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Washington DC Cherry Blossom Elopement Inspiration

No photos capture the glory of cherry blossoms quite as beautifully as these right here. Jenna Henderson snapped away as the pretty petals swirled about, and combined with the intimate romance of an early morning elopement, this shoot is sure to make your heart beat a bit faster. Designs in Paper’s talent and Modern Bridal Studio’s magic are on full display and these are the sorts of pics I’ll never ever tire of.

From Jenna HendersonClassic, timeless, and elegant. These are the words that come to mind for this shoot. The inspiration came from both the beautiful blooming cherry trees of Washington, DC as well as the classy city itself.

Our model wore a stunning BHLDN dress, full of dreamy movement with an heirloom feel. Paired with her groom in a sharp black tux, these images feel like they could have come from any time over the last century. Adding to the timeless feel of this shoot was the film, including some black and white film shot with and old camera belonging to the bride’s mother.

The location was completely magical, with the cherry trees in peak bloom. We shot just as the sun was coming up, before the crowds came out. A light wind stirred falling blossoms, making them feel like confetti as we wandered around the tidal basin.

This shoot was styled as an elopement, as if this pair were just quietly and intimately married on the firm foundation of the marble steps of our nation’s capitol.

Photography: Jenna Henderson | Floral Design: One Sweet Day in May | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Invitations: Designs in Paper | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Hair And Make-Up: Modern Bridal Studio

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Vintage Glam North Carolina Farm Wedding

While without a doubt this whole affair, planned and designed by Leigh Pearce Weddings, is guaranteed to grab your attention and not let go, there is one sight that stood out in particular; the stunningly serene ceremony with the gorgeous North Carolina fall colors in the background. Whitebox Photo captured this magic and while I’m not wishing away summer before it’s even here, good golly, this is gorgeous.

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From Leigh Pearce Weddings… Lauren and Brad tied the knot on a crisp fall day at Adaumont Farm in the heart of North Carolina. With a color palette of deep emerald, peach, ivory, and gold, their wedding was the perfect combination of glamour, vintage, and a touch of rustic.

Lauren’s father is an avid antique collector and their family was able to procure all of the beautiful milk glass, mirrors, and the perfect art deco-esque chandelier for the ceremony – just to name a few! The collected chandelier was the perfect touch to the ceremony which took place underneath Adaumont Farm’s iconic pergola. We draped it with flowing white fabric and swagged greenery and blooms against a picture perfect sunset.

After the heartwarming ceremony, guests moseyed up to the veranda for prosecco and blood orange cocktails while the bridal party and family finished up their photos. Some of my favorite details of the day were from the bridal party! The bridesmaids wore vintage furs and the flower girls (who were appropriately renamed glitter girls) carried kiss lock purses made by Lauren’s mom.

Once guests moved inside of the main barn, they were greeted by three dramatic dinner tables running the length of the room. The tables were topped with the most beautiful blooms and greenery, assorted milk glass, and mirrored table numbers and place cards. Textured ivory and metallic linens along with gold French inspired chairs tied the entire look together. Lauren, Brad, their families, and guests continued the celebration with a decadent meal and a night of dancing,

It was such a pleasure to plan and design such an breathtaking event. Planning with Lauren and Brad along with Lauren’s mother, sister, and father was such an amazing experience. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.!!!

Photography: Whitebox Photo | Floral Design: Amy Lynne Originals | Wedding Dress: Casablanca | Cake: Maxie B's | Invitations: William Arthur Fine Stationery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Catering: Painted Plate | Band: The Dickens | Transportation: Sterling Carriage | Wedding Venue: Adaumont Farm | Event Planning, Design, Coordination: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Lighting + Ceremony Sound: Kenneth Eller | Photo Booth: A & A DJ | Programs, Cocktail Napkins, Menu Cards: Confetti Grey | Rentals: Party Reflections | Rentals: La Tavola | Rentals: Party Rentals By Lisa

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Rustic Elegant Santa Barbara Ranch Wedding

Show me some citrus and I’ll show you a smiling blogger right here. Maybe because summer is upon us, or maybe this bright fruity style is just that amazing, but I can’t get enough, and this Santa Barbara bash delivered with oranges taking center stage on every lucky guests’ place setting. Michael + Anna Costa Photo snapped up every detail and this gallery just might be my new go-to for the sunny days ahead.

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From the beautiful Bride… On the morning of February 15, 2014, at the St. Regis in Punta Mita, Connor’s alarm went off at 6am. He awoke and told me he had set it because he wanted to watch the sunrise. This is not at all abnormal behavior for him so I told him to, “F off and go back to sleep.” No joke. He asked again and for whatever reason, I obliged.

We stepped outside the room and it was pitch dark. Epic fail by Google to determine the rising of the sun. The entire hotel was asleep but we managed to locate some coffee and sit in some chairs on the sand. We had the whole beach to ourselves. Once the sun started rising, we headed out on a walk. About three minutes into the walk, Connor reached for my hand to hold which was not typically how we strolled along the beach. I didn’t start to question it until his grasp got noticeably firmer and he began talking about us, our future and the rest of our lives.

The moment couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was rising over the palm trees to one side and the waves from the ocean were crashing on the other. We were the only ones within sight when Connor got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. My eyes filled with tears and I was too stunned to speak. He prompted me, “Say something” “YES!”

We spent that morning laying in a hammock and soaking it all in before we called our family and friends to share the good news.

Reality set in as we realized that August 9th would be our wedding date. We did the majority of our planning from the beaches of Punta Mita. We booked HeartStone Ranch, ordered Save the Dates and began spreading the word before we even got back to the States.

Although I hadn’t spent my life planning my dream wedding, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted it to be – outdoors, simple, neutral with a beautiful pop of color, enough food and drink to keep everyone happy.

HeartStone Ranch was beyond beautiful on its own, with its rose gardens that I didn’t want to compete with it, but play to it. Tenley worked wonders with the simple arrangements – whites, greens and pale pinks with a gorgeous pop of orange compliments of the kumquats and oranges. This simple theme carried on throughout the wedding.

Some of my favorite memories and details include:

The first time I told Connor I loved him, I had a little too much El Buho, a mezcal that his buddy created. As a nod to the initial love story, we had him fly in a large number of bottles to be used used in our welcome cocktails for the wedding – a Watermelon Smash.

Our surprise ending to the night was a slider station and a create-your-own sundae station with frozen yogurt. Every Saturday night, Connor and I go to the same restaurant where we order a cheeseburger, a beer and chase it down with ice cream. It was a perfectly fitting way to end this night too.

We each wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with one another until the ceremony. I absolutely loved hearing and sharing these words for the first time in front of those people who mean the most in our lives. We have promised to bring them out to read again every anniversary.

This may be the only time in your life that everyone both you and your husband love are in the same place at the same time. Before you rush down the aisle after being pronounced, “husband and wife,” soak it all in.
Say hello and chat with everyone at your wedding before it’s time for the dance party. This may be the only night of your life that you get to twirl with your husband in your wedding gown.

From Amber Weir Weddings & EventsKnowing all of her guests were coming from out of state, Laura really wanted to highlight Santa Barbara. Not only did we put together welcome bags with all local products, but she also wanted to highlight Santa Barbara’s natural beauty with the wedding design. Heartstone Ranch provided a beautiful garden setting. We complimented and enhanced that garden setting by using natural wood vineyard chairs, natural fiber table clothes with golden threads, and garden inspired floral arrangements in whites, greens, and orange tones. My favorite touch was the bright orange clementines placed on each plate to greet the guest and add a pop of color. Not to mention that Tenley Erin Young meticulously hand adorned each clementine with a beautiful green leaf!

Photography: Anna Of Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Event Planning: Amber Weir Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Tenley Erin Young | Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries | Catering: Omni Fresco Catering | DJ: Red Shoe | Officiant: Santa Barbara Classic Weddings | Wedding Venue: HeartStone Ranch | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

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Vibrant Winter Destination Wedding at Playa del Carmen

I need to get myself to Mexico stat. Between the tacos, the colors, and those margaritas, I just know I’d be in my personal paradise… and that isn’t even mentioning the beaches! And if I have any doubt of where to go, Riviera Maya Haciendas is where I’ll set forth for because if this beautiful bash by Buzzworthy Events is any indication, the spot is pure magic. Brittany Rene captured it all for us to crave right here!

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From the Bride… Like most true love, it was met over drinks. Our mutual friend introduced us at a bar and quickly walked away so we were awkwardly alone. Luckily the awkwardness lasted only a moment and we instantly connected after that. After a long great conversation, Dan asked for my phone number and before he could finish, I had already started giving it to him. We barely waited for our first date which started at the De Young Museum and went on to a long stroll through Golden Gate Park, a low key Vietnamese dinner and drinks after. We finally looked at the clock and realized our date had lasted for 12 hours. Our friends that knew about our date were worried that they didn’t hear from us and thought we might have been kidnapped. After that, we were hooked.

Dan and I are most at home by the beach so when we got engaged we knew instantly that we wanted our wedding to take place in front of the ocean. Mexico holds a special place in our hearts because of Dan’s Mexican heritage and Playa Del Carmen was perfect. We wanted to have a wedding that was custom tailored to us as a couple so we chose two beautiful haciendas to host us. Our goal was to have a celebration where there were just as many laughs as there were tears so we worked to make the space beautiful yet youthful. Having the ceremony and reception all outdoors with the beach in front of us made the experience unforgettable.

From Ashley Smith at Buzzworthy EventsEmily and Dan emphasized that the day was really about their friends and family being enchanted by the scenery and kicking back to relax on the beach with amazing cocktails. The Riviera Maya Haciendas were a stunning setting and perfect enviornment. They are two private luxury haciendas complete with Botero’s on the walls, on the beach in Puerto Aventuras, a gated golf community next to Playa del Carmen.

The wedding began late in the afternoon at Hacienda Del Mar. The ceremony took place on top of the pool with the Caribbean sea as the backdrop and was cued by an instrumental version of Beriut’s “Nantes.” The sun set shortly after. Following the ceremony, during cocktail hour, the guests were served Chapulines from La Perla, traditional Oaxacan style, along with Gazpacho, mini Telera with Pork Pibil, Chaya and Cheese Empanadas. All of the cocktails were custom made by the groom, Dan. A slushie machine poured a Sherry Pina Colada and a refreshing margarita with blanco tequila, cucumber, genepy, lime, agave, absinthe. The groom also made a Watermelon Hibiscus and a Pineapple Mint Agua Fresca. The groom’s mother made her famous Horchata. My dear friend, and now dear friends of Emily and Dan, Sam tended bar for the event.

After Emily and Dan were announced to the wedding, guests made their way to dinner over in Hacienda Corazon where they dined, laughed and cried over the spontaneous speeches made by family member and friends. The head table was adorned with a deer skull and fresh flowers that Emily was very partial to and spent many weeks sourcing. The table numbers were made of Mexican tiles and many of the flowers were foraged by friends. When the guests returned to Hacienda Del Mar for dancing, the pool had turned into a custom Mezcal lounge lit by tiki torches in the sand and candles, where they sat ocean side and sipped many types of Mezcal de LuLa out of Copitas and danced until 2AM.

Photography: Brittany Rene Photography | Floral Design: Studio Mondine | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Natalie Jensen | Ceremony Venue: Hacienda Del Mar, Riviera Maya Haciendas | Reception Venue: Hacienda Corazon, Riviera Maya Haciendas | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Audio Equipment: Pentaflor | Bride's Jewelry: Sapphires & Diamonds Sourced From Mother Of The Bride | Bridemaids Gifts (Canvas Weekend Escape Bags): Forest Bound | Chapulines: La Pearla | Event Planning + Design: Ashley Smith, Buzzworthy Events | Groom's Custom Suit : Al's Attire | Groomsmens Gifts (Japanese Knives): Chef Knives To Go | Makeup + Hair: Katie Nash Beauty | Mezcal: Mezcal De Lula | Rentals: Raffaele Of Mayan Hospitality

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8 Tips For Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

One of my favorite engaged moments was dress shopping without a doubt. But oh, what an adventure it is as you dive into the racks of gorgeous gowns! We’re in luck m’dears, for Lovely Bride SF is here to share their tips for finding that special dress. Josh Gruetzmacher snapped chic styles at their San Fran shop and with One True Love Vintage Rentals, the whole place is a dream. Gather up their advice and soak up all the pretty right this way!

Shop Early Enough

Typically, it can take between 7-9 months from when a bride orders her dress until it’s ready to walk down the aisle! While many of our designers can rush a dress order, it does add extra costs to the dress. With 7-9 months, you have a really comfortable timeline, and can eliminate any stress (and extra fees) in making sure your dress is ready and in perfect condition for the big day.

Set Your Budget

Before hitting the stores, it’s best to set a budget and know what you’re able to spend on your dress. While at your appointment, be upfront and clear with your stylist what your budget is. The stylist can then show you dresses that fall within your budget, that way you don’t fall in love with a dress that you can’t afford. We would hate for a bride to find her dream dress, then become disappointed that it’s out of her budget. Don’t forget the additional costs on top of the dress itself, such as alterations, accessories like veils and jewelry, as well as shoes and undergarments. These additions alone can cost an extra few hundred dollars, which many brides don’t initially think about.

Come Prepared

While shopping, come prepared! Bring the undergarments you’ll be wearing, or at the very least, wear a nude strapless bra and nude underwear (no hot-pink undies, please!). Have a Pinterest board ready to show the stylist; we love to see your inspiration! Come with some makeup on. While you don’t have to have a full face of makeup, having some makeup on can help you envision the entire look.

Shop with a Small Entourage

We always encourage a bride to come in with only her closest and most trustworthy confidants! In fact, our largest salon only accommodates four guests. When there are too many people in the party, the appointment can lose focus, and too many opinions can get in the way of what you, the bride, really feels. We advise brides to bring those who knows her style the best, and will be supportive of her opinions and choice!

Be Open-Minded

We love brides who come in with a vision of their big day, and have an idea of what styles they like. But we also love when brides come in open-minded about styles they might not necessarily see themselves in! You may surprise yourself and find a silhouette or style you did not originally consider to be the most flattering on you. And often times, trying on different styles can also help confirm a style you do NOT like, which is all part of the process!

Trust Your Stylist

On the same note, don’t be close-minded to your stylist’s suggestions. Even if you don’t initially love it on the hanger, you may end up falling in love with it! Our stylists dress multiple brides a day, and have seen our dresses on multiple bodies and body types, and have a good idea of what can be flattering on a bride.

Go During Off-Peak Hours

The weekends are our busiest days, and we’re often running from one bride to another. On the other hand, weekdays are quieter, and we are able to spend more quality time with the brides. If you can come on a weekday, you’ll be able to get more personal attention from the stylist.

Trust Your Instincts

Lastly, always trust your instincts! Ask yourself, can you see yourself walking down the aisle in the dress? If you have to be convinced to love a dress, that dress probably isn’t for you. You know best what feels right for you – no matter what anyone else thinks. After all, it’s your wedding, and it will be YOU wearing the dress!

Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Floral Design: Studio Mondine | Hair And Makeup : Katie Nash Beauty | Location: Lovely Bride SF | Styling And Props: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Wedding Gowns: Lovely Bride SF

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Malibu Beach Post Wedding Shoot

No m’dears this is not a staged shoot, this is an actual couple, still beaming from that post-wedding bliss. Full of love and laughter, they skipped along El Matador State Beach in Malibu while Betsi Ewing snapped away, capturing every sweet, romantic, silly moment, so while their wedding may have come and gone, these memories will be around forever.

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From the beautiful Bride… Shota and I met years ago in high school in Houston, TX and have been together since. Many of those years were spent together at heart, as I went away to college for several years in Tokyo. After 11 years together Shota popped the question! We decided to have our wedding in Tokyo where most of our family now live but still wanted to take wedding photos by the beach in Malibu, just north of where we live. A beach wedding would have been lovely, but that can be difficult to pull off in Tokyo!

I brought my Reem Acra dress to LA when I moved here right after our Japanese wedding. I fell in love with it and wanted to wear it more than just once! A post-wedding photo shoot was a great excuse to put it back on. We wanted the photos to look natural and whimsical and Betsi did an amazing job with that wish. We were lucky to have such a wonderful photographer who was both friendly and professional at the same time. Our family and friends loved the photos and it was such a great way to celebrate and remember our life and love here in California where we currently call home.

Photography: Betsi Ewing Photography | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Hair: Patti At Lorraine Colour Bar | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Flower Crown: Dearest Delight | Location: El Matador State Beach In Malibu, CA

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