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SMP Favorite Find…BoomBox!

Remember when you were a kid and you used to collect birthday cards and movie stubs and pictures of your someday wedding and you’d store it all in an old shoebox that you decorated with puffy paint and stickers? Ladies, meet your childhood keepsake box’s bigger, WAY cooler sister (and if we’re being honest…the prettier one), Boombox. An uber gorgeous keepsake box filled with personalized, just-for-you notes, well wishes and gorgeous photographs (we love you, Jose Villa) from the people you love most in the world.

GORGEOUS photos tucked inside the box by Jose Villa…not nearly as gorgeous photos snapped of the box itself by me, Abby Larson.

We don’t often post about products on SMP but this one, founded by the lovely and super smart #girlboss, Christina Geist, was just so perfect for you soon-to-be’s, we couldn’t resist.

Because Boombox is truly the PERFECT wedding gift and we didn’t think we could keep the find all to ourselves.

Just think..the sweet sentiments from your friends, the well-worn advice from your beloved grandparents, the nearly-naked-saggy-diaper-while-blowing-bubbles-in-your-backyard memories of you two gifted so generously from both sets of parents, all housed beautifully in a gorgeous keepsake box that would chic-up any coffee table or shelf, perched in such a way that you would actually open it. And show it off. And love it over and over again. Can you imagine?

Boombox brings all of those incredible memories – that I promise you will fly right by on your wedding day – together into one absolutely beautiful keepsake. And they make it SO easy for huge or small groups alike to contribute truly personalized, totally individualized notes and well wishes to celebrate what just might be the best day of your entire life.

Okay, we’ve done our job. The rest is on you. Pass this post on to your moms or dads or maids of honor and let them take over the heavy lifting. And if you need more convincing, just pop on over to Boombox and see for yourself!

xo, Abby

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From the pages of the
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Host the Ultimate Invitation Assembly Party

Sometimes “getting there” is almost as fun as the destination itself and that sentiment certainly holds true in wedding planning. Just take this Minneapolis couple who took the “chore” out of invitation assembly by making it a full-blown party. Along with industry pros, Jill Elaine Designs, Rosann KoniecznyMaven and more, they rounded up drinks, donuts, and good friends to turn a tedious task into an evening to remember. See all the fun in the gallery captured by Lucas Botz and snag tips to host your own Invite Assembly Party from Park Place Planning & Events.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Space: A large table to spread out on is key so you have enough room for all of your suite pieces and space for assembly.

Set the Tone: Have some fun beverages and lite bites but keep them away from your pretty stationery. Upbeat music to keep the group going is key!

Have a Plan: Assemble a suite ahead of time so you know and can show your guests the proper steps and order of assembly. Consider setting up a cute diagram or list to help direct your friends.

Pick Up Your Stamps Ahead of Time: Just remember to get your suite weighed ahead of time at the post office you plan to mail from so you know exactly how much postage your suite requires.

HAVE FUN! This should be a fun part of your wedding planning experience!

From the Planner… As a wedding planner I want my couples to enjoy every minute of the process– from finding the perfect location to the last dance and everything in between; I want the whole experience to be memorable and as stress-free as possible. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of work required to assemble a wedding suite so when it came time to plan my sister’s wedding, I partnered with the talented Jill Elaine to surprise her with an assembly party. Putting the invitation together… together was not only more efficient, it was the perfect excuse to gather family and friends to celebrate another step in this beautiful journey. We spent the morning indulging in donuts and coffee and catching up on each other’s lives outside of wedding planning. We also succeeded in folding, stamping, stuffing, and sealing 80 invitations. I love being able to look back and see my sister and her fiancé’s smiles. I was honored to create and share this moment with them.

From the Bride… I know I shock no one when I say that weddings are a lot of work (even weddings where your maid of honor is a professional planner), so I was thrilled when I learned that Ty and I would have help putting together our beautifully designed but rather elaborately constructed invitations. I was even more excited when I learned that the day would also involve drinks and donuts as well as my family and friends. I highly recommend turning menial planning tasks into parties whenever possible; not only does it save you work, it allows you to spend quality time with those closest to you before things really get crazy.

From the Designer… As a custom stationery designer, I try to take the “chore” out of assembling the wedding invitation suite. It should be a fun part of the planning process– a time to get together with family and friends to celebrate your upcoming nuptials and check an item off your to-do list at the same time. I adore packaging, so many times my clients and I will dream up a beautiful way to present the wedding invitation suite to their guests. Unfortunately, assembling a beautifully packaged invitation usually involves a number of time-consuming steps. This was certainly the case with Anna and Ty. The invitation was packaged with a translucent vellum paper, tied with a gold string, and affixed with a wax seal. To simplify the process, we put together an assembly to-do list: seven steps that hung on the wall to serve as a how-to as well as an art piece. I’m very lucky to be studio neighbors with LAB Minneapolis, a light-filled, beautiful open space with large tables perfect for invitation assembly. But you could easily host an assembly party at your home, an artist’s studio, or a private room at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop. Turn the process into a get-together with food, cocktails, and good company, and celebrate sending out your first invitation together as a couple.

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Photography: Lucas Botz Photography | Floral Design: Maven | Bakery: A Baker's Wife | Stationery: Jill Elaine Designs | Hair: River Jade | Attire: Hazel & Rose | Calligraphy + Silk Ribbon: Shasta Bell Calligraphy | Chair Rentals: The Seatery | Invitation Calligraphy: Rosann Konieczny Calligrapher | Invitation Illustration: Carrie DeBacker | Planning: Park Place Planning & Events | Rental Space: LAB MPLS | Rentals + Styling: Collected Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
The French Countryside is Always a Good Idea

It is safe to say that most people’s idea of a dream wedding includes a chateau in the French countryside. The scenery, the romance, the food… it’s the kind of destination that lends itself perfectly to a gorgeous celebration of love. And gorgeous is the key word. Think blooms upon blooms crafted by Lily Paloma, an intimate yet incredibly romantic designed by Fete in France and then there’s all the imagery by 2 Brides Photography. All in all, it’s a francophile or lover of travel’s dream.


From Fete in France… College sweethearts, Ven and Adrian, knew they wanted a beautiful location in the French countryside that would be able to bring together the romance of France, their passion for gastronomy yet still be accessible for their international guests coming to their intimate destination wedding. With the help of Fête in France they were able to find the peaceful and bucolic Château de Bouelles. This chic retreat is surrounded by fields and cows, but also has a maze, a rose garden, a hunter’s cottage, and such creature comforts as a heated pool, sauna, fitness room and tennis courts. The weekend started with a rustic rehearsal dinner under the arches of 100-year-old trees on the property. Women were wearing flower-crowns and they ate a delicious local spit-roast suckling pig as the sunset and the candlelit flickered. The wedding day featured an outdoor ceremony under a floral arch full of unique rituals. One example is a vase filled with water by the bride and groom, then each guest adding a rose to make their special bouquet. Cocktails were then served in the formal gardens and dinner in the château. French touches included vintage candlesticks, porcelain and a beautiful table runner full of fresh greenery and flowers. We could describe this enchanting wedding in a million ways; talking about all details; flowers, gardens, ceremony, the table set-up, or even the gorgeous custom-made wedding dress by the bride’s mother, etc… but it is better to hear it directly from the bride. 

From the Bride…  A destination wedding was the best option for us as we had family and friends travelling from all over the globe. We chose the French countryside for the beautiful scenery, outdoor atmosphere, and access to exceptional food. Chateau de Bouelles was a perfect fit for us because we were truly able to enjoy the wedding weekend with our family and friends. The exquisite gardens won us over, as early on we easily envisioned incredible outdoor festivities. The setting and location of the chateau allowed our guests time to explore the region in between wedding events. We had a very dependable planner that understood our vision. Our wedding was absolutely stress free and enjoyable in every way imaginable, we couldn’t have executed it without her.

I had tried on many beautiful dresses, several which felt alright but none that were quite spot on. It needed to be classic but not stuffy. I wanted it fuss free and a dress I could move around in and not need help while walking. After months searching and not finding quite the dress, my mother offered to make my dress. It took lots of phone calls and several flights but it was a beautiful way to include her in both the plans and on the wedding day.

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Photography: 2 Brides Photography | Event Planning: Fete in France | Floral Design: Lily Paloma | Wedding Dress: Villa Del Sol D'Oro | Stationery: The bride | Reception Venue: Chateau De Bouelles | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Entertainment: Jazz Around Midnight | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss Red Label | Groom's ring : Harry Winston | Groom's shoes: Georgio Armani | Hair & Make-up artist: Trine Juel | Rentals: Options | Rentals: Vaisselle Vintage | Ring box: The Mrs Box | Stationery printing : Sesame Letterpress | Veil : Twigs & Honey | Wine: Madame Wine

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
That fairytale gown you’ve been looking for? We found it.

Looking for a winter weather pick-me-up? Then you’ve come to exactly the right place, because today we’re spending some time with the new Spring 2017 Avery Collection from Maggie Sottero Designs and it’s amazing. Think organic, artful designs, stunning embellishments and body-skimming silhouettes. Scroll for the big ol’ dose of romance (+ sunshine) your day totally needed.

Fact: Maggie Sottero Designs creates gowns that are absolutely breathtaking… and the new Spring 2017 Avery Collection most definitely does not disappoint with gowns that will leave all of your guests talking. From demure styles with a twist (hello, McKenzie) to beyond beautiful detailing with beads, pearls and crystals (we’re looking at you, Petra) to unique trains like the cutout stunner on Odette, every last gorgeous creation is the definition of romantic whimsy with styles that will make your hearts sooo happy. I mean, we all want to look like a princess on the Big Day and Maggie Sottero Designs’ scalloped hemlines and vintage-inspired laces will do just that. We promise.

Whether you love the illusion lace of the Blanche or truly want to make a statement with the Bianca (that skirt!), contact Maggie Sottero Designs today to find your very own fairytale masterpiece. You absolutely won’t regret it, loves… these gowns are awesome.