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The Dreamiest Alfresco Wedding by the Lake

This Bride knows just how to build a Dream Team of vendors and her Washington wedding to the love of her life is the living proof.  With flowers turned art and the prettiest of lakeside details crafted by Sinclair & Moore, plus snapshots by Maria Lamb that are so gorgeous, they are begging for a gallery wall display, this celebration is about to suck you right in.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Lake
Styles
Al Fresco

From the Bride… I started out wedding planning with the top three things that were most important to me, then went from there. 1. Dress: I wanted something unique that would really stand out in the crowd, high quality materials, trendy but timeless, and comfortable. When I went into Le Salon Couture in Seattle the Julie Vino Martina Dress immediately caught my eye, It was the first dress I tried on at the store and every dress after that I was comparing it to the Martina. I guess that’s when you know its the ONE! Another stand out about the experience was the great customer service. It can be hard to come by, but when you come across people that are really living out their passion you know you are in good hands. Alexis the owner gives 100% of her attention to each of her brides and really goes above and beyond to make you feel comfortable throughout the process.

2. Photographer: We changed our Wedding date to book our photographer, and it was one of the best decisions! All I can say is, the power of social media. I found Maria Lamb on Instagram! It was instant gravitation. So dreamy and organic, was my first thought. I love that she shoots both film and digital to really capture the mood and setting your in. I love her ability to see the finer small details along with the big picture, and also capture what you may think is a simple background and transform it into an amazing piece of art! She really is just a genius behind that lens and a truly a gifted photographer. Maria puts her heart and soul into her work and it undeniably shows. Not to mention she is a joy to work with, and makes you feel comfortable in sometimes not so organic situations(slow dancing in the woods). Again, one of the best wedding planning decisions to book Maria. Now I just have to figure out what other life event I’ll have next for an excuse to work with her again!

3. Design/Florals: Call me crazy but if florals and table designs could talk, Sinclair and Moore’s Designs are telling a story. When I came across their wedding designs I was blown away. Steve Moore is such an innovator in his field and definitely sets the standard high in the industry. Being an artist myself, I know if your put in a box of too many requirements it’s more challenging to let the artistic mind flow. So with that, I gave a few things I was interested in and told Steve to have at it and to create whatever he wanted. While doing an event he created a mock up of the floral design and it was absolutely gorgeous and more beautiful than I could ever imagined. Perfection! So easy to work with, can’t say enough good things about the experience I’ve had with Sinclair and Moore Events.

In conclusion, I have THE Dream Team and I feel so grateful. Jay and I met 6 1/2 years ago through friends. Definitely was smitten at first sight! We dated for a month, took a month off, and by the third month became inseparable and the rest is history! On our four year anniversary we took a trip down to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It was a pretty memorable vacation to say the least. Tanning, Sun, Drinks, Tacos, Sick for 4 days….., Then bouncing back to tour the incredibly breathtaking ruins of Chichen Itza, swimming in a Cenote, and then ending with a proposal on the beach! 

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Photography: Maria Lamb | Videography: Cabfare Productions | Event Design: Sinclair & Moore | Floral Design: Sinclair & Moore | Invitations: La Happy | Ceremony Venue: private residence - Moses Lake | Reception Venue: private residence - Moses Lake | Rings: Joseph Jewelry | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Marie Moi Couture | Catering: Michaels on the Lake | Makeup : Avery-Christine Golson | Hair: Avery-Christine Golson | Favors: Mighty-O Donut | Grooms Attire: Nordstrom | Beer: Ten Pin Brewery | Bride Dress: Le Salon Bridal | Bride Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Headpiece/earings: Le Salon Bridal | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Robes: Stone Cold Fox

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From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
A Ridiculously Stylish Miami Wedding

If real weddings won medals, this one would undoubtedly snag the gold for chicness. With layers upon layers of thoughtfully designed style and Masi EventsThierry Isambert Culinary + Event DesignUnearthed Vintage and Jarrell Entertainment working their magic behind the scenes, there’s no denying this day is one for the books. Kat Braman photographed, and the fun is only just getting started.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Estate
Styles
Modern

From the Bride… We always knew we wanted our wedding to be outdoors and we wanted the reception to be one big fancy-dress dinner party with delicious food, free-flowing wine, and all night dancing.

The overall vision changed dramatically as we started out planning an October wedding in the Hudson Valley, which meant cool weather and warm fall colors. But we ended up wanting more of a warm weather destination feel and Miami is still hot and gorgeous in October. Carlos spent several years in Miami for his residency and still has great friends there. We went there together on our first weekend getaway, and try to go back at least once or twice a year. So it’s come to be a special place for both of us. And who doesn’t love a weekend in Miami?!

Stylistically I wanted to approach it the same way I would an interiors project – lots of small thoughtful details and layers that in the big picture added up to feel harmonious, striking a fine balance between an elegant black tie wedding and a good old fashioned throw down! Carlos and I love to throw parties and entertain our friends and family, so it was very important to us that the evening encapsulated that same sense of intimacy you would feel in our home.

Because the Deering Estate is such a spectacular setting, both indoors and outdoors, we let it do most of the work and kept the color palette and decorations very neutral and unobtrusive. My bridesmaids were super chic in a variety of black dresses and a jumpsuit, and the flowers were a flawless mix of whites, ivory and greenery. I spent hours and hours putting together inspiration boards for each aspect of the evening and my amazing team of vendors ran with it! They captured all the subtle nuances I was looking for and the night came together beautifully.

Our photographer, Kat Braman, was beyond words. We had already spent a weekend with her in New York taking photos at our home upstate and around Brooklyn. So we were really comfortable with her on the day of and felt confident that she would capture the essence of the celebration on film. And she did a fantastic job! We couldn’t have asked for better photos.

The entire weekend was filled with lots of little moments that meant so much to each of us. We both wanted live music for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. I grew up playing the cello and still think it’s the most beautiful sound in the world so that was a necessary for the ceremony. For the cocktail hour, we wanted something jazzy and loose. In came Chad Bernstein to the rescue. He’s a local musician (who also runs an amazing non-profit called Guitars Over Guns) that was recommended to me by a vendor. He put together a trio for the ceremony including himself on trombone, a cellist and a guitar and created a custom arrangement our music selections.

Carlos makes world-famous empanadas so we wanted to send everyone off at the end of the night with one of our favorite treats for the bus ride back to the beach. We ordered them from a local Argentine restaurant and they were delicious. Not as good as Carlos’ but a close second!

My maid of honor’s father officiated our wedding. We’ve known him for years and it was so special to have both of them standing up with us. I put the transcript for the ceremony and our vows into this lovely musical composition notebook and also used it as the guest book for the reception. In the back of it, I’ve saved lots of little mementos from the weekend so now we have one big scrapbook full of well-wishes and love, and lots of happy little reminders.

My father is a loquacious man, so we knew his welcome toast would be something to remember. But he surprised even me, bringing out a book I’d written in elementary school as a Father’s Day gift, listing all the things I liked about him, complete with illustrations. It was so sweet and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Then 10 minutes later I literally had to get up and remove the mic from him his hands. I don’t think anyone will forget that moment!
sp;

My biggest piece of advice to other brides is if you don’t hire a videographer, ask someone to record the ceremony! I was having such an out-of-body experience during the ceremony, I didn’t even hear the music as I was walking to meet Carlos. All of our friends kept saying how beautiful the music was and I totally missed it! I would also love to be able to hear us saying our vows to each other again – we wrote our own and would love to relive that moment. That was, after all, what the entire day was about!

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Photography: Kat Braman | Event Coordination: Masi Events | Event Planning : Masi Events | Wedding Dress: J. Mendel | Wedding Cake: Earth And Sugar | Invitations: Paperless Post | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Rings: Vale Jewelry | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Shakuhachi | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Self Portrait Studio - Azaelea Red Dress | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Elie Tahari | Catering: Thierry Isambert Culinary + Event Design | Hair and Makeup: Carolyn Jones Makeup | Lighting: Illumene | DJ: Jarrell Entertainment | Favors: Catalina's Bake Shop | Groom's Attire: Seize Sur Vingt | Venue: Deering Estate | Bridal Shop: Bergdorf Goodman | Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musician: Chad Bernstein | Film Processing: State Film Lab | Florals + Design: Julia Rohde Designs | Getting Ready: The Edition Miami Beach | Rentals: Unearthed Vintage | Veil: Tia Mazza

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5 Ways to Keep Your Bridesmaids (and Their Wallets!) Happy

Being a bridesmaid is the end-all, be-all of best friend duties… and one your lovely ladies will most definitely take seriously. But, if you love your girls (and we know you do), then keeping it as cost-effective as possible is beyond important. So today we’re turning to our friends at Vow To Be Chic for their advice on how to do just that. Scroll below for happy maids in five simple steps.

GIVE THEM OPTIONS

We’ve all done the bridesmaid dance a time or two (or three) and there’s nothing more annoying than trying to squeeze ten different body types into one gorgeous style. That’s why we’re all about letting your besties choose from an array of stunning dresses, aka, making sure they feel confident in a style + color combo that flatters their every curve. We suggest teaming up with a stylist (like the talented ones at Vow To Be Chic) to help guide you to the mix and match combos that will really make a statement. They know their stuff, you guys, so you can totally trust them.

GIFT THEM JEWELRY

One of the biggest expenses of bridesmaid-ing is all of the little accessories your ladies have to buy along the way. So rather than asking them to stock up on new jewelry, we suggest buying them the essentials as a sweet present that really shows them how much you care. And you don’t have to get crazy with gorgeous sparklers… keep it simple with beautiful earrings and show-stopping bracelets. Oh, and bonus points if you have your maids wear their own shoes. ‘Cause that’s just comfy AND cost-effective.

KEEP THE TRAVEL TO A MINIMUM

From the bachelorette party to the bridal shower to the engagement party and everything in between, your out-of-town maids are sure to be feeling the travel cost heat. So instead of asking those ladies you love to fly in for a special bridesmaid dress shopping excursion, curate your very own Vow To Be Chic Bridal Suite, then invite your besties and have them order try-ons. Your maids can pick a day to host their own personal fashion show (with bubbly, of course) and send you photos of the big reveals. It’s just as much fun at zero the cost.

HAVE A LOW-KEY BACHELORETTE PARTY

Take it from someone who has been there, bachelorette parties can get crazy expensive. So why not relieve some of that financial stress from your maids and DIY your “night out” with your friends. Think an at-home spa night just days before the wedding filled with tasty treats and drinks. You can kick back in your robes, sip champagne and watch all of those movies you grew up loving. Sooo fun.

RENT YOUR BRIDESMAID DRESSES

Of course, nothing saves more than renting your bridesmaid dresses. I mean, you can literally save your besties hundreds of dollars on gowns, alterations AND dry cleaning just by hopping online and kicking back in your yoga pants. (Champagne is optional.) And it’s sooo simple. Just head to an online shop (we suggest Vow To Be Chic), peruse the stunning lineups of top-quality designer dresses, consult a stylist and start curating. With Vow, your besties will receive their dresses (with a backup size!) two whole weeks before the Big Day and can simply return it once the party is over with pre-paid packaging. Vow will even dry-clean for you. We love that.

Head to Vow To Be Chic today to start your journey to seriously happy maids. And don’t forget to use promo code SMP10 for 10% off a rental!

Photography: Kate Botwinkski | Photography: Brian Flint Photo | Photography: Stellar Exposures | Photography: Ashley Largesse Photography | Photography: Boone Studios | Photography: Jill Doty Photography | Photography: Abbi Hearne | Photography: LA Exposures | Photography: Emily Harris Photography | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Vow To Be Chic



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For membership information, click here
4 Ways to Include Every Kind of Mom in Wedding Planning

“I think you need a grand five tier cake.” I sat staring, open-mouthed, at my usually laid-back mom. This was the same woman who, through the florist and caterer meeting had stayed largely silent, saying “whatever you like!” The baker did the math on a napkin for us – the cake my mother was suggesting was 450 pieces of cake to our 120 guests. Rest assured, we ultimately found a cake compromise. I was surprised, but maybe I should have seen this coming – my mom is French and I know how that country feels about desserts.

Having any loving relative involved in this special time is a huge blessing. The fond memories you’ll make by having these women at your side while you embark on this new adventure will be treasured – but there are bound to be times when you all differ in opinion. So, to help you navigate the mama-minefield, we’re outlining four different mom styles, and how to involve them in your planning process while staying sane.

The Traditionalist

Some women are bound to care more about adhering to tradition, whatever that may be for their family. It gets even harder when families bring different sets of traditions to the table. If these wishes don’t necessarily fit with your modern vision for the day, the best advice is to find a way to honor each family member, without sacrificing your own vision. Find out what your mother cares about and pick something you’re comfortable incorporating that will make her happy. It might be a short reading during the ceremony, photos of loved ones on the cake table, or a bouquet toss. Involve them in the parts of planning that will feel familiar – like setting up your registry, or shopping for stationary.

The Specialist

If you are lucky enough to have a mom with a particular area of expertise – you can expect a lot of opinions. This is my mom, who is a professional photographer. While all the extra input might be overwhelming, think of this as an advantage, and accept some extra help. Let your mom take one thing off your plate, but don’t forget to voice your opinion. I put my mom in charge of booking a photographer for our big day, but before she got to work, we looked at portfolios together online so she could get a sense of the styles my fiancé and I liked. With her input we found an incredible professional at a fair price that we all loved!

The Cool Companion

Maybe she eloped for her own wedding, generally shies away from voicing her opinion, or for whatever reason doesn’t have many strong feelings about weddings. It’s great to have a laid-back confidant throughout wedding planning, but don’t let her lack of firm opinions prevent you from making memories together. Involve your mom in something activity based, where her company is more important than her input. A menu tasting, china pattern shopping, or site walk-through are all great examples. If you know you’ll be faced with some tough decisions across the day, you can also include a friend who is sure to tell it like it is. No matter what you’ll be glad you had your mother by your side for a few key events.

The Party Animal

On the other hand, there are certainly those moms who have been waiting for this moment their whole lives and intend to make it the party of the century. This is great if you also want a huge bash, but the party she has in mind may end up larger than you hoped. If you envisioned a smaller, more intimate affair, or disagree on how to spend wedding funds, the best course of action is an honest conversation. If your parents are footing some or all of the wedding bill, you may need to make some compromises, for example, on extending invitations to their friends. If you and your fiancé are covering the cost yourself, you need to stick to what you are comfortable spending. Regardless, the key is to clearly communicate what is important to you, as well as where you are, and are not, willing to compromise. Then,involve your mom in all the celebration decisions that will be right up her alley – favors, or dance playlists, for example.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Chloe O’Sullivan is a freelance writer and sales director based in Washington DC (soon relocating to Northern New Hampshire).  When she isn’t writing, she can be found trying new restaurants, planning her next trip, or hiking with her soon to be husband.  

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