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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.

the-giveaway

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

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Summer Wedding at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Napa weddings are uniquely special, always a sight to be seen. But add in a venue guaranteed to have beyond amazing food, and we’ve hit the magical jackpot. This summer celebration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone had every element to make it the masterpiece it was, including the talents of Josh Gruetzmacher behind the lens. See every delicious detail in the gallery right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride… I love telling the story of how we met. Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandchildren this story to prove how fun we use to be. Marcus and I both attended Purdue University. For all those who aren’t Boilermakers, Purdue has a long standing tradition known as Breakfast Club. During the early mornings of every home football game, Boilermakers show their school spirit by dressing up in the most ridiculous costumes and head to the campus bars.

It was game day on September 23, 2006, roughly 7am. As the football team was gearing up for battle against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, my pharmacy school friends and I put on our costumes and headed to our favorite bar. It was crowded, the music was loud and the drinks were overflowing, a perfect combination for a perfect Saturday morning. We had been enjoying Breakfast Club for several hours when one of my friends suggested we visit another bar just across the street.

There, we saw a group of gentlemen wearing some pretty skimpy costumes – American flag swimming thongs. One of those scantily clad men was none other than Marcus. We shared laughs and drinks, but by then it was getting pretty late – it was almost noon! Knowing a nap was in order before heading out again that same night, Marcus bravely asked for my phone number. I borrowed a pen from the bartender and wrote my number down on Marcus’ chest. My exact words were, “If you can read this, call me.” You can guess what happened next. Of course Marcus called – that same night! And the rest is history….

Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering what happened with the football game, Purdue won 27-21. Toot Toot!

When planning my wedding, I had two thoughts in mind: my guests and my sanity. I wanted my guests to really enjoy themselves and at the same time, I didn’t want to spend the next year stressing over wedding plans. I chose the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone because I knew the food would be amazing. Fortunately, the CIA took care of almost everything. I didn’t have to worry about hiring a caterer, finding a baker, or renting table linens. Because this venue was able to take care of so many details, I knew this would be the perfect place.

Choosing my dress proved to be a little more difficult, I ended up trying my dress on four different times before finally saying yes. I loved my dress because it had a simple silhouette but had gorgeous beadwork and elegant details. The best part of my dress was how comfortable it was! The inside was lined with silk charmeuse, so it felt like I was wearing the softest pajamas under my dress! As for my shoes, I knew I wanted to them to be my something blue. While shopping in Las Vegas during my bachelorette weekend, I saw the perfect pair at Dior. They were tall (I’m a foot shorter than my husband), blue, had glittery straps and a sequins heel. Sold!

I was pretty anxious on the day of our wedding, but my favorite part the day was our “first look” photo session. I’ll never forgot how handsome my husband looked and his reaction at that moment. I’m glad we decided to take photos before the ceremony, which gives us a special memory just between the two of us (and our photographers).

The best advice I received from other brides was rather than having a long dinner table of the wedding party, opt instead for a sweethearts table. With all the craziness of the day, it was so nice to sit down and just relax with my new husband. Plus, I think the bridal party was also glad their duties were over and they could also enjoy dinner with their significant others. Besides the open bar, another big hit at my wedding was the photobooth. I knew our friends would go crazy in the booth, but my husband and I were pleasantly surprised to see parents and grandparents being silly and having an amazing time.

Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Florist: St. Helena Florist | Invitations: Zucchini & Co | Bride's Shoes: Christian Dior | Rings: Joe Escobar Diamonds | Bridesmaids Dresses: Von Vonni | Catering: Culinary Institute Of America At Greystone | DJ: DJ Stan Loh | Wedding Venue: Culinary Institute Of America At Greystone | Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bride's Getting Ready Venue: Vineyard Estate | Bride's Hair: Shine Salon | Ceremony Officiant: Rev. Mark E. Frady | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Cufflinks: Etsy | Save The Date: Devin Hunt | Shuttle: Pure Luxury

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Whimsical Fall Wedding

Combine crazy awesome vows (“You’re like an avocado, you make everything better”) with a bohemian meets whimsical party and the results are all kinds of awesome.  Picture colorful blooms from Sharla Flock Designs, the fab stylings of Downey Street Events and a sweet 70′s vibe woven throughout the entire evening.  Fall in love with every moment captured by D.Lillian Photography right here 

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Resort
Styles
Rustic

From D. Lillian Photography… Beyond Fall being my favorite season in the history of seasons, having the opportunity to shoot a wedding in Fall where the leaves and all their colors make up the natural background to an intimate ceremony is kind of like a “work day” jackpot for me. Add a stunning couple and thoughtful, profound vows (still smiling from Jenn’s line of, “You’re like an avocado, you make everything better”), and it’s already the most quintessentially perfect wedding day that not even a Pinterest board could replicate.

Besides all the aesthetically beautiful elements from this day, there really is something so exhilarating about seeing two people you’ve been rooting for from the very beginning, wholeheartedly choose a life together. My perspective as a photographer is always a bit different, possibly biased, when I know (love) the couple personally, but in every sense of the word, these two belong with each other, and I have about 2,500 images to prove it.

From the Bride… It’s almost impossible to articulate the wedding “theme” we created, because it was much more of a feeling we wanted to create than anything. I’d say overall it was a little 70′s hippy, a little boho glam, a little country club, a little whimsical, and just a whole lot of Jenny and Jeremy. We wanted people to be smiling, comfortable, warm, at ease, and just having fun. If we could’ve lived in another decade it would’ve been the 70′s for sure so we wanted that to shine through a little bit, too. We wanted the day to feel like us.

Almost all of our vendors were friends of ours, people in our everyday lives that are important to us, or they were highly recommended from friends who know us well. We also used a lot of Etsy shops – there is something so special about certain Etsy vendors, they put their heart in soul into their craft and it really shows, we also loved supporting their small businesses and having such personalized items. The groomsmen ties/bow ties, which were specially customized for us, tied everything together in the most perfect way. It’s all about the small things in life, right?

Every single little detail had meaning or some kind of story behind it. We choose one of our best friends to marry us (someone who knew us in both our lives NYC and CA). We brought in wine from our favorite hippy winery, Casa Nuestra. We wanted all the bridesmaids and groomsmen to choose their dresses and suits with a little color direction so the look would come together in an organic and natural way. I wore my hair down because I wanted to look like myself.

We held the ceremony outside under beautiful oak trees in hopes it would create a peaceful aura – nature can be very powerful. We all know it’s not a party without a hashtag, so we had to incorporate that in fun and cute ways! My dress was a huge part of the inspiration – Uma by Rosa Clara. The woman at the boutique told me months ago the meaning behind “Uma” was “goddess of the sun” and that felt so right for a CA wedding, that was it, I knew I had found it.

Photography: D.Lillian Photography | Cinematographer: Hit Maker Films | Event Design: Cassandra O'Gara Of Downey Street Events | Event Planning: Cassandra O'Gara Of Downey Street Events | Floral Design: Sharla Flock Designs | Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara Soft Collection | Invitations: Aerialist Press | Ceremony Venue: Silverado Resort & Spa | Wedding Favors: Lulusugar | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Bride's Heels: BHLDN | Groomsmen Attire: Divine Domestication | Hair/Makeup: Grasshopper Salon | Linens: La Tovola Linens | Photography - Assistance: Jessica Rowland | Rentals: Wine Country Party Rentals

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Event Styling And Decor
Downey Street Events
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Cinematography
Hit Maker Films
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Luxurious Lavender Napa Wedding at The Carneros Inn

Napa Valley and ridiculously gorgeous weddings go hand in hand, but this stunning lavender-infused fête planned by Sarah Drake takes that level of gorgeous up a few notches. It’s layered with love and loveliness, and thanks to Sposto Photography, we can soak up all the pretty here

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Inn
Styles
Rustic

From Sposto PhotographyWe had the privilege and honor to photograph the most beautiful wedding in one of the most beautiful areas in California. Napa Valley. We flew into San Francisco from Southern California the day before the wedding and drove up to Napa for the weekend. Boy, was it a sight! The party started at the gorgeous luxury farm Carneros Inn which offered nothing less than perfect light, perfect scenery, and perfect accommodations for all who partook in this wedding. The day was filed with gorgeous whispers of lavender and classic details that will stand the test of time. From the bride’s Christian Louboutin pumps to the grooms classic Tom Ford suit. Alison and Michael got married in the most pristine style. Everything they planned was so thoughtful and luxurious. We truly felt like we were photographing a celebrity couple. The reception featured incredible fine dining dinner service as well as some incredible dishes from the Chef at The Carneros Inn. Dinner and dancing was accompanied by the incredible DJ stylings of Tre Hardson (Slimkid3) who couldn’t have made the night any more amazing and even threw in a surprise performance! (Okay, we may have coaxed him a little… ) We felt so grateful to have made new friends like Alison and Michael. They were so kind and giving making us feel no less than family.

Photography: Sposto Photography | Coordinator: Sarah Drake | Florist: Jaime Giorgi | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: The Carneros Inn | DJ: Tre Hardson | Groom's Shoes: Tom Ford | Groom's Suit: Tom Ford | Baker: The Carneros Inn | Bridal Hair: Carole Tokodumi | Bridal Jewelry: Blush Bridal Couture | Bridal Make Up: Meredith | Dog Bow Tie: Silly Buddy | Dress Designer: Hayley Paige | Dress Shop: Blush Bridal Couture | Invitation: Invitation Only | Wedding Venue / Resort: The Carneros Inn

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Napa Valley Rustic Glam Wedding at The Carneros Inn

I recently had the absolute pleasure of meeting Jacin of Lovely Little Details in person, and let me just say, she’s just as amazing as you could possibly imagine. So now, when I see a wedding she whipped up like this stunner at The Carneros Inn , I am not surprised in the slightest that all that talent can come from one (spirited) little lady. And when she teams up with the likes of Huckleberry Karen Designs and one love photography, I know the best kind of magic is about to unfold right before my eyes, and that’s just what happened right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Inn

From The Bride…Michael and I share an appreciation for handcrafted cocktails. Our first few dates invariably suffered from an utter lack of flirty banter or free-flowing exchanges. At least until we could turn the night over to the (usually overly detailed) cocktail menu. It worked every time. Because as each night wore on, we would begin to talk deeply, laugh freely and share our genuine selves with each other.

Naturally, a cocktails theme would be the key inspiration behind our thoughtfully crafted wedding. We were engaged in Napa Valley, a place that radiates romance and where food and drink is appreciated and cultivated as high art.  Almost instantly, we decided that our wedding venue had to be there and so we chose the Carneros Inn, which remained dear to us as our first getaway weekend destination. The site exudes modern simplicity and understated elegance; this backdrop influenced our color palette as well as the overall atmosphere we wanted to achieve on our special day.

The details planning process was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. The challenge was to weave in our cocktails theme while ensuring all of the details flowed and complemented each other. Once we decided on the theme, the ideas poured in. I decided to create homemade limoncello as favors and personalized coasters with our favorite cocktail recipes that doubled as escort cards. We would also integrate his-and-hers signature cocktails, oversized martini glasses for the sweets bar and used wine barrels as cocktail tables.

I try to be crafty, always looking for things to do to post on my blog.  So I tried to incorporate as many D.I.Y. projects that I could with the help from my bridesmaids and the team at Lovely Little Details to bring our ideas to fruition. My first project involved creating gold glitter table numbers, which led me to make the glitter picture frames and glitter ribbon wands. That was when I discovered a recurring theme. Gold glitter and sequins became our accent color and texture, respectively; these were the essential elements that kept our details and décor cohesive. We then added a gold sequin photo booth backdrop, glitter tape on the stripe straws, decorative sequin pillows for the Adirondack chairs and gold dusted cake pops. The moment we saw the details come together was truly one of the highlights.

The day was magical, more than I can really put into words. There had never been a time when I was surrounded by all my favorite people in one place and it was an honor to celebrate our commitment in their presence. My best advice to those in the planning process is to take a step back and regroup when things get stressful. And my advice to the bride and groom on the day of is to take a few minutes to be alone with each other, just after the ceremony.

Photography: Onelove Photography | Florist: Huckleberry Karen Designs | Cake: Fleur De Lisa | Catering: The Carneros Inn | Lighting: Got Light | Groom's Attire: IndoChino | Officiant: Lili Goodman Freitas At Weddings Of Heart | Ceremony Music: Corelli Strings | Venue: The Carneros Inn | Bridal Gown: Vera Wang | Bridal Jewelry: J.Crew Jewelry Collection | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Gold Glitter Bar Banner: Mint Love Social Club | Invitation: Minted | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | Makeup And Hair: Nikki Ngo At A-List Make Up | Photobooth: Shutterspeed Photobooth | Programs, Menus, Place Cards, Signage, Labels: Lovely Little Details | Reception DJ: Lee Francisco At Aim 2 Pleez | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Veil: Vera Wang White | Wedding Planning + Design: Lovely Little Details

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Boho Barn Wedding in Napa

From the second I saw the bride’s BHLDN gown, I knew a really good wedding was about to follow. Off The Beaten Path worked to bring the couple’s rustic-boho celebration to life, and the photos from Matt Edge are what wedding dreams are made of. Take my advice and kick off your Friday festivities in the gallery right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Barn
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride….We vacationed in Napa Valley a few years ago and we both knew that it was the perfect place for us to get married. The combination of great food, wine, and the picturesque scenery captured our hearts and we knew that this would be the perfect place to start our journey together. Napa has the unique small town feel with all the luxuries of a big city, which made it an ideal destination to host our wedding.

We kicked off our wedding weekend by having our wedding party join us a few days before to explore the greater Napa area on bikes. We “biked for wine,” traversing Napa’s hilly landscape, while visiting several wieners throughout the valley. We capped off our ride with a beautiful lunch on Bell winery’s patio.

One of our favorite memories of our wedding day was our choreographed first dance. The upbeat tempo, friends and family laughing as we did spins and lifts to our favorite song, “Stuck On You,” by Meiko. The setting at Running Pony Farm was sensational, a natural rustic feel, with the white barn giving it a hint of elegance, while the herb garden and peach orchard gave us the subtle outdoor feel. As the sun was setting, the Italian string lighting came alive as we capped off the evening with John’s favorite combination, bourbon, fire pits and doughnuts. Thank you to Off the Beaten Path Weddings and Matt Edge photography for helping us coordinate a dream come true.

Photography: Matt Edge Wedding Photography | Event Design: Off The Beaten Path Weddings | Floral Design: Off The Beaten Path Weddings | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Shoes: Something Bleu | Catering: Off The Beaten Path Weddings | Ceremony And Reception: Private Estate, Napa, CA | Signage: Off The Beaten Path Weddings

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