SUBMIT WEDDING
View All Weddings in New England OR The Tri-State Area
This Greenwich Bride Wore a Fairytale Gown Custom Designed by Monique Lhuillier Herself!

The first item on many brides wedding planning to-do list is a dress, and for this bride, she was able to check off a custom-designed dress by Monique Lhuillier! Next on the list for this Greenwich couple was a venue, and the decision of the Greenwich Country Club was a no brainer, as the brides’ parents were married there 32 years prior! Add in a lush bouquet of blush peonies for the Mrs. and white sweet peas for the ‘Maids by Blush Floral Design and STUNNING sunset photos by Kelsey Combe Photography and you have what we would call the epitome of romance! Take a look below and be sure to read on for the brides’ bit of advice for every couple on their wedding day!

From the Bride…Michael and I met at a fraternity party in college 8 years ago. The odds of us meeting were slim and we feel lucky our paths crossed. To give you some context, Michael is Irish and grew up in Europe. He moved to Connecticut in high school and lived just 15 minutes from me in Greenwich. Ironically, we didn’t meet until we were students at Elon University in North Carolina. Fast forward 7 years, Michael proposed in Central Park and we began our wedding planning journey. The first step was choosing a date and venue. We were set on June because the weather is typically beautiful in New England and as a teacher I have summers off. Although we live together in New York City, we have always considered Greenwich home, which made our decision easy. We got married in the church I attended growing up and our reception was held at Greenwich Country Club where my parents were married 32 years ago.

I was excited to begin planning and one of the first decisions I made was my dress. I am known to be indecisive, so my mom and sister were shocked when I fell in love with the first dress I tried on at The Plumed Serpent. It was Monique Lhuillier’s “Severine” gown. I loved the soft tulle skirt and floral appliqué, but the v-neckline and spaghetti straps didn’t feel like me. I tried on some other styles, but couldn’t get the first dress out of my mind. After making a few phone calls, my bridal consultant delivered exciting news. Monique Lhuillier agreed to design a custom gown for me with a strapless sweetheart neckline, lace bodice, and the tulle skirt I loved. I ended up buying a dress that didn’t yet exist, but I trusted the professionals would work their magic.

From the very start of planning, I envisioned a classic, elegant, romantic wedding with touches of blush pink, white, and gold. Thanks to my amazingly talented team of vendors, including planner Stacie Shea, all of my visions came to life. Sandy of Roseville Designs created our paper story. Invitations were really important to me because they set the tone for the event. Sandy and I designed timeless invitations with gold foil and gold edging on double thick paper. They were tied together with a blush pink ribbon and a tag with our custom monogram (which The Mrs. Box was able to engrave on my ring box!) Barbara of BL Calligraphy hand-wrote every address in a soft blush hue to match the envelope liner and ribbon. Each envelope was sealed with a custom gold wax seal. The vintage postage was my favorite aspect of our invitation suite. The old, unique, stamps embodied New York City, our wedding color scheme, and florals. Beth of Blush Floral Design truly delivered in the flower department. My number one request was lots of peonies. I carried a bouquet of blush pink peonies down the aisle and my bridesmaids held white sweet peas. My sister’s bouquet incorporated a touch of pink to distinguish her as Maid of Honor.

After a year and a half of planning, it felt surreal when our big day finally arrived. It began at Greenwich Country Club where Michael and I got ready in separate rooms. My bridesmaids and I spent the morning with J.Kinford Beauty Group for hair and makeup. Before leaving, owner and make-up artist Jen gave me a small touch up bag with lip gloss, makeup wipes, bobby pins, etc. Our photographer, Kelsey Combe, suggested we do a first look and it was one of the best decisions we made. Not only did it allow more time for photos with our wedding party and families, but it also helped calm our nerves. A part of me worried that I would regret seeing Michael before I walked down the aisle with my dad, but that moment was still incredibly special. Seeing each other before the ceremony allowed us to relax and spend some time together before all of the craziness began. Kelsey sought out a prime location at the club where we took photos before heading to the church.

Michael and I exchanged traditional vows in front of our family and friends at First Presbyterian Church. We decided to write our own personal vows to share with one another prior to the ceremony. It was really special to keep those words between the two of us and read them privately before our first look. One of my favorite moments from our ceremony was lighting the unity candle. My mom and mother-in-law lit candles at the alter after their processional. Michael and I used the flames from those candles to light our unity candle together. Another highlight was the Irish blessing. Michael’s uncle is a priest in Ireland and we were honored to have him co-officiate our ceremony. He read the beautiful Irish blessing that McKenzie seamlessly incorporated into our wedding highlight video.

After the ceremony, guests headed to GCC where they were greeted with Moscow Mules (Michael’s personal favorite) upon arrival. We were able to be fully present and mingle with guests during cocktail hour because we had already taken most photos before the ceremony. After guests were escorted into the ballroom for our reception, Michael and I had about 15 minutes on our own. The biggest piece of advice I received leading up to the wedding was to escape the crowd for a few minutes to simply be together as a married couple. I am so glad we did this and I would give the same advice to all future brides. Michael and I made our entrance and danced to Blaire Reinhard Band’s rendition of How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding. My dad made the most thoughtful speech and we danced to My Girl by The Temptations. During sunset, Michael and I ducked out to take photos on the golf course during golden hour. Michael is an avid golfer (borderline obsessed), so taking photos here was certainly fitting! Kelsey and McKenzie Miller’s team captured some seriously stunning photos and footage. After cutting the cake (fun fact: only the top layer of our cake was edible and guests received individual mini cakes), we spent hours on the dance floor singing along to our amazing band (who guests are still raving about to this day!) We topped off the evening with a sparkler send-off followed by an after-party in GCC’s pub 1892.

[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/349682322 600 338]

 

Photography: Kelsey Combe Photography | Cinematography: McKenzie Miller Films | Floral Design: Blush Floral Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Roseville Designs | Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church Of Greenwich | Reception Venue: Greenwich Country Club | Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Rings: A E Betteridge Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Hair And Makeup: Jennifer Kinford | Calligraphy: Belles Lettres Calligraphy | Band: Blaire Reinhard Band | Groom's Attire: Richard's of Greenwich | Transportation: Test | Bridal Boutique: The Plumed Serpent Bridal Salon | Groom's Tie: The Tie Bar | Musician: Randall Atcheson | Planning: Stacie Shea Events | Rentals: Smith Party Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Robes: Piyama

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A Chinoiserie Office Makeover in Connecticut

Spring arrives and all of a sudden we’re ready to redecorate. Does anyone else get that fever too? Well, designer and photographer Erin Kestenbaum found herself doing just that and decided it was time to overhaul her home office! Looking to mix a touch of chinoiserie with a few modern touches, Erin turned to a few of her favorite vintage sources to blend old with new. The office was yet another DIY makeover Erin embarked on in the colonial Connecticut home she shares with her husband. We chatted with Erin about her design philosophies and the vision behind her home workspace.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business?

Two and a half years ago, my husband and I bought our first house: a 1940’s Colonial in Coastal Connecticut that needed quite a bit of love. We have been spending our nights and weekends bringing character to the home, with the goal of using our DIY skills to create spaces that are elevated and look professionally executed. Additionally, I shoot interiors photography for designers local to NYC and Connecticut, capturing their own projects alongside my own, and also work in Marketing for a NYC-based retail start-up.

What’s a typical work day for you like?

While I don’t work from my home office on daily basis, I’m typically working in my office during nights and weekends on editing photos, creating design schemes, and blogging about the progress we’re making on our home projects.

How do you blend your love of interiors with photography? 

Every time I’m designing a space, my first consideration is how the room will photograph: what are the key angles of the room, where is there opportunity to craft a shot, and how will people interact and experience the space. Once a project enters an execution phase, I’m shooting photos in the middle to identify what the space might be missing or identifying visually the opportunities to push the space further. And then finally, once a space is completed, I’m capturing the photos of the space. By working with local designers, I’m also able to assist with styling to capturing other incredible spaces, and sharing that love of both interiors and photography with my clients and the homeowners.

Take us through your office, what was your vision when designing the space? Is it in line with the decor of your home or is this room a little different?

When designing the office, my first focus was on the function of the space and laying out the room to allow for more organization and better flow. By moving the desk to the wall most visible from the hallway it created a natural opportunity for a focal point. I had been obsessing for months over this theme of modern chinoiserie: combining a traditional chinoiserie wallpaper mural with more modern furniture and accessories. In every room I design, I’m looking to infuse modern and traditional design together, and I wanted this space to continue that theme. Once I found this epic Tempaper Chinoiserie Wallpaper, it became an anchor for the room, and all the other pieces fell into place. I like to think of the rooms in my home as siblings and not twins: they all share traditional moulding details (like crown moulding and ceiling medallions), immersive wall treatments, modern lighting and vintage casegoods, and the office fits in perfectly without being overly matching to the other rooms.

What are your must haves for a home office – especially for those that spend most of the time working from home?

My essentials for working in an at home office are a comfortable desk chair (this CB2 one was a huge upgrade from my previous very uncomfortable vintage chair), ample task lighting, window treatments to control glare, and a large monitor for editing photos.

What is your favorite thing about the space? (an item, section of the room, etc.)

This is a toss up between the wallpaper mural – the detailing in the printing is so incredible and the metallic sheen is gorgeous, and the vintage Chinese Elmwood desk that I won at auction – it’s from the late 1800’s and was constructed using only dowels with no nails or screws. It’s an amazing example of craftsmanship that you rarely encounter in new furniture.

Did you go totally DIY on this project or did you have a little help?

We DIY-ed this entire project, from hanging the crown moulding, refinishing the floors, hanging the wallpaper, building the window bench and painting the entire space, we did it all.

For someone looking to revamp their office, where should one start?

Start with your functional needs, because without storage, it will quickly look cluttered and be somewhere that you don’t feel inspired to work.

What are your favorite places to shop for pieces? 

I love vintage furniture and spend lots of time scouring Facebook Marketplaces, Craigslist and estate sales for one of a kind treasures that are both unique and also very budget friendly. I also love working with vintage rug vendors that I’ve discovered on Instagram, like Zartiques, for rugs that bring instant patina, warmth, and character to any room. For non-vintage finds, I love CB2 for modern, clean lined furniture and affordable accessories.

What’s on your home ‘wish list’ right now?

Right now, I’m on the hunt for statement-making outdoor dining chairs, lots of planters for our patio, and a great outdoor rug.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone embarking on their own DIY home project?

Document everything! There are so many process photos that I wish I had taken in order to properly share exactly how others in my shoes can accomplish the same project.



Photography: Erin Kestenbaum | Interior Design: Erin Kestenbaum

A Monet Inspired Wedding at Eolia Mansion in Connecticut

Today’s Monet-inspired wedding in Connecticut planned by EBB & Flow Events is every bit charming as it is romantic. We love how the bride and groom incorporated elements into their wedding that represented their personal passions. So, you’ll notice horses for the bride and bicycles for the groom celebrated in subtle ways throughout the day. Their color palette was unique and beyond dreamy: grey, blue and green with pops of black and marble! Wild, organic floral arrangements by Sarah Saunders Studio had us weak at the knees.See all the gorgeous details captured beautifully by Rebecca Yale Photography below!

From Rebecca Yale PhotographyMichelle and Robert were married at Eolia Mansion in Waterford CT on May 12, 2018. The day had heavy rain, but the couple didn’t miss a beat and hosted 100 of their closest friends and family in an intimate ceremony in a tent with grey drapery and lush florals followed by cocktail hour and a seated dinner in the mansion and then back to the tent for dancing. The couple chose to use grey, blue and green with some pops of black and marble as their dominant colors throughout the day. 

The invitations set the color tone and featured custom sketches of a horse- a love of the bride’s and a bicycle- a love of the groom’s, as well as a custom sketch of the venue on the envelope liner. The horse was drawn on a piece of vellum that overlaid the center piece and vellum was used again as the place cards at the reception. The groom is an avid bicyclist and has actually competed in the Tour de France multiple times so in addition to the bicycle on the invitation they named their signature drink “Tour de Weiss Blueberry Mojito” and the planner, Ebb and Flow Events, custom made bicycle cocktail stirrers for the drinks. Guests were welcomed to the wedding weekend with two unique welcome gifts- a welcome box for the men featuring a candle, whisky infused caramels and chocolate, while the girls were welcomed with linen bags full of bath salts, elderflower liquor, a deck of playing cards and a book on the stars- a passion of both the bride and groom. Both bags came with a custom made do not disturb sign for guests to use after dancing the night away.

The wedding was planned by Jenna of Ebb and Flow Events who is also a dear friend of the bride, and Jenna’s daughter Camilla served as the flower girl. The bridesmaids were comprised of the bride’s two sisters as well as one of her son’s girlfriends and Jenna’s sister, who all wore different tones of blue dresses. The groomsmen were comprised of the groom’s best friend, Jenna’s father and the bride’s two sons, Joey and John. The groomsmen all wore suits of their own choosing in shades of grey and Joey and John each wore unique feathered bowties which tied in the blue of the bridesmaids gowns. The bride fell in love with her polka dotted long sleeved gown and felt it reminded her of her mother and Stevie Nicks and had a blast twirling in it all day and playing with the sleeves. She paired her dress with black velvet heels with black crystals on the back, which matched perfectly with the groom’s black velvet loafers with a strip of crystals on the back. One of the highlight moments of the day was when they were joined by their five month old puppy for some portraits right after the first look under a pergola on the garden’s grounds.

Their puppy sported a Tiffany & Co leash purchased just for the day and the sapphire blue dog tag fit right in with their colors, perfectly matching her sapphire earrings! Sarah Saunders created a lush organic bouquet in white and green for the bride and blues and greens for bridesmaids, each unique to fit with their unique gown and look. Inside the mansion guests were greeted with a beautiful installation of greenery with pops of blue on the grand staircase and were invited for a glass of champagne and to leave the couple “bucket list” notes before the ceremony began. The fireplaces throughout the mansion were decked out in wild floral arrangements in tones of white, green and blue and hand calligraphed marble tiles were laid on a table with silk runners and loose florals to echo the wild feeling of the flowers throughout the day. The couple wanted the ceremony to feel close and intimate so they elected for a ceremony in the round with their guests all standing around them in a circle and they set up chairs on each side of them with florals all around the back of the chairs for their wedding party to sit in. Joey and John had the honor of walking their mom down the aisle and another dear friend of the family, the planner’s mother, officiated the ceremony.

After the emotional I Do’s where they read vows they wrote themselves, they recessed out of the tent and the rain cleared for the first time that day giving the bride and groom the opportunity to walk down to the water for a moment alone and for the ocean-side portraits the bride had dreamed of. The couple grabbed their signature drink and made the long walk through the muddy and wet grass down to the water, but they couldn’t have cared less and had so much fun enjoying the view. Luckily the bride had a shorter dress to change into and had plans to cut the bottom of her dress off to make it cocktail length so she didn’t mind getting it muddy! Guests enjoyed cocktail hour inside the mansion and the bride slipped into her feathered short dress and took a quick spin around the gardens with her groom as the rain held off.

Guests made their way into the dining rooms and as the bride and groom walked back inside the mansion they all clapped and cheered watching them from the window. Dinner was served on long banquet tables in the beautiful white dining room that tied in all the colors and textures of the day. The grey table cloths were topped with marble chargers and textured white napkins with vellum place cards on top of each plate and marble and gold table numbers echoed the colors and texture of the escort cards. The fireplace in the dining room was set with more wild florals and the tables were set with greenery and pops of blue flowers, which was also echoed in the blue wine goblets and blue and gold flat ware. After the dinner guests joined the couple for a cake cutting, but the bride and groom aren’t big fans of cake so they chose to have a small ceremonial cake cutting followed by a large dessert bar of gelato sundaes, three different kinds of chocolate dipped fruit and a flambé bar creating on demand bananas foster. Country singer April Kry, who the bride had seen perform at her planner Jenna’s wedding and fell in love with her voice, was flown in from Nashville with her guitarist in lieu of a traditional wedding band and they kept the guests dancing all night long.

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Flowers: Sarah Saunders | Hair and Makeup: Cohl Katz | Calligraphy: Jordan Cotton | Venue: Eolia Mansion | Bar Sign: Bespoke Designs | Bride's Gown: Rime Arodaky | Escort Cards: Hanwriting | Invitation: The Wells Makery | Music: Brooklyn Duo | Planning and Design: Ebb and Flow Events | Rentals: borrowed BLU | Rentals: Gather and Lounge | Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Patina | Singer: April Kry | Tent Draping: Ryan Designs, LLC

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
This Alfresco Wedding Came Together in Under 12 Weeks

You would never know that this botanical affair so beautifully captured by Jen Huang came together in under 4 months. Oh, but it did. With planner Copper Cricket Events leading the charge, a gorgeous historic estate was procured and the rest quickly fell into place. KD&J Botanica designed an alfresco celebration filled with layers of lush florals, and elegant details that all started with a ceremony held in front of a 100 year old hydrangea bush. See it all unfold right here.

From Jen, the photographer… I loved shooting this late summer wedding in Connecticut. The feminine details, the lush botanicals, the historic venue! It is so rare to see weddings al fresco on the east coast, this couple lucked out with the beautiful weather and sunlight! Everything about this wedding was intimate, fresh and gorgeous, not to mention they were just about the most romantic couple I’ve ever photographed.

From Rebecca, the planner: I first met the bride and groom in June and knew that I had to work quickly, with the wedding date set for early September. With not a lot of availability in venue choices at this late date, I reached out to some close friends and asked if they would be willing to host a wedding on their charming estate property.

The property, located in Redding, CT, built in the early 1900’s, consists of the main house with it’s exquisite French Normandy inspired architecture, a beautiful carriage house & adjacent antique barn. The bride, a confessed “lover of everything French” fell in love with the location at first glance.

We quickly got to planning with less than 12 weeks total to pull it all together. With the help of Katherine Jacob from KD&J Botanica, the design elements quickly took shape.
Holding my breath, I reached out to Jen Huang Photography in the hopes that she might be available and she was, just like that we had the beginnings of an amazing wedding on our hands.

The ceremony was held in front of one hundred year old hydrangea bushes which looked spectacular in full bloom. Wrought iron garden urns lined the aisle, filled with garden roses, lambs ear & andromeda. Large scale arrangements incorporating the stunning hydrangeas were placed at the entrance to the site.

Food was a very important element for this globetrotting couple and we wanted to weave the local farm produce and products into a menu that also incorporate their Italian heritage & love of French cuisine. Our team has a passion for farm to table fare, so we were excited to take this eclectic menu to the next level. Using local farms to source peaches for the salad course, lamb for the passed hors d’oeuvres and chicken for the entrée incorporating fresh herbs and thoughtful presentation of all the ingredients.

Bistro lighting zigzagged the blue sky above the dining tables and dance floor below. The Carriage House doors were opened on both sides with a cozy and charming lounge set up in front of the fireplace and a Champagne bar tucked in the corner. The other side housed the bountiful buffet dinner stations with an epicurean tea bar with Mariage Frères teas in a variety of flavors and Laduree macarons.

The wedding cake took center stage in the main hallway of the carriage house, not too far from the artfully arrangement escort card board draped with vines & dark chocolate velvet ribbon.

The dinner tables had thoughtful place settings using a wooden charger, custom linen napkins tied with velvet ribbon and a sprig of snowberries. Fresh whole and cut figs picked up the beautiful tones of the centerpieces that contained café au lait dahlias, chocolate cosmos, astilbe, lambs ear, garden roses & andromeda. Dark plum throw blankets were put on the backs of the chairs to warm up guests as the autumn evening turned to nighttime. A few fire pits were set up in-between the dining and bar area complete with the requisite s’mores station.

A custom bar built out of reclaimed wood was draped with hops vine & tucked into the opening of the barn doors. Illuminated by hanging lanterns & overlooking the dance floor, this quickly became the place to hang out.

The bride and groom stole a few private moments just down the road at New Pond Farm, sneaking in some beautiful photos with the rolling landscape as the backdrop and the belted Galloway cattle nearby to chaperone.

Photographer: Jen Huang Photography | Planner: Copper Cricket Events | Wedding Cake: Aux Delices Cakes | Caterer: Spread Out Catering | Make Up: Debra Hazan | Hair: Nancy Vargovchik | DJ: Tyler Kemp | Transportation: Test | Bistro Lighting : Vivid Events | Ceremony Chairs and Linens: Party Rental LTD | Farm Scenes: New Pond Farm | Florals and Design: KD&J Botanica | Portable Restrooms: Stone Industries | Rentals: Abbey Tent And Party Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
From Teenagers In Love to a Very Special Happily Ever After!

This wedding is straight out of a romantic movie: boy meets girl at boarding school, they fall in love, he proposes and then when they make it official, they decide to do so in the same picturesque area where they first met, with an epically elegant farm fete. But this isn’t Hollywood’s latest release; it’s the real life story of Henry and Charlotte, and Kelly Kollar captured it all for our viewing pleasure. S. Lewis & Son even got in on the live action with their film below! Sit back, relax and soak up this winner for the rest of the week!

[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/234951719 600 338]

Colors
Settings
ChurchFarm

From the Bride… My husband, Henry, and I met as teenagers at a boarding school (Hotchkiss) in Lakeville, Connecticut, a town that is still very much trapped in time. That part of the world is magical to us and it felt right to get married in the same place where we first fell in love. I grew up in New York City, so I had always envisioned a very classic and elegant city wedding. Once we decided to get married in Lakeville, however, I had to shift that vision to a farm. The word that I kept coming back to was romantic. We were getting married at a young age (25 and 26), so I wanted our wedding to reflect the beauty and innocence of that youth. Early on, I picked a color palate of soft pinks, greens and off-whites, which tied into the flowers, the invitation suite and the bridesmaids dresses. I was intent on having a crest to use on our “Save the Date” that could flow throughout the rest of our invitation. I came across Gina Langford on Instagram and fell in love with her work – the crest that she made for us helped set the tone and guide the rest of the decisions for the wedding.

Choosing a dress was definitely the hardest part of the planning process. At the very first salon I went to, the consultant said “The happiest brides are the ones who try on the least number of dresses.” I unfortunately didn’t take her advice to heart, and tried on almost 100 dresses (I have pictures of myself in dresses that some of my friends have since chosen – the odds of me having tried it on at some point are pretty high!). I kept coming back to a blush Monique Lhuillier dress, which was the fourth dress I had tried on. It had really subtle detail in the tulle, but overall was very simple. I struggled with the decision because I could tell that my mother thought the dress was boring, and I myself worried that it was boring. On my tenth trip to a bridal salon, I took my dad with me. I tried on a bunch of dresses, all of which he was very supportive of, but in a very fatherly way. I put on the blush Monique dress at the end and his face lit up. I knew it was the one. I felt very much like myself in that dress – and that is exactly how I wanted to feel on my wedding day.

My favorite moment of the day was the car ride in the convertible from the church to the reception. We drove past Hotchkiss on our way, and it felt surreal to be riding in the open air as an officially married couple past the place where we had our first kiss.

I’ll try not to be cliché, but I have two pieces of advice for brides-to-be: 1) Take a moment to yourself on your wedding day. I woke up early on my wedding day and spontaneously went for a run. I had a chance to clear my head and really take in what was about to happen. You’re surrounded by people for the whole day, so for someone like me who is an introvert at heart, it was recharging to get some time on my own. 2) Write letters to each other and to your loved ones. Not only did I write a letter to Henry, but I wrote a letter to each of my parents, each of my siblings, my grandmother and Henry’s parents. It was a way for me to say thank you to the people I love most.

App CTA

App CTA


Photography: Kelly Kollar Photography | Videography: Steve Lewis | Floral Design: Felicity Bontecou | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Lion Rock Farm | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Hathaway Young | Makeup: Melissa Caul | Hair: Andrea O'Connor

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
One Weekend is All You Need to Plan That Dream Wedding

If we’re being honest, finding the right wedding venue can be a little tricky. It takes time, patience and maybe a lucky break or two. That’s why we are so excited for the 5th annual Wedding Show Weekend happening on March 10th and 11th. Hosted by the venue-finding geniuses at Country Club Receptions, it features over 35 country clubs and golf courses across the country (including three in New York and one in New Jersey). In other words? It’s your chance to find that perfect venue all in one weekend – for free.

We know there are a lot of wedding shows out there, but Wedding Show Weekend is different. It’s stress-free, convenient and free – and with two fab country clubs in New York and one in New Jersey, you’re sure to find the right venue for you and yours. Like one of the Wedding Show Weekend’s coolest venues, the Dyker Beach Golf Course. It’s a historic Brooklyn icon that opened over 100+ years ago and the elegant decor + 6,000-square-foot patio are awesome. Also on our love list? The Pelham Bay and Split Rock Golf Courses, aka, two Bronx treasures that originally opened in 1901. If you love anything and everything Art Deco, the ballrooms will floor you. Oh, and speaking of ballrooms – the Beaver Brook Country Club in Hunterdon County, New Jersey is a one-of-a-kind venue that can host 180 guests. Plus, the views are insanely gorgeous.

Whether you’re planning the celebration of a lifetime in New York or New Jersey, the Wedding Show Weekend is your one-stop venue shop with four country clubs and golf courses that are perfect for hosting your big event. Also perfect? Not taking weeks upon weeks to find that venue of your dreams and literally filling one amazing weekend with all of the locales you’ve been eyeing, so you can start planning. Not to mention the amazing vendors, on-site directors and tasty cuisine for you to sample.

Ready to meet the venue + vendor team that will make your dream day happen? RSVP for free on the Wedding Show Weekend’s website and start planning your two days of venue hopping. And be sure to visit their Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for even more inspiration.

Photography: Cherryville Photography | Photography: Matthew Sowa Photography | Photography: George Street | Photography: Photography By Alfonso | Photography: Ricky Restiano | Venue: MountainGate Country Club | Venue: MountainGate Country Club | Venue: MountainGate Country Club | Venue: MountainGate Country Club | Bridal Show: Wedding Show Weekend

We Found Your Venue If You Are Wanting Backyard Wedding Vibes

Backyard weddings are our jam, but if you’re not too keen on hosting your Big Day celebration at your own abode, we’ve got the perfect solution: Sole East Resort. Think of it as your home away from home with everything from gorgeous gardens, bamboo archways and a fire pit perfect for roasting post-nuptial s’mores. It’s that backyard vibe we absolutely adore meets a talented events team that will handle every jaw-dropping moment. You seriously can’t go wrong.

Sole East Resort has always been one of our fave Hamptons venues, and it’s not just because of the sweet Tudor charm and their 70 gorgeous guest rooms. Their accommodations are amazing and their onsite amenities make it the perfect place to relax and play with your friends and family. From their heated pool to their fab Montauk locale to their awesome (+ full-service) Backyard Restaurant, it’s the best place ever to spend a weekend celebrating you and yours. Gather your friends around the fire pit after your rehearsal dinner, take a 5-minute walk to the beach the morning of your Big Day to ease those butterflies and host your last hurrah with a goodbye brunch the morning after your nuptials. They literally have everything covered – and it’s all with that laid-back charm we love so much about the Hamptons.

Sole East Resort isn’t just the perfect place to tie the knot, they have the perfect staff, too. From planning your rehearsal dinner to coordinating your big moment to everything in between, the Sole East Events Team has you totally covered. Our advice? Shoot them an email pronto (events@soleeast.com) to get started planning your amazing nuptials. That backyard wedding you’ve always wanted is waiting – and there are still a few prime May and June 2018 dates available (with generous discounts!) if you’re last-minute planning!

Photography: 4Eyes Photography | Ceremony & Reception : Sole East Resort

Take a Peek at a Wedding Inspired by Ralph Lauren’s Iconic Style

This backyard wedding in Greenwich looks like it walked straight off the pages of a Ralph Lauren editorial. Between the bride’s stunning family home, the black watch tartan and gray wool linens, the elegant florals by KD&J Botanica, and the abundance of warm and cozy candle light, True Event created a celebration that fully embraces the designer’s iconic, timeless style. So head to the gallery where you are guaranteed to fall in love with every single one of Leila Brewster‘s photographs of this beautiful day.

From Sarah True of True EventFor the design, we were inspired by Ralph Lauren. We worked really closely with the mother of the bride (Leigh Carpenter) to create a space that was reflective of the personal style and taste not only of the family, but also of Alex and Avery (the bride and groom) as a couple. We created a warm, inviting, and elegant space that was an extension of their family home and the backdrop for a fabulous party.

Leigh and Avery wanted to create a winter wonderland by incorporating both elegant and organic details. We brought in black watch plaid and custom-sewn gray wool linens to dress the tables, and Katherine and her team at KDJ Botanica outdid themselves with the abundance of florals, candles, and greenery used throughout the space. Using all white florals mixed with foliage, magnolia leaves, and berries set the perfect backdrop for a winter wedding. We also included accents of silver mercury glass, and KDJ Botanica built the custom birch bars to tie in some natural elements – the perfect blend of elegance and organic detail. A mix of texture, pattern, florals, and lots and lots of candlelight made then tent feel very intimate and warm even though it was a large enough to hold over 200 people.

Heavy gray muslin fabric was draped around the perimeter poles by the talented team at Social Decor, and individually strung glass pendants provided a mirror-like reflection on the ceiling over the dance floor. It created the perfect “starry night” on the evening of the super moon.

In the cocktail space, we brought in a gorgeous mirrored bar from Reserve Modern (PEAK Rentals), and luxurious forest green velvet linens really made a statement against the white birch floor. The silver pendant lanterns helped to finish the space and make it feel like an extension of the Carpenters’ home. During cocktail hour, guests mingled in and out of the house where the doors of the living room opened up into the cocktail tent. An incredibly talented, lively pianist played festive tunes that set the tone for an incredible evening. The common sentiment throughout the night was that this was one of the best events guests had attended. We thought about the five senses while we were planning and hit on each one of them for the wedding, which truly created a memorable experience for all in attendance.

From the florals to the linens, from the custom crafted cocktails (ice cubes filled with cranberries and mint) to the live music, from Marcia Selden’s seasonally creative, passed hors d’oeuvres to the signature oyster shuckers with trays around their necks walking around during cocktail hour, there was always something happening to wow guests throughout the evening. We cannot forget to mention the surprise disco ball dancers from Shien that helped to lead guests from cocktail hour to the dining tent and get them on the dance floor for each dance set throughout the evening.

Rhythm Collective kept the energy high throughout the night, and guests never wanted to get off the dance floor. As the night went on, we flipped the cocktail tent to the after party tent by creating an ice lounge for guests to continue the party. Bringing in furniture that was clear like ice, mirrored tables, and white couches created a snow effect. We also had a custom ice luge made that was reflective of the two mountains the bride and groom skied growing up – it was a piece of art! The festivities continued well into the morning as a DJ played tunes to keep the party alive.

Working alongside Leila Brewster and Elysium was a pure joy. They captured the detail of the design, the energy, and the emotion throughout the night perfectly. It is hard to illustrate how magnificent the details were, but in looking at the pictures and video, you can get a glimpse of what it was like to be a guest at Alex and Avery’s wedding.

App CTA

App CTA


Photography: leila brewster | Cinematography: Elysium Productions | Event Planning + Design: TRUE Event | Floral Design: KD&J Botanica | Cake: Palmer's Bakery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Marcia Selden Catering & Events | Makeup: Randall Atcheson | Makeup: Andy | Hair: Madison Sullivan | Calligraphy: Erica Brinizcka | Lighting: Social Decor | Band: Elan Artists | Transportation: Test | Tent: Stamford Tent & Event Services | Accommodations: test | After Party DJ: Japancakes | Dancers: Shien Artists | Dressing Service: Beth Chapman Styling For The White Dress By The Shore | Ice Sculptures: Okamoto Studios | Invitations + Paper Goods: Paper Moss | Photo Booth: Photobooth Planet | Piano: Ludwig Tomescu | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Snow Confetti: The Confetti Bar | Specialty Rentals: Peak Event Services | Trolley + Vintage Car: Top Class Limo | Valet: Advance Parking Concepts LLC

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
7 Honeymoon Locales You Have To See To Believe

We’re true believers that honeymoons are an absolute necessity – whether that means taking a weekend excursion to your fave city or jetting off for a 14-day stay in paradise, that post-wedding relaxation basically needs to happen. But if you’ve found yourself at a loss on just where to celebrate, we’re making it easy. Check out seven of our favorite locales for the best kind of newlywed vacationing.

SHERATON MAUI RESORT & SPA

Why we love it: Other than the fact that it’s totally convenient (read: no passport or foreign currency required), the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is the perfect combo of laid-back, post-wedding relaxation and fun activities that will keep you and your love basking in the sun. Take a scuba lesson or two, attend the nightly cliff dive ceremonies at sunset or spend your days golfing the Ka’anapali’s Royal and Kai courses.

What you can’t miss: SPG Weddings’ Honeymoon Wishes. It’s a honeymoon registry service that allows your family and friends to gift amazing entertainment and activities for you and yours, like beachside luaus, snorkel cruises and sunset cocktails on a sailboat. You’ll love the awesome itinerary, and your guests will love knowing they contributed to all of the fun.

W PUNTA DE MITA  

Why we love it: Located right on the beach in Mexico’s IT city, W Punta de Mita will blow you away with their gorgeous decor that is one part modern chic and one part cultural artistry. Trust us: the design alone makes for one amazing stay with vibrant colors and unique decor dotting literally every inch of space. Oh, and the rooms? The views will have you never wanting to leave.

What you can’t miss: The world-famous restaurants. Think Southeast Asian cuisine at Spice Market, live cooking stations at Venazu, adult ice cream (!) at WET Deck’s poolside restaurant and signature ceviche at Chevicheria, a converted 1950’s Chevy truck. And if you want to keep thing ultra-private, make reservations at the exclusive MESA1 with your very own personal chef that will design a seven-course tasting menu just for you.

THE ST. REGIS BORA BORA RESORT

Why we love it: Honeymoons are for relaxing and escaping it all, and if you’re looking for the perfect spot to lay back on the beach and do just that, The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is IT. This French Polynesian hot spot is all about soaking in the sun… AND partaking in some of the most unique activities on the planet. We’re all for renting an Aquabike Underwater Scooter, visiting a Pearl Farm or checking out the resort’s private Lagoonarium when you’re not lazying it up in paradise.

What you can’t miss: Their overwater villas. You can literally sleep, eat and relax in luxurious amenities perched right above the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. It’s awesome.

LE MERIDIEN TAMPA 

Why we love it: This boutique hotel used to be a federal courthouse, so you know the architecture is awesome. On top of that, the Le Meridien Tampa’s Unlock Art™ program gives guests FREE access to some of Tampa’s best galleries and museums by just showing your room card. Which means you can spend your day soaking in the creativity and culture, then head back to the hotel for an amazing meal at one of their yummy restaurants.

What you can’t miss: Their Bicycle Programme. With an entire city to explore (and a list of amazing museums to visit), you can rent a bike, helmet and lock for just $8/hour.

THE WESTIN NEW ORLEANS CANAL PLACE

Why we love it: The French Quarter is just steps away, but that isn’t the only reason we adore this gorgeous hotel in the heart of New Orleans. From the stunning architecture to the awesome Mississippi River locale to their Make a Green Choice program, you’ll love all of the fab amenities of The Westin New Orleans Canal Place, plus their proximity to Bourbon Street. Not to mention all of the amazing restaurants New Orleans has to offer… there’s a reason it was named the top food and wine destination in the United States.

What you can’t miss: If you love to get your fitness on, you honestly couldn’t pick a better location. With a  WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio located right on property and state-of-the-art equipment, you don’t have to miss your daily sessions. Plus, their RunWESTIN™ program allows you to soak in all of the sights New Orleans has to offer with custom running maps of the area, plus a towel and bottle of water for cool down.

SLS LAS VEGAS, A TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO RESORT 

Why we love it: Anyone who has ever been to Vegas knows that it’s a city that literally never stops, so the list of fun-filled activities? Basically endless. The SLS Las Vegas, A Tribute Porfolio Resort puts you smack-dab in the center of it all with an amazing locale on The Strip and access to all of the gourmet restaurants, theaters and sightseeing you’ll want to take it. Get ready to go, go, go, then head back to your seriously stylish room for some rest and relaxation.

What you can’t miss: The Foundry. Vegas’ most talked about venue, this unique space hosts some of the greatest entertainers in the world – from comedians to bands you can’t wait to see. Plan your honeymoon around their awesome lineup and you’ll be SO happy.

THE WESTIN GOLF RESORT & SPA, PLAYA CONCHAL

Why we love it: If your dream honeymoon description includes the words seclusion and tranquility, then The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal is right up your alley. We never turn down a chance to spend a romantic evening seaside with a glass of bubbly in hand, and this resort takes it to an entirely new level with all-inclusive benefits.  Plus, with a plethora of water sports, the championship Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and the easy access to Costa Rican National Parks, you can mix in some much-needed adventure.

What you can’t miss: The Royal Beach Club. Newly renovated and for adults only, the Royal Beach Club is all about above and beyond service with everything from premium cocktails to exclusive breakfast + lunch service to access to a private pool and super luxe accommodations. You’ll even get preferential reservations to all of the resort’s fabulous restaurants, spa, tennis and golf.

Contact SPG Weddings (@SPGWeddings) to start planning your dream getaway with your loved one… and don’t forget to ask about how you can earn FREE honeymoon nights when you host your wedding at one of their fab locations.

We Have the Secret To the Perfect Garden Wedding

If you dream of a wedding filled with cherry blossoms, daffodils, forsythia and hydrangea, you’re definitely not alone. The question is – where exactly to host this bloom-filled wedding, and when? We’ll let you in on a little secret. Before the Montauk summer crowd gets crazy, May and June are the perfect months for that garden party you’ve always wanted. And Solé East Resort is the perfect locale to host.

If we’re being honest, outdoor weddings are some of our favorite ways to say “I do.” We’re always down for a ceremony smack dab in the middle of a garden paradise, followed by a tented reception… or an al fresco celebration under the starry night sky. Which is just one of the many reasons we love Solé East Resort – not to mention their gorgeous manicured lawns, amazing Backyard Restaurant and fabulous pool, complete with St. Tropez lounge beds. And when you book your Big Day during those breathtaking spring months, you’ll even get pre-season room rates for your guests. That’s a win-win in our book.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and say “I do” amongst the beautiful gardens at Solé East Resort, call 631.668.2105 or email info@soleeast now to start planning your dream day. And don’t forget to ask about the Spring 2018 Wedding Discounts for available May and June dates.

Venue : Sole East Resort | Mark Kopko Photography: Mark Kopko Photography

5 Reasons Why This Mendocino Coast Resort Is For You

If we’re being honest, choosing the Heritage House Resort to host your wedding celebration needs no explanation. But if counting down our list of Top Five Reasons Why this resort is absolutely amazing means spending some time with one of our fave venues ever, well…. we’re all for it. Scroll to find out why this is THE perfect place for you.

1. THE VIEWS

There are stunning views, and then there are the stunning views at Heritage House Resort. Which means you’ll be saying “I do” with breathtaking cliffs and the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop. Sound appealing? Just wait until you see it in person… It’s awe-inspiring.

2. THE FOUR STAR AMENITIES

We love the Northern California coast for its insane beauty, but staying at a resort that offers up luxe amenities is important, too. Heritage House Resort is known for its Four Star amenities – with everything from ocean view rooms to an amazing restaurant to a relaxing spa on its menu.

3. THE VENUE OPTIONS

Saying “I do” seaside means something entirely different at Heritage House Resort, and when it comes to picking the right spot to tie the knot on their gorgeous property, you have a lot of options – from a beautiful meadow to a sweet gazebo. (We’re sort of obsessed with the Deer Field Meadow by the ocean bluffs.) Just remember – whether you’re planning on throwing an intimate party or a larger soiree, they can handle it all.

4. THE AWARD-WINNING CUISINE

No wedding is complete without a stellar menu, and Heritage House Resort certainly won’t disappoint when it comes to a tasty celebration. Their culinary team will create a custom menu using local, fresh and sustainable produce, so you know it’ going to be good. And your guests will never stop talking about it.

5. THE SPA

Every bride, groom AND bridal party deserves a little pampering, so we couldn’t leave out the luxe offerings of The Spa at the Heritage Hotel. From relaxing massages to a bridal pampering package, they’ll have you looking (and feeling!) like a true princess before you walk down that aisle.

Whether you’re hosting a small wedding celebration for just a few close members of your family or a larger party for all of your family and friends, contact the talented staff at the Heritage House Resort to start planning that dream wedding weekend.

Promotion

Any bride who books a stay or ceremony at Heritage House Resort and mentions Style Me Pretty will receive a bride pampering package, including a spa certificate with champagne and a local cheese platter upon arrival, plus an upgrade to a Ocean View Room!

Photography: Lauren Alisse Photography | Photography: Holly Shankland Photography | Photography: Cyoung Photography | Hotel: Heritage House Resort

9 Wedding Locations You Havent Heard About Yet

We know that finding the perfect wedding venue isn’t always easy, especially if you’re looking for something that totally speaks to you and yours. So today we’re running through a list of nine (yes, NINE) fab venues we absolutely love, so you can find that dream locale. Scroll for some hidden gems you haven’t even heard of.

THE ST. REGIS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Why we love it: Just steps from the White House, The St. Regis Washington, D.C. is the perfect mix of luxe accommodations and upscale wedding offerings – all with a dash of historical charm. You can opt for a cocktail hour in the Italianate revival lobby, or celebrate your “I do’s” in the Astor Ballroom with its hand-stenciled ceiling (an original 1926 decorative feature) and Palladian windows overlooking The Astor Terrace. This place is beautiful, you guys – and it’s no wonder it continues to be named the “Best Hotel for Small Weddings” by Washington Magazine. It’s just that good.

What you can’t miss: The Astor Terrace. Perfect for ceremonies OR receptions, this gem of an outdoor space features a dreamy fountain. Need we say more?

W SCOTTSDALE

Why we love it: Located smack-dab in the middle of Scottsdale’s Entertainment District, W Scottsdale is every modern lovin’ bride’s dream. Think totally chic contemporary spaces (both indoor and outdoor) perfect for celebrating your Big Day, plus amazing accommodations that will make your entire wedding weekend.

What you can’t miss: Their fab W Insider service. It’s concierge plus some with everything you’ll ever need just a push of a button away. Whatever you want, whenever you want it.

LE MÉRIDIEN DELFINA SANTA MONICA

Why we love it: Situated just three blocks from the ocean with great access and breathtaking views, plus offering up some awesome amenities for guests (hey there, Bicycle Programme), Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica seamlessly combines a glam spot to say “I do” with all of that laid-back Southern Cali charm we love so much. We’re obsessed with their Pool Terrace receptions, not to mention their chef-inspired catering menus and views of the Pacific Ocean.

What you can’t miss: Their venues. From the Delfina Ballroom to the Terrazza GardenLe Méridien Delfina Santa Monica has you covered when it comes to celebrating in style.

HOTEL COLONNADE CORAL GABLES, A TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO HOTEL 

Why we love it: Ideal for those travel lovers who want to say “I do” in complete luxury, the Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables has elegant weddings (and accommodations) down to an absolute science. From their 23,000 square feet of event space to their gorgeous venue options (hello, marble-tiled rotunda) to their talented staff that knows everything there is to know about throwing the perfect wedding, you’ll most definitely be making a statement.

What you can’t miss: Their Make a Green Choice Program. Guests receive a $5 food credit or 500 SPG points just for making the choice to conserve natural resources in their room. We love that.

THE WESTIN CHICAGO NORTHWEST

Why we love it: It’s hard not to fall in love with a setting as pretty as Hamilton Lake and when you add in a climate-controlled tent and fully-renovated guest rooms, you have yourselves one of the prettiest wedding locales in all of Chicago. Plus, the Westin Chicago Northwest also offers up a plethora of indoor + outdoor venue options, customizable menus AND your very own wedding specialist.

What you can’t miss: Their 24-hour room service. (Enough said.)

SHERATON SAN DIEGO HOTEL & MARINA

Why we love it: You honestly can’t go wrong with a San Diego wedding, and the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is the epitome of a perfect SoCal soiree with a gorgeous seaside location and deluxe amenities. Now add in a stunning garden ceremony spot (with marina views) and indoor venue options that are just as cool and you have the perfect place to say “I do.”

What you can’t miss: The Culinary team. They’ve been named “Best Caterer” by San Diego Magazine for 15 years running. Yum.

THE EQUINOX, A LUXURY COLLECTION GOLF RESORT & SPA, VERMONT

Why we love it: You know we can never get enough of Vermont weddings and if you’re looking for the perfect destination spot: this is it. From their three unique venues (Pond Pavilion, Colonnade Ballroom and Meadow House) to the amazing views of the Equinox Mountain and the Taconic Mountain Ridge, The Equinox Resort has everything you’ll ever need for that dream wedding… AND can accommodate anywhere from 80 to 250 guests.

What you can’t miss: The activities. This four-season resort offers up a world of fun-filled adventures, from golfing to skiing to fishing to snowshoeing – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

THE ST. ANTHONY, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, SAN ANTONIO

Why we love it: Four words: Open-air rooftop ballroom. Yep, you can literally dance the night away under the stars. Plus, the St. Anthony has been hosting weddings for over a century, so you know you’re in good hands with their talented staff of event professionals. From their gorgeous rooms to their convenient downtown locale, you won’t be missing a thing.

What you can’t miss: The details. From crystal chandeliers to a winding staircase to theatrical lighting and a 19th Century French tapestry, get ready for some non-stop oohing and ahhing.

THE WESTIN GALLERIA & OAKS HOUSTON

Why we love it: If you’re having a celebration with a lot of out-of-town guests, you can’t pick a locale better than the Westin Galleria & Oaks Houston. Its Uptown location paired with its amazing guest amenities and reception space for up to 1,000 makes it the ideal location for those looking to explore the Galleria neighborhood of Houston. Think shopping, dining and spa-ing the days away. It’s perfect.

What you can’t miss: The Monarch Ballroom. With floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the city, this 24th floor gem is a reception dreamland.

Visit SPG Weddings to find out even more about these hidden gems AND all of the amazing perks of having an SPG Wedding. You can thank us later, friends.

Three Tips For Looking Completely Natural In Your Wedding Photos

If you find yourself panicking over the mere thought of getting those engagement + wedding photos taken, know that you are not alone. Freeze face happens to the very best of us, and if you’re more than ready to conquer those awkward poses and staged kisses, the uber-talented Bethany Rees of DOLA Photography is here to tell us exactly how it can be done. Cozy on up for a lesson in oh-so-natural wedding photos below.

TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

When it comes to capturing natural images, I love to keep couples moving and doing things, so that they almost forget they are being photographed. Even small amounts of movement can make photos look less posed and stagnant. It’s great when couples are up for whatever I ask, like leading one another through a field or walking quickly together down a set of stairs, trusting that I will always make them look good. Even if they are just standing in one spot for me, I’ll ask them to sway, almost slow dance with each other, so there is always movement. A good photographer knows how to give direction to get natural looking photos out of anyone, no matter what their personality is like.

IGNORE THE CAMERA

My style is also very photojournalistic, so outside of the time we do portraits together, I am constantly scanning the room on a wedding day looking for small moments – glances, laughs, hugs… those are the best candids. Sometimes I even hold my camera up and wait. I can see the photo in my head and I just need something small to happen, or someone to move into the frame to get it perfect, and it happens so quickly that if I didn’t already have my camera ready at my eye, I would miss it! For those photos I need people to ignore me – a lot of times when people see a camera they want to pose or smile, which is great, but normally my favorite candid photos happen when people are just being present, enjoying themselves at the party and ignoring me.

ENJOY YOURSELF

Consider doing something that is just for the two of you. It doesn’t need to be something major, but a small moment or activity together gives an opportunity for me to just document what you’re doing together in an unscripted way. Get coffee, have a glass of champagne together, go off and eat your cake while watching the sunset. Give yourselves extra down time in your wedding day schedule to really allow yourself to relax and for spontaneous things to happen. Those in-between moments are always some of my favorite and the most natural looking photos! For engagement sessions, too, I recommend getting your hair and makeup done so you are feeling fabulous and confident… treat it like you’re going on a fun date!

You want your wedding day to rock, so finding a photog that can ease your mind and help you feel natural in front of the camera is key. Bethany Rees, studio owner of DOLA Photography, is one of those talented photographers, using her years of experience to snap images that are modern, timeless AND gorgeous… and all with an unobtrusive and laid-back style that will sooo put you at ease. We are all kinds of obsessed with her photojournalistic style, and her ability to snap those moments you didn’t even know were happening. Do yourself a favor and contact her today for a wedding album filled with heart-tugging images you’ll cherish for always.

Photography: DOLA Photography

15 Must-See Save the Dates, Wedding Invites + Elopement Announcements for Modern Lovers Everywhere

When it comes to Save the Dates, wedding invitations and elopement announcements, finding stationery that is well-designed AND unique is key. So today we’re helping you achieve those #invitationgoals by teaming up with a community of designers that will totally deliver on that gorgeous paper goods promise. Skipt Paper Co. takes a bold (+ stunning) approach to invitation design that is perfect for those of you who want something a little outside the box. Scroll for 15 must-sees (and a discount) below.

We all know (and love) Skipt Paper Co. as the place that totally rocks an elopement announcement. Since 2015, they’ve been helping couples like you share THE big news with designs that are respectful, cheerful AND unapologetic. So to say we were excited to hear they were launching a new wedding invitation line that would take those beautiful standards and weave them into awesome Save the Dates, invites and more (!) is an understatement. And guess what? We weren’t disappointed… each design is as amazing as we thought.

Gathering a community of independent designers and bringing them to the masses is a genius idea, and Skipt Paper Co. brought together some of the most talented individuals ever to help with your wedding stationery needs. Think wedding invitation suites, Save the Dates, elopement announcements, custom address stamps, notecards, newlywed holiday cards, envelope printing and FREE revisions, all crafted with your unique story in mind. Guys, Skipt Paper Co. honestly has you covered.

If you’re looking for top notch wedding stationery designers with many, many years of experience and an eye for the bold and unique, Skipt Paper Co. will be your happy place. Head there now to peruse the beautiful options… and be sure to order a sample kit to really help you narrow down which design is for you. (It’s a hard choice.) Trust us – Skipt Paper Co. will take care of every last stationery detail while #youdoyou. Don’t wait another minute to start the process.

Promotion

Enter code JUNESMP10 at checkout and save 10% off your entire order. Offer valid now through July 31, 2017 at 11:59 EST.

Three Amazing Honeymoon Destinations You NEED to Know

If there’s anything that can come close to the excitement of planning your wedding, it’s planning your honeymoon. Because choosing the perfect floral arrangements + color scheme is an absolute blast, but let’s be honest. Deciding where to kick back and relax AFTER the celebration is over is pretty amazing, too. So today we’re turning to SPG Hotels & Resorts for help narrowing down just where that Mai Tai drinkin’ should commence. (Hint: paradise.) Scroll for some of our faves.

FLORIDA

With both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean bordering the sweet state of Florida, it’s sort of a no-brainer that this is a place where honeymooning in style happens on the daily. Whether that’s kickin’ back with Mickey and Minnie at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, spending your day on the water at Miami Beach’s St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort or finding 100 reasons to do nothing at all at the W South BeachSPG Hotels & Resorts has you totally covered when it comes to luxe accommodations, yummy eateries and fun-filled activities. Plus, they don’t call it The Sunshine State for nothin’, you guys. Soaking in the rays is a total must.

THE CARIBBEAN

We’ve all dreamt of rushing off to the Caribbean for a little R&R, so celebrating your newlywed status tucked away at one of SPG Hotels & Resorts’ fabulous Caribbean locales? a brilliant idea. From the newly renovated Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa to the awesome concierge service and water sports at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa in St. Maarten, you’ll be laying around seaside like a pro in no time at all. Not to mention that you can head straight from the pool or beach to an insanely relaxing spa appointment. It’s basically the definition of romantic down time.

MEXICO

Truth be told, we’ve never met a Mexican vacay we didn’t love. Because, honestly, what’s better than an entire week of beach time, margarita time and amazing food time? Absolutely nothing. Especially when that vacay is a romance-filled honeymoon at one of SPG Hotels & Resorts’ fab locales. Think The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancun (hello, awe-inspiring pool), the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar (two words: breathtaking architecture) and the W Punta de Mita, a gorgeous resort located smack-dab in the middle of one of Mexico’s most breathtaking beaches. It just doesn’t get better, you know?

To book your seaside honeymoon in paradise, contact SPG Hotels & Resorts today to get the ball rolling. You’ll be blown away by their amazing service, plus their awesome locations featuring endless sandy beaches and picture-perfect turquoise water. (Seriously.) And don’t forget to ask them about earning bonus Starpoints® you can use towards your honeymoon when you host your wedding at participating SPG Hotels & Resorts located in North America, Mexico, Latin America and Canada. It’s such a win-win.

 

5 Bridesmaid Dress Trends Your Besties Will Actually Love

When it comes to choosing the perfect bridesmaids dresses, keeping your besties happy is priority number one. Which means finding gowns that are chic, show off all of their best features AND bring the bride’s vision to life. That’s where Brideside and their lineup of designer dresses comes in to play. From romantic Jenny Yoo frocks to glam Sorella Vita numbers, they’ve got you sooo covered. Scroll for five trends we’re all about in 2017.

HUES OF BLUES

Remember when mixing and matching bridesmaid gowns meant your bridal party had to wear the exact same dress, but each chose a different neckline? Yep, those days are gone. Now you can mix it up with color to add dimension to your ladies, all while keeping the look completely cohesive. We love playing with the many blue options available from Brideside, from seaglass to sapphire to that gorgeous hue of navy that is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Photo Credit: (Top to Bottom): Joanna August + Wtoo

BOHEMIAN FLAIR

You and your love are definitely more Coachella than ballroom, so your wedding day look should totally reflect that. And that includes your bridal party. With Brideside, you can peruse their lineup of dreamy gowns that are so, so perfect for your one-of-a-kind besties, whether that’s an ulta-boho look with flowy chiffon overlays or an off-the-shoulder number that is the epitome of romance with a dash of bohemian flair.

Photo Credit: Joanna August

FLORAL TAKEOVER

Beautiful blooms aren’t just for those centerpieces and bouquets… they’re also an awesome way to make your besties stand out. Think drop-dead gorgeous floral prints in amazing textures like chiffon and embroidered tulle and you are sooo on the right track. Jump right in and have all of your besties rock stunning floral numbers from Brideside… or mix it up with a few florals and a few solid prints. It’s also a perfect way to have your Maid of Honor stand out. All in all, it’s beautiful, my friends.

Photo Credit: Jenny Yoo

ROSE GOLD ROMANCE

You know we never say “no” to a metallic anything. But rose gold? We love it a little extra special. This beautiful hue is the perfect way to add a little modern romance to your festivities and we’re totally on board with the glitzy and glamorous sequin options available at Brideside. Want to add just a touch of shine, but not go overboard with the bling? Mix and match the sparkle with solid blush hues for a subtler look that is just as special.

Photo Credit: Watters

SLEEK AND SEXY

Your ladies aren’t your average besties, so shouldn’t their dresses match their crazy cool personalities? With Brideside, you can dive head first into looks that are sleek, sexy AND sophisticated… just like your loves. Which means saying “goodbye” to full skirts and “hello” to slim silhouettes and flat-front shapes that are flattering and hip-hugging and so, so easy to re-wear. It’s ultra-modern and completely versatile and, well… we love.

Photo Credit: Watters

Promotion

Ready to find those gowns of your besties’ dreams? Visit Brideside today and talk to a complimentary style consultant about their amazing designer assortment of gowns, new showrooms opening this spring and their Try at Home program, which makes your life beyond easy. Oh, and if you sign up with Brideside by April 30, 2017, every member of your bridal party will receive $25 off their bridesmaid dresses. Just another reason to love them, you guys. Happy shopping!

Bridesmaid Gowns: Joanna August | Bridesmaid Gowns: Watters | Bridesmaid Gowns: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaid Gowns: Wtoo

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
See How a Ballroom Was Transformed into a Garden Oasis
If you think a country club ballroom can’t compete with an outdoor garden setting, just wait until you meet this wedding photographed by Melani Lust. The vendors managed to bring an enchanted garden vibe indoors with greenery, florals, and one of the prettiest seating chart displays we’ve ever seen. More to see right this way!

From the bride… Drew and I met while students at the University of Richmond – we had the same groups of friends and went to the same parties, despite the two year age difference. It wasn’t until after I graduated that we ran into one another at Homecoming and we spent the whole weekend getting to know one another again. Drew was living in Washington DC and I had just moved to New York City. We made it 5 months of long distance dating until Drew made the move up to New York. The rest is history!

After we got engaged (5am sunrise on the beach!), we tried to enjoy “just being engaged” for a couple weeks but quickly jumped into wedding planning. We both wanted to get married in the summer because of the warm weather in New England, everything is very green and lush, and it was most convenient timing with our jobs. We partnered with Lea Ann Miller to help us plan everything and anything – she is a dream come true for any bride and helped with every decision!

Due to the heat in July, we had decided to hold our reception indoors at Greenwich Country Club – air conditioning! And thank goodness we did that because it was a heatwave that weekend! However, I had seen many photos of romantic enchanted gardens and that’s how I wanted to recreate our reception room. We wanted to embrace the natural greens, whites, and touches of soft grays and purples. Katherine from KDJ Botanica immediately shared our vision for how we could transform a traditional “ballroom” into a midsummer’s garden. I trusted her completely with ideas to incorporate large branches and trees throughout the room and on the tables, with tea lights hanging from the branches. We brought in drapery for the walls and ceilings to make it feel as if we were outside under the stars. I wanted everything to feel very natural and simple yet magical. I cried when I walked into the room after our cocktail hour.

Drew and I each spent the morning of our wedding with our closest friends and siblings until we saw one another for our “first look”. I am so glad we decided to see each other before the ceremony – not only did it subdue some of our nerves, but it was the only moment where it was only the two of us all day long (except for our short getaway ride in my dad’s Triumph from the 70s!) It was so special sharing that moment with him and even though our friends and family were just around the corner, we felt like we were the only two people for miles! That was definitely one of the most exciting and enjoyable moments of the day.

The reception was amazing – Pete Saunders and his band had everyone dancing all night long. The speech from my father made everyone shed some tears while the maids of honor and best men had everyone crying from laughing so hard. I know that many brides and grooms feel a burden to have to say hello to each and every single guest however Drew and I loved stopping by every guest for hugs and well wishes – it made our 275 wedding feel like an intimate dinner party because we truly loved every single person who was there for us.


App CTA

App CTA


Photography: Melani Lust Photography | Videography: Joseph Edwards Films | Floral + Event Design: KD&J Botanica | Wedding Coordination: Lee Ann Miller | Stationery: Jpapers | Ceremony Venue: Stanwich Congregational Church | Reception Venue: Greenwich Country Club | Shoes: Aquazzura | Engagement Ring: Ken & Dana Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Hair + Makeup: Truly Happy Beauty | Lighting: Social Decor | Favors: Momofuku Milk Bar | Mens Attire: Mr. Ned | Officiant: Rev. Chuck Davis | Transportation: J&R Tours | Accommodations: The Del La Mar Hotel | Accommodations: The J House Greenwich | Bridal Boutique: The Plumed Serpent Bridal Salon | Bridal Boutique: The Wedding Library | Catering + Cake: Greenwich Country Club | Earrings: Jennifer Miller | First Look & Portraits: Private Home in Greenwich | Music: Hank Lane Music | Rentals: Smith Party Rentals | Sports Car: Triumph TR 6 | Wedding Dress + Veil: Monique Lhuillier | Wedding Rings: A E Betteridge Jewelers

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
In search of your dream dress? Don’t miss these four trunk shows.

We hold a very special place in our hearts for bridal fashion, and when it comes to a boutique that never fails to deliver on gorgeous gowns and accessories, Designer Loft is IT. From their talented + totally knowledgeable staff to their never-ending lineup of amazing Trunk Shows (hello, 10% discount), they’ve been wowing us from day one. Find out about their upcoming events below.

Located in Midtown Manhattan (226 West 37th Street, Second Floor Loft) and known for their relaxed approach and intimate space, Designer Loft is all about making your dreams come true with their top-notch service and well-curated selection of awe-inspiring gowns. Think awesome April Trunk Shows with talented designers like Matthew Christopher (April 1-3), Eddy K of Italy (April 7-9 + April 14-16), Pronovias (April 21-23) and Rosa Clara (April 28- May 1)…you are sooo on the right track. Which means that dream gown you’ve been searching for? You’ll most definitely find it. We promise.

From the traditional with a twist gowns of Matthew Christopher to the stunning new Milano Collection from Eddy K to the trademark lace and romantic details of Pronovias and Rosa Clara, don’t miss your chance to experience some of the most beautiful gowns you will ever lay your eyes upon by booking your appointment using Designer Loft’s online reservation system or contacting them at 212.944.9013 or Designerloftnyc@yahoo.com. And don’t forget that you’ll receive 10% off the featured designer’s collection on the weekend of the trunk show, plus Designer Loft even offers amazing on-site alterations and are extremely flexible with customization and tailoring. It just doesn’t get any better.

We’ve Found the Perfect Locale for Your Wedding in Montauk

Sole East Resort is the type of locale where wedding day dreams just happen. Maybe that’s because this gorgeous boutique is one part total sophistication and one part laid-back elegance… or maybe it’s the breathtaking gardens or fabulous service. Our guess? It’s a sweet combo of all of the above. Scroll for a lesson in seaside pretty from one of our fave resorts in Montauk and be sure to ask about available discounts for remaining 2017 dates (hint: June 3rd is totally open).

Spring has officially sprung, and if you are planning on the tying the knot during the season of beautiful blooms, it doesn’t get much better than Sole East Resort. (Or anytime of year, really.) Located in the heart of the sleepy-beachy seaside capitol of the world, Sole East Resort is that understated, yet seriously luxurious locale that will take your nuptials to the next level with great service, breathtaking backdrops and fabulous food. Think yummy offerings at their Backyard Restaurant, close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean beaches and manicured gardens that will leave you in awe. In other words? It’s a full-service property will make that fairytale wedding you’ve always dreamed of an absolute reality. We promise.

Whether you are planning a small, intimate ceremony with just your nearest and dearest or want to celebrate with all of your friends and family, Sole East Resort can make it happen. Contact them today to schedule a tour of their spectacular grounds and start planning your sure-to-be gorgeous celebration. And don’t forget to ask them about available discounts for remaining October 2017 and May 2018 wedding dates. You’re going to love every moment of working with them.

Photography: Heather Waraksa | Reception Venue: Sole East Resort

Nautical Meets Vintage Travel for this Beach Club Bash!

With a nod to nautical design, a dash of some vintage travel details, and a gorgeous Bride and Groom, these two tied the knot with one elegant affair planned and designed by TRUE Event. Melissa Kruse and Buzz Media Company captured every stylish second from start to finish, from the invites by Tie That Binds and oversized yard games, to the candlelit reception and beautiful peach and blue linens from La Tavola. See every bit of this bash in our Vault right this way!

[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/205424268 600 338]

From Melissa KruseI’m excited to bring you this elegant nautical and vintage travel inspired beach wedding in collaboration with planning by TRUE Event! Saying “I do” just down the street from where the bride (Meghan) grew up, the couple set out to combine their affinity for family, travel, the shoreline, and vintage finds – adding a bit of New York edge (their now home together as newlyweds!) along the way. The day’s pantone was inspired by pops of sunset colours mixed together with soft neutrals like blush, ivory and grey while their aesthetic tied together romance, timeless elegance, and whimsy with just a touch of industrial thrown in.

In keeping with the importance of highlighting family, Meghan prepared for the day at her family’s beachfront home just a few blocks from where the ceremony and reception were hosted – the same spot her older brother was married years before. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the flower girls, Meghan’s nieces, plucking fresh flower petals to later toss as they walked up the ceremony aisle. Dressing took place in Meghan’s childhood bedroom, where she was donned with the groom’s (Pete) grandmother’s earrings and a Blue Lapis Tiffany & Co heirloom ring from her own grandmother. Opting to forgo a traditional wedding party, the couple was instead surrounded by family throughout the day. Paper parasols and cotton robes customized with each lady’s initials were gifted to match Meghan’s own while the bridal bouquet was wrapped in the same fabric used in her soon to be sister-in-law’s dress. Meanwhile, the groom was preparing with the guys of the family just a few doors down the street. Custom details included embroidered initials on Pete’s made-to-order shirt cuff and a bespoke pocket square embroidered with an “M & P” accompanied by the couple’s wedding date.

The invitation suite, like the rest of the day, was classic with a touch of vintage and personalization. Letterpress printing with an antique typewriter font was complimented by a map of the Long Island Sound (their wedding’s locale) as the envelope liner and an artist’s rendering of their wedding venue on the suite’s RSVP card.

A waterfront Catholic ceremony officiated by Pastor Thomas Lipnicki, their family’s long-time friend, was followed by an extended 2 hours of cocktails complete with a 4-piece jazz band and beach side lawn games. Traditional croquet was accompanied by over-sized Jenga and Connect Four, while corn hole boasted American and Canadian flags (representing the bride and groom’s respective nationalities) and coordinating bean bags customized with Meghan and Pete’s initials and their wedding date. Creating their own spin on a guest book, a vintage typewriter was paired with a note requesting guests to type their advice and good wishes. Handwritten vintage travel-themed postcards made for inspired seating cards while signs were created with typewriter text and a collection of mix and match picture frames.

For the reception, personal touches were found in the mismatched antique silverware and guest favors by way of donations made in each guest’s name to the Good Dog Foundation (in honour of the newlywed’s adorable pup, Ollie). In lieu of a traditional cake cutting, French Fromage and Sauternes plates were passed (a nod to the couple’s time spent together in Paris) in combination with a dessert table featuring a Canadian classic, “Nanaimo Bars”. And to finish it all off, what better way to end a celebratory day at the beach than with a pile of Mexican Blankets to cozy up by an oceanside bond fire.

Here’s the wedding on my blog as well! http://www.melissakruse.com/melissakruseblog/madison-beach-club-wedding-photographer-meghan-pete

App CTA

App CTA


Photography: Melissa Kruse Photography | Cinematography: Buzz Media Company- Wedding Films | Event Planning + Design: TRUE Event | Floral Design: Fleurescent | Wedding Dress: Selia Yang | Invitations: Tie That Binds | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Jangmi Jewelry | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: La Cuisine | Makeup: Jennie Fresa Brow & Beauty Bar | Lighting: Ryan Designs, LLC | Lighting: Power Posse Productions | Groom's Attire: Alton Lane | Groomsmen's Attire: Charles Tyrwhitt | Officiant: Thomas Paul Lipnicki, Pastor | Ceremony Music: Suite Occasions Music | Wedding Venue: Madison Beach Club | Blue Lapis Ring (Vintage): Tiffany & Co. | Bride's Clutch: Chanel | Bride's Hair: Fredrick Fekkai | Bridesmaid + Flower Girl Jewelry: Silver Continent | Bridesmaids' Hair: Shag | Cocktail/Reception Music: Mod Society | Father of Groom + Bride Bow Ties: O’Connell’s | Groom + Groomsmens' Ties: Thomas Pink | Groom's Pocket Square: O'Harrow Clothiers | Groom's Shoes: Mezlan | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Photo Booth: CT Photos Unlimited | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Ring Bearer's Bow Tie: OTAA

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