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Everything You Need to Know About Curating Your Wedding Style

As a Creative Director turned real bride, it dawned on me pretty early in the process that planning a wedding isn’t so different from the branding work I do every day. In the branding world, we’re trying to ensure that there’s a certain level of visual cohesiveness at every touchpoint – or a visual strategy if you will. Today I’m going to walk you through those same principles and how to apply them when curating your own wedding style!

It All Starts With an Inspiration Board

Don’t worry — I’m not going to deprive you of Pinterest. In fact, consider this your permission slip to go ahead and go wild on the platform. Create a new board, and start pinning anything and everything you love as it relates to your wedding, keeping in mind your personal style and the story that you and your partner want to tell during the big day.

This might show up in a color palette you’re drawn to, a feeling that an image evokes, or a specific styling detail that resonates with you that you’d like to see incorporated. One thing to keep in mind as you’re going through this step is that you don’t need to limit yourself to only pinning wedding-related content. Inspiration can come in many forms, so think about pulling typography samples from a magazine spread that mimics the modern vibe you might be attracted to, color palette inspiration from an interior decor image, and texture references for your tablescape from an outfit detail, for example.

Once I feel like I’ve pinned a decent number of images that represent a wide range of content, I like to go back through the board, reevaluating the pins and making notes on each photo. We want to eliminate any images that don’t feel 100% right, so ask yourself what each image represents for your brand and why you’re drawn to it, eliminating it if it doesn’t make the cut. For the images that remain, we want to make actual notes in the caption of each photo, noting what you like about it and what it represents in relation to your wedding. It’s important in order to capture these thoughts to refer back to and also to communicate them with others who may be involved in some capacity down the line.

Determining Your Wedding Themes + Details

The next stage is one of my favorites, when I actually start to print out my inspiration images, starting to look for themes, similarities in content, and natural groupings that occur. You’ll likely have already started to notice these in the inspiration gathering stage, but now it’s time to pinpoint exactly what they are, giving each grouping a name and also jotting down any other tone words and details that feel relevant and help to bring the theme to life.

The main theme that emerged for me after going through this process was what I’ve started to think of as “enchanted disco forest”. Knowing that our wedding is taking place at our family cottage in an outdoor setting, it’s important to us that we complement the venue instead of fighting it, while still incorporating that dreamy, whimsical style that I love.

I have a longstanding love affair with disco balls, and alongside the silvery hints that I started to notice in my inspiration, it seemed like a natural detail to incorporate. I love contradictions in styling details, so the idea of incorporating the sparkly, celebratory disco balls in an outdoor setting with a tangle of wild greenery is totally up my alley, and a DIY challenge that I can’t wait to take on. Early on in this process, I had also found a set of vintage, hand-painted swan favors that felt like a nod to the enchanted forest theme with their fairytale-worthy quality, so those will also be making an appearance, likely as part of the table design.

A Peek at My Wedding Inspiration from The Vault

Starting to Pull Together the Details

As these details start to take shape, this is also around the time when I start to collect color swatches (if you don’t have access to a Pantone book, a quick trip to your local paint store for colour chips will work just fine!) and any other little pieces that will give you a sense of the styling details, colors, textures and finishes you want to include as part of the design for your day. I love ribbons for an inexpensive and flat lay-friendly addition to your inspiration board, and depending on the fabric, they can give you a nice hint of color while also pulling in a texture. Think sheer silk vs. rich velvet or gold trimmed lace vs. a solid pop of color. Other ideas are fabric swatches, like the lace I chose for my dress design, sequins or other embellishment that you’re planning to incorporate, or even jewelry and accessories that start to tie together some of your other styling accents.

Keep everything in a folder along with a selection of your final inspiration images, and you’ll have an easy-to-reference collection of all the details as they start to come together, ensuring that everything is going to work together and bring your vision to life exactly how you picture it. And if you’re one for sharing little hints on social media (guilty!), these little treasures also make for the perfect behind-the-scenes post as you lead up to the big day.

Happy planning!

xoxo, Paige

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Photography: Studio Bicyclette | Styling : Studio Bicyclette | Bridal Shoes and Purse: Charlotte Mills | Custom Dress Design: Breeyn McCarney | Vintage Swans: Snowdrop and Company

Paige Boersma

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From Rehearsal Dinner to Big Day, this Celebration is One for the Books

It’s always a special treat when you get not only a wildly gorgeous wedding but its equally as pretty rehearsal dinner. There’s a whole lot to inspire packed inside this Ojai Valley Inn & Spa celebration crafted by All You Need Is Love Events along with layers of all white blooms by JL Designs, stationery in the loveliest shades of blue by Copper Willow Paper Studio and Erich McVey’s beautiful imagery. Pore through the collection and don’t forget to hit play on the sweetest film by Hoo Films below.

Now have a look at the prettiest of rehearsal dinners that kicked off this wedding weekend. With layers of peach and coral blooms and long al fresco tables, it’s just as pretty as they come.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Ranch
Styles
Rustic

From the bride… My vision of my wedding prior to planning was pretty simple. I wanted it to be elegant but still casual and relaxed. We wanted the setting to be jaw-droppingly beautiful, but still make sure people felt comfortable in just a sun dress or button down shirt.

We went with neutrals, as I do with most things in my life! Our invitation suite (Copper Willow) and other paper items were a beautiful ash grey with gold pressed calligraphy. Our florals (JL Designs) were an elegant assortment of whites and greens, including natural accents like thistle and pampas grass. I wanted the style to be slightly undone: loose florals, draping greenery, mismatched bouquets, and a naked cake. We also included a lot of natural wood elements, like signage and seating, as well as rustic terra cotta and stone vessels.

We had some amazing natural wood signs created for our main menu board and I really wanted to mimic those and have signs for the welcome, guestbook, hashtag, etc. I purchased raw wood signs from the local craft store and stained them to match. Then my sister is law, who has beautiful hand writing, painted them! They turned out really well and it almost made me wish we had tried to do more DIY things!

Of course the entire day was packed with incredible moments, but one moment that stands out was being able to tell all our loved ones a big secret we had been keeping. My father passed away exactly six months before our wedding day. When we got engaged we already knew he probably wouldn’t make it to our wedding. So just a few weeks into our engagement we had a private ceremony in my childhood backyard, and he walked me down the aisle. We kept it a secret for almost a year and revealed it at the ceremony by sharing photos that were inside an envelope on everyone’s seat with “please wait to open” on the seal. It was a really special moment to share and a meaningful opportunity to remember and honor my dad.

I saw my Mira Zwillinger gown online and from that day forward no other dress stood a chance! The second I put it on I knew it would be the one. I did my due diligence an tried some others on but to me, nothing else came close. I found the dress online because before my first appointment I literally looked at the websites of every designer that boutique carried. I am so glad I did that because you can really focus once you get there and narrow down your choices to what you already know you like. Plus, it’s really hard to tell what the dresses look like on a hanger, so if you have seen them on models already it is really helpful!

My first piece of advice is, if budget allows, get a wedding planner! Trust me, I am the type of person that likes to be in control but having a planner doesn’t mean you have to relinquish that. It just makes it hundred times less stressful! My planners (All You Need Is Love Events) immediately understood my vision and provided me with a few great options for all our vendors. They were there to make every step of the process as easy as possible. They had also worked with many of vendors before which made planning, communication, and the big day all run extremely smoothly. There were a couple things that went wrong on the day, but I never knew of about any of them until it had already all been resolved!

My other piece of advice is to start a scrap book! There will be so many fun events leading up to your wedding and so much you will want to remember. From bachelorette parties to showers, your friends and family will put so much thought and effort into all the beautiful little details at your events. I saved things like invitations, menus, sashes, and cards and along with a couple photos from the event put it all in a scrapbook! I couldn’t stand the idea of all of it living in a box in the closet never to be seen again. I absolutely love showing it to people and it was so much fun to put together.

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Photography: Erich McVey Photography | Videography: Hoo Films | Event Planning: All You Need Is Love Events | Floral Design: JL Designs | Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger | Invitations: copper willow paper studio | Catering: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Hair & Makeup: 10.11 Makeup | Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Teahouse Company | Photo Booth: Bosco | Reception Music: Red Shoe LA | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: Pretty Vintage Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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5 Tips for a Smooth Dress Fitting Process

So you’ve made one of the biggest wedding decisions yet—choosing your dress—and you found THE perfect one. Yay! But did you know that the dress fitting process can be just as (if not more) important? Take it from this business-owner-turned-Bride whose dress fitting we’re getting a behind the scenes peek at today, along with her 5 tips to make the process smooth as ever. Clary Pfeiffer captured it all and we’re straight up drooling over the detail—that bow! See it all here.

From the Bride… I wanted my gown to be simple yet novel. My business partner (MESTIZA NEW YORK) and I decided on a form-fitting spaghetti strap gown with a scooped neckline and low back. We sourced the fabric locally in New York City and loved the embroidery on mesh because it wasn’t a typical bridal lace. It reminded me of architectural elements in the city that I see and love everyday. We lined it in a nude so you could see the details in photographs. I’ve always loved the femininity of a bow, so we crafted a removable structured bow belt in ivory silk wool. The bow accentuated my waist and offered an element of surprise when I turned around. What is so cool about my wedding gown is that many of the fabrications were repurposed fabrics from previous projects! It was special knowing that nothing went to waste and we were able to create a beautiful gown.

5 Tips for a Smooth Dress Fitting Process

Take a walk and have a seat

When trying on your dress, it’s important to think about the activities at your wedding: are you able to walk in it? Sit in it comfortably? Can you dance in it? Make sure you think ahead. Relay this information to your seamstress so she can make the changes accordingly.

Choose your shoes

It’s always best to make the dress longer than you’d want and then hem it to the perfect length at the very end of your fittings once you’ve determined what shoes you’ll wear. You don’t want to risk the hem being too short!

Bras matter

At your first fitting, you can work with your seamstress to determine what type of bra would be best for the dress. Some dresses may need pasties, some dresses may need more support or padding. At your next fitting, determine the bra you want to wear and fit it with the dress for a perfect fit.

Know your angles

We made a custom gown for a bride who wanted an embellishment on one side of her dress. We asked her which side would be photographed the most and decided on her right side because she will be standing that way at the altar. Think about where you will be photographed and make sure your embellishments and best features will be showing!

Speak up!

You know your body best and if there is something that looks off to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make changes.

Dream Worthy Dresses
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Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Shoes: Aquazzura | Bespoke Bridesmaid Gown: Mestiza | Bespoke Wedding Gown: Mestiza

Bringing a Big Dose of Modern to this Napa Black Tie Affair

Black and white wins every single time in our book. It’s so classic and elegant even when paired with modern details. Now throw a crazy talented bunch of wedding vendors into that mix including design by A Savvy Event, florals by Nancy Liu Chin, a whole lot of pretty imagery by Lindsay Madden Photography and a film by Reel Eyes Media, and it takes this already stunning affair and truly makes it shine. Plus there’s a fairy godmother of wine tucked in the gallery and what’s not to love about that?

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Winery
Styles
Modern

From A Savvy Event…Katlin and Nawder Alavi were just a girl from Florida and a boy from Texas, until they met each other at SMU during their college years. They fell in love, and eventually moved out to a beautiful apartment in the marina district of San Francisco. Their home is clean, and white, with many modern elements. When Katlin and Nawder first started planning their big day, they knew that they wanted to bring a similar style to their wedding.

With the help of Kelly from A Savvy Event, the Alavis planned a romantic, elegant, black tie affair at Meadowood Napa Valley. The entire weekend of events was picture perfect, from their welcome party and rehearsal dinner at Brasswood Estate, to their brunch and croquet game on the lawns at Meadowood.

Because the groom and his family are Persian, it was important to the couple that they incorporate Persian elements into the ceremony. Katlin and Nawder had two officiants, and a Persian-American ceremony. In following with the Persian traditions, they had a sofreye aghd, filled with beautiful elements such as a mirror, candlesticks, beautifully crafted flatbreads, decorated eggs, sugar, gold coins, and more. Traditionally this portion of the wedding is very colorful, but in keeping with Katlin and Nawder’s design aesthetic, it was filled with white and metallic accents.

Cocktail hour was held on the fairway of the golfcourse, with playful elements such as a woman wearing a champagne skirt, which the guests enjoyed immensely. They offered signature drinks from a bar surrounded by elegant lounge areas, all enclosed with greenery.

Dinner was held in an open air tent on the upper lawn. The tent was intended to define and elevate the outdoor space, so that the guests felt as if they were simultaneously inside a black tie venue while enjoying the beauty of Meadowood’s outdoor spaces. The head table ran down the middle of the tent, with chandeliers hanging above. The silver mirrored tables used to seat the bridal parties and bride and groom reflected the lights shining from above, creating a sparkly ambiance throughout the meal. The rest of the surrounding tables were covered in metallic tablecloths of two variations, all of which complemented each other and the head tables. The florals were white with hints of greenery and sage colors, in modern vessels to create a clean contrast with the more romantic china and table scapes.

Nawder’s most important request was to have a fantastic band that could sing into the night. So, they flew one up from Los Angeles and danced the night away with their guests.

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Photography: Lindsay Madden Photography​ | Event Planning: A Savvy Event | Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin | Wedding Dress: Custom Made | Invitations: Yonder Design | Wedding Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Calligraphy: Sarah Hanna | Lighting: Lux Production | Entertainment: Elan Artists | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Meadowood Napa Valley | Hair & Make Up: Professional Makeup Artistry | Hair & Make Up: It's A Date at The Powder Room | Photobooth: Giggle and Riot | Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Rentals: Glassy Baby | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Rion Designs | Sofreh Aghd Designs: Fancy Little Details | Video: Reel Eyes Media

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