Easter, we are SO ready for you. Your beautiful pastel tones, lovely flowers, and a sudden proliferation of cute barn animals, like this precious baby goat, are just a few of the things we love most about you. This shoot from Isabel Johansen Photography and Amber Reverie fuses Easter charm with Norwegian wedding traditions, and the result is unlike anything we’ve seen before.
From time to time I fall deeply in love with a wedding, and that’s what happened when I laid my eyes on this one from Cara Robbins Studio and Destinations by Design. Zoe and James’ wedding was thoughtful, deliberate, and fearless in its approach to forgoing traditional expectations in favor of what would make them happiest and most comfortable.
From the bride, Zoe: I knew from very early stages of planning that I wanted our wedding to be a celebration of love that honored the two of us and paid homage to my husband and I as individuals and reflected our sensibilities. We really wanted to lose every extraneous detail and focus on a minimal but extraordinarily beautiful event that would deliver our vision with precision. This meant that from the get-go we knew we wanted to skip some of the more traditional components of the classic wedding format that we felt were either antiquated, or didn’t feel substantive enough to be included in our ceremony.
Flower recipe: I carried an all-white bouquet of white roses, white peonies, white hydrangeas, ranunculus, and baby’s breath. The bridesmaids carried blue hydrangeas, white peonies, blue thistle, baby’s breath, and blue anemones. All the men wore thistle as their boutonnieres including my dog who was the ring bearer, and my nephews who were flower boys.
I wanted to create an environment that was timeless, non-traditional, romantic, beautiful, and earthy, but that didn’t necessarily fit into a specific category, ie. rustic. I wanted a bohemian feel for our ceremony, with touches of whimsy and a feeling of earnest romance in every detail. The whole event took place outdoors so I wanted everything to blend into the desert landscape where the ceremony took place. Our Chupah was draped with heavy blue cloth and then adorned with blue and cream flowers and moss. We had a beautiful Turkish rug on the podium that we borrowed from my husband’s aunt, and I wore a braided halo with wildflowers in the back that attached to a floor-length veil. We had a make-your-own-mac+cheese bar and a taco bar for dinner. We wanted our wedding to be our ultimate party and we said f*** everybody else’s idea of what a wedding should look like! Best move ever on our part.
Our color scheme was dusty blue with accents of muted red. Each name tag and place setting was attached to a little air succulent which paid homage to the desert-ranch we got married at. There were little pieces of lavender tucked into each person’s place setting. Words to describe the look of our wedding would be romantic, bohemian, non-traditional, Jewish, timeless, down-to-earth, and minimalist.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Let go of any allegiance to tradition for the sake of tradition if it doesn’t serve a purpose in the greater scheme of your vision. My husband and I kind of fought to shake some of the traditions that we found antiquated and gendered. We chose not to be announced and not to do the Hora (very controversial!). I didn’t throw a bouquet and both my parents walked me down the aisle. I hated the idea of being “given away” as it seemed so anti-feminist to me. Because we only did things we wanted to do our celebration was amazing! It was all about the ceremony and then amazing food and dancing. We kept the formalities to a minimum and I think it was appreciated all around.
Wedding Party Processional: “In My Life,” The Beatles
Bride’s Processional: “Heartbeats,” José Gonzalez
Recessional: “Sprawl II,” Arcade Fire
First Dance: “Video Games,” Lana Del Rey
Father/Daughter Dance: “Wildflowers,” Tom Petty
Mother/Son Dance: “Sweet Baby James,” James Taylor
From the photographer, Cara Robbins: A little back story on Zoe and James, I actually photographed their siblings’ wedding a couple years back (believe it or not her brother is married to his sister!). Zoe and Moria (James’ sister) met at summer camp years ago and sort of decided that they were going to marry each others brothers, and some how that actually happened!! You’ll have to get the full story from Zoe but can you believe that? Together the boys own Ventura Sprits, a small distillery in Venutra, CA and Zoe is a doula/birthing coach. Together they live in downtown LA in a beautiful loft where we actually did their engagement photos. They got married out at James’ aunt’s ranch just on the outskirts of Las Vegas. When they first approached me about this I wasn’t so sure about a Las Vegas wedding but boy was I wrong! This ranch was absolutely amazing and made for a perfect and very personal backdrop for their wedding (there was even a mini horse!). The property itself has so many great details and they just wanted to bring a really fresh and simple vibe to the decor. One of my favorite parts was that dinner was served on farmhouse tabled that were positioned between a mini orchard of fruit trees (just wait til you see this)! They had beautiful table decor and little gifts for each guest – air plants – as escort cards. Cocktail hour was hosted right next to this amazing oasis pool and guests got to drink cocktails made with the alcohol that James and Henry make! The wedding party was large and mixed, they really didn’t want to make it only brides maids and groomsmen so there were boys and girls on both of their sides and the girls got to wear mixed dresses that were stunning against the desert background. Zoe’s amazing ring was actually James’ mothers and the two of them are all about family (check out the super cute flower boys and their adorable flower crowns). Also at the end of the night James surprised Zoe by covering Can’t Feel My Face by the weekend and serenading her!
Event Design, Decor, Floral Design, Coordination, Audio/Visual, Transporation
A wedding with a bride in ballet shoes, centerpieces in sterling silver pitchers, and a jaw-dropping Free People installation over the sweetheart table is everything our little hearts could ask for. Rachel and Ryan’s wedding was nothing short of perfection (especially thanks to the endless talents of Geneoh Photography and Bloom Designs, and the bride’s own mother), and we guarantee you’ll walk away with tons of new ideas for your own wedding day!
From the bride, Rachel: Our hope was for our guests to experience and love Northern Minnesota as much as we do. It truly is the most lovely place on earth. Simple and laid back was the feel we envisioned. I used lots of neutrals, dusty rose, and gold. Whatever I dreamt up, my Mom, Lori Murray, made happen. She helped me collect mismatch overstuffed chairs for my head table, antique silver pitchers for our centerpieces, vintage tea cups and china, old hankies, and lampshades she recovered, wired and hung throughout the space for up-lighting. A beautiful hand made Free People display was extracted from the Mall of America to hang over the head table. Thousands of pink and white sequence were wrapped on each hand glittered branch and stuffed with frosted globe lights. All things wood were the handy work of my Dad and Ryan.
I love the simplicity and delicacy of baby’s breath so I had my bridesmaids carry that. I always dreamt of a solid Peony bouquet – and although I had missed prime Peony season, Amy Jobe and Kate Keupers surprised me with the most perfect soft pink peony bouquet. It had me smiling all day long.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Set a wedding planning end time and stick to it. Ryan and I agreed that after the rehearsal we would let the chips fall. It forced us to enjoy our guests and each other and reminded us what the weekend was really about.
First Dance: “La Vie en Rose,” Daniela Andrade
“Love Shall Abide,” John Overland
Wedding Planning and Bride's Veil
Hair and Makeup
Wedding Cake and Cupcakes
Cassidy Brooke‘s weddings always seem to stop us in our tracks, and Katie and Chad’s big day is no exception. The couple relied on their own vision and the talents of Sarah Viera Events to create a backyard casual wedding with a hint of glam, using a color palette of gold, blush, and ivory to make everything as dreamy as possible.
From the bride, Katie: We wanted to create an environment that was a bit glamorous, a hint of backyard casual, welcoming and definitely unique! Even though we had a larger guest list, we wanted everyone to feel like they were at a party we were throwing – not a huge event. Our colors were gold, blush and ivory.
Flower recipe: The bridesmaids had white roses and baby’s breath, and mine was full of the perfect blush roses, baby’s breath and lambs ear! The pop of fuzzy soft green made all the difference! The groomsmen had succulents, and my husbands had a small blush rose along with the succulent to stand out just a bit.
I spent many hours cutting, sewing, painting and gluing! We DIYed gold glitter arrows that led guests down a path to the ceremony, fake sparklers since our venue wouldn’t allow for the real thing, our table markers that hung from the ceiling, which coordinated with the table markers attached to a glass bottle filled with amazing pink sparking water- which doubled as our favors! We DIYed our guest book, which was a large beach my father in law made, which we had everyone sign. He also built our amazing arbor out of trees that actually had been burned in the large forest fires we had in town a couple years ago.
We also found these amazing vintage 100 year old doors, that my father in law made into an amazing entrance for me! Since our ceremony was all outdoors, I still was able to hide and have a “all eyes on me” moment. We also chose to DIY our cakes! One of my favorite details about our wedding was the 12 cakes my mom made for our day, each of which we decorated a bit differently. That was a favorite project because my mom, grandmother and maid of honor all came together and iced the cakes. They were eaten so quickly my husband and I didn’t even taste any! We had a larger focus cake that was brushed with gold that we saved for the actual cake cutting – I’m so glad we did!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t take on too much, and don’t plan too far ahead! We had a year and a half to plan, which was great in the beginning, but I ended up having so much time that I kept thinking of all the great “easy” projects I could do- and that quickly turned into way too much to handle. And of course – communicate! Communicate your vision and what you see for that day together, and keep that in the front of your thoughts throughout everything your planning.
Processional: “Lovelier Than You,” B.O.B.
First Dance: “Free,” Zac Brown Band
We wanted our reception to get everyone on the dance floor (Spruce has a breathtaking outdoor dance floor). Chad and I talk fondly of our memories together in college on the dance floor so that was very important to us. We played mostly new music from the radio: pop, rap, country- as long as you could dance to it- we wanted it! We stayed away from the typical songs because it was important to us that the songs reflected what we like to dance to. We even had a 90s throwback hour – where the DJ played songs we had pre-picked from our middle school/high school memories!
Check out the wedding film from Kyle Koziol:
Today’s wedding just happens to be one of those that feels so relaxed, you just wish you had been there to share in such a special day. Kylie Martin Photography and Bliss in Bloom took the reins on Natalie and Dylane’s wedding day, capturing beautiful scenes in various shades of purple and lush arrangements filled to the brim with roses.
From the bride, Natalie: I really just wanted the wedding to feel elegant and whimsical, Hawaii is so beautiful it wasn’t hard to make that happen! Purple is my favorite color so it was pretty easy to pick the color scheme for the wedding. We went with lots of different shades of purples, some blues, and white accents. When I saw how all the colors came together I was beyond amazed at how well they complimented each other.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? My advice to couples that are planning their wedding now is to remember to take in the experience. Always think about what truly matters, don’t sweat the small things, and over all just relax and how fun!
Processional: I produced a mix of “Intro” by US The Duo, and “Turning Pages” by Sleeping At Last
Recessional: “The Spark,” Afrojack
First Dance: “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran
Father/Daughter Dance: “Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
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
We’ve all heard about those random chance meetings due to what has to be fate, and today we’ve got the wedding of a couple who caught each other at just the right moment in time. Tara met Chris at a hostel in Romania, but only because he overslept and missed his train to leave town that morning. The two met later in the evening and agreed to go on a hike together, and the rest is history — save for their beautiful wedding from BlueSpark Photography, of course!
From the bride, Tara: I met Chris while we were each backpacking independently through Europe. For several months, we vaguely traveled in the same direction, but never really stayed in the same place at the same time. However, our paths crossed in Sibiu, Romania–this beautiful, medieval town in the heart of Transylvania. On the day I arrived at our hostel, Chris had overslept and (luckily!) missed his train to leave town. We met that night and, over drinks with the hostel crowd, agreed to go on the hike he originally planned to take — a 3 day trek through the Carpathian Mountains with another travel friend. It was a grueling hike (as we were both terribly unfit), but we had the opportunity to learn a lot about one another over chats. Sparks flew and we quickly fell head over heels in love!
From that point, we started traveling together through the rest of Eastern Europe and Turkey… realizing somewhere along the way that this was something really serious and life-changing. We continued to travel through Southeast Asia together for several more months before we moved to Chris’s hometown — Melbourne, Australia. Chris’s proposal was completely unexpected, and completely “us.” At the end of a wonderful night showing me around Melbourne, Chris took me to a beautiful rooftop bar. He took my hand as we were sitting at a table and told me how special our time had been together, that he had fallen completely in love with me, and how wonderful it could be if he could introduce me to everyone we meet as his fiancee. I think I burst into (happy) tears before I realized he had just proposed to me. In typical Chris fashion, he then proceeded to stand up on the nearest ledge and announce to everyone around us that we had just gotten engaged!
From the photographer, Diana of Bluespark Photography: It was early in the morning and I found myself creating flower arrangements in a barn on a farm half way around the world from home, and it hit me: I was always meant to be there. I believe everything happens for a reason, but sitting there and taking it all in was quite a powerful feeling. I was meant to see one of my friends get married to a man who loves and supports her, but not before I experienced firsthand how much love she had found in her new home, Australia, with a family whose values and immense care for one another show the wonderful people they are. This wedding was one hundred percent handmade. Friends and family came together before the celebration and with an open heart poured themselves into every little detail. There was always someone helping with landscaping, making seating arrangements, setting up decorations, cooking, putting up lights… The list goes on and on. These preparations took weeks to complete, but we made it happen. We made it happen because Tara and Chris deserve to begin their life together knowing that there’s a good amount of people who support their union and admire their love.The celebration of course was not your typical event: many of the guests traveled from far to witness Tara and Chris’ union and celebrate with them, one of the groomsmen caught the bridal bouquet and even though Smores are not a thing in Australia, Aussies delighted in the American treat.
Hair + Makeup
Dancefloor + Chair Rentals
Traci and Jerome both come from large families, so it doesn’t come as much of a shock that their wedding would be fairly sizable and quite the celebration. Of course, having Catie Coyle Photography and Karen Silva Designs by their side didn’t hurt in making all the magic happen! One of the stars of this wedding is the abundance of proteas, just one of our all-time favorite flowers.
From the bride, Traci: We both come from large, closely-knit families, so we envisioned our wedding to be like a holiday gathering with family and our closest friends – all 200 of us, together in one place for the biggest and best party of our lives. We made sure that every aspect of our wedding was a true reflection of us. Everything from the vineyard venue to the flowers to the song selections to the party favors to the photo booth to the desserts. We had a hand in everything!
Flower recipe: I wanted to have three King Proteas for my bouquet, a single King Protea for all of my bridesmaids, and the floral arrangements were made up of King Proteas, cream and blush roses, and baby’s breath.
For DIY projects, my dad and I made all the signage; Jerome (my husband) and I painted and put together the marquee letters at our head table; my sister, dad, and I assembled the Freixenet mini bottles that doubled as our escort cards/favors.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Have fun, get creative, be resourceful, and HIRE A FLORIST! When we first started wedding planning, I thought it’d be a piece of cake to delegate some of my creative and crafty friends (who aren’t professional florists) to head my wedding flower department. After all, I only wanted three types of flowers. That ended up being the BIGGEST stresser in the whole process. Luckily, a relative put me in touch with our florist four months before our wedding, and she was a godsend! Also, it is so cliche, but I would say don’t sweat the small stuff. Things will happen on your wedding day (or the days leading up to, and even after your wedding) that are out of your control and will cause you to roll your eyes. For instance, our wedding day was the one day of the month where I swear there were gale force winds at our venue. The wind turned my cathedral length veil into a sail and practically blew my head off. I finally paused our ceremony for a few minutes to take it off. That said, just stay in the moment and none of that will matter to you. Try to take in and enjoy every minute, because it truly is the best day of your life. Jerome and I keep wanting to rewind and re-live it all over again… veil sail and all!
Our relationship revolves heavily around music – Jerome collects records and DJs here in San Francisco; my dad has played in a band since he was 14 and currently plays in a Hawaiian band here in the Bay Area. We enjoy all types of music, but I love island music, and Jerome is passionate about hip-hop, funk, soul, and R&B.
Processional: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Iz Kamakawiwo’ole
Bride’s Processional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
Recessional: “Brown Eyed Girl,” Van Morrison
Reception Entrance: “The Light,” Common
First Dance: “At Last,” Etta James
Father/Daughter Dance: “Ribbon in the Sky,” Stevie Wonder
Mother/Son Dance: “Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole
Last Dance: “You Got It Bad,” Usher (performed by groom)
Venue and Catering
Hair + Makeup
From head to toe, this wedding captures the fall season in New Zealand to perfection. Jesse Pafundi of Golden Hour Studios captured Jeni and James’ wedding atop the beautiful mountains of Wanaka, which provided endless amounts of picturesque views and portraits the couple will be sure to cherish for decades to come.
From the bride, Jeni: We wanted adventure, outdoors yet classical with bright fall colours and leaves blowing in the wind over bright green hills with beautiful lakes surrounding. Bright oranges, reds, yellows. The Groom’s mother made her own jams as the guest favours and the bride decorated each bottle with handmade stickers. I wanted it to look like I had walked through a garden and picked my own bouquet. We used Long Stems and Baby’s Breath wrapped in autumn leaves.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Take your time to enjoy the process. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and all the little details matter as you look around on your wedding night to enjoy all of your hard work!
MOJO had the dance floor pumping from 9pm till the wee hours of the morning.
First Dance: “Happy,” Pharrell Williams (which we did a Cha Cha to)
Wedding Planner + Event Designer
Reception Venue + Catering
Wedding Cake + Desserts
Ceremony Music + DJ
When I think of intimate, homey weddings, this one from Henry Photography is exactly what comes to mind. Sweet details here and there, a beautiful venue, but the focus is on the love of the couple above all else. Brittany and Mark’s big day shows that weekday weddings can be just as spectacular as weekend weddings, as these pictures will attest!
From the photographer, Ashley of Henry Photography: When I asked Brittany what style she was going for she said “very casual, laid-back, rustic chic… is that even a thing?” After photographing her wedding, it definitely was “a thing.” Their wedding was perfection. They wanted something intimate and casual and with their small guest list and it being on a Thursday, it was even more personal. Each detail was planned by the bride and her mom but Mark had his touch here and there. It truly was a beautiful wedding. He wore a navy suit and she wore a gorgeous gown from David’s Bridal. She accented the navy with lavender and little jars of honey were the favors; they were extra sweet!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? You can do a lot yourself if you want! It is important to have someone my your side each step of the way. My mom and I planned this wedding in 3 months and had an amazing time doing so. We were the wedding planners and hostesses and I would never trade that time with her for anything. Also, ENJOY THAT DAY! It goes by so so so fast and you have to cherish every moment you can.
First Dance: “Magic,” Coldplay
Father/Daughter Dance: “Butterfly Kisses,” Bob Carlisle
Mother/Son Dance: “Have I Told You Lately,” Rod Stewart
How could you possibly go wrong with a destination wedding in Barcelona? This intimate celebration between an Irish bride and Scottish groom is everything we could hope for – a relaxed day full of pretty details thanks to Marry Me in Spain and Phlox, all captured by En Route Photography. One of our favorite deets is the sweet snapshot guestbook display — take a peek!
From the event designers, Marry Me in Spain: Anna, the pretty Irish bride, and Darryl, the Scottish groom, wanted an intimate wedding but with lots of details for the guests and a special care for the decoration. They chose Masia Ribas as the perfect place to celebrate a wedding where nature and rustic come together; the views and the gardens of the Catalan villa make any event unique and beautiful, leaving anyone speechless. Because of the rain, we celebrated the wedding inside the house, but we still got the touch of a country and delicate wedding we were looking for, through all the details and the exquisite decoration. The color palette was white, green and pink, colors that were mixed perfectly into the rustic and elegant theme we wanted to reach. The ceremony was full of flowers, details and love. We kept the doors open to let the guests enjoy the view of nature. Even raining it was beautiful.
The bride wore a romantic dress designed by Gwendolynne and a so lovely country bouquet made with mini daisies, astilbes, mini pale roses and senecio, walked down the aisle with the Moon River song, beautifully played by the Opera classic trio. For the cocktail hour, while the catering was serving tasty tapas like the show-cooking smoked salmon or the vichyssoise and gazpacho shots, the guests enjoyed taking pictures of themselves with the Polaroid camera in the beautiful backdrop of flowers. They could hang them later on a perfectly rustic ladder. The wheelbarrow full of ice and fresh beers, the DIY garland and the old barrels keep giving the rustic touch to the cocktail.
For the dinner, a long table was decorated with some sweet and lovely centerpieces into white stripped trays full of baby’s breath, mini daisies and pale pink carnations, astilbes and dahlias. An olive twig tied with rope was used as the sitting. For the groom and bride’s chairs we wanted to make them special and we decorated them with green leaves and pink flowers. They had a big handmade rustic garland “JUST MARRIED” hanging just behind them decorated with more olive twigs. A sweet table full of tasty desserts was chaired by an unbelievable chocolate naked cake with fresh red fruits on the top. Each guest gave their advice to the bride and the groom in the rustic guestbook. Spanish Wine bottles “Sangre de Toro” wrapped in sackcloth were the perfect wedding favors to give the final touch of this precious, convivial and rustic celebration.
Wedding Location: Barcelona, Spain / Photographer: En Route Photography / Event Design and Planning: Marry Me in Spain / Floral Design: Phlox / Venue: Masia Ribas / Wedding Dress: Gwendolynne / Hair and Makeup: Novia Perfecta / Caterer: Catering Sensacions / Wedding Cake: Sweet 180 Grados / Wedding Music: Opera Classic Trio / DJ: Kamal
Pale blues, champagne, and dusty pink always seem to be a winning combination, don’t you think? Throw in some gorgeous floral design and portraits by the water, and you’ve got some incredibly beautiful images. The Big Fake Wedding event gathered together the cream of the lowcountry crop, bringing in some seriously talented vendors to create a light and airy day full of inspiring ideas and details. Let’s take a look!
Check out the behind-the-scenes film from Palmetto Coast Media:
Event Location: Charleston, SC / Photography and Save the Date Shoot: Anchor & Veil Photography / Photography and Styled Shoot: Emily Millay Photography / Photography and Rehearsal Dinner: Becky Williamson Photography / Day-Of Coordination + Design: Southern Bells Weddings and Events / Floral + Event Design (Personal Flowers, Head Table + Tables 1,3,5,7): Blossom Artistry / Floral + Event Design (Tables 2,4,6,8): Palmetto Weddings / Venue and Caterer: Historic Rice Mill / Wedding Dress and Bridesmaid Attire: Fabulous Frocks / Jewelry: The Pearl Girl of Charleston / Hair and Makeup: Lava Salon / Spa, Lash, Beauty Bar: Charleston Lash & Beauty Bar / Groomsmen Accessories: Spit Shine Man Goods / Dessert Bar: Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Patissier / Cookie Bar: Grey Ghost Bakery / Ceremony Music: Charleston Virtuosi / Band and DJ: OtherBrother Entertainment / Event Rentals: EventHaus Rentals / Linen Napkins: Dot and Army / Pews: P.E.W.S. Charleston LLC / Misting Fans: All-Mist Outdoor Cooling / Mosquito Control: Palmetto Mosquito Control / Photo Booth: Coast Photo Booth / Invitations and Paper Goods: Amanda Day Rose Paperie / Table Number, Menu Cards, Tea Cup Tags: The Desktop Diva Paper & Events / Videographer: Palmetto Coast Media / Registry: Open Door Shop / Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront / Wedding Website Builder: Squarespace / National Travel Vendor: Bliss by Luxury Concierge Travel / National Linen Vendor: LinenTablecloth / National Sparkling Wine Sponsor: Ferrari / Media Partners: flower Magazine, The Knot, Weddings Unveiled Magazine, A Coastal Bride, and A Lowcountry Wedding
Never have ‘vintage’ and ‘rustic’ merged more beautifully than in this beauty of a wedding from Forged in the North (formerly Ryan & Heidi Studios). Delanie and Kayle chose a timeless color palette of greens, pinks, and silver to decorate their wedding day, and we think it worked perfectly against the barn backdrop to bring a bit more of a romantic touch to an equally romantic day.
From the bride, Delanie: We visited the wedding venue for the first time on a hot August evening and could just picture ourselves surrounded by family and friends having the best night ever… luckily what we envisioned and more came true. Kayle is a timber framer, so having a barn reception made complete sense and the venue comprising an old farm house allowed for the vintage inspiration. The barn space could have easily ended up too country for our tastes or “over decorated”, so we had to evaluate our decor carefully and stick to the vintage and rustic theme. All of the center pieces were old silver teapots and borrowed vintage glassware collected by Kayle’s mother. My mother helped to obtain and frame the wedding photos of great grand-parents to parents that we proudly displayed. I work for a museum and like to support handmade products and artists. We knew we wanted to stick to a handcrafted feel and not use lots of newly purchased products. For example, we used an arrow in our invitations and save the dates, so the arrows we used for the table numbers were made by Navajo artists from a vendor at the museum. Ultimately though, we wanted our guests to have a fantastic time. We hoped this plan would alleviate the rush of going from the ceremony to a reception and create an atmosphere with lots of dancing, music in the barn and drinks on the lawn. Luckily, the weather also cooperated for a perfect evening, we even had a full moon.
Flower recipe: I knew I wanted lots of flowers and greenery, so being able to get married in July was fortunate. Kayle’s mother orchestrated the arrangement of all our centerpieces and bouquets. We used white roses, pink roses, hydrangea, peonies, lambs ear, wild roses, tiger lilies, baby’s breath, smoke tree leaves and palms. If you are ambitious, creative and on a budget, take some floral arranging classes prior to the wedding with your friends and family, you may find you could do some of the arrangements yourself.
We did not want to be limited to a color palette that would be hard to execute so we decided to stick loosely to Greens, Pinks and Silver. Everything else really just coordinated to those choices. I wanted my MOH to choose the dresses for the bridesmaids, and since we found green dresses that became the primary color inspiration. Our biggest DIY project was the Timber Frame Arbor that Kayle built and designed. Kayle works for his father’s company, Settlement Post and Beam, and they handcrafted a beautiful backdrop for our ceremony. We ended up using silk flowers on the arbor due to the intensity of the sun at that time of year. Another fun DIY project was the BAR sign. We used signboard, plywood and patio lights to create one of our favorite decorations of the wedding.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t worry if your bridal party is uneven or mixed gender or too big or too small. Your bridal party encompass the people who will make your wedding weekend more fun and really put you at ease during the chaos, so do whatever you want. Decide on a theme and stick to it. It is easy to get distracted by other beautiful weddings on Pinterest and wedding blogs, if you don’t make a decision you will drive yourself crazy. Really consider hiring a wedding coordinator if your venue doesn’t provide one and spend ample amount of time on the schedule of events.
Processional: “All of My Days,” Alexi Murdoch (sung by Kayle’s cousin Dallas)
Recessional: “The Valley,” The Oh Hellos
First Dance: “Hold You in My Arms,” Ray LaMontagne
Second Dance: “At Last,” Etta James
From the photographers, Ryan and Heidi of Forged in the North : Kayle and Delanie met and fell in love at Penn State. It’s no surprise to why they were a perfect match. Both of them have huge heart, a passion for creating beautiful things and being surrounded by nature. Their wedding venue, Gratitude & Grace, is tucked away in the finger lakes. A unique private residence with a renovated 1870’s farm house and barn, basically a photographer’s playground. Kayle hand cut and assembled the beautiful arbor that him and his bride got married under. Delanie LOVES details, which was clear to see in all the creative decor elements that she and her family completely DIY’d. Even the floral centerpieces! Not to mention they homemade the most incredible pies for dessert. Everything from their day was absolute magic from Delanie’s BHLDN dress to the outdoor bar to the field of gold that we shot them in. They danced the night away with family and friends with fireflies flickering in the fields and a super moon overhead. A perfect summer affair.
Wedding Location: Ithaca, NY / Photographer: Forged in the North / Venue: Gratitude and Grace / Wedding Dress: BHLDN “Omelia” / Wedding Shoes: L’Amour Des Pieds “Irena” / Hair Accessory: H&M / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Eliza J via Nordstrom / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Desserts: Homemade pies / Ceremony Musician: Family Members / DJ: Bulldog Sounds / Copper Cooler: CopperBox / Wedding Invitations and Signage: Bride and groom
If ever there was a dress to build a wedding theme around, it’s got to be this gold and ivory winner from BHLDN. Kristin and Scott dreamt of a laid-back atmosphere on their big day, and the effortless blend of gold glitter and wood elements helped them realize that dream. Thanks to With Love & Embers and Monica’s Floral Design for your work on this one!
From the bride, Kristin: I really think my BHLDN dress set the tone of our wedding. Once I got that dress, everything else just came together! We wanted the wedding to feel like us – fun, but not over the top. And definitely not cookie-cutter. We wanted a laid-back atmosphere. We spent a lot of time and attention to every detail; we were thrilled with how everything turned out.
Our DIY projects included the wood slice save the dates, invitations and all paper goods, wood slice table centerpieces, Mason Jars dipped in gold glitter, gold glitter feathers, tissue tassel garlands, Gold Glitter banners (“Just Married”, “Mr” + “Mrs”, “Sweet Love” and “Cheers”, wood trellis for ceremony (Scott and his dad built), Whiskey Pallet Seating Chart, all wood Signs (hashtag, wedding logo sign, bar menu and ceremony sign), gold animals (table name holders), and gold succulent pots.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Put your foot down where needed. If you have a vision for your day of how it should feel or look- do it!! People can be quick to question your plans or shoot them down. Don’t let them! Also, if you are planning a DIY wedding, get all of your projects done way in advance. I thought I started really early with everything but still found myself stressed two weeks before! Lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff. Things will go wrong BUT everything will come together perfectly.
Groom’s Processional: “Intro,” The XX
Bridesmaids’ Processional: “Northern Wind,” City and Colour
Bride’s Processional: “Untitled 3,” Sigur Ros
Recessional: “I Will Wait,” Mumford and Sons
First Dance: “Lover of the Light,” Mumford and Sons
Wedding Location: Myersville, MD / Photographer: With Love & Embers / Florist: Monica’s Floral Design / Venue: Ostertag Vistas / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Wedding Veil: The Yellow Peony / Wedding Shoes: J. Crew / Bride’s Jewelry: Chloe + Isabel / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Forever 21, BCBG, Free People, Nordstrom / Bridesmaids’ Robes: Singing Slowly / Flower Girl Dress: Monsoon / Caterer: Canapés / Wedding Cake: Angelcakes / Band: Mixed Business / DJ: CJ Curtis of Crow Entertainment / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: DIY Bride + Groom
The second our eyes ran over these words, we knew we were in for a visual treat: “Our inspiration — think Notebook, meets Big Fish meets a summer carnival/fair.” So the bride describes her wedding day, and we have to say from looking through these images that she absolutely nailed her vision. Valentina Glidden Photography was on hand to capture all the goodness and details, so let’s jump in!
From the bride, Lisa: We were determined to make our wedding stand out from any other wedding! We wanted it to be unique, fun and to not feel so “wedding-ish.” Our inspiration–think Notebook, meets Big Fish meets a summer carnival/fair. There’s just something so romantic about carnivals, and what we imagined one to be like in the 1940s era. The lights, the music, the care-free summer nights and of course, riding the ferris wheel with your sweet heart!
Flower recipe: My aunt, who is a florist created all of our floral looks. She did all of the arrangements, bouquets, embellishments and flower crowns for the flower girls. We wanted a charming wild flower look to keep with the summery country vibe. We used Feverfew (miniature daisies) Daisies, Craspedia, Baby’s Breath, Dusty Miller, Yarrow, Scabiosa Pods and Solidaster.
Being that our wedding was a vintage carnival, we wanted it feel light, airy and fun. We wanted it to have the perfect balance of a carnival yet feel romantic, rustic and whimsical. Our general colors were muted reds, blues and yellows but we weren’t big on having everything matchy, matchy . We pretty much hand crafted most everything ourselves. Jake is a graphic designer so we were able to custom design our save the dates, invitations, programs and favors. Most all of the detail and décor we did ourselves too–DIY projects and antique store finds. My mom and I sewed fabric bunting flags and ribbon streamers. My dad helped with the construction projects such as collecting old scrapped wood which we painted and drilled to make signs as well as light up marquee letters from metal. We built a kissing booth that I hand painted for our guests to take photos in. I also constructed our cake topper and even designed my own wedding dress and had it hand made! My mom made the flower girl’s dresses and an assortment of over 2,000 homemade cookies for our “sweet treats” table. You can definitely say our wedding screamed DIY! We also hired a caricaturist to create caricaturists for our guests as a fun souvenir. But our favorite part—the ferris wheel! We knew if we wanted our look to feel authentic, we needed to have a ferris wheel which we rented from a local event company. It tied everything together and the guests just loved it! The open space of the venue with the oak trees, old barn and charming character created the perfect setting for our event and pulled everything together.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I’d say first things first, decide on the look or theme you are going for and let it resonate. That was the best thing we did. We decided on our look right away and spent a lot of time exploring flea markets, antique shops and etsy for the perfect ideas and accents. The more time you have to think about it, the easier it will come together and the more time you will have to make it work. Plus it’s a lot less stressful! Also, don’t be afraid to take a risk! If you love something, find a way to incorporate it into your wedding. It will make it the planning fun as well as your day that much more special.
Wedding Party Processional: “Married Life,” Michael Giacchiano (Up Soundtrack)
Bride’s Processional: “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Ingrid Michaelson
Recessional: “Everybody,” Ingrid Michaelson
First Dance: “The Way I Am,” Ingrid Michaelson
Cocktail hour and dinner we played a lot of classic and folky hits from the 1940s – Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington to name a few.
Wedding Location: Walnut, CA / Photographer: Valentina Glidden Photography / Wedding Coordinator: Sandy McDermott and Aide Delgado of Rose Wade Events / Florist: Flowers by Sharen / Venue: Brookside Equestrian / Wedding Dress: Designed by Bride and constructed by Ann Seitz and Annette Constantino / Bride’s Headpiece and Shoes: ModCloth / Makeup and Hair: Foundation of You / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ModCloth / Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Jack Threads / Caterer: Rose Wade Events / Wedding Cakes: Beverly’s Best Bakery / DJ: FLY BY NIGHT Disc Jockeys / Ferris Wheel Rental: LA Party Works / Caricaturist: The Cartoon Lady / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: designed by Bride and Groom, printed by Coastal Finishing
If there’s anything more romantic than a Water for Elephants wedding theme, I’m having a difficult time coming up with it. Malleri and Jenna took this inspiration and gave it a bit of a carnival twist, incorporating balloon centerpieces and carousel cupcake holders into their stunning wedding decor. Our thanks go out to Weddings by Christopher & Nancy for capturing their wedding day so beautifully!
From the brides, Malleri and Jenna: When picking a theme for our wedding, we flip flopped many times. We wanted elegant but we wanted to incorporate our playful sides. We wanted vintage and we wanted modern. One night we were thumbing thru Pinterest and we found a picture of a hot air balloon/floral centerpiece. That’s what got the ball rolling. We knew instantly that it would be a Water for Elephants/carnival theme. This had all of the aspects that we wanted… it had the elegance, it had the playfulness, it had the modern feel, and it had the old school glamor. The decor was so easy after that — the balloon centerpiece were the starting point but the carousel and merry-go-round for the cupcake table were INCREDIBLE finds, the chandelier that Alda had at the altar was the elegance factor, the food incorporated our silliness and carnival aspect of the theme — this is also a major reason for the popcorn bar for our wedding favors. Our wedding attire was definitely glamor and fun — the diamonds I wore and the bow tie Jenna wore tied everything together. We wanted the wedding to feel like a whole other place — not just another outdoor wedding — we wanted to take you away to a carnival.
There were so many things we loved…our first dance. holding each other for the first time as a married couple and dancing with all of our loved ones around, was a feeling of pure completeness. Walking down the aisle. When Jenna saw me, it took her breath away — she lost all focus on everything around her and it took all the strength she had not to run up the hill and snatch me up. For me it was the same emotion — all I wanted to do was kick off my shoes and run into her arms and hug her tight. The emotion felt in that moment is not one we can put into words. People say that wedding planning is hard — we found it to be incredible. We know it was incredible because all of our vendors took our vision and amplified it… They helped us execute a magical day. They took it to a level that we could’ve never imagined and Christopher Nolan Photography captured all the moments we could never have seen, and helped us have images we will cherish for many years to come. Jenna and I wrote our own vows — we are so synced (and both huge dorks) that we both incorporated Duke and Harry Potter into our vows… and we got to tell each other how much we loved each other. The speeches from our Maid of Honor and Best Man. Jenna’s best man was her older brother and my maid of honor was my older sister — neither of them are overly affectionate and neither of them have ever expressed their love for our significant others and how much they support us as a couple. I will never forget their speeches. It helped seal in our marriage, it helped us join as a family, and it melted our hearts in so many ways.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? 1. Give yourself a LOT of time to plan. You will change your mind OFTEN. And the longer you have to pay for it-the more extravagant it can be. 2. Enjoy the planning. This is supposed to be fun. You’re planning the biggest party of your life! Remember each meeting with your vendors. And take your time for final decisions! 3. Don’t listen to what everyone else thinks you should do. It’s your day. Take their advise but always do what your heart desires. 4. NEVER FORGET WHAT IT IS REALLY IS ABOUT — you’re getting married, and never forget why. You’re in love! Don’t get wrapped up in the stress of planning! 5. This is the longest day of your life-but it goes by wayyyy too fast. Enjoy every single hiccup and moment of the day!
Jenna and I decided to pick songs that were meaningful songs from our 4 years of dating. Every song played had meaning, whether it was a song we danced to in our living room, or it was a song we danced to at a club.
First Dance: “All of Me,” John Legend
Wedding Location: Little Rock, AR / Photographer: Weddings by Christopher & Nancy / Florist: Tanarah Luxe Floral / Venue and Wedding Planner: Alda’s Magnolia Hill / Hair: Maddy Spring with Lavish Hair Professionals and Devin Van Patter with Salon Scarlet / Makeup: Aaron Perkins of Face Your Day Studios / Caterer: Catering Creations / Cakes: Melissa White / Music: Central Arkansas Entertainment / Videographer: Paul Viefhaus of Sunflower Films
I love seeing intimate weddings grace our inbox, because they often feel like a breath of fresh air in an ever-growing industry. Samantha and Aaron’s wedding hosted only 15 guests, which allowed them to focus on the details closest to their hearts – which were all captured wonderfully by Steve Cowell Photo. We’re particularly smitten with the “L-O-V-E” backdrop for the ceremony, which was custom made by none other than the groom’s brother!
From the bride, Samantha: I envisioned a laid back, vintage, beach feeling for our wedding. I also wanted something intimate since it was a small wedding with close family. Our colors were peach, aqua, coral, and teal. Beach. Very intimate. Sunset. We had Vigilucci’s which is a high end Italian restaurant that is local to the San Diego north county area. Steak, pasta, and vegetables were on the menu and they served the meal for us at a really reasonable cost and it was delicious!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I didn’t do much planning as my family pretty much took care of the details. I will say keeping a positive attitude and keeping it small was the best decision I ever made.
Bride’s Processional: “Sweet Thing,” Van Morrison
Recessional: “Moth’s Wings,” Passion Pit
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
This wedding suits us just perfectly for spring, with its bright coral hues, fabric streamers, and beyond adorable kitty cat cake pops. We’re pretty keen on the couple’s “anniversary pinata” idea as a guestbook – be sure to check it out! Thanks to Hot Metal Studio and Elaine Pisarcik for doing such gorgeous work here.
From the bride, Haley: We met in middle school and wanted to go with a crafty paper homemade wedding, to symbolize simplicity and our childhood together! We tied in some school day themes with the brown paper lunch bags, and his hand written notes from middle school made an appearance. He loves to camp, so our flag tee pee and cake topper were very boy scout/summer camp looking haha :) We both loved the rustic feel to the barn and knew immediately that’s what we wanted when we walked in! For the floral design, we used lots of succulents and we were going with the wildflower mint and coral look. We wanted the flowers to be loose and flow-y and some even drape down the bouquet… our florist rocked!
Our colors were mint, coral, and sparkly gold! We crafted for months for the wedding! (Thanks mom!!) Here are some of the DIY projects: A light up LOVE marquee sign, spray painted gold, a tee pee arbor with blue and coral flags (Chad made!), wooden pallet bar (Chad made!), a ripped fabric banner for the bridal table, and my all time favorite… our light up frame that was hanging behind our seats at the bridal table… the frame was mint and we had the globe marquee lights outlining the frame. Inside of the frame were hearts, the hearts were all the notes that Chad had written me from middle school… some of them even saying “Someday you’ll be Mrs. Helbling.” How cute!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Take it SLOW! Everyone always says “Oh honey it goes by so fast” ..and even though I didn’t want to listen it totally flew by. Make sure you have a wonderful photographer (which we did) because they will capture every moment you may have missed while chatting with your man’s Aunt Susie.
Bridal Party Processional: “All I Want Is You,” Barry Louis Polisar
Bride’s Processional: “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers
Recessional: “She Said Yes,” Mumford and Sons
Bridal Party Entrance: “Countdown,” Beyonce
Newlywed Entrance: “XO,” Beyonce
First Dance: “You and I,” Ingrid Michaelson
Cake Cutting: “Sugar Sugar,” The Archies
Bouquet Toss: “Run the world (Girls),” Beyonce
Garter Toss: “Gz and Hustlahs,” Snoop Dogg
Wedding Location: Prospect, PA / Photographer: Hot Metal Studio / Flowers: Elaine Pisarcik / Venue: The White Barn / Wedding Dress: Maggie Soterro “Bernadette” / Hair: Alyssa Lippert / Makeup: Hallie Dunbar / Groom’s Suit: Jack Threads / Caterer and Cake: Medure’s / Cookie Table: Chad’s family’s sweet neighbor made all the cookies / Band: Adam and the Black Water River Band / DJ: b boy productions / Wedding Invitations: Spins and Grins
Has there ever been a more gorgeous location for a wedding or event than San Diego Botanic Garden? One glance at this wedding from Allie Lindsey Photography and we’re hard-pressed to say no. Krystal and David’s wedding was relaxed, filled with incredible wildlife, and featured a taco feast – and we’re pretty sure it doesn’t get better than that!
From the bride, Krystal: We wanted our wedding to be romantic, simple and California casual. Although we live in San Diego, and love the beach, I knew I did not want to get married on the beach or have the beach be our backdrop. We wanted to be outside, and I envisioned having a big oak type tree to say our “I Do’s” under. After touring several beautiful ranch type venues that did not fit our needs, we finally stumbled upon the San Diego Botanic Gardens. It was perfect! The venue is so beautiful in itself that we knew that we would not have to fuss to much with actual décor, and it had a trees! We also wanted to have tacos for dinner, which ultimately inspired the theme of the dessert table and décor.
My secret pinterest board’s official name was “Romantic, Spanish, Garden Wedding”. I constantly fumbled when people would ask me, “What are your colors?” I usually answered with a “ummm, well, the groomsmen are wearing grey and the girls are wearing a pink type color.” I hated telling people my girls were going to wear pink. For me, the color pink conjures up a bubble gum/cotton candy type pink image, and it was not what I was going for. I usually told them it was a rosewater pink color, which ultimately got me confused looks. With that being said, I really focused on playing off the San Diego Botanic Gardens setting and wanted to make the reception have a modern, romantic Mexican style. As far as my invites, programs and information cards went – we used a floral print that brought in color and romance. We did as much DIY projects, as possible. My sister had a graphic designer friend that graciously helped us design the wedding invitations, ceremony programs, and reception cards. My bridesmaids made their own bouquets. The directional signs, the Mr. & Mrs. signs and the guest book sign were made by my step-mom, and dad. The whole desert table was done by a good friend, she even made the churros!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Everyone should have a really awesome big sister who plans events for a living! She really made my vision come to life and handled my a million and one questions, thoughts, pins and breakdowns. If you don’t have a big sister, you really need a day of coordinator and a detailed day of plan. My “day of” plan and day of coordinator saved my life! Everyone had a timeline, the bridal party, the photographer, the DJ, the venue, and the day of coordinator everyone! This made our big day really easy and stress free! PS. my day of coordinator was also my dessert table baker. Friends and family are so willing to help for this big day, and although it might be hard to relinquish control, let them help!
I am a music junky! I love making playlists, and picking our wedding music was one of the first things I started on, and while I tried to get David’s input, ultimately, I was the music decision maker.
Bridal Party: “Your Hand in Mine,” Explosions in the Sky
Bride’s Processional: “Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley
Recessional: “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne
Newlywed Entrance: “Treasure,” Bruno Mars
First Dance: “Into the Mystic,” Van Morrison
Father/Daughter Dance: “Wildflower,” Tom Petty
Mother/Son Dance: “Words of Wisdom,” Jump Little Children
Last Song: “Lover of the Light,” Mumford and Sons
There were 2 must play songs on my list for the reception: 1. MMMBOP by Hanson, because I am a forever Hanson fan. I had a friend bring me “Hanson” beer all the way from OK to drink at my wedding. It is called MMMhops and made by the Hanson Brothers. 2. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. In college at UCSB, my friends and I had a tradition of singing this song at a local bar, and every wedding I have been to with a fellow Gaucho has played this song, and we all get in the middle of the dance floor and belt it out. It’s very nostalgic.
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Allie Lindsey Photography / Wedding Planner: Amber Brown (AKA Best Sister Ever) / Florist: Franco’s Flowers Inc. / Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden / Wedding Dress: Eden Bridals via Ferndale’s Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mishka / Bridal Hairpiece: Eucca Floral Studio / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Radical Thread Co. / Groom’s Suit: Macy’s / Groomsmen’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse / Caterer: I Love Tacos Catering / Wedding Cake/Dessert Table: Jean Avner / DJ: San Diego Party Time DJs
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’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
We were so excited to see this wedding from Autumn of Hello Miss Lovely fall into our inbox. A good beach wedding is always welcome, and the details jam-packed into this one are just icing on the cake. Plus, I’m kind of in love with the fact that Loren and Destin played The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” as their recessional!
From the bride, Loren: Destin and I knew exactly what we wanted for our destination wedding- a fun, adventurous, multi-day celebration! We wanted it to be creative, personal, romantic, and laid-back. Our idea was to have it small enough to be intimate but just big enough to have our closest family and friends there with us. We arrived in Florida six days before the wedding and our family and friends started arriving throughout the week. We began the wedding festivities with a beachside welcome bonfire and the night before our wedding we had a rehearsal dinner fiesta, then drinks to follow at a favorite local bar. For our venue we rented out the Triple Crown, which is a beach house that accommodated all of the wedding party and had beach access for the ceremony. The Lawn, where the cocktail hour and reception took place, was located between the beach and the house, so all of the wedding day events were within footsteps of each other.
I’m an Interior Designer and my husband, Destin, is a graphic designer so we both share a love for design. We both planned and designed our wedding together and our florist really helped our overall style & vibe come to life! Destin and I printed our wedding invitations and all other coordinating wedding stationary that went along with it. We painted and created wood block place cards for each guest and table numbers for each table. We also designed personal koozie favors for our guests that had Destin’s hand drawn sketches of us on them! The ceremony and reception were amazing! The weather was perfect and the sunset was gorgeous. The fun and unexpected hundreds of dragonflies flying over us during the reception added a whimsical, magical feel. We enjoyed delicious food, drinks, good company, and hours of dancing under the ceiling of café lights that hung over the lawn and the stars that shined above.
Bouquet flowers: King red Protea with seeded eucalyptus for the bride; Baby’s Breath for the bridesmaids.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Do what is YOU and have it reflect you and yours style and don’t worry about if it fits “tradition” or not! We wanted someone who knew us well and was a part of us to be the one who married us, so we had Destin’s Uncle lead our ceremony. Because I have a lot of Native American family history on my side, it has become a unique tradition for my family that the Cherokee Wedding Prayer be said during a wedding ceremony. So, my grandfather, Otis, was there to read it aloud during ours. Having the people who are closest to us be a part of the ceremony made it even the more special!
From the photographer, Autumn of Hello Miss Lovely: Loren and Destin got married in Seagrove, FL at “The Lawn” by Pearly White Properties. The ceremony took place on the beach a few feet away from the reception. The day was absolutely beautiful along with the two gems saying “I Do”. Loren is quite the DIY bride! She made the card holders, the table numbers, the bow-tie napkins, and the lovely ribbon chairs! Destin, a graphic designer, made their wedding stationary (did you see those amazing invites?!) and the koozies with the sketched portraits of themselves! They had a geometric-romantic wedding to the “T”. It was intimate, fun, romantic, yet laid-back. My most favorite part about the entire thing is the fact Loren and Destin trusted me completely to capture their story the way I see it. They gave me free reigns as an artist and it truly was an inspiration.
Processional: “Pure Imagination,” Jamie Cullum
Recessional: “500 Miles,” The Proclaimers
First Dance: “Ever Since,” The Head and the Heart
Wedding Location: Seagrove, FL / Photographer: Hello Miss Lovely / Floral Design and Lighting: Fishers Flowers / Day-Of Coordinator: Stephanie Tate of Savoir Faire Weddings / Venue: The Lawn of Triple Crown House, Pearly White Properties / Wedding Dress and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Allure Bridals via Danielle’s Bridal Shop / Hair and Makeup: Crystal Byrd / Groom’s Suit: Perry Ellis / Groom’s and Groomsmen Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / Caterer: Dine By Design Catering / Wedding Cake: Kim’s Cakes / DJ: B-Boy Productions, Inc. / Dance Floor, Tables, and Chairs Rentals: HM Tents / Table Numbers, Napkins, Place Cards, Koozie Favors, Wedding Invitations, Paper Goods: DIY by the Bride and Groom / Officiant: Uncle of the Groom
Never have we seen family roots so beautifully displayed than at Kate and George’s Virginia wedding shot by Jillian Wishart of Jillian Lee Photography. Kate used her groom’s family tartan throughout the wedding decor and attire with a spin on the traditional kilt. Groomsmen and both fathers wore the tartan as bowties and cummerbunds, while the bridesmaids and Kate herself wore a ribbon brooch ‘medal’. So cute! This preppy chic fête didn’t stop there. It also included fun activities for their guests – even bringing in a silhouette artist to draw the party-goers!
From the bride, Kate: My husband, George, and his family are very close to their Scottish roots, so it was obvious to us that we would celebrate his heritage on our wedding day. To us, it was a meaningful way of joining our two families. We used his family’s beautiful tartan everywhere we could, and his relatives helped by donning it in various ways — cummerbunds, neck ties, pocket squares. The brooch I wore has been worn by brides in his family’s weddings for several generations. We also had a Scottish handfasting in the ceremony, during which the minister wrapped our clasped hands in the tartan as we exchanged vows. It’s where the expression “tying the knot” comes from! The handfasting was so intimate and so special for us to share with our guests — definitely my favorite part of the day. But I think George’s favorite part was cutting the cake with the hundreds-of-years-old family dirk!
My mom was a DIY queen way before DIY was cool. During the wedding planning, every time I would bring up an idea, her response would be “We can make that.” And we did. We made the tartan bow ties, all the tartan ribbons, the tartan napkin rings, the reception table numbers, my veil, and all the boutonnieres, bouquets, and centerpieces. We also collected all the reception centerpiece compotes and bridesmaid brooches from antique shops and thrift stores over the course of a year. Seeing all that hard work come together made our wedding day even more personal. I’ve never been so in love with a non-human object as I am with my dress. When I decided I wanted to try a tea length gown, it was the first one I saw as I started researching. The day we headed to New York to try it on, I made sure to make an appointment at another dress shop first and try on a few other dresses I liked as to not get my hopes up about “the one.” But the moment Gregory at Fancy Bridal zipped me up, it was game over. I loved how light and moveable it was, and the tea length air flow was essential to the late night dancing. If I had to pick a favorite part, it would be the true retro darts in the bodice. I love how they capped off the vintage look of the dress.
Any advice for other couples planning their weddings now? It’s all the little details–napkin folds, table garlands, escort card boards–that really pull the wedding together. In the end, when you’re just trying to make sure the caterer is paid, remember to pick up your dress, and rearrange the seating chart because of last-minute RSVPs, it’s easy to gloss over these tiny aspects and go with the plain votive holders instead of the dotted swiss ones because they would be easier to find and buy. But it’s the little details that make the day special (and pretty to look at later in pictures!) and what your guests will remember.
Processional Hymn: “All Things Bright and Beautiful”
Bridal Processional: Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”
Congregational Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Recessional: “Scotland, the Brave” (bagpipes)
First Dance: “Long as You Love Me,” Shirley Brown
Father/Daughter Dance: “I Hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack
Wedding Location: Arlington, VA / Photographer: Jillian Lee Photography / Flowers: DIY / Ceremony Venue: Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ / Reception Venue: Washington Golf and Country Club / Wedding Dress: Fancy Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Nina from Nordstrom / Wedding Veil: Handmade my bride’s mother / Bride’s Brooch: Family heirloom / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung for Dessy D490 / Bridesmaids’ Brooches: Antique shop finds / Hair: Creative Images Hair and Makeup Artistry / Groom’s Tuxedo: After Hours Formal Wear / Tartan Bow Ties: DIY / Wedding Cake: Pastries by Randolph / Band: DC Fusion / Bagpiper: Norm Weaver / Silhouette Artist: Marie Cheek with Caricature Artist Groups / Wedding Invitations: Designed by bride; Printed by Mama’s Sauce
This wedding and I go together like peanut butter and jelly. Every bit of it is right up my alley, from the bride’s cool style to the relaxed ceremony to the amaaaazing flowers arranged by the bride and her bridal party. Not to mention The Weaver House and Bello Event Design are involved, which takes this wedding from a 10 to an 11.
From the bride, Jessa: We knew we wanted a killer party first and foremost and agreed on keeping the traditional itinerary of ceremony/reception events to a minimum. Late night dancing under the stars was priority. We live in San Francisco where July feels more like January, so we really wanted to soak up the most of a real summer evening as possible. Our venue (Peter’s parents home in Oregon) was pretty much a blank canvas at the start. Rolling hills, oak trees, beautiful views, and other than irrigation, hardly any landscaping. We love the wild, rustic feel of the land and wanted to keep things as simple and natural as possible. We focused on the essential elements of an al fresco dinner party; family-style food, good music, cozy lighting, and plenty of booze.
Our goal was to focus on things you’d use or decorate with if you were planning an impromptu dinner party and to eliminate any extraneous elements. This was primarily to keep my DIY ambitions and our budget in check. We approached our bridal party’s attire with the same attitude; we wanted them to wear things they would actually use in the future or already had in their closet. As if they just came over looking great, and surprise! ended up in our wedding.
Almost every aspect of the day ended up turning into some sort of DIY project: We picked up buckets of assorted flowers from the neighbors garden the morning of. A family friend strung 300 ft of cafe lights to adequately light the space. I hung an absurd amount of burlap with gardening twine to hide some unsightly space below the deck stairs. A good friend baked 120 buttercream cupcakes (a service she later coined “The Drunken Promises Bakery”) and our sister-in-law baked the cutting cake. We used Peter’s mother’s collection of antique and vintage linens for the tables. We spray painted numbers onto empty bourbon bottles, old books, and a couple of cow bells to use as table numbers. A friend made the seating boards. Beer and wine was picked up from local breweries and wineries. Friends made several gallons of a bourbon/mint/grapefruit cocktail. And in a move fueled by blind psychotic ambition I hand embroidered my belt when I couldn’t find one I liked.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Keep your expectations flexible. We solidly prepared to make sure we ate enough, didn’t drink too much, and were totally present in every moment possible. Ultimately though, the day flew by anyway, was a totally chaotic magnificent whirlwind, and I passed out in my after party dress WAY earlier than I’d planned. All of the things you think you have under control can go awry just as easily as something uncontrollable like the weather. The point is, who cares! Invest your energy in the things that really matter and as long as you end up married and had fun doing it, all those other details pale in comparison. Oh, and hire a day-of wedding coordinator if you can afford it. It’s totally worth rearranging your budget to have a professional directing the show. Without ours, I never would’ve even made it into the shower.
Our favorite song, “Golden” by My Morning Jacket, was intended for the processional. We nailed the timing down to the second during the rehearsal and it was magical. When the time came for me to walk around the bend towards the aisle, a fuse blew and the music cut out. Just total silence. I completely froze. Our coordinator nearly had to shove me to keep walking anyway. As I came around the corner everyone started singing an improvised rendition of Here Comes the Bride and I totally burst into tears. It was sweeter and funnier than any perfect song we could’ve planned for.
Recessional: “Gonna Fly Now,” Bill Conti
First Dance: “You’re All I Need,” Aretha Franklin
We also had a trio of family members perform an acoustic guitar/cello/vocals version of “Wild Flowers” by Tom Petty during dinner.
Wedding Location: Ashland, OR / Photographer: The Weaver House / Day-Of Event Coordinator: Bello Event Design / Flowers: DIY from a neighboring garden / Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal / Belt: handmade embroidered belt / Feather Brooch: Vintage Dior / Wedding Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell / Bride’s Wedding Band and Earrings: Anna Sheffield / Groom’s Suit, Shirt, Tie, and Pocket Square: Gant Rugger / Tie Clip: Steven Allen / Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Groom’s Wedding Band: Bario Neal / Wedding Caterer: Figgy’s Food Truck / Desserts: Homemade desserts and buckets of It’s It Ice Cream / DJ: Several of our friends are talented DJ’s so we had each of them play a set, dancing into the wee hours of the night / Wedding Invitations: Love vs Design
Mandy isn’t your average bride. She just so happens to be the brains behind Little Vintage Rentals, a New York City rental and event design company. As you could guess, her wedding (which was planned in a mere 3 months) is stuffed to the gills with vintage romance and chic details, all captured by Volatile Photography.
From the bride, Mandy: George and I were engaged in March 2012. We decided on a destination wedding by July and secured Kunde Family Estate in August. We were married just 3 months later. Yes, we planned a wedding for 30 family members and friends 2,500 miles away from home in 90 days. I don’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have event planning experience or a fiance who is just as crazy OCD as you are! We did make it through, here is our story.
By August my best friend and mother were on me about dress shopping. I was in some sort of denial and scared of the whole ‘perfect dress’ experience. One sticky New York City afternoon I was rescued at Fancy Bridal. My mother and best friend still reminisce of my parade in beautiful gowns while they sat on a dreamy powder blue settee with 1920s music wafting in from another room. It was nothing short of magical. Gregory Nato, owner and creative mind at Fancy Bridal is to thank. George and I shipped our personal collection from Little Vintage Rentals of vintage milk glass, turquoise mason jars, linen napkins and many other vintage favorites to the wedding. We arrived days early to organize daily deliveries of boxes, stuff tote bags for our guests and personally set up some of the decor with the help of our family. The time before the wedding we gave ourselves to settle in and work out kinks was the best gift ever. By the time we hosted our guests for welcome drinks we were calm and excited to drink good wine with our loved ones.
I set a place for my grandmother who passed away many years ago just like she had joked about. I carried my great grandmother’s hankie and earrings in a white vintage beaded purse from my mother’s best friend. We were so thankful for the genuine and superior team of professionals we wrangled together from so many miles away. Having done our due diligence, we were delighted to see each vendor exceed our expectations and then some. Millita from Grant Avenue Florist found perfect cotton candy peonies in November, Wine Country Party & Events sewed linens in the fabric I’d been dreaming of to fit our over sized dinner tables and Kelly from Kelly & Co. Events made sure every last vintage napkin and napkin ring found it’s home from the imagined diagram only available in my head.
Any advice for other couples planning their weddings now? If you’re planning a destination wedding, arrive a few days early to meet with vendors and iron out last minute details. It’ll make you a calmer bride on your wedding day!
First Dance: “The Way You Look Tonight,” Frank Sinatra
Father/Daughter Dance: “The Wonder of You,” Elvis Presley
Son/Mother Dance: “It’s a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
Tsamiko (Greek Group Dance led by Bride): Orea pou ine i nifi mas
Beside a healthy dose of top 40 dance hits some other favorites were from Dean Martin, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Donna Summer AND…. what wedding filled with New Yorkers in California would be complete without “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel.
Wedding Location: Sonoma, CA / Photographer: Volatile Photography / Event Design and Vintage Accents: Little Vintage Rentals / Florist: Millita Walker for Grant Avenue Florists / Day-of Event Coordinator: Kelly & Company Events / Venue: Kunde Family Estate / Wedding Dress, Jacket and Veil: Fancy Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Pour La Victoire / Hair and Makeup: Jennifer Smallwood of It’s a Date at the Powder Room / Manicure: Priti NY / Groom’s Suit: Armani / Caterer: The Fairmont of Sonoma / Cake and Petit Fours: Patisserie Angelica / Live Music: Bella Rosa String Quartet / DJ: DJ Von Woo / Aisle Runner: Love, Burlap / Additional Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events / Officiant: Father Gerald Caprio of The White Robed Monks of Saint Benedict / Wedding Invitations: Invitations by Bonnie / Shuttle Service: Pure Luxury
Today’s wedding, sent over to us by Lad & Lass, is a perfect example of why we love South African weddings so. It’s got perfect handmade details in all the right places, but not so much as to overpower the wedding as a whole. It’s intimate, it’s organic, and it’s love at its finest.
From the bride, Lucia: We wanted our wedding to be rustic Italian, whimsical, simple and relaxed. I didn’t have a colour scheme until I went to choose the flowers. They dictated the colours at the wedding.
There were lots of DIY projects. I am an artist and Fanie is an Industrial Designer. My bridesmaids are also all creatives in their own rights. We all enjoyed coming up with creative solutions to our decor challenges. We made all the paper decorations, I made all the origami and we did a lot of the flowers ourselves. We also made all the stamps we used and the thank you gifts.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Do what YOU want to do. Don’t let other people sway your decision making this way and that. Don’t let it become a big wedding monster. The most important thing about your wedding is that it is the beginning of the rest of your life together!!! It’s just a day. It’s your day! Enjoy it!!
Processional: “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers
First dance: “Love You to Pieces,” Jeremy Messersmith
Wedding Location: Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa / Photographer: Lad & Lass / Florist: Jason’s Flowers and DIY / Ceremony Venue: Melville Junction Church / Reception Venue: Bishop Bavin School / Wedding Dress: I redesigned my mom’s wedding dress which was homemade / Groom’s Suit: Maverick Suits / Wedding Caterer: Service Station, Melville, Johannesburg / Wedding Cake: Groom’s mother / DJ: Mel / Wedding Invitations: bride and groom / Transportation: 1958 Morris Minor
Calling all DIY couples! If you plan on arranging flowers yourselves, make sure to bookmark Flower Muse before you order your flowers. Flower Muse is a farm direct flower company that takes pride in offering flowers that are agriculturally and socially responsible without compromising on great prices. Below are some of our personal favorite blooms found on Flower Muse along with a quick guide:
Every order with Flower Muse always receives free shipping regardless of quantity. No need to hunt down coupon codes or wait for a promo. Whenever you got your list of flowers and are ready to order, Flower Muse guarantees the freshest and highest quality flowers. They are sourced from only the best farms all over the world from their own farms.
To make Valentine’s Day even sweeter, Flower Muse is giving away $500 gift certificate to purchase any flowers from their store. To enter, check out Flower Muse and their Valentine’s Day flowers section and let us know in the comments section below what flowers you would love to receive from your honey. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Friday, February 8th in our Weekly Wrap Up.
Flower Muse is also offering 10% discount on your entire order. Just enter the coupon code RUFFLED10 at checkout.
We love opening our inbox to see drop dead gorgeousness submitted to us by none other than the bride herself! Rachel and Scott married in Queensland with a truly handmade affair captured to perfection by Trigger Happy Images. We admire Rachel’s advice of looking outside the box for non-wedding vendors to help scrimp and save in various areas of your budget!
From the bride, Rachel: As Scott is British and I am Australian, our first decision was where to hold the wedding. In the end we decided to hold it in Australia as this is where we are currently living, but thought it was be amazing to have an English garden themed wedding. We had an amazing group of family and friends that came all the way from the UK for the day, so we wanted to make it a day everyone would all enjoy and remember. The Gold Coast Botanic Gardens were exactly what we were looking for. There was a huge fig tree right by the water, and a natural bamboo archway leading down to it. Perfect!
From the very beginning we decided that we would have a DIY wedding. We had a small budget, but also wanted it to be personalised and reflect us a couple. We wanted each of the bridal party to have quirky accessories that suited them. I chose different earrings and brooches for the girls that suited them, and Scott picked watches and socks for the boys.
We collected jam jars for months for decor and for drinks at the ceremony! DIY elements included our invites, decorations, bouquets, guestbook, and sashes for the bridesmaid dresses. Making our invites was super fun! We love photos, so created a photographic invite, with pics of ourselves. We then had the formal invite details on the back, and stitched both sides together, and tied each invite with twine and a postage tag with the guests name hand written.
For the ceremony we collected the decorations all throughout our engagement. Lanterns, vintage lace from my grandma’s glory box, bunting. We had our English guests bring fondant fancies & party rings, and we made jugs of pims and lemonade, and iced apple & cinnamon tea for refreshments afterwards.
Our main advice for other couples would be to do as much as you can by yourselves, it makes it personal and from the heart. Look for non bridal suppliers to save where you can. Wedding dress, bridal party outfits, flowers from wholesalers – you can find amazing things when you think outside the box!
Wedding Vendors (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia):
Ceremony Location: Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens / Reception Location: The Garlic Clove / Wedding Photographer: Trigger Happy Images / Ceremony Decor: Original Occasions / Wedding Flowers: Bride and bridesmaids / Wedding Dress: Sue Wong / Wedding Shoes: Wittner / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ASOS / Hair: Candy Hairdressing / Makeup: Lea Beauty / Groom’s Shirt: ASOS / Groom’s Trousers and Bow Tie: Roger David / Wedding Cake: My Little Cupcake Empire / String Trio: Tonic / Stationery: Bride and Groom / Celebrant: Clarah Luxford / Transportation: Byron Bay Retro Cars
A while back we shared a few baby’s breath wedding ideas and it’s still one of our favorite big-bang-for-your-buck flowers. So when the ladies of Hey Look sent over this next tutorial, I knew it was going to be a winner. These initial monograms are so simply beautiful, it stopped me in my tracks. Michaela used both this filler flower and ferns, but you can use any other leafy filler to match the mood of your wedding decor and can be used to hang on your + future other’s chairs or church doors.
From Hey Look: These monograms are inexpensive, easy to make and what’s best is that you can make them a few days before your wedding. In the fridge they will last a good 2 days. Baby’s breath especially is long-lasting and you can ask your local flower shop for ferns and greens that will survive without water for a few days.
For the baby’s breath monogram you will need:
- A bunch of baby’s breath or ferns
- Thicker metal wire for the base frame
- Thinner wire for attaching the baby’s breath
- Wire clippers or strong scissors
For the green monogram you need the same supplies; just replace the baby’s breath with ferns, leaves or other greens of your choice.
Start by shaping a frame for your monogram. Just bend thick wire into the shape of a letter. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you can adjust it a little after you’ve added the florals or greens.
Take a little bunch of greens and tie them together with the thin wire. Then with the same wire attach the little bunch to the monogram frame. Don’t cut off the excess wire, just wrap it around the frame a few times, then continue tying little bunches to the frame with the same piece of wire. No need to cut it off until the end.
Make the baby’s breath monogram in the same way.
The every last bunch of baby’s breath should be attached to the frame in the opposite direction. Just try to make the gap for the last rounds of wire as small as possible. In the picture of the finished end piece, you can still see the hole for the wire. Once, the entire monogram is ready, just adjust the blooms (or greens) a little to cover holes.
We chose baby’s breath for the monogram, because it is easy to work with, inexpensive and long-lasting. You can also dry baby’s breath monograms after your wedding (or shower) as a lovely reminder of your big day. We added the fern monogram as a groom’s monogram, but of course you can only make one kind. If you’d like to use other plants or flowers, just as at your local flower shop for recommendations on long-lasting ones. You could also make this from paper flowers or leaves.