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This is the Perfect Dress for a Garden Wedding

One piece of advice I always give Brides is to NOT buy your dress until you’ve found your venue! Even if you loveee that mermaid style stunner, it might not fit your scene quite like you imagined. This wedding planned and designed by A Charming Fete, however, nailed the dress and venue combo—a Lela Rose number was the perfect match for this garden soiree. Don’t you agree? See more from Lauren Gabrielle in the full gallery below!

From the Bride, Annaliese… The ceremony was held in an English-style garden belonging to Cleveland’s Western Reserve Historical Society.  Living in New York City, with over a third of our guests traveling from outside of Ohio, it was important to us to select locations that were significant to the history of the city of Cleveland.  It was also imperative to Tom and me that every design element was timeless, elegant and purposeful. Our amazing wedding planners at A Charming Fete along with our florist and caterer all understood my aesthetic perfectly and it was a very collaborative design process from start to finish, despite many of our meetings and communications done remotely.

My dress was an ivory silk sheath gown by Lela Rose. I decided that I wanted my veil to be more dramatic and Miranda Park created a custom cathedral-length piece with blusher and hand-stitched lace detail throughout. My jewelry was by New York based Dannijo, as an ode to our home for the last seven years. Our bridesmaids wore soft, flowing dresses by Jenny Yoo and Amsale that matched the garden. The guys dressed in classic navy suits, Tom topping off his look with a black bow tie and Del Toro slippers.

For the ceremony, the florist created a hedge of larkspur and white stock flowers situated behind where we exchanged our vows, and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful elements of the wedding. The bouquets were a mix of white peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, tulips, jasmine and dusty miller. Tom’s childhood friend, Nick Estrate, officiated our ceremony. We had a book made by Shinola with our wedding date embossed on the cover and inside it has the ceremony that I transcribed in calligraphy, alongside Nick’s personal notes and speech. It is a now the most beautiful and meaningful memento that we get to have forever.

The reception took place at a former 1920s hotel and speakeasy.  As a nod to the era, we greeted guests in the venue’s rotunda with a champagne tower, French 75s and Old Fashioneds, along with passed hors d’oeuvres.  It was important to us that the rest of the evening be separated into two parts, an intimate dinner and then the party to follow. Dinner was held in an adjacent space, candlelit and romantic with modern floral touches. Vases were filled with clusters of white tulips, a long center table was dressed in beautifully embroidered lace tablecloths and topped with crystal stemware. We started dinner with our first dance to Lana Del Rey’s Lucky Ones. Tom being a chef, took charge of our menu selections together with the experts at Spice Catering.  Custom menus by Meg Morrow—who did all invitations for us—rested on each guest’s plate with a single hellebores. We decided to introduce one pop of color on the tables through Positano-inspired bread and butter plates, which is where we were honeymooning. After dinner, we offered guests a selection of cakes and lavender sablé cookies by French-trained Kimberly Coryea of Hummingbird Bake Shop.  The night concluded with Hemingway cigars on the terrace and guests dancing the night away.

Photography: Lauren Gabrielle Photography | Floral Design: Molly Taylor and Co. | Wedding Dress: Something White | cake: Hummingbird Bake Shop | Stationery : Meg Morrow Fine Paper | Ceremony Location : The Western Reserve Historical Society | Reception Venue: The Ballroom at Park Lane Villa | Bride's Shoes : Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | catering : Spice Of Life Catering Co. | Hair and Makeup: Beauty Therapy | lighting : Rock the House Entertainment | DJ : Cleveland Music Group | Tuxes : Menguin | ceremony music : Cleveland Music Group | Custom Veil: Miranda's Vintage Bridal | Dinnerware Rentals : Event Source | Draping: Sitting Pretty Linens | Linens : La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Lounge Furniture: Borrow Vintage + Eclectic Rentals | Planning and Design : A Charming Fete | Wedding Dress Designer : Lela Rose | bread and butter plates : All Occasions

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Opposite Styles Attract With This Beautiful Bridal Shoot

Hot and cold. Hard and soft. Sweet and spicy. A solid juxtaposition keeps you on your toes and that approach can even be applied to style and design. Case in point: the strong architectural lines from this bridal shoot mixed with the graceful gown and floralsit works perfectly and has us absolutely obsessed, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Carrie King captured the looks from every angle and we’re hoping there’s more of this approach in our future… opposites attract, isn’t that right?

From Carrie KingArchitecture and grace. Bridal portraits in Denver, Colorado. This inspiration came from mixing bold architecture with soft, neutral blooms, and a simple gown. The first few images are of the bride getting ready in the under slip of the gown. She is adorned with golf leaf and moody light. I hope you love it!

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Photography: Carrie King Photographer | Event Planning: Sarah Viera | Floral Design: Park Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Yolan Cris Haute Couture | Hair + Makeup: Angelina Loren Beauty | Bridal Accessories: Pronovias | Bridal Boutique: Emma & Grace Bridal | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Model: Victoria Chang | Ribbon: Silk & Willow

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5 Ways To Step Up Your Makeup Game

It is SO easy to get stuck in the same old beauty routine, and in turn fall victim to some of the most common makeup mistakes. I’m talking spidery lashes, blending issues, foundation overuse, dry lips, etc. We’ve all experience one or another (or all of the above!). Take your beauty beat to the next level with these 5 simple tips.

Use a Lash Primer

I personally love a more natural looking lash with a bit of added fullness. Mascara primer is a great way to achieve this look while avoiding the ‘spidery’ look. Tip: apply mascara before the primer dries, for a smooth application.

Blend Foundation Into Your Ears and Neck

Makeup should only go on your face, right? Wrong! Don’t forget to blend your foundation or powder into your ears and neck, right down to the collar bone. We love this multi-purpose brush for a seamless look. If you’re still running into blending issues you might have the wrong shade for your skin.

Go Beyond the Lid

Just like we talked about blending our foundation into the neck and ears above, think similarly when it comes to your eye makeup. If you’re focusing only on the lid, you’re probably ending up with a look that’s too harsh and dramatic. It’s all about the blend beauties. Pull that shadow right up to your brows, into the corners of your eyes and below your bottom lashes as well.

Foundation Overuse

A good rule of thumb when it comes to foundation is: focus on your problem areas. Rather than covering your entire face with foundation, start at those problem areas and blend outward. You want a bit of your natural skin to show through and why cover up the areas that are already winning?

Exfoliate Your Lips

One of the biggest mistakes I made for years and years was to neglect my lips. I always complained that my lips were too dry for lipstick, when really, I just needed to make exfoliating a part of my regular routine! This one is amazing and makes your pout feel super smooth any time of year.

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Sage Advice From This Insanely Artistic Bride

“If I wasn’t moved by something when wedding planning, I’d cut or rework it.” This right here, lovelies, is the ultimate advice. And the photos of this wise Bride’s wedding absolutely prove it! With a dream team including Flowerwild‘s creative direction and floral design, Twine Events‘ planning, Michael Radford’s images, Wade Koch’s cinematography, Team Hair and Makeup’s beauty skills, La Tavola’s and Found Vintage’s rentals (among many other talented vendors) and coupled with the Bride’s own artistic talents, these cuties created a day equal parts romantic and whimsical – with a healthy does of rockstar – that just may move you to tears, it’s so beautiful. The pictures and video speak for themselves, so we’ll leave you to it.

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From the Bride… I wanted every last detail of my wedding to evoke emotions from our guests and ultimately myself as well. That was my vision. If I wasn’t moved by something when wedding planning, I’d cut or rework it. I used that as my gut check throughout the process. We got married in wintertime at Rancho Dos Pueblos outside Santa Barbara, California. It was very important to me that the color palette and style fit both the region and the season. We chose stark, ivory whites, bright pops of burnt orange and citrusy corals with dark, moody greens, and we asked our guests to wear their version of winter whites as well. I felt it was essential that our wedding feel cohesive but not over-styled.

The ranch sits on an unspoiled portion of the California coastline, which is unique and rare. Our reception was in a rustic barn on the property. Overall the setting was striking, so Kate and I wanted to accent the barn with warm and approachable tones but also weave in some drama so when guests walked in, it would take their breath away – and that’s exactly what ended up happening. Soft linens intertwined with greenery were draped at the entrance revealing these insane, flower chandeliers Kate dreamt up. Kate custom-made metal spheres and covered them with citrus branches, climbing jasmine, rose vines, amaryllis; the effect was so mystical and enchanting. There were hundreds of dripping candles, which made the glassware twinkle. The tone for the night was magic for sure.

I’m an artist, so I provided all the art direction for the wedding. I designed the paper elements and crafted watercolor portraits for our invites, save the dates, and ceremony program. I also did all the calligraphy on the envelopes and hunted for antique stamps. I consulted with Stephanie Fishwick for the calligraphy on our main invitation; she is so talented, and her work was an inspiration for me throughout the paper process. I drew our escort cards by hand and pinned them with a fresh bay leaf from our home in Northern California – a subtle nod to the north. Our table numbers were stenciled then covered in vintage glitter glass; kind of a rockstar touch for a wedding on New Year’s Eve. I was able to make a ton of memorable and personal additions myself since I have experience with digitizing and printing. I had such a blast doing all of it.

An uncharacteristic cold snap hit Santa Barbara right before our wedding. I had to pivot and make some very last minute changes, which in the moment was heartbreaking. Due to weather, our team created a space for our ceremony in an old growth eucalyptus forest under a tent instead of on the beach as planned. The day of our wedding, out of nowhere, there was a gap in the storm and the clouds parted to reveal the gorgeous, California winter-weather that I had spent the last year dreaming about. After our perfect ceremony in the woods, my husband and I ran down to the beach; our hearts were so full. We couldn’t stop smiling, giggling, kissing, and holding each other as we watched the sun go down over the ocean. Emerging from the woods to walk on the beach as a newly married couple was absolutely my favorite moment. The turn of events two days prior gave birth to a scenario that could never have been planned. Nothing’s perfect about your big day, or life for that matter, but our fleeting moments on the beach in the sun, the way my new husband was looking at me, the spontaneity of it all – it was perfection.

You know when people say yes to the dress? I said yes to the veil. My veil was this insane horsehair cathedral creation that I fell in love with at first sight. I actually chose the veil before the dress. Leaves stuck to it in that perfectly messy way as I walked down the aisle, and it whipped around my husband and me as we climbed the rocks on the beach after our ceremony. It was the ultimate accessory. My dress was ridiculous. It was whimsical but not precious – almost like it had been lifted from a Shakespearean play – silk flower petals and chantilly lace were sewn all around with layers and layers of french tulle.

We worked with Flowerwild who made all of my weird, romantic, quirky flower dreams come true. I really wanted untraditional florals, and I knew she’d have fun carrying out my vision. She custom made an orb for our altar, which we were married under.

From the start we knew we wanted delectable food but a no frills menu so we asked our friends, Mark and Colette Evans, to BBQ. They did an amazing job and added such a fun element as our guests made their way down the “buffet line” aka several huge grills filled with killer BBQ goods. Since we asked everyone to wear white, we gave guests lobster bibs. It was casual, delicious, and romantic. Our cake was a perfect, “naked frosted” red velvet confection that I had five pieces of.

At the end of the day, your wedding is a huge party, and you are the host. Vibes don’t lie, so let your guests see your authentic self. Let them see you feeling all the feels and surrender yourself to that unique energy you get when you put everyone you love to death in one room. I also think having gratitude for everyone who is there to celebrate with you and your spouse will guarantee an unforgettable night.

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Photography: Michael Radford Photography | Cinematography: Sharkpig | Event Planning: Twine Events | Floral Design: Kate Holt Creative | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Lele's Patisserie | Invitations: Custom by Bride | Catering: Mark + Colette Evans | Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Calligraphy: Stephanie Fishwick | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | Band: Teahouse Company | Vintage Car: Tours A La Carte | Venue: Rancho Dos Pueblos | Bridal Shoes: Tabitha Simmons | Charcuterie: C'est Cheese | Creative Direction: Kate Holt Creative | Event Staffing: Top Shelf SB | Guitar: Anthony Ybarra | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Photo Booth: Brooke Courtney Photography | Rentals: Town And Country | Shuttles: Jump On The School Bus | Specialty Rentals: Found Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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3 Ways to Make Your Engagement Ring Sparkle

Between the proposal and the wedding, everyone who knows you, your mom, or your dog will want a firsthand look at your gorgeous ring!

All that extra love for the bling can mean extra wear and tear on your new most prized possession. Whether it’s fingerprints, lotion, hairspray, or day-to-day dirt. Here’s the best way to care for the sparkle in your life.


Rebecca Yale Photography


Simple Solution
This easy, at-home solution is the best way to clean all types of rings. It’s safe. And you can do it as often as you want (which is probably ALL the time when you’re newly engaged)!

Grab a small bowl and mix hot (almost too hot) water with a little dishwashing soap. Let the ring soak in the solution for 20-40 minutes. Then dry it with a soft cloth. If you use a full can of hairspray each month like I do, you might have a little extra buildup. Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean any residue or hard to reach dirt.

Note: This is not the time to take out your aggression. Be super soft and gentle while brushing – just like you speak to your fiancé. (Right?)


Tenth & Grace


Store Bought Tips
There are plenty of ready-made jewelry cleaners. Just make sure you check the label before dropping in your ring. It should be non-abrasive and chemical-free. Harsh chemicals can leave it discolored or break down the base metals. And any abrasive substance (like baking soda, toothpaste, or similar textures) can scratch your band – especially softer metals like gold.


Emilie Anne Photography


Professional Services
For a guaranteed shine, take your ring into a local jeweler. Some stores offer lifetime cleaning if you purchase your ring from them, so that’s a great option to check first. And if your insurance includes maintenance, then definitely take advantage of professional help.

The best part about using professional jewelers is they check the security of the setting before they clean. For bands – like pavé – with a lot of prongs, this could keep you from losing a diamond down the road.


Rebecca Yale Photography

When all you want is to stare at that glittering stone on your finger, a clean ring is a MUST. As long as you’re using a safe and gentle method, you can (and should) clean it as often as you feel.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Madeline Littrell is a corporate PR strategist and freelance writer. Born and raised in the South, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers. Madeline lives in Dallas with her Sheltie puppy, Tennessee.

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This Desert Wedding is Giving us MAJOR Secret Garden Vibes

I bet you a million dollars when you hear Parker Palm Springs, that iconic cement block entrance comes to mind or maybe those perfect hanging chairs or the lobby filled with kitschy decor. It all makes for killer photo ops so perfectly captured by Brandon Kidd. But on top of all that desert magic is an alfresco celebration filled with stunning florals by Kaleb Norman James Design and design details that are giving off major secret garden vibes.

How and when did you meet?
We met through a mutual friend at a concert in LA. We didn’t know she was planning to introduce us, but as soon as we met things just clicked and the rest is history. 

What is your fondest wedding moment?
Sharing our vows with each other—we didn’t share these in advance which made hearing them during the wedding extra special—and getting to spend the weekend with the people we love most, our family and friends.

Interesting facts about the couple?
We LOVE to travel, so it’s very fitting that we live in London right now and are definitely taking advantage of our time here to see as much of the world as we can together. Since we moved a year ago, we’ve traveled France (Paris, Nice, Cannes), Spain (Barcelona, San Sebastian), Switzerland (Geneva, Verbier), UAE (Dubai), Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Mt. Fuji)…and we’ll be going to Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Budapest and Italy later this year!

We also love music and have been to concerts all over the world together, including Paris, Barcelona, Liverpool, London, New York, Los Angeles, Coachella Valley, and more!

What is your advice to brides currently planning a wedding?
Get all the big things booked in advance, then relax and enjoy your engagement! We needed to do that since we were planning our Cali wedding from across the pond and wouldn’t have done it any other way. Then, when the big day comes, enjoy every minute of it and be selfish with your time. It goes by so fast and is truly the best day ever. We would relive that weekend over and over if we could! 

Three adjectives that best describe the day are?
• Whimsical
• Moving
• Unforgettable

What’s next for you as the couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?
Keeping our adventure alive—more imminently, enjoying life in London and lots of travel! Then, eventually returning home to LA to continue our adventure there.

Photography: Brandon Kidd Photography | Coordination: Kaleb Norman James Design | Floral Design: Kaleb Norman James Design | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture | Cake: The Parker Palm Springs | Invitations: Heirloom Paper Co. | Reception Venue: The Parker Palm Springs | shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Reformation | Catering: The Parker Palm Springs | hair and make up: Kelly Zhang | DJ: Dart DJ | favors: Susie’s Cakes | Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | video: revel weddings

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Have You Entered The Ultimate $10,000 Wedding Sweepstakes Yet?

It’s not every day you get the chance to win $10,000 worth of goodies for your wedding, but guess what? Our friends at Charles & Colvard are totally delivering the goods. They’ve teamed up with some of our fave industry leaders to bring you a sweepstakes that will make you AND your wedding budget happy with everything from dress credits to hair and makeup services to paper goods. Go ahead and jump up and down in excitement – we won’t judge.

We all know and love Charles & Colvard for redefining the standards of luxury and producing one heck of a beautiful gem – Forever One Moissanite. So when they told us they were teaming up with the likes of beGlammed, FiftyFlowers, Minted, Jenny Yoo and Casablanca Bridal for The Ultimate $10,000 Wedding Sweepstakes, we honestly couldn’t wait to share. It’s YOUR chance to celebrate in total style with the help of some of the best in the biz.

On your to-do list for today? Enter the Charles & Colvard Ultimate $10,000 Wedding Sweepstakes (don’t forget to follow the steps to receive an additional 12 entries!), then head to Charles & Colvard to check out all of the gorgeous must-haves for your Big Day. From a stunning Drop Halo Necklace to breathtaking engagement rings to eternity bands when you seal the deal, they’ve got you covered – and all at the fraction of the cost of a comparable diamond.

• $500 towards hair & makeup services
• $1,000 towards wedding flowers
• $1,000 towards wedding invitations
• $1,000 towards bridesmaid dresses
• $3,000 towards a gown & veil
• $3,500 towards ethically-sourced jewelry
For Official Rules & To Enter: CLICK HERE
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Italy Lovers, This Wedding Inspiration Is For You

With views like this, it’s no wonder our Italy archives are chock full of beyond gorg weddings, inspiration shoots and engagements. And today, we get to add yet another beauty, from Laura Bravi Events. Complete with an olive branch-adorned ceremony space, the prettiest shades of blue and al fresco dining to boot, this inspo is effortlessly elegant. Join me with Say Bre Photography in the gallery for even more.

From Laura Bravi… This love story takes place in a not too well known area of Italy, just above Tuscany: Emilia Romagna. This little slice of paradise is made of soft hills, olive groves, vineyards and ancient hamlets, small medieval villages and a lot of well kept secrets. We wanted to tell a story of timeless romance, of two soulmates promising each other their forevers, of delicate and classic details on a simple and authentic background.

This is the place we chose for this romantic elopement inspiration: a place that was secret, like the promises our bride and groom shared, delicately, like a whisper. Our bride and groom met for a first look shortly before their ceremony, before surprising each other with a more formal attire for their vow exchange. We designed an intimate space for this sacred moment, using an old gate as a backdrop, enriched with olive branches that looked like they were growing out of the ancient stone walls of the old barn, tall candles to bring a touch of romance and flowers overgrowing from old cauldrons that were found on the property. For the stationery we went with an all hand drawn suite, created by hand piece by piece and playing with grey and white Amalfi paper and a hand mixed grey ink.

For their dinner setting we chose a secluded spot and set a romantic table under the shade of a secular chestnut tree. We chose a cool grey linen and paired it with classic tableware. The decor included tiles called “cementine”, that have decoration motives that are typical of this area of Italy, to infuse some local elements into the design. The romance was amplified thanks to an abundance of blooms arranged flowingly in glass containers, and by the candles held by vintage brass candleholders.

The film photography helps capturing the mood of this celebration and it makes it freeze in time, gifting us with memories that will never fade or go out of fashion.

Photography: Say Bre Photography | Event Design: Laura Bravi Events | Floral Design: Grazie Dei Fiori Atelier | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Hair + Makeup: Barbara Montanari | Calligraphy: test | Venue: Il Castellazzo | Bridal Boutique: Boutique Alba | Headpieces: Guinevere vines | Silk Ribbon: Cocoon Silk Ribbon | Wedding Rings: My Golden Age

4 Tropical Honeymoons in North and Central America

It’s the destinations that offer both the adventure and the relaxation that you need after the big day and what better way to spend your honeymoon than close to home? You’ll be whisked to the white beaches of Mexico or the Volcanoes of Costa Rica in a short 3 or 4 hours.

This is North and Central America: A region full of startling geographical wonders, colonial heritage, and fascinating people. We’re sharing with you a taste of our favorites destinations and hotels from North and Central America (margaritas and sunshine included). Like what you see? Hop on over to Black Tomato to chat with a travel expert!


Mexico

With five days, countless spa treatments and centuries worth of history and tradition later, there’s no doubt that this is the tropical getaway that will impress both parties. The charm of the Yucatan Peninsula will sweep you off your feet (again) and have you falling right into honeymoon bliss. Lay by the pool and book a rejuvenating spa treatment at Chable Resort and Spa or step back in time and venture to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, famous for its ancient Maya ruins. 


Panama

The happiest place in the world sits in one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet — Bocas Del Toro. If you decide to venture to this archipelago, you can’t go wrong with staying at the luxury Cabana built over the water, a Black Tomato favorite.

Insider Tip: head to Panama City’s old quarter where you’ll find beautiful architecture and bohemian markets, perfect for exploring the city’s 400 years of history.


Hawaii

Relaxation on the calm ocean front, canoeing, cooking lessons, and many, many cocktail hours. Oh – and all this accompanied with breathtaking views of the surrounding coast lines.

Venture to the west coast of the Big Island in Hawaii and stay among the untouched tropical haven of Hualalai at Four Seasons. Suites are named after Hawaiian landmarks with subtle and elegant colors, and near any one of the properties seven pools. Make sure to check out the ‘kings pond’ for the 1.8 million gallon aquarium with over 4,000 tropical fish from more than 75 specifies swimming throughout. This has to be the most colorful pool anywhere in the world!


Nicaragua  

Nicaragua is the wild child and one of Central America’s best-kept secrets. It’s bold and expansive and can be explored in many ways. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a wellness retreat, or an adventurous escape, all signs are pointing to the Jicaro Eco Lodge.

Everything used in Jicaro is sustainably sourced, from the food on your plate to the bed you’ll rest your head on. You truly feel at home at Jicaro, among the luscious rainforest on the private island of Lake Nicaragua.

Want to head on a trip-of-a-lifetime a little farther than North and Central America? We’ve collaborated 12 OMG-worthy itineraries with the travel experts.

Style Me Pretty Contributor

These Two Got It Right: Only Choose Traditions Meaningful to You!

When half your guests are on one side of the world, and the other half are on the other, what do you do? Meet in the middle! This couple did that literally when choosing to celebrate their nuptials in Hawaii, but also figuratively when creating their ceremony. Instead of adhering to wedding traditions, they each picked one to represent their heritage (a Japanese sake ceremony for the Bride and breaking the glass for the Groom). Absolutely Loved was there to capture the meaningful day – complete with must-see florals by Passion Roots and planned by Engaging Moments – and it’s all waiting for you right here.

Colors
Settings
Beach Resort
Styles
Al Fresco

From the Bride… I had just transferred to the New York office for work and didn’t know too many people. I met Daren at a few work events and thought he was cute, but nothing came of it besides work-type conversation. That all changed when a mutual coworker, career mentor, and now our best friend hosted a weekend gathering that we were both invited to. That’s where we were able to talk outside of the work setting and really hit it off. The sparks started to fly immediately, and the rest is history. I should also mention that the coworker that hosted that gathering agreed to officiate our wedding, introducing us and then making it forever five years later!

Daren and I live in New York City, but since all my family and some of my friends live in Japan, we thought Hawaii was the perfect happy middle (and who doesn’t want to get married in Hawaii?). I also spent several summers in Hawaii as a young girl as my grandparents owned a second home in Honolulu, and I have very fond memories of this time. When we decided to get married in Hawaii, I remember as a little girl coming to the Kahala hotel and being in awe of its beauty. I checked out their website and talked to the very helpful wedding team, and I knew this was the perfect place for us!

Our goal for the wedding was to have a fun time with our close friends and family. We did not care to tick all the boxes of a traditional wedding and only incorporated traditions we enjoyed. We wanted to incorporate our different backgrounds, so we worked in both a Japanese sake ceremony and the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass. We also wanted to embrace the destination, so we had gorgeous white leis and personalized sunglasses for each guest. We had minimal decor with pale pink flowers to not take away from the ocean back drop and conveniently a double rainbow showed up during cocktail hour to decorate the skies!

I wanted something simple and less formal for my bridal look to match the scenery. I seriously think I saw thousands of dresses online (the selection is endless!) When I realized the ones I liked had a common theme – I really liked dresses with laces and ruching. I was able to find the perfect dress with ruching in the front and lace in the back which was simple but also unique. I thank Kleinfelds for helping me find the Romona Keveza dress that I always dreamed of!

For Daren, we wanted something a little more fun and less formal. His work suits are more traditional greys and dark blues, so he used the opportunity to wear a suit with a little more character and pop. The light blue felt right in terms of matching the venue and ocean backdrop while the pink tie was the added pizazz he thought was the perfect finishing touch. I certainly didn’t complain because it matched the flowers! He got the suit and shirt custom made from Sebastien Grey in NYC, and they did an amazing job!

My husband – who cannot speak a word of Japanese – decided that he wanted to deliver a speech to my parents…in Japanese. I remember that I nervously watched him stumble through his speech in a language he was not familiar with in an attempt to connect with my parents. which made me very emotional. I know that my parents felt it too, as my mom’s eyes flooded with tears. This moment meant so much to me on so many levels, and the emotion I felt is something I will never forget.

My advice for Brides-to-be: Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moment!


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Photography: Absolutely Loved | Event Planning: Engaging Moments | Floral Design: Passion Roots | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Hair + Makeup: Alison Hayashi | Venue: The Kahala Hotel & Resort

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Do You Dream of Arriving to Your Wedding in a Private Jet?

Picture this: You arrive to your nuptials in a private jet, get married in a chic celebration, and then make your grand exit as Mr. and Mrs. on a plane, ready to jet off directly to your honeymoon. Pretty dreamy, am I right? Well, ladies and gents, this is totally possible at Long Beach’s airplane hangar venue, The Modern. Complete the wedding inspiration with this beautiful styled shoot, created by Velvet Alley Events and Inspired Event Design and captured by Lucy Munoz. It’s chic, modern, and completely fitting of such a glam entry and exit on your wedding day.

The Velvet Alley Events team teamed up with our fellow friends at Inspired Event Design to pulled off one of most beautiful styled shoots of the summer. The Modern, located in Long Beach, CA, is a completely brand new renovated event space as of 2017. This venue was made for event planners or couples who have a crazy vision for design and want to run with it! Not only can this 11,000 square feet space be used for a lavish wedding, it can also be used for any event. We are honored to have had the opportunity to host the first of many styled shoots at this venue.

The pictures don’t do the space justice. When we stepped into the room for the first time, we felt like we were stepping into a clean and crisp architectural dream, with white walls and a stunning chandelier that adorned the vaulted industrial ceiling. Lucy Munoz Photography captured the essence of this extravagant place. The tall and sleek windows that surrounded the building filled the room with an abundance of natural light. Eros Film Production had a field day with planes flying in and out of the venue. Can you imagine flying into your wedding day and flying out on a private jet for your honeymoon that same night? Talk about taking romance to the next level!

The most glamorous chandelier in The Modern brought all of the Party Pleasers pieces together, especially their midcentury white chairs. Lauren Lauren Lauren’s modernized black and white invitations with Roar Design Co.’s transparent menus mirrored the shiny grey marble plates.

The best part of all of this is that we were able to get our hands on a Galia Lahav gown. It was the perfect touch to our design, and of course it stole the show. The dress was paired together with some simple statement pieces from Scout Mandolin jewelry. The hair and makeup team from Mobile Bridal Salon outdid themselves with a beautiful natural look on our Bride. The Groom absolutely rocked a slicked back hair style and a fancy Menguin Tux, along with some argyle socks from our friends at No Cold Feet. That little pop of color can make all the difference when trying to design an inspired event, which is why we had Rogue and Fox Floral Co. add on two vertical and vibrant backdrop art pieces to the ceremony. They were just what we were looking for, and the backdrops gave our design so much life.

We are so incredibly thankful for our insanely creative vendors who partnered with us for this Modernized Hanger Styled Shoot. It is always an adventure being able to organize and produce such quality and amazing designs.

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Photography: Lucy Munoz | Cinematography: Eros Productions | Event Planning + Design: Velvet Alley Events | Styling: Inspired Event Design | Floral Design: Rogue + Fox Floral | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Cake: Frost It Cakery | Jewelry: test | Hair + Makeup: Mobile Bridal Salon | Groom's Attire: Menguin | Venue: The Modern | Invitation Suite: Lauren Lauren Lauren | Menus, Table Numbers, + Calligraphy: Roar Design Co. | Rentals: Party Pleasers | Socks: No Cold Feet

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Need a Dose of Pretty? Look No Further.

If you were to look up the word “pretty” in an illustrated dictionary, this wedding would be the definition, no doubt about it. From the dress that I can’t stop staring at, to the florals, it’s just so, so good. Blue Rose Photography captured it all, giving us plenty of Pinterest material and Cabfare Productions’ film? Fabulously fun. Get ready to get pinning and pining over this beauty!

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From the Bride… After dating for four years, Jordan surprised me with a proposal in Oregon’s wine country, Willamette Valley on my birthday. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going or what we were doing that day… I had a feeling something was up because he seemed nervous. We walked through the vineyard where there was a table, two chairs, and a bottle of champagne just for us. I couldn’t help but notice someone walking through the vineyard then suddenly, a helicopter landed and he got down on one knee. Of course I said yes! I was so happy he noticed me dropping hints about how cool I thought photographed proposals were. We got on a helicopter ride around Portland! I was beyond excited and surprised! A year later, we moved to Portland as my fiancé started a cannabis production business. It was the first time moving away from home, so we wanted our wedding conveniently located near Seattle and to treat our special day like a reunion. Taking the opportunity to bring everyone together was so important to us! We decided on the beautiful Delille Cellars, the perfect setting to highlight the amazing summers we have in the Northwest. We felt blessed to be surrounded by 100 of our loved ones. It was an unforgettable night!

My advice for brides… Take a moment with your partner at some point in the day to take it all in! If that means doing a first look or taking time after your ceremony alone, it really makes a difference to remind each other to slow down because the day flies by so fast! We had lots of time during our first look and it made the day that much more special.

Write your own vows. Both of us were nervous to do vows in front of everyone at our ceremony. My pastor cousin and officiant, Kaj, convinced us to do personal vows. Kaj did an amazing job marrying us and it ended up being our favorite part of the night.

Hold someone accountable to ensure you stick to your wedding day timeline. Looking back we wished we would of had someone pushing us along so we could greet all of our tables. You will have no sense of time on your wedding day, so it’s almost impossible to keep you and your new husband on track.

All those crafts you want to do for your wedding… do them! The personal touches make it that much more special for everyone there and make your wedding more you no matter where you get married. I knew I wanted to honor our grandparents so I framed photos with their wedding dates. With so much practice writing envelopes, escort tiles, and wedding signs I discovered a new hobby, calligraphy.

Invest in the memories! We were so lucky to have talented vendors like Blue Rose Photography and Cabfare Productions for our videographer. It was important to us to have something to show loved ones that couldn’t be there, our kids someday, and for us! All those DIYs I worked on for hours on end, flowers, and guests having fun is what we didn’t have a lot of time to notice on the wedding day. We ended up with beautiful photos and film to look back on forever.

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Photography: Blue Rose Photography | Videography: Cabfare Productions | Event Planning: AlexisMarie Events | Floral Design: Bloomed Out | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Wedding Dress: The Dress Theory | Cake: Eat More Cake | Invitations: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Willows Lodge | Hair + Makeup: Beaute | DJ: Scott Dulin | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: DeLille Cellars | Rentals: Vintage Ambiance | Rentals: Seattle Farm Tables

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
How to Style Your Perfect Engagement Session

Engagement photos are such a great way of getting comfortable in front of the camera well before the Big Day. If you are having even slightest of hesitations about pulling off a gorgeous shoot, look no further than these tips from blogger and bride-to-be, Kaylee of The Blondielocks. She’s offering up 5 ways to personalize your engagement session and truly make it shine à la these pretty images captured by Will Reid Photography.

From the Bride, Kaylee of “The Blondielocks”… Since getting engaged a week before Christmas, I had been dreaming up my fiancé James and my engagement session with our photographer, Reid. It felt like it took forever for the warm weather to arrive in Canada but as soon as late May hit, we were eager to shoot our engagement photos at The Sand Dunes, a beautiful beach with rolling dunes, a calm lake, and desert like vegetation, just a few hours outside of busy downtown Toronto. Being a blogger, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to being creative, but when it came to our engagement session, I wanted to make sure that neither myself nor my fiancé felt pressure to achieve “perfect photos” (re: one of my tips below) as this was supposed to be a carefree, memorable experience to share with the person I’m spending the rest of my life with.

We took a very calm and authentic approach to our engagement photos which I think alleviated the pressure of achieving the perfect photos and in turn allowed the love we feel for each other and the excitement about spending the rest of our lives together really shine through. Below I’m sharing 5 ways in which we styled our engagement photos to reflect us as a couple that will hopefully help you in the process of planning your future engagement session!

Make Sure your photographer Suits Your Style: Choosing a photographer before you begin planning your engagement session is one of the most important aspects to guarantee that you will be happy with the outcome of your photos. Most likely, the photographer you choose to shoot your engagement session will be the photographer who will photograph your wedding, so it is important to not only love the photos that they take but to also feel that you have a connection with them. My fiancé James and I love fine art wedding photography shot on film, so we knew immediately that we wanted Reid of Will Reid Photography (formerly known as When He Found Her) to shoot our photos as his body of work really encapsulated the type of photos we were looking to have for ourselves. Finding a wedding photographer can be intimidating, but if you know the type of photography you like, then it will be easier to scout a wedding photographer online, on Instagram, or through a friendly recommendation.

Pick a Location that suits you as a couple: Choosing a location is a huge part of what will make your engagement photos unique to you as a couple, as quite simply, it reflects the type people that you are. If you love being by the water, have a seaside engagement session. Or, if you flourish in the hustle and bustle of the big city, a skyline backdrop at sunset would be beautiful! James and I decided that we wanted something very calming, casual yet unique so we opted for a beach with rolling dunes at sunset which we feel reflected us as an easy going, carefree couple.

Rules of dressing: What you wear for your engagement session is probably one of the most important aspects of how your photos will be conveyed. There are a few rules that I followed when it came to choosing looks for our engagement photos and they are as follows…

Dress stylishly yet timelessly: Choose outfits that are stylish and that fit your personality but ultimately choose outfits that you will look back on 10 years from now and have no regrets about wearing. Try to stay away from anything that is too trendy or graphic, and stick to solid colours, or classic patterns like stripes. Wear clothing that you feel comfortable in as ultimately, you want to feel 100% you when your photos are being taken. Tip* If you can, change into your outfits when you arrive at your engagement photo destination as this will keep your clothing from becoming wrinkled. Coordinate but don’t match: Couples who match their clothing can be adorable but for your engagement session, I think that it’s best to go for a coordinating look as opposed to something too matchy-matchy. If you are coordinated nicely your photos will come across looking much more authentic than say matching his tie to your dress. Choose an outfit that matches the location: While I love to wear heels, I decided that because our photos were being taken on a sandy beach that I’d skip the pumps and opt for flat, lace-up sandals as they were more aligned (and more comfortable) for the location we were in; just as a tux on James would probably clash with the backdrop. Try to think about where you will be shooting your photos and what type of clothing would look best for the environment you are in. Ask for help When/Where needed: For our engagement session, I wanted to look the best I could and really didn’t want to stress over my hair, so I decided to have it styled professionally as well as asking my friend who is an incredible florist to create a flower comb that added a little something extra and very “me” to complete the look. Whether it’s your hair, makeup, or ideas for props (we had a simple, loose bundle of flowers used in some of our photos because I love flowers) don’t feel as though it’s wrong to ask for help. I think that pampering yourself a little bit before your engagement photos is a great way to relax and will leave you feeling your absolute best for the photos ahead.

Don’t overthink it:  Wedding planning can be overwhelming, so the engagement session should be a time where you can relax as a couple and just enjoy being together. For those that aren’t used to having their photos taken, I’d suggest that you lovely ladies let your partner know what to expect during the engagement session. By simply showing your partner what your photographers’ photos look like it will give your guy a good idea of the style you’re going for and some ideas for how he should pose and interact with you, his fiancé. Your photographer should also help you out if you need some direction, so don’t feel surprised or uncomfortable if they move your positions slightly, it’s all for the photo!

Photography: Will Reid Photography | Floral Design: Blush And Bloom | Hair Stylist: Chris Wood | Stylist: Kaylee Giffin

This Couple Met Above the Clouds, Literally!

I feel absolutely blessed to experience others’ love stories for a living. Love and (pretty details) for a living ain’t bad my friends. If you’re an avid SMP reader, you get to experience that love on the daily, too. Today’s story is ridiculously romantic. This adorable duo literally met above the clouds, on a jet of course! Once you’re done admiring Charlotte Jenks Lewis‘ imagery, read the Bride’s writeup to find out just exactly what these two chatted about on that first-meeting flight and how it inspired their wedding day.

From the Bride… Jacob and I met in truly the most serendipitous of ways: on an airplane from Florida to New York! It was January 8, 2011; I was on the way home from a Disney trip with friends and Jacob was coming home from a business trip. While I maintain Jacob was totally unhelpful as I struggled to put my bag in the overhead bin, he has a very different memory of the entire encounter! Either way, once he pulled out an obscure book written by a historian I love, we started talking. Two hours flew by, and the rest was history!

As two history nerds, when Jacob and I got engaged we knew we wanted to create an elegant museum wedding with a classic New York City feel that also incorporated organic elements through the use of outdoor space. With that in mind, our design inspiration quickly became Elegant, Organic, and Modern. After looking at a few historic New York venues, we saw the Museum of the City of New York. A classic Georgian mansion with a striking marble staircase that served as my aisle and a beautiful brick-inlaid terrace overlooking Fifth Avenue and scenic Central Park, we knew we had found the perfect venue. Aiming to play up the museum’s dramatic design elements rather than trying to overpower them, our color palette featured marble, ivory, pale grey, and blush rose for the ceremony, while the rest of the evening featured mauve, plum, green, and gold.

Coming down the marble staircase and seeing Jacob grinning up at me and the smiling faces of 185 of our closest friends and family is a moment I’ll never forget. With the museum’s light installation glittering above me as I rounded the spiral staircase, I remember thinking that this moment was uniquely wonderful and just right. And from there, the night only got more incredible; we kept one of the museum’s exhibits open for our guests to explore, the food was delicious, and our amazing band kept everyone on the dance floor all night long. At the end of the night, we gave our guests airplane-shaped bottle openers as favors, with tags on them reading, “From Delta 1296 to 5.20.2017…” as an homage to our unlikely meeting story.

Our wedding was the absolute most fun, exciting, and special day of our lives, and we feel so lucky to have been able to celebrate our love with the people most important to us. So, my one piece of advice for brides on their big day? Do your best to stay truly mindful and in-the-moment for each part of the day. Remember that everything will inevitably fall into place, and as for the things that don’t, no one will be the wiser, so dance the night away with people you love and have the BEST time!

Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography | Videography: NST Pictures | Planner: C&G Weddings | Floral Design: Flwr Studio | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Invitations: Fourteen-Forty | Shoes: Converse | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Great Performances | Hair and Makeup: Face Time Beauty Concierge | Lighting: Stortz Lighting | Tuxedo: Alabaster & Chess | Wedding Venue: Museum Of The City Of New York | Tent: Stamford Tent & Event Services | Chuppah Frame: Chuppah Studio | Cufflinks: Heirloom | Groom's Shirt: Paul Stuart | Groom's Shoes: Hugo Boss | Groom's Watch: Breitling | Music: Elan Artists | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Vest and Bowtie: Brooks Brothers

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
5 Alternatives to a Traditional Wedding Registry

Many modern couples live together and complete their homes long before tying the knot—which means they don’t have a need for traditional registries. But just because their home is complete, doesn’t mean other aspects of their lives are.

Whether you need help funding your honeymoon, want to donate to charity, or simply want cash, there’s a registry out there for you.


HONEYFUND
Weddings are expensive, and couples often forget to leave room in their budget for a honeymoon. It’s also becoming much more common for brides and grooms to wait a few months before jetting off into honeymoon bliss. For those couples, a site like Honeyfund is a great option. Create a profile with all the information you have about your trip and “register” for things like a couple’s massage, upgraded seats on the flight, or a larger suite. When guests gift you one of these, it automatically goes into your account and keeps track of what you’ve received just as a traditional registry does.

CHARITY REGISTRY
For the couples who want to make their wedding a charitable event, there are tons of options for gifting to charity. You can select a specific charity and have your guests write out checks to them or you can use sites like Simple Registry or Blueprint Registry that let you add “fundraising” to your registry, in addition to more traditional items.


Steve Steinhardt Photography

ZOLA
If you want to give your guests options, Zola is the best way to do it. The site is tailored for modern couples and lets you create a registry that incorporates home items, honeymoon funds, experiences, jewelry and even cash all in one place. Plus, the site offers free shipping on all tangible items and only charges a credit card processing fee for cash gifts. The bride and groom can even exchange gifts they receive before they reach their door or convert items they don’t want into Zola credit to shop for themselves.

GIFT CARD REGISTRY
Do you know what stores you love, but don’t have the time to pick out specific items? Opt for a gift card registry. Card Avenue is a great option, allowing guests to purchase gift cards from your stores of choice. The site has cards from over 250 stores and even offers discounts on certain ones. And the best part? It only takes about five minutes to set up so you can move on to other things, like picking out your invites!

Kelsey Combe Photography

NO REGISTRY
This one may seem a bit too alternative to many, but if you’re just hoping for checks or cash, the best way to do so is by not having a registry at all. Guests won’t show up to a wedding empty handed (at least we hope so!), and if they have no registry to guide them, they will just resort to checks. It’s the simplest way to do this and allows you to cross something else off your to-do list!

 


Coco Tran

No matter which registry type you choose, just make sure your guests are aware of your option and understand how to use it. While these methods are becoming more common, they are still confusing to many older guests. Post on your website with detailed instructions and be prepared to answer questions about your alternative choice. Happy registering!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Jessica Tzikas is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager from South Florida, who recently moved back to the sunshine state after living in Philadelphia for the past few years. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading by the beach, practicing yoga, and exploring nearby towns with her new husband.

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
If You’re Going to Elope, Do it Here.

I’m betting the thought of eloping has crossed your mind a time or two—I totally considered it! And if I had done it, this is the exact scene I would have dreamed of. A charming chateau in France, a simply elegant tablescape and loads of blooms. Crafted by Firefly Events and Wanderlust Wedding, for Sylvie Gil‘s annual workshop, there’s plenty of inspiration for the taking—right here.

From Teissa at Firefly EventsOur bride and groom met at a secret black tie masquerade ball in Burgundy. They saw each other from across the room and were instantly drawn to one another. They spent the rest of the evening together and decided then and there to elope. They snuck away to a nearby abandoned chateau and tied the knot just the two of them. The next day they sent word to a few of their closest friends to join them in an intimate celebration. Sylvie’s yearly workshop is a fine art photography retreat in a luxurious 18th century Chateau in Burgundy, France. This year she hosted seventeen photographers for one week of intensive, hands-on styling workshops, business classes, and photography practice with industry experts.

Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Floral Design: Floresie | Cake: Apoline Cake Design | Cake: Nine Cakes | Shoes: Bella Belle | Jewelry: Bekah Anne | Rings: Susie Saltzman | Hair & Makeup: Little Miss Make Up | Calligraphy: Plume Calligraphy | Grooms' Attire: The Black Tux | Business Class: Shanna Skidmore | Furniture Rentals: Options | Gowns: Costarellos | Gowns: Vera Wang | Gowns: Claire Pettibone | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Lingerie: Claire Pettibone | Lingerie: Odile de Changy | Macarons: Muriel Arcos | Masks: Curious Fair | Paper Products & Gifts: Yonder | Planning & Design: Firefly Events | Production Design: Wanderlust Wedding | Rentals: Vaisselle Vintage | Rentals: Orchidee De Soie | Ring Boxes: The Mrs Box | Tabletop Ceramics: Hortense Montarnal | Workshop: Chateau de Varennes

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A Fashion Blogger Turned Boho-Chic Bride

Ever the laid back Bride, Meggan of Somewhere, Lately, opted to let her planner, Lauren, from Amy Abbott Weddings + Events take the lead on creating the relaxed, boho-chic wedding she was dreaming of. As you can see from the breathtaking photos captured by Anna Gomes and the video by Cinematic Touch, Lauren did not disappoint. From the all-white Show Me Your Mumu Bridesmaids’ dresses to the rustic ceremony arch, every detail was beachy perfection. We seriously cannot pick a favorite!

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From the Bride… Kyle and I decided on getting married in Cabo because we love the beach. I was a very laid back bride and let my wedding planner, Lauren, take the reins. I knew whatever she picked would be gorgeous and had total trust in her. I told her lots of florals, gold, lace, and wood accents for a relaxed, boho-chic vibe. She made my vision come to life, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

We got married on the beach at Cabo Azul, which is in San Jose del Cabo. It’s private compared to the beach downtown, so you don’t have to worry about beach-goers in the background of your pictures. My grandpa officiated our wedding, which made it extra special. After the ceremony, our guests walked right up to Javiers for cocktail hour, which included a mariachi band, yummy cocktails, and appetizers. The reception was right next to cocktail hour, which made it easy for guests to get around. We started the reception with our first dance and then had everyone come and join us on the dance floor. It was so much fun to get some dancing in before dinner started and really set the tone for the party! Kilometro Band played, and they did not disappoint. After dinner and speeches, we danced the night away. It was a night we will never forget!

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Photography: Anna Gomes | Cinematography: Cinematic Touch | Event Planning: Amy Abbott Events | Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo | Ceremony Venue: Maria Villafane | Reception Venue: Maria Villafane | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Hair + Makeup: Blanc Bridal Salon | Band: Kilometro | Bride: Somewhere, Lately | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Flora Farms | Rentals: Del Cabo Weddings

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Stop Everything And Enter This Giveaway (Seriously)

In case you missed it, last week we announced the best New York Fashion Week giveaway ever, aka, a celebration of one of our fave weeks of the year with all kinds of amazing goodies for YOU. From access to an exclusive fashion show to a $1,500 credit + appointment at Kleinfeld to travel and lodging, we’re setting you up for a trip of a lifetime, bestie included.

What: The New York Bridal Fashion Week giveaway of a lifetime.

Who: One lucky SMP reader + Guest.

Entry Dates: September 7 – 21, 2017

Winner Selection: September 22, 2017

To Enter & Official Rules: Click Here

You know what’s better than New York Fashion Week? New York Fashion Week on us. Which is why we teamed up with some of our fave industry leaders to put together a giveaway that will have you experiencing the city in total luxury with that special someone of your choosing. Think a stay at Innside by Melia NYC, blow outs from Glam and Go and robes from Plum Pretty Sugar… perfect for lounging around your swank hotel. Don’t miss your chance at this fun-filled getaway, you guys – enter now.

Bridal Bootcamp Week 6 — The Big Day Is So Close!

Welcome to Week 6, gals! How are you doing? Peter and I are so inspired by all of you and your dedication to this program. Hopefully you’re feeling inspired by each other, too!

The last few weeks of any program is when we start to see people fall off. You’re tired, your body wants a break, you think, “I’ve already done five weeks of work, that’s probably plenty.” So this is a good time to find an accountability buddy – someone who won’t let you off the hook and will help make sure you finish out the next three weeks stronger than ever.

In health coaching, we ask our clients how they will be accountable to their action steps (like planning to work out three times a week). Clients literally can’t leave the session without thinking through a strategy for staying on top of their goals. They’ll plan to leave sticky notes on the bathroom mirror or the coffee pot or they’ll set alarms in their phones, but more often than not they recruit a friend to keep themselves on track.

Last week my darling friend and fellow health coach, Natalie, reminded me how impactful it can be to have an accountability buddy. I was in desperate need of some structure in my schedule, so she and a few other girlfriends gave me a gift card to purchase a new planner (I’m so old school, I know). After that gesture of kindness, I really had no choice but to go out and buy the damn planner.

Who in your life can you enlist to help you finish these workouts? Who won’t let you off the hook? As much as Peter and I would love to be this for all of you, we can’t. So find this person and give them permission to whip you into shape.

On another note, how has the nutrition part of the program been going for you? Now that it’s somehow already fall, we’re going to be eating spaghetti squash this week – it’s a low-carb alternative to pasta that still feels hearty and comforting. My recipe cuts a few corners so you don’t have to make the sauce completely from scratch, you just fancy it up with a few extra ingredients to save time.

Share pictures of your meals or your fitness progress with us on social media using #SMPBootcamp! We love love love hearing from you! Have a great week, my dears!

 

View Whole Bridal Bootcamp Here!

XO,

Molly

Molly Winding is a freelance writer and health coach who splits her time between Vail and Denver. She is a foodie, health nut, and lover of books, movies, and meditation. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her spending time outside with her fiancé and their goldendoodle. Follow her @windmol!

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese – #SMPBootcamp
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese - Diet ApprovedDelicious Fall recipe that make amazing leftovers for meal prep!
prep time
20 Minute/s
cook time
1 Hour/s
total time
1 Hour/s 20 Minute/s
Serves 4Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce (with no sugar added – be sure to read the labels for this)
  • ¾ cup diced carrots
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Splash of milk or half and half
  • Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil; add salt and pepper
  3. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 35-45 minutes
  4. While the squash is baking, pour the spaghetti sauce into a pan on the stove, adding the diced carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk/half and half, covering and letting it simmer over low-medium heat
  5. While the sauce is cooking, brown the ground turkey on the stove over medium-high heat
  6. Add the ground turkey to the sauce once it is fully cooked, letting the sauce simmer on low until the spaghetti squash is finished baking
  7. After taking the squash out of the oven, flip each half over and use a fork to scrape out the insides
  8. For serving, place 1 cup of squash in a bowl and top with the meat sauce, adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for flavor. Enjoy!