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Pulling off a Crazy Gorgeous Outdoor Wedding with 100% Chance of Rain

We are in a Southern Weddings state of mind today. It started with a chat about the best Southern wedding traditions and now we’re diving into a Texas celebration that blows it out of the water in terms of elegance and grace. And all with a forecast that called for 100% chance of rain! Draped in florals by Bristol Lane Florals and all the pretty images you could possibly dream of by Michelle Boyd Photography, have a look at Southern elegance done so, so right.

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Fall
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Inn
Styles
Rustic

From the Photographer… Gabriella and Eric may have met by accident – she thought he was someone else at a party! – but their love grew immediately on purpose. They’ve lived and worked in New York for a while now, Gabriella a model and Eric a brand manager, but decided to return to Gabriella’s home state of Texas for the big day.

Here in Texas, we are no strangers to the fickleness of the weather. The happy couple planned their September outdoor ceremony and as the days grew closer, they never batted an eye- even though the forecast said 100% chance of rain! As preparations began for the day, the decision was made to keep with Plan A and just wait it out… And we are SO glad we did! It may have been a monsoon for the hours leading up to the ceremony, but neither Gabriella nor Eric showed any concern or worry. Their incredible florists worked – IN the rain – to prepare their ceremony installation, and just before the guests arrived the sun came out and dried the ground with a vengeance. Gabriella surrounded herself with the sweetest bridesmaids and “bridesmen”, and Eric’s family flew from across the world to celebrate their sweet union. What a sweet and wonderful day it was!

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Photography: Michelle Boyd Photography | Floral Design: Bristol Lane Florals | Cake: Sweet Treets | Hair & Makeup: Makenzi Laine | DJ: Look No Further Entertainment | Ceremony Music: Terra Vista Strings | Venue: The Winfield Inn

From the pages of the
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5 Southern Wedding Traditions Any Couple Can Incorporate

You might remember when we first went behind the scenes with the ladies of Southern Weddings and fell in love with bright, sunny office space and impeccable sense of style. Lucky for us, they’re popping back today to share a few time-honored Southern traditions to incorporate into your wedding – whether your big day falls below the Mason-Dixon line or not.

From the Southern Weddings gals… Hi friends! We’re thrilled to be here on Style Me Pretty today chatting about one of our favorite topics: traditions! Though we specifically love to focus on wedding traditions that originated in the South, we’ve been tickled pink to see these Southern wedding traditions increase in popularity around the world. (Kind of like all things Southern right now: any Fixer Upper fans out there? :)) Whether you’re a Southern bride or not, consider adding one of these sweet traditions to your wedding day for an extra dose of charm!

Burying the bourbon

Legend has it that if a couple buries a full bottle of bourbon upside down one month before their wedding day at the location where they’ll say “I do,” they’ll be blessed with sunny skies on the big day. After covering up the bottle, don’t forget to mark the spot, as it should be dug up and enjoyed with the wedding party on the wedding day (usually after the ceremony), making this a win-win tradition, no matter the skies!

See the full wedding here!

The second line

Leave it to New Orleans, where the motto is laissez les bons temps rouler, to be the birthplace of one of the most lively and fun Southern wedding traditions! The second line stems from an old tradition at African-American jazz funerals, where a brass band paraded to honor the life of the deceased while loved ones followed the band, dancing to add to the spirit and celebration of the procession.

Weddings with a NOLA connection have flipped this tradition on its head, using a second line parade to signify the beginning of new life for the bride and groom. A second line usually takes place between the ceremony and reception, with the newly married couple leading the way, and a brass band and wedding party following right behind. Though second lines begin with just invited guests, they often attract passers-by to join the fun! Make sure to pick up a black parasol for the groom, a white parasol for the bride, and handkerchiefs for each guest to wave.

See the full wedding here!

A house party

Only so many bridesmaids can fit at the front of a church! But what to do if you can’t bear to leave any of your best girls out? Enter the house party—the South’s answer to big extended families, sororities, and more. Members of a house party are often assigned wedding day tasks, such as passing out programs or helping the bride get ready, and are invited to the bachelorette party and bridal showers. The only thing a house party traditionally does not do is stand at the altar with the bride–that spot is reserved for bridesmaids. HP gals can be seated in the first or second row, just behind family.

As for outfitting your house party, you have some options! For a more formal, coordinated look, some brides choose the same dress for all of the HP gals, in a color that’s different but complementary to the color of the bridesmaid dresses. Another popular option is to ask the house party to wear little black dresses, since most girls will already have an option or two in their closets. Finally, you can simply tell the house party your wedding color scheme and ask them to dress in something that coordinates.

See the full wedding here!

The cake pull

If you’re looking for a fun and sweet activity for your bridesmaids’ luncheon or bridal shower, try the cake pull! It hails from the Victoria days, when charms of luck and good fortune (and sometimes not-so-good fortune) were set into the wedding cake by the bride to predict the future of her single friends. These days, pulls are often placed in a small cake at a pre-wedding get together, and bridesmaids and close female friends (not only singles!) are given the opportunity to pull a charm from the cake just before it’s cut. A few of our favorite charms and their meanings: a hot-air balloon (adventure and travel), the fleur de lis (love and prosperity), the four-leaf clover (good luck), and a diamond ring (next to be married!).

See the full wedding here!

The groom’s cake

While many wedding details err on the feminine side, a groom’s cake is a fun and (literally) sweet way to do something extra special just for the gent of honor! Collaborate with your baker to get creative and surprise your beau with a cake that reflects his hobbies, favorite sports team, occupation, or alma mater, to be served alongside the wedding cake at the reception. Or, try a “cake” that isn’t a cake at all — instead, set out a tower of Oreos, a stack of doughnuts, or trays of his favorite childhood treats. Or, if he’s a Southern boy through and through, go with the classic: a bleedin’ armadillo cake, just like the one in Steel Magnolias.

See the full wedding here!

Looking for more details on Southern wedding traditions, and wedding traditions in general? We’ve got lots more details and ideas in our e-book, All About Southern Wedding Traditions. And now, we’d love to hear: what traditions did you include, or are you planning to include, in your wedding?

xo, the Southern Weddings gals

Photography (in order): Anna Shackleford | Arte De Vie | Eric Kelley Photography | Amy Arrington Photography | Greer Gattuso

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The Perfect Recipe for an Elegant Bel Air Wedding

When you’ve got a stunning vision like these two and a rockstar vendor team including Bash Please, JL DesignsFound Vintage Rentals and Casa de Perrin, a next level wedding is bound to be in your future. See? SO next level. From the ceremony backdrop to the sweetest seating nooks, Elizabeth Messina unveiled the beauty with her always breathtaking images. Dive into this Bel Air bash in full right here.

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Fall
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Hotel
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Classic

From the Bride… Ali and I were both pretty set on a few “MUSTS” while planning out wedding. We were NOT getting married in a ballroom. We were NOT ok with a curfew before 2am. The food and drinks had to be FABULOUS. And we had to be able to fit 160 of our nearest and dearest. Paige and Kelly were amazing at hearing us out and went over TONS of venue options with pros and cons and took us all the way from Malibu to Downtown LA. They alongside my father pushed us to lastly look at Hotel Bel Air (even though it consisted of a ballroom) before making any decisions. We walked through the hotel space and their vision and creativity and enthusiasm about the endless options the space provided us led us to lock it in. On that day, we actually felt like we could start envisioning our wedding day. 

Ali and I really wanted to create a space where people would be comfortable and relaxed. Your wedding day consists of all the feels. So walking down an aisle looking at our cool, calm, collected and comfortable family and friends in a setting that felt like home with lounges and benches and arm chairs and side tables did just that. We went back and forth with beautiful renderings including the flowers and furniture and flooring which really made it all come to life. I think my favorite part of this other than marrying my husband was the gospel choir that came out and started singing as we recessed down the aisle.

Ali and I are both foodies and grew up in Los Angeles where dining is so delicious and wanted to make sure that everything from cocktails to dessert and everything in between was a great experience for our guests. The cocktail area had such a great vibe (from what I saw in pictures – it kinda stinks you miss this whole part of the evening) and the food was just enough to keep everyone happy before we went into the ballroom. We loved creating our custom cocktails with Pharmacie, the bar setups were so beautiful and the drinks were delicious. It was a whole experience we really wanted to share with everyone. 

The ballroom at the HBA is such an incredible blank canvas and again, with Paige and Kelly providing endless ideas and renderings including the chairs and linens we liked and florals it all really came to life. We wanted to make sure that the flowers didn’t take over the night and that it was just to make the room pretty. They did just that. Not too many high pieces, but pieces you could see through and talk to the people sitting across from you. We had a mix of round and rectangle tables and it filled the room nicely and squeezed everyone in perfectly. The dance floor was just the right size, not too big and not too small and it was ALWAYS full thanks to the music from Elan.

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Photography: Elizabeth Messina | Event Planning: Bash Please | Floral Design: JL Designs | Wedding Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop | Invitations: Bash Please | Lighting: The Lighter Side | DJ: Johnny Knight | Venue: Hotel Bel Air | Ceremony Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Ceremony Rentals: Revelry Event Design | Linens: BBJ | Music: Elan Artists | Rentals: Town And Country | Specialty Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Tabletop Rentals: Casa de Perrin

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
5 Ways To Get Custom Luxe Wedding Stationery without Going Broke

In the world of weddings, your stationery is the first impression and you want to make it a good one. But when you’ve got a venue to book, flowers to order and that perfect dress to find—you don’t want to blow your budget on paper goods, am I right? Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice stationery style. With Shutterfly at your side, save-the-dates and invitations (and even personalized thank you notes!) can still look totally luxe and have your guests thinking you spent big bucks. Here’s how!

Shown below: Simple Solid Frame Invitation

Choose a Design that Speaks to You.

I don’t think anyone wishes for a cookie-cutter wedding, or cookie-cutter wedding stationery for that matter. So, first things first, pick a design you love! Shutterfly‘s array of design options can be customized the way YOU want, to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re having an intimate backyard affair or an elegant seaside affair, the options are endless.

Utilize Shutterfly’s Custom Color Palette tool on specific designs (indicated by the color wheel on site) to customize your stationery further and match the hues you’ve selected for your Big Day.

Shown below: Special Celebration Save The Date

Personalize with Photos

My husband and I loved utilizing our engagement photos for our save-the-dates. It’s such a fun way to personalize and share those memories with friends and family before the wedding! Shutterfly’s Wedding Save-The-Dates also have a coordinating, customizable back of card design, at no extra charge. Don’t you love it when the bonus touches are free?

Shown below: Lavish Love Save The Date

Get Fancy with Foil

The easiest way to take your wedding stationery to the next level? Layer on the foil, my friends! Sure, faux foil can look lovely, but real foil is très chic and brings an elegant touch to your stationery.

Shown below: True Love Forever Invitation

From wedding invitations with rose gold foil to modern, gilded lines, Shutterfly’s foil options prove to be nothing less than fabulous.

Get Creative with Trims

Think outside the box with a variety of different trim options available as well. Whether you stick with classic square, clean and rounded, bracket, scallop or ticket—selecting a creative cut amps up the wow factor.

Shown below: Elegant Embellishments Invitation

Embrace the Extras

Last but certainly not least, go for the extras that tie it all together! We’re talking RSVP cards, enclosure cards, address labels, thank you notes, colored envelopes, and envelope liners. Shutterfly makes it easy to match with coordinating designs for each suite. So, whether you want to add on those matching directions cards, or make life easier with convenient address labels—you’ve got the tools at hand to help you share the big news.

The best part? You can test drive Shutterfly’s wedding invitations printed with your own Big Day details. Get five free samples of your choice today with promo code 5WEDINVITES. Amazing right? Head on over to choose your top five favorites today.

Shown above: Splendid Watercolor Invitation