the party inside an art museum. Below, part two of Berkley Vallone’s oh-my wedding to Ken Claflin at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Takeaway lessons:  centerpieces, tablecloths and chairs should not all be the same. Sequin tablecloths must be procured immediately. “Shades of gray” is a fine answer for “what are your colors.” Flowers should hang from the ceiling. And cakes should be allowed to wear all the jewelry they want.

(Also: I need a better camera.)


Head table:

Close-up of the chandeliers:

For the “lounge area,” Berkley brought in her own furniture. This is genius.

It helps, you know, to have sophisticated art in the background. This has long been one of my favorite pieces at the museum. (Called “Sphere Lit from the Top“, by Sol Lewitt.)

Illuminated vases

There was bling for the napkins:

Bling for the bride (I do, indeed):

Even bling for the cake:

(Berkley, tell us where you found that enormous black brooch. I want one.)

And, of course, there was love.

Thank you Berkley, for sharing your love story.

P.S. And look who’s here: Cash James Claflin, born Jan. 21. Isn’t he sweet? And wait ’til Berkley lets me show you his nursery . . .

By |2011-01-26T14:45:13-07:00January 26th, 2011|Parties|1 Comment

Berkley Vallone and Ken Clafin get married… and fabulously.

Arizona’s own decorator of doom, Ms. Berkley Vallone, married Ken Claflin in November at the Phoenix Art Museum, and I was on hand to document the gorgeous parade. And mon dieu, was it ever. We’re talking life-size peacocks created out of flowers. Berkley has graciously agreed to let me share:

Sweet flower girls in chic black gloves:

The bride and her parents — that dress! It floated, my friends — positively ethereal.

How bridesmaids should be done:

The canopy was made of ribbons and during the ceremony, they danced in the wind. Ken and Berkley met on an airplane.

And just before the recessional . . . a band reenacted that great scene from Love Actually, popping up out of the audience to sing “All you need is love.” The trumpeteer was right behind me.

After, there were cocktails in the lobby.

Berkley brought in gorgeou’ “lounge” furniture . . . that any of us would love to have at home.

Even the instruments were pretty.

Oh-so-stylish guests including Jacquie Dorrance in a covet-worthy pink fur and the illustrious Oscar De Las Salas.

My favorite detail: the escort cards were presented on live models, who wore structured hoop skirts and flower-covered bodysuits . . . even white feather eyelashes.


And tomorrow I’ll show you the ballroom, which featured sequin-covered tablecloths. (And just wait ’til you see what Berkley put on her cake.)

Berkley’s months (and months and months) of planning were assisted by Heather Crabtree at Outstanding Occasions. Berkley is also set to have a baby boy tomorrow — which means today is going to be LONG — so leave her a comment below to distract her. Congratulations, Berkley and Ken!

By |2011-01-20T14:49:43-07:00January 20th, 2011|Parties|0 Comments


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