View Posts By:




Secret Garden-Inspired Alabama Wedding

You may think you’ve seen a “secret garden” wedding done before, but I can assure you that you’ve never a day quite as charming as this. Think ‘maids dressed in lavender, mixed blooms a’plenty and a pint-sized bridal party all sweet in a row. Simply Bloom Photography came along for the fun, and the gallery is every garden bride’s dream come to life.


From Simply Bloom PhotographyThe bride described envisioning a “secret garden” theme for her wedding day. She also outlined that her style is very eclectic and that her dress as well as the bridesmaids’ are flowing and ethereal.

Paige and Jesse were a dream couple to photograph and their wedding embodied just that. Every detail felt like an organic and artistic choice. It was apparent that they fully trusted all their vendors, because the final result was a masterpiece from each contributor.

One of our favorite moments to capture was when the bride saw her father for the first time on the day. It was everything Paige promised it would be: heartfelt, warm, emotional and plain moving, even for us behind the lens.

Photography: Simply Bloom Photography | Wedding Planner: Finery Boutique | Florist: In Bloom | Wedding Dress: Jacinda Gown By Watters | Cake: Diann Laney | Catering: Betty Lankford | Hair Stylist: Fringe Salon | Band & DJ: Act Of Congress | Make-up Artist: Nancy Finnegan | Plantation Mansion: Creekside Plantation

From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
Crafty Pie Wedding Invitations + A Discount + A Giveaway!

My love for all things paper runs deep; that’s the truth. Today, I’m gushing over online wedding invitation boutique Crafty Pie. Specializing in unique, modern + vintage invitations, save the dates, and day of wedding stationery, Crafty Pie makes it easy — and fun — for couples to showcase their own style!

Not only are all of Crafty Pie’s designs completely customizable, but couples can also choose from a variety of colors, fonts and wording to match their wedding or event. And did I mention all of this customization is free? Fabulous. Crafty Pie’s  gorgeous designs are printed on eco-friendly card stocks that come in a variety of textures and thicknesses, from 110lb felt textured stock to 220lb double thick matte! Adding to the customization, Crafty Pie also offers a variety of pretty printed backer options ranging from solids to patterns.

With a gorgeous range of styles and designs, I’m seriously smitten with Crafty Pie invitations! And get this, they offer free shipping on all US orders! Ready to order? Crafty Pie is offering a 15% off coupon code good through April 30, 2015! Use code SMP2015. Oh, but there’s more good stuff…


What: One lucky reader will win a $250 gift certificate to be used toward anything on the Crafty Pie website!

How: To enter, comment on this post with your favorite paper suite. A winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday, April 10, 2015 in the Social Hour. Good luck! 


Letterpress 101

We’re talking about one of my absolute favorite topics today, SMPers. Letterpress is how I personally got my start in the wedding industry, so I can appreciate the love (and hard work!) that goes into the process, resulting in some of the prettiest wedding invitations you’ll ever set eyes on. So we teamed up with the lovely gals at Printerette Press and 2nd Truth to give you a behind the scenes peek at just how those gorgeous invites come to life.


From Printerette PressAt Printerette Press, when we work with clients to create custom designs, we begin the relationship with a consultation – in person or digitally. This is often one of the most fun parts of the process! We love getting to know our clients and piecing together the details that will soon become the perfect pieces for their event. We ask loads of questions (and sometimes they’re a little weird!) to really get to know the people and the event.

Sometimes our clients like to tweak designs from our existing collection to fit their wedding. Other times, we start from scratch to create fully custom pieces just for them. Beginning the design process is where we like to get our hands a little dirty! A lot of our invitation suites incorporate unique details like custom portraiture, hand lettering, watercolor details, etc. so this is the place for us to pull out the sketchbook, paint brushes, and anything else we need to get the creative juices flowing.

We communicate back and forth with our clients using digital proofs. And when the design is approved and ready, we move to print. We offer a few different print methods for our clients, but our most popular is the one that we do in-house: Letterpress.


After our design is approved by our client we are ready to go to print! (In the case of the example shown here, we first had the watercolor peonies digitally printed onto our paper before we begin the letterpress process.) The first step in the letterpress process is to make plates. Each color on a letterpress printed piece requires it’s own run through the press, and thus, it’s own plate. In the case of our wedding invitation example, we created a plate for the reply card and invitation (to be printed in gray), and another plate for the silver foil. So, the invitation will pass through the press twice (once for gray, once for silver foil), and the reply card will pass through just once (for the gray).

Plate making is something we just recently started doing, and let us say it’s been quite the learning experience. That being said, we’re very glad to be able to make them in-house. A well-made plate is one of the most essential pieces of a letterpress job. If you don’t have a good plate, you don’t have a good print. To make a plate, the design is printed in reverse on film and then adhered with suction to photopolymer plastic. Then, we expose it to light for several minutes. Once the design from the film has been exposed to the plastic, we wash away the unexposed plastic so that only our design remains. After drying and exposing the plastic to light one final time to harden the design, we are all set to print!


A Pantone color palette (a designer’s color Bible), provides the “recipe” for mixing each color. To mix the gray shown here, we mixed 80% transparent white, 19% black, and 1% red. Getting an ink color precisely correct can be a challenging task – so having a specific formula of a color is really important. That’s where the Pantone formula guide, and our super accurate scale comes in very handy.


One of the more difficult tasks a letterpress printer faces is perfectly lining up the plate to the area of the paper you need to print on (This is called “registration”). Getting everything straight, centered, aligned can take a few tries before we get it perfect. The more colors we have on a job, the more complicated the registration is because it requires that we register multiple plates.

Once the plates are set, it’s go time! Certain things to concentrate on are the amount of pressure + packing you have behind the paper. This allows you to either gently tap the paper, or punch it harder to get a deep impression. We like to print with a really nice, deep impression. To look really letterpress-y, you know?

We have a couple of presses at Printerette Press. The bulk of our jobs are printed on the Heidelberg Windmill, pictured here. The windmill pulls each sheet into it’s clam-shell, prints it, and spits it out on the other side in a windmill motion. It’s very fast, very efficient, and sometimes a little scary. After all of the steps in printing are finished, we trim them up using our stack paper cutter and voila! a handcrafted wedding suite that beautifully sets the tone for our client’s wedding.


It is a largely hand done process on antique equipment that yields a texturally luxurious and one of a kind finished product.


Each color on a letterpress job requires it’s own run through the press, and it’s own plate. The more colors, the more materials and production time. Digital printing definitely will save on costs due to the less involved printing process. While you can achieve more colors with digital printing, the process is often called “flat” printing, because the final result includes no textural qualities and requires less hands on production. We specialize in letterpress but offer both methods to cater to all kinds of budgets.


The metallics that you often times see on invitations is an entirely different process called foil stamping. A main difference is when it comes to the color gold for example. If a bride wants pure gold, we typically suggest the route of foil stamping due to the fact that gold letterpress ink typically looks more bronze because it lacks the metallic effect that foil stamping has to offer. The combination of foil stamping and letterpress is unbelievably gorgeous and has quickly become a trending request in our shop.


The process is incredibly customizable. We specialize in quirky designs that speak to each and every client that we work with. We have a collection of suites to provide brides with a stepping stone, but are always open to tweaking these existing designs, or creating something entirely new!


The paper we use is 100% cotton. It is a bi-product of the textile industry and is made up of cotton linters that would otherwise be garbage. We also use soy based inks.


As soon as the design is approved to print it typically takes around 15 business days for production.


We pride ourselves in working hands on with our brides to ensure that we can figure out ways of keeping everything in their budget. By working with different print methods and materials, we are able to accommodate nearly any budget.

Photography: 2nd Truth | Stationery: Printerette Press | Design Studio + Letterpress Print Shop: Printerette Press | Venue: Printerette Press

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Whimsical Pine Grove Wedding

From exchanging vows beneath the pine trees, to a laid-back reception complete with a bonfire, this whimsical affair is fit for a fairytale. With every detail meticulously handcrafted by the happy couple – from the garlands, to the photo booth back drop – the evening proved to be a true reflection of their love story. Josh Gooden Photo documented every beautiful bit, and you can see it all right here!


From Josh Gooden PhotoI was invited to photograph Kim & Nuno’s wedding at the lovely Roxbury Barn this past May and I was thrilled to document their love for one another. Everything about their day was absolute perfection: their sweet vows underneath the beautiful pine trees, a laid-back vibe to the day, and their meticulously handcrafted details. Being a talented artist, Kim designed her own invites, thank you cards, seating chart, table numbers, garlands, decorative curtains, wedding card signage, and photo booth back drop.

From the Newlyweds… We wanted our wedding to be a unique experience. We were interested in having a party that was all about love and the playfulness that both Nuno and I bring out in each other. We approached our guest signing book by turning it into an irreverent mad lib about finding your first love. I crafted and designed our own invites, thank you cards, seating chart, table numbers, garlands, decorative curtains, wedding card signage, and photo booth back drop. Instead of hiring a stranger to be or DJ and officiant we took a different route. Nuno made a playlist of our favorite tunes and we had my uncle give us away during the ceremony. We wrote his speech as well in keeping with a theme that we were making the night our own.

Both of us decided to have our wedding in the pine grove forest at the Roxbury Barn. It’s located in the Roxbury, NY and is a part of the Catskills. The landscape was gorgeous and reminded me of growing up in the vast forest landscapes of Washington state. Our venue was inviting unlike the sterile dance halls that typify these types of events. We were trying to add our own personality in every way we could from the soundtrack to the small details of the decorations. The night ended with a bonfire and it was an epic moment. Everyone was in awe. The pathways were adorned with lanterns and everyone carried sparklers to illuminate the darkness. It was a great cap to a singular evening that was tailor-fit to our taste.

Photography: Josh Gooden Photo | Floral Design: Wildflowers By Richard Simms | Wedding Dress: Elen Paumere Couture | Ceremony Venue: The Roxbury Barn | Reception Venue: The Roxbury Barn | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Asos | Bridesmaids' Dresses: JCrew | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Creatures Of Comforts | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: Sweet Nothings By Linda Laestadius | Favors: Rocky Top Soap Shop | Groom's Attire: Brooklyn Tailors | Groom's Shoes: Calvin Klein | Bride's Bracelet: Iwona Ludyga Design | Bride's Earrings: BHLDN | Bride's Engagement Ring: Claire Kinder | Bride's Extra Ring On Her Left Hand: Mociun | Bride's Headpiece: Hushed Commotion | Bride's Necklace:: Bayila | Bride's Rose Gold Clutch:: Glint | Bride's Wedding Band: Mociun | Custom Gold Marquee Letters: Rat Alley Goods | Film Lab: Photovision | Groom's Tie Clip: In God We Trust | Groom's Wedding Band: Catbird | Groomsmen Suits + Tie: Calvin Klein | Paper Goods Designer: Kim Dulaney | Rentals: Events Unlimited Tent And Party Rentals | Wedding Band: The Hamilton Bacon Duo

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here