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Sneak a Peek at Our Blogger Bride’s Wedding Plans!

Hey friends! Thanks for following along on our wedding planning journey so far. I’m SO excited to show you our wedding venue today. My mom and I went to see Holman Ranch before we were even engaged, because we happened to be in the area and had heard amazing things.

After exhaustive research, we decided to land on Holman Ranch for our September 2016 wedding. For many reasons, this was the perfect place to say “I do”! First, it is obviously gorgeous and has the most amazing view of the Carmel Valley. Second, it makes it possible to have your entire wedding ceremony and reception all in one place. No traveling for guests was very important to us. Third, it fit our wedding style (eclectic, rustic and romantic) and has endless photo options. Fourth, it has guest rooms on the property if guests want to stay there. Lastly, we knew we were going to have our wedding in California (even though we live in Michigan) so we wanted to choose a location that was a beautiful vacation spot for those guests coming in from out of town. It checked all of our boxes!

With the most stunning ceremony spot with sweeping views of the Carmel Valley, gorgeous buildings, the perfect quaint patio for dinner and an updated barn for dancing, we couldn’t be more excited!After we made our venue decision, I wanted to compile a team of vendors who were more than just a vendor– I wanted to have a team of artists and people I genuinely loved, not just admired their work. Since I’m immersed in the wedding industry a bit, I had a good idea of some people I wanted to have as a part of our day! Since this is often one of the most daunting aspects of pulling together your wedding day, I’ve come up with a few tips to help you compile your wedding day vendor team.

One of my sweetest friends in the wedding industry is Danielle of Danielle Poff Photography. It was a no brainer that she would shoot our wedding! I love her personality, her style and that she shoots with film. So dreamy! Next up, we decided on the ever-talented Michelle Lywood for our flowers. With a joyful spirit and genuine love for people and whimsical, natural flowers, I knew this was the perfect match. Beautiful flowers are what dreams are made of! Then we nailed down our caterers. As I mentioned, we wanted a cohesive team of people for our wedding, so when both Holman Ranch and our coordinators suggested Paradise Catering, there were no questions asked! Going with a company who comes highly recommended is so comforting. Shortly after this, we decided on our DJ who came highly recommended as well, John Belmont Entertainment. I totally trust our wedding will flow perfectly because of everyone on our team.

5 tips on assembling your vendor dream team

Determine your budget. This dictates everything you plan for your wedding, including which vendors you can work with! sometimes vendors will list their minimums or starting prices on their website. If not, email them to inquire!

Nail down your style & feel for the day and make a list of vendors who fall in line with your style.
Go through their websites, look at their work on other websites, etc. You want to familiarize yourself with the styles of each potential vendor!

Determine your top 3-5 most important venders / aspects of your wedding. Personally, I think the venue, photographer, catering, and coordinator / wedding planner are the most important aspects. I say this because the venue dictates the overall feel of the day, the coordinator determines how successful the flow of the day is, the photographer is the only vendor that preserves your wedding for a lifetime, and the catering is what keeps your guests happy :) Of course I see my entire as equally important in the greater scheme of things, but these were the first few we hired.

Ask around, research and meet with your vendors. Before hiring and signing on the dotted line, make sure you ask friends who they worked with, what they liked and didn’t like about their vendors, ask your wedding planner who he/she prefers to work with, read online reviews, and of course, be sure to meet with said vendors before hiring them! You really want to make sure you’re on the same page with the style, the cost, and ensure your personalities are a good match.

As I mentioned, I not only wanted to hire talented vendors, but I also wanted to hire people who’s heart and passion I could easily see. This is a big day for us, so anyone I could hire that would be equally as excited as us was my goal!

Hire one or two key vendors first and then get their suggestions for the rest of the team.

Even though I plan events as my job, I knew I needed someone amazing to help coordinate our wedding. Enter Allison and Audrey of Engaged & Inspired. Not only do they create beautiful events, but they also work at Holman Ranch often, so I was incredibly confident in their ability to coordinate for us. I’ve also followed Allison on Instagram for years and know she is kind and talented. I know my family and I can rest easy, knowing we are in great hands!

Follow Michaela’s Journey down the aisle!

Meet the Bride | Home Tour | Inspo Tips | Gift Box

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Photography: Danielle Poff Photography | Event Coordination: engaged & inspired | Floral Design: Michelle Lywood | Catering: Paradise Catering | DJ: Belmont Entertainment | Wedding Venue: Holman Ranch | Blogger Bride: Michaela Noelle Designs

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


Blogger Bride
How One Couple’s Compromise Led to the Most Gorgeous Ranch Wedding

What do you do when the Groom wants a small, rustic wedding and the Bride dreams of a formal affair, big band and all? Compromise. And in the case of this duo, that compromise led to a Holman Ranch wedding more beautiful than either of them could have originally imagined. From the Seascape Flowers‘ arrangements to the Bride’s Oscar De La Renta gown, this wedding is proof that compromises can lead to great things. See all the pretty from Erin Hearts Court in The Vault!


From The Bride…My husband I had completely different visions for our wedding. He wanted an outdoor affair that was small, casual, rustic, and in a remote location. He would joke that he wanted to get married somewhere that our guests would have to hike to! I wanted something more formal, with a seated dinner, big band, and guests in long dresses and tuxes. Zero chance I was going to hike anywhere! We were able to find a great compromise with Holman Ranch. As soon as we arrived at the venue for a tour, my husband insisted that we get married there. It turned out to be the perfect place to create the “classy casual” wedding which embodied both of our styles.

I chose a neutral color palette for the bridesmaid dresses and flowers in order to complement the stucco and stone buildings on the property. Laurie from Seascape Flowers far exceeded my expectations. The bridal party bouquets were adorned with hand-dyed silk ribbons in champagne and white. We kept the flowers simple for the ceremony, with ivory petals down the aisle and hobnob jars filled with a simple mix on the chairs. For cocktail hour, Laurie decorated a large plant stand with olive branches and our caterer filled it full with champagne flutes. For the reception, we used a combination of vessels and tied the look together with gold lanterns and a sprig of olive at each place setting.

In the end, the biggest compliment that we received was that the wedding was “so us.” Perhaps I let my husband get his way too much – after all, I did agree to Coors Light as the “groom’s drink”! However, my hope is that the following DIY / personal touches had something to do with it.
• Invitations: We splurged on letterpress for the invitation and RSVP cards, but created our own stamp for the return address labels. We also added a casual touch by hand-tying gold twine I purchased on Etsy around each invitation suite.
• Tribute to groom’s father: My husband wore cufflinks with his late father’s name on them. In addition, on our ceremony program, we included a poem his father wrote to his mother while they were dating.
• Handwritten notes to guests: We penned a note to each guest thanking them for attending and used small clothespins to attach them to a rod iron railing adorned with olive leaves. These notes also doubled as a way to tell our guests which tables they were sitting at.
• Guestbook: We love animals and therefore we had our guests sign a large ceramic pig. It now sits on top of our china cabinet and is a great reminder of our day.
• Dessert and Aperitifs: Instead of a traditional cake, we opted for an ice cream truck featuring custom flavors. In addition, we created our own “scotch and cigar bar” which turned out to be a real hit. I was able to purchase old cigar boxes to display the scotch bottles (one from each region in Scotland) and wrote the names of each on a small chalkboard.

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Photography: The de Jaureguis | Event Planning: engaged & inspired | Floral Design: Seascape Flowers | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Invitations: WedSpring | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Paradise Catering | Makeup: Lynn Yee | Hair: Pins & Curls | Groom's Attire: Thomas Pink | Venue: Holman Ranch | Bride Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Earrings: Ippolita | Groom's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Ice Cream Truck: Negranti Ice Cream | Rentals: Chic Event Rentals | Robes: BHLDN

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Design Your Dream Day with WED School + A Giveaway!

We’re big fans of Shannon Leahy (read: she’s awesome), so when she told us she was launching a fab WED School to teach each and every one of you how to plan + design your Big Day like a pro, well… happy dancing ensued.  Think a self-study training platform that will walk you through the creative process + develop your unique sense of style to design a day that is totally chic and totally you. YES.

We all love Shannon Leahy and her stunning, stop-you-in-your-tracks weddings, so signing up for her WED School (aka, Wedding & Event Design School) to learn everything there is to know about creating a breathtaking event is sort of a no-brainer.  I’m talking tips and tricks the pros use, plus step by step tools that will give you that cohesive + professional + beyond breathtaking day you’ve always dreamed of… one that will leave all of your guests talking with each and every gorgeous detail.  It’s awesome.

So what are you waiting for, loves?  Head to WED School today to sign up for your very first course, Event Design 101.  You’ll learn the skills you need to throw the greatest wedding ever, plus master all sorts of celebrations, from gorgeous dinner parties to intimate anniversary parties to baby showers and more. In other words?  You’ll be planning like a pro in no time at all.  Contact them NOW to get your party on.


What: WED School is giving a free event design course to one lucky winner! (Value $399)

How: Simply leave a comment below telling us which aspect of your wedding planning experience your most excited about!

Who: One lucky reader, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, April 22, 2016.  For terms and conditions, click here.  Good luck, lovelies! xo

Photography (Top to Bottom): Josh Gruetzmacher (Image 1, 2, 5) + Silvana Di Franco (Image 3) + Sasha Gulish (Image 4)