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DIY “Will You Be My Groomsman?” Box

Angela from Saffron Avenue here with my next blogger bride post! With all of the excitement around planning a wedding us brides sometimes forget about how to make the wedding process fun for our grooms, as well. Recently my fiancé saw me creating all of my ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid’ boxes and wanted to do something similar for his gents. Of course, I obliged.

Since I made all of my bridesmaids a wooden box with goodies we did the same for the guys too. The boxes were also a good preview of what to expect for the wedding and the style. 

First we stained the unfinished cigar boxes and then I hand-painted each of their name on it, inside we included a short note about the wedding details, a small bottle of whiskey, and a cigar for celebration. Each box cost us around $10 to make and was well worth it and would recommend it to anyone.


Unfinished Cigar Box
Dark Wood Stain
Crinkle Paper
White Paint (for the names)
Cigar and/or Whiskey
5″ x 5″ Note about the wedding

Not only was it was neat to see each of their reactions but made it more special for them to be a part of our wedding. You could even have fun with it too and include something personal for each guy. I guarantee the groomsmen will love it!

Photography: Photographs By Jenna Leigh | Design Studio: Saffron Avenue


Contributing Editor, Blogger Bride

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Bayside Engagement Session in Door County

This darling e-sesh from The McCartneys has all the necessary ingredients for an all-around adorable result. 1. A sweet duo named Karyn and Tom, who are madly in love. 2. One black and white, bow-tie wearin’ pup named Weasley (yes, he’s pretty much the cutest thing you’ll see all week). And 3. Those breathtaking bayside views of Door County… really, it just doesn’t get any better.

From The McCartneys PhotographyThis engagement session was captured in one of the most beautiful parts of Wisconsin—Door County! This session, in a few words: soft, romantic, pastel, and lovely. Not to mention ADORABLE because this gorgeous couple brought their bowtie-clad pup, Weasley, along for a few photos.

When we arrived at Tom’s Mom’s house in Sturgeon Bay, we knew a few things to be true: Karyn & Tom are awesome, they have an adorable pup named Weasley, and Tom’s Mom’s house is on the water in beautiful Door County. Those three things alone had us feeling SO excited for Karyn & Tom’s engagement session!! Little did we know, we would be photographing them along one of the loveliest tucked away parts of the County on a private dock, with dunes across the Bay that looked like we were in Cape Cod. And, this was only to be followed by more costal beauty as we inched our way along Bayshore drive over to The Alpine Resort!

From Karyn, the lovely Bride-to-be… We wanted to keep the colors in outfits soft and romantic — the settings for our photos were so beautiful that we wanted to keep our outfits pretty simple. We also wanted to wear outfits that are similar to what we would wear on a typical date night– just prettier! I pulled my favorite white lace dress and added a pretty necklace and some heels to dress it up a little bit. Tom chose a few of his favorite shirts and we mixed and matched until we found combinations that we liked together.

Our favorite part of the engagement session was the excitement and anticipation that it brought for our actual wedding day! The experience was surprisingly intimate, emotional and special. We couldn’t stop smiling thinking about getting married to each other and I think that really came out in our photos!

Some advice for future brides-to-be as they plan for their own engagement session: Don’t stress about it! Just relax and know that your wonderful photographers will be able to capture natural, beautiful moments with the person you love.

Photography: The McCartneys Photography

The McCartneys Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Chic Modern Wedding in Madison

For those of you that are tying the knot in the gorgeous city of Madison, consider yourself inspired. Because this celebration is everything we love about weddings…it’s chic, it’s intimate, it’s chocked full of tradition, glamour and all out loveliness. With photographs by The McCartney’s and florals by daffodil*parker, this is one wedding that will be bookedmarked for years to come. Click here for more!


From The McCartneys PhotographyAll along, Amanda & Nick’s four wedding words were “classic, elegant, soft, and romantic” and when their wedding day came around, every element and moment was anchored in this “theme”! As a couple, Amanda & Nick are sentimental, adventurous, and SO in love, which made for a beautiful celebration filled with timeless, elegant touches (and peonies galore!!!). Personal details like traditional Trentadue family Italian cookies, his/her signature cocktails, and beautiful hand-written vows (that left very few eyes dry during their ceremony) are what made their wedding day so special!

In May 2013, Amanda summarized her wedding as follows and she believes their day held very true to these words!: “My four wedding words are classic, elegant, timeless, and romantic. Our colors are “bright neutrals” – white, champagne, and gold (with pops of coral). Our rehearsal dinner will be at the University Club, and both the ceremony and reception at the Madison Club. There will be approximately 150 guests. My favorite flowers are peonies. The girls will wear long champagne chiffon dresses. The guys will wear plain black suits. Overall, I envision a simple, heartfelt ceremony (we’re writing our own vows), an intimate (or as intimate as 150 can be!) reception with lots of white, and one heck of a party. Our taste is simple yet elegant. The venue is almost masculine (an older, establish space with lots of history) so I want to add soft full flowers and touches of gold and coral. Nick and I also love traveling (I collected 5 passport stamps last year and Nick probably collected 10) so I also want to include this passion of ours somehow.”

From the bride…We wanted to stay true to ourselves and make sure the day, and everything in it, meant something to us. It was important to us to keep the event as small and intimate as possible (for us 150 was small!) and to also exchange hand-written vows.

After toying with the idea of a destination wedding for about a week, it was an easy decision to decide that Madison was the perfect location for our wedding. The city we are both from, the place we met while students at the UW, the location of our first home – Madison will always be home and have a special place in our hearts.

I’m not even quite sure how the Madison Club came to mind, but after exchanging a few emails with the staff and seeing some photos, we were almost positive it was exactly what we were looking for and it only took a short first look at the venue to know for sure. The location was ideal, the food was well-known to be really great, and it had the character and feel we wanted.
Rather than DIYing everything, we worked with a fabulous team of vendors who brought our vision to life better than we could have imagined!

I’d love to say the whole day was our favorite moment because it truly was more than anything we could have dreamed, but three moments stand out…

1) Our first look. Taking photos before the ceremony meant that Nick and I would see each other before but we were totally fine with that idea. And actually, having that time just the two of us before the craziness of the day really started was very special – I’ll never forget those first few moments we got to spend together.

2) The vows. It was important to both of us to write our own vows and that decision might be the best one we made for the entire wedding. Hearing Nick’s vows to me was one of the happiest and most blessed moments of my life thus far, and having the chance to read mine to Nick in front of our nearest and dearest meant so much.

3) The moment right after the recessional. After we were pronounced husband and wife we excited the ceremony room for a few minutes before greeting guests at their seats. As soon as we got to that other room, we hugged and started immediately crying because we were both so incredibly overwhelmed with happiness. We were literally so happy we burst (into tears) :)

As for advice to other brides, make sure you stay true to yourselves! I think a wedding should reflect who you are as a couple and be filled with things you love and elements that are important to you.

And, your bridal party matters! They are your support system during planning but also on the most important day of your lives. Surrounding yourself with people who know you and that you can count on is invaluable.

Photography: The McCartneys Photography | Videography: Don't Shout Films | Floral Design: Daffodil*parker | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Craig's Cake Shop | Invitations: Paper Piper Designs | Bride's Shoes: Tieks | Engagement Ring: A Jaffe | Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy | DJ: Sound By Design | Bride'sBracelet & Necklace: Tiffany & Co. | Ceremony String Quartet: Quartessence | Ceremony/Reception Venue: The Madison Club | Wedding Ring: The Diamond Center

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls, Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. daffodil*parker, JLM Couture, Inc and The McCartneys Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.

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