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Wrap It Up Pretty Little Black Book!

As we put the finishing touches on another pretty SMP week, we’re reminded of all the love filled affairs we have the pleasure of featuring. But we’re not the only ones that get a little sentimental about all these happy couples. Andrea Eppolito Events sent us this sultry Arizona engagement shoot of one of her dearest friends and we couldn’t help but share this couple’s story (and all-out gorgeousness from Raylene Streuber Photography) ! You can see the rest of this sunshine filled e-session right here in the gallery. Happy weekend lovelies! See you back here first thing Monday morning! XO

From the Bride… While studying with my nursing school classmates at Create Café, my eyes locked with the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Brian was sitting across the restaurant from me, eating lunch with his family. I rushed to the restroom to freshen my lipstick and let my hair out of a ponytail. When I returned to the table I sat directly in his line of sight and gave him my best “come hither” hair toss. He still teases me about that, but the engagement ring on my finger tells me the tried-and-true hair toss is still effective.

We kept stealing glances at one another, as Brian struggled to muster the courage to approach a table of six ladies to ask for my phone number. As my classmates began packing their books to leave, I remained at the table. My classmate asked, “Aren’t you leaving?” I replied, “I’m not leaving until that man comes over to talk to me.”

Brian walked out of the restaurant with his family. I turned to my classmate and said, “I was wrong. I guess he’s not interested” and began packing my things to leave. Meanwhile, in the parking lot, Brian told his father, “I’m going back inside Dad. There’s a girl I’m going to talk to.” His dad gave him a surprised, “Good luck!” as he walked back into the café. My classmate whispered to me, “It looks like you were right after all.” Standing in front of me was my future husband, and I’ll never forget what he said… “Hi; I’m Brian. I’m sorry to bother you, but if I left without asking for your number, I’d be kicking myself for the rest of my life.”

From Andrea Eppolito… It’s not every day that one of your best friends meets the man of her dreams, falls in love, gets engaged and then allows you to help plan her wedding!

On the night of her nursing school graduation the two attended a celebratory “pinning” ceremony at a beautiful event center in the scenic outskirts of Tucson. After everyone left, Lori & Brian stayed behind to tour the grounds. As the sun was setting, he knelt down on one knee, promised to love her for the rest of their lives, and proposed. Quite the striking ring! I love halos around square cut stones! The ring was a complete surprise! Brian chose a a limited edition design from Fred Meyer’s Jewelry featuring an emerald cut center stone. Enhancing the classic style is a halo of round diamonds set in white gold, with pave diamonds encircling the band. To celebrate unique spirit of their romance photographer Raylene Strauber set the two against the gorgeous colors of Tucson, Arizona and among the books that brought them together.

As a friend, I could not be happier to see this darling girl marrying such an amazing man. And as a destination wedding planner I could not be more excited about helping her plan what I know is going to be a fabulous desert wedding!

Personal Note to Brian & Lori: Lori ~ From the moment we met nearly 20 years ago you have been a bright light in my life, my partner in crime, my confident and one of the truest friends I have known! I love you like family and it is my honor and privilege to help you make your wedding day amazing! Brian ~ You aren’t just easy on the eyes, but easy on the heart! Thank you for making my sweet friend so happy and for letting me be a part of your day!

Photography: Raylene Streuber Photography / Wedding Planner: Andrea Eppolito Events

Pretty posts from this week…

a dreamy Boulder bash, Part I and Part II
a Tolstoy inspired photo shoot in Ohio
a very vintage affair in North Carolina
a colorful California celebration
a rustic Valentine’s game night
a round up of some of the prettiest cakes we know
a Cincinnati garden soiree
a sophisticated fall wedding in Chicago
a magical Missouri romance
a charming Portland party caught on film

some fun links from around the web…

Nature-inspired escort cards from Elizabeth Anne Designs
We’re sure we’re not only the ones with this problem via Etsy.
Packaging that makes even french fries cute via A Fabulous Fete

Brides + Grooms to be – Don’t forget about our LBB! This week’s Don’t Miss List spotlights our Little Black Book VIPs who take the stress out of planning your big day. In between saying “Yes!” and exchanging “I do’s,” plan to perfect your soiree with the professionals WE couldn’t live without.

Food is one of the biggest factors in your budget, shouldn’t it be fabulous!?!? If you’re in their neck of the woods, check out The Casual GourmetBarraud Caterers LimitedSeasons Catering.

There’s cinematography and then there’s cinematography done right, Valerie Barnes FilmEver After Video ProductionsUrban Light FilmsTweed Weddings15 Minutes of FrameT-Square Production, and Chris Watson Films are just that.

Fabulous florals and event design will take your day from memorable to magnificent… so check out Kathleen Deery DesignVioletta FlowersInspired Floral DesignBlossom and BranchFinch & Thistle Event Design, and KITANIM, a floral design and event company.

A photobooth is must have guest entertainment these days, give Photobooth Planet and Shutterbooth a shout.

We know there are a million photographers to choose from, but we just happen to know some of the best of the best. Make sure to check out, Q WeddingsWildflower Photography, Amanda Forbes PhotographerFirst Comes Love PhotoAnne Robert Photography, and Laura Ivanova Photography.

That’s a wrap folks! Have a fabulous weekend! XO

Violetta Flowers, Valerie Barnes Film, ShutterBooth, Photobooth Planet, Barraud Caterers Limited, Blossom and Branch, Tweed Weddings, T-Square Production, First Comes Love Photo, Finch & Thistle Event Design, KITANIM, a floral design and event company, Laura Ivanova Photography and Andrea Eppolito Events are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Violetta Flowers

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Valerie Barnes Film

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Shutterbooth

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Photobooth Planet

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Barraud Caterers Limited

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Blossom and Branch

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Tweed Weddings

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T-Square Production

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First Comes Love Photo

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Finch & Thistle Event Design

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KITANIM, a floral design and e...

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Laura Ivanova Photography

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Andrea Eppolito Events

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Tucson, Arizona Wedding by Elyse Hall Photography

Elyse Hall can do no wrong in our book. Nothing but out of this world images come from her camera and she always pairs up with the coolest of weddings. Like this pretty number; an eclectic mix of bright colors and DIY elements and a couple that is radiating a whole lot of love. It’s happiness in the form of a pretty Arizona fête and you can see it all right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… It all started with the ring. Jeremy and I selected an engagement ring from an antique store in Tucson and this was a constant reminder of the uniqueness and the importance of staying true to ourselves throughout the planning process.

As soon as Jeremy and I started planning our wedding I knew I wanted to create as much as I possibly could for the big day. I studied Fine Arts in college and creativity is such an important part of who I am that I knew we could create the wedding of our dreams. As a couple I would describe Jeremy and I as DIY and it was very important that our wedding reflect who we are and our relationship together. I started by finding a unique venue with lots of charm and designed and created the stationary. We are also lucky to have such creative family and friends. My sister, mom, brother, sister in law and my friends helped me craft all the way up until the day of the wedding and Jeremy’s friend coordinated the music for the entire night and was our MC.

The entire evening was the most romantic and fun night of my life. We enjoyed the entire night because it was us and it felt so comfortable!

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography / Venue: Stillwell House and Garden Tucson, Arizona / Flowers: Posh Petals / Cake and Desserts: Ambrosia of Tucson / Signature Drink: Eegee’s Froze Drinks (with Vodka) / Music: Guitarist: Salvador Duran, Local Jazz Group, Country swing band: Al Foul and the Shakes / Hair and Makeup: The Source Salon and Spa / Dress: WToo / Groom’s Suit: Brook’s Brothers / Bridal Party: J.Crew / Favors, Seating Cards, Center Pieces, Programs, Decorations, Hair piece and Veil: the Bride / Bridal and Bridesmaids Necklaces and Groom’s Party Boutonnieres: Maid of Honor and Bride’s sister Katie Eichorn with From the Falls

J.Crew and Watters are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Reid Park Zoo Wedding by Brushfire Photography

If you have your wedding in a zoo you automatically gain major points in my book.  Add in Kate Spade inspiration with bold jewel-tones, black and white stripes and adorable DIY and origami details and I am in total and complete heaven.  I’ve been bitten hard by the lovebug for this Arizona zoo wedding which totally looks like a modern day fairytale.  Brushfire Photography  captured some seriously magical moments and the perfect details that were all created by the gorgeous bride.  Click here to see all the incredible deets!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the bride… I was really inspired by Kate Spade, New York, Japanese origami, Southwest cuisine, succulents, DIY culture and, of course, the zoo! I have to admit, the decor was a challenge because my husband and I are designers and are very particular aesthetically. He has a nature-loving, organic style, whereas I have a love for bold palettes and quirky graphics. Fortunately, we have common ground in loving things to be clean, modern, unconventional and environmentally-friendly. In the end, we dubbed it “Eco Chic.” Using our colors of sangria, clover, and lime… I think we achieved success! Hooray!

From Mike and Brittany of Brushfire PhotographyWhen Jillianne contacted me about her wedding plans at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, I almost had a heart attack because I was so excited about their unique ideas. We knew their wedding was going to be a very special experience. They are both designers and worked very hard to make their wedding a beautiful experience for themselves and their guests.

Jillianne was ushered in by her father and sisters to accordion music. They chose the accordion because it reminded Jacob of his grandfather. This is the first wedding we have attended with everyone standing for the ceremony, and we loved it!!  It was so nice not worrying about walking around taking photos or blocking anyone’s view. The ceremony was like out of a fairytale. Light shone through the trees as paper flowers and origami cranes moved with the breeze and peacocks wandered around the guests. Having the opportunity to photograph giraffes with the wedding party was the coolest thing. Everyone was sticky with giraffe slobber and laughing contagiously. The Reid Park Zoo was one of the prettiest venues we have been to, and it was difficult to pick which spot was the best for their couple photos. We chose the flamingo pond, and it was a gorgeous and kind of funny spot because we had to chase the flamingos around the pond, herding them into the photos. Their reception was very intimate, more like a family dinner with everyone talking and laughing together, sharing stories and gifts. It was very cool that the zoo brought a snake, an anteater and a skink in for all the guests to pet and feed. The anteater was the cutest thing! We loved that they really considered the kids and how to make the party fun for them too. All the kids got a different animal mask, coloring book and animal figurines. The animal cookies as party favors were the perfect takeaway. In a way, all the guests got to be kids for the night.

Wedding Photography: Mike + Brittany of Brushfire Photography / Wedding Venue: Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona / Flowers: Tanya Kratz of In Full Bloom Floral Studio / Event Designer: The Bride / Coordination: Karen T. Wylie of Reid Park Zoo / Wedding Cake: Marco’s Bakery / Catering: Taste of the Wild Catering at Reid Park Zoo / Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang / Hair: La Paloma Red Door Spa / Makeup: Jessica Jons, MAC Makeup Artist / Groom’s Tie: Cyberoptix Tie Lab / Groom’s Suit + Shirt: Perry Ellis / Accordion Music: Arleen Watkins