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Wedding Shoot Inspired by the Written Word

As a lover of words, and of course, a lover of all things wedding, an inspiration shoot that marries the two was top of my list of weddings I needed to experience, and I need to thank Sterling Engagements profusely for not only stepping up to the plate, but hitting a major home run with this one. With help from Shawna Yamamoto, Pretty Vintage Table, Prim and Pixie, and so many more, Jessica Lewis Photography’s images of the day couldn’t be any prettier!


From Sterling Engagements… Words, books and romance were the inspiration for this rustic and feminine styled shoot. We had previously featured a blog post called The Written Word that encouraged couples to use books pages in a variety of ways as part of their wedding day decor. Whether expressed through a poem, story, sonnet or a classic novel, the written word elicits romance and enchantment. With its rolling hills, majestic vineyards, and a gorgeous rustic farm house, Triunfo Creek Vineyards was the perfect setting for this shoot. We partnered with some of our favorite creative vendors to produce our version of a romantic book themed wedding complete with stunning decor, a uniquely conceptualized menu and scrumptious cocktails. Our goal was to convey a sense of rustic elegance, femininity, comfort and of course, sweet love.

On June 28, 2013 when the Prop 8 appeal was officially lifted, we were ecstatic and knew almost instantly we wanted to design a shoot inspired by the marriage of a same-sex couple. We were even more thrilled to have the opportunity to use a real newly engaged same-sex couple as models for this styled shoot. Since we were working with two lovely ladies, we decided to keep things ultra-feminine and pretty, incorporating an abundance of lace, metallics and a color palette utilizing pinks, cream and navy with just a hint of mint.

Beginning with the stationery suite, not a single item wasn’t carefully thought out and designed with love. Prim and Pixie went above and beyond and created an exquisite collection utilizing laser cut prettiness and actual text resembling a novel. The fonts were rustic and romantic yet a tiny bit modern. We were completely swept away by the envelope liner also mirroring love definitions within a dictionary.

A wood palette was up-cycled into a gorgeous backdrop and adorned with open books, flowers and signature cocktails along with their menus. The base of the installation was filled with additional antique bottles, florals and distinct liquors. Gorgeous vintage furniture was also sprinkled on this same patio and became the perfect setting for a quiet moment between lovers.

Further down on the patio facing hills of Triunfo Creek Vineyards was our ceremony site. The design incorporated white wood frames, letters in a variety of fonts and unique textures, along with handmade book page rosettes and garland. The setting was accented with vintage furniture and unique accessories from Pretty Vintage Table.

The escort card display utilized an antique library file cabinet. This was one of our favorite details, as each letter spelled out a word from “always” to “devoted” to “magical”; each word defined what love is.

The tabletop was an extraordinary collection of vintage antique romance combined with a whimsical garden. Accented with both classic and unique florals as well as greenery, beautiful vintage dishes and an abundance of candles, we loved adding the additional DIY book page rosettes and other details handcrafted from book pages. Suspended from above was a collection of picture frames as well as words. A soft and lovely aesthetic was the goal for our tabletop and after adding in vintage furniture, we were just over the moon with the final result.

Nathaniel Neubauer of Contemporary Catering created a menu with courses that symbolically spelled out “Why Eye Love Ewe So Much”. From a “question mark” local avocado with a peeled tomato to a Ribeye taco in a Parmesan crisp shell to beets and Burrata; the creativity just continued to flow. The final two courses highlighted Colorado Lamp Chops and Poached Fruit in a Crème Anglaise. The presentation was stellar and the cohesiveness of our inspiration couldn’t have been better complimented.

Specialty cocktails were mixed and served on the outside patio overlooking the vineyards. Each course featured a different cocktail crafted by Chad Dickey of The Cocktail Concierge. Our favorite definitely was “My First Kiss “which was a modern version of a Pimm’s Cup with a heart shaped cucumber garnish.

The gorgeous Fantasy Frostings’ designed cake was nestled against the fireplace among a windowpane with the words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee” written on it. The cake featured simple yet detailed designs and sugar flowers with black ribbon.

Both brides were made up to perfection by Star Whitaker of Couture Beauty Team – it was the ultimate engagement experience for Natalie and Alison who’d just recently gotten engaged. We were so thrilled to be able to share this with them.

Photography: Jessica Lewis Photography | Floral Design: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design | Cake: Fantasy Frostings | Stationery: Prim And Pixie | Catering: Contemporary Catering | Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina | Beauty Team: Couture Beauty Team | Bridal Gown: Lili Bridals | Cocktails: Cocktail Concierge | Event Design And Production: Sterling Engagements | Linens: Designer Specialty Linens | Rentals: A Rental Connection | Vintage Rentals: Pretty Vintage Table | Wedding Venue: Triunfo Creek Vineyards

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here

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Malibu Vineyard Wedding

This Malibu wedding is what happens when a bride brings ALL the right vendors on board for her day. Vendors who truly understand her vision – plus then some. I’m talking creatives like Lilla BelloThe Butter EndLounge Couture and Copper Willow Paper Studio, who took a blank vineyard canvas and made it boho chic perfection. The lovely Leila Brewster was on hand to capture every moment of the day, and you can find it all right here.


From Lilla Bello… Annie and Gregg Fienberg were an incredibly fun and creative pair from day one! Gregg (well known Hollywood Producer of True Blood) and his ‘bohemian chic’, and equally creative bride Annie had visions of a gathering filled with elements of natural beauty, California living, and most of all FUN! The location, Triunfo Creek Vineyards, was a perfect backdrop to this outdoor soiree.

Set at the very top of the Malibu canyons in late summer/early fall, with rolling hillsides, gorgeous vineyards, the most perfect ‘barn house’ you have ever seen, big oak trees and stunning details at every turn. The ceremony was set underneath one of the giant oaks, whimsically decorated with hanging eucalyptus vines falling from the tree limbs and adorned in white blooms, and a heart shaped wreath with the couples initials A+G to imitate a carving that lovers might make.

Festive market lighting was strewn over long outdoor farm tables, with mis-matched vased florals trailing down the entire centerline. Florals embodied everything wild, organic, light and airy! Colors were blush tones, creams, pops of yellows and peaches! Greenery included silvery eucalyptus, bright green bay leaves and jasmine vines, mixed in with both green and blooming herbs of sage, chamomile and lavender! (Can’t you just smell it?!!) Garden roses and giant café au lait dahlias were amongst Annie’s favorite blooms, juxtaposed with a teal toned succulent to give it that California-rustic feel. Table numbers were a special touch from Dad, who used raw wood and nails to mark each numbered section. (Love!). The food was as beautiful to look at as it was to eat – farm to table cuisine, plated family style to continue with the fun and communal dining vibe!

The details went on and on, from the fully styled airsteam trailer, to the adorable menu cards, the mantle in the barn house dripping in vines, to the flower girl with the bay leaf hair garland and cowboy boots! Annie’s dress was a custom collaboration which she was very much a part of … the pink dress, absolutely dreamy!!! The mis-matched succulent boutonnieres, and Gregg’s perfect blue suit!! The pictures kind of speak for themselves (thanks to the amazing Leila Brewster) but this night just screams “a good time” all around!

Photography: Leila Brewster | Event Planning: Tiffany Bowne of Lounge Couture | Floral Design: Lilla Bello | Cake: The Butter End | Invitations: Copper Willow Paper Studio | Bride's Shoes: Vero Cuoio | Rings: Todd Reed | Catering: Global Cuisine Catering | lighting: Modern Illumination | Grooms Attire: Isaia | Grooms Shoes: Ferragamo | Airstream Trailer: Silver Safari | Bride's Dress: Nadine Haders | Flower Girl boots: Target | Flower Girl dress: Ilovegorgeous | Groomsmen Attire: John Varvatos | Rentals: Town & Country | Vineyard: Triunfo Creek Vineyards

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Agoura Hills Engagement Session from Chaffin Cade Photography

High school sweethearts make me so, so happy, and even though these two cuties dated just briefly in high school (and re-connected years later), they totally fit the bill.  Because this is a love that you can just tell started years and years ago… the sort of love that radiates from every last image captured by Chaffin Cade, and fills your entire day with pure, unadulterated joy.  See it all right here.

From Chaffin Cade Photography… I love Adriana and Jimmy’s story! They went to high school together and shared a love connection back then. It was brief, but Jimmy said he always felt she was the one that got away. They reconnected a few years ago and now here they are, planning to spend the rest of their lives together. Talk about meant to be! The “then” portion of the engagement shoot (as in, when they knew each other in high school) is a bit more casual and fun. Carefree under a large tree, listening to their records (they’ve started a record collection and have a beautiful little record player), and just hanging out (love Adriana’s flowy skirt!). Adriana and Jimmy dressed a bit more upscale for the “now” portion. Still fun, but with a bit more glamour. All taking place under the golden California sun!

Photography: Chaffin Cade Photography