Our Gatsby Wedding Dance – Rumba, Lindy Hop, and East Coast Swing

Choreographed by Gigi Burton in Tucson, Arizona. Songs: “Adorn You” by Miguel and “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae. Music arranged by the best man, Chris. Video recorded and edited by Lauryn Ann from Lauryn Ann Photography.

Scottie and I decided we wanted to have a very memorable first dance. We hired the best choreographer in Tucson, Arizona, Gigi Burton, and began the adventure of couple dancing for the first time. We wanted something romantic and Gatsby 20s. We decided on using two different songs – both modern and amazing songs but had a classic vibe. “Adorn You” by Miguel has that sexy feel that was perfect for the rumba and “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae has that jazz/swing feel that was perfect for the Lindy Hop and Swing. Our amazing best man Chris put the music together and even slowed down the Janelle Monae song because it was unnaturally fast for us to dance to!

The actual dance classes: They felt like couples therapy! We fought, overcame obstacles, and encouraged each other. It was so fun having a goal to work towards together — making time to take lessons and practice provided us with time we would not have made for each other.  In total, we took about 8 hours of dance lessons and spent countless hours practicing. It was totally worth it to surprise all of our guests with this first dance! Our friends and family had no idea we were plotting a secret dance. Just a heads up: my mom is the the very loud one in the video — clearly she was super shocked by our first dance.

For anyone considering a choreographed dance for their own First Dance, here is my advice… DO IT!

  • We loved the time we spent together. Like, loved it.
  • It was fun learning how to dancing together. I had taken some classes in college, but never really became “good” at it. Scott was totally a dance virgin. We got to learn a new, super hard, skill together. Which brings me to…
  • Don’t give up when you realize it is fucking hard to dance (yes, it looks so easy on tv – it is so much harder to dance in a box than I ever imagined it was). We really almost quit after the first class because we assumed we would have it nailed in 2 classes and came to the realization this was not going to be easy. It got easier and easier with each class and every time we practiced.
  • Give yourself ample time to enjoy the whole dance aspect of the wedding planning. We learned our dance in less than 2 months and it was pretty stressful at times. I would give at least 3 months to have fun with it.
  • It is terrifying to dance for the first time in your wedding clothes. We didn’t know how the lifts would work with all the beading in my dress and if my dress was going to be slippery. Practice BEFORE you bust it out in front of everyone – one of my friends pulled over in a parking lot after they were married to practice their wedding dance. We did a quick practice session when we were taking couples pictures.
  • You will be listening to your dance song(s) over and over again – make sure you wont grow sick of the music. I still am not sick of our songs – but our teacher Gigi said she had one couple who decided 2 weeks before their wedding they hated the song they chose and she had to re-choreograph moves to a new song.
  • It is a bit expensive, but if you search around and find a choreographer who teaches privately and not out of a studio it is much cheaper. Gigi found various studios we could practice in (dance studios, yoga studios, and she even offered to come to our home). We would pay for the studio rental, about $25 an hour, and then pay her fee as well. It was far less expensive than the studios were charging.

I hope you enjoy the video! We will forever cherish this memory and may even continue dancing as a “date night.” I totally fell in love with Swing Dancing! It helps Scottie is very strong and I just get to be picked up.

Photos by Gaby J. Photography

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love, Sarah


Sneak Peak at Wedding Photos


Thank You Card design, Inspired Lines: White, from Wedding Paper Divas

Consider this the wedding photo nip-slip.

Scott and I finally had a few hours to sit together and look at our 500+ wedding pictures from Gaby J. Photography (located in Las Vegas). We are so happy with our pictures! If you don’t already know, we had a very intimate Great Gatsby themed wedding in Las Vegas, NV and it was seriously the best wedding I could have ever asked for. Looking at the pictures made me want to do it all over again!

Get ready to be flooded with wedding-centric posts. I have been waiting for our fabulous photos before I share all of our DIYs, non-DIYs, book/Great Gatsby inspired design choices, and wedding lessons learned. Don’t worry, I will try to spread it out as I know not everyone who subscribes gives a flying fuck about my wedding!

love, Sarah

PS: Sorry to blow the thank you card surprise my wonderful friends! Just act surprised when you get it in the mail…

DIY Honeymoon Postcard Keepsake Book

20131020-214101.jpgPostcard Image Source from Etsy Shop Sherdellah.

For our honeymoon we have the pleasure of partaking in the Cloud 9 Adventures organized trip called Mayan Holidaze in Cancun, Mexico. It is amazing because my fiancée loves all the bands and djs [like the Disco Biscuits], I get to eat and drink unlimited amounts, and – most importantly – I get to finally pay my fiancée back for THE INFAMOUS big drunken mess of 2007. At this time in my life I was still figuring out that I can’t drink an obscene amount of alcohol [that is what college is for, right?]. I was visiting him when he lived in NY and he bought us tickets to one of his favorite bands Sound Tribe Sector 9. As soon as we got there I drank way to much and I immediately went missing. He spent the night looking for me and found me in the women’s bathroom crying my eyes out for no other reason than I was drunk. It was one of those rare blackout nights I am not proud of. He missed the entire concert and, as fate would have it, that band will be playing on our honeymoon! Sometimes life just works out.

Back to the adorable honeymoon keepsake… While on your honeymoon, mail yourself a postcard each day with inside jokes and memories from your honeymoon. Then you bind it together when you come home. Yes, completely freaking adorable.

Two different websites have separate techniques, and great tutorials, on how to make this a reality.

Design Sponge shares how to do Japanese Stab Binding. This technique allows you to use papers of different weights and styles. It uses a binding needle and thread to bind pages together.

The other contender is Dream Green DIY using only colorful washi tape. You use the super cute fabric tape to bind together the postcards. It seems so simple with endless creative possibilities and washi tape as the sole item to purchase. Score!

Personally, I think I will try to do the stab binding as I have some knowledge with sewing and it looks a little more stable and durable. The idea is kind of perfect for any vacation, but since our honeymoon is in less than 2 months, it is a the best memento I can ask for.

love, Sarah

DIY Vintage Inspired Printable Bookplates

VIntage Bookplate Collage

I have been trying to find the perfect bookplate to accompany a favor at our wedding. I have found some amazing bookplates but cannot decide what to do! While I go crazy with bookplates, why don’t you all take a look and see if anything strikes you!

Incase you don’t know what a bookplate is, shame on you. No, my goal is not to scold my readers but a bookplate is simply a label you put on all your books in your personal library. So when friends borrow your books, you can say, “Hey bitch. It has a bookplate on it with my name. Don’t pretend you thought you bought the book.” As you can see, I don’t like loaning out my books. I am a stingy librarian!

Free Bookplate PrintablesBOOKPLATE-DOWNLOAD

Besotted Natural History Bookplate

Besotted Brand Free Bookplates

Besotted Vintage Bookplate

B9Objects Free Bookplates

Benign Objects Vintage Bookplate


Lunagirl Images Vintage Labels


Design Sponge Made with Love Bookplate

Just to add a few other options that I love [but I have to pay for], check out this Etst store Oiseaux.  I am also considering buying these from Zazzle because they are very art deco. Do you think some of the free ones are better than this? Please share your opinion! I am stuck.

love, Sarah

Deco Wedding Invitations

wedding invite + art deco

Here is a peak at our wedding invitations! They are from the online retailer Paper Wedding Divas called Deco Dreams. I added the glitter on the main invitation for a little gitz and glam to reflect our Gatsby theme.  Also, note the Gatsby quote on the back of the RSVP card!

I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby

Thank you to my great friend, and skilled photographer, Lauryn Ann for the surprise photograph! Check out her work here.

love, Sarah

How NOT to Buy a Wedding Dress

shop dresses store

Shortcut to this post is: Buy your wedding dress in the store, NOT ONLINE.

I am totally obsessed with BHLDN. If you haven’t looked at this wedding dress store, you are missing out on some awesome eye candy. This dress porn is everything I love: vintage, whimsey, unique, and a huge variety. So, I fell in love with a dress. As you know from this post Part 1 and Part 2, our wedding is themed Great Gatsby. I found a dress called Cyprium Gown and felt the look would totally complement my theme. It was on sale for $600 [originally $1000] and was only running large sizes. I talked to the sales lady, who was super nice, and she suggested I order a size 8 and get it altered. Why the hell not? Don’t all wedding dresses have to get altered anyways? My mom and I went on a limb and just did it! We anxiously waited for it to arrive a week later.


Cyprium Dress from BHLDN

The packaging was beautiful, the dress bag was so well made, and then we got to the dress. It looked a lot different than online, but was definitely pretty. I took it to our guest bedroom while my fiance and dad waited.


The beautiful packaging from BHLDN.


BHLDN Dress Bag.

It just looked so blah on me. It was huge (as expected) but I didn’t get that “feeling” that you are suppose to get when you try on your wedding dress. As you can see from the pictures, trying on a dress in your own house just doesn’t feel very special. I didn’t have a huge mirror to examine the dress and didn’t have the proper tools to fit it to my body. My mom and I decided we would go dress shopping the next day to make sure this was the one. Needless to say, I found my dress that day and promptly returned the online dress. My new dress is very 20’s, was the same price as the online sales dress, and made me cry. Isn’t that how it is suppose to be? If I learned anything from Say Yes To The Dress, Randy likes a crier!


Cyprium Dress BHLDN on Front View

BHLDN side of dress

Cyprium Dress BHLDN – size 8 is way too big

The moral of the story is: go dress shopping in a store. There is something very ritualistic about this experience that trying on your wedding dress in your home bathroom doesn’t offer. You have a bridal assistant oh-ing and aw-ing over you, the dress is pinned properly to you, guests in the store commenting on how beautiful it looks, and you get to be a bride. If there is anything I have learned through this wedding experience it is that you should embrace the bride moments. You only get to be a bride once and you will be pampering all your friends when they are brides so … enjoy it! Just don’t be an awful bitch.

love, Sarah

How To: “We Are Getting Married” Photo Booth


We opted out of the engagement photos for a fun photo booth wedding announcement. Nothing against engagement photos, but I just could not see us looking longingly into each other eyes while holding little signs that say, “I DO.” I am sure our wedding day will have enough corniness for our lifetime together. We love having fun and being ridiculous, so this fit us as a couple much better. Maybe this could be a fun alternative for some of you? Or just plain motivation to take some fun photo booth pictures!


For the Great Gatsby theme – Download Sea Side PDF Here: MarriedSeaSide

Married Sea Side

For the alternative types – Download Quiet Scream PDF here: MarriedQuietScream

Married Quiet Scream

For the artistic types – Download Sketch Rockwell PDF Here: MarriedSketchRockwell

Married Rockwell

For the architects out there – Download Caitlyn PDF here: MarriedCaitlyn

Married Caitlin


  • Thick stock paper to print the signs on or poster board.
  • Signs! Make your own or use one of my templates above.
  • If you go the poster board look, you will need double sided tape to secure the signs on the poster board.
  • Props – we used glasses, sunglasses, and hats.
  • About $10-$15 to blow.
  • Patience while you find a photo booth that works!


  1. Locate a photo booth. We knew of one at an old fashion diner from my childhood. We drove 30 minutes, prepped with our props, walked up to the booth and … it was out of order. UGH! In the end, we tried 4 different places to locate a photo booth. We really wanted to use an old fashioned, film only photo booth. In the end we ended up in a Mall photo booth that has themes like “BFF” and “Friends with Benefits.” The one neat thing about this is the video that came along with it! Not sure if I will post it here, it’s a total mess but a fun way to document a wedding prep memory. Gross thing to note, when we walked up to the photo booth there was a teenage couple making out in it. Oh, the mall.
  2. Be prepared to do several photo shoots. It was so fun doing the pictures and then cracking up at the stupid [and ugly] faces that were made. We did three different photo shoots, and the first one we didn’t realize it was taking a picture. Check out the blooper reel at the end.
  3. Have fun! Enough said.
  4. Scan and edit the photo strip. The photo booth we went to was a very social media and digital image friendly booth, but we still used the photos and made a collage of the best by cutting and scanning.
  5. Put on your wedding website or email out to friends the digital versions. We are actually giving our parents one of the strips and keeping the other for ourselves.



Bloopers from our first go at the photo booth.

I hope you enjoyed this engagement picture alternative for those unconventional couples like us!

love, Sarah

Great Gatsby Themed Wedding Inspiration (PART 2)

…Continuing the Great Gatsby Inspiration for our wedding day [see part 1 here].


??????????????????????????????????My dress is a Sue Wong. Not sharing which one yet! Image source.


Some more Sue Wongs. They are inexpensive (about $600-$800) and perfect for a 20’s theme! Image source unknown.

Winter weddings like ours can incorporate fur! How very vintage. Image source.



Beautiful engagement ring! Worth getting an old camera for this photo opt. Image from First Class Wedding.


Feather and parchment roses make the perfect bouquet to last a lifetime! Etsy store La Plume Ethere for $100.

To die for bridal fascinator with vintage brooches and ranunculus flowers. Etsy store La Plume Ethere for $280.

Ivory White Peacock Feather Fascinator, Head Piece, Pearl, Champagne. Swarovski Crystal, As Seen In California Wedding Day Spring 2013

Feather Ivory White Peacock Feather Fascinator. Etsy store Batcakes Couture for $135.

Swan Lake 1920s Style Crystal and Chain Deco/Bridal Headpiece-The Great Gatsby-Art Deco Headpiece-Vintage Bride Wedding

Bridal headband by the Etsy store Prancing Fox for $128. I think the whole look, braid and all, is amazing.

Bridesmaid Mini Hat, Bridesmaid Fascinator, Flower Bridal Hair Piece, Wedding Headpiece, Bridal Fascinator, Ships in 1 Month

For the bridesmaids! A great, and time appropriate, accessory. Etsy store La Boheme for $38.

thomaslane earringsThese earrings, with the emerald cut, are just perfect for a 20s wedding. Maybe in blue? I need something blue still. From Thomas Lane.



Fits into my theme, art deco nails. Image source unknown.


Nude and gold nails, perfect for a Gatsby wedding. Image source unknown.


If I was feeling brave, a possible DIY or bridemaid nails? Image source unknown.



So many options! I think a few of these are DIY. Image source unknown.

Vintage Formal Updo

1920’s hair. So many beautiful details! Image source.

Since it is a winter wedding, I think I can rock the hair down. Just love this look. Soft, yet vintage. Image Source.

The fingerwave … another classic wedding hairdo. Image from Latest Hairstyles.


A little Leo is always a good thing! I love the bowtie (with the white trim). Image source.

The black suit is the actual suit my man is renting from Men’s Warehouse. The complete suit is a $240 rental. Image source from InStyle.


Amazing invitations from the store Etsy store Umama.

Cityscape Deco Invitation with Pocket

Custom art deco invitations. The details and font are amazing. From the Etsy store Purple Sapphire Design, $12 per invite set.

b27ea8f7cd54708d79a8a933868fdec4The invites we bought! There was a minimum of 10 invites, and we got 15 invites and enclosure cards, plus shipping, for $100. From Paper Wedding Divas.

Follow me on Pinterest!

love, Sarah

Great Gatsby Themed Wedding Inspiration (Part 1)

Since we are having a Las Vegas wedding, a theme felt appropriate! We thought about the traditional Elvis themed wedding, I fought for a Harry potter themed wedding like this one, but in the end we happily agreed on the theme Great Gatsby – Roaring 20’s. This is a pretty trendy wedding theme at the moment and you can see why. The style is timeless, the book is making a resurgence with the release of the movie, and the fashion is to die for.

I have picked out my favorite Great Gatsby inspirations to share with you. Note: this is a two-part post because I just have too much inspiration to share! See Part 2 here.


Ashley-House-Shoot-Love-NotesA typewriter as a guest book [or simply a fun prop]. One Fab Day image source.

original_little-vintage-hearts-framed-pictureThis could easily be a DIY. Idea from Notonthehighstreet.com.

Guest book alternative Custom flowers and Birds shabby vintage  Large

From the Etsy store 0 Names Left, I plan to make a guest book from an actual book! Another DIY.


100% doing Polaroid guest book. Should be fun for us and the guests.  Image source.



Personal Gatsby souvenir for favors? Done. Image source.

276056652128589502_nwJTYF5b_cOn each guests’ seat, a little personal champagne! Or right after the ceremony each guest can pop the cork! Image source.

retro-wedding-ideas-inspiration-grooms-bow-ties-signature-wedding-reception-drinks_0.originalLove the idea of giving each male guest a bow-tie! Image from One Wed.


DIY Gatsby boxes for favors! Link to directions, right here. I think I am going to put confetti in these boxes for below…

KATE-SPADE-TWIRL-DAY-1-4706-500x333 Gold confetti, very Gatsby. Image source unknown.


https://i0.wp.com/images.lover.ly/12303_mike_larson_37_mlp_8840_1353167434_16.jpgI love this look for the ceremony and the fabric on the ground. Image source.

Photo by Allan ZepedaThe gold and white flowers! I think this would look gorgeous for a ceremony. Image from Engage!13.



This table cloth is decadent. Those gold accents and feathers really make the theme. Image source from One Wed.

Gatsby dinner

Gatsby folding screen? A possible DIY. Image source.

Love the black wine glassesI love the idea of black wine glasses. Image from Martha Stewart Weddings.

wedins_styleunveiled_amore_greatgatsby_partii_006Get a champagne fountain going with “Time to Drink Champagne and Dance on the Table.” Image Source.

7fb0472d18991b266d13053c2fbaa12aThat little booklet is a menu! Another easy DIY, and fitting with the literary theme. Image source unknown.


Screen-shot-2013-05-29-at-1.45.53-PMA beautiful art deco cake. Image source a first class wedding.

mwd104972_fall09_decocake_045comp_hd Art Deco white on white. Image source Martha Stewart Weddings.

My favorite cake by far. Image source.

Follow me on Pinterest!

love, Sarah

Simplify your Wedding with a Little Notebook


As some of you know, I am planning a wedding! I am continuing my love for old school planners and notebooks with another post about how to keep organized … but with a wedding as the central topic.

If you, or anyone you know, has ever planned a wedding you know how overwhelming all the checklists out in the World Wide Web can feel! I seriously printed one from The Knot and 13 pages later called my fiance and said “OMG Scott, we are so behind on planning! How will we ever do this? We have to catch up! I can’t breath.” To which he replied, “Calm down crazy. We are planning a wedding for about 15 people. We don’t need to do everything it says.” Oh, how wise he is. Yet, when you begin to plan a wedding your mind just goes crazy and you start to think of every possible thing, all the shit that could hit the fan.

How I have managed to keep sane [stressing the word managed because I cannot promise that it will continue to be a true statement] is my mini wedding notebook. Here are the steps to create/use a self made wedding notebook and spend about $1.99 rather than $25 on a book from Barnes and Noble full with stuff you really don’t give a damn about.

  1. Print up various “Wedding Checklists” from online resources. My favorites are from The Knot [link here] and Offbeat Bride [link here].
  2. Take your list(s) and start actually going through them, striking through things that you don’t need/want/already have figured out.
  3. Buy a little notebook from Target like mine. This was in the stationary section for only $1.99.
  4. Break the notebook into different sections by month, leaving plenty of pages in between to add tasks and ideas.
  5. Look at your print out list(s) and start hand writing your tasks by month (i.e. in August I need to order invites. In September I need to finalize ceremony wedding songs). You can add your own as you think of them – this is what the extra pages are for! See image 5 for an example.
  6. After you have given yourself a plan for a few months, turn to the end of your notebook.  Here I created an area where I can work out details, write down confirmation numbers, doodle if needed. See image 6.
  7. Keep it up to date a check off tasks as they are completed!
Wedding Notebook Example

Examples of how my wedding notebook looks – Messy but mine!

Another reason why this is such a great tool for me is because I need to be reminded to enjoy the ride and not “blow my load too early and all over the place…” as my friend L so delicately put it. I tend to over do things, so this has allowed me to slowly plan and enjoy the planning process. Whenever I get too ahead of myself, I just imagine sperm all over the ceiling and think, “No. That will not be me.”

love, Sarah