Today’s real wedding gives a whole new meaning to “the great outdoors.” Oregon couple Meng and Max celebrated their marriage beneath a woodsy canopy that was heavenly to behold. Hazelwood Photo embraced every natural backdrop (yes, that includes towering waterfalls and lakeside cliffs!) and Floral Sunshine was there to spruce up the bridal party with flower crowns for all. We especially love the way Gather Event Planning & Consultation and Something Borrowed tied in details like the gold speckled cake and the oversized chalkboard in lieu of paper programs.
Suspended dip-dyed tea bags, personalized marshmallows, and mismatched dining chairs from Forget-me-not Vintage Rentals were just a few of our favorite touches from today’s styled shoot. Patchwork Planning and Monzie’s Floral made sure that comfort was never compromised as they jazzed up this rustic campfire space with charming place settings, warmly-hued blankets and thoughtfully placed antlers. Another feature we can’t get over is the bride’s lace enhanced two-piece gown. Flawless. Let’s dive right in to these spectacular images from Emcee Studio Photographie, shall we?
Rentals and Styling
Hair and Makeup
Stationery and Signage
Can you imagine anything more romantic than a modern Victorian photoshoot beneath a waterfall? We can’t either! These stunning images from Meghan Rose Photography showcase the very best things about nature (and the glorious manmade vignettes they can host). It’s hard to choose a favorite part of this shoot, but it’s a close tie between the playful portraits along the stream and the wild + unruly flowers growing from the table itself. The artful details from Flowers by Tedi are truly what make this woodsy shoot unique, and you’ll be delighted to find out which storybook romance inspired the concept itself!
Glass Jewelry Box
Today’s wedding from Olive Photography, Caprice Design and Decor, and Behind the I Do is just the cutest, no doubt about it. Isabella and Lukas married with a “woodland glam” theme, and they found the ideal venue to showcase their vision and fuse together their love of the woods and art. The end result is a wedding that’s a dream for all you fall and winter wedding couples!
From the bride, Isabella: Lukas laughs when I talk about the theme… “woodland glam” (almost as hard as he laughed when I told him that our Christmas decor would be “woodland Christmas”). We wanted to showcase our love of the outdoors and of art. We had visited the McMichael together many times in elementary and high school, we thought it would only be right to go back there! We hoped that all the touches and details would be meaningful to us as a couple, while also honouring our families and different cultures. We also wanted to capture moments from our long history together as a couple. Our music came from our high school mixtapes for each other and decor incorporated the many photos from our 9 year relationship.
Lukas’ favorite moment: Watching Isabella walk down the aisle with her dad, looking so beautiful and elegant was simply breathtaking. And in classic Bella style, she tripped on the front of her wedding gown. In a cute little huff of frustration and embarrassment she hiked up her dress and marched down the rest of the aisle. Our guests all let out a laugh but if you looked towards me you would see a smile from ear to ear. It was a perfect display of the clumsy yet perfect bride I would marry minutes later. An unplanned and completely accidental moment reminded me of why I fell in love with her.
Isabella’s favorite moment: There are many moments that I will always remember. But my standout moment happened the second we walked out of the ceremony space. The gravity of the ceremony finally hit me and a kiss from my groom brought me to tears. Lukas will attest to the fact that I emote as much as rocks do. But at this moment my heart was full. We had the back of the gallery space to ourselves as the wedding party and parents made it down. Seeing our most beloved friends and family cheering and crying was so special. We got to hug each person and revel in the moment. Not only did I feel so much love for Lukas, but I felt the love from our family and friends.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Weddings are filled with so much emotion and meaning. Knowing that though, it will never be drama free no matter how hard you try! Despite it all though, those special moments that come from the day make it completely worth it. Keep your sanity by doing everything very early! Complete tasks when you feel it is “too early”… because no matter what it isn’t. Finally we learned the wedding is about more than the couple. Something we commented on repeatedly throughout the day was how lucky we were to have our family and friends in our lives. We hope that your day will be filled with the most love your friends and family could possibly give.
When today’s couple entered Terrain at Styer’s for the first time, they knew they had found something special. Better yet, the bride knew that she wanted to get married there — after all, it perfectly highlighted her love of trees, forests, and all things woodsy. Maria Mack Photography was the next piece of the puzzle, and soon everything was falling into place.
From the bride, Catherine: Our style was just us! We wanted to focus our style around “our favorites”! We love throwing parties at our house, so we wanted to have awesome party, with all of our favorite people and of our favorite things. Paul knows how much I love trees. And greenery, and sticks, branches. Basically I would like to live in a forest :) I always envisioned lots of twinkling lights, candles everywhere, lots of wood and birch! So when he took me to Terrain for my birthday 2 years ago, we spent hours there and fell in love with the place. We knew we wanted to get married there.
Since everyone was doing “rustic”, that is not really the word or look we were going for. It was more like homey, woodsy, really bringing the outside in. I always knew I wanted moss table runners with soft romantic tea lights in different metals. Paul really loved the idea of the overhanging draped linen to bring it all in for a homey feel. The theme was truly just us. We wanted to enhance the true beauty of Terrain and use natural colors and textures… browns, grays, burlap, twine, metals and I added the hint of purple to make it all pop. For our Décor, we decided to take items from our home that complemented the look and feel of our vision. Decorations and signs that we have collected on our trips over the years or gifts that people have given us. And now they are back in our home as a constant reminder of our love on our wedding day. Talk about DIY :) Our vase on the sweetheart table was a gift from friends, so were our wedding champagne glasses and forks and knives, and the personalized coasters and wood signs at the bar. The fence baskets used to hold the programs also hold magazines in our living room. We brought in the hanging bottles and all of the pussywillows that we used for our ceremony altar and aisle decorations. They were from pussywillow tree’s from my aunt’s home in Maryland and a huge pussywillow bouquet from my aunt in Maine!
We had many DIY projects, including: Hanging Photos of every guest – we wanted to decorate the outside porch area of terrain with photos of everyone! We bought twine and clothes pin and made vertical hanging ropes of photos of us with all of our guests. Programs – we had so much fun creating these. We made the programs with brown kraft paper and twine and made it like a flip chart! In it included our favorite things, the best RSVP madlibs postcard responses and a thank you at the end which included every guest’s names. We thought this would be fun to read while they were drinking their Champagne and Guinness before the ceremony. I really wanted everyone to feel appreciated and a part of our day. Another big part of the program was the wording we included for the group pronouncement. My brother was the officiant and we really wanted our guests to all be a part of pronouncing us husband and wife, so they got to read along. It was awesome to hear! Seating chart – we found a map of downtown Philadelphia (where we live), and made a board of the map pointing to where each neighborhood was. Each guest would be at a table was a different neighborhoods in the city. The neighborhoods were displayed on real sewing machine bottoms that were written on with chalk! I found them at a flea market and kept going back every week until I had a total of 10 for our tables! Favors – Individual Photo Frames of the Guests! When the guests arrived at their table, they found a photo of themselves in a copper bronzed tree frame. We had so much fun picking out photos of everyone and putting them in the frames. Now, it’s really cool to see them displayed at our friends houses when we are visiting them! We also had Seed Packets – We had someone on Etsy make us a stamp of Let Love Grow, Paul and Catherine. We bought the wildflower seeds and sealed them in kraft brown envelopes.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Our advice would be to really make your wedding your own. Don’t try to satisfy the needs of others or get too much input from others. People are always going to have an opinion and it may not be what you were thinking originally. Stay strong if you have a vision! You have been waiting your whole life for this day and it should be as perfect as you are together. Dance to the song you want to (um, hello 80’s), eat the food you want to (sliders, french fry station, donuts, rootbeer floats and fried chicken), get the flavor or two flavors (chocolate chip and carrot cake!) of wedding cake that you want to! Between Paul and I, we have been to over 20 weddings together in the 3 years of dating. It was so much fun to talk about our own vision each time we left a wedding. Really take the time to decide what you like and don’t like from other weddings. It’s not to say that those weddings are not beautiful or amazing, but they may just not be your style. We wanted our guests to walk into our wedding and have it scream “This is so Cat and Pauli’s wedding.” And we think that it did exactly that!
Groom’s Processional: “Nothing More,” The Alternate Routes
Bride’s Processional: “Today,” Joshua Radin
Recessional: “I’ve Got a Feeling,” Black Eyed Peas
Reception Entrance: “Hello,” Martin Solevig
First Dance: “Higher Love,” Steve Winwood
Venue and Flowers
Today’s styled shoot, brought to us by the talented team of Rising Lotus Photography, Pea to Tree Events, and Hannah’s Floral & Events, blends whimsical and modern style and sets it in the middle of the forest. Decor elements take inspiration from nature’s very own offerings, like the menu signs displayed on thick branch wedges.
From the event designer, Georgette of Pea to Tree Events: Because our creative team is based in Florida, our love of nature might be expected. But we designed this shoot for couples who savor entertaining and socializing outdoors. We looked at this forest of trees at Casa Lantana and saw an outdoor room, not just as a magical backdrop, but as an integral part of a wedding celebration. We saw a place to live in, create memories and host a gathering of loved ones. The classic elements of a wedding day are presented in a unique way, with a hint of whimsy and in an unexpected location. Imagine guests’ reactions to a multi-tiered cake suspended from a tree! Or how irresistible they’ll find the lushly decorated dessert table. Ever fancied having newlywed portraits taken while sitting on swing adorned in flowers? Yes, we’ve got you covered… covered in lots of pretty.
The blush, champagne and golden palette was chosen to complement the natural setting. Drawing inspiration from the woodland backdrop, the blush wedding gown features hand sewn petals along the train made to appear as if they are falling into the forest floor. The elements used throughout the shoot are a play of natural mixed with manmade and classic mixed with modern. For instance, bark pieces serve as a uniquely creative way to list food items and reference the organic setting. Candelabras atop the tablescapes are a nod to old world elegance, while the lounge area has a modern feel.
The details were styled with a whimsical yet modern approach so prospective brides can envision the design possibilities from an elegant affair to something more extravagant. Speaking of extravagant, there’s a butterfly headpiece finished in 18k gold leaf seen at New York Fashion Week.
Make sure you catch the behind-the-scenes film from Golden Plume Films:
Hair Accessories/ Veil
For all you engaged couples out there looking for some photo session ideas, look no further than this love shoot from Hello Miss Lovely. A boho-inspired look and a jaunt into the woods is just what the doctor ordered, and a bit of colorful smoke bombs is the icing on the cake!
From the photographer, Hello Miss Lovely: Into the woods we go, with flowers, DIY-ness, and of course wild & crazy love. I styled this inspirational bridal session with the help of Bella Flora and Salt on the Rocks. I wanted it to be rustic and romantic with an edge. In doing so, I made a tee-pee out of white birch wood branches, topped with a gorgeous floral piece, along with a matching bouquet. I also set up a “table for two” with a barn-wood table top and the same birch wood branches as legs. The decor was simple, yet romantic, using geometric terrariums, floral plates, and crystal and gold-rimmed glasses. I also baked a naked cake for this shoot! My GORGEOUS couple are total babes who brought in the element of edge and sweet-sweet love. We also played with colorful smoke-bombs at the end of the shoot for a pop of bold summertime colors.
Could there ever be a more perfect pairing than two artists marrying in the woodsy setting of the Pacific Northwest? We think not. Amber and Chris, the aforementioned artists and now happy newlyweds, heeded some thoughtful advice from Amber’s mother to cherish and enjoy the entire planning process and keep the focus on their love, a strategy that helped their wedding day to be relaxed, full of personal touches, and absolutely gorgeous. Thank you Hazelwood Photo for taking control behind the camera!
From the bride, Amber: We love the outdoors and the Pacific Northwest. We wanted to create something that truly incorporated the seasonal tastes, textures and vibe of the wild side of Portland. We also wanted to add in our own aesthetic with lots of hand made details and elements created by ourselves and our friends and family. The style mixed raw natural elements (wood, twigs, herbs, wildflowers) with rustic elements like brass and glass and other vintage objects. We let the beautiful landscape of the location do most of the talking in the end. We also let the season dictate the menu and flowers so we left those undecided until the last minute. The bartenders and caterers helped us create the freshest offerings using what was at peak ripeness.
We had lots of DIY projects. My dad made the photo booth backdrop, our illustrator friend John Vance helped us design our invites, we made the favors using rosemary from our yard, and we also made the table settings using trees and branches from our yard. We designed all the logos, artwork, chalkboard signs, escort cards, etc, we worked with the Bartenders to create signature cocktails. I collected vintage vessels, bottles, candle holders and statues for the centerpieces. I volunteered at a local flower garden in exchange for most of the flowers. The rest were picked at my brother’s farm and our own garden. My cousin and I arranged all the flowers and made the boutonnieres and my bouquet. 3 of my girl friends made all the desserts from scratch, decorating them with flowers from our garden as well.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Although it felt overwhelming at times, I am so happy that I spent the time adding in personal touches for our wedding. I’ve been to a lot of cookie cutter weddings that looked beautiful but said little to nothing about the bride and groom. So many of our guests expressed that they were overwhelmed by the intimacy and creativity of our wedding. I credit that to the fact that we put a little of ourselves into every detail. It not only made our guests feel connected to us and our love, but we also made amazing memories for ourselves by doing this work. My mom gave me the greatest advice a few months before the wedding… “Your wedding will happen so quickly that you might not remember every moment. The part you will remember is the careful planning and preparation, so make sure to make that special.” We did, and it made all the difference.
We hired a killer guitarist for the ceremony. He played acoustic classics like Erik Satie Gymnopedie No 1. For the reception, we hired an amazing DJ duo called Natural Magic. They played everything from Stevie Wonder to Washed Out to Giorgio Moroder to Q Lazzarus. We wanted “anti-wedding” tunes, but things you could sing along to and dance to without feeling like a typical wedding playlist.
Wedding Location: Corbett, OR / Photographer: Hazelwood Photo / Flowers: Created by myself with friends and family. Flowers mostly came from Sunblossom Farm in Portland / Venue: Bridal Veil Lakes / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller via The English Department / Bracelet: Alkemie / Earrings: Better Late Than Never / Hair and Makeup: Kristie Wight / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Tie Pin: MankindByBella / Caterer: Crave Catering / Desserts: Abby Auch, Crystal Cullison, Stephanie Haas / Bartenders: Mint & Mirth / DJs: Natural Magic / Guitarist: Ryan Walsh / Vintage Furniture Rentals: Something Borrowed / Photo Booth: Aniko / Photo Booth Backdrop: John Votel / Wedding Invitations: John Vance / Custom Logo design (used on invites and glassware): Martin Schmetzer / Transportation: Ecoshuttle
We just may have found a new favorite venue in Utah’s Sundance Resort – just take one look at these images from Blush Photography and you’ll know why. It was love at first sight for Erica and Jake too, who planned a “forest elegance experience” with the help of Petal Pixie. You knocked this one out of the park, ladies and gents!
From the bride, Erica: I’m from Utah, Jake is from Illinois and we are both New York transplants who seriously needed a break from the concrete jungle to go back to our more outdoorsy roots. We envisioned a rustic forest wedding surrounded by beautiful mountains, crisp, fresh air and most importantly our family and friends. Sundance is an inspiring place where we know our love will forever stay tucked in between all the mountains and trees. To kick off the weekend festivities at Sundance, we planned a lovely outdoor welcome brunch with just parents and siblings and followed it with a relaxed outdoor BBQ rehearsal dinner. Those two events really set the tone and gave everyone, including Jake and me, a chance to talk and relax before the big day.
Flower recipe: I remember telling our florist that I wanted the bouquets to look like we had all run into a field and picked fresh flowers. The bouquets stay true to the nude palette but each have some oranges and purples thrown in to brighten things up. Dahlias, roses, stock, anemone, thistle, succulents, protea, air plants, moss, artichokes, and ranunculus (in my bouquet and hairpiece).
Choosing vendors was a fun experience for me and when we saw Kim’s company, Petal Pixie, and her Hidden Forest shoot we didn’t have to look any further. After one conversation we knew that she would understand our vision of creating a rustic, forest elegant experience. The beauty in a forest is the unique details of every tree, flower, shrub and root and that’s the concept we wanted to create with the wedding. We chose to forgo the idea of “a wedding color” in favor of the mismatched approach. Every table had a different arrangement of flowers, succulents, lanterns, mosses and vases, all the groomsmen and bridesmaids had a different outfit based on a common idea and it all worked together beautifully!
Another key component of our wedding was the photography. We wanted a personal and artistic approach to preserving our wedding. Our wonderful photographer, Brooke Davis – Blush Photography, embodied this idea completely. During our engagement shoot she had us running through the woods so it came as no surprise that after the ceremony she took us up a mountain trail – high heels, dress, suit and all – we hiked up a dirt path through the pine trees to get the perfect shot and one of our favorite memories. For me, the bride, the planning experience was so enjoyable that I even opened up my own forest wedding decor shop on Etsy called Fir and Forest. Every time I make an item for someone’s wedding, I get to relive a little bit of our own perfect day.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t forget to have a moment of Zen along the way. It’s important to take a moment to breathe and remember that everything will all come together in the end. The most stressful part for us was the logistics. We had a lot of guests traveling, but also we were planning a Utah wedding from New York and even from out of the country for a few months – it’s quite a task planning a wedding from India – but in the end, it’s just all part of the adventure! We did a brainstorming session at the venue with our florist and coordinator, Kim, from Petal Pixie and we were immediately on the same page. Find vendors who understand your vision, will listen to what you do and don’t like and will take it to the next level and make it more unique and special than you ever thought. Have a blast with your photos and do something unexpected. One of my favorite parts of the entire weekend was running off to do our shots together right after the ceremony. We found a path in the forest where the sun was seeping through the trees and hiked all around (heels and all) while our photographer, Brooke, took some magical shots. We ran free until we were out of breath, got covered with dirt and pine needles and it… was…. fabulous. I’ll never forget it. Keep it real. We tried our hardest to plan from the perspective of our family and friends and think how each decision would effect them. We stayed true to ourselves, but always had everyone’s feelings on our mind and heart.
Processional: Vivaldi’s Spring
Recessional: “Sevilla,” Albeniz
Father/Daughter Dance: “I Got a Name,” Jim Croce
Mother/Son Dance: “You Will Be On Your Way,” The Young Presidents (Jake’s band – written by him and his bandmate/one of our handsome groomsmen)
First Dance: “True Love Ways,” Buddy Holly
Since we are both musicians and it was important to incorporate music into the wedding as much as we could. Jake sang a song he wrote for me called “Love You Forever” during the reception – It was just the two of us in the middle of the room on the dance floor. So romantic!
Wedding Location: Sundance, UT / Photographer: Blush Photography / Event Design, Planning, and Floral Design: Petal Pixie / Venue, Caterer, and Rentals: Sundance Resort / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Alterations: Pinpoint Bridal / Wedding Veil and Earrings: BHLDN / Hair: Kali Wengreen / Makeup: Jann Rupp / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anthropologie, BHLDN, Nordstrom, ASOS, Ruche / Groom’s Suit: Suit Supply / Ring: Family Heirloom (My great grandfather was a jeweler. He made this ring for my grandmother, passed to my parents lovingly who gave it to us) / Groom’s Ring: Pyxis Jewelry / Wedding Cake: Granite Bakery / Guitarist: Jon Yerby / Wedding Invitations: Bella Figura
As soon as I read Brooke Michaelson‘s description of this styled shoot – a whimsical, tropical paradise loosely based on Out of Africa,” I was pretty much obsessed already. Of course, the images didn’t disappoint — and neither did the styling and floral design by Girl Friday and DeBruyn Designs. Get ready for a burst of color to brighten up your Friday!
From the photographer, Brooke Michaelson: We called our shoot “Out of Africa,” since we loosely based the concept on the memoir. We tried to create a whimsically tropical paradise on farm land in the Minnesota River Valley. Here are a few more details from the shoot stylist: “Shot at the photographer’s private residence and farm on the Minnesota River bottoms in Eden Prairie, MN. We draped the tent in sheers to mimic mosquito netting. Ceiling installation: Spanish moss and grapevine were loosely woven to create a false ceiling. Brand new lanterns from Midway Party Rental are hung at varying heights over the table with braided decorative robes and tassels. The 5 ft floral arrangement on the table sits atop a moss runner layered over a raw, bleached linen runner from The Vintage Type Rentals.”
“DeBruyn Designs combined African flowers with Minnesota native varieties while A Milestone Paper Co. printed the menu on exotic wood veneer. Debruyn Designs made the bridesmaid necklaces by combining strands of dates and beads with paper necklaces made by women in Rwanda as a fundraiser for Educate Rwanda. The beaded necklace that the bride is wearing was purchased by the photographer during her travels in Ecuador last summer. Girl Friday’s chalkboard art inside our “living frame” was photographed to create the invitation and envelope liners. Coordinating fabrics displayed in embroidery hoops behind the bride on the porch. The darling bathroom we used for the suit and boutonniere shots is the result of the HGTV show ‘Bath Crashers.'”
Shoot Location: Eden Prairie, MN / Photographer: Brooke Michaelson Photography / Event Styling: Girl Friday / Florist: DeBruyn Designs / Dresses, Suit, and Veil: Mestad’s / Bride’s Necklace: from Otavalo Market, Ecuador / Bridesmaid Necklaces: Educate Rwanda / Hair and Makeup: Priscilla Bruce / Caterer: Premier Catering and Event Planning / Tent: Total Rental Center / Rentals: Midway Party Rentals / Vintage Rentals: The Vintage Type / Menu and Placecard: A Milestone Paper Co.
When it comes to wedding days, couples who are wedding photographers themselves always seem to get it right. Anne and Björn have seen many a wedding in their day, so they knew they wanted their wedding to be as stress-free and relaxed as possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean they skimped on style and heartwarming details! Thank you to Carmen and Ingo Photography and Ina Mühlhaus for your wonderful work on this one.
From the bride, Anne: We looked for a relaxed and cosy over-all-feeling with a kind of warm welcome feeling for our guests. No stress with just a rough scribble of the day in our heads. Because of our own profession as wedding photographers, we have seen many weddings and the only thing we wanted to leave behind us was the fear of “over-organizing” our own wedding.
Bouquet recipe: Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila).
We wanted to celebrate a very naturally and rustic wedding with a lot of little lovely self-made details. When we found the old barn, our feeling said – this is your place to get married. We got married on the meadow in front of the little hut and celebrated in the barn. We decorated with a lot of light-chains around the bars and beams, candles, flowers, old farm apple boxes which we used for a photo corner with old wedding-portraits from our family, pictures from the past, a self-made wooden BAR-sign, wooden sign-posts, and a few pompoms. We spread some straw-bales inside the barn for the look and having a basement for some of our signs. We also prepared a little shisha-lounge with old vintage furniture and our stand light from the flee marked. :) We also had a very old desk and chair where we placed our guestbook and a Polaroid camera. And yes, we had a color scheme – we fell in the love with the color mustard yellow…. :)
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Just enjoy your anticipation, don’t feel stressed if something won’t workout, just leave it behind you and concentrate on the really important things on your day: Your love to your partner. Have fun to create personal stuff – it’s the own details you will have a relation to. It is fun organize some evenings with friends and prepare stuff for the wedding and combining it with nice food’n’wine. It’s a lot about the people you invite to your wedding – they also will have a bigger relationship to your big day if they were involved from the beginning. Enjoy as much time as possible with family and friends in advance. During that (intimate) time they will get a feeling why you are making the next step in your life and will feel even more with you every second on your wedding day.
Processional: “Green Thumb,” Brett Winterford
Recessional: “Space Oddity,” Walter Mitty
First Dance: “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri
Wedding Location: Mölln, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany / Photographer: Carmen and Ingo Photography / Styling: Ina Mühlhaus / Flowers: Anettes Flower Power, Mölln / Venue: Hotel Waldhof / Wedding Dress: Mark Schmidt via Des Kaisers neue Kleider / Wedding Shoes: Hallhuber / Scarf: made by the bride’s mother / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ASOS / Suit: Herr von Eden / Rings: Goldschmiede Arthur Müller / Singer, Cakes, and Candy Bar: Tortenschön / Ceremony: Imke Klie / Videographer: Kenny Bayne Films
We’ll say it time and time again – oh, how we love a creative bride. After boyfriend Reilly proposed to her, Katie set to work to create a wedding day that was personal, jubilant, and relaxed. This included heaps of DIY projects, including pallet board frames, hand-stained tree slices, and light bulb table numbers, our personal favorite. Kudos to Kelsea Holder for capturing a lovely day so beautifully!
From the bride, Katie: We wanted to get married in the forest, but did not want to make traveling an issue for our guests; thus we decided to bring the woods to us (via decor and styling)! We got married in the beautiful town of Cambria, which holds a special place in our hearts as it is where Reilly proposed to me and has a variety of breathtaking landscapes. We knew we wanted an intimate wedding that was relaxed, welcoming, personal, and celebratory! We spent countless hours envisioning, designing, and crafting together to create a wedding that showcased our unique style.
Our overall vision was rustic, eclectic, hand-crafted, simple, and personal, with a color scheme of blush and grey. We added lots of DIY projects and personal touches, including: Reilly designed “thank you”s which were put at each place setting, frames were crafted out of old pallet boards, Birch Pole Posts were made using gallon paint buckets and burlap sacks, I made Edison light bulb table numbers (a “Katie” original idea), centerpiece tree slices were all hand-stained, wire handles were crafted to hang the jars from shepherd hooks, a seating chart was hand-painted on a vintage window, and the pictures you see on our cake table are our grandparents’ and parents’ wedding photos.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Enjoy the planning process! Do it together, make it fun, and don’t take it too seriously (seriously).
Processional: “Heart of Gold” Instrumental, Neil Young
Recessional: “You Make My Dreams Come True,” Hall and Oates
First Dance: “Everything,” Michael Bublé
Wedding Location: Cambria, CA / Photographer: Kelsea Holder / Floral Design: Country Florist and Gift / Wedding Venue: Cambria Pines Lodge / Wedding Dress: Pronovias via Panache Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Tory Burch / Hair: Janina Canon of Bluebird Salon / Makeup: Jessi Skipton Campbell of Bluebird Salon / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN / Suits: Perry Ellis / Men’s Grooming: Olivia Michel of Bluebird Salon / Wedding Cake: Linn’s Fruit Bin / Chalkboard Signs: Bride and Groom
Few things pique my interest quite as much as the idea of a rainforest wedding. As a wedding planner, bride Kira knew she wanted her wedding day to Brendan to be unique, relaxed, and one heck of a party, and we got on board with that pretty quickly. Thank you to Shari + Mike Photographers and Filosophi Events for doing their wedding beautiful justice!
From the bride, Kira: When planning our wedding we sat down and thought about what was most important to us on our wedding day. We wanted to be with each other all day, we wanted to say our own vows, and we wanted to throw one heck of a party. We didn’t want a super flowery, girly wedding, but wanted something raw, different, and relaxed. Working in the wedding industry as a wedding planner, I’ve seen almost everything under the sun and so I knew right away what kind of vibe I wanted for our wedding. It was important that we got married in the winter (we’re lovers of snowboarding and met at a snowboarding event – he an athlete, me as event staff), so it just seemed fitting. With the date set we then choose our venue, the Cheakamus Centre in Paradise Valley, just outside of Squamish, BC. It is a unique green-built ‘tree house’ set in a mossy rainforest with snow-capped mountains found in the distance. Being there made us feel like we were in another world and it hardly required us to do anything to make it look phenomenal.
We decided to forgo some traditional elements to our wedding day and spent the morning with our wedding party in a rental house cooking breakfast, getting ready, and… writing our vows! On a day that goes by so fast, it was really nice to be able to spend all day with the man I was going to marry. One of my most favourite moments was when I was able to straighten his tie and have a few moments together as he got ready. We may or may not have exchanged a couple high fives at this point. Another element that we left in the dust was starting a wedding with the ceremony. Instead we started with cocktails and hugs! We wanted to get the party started right, so we mingled with our friends and family over some beverages and then headed outside for our ceremony. It was so amazing to be surrounded by friends and family right from the beginning of the wedding. We then got hitched in the freezing cold, rainy covered area under the Cheakamus Centre and I got to tell the man that I love that I wanted to get really, really, really old with him. We then celebrated further with a second cocktail time, a gourmet dinner buffet and capped the night off with dancing, ‘life-size’ Jenga and foosball!
The style and decor of our wedding was industrial chic and elements of cedar wood 4×4 beams, glass bottles and candles showcased down long tables could be seen. Charcoal grey, oxblood and gold were the colours that also played with the theme. Brendan and I agreed that we didn’t want to focus on florals for decor, but wanted to use items that were raw/industrial yet played with the background of being in a forest. We wanted simple. So what started off as simple turned out to be a whole lot of DIY. Brendan cut 4×4’s into various heights which were used on long tables as centerpieces. I then taped and spray painted over 200 votive candles which would then be placed at various levels among the 4×4’s. Between the blocks, clear glass bottles filled with cotton and greenery and helped break up the length of the tables.
FYI – The glass bottles with flowers were something I had talked about with the girls at Filosophi, but at the end of the day our budget wouldn’t allow for it. But to my surprise, they appeared on our tables as a very generous gift from some people ‘in the know’ and I may have shed some tears upon seeing the room and the generosity of some pretty amazing ladies. Brendan also cut a small cedar block which we used to hold each place card. The place cards were cut from plexi glass and rounded corners were sanded. I then hand wrote in calligraphy each guest’s name. While we spent a great deal of time making the perfect pieces for our wedding, it really was the girls at Filosophi, the wedding planning company I work with who set everything up, made the venue look incredible and made sure that our wedding was one of the best days of our lives. I may have shed a few unexpected tears when I walked into the room and saw how it had all come together. It was more amazing that I’d ever had imagined in my head!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Your wedding day goes by incredibly fast. Too fast! Get ready together if you’re not into doing the traditional thing, sneak away with your new husband after the ceremony for a few minutes and revel in the fact that you’re actually married(!) and hire a wedding planner so that you can focus on mingling, dancing and partying. Definitely mingle. dance. and party. Oh and just one more thing – stay true to yourselves throughout the planning process. Take in stride the advice you will get from family and friends and work as a couple to determine the must-haves. It’s your wedding day. Make new traditions, leave old ones behind, and make sure you have fun throughout the planning process.
Processional: “Your Song,” Elton John
Signing License: “Sea of Love,” Phil Phillips
Recessional: “Life is Better with You,” Michael Franti
First Dance: “Who We’ve Become,” Joey Cape
Father/Daughter Dance: “Fathers and Daughters,” Paul Simon
Wedding Location: Paradise Valley, Squamish, BC, Canada / Photographer: Shari + Mike Photographers / Event Planning: Erin Bishop and Corinne College of Filosophi Events / Floral Design: The Flower Factory and Delovely Creative / Venue: Cheakamus Centre / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang White Collection / Hair and Makeup: ML Makeup / Bridesmaids’ Skirts: Express / Wedding Bands: Grimson & Sons / Wedding Cake: Sweet Bake Shop / Ceremony and Cocktail Hours Musician: Martin of Side One / Rentals: Flowerz and A&B Party Time Rentals / Wedding Invitations: DIY / Transportation: Squamish Party Bus
Thanks to 2014 being the year of Radiant Orchid, purples of all shades are gaining popularity. Arina B Photography and Third Bloom used this to their advantage, creating a styled shoot full of rich violet hues and whimsical woodland elegance. Let’s jump right in to the beauty:
From the Creative Director and Florist, Third Bloom: Our lovely couple Mike and Kristen Rounds are so in love and it shines through in the gorgeous imagery from Arina B. Photography. Spring is filled with the scent of beautiful flowers and berries so we wanted to create a whimsical setting with a unique color palette of radiant orchid, a swing covered in vines and flowers, a flower crown with blackberries (my favorite flower crown of all time… because who wouldn’t want a flower crown with blackberries and hellebores!?), a mismatched table setting with a farm table and chairs and vintage plum and sterling goblets from Adore Folklore Vintage Rentals, an adorable ombré cake from a local organic bakery Cups, kraft paper stationery by Take Note Creations and even a white horse made an appearance. And the dresses are so unique by The White Flower Boutique.
Shoot Location: La Jolla, CA / Photographer: Arina B Photography / Floral Design: Third Bloom / Dresses and Accessories: The White Flower / Hair And Makeup: Nina Angela Fojas of The Doll Service / Cake And Cupcakes : Cups Organic / Rentals: Folklore Vintage Rentals / Stationery: Take Note Creations
Really, how could we keep ourselves from falling in love with this styled shoot? It’s got heaps of natural elements, a jaw-dropping woodland setting, gorgeous pinks and reds, and not to mention one of the yummiest cakes we’ve seen in a long time. Crystal Stokes Photography, The Graceful Host, and Springvine Design were the ideal team to put this wedding inspiration together, and they knocked it high and far out of the park.
From the event designer, Ashley of The Graceful Host: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci. It is this idea simplicity that inspired our team to craft an inspiration shoot that highlights the genuine beauty and ultimately, innate sophistication, of a wedding. I wanted to design a wedding that captured my idea “simplicity”, that is organically based, creative in style, and inspired by nature. I found a team that was equally as inspired by simplicity as I am. To all of us, nature exemplifies simplicity in every way, so you’ll see an emphasis on organic style through artistic expression. I started with a color palette inspired by nature – lush greens and earthy beige, with pops of color like rich burgundy and soft peach. And I’ve incorporated more natural elements into the design – raw leather to tie the flatware, linen napkins, an exposed wood table, and a driftwood ceremony arch.
Floral designer Springvine Design captured the beauty of nature in the way she layered floral textures to maintain a simple yet interesting artistic design. The table centerpiece is a vignette of vintage green glass pedestal vases, which compliment the green and amber glassware. She even created a beautiful floral chandelier from grapevine, silver dollar eucalyptus, red roses, spray roses and hand dyed dupioni silk with votive candles, suspended from the trees, that hung near the delicious cake display. The chandelier was an easy DIY project and added a touch of elegance to our backdrop. The bridal bouquet included anemones, ranunculus, succulents, blue thistle, austwater garden roses, red piano garden roses, Queen Ann’s Lace, white veronica, spray roses, peppermint geranium, and jasmine wrapped in hand dyed dupioni silk.
Being that Charlotte is a Southern city, we had to include some elements that speak to southern hospitality! I included a potted succulent favor with the inspiration being “love blossoming.” I also designed a welcome basket that would greet guests upon arrival to the wedding weekend and included within it a mini bottle of champagne, natural soap, a Rewined candle, and a lavender sachet. I wanted to put together a welcome package with simple items that would greet the senses and give guests a feeling of relaxation, just as beautiful landscapes often do.
As I’m sure you’ve caught on, the details of the design were very important and deliberate in thought. But, the most important detail of all is that of beauty. Brides who want to celebrate beauty always inspire me! And, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the beauty of nature, of simplicity, of creativity, and most importantly, of love. It was important to our team that this shoot be approachable to brides, and show elements that can inspire brides to embrace simplicity within their own weddings. We also wanted to incorporate ideas that brides could easily duplicated within their own wedding, which is why I’ve referenced a few easy DIY elements – the signature drink, floral chandelier, and the hand-dyed dupioni silk to name a few.
Shoot Location: Lincolnton, NC / Photographer: Crystal Stokes Photography / Event Design and Coordination: The Graceful Host / Floral Design: Springvine Design / Venue: The Laboratory Mill / Wedding Dress: Watters via J. Major’s Bridal Boutique / Earrings: Haute Bride / Hairpiece and Necklace: Whitney Alyssa / Hair: Lindsay Pizzuti of Mirror Bomb Studios / Makeup: Erin Ashley Makeup / Wedding Cake and Sweets: Sky’s The Limit! Custom Cakes & More / Flatware, Farm Table, Cake Table, and Chairs: Party Reflections / Glassware: Sleepy Poet Antique Mall / China and Napkins: Crate & Barrel / Paper Goods: Elisabeth Rose
Personally, I’ve been so thrilled to see the recent reemergence of the fern. It’s always a bit of a “jackpot” moment when we come across something that’s low-cost and yet high-impact, and the fern absolutely fits that bill. Arina B Photography set to work styling some wedding inspiration filled to the brim with greenery and focusing on the wonders of nature – and we have to say it’s pretty much perfection.
From the photographer and stylist, Arina B Photography: Before there were any buildings, churches and venues, there was always never ending forests – forest became my inspiration for this styled shoot. When surrounded by so much greenery and nature not much decorating is needed — simplicity is the beauty. Moss and green plants for centerpiece came from local gardening store. All the glass items were collected over time from vintage stores. When planning a vintage wedding it’s always a great idea to start shopping early and attend garage sales and vintage markets often – this will save brides tons of money.
My bride wore summer dress from local store called Melrose in OC, I love how simple and relaxing it looked, I really think brides do need to look into the dresses that are not falling off or making them feeling uncomfortable. As a photographer I constantly get to deal with brides fixing their dresses during very pretty moments that could have been a beautiful photo. I really liked to think about our environment, there is why everything in this shoot was environment friendly materials – from recyclable wedding invites to string around bride’s bouquet. So even if something was left behind after the shoot it will do no harm to the nature. Save the planet for future generations.”
Shoot Location: Orange County, CA / Photography, Styling, and Invitations: Arina B Photography / Wedding Dress: Melrose in the OC / Hair: Sara Broussard of Salon Bleu / Makeup: Tiara Rupp of Salon Bleu / Wooden Sign: Fourthings By Cablue / Hand Made Candelas: allMontana
Has there ever been a more romantic coastal destination than California’s Big Sur? Judging by these images from Evynn LeValley Photography, I’d have to say there hasn’t. Shawna and Greg exchanged vows at the Henry Miller Library, and filled their day with heaps of personal details and sentimental memories. You’re going to love this one, so let’s jump right in:
From the bride, Shawna: We chose to get married in Big Sur because it was one of the first places we went away together as a couple. We had already made some very fond memories there, so it was an easy choice for a wedding destination. The Henry Miller Library was the perfect venue for us because it embodies many of our passions including nature and music. Two of our best friends performed a sentimental, fun and non-religious ceremony in front of about 140 of our closest friends and family. The event was full of details that we knew our loved ones would recognize from our personal tastes including an awesome bluegrass band, animal shaped place cards, a curio-cabinet like altar and the movie ‘Endless Summer’ playing on a huge screen against the redwoods. We wanted the wedding to really represent both of our personalities and just be a party we would love to go to!
Any advice for couples planning their wedding day now? Have fun! It can be a really stressful process but I can’t begin to explain how magical it is to have almost everyone you care about at the same place at the same time. Sure, we had a few loved ones not able to make it to Big Sur but they were there in spirit and we were able celebrate with them in other ways. Also, be sure to choose vendors that really understand your vision and have experience. The day ran so smoothly and I know it was hugely because of the exceptional vendors we decided to go with.
Wedding Location: Big Sur, CA / Photographer: Evynn LeValley Photography / Floral Design: Bunch Studio / Venue: Henry Miller Memorial Library / Hair: Profiles Hair Studio in Carmel / Caterer: Grapes of Wrath Catering / Wedding Cake: parker-lusseau pastries / Musicians: The Pine Needles
When Zest It Up get their hands on an event, they work magic – that’s just a fact. For this bohemian styled shoot with Danielle Poff, they envisioned a woodland elopement filled with deep pinky-reds, metallic, and a mix of greys that just so happened to result in a photo shoot that’s as inspired as it is beautiful to look at.
From the stylists, Zest It Up: What is more magical than the sparkle of love and the promise of things to come found in the quiet beauty of winter. Caught in the moment just before the loud ruckus of Spring, our models, Jessica and Tyler, are romanced by the hushed tones of the forest. Danielle Capito Photography beautifully captured the spirit of this quiet moment stuck in the clash between the hush of earthy greys and the decibels of shimmering glitter. Danielle focused her lens and use of light in a manner that coaxed the intimate romance of this clandestine celebration.
The details were set by the expert eyes of Zest it Up, a design and catering company located on the Central Coast. Creating a moment worthy of a spritely princess, Zest it Up set a lush table with a woven metal tablecloth from the street markets of Saudi Arabia. The gold chargers were set with mercury glass plates and gold geometric designs. The woodland environ was whispered into the design with feather details and a unique chandelier of grapevines, willow branches and crystal made by Samantha and Chanda of Zest it Up. With candlelight overhead, Jessica and Tyler were cozy with silvery faux mink throws to keep them warm as the minutes ticked by in this wintery woodland.
Festive Designs heightened the romance and drama of the table with the subdued but dramatic colors of their floral arrangements. Highlighting the use of color with texture, they used feathers, seed pods and berries of various flora, wintery foliage, twigs, and deeply romantic roses mixed with astilbe and otherworldly pomegranates. Using mercury glass and lanterns with Moroccan overtones, Festive Designs coaxed even more ethereal beauty out of their designs.
Zest it Up continued the spritely magic with a rope-suspended dessert table adorned with caramel encrusted croquembouche and a flambe cake. The glittering mesh stars and Spanish moss draping the tree canopy were sublime touches of enchantment. Donning threads from Urban Outfitters, Change of a Dress Consignment Boutique and Free People, Jessica felt extra glamorous with all the delicate beauties created by Baxter Moerman Jewelry. From stacking rings reminiscent of will o’ the wisp, to bolder statement pieces like a geometric necklace and grey pearls, Baxter Moerman Jewelry bedazzled our quiet moment in the oak forest.
Shoot Location: San Luis Obispo, CA / Photographer: Danielle Poff / Event Design: Zest It Up / Floral Design: Festive Designs / Attire: Change of a Dress Consignment Boutique, Free People, Urban Outfitters / Jewelry: Baxter Moerman Jewelry
Just when we think French weddings couldn’t get any more beautiful, this dreamy inspiration in Île-de-France happens. Styled and designed by Fabienne of Love sur la Comète, flowers from Osmose Création, and images by Trentième Étage are all just part of what makes this French inspiration shoot so incredibly gorgeous. Let’s delve right in, shall we?
From the event designer, Fabienne of Love sur la Comète: In France, most weddings are in summer whereas all seasons are really beautiful and usable for weddings. I love fall with all its beautiful colors and magical trees, so I really wanted to show a wedding in that gorgeous season. When I think about fall, I see warm colors like orange, red, yellow; I can hear music just like the falling of a leaf from a tree and the landing from a delicious wind… So, the inspiration behind the shoot was to share a wedding in harmony with the fall in the woodlands, just like a beautiful walk all-around it.
I wanted to show a couple that loved nature and that could have a wedding that could be a simple friendly and charming moment enjoying the sound and the beauty of fall by choosing fall’s colors to say “I do.” I wanted the decor to be simple and fine to let the beauty of the woods shine through. A lake with ducks, pieces of log as sweeties support, a delicate wedding dress, leaves all around the land, a calm atmosphere, a fine rain, that was perfect for enjoying a fall wedding just like a precious moment to share with that beautiful season.
I just have to add that it was really hard to shoot this inspiration because on that day, the rain just would not stop! It was raining all day! We just had a few minutes to arrange everything outside (and obviously, everything was soaked), so we didn’t do every picture we wanted to do outside, but it was still truly a beautiful time.
Shoot Location: Saclas, France / Photographer: Trentième Étage / Event Concept and Design: Fabienne of Love sur la Comète / Flowers: Osmose Création / Venue: Les prés de Gittonville / Dresses: Elsa Gary and Aëlle Paris / Wedding Shoes: Dessine Moi un Soulier / Jewelry: Paulette à Bicyclette Paris / Hair and Makeup: Tania Li / Groom’s Suit: Scabal House / Groom’s Shoes: Caulaincourt / Bow Tie: Cinabre / Cupcakes: Berko Paris / Wedding Invitations: Happily Factory / Models: Lauriane and Kenji
From time to time I can’t put my finger on exactly why I love a wedding – all I know for sure is that the couple just nailed it. Amelia and Lucian, who wanted a handfasting ceremony surrounded by redwoods and a dance party under the stars, are a prime example of such a couple. Who better to capture the wedding day than Rog of EPLove?
From the bride, Amelia: Lucian and I both envisioned an intimate hand fasting ceremony surrounded by our family and friends. I knew I wanted a bouquet of lush garden roses, and a dance party under the stars. Lucian’s top priorities included exchanging our vows within a circle of redwoods, and enjoying delicious, local food.
Bouquet recipe: My bouquet was a cascade style bouquet consisting of sustainable grown garden roses, white spider mums and various ferns. My bouquet evoked the romance and nostalgia of a time long ago. The mums were a heartfelt inclusion to remember my grandmother’s favorite flower, the fragrant garden roses included are the epitome of romance, and completed with a long cascade of velvet and silk ribbons, it was the perfect compliment to my gown.
Our wedding was romantic, elegant, rustic, and organic. We incorporated various vintage elements including the antique silver and milk glass vases that were used for floral arrangements. Castle House provided the perfect venue for our wedding! We searched high and low for the right venue, one that was not only rustic, but elegant also, and castle house really delivered. We were able to have the ceremony of our dreams surrounded by a magical ring of old growth redwoods, and the party of a lifetime out on the fabulous cobblestone courtyard.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Focus on traditions that are meaningful to you, and skip the rest. Incorporate your friends, family, and community. We decided against having a wedding party, and instead invited all of our friends and family to participate freely however they desired. My dear friend from high school officiated. She wrote the most beautiful ceremony, and it fit us completely. Another friend DJd’d and the music was absolutely perfect! The whole wedding felt like a collective labor of love, and it made the day all the more magical.
First Dance: “A Man Needs a Woman,” James Carr
Parent/Daughter Dance: “Teach Your Children Well,” CSNY
Lucian’s mother led a traditional Balkan folk dance.
Wedding Location: Bonny Doon, CA / Photographer: EPLove / Venue and Flowers: Tessa’s Garden at Castle House Garden / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham / Hair: Melissa Marie / Caterer: Feel Good Foods / Wedding Cake: Buttercup Cakes / Wedding Invitations: A Printable Press
Here at Ruffled, we just love a couple who isn’t afraid to face the weather in order to get the exact look they’re going for. Savannah and Rob wanted a Chronicles of Narnia-inspired wedding – a winter wedding with woodsy elements and a touch of whimsy and elegance. Teale Photography captured every element of their day perfectly, don’t you think?
From the bride, Savannah: We wanted to create a combination of elegance and rustic. With the setting of a farm, we knew it would feel rustic, but we wanted to also bring in a touch of elegance to make it a little unexpected! Our theme was sort of Narnia inspired with a less wintry feel. We used lots of candlelight, natural decor (pine cones, manzanita branches, baby’s breath) to create a very woodland type feel but the candlelight made it feel nice and warm inside!
The color scheme was very natural, to fit with the theme. My bridesmaids wore navy dresses, and the groomsmen wore gray. But I didn’t want lots of bright colors to distract from that very natural feel/theme we were going for. We had bells and lace with our guests names on them for the place settings that also served as our send off and wedding favors! I had lots of friends help me make them! They were very simple, but fun for our guests to ring spontaneously when they wanted me and my husband to kiss!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I am fortunate with friends who are very creative and do event planning, so I was able to get lots of help from them! It made the process so much fun and enjoyable having good friends be a part of the process! It kept me relaxed and a little more stress free having close friends involved! If you know people who can help you with the little details, ask! They will most likely be honored to help!
Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Recessional: “Best Day of Your Life,” Katie Herzig
Reception Entrance: “You Make My Dreams Come True,” Hall and Oates
First Dance: “LOVE,” Nat King Cole
Wedding Location: Atlanta, GA / Photographer: Teale Photography / Florist: Dee Reising, Occasions Florists / Coordinator: Brittany Gibson / Decor: Melissa Howard and Amanda Howard / Wedding Venue: The Walters Barn in Lula, GA / Wedding Dress: Faith Thornburg / Veil: Faith Thornburg, using details from the Mother of the Bride’s wedding dress / Wedding Shoes: TOMS / Bride’s Earrings: Blue Nile / Hair and Makeup: Lauren Brock (lauren @ southernlightsproductions.com) / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew “Arabelle” / Caterer: Luna’s Restaurant / Wedding Cake: Cecilia’s Cakes / Ceremony Musicians: Mary Elaine Mahaffey / DJ: Matt Keller / Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find more beautiful scenery for a wedding than The Sierra Nevada. Emily Heizer captured Jenna and Simon’s big day, which was full of heartwarming details – right down to the peridot bracelet Jenna’s father gave her in remembrance of her mother. Art in Bloom knocked the flowers right out of the park with their designs, don’t you think?
From the photographer, Emily Heizer: Jenna and Simon met in Lake Tahoe a few years ago, and are a hugely outdoorsy couple. The Hideout was a natural choice for a venue given its location and its wild state. Jenna’s mother passed away a few years ago and several memorials were done during the wedding to remember her. A candle was lit during the ceremony, a bouquet of tulips was placed on her seat at the ceremony site, and part of Jenna’s mother’s wedding dress was used on her bouquet – it was wrapped around the stem with the bridal buttons beautifully displayed down one side.
Jenna and Simon had a first look before their ceremony on a granite dome behind the venue. Completely private and with gorgeous views. Jenna also had a first look with her dad, who presented her with a special peridot bracelet, which was her mother’s birthstone. Jenna immediately added it to her outfit for the day. Simon plays the guitar and rather than a guestbook, the couple had their guests sign a guitar to remember their wedding day by! After the ceremony, Jenna and Simon rode up Pucker Butt Hill, a small mountain on the venue’s property to enjoy the view and a few moments alone! Not very many couples brave this high hike, but they did! We were all driven by Jenna’s dad, who was an excellent driver!
Jenna and Simon took a sunset canoe ride around the private lake on the Hideout’s property and were SO incredibly brave to actually stand up in the boat and give each other a big kiss! Instead of a traditional cake, Simon and Jenna had bundt cakes! They also had a donut bar, which were freshly made on site. Late in the evening, Beth Soggard provided mini grilled cheeses and truffle french fries as a late night snack.
Wedding Location: Kirkwood, CA / Photographer: Emily Heizer Photography / Floral Design: Art in Bloom / Venue: The HideOut / Hair: RAH Hair Studio / Wedding Caterer: Beth Soggard / DJ: Super Sound Professional DJ Entertainment / Lighting: Sean & Nick / Rentals: Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents / Roadside and Reception Signage: Em Lauren VO / Framed Art Quotes: First Snowfall
If you haven’t yet seen the Redwood forest of California in person, you absolutely must add it to your bucket list. For any of you who dream of marrying amongst the California Redwoods, it doesn’t get much better than Nestldown. Sun and Life Photography captured the wedding day of Kim and David, who blew us away with their incredible handmade reception.
From the bride, Kimberly: When we got engaged, we were certain of one thing. We knew we wanted a wedding that highlighted both our personalities without being too obvious. Our goal was to have our guests arrive at our wedding and think “This could only be Kim and David’s wedding.” When it came time to choose our venue, all the sites we looked at felt too generic. Surely they could host nice weddings but we really didn’t have any strong feelings about them. Then came Nestldown. My mom went online and searched for local wedding venues and this was the first place that popped up. We rolled our eyes when she first showed us, mostly due to the fact that we had our mind set on a modest, personal wedding set in my parent’s backyard, but we thought we’d humor her and take a tour. As soon as we stepped on the property, we knew. A natural chapel created by California redwoods, a meadow for post-ceremony celebrations, and a gorgeous barn to finish the night in. We were sold.
While planning, I kept thinking about the fact that I would only do this once. This day had to be exactly what we wanted, from my dress to the place cards to the flowers, because this is what we will remember forever. I’m a details kind of girl, so every little thing needed to be something that made us smile. My mom spent the months before the wedding cutting, sewing, and stenciling 180 flags, one for each guest to wave following our ceremony. My mother-in-law and I designed the table menus, place cards, and table numbers which combined with our gold china and vintage-inspired floral arrangements, provided the romantic, rustic feeling we had dreamed of.
Any advice for couples planning their own weddings now? If you’re a bride planning your wedding and thinking about doing a First Look, do it. It was our favorite part of the day (and an awesome time saver for photos). Taking that time for just the two of us was priceless.
Wedding Location: Campbell, CA / Photographer: Sun and Life Photography / Floral Design: Bloomster’s / Venue: Nestldown / Makeup: Ile Bailey Makeup Artist / Caterer: La Bocca Fina / DJ: Big Fun DJs / Photo Booth Equipment: Magnolia Photo Booth Co.
If I had to imagine the most romantic, natural wedding possible, it’d look something like Tor and Alper’s wedding in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Also, it doesn’t hurt that their wedding was full of some of the industry’s leading pros, including Sean Flanigan, Honey of a Thousand Flowers, and Jenny Packham. Get ready to have this wedding floor you:
From the bride, Tor: We wanted the day to be a merging of our love in the company of all people we love. Since Alper and I got engaged while on a forest-y hike, we knew we wanted to get married outdoors so Nestldown became the perfect venue for us. The only other main ingredient that I really wanted were beautiful florals because I grew up on a flower farm and love flowers. Yes, flowers were more important than even my wedding dress.
We nicknamed our wedding The Little Black Diamond Wedding Adventure after my engagement ring which is just a single black diamond and the lifelong adventure Alper and I were about to embark upon. Since Alper and I are both art directors, we were excited to design the invitations and all the printed matter we needed for the day. I knew I had to have gems at the wedding after seeing this inspiration post. The escort cards were all cut into the shape of Settlers of Catan game pieces since it’s one of our favorite games. And my mom made us three quilts we used during the cocktail hour.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t do something just because of tradition. If you don’t like cake, don’t have a cake. Well, it’s hard not to like cake but what I mean to say is that if root beer floats are more your thing, have floats instead of cake. Who says you can’t cut a root beer float? Make the day about all the things you and your other half love, and if you can’t make that happen, elope.
Processional: “Sea of Love,” Cat Power
Recessional: “Home,” Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
First Dance: “Hawaiian Wedding Song,” Elvis
Father/Daughter Dance: “Aloha ‘Oe,” Johnny Cash
Mother/Son Dance: “Hang On Little Tomato,” Pink Martini
Wedding Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Gatos, CA / Photographer: Sean Flanigan / Floral Design: Honey of a Thousand Flowers / Wedding Venue: Nestldown / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham “Aspen” / Groom’s Suit: Gucci / Wedding Caterer: Le Papillon / Pie: Pie Friday / DJ: Josh Olds of Boutique DJs / Favors: Craftsman and Wolves / Photobooth: Magnolia Photobooth / Invitations and Paper Goods: Bride and Groom (Tor Weeks and Alper Kologlu) / Letterpress Printing: RebPeters Press / Digital Printing: ScanArt / Transportation: Corinthian Transportation
I think the only thing more romantic than a wedding in the woods has to be one surrounded by gorgeous waterfalls. Mathias Fast Photography scouted this area near his parents’ cabin, and knew right away it would be an ideal spot for a wedding shoot. He soon came back with memorymaker events, Meuse Boutique, and Garden Party Flowers in tow, who created pure magic.
From the photographer, Mathias: Ever since I first explored the area around my parents’ cabin in the Nahatlach Valley I’ve planned to go back with models and vendors in tow for a styled shoot. The massive waterfall, stunning views down the valley and the smooth as glass lake make for an incredible setting. Local Vancouver vendors came together to add a touch of elegance to this rustic wilderness location.
Shoot Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada / Photographer: Mathias Fast Photography / Shoot Coordinator: memorymaker events / Event Decor: Meuse Boutique / Wedding Flowers: Garden Party Flowers / Bridal Gowns: Pure Magnolia / Jewelery: Rebekah-Anne Jewellery / Wedding Cake: Berliosca Cake Boutique / Favours: Lulu Island Honey / Stationery: I’ll Know It When I See It
Given Hudson Valley’s remarkable landscapes and views, it comes as little surprise that weddings in this region of New York would be equally exquisite. Onteora Mountain House was the ideal venue for Jesika and Michael, and Lev Kuperman the perfect fit as photographer of their woodsy rustic wedding day.
From the bride, Jesika: Michael and I have both lived in NYC or Brooklyn for quite some time now. We bonded our relationship going for long walks in the woods of the Catskills so it was a quick and easy decision for us to want a wooded wedding. We wanted to be surrounded by nature and trees, something we don’t experience enough when living in a metropolitan area. Ultimately this had us creating a rustic wood themed wedding.
Our theme was wood and focused a bit on the Catskills where we were married. Michael graphically designed our save the dates, invitations (which we had etched in wood!), website, menu cards, and gift bag welcome cards, along with our logo. I wanted the tables to be named after trees so we embroidered flags to place at each table. We hand crafted our escort cards using little stumps of wood and twigs with paper flags with each guests name and table. My uncle has an amazing talent with wood and he helped with all of our wood needs including hollowing out an amazing stump that Michael and I found in the shape of a heart for our guests to put cards in. The theme colors were dusty green, brown, and white.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Have fun with it. Don’t do anything you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable about and don’t sweat the small stuff. #1 – get a good photographer, ours was absolutely wonderful and I am so happy with how he was able to capture our day. Now we can look back and relive our wedding exactly the way we remember it. #2 – Really, try not to sweat the small stuff – imperfections do tend to make things more special and real. Our day was full of blunders and we just look back happy and in love with each other and how magical the day was for both of us no matter how many little blips there were.
Processional: “Zebra,” Beach House
First Dance: “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers
Location: Boiceville, NY / Photographer: Lev Kuperman / Florist: Wildflowers / Wedding Venue: Onteora Mountain House / Wedding Dress: Olia Zavozina (renamed “The Jessa” after me as we worked together to redesign one of her other dresses!) / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair and Makeup: Leigha Hurley / Groom’s Suit: Epaulet / Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Wedding Cake: Trixy’s Treats / Wood Pieces and Cake Stand: Don Homeijer Woodworkings / Wedding Music: Darlingside / Wedding Invitation Etching: Bullfrog Designs
I love a Clayton Austin wedding. It seems Clayton has the good fortune of capturing the dreamiest, most love-filled days out there, just like Kate and Denny’s wedding at New York’s Cedar Lake Estates. The couple’s wedding weekend was full of fun games and handmade details for all their guests to soak in, and we’re going ga-ga over the result!
From the bride, Kate: For our wedding we envisioned a “fun and games theme” with an elegant rustic decor. We wanted to have a wedding weekend where our guests would have a fun and memorable experience and not take anything to seriously.
We planned a 3 day event that started with a bonfire on Wednesday night. We then had what we called “The Wedding Games” the following day. This event was all about acting like a kid and having fun — glorified adult picnic games. We started the event by picking teams at random. We thought this would be a great icebreaker and a great way for people to get to know one another. Once the teams were picked we started the games. They consisted of potato sack races, water balloon toss, an obstacle course, a three legged race, a pickle eating contest, and a scavenger hunt. The following evening, we had a dinner for all of our guests including a bonfire and an acoustic duo. For the wedding day we had an outdoor ceremony overlooking a lake. We wrote our own vows, and my husband actually sang his vows to me while he played his cigar box ukelele. At the reception we just had one big dance party!
Our theme was “fun + games” with rustic decor. We used a lot of game elements and XOXOs (hugs and kisses and tic tac toe…) We did not have a set color scheme, simply muted earth tones with different shades of blue. Everything about our wedding was DIY. For the escort cards, I wrote all of our guests names (or nicknames to keep the silly and casual vibe) out in scrabble letters and photographed them and printed them . (photog took only one photo so see attached artwork as well). We made custom table runners out of photographic prints that we glued together. The photographic prints were a collection of abstract images created by the bride of different scrabble words and game pieces. For our favors we boxed up wind up toys (an inside joke between the bride + groom). Each box had a custom made tag on it with a quote about not taking anything to seriously on the back.
A lot of our decor was made from things we took right from our own home. We figured what better reflects our style than things we have decorated our home with! I did not want real flowers for the wedding so the planners custom made us all of the bouquets out of paper flowers, wood flowers, and game pieces. They also crafted the boutonnieres out of paper and game pieces as well. They created custom centerpieces out of wood that were simply amazing. (Note: wood was from Hurricane Sandy.) They hung lightbulbs filled with baby’s breath, tea lights, and X’s and O’s that they handcrafted out of wood.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Make sure you relax at least a day or 2 before your wedding. Don’t try to do everything yourself!
Processional: “I Do,” Colbie Caillat
First Dance: “Swept Away,” The Avett Brothers
Father/Daughter Dance: “Thank You,” Natalie Merchant
Mother/Son Dance: “Days Like This,” Van Morrison
Wedding Location: Port Jervis, NY / Photographer: Clayton Austin / Wedding Planner: Kelly Heyn of SociaLife Events / Wedding Design and Flowers: Faye + Renee / Wedding Venue and Caterer: Cedar Lake Estates / Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka “Kiki” / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Free People / Groom’s Jacket: Ted Baker / Groom’s Shoes: Bed STU / Groom’s Pants: AG / Bow Tie: Vintage Thriftshop find / Watch: WeWOOD / Cake Pops: Sugarush / DJ: DJ Mr. NiceNess / Wedding Invitations: Made by Bride / Videographer: NY Filmworks
When bohemian style meets woodsy locales, the result is pure magic — just ask Amy Wallen Photography and Pink Peony Planning & Design, the masterminds behind today’s styled wedding shoot. Earthy color tones come together with succulents and antlers for an inspired wedding in the woods:
From Adria of Pink Peony Planning & Design: We’re so excited to share this woodland-inspired styled shoot with you! We met Amy Wallen (now Amy Reed!) in January and instantly knew we were “soulmate vendors.” It turns out that we had all been dreaming about the same shoot: natural, cozy, a little bit bohemian and filled with rich, earthy colors. It felt like fate.
We didn’t necessarily have a color palette, but instead loosely stuck to colors that were rich and organic – dark burgundies, berries, burnt oranges, greens and browns, with a hint of sweet peach and white. Although it was a hot Kentucky day when we shot, the styling took us to a slightly chilly fall evening at a cozy, candlelit dinner. We shot at twilight, and we could not have been more pleased when an unplanned-but-breathtaking fog came rolling over the hill and added the perfect finishing touch. Many of the pieces were found items that we carefully gathered from our homes, friends, flea markets and nature. A few of our favorite details include: the custom-made farm table designed by a good friend, dip-dyed menu cards, wood and silver flatware, DIY floral monogram, succulent-topped cake surrounded by delicate moss, naturally shed antlers (including one pair of HUGE elk antlers!), elegant lanterns, a texture-heavy bouquet, and the bride’s lovely gold headpiece and nude gown.
I would be remiss if I left you to peruse the photos without mentioning our wonderful models. On the morning of the shoot, our original male model cancelled on us. Cayce, our “bride,” suggested we contact Nathaniel, an old friend of hers. He agreed, and we spent the rest of the day in awe of their amazing chemistry. Our favorite moments were unplanned, undirected, and possible entirely because of them.
Shoot Location: Morehead, KY / Photographer: Amy Wallen Photography / Event Design: Pink Peony Planning & Design / Event Venue: The Pines at Sheltowee / Hair: The Hair Gallery / Wedding Cake: She Bakes Cakes / Equipment Rentals: Bryant’s Rent-All
What could be cuter than a wedding in the mountains at a venue called Robin Hood Barn? Brett & Jessica took to the task of photographing Mary Beth and Nate’s intimate and woodsy wedding day, complete with incredible floral arrangements from Urban Farm Girl Flowers.
From the bride, Mary Beth: Nate and I absolutely loved the idea of having a relaxed wedding weekend for family and friends to gather in the mountains and celebrate. When we began planning the wedding, we chose venues that were meaningful to us. We decided to have our wedding ceremony at an outdoor chapel that I have been visiting since I was a child that overlooked the Appalachian Mountains. Our reception took place at a barn in my grandpa’s neighborhood, Sherwood Forest. The style of our wedding evolved into a woodsy vintage feel that reflected our love of the mountains, our interest in thrift shops, items borrowed from my grandpa’s home, and our shared passion for sustainability.
We had a simple, hand crafted wedding with warm, springtime colors. Nate and I love creating and crafting and had a great time working on projects for the wedding. With the help of our talented family and friends we made many things for the wedding ourselves. Handmade details included cross stitched woodland creatures for table decor, fabric napkins, a paper flower garland for the ceremony, log slices cut from fallen trees in Sherwood Forest, fabric flower boutonnières, and chandeliers made from thrifted lampshades and hand painted paper petals. My dad even made signs and banners for the reception that were a surprise to us. Our wedding was a testament to the love of our friends and family. Their contributions were invaluable. Our friends made our marriage official, my mother made apple butter for the favors, my uncle home brewed beer for the reception, and we had delicious ice pops for dessert which were custom made by our friends.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Our advice is to keep it simple and personal. Try not to get too caught up in what other people and magazines say your wedding should be or have. We opted for a food truck, compostable plates and utensils, and picnic tables rather than formal catering, rented china, and fancy chairs. We made our wedding personal by involving family and friends and choosing reception decor that reflected our creativity and interests. Nate and I also each wrote a personal note for every guest to serve as place cards and show our appreciation for their love and support.
Bridal Party Processional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
Bride’s Processional: “Flightless Bird,” Iron and Wine
Recessional: “Oh Yoko,” John Lennon
All of the songs were played on acoustic guitar by two of Nate’s friends who also served as groomsmen. Three of our friends who are in a band played songs during our reception. They actually wrote a song just for us and played it for our first dance. It was such a sweet and personal gift. We absolutely loved it!
Wedding Location: Brevard, NC / Photographer: Brett & Jessica / Floral Design: Urban Farm Girl Flowers / Ceremony Venue: Fred W. Symmes Chapel / Reception Venue: Robin Hood Barn / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Anthropologie / Handmade Flower Accessories for Bride and Bridesmaids: Ashley Norton / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Modcloth, J. Crew, and Belk / Groom’s Suit: Express / Groom’s Shoes: Adidas / Ties: Chipmunk Point / Boutonnieres for Groom and Groomsmen: Handmade by the bride / Wedding Music: The Riverbreaks / DJ: Dub C DJs / Caterer and Wedding Cake: Laurey’s / Food Truck: The Lowdown Food Truck / Ice Pops: Pleasant Pops / Coffee: Izzy’s Coffee Den / Wedding Invitations: Lady B Paperie
A woodsy wedding turned weekend escape – this fun loving bride and groom left the windy city to share their special day in a beautiful Michigan barn tucked in the woods. Blue Label vendor J Wiley Photography was there to capture their wedding day, filled with preppy-rustic inspiration.
From the bride, Mackenzie: When Matt and I started planning our wedding, we wanted it to reflect us as a couple: slightly casual, laid-back, and a good time with a lot of laughs. We live in downtown Chicago but wanted to have a destination without the flying. We searched high and low for wedding venues and chose a renovated barn in Watervliet, Michigan. Mill Creek Barn is 2 hours from the heart of the city but another world, surrounded by nature, in the middle of nowhere. Being 2 hours away also gave us the opportunity to escape with our family and friends for more than just 1 night. We made a weekend of it, complete with a winery trip and a pizza party for all of our loved ones.
As we began to plan, we knew that we gravitated towards simplicity in our décor but wanted the details to shine. The planning was truly a family endeavor. Both my husband and mother are event planners and we have a very crafty family. Since I am more of a “big picture” person, I put my mother in charge of the flowers and centerpieces and she knocked it out of the park. From choosing the perfect flowers to hunting flea markets to find the perfect ball jars to cutting old barn wood to put on the tables, everything came together perfectly.
We chose navy and bright green as our wedding colors. The navy popped so well against the greenery around the property. I asked my bridesmaids to purchase any short navy dress and they all looked gorgeous! Our guys wore navy 3-piece suits and were so handsome. In case you couldn’t tell, facial hair was a requirement to be a groomsman in our wedding!
One of my favorite details of the day was the homemade blueberry jam that my great-aunt made. They acted as both our favors and our place cards. We used different navy and green fabrics and decorated them with raffia and they turned out fantastic. Another favorite detail was our cake, which was dedicated to the city we love, Chicago. We had different layers of red velvet and almond cake, decorated with a simple Chicago skyline in navy.
The day was absolutely perfect. There was an 80% chance of rain, but the sun came out 15 minutes before our ceremony. Love was in the air and we were so blessed to share it with such wonderful family and friends. I can say with all honesty that I wouldn’t have changed a thing – all our hard work really paid off! We certainly love a good party and the reception was more than we could’ve imagined. Our DJ is THE BEST and set the tone for an out-of-control 4 hour dance party. Warm weather and no air conditioning resulted in a sweaty mess and the best party we’ve ever thrown!
Wedding location: Watervliet, MI / Photography: J Wiley Photography / Venue: Mill Creek Barn / Catering: CK Catering / DJ: Zach Moss / Cake and Sweets: Dee’s Specialty Cakes / Officiant: Steve Opfer / Makeup and Hair: Robert Michael (hair), Bethza Seminario (makeup) / Dress: Martina Liana / Transportation: First Charter Bus / Invitation/Programs Designer & Printer: MaKenzie Dykstra / Cake Topper: The Little Gift Box / Flowers: Crystal Springs Florist