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Natural + Airy Wedding with a Timeless Design

Let’s face it, when a wedding photographer gets married it’s going to be so very good. They’ve inherently got an eye for design with focus on the details, and that was exactly the case for Megan and Johnathan’s nuptials captured by Kayla Yestal and Videos by Janet. No surprise, Megan made certain their portrait session stole the show including linen signage to show off their new status as Mr and Mrs.


Al Fresco

From Kayla YestalEvery time I think back to Megan and Johnathan’s wedding day, my whole face just immediately lights up. Megan, who is an incredible wedding photographer herself, had such a clear vision for her wedding day, and teamed up alongside one of her best friends, Lauren from Flourish Calligraphy, in order to bring her dreams to life.

The resulting day was the epitome of timelessness. Every single choice she made had so much thought and intention, from the venue, which was her family home in Southern Ontario, down to the smallest details on her invitation suite, complete with a freehand sketch of the property. Lauren was able to make absolutely everything cohesive by creating unique calligraphed details that were placed perfectly throughout the property. The entrances to the home and the ceremony site were lined with linen welcome signs, which perfectly matched the programs that were individually bound together with Poetry of Silk ribbon. Resting stations with wooden benches could be found surrounding the ceremony and reception areas, with baskets full of blankets adorned with “cozy up” signs. Megan and Johnny even carried a stunning linen “Mr and Mrs Bialas” sign during their portrait time, that they now have with them in their new home together.

Beyond the incredible details, Megan and Johnny’s wedding day was purely focused on bringing together family and friends in a way that was so personal to them. Since most of Megan’s family was flying in for the wedding from England, it was really important to them that they could spend as much time together, and less time traveling to different locations. For that reason, all of the wedding day events took place on the property, with the couple only venturing off as far as down the street to have their portrait session on a family friends apple orchard.

My absolute favorite part of the day was when Megan looked down to the ground at the end of their portraits, kneeled for a moment, and popped back up with a perfect four leafed clover and the biggest grin I had ever seen. It was the perfect way to sum up such a magical day, and to really start the celebrations for the rest of the evening.

From the bride… Johnathan and I knew from a very early stage that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. We knew each other had something that we’ve each been looking for. We believe God blessed both of our paths in life to collide together. We are so thankful to everyone who made our wedding day possible!

Being a Wedding Photographer myself, I have witnessed many gorgeous weddings, but wanted to make sure ours wasn’t like anything I’ve seen before. I wanted ours to be a true celebration of us, both with sentimental details and a beautiful, natural aesthetic and atmosphere.

One thing I knew for certain, was that it felt right to be married at my family home. We moved around a lot while I was growing up, as my parents loved to buy and flip houses. This house, however, became our home – and my family has created roots and a beautiful life here over the past 10 years. This made it that much more meaningful for us to get married on the breathtaking grounds that I could truly call my home.

I knew in order to ensure my vision would come to life properly, I had to team up with the right vendors. A big thank you to the team of friends and vendors who brought my vision to life – it couldn’t have been more perfect!

My original background before becoming a Fine Art Photographer, was in design – so beautiful calligraphic and designed components were a must for me! Luckily, one of my dear friends, Lauren of Flourish Calligraphy, brought all of my dreams to life with all of the custom details she created for our day.

We had a custom sketch of our home gracing the front of our handmade paper invitations that really set the tone for each of our guests. There was an overall theme of ‘botanicals’ that was carried through from the table numbers that sat atop each table, all the way through the rose imprint that was sealed with gold wax on the back of each envelope that was mailed out. The abundance of natural garden-style flowers also played into our theme and really reinforced the beautiful, natural atmosphere that I really wanted to create.

Our alter was hand crafted by my talented father – I couldn’t have been more proud to stand under his work as I married my best friend. The cross adorned with greenery that stood behind the signing table was also made by my father, and it was the perfect symbol to signify our faith as we signed our names and made our marriage concrete. During this time we heard my long time family friend sing the Lords praises. Our ceremony was truly amazing. To top it off we exchanged our own written vows to each other and there wasn’t a dry eye around! After the ceremony we had benches set up all around the grounds with blankets and pillows with signs allowing the guests to “stay cozy” along with fun games including bocce ball and crocket.

I originally wanted the reception to be completely outside, but I knew with Southern Ontario good weather isn’t always certain. I opted for a clear tent, thus still giving the effect of being under the stars and surrounded by beautiful tall trees. We hung cafe lights and chandeliers adorned with greenery, creating a setting unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It was described as magical from many of our guests!

A final thank you is in order for my wonderful photographer and friend, Kayla Yestal, who captured all of these sweet memories so beautifully – we will forever be grateful!

Remembering and writing about our day reminds me how blessed I am to have been able to marry my best friend in front of our family and friends in the place where I call my home.

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Photography: Kayla Yestal | Cinematography: Videos by Janet | Event Coordinator: Merren Events | Event Planning: Megan Laura Photography | Styling: Megan Laura Photography | Floral Design: Lief by Marina Veldhuizen | Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: Sarah Smith Makeup | Hair: Lux Salon and Spa | Calligraphy: Flourish Calligraphy | Bridal Bouquet: Sweet Woodruff | Bride's Getting Ready Dress: Free People | Dress Hanger: BHLDN | Ribbon: Poetry of Silk | Tent Rentals: Niagara Tents & Events

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From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
A Wedding Every Southern Bride Needs to See

Simply put, this wedding is the epitome of Southern elegance. It’s a day steeped in faith, family, and tradition with details like a custom crest designed by Lemontree Calligraphy & Illustration and a live painter at the ceremony to capture the scene. A Charleston Bride planned Morgan and Daniel’s celebration and the incredible Simply Sarah Photography is to thank for every last photo.

Al Fresco

From the Bride…I transferred schools my sophomore year of high school, and as I was walking out to the carpool line the first day, I saw the most handsome boy standing outside waiting on his mom. I hopped straight in the car and told my mom I had just seen “THE cutest boy alive,” and searched for him all night on Facebook and found nothing. The next day, I told my only friend at school I had at the time about the boy I had seen the day before but I didn’t have enough details for her to know exactly who it was. Embarrassingly I have to admit we decided his nickname would just be “baby” (he had a baby face) until I could figure out his name. She finally figured out who I was talking about and she told me that “baby” was Daniel Fields and he was a freshman.

I sent the text and he responded and really from that point forward the conversation never stopped. We talked all summer long and would ask each other every question in the book. I finally mustered up the courage to ask him to go out to eat with my family and our best family friends and he agreed. After that first night of hanging out we practically hung out every single day after and were absolutely obsessed with each other. We became each other’s best friend and truly were a part of one another’s families.

We dated for two years, and then it was time for me to go off to college. Much to my dismay, we decided that we needed to break up and have time to really mature and take advantage of all the opportunities we could without always basing our decisions on one another. It absolutely crushed me, but I knew if it was meant to be the Lord would find even the craziest way to bring us back together and He most certainly did. We decided to start dating again and it honestly felt like nothing had ever changed. Of course we were much more mature than we were in high school, but it was just like it was always meant to be. Immediately, we were one another’s best friend again and we didn’t do anything without the other. Our families were overjoyed and we were one big happy family all over again.

Really, our wedding day was everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. All of the details we planned beforehand made me so incredibly anxious for the big day and when I saw them in person it was like a real-life fairy tale come true.

As special as all of the moments were, nothing was sweeter than standing at the top of the aisle, connecting eyes for the first time that day with my groom, and seeing all of our family and closest friends standing there to witness our marriage. Knowing that each of our guests traveled all the way to Charleston to celebrate with us was overwhelmingly touching, but even more so knowing that each of those people has greatly encouraged, supported, prayed for, loved, and mentored Daniel and me was an indescribable feeling. From the start of the planning process, we committed to making our wedding day a gift for our guests as much as it was a celebration for us, so to see the smiles on their faces the whole night was absolutely priceless!

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Photography: Simply Sarah Photography | Cinematography: Life In Rewind | Event Planning + Design: A Charleston Bride | Floral Design: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: DeClare Cakes | Invitations: Studio R | Bride's Shoes: Gucci | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Cru Catering | Hair + Makeup: Ash & Co. | Calligraphy: Penned By Palmer | Lighting: Innovative Event Services | Band: Big Night Dynamite | Bow Tie: Brackish Bowties | Groomsmen's Attire: Guffey's | Ceremony Music: Classical Charleston | Venue: Boone Hall Plantation | Custom Crest: Lemontree Calligraphy & Illustration | Getaway Car: Lowcountry Valet | Linen Rentals: Nuage Designs | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Eventworks | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals | Veil + Sash: Vera Wang

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Looking for your dream gown? We found it.

There’s nothing better than New York Bridal Week.  That is, of course, unless we are happily reliving the festivities with some seriously stunning gowns from JLM Couture. Fresh off the runway, these unique beauties kicked off the celebrations with one jaw-dropping detail after another and, well… they are most definitely worth another look. Seriously, guys. Find your dream gown below.


Jim Hjelm

Hayley Paige

Blush by Hayley Paige

Tara Keely

Alvina Valenta

Ti Adora

From breathtaking ballgowns to romantic lace numbers to sleek + sophisticated sheaths, JLM Couture’s newest collections will truly make you hearts happy with gowns that are everything you’ve ever dreamed of wearing. Think fashion-forward designs from Lazaro, Jim Hjelm, Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley Paige, Tara Keely, Alvina Valenta and Ti Adora, all with that signature WOW factor JLM Couture is so well-known for.

Visit JLM Couture today to book your appointment, and make sure to follow their blog for inspiration and the latest news from their team. Happy shopping, loves.

Photography: Maria Valentono | Photography: Natalie Poette

Karena of ‘Tone It Up’ Reveals Her Hawaii Wedding Photos!

When we first learned that Karena Dawn of Tone It Up was engaged we waited with baited breath for for her wedding day. Oh boy oh boy did it live up to our expectations. Captured by Jana Williams Photography, it’s Hawaii like you’ve never seen it before and we’ve got it all in The Vault!

How we met

I met Bobby years ago (he went to college with Brian , Katrina’s husband, in Boston), but we didn’t start dating until he moved into the apartment below me four years ago. We instantly grew closer and he showed me how powerful a deep love is. Life is about love and the relationships and memories we make… this is what gets us through the unknown. It frees us. We were talking about getting engaged for a year, but Bobby really wanted to surprise me. And believe me, I’m a hard one to surprise! Once he realized both of our families would also be at the Tone It Up Retreat last September (2015) , he knew it was the perfect setting at Reef Point, Laguna Beach. It’s one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been and to be able to share it with our families and community was perfect and beautiful.

Why we chose Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands have always held a special place in my heart. It was years ago that I would come visit to explore the beauty, learn to surf, and hike through a rain forest for the first time. There were a few occasions when I visited the Big Island (home of Ironman Triathlon!!) to shoot for Zoot Sports and the Triathlete Magazine Swimsuit Issue. Later, Kat and I would shoot our first two Beach Babe Workouts on the islands too! So many memories have been made there! I wanted to share the magic of the Hawaiian Islands with Bobby, so we took our first vacation together on Kauai. It was just a few months in, when I was still just dating ‘the neighbor,’ but it felt really special. It was the place where we first said ‘I love you.’ We were daydreaming at the time and told each other that if it works out and we ever get married, we’d do it here!

The Vision

We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty of Kauai and Hanalei Bay. The colors of the wedding complemented the surroundings with blues, greens and earth tones. Decor was clean, simple and modern. We used green succulents and white linens. To add a personal touch I used one of my abstract ocean paintings as the print for the menus and place cards. Overall, the most important aspect was having an unforgettable vacation with our closest family and friends….which we did!


Without a doubt, the highlight of the day was saying our vows (and the 6 rainbows that Hawaii blessed us with!) We chose to write our own vows, which is a big responsibility on your wedding day! Ultimately it was the best decision we could have made, and we were able to express our feelings from the heart, with a few tears. It also meant a lot that my dad played guitar and sang our first dance, and our friend Jordan T performed at the reception for our wild and fun dance party! I could go on… There were so many perfect moments!

Thoughts on planning

Since one of the goals of our destination wedding was to make it a vacation, I wanted to keep the planning as simple as possible. After all – work keeps me super busy, and it was important for me to save the time off for our honeymoon. The St. Regis made planning incredibly enjoyable, simplified and exciting. Bobby and I knew exactly what we wanted and they made it happen! From the decor to the cake, it was perfection for us!

Photography: Jana Williams Photography | Event Planner: St. Regis Princeville | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Venue: St. Regis Princeville | Bride: Tone It Up | Engagement Ring + Wedding Band: Trumpet & Horn

Bobby + Karena’s proposal + engagement session below!

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