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Bay Area Engagement Session from Jessica Burke

If I could reach through this screen and hug Jessica Burke, I totally would. Because she has made my morning with this sweet session, causing a perma-grin to form proudly on my face. Because there aren’t many things I love more than sun-lit engagement sessions packed with personality, and you can see all the reasons why, right here in the full gallery of images.

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Fall
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Outdoor
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Casual

From…The bride’s father works on old cars and one of his most favorites is a 1960s Porsche – such a classic!  The bride wanted to incorporate it into their engagement session, so we went in to the rolling hills of the Bay Area for the backdrop + open roads.  It was such a beautiful day, the landscape + styling from the bride completed the look to perfection!

Photography: Jessica Burke | Hair + Makeup:  Sophia of Painted Ladies | Location:  East Bay Area, California

Jessica Burke is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jessica Burke Photography

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Kohl Mansion Wedding from Milou+Olin Photography

You know a wedding that mixes a whiskey bar with Kelly Wearstler’s iconic fabric is sure to be a good time. Think green as grass trellis print mixed with pops of fuchsia blooms by Natalie Bowen Designs. This is a color lover’s fantasy, a pattern aficionado’s ultimate match up and a wedding blogger’s total dream because really, this wedding is as good as it gets. Just take a long look through all the images by Milou+Olin Photography and you’ll be hooked. And for even more, head to the full gallery.

Now how about a gorgeous film to wrap things up by Luke Goodman Cinematography. Have a look…


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Summer
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Mansion

From Milou+Olin Photography…Adam and Jen met in college at UCLA, lived on the same dorm floor and were friends for three years before a phone conversation one night led to, “Hey, I really like you” and “I really like you, too!” They survived a long distance relationship while Jen was in Graduate School and when it was time to decide where to move for a job, they were able to experience a new chapter of adventures, again in Los Angeles.  Adam’s proposal was personal, spectacular and sweet, truthfully!  Jen loves ice cream and they frequent, Fossleman’s, a homemade ice cream parlor, about 15 minutes from their home.  The night before Jen’s birthday, Adam presented her with a book documenting her entire life – with pictures he had her parents collect from family albums and scan to him, pictures from friends and college antics as well as the trips they had taken together as a couple.  While eating a decadent banana split, Jen flipped through the book, already crying at seeing all the hard work Adam had put into her present and on the back cover, there was an envelope.  Not just any envelope, a pearlized envelope, with embossed trim framing the outside.  Inside the envelope, were pads of soft cotton and a sparkling ring.  Adam got down on one knee in the middle of the bustling, kitschy ice cream parlor and proposed.  Jen was shocked, giggled and said, “Of course, yes!”  Their ice cream melted as they called family and friends.
 
For the venue, Kohl Mansion is two blocks from Jen’s family home.  Since Jen was little, she remembers playing in the flower petals of other brides the morning after their weddings were over.  So when it was time to look at venues, Kohl was one of the first places that came to mind and the last place she knew to show Adam – saving the best for last!  Once Adam saw the location and heard Jen tell stories of running on the grass as a little girl, he knew this was the place, too.  Ideally, Kohl was a magical place to complete the Hollywood Regency theme for their wedding – Navy, Marine and Emerald, with hints of “pop” colors, all inspired by Kelly Wearstler’s design aesthetic.   Jen’s dress was a combination of whimsy and romance with modern touches.  Her peacock blue shoes magically coordinated with the gents’ socks and custom designed ties.  Gorgeous florals of dahlias, ranunculus, freesia, kangaroo paw and mint enhanced the theme and their florist was even able to get one of Jen’s favorite flowers, anemones, out of season!  
 
Personal details were key for them to “brand” their wedding and make it their own.  Jen took letterpress classes so she could make the invitations.  Jen selected customized envelope liners to fit the theme.  Menu frames were also letterpressed and each menu was personalized and included an inside joke that the couple shared with the individual.  Jen took sewing classes to learn how to make the farm table runners out of the cherished Imperial Trellis fabric by Kelly Wearstler.  Custom mirrored lucite frames and lucite escort cards were custom designed to look like individual chandelier crystals. Programs were letterpressed with the their “Jen+Adam” insignia and covered with vellum.  The out of town guests enjoyed customized “Jen+Adam” canvas bags filled with San Francisco and Bay Area foodie themed goodies, which corresponded to their “foodie” themed rehearsal dinner: 479° Popcorn, TCHO Chocolate, POP chips, Preston’s Caramels, Alfieri Farms Cinnamon Brittle, and a bottle of their favorite wine.  The couple included an “Out of Town” welcoming booklet which listed fun things to do in San Francisco and on the Peninsula.
 
During the ceremony, for a modern twist, they asked two of their best friends to tell their personal love story, from the point of view of the bride and groom, to the 128 friends and family in attendance.   Directly over the ceremony space, in the trees, five crystal chandeliers hung delicately and represented Jen’s grandparents who could not be in attendance personally, but were there in spirit.  The music was all personally selected by Jen and Adam and other little touches included: parasols, fans and roasted vanilla lemonade for the sunny ceremony and color coordinating pashminas and fleece blankets for the cooler evening events.  Jen and Adam shared their love of whisky drinks by including a whisky bar and turned the west rooms of the mansion into a lounge space.  Adam and Jen showed off their best moves on the dance floor and Jen kept her four inch heels on all night long! The day was perfect in every way and their planner, Adrianna, ensured that things ran smoothly throughout the entire process.  Jen and Adam insist their vendors were sent from heaven and are so thankful for the love and support from such talented artisans who helped make their wedding day most thoughtful and breathtaking!  

Photographer: Milou+Olin Photography | Venue: Kohl Mansion | Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs | Wedding Planner: Adrianna Thorne of Dream a Little Dream Events | Cinematography: Luke Goodman Cinematography | Caterer: Betty Zlatchin Catering | Cake: Branching Out Cakes | Linens: La Tavola + The Bride | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Lighting: Enhanced Lighting | Bride’s Dress: Lazaro | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair + Makeup: Meaganne McCandess | Groom’s and Groomsmens’ Suits: Perry Ellis | Groom’s and Groomsmens’ Custom Tie: this humble abode | Groom’s Shoes: Bruno Magli | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN

BHLDN, Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Milou + Olin Photography, Dream A Little Dream Events, JLM Couture, Inc and Branching Out Cakes are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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Milou + Olin Photography

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Dream A Little Dream Events

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JLM Couture Wedding Gown Bouti...

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Branching Out Cakes

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Silicon Valley Wedding from Cliff Brunk

All the weddings we feature on SMP are special. Sometimes we aren’t able to put our fingers on precisely why a party stands out at us, but with weddings like this one captured by Cliff Brunk it’s the feel. When opening up a gallery of images is like opening the best of presents. A gift. Which is exactly how we felt when we first opened this whimsical woodland wedding. And when you do start to see what’s inside - DIYs that couldn’t be more darling, a Bride that is beyond talented in her wedding planning ways, and a fabulously tight knit family (just to name a few) – you can’t believe how lucky you are to get to devour such a fête, but you are sure glad that you get to. See it all right here.

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Fall
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Home

From the Bride… As someone who plans events in my work life, I had never actually given too much thought to my own big day. But as soon as Will proposed, the planner part of me and the giddy, head-over-heels excited in love girl in me honed in on a vision for our day that would be truly us! The most important thing to us was to have handcrafted, personal details that were reflective of our (often quirky) personalities, but that would stand the test of time and still feel classic when we looked back on the pictures 50 years later. We first fell in love with our venue, Nestldown, through Style Me Pretty, and when we laid eyes on those beautiful woods and grounds in person, we knew it was the perfect place for our rustic, vintage-inspired celebration.

Every detail of our wedding was handmade by us or a loved one. After the wedding, so many people commented that our wedding was “so us” and that made us feel incredibly special. I think the biggest reason is that our celebration was like an extension of the home we’ve shared for years: full of vintage keepsakes handed down from loved ones, and DIY projects that aren’t perfect by any stretch, but that fit us. My obliging dad even moved two antique desks from our home to serve as our cake and escort card tables! Going the DIY route wasn’t always less costly and certainly wasn’t easier, but we wouldn’t trade any of the memories or sense of accomplishment for the world.

My mom and I had a great time exploring the Alameda Flea Market for fun finds like old medicine bottles and vintage cigar boxes, and had epic sewing days during which she sewed all three of the 40-foot burlaps runners edged with lace for our reception tables. In addition to those and runners for every other table, she sewed lace-edged coverlets for our cocktail tables, beautiful Liberty of London petal satchels (most of the 120 she sewed were different from one another), and the darling tutus for our little flowers girls.

In short, she was our sewing angel! Will’s mom made the wonderful bow ties in different Liberty of London fabrics to tie in with the petal bags. For my part, I dusted off the untouched sewing machine I had bought a year before, and tackled sewing up the CD cases for favors (that Will cut out from paper bags), navy burlap favor bags, and the 120 monogrammed cocktail napkins that were handed out with the first round of cocktails. Those napkins were my Everest! There were a few occasions when I wondered why in the world I chose to do that, but I was tickled pink when I saw a lot of the boys using them as pocket squares that day. Suffice to say, sewing became an underlying theme of the day, and even made its way onto our cakes that were adorned with decorated “stitching.” When I spotted a beautiful antique Coats & Clark thread display case, I knew it had to hold our escort cards – it was one of my favorite details.

My dear grandmother passed away many years ago, but through all the sewing, my mom and I felt like she was a part of everything, as she was a seamstress extraordinaire and taught us everything she knew. My bouquet was tied with an antique scalloped lace I found in her ribbon box that I’ve held onto for years.

Photography: Cliff Brunk | Wedding Venue: Nestldown in Silicon Valley, California | Event Planning + Floral Design: The Bride | Wedding Coordinator: Brooke Beyer | Floral Bouquets + Chair Swags: Messina Rippey (messina77@gmail.com) | Catering: Teri Menchini from La Bocca Fina | Wedding Cakes: Cake Coquette | Burlap Decor: Mother of the Bride | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals + La Tavola | DJ: Paul from  Elite Entertainment | Calligraphy: Whoa Nellie Press | Wedding Dress: Marisa ”737″ via Bridal Galleria | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Nordstrom | Flower Girls’ Tutus: Mother of the Bride | Groom’s Attire: Zegna | Groomsmen Attire: JoS.A.Bank | Hair + Makeup: Shawn Calvin Beauty Co.

Badgley Mischka is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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