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Elegant At Home Vow Renewal

This, my friends, is the be-all, end-all of vow renewals.  A picture perfect outdoor affair featuring some of the most beautiful details you will ever see.  Think ghost chairs and chandeliers meets lush florals from Claude and Augusta by Katie Wachowiak all held on the gorgeous couple’s very own property.  Styled to perfection by VLD Events and captured in amazing images by Bryce Covey, this gallery is a must-see.


From VLD Events… Sarah and Phil Robbins joked that they had the worst wedding possible when they got married 10 years ago. They were 20 years old, they had very little money, and let’s just say that everything that could go wrong did. Dress got covered in tar on the way to the church – someone even ate their wedding cake in the freezer before their 1st anniversary. They laughed it off, but once their 10 year anniversary came around, they wanted a re-do. It was time to celebrate how far they’ve come together, and with their closest family and friends.

To do this, we enlisted a wonderful team of vendors. We wanted to mix luxury and comfort. Sarah is a true girly girl – she loves chandeliers, beautiful blooms, acrylic, fun patterns, and silk fabric. But at the same time she is incredibly down to earth and far from stuffy. This wasn’t going to be a party that no one felt comfortable at. This was going to be the kind of event you take your shoes off for and dance until the wee hours. It was the kind of event you are seated in ghost chairs, but are served mediterranean food. The kind of event that that has an awesome lakefront bonfire and a s’mores station. Not only that, this is kind of event that everyone could feel good about – because it wasn’t just to celebration two people in love and the ones they love; it was also to raise money for a cause they both so strongly believe in – Angel House (building orphanages in India).

They renewed their vows in the backyard of their home. Following the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour by the pool, with handcrafted cocktails by a local cocktail lounge, The Oakland in Ferndale, Michigan. Plum Market provided both the cocktail hour appetizers and the mediterranean family style meal. DJ Graffiti provided music; there was a make your own ice-cream sandwich station instead of a cake. Seating arrangements were little escort card flags in champagne flutes – they doubled as what the guests toasted with, to “cheers to 10 years”.

We worked hard to source as many non-rental items as possible. We stalked Anthro for a long time to get 100 of those plates. Glassware came from One King’s Lane and Crate & Barrel. Believe it or not, it was just as cheap to buy than to rent and it gave it such a nice, intimate touch. We paired our findings with Katie Wachowiak’s stunning florals. Katie is a true talent; she poured her heart into this day and it showed.

We were told it was the best day of Sarah’s life. Whenever I hear “I wish I could get married again, but to the same person” – it makes me smile so big for them, because I know they had that chance. It was so cool to be a part of it.

Photography: Bryce Covey | Videography: Epic Motion | Event Design: VLD Events | Event Planning: VLD Events | Floral Design: Claude And Augusta By Katie Wachowiak | Wedding Dress: Roma Sposa | Catering: Plum Market | Entertainment: DJ Graffiti | Chairs: Event Source | Glassware: One King's Lane | Menus: Bliss & Bone | Plates: Anthropologie | Private Residence: Lake Angelus, MI | Signage: Rock Paper Scissors | Tenting: Colonial Party And Event Rental

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Epic Motion
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Event Planning
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Bliss & Bone
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Secret Beach Wedding Inspiration at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sometimes I fall so hard for the beautiful things we get to feature on SMP, I can barely contain myself. Well, that’s just what happened when I laid eyes on this seaside shoot from Lauren Kinsey. Because it’s basically my idea of perfection. With florals from Bloom Floral Design, planning from Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events and paper from Val Marie Paper - this gallery is sure to stick with you awhile.


From Lauren KinseyWhile I was in Michigan for a wedding last summer, Rachel Moger of Sincerely, Ginger Weddings and I worked on a beautiful shoot showing off the beautiful coast of Lake Michigan in the summer. I could easily see wedding guests sitting around a campfire or sleeping under the stars here. Sleeping Bear Dunes is a hidden gem and such a beautiful, untapped location!

Photography: Lauren Kinsey | Coordination: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Bloom Floral Design | Ceremony Venue: Sleeping Bear Dunes | Bride's Gown: Gossamer Vintage | Paper: Val Marie Paper | Scanning & Developing: Indie Film Lab

SMP Midwest Welcomes Our Advertisers + A Discount!

How do you spend the perfect Sunday?  Getting to know the fabulous + oh-so-talented team of eco-friendly wedding vendors at the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance.  Because when it comes to hosting an amazing event that is also socially conscious, this is a group of vendors that will most definitely deliver. Learn so much more about their mission… and their crazy cool wedding show, Committed, below.

From Chicago Green Wedding Alliance… The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is a group of eco-friendly wedding vendors that is committed to making less environmentally impactful events. We connect vendors with the conscious consumer for mindful weddings and social events. Our vendors create gorgeous events that transcend people’s expectations of “green” weddings.

Check out the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  

The GWA is hosting a wedding show on February 22nd at Greenhouse Loft!  Any couple that books with the code “SMP” will get $5 off!  The discount on tickets can be redeemed on the Eventbrite ticketing page.


Brideside + A Discount!

I’ll admit it.  As much as I love being a bridesmaid (and, oh, do I love it), trekking to bridal shop after bridal shop to try on gowns is, well, seriously tiring.  Which is why I am all sorts of obsessed with Brideside, the online retailer that brings the bridal shop to YOU by letting you browse bridesmaid dresses online and then try them on in the comfort of your very own home. Say it with me, loves: awesome.

With Brideside, you can choose from a plethora of style choices and colors, all with the help of an amazing stylist who works with you every step of the way to guarantee a fabulous (+ chic) bridal party. Just chat with the stylist about your dream wedding and vision, then let them take over and guide your besties through an array of different designers on Brideside’s online store.  They’ll even provide instructional videos on measuring and selecting the best dress types for your body!  And when every last dress is chosen, they’ll ship the samples to your home, so you can have that girl’s day with mimosas and cozy yoga pants.  Soooo comfortable and soooo fun.

Ready to get started?  Visit the Brideside website ASAP or, if you live in Chicago, make an appointment with a stylist here. And don’t forget this exclusive discount for SMP readers: When you buy your bridesmaid dress in February, the first $20 is on Brideside!  Use discount code “SMP20″ at checkout. (Terms & Conditions: Cannot be combined with any past or future promotions. Readers must purchase bridesmaid dress at full price on or before 2/28/15. Offer does not apply to the following designers: Joanna August, Donna Morgan, Jenny Yoo.)


DIY Pallet Escort Card Display

I absolutely adore all the sweet ways people display their escort cards, and thanks to Spark And WildflowerBloom Calligraphy and Dionel Photography we have yet another display to swoon over. It’s a totally doable DIY, and is a surefire way to impress your guests. 

From Spark And WildflowerThis escort card display was originally inspired by the beautiful blue and white patterned drawer knobs I ended up using as escort tag hangers. I knew I wanted to create something centered around a classic, elegant style with just a touch of weathered and rustic charm, thus the pallet escort card display was born.

I chose a worn pallet that I painted grey, followed by a layer of dry brushed white paint to create a distressed look. My gorgeous, mismatched knobs served perfectly as hangers for the escort tags that were so beautifully penned by Linda of Bloom Calligraphy. When considering signage, I wanted something that would communicate it’s message while contributing to the variety of textures and the soft color palette that this display exudes. I selected romantic serif letters that I tied on using the loveliest powder blue velvet ribbon, to simply spell the words, “find your seat.”

This display’s soft airiness, antique, worn appearance and feminine touches make it perfect for wedding decor, and can easily be customized to fit a variety of styles and color palettes. My friend Dionel, the talent behind Dionel Photography, did an impeccable job of portraying the style and feel I was hoping to achieve through her stunning photos.


wood pallet
power drill
drawer knobs
ribbon for tying on your letters
escort tags, hole punched
ribbon for your tags



Find your pallets. You’ll more than likely need multiple pallets to accommodate all of your escort tags (my pallet is 3 feet by 3.5 feet and contains 30 knobs, with about 10 inches of space between each) so consider your number of tags and the spacing you want before shopping. I went with a used pallet to achieve a worn, distressed look for my display, but you can purchase brand new pallets from any hardware store for a cleaner look. You can often acquire used pallets from flower shops, farmer’s markets, and other small businesses that are willing to give away their old ones, however some businesses hire pallet removal companies, so it’s important to ask permission before taking any pallets you see.


Sand. It won’t need a ton, but sand your pallet just enough to remove the larger wood splinters.


Paint. I chose a warm charcoal grey for the base layer, followed by white paint which I lightly dry brushed on to create a worn, antique look, allowing my dark grey to show through.


Measure + Drill. Once you know how many knobs you can fit on each panel (and have reserved a couple of panels for your letters) measure and mark a point for each knob to achieve even spacing and straight lines. Drill your holes and erase all pencil marks.


Attach your drawer knobs. Select the knobs you want for your display (all of mine were found at Hobby Lobby!) and decide how you want to arrange them. I found it useful to lay mine on the floor and map out what order I’d like them in before attaching them. This way, you can play around with the arrangement until you have it just right – I also took a picture of my ‘map’ as a reference.


Tie on your letters. The letters I selected were 4 inches tall (from Hobby Lobby) and required two panels of my pallet to fit the words, “find your seat,” comfortably. Using ribbon (I adore my powder blue ribbon, also found at Hobby Lobby) cut strands approximately 10 inches long. Tie one end to the top of your letter, wrap around the panel until it ends in the back, and tie the ribbon to itself. This will cause some letters to be crooked – an aesthetic element you may or may not prefer – so if you want all of your letters to be straight, simply loop the ribbon around the panel only once, tying the second end to the bottom of the letter.


Escort Tags. Once you have your hole punched escort tags, select a ribbon to go with them (this cream ribbon was found at, yes, Hobby Lobby) and cut into strands. String and tie to create hanging tags, which puts the finishing touch on your pallet escort card display. Voila!

Photography: Dionel Photography | Calligraphy: Bloom Calligraphy | DIY: Spark And Wildflower

Winter Wedding Inspiration in Leland, Michigan

Winter Brides, rejoice! Eliza Jean PhotographyThe Day’s Design and Sincerely, Ginger Weddings are serving up a heaping dose of seasonal pretty below, and trust me, you’ll want to take notes. With the prettiest paper from Gatlin Paper Co., stylish rentals from Gatherings Vintage Rentals and a drool-worthy cake from Traverse City Wedding Cakes - this gallery is winter wedding perfection. 

From Sincerely Ginger WeddingsMy friend Shelby and I, both wedding planners, wanted to join forces and show the power of collaboration in the industry. We are big believers that a strong vendor team will pull together a magical wedding day. Working alongside Shelby, the girls from Eliza Jean photography, and other local vendors to show off our amazing spot on the mitten was so much fun.  Leelanau Peninsula is Michigan’s small slice of heaven. From picturesque wineries to miles of gorgeous lakeshore, the charming & historic town of Leland is an ideal spot for destination weddings. When Shelby (a fellow wedding planner and friend) and I started to work on this editorial shoot together, we knew we wanted to showcase the unique area of Fishtown. We were lucky to have one of my real couples model for us for the day! Aren’t they adorable? Margaret wore the “Ruth” gown from BHLDN with the Pearly Primrose Sash. We imagined a small destination wedding starting with the couple getting ready together. I love the idea of the bride securing her groom’s boutonnière, and he taking extra care zipping her dress. How romantic! First we ventured into downtown Fishtown, which, according to the Fishtown Preservation Society, is a collection of weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, overhanging docks, fish tugs and charter boats along the Leland River in Leland, Michigan. We used vintage minnow buckets, wooden oars, and candles to set the mood for a private ceremony. Our color palette for the day was inspired by a winter sunset here in Michigan, gentle lilac that moved into a more bold blue with classic ivory accents. We loved the unexpected blooms in winter that hinted at spring that will surely, eventually come. White peonies, purple stock, and rich thistle were some floral elements that we paired. We also foraged cedar and evergreen the day before to bring in a hint of winter greenery. Our table was set simply with wooden produce boxes filled with bud vases for an open cluster of flowers. The couple toasted with a local bottle of bubbly, our favorite L. Mawby, Blanc de Blancs, produced right here on Leelanau Peninsula. The amazing stationery suite was dreamed up by our friend Nicole at Thistle and Bur. She hand designed and letter-pressed the whole suite inspired by the natural vibe here in Michigan (her home state!). I especially love the menu with items inspired by the little fishing village. Local raclette cheese, whitefish pate, pretzel bun sandwiches from the Cheese Shanty? Count us in! The last detail that sealed the deal was the cake! We installed a vintage toboggan from the ceiling and adorned it with a garland made from local, foraged greens and candles. Michigan is such an incredible and unique place for destination weddings, even in the winter!

Photography: Eliza Jean Photography | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Traverse City Wedding Cakes | Invitations: Gatlin Paper Co. | Reception Venue: Leland Lodge | Bride's Veil: The Day's Design | Bubbly: L. Mawby | Creating Direction, Styling & Floral Design: The Day's Design | Creative Direction, Styling & Floral Design: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings | Model: Margaret | Vintage Rentals: Gatherings Vintage Rentals

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