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Brideside + A Discount + A Giveaway!

Fact: we love Brideside.  And by “love,” I mean we are completely obsessed with the fabulous online boutique that makes choosing bridesmaid gowns the easiest part of planning your wedding.  Imagine a wide selection of amazing designers, a personal stylist and an easy-peasy ordering process that will make you (and your besties) soooo happy.  Beautiful bridesmaid gowns without all the drama?  Yes, please.

With Brideside, it simply easier to find those perfect gowns for your bridal party, and all from the comfort of your very own home.  Think one gorgeous collection after another in every color, fabric, style and shape you want.  Simply sign up online to get the pretty party started.  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 is even introducing Jenny Yoo gowns in March, 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.

Throw A Fabulous Fitting Party - 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 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 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.

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.


Brideside is giving our readers an EXCLUSIVE 15% off when you use code “SMP15″ until March 31, 2015! Even better? When you sign up here by March 6th, Brideside will pick one winner to receive a $450 credit towards her bridesmaid dresses! The winner, chosen at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, April 3, 2015.  For terms and conditions, click here. Brideside offer cannot be combined with any past or future offers. Offer not valid on Joanna August or Donna Morgan collections.  Good luck, lovelies! xo 

Bride & Bridesmaids Image: Aneris Photography


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Elegant Fall Wedding at Antrim 1844

This elegant wedding caught my eye for two main reasons. First, while it’s a fall celebration, it doesn’t come across as themey…and that’s probably because, secondly, the bride herself is one talented florist. Having crafted beautiful blooms for 20 other lucky ladies while she planned her own nuptials, she didn’t run out of steam, and Sweet Tea Photography has all the proof with these pretty pics here.


From The Bride… We met the first day of school at St. Mary’s College in MD. We were in the same orientation group, and were good friends all through school until we started dating senior year. We didn’t have a first date in the traditional sense, but we did spend a lot of time enjoying the beautiful campus (and sunsets!) at St. Mary’s. We dated for 15 years before we were engaged. Can you believe it? Robb asked me to take a trip back to school for the annual Governor’s Cup yacht race, an event close to my heart after I spent three summers in school working on it. We enjoyed an afternoon of walking the dogs around campus and through historic St. Mary’s City, and Robb proposed near our old dorms.

What attracted me to my husband was his warmth, kindness, creativity, and he can make me laugh like no one else.

We knew we wanted our wedding to feel “fall,” but not too themey, so we tried to pick a palette with some more muted fall tones and some warm jewel tones. We hoped to create a warm, inviting atmosphere that worked well with the Antrim 1844; romantic florals, candlelight, a roaring fire and tables full of delicious food. While I enjoyed working on the flowers, I really loved so many of the details, it’s hard to pick one: the groom’s cake my aunt made (in the likeness of our Lakeland Terrier, Guinness) melted my heart; my mom pulled together an amazing cookie bar (complete with a hand-painted sign!) and Robb brought our love of live music to the event with the place cards (designed to look like ticket stubs) and the table numbers (gig posters from our favorite shows/venues).

When we were all seated for dinner, it felt like an early Thanksgiving for us, all of our friends and family together (the weekend before the holiday). We loved all of our vendors and are so happy to have the most beautiful photos as memories of our special day! Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography shot our engagement session and we knew she would be an excellent fit after that. We also happened to work on quite a few weddings together over the months before our wedding day. Lisa Marie shot primarily with film which was something we were really attracted to.

My biggest challenge in wedding planning was working both a 9-5 job and creating florals for 20 weddings through the whole planning process. Trying to find time for planning my own wedding was hard to do. But the outpouring of offers to help from family and friends made our day so special, and as stress-free as possible. I would recommend future bride’s to just enjoy planning the event, be patient with your partner, and plan your budget according to what’s important to you both (which hopefully includes flowers :)

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography | Floral Design: Highway to Hill | Wedding Dress: Robinson Bridal | Cake : Snickerdoodle Bakery Coffee House | Ceremony Venue: Trinity Luthern Church | Reception Venue: Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel | Rings : Tiny Jewel Box | DJ: MyDeejay | Beauty : Up Dos for I Dos | Cake Design : Charm City Cake | Photography - Assistance: Leah Puttkammer | Pies : Dangerously Delicious Pies | Pre-Ceremony Cocktail : Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel

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Charming Valentine’s Day Wedding Inspiration

Considering February 14th is my favorite holiday and it falls on a Saturday this year, I can’t believe I didn’t contemplate saying “I do” today. Joy Michelle was ahead of me and captured one absolutely delicious photo shoot, complete with beautiful blooms and enough sweet treats to put you in a sugar coma… or what I like to refer to as a perfect Valentine’s Day. Enjoy all the goodies right here!


From Joy Michelle Photography Who doesn’t want to get married on the literal day of love?! Well now you have inspiration to do just that, because we styled this shoot in the inspiration of Valentine’s Day and all the things we love! What’s better then bridesmaids in fluffy red and pink tulle skirts? Nothing, except the bride wearing a fluffy white tulle wedding dress! We had all our desserts reflect our theme of love, with the heart details, the different shades of pink and then decor that makes you fall in love with love! We accessorized our bridesmaid’s fun tulle skirts with very classic pearl jewelry to make our ensembles timeless! We loved mixing our bride with a very chic lace topped wedding dress and the fluff and fun of that tulle skirt! Every detail, the pink punch, the pink sherbet, love canvases and the pink furniture echoes every girls dream on the day love should be embraced! We fell in love with love and we hope you fell too!

Photography: Joy Michelle Photography | Planner: Rebekah Mangialardo | Wedding Gown: Serendipity Bridal And Events | Cakes: SugarBakers Cakes | Venue: Private Residence | Florals : Willow Oak Flower And Herb Farm | Makeup And Hair: Sara Elizabeth Artistry | Paper Goods & Calligraphy : Anchor Point Paper Co. | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

Elegant Maryland Wedding at Historic Oakland

Timeless, elegant and all around perfect, this absolutely stunning wedding at Historic Oakland captured by Elizabeth Fogarty has my heart today. This gorgeous couple will be able to look back on their wedding decades from now with the same adoration they do today, and to me, there is nothing better than that. See the entire day here.

From The Bride…I picked the venue because it is what I always dreamed of since I was a child. It was elegant and that is what I always wanted for my wedding. I wanted my wedding to be timeless and elegant. Something that I could look back on and still love. My favorite part was when I walked down the isle and I saw Rocky. And when my father lifted my blusher veil was super special too. My inspiration came from a mixture of my dreams and through searches on Pinterest. From Elizabeth FogartyDanielle’s wedding could not have been more classic and timeless. She does make-up as a hobby, so she did her own make-up, and if I say so myself, totally rocked it! Her intimate ceremony was simply beautiful and filled with close friends and family.

Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty | Videographer: Ksenia Pro | Hair: Melissa Elbert | Mansion: Historic Oakland | Vintage Hair Piece: Shop Gossamer

Nautical Annapolis Spring Wedding

I will forever adore nautical nuptials. With childhood summers on the coast, soirees of this sort are what I dreamed of as a little girl. And this beauty right here is that reality. From the bride arriving by boat, to the vows on the dock, this waterfront wedding hits a homerun. With Liz and Ryan behind the lens and Simple Flare filming every second, I’ll be reliving those childhood dreams all weekend long.

Yacht Club

From Liz And Ryan… Lesley and Clayton are two incredibly beautiful people on the inside and out! They met each other while in med school at the University of Maryland and quickly fell in love. They share a mutual love of the water. In fact, you could say it is in their blood. Lesley’s dad sailed across the Atlantic from England many years ago arriving in Annapolis, the place he would fall in love and welcome his sweet daughter, Lesley, into his life. He was an adventurer. And although he passed away a few years ago, he is still very much present in so many ways.

His love of the water shines through in Lesley. She is comfortable and at home on the water, most especially on Flying Angel, her family’s boat that her dad dreamed of. Her compass has never wavered, but in Clayton she has found a new North Star to adventure through this life with!

It only seems appropriate that Flying Angel escorted Lesley to the Yacht Club on their wedding day. It was her dad’s way of proudly walking her down the aisle. And we have no doubt, he is one incredibly proud dad and incredibly happy to welcome Clayton to the family!

Lesley and Clayton’s wedding was nothing short of AMAZING! Their love is so visible and present. In fact, as Lesley’s uncle shared in a beautiful poem he wrote for them, their love is, in fact, a present.

“…And so to the present both a time to be glad
And a loving present to her loving dad
Gift wrapped with their wedding vow
Their gift of love for ever now
To Lesley and Clayton man and wife
A present and a future happy life.

Friends and family share in their happiness
Wish them a life of love and all that’s best
A home that is warm and full of song
A life that is rich their love so strong
Lesley and Clayton two families now united.
Sutherlands and Alexanders, happy and delighted.”
– Owen Sutherland

Lesley and Clayton’s wedding day was so simple and so elegant. The florals were absolutely stunning and fit the decor in the most perfect way! Anne from Charleston Stems wowed us and Lesley too! (Lesley had no idea what the florals were going to look like. She gave her friend and trusted wedding professional permission to do anything that she wanted with the florals!) They were absolutely stunning and stand out to us as the most perfectly fitting wedding florals we have ever photographed!

Lesley and Clayton’s wedding day ended with a proper send off for Lesley and Clayton on the Flying Angel! It was the perfect way for them to set sail to the beginning of their lives together as husband and wife… and now Dr. and Dr.! 

Photography: Liz And Ryan | Videography: Simple Flare | Wedding Planner: Wedding Savvy | Bakery: Palate Pleasers | Stationery: Paper In The Park | Bridesmaids Dresses: LulaKate | Hair & Makeup: Behind The Veil | Band: Doug Segree Band | Groom's Attire: Jos. A Bank | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Ceremony Music: Chesapeake Strings | Venue: Annapolis Yacht Club | Bridal Gown: Elizabeth Johns | Florals: Charleston Stems | Rentals: 2 Hands Studios | Rentals: XOXO Vintage Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Love Drunk Valentine’s Day Inspiration

This inspiration proves that behind every great party is a delicious cocktail and this one has the Cardamom Rose as the leading lady. With a nod to Alice in Wonderland – think painted roses + drink me tags from Laura Hooper Calligraphy,  and a beautifully styled bar cart, Strawberry Banke Events craftedone very cute “Love Drunk” Valentine’s party. See even more photographed by Krista A. Jones right here!

From Laura of Strawberry Banke EventsFor this Valentine’s-inspired shoot, we wanted to bring out the playful, “love drunk” nature of Valentine’s Day by using a whimsical, recognizable theme to freshen up the typical Valentine’s Day decor. We chose to pull Valentine’s references from the timeless story of Alice in Wonderland (i.e. Queen of Hearts, painting the roses red, etc), and incorporate them into a modern, everyday bar cart vignette. Aiming to modernize a very romantic-heavy holiday with quirky little “Alice” touches, we executed the shoot in a black, white and fuschia color scheme, accented with bright pops of gold.

Simple, tightly packed roses (as well as some painted red!) are in keeping with both the book theme and the Valentine’s holiday without seeming overly cliche, while tiny apothecary bottles are grouped as bud vases reminiscent of Alice’s whimsical “size-altering” potions. Small gold stacked tea cups are a chic, contemporary nod to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The Cardamon Rose signature cocktail is another play on the rose-marked holiday, with a fresher, unique flavor combination. For a less complicated Valentine’s cocktail, we substituted pretty, blush-toned sparkling Rose (for typical champagne), garnished with a simple rose petal for a special touch.

Cardamom Rose Cocktailrecipe from Apothecary courtesy of Design Sponge
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 1.5 oz of Hendrick’s gin
  • .75 oz of Rose syrup (homemade or store bought)
  • .25 oz of Fresh lemon juice
  • .75 oz of Fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes of Peychauds bitters
  • 1 Cardamom Pod
  1. Lightly muddle one cardamom pod at the bottom of shaker.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice. Shake for 20 second, then strain over fresh ice to remove the cardamom pod.
  3. Add a splash of seltzer water.
  4. Garnish with rose petals or fresh lemon wedge.

Photographer: Krista A. Jones | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Barcart: Society Social | Boutique Gift Boxes: Haven Court | Cocktail Napkins: Kate Spade | Design + Styling: Laura Boyd + Meg Hale Of Strawberry Banke Events | Glassware : Anthropologie | Macarons: Sweet Hearts Patisserie | Restaurant: Blackwall Hitch | Vintage Furniture: XOXO Vintage REntals

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