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Real Brides Share Their Wedding Morning Must Haves and Advice

Leading up to the wedding day, we know brides spend so much time and energy thinking through every last detail of the main event that they often forget to plan for what will happen in the hours before they walk down the aisle. The morning of the wedding can be such a special time, but it can also be stressful if you aren’t prepared. We asked real brides to share their own wedding morning must-haves and what advice they would give now, plus a few recommendations of our own!

Lynette Boyle Photography

What’s the one thing you’re so glad you had the morning of your wedding?

“Must haves 1. Champagne! And lots of snacks (it’s a long day) 2. A steamer 3. Phone chargers 4. A speaker with good playlists” – Kristina, married July 2018

Jen Huang Photography

“Fun music! I needed fun music going all morning to keep the vibe strong. On a more sentimental note – I took 15 minutes alone upstairs to write a “day-of” note to my husband capturing all of my thoughts and feelings that morning. It was nice to step away from the craziness of the glam zone and focus on the purpose of the day for a few minutes, I’ll never forget how zen that felt for me.” – Deanna, married October 2017

“a GOOD breakfast — the day gets so busy, and you’ll be glad you’re not hangry later. quiet time to get ready with whoever is most important in your life. And send the bridesmaid crew and larger wedding party elsewhere so it’s just you and your closest loved ones there for that super special moment of getting dressed and really feeling like “the bride” for the first time. Schedule LOTS of extra time in the morning. You won’t regret it. Even if everyone’s ready early, it gives you extra time to hangout with your bridal party that you love so dearly.” Megan, Married August 2017

“Time scheduled in with loved ones! knew once we had our first look, the wedding day would start to move quickly so I made sure to schedule in time with my mom and dad before heading out for the first look. This alone time with my parents was one of the most special parts of the day. I’ll never forget my dad’s reaction when he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time! But we did run out of time for a few things like exchanging presents. I had gifts prepared for all of the bridesmaids, my mom, and my mother in law and we suddenly ran out of time and my bridesmaids opened up their gifts after I left for the first look. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see their faces opening the presents since I put a lot of time and energy in writing them meaningful cards and selecting special gifts for them.” – Samantha, married September 2018

Katie Shuler Photography

What advice would you give to another bride planning her own wedding morning?

“Organize whatever you can the night before — gifts, cocktail ingredients, hair supplies, accessories, etc. You don’t want to be scrambling around the morning of. The week before, clearly outline to everyone, and I mean everyone, even Dad, their roles and expectations of them the morning of. Do your best to create a relaxed environment — everyone else feeds off of you. I really loved that I had a nice big open space for everyone to mingle and relax together that morning. We ate breakfast together, had cocktails, danced and were silly together — got everyone and the whole day off on the right foot.” – Megan, married August 2017

Elizabeth Deluca Photography

“Have a schedule and clearly communicate when everyone needs to be where, there’s so many moving parts it’s going to be hard to answer everyone asking the bride “what time are the guys coming” “what time is my hair appt” “are we getting lunch”. I printed out a schedule and taped it to the wall so if anyone had questions, they could check themselves. Outside of that, breathe! As mentioned above, someone else will handle all of your fire drills before you even know they’re happening – aka your wedding planner, photographer, MOH or mom.” – Deanna, married October 2018

“Don’t stay out late the night before! It was so hard to pull myself away from Welcome Drinks after the rehearsal because it was so exciting to see all of our friends and family together in one room. However, staying up late will only cause you to be extra tired the morning of your wedding day which is a feeling no bride wants! Also, it’s important to lay off the alcohol the night before the wedding. Stick to 1-2 drinks max to ensure you look and feel amazing!” – Samantha, Married September 2018

Amy Arrington Photography

“I’d say put down your phone, let the little hiccups roll off and SOAK IT IN! You’re marrying the love of your life. You’re surrounded by your girls. You family is there to celebrate you. You have everyone you love under one roof which may never happen again in your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moment.” – Mindy, married September 2017

Our Recommendations:

But first, coffee

We’ve all seen the Starbucks cups with the handwritten “bride” and girl – today is your day to rock it. But with so many couples choosing remote or nontraditional venues, ensuring you have coffee and breakfast at the ready takes a little more planning. Make sure you put someone in charge of the morning coffee run and collect orders in advance so the start to the day is seamless and caffeinated.

Be on the same page

Your wedding planner and beauty team should help you with this, but make sure you’ve got a clear schedule of the who, what, when, where (and wear) on your wedding day. Communicate expectations with your bride tribe at least a week in advance so that everyone is where they need to be on time or better yet, early. Always ask for an arrival time at least 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled start time because as they say – if you’re not early, you’re late! The morning of, post the schedule on the wall of your getting ready space to avoid questions and confusion and keep everyone literally on the same page.

From head to toe

This one is a very small but helpful hint! All too often we’ve seen adorable getting ready outfits ruined by mismatched socks or shoes. Depending on when and where you’re getting married, chances are you’re going to want something on your feet for that getting ready morning. You can always ask the hotel to send up extra pairs of slippers to the room or consider giving your girls their dance floor flip flops a few hours early. You’ll be more comfortable and the photo opps just got even better.

Birdies Slippers 

Rips (and wrinkles) happen  

So sad but so true. No matter how many fittings you had it’s possible that something will go wrong with your dress or a bridesmaid’s the morning of the wedding. Make sure you’ve got a needle and thread on hand in case a strap tears, an applique comes loose or a seam pops. Consider a few no-sew solutions as well like double sided tape, iron-on adhesive and good old-fashioned fabric glue. Something else to consider? A hand-held steamer. Most bridal fabrics are super sensitive and easily wrinkled and you don’t want to risk scalding satin or silk with an iron!

Take a moment

When building a day-of schedule, think through the milestones that will happen the morning of their wedding and think of who they want to be there for the moments that will turn into their favorite memories. Whether that’s one-on-one time with the MOH as you put on your wedding dress, a few minutes set aside for a first look with the Father of the Bride, or even quiet time alone to reflect and write, be sure to make time on your wedding morning to enjoy those moments that mean the most.  

Emily Wren Weddings

Kelsey Dulac is a wedding planner and designer based in Coastal Maine with a passion for creating beautiful, personal and thoughtfully detailed events all over New England with her company, Back Bay Bride. She loves sharing her expertise in event design, planning and execution to ensure couples have well-organized and visually-inspired weddings that are a meaningful reflection of their story.

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A Champagne Cart Is Officially the Only Way to Pop Bubbly at Your Wedding

The minute we saw these stunning sun-kissed photos from Lauren Fair’s workshop at Green Door Gourmet in Nashville, we were in head over heels in love. We don’t know if it’s the feminine color palette of yellow, pink, lilac, linen and honey or the ethereal Monique Lhuillier gown or the trendy champagne cart – but something about this editorial designed by RSVP Events just keeps us coming back for more. Take one look at Melissa Broadwell’s unfinished arbor and you’ll totally get it. But that’s enough out of us, go see for yourself…

From Lauren Fair PhotographyStealing kisses beneath the trees with your love, the warmth of the sun, lying in a field of wildflowers. Inspired by softness and femininity, our team dreamt this sun-kissed editorial to capture the feeling of a summer romance. Hues of bright pink, peach, and happy yellow are softened by hues of linen, blush, lilac, and hints of honey create a color palette of femininity and warmth.

Our editorial takes place in the fields of Green Door Gourmet amid a sea of yellow wildflowers, the intimate ceremony framed by a broken arbor by Melissa Broadwell, lush with lavender clematis, distant drum roses, jasmine, butter yellow roses, and peach lisianthus. Our bride’s hair is adorned with fresh blooms, and she wears Amie by Monique Lhuillier, a silk sheath gown with an embellished tulle plunging illusion v-neck with flutter sleeves and a sweet velvet bow at her waist.

Her bridal shoes, embroidered lace mules and luminous pearl heels tied with silk bows by Bella Belle Shoes, are perfectly ladylike, adding a feeling of sweetness. Fluttery French lace lingerie makes up her trousseau, with a romantic French Chantilly lace skirt. Our paper goods by Ink & Press Co. Are the perfect first impression, with romantic gold calligraphy, deckled edges, botanical gold wax seals, and a floral envelope liner, and the scrolled place cards add a hint of elegance to each place setting. At the reception, ivory candles dot a buttery linen, with blooms spilling from footed brass vessels.

Lilacs, ranunculus, poppies, clematis, snap dragons, peach parrot tulips, and jasmine drape across antique crystal. Ivory chargers carved in feminine detail frame plates trimmed in lace. Menus are the sweetest blush hue and calligraphed in gold lettering, and accented with a sprig of clematis and jasmine, tied with a peach fluttering ribbon. You can’t go wrong with champagne on tap!

In addition to the champagne cart, the bar featured two signature drinks: Love Potion with prosecco, blackberry syrup, and thyme and a Raspberry Champagne Float with raspberry sorbet, champagne, and fresh raspberries.

Floral Design: Vintage Florals | Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Copper Whisk Cakes | Shoes: Bella Belle | Jewelry: Walton's Antique & Estate Jewelry | Hair & Makeup: Erin Ryser | Venue: Green Door Gourmet | Candles: Creative Candles | Creative Direction: RSVP Events | Furniture Rental: Please Be Seated | Garters: The Garter Girl | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Menswear: Street Tuxedo | Mixology: Bar Magnolia | Paper Goods: Ink & Press Co. | Ribbon: Tono & Co | Styling Surfaces: Locust Collection | Tabletop Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Veil & Lingerie: Lauren Leshansky | Workshop: The Hybrid Co. | Workshop Host/Lead Photographer: Lauren Fair Photography

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A Romantic Love Story 20 Years In The Making, Cue The Happy Tears!

If you’ve been looking for that next ‘Nicholas Sparks-esque’ love story, look no further! Today’s incredibly romantic nuptials, photographed by The Ganey’s (who pride themselves on capturing love that can move mountains,) showcases exactly that…a love story years in the making, so much so that the Groom held on to a ring for 20 years until he found the one! The stunning Nottoway Plantation was the venue of choice, filled with an array of oak trees and just the right amount of Southern charm for Angela Marie Events to do her thing! Emily Mayne Studios created a custom crest and invitation suite to set the tone for the elegant affair and The Plantation Florist sealed the deal with luxuriant arrangements throughout. We strongly encourage you to take a look below (and the full gallery here) and get lost in this captivating love story, that we can only hope will be a movie someday…

From The Ganey’sWe’ve had the privilege of documenting countless love stories, but there is something extra special about Cheryl and Michael’s. When Cheryl and Michael met, Cheryl (in her own words) was a control freak. She worked in corporate and had unbelievable quotas to reach. She found that helping people was her true passion, and would volunteer with numerous non-profits throughout the year. Michael, on the other hand, owns his own business. He’s a watchmaker. He’s never on time and “walks to the tick of his own clock.” With Michael’s help, Cheryl has learned to relax and realize that it will all get done – eventually.

When Michael and Cheryl met, neither of them were looking for love. One day, a coworker and good friend of Cheryl’s asked her to join him and his wife for Mother’s Day dinner. The catch was that it would also be a blind date for Cheryl. She agreed – and that’s where she met Michael – her coworker/friend’s uncle.

Cheryl never felt like she was a romantic until she met Michael. Michael has taught Cheryl that it is important to celebrate every milestone. They met on May 13th, 2012, and now they go on a date on the 13th of every month. They exchange cards every month, and Michael often surprises Cheryl with fresh flowers.

In 2017, Michael planned a trip for Cheryl’s birthday. He proposed to her as a pianist played a rendition of their favorite song, “What Are You Doing with the Rest of Your Life?” (which was also played during their wedding reception). He presented Cheryl with the most beautiful vintage (1920’s) platinum, diamond, and sapphire ring – a ring that he has owned for 20 years – just waiting for the right woman to give it to.

After nearly two years of planning, their wedding day was here. They picked May 13th, as it was the seventh anniversary of their meeting. Nottoway Plantation, filled with oak trees and Spanish moss, was the backdrop for their wedding ceremony. Cheryl had visited the plantation almost 30 years ago, and it stuck with her as a beautiful place to get married. The weather was perfect, which we were all thankful for, as earlier in the week it had poured – causing flash floods throughout Louisiana.

Cheryl and Michael envisioned their wedding day with vintage and formal touches. They reached out to Emily Mayne Studio to create a custom wedding crest that would make an appearance throughout their day. Emily’s work appealed to Cheryl instantly with the romantic, elegant, and vintage aesthetic. Emily even managed to incorporate their samoyed – Jake – into the crest! Needless to say, the custom invitation suite – complete with watercolor envelope liner with a sketch of the venue – set the stage for this elegant affair.

Cheryl wore jewelry that was meaningful to her on her wedding day. She had two watches – one for the ceremony and one for the reception (I mean, can you blame her – her husband is a watchmaker?) – that had been gifted to her by Michael. She also wore her custom dangle pearl earrings that Michael had gifted her on their five year anniversary. Her Essence of Australia wedding dress had custom touches to make it the perfect wedding day dress for Cheryl.

Michael wore a custom tux with a sophisticated white jacket for a southern vibe. Cheryl gifted him gold “K” cuff links. His boutonnière was a simple peony bud. Around his wrist, he wore a vintage Rolex. And, in his jacket, he carried his gold “wedding” pocket watch. He’s carried it with him at every wedding he has attended for the last 30 years! He also donned his great grandfather’s circular sunglasses to complete the look before the ceremony.

A small wedding party, with three attendants on each side, was filled with close friends and family. Cheryl’s daughter, Christine, was one of her bridesmaids. Michael’s son, Jeff, was one of the groomsmen. The ladies wore black sequined gowns from Sorella Vita. The groomsmen wore black tuxes.

The ceremony was held in front of the plantation home. An intimate ceremony with just 30 guests, every attendee felt as though they were truly part of the wedding day. Cheryl arrived for the ceremony by horse and carriage – and had her two sons walk her down the aisle. Her grandson, Hayden was the ring bearer. The couple couldn’t stop smiling throughout the wedding – and everyone was thrilled when they were declared husband and wife!

After cocktail hour, the guests made their way to the reception tent, where a champagne bar was waiting to greet them. The patio was complete with tufted vintage furniture and a fountain filled with florals. The fireplace mantle was covered with a floral garland and the couple’s crest. Inside the tent, everyone stopped to catch their breath. Three chandeliers of greenery hung above a black and white dance floor. The linens on the table were exquisite – with delicate patterns that accentuated the design without being flashy. Garlands and candles flowed down the center of each table. Every place setting had gold-rimmed chargers and plates, along with gold flatware. Menus from Emily Mayne Studio sat atop a pale lavender napkin. Angela Marie Events did a beautiful job styling the event to have just the right balance of vintage and elegant.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible four-tiered cake with a cascade of flowers. The wedding topper showed the couple kissing over a vintage car – which is so fitting because of their love for vintage transportation.

Louisiana showed off with an incredible sunset as the guests enjoyed warm lobster bisque and fresh citrus-seasoned sea bass. During dinner, Cheryl and Michael sat by the quartet as they played their favorite song – the same one that Michael had playing when he proposed.

Everyone danced the night away with the help of the live band. Beignets were enjoyed as a late-night snack. The evening concluded back on the porch of the plantation home as everyone watched fireworks – the perfect capstone to an incredible day, for the most deserving couple.

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Photography: The Ganeys | Videography: Montoto Productions | Event Planning and Design: Angela Marie Events | Floral Design: Kali Soulier - The Planatationflorist | Cake: Ambrosia Bakery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Essense of Australia | Catering: Nottoway Plantation | Makeup Artist: Marissa Mizell | Hair Stylist: Paris Parker | Band: Phat Hat Band | Favors: Ambrosia Truffles | Officiant: Drew Murrell | Venue: Nottoway Plantation | Bridal Boutique: Something New Boutique | Bridal Designer: Essense Of Australia | Bridal Shoes: Something Bleu | Dance Floor: Perrier Party Rentals | Fireworks: AFX Pro | Groom's Accessories: Knight Watch and Jewelry Co | Invitation & Paper Goods: Emily Mayne Studio | Linens: Nuage Designs | Quartet: The Original Magnolia String Quartet | Rentals: Lovegood Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Element | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Social Hour Music: Ashley Toman | Styling Surface: Simply Rooted Calligraphy

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This Home Could Write the Playbook on Colorful Living

It’s no easy feat to design a space that’s calm and cozy yet bursting with color. This Houston abode designed by Barbara Town hits the mark. Take a tour through this gorgeous space filled with texture and color, art work and beautifully executed bookshelves all captured by Laura Dominguez. It is guaranteed to give you that extra push to ditch the beige and walk on the colorful side.

This 100 year old home comes complete with original flooring, molding and archways. When blended with a soft, yet colorful bohemian design, this house comes to life and is perfect for this Houston family of 5. We created an overall design concept that gave this space a soft, sophisticated and finished look.

The client has a love for washed colors, subtle patterns and modern finishes (think Anthropologie meets West Elm). They had a handful of the core pieces, but needed help finishing up the four major downstairs spaces.

In the Family Room, we wanted to make this space feel just as special as the rest of the house, but being that this was a room that the family LIVED in on the daily, we needed to be careful with how many light colors we used.

Keeping the larger furniture pieces more neutral, we were able to pull in fun patterns and color with the rug, decorative pillows, artwork and accessories.

This beautiful bradded denim rug grounded the whole room and really pulled everything together. Along the long back wall we were able to give the family even more storage with this floating credenza, finishing off the space with colorful artwork and a few accessories.

This unique Dining Room includes not only space for dining, but has a small niche that is perfect for the kids table. Being that the client entertains a lot, we wanted to keep this space functional and fun. 

The freshly painted white table and white molded chair allow for easy clean up, while the bright blue rug and gallery wall mixed with artwork and family photos add a pop of color.

The mid-century buffet and two lucite consoles create the perfect space to place trays of drinks or snacks while guests are over and allow for some fun accessories during everyday use.

This home has a long transitional entryway that is more like an extra wide hallway that had little wall space for furniture. We took a spin off of your traditional foyer table by adding a few accent chairs, a floor lamp, a few accessories and mixed it with large and colorful kilim rug and a fun gallery wall.

At the other end of the hallway, near the front door, we wanted to create a place to hang a few bags or coats, storage for the kids shoes and a mail drop. By adding a narrow chest to one side of the archway and a basket opposite it, we made this space not only functional, but stylish as well.

The Formal Living Room was another awkwardly long space that proved to be difficult to create a comfortable seating area. We ended up creating two seating areas, one with the sofa and accent chairs and another with the pair of teal chairs in front of the windows and their own small games table.

Adding a bookcase provided some much needed storage and the piano was a family hand-me-down that now creates a fun music corner for the kids. We also brought in some of the softer, washed tones that the client loves through pillows, drapery and accessories making this space feel cohesive as you move throughout the home.

Photographer: Laura Dominguez | Interior Designer: Barbara Town

Vibrant Colors, Ethereal Gowns and Lake Como = Italian Summer #WeddingGoals

What do you get when you combine the talents of an all-star vendor team, a villa in Lake Como, two couture wedding gowns and blindingly vibrant blooms? An Italian summer wedding DREAM! We’re in heaven over here with each capture by Oliver Fly Photography. With planning by Before the Moon and fleurs from Miss Rose by Perrine, this editorial perfectly blends French and Italian style, seamlessly incorporating details from each culture. Grab your sunnies and head on over to the full gallery to see all the inspo this bright, sun-soaked beauty has to offer.

From Before the MoonNestled in the foothills of the French Alps lies a lakeside Italian villa, unlike any other. Known as Villa Balbiano, this 16th-century palazzo set on the shores of Lake Como evokes a sense of timeless romance and provided an unforgettable backdrop to our wedding editorial shoot. Inspired by a fusion of French and Italian style, we incorporated design elements unique to both cultures, all while playing with color, light, and texture in a fresh and engaging way. 

Our color palette was built around rich shades of rose, coral, ochre, and copper, all of which worked together beautifully against the villa’s cream exterior. Our vivid use of color was so foundational to the design because we wanted to showcase just how stunning vibrant color tones can be. 

Of course, florals played an important role throughout the design, from the ceremony to the tabletop, and every moment in between. Our floral designer used a mixture of sweet peas, roses, orchids, buttercups, and eremurus for their saffron, mustard, and orange hues, softened by shades of dusty pink. 

To work alongside the show-stopping florals, our cake designer created edible works of art for the occasion. Her designs included crystal glass added between cake layers for a heightened sense of drama, with handmade flowers adorning each and every layer. 

As a nod to French culture within this charming Italian setting, we included Baccarat, the most renowned French manufacturer of fine crystal glassware. Baccarat crystal glasses, votives, and vases complemented the colorful florals on our tablescape, while also reflecting their tints and the surrounding light for a stunning effect.

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Photography: Oliver Fly Photography | Videography: Studio 80 | Wedding Planning: Before the Moon | Floral Design: Miss Rose By Perrine | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Hair + Makeup: Modern Beauties | Calligraphy: Silent Word Studio | Groom's Suit: RIVES | Venue: Villa Balbiano | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Cake Designer: Made In Cake | Dress Boutique: Zoro | Glassware: Baccarat | Rentals: Options | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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Need the Perfect Place to Elope? Add the Sicilian Island of Salina to Your List.

As if I needed another place to add to my travel bucket list (this job is dangerous!)… along comes the beautiful island of Salina. A spot on the Mediterranean where local charm meets natural beauty, making for the perfect spot to elope. We have Amalfi SoireeSergio Sorrentino and Yana Schicht to thank for delivering said inspiration straight to our screens today. Since my list seems to be getting a little too long, I hope one of you will do me a favor and pick this spot as your own for saying I do.

From the planner, Amalfi SoireeWith its Mediterranean charm, beautiful beaches and unspoiled nature that dominates the seascape, the island of Salina (Aeolian Islands, Sicily) is the ideal destination for all the couples who want to combine the joy of the elopement with the pleasure of a honeymoon. A harmonious combination of bright blues, creamy whites and vivacious yellows was the inspiration for this editorial signed by Sergio Sorrentino and Yana Schicht and set in the suggestive hotel Principe di Salina, a location with typically Sicilian atmospheres where you can spend happy and relaxing stays, while you get ready for the “yes” or explore the surroundings on a Vespa provided by Rent Bongiorno.

After a moment of relaxation at the infinity pool, the bride, having removed the delicious Hamalfité swimsuit with majolica patterns, has worn a bridal gown with clean and soft lines designed by Silvia Moretta Wed Lab. A Linnèo suit in green raw silk was instead for the groom. The bridal accessories also included a sensual teddy in pure silk from Le Petit Atelier Verona, the criss cross heels in ivory silk by Bella Belle Shoes and the refined jewels with blue topaz and diamonds designed by My Golden Age Lab.

Lilly Fine Art Jewelry has provided a beautiful ring box in cobalt blue velvet and Aurora from Auca Design has created a gorgeous lemon-themed wedding suite, whose styling has been curated by Amalfi Soirée. Lastly, the team of Intrecci di Fiore e d’Arte has made the floral arrangements and set the table on the terrace, using fresh flowers likes yellow roses and buttercups, local fruits and freshly picked aromatic herbs. As the real couple is originally from Sicily we wanted to implement local tradition combined with a contemporary touch. One of the typical Sicilian symbol is the “Testa di moro” (Moor Head) which has been used for the table setting.

From the photographer, Sergio SorrentinoI’d been dreaming for a long time to put this editorial together, and its realization came in a perfect moment of my life. I wanted to express my love for Mediterranean lifestyle, with a touch of passion and focusing on the beauty of Southern Italy pearls. The raw nature of Salina, the beauty of its landscapes, the warmth of the people living there and the delicious food will really take a permanent place in your heart. My partner Yana was also of huge inspiration and help. Together with great photographs, she also supported me with lots of love and positive vibes. 

Photography: Sergio Sorrentino | Photography: Yana Schicht | Floral Design: Intrecci di Fiore e d'Arte | Wedding Dress: Silvia Moretta Wed Lab | Stationery: Auca Design | Reception Venue: Principe Di Salina | Shoes: Bella Belle | Groom's Attire: Linnèo – Archivable Clothing | Beachwear: Hamalfitè | Film Lab: Carmencita Film Lab | Jewerly: My Golden Age | Lingerie: Le Petit Atelier Verona | Model: Antonio Cavallaro | Model: Marta Seria | Planning: Amalfi Soirée | Rentals: Rent Bongiorno | Ring box: Lilly Fine Art Jewerly | Ring box and Silk Ribbon: Lilly Fine Art Jewerly

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Spark Your Wanderlust with this Designer’s Travel Inspired Home

Mint velvet sofas and layers of globetrotting details are incredibly pretty all on their own. But when they’re snuggled inside a 1920’s Los Angeles bungalow, it’s the stuff that dream homes are made of. Peek inside this bright happy space that Homepolish interior designer, Haley Weidenbaum, calls home. Plus, see even more captured by Tessa Neustadt in the vault.

Homepolish superstar Haley Weidenbaum and her husband Adam have traveled the world over, so when it came to designing their 1920s L.A. home, they pulled inspiration from their favorite destinations.

 We both came to the realization early on that we wanted our home to remind us of a California boutique hotel with elements and influences woven throughout from places around the world we’d visited. This way, coming home would always feel like a getaway to both of us. Comfort was paramount but every piece, every material, every pattern, and every color was meticulously and purposefully chosen.

Living rooms should set the vibe for the whole house. Think interesting conversations, large gatherings, and good times! Pick a communal coffee table (this one is from one kings lane) , and comfortable seating. Finishing accent pieces and layered light will help complete the space.

We don’t plan on having a fire any time soon (thank you, California weather), so we have wood logs beautifully stacked in the fireplace.

Our home is comprised of an eclectic mix of diy projects and vintage and contemporary pieces from a variety of vendors. Many of our accessories, like textiles from Mexico, were acquired on some of our more recent trips.

A tv room should scream “come sit down right now,” but it doesn’t have to be too casual or messy. Make the room comfortable with a plush rug, soft leather ottomans, a deep sofa, and tons of pillows (thank you, pottery barn & house of cindy).

Art is personal so choose something meaningful. I choose a photograph taken by my own father (stephen rader photography) and framed it into a triptych using simply framed.

The contrast between the dark blue grasscloth and the white living room is just perfection.

Kitchen

I would say that these serena & lily barstools might actually be the most comfortable seats in the house… Because of its close vicinity to the yummy food i might be cooking up!

Fortunately, our kitchen came remodeled and was basic white. To give it some personality, i added a vintage kilim runner (durable enough for a high-traffic area) and replaced the hardware with knobs from anthropologie and pulls from pottery barn.

I spend most of my time in that kitchen nook because of the bright yet relaxing color palette. The large round rustic wood table from restoration hardware makes it the best spot for a huge sunday brunch! Local + lejos baskets hung on the wall give the dining nook space added charm.

We wanted the dining room to be an extension of the living room: inviting and welcoming. I kept it light and bright with the clear glass cisco home light fixture and st. Frank blue tulip suzani textile. 

We used dining chairs from her old condo but gave them a new life by reupholstering them in stain resistant fabric from rose tarlow for perennials.

Does one ever get tired of bar carts? I think not! You can’t go wrong with rare bottles, colorful glassware, and decanters that make you look like a sommelier!

We love hosting so an inviting guest bedroom was key. Oversize pillows and a patterned duvet scream “Jump on in!”

Another DIY project: our vintage desk (which was light green) was striped down to the natural wood. THEN, my husband, Adam Weidenbaum, created the Lincoln drawing. Our very own Lincoln Bedroom for our guests!

We wanted something that would put a smile on anyone’s face and this pineapple wallpaper from Hygee & West does just that!

I kept our bathroom white so it would remain clean and fresh, but also included naturalistic and organic elements like the Pigeon Toe ceramic pendants and Rejuvenation bath tub caddy to give it a spa-like atmosphere.

The neutral earth tones are also reminiscent of a spa… think cedar and bamboo wood. Plus, the caddy makes for a handy place to place bonbons, champagne, a book I’m reading… even decorative shells!

We wanted our bedroom to be our oasis and remind us of our beloved vacations. I designed our bedroom to feel just like a hotel getaway, specifically our favorite the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, but also incorporated textiles, art, and elements that were reminiscent of many of our other favorite hotels.

Our bedroom is unnecessarily large because they expanded the house into the backyard (hey, we aren’t complaining!). We added a sofa/sitting area, which elevated the hotel vibe we were trying to achieve.

My favorite DIY project was the framed Otomi textiles. We picked these up while visiting Mexico and had them framed by Simply Framed. Textile framing is HUGE right now, but also EASY to do yourself!

At first we had our room painted white, but after about 6 months of living/sleeping in the space it didn’t feel right. We went against the trend and went GREEN, Benjamin Moore Essex Green to be exact. I couldn’t be happier with the result and the darker color allows us to sleep longer hours!

Photography: Tessa Neustadt | Interior Design: Homepolish

How to Spice up Your State-Side Wedding With Mediterranean Flair

The talented team at Eversomething just proved us right – when it comes to wedding colors, bold is the new beautiful! If you’re looking for some inspiration for infusing your wedding with a bit of flavor from abroad… look no further. Erin Wilson Photography brought the essence of the mediterranean to Tulsa, OK at the Philbrook Museum and the results are simply magic. Get your pinning hands ready for the full gallery!

From Erin Wilson Wedding Photography and FilmsInspired by colors, texture, dining al fresco, mediterranean influences and the beautiful Philbrook Museum as the perfect backdrop to tell our story and inspiration.

The bride wore a beautiful floral lace gown and bridesmaids with colorful Jenny Yoo bridesmaids gown with big bold earrings.

Eversomething florals and planning designed the beautiful tablescape with big bold florals, ceramic details… It felt like a fashion editorial.

I have been in love with the Philbrook Museum for many years and this editorial showcased their venue in the most beautiful way. A hidden gem in the heart of Tulsa.

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Dress: Inverness Bridal Couture | Cake: Lauranne Baking Co | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: Stunning By Starla | Hair: Ash Franke Styles | Museum: Philbrook Museum | Paper: Laurel & Marie | Photography and Video: Erin Wilson Photography | Planning and Florals: Ever Something | Rentals: Party Pro Rentals

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How This Husband and Wife Chose To Rise Above Hardship in 8 Years of Marriage

While reading Tabitha and Brian’s story of eight years of marriage, I had a few moments of raw reflection (and maybe a few tears). On the outside, you’ll see images captured by Angel Owens of a beautiful anniversary and vow renewal celebration. But the true beauty lies within the way these two have overcome challenge after challenge. That my friends, is the inspiration I’m taking away today for my own marriage. I hope you’ll do the same and spend a little time in this gorgeous gallery.

From Tabitha… When we got these photos taken it was so special. It was different than our actual wedding because I love Brian so much more than I did eight years ago. I was crazy in love then but now, after eight years, two kids and a crazy ride, I’m madly in love with my husband. Looking at him on our wedding day I thought about everything we were going to go through in a really different way, like a highlight reel sort of way. On this day, when I looked at him my thoughts were flooded with what we had actually been through, what we accomplished, overcame, there is so much more depth to who we are in these photos and I will cherish them forever. I know we have so many pages left to fill in our love story, I don’t know what that will entail but I do know as long as Brian and I are together with our family we can get through anything.

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, it definitely was for us. We experienced the sudden tragic passing of my mom two weeks before Christmas, found out we were pregnant the next day, only to find out we miscarried 12 days later. Talk about a whirl wind. Four months later we found out we were pregnant again. On November 1, 2012 our little girl Saylor was born. What a blessing. She was literally my angel, and now Brian and I were parents. The next couple of years were great and then we hit bumpy waters yet again. Our little boy Boston came along in January 2017 after a long battle with infertility! But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. As a married couple we experienced some major adversity. Like MAJOR.

We were in survival mode. The two of us had never been in such a raw place in our whole relationship. The cars went, the gas cards, the trips, the freedom, the time we had together went, like “poof” disappeared. As time went on and we gained more responsibility from what we thought was our life of leisure, we could have really fallen apart as a couple. But we didn’t. We lost so much, but gained so much more. We worked hard together as a couple and for our family. Brian was really doing amazing at his job. My makeup business took off and something I had planned to do 2 days a week went into a full time job. Everyday we made the choice to work together to climb out of this hole we were thrown in to. If we didn’t love each other we wouldn’t have had a chance.

To make a marriage work, especially in times of hardship, you have to remember the vows you made to each other. For better or worse? In sickness or in health? It happens. The good, the bad, the ugly, you have ebbs and flows in your marriage that you could not even predict. I could write a book on what happened to both us in the first 5 years we were married. Death, sickness, financial stress, infertility, job changes, life changes, you have no idea what ride you are in for in life. But would you want to do that alone? I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. I would not be the person I am today without Brian or our two children.

Know that being married you are going to continue to grow as a person, as you always did, your spouse is also going to continue to grow. Whether you grow together or apart is the kicker. You have to put in the work to grow together. You have to nurture and tend to your relationship so that it will thrive.

How we met… Brian and I met in a truly serendipitous way. He is from Boston, Massachusetts, and I am from Andrews, Texas, about 2,000 miles apart. So how did a guy from New England and gal from West Texas meet? HOCKEY! Yeah, I did not mistype that. Hockey. I mean I know we met because God meant for us to cross paths but hockey is the means that lead us to that.

It was December 2007 so I was home on Christmas break and went to the mall with my best who was dating a hockey player at the time. When we walked in Brian saw me with Kelley and since he knew her he came over to say “Hi” and to meet me. The rest is history. I fell head over heels in love with Brian. We dated for a little over 2 years, got engaged in Las Vegas, and then we were engaged for a year before we got married.

A bit about our wedding… On July 30, 2011, Brian and I got married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, at the Cabo Azul Resort. I was 25 and he was 29 at the time. It was a dream wedding. We had 50 people come to Cabo to celebrate our marriage. This year will be our 8th wedding anniversary and we are going back to Cabo because it truly is such a special place to us.

Photographer: Angel Owens | Florist: Laurel & Finch | Gown: Leanne Marshall | Cake: Morgan Peral Cakes | Invitations : Pretty Post Calligraphy | Couple: Tabitha | Hair/Makeup: Makeup by Tabitha | Ring Box: Voeu Du Coeur

A Houston Home Where Art Meets Good Design

I talk a LOT about my love for neutrals. And today I’m keeping it going friends… because this home, designed by Katie Davis for L&B Limited, is THE best example of how neutrals create the perfect canvas. In this case, Katie tied in the stunningly colorful art of Kellie Morley and the result is a light, bright, airy vibe woven with colorful character—the best of both worlds. Love what you see? Come along for the full tour captured by Melissa Fitzgerald!

From Katie Davis… The Art House Project was a project for the personal home of Houston home builders L&B Limited. Their home was to be featured on the Houston Heights Home Tour – Spring 2018 and they needed to update their space. The project included a full furniture overhaul of the living and dining room, accents to the kitchen, and some other touches in other rooms throughout the home. Their beautiful craftsmanship provided the prefect canvas to work with. For the tour, we asked local artist, Kellie Morley, to display her art throughout the home, which provided the perfect accents to the space. The homeowners ended up purchasing the piece custom done for the living room, and we love it!

Photographer: Melissa Fitzgerald West | Art: Kellie Morley | Builder: L&B Limited | Interior Design: Katie Davis

Every Wedding Dress Designer We’re Loving in 2019, Categorized By Style

You have options galore when it comes to picking your wedding gown. But the biggest of these includes the vibe you’re going for. Maybe you’re a classic gal, eying a Megan Markle-esque gown. Or you’d love to turn heads in a glam, over-the-top Priyanka Chopra style (with a train that lasts for miles). Either way you play it, there are a couple of designers that’ll help narrow you in on your selection with dresses that cover all ends of the style spectrum. Today we’re rounding these up for you, so grab your bestie, and a glass of champagne, and keep scrolling.

 

Romantic

Photography by Michelle Beller

Galia Lahav

This Israeli fashion designer evokes all the feelings of a real-life fairytale in her carefully constructed options. From her plunging illusion backs and intricate detailing to her flowy skirts (like the one seen here), each of her selections will leave your prince (and every guest in attendance for that matter) speechless when you come walking down the aisle.

Photography by Oliver Fly

Naeem Khan

The likes of both Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama are fans of this fashion and bridal designer, which, naturally means we are too. With ornate styles consisting of extra unique detailing and embellishments for days, it’s safe to each dress is so utterly dreamy, it deserves front page placement (like, say, on your wedding day).

 

Classic

Photography by Kate Elizabeth

Maggie Sottero

Classy brides will have heart-eyes for this award-winning designer’s selections, from full skirts to slinky silhouettes. Better yet, her extraordinary gowns start at a v. appealing price point, so any soon-to-be Mrs. can stay true to her aesthetic even if she’s trying to save money.

Photography by Julia Kaptelova

Monique Lhuillier

Dreaming of a classic ballgown? How about an off-the-shoulder stunner? If so, look no further than the collections of Monique Lhuillier. Paired with a set of pearls and a neatly pulled back chignon and you’ll look like the true bridal beauty you always dreamed of.

 

Boho

Photography by Brumley & Wells

Wilderly

Boho babes — This one is for you. Picture fluttering sleeves, lace overlays, and styles that look good in any laid-back venue. These easy-breezy styles by Wilderly pretty much *scream* let’s get married on a beach… or anywhere in a scenic outdoor setting.

Photography by May Iosotaluno

Rue de Seine

Calling all free-spirited brides with a flair for modern style as well. The Parisian label is bringing you all the embroidery, lace, and crochet picks you could ask for. Oh yeah, they are pretty darn chic too.

 

Glam

Photography by Luisas Secret

Watters

Umm, we’re over-the-moon for this gown. With a flower-encrusted bodice and a shape-hugging figure, this gal looks like she could walk any red carpet. (And lucky for you, with this label, there are plenty of more wow-worthy options where this came from).

Photography by Oliver Fly

Berta

One scroll through these sleek, jewel-adorned dresses and your heart will skip a beat. But seriously, these flattering gowns are so dreamy, it’s hard to pick a favorite (unless you’re a lucky gal aiming for an outfit change at her wedding… we’ll take two, please!).

 

Modern

Photography by Blush Photography

Katie May

Here’s the funny thing about modern gowns — despite being minimalist in nature, they can still be absolutely stunning. Just take this simple ensemble that, paired with a trendy cape makes this bride look like a gem (in the best, most gorgeous way). Props to you for nailing this one, Ms. May.

Photography by The Edges

Justin Alexander

Elegant doesn’t even begin to cover how stylish this simple gown is. Between the exposed back, square-cut necklace, and sophisticated satin finish, we’re going to go ahead and give this dress a resounding “Yes!”.

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This Fashion Blogger Found Out She Was Expecting a Year Into Planning Her Wedding!

If you follow along with fashion blogger, Mackenzie Bay, you know she has the best sense of style—so, it should come as no surprise that her own wedding was a gem. Outstanding Occasions guided her and her hubs in the planning process, and thankfully so, because they found out they were expecting a baby boy about a year into planning. Is there a better wedding present than this little guy? I think not! See it all unfold below with imagery from Rachel Solomon.

From the bride… Summer was coming to an end and school was about to begin back in August of 2014 when I first met Daniel. I instantly locked eyes with him at a party and ever since that day he hasn’t left my mind! Our first date we had an instant connection and bonded over mariachis and margaritas. That evening, (little did I know at the time) he had gone back to his fraternity and told his close friends he had found the one!

Three years later, Daniel proposed to me along the beach in Mexico while we were riding horses down the shore. It took us almost two years to plan the most magical day of our lives. About a year into planning we found out that we were pregnant and we had our sweet baby boy Braxton just a few months before our big day, so he was able to be there alongside us!

Arizona had always been a special place for my family to vacation to, and Daniel was actually born in Arizona, so we decided to venture outside of Texas and have an intimate and dreamy destination wedding in Scottsdale. We were so excited to escape to the natural beauty and weather Arizona had to offer! El Chorro stood out to us from all the other venues we looked at because of how unique and charming it was. Lindsey Rendon, the catering and event manager, was so welcoming and made us feel right at home. It just felt like the perfect fit.

We wanted the rustic feel, and romantic atmosphere to be captured on our big day, and Rachel Solomon did just that! We could not have asked for a better photographer. Our ceremony was held on the breathtaking event lawn overlooking Camelback Mountain which just as well could have been a movie backdrop! My bridesmaids and I had the best hair stylist, Christin Roberts, spend all morning individually perfecting our hair. My girls all found their dresses on Lulus and the beautiful pink tones complimented the bold and lush Arizona scenery so perfectly on the ceremony lawn.

Got You Covered Music helped Daniel and I dance our way into our reception filled with the most stunning florals and linens from The Flower Studio and La Tavola Linens. We chose to have our parents alongside us at the head table which was so beautifully executed with candles, florals, greenery, and crystals dangling from above. Our guests were blown away!

I would not have been able to put everything together without the help of my mom and the most incredibly organized and sweetest planners, Rachel Troyan of Outstanding Occasions. She was there every step of the way and helped everything come together so perfectly. I want to go back and relive this unbelievably magical day over and over again and can’t thank our wedding dream team enough for giving us something so incredible to look back on for years to come.

Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Event Planning: Outstanding Occasions | Floral Design: The Flower Studio | Cake: Ruze Cake House | Stationery: Celebrations in Paper | Reception Venue: El Chorro | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lulu's | Hair: Mohawks & Messy Buns | DJ: Got You Covered | Gown Designer: David's Bridal | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Rentals: Rental Company | Strings: The Encore Quartet | Video: EMotion Cinamatography

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If You Want To Get Married Barefoot on the Beach, Don’t Miss This Dreamy Wedding

Every now and then I find a couple after my own wedding-loving heart. Today, Jennifer and Kiel are that duo. They were together for 8 years before getting engaged and married at 9 and they knew a waterside celebration was in the cards for them—two things my husband and I shared in common with them. I see my own wedding day in theirs… in the smiles, the laughter, the sunset kisses and the beautiful touches thanks to Fabulously Chic Weddings. I hope you’ll see a reflection of your own future day, too, in these images by Trenholm Photo.

From the bride… I always knew I wanted to get married on the beach, barefoot, with my toes in the sand. It’s funny because I wasn’t hell bent on getting married, but if I did, I knew the beach location was going to be a non negotiable for me. Luckily, Kiel couldn’t have agreed more that it made total sense for us.

When we sat down and began to think about locations, our immediate thought was Sanibel Island; my aunt has lived there 20+ years and I grew up going there with my family. We toured 3 places on the island plus 4 in Naples (in full disclosure, I never really gave Naples a fair shot – yes, it’s insanely beautiful but it didn’t hold any emotional connection for me) and decided on Casa Ybel. Funny as my dad also said he thought I’d get married there.

Our wedding planning journey was less than stressful as we had our eyes, ears and wedding therapist on the ground in the form of our planner, recommended by the venue. We had a few ideas in mind before our initial planning meeting – farm tables, great live music and hosting the best dance party wedding ever. I’d say in all, it was a huge success and more beautiful than either of us could have ever imagined.

Our day was a little different than some more traditional weddings – firstly, we got engaged after 8 years and married after 9.5 together (neither of us were in a huge rush – we already lived together and were acting married, for all intents and purposes, and we felt already so lucky for our life together, plus we wanted to make sure that this was going to be IT.). Secondly, we didn’t have a bridal party. As our wedding was destination, we only had 75 guests which meant that everyone there was extremely special to us. I had my 10 best friends at my bachelorette party and that group plus more at our wedding. We did have Kiel’s best friend and my best friend from childhood as our MOH and BM. That said, they wore what made them feel good, made the most incredible speeches and were just there for us – no walking down the aisle or much pomp and circumstance. Just an acknowledgement of our love for them. Thirdly, my college roommate and one of our best friends married us. We asked him to marry us with a hand written card, printed photos and an original poem whiling sailing over July 4th in Massachusetts, and he said yes!

The ceremony was everything – there was crying, there was laughing, and then there were a few PGish rated comments. Our officiant really made it his own – we only gave him the shell of the ceremony, when we walk down the aisle, when Kiel breaks the glass, etc. The rest was complete artistic license for a Danny to put his own spin on the ceremony. We put our trust in him completely. After all, I guess that’s true friendship! The only person who read the ceremony in advance was my MOH as she hand-wrote it out in a beautiful leather bound book for Danny to use day of. Danny can officiate a wedding like none other, but handwriting isn’t his strongest talent. Kiel and I wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with anyone in advance. I couldn’t stop looking over at my parents – now married 38 years – and honestly my heart wouldn’t stop exploding for the moment. My dad suggested Danny become an officiant for hire but I think he’s planning an early retirement. Finally, we sat with our guests – not at a sweetheart or head table. We wanted to be part of the festivities and experiencing our day along with our guests.

In full disclosure and our planner will attest to this, I had zero idea what I wanted design wise (minus the farm tables) when I booked our venue. I barely knew a rose from a tulip! When Courtney and I first met, I was a little all over the place, and she really helped narrow and develop my wedding vision and style. I initially wanted to have the reception on an open lawn, but quickly realized that Florida rain can be unpredictable and it was probably best to just make plan B a really good plan A. Courtney suggested hanging greenery inside the tent to “bring the outside in”. The only other thing I really wanted was dreamy lighting. Courtney had the idea of hanging glass globes with tea lights in them directly over the guest tables, which is also where we decided the greenery would be most impactful. We hung them low enough that they would be very impactful, but not awkward. Kaleidoscope truly brought our floral vision (the vision I didn’t even know I had!) to life. We wanted a lush, yet whimsical look, with lots of texture and some pops of color. They nailed it!

We’re incredibly grateful to all of our friends and family and our vendors who made everything more than we could have ever imagined. I vote we do it again, and change absolutely nothing.

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Photography: Austin Trenholm | Videography : IheART Films | Florist : Kaleidoscope Floral | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Band : Wiley Entertainment | Ceremony & Reception: Casa Ybel Resort | Chargers: A Different Look | Hair & make up : Duality Artistry | Linen : BBJ Linen | Planner & Designer : Fabulously Chic Weddings | Rentals : Niche Event Rentals | Tables & chairs: Niche Event Rentals

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We Found the Doppelgänger of a European Villa Stateside in Sonoma

Just when I think there couldn’t be one California wedding venue that I don’t know about (after writing thousands of wedding features!), I’m pleasantly surprised with a gem like Kenwood Inn & Spa. This beauty of a spot is where Kate and Jeff said I do with Prim Event Studio planning the details alongside them—and it might just be the doppelgänger of a European villa, don’t you agree? Have a look at the images by The Edges and let us know what you think.

From the planner, Morgan of Prim Event StudioKate and Jeff are one of those couples that as soon as you meet, you instantly see how well balanced and perfect of a match they are for each other. They both describe their style as sophisticated, with the bride drawn to the classic look of blush, sage green, and white for the primary color palette.

After visiting Kenwood Inn, nestled in the heart of California’s wine country, you can’t help but be inspired by the architecture and how you feel as though you’ve been transported to a European villa. The exteriors are meticulously adorned with crawling vines while stone patios are found throughout, and gorgeous vineyards are abundant all around. It was with this timeless European inspiration that we pulled linen textures, French crystal cut glassware, accents of stone floral vessels, and beautiful letterpress stationery with grape vines to bring the feel of the wedding together for a refined and elegant intimate aesthetic.

Kate was a vision in her impeccably chic Oscar de la Renta gown and classic Kate Spade heels. Their ceremony focal was a beautiful arch covered organic textures like olive branches. After cocktail hour around the pool, guests were welcomed to dinner with a champagne coupe display to find their name and table and dined under and ambiance of twinkle lights and abundant candlelight. Later, guests were ushered to enjoy dancing and Kate’s musician brother performed a meaningful Billy Joel song for the father/daughter dance their family listened to growing up.

Photography: The Edges Wedding Photography | Floral Design: Lily & Mint | Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Cake: Flour and Bloom Cakes | Stationery: Aerialist Press | Catering: Ramekins Sonoma | Hair & Makeup: Alana Halvorsen | DJ: DJ CAMS | Officiant: Monks | Ceremony & Reception: Kenwood Inn & Spa | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Planning: Prim Event Studio | Rentals & Lighting: Encore Events Rentals

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A Cottage By The Lake

There’s something about a summer cottage that feels so special. Maybe it’s the simplicity of a cottage itself, or the fact that you only have a few months of the year to use it. But every time I walk into one, I get that same cozy summer feeling. That feeling came right back when scrolling through photos of this blue and white beach house perched upon the shores of Lake Michigan. Take a look at this blue and white abode designed by Margaret Of York Designs and photographed by Paige Winn, and hopefully you’ll get that same feeling.

From Margret York Designs…This blue and white beach house is perched upon the shores of Lake Michigan and has panoramic views of the lake and lighthouse. Refurbished rattan, natural fiber rugs, playful wallpaper, and vintage flags are just a few of the elements that make it so charming. The clients wanted a color palette that reflected the lake and fabrics that could withstand the sun and sandy feet. The floor plan is any but traditional as the bedrooms are on the first floor giving the living space all the views. The white walls allow the fabrics and natural materials to have all the fun giving the summer home perfect pops of texture, blue, and turquoise!





Photographer: Paige Winn Photo | Bathroom Sconce: Circa Lighting | Blue and green wallpaper: Meg Braff | Cold Water Pendant: Vintage | Darlana Lantern: Circa Lighting | Fabrications and Upholstery: Julie Caldwell | Interior Design: Margaret of York Designs | Kazak Suncloth Fabric: Quadrille | Lake toile wallpaper: Serena & Lily | Navy and white spotted pillow: Kravet | Rattan Dining Chairs: Serena & Lily | Rattan Mirror: Serena & Lily | Round Rattan Coffee Table: Serena & Lily | Stripe Rug: Serena & Lily | Wicker Pendant: Serena & Lily | Woven Roman Shade: The Shade Store | recycled glass beads: The Bead Chest

This Stunning Bride Had Us Tearing up Over Her Something Borrowed

It’s official, marigold is our new favorite wedding color! This gorgeous couple tied the knot at Sunstone Winery & Villa in Santa Ynez, CA with a dreamy color palette of marigold, light blue and olive green. Olive trees and blooms from Tyler Speier Events surrounded their ceremony as they exchanged “I do’s” in front of their nearest and dearest. The bride wore her mother’s veil from 1982 as her something borrowed and we’re getting emotional just thinking about it. Don’t miss a detail at the full gallery captured flawlessly by Natalie Bray Studios.

From Natalie Bray StudiosThey wed on a sunny Santa Ynez, CA day at the elegant Sunstone Winery and Villa. They both live in Los Angeles and wanted a destination feel to their celebration without going too far and Sunstone provided the perfect weekend getaway. They started the weekend with the Welcome Dinner among the olive trees and personalized gifts for each guest. For their wedding day, Bridgett and Ian chose marigold, light blue, and olive green as their color theme and it complimented the golden hills and venue backdrop perfectly.

All of the decor complimented the beautiful villa from Olive branches that were used as a uniting floral element decor in ceremony arch, grooms boutonniere, and reception centerpieces. In her search for her wedding gown, Bridgett could not find the right one without spending a fortune, so she had her gown custom made to fit her perfectly. It was absolutely stunning on her and such a great idea!

As Bridgett walked down the aisle she wore her mothers veil circa 1982 and it was her something borrowed and something old. She also wore 1 carat blue sapphire earrings circled with diamonds as her something blue and obviously her bridesmaids were her something blue as well. During the ceremony under the gorgeous oak trees Ian and Bridgett said their personalized vows and were wed by their best friend. Not a dry eye. It was truly special and you can see more in the video.

Incredibly thoughtful and remarkable souls these two are. Thoughtful details and an enjoyable experience for their guests was a TOP priority. They enlisted the help of Tyler Speier who brought their vision to life in the best way possible. Cocktail hour was set among the olive grove and vineyard with the stunning villa setting the scene as mini-tacos, signature drink, and a mozzarella bar awaited guests.

The couple chose unique lounge seating through out the space for guests to relax and take in the scenic surroundings. Greeting guests as the entered the reception space was a live band playing the couples favorite songs and custom 6 ft tall seating chart made by Lotus and Ash adorned with olive branches and peach roses made a statement. The couple danced the entire night and it was a true joy to witness the happiness and joy surrounding them. It was a night to remember.

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Photography: Natalie Bray Studios | videography: Natalie Bray Studios | Event Design and planning: Tyler Speier Events | Floral Design: Tyler Speier Events | cake: helena cakes | bridesmaids dresses: Weddington Way | catering: Omni Catering | hair and makeup : Style Me Kristi | lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | Live band : Music By Bonnie | Rentals: Elan Event Rentals | brides gown: anomolie | ceremony and reception: Sunstone Winery & Villa | film lab: The Find Lab | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | menswear: The Black Tux | music : Elan Artists | paper goods and custom seating chart : Lotus & Ash | photobooth: Witty Booth | rentals : The Tent Merchant | ring box: the mrs box | styling board: Heirloom Bindery

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A Doctor and Lawyer Power Couple Say I Do in a Beautiful Sikh and Hindu Celebration

Get ready to spend some quality time with this fete, friends; it has more beautiful layers than I can touch on in a few short sentences. Preet and Silpa’s celebrated their union of both Sikh and Hindu, with glowing smiles on their faces, loved ones surrounding them and Bahar Shakor Events there to help with every pretty detail along the way. I’m quite positive I spent an embarrassing amount of time simply admiring this stunning duo and their equally striking day here in the gallery from Love & You Studios.

From the wedding planner Bahar ShakorThis couple is a true power couple! Silpa is a doctor and Preet is a lawyer. Preet and Silpa met through a mutual friend and fell in love! They both share a love of photography and details. 

Their wedding was a union of both Sikh and Hindu cultures. Their Sikh wedding was at the Sacramento Gurudwara Temple and their Hindu wedding at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

The couple came to us five weeks before their wedding! Planning and design was both exciting and fast paced! They wanted the wedding day to look and feel unique. We planned a few options for the design of the wedding and the reception, and ultimately came up with a plan that fit the couple’s style while complimenting their venue. The end result was timeless, beautiful and elegant.

Photography: Love & You Studios | Videographer : Motion 8 Films | Brides Shoes : Jimmy Choo | Catering : Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa | Groom's Attire: Boss Formal Wear | Baraat Horse: Buzzard's Roost Ranch | Bridal Attire: Sabyasachi | Bride's Jewelry: Bridelan | Bride's Mehendi: Ravie Kattaura | Ceremony & Reception : Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa | Chair Rentals:: The Chiavari Guys | DJ & Lighting:: Wicked Entertainment | Hindu Ceremony & Reception : Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa | Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist: DREAVMAKEUP | Photo Booth: Just the little things | Planning, Design & | Florals: Bahar Shakor events | Sikh Ceremony : Sacramento Gurudwara Temple

Real Brides Share Their Tips to Get Fit!

We’re all about brides feeling like the best version of themselves on their big day whether that’s in bridal style, beauty trends or even fitness goals.  Health and wellbeing are such important parts of a balanced life that it’s no surprise that brides dial it up a notch leading up to their wedding. So we interviewed real brides on their approach to pre-wedding fitness to learn how they set goals and stuck to routines that worked – keep reading to hear their healthy and practical tips for meeting your own personal bridal body goals.

Why did you prioritize health and fitness leading up to your wedding day?

Photography: Kayla Snell

Amanda: Fitness has always been a huge part of my life from being a high school athlete into my adulthood. Not only do I feel more confident with myself when I’m in a good fitness routine, I notice a shift in my energy levels and overall mood. My perspective for focusing on fitness leading up to the wedding is that I wanted to look and feel like the best version of myself during this happy time.

Mindy: I wanted to feel my absolute best on my wedding day so I prioritized both wellness and fitness leading up to my wedding day. My (now) husband and I also had daily morning runs together and this is when we talked about our wedding to do list so that we were stress relieving while talking about potentially stressful topics.

Megan: It wasn’t just about getting in shape, but I found it to be a great stress relief as well. Early on I focused too much on trying to lose weight. Once I let that go, found I got in the best shape I’d ever been in by focusing instead on thinking about why this was important and good for my body.

What kind of goals did you set for yourself?

Photography: Kristen Dee

Megan: I wanted to feel slim and strong. In the end I think focusing too much on seeing the scale go down at the beginning was detrimental to the process. As mentioned above, once I started focusing on being consistent about working out and doing what was good for me and my body, I not only lost a bit of weight, but more importantly for both my health and selfishly, appearance, gained a ton of muscle and looked and felt much stronger.

Deanna: Bride Arms were a goal for sure! I knew my arms and back were highlighted in my dress so I upped my weights a little bit but mostly I loved that my hour at the gym every day was time just for me to clear my head.

Kristina: My dress already fit like a glove, so I wanted to tone certain aspects that would be a focal point on the wedding day. Prior to “sweating for the wedding” my fitness routine revolved around running, which doesn’t really improve muscle quality so I knew that something would have to change in order for me to get the result I was looking for.

What types of workouts have you found most effective?

Photography: Kayla Snell

Amanda: I like to do a variety of workouts because I get bored easily and found that this combination gives me the best results! I typically work out 5-6 days a week including 1 spin class at my favorite local studio Jibe Cycling, 1-2 Bar Method classes, and 3 days at the gym focusing on weight lifting and cardio with the FitwithASD program. I love the variation in all of the workouts and mix of group exercises and individual training.

Megan: Group fitness was my god send — bootcamps, tabata classes, spin classes, etc. I liked them because I sign up the night before and am on the hook for showing up. I also like that I was able to show up early in the morning and someone told me exactly what to do — I’m not good at coming up with workouts on my own :)

Kristina: I started doing Orange Theory Fitness which a high intensity workout that is based around heart-rate monitoring and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (which helps you burn calories for 36 hours after the workout, yay!) I liked orange theory fitness because it still had the running aspect which I love but also incorporated weight training which I was lacking to get more toned.

Did you make any changes to your diet?

Photography: Angelia Marie

Amanda: Yes! I’ve always found it easy to be consistent with my workouts but not so much with the nutrition. However, I knew when it came to wedding prep I would have to be more strict. Over the past year or so I’ve cut dairy and soy out of my diet which has made an amazing difference in my life. No more excessive bloating, migraines, and just feeling yuck after eating. My fiancé and I plan our meals out a week in advance and grocery shop together so that we can plan healthy and fun meals while eliminating waste and the urge to eat out. I most recently read Kelly Levesque’s Body Love book and have been following her nutrition lifestyle. Honestly, I dropped 5 pounds in a week and a half and have kept losing since. It’s changed the way I think about fueling my body and I look forward to seeing what changes it makes in my overall health. Most importantly, all of the changes I’ve made in my nutrition have been lifestyle changes not a diet that is going to end after the wedding. I feel so great that I never want to go back!

Mindy: I did slightly! I prioritize eating clean, but definitely amped it up 6 months before my wedding. I had done rounds of Whole 30 prior to my engagement so I took what I learned from this program and applied it. I knew dairy and processed foods make me feel bloated and are hard to digest, so I avoided them in order to feel my very best!

Megan: A little! At first went pretty drastic which backfired. Treats and chocolate are a necessary part of my life and mental happiness. I learned to just incorporate more vegetables at lunch and dinner wherever possible instead of my favorite white starchy carbs.

Do you have any favorite healthy meals, snacks etc.? Please share!

Photography: Random Acts of Pastel

Mindy: I find getting enough protein is hard for me so I try to make sure I’m prioritizing it every meal plus in my snacks. I love cottage cheese with a dab of French dressing (sounds gross, but is really good), Powercrunch bars (mint is the best!), Tone It Up protein powder and EPIC bars.

Amanda: Because I work from home, I love to cook an omelette for lunch or thai grilled chicken salad! We love switching it up for dinners but mostly include a protein & a veggie. My air fryer has been a game changer in cooking our veggies because I love crispy brussel sprouts, broccoli, or asparagus. Other favorites are stir frys with cauliflower rice or taco seasoned shredded chicken in a lettuce wrap. If I’m in the mood for a snack my go-tos are homemade popcorn (healthiest when air popped, sea salt, and dairy free / soy free butter) as well as hummus and carrots!

Megan: Baked sweet potatoes, baked green beans with olive oil and almonds, homemade acai bowls, peanut butter and pretzel sticks

What advice would you give to another bride who has similar fitness goals before her wedding?

Photography: Bisou Style

Amanda: A few things that have been helpful to me are… 1. Planning my workouts a week in advance. Schedule them into your calendar like a date with yourself. 2. Meal prep! Create a menu for the week and include new healthy recipes so that you get excited about cooking. It also makes grocery shopping easier and less wasteful. 3. Don’t do it alone. Sharing your goals with your partner or friends allows them to encourage you and maybe even join you in your journey. Working out & eating healthy is so much better when you’re not doing it alone!

Megan: Don’t sweat the small treats (or glasses of wine that you need after a very hard long day). Shifting your mindset from beating yourself up over treats to focusing more on the good things you’re already doing to be healthy will go a long way.  

Deanna: Start early with something you can keep up with! I made a commitment to myself for 15 Pure Barre classes per month 10 months before my wedding and it kept me accountable but not unattainable.

So there you have it! Real tips from real brides that really helped them feel like their best selves on their wedding days. Our takeaways? It’s all about balance. Find workouts you love, make small changes to build good habits, include friends to keep you accountable, and don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then – it is your wedding year after all!

Kelsey Dulac is a wedding planner and designer based in Coastal Maine with a passion for creating beautiful, personal and thoughtfully detailed events all over New England with her company, Back Bay Bride. She loves sharing her expertise in event design, planning and execution to ensure couples have well-organized and visually-inspired weddings that are a meaningful reflection of their story.

Eclectic Farmhouse Tour

In my next life, I am living in a farmhouse just like this one. And it has everything to do with the reading nooks, places for boardgames, family dinners, outdoor spaces galore … and don’t forget the master bedroom retreat. Designed by Paige Snell, and styled by Lindsay Gibson, don’t miss one detail of this Carlton Landing home photographed by Jana Carson.

From the home owner … Carlton Landing is a walkable lakefront community designed according to the tenets of new urbanism by Andres Duany of DPZ, the creator of communities such as of Seaside and Rosemary Beach. The community garden and Carlton Landing is a place where kids learn where their food comes from and neighbors can work together to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and fun times together.

Our farmhouse features a generous front porch perfect for dinner parties or a good book on a rainy day. On the rear of the house, an upstairs screen porch is the perfect place for an afternoon chess game. Surrounded by camp cots, twinkle lights and cozy blankets, there’s no better place to paint, read or have a spontaneous weeknight camping adventure.

The master bedroom has whitewashed walls and relaxed European shades that are flooded with natural light from windows on three sides. The European mount offers a great contrast to the mirrored dressers and bed.The window wall eliminates the stairwell with six north facing windows.

At the top of the stairs is a reading and bookcases perfect for story time with mom. With five kids, there’s a need to share but also I need for private space. The bed nooks give each kid a space to escape but no doors to slam.

When the kids come home from school, backpacks and skateboard helmets go into their cubbies in the mudroom. Above the cubbies, a collection of black-and-white family pictures are carefully guarded by Françoise, our paper mâché Haitian rhinoceros. The juxtaposition of classy and rustic come together with the reclaimed barnwood and dripping chandelier.

Our kitchen is the workhorse and entertaining hub of the home. Paige Schnell of Tracery Interiors put together this kitchen. Jen loves to cook, and the large island is great for entertaining or lining up the kids for a great meal. For the countertops, we wanted something that was useable and durable, so we chose Boos block and soapstone.

We used native rocks found here in Carlton Landing in our hearth and fireplace surround. Above the mantle, we reclaimed some old barnwood to give some rich character to the living room.

Welcoming guests through our side entry is a collection of whimsical artwork by the kids and a trusty pair of gardening boots waiting to tackle the morning chores. Just outside the sunny south facing door is our side garden and chicken coop where fresh eggs, peppers, tomatoes and fresh herbs and cutting flowers overflow. On the drive into halfway through the drive into Carlton Landing, serene lawn with a breathtaking view and two Adirondack chairs invite you to come and sit for a spell.

Photography: Jana Carson | Styling: Gibson Events | Carlton Landing: Carlton Landing | Interior Design: Paige Schnell

The All-White Farmhouse Venue That Will Have Vineyard Brides Weak in the Knees

Don’t get us wrong, we love the timeless green and white look – but allow us, and Embark Event Design, to convince you that color pops and classic style are a match made in wedding heaven. Bloom Floral and Foliage created arrangements with petals that pack a punch. Bright yellows, sweet coral and soft blush hues just might be our new favorite combo. Plus, it’s all set at the dreamiest all-white restored 1904 farmhouse on a vineyard in California. Check out the full gallery captured by Jen Rodriguez Photography.

From Embark Event Design Brides with a love for fine art inspired wedding style will fall in love with the details of this editorial shoot and use it as a guide for incorporating pops of soft hues into classic design. Timeless elements with pops of color and texture were present in each piece of this fun filled and inspiring day. This editorial shoot was designed with garden inspired blooms and soft color at the forefront, with a nod to our location – private estate and winery Hammersky Vineyards.

Nestled in a valley in Paso Robles California, this family owned estate is perfect for wedding inspiration. The restored farm house sits on acres of vines, and elements that pay homage to the original 1904 house are ever-present. The England style white barn across from the farmhouse created the perfect backdrop for our editorial shoot, and the natural light just inside the doors allowed for the dreamiest portrait sessions. The simple and fitted style of bride’s hand made gown included dimensional petals and pearls that carried over into the cake, where each tier was carefully adorned with hand made flowers that added depth to the tone on tone design.

Cat from Beautifully noted designed a custom invitation suite featuring sketches of mustard seed, a California native plant that blooms for much of the year in the countryside surrounding Hammersky. The simple suite was surrounded by fresh cut florals and bridal details and captured perfectly on film by Jen Rodriguez. Colorful and blooming florals from Bloom Floral and Foliage adorned each piece of the shoot, from our bridal bouquet, overflowing with pops of buttery yellow hues to blooming tablescapes, set along the barn. Blossoming branches and white peonies kept the floral design timeless, and allowed for fun pops of of soft blush and tons of texture.

At the table, each place setting was graced with a custom printed menu from Beautifully Noted and linen napkins tied with hand dyed silk ribbon. Velvet linens with a golden honey tint added a soft feeling to the table, and simple vineyard chairs gave a nod to the winery set just beyond the table. Jen captured our sweet couple in the final moments of golden hour as they walked through the vineyards up to the iconic oak tree, and exchanged sweet words and enjoyed the still moments just before sunset. This day was such a dream to create and produce, and each of our partners on this editorial truly brought something special.

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Photography: Jen Rodriguez Photography | Videography: I Heart My Groom | Floral Design : Bloom Floral and Foliage | Dress: J Noelle Design | Cake: Autumn Qui | Catering: Blue Oak Barn | Hair and Makeup: Blushing Beauty | Accessories: UntamedPetals | Backdrop: JRD Artshop | Cocktails: Yes Cocktail Co. | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Lingerie: BHLDN | Live Painter: Heather Milenaar | Paper Details: Beautifully Noted | Planning + Design: Embark Event Design | Ribbon: The Lesser Bear | Specialty Rentals: Scout Rental Co. | Specialty Rentals: Avenue Twelve Rentals | Tabletop Rentals: All About Events | Tanning: Sunkissed | Tanning: Sunkissed | Welcome Box: Charm Box | Welcome Sign: TSE Calligraphy | Winery: HammerSky Vineyards

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