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California Coastal Cliffside Wedding at The Inn at Newport Ranch

This coastal soiree has all of the mood that a celebration set along the foggy cliffs of Northern California should. Thomas and Jaclyn, who live in the area, are old souls with a love of beautiful design and an equal love for the outdoors. The two literally began their wedding venue search with this term on Google: ‘wedding venue where redwood forest meets Pacific Ocean’, and that’s where it all took off. Melissa Gayle carefully captured their love with beauty and grace and you can experience it all below.

A fitting celebration with an intimate group of their closest 60 friends and family made the trek up the winding coast to see it all go down. Charm was in the architectural details of the breathtaking Ranch At Newport Inn, where they were married. 

Flowers were inspired by local wildflowers (nothing too ordinary) thistle and earthy tones were incorporated into the arrangements.

Jaclyn and Thomas cared most about their people and wanted to show them what a relaxing 3 day getaway looked like in their eyes. Guests spent days touring the 2000 acre land share by ATV marveling at the redwoods and playing lawn games by day and snuggling by giant fires at night.

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Photographer: Melissa Gayle | Videographer: May Iosotaluno | Florist: The Bloom Generation | Dress: Rue De Seine | Brides Shoes: Wandering Coyote | Hair & Makeup: Nicole Jamora | Mens Ties: Knotty Tie | Bride's Tailor (Fringe Sleeve Addition): Tailor Maid | Brides Ring: Erstwhile Jewelry | Day of Coordinator: Sonya Houston | Dress Shop: Lovely Bridal Shop | Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Bonobos | Grooms Ring: About Jewelry | Invites: Minted | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Robes: Kim + Ono | Table Numbers: Blush Wood Co | The Inn At Newport Ranch: The Inn At Newport Ranch

A Peach and Citrus Surprise

Executing a good surprise party is the ultimate success! For this family’s surprise 60th birthday for their mother, they really hit it out of the park with a beautiful, intimate dinner party. We are definitely taking notes for our own surprise party…who’s willing to throw this for us?! Scroll through this gathering, captured and planned by Sidney Leigh Photography.

Ann’s surprise 60th birthday party was unlike any other family event we’ve ever had, and it was perfect in every single way! Surrounded by more than 60 family members and her dearest friends, she was over the moon excited to be have been elaborately fooled and surprised for such a special occasion.

My parents created the most beautiful patio to host our family and friends for my own wedding day nearly a year ago, but record-setting rains and storms ended up flooding the reception space and we had to move the entire reception to another venue on the morning of my early June wedding. It was heartbreaking to see my dad’s beautiful work be swept up in the water after he’d so carefully built the al fresco space of our dreams, where we’d imagined sitting at the beautiful reclaimed farm tables that he had built by hand beneath the summer night.


We couldn’t have imagined a more perfect setting and first event to use this beautiful space than to surprise my sweet, adorable mom for her 60th birthday. We began planning three weeks before the event, inviting all of our family and friends secretly to join us for a dinner soiree at her home. I began to tell my mom about a small styled shoot that I wanted to host on her patio, since wedding season is about to hit full force and I wouldn’t have much time for creative shoots until the end of the year. She was so excited to be asked to help with florals and styling for one small reception table, and we led her to believe that my best friends, both of whom have modeled for me in styled shoots in years past, would be donning their wedding attire once more. She was elated, but little did she know, that would not be happening on this sunny Saturday.



Her two dearest friends came into town this particular weekend for various “family reasons” and convinced her to meet with them for a girls’ afternoon over pastries to catch up, and the second she left the house, we began to unload tables, chairs, and decor for sixty guests. We set the space with just five minutes to spare, and she cried instantly when she finally realized that this was not at all a styled shoot; it was a celebration of her, just sixty years young, and the incredible, impactful, selfless woman that she is. It was truly one of the best days our family has ever spent together.



The soiree was accompanied by an acoustic musician and a catered dinner with the most delectable sundried tomato chicken, bruschetta crostinis, shrimp cocktails and all of the brie our hearts could stand. The bar offered her favorite wines, as well as a signature champagne and peach schnapps cocktail named after her adorable pup, Henry. We made strawberry lemonade jello shots to be enjoyed after dinner, and Buttercream Dreams created a stunning buttercream-spackled lemon raspberry cutting cake and cupcakes for all to enjoy.


A friend and I spent the day before the event arranging floral centerpieces, fresh from Harmony Harvest and our neighbors’ yards, and it was truly a delight to dream up this citrus-inspired dinner setting. The entire creative community pitched in when they learned what we were up to, from lending beautiful candlesticks and offering buckets of freshly harvested greenery, to expediting custom orders for the sake of my dearest mom and showing up a few hours before dinner to set the space for the perfect surprise.


I can think of no better reason to use this beautiful patio that my parents’ so selflessly and lovingly labored to create than to surprise the world’s sweetest, most deserving mother (not that I’m biased), and it went off without a single hitch. It was the most beautiful day and it was a joy and an honor to plan, host, and photograph this surprise for her!

Photographer: Sidney Leigh Photography | Event Design: Sidney Leigh Photography | Floral Design: Sidney Leigh Photography + Nicole Klingensmith | Cake: Buttercream Dreams | Catering: Walter's Bistro | Calligraphy: Rachel Lettering | Florals for Cake: Harmony Harvest Farm | Linens: Premier Linens | Musician: Matthew Mozingo | Rentals: The Granary | Table Runners: Green Earth Studio

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Charming Loire Valley Wedding at Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé in France

When I see the names Matthew Oliver and Rebecca Yale, I know we’re in for a full-on dreamboat wedding. One that’s gracefully designed and molded to the couple and captured with equal care, respectively. Monica and Robby’s day is equal parts charm and elegance, with Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé as the backdrop. It’s safe to say that anyone would crave an invitation to a fete as grand as this one.

From Rebecca Yale Photography… Monica and Robby were married in a grand romantic fashion at the beautiful Chateau du Grand Lucé in the Loire Valley. The entire weekend was planned to perfection by Matthew Oliver and included a fabulous welcome dinner at a car museum followed by the wedding and then sent the guests off in style with a lovely Sunday brunch complete with yard games.

The historic chateau set a beautiful backdrop for the wedding reception while the beautiful town church was transformed for the ceremony by Madame Artisan Fleuriste with white roses and an abundance of greenery. Guests walked through the town square led by the bride and groom post-ceremony to a lovely cocktail hour in the gardens at the entrance to the chateau complete with a string quartet and signature champagne cocktails. Guests were then invited through to the other side of the chateau for a grand dinner in the classically French gardens with tables set between the landscaping and set with more white roses, greenery and the perfect French blue accents.

Guests enjoyed toasts made from the chateau steps followed by dancing with an incredible live band in the beautifully transformed stable ballroom, culminating in an amazing fireworks display in the gardens. After the fireworks, guests were invited down to the Orangerie for an afterparty with a gelato cart and grill perfect for late night snacks. The following day guests enjoyed a lovely brunch on the lawn of the Orangerie with lawn games and mimosas, the perfect hair of the dog after a night of partying!

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Planner: Matthew Oliver Weddings | Florist: MADAME Artisan Fleuriste | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Cake: Synies | Stationery: Fourteen-Forty | Church: Eglise Saint-Facile-Sainte-Aurelie | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Renaud | Hair and Makeup: Ava Belle | Band: The White Keys | Groom's Attire: Armani | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé | Fireworks: Pyro-Fetes | Rentals: Be Lounge | Rentals: Duchess Butler | Rentals: Options

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Luxe Paris Wedding Inspiration with Six Couture Dresses

What’s better than one gorgeous couture wedding dress you ask? Well, six of course! Today’s editorial, dreamt up by Strawberry Milk Events is all the luxe bridal fashion inspiration you could ask for—at a charming chateau in Paris, no less. Take a peek below for the full spread by Le Secret d’Audrey, then head to the full gallery and let us know which gown you would choose!

From Strawberry Milk EventsOne hour outside of Paris lies Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, an estate so lavish that it landed its original owner in jail for the rest of his life. Nicolas Fouquet, finance minister to Louis XIV, tried to impress the sun king with building the extravagant chateau – and after 40 years of work, he held quite the bash to show off his accomplishment and impress the king. Unfortunately for Mr. Fouquet, he underestimated the king and instead of happiness, the king felt jealous and upstaged. Fouquet was subsequently arrested and thrown in prison for life. King Louis went on to “one up” Fouquet by building an even larger, over-the-top chateau — which we now all know as Versailles.

When Audrey from Le Secret d’Audrey asked if I would be willing to help plan and design a shoot at this magnificent and exclusive venue (which is rated one of the top 10 most luxurious venues in the entire world by publications like Town & Country magazine), it didn’t take much convincing. When she told me it needed to happen in just one month before the chateau reopened to the public, I was nervous (because I knew the caliber of the shoot needed to match the caliber of the venue – and hey, let’s be honest – orchestrating a shoot like this overseas in just 30 days is not for the faint of heart.) However, Audrey and I were convinced we could pull it off.

In such an incredible setting, the fashion had to hold its weight. We selected 6 different stunning high fashion gowns by various designers which were flown in from around the world, each telling a unique story. Some were lacy and others were frothed with feathers and one even was bold in a black swan/Natalie Portman way. We had Keren Wolf statement headpieces from Israel (who has styled the likes of Lady Gaga with her pieces), pretty paper from Ceci New York, a to DIE FOR highlight film from Caleb Jordan Lee of East West, and one of the most impressive cake situations I’ve ever seen (if you can call it that?! Cake seems like such an understatement – true artwork!) from Bastien Blanc Tailleur. The beauty team (Ciara and Sanni) nailed every look for each outfit change and made the atmosphere on set so much fun.

For the tabletop, the Grand Salon left big shoes to fill. We were lucky to find Esther Lamarche, a florist who was actually from the village right outside the Chateau and she did an amazing job with our floral vision for the ceremony arch and reception table. For the table, we selected gold Versace charger plates that were combined with vintage dinner plates and modern gold and white dipped flatware and cut crystal glassware from Vaiselle Vintage. I loved the juxtaposition of old and new tabletop elements to keep it fresh. Everything was shades of white with gold accents, to give a luxe feel that was appropriate for the venue. The beautiful laser cut Nuage linen was put over a nude linen for some contrast, which made everything pop (especially for Audrey’s overhead room shot!) One of my absolute favorite table elements were custom plate portraits I had made and were calligraphed by Studio French Blue – I felt that detail alone captured the spirit of the shoot and history of the venue perfectly! The whole team was super talented and each played an integral role in this epic editorial which was dreamily captured by Audrey in her signature rosy hues. A special thanks also to Valerie Lafourcade, the venue manager who made it all happen! La Vie est Belle.

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Photographer: Le Secret d'Audrey | Cinematography: East West | Florist: Esther Lamarche | Wedding Dress: Ziad Nakad | Wedding Dress: Rami Kadi | Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad | Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo | Wedding Dress: J'Aton Couture | cake: Bastien Blanc Tailleur | Invitations: Ceci New York | Shoes: Bella Belle | Makeup: Sanni Sorma Makeup & Hair | Hair Stylist: Ciara Coiffure | calligraphy: Studio French Blue calligraphy + design | Groomsmen's Attire: Jean-Jacques Cérémonie | Accessories: Mindy Lam | Chateau: Château De Vaux Le Vicomte | Headbands: Keren Wolf | Planning/Styling: Strawberry Milk Events | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Options | Rentals: Vaisselle Vintage

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Exotic & Adventurous Engagement Session in Rajasthan, India

This Bride and Groom were looking for an adventurous engagement session and that’s exactly what the potential of Rajasthan, India had to offer. Along with their incredible photographer, Adi of Axioo Bali, they chose seven stunning locations to document the beginning of their journey into marriage and oh, my friends, is it magnificent. Take a peek in the below for a list of the beautiful spots you see below!

From the Bride… Every girl dreams of a fairytale ending, but I personally aim for the adventure. I always knew that our ideal engagement session should represent what I want in my relationship and marriage, a thrilling adventure. It should signify the beginning of an escapade, not the end of it.

We chose India despite having zero idea about it. It got even more exciting when our photographer also admitted to having no experience whatsoever about the exotic destination. Knowing that we got our work cut out for us, we explored and surveyed the area a day prior. You’d think that I’d be a nervous wreck for being absolutely clueless, but therein lies the excitement and joy in the uncertainty of it all!

Our little team set our eyes on this beautifully haunting spot, a 4,000 year old cemetery located in Ahar, Rajasthan. Yes, you read that right – a royal cemetery named Ahar Cenotaphs. This is the spot where the stories of Maharajas and royals were told, and I just knew I couldn’t miss my new favorite spot for the world – even if we had to keep it hush hush from our parents. It’s traditionally considered taboo for a bride and groom to step foot anywhere near an inauspicious event.

Thanks to the internet (and everyone’s eagerness), we did more research and decided to start early next day. We then secured permits for the “no photo” zone and gained access for early entrance. Our prewedding adventure then began 3 am with makeup in progress and setting out as early as 4:30 am. The rush only added the element of fun and to our success, there were little crowd and we managed to catch the sweet golden hour.

I really have to credit the success to our photographer Adi from Axioo Bali. I know it’s easy to find a wedding photographer these days in the era of Instagram and everything else, but finding one that you have a good chemistry with can be quite tricky. Adi was not only super professional behind the camera, but he brought out our inner confidence with ease. His directions were clear, and most of all, his enthusiasm was genuine.

Truly, it’s a pre-wedding session of our dream: An epic adventure in an out-of-storybook location, plus a sidekick photographer that has it all.

Photography: Axioo Bali | Dress: Hope Stanley | Makeup Artist: Kathleen Claudia | Location: The Pierre | Location: Albert Hall Jaipur | Location: Hawa Mahal | Location: Amber Fort | Location: City Palace | Location: Ahar Cenotaphs | Location: Nahargarth Fort

Rustic Chic Wedding Inspiration at The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn

If you’re looking for some farmhouse chic inspiration (and the most perfect venue to match) then today is your lucky day! This gorgeous shoot at The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn planned by XOXO Bride Events is the epitome of natural beauty. Kate Holt Creative’s stunning arrangements complimented the ancient native olive trees on the property along with the organic chef’s garden and 100 year old oak tree. Oh, and did we mention the dress?… Prepare to “ooh” and “ahh” at these dreamy photos from Michelle Beller Photography for days.

Ojai Valley Inn is proud to introduce the show-stopping, $20 million, multi-use epicurean and event center The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn. Nationally acclaimed architect Howard Backen with Backen Gillam Architects in Napa Valley drew inspiration from the magical setting of Ojai to incorporate a natural aesthetic for the expansive 30,000 square foot culinary and event center, designed to connect world-class food culture with indoor/outdoor events.

Set on 220 verdant acres against the stunning backdrop of the Topa Topa Mountain Range, The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn takes form as a series of natural indoor-outdoor spaces, each with a unique personality that flows seamlessly into the next. Featuring a path of sun-splashed nooks dotted with ancient native olive trees, an organic chef’s garden, a spectacular two-story alfresco fireplace and a 100-year-old oak tree.

Creative Director Sonia Hopkins, XOXO BRIDE Events, united a team of talented vendors to showcase their talents and products to produce inspiration through images of this unique one of a kind space. 

“Exhibiting the possibilities of a wedding at the Farmhouse was our primary focus. We wanted to embrace the surroundings and enhance what makes the Farmhouse so special”, says Sonia.

This special team includes Photography & Editorial Design, Michelle Beller, Floral Design by Kate Holt Creative, Tabletop & Rental Decor selected from The Ark, Hair & Make-up design by Team Hair and Makeup, and Draping & Bar Rentals from Bella Vista Designs, Styling by Gabrielle Hurwitz, Paper Goods designed by Lazy Creative, Cake by The Butter End Cakery, and Linens from La Tavola Linen.

Photography: Michelle Beller | Event Planning: XOXO BRIDE Events | Floral Design: Kate Holt Creative | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Bakery: The Butter End Cakery | Stationery: Lazy Creative Designs | Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Wedding Venue: Ojai Valley Inn | Lighting/Draping: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Model: Lawren Cappelletti | Rentals: The Ark Event Rentals | Stylist: Gabrielle Hurwitz | Vintage Truck: Hub Auto Body

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Patterned Tile + Natural Light Make for the Dreamiest Kitchen

For the longest time, I’ve been scheming ideas on how to incorporate a patterned tile project into my own home… but I haven’t made it happen quite yet. Thankfully, in the meantime, I have some gorgeous inspiration to tie me over. Say hello to a kitchen with loads of personality (and a totally necessary bar), designed by Katie Davis. Also, I’m pretty sure that gas range overlooking the backyard is any chef’s dream… amirite? Join me for the full tour, courtesy of Melissa Fitzgerald, in the gallery!

From Katie DavisThe Taylorcrest Project was a fun kitchen remodel for a client in Memorial. Their original kitchen was narrow and dark and it did not allow for entertaining. We opened up the wall into the dining room (opposite the island chairs) and added the island in the center. We also added a huge window to increase the natural light in the space. The unique feature of the range on the window allowed for much more light to flood the space and ensured that the husband (aka chef of the family) had a great view at all times of their backyard. The bar area sits on one side of the opening to the dining room. Here, we changed the tile pattern, but stayed in the same color scheme and took the tile all the way up the back of the cabinets to set it apart from the rest of the kitchen. 

Photographer: Melissa Fitzgerald West | Lighting: MM Lighting | Builder: Hahnfeld Partners Contracting | Cement Tile: Ann Sacks | Interior Design: Katie Davis

Provence Garden Wedding Inspiration at Château de Sannes

If I ever do a vow renewal in France, I’m calling up Jennifer Fox Weddings, Floresie and Oliver Fly. Once you feast your eyes on this unbelievably beautiful editorial—full of Provençal charm—you’ll see why. Pulling inspiration straight from Château de Sannes, you’ll find the most perfect shades of blue set against the lushest greens. Provence Classics joined in for Harry and Meghan-style getaway, upping the cool factor even more. There are over 150 images in the full gallery and only a handful below, so make sure to dive into the full gallery, too!

From Jennifer Fox WeddingsFor our Provence wedding editorial, the design inspiration came directly from the elegance of the château itself and its remarkable gardens and landscape. Our goal was create a full wedding design concept that was fresh, romantic and elegantly luxurious with a touch of Provençal charm, which would naturally highlight the magnificent property, Château de Sannes.

Each element was chosen with intention and was captured lovingly by Oliver Fly Photography. The soft sea foam and pale lemon color palette with accents of gold and copper, the delicate Berta wedding gown with the perfect touch of sparkle, the curved shape of the ceremony floral arch, the calligraphy scrolls and napkin placement to mimic an “S” as in Sannes (there is an S above the rounded door of the château entrance!); each was chosen by design.

We focused on showing as many details as possible to represent the experience of what having a real wedding at such a venue is like. Our invitation suite and calligraphy details from Truffy Pi featured hand made paper with gold painted accents and featured a reoccurring watercolor design theme. A welcome box full of French goodies included Jordan almonds from Ladurée and a mini bottle of olive oil produced by the château itself.

For the floral design, Florésie used aster, delphinium, foxgloves, tulips, butterfly ranunculus, alstroemeria and garden roses to create the oh so elegant ceremony arch and grounded horseshoe, centerpieces and bridal bouquet. The ceremony space including the chairs, with the beautiful olive grove in the background, was arranged in a rounded design to represent the coming together of the couple with their family in addition to highlighting the running “S” theme. The bouquet was dripping with these dreamy blooms and provided numerous showstopper moments for our bride!

As an added touch of elegant whimsy and Provençal charm, the cocktail lounge area sat in-between two trees which framed the property’s incredible Cyprus tree garden and featured light colored bamboo furniture and high top tables covered with lightweight seafood green linens from Madame de la Maison. Yummy savory nibbles from Roland Paix Traiteur sat on the cocktail buffet and a champagne tower bubbled in the background as our bride and groom posed with their floral adorned, furry friend.

On the dinner table, wooden candlestick holders sat along side etched glass votives and metallic tea candle holders. White and mint colored linens blew gently in the breeze, as a means to highlight the soft colors of the château in the background. We paired detailed cream colored Italian charger plates with gold rimmed dinner plates and copper flatware from Maison Christina in order to add a pop of luxury. A scroll with the name of each guest sat on top of each menu with the centerpieces overlooking each place setting from above. Effortless elegance at its finest.

For dessert, Made in Cake created designer cookies and sugar flowers with not one, not two but three wedding cakes. The delicate hand made sugar flowers adorned each of the square cakes and were the real stand out of the dessert table. The vision for the square shaped cakes was to include a more contemporary design accent to juxtapose with all of the curve shapes in the other design elements. There is always a fun design exception to the rule.

Though out the day, the bride looked like a dream in her flowing floor length Berta gown, jeweled Bella Belle wedding shoes and diamond and jade earrings from Lindsay Marie Design. When the time came for her to put on her veil, there was not a closed jaw in sight, she looked incredible! We chose this look to keep with the effortless elegance intention of the concept without forsaking the luxury of the design. It was after all a luxury wedding in Provence. For their send off, Provence Classics provided the couple with a black 1960 MG roadster so that they could drive off in style.

Photographer: Oliver Fly Photography | Floral Design: Floresie | Catering: Roland Paix | Makeup: Ylva Langenskiold | Hair: Sarra Na | Vintage Car: Provence Classics | Bridal Boutique: Metal Flaque Paris | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Cake Design & Cookies: Made In Cake | Chateau: Chateau De Sannes | Dress Designer: Berta | Jewelry & Accessories: Lindsay Marie Design | Linens: Madame de la Maison | Men’s Suit: Chris Von Martial | Planning & Design: Jennifer Fox Weddings | Rentals: Be Lounge | Ring Box: Je Promis | Stationery & Calligraphy: Veronica Halim Calligraphy | Tabletop Rentals: Aqueduto | Welcome Box: Jennifer Fox Weddings

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A Glamorous Pastel Wedding at Villa Padierna Palace Hotel in Spain

In today’s glamorous Marbella wedding planned by Soul Events, guests dined underneath a canopy of white wisteria and enchanting fairy lights – just the sight of it will completely take your breath away. It’s safe to say Pedro Navarro is a floral genius. The gorgeous bride changed out of her stunning Monique Lhuillier gown to surprise all of their guests by performing a traditional Bollywood dance with a few of her bridesmaids at the reception – how amazing is that?! The entire day of celebrations was all captured by Julia Kaptelova Photography, don’t miss the magic in the full gallery.

From the bride… Amidst the perfect tranquillity of Palazzo Versace in Dubai, our favourite holiday destination, we entered our luxurious suite to a spectacular display of rose petals lit by candlelight overlooked by countless elephant teddies. I had joked that I wanted elephants present if I was proposed to. As my mind rose to realize what might be happening, I turned to see my love on bended knee with my idea of the perfect engagement ring.

We celebrated that night in Burj al-Arab watching the sunset over the Persian Gulf with the twinkling lights of the city as our backdrop. We started looking for venues and in the search for it we came across an amazing image of a beautiful amphitheater. This gave way to shot after pristine shot of a venue that happened to be right beside our holiday home in Marbella, Spain to which we had spent many a summer in.

Within a few weeks we had arranged to visit Villa Padierna and within minutes of being there, we could not be swayed and knew that this Tuscan inspired palace with its courtyard canals and palm sprinkled, manicured grounds, nestled in the hills of Andalucía had to play host to our wedding. The rosy hues of the hotel inspired the pastel palette of blushing peach and pink shades that graced our ceremony. 

Our theme was elegant and glamorous but classic with hushed tones and gold accents. It was important for us to have a strong family element and as such, framed photos of family were favored throughout the venue. In front of our nearest and dearest, we exchanged vows we had written ourselves and solely for each other. Throughout our day music played a huge part of the experience and over dinner our guests were serenaded with classical music played on an ivory grand piano.

Under an immense canopy of white wisteria and magical fairy lights, we took to the white, star lit dance floor for our first dance which ended in the roar of fireworks. Our best memories from the day included a Bollywood dance with two of the bridesmaids choreographed to surprise the guests and incorporate a traditional aspect. Having Pakistani routes, it was important to blend both cultures into the wedding day. The rolling scenery that acted as the backdrop to the perfect toned aesthetics brought to life by our wedding designer Pedro and the staff of Villa Padierna is another fond memory.

The advice we would give to future brides and grooms is that you can never plan enough especially when it comes to the people you chose to bring your wedding vision to life. These people get to know you so well and once you find the right ones to work with, everything becomes doable. Writing your own vows is a special way to share promises and memories with your partner. When the day is over the moment that stands out the most and will be eternally cherished is standing in front of the person you love reciting the deeply personal vows from your own heart, committing to one another wholly and forever.

Photography: Julia Kaptelova Photography | Event Planning: Soul Events | Floral Design: Pedro Navarro | Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Be Sweet Marbella | Wedding Venue: Villa Padierna Palace Hotel | Decor: Pedro Navarro

Bright and Happy Nashville Home Tour

I fell head over heels in love with this home the minute I saw the tiniest of peeks on instagram. And I should have known I would. The folks beyond this gorgeous abode are such a dream team. With the interior design gurus at Pencil & Paper Co. dreaming up every detail and Leslee Mitchell behind the lens, it’s should be no surprise these images are going to come with me tonight when I try to convince my hubby that a move to Nashville might be a good call.

Pencil and Paper Co designs homes that we want to live in. We love finding the diamond in the rough…nothing better then bringing an old house back to life. We were inspired by the relaxed vibe of old cedar shake homes in the Hamptons for the exterior. We freshened up the original dark brick by painting it white…love how the white pops with the original cedar shake.

For the interior of the home we love a clean bright white space. We Painted all the walls a crisp warm white ( Delicate white from Porter Paint) with soft gray accents. Repose Gray from Sherwin Williams is our go to perfect gray! We love this palette with warm brass accents. Our favorite Eugene light in the kitchen from Circa paired with School House Electric Lighting through out the home.

Photography: Leslee Mitchell | Interior Design: Pencil & Paper Co.

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
Spring Elopement Inspiration at Tudor Place in Washington, DC

Without peeking at the credits, I would have guessed today’s setting in a charming European setting—that’s just how beautiful Tudor Place is, from the pristine gardens to the architecture. The perfect spot for an elopement if you ask me! With an organic and soft palette, SRS Events created a design that complimented the scenery and Wild Fleurette layered in blooms to match. The result is an intimate gathering that Ashley Boyan is bringing to our screens today through her striking imagery.

Tudor Place in Washington, DC was the perfect hidden gem of a venue for this intimate elopement. The newlyweds chose Tudor Place with its European-esque charm, architecture and gardens. An added bonus were the venue’s cherry blossoms which were in peak bloom for the April wedding. The bride kept the invitation simple yet elegant, with organic paper and a deckled edge. She chose to highlight the venue with its elegant portico where the ceremony would take place on her details card. Her favorite color, a light blue, was incorporated by a ribbon on the invitations, a gentle nod to her vintage aquamarine engagement ring. Welcome baskets greeted guests, and the bride wanted it to feel reminiscent of a picnic, and included their favorite little snacks within for guests to enjoy. The bride was able to get ready at Tudor Place, in an adjacent house, where she slipped into her Jenny Yoo wedding dress and Bella Belle shoes. Her favorite detail of her dress were the dramatic slip-on sleeves and cape—a unique detail to the dress she had not seen before. The bride kept her hair and makeup natural, to let her dress shine. Her maid of honor donned a flowy chiffon dress from BHLDN with delicate embroidery and of course in her favorite shade of a soft blue. Her bridesmaid wore her hair in an updo, to contrast nicely with bride’s long hair. The handsome groom was dapper in his white tuxedo, and his best man contrasted with a black tux.

The bride fell in love with her bouquet when the florist handed it to her! It was full of her favorite flower, butterfly ranunculous, and felt so delicate and ethereal. Again her favorite shade of blue made its appearance on her bouquet ribbon which she plans to save after the wedding as a memento. Their each had their personal vows calligraphed onto the same paper used for their invitations, a perfect keepsake to remember their wedding day by.

After portraits and the I Dos, they celebrated by popping some champagne at a champagne tower in the garden! The newlyweds enjoyed a private moment and some delectables in a private and separate garden spot, before cutting the cake and sitting down to celebrate at the table with their loved ones.

The bride designed the dining table to be full of soft pastels and to feel happy and springy. Three centerpieces lined the table, while a runner in the same shade as the bridesmaid’s dress and bouquet ribbon draped to the ground. Gold flatware and glassware accented the gorgeous handmade Italian charger and dinner plates, picked up from the couple’s travels in Italy. The bride wanted her wedding cake to be a more modern take on cake florals and the lace from her dress, and was absolutely impressed with the intricacies and details the baker designed all using icing! She had seen nothing similar before! The day was absolute perfection, said the newlyweds, as they had sunny skies despite calls for rain leading up until the day before! All of the florals and details were exactly as imagined, and the groom said he was in awe of his stunning bride.

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Photography: Ashley Boyan Photography | Videographer: Thirty1 Films | Event Design: SRS Events | Event Planning: SRS Events | Floral Design: Wild Fleurette | Wedding Dress: Lovely Bridal Shop | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Stationery: Isidore Augustine | Shoes: Bella Belle | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Groom: Tiziano D’Affuso | Tuxedos: Generation Tux | Venue: Tudor Place | Beauty: Susan Lim | Best Man: Hasani Allen | Bride: Kira Omans | Ceremony & Reception: Tudor Place | Linen: Jefferson Lane | Maid of Honor: Xiaoqi Li | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Welcome Gift: The Welcoming District

A Modern Wedding at The Ebell Long Beach in a Rich Palette of Black, Citrus and Gold

Subtle vintage details, a unique palette of black, citrus and gold and a venue unlike anything you’ve seen before – we’re so excited to share this modern wedding captured beautifully by Sposto Photography. Vanessa Michelle Co. brought the bride and groom’s elegant, minimalistic vision to life with every thoughtfully planned element. We’re living for the dramatic color contrasts in the golden-toned floral design by Lavenders Flowers and the black indoor reception. Step inside this gorgeous day at the full gallery!

From the Planner, Vanessa Michelle Co…. Christie and Derek wanted a beautiful, minimalist ceremony, so we made this happen with lots of neutrals and we used little pops of color with citrus and golds to tie it all together. This couple has an eye for fine art and design, and it showed throughout their event.

With the stunning Ebell Long Beach as their backdrop, our couple said their “I Do’s” surrounded by friends and family with orange-hued candles, fresh citrus fruits, and floral designs lining the aisle.

The indoor reception consisted of many stark contrasts from the black antique tabletops to the white dishes and gold-toned runners. Tables were finished off with gorgeous royal orange florals mixed with light cream tones from Lavenders Flowers that completely topped the look off. Christie was armed with her flawless bouquet which literally dripped in gold sheath and stunned everyone in attendance.

Thank you to Sposto Photography for capturing the beautiful event. This incredible day exemplified the love these two have for each other in the best of ways, and we wish them the very best in this journey they have just begun together.

Photographer: Sposto Photography | Event Planning: Vanessa Michelle Co. | Floral Design: Lavenders Flowers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rag & Bone | Catering: Tres L.A. Catering | Hair and Makeup : Chiali Meng | Entertainment: Scetch Marketing | Groom's Attire: Banana Republic | Officiant: Jon Olson | Wedding Venue: Ebell Long Beach | Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo | Bridal Shop: Still White | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Linens: A 1 Party Rentals | Pianist: Adam Bravo | Reception Gown: Jenny Packham | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals

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A Cool, Modern Condo in Chicago Influenced by the Designer’s Travels

This modern white Chicago home of designer, Lisa Spagnolo, is an eclectic mix of treasures from her worldly travels and unique vintage finds. The result is layered and cozy with the coolest modern edge. Tour the spot that Lisa calls home all captured by Jasmine Pulley and read up on how each and every perfectly styled vignette came to be.

When I was in my early 20’s, I spent some time living in Italy and Southern France. Those cultures influenced me a lot in the way I live and especially in my aesthetic choices.

It can actually hinder me a lot of times when I’m trying to put together a space – I love the softness of French style but I also love the ruggedness of an Argentine estancia. The key is to figure out how to make those contradictory elements work together.

I love spaces that are functional and classic, with meaningful keepsakes, souvenirs, and artwork sprinkled in there. If an object/piece of furniture doesn’t serve any sort of purpose in the space or if a souvenir/piece of artwork doesn’t evoke a feeling, then it shouldn’t be there. 

When designing a space, my starting point is always going to be Function. What is the point of this room? What are people going to be doing in here? Once you’ve established the function of the room, you can start figuring out what layout and styles will make the most sense. 

In the entryway, I have a collection of artwork, sketches from another artist as well as some of my own pieces, that I’ve been collecting over the years. I hope to just keep adding to that though out my life! 

In the dining area, there are a set of 6 Mid Century dining chairs that I found at a local thrift shop. They were in great condition and came with the original ikat fabric on the seats. And they only cost $90 for the set, which was a steal!

 In the living room, I have a few blankets that I bought in Peru that I LOVE. I came home with a new suitcase full of Peruvian textiles but still felt like it wasn’t enough…

Lisa is continuously influenced by her travels, and welcomes the task of learning languages and experiencing new cultures. She pulls inspiration from innovative ideas and novel creative solutions, as well as the concept of slow and simple living. She recently renovated her home in the city and has a project in the works for opening up a country home in Michigan.

Photography: Jasmine Pulley | Design: Lisa Spagnolo

Classic Beachside Wedding at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

For Brooke and Nick, there was nothing more important than infusing them into their Big Day, “…the memories and pieces of (our) wedding that stood out the most were the ones that were unique to us.” That meant a non-traditional bridal party, a campus-style feel for their guests and a day that was true California romance with a splash of elegance. Lauren Perry Events brought that vision to life, while Rebecca Yale captured those moments for forever safekeeping. See it all unfold below!

From Rebecca Yale Photography… Brooke and Nick were married on a beautiful Spring day at the Four Seasons Resort in Santa Barbara. Brooke and Nick knew they wanted to have a destination wedding. Finding a location that allowed their guests to bump into each other getting coffee or meet for an impromptu drink was important to them. “We wanted a ‘campus feel’. When we finally narrowed in on the state of California (where we live), Santa Barbara and ultimately the Four Seasons there were easy choices to make.” Brooke says. The day was planned to perfection by the incredible Lauren Perry Events who in Brooke’s own words, “literally did everything.” Lauren worked with Marks Garden to bring the outside in creating a green and white garden within the ballroom next to the ocean, the perfect mix of the bride and her mother’s styles. “The team from Mark’s Garden really took the design / aesthetic ideas we had to the next level. I never had a Pinterest board but if I had, I think it would have read ‘romantic, California, elegant’. I had specific ideas and preferences for some of the focal points (big bar and trees) but Mark’s team filled in all of the blanks and made the design into much. much more.”

Brooke’s favorite memory from the wedding day was walking into the reception for their first dance. “Our first dance song was playing—I Feel It Comin’ by the Weeknd – a song that brings us right back to when Nick and I first started dating. Our families and friends were all out of their seats singing and dancing a long. The room was just beautiful and literally buzzing. The amount of excitement in that moment was definitely the high for me!” Brooke and Nick opted not to do a first look before their church ceremony and Nick’s favorite memory is when Brooke walked down the aisle. Brooke says, “I think he had a similar experience in that moment of just seeing everything and everyone coming together!”

Brooke and Nick chose to break tradition and not have a formal wedding party. Brooke said, “This was a tough decision for us – but when Nick and I talked about it, we realized that our goal for our wedding party was to make sure they had so much fun that weekend. For Nick, it was all about hosting a golf outing. For me, it was all about the day of wedding logistics. Having the girls wear their own dresses, get ready on their own terms (and timeline), and then getting together for champagne and lunch before all going to the church together worked out perfectly for us. We had a really laid back and fun morning.” A pro tip from Rebecca Yale: for this approach, still welcome your friends to get ready with you and take photographs with them like Brooke and Nick did. You’ll want those memories, but they definitely don’t need to be in matching dresses!

Brooke and Nick’s best piece of advice to brides and grooms planning their dream day: “Make your wedding your own! Don’t worry about the wedding norms so much. I think the memories and pieces of the wedding that stand out the most are the ones that were unique to us.”

Photographer: Rebecca Yale Photography | Videography: Elysium Productions | Planner: Lauren Perry Events | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Church: Our Lady of Sorrows | Shoes: Gianvito Rossi | Makeup: Caren Elle | Hair: Kelly Demoz | Venue: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Decor and Flowers: Mark's Garden | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Music: West Coast Music | Photo Booth: Mir Mir | Printed Material: Julie Maloof Designs | Seating Chart: East Six

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An Enchanting Three Day Wedding in Ravello, Italy

To say I had to pick my jaw up off the ground when reading the details of today’s insanely, beautiful wedding was not an exaggeration! Meg and Jason’s three day Italy getaway was nothing short of amazing! Starting with the stunning invitation suite by Kara Anne Paper, which included original watercolor artwork and intricate gold details to the GORGEOUS gowns, designed by the bride herself through her own fashion line, DeiàI have to say, I wish I was a fly on the wall during this Italian affair, so keep that mouse a moving, and become enchanted by the ever-so-amazing Greg Finck Photography! Read about all of the personal, intimate details the bride and groom put together check out the full gallery for even more!

From the Bride…

Please tell us about your love story! How and where did you meet one another?

We met the old-fashioned way, literally bumping into each other at a private film screening five years ago in New York City. It was the day after Meg had moved to the city upon graduating from Princeton’s engineering program, and the day before Jason was about to leave for Asia on business for a month!

Jason was so intrigued that he postponed his travel plans just so he could spend more time with Meg. After the most magical 10-hour first date the next day, the rest was history. We bonded over everything from our love for global travel (Jason’s at 40 countries and counting; Meg has lived in Kenya, Peru, and India) to our shared passion for building mission-driven businesses that have a positive social impact. We’ve been inseparable ever since, as true partners in both life and love! Ever since that first date, we’ve been partners in starting and growing multiple companies together across finance, consumer, and technology. We are so excited for a lifetime of building and dreaming together.

Please describe your wedding gown and jewelry.

Meg’s wedding gowns, veil, and jewelry were so special, as they were designed and made by her, via her sustainable fashion line Deià! Meg’s main wedding gown took nearly 2,000 hours to create. Meg designed the gown with a nod to her East-meets-West heritage: sculptural origami-inspired folds blended seamlessly into a ballgown silhouette with a six-foot-long train. The gown incorporated 38 meters of white silk satin handwoven by master artisans in Varanasi, India, and constructed using traditional couture techniques. We also sewed in a portion of Meg’s mother’s wedding gown as an inner layer for an extra personal touch! Finally, her veil featured custom hand embroidery inspired by the Renaissance fresco artwork in Villa Cimbrone’s Camellia Suite, where we stayed the night of our wedding.

For Meg’s welcome cocktail dress (also her own design), we used pale green eco-friendly silk. This gown also took over 1,000 hours to create given the complexity of the drape. Meg paired the gowns with Deià fine jewelry from her ‘Eos’ collection – made of sterling silver by female Balinese artisans, and using Deià’s signature technique of hand sculpting waxes which give pieces a three dimensional and free-flowing effect.

Meg’s mother, Lily, wore a lilac silk chiffon couture gown designed by Meg for Deià, hand-embroidered with 3-D butterflies and lily of the valley flowers in keeping with the wedding’s enchanted garden theme. She also wore hand-sculpted fine jewelry, from the ‘Gaia’ collection by Deià!

How many guests attended your destination wedding? We were fortunate to be joined by 60 of our closest family and friends, who came as far as Hong Kong and California to join us in Ravello for three days. It was the perfect size for us, as we got to spend quality time with everyone over the course of the festivities!

How and why did you choose your wedding venue and location? Ravello is one of our favorite places in the world. It’s the type of place that makes your heart skip a beat – an ancient coastal village perched on a hilltop more than 1200 feet above the Mediterranean Sea, with the most breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast. When it was time to choose a destination for our wedding, Ravello was our top pick!

Please describe your invitation suite and other paper goods. How did it set the tone for your wedding events?

Our invitation suite was an incredibly important part of our wedding as it set the tone for the experience in store! We worked with talented calligrapher and artist, Kara Anne (of Kara Anne Paper), to design a gold laser-cut cover for our invitation suite that had the effect of opening a gate to an enchanted realm. Our invitations incorporated original floral watercolor artwork by Kara Anne in our pastel lilac and pink color scheme, as well as delicate details like gold beveled edges and gold,  engraved butterflies evocative of our ceremony’s enchanted garden theme. A custom illustrated map of Ravello’s iconic landmarks (including our event locations) and Italian language phrases sprinkled throughout hinted at the local flavor of our celebrations. A pale lilac envelope with watercolor artwork on the inner flap addressed with hand calligraphy, and custom stamps completed the package to make an impactful first impression.

We also worked with Kara Anne to design a special gold M&J wedding crest with a nod to the iconic Villa Cimbrone fountains. We used it throughout both our invitation suite and during the event itself – embossed on custom cocktail napkins, embroidered on custom dinner napkins and, placed on top of menus. Hand calligraphy on personalized dinner menus, as well as a hand-illustrated welcome booklet included in our gift bags, imbued a bespoke sensibility throughout our wedding. Finally, our experience working with Kara Anne set the tone for just how much fun planning our wedding would be! Collaborating with her on our stationery designs was a delightful experience and really started our wedding planning off on a joyful note.

Tell us about your wedding week and the timeline of events.

Our wedding was a magical three-day event (July 24-27, 2018) based in Ravello, Italy. We started with an intimate Welcome Dinner for 25 people (our immediate families, wedding party, and their partners) at the Belmond Hotel Caruso on Tuesday, July 24th.

This was followed by a “Canapés & Cocktails” welcome event on July 25th for all of our guests at the Belmond Caruso’s iconic infinity pool. We set the mood with soft jazz music, white lights in the gardens, and lanterns surrounding the pool’s edge, and brought out freshly made pizza for our guests to enjoy as the evening progressed. For the occasion, Meg wore a green Deià couture gown and sterling silver jewelry – all of her own design.

Thursday, July 26th, was the day of our wedding ceremony. The weather was an absolute dream! Our guests gathered in the gardens of Villa Cimbrone sipping on lemonade and champagne while we had our First Look and took wedding photos. We began our Wedding Ceremony at the Garden of Two O’s at 6 pm, timing things so that we could enjoy Sunset Cocktails immediately after with our guests at Villa Cimbrone’s beautiful terrazza dell’infinito while the sun descended over the coastline. Meg wore a Deià wedding gown and veil of her own creation with Ralph & Russo shoes; Jason wore a midnight blue tux by Pal Zileri and velvet Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.

Our Reception (dinner and dancing) took place at Villa Cimbrone’s Garden of Two Fountains, where we set up multiple seating areas, a separate dance floor, a fully stocked open bar, and two long tables where our guests could enjoy a four-course meal artfully prepared by the talented team at Il Flauto di Pan.

On the menu: octopus salad with roasted potatoes, mussels, and clams; risotto carnaroli with lemon cream, pumpkin, and roasted squid; bread-crusted veal stuffed with endive pine nuts and raisings; and two types of cake – a white sponge cake with strawberry and chantilly cream, and a dark chocolate fudge cake.

We entered the Reception dancing to “We’ve Got Love” by Babyface. After dinner, we performed the cake cutting and enjoyed several toasts before a series of special dances including our first dance (to “Exceptional” by Babyface), Meg’s father-daughter dance, and a surprise performance of Meg’s original song “Our Story.” We kicked off the party with “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Toploader, and danced the night away!

The next day, we hosted a Farewell Sendoff at the Garden of the Soul in Villa Rufolo, the stunning cliffside garden that inspired Wagner’s Parsifal.

What was your overall design concept and style for your wedding weekend? Did you plan the look of your wedding around a specific theme or color scheme? If so, please explain how this idea was carried out.

When we decided to get married in Ravello, we had a vision for an enchanted, otherworldly experience that would reflect the joy and purity of our love, as well as our shared taste for elegant simplicity. Our starting point was a 60-page inspiration book that Meg put together with mood boards, color palettes, musical soundtracks, and design inspirations for each of the events during our wedding week. From the beginning, we set out to design a cohesive narrative arch across events that would transport guests to an “Enchanted Realm” amidst Ravello’s naturally romantic scenery, medieval architecture, and iconic cliffside gardens.

To create this ethereal mood, we focused on the details. Lighting played an important role. During our reception at Villa Cimbrone’s Garden of Two Fountains, white Moroccan-style lanterns illuminated the paths and fairy lights were hung in the trees, suspended like stardust. We used tall white lanterns of varying heights to frame the Belmond Caruso’s infinity pool during our welcome cocktails the night before, creating the illusion of floating above the clouds with dramatic views of the coastline below. White lights were strategically placed around each event area at night to envelop guests in a soft, romantic glow.

Similarly, we knew we wanted loose florals and vines draped organically over the reception tables, lining the ceremony aisle, and winding around the cocktail tables to evoke a lush, overgrown, “Enchanted Garden” feel without seeming overdone. Throughout, our main color scheme consisted of romantic watercolor pastels: shades of pale lilac, blush pink, white, and green that seamlessly tied into the natural environment.

In keeping with the concept of elegant simplicity, we chose décor that felt both polished and relaxed. For instance, limewash Chiavari chairs at the reception tables were elegant without being overly formal. Glamorous crystal vases, custom embroidered napkins with our wedding crest, and personalized dinner menus with gold calligraphy were counterbalanced by non-fussy place settings and glassware with simple, classic curvature. We set up multiple clusters of cozy, antique furniture around the reception area so guests could rest their feet while engaging in intimate, candle-lit conversation. Villa Cimbrone is such a naturally stunning location, that we never wanted to compete with it – only enhance.

Live music also played a crucial role in setting the tone. A string quartet during the ceremony was buoyant and cinematically romantic; a bossa nova band at sunset on the infinity terrace provided the perfect relaxed yet sophisticated backdrop against cocktail hour chatter; a Michael Bublé-style live jazz band with a grand piano set a timeless and celebratory mood during dinner.

Finally, in addition to the aesthetic and atmospheric elements, we cared very much about showing our welcoming hospitality amidst it all. To that end, we invested in custom gift bags for each guest to help them feel at home in Ravello upon arrival: straw beach bags handwoven by local Italian artisans containing a hand-painted ceramic bottle of Ravello’s famous limoncello, boxes of assorted candies and snacks from local purveyors, chilled bottles of Pellegrino, pre-paid gelato vouchers, tubes of sunscreen, and a welcome card with a map of the town and schedule of events. We also decided to forego a traditional seating chart in exchange for a personable escort bringing each guest to his / her seat with a fresh glass of prosecco, as if at an intimate dinner party.

What was your overall vision for the floral and table arrangements? Please describe them.

Villa Cimbrone is known for its sprawling cliffside gardens and unparalleled views of the Amalfi Coast, so our concept was to enhance the setting’s botanical allure. We were inspired by the concept of an enchanted garden, with organic florals that blended in with the naturally stunning landscaping of Villa Cimbrone’s world-renowned gardens. Meg’s romantic bridal bouquet came perfectly unstructured and organic in natural shades of blush pink and pale lilac, incorporating café–au-lait dahlias, light white and pink astilbe, light green hydrangea, clematis, and delicate greens, while the bridesmaids carried beautiful pink astilbe bouquets. For our ceremony, we framed the aisle with flowers and designed a floral arch to look as if they were growing naturally out of the ground, filling out the already lush garden with an added romantic touch. This theme carried through to the reception, where we incorporated loose florals and draped vines organically over the reception tables. We used real flowers on our cake as well, to round out the enchanted garden theme.

How does your wedding day reflect your personal style and personality?

For us, the theme of equal partnership has been so core to our relationship and the way we live and work together. We chose to highlight this throughout our wedding in several ways, most notably in our ceremony itself where we performed a reading of the poem “I carry your heart with me” by E. E. Cummings together prior to our vows, alternating lines of the poem to symbolize our interwoven partnership.

What was your favorite part about the wedding day? What was Jason’s?

Meg:
Just seeing everything come together so beautifully was such a dream. The journey of making my own wedding gowns, and my mother’s gown as well, was so incredibly special. Every piece has a story woven into it. The silk satin we used in my wedding gown was handwoven by master artisans in Varanasi, India – friends, and partners who taught me so much over the years about how artistry can be a means for fostering peace, spreading hope, and promoting economic development. I also designed the sterling silver jewelry for myself and my mom, which was hand-sculpted by our Deià artisan partners in Bali. The gown construction and hand-embroidery (for my veil) were done in New York with my dear friend and Deià collaborator Geri Gerard, who was formally trained in the Dior couture ateliers and is just so talented at her craft. Showing my mom how we incorporated a piece of her wedding gown into mine moved us all to tears!

Jason:
Meg’s mom planned a surprise performance of “Our Story” – a song that Meg wrote and recorded when she was in 7th grade that miraculously predicted our love story and to me has always represented how kind and pure her love is. I started bawling uncontrollably, I was so touched!

Was there anything unique or personal (or a tradition) to you and Jason that was incorporated into your wedding festivities? So many things! Some of the highlights:

Original Music by the Bride and her Brother:
Meg and her brother, Brenton, had grown up writing music together, and they collaborated on several original compositions that were performed by a live string quartet during our ceremony in the gardens of Villa Cimbrone. The songs were: “(Floating In) On Silken Butterfly Wings” (Seating of the Families), “The Enchanted Garden” (Processional), “Her Heart, Full of Song” (Entrance of the Bride), “And The Light: It’s Eternal” (Recessional). We are in the process of professionally recording of the songs for posterity!

Special Personal Touches during the Ceremony:
During the ceremony, writing our own vows was another personal and deeply meaningful touch, as was our “Love Letter Unity Ceremony” in which we wrote letters to each other about our hopes and dreams for our future, and had our parents write letters as well, to be opened and read for the first time on our 1 year anniversary.

Custom Cocktails:
At our cocktail reception following the ceremony, we each worked with a mixologist to create custom cocktails. Meg’s “Tigerlily” cocktail with St Germain elderflower liqueur, champagne brut, rose water, and edible flowers was named after her Princeton a cappella group (several members of whom were in attendance). Jason’s “Hemingway” cocktail made with Knob Creek bourbon whiskey, Amaro, and lemon was inspired by a drink we share on our weekly date nights at a local watering hole in New York City.

Overall, the planning process was a joy and brought us even closer together. We had so much fun dreaming about the little details together and coming up with event themes that we hoped would make our guests’ trip worthwhile while embodying the spirit of our love!

What is the best advice you can give other brides as they plan for their big day?

Enjoy the journey! The wedding planning process is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with your loved ones to create a beautiful and personal experience. When you view it as a way to deepen bonds of love and friendship while creating wonderful memories together, your wedding becomes that much more special!

Photography: Greg Finck Photography | Cinematography: Matteo Castelluccia Videomaker | Event Planning: Exclusive Italy Weddings | Floral Design: Armando Malafronte | Ceremony Venue: Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Hair & Makeup: Alessandro Mancino & Marco Carpentieri | Bride’s Wedding Gown, Veil & Jewelry: Deià | Bride’s Wedding Shoes: Ralph & Russo | Flat Lay Photography : Kara Anne Paper | Food / Catering: Il Flauto Di Pan | Groom's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Groom’s Tux: Pal Zileri | Invitations + Wedding Logo: Kara Anne Paper | Mother-of-the-Bride Gown & Jewelry: Deià | Welcome Reception Venue: Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond

Tour the Southern Home of One of the Hottest Interior Design Duos

I recently confessed my love for this home on Instagram, which happens to be one of my all-time favorites from our archives. So, it should come as no surprise that I’m completely obsessed with today’s tour from the same designer duo, Gen and Ben of Pencil & Paper Co.. They can do no wrong. When we spotted their space captured by Leslee Mitchell on One Kings Lane, it was a necessity to spread the design love. Because this home is just KILLER. Let’s begin the tour, shall we?

From One Kings LaneAs founders of Pencil and Paper, Gen and Ben Sohr are the hot couple to hire—Reese Witherspoon just tapped their expertise for her new Southern-inspired brand, Draper James. They help launch brands, guide home renovations, dive into anything that needs their vast design wisdom (Gen’s background spans interior design and visual merchandising, while Ben’s covers architecture and store design). They even offer a “to go” version of their services. But here’s what we love the most: Gen and Ben don’t just paste ideas onto mood boards—they actually renovate, design, and move into their favorite projects as they go. Each home becomes a laboratory for their freshest ideas and how they want their own family to live.

When they left jobs in corporate America to settle in Ben’s hometown of Nashville, the couple landed on their most delicious project yet: a 1930s house, virtually untouched since it was built. They set about renovating it into a blissfully fresh version of a Southern home—more family-style than formal, with a palette that seriously pops. Along the way, Gen converted to Southern living. “Our life here is so focused around family and friends and entertaining and cooking,” she says. “Southern hospitality is real.”

As with any other house, this one had a few limitations intrinsic to its original design—such as the lack of a foyer. The front door opens right onto a staircase. As Gen says, “It’s very vertical living here! It’s like a Brooklyn brownstone or a London townhouse in that sense.” Beyond a few unchangeable architectural features like the stairs, there were plenty of opportunities to reimagine the layout. The house needed new plumbing, new electrical systems, new everything, so it was taken down to its studs and walls were shifted around. The couple built their Pencil and Paper offices into the lower level, the main living space and the master suite into the ground level, and the bedrooms and an entire floor of play space above for their children, Lucy (16) and Oden (10). After five months of renovation the family settled in.

When they redesigned the house, Gen and Ben made the strategic decision to have a large kitchen, a living room that would be somewhat on the smaller side, and no formal dining room. This updated layout could be the blueprint for modern family living: Everyone gathers and eats in the kitchen, and the living room feels cozier with a single sitting area, unlike a more formal living room that might have two or three sitting areas.

When the couple entertains, cocktails happen in the restful living room to put everyone at ease. As with everything else in the Sohrs’ world, dinner parties are a joint venture. Gen explains the breakdown: “I’ll do the invitations and set the table. And Ben orchestrates food, cocktails, music—he always has a vision for what he wants to do.” After cocktails, the party moves into the beautiful kitchen for a chef’s-table-style dinner. On quieter nights, the family cozies up for a movie. The placement of the television was a minor battle—the compromise was to surround it with beautiful white shelving and balance out its size with large-scale art.

If Gen and Ben learned anything from their past lives in other houses, it was that everyone always gathers in the kitchen. To make the most of their space, they put the kitchen where the living room had been, keeping the original fireplace and adding an 18-foot-long kitchen island. They also opened up both ends of the narrow, long room with walls of French doors.

The kitchen’s pièce de résistance is the brass-and-black La Cornue stove. Gen’s love for the stove is purely aesthetic: “It mixes all the metals I wanted to bring in—brass, stainless steel, chrome—so I think of it as integral to the house’s whole design. Looking at it gives me pure joy.” Ben, as the family’s chef, was hooked once he saw how well the stove performs.

Breakfast happens early, then the couple does the school run: Ben drops off Lucy, and Gen drops off Oden. One of the perks of running their own company is getting to design their workday around the school schedule—the Pencil and Paper offices are running full tilt at 7 am, and the workday finishes at 3 pm. “I worked in corporate America for a billion years, and I missed out on too much time at home,” Gen says. “Now there’s nothing I love more than dropping my son off at school and picking him up.”

Rather than defaulting to the largest bedroom upstairs, Ben and Gen built a master suite onto the ground level. They savor the quiet that comes over the downstairs floor at night— “when no one’s running around us.” During the day, it serves as a nearby retreat—Gen might hop on the computer or read a magazine there. And in what might be the key to how the couple works so well together, this really is a suite. “After living in a number of houses together, Ben and I have learned that we stay sane when we have our own bathrooms and closets,” says Gen.

The bedroom mashes up the couple’s two styles (yes, they do differ). “My husband’s aesthetic is much more spare and modern. He could live in a white box with three beautiful pieces of modern furniture and be so happy. And I’m a collector. I have so much stuff. So we figured out the hybrid of our aesthetics. One of his requests for this house was a very calm, grown-up bedroom.”

For their kids’ bedrooms, there was another type of collaboration. These rooms evolve as the kids grow, and Gen says they love the little updates that come with moving into a new space. In Lucy’s room, the foundation is a white bed that Gen bought at an estate sale years ago. Lucy got new bedding for this bedroom—they made the primary-color palette more sophisticated by choosing a soft-yellow duvet and mixing some pink among the red accents.

Their son, Oden, is “super-opinionated about his style. And he needs space for his sneaker collection.” A red-and-white cabinet, which has landed in every one of their homes, became the perfect storage piece for Oden. As Gen says, “It’s about finding furniture that is kid-friendly but not actually ‘kid furniture.’”

When it comes to playrooms, some parents abandon any hope of maintaining a sense of style. But here, not only did Gen and Ben devote an entire floor to creating a “kids’ world,” but they also infused it with its very own sharp design scheme. The contrasts seen in the rest of the interiors are especially apparent here—for instance, the glimpses of white against the black-painted walls.

It might look magazine-ready, but this floor is dedicated to fun: The zone is about ping-pong, video games, board games, and weekend-long slumber parties. Lucy and Oden have 12 cousins in Nashville, and this is the perfect gathering space—and Gen and Ben don’t have to see the mess until the weekend is over.

While they admit that every bit of a renovation can be exhausting, Gen and Ben see it as the ultimate creative outlet. A home’s existing beauties and limitations stir their imagination. The challenge of finding ways to be authentic is a fun one—here they used many materials that were available in the 1930s when the house was built, such as Carrara marble, subway tiles, and hex marble floors. “Anything that touches the architecture, we make those things classical,” Gen explains. “Then the furniture and fabrics can come in and add color and pattern. I’ve loved taking a great old Southern house and shaking it up in the interiors while still keeping its authenticity intact.”

Though the family is hooked on Nashville, we wouldn’t bet on them staying put in this gem. “As much as I like to nest and enjoy the finished space, we’re always looking at real estate, and there are so many treasures in Nashville,” Gen says. Who knows: There might be another diamond in the rough that needs the Pencil and Paper treatment soon.

Photography: Leslee Mitchell | Featured On: One Kings Lane | Interior Design: Pencil & Paper Co.

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New Year’s Eve Destination Wedding in Cancun at Villa La Joya

Now, THIS is my kind of New Year’s Eve wedding! I would trade the snow and cold for the sand and sun in a heartbeat if I had planned a NYE fete. Who’s with me? Designed by the Bride herself with planning by Mango Weddings—today’s celebration is pure destination wedding goals. From the breezy first look to the ceremony set in front of crashing waves, Richelle Hunter collected all the moments of this day with her lens. Dive into all the beauty below!

Chris and Aleli had an intimate destination wedding at a private beachfront villa in Cancun, Mexico. What made it even more special was that it was held on New Years’ Eve and the couple was able to share a memorable midnight countdown with all their guests while dining al fresco.

This intimate wedding perfectly represented the bride and groom’s personal style with understated elegance. The wedding design emphasized the natural elements of the venue: an impeccably kept private villa facing the Caribbean sea – making the most perfect canvas of bridal dreams.

The bride selected classic and elegant florals with soft colours to highlight the natural greenery and intrinsic beauty of the venue. She merged whimsical boho elements—a peacock chair, vintage furniture, Moroccan-inspired poufs alongside more refined pieces – crystal champagne coupes, rose gold flatware, and tapered candles. Twinkling fairy lights weaved the al fresco terrace with a pool of florals at the center – all perfectly planned and executed by Mango Weddings. Chris and Aleli pledged their love for each with self-written vows facing the Caribbean coastline, gentle winds brushing along the palm trees and captured beautifully by Richelle Hunter Photography and Eric Frank Cinemas.

Guests had dinner under the stars catered by Gourmet Soberanis. The bride and groom were welcomed through a sparkler tunnel and shared their first dance to Dan + Shay’s “Speechless”. Musical performances led by the groom kicked off a night full of music, song, and dance as guests shared champagne toasts under a beautiful display of fireworks lining the coastline. Talk about an epic New Year’s Eve midnight countdown!

“For Chris and I, we viewed our wedding not only as a celebration of our relationship, but as a celebration of family and friendship. To be surrounded by our most favourite people and ring in a new beginning this New Year’s Eve was unbelievably special.”, says the bride.

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Photography: Richelle Hunter Photography | Videography: Erik Frank Cinema | Event Planning: Mango Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Floreria Jardin | Cake: Cutini Parrucchieri | Invitations: Minted | Stationery: Southpaw And Co | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Birdy Grey | Catering: Gourmet Soberanis | Hair and Makeup: Kika Makeup | Calligraphy: Sincerely Camille | DJ: DJ Julian | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Groomsmen Suits: RW & Co | Venue: Villa la Joya | Bridal Gown: Enzoani | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Fireworks: Cutini Parrucchieri | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Photobooth: The Crazybox Cancun | Rentals: Alquimia Events | Rentals: Archive Rentals | Wedding Design: Aleli Evangelista

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A Tropical Light Pink Wedding at Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens with a Southern Twist

A tropical Hawaiian wedding day at Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens with a bit of Texas twang? To that we say “Aloha y’all”!  We couldn’t be more in love with the sweetness of Rachel and Jeffrey’s day planned by the talented team at Moana Events. Don’t miss out on a single detail of this charming light pink island affair at the full gallery captured by Julie Paisley Photography.

From Moana EventsRachel and Jeffrey both attended Texas Christian University, however they never became more than just acquaintances, although Jeffery claimed that they shared at least a class.

A few years after college, the two were reintroduced through mutual friends on a trip to Mexico, where they became close friends. Jeffrey finally asked Rachel out a few months later and they have not been separated since.

Jeffrey proposed to Rachel on her family’s ranch, on her birthday, after a hike up her favorite mountain trail. It was the perfect moment shared between just the two of them.

Rachel’s family grew up going to Kauai and have a long history there. She always envisioned getting married in the little green church in Hanalei, and once she got engaged she started planning her wedding there. 

The couple incorporated Hawaii-inspired details like a traditional Hawaiian quilt pattern on the invitations, escort cards, and cake. As a nod to Texas, they also incorporated Southern traditions like a bourbon, cigar, and sweets bar for the gents.

Photography: Julie Paisley Photography | Event Design: Moana Belle Events | Floral Design: Mei Day | Cake: Kaya's Cakes | Stationery: Anna Claire Calligraphy + Design | Ceremony Venue: Wai Oli Hui Ia Church | Reception Venue: Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens | Catering: Contemporary Flavors | Hair & Makeup: Mia Moriguchi LLC | DJ: Kustom Sounds Kauai | Ceremony Music: Pancho Graham | Invitations & Stationery: Momental Designs | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Reception Music: Island Kings Band | Rentals: Cutini Parrucchieri | Rentals: Lee's Rentals Inc. | Rentals: Kawaii Designs Hawaii | Signage: The Letter Palette | Sound: Blaze Entertainment

Spring Wedding at Rancho Bernardo Inn with Neutral Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

If you’re on team mismatched bridesmaids, today’s group of neutral babes will surely be going on your Pinterest wedding board. Blushes, grays and champagne made for a sweepingly beautiful look, surrounding their beautiful Bride. Paired with Burgundy, blush and peach dotted florals, Splendid Sentiments crafted complimentary bouquets to boot for this Rancho Bernardo Inn affair planned by Sweet Blossom Weddings. See it all unfold with Natalie Bray‘s imagery below!

From Natalie Bray… Amanda and Avery could not be more perfect for each other. Both kind, generous, and funny. They love each other unconditionally. Amanda chose the most beautiful gown and to compliment she let her bridesmaids choose from a color palette she picked out. Her bridesmaids have amazing taste and the look they put together is one of my favorites.

The florals from Splendid Sentiments are out of this world. Truly romantic and colorful to represent Spring. Avery also has a family business growing a certain type of floral called a Bromiglia and they incorporated this unique succulent into the decor. Everything was designed beautifully by Sweet Blossom Weddings as well. A colorful and vibrant night to sweep any guest off their feet.

What was your color palette and your style vision?

We stayed true to the color palette made popular last spring. The staple blush hues always appealed to me, but I wanted to personalize this further and add an unexpected pop to really build dynamism into the bridal party palette. It was important to me to have my Maid & Matron of Honor stand out amid the bridal party for all of their efforts throughout my period of engagement, so each were dressed in beautiful sequin designs that complimented the rest of the bridesmaids dresses. We selected Sorella Vita as our bridesmaid dress designer from the collection at Something Bridal in San Luis Obispo due to its array of cuts, colors and textiles that would build out the beautiful and dynamic palette that became our bridal party. Each girl selected their own style, while I coordinated the fabrics and hues to provide a visually cohesive and interesting palette of rose gold, taupe and bronze hues. This was best complimented by our floral arrangement designed by Splendid Sentiments.

When I started to envision my wedding, it was important to me to share my California roots with our extended family visiting from varying parts of the United States. The Rancho Bernardo Inn was the perfect venue in which to highlight the casual elegant Spanish heritage of San Diego and embed elements of “home” within our ceremony and reception. We worked with Splendid Sentiments to build out a design that would replicate the romantic, yet casual vibe of the Southern California coast to meet t