FRIDAY Q&A: AFFORDABLE BEDDING, MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITION, VISITING NANTUCKET IN THE OFF-SEASON, AND MORE

Happy Friday! Did anyone else feel like this week just flew by? I spent Monday in the city celebrating Amy’s birthday and stayed up way too late on Tuesday watching election results and then it feels like I blinked and here we are. In any event I’m spending the day shooting a bunch of upcoming holiday content and then we’re flying to Indiana to visit Will’s grandparents tonight. I’m also excited to research a little winter getaway thanks to all your recommendations on this post — major wanderlust over here! I hope you all have a great weekend!

design darling friday q&a

1. What are your favorite under $50 coffee table books?

Most of my favorite coffee table books are under $50! If you’re just starting your collection, I would recommend A House by the Sea by Bunny Williams, Beautiful by Mark D. Sikes, Escape by Gray Malin, Once Upon A Time by Slim Aarons, and The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman. In my dream life, I have a couple extra copies of each in a gift closet ready to go as hostess gifts and last-minute birthday presents!

2. Any recs for affordable bedding?

I love this bedding collection from Pottery Barn — it’s classic and crisp and you can add a monogram for a more custom look. They often have sales with 20% or 30% off if you can wait for one of those! If that’s still a little too pricey, I’d recommend buying inexpensive all white bedding (like this duvet cover with these sheets) and then bringing in two monogrammed shams or a single monogrammed boudoir pillow. 

3. Hello, curious now about how you chose your wedding rings? We ended up choosing the thinnest white gold bands, to match my engagement ring which has a very thin band and because I like the idea of stacking (another ring to celebrate a birth, maybe). But now I’m kind of regretting that the wedding ring is not more visible (I kind of want to show it off you know?). I wanted ALL the rings so it was a very hard choice! Do you also like the idea of stacking rings or do you think it becomes too much/not so elegant?

I picked out a thin diamond eternity band and then Will surprised me with a thin band with alternating diamonds and sapphires on the morning of our wedding. I wear my wedding band first, then my engagement ring, and then the diamond and sapphire ring on top and it feels like the perfect combination for me! I love a stacked look but personally wouldn’t wear more than those three rings on one finger, so if I ever added another band it would probably be for my other hand!

4. Has your family ever visited Nantucket for Christmas Stroll? How was it?

We have and it’s lovely! We’re going up this year the weekend after our family Thanksgiving in Rhode Island and can’t wait to enjoy the island in the off-season. There’s an annual tree lighting on Main Street where everyone sings Christmas carols and cheers when the tree lights up and it’s one of my favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit! I’ve received several questions about visiting Nantucket in the off-season and many of the restaurants and businesses featured in my Nantucket guide are open beyond the summer months, but the town website publishes lists of open restaurants by week/month (like this one) if you need information on specific dates.

5. Chicken Box or Gazebo?

Gazebo then Chicken Box. 🙂

6. What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

I have so many! But my very favorite is reading The Night Before Christmas as an extended family just before we go to bed on Christmas Eve. We’ve had the same illustrated copy since I was little and we pass it around the room with each family member reading one page. A few years ago Grandy gave Will a new copy of the book for Christmas to ensure that we’ll keep the tradition alive for many years to come (even after our current copy falls apart) and it’s something I can’t wait to share with our own kids someday. 

7. Any advice for what to wear on first dates?

Wear whatever makes you feel most confident! Personally I’m more comfortable in jeans than dresses or skirts so I used to wear jeans with heels and a sweater or top befitting the season. If I were going on a first date now, I’d wear something like this or this with my go-to skinny jeans and walkable heels and call it a day. If you’re more of a dress girl, I’d do something like this dress or this one with slouchy boots, but again it’s really about what makes you feel like the best version of yourself! 

8. Would you get a Cartier love bracelet/ring? If so, which one?

I love the look of both but I get annoyed easily by bracelets and always want to take them off when I’m at my computer which would defeat the purpose! So personally I’d go with the ring, but I really don’t think you can go wrong with something so timeless!

9. Would love to hear your ideas on decorating for the holidays!

You can see how we decorated our house for Christmas last year in this post! Many of the same pieces are available again this year in this collection but generally speaking I love lots of greenery (garlands, wreaths) and use only white lights. This year I had to buy an artificial Christmas tree to shoot several holiday-themed sponsored posts that were due before real trees would be available and it pained me to set it up… Real trees all the way!

10. Did you do a bouquet toss / garter toss at your wedding?

We didn’t. We wanted to make the most of every minute we had on the dance floor since Nantucket weddings have to move indoors after 10 p.m. — I seriously would have nixed the wedding cake for ten more minutes dancing! Personally I wasn’t big on the idea of either tradition so I didn’t give it a second thought but it’s your wedding so you should absolutely honor the traditions that are meaningful to you! P.S. There were some great comments on this post about whether or not to wear a wedding veil!

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  1. Instead of a bouquet toss, we had a married couple’s dance where the DJ would call a number of years of marriage, and you left the dance floor when the number was higher than the years you were married. The longest married couple got the bouquet in the end, which was my inlaws, who had been married for 44 years. It was really nice. We did not do the garter thing either.

  2. Totally agree with your stance on wedding traditions! I didn’t have a bouquet/garter toss or a wedding cake at my wedding… and I swear no one noticed 🙂 We served dessert (strawberry-rhubarb crisp a la mode) as the final course of dinner and then after that it was all dancing! You do you on your wedding. If you want to do a tradition, do it. If not, no one will notice! 🙂