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Into the Woods for A Homegrown Celebration Full of Elegance

Oh to have a backyard this gorgeous. I’m convinced this particular spot was made just for hosting weddings. Set against an oak-filled estate, with the most elegant, romantic details and florals crafted by Florabella, this day is a sea of beauty. And with Sylvie Gil’s images in tow, the proof is in the pudding. Carve out some time for this pretty gallery. You won’t regret it.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Classic

From the photographer… Hosted at the bride’s grandparent’s private estate in Woodside, California, Jessica and Michael’s wedding was an elegant outdoor affair. Jessica wore a modern Vera Wang gown with a classic veil, and her bridesmaids each selected a floor-length champagne gown of their choosing to make for a cohesive but unique look. The couple exchanged handwritten vows under the oak trees in the garden where the bride spent time during her childhood, and notes of Spanish guitar accompanied the affair. After cocktail hour on the lawn, complete with signature His & Her cocktails, dinner was served in a clear top tent, allowing guests a view of the towering redwoods overhead and the starry night sky beyond. We used a lovely sea glass palette of pale blues and greens with slate grey accents to create an elegant but understated ambiance as guests dined on lamb and salmon and drank a selection of wines from the bride’s family’s winery. A custom floral chandelier acted as the focal point of the decor atop the dance floor, where guests danced late into the evening. Finally, to conclude the festivities, guests bid the newlyweds farewell with festive sparkler departure as they were whisked away to start their new life as husband and wife.

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Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Videographer: Patrick Ang | Wedding Planner: Florabella | Floral Design: Florabella | Cake: Studio Cake | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: McCalls Catering & Events | Lighting: Everything Audio Visual | Band: Hip Service | Ceremony Music: Wine Country Entertainment | Transportation: Corinthian Transportation | Bride's Gown: Vera Wang | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Paper Goods: Florabella | Photobooth: Snap Fiesta | Rentals: Theoni Collection | Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Blueprint Studios

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From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
The Perfect Summer Lake Wedding

Growing up, the bride spent her summers at the family cottage on the lake so it’s no surprise Izzy wanted to say “I do” in exactly that spot. She married her love, Tom surrounded by their favorite people, with Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events working her magic on the wedding day design. The photos by Rebecca Yale will leave you craving summer in a serious way and we can’t get enough.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Lakeside

Izzy and Tom were married on July 9, 2016 on Deer Lake at the Boyne Mountain Resort in MI. Izzy grew up spending her summer’s at her family’s cottage on the lake and knew that it would be the perfect spot to say her I Do’s. The bride and groom were married next to the lake facing the beach house all covered in ivy, which carried over into the flowers and design for the day. Izzy’s brother-in-law, Max, officiated the ceremony and the bride and groom were accompanied by Izzy’s sister and Tom’s brother as their Matron of Honor and Best Man. Instead of a traditional wedding party both the bride and groom invited their friends to get ready with them and take pictures with them all in shades of grey, cream and blue.

The custom letterpress invitation suite featured a custom watercolor crest and the Save The Date and welcome note featured watercolor illustrations of the dock on the lake and a map of the Traverse Bay area. The place cards were also watercolored in shades of blue and displayed on a hanging macrame piece at the entrance of the tent decorated in ivy. The bride wore a white grecian style Jenny Packham dress and accessorized it with blue Valentino pumps very similar to the shoes her sister wore the previous year to her wedding. The bride kept her family close to her on the day by wrapping her bouquet in her great grandmother’s handkerchief. The bride also paid tribute to her family by following in her mother and sister’s footsteps and smashing her own glass during the I Do’s.

The bride and groom had their first look by the lake followed by portraits in the forest before the ceremony while guests enjoyed a pre-ceremony refreshment. After the ceremony guests returned to the cocktail lounge area by the water and the Matron of Honor and officiant’s 6-month-old golden doodle puppy made a quick appearance. Guests were welcomed into the tent for dinner and dancing, which had been set in Tuscan blue linens with dark blue napkins and gold silverware for contrast with organic white and green centerpieces. The head table was a rectangular farm table with a leafy green runner dotted with white garden roses and peonies and a couch for the bride and groom to lounge on in between dances.

The bride surprised her groom with a dessert table full of donuts- his favorite treat- in addition to the cake. After cutting the cake the bride and groom took a quiet moment to themselves to walk to the end of the dock and watch sunset wrapped in one of the blankets thoughtfully provided for guests to snuggle up in as the nights get cold.

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Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Event Planning: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Bloom Floral Design | Shoes: Valentino | Makeup: On Site Bridal | Venue: Boyne Mountain | Tent Rental: Taylor Rental | Bride's Dress: Jenny Packham | Cake + Donuts: Simply Sweet By Jessica | Invitations and Paper Goods: Gatlin Paper Co. | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Music: Bluewater Kings Band | Rentals: Serradella Vintage | Veil: Sara Gabriel

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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The Most Glamorous Garden Affair in the Middle of the City

A wedding through the lens of Jose Villa is pure beauty no matter how you spin it. And this celebration has a whole slew of wedding superstars behind the scenes. From the most timeless design and planning by Mindy Weiss to layers upon layers of white blooms (including a floral dog leash!) by HMR Designs and topped off with one of the most insanely gorgeous cakes by Sylvia Weinstock, this collection of images just might do you in.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Glamorous

From the bride… John and I were in the same year at the same high school, but in our 4 years there, we never once spoke to each other. It was only several years after college that we finally met at a mini high school reunion in a small bar in Chicago. We’ve been inseparable ever since. Much of our wedding was planned long ago, I think it started when I was 12. I knew I wanted an airy, romantic garden in the city. I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to wear different dresses. I knew Sylvia Weinstock was going to create my sugar-flower covered cake. I knew there’d be a table dedicated purely to desserts. And I knew my dress was going to be lace. My adolescent dreams didn’t veer far from reality. John and I were fortunate enough to be surrounded by a wonderful team who helped us bring our vision to life. We wanted our wedding to feel intimate and romantic. Soft lighting, beautiful fabrics and drapes, and an abundance of flowers set the perfect tone for an unforgettable evening.

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Photographer: Jose Villa Photography | Videography : Vidicam Productions | Planner: Mindy Weiss Party Consultants | Cake: Sylvia Weinstock | Reception Venue: Jennifer Clarke At The Peninsula Chicago | Brides Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Mendel | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jovani | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Makeup: Emily Oliver | Hair : Salon Buzz | Invitations and Calligraphy : Bernard Maisner | Band : Becca Kauffman Orchestra | Brides Dress and Veil: Vera Wang | Ceremony Venue : St. James Cathedral | Florals and Decor : HMR Designs | Grooms Tux: Ralph Lauren | Mother of Grooms Gown : Johnston & Murphy | Mother of brides gown: Carolina Herrera

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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10 Things Your Florist Wishes You Knew

If you’ve been pinning gorgeous bouquets and intricate centerpieces for years, you’re probably the type of bride who’s put a lot of thought into her wedding flowers. But there are still a few things you need to know before making the floral decisions for your wedding. Here are ten insider tips that wedding florists would like you to keep in mind before your big day!

Seasonal matters.

If you ask for anemones in July or calla lilies in November, it’s going to run your bill way, way up. Look for flowers that will be blooming naturally around your wedding date, and stay flexible on the exact breed of flower.

Not all florists are the same.

When finding a florist, ask questions about delivery services, how far before your wedding the bouquets will be created, and if they provide other services (linen rentals, table number rentals, etc.)

No, flowers aren’t expensive only because they’re for your wedding.

The idea of a “wedding tax” being put on florals simply isn’t true. Flowers eat up a larger part of your budget because of the many hours put into them. Unlike for more basic events, brides tend to be very focused on complex details of their bouquets, leading to more hours for florists spent making them flawless. Between speaking with the bride, planning the florals, and actually executing the floral plan, florists can spend a ton of time bringing the bride’s floral vision to life. If you think about it, you’re really ordering custom art—and in most cases, multiple pieces.

DIY isn’t as easy as it seems.

It’s becoming more and more common or brides to put their own bouquets together or outsource to a friend. If that’s your thing, great—but make sure you do the research ahead of time. Removing pollen, thorns, and other pointy stems is an absolute necessity, and it looks a lot easier than it actually is to create a pretty group of flowers.

Outdoor photos can be killer on bouquets.

If you’re taking outdoor photos before your ceremony, limit the amount you pose with your flowers. The summer heat and winter chill can both be tough on flowers. Take a few portraits, then have a bridesmaid take your flowers back inside for a drink and some rest.

You should consider the environment.

Working with a florist that uses local gardeners means less gas and refrigeration used. Go as farm-to-table as possible. Bonus: organic flowers also tend to last longer!

Don’t use overly scented florals.

Some flowers smell amazing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a great fit for your centerpieces. Scents highly impact our taste buds, and so if you have lilies of the valley, lilacs, or other highly-fragrant flowers in your centerpiece, it could negatively affect how your wedding meal tastes to friends and family. Also, smells are so individual—you never know if something that smells wonderful to you smells less-than-stellar to your guests.

Think about your photos and wedding day look.

Don’t select flowers for your bouquet that will clash with your bridesmaid’s dresses, even if you love them. If your venue is over-the-top and colorful, consider going simpler with the color scheme of your centerpieces. Thinking about your aesthetic as a whole will help you make better floral decisions.

Think outside the box.

Adding a personal touch, like a rosary or a piece of your mom’s veil wrapped around your bouquet, is a super-simple way to bring even more meaning to your flowers. It’s also easy to do—just don’t forget to give your memento to your florist ahead of time. Some florists also love creating unique details like flowers for your cake or entrance arches for your reception. Ask your florist to show you photos of their favorite work they’ve created for weddings to get an idea of what they can do.

Trust your vendors.

Florists work with a natural product, which means they often need to stay flexible. If the flowers you ordered haven’t quite bloomed or aren’t as large as the florist would like, they may need to make substitutions to keep your florals looking perfect. Trust that your vendor has your best interests at heart and try not to be bridezilla over your bouquet.

At the end of the day, your florist wants to work with you to make your wedding the day you’ve been dreaming of. But by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have fewer bumps in the road and smoother sailing to “I Do” surrounded by gorgeous florals.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Claire Swinarski is a writer and podcaster based in Wisconsin. When she isn’t writing, she can be found obsessing over football, eating a burrito bowl, or hanging out with her husband and son. 

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