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Movie Animator Couple’s Whimsical Engagement Session

When two animators who’ve worked together on movies like How to Train Your Dragon 2, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots decide to tie the knot, the e-sesh simply must have a nod of whimsy. They let Sunstone Winery and the beaches of Santa Barbara play backdrop as Rebecca Yale captured behind the camera, and you just might see a few Mickey & Minnie moments in THE VAULT!

From Rebecca Yale PhotographyBridgette and Alex are getting married next year in California and wanted their engagement session to feel distinctly California, but also a little unique. After talking about locations all over the state they decided to pick two perfectly “California” spots- the beach in Santa Barbara and Sunstone Winery tucked beautifully between the mountains in the Santa Ynez Valley. We started at sunrise with the beautiful pink light rising behind us in the East and stayed cozy on the beach with a warm blanket. As the sun and temperatures rose we headed over the mountains to Santa Ynez for a late morning walk through the vineyard and their gorgeous villa- and of course some wine. The bride works at Disney so we ended the session with her adorable Mickey and Minnie doppelgangers, dressed chicly in grey, matching their outfits perfectly!

From The Bride… Alex and I met in September 2011 while building custom animation software for the film industry. Our love of animation inspired us to work together on movies such as How to Train Your Dragon 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, and more.

What started as an office romance quickly flourished when I was invited by a colleague to join Alex’s weekly bar trivia team. This sparked a lot of hanging out together outside of work. Soon, we were inseparable– at work during the day, and either exploring our hometown of Los Angeles at night, or staying in while Alex serenaded me on the piano with improvised ballads and love songs.

A nod to serendipity, we discovered that we shared an alma mater of The College of Computing at Georgia Tech, and even had mutual friends there. Alex invited me to a Georgia Tech alumni event at a computer graphics conference on August 6, 2012, which we consider our first official date. There, we reminisced about school, talked about technology trends and our favorite amusement parks, and danced all night.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed many weekend excursions, fine dining, and ending the night with a glass of fine scotch in hand. To my wonderful surprise, Alex proposed in October 2015 during a romantic, candlelit evening at our favorite restaurant, Providence. We love the natural beauty of California, which led us to choose a sunrise engagement session at Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara and Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley.

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Bride's Shoes: Elin King For Marciano | Hair: Trina Duarte | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: Sunstone Winery | Bride's Dress (Beach): Free People | Bride's Dress (Winery): Anthropologie | Groom's Shoes: Johnston & Murphy

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Decode the Dress Code: Your Wedding Guest Outfit Cheat Sheet

All eyes will be on the Bride and Groom at any wedding (as they should be), but that doesn’t mean you the wedding guest can’t look your best. But, when the invite arrives, how are you supposed to know the difference between black tie optional and black tie? Don’t worry—we’re breaking down the terminology (and giving you some killer outfit ideas) so you can look gorgeous and confident at any wedding.

What the Dress Code Really Means
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What the Dress Code Really Means
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More Wedding Guest Tips & Tricks

What to Wear to a Winter Wedding | Lauren Conrad’s Guest Style Rules | How to Be the Best Guest Ever

DIY Gold Leaf Donut Favors

You know we love to get crafty around here, and these Gold Leaf Donuts might be the most genius DIY yet. With a sprinkling of edible gold leaf (yes, that’s a thing) and some cute packaging to boot, your guests will be talking about these yummy favors for good, long time. Watch the easy tutorial captured by Elysium Productions below!




step-1Start with glazed donuts (any kind will do!) Using tweezers, release small bits of edible gold leaf and gently place them onto the glaze of your donut.

step-2Next, begin building your favors. Using spray adhesive, glue your circle cut paper to the lid. Then, gently place your donuts inside the jar.

step-3Print out the “love is sweet labels” on the label paper and cut out with scissors. Add a printable label to each jar.

step-4Don’t forget to add a little bling. Cut your gold glitter tape so that you have two thin strands and secure on the jar. Trim the edges to hug the “V” of your first sticker. Voilà!

Film: Elysium Productions | Photography: Leila Brewster Photography


Bouquet Breakdown: Oak Knoll Ranch Spring Wedding

Earlier this week, we spent a hefty amount of time admiring this crazy good bouquet and it’s equally unbelievable wedding, captured by Charla Storey. (Read: we obsessed, pinned and jaw-dropped like you wouldn’t believe) And we also thanked our lucky stars for The Southern Table, the creators behind it’s beauty. Today, we’re unveiling the list of blooms it’s filled with, from the radiant coral charm peonies to the stretching arms of blue delphinium.

Oak Knoll Ranch Spring Wedding

  • Coral Charm Peony
  • Yellow Bartzella Peony
  • Blue Delphinium
  • Pink Antique Garden Rose
  • Juliet Garden Rose
  • Jackpot Thistle
  • Salmon Godetia
  • Sweet Pea
  • Patience Garden Rose
  • Baroness Garden Rose
  • Blue Muscari
  • Sarah Bernhardt Peony
  • Asclepia
  • Ranunculus
  • Orange Pincushion
  • Jasmine
  • Spirea
  • Camelia Foliage
  • China Berry Foliage

From The Southern TableMeeting and getting to know Katie this past Spring was an absolute joy and working with her alongside Kristin Mullen, of Events by Kristin, on her big day was so much fun! First, Katie is pretty much one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, a kind, soft-spoken, Southern belle in the truest form. She had a very clear overall inspiration for her design aesthetic and her venue was the perfect fit for her colorful, wildflower-inspired wedding! Katie chose Oak Knoll Ranch which features a classic, red barn and a quaint outdoor ceremony space in the Texas countryside. Large sprawling oak trees and rolling hills created a beautiful backdrop for her guests.

As with all of our brides, our first priority is to get to know them personally, their vision for their day, and determine what they really want their guests to experience and feel. Katie was inspired by bright colors and wildflowers, and wanted her friends and family to feel welcomed, relaxed, and ready for a lively celebration. She specifically loved the texture of pincushions and thistle, so we contrasted that with soft garden roses, large peonies, and delicate sweet pea and muscari for an eclectic feel. We arranged the bouquet in a loose, asymmetric form with lots of movement to compliment the natural, relaxed setting. Lastly, we chose midnight blue silk streamers to coordinate with the beautiful blue bridesmaid dresses. Oh, how we love how ribbons blow in the breeze!

Overall, we love how the bouquet and overall floral concept was playful, joyful, and vibrant! In this case, the bride had a broad concept for her look, but trusted us to take her vision and run with it. We love that! We determined she loved bright colors, lots of texture, and free movement. We sincerely feel that giving your vendors room to play and get creative gives you the best result possible. We like looking for direction, but also love when couples trust us enough to make their visions come to life! This is really done with great communication between vendor and client, really getting to know them, and spending the time to talk through designs and options. We love talking with our brides! This collaborative process is one of the best parts of being in the wedding industry, and we are truly thankful to get to partner (and have fun with) each and every one of our awesome couples!

Find more Bouquet Breakdowns here!

Floral Design: The Southern Table | Photography: Charla Storey