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Southern Jewish Wedding with a Farm Backdrop

From the bride’s lips to God’s ears…”The small details were great to have, but were not the first priority. Family and friends were first.” Love that. This is the kind of bride that I wish I was, focusing on building a beautiful wedding where the focus stayed firmly on love…and yet man! The details are pretty darn gorgeous too. Click here for even more from Julie Roberts.

A conversation between photographer Julie Roberts and the lovely bride…

Was there a moment when you knew you were in love?

One moment when we knew we really had something amazing, was in a little Italian restaurant back in our old town in Florida. The hour we were sitting and talking, it felt like time was suspended and everything made so much sense. Then we just knew that this was a really good thing. And we were and still are, very lucky.

Tell us about your proposal!

Daniel, his sister Katie, and I headed off to visit the great Himalaya mountains to Everest Base Camp where Katie and I would be sending Daniel off to finish the Everest climb. About a week into the trip, we took a rest with the team in a lovely historic village called Tengboche. While overlooking the Kumbu Valley and a beautiful monastery behind us, he asked the question of every little girl’s dream. After crying for 45 minutes with tears happiness, Daniel asked once more if I said yes. YES!!!

Three adjectives that describe your wedding day?

Magical, Emotional, and Fun.

What was your favorite thing about planning your wedding?

My favorite part about planning our wedding, was knowing we would be surrounded by the people we love most and want to celebrate this happy day with us! That was the motivation for making this the most fun day! The small details were great to have, but were not the first priority. Family and friends were first.

Tell us about your wedding music choices (ceremony, first dance, etc).

Daniel and I wanted to have a LOT of fun with the wedding. By starting the wedding with some standard classical wedding music for the ceremony we turned it up with some classic Tennessee “Rocky Top” to begin our first walk back down the aisle as husband and wife. The first dance, father-daughter, mother-son dances, were all about a significant memory we had we each other, the rest was up to Sword Sounds making it a great night!

What significant traditional elements did you include?

Half of my family is Jewish, so we wanted to included some really fun traditions like breaking the glass and of course, the Hora, or chair dance. Which I must say is scary even though you have a quarterback, Olympian, and alpinist holding you up…

What significant non-traditional elements did you include?

Taking a traditional bouquet toss to a no-so-traditional was so much fun! Handing the bouquet off to my new sister-in-law hopefully made her laugh.

What was the funniest thing that happened?

So many…My cousin, stole the dance floor away, great friends singing to classic rock, and of course our groomsmen all dressed the “correct” part for the YMCA.

Favorite Moment of the Day?

Every minute of it. One month later and I still wish I could relive it over and over again! But, seeing Daniel before the wedding was so powerful. I was surprised by how emotional I became. It is a memory I will always cherish.

What’s next for you as a couple?

We continue to live as happy as two peas in a pod. Keep living this surreal life and know how lucky we are to get to be with each other. Nothing beats falling asleep next to the person you love so much.

Photography: Julie Roberts Photo | Florist: Samuel Franklin | Ceremony Venue: Castleton Farms | Reception: Castleton Farms | Catering: All Occasion Catering | Hair And Makeup: Bangs And Blush | DJ: Sword Sounds | Bridal Accessories: J Crew | Bridal Gown: Martina Liana | Cake Baker: The Perfect Ending | Event Lighting: True Grip | Event Venue: Castleton Farms | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rentals

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Castleton Farms is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Castleton Farms


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Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm Inspiration Shoot

I adore the holidays more than I should probably admit, so this time of year I am like a little sponge for any and all inspiration. So when I come across something as gorgeous as this Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm shoot from JoPhotoL.B. FloralThe Bride Link and Custom Love Gifts I feel like I’ve hit the holiday jackpot. It’s picture after picture of pin-worthy prettiness, and you can see even more here.

From JoPhotoWith visions of joining the class of an elegant Christmas dining table with rustic beauty of the outdoors, The Bride Link and Custom Love Gifts designed this merry Christmas tablescape, photographed by JoPhoto. There was not a more appropriate location to complete the vision than Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm in Blaine, Tenn. The graceful rows of Christmas trees offered warmth and intimacy as well as a stylish entryway to the tablescape.

The table’s floral décor by L.B. Floral was the star of the show! The tall centerpiece added tasteful drama to the table, and the cascading, floral runner offered a truly unforgettable accent piece. Plaid placemats were layered with red fabric bordered with lace to incorporate this season’s oh-so popular, country-inspired pattern. Silver goblets are the essence of class and style and perfectly matched the plates and Christmas themed butter knives.

Custom Love Gifts provided not only design for the shoot but also the adorable favors and nametags for each place setting. Clear globes filled with fake snow topped red-painted candlesticks for the perfect name holder. Custom Love Gifts’ famous jammed-filled jars offered a tasty and beautiful favor item for each guest to take home.

The handsome groom sported clothing from Coachman’s Clothier in Knoxville, Tenn. that perfectly combined class and masculinity. The designers wanted to showcase a look that was suitable for a wedding yet blended well with the feel of the outdoors. His plaid bowtie and navy-teal vest offered a rustic feel yet combined nicely with the navy suite and silk handkerchief.

The stunning bride complemented the groom’s fashion beautifully with a stunning A-line gown from White Lave & Promises bridal shop, topped with a sparkly, lace attachment for her bodice. Her fashion was styled to match accents on the table such as the lace, rimmed placemats, and red spray roses. Her red lip and the stunning white peonies in her bouquet added the perfect Christmas style to her wedding day look.

Photography: JoPhoto | Wedding Dress: White Lace & Promises | Floral Design: L.B. Floral | Design: Custom Love Gifts | Design: The Bride Link | Hair & Makeup: Southern Belle Beauty | Groom's Attire: Coachman Clothiers | Christmas Tree Farm: Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm | Rentals: Campbell Tent And Party Rentals | Rentals: Restoration Rentals

JoPhoto is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.

Halloween Tablescape Inspiration from JoPhoto

My favorite part of Halloween — besides the obvious eat mass amounts of candy thing — comes down to design. I’m not talking black and orange, floating ghosts, spooky scary design, but instead tablescapes like this metallic-loving number crafted up by The Bride Link and Custom Love Gifts. It’s everything we love about this spooktastic day taken to a place of elegance and ease. JoPhoto snapped up all the pretty, and this full gallery + shameless candy corn snacking = Halloween morning done right!

A rustic farm table was the beginning of the inspiration for this shoot, but the designers loved the idea of making rustic look elegant, so they played with a variety of precious metal colors and fancy details. Haley Dotson of The Bride Link and Lindsay Ruggieri of Custom LOVE Gifts designed this Thanksgiving table using a mix of gold, silver, bronze, and pewter metal finishes with white, ivory and soft cream colors. Dara’s Garden provided a perfect setting with a barn backdrop (and yes, there is really a family of cows that lives in there!). Kathleen and Joe Atkins of JOPHOTO captured the setting beautifully and did not miss a single detail of the design.

Restoration Rentals provided a rustic table and hutch, as well as benches and chairs in a mix of ivory and creams. The color palette worked perfectly with Melissa Timm’s floral designs, including white pumpkin details, overflowing from a bronze fall lantern. Event Rentals by Rothchild brought elegance to the table by providing gold rimmed china & glasses for each place setting, as well as ivory napkins to compliment the neutral color palette. A tiny gold pumpkin in a bed of moss sat atop each place setting in a simple glass sorbet cup. The Bride Link and Custom LOVE Gifts styled the table with a variety of pumpkins painted with different metal colors and textures as well as candlesticks of varying heights from Custom LOVE Gift’s line of DIY woodcrafts.

The hutch was filled with items for a mini fall dessert bar, including mini mason jar, homemade apple butter favors dressed in satin and lace, spiced apple cider mini mason jar mugs, and Apple and Cherry pie in a jar favors, all by Custom LOVE Gifts. DIY kits and finished products seen in this shoot can also be purchased on Custom Love Gifts‘.


1. Painted PumpkinsPumpkins are not easy to paint unless you know a few basic tips. The most successful way to paint a pumpkin is to first prime it, then use spray paint for the color coat. If primer is not used first, the painted pumpkins will easily chip and wear. Using primer will allow you to rearrange the pumpkins without risk of paint chipping. We also found it difficult to keep paint from touching the stem of the pumpkin. We tried taping off the stems of the pumpkins, but we still could not manage to keep paint from touching the bottom of the stem. This process was especially difficult with the miniature pumpkins. Our solution was simple: we decided to spray paint the entire body and stem of the miniature pumpkins. The larger pumpkin stems were easier to tape off, but the paint still touched the stem in some areas. We discovered simply scratching the paint from the stem with our fingernails was the fastest and easiest way to remove the paint.

2. Painted CandlesticksAll the candlesticks in the shoot were wooden candlesticks. We spray painted them gold, silver, and bronze. The bronze spray paint used was Rustoleum Hammered Metal Spray Paint. The silver and gold paint used was Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint

3. Place SettingMoss and sorbet cups were the perfect bedding for tiny pumpkins, spray painted with Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spraypaint in gold.

4. Silver Tray Stands: These elegant little tray stands were a simple DIY project. Just a little rub of sand paper and a dollop of epoxy was all that was needed to attach a glass candle stick to a silver tray.

5. Pie in a JarThe adorable pie in a jar desserts were so easy and delicious! We layered the pie crust recipe with store bought pie filling and baked them in the oven for 45 minutes at 450 degrees. A brocade fabric with metallic gold details was used to dress up the Cherry flavored pies. For the Apple flavor, we chose a simple white on white leaf design fabric with a metallic gold bow and gold tulle underlay for the jars “outfit.”

Pie Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Tip: Crust packs best in the bottom of the jar when fresh and warm.

Photography: JoPhoto | Floral Design: Melissa Timm Designs | Designer: The Bride Link | Designer: Custom Love Gifts | Linens and Tableware: Event Rentals by Rothchild | Rentals: Restoration Rentals | Wedding Venue: Dara's Garden

JoPhoto is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.