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Custom Gowns with JINZA Couture Bridal

There are bridal salons, and there are personalized bridal salons like JINZA Couture Bridal.  A place where beautiful collections and breathtaking custom creations join forces with the most amazing customer service you’ll ever experience to create an individually crafted design made just for you.  Think private appointments with top-notch consultants or your very own personal designer, aka, a team of wedding geniuses that know a thing or two about making you look awesome for your special occasion.

Serving Bay Area brides since 2002, JINZA Couture Bridal’s new and exclusive Los Angeles boutique is now open in the heart of West Hollywood (933 N La Cienega Blvd), which means that even more brides get to experience the gorgeous gowns and attention to detail that JINZA Couture Bridal is so well-known for. Imagine a timeless piece created from scratch using only the finest of fabrics with custom tailoring to fit your figure perfectly, alterations included.  Brides can try on a range of gowns or mold a custom creation.

Explore high fashion styles, updated classics, unconventional sheaths, opulent ball gowns, the popular soft mermaid style and JINZA’s own signature couture designs at the new Los Angeles boutique. Each gown is light weight and comfortable (no shape wear or bra needed!), so that you can dance the night away with the one you love.  And you can complete your bridal ensemble with a veil, jewelry and shoes all available at JINZA Couture Bridal.  Amazing.

Classic, elegant and totally sophisticated – contact JINZA Couture Bridal TODAY to begin creating that dress of your dreams.  Take it from someone who knows – it will be the best decision you’ll ever make.


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Rustic Meets Elegant Ranch Wedding

This wedding right here?  It’s all sorts of magical.  The sort of wedding where gorgeous details, an adorable twosome and a breathtaking setting all come together for an intimate set of nuptials that is the definition of swoon-worthy.  From the beautiful ceremony in front of an intimate group of family and friends to the sweet reception bursting with pretty.  See it all from Kate Osborne in the full gallery.


From the Bride… We took a gamble with the weather— picking a March date in Northern California meant risk of winds, rain and a late bloom, but family schedules dictated that it made sense to book for then. Leading up to the date, it didn’t rain in what felt like a year, but then poured the week before! But, thankfully, on the Big Day, it was pure summer. Not a cloud in the sky and warm. The venue had flowers blooming all over the property including at the gardens, due to the recent rains. We were so lucky!

We chose our location at Mayacamas Ranch — in the serene Mayacamas mountains surrounded by Napa and Sonoma wine country — for its natural beauty and peacefulness. It was rustic but chic, traditionally meant for wellness retreats. My husband, Ivan, and I were both passionate about yoga and wellness, and loved the place the second we saw it. The venue also allowed our guests to stay at the ranch — all 60 of them! — and rooms were simple with only the sounds of nature.

There were hikes within the area, with a pool for the guests and a big green lawn for the ceremony, overlooking the expansive mountains. I custom designed the invitations to be romantic, classic and adorned by silk bows, to signify we were going to experience natural simplicity during the wedding. The guests were greeted with cucumber drinks, and I hand-decorated the chalk board (it was actually quite fun to do!).  We ended up having a chance to greet each guest intimately.

My husband and I met in business school, so we had a lot of common friends, but our values told us to keep our wedding small. My parents traveled from Florida, and Ivan’s from Dubai, with relatives from Russia and Bulgaria, our birthplaces. In total, we had guests from across 15 countries. We are both only children with tiny families, so our parents were experiencing their only children’s weddings.

Ivan was wearing light gray, to complement the colorful nature around him. I wanted my dress to be elegant, but still the fanciest dress I have ever worn. I also wanted to be able to dance and move around in the dress freely. The bridesmaids were wearing peach colored dresses to welcome spring. I adored my florist — my sessions with her was like therapy! — and I told her I wanted clean, modern looks, but pointed to all the photos that to her, said, “romantic” instead, and she helped me figure out my style. (And I learned I was a romantic after all!)

Our food was all sourced locally from all organic, sustainable farms — per our values. We cared deeply about sourcing the food locally, and wanted to treat our guests, who were mostly international or from out of the state, to our local cuisine. We didn’t just have seasonable items like kale and beets, but also meats, fish and local cheese from local, small-scale vendors like Cowgirl Creamery. During cocktail hour, we had a farm-to-table spread on a 6-foot refurbished wooden plank that signaled “harvest” and natural, fresh abundance.

I loved the ceremony because it was out on the lawn, with the mountains in the background. My mom walked me down the aisle, which was really special for me. She raised me most of my life by herself, and it meant a lot to have her support on this special day. She looked stunning on the day, and I was proud to have a gorgeous mother. My stepfather recited a poem that reflected his strong midwestern values. Our officiant was a mutual friend and it was special to have someone so close help us craft our ceremony. He made all sorts of jokes, especially one that mentioned how Ivan and I pretended to both like electronic music when we first met, because we each thought the other was a fan! We didn’t share our vows with each other beforehand, and they were a surprise. It was no surprise though, that our vows ended up matching up so well together!

The dinner, toasts, and dancing reminded me how it was all worth the planning to just enjoy the present moment. I didn’t have any concerns other than to be in the flow of the celebrations. We had our family members and friends give speeches that were profound to us in their humor and love for us. I’m glad our videographer captured it, because we were so emotionally moved at the time!

Ivan’s best man and our mutual friend also said a story that concluded that out of all the fish in the sea, “all you need is one” — that was Ivan’s motto before he met me. I didn’t hear that ever before, and it was sweet! And then my bridesmaids made my night – one of them revealing a bit too much of our joint plottings to have me meet Ivan, “whose surname I now have.” We had so much fun and the night couldn’t have been more *us.*

We made a public commitment to each other and had the greatest community of love surrounding us. We extended the festivities with my parents, and stayed in Napa for a few days afterward, soaking in our newfound partnership. My mom kept on reminding me to call Ivan “my husband,” because the word felt foreign at first. Overall, was a precious weekend, and my one piece of advice is embrace it and enjoy it, but then, be as present in your life with your partner as you were that weekend!

Photography: Kate Osborne Photography | Event Planning: Marilyn Ambra | Wedding Dress: Custom From Bridal Project | Cake: Giorgi's Wedding Cakes | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Etsy | Catering: OAK Catering | Hotel: Mayacamas Ranch | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Mayacamas Ranch | Location: Mayacamas Ranch

Marmalade Sky Films + A Discount + A Giveaway!

There is something so special about having your wedding day captured on film for you and your honey to relive over and over again. And when the film is done by the insanely creative Northern California boutique cinematography company Marmalade Sky Films, you’ll find any excuse to press play.

Behind the lens is a team of best friends, Eugene + Matt, who worked in the film industry prior to discovering their passion for wedding cinematography. Thanks to this experience, every film they create is based in a deep love for visual storytelling. Their films capture all the special moments of the couple’s big day, from the kisses to the laughter and tears, in a way that is authentic and genuine, to tell each couple’s individual and unique love story.

Are you head-over-heels yet? Well now’s the time to book your big day with Marmalade Sky Films because they’re giving SMP readers who book before September 2015 $200 off a Wedding Cinematography Package of their choice! Simply mention this post when booking to redeem the offer. Check out their packages here.
Oh and there’s more! Marmalade Sky Films is giving one lucky reader a Save the Date film shot on Full HD ($499 value).

To enter:Comment on this post with why you’d love to have Marmalade Sky Films tell the story of you and your honey!

To win: A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in WIUP on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The details: Session must take place in San Francisco or mutually agreed upon location on mutually agreed upon date. The giveaway includes session time and one Engagement Video or Save the Date Invitation video (30 seconds to 1 minute in length).


Elegant San Francisco + Napa Wedding Weekend

There’s no denying that a California fetes in and of themselves are amazing, but a wedding weekend set at both San Francisco City Hall and a Napa winery? That’s next level, m’dears. Blueberry Photography tagged along for all the fun and we’re so glad they did because our galleries just got that much prettier. See it all here and make sure to enjoy the film from IQ Videography!


From Blueberry PhotographyThis two day wedding is one for the books! Sarah and Stanley are both doctors from Canada so this was a destination wedding for them. They were married at San Francisco City Hall, one of the most gorgeous buildings in San Francisco. Sarah’s Naeem Khan dress is one of the most beautiful and intricate that we’ve seen. The following afternoon, the two held their reception at a winery in Napa. The winery is full of sculptures and other unique works of art.

Photography: Blueberry Photography | Videography: IQ Videography | Floral Design: The Bow Collective | Wedding Dress: Naeem Khan | Invitations: The Bow Collective | Ceremony Venue: San Francisco City Hall | Reception Venue: Private Napa Winery | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Harry Winston | Catering: Cliff Lede Vineyards | Hair And Makeup: Makeup By Quis | Groom's Attire: Prada | Photography - Assistance: Jessica Bradley

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Modern Kimono Robes + A Giveaway!

You may or may not have heard, but here at SMP, we are slightly obsessed with all things fashion.  Okay, okay… we live for it.  So when it comes to chic wedding day attire, you know Modern Kimono ranks high atop our must-have lists.  I’m talking luxurious robes in 100% premium, designer cotton that are perfect for you and your maids.  Getting ready in style has never looked better, or more sophisticated.

Made to order in San Francisco, Modern Kimono is putting a sweet spin on getting ready attire with stylish robes that you and your besties are sure to rock long after your big day.  That’s because Modern Kimono robes are created to be equal parts functional and pretty.  Imagine sleek, modern designs complete with patch pockets or inseam side pockets (YES), 3/4 length sleeves (worry-free for putting on makeup or washing your hands), rounded necklines and fits that are made to order.  That means your 6′ tall bridesmaid will be just as comfortable as your 5’4″ bestie.  And they also include a darling craft paper hang tag (with grosgrain ribbon!) with each of your bridesmaids’ names written on it.  We love that.

Visit Modern Kimono today to order your maids the best gift they’ll ever receive.  And don’t forget to check out the mid-calf lengths for mothers and mother-in-laws, plus the sweet robes for your flower girls!


What: Modern Kimono is giving away a robe of your choice to one lucky reader! (Value $60)

How: To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us why you can’t wait to rock a Modern Kimono robe on your big day!

Who: A winner, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on April 17, 2015.  For terms and conditions, click here.  Good luck, lovelies!

Photography: Autumn Harrison + Carly Fuller


Brideside + A Giveaway!

I love being a bridesmaid, but I have to admit… bridesmaid dress shopping?  Not so much.  Because as much as I adore hanging with my besties, trekking around to one bridal store after another isn’t really my idea of fun.  Enter Brideside, the chic online boutique that will change the way you operate with amazing gowns, a personal stylist, a seriously simple ordering process AND a chance to win $500 towards those dresses of your dreams.  Stunning gowns + an amazing giveaway?!? Yes, please.

Gorgeous gowns, sans drama – that’s how Brideside operates with a plethora of beautiful designs to choose from, all with the help of your very own personal stylist.  And the best part?  You can do it all from the comfort of your own home, and even try on the gowns before buying.  Bridesmaid dress shopping has never been so fabulous.  Here’s how it works:

Meet Your Stylist - Browsing gorgeous bridesmaid frocks online just got amazing with the help of one of Brideside’s FREE personal stylists.  Think of them as your very own wedding-style expert who will walk with you step by step throughout the entire process, from helping you create a “closet” of unique + oh-so-chic styles to keeping track of all of the specifics.  And Brideside introduced Jenny Yoo gowns this month, which means even more amazing styles to choose from.

Invite Your Besties to Your Brideside Closet - Now that you and your stylist are filling your Closet with some of the prettiest frocks imaginable, invite your bridal party to view your choices for those much-needed second opinions. And when you add or share a favorite, your stylist can see all of the happenings, so she is totally in the loop.

Try It On at Home! - Want to try on the dress before committing?  Once you have narrowed down all of the wedding loveliness to three must-have styles, Brideside will send them to you or your bridesmaids in a Brideside Box!  That means an at-home fitting party with your own shoes, jewelry and a little (or a lot!) of champagne.  Soooo fun.

Order “The One” - Now that you’ve chosen the perfect gown, you can work directly with your stylist to be sure everyone is fitted properly and that the dress of your dreams is ordered for each and every one of your ‘maids.  Oh, and it’s shipped directly to you.  It’s seriously awesome, and seriously stress-free. Seriously.

I know, I know… you can’t wait to get started with Brideside.  Visit their website now or, if you live in Chicago, make an appointment with a stylist here.  You can thank us later.


What: Brideside is giving away a $500 credit to one bridal party! 

How: Simply sign up here by April 15, 2015 to be entered to win!

Who: The winner, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, April 17, 2015.

Good luck, lovelies! xo