10 Kick-Ass Engagement Gifts

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Oh how I knew more about giving engagement gifts before I was a bride! There is something about being on the other side that makes you understand the value of a unique or customized gift. Not do tear down ‘his and hers’ robes or engraved champagne flutes, but once you start paying attention to all the options out there, you realized there are so many awesome alternatives. I have been fortunate to receive some of the items below which I love dearly, and am excited that I have an arsenal of fun presents (in varied price buckets!) to reach into should another loved on become engaged. Of course many of these could double as birthday, hostess or wedding gifts with a little creativity so hopefully you find a little inspiration for the next celebration.

Kick-Ass Engagement Gifts


1. Use Instagram Photos to create a custom photo memory game $ 2. Customize these bracelets of the coordinates of where she got engaged $$ 3. Vintage heirloom velvet ups the ante for these ring boxes $$ 4. Ensure her tips are always show-worthy $ 5. Embroider a silk blouse with her new last name $$$ 6. Embroider her new monogram on a pair of slippers $$ 7. A romantic book of poems for her man to read to her $ 8. Bling should be on all things- especially this clever mug $ 9. Use his handwriting to customize a pendant with her new last name $$ 10. A cozy daily reminder of their ever-lasting love $$


Navy & Yellow Bridal Shower

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This past weekend I had the pleasure to co-host a Bridal Shower for one of my best friends, Erin. The other host, Ashley, came up with a great idea for a paper crafts theme, since the Bride is known for making amazing handmade cards for all of her friends. We decided on a Navy and yellow color scheme, with pops of gold and silver metallics. Ashley did such an amazing job with the food; latin inspired- with cotija covered corn and steak with chimichurri sauce. My favorite was the appetizers of mini open-faced cuban sandwiches- they were easy to eat and so full of flavor! For the decorations we used ornately decorated paper for runners and to cover mason jars scattered throughout the patio. Guests were asked to bring the bride a small crafting tool or accessory, in order to make cards for Erin during the shower. On the back of the cards the guests were asked to write a short note or piece of marriage advice to Erin and her fiance. When the cards were finished, we strung them together with twine to make a tapestry that Erin can hang in her house as a keepsake of her special day.

What do you think?

Fashion Profile: Hayley of Hayley Paige Bridal

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Today I am SO excited to present to you all the first installment of a new mini-series I am starting here on theStyleSafari- Fashion Profiles. Working in the Fashion Industry is a passion a lot of us share, or aspire to be a part of; but it is not without it’s hard work! Every Friday I will interview a successful woman in fashion, from designers to buyers to entreprenuers, and hopefully you will be as inspired by their drive, creativity and passion as much as I am!


Up first, we have Hayley Gutman of Hayley Paige Bridal. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Apparel Design (after she switched from pre-med!), this California to New York transplant landed a design position at Priscilla of Boston. Bridal had long since been Hayley’s passion, and through several years of  hard work and learning how to sell herself, she now has her own eponymous bridal line, Hayley Paige. I’ll let her tell you the rest!

What made you want to start Hayley Paige Bridal?

{Hayley}: I’ve always loved the quote from Einstein “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” I grew up idolizing Disney Princesses who chased their dreams and a Grandmother that taught me how to sew and bake. Design was a natural and inevitable practice. With regards to the wedding industry, my attraction was three fold: my parents having a beautiful marriage,the bridal gown reputably assuming THE most emotional of purchases, and the addictive freedom I feel by losing myself in happy conjures of gorgeous gowns.

What kind of experience did you have in Bridal before you launched your namesake line?

Prior to coming on board at {Hayley Paige for} JLM, I was designing for Melissa Sweet and Marchesa at Priscilla of Boston. Bridal is my shtick, but I suppose you could say I had been inquisitively pining after JLM Couture since the beginning of my involvement in the industry. When we had the opportunity to finally meet, there was a great sense of creative magnetism and unavoidable prospect for a niche aesthetic. I am enamored with their commitment to the bride and support for the artistic mind. I could not be more proud to be a part of the JLM family. With regards to my education, I graduated from Cornell University after double dipping my studies in both the design program and the pre-med major. I transitioned that diverse mindset while freelancing in editorial styling, working on production sets with my older sister, and sample room coordinating for a high end designer in the garment district. Eclectic as my experience may sound, bridal has always been my whisper.

Where do you find inspiration for Hayley Paige?

From a theoretical standpoint, enthusiasm, creative magnetism, and desire to express an aesthetic that would hook, line, and sink the utmost fun, fresh, and feminine of brides are my biggest motivators. From an artistic standpoint however, I keep it simple: love, life, and the freedom to charm.


What is your favorite part about your job?

Seeing my dress on an actual bride! Much of the design process is marvelously glamorized editorially, and although this is so fantastical and momentous, the emotional aspect involved in executing “the dress” for someone is the ultimate validation. There is a marvelous sense of fairytale.

What is the toughest part?

Production! Haha. I laugh because although producing my dresses domestically is certainly a delicacy and an appreciative ode to American Manufacturing, the process quite daunting and requires an extraordinary amount of diligence.

You have your own Bridal show now- congrats! What was the most exciting part about it?

That moment we are all lined up backstage right before the dresses go out. There’s an extraordinary heart pounding sensation where I feel like I am about to take the MCAT but it’s also the night before Christmas. It’s ludicrously real and all very fantastical.  

What is the best advice you would give to someone who wants to start their own bridal or clothing line?

It’s nice to be important. But it’s more important to be nice. When you start something, remember that how you represent yourself is just as significant as your execution. Be kind to everyone. Be grateful for your journey. And always believe that something marvelous is about to happen.


Where do you see yourself or your business in 5 years?

        Of course I have personal and professional goals in mind, but I like to keep them close to my heart. At the moment, I am indebted to Hayley Paige and hoping to humbly design a bride’s some kind of wonderful on that very special day.

Pictures c/o theStyleSafari and JLM Couture