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10 Things Brides Can’t Forget to Do After The Wedding Is Over

Trust me when I say that after your wedding, all you’ll want to do is sleep and relax! Although that sounds magical, there are still a few things to take care of once the wedding weekend has passed. From thank you notes to legal tasks, here are 10 things brides can’t forget to do after the wedding is over.

1. Journal or Blog About Your Wedding

Although you’ll always have photos and memories of your wedding, the moments will be fresher on your mind in the first week or two after the celebration. Journaling about your wedding experience or blogging about it if you have a public platform preserves all of the small details of your memories and will be a fun read for you or others throughout the years. You’ll love having a diary-style account of your wedding day to look back on!

 2. Complete Your Thank You Notes

Although some might think thank you notes are old fashion and unnecessary, I completely disagree. They take only a few minutes of your time and are so greatly appreciated by guests who gave you a wedding gift. Make sure you’ve covered your list completely and that you don’t overlook anybody!

3. Dry Clean Your Gown

Whether you plan to keep or sell your wedding gown, don’t forget to have it dry cleaned by an excellent cleaner. Especially if you had any spills, it’s important to clean your gown as soon as possible. That red wine stain might not come out a year later, so better early than later!

4. Change Your Name (If You’d Like) and Update Legal Records

Some brides prefer to keep their maiden name and some can’t wait to change theirs. If you’re in the latter group, you’ll need to change your name legally with proof of your marriage certificate. After, make sure to update your driver’s license, passport, social security, and other vital records. It sounds like a ton of work, but rest assured that there are great companies online you can hire to do everything for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed!

Additionally, don’t forget to update your name with your insurance companies, doctors, and job and change your personal and work email addresses.

5. Update Your Emergency Contact

If you didn’t already have your husband or wife listed as your emergency contact, now is the time to do it. To get very serious for a moment, it’s not a bad idea for both of you to invest in a living will and name each other as beneficiaries. Although that seems like a downer and possibly even unnecessary at your age, it’s never a bad idea to prepare for all scenarios.

6. Order a Wedding Album

Back to happy and fun things, a wedding album couldn’t be a better investment to make once your photos are delivered. Viewing your photos on a digital screen doesn’t even compare to the incredible feeling of a tangible album in your hands. If you think the costs might not be worth it, consider it’s longevity – this is an heirloom you’ll have for decades and will be passed down to your future children or other family members. You’re totally sold now, right!?

7. Frame Your Wedding Stationery

If you invested in custom wedding stationery, it doesn’t just belong on the fridge! Frame it and hang it on your walls. Not only is it a great way to preserve your invitations, it’s also a fun conversation starter for guests. If you’re wondering how to arrange the pieces, you can simply refer to your professional photos to see how your planner or photographer styled the invitation suite. Additionally, you can browse the Style Me Pretty Vault for wedding invitation photos to gather more inspiration for your framed layout.

Alternatively, if you had custom signs made or other gorgeous wedding pieces that would suit your home better, hang those instead! We had a custom bar sign made for our wedding and plan to hang it above the bar cart in our home. Turning your wedding décor into home décor not only makes your wedding budget feel more practical, it also fills your home with pretty, personalized pieces of art!

8. Review Your Wedding Vendors

I cannot stress enough how important and helpful reviews are for small businesses, especially those in the wedding industry. Although it seems like work, know that writing reviews for your photographer, planner, beauty team, etc. is greatly appreciated and could help those vendors book more amazing brides like you! You can ask them where they would like to be reviewed and simply copy and paste the same review to multiple sites.

So that you don’t forget, I recommend making a calendar event or task on a to-do list for writing your reviews. Also, be sure to write them sooner rather than later while all of the little details are still fresh on your mind!

9. Complete Your Wedding Registry

Didn’t get your registry fully completed by guests? No worries! Most registries offer completion discounts to the couple and some will even let you add items after the wedding date has passed. Often times, these companies never offer public discounts, so this is a great chance for you to purchase your remaining items at a great price.

10. Start Participating in New Hobbies

After planning your wedding for either months or years, you’ll realize that you might have a ton of free time to fill once planning is over. To help fill the time and fight off any post-wedding blues, find a new hobby either for yourself or together with your husband or wife. Whether you choose a new fitness routine, cooking classes, museum visits, or volunteering for hospitals or animal shelters, you’ll be glad that you have the time to add more fun into your life now that planning is over.

 

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. 

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A Light and Romantic Wedding Inspiration Shoot at The Adelphi Hotel

I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for Saratoga Springs, NY…I visited once a few years ago and fell in love with the city from the tradition of horse racing to the charm throughout the downtown streets. It is no wonder Michelle Lange Photography teamed up with Kelly Strong Events for this classic and romantic inspiration shoot at The Adelphi Hotel, located in the heart of Downtown Saratoga Springs. The soft color palette paired perfectly with the overflowing amount of windows and the natural light in the event space. Add in a stunning bouquet and floral displays by Olive and June and you feel like you’ve stepped into a dream. Now, I am left asking myself…when am I heading back to Saratoga Springs?!

From Kelly Strong Events

The Location

The Adelphi Hotel is a new luxury hotel and wedding venue in the heart of Saratoga Springs, New York. Located on Broadway, you can’t find a more central location for your guests to enjoy everything that downtown has to offer. Within in the Adelphi Hotel is Blue Hen – a stunning atrium inspired restaurant and event space. An incredibly unique space, overflowing with natural light, we knew this is where we wanted to be.

The Design

Seeking a romantic, classic feel we designed the day to allow for beauty to lie in the subtle details. The design plan was built around this space that is so bright and airy with stunning blue chairs. Because of everything the venue has to offer, we wanted to compliment the surroundings rather than compete with them. Choosing a subdued color palate allowed us to build a beautiful table design with thoughtful details that didn’t detract from the stunning venue. Layers of fabric were used to create a runner that laid on top of a dusty rose, matte linen. The beautifully textured paper goods were done in neutral tones and brought to life by the blush florals and gold accents. The main centerpiece was accented by unique blooms – like flowers floating in a bowl of water – that created a beautiful visual statement. Finally, a romantic, ruffled design cake accented with blush blooms tied the classic feel to the dessert table.

The Destination

Saratoga Springs is rich with horse racing tradition. It is such a special part of the destination, so we wanted to include a subtle nod to its history without over-theming the day. The simple white horses, created by Ink Revival, were added to each menu for the hint that we were looking for.

The Team

The team of partners that worked together on this day are local to Saratoga Springs but bring a breadth of experience to the table. Each partner has recently relocated to the area from cities across the United States and abroad. With this experience, the team was able to create something completely unique and not yet seen at the Adelphi Hotel.

Photography: Michelle Lange Photography | Event Design and Planning: Kelly Strong Events | Floral Design: Olive and June | Cake: Austin Bayliss Cakes | Stationery: Ink Revival | Wedding Venue: The Adelphi Hotel | Beauty: True Beauty | Bridal Shop: Lily Saratoga | Model: Bohemian Bulldog | Rentals: Total Events

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Middle School Sweethearts Tie the Knot at Mayowood Stone Barn

Thousands of pink peonies, one blooming floral arbor, a romantic color scheme and one cute pup – this bride sure knows the way to our SMP hearts! The minute we saw these gorgeous images from Sally Pinera we were instantly head over heels in love. Pristine Floral brought the bride’s vision to life with a lush floral arbor that’s going to take over Pinterest boards everywhere and organic centerpiece arrangements complete with all our favorite flowers. It couldn’t have all come together so perfectly without the help of Events by Melody! Keep on reading to see this beautiful day unfold.

From the Bride… Casey and I met the first day of junior high in architecture class. We began dating when we were 15. We talked about this special day for 8 years and it was everything we dreamed of as teenagers and more. The entire summer had been thunderstorms every single weekend. We nervously began checking the radar as our wedding approached because all of our decor had been planned for an outdoor ceremony!

The most important aspect of the decor to me was the floral and specifically the stunning floral arch that Pristine Floral created. Had it rained, it would have been pretty difficult to get the arch up in the loft of the barn for an indoor ceremony so it was a big gamble. To our surprise, we truly had the most beautiful day of the summer. Minnesota often has unbearable humidity on sunny summer days but we got the most perfect 75 degree day with a light breeze. When I picked Jamie from Pristine Floral to be our florist she asked me what my vision was. I told her I loved every single wedding on Style Me Pretty and I never miss a publication. She was so excited and we worked very closely all year to bring my floral dreams to life.

We chose Mayowood Stone Barn because of the beauty and history of the property built in the early 1900s. The barn and entire city of Rochester revolve around the Mayo Brothers and the world famous Mayo Clinic. There are hardly any venues in Minnesota that offer a stunning outdoor ceremony backdrop along with an indoor option in case of a summer storm. Many of the weddings at Mayowood Stone Barn are rustic but as soon we saw the barn we knew we could dress it up to be the perfect garden wedding style with the help of our amazing florist. Art is something we both love so we opted for a live painter in lieu of a photo booth and she delivered. Trish set up her canvas at the front of the venue near the bar so it was a big hit beginning during cocktail hour. We have our painting hung in our home and our guests loved watching the progress of the painting all night long. We even had her paint a canvas of the ceremony backdrop from a photo once we got our gallery! Trish will be painting at our friend’s wedding next summer and we can’t wait to watch her in action as guests!

The venue was about 2 hours away for the majority of our friends and family. Everyone had a blast over our wedding weekend as a mini getaway. I wanted everything to have a personal touch and had so much fun planning all of the details! My sister’s boyfriend played the piano during dinner and has since started his own business as a wedding pianist. Our officiant is a Judge who is also the Grandmother of one the flower girls that I have nannied for. Of course our dog had to be included- both in real life and in grooms cake form.

Being we were two hours from home, I found a dogsitter on Rover who went above and beyond to drive our dog to the venue and help handle her and hold treats up during photos to get the perfect shot. We could not be more in love with our dog and are so happy she got to be included in our big day. Our cake and aisle runner both had our first dance lyrics on them in calligraphy. We have stored the calligraphy aisle runner away to have upholstered as curtains for our first baby’s nursery curtains in a few years. We could not stop smiling all day after seeing our vision come together and being surrounded by the love of our family and friends. I found a photo of my wedding dress on Pinterest and instantly fell in love. As soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. I tried on about 10 other gowns just to be sure, but in the end my pick from the photo ended up being the perfect match. From our florist from the twin cities to Sally our amazing photographer who flew in from California and Trish, our live painter who flew in from Michigan, our wedding day would have not come together without all of the hard work from our amazing vendors, family and friends. Our big day was everything we imagined and more!

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Photographer: Sally Pinera | Event Planning: Events By Melody | Dress: Raffine Bridal | Cake: Farina Bakeshop | Invitations: Champagne Press | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Powers Ventures | Hair and Makeup : Luminous Beauty | Calligraphy: Rosann Konieczny Calligrapher | DJ: Adagio | Suits: The Black Tux | Officiant: The Honorable Jill Flaskamp Hallbrooks | String Quartet: Ovation String Quartet | Transportation: Rochester Trolley & Tour Co. | Barn: Mayowood Stone Barn | Venue: Mayowood Stone Barn | Aisle Runner Calligraphy: Flax and Wool Designs | Chairs: Majestic Tents & Events | Dog Grooms Cake: The Thirsty Whale | Floral: Pristine Floral | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Live Painter: Trisha Strickland | Piano: Jaret Carpenter | Silks: Bertie & Fred | Tableware Rentals: Apres Party And Tent Rental | Video: Alma Films

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Lake Tahoe Dock Wedding at West Shore Cafe and Inn

We’ve seen many a waterfront wedding, but it’s not often we see a reception dinner right on a dock! I can see why West Shore Cafe was the Bride’s dream wedding venue and once you hear below how the Groom booked this spot as a add-on surprise to his proposal, you will melt. With Elise Events at the planning helm, Natasha Kolenko on florals and Joel Serrato behind the lens, you’re sure to pull a few pieces of pretty from the gallery to inspire your Big Day.

From the Bride… Peter and I were introduced through my best friend (now sister-in-law!) and Peter’s brother when they came to visit us in San Francisco from Orange County. After they left, we started spending all our time together and quickly fell hard for each other over our shared love of the beach, hiking, movies, wine tasting, and watching football. After spending 5 years together in San Francisco, we decided to move to Orange County to be close to family. Then, during a weekend away in San Francisco to visit friends, Peter proposed under the Golden Gate Bridge. That evening, he surprised me by flying both our families to town to help us celebrate. Just when I thought the day couldn’t possibly get any better, during dinner, Peter announced there was one more surprise. Our wedding date was booked for exactly 1 year later at the venue I had always dreamed about getting married at, West Shore Café in Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe had always been special to our family. In addition to the spectacular beauty and varied outdoor activities, my parents were married there 35 years ago, and we have spent time there as a family ever since. Peter and I had also spent many warm summers and cozy winters together at the lake and thought it would be the perfect place to get married one day. With the wedding officially one year away, my mom and I couldn’t wait to get started planning but we knew that in order to pull off our vision, we would need to help of an expert.

We were introduced to Danielle with Elise Events and were smitten from our first phone call. Then after our initial planning meeting, Danielle put together the most stunning design packet for our warm, welcoming Fall celebration and from there we were off and running. We couldn’t believe how she was able to capture exactly what we were going for after just one meeting.

Danielle also introduced us to our amazing team of vendors. From Carey Galliani our fabulous graphic designer who designed our save the dates, invitations, and paper goods, to Natasha Kolenko who did the stunning flowers, to Joel Serrato our photographer extraordinaire and Johnny B our creative and fun-loving videographer. We had the all-star team and not only did they make this day so memorable, they became family in the process. One of the most special moments of the day was walking down the aisle (shocking!). We stood firm with our decision to pass on everyone’s advice of doing a “first look” to help with photography timing. It was important to us to have that special, romantic moment when we saw each other for the first time coming down the aisle. It was more perfect than I could have imagined. The second I saw Peter I started crying and I’ll never forget the look of pure love on Peter’s face…a forever memory.

After the heartfelt ceremony and a celebratory cocktail hour, we moved onto the deck for dinner and took in the beauty of the lake at sunset. Following the most warm, heartful, and funny speeches, it was straight to the dance floor. From my young to old, family and friends alike, the dance floor was packed the entire night. Big props to my dad for finding our epic band! That was the one job he took on and he nailed it. It didn’t hurt that we had a bar and espresso cart just a few steps away. It was the happiest end to the most magical day. Despite the hours of planning and preparation we already miss our planning sessions with Danielle and my mom and my excuse to spend even more time together.

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Photography : Joel Serrato Film Photographer | Floral and Event Design : Natasha Kolenko | Stationery : The Idea Emporium | shoes : Stuart Weitzmen | Additional Rentals : Celebrations Party Rentals | Beauty : Hello Darling Beauty | Coffee bar : Hub Coffee bar | Linens : La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rental : Theoni Collection | Video : Johnny B Films | Wedding Planning & Production : Elise Events | bride dress : Berta | bridesmaids dress : Shona Joy | music : Elan Artists | veil : Saks Fifth Avenue | west shore cafe and inn: West Shore Cafe

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Modern Elegant Wedding at The Resort At Pelican Hill

Classic yet modern, refined yet layered with beauty… these are just a few things that come to mind when perusing today’s wedding from Details Details. The clean and neutral palette, bridesmaids in white and naturally set table are completely refreshing. Hop over to the full gallery from Love & You Studios for even more!

From the planner, Details DetailsI just adore everything about this couple and this wedding! It was so much fun getting creative with Annie and Fayaz at Bloom Box Designs making this beautiful wedding come to life! The wedding was so perfectly elegant, very natural, feminine, and romantic. The tone was set with Annie & Arthurs invitation suite – so simple yet refined.

The ceremony and reception took place at the stunning Pelican Hill Resort. It was beyond a perfect day for a wedding, blue skies and all ocean views as the guests watched the couple say I do. I just love what Bloom Box did with the Event Lawn. The greenery and white roses climbing up the rotunda was pure perfection! We wanted to keep the ceremony space very natural and garden like.

After Cocktail Hour on the Lower Patio, which was complete with tasty hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, guests were escorted up to Mar Vista for the remainder of the evening. I am obsessed with the long wooden tables pairing perfectly with the florals and chairs. After Entree, guests enjoyed some sweet toasts, and some delicious food before they danced the night away. The love between Annie and Arthur was so magical all night long. They danced, they laughed, and they dug right into their gorgeous four tiered wedding cake. A special mention Matthew and Inese from Love & You Studios who killed it, capturing the most stunning photos of these newlyweds! This will sure be a day that they will never forget! Cheers to the Bride and Groom!!

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Planner : Details Details | Floral Design: BloomBox Designs | Brides shoes: Gianvito Rossi | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Vera Wang | Makeup artist : Allison Wong | Brides Gown : Monique Lhuillier | Grooms Tux: Tom Ford | Hairstylist : Studio MM&B | Officant : JPR Weddings | Photo and Cinema : Love & You Studios | The Resort at Pelican Hill : Pelican Hill Resort

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Modern Wedding Designs Inspired by Female Artists of the 20th Century

When a team of some of the best of the best in the industry come together to create wedding magic – the results are truly spectacular! We’re talkin’ Rebecca Yale Photography, Kate Siegel Fine Events, Max Gill Design… the list goes on. Together they created wedding designs inspired by different female artists of the 20th century. We truly can’t stop staring at these gorgeous tablescapes overflowing with sheer creativity and sophistication, every minute finding a new detail to obsess over. These designs are proof that an incredible team of vendors can draw inspiration from just about anything and execute your vision with perfection.

From Kate Siegel Fine EventsI have always believed that events don’t have to be derivative, but can be inspired by color, art, and the vibrant life that moves around us. Often in wedding design, we stick to a traditional classic white color palette, but forget that it can be so inspiring to pull from ancient cultures, the French countryside, the cliffs of Santorini, or a beautiful artistic masterpiece. So when Rebecca Yale approached me to design for her workshop, I was thrilled — especially with her fresh and unique idea to create designs inspired by different artists. Taking this as a cue, I looked toward female artists of the 20th century who have had a unique and diverse impact on modern art: Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Frankenthaler, and Yayoi Kusama, each of whom are powerhouses in their own right.

Even though all three of these artists have their own established style, all three love the use of color.  It was very important that each piece had a unique color palette completely distinct from one another. Georgia was the mother of American Modernism, Helen was a great contributor to American Abstract Expressionist in Post-War America, and Yayoi is such a memorable contributor to Pop Art and Minimalism. In executing this vision, I was so lucky to pull together such an incredibly talented group of vendors to bring it all to life—Cara from Underwood Letterpress, Max Gill from Max Gill Design, La Tavola Linens for table linens, Theoni Collection, Found and Hensley for unique event rentals, Flour & Blooms Cakes for exquisite custom cakes, and Paula LeDuc for delicious specialty cocktails and providing the beautiful property, The Barn at Green Valley. Lang Antiques gave us access to their exquisite collection, and I was able to choose three amazing rings for each design—engagement, and his and her wedding bands. Together, we worked to create something fresh and artistic that will hopefully move people to discover new ideas for where to find inspiration and make bold choices when choosing from a great diversity of color.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Vibrant, Grounded, Intriguing

I opted to pull from one of Georgia’s stunning pieces, Red Canna 1923, that utilizes a classic and vibrant color combination that is frequently found in nature–bright corals, oranges, reds, salmon pink, and violet. It is commonly known that Georgia, living in New Mexico, interpreted her surroundings in her art, and to me, this piece represents the color and movement of a sunset sky—something that we wanted to bring to life in the event design.  

With the tabletop, I felt it was important to bring in texture and depth on and off the table with wood and smooth edges. We brought in rustic wooden elements in addition to modern chairs and bright colors—integrating a wooden charger, Found hanging lanterns, wooden menus, and table numbers edged in bright red and hand painted with a palette knife by Cara to add texture and movement. The custom cake had wispy, fluttering edges like the painting and the Icelandic poppies in the bright and playful floral arrangements by Max Gill. For each design, Paula LeDuc also created a specialty cocktail.  For Georgia, they created “Light Of Iris” with vodka, chamomile-honey, elderflower, and butterfly flower tea, which was perfectly accented by blooming quince on the bar table.

Helen Frankenthaler: Bold, Abstract, Fresh

For Helen, I loved the bright and totally fresh color palette of Solar Imp, 2001: chartreuse, lime, lemon yellow, and a distinctive line of black. Cara and I spent hours going over different types of textures and materials. We wanted to use both modern and traditional mediums and integrate them in a fresh way. Cara used an encaustic relief process which involves hand-painting with pigmented wax.  She then pressed Belgian linen into the wax to reveal a new surface pattern. The linen was bound into a book for the menu.

In my designs, I like to follow the Rule of Three: elements grouped in threes are more interesting and impactful. One such design element was the black line detail from the painting. This detail inspired us to create a black belly-band around the menu, which also worked as a place card. I subsequently selected a green Theoni chair with a black steel frame. Finally, the beeswax table numbers were mounted to wood elements stained black to mimic the black steel of the chairs. For the flowers, I worked with Max to create something verdant and fresh.

I have always thought leaves are beautiful, so we used different variegated leaves within the green color profile of the painting. We integrated mystical Lady Slipper orchids in green, yellow, and brown tones, which accented the natural color of the beeswax table numbers and raw wood table. I loved using this particular Found wooden table. There were imperfections on either side of the table that were perfectly imperfect. Flour and Bloom hand painted the cake, which was similar to the painting in color, with just a hint of black. The specialty cocktail was “A Green Thought”—vodka, cucumber, ginger, and lime, accented by flowering dogwood on the bar table. To finalize the look, as we dressed the table, I offset the Theoni Collection plates and folded the napkin and placed it on a diagonal—just a little bit abstract, like Helen would like it. The final table was framed with the yellow mustard in the background and the wooden walls and ceiling, creating a cohesive design.

Yayoi Kusama: Monochromatic, Minimal, Moving

For Yayoi, I opted to pull inspiration from one of her most notable pieces of art—White Infinity Net. To me, her art is monochromatic and tactful but very fluid and has an intoxicating, oscillating effect. This was a goal for the event design as well–I wanted a sense of movement in the elements, similar to the way you feel when looking at the painting.

With a color palette of gray, white, and black, I wanted it to be effectively minimal, but also have a huge impact with the items that we chose. Cara used folded white paper with black ink and accents of translucent smoke gray acrylic to add to the shadow effect, which was our interpretation of a net. We folded the menus to create dimension and shadow to make it look as though it were two colors: soft gray and white. Cara came up with the inventive idea to cut the paper into a circle, paying homage to the circular holes in the painting.

For the floral design, Max kept it minimal, structural, and impactful by using magnolias, blooming white spiraea branches, and black hellebore. With the Found chairs and acrylic table numbers, we aimed to create a sense of negative space that echoed the painting, and the black plates from Hensley had a textured pattern that also evoked the art. The Flour and Bloom cake was pure black with folded white rice paper, again using shadow to make it feel minimal but so very grand and memorable. Max created a light structure to frame the beautiful cake, accenting it with white plum branches. The specialty cocktail was “Infinity,” with tequila, activated charcoal, and lime. The cool black cocktail was accented with blooming white plum branches to pull it all together—no little detail went unnoticed.

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Event Design and Planning: Kate Siegel Fine Events | Flowers: Max Gill | Cake: Flour and Bloom Cakes | Rings: Lang Antique | Barn : Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events | Catering and Venue: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Paper: Underwood Letterpress | Ring Boxes: The Mrs Box | Specialty Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Specialty Rentals: Theoni Collection | Specialty Rentals: Found Rentals

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A Budding Designer’s Decor Tips and Tricks

Light, bright, and white! Those are a few of Chrissy’s favorite things for decorating her small and stunning space! We were immediately drawn to Chrissy McDonald after scrolling through the Instagram, @_HarloweJames, McDonald’s interior focus page. Not only does Chrissy work for an interior design company, but she spends her down time running her E-Design business through Harlowe James. The perfect vignettes, mix of high and low products, and clean decor style of Chrissy’s home has sure got us hooked on Harlowe James! We chatted with the designer to learn more about her budding business and get a few of her favorite decorating tips!

Tell us a little about your business.

I run Harlowe James, a lifestyle blog and design studio. The blog grew out of a desire to share my love for interiors, entertaining and cooking. That developed into a creating content for brands and the Harlowe James studio, where I offer interior design services.

How did you turn your passion for interiors into a business? What are a few tips for people looking to do the same?

I got my degree in Interior Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, so I knew I would end up in the design world in some facet. I think it is important to remember that building a business can be a really slow process. I started with my blog, then built that out to generate interest, so I had a built in following when I decided to start offering design services. For me the biggest component of turning my passion into a business is constancy. You have to be very regimented when you don’t have someone telling you what to do. Creating a schedule and sticking to it even when life gets super busy has helped me stay on top of everything and keep moving forward.


What’s a typical work day for you like?

I still work for an interior design firm three days a week, so really no two days are the same. I always start my day with a cup of coffee or tea, I stretch, sometimes I take a workout class and then I get to work. I try to block out my calendar and do site visits, phone calls or brand meetings all in one day, so the other days I can be at my computer getting work done uninterrupted. Some days I will have a photoshoot and other times I will be at my desk for eight hours straight, it is never boring!

 

Take us through your home, what was your vision when designing the space?

My boyfriend Daniel and I live in an apartment that is a little over 500 square feet. It is a small space and we rent, so we knew nothing would be super long term. It is an ever evolving space and because I photograph so much for my blog I like to change things up often. We painted everything white (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) which instantly made the apartment look so fresh. We wanted a place that was comfortable, airy and layered with pieces we love.

 

What is your favorite room in the house and where do you spend the most time?

We definitely spend most of our time in the living room essentially because it is the biggest space in the apartment. I love our large sectional sofa and the beautiful natural light we get from all of the windows.

 

What, if any, were some of the challenges with bringing your vision to life?

Our apartment was built in the 1940’s so with an older building comes its own challenges. There are odd angles with certain walls that can make it hard to hang art and arrange furniture, but for the most part we got really lucky with the character of the unit.

 

Three things every home should have?

At least one vintage item, a great stack of books, fresh greenery.

What are a few design staples people should invest in?

Definitely invest in furniture you will utilize on a daily basis. I always tell people if they can spend money on one thing in their living room do it on something that will make an impact. For me that was the sofa. We use the sofa everyday so spending more money for comfort and size was key. I also think lighting and rugs are a great component to invest in. A well made lamp or great area rug can make such a difference in any room and almost serves as art.

 

What is your favorite item in your home/office/living room/kitchen?

I oddly don’t have one piece in each room that stands out to me above the rest, I tend to like the story everything creates as they work together. I do love my living room rug from Lulu & Georgia because it serves as such a focal point when you walk into the apartment. I also cherish my small antique Grits jar in the kitchen that I got while living in Savannah!

 

What are your favorite places to shop for pieces?

I am not a snob when it comes to home décor shopping. In fact, I love a mix of high and low, so I will hit up stores like Home Goods and Target, but try to seek out more interesting pieces. I also love flea markets, Etsy and local décor shops for vintage staples. For investment accessories I like Spartan Shop and Westward Home.


 

What’s on your home ‘wish list’ right now?

I tend to always have my eye on something décor related, but right now I am on the hunt for a really cool piece of oversized art. Up until this point I haven’t wanted to invest in art, but I think it is time to incorporate a cool piece – ideally vintage above our sofa.

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?

Find what works for you. I think in the beginning it can be so easy to get lost in the shuffle and want to emulate what is working for someone else. Once you find your own voice and your own unique style it feels authentic which I think naturally generates more interest.

 

 

 

 

Photography: Torrey Fox | Interior Design: Chrissy McDonald

Blue-Hued Hydra Island Wedding at Castello Hydra in Greece

The first place I ever remember adding to my travel bucket list was Greece, and for good reason. There’s nothing quite as alluring as the blue hues of the Aegean Sea. So, when you have a wedding on Hydra Island, it only makes sense to mirror that beautiful blue like Jenny and Tassos did for their Big Day, with the help of Rtevents on planning. Les Anagnou made sure to do that gorgeous color palette justice with their imagery, not to mention, the sweet love of these two.

From Les Anagnou… What can we say about this gem? An Hydra wedding always seize to amaze us. Like Jenny and Tasso’s three-day long celebrations in this traffic–free island. Hydra is the island where you can get anywhere on foot or a donkey! The most picturesque island in the Saronic Gulf and just 2 hours away from the busy capital, Athens. What better background ask for when creating impeccable imagery than traditional stone mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets and that crisp Aegean blue?

Jenny and Tassos fell for this island and they knew instantly where they would like to celebrate the beginning of their life as a couple. Flying from the US with their families and friends, they planned a wedding weekend in all its glory. A sunset yacht ride around the island and cold drinks led to amazing moments filled with lots of love and laughter. We cannot put in words what an amazing crew this was and the coolest vibe you would get from this couple.

Having an island wedding, would not be complete if blue was not one of its colours. And what a harmonious décor this one was, all dressed in bright white with hues of blue. Something borrowed; something blue was definitely a sensation in this wedding! Following an intimate ceremony where different customs of both the groom and bride’s background were incorporated, was a lively party like no other at magnificent Castello.

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Photography: Les Anagnou photographers | Cinematography: George Zorbas | Event Planning: Rtdeco | Florist: Drizos Flowers | Reception Venue: Castello Hydra | mua: Maria Kakiou | paper goods: Love Me Do

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The Most Fabulous Floral Dresses To Flaunt in 2019

Flowers are pretty much synonymous with spring. After all, there’s nothing like delicate peonies, blush colored roses, or blooming ranunculus to cue the start of the beautiful, breezy days ahead! So it should come as no surprise then that we’re all about the latest trend taking over the bridal scene in 2019 — flowered gowns. Picture a playful array of printed and appliqué blooms covering cascading frocks, in dresses so dreamy, they’re like a real-life fairy tale coming down the aisle. If you’re ready to get in on this whimsical style, take a look at these freshly-picked renditions of it below.

Is it just us, or do those bouquets look like a real life extension of this Karina Galstyan dress? Consider us obsessed!

Now here’s some serious appliqué eye candy. All heads will turn for this A-line option speckled with sweet florals all over the bodice.

This babe’s got back! As if we didn’t love a low, illusion back enough, the pastel embroidery on this Claire Pettibone is taking our love to a whole new level.

We’ve got a special place in our hearts for Allure gowns. They are timeless and flattering, and the perfect way to feel like Grace Kelly on your special day.


Dress by Maggie Sottero | Photography by Kate Elizabeth

The sweet floral pattern on this Maggie Sottero style is *magic*. And that deep V? We can’t get enough of it!


Photography by We Are The Brauns

Looking for a tasteful way to add color? This is it. (Just add a flower crown!)


Photography by Hannah Leigh

This intricate back is s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g. In fact, we’re confident guests will be swooning over your wedding day ensemble, long after the ceremony is over.

This option has all the elements we love — a trendy, off-the-shoulder top, a flowy skirt, and colored appliqués cascading to the bottom. It hits the trifecta for free-spirited gals!

More blooms, please! This MUSE by Berta takes our request v. seriously… and we’re not complaining!

Speaking of extra blooms, how about this long-sleeved version by our brand-crush Marchesa? Sign us up.


Photography by Anagram

Gather your girls and put the petal to the metal (sorry, we had to!) in these fun frocks.

Let’s talk about this flowy, ethereal gown. Between the full-coverage top and subtle appliqués hanging off, there’s nothing that we don’t love.

For the gal wanting to stray from the traditional all-white look, look no further. Petals in all ranges of pink cover this BHLDN stunner that’s a refreshing take on any ordinary gown.

Oh hiii, train of our dreams. But actually, have you ever seen anything more perfect?

Sarah Koller is a writer based in San Francisco, California. In addition to writing about other brides special days, Sarah is planning her own Big Day for Spring of 2019. Beyond bridal things, you’ll find her seeking out a good brunch place, perfecting her Instagram stories, or doing anything outside on a sunny day in Cali.

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California Golden Hour Wedding Inspiration at Kestrel Park

If you need a little extra push to choose California as your wedding destination, all you need to do is look at the golden hour light that graces today’s editorial from Janna Brown Design Co. and Katie Grant Photography. Kestrel Park soaks up that glow and bounces it right back off that beautiful backdrop. Add in one ridiculously pretty Galia Lahav dress, neutral details and an al fresco table and you’ve got a true west coast wedding.

From Janna Brown Design Co.The California light was showing off as we frolicked through the rolling hills of Kestrel Park. We chose an ancient oak tree to serve as the ceremony backdrop, and adorned a single chair with abundant blooms. The wind moved through the tall golden grass in waves, and Nelly’s Galia Lahav gown floated behind her as the sun set her aglow. We chose a small bouquet finished with silk ribbon, brimming with buttery roses, flannel flower, hellebore and fritillaria. For the tablescape, we paired oatmeal velvet linens with the same floral palette, and hand calligraphed details by Veronica Halim.

Photography: Katie Grant Photography | Design + Styling: Janna Brown Design Co. | Florals: Janna Brown Design Co. | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Hair and Makeup: 805 Makeup | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Paper Goods: Veronica Halim Calligraphy | Silk ribbon: Silk & Willow

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Classic DC Wedding at Washington National Cathedral & Army Navy Country Club

If any destination is a magnet for a classic black and white affair, it is surely DC. Especially for a wedding that nods to family military history and deep-rooted traditions. But today’s fete also has a touch of modern flair, thanks to Caroline Dutton Events and Sweet Root Village. The lovely Audra Wrisley was in attendance, behind the lens—you can see all the pretty proof unfold below.

From Audra Wrisley PhotographyKatie and Ryan’s wedding was grand and elegant, held at the Washington National Cathedral with a reception to follow at the Army Navy Country Club. To offset the traditional venues, the bride chose modern irises and orchids; to keep the design fresh and the perfect nod to the wintry season around the corner. The wedding design was thoughtfully created with a neutral palette of white, gray, greens and black accents, using the bride’s background as an interior designer to pull inspiration from.

Katie wore an asymmetrical Monique Lhuillier gown and veil and her groom, Ryan wore a custom white tuxedo jacket, with Jimmy Choo loafers. The bridesmaids wore Amsale gowns in black, and the groomsmen escorted them in classic black tuxes.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom were whisked away in a classic car for their first ride as husband and wife, on the way to their reception of dinner and dancing. The bride and groom’s favorite detail of the day were the bourbon favors, hand-calligraphed by Allison R. Banks Designs and hand-tied by the Bride’s mom.

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Favorite details from the Bride… The inspiration for our Big Day was to tie the traditions of old D.C. with the modernity of the city. It was important to represent both because that is exactly what D.C. is to my family. It represents our military history and my family’s time at the pentagon and capitol building but it also represents my experiences at GW just exploring the growth of the city.

I loved having a traditional venue and church experience but with modern touches like black bridesmaids dresses and calla lily flowers. Also the contrast between my rehearsal dinner and reception. I loved that I had both experiences of a colorful modern rehearsal on the wharf and a traditional ceremony in one of the most iconic DC buildings.

My favorite part of the ceremony was my music – it was chosen by my late grandfather and it like a great way to honor him. My absolute favorite detail of our wedding was our monogram, and it is really the element that tied the wedding together from initial wedding invitation through the reception. On paper it represented Ryan and I starting our own family together. We used our two letter monogram on our wedding invitation, and welcome boxes, and used our three letter monogram for the first time at the reception after we were married. Probably a detail no one noticed haha!

The head table was also a favorite detail. I wanted to be a part of the party and we enjoyed sharing that time with our bridal party. We have been together for almost nine years, and weddings only happen once, so we didn’t want to waste a moment away from the action. We love bourbon, and using bourbon bottles as the table cards felt more personal like we were sharing a drink with our guests.

I also loved the vintage car with my dad on the way to the church, and with my new husband leaving the ceremony. Having a moment alone with each of my favorite men was important for me to absorb the moment.

For the overall design, it was important to me to have a color palette, and not a “wedding color.” I wanted to create an event with a lot of depth and detail – more of an experience than a moment.

I wore my grandmother’s garter as something old, and my sister in law’s hair pins as something borrowed. It was sweet to include both my family, and my husband’s family, in this tradition.

A really special moment was when my Dad recognized all of the active and retired servicemen in the room during his speech. We had someone from every branch present at the event and really a cool moment to have everyone stand up together.

Photography: Audra Wrisley Photography | Videography: Sok Vision | Floral Design: Sweet Root Village | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Stationery : Allison R. Banks Designs | Ceremony Venue: Washington National Cathedral | Reception Venue: Army Navy Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Nour Kazoun Makeup Artistry | Hair: Georgetown Bride | Band: Bialeks Music | Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Coordination & Design: Caroline Dutton Events | Veil: Monique Lhuillier

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North Carolina Garden Party Wedding with the Biggest Floral Arches We’ve Ever Seen

If we had our own Guinness Book of World Records for weddings, this fete would take first place prize for the grandest floral arches ever. Measuring in at 70 feet, these beauties set the stage for an at-home (yes! this is the Bride’s parents estate!) celebration for the books. McLean Events guided the gorgeous vision along with Blossom Bay on florals. There are plenty of views, thanks to Eric Kelley Photography—all here in the gallery.

From McLean EventsVanessa and Dennis world travelers. Dennis was raised in Germany, while Vanessa has lived in multiple countries and states that her life, one of them being Germany. After graduating college her career path brought her back Germany, specifically Hamburg where she met Dennis. After a two year courtship the couple got engaged. They chose her family’s new estate in Durham, North Carolina as the backdrop for their wedding day. We were inspired by the beautiful stone arches of the property and home combined with their love of architecture in Hamburg, which is famous for its many archways and wrought iron gates. We used them to launch the design plan and even incorporated them in the die-cut invitations and the entrance of the tent.

The bride wanted to bring the feeling of Hamberg to her family’s new town while gracefully combining their love of the English countryside. Upon visiting the family’s home, we knew we wanted to incorporate arches in the ceremony. We decided to create four custom 70 foot arches that would be built on the pre-existing trees. Flowers in all shades of burgundies, blush, pale pinks, and greens were dripping over the custom aisle runner and ivory diamond back chairs. Post ceremony guests made their way through the families home to the backyard when they was greeted by custom crafted cocktails: Lemon Charlie and the Flying Cucumber.

As guests made way to the dinner tent they found their tables on the hand drawn seating chart that is a nod to the couples travels and adventures. The X-shaped head table was anchored in the tent by a large fountain that served as the center focal point. Guess receded and served their first course of Hochzeitssuppe, a traditional German Soup with Chicken, Meatballs, Asparagus, and Noodles. Later in the evening the men and women’s tents opened with vintage bottles of champagne and trench truffles for the ladies and a cigar roller and whiskey tasting for the men.

After dancing under the twinkle lights of the tent guests were ushered into the after party that was held over the families indoor pool which was covered for the event and a neon signs and party props and DJ ready to keep going to to the wee hours of the morning.

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Photography: Eric Kelley Photography | Videography : Heart Stone Films | Floral Design: Blossom Bay Design | Catering: Rocky Top Catering | Band: Atlanta Showstoppers | Planning + Design: McLean Events | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Rentals: Party Tables | Rentals : CE Rentals

An Airy and Romantic Lake Como Wedding at Villa Balbianello

No matter how many times we come across a beautiful wedding in Lake Como, we seem to fall in love with this fairytale place all over again. The sparkling water, the abundant olive trees, the soaring mountains… I mean, can you blame us?! This gorgeous wedding day planned and designed by Ksenia Ridolfi Weddings embodies all the airy and romantic feels of this dreamy locale. Lush arrangements from In Bloom Floral Design teeming with white blooms, elaborate terraced gardens at Villa Balbianello, a scenic post-ceremony boat ride and a candlelit al fresco reception. See all the magical details below with images from Julia Kaptelova Photography!

From the Bride… Sometimes it happens that a person whom you have never known or seen before, in a matter of days, becomes your dearest and closest friend … We have met quite accidentally at the company where I worked; it was located near the Alex’s home place. I have posted a photo in the social network, which he has accidentally saw and messaged to me, we have exchanged a couple of messages. Afterwards, he decided not to wait long to see me, but to surprise me. He called to my office and said that he had a delivery for my name. Later I was handed a huge bouquet.

After I took the flowers a nice young man said: “I’m Sasha, a guy who attacks you on Facebook, don’t forget to answer me, please”. Half a year later we went for a holiday to the Maldives. One day in the evening after the sunset in a very romantic place under a starry sky he knelt down and said that he loved me, that he wanted us to be always together and our children to run in our house someday and drawed out the ring box. When I was a child I loved fairy tales about princesses and always imagined my wedding day as one of those fabulous moments. It would seem that now all the birds from the forest flock to help me and sing the morning song, the fairies help me with the dress and treats, “Once upon a dream” song plays, the bells ring, everyone gets together, your prince takes your hand, and the long-awaited words “And they lived happily ever after” happily sound.

And of course like a real princess from a fairy tale, I imagined a white as snow, shining dress with a fluffy skirt, and lace on the sleeves and a neckline, exactly this image I wanted to create at the wedding. As for decor we wanted to see tenderness, light and a bit of heavenly air tones. I’ve visited Como lake for the first time in 2012 and fell in love with it. This is truly a wonderful, heavenly place! I wanted to spend a wedding day in this beautiful, fabulous location. There are no competitors for Como lake and Villa Balbianello as festive splendor, beauty, space and fabulousness!

Music has a very significant place in our life. We have carefully selected each composition for the wedding dance and for the official ceremony. Classical, neoclassical and compositions of our favorite composer Hans Zimmer were included into the program. We even brought an orchestra from Moscow especially for a chamber evening concert during the dinner.

The most memorable moments were many! Such as sunny morning, tears of joy in the eyes of parents, the groom’s hands shaking, people on the street shouting “Bella Sposa, bella!”, our wedding dance. The moment when I handed my bridal bouquet to my best friend, who has been waiting for an offer long time. If there was an opportunity to repeat this day, then I would do everything to be relaxed as much as possible, to sleep well, to be less nervous and to enjoy every minute of this important day and memorable event. I remember that my heart was pounding like drumroll and there was a round dance of thoughts and worries about every detail in my head. Finally, we were very lucky with the weather, people who were nearby, relatives and friends, and with the team of professionals, who really appreciated this important day and were very sensitive to every little detail.

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Photography: Julia Kaptelova Photography | Videography: Studio Moments | Florist: In Bloom Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Ceremony Venue: Villa Balbianello | Reception Venue: Villa Giuseppina | Bride's shoes: Gianvito Rossi | Groom's Attire: Tom Ford | Catering and wedding cake: Class Catering | Make up and Hair artist: Olga Vetrova | Master of ceremonies: Konstantin Khaldin | Planning and Event Design: Ksenia Ridolfi Weddings | Ring box: Voeu Du Coeur

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Japan, Greece, and France Wedding Inspiration at the Sinclair & Moore Event Design Workshop

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a crush on Sinclair & Moore—Steve and Jamie (and their entire team) are not only incredibly talented at what they do, their passion for crafting truly meaningful events is contagious. As a business owner myself, they’ve been a huge inspiration to me. Atop that, they host THE most gorgeous workshops in all the wedding land and today we get to see the results from their most recent gathering of creative entrepreneurs. Here, they’ve created three dreamy looks inspired by Japan, Greece and France. Plus, a real behind the scenes look at the workshop itself, all thanks to Kerry Jeanne Photography for capturing it.

Japan-inspired shoot… Event design is all about finding some form of inspiration, adding your own twist and then creating something fresh, unique and distinctive. The clean lines, simple movement, modern edges, distinctive textures, gentle blossoms and soft femininity of this shoot were loosely inspired by the aesthetic of Japanese culture.

A group of attendees from our annual Event Design Workshop ran with the vision we set and then worked together to bring our design board to life as they arranged the flowers and then completely installed all of the details. I couldn’t be happier with how this came together. From the custom gown that my friend Nina created for this shoot, to the Midori Bakery cake with incredibly life-like sugar blossoms, to the inspired stationery of Libby Tipton, everything came together beautifully and Kerry Jeanne Photography captured the magic that was created perfectly. Special thanks to Cozbi, the Associate Creative Director for Sinclair and Moore, for this really special collaboration!

France-inspired shoot… For as long as I can remember, I have always been a bit obsessed with France. The language, the culture, the people, the style the ambiance… it is all so inspiring to me. My first trip to France was on my honeymoon. We started in the south of France and made our way to Provence and then to Paris. Paris… I’ll never forget stepping outside of the train station and seeing the city for the first time in all its glory. It was ornate and refined yet effortlessly chic. It was beautiful but still felt approachable to me. The city felt historical while simultaneously feeling fresh and updated.

Grecian-inspired shoot… What comes to mind when you think of Grecian style? For me, it is the worn edges of ancient ruins mixed with light and ethereal touches. I think of marble, ornate columns, effortlessly draped fabric, Roman numerals, laurel wreath crowns and a color palette of the most beautiful neutral shades accented with metallic gold.


Behind the Scenes: Sinclair & Moore Workshop

From Sinclair & MooreWhen I first started our business sixteen years ago, I had a self-made logo that read “Steven Moore… wedding designer.” I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew I wanted to design beautiful weddings for people. At the time, I thought that just entailed making a pretty flower centerpiece and sticking it in the middle of the table. While that is certainly part of it, I quickly realized that there are so many more layers that go into designing a wedding.

I used to sit in the bookstore for hours looking through every wedding book and magazine I could get my eyes on. I was fascinated by the beauty that I saw. Everything was so detailed and intentionally selected for each incredible wedding that was featured. I wanted to create the same type of wedding… but I didn’t know where to begin or how to get started. All I knew was that I loved creating beautiful things, and I was willing to put in the time and hard work to figure it out.

Through a lot of trial and error, I slowly earned my self proclaimed title of ‘event designer’ by discovering the heart of what that term really means. I learned that event design is all about taking an event that could be ordinary and making it extraordinary. I figured out that the best way to do this is by getting to know the people I was creating for… hearing their story and listening for clues that would help me create something magical for them. I began helping people define their style by exploring shape, texture, colors, patterns, papers, and fonts. I started to think beyond flowers and centerpieces and look at the wedding holistically, making sure every visual component was thoughtfully curated so the fine details were cohesive and a true reflection of our client. That is what event design is all about.

It is now sixteen years later, and I have seen countless trends come and go over the years, and the evolution of weddings has changed significantly. What has not changed is the heart, meaning and purpose behind what event design is all about. This is what we teach in our event design workshop.

In addition to learning how to create our signature lush floral arrangements, our event design workshop explores our 15-step process that we go through with each wedding. The students then divide into three groups and work together within that group to create a detailed photo shoot that puts the principles of event design into practice. This hands-on approach to learning allows the attendees to better absorb the concepts I teach, as they get to see three distinctive shoots come together.

This past spring we welcomed fifteen workshop attendees into our studio for our annual Event Design Workshop. Three different countries inspired the three distinctive photo shoots they teamed up to create: Japan, Greece, and France. This week on our blog we will be showcasing the student’s work and how everything came together. Many of the attendees had no prior experience and had never arranged flowers before! You’ll never guess when you see the finished designs.

Photography: Kerry Jeanne Photography | Cake: Midori Bakery | Stationery: Libby Tipton | Hair & Makeup: Yessie Libby | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Grecian Inspired Dress: Carol Hannah | Japan inspired dress: Nina Cherie | Models: Seattle Models Guild | Paris Inspired Dress: Nordstrom | Planner and Workshop Host: Sinclair & Moore | Rentals: The Ark Event Rentals | Rentals: Cort Party Rentals

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Pink Amalfi Coast Wedding Inspiration at Villa Cimbrone

I’m betting that the Amalfi Coast sits atop many a honeymoon wish list out there—maybe even yours. But why not create a once in a lifetime wedding experience that rolls straight into your honeymoon? An Italy adventure full of love and old-world charm (and maybe some gelato!). Today Blush Wedding PhotographyTanja KibogoNKT Events and the entire vendor team below are painting that exact picture for you. It may just be the convincing you need.

From Blush Wedding PhotographyLet’s take you on a visual and sensory journey along the coast of one of our favorite areas in southern Italy. Imagine driving along the Mediterranean, the wind flowing through your hair carrying with it the scents of the Amalfi Coast. The sweet yet salty aroma of the turquoise expanse coupled with the lingering hint of citrus from the local lemon tree farms.

You decide to make a stop at the top of the hill to admire and explore the quaint village of Ravello. As you stroll through the town, local musicians serenade a crowd as you take in the lush greenery alongside the local delicacies to be tasted and tried from lemon gelato and lattes to limoncello.

You continue on and take in the local scenery when you come upon a hidden entrance at the end of your walk to a hilltop villa overlooking the Mediterranean. The moment you enter, you feel as if you have been transported into a secret garden. As you walk through the ancient pathways and archways of Villa Cimbrone, you admire a sensuous Arcadia and appreciate the uniqueness of each flowering foliage. The delicate details immured in the architecture remind you of a time that once was. In the distance you see a statue of a man, welcoming you in some manner as you make your way over to find yourself on the edge of heaven. As far as the eye can see, you are taken aback by the beauty of the vast expanse before you as the colors of sunset dance along the horizon.

Inspired by the magical moments experienced at Villa Cimbrone, we wanted to create a visual inspiration for our future brides of their destination wedding event on the Amalfi Coast. Instead of having just your honeymoon on the southern coast of Italy, why not create a once in a lifetime experience for your closest friends and family. With so many hidden treasures along its shores, the Amalfi Coast always makes you feel like you are experiencing it for the first time.

When looking to create the perfect wedding inspiration on the Amalfi Coast, we knew we had to shoot in the hilltop village of Ravello, where Villa Cimbrone offers far-reaching views from its infamous Belvedere Terrace, surrounded by it’s century aged gardens. Together with Blush Wedding Photography and Tanja Kibogo Photography, we came together to bring to life a vision of vintage elegance and modern femininity that weaves the story of our international couple. With a soft color palette of white, peach and blush, we collaborated with Liz from Siloh Florals to bring to life the modern romantic femininity our clients emanate. The ceremony took place in the Villa’s “Tea Garden,” a perfect complement to our muted palette. All focus was on the beautiful detailing of our bride’s cape from Gibson Bespoke, which complimented the subtle elegance of our groom’s velvet suit.

We deepened the palette to vibrant peaches and amber tones for the reception, where Myrtle and Olive created a beautiful table setting & arrangements that embraced the romantic vibe to the setting. Paired perfectly with natural and organic feeling of Tara Spencer’s reception stationary. Keeping in line with the modern femininity theme of the shoot, The Cake and the Giraffe, designed the perfect one tier cake, topped with gorgeous floral from Myrtle and Olive.

A month before the wedding, guests are sent out welcome gifts of hand-made Italian leather password wallet and luggage tags by Hello London Designs, stamped with the couple’s initials. Plus Lark & Ives travel set of pins to adorn their bags. Setting the tone and getting the guests excited for the truly wonderful wedding and holiday they are about to experience.

Photography: Blush Wedding Photography | Photography: Tanja Kibogo | Wedding Dress: Katie May | Cake: Cake And Giraffe | Ceremony Venue: Villa Cimbrone | Shoes: Bella Belle | Bridal Cape: Gibson Bespoke | Ceremony Floral : Siloh Floral | Hair & Make-up: Ava Belle | Models: 4 Upper Models | Planning: NKT Events | Reception Floral & Styling: Myrtle et Olive | Reception Stationery: Tara Spencer | Ribbon: Seidenband | Save the date invite: Atelier Preszburger | Travel Pins Welcome gift: Lark & Ives | Vow Books: elmo Paperstories ltd. | passport wallet & luggage tags: Hello London Designs

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An Effortlessly Chic Green and White Wedding at The Little Nell

Allow us to introduce you to our new favorite wedding theme, coined by the gorgeous bride as “Orglamic”, a mix between organic details and bold moments of glamour. Sacks Productions knew exactly how to bring the couple’s wedding vision to life at The Little Nell and the results are BREATHTAKING. Aspen Branch has us swooning over their effortlessly beautiful floral arrangements that perfectly complimented the natural surroundings. Leave it to the master, Jose Villa Photography, to capture every moment and detail of the day flawlessly. Don’t miss a few fun facts at the bottom of the feature that are sure to surprise!

How did you meet?

From the bride…Stevi and Eric casually met in Santa Monica at Kreation Café, a location and place neither of them frequent… as Eric was visiting from NYC and Stevi is more of Weho girl.

How did he propose?!

On the rooftop of our NYC apartment, a place we would frequently go on a great New York day and/or night as the views are incredible being on lower Chelsea on a rooftop you had great views of the Empire State Building…it was our relaxation place but also a great place to hang out with friends…but we both had agreed we knew we had fallen in love (or at least recognized the fact that we were falling in love) on that rooftop a few years prior. He had planned to propose on one of our trips to Spain yet the custom engagement ring wasn’t ready therefore Eric chose the next best thing, where we fell in love, our rooftop in NYC!

Why did you choose your venue?

The naturally beautiful feel of the Aspen Mountains , so unreal and magical…(plus Eric chose the Venue, therefore I had no choice, “groomzilla perhaps, haha)

Name one thing you loved about your wedding planner!

She got our vibe as Aspen Branch coined as “Orglamic’ which I call effortlessly chic and it’s how I personally love to live.

Describe your vision/inspiration for your wedding day. Did you have a specific theme?

Yes, effortlessly chic aka Orglamic…I wanted beautiful, elegant not over the top…it was about the environment, the intimate amount of people and the energy therefore I wanted to add the outdoor feel to our indoor wedding, having greens but glam loads of candles hence the orglamic.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

So many things….but more importantly all the family and friends (it may sound cliché but its so true) who made it out (as Aspen isn’t the easiest place for some people).  I will cherish each and every one of them as they made our wedding weekend that much more special. I will do anything for them!

What was your color scheme?

Gold, White, Greens, Wood, Mirrors

Were there any new trends that you incorporated, or did you decide to go more traditional?

No new trends besides my dog of 14 years (flower dog) and Erics family dog Ranger (ring) but the one thing I loved a was that Jared Jeffries our officiant did an incredible heartfelt yet hilarious job marrying us, never in the 100’s of wedding I have attended nor worked on have I ever seen and officiant not have a paper, or book to read off of, yet Jared had nothing in his hands but the rings when he needed to pass to us…

How would you describe your wedding day style?

Hmmmmm, back to effortlessly chic, for my wedding with my first gown I wanted something timeless, I want to look back in 10,15,20 years and think I got that fashion time right. I look at photos of my Grandmother who was married in Cuba and she looked beyond beautiful and elegant in a long sleeve gown, I wanted that for myself, simply timeless. My second dress showed more of my personality, and was more fun, sexy and couture. And my third dress was very me, sexy chic.

What kind of flowers did you pick for your centerpieces and bouquet?

I trusted both Sharon and Beth as I showed them what I loved and they did their thing! I wasn’t too obsessed with flowers as I was more about the energy and feel of the day/night then demanding I have a specific flower for the day. But I  did know I wanted a small bouquet.

Tell us about the food!

The Little Nell is incredible as is their food and service and this is something Eric and I really cared about. The Billecart Rose Champagne was served while getting out of the Gondola to the Ceremony venue…and because I attend quite a bit of weddings and people say the food doesn’t matter yet I always seem to remember the food, I guess you can call me a snobby food eater. We did a tasting with wine pairings as well to ensure both, great food and great wine.  We started with a kale and quina salad, kona crab with ginger and you could choose the night of for either Crispy Skin Branzino (which I actually did eat and it was phenomenal) and Lamb Chops which Eric ate and he said were fantastic. At the end of the night we had burgers and French fries (my personal favorite) available before entering back down the Gondola which is a 15-20 min BEAUTIFUL ride!

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

South Africa we loved our safari’s at Royal Malewane and Cape town (we stayed at the Silo and we loved it)…the Saxon was also an incredible stay (all the rose petals)!

What was the most memorable moment of your reception?

My father in law surprising us both by singing Billy Joel ‘You May Be Right’ Eric and I were trying to figure out what was happening, it was SO special and a HUGE SURPRISE and it was the perfect start to the celebration!

What is the best advice you can share with other couples?

Choose a few things you feel strongly about and don’t stress the rest, it’s a lot of details/planning no matter your budget with the endless choices and costs therefore decide what are your must haves…ours was the venue, band, food and alcohol (I was going to say wine yet I wanted 1942 Don Julio and Billicart Rose which was served to guest upon arrival to ceremony location) in choosing The Little Nell we knew that the food would be incredible (and it was) as was the wine pairing. And when you hear people don’t remember the food, trust me, we do! And a lot of our guests later mentioned the food, the band and the energy!

What did you learn from it all?

Don’t stress too much, enjoy the process and trust the people you hire to work with you yet still provide them with a detailed list of what you would like and/or not like.

Any other details we left out, special considerations, or something you want to share that made your day unique?

All the placements were made of wood, like the table numbers and everyone’s name to tie in the save the date and the location of our venue. There was a coyote captured at the end of the night…

FUN FACTS:

The bride’s wedding shoes are named Aurora by Jimmy Choo and were chosen specifically for the name as that is the name of her late grandmother!

The bride’s first gown was the last dress Peter Copping’s designed for Oscar De La Renta.

The bride’s engagement ring is a seven-sided shield cut vintage stone from the 1900’s!

The bridesmaids wore navy astrology kimonos that were gifted by Cynthia Rowley which tied the spiritual side of everything together.

Jared Jeffries, their officiant, is a professional NBA player who played for the New York Knicks, amongst other teams and is a close friend of the couple!

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Videographer : BlueCat International | wedding planner: Sharon Sacks Productions | Floral Design: The Aspen Branch | Invitations: River & Bridge | Reception Venue: The Little Nell | Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo | wedding bands: Michael Greene | Catering : The Little Nell | Makeup : Stevi Christine | Hair: Lorenzo Calderon | Lighting: Images By Lighting | Entertainment : Elan Artists | After Party Dress: FLEUR DU MAL | Brides Gown : Oscar De La Renta | Groom's First Tuxedo: Custom | Groom's Second Tux: Ermenegildo Zegna | Groom's Shoes: Ermenegildo Zegna | Photo Booth : Social Light | second dress : Brandon Maxwell

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Dreamy Pastel Wedding Inspiration in Cartagena

This insanely dreamy, floral-filled wedding inspiration from DM Events & Design makes us want to book a one way ticket to Cartagena ASAP! The streets are filled with charming pastel hues, old meets new architecture and lots and lots of flower-adorned buildings – it truly couldn’t be a more perfect locale for a destination wedding! This style shoot captured the essence of Cartagena flawlessly. Prepare to fall in love with these images from Stephanie Brauer Photography and floral designs from Don Eloy Events. We’re obsessed!!

From DM Events & DesignWorking in Cartagena was a dream come true! Inspiration abounds in this city full of natural beauty. Often, Cartagena evokes images of rich jewel tones and vibrant colors, think women with lush wine-colored roses in their hair, but we were inspired by the breathtaking sunset views from the old city. Our palette grew from watching the sun melt into the ocean and the dusty, soft pastel hues that saturate the sky.

As with every wedding, the venue is one of the most important decisions you will make. Our list was very short, in fact, it only had one venue on it, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara. Originally built as a convent 1621 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, this landmark property embodies the essence of old meets new. Having stayed at the property on a previous trip to Cartagena, it was such an honor to be able to design something so personal and meaningful in such a gorgeous space.

It was important to us to partner with local vendors and we were so incredibly lucky to have found a dream team of talented vendors and just all-around beautiful people. We teamed with Don Eloy Events to create stunning florals that elevated the pastel palette without detracting from the already natural beauty of our surroundings. The majority of our tabletop details were sourced in markets around Cartagena although we did bring linens and napkins from our favorite New York rental house, Nuage Designs.

When it came to bridal attire and accessories, Sposamia Cartagena was a dream to work with! The bride wore a Willowby by Watters dress paired with the most gorgeous pair of rose-colored Manolo Blahnik shoes. Welcome bags are always such an important part of any destination wedding so we knew we had to go big or go home! We worked with the talented Simone Lejour to create festive hand-painted fans to pair with goodies we collected from around the city!

We wanted our guests to bring home a piece of Cartagena so they would always remember such an amazing city! They say if you love what you do, it will show. We hope our love of what we do and this beautiful city shines through in this shoot! Cartagena is an enchanting city with beauty around every corner!

Photography: Stephanie Brauer | Floral Design: Don Eloy Events | Cake: Rice & Flower | Reception Venue: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena | Invitations & calligraphy: Lynette Rose | Accommodations: InterContinental Cartagena | Bridal dress: Watters | Bridal salon: Sposamia Cartagena | Bridal shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Chairs and tabletop rentals: Alcira Guevara Rentals | Escort cards: Wandering Heart Paper | Hair and make-up: Laura Nunez | Handpainted fans: Simon Lejour | Linens & napkins: Nuage Designs | Place cards: Betlem Calligraphy | Planning & Design: DM Events | Processing Lab: The Find Lab | Ribbon: Tono & Co | Tour guide: Claudia Vidal Tours | Vintage stamps: Champion Stamps | Wax seals: Artifiact Uprising

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Classically Chic California Wedding at Kohl Mansion in Burlingame

If you were to ask me, what were your biggest wedding planning priorities? I’d tell you venue, photography and blooms—and this fete right here nails all three. Set at Kohl Mansion, the team at Sealed With A Kiss Events layered on the classic lovely for Vanessa & Greg, while Nancy Liu Chin killed the floral game (as usual). Ashley Ludaescher was behind the lens making for a collection of pin-worthy images—see it all unfold below!

From Ashley Ludaescher PhotographyVanessa & Greg tied the knot on a beautiful September day at the incredible Kohl Mansion outside of San Francisco. Their wedding planner & designer Lara from Sealed with a Kiss Events created a classically chic neutral wedding celebration, with beautiful florals by Nancy Liu Chin. Vanessa looked like an absolute movie star in her Berta gown and the sight of her brought her groom to tears.

From planner, Sealed With A Kiss Events… These two had an unforgettable wedding at Kohl Mansion. Guests were greeted with champagne before being ushered into the ceremony room, with the bride’s uncle playing guitar to create the perfect ambiance. Their guests dined in the mansion courtyard under bistro lights with impeccable florals and danced the night away.

Photography: Ashley Ludaescher Photography | Videography: Everly Films | Wedding Planning: Sealed With A Kiss Events | Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin | Wedding Dress: Berta | Wedding Cake: Lelenitas Cakery | Stationery: Aerialist Press | Reception Venue: Kohl Mansion | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Melons Catering | Makeup: Ashley Bias | Hair: Carla Souza | DJ: Lexx Jones | Alcohol: Smith's Beverages | Lighting & Sound: DJ Brandon Leo | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Mariachi: Mariachi Tapatio | Rentals: Abbey Rentals | Rentals: Standard Party Rentals

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10 of the Coolest Rehearsal Dinner Ideas Ever

By the time the rehearsal dinner rolls around, after months and months (and sometimes years!) of planning, the countdown is on. Out of town guest have arrived and settled in, friends and family wait with baited breath to officially begin the celebration of your tying the knot. While rehearsal dinners have traditionally been pretty predictable–a more formal affair the night before, regardless of the style or feel of your actual wedding day–they can occasionally, dare we say, give the party at the reception a run for its money. With more and more couples infusing every single element of their nuptials with their personality, we’ve rounded up some fresh, inventive ways to kick off the weekend festivities with the ultimate rehearsal dinner.

Photography by This Modern Romance | Florals by Wild Club Design

1. Serve feel-good food

If you’re a foodie, opt for a killer menu featuring all your faves. Have your favorite restaurant be the star of the show for dinner or dessert (or both), and make a presentation out of each and every dish. Pay homage to a dish you and your future spouse shared on a first date for the ultimate sentimental move, introduce rehearsal dinner guests to dishes you can’t live without, or let the entire menu consist of bite-sized morsels for dinner with an epic dessert to end the night with. Bite into the groom’s cake early to guarantee everyone gets a little slice of heaven before the next day’s reception festivities!

Photography by Koman Photography

2. Host a rehearsal brunch

Kick off the wedding festivities with a rehearsal brunch! Even if your rehearsal won’t take place until later in the day, breaking bread with your nearest and dearest over a breakfast or brunch spread might give you a little extra cushion time the night before the big day, guaranteeing you’ll at least have the opportunity to call it a night early and catch some extra zzz’s.

Photography by Erich McVey | Linens by La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Design by French Kiss Events | Stationery by La Happy

3. Entertain yourselves

Save the band and the DJ for the big day, and let your friends and family hear your vocal chops–and show off their own. Load the karaoke playlist with all the hits, and be sure to add a tune or two that’s perfect for a duet or trio, something that’s sure to emerge once the music’s started and your bridal party gets in on the action!

Photography by This Modern Romance | Rentals by Elan Event Rentals

4. Pick a location with a story

We love when things get personal: why not give guests a unique perspective of your love story with a rehearsal dinner ripe with meaning? Maybe the site of your proposal or the restaurant you hit on your second date are the perfect spots to welcome guests to.

Photography by Oliver Fly Photography

5. Go with a theme

Go all out with everything from decor to the menu; make it a fiesta, or a seaside clambake, or a country-themed hoedown that calls for cowboy hats and spurs. It might be night and day different from the design of your wedding the next day, but take the theme and run with it!

Photography by Rebecca Yale Photography

6. Make it a costume party

Everyone loves a chance to dress in costume, and that’s a fact! Give your guests a chance to spend the rehearsal dinner in character for a few hours; choose a theme that’s easy for everyone–like your favorite decade–or assign your guest (and their plus one) a character that might perfect for them. Make sure you hire a photographer willing to capture the night before…chances are you’ll want to remember everyone’s creativity in years to come!

Photography by Greg Finck Photography | Dress by Gössl | Headpiece by Miss Lillys Hats

7. Give guests a taste of the town

Have a large percentage of your guest list traveling near and far to make it to your celebration? Show off the city of your nuptials the best way you can, by selecting a rehearsal dinner venue that’s either a key to the city, talk of the town, or showcases all the best things about where you’ve gathered. Consider the hidden gems that only locals know about, and treat your guests to what feels like a best kept secret.

Photography by Lacie Hansen | Venue: San Francisco Ferry Building

8. Head to a unique location

Turn tradition on its head and host a rehearsal dinner somewhere completely unconventional: maybe at a bowling alley to keep things light-hearted and fun or even host a ‘field day’ for friends and family at the park with a casual barbeque dinner. Rent out one theater at the movies and treat everyone to all the movie snacks their hearts can stand–and see if management will let you stay a little longer after flick is over to so you can turn the lights up and make time for speeches. Guests will love the idea of getting to do something out of the ordinary as part of your weekend celebration.

Photography by Jose Villa Photography

9. Pick a place with a killer view

On the beach, at the dock, or tucked away in a mountainside hideaway, a stunning location can serve as the perfect backdrop. With an unbeatable view, the rest of the details, from tablescapes to food to music, will lend themselves to an unforgettable experience that you’ve offered guests, and perhaps even hint at what’s the come the next day as you say “I do.”

Photography by Katie Grant Photography

10. Hold an official game night

If you’ve got a competitive streak, or perhaps want to provide a more relaxed, casual environment, providing games are the perfect way for guests to have fun, but also get to know each other, as members of both sides of the family might want the opportunity to not only catch up, but embrace new members too. You are, afterall, joining two families together, and they’re there to celebrate it! Lawn games are always a hit, as croquet or lawn chess or even jenga are universal games that pass time for young and old alike. But step it up a notch by perhaps dividing into teams for a classic round of charades or the like, and offering a great first place prize–like being served dessert first!

Photography by O’Malley Photographers

Francesca Barger is a wedding enthusiast and the founder and CEO of First Vangarde, the first management group facilitating the representation and management of talent within the bridal industry. Based in the Midwest, she’s worked with companies coast to coast, elevating the careers of a robust portfolio of artists through a commitment to the championing and celebration of their creative talent.

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Coastal Intimate Switzerland Wedding at Maison Buttin-de-Loes

When you blend blush and lavender with the coastal views of Switzerland, two words come to mind: uber romance. And maybe alll the other adjectives that I could overuse on this wedding, like lovely, dreamy and charming. But those words aren’t needed because every bit planned by Laura Dova Weddings is waiting right here for you in the gallery by Oliver Fly.

From Laura Dova WeddingsIt was a true delight for me to be able to assist Sachié & Karl with their wedding in the beautiful region of the Lavaux in Switzerland. it is in this unique region of the world, whose terraced vineyards are classified as World Heritage by the UNESCO, they decided to invite their families from Japan, Estonia and Switzerland for an intimate celebration.

From the very beginning Sachié was particularly concerned with the style aspects of their big day and really made it clear that she wanted amazing vendors even if they had to travel to get to their wedding location. That’s how an amazing team came up to offer them an unforgettable day. They fell in love with the beautiful Musée de Buttin-de-Loes where the view on the lake is absolutely breath taking and the fabulous summer day let them have a moving and romantic ceremony officiated by the talented Marylin Rebelo.

They wanted a simple but very meaningful celebration with their closest family and friends. A ceremony fulfilled with tenderness and seemliness, where they could express their feelings subtly, in regards to their different cultures. They showed us that love is stronger than anything and can conquer it all, even when living on opposite sides of the planet. A message of hope and magic.

To enhance the beauty of all of these feelings, a harpist and flautist played masterpieces from Pachelbel to Bach. Pure delicacy as the we all could feel a nice breeze through our hair while hearing this timeless music. I have rarely seen such a proud man when looking at his bride-to-be when she walked down the aisle in a very intense atmosphere.

Sachié had two different bouquets in the colors and flowers she was drawn to. For her wedding, the florist designed a minimalist small bouquet of sweet peas and clematis in different shades of purple. The bridal bouquet was made of lilac (her favorite flowers), garden roses peonies and stock with touch of jasmine and sweet peas.

The ceremony held outdoor with a wooden arch as a focal point. Partially filled with greenery, stock & roses and draped with a hand-tied fabric, it was offering their guests a gorgeous view on the Leman lake. In the aisle runner, some light ground «growing» compositions brought a natural garden feeling.

The reception was designed with the same seasonal spring/summer flowers with an organic style. On a light grey table linen, the garden styled centerpieces in medicis compote gave this effortless elegance to a minimalist set-up. A light vines runner , fruits and votives was the last touch to bring life to the table and inspire conversation amongst the guests. For the beautiful white layered cake, a simple delicate floral design was made of hellobores, berries and nepetas flowers in lavender tones.

A stunning White One gown and some Jimmy Choo shoes perfectly enhanced Sachié’s natural and effortless beauty and grace, while the groom had chosen a bespoke tuxedo and a bow tie for timeless elegance. With smiles and tears of joy they walked towards their new life as husband and wife, accompanied by a round of applause from their beloved ones. The day finally ended with an elegant outdoor dinner and a splendid table design at the Restaurant Tout un Monde where they enjoyed the most beautiful sunset on the Lake Léman.

Photography: Oliver Fly Photography | Wedding Planning: Laura Dova Weddings | Floral Design: Véronique Lorre | Wedding Cake: Saconnex Cakes | Stationery: Crème De Papier | Ceremony Venue: Maison Buttin-de-Loes | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Tout un Monde | Calligraphy: Nice Plume | Officiant: Marylin Rebelo | Bride's Dress: White One | Bride's Headpiece: Percy Handmade | Bride's Veil: BHLDN | Ceremony Music Band : Rossi Arianna & Yonatan Kadosh | Groom's Tuxedo: Scabal | Groom's shoes: Geox | Hair & Make Up: Trine Juel | Processing Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Wedding Rings/band: Tiffany & Co.

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