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This Is How You Choose Your Wedding Venue In Just One Weekend

We know that finding the right wedding venue takes a lot of work and a lot of patience – this is the place that you’ll celebrate your I do’s, and you need to get it right. So wouldn’t it be nice if you could take just one weekend to find that venue of your dreams? You can. On March 10th and 11th, the 5th annual Wedding Show Weekend is happening across the country and features over 35 country clubs and golf courses. And guys… it’s free to attend.

Wedding Show Weekend is an event that you honestly can’t miss. It’s stress-free and convenient, and it brings together 35 country clubs and golf courses across the country. Not to mention amazing vendors, on-site directors and tasty cuisine for you to sample. Which means that you can ask all of the questions you need to, see all of the venues you need to and even taste the food you’ll serve to your guests. And did we mention it’s free to attend?

Whether you’re tying the knot in California, Brooklyn or Tennessee (just to name a few), the Wedding Show Weekend is your one-stop venue shop with an awesome list of country clubs and golf courses that are perfect for hosting your celebration. 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 your entire celebration.

Ready to meet the venue + vendor team that will make your dream day happen? RSVP for free on the Wedding Show Weekend 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.

4 Benefits of a Longer Engagement With Blogger Marianne from M.A. Times

Hi SMP readers! I’m Marianne, the blogger and bride-to-be behind the style and beauty blog, The M. A. Times. My fiancé, Ryan, and I got engaged in November of 2016 in the Tuileries Garden in Paris, France. That day was an absolute fairy tale! I met Ryan a little over five years ago, and realized very quickly I wanted him to be my forever. We took our sweet time dating, soaking up every second, until the moment that every girl dreams of happened that morning in Paris November 2, 2016.

To say it’s been a whirlwind since our engagement would be the understatement of the century! Upon getting engaged that day in Paris, both of us had an idea of how we thought our wedding day would look. We immediately started chatting about plans, and of course, pinning our hearts out with inspiration from Pinterest. When we came back from Paris (aka back down to reality), and as we conversed with family about the news, our plans quickly shifted. With lots of varying ideas and opinions about our big day clouding my vision, I took a step back from planning our wedding.

Fast-forward to over a year later, and we have just started the process of setting a date, picking a venue, and getting full-force into wedding planning. While taking our time planning used to make me feel like the worst fiancé in the world, I’ve realized having a long engagement is actually one of the best things I could have done for Ryan and me, and ultimately our future together.

It’s not for everyone, but keep reading below if you’re anything like me to see why drawing out your wedding planning process can actually end up being the right decision you in the long-haul!


Getting your vision clear
I’ve quickly learned that when planning a wedding, Pinterest suddenly becomes both your best friend and your worst enemy. Truth be told, even prior to my engagement, I had a secret wedding board where I kept ideas for my “dream wedding”. The more I pinned, the more one thing became clear: my vision wasn’t clear. Everything on Pinterest is beautiful, and it took lots of combing through picture perfect pins to find exactly what suited us best for our wedding day, and ultimately what our aesthetic and vibe would be.


Picking your ideal date
During our first stab at the planning process, we checked with some of our ideal venues for availability. Like many brides, I had my perfect time of year in mind for my ceremony. However, I was served a quick dose of reality when I realized how quickly venues and churches book up – especially if you want to get married in peak season. Though it’s completely realistic to plan a wedding in under a year, it may also require a dose of luck (or lots of compromise) if you’re hoping to have your first choice of venues and vendors available on that day too. Planning so far ahead has definitely cut down on some of that stress!


Budgeting & Saving
If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that weddings aren’t cheap! Though I consider myself fortunate that I have traditional parents willing to pay for our wedding, I also knew I’d like to financially contribute to the big day as well. Having a little over two years from the time we got engaged to the day we say “I do”, has allowed both Ryan and I time to put away some pennies for the extra elements we could enjoy having at our wedding.


Enjoying the Process
Though the question of “Are you two ever going to actually get married?” has gotten a little bit old at times, I still wouldn’t do it differently if I could. I’ve seen so many couples rush through the process and before they know it, they are happily husband and wife. I’ve loved soaking up every moment of this new stage of our lives together – after all, we won’t ever get to be just engaged again! We’ve grown so much as a couple already and having marriage to look forward to in the future has made the last year of engagement that much sweeter. As excited as we are about tying the knot, we’ve also had a fairly stress-free and laid-back engagement being able to take our time with decisions, and truly enjoy the planning process.

 


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Photography: Tala Nicole | Ring: Heidi Gibson | Bride-To-Be: Marianne Verrilli | Groom-To-Be: Ryan Sides | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

Marianne Verrilli

Vibeing With Your Vendors Is the Key to Bringing Your Wedding Vision to Life

We cannot stress enough the importance of choosing vendors you vibe with because they are the ones who will take your vision and make it a reality. From serving champagne during the ceremony to creating a 40-person head table, The Lakewood was able to bring to life this couple’s dream wedding. Add on top of that a gorgeous bespoke gown created specially for this bride by Alyssa Kristin, and you can see during this pretty wedding captured by Hello Love Photography just how important finding the right team is to crafting your special day.

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From the bride… When Jim and I started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted it to feel like a big party with all of our favorite people. Having the wedding downtown was important to me because I love our home so much, and finding a venue to hold Jim’s large family was key. The Lakewood was the first and last venue we visited because it felt perfect. The decor was modern and focused on attention to detail, which is what I live by aesthetically! I knew that we would have to do very little to make the space feel exactly how I wanted.

We worked with amazing vendors that allowed us to be a little less traditional in our planning and remain true to who we are as individuals and as a couple. The Lakewood embraced every small detail that we requested in order to make the night fun for all. Whether it was serving champagne to guests to enjoy during the ceremony or creating a huge 40-person head table in order to sit with even more of our friends, they made it happen. Mary, from Steve’s Flower Market, did not bat an eye when I told her I wanted black flowers in the bouquets and our pianist (Kasey Ryan) learned to play “Mirrors” when I told him that it was my dream to walk down the aisle to that song!

The ultimate attention to detail came in the form of my dress, and it was my favorite part of planning. I went to multiple dress shops and couldn’t find anything that felt like me, so over the course of six months, I worked with Alyssa Kristin to custom design my gown. She is a dream to work with and gave me my perfect dress.

It was hard to envision a bridal party, not knowing 100% what my dress would look like, but I knew that I wanted each of the girls to have their own style and personality reflected. I provided them with a color palette of gray, black, blush, gold, and nude and each they found dresses that they loved. Jim wore a black suit because I loved how classic and handsome he looked in it!

In the end, we couldn’t have been happier with how it all came together! It ended up being an overcast, windy day which ultimately sent rain showers our way, but our photographer, Casey (Hello Love), managed to snap beautiful outdoor photos nonetheless. After the rain, our guests noticed an amazing double rainbow outside, so we quickly ran to the rooftop with Casey, and she captured one of our favorite photos of the day. Our wedding was filled with a lot of laughing and a lot of dancing, all with people we love. We feel so fortunate to have been surrounded by great people who helped make our day perfect.

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Photography: Hello Love Photography | Cinematography: Shutter And Sound | Event Planning: Wedding Now | Floral Design: Steve's Flower Market | Wedding Dress: Alyssa Kristin | Reception Venue: The Lakewood | Makeup: Kelly Letto | Hair: Katie Dwyer Salon 1800

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Ultra Glam All-White California Wedding

We’re head over heels for this couple for two reasons. First off, they met in Vegas… what happens in Vegas apparently doesn’t always stay in Vegas! And secondly, they decided to go ultra modern for their California wedding, with an all white color palette, creating a glamorous celebration that we just can’t get enough of. The Grovers captured all the fabulous florals, chic chandeliers and never-ending smiles – see it all right here!

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From Intertwined Events… What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas! Our lovely couple Katie and Chase met and Vegas and here they are… just married! Katie had a vision in mind that we could definitely get behind! She wanted an all white, modern wedding, absolutely no color allowed! Flowers By Cina created three stunning centerpieces to add height and variety to the reception space. One of our favorite looks incorporated candelabras to add an extra warm glow, with the florals in the middle of the candle holder; it was truly stunning. White flowers lined the tables and candles filled all the blank space, which was absolutely gorgeous. There is no such thing as too many chandeliers! We used two different chandeliers to give the white tent more texture and dimension. A few gold details were used throughout the space for an extra metallic touch. The star of the show was the custom backdrop behind their sweetheart table. We created a laser cut out of their monogram to celebrate their unity. It was the perfect personalized touch to their reception space. It was chic, glamorous and luxe… just what Katie wanted! Katie and Chase couldn’t celebrate their big day without their pup so we turned his head into props for the photo booth. He was definitely a crowd favorite! But one of our favorite moments was seeing Katie walked down the aisle with her two brothers. It was an extra special family moment. The entire wedding was beautiful but the love these two had for each other made it an extra special day.

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Photography: The Grovers | Videography: Braven Carver Films | Event Planning: Intertwined Events | Floral Design: Flowers by Cina | Cake: It's All About The Cake | Hair + Makeup: Design Visage | DJ: Visions Entertainment | Officiant: Ryan Kirkland | Transportation: California Limousines | Paper Goods: River Bridge | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Bridal and Event Lounge

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A California Garden Wedding Dripping With Romance

We’re kind of in love with every wedding that takes place in Beaulieu Garden, because they are dripping with romance every single time. And this one produced by Two Roads Event Co. takes the cake, with an incredible vendor team including Samantha Kirk Photography, Paula LeDuc Fine CateringInk With Intent, and Design Voyage Stationery layering on the pretty. From the beautiful bridal party to the elegant reception, you can soak it all up here in the Vault.

From the bride… Alex and I met in January 2010 during a college study abroad trip to Athens, Greece. What started off as a friendship quickly grew into more as we explored Greece and traveled across Europe together. But our travels were just the beginning of our love story. After our trip, we dated long distance (Chicago-Boston) as we finished our respective college studies. From there, the beginning of our California chapter saw Alex settling in Los Angeles after college while I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area. After two-plus years of long distance, I finally joined Alex in Los Angeles where we lived – together – for the next five years. Alex proposed shortly after our move from Los Angeles to San Francisco in the summer of 2016. He picked the Palace of Fine Arts, beneath Greek columns and architecture, inspired by our beginnings in Athens.

I grew up spending summers in Calistoga and Napa Valley, and the region means a lot to my family (and now to Alex, too). We decided that Napa Valley would be the perfect place to celebrate our love surrounded by the people that mean the most to us. Our wedding paid tribute to the venue with a simple yet elegant design, letting the stunning beauty of Beaulieu Garden speak for itself. We also included subtle nods to our Grecian beginnings, such as late-night baklava bites, not-so-subtle mentions from our officiate (one of Alex’s college roommates and eventual mutual friend who was also part of our Greek study abroad trip), and our wedding vows, which we wrote ourselves.

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Photography: Samantha Kirk Photography | Floral Design: Bloomers Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: SusieCakes | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events | Hair + Makeup: Angela Nunnink | Transportation: Das Bus | Venue: Beaulieu Garden | Event Production: Two Roads Event Co. | Ketubah: Ink With Intent | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Map, Monogram, + Programs: Design Voyage | Rentals: Encore Events Rentals

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6 Gowns That Prove Plunging Backs are the “It” Trend of 2018

Every bride wants to make a statement – and, trust us… there’s no better way to do that than with your wedding gown. This year, we’re all about showing off a little skin and hopping on the plunging back bandwagon with six stunning gowns from Sottero and Midgley of Maggie Sottero Designs. One part totally chic and one part seriously sexy, these are dresses that will most definitely leave all of your guests talking. We promise.

RAQUELLE BY SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY

Why we love it: Fashion-forward brides, this one’s for you. A Shavon Organza wedding dress that definitely lives by the mantra that more is more. From the modern bateau neckline to the romantic beaded lace motifs to the Swarovski crystal-adorned cap sleeves, the Raquelle is a red-carpet worthy style if we’ve ever seen one. And that back + skirt combo? Amazing.

WINIFRED BY SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY

Why we love it: We’re calling this one “traditional with a twist.” A lace sheath beauty that combines classic elegance with sexy detailing, the Winifred is perfect for those of you who want wow-inducing detail, but don’t want to step too far outside the box. Good thing Sottero and Midgley know everything there is to know about fusing bold style into each of their gorgeous gowns, because this one’s a show-stopper. And, bonus – it has a short delivery date.

CELINE BY SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY

Why we love it: For brides who are planning a more relaxed, yet sophisticated affair – the Celine is perfect. All gorgeous lace and tulle, this is a dress that flows flawlessly from garden locale to beach celebration. We obviously love the V-back, and those spaghetti straps are more than ready for that dance party with all of your friends and family.

ARLEIGH BY SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY

Why we love it: With its long sleeves, illusion open back and embellished jewel neckline, the Arleigh is definitely bringing the sexy. We absolutely adore the crystal buttons that run the entire length of the train and the silky smooth Talin Stretch Crepe fabric. Old Hollywood glamour, meet the 21st Century.

NOAH BY SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY

Why we love it: Oh, Noah… how we love thee. From the Swarovski crystal-embellished lace motifs to the modern crepe silhouette to the jewel neckline, we can’t wait to see you real brides rock this one down the aisle. And that train? The cutout detailing is everything.

PRESCA BY SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY

Why we love it: Sottero and Midgley call the Presca an “elevated boho” beauty, but we’re just calling this lace and tulle wedding dress perfection. Think illusion straps, a stunning scoop back and a fit and flare silhouette to show off those curves. This is the definition of high glamour, you guys… and it’s most definitely making a statement.

Sottero and Midgley’s lineup of couture wedding gowns is basically everything you’ve ever wanted – especially if you’re on the lookout for styles that highlight a breathtaking open back. To check out their collection of gorgeous creations (luxe fabrics, unique accents and sexy silhouettes included), visit their website to find a retailer near you now.

5 Awkward Wedding Questions – Answered!

When you’re planning the event of a lifetime, it’s totally understandable if your mind is racing with questions you don’t know the answers to. You’re not expected to know everything about planning a wedding if you’ve never done it before. Some of the Qs, however, may not have a clean and clear answer. Check out a few taboo questions below and how you should handle asking and answering them.


“Jake and Susie invited us to their wedding, do they have to come to ours?”

If you haven’t seen or spoken to Jake and Susie since their wedding three years ago, it’s OK to cut them from the guest list. More guests = more money you have to dish out, and you have to make cuts somewhere. Ask yourself if you’d be upset if the guests in question didn’t attend. If you both aren’t very affected by it, perhaps you should take them off the list. Just because you went to their wedding many years ago doesn’t guarantee them an automatic invite. Relationships change over time and that’s OK.


“My nephew wants to bring his girlfriend to the wedding, how do I tell him no?”

Make sure you are very clear on the invitation that if the guest invited is NOT getting a plus one. Be sure just to put their name on the envelope, invitation inside and reply card. If they still don’t get the hint, let them know that due to space and budgetary constraints you had to make cuts to the guest list. Bringing up outside factors helps make things less awkward and takes the blame off of you.


“My mother-in-law really wants me to wear her necklace on the wedding day, but it’s NOT cute, how do I tell her no?”

When your MIL makes a gesture like this, it’s likely because she is trying to feel involved and helpful. Politely thank her and tell her you already had some jewelry in mind to wear but you’d love if she’d help out with XYZ. Giving her a project will let her know that you appreciate her involvement, and it will get you off the hook for donning her not-so-trendy necklace.


“We’re starting to reach our budget but haven’t finalized everything, how can I ask my parents for financial help?”

Sit down with your parents and show them your initial budget so far. Let them know that you underestimated specific costs of things that are absolutely essential (like the cost of the venue or catering.) Have a mature conversation with them and explain your concerns and they can either help you re-allocate in certain areas or maybe they’ll surprise you with a last-minute cushion. Being open and honest will help keep the line of communication a positive and friendly one.


“I really want to have my bachelor/bachelorette party in Mexico, but I’m afraid not everyone will be able to afford it. What should I do?”

This may sound unhelpful, but it’s really up to you. If you’ve always dreamed of a bachelor/bachelorette party lounging by the pool sipping margaritas in Mexico, maybe reach out to your wedding party first and see how they’d feel about it. If you sense some hesitation in the group, you have a few options. You can do your destination party and then throw a smaller night out for those who can’t come. Or, if you really want everyone there, try to replicate the idea on a smaller budget. Maybe you head to Atlantic City for the weekend or rent a beach house. While it may not live up to your wildest fantasy, at least all of your friends will be together to celebrate.

What are your awkward wedding questions? Ask us below!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Sarah Title is a travel & wedding writer and editor living in Washington D.C. She also works part-time at a bridal salon in Georgetown helping women find the perfect dress. When she isn’t working, you can find her at the closest oyster bar enjoying a glass of rose or catching up on the latest celebrity gossip.

Their Engagement Story Is as Sweet as Their Wedding

They met while seated next to each other by chance at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Three years later they returned and got engaged overlooking the same spot they had met. It’s hearing stories like these that makes me love my job, so I’m absolutely thrilled that today we get to sneak a peek at this duo’s colorful wedding day at Hempstead House, photographed beautifully by CLY BY MATTHEW.

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From the Bride… Fate brought Kevin and me together. We met by chance at the pool at the Fontainebleau in Miami when a pool attendant asked if I wanted to sit next to a cute boy. Fast forward three years, and we’re back at the Fontainebleau celebrating our third anniversary. Kevin asks me to marry him on a balcony overlooking the spot where we had met three years prior. It was perfect – so intimate and meaningful! The next morning, we went to see if we could find the pool attendant that introduced us. Low and behold, he was still working at the Fontainebleau and remembered sitting us next to each other!

We knew we were destined to be together and were eager to plan a celebration with our closest family and friends that would capture our spirit and love for one another. Our vision was to have a classic, elegant wedding that would harken back to a bygone era by blending our love of Americana with Gatsby influences. We wanted the venue to speak for itself, so we chose The Hempstead House, a historic gold coast mansion, previously occupied by the Guggenheims. It was the perfect backdrop to create the atmosphere we wanted that was completely tailored to our taste. We began sourcing vintage furniture, décor, and other details, keeping in mind the period during which the mansion was built. Some of my very favorite details featured in the wedding were an Art Deco vanity set, a family heirloom passed down to me from my grandmother, and my bridal jewelry, which was made in the same decade. I found the jewelry at a flea market in Chelsea before I even bought my dress! Also, dried roses from the first bouquet that Kevin had ever given me added a sentimental touch to the bridal suite.

Guests were met with seasonal refreshments of lavender lemonade and brown sugar iced tea upon their arrival and were invited to sit facing a gorgeous chuppah designed by In Full Bloom. We exchanged vows overlooking the Long Island Sound with sailboats passing in the distance. Immediately after the ceremony, we celebrated our nuptials with cocktail hour al fresco, where guests enjoyed playing croquet on the lawn and eating fresh oysters while melodies from Alexandra Cellist & Ensembles filled the summer air.

Afterward, guests were escorted through the front doors of the Hempstead House into a dramatic foyer and were greeted by an oversized floral arrangement, which sat on a table amid miniature racehorses (a nod to the Belmont Stakes, which took place on the same day as our wedding just a few miles from the venue). Our guests were seated for dinner at a mix of long and round tables dressed with an iridescent silk shantung, which glistened in the candlelight. Each style of table was adorned with a different floral arrangement in shades of peach, lavender, blush, cherry red, and pink. The long tables had verdant garland with peonies, roses, and ranunculus seemingly growing out of the table and the rounds had a cascading arrangement with a similar vibe to the garland perched on low crystal vessels. To make the sweetheart table feel distinct, we had a splendid edging framed by vintage copper candlesticks found in a Parisian flea market.

Guests danced the night away with the help of DJ Ben from Remixologists, periodically retiring to the library, to stop by the CLY by Matthew photo booth, or to visit the billiard room where leather lounge furniture and a mahogany bar stood ready to serve libations. The skilled team at Philip Stone crafted our specialty cocktails, which included The Belmont Jewel (a bourbon cocktail) and La Vie en Rose (Kir Royale with rose syrup and a single floating petal). To end the evening, we popped a magnum of Perrier-Jouët, poured over a tower of coupe champagne glasses and served our guests a Sugar Lane Cake Shop creation that was equal parts beautiful and delicious. The flowers, created completely out of sugar, were so lifelike that we felt guilty eating them. The day was documented by the amazingly talented CLY by Matthew, who captured every moment of our wedding in great detail. He has such an amazing eye and is so dedicated to his art!

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Photography: Cly By Matthew | Photography: MATTHEW REE PHOTOGRAPHY | Cinematography: ByDesign Films | Event Coordination: Dazzling Affairs | Floral Design: In Full Bloom Florist | Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror | Cake: Sugar Lane Cake Shop | Invitations: Minted | Catering: Phillip Stone | Makeup: Jesella Beauty | Hair: Blow Me Away | DJ: Remixologists | Band: Alexandra Cellist and Ensembles | Groom's Attire: Giorgio Armani | Venue: Hempstead House, Sands Point Preserve | Photo Booth: Cly Booth

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This Alfresco Celebration Has THE BEST Late Night Treat

This alfresco celebration may fool into thinking it has European roots but it’s smack dab in the middle of Omaha. Celebrating under the cafe lights of the Magnolia Hotel courtyard, this affair is draped in blushing hues and marble inspired details designed by Lovestruck Events. And the fun doesn’t end there. To finish off the festivities, guests were treated to his and her favorite flavors of ice cream all bundled up in a late night sundae. See that sweet ending and more captured by Jessica Blex.

From the Bride…  Prior to planning we envisioned our wedding day being intimate with our closest friends and family. We wanted to be able to have a chance to talk with all of the guests we invited. We also wanted it to be very romantic and warm, and after seeing the Magnolia courtyard we knew it would be a perfect fit!

The wedding favors were dark and white chocolate truffles made by my mom, doubling as place cards. The truffles were packaged in mini kraft boxes and adorned with a silk ribbon and wax seal (mimicking design elements of our invitation suite). Sean and I both love ice cream so we had a local ice cream store make our favorite flavors to create ice cream sundaes for our guests. Each ice cream sundae had a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, german chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, homemade whipped cream, caramel waffle bites and a cherry on top.

My favorite moment was having dinner in the courtyard under the lights. The flowers and lighting made the courtyard feel very romantic and intimate which is exactly what we wanted!

From Lovestruck…Liz and Sean’s wedding design was influenced by the natural stone and European-inspired architecture incorporated throughout the courtyard dining space at The Magnolia Hotel. A color palette of soft taupes, warm ivories, various shades of mauve, and accents of gold and rose gold was paired with a variety of textures with Old World references and romantic qualities: stone, handmade paper, velvet, organic-styled florals, and intimate lighting.

We helped Liz select bridesmaid gowns in both dusty blush and cinnamon rose. The female attendants wore various dress styles which added visual interest to the wedding party photos and ceremony lineup. The groomsmen (which included Sean’s FIVE brothers) wore blue suits for a fresh take on traditional menswear.

The stationery, featuring warm grey text pressed into thick hand-torn paper, provided a sense of tactile elegance while the simplistic layout and typography added modernity to the traditional printing techniques.

A blush and gold marble pattern, another nod to the European design inspiration, was incorporated into both the invitation envelope liner and the tiered wedding cake. We designed the dining space to feel intimate and welcoming. Long dining tables promoted lively conversation while string lights adorned with green vines created a canopy of light and life above the wedding guests.

The tables were draped with ivory linens with a brocade velvet pattern. The table flowers brought the rich color palette to the neutral dining area. The centerpieces were arranged in an organic/earthy style. Lush blooms were artfully arranged in weathered ceramic pots. Vineyard chairs added to the organic quality of the dining tables. The place settings featured taupe lace chargers, rose gold flatware, and deckled menus. Truffles, made by the mother of the bride, were packaged as favors and place cards for the guests. After dinner, guests were treated to wedding cake made with spiced autumn squash as well as ice cream sundaes featuring a scoop of His and Hers flavors.

Photography: Jessica Blex Photography Design | Videography: Dundee Digital | Florist: Creative Fleurs | Cake: Grainolia | Ceremony Venue: St. John's Church | Reception Venue: Magnolia Hotel | Catering: Magnolia Hotel | Hair: Kontempo | Calligraphy: Miranda Writes | Band: Undisco Kids | Ceremony Music: Karlyn Jurgensen | Ceremony Music: Mahr String Quartet | Transportation: Ollie the Trolley | Dessert: Ted & Wally's | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Planning and Design: Lovestruck Events | Rentals: Tops Tents and Rentals | Rentals: United Rent-All | Rentals: Blooms And Bouquets

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How to Flawlessly Design Your Wedding Invitations Using 2018’s Color of the Year!

Calling all you 2018 brides-to-be — we’ve got a trend alert! The official color of 2018 has been announced and we’re crushing on the idea of seeing lots of shades of ultra violet in the near future. From your bridesmaids’ dresses to your floral designs, there are countless ways to incorporate this year’s hottest color into your big day. So if you’re thinking of being on trend and using shades of pretty purple in your wedding day palette, we are breaking down how to flawlessly design your invitation suites  with The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly to set the tone!

Radiant Foliage Wedding Invitations

Radiant Foliage Response Cards

Radiant Foliage Enclosure Cards


Find the perfect shade for you

Using 2018’s color of the year might be trendy, but you want your wedding to be unique to you! The Wedding Shop offers endless styles from modern and minimalistic to luxe and formal, so no matter what type of wedding you are having, there is a design right for you. Using the color filters, you can skip right to all the invitations that come in purple — talk about convenient — and we had so much fun picking from all the options! Plus, if purple isn’t your thing or you don’t see the perfect shade to match your needs you can use the custom color palette to design your suite in the perfect tone!

 

Opulent Lines Wedding Invitations

Opulent Lines Response Cards

Opulent Lines Enclosure Cards


Mix + Match 

From lavender to ultra violet to eggplant, there are SO many shades of pretty purples that compliment each other! Instead of picking stationery in all one color, try mixing shades of purple to design a gorgeous suite that’s easy on the eyes! One simple way to do this is to mix in a darker or lighter shade with the envelope liner. The Wedding Shop has a handful of liners in solids and patterns that come in lovely shades of purple! You can also pop in different textures and materials to take your invites to another level. We fell in love with the rose gold foil on this one – it complimented the light purple shades and made the suite feel more luxurious.

Delicate Fringe Wedding Invitations

Delicate Fringe Response Cards

Delicate Fringe Enclosure Cards


Go big or go home!

Color can make a bold statement and we say, “go all in!” Try carrying your shade of purple from the save the dates and invites to the envelope and postage stamps to the table cloths and florals on your big day. Lucky for you, there is no limitation in florals that come in 2018’s color of the year! From dusty lavender garden roses to purple ranunculus to lilac tulips, designing florals for your big day will be oh, so fun!

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We absolutely can’t wait to see all the gorgeous weddings that are inspired by the color of the year. Don’t forget if you want to see the invitations before you order, The Wedding Shop offers free sample kits so you can see the gorgeous invitation colors in person before you order for your big day!

And the awesomeness of The Wedding Shop doesn’t stop at colorful paper goods. Tucked inside Shutterfly’s one stop wedding solution is everything from bridal party gifts to photobooks and all the pretty invites in-between. The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly has you covered with every step of your wedding planning journey!

 

Come for the Touchdowns, Stay for the Nachos + Beermosas

Whether you’re there for the stuffed jalapeños, the game, or all of the above, this Super Bowl party has you covered. Designed by Beijos Events, with florals by Rooted & Wild Co. and photographs by Corrie Lynn, get inspired to add a little flare to this Sunday’s football festivities. Fun signage, a variety of delicious bites, a twist on classic beer and a pop of floral make for a Super Bowl Sunday Funday indeed.

The Super Bowl may as well be a national holiday as far as I’m concerned!  It’s a day where we get together with our friends and family and celebrate and eat… Sounds like most holidays to me!  Therefore I like to treat it as something special and style it up.  Who says you need to have brown footballs all over the house as decor?  Not me!  I recently styled this party for friends that would be the perfect atmosphere for that special Sunday coming up!  We’ll even let a few of the guys join, if they’re lucky!

The first thing I think of for the Super Bowl is the food!!  I teamed up with our favorite local caterers Colette’s Catering and asked them to make some fun party food with a healthy edge… They delivered and everything was delicious! 

We munched on things like a 7 layer Mediterranean dip, Brussel sprout chips, and chicken stuffed jalapeño poppers.  It was all so tasty and we didn’t feel guilty afterwards!  It was seriously perfect! 

The next thing I think about are drinks of course!!  We had beer and champagne out because well, you have to!  But we also made a fun signature cocktail – Beermosas, and let’s say they were a hit!!

As far as tabletop, when I have an event like this I try to keep things as easy as possible on myself.  Lately I’ve been using the amazing L’Entramise, a gorgeous single use tabletop line.  Everything they have is great quality and also looks amazing.  

They have multiple options so you can customize your table for any event.  I especially love their glassware options, good disposable glassware is so hard to find!  And it’s so easy to clean up after, just toss everything!  

Next, you need to add florals… We’ve said this before but they make an event!  Yes, even for a Super Bowl party…  You don’t need much but if you have a few stand out arrangements like these from Rooted and Wild you are set!  

Get your coffee table, kitchen table and possible mantle styled up and you are good to go!  Now after that, don’t forget the details.  My friend Courtney from Poppy Jack Shop created fun signage pieces for us to play with and football cocktail stirrers.  Plus she made the cutest invite for our guests!

Now as you can see, having a stylish Super Bowl party is pretty easy!  The only other thing you need to worry about is having fun with your guests and rooting for your team!

Photographer : Corrie Mattson | Florals: Rooted and Wild | Catering: Colettes Catering Events | Calligraphy/Invite/Drink Stirrers: Poppyjack Shop | Champagne: One Hope Wine | Design/Styling: Beijos Events | Tabletop: L'entramise

Key Alterations Terms All Brides Should Know

It’s a universal truth of wedding dresses: unless a wedding gown is custom-made for you, your gown is going to need alterations. For some brides who have never had a garment tailored, this process can be daunting. We’ve gathered some experts, Carmen Duerr, head of alterations and co-owner of The White Room and Gail Bernal, Alterations Manager at Little White Dress Bridal Shop, to help break it down!

The Gown Alteration Process
According to Gail from Little White Dress, “the alteration process should begin three months before the wedding, typically with three fittings. Before the first [fitting] we need the bride to have her shoes and undergarments, then during the second and third we discuss any items still needed (different shoes or bra etc). At the second fitting the work is done but not finished, we assess and refine and then finish the dress, including a final press for the third fitting.”

Carmen, of The White Room, goes into further detail: “During the first alteration appointment, we do ask that the bride bring the undergarments and shoes she will be wearing on her wedding day. We look at the overall fit of the dress and discuss any custom changes. At this time we choose the correct size of bra cups to insert in the dress. The second fitting is to check the fit of the prior work and do any tweaking. At this point, the overall fit should be correct and we can measure the hem and discuss bustles. The final fitting is the demonstration of how to bustle the dress. It is the final viewing with all the elements, from veil to any chosen accessories.”

Common components of gown alterations:

Bustles
Gail clearly defines the different types of bustles as “the French, done with ribbons on the inside, folds under and the American, attaches to buttons on the outside, and Ballroom folds under at the bottom.” The most widely chosen style of bustle at The White Room is the French bustle. “It works well with weighty silk crepes and heavier lace, dispersing the weight. And it adds a soft elegance to the train,” explains Carmen. “The under bustle also works well with our lighter fabrics, like 4 ply silk and silk satin.”

Tapering/taking in
Taking in is done usually at the sides but can also be done on any seam,” Gail explains. A gown may need to be taken in at different points depending on your body type. For example, if it fits in your waist but you’re smaller on top and need to have it adjusted.

Bust cups
Bust cups are added to the dress to do the work of a bra and are placed on top of the lining next to the skin”, according to Gail. Carmen recommends “trying a couple different types to get the desired shape and smoothness. Sometimes two cups are needed for that extra support.”

Boning
Gail defines boning as “plastic or steel that reinforces areas that need structure to stay up, usually in the bodice of strapless dresses.” Carmen goes further to say, “Boning is perfect when you want that structured, supported bodice. However, it is not always a possibility and may just show through the construction. It is safe to say if it doesn’t already have it built in, it may look awkward to change the design.”

Managing expectations
There is a lot that a seamstress can change on a gown, but unfortunately, your gown is not made of magic. “We can change a lot on the dress,” explains Gail, “adding sleeves, lace, boleros or taking away these design elements. A bride should not expect the change the basic shape of a dress, for instance, it is not a good idea to turn a ballroom gown into a trumpet.”

Finally, offering some sage advice about managing expectations, Carmen adds, “The discussion of what changes can be made to the dress should always be discussed before purchasing. A great amount can be done to get the desired look, but if I could express one thing to my brides, it’s that the dress is never going to look exactly as it does on the model in the magazine or on the website. If there is something she is noticing or dislikes, do not hesitate to point it out to the seamstress. It also builds a comfortable relationship for both.”

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. You can typically find her in a cafe, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run.

The “Skinny” on Lauryn Evart’s Stunning Cabo Wedding

If you are obsessed with The Skinny Confidential as much as we are, then you know that Lauryn Evarts is not your typical bride. Together with Del Cabo Weddings, this fashion influencer and blogger tackled her wedding in the same way she tackles her awesome blog posts – with a totally authentic and zen vibe. The results? A goth meets romantic affair that will definitely go down in history as one of our faves here at SMP. We love this lady.

If you’re one of the million people that follow Lauryn Evarts, you’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see her Cabo San Lucas wedding. Well, we’ve got the goods – and it’s a stunning affair with everything from a gorgeous gown (hey there, illusion cut-out) to a sophisticated black and gold color palette to an intimate locale on the beach that provided views for days. Lauryn’s vision for a luxurious goth affair was definitely one for the ages, and Del Cabo Weddings was there for every fabulous second… even those pink margaritas she had waiting for each of her lucky guests. (They’re good at all of those little details.)

We love Lauryn for a lot of reasons (her site is chock-full of examples), but we have to say that we fell even more in love with her when we followed along with her big day. Because, you guys? She did it HER way… and with the help of Del Cabo Weddings, it was really a party that stands out in all of the best ways. But that’s what Del Cabo Weddings is so well known for – taking your vision and really making it a reality. We’re obsessed with the long table for her intimate guest list and, of course, those black and gold stylings are everything. But what we really adore is her ability to kick aside traditions and do what felt right for her and her man. Tequila and champagne? No cake? A medley of fab cuisine? Check. Check. Check.

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Goth with a side of softness isn’t always an easy vision to make happen, but Lauryn and Del Cabo Weddings most definitely succeeded. Get inspired by perusing every gorgeous moment in the gallery, then head to Del Cabo Weddings to start planning your very own amazing set of nuptials – their team of talented pros will make that dream day happen with a list of awesome vendors, hotel + resort connections and you.

Photography: Katherine Rose and Luke Griffin | Cinematography: Arielle Levy | Event Design: Esoteric Events | Floral Design: Areté Florals | Bride's Shoes: Jason Ascher | Hair & Makeup: Kelsey Long & Shawn Knudsen | Venue: Cloisters | Bridal Robe: Cloud Hunter | Head Piece & Veil: Eden Luxe Bridal | Invitations & Paper Goods: Bliss & Bone | Wedding Planning & Decor : Del Cabo Weddings

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This Wedding’s Color Palette Is Pure Perfection

Can we just paint my entire house in this color palette? It’s so beyond lovely, I dream of surrounding myself with it day in and day out. But until that happens, I’ll just get all comfy in this gorgeous gallery from Sposto Photography. They captured a romantic spring wedding that has me all excited and eager for warmer temps and more bright-eyed brides like this one here. Dive in with the full spread below – and warning… your Pinterest boards are about to shine like they never have before…

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From Sposto Photography… This gorgeous wedding took place in San Juan Capistrano at the historic Villa San Juan Capistrano. Alyssa wore the most stunning geometric gown and carried the most beautiful bouquet of garden roses and fragrant lilacs, all hand picked by Janelle of Lavenders Flowers just days before the wedding. Their intimate ceremony space made for a sweet exchange of hand written vows and tears of joy and happiness. Portraits took place in the iconic Mission San Juan Capistrano where the ancient ruins of the space echoed the timeless elegance of Italy, where the groom and his family are from. I feel so honored to have been a part of this special day. Alyssa and Gianluca truly are meant for each other and I couldn’t be happier for them.

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Photography: Sposto Photography | Videography: Central Studios | Coordination: Joy n' Company Events | Floral Design: Lavenders Flowers | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mishka | DJ: Dj Divel | Groom's Attire: Corneliani | Wedding Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Baker: Susie's Cakes & Confections | Bar + Catering: Community Driven Hospitality | Portraits: Mission San Juan Capistrano | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | Ribbons + Textiles: Tono Co | Seating Chart: Chelsea On Paper

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Simple Steps You Can Do At Home To Help Beat the Winter Blues

We all go through it: that underwhelming feeling during the lull of the year. It’s dark out much earlier, you’re still feeling all the unhealthy food you partook in over the holidays, and there is a chance your backyard is filled with snow.

Most of the time, small details in your immediate surroundings, such as your living spaces, can make a big impact in how you feel on the day-to-day during the winter months. It’s normal to feel a little blue when all of these things are at play but with these five tips, you will soon be springing into a warmer mood.


Light Fresh Spring Candles
There is something to be said for clearing out all your fall scented candles and filling your rooms with the scent of springtime. From rose petal to bright citrus, the spring scents take you to warmer, happier place, even if it’s just in your living spaces. The smallest of details centered around your senses can be a huge mood-booster.


Mix it Up!
Mix up small details in your home decor by replacing your accent pillows and throw blankets, and add florals with bright buds for an extra pop of color.


Get Organized!
Invest in new storage pieces to make you feel more put together. You can also include simple things that make you more energized into your new routine such as making your bed every morning and hanging all your clothes back up after trying them on. Seems like a small detail, but it is definitely one that if neglected, can pile up and become a huge deal of stress for you.


Take Warm Detox Baths
It may be cold out, but warm up with up with a bubble bath and relax. Incorporate vanilla or lavender and epsom salts or bath bombs for a luxe experience. Sometimes all the body and mind needs is a simple reset, and a warm bath with healing elements will help in riding yourself of the winter blues.


Make an Inspiration Board
This could be a large and detailed board or it can be a simple list of things that make you feel warm and fuzzy. The thing about making goals and visualizing the things that make you happy, is that it gives you something to look forward to when there isn’t a lot going on during these months.

The term winter blues is sometimes synonymously used with the more serious medical term Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D), but is important to recognize the difference between the two.

“S.A.D. can be a sign of clinical depression with the classic symptoms of irritability, disturbed sleep, loss of interest in things you normally would enjoy, etc. With the winter blues, your mood may change due to the lack of light throughout the day, but you do not experience the mentioned symptoms associated with depression,” says Deborah R. Simkin, MD – Board Certified Adult, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Emory School of Medicine.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Erica Chambers is a freelance writer and blogger at Styles by the C. After living in New York City, she has made her permanent residence along the white sandy beaches of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida with her new husband and fur child, Maxwell. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her exploring local brunch spots or designing a nursery for her and her husband’s first child, Leo.

This Elegant Oahu Wedding Makes a Strong Case for Island Life

Who doesn’t want to get married in Hawaii? We can’t think of a single person, and after seeing this stunner captured by Christine Clark and Tay Steele Films with its enchanting ceremony on the sand, inviting backyard-style reception planned by Lucia Events, and the bride’s beach goddess status locks, we’re ready to commit to full-time island life.


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From Christine ClarkAshley and Jason’s wedding on Oahu was full of gorgeous, elegant details – bare wood, flowing runners, a tropical bar, and the prettiest flower girl ring, all set amongst the lush beauty of Hawaii. Lucia Events created a magical atmosphere of island sophistication in the cozy, private setting of the Mahakea Estate. With the ocean one step away and the Hawaiian breezes ruffling the trees, there could not have been a more perfect setting. Ashley and Jason were the sweetest couple, reveling in the beauty of the day and each other’s company. Warm, kind, and full of personality, they made a stunning bride and groom and glowed with excitement for the day. A lovely sunset ushered in the evening events and provided the perfect opportunity for an intimate portrait session on the beach. All in all, it was a gorgeous, breathtaking day, set for the sweetest of couples!

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Photography: Christine Clark | Cinematography: Tay Steele Films | Event Planning: Lucia Events, Diana Caro-Salvador | Floral Design: Flower girls | Cake: Cake Works | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Catering: Chef Elmer Guzman's Island Cuisine | Makeup: MUAmanda | Hair: Ashley Petty | Lighting: MOOD Event | DJ: Spectrum Entertainment | Officiant: Aloha Bridal Connections | Venue: Hale Koa Estate | Dinnerware: Island Event Rentals | Glassware: Maison De Ware | Linens: The Wedding Linen Company | Photo Booth: The Photo Bus Oahu | Rentals: Pacific Party Rental

Prepare For These Tough Wedding Planning Conversations

From the outside, planning a wedding looks all like rainbows and butterflies! Unfortunately, it’s not. A lot of it includes uncomfortable conversations that couples need to have with each other and those around them.

Read on to prepare yourself for some of these potentially awkward conversations, and how to make the most of them!



The Guest List

Perhaps the biggest source of conflict or strain, couples will have to deal with pressure coming from all angles regarding the guest list. This could include: distant family members your parents may want to invite, whether or not to invite children, or significant others of guests. When it comes to letting parents have input into the guest list, its best to tread carefully. I would recommend each of you handling your own parents, as it can be very intimidating for your partners to broach difficult conversations when they’re still trying to solidify a relationship with their future in-laws. It’s important to be clear about the numbers your venue can allow and the scale you want for the wedding. Maybe have them write up a list of who they would like to invite, and you can edit and return it to them!

When it comes to numbers, sometimes you have to make the tough decision to exclude significant others of friends and family members from the ceremony. Although you would hope people would be understanding, they still may feel slighted or upset. Don’t beat around the bush — let them know that they cannot bring their plus one to the ceremony, reception or both.


Inviting children can get a little dicey, but when you and your partner decide on stance, stick to it. My rule of thumb is usually that if the children are IN the wedding, or are the children of those in the bridal party, they can come. A simple “please, no children” on the invitation is all you need!


Prenup
The conversation on whether or not to write up a prenuptial agreement is usually never an easy one, especially if it is brought up by an outside party, like your partner’s parents. They can be very useful and assist with achieving peace of mind, however, it is a very personal decision for a couple to make.

It may be a tough conversation to have, but maintaining an open and honest conversation flow regarding your finances can really strengthen your relationship. Even if you end up deciding not to go with a prenup, a discussion regarding assets and financials is integral before a marriage.


Parents’ Monetary Involvement
Going along with the topic of money, asking for money from one’s parents is never an easy request to make either! You don’t want to seem rude or ungrateful, but you also don’t want to begin your lives together in debt.

Instead of asking “So when can we expect your check?”, consider doing some research and setting a budget, then saying, “this is the budget we have decided upon, would you be willing to contribute?”

Remember, in the long run, it will always be better to talk than to not to, even if it is tough!

Style Me Pretty – Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. You can typically find her in a cafe, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run.

14 Gowns That Prove Sexy + Sophisticated CAN Co-Exist

Wedding days are for knocking the socks off of everyone you know – and we all know that takes a certain amount of sexy. But if you’re worried you can’t merge your dream of a sophisticated bride with your sassy side, we’ve got you covered. From two-piece beauties to illusion backs, see 14 gowns that prove it can be done… for you AND your bridesmaids.

14 Gowns That Prove Sexy + Sophisticated CAN Co-Exist
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14 Gowns That Prove Sexy + Sophisticated CAN Co-Exist
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Would You Try One of These Unique Beauty Treatments?

Every bride-to-be deserves to indulge herself in spa and beauty treatments before her big day! These treatments serve both as a means to relax and take a break from the stress of wedding planning, but also to pamper yourself and look your best for the big day! And while massages, facials and peels should absolutely be a part of your wedding prep regimen, there are a bunch of new and unique treatments with special benefits that are worth checking out to leave you looking and feeling amazing!


Infrared Sauna
Infrared therapy and saunas can have a host of beauty and health benefits. Instead of a traditional sauna which just warms the air, the infrared heats your body directly, thus creating a deeper detoxifying experience as you sweat out all of the toxins. The treatment can help improve the immune system, alleviate pain, and burn calories as your heartbeat races in an attempt to cool the body down. In fact, some studies have shown that you these saunas can burn upwards of 600 calories while you relax!

As far as beauty goes, infrared light can heal the skin by stimulating collagen production to reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin tone. It can also have healing effects for various skin treatments like acne and eczema.


Vinotherapy: Red wine baths
To be clear, this is not just taking a bath in a bottle of red wine, although that does sound pretty fun. Instead, in the wine-making process, there are remnants of the grapes that do not make it into the wine that can be re-purposed for beauty and skincare purposes. Grape-seed oil, for example, is rich in free-radical-fighting antioxidants and contains linoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory benefits to help smooth skin and promote circulation.

The idea with these baths is that if you let your body and skin absorb them, it will leave you with fresher and younger looking skin!


Cryotherapy
You’ve probably seen cryotherapy on social media, as it’s endorsed by many celebrities and athletes. Cryotherapy is when you stand in a deep-freezing tank for several minutes, with the machine pumping out icy air that’s as cold as negative 184 to negative 292 degrees Fahrenheit.

Obviously, this is a total shock to your body, but it also activates the body’s natural healing mechanisms, like increasing metabolic rate to produce more heat and keep the body warm. The treatments can help with weight loss by burning calories, reduce pain by increasing blood circulation and decreasing inflammation, improve athletic performance, as well as improve sleep and slowing aging by triggering collagen production and skin rejuvenation. Brides with heart, respiratory or other health conditions should consult with a physician before trying this treatment!


A Salt Cave
Salt caves are made up of pink Himalayan salt, bricks on the walls and loose grains on the ground, and the benefits of salt therapy (halotherapy) are wide-ranging from improving energy and blood sugar levels, to helping skin conditions, and detoxing the body. The calming and detoxifying effects of halotherapy can support the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems.

Salt is a natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial so additional benefits can be reduced stress and headaches, increased energy, and better sleep patterns. Skin conditions can also be improved with halotherapy (psoriasis, rashes, eczema, acne). Unlike table salt, which is incredibly dehydrating, pure mineral salts have natural moisturizing and rejuvenating properties.


Sensory-deprivation soaking pods
These sensory deprivation tanks can serve as an escape and ease a lot of the stress of wedding planning, as your mind and body completely relax. Sensory-deprivation soaking pods actually aid in relaxation and stress reduction. The float tank looks like a large enclosed pod or bathtub that is designed to block all out external distractions so you won’t have sight, hear sound, or feel anything, including your own bodyweight.

The tanks are filled with an Epsom-salt solution, which creates buoyancy for the body, where you will feel weightless and like you’re completely floating.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Julia Hurwitz is a freelance writer and Marketing Manager based in New York City. Her interests include travel, global craft, healthy baking, entertaining and exploring the outdoors.

They Booked an Airbnb for Their Wedding Venue Sight Unseen

Feeling uninspired by the impersonal feel of the wedding venues they had researched, this couple decided to think outside the box and booked a home, sight unseen, using Airbnb for their upcoming nuptials, planned in just four months! With the help of Amy McLaughlin Lifestyles, they transformed the grounds into the warm and welcoming New England wedding they had always dreamed of, and the so sweet photos captured by Callisto + Co. of the beautiful bride in her bespoke Kathryn Conover dress on her special day are all waiting for you right here.

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This New England summer wedding was the perfect combination of romance, nature, and the kind of feel-good vibes that you get when you return to the town you grew up in and are greeted with open arms by family and friends whom you haven’t seen in ages, but it feels just like yesterday. This was the case for Kate and Chris, who are now both living in Manhattan’s Greenwich village. They were both born and raised in Massachusetts, just north of Boston, so it felt more meaningful to them that they marry somewhere close to “home”.

After doing a little preliminary research on wedding venues and being disappointed by their impersonal feel, the couple decided to think outside of the box and try Airbnb! It was online that they found the rental house which would double as their ceremony and reception site. They booked the property site unseen, and when they finally took a weekend trip to see it, they were initially a bit concerned with the “diamond in the rough”. Of course, nothing says outdoor wedding like visiting an outdoor venue in January! It was a bit depressing but their wedding planner, Amy McLaughlin, assured them that all would be absolutely beautiful when summer came around and she had worked her magic!

The bride wanted very simple and organic florals in pastel hues. She wanted the view and the topography to be the focal point. McLaughlin used tons of eucalyptus mixed with blush and white roses to adorn the ceremony arbor. Guests were given fans in case they became overheated at the ceremony. The couple’s dog Penny, a rescue dog, was one of the highlights of the day. She was the most well behaved little girl and had the demeanor of an adopted child who was just so grateful to have been chosen to love. The evening’s fare of choice was a bistro style selection of comfort foods including a sliders bar and flatbread station. To top it off, Kate and Chris chose a whoopie pie buffet over the traditional wedding cake –a huge hit with kids and adults alike!

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Photography: Callisto & Co. | Event Planning + Design: Amy Mclaughlin Lifestyles | Floral Design: Amy Mclaughlin Lifestyles | Wedding Dress: Kathryn Conover | Catering: Timothy S Hopkins Catering | DJ: Joe Carson | Officiant: Betsy Holtzinger | Rentals: Peak Event Services