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Colorful Napa Wedding at Carneros Resort with Outdoor Ceremony

Do you remember that moment you fell in love with your forever? For Yoni and Ro, that cherished time happened in Napa. So, when it came to choosing a spot to say I do, wine country was the obvious choice. Graced with the warm California sun and the planning genius of Alexandra Kolendrianos, they celebrated with the vineyards as their backdrop, smiles as big as the sky and their loved ones there to soak it all in with them. With his lens in hand, Joel Serrato made sure to produce the prettiest of images and Elysium Productions set it all in motion with a stunning film, so we can all join in the beauty, too.

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From the Bride & Groom… We met in Chicago, IL while Yoni was completing his medical school training. Funny enough, we met online via OkCupid! Little did Yoni know, his first ever online date would lead him to the love of his life. He was immediately hooked by Ro’s amazing sense of humor, incredible taste in music, stunning looks and sense of style. Ro, on the other hand, had to filter out a few guys before she would meet her perfect match. But as soon as she met this budding Jewish cardiologist it was a done deal and Ro was already looking for a Ketubah.

Our first vacation together was to Napa, California. While the trip was planned to celebrate our one year anniversary together, it would go on to carry so much more meaning – this trip to Napa was when we had fallen in love and it was at that point that we both knew this love was the real deal. One of our favorite memories to this day is renting bikes in Younteville and biking along the beautiful Silverado Trail. We soaked in the warm California sun, tasted some of the Napa’s best wines (*shoutout Robert Sinskey Vineyards*), enjoyed breathtaking vistas and topped it all off with a dinner at Ad Hoc. So when it came time to picking a location for our wedding venue Napa was the clear choice. We wanted to create more beautiful memories in the town that was already so special to us.

We landed on Carneros Resort and Spa after thoroughly researching all of Napa’s amazing wedding venues. Carneros captured everything we love about Napa – incredible views overlooking rolling hills and vineyards, a rustic yet refined and luxurious vibe and a premier catering service. What’s more is while many wedding venues in Sonoma/Napa enforce strict early event curfews and beverage/liquor restrictions, Carneros Resort and Spa afforded us the later curfew and the full bar package we were hoping our guests could enjoy.

The amazing event staff at Carneros were incredibly flexible and accommodating, allowing us to customize everything to the last detail in order to create our dream wedding celebration. We really wanted to utilize as much of Carneros Resort and Spa’s beautiful grounds and maximize the time outdoors with our guests. The on-site event manager, Courtney Swinson had the wonderful idea of flipping the traditional wedding format at Carneros on its head to make this happen. We held our ceremony at the Hilltop and then used the Arbor (typically used for the wedding ceremony) for a beautiful cocktail hour where our guests could continue to enjoy the vistas, before finally migrating down a fruit tree-lined path to the Napa Ballroom for the reception and festivities. We loved the flow this format provided to the evening.

Working with our wedding planner, Alexandra Kolendarios, was truly a phenomenal experience. Her incredible patience, creativity and vision helped transform Carneros into the wedding venue of our dreams. Alexandra vetted top vendors and set us up with best photographer (Joel Serrato), videographer (Elysium Productions), florist (Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl) and band (Sound House of Élan Artists). Nancy created the perfect floral arrangements to accompany the natural beauty of Carneros. Our wedding chuppah was lush and beautiful with flowers that Nancy transported all the way from Los Angeles in her custom-built refrigerated van (!!!). The chuppah was made particularly special by creating a roof tapestry of interwoven talits from all the patriarchs from both sides of the family. Together with our families at our sides during the ceremony, it felt like the perfect sanctuary. To add to this, we had the distinct honor of having Ro’s 90-year-old grandfather, Rabbi Victor Weissberg, who flew in all the way from Chicago, officiate the wedding ceremony – it was truly a magical moment.

For the wedding reception, Alexandra helped us create a space that looked classy and luxurious while maintaining the rustic and natural beauty of Carneros. We picked clean oatmeal-colored velvet table linens (that our guests were obsessed with) paired with stunning floral centerpieces incorporating roses, garden roses and dahlias in a white, peach and blush color pallet with dark pink accents. Our tables were accented with peach fruit and an element of height was incorporated using a variety of candles. We brought in greenery to drape from the chandeliers to bring the outdoor vibe inside and soften the edges of the light fixtures. To contrast the table scape we selected dark colored silverware and chairs, which perfectly balanced the room. We both remember the distinct moment we walked into the reception ballroom for the first time and being absolutely blown away by its beauty.

Finally, Alexandra created a lovely outdoor lounge space in the courtyard for our guests to mingle and enjoy. The outdoor bar and furniture was the perfect complement to the ballroom design. Our favorite was the beautiful fireplace seating arrangement, where we used variations of the indoor dining chairs accented with furs. The MirMir photo booth with the slideshow display was a huge hit!

We are so beyond incredibly happy with how the whole evening and weekend turned out. We were truly able to share our love for Napa with our friends and family and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Photographer : Joel Serrato Film Photographer | Photography: Joel Serrato Film Photographer | videography : Elysium Productions | floral design : Oak And The Owl | dress: Monique Lhuillier | lighting : Got Light | band: Elan Artists | ceremony music : Synchronicity Strings | venue: Carneros Resort and Spa | invitations & all paper products: Swell Press | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | photo booth : Mir Mir | wedding planner & design : Alexandra Kolendrianos

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Real Brides Share Their Most Awkward Moments During Wedding Planning

It’s no secret that wedding planning comes with tons of emotions, but sometimes there are also either hilariously awkward moments or truly uncomfortable moments in planning. The former makes for a fun story and usually a laugh while the second provides a great learning opportunity for other brides and grooms. Keep on reading for some seriously relatable awkward wedding planning moments that you’re sure to get a giggle out of!

1. The Hot Cheeto Surprise

One bride of mine, Rachel, has an extremely funny story about her awkward moment and I couldn’t resist sharing it here. She says, “Before my fiancé and I got officially engaged we lived in different cities (him, here in San Diego and me in Las Vegas). I was visiting for the weekend and he told me he had a surprise for me. He picked me up from the airport and took me to the cutest little jewelry shop in Mission Hills to TRY ON RINGS. Now usually this would be very exciting but I had eaten an entire bag of Hot Cheetos on the flight over. We get there and I’m trying to act natural trying on these beautiful rings and there are my fingers, with bright red Cheeto dust stained fingertips! Needless to say I now plan my Hot Cheeto snack habits very carefully.”

2. The Embarrassing Invitation Typo

“My fiance’s aunt had an agreement with his uncle when they got married, she and her children would not have his last name. So I’ve never actually seen it written anywhere. I was rushing to get save the dates out and was relieved when I was done. A few days later I got a text from his aunt telling me they received theirs and it was beautiful, but she thought she should let me know her husband is Doctor DickHoff, not Doctor Dickoff! I was mortified, but everyone was able to laugh about it – so I didn’t let it stress me out. I did make sure it was correct on the invite though ;)”

3. The Lit Reception

“I vaguely noticed a flashing light coming from the ceiling about midway through the reception. And a passing thought that whoever decided a strobe light at my classic Boston wedding was a good idea was a lunatic ran through my mind. I didn’t put much more thought than that. The next morning, I discovered that the fire alarm had gone off and the entire hotel – minus my reception – had been evacuated. All of my guests that had gone home before 11PM, even those with little kids fast asleep, had to leave their rooms and stand outside in the chilly weather while I danced away not a care in the world!”

4. The Venue Butt Dial

For another great story that has one of those we’ve all been there moments, my bride Margaret had me laughing over her most awkward moment that her husband found hilarious. “My husband always says I have a ‘professional’ speaking voice whenever I am working or want something versus my normal banter. One day, I was dealing with chaos after coming home to find my two puppies had gotten into a bag of groceries. I was going crazy on them and saying very ‘unprofessional’ things to them; come to find out, I had dialed one of my prospective wedding venues the same time this was going on. I quickly changed my tone after hearing a voice repeatedly saying ‘hello’ on the line so that I could inquire about the venue. I didn’t want them thinking I was Bridezilla so I never made an appointment to tour their venue during our call. My husband couldn’t help but laugh during the entirety of my conversation. As soon as I got off the phone he was chuckling and simply told me ‘I can’t wait to marry you’.”

5. The Eager & Excited MOB

My cousin Laura has a multitude of hilarious and awkward moments from her wedding. She recalls, “The night I got engaged, my mom had already set the date and booked the church before Jay even asked my dad!” Kind of crazy… but also kind of cute!!

6. The Sheriff’s Car Wedding Entrance

“I had had to ride in the back of the sheriff ‘s car to the reception because the traffic to my reception was so bad and the bus could not get around the cars on the skinny roads at our venue.”  Talk about an unforgettable wedding entrance!

7. The Makeup Trial

“As a weddings Editor, planning our actual wedding was right up my alley, of course. But when it came time for a hair and makeup trial, I as a little less enthused (I hate getting my hair and makeup done)! I ended up bringing two of my bridesmaids with me for a girls day, and I had selected a really incredible hair and makeup artist in the nearby area of our wedding. After showing her some inspiration from Pinterest (of course) we decided to go with an updo and airbrush makeup. Although the result was lovely, I felt nothing like myself because I was trying so hard to do something ‘fancy’ for my Big Day. Afterward, I sat through an entire lunch with my girlfriends with this ‘look’ that was SO not me, but one that I had asked for. I’m so glad I did that trial and had the awkward experience that day instead of on my wedding day. For my actual wedding, I ended up choosing to do my own hair and makeup, with a down, loose-curled hairstyle and natural makeup. Biggest takeaway—don’t feel the need to go over the top just because it’s your wedding day. Do you, with a little extra!”

7. The Bride and The Bartender

“I climbed up on the bar in my wedding dress to get my own champagne glass because I couldn’t find a bartender.”  You go girl!

8. The Bra Hunt

“As I was getting my gown on, I realized that I couldn’t find my bra – the very special one that gave me enough boob-age to actually hold my dress up – anywhere. I had my entire bridal party turning my suite upside down. When none of the women could find it, we had to send the men out to the cars to see if it ended up in a bag somewhere. Lo and behold, it had been left behind in the trunk of my mother’s car and having nothing to carry it, my father walked down a very busy downtown boston street, through the large hotel lobby and delivered it to me without batting an eyelash.”

9. The Late Night Bribe

“I didn’t want the party to end so I kept telling the band to keep playing and we would pay them more. I refused to get off stage so my dad looked at Jay and said ‘She’s yours now… good luck getting her to leave.’ No bride wants her night to end – so you bribe the band. I got an extra hour to dance with my friends… totally worth it.” To be fair, I remember her band vividly even years later, so I might have done the same, as they were so amazing!

10. The Bow Tie

Sometimes it’s not the bride who experiences awkward wedding moments. My bride Taylor explains, “Greg walked out for the first look and his bow tie had just been wrapped up because no one knew how to tie it!! Lesson learned: Listen to your fiancé when she tells you to have the store clerk pre-tie the bow tie before leaving the store!” The bow tie looked twice the size it should be, albeit, it made for a cute story and very funny moments during the first look. Thankfully Taylor’s mother came to the rescue to properly tie it afterwards!

11. The Nervous Sweat

My college roommate and bride Jenny shares her most awkward moment that had her anxious until the wedding day. She says, “So I am a chronic heavy sweater. I get it from my dad. Before the wedding I asked my dermatologist for botox under my arm pits because I didn’t want to sweat there on the day of the wedding and she told me I didn’t need to do botox because they have an anti-perspiration pill now. It’s pretty great but makes you super dry. I had done some trial runs with it before and realized it was best to take during certain hours (instead of in the morning with the rest of my pills). I figured I needed to take it about 4 hours before the ceremony so I would need to take it before we left for the church. I had it out on the counter with a sticky note for everyone to see “Take at lunch” because I knew I couldn’t remember everything the more nervous I got on my big day. My make up artist saw it and asked ‘what the heck is this?’ and when I told her she was rolling laughing on the ground.”

12. The Ceremony Song Mix Up

“I got married on a little overlook of a mountain range in Santa Fe. I “hung out” in a little tent behind everyone, but also up on a hill, during the processional, etc. Classical guitarists were to play a song and then I was to walk down the aisle with my dad to another song (my mom is really into music). But the wedding planner forgot to tell the officiant that was the plan, so when the “solo” song started up, she had everyone stand up, turn around and face the little tent. My dad just stood in front me, blocking me from view, while this darned song played with everyone just watching us. THEN the real song played and I walked down the aisle.”

13. The Flying Veil

“The weather was very windy during our outdoor ceremony and, about three minutes into the wedding, my veil took fight! The wind pulled it out of my hair and it sailed off into the sky. It was actually beautiful to watch! My hair was fine sans veil and I just laughed as it flew away. It was truly a special moment and all night everyone was talking about the “flying veil!””

14. The Interesting Gift Choice

“I had a family member that I invited write in their own plus one. I only invited them, not a date because I didn’t think they were dating anyone anymore. Instead of speaking up, I let it slide to not cause any drama within the family. The only thing more awkward than that – the gift they gave….a black, ceramic vase (I think?) with a lid. It looked like an urn.”

Cavin Elizabeth is a wedding film photographer based in San Diego, California. Her wedding work has taken her all over the United States and abroad. In addition to being a photographer, Cavin is an educator and an avid blogger of wedding planning tips for brides and grooms. She authored the book A Bride’s Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding, which teaches couples how to make wedding plans that are best for photography. 

Eclectic Los Angeles Bungalow with a Little Something for Everyone

If you ask me, Homepolish is the interior design version of a fairy godmother. Don’t believe me? Homepolish interior designer Stefani Stein took this L.A. bungalow down to the studs, moved walls, raised ceilings and put in new windows. And the result is totally gorgeous. It’s safe to say they achieved the goal to “create a fresh take on the existing, very traditional style of the 1920s Silverlake bungalow.”

The limed oak and cement tile floors added warmth and personality and worked well with the exposed beams in the living room and foyer. And subtle details such as matte subway tiles, dark grout, brass hardware, tile wrapped hood, refurbished vintage viking appliances and clean yet classic casings and trim reinforced the goal of a remodel that felt both current and timeless. I opted for un-lacquered brass hardware throughout the majority of the space for a living finish that will evolve and acquire a patina over time.

I love the juxtaposition of mid-century and traditional elements. Natural and earthy tones ground and unify the space, allowing the pops of color to really stand-out. Because the home had low ceilings and additions from several different eras, I focused on making it feel brighter and more open, while simultaneously unifying the additions to feel cohesive and true to the bones of the original architecture.

What is now the kitchen was originally the dining room. What is now the master bath was originally the laundry room. And what is now bedroom #3 was originally the kitchen.

We also went to great lengths to save the original pasadena style closet in one of the bedrooms. It needed a little TLC but was such a cool detail we didn’t want to eliminate it and do the boring sliding doors you see in every spec house. Liz’s Antique Hardware was key to accomplishing that, where we found fully restored period hinges!

My favorite space might be the guest bathroom. The dusty sapphire accents in the lighting and tile, restauration-influenced lines of the vanity, brass fixtures, and charcoal walls came together even better than I had envisioned when planning the space.

Photography: Tessa Neustadt | Interior Design: Homepolish | Vendor: Liz's Antique Hardware

A Romantic Wedding at Calistoga Ranch Every Wine Lover Needs to See

This gorgeous day planned by Callista & Company celebrates the three best things in life: Love, Travel and Wine… The adorable bride and groom traveled from their home in New York City to tie the knot at one of our favorite wedding venues in Napa Valley (and maybe even the world) – Calistoga Ranch. From her Lela Rose dress to the floral arrangements from Lambert Floral Studio, everything about this day is elegant, simple and timeless. One of our favorite parts? The bridesmaids were able to choose a dress of their choice in various wine colored shades. See all the vineyard wedding inspo at the full gallery captured flawlessly by Rebecca Yale Photography.

From Rebecca Yale PhotographyChris and Cristina both live in New York City and share the same name and birthday. Their close friend knew they were destined to be together and set them up via email, which she saved and read at their welcome dinner. They fell in love over their shared love of great food, travel and wine. They even work together at their wine shop in Brooklyn, Leon & Son Wine. It was only natural for the two of them to get married in a place that celebrated all of those things that they loved, so they picked Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, where they could get married with a beautiful mountain view, have dinner inside a vineyard and dance the night away in a wine cave, where the food and wine would take center stage. The bride is Greek and the groom is Cuban and they wanted to infuse the day with special touches from each of their heritages.

The bride and groom both got ready on property with their friends and family in Calistoga Ranch’s beautiful outdoor suites followed by a first look in the woods on the property. Lambert Floral Studio created lush organic florals with herbs and olive branches for the bouquets and boutonnieres, each a little different to compliment the bridesmaids’ dress choices. Instead of assigning one dress or color to all her friends, each bridesmaid was allowed to pick her own dress in shades of wine colors from deep inky reddish black to purples and light rosé, each bridesmaid was able to show off her personality and unique style with her dress, hair and makeup choices.

The groom wore a black bowtie while the groomsmen each wore floral cabernet red ties. The ranch is a large property so the bride and groom were escorted around the property in a golf cart, decked out with a floral wreath made of olive branches. The ceremony took place on the Lommel Lawn, which overlooks a pond on one side and the famous mountains of the Napa Valley on the other.

As to not block the view, Lambert Floral Studio kept the florals simple and low to the ground, creating a lush semi circle around their feet. The bride and groom honored their Greek heritage once again by doing a crown Stefana ceremony before they exchanged their rings, which was done by the bride’s younger brother. Post ceremony, the couple were whisked away by the golf cart down to the vineyards for a few moments alone in the vines during golden hour and the bride, a former ballerina, couldn’t help but spin and dance in her beautiful gown and diaphanous veil. They shared a glass of champagne in the vines before heading up to their cocktail hour on the lawn. They opted for a unique guest book, a copy of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cook Book, which they asked all their guests to sign and leave them messages that they could read as they cooked their way through the book.

The bride and groom hand selected wines for the cocktail hour paired with the hors d’ouerves and created two signature drinks the Rose Gold and the Old Cuban, another nod to the groom. As food and wine were central to the wedding day, the couple created wine pairings for each course and included detailed tasting notes as hang tags on the wine bottles and included them as a printed supplement in the menus. They detailed why the wine was special to them and what they recommended pairing with them.

To create a restaurant like experience the wait staff stood by each table with the wine and menus, passing them out and pouring the glasses as guests were seated. As a nod to the bride’s Greek heritage, each place setting had an evil eye wrapped around a sprig of rosemary. All of the paper goods from the invitation to the menus and programs were designed by a friend of the bride with the bride’s help to make a truly personalized experience. The consummate host, the groom helped pour wine to his friends and family. The Groom had a special nod to his Cuban heritage by dancing a tango with his mother during their mother-son dance in the vineyard. The evening ended with the guests making their way to the wine cave for some late night dancing, where they were greeted by waiters with beautiful painted bottles of Metaxa (a traditional Greek liquor) to do a shot before the traditional Greek dancing. Traditional Greek cookies were served as a late night snack to enjoy as they danced late into the evening in the cave.

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Florist: Bud Botanical | Wedding Dress: Lela Rose | Stationery: Tina Smith | Stationery: Libby Tipton | Jewelry: Meadowlark | Hair and Makeup: Blush Hawaii | Calligraphy: Flourish Calligraphy | Transportation: Napa Valley Tours & Transportation | Wedding Venue: Calistoga Ranch Resort | Desserts: Glyka Sweets | Music: Garuda Blue | Music: All Ears DJ | Pajamas: Sleepy Jones | Planning: Callista & Company | Rentals: Encore Events Rentals | Rentals: Theoni Collection | Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Wedding Dress Store: Mark Ingram Atelier | Wine: Leon and Son

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3 Benefits of Having a Small & Intimate Wedding

While many might be envious of grand, luxe weddings, I get a bit jealous when I see small fetes done SO right. There’s something incredibly enticing about the idea of an intimate celebration—one in which you can place importance on exactly the priorities you want. With the help of Davia Lee, Brittany and Brett, did just that at Kestrel Park and I think you’ll agree they’ve got the right idea. Jen Huang froze these sweet memories in time for an even sweeter duo. See it all here and take a peek below for a few reasons we think a quaint celebration might be right for you, too.

Inspired by their favourite European locations, Brittany and Brett set out to host an intimate outdoor wedding in California. A focus on fantastic food and creating a warm, cosy atmosphere led to a family-style dinner with their small guest list seated together at one table. With a family-style meal, there is minimal space for decor, so we love the choice to add in a colored linen table runner, adding some personality to the overall tablescape. Twinkling candles and a smaller greenery centrepiece complete the look.


3 Benefits of Having a Small & Intimate Wedding

1. A smaller guest count means more one-on-one time! Celebrations with hundreds of loved ones can be an absolute blast, but leaves less time for true connection. If that’s what you’re craving, aim to have 50 guests or less.

2. With fewer seats to be filled and less space to occupy, a smaller wedding actually gives you a wider range of venue options! You can get really creative with your venue when you’ve got a shorter guest list.

3. An intimate fete allows for more of a priority on a true family-style dinner and in most cases a bigger focus on food selection. While you can still achieve this with a larger guest count, there’s nothing quite like sharing an entire table with everyone who attends your wedding. And again, you’ll be able to savor not only the food on your plate, but the conversations and memories made as well. Pass the vino, please!

Photography: Jen Huang Photography | Planner: Davia Lee | Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop | Invitations: Script Merchant | Catering: Field To Table Events | Hair and Makeup: Chiali Meng | Wedding Venue: Kestrel Park | Rentals: The Tent Merchant

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How to Design a Play Room the Whole Family Can Grow Into

The second my husband and I had twins, all semblance of a super cute, totally put together home went right out the window. It’s the combo of toy explosion and pure chaos that seems to get in the way but Sean Anderson Design and Alyssa Rosenheck are giving me hope. This play room is proof that pretty decor and a room built for kids can go hand in hand.

Neutralize it!

An important thing to keep in mind when determining the color palette for a space for children is to choose colors that can age well as the children grow, this will eliminate the need for a “redo” down the road. Here, I began with a creamy white, providing a neutral, blank canvas on which to build the space. By avoiding the traditional use of primary colors that are sometimes deemed appropriate for children’s spaces, I opted for pale pinks, soft greens, and touches of gold; creating a subtle, sophisticated environment. In addition, the same thought was used when selecting fabrics for the upholstery. By choosing neutral fabrics, it creates a timeless appearance that can be interjected with pops of color for the smaller, less expensive items, such as pillows; items that are easily replaceable or can be swapped out when needed.

Durability is key

Ask any parent and I’ll bet they’ll agree, when it comes to spaces for the little ones, durability is always near the top of the list of priorities. Here I achieved that in a few different ways: first, I had the Restoration Hardware sofa covered in a perennial fabric. It’s indoor/outdoor capability provides not only incredible durability; but, an easy to clean surface- spills no longer create a permanent stain. Also, instead of surrounding the “craft table” with upholstered chairs, I chose acrylic ones. Again, they are easy to clean and eliminate the fear of play-doh permanently embedded in a seat cushion!

Functionality

In design, functionality is always important to remember; but, this takes on extra importance when it comes to designing spaces for children, as these spaces tend to be multi-purpose areas. For this space, there was a desire for both a gathering spot, a place for television viewing, hanging out, etc. And an area to be designated for crafts and homework. I added custom built-ins throughout the room, each section of cabinetry with a distinct purpose in mind. Behind the seating in the gathering spot, wall to wall cabinets were installed to house items like books and blankets. Adjacent to the work station, floor to ceiling cabinetry was added to hold all craft supplies, board games, and miscellaneous toys. This added storage not only provided an answer for where to put such items, it eliminated any excuse for clutter.

Time-honored classics

By anchoring a child’s space in some tried and true touches, you immediately create longevity. I did that here by adding elements such as velvet on the sofa and fixtures made of brass, elements generally associated with a more mature aesthetic but that work well when paired with the more playful, youthful moments. Combining the two create that “just right” balance that will last for years to come.

Add a touch of whimsy

It doesn’t ALL have to be so serious. Even when attempting a more mature approach, it’s important to incorporate some playful touches: whether that be in shapes, like the oversized bulbs that adorn the chandelier or in more artistic ways, like the paper mache animals that decorate the walls. Designing for children, it’s essential that the magic never be forgotten.

Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck Photography | Chandelier: Schoolhouse Electric | Coffee table: Mr. Brown Home | Encaustic flower (image hanging behind craft table): Catherine Erb | End table: Serena & Lily | Interior Design : Sean Anderson Design | Rug- Shiloh : Antrim Carpet | Slipcovered Swivel Chair : Lee Industries | Sofa- in perennial velvet: Restoration Hardware | Toy box/ storage: Made Goods | Wall sconce: Visual Comfort | Wildflower image (framed image over shelves): Jay Adkins

A Classic Coastal Wedding at a Private Home in Pebble Beach

Boy oh boy do we have a good one for you today, folks. The minute we saw this enchanting coastal ceremony teeming with dusty miller, baby blue eucalyptus and towering cyprus trees – we were gone. It was no surprise to see Laurie Arons Special Events and Mindy Rice Design were the creative geniuses behind this remarkably romantic day. Lucky for us, Joel Serrato and Elysium Productions were there to capture every thoughtful detail. Head on over to the full gallery to see it all unfold!

From Laurie Arons Special EventsOur bride Devon grew up in Los Angeles, but when her parents moved to Pebble Beach in recent years, their coastal home quickly became a cozy family retreat. The towering cypress trees and sweeping views made it a magical setting for the couple’s wedding. To echo the coastal color palette, we incorporated soft sea blue green, neutral grays and taupes. The bride and groom said their vows under a beautifully adorned chuppah, surrounded by 125 of their dearest friends and family. Guests then took in the sunset from the family’s deck before an intimate tented dinner. When Social House by Elan Artists kicked into gear, the dance floor stayed packed until the very last dance. A fun personal touch to mention: Devon and Rob added fun play on East-Meets-West with their afterparty snacks – mini In ‘n Out (inspired) sliders for her and mini Philly cheesesteaks for him.

From the Bride… Although my husband and I live in Boston, we quickly decided we wanted to get married in California.  My parents live in Pebble Beach, so over the years we’ve shared many special memories there. After several days canvassing wedding venues, my mom half-jokingly turned to me and asked, “what if we just did it in our backyard?” Immediately, we all knew this was the place. There would be nothing more special than getting married at “home” with our closest friends and family.  The amazing view of the Pacific was the perfect backdrop for our black tie backyard wedding.

We exchanged vows under a chuppah, surrounded by cypress trees and a string quartet playing Coldplay and Avicii.  Afterwards, we joined our guests on the deck for drinks and hors ‘d’oeuvres.  The pink and orange sunset lit up the sky, and our guests took full advantage of the wonderful photo op. We then made our way to dinner.  Mindy Rice transformed our pole tent with white draping and greenery along the sides and woven baskets hanging from the ceiling.  She incorporated soft blues, greens and grays to tie in with the natural coastal colors.

A Taste of Elegance worked with us to build a custom menu that exceeded our wildest expectations. They served everything from ahi tuna bites to lamb chops for appetizers, and East vs. West coast late night snacks featuring Philly cheesesteaks and mock In-n-Out burgers.

Nothing made us happier than seeing our friends laughing, celebrating and dancing the night away.  We can’t thank Laurie, Mindy, and the rest of our vendors enough for creating our dream wedding. it was truly the best day of our lives!

Photography: Joel Serrato Film Photographer | Videographer: Elysium Productions | Event Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Floral Design: Mindy Rice | Wedding Gown: Carolina Herrera | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: A Taste Of Elegance | Hair & Makeup: Kenney Duy | Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina | Lighting: Illusions Lighting | Tent: Zephyr Tents | Attire Concierge: The Wedding Detailor | Bar Rentals : Chic Event Rentals | Ceremony/Cocktail Music: Synchronicity Strings | Chairs & Table Top Rentals: Standard Party Rentals | Dance Band: Elan Artists | Dance Floor: Zephyr Tents | Draping & Table Top Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Linen Rental: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Printed Materials: Lotus & Ash | Private Residence : Private Residence

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How a Floral and Event Designer Proposed to the Love of His Life

Happy Pride Month, everyone! Today we’re celebrating with the sweetest proposal story ever. Chris and Jeremy’s story will have you happy crying from beginning to end. Their love for each other is what Nicholas Sparks dreams are made of. Oh, and did we mention Chris is a super talented floral and event designer himself?! So yeah, it’s no surprise the decor was straight out of a fairytale. With a little help from Soco Alicea and Love In Vintage – Chris was able to pull off the surprise of a lifetime. Check out the full gallery captured by Vanessa Velez and Enuel Viera to see all the can’t miss moments.

From Jeremy… As a man, I always assumed that I’d be the one doing the proposing in life. I was ready to propose to my partner Chris – we had been together over two years, had weathered a few storms together, and were still as madly in love with each other as we were at the beginning of our relationship. It’s hard to be totally sure of anything in life, but I was sure that I wanted to spend it with Chris by my side. But then something completely crazy happened. Before I could propose to him, he proposed to me. The story of Chris’ proposal to me is the story of our love. It’s a beautiful story, told in minutes but unfolding over years, as unique and ephemeral as each of his floral creations and just as beautiful. My Thursday on February 28 was fairly normal until my boss told me to leave work for the day at 3:30 PM. When I got home, there was a trail of single balloons hanging from the ceiling on clear wire. I had to take a moment to smile – Chris had done this once before early in our relationship. We had been dating only a few months and I had gone on a weeklong work trip. On this day each balloon held a message that led me back to memories of us and a new one to be made. There on the bed he had laid out clothes for me – a crisp new white shirt and beautiful green jacket, and on it a watch, a rustic compass we picked up at a bookstore in Montreal, and my old travel journal, open to a new page. And above this was one final balloon. I popped it, and read the note: Curtiss Mansion, the next step in our journey together. I picked up the travel journal. I had kept it as a diary when I travelled through Asia in my twenties, but there were a few blank pages left in it.

In those pages, Chris had written: “Remember the first time we got lost in each other’s eyes? The whole World melted around us and nothing was left but you and me. Since that day every embrace, every kiss, every memory has written a love story named after us. Since I meet you my life has been an adventure, one I never thought was possible. Our love is written in the stars and there are moments we have spent together that some only read about in books and hear in love songs. You have always looked for adventure, and ask are you ready for the next chapter? Do you take me forever? This time I leave you with something to find me, maybe not a glass slipper but a trail of balloons leading to an address. There I will be waiting.”

I arrived to the Mansion. To the side was a beautiful vintage head table with a massive arrangement. I saw white anemones, roses, ranunculus, delphiniums, carnations, spray roses, and greenery. I knew he chose to use anemones because they are one of my favorite flowers. And to Chris, roses reminded him of growing up in his father’s rose garden so they were significant too. And then there was Chris, standing on the scroll, on the first page of the next chapter of our lives. He was dressed in a beautiful pink suit and that same amazing smile, and once I saw him everything else melted away. It was just him and me in the moment. I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, and I closed the distance between us.

He took my hands, looked into my eyes, went down on one knee, and said those magic words: “Jeremy you are my everything. I want the world to know just how much I love you. I want you to know that I choose you forever. And now I need to know – Jeremy Paul Mason – will you make me the happiest man alive and marry me?”

And then he offered me the ring. Then suddenly in a moment it all came into focus, the one true most important path forward in life’s journey. That journey is with Chris: in the sunshine, in the rain, in the dark and light, to the moon and back. Because our love is from the stars, and it shimmers and grows every day. Chris made the brave step and grand gesture of asking me to take this new journey with him. The only possible answer was yes.

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Photographer: Enuel Viera | Photographer: Vanessa Velez | Coordination: Soco Alicea | Cake: Sweet Guilt by Angelica | Rings: James Allen | Calligrapher: Claudia Strenger | Designer and Vintage Rentals: Love in Vintage | Floral Design & Planner : The Bride Candy | Historical Venue: Curtiss Mansion | Linens & Napkins: Nuage Designs | Tabletops: Dragonfly Rentals | Video: Gamut Cinema | Violin: Dany Violinist

A Vibrant Sunset Elopement in Glacier National Park

This dreamy elopement will transport you straight to the sun-soaked mountains of Montana in Glacier National Park. The natural beauty of the surroundings are only matched by the bride’s romantic, undone look, barely-there makeup and a Galia Lahav dress that we’ll be swooning over for weeks to come. Kelly Lenard captured the vibrant hues of Spring in Montana with every petal of her lush floral arrangements. Take it all in at the full gallery of images from Jeremiah and Rachel Photography.

From Jeremiah and Rachel PhotographyAfter a long winter, the spring and summer seasons rush by in Montana, making each minute spent in the sun cause for celebration and exploration.

Glacier Park is easily one of the most inspiring things to witness. Its beauty, matched only by its quick to change weather, we embraced the feeling of the inevitable ebb and flow of nature, and the vibrant colors of spring in Montana.

Every moment, the colors around altering as the shadows make their way up the mountains, reminding us to take stock of the joyful light, and sun drenched splendor of Montana in bloom.

When Kelly Lenard asked us to collaborate on a shoot with her, we jumped at the chance, having been a huge fans of her beautiful work from a far, and eager to share our love of the rugged landscape we call home. Collaboration keeps us inspired, and lets us try new things, and working with such wonderful people helps us appreciate the insane levels of talent our in our industry.

Photography: Jeremiah and Rachel Photography | Design: Kelly Lenard | Floral Design: Kelly Lenard | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Hair Stylist: Lilli Loeffler | Rentals: The Top

10 Registry Items Past Brides Still Use ALL Of The Time

You’ve got the ring (and celebrated accordingly!) so now it’s time to take the next step in your planning journey  — assembling your wedding registry! With brands, products, and styles galore, the process is a fun one, but it can be overwhelming. So to clear the confusion on which items you should be scanning for, we tapped past brides for their best advice. From pots and pans that’ll last the years, to linens that are extra luxe, here are 10 items they swear by years after saying “I do”.

1. Quality Cookware Set

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. So whether you’re whipping up a romantic din for hubby five years from now, or hosting for a crowd tomorrow, you’ll be glad to have a set of quality cookware on hand to get the job done. (Oh, and did we mention they make cleanup easier too? Say goodbye to stubborn sticky messes… heck yes!)

2. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Beyond this being one of the most classic appliances out there (you should see the spectrum of colors they now offer!) this mixer will stay with you through all of your baking projects to come.

3. Distinct Dinner Plates

Brides love having a stunning plate set on hand to pull out for everything from holidays with the in-laws to special occasions with friends. Plus, by investing in a durable, but beautiful set, you’ll be all the more tempted to actually use it!

 

 

4. Premium Linen Sheet Set

Other than the obvious (like sinking into a bed of ultra-soft threads every night) you’ll love the longevity of a premium sheet set. While splurging on luxe linens may normally feel like a burden, brides advise going for them now… when your friends are looking to treat you to something extra special.

5. Glass Food Storage Containers

Sometimes practical registry items are the best registry items. In this case, gals swore by glass Tupperware sets as something they were still reaching for ten years later. Leftovers, anyone?

6. Sturdy Wood Cutting Board

For cheeseboards, meal prep, and, hey, even a makeshift tray, there’s nothing quite like having a sturdy wood cutting board in your kitchen. The best part? You won’t have to worry about replacing it!

 

7. Dutch Oven

You’ll thank us for this one 50 years from now when you’re using it to cook mama’s famous soup for your daughter’s little crew. For reasons like this, dutch oven, we just cannot get enough of you!

8. Stylish Flatware

Buh-bye, IKEA set. Past brides highly recommend putting sleek flatware sets on your list (with some rave reviews behind ’em to boot) to get you through every dinner in your future.

9. Nice Wine Glasses

We hardly need to explain the reason behind this pick (girl, your wine game is on point!). Nice glasses to sip vino with your friends? Now we’re talking.

 

10. Large Food Processor

Straight from the source, brides love their food processors. Their only regret? Not going for a bigger one. So this 14 cup model is a can’t miss on your list.

What picks are you eyeing? Check out our registry page for even more inspo!

A Classic Wedding at Kiawah Island Sanctuary Resort on The Carolina Coast

Today’s southern soiree all started with a hydrangea, a childhood memory, and the bride’s favorite flower. From there, A Charleston Bride was able to perfectly plan a classic southern wedding using the hydrangea’s beautiful blues and incorporate them throughout the day, including a custom monogram for the Mr. and Mrs. Simply Sarah Photography worked her magic and captured it all from the darling dress details to every man (and woman’s) best friend, the couples golden retriever! Take a peek and check out all Kiawah Island Sanctuary Resort has to offer!

From the Bride…

How did you and West get engaged and how long was your engagement?
West and I got engaged in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2018. Dublin has been one of my favorite places for years so West did a great job choosing the location! Within a few hours of arriving in the city, we went for a walk to St. Stephen’s Green, a beautiful park in the center of the city, and West found a gazebo that was secluded from the crowds to pop the question. Two of our best friends were with us for the weekend so were able to capture the moment for us and help us celebrate that weekend. Our engagement was a little over a year. I thought April was the perfect month to get married so a March proposal gave us plenty of time to get all of the pieces together.

Tell me about the beautiful wedding you planned and where you drew inspiration from?
We really owe the credit here to A Charleston Bride and could not have been happier with the way their vision turned out. Ever since my family started going to Kiawah it felt like the perfect location for a wedding reception and with West’s family ties to Charleston and a church downtown it made the venue decisions easy. For color scheme and flowers, the inspiration for me started with hydrangeas. I love the flowers after having them in my yard growing up and the color felt like a great shade for an April wedding. I have pretty traditional tastes and A Charleston Bride did a great job incorporating those and pulling ideas from their prior experience that we would love, like a custom monogram for our invitations.

What was your favorite memory or moments from the wedding day?
I am still dreaming of the wedding and it’s so hard to choose a favorite moment! I had underestimated how amazing it would be to have such great friends and family all in one place and honestly loved just being with everyone. The moment that stands out the most would have to be the last song of the reception. We chose the song ahead of time since we knew would get everyone excited and we were not disappointed. Everyone was on the dance floor singing together and dancing and it was the perfect end of an incredible day.

The style of pictures is what drew us to Simply Sarah in the first place and we loved the use of light and softness to the photos. Sarah and her team clearly knew what to do and also kept an approachable and personal touch (being good with our golden retriever was an added bonus). I would definitely recommend an engagement photo session to meet Sarah ahead of the wedding. We love our engagement photos and it helped me feel more comfortable on the wedding day having already made that first connection.

Photography: Simply Sarah Photography | Event Planning: A Charleston Bride | Flowers: Stephanie Gibbs Events | Wedding Dress: Stephanie Allin | Cake: ABCD Cakes | Invitations: Studio R | Shoes: Ferragamo | Hair and Makeup: Wild Ivory Beauty | Band: Liquid Pleasure | Wedding Venue: Kiawah Island Sanctuary Resort | Linen Rental: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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Tour a Home Where Nantucket Charm Meets a Los Angeles Zip Code

Take Palos Verdes and Nantucket and smash them all together and you get this beauty. Masterminded by Rita Chan Interiors, it’s equal parts classic East Coast meets modern seaside charm with really good bones at its core. And if you’re like the majority of people who can only dream of a beautiful Nantucket retreat to call your own, get inspired to fake it till you make it with the full tour captured by Taryn Kent.

This house sits on a gorgeous tree lined street in the Palos Verdes Estates, in Southern California. Rita Chan Interiors was brought into the project post renovation to design the furnishings & remaining fixtures. Fortunately my client has fantastic taste and did an amazing job renovating, creating a clean & classic foundation that was easy to work with.

Growing up spending summers at her family’s beach house in Nantucket, she was most inspired by the traditional, coastal look that is the essence of Nantucket- think primarily white paint, lots of polished nickel and carrara marble and beautiful woodwork throughout. Given my affinity for clean, coastal design, we were a perfect match and she couldn’t have been more trusting or wonderful throughout the entire design process.

Despite the foundation of the home leaning more traditional, we really wanted the interiors to reflect the lifestyle and personality of this young busy family. We wanted it to feel fresh & serene, but also young and modern, and all while keeping it timeless.

You’ll notice the house has a light, airy feeling to it with a very neutral foundation and cool, soft colors… I feel more relaxed the minute I walk through the front door and I swear my client doesn’t walk, she floats, through the house!

Dining Nook

The dining nook is one of my favorite spots in the house- I love the way all the windows give it such a bright, open feeling. The table had been in the family for years but it was a dark and dated wood, so we had it re-finished and painted bright white and paired it the fog French bistro chairs by Serena & Lily. We also added the marine sconces for a coastal touch and mixed in vintage pillows, which sit on a striped fabric from Africa that I think gives the space some soul & a little more depth. Tip: we had the seat fabric laminated (a matte vinyl treatment) so there is no sweating spills or messes made by little ones!

Sources for Dining Nook: Chairs: Serena & Lily | Sconces: Rejuvenation

Family Room & Dining Room

Throughout the family room and dining room we set a crisp, clean foundation with primarily white upholstery paired with light natural woods. One of my favorite pieces is the custom tray ottoman we designed for the family room- it’s super functional but also looks amazing as the centerpiece of the room.

In the dining room, we chose a more casual, inviting look with slipcovered chairs (for easy cleaning!) and bench, to encourage people to get comfy and sit a while. Every space is really meant to bring the family together for comfortable hang out sessions and quality time.

Sources for Family Room & Dining Room: Artwork in Dining Room: Benson Cobb | Mirror in Dining Room: Made Goods | Dining Table: Sarried | Dining Room Light Fixture: Visual Comfort | Dining Chairs: Quatrine |
Living Room Occassional Chairs: Redford House | Coffee Table Ottoman in Family Room: Custom design by Rita Chan Interiors

Office

I am obsessed with the way the office turned out! The centerpiece is this amazing reclaimed wood desk, which is the perfect anchor to give the room a sturdy sense of purpose and warmth, and I love the way it looks on the striped black & white rug- it’s classic and adds some subtle contrast which we also played up through light touches of black in the accessories.

We also created a little sitting area in the window with neutral tufted chairs, punched up with some green in the pillows and fiddle leaf fig tree… and if you could only see the amazing gold pendant light we installed after the photoshoot! Finally, I am all about re-purposing, which we were able to do with the console table that we transformed from a shabby chic antiqued wood to bright happy white that now feels hip and updated, with one-of-a-kind personality!

Sources for Office: Desk: Juxtaposition Home | Chairs: Lee Industries | Pillows: Studio Mcgee | Rug: Jaipur Living

Master Suite

The goal for the master bedroom to be a peaceful, serene retreat. Most of the pieces we selected have an organic, natural vibe but are still refined and elegant feeling, such as the woven abaca pendant, carved natural wood nightstands, woven bamboo sheers on the windows, and the reclaimed wood bench with a seat made of vintage saris.

The shelter bed upholstered in white washed linen is fresh and clean but still cozy & inviting. Again we maintained a very neutral but textured foundation and layered in touches of blue, for that classic coastal vibe. Who wouldn’t want to wake up everyday feeling like they are on a beach vacation in Nantucket?

Sources for Master: Woven Abaca Pendant: Made Goods | Nightstands: CFC | Bench: Made Goods | Headboard: Lee Industries | Bedding: John Robshaw | Lamps: School House Electric

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Photography: Taryn Kent | Interior Design: Rita Donahoe, Rita Chan Interiors

Modern Meets Classic with Fresh Florals at the Prospect House

You had us at bright pink peonies and modern meet classic design. Trust us when we say these cheerful arrangements from Clementine Botanical Art will literally stop you in your tracks and take your breath away. The vibrant coral and pink hues against the modern, crisp white reception planned by Bird Dog Wedding couldn’t be more stunning. Take in every detail at the full gallery of images captured by Nichols Photography… this wedding is the definition of a color pop.

From the couple…We live in Washington, DC, but had previously lived in the Austin area for over 5 years. When it came time to choosing where we would get married, Austin was an obvious choice. We spent our entire relationship taking in all the great things the city had to offer – delicious tacos, boundless outdoor activities, and plenty of live music. Given our love for the laid-back city, we knew it would make the ideal location for our modern spring wedding.

Design Inspiration:

The design inspiration for our wedding was a clean and modern garden party with an emphasis on keeping the atmosphere relaxed and approachable. When we first visited Prospect House, we instantly fell in love with the venue. The light and open design set against the Texas hill country made for the perfect space for bright florals and subtle linens. Thanks to an incredible slate of vendors and meticulous planning by Bird Dog Wedding, it all came together seamlessly. With a little stroke of luck, the wedding day weather was breezy and warm, giving friends and family the opportunity to fully enjoy the modern space.

Favorite Moments:

We surprised guests with the appearance of a Mariachi Band at the end of the wedding ceremony to kick off our cocktail hour. It created a special moment with a nod to the groom’s heritage that put the guests in a festive mood before dinner.

Fun Details:

Throughout the design process, Bird Dog Wedding helped us find creative ways to bring our design inspiration into the smallest of details. For instance, the linens used for the cake table featured embroidery which tied in blue hues and contrasted against the bright florals and simple desserts. The blue palette found its way into other elements such as the bouquet bows, blue glass goblets, and romantic candlesticks on the tables. For the ceremony, Clementine Botanical Art played off of the venue’s design elements to create a flowing wall of white carnations that provided a romantic backdrop for our vows. Another fun small detail that made its way into the wedding was featuring the names of the couple’s hometowns for the signature drinks – the Cincinnati Lemonade and the Dallas Mule.

From Nichols Photographers… This Modern-Meets-Classic wedding looks almost too pretty to be real! Rachel and Tomas’s wedding was designed to perfection against the minimalist, clean palette of the Prospect House in Dripping Springs, Texas. Clementine Botanical brought in vibrant pops of pinks, complimented by pale blues, which added a soft, feminine touch to the modern architecture of the venue. And how about that flower wall?! Such a gorgeous backdrop. The bride and groom brought their classic style with a sleek, off-the-shoulder gown for her, and black-tie for the him.

After an outdoor ceremony with the Texas Hill Country as the backdrop, guests enjoyed a breezy cocktail hour before moving into the modern reception space, made warm and inviting with candlelight and vibrant floral design. This wedding was perfection in every way.

Photography: The Nichols | Event Planning: Bird Dog Wedding | Floral Design: Clementine Botanical Art | Invitations: Percolator Letterpress | Catering: The Peached Tortilla | Hair and Make Up: Designs By Janet Suzanne | Ceremony Music: Terra Vista Strings | Wedding Venue: Prospect House | Dessert Stands: Melody's Joy | Bride's Dress: Robert Bullock | Cake/Dessert: Walton's Fancy & Staple | Cocktail Music: Mariachi Amor | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Reception Music: Matchmaker Band | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals

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A Fall, Watercolor Inspired Wedding at DeLille Cellars

For this bride and groom, seeing is believing…from meeting in optometry school (get it?) they decided to tie the knot two years later at DeLille Cellars Estate in Washington, their new home state, which was only one of the special and unique touches they added to their day. One of my personal favorites, allowing Valley & Co. to surprise them with details throughout, from specialty “eye-inspired” cocktails (served from a custom watercolor bar) to incorporating Canadian details for the groom. O’Malley Photographers captured the rest of these details including not having a traditional cake and the couple spending as much as time as possible with their guests, which was the most important to them! Take a look and take note of every well thought out detail!

From the bride…Kory and I met in optometry school in 2012 in Oregon. Kory is originally from BC, Canada and I am from California. We dated for two years before Kory proposed using a personalized Ben and Jerry’s label put over a pint of our favorite ice cream flavor Phish Food.

Our first wedding planning decision was to hire a wedding planner and we cannot say enough good things about having a wedding planner and our planners, Valley & Company Events, in particular. From the start of our planning process, we knew that the most important thing to us was having an event that our guests would enjoy and that would show them how much we appreciated them celebrating this special day with us. We chose Valley & Co as our planners because they create beautiful, thoughtful events that would be both personalized for us and guest-centric. Nick and Aleah with Valley & Co are truly wonderful people in addition to being extremely knowledgable and professional. Once we hired them they helped guide us through every decision from that point forward.

We wanted to get married in Washington so we could share our new home state with all of our loved ones, and we decided to get married in Woodinville because it’s beautiful and has a lot of fun amenities. We then discussed what was most important to us about the event and what we wanted from each vendor and Nick and Aleah gave us recommendations for vendors they thought would be a good match. For us, having trusted recommendations on vendors was invaluable and we ended up loving every vendor we used. We chose to have our ceremony at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church and our reception at Delille Cellars Estate. When we thought of our wedding reception we knew we really wanted it to be a celebration so we prioritized having good food, good drinks, and good music. We chose Lisa Dupar Catering to do food stations for the event and the Chris Friel Orchestra for our band. We LOVED both of them. We chose O’Malley Photographers to document the day and as time has passed since the event we appreciate their ability to not only shoot beautiful, timeless photos of people but also of all the décor and details. We’ve found that those details really make the day come to life when we look back through the memories. Jen Lagers of The Outer Edge did the bridal party’s hair and make-up and was so talented, but also such a joy to be around.

We kept our bridal party very small and chose to rent the bridesmaid’s dresses and groomsmen’s suits to keep things as simple as possible. The most important thing to us was having a reception that reflected us as a couple and maximizing the time that we got to enjoy with our guests celebrating. Some of the touches that helped personalize the day included: having eye-themed names for our signature drinks and cocktail napkins with eyeglasses printed on them, including Canadian maple syrup at one of our food stations and a Canadian beer option at the bar, Portuguese desserts instead of a cake, photos of us both growing up and of our lives together displayed in the cocktail area, and having the watercolor artwork that was created for our invitations featured throughout the reception décor. Kory also got to use his late father’s wedding band as his band and that was very meaningful for us and his family. We opted to forgo a lot of traditions like the bouquet toss, garter toss, and cake cutting to maximize our time with our guests and minimize the amount of time they had to sit at their tables.

We chose to do a first look and get most of our photos done before the ceremony so that we could spend cocktail hour with our guests. We also chose food stations to get people moving around, limited our first dance to only part of a song, and combined all of the parent-child dances into a single song. After cocktail hour we welcomed everyone to the reception and toasted our guests before dinner. We also chose to have a welcome event the night before the wedding and look back on that as one of the best decisions we made. It allowed us to talk to everyone before the wedding and took a lot of pressure off of us the day of the wedding. The one thing that people told us over and over was that the day would go so fast, and while it did, we feel like we were able to maximize our time together and with our loved ones by keeping in mind what was important to us as we made decisions through the planning process.

Our advice to other couples: Decide on the things that are most important to you about your experience and your guests’ experience and use those things to guide your decisions. It is important to keep your mom, mother-in-law, bridal party, etc happy throughout the planning process, but remember that it’s your wedding and make sure you prioritize your desires

From Valley & Co…. Katie and Kory were incredibly sweet and wanted to throw an unforgettable experience for their guests (almost all from out of town), full of unique touches peppered throughout during their Labor Day weekend soiree. They turned to us to plan and design a visual surprise for them – focusing on watercolor elements we carefully peppered throughout (Momental Designs created the motif when we learned Kory wasn’t into having an abundance of flowers but enjoys greenery – perfect for the vineyard setting at DeLille Cellars Estate). They met at optometry school, so we surprised them with a few sweet nods on the day – namely the spectacle cocktail napkins and the bar menu with funny eye-themed cocktail drinks. And Kory even humored us, letting us add deluxe maple syrup from his home country of Canada to the fried chicken and waffle station! These two were just so lovely and threw such a feast for the senses for guests – starting with the champagne greeting (a must!).

Photography: O'Malley Photographers | Wedding Dress: Calla Blanche | Ceremony Venue: St Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church | Reception Venue: DeLille Cellars | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rent The Runway | Catering: Lisa Dupar Catering | Hair & Makeup: The Outer Edge Makeup & Hair Artistry | Lighting: Hollywood Lights | Band: Chris Friel Orchestra (CFO) | Bridal Salon: I Do Bridal | Custom Bar: Happy Hour Bar Rentals | Floral: Valley & Co. | Furniture: Fanciful Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Planning and design: Valley & Co. | Rentals: Cort Party Rentals | Watercolor invitations and paper goods: Momental Designs

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How To Give Your Kitchen Major Santorini Vibes

Now, this is a kitchen I want to wake up to every morning. It’s so simple, yet makes such a statement. Not only does the blue and white palette have me in a Santorini-state-of-mind, but I love how an island splashed with a happy hue brings so much vibrance to the space without feeling overwhelming. Designers Megan Papworth and Dawn Terry of E. Interiors break down their vision below and you can find more in The Vault captured by Nick Sorenson.

From the Megan Papworth and Dawn Terry of E. Interiors… This project involved a full remodel of a kitchen that included taking the kitchen down to the studs and ripping and replacing the flooring throughout the whole house. This space started as a dark and dated kitchen that was filled with over 50 rooster figurines. We wanted to create a modern farmhouse feel in this space with lots of texture and mixed metals.

We wanted to really make an impact with the cabinetry and backsplash so we used a cararra marble subway tile that we took all the way to the ceiling for maximum wow factor. In order to really beef up the cabinets we added a thick crown moulding to the top of the cabinets. In order to break up all of the white cabinetry we added an island in Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams. We love the way it really pops in the space.

Lighting is always a really critical element in all of the spaces we design and we wanted to choose lighting that hinted at the farmhouse style without being too much. We chose farmhouse pendants over the island in a dark grey, almost galvanized metal looking finish and a gorgeous iron statement chandelier over the dining table.

The client also wanted to included some open shelving so we added some rustic reclaimed wood shelves with iron brackets right next to the built-in refrigerator. The clients love to entertain friends and family so we included professional grade appliances.

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More Kitchen gorgeousness this way…

Julianne Hough’s Kitchen is Absolute Perfection
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Photography: Nick Sorenson | Interior Design: Megan Papworth and Dawn Terry of E. Interiors

Italian-Inspired Miami Wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

On the surface, this Italian-Inspired wedding is gorgeous—featuring charming tropical scenes at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, impeccable style (hello Oscar De La Renta gown!) and a tented reception with quite the view. But peel back the layers of who Amanda and Mike are and you’ll find those meaningful details deep within the heart of their Big Day. They were guided by some of the best in the biz including, Jessica’s EventsBill Hansen Luxury Catering and Event ProductionAnthology Co. and of course, Kat Braman, behind the lens. Join us here in the full gallery when you’re experiencing their wedding story below.

Mike and Amanda met during their sophomore year at Georgetown University when they were both members of the varsity rowing team. They moved in together the summer of 2016 and Mike proposed exactly one year later at the Brooklyn Bridge Park overlooking Manhattan. He planned an incredible engagement weekend surrounded by their closest friends and family. Mike jokes that he barely got the ring halfway on Amanda’s finger (during their engagement) and she was already on the phone to book Vizcaya. Amanda grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL and fell in love with Vizcaya while visiting the historic museum with her family when she was 13. She says she knew immediately that she wanted to get married there one day.

They chose their November wedding day to mark their 7 year anniversary. In honor of Mike’s father, who passed away in January 2010, they asked his father’s close college friend (who was also a Georgetown alum), to officiate their wedding ceremony. Amanda and Mike both love Italy; and since Vizcaya was conceived as a modern and subtropical interpretation of an eighteenth-century Italian villa, Italy was the perfect inspiration for their wedding design, menu, and vibe. Vizcaya is so beautiful on its own so they strove for a timeless and minimal aesthetic. The color scheme was very neutral with lush flowers and lots of greenery.

From Amanda… One might say I was detail-obsessed – although the overall aesthetic was intended to be minimal, I fixated on every detail to make sure it all felt like a cohesive vision. From our Vizcaya inspired invitation suite and programs with custom drawings and timeless calligraphy to ensuring that our signature drinks were incredibly personal (Mike’s was the “Brown Mumbler”, his father’s favorite drink, and mine was a classic Brazilian Caipirinha named the “Lola”, in memory of my family’s dog that passed away only a few months before the wedding). Another favorite detail was that our party favors were Blommer Chocolate bars provided by Mike’s family’s chocolate business.”

Although the overall aesthetic was Italian, they also layered in many Brazil inspired details in honor of the Bride’s heritage. This included live Brazilian music during cocktail hour, the Brazilian signature cocktail, Brazilian desserts (brigadeiros), and the most exciting detail was the Brazilian Samba dancers/drummers that really got the party going. Amanda and Mike were also one of only five weddings per year to be allowed a fireworks show at Vizcaya. The fireworks made for a spectacular finale after the Brazilian entertainment.

From Amanda and Mike… Our wedding was incredible in so many ways. We are thrilled that we found many ways to honor each other’s families. We are so incredibly thankful to our amazing families that were nothing but supportive and excited throughout the planning process. The flowers, food, and entertainment were all spectacular but the most memorable part of the night was being able to share the day with our families and friends that traveled from all over the world to be with us.

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Photography: Kat Braman | Cinematography: Kindred | Floral Design: Anthology Co. | Cake: Cloud 9 Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Monique Lhuillier | Hair and Makeup: Marz Makeup And Hair | Band: Project Soul | Groom's Suit: Enzo Custom | Bride's Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Catering and Production: Bill Hansen Luxury Catering and Event Production | Ceremony and Reception: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens | Coffee: Aroma Espresso | Entertianment: L.R. Entertainment | Fireworks: Light F/X Pros | Getting Ready: Four Seasons Hotel Miami | Lighting and Chandelier: Evoga Events | Paper Goods: Bella Figura | Photobooth: Capture POD Photo Booths | Planning and Coordination: Jessica's Events | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: A Different Look | Rentals: Events on the Loose | Rentals: Elements & Accents | Rentals: Unearthed Rentals | Samba Dancers: Bateria Unidos de Miami

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15th Century France Chapel Wedding at Clubs at Houston Oaks

Combine the beauty of Texas and the charm of a 15th century chapel (brought over from France!) and you’ve got today’s fete planned by Stephanie Hubbell with Piper and Muse Events and captured by C. Baron Photography. Sophia and Gumaro have the kind of love that glows and jumps right off the page and I have no doubt that their contagious smiles and sweet celebration will brighten your day.

From C. Baron Photography… Sophia and Gumaro’s were simply destined to meet. Sophia signed up for a speed dating network and accidentally signed up for the wrong age group, never in a million years did she think she would meet Gumaro. Their love is gushing in every photo and it was a pleasure to witness their love story.

Their taste is impeccable too! The Clubs at Houston Oaks has a sense of old English style with their gorgeous 15th century chapel brought over from France, their gorgeous lake and the clubs that surround the grounds. We have thoroughly enjoyed their choices in floral and colors. They both radiate style and elegance!

Photography: C. Baron Photography | Videography: Mia & Taffy | Event Planning: Piper & Muse | Cake: Cakes by Gina | Invitations: Lavender Paperie | DJ: LG Events | Officiant: We Do I Dos | Transportation: Jordans Limosines | Bridal Store: Whittington Bridal | Cocktail Hour Florals and Lanterns: Elemental Floral Events | Event Venue: Houston Oaks Country Club | Floral and Rentals: Johanna Terry Events | Gown Designer: Essense of Australia | HMU: Nyoka | Linens & Chargers: EB Inc Events | Photo Booth: ShutterBooth | Strings & Mariachis: Avalon Music: Los Gallitos

California Coastal Cliffside Wedding at The Inn at Newport Ranch

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

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

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

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

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

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A Peach and Citrus Surprise

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

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

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


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



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



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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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