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Intimate At-Home Backyard Wedding

Sometimes the very best wedding venue happens to be your own backyard, and that’s exactly the route this sweet couple went. Setting out to plan a unique, deeply personal “I do,” Jessica and Zach held a quiet, sunset ceremony followed by a family-style dinner with Ashley Kelemen behind the lens. Watch the day unfold in the gallery, and stay tuned for the day after beach party coming up next.

From Ashley KelemenJessica & Zach wanted an intimate, family focused affair in their own backyard, and pulled it off flawlessly! From the beautiful reading by several family members during the ceremony, to their emotional vows and a laughter-filled family style dinner (with a pig roast to boot), their wedding was authentic and meaningful from beginning to end. The gorgeous florals by Moon Canyon helped to create a perfect atmosphere of celebration and love to pull the day together!

From The Bride & Groom…We met online, and after a romantic trip to California’s Central Coast, we knew that ours was a love for all time. Not long after, Zach proposed with the antique aquamarine ring Jessica wore during the wedding on her right hand. Through sharing a home and our lives, we came to know that a conventional wedding was not for us. So we got hitched in our backyard, with an amazing local chef catering the dinner. We said our vows as the sun set on the mountains, and we feasted with two dozen of our closest friends and family on a spit-roasted pig. It was magical. The following night, we hosted a bigger party on the beach to celebrate the union with more friends and family. It felt like a fitting spot since we’d first glimpsed our life together amidst the sand and surf.

Photography: Ashley Kelemen | Floral Design: Moon Canyon | Wedding Gown: Erin Fetherston | Catering: Bruce Kalman Of Union Pasadena | Hair Stylist: Eskimo Hair Mihaela Cengher | Grooms Attire: Brooks Brothers | Venue: Private Residence | Film Lab: Indie Film Lab | Lighting & Rentals: Town & Country Event Rentals | Photo Assistant: Elan Klein

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Classic Langham Pasadena Wedding

This darling Bride right here? She’s making us blush. Not only because she’s absolutely stunning, but her sweet words about how SMP was such a source of inspiration throughout the planning process? Well, it makes our hearts burst with a thankful kind of love. Not to mention, all the pretty that was made possible by the rockstar team of vendors. onelove photography snapped it all up, as they so beautifully do every time, and we can’t get enough.


From the beautiful Bride…Since Bryan and I met as children, fell in love at sixteen, and remained together ever since, we wanted our wedding to be a celebration not just of our love story, but also of the people who had invested in us through every season, and of the faith that had taught us how beautiful and good love could be.

We wanted the evening to be dreamy, warm, and joyful – our whimsical twist on a classic fairytale. After searching for venues throughout Los Angeles, we selected the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, the city we both grew up in. It was the perfect fit for our vision of timelessness with a dash of glamour. The gorgeous ballroom, with its blush decor, gold accents, and crystal chandeliers captured our colors perfectly. Our ceremony was held at San Marino Community Church, where my parents married twenty-eight years prior.

Honoring each of our lineages was a priority to us: many details of our day told stories of where our families had been and pointed to where we hoped to go as a new family. We took elements of Bryan’s family coat of arms and images from my family’s Armenian heritage to create our own crest, adding details that marked meaningful elements of our love story, most significantly a verse from Scripture. My bouquet included a piece of my mother’s wedding veil and a cameo brooch from my grandmother’s engagement season, and one of my favorite details of our day were the scalloped lace napkin treatments on each guest’s place setting, topped with a cameo to echo this treasured piece of jewelry of my grandmother’s. To tie in with the gorgeous antique china in the reception foyer, we displayed our parents’ and grandparents’ china, and we incorporated our family’s silver pieces throughout the décor.

It was a priority to us to communicate that we cherish every person who celebrated with us, and that we wouldn’t have our love story without the influence of theirs! When we started planning, one of my first dreams for our day was honoring all of the marriages in our lives by creating a display of all our guests’ wedding photos. Throughout our engagement, my mom, sister, and mother-in-law worked tirelessly to collect over 100 frames – a mix of big, small, new, and vintage – and the final product was beautiful! To emphasize that we intend to continue doing life with our guests far beyond our wedding day, in lieu of a guestbook we asked guests to write us letters to be read when we reach major life milestones. Guests penned sweet notes that we’ll open many years from now.

As part of our ceremony, we also took a new spin on an old wedding tradition: two close friends whose marriage we had recently celebrated were our “something new,” our grandparents who have each been married for over fifty years were our “something old,” and a pair of our close friends from college were our “something blue.” We also chose to be given away to one another by both sets of parents, as a way for us to acknowledge all that each of our families had done to love us as individuals and support us in our relationship.

Our cakes were absolutely spectacular, designed and created by one of my bridesmaids’ very talented mother. Our two flavors were hazelnut and rose — unconventional and so delicious — and I especially loved that one of our cakes featured our new married monogram for the very first time!

I had been noting small details for quite some time that I knew I’d want included in our wedding, but scouring Style Me Pretty and brainstorming with our fabulous vendors were the best ways to find ideas throughout wedding planning. From personalizing our signature drinks with names of our long-loved hobbies (Bagpiper & Ballerina) to foregoing individual place cards for one large menu displayed on a large vintage mirror, Style Me Pretty was a treasure trove of inspiration!

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to pick vendors who are not only exceptional at what they do but also wonderful people. They are so much a part of your engagement season and wedding day! Our planner, Deanna Tat, turned all the wild dreams I had for our day into a reality, and she did so with such enthusiasm and warmth. When our wedding day came, I could hardly believe how seamlessly she had woven every detail together! She was phenomenal! We were similarly thrilled to have Onelove as our photographer – we had a specific vision for our photos and also wanted someone who would be a beam of light on our day and know how to spot all those tender, candid moments. Sara was all that and so much more! From your floral designer to your hair and makeup artists, pick people who are sold out to how uniquely special your day is to you and your partner, because those are the people whose work is driven by passion and I promise that makes all the difference!

Amidst flurried guest-list editing, seemingly endless rounds of envelope-stuffing, and late-night Internet searching for that perfect vintage side table, know that your wedding day will be beautiful and your marriage even more so. As tempting as it is to seek perfection, remain gracious with yourself as you discover you just can’t do everything, and be bold in bringing your distinctive touch into your planning. Remember that ultimately, it’s your love that makes you radiant.

It was so special to spend the morning and afternoon with some of the most important women in my life. From my stunning momma to my gorgeous-in-every-way maid of honor and bridesmaids, they reminded me on my wedding day as they do every day what selflessness and beauty look like! We had such fun lounging around in our shortie sets, and our final champagne toast and prayer before we left for the church was the best way I could have imagined to make that leap from Miss to Mrs.

Bryan and I loved saying our vows to one another and then praying with our pastors as three of our groomsmen performed a beautiful song in our ceremony. After over eight years of dating, it was such a powerful experience to commit ourselves to one another, come what may, for the rest of our lives.

Our band was a unanimous favorite, and we thought we might explode with joy during our first dance to “Beyond the Sea,” a song from one of the first movies we watched together as teenagers, and then dancing through midnight surrounded by cheering friends and family. Even our grandmothers, who we share special relationships with, got out on the dance floor with us! It was pure bliss to find ourselves amidst that much love and watch all the people we care about celebrating and partying together!

Photography: Onelove Photography | Videography: Zomei Film Stories | Florals: Ixora Floral Studio | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige, JLM Couture | Cake: A Dash Of Ganache | Stationery: Copper Willow Paper Studio | Ceremony: San Marino Community Church | Reception: Langham Hotel Pasadena | Shoes: Kate Spade | Jewelry: Sol Jewelry Designs | Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale & Jenny Yoo (both Ordered Through Bella Bridesmaids) | Caterer: Langham Huntington | Hair And Makeup: Fiore Beauty | Lighting: TMMPRO | Groom's Attire: HUGO Aikin Hollo Tuxedo Suit | Groom's Shoes: Crockett & Jones | Bride And Bridesmaid Shortie Sets: Plum Pretty Sugar | Coordinator And Event Designer: Deanna Tat Of Chic Ambiance Events | Flower Girl Dresses: Maeli Rose | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen Cufflinks: Net Exchange | Live Band: Soulville Band | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Veil And Headpiece: BHLDN | Watercolor Crest: Julie Grace Designs

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Doie Lounge Robes + A Giveaway!

When it comes to looking glam from start to finish on your big day, look no further than Doie Lounge. These gorgeous + eco-friendly robes add a special touch to getting ready on wedding morning, but also make beautiful (and practical!) gifts for your ladies!

Made locally in Los Angeles of natural + sustainable fabrics, the Doie Lounge robes not only look amazing in “getting ready” photos, but they’re also a gift your ladies will wear again and again! Available in sizes x-small to x-large (and xxs in the Lilian robe!), these pretties look beautiful on both short and tall frames — and they stay put with both inner and outer silk ties! Available in a wide variety of colors and combinations (there’s now a blush colored robe called Betty!), there are even discounts for buying in bulk (here).

How gorgeous?! And if you’re not seeing the exact color combo you’re looking for, be sure to email sara{at} who can help you come up with the perfect robe! Also, be sure to ask if there are any robes available that aren’t pictured on the site as there are sometimes styles hiding behind the scenes. And be sure to check out these real Doie Lounge bridal parties (here.). OH — there’s more!


The Prize: A lucky reader will win a Willa robe from Doie Lounge in XS/S! If the winner needs another size, she can choose a different style robe. 

To Enter: Visit the Doie site and pick out your favorite style! Then head back over here and comment below with which one you like best.

To Win: One winner will be selected at random and announced in the WIUP on Friday, August 1, 2014

Terms & Conditions: Can all be found right here.  Good luck my dears! xoxo

Photo Credits: Valorie Darling Photography | Hair: Trace Hennigsen | Makeup: Artistry by Danika  |   Lydia Daniller |  Calloway Gable Photography  |  Maggie Thalheimer of Gerber and Scarpelli | Jeff Tisman Photograph


Cultural Wedding at Ambassador Mansion & Gardens

Ok, seriously, this wedding might just eat up the rest of your day. In the best possible way of course. Because it totally had me in a trance for more time than I care to admit. It’s two absolutely breathtaking celebrations of this gorgeous couples’ union captured by Adrienne Gunde, and when I say this wedding has moved to the tippy top of my favorites list, I am dead serious. See why here.

Garden Venue

From the Bride…After Nevin proposed to me atop Hampstead Heath overlooking the city of London, we began thinking about what type of wedding we wanted to have. We knew we wanted to include aspects of both of our cultures (Indian and British/American), while making sure that it was a fun and memorable event for the guests. We had both a Hindu ceremony and a secular wedding ceremony. After making the decision to have two ceremonies, our theme developed into a merging of the two cultures into one fun-filled day of celebrating. We chose elephants as a motif, as Nevin rode into the Hindu ceremony on an elephant. To that end, we included elephant salt and pepper shakers and elephant escort card holders. We also wanted to incorporate the bright colors of Indian weddings throughout the entire day, so we had bright florals and bright menus and programs.

We had two meals: an English tea, complete with scones and tea sandwiches, and an Indian buffet dinner. Overall, we had an amazing day that we felt reflected our cultures and our personalities perfectly!

Photographer: Adrienne Gunde | Photography: Adrienne Gunde | Videographer: FlyFeNniX Productions | Floral Design: The Little Branch | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Hair And Makeup: Chiali Meng | DJ: Sound Nation | Cake And Desserts: Bittersweet Treats | Catering, Party Rentals, And Day-of Coordinators: Event Professionals | Catering, Party Rentals, And Day-of Coordinators: Event Professionals | Ceremony And Reception: Ambassador Mansion & Gardens | Elephant: Have Trunk Will Travel | Mandap Rental: Krushna Mandap

Dreamy Bridal Boudoir Shoot

We don’t often get the chance to feature boudoir shoots on SMP, but when we come across one that is beautifully captured and styled like this one from Carmen Santorelli Photography and Poppy And Plum Events we simply can’t wait to get up on your screen. It’s dreamy, elegant and intimate, and wonderful inspiration for those of you planning to capture something similar. See even more here.

From Carmen Santorelli PhotographyWe created this lovely bridal boudoir shoot to hopefully provide some visual inspiration to the brides who are considering doing a boudoir photoshoot either on the day of their wedding, or even in the days leading to their big day. Although it may not be for every bride, a boudoir shoot can be a beautiful part of the collection of their wedding images! It can also make an artistic and intimate gift for their partner. We can’t think of a better way of honoring a woman’s body, and we hope you find our ideas inspiring.

From Ashley of Poppy & Plum: Carmen and I decided to collaborate on creating a dreamy, intimate, beautiful bridal boudoir shoot. We wanted to have this feeling of vintage beauty and so we used a Fine and Fleurie lace robe as inspiration to create a dream world around our bride. We started with location…somewhere woodsy and natural that would complement our brides’ beauty. We added stunning vintage pieces from Toast Party Rentals to create a feeling of intimacy and seclusion. For the florals we really wanted a pop of vibrant color to stand out from the neutral tones. We created her floral headpiece and a small nosegay bouquet for her to hold onto which really brought out her beautiful eyes and the gorgeous makeup. Bridal Boudoir Shoots are great to have before the wedding. They are soft, intimate moments of beauty that can be shared with your groom to be.

Photography: Carmen Santorelli Photography | Bridal Sash: Tulip Bridal | Furniture: Toast Party Rentals | Lace Robe: Fine + Fleurie | Makeup + Hair: She's So Makeup | Styling + Floral Design: Poppy And Plum Events

Old Town Pasadena Engagement + WIUP

At the end of the day, it’s all about the love. The forever and ever, let’s grow old together love that remains well after the wedding day comes and goes. So rounding out the week with one ridiculously adorable engagement? Well, it only seems right. Have a peek at all the captures from Carolly Photography, and scroll below for reminders, discounts and lucky duck winners! Happy weekend!


From Carolly Photography… I had the pleasure of meeting my husband’s childhood friend, James, who recently got engaged to my friend, Tina. My first thought upon meeting Tina was, wow, she has great style. I had the same reaction when I met James. Just look at the outfits and shoes they picked out for their engagement session!

As we transition from winter to spring, this photoshoot has elements of both the nippy air and the slightest bloom of spring’s first flowers. The couple wanted a DIY shoot outdoors with a forest-like backdrop for a romantic setting. Both James and Tina learned how to play the ukulele together, so it was meaningful for them to have their ukuleles as part of the shoot.

We found a park in Los Angeles that was perfect for us. For their wardrobe, James and Tina picked colors to suit the setting, with a bit of understated vintage that reflected their own personal styles. I fell in love with Tina’s pink lace dress and her Anthropologie collar necklace. James complemented her perfectly with his tweed jacket and worn leather boots. Tina wanted to incorporate a flower crown she made herself that represented one of her wedding colors. She wore it well!

We bought stems of wild flowers and placed them into old mason jars on top of an Acacia wood plate purchased from Crate and Barrel (great registry item btw!). The chalkboards were from JoAnn’s fabrics, and since I was learning calligraphy at the time I created an invitation suite using my new skills as a calligrapher. Then, they serenaded each other with their talented ukulele playing and I enjoyed a mini concert during the shoot.

Toward the evening we headed over to Old Town Pasadena where James and Tina transitioned into a more urban clothing to fit the scene. The pop of red from Tina’s coat just made this whole shoot as vibrant as the city itself.

Photography: Carolly Photography | Makeup And Hair: Jen Tsui Makeup


$250 credit to Wedding Paper Divas
Free Fabric Swatch from Weddington Way
$400 gift certificate towards stationery from Appy Couple
Honeymoon Funds from Traveler’s Joy
$500 credit towards bridesmaids dresses on Brideside.
$250 credit towards Fatty Sunday’s pretzels
$500 merchandise credit from Noritake
A free print sample from Whimsical Prints!
A set of flashcards from Learn to Speak Weddings

This week’s DISCOUNTS…

Abbey Malcolm Letterpress + Design

For our California brides… Discounts from Evangeline PhotographyJonathan Young Weddings and Dr. Diaz.

For our Midwest brides… A discount from reStyled Vintage Rentals.

For our New England Brides… A discount from Aster B. Flowers

For our Tri-State brides…Don’t forget to enter to win Photography + Videography Collection from NST Pictures and discounts from Femina Photo + DesignNY Smile Specialists and HowAboutWe for Couples PLUS don’t miss Gabriella New York’s Winter Sample Sale!


Congratulations Jaqueline Taylor Griffin for winning the Joanna August bridesmaid dress giveaway! And congrats to Sofia Briley who won $500 credit towards bridesmaids dresses on Brideside.

A big congratulations to Shirley Huang, Christine Antoine, Marnay Harris, Kelsey Wilburn and Natalie Briggs who are the  FIVE winners of the  Vera Wang Papers giveaway!

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