As we leave you for the weekend, we figure there’s no better way than to fill your head with some Italian inspired rustic charm. We could hardly believe this shoot actually took place in Arkansas, proving you can bring a bit of Italy to any location! Thanks to B.Matthews Creative, JM Wedding Group, and Petal Chik Designs for your great work on this beauty.
Yellow and green come out to play in today’s styled shoot, beautifully styled by Lynette Boyle and Amy Nicole Floral. As part of the The Film Photographer’s Workshop from Sarah Collier of Taken by Sarah Photography, these images show a rustic but elegant scene at a beautiful stone house. We’ve fallen in love already!
Backyard weddings always hold a special place in our hearts, especially when they’re held at parents’ homes. Jen and Matt exchanged I Dos in front of a small barn on the property, and then kicked off the party with romantic and rustic details aplenty. Thank you to the team of April Violet Photography, Cherry Blossom Events, and Daffodil Parker for bringing it all together!
Is there any better way to kick off the weekend than with some beautiful floral inspiration? We think not, so we’re sharing these images by Carography Studios from Vero Workshop to get things started off right. Ellie Alexandra and Lindsay Coletta Designs were tasked with event and floral design, bringing the romance full circle.
Knowing they wanted to keep their guests comfortable above all else on their wedding day, Elise and Jeff made sure to keep everything true to themselves for an amazing celebration without any of the excess frills. With floral design by Broadturn Farm and images taken by the wonderful Emily Delamater Photography, it’s no wonder everything turned out as beautiful as it did!
From the bride, Elise: Scandinavian-rustic was the look I was going for. It was very important to me to feel comfortable on the day and that our guests felt comfortable, so we stuck true to us and our every-day style. We wanted everyone to feel like the ceremony and reception reflected both of us, which made for what we believe was a warm and memorable wedding.
Maid of Honor Dress
Wedding Invitation Design and Printing
When you’ve got a wedding with a guest horse and a bride wearing Manolo Blahniks, consider me intrigued. Add in a batch of rustic elements, a reception full of lush greenery, and the talents of Sara Lynn Photographic, Organically You Events, and Sweet Pea Flowers and you’ve got me reeled in!
From the bride, Ellie: Being that our wedding took place out-of-state, it began with quite a bit of research online and frequent trips to Denver to scope out potential wedding vendors. We also spent many nights on the couch with a glass of wine in-hand exploring different design ideas and vendor options. Our saving grace was hiring our local wedding planner, who was able to help make our dream come to life while we were home in Texas. What were your favorite moments from the wedding day? Right before our grand exit, our band put Michael Buble’s “Save the Last Dance For Me” on. While our wedding planner was lining up our guests outside the tent, the two of us remained inside and broke out in a completely unplanned, final bride and groom dance. It was such a magical moment, complete with cheers from our band members!
From the photographer, Sara Lynn Photographic: Ellie and Zach were married on September 26, 2015 at Arrow C Ranch in Parker, Colorado. Their day was a beautifully planned equestrian ranch wedding with bohemian touches mixed with luxury. Some of my favorite touches were the antlers and furs scattered around the tables, chairs and lounge seating area. Ellie’s ‘something blue’ were high heeled Manolo Blahnik’s that turned her into a supermodel that she paired with a stunning layered gown.
Their ceremony was in the estate’s courtyard and they were married under a draped arbor with Pike’s Peak in the background. The reception was kicked off with yard games, drinks and appetizers and guests made their way to the tented reception where they feasted on a Texan themed meal to tie in Zach’s southern roots. The night had a cool breeze, perfect because as the band kicked off Zach and Ellie’s first dance, the full harvest moon began to show – something almost every guest took snapshots of.
As soon as the event designers behind Some Like it Classic saw their venue, their entire vision fell into place — an edgy and masculine wedding with a bit of grittiness thrown in there. If you think this would be difficult to turn into something beautiful and inspiring, let Brushfire Photography, Carte Blanche Floral, and the rest of the vendors prove you wrong!
From the event designers, Some Like it Classic: I wanted to see something different. Don’t get me wrong, I am obsessed with all things blush, gold and romantic, but I was seeing it everywhere. I wanted to do something masculine, edgy and unique. With the amazing setting and backdrop of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, I was instantly inspired. The styling and décor stemmed from a color schematic inspired by the rich surfaces of leather, wood, and mixed metal, put together with unique prints and softened with romantic florals. It all started with a distinct pattern of a bullhead on a napkin…
This wedding styled shoot was inspired by masculine tones and organic elements with touches of edgy bohemian design. Subtle elegant touches brought a sense of wedding charm to the mix, and played off the masculine style in the stationery pieces (created by Idieh Design) as well as the clothing and overall color palette. As we began working on some of the elements, we also relayed the vision to all of our vendors, who took it to the next level!
The uber talented team at Brushfire Photography love of film photography (it is their favorite medium to shoot in) added to the gritty vibe we were going for. Their ability to capture the details as well as the love of the couple is truly an art! The gorgeous flowing centerpieces and bridal bouquet were hand crafted by the always-amazing Carte Blanche Design and of course the exquisite cake by Haley at Heart Sweet Cakes! She was able to mirror the edgy, masculine look of the shoot by using unique texture, materials with marble and metal tones. In addition to this finished setting, our wonderful models, Michelle and Greg, were gracious enough to be a part of this amazing shoot. Being a real couple was the perfect opportunity to achieve true love in our images. We had so much fun and enjoyed working with this wonderfully talented group of vendors!
“Farmhouse Fête” conjures up a world of beautiful ideas for me, and I have to say the team involved in this event for The Big Fake Wedding’s trip to Raleigh did a brilliant idea bringing everything together. Bright colors are mixed with rustic elements and tied together with lots of candlelight, and we couldn’t love the effect any more than we do already!
Above image by Casey Rose Photography
Above image by Erica Akroyd Photography
Above images by Casey Rose Photography
Above image by Erica Akroyd Photography
Above images by Casey Rose Photography
Above image by Erica Akroyd Photography
Above image by Casey Rose Photography
Above images by Erin Costa Photography
Above image by Casey Rose Photography
Above image by Erin Costa Photography
Above images by Casey Rose Photography
Above image by Casey Rose Photography
Be sure to check out the film from Dogwood Media:
Photo Credits (from left to right, top to bottom): Invitations: Feast Calligraphy | Cake: image by Aaron & Whitney DuRall | Milk + Cookies: Sun in My Belly | Strawberries: Amy Merrick on Instagram | Sweet Tea: Homespun + Heart It Races | Genevieve Gown: Elizabeth Dye | Sunset Meadow: Floret Flower Farm. Board Curator: Ashley Buzzy Lettering + Press
Day-Of Coordination + Event Design: Tables 1, 5
Floral + Event Design: Bouquets, Boutonnieres + Tables 9, 10
Floral + Event Design: Registration Table + Tables 3, 7
Floral + Event Design: Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 4, 8
Floral + Event Design: Head Table + Tables 2, 6
Venue and Catering
Wedding Cake and Cupcake Bar
Wedding Vow Art
Wedding Welcome Gifts
Slow Motion Video Booth
Wedding Invitations and Signage
National Sparkling Wine Sponsor
National Travel Vendor
With a color palette of blues, reds, and greens and a “farmhouse fête” vision (think country charm meets relaxation and sophistication) vision, today’s vendors teamed up for the very first Big Fake Wedding in Baltimore. Our favorite detail of the day? Definitely the living wall ceremony backdrop — you won’t want to miss it!
Check out the behind-the-scenes film from Gifted Films:
And the inspiration board that started it all:
Inspiration Board (Farmhouse Fete) Credits from left to right, top to bottom: Feast Calligraphy, Aaron & Whitney DuRall, Sun in My Belly, Amy Merrick, Homespun, Heart It Races, Elizabeth Dye, Floret Flower Farm | Board Curator: Ashley Buzzy Lettering + Press
Floral + Event Design: Bouquets/Boutonnieres + Tables 1, 4, 7, 8
Floral + Event Design: Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 2 ,5
Floral + Event Design: Head Table + Tables 3, 6
Hair and Makeup
Linens, Tables and Rentals
Invitations and Seed Favors: Wildflower Seed Paper Suite
Invitations: Illustrated Floral Suite with Map
Invitations: Painted Floral Suite
Invitations: Blue and Green Watercolor Suite
Programs: Fuchsia and Orange Watercolor
National Sparking Wine Sponsor
National Travel Vendor
Today’s wedding from Carlie Statsky is an expert study in blending garden wedding style with a bit of rustic detailing. Jesse and Mason spent an absolutely beautiful day together exchanging vows, toasting each other, and sharing their love with their closest friends and family at the lovely Allied Arts Guild.
From the bride, Jesse: Our wedding day was an unforgettable celebration of love with our closest supporters, our family and friends. The Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA, a beautiful and historic garden oasis, lent an elegant and intimate setting for both the wedding ceremony and the reception, all meticulously brought to life by wedding planner, Bari Howard.
With a garden ceremony setting resonating with rustic simplicity and charm amid the beauties of nature, family, friends, and further accompanied by the soaring sounds of stringed instruments to a cocktail hour fueled by signature Moscow Mule copper mugs and delectable appetizers, the day was topped off beneath an arbor with a majestic dinner place setting, heartfelt speeches, and an array of dance moves with music provided by a DJ. The day couldn’t have been any more wonderful and picturesque, with lovely, yet creatively keen compositions captured by photographer Carlie Statsky. We are truly blessed to call this memory our wedding day.
Bridal Party Processional: “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
Bride’s Processional: “Marry Me,” Train (Performed by Daphna on strings)
Recessional: “True,” Spandau Ballet; “Lucky,” Jason Mraz (feat. Colbie Calliat) (Performed by Daphna on strings)
First Dance: “Angel,” Jack Johnson
Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dance: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Diana Ross
Flower Girl Dresses
Groom and Groomsmen Suits
Place Card Design
Eva and Art wanted their wedding to be perfectly casual with some classic rustic appeal, but knew one thing above all else — they wanted their Instagram-famous French bulldog pup, Lola, to be a big part of the day. Lola shone as the flower girl decked out in blooms from The Farmer’s Daughter and captured by Rachel Rowland, and the day was absolutely as exquisite as Eva and Art hoped it would be!
From the bride, Eva: If I could describe our vision in a few words, it would be romantic, sentimental, intimate, and joyful! We love traveling (our engagement was in Iceland) and were initially thinking of a destination wedding, but then realized we couldn’t imagine not being able to have our grandparents and some friends there, since destination weddings are often tough for people to get to. We still wanted to keep it fairly small, and had the perfect guest count of 100 of our closest friends and family. We both grew up in the countryside of rural Pennsylvania, and wanted to have an outdoor wedding. Rustic Acres Farm was the perfect venue, and our guests got to enjoy dinner on the deck outside overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania.
As a yoga teacher, I know how essential breathing is to keep calm for the big day, and had my friend Lauren teach a yoga class in the morning to all the bridesmaids and my mom. It was perfect to help get us grounded in gratitude and presence for the rest of the day. My most eloquent friend officiated our ceremony, since we wanted someone who knew us already to add that intimate touch. One of my favorite parts of our whole wedding was when she read letters we had written to each other because it reminded us of why we were getting married in the first place and allowed our guests to get a glimpse of our dedication to one another.
It was really important that our puppy Lola was in our wedding, so she and my friend Alanna were the flower girls. After my trip to the Wanderlust Festival last year, I became obsessed with flower crowns and my florist made my dreams come true with a flower crown station for all my guests to adorn themselves! Art & I are pretty crafty and realized we are pretty good at writing my favorite font Bombshell Pro, so we DIY’ed all the details including the table numbers, drink list, and other signage. For our seating chart, we made a map of all the places we’ve traveled together and sat our guests at a location that was also significant to them (many of the places we traveled to with friends). We displayed photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day, since our families are so important to us. To say Art is obsessed with craft beer is an understatement, so we had a carefully crafted drink list from all of his favorite local breweries in Pittsburgh. I wanted all my bridesmaids to love their dresses so I let them pick something that they would wear again, and they all looked beautiful together! Our colors were ivory, champagne, gold, and blush – classic colors that complemented the beautiful outdoor scenery so well.
Our wedding was more perfect that we could have ever dreamed of. I was not nervous at all because I knew it was only one of many “best” days of our lives together. We made sure to stick together the whole night, even as people pulled us in different directions, almost like a metaphor for our lives! One of my favorite parts of the whole day was when we were eating dinner, and we just took a moment to look around at all the people we loved around us – eating, laughing, and talking. It brought us so much joy just to sit, enjoy that moment, and feel so grateful that they had come to celebrate with us.
Hair and Makeup
Men's Bow Ties
Catering, Wedding Cake, and Cake Pops
Today’s wedding is a little slice of heaven, straight from a farm in Ohio. The ceremony alone was an absolute vision — it was “held in an open field, surrounded by overgrown flowerbeds and in the center, a large tree overlooking our guests,” as described by the bride. Leda and Zac relied on their own vision and the talents of wedding professionals Leigh Elizabeth Photography, Events Held Dear, and The Flowerman Columbus to make this day a reality, and the result was nothing short of breathtaking.
From the bride, Leda: My wedding day was nothing short of perfect. From the tiny details, to the flow of the day, and of course the fact that I married the man I love so dearly, it was all amazing. The location of our wedding was very important to me, and the venue we ended up choosing was one of the best decisions we made. The farm, fields and natural flowers, and the barn itself where the reception was held fit perfectly with my vision for a simple, rustic wedding with vintage touches. The ceremony was held in an open field, surrounded by overgrown flowerbeds and in the center, a large tree overlooking our guests. The reception was held in a large barn/arena, covered in reclaimed wood, beautiful chandeliers and string lights everywhere. This venue was one that didn’t supply plates/drink ware/flatware/etc. which was perfect, because I had a vision and was sticking to it.
The months leading up to my wedding, I was a busy bride, visiting multiple antique and thrift stores, garage and estate sales, and of course hitting up the internet to see what I could find on Craigslist — I was on the hunt for vintage china plates, flatware and other antique pieces to decorate the venue. The centerpieces for my wedding were mismatched vases filled with a soft palette of flowers and signature vintage pieces. The plates I brought in myself (about 250 of them!) which were vintage china that I had found over the time I was engaged. Those plates paired with the vintage pieces of silverware and mason jars as drinking glasses turned out lovely. It was exactly what I had envisioned, and I felt the vintage aesthetic went hand in hand with the pale color palette and neutral venue tones.
Instead of having cake for everyone to eat, we had one cake made for my husband and I to cut. I surprised him by having the bakery sneak in a little Spiderman figurine peeking out from the bottom — I think he really enjoyed it, and it matched his Spiderman socks! The dessert table was layered with cherry pies (my favorite) stacked on old books, hat boxes and slabs of wood, along with handmade banner on top that I had made. I can honestly look back on my wedding day and say I regret nothing. Everything was perfect. Not only was my wedding day amazing because I got to see my hard work come together and marry my husband, but also because I realized my passion for planning and coordinating events. It was such a fun process for me, and I found it was also a talent of mine. Since then, I have started my own wedding and event styling company where I plan, style, and coordinate weddings alongside my best friend. We even rent out vintage pieces for brides who are also looking for the same type of style. Now, I get to be a part of others wedding days and all the hard work that goes into it, and it’s the absolute best.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? My advice for other brides is don’t be afraid to ask for help! Friends and family are always there, and even if you don’t think they’re willing to help, chances are they’re probably just waiting around for you to ask so they can jump on in! I found a lot of my friends didn’t want to smother me with offering over and over again, and sometimes felt like they were overstepping if they offered to go look at venues or vendors with me. Truth was I was just forgetting to ask at times because I had so much on my mind, but once I did my friends were helping in any way they could and it made the process much more fun. After all, you only get married once, and in my opinion this is the time you can boss people around (kidding, kinda). But in all seriousness, it’s your wedding day, and every day leading up to that should be fun and as stress-free as possible. There will be some natural stress, but never should a bride hate the months leading up to her wedding. Second to that, focus on the reason for the day. You’re getting married! In the end, it’s about your future spouse and your marriage, and nothing is more important than that. Surround yourself with people who will love, help and support you along the way, not just for the wedding planning process, but for your marriage as well.
If you like the look of woodsy rustic weddings but want to make sure there’s still a touch of romantic femininity, look no further than this styled shoot from Jaimee Morse, Simply Elegant Bridal Consulting, and Julia’s Blooms. Hints of the lightest blush pink, gold accents contrasted against wooden details, and beautiful calligraphy pull everything together, all topped off by a scrumptious pie dessert table!
From Casey Hurley: I worked with some great vendors to develop this mix of urban and woodland romantic themed shoot. We used touches from nature along with beautiful soft tones of pink, gold, and silver. We developed two vignettes with one being the dinner setting and the second being the dessert/pie setting – and we got to eat the pie afterwards so that was probably the best part of the shoot.
I love a bold pop of color, and Callie and Daniel’s decision to use key pops of cobalt blue in their wedding couldn’t be more on-trend for 2015. The day was all about family, and the backyard of Callie’s childhood home provided the perfect backdrop for a day full of red flowers, rustic details, and a darling swing decorated in delicate flowers, all of which you’ll see thanks to the talents of L. Martin Wedding Photography and Signature Florals Distinctive Floral Design!
From the photographer, Lauren of L. Martin Wedding Photography: It was important to both Callie and Daniel to make their wedding all about family and incorporate them into their wedding. They transformed her parents’ backyard into the perfect intimate forest setting for their wedding. It’s the home she and her siblings grew up in, and is nestled on acres surrounded by tall trees in Cape Coral, Florida.
So many of the details they incorporated had sentimental value – the groom’s ring was his grandfathers, underneath the ceremony arch covered in vines are the monkey bars where the bride used to play on as a child, they placed their family’s wedding photos so beautifully on an antique dresser draped with greenery with wine colored blooms. Handmade touches included the boutonniere’s which the groom made out of fishing lure, the bride custom designed their invitations, they created a swing by the altar (which made for the most perfect photos!) and used old wine bottles spray painted in gold as candle holders which they previously lit so the wax would drip onto the bottles… it doesn’t get more romantic than that.
My favorite thing was all of the vintage decor from the “Love” lighted metal sign at the head of the sweetheart table to the antique dressers, couches and wooden family tables with benches. Guests were treated to mini board games on each cocktail table, along with horseshoe and corn toss games on the lawn, while also being able to enjoy cocktails in the lounge area. Market lights were strung over the entire reception area, even dangling string lights to look like icicles, which the groom climbed up into the trees himself to place. But the most magical moment by far was the wish lantern send off at the end of the night!
As far as beautiful handmade touches are concerned, this wedding from Nakalan McKay Photography and Botanica Floral Design has got it going on. From the antique doors at the beginning of the ceremony aisle to the hanging window backdrop at the altar, every bit was made with love and shines with a sweet simplicity that’s always elegant.
From the bride, Becca: I wanted our wedding day to be focused on the life commitment we were making. I wanted the day to be personal, to show all of our guests how much we love each other and how we take our commitment seriously. The overall feel of the day I wanted to be whimsical and beautiful; a place guests felt welcomed and comfortable to have a great time.
I absolutely loved everything about our day. From decorations to the flowers to our vows, it was perfect. My favorite pieces of our wedding were the altar and entrance doors built by my talented brother-in-law. The altar was exactly what I envisioned and it added the perfect backdrop for the most important day of our lives. Mason and I had a blast and we have so much fun reliving that very special day.
From the photographer, Nakalan McKay: This wedding was a big deal to me as Becca’s family are very close friends of mine. Knowing Mason and Becca and how badly they wanted to be married, made witnessing their beautiful vows all the more precious and sweet.
Wedding Location: Wilsonville, OR / Photographer: Nakalan McKay Photography / Floral Design: Botanica Floral Design / Day-Of Coordination: Claire Voisine / Venue: River Haven / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller via The English Department / Headpiece: Liv Hart / Wedding Shoes: Steve Madden / Jewelry: Nordstroms / Caterer: Dalton’s Northwest Catering / Wedding Cake: St. Honoré Boulangerie / Wooden Details and Props: Three Arrow Design & Build / Music: John Ross Productions / Photo Booth Equipment: Brian Zaro / Second Shooter: Joanna Traeger Photography / Videographer: Watertown Films
While themes certainly aren’t necessary for a wedding day, we sure enjoy seeing brides go all out with their own once in a while. Jana and Heinrich chose a “rabbits and wreaths” theme, which had tablescapes full of sweet bunny ceramics, rabbit shaped boutonnieres made out of wood for the gents, and floral wreaths for the bridesmaids in lieu of traditional bouquets. Dearheart Photos and The Stables did some incredible work, so let’s take a look!
From the bride, Jana: I wanted my wedding to be very rustic and we wanted to do everything ourselves.
We wanted to create a whimsical feel. Our theme was “rabbits and wreaths.” All the tables had wooden or ceramic rabbits on them. The table numbers hung from wreaths. We also hid rabbits in the garden at the pre-drinks. We did not have a set colour scheme my bridesmaids wore different coloured dresses and the flowers were all different colours. We wanted to incorporate the feeling of spring.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Just remember what the day is all about…it is a celebration of your relationship and your wedding day should reflect your personalities. People will try to persuade you into going with their choices but stand your ground and go with your gut feeling. Your day should be about your style and not someone else’s.
Processional: “Marry Me,” Train
Recessional: “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” The Darkness
First Dance: “Is This Love?” James Arthur
Wedding Location: Clarens, South Africa / Photographer: Dearheart Photos / Florist: Annette Trosky from The Stables and bride’s mother (table flowers) / Venue and Caterer: St Fort Guest Farm / Wedding Planning: Conrad from St Fort / Wedding Dress: Bride’s Aunt, Sandra Hugo / Wedding Shoes: Woolworths / Accessories: The Stables / Hair: Theresa from The Loft / Makeup: Niins / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Groom’s Suit, Shoes, and Tie: Woolworths / Wedding Invitations: Bride / Transportation: a tractor used on the farm
If you’re a fan of rustic chic weddings done right, then you’re probably familiar with the ultimate barn reception space, Dana-Powers House. Those twinkle lights, the sun rays peeking through the wooden slats, and the sophisticated chandeliers are all a recipe for perfection. Danielle Poff outdid herself on this one!
From the bride, Megan: The Dana Powers House & Barn has a style of its own – very rustic, vintage chic – so we wanted to play that up. We kept the colors pretty neutral – white, creams, grays, browns – and brought in the color through the flowers.
As for the actual wedding itself, we really wanted our wedding to be a party – mostly everyone on the guest list knew each other (my husband and I grew up in the same church) so it was basically one big reunion. We really wanted to thank everyone for being such integral parts of our lives, so it was important to us to have great food and music. We wanted everything to be delicious and for everyone to get on the dance floor!
Flower recipe: In the bouquets and centerpieces, we used ranunculus, David Austen roses, regular roses, dahlias, hydrangeas, hypericum berries, stock, seeded eucalyptus, and succulents. Only my bouquet had peonies. In the boutonnieres, we used white ranunculus, hypericum berries, and seeded eucalyptus.
Rustic was the main adjective we were going for. I had a theme and color scheme in my head, but never wanted to define my wedding within those parameters. For some reason, defining a color scheme really stressed me out! But it was essentially, light pinks and greens, creams, whites, grays, with darker pinks and greens coming in through the flowers. And burlap (duh). Everything turned out exactly as my husband and I envisioned, so it was just perfect! It was also really important to me (and my mom and aunt who were such a huge help!) to add in things of sentimental value. My aunt had a field day cutting up my grandmother’s and mom’s wedding dresses, as well as her own, to use throughout the wedding. We used lace from my grandmother’s and mom’s dresses on my bouquet and on the garter my aunt made me. We also used the lace from my mom’s skirt to drape over the arbor at the ceremony. I wore the same necklace my mom wore at her wedding and wore a pearl flower ring that was my grandmother’s. We also had our high school youth pastor officiate our wedding since he was an integral part in our relationship.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I have so much advice now that everything is done! But I will keep it to the important things. (1) Start planning as early as possible. We picked our venue and date, as well as booked our (wonderful!) photographer two weeks after we got engaged, and that was a huge relief. It really got the planning ball rolling. (2) Let other people help in the planning process – I could have never planned this wedding without my mother and my aunt. I don’t think I would have ever gotten anything done! (3) Try not to let people push their opinions on you. You want to make people happy, but you also want to stay within your budget! At the end of the day, it’s you and your husband’s opinions that matter. (4) Make your RSVPs clear. I would recommend writing the number of people who are invited on the card and then have the guest(s) write how many actually will attend. We had a few problems with people who didn’t fully understand traditional invitation etiquette. (5) This is HUGE. Probably one of your most important decisions. Get a day-of coordinator. We luckily have a close family friend who does coordinating and she was invaluable. The wedding day would not have gone as perfectly as it did without her. She kept everything on time and made sure we had everything we needed. She even sneaked my husband and I away after the ceremony to have appetizers and drinks by ourselves so we could take in that we had just gotten married. That was a really special time for us!
Family Processional: “Let Her Go,” Passenger
Bridal Party Processional: “Dawn,” Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Pride & Prejudice opening credits)
Bride’s Processional: “Clair de Lune,” Claude Debussy
Recessional: “On Top of the World,” Imagine Dragons
Reception Entrance: “Best Day of My Life,” American Authors
First Dance: “Then,” Brad Paisley
Father/Daughter Dance: “Fly Me to the Moon,” Frank Sinatra
Mother/Son Dance: “A Mother’s Song”
Wedding Location: Nipomo, CA / Photographer: Danielle Poff / Day-Of Coordination: Katie Camp, family friend / Florist: Kelly Bishop / Venue: Dana-Powers House / Wedding Dress: Shelly Ann via The Ivory Suite / Wedding Veil: The Ivory Suite / Wedding Shoes: Anthropologie / Hair and Makeup: Danielle Roberts / Groom and Groomsmen Suits: A Heart’s Desire / Caterer: The Sea Shanty / Wedding Cake and Cupcakes: Enjoy Cupcakes / Cookies: Brown Butter Cookie Co. / Cookies and Bars: Sweet Pea Bakery / Macarons: De Couer Bakery / DJ: Joe LaBarbera / Rentals: Embellish Vintage Rentals / Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates: Minted / Videographer: In Motion Pro / Film Scans: Little Film Lab
Groomsmen in dashing blue suits, a stunning bride in a Spanish veil, and a reception that sends our hearts aflutter – how could we possibly resist? Brett and Brittany’s wedding day came together with the talents of David Guenther, D’elle Event & Design, and Tickled Floral, who all made this glamorous and relaxed day shine as bright as fireworks.
From the bride, Brittany: I wanted our wedding to be bright and fun, laid back, but glamorous. Garden Party, outdoors, but not backyard BBQ – even though our caterer did BBQ our food :) Our colors were mainly bright pink and purple, but with bright green accents. My husband and his friends made all of the wood tables and the wooden cross at the alter of our ceremony. All decorations were hand made – sewed the fabric that draped on the ceiling of the tent, made a cone back drop, reused extra invites to make paper fans for all guests for the ceremony.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Get a wedding planner, because you will go crazy without one! Don’t listen to what other people want for your wedding, do what you want and what makes you happy. Start planning early! (and saving too!) Don’t spend more than you can afford – it’s only one day of your life. Go on a honeymoon right after – you need a break!
We had a live guitar soloist, our good friend played for our ceremony and he just played whatever he wanted to! I don’t even remember what it sounded like :)
First Dance: “Never Going to Give You Up” (original song by Rick Astley) sung live by Ryan Hamilton and acoustic guitar by Ryan Jacobson.
From the photographer, David: Brett and Brittany are both super stylish, and they’re probably the coolest bride and groom I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting. Brett hand-built every table at the reception, and the elegant style of the decor matched perfectly with his rustic craftsmanship. It’s rare to find a couple whose personal style matches so well with the style of the wedding day, but these two made it happen.
Wedding Location: Leduc, Alberta, Canada / Photographer: David Guenther / Wedding Planner: Jenni and Brianne of D’elle Event & Design / Floral Design: Tickled Floral / Venue: Leduc Stone Barn / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals “9000” / Wedding Veil: Claireworkshop / Wedding Shoes: Upper Street / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Club Monaco / Groom’s Suit: Le 31 from La Maison Simons / Caterer: Culina Catering / Desserts: Bride’s Mother and LauraBella Treats / Cake Pops: Starbucks / DJ: Daphutur / Musicians: Ryan Hamilton and Ryan Jacobson / Wedding Invitations: Design by D’elle Event & Design, printing by Regent Signs / Videographer: Don Hammond / Transportation: Legends Limousines of Edmonton
We’ve seen many a bridal hairstyle here at Ruffled over the years (and have pinned many faves!), and this high bun + braided halo + floral crown is quickly rising to the top of our list of most inspiring styles. Kristin La Voie Photography worked her photographic magic behind the scenes for us, so let’s take a look!
From the photographer, Kristin: Do you know that feeling you get when you just know you are in the presence of pure happiness and love? There are no two sweeter, more down-to-earth people than right here. I couldn’t stop smiling. In fact, my cheeks still hurt from all the smiling while editing. No one else has ever had quite that effect on me while editing either. Even tears of happiness ran down my puffy cheeks.
You see for Heather & Mike, the house where Mike grew up was the perfect location for them to tie the knot surrounded by their closest family and friends in the backyard. They walked hand in hand together down a row of trees, to no music at all. They had their loved ones standing around them, encircling them in more love than one could imagine. They did not need a long drawn out ceremony, because all they wanted was to profess their forever to each other. They cried together. They laughed together. They were just themselves. And it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. All of the details, the colors, the ambiance; swoon. And a good backyard wedding to me… well, it’s the most beautiful type of wedding there is.
Wedding Location: Lowell, IN / Photographer: Kristin La Voie Photography / Floral Design: Steve’s Flower Market / Wedding Dress: Blu by Mori Lee / Jewelry: Sarah Perlis / Hair and Makeup: Pin me up Chicago / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Wedding Invitations: Susannah Hainley
Ooh-wee, this wedding. Just one look at their sweetheart table backdrop, and we were in love. Bride Rachel made pinwheels the central focus of her wedding in honor of her nephew, and we have to say the design worked out perfectly. Thanks to Rachel Havel and Platte Floral for your work on this one!
From the bride, Rachel: For our wedding I envisioned something very whimsical, vintage, and rustic. Pinwheels were a big part of the theme. They are my nephew’s favorite and I didn’t think he would be able to make it, so I wanted to incorporate him. (Thankfully he made it — he is the little guy with suspenders.) It was all about the details.
Flower recipe: My bouquet contained white peonies, pink ranunculus, pink waxflower, and yellow button. For the centerpieces we had a mix of white yellow and pink flowers including snapdragons. For the bridesmaids bouquets they had hydrangea. All of the bouquets and boutonnieres had hand made pinwheels in them.
We had one pinwheel for each guest, we had them as centerpieces hanging from the ceiling, we had them on the curtain behind the head table as a back drop, we had 12 4-foot tall working metal pin wheels for the ceremony. Most of our wedding was DIY — my mother hand made every napkin, the runner, we made every pinwheel by hand, my dad hand made and welded each metal pinwheel, he also made a stand for the doors I walked through down the aisle, we made our cake stand, we made all of the table runners, we made all the chair ties, my mother and I made the belt on my dress, we made all of the frames with family couples pictures that were sitting on my great grandmother’s pie chest; our whole wedding was DIY. I definitely became a pinwheel pro after making 600 of them! My family worked so hard to make this wedding everything I dreamed of and I am so thankful!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I would definitely say don’t plan too much, don’t stress out too much about all the details just remember what really matters is that you are marrying the love of your life!
Newlywed Entrance: “Happy,” Pharrell
First Dance: “Boat Song,” JJ Heller
Father/Daughter Dance: “My Little Girl,” Tim McGraw
Mother/Son Dance: “My Wish,” Rascal Flatts (it was hard to find a song for this dance, but this one was perfect!)
Mother/Daughter Dance: “Mama’s Song,” Carrie Underwood
Bouquet Toss: “Single Ladies,” Beyonce
Reception Exit: “Honey Bee,” Blake Shelton
From the photographer, Rachel Havel: This gorgeous wedding was only possible with the help and hands of the bride and her family’s DIY commitment. They spent a year making hundreds of pinwheels by hand. The bride’s father welded metal pinwheels and created the doors to the ceremony aisle. They sewed the napkins, seat pads for the benches, and even the bride’s belt she wore on the wedding day. It was so tastefully done and beautiful and all the details came together so nicely. Beyond that, Rachel & Chris are high school sweetheart and so madly in love with each other. Their love was the main focus on their wedding day and it was apparent. They were such a joy to be around and celebrate as they entered into marriage.
Wedding Location: Woodland Park, CO / Photographer: Rachel Havel / Event Planning: Patricia Miller (rockymtnmillers @ msn.com) / Floral Design: Platte Floral / Venue: The Barn at Casey’s / Wedding Dress and Headband: Danelle’s Bridal / Wedding Dress Alterations: Alterations and Custom Sewing by Grace Bloom / Bridal Belt: Patricia Miller (rockymtnmillers @ msn.com) / Bride’s Earrings: Helzberg Diamonds / Hair: Suzanne Coffy / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Kohl’s / Groom’s Bow Tie and Cufflinks: Men’s Wearhouse / Groom’s Watch: Dillards / Caterer: Famous Dave’s / Wedding Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes / DJ – Chase Demelio (chase.demelio @ gmail.com) / Wedding Invitations: Shutterfly
If there’s one thing I’ve learned today, it’s that when Jen Rodriguez, Ambrini Events and Alena Jean come together, they create wedding magic. Katie and Geoff’s wedding in Half Moon Bay, CA is truly a sight to behold, and we absolutely love that the day was full of games and surprises for the guests in attendance!
From the bride, Katie: Our venue was such a unique setting that we really didn’t need to bring too much to add to the style. What details we did bring in we wanted to feel romantic and rustic in the midst of such a fun backdrop. We wanted simple centerpieces so went with white and blush single stem flowers in small, clear and gold vases. My mom, sister, and bridesmaid helped me to arrange the flowers the day before the wedding. I collected a lot of bottles and vases throughout the year, some of which I spray painted gold to mix in.
I loved the gold chevron table runners that I found at Paper Source, so I typed the escort cards on tags and stamped them with a gold chevron pattern to tie that theme together. I used tiny gold clothes pins to string them from a vintage map of California that I found at a flea market. We numbered the tables using water bottles with stamped heart tags. For every DIY thing we did for the wedding, there’s no way we could have done it all ourselves. Family, friends, and day of planners truly helped to tie our vision together.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t forget that your wedding is meant to be about the two of you, celebrating your love and commitment to one another with the people that mean the most to you. Every tiny detail may seem important while you’re planning, but the people, the love, and the laughter are going to be what you remember most.
Bridal Party Processional: “Ho Hey,” covered by Vitamin String Quartet
Bride’s Processional: Bach’s Air on G String
Recessional: “Dog Days are Over,” Florence and the Machine
Bridal Party Entrance: “We Are Gonna Be Friends,” White Stripes
Newlywed Entrance: “Big Parade,” Lumineers
Father/Daughter Dance: “Ripple,” Grateful Dead
Mother/Son Dance: “Little Trip to Heaven,” Tom Waits
First Dance: “Train Song,” Feist and Ben Gibbard
Wedding Location: Half Moon Bay, CA / Photographer: Jen Rodriguez / Day-Of Wedding Planners: Ambrini Events / Bouquet Florist: Alena Jean / Venue: The Long Branch Saloon and Farms / Wedding Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige / Wedding Shoes: Miss Albright via Anthropologie / Bride’s Necklace: J. Crew / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan in Blush / Hair and Makeup: Elle Duerr and team from Ellementals / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Caterer: Tacolicious / Wedding Cake: SusieCakes / DJ: Verducci Entertainment / Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Transportation: Skylark Shuttle
One wedding trend I’ve been loving lately is a groom donning a blue suit — it adds such amazing personality to the wedding photos! Joel and Christine were one phenomenally stylish couple, and it’s impossible not to see how in love they are while poring over these images from Elizabeth Fogarty.
From the bride, Christine: Joel and I knew from the beginning that we wanted the wedding to be fun, relaxed, and very representative of who we are. Neither of us is super traditional, but we did still want it to feel like a wedding. Nothing too formal, no frills, but still pretty and special. Once we found the perfect space, the style just sort of dictated itself. It was a little rustic and perfectly timeless.
We were very inspired by maps and they found there way into the decor without being too obvious. He was born in Wisconsin. I was born in Maryland. We met in Chicago. We fell in love in Los Angeles. We got engaged on a surprise trip to Paris while on vacation in London. It seemed appropriate :) I had an old Rand McNally road map that was outdated and never got used so I started there. I made pennants using the map, burlap and ivory ribbon. Then I made garland using a large heart hole punch and strung them along on different colors of ribbon. The extra heart cutouts that that didn’t get used for garland were scattered around on table tops for an added effect. The color blue was also really prominent at the wedding. It was inspired by these amazing bright blue structural beams that went throughout the venue. My favorite DIY project was our mix CD wedding favors. We designed the CD sleeve layout on our computer and then printed them on brown craft paper. Then, a true labor of love, we hand cut and assembled all of them. Once assembled, we tied blue and white striped butchers string around each CD and topped it off with a hand stamped ‘thank you’ tag. This took the longest, but WOW, they turned out amazing. They were extremely cost effective but looked like a pricey Etsy purchase. We even burnt the CDs onto discs that looked like little records. Everything about this wedding was DIY- From the lights to the flowers to the decor so we found that simpler was better.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Stick to your vision. In a Pinterest day and age, it’s way too easy to loose sight of how you want your big day to look. Also, everyone, and I mean everyone, will have an opinion about what you should do for the wedding. Politely say”that’s a great idea to think about” and then carry on with planning your perfect day. Be open to the advise, but don’t let it make you feel like you have to change or sacrifice what you want. Lastly, hire a coordinator. I couldn’t afford somebody to coordinate the whole wedding, but I was able to hire a day-of coordinator and it was the best decision! She was there to ensure that everything and everyone was where it was supposed to be. Her creative vision helped to support the entire flow of the wedding and I felt 100% at ease knowing that she was there to handle things as they came up. If the entire wedding was a group effort, our coordinator was the ring leader and rightfully so. She was a genius.
Bridal Party Processional: “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” Ryan Adams
Bride’s Processional: “Can You See it Now,” Oasis
Recessional: “Head On,” The Jesus and Mary Chain
First Dance: “Old Fashioned,” Cee Lo Green
Father/Daughter Dance: “Heart of Gold,” Johnny Cash (Neil Young cover)
Mother/Son Dance: “Mama’s Eyes,” Justin Townes Earle
We only had two slower songs at the wedding. The rest was upbeat and fun. We even had a ‘That Thing You Do’ moment with our friends.
From the photographer, Elizabeth Fogarty: I don’t even know where to freaking start when talking about this wedding. It was AWESOME. During the ceremony, the officiant paused and asked the couple to look at the guests. GENIUS. We are always complaining about how the wedding day flies by, and it was amazing when Joel and Christine looked back at the people who have been part of the journey. There might have been some tears involved… Now let’s talk about their style. Have you ever seen a groom rock a blue suit? Now you have. And a bride with gorgeous red hair? Yup! I like to call them my glamour couple. Christine’s White by Vera Wang dress was super dreamy. The Patapsco Female Institute was the perfect venue for these two. The columns and the open air space brought everything together. Their trendy details and sweets spread were to die for. Overall, it was such a heartfelt wedding. Their crazy love and passion for each other was evident the entire day.
Wedding Location: Ellicott City, MD / Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty / Event Planner and Coordinator: Bree Ryback of Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination / Venue: Patapsco Female Institute / Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang / Wedding Shoes: ModCloth / Earrings: Anthropologie / Handkerchief: Vintage / Makeup: Tanya Samoiliw Makeup / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Groom’s Suit: Topman by Topshop / Caterer: Kloby’s Smokehouse / Wedding Cake: La Cakerie / DJ: The Pros / Wedding Invitations: LadybugPixels / Stationery Stamp: CarolineCreates
We’re always game for a good backyard wedding, and this one from Mike Olbinski certainly fits the bill. Even a rainy morning and 95% relative humidity couldn’t take away the smiles on the faces of Cori and John! This wedding is full of so much love and personal details, it’s too difficult for us to know where to begin:
From the bride, Cori: Our wedding day was literally a dream come true. I know that is cliche and what every bride says, but we were truly lucky and blessed. The day before our wedding, thunderstorms brewed up out of nowhere in Central Texas. Flash floods were everywhere and the bad weather diverted many of our wedding guests flights. As we were driving to rehearsal dinner an hour late and two thirds of our wedding party unable to attend due to weather, I looked over to John and said, “if it’s this bad now, there’s no way it can be worse tomorrow.” I stuck with that the rest of the weekend. I woke up the next morning to gray sky, low clouds and pouring rain again. My mom was ready to move the wedding from the perfect setting of our family ranch to the Holiday Inn. As I watched weather reports obsessively, I caught a glimpse of hope and told my parents I was taking the chance on our completely outdoor wedding. I am so glad we made that call because a couple of hours before the ceremony, the sun came out, the sky turned blue, and the grass all around was as green as could be thanks to the fresh drenching. The miracle in the weather set the tone for the guests and we had the happiest wedding I could ever imagine.
I am not much of a creative or a planner, so thankfully I was blessed with a mother and sister who are, as well as a father who is extremely patient and hardworking. Without them our wedding day might have turned out differently. There were a few things very important to John and I so I let my Mom run with those ideas and plan the event. I knew I wanted to host my friends and family at my family’s hill country ranch in Georgetown, Texas, which is just outside of Austin. It was the home I grew up in and is what shaped me into the entire person I am today. John and I also met on a flight to Austin, which gave the Texas location even more meaning for us. This setting would provide the perfect backdrop and inspiration for our ceremony and reception. Because it was my family’s home, we incorporated family heirlooms into just about every detail. My mom even created a canopy out of my great, great grandparents box spring mattress to hang over the drink station. My Dad handmade the wood benches we used for seating during the ceremony and they wrapped trees with white Christmas lights to illuminate the entire event.
When planning the event, we looked at catering menu after catering menu only to feel uninspired by a traditional wedding choice of chicken, beef or fish. Additionally, the food being cooked onsite was important to us. Finally we came across the friendliest little business in Austin, Bola Pizza, that would bring out a wood-fired oven, fire up pizzas and make organic salads for our guests right on the property. This created a very casual and fun tone for the reception; they even provided to go pizza boxes for leftovers after the wedding. My parents have always loved a good surprise, so to kick off the dancing my parents surprised us with an over the top fireworks show that really revved up the guests and started the party for us.
The music was another important decision for us, because John plays in a band and we couldn’t disappoint our friends who love to dance more than most I think. We went with Texas Pro DJs and we couldn’t have been happier with the DJ we picked, Andrew. He kept the dance floor full all night! At one point we even stopped the dancing to give out an award for sweatiest guest. Due to the rains, the 95% humidity made the dancing hot. To capture the day for us, we flew out Phoenix, Arizona wedding photographer, Mike Olbinski. Ironically he is also a weather photographer so if it kept pouring that day, our photos would have still turned out beautifully. We just would have been soaking wet! Even with the wedding day starting out frantic, I would relive the day over and over again and I wouldn’t do a thing differently. Someone told us that day, not that rain on your wedding day is good luck, but that rain on your wedding day washes away the past so you can start a cleansed life together.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? On your wedding day, guests will look to you as the couple to set the tone, have fun, be yourselves, and cherish every little moment that day. Your wedding guests will follow suit and it really does fly by!
John is a musician, and plays in the band Black Carl, so we asked a few of his bandmates to sing for our ceremony. They did an absolutely beautiful job!
Processional: “I Can Tell We Are Going to Be Friends,” The White Stripes and “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” Smokey Robinson
Recessional: “I Feel Good,” James Brown
First Dance: “These Arms of Mine,” Otis Redding
Wedding Location: Georgetown, TX / Photographer: Mike Olbinski / Wedding Coordination and Planning: Nelda Hawthorne and Tammy Schneider / Flowers: Casa Linda Florals / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: Anne Barge / Wedding Shoes: Michael Kors / Accessories: Pearls given to me by my Dad / Hair: Jaime Voelz / Makeup: Michelle Weber / Groom’s Suit: Ben Sherman / Wedding Caterer: Pink Avocado and Bola Pizza / Wedding Cake: Cakes by Kathy / Musicians: Black Carl / DJ: DJ Andrew of Texas Pro DJ / Farm Tables: Sweet Sunday Events / Chairs: Marquee Rents / Restrooms: Royal Restrooms / Photobooth: Bash Photo Booth / Save the Date: illustrated by David Matteson / Wedding Invitations: Minted
What could be sweeter than exchanging vows in the same spot where you had your first date? Paige and Jordan were able to do just that, choosing Tempe’s Center of the Arts as the venue for their rustic-meets-modern-meets-whimsical wedding day. The talented Session Nine Photographers and Kathy Montgomery of Something Old, Something Older were close by to make it all a jaw-dropping vision, and we’re just wild about how it all turned out!
From the bride, Paige: We wanted to have an “adventure”-themed wedding with a fun, eclectic style. We envisioned woodsy and whimsical decor that gave a playful and romantic feel. The venue we got married at was actually a performing arts center where we had our first official date and shared countless other memories, so it was a special spot and we wanted our guests to feel that too.
The primary wedding colors were mint green and coral, although there were multiple colors tied into the details. Our bouquets were a mixture of fresh and silk flowers actually and were made by our wedding decorator. I’m not sure of the exact names of each flower, although I know there were peach/coral roses and sunflowers (my favorite flower) in the bride’s bouquet. I wanted a “wildflower” feel for all the flower arrangements so each one was a little different from the other.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t stress over the small details. Remember the big picture, and what makes your wedding day the most beautiful and special are the people you’re celebrating with and the significance of what you’re celebrating… you’re marrying your best friend! Your guests won’t remember all the small details but they will remember the joy they shared with you so don’t try to make everything perfect. Also, on the big day, take moments throughout to stop, look around, and soak it all in. It can go so fast so truly enjoy and embrace every minute, even during the planning stage!
Family Processional: “Clair De Lune,” DeBussy
Bridal Party Processional: “We Bought a Zoo,” Jonsi
Bridal Processoinal: “Welcome Home,” Radical Face
Recessional: “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” Natalie Cole
Newlywed Entrance: “Treasure,” Bruno Mars
First Dance: “What Can I Do,” Joy Williams
Father/Daughter Dance: “My Girl,” The Temptations
Mother/Son Dance: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” IZ
Wedding Location: Tempe, AZ / Photographer: Session Nine Photographers / Second Shooter: Ace & Whim / Event Design, Styling, and Flowers: Kathy Montgomery of Something Old, Something Older / Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Sarita Stuber of Inspired Events / Venue: Tempe Center of the Arts / Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini / Wedding Shoes: Kenneth Cole / Groom’s Suit: Nick’s Menswear / Caterer: Atlasta Catering / Wedding Desserts: Melinda’s Desserts / DJ: Jon Yee / Wedding Invitations: Bride / Videographer: Mason Gailfus / Transportation: Bride’s car
What can you say about a wedding in one of the most beautiful cities, Camarillo, complete with a pink wedding dress, a perfectly decorated cocktail hour, and a Hawaiian fire dancer? Today’s wedding from Alders Photography has all of this and so much more, with new details popping up each time we look back on it. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
From the photographer, Jennifer of Alders Photography: Rudy & Neilani’s wedding was a celebration of epic proportions. Nearly 300 guests gathered at a quaint, hidden gem in Camarillo, Graf Barn for their wedding. With everything from succulent favors to burlap to vintage accessories, couches outdoors and a dilapidated piano, their wedding was the picture perfect example of a So Cal barn shabby chic affair. And the photo fun didn’t stop there. It was a day jam packed with visual goodies. The couple created an Instagram hashtag for their wedding, ensuring that all guest photos could be found easily after the event. Their reception was chock full of wonderful entertainment. Friends and opera singers serenaded the couple during dinner. Then the couple surprised their guests by each doing performances to celebrate their heritage. Rudy dressed in traditional Mariachi attire and danced as the band played. Then Neilani did a typical Samoan money dance in the traditional garb. It was amazing! They even had Hawaiian belly dancers and fire dancers perform in between acts!
But all of this would be just for show if it weren’t for the amazing love between Rudy and Neilani. With performances to do, 300 guests to mingle with, vows to say, and an adorable toddler to keep track of, the bride and groom could have easily gotten overwhelmed, stressed, curt, or even argumentative with each other. But you never saw any of these emotions from these two throughout the day. They were never more than 5 feet apart, always laughing, enjoying, soaking it all in. Even as they were running to and fro, changing costumes, catching a quick hello with a guest in between, they were all smiles. Because they were celebrating their love. You can tell these two truly are in love and truly go very well together. Their best man, Maximiliano, their son is proof of that. And so is Rudy’s tears as Neilani walked down the aisle, their laughter as they spent a moment alone together, their kisses as they stole a moment away near their getaway truck, and how much they are loved by friends and family.
Wedding Location: Oxnard, CA / Photographer: Alders Photography / Flowers: Rockrose Floral Design / Venue: Graf Barn / Wedding Dress: Rancho Tailors / Musician: Xocoyotzin Moraza / Fire Dancer: Lopeti Tu’ua / Videographer: Paperback Weddings
This wedding is oh-so-sweet and everything you’d expect in a beautiful garden party affair. Ooh La La Weddings & Special Events and Catherine Scott Flowers teamed up to make this backyard wedding a dream come true, and every bit of it was captured by the fantastic Blueberry Photography — including the vintage-inspired centerpieces!
From the bride, Jen: We wanted something small and outdoors. I love rustic so when my husband and I visited the Healdsburg Country Gardens property we knew it was the perfect location for our outdoor wedding. The venue soon became the inspiration for our special day.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? The best advice I was given was to get a day of wedding planner. I now recommend this for everyone getting married weather your wedding is big or small. All questions go to directly to the wedding planner taking the pressure off you on your special day. Worth every penny.
Wedding Location: Healdsburg, CA / Photographer: Blueberry Photography / Event Planning: Ooh La La Weddings & Special Events / Floral Design: Catherine Scott Flowers / Venue: Healdsburg Country Gardens / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Wedding Shoes: Anthropologie / Hair and Makeup: Belle of the Ball / Wedding Caterer: A la Heart Catering / Wedding Cake and Cupcakes: Moustache Baked Goods / Officiant: Nancy Turner of A Ceremony of Love / Wedding Invitations: Rachel Thompson Design
We have a rare treat for you all today, sweethearts. Over the years we’ve seen many a bride share her dream wedding with us, but today we’ve got a wedding put together by the groom and his mother as a surprise for the bride. We’ve got all the deets from the groom himself on how he was able to put it together with the help of Joseph + Jaime Photography and Coriander Girl, so let’s jump in!
From the groom, Mike: I’m a lucky guy. I married the girl next door. My parents moved to the small town of Baltimore, Ontario, about ten years ago. Not long after, the McFarlanes moved in across the street. Their daughter was a pretty blonde girl whom I met at my parents’ neighbourhood Halloween party in 2008. We hit it off and quickly became friends. Friendship grew into something more and I proposed to her at the historic inn at Wakefield, Quebec, in the fall of 2011. We both knew that the perfect place to get married was at my parents’ house — the place we met. Set atop a hill that overlooks Lake Ontario and the rolling hills of Northumberland County, the wedding had to reflect the beautiful natural scenery. We decided that the ceremony would be held in a clearing in the cedar woods adjacent to the house, and the dinner and dancing would take place in the property’s century-old barn — the exact location we met. Wanting to bring the inside outside, and the outside inside, the only way we could think to describe our vision was “woodland whimsy.”
After discovering the perfect wedding invitations, we set about using them as a template for our wedding’s look and style. Together with my mother, we began putting together our dream wedding. Although we always consulted Lauren on major issues, my mother and I decided that we wanted to design the look of the wedding in secret from Lauren. We wanted her to experience the joy and excitement of having the venue revealed to her on the big day, along with all the other guests. The first time she saw the ceremony site, decorated with simple ferns and vintage church windows, was when we both walked down the aisle together, hand in hand. With the expert design sense that she is known for, my mother helped to put together a wedding that existed only in our dreams. The dinner tables were covered in rich aubergine and gold brocade and set with elegant china. The woodland theme was tastefully reflected in all the details — from the table décor, to the handmade place settings, to the heart shaped moss garland on the wall. We also incorporated crystal, gold, pewter and rust-coloured animal figurines, candelabras and other décor elements. The barn was finished we antique furniture and props, including frames and mirrors to fill the walls, creating a warm and elegant setting for dinner and dancing. Lauren and I had our dream wedding. But in the end, the wedding is just a party. The best part is that I get to come home to Lauren every day. There is no one else who would be as a good a match for me as she is. She is a kind and loving person, who also happens to be my best friend. As I said, I’m a lucky guy.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? From the bride: Give yourselves lots of time to plan and execute your wedding, especially if you plan on doing a majority of the planning/DIY yourselves. Try to avoid stressing out (it’s hard!) and enjoy the process as much as possible. Ask your family and friends for help! Chances are they’re happy to help, and want to make the whole process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible for you. Decide what’s most important for you, what you’d like your wedding/reception to focus on, and put your efforts (and money) there. For us, we wanted amazing food, so we prioritized our budget to include the best caterers we could find. Whether it’s a live band, great food, or a Ferris Wheel, find a way to make it happen!
Remember to think of your guests. After all, you and your partner are their hosts. Are they warm/cool enough? Are they bored? If you choose to take photos between the ceremony and reception, arrange a cocktail hour for them or an activity (guestbook, mad libs, etc.). No one likes waiting around with nothing to do! Having a wedding at home was one of the best decisions we made: it was neither inexpensive nor easy, but well worth it, knowing we could wake up and get ready at home, and at the end of a crazy, exciting day, walk across the street and go to bed. If a home wedding fits your vibe, I definitely recommend it. The most important thing to remember is that in the end, a wedding is just a party. Take lots of time out of the planning process to just enjoy your relationship, and each other. It will help you refocus when you’re overwhelmed, and remind you why you’re getting married in the first place! :)
Processional: “In Your Arms,” Kina Grannis
Recessional: “Believe Me (If All Those Endearing Young Charms)”, played on the bagpipes by my uncle. This song is one of my Grandpa’s favourites – he used to play it for my Grandma.
First Dance: “Wild is the Wind,” Johnny Mathis
Wedding Location: Baltimore, Ontario, Canada / Photographer: Joseph + Jaime Photography / Flowers: Coriander Girl / Wedding Dress: Tracy Reese via BHLDN / Wedding Shoes: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Chosen by the bridesmaids (ModCloth & Pink Soda) / Hair and Makeup: Makeup In The City / Groom’s Suit: Dolce & Gabbana / Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds and Batman Converse / Wedding Caterer: Noble Culinary / Wedding Cake: The SweeterE / Wedding Invitations: A Printable Press
Oh, how very much this wedding has stolen my heart. Heather and Antonio put together one of the most carefully thought-out weddings we’ve seen in quite a while, with an exceptional eye for detail and with plenty of talented friends and family to help out in the DIY department. Melissa Brandman and Primal Flower also helped out by lending their phenomenal talents to the day — a day that will surely go in the books as a perennial favorite.
From the bride, Heather: We began our design with a vintage-inspired rustic idea. What it turned into was an enchanting night of food, fun, dancing, and lots of love. In all aspects possible, our wedding was 100 times better than I could have ever imagined. We wanted a vintage feel that was inviting. So we choose a soft color palette, acquired vintage furniture, decor items, and accents. My husband and I are both very detail-oriented. We wanted every aspect of the wedding to be thought out and planned in a way that drew people into the adventure we were beginning on that night. From my dress and accessories, the bridesmaids dresses and jewelry were all individual to each maid, the groom and his men all wore uniquely styled outfits tailored to the charter of each person with touches, the groomsmen all had 20-30s era specific hair cuts and facial hair barbering. We didn’t want people to think our wedding was from the 20s but it was inspired by the 20s-30s’ attention to detail, where the food was homemade and the cocktails were craft, the clothing was tailored and created to accentuate and make everyone feel beautiful. We wanted our bridal party and our guests to have the time of their life at our wedding, by being treated to an enchanting evening of good food, good drinks, and good music.
We did not have the largest of budgets for southern CA wedding to host 350 guests, so we had to be extremely creative. I am blessed to have many creative and giving friends who were giving of their time and talents. Most all of out wedding decor was DIY, or creatively acquired at thrift stores, antique shops, and borrowed from friends and family. Basically, we did everything ourselves; some guests said it was “a Pinterest wedding dream come true.” Ceremony Program/Hand Fans, Table Identifiers, Menu Sleeves, Table Runners, Wedding Favors, Chalk Board Menu Signs, Love Notes Table Signage, Cocktail Hour Decor, Herb Toss Table Decor, Ribbon Back Drop, The brides and maids fascinators, the groom and mens boutonnieres, all the graphic design aspects from our invitations to the ceremony program, the reception decor we designed and my husbands sister Hanan Whitsell designed and had printed, the flower girl boxes, the ring bearers book stacks, all were hand done.
We wanted to create a menu that was tapas style so that our guests would be able to try a lot or a little. We enjoy delicious food and even better drinks so we wanted our menu to be inspired by our travels around the world for our guests. We also wanted or food to be sustainable and conscious of the time of year. All our dishes were planned from that perspective, minus the dessert, just can’t skimp there. The ingredients were locally and organically grown. Our drinks were crafted after our preferred tastes and favorite drinks although they were more inspired with by the 20s time era in mind. We used our two favorite books (Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby) to work with for our table identifiers as well as the pages that the boutonnieres were created from, to a few other touches through out our invitations. The bible also inspired many of the touches, we used verses and characters for table identifiers, old bibles that were falling apart were used to create our book page table runners as well as some of the book page cones used for the herb toss. All things invitation were DIY — the design, the components, the packaging.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Have each of you choose your “top three” items that you are not willing to budge on and stick to those, stay in your lane, and then either collaborate on the other items or delegate the task to other trusted wedding helpers. Hire a day of wedding planner at the very least, but a wedding planner for the entire process will make a world of difference. We were able to 100% enjoy the entire day of our wedding; our wedding planner took care of everything in the morning, the ceremony was flawless, the issues that did come up she took care of, we even got to eat, drink and completely enjoy our reception!
Bridal Party Processional: “The Winner Is,” Devotchka – Little Miss Sunshine Soundtrack
Bride’s Processional: “A Thousand Years,” The Piano Guys
Recessional: “Marry You,” Bruno Mars
Reception: 60’s Soul, all vinyl, DJ Dennis Owens’ Specialty
First Dance: “This Year’s Love,” David Gray
Father/Daughter Dance: “Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton
Groom/Sisters Dance: “Things Never Change,” John Legend
Wedding Location: Cherry Valley, CA / Photographer: Melissa Brandman / Wedding Planner: Hayley White (haywhite @ gmail.com) / Florist: Primal Flower / Venue and Caterer: Highland Springs Resort / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals via Jinny’s Bridal / Bridal Party Fascinators: Mandy Haak (mandybhaak @ gmail.com) / Bow Ties: The Two Guys Bow Tie Company / Desserts: It’s It / DJ: Dennis Owens of Long Beach / Chalk Art: Seth Haak (mandybhaak @ gmail.com) / Wedding Invitations and Graphic Design: Hanan Whitsell / Invitation Printer: RanRoy Printing / Videographer: Robert Vasquez
The second I saw today’s venue – the lovely Brooklands Farm – I knew I was in for a treat. I was only more excited when I saw Reid of When He Found Her was behind the camera, and his blend of digital and film photography left me absolutely breathless. Here’s what can be accomplished when talented vendors and crafty friends come together to create something truly beautiful:
From the photographer, Reid Lambshead of When He Found Her: There were so many amazing details surrounding this wedding, it’s hard to know where to start. Katie had a very specific vision, and between many talented suppliers, a creative wedding party, and the crafty hands of the lovely bride and groom everything came together seamlessly.
Brooklands Farm, the venue, uses sustainable farming methods and is still in full operation. The barn on property is a heritage building, and farm strawberries were served with house made ice cream for dessert and available after dinner at the sweets table. The barn was used for the ceremony and dance party, so there was a complete flip during the tented dinner to accommodate this. The bridal suite (cottage on property) was also used as a games room and coffee/tea station later in the evening, so needless to stay, the logistics of the day were also demanding.
Katie and her maids dipped and wrote out all the escort cards, and the worship programs at the ceremony were crafted by a bridesmaid. The jam favours were made by a family friend, and then topped and labeled by the bridesmaids. Calvin built and stained all the boxes that housed the table arrangements at dinner, refurbished and distressed the dresser (used for mocktail glasses and then transformed into the favour stand), and made the endless directional signs staked around the property.
Wedding Location: Milford Bay, Ontario, Canada / Photographer: Reid Lambshead of When He Found Her / Wedding Planning and Coordination: Bryn Allison of An Artistic Affair / Floral Design: Jane Marshall Flowers / Venue: Brooklands Farm / Wedding Dress: Pearl Bridal House / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Champagne & Cupcakes / Hair: Elements Salon and Spa / Groom and Groomsmen Attire: The Bay, Topman / Wedding Cake: Sunshine Cakes / Lighting, Draping, Runners, and Tables: Mode Function / Stationery: Katie Williams Design Co.