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Homestyle Wedding Inspired By Dinner at Grandma’s

When this photographer-turned-bride set out to plan her own wedding day, inspiration struck from an unlikely spot. “We took the feel of our wedding day from one of our favorite days of the week – Sunday’s spent at Josh’s grandparents’ house for dinner.” Opting for homestyle foods and locally grown flowers, their farm wedding was thoughtfully designed from start to finish. See it through the lens of Julie Cate right this way.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Farm
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… This being my own wedding, I’m quite excited to share our inspiration and everything that went into our special day.

Our inspiration began from the location Joshua, my fiancé proposed at. It was next to a river that we always go swimming at – the path there is full of ferns and the most beautiful sounds of the water flowing, and the birds and insects singing. We also took the feel of our wedding day from one of our favorite days of the week – Sunday’s spent at Josh’s grandparents’ house for dinner. We chose home-style foods that were all sourced locally.

Since I’m a photographer and florist in the wedding industry, photography and flowers were the most important things on my list to choose. I chose Julie Cate after looking through many photographers’ full albums of wedding days – something I would absolutely recommend when booking a photographer. Our florist was Local Color Flowers because their passion of locally grown flowers is just amazing. There is so much romance in each flower from our day because I know they were chosen and hand picked by people who have a passion for growing flowers in Maryland. We settled on a burnt orange, rust, brown-pink palette to compliment the season and to contrast the rest of our color palette which was cooler tones of blues and greys. We had ferns lining our ceremony aisle to relive the moment we decided to journey towards marriage at the river Josh proposed at.

We set the tone with our invites for our guests with the help from Julie Ha Calligraphy – we wanted to incorporate the natural feel of the florals and ferns, but also pull in a little of my husband’s love of antiques by making them feel as though they were old letters. Julie did such an incredible job of hand coloring the paper, tearing the edges and crafting such beautiful calligraphy.

Our venue we choose last minute in May after our original venue got shut down (sigh). It couldn’t have been more of a blessing though. Glen Ellen Farm was the most perfect venue for us, from the love of historic details (our cocktail hour was in barn ruins), the love of farming flowers (the owner is constantly keeping care of her flower plots that she hopes to continue growing), and just the peaceful sounds of birds, sights of deer and wildflower paths. Glen Ellen was the place that fully pulled everything together for us.

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Photography: Julie Cate Photography | Floral Design: Local Color Flowers | Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall | Invitations: Julie Ha Calligraphy | Venue: Glen Ellen Farm | Hair/makeup: JKW Beauty | Major Flower Farmer: Butterbee Farm | Veil: Love Veils

Sweet + Stylish Backyard Wedding – Complete with Cowbells!

These two approached wedding planning with a goal in mind: prioritize what’s most important and don’t stress the rest. But that doesn’t mean they let the cutie factor fall by the wayside. From cowbells to ring after the “I do’s” to whiskey bars and fruit tarts, this backyard bash was filled with personal touches galore. Lauren Fair captured them all and we’re loving on all day long – more this way!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Al Fresco

From the Bride… Anyone who has attempted to plan a wedding knows that it is beyond intimidating and completely overwhelming. In an effort to prioritize, Michael and I sat down together and came up with the most important things that we wanted from our wedding, no matter what. This list saved us when it came to tough decisions that almost always revolved around money. We could look at this list and decide together that no, the more expensive chairs wouldn’t make our ceremony better, or no, the extra flowers weren’t as important as the ridiculously good band. This list helped save our sanity in the overflow of choices that is wedding planning.

Here was our list:
Involve as much family as possible
Make a big wedding feel tiny, personal and special
Have really, really good music
Spend the extra money on a fabulous photographer and videographer
Stick to the budget (we failed)
Spend time on the ceremony, it’s what the entire day is for

Family & Friends: I was given the advice early on that there are only two times in your life when you can have all of your favorite people in the world in the same place: at your wedding, and at your funeral. Since I don’t plan on being around for the latter, we knew that revolving this event around our loved ones, and including them in every way possible, was going to be what made our wedding feel so special.

My cousin played the ceremony music, a different cousin made our tiny sweet wedding cake, our aunts did the flowers, my great Uncle performed the ceremony, a dear family friend catered the event, another close friend drove all the way from NYC with all of the sound equipment, and my Herculean Mother acted as the event planning machine that pulled it all together. We were beyond lucky.

Making the big feel small: I come from a big family, so a tiny wedding was never in our cards. This didn’t change our desire for the day to feel special, and for every guest to feel like they were a crucial part of the celebration, because the truth is we wouldn’t have been there without them.

To pull this off we wanted people to feel comfortable. We made sure that during the outdoor ceremony there was plenty of water available, and handheld fans that people could grab. We over ordered on food and drink because what’s a party without an abundance of both?

We wanted dinner to feel like one giant dinner party, so we placed all of the tables close together, in various angles, and served the food family style. We put out large pitchers of sangria on every table that paired perfectly with our Spanish style meal.

Michael is a huge fan of whiskey, so post dinner we opened the whiskey bar and allowed people to taste some of our favorites that Michael personally selected.

For dessert we had a large table with different types of fruit tarts, and pies that people could grab on their way to the dance floor, or when they needed to take a break. Around 9:30, individual servings of local ice cream were passed around the dance floor as the perfect way to cool down after breaking a sweat.

The music: You can never, ever underestimate the power of good music. Our friends and family are the kind of people who like to dance, and we didn’t want to disappoint. Months later we are still hearing our guests talk about how wild and amazing the band was. You won’t regret the splurge.

Photography & Videography: We knew once the wedding was over, the photos and videos were all that we’d have left to remember the day. For us, paying extra for someone whose style we really, really loved was worth it. We made sure to tell both teams how important it was to capture the guests, not just the two of us, and they exceed every expectation.

Stick to the budget: Everyone’s situation is different, but we wanted to stick as closely to the budget as possible. Things happen, and unexpected expenses occur, but I’m really grateful that we spent what we did because every penny was worth it, and at the same time, that we didn’t spend anymore.

The ceremony: During the planning it was really easy to get sucked into the details of the bridesmaid dresses, or the type of lights to hang in the tent, or what flowers we would have where. We had to constantly remind ourselves that the point of the wedding was to get married, and that if we achieved that, the wedding would be a success.

We had my sister and Michael’s brother read a blessing that was read at my parent’s wedding. We had my Aunt read a poem that was written by my Grandmother. We chose music that meant something to us, and that family performed. We wrote our own vows. We created a list of what we loved most about one another and had our officiant, my great Uncle, read aloud. There were lots of tears, and lots of laughs, and to us it was perfect.

As a closing detail we ordered 50 cowbells that were handed out to guests. Michael and I got engaged on top of a Spanish mountain with the sound of grazing cows wearing cowbells in the distance. We figured there was no better way to start our marriage than to that sound, with the added cheers of our guests.

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Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Cinematography: Visual Rose | Floral Design: Daniel Vaughn Designs (Large Arrangements) | Floral Design: Backyard Bouquets | Cake: Hope Woodhouse | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lovely Bridal Shop | Makeup: Kelly Clark Makeup Artist | Hair: Viva Bella Salon | Band: Night Life / Washington Talent | Wedding Venue: Private Residence | Printed Designs + Paper Goods: Shannon Hovick (Bride) | Rentals: Best Event Rental | Tables + Chairs: Weir Event Rentals

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This Rose Bouquet is What We Want for 2017

See this bouquet? It just jumped to the top of my favorite florals Pinterest board. The roses are to die for and the colors? Don’t even get me started. Sweet Root Village, I’m in awe. And Michael and Carina’s pics? Pretty perfect as well if I do say so myself. They’re giving me life on this chilly winter day and this Vault gallery is where I’ll be for the foreseeable future if you need me!

From Michael and CarinaStunning overgrown stone walls, a cascading dress, unruly florals and the rushing water inspired us for these bride and groom portraits.
Natural fall/winter elements, like baking spices, walnut ink and richly colored flowers added organic elements to the shoot.

We would love to inspire fall brides with the simplicity and natural elements of this shoot and hope you love it as well!

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Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Event Design + Styling: East Made Event Company | Floral Design: Sweet Root Village | Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah | Cake: Incredible Edibles | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Hair + Makeup: Emily Artistry | Venue: The Mill At Fine Creek | Bridal Model: Modelogic Wilhelmina | Calligraphy + Paper Goods: Corsivo Calligraphy | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Table Runners + Ribbons: Adorn Company

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This Groom-to-be Proposed the First Night He Met Her

These dreamy cliffside engagement images from Holeigh V Photography would be enough for my swoon mode to go in full force. But once I read the sweet story behind this couple’s first meeting and then their Christmas tree proposal? The bar was raised on my swoon-meter. Once you’re done with The Vault gallery make sure to read the charming details below!

From Holeigh V PhotographyJacquelyn & Alex are originally from Kentucky but absolutely love the mountains and wanted a gorgeous overlook for their laid-back engagement session. They traveled to Blowing Rock, North Carolina on the Blue Ridge Parkway and after a short hike to the top, we were in awe of the view! The birds were flying over and her creamy dress flowed in the wind. By the time the sun began to set over the side of the mountain, the clouds came in and created a dramatic effect. Jacquelyn donned a gorgeous fitted lace maxi dress and crown from eucalyptus, her favorite greenery.

From the Bride… It’s a funny story how Alex and I first met because he actually got down one knee and proposed to me! He proclaimed that he had never met anyone like me and I was the ‘perfect’ girl for him. I had just moved back from NYC to my hometown Louisville, KY when my cousin invited me to go out with her and her friends to the bars. Once I arrived I was quickly introduced to everyone including Alex. We quickly found that we had a lot in common since we’ve both lived in New York.

As the night progress and the drinks flowed Alex actually proclaimed his love for me and proposed. I laughed off the proclamation and honestly didn’t think much more of the night or Alex afterwards. Months later I went back out with my cousin and ran into Alex. He was so embarrassed and admitted he never thought he would see me again and apologized for coming on too strong. We laughed about the night and began a friendship that would eventually turn into love.

Three months after the second meeting of Alex my father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Devastated, I found myself turning to my new friend, Alex to lean on. We both quickly began to realize we were much more than friends. Alex was my saving grace throughout that time in my life and for that I am forever grateful. We dated for 2.5 years before we were engaged.

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving and we decided to put up and decorate our first Christmas tree together. Our mothers had given us our childhood ornaments so we were trading stories and showing off our favorites to each other. I turned away for a moment when Alex pointed to the tree and asked “What’s this one here?” I got up to the tree and it was an old wooden ornament that said “You for the rest of my life” with a diamond engagement ring tied around it. I looked at Alex and he was down on one knee. I honestly don’t remember much more after that as I was just so excited. He surprised me with having reservations at my favorite restaurant to celebrate. Once we arrived my mom and his parents were there to celebrate with us. It was the perfect night.

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Photography: Holeigh V Photography

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