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Escape to the Hills of Carmel Valley with This Inspo

Pack your bags dear readers because we’re headed to California. Specifically, Carmel Valley so we can revel in the pretty that is this inspiration from Samantha Kirk Photography. From the Gavita Flora blooms, to the lovely La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, to the fabulous Bright Event Rentals, we’ve got a preview of the pretty waiting for you to pin in The Vault!

From Gavita FloraThe backdrop of our shoot is the beautiful garden of Bernardus Lodge, which is nestled in the scenic rolling hills of Carmel Valley. Inspired by the natural beauty of the rose garden, as well as the luxurious interiors of the lodge, we wanted to create a design that felt romantic, elegant, and dreamy. Velvet linens in the prettiest shades of lavender gray and lilac, lush florals in mauvey pinks and creams, and hints of gold and burgundy accents are some of the details that make this shoot simply charming.

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Photography: Samantha Kirk Photography | Wedding Dress: Willow by Watters | Cake: Freedom Bakery And Confections | Hair + Makeup: Julie Dy | Calligraphy + Invitations: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy | Suit: Tuxedo Wearhouse | Wedding Venue: Bernardus Lodge | Bouquet Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Bridal Salon: Epiphany Boutique | Event Design + Floral Design: Gavita Flora | Lab: Pro Photo Irvine | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Male Model: Mitchell Lujan | Model: Iryna Korolenko | Modeling Agency: HM Models | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Silk Table Runner: The Poetry of Silk

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From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
The Best Lingerie For Every Bride’s Wedding Style

Once you’ve found the perfect wedding dress — now, it’s time to find the perfect underpinnings for the big day, big night and beyond! And the best place to find all your pretty lingerie? Journelle, the one-stop shop for fashion-forward luxury lingerie from all your favorite designers. From stylish shapewear to slinky chemises, Journelle has lingerie for every step of your wedding and newlywed bliss.

Lingerie for Every Bride
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Lingerie for Every Bride
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An Urban Wedding With a Pretty Pop of Burgundy!

When Jessica and Evan began planning their downtown Richmond, Virgina wedding they knew exactly the vibe they were going for – modern and urban yet thoughtful and intimate. They chose a color palette of blush, burgundy, and champagne to anchor their design, including the groom’s custom suit that fit the day to a T. Photographed by Shannon Moffit and filmed by Tristan Means, we’re pretty certain your Thursday just got infinitely prettier. Pssst: more in The Vault!



From Shannon Moffit PhotographyJessica and Evan’s wedding day was a perfect reflection of their relationship and style; urban bohemian meets modern romance. Out of town guests got a great taste of Richmond; we started the day at the gorgeously renovated Quirk Hotel, attended an intimate ceremony at St. Joseph’s Villa, and concluded the day with reception festivities at The Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing downtown. The color palette include classically romantic blush and champagne with a fun pop of burgundy. Overall, this wedding was a unique and lovely experience!

From The Bride…After living in Houston, TX for over a year, I decided that I was ready to be closer to friends and family. I packed up everything and relocated to Richmond, VA. During this time, I decided that I really wanted to focus on my career and experience true Richmond culture. To do that, I chose a restored apartment building, in the downtown area close to several restaurants. I had a very structured routine. Work. Gym. Dinner. Repeat. And then it happened serendipitously…three weeks into my routine I came home, changed into workout gear and made my way down to the gym.

In my head, I remember thinking today is going to be my cardio day so I’ll do some interval training on treadmill. While walking to the gym I passed through our residential common area that consisted of the usual recreational activities (pool table, billiards, etc.) and noticed that there was someone new shooting pool. That’s when Evan caught my eye. He must have noticed, or maybe it was just mutual because he came up and approached me to start a conversation. Nearly 30 minutes later we exchanged numbers and returned to our separate lives. I headed to the gym and he and his buddy resumed shooting Pool. Over the next couple of days we constantly ran into each other and decided that we should hang out.

Neither one of us was from the Richmond area so companionship was something we both craved. For our first date, we walked for hours downtown along the canal and then concluded on the steps of the Richmond, VA capital building. We both knew early on that this would be something different for us. Though the chemistry and attraction were undeniable, we also genuinely liked and had a mutual respect for the other person. Though we were both initially hesitant about the prospect of dating one another because we lived in the same apartment building, and as we all know that can either turn out to be really good or really….awkward. We figured that the consequence of not trying would fully outweigh the risk of trying and it not working.

Evan and I were dating for a year and a half before he proposed on Valentine’s Day 2015. About two months leading up to Valentine’s Day I remember Evan saying that we had to do something special this year. We drove downtown and he pulled up to the capitol (the site of our first unofficial date) and parked. I remember thinking, ok sir….well-played. Everyone loves a walk down memory lane. So we hopped out of the car and began walking. I remember the wind ferociously blowing in my face and thinking what is so important that we have to be out in the cold right now. And then it hit me. Butterflies. Sweaty palms. All of it at once. And I remember thinking to myself, “Jess, maybe he’s about to propose. Is this what it feels like for a woman before she gets proposed to?” And then I remember thinking to myself, “Nope, Jess that’s not it. It’s a holiday and he said he’d never propose on a holiday.”

He started talking and reminiscing on our first date at the capitol and how this was the place where he came to think after work months ago and realized that he was so in love with me and how today this place wouldn’t be the place of our first date or how he realized he was love in love with me but rather the place where he decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. As soon as we climbed the top of the stairs, he reached in his coat, got down on one knee and proposed. With sweaty palms and joyfully misty eyes, I accepted his proposal and jumped into his arms so excited to spend forever with my love and best friend. On the way back to his car, I couldn’t help but turn around and catch another glimpse at the stairs of the capitol building. The capitol has always held a special place for us.

Because most of our wedding guests were traveling to Richmond from other cities and states we really wanted to give them a taste of Richmond. For guest hotels we opted for Quirk Hotel which is a new rendition of the 1916 upscale department store and then the Courtyard Marriott located in historic Shockoe Bottom. For our ceremony we wanted to choose a location that would reflect our spirituality while also reflect our love of giving back to the community. The church at St. Joseph’s Villa seemed like the natural choice. Once a former orphanage, St. Joseph’s Villa now serves the Richmond area as a leading nonprofit by providing support and housing to those suffering with intellectual developmental disabilities, mental health challenges and homelessness. All proceeds from the church go to support their efforts. Lastly, we needed to secure a place for the reception. Here in Richmond, the James River flows aimlessly and effortlessly throughout the city. We wanted our friends and family to have an urban experience and a view of Richmond’s best landmarks so choosing to have our Reception at the Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing was the obvious choice. Nestled on the River, The Boathouse offered violet and pink sunsets, city skylines and river breezes. Finally our venues were done.

Our wedding color palette reflects our personalities: Blush, burgundy, and champagne. Evan opted for a custom made burgundy suit and I landed my ivory Casablanca dress from a boutique here in Richmond, Sealed with a Kiss Bridal. The bridesmaids wore blush with pops of burgundy detailed on lips, nails and bouquets. Similarly, the moms were champagne with pops of burgundy as well. Now that we had our attire we had to ensure that we selected the right person to capture images and to tell our love story. We met with and interviewed with quite a few photographers and once we met Shannon we knew she would be perfect. She has exceeded every single expectation and worked seamlessly with our videographer Tristan Means.

I was lucky enough to work with my future sister-in-law, Tomeisha Dean. Evan and I seriously couldn’t have pulled this off without her. She worked as our day-of wedding coordinator and worked with us during the months leading up to the wedding to discuss our wedding details and ensure that everything flowed seamlessly. She’s planned a number of events and her experience and at times wedding planning can be so overwhelming and it’s important to connect with your partner. Dates with non-wedding talk and quality time with friends and family really helped to keep us grounded and sane throughout our wedding process. Once our wedding day came, it was so AMAZING to see how everything came together and how our vision of a modern, urban, and intimate wedding came together!

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Photography: Shannon Moffit Photography | Cinematography: Tristan Means | Event Planning: Tomeisha Dean | Floral Design: Black Creek Flowers & Sweets | Wedding Dress: Sealed With A Kiss | Cake: Couture Cakes by Melissa | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph's Villa | Reception Venue: The Boathouse At Rocketts Landing | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Makeup: Holly Byrd Miller | Hair: Kadouri | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Bridal Boutique: Sealed With A Kiss | Getting Ready Venue: Quirk Hotel

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Plan the Ultimate Bachelorette Weekend!

Hi SMP brides! It’s Jess from Dressed by Jess and I’m excited to give you a taste of my bachelorette weekend in Charleston, SC. We spent four full days on the Isle of Palms and Charleston and I could go on and on for hours declaring my love for these two beautiful places. Today I’m sharing the highlights plus a few tips to planning an unforgettable getaway with your own bridal party crew.

Rather than checking into a hotel we decided to rent a big ol’ beach house for the weekend. It was steps away from the ocean and my sister and bridesmaids decked it out with flamingos & pineapples- the perfect beachy details. A dream getaway for me includes pampering, relaxing, and sunbathing. The girls worked so hard to make this weekend extra special for me, and for that reason I wanted to treat them to a surprise lunch alongside live Oak alley at Boone Hall. I reached out to Ava Moore Photography and Gigi of Smells Like Peonies Events to pull it off. With the help of amazing vendors, it turned out to be one epic lunch date with my girls!

The afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect. A storm had just rolled in and so there was practically no one left at the mansion. It was quiet, serene, and out of a scene of a movie. We were surrounded by beautiful flowers and the most gorgeous tablescape I have ever seen (thanks to Gigi). After the champagne was popped, we dove into the oreo-filled cake and truly soaked in every moment under the Oak trees. It was magical! The best part of this weekend was being surrounded by all of my girls. If you are planning a bachelorette or a simple girls’ getaway, here are 5 tips for creating an epic weekend.

Designate one or two group organizers (in my case it was my maid of honor and bridesmaids) and make sure to collect all payments prior to your trip. Everyone should enjoy themselves from the moment they walk in the door and not have to worry about making payments during the special events. Which brings me to my next point…

Plan ahead. When traveling to a new city make sure to do all your planning ahead of time. Utilize tools like The Bach (an online resource that provides party ideas, venue recommendations, and tools to simplify the planning process).

Have a meal catered in! Sometimes restaurants can be too loud and they take away from the intimacy of the event.

Surprise & delight! In the case of a bachelorette party, it’s always fun to surprise all the guests with special treats. My sister prepared tote bags with beach towels, flamingo straws, koozies, custom t-shirts, and delicious chocolate covered pretzels by Fatty Sundays (even the boxes were customized for my bach weekend!).

Plan events that are meaningful to you and your gal pals. Whether it’s sunrise yoga, a painting class, zip-lining, a wellness retreat, or just a simple slumber party, it’s important that your bachelorette or girls’ weekend is completely tailored to your interests.

As cheesy as this may sound, quality time with your girlfriends should be cherished. It’s not often you can rally everyone together for a destination celebration, but when you do, have fun with it and try to disconnect from social media to be present in the moment.

xx Jess

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Photography: Ava Moore Photography | Event Planning: Smells Like Peonies Events | Floral Design: Wildflowers Inc. | Invitations: Letter Loft Prints | Hair: Mirror Mirror Charleston | calligraphy: Corsivo Calligraphy | Custom Pretzels: Fatty Sundays | Desserts: Swank Desserts | rentals: Eventworks

BONUS! Check Our My Margs + Maids Party

Jess Galfo