View Posts By:




#SMPWedding101 – Unexpected Elements Guests Love

We plan for every single essential and wedding must-do but what about when Mother Nature decides to arrive with a storm? Or how about the fear of dehydrated guests? Planning for these little details is what Katie Dunn of Events By La Fete does and she’s gathered up some of her favorite unexpected elements that are guaranteed to make your guests fall even more in love with your wedding celebration.

1. Sweat Proof:

Mother nature can wreak havoc on an otherwise perfectly planned day. To keep your guests from overheating on a super hot day, hand out iced lavender towels as guests enter your ceremony space or late night on the sweaty dance floor!

2. Overhead Protection:

Umbrellas in your wedding colors are always useful if rain is in the forecast OR if its a particularly hot day they can shield guests from the sun. In North Carolina a really hot day also means a good chance for a sprinkle or two, so these umbrellas can serve double duty.

3. Liquid Love:

Don’t forget to have something on hand for your guests to drink before the ceremony begins. Spa water is always a nice addition, especially if guests have been traveling.

4. Welcoming Committee:

Seasonal and local welcome baskets are always much appreciated as guests check into their hotel. If you are getting married in the fall, why not have seasonal pumpkin spice cookies and packets of hot cider. For the spring and summer, fresh fruit is a nice (and healthy) addition! Here in North Carolina, we have a plethora of local goodies that we like to include in welcome bags to give out of state guests a taste of local flavor, including: Krispy Kreme donuts, Southern Season peanuts and Cheerwine!

5. Bathroom Break:

Thoughtful bathroom baskets are a must, especially in the female bathroom! Don’t forget things like phone chargers to include for the on-the-go guest that didn’t have time to recharge before they arrived. Staples should include lip gloss, mints, shout wipes and hair ties!

6. Stylish Signage:

You can never have too many signs! Signs at the food stations, signs at the bar, signs to indicate the timeline of the evening, a sign for the gift card table and cake table, just to name a few. Remember to include a list of ingredients on any food related table so guests with a particular food allergy can be informed.

Adorable Wedding Signs
View Slideshow
Adorable Wedding Signs
View Slideshow


Allure Bridals 2016 Ultimate Sweepstakes
Monique Lhuillier Sweepstakes from the Registry at Bloomingdale’s
Kelly Faetanini for Brideside
Joanna August


For our California Brides… Discount from The Ranch at Laguna Beach

For our Tri-state Brides… Discounts from Femina Photo + Design and Ieie Bridal Dress Boutique!

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events

For our Southeast Brides… Discount from Cassidy Carson Photography

For our Midwest Brides… Giveaway from Life in Bloom


Congratulations to our Sweet Monday giveaway winner Teresa and our Omni La Costa Resort & Spa winners Ivana, Haley, Alison, Meg, Erica, Kendall H., Breanne, Sarah, Chi and Hayley!

Event Planning: Events By La Fete

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
Napa Valley Estate Wedding at Beaulieu Garden

For me, “Napa Valley” and “incredible al fresco weddings” are pretty much one and the same. And this dreamy summer lovefest planned by Rosemary Events only further proves my point. Photographed by Samuel Lippke Studios, it’s got all the elements for a storybook day – Vera Wang gown and five-tier creation by Sweet On Cake included. Go get lost in The Vault for a weekend that’s officially off to a perfect start.

Al Fresco

From Rosemary EventsJust one day of venue scouting and Brittany & Justin fell head over heels for the beautiful Beaulieu Gardens Estate in Napa Valley. It was the perfect location for their fabulous and glowy evening under the stars.

Joined by 150 friends and family, the couple exchanged vows on a gorgeous summer day under a Chuppah covered with Amaranthus (Brittany’s favorite) in the beautiful sunken garden at Beaulieu Gardens. Guests were greeted with Blackberry Lemonade and Minted Iced Tea then seated in rustic wooden chairs under linen covered cabanas shading them from the July sun.

Justin looked handsome in a classic black tuxedo and began the procession walking in with his Mom. Bridesmaids wore dresses by Love Shack Fancy in complementing fabrics and carried bouquets of peach garden roses with raspberries and thistle. They walked in, accompanied by Justin’s groomsmen, to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. Brittany looked stunning in her Vera Wang gown and carried a beautiful bouquet of white garden roses and Amaranthus. Both her Mom and Dad accompanied her down the aisle to an instrumental version of the song from her favorite childhood movie (the one she used to play over and over) “If We Hold on Together”.

Most important to Brittany and Justin was that the ceremony incorporated all the special religious and family traditions representing their respective backgrounds. They worked together with Rabbi Brian and Pastor Larry who created one of the most moving and special ceremonies I have had the pleasure of witnessing. It appropriately ended as the couple walked out through a shower of rose petals to the instrumental version of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” by performed by Ever Music Group.

Guests mingled after ceremony enjoying cocktails and delicious bites from Paula Le Dec Fine Catering and jazz by Ever Music Group. When it came time for dinner, they collected seating cards from wooden shutters placed along the beautiful vine covered path leading to the dining arbor.

The dining tables were a magical backdrop for the extraordinary feast prepared by Paula Le Duc Fine Catering. A continuous golden ribbon stretched the length of each of the long tables and wove through each place setting. Casa de Perrin chargers of Italian glass and 24K set each place, then were finished with a gold flatware, gold napkin, a mix of crystal and Riedel glassware, menus by Tiny Pine Press, a pair of individual crystal salt & pepper cellars for each guest and a golden ribbon monogrammed with each guest’s name. Footed bowls held stunning arrangements of yellow and creme garden roses accented with berries and thistle, spilled with amaranthus. These gorgeous arrangements lined the tables and were accented with smaller arrangements each displaying single ingredients of the larger arrangement and bowls of floating candles. The arbor was twinkling with beautiful gold chandeliers. The pool was aglow with white globes of varying sizes.

Guests ate an amazing Salad of Peaches and Arugula, Salmon on a Cedar Plank served w/ Farro and main course of Bavette Steak. Laughter and toasting followed, Brittany and Justin cut their cake and took the dance floor for a romantic first dance to “Shining Star”. Ever Music Group appeared for a lively Hora dance and then a friend of Justin’s, DJ Chris Fox from Boutique DJs, spun their favorites and kept the dance floor hopping.

It was a magical departure as guests walked through a sea of bubbles and were offered Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches as a sweet finish to the party but the fun continued at an after party at the nearby Reddwood restaurant.

The evening was absolutely magical and glowing. What was so incredibly wonderful about Brittany and Justin (and Brittany’s wonderful parents) was the effort they took to make sure that each and every guest felt special and taken care of. The mood was infectious. There was so much love in the air.

Vault CTA

Photography: Samuel Lippke Studios | Cinematography: Weddings On Film | Event Planning + Design: Rosemary Events | Floral + Event Design: Nicole Sillapere | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Sweet On Cake | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Love Shack Fancy | Catering: Paula Le Duc Fine Catering | Hair + Makeup: Jam Leonard | Lighting: Got Light? | DJ: Boutique DJS | Ceremony Music: Ever Music Group | Venue: Beaulieu Gardens | Alterations: Heidi Johnson | Invitations + Stationery: Tiny Pine Press | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linens | Rabbi + Pastor: Rabbi Brian & Pastor Larry Keen | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Napa | Sound: Delicate Productions | Tabletop: Casa De Perrin

More Napa Valley Weddings This Way!

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Luxurious Parisian Wedding Inspiration

I struggled to narrow down the adjectives to describe this shoot; it’s glam, yet elegant, ethereal yet simply romantic and inviting. Either way, it’s what we call a winner. Captured at The Belle Arte Workshop hosted by event planner Cynthia Martyn Events in Paris by Katie Stoops,  these pics have us wishing upon our lucky stars for an invite (from Seniman Calligraphy, The Wise Creative or Written Word Calligraphy perhaps?) to a French fete as fabulous as this. Just a little forewarning though: the rest of your Friday will be spent in our Vault right here.

From Katie Stoops Photography… This is a styled shoot that came out of The Belle Arte Workshop. The Belle Arte Workshop is a luxury immersive educational retreat for professional wedding planners, stylists, photographers and related creatives. The workshop is a curated and collaborative experience focused on the world of fine art weddings. The first edition was hosted in Paris, France during November 2015 and plans for a second installment are underway for Fall 2016.

Vault CTA

Peruse more Parisian inspiration here!

Photography: Katie Stoops Photography | Cinematography: NazFilms | Event Planning + Design: Cynthia Martyn | Cake: Cake Opera Co. | Bride's Shoes: Bella Belle | Hair + Makeup: Modern Beauties | Venue: Shangri La Paris | Venue: Musée Rodin | Bridal Boutique: Gossamer Vintage | Floral Design + Styling: Cynthia Martyn Events | Grey Wedding Dress: Marchesa | Hatbox: Trousseau & Co. | Invitation #1 (pink Envelope Set): The Wise Creative | Invitation #2 (grey/gold With Tile Escort Cards): Seniman Calligraphy | Invitation #3 (ivory/gold, Velvet Background): Written Word Calligraphy | Jewelry + Accessories: Helena Noelle | Model: Nastya Vasyk For MP Paris | Tabletop Design: Joy Proctor Design | Tabletop Floral Design: Joy Proctor Design | Tabletop Rentals: Plate Occasions | Tabletop Rentals: Options | White Wedding Dress: Cecilia By Saint Isabel Bridal

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Classic St. Louis Cathedral + Art Museum Wedding

Clary Pfeiffer has a way with the camera that makes me melt with every single wedding she delivers to our screens. Today, that statement rings true again and I can’t seem to peel myself away from this stunner of a gallery. The snaps of the Bride in her Reem Acra dress alone are worth it (can you handle that neckline?!). More this way in The Vault!


From Clary Pfeiffer PhotographyToday I’m so excited to send you this wedding from St. Louis at the Cathedral Basilica and the St. Louis Art Museum. The wedding venues are grand but in the beauty and size. They are perfectly breathtaking with the ceiling in the cathedral covered in mosaic tile to the art space in the museum with massive story tall walls for a dinner filled with candlelight and long tables. The wedding day truly was a joy to photograph, Brittany and Patrick had so many fun elements. I love their white trolly and white get away car. They also honored the grandparents by having this be the ring bearer and flower girl.

From The Bride…Patrick and I met at a surprise wedding anniversary celebration for my best friend and Patrick cousin’s parents. It was the first time we had ever met and once we started talking, there was no turning back!

We stayed together through two periods of me living abroad and it only made us stronger as well as provided for some amazing travel opportunities together! When I moved back, Patrick and I were able to make our life here in St. Louis. I began teaching French and Patrick continued his work as an environmental engineer. On a visit to France in the summer of 2013 Patrick proposed to me at sunset at the beautiful Chateau Grand Barrail in Saint-Emillion.

Our love for travel really drove the vision for our wedding day. We have so many happy memories going around the world together and being in the Cathedral Basilica and St. Louis Art Museum locations just felt like we were on another one of those adventures. However, it was even better this time because we were able to spend this romantic and magical evening with all of our friends and family as well!

Vault CTA

Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Coordination: Before I Do | Floral Design: BUDS | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Stationery: Vellum | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Basilica Of Saint Louis | Reception Venue: St. Louis Art Museum | Jewelry: Genovese Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | DJ: DJ Nune | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang Black | Desserts: La Bonne Bouchée | Jazz Singer: Miss Jubilee

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here