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5 Rules for a Modern Wedding Without Sacrificing Tradition

If you’re a bride who loves a major dose of modern but would rather not kick tradition to the curb – then we’ve got just the thing for you! Throughout this gorgeous shoot at the Taylor Grady House, our friends Christy from Colonial House of Flowers and Savan from Savan Photography will take you through the steps to perfecting a traditional wedding with a modern twist. Trust us, not only are these tips genius – they’re also super easy to follow! (P.S. if you haven’t already seen Christy’s recipe for a Pinterest-worthy wedding bouquet, check it out here!)


1. Choose a traditional venue, and run free with florals.

From the vendor team… When Los Angeles based photographer, Savan Photography said she was coming to Georgia and commissioned a classic, yet modern garden style bouquet, we were nervous but knew exactly what we needed to do. Honestly, when she said she’d meet me at the National Historic Landmark: The Taylor Grady House we knew we could create a story that had yet to be written if you know what we mean. When you choose a venue with so much heritage, you can run free with the florals to infuse a moody, unexpected, classic with a twist vibe that is alllll you, girl! :)


2. Go for muted tones with a pop of color.

We chose garden rose spray roses for a traditional base, as we layered upon the roses with muted toned hellebores in purple-ish and green. You can refrain from too much color in the petals — to allow the colors of the flower’s details to show through. Like the yellow center of that Peony. I mean, he’s everything AND a bucket of sunshine. Finally, for a whimsical surprise, tuck in white flowers plucked like we did from the property. Plus, a few pretties like butterfly ranunculus. A trendy flower recipe doesn’t have to be expensive.


3. Balance the refinement of the venue with wild, untamed arrangements.

In this case, we wanted to create something rebellious yet respectful of the history of The Taylor Grady House. The place is elegant and refined and to balance that we need some good old fashioned blooms plus spunk. The Taylor Grady House represents the classic Greek Revival architectural style that Athens is famous for. So, in places like this you can take risks with things like flowers — and go wild and crazy because the natural aesthetic of the place is already stately. It makes things warmer and more inviting when there is balance, a certain rawness of imperfection is needed. So, when the rules are already in place like this – you can break them down and rewrite them. Choose your favorite flowers in muted tones. And, just go for it. That’s what we did!


4. Opt for a classic color palette that will never go out of style.

As far as the color palette for the linens we wanted to keep in classic as much as possible. Trends come and go, but keeping a classic color palette is timeless. That is why we decided to go with a rich navy blue and using the rich texture of velvet brings me back to the southern and old colonial days of using velvet in their homes. We also added modern elements such the flatware dipped in white ceramic leaving the exposed gold and the stark white plate for that clean modern look.


5. Add personal touches in unique ways.

When you choose a location that seems to have boundaries because 1000’s of people have had events there before you, you can trespass those limits by adding personal touches like your absolute favorite flowers in ways they’ve never been done before — whether bought from the store or picked from the grounds yourself, arranged by someone else or by you!

Photography: Savan Photography | Design: Like the Dazzling weddings | Floral Design: Colonial House of Flowers, Est. 1968 | Wedding Dress: Enaura Bridal | Cake: cake envy | Hair & Makeup: Erin Ryser | Calligraphy : Kelsey Malie Calligraphy | Men's Attire: Stich & Tie | Wedding Venue: The Taylor-Grady House | Bouquet Wrap: Eco Fresh Bouquet | Campanula Flowers: American Grown Flowers | Candles : 100 Candles | Flower Wholesale: Mayesh Wholesale Florist | Linens: Party Crush Studio | Location: Athens, Georgia | Model: Heather Wall Photography | Ribbon: Silk and Willow | Ring Box: Lace Byrd | Roses: Rosaprima | Specialty Rentals: The Prissy Plate Company | Tables + Chairs : Barrons Rental Store | Vessels: Accent Decor

An Elegant English Garden Wedding at The Ryland Inn

We love a bride who takes the opportunity to make her wedding day as personalized as possible. This beautiful english garden-inspired day at The Ryland Inn was full of special moments that represented the bride’s Caribbean background – such as steel drums playing during the ceremony and a surprise cultural dance performed by her cousin during the reception. Lucky for us, Cassi Claire was their to capture every meaningful detail of the day, while Twisted Willow Flowers dressed the classic white venue in pretty greenery and blooms. Check out the full gallery right here!

From the photographer, Cassi ClaireMatt and Nidia’s wedding day at The Ryland Inn was INCREDIBLE! When I meet a bride who loves the little details as much as I do, I’m basically in heaven. Each item Nidia chose for her day was both thoughtful and beautiful! Being from St. Vincent originally (a tiny island in the Caribbean), Nidia had steel drums playing during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Nidia’s cousin performed a high-energy cultural dance routine as a surprise to all her guests.

One of their signature cocktails was inspired by their first trip abroad to Costa Rica. Even her glittery Jimmy Choo shoes held special meaning as she bought a matching pair for her sweet sister! The care that Nidia and Matt put into every choice was so evident. The care they put into each other was so evident! I can’t gush enough about these sweet souls! 

From the Bride… We’re using white as the main backdrop to create a timeless, elegant and fun event for our guests. I want our guest to feel like it’s one big party to let loose and celebrate love. Our colors are white and greenery with gold elements. Channeling an English garden, our centerpieces will be a mix of long garlands filled with lush, white flowers and low centerpieces of white mix flowers and intertwined with greenery, all arranged by Twisted Willow Flowers. Finishing off the tables will be both tall and votive candles. For our ceremony we will have a wedding arch filled with semi-unstructured white flowers and greenery running throughout the arch.

One special touch, my father has built a wooden ladder which will serve as place to display our pictures of us and our loved ones. As an ode to my island roots we are surprising everyone with a steel band for our ceremony and cocktail hour. We want the music and rhythms to create an island vibe at the event. Our His and Hers signature cocktail have fun names, paying homage to my island background and his American roots. Lastly, my dress by Maggie Sottero is a classic fit with sleeves coming against my shoulders. The unstructured white bouquet will be the perfect addition to my attire. A pop of color will come from Matt’s navy and black tux.

Photographer: Cassi Claire | Florist: Twisted Willow Flowers | Cake: La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe | Invitations: Hudson Paperie | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: JLM Couture | Makeup Artist: Jamie Saunders | Hair Stylist: BeYOUtiful Bride | Calligraphy: Write Pretty For Me | Men's Attire: The Black Tux | Bride's Dress Boutique: Jaehee Bridal | Bride's Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero | Ceremony & Reception: Ryland Inn | Music: POSH Entertainment | Steel Drums: Feelin’ Irie | Vow Books: Blush Paper Co

The Ultimate Guide for a Pinterest-Worthy Wedding Bouquet

Designing your wedding bouquet is just as important as picking out your wedding dress or finding the perfect pair of pumps to match! There are so many elements to creating your dream bouquet – so lucky for us, our girl Christy from Colonial House of Flowers is sharing the ultimate guide to a Pinterest-worthy bouquet! If that wasn’t exciting enough, we’re also sharing this gorgeous shoot from Colonial House of Flowers, Holly Diana Floral and Katrina Barrow Photography that will surely be the prettiest thing you’ve seen all day (ok, more like all week…)

From Colonial HouseFlowers are my strong suit and helping others is my love, so when Holly Diana Floral asked me to give a Private 1 Day Workshop I couldn’t resist. Holly is young and passionate and opening her own flower shop in McRae, Georgia this December. How strong and perfect is that?! As it turns out, this is Holly’s very first editorial shoot, first time on film. Her cousin is even the model – and with all the emotions and love in the room it is just perfect.

The flower recipe I created especially for Holly’s Pinterest worthy bouquet included all the things she loves – especially the color pink! Foraged Pampas grass and garden clippings plus blushing bride protea, garden roses, ranunculus, snowberries, and good ol’ Lisanthus. You won’t believe that it was a family affair, but Holly even brought her Mom along. If you are looking for the epitome of a Georgia celebration, look no further than this monochromatic bouquet tied with hand spun silk ribbon.

It’s aways great to collaborate with creatives but especially a brand NEW one like Holly Diana Floral. More, it’s inspiring to see the leaders in the room – the photographer, the make up artist, the dress shop really bring their A game and show a newbie how it’s done. This episode gives me great love of our industry and all the kindness that lives here and is shared. We wanted to create a bouquet for Holly’s portfolio that is etherial, timeless, loose, natural, organic and classic. We wanted the editorial to really reflect who she is and get her career off to a great start – full of of love and beautiful blooms. We collected, took notes, processed, researched and shared so much that day… And the editorial portion of the private meeting exudes all of that… All that she learned is in there. And, most importantly the gift of friendships and mentors and guidance and nice people. Kindness matters for the growth and strength of our industry.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR A PINTEREST-WORTHY WEDDING BOUQUET

1. Choose flowers you love. The truth is, every flower is beautiful, so it can feel like an impossible feat to decide which flowers to use in your wedding bouquet! Don’t get caught up in using a flower that’s trendy at the moment or get stuck with idea that you can only choose a few – let your bouquet represent the flowers that you love with your whole heart, as many as that may be!

2. Consider shapes. When creating your wedding bouquet, it’s important to consider the shape of the flowers and the bouquet itself. If you’re going for an organic, asymmetrical bouquet – consider using spray roses, ranunculus and a mixture of leafy greens. If a formal round bouquet is more your style, stick to a single type of flower like roses or peonies. 

3. Consider the movement of the bouquet. Everyone knows a good Pinterest-worthy bouquet has that extra element of movement. Choose dainty long stem flowers to float or dance throughout the arrangement, you won’t believe how much it will transform the look of your bouquet with a major dose of beauty!

4. Make it meaningful. Is there a certain flower that your fiancé gave to you on your first date? What about a native flower from the spot where you got engaged? Choose blooms from places or times in your life that are special to the two of you. You can even consider flowers from your yard, like the pampas grass that Colonial House of Flowers and Holly Diana Floral used in this editorial shoot!

5. Choose a base color. Even though you can totally play with many different types of flowers, it’s best to choose one tone like pink to work with as your base for an elegant and artistic look.

6. Remember – imperfection is beautiful! Allow yourself the freedom to be rebellious and free to naturally use new flowers or new techniques. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful! Relax. And, make the wedding bouquet of your dreams!

Above all,  flower recipes need three things:
1. Meaning
2. Texture & Variety
3. Story

The ingredient list below has all three and more that combine to make the greatest final treat that will be savored for years to come thanks to the beautiful film photography of Katrina Barrow Photography.

INGREDIENTS FOR TODAY’S PINTEREST-WORTHY BOUQUET
Anemone Magenta
Bouvardia Pink
Dahlia Ball Hot Pink
Dahlia Blush
Dianthus Gypsy
Lisianthus Blush
Nerine Hot Pink
Phlox Pink
dutch bright eyes
Ranunculus Clooney Hanoi Light Pink
Ranunculus Dark Pink
Ranunculus Pink
Rose Garden Bridal Piano Pink
Rose Madre La Pearla
Spray Rose Garden Moonstone Blush
Spray Rose Garden Topaz Gem Hot Pink
Tulip Frilly Edge Pink
Veronica Pink
Yarrow Cottage Pink
Pampas Grass

Photography: Katrina Barrow Photography | Floral Design: Holly Diana Floral | Dress: Bleu Belle Bridal | Make Up : MyBlushing Brides | Hair: Brianna Adams | Floral Direction: Colonial House of Flowers, Est. 1968 | Flower Source: Mayesh Wholesale Florist | Roses: Rosaprima | Tulips: American Grown Flowers

Luxe Vintage California Barn Wedding at Park Winters

There are some things you simply cannot plan for when it comes to weddings. For instance, the perfect golden hour that shines through these captures by Aloha Fotografia. Or, the incredibly powerful way these two interact with each other. Can you stand it? Their love is so bright and bold, it’s hard not to stare. With the help of With Grace and Love Events, this day celebrated that love so beautifully.

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From Aloha FotografiaRayna and Lohan were just two single twenty somethings when they met each other in 2015 in Brazil. Rayna lived there back then and Lohan was spending part of his vacation in Goiania – his family’s city. They had been “virtually” introduced some time ago by a mutual-cupid-friend that had lived for a while in California and told Rayna wonders about this sweet guy that – according to her – had everything to do with her.

Then, while they were both in Brazil, they went out, spent time together in Rio, fell in love and decided to embark on this exciting yet uncertain love story. One that they didn’t know where would take them. They knew just one thing: their love wasn’t ordinary and even thousands of miles would not keep them apart.

After over a year of long distance relationship, multiple trips back and forth from one continent to the other, in 2017 Rayna moved to California to start a new life with Lohan. During a trip they took to Montauk in August of the same year, he proposed to her on a stunning afternoon during sunset – her favorite time of day. Of course she said YES! They both were thrilled they got engaged in such a special phase of their relationship and since that day, they started putting a lot of time and thought into the planning of their big day.

Their ceremony took place at an exquisite country luxury estate, with a Victorian mansion, several green areas and gardens, modern pool area, a charming dinner patio and a sophisticated barn. The layout of the property allowed the guests to transaction from welcome drinks – held at the front lawn of property, to the ceremony at one of the gardens, cocktail hour by the pool, dinner on the patio underneath whimsical lights with live acoustic music, and dancing in the barn.

The lovebirds’ concept for their wedding was an enchanted forest for the ceremony, with stumps intertwined with baby’s breath throughout the aisle. The altar was composed of a four post arch with lush greenery and flowers dangling and intertwined; several stumps were also placed throughout the base of the altar. The enchanted forest concept was carried throughout the rest of the event with wooden pieces, fine touches of tile pottery and several candles on the dinner tables. Candles, greenery and stumps composed the dessert table as well, carrying the enchanted forest feel into the barn.

Different types of Brazilian sweets were placed on the dessert table along with a beautiful cake and delicate flower arrangements. The bride and groom love how pictures are physical fragments of memory, therefore they created a seating chart with polaroid pictures from each guest. The final charming touch for the décor was a magnificent flower wall, in front of which all guests could photograph themselves with polaroid cameras and register their special moments; the idea was for them to take pictures, keep some and attach others on the newlyweds’ custom guest book with a special message for them.

Finally, the guests couldn’t leave before taking with them a special farewell treat, a Brazilian “Bem Casado”, translated literally as “well-married”, which traveled over 6000 miles to make their guests happier at the end of the night. An amazing team of vendors from Brazil and California were responsible in making Rayna and Lohan’s idea come to life and they could not be happier with how everything turned out.

Photography: Aloha Fotografia | Florist: Scarlett & Grace | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Hair: Sara Starr Hair | Transportation: UCS Limo | Venue: Inn At Park Winters | Wedding Venue: Inn At Park Winters | Ceremony Musicians: Bellarosa String Quartet | Design & Coordination: With Grace and Love Events | Make: Miss Marissa Artistry | Rentals: Theoni Collection | Video: Par Filmes

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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How to Add Holiday Spirit to Your Wedding Day

For all you winter brides dying to incorporate some holiday magic to your wedding but are too scared it might look a little… dare we say… tacky? Here’s a secret – there are so many ways to add a bit of holiday spirit to your Big Day in a stylish, refined way. From festive color schemes and velvety textures to cozy cups of hot cocoa. Erin Wilson Photography and Vase and Vine knew exactly how to bring these ideas to life with this merry inspiration shoot. Unwrap every holiday wedding secret below!

From Erin Wilson PhotographyA holiday soiree inspired by textures, holiday drinks, a love story, tiny gifts wrapped in velvet for each wedding guest.

We loved the idea of focusing on velvety greens, rich fabrics, textured wedding gown and pops of unexpected pinks and dusty blue.

It’s a hint of traditional with a twist of a modern industrial venue, color pops, rich textured fabrics and eventful drinks for an endless evening.

How gorgeous are these festive floral centerpieces from Vase and Vine? Not to mention the decadent, garland adorned holiday cake created by Cakes by Robbin.

We love holiday weddings but love something different for our brides too. We love the idea of making the event cozy, personalized, and wowing guests with traditional holiday foods and drinks with a twist.

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HOW TO ADD HOLIDAY SPIRIT TO YOUR WEDDING DAY

1. Holiday cocktails. Spread some Christmas cheer at cocktail hour with holiday-inspired sips! A White Christmas Martini, Cranberry Old Fashioned or Salted Caramel White Russians (umm, yum!!) – to be honest you really can’t go wrong with this one.

2. Color scheme. Choosing your color scheme is such a pivotal part of the wedding planning process… it also happens to be one of the easiest ways to incorporate the hues of the holiday season. If this gorgeous style shoot didn’t already convince you – emerald, red and gold are not only festive colors, but they also look so beautiful together! Just look at that bouquet!!

3. Texture. Incorporating texture to your wedding is often overlooked, but it can do wonders to an otherwise minimalistic wedding design. For a holiday twist – use rich, velvety linens and don a textured wedding dress to spice up the simplicity.

4. Christmas lights. Because what’s more magical than twinkly lights at Christmastime, am I right?! This holiday-inspired lighting can give any space, whether it be a rustic barn or modern ballroom, that cheerful and romantic feel.

5. Venue. A surefire way to add some holiday spirit to your wedding day is by choosing a venue that embodies the most wonderful time of the year – and what better place than your local Christmas tree farm! We know, it sounds odd, but just think… breathing in that fresh pine scent with a backdrop of hundreds of lit up Christmas trees – it just doesn’t get more idyllic than that.

6. Escort Cards. Escort cards are always one of our favorite places to get really creative. We’ve seen so many amazing ways DIY escort card ideas for a holiday wedding – mini wreaths, Christmas candles, and ornaments (our personal fave!) The options are endless.

7. Favors. In the spirit of giving, favors are the perfect way to incorporate the magic of the holidays to your wedding. We love the idea of ending the night with your go-to Christmastime treat! Think hot cocoa in a jar or frosted macaroons for guests to enjoy on the journey home.

8. Flowers. A subtle yet wow-worthy way to add the holiday spirit to your wedding is through your bouquet and table centerpieces. Use classics such as poinsettia, holly, ivy and roses to create the most merry Christmastime arrangements.

Photography: Erin Wilson Photography | Videography: Erin Wilson Photography | Florals: Vase and Vine | Wedding Dress: Joon Bridal | Cake: Cakes By Robbin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Cookies: Cookies By Hollianne | Downtown Space: Brick Ballroom | MUAH: Made Up By Mitchell | Paper and Design : Olive and Fig | Paper and Signage: Olive and Fig | Rentals: Randal's Events

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Venice Elopement Inspiration at Palazzo Morosini Degli Spezieri

If there were to be a top five list of places to elope, Venice would be a must. Tell me, what is more romantic than intimate I dos followed by a gondola ride and a dinner date overlooking the canals? And when you throw a Silvia Valli wedding dress into the mix, said elopement becomes next level. Hunter Ryan tells the intimate, inspiration story with the dreamy images below.

From Hunter Ryan PhotoVenice. Known for it’s regal grandeur & in rich jewel tones—Italian-American planner Ema Giangreco wanted to showcase a softer side of Venice. Living and planning weddings in Venice for years, she’s seen many deep reds, golds, emeralds and blues in Venetian wedding design, so we opted for a completely different vibe for our couple. The color palette was derived from the famous Saint Marks Basilica in San Marco Piazza. The domes of soft blue hues with gold gilding, the building walls—soft greys and creams. The florals were clean and simple whites and greenery, with an unexpected modern touch of white orchids. Custom gown designer Silvia Valli created a one of a kind gown for the bride with hints of dove grey and muted blue tones in a soft ethereal vibe. A perfect juxtaposition of the grand church where the heavily candle-laden ceremony took place. Just a short distance from the church the couple walked the back canals of Venice to their reception location, an intimate space set for two at the Palazzo Morosini, canal front. The soft design carried through to the table—again boasting soft greys and blues—punctuated with simple white florals and greenery. The couple departed their reception in a quintessential Venetian gondola for two.

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Smokebush-Inspired Summer Wedding at Carmel Valley Ranch

I’m going to throw it out there… this may be one of the most beautiful bouquets I’ve ever seen. Actually, the entire wedding has made it’s way right up there in my top ten. And I know exactly why… the vendor connections and the trust the Bride & Groom had in each and every one of them. Starting with their incredible photographer, Michele Beckwith, who introduced them to Lambert Floral Studio, who then connected with the invitation designer, Plume Calligraphy. The result is a woven community of talent that produced a wedding beyond words.

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From Michele BeckwithWhen I first met the couple, Jenny told me the sweet story of how her and Ho Sun’s love took some time to grow, but that their long distant relationship paid off with Ho Sun popping the question with a gorgeous ring. When they started planning the wedding, Jenny had a very specific aesthetic she was going for and knew she wanted a stylish and editorial styled wedding with a bit of vintage French flair. Once she booked my photography services, I put her in touch with Sammy of Lambert Floral Studio, knowing that his unique style would be a perfect match for her vision. Sammy was given carte blanche to dream up a unique seasonal palette of summer florals and unusual elements like the firey plumes of the smokebush, unusual colored garden roses and mustard colored iris. With his color palette set, Sammy reached out to Plume Calligraphy to design a bespoke invitation suite and paper good for the table. Sammy’s touch could even be seen in some surprise elements such as the tiny strawberries on the vine tucked into the boutonnière and centerpieces. Guests were ushered to the very top of the property in shuttles for the ceremony. Ghost chairs were used so there was no obstruction to the fantastic view of the valley below. Jenny originally had a bespoke designer gown, but in the last few weeks before the wedding, the alterations done by the designer left her gown completely unwearable. Jenny and Ho Sun were having a Korean ceremony as part of their celebrations. Feeling inspired by her heritage she decided to abandon the designer gown altogether and embrace a more traditional Korean dress. Although not without first putting with her own stylish twist on the gown and wearing a pair of designer Celine heels with it! The actual wedding day went off without a hitch and was a dream from start to finish.

From the Floral designer Sammy GoJenny and Ho Sun’s wedding was made special by a few key cultural choices and special attention to give their guest’s a beautiful experience. The couple are both of Korean descent, and Jenny wore a traditional Korean hanbok that she had custom-made to be more appropriate to her contemporary tastes (sleeveless, more modern silhouette), paired with some seriously cool Celine shoes. The couple got married at Carmel Valley Ranch, and shuttled their guests to the top of the property for their ceremony on a hilltop platform. To enhance the view, they opted for transparent chairs and a simple altar treatment that extended to view beyond. For dinner, their intimate guest count (80 guests) allowed for tables to be set up on a curved terrace overlooking the valley. The couple wanted to orient the tables so no guest’s back was to the view. Flowers that spoke to the seasons (garden roses, smokebush plumes, strawberries on the vine!) made for romantic, garden centerpieces.

Photography: Michele Beckwith Photography | Cinematography: Luke Goodman | Coordination: Mandi Nack | Event Design: Bud Botanical | Floral Design: Bud Botanical | cake: Freedom Bakery And Confections | Invitations: Plume Calligraphy | makeup and hair: Melissa Hoffmann | DJ: Sound In Motion | hotel: Carmel Valley Ranch | Rentals: Seventh Heaven Vintage Event Planning and Design | Rentals: Blueprint Studios | Rentals: Frances Lane | Rentals: BBJ La Tavola

A Heartwarming Wine-Toned Wedding at Lorimar Vineyards and Winery

Vineyard weddings in Southern California have something about them that is so incredibly romantic, blended with a bit of nostalgia – I blame The Parent Trap. This couple took their love of wine and incorporated it into every aspect of their wedding. From the venue, Lorimar Vineyards and Winery, to the color scheme, using hues of burgundy and blush in their floral arrangements by Mulberry & Moss. Take a look at the gorgeous full gallery of photos captured by Jenny Quicksall Photography.

From Perfect The EventSet in the vast wine valley of Temecula, Lorimar Vineyards is a place of pure natural beauty. A tuscan-styled winery with breathtaking mountain views and lush greenery, it was the perfect setting for Lukas and Amy’s very special day.

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Building off from the outdoor blank slate, wine toned florals with pops of blush from Mulberry & Moss accented the couple’s favorite winery blend.

Elements of an elegant affair were found all throughout the venue, such as lounge vignettes, flowing runners over a textured wood table, to even twinkle lights behind the DJ to replicate the night sky. 

Bringing in a feeling of home and welcoming was also very important to this precious couple, so we made sure plenty of signage was incorporated along with fun games like cornhole.

Photographer: Jenny Quicksall Photography | Videographer: killer creations | Floral Design: Mulberry & Moss | Hair & Makeup: Design Visage | Wedding Venue: Lorimar Vineyards And Winery | Brides' Gown: Enzoani | Cake & Desserts: The Sugar Divaz | DJ & Lighting : Real Jack Farmer | Live Music: Haddy Music | Lounges: Marnie Schnabel - Sweet Salvage Rentals | Menus: Design by Laney | Planner & Designer: Perfect The Event | Rentals: Abbey Party Rents | Rentals: Cherished Rentals | Rentals : The Chiavari Guys | Table Runners: BBJ La Tavola

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Romantic Pink Oregon Wedding at House on Metolius

If you take a moment to get up close and personal with this wedding from Britt Rene (I highly recommend you do), and read the Bride’s story, you will find little details tucked into every corner. Some things old (Grandmother’s vintage purse and handkerchief) and some things new (hello, pretty Hayley Paige number!), and so many things planned with intention. It’s the kind of day that hits all the marks and in the end, simply glows with the love.

From the Bride, Lauren… Andrew and I met at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. When he first met me, I wouldn’t give him the time of day, but we started to connect over our love of travel, the outdoors, and the live music in Nashville, and eventually started dating. When I got into nursing school in Portland, we were excited to make the journey to the Pacific Northwest and explore a new part of the country. We moved in together, adopted a dog together, and fell even more in love together.

Our first vacation after moving was to Bend, OR. We loved the city and the beautiful landscape surrounding the area, so it was fitting that after 7 years together, Andrew proposed on top of Pilot Butte overlooking Bend and the mountains. As we watched the sun fade over the town (our dog in tow), he told me that he wanted to watch all the sunsets with me.

Once the time came to start planning the wedding, we approached it the same way that we do everything—as a team. The most important things to us were the venue, the food, and that our friends and family had an amazing time. We enlisted the help of the wedding coordinators at Mint to help us fine-tune and execute our vision, and couldn’t be more grateful to them for making it all happen.

The first priority was easy. We, of course, wanted to share our favorite place in Central Oregon with our friends and families, who live all over the country. We decided on having our wedding at House on Metolius, which showcased the area’s natural beauty better than we could have ever imagined and had amazing rustic cabins to house our guests.

Our dinner menu was inspired by our time together in the South and included staples such as fried chicken, shrimp & grits, and a biscuit bar for dinner. Our deviled eggs and crab cakes hors d’oeuvres brought back memories of our childhoods in the South. To finish off our dinner, Foxtail Bakeshop created a stunning three-tier almond-poppyseed cake with house-made strawberry bavarian cream. The dessert bar featured Andrew’s favorite blueberry macadamia nut cookies, fresh-fruit panna cotta, and rose macaroons decorated with a brush of metallic silver.

Our color palette of soft pinks, grays, and touches of silver felt both classically Southern and yet appropriate to the stunning, natural setting. The escort card display was made using magnolia leaves, which fill the Vanderbilt campus. In addition, bridesmaids wore custom magnolia flower and mother-of-pearl earrings from Nicola Bathie Jewelry. I wore a Hayley Paige silk taffeta ballgown (with pockets!) that contrasted beautifully with the rustic setting. Loose, romantic florals and greenery created a magical feeling in our silk-draped tent. We also turned the outdoor fireplace area into a lounge, where guests roasted local, gourmet s’more. We packaged each s’more with a custom tag letter-pressed with the same wreath from our invitation. We hung a floral ‘M’ over the fireplace to celebrate that we now shared the same last name.

Finally, for entertainment, we included live music at the Reception. Based on the recommendation of our wedding planners, we hired a local band, Precious Byrd, who did an absolutely amazing job. While we had a small wedding, it didn’t feel that way because they had everyone on the dance floor, even my dad, who rarely dances.

There were also personal touches to make our wedding feel uniquely ‘us’. Andrew’s mother loaned us the antique-silver cake knife that’s been used by four generations of happy couples. We felt so privileged to carry on this family tradition. While I missed my elegant grandmother’s presence at the wedding, I honored her memory by wrapping my bouquet in her handkerchief and carried her vintage purse to the reception.

Our advice to engaged couples is to stay focused on each other and hire a wedding coordinator. The process of wedding planning, while inherently stressful, brought us closer together. This wouldn’t have been possible without the expert guidance of the team at Mint, and our top-notch vendors. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in every detail being perfect, at the end of the day, it’s about the person you’re marrying and the love you share.

Photography: Brittrene Photo | Event Planning: Events By Mint | Floral Design: Events By Mint | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Invitations: Aimee Jameson & Shari Denfeld | shoes: Opening Ceremony x Birkenstock | rings: Abc Jewelery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: JLM Couture | Catering: Bowtie Catering Co | hair and make up: Makeup Mafia | band: Precious Byrd | favors: Nineteen 27 S'mores | ties: The Tie Bar | grooms suit: Hall Madden | Venue: House On Metolius | Dessert: Foxtail Bakeshop | Event Rentals: Curated Events | beverages: Twist Cocktails | bridesmaids earrings : Nicola Bathie | film scans: PhotoVision Prints | jewels: Tiffany & Co. | linens: BBJ La Tavola

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The Perfect His and Hers Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the month for holiday shopping, but we all know that the craziness of the season can make it a little difficult to find the time to channel your inner Santa. So if all of that yuletide merriness has you frantically scrambling for the perfect gifts – no worries. We’ve put together a little list of our favorites to get you on the right track.

Photography: Ruth Eileen

The Most Anticipated Gift

It doesn’t get much more romantic than a holiday proposal. But if you plan on becoming engaged against a festive backdrop, be sure to select a ring that will really stand out. We happen to love all of the gorgeous options at Ritani, not just because the diamonds are all kinds of blingy, but because you can customize and create your own ring, so it’s totally unique to you and yours. You can select the perfect diamond based on everything from clarity to weight, choose the right setting for your loved one and then preview all of the handcrafted goodness at your local jeweler. They even ship free right to your house.

Photography: Ruth Eileen

The Delicious Gift

We love anything that makes life easier and when it comes to amazing kitchen products, Cuisinart is the master. Whether it’s a toaster oven that doubles as an air fryer or a coffee maker that heats up your morning brew to just the right temp, our lives (and kitchens) are better for it. The Hurricane Pro 3.5 Peak HP Blender is definitely sleek with its brushed stainless steel design – and it makes blending and prepping so, so easy and it is easy on the eyes. Form and function!

The Entertainer’s Gift

Every entertainer out there knows that the right serve ware is all you need to make a dinner party statement and these gorgeous vintage bowls from Food52 are that and so much more. Sourced from flea markets across the French countryside (really and truly), there’s an amazing story behind each piece that will definitely keep the dinner conversations flowing. The Martha Stewart in your life will totally thank you. (PS – get a few for yourself, too.)

The Sentimental Gift

Our love affair with Minted is one that never waivers and we could spend about 900 hours just browsing their site for inspiration. (Literally.) Our latest obsession? Your vows as a foil art print. It’s such a stylish way to preserve those words you spent months dreaming up, cried through at the altar and still think about to this day. We absolutely adore this print – and we also love all of the different size, frame and foil options.

The Pampering Gift

Anyone could benefit from a little holiday pampering and bonus points if it’s this beautiful (see lovely speaker above)! The gorgeous packaging of this Mullein and Sparrow salt set might make your giftee resist actually using this delectable blend of spa salts and rosehip oil… almost.

The Cozy Gift

The holiday season comes with a big ol’ side of cold weather, so staying cozy and warm during these festive months is key. We suggest gifting a fabulous scarf that is one part stylish statement and one part neck warmer, pictured above. This Keeping Cozy Hat + Scarf set from Anthropologie should do the trick. It’s not only pretty to look at but super soft, too. And bonus points for the matching hat.

The Musical Gift

Functional and simply gorgeous! There are so many reasons to love this vintage Marshall speaker as seen above and it would be a gift that she would cherish for a long time.

The ‘I Like Spending Time With You’ Gift

This beautiful Sunday Suppers cookbook encourages everyone to look at mealtimes as less than solely time to eat, but rather a meal with time intentionally spent with loved ones. This would be a beautiful gift for the one in your life who loves to cook, bake, and gather… plus it’s so pretty it can stay out on the countertop!

The Kate Middleton-esque Gift

Okay, Kate Middleton just wore a chic velvet bow and a low pony, which means we all need to wear a chic velvet bow and a low pony, right? Spoil the one on your list who loves her tresses with this beautiful velvet bow barrette by Jennifer Behr!

The Gift for Tea Lovers

Know a tea drinker? We are obsessed with this gorgeous white Smeg tea kettle, pictured above! Totally a present that no one would buy for themselves… enter you: SANTA!

The Timeless Gift

For the home decor aficionado: the most versatile, timeless piece that anyone could use in their home, a rattan tray by Serena & Lily. We love this rattan serving tray for hosting get togethers, serving apps, providing a pretty space for bathroom necessities, or creating a functional space on a tufted ottoman. The possibilities are endless, really.

The Pretty Gift

What better to house the pretty holiday sparkle one may receive for the holidays than a gorgeous (and totally functional) travel jewelry case? We adore the beautiful colors this zippered case come in and you can customize with a simple monogram. So chic!

The Comfy Gift

How often do men truly purchase comfy, cozy gifts for themselves.. but steal their other half’s? We see you, men! A luxuriously soft and warm pair of slippers will be a staple around the house and we particularly recommend the Ugg Scuff Slippers… so good.

The Organized Gift

Have a guy in your life who loves his tech items, but despises a tangled mess? Love this (monogram-able!) leather tech rollup case as pictured above. Masculine and organized all at once.

The Bearded Gift

If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re all about form and function… beauty and use! We love the idea of giving your bearded fellow a luxuriously gorgeous and useful beard oil like this one, pictured above, by Le Labo.

The Grill Master Gift

The grill cleaner of all grill cleaners… need we say more?

The Entertaining Gift

What’s more manly than a gorgeous, personalized whisky decanter and whisky glasses? The set above by Cathy’s Creations are not only a great gift, but the whisky glasses are complete with 360 degree swivel bases (meant to oxygenate spirits without spilling). That just means they’re perfect for the whisky connoisseur.

The On-the-Go Gift

First step: if you’re shopping for a guy in your life, get him Airpods if he does not already have them. Second step: check out this handsome leather Airpods case pictured above. We love this!

The Sous Chef Gift

We all know that one gentleman who finds nothing more satisfying than a perfectly seared steak and loves being in the kitchen! Get him something a little extra like this Himalayan Salt Block for the holiday season for the kitchen-pro, like this set above.

The Fancy Gift

For the guy who doesn’t want teeny tiny Airpods (okay, we hear you men…) and you want to splurge for something a little fancy. We adore these Shinola headphones as pictured above.

Bright Summer Elegance at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

We’re back in the New York groove on SMP! Since this adorable duo got engaged in the West Village and tied the knot in Brooklyn, they decided to incorporate all of their favorite NYC sips and eats on their wedding day. We’re talking New York pizza, Momofuku birthday cake balls and a specialty cocktail from their go-to West Village bar! With a little help from Sasithon Photography of The Wedding Artists Co., NST Pictures (their video is MUST-see!), Jove Meyer Events and DESIGNS BY AHN… their wedding was everything they could have dreamed of and more.

From the Bride… Our wedding was an elegant, black-tie affair at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on a perfect summer evening. The Palm House is all glass, with an open, organic feel that we wanted to keep consistent with our décor, which was sophisticated with bursts of color and plentiful flowers.

We had so many special touches that made our wedding uniquely ours. Our specialty cocktails were mementos of our relationship: the Matahari (Nick’s favorite) is an invention of a West Village bar we frequent, and the Aperol spritz (Amanda’s) is one we enjoyed on our trip to Italy a few years ago.

Before we go any further, check out this amazing video from NST Pictures!
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We got engaged in the West Village in NYC, where we live, so we wanted to incorporate some of our favorite spots, especially for our out-of-town guests. Towards the end of the night, guests had amazing New York pizza – and Joe & Sal’s crushed it with their famous garlic knots! For our wedding favors, we gave guests our favorite Momofuku birthday cake balls. When the band finished its amazing set, our guests sent us off with rose petals to a party bus, where our bridal party and families joined us! Our entire wedding day was perfect in every way.

Photographer: Sasithon Photography of The Wedding Artists Co. | Videographer: NST Pictures | Floral Design: DESIGNS BY AHN | Cake: Nine Cakes | Stationery: Julia Bez | Ceremony Venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Reception Venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Makeup: Face Time Beauty Concierge | Lighting: Universal Light And Sound | Band: Elan Artists | Wedding Favors: Momofuku Milk Bar | Officiant: Peter Boruchowitz | Bride's Hair: Jessica Gillin | Bridesmaid's Hair: Glamsquad | Photo Booth: We Love Photobooths | Planning: Jove Meyer Events | Rentals: Party Rental LTD

Finding Lovely’s Holiday House Tour

While I miss living in Texas more than you can imagine, I will say that a New England holiday season is something special. The cold air, the twinkle lights, the cups of cocoa that are meant to actually warm you from the inside out. It’s a little bit of magic. And the crazy talented (and adorably pregnant) Jackie Hempel of Finding Lovely has managed to capture that very magic and transform her own New England home into a holiday wonderland. Read on for all of the sparkly goodness.

This is the first Christmas in our new kitchen following a major renovation on our old farmhouse victorian outside of Boston. It was built in 1879 and from the moment we walked through, I knew it had the potential for a charming family home. There’s just something beautiful and worthwhile to restoring a historical home and bringing it fresh life.

We’re from California originally so when it came to designing the home, I knew I wanted that light, airy, coastal vibe that felt fresh and lived well with littles.

When it came time to design the kitchen, I had several items on my wishlist. I wanted a window nook for the large farmhouse sink surrounded in old barn wood beams, a built-in refrigerator/freezer that looked like an old icebox and a freestanding range hood flanked with windows. I actually drew out how I wanted it to look and handed it to the carpenter.

It’s been such a happy spot in our home and exactly what I envisioned to honor this old home. Adding some Christmas lovely to this pretty kitchen has been quite the joy.

I kept it light and simple—white ceramic Christmas trees, pretty linens, some simple faux juniper wreaths safety pinned on the backs of the counter stools, mini Christmas trees in the windows, and a big faux cedar wreath with linen ribbon in the window nook is really all it took. Understated Christmas lovely.

—– KITCHEN SOURCES —–

Construction and Architecture: Cutting Edge Homes | Design: Finding Lovely | Cabinetry Color: Sherwin Williams Repose Grey | Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace | Kitchen Cabinetry: JD Millworks | Cabinetry Hardware: 8” Edgecliff Pull in brass by School House Electric | Backsplash Tile: Advance | Ceramic tiles in Chelsea White, 3×6” and 3×12” from Tiles Plus More | Island Tile: Tabarka Tile Nord 7 | Counter Stools: Restoration Hardware French Contemporary Counter Stool | Vintage Barnwood: LongLeaf Lumber | Island Pendants:E. F. Chapman Casual Darlana Fancy Lanterns in gilded iron size medium | Kitchen Runner: Finn Rug in Blue Pottery Barn | Sink Pendant Light: Boston Pendant in antique brass, McGee & Co. | Mini Juniper Wreaths on counter stools: A C Moore

Following the renovation we now have a kitchen that is open to the family room and it’s where we spend all our time. I wanted the Christmas decor in the whole house to feel fresh and flow well from room to room.

I love how light and airy it all looks with the earthy corals and denim blues. Our family room is where we have our large faux noble fir tree and it is decorated with these same colors.

I kept the built-ins neutral with a wood bowl of antique mercury ornaments, glazed white trees and zinc houses and added a wreath and simple garland to the mantel.

It’s the perfect spot in our new old home and we’re excited to make Christmas memories here.

—– LIVING ROOM SOURCES —–

Large Faux Cedar Wreath: Terrain | Woven Wood Blinds: The Shade Store | Christmas Tree: Prelit 9ft Faux Noble Fir from Terrain | Zinc Houses: Terrain & Target | Pom Pom Stockings: Dear Keaton | Denim | Stockings: Potterybarn | Rug: Finn Rug in blue from Pottery Barn

Photography: Madison Rae Photography | Design: Finding Lovely

Lake Annecy Wedding in Talloires, France with a Kenyan Twist

It’s never easy to choose one image to start with in the wedding features I write. But this scene in today’s soiree from Amy Fanton had my curiosity piqued from the get go. With a beautiful turquoise blue sheen on the water—similar to that of Lake Como—I had to know where these I dos took place. And it happens to be 5 hours west, at Lake Annecy in France. With a simply elegant vibe, this duo tied in both their French and African roots, for a day that was classic and timeless.

From Amy Fanton… This beautiful wedding was a classic french soirée in the mountainside and lakeside village of Talliores, France (Annecy) where the bride grew up spending her summers with her family. The groom and his family are from Kenya, and the couple tried their best to tie in details from their French and African roots while keeping the overall decor classic, elegant and timeless. The bride chose the color palate to compliment Lake Annecy with soft blues, greens and golds. She wore a magnificent gown from Susan Neville, an art-deco style heirloom ring from the groom’s family, and an heirloom necklace from her own family which was made from a pear necklace of her grandmother. Each of her sisters used a pearl to make their own custom necklaces. The couple tied in the Kenyan side of the family with gorgeous beaded bracelets that were gifted to the bridesmaids, and gold African animal statues as centerpieces, with the Swahili name of the animal as the table name. Fun note: The couple met and lived together during their engagement in London, UK which explains why so many of the female guests are wearing hats! They put clothespins at each of their female guests seats to invite them to ‘hang their hats’ during the reception on a string that hung around the marquee which was a unique touch!

Photography: Amy Fanton Photography | Videographer: Wedd Fish | Florist: L’Atelier de Sophie | Wedding Dress: Suzanne Neville | Stationery: Piccolo Press Letterpress | Ceremony Venue: Église Talloires-Montmin | Reception Venue: Abbaye De Talloires | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Hair & Makeup: Beatrice Carroz | Officiant: Father Victor Dakwan | Ceremony Music: Concert des Cimes | Bride’s Shoes: Florence

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Mountain Wedding at Triple Creek Ranch in Montana

I had the opportunity to visit Montana a few years ago to speak at a wedding planners’ workshop and still to this day, believe that I witnessed some of the prettiest views on this planet. This stunning state was made for rustic mountain weddings and that’s exactly what Braedon Flynn is delivering today in all of his photographic genius – PLUS, an in-depth interview with the Bride & Groom. After this read, you’ll feel like you were there—and you’ll 100% feel all the love.

Bryan popped the question on a deserted beach on Martha’s Vineyard, MA on Thanksgiving Day 2016. A nasty winter storm was coming and it was freezing cold outside but he insisted on a beach walk. We were totally alone and he set up his phone on a rock to secretly record the whole thing. I was totally surprised; which I confirmed to him because I didn’t even have my nails done in anticipation (which was a tall tale sign I wasn’t lying)!

What was your vision for your wedding?

We were aiming for minimalist yet chic, but appreciating the natural décor around us for its rustic vibe however not wanting to play into it too hard. We wanted it to feel relaxed and effortless, but also highly designed. The idea was for the guests to leave the weekend feeling they had had their own vacation, with just a nice wedding sandwiched in the middle of it. I guess what I’m trying to say is we wanted the weekend to be as much about them as it was about us.

Tell us a bit about your wedding dress…

Wedding dress designer: Marchesa Couture, Spring 2017

How did you know it was the one?

I tried on numerous dresses… one because I live in NYC and this is the place to indeed try on every dress there is (which I would totally recommend to anyone, no matter where you live).. and two, I knew it was the one because I finally brought my mom to the two runner ups.. and she cried only to this one…and that means it’s the one, no questions asked!

What was your color scheme and/or theme?

We had neutral and organic colors for our ceremony. We wanted to focus on the natural beauty of the Bitterroot Valley.

Can you tell us a bit about the ceremony décor?

The focus was to be simple and chic throughout the weekend and to blend seamlessly into the natural setting of the ranch. The ranch also had some surprise décor ideas up their own sleeve which turned out beautiful. Triple Creek bore holes in large tree trunks and placed wild flowers at the end of each aisle. The aisles were hay bales from the ranch with horse blankets on top. They created the altar with two flower beds that they grew themselves and then, in the middle, put a handmade sign with our wedding logo on it (which was a gift to us to second as a home décor piece). We did the whole ceremony on top of a hill in one of their horse pastures overlooking the entire valley. That setting itself did not need much more decoration then that!

How did you personalize your wedding day to reflect who you are as a couple?

First, we had a bar at every stop – which being New Yorkers, we felt was an important detail for our guests. The ceremony itself had a full service and staffed bar in the middle of the field prior to the ceremony, which we felt was a well-appreciated detail during the hot afternoon.

Bryan has a tendency of leaving love notes on Post-its before he travels. So, I surprised Bryan by having our cocktail napkins printed with some of the best ones. I personally think that was a huge hit not only with him but also for our guests.

HOWEVER… My most favorite thing we did however was to hunt down the only Gospel choir in the entire state of Montana (called “The Great Falls Community Gospel Choir”) to surprise our guests with some seriously soulful pre-ceremony song and dance. That was probably one of the absolute highlights of the weekend hands down.

Reception décor (centerpieces, linens, place settings, lighting):

Same as above—trying to stick with the idea of being very simple yet chic. The ranch was beautiful enough! We held the reception dinner in the main dining hall which was already decorated with prized trophy heads from a collection made many many years ago. After dinner we moved to the upper lodge bar where we had a live bluegrass band play silhouetted by the roaring fireplace behind them.

Why did you pick the venue and what did you love about it?

We wanted to focus on having our wedding be about our friends and family, and, mostly, we wanted to create a community experience over a few days. We also wanted it to be pretty intimate so we knew it needed to be in a place where we could all be close and ultimately living together, but also have privacy. We had not heard of The Creek Ranch before the “dark web” of internet venue researching, but when we landed on the ranch and saw it was voted as the #1 hotel in the world in 2014 by Conde Nast, we knew it was our spot. We had always toyed with the idea of a mountain wedding since I grew up skiing out West and Bryan’s obsession with fly fishing so it was the easiest decision for us to choose them.

Simply put, the resort was immeasurably outstanding in every respect. They greeted us by name when we drove up for the first time for our site visit like they had known us for years. They did all of the little (and big) things right. For instance, we both have quite an affinity for hot sauce, so after our first request for Tabasco with our meal, there was 4 different sauces to choose from at our table for the rest of the weekend. The service was simply impeccable not to mention it is located on 30,000 acres of completely wild Montana country. They not only provided a sense of community where our closest friends and family could be together, but they were also so accommodating, luxurious and hospitable. I guess you could call it a premier “glamping” ranch experience but I don’t know of any “glamping” with individual saunas, steam rooms and turn down service!

Did you work with a wedding planner or day-of coordinator?

We worked with the onsite events manager Catherine Reed from the Triple Creek Ranch. She was exceptional in all things from the weekend itinerary to the day of wedding events. Her motto was “tell me what I can’t do for you.” She is, no joke, a living doppelganger of Melissa McCarthy with all the sass, charisma and red hair to boot. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else in my corner during my wedding weekend then her as she executed the weekend effortlessly (the 100 staff walkie-talkies with constant chatter sure helped I am sure).

What was the planning process like?

It was so easy for us! Bryan and I loved every moment of it. We did a 1.5 year long engagement and really enjoyed all aspects of the planning process. Since we were having the wedding in a remote area (1 hour south of Missoula, MT), Triple Creek really had most of the bases covered. We didn’t need a caterer (they have a 24 person team headed by a chef from the French Culinary Institute and a James Beard Foundation Dinner winner), we didn’t need a lot of flowers (focused on what was already outside), we didn’t need to bring in any activities (on-site horse rides, fly fishing, archery, sapphire panning, and much more were already apart of their program) and our photographer was Bryan’s roommate from USC (Harpers Bazaar Top 100 Photographers Worldwide, Braedon Flynn). All we had to do was pick which local bluegrass bands we wanted and how we were going to convince the ranch to let us have a surprise fireworks show at the rehearsal night (which we somehow did and it was a total blast)!

For us this gave us an opportunity to focus on the little meaningful details which Bryan and I love to put our time into. For instance we wrote a “thank you manifesto” for every single guest which they all got on arrival telling each of them why we were thankful for there friendship. This was our way of introducing everyone to each other which we think really set the intention for the weekend.

Did you tackle any DIY projects? If so, what were they?

We incorporated our wedding logo to reflect the ranches cattle brand. We really wanted to be as authentic as possible, so we hand cut Pine springs while back home over the holidays and tied them to our custom wood veneer invitations. My intention was to make sure the invites smelled like pine when they arrived to our guests!

Did you have a signature cocktail?

“The Minx”- (Bryan’s nickname for me with his friends) – Sangria

“The Asian Buttcheek” – (This was Bryans drink, nodding to his Asian heritage but more importantly because we thought it’d be funny to hear people ordering it)– Japanese Highball (block ice, whiskey, soda water)

Tell us about the food you served!

Well it is honestly hard to describe just one since each of our three main events had such awesome menus. We had our Thursday welcome dinner with full Mexican food spread including carne asada and home made tortillas with a variety of house-made salsa from the chef. Friday we had a lunch in their organic orchard the ranch sources their food from. We had hayride entrances for the guests and horse rides into the hills, followed by a rehearsal dinner that was focused around a whole hog on a spit BBQ, country sides, strawberry shortcake and a chocolate chip and vanilla ice cream dessert which was cooked in cast irons over the fire pits. For our wedding reception dinner, we focused on Montana game meat including pheasant, bison, wild trout and local vegetables.

Photography: Braedon Photography | Videography: Tom Aiello | Floral Design: FLOWER HAPPY | Wedding Dress: Marchesa | BRIDE'S SHOES: Alexandre Birman | Groom's Attire: Dazi USA | Fireworks: Northwest display Co. | Gospel Choir: Great Falls Community Gospel Choir | Rehearsal Dinner Band: Lochwood Band | Veil: Marchesa | Welcome dinner band: Band of Drifters | makeup/Hair: Electric Beach

Key West Wedding at The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

Going for a tropical-without-a-passport kind of wedding? Key West is IT my loves. As someone who has experienced the island first hand, I can tell you it truly does feel as if you’ve arrived to a whole new destination by jet. One look at this wedding captured by Care Studios and planned by Destination Wedding Studio and I think you’ll agree.

From the Bride… We’re living in New York, and both originally from China. I went to school in Florida and Key West is always my favorite place in FL. Chandler took me on a trip to Key West last May and proposed on the lighthouse right across the Hemingway Home. In addition, Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite American writers. My undergraduate thesis is about his short story “The Snow of Kilimanjaro”. As a result, Ernest Home & Museum became our first choice of the wedding venue.

We met at a friend’s game party. It was an adventure game in an escape room in New York and we were in the same game group. I like Chandler’s intelligence, rationality. I’m growing up to a better person with him. We feel we understand each other without more words and we bear with each other’s differences.

Chandler: I like Roxanne for her unconditional care of me, her maturity and faithfulness, her artistic tastes, and her advice that help me be more mature. Being with Roxanne ever day makes me willing to take more responsibilities and be unsubdued by difficulties. She constantly gives me courage and hope. She has become the very reason for my being.

I did some general research about wedding planning and the wedding planners at Key West. I was lucky to get Destination Wedding Studio by my side. They provided me the wedding timeline and recommended vendor lists so I knew what I was supposed to do for my wedding and made my selections of wedding vendors easier. I went through the vendors’ websites and social media accounts, and some wedding website reviews for decisions.

Because we chose Hemingway Home & Museum as the venue, I decided to have my wedding invitations mainly in green to match the color. I contacted an online producer in China, reviewed their wedding invitation templates. I chose one simple template, edited the design and had them print it out. I also got the candy boxes which match the invitation style.

For the theme color, I usually like black & white and most soft colors, so the flowers are in soft colors, and table linen is in light grey. I thought blue could go well with the greens in Hemingway Home, so I had my bridesmaids in light blue, groom in navy and groomsmen in dark blue.

The decor is one of the things I care most at my wedding. Thanks to my planner Peggy for suggesting a long table as my reception table, then I started looking pictures on Pinterest & Instagram for decor inspiration. Those pictures really helped shape my final thoughts about decor – a long reception table decor by hanging top with flowers, branches, glass balls, and lanterns. I sent some pictures to my planner and florist, talked about the ideas and they handled the details for me. Peggy also got the chargers/napkins that match the flowers perfectly.

About the unique wedding cake: I found some book shape wedding cake on Pinterest and decided to have one because I and Chandler both love reading. And we’re having the wedding at Hemingway Home, so Hemingway’s books were the covers.

Most importantly, my bridal veil was made by my designer friend. It became much more meaningful!

My favorite memory of the day was the first dance, the groom and friends’ performance, and dancing after dinner. I was glad to see that everybody was having fun.

Photographer: Care Studios | Wedding Planner: Destination Wedding Studio | Floral Design: Duarte Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Watters | Cake: Amazing Cakes And Creations | Ceremony Venue: Ernest Hemingway Home | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Catering: Catered Affairs | Hair and Make up: Beauty Boutique | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Music: DJ Buggy | Rentals: Eventfully Yours | bride shoes: Manolo Blahnik

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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A Romantic Early Spring Wedding at Meridian House

The iconic Jackie O would definitely give her seal of approval to this classic Spring wedding at Meridian House in D.C, captured by Abby Jui Photography. Floral bridesmaid dresses, stunning watercolor stationary from Stephanie B Design and endless, romantic blooms by Sweet Root Village are just a few elements we’re living for. Don’t leave before checking out the full gallery of this beautiful day, all planned by Cheers Darling Events.

From Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu PhotographyTaylor and Walt chose the beautiful Meridian House in Washington, D.C. to tie the knot on a crisp, late March day. Taylor was the epitome of bridal elegance on her wedding day. 

Although their pup, Paddy, could not make it to the ceremony and celebration [he did stop by for some photos] he was present in the welcome bags, Sugar Studio Co designed cookies of Paddy’s face, and during cocktail hour, the mini burgers were accented with flags showcasing his face with the name “paddy’s patties’.

The gorgeous, blush and white bridesmaid bouquets arranged by Sweet Root Village paired perfectly with their feminine, floral gowns. 

As a nod to Walt’s favorite spirit, gin. Occasions set up gin bars during dancing, offering guests a selection of gins, tonics and garnishes to mix up the perfect after dinner cocktail.

“Sip & Sit” display was created for guests to enjoy a glass of sparkling rose [Taylor’s favorite] topped off with a flag indicating the guests table assignment.

With a love of charcuterie and cheese, Taylor and Walt opted for ‘roaming’ charcuterie and cheese displays throughout the cocktail hour. Servers wore the boards and mingled amongst the guests. The board was accented with indicator flags from Stephanie B Designs. A favorite [and seen as a must have] treat of both Taylor & Walt’s is Chick-Fil-A. After some time on the dance floor, the truck set up in the front courtyard and the couple led their guests outside for the surprise. The biggest surprise though? Taylor’s Dad, hopping in the truck and serving the guests [in a Chick-Fil-A chef jacket, that the staff later signed for a keepsake!].

Photographer: Abby Jiu Photography | Videographer: Shutter and Sound | Floral Design: Sweet Root Village | Catering: Occasions Caterers | Make Up: Georgetown Bride | Hair: one80 Salon | Ceremony Music: Peter Kiral | Transportation: Limousines, Inc. | Venue: Meridian House | Bridal Suite: The Hay Adams | Late Night Food Truck: Chick-Fil-A | Paper Goods: Stephanie B Design | Planning & Design: Cheers Darling Events | Reception Music: Bachelor Boys Band | Rental Bar/Escort Display/ Outdoor lighting: Social Supply Events | Rentals: Select Event Rentals | Rentals : Nuage Designs | Welcome Gift Cookies: Sugar Studio Co | linen rentals: BBJ La Tavola | welcome bags: Marigold & Grey

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DIY Modern Holiday Wreath

Hey guys! Justine Celina here! To kick off December, I had the pleasure of attending a wreath making workshop with the lovely and talented Rebecca Dawn Design! The wine and holiday cheer were flowing — and between all the eating, drinking and being merry, I created this Modern Holiday Wreath that I’m excited to pass along to all of you! If you have an hour to spare and a few really simple ingredients, this makes the perfect simple holiday statement (or a pretty awesome holiday gift!)

This year, I’ve definitely taken a more minimalistic approach to the holidays and decorating. If you’re looking for a simple DIY to add a festive touch to your minimalistic decor this holiday season, a fresh wreath is the perfect addition. Our home is brimming with greenery and lots of natural wood textures with a mid century modern vibe — so I selected Cedar, Pine, Brunia, Eucalyptus pods, Red Ironbark Eucalyptus and Magnolia Leaves for our wreath (it’s also makes the living room smell amazing — no tree required!). If you’d like to learn how to make an Asymmetrical Holiday Wreath of your own, throw on your favourite Christmas playlist, settle in with a glass of your favourite festive beverage and let’s get started!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Wire wreath frame (you can break this one down into 3 single frames!)
  • Paddle wire (green works best)
  • Floral clippers
  • A few boughs of each type of each of greenery, foliage and berries you select (Cedar, Pine, Brunia, Eucalyptus Pods, Red Ironbark Eucalyptus and Magnolia are a few ideas)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make a mockup of your wreath by trimming your ingredients and working clockwise to create a light version of the shape and design you’d like to achieve. Once you are happy with the overall flow of the mockup, snap a quick iPhone photo of my design so you can refer to it as you work.

2. Make 3 bundles with your ingredients. When creating your bundles, keep in mind the flow you mapped out in your mockup — pull in a mixture of long and short foliage, as well as a variety of colours. When you’re happy with your bundle, secure it at the base with paddle wire. My wreath has a very wild look to it, which I achieved by not being to precious with my bundle arranging! I also found it helpful to look for greenery and foliage with a natural curvature that mimicked the circular shape of the wreath.

3. Place each bundle down on top of my wire frame, arranging until you are happy with the placement.

4. Secure the bundles by attaching the base of each to the wreath frame with the paddle wire. Once secure, hold your wreath up to get a sense of how the longer pieces of greenery will fall. You may need to go in and secure certain pieces of foliage to account for the effects of gravity.

5. Add extra greenery and foliage wherever there are sparse area in your design.

6. To finish the edges, secure long, flowing pieces of greenery to the wire frame behind your bunches. You may have a lot of paddle wire showing at the base of wreath where you secured your first bundle, (I did!). No worries — this is an easy fix! Since you have lots of secure wire to work with now, start sticking pieces of greenery and foliage into the wire closure counter clockwise to conceal the wire. Repeat this process until your starting point is mostly covered — and if you can sill see some paddle wire, don’t worry! At a distance, it won’t be visible.

7. Finally, hold your wreath up to do a final check for any holes in your design or pieces that need to be secured. At this point you’ll have lots of wire holding your wreath together that you can pop extra pieces of greenery and foliage into to finish things off.

If you’re planning to hang your wreath indoors, I’d suggest simply swapping your wreath for a piece of artwork. That’s what we did — and it works perfectly (told you I was keeping it simple this season!). Make an extra festive feature wall by stringing some fairy lights along the wall behind the wreath.

You can also attach a piece of velvet ribbon or twine to the top of the wreath and hang it that way.

Floral Design, Styling, Photography: Justine Celina Maguire | Workshop Host: Rebecca Dawn Design

Intimate Maui Wedding at Olowalu Plantation House

Maui is an island that will hold a special place in the heart of any who visits… so when it came time for this sweet couple to choose the locale of their intimate destination wedding, the decision came effortlessly. From the elegant, green and white floral design by Bella Bloom Maui to the groom’s tearful reaction to seeing his bride walk down the aisle – we’re basically in paradise over here looking at these photos from Brandon Kidd Photography. With LVL Weddings & Events as the brains behind this day – you better believe every detail was p.e.r.f.e.c.t…

From LVL Weddings & Events... Jenny was a long time assistant at LVL Weddings & Events so we were so thrilled at the opportunity to be there to bring her dream wedding to life at one of our favorite places on earth – Olowalu Plantation House on Maui. 

From the Bride… We knew that we wanted our celebration to be intimate and longer than one day. We both love vacationing in Hawaii and knew it would be a popular destination for the rest of our guests. 

Olowalu Plantation House was recommended by Lindsay and when we saw it online we instantly knew it was special. The venue had everything we were looking for.. Intimate, by the ocean, and not your typical hotel ballroom. I knew the style that I wanted was romantic and timeless with a Maui background.

Our wedding date was the most important factor in choosing a wedding venue. My Dad passed away two years ago from Dementia and I was super close to him. His birthday is on 7/7 and luckily it landed on a Saturday in 2018.

When he passed away Brian and I knew we wanted to honor him by getting married on his birthday. Funny enough Olowalu was booked on 7/7 but the couple ended up backing out and when the date opened up we knew it was meant to be! 

We both can agree that hands down our favorite memory was the ceremony and reading out loud our own vows. It was so emotional for the both of us. Brian is not one to wear his emotions on his sleeve but he let it all out for the ceremony and it was something I’ll never forget.

Photography: Brandon Kidd Photography | Cinematography: Sunlit Films | Wedding Planning: LVL Weddings & Events | Floral Design : Bella Bloom Floral Boutique | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Wedding Cake: Cake Fanatics | Invitations: copper willow paper studio | Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Shona Joy | Catering: Sugar Beach Events | Groom's Attire: Friar Tux | Officiant : Reverend Valentine Tino Rosette | Bar & Beverage: Garnish Craft Cocktail Catering | Beauty : Ry-n Shimabuku | Ceremony & Reception: Olowalu Plantation House | Earrings: Oscar De La Renta | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Musician & DJ: Kevin Miso Band | Pies: Leoda's Kitchen | Rentals: Inspiration Events Hawaii | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Signage: Miss B Calligraphy | Silk Runners: Tono Co | Table Top Rentals: Set | Vow Books: Etsy Rebeccagreendesign

Now This is How You Throw an Apres Ski Shindig

I’m pretty sure this might be the cutest holiday party I’ve ever set my mistletoe loving sights on. No, it definitely IS. From the birch log straws to the plaid tablecloths and throws to the festive bar, Twine Events nailed every inch of this ‘Après Ski’ shindig captured by Rebecca Yale. Want s’more? Find the rest right here in The Vault!

From Erica of Twine Events…. This year’s theme for the annual Hollis Holiday was Apres Ski! When you get to plan a party for the Rachel of The Chic Site, no detail is left unturned. How do you plan for the hostess with the mostess? Rachel loves a good entrance, giving back to the community, tradition, delicious cocktails and appetizers, and interactive elements for her guests.

Every year in lieu of gifts, Rachel asks her guests to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the local food bank, so we set out to create a statement piece in the entrance to collect the donations. We wanted it to feel like you were entering a ski lodge, so we created a little vignette of ski’s, scarves, and snowy branches.

Upon entering Rachel’s home, guests were able to help themselves to a charcuterie station, trail mix bar and themed desserts. We love creating food stations where guests can always go to on their own to grab some food. The tray passed appetizers included warm and homey style food like mini mac n cheese, sliders, arancini, and jiffy style popcorn.

In the backyard, guests were able to mingle to bluegrass music, grab specialty cocktails at the bar, visit the s’mores fire pit, and jump in the custom photo booth. At the bar, the specialty drinks included Moscow mules, blood orange margaritas, hot toddy’s and Rachel’s signature wassail sipper. You can find the recipe on her website!

Overall, we wanted to bring in elements of a ski lodge and that meant bringing in plaid decor, snowy terrariums to hang above, reclaimed wood furnishings, a large antler chandelier, faux fur blankets, and snowflake lighting!

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Christmas Cocktails
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Christmas Cocktails
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Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Event Planning: Twine Events | Floral Design: Of The Flowers | Invitations: Paperless Post | Caterer: Whoa Nelly | Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina | Bartenders: The Whaling Club | Music: The Get Down Boys | Paper Goods: Twine Events | Photo Booth: Amuse Booth | Rentals: Town And Country

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
5 Reasons a Hotel Wedding is Right for You

We know that planning your big day can seem like an overwhelming ball of emotions, but we promise it gets easier once you choose the right venue to help guide you through the process. Why? Because finding that perfect locale can take away about three hundred years of stress, especially if it’s a hotel that knows exactly what they are doing. Keep reading for five reasons why you should definitely take that path.

Photography: Jose Villa

Onsite Experts

Nothing says “stress reliever” quite like an amazing team of wedding pros and, lucky for you, hotels happen to have those built right in. We love sweet locales like The Westin Galleria Dallas and the JW Marriott Houston by the Galleria because they are always up to date with the latest trends in cuisine and décor – and are the first ones to jump at the chance to try something fun and new. Bonus points for their relationships with amazing vendors, which means you can def breathe easy when it comes to literally everything – from your cake to your flowers to your band.

Photography: Shawn O’Connor for The Westin Galleria Dallas

One Location

We can all appreciate the beauty of celebrating in one locale, and hotels are a perfect choice if you want to give your guests the gift of convenience. Think rehearsal dinners, wedding brunches and in between get-togethers all happening in one place. The Renaissance Austin Hotel is one of our faves – we love all of the options when it comes to event spaces. That gorg outdoor gazebo basically had us at hello, and with 70,000 square feet of space, you know there are even more spots to obsess over. Not to mention the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa with its picture perfect oak groves and rolling hills.

Photography: JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

Convenience

It’s nice to find a spot that is one part gorgeous scenery and one part convenient locale and hotels like the W Dallas – Victory offer just that. Located in the heart of Dallas, your guests will be busy in a good way (think shopping and dining) and wowed by sweeping views of the city when it comes time to say those vows. And don’t forget The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio. Your guests can live it up at The Riverwalk and soak in the gorgeous decor later. It’s a win-win.

Photography: William Martin Weddings Photography for The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio

Room for Everyone

We obviously love all things wedding, but what we don’t love is sleeping on a fold out couch. (Seriously.) That’s why we sort of breathe a sigh of relief anytime an invite comes our way with one of Marriott’s 30 brands listed as the venue. We know that means a roomy, comfortable stay in a place like The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel or the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center. And a special shout-out to space for everyone attending, so you don’t have to shuttle back and forth between hotels to see everyone you know and love.

Photography: Jose Villa

Points!

The number one rule of wedding planning? Save where you can. And guess what? That all starts with the hotel. Yep, when you book your big day at a Marriott, you can take advantage of the “Vow to Get Away” promotion and you’ll earn triple Marriott Rewards® points for every dollar spent – good toward a vacation of your dreams. Yes, we said vacation. Because after all of the wedding excitement and planning, you’re going to need some downtime. Trust us on that.

Contact the Marriott today to get planning.

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