Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Personal Expression

The great thing about weddings is, it’s all about personal style. Take wedding dresses, for example. A bridal gown is the ultimate way to express yourself on your wedding day, and each year brides flock to California bridal salons to seek out that one gown that makes them feel stylish and special.

articles_altBut then there is the bride who wants her dress to be a more individual expression. We’ve heard of creative women sewing their own gowns out of the fabric from their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown, or brides letting friends or family members make their dresses for them. In my opinion, Kathryn Ashley’s endeavor beats them all. Not only did she design her own Victorian-inspired gown, she’s knitting it herself out of thin silk yarn. And in case she gets chilly at her late summer outdoor wedding, there is also a matching shrug in the works.

articles_altWhy knit a wedding dress? As Kathryn says, “I needed a really big, daunting project!”. For those who do not knit, let me assure you this is no small undertaking. Kathryn’s wedding will be in September, and yes, it may take her that long to finish. If she loses track of time, though, don’t worry: smart woman that she is, Kathryn completed the most important pieces of the gown first, including the bodice (loosely-based on a corset pattern from Lace Style). At the moment her creation could pass for a mini-dress. You can follow the progress of Kathryn’s wedding dress at the Ewetopia Fiber Shop blog.

How far would you go to express yourself on your wedding day?

Sharon Carl Posted by Sharon Carl on Mar 28, 2008.
Filed under Off BeatWedding Dresses

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Gift Guide, #6

Every Valentine’s day, my husband Jaya brings me truffles from The Candy House of Davis, a wonderful chocolatier in Davis, CA. Each box comes with a card, picturing each of the 30 different kinds of truffles they make by hand. By comparing the way the truffle looks to the picture, you can find out what flavor ganache is inside. Whether it be Irish Creame, Decadence, Grand Marnier or White Russian, each one is so beautiful I almost want to save them… but of course, I never do. Each one I taste is more delicious than the one before.

articles_altLocated at 901 Third Street in Davis, The Candy House has a small storefront… you’ll miss it if you don’t know it’s there. But it’s worth seeking out. They also do wedding favors, and chocolate molded cake-toppers. They even have bowls and baskets made out of chocolate! You can reach them at 530/758-3652, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

articles_altFor a wedding present, almost 4 years ago, my wonderful husband presented me with a Golden Oke from Suedy’s Koo-ki Sushi in San Jose. What does this have to do with chocolate, you ask? Believe it or not, this scrumptious looking sushi is made entirely out of chocolate. Sushi is one of our favorite foods, and receiving this incredible, hand-made chocolate version just blew me away. Needless to say, it didn’t last the night!

articles_altAnother amazing chocolatier that has recently come to my attention is Bittersweet, the chocolate café. Some friends of ours took us here for dessert when we were visiting in the Rockridge area of Oakland last weekend. It’s a tiny café; we had to sit outside on the sidewalk because all the inside seats were taken. The wall to the right is filled with chocolate candy bars: exotic, fair trade, organic and unusual. Behind the counter, there are chocolate drinks made to order, and pastries and desserts. Jaya ordered the chocolate Mousse Cake. He describes it as the perfect balance of chocolate, mousse and cake. The contrast in textures made the dessert very special. Our friend Jeff ordered The Bittersweet, a non-dairy chocolate drink. This is advertised as ‘a deeply chocolate experience’ and we all agreed.

Bittersweet is located at 5427 College Avenue in Oakland and also at 2123 Fillmore Street in San Francisco. They also have an online shop and a fun weblog.

At Here Comes The Guide, we’re not just experts on all things wedding: we’re also extremely knowledgeable chocolate connoisseurs. We’ve been tireless chocolate taste-testers for years—eating, judging, then trying just a little bit more to be absolutely sure of our decision. With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought it was time to impart some of our expertise to you for all your gift-giving needs. And if you need an extra box to give you a little moral support during the wedding planning process, we completely encourage that.

A Celtic Wedding in California

I have always been intrigued by the Irish culture, which is probably why I took up playing Irish fiddle. Naturally my interest carried over into my wedding style. When my husband and I got married, Greenbridge (a wonderful trio of Irish musicians) played for the ceremony, and we had an Irish music session at the reception (although I didn’t have time to play much!). I also decorated my dress with green beadwork. Had I known then about the stunning pieces crafted by Unique Celtic Jewelry, I would probably have ditched the flowers in my hair for a shiny silver circlet!

articles_altI’ve often attended Celtic Festivals, and it was at the KVMR Celtic Festival in Grass Valley where I first saw Unique Celtic Jewelry. I was impressed by the exquisite knot work and the imaginative execution of the silver collection. Though the designs are obviously Celtic, I had never seen anything quite like them! The earrings, necklaces and Celtic rings that are embellished with gemstones are even more striking. I let my husband know that any present from this online merchant will be well received. I’m crossing my fingers for our next anniversary!


Sharon Carl Posted by Sharon Carl on Jan 14, 2008.
Filed under Real WeddingsWedding Jewelry and Rings