Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Trashy Chic

We’ve all heard of toilet paper wedding dresses, but what about dresses made of trash?

My 7-year-old niece Anya turned trash into fashion for a recent school project—a perfect assignment for a self-proclaimed fashion hound who changes her clothes 4 times a day! Starting with some netting and a bow from her mother’s old wedding dress, Anya took this outfit to the next level by making plastic grocery bag flowers for the bodice, hem and crown. The petite designer also gave a nod to the colorful wedding gown trend, adding a brightly painted elastic belt and finishing off the look with a crushed soda can-top belt buckle.

What are you going to do with your wedding dress when the day is done? Mine is still just hanging in my closet. Hmmm, I wonder if plastic bags would bring it back in style?

My niece, Anya

Allison Posted by Allison on Dec 26, 2008.
Filed under FashionOff BeatWedding Dresses

Holiday Gift Ideas

In my humble opinion, some of the best holiday presents don’t require wrapping paper. Experiences—especially those that fall under the category of sinful and relaxing—make thoughtful gifts that never gather dust. Here are a few holiday gift ideas, for you or someone you love:

  • Sandalwood Spa inside the Monarch Club at TrilogyStart the season off right by making an appointmentat Central California’s Sandalwood Spa inside the The Monarch Club at Trilogy for an indulgent spa package that includes a moisturizing pumpkin enzyme facial, herbal spice pedicure, and warming therapeutic massage.
  • If you’re having a hard time working out how you’ll gather your holiday guests around your dining room table, invite them to join you for a memorable holiday get-together on Shelter Island in San Diego Bay instead. Kona Kai Resort and SpaKona Kai Resort and Spa has a fabulous deal for your holiday party or event: 20% off menu pricing. 
  • Then, if all that holiday partying has you feeling a little frazzled, why not ring in the New Year with a Chardonnay sugar scrub or cranberry-infused massage at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa in my new favorite wine region, Paso Robles. Pure bliss, without the morning hangover!

Allison Posted by Allison on Dec 19, 2008.
Filed under Honeymoons and TravelLocationsSpas and PamperingStuff We Love

My First Legal Gay Wedding

I had the privilege of attending my first legal gay wedding on September 20, 2008 for my friends Dan Joraanstad & Bob Hermann. Since this was a same-sex wedding, I’d been especially curious about how my friends’ marriage ceremony would play out at the rather traditional Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. I was delighted to see that the adorable (female) pastor at the church wholeheartedly blesses these unions.

Dan & Bob's Wedding at the Old First Presbyterian ChurchThroughout this charming and touching service, there was much laughter and wild applause from the gay contingent as well as us straight folk upon announcing the official union. Surrounded by the inspired Rose window architecture, the music from dual pipe organs and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (Dan is a singer in the chorus), I felt tears of joy for this momentous occasion streaking down my face. Looking around, I discovered that almost the entire congregation was moved to tears—or maybe it was relief at the fact that this couple could finally express love openly. This particular church believes that opening oneself to the creativity of music or artistic inspiration leads one to the divine. I love that concept.

Whatever it was that stirred my soul that day led me to think about societies that disallow some people to fully express that which is most vital to life: love. What if I couldn’t publicly express my love for my husband?

Thanks to Mark Rogers Photography for this darling photo, and to Dan and Bob for allowing me to share this most personal experience with our readers. You inspire us.

Allison Posted by Allison on Nov 03, 2008.
Filed under CeremonyReal Weddings