Do you remember the movie Legend? It's romantic, it's fantastical, and it's even a little scary... all great components to inspire a styled shoot! Tif from Hot Metal Studio really wanted to feature unicorns, but they were already booked that day so their lovely cousins modeled for us instead.

We shot bright and early in the morning at the truly stunning Shady Elms Farm, and I was really blown away by how lovely it was! If you haven't been there, it's truly worth the trip. We had a fantastic team of contributors to this shoot, here:

    * Elizabeth Dye Lewisia from Glitter & Grit, modeled by Michelle Bell
    * Photography by Hot Metal Studio
    * Hair & makeup by Kiss and Makeup
    * Styling by Alexis Maddox of {SHE}
    * Florals by Posy
Stationary by Jack + Bean
    * Cake by Sugar 'n Spires
    * Linens by Lendable Linens

All photos below are courtesy of Hot Metal Studio.
I've been shouting it from the rooftops, so I'm sure you know by now that this last weekend marked my one-year anniversary. Done with the sappy gratitude posts, I thought I'd put together this little infographic to share some of the fun facts about Glitter & Grit brides in the first year. Enjoy!!
I'm very honored to present to you the socially conscious pop-up bridal shop, Wed Altered, at Glitter & Grit April 4th & 5th, and at the I Made It! Hitchburgh event on Sunday, April 6th! Offering ethical and eco-friendly wedding dresses, veils, accessories and more, Wed Altered is the perfect place to start planning for your socially conscious, green, offbeat, alternative, or all around one-of-a-kind wedding.
Let me tell you a little more about the collections that will be available that weekend:

Dame Couture offers
a collection of vintage-inspired dresses, cut and sewn in Chicago, often using re-purposed vintage fabrics and trims and natural fibers. Looking for a 50's silhouette and lace? You'll love these designs!
Peace Love Bling sources their designs from women business owners, artists, and disadvantaged women who have fled Tibet and Western China to find education and safety for their children.Ooffering handcrafted, genuine jewelry that is fairly traded at affordable prices, Peace Love Bling is a great place to find accessories for yourself and your bridesmaids.
The Rania Hatoum Collection represents sophistication and modernity in each gown with an understanding that every woman wants to look and feel beautiful on her wedding day. Rania reveals her culture, background and everyday influences as she strives to make fashion that is timeless and elegant. Only the finest fabrics, lace and embellishments go into each gown Rania designs, truly creating one-of-a-kind pieces.
Behind every Celia Grace wedding dress is a story as beautiful as the dress itself: handmade eco silks, a Fair Trade women’s sewing group, and a water filter donated to a family in need.  Celia Grace wedding gowns are simply gorgeous, flattering, and comfortable and fun to wear thanks to light-as-air silk heirloom silks and vintage-inspired lace.  Each dress is made for the bride with great care and exquisite craftsmanship. Celia Grace provides its seamstresses with safe, fair, and empowering work that gives the women dignity, respect, skills, and self confidence so that they can better themselves, their families, and their communities.
Solitary Pearl dresses are pretty, flattering, and practical enough that you can enjoy your day. Almost every dress is 100% silk, the kind of silk you can just look at and feel it’s richness and beauty. Most of the silk used by Solitary Pearl to make wedding dresses is hand-woven using natural processes at a Fair Trade certified company in Cambodia. They support the women in their community and do absolutely beautiful work. The silks that aren’t handwoven come from facilities their suppliers checks to make sure the artists are treated fairly. With the exception of a very small amount of laces, they work with all natural fabrics. All Solitary Pearl fabric waste is given to local artists at no cost. It helps them grow, and it helps the designer's goal to be environmentally conscious.
A favorite amongst fashion-forward brides, Veronica Shaeffer has a reputation for classic, feminine gowns with thoughtful, unexpected details. Veronica's bridal gowns and accessories  speak to a bygone era of true femininity and luxury.  Only the finest fabrics are used and each piece is the utmost in quality and detailing, made in the US. I can't wait to see her 1960's-inspired 2014 collection while it's here!
veronica sheaffer
photo from Trendy Bride Magazine; Michelle Butler photographer
Janay A Handmade and Lindee Daniel are already a part of the earth-friendly offerings at Glitter & Grit; Janay A creates handmade wedding gowns for eco-chic, unique brides.  Designer Janay Andrews is passionate about sustainability, and merges this with a love for clean, focused designs to create her signature gowns and custom dresses for brides across the continent.
Lindee Daniel's eco-luxury collection evokes elegance with an edge, weaving together exquisite sustainable fabrics and endless details, while giving back, helping at-risk youth.  Her gowns are created by hand in Los Angeles, using exquisite and exclusive wild and peace (cruelty-free) silks, organic cottons, and other natural fabrics. Colors are either from the natural color of the fiber, or by a natural dyeing process.
lindee daniel - photo by cara rufenacht
photo by Cara Rufenacht Photography
If ethical and earth-friendly are on your wedding must-have list, I hope you'll take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to experience all of these amazing collections - and don't forget to schedule an appointment!
i never really understood the whole wedding video thing. until i met megan from pictory productions.

one look at her work, and i instantly felt my first wedding regret: i didn't have anything capturing all of those moments in between photos, the action that we missed, or our besties doing a reading from calvin & hobbes, to the surprised enjoyment of our guests. i only have my foggy memories of the kind blessing our bartender/officiant gave us, my father-in-law's teary toast, and i've only heard about the fun that happened away from the tables and dance floor.

if you've ever thought that you might like a videographer for your wedding, you should consider pictory productions.

if you haven't? you should DEFINITELY consider pictory productions.

read on for more from megan:
Megan of Pictory Productions, by Chellise Michael Photography
when did you enter the wedding industry?
-Knowing zilch about the wedding industry, I shot my first wedding for a friend in the fall of 2011. Within six months, I made Pictory a full-fledged company.

what was your most glittering moment in your business?
-Surviving my first year in business. I went from 2 weddings in 2011 to 20 in 2012. It was trial by fire, completely chaotic for a newbie and I loved every minute of it.

what's your grit, or your specialty?
-I specialize in creating 5-minute highlights of the entire wedding day. They're candid, intimate and upbeat. They're like pocket-sized dance parties that you carry around with you and want to show random strangers while you wait in line for coffee.

what is your favorite part of what you do?
-Being able to provide a memory that you'll love for a lifetime. A former bride once sent me a video of her baby watching their highlight. His eyes lit up and he was dancing to the music. That's what it's all about.
please share a most memorable moment in your adventures in the industry.-There's no one single moment that stands out. Most awkward moments include me watching the camera and not my surroundings which cause me to fall down into things like stairwells, groundhog holes and coy ponds. However, my favorite moments are always near the end of the reception when the last few songs are played. There's boundless energy and affection in those moments that I feel honored to be a part of.

please describe your ideal client, i.e. who will love you?
-My couples are fun and relaxed. They don't have a panic attack or start ranting if the limo driver is late or if their dress gets dirty. They're more concerned about being with each other and their loved ones than how the table settings are arranged.

gritty details:
established: Spring of 2012
price range: $1,950 - $2,650
inclusions or options: 5-Minute Highlight, 30-Minute Film and Raw Footage
location: Pittsburgh, PA / Earth
facebook: Pictory Productions
vimeo: Pictory Productions
elizabeth came to glitter & grit with a vision of a glamorous rock & roll bride swimming in her head. we brought that vision to life with the meticulously beaded mary by nicole miller, a faux fur stole by norma ishak (both available at glitter & grit!), and drop-dead flowers by mt. lebanon floral (a glitter & grit star vendor). the end result is somehow both edgy and dreamy; a perfect combination. thank you, elizabeth, for being so sweet and easy to work with!
i'll give you two guesses what inspired this post. and you shouldn't need both of them!

it's been COLD. we all know that. inspired by frosted windows, weird super-cold dry snow, and the lindsay by nicole miller (available at glitter & grit), here's a little icy "white wedding" etsy collection. enjoy! and stay warm...
Lindsay by Nicole Miller from Glitter & Grit, photo by Nicole Jarock
lindsay by nicole miller, captured by nicole jarock
frosty little bridesmaids dresses by ouma
back drop necklace by chrysanth * lace robe by tessa kim * head wreath by the yellow peony
cake topper by oh dier living
distressed white mason jars by the roche shop * assorted silver straws by the pretty party shoppe
i'm often asked how i came up with the name for my store. the short answer is: a long brainstorming session with my sister.  this session occurred on her facebook wall, so there's actually a record of this insane event (well, most of it).

want a very real peek into the minds of two loopy gals, drunk on possibility? keep reading.

{a few notes first: the beginning of this conversation is lost in space, but the full explanation on my about page can give you good enough background. also, i'm leaving all typos, swearing, and music, film, and book references as they are. oh - and? this is really long. sorry, kids.}
photo by nicole jarock
click through to continue:

so. you know how i keep talking about that first styled shoot that i did? i'm finally sharing some of the images from that amazing collaboration! this shoot took place at iron eden, which was a truly magical location and an absolutely perfect backdrop for glitter & grit's introduction to the world.

one last time, i'd like to thank everyone involved: veronica varos photography, - and her assistant mandy fierens, mt. lebanon floral, bliss events, ltd., the drop-dead models, lyra and aubrey, iron eden for the use of their space, ceaser's designs for the stunning jewelry, rania harris for the cake, lendable linens, ads lighting, and more than words fine papers...

and now for the eye candy!! i'll just let the photos speak for themselves....
{all images courtesy of veronica varos, of course!}
there's MORE after the break!

one of the most-asked questions at glitter & grit is where to find bridesmaids dresses that aren't a nightmare of crappy fabric or provided with terrible customer service... a lot of people end up at david's for their bridesmaids because it makes things easy when your ladies are spread out all over the country. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. seriously. there ARE other options! since i have no immediate plans for offering bridesmaids dresses in my little shop, i thought i might send you in the right direction.

first up is bella bridesmaid. with over 40 locations around the country - and growing - you can easily choose dresses for your friends to check out in their area. bella bridesmaid was created to fill the overwhelming need for chic, stylish, and wearable bridesmaids dresses. with collections including joanna august, jenny yoo, and ivy & aster, your 'maids will be able to select a beautiful, modern dress to wear as they stand beside you on your big day. what i really love is that this is a store catering specifically to your bridal party, so you won't be sifting through prom dresses to find more appropriate options. visit bridget at pittsburgh's location to check out the selection!

photo via
next, i want to share something truly awesome with you. let's all just admit that pretty much no matter how much you want your friends to find something that they're so comfortable with, they'll actually wear it again, it's pretty rare that, in fact, happens. i'm not saying never-ever, but most of us love the excuse to buy something new to wear to each event we attend! {guilty. so very, very guilty.} so let's be real and give your bridesmaids a change to borrow their dresses for your wedding. what!?! little borrowed dress is awesomesauce. browse their online collection and email, tweet or pin your favorites to get your party’s opinion.  bonus: order a free fabric swatch to ensure a perfect color match! double-whammy-bonus: they'll include a second size with every rental - free of charge, just in case!
photo via little borrow dress
and lastly? free-for-all's are pretty damn good. if you truly want your ladies to wear their dresses again, get rid of the label. shop out of the box. it totally works... i asked my gals to select something that was in one of the colors that we were using to decorate; and left the rest up to them. and they looked awesome.
photo by hot metal studio
coming soon to glitter & grit: hand in hand sustainable soaps! i don't even know where to begin with HOW AMAZING this company is, and i am thrilled to be offering their products to you. why would a bridal shop carry soap, you ask? read on to find out!
photo via oh joy!
not only do these soaps have gorgeous packaging (designed by the amazing Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy) and beautiful, natural scents; there are so many little bonuses packed into that little bar, it makes my heart all aflutter:
  • when you buy one bar of hand in hand soap, they give one bar to those in need of better hygiene and cleaner water, through existing non-profit organizations that have the infrastructure in place to properly distribute their soap to those who need it most
  • for every bar of soap purchased, hand in hand donates one month of clean water to one person through their clean water program. they just "cut the ribbon" in june on their first well that will provide clean water to those who would otherwise not have access to clean water. this first well will provide clean water to over 240 families every single day.
  • 50 square feet of rainforest saved for every bar of soap sold.
  • Each bar of soap is 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable, and contains ingredients ethically harvested from sustainable resources.
  • hand in hand soap is certified by fair trade usa, to be made with ingredients by workers and farmers who are justly compensated and treated fairly.
  • hand in hand does not test on animals, and all of their soaps are vegan. yay, cruelty-free!
  • green packaging and shipping: all soaps are packaged in 30% recycled materials. hand in hand purchases carbon offsets for each shipment, as a way to counterbalance or compensate for the greenhouse gases produced during shipment.
i think that's everything...

photo via oh joy!
so, where do you come in? couples have been giving hand in hand soaps as their wedding favors! what a wonderful way to thank your guests while doing good, right? as a part of hand in hand's wedding favor program, you will be able to purchase your hand in hand favors at wholesale price (just $5.50/bar!) through glitter & grit, and your order can either be shipped directly to you, or to the store for you to pick up. in just a few days, samples of the bars will be in-store for you to view - and smell! - before deciding which amazing scent and/or stunning packaging you choose for your favors. how kick-ass is this!?!
photos by jen fariello photography, via style me pretty