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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.
For membership information, click here
From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
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 designer-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 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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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
The Perfect Signature Cocktail for Every Event in your Wedding Lineup

We all know that every fabulous celebration deserves an equally as fabulous cocktail. So to help you choose the perfect libation for every event on your wedding itinerary, we’re teaming up with the experts at Total Wine & More to run down the recipes that will steal the show. From rosé sippin’ at your bridal shower to a touch of rum at your bachelor party, these tasty treats just work. Take a peek below.

BRIDAL SHOWER: rosé slushy

If you know us well, then you know we love anything and everything to do with rosé. And this yummy little number? Our happy place. From the Belvoir Elderflower & Rose Lemonade to the sprig of lavender, it’s an ice-filled concoction that will take your bridal shower to the next level. Plus, it’s sooo pretty.

FIND THE RECIPE HERE!

BACHELOR PARTY: THE PLUM STORM

Beer and whisky on the rocks might be the original bachelor party staples, but we’re here to tell you… it can be sooo much more. With this tasty cocktail, your man will be serving up plums, ginger beer and dark rum in a concoction that is the best twist ever on the timeless Dark & Stormy.  Yum.

FIND THE RECIPE HERE!

ENGAGEMENT PARTY: WATERMELON CHAMPAGNE

You can’t properly toast your newly engaged status without the perfect glass of bubbly, but when it comes to celebrating the biggest news ever, you need more than just the standard glass of champagne. Enter this dessert in a glass that is one part champagne, one part watermelon juice and all parts sooo yummy. We’ll cheers to this one anytime, my friends.

FIND THE RECIPE HERE!

REHEARSAL DINNER: HAWAIIN BLACKBERRY MOJITOS

This little beauty is the type of yummy sip that tastes just as good as it looks. Think crushed blackberries, lime juice, fresh mint leaves, sparkling water AND white rum (we love George Ocean White Rum) all coming together to form a cocktail that is perfect for celebrating the BIG event to come, aka, rehearsal dinner perfection. Orrr… you can make it this weekend, if you want.

FIND THE RECIPE HERE!

THE WEDDING: APPLE ROSEMARY BOURBON

When it comes to signature cocktails, nothing is more important than the one you serve up on THE big day. But if you are worried about choosing the can’t-get-enough-of-this-drink that will make all of your guests happy, don’t be. This Apple Rosemary Bourbon is perfect for sipping during cocktail hour, toasting during dinner AND refreshing your palette after dancing the night away. Bourbon is good, y’all (we recommend Watkins Select Bourbon)… and this is no exception.

FIND THE RECIPE HERE!

It all starts with a fabulous recipe… but making sure your bar is stocked for every last pour? That’s where Total Wine & More comes in to play. Think of it as a cocktail superstore that is basically your party’s lifesaver with a never-ending lineup of delicious wines, spirits, beers AND accessories, all in one fab place. We sort of adore the aisles and aisles of yumminess (read: we’re obsessed), and when it comes to guaranteeing your signature cocktail will be a hit, there’s no better place with their crazy knowledgeable staff who can most definitely guide you in the right direction. I mean, they have 120+ hours of training and taste 1000+ products a year, you guys. They def know their stuff, so stop by one of their locations today or visit their website to check it out… then get ready to mix your hearts out.

Bridal Shower (Rosé Slushy): Photography: Erin McGinn + Styling & Recipe: Abby Capalbo | Bachelor Party (The Plum Storm): Photography: Josh Deaton + Calligraphy: Darling Devotion | Engagement Party (Watermelon Champagne): Photography & Recipe: Lauren Kelp | Rehearsal Dinner (Hawaiin Blackberry Mojitos): Photography: Kylie Martin Photography + Styling: Kylie Martin Photography + Recipe: Caroline Potter | Wedding (Apple Rosemary Bourbon): Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography + Concept, Design and Styling: Daly Digs

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