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Putting a Gorgeous Twist on Classic Red, White and Blue

There’s your classic red, white and blue shindig, often designated for 4th of July and other patriotic parties, and then there is this gem. It’s in a league of its own and it lies somewhere in the crazy gorgeous modern meets classic realm. Crafted by Calder Clark Designs, with the stunning red blooms by Blossom Events, elegant stationery by Cheree Berry Paper and the prettiest of imagery by Tec Petaja, see how an insanely talented group of vendors transformed this historic South Carolina spot into a wedding celebration built for 275 of the couple’s closest family and friends.


From the photographer… Caroline and Taylor met on a business trip with their Dads. Their first date was a bike ride for sushi on the boardwalk (back in NJ), and it was kismet. Three and a half years later, Taylor proposed to Caroline under a gazebo on the beach. They were married on the oldest plantation in South Carolina under towering live oaks with 275 of their closest family + friends.

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Photography: Tec Petaja | Event Design: Calder Clark Designs | Floral Design: Blossom Events | Cake: Charleston Crepe Company | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Catering: Cru Catering | Makeup: Kelly Martuscello | Band: Nocturne | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Band Backdrop: Elbowgrease Design | Bridal Gown: Katie Ermilio | Ceremony Trio: Clelia Reardon | Guest Transportation: Absolutely Charleston | H&M: Salon Vari | Lighting + Sound: Technical Event Company | Linens: Nuage Designs | Personal Dresser: Cacky's Bridal Aid | Plantation: Fenwick Hall | Rentals: Eventworks | Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals | Stationer: Cheree Berry Paper | Tenting: Sperry Tents

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How to Style Your Groom on Any Budget

Looking absolutely fabulous on your Big Day is always #weddinggoals numero uno, but tackling the style department AND staying on budget is easier said than done. That’s where The Tie Bar and their selection of premium neckwear + accessories comes in to play. With chic ties, colorful pocket squares and everything in between, their price points are the opposite of budget-blowing. Do yourself a favor and scroll to start saving.

Outfitting your guy in neckwear that starts at $19? That’s a pretty amazing thing. Especially when you’re knee-deep in wedding planning costs that are, let’s be honest, totally stressing you out. So now you can finally breathe easy, because The Tie Bar has you covered with a lineup of luxury neckwear and accessories that will fit any budget, big or small. Think pocket squares at $10, tie bars at $15, socks at $8 and accessories at $5. Not to mention you can honestly find any color you could ever dream up (from blush pink to mint to sage to opal and burgundy), so your entire bridal party will look gorgeous and cohesive. Looking lovely doesn’t have to cost a fortune, you know.

Whether you’re looking to outfit your entire bridal party or simply want to gift your man the best wedding day present ever (and all for under $50), The Tie Bar is the place to go. They even have a selection of awesome + cost-effective dress shirts and, starting in April, will be adding new lines perfect for weddings. Chat with one of their in-house wedding stylists for some much-need guidance and be sure to ask about their newest BHLDN collection, beautiful ties that coordinate with BHLDN’s gorgeous gowns. Enough said, right? We know.

Contact The Tie Bar today at 877-888-TIES, their fab chat tool or by emailing

A Top Photographer Shares Ideas for Your Bridal Session

Whenever I’m putting together a wedding gallery, I find myself drawn to the getting ready sequence time and time again. A beaming bride filled with anticipation before she walks down the aisle makes for incredible portraits, and luckily we’ve got photographers like Jen Huang to capture them. Jen is sharing ideas to pull off the artful, expressive bridal session you want with go-to poses for your big moment in front of the camera.

Use Hands to Frame the Face

Hands are one of those elements that can change a portrait entirely. We are deeply aware of hand gestures because we use them like words to communicate. Always make sure that hands are relaxed and soft. When we clench our muscles, it can convey tension and apprehension. When you’re placing hands around a face, make sure that there is a skin to skin connection and that both hands are at different heights. Placing them asymmetrically is more visually pleasing and can make your image more dynamic.

Find an Interesting Angle

In a busy getting ready space, it can be hard to move around or see things from a different perspective. Don’t forget to have your photographer shoot from different angles. From straight on but also from behind and from the side. It may seem simple, but these poses are often forgotten during a fast-paced day.

Remember the Close Up Details

Sometimes I like to zoom in on details that I think are unique or dynamic, a portrait doesn’t always have to include a face. Close ups can make a portrait feel more intimate. To help with these types of images, I use macro filters on my cameras so that I can shoot in close proximity. Photographers can also use their close-up filters on wedding details such as rings and invitations.

The Full-Length Look

In a small space, it can be difficult to shoot a full-length portrait without a wide lens. If your getting ready space is small, try to find a location outside or nearby that will give you a longer “runway” for the shot. Here I actually stood on a chair to give me a little bit of additional height to capture the full train of the bride’s dress.

Try a Double Exposure

A tip for photographers – double exposures are challenging but also fun! With film, you never quite know how your exposures will appear on top of each other, although with practice you can start to memorize where your shots will line up. If you’re just starting out with double exposures, try taking a portrait and layering in a pattern – for example, a close up of a bouquet or the lace on a bride’s dress. Using elements from the wedding can make the double exposure even more meaningful.

For more ideas on how to compose unique and evocative images that stand out in the wedding world, take a look at Jen’s new eBook series on natural and expressive portraiture. Psst: keep an eye on our Instagram for a chance to win a free copy!



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Photography: Jen Huang Photography | Hair + Makeup: Chiali Meng | Albums: Heirloom Bindery | Riviera Cottages: Riviera Cottages | Veil: Tomomi Okubo | Wedding Gowns: Claire Pettibone | eBook: Jen Huang Photography

A Dark & Moody Wedding Like You’ve Never Seen

Merielle and Bob are without a doubt one of the most stylish couples to EVER grace our pages. Inspired by her black diamond engagement ring – not to mention her impeccable personal style – Merielle wore a black velvet wedding dress with Bob in a floral dinner jacket for an equally dapper look. Guests dressed the part in black and white while feasting their eyes on the design work of Shannon Leahy and so many talented vendors who made it happen. Settle in for the long haul, because these images by Jose Villa will leave you awe inspired.

From Shannon Leahy…. Merielle and Bob were married in an intimate civil ceremony at San Francisco City Hall but wanted to have a fabulous reception to celebrate with their family and friends. Aside from being the sweetest couple, they have amazing taste. Merielle LOVES flowers, and on any given day you’ll see her dressed stylishly head-to-toe in black rocking her rose gold and black diamond engagement ring. Thus the design was born: sophisticated black-tie glamour with over-the-top floral moments.

It was important for the wedding to be a wonderful evening for their guests, and to still be unique to the couple. They served a beautiful vegan menu and the bride was show-stopping in a gorgeous, black velvet gown and the groom wore a floral dinner jacket. The wedding guests were equally chic, dressed in black and white.

They ended the night by gifting their guests custom-inscribed bottles of Dom Pérignon and departed in a vintage Rolls Royce. The evening was a beautiful celebration of their union, and a night to remember.

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Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Cake : The Whole Cake | Catering : Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Hair + Makeup: My-Hang Pham | Lighting : Got Light | DJ: Chris Clouse | Band: Elan Artists | Vintage Car: Sausalito Limousine | Venue: Bently Reserve | Chair Rentals: Standard Party Rentals | Custom Stage + Dance Floor: Barker Decor Service | Floral Design + Custom Decor: Cherries Flowers | Linens : La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Lounge : Blueprint Studios | Paper: Yonder Design | Photo Booth : Tom Foolery | Planning + Design : Shannon Leahy Events | String Ensemble: Corelli Strings | Tabletop Rentals: Casa de Perrin | Timelapse Video: Orange Photography | Welcome Gift : Favor Custom Gifts

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