Carrie Bradshaw knew her stuff when it came to designer shoes, but she’s not the only one who can rock a pair of Manolos like nobody’s business. SMP Brides have proven Manolo Blahniks can be the ultimate accessory for the Big Day, and today we’re revisiting our absolute faves. Prepare to squeal, shoe lovers.
Oh, Esther Sun. You just get us. The way you capture a wedding like a work of art, and leave us with image after image of light-filled perfection. And while you’re certainly no stranger to the pages of SMP, this San Diego fête might just be my favorite. Readers, head on over to THE VAULT for all the images, and let’s thank our lucky stars for vendors like Très Chic Affairs and Moments In Bloom who make this kind of pretty happen.
From The Bride… Sam and I met through mutual friends at happy hour one night at TGI Friday’s. I had just started graduate school and wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. The night that we met, the chemistry was instant. There was just something about him that I instantly gravitated to; he was charming, driven, incredibly smart and full of life. It was in those first few weeks that we knew we had both found someone special; that person we both had been praying for. In our first month of dating, we adopted a Lab, met each other’s parents, booked a three-month Southeast Asia trip, and never looked back. Sam proposed on April 26, 2014 along Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara with a custom ring he had designed with my mother. I had just passed my thesis defense the day before and felt like THE happiest girl ever!
When we were engaged, we started looking high and low for the perfect venue – San Francisco and the Bay Area, Santa Barbara, LA, and even briefly considered a destination wedding in Mexico. Ultimately, we chose San Diego because this was the place where Sam and I went to college, where we met and where our relationship first started. We knew San Diego would eventually be home for us and what better place to get married than at the country club where Sam spent many of his weekends playing golf.
I instantly fell in love with the country club upon my first visit. The ornate gold chandeliers, large french windows and outdoor lush garden gazebo went with the romantic and cozy feel we wanted for our wedding and complimented our muted color palate of blush, greys and soft greens. We wanted our décor to be very personal and selected items we knew we’d eventually display in our home. Over the months, we made multiple trips to antique and thrift stores searching for vintage frames, trays and dishes. Our favorite find was the large antique gold frame we used as our escort card display. Backed in natural linen and paired with custom hand calligraphy signs, the frame was one of my favorite items from our wedding and now hangs in our home. We also spent months collecting candle pillars, votives and hurricanes and placed them all over the country club. We must have had hundreds of candles lining the entrance and in the reception!
We wanted our wedding day to be about our friends and family and wanted to honor and thank them for the roles that they have played in our lives. My three best friends and Sam’s sister and sister-in-law served as my bridesmaids, while Sam’s brother served as ‘best man,’ high school best friends served as groomsmen, and adorable six nieces and nephews served as flowers girls and ring bearers.
It was also important to us that the day be about our faith. We are honored to have Sam’s father Job, and brother-in-law, Pat, officiate and be an integral part of our wedding. Some of my fondest memories of wedding planning were those late night Skype calls with Pat where we spent our time together praying over scripture that we ultimately chose for our ceremony. Between the message, our personal vows, prayer of blessing from Sam’s father, and hilarious speeches from our closest friends and family, we truly could not have asked for a more perfect wedding day! All the planning and focusing on the details were absolutely worth it.
Photography: Esther Sun Photography | Cinematography: XOXO Wedding Studio | Event Planning: Très Chic Affairs | Floral Design: Moments In Bloom | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Edelweiss Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club | Hair And Makeup: Kelly Zhang Makeup Team | DJ: DJ Sota | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Groom's Shoes: John Varvatos | Venue: Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club | Calligraphy & Paper Goods: Written Word Calligraphy | Linen Rentals: APR Fine Linens | Photo Booth: Pixster Photo booth | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals - San Diego
With Bridal Fashion Week in full + fabulous swing in NYC, we thought it only right to give you a front row pass to the breathtaking Spring 2016 Collection from Allure Bridals. Yep, I’m talking a totally awesome sneak peek at the beyond gorgeous gowns that hit the runway this very weekend. Think stunning silhouettes, intricate details and fabrics that are as soft as they are pretty. We are sooo lucky.
From classic A-lines to sassy fit and flares to breathtaking ball gowns, the new Spring 2016 Collection from Allure Bridals checks every single box on your dream gown list with a never-ending lineup of expertly crafted gowns that will leave each of your guests talking. Not to mention that Allure offers up a plethora of amazing dress options with their Allure Romance, Allure Couture and Madison James collections, as well. Which means that whether you’re a traditional bride saying “I do” in an awe-inspiring cathedral, a modern lover tying the knot on a Manhattan roof top or a rustic chic lady planning to party the night away in the coolest barn ever, Allure Bridals has something for you.
Contact Allure Bridals today to begin your dream dress journey.
Dear Michael and Carina, thank you for sharing this anchor of lovely. It’s nautical charm is sending us into an ocean of bliss with every sea-inspired detail and cool blue hue. From the post ceremony sail, to the tented reception sprinkled with gilded details, we’re going to be harbor every moment forever in THE VAULT!
From Michael and Carina Photography…Kelly and Gary married on a beautiful summer day at the lovely Maritime Museum by the Chesapeake Bay. The nautical feel of their wedding fit the location perfectly; the light blue details and golden oyster shells completed the elegant setting. Neutral floral arrangements and the groomsmen’s navy suits were selected thoughtfully to match the location and feel of the wedding. The bridal party even took a sailboat out to sea!
Kelly and Gary’s ceremony took place by a lavishly decorated floral arbor, a few feet from the Chesapeake Bay. Everyone celebrated under a sailcloth tent by the water. We couldn’t imagine a more elegant and fun maritime wedding inspiration for brides-to-be.
From the Bride…Gary and I have always felt so lucky to have found each other and to have such wonderful friends and family who support and love us unconditionally. We wanted our wedding to be uniquely our own and for each moment to feel purposeful and meaningful. Above all, we wanted it to be a true celebration of our love for one another. We continued to remind ourselves of this, throughout the planning process, which helped us keep perspective on what really mattered.
When we found the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, in St. Michaels, Maryland, we knew it was the perfect place to say ‘I do’. St. Michaels is a charming coastal town along the Eastern Shore, ideal for many of our out-of-town guests to enjoy a weekend getaway. The museum was effortlessly beautiful and gave us the creative liberty to really be ourselves. Even though having an outdoor wedding was a big risk, we made sure to surround ourselves with a team of wonderful vendors who we trusted to make it amazing. We immediately knew that we wanted to work with film photographers, Michael and Carina, as they always capture flawless photos that tell a beautiful story. Having Sara Reynolds, to coordinate the month-of, lifted so much weight off of our shoulders and really let us enjoy every moment of getting married. She was a huge part of bringing our vision to life.
With the Chesapeake Bay as our backdrop we were inspired to keep our details natural and elegant. Our bridesmaids wore shades of blue to complement the nautical setting. Each girl picked a different dress from two designers. The groomsmen looked handsome in matching French Navy suits topped with light blue linen bowties. We arrived to the ceremony on the HM Krentz, a vintage skipjack docked at the museum. As guests arrived they were greeted with a refreshment served in a keepsake oyster cup from Gary’s grandfathers oyster house. The signature drink was made with local micro, craft rum from Lyon Distilling Co. A strings duo played a handpicked selection of songs before we walked down the aisle to exchange vows we had written to one another. Making our ceremony personal meant so much to us. We knew we would look back on those words, and our commitment to each other, for the rest of our lives.
Our escort cards were DIY, hand-painted oyster shells, and the seating chart was crafted from a nautical map of the Chesapeake Bay. We also filled a dinghy boat full of local brews from Buffalo, New York as homage to my hometown. Locally grown greenery, delicate garlands, and full white blooms beautifully juxtaposed the rustic museum. Dinner was inspired by local produce and included a farmers market ceviche, with a lump crab cake, followed by an entrée of choice.
Organic linen tablecloths, seersucker napkins and draped café lighting gave us a soft and romantic feel. We also setup a small breakout space with tall multi-candle lanterns and Adirondack chairs for guests to relax and enjoy the bay breeze when they wanted a moment away from the dance floor. Our photo booth, complete with custom props, was a total hit! Guests shared their photos in our handmade guestbook (we loved having this to look at the next day, too). As the night came to an end we had one last local surprise – The Scottish Highland Creamery set up their cart near the exit with six delicious flavors of artisan gelato for guests to enjoy. It was the sweetest way we knew how to say ‘thank you’ for sharing the weekend with us.
Gary and I danced the night away surrounded by everyone we love. It was the best day of our lives and a perfect way to begin our happily ever after!
Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Cinematography: Wood Room Cinema | Event Planning: Sara Reynolds Events | Floral Design: Seaberry Farm | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Cake: Graul's Market Bakery | Invitations: Just Ink On Paper | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Jewelry: Heirloom | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Peach Blossom Events | Makeup: The Makeup Chic | Hair: Jewel Hair Design | DJ: DJ Wax | Bridal Boutique: Garnish Boutique | Event Venue: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew | Ice Cream Stand: The Scottish Highland Creamery | Music: Chesapeake Strings | Paper Goods: Just Ink On Paper | Photo Booth: Smith Landing Photobooth