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Mountain View Wedding by Chyna Darner Photography

DIY meets traditional elegance in this soiree captured beautifully by Chyna Darner Photography, and the result is one stunning marriage of styles. DIY with a timeless twist, which is practically perfect for this stunning set of lovebirds. It all makes for a full gallery of images that should not be missed, so be sure to set aside some time today for all the lovely!

From Chyna Darner PhotographyVincent and Alessandra met in California while Vincent was visiting a mutual friend and vacationing. They were instantly attracted to one another and exchanged Skype info before Vincent returned to Holland. They spoke over Skype every day for a year and exchanged handwritten cards and gifts via the mail once per month. In this age of digital technologies, we live in a society that rarely takes the time to hand-write letters. These love letters and cards became a special token of their affection for one another and are now safely stored away as keepsakes. The bride recalls one of her fondest Skyping memories, “One time while Vincent and I were Skyping, my doorbell rang.  At the door was a beautiful bouquet of roses that Vincent had delivered. The timing was perfect! It felt like he gave them to me even though he wasn’t really there.”

After this long year of communicating online, they decided they could no longer live on two separate continents and started planning their wedding. They had a beautiful and quaint wedding at the Rengtorff House in Mountain View. Nine of their guests took the voyage from Holland over to California for the big event. Alessandra’s friends whole-heartedly pitched into to the wedding preparations by setting up tables, lighting, baking desserts, arranging flowers and styling her hair. Their DJ was even a friend volunteering his time. It was one of the most organized DIY weddings I have ever photographed!

The theme was based around her dress and the venue with touches of Holland tossed into the design. In preparation for the wedding, she frequented photographers’ blogs that featured weddings at Rengstorff and Pinterest. After the wedding and a honeymoon on Maui, they returned to Holland to begin a new life together.

Wedding Photography: Chyna Darner Photography / Wedding Venue: Rengstorff House in Mountain View, California / Floral Design: Friends of the Bride / Catering: Gama Saveur Catering (818-294-4993) / Wedding Cake: Copenhagen Bakery / Desserts: Friends of the Bride / Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca / Hair: A Friend of the Bride / Makeup: Kelly Ferrante

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Northern California Wedding by Delbarr Moradi Photography

Have you ever seen a more ethereal bride than this next gorgeous creature?  She looks absolutely angelic!  A great feat on your wedding day as many married folks can attest to!  Maybe it was the magnificent estate and grounds where this Northern California wedding took place that set the tone for this exquisite affair.  The serenity is enhanced by the romantic photography from Delbarr Moradi Photography.  Run to the full gallery if you want to see more from this cool, calm Autumn wedding!

Click here to see more inspiration in the full wedding gallery!

David and I knew we wanted the wedding to be an intimate yet simple event for our close friends and family members. To bring out that intimacy, we envisioned to have everyone gather at a homey location close by, with a beautiful view for our guests to enjoy as well as spacious and intriguing grounds for the little ones to play on. Remarkably, not too far from home, we stumbled upon a venue that satisfied all our needs. With the majestic décor of a Victorian house and vastly diverse grounds, the Rengstorff Estate presented a character that we were not able to find elsewhere. More importantly, the openness of the venue allowed us to be creative! We brought out the richness of fall with vibrant autumn colors and pumpkin centerpieces.  We also brought out the “starlight” with many hanging lights and lanterns.

Our photographers, Delbarr and her husband, were so warm and friendly; it was easy for me and David to display our adoration for each other. During our shoot, we even ventured off into the tall grass and leaf piles to explore the grounds beyond the estate. Watching us closely, our little flower girls did not hesitate to join in on the amusement.

Our vendors were all a great help and they constantly expressed their heartfelt excitement for me and David. Our flowers were done by a kind, friendly and accommodating lady, Sophia, who captured the richness of our theme with orange calla lilies and dark berries. More importantly, our biggest thanks go out to our friends who contributed their time and effort to set up and transform the site into a beautiful wedding. I don’t know how we could have pulled it off without them. The contribution and the blessings from all our guests made the wedding everything we could ask for and an experience that we will never forget.

Wedding Photography: Delbarr Moradi Photography / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Rengstorff House / Wedding Cake: Bijan Bakery / Cake Toppers: Red Light Studio / Flowers: Flowers by Sophia / Chopsticks: Hanson Ellis / Pumpkin Centerpieces: La Rose / Rentals: Danny Thomas /Dress: Group USA / Make up + Hair: Michelle from Salon Finesse / Hair Accessory: Yacanna / Jewelry: Na Hoku / Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jessica McClintock / Grooms suit: Versace / Grooms tie: Louis Vuitton

From Inspiration to Reality: The Design, III

My favorite part of these inspiration shoots is knowing that the ideas that look so beautiful in the photographs, are actually REAL steal-able inspirations that you can incorporate into your own wedding. Even if you can’t set up pretty picnic tables outside, you can still collect vintage vases and fill them with pretty Spring hues. Even if you aren’t sure if the sun will be shining on your big day, you can still bring in elements you love and use them in unconventional ways to make your day even brighter. Thank you so much to Beth Helmstetter, Steve Steinhardt, Laura Hooper, Holly Flora and ALL of the vendors involved for inspiring us to no end…

from inspiration to reality

from inspiration to reality

from inspiration to reality

from inspiration to reality

from inspiration to reality

From Beth Helmstetter Some DIY elements from the shoot included the lace overlay which was literally purchased directly from the fabric store, cut by the store clerk and thrown on the table. A material that beautiful didn’t need anything else to distract from it’s natural look and feel. While, Holly has an incredible ability to make flowers that have taken hours upon hours look incredibly effortless, don’t be intimidated to try to arrange a collection of your favorite vessels filled with simply cut flowers. I don’t advocate any bride working on her wedding day, but it could be a great project for your bridesmaid’s luncheon or any other entertaining you do in the future. Lastly, if you aren’t afraid of a handcrafted look, give a hand at baking. By putting what would appear to be common desserts into beautiful tea cups or on top of lovely trays, you can really make something so basic look delicious.

While, I hope it would be easy to see that anyone could recreate a simple style like this one on almost any budget, overall, what I would encourage most to the brides out there is to really take inventory of what they already own, love, can’t get enough of, etc. and find a way to incorporate it into their day. Start collecting vases and vessels that inspire you or prints that you love from the local fabric store. Take the thought of “Does this go with the other vase I bought?” right out of your little mind and just literally collect what you love. No limitations. For us, the brand spankin’ new lace that I couldn’t get enough of paired with stationery that felt more like an introduction to a lady’s tea party than a wedding, got my wheels a spinning. For you, it might be a favorite wallpaper or postcard you once received from a traveling friend. No matter what, trust your self and your sense of style and don’t dismiss any elements that draw you in when you are starting to design your big day.

{Click here to see the full gallery of images}

Designer: Beth Helmstetter / Florals, Rentals & Venue: Holly Flora / Photographer: Steve Steinhardt / Stationery: Laura Hooper / Custom Linens / Homemade Desserts / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhullier / Shoes, accessories and men’s attire: J. Crew / Bridesmaid’s dress: Vintage / Hair & Makeup Stylists: Fiore Beauty / Bridesmaid Model: Nina Fehren with Wilhelmina Models

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here