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A Pastel & Floral Explosion of Pretty at the Cairnwood Estate

This styled shoot at the Cairnwood Estate from Lauren Fair Photography and East Made Co. is all the pretty a girl could ever ask for. The minute we laid eyes on these heavenly images, we were floating in a sea of Spring florals from Faye & Renee in soft pastel hues. Not to mention a romantic long sleeve Reem Acra gown fit for a true princess. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better – the reception design comes through and steals the show. Trust us, folks – you’re not going to want to miss this one…

From Lauren Fair PhotographyFor our spring workshop, we envisioned a royal wedding with lush spring blooms! 

The French chateau we hosted the workshop at, Cairnwood Estate, lent itself perfectly to the elegant + whimsical style of the day!

Faye & Renee created the most beautiful tablescape fit for a royal couple, and we used the front of the chateau to create a floral-decked natural arch for the ceremony site!

East Made Co. brought her A game with the styling + vision, and beautiful French flatlays that tied into the chateau + spring color palette. 

It’s such a joy for us to teach workshops + create beauty alongside such talented individuals – we look forward to our workshop days each and every time!

Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Floral Design: Faye and Renee Floral and Event Design | Wedding Dress: Gabriella New York Bridal Salon | Cake: Trouvaille Bakery | Shoes: Bella Belle | Rings: Susie Saltzman | Hair & Makeup: True Beauty Marks | Calligraphy: Shotgunning for Love | Venue: Cairnwood Estate | Wedding Venue: Cairnwood Estate | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Props: Curated Behaviour | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Styling Surfaces: Locust Collection | Stylist: East Made Co

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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How to Decide on the Perfect Wedding Color Palette for You

There is one question you’ll be asked from every wedding vendor: “What’s your color palette?” Your answer will dictate what flowers your florist can use, what color your cake will be, your linens, your bridesmaids’ dresses, the men’s suits… the list goes on! Keep on reading to find out our tips on how in the world to decide on the perfect wedding color palette for you!

Taralynn Lawton

1. Get Inspired

The first step to choosing your perfect wedding color palette is searching for inspiration. For the most part, any palette you can dream up has already been curated, tested, and proven before; it’s just a matter of finding it and making it your own.

The easiest way to find color palettes is to look at paintings and photos. The artist has already done most of the work for you. Find a photo or a painting that speaks to you and pin it to your wedding inspiration board on Pinterest; or, for those that prefer a hard copy, print it out and put it in your wedding book. This can be an image of anything: a breezy beach scene, street art, a building. It doesn’t need to be an image of a wedding.

Molly Carr Fine Art Photography

Let’s not forget, your wedding is about a collective you, not just you, so you should take your partner’s likes into account. Ask them their opinion on the inspiration image and make sure that it suits their taste as well. If not, go back to the drawing board until you find an image that speaks to both of you. This is the perfect opportunity to work together on finding a good compromise!

2. Consider Your Venue

Next, consider your venue. Is it a mostly neutral, blank-slate-type space? Or, is it a vibrant pop-art gallery? Make notes of the colors that you see reflected in your venue. If you don’t have a venue selected just yet, feel free to get inspired by collecting some photos of your dream venue(s) and note the colors that appear in most of them. Are these colors reflected in your inspiration image? Would the image complement the space?

Photography: Kayla Barker | Venue: Chateau de Carsix

3. Keep it Timeless

One thing that always comes up when discussing color palettes is the Pantone Color of the Year. When considering using the Color of the Year in your wedding color palette, use discretion. Has it always been a favorite of yours? If so, you will probably continue to enjoy it for years to come– so, go for it! You can even use some of the photos provided by Pantone upon the unveiling of the color as your inspiration image. If you just like it because it’s of-the-moment, we encourage you to think twice and potentially reconsider.

It may seem like a lot of thought to put into selecting the colors for one day, but remember a photo is forever. These photos will hang on your wall, your mantle, your Instagram feed for the rest of your life; so it’s important to make sure that the colors you choose not only go with your current aesthetic but are timeless enough to evolve with you. Look around your home(s), are there pieces that have been with you and your partner forever? What colors are those pieces? Would your inspiration image hang well on the wall in your home?

Sally Pinera Photography

4. Use the Formula

Now it’s time to introduce the formula (that’s right, we can get pretty scientific here at SMP). The perfect color palette contains at least one light color, one medium color, one dark color and one neutral. Once you’ve established the base of your palette, feel free to add one or two more colors if you’d like.

Light Color + Medium Color + Dark Color + Neutral =  The Perfect Color Palette

Look at your inspiration material and select a color for each part of the formula. What colors do you see? This is a trick question because most of us would just say purple or blue, for example. Look deeper. Okay let’s say it’s blue–What kind of blue? French blue? Navy blue? So deep it’s almost black, blue? Get specific! Even better, find a photo you can use for reference.

Start with your dark color. Dark doesn’t need to be super dark, it is simply the darkest shade in your palette. For some it could be burgundy, for others, it could be terracotta. What season are you getting married in, spring…autumn? This can help you determine how dark you want to go. Typically, the later in the year, the darker the color palette – but feel free to be bold no matter the season, it’s YOUR wedding!

Next, go for your medium color. This will be your most saturated color. Think apricot or marigold.

For the light color, choose a lighter shade of either your medium or dark color. This way you can be sure it coordinates with both.

The hard work is done! Now all that’s left is the neutral color–and it’s neutral, which means it goes with just about anything, so you can’t go wrong. If you’re blanking on neutrals, fear not, here are some tried and true faves: black, white, beige, champagne, nude, gray, gold, silver–really any metallic.

5. Check Your Work

You’re almost there, I promise! Because this is one of the most important days of your life, I think a little fact-checking is in order. Look at your color palette, do you like it? Great! Is there a color that you feel would be flattering on your wedding party, including the neutral? Perfect! One more test, plug your color palette into the search bar of your choice–We prefer Pinterest, but Google works too. So…what do you think? Can you picture it? Amazing!

Remember when applying your palette to your wedding, use it thoughtfully, or defer to your vendors’ advice. The bolder, medium, colors should be used sparingly with the majority being your neutral and light or dark (depending on the season).

Congrats, now you can confidently supply all of your vendors with your color palette and start picturing your dream wedding!

Jen Huang Photography

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Gray & Ivory Wedding at Vista Valley Country Club

I spent far more time than I’d like to admit crushing over this wedding—particularly this stunning Bride & Groom. Aren’t they lovely? Their day was woven with meaningful moments (like the Bride’s dress, which was made with lace from her mother’s dress) and layers of neutral beauty, thanks to Vanessa Michelle Co.. There are over 300 images from Sposto Photography sitting right here in the gallery and every single one is worth a peek, I promise.

From Vanessa Michelle Co.Kiersten and Elijah embody the love and commitment that marriage represents in one of the most meaningful and detailed weddings we’ve ever seen. Kiersten used pieces of lace from her own mother’s wedding dress and secretly incorporated them into her own, all leading up to one big reveal that neither of them will soon forget. Kiersten had a special first look with her mom and held a photo of her mother’s dress to share this wonderful surprise with her and soon, both of these lovely ladies were crying the happiest of tears.

As guests arrived at the stunning Vista Valley Country Club, they were met with a towering escort wall complete with individual, personalized notes to each guest from the couple. Included in each envelope were blank cards for guests to share any well wishes or advice for the couple to read following the event! Yet another meaningful detail from this beautiful day was the inclusion of chess pieces throughout the venue. Chess plays an important role in the couple’s family traditions and also serves as one of their most significant shared activities together. To exemplify this, we used chess pieces on each table as table numbers and had full gorgeous chess sets in the groomsmen suite for them to play while the ladies finished getting ready.

This day happened to be in the middle of one heck of a heat wave with our highest temperature reaching 117 degrees, but our Kiersten still looked breathtaking throughout – you would never know from the photos! Thanks to our outstanding vendors (Oak & Owl, Ashley Fierro, captured by Sposto Photography) the results of this day were truly astonishing.

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Photography: Sposto Photography | Floral Design: Oak And The Owl | Hair and Makeup : Ashley Fierro | DJ: DJ Jon B | Ceremony and Reception: Vista Valley Country Club | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | MC: Salina "G" | Planning: Vanessa Michelle Co. | Video: Perfect Union Films

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
10 Non-Traditional Registry Gifts for the Adventurous Couple + Must-Visit Travel Destinations to Match

So, it’s about that time in the planning process to build your wedding registry – finally, the fun part! If you’re the type of couple who can’t wait to start a lifetime of adventure, filling your days with nature, getting outdoors and exploring the world – then we have some exciting news for you! With the help of REI, you can happily kick tradition to the curb and build the wedding registry of your adventure-seeking dreams!

REI decided they wanted to give the couple who wants to celebrate life’s biggest moments by getting outdoors some way better options to add to their wedding registry – items that match their personality as a couple! Instead of a new blender or knife set, you can choose from products that range from climbing gear to a National Parks annual pass to a trip of a lifetime (no really, that’s a thing!) If this sounds like your style, then keep on reading for 10 non-traditional gifts that you’ll actually want to add to your wedding registry. Oh, and to satisfy that travel bug, we’re also spilling on our top 5 favorite destinations that are perfect for the ultimate nature-loving couple!

1. NRS Thrive Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – 10′ 8″ 

Bring the fun with you during any adventure! This high-quality Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board HAS to be one of your top picks to add to your wedding registry. There’s just nothing like it!

2. Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket 

A Pendleton Camp Blanket is truly a staple item. It’s unbelievably warm and is rugged enough to last you a lifetime – we’re obsessed!

3. Suunto M-3 D Leader Compass 

Navigate your way through adventures with confidence knowing this Suunto M-3 D Leader Compass with luminescent markings and a built-in magnifying lense will never lead you astray.

4. America the Beautiful National Parks Pass 

Dying to check off every National Park in America – then this one’s for you! The America the Beautiful National Parks Pass at REI is good for a year’s worth of visits. Even cooler? REI will donate 10% of sale proceeds to the National Park Foundation – AM.AZ.ING.

5. Patagonia Black Hole Duffel – 60L 

Need a new duffle that’s perfect for your next adventure? This Patagonia Black Hole Duffel – 60L gives PLENTY of space to protect your gear and pack all the essentials. Plus, there are 3 ways to carry it for convenience, tons of travel-friendly features like weather resistant material and a lightweight feel… the best part about it? It was manufactured to minimize impact on the health of the environment – this duffle checks all our boxes!

6. REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

Bring your home wherever you roam with REI’s Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent! Catch some z’s under the stars and rest at ease. Here are some tips for taking proper care of your camp tent that might come in handy throughout your travels!

7. REI Co-op Camp Xtra Chair

Relaxing by the campfire will never be the same again, REI’s Co-op Camp Xtra Chair is bringing outdoor lounging to the next level. It’s sturdy, stocked with 2 drink holders and a convenient side stash pocket. You’ll be so thankful to come back to it every time after a long day of exciting adventures.

8. GSI Outdoors Destination Kitchen Set 24

The GSI Outdoors Destination Kitchen Set is a 24-piece set that includes 4 cutlery sets, folding tools, a cutting board, utility knife, space shakers and it all weighs under 2lbs… ummm, SCORE.

9. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

We can’t say enough about this cooler – it’s SUPER durable and will stand the test of time, can hold up as much as 39 cans and plenty of ice, has extra thick walls that are pressure injected to resist outside temps… the list goes on. It’s basically the only cooler you’ll ever need.

10. The North Face Dolomite 20 Double Sleeping Bag

Camping somewhere amazing on your honeymoon? Don’t forget to bring a sleeping bag that can comfortably fit the two of you! The North Face Dolomite 20 Double Sleeping Bag will keep you warm and cozy wherever you are, even in ridiculously cold temps (down to 20°F!)

 

5 Must-Visit Travel Destinations for Adventure-Loving Hearts

Now that you have your adventure essentials good to go, it’s time to plan your next trip! Whether you’re searching for the perfect spot for your honeymoon or going on a fun anniversary getaway – these stunning destinations were made for the outdoorsy couple who craves a good adventure.

1. Banff National Park

This serene spot located in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada is one of the most breathtaking locations in the world – it also happens to be a nature-lovers playground. Take in the fresh air high up in the soaring mountains or gently glide through the peaceful, turquoise waters of Moraine Lake. Check off your camping list, grab your gear and head to the Lake Louise Campground to immerse yourself in the beauty of the area. The options for adventure in this stunning place are truly endless!

2. Antelope Canyon

The minute you step foot inside these sandstone slot canyons, you can’t help but feel totally speechless. The sheer beauty of the patterns, shapes and colors will shake you to your core. We definitely suggest exploring the slot canyons between 11am to 1pm, where you’ll see that awe-inspiring, insta-worthy ray of light shining through the canyons. Every turn is a new surprise, it’ll make it hard to leave! After you’re done, take a quick 5 minute drive to Horseshoe Bend and catch the sunset – it’s hard to explain the depths of the incredible beauty hidden in that little town of Page, Arizona.

Pro tip: Check out Waterhole Canyon for way less crowds and a private tour experience you’ll never forget!

3. Big Sur

Waterfalls, hiking, beaches – Big Sur is a place that’ll always keep you coming back for more! Head to the most popular photo-op in Big Sur, McWay Falls, for amazing views of the towering waterfall. Check out the purple sand (that’s right, purple) of Pfeiffer Beach, marvel at the iconic Bixby Bridge (hello Big Little Lies fans) and hike through the giant redwoods in Limekiln State Park. Big Sur is a bucket-list must!

4. Iceland

You may have seen photos of Iceland blow up all over your newsfeeds in the recent years – but it’s for good reason – this incredible landscape is filled with volcanos, geysers, hot springs and lava fields. Every inch of this place is an adventure to explore. Enjoy Mother Nature’s spa at the Blue Lagoon, stroll down the black sand beaches of the south coast, witness the spectacular show of the northern lights – everything about this place is a total dream.

5. Kauai, HI

Kauai is a tropical oasis in the middle of the Pacific that truly has anything you could ever want and more. Beach lovers can soak up the sun on the white sandy beaches or explore under the sea on amazing snorkel and diving excursions. On the flip side, avid hikers looking for some adventure can journey through the winding trails and gorgeous lookouts of Waimea Canyon State Park. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind place!

Tropical Oasis Ballroom Wedding at St. Regis Bal Harbour

This fete truly is the best of both worlds… one part tropical (with palms providing the prettiest ceremony backdrop) and one part ballroom romance at St. Regis Bal Harbour. The team at Masi Events and Anthology Co. worked to combine those two vibes for a match made in Floridian heaven. Alisa Ferris was there every step of the way, to bring it all to life for us (and make us green with tropical envy!) here in the gallery.

Natalie and Scott wed on November 3, 2018 in front of 250+ of their closest family and friends. Natalie had a clear vision for her wedding. She fell in love with the beauty of the St. Regis Bal Harbor, yet wanted to do something completely different in terms of design and bring an understated elegance to the spaces that has not been seen at this venue. The details all reflected Natalie and Scott as a couple.

Fashion-forward bride Natalie had a distinct vision for her wedding and especially her wedding dress. Natalie knew exactly the dress she wanted to wear so the best way to make it a reality was to have it custom made. The high neck-line and long sleeve ball gown fit her perfectly and she wore the dress effortlessly. She visited Rex fabrics, a local, family-owned company that sells luxury, specialty fabrics. “I scheduled a meeting with them to see if they could custom design my gown,” she said. They, quite literally, turned my dream into a reality.”

So with a dress that fit her like a glove, Natalie pulled her hair back into an old Hollywood bun and chose a simple Lily of the Valley bouquet. Her grandmother’s ring was her something old and her best friend’s veil was her something borrowed. The combination was timeless.

Guests’ first impression of the day came at the ocean view ceremony. We wanted to create and design a ceremony that was more about Natalie and Scott, rather then large arrangements. Vintage oriental rugs comprised the aisle while a semi-circular plant installation that created a beautiful and intimate environment to exchange their vows while overlooking the ocean. The clear ghost chairs gave it a modern clean look.

The intimate ceremony made way for the couple’s vows. After 7 years together, one would think that Natalie & Scott would have an old married couple way about them, but it was more “When Harry Met Sally” above all else. Their self-written commitments sang to themes of friendship, respect and deep appreciation for one another while true romantic Scott wrote his vows in a well-written poetic format.

On a more sartorial note, it was pointed out that the match made-in-heaven was more than just romance and friendship.

“Scott gets Natalie,” said the maid of honor during her reception speech. “I had my doubts, but when he filled the mini-fridge in our dorm room with corn dogs on their very first Valentine’s Day, I knew they were meant to be.”

The reception took place in the hotel’s mirrored ballroom. The bride wanted to soften up the look but wasn’t so keen on flowers. “We created a juxtaposition of the lush luxury and natural organic by creating an indoor living garden,” said Jessica Masi of Masi Events. “We brought in more than eighty living plants to create an intimate garden oasis.

With all of the requisite planning out of the way, there was just one thing left to do…party! The guests danced all the way into the next morning. Father and daughter took to the stage for a piano duet before the night was over and Natalie topped off the scene by crowd surfing over 250+ guests.

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Photography: Alisa Ferris | Cinematography: Hopemedia, LLC | Event Planning: Masi Events | Floral Design: Anthology Co. | Invitations: Masi Events | Make-up: Sav's Make-up | Hair Stylist: AM Glam | Lighting: Evoga Events | Band: Private Stock | Officiant: Rev. Paul Goldman | Bridal Valet: Bless The Dress | Ceremony and Reception: St. Regis Bal Harbour | Linens and Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Unearthed Rentals

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A Classic and Heartfelt Virginia Vineyard Wedding

With intricate and intimate details at every corner of today’s wedding, it might be one of my favorites as of late! The couple, who spent most of their relationship long distance, called upon Simply Chic Events to bring their timeless vision to life while incorporating special details by the bride’s friends, like custom invitations and a sushi-themed groomsmen cake! J. Morris Flowers provided beautiful blooms which paired perfectly with mercury styled linens! And finally, Audra Wrisley Photography captured it all, including the bride’s contagious smile, which you can see in photo after photo in the full gallery, here!

From Audra Wrisley PhotographyKristin & Clinton chose to tie the knot in a beautiful winery in a sleepy Virginia town overlooking the Shenandoah mountains. The couple hoped for a beautiful celebration surrounded by family and friends, in the heart of wine country. Kristin, who lives and works just outside of Washington DC, and Clinton, who is active Navy and resides in Norfolk, Virginia, have spent their long-distance relationship with lots of phone calls and planned weekend trips. This sweet couple hosted a perfect celebration, with heartfelt touches at every turn. The bride’s stunning Lazaro gown was a focal point of their wedding day, which was designed with a classic palette of organic greens, ivories and gray with metallic accents. Echoing the organic winery theme throughout the stationery, floral wall, and rich-hued metallic flecked linens, the wedding design was beautiful and complemented the mountainous scenery.

A few words from the bride…I wanted our wedding to reflect us as a couple and for each detail to be meaningful. It was really special to me that I was able to involve so many important people in the creation of our wedding day. My best friend from middle and high school worked at a wedding cake shop and made our wedding cake and Clinton’s groom’s cake. My best friend from high school is a graphic designer and custom-made all of our wedding stationery. It is completely unique and I love knowing that no one else will ever have the same stationery.

Our wedding was pretty intimate – we had a little over 100 guests and it was the perfect size for us. We had guests come all the way from New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and Canada. I wanted to be able to spend time with each guest and let them know how happy we were that they came to our wedding. Since Clinton has constantly moved around for his job so we’ve always had a long distance relationship. There are a lot of places that have helped define our relationship and ultimately shaped our marriage, so I wanted to incorporate that part of our story into our wedding day. Samantha, our coordinator/designer from Simply Chic Events, gave me the idea for luggage tag escort cards. I finally got the idea that I could create luggage tags with maps of all of the places that define our relationship – Charleston, SC; Portsmouth, NH; Norfolk, VA; Washington, DC; the eastern shore of Maryland; and San Diego, CA. It was a small, personal detail that meant a lot to us both.

More from the bride…When searching for a venue, my top priority was that we would be able to have an outdoor ceremony with a beautiful view. Since I wanted our wedding to be more elegant rather than rustic, finding a venue was a bit hard but when I found Breaux Vineyards it was the perfect mix. Thankfully, the weather was absolutely beautiful on our wedding day. The colors and flowers were everything I envisioned – simple yet elegant and timeless. It blended perfectly with the venue and our day. My favorite decor element was the gold and silver mercury table linens. They were a statement piece that blended seamlessly with the simple flowers, stationery, and table setting choices.

Being around all of the people we love was the best part of the day. Someone gave me advice to just stop and look during your reception and take a moment to appreciate that all of the people you love are in the same room at the same time. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. I have a few favorite moments from our wedding day. The first was reading Clinton’s note to me – the minute I opened it I could not hold myself together. Although Clinton is extremely talkative and outgoing, he doesn’t typically express his feelings out loud. He’s a poetic writer and I knew whatever he wrote would just make me melt. Another moment was our first look – I’ll never forget the look on Clinton’s face when he saw me in my dress for the first time. I also loved how surprised Clinton was when he saw his surprise groom’s cake, which was a board of sushi – his favorite food! He wasn’t expecting it at all and was so impressed with the intricate details. My friend Chelsea did an amazing job!

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Photography: Audra Wrisley Photography | Floral Design: J. Morris Flowers | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Catering: Grandale Farm | Makeup: Conceptual Beauty | Hair: Jewel Hair Design | Calligraphy: Just Write Studios | Venue: Breaux Vineyards | Bride's Dress: Lazaro | Coordination & Design: Simply Chic | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Stationery Design: Emily Stevens Studio

How to Cut Wedding Costs in Clever Ways Without Sacrificing Style (That You Don’t Already Know)

Everyone knows that planning a wedding can be expensive. In the age of social media, with lavish styled shoots populating your every feed, it’s easy to find yourself with champagne taste and a canned wine budget. Before you dismay, there are quite a few tricks that can help you cut your wedding costs without sacrificing style.

 

1. Hire a Wedding Planner

Lauren Fair Photography

Now, I know this may sound counter-intuitive. Spend money to save money? Crazy, right?–Wrong. Wedding planners have spent years establishing relationships with vendors and have usually worked out exclusive discounts for their clients. In addition to the discounts that you may be offered, your wedding planner has worked with these vendors before and confirmed that they deliver on their promises, thus protecting your investment. Otherwise, you could be handing over deposits to mysterious vendors that may or may not come through: a risk you don’t want to take.

Part of your wedding planner’s job is to work within your budget and help you allocate it accordingly so that you get the most bang for your buck. They know what options have the highest price tags and what corners can be cut without impacting the overall experience and presentation.

If you find that hiring a wedding planner is simply out of the question budget-wise, many planners offer a day-of or a month-of option. These vary by planner, but most include some vendor recommendations/relations. You are investing so much time and money into your wedding, it is worth this little extra cost to make sure that everything leading up to your big day runs smoothly. It’s important that you and your partner are in the moment and able to enjoy yourselves, rather than worrying about what door the baker is going to use to deliver the cake, etc.

 

2. Shop Sales

Esther Sun Photography

Whether you are shopping for your gown or your wedding lingerie, make sure to shop sales. If you start shopping far enough in advance, you have a few months that you can wait before you need to make your purchase.

For the gown, you can contact the designer or boutique and inquire about upcoming trunk shows. These will likely be advertised on the events page on their websites. At trunk shows, boutiques usually offer a discount that can be up to 10% off – how amazing is that?!

Shopping sample sales is another great way to save money. These are sales that bridal boutiques have when they need to make room for new inventory. They sell their floor samples at up to 50% off (yup, you read that right) their normal retail price. There will likely be some wear and tear, but most samples are kept in fairly good condition.

 

3. Shop Pre-owned

Lauren Fair Photography

This option isn’t for everyone, but if you know what you want and are willing to buy gently used items, you can save a lot of money. There are more and more used bridal boutiques popping up, in brick and mortar and online.

Before buying a used gown, make sure you know what size you wear. Each design house has its own size chart; so, look up their specific size chart before you buy a gown. Also, keep in mind that these gowns have been used, so the bride that wore them before most likely had alterations (hem shortened, bodice taken in, etc.). Ask the bride or the boutique to provide the measurements of the actual gown before making the purchase, because they may no longer match the original sizing.

For rehearsal dinner dresses, suits, tuxes, accessories, and even shoes there are many websites that make it easy to buy pre-owned designer goods, some still have the original tags! Some reliable sites are The Real Real and Poshmark.

 

4. Request a Staycation for Your Bridal Shower/ Bachelor(ette) Party

Jose Villa Photography

Is it just me, or have the parties leading up to a wedding gotten out of hand? It used to be a night out with your closest friends. These days, it’s a week-long exotic trip across the world…plus a drink package. Don’t get me wrong, nothing could be more fun and worthwhile than jet setting with your besties, but when you’re planning a wedding it can feel like one more huge expense. Be real with your friends and family and express that it is important for you to spend time celebrating with them and suggest that you have a weekend together in the city where you live. This will save you the stress and expense of a flight and taking time off work. I’m sure some of them will thank you for keeping it low-key; after all, being in a bridal party isn’t cheap either.

 

5. Use Your Friends’ Talents

Photographer: We Are Origami

Do you have a friend that’s in the wedding industry? If so, use their talents! They will probably offer you a “Friends and Family” discount or may even gift you the service as a wedding present. Whether they are a hair and makeup artist, a baker, or a florist, don’t hesitate to tap into your own network. You’ll feel better spending the money investing in a friend’s business, and it will make the day even more special!

While there are a lot of pluses to working within your circle, make sure to do your research before you inquire about their services. First, ensure that their style fits your vision. Also, consider how your personalities mesh. It can be tricky doing business with friends and family, you want to make your planning less stressful, not more!

 

6. Have a Friend or Family Member Officiate

Jeremiah and Rachel Photography

Hiring an officiant can be expensive and often impersonal, especially if you and your partner don’t already have a relationship with a spiritual leader. Instead, select a friend or a family member and ask them if they would be willing to get ordained and perform your wedding ceremony. It should be someone who knows you and your partner and can speak eloquently. Getting ordained is easy to do online, takes just a few minutes, and costs a fraction of what most officiants charge. Plus, you get a personal touch and don’t end up with a complete stranger in the background of your wedding photos–Win, Win, Win!

 

7. Buy Your Own Alcohol

Photographer: Mike Cassimatis-MNC Photography

This is a great money saver, but it totally depends on your venue; some require that you use their bar. If you are able to supply your own alcohol, you can save by buying your favorites in bulk from wholesale clubs and direct from wineries. This also ensures that you have Dad’s favorite whiskey and your favorite seasonal red, rather than relying on a generic bar package. Another plus, you get to keep the unopened bottles. You can return them and put that money back in your pocket, or you can save them and bring them out for special occasions.

 

8. Suit Up

Nikol Bodnarova Photography

I love a tux moment as much as anyone, but it is a brave new world and tuxes are no longer mandatory. Men, you are still expected to look your best, but your horizons have expanded exponentially. Suits are becoming a popular substitute for the classic black tux. Thanks to a number of brick and mortar and online retailers, you can choose to purchase or rent your ensemble. If you do decide to purchase your look, suits can be worn over and over again…and to more than your annual charity gala.  

 

9. Have Your Ceremony and Reception at the Same Venue

Savan Photography

If you’ve always dreamed of getting married at your quaint childhood church, chances are, space may be limited and this may not be an option for you. But, if you are more flexible with your venue, look for a place that has the look you are going for and enough space for both a ceremony and a reception. You can even speak with your wedding planner about arranging a “flip”.  A flip is when your wedding planner and their team take the ceremony space and transform it into a reception space while your guests are enjoying cocktail hour. By having your ceremony and reception in the same location you save on venue rental fees (set up, clean up, booking, deliveries, etc.), decoration expenses, and don’t forget…transportation. Transporting your guests from one venue to the next can prove to be quite expensive and confusing. If you can eliminate a trip between venues, your wallet and your guests will thank you.

 

10. Do Your Own Hair and Makeup

Brett Heidebrecht, Photography

This is something that I recommend, but cautiously. I only recommend this if you want something simple that you are confident you can execute alone. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to try out the look ahead of time and watch some tutorials on how to make your hair and makeup last throughout the day. If you do decide to hire a hair and makeup artist, you can save money by skipping the touch-ups after the ceremony.

 

11. DIY with Caution

Ruth Eileen Photography

We have all seen wedding DIY gone wrong, so if you do decide to DIY, please, do so with caution. Save it for simple projects like assembling favors or escort cards.

 

12. Buy, Don’t Rent

Ashley Rae Photography

When it comes to tablescapes and decorations, the bill can add up quickly. Rather than paying the rental fee, purchase the pieces you want in bulk for the same price as the rental, and resell them later. For this tip, think chargers, tablecloths, runners, candelabras, and other decorations.

For dishes, silverware, and glassware, I recommend using the ones supplied by your venue or catering company. You don’t want to spend the days after your wedding doing dishes.

 

13. Order your Wedding Invitation Suite Online

Photography: Honey Gem Creative | Invitations: Minted

Wedding invitations are your first opportunity to make an impression on your guests. There is a growing trend of intricate invitation suites with hand-pressed paper and artisan calligraphy. While this appeals to our insatiable desire for beauty, it can come with a hefty price tag. Thankfully, if custom calligraphy is out of your budget, there are several websites that offer customizable printing packages and some even have calligraphy font options that look like the real deal.  

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These Pronovias Gowns From Barcelona Bridal Week Are Out Of This World Gorgeous

We’d be over-the-moon to dawn nearly any gown by designer Pronovias. But, if we’re being honest, we’d definitely give dibs to the latest dresses from the Beyond the Stars 2020 collection. They are s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g. The gals of SMP were lucky enough to attend the show during Barcelona Fashion week, and between the glittering lights, celebrity attendees, and dazzling details, they were counting their lucky stars to be in the presence of these lovely, celestial ensembles. If you want to get in on the action as well, pick a favorite from the round-up of pictures below.

Unlimited sparkles and luxe, creamy fabrics lined the runway at the Valmont Barcelona where the Pronovias Beyond the Stars 2020 collection was presented, with celebrity guests like Lucy Hale and Lottie Moss in attendance. Everything from the chic, figure-flatting “Orbit” gown (complete with an oh-so-adorable shoulder bow) to the glitzy, sheath-covered “Milkyway” style wowed all the guests who made it out to the show, in a head-above-the-clouds evening of glamour and fun.

Between the ballgown, A-line, and tea-length selections, each style was just as flattering as the next. In fact, we couldn’t pick a favorite from the parade of carefully crafted lace, embellished, and minimalist fashions — they were all so good. But alas, we’d expect nothing less from one of the most flawless Haute couture brands around… especially when they’re on their home turf. Take our word for it by watching the entire etheral show below!

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If these photos have given you the inspo you need to go out and get a gown, head to Pronovias.com to find a retailer where you can buy one. (Just be sure to take a peek at the live footage from the show before you go!)

An Equestrian Mauve Wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Today’s beautiful bride and groom tied the knot at the magical Vizcaya Museum & Gardens under an ethereal chuppah by Julia Rhode Designs teeming with blooming branches and greenery galore. Masi Events did an amazing job at incorporating meaningful details into the wedding design in order to reflect the bride and groom’s unique personalities. From the stationery to the decor, you will notice elegant equestrian details representing the bride’s passion for riding. For the groom, an addition of classic New England fare to pay homage to his roots. Check out all the can’t-miss details at the full gallery, captured by the so very talented KT Merry Photography.

From Masi EventsJaime and Matt wed at the stunning historical Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. They entrusted us to plan and design their wedding, from the first impression to the very last, for a special and memorable weekend for their closest friends and family. We wanted to make sure to create an experience that was a reflection of them as a couple and would resonate to their guests that were all traveling to Miami, the city the couple resides. We love creating and designing the invitations as this really gives guests the first glimpse on what is to come. They were all wrapped in a delicate champagne paper with a silk ribbon and bronze wax seal enclosed in an envelope with a botanical liner sent off in a mauve envelope with hand calligraphy and a collection of vintage stamps. Jaime, being an accomplished equestrian, we wanted to be sure to incorporate her passion into the details.

The emblem design incorporated a laurel with a trophy in the middle. This subtle symbol was carried throughout the wedding including in the gold vintage vases on the centerpieces and horseshoe table numbers designed by Julia Rohde. Guests were welcomed at the hotel with a market tote bag filled with local goodies including glazed donuts from a Miami favorite- the Salty Donut. We also included Fatty Sunday pretzels birthday cake flavor as the wedding also took place on the bride’s birthday! The weekend itinerary had a custom watercolor illustration of Miami and highlighted the main points of interest for the wedding. The ceremony was designed to have an ethereal feel from the moment guests walked up the steps lined in candles and greenery. The chuppah was designed with natural white flowering branches and wild florals that complimented the wild white florals that lined the aisle.

Guests were greeted with a refreshing white sangria upon arrival and after the ceremony guava mojitos and Kinsley old fashioned cocktails were served. The menu was really important to Jaime and Matt and making sure, from the presentation and taste, that it would all be memorable. We wanted to incorporate some of Matt’s New England roots and we did this by including mini lobster rolls and crab cakes among some of the hors d’oeuvres.

After cocktail hour guests were invited to dine and dance underneath a greenery garland, chandelier filled tent. The coloration for the wedding was followed through here with mauve colored garden roses mixed with blush colored ranunculus arranged in a romantic and loose style. We also included some subtle details such as a guild gramophone, decanters, and coupe champagne glasses to pay homage to the 1920’s era in which the venue was built in. The menu cards gave guests a glimpse into the culinary experience they were about to delight in.

The celebration continued as guests danced through the night. The wedding cake was set among a lavish display of desserts and rosé champagne birthday cake for the bride. The lower terrace had an inviting lounge grouping with an after-dinner drink bar filled with cordials and a cigar roller. 

At the end of the evening, Jaime and Matt departed in a 1955 White Bentley silver cloud as all their guests wished them well as they started their happily ever after. The wedding was beautifully captured by KT Merry and tells the complete story of the wedding day.

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Photography: KT Merry Photography | Cinematography: Pinwheel Film Company | Catering: Constellation Culinary | Lighting: Celebrations by Kathy | Bridal Valet: Bless The Dress | Ceremony and Reception: Vizcaya Museum Gardens | Cigar Roller: Acope Cigars | Dance Floor and Stage: Sperry Tents Southeast | Floral Design and Calligraphy: Julia Rohde Designs | Getting Ready Venue: Epic Hotel | Hair and Make-up: Carolyn Jones Makeup | Music: Rock With U | Photobooth: ShutterBarn | Planning and Design: Masi Events | Rentals: Atlas Party Rentals | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Unearthed Rentals | Wedding Cake and Desserts: Cloud 9 Bakery

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Romantic, Spring Wedding at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, California

For these two love birds, their relationship began as co-workers and slowly evolved into something more. Fast forward some years later and we get to witness their day of ‘I Do’s’ beautifully captured by Anya Kernes Photography and Tim & Co. Productions. With Rancho Las Lomas as the venue of choice, Weddings by Susan Dunne had a stunning setting to design their light and romantic vision.  Add in muted tones of mauve, pinks, and purples and Foxtail Florals delivered with stunning centerpieces in the perfect palette! Be sure to check out the full gallery to see all the details!

From Weddings by Susan DunneApril 14, 2018, was the perfect evening for Jordan and Kim’s bohemian chic wedding at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, California. As the afternoon sun began to peek through the trees, the couple’s organic florals and dusty pink accents shone through, creating the perfect sense of whimsy and elegance. Arrangements by Foxtail Florists adorned the ceremony and reception while each moment was captured thanks to photographer Anya Kernes and videographers from Tim & Co. Every detail – from the venue to the cake – came together with the help of Susan Dunne, who helped Jordan and Kim design their dream wedding.

From the bride… We met at work and began our relationship as friends but it didn’t take long for our friends to set us up, thinking we would be perfect for each other. At first, we thought it was awkward, however, after a couple of years we began and got closer as friends and started to see each other in a new light, eventually falling in love.

More from the bride… Kim proposed on August 30, 2016, when we took a quick trip to Catalina Island. It felt like any other day so I wasn’t suspicious in the slightest bit, even after dinner as we decided to take a photo under the moonlight on the boardwalk. While I was getting ready for the photo, my future husband, Kim, got down on one knee – holding the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen – and proposed! 

About the design…We knew we wanted something that had lots of natural greenery as well as dusty rose, powder blue, and lavender accents to blend with our romantic-yet-minimalistic look. To help achieve this, our reception centerpieces featured an array of mauve, dusty rose, and blush garden flowers and roses arranged organically in clean, white vases. These sat on farm tables paired with a mixed arrangement of loose garland that cascaded off the table onto the floor.

We enjoyed every part of our wedding planning thanks to our wedding planner and designer, Susan Dunne, who was amazing and made our wedding go so smoothly. While wedding planning can get stressful up until the day of, the best advice I can give would be to enjoy every aspect and moment of it because you’ll miss the fun of planning once it’s all done! 

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Photography: Anya Kernes Photography | Videographer: Tim & Co | Dress : Romona Keveza | Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations | Stationery : Minted | Shoes: Bella Belle | Catering: Giracci Vineyards Farms | Hair and Makeup: Studio MM&B | Calligraphy : Brenda Rodriguez | DJ : Vox DJs | Suit : Custom, By Design | Venue : Rancho Las Lomas | Baker : Beverly's Bakery | Bridesmaid Attire: Monique Lhuillier | Dance Studio: im dance happy studios | Dessert : A La Minute | Laser Cuts : Happily Ever Etched | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Planner & Designer : Weddings by Susan Dunne | Rentals : Signature Party Rentals | Tie: Michael Kors

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Blue Fairytale Garden Wedding at Butterfly Lane Estate in Montecito

I’m a big fan of any kind of ‘bar’ at a wedding… we’ve seen lots of nifty ideas in years past—from flower bars to donut bars, they’re always crowd pleasers! Today’s beer bar, courtesy of Blair Dugan Floral Design, might be my favorite though. And it’s just the tip of fun in this wedding coordinated by Tyler Speier Events. Join the party, with Jen Rodriguez Photography and these pretty, pretty snapshots below.

Blair and Mike sign their notes to each other Y.A.T.B.T., which is fitting to their love story, as they shared their first dance on their wedding day to Ray La Montagne’s “You Are The Best Thing”.

The couple has been road tripping from San Francisco to San Diego for Christmas the last seven years. Along the way, they’ve added Santa Barbara as their midway stop. Their seventh year traveling down featured a little something special: a marriage proposal in Montecito. They may have thought it before, but from that moment, Blair and Mike knew they would get married in the Santa Barbara area. Cue in Butterfly Lane Estate and all of the whites, greens, and dusty blues any florist could dream up.

Floral designer herself, bride Blair met her three other wedding floral designers at the Sinclair & Moore Real Wedding Workshop and they formed a very close friendship. The other florists came all the way from Canada and San Diego to team up and design the perfect garden-inspired day for Blair’s wedding. Greenery spilled out of antique dressers. White roses and ferns adorned the long wooden tables in abundance. Imagine the most whimsical fairytale-esque storybook scene, and you may land upon what Blair’s floral team made magic of.

The bride described the overall vision for the day as, “Garden inspired, classic with personal detailed touches throughout.”

Wedding details were nothing short of personalized: complete with custom-designed Moscow Mule mugs, a wedding crest by Arabella June, signature cocktail wooden sign, watercolor that looks directly out of a fairytale itself, and a beer bar built by the father of the bride himself. Sounds like craftsmanship runs in the family. Since all wedding guests came from outside Santa Barbara, it was important to the bride and groom that their guests got to know each other before the big day. Wedding festivities began early with everything from Welcome Cocktails at the Santa Barbara Inn, a 30-team Croquet Tournament in Cabrillo Park, rehearsal dinner at the Belmond El Encanto, Wedding Eve Cocktails, to the wedding itself, of course, and a Bloody Mary Brunch at a private estate near Butterfly Beach. Last but certainly not least, Bella Vista Design’s flower petal cannon that went off during the chorus of the last song of the night – Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. The best. We’d say that sums it up pretty well.

From the Bride… My design and vision was brought to life perfectly and I have each and every one of our amazing vendors to thank. I always share with all of my couples that having a strong vendor team is so important on the big day so you can focus on what matters most – marrying the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. With our vendor team, I was able to do exactly that. From the flawless execution and coordination by Tyler Speier Events who epitomizes ‘grace under pressure’, to the trick bartenders from Flair keeping all of our guests entertained (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail), to Jen Rodriguez Photography and Jeremy Foster Films for capturing our day so perfectly and being so much fun to be with all day, to the band, Gold Standard, keeping everyone on the dance floor at all times, Omni Catering for creating unique experiences with our menu and last but certainly not least, Bella Vista Design’s flower petal cannon that went off during the chorus of the last song of the night – Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. It was the absolute best.

One of the bride’s closest friends from college (go Chico State!) Nicole, from Penny Lane Papery, was instrumental in creating all the paper goods which gave guests a sneak peek into what the wedding day details would be and tied the theme together so perfectly. From the Save the Date inspired by vintage Santa Barbara postcards, to the wedding website design, the invitation with a perforated tear-off RSVP postcard, the welcome booklet filled with all the weekend events, and last but certainly not least, and one of our favorite details, the menu printed on linen napkins, Penny Lane Papery took care of it all. The beautiful paper goods were printed by Wynwood Letterpress, which is owned by the wife of one of the groomsmen. This couple sure is surrounded by creative stars. 

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Photography: Jen Rodriguez Photography | Videography: Jeremy Foster | Coordination: Tyler Speier Events | Event & Floral Design: Blair Dugan Floral Design | Floral Design: November Blooms | Floral Design: Compass Floral | Wedding Gown: Hayley Paige | Ceremony Venue: Santa Barbara Mission | Reception Venue: Butterfly Lane Estate | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | Catering: Omni Fresco Catering | Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Calligraphy: Les fleurs de Ninon | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | Band: Downbeat La | Groom's Attire: Hall Madden | Groomsmen's Attire: Indochino | String Quartet: Gemini Strings | Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley | Bars & Tables: Found Rentals | Beer Bar: Blair Dugan Floral Design | Custom Signature Cocktail Sign: Paper Tangent | Custom Watercolor: stone fruit studio | Custom Wedding Crest: Arabella June Design Studio | Dessert: McConnell's Ice Cream | Earrings: BHLDN | Glassware: Otis & Pearl | Grooms Ring: Trabert Goldsmiths | Head Table Glassware: Monique Lhuillier | Lead Floral Design: Bluebell Flowers | Linen: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Moscow Mule Mugs: Moscow Copper | Overhead Greenery Installation: Tyler Speier Events | Paper Goods & Design : Penny Lane Paper | Printing : Wynwood Press | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Belmond El Encanto | Rentals: The Tent Merchant | Right Hand Ring: Lang Antique | Ring Bearers Attire: J.Crew | Table Runners: Tono Co | Wedding Ring: Susie Saltzman

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A Spring Pippin Hill Wedding with a One of a Kind Wedding Gown

There’s always something that stands out to us about each wedding we feature here on SMP, and for this gorgeous day at Pippin Hill (one of our faves!), it was the dress… ohh, the dress. It’s unlike any we’ve seen before! Not to mention the bride’s contagious smile and her husband’s emotional reaction during their first look, captured so perfectly by Kylie Martin Photography. Take in all the stunning details of this beautiful Spring wedding planned by Amore Events by Cody below!

From Kylie Martin PhotographyMorgan and Tommy opted for an intimate spring wedding at Pippin Hill Farm in Charlottesville Virginia. They had classic elements throughout the day but also had fun touches that emphasized their playful side. Morgan opted for a less traditional gown that stunned against the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset.

Both Morgan and Tommy have a love for travel which has been fundamental part of their relationship as they have spent a good portion of their time together traveling the world. Morgan wanted to incorporate travel details throughout their day.

With the help of Cody at Amore Events, unique touches were brought into the reception space to highlight the theme which included table seatings cards placed in luggage tags, tables numbered with destination images of the bride and groom at an international destination that they had travelled to together and postcards for guests to sign from all around the world.

As a photographer, it was wonderful to see how much of Tommy and Morgan’s vibrant personalities and enthusiasm for life was brought into their day. Both of them light up a room when they walk in and the energy and joy that followed them throughout their wedding was palpable. It was not only a treat to photograph such a lively couple but also to document a wedding that stepped outside of the box when it came to certain details. The Cooley’s wedding while fun and less traditional, still carried a sense of timelessness.

Photography: Kylie Martin Photography | Videographer: Studio 213 Films | Event Planning: Amore Events by Cody | Floral Design: Blue Ridge Floral | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture | Cake: Passionflower Cakes | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: Gohar Ayvazyan Makeup | Hair: Glo Out Glamour Bar | DJ: Dj Tobler | Venue: Pippin Hill Farm | Wedding Venue: Pippin Hill Farm

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How to Look Wedding Ready Without Cutting Carbs (Seriously!)

Who’s sick of crazy no-carb diets and strict rules for every meal? We know WE sure are!! That being said, we couldn’t be more grateful to celebrity nutritionist, Cara Clark, for creating a non-diet approach to nutrition. She truly believes that food can heal you from the inside out and that every person’s approach to nutrition and their ideal diet is unique (umm, hallelujah!) Today we’re sharing Cara’s expert tips on how to look wedding day-ready without all those unnecessary and unrealistic diets.

P.S. Cara is launching a wedding nutrition challenge for all you beautiful brides out there who are looking for a non-diet approach to getting in your best shape for the Big Day! Use code SMP20OFF for $20 off your purchase!

Let’s start by saying that the Science of Nutrition indicates that we have six essential nutrients. This means, we can NOT thrive without them. They are:

1. Carbohydrates
2. Fat
3. Protein
4. Vitamins
5. Minerals
6. Water

I won’t bore you too much with science because I know you need to utilize the energy you have for wedding planning, so let’s make this easy. We have three macronutrients that have an enormous biochemical role in our bodies. I suppose you can guess those listed above: carbs, fat and protein. And three micronutrients that are also essential to life and best function in the human body. These are: vitamins, minerals and water. Most of which is actually consumed through the food we eat. Read on for my 6 go-to tips to look wedding-ready without cutting out any essential nutrients!

Tip #1: Count your macros.

A good baseline is to focus on eating 50% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 30% fat. Our Style Me Pretty Wedding Challenge can help you stick to those goals. 50% carbs might sound like a lot, but carbohydrates carry the most water and the most antioxidants. This is why when people start our program, the compliment they always get is that they’re glowing. Carbohydrates actually help to keep you hydrated and antioxidants enhance your youthful appearance, while also keeping your immune system strong! Who doesn’t want that for their big day!?

Tip #2: Eat the rainbow.

One of the essential rules in my program is to eat five colors of fruits and vegetables per day. This is a great way to consume more antioxidants through carbs.

Tip #3: Avoid white carbohydrates.

Choose your carbs wisely! I’m sure you know by now which foods are considered carbs, but your best choices will be carbs coming from fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes and squash, and whole grains like oats, rice, quinoa, and even legumes like chickpeas or black beans.

Tip #4: Eat within 1 hour of waking up for a speedy metabolism.

You’ve heard it before, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Eat a well-rounded meal (Refer to tip #1 for macros!) and kickstart your metabolism first thing in the morning.

Tip #5: Drink 80 ounces of water per day.

Try using a water tracking app to help keep you accountable!

Tip #6: Stay active!

Try to exercise 4 times per week for at least 30 minutes.

Not only is it important to look good, but feel good as well!  Trust me on this, I wish I had felt better at my own wedding. When I was 23, I was new in my nutrition studies and didn’t know what I know now. I have always experienced that when I undereat my carbohydrates, I feel weak, tired, and foggy, not to mention “hangry!” Who wants that for their big day!? Relish in the amazing memories by fueling up and feeling your best! Congratulations! Looking forward to helping you on this journey!

Photography: Angelica Marie Photography | Hair & Makeup: 10.11 Makeup

Colorful Spring Wedding Inspiration at Kimberly Crest House & Garden

If a fine art wedding vibe is what you’re going for, I insist you give today’s editorial a good long look. Inspired by Botticelli’s painting of ‘The Primavera’, the title of which means spring in Italian, it is artful in every way—from the blooms by Plenty Of Petals to the tabletop pretties from Casa de Perrin to every last detail planned by Haute Fetes. And let’s give some love for that Claire Pettibone dress, too! Simply Sarah captured it all on film, setting each moment in time for our viewing pleasure right this way.

From HauteFêtes Fine Weddings and EventsThe pastel-hued Kimberly Crest estate east of Los Angeles, CA, provides an elegant European backdrop for our Spring editorial inspired by Botticelli’s painting of ‘The Primavera’, the title of which means Spring in Italian. While the precise story of The Primavera is unknown, it was likely created for the marriage of one of the Medici family members, and bears strong classical references including the Spring goddess, Flora, and the god of May, Mercury.

Using the famous pictorial depiction of a springtime marriage as a springboard, our editorial, masterfully captured by Simply Sarah, tells the story of a young couple in love; our bride, Flora, seemingly floating in an ethereal Claire Pettibone gown and cape, covered in blooms; our groom, Mercury, strong and chiseled, ushering away the winter months; an intimate wedding ceremony followed by a garden-inspired reception in a sherbet palette. Our story is at once frothy in its exuberance and also delicate in detail, with romantic florals and finely crafted elements that lend a soft sophistication to an Old World classical story.

From a design standpoint, the grey-blue, aqua and cream hues of the venue provide a neutral palette on which to layer pattern, texture and color. Lilac, dusty rose and blush tones comprise our feminine bouquet, and as our muse Flora dances, she is enveloped in a loosely cascading organic shawl of jasmine and sweet pea crafted to perfection by Plenty of Petals.

Designed with the same balance of neutrals and color in mind, our tabletop which employs the ever-sophisticated pairing of La Tavola linens and vintage Casa de Perrin tableware offers a highly textured but soft backdrop for the rainbow of Spring colors in the floral centerpieces. It is precisely because of the tone-on-tone backdrop of the tabletop that the highly colorful and textured array of hyacinth, sweet pea and tulips work, proving that you don’t have to compromise on color in tabletop design as long as you employ balance overall.

We love how all the details seemingly spring from each other, as the stationery designed by Isidore & Augustine echoes the texture from the linen sheer in the design of the velum invitation overlay. Exercising similar restraint, Hey, There Cupcake also combines this same aesthetic with the palest sugar flowers in grey-blue, cream and blush softly embellishing an elegant three-tiered, ivory wedding cake.

Natural hair and makeup imagined by Beauty by Stacey reinforce the youthfulness of our couple as they stroll through cypress trees and old stone walkways reminiscent of an Italianate garden, embracing the romance of marriage just as Botticelli’s Medici patrons likely once did, too.

Photography: Elizabeth Lanier Photography | Event Planning: HauteFetes | Floral Design: Plenty Of Petals | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Stationery: Isidore Augustine | Hair & Makeup: Beauty By Stacey | Venue: Kimberly Crest House Garden | Chairs: To Be Designed | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Men's Suit: Garys | Models: Willow Model Management | Ribbon: Bellame Ribbon | Tabletop : Casa de Perrin

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5 Things You Should Never Do the Morning of Your Wedding

One of my biggest areas of priority on my wedding day was the morning of. Why? Because it truly sets the tone for your entire day—and it’s often a time when most things “go wrong” or feel stressful. The excitement and anticipation of marrying your forever should be the only things you’re focusing on and there are ways to avoid all the negative hoopla, I promise. Take a peek below and let us know in the comments how you are planning to (peacefully) spend your wedding morning!

1. NEVER Feel the Need to Entertain Everyone.

Getting ready is half the fun, right? Gathering with your girls and family members can be SO much fun on the morning of your wedding, but you should never feel obligated to have a ‘getting ready party’. If you’re someone (like me) who doesn’t prefer all the attention during that time and would rather enjoy those moments solo, or with one close loved one—there’s nothing wrong with that! I personally chose to begin getting ready by myself, followed by spending an hour and half with my sister (who was my matron of honor) and then asked the rest of my girls to join us about an hour before the wedding for the final touches and a glass of bubbly. It was such a pleasant way to spend those getting ready moments.

2. NEVER Hold Yourself To Traditions You Don’t Feel Strongly About

I love traditions, don’t get me wrong. But I love them only when there’s a whole lotta heart behind them—when they are truly special to a couple. For some, it would be unimaginable to see their fiancé the morning of the wedding, but for others having a first look is a newer ‘tradition’ they can’t imagine doing without. Never let anyone sway you when it comes to your wedding day traditions—especially the morning of. Go with your gut on this, I promise that choice will always win. These special hours are the ones that really set the tone for your day!

3. NEVER Designate Yourself as the Coordinator.

This seems obvious, right? But too many Brides (and Grooms!) delegate tasks to themselves the morning of their wedding, because they think they can handle a few extra to dos. The last thing you want to deal with on your wedding morning is a barrage of questions… from vendors, wedding guests, your bridal party. Delegate someone in your bridal party, or a close family member or friend you trust who can be that go-to person for final details. Putting your trust in that person allows you to fully soak in every moment of your well-deserved Big Day! It also helps to create a day-of timeline (something an event planner can help with, too) and hand it out to all vendors involved and any other people you delegate tasks to.

4. NEVER Try a Completely New Beauty Service or Treatment Day-Of

One of the best pieces of advice I received in my wedding planning process was from one of my besties and bridesmaids. During my hair trial, I mentioned wanting to get balayage before my wedding. Although this friend thought it would look beautiful on me, she urged me to consider that it was something SO new and out of the ordinary for me—and she told me how much she loved my naturally dark color. A good friend to have, right? I’m so glad I heeded her advice. This was a few months before my wedding, but this absolutely applies to beauty services and treatments day-of, too! If you’ve never gotten airbrush makeup or faux lashes, don’t just do it because it’s your wedding day. Do what YOU are most comfortable with. I promise you, you’ll be even more beautiful in the photos without having to go all extra on yourself.

5. NEVER Skimp on a Backup Plan

One of the biggest things couples worry about when planning their wedding: the weather. Whether you’re having an indoor or outdoor ceremony, rain can put a huge damper on things. Make sure to have a solid back up plan, so you won’t be scrambling the day of to figure out logistics. Most venues will help you come up with a game plan, too. Having that backup option will allow you to let go and feel confident that rain or shine, you and your loved ones will have an incredible day.

4 Affordable — and Unforgettable — Signature Cocktails to Serve at Your Wedding

Signature sips have become the latest and greatest thing to have at weddings. You’ll see the “His” libation, chilled with a sphere-shaped cube, or the”Her” spritzer, garnished with a fancy lemon curl. And as much of a treat as these may be, booze, of course, comes with a fee. (Let’s just say it isn’t as pretty as that herb-infused tequila drink titled “Just Rosemarried”.) Our advice? Turn to Total Wine & More, where you can shop all the alcohol you need affordably. You can even can schedule a complimentary wedding consultation with their team of experts so you’ll be sure to get perfectly curated libations everyone will love – they’ll take care of the whole process for you! To get your creative juices flowing, we provided 4 inexpensive and easy-to-make signature cocktail recipes for you to check out below.

Prosecco Popsicles

These adorable chilled drinks are perfect for summer weddings. Plus, they’re so instagrammable, guests will love ’em too! Since they only require two simple ingredients to create (this bride-favorite prosecco and your favorite fruity popsicle) they can be created inexpensively. Pro Tip: During your complimentary consultation with Total Wine & More request to have your prosecco pre-chilled so they’re ready to serve once the cork pops! 

Find The Recipe Here!

Sparkling Margaritas

He likes tequila, you love something with carbonation. Combine your two loves with this zingy, flavor-infused libation. While it requires margarita mix, tequila, and prosecco to make, consider making it more budget-friendly by electing to use a pre-made mixer (like this one) with the alcohol already in it. Pro Tip: With over 3,000 spirits in stock at Total Wine & More, the options to add your own special twist to your signature drink are endless. Our eyes are on a delicious strawberry rendition… yum!

Find the Recipe Here!

Hawaiian Blackberry Mojitos

Looking for a refreshing tropical drink for your hot summer wedding? Enter Hawaiian Blackberry Mojitos. Trust us, they taste just as delicious as they look! It’s also the perfect signature drink to make virgin for any underage guests who want to join in on the fun, simply omit the rum and add an extra splash of sparkling water. Pro Tip: If you’re looking to give it your own twist, the experts at Total Wine & More are there to help you swap complementary flavors or alcohols in!

Find the Recipe Here!

 

Blanco Drink

Muddled blackberries and tequila — need we say more? This palette-pleaser will impress both guys and gals alike, with its robust, tangy flavor. Since it only requires the use of one liquor (plus, agave and mint garnish to taste!) you’ll save an arm and a leg serving it. Pro tip: Didn’t consume all of the tequila you purchased? Lucky for you, Total Wine & More will happily refund you for anything that goes unused!

Find the Recipe Here!

Photography by Birds of a Feather

There you have it! Four delicious drinks perfect for getting the party started. For more beverage inspo, head to over to Total Wine & More and take their fun planning questionnaire to start your complimentary consultation. You’ll be paired with a local wedding expert prepped to navigate you through the selection process where you can choose wines, beers, and spirits that pair perfectly with your menu… and budget! (Psst! They’ll even let you sample your selections before you buy. Now that’s something we can get on board with!)

*Spirits where allowed by law.

Timeless Black & White Miami Wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

One part classic, one part tropical and add a splash of love—that’s what you’ll get when you pull up a seat to today’s Miami fete from Masi Events. With a live band, fireworks show and a chuppah dripping in florals by Ever After Floral Design, I’m betting the guests were talking about this one for a good long while after the day was done. And we get to join in the party with this gallery from Alisa Ferris, chock-full of pretty.

From Alisa FerrisMelis + Leandro’s Vizcaya Museum + Gardens wedding was a no-expenses spared stunner. Impeccably planned by Masi Events, the NYC-based couple’s big day featured a 10+ person live band and fireworks show – 1 of only 5 allowed at Vizcaya per year.



After getting ready at the Mandarin Oriental in Brickell, the couple had their first look at Vizcaya. In a first, the father-of-the-bride accompanied his daughter to her groom. The result provided us with some gorgeous candids. If your father will play an important role in your wedding day, you can also consider doing a first look with Dad before meeting your partner. Flower girl (ah hem) dog, Charlotte, was as sweet and innocent as she looks. Incorporating your dog on your wedding day creates a fabulous memory. Be sure to have a friend or assistant on hand to manage the pet once the ceremony is over.



Melis’s father went above and beyond to surprise his daughter on her big day. As the couple shared their first kiss as husband and wife under the chuppah, flower petals canons rained hundreds of rose petals over the couple and guests. Following a traditional Jewish ceremony, the 200+ guests watched the sunset over Biscayne Bay during the cocktail hour, and partied the night away.

Photography: Alisa Ferris | Cinematography: Pinwheel Film Company | Event Planning: Masi Events | Floral Design: Ever After Floral Design | Catering: Le Basque | Band: Elan Artists | Ceremony and Reception: Vizcaya Museum Gardens | Draping and Lighting: Celebrations by Kathy | Photobooth: ShutterBarn | Rentals: Unearthed Rentals | Tabletop Rentals: Atlas Party Rentals | Tabletop Rentals: Events on the Loose

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Enchanted Santa Lucia Preserve Forest Wedding in Carmel-By-The-Sea

Truth be told, I had a LOT of wedding venue inspiration to choose from when I was in the planning process—a pro (or con?) of the job, depending on how you look at it. On my (very long) wish list was Santa Lucia Preserve, because well, LOOK. Though I didn’t end up choosing it for my own I dos, I still get to enjoy it’s beauty thanks to celebrations like today’s planned by Lady Liberty Events. Every moment snapped up by Kelsea Holder is filled with modern rustic beauty and utter joy. Experience it all below for yourself.

From Lady Liberty EventsB&A wanted their special day to be an intimate celebration truly reflecting both of their personalities and style . With the groom leaning more towards modern simplicity and the bride wanting to include hints of vintage and natural elements, we worked closely with them to create a remarkable day that embodied all of their desires. Incorporating warm jewel color tones in hues of forest green, rust and pomegranate along with gold and blush accents, provided a striking contrast to the venues surrounding.

A stunning ceremony in a serene forrest setting encompassed by massive red wood trees, we focused on the nature of the beautiful organic environment. B and A said I do surrounded by a lush floral circular floor installation that was jaw droppingly stunning. Guests were transported to the cocktail hour where the bride and groom wanted to create more of an interactive and fun post-ceremony celebration (which included elements such as monogramed jenga, corn hole, cheese tower/charcuterie display). The escort display, a salute to the groom’s company and where the bride and groom first met, consisted of a unique display of hand made miniature grocery shopping bags filled with marzipan carrots along with each guests name and table assignment. Crafted signature cocktails were flowing at both the cocktail hour and reception, providing fresh mocktails and alcohol based selections all evening long.

As guests approached Santa Lucia’s iconic barn, they were greeted by a swag of twinkling lights that lended to the cozy outdoor lounge and fire pit area. With custom draping, crawling greens, and assorted candles flanking the barn doors, upon entry guests were in awe of the barns transformation. Overhead, rustic wood chandeliers dressed with dripping foliage were hung over the center dining area while both sides of the barn were draped with flowing fabric providing a special setting above all the guests. A swooping installation of fairy lights that were strategically strung to complement the barn’s layout, created an incredible overhead moment unlike any other. Modern Wood round and kings tables romantically draped with antiqued-blush runners, gold leaf patterned chargers with forrest green dinner plates, spice velvet foiled menus, and miniature Dandelion chocolate bar place cards (the bride and grooms favorite chocolate), created a dreamy place setting for each guest.

The indulgent florals, perfectly spilling onto the tables, were constructed of blooms in hues that complimented the entire table scape with taper candles in rust and dark green displayed in gold modern holders adding to the entire moment. The tables were all named after the couples favorite places to visit in San Fransico and watercolor images of each location were used to designate each table. Under the sea of twinkle lights, a vintage photo booth bus and guest book display provided a fun place for guests to snap some pics for the bride and groom. Rather then focusing on a huge cake, we went with a selection of individual pies since Becky’s favorite dessert is pie. The pies were displayed under a plexiglass sign that read “PIED THE KNOT” with a small statement cake that B&A would cut into. The Bride and Groom wanted to be sure to create a number of different experiences throughout the evening that their guests would enjoy….it was a HUGE success.

Photographer: Kelsea Holder Photography | Florist: Enchanted Garden Floral Design | Cake: Pretty Please Bakeshop | Catering : Santa Lucia Preserve | Lighting : Fiesta lighting | Ceremony Music: Isaiah Pekary | Venue: Santa Lucia Preserve | Beauty: Urban Beauty Loft | Bride Dress: Galia Lahav | Event Planner/Designer: Lady Liberty Events | Groom Attire: Custom Tuxedos From Elevee | Invitations & Printed Items: Prim & Pixie | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Music/Entertainment: Dart Collective | PhotoBooth: Das Bus | Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Specialty Rentals: Theoni Collection | Specialty Rentals: Found Rentals | Specialty Rentals: Blueprint Studios

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Take Note! 8 Wedding Dress Details You Should Consider When Selecting Your Gown

You’ve had your dream dress in mind since the days of playing “wedding” in your backyard. But when it comes to shopping for your perfect gown, you’ll realize there’s more to it than simply picking something out from Mom’s wardrobe. There are details to consider, like the dress neckline, length, material, train, and more! So with the help of Allure Bridals, we’re rounding up what to search for to ensure it’s a selection you’ll love (and your four-year-old self would be proud of). Scroll on for the info, then head to AllureBridals.com to start shopping!

Take note of the train. Not all trains are created equal! For example, you wouldn’t want a 12-foot train for a beach wedding or a tea-length gown for a formal affair. When it comes to fabric trailing behind your gown, be mindful of matching it to your wedding theme and setting. (Our hearts are set on Allure gown 9505 for its versatile, voluminous train that works for ceremonies both inside or out. Perfect!)

Play up the back: Sure, the front of your frock is the first thing people will see. But the back of the gown is what leaves a lasting impression. If you want a more spirited vibe with your selection, go for something like a behind bow detail for an added element of fun. Our pick? This charming Allure selection — I mean, how fun is that bow?!

Consider heel height: Planning on flaunting flats on your Big Day? While we’re all for switching into something comfortable on the dancefloor, consider how the dress looks without extra height. The difference may help you make your decision on the spot.

Add a little extra with embellishments. We adore the use of eloquently applied appliqués — they instantly up the wow factor on a gown! So if you’re in the market for something special, ask to try styles with added embellishments, like the gorgeous Allure 9505, to see if it’s a look you love.

Material sets the tone. Having a good feel for your fabrics is key to keeping the dress in budget and on-theme with your wedding. Just take tulle, a structured transparent netting found in fuller and more formal ballgowns. Then there’s crepe, a draped silk fabric that looks flawless on curvy and minimalist models. For overlays and embroidery, you’ll often see organza used for its effortless seethrough look. And finally lace, it’s timeless and traditional and can be made up of dozens of different types of characteristics, depending on which one you go with. Settle on a fabric, then use it as a starting guide to finding something just right for you.

Keep it at arm’s length. Let’s talk straps! While some girls love to show a little shoulder in a strapless look, others appreciate the support (and low-maintenance fit) of a spaghetti or a cap sleeve option. For those who want extra coverage, or are getting married at a more conservative venue, three-quarter or long-sleeved selections may be for you. Keep all of these in mind as you start your search.

Contemplate color. Looking to break away from an all-white look? Consider adding a bit of color to your dress. We love the idea of having a slight hint of nude or blush in a skirt or bodice to make it feel fresh, whimsical, and unique, like Allure style 9520.

Dress by Allure | Style 9620

Comfort is key. Fashion can mean sacrificing comfort. But when it comes to your wedding day, this should not be the case. As you slip into gowns, be sure to pay attention to fabrics and styles that’ll allow you to breathe easy, from walking down the aisle to breaking it down on the dance floor. After all, looking good and feeling good is what it’s all about!

Lush Wedding Inspiration with Modern Elegance at Château De La Napoule

The sun-soaked French Riviera, colorful blooms, a to-die-for Naeem Khan dress and photos by Oliver Fly Photography… I mean, does it get much better than this, folks? I think not. Prepare to fall in love with every intricate detail of this modern yet elegant editorial at Château De La Napoule planned and designed by White Eden Weddings. The stunning tablescape adorned with heavenly flowers from Miss Rose by Perrine will take your breath away while the ceremony site is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Alright, enough talking, it’s time to get inspired…

From White Eden WeddingsWhen thinking up our vision for this editorial, we had three words in mind: colorful, lush and refined. We wanted to embrace the sunny nature of the French Riviera and combine it with modern elegance. We based ourselves at the stunning Chateau de la Napoule to create that colorful and refined inspiration, especially in the stunning « Lovers garden » which we turned into a romantic, pastel filled and elegant cocoon.

This intimate garden overlooks the sea -the essence of the French Riviera, and is surrounded by the stone castle and lush greenery, which creates an incredible intimacy and nature connected sense. Every element of the design is consistent and echoes the next one. It all started with the choice of the venue which is a place made for royalty! We designed all the ingredients of the day to bring a feminine and romantic feel to that masculine Chateau.

The stunning flowers by Miss Rose by Perrine are lush, exquisite and a central element of the day. We focused on a refreshing and sunny pastel color palette to bring some lightness and airiness to the solemnity of the Chateau. The ceremony space was intimate and organic to fully embrace and enhance the existing nature in the garden. Perrine designed a custom arch covered in foliage and flowers as if nature and flowers took over in this space; and incorporated orchids and ranunculus, the favorite flowers of the bride.

The centerpieces were the continuity of the ceremony area with lavish flowers covering the table like a colorful path straight out of our wildest spring dreams. The table was topped with a bespoke velvet pink tablecloth and modern golden flatware that echoed the geometric golden chairs. Touches of pale yellow were added in the flowers to remind the bride’s stunning engagement ring: a yellow diamond solitaire, custom made by Louis Julian. In order to create a link between every moment of the wedding, from the reception of the Save the dates months earlier to the dinner reception, the bespoke stationery accompanies the guests. Delphine from Silent Word Studio created bespoke watercolors of the chateau that were present on the Save the Dates, the invitation suite and the menus. The very original escort cards completed it and actually represent the Chateau once brought together like a puzzle!

We created welcome baskets that could be delivered in hotel rooms to greet guests. These were designed to make them feel as welcome and special as possible and included a hand drawn map of the French Riviera with the events from the welcome dinner to the wedding day to the brunch; gorgeous and delicious treats, and some bubbly to start the wedding celebrations off right! On the day, the intimacy and collusion between the bride and groom was palpable and refreshing, and the show stopping Naeem Khan wedding gown brought a goddess and ethereal look to Laura, our lovely bride, which was complimented with a very light make up and natural hair. Catherine from Made in Cake got actually inspired by it and beautifully reproduced the patterns of the dress on the trio of wedding cakes and on the delicate sugar cookies that were included in the welcome baskets. All of these details would of course be meaningless if not captured perfectly by Oliver Fly, a film photographer as involved as talented. His keen eye for details and unequaled commitment to styling and flawless results enabled us to showcase every aspect of this shoot.

Photographer: Oliver Fly Photography | Floral Design: Miss Rose By Perrine | Dress: Naeem Khan | Wedding cake: Made In Cake | Rings: Louis Julian Cannes | Tuxedo : By Monsieur | Bridal Shoes : Bella Belle | Chateau: Chateau De La Napoule | Hair & Make up: Amandine Baron | Planning & Design: White Eden Weddings | Rentals: Options | Ring box : The Mrs Box | Stationery & Calligraphy: Silent Word Studio | Vows Books: elmo Paperstories ltd.

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