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The Florals in this Romantic Barn Wedding are Everything

Calling all lovers of lush, romantic florals… This one’s for YOU.  From the breathtaking bouquets to the cascading ceremony artwork, the talented team at Treasured Blossoms crafted some of the most beautiful displays of flower perfection you will ever lay your eyes upon and the always amazing Markit Photography captured every peony-filled moment.  Ready to spend your day basking in floral goodness? Press play on the film from Randy Robinson, then head to THE VAULT to get your pretty on.


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Photography: Markit Photography | Cinematography: R. Scott Media | Coordination: En Vogue Events | Floral Design: Treasured Blossoms Floral & Event Design | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Cake: Classy Cakes by Lori | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Pok-e-jos | Hair + Makeup: Shannon Nicole | DJ: Joe Terrell | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: Lone Oak Barn | Popsicles: Steel City Pops

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Hometown Wedding Filled with Culture + the Cutest Pup Ever!

Weddings make my heart happy, and this special day? Well it’s managed to make my heart actually jump for joy, I mean JUST LOOK AT THAT PUP! With Mike Cassimatis Photography behind the scenes snapping up every sweet second, we’ve got every bit of this big day waiting for you in The Vault!

Al Fresco

From Mike Cassimatis PhotographyTayla and Andy are two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet and their Boston Terrier, Wesley, is the ultimate American Gentleman. The couple lives in NYC but had their wedding in their hometown of St. Louis, Missouri at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. The location was special to them as that was where Andy proposed.

From The Bride…Andy and I met and fell in love in St. Louis, Missouri. We relocated to New York, NY two years ago, following career opportunities. We loved (and still love) both St. Louis and Forest Park, but have really grown as couple in NYC. We wanted our wedding to represent both. I wanted the styling of the wedding to be elegant and sophisticated like a NY/black tie wedding (tuxes, formal/classic wedding dress, reception design, long/elegant bridesmaids’ dresses), but also with a sweet, Midwestern side (focus on flowers, nature and family). Forest Park was a very special place to us, and our Boston Terrier, Wesley, while living in St. Louis, so we wanted everything on our wedding day to be in the park, and for Wesley to be a part of it too. I wanted the color pallet to be muted (ivory, champagne, blush) except for the flowers. I wanted those to really pop!

Our Boston Terrier, Wesley, was an honorary groomsman. Andy & his family are Croatian, so we wanted to include details & traditions unique to their culture. Our wedding merged two beautiful cultures – American and Croatian, and we had touches throughout the day to represent both, and also who we are as a Midwest raised, northeast living/working couple. We had a traditional & BEAUTIFUL Croatian dessert bar full of homemade Croatian/American desserts, which were all made and contributed by Croatian families/friends. The best man also performed the traditional rakija canteen passing (homemade rum brandy in a hand carved canteen from Zagreb, Croatia). Our ceremony was completely written by Andy and me to represent who we are as a couple with portions in both English and Serbo-Croatian. My uncle married us (who we’re both very close to). Our guest book was a beautiful black and white coffee table book containing photos of NYC, and in lieu of wedding favors we made a donation to Forest Park Forever, the not-for-profit that supports the park we love and were married in.

My favorite moment was doing the traditional Kolo dance with my family, my new husband and his family, while holding hands and dancing in a circle to Croatian music. To me, that was the first moment that our marriage and the union of our families felt real! My favorite crafted details were the GORGEOUS floral wreath that hung over our dance floor at the reception, and the two handmade wooden boxes we used for our unity ceremony (special bottle of wine & cards written to one another were placed in the box to be shared on our 1 year anniversary) and the card box at the reception. Both were made from a member of my family who is a very talented woodworker.

Pick the one or two things that really mean the most to you when you start planning and only allow yourself to stress (if need be) over those one or two things! To experience completely stress-free wedding planning is rare, but if you remember what you truly care about the rest of the planning seems easy. For me, it was the music and the flowers. As long as we got those right, I was confident everything else would fall into place.

Photography: Mike Cassimatis - MNC Photography | Event Planning: Kristin Ashley Events | Floral Design: The Special Event Florist | Cake: Sugaree Baking Company | Stationery: M. Haley Design | Ceremony Venue: Forest Park | Reception Venue: Catering St. Louis | Catering: Catering St. Louis | Hair + Makeup: DanielleStyle | Band: Griffin And The Gargoyles | String Quartet: Rosewood Ensemble | Transportation: JED Limosine | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Rentals: Exclusive Events, Inc

Colorful Rustic Chic Crimson Wedding

A couple that embraces color on their big day is right up our wedding alley, and this darling duo? They did just that. A crimson hued affair that’ll have you blushing, Michael and Carina Photography captured it all to share. From the bold bouquets to the bridesmaid gowns, every detail is saturated with rich tones that’ll make you totally happy. Soak up the entire soiree in The Vault!


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From Michael And Carina PhotographyCrimson is such a gorgeous color for florals and bridesmaids dresses that looks beautiful all year round – not just around fall! Different red and jewel tones add an unmatched depth to bouquets and centerpieces.

Lesley and Pat’s Charlottesville wedding was lovingly accented by luscious florals and personal details. The indoor ceremony created an intimate atmosphere and as the bride entered through the overhung archway, everyone gasped.

Lesley wore a delicate Claire Pettibone dress and a subtle greenery head piece to add to the organic feel of the wedding. The mountain view backdrop helped create stunning landscape portraits.

A lavish dessert table with a variety of naked cakes and pies made it impossible to pass up dessert!

From The Bride…Pat and I met on an online dating site back in 2011. We met up for a drink one night after work, and ended up laughing and chatting for hours until the restaurant finally kicked us out. Fast-forward five years, and here we are! We have a happy little apartment together in DC, and plan to buy our own place and get a dog (or three) soon. For his proposal, Pat surprised me with a fall sunset wine festival at Mount Vernon estate. Overlooking the moonlight on the river, he pulled out the ring box (upside-down out of nerves) and asked me to marry him.

We both love nature and the outdoors, so when we saw the mountain view at King Family, we were sold. And, even though Mother Nature brought rain on our wedding day, the indoor ceremony was just as perfect. Our theme was organic, moody, bohemian spring, with a focus on natural elements like wood, flowers, and garlands (which our florist rocked). For our color palette, instead of using traditional spring pastels, we went with more grounded, autumnal tones like marsala, navy, and blackberry, with pops of lighter colors and gold accents. Pat wore a suit from Banana Republic, and his groomsmen were in navy or grey suits that they already owned, with ties we gifted them from JCrew. My bridesmaids’ dresses were from BHLDN, and I wore a dress from Claire Pettibone, which instantly became my favorite piece of clothing I will ever own.

We incorporated lots of DIY and personal touches to make the day feel like “us.” I designed the paper suite with my dad, who painted the floral images. I also hand-lettered the envelopes and seating and table cards, and Pat and I hand-made all of the signs. We glued little notes we had written to each other over the years into our guest book so guests could read some of our love notes before leaving us their own. And, we bought and compiled most of the other decor ourselves, like the lanterns, votives, cake pedestals, etc., most of which came from Target or World Market.

Family means everything to us, so we wanted to include them in our day, too. I had two little fabric hearts from my mom’s wedding dress and my dad’s old pocket square sewn into the lining of my dress. I wore a bracelet of my mom’s and a necklace that my grandmother had gifted me as a baby, and Pat carried his dad’s handkerchief. We also put out photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days, and the photos of our grandparents who have passed on sat on the front row during the ceremony so they could be with us in spirit. Finally, for our father-daughter dance, our talented band learned a lullaby my dad had written me when I was born, and played it as a surprise for him.

We asked one of Pat’s closest friends to officiate, and worked with him to create a ceremony that really reflected us as a couple. We also wrote our own vows. It was a precious moment, to be surrounded by our family and friends while we made those promises to each other. Our amazing day-of coordinator ushered us into a room right after the ceremony where we could spend a few minutes alone together taking it all in, which is one of the moments both of us most treasure from the day. And then, we had the time of our lives dancing and singing and celebrating our love with all of our favorite people.

If I could give any advice to future couples, it would be threefold: 1. have a rain plan!, 2. hire some good vendors you trust, including a fabulous day-of coordinator (I promise, it will make your life so much easier), and 3. stop, breathe, and soak it all in with your partner on your wedding day. The day flies so fast, and there are so many details to take in, but the most important detail is your love!

Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Cinematography: Kelsey & Nate | Event Planning: Cate Liverman | Floral Design: Petal Flower Co | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cakes: Cakes By Rachel | Invitations: DIY | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: The Local | Hair + Makeup: Moxie Hair & Body Lounge | Band: Bachelor Boys Band | Ties: J.Crew | Groom's Attire: Banana Republic | Venue: King Family Vineyards | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Hair Accessories: BHLDN

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Sparkly Mountain Destination Wedding

A wedding weekend that also doubles as a vacation for the newlyweds? Total win-win. Just ask this lovely pair who planned the perfect party for their nearest and dearest. With Melissa Schollaert Photography on hand snapping up every sweet second, we’ve invite you to escape the ordinary and peruse the pretty via The Vault!

From the Bride + Groom…When we started to plan our wedding, we decided we wanted to have a destination wedding. Both of us are not originally from Atlanta, so we wanted to find another location where all of our guests could come together and the weekend would not just be fun for us but also for our guests. A friend of ours recommended Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC. Neither of us had ever been to Highlands, so we decided to make a trip up there for Amanda’s birthday to check it out. Immediately when we arrived in town we loved the quant cute feel of Highlands. Then when we met with the Old Edwards’ Wedding Events team and toured their beautiful Farm property, we knew this was the perfect place. Not to mention, the cool mountain air for an August wedding.

Next to selecting our Wedding Coordinator, Sarah Beth Thie from We Tie the Knots. After speaking with Sarah Beth for this first time, Travis and I immediately felt at ease and knew she was the perfect person to help us bring all of our thoughts and ideas together and help us plan our perfect wedding weekend.

For our wedding we wanted to ensure we captured the beauty of Highlands and Old Edwards. We decided on the color scheme of blush, cream, and green. We tied all of this together through our beautiful flowers of hydrangeas and roses by our florist Chelsea Floral Designs to our invitations, napkins, and koozies from Hi Note. Even to our Welcome Bags made of burlap with a cream handle by A Signature Welcome.

We also wanted to ensure our wedding incorporated special touches…

Amanda’s dad is a huge cigar fan, so we decided to give him a surprise cigar bar at the wedding. With the help of Hi Note, we even added wooden signage to give it that extra special “manly” touch.

We are huge fans of the song Cruise by Georgia Florida Line. Travis happens to be friends with Jessie Rice who co-wrote Cruise. We contacted Jessie prior to our wedding and asked if he would sing it at our reception along with our band Atlanta Showstoppers. He graciously accepted. Jessie and the Atlanta Showstoppers, along with one of our groomsman, Kyle (singing the Nelly version), provided a moment at the reception that everyone in attendance will never forget.

Our photographer, Melissa Schollaert, helped us add a special touch of her own. On our wedding day, we noticed Melissa was also taking photos with an old Polaroid camera, but we were not sure what they were for. As we were about to leave in our getaway car, Melissa handed us a box. Inside the box were the Polaroid photos. This immediately touched our hearts and to this day are our favorite photos.

Lastly, to our favorite memories from our wedding weekend…(1) Seeing each other for the first time as the doors opened and Amanda started to walk down the isle leading to tears of joy from Amanda and a big huge smile from Travis. (2) To having everyone we love in one place together all weekend and seeing their smiling faces.

From Melissa Schollaert PhotographyAmanda & Travis’ mountain destination wedding was full of fun, gorgeous summertime blooms and an elegance that wove itself throughout every detail. Their guests enjoyed an entire weekend of fun in the town of Highlands with a Welcome Party, Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding Celebration at the farm. Their cream, grey and light pink details throughout the stationery and decor perfectly suited the venue. Two of my favorite details were the custom wooden signs and the welcome bags. Every detail was coordinated and designed to flow together and incorporated their wedding logo, colors and graphic elements. They had one of the most fun wedding parties, and they really showed off their talents at the reception. One of their friends who co-wrote “Cruise” by Georgia Florida Line got up and sang the song and the guests went crazy! Even one of the groomsmen joined him during the middle of the song for a completely improvised rap duet interlude and the band just flowed with it. It was one of the most fun receptions I’ve ever had the capture of photographing!

Photography: Melissa Schollaert Photography | Event Planning: We Tie The Knots | Floral Design: Chelsea Floral Designs | Cake: Creative Pastries By Sid | Catering: Old Edwards Inn And Spa | Hair + Makeup: Old Edwards Inn And Spa | Band: Atlanta Showstoppers | Venue: Old Edwards Inn And Spa | Stationery + Signage: Hi Note | Welcome Bags + Favors: A Signature Welcome

How to Feel Beautiful + Confident For Your Boudoir Shoot

I love boudoir shoots. But I’ll be honest; I can’t help but wonder how these portrait subjects look so lovely, so calm and relaxed, in such a vulnerable state. So today we have Michael and Carina here to let us in on the stylish and oh so important secrets to a beautiful – and confident – boudoir session so those fears can be a thing of the past and your results can be filled with the prettiness you set out to capture.

From Michael and Carina Photography… Boudoir, at its best, is as emotional as it is sensual. These photos are an elegant and empowering way to celebrate form, sensuality and intimacy, but there is a lot more to it. Thoughtfulness, intrigue, selectivity, and affection all play a role in creating a powerful, intimate portrait, as well as communication between the subject and the photographer. If you have been curious about what boudoir photography is and if it’s for you, this article is a must! – read on…

Accepting Ourselves

Boudoir teaches us that it is okay to be vulnerable. In fact, taking the step to be photographed in an intimate setting, though empowering, first requires the confidence to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable confidently. Sensuality is as much a part of the human experience as human partnership, marriage, and birth, and boudoir embraces that.

We feel that natural light perfectly compliments this atmosphere of quiet intimacy; window light especially provides a natural lighting source that can be both soft or moody, as most boudoir sessions are indoors.

Most boudoir sessions begin as gifts for other people, and they do make marvelous gifts for partners. Ultimately though, boudoir is for yourself! It celebrates your personality, your beauty and can be an all-around empowering experience. Feeling sexy is great, but feeling confident is even better.

Sharing elegant boudoir images with your partner, who admires and loves you for who you are, will make your partner fall in love with you all over again! Like with any professional photograph, these images were not created just to be shared in an online, password-protected gallery. Consider a boudoir album or a box of prints as a pre-wedding or anniversary gift your lover won’t forget.

Creating a Timeless Look

The art of boudoir is creating an image that is sensual, but timeless and thoughtful. First, create a mood board of textures, images, colors, fabrics, and outfit choices that encapsulate your vision for your session. Then, research your photographer and stylist thoroughly. Communicating with your photographer is crucial in capturing the vision of your boudoir session, from discussing your choice in outfits to the choice of a location.

When choosing a location, consider both light and comfort. Talk to your photographer about the benefits of using a local studio, but also consider using your home or a place that has personal meaning. Ideally the setting is clean and offers natural lighting opportunities. Equally important to the light of the space is that the subject feels safe in that space. Michael and I work always work together in photographing boudoir. I’m always glad to have him with me as his calm and quiet personality usually helps create that safe space for our clients. Having been together for 13 years and having worked together for five, we usually create our best work as a team. We usually have a small meeting with our client before hand to discuss some ideas for the session, and while we always follow our client’s lead and comfort level, we sometimes ask to step in and make adjustments in the placement of hands or to demonstrate ourselves.

Boudoir is meant to capture you honestly. Neutral tones with one or two bold accents in makeup or wardrobe helps to accentuate that. Send your photographer your mood board, or communicate with them in developing it. Finally, let your photographer know what you love most about your body and what you might be more self-conscious with. Communication is everything in ensuring the success of your shoot.

Artistry Within Boudoir

Boudoir can be an experience where you learn more about yourself. It can be a bonding experience, undertaken with a partner for an intimate couple’s session. What definitively sets boudoir apart is vision – shared with your photographer and stylist. Our goal is to communicate with you and to create an environment where you feel safe within your vulnerability, and walk away feeling empowered and confident as a result. We approach each shoot as a new experience as each client is unique; we approach each boudoir session as an opportunity to create art that sensually connects but that is never remotely close to being offensive to our client’s, or our, sensibilities.

Rather than thinking of your session as a “shot list”, we like to think of it as we would approach a wedding – a series of thoughtful compositions that tell a story. For example, a sensual, relaxed portrait in a comfortable bed is great, but there is also beauty in movement, especially framed in an empty space. Florals can exalt your session with symbolism: roses and tulips denote love, freesia denotes innocence, and so on. They can foreshadow or recall your wedding with hints of color. Adding florals to boudoir does not necessarily mean adding a bouquet but perhaps allowing a florist to accent a corner, wall or mantlepiece with details that compliment intimate space.

Finally, you should feel sexy. You should find a photographer that is comfortable in capturing that – boring and boudoir don’t go together. But we feel that the session should gradually build to that point – the initial photos capture moments of vulnerability, softness, intimacy, and as you build confidence, finally sensuality. We usually build to this point with two-to-three looks – one casual, comfortable bedroom look, one more sensual or elegant wardrobe, and for some clients, nude or suggested nude. Communicate with your photographer what you love most about your body, or what your partner finds most attractive about you. And even then – there is just as often as much, if not more, sensuality in what you don’t see and in what is suggested. A hand’s touch can be sensual, the outline of your body where light falls upon it can be sensual.

Intimate Story-Telling

Overall, what we love about most about boudoir is what we love about weddings: the opportunity to create and execute a vision that tells a story – a story that is wholly unique to you.

Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Floral Design: Isha Foss Events | Shoes: Bella Belle | Hair + Makeup: Emily Artistry | Calligraphy: Corsivo Calligraphy | Venue: Salubria | Clothing: Free People | Clothing: Nordstrom | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
The OMG Wedding Dress Our Editors Can’t Get Over!

There are a LOT of reasons to love this wedding from Koman Photography, but my personal favorite? The bride’s Zuhair Murad dress that left all our editors totally speechless. Of course, the florals by The Bloom Of Time, rentals and catering by 24 Carrots, and the perfect backdrop at Rancho Las Lomas only added to the pretty and lots, lots more just waiting to be pinned.

From The Bride…Phil and I met 10 years from the date we were married. You could say that when the time came to plan our wedding we were more than ready to start planning, well let me rephrase that I was more than ready to start planning. Early on in our engagement Phil told me that he wanted me to create the wedding I dreamed of and that he would be perfectly fine with the vision I had in mind. Because Phil set the bar high by proposing at a beautiful castle in Germany I had quite the task in front of me.

Rancho Las Lomas was the first and only wedding venue Phil and I visited. Together with my parents we all decided that it was a magical place and we could not imagine NOT having our reception take place there! Rancho Las Lomas is a venue that offers so much beauty in literally every inch of its property. Not only is it full of lush greenery, flowers and oak and sycamore trees, but the Spanish architecture is absolutely breathtaking. Our Mission Basilica Ceremony coupled very well with Rancho Las Lomas and gave our guests another beautiful and iconic Southern California landmark to visit.

The overall mood of our reception was romantic-meets-industrial style. We wanted to create a mood that felt rustic and old-world while still one that felt sophisticated and relevant. Although I wanted to create a distinct style I also wanted to make sure that I did not take away from the beauty of Rancho Las Lomas. Our florist incorporated a variety of garden roses, peonies, hydrangeas, ranunculus, seasonal berries and many more flowers that I won’t try to spell out. Some of the design details included a rustic reclaimed wood wall, antique mirrors, topiaries, lose flowing green garlands, wrought iron lanterns, sequined tablecloths and lots of candles.

We could not have had our dream wedding without our all-star team of vendors. It truly was the best day of our lives and one that we wish we could relive over and over gain.

Photography: Koman Photography | Cinematography: 618 Studios | Floral Design: The Bloom Of Time | Cake: Sweet & Savory Bake Shop | Ceremony Venue: Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano | Reception Venue: Rancho Las Lomas | Catering: 24 Carrots | Makeup: Angles And Arches | Hair: J Anthony Frank and Jess Salon | Groomsmen's Attire: Hugo Boss | Bridal Boutique: Panache Bridal | Event Planning, Styling + Coordination: High Society Wedding & Event Planning | Invitations + Maps + Albums: Darla Marie Designs | Linen Rentals + Furniture Rentals: 24 Carrots | Seafood Bar: Seafood Bar | Wedding Dress + Veil: Zuhair Murad


P.S. How to Pull Off a Sexy Wedding Dress!


These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Get the Inside Scoop on Patterned Tile from this Interior Design Pro

Patterned Tile is having a major moment in interior design. We’ve spotted it in everything from a mudroom floor, to a gorgeous bar and in a dreamy bathroom too. But liking it on pinterest and implementing it in your own home is a whole different beast. Fear not! We’re getting the inside scoop on where to put it, how to incorporate all that pattern beautifully and killer sources from one of our favorite designers, Shea of Studio McGee. Pretty soon you’ll be cement tiling with the best of them.

Favorite Spots for Cement Tile

Our favorite places to incorporate cement tiles are bathroom floors, kitchen floors and backsplashes. We really love to do a dramatic backsplash in the bathroom and run them floor to ceiling behind the mirror!

If You’re Nervous About Pattern

If you’re nervous about committing to pattern, try them in a powder bath! They don’t require much square footage and small spaces can always benefit from a bold move.

That Lived in Look

Cement tiles are a softer material, so they wear over time. We think a lived in look is beautiful, but it’s important to know before you commit!

Favorite sources

Cement Tile Shop
Cle Tile
Mosaic House

The Best Color Combo

People tend to get tired of bright colors more quickly, so we love black/white and gray/white cement tiles for a more timeless look.


Patterned Tile Inspiration
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Patterned Tile Inspiration
View Slideshow


Interior Design: Studio McGee

A Glamorous Ballroom Affair at the Iconic Plaza Hotel

Old New York charm meets modern glamour in this classic gold and white wedding at the landmark Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Making the venue even more special for this stylish couple was the fact that the bride’s parents were also married there years before! See it all captured by the talented Brian Dorsey Studios in The Vault!

From Brian Dorsey StudiosWhile in college, the Bride, a native New Yorker, met her Midwestern man one snowy evening in West Philadelphia at trivia night. Destiny revealed itself as they begin to realize that their paths had previously crossed without their knowledge; the bride met the groom’s sister at summer camp, and went to high school with the groom’s brother-in-law years before the couple first laid eyes on each other! On a picture perfect day at the Central Park Boat Pond, the groom proposed as a miniature motorized boat sailed by asking his Bride to marry him.

“Be really present. Go through each moment, like your first look, without thinking about what’s coming next.” – solid advice from our beautiful bride. Her Plaza wedding seemed like deja vu to her parents, who had married there years before her. Family is everything to this bride, who cherished a morning alone with her immediate crew – mom, dad, sister and brother – as they got coffee and even worked out before the wedding, almost as though it were any other day! DeJuan Stroud’s expertise helped to modernize such the classic space with paper flower decal accents that were carried throughout the evening…from the escort card display to a cascading backdrop on the stage behind the band. That stage turned out to be one of this bride’s most memorable moments. Towards the end of the night, the band came down into the crowd, and the newlyweds got up and looked out into a sea of loved ones – with hanging lights reminiscent of a starry night above them, they finally took in their whole party as they scanned the room “…and we’ve got the pictures to prove it!”

Photography: Brian Dorsey Studios | Cinematography: Hart Pictures | Event Planning: Gourmet Advisory | Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo | Cake: Sylvia Weinstock | Stationery: EAF Fine Papers | Bride's Shoes: Aquazzura | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Lighting: Bentley Meeker | DJ: Total Entertainment- Soul Connection | Band: Element Music | Venue: The Plaza Hotel | Floral Design + Event Design: Dejuan Stroud | Sneaker Customization: Thee Queen Of Bling, Etsy

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
An Elegant Sicilian Wedding Rooted in Family History

This wedding right here? Well it’s a modern day Nancy Meyers movie, except better. Because with Leighanne Herr Photography behind the lens snapping up every second of perfection, it’s one day that you’re sure to dream about long after you’re left The Vault. Fall in love with it all here.

From The Bride…Patrick and I fell in love swiftly, sweetly, and unexpectedly. I was not anticipating falling in love, especially after the untimely passing of my husband Craig in 2013 from a pulmonary embolism that took him at the age of 29. But Patrick found me in just the right way as to not scare me off, it was almost sneaky! He found me through mutual friends on Facebook and messaged me during a business trip to Hawaii (such a hard life!). I had actually just returned from Hawaii myself on a business trip two weeks earlier (we sound ridiculous) so we had an instantly easy way of chatting about our travels. Patrick was eager to meet me once he returned and we had 3 mini dates within 24 hours! Patrick was easy to talk to, loved to travel and be outdoors, and most importantly he accepted all of me, especially the parts that were most vulnerable and tender being a young widow.

Our courtship was short. From our first date in September 2015, Patrick could hardly wait to propose. The only request I made with regards to a ring was to have a pink colored stone as part of the design. Pink was a comforting color that made me smile during some of the hardest moments of my life. I would often look up at the sky and see what I would call “sunset pink” and think that the heavens painted that color just for me that day. I wanted a constant reminder that Patrick was now that joy in my life.

I didn’t have a clear vision at first of what I would want for a wedding day celebration. It naturally unfolded through trial and error. We visited some venues in Austin one weekend as a thought to have a “mini destination” wedding away from Houston. We both know a lot of people and I didn’t want a huge wedding- it was honestly to keep the guest list at bay. On our way home, I just didn’t feel “right” or the confirmation I thought I should from checking out these venues. We had spoken of a destination wedding before, but didn’t pursue it because we didn’t think anyone could afford to come. I am Italian and have loved family history work and by default became my families historian. I have dreamed of doing a family history tour of Sicily for years and had been planning to go the summer of 2016. I asked Patrick what he thought about our wedding being in Sicily. I said those words and instantly I started to tear up! Patrick was excited and loved the idea and from that moment, we didn’t look back!

I started researching where the best places to have a wedding in Sicily were. I came across several posts about the city of Toarmina, which wasn’t too far from where my ancestors came from. After further research I found these incredible villas through The Thinking Traveller. They were so dreamy and came with so many amenities- like a chef for the week! I wanted to plan a trip that was easy and stress free. We had no idea if it would be just the two of us or if other family and friends would be able to attend so I picked a villa that was flexible (and gorgeous!). I fell in love with Rocca delle Tre Contrade instantly. Jon, the owner of the villa, spent 6 years restoring this historic building and bringing it back to life with all the modern conveniences! They offered a 12 room villa for up to 24 people with incredible views of Mt. Etna and the sea. A perfect mix of landscape to represent both Patrick, who loves mountains, and me, who lives for the beach!

I hired Ashley from Two Be Wed to help create a storyboard of everything I was dreaming of. This was critical in showing my Sicily wedding coordinator and vendors what I needed. My color palette was a mix of muted grays, pinks, golds, creams, and greens. The villa and landscape were already so beautiful I didn’t need a lot of additional decor. I packed 50 brass candlestick holders I had collected from vintage shops, some fabric for the table and archway, and some paper goods to decorate. Ashley was a genius in keeping it simple and organized, especially for traveling! I wanted lots of flowers at the villa so it was really important to me to meet with the florist the villa recommended. My Sicilian coordinator Ornella went with me to the florist (Angela), who spoke no English, to translate and make sure everything was ready to go. I chose peonies, eucalyptus, anemones, and garden roses displayed in a very natural way. I asked her to design an archway with a floral accent for my ceremony, so together with the villa’s gardener, who actually hand built it the morning of the wedding; they went to town making this incredible work of art!

Dionne of Nib & Pixel created the most beautiful watercolor invitation of the villa to get everyone excited! She also created our welcome bags, personalized name cards, and our sweet wooden “sposo” & “sposa” signs (Italian for “bride” & “groom”). My Sicilian coordinator Ornella helped me pick out local goods from the area to stuff the welcome bags for my guests, complete with chocolates from the oldest chocolate factory on the island, a recipe book of Sicilian desserts, lemon soda, and pistachio wafers!

I worked with Leighanne (our photographer) on several styled shoots for business and felt very comfortable with her. She loves to travel and I always enjoyed watching her unique perspective and attention to details. She jumped at my request to come and shoot our wedding in Sicily and made it so easy along the way. She brought along her fiance Jeremy who operated a drone to capture some amazing shots of the villa and surrounding landscape! How cool is that?!

The food was incredible and was made by the chefs at the villa (who fed us all week- best food of our lives!). Our cake was also made by the villa- a white sponge cake with fresh lemon curd (made from lemons from their orchard) and whipped cream. We had Pasticceria Quaranta come serve gelato and granite (a Sicilian sorbet) from an adorable cart after dinner which was so fun! It has been a family tradition for my sisters (I am the second of 4 girls, and have 1 brother) to get together at Christmas to make my Grandmothers Pizzelle (italian cookie) recipe. My oldest sister was unable to make it to our wedding and instead but sent some of Grandmother’s cookies which we had at the wedding.

We had a DJ play for part of the ceremony and the reception, but at the last minute hired a traditional Sicilian Folk band called Triskele. They were absolutely incredible and one of the most memorable parts of my wedding experience. My Father, who is a very quiet man, leaned over to me during one of their songs at dinner and said that this song was one his Grandfather used to sing all of the time to him growing up. It was so special and meaningful to me to see him have such fond memories- the power of music is incredible! We were also taught the traditional dance the “Tarantella” by the group and our coordinator jumped in to show us how it was done. It was so fun to have the staff become part of our family over the duration of the trip! Patrick owns a dance studio and teaches ballroom dancing- a little intimidating to a girl who doesnt dance! Our first dance wasn’t choreographed like most people would have thought. He and I practiced different type of dancing and we winged it to two songs: “Never Stop” by Safetysuit and “Shut up & Dance” by Walk the Moon.

My dress was so tricky to decide on. I work in the wedding industry and having seen so many gorgeous gowns, I didn’t know what to choose! I flew out to Utah to see Alta Moda Bridal who carries many designers that I love. They also get in and alter designer dresses very quickly which was what I needed as I planned and had my wedding in 3 months! I chose a Berta Bridal gown that was completely unexpected in what I thought I would choose. My consultant Madison was awesome at seeing my body shape and style preferences and choosing options that would compliment both. I had the top of the dress custom designed to make it more modest. I chose a Juliet cap veil and gold headpiece Untamed Petals and Blush colored earrings by Haute Bride, all purchased from The Houston Bridal Gallery. My shoes were hard to find as I had a particular look in mind- I almost gave up completely, but I found them at the last minute from Macys! Being a hair and makeup artist myself, I did my own! I wanted something soft and down so a half up half down style was perfect for me! My makeup was soft and feminine with pinks, golds, and a little bronze.

Guys are always so much easier! Patricks suit and shirt was from Jos. A Banks. His tie and pocket square was from J.Crew. We went shopping together to pick out a “wedding scent” to remind us of our special day. He chose “Coral” by Michael Kors for me and I chose “Guilty” by Gucci for him. I surprised Patrick on our wedding day with a Burberry watch he had been eyeing and a vintage 1700s telescope I found during my travels to Australia.

One of the hardest things to navigate was finding someone to marry us! We were advised to actually get legally married in the US before going to Sicily, so thats what we did! It was difficult to explain that we wanted a ceremonial wedding and didn’t need a legal one. It was a blessing in discuss that we didn’t find anyone, as my Father in Law (my first Husbands father) married us! It was the sweetest blending of families I could ask for and a memory I will cherish for a lifetime!

Destination weddings are the best! I loved being able to spend time with our family- (all three of ours!) before we actually tied the knot. Having experiences and sharing memories of touring our ancestors home towns, climbing a volcano, and touring ancient cities with those we loved was truly remarkable. Everyone loved our little slice of heaven at the Villa. The food is still being talked about and I would not have changed a thing!

Photography: Leighanne Herr Photography | Event Planning: Two Be Wed | Floral Design: Tomarchio Angela | Wedding Dress: Alta MODA | Bride's Shoes: Macy's | Hair + Makeup: Adorne Artistry | Band: Triskele | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Venue: Rocca delle Tre Contrade | Bridal Boutique: Alta MODA | Cake + Catering: Rocca delle Tre Contrade | Coordination + Booking: The Thinking Traveller | Earrings: Houston Bridal Gallery | Gelato Cart: Pasticceria Quaranta | Hair Accessories + Veil: Houston Bridal Gallery | Invitations, Signage, Place Cards + Welcome Bags: Nib And Pixel | Tie + Pocket Square: J.Crew | Watch: Burberry

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
See This Couple’s Grand Exit on a Vintage Speedboat

I’m an Iowa girl at heart, but this afternoon I’m ditching my Midwest roots to live vicariously through this couple who, along with A Charleston Bride, planned the ultimate Southern affair. Beginning with an impeccable rehearsal dinner, all the way to their grand exit on a vintage speedboat, these two infused their nuptials with style and heart like you wouldn’t believe. Ryan Ray photographed, East West filmed, and there’s even more to see inside The Vault.


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From A Charleston Bride … For the wedding, we wanted to bring in a brave and bold color palette interwoven with a sophisticated and timeless approach. To me, Taylor (the bride) always has a bright and cheery demeanor and is such a classic beauty. We channeled the color and feel of the couple into a custom watercolor wedding crest created by Arabella June that showed up as the save the date design, programs and other wedding day stationery, as well as hiring an artist to hand-paint the design onto a canvas banner used at the altar and later adorned in the couple’s home. The “Williamsburg Blue” color brought into the crest became the foundation for the palette and then we brought in rich greens, blush, and bright coral pink variations, and touches of and ivory and gold everywhere.

We draped fabric and gilded garland leaves behind the back of the ceremony chairs and accentuated the start of the aisle with large asymmetrical arrangements of vibrant floral. A wooden cross and mixed vases covered the altar table. Champagne satin fabric draped five thousand square feet of tenting and six-foot-wide crystal chandeliers adorned the ceiling.

The break up the grandiose feel and create an intimate feel, we added boxwood panels, lounge seating, and a crown molding inspired construction of a custom bar and stage skirt. We used eight different fabric patterns through accent pillows, linens, and wall paper to create a mixed feel through the space as well as each floral arrangement having a slightly different configuration and grouping in their design. The printed materials showcased our classic base in blue palette with letterpress invitations in Williamsburg blue ink and gold painted edges, but we later incorporated hunter green and gold foiling for signage the event day.

The reception included chef-attended stations and open bar with nonstop music from the incredibly talented and upbeat band, Simply Irresistible. The layout and design focused on creating an open and easy flow throughout the waterfront property and kept everything and everyone together in the same space. The couple opted out of speeches and a big cake cutting moment leaving the night fluid and comfortable for all.

The newly married couple left the reception with sparklers down the dock and took a ride around the Ashley River in a wooden 1950’s speedboat. The groom, Rhett, commissioned a fireworks show for Taylor to send a perfect evening off with a grand exit.


Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Cinematography: East West | Event Planning + Design: A Charleston Bride | Floral Design: A Charleston Bride | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Invitations: Studio R| Hair + Makeup: Ash & Co. | Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones | Band: Simply Irresistible | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Ceremony Music: Bob William Duo | Transportation: Absolutely Charleston | Venue: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group | Boat Exit: Classic Boat Charleston | Bridal Assistant:Cacky’s Bridal Aid | Painted Crest Banner: Anne Melvin | Rehearsal Dinner: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Polished | Rentals: Snyder | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Ring Bearer’s Attire: Florence Eiseman | Wedding Crest Design: Arabella June | Welcome Bags: A Signature Welcome

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
5 Free Apps to Help You Survive Pregnancy

Pregnancy is no joke. From the physical and emotion changes to the planning to the zillion questions parents-to-be have, it’s a joyous, sometimes crazy, heck of a rollercoaster ride. I’m really not sure how our folks did it without the web, but I sure am thankful that we have it at our fingertips today. Here are five free pregnancy apps to see you through your nine month journey with success!

5 Free Apps to Help You Survive Pregnancy
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5 Free Apps to Help You Survive Pregnancy
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Charleston Rehearsal Dinner With Loads of Southern Charm!

We count any day Ryan Ray’s photos grace our pages as a REALLY good day. This time around, he’s taking us on a two-part adventure to Charleston, South Carolina for a wedding weekend that’s anchored in classic Southern elegance. Beginning with the rehearsal dinner designed by A Charleston Bride and described as “an ode to the groom’s Kentucky upbringing” you can dive right into the fun and stay tuned for the I Do up next!

From A Charleston BrideTaylor and Rhett met in the ordinary circumstances of life working together, but years later when they decided to date, it transformed into something amazing. Upon meeting them both, you are immediately comfortable. It’s almost instantaneous. They both have a way of making you feel familiar and important with just a smile and a kind word. There is a bright light that radiates between the two of them and makes you believe in happy endings. You can feel all the gratitude and love they have for each other and it has a wonderful effect on everyone and everything around them.

The wedding weekend took place the last weekend in June in Charleston SC. The couple chose this location because they have a second home and business in the holy city and they frequently travel to visit for downtime. The rehearsal dinner took place at The Governor Thomas Bennett House, the wedding at Lowndes Grove Plantation, and the post-wedding brunch at The Mills House Hotel. Each venue represented unique aspects of Charleston charm and the couples love of the low country.

In meeting to discuss design, it’s always important to understand and get to know the couple well. How they design, how they dress, general taste, and just their overall demeanor. A well-designed wedding or event should evoke emotions from the guest that remind them of the couple. There is no greater compliment to a planner than to hear “this wedding is so them” and is the driving force of how I approach the design and ambiance. A wedding can be timeless, soft, and beautiful without being safe.

The rehearsal dinner had a masculine design and was an ode to the groom’s Kentucky upbringing. We created an earth-toned atmosphere of blues, greys, greens, mahogany wood, and subtle touches of gold and ivory throughout. Each place setting had a textured grey napkin, gilded stem cotton pod, fresh rosemary sprig, and horseshoe keepsake to accompany the playful bordered menu card design. Greenery runners of magnolia, eucalyptus, and rosemary ran down farm tables and loose green and white floral adorned the round tables mixed with textured natural linens.

A bluegrass band played southern melodies as guest entered the courtyard garden and were greeted with whiskey lemonade cocktails and passed buttermilk fried oysters, pimento cheese, and skewered shrimp and grits. The seating assignments were located on recycled wood pallets covered in greenery and chick wire and directed their table. The pallet was reused later in the night as a focal for speeches and a matching design backdrop with hanging vintage bulbs was placed behind the band. We used gingham fabric for pillows and utilized existing benches and rocking chairs for lounge seating.

The simplistic, yet stunning sail cloth tent for the seated dinner truly radiated in the night sky as their family and friends shared stories of the couple. The night was classic, relaxed, and naturally graceful.

A blue grass band played southern melodies as guest entered the courtyard garden and were greeted with whiskey lemonade cocktails and passed buttermilk fried oysters, pimento cheese, and skewered shrimp and grits. The seating assignments were located on recycled wood pallets covered in greenery and chick wire and directed their table. The pallet was reused later in the night as a focal for speeches and a matching design backdrop with hanging vintage bulbs was placed behind the band. We used gingham fabric for pillows and utilized existing benches and rocking chairs for lounge seating. The simplistic, yet stunning sail cloth tent for the seated dinner truly radiated in the night sky as their family and friends shared stories of the couple. The night was classic, relaxed, and naturally graceful.

Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Cinematography: East West | Event Planning + Design: A Charleston Bride | Floral Design: A Charleston Bride | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Invitations: Studio R | Hair + Makeup: Ash & Co. | Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones | Band: Simply Irresistible | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Ceremony Music: Bob William Duo | Transportation: Absolutely Charleston | Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation | Boat Exit: Classic Boat Charleston | Bridal Assistant: Cacky's Bridal Aid | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Painted Crest Banner: Anne Melvin | Rehearsal Dinner: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Rentals: Snyder | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Polished | Ring Bearer's Attire: Florence Eiseman | Wedding Crest Design: Arabella June Design Studio | Welcome Bags: A Signature Welcome

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
The Style Editrix’s Sweet Backyard Picnic Baby Shower

When a style blogger, like Ashley of The Style Editrix, has a baby shower, you know it’s going to be nothing short of fabulous. And with a flower crown bar, DIY banners to hang in the baby’s nursery, and one very adorable dog, it’s safe to say Ashley’s backyard shower surpasses even our highest expectations. See it all from Valorie Darling in The Vault!

From The Style Editrix… As soon as I found out I was pregnant I got on Pinterest and created a baby shower board because I was so excited to have a shower!  I didn’t have a bridal shower, but knew I really wanted to celebrate this little bundle of joy with my friends and family both in LA and Louisville.  I had my Los Angeles baby shower two weeks ago and it was so magical – beyond what I ever hoped for thanks to my sister, friends and Poppy Richards Events (email me if you want to contact them and I can connect you).  Every little detail was thought of and executed to a T.  Even with the 100 degree weather, I was able to celebrate with my closest friends in our new backyard.  The highlights for me were definitely the flower crown bar, where all of my guests designed their own crowns, and the DIY baby banner station, which my husband and I plan to hang in the nursery.  Special thanks to my photographer Valorie Darling for the gorgeous photos, Essie for the polishes as favors for my guests and for my super cute manicure, Pressed Juicery for the healthy green juices, Watermelon Water for the refreshing treat, Stick With Me Sweets for artisan chocolates, Go Priv for my beautiful crown braid, and last but not least, The Crown Collective, for the beautiful flower crowns.  


Photography: Valorie Darling | Event Planning: Poppy Richards | Dress: BCBG Generation | Cake: Susie Cakes | Catering: Simple Things | Hair: Go Priv | Banners: Etsy | Bar Cart: Amazon | Cake Banner: Etsy | Cake Mini Animals: Pottery Barn | Cake Mini Animals: Really Great Toys | Chocolates: Stick With Me Sweets| Flower Arrangements: DIY from DTLA Flower Mart | Flower Crowns: The Crown Collective | Gold Baby Balloons: Etsy | Juices: Pressed Juicery | Umbrellas + Tables: Pico Party Rents

How To Throw the Perfect Summer Brunch for Your Girls

Summer is my favorite for sooo many reasons. The happy hues all around, beach days and seasonal scents that induce a smile. But quite possibly one of the best things these warm days bring? The endless party possibilities, like this sun-kissed brunch from Dyan Kethley PhotographySilver Lining Events + Co.Kara Stout and Blue and Tan Events that is absolutely exploding with color. Think bridal or baby showers, Sunday fundays and birthday celebrations—every pin-worthy bit is waiting in The Vault!

From Dyan Kethley Photography… Last summer some local wedding friendors and I got together and created a bridesmaid brunch with a unique, healthy spin to honor one of our fashion-blogger friends, Katey McFarlan of Chronicles of Frivolity, who recently married her prince charming. So often we’ve found ourselves attending wedding party festivities with extremely yummy foods and drinks, however all of the celebrating can quickly become dangerous for the waistline (and fitting into that bridesmaid dress). At this party, we wanted to create a fun and fresh summer atmosphere with the same style of delicious foods one might find at a brunch, just with an easy to do, organic and health-conscious approach. The shoot was filled with beautiful summer colors, delicious foods and drinks, and of course some southern charm! 

We chose a very bright, summery color palette in designing the invitation suite, florals, and details while keeping a neutral palette for the furniture and rentals. In keeping with the fresh and clean approach, we incorporated citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, oranges, and kumquats into centerpieces and place settings. The floral chandelier was a true highlight and made the table for our bride and her guests all the more stunning and inviting!

A fabulous group of women, fun and festive details that we all love so much, and our amazing brunch spread made for the perfect way to shower one of our favorite brides!

Our scrumptious menu included treats specially created by Bridal Nutritionist and Wellness Coach, Kara Stout. Get the recipes below!

Summer Brunch Menu

Raspberry Lemon Mini Donuts with Raspberry Coconut Glaze

Mini Quiche made with Farm Fresh Eggs and Seasonal Vegetables

Gluten-Free Pancake Cake with a Key Lime, Orange, and Maple Syrup Frosting

Fresh Citrus, Berry and Mint Salad

Stay tuned for a DIY Mimosa Bar this Sunday, including recipes for a Green Mimosa, Spicy Pineapple Mimosa, and Strawberry Sage Mimosa!



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Photography: Dyan Kethley Photography | Event Planning: Silver Lining Events + Co. | Event Design: Silver Lining Events + Co. | Food and Nutrition: Kara Stout | Floral Design: Blue and Tan Events | Paper Products: Pink Champagne Paper | Calligraphy: Pink Champagne Paper | Furniture and Decor Rentals: Propmaker Event Rentals | Make-up: Rayven Walker | Hair: Wedfully Yours | Plate and Tea Cup Rentals: Pretty Little Plates | Jewelry and Accessories: Accessory Jane | Film Developing and Scanning: Photovision | Location: The Farm by Propmaker in Anna, TX

The Most Beautiful Wedding Gown Ever!

I’m just going to come out and say it – this gown is the most beautiful wedding dress in the whole wide world. And the beauty of this day? Well it doesn’t stop there. For this intimate destination wedding is filled with beautiful blush hues, plenty of sweet family elements, Charity Maurer Photography behind the lens capturing it all to share. Witness the wonder in The Vault!

From Charity Maurer PhotographyThinking about having their wedding in their hometown of Alberta was sending shivers up the spine of bride, Paige, and groom, Justin. With that in mind they began their search for the perfect (and warm!) destination for their marriage. A few short weeks later the couple settled on the charming and luxe city of Paradise Valley, AZ. The bride’s elegant tastes are evident in all of her choices. From the soft blush-colored silk bridesmaid dresses to her own a-line dress with beading like you’ve never laid eyes on before, Paige makes it clear that she has an eye for detail. Justin, being the dapper dude he is was striking in a stylish black suit – both an homage to formality of times passed and a tribute to current menswear styles. Surrounded by both of their close families, this day was truly a pleasure to behold. Families laughed and danced together while the bride and groom enjoyed all of their planning and efforts coming together for their special day. Paige even decided to have a special “first look” moment with just her father – what a sweet moment to behold, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The couple exchanged vows bathed in the light from the stained glass windows of Blessed Sacrament Church. Their choice of the intimate El Chorro Lodge for their reception tied together the perfect look for their day. It was as if the universe knew that nothing could spoil this day, so it set out its very best on display: gorgeous weather, an incredible sunset, and a cool evening breeze. Under a blanket of stars the happy couple and all their guests danced, laughed, and celebrated the night away.

Photography: Charity Maurer Photography | Coordination: Imoni Events | Floral Design: Sarah's Garden | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Cake: Cakes By Whisk | Stationery: Elli | Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Church | Reception Venue: El Chorro | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Vera Wang | Makeup: Allison Pynn | DJ: MT Sounds | Photobooth Bus: The Foto Booth Bus | Rentals: Tremaine Ranch

A Modern, Elegant Wedding with Breathtaking Toronto Skyline Views

From this stylish couple’s intimate, traditional Chinese tea ceremony to tying the knot on a rooftop against a dramatic Toronto skyline, Rhythm Photography captures every perfect moment and every sweet detail. You’ll want to pour through this wedding right here in The Vault and if you’re like me, pin away dreamily at the bride’s stunning gown and showstopping pair of Louboutins.

Urban Space

From The Bride…The day started bright and early when the makeup artists arrived to do hair and makeup for all my bridesmaids. Herman then came to pick me up and we did a Chinese Tea ceremony at both of our family’s house. We then went to Evergreen Brickworks and the ROM to take photos with the bridal party. The day went by in a flash and soon it was time to walk down the aisle!

After the ceremony, there were cocktails on the rooftop terrace on the reverse pyramidal stairs, which had a very unique architectural design. There were 6 cruiser tables wrapped elegantly in white linen placed along the steps and each had a centerpiece: a pearl topiary ball which were handmade by us, the bridesmaids and sister-in -law. There were 3 sets of couches and tables along the stairs. Each table had a small cube floral arrangement.

I wanted our wedding to be modern yet personalized with a touch of the DIY decorations that we made. The cake was designed to match the sophisticated and unique pattern on the ceiling of Malaparte. It was accompanied by a personalized dessert table. Lots of time and effort was spent planning this table. Each dessert was discussed in detail and designed with the baker at DT Bistro from colour to texture to taste. Glass bells, mini Phantom chairs and cake domes were purchased from Creative Bag and Ikea. Vases were purchased from BHLDN and flowers provided by the florist.

Each guest received a miniature white tin mailbox which had a small parcel and thank you card. The small parcels (Lindt chocolate) were all individually wrapped with a perfectly tied bow. The thank you card mimics a traditional letter with red and blue striped edges and it was designed and made by us.

We had such a great time at our wedding and was so glad that everyone could come and celebrate this day with us!


Photography: Rhythm Photography | Cinematography: SDE Weddings | Floral Design: ML Enterprises Inc | Wedding Dresses: Felichia Bridal | Cake: DT Bistro | Stationery: Empress Paper Crafts | Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors 1248 | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Club Monaco | Hair + Makeup: Satine Makeup & Hair Styling Studio | DJ: Cube Logic | Bow Tie: Italo Ferretti | Officiant: Enduring Promises | Venue:Malaparte | Balloons: Sugargirlee & Co | Photo Booth: Still Frame Storys | Photoshoot Location 1:Evergreen Brickworks | Photoshoot Location 2: Royal Ontario Museum | Qi Pao: Forever Love Wedding Design

A classic southern affair with a side of prep? Sign us up!

What do you get when you combine a beautiful, Kate Spade employee bride with a handsome groom with a love of all things classically southern? My new favorite wedding.  Think stunning florals by Blossoms Events, the gorgeous stylings of Calder Clark Designs and a magical Forest Creek Golf Club setting.  See every preppy meets traditional moment captured by Nancy Ray in THE VAULT, then press play on the sweet film from Heart Stone Films below.


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From Nancy Ray Photography… This lovely wedding took place in Pinehurst, NC. The bride, Brynne, worked at Kate Spade corporate at the time of the wedding, and the groom worked as an investment banker at Credit Suisse. The couple met at Stanley’s Bar in Chicago, where they got to know each other over beers and danced the night away!

Both the bride and groom are classicists, but as you may guess with her work experience at Kate Spade, Brynne had a slightly preppy side as well. They wanted their wedding to be traditional but fresh, and to mesh with the surrounding greenery and scenery of Pinehurst. One of the bride’s favorite design elements that Calder created was a custom bar featuring latticework and trailing clematis.

Photography: Nancy Ray Photography | Cinematography: Heart Stone Films | Event Design: Calder Clark Designs | Floral Design: Blossoms Events | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Ceremony Venue: The Village Chapel | Reception Venue: Forest Creek Golf Club | Hair + Makeup: The La La Girl | Band: The Adrian Duke Project | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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
Destination Wedding in Prague? Yes Please!

Ahh, Prague. One of the most beautiful cities in the ENTIRE world and the ultimate backdrop for a destination wedding. No surprise, Exclusive Weddings In Prague and Stepan Vrzala Photography were behind this incredible day and The Vault album is like a wedding + travel gallery all rolled into one.

From the Bride…I met the man of my dreams in sunny California, and it was love at first sight. Then, in February of 2015, Nicholas proposed. We were spending a day together in beautiful Carmel, along the coast on the famous 17-mile drive. During one of the stops while sitting in front of the vast Pacific Ocean, he took my hand and said he will love me forever. He pulled a ring from his pocket and asked me to marry him. I will never forget the moment he made me the happiest girl in the world.

Nicholas was born and raised in California, but his parents grew up in the Czech Republic and Austria. My family lives in Russia, where I was born and raised, and I moved to California when I was 21. Because of our family ties overseas, we wanted to hold a destination wedding in Europe so our loved ones could all attend. We wanted the location to be meaningful, and after much consideration we decided on Prague. This romantic city full of history and beautiful architecture felt like the perfect fit- a blend of Eastern and Western European cultures, as well as the birthplace of Nicholas’ father. Excited about our decision, we immediately went to work planning our destination wedding in the “Golden City”.

Our preparations began with a search for a local wedding planning agency. We came across Exclusive Weddings in Prague, owned by Andrea Hanusova, and immediately she made a great impression on us. What followed was close to a year of hard work and diligence, to plan the perfect wedding. Andrea patiently helped us through the whole process, and we enjoyed every minute of working with her. She was so personable and talented, making us feel comfortable even in stressful times. She understood our ideas and wishes easily, and helped make our dream wedding come true.

Our fairy-tale wedding in May of 2016 could not have been more perfect. We stayed in the historic Pachtuv Palace, which was established in 1628 and was a favorite lodging of Mozart and other luminaries. The hotel was ideally situated in the heart of Prague, and our room had a wonderful view of The Vltava River and Charles Bridge. We started the weekend with a welcome dinner at a Czech restaurant the night before our wedding, where our guests had a chance to meet each other and break the ice. The following morning was a blur of excitement as I got ready for our big day, and before I knew it I was standing in front of the beautiful Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. This antique church built in a neo-gothic style stands majestically atop a hill in the Vysehrad fortress and overlooks the Vltava River. The interior is embellished with gold statues and delicate paintings, but I hardly noticed these details as my Daddy walked me down the aisle, my heart beating. Nicholas and I exchanged our vows in front of God and our family and friends, a moment we will cherish forever.

The reception that followed was held at Villa Richter, a restaurant in St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard, the oldest vineyard in Bohemia. Nicholas and I first toured Prague in a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and visited several picturesque spots for our photo shoot. Meanwhile, our guests arrived at the restaurant and were greeted with signature cocktails and canapés, which included smoked duck breast, prosciutto and figs, and marinated salmon. After enjoying the breathtaking view of Prague’s Old City from the terrace, we took our seats at the beautifully-decorated wedding table. The theme of the reception was one of romantic elegance, with hydrangeas, peonies, roses, carnations, eustomas, sweet peas, astilbes, and astrantias in cream, off-white, and shades of pink. These were surrounded by stunning candles, glass ornaments, and mercury vases. In true Russian tradition, the table was covered with platters of meats, fish and caviar, cheeses, and other delicacies. Grilled tiger prawns with chili ginger sauce were served as the first course, followed by lobster cream soup, and the most delicious main courses including deer tenderloin, grilled veal ribeye steak, and rolled corn chicken. We went back out to the terrace to cut the cake, which was a combination of our two favorite flavors: mud cake with raspberry and dulce de leche.

We had a very fun and lively reception, full of Czech, Russian, American, and Austrian traditions, followed by an emotional first dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Speaking Out Loud”. On the last day we met up with our guests for a boat cruise with live music and buffet-style lunch. As we were enjoying the sunny spring weather and reliving memories of the previous night, we got a chance to see Prague from the river, including the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. We said our goodbyes with a heavy heart, but we were grateful that our loved ones could get together and share our special day in the romantic, beautiful city of Prague. It was truly a dream wedding and the happiest moment of our lives.

Photography: Stepan Vrzala Photography | Event Planning: Exclusive Weddings In Prague | Floral Design: Inspirito | Wedding Dress: Olvi's | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Vysehrad Church | Reception Venue: Villa Richter | Rings: Shane Co. | Hair + Makeup: Lucie Pruzkova | DJ: DJ Jirka Brezina | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Transportation: Sebatour | Hotel: Pachtuv Palace | Cake + Desserts: Punkrock Cakes | Getaway Car: Oldtimer Sebek

12 Dinner Ideas for When It’s Too Hot To Cook

We are in the thick of August folks, and that means HOT evenings are upon us. You know, the kind when the first thing you want to do after work is sip on an ice cold brew or super chilled glass of vino. Oh, and the idea of turning on the oven or using the stovetop? Sounds like hell. So grab that cocktail and take comfort in a nice cool meal that’s sure to satisfy. See the full roundup here!

12 Dinner Ideas For When It's Too Hot To Cook
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12 Dinner Ideas For When It's Too Hot To Cook
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Top off dinner with to-die-for DIY ice cream sandwiches…


See our full recipe archives here!

Urban Graffiti Engagement Session

When it comes to incredibly cool engagement sessions, Jordan and Matt take the cake. Because honestly, what’s cooler than taking your lost-in-love picture in front of some crazy cool murals? Uhm, nothing that’s what. See it all captured by Allen Tsai Photography in The Vault!

From Allen Tsai PhotographyWe really wanted to capture a mix of modern, whimsical, and romantic engagement photos for Jordan and Matt. Miami was the perfect city to photograph them offering a diverse range of environments. The Wynwood walls served as a perfect modern backdrop with it’s vibrant colors and modern art, and was the perfect complement to their wedding venue the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas which is known for its amazing art exhibits. We then headed to South Beach to not only capture their fun and whimsical side, but also to create relaxing images with an intimate feel. We were able to end this wonderful trip with some romantic seaside sunrise images, and can’t wait for their fall wedding with the talented Keestone Events!

Photography: Allen Tsai Photography | Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab | Location: South Beach | Location: Wynwood Walls