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The Signature Scents Our Editors Wore on their Wedding Days

There are lots of big decisions to make for your wedding day (like dress shopping!), and then, there are lots of little ones too. Tiny details that are equally as important in making your Big Day come together—like selecting your signature scent! Maybe you already have a favorite that you wear on the daily, or maybe you want to get something a little extra special to remember your day by. If you’re in need of some scent inspo, we’re sharing our favorites that we wore! Keep reading for our editors selections below.

Erin

My husband gifted me with Kai after I fell in love with it on a vacation and it has been my signature scent ever since. It reminds me of gardenias, and beaches, and summer, and, of course, my one and only. It was the perfect scent to wear on my wedding day.

Melissa

Beach by Bobbi Brown is my absolute favorite scent in the world. I even wear it in the winter! When it came to my wedding day, I wanted to wear something that my husband was already familiar with, rather than a totally new scent I’d never worn. Beach was the perfect pairing for our coastal, waterfront wedding. 

Liz

I wore Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. I’m super picky with fragrances but have found that I adore the scent of gardenia and jasmine scents and I’ve obsessed over this one for years. My wedding seemed like the perfect opportunity (excuse?) to finally purchase this pretty, chic bottle and wearing it on my wedding day made me love this scent even more, if that was even possible! To this day, one sniff brings me so much joy and sweet memories, and I never, ever tire of it.

Courtney

I wore Chanel Chance on my wedding day. It is very light and summery with notes of citrus—it reminds me of a vacation under the sun—so it was perfect for our destination wedding in Palm Springs. I also wore Chance often in the early days of dating my now husband and it reminds us both of college when we fell in love.

Christine

I wore Illuminum White Gardenia Petals. It’s no secret among my loved ones that I am obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge, so when she Kate chose this scent for her wedding, I had to acquire a sample. I fell in love with the fragrance and quickly adopted it as my own “special occasion signature scent.” It’s a pared-down perfume – light, simple, and feminine – and was the perfect choice for my own big day. I felt pretty and elegant but not overwhelmed. Plus, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had an amazing marriage so far – I’m convinced this perfume is good luck for my own!

Tracy

I wore Ralph by Ralph Lauren. It’s my husband’s favorite so I thought it would be a special touch just for him! I try to wear it on special date nights and anniversaries, too!

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How to Tie – and Wear – the Perfect Bow Tie

Whether you’re the groom, the groomsman, or the bridesman, mastering the art of tying a bow tie is essential! When done well, there’s perhaps no other accessory that can make the same statement, whether that be classic elegance or a playful pop of personality. However, knotting these just right can be a source of some trepidation, so the team at The Groomsman Suit is here today to help! Read on and watch the video below, where they walk you through choosing, tying, and wearing the perfect bow tie. With these tips and tricks, it’s easy – we promise!

Did you know that before buttons were invented, men would use a sharp pin to keep the top of their shirts closed? The pin transitioned to a scarf during the 17th century Thirty Year War, and centuries later, in France, it evolved into the bow tie we know and love today.

Back then, men who wore bow ties were considered worldly and highly intellectual. We think that’s due to the technical acumen required to tie the darn thing! Thanks to the invention of the pre-tied bow tie, wearing a bow tie has become a part of everyday fashion. While pre-tie bow ties can be handy and ensure a certain level of consistency when groups are wearing them (i.e. groomsmen and bridesmen), there really is nothing like a hand tied bow tie. As part of The Groomsman Suit’s commitment to helping guys look and feel their best, we created this step by step guide to tying your own bow tie. With a little practice, you will be an expert!

Once you’ve mastered the art of tying a bow tie, you can explore different shapes. Tied similarly to the butterfly, the straight edge bow tie will help you stand out in a more casual setting. We like to reserve the slightly more complicated diamond point bow tie for more formal occasions. When tying this knot, you must make sure you align the pointed ends perfectly. There will always be one side with an end at the front and a side with the end behind the bow. The pointed end behind the bow has to be positioned to peek out beyond the bow fold to show its shape. This will ensure that both sides of the bow tie have a pointed shape.

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Here are some other tips to accessorizing with a bow tie:


Find the Right Size

In the video above, a standard 2” butterfly bow tie was used. A 2-2.5” butterfly bow tie is the most versatile and will work in most any occasion. Unless you have a very large neck size, we don’t recommend using a big butterfly (i.e. 3” size). The ends of your bow tie should align with the outermost crests of your temples.


Pick the Right Fabric

Shinier fabrics like silk and satin are appropriate for more formal occasions. If you’re putting on a bow tie before you head out for a fun night at the bar, cotton, linen, or wool fabrics is the right choice.


Wear the Right Shirt

You can never go wrong with a crisp white dress shirt, and that is really the only option for a formal silk or satin bow tie. For a more casual look, pair your cotton, linen, or wool bow tie with a gray or a lightly colored or patterned dress shirt. Nothing says “Let’s party!” like a bow tie! They are a fun and unique way to style the guys in your wedding. A hand tied bow tie will always look better than a pre-tied one, so take a few minutes before the big day to master it. If you are a groomsman or bridesman, consider learning part of your wedding duties!

Cinematography: Jj Ignotz | Expert Advice: SuitShop

If Ever There Were a Time for All Out Glam, It Would Be This Date

Glamorous doesn’t even begin to describe this New Year’s Eve wedding captured by Michelle Beller. It goes far beyond that notion of sparkle and beauty. Just imagine a romantic early evening affair that transforms into the most spectacular NYE celebration ever and you’re on the right track. Decked out in a sea of blush and gold with florals masterminded by Mindy Rice, planning by Alexandra Kolendrianos, and beauty at the hands of TEAM Hair & Makeup, this ringing in of the new year is one for the books.

From the Bride…From the beginning, Bennett and I had planned on Santa Barbara. It is my hometown and Bennett’s college town. Santa Barbara is a visual masterpiece – our topography (mountains and Pacific Ocean) and our unique architectural style combine to make every nook and cranny a potential wedding venue!

Then we thought about day versus night. Bennett, for many years, has hosted epic New Year’s Eve parties in San Francisco. An early evening wedding with a reception that transformed into a New Year’s celebration became the theme. After considering my family home and then our country club, it became obvious that we needed a large venue equipped to handle an outdoor ceremony and an indoor ballroom reception. Our local Four Seasons The Biltmore is one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. The first site visit sealed our plans for an outside ceremony on the mountain facing lawn and a reception in the legendary ocean front Coral Casino, a short stroll across the street.

As is the case with the best laid plans, our wedding weekend turned out to be one of the wettest on record. On the wedding day, our amazing wedding team had to relocate our ceremony to the gorgeous Biltmore ballroom I can honestly say not one detail of the emergency relocation felt “less than” or contrived. Our team created a magnificent environment unique and custom.

As you look at the photos, I would also recommend checking out our rehearsal dinner. It holds a very special place in our hearts. If we didn’t have a large family, nor pick a wedding date that encourages plus ones we would have made Bennett’s family home our wedding venue. The atmosphere was romantic with rich colors and a quartet. We had massive banquet tables, food served family style, outstanding wines, and toast throughout the evening.

Our hope was to have a classic, elegant, romantic affair to ring in NYE. From the ceremony aisle that was lined with hurricane candles to the wedding structure of flowers and softly hung linens, the work of Alexandra Kolendrianos and Mindy Rice was magic. They pulled from warm white and honey/gold tones and added pops of midnight blue, green, and some metallics.

Mindy Rice created the most beautiful photobooth backdrop. I asked her to create something that would be special to the occasion. I felt a good NYE celebration needed a fun photobooth. I also loved the idea of it being a central design element for the evening. What she came up with was perfect. She hand crafted “2017” out of sparkles that glimmered in the outdoor lighting. She then mounted these to a soft pink backdrop and finished it off with a gold frame. It was a show stopper.

Bennett ordered every man in the wedding a pair of black velvet smoking slippers. He adding gold stickers to each shoe’s sole which said “C+B” on the right and “NYE 2017” on the left. It was his favorite DIY moment of the wedding. A great memento!

We would have to say our favorite moment was the ceremony that our officiant, a close family friend, wrote for us. It was so personal and touching. He somehow intertwined Bennett’s and my own words to describe our first date, falling in love, adventuring to DC, and so much more. He said everything we would have said in our vows but much more eloquently and without sobs.

We would say a close second would be right before we entered the ballroom for our first dance, we danced around outside, checked out all the amazing decorations and flowers. Having that moment to ourselves, enjoying the setting, the ocean, a moment with my new husband was heaven.

And for me, a favorite moment would have to be when the mother-son dance started. Bennett and his mother, Bettina, had choreographed a dance to U2 “Beautiful Day” and during each chorus they did this one over the top, fantastic move. It brought so much laughter and set the stage that we, the attendees, were ready to get the party started.

Photography: Michelle Beller | Event Planning: Alexandra Kolendrianos | Floral Design: Mindy Rice | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Four Seasons | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Hair and Make Up: TEAM Hair and Makeup | lighting: Images By Lighting | Band: Society Music and Sound | Confetti Canons: Artistry in Motion | Hair Piece: Jenny Packham | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Photo Booth: Wuddabooth | Rentals: Bella Vista Productions | Rentals: Town And Country | Rentals: Rrivre Works

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Tips For Balancing Work + Wedding Planning

Once you get engaged, you have to gear up to take on everything that comes with planning a wedding. Big or small, there is usually a fair bit to do before you walk down the aisle, and chances are you already have a full-time job that requires your total attention.

It can be tricky to find time to manage both your work and wedding planning, as well as staying sane and enjoying your engagement. I’ve rounded up some helpful tips and tricks to balance your new hectic schedule!


Kristin La Voie Photography

Get a Wedding Planning Checklist
This is key! These checklists are all over Pinterest, and even in wedding planning guidebooks (yes, they make those). So find one that contains things that pertain to your wedding, and have a look at the breakdown. Typically, they will break it down according to the timeframe leading up the wedding. For example,12 months before the wedding you should be locking down your venue, deciding on a budget and beginning your hunt for the perfect dress, and 6 weeks before your wedding you should be confirming with vendors and picking up marriage licenses. This will help you set manageable goals without getting too overwhelmed by the big picture.

Delegate like a pro
Remember: You are not in this alone, it’s not a solo project. Although you do get to run the show if you choose, you can (and should) enlist the help of your fiance, your bridesmaids, mother, future mother-in-law and other friends and family members who volunteer their time and assistance. There are a lot of things that can be split up and divided among your team! For example, you could always have your bridesmaids hunt down some gown options in your colour palette, that way all you have to do is choose one! And spending weekends looking at venues and tasting cakes with your fiance should be enjoyable, and it’s half of the fun of being an engaged couple!


Bisou Style

Find Apps that Work for You
I like to use an app called “Any Do” to make myself interactive to-do lists. I get a lot of satisfaction from plugging in everything I have to do for the next day, then swiping to tick them off as I accomplish them. Any Do lets you pop items into different categories, so you can easily make a category for “work” and one for “wedding”, so you can keep your lists separate without overwhelming yourself with your task list. There are loads of productivity apps out there, it’s just about finding what method of organization works best for you and your goals! Just maybe stick with one or two, too many apps can just add clutter to your already busy schedule!


Waiting on Martha

Don’t Bite off More than You can Chew
A lot of couples go a bit DIY crazy and attempt to create a lot of components of their wedding themselves, from scratch. While I applaud these couples that pull this off, sometimes I think it may be a bit more trouble than it’s worth. It can be easy to build a massive Pinterest board full of amazing ideas, but in the end, the time you will save from just buying or paying someone to do it will be invaluable. So please, if you are a calligraphy wiz, make some cards and signage! But if you don’t have access to an industrial kitchen, maybe don’t bake each of your guests chocolate chip cookies for the reception (yes, this has been attempted in a tiny NYC apartment), and just give yourself manageable goals that are not going to make you crazy.


Lara Lam Photography

Give yourself Time Off!
Essentially, you’re working two full-time jobs if you’re also planning a wedding (shout out to all the professional wedding planners out there!) And just like overworking, it is very possible to get burnt out quickly. Make sure that you set aside free time away from work and planning. Things like making sure you get to the gym when you need to, having dinner with your partner every night, and even planning a weekend away will all help you stay sane. Above all, it will help you remain enthusiastic about both your career and setting up the big day!

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

A Wedding With Too Many Gorgeous Gems To Pick Just One

There is usually a part of every wedding that stands out to me, my own little personal favorite detail or pic. But this wedding right here… I just can’t decide. The OMG florals or the stationery and personalized crest with the cutest pups ever?! They are both just TOO GOOD to pick just one. Lucky for me, I don’t have to decide, both gems are in our gallery of gorgeous pics thanks to Stephanie Brazzle and that is where I’ll be, staring wide eyed and soaking it all up! Do tell; what’s your favorite?

From the Bride… Tommy and I are high school sweethearts, and it has been so amazing to watch each other grow into the people we are today. We actually got married on the 11th anniversary of the day that he first asked me out, all those years ago! Because I was in medical school when he proposed, we had a long engagement and I had a lot of time to dream about the kind of wedding we wanted. I’m definitely a sucker for wedding details! I loved picking out a pretty ring box, choosing my fabulous wedding shoes, and obsessing over my gorgeous dress. However, it is so important not to forget that the best part of your wedding day is finally getting married! 

We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us as a couple, and my very favorite detail is our watercolor-painted wedding crest – I worked closely with the artist to come up with a design that featured everything important to our relationship. We absolutely adore our fur babies – between the two of us, we are the proud parents of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a trio of miniature dachshunds – and we knew we had to include them in the crest since they wouldn’t be able to join us in person on the big day. We also share a mutual love of coffee, donuts, and macarons, and those were incorporated into the crest as well as featured in our actual dessert bar! We used the crest on our invitations, the table numbers, even the dinner menus, and it added such a personal and unique touch. My wonderful planner helped us strike a balance between the cultural and religious traditions of our families and my Pinterest-fueled ideas for the wedding day. All of my lovely vendors brought to life my vision of an indoor garden wedding with lots of greenery and loose, organic floral arrangements, using a color palette of dreamy pops of blush pink and gold. Best of all, everyone knows how much I love bubble tea, and we brought in a bubble tea truck after everyone had danced their hearts out, which was the perfect way to end a night of joyful celebration and laughter with our loved ones.

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Photography: Stephanie Brazzle Photography | Event Planning: Love And Sparrows Events | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Cake: HoneyLove Cakery | Invitations: Elizabeth Bardwell Flutter Letterpress | Ceremony Venue: Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Brianne | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Vestals Catering | Reception Catering: ABC Seafood + Dim Sum | Hair + Makeup: Beauty And The Blush | DJ: RLF Society | Transportation: ABC Transportation | Floral Design (Bouquet and Boutonniere): Moss Floral Design | Floral Design (Ceremony + Reception): dream weddings and events | Getting Ready + First Look: Hotel Crescent Court | Macarons: MAC & CREAM | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Tarts: Tartalicious | Wedding Crest: Karli Strohschein and Rachelle Youd Designs

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
This Is Why a Tuscan Wedding Is Always a Good Idea

What is not to love about a destination wedding in Italy’s beloved countryside? The sun’s golden glow – ideal for an al fresco feast – the rolling hills, the stunning architecture… the list goes on and on. Chiara Sernesi of Weddings in Tuscany highlighted these trademark features of a Tuscan wedding in her romantic editorial at Castel Porrona, and Coco Tran made the most of that famous, warm sunshine in her absolutely perfect photographs, which are all waiting for you right here.

Among the rolling hills and the beautiful, cypress tree lined countryside of Italy – the most magical locations for the discerning Bride who values good food and company – the Tuscany region in Italy is a wonderful location for an intimate destination wedding. Castel Porrona has enough room to host all guests and has beautiful grounds for an al fresco dinner under the Tuscan sun and stars. We created this editorial to help Brides visualize their wedding day here. We used locally sourced flowers and chose blush colored tones with a neutral gray. The Bride’s dress is from BHLDN and is the perfect blend between classic and elegance.

Photography: Coco Tran | Event Planning + Design: Weddings in Tuscany by Chiara Sernesi | Floral Design: Chiara Sperti | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Shoes: Bella Belle | Hair + Makeup: Consuelo Cardella | Calligraphy: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy | Venue: Castel Porrona

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
5 Wellness Books To Get Your Hands On This Fall

As the seasons get cooler and the holidays approach, it’s a great time to practice a little self-care and realign yourself with your intentions. With the hustle and bustle of parties and gift-giving getting closer and closer, it’s important to continue to practice wellness. Here are five wellness books that will help you stay in tune with who you are and continue to better yourself as we head into fall and winter.


Ether & Smith


Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Every single one of us has faced failure in our lives, but it’s what we do immediately after the failure that makes a difference. Brown, known best for her TED Talk on vulnerability, brings another powerhouse message about staying in the arena and rising after difficulties. She emphasizes the importance of leaning into our emotions and not being afraid to take the paths less traveled.


This Love of Yours Photography


In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. That’s Pollan’s summation of health, and it’s a great motto to live by when the Halloween candy seems tempting. By eating real food instead of processed junk, not overdoing it, and sticking to a plant-based diet, you can embrace health while still savoring the occasional treat. Instead of focusing on losing weight or getting a bikini body, Pollan argues that better food makes you feel better and is also better for the environment–a holistic argument we can get behind.


Caroline Lima Photography


Cultivate by Lara Casey

Do you struggle to identify which parts of your life need the most time, care, and attention? Casey breaks down how to decide what matters the most to you and how to cultivate it effectively, using the metaphor of a garden cleverly throughout the book.


Perry Vaile Photography


Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume by Jason Wachob

Wachob discusses the importance of “wellth” over “wealth”—meaning how much purpose and energy you’re able to bring to your life. His inspiring message about prioritizing your mental health over your bank account and how to achieve the life you want to live is a powerful one.


Ruth Eileen


The Sleep Revolution by Ariana Huffington

Did you know that adults are supposed to get 7-9 hours of sleep? Most adults, however, get much fewer. Huffington makes a passionate case for a “sleep revolution” and talks about how our culture’s distaste for sleep is hurting everything from our career climbing to our sex lives. Curl up with this book and then get to bed early!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Claire Swinarski is a writer and podcaster based in Wisconsin. When she isn’t writing, she can be found obsessing over football, eating a burrito bowl, or hanging out with her husband and son.

It’s All About Wild Romance with Sachin & Babi’s Fall 2018 Bridal Week Collection


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Wedding Dress: Sachin And Babi

Gracy Accad Fall 2018 Bridal Week Will Give You All the Grace Kelly Vibes


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Photography: Dan Lecca | Wedding Dress: Gracy Accad

How To Get Gorgeous Photos On Your Honeymoon

My husband and I both agree that our wedding day was one of the best days of our lives, but the honeymoon that followed, was the absolute best vacation we’d ever been on together. Although I got a few eye rolls from my “Instagram husband” for whipping out my phone or camera every two seconds, we love looking back at images of those ten days of bliss. Want to get amazing captures on your honeymoon, too? Keep reading for our tips below, paired with a dreamy Bahamas shoot from Simply Sarah Photography.

Hire a Professional

Your wedding day is bound to be incredibly memorable, especially when you flip back through those images taken by your photographer. So, why not do the same for your honeymoon? Not in the budget? Include that cost in a honey fund on your wedding registry! These images from Simply Sarah Photography clearly prove it’s a good idea.

Gear Up

Even if you plan to do a shoot with a professional, you’ll still want to capture all of those in between moments. Here’s where you want to make sure you’ve got the right gear for your personal needs. A versatile camera with plenty of options will come in handy for capturing everything from the beautiful landscapes you might encounter to portraits of your and your love on the beach. This one is a good option and even has built-in wi-fi for easy uploading so you can share your vacation with friends and family in real time.

If you plan on taking lots of snaps with your phone as well, make sure you’re doing it right. Give your smartphone a quick upgrade with a lens kit. Planning on a snorkeling adventure? This is a must-have.

Know the Basics

Having the right gear doesn’t = honeymoon photo success. You’ll also want to have a basic know-how of what makes a good capture.

First up, golden hour, the time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when the natural light is least harsh and the sun is at it’s dreamiest. Most photographers’ work we feature here on the daily do shoots at golden hour!

Next, positioning. Try to always keep in mind how you position yourselves or your image subject when composing a shot. For beautifully lit shots, the sun should always be behind the camera rather than behind the subject. Unless of course, you’re trying to capture a beautiful sunset or a silhouette shot.

Also, keep in mind the Rule of Thirds. This simple guide encourages dividing a frame into a three by three grid and aligning your image subject along these gridlines or their intersections. You don’t have to be rigid with every single photo you take, but this idea helps you to get creative with your shots, rather than defaulting to centering everything.

Lastly, don’t forget to ask for help! You’re going to want plenty of honeymooner shots, so ask other travelers or locals to capture you. Don’t be afraid to tell them where to stand and ask them to take a few shots to have options. People are usually very happy to help honeymooners capture these memories!

Photography: Elizabeth Lanier Photography | Styling: Molly McKinley Designs | Jewelry: Susie Saltzman | Hair & Makeup: The Hair and Makeup Collective | Venue: The Cove Eleuthera | Film Processing: PhotoVision Prints

Bringing Awareness: Brides Against Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to commemorate, Brides Against Breast Cancer is donating 200 designer wedding dresses to brides in need! This social enterprise is committed to donating a portion of all its proceeds from dress sales to breast cancer research.


Carretto Studio

For the month of October, brides in need can select a dress off the website, share her story of how she needs it, and pay for only shipping and handling!

Breast cancer now impacts 1 in 8 women, and it is with these unfortunate statistics in mind that BABC is dedicated to sharing its proceeds with breast cancer charities nationwide. The social enterprise has been helping women since 1997, and has since raised millions of dollars for charity, as well as helping thousands of women with affordable dress purchases. Dresses can be purchased three different ways: its traveling “Wedding Dress Experience” shows (heading through Florida and Atlanta next), the Atlanta flagship store, and of course, via the website.

“BABC is innovative in how it conducts business and also in how it gives back to causes and brides. We’re proud to have a partnership with Brides Against Breast Cancer,” said Sheryl Cherico, President of the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund charity.

Any bride can purchase off-the-rack wedding gowns, which are either samples, new, or certified pre-owned gowns. They range in price, beginning at $99, with couture gowns going up to $2,999. All of the designer wedding dresses have been donated from generous, caring bridal salons or individuals who want to join in BABC’s goal of raising profit in support of breast cancer research.

If you are interested in the work BABC is doing and would like to get involved, please see BridesAgainstBreastCancer.org

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

Watercolor Paintings Inspired This French Countryside Wedding

Wanting their wedding to feel like a watercolor painting, this couple chose a dreamy color palette with washed-out tones for their French countryside destination celebration at Chateau de Barbirey, planned by Marry Me in France. Between the perfectly adorned tablescape by Juane Pivoine, the illustrated invitation suite, and the softly lit photographs captured by Peter and Veronika, we’re enamored with the undeniable romance of this pretty palette and watercolor effect.

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From the Bride… I had only been living in Los Angeles for three weeks, and Gideon had only been home from France for three months, but somehow our paths crossed at the highly unromantic dive bar, Kitbz Room adjoined to the infamous Canters Deli in Los Angeles. Gideon charmed me all night with tales of his French travels, and six months later, he joined me on a trip to Paris. That week in October proved to be one of the most magical and solidifying moments of our lives, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Two years later, we decided say, “I Do,” in the beautiful country where we fell in love.

We knew we wanted a small and intimate wedding with close friends and family, so a chateau in the countryside sounded perfect! We thought to ourselves, you only live once, right? We started our search and landed on a beautiful 17th century castle located in the Burgundy region of France, Chateau De Barbirey. From the hundred-year-old cobblestone streets to the French blue shutters on all 36 windows, this location seemed like a true fairytale.

Taking into consideration the beautiful landscape and dreamy façade, we decided to have our theme and tone complement this beautiful establishment. We wanted our wedding to feel like a watercolor painting, something dreamy, with washed-out tones such as pale pink, cream, French blue, and accents of gold. However due to the natural beauty of the chateau, it didn’t need much pizazz.

Throughout the weekend in Burgundy, we consumed endless amounts of rosé and croque monsieur while sweating profusely from the thick humidity of the summertime. We witnessed thunder and hail storms throughout the entire wedding day, but when the ceremony began, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Even the church bells rang as Gideon and I placed our rings on each other’s fingers. No matter how many little issues we encountered along the way, the magical storybook wedding we had fantasized about came true that day. France will always have a special place in our hearts, and the magical moments we shared with family and friends that day will forever live on.

Photography: Peter & Veronika | Event Planning: Marry Me In France | Floral Design: Jaune Pivoine | Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Katherine Frelon | Venue: Chateau de Barbirey | Photography Assistance: Floretally

See the Fresh Wedding Color Palette Inspiring Us Now

Sally Pinera Photography and So Happi Together first dreamed up this wedding editorial to inspire Brides with a fresh new color palette. They brought on all stars of the wedding world – including La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Heavenly Blooms, and Found Vintage Rentals – to bring their colorful dream to life. Pinks, yellows, lavenders, and blues combine in a soft and elegant way, proving a color filled palette can still be timeless, delicate, and beautiful.

From Nancy of So Happi TogetherStarting with a desire to encourage Brides to consider fresh new color palettes with a range of possibilities, Sally Pinera Photography and Nancy Park of So Happi Together Event Design and Planning joined forces to dream up an inspirational photo shoot. They hoped to maintain a sense of old world elegance along with a fresh sensibility of curated details and beautifully romantic and interesting colors.

Having been a fan of Kestrel Park since before its first event, they knew it would be the perfect setting for their shoot. The color palette of muted dusty rose, butter yellow, foggy ocean mist, delicate lilac, and organic greens fit perfectly with the space, indigenous florals, and landscape. With the help of a few hand-picked vendors, they produced a wedding design with colors and details that are sure to inspire!

Once a color palette and overall design/ambiance was decided upon, they called upon some of their friends to help them execute all of the fun details. They created a tablescape that was inviting with textured beauty and fanciful delights, without feeling too fussy or over the top. The refined wood farm table paired with upholstered dining chairs from Revelry Event Designs provided the perfect foundation for the place settings comprised of handmade lace and scalloped chargers and plates, antique crystal glassware, and scrolled pewter flatware – all provided by The Ark Rentals. Upon each of these place settings were delicate menus printed on handmade paperwith gold foil and watercolor accents, dressed with pieces of muscari wrapped in hand-dyed silk ribbon from Tono & Co. These and all other paper goods were designed with custom calligraphy and water color illustrations by Jane of Red Letter Day. The grand focus of the dining table was made up of romantic and lush floral arrangements (including some varieties foraged directly from the property) created by Heavenly Blooms. These sat in stone urns on top of billowy gauze runners provided by La Tavola Linens. Overhead, hung a crystal chandelier from Bella Vista Designs.

The beautiful Bride wore Naeem Khan wedding gown, with her second (reception) dress being a fun and delicately detailed Needle and Thread. Chiali Meng provided hair and makeup services and ensured that the models matched the fresh and refined whimsy of the shoot. The Groom wore a classic peak tuxedo provided by The Black Tux.

Delicious food and drinks play such an important role at every wedding, so Omni Catering was asked to provide some inspirational appetizers and cocktails, and they did not disappoint! MCakes Sweets designed a cake with the most beautiful sugar flowers that complemented the wedding colors and florals. Overall, the goal was to create a design and color palette that felt timeless over trendy, organic and effortless over forced imitation, and refined over rustic. We hope that couples find this as inspiring as we have!

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Photography: Sally Pinera | Event Planning + Design: So Happi Together | Floral Design: Heavenly Blooms | Wedding Dress: Naeem Khan | Catering: Omni Fresco Catering | Hair + Makeup: Chiali Meng | Stationery + Calligraphy: Red Letter Day | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Kestrel Park | Cake + Desserts: M Cakes Sweets | Ceramics: Ren Vois | Linen: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Place Setting: The Ark Event Rentals | Reception Dress: Needle & Thread | Rentals: Found Rentals | Rentals: Revelry Event Designers | Ribbons: Tono Co

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This is All Your Fall Goals in One Little Spot

Pop of gingham…check. Perfect camel blazer…check. Delicious apple cider cocktail…check, check, check. This inspiration is all you need for a cozy and scrumptious fall weekend. Crafted by Jen of Freckles on Fillmore and Torrey Fox Photography, dive into the recipe for a yummy sip and inspiration for perfect autumn style all in one little spot.

It’s that magical time of year when the leaves start to fall, pumpkins spiced lattes have made their infamous return and JCrew comes out with their much-anticipated fall collection. Three of my favorite reminders that fall is upon us. Thank goodness.

In the name of this seasons arrival, Torrey and I wanted to create a festive but strong drink for the occasion. The cinnamon dipped rim, apple slice and cinnamon sticks add for the perfect fall cocktail.

Cinnamon Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail
prep time
5 Minute/s
cook time
total time
5 Minute/s
Serves 1Ingredients
  • 2 shots apple cider
  • 1 shot bourbon
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Approx. Of Cinnamon
  • 1 Apple
  • Container of Cinnamon sticks
Instructions
  1. Slice the lemon and rim the glass with lemon. Then dip the glass rim in a plate of cinnamon.
  2. Mix apple cider, bourbon, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cinnamon into a shaker (or pour directly into glass and mix with a stirrer or spoon will do just fine). Shake or stir that puppy well.
  3. You can add ice if you'd like or you can refrigerate the cider and bourbon for an hour.
  4. Finally, garnish with apple slice and cinnamon sticks.

Photography: Torrey Fox Photography | Drink Styling: Jen Nordine | Drink Styling: Torrey Fox | Outfit Styling: Jen Nordine

Desiree Hartsock’s Tips for Wedding Month Beauty Appointments

During the month of my wedding, I scheduled a few different beauty treatments so I’d look and feel my best on my special day. These times became delightful timeouts from wedding planning for me and I enjoyed getting a little TLC amidst coordinating out-of-town-guests, making last-minute decisions about centerpieces, and having my final dress alterations.


Brandon Kidd Photography

In order to feel pampered and not perturbed, I made sure to time them out so there wouldn’t be any beauty disasters like a rash from a waxing!  Here’s how to schedule out these appointments so your bridal glow is intact on your wedding day.

Facials

Put your best face forward and schedule a full facial one month before your wedding day so your face has plenty of time to absorb the treatments, especially if you are planning on getting extractions, exfoliation, and steaming. This is the time to address any clogged pores or trouble areas and you’ll want to make sure your skin calms down afterward.

For the week of the wedding, get a gentle, cleansing facial at a salon or do an at-home mask (one that you’ve used before to ensure you aren’t allergic to it!) and be sure to use moisturizer and cleanser every day during your wedding month. This way, your skin will be in tip-top shape for all those wedding photos!


Eric Kelley Photography

Eyebrow Waxing

If you’ve waxed before, get your bikini line, legs, and eyebrows done three days before your wedding (you’ll be good for both the bridal day and your honeymoon!). With this timing, there won’t be any time for ingrown hairs but any redness will fade away. If you are a waxing newbie, do a trial wax about two months prior to your wedding day so you can see how your skin reacts.


Love & Light Photographs

Haircut

Get your hair glossy and glamorous by planning a visit to your hairstylist two to three weeks before your wedding day. This is not the time to try out that new pixie cut—simply stick with the look you feel good about and get your ends trimmed up so your hair looks strong and healthy. You might also want to indulge in a deep conditioning treatment so your locks are extra shiny. If you are getting highlights done (and, again, you shouldn’t be experimenting at this point, just maintaining so there isn’t a hair 911 situation), schedule that appointment for seven to ten days prior to the wedding day and wait two days before shampooing your hair so the color sets and stays vibrant.

f you are getting highlights done (and, again, you shouldn’t be experimenting at this point, just maintaining so there isn’t a hair 911 situation), schedule that appointment for seven to ten days prior to the wedding day and wait two days before shampooing your hair so the color sets and stays vibrant.

Manicure and Pedicure

Make sure your nails are ready for those #ringpics! Book appointments for you and your bridal party one to two days prior to the big event so there isn’t any time to chip your nails. It’s smart to bring in a nail polish shade you love, just in case the salon doesn’t have exactly what you want. Go ahead and pay a little extra for the foot and hand massage. Now is the time for relaxing, laughing, and having fun with your bridesmaids. Designate someone to get your credit card out of your wallet afterward so your nails stay in perfect condition. You might want to consider getting a gel manicure so you don’t have to worry about chipping during the honeymoon as well!      

Designate someone to get your credit card out of your wallet afterward so your nails stay in perfect condition. You might want to consider getting a gel manicure so you don’t have to worry about chipping during the honeymoon as well!      

Of course, the most important thing is good health. Make sure you get lots of beauty sleep, drink lots of water, and eat well. Take long walks to manage stress and don’t put pressure on yourself to look “perfect.” In my experience, the most beautiful brides aren’t the ones who’ve spent a small fortune on beauty products and treatments—they are the ones who focus on enjoying this special time and caring for themselves from the inside out!

xoxo, Desiree

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Peek Back at Desiree’s Wedding!

Desiree Hartsock

The Bachlerotte,Bridal Designer,Author
It Doesn’t Get Much More Classically Beautiful Than This Right Here…

These two cuties make me happy. They warm my spirits, they give me goose bumps. From their classic winery wedding to their endless looks of love, they’ve got the whole “happily ever after” thing down pat and The Ganeys captured every single second of it all. Need a boost on this hump day? Look no further, it’s all here.

From Emily of The GaneysFrom beginning to end, Alexa and John’s wedding was a classically beautiful event!

The day started off at Alexa’s parents’ home with all of the girls getting ready. Their home was the perfect space for the morning activities – bright and beautiful – with so many big windows! I was in heaven! Alexa gifted her bridesmaids personalized champagne glasses and Kate Spade stud earrings that the girls would wear for the wedding day.

Alexa put on her Anna Campbell lace gown from The Dress Theory (swoon!) with the help of her mom and a few bridesmaids. I loved the double bows in the back and the delicate detailing.

Thomas, John, and the groomsmen had made their way to the church for the ceremony. They straightened ties and pinned boutonnieres in preparation for the wedding.

We all took our places and waited for Alexa and her dad to walk down the aisle. When Alexa made her entrance with her dad by her side, everyone gasped – she looked stunning! Alexa’s dad gave her a hug and took her hand and placed it into John’s. Pastor Jim took us all through the ceremony beautifully, announcing the couple as husband and wife. After the ring exchange, Alexa and John walked over to their mothers and gave them a rose as a thank you for everything they have done. After the recessional, Alexa and John exited the church as the guests threw rice in celebration!

Everyone made their way to Woodinville, a city east of Seattle known for their wineries, for the reception at DeLille Cellars. The space there is absolutely beautiful! Everything was so lush and green – there were endless views to soak in! The Reid Jamieson Band, a duo from Canada, serenaded everyone throughout cocktail hour. They were so wonderful!

After Alexa and John made their entrance into the perfectly set reception tent, Alexa’s uncle welcomed the guests. As a winemaker, he provided the selections for the evening. After dinner, the toasts began. One after the next, they were all so heartwarming and touching. I’m pretty sure everyone was in tears at one point or another. It was wonderful to be regaled with tales of childhood, military adventures, and movie tastes evolving over the years!

For the reception, the party moved inside. The first dances were danced, the cake was cut, and the dance floor was full! One part of the evening that I’ll never forget is when the dance floor erupted with Seagals, Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders! They busted out a choreographed routine – it was so fun to watch them all move through the set – especially Alexa in her wedding dress!

At the end of the evening, Alexa and John exited through a tunnel of sparklers to their Rolls Royce getaway car, all while the guests sang the national anthem. It was the perfect ending to an unforgettable wedding day!

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Photography: The Ganeys | Videography: Magical Touch Media | Floral Design: Bella Rugosa | Wedding Dress: Anna Campbell | Cake: Carli's Cakes | Invitations: Papertree Studio | Ceremony Venue: Saint Andrew Lutheran Church | Reception Venue: DeLille Cellars | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Azazie | Catering: A Platinum Event | Makeup: Susan Cummins | Hair: Heather Bezanson | Band: The Reid Jamieson Band | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Officiant: James McEachran | Harpist: Monica Schley | Bridal Boutique: The Dress Theory | Bridal Shoes: Pink Paradox London | Day of Coordination: A Platinum Event | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Veil: Veils by Rebecca

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10 Fall Traditions You Need to Start This Year

The changing leaves, the aroma of fresh baked treats, the chill in the air—Autumn is officially here. Are you building a bucket list fit for the fall season that includes friends and family? From getting lost in a maze of maize to jotting down your gratitude, adopt these 10 autumnal traditions this year.


Photography: Erin McGinn | Styling: Abby Capalbo

Pick a pumpkin
Whether with friends, your family, or on a Saturday date with your new hubby, head to the pumpkin patch to pick a prized, orange gourd for carving into a masterpiece. You’ll also find decorative, unique gourds, activities for the kids, and probably a festive fall treat, like farm-fresh caramel apples or homemade pumpkin bread.


P-S-L
It’s not fall until your favorite coffee shop’s offerings include a pumpkin spice latte. There’s no shame in sipping this autumnal beverage while the fallen leaves crunch beneath your favorite boots on a crisp, sunny day. Make getting the first PSL of the season a tradition with your BFF.


Peep those leaves
The smell of peppery leaves, the glow of the yellow, orange, and red trees against a bluebird sky, the cool, fresh air, and maybe even a snowflake or two make for the perfect fall drive through the changing landscape. Weather permitting, take a nature hike in the hills amongst the changing leaves for an Instagram-worthy outing with your family.


Visit a vineyard
It’s grape harvest season, and if you love adult grape juice, there’s no better time to visit a vineyard and winery. Make a special trip to Napa or Sonoma Valley for the annual harvest. Not only will the weather be pleasant, but also many wineries offer tours and events where you can witness the grapes arriving from the fields, the beginning stage of your favorite wine.


Brumley & Wells


Host a harvest shindig
Get your closest friends and family together to celebrate the season of thanks by hosting a harvest party. Decorate with gourds and pumpkins, vases filled with dried wheat bunches, strings of clear, glowing lights, and soft, warm linen hues on the table. Serve comforting food like homemade mac and cheese paired with a fresh garden salad. Don’t forget the pie and mulled cider.


Hitch a hayride
At an orchard or a u-pick farm, hitch a hayride to gather a bountiful harvest. Many orchards offer fall festivals that include hayrides to the trees for apple-picking. Make an extra special picnic to munch on in the shade of the trees before heading home with a variety of apples for baking a homemade apple pie.


Caroline Tran


Cheer on your team
It doesn’t matter if it’s professional or college level football (or even those friday night lights), cheer on your favorite team from the stands at a game. A tradition your significant other can surely get on board with, annual tickets to a football game in the fall is the perfect surprise gift.

Lost in a labyrinth
This fall, put your directional skills to the test and try to make your way through a corn maze. With intricate designs, many corn mazes offer nighttime hours with spooky surprises around each corner in the maze. But if you don’t feel like partaking in a frustrating fright fest, an afternoon stroll through the corn stalks is just as fun.


Waiting on Martha

C is for cookie
October is National Cookie Month! Celebrate by baking a batch of your favorite cookies. We’re particularly fond of any recipe that includes pumpkins and cinnamon, of course. Get the little ones involved with measuring and mixing ingredients and then chowing down on the sweet, fresh-baked treats.


Start a journal of thanks
‘Tis the season to be thankful—thankful for the food on the table, your loved ones, a hot shower, a hot latte, or a night out with your friends. Jot down something you’re grateful each day in a journal and return to it year after year to remind yourself of the many good things in your life.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Ali Struhs is a freelance writer, blogger, and boy mama in Denver, Colorado. When not typing away on the computer, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors, rocking out at Red Rocks, and chasing around her toddler.

Fall Head Over Heels for the Sun-Soaked Charm of Lisbon

If you’ve never dreamed of exploring the blue, tile-infused facades of Lisbon, you probably will now. This wildly romantic shoot captures the unabashed beauty of Portugal. And even more than the sun-soaked pastels, the charm of Lisbon, or the insanely gorgeous images captured by Brancoprata, is this sweet, sweet couple. Pore through this destination engagement of Jaquelyn Clark and her love as they travel the pretty, cobblestoned streets hand-in-hand.

From the Bride… My fiancé, Justin, and I have been together for eleven years now, so I’m sure you can imagine the excitement surrounding our proposal from friends and family alike when we (finally) decided to take that next step. It’s something we had discussed for years, but neither one of us was ever really in any huge rush to make it “official”. We had already happily committed to each other for life, we owned our home together, and we were already raising the sweetest ball of fluff in puppy format… I really didn’t think that much would change once we got engaged, but truly feel as if we’ve hit some invisible reset button. In all honesty, we’ve both been on cloud nine ever since – almost like falling in love all over again. It truly is the most incredible feeling.

We picked our venue, our date, and booked our photographer, shortly after getting engaged, and then decided to take the summer off to really soak in this beautiful phase of our lives before digging deep into all things wedding planning.

With a trip to Portugal on the horizon, we both agreed that it’d be a unique, and unforgettable, experience to capture our engagement photos in the picturesque streets of Lisbon. Enter: Branco Prata – arguably some of the most talented folks we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They captured our essence and our love in a way that I didn’t realize was possible, and I know with absolute certainty that we’ll cherish every last one of these photos for as long as we live.

Needless to say, Portugal now holds a particularly special place in our lives. And we can’t wait to head back to celebrate anniversaries and milestones alike whenever the opportunity presents itself.

From Branco Prata… When Jacquelyn first contact us and talk about their plans of visiting Portugal, we were beyond excited. We’ve been following Jacquelyn on Social Media for several years now and we are huge fans of her sense of style and unique aesthetics, when it comes to interior design.

We met the couple in the historic part of Lisbon, near Chiado and from there we spend a couple of hours chasing the beautiful light and exploring the streets of Lisbon. It was a wonderful afternoon and we couldn’t be more happy to finally met this adorable couple in such a special time in their lives. 

Photography: Brancoprata | Bride: Lark & Linen

The Most Delicate D.C. Wedding With 2 Stunning Dresses

This Bride’s wedding day style is soft, delicate, and feminine – and we’re in love. She donned two equally gorgeous gowns, one featuring an intricate floral bodice from BHLDN and a ball gown with a striking sweetheart neckline and off the shoulder sleeves from Morilee. Her look was completed with a statement lip and the softest looking bouquet by Floral + Bloom Designs. Michael + Carina Photographers and Josh Gooden Photo + Cinema captured this sweet summer morning, so scroll on to see some of our favorite moments!

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From Michael + Carina Photographers We photographed Fan and Chang’s gorgeous D.C. wedding at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington D.C. on June 11th, 2017. Fan and Chang met during their studies in D.C. several years ago and decided it was the perfect location for their wedding day. Their families flew in from China for the big event. The Bride, who is incredibly stylish, couldn’t decide between two dresses, so she decided to wear both. Her delicate style was emphasized by soft pastel colors, delicate flowers, a swooped hair updo, and simple yet elegant details. The indoor ceremony was held in a cozy space filled with greenery and mauve candles. The reception space was beautifully decorated with greenery cascading from the lush centerpieces. The green, cream, and blush color palette went perfectly with the unique stone architecture of the venue. The Washington Monument and White House made for the perfect backdrop for their family formals and their first look!

From the Bride… Chang and I met and fell in love with each other in this beautiful city, Washington D.C., when we both chose to continue our graduate study here at George Washington University. We have spent so much wonderful time together in the city that we both love, so it’s natural that we held our wedding at the Hay Adams where the view from Top of the Hay took our breath away from the first time we stood on the terrace to overlook the Washington Monument, White House, and the Lafayette Square.

I wanted to have an intimate Sunday morning wedding with only our beloved family and friends in June (my favorite time of the year), and Chang was happy with everything that I wanted as long as I was happy. I love flowers, vintage stuff, handmade/handcrafted details, and all the pretty little things, so I have enjoyed planning my own wedding. I like to see how everything about my wedding works together and love to see everything come together in a way that I truly love. (I even tied all the ribbons, packed all the favor boxes, and – of course – did all the wax seals on the invitation envelopes.) From the blush roses, ivory peonies, green silk ribbons, and blush textile, to the beautiful paper suite, the blush velvet ring box, and the Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom Cologne that I picked for the wedding day, I selected every single detail about the wedding, and I was so fulfilled to see it all come together.

Thanks to my talented florist, photographers, cinematographers, illustrator, DJ, and hair and makeup artist – and all of the vendors – I had a wedding better than I have ever dreamed of on this beautiful morning. Planning a wedding could be stressful and exhausting, but we are so lucky that we were supported by family and friends, and we had the best team of vendors, among which Michael and Carina are the best of the best. And thanks to my dearest Chang, who tried to help me with stamping the wax (but he’s not good at it at all) and tying the ribbon bows (terrible at this, too), who always supports me, encourages me, comforts me, and shows his love to me. He’s the one that made my dream come true. We were overwhelmed by the support and love from our friends and family traveling long distances to celebrate the important moment with us. We have had such a great time sharing our love story and all of our happiness with them. We enjoyed every second on the wedding day, and it was one of the best days of our lives.

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Photography: Michael And Carina Photography | Cinematography: Josh Gooden Cinematography | Floral Design: Floral & Bloom Designs | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Wedding Dress: Mori Lee | Wedding Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: The Hay Adams | Hair + Makeup: Face and Crown | DJ: MyDeejay | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Venue: The Hay Adams | Accessories: BHLDN | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Paper Goods: Lana's Shop | Ribbons: Tono Co | Ringbox: The Mrs Box

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Royal Weddings Have Nothing on this Belgium Celebration

Chateau de la Hulpe in Belgium is straight out of a fairytale and will 100% fulfill all of your princess fantasies from childhood. With perfectly tailored gardens, towers and , it’s the perfect backdrop for this elegant affair masterminded by RedWhiteBluePink along with take-your-breath-away images captured by Alexandra Vonk.

From the bride Meike…I met Ric 11 years ago during a basketball game in my hometown. At first I wasn’t so interested as I was too occupied with the sport. My brothers always joked that my date to prom would be Mr. Spalding. Somehow Ric made me curious because he was such a cool guy but at the same time so interested in others and open to the world as he was planning to travel to India for 6 months. I was intrigued. We had a great summer together before he went to India and we didn’t know what will happen after he got back from India. After dropping him off at the airport I immediately felt I liked him more than I thought. During that time we wrote tons of letters and emails, telling each other what kept us busy and how we felt. All with India in the backdrop. The same situation happened 5 years later when I moved to New York for a couple of months. Somehow these letters and emails deepened our relationship and connected us emotionally and mentally in a very special way. Sometimes I still like to read those letters again.

We always like to throw parties because we like to celebrate and bringing people together. Reaching our tenth anniversary in 2016 we wanted to throw a big party at my parents house and invited all our loved ones months ahead. Little did everyone know it was going to be an engagement party instead ,including myself. Three weeks before the party we were looking at some new houses. After visiting the last house Ric mentioned he planned a weekend away and that he picked some outfits and packed my bag. I had to open the glovebox for a hint and found a box of macarons and our passports, Paris it was. It was the first city we ever visited together back in 2006 and we keep on visiting it quite regularly. I couldn’t wait to be back again and admire the city of lights.

Ric had booked an incredible room with views on the Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower and arranged dinner at my favorite restaurant. After dinner we went to see the Eiffel Tower by night (one of the cliche things I always like to do when I’m in Paris). And there (after having the ring ‘burn’ in his pocket all day) he went on one knee under the sparkling tower with another sparkler in his hand. I don’t remember much of what he was saying because of excitement, but of course I said yes! Of course it crossed my mind, but still at the same time you’re never sure and I thought it was a gift to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We kept it a secret until the party and surprised everyone with a movie trailer inviting them to the wedding in 2017. It were the most fun three weeks.

We wanted our wedding to be an intimate affair with all our family and friends and with a bit of international allure. Ric having Italian heritage also made us think about a wedding in Italy, but it would be much more difficult for everyone to be able to come, So we looked closer to home. I stumbled upon Chateau de la Hulpe on the internet and loved the purity and serenity of the estate, inside and out. Ric and I both wanted a personal ceremony, with anecdotes and personal vows and music that resembles us. Our love for traveling and favorite places was reflected in the choice of foods. Macarons for Paris, our dinner including a Mille Foglie wedding cake for Italy and the Haute Dogs for New York as a late night snack. Opening our new lives as husband and wife and hinting towards our honeymoon to India we danced to Panjabi MC and JayZ. It was the most funny surprise and immediately started the party that ultimately ended with fireworks, gifted to us by our best men. I truly never expected to sense so much love and kind words in one day. The wedding definitely was the cherry on the cake of our ten years together and I can’t wait for the next ten or fifty.

Photography: Alexandra Vonk Photography | Gown: Pronovias | Stationery: La Lettre Kalligrafie | Shoe's: Alexandre Birman | Rings: Tiffany & Co. | Hair and Makeup : The Wedding Chapter | Dj : Kaiser Brothers | Suit: The Tailor Mates | Catering & Cake: Silverspoon | Chateau : Chateau de la Hulpe | Guest book: Velvet Raptor | Independent Wedding official: OuiYesSi | Music ceremony: Souled out | Photography - Assistance: Moniek van Gils | Ribbon : Stella Wolfe | Robe: Mae’s Sunday | Save the Date Cards: Joyce Celine Van Essen -KIJKkalligrafie- | Weddingplanner, stylist and floral design: RedWhiteBluePink

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