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5 Ways To Make Your Home More “Life-Friendly”

Just yesterday, my toddler was tossing strawberries on the floor at breakfast and throwing his milk at dinner. I’m in the go-with-it stage of life right now friends, so these tips are coming at the perfect time! Plus, they’re coming from a designer that I adore beyond words—the ever-talented Bria Hammel. Bria also has kiddos (Brooklyn and Louie), which means I trust her advice 110% when it comes to “life-friendly”. And, she just launched her gorgeous new shop, Brooke & Lou this week, named after those little sweeties of course! It’s filled to the brim with beautiful, livable pieces for everyday homes… just what this toddler mama needs. Anyone else with me? Let’s read on for the tips!

(Pictured: Brooke & Lou Kiawah Coffee Table)

1. Rethink the Coffee Table. 

Avoid sharp edges when you have kiddos running around! We love something made of Rattan like this piece from our Brooke & Lou collection. Not only does it hide crumbs, stains and imperfections, it’s not made of wood or glass so you don’t have to worry about scratches or fingerprints.

(Pictured: Caitlin Wilson Rug)

2. Play with Pattern. 

We love to build our clients’ spaces around patterned rugs like this one from Caitlin Wilson. Not only are they beautiful, but a rug with heavy color and pattern will hide kids’ messes, food stains, and dog hair.

(Pictured: Brooke & Lou Eloise Sofa)

3. Pay Attention to the Fabric.

Invest in pieces with timeless styles and durability. Leather, prints, and darker fabrics are all a safe bet. But for those who would like to go lighter in color and still feel secure in their investment, we have some great options at Brooke & Lou. I worked with my team to create our very own life-friendly fabrics that withstand everyday messes (goodbye red wine stains and peanut butter fingerprints – you can truly just wipe them away!).

(Pictured: Pottery Barn Beachcomber Lidded Tulip Basket)

4. When in doubt, throw it in a basket!

Nothing hides a mess or makes for easy clean up like a chic basket. Perfect for tidying up a room quickly, these baskets from Pottery Barn can store toys, games, and blankets – you name it. Bonus points if the basket has a lid!

(Pictured: Brooke & Lou French Pine Dining Table)

5. Embrace the Weather.

Choose a dining table that already has a weathered or distressed look so that as time goes on, it looks natural and you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear.

Interior Design: Bria Hammel Interiors | Shop: Brooke & Lou

The Palm House at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Wedding That Barely Beat The Rain

From Jainé at Brklyn View PhotographyA week before Sue and Chris’s wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, the weather called for rain and heavy thunderstorms. We started to prepare for the worst. The happy couple purchased very cute clear umbrella’s from Kate Spade New York and went into their wedding day with positive attitudes hoping for the best. And guess, what happened? We beat the rain! As Sue began to put on her beautiful wedding dress from Rivini By Rita Vinieris at the Marriott Hotel at Brooklyn Bridge, the drizzle started to slow down. By the time we arrived at The Palm House, the rain had completely stopped! We were in luck!!

It was an emotional first look between Sue and Chris inside the stunning Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Afterwards, we walked the gardens making stops at Bluebell Wood, the Rose Garden and Magnolia Plaza during their bridal portraits. As I photographed the very last family photo, the rain started again. It was divine timing if I have ever seen it! Our two hour window for photos was absolutely rain-free!!

Sue and Chris held their wedding ceremony inside the breathtaking Palm House at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. They recently renovated the space and it’s so much lighter and brighter now which of course, I absolutely love. What an incredible wedding venue to say your vows and become husband and wife.

The newlyweds shared their first kiss and celebrated their marriage with their closest family and friends. Hank Lane’s Sugar Lane Band brought the house down as everyone danced the night away!

Sue and Chris are a perfect match and it was so incredible to be part of their wedding from their engagement session to capturing their wonderful wedding day. I cannot wait to see where these two go (they are always traveling!) and I hope to stay part of their lives capturing all their important moments as husband and wife! Congratulations Newlyweds!! Xo ~ Jainé

See more of Brklyn View’s fantastic work in their Style Me Pretty Portfolio and on their blog!

Photography: Jainé Kershner Photography | Floral Design: X-Quisite flowers & events, inc. | Invitations: Lion in the Sun | Reception: Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Brides Shoes: Badgely Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Patina Catering | Hair & Makeup : Mg Beauty | Band: Hank Lane Music | Groom's Attire: SRG Fashion | Groomsmen's Attire: SRG Fashion | Officiant: Christopher Frost Shelley | Brides Dress: Rivini | Getting Ready: Marriott Downtown Brooklyn

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Step Inside Interior Designer Rachel Madden’s Warm, Organic Home

Home tours are my favorite features here on SMP Living. But when we get to step inside an that’s the home of the actual interior designer behind the beauty? It’s extra exciting. And what I love most about today’s tour, of the lovely Rachel Madden’s abode, is that it’s just SO incredibly inviting and practical, while still being off-the-charts gorgeous all at the same time. Helynn Ospina and David Livingston photographed every room to perfection—let’s take a walk through!

From Rachel MaddenThis home sits on 1/2 acre and has stunning views of the SF bay, city and rolling hills. The home’s main draw are its large spanning windows and gorgeous views, and so I designed the house to let that take center stage. I designed the interior with a subtle color palate that mimicked the outdoors and chose earthy, textural materials to create a natural flow and connection between the indoor/outdoor spaces.

The great room which included the living, dining and kitchen has a stacked stone fireplace which acts as the focal point of the entire space. The natural colors and muted tones in the stone are carried throughout the 3 spaces to create a cohesive look.

With the great room as our only living/dining space, it was important to design it as a mulit-purpose space that was practical for us to live our everyday lives while still feeling elegant enough to host our guests. Creating something that felt casual and elegant all at the same time was the goal for the space, and we accomplished that with pieces that were earthy and relaxed, but fresh and modern

For the great room (including kitchen, dining, Living), we used lighting from Ro Sham Beaux, Sectional from Restoration Hardware, Chairs from Noir, side table from Made Goods, John Robshaw pillows, Galbraith and Paul pillows, Serena and Lily rug, throw and tray, Cisco Home mirror, Bungalow 5 dining table, Wishbone chair replica from Rove concepts, Serena and Lily counter stools.

Photography: David Livingston | Photography: Helynn Ospina | Interior Designer: Rachel Madden Interiors

Are You a Fine Art Bride? Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is Your Spot.

I’m crushing hard on today’s styled shoot… the bride, her Elizabeth Dye dress, that centerpiece from Kase Styles. Yes. yes. yes. My favorite aspect is that it coins a style of bride I haven’t yet heard of, but one we see a lot on SMP—the ‘fine art bride’. If you want to live, breath and swim in elegance, charm and all things soft, flowy and gracious, this one is just for you darling. And you’ll probably want to give Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum a good hard look, too. Natashia Nicole crafted a breathtaking gallery that you’ll want to pin your heart out in, see it all here!

From Natasha Nicole PhotographyInspired by the historic Villa Terrace in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this shoot centered around classic, old world, and romantic styling. The neutral white stucco and vibrant corals and pinks of Villa Terrace set the mood for this light, romantic inspiration. We also drew inspiration from the stunning, feminine Elizabeth Dye gown. Delicate calligraphy, soft neutral silk ribbon, organic florals, and touches of elegance were offset by a minimalist tablescape. We wanted to understate the design to not draw attention away from the stunning architecture and landscapes surrounding Villa Terrace. This inspiration was designed for the fine art bride.

Photography: Natashia Nicole Photography | Gown: Elizabeth Dye | Cake: Hailey's Sweets and Treats | Shoes: Bella Belle | Jewelry: Bling Jewelry | Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy | Menswear: Campbell Haines Menswear | Model: Hamidah Ihsan Ahmad | Model: James R. Doherty | Museum: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum | Styling and Florals: Kase Styles

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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When Savannah History Meets Miami Modern Wedding

From Josh Morehouse, Masi Events and Colonial House of Flowers…  Elsie and Alonso call Miami home, but decided to have an intimate destination wedding in historic Savannah, Georgia! Lucky for them, Elsie’s sister Jessica is the owner and designer of Masi Events. Elsie does acting on the side in Miami, and Alonso does film production. One day, they happened to be working on the same project and met on set. From what we’ve heard, there was an instant attraction from both…. 

From Josh Morehouse… On their wedding day, we were spared about 10 minutes for the first look and a few portraits before the rain came poring down. Although they were hoping to explore more of downtown Savannah, and even Wormsloe Plantation, the rain simply couldn’t dampen their mood. 

Some couples just have something special, and it was an absolute honor to photograph and be a part of their wedding day!

Photography: Josh Morehouse | Event Design: Masi Events | Floral Design: Colonial House of Flowers, Est. 1968 | Dress: Opera D'Arte | Wedding Cake: Vanilla and the Bean | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: Soho South Cafe | Reception Venue: Garibaldis Cafe | Hair and Makeup : Bride's Side Beauty | Calligraphy : Tinta y Tierra | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Photo Lab: Richard Photo Lab

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A Dark Unused Office Transformed Into a Bright, Colorful Space

Having an extra all-purpose room in a home is sooo nice. Especially when you’ve got kiddos (big or small!). That’s exactly what this stunning space, designed by Lindsey Brooke, serves as. Think: homework room, movie room, game room, and a place the kids can go to escape… genius! The best part—not only does it have the functionality factor, it’s beautiful to boot. See every bit captured by Amy Bartlam, right here!

From Lindsey Brooke DesignWe turned a dark unused office, into a bright, colorful teenage hangout space the whole family can enjoy. Since the family loves the ocean (and lives so close), we used that as our inspiration and starting point. We pulled in lots of blues, warm blushes and whites and then mixed texture in the rug and other textiles. We really needed to make sure this space was comfortable and designed for two coed siblings. Since the room is small we started with a modular sofa that can be shifted in many different ways and designed the rest of the space around it. This space has been used as a homework room, movie room, game room, and a place the kids can go to escape. Blending in functionality with design was key here and we were able to accomplish that!

Photography: Amy Bartlam | Designer: Lindsey Brooke Design

Looking for the Perfect Engagement Ring? Here are 10 Things You Should Know.

With vintage-inspired sparklers and colored gems definitely having their moment last year, we’ve been excited to see the stunning engagement ring trends of 2018—it sure has been a gorgeous year for left-hand bling so far. And there are still plenty of proposals waiting to happen this year! So, who better to guide us on everything we should know, than the experts at PGI and Blue Nile? Scroll for a Q&A on what you’ll be seeing a LOT of in the coming months and into next year. #beplatinum

1. What popular engagement ring trend do you see phasing out in 2018?

Blue Nile: I would say it’s not so much a matter of trends phasing out but subtly shifting. We’re seeing the same classic styles revamped with modern twists, like a detailed prong or profile.


2. What metal is having its moment in 2018?

Blue Nile: Rose gold is still trending but the most buzzed-about engagement rings (think Ariana Grande’s pear-shaped diamond) are usually set in platinum. #beplatinum

3. We’re all about the classic diamond, but is there any other gemstone 2018 brides should keep their eyes on?

Blue Nile: Sapphires or rubies are a great alternative center stone for an engagement ring. Aside from a diamond, they are the hardest and are also the most resistant to scratches, chips. With proper care will retain their luster the longest.


4. Why do you think online ordering is so hot right now?

Blue Nile: It’s really a matter of modern love and relationships. Today’s couples want to be able to blend new norms with celebrated traditions. Previously, the engagement ring shopping experience was known to be confusing, expensive, inconvenient, and intimidating. With the option to buy online, couples can shop on their own terms and feel confident in their choice of ring because they have the best selection and value at their fingertips 24/7.

5. On that note, how can a groom feel confident when ordering a ring online? How can you be sure you’re getting a quality ring?

Blue Nile: When buying an engagement ring online, it’s important to know the diamond is accompanied by an independent grading report from a respected lab like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The quality of a diamond accompanied by one of those reports is considered guaranteed. At Blue Nile, all of our rings are accompanied by a GIA report and we stand behind every piece.


6. We know that platinum is always the go-to metal for engagement rings for a number of reasons. Is that a trend you see holding strong this year? Why?

Blue Nile: Platinum is always a good choice for an engagement ring because of its durability. It is stronger than gold, which makes it ideal for securing the diamonds in your ring, and it is truly white so won’t need to be re-plated to maintain its color like white gold. For those who prefer a non-white look like rose gold (see #2), we still recommend setting your center diamond in a Platinum Crown because platinum holds your diamond most securely and won’t cast any color into your diamond. #beplatinum

7. We loved all of the solitaire oval rings in 2017. What cut do you see rising in popularity for this year?

Blue Nile: The cushion-cut is definitely growing in popularity this year. It’s the cut of Meghan Markle’s center stone so that could be a driving factor.


8. How can a minimalist bride still achieve that wow factor with her ring while staying true to her aesthetic?

Blue Nile: Opt for a dainty setting with a high-quality diamond that is cut to maximize the brilliance. It will turn heads without being over-the-top.

9. What would you say to a bride who has fallen in love with a trend (like vintage-inspired rings), but is afraid to take the leap?

Blue Nile: If you’re afraid your tastes will change, consider taking aspects of the style you love and incorporating it into a classic setting. For example: If your current tastes lean towards vintage, art-deco and you feel it might be too much for you in a few years, consider a three-stone ring with a round center and baguette side stones in a classic platinum setting. #beplatinum


10. Halos are all the rage right now. What other setting do you think will have their moment in 2018?

Blue Nile: Twisting settings and surprise side details are popular updates to more traditional styles. They provide that unique detail brides want in something as personal as an engagement ring.

Paris Engagement Experience From the Other Side

From the Bride-to-Be …. I’m a wedding photographer based in Paris. It is difficult for me to tell you what it’s like to go to the other side of the camera for my own engagement shoot! I met our photographer, Tamara Gruner, during her workshop in Provence. I must thank her and the wonderful Stephanie de Wep for their  advice for our engagement session. As the founder of Studio Ohlala, a collective of 40 artists from the world of fashion, hair, makeup and nail stylists, I know that fine art brings a timeless experience to all editorial photo shoots…

Tamara suggested that we start our shoot in the most iconic places in Paris. With her encouragement, we were able to feel natural and comfortable during the shoot. The day became a series of moments of intimacy, with my love, during a morning walk in Paris!

Tamara told us, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Enjoy it!”

Photographer: Tamara Gruner Photography | Floral Designer: Studio Ohlala | Bracelet: Cartier | Suit: Sandro Paris | Accessories: Orchidee De Soie | City: Paris | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Green dress: Mango | Hair & Make-up Artist: Studio Ohlala | Nails pedicure & manicure: Studio Ohlala | Roses box: La Fleur Parisienne | Shoes Her: Christian Louboutin | Shoes Him: Pantanetti | Stylist / Planner: Weddings Of Excellence In Provence | Vegan Hair product: Number 4 Hair | Vegan Nails product: Kure Bazaar | White dress: Lavish Alice

Transforming a Garden Into the Most Glamorous Black + White Celebration

When these grooms declared “nothing but neutrals”, Jennifer Matteo was up for the challenge. The result is the most elegant alfresco affair in a sea of black and white. That classic combo was paired with all white florals by Tailored Twig, gilded accents and the lush green backdrop of Spanish Point. Does it get any prettier than a black tie affair under the stars? We think not and Katelyn Prisco’s images are the proof.

This wedding was like no other that we have done. From the couple’s personalities being completely electrifying when they were together, to watching their wedding set-up and unfold, we were the happiest wedding planning team in the world on February 9, 2018.

As both men requested they only have neutral colors, we decided to go with black and white. When planning this wedding, black and white weren’t boring to us, like others may think. We took it to a whole new level with different textures, levels of florals, lighting, and an overall romantic and intimate touch.

When you looked at the Reception space, you felt like you had been taken to a whole new place – it was amazing how an open grass canvas was turned into someone’s dream wedding. As the pictures don’t give this couples aesthetic justice, this wedding brought us to tears, made us laugh, and most importantly a day Derek and Herman will cherish forever.

From the Grooms…Herman and I met February 2008 in a provincial beach town in South Florida. On the evening we met, I knew that he was the one. Due to my tenacious nature, I then proclaimed to Herman that we were destined to be together forever. Herman was apprehensive and told me that I was crazy! 

But none the less, exactly 10 years later, Herman and I stood before each other and proved that we were soul mates.



Photography: Katelyn Prisco Photography | Event Design & Planning: Jennifer Matteo Event Planning | Florist: Tailored Twig | Catering: Mattison's Catering | Entertainment: Breezin' Entertainment | Officiant: I Do” Ceremonies with Lauren Crowley | Venue: Spanish Point | Tent: US Tent Rental | Menus : Write On | Rentals: So Staged | Rentals: Copper Accorn

Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club Wedding With That Real Wow Factor

Through the years, we’ve featured many weddings from Michael and Anna Costa Photography, but today’s might be my all-time-favorite! For lots of reasons. Cascading orchids plus an abundance of white roses… that crisp California sunshine and a positively romantic dance on the beach… well, you’ll see for yourself! This black and white wedding took place at Four Season’s Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. But before we get to that, take a look at these fun getting ready moments…

And then, of course… Rick and Annie’s first look…

From Michael and Anna Costa Photography…. Annie and Rick’s nuptials took place in the elegant setting of the Four Seasons Santa Barbara surrounded by their closest friends and family. Beneath cascading orchids and olive branches they said their “I do’s” and sealed it with a kiss! 

Their celebratory feast was set on the incomparable La Pacifica Terrace of the historical Coral Casino with the ocean waves crashing in the background. The open air tent dripping with hanging crystal chandeliers created a serene canopy for this outdoor feast. The fresh scent of roses combined with the lush greenery dressed the feasting tables over which their guests toasted the bride and groom.

With their guests enjoying this beautiful soiree the bride and groom slipped away to the beach for a moment alone and a final kiss just as the sun sunk into the ocean.

Want to see more of Michael and Anna’s work? Take a look at their extensive SMP Portfolio of published features or head on over to their website and blog!

Photographer: Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Videographer: Like A Letter | Wedding Planner: Soigne Productions | Floral Design: Blue Magnolia | Stationery: penned by Shani | Stationery: Oak And Orchid | Makeup & Hair: LunaBella Make-up and Hair | Entertainment: Patrick Butler | Officiant: Dr. Jon Ireland | Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley | Beauty: Makeup by Liz | Beauty: Ashley Flaherty | Four Seasons Biltmore & Coral Casino: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Lighting, Audio & Decor: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | Rentals & Linen: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Rentals & Linen: Classic Party Rentals | Venue, Food & Beverage: Westlake Village Four Seasons

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Celebrating Baby With Insanely Good Party Bites

This baby shower is so much more than your average mimosas and party games sort of shindig. There are pretzels people! And cookies. And donuts. And don’t get us started on the comfort food style sandwiches. You get the gist. Imagine all of your favorite food groups paired with the prettiest styling by It’s a Sparkly Life and captured by Lisa Renault Photographie. If you are on any sort of a restrictive diet, fair warning there’s a whole lot of yummy headed your way.

Fairly early on in my pregnancy I had decided that a traditional baby shower was not going to be in the cards for me! Instead, I wanted to throw a party myself for our closest friends that I knew would be a regular part of Baby G’s life. I wanted to have lots of food, delicious drinks and charming details that I knew my guests would appreciate it. We opted to even call it a Baby Bash party to ensure our guests knew that it wasn’t going to be what they expected!

We invited men and women, omitted the traditional games and made sure to have plenty of cocktails flowing! Being a life & style blogger myself, I knew I had to step it up a notch to make this Baby Bash exactly what I envisioned! I wanted the color scheme to be very soft and neutral- I’m having a boy however blue is not exactly my preferred color for party planning! I tried to incorporate soft blues when I could, and they blended so well with the other neutrals.

Aura Design is my favourite florist here in Montreal and they made us the most beautiful simple arrangements. I had my dear friend Lisa Renault photograph the whole event- I’ve been working with her for two years now and she just captures the best details! Since good food was a must for me, I reached out to Brera Catering for some amazing dishes. We opted to have a good amount of time reserved for passed appetizers and then treated our guests to a selection of sandwiches, salads and pastas. Not pictured? The mushroom pasta that finished three times over!

Bretzel et Compagnie also supplied us with amazing pretzels that I used to set up a Pretzel Bar. I have to give credit to my husband for amusing me and making the stand for me. I think he knew better than to argue with an 8 month pregnant woman! The result was one of my favourite features of the party. Add in a fun donut and coffee cart, some bubbly as favours, and a delicious St-Germain signature cocktail, and we were all set!

As this was a party we were throwing ourself, budget did come to play quite a few times! I opted to do a mix of professional calligraphy via Imagine Joy and balanced it with some Etsy and Minted purchases. Having a set bar menu like we did also helps you control the types of alcohol you need to purchase. Ps people loved being served a signature cocktail and we actually ran out of St-Germain. The Pretzel Bar was also a DIY that ended up being an inexpensive but aww worthy feature. All in all it was the perfect mix for us and will be a day that we won’t forget!

Photography: Lisa Renault Photographie | Event Design: It's A Sparkly Life | Floral Design: Aura Design | Catering: Brera Catering Company | Calligraphy: imaginejoy calligraphie | Balloons: Balloon Lounge | Cake and Cookies: Sweet Savour Cakery | Cocktails: St-Germain | Paper Goods: The Paper Shoppe | Pretzel Bar: Bretzel et Compagnie | Printed Goods: Minted

A Breathtaking Wedding at Manila’s Whitespace Venue

Every day, we feature beautiful weddings. We are lucky in that over the course of 10+ years, SMP has sort of established itself as one of the few places to share the prettiest of the pretty weddings and trust me when I tell you, there are no shortage of them. But every now and then we get a wedding that takes the word beautiful to an entirely new level. That truly takes my breath away. And this is one of those very special weddings. I can’t tell if it’s the exquisite photography by Kurt Boomer, the shockingly gorgeous design by Gideon Hermosa or simply the bride in her stunning loveliness that made me fall so in love. Regardless, this is a wedding that I will never ever forget.

From the Groom: Hannah and I first met in Signet, a menswear store that I co-founded with some friends. We had just opened our first store and Hannah was there accompanying her brother, Bryan, shopping. Our store manager called me because Bryan wanted to pay with a check. I gave my approval and decided to pass by the store but I didn’t think that they would still be there.

When I entered the store, I saw Hannah from the corner of my eye and thought to myself, “hey, she’s pretty cute.” but thinking that she must’ve been Bryan’s girlfriend. When they left, I asked our store staff and they told me that she was the customer’s sister.

I didn’t think I would ever meet her again but fast forward to the weekend, Hannah came back again with another friend to check out some shoes. This time I got to talk to her a bit and found out that she was traveling around Europe with her brother in a few months time. 

She also mentioned that Bryan was starting to get into photography. I told her that we were going to be in Florence, Italy around the same time to attend Pitti Uomo, a big menswear trade show and invited the both of them to swing by and come take photos of all the menswear people hanging around the area. And that’s how everything began…

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Photography: Kurt Boomer | Videography: Bob Nicolas Wedding Films | Coordination: Christine Ong-Te Events | Floral Design: The Events Studio | Wedding Dress: Hannah Kong | Cake: Mannix Pena | Invitations: Natural Selection Design Co | Reception: Whitespace Manila | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Catering: Cibo di M | Hair and Make Up: Albert Kurniawan and Jerry Javier | Groom's Attire: Sartoria Dal Cuore | Groom's Attire: Ring Jacket | Bridal Slippers: Bella Belle | Bridal Veil: Dolce And Gabbana | Choir: Manila Philharmonic Orchestra | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Vow Notebooks: Smythson

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Pippin Hill Wedding in Stunning Charlottesville

Pippin Hill has forever been my number one most favorite wedding venue here in the US. Probably in the world. It’s organically stunning and because of it’s innate beauty set against the Charlottesville backdrop and it’s incredible bones, Pippin Hill tends to attract vendors, brides and grooms who share the classic and yet quietly joyful aesthetic. And if you knew the amazing owner, Lynn Easton, you’d agree that Pippin Hill was built and bred to be just that. A place where laughter and family reign queen and the beauty takes a backstage to the pure happiness behind each and every wedding. So when my sweet friend, photographer Jen Fariello, sent over this amazing wedding at Pippin Hill – with florals by Southern Blooms and planning by Donovan Groves Events…I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

From the Bride… I always wanted an outdoor wedding with natural colors and greenery. When we first visited Pippin Hill after getting engaged last July, we immediately knew it was “the place” with it’s lush green vineyards, hydrangea entrance, wild flowers, and the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We were lucky to have a sunny summer day and also have the hydrangeas in bloom for our wedding!

As we did not do a first look, our favorite part of the day was the short time after the ceremony when we were lead to the hydrangea area. We had a few moments alone to soak it all in!

William is French/Dutch and me, American. Since we were having an American wedding, we decided to honor his Dutch heritage with our color palette and styling. We chose shades of orange and Delft blue to start. Everything else soon fell into place with vintage blue and white plates, Dutch vases, and pops of orange in our florals and William’s bow tie.

We also displayed his family crest on an American bourbon barrel head which matches his family ring that he wore for the ceremony. The most fun nod to Willam’s Dutch heritage was the bicycles we used for our getaway! They also added a lovely decor touch to the ceremony entrance.

The definite highlight of the evening was when William took the stage with his friends for a short performance. I soon got pulled up for our own rendition of Twist and Shout! To tie in William’s evening guitar performance, we swapped out a guestbook for a guitar signing.

And now… please enjoy this quick look back at Jenna and William’s positively beautiful day in a short film from Shaking Hands Productions!
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Photography: Jen Fariello Photography | Cinematography: Shaking Hands Productions | Event Planner: Donovan-Groves Events | Floral Design: Southern Blooms by Pat's Floral Designs | Wedding Dress: Lela Rose | Cake: Favorite Cakes | Stationery: The Preppy Pink Pony | Hair + Makeup: Avenue 42 | Calligraphy: Sarah Bohl Designs | Wedding Venue: Pippin Hill Farm | Plate Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Wildflower Linen

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Tyler Garden Love Shoot: The Path of Two Soulmates

The best of friends over a decade ago, Kiamarie and David would lose touch as their lives ventured down different paths. As they lost each other, Kiamarie would also lose her home, her job, her mother and her will to push forward through life’s ups and downs. David would suffer similar hardships. As nearly a decade passed, the two would pick up the pieces of their lives and find their way back to one another as a chance meeting out one night brought an instant connection between them once again. This time would be different though because they would become inseparable…

Pretty much love at first sight! They decided to celebrate this magical moment and their love for one another with a couple’s session photographed by the amazingly talented Lauren Fair in the beautiful location of Tyler Gardens. Kiamarie, now a successful and established wedding photographer herself (KSS Photography), knew this session with David had to be endearing. She incorporated lush large blooms in a colorful and beautiful bouquet to display her happiness and joy to be back with the man of her dreams, balloons to remind them of their younger playful days and laser cutouts with the saying “you’re my person” which was a surprise to David and how she told him he truly had her heart forever. Destined to be, the two NOW have each others hearts once again forever and always like meant to be soulmates.

Photographer: Lauren Fair Photography | Videography: Color Room Films | Floral Designer: Brady Everett | Florals: Narcissus Florist | Dress: AW Bridal | Shoes: David's Bridal | Hair: Hair Candy NJ | Assistant : Jess Palatucci Photography | Balloons : Peonies Events | Decor: Michaels | Decor: KSS Photography | Garden: Tyler Gardens | Laser Cutouts: Delovely Details | Love Letters: Lettered By Lindsay | MUA: Juliana Fink - JFink Beauty | Menswear: Chazmatazz Formal Wear | Planning & Styling: KSS Photography | Scripted Sea Glass: Caitlin Burns | Silks: Adorn Company

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Nasher Sculpture Center in Texas was the Backdrop for a Modern Garden Wedding

Putting together this wedding for you guys today was fun. Like brought me back to the very early days of SMP kind of fun where I couldn’t decide which images to share because there were so many good ones. But you know what? Despite the fact that the details were GORGEOUS and the backdrop by Engaged Events and florals by Abelia Floral Design stunning, it was the bride and groom that made me fall so in love…their total joy leaping out of every image, captured perfectly by Stephanie Brazzle. And while a wedding is innately a more formal day than your usual Saturday, this pair never seemed to take themselves so seriously that they couldn’t let the love keep center stage. This is a wedding for the books. I’m obsessed.

From the Bride… Every day, the summer before I met my husband, Peyton, I prayed for him. I have countless entries in my prayer journal where I prayed that I would meet my future husband by the end of the summer, not knowing who I was necessarily praying for, but praying boldly and specifically that God had laid this person on my heart and that this was his perfect timing. I met Peyton at the end of that same summer in 2015 at a young adults retreat that our church hosts every Labor Day weekend. We got engaged a little over a year later!

I loved the dreaminess of the Nasher Sculpture Center and after visiting a few venues, I knew that it was the perfect one for our outdoor wedding. We chose a neutral color palette of gold, silver and white with pops of navy blue and lots of greenery. I wanted whatever we added to the garden and museum to feel natural, so I chose some wood and marble accents to go along with the neutral color scheme.

The week of our wedding, I noticed that the weather forecast was constantly fluctuating between rain and sunshine, so I prayed multiple times a day for no rain, the only thing that could prevent my dream of an outdoor wedding. Little did I know, but Hurricane Harvey was to blame for the fluctuating forecast. The morning of the wedding and the day the hurricane hit Houston, it drizzled steadily in the morning and even poured for a short time, but I had a feeling that it would clear by the time we got to the venue. I had a peace knowing that God would answer yet another prayer!

Our Planner Whitney with Engaged Events called me as we were finishing getting dressed at the hotel that the team had concerns about the weather and wanted to move everything inside though the forecast showed that things were going to clear up later that afternoon. I had confidence that rain would hold off, so I told her that if things needed to move around slightly they could, but I wanted everything to be outside even if that meant something might get wet.

Whitney worked with the teams and made some slight changes in the reception layout were even better than we originally planned for the layout to be. I give her all the credit for helping me convince everyone to keep the reception outside. And I am so glad we did because we had the most beautiful August weather I had ever experienced in Texas! The rain had made it a cool(er) afternoon and evening, perfect for our outdoor reception.

Our photographer, Stephanie Brazzle, captured the day perfectly. There was so much joy and celebration on our wedding day, and each photo radiates the excitement and love we felt! She captured the dreaminess of the venue, the sweetest details and so many special moments that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Photography: Stephanie Brazzle Photography | event planner: Engaged Events | Floral Design: Abelia Floral Studio | wedding dress : Pronovias | cake : Julie Vorce | Invitations: Dunkirk Designs | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | catering: Wolfgang Puck Catering | hair and makeup : Beauty And The Blush | calligraphy: dabbling dallas | BAND: In10City | transportation: AJL International | bridesmaid dress boutique: Bella Bridesmaid | dress boutique: Bridal Boutique Of Lewisville | groomsmen: The Black Tux | jeweler : Diamonds Direct | linen: BBJ Linen | rentals: Big D Party Rentals | robes : Pretty Plum Sugar | wedding : Nasher Sculpture Center

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The Creek Haus Wedding With Jewel Tones + Rustic Elegance

Texas weddings can be tricky… especially if you’re determined to have an outdoor ceremony. As this couple realized, they needed to shoot for Spring or Fall if they wanted any semblance of cooperation from the weather. So they took their time planning and went for a March wedding at The Creek Haus, a property of Vista West Ranch in Dripping Springs. Read on for more from the Bride!  ~photography by Austin Wedding photographer, Alyssa Nikole.

From the Bride… I knew from the beginning that I wanted an outdoor wedding. Living in Texas that limits your time frame to Spring or Fall, and even still it’s dicey. We chose March and lucked out with great weather.

My favorite memories from the day were having our pup, Finnley, be a part of the ceremony, seeing my parents’ reactions throughout the day, actually eating dinner at the reception with my HUSBAND, and dancing the night away. One thing that was important to both of us was writing our own vows. It was definitely a highlight of the ceremony, and there were not many dry eyes from what I was told.

The other details of our day really came about organically. The floral and mix-matched bridesmaid dresses really created the look and color inspiration for the day. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I could not have been happier. I created a color palette of reds, pinks, green, and navy, gave my bridesmaids an inspiration board (long, flowy dresses with varied textures), and allowed them to pick their own dresses. I had final approval, but ultimately, I wanted each of my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and be able to wear their dresses again. I then showed Petal Pushers my floral inspiration board along with my bridesmaid dresses and asked them to have the floral tie everything together. And they nailed it.

In order to save money, I did a few DIY projects for the wedding. My mom helped me make six white chiffon table runners, which we used on tables in the reception along with candles and greenery. I created the bar menu sign, cards & gifts sign, honeymoon fund sign, and bought a bunch of cheap gold and black frames which I filled with photos of Alvin and me together and ones from our childhood. The frames were placed on the reception tables. My personal favorite DIY project was our welcome sign, which I created from an old window pane I had held on to for a long time.

Now that the planning is over, my recommendations for future brides and grooms are to enjoy your engagement. The time will fly by, and a longer engagement (ours was 16 months) means having time to leisurely plan your wedding. Also, make sure you stay true to yourself. While friends and family may express their wishes for the day, ultimately do what speaks to you and will make the two of you happy. Pick what things are most important and what isn’t as important and use that to help find areas to save money and what to put more of your budget towards. For us, that meant Paperless Post save the date emails, opting only for photography and not videography, and re-using the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets in the reception décor. In the end it is a celebration of love, so don’t lose sight of that. Everything will fall into place.

Photography: Alyssa Nikole Photography | Coordination: Coordinate This | Floral Design: Petal Pushers | Wedding Dress: Enzoani | Invitations: Minted | Make up: Molly Make Up and Hair | Wedding Venue: The Creek Haus

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5 Things You Should Always Have on Hand Before Guests Arrive

We’ve talked about how to style your guest bedroom before, but making sure your guests have everything they need, is just as important. From extra toothbrushes to a glass of water before they turn in, make sure you check off this list before your visitors arrive!

Extra Toiletries

We’ve all done it. Forgotten our toothbrush! It’s especially embarrassing when you’re a guest in a home versus a hotel. Uhh, do you have an extra toothbrush I can use? Don’t make your guests ask you that. Have a few extra toothbrushes and convenient toiletries like soap, tooth paste, mouthwash, q-tips, shampoo and conditioner, etc. in plain sight.

Fresh Towels

This is a no-brainer but absolutely something you should never forget to leave our for your house guests! Include wash cloths as well. I know people who don’t use them but I personally do every single day to wash my face. Have them there for your guests to use if they wish.

Extra Blankets + Pillows

Being away from home in and of itself can disturb a good night’s sleep. Make sure your guests have extra blankets and pillows so they don’t get chilly or stiff necks. For pillows, make sure to have a medium fill, nothing too soft or too fluffy, to accommodate all types of guests.

Hair Dryer

I always like to keep an extra hair dryer in our guest bath. An inexpensive travel-size one is a great and does the trick, so guests don’t have to pack theirs along! Let them know you’ve got one in advance so they don’t have to bring theirs if they’d don’t want to.

A Glass of Water

Don’t make your guests sneak to the kitchen in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Offer them one before bed, or have bottled water already stocked up on their nightstand. It’s the little details that they’ll so appreciate!

Citrus Inspired Brunch Inspiration with an Artful Twist

Stuck on a theme for your wedding, bridal shower, engagement party, etc.? Say hello to the reason that ‘brunch’ is the best. idea. ever. A citrus-inspired brunch that is bursting with an insanely delicious color palette, to be exact. And we have Erin Wilson PhotographyJessika McCuin Weddings, Vase & Vine  and the entire vendor team to thank. It includes what might possibly be one of my favorite backdrops ever, courtesy of Katie Marie Art & Design, which is wisely repurposed from ceremony to reception and for bridal portraits, to boot. It’s truly one slice of inspo you don’t want to miss out on—see it all here.

From Erin Wilson PhotographyWe envisioned a Summer Sunday wedding brunch style heavy on the citrus and inspired by beautiful watercolor tones. We were in love with the tones of a grapefruit and fell in love when we found these beautiful peach linens.

We wanted to shoot this shoot with elements of a real wedding with cake cutting, game playing, first dances and a send off. We loved having this super cute real couple to show how real couples would look with a beautiful wedding like this. We wanted it to feel real and show brides how they could look with this as their wedding day.

I envision a day like this filled with mimosas, outdoor games, sitting on the front porch and enjoying the sunshine. I love how light and color filled this entire wedding inspiration shoot is. You can see the watercolor elements showcased in the custom painting backdrop, the painterly icing on the cake and the watercolor liner of the paper invitation suite. The punch of bright florals and the flow of the soft green dresses turned out so beautifully. I would just love to see these colors used more and more.

Photography: Erin Wilson Photography | Planner : Jessica McCuin Weddings | Florist: Vase and Vine | Bakery: PattiCakes Bakery | Stationery: Paper Supply Co | Bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaid | Makeup Artist: Haley Hanna | Hair Stylist: Kendal Cotton | Bridal Gown: Inverness Bridal Couture | Menswear: Bell & Sward | Paintings : Katie Marie Art and Design | Rentals : BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen

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Charleston’s Upstairs at Midtown was the Perfect Space for this Laid Back Wedding

Thank you so much to Simply Sarah for taking over our editorial today! We started with a GORGEOUS Rain-Filled Southern Wedding, then moved on to the prettiest of pretty Inspiration Shoots that was all about the photography and now…now we’re sharing a CLASSIC Charleston celebration with a groom who serenaded his bride on a rooftop and a kiss that will melt even the most discerning of hearts.

Brooke + Derek are no strangers to the events industry. They met while working together at Universal Studios then later found themselves both with Marriott. When it came time to plan their wedding, however, Brooke + Derek found themselves a bit indecisive.

Originally, the couple booked The Gadsden House, King Street Hospitality Group’s newest + largest property located in Charleston, SC. Several months into planning a lavish + rather large affair, Brooke + Derek decided they wanted to host a more intimate gathering with only their immediate family + closest of friends. Thankfully, King Street Hospitality Group’s smaller venue, Upstairs at Midtown, was available on their previously decided wedding date. The couple quickly shifted gears + hired in-house planner, Kathleen Shuler, to design + execute an equally as exquisite yet smaller event.

After the pair completed taking photos, Brooke + Derek got to mingle with their family and even enjoyed their favorite “bar snacks” during cocktail hour. Just before dinner, the couple snuck away for a private moment on the venue’s rooftop where Derek serenaded Brooke via guitar. 

As busy professionals, Brooke + Derek didn’t have much time for wedding planning. Brooke, daughter of a chef, voiced that food + drink were of huge importance for the couple and her parents. Derek, hailing from a smaller family, wanted the evening to feel much like a family reunion. With these priorities, Kathleen hit the ground running.

Starting with the food + drink, Kathleen worked closely with Derek Falta, King Street Hospitality Group’s culinary director to craft a menu that offered an elegant take on Lowcountry favorites, including fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese + bacon jam. In addition to Charleston’s classics, the menu involved a spin on Brooke’s favorite drink…a spicy blackberry jalepeno margarita (which also served as escort “cards” with individuated calligraphed glasses) + a nod to her dad’s favorite late night snack…chocolate chip cookies + milk.

After conceptualizing the menu, Kathleen got to work on designing aesthetics. Brooke + Derek had refined tastes but in general, were a laid back couple. Keeping Derek’s request for a “comfortable, casual affair” in mind, Kathleen + team were driven to create a celebration that was elegant without being overly genteel. This “happy medium” was created by pairing velvet linens with simple white china, pheasant feather decor with leather place cards, colorful lounge pieces with simple x-back chairs and impressive greenery with just pops of mauve, magenta and rose.

After a fabulous dinner spread and a room full of toasts, the couple danced all night under the stars to DJ Big Bad Ben before their sparkler exit.

Photography: Elizabeth Lanier Photography | Event Planning: King Street Hospitality Group | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Cake: ABCD Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Upstairs At Midtown | Hair & Makeup: Lashes And Lace Charleston | Suits: Jos. A. Bank | Transportation: Lowcountry Valet | Anklets: Anna Campbell | Dress Shop: Calvet Couture Bridal | Floral: Branch Design Studio | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Live Painter: Artistic I | Processing and Development: PhotoVision Prints | Rentals: Ooh! Events

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Four Seasons Scottsdale Destination Wedding Filled With Color

Weddings are almost always a “destination” weekend for at least a few of the guests! This Scottsdale, Arizona wedding brought friends and family from all over to celebrate Tori and Geoff’s weddings … a celebration brimming with splashes of southwestern flavor and filled with an abundance of colorful details at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale.  It’s tagged as a winter wedding – after all, it did take place in February – but at first glance, there’s no way this appears in the least bit chilly. Chalk that up to the friendly, warmth seen from beginning to end. Our thanks to Rachel Solomon Photography for sharing the love!

From Rachel Solomon PhotographyTori & Geoff, residing in the Dallas area, had a stunning southwest-inspired destination wedding in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona. Filled with desert details, cactus, succulents, and plenty of color, this laid-back couple’s wedding was flawlessly executed by Emily Clarke Events.

From the Bride… Most importantly, we wanted our wedding to be FUN! We are so incredibly laid back, and we have a lot of fun together, and we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of our relationship with each other. We didn’t want anything super fancy and formal because we aren’t that way. We like to have a good time, we’re silly, and we wanted everyone to feel comfortable and enjoy themselves to the fullest.

And if you’re not already in love with this wedding, you will be ~ after you watch this short film from Marc Roberts Videography. Tori’s father’s words to his baby girl …. well, let’s just say, it’s why every couple needs photos and a film to remember their wedding day!

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From the Bride… The thing I love the most about Geoff is his heart. He has the sweetest, most thoughtful and compassionate heart of anyone I know. I’m a big believer in the Five Love Languages as well, and I feel mostly loved by acts of service. Since the beginning of our relationship, Geoff has constantly cared for my family, friends, our dogs and me. He has a servant’s heart, and when I saw him caring for the people I cared about the most, I knew he was the one. One of my favorite memories when we first started dating was our first official road trip. We went to beach, and on our way home, we stopped at one of those drive thru animal safaris. I don’t know if I had ever laughed so hard in my life. Geoff and I were terrified of the ostriches, and we swear they targeted our car. They are so creepy! Going on a road trip with Geoff helped me visualize how a future with him would be, and I loved and laughed every minute of our trip. I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.

From the Groom… We decided early on in 2016 that we really wanted to visit the island of Nantucket. We have always like the culture, food, and scenery there. We flew up to Boston in early August and went to a Red Sox-Yankees baseball game that night and drove to Chatham, MA the next day. From there, we chartered an “island hopper” plane to Nantucket (since all the ferries were booked). We walked to the most famous location on the island, Brant Point, where I had a local photographer waiting to take some candid pictures of us. Despite the travel delays and hot weather, she still said yes!

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Head on over to Rachel Solomon’s Blog for more pics of the day ~ right here! Oh… and while you’re there, be sure to take a peek at Tori & Geoff’s engagement session ~ right here.

Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Event Design: Emily Clarke Events | Wedding Planning: Emily Clarke Events | Floral Design: LUX Wedding Florsists | Gown: Reem Acra | Reception Venue: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Hair & Makeup: Kiana | Band: The Instant Classics | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Beer Burro: Haul N Ass Productions | Gown Boutique: Warren Barrón Bridal | Hand Lettering: Freed Hands | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Rentals: Tremaine Ranch | Rentals: Event Rents- Phoenix | Video : Marc Roberts Videography

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