8 Unique Wedding Gifts for the Style-Lovin’ Couple

Well people, it seems that it’s time to batten down the hatches, clear those calendars and warm up the ole liver—wedding season is in full swing. Just how many are you attending this year??

If you’re anything like us, proactive wedding gift planning is not a strong suit. Typically, about a week out from the wedding, we’ll log onto the couple’s registry to find that the only items that have yet to be spoken for are pillow inserts and a sad looking Tupperware set. “Argh…If only I had placed an order for those monogrammed bath towels two months ago!” you gripe to yourself. Unless you have an incredible backup gift plan – BPA-free Tupperware and hypoallergenic pillow inserts for the coolest eco couple you know? We don’t think so. You’ll need to come up with something for this uber-chic couple, fast. Because if their wedding looks anything like the stunning Australian fete below (that dress — holla!), Tupperware just ain’t gunna cut it.

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Knowing the last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on an entirely impersonal, lackluster gift, we’ve rounded up a list of eight eye-catching items that we’d LOVE to give (and let’s be honest—receive) as wedding gifts (or bridal shower gifts!):

How about you? Is there anything you’ve given (or received) that was off the beaten path, but that you absolutely loved anyway??

GET YOUR SHOP ON

1. > Small Copper Standing Bowl

2. > Walnut Serving Board

3. > French Press

4. > Bocce Set

5. > Wine Breather Carafe

6. > 4 Piece Bar Set

7. > La Brisa Throw

8. > Hasami Porcelain Deep Bowls 

Because there’s always someone who really wants to stay off the registry, here’s more unique gifts we’re loving for the cool couple.

copy written by Ali Hartwell, Editorial Intern

images via The Lane 

The Ultimate Bachlorette Party DIY

So one of your best friends in the whole wide world is getting married and she asked you to be one of her bridesmaids, or even more special, the maid of honor — eek! But before you help calm her nerves, pick up her train or dab away joyful tears on what’s sure to be the most memorable day of her life, you have one job and one job only: throw an epic bachlorette party! Cocktails, pool lounging and much needed girl time are the requisite requirements, but before you jet to a wild weekend in Palm Springs, Vegas or Miami Beach, there are three words you must remember to ensure your epic weekend goes as planned: Bridesmaid Survival Kits!

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That’s right. Starting the trip off on the right foot is so key in making sure the bridal party {and the bride!} have the time of their l-i-f-e. And what cuter way to do it then by leaving a goodie box at each maid’s house, packed full of everything they’ll need to make the most of an ultimate bachlorette weekend?? Because someone is bound to forget their sunscreen at home {or maybe enjoy one margarita too many!}.

These survival kits are so much fun {and super simple!} to make. So on a nice afternoon, invite your craftiest friend over for cheese and wine and the two of you can sit on the floor while gabbing through wedding details and assembling these cute kits. With a heartfelt card from the bride and a few essentials, the ladies will flip. You can personalize your kits however you’d like, but here’s what we packed in ours:

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Pre-boarding, the girls will need a great read so pack your favorite magazine {this is currently one of our must-reads}, a sunglasses case to protect their shades and cute matching bridal party luggage tags will make sure no one loses their bag!

Assuming everyone plans to go straight to the pool from the plane, sea salt spray will help master that perfect beach hair {we swear by this one}, good sunscreen is a must and some shaving cream {we love the EOS shave cream with shea butter!} will help with any ahem…last second touchups. Lounging essentials include cute deck sandals, hot sunnies and some paper umbrellas, JUST in case your hotel misses the “we’re here to have a good time!” memo!

What else is in our kits? For pre-night-out prep, these beautiful bath salts from Anthropologie will certainly spoil all your gals, nail polish for hotel room manis-pedis and luxurious Aesop face mask will ensure everyone is looking their best. And you can’t forget the Advil, Emergen-C, a banana and some instant Starbucks; aka the cure for the following morning!

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Of course, it’s not only what’s inside the kit that matters, but also how you deliver it! Wrap them up with pretty paper {and a party hat to boot!} and leave one on each maid’s doorstep. It’ll be such a cute surprise for them to come home to, don’t you think? All that will be left for your maids to do is to let their hair down, sip way too many umbrella topped cocktails and celebrate the bride-to-be while looking and feeling good!

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick // art direction + styling by bianca sotelo

Love Series {1}: Dating + Irrational Deal Breakers

We aren’t going to lie, we’re a little sad that our Wedding Week is coming to a close. From dreaming up fantasy fashion editorials to making our floral wishes a reality, we’ve had a blast diving into all things bridal! But to end all of this wedding talk, we thought it’d be nice to shake things up a bit and launch a brand new column: on love, sex, dating, marriage and relationships!

That’s right, we want to start talking about the “untalked about” {not a word, we know!} in an honest and exciting way. Thankfully, the talented Megan McCarty {you may have spotted her piece in the new Rue Magazine!}  is on a quest to discuss everything gushy, mushy, terrifying and hillariously real about this thing called “love”, and she’s willing to help us dive into topics never before talked about on Apartment 34. We hope you’ll find something that you’ve been dying to talk about with your bestie or recognize the silver lining in your current situation that’ll make you laugh, whether you’re newly single, happily married or proudly “bed surfing.” So let’s chat dating and those annoying, totally irrational, deal breakers! Megan, take it away…

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Dating these days is rough. Think Tinder, think noncommittals {wait, maybe that’s me}, think your ex’s Instagram account just waiting for you to stalk it. So let’s laugh our way through this rough landscape that is dating and that “L” word I sometimes stutter over – and the often blurry line between the two – in this new, exciting series, shall we?

Though yes, I’m writing a love column, I’m admittedly no expert on the topic. For as much as I do know about dating, there’s just as much I don’t – hence why I’m writing this alone, in my yoga pants, unwashed hair piled atop my head, obsessively wondering if the new guy I’m dating {or are we? we haven’t discussed it yet!} has lost interest. Here’s what I do know: reveal empathy early; be straightforward about your wants and needs; and show kindness to yourself, as sometimes there’s a lag time between what your head knows and heart feels. Here’s what I don’t know: nearly everything else.

There’s one thing I’m newly adamant about though, and that’s when to listen to those magical, mystical feelings in my belly that tell me whether or not a relationship is right for me. Deal breakers. How petty, I tell myself, in regards to most of them. So he doesn’t know how to pick out a bottle of wine for dinner; who cares? But with each passing year and each passing date, I realize deal breakers stem from missing a more substantial quality I crave in a partner. Take the case of picking a wine. It shows confidence and ability to roll-with-the-tipsy-punches when the Sancerre is a little too acidic for our tastes. My deal breakers aren’t because I’m in any sort of Darwinian rush to weed out the duds who won’t father my future children {although, that’s a perfectly rational reason}, but because I’m a grown woman, dammit!

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Let’s rewind a few months, when I found myself in the company of a genuinely nice guy. He checked all the Mom-approved boxes: kind, educated, employed, easily amused by my jokes. We’d occasionally go out to dinner or see an art exhibit, but it never went much further than that. There were no sleepovers, no meeting of friends, no talks about the future – because those aforementioned magical, mystical feelings were telling me something was off. And suddenly, one otherwise forgettable weeknight that we decided to go dancing, I uncovered every irrational deal breaker so I could to tell myself: no more.

The way he futzed with the heat settings in my car. Irrational deal breaker #1. The way he continued to do so after I asked him to stop. Irrational deal breaker #2. The way he used childish words in the place of swear words. The way he couldn’t make up his mind about where to park. The way he carelessly elbowed people on the dance floor. These were all the straws that broke the dating camel’s back.

Ultimately it wasn’t about his grabby hands blasting my heat too high. {Though really, don’t do that.} My absurdly strong reactions to every little thing he did was simply my subconscious poking at me, saying this relationship wasn’t right and that I needed to be the grown up I keep telling myself I am and end it. Breakups, at least in my heart-on-sleeve experience, aren’t graceful or gratifying, but they are easier when you listen to your instincts early on, before feelings and Thanksgiving dinners and weekends away together just complicate things further.

Irrational deal breakers are just the beginning in this love series. There’s how to keep your chin up through a bad breakup, for instance. Or the ins and outs of dating in a world where we can check up on our ex’s – pick a social site, any social site – at any vulnerable moment.

And, like Salt-N-Pepa said, let’s talk about sex, ba-by! So follow along. We have a lot to talk about. xo – Megan

We’d love for this series to be a conversation. Spill. What things drive you NUTS about your current fling. We’re also dying to know what girl talk you want to dive into with this series…

original photography + art for apartment 34 by athena pelton // quote by bianca sotelo