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Desert Lovers Need to Consider This Private Estate Venue in the Heart of Coachella Valley

Picture this… 5 acres in the heart of Coachella Valley, a three-hole golf course, a 1,500 square foot pool, multiple entertaining spaces, and epic landscapes galore – obsessed yet? We are too. Desert lovers are going to fall in love with the Old Polo Estate from today’s gorgeous peachy styled shoot planned by Sugar Plum & Co. To see all the inspiration this day has to offer, don’t forget to check out the full gallery – all captured by Jaymel Molina Photography!

From Jaymel Molina PhotographyThis romantic peachy summer-themed styled shoot was held at the charming Old Polo Estate, located on 5 acres in the heart of Coachella Valley, just one mile from where the Annual Coachella Fest, Stagecoach, and Desert Trip is held. 

This private venue sports a three-hole golf course, a 1,500 square foot pool, great entertaining spaces, and large grassy areas, which makes for the perfect wedding backdrop. Both models had no problems expressing their romantic side and love for each other as they are in a committed relationship in real life. How cute is that?!? 

We kept the desert heat at bay with some refreshing cold White Claw Hard Seltzers, and homemade custom popsicles made just for this shoot. All the details from the linens, candles to the invites came together perfectly – complemented by the surrounding desert foliage.

Photographer: Jaymel Molina Photography | Coordination: Sugar Plum And Company | Florist: Milieu Florals | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Exquisite Desserts | Hair & Makeup: Girl Meets Bongga | Calligraphy: Hand Lettered Market | Groom's Attire: Friar Tux | Estate: Old Polo Estate | Host: The Shootout Society | Macrame: Macra Faye | Model: Jordyn | Model: Danielle Byrd | Popsicles: Nichos Ice Cream | Rentals: Archive Rentals | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | Rentals: Sundrop Vintage | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Table Numbers: JP Stationery | Wedding Invites: Minted

Trend Repot: Wood Tones

The thing about trends these days is that it’s less of a *new* idea coming into play and more of a revitalization of an idea. Case in point — the front and center use of wood tones as a primary color in a room is having a major moment. And we’re not talking about the shiny, cheery wood that actually wasn’t wood deep cabinet colors you grew up with. Oh no, now we’re looking at REAL wood that comes in multiple varieties, grains, and colors. This resurgence is a nod to a more natural aesthetic. It’s calming to look at and makes a space feel a little less “showroom” and a little more “collected.”

Check out some of our favorite examples!

1. Full Feature Spolight

A BIG way we’re seeing major use of wood tones is actually in making it the dominant feature in the whole design. We’re consistently drawn to this because it’s earthy, trendy, and just dadgum beautiful. Coordinate with the cabinetry can be tricky but when it’s done well, it’s gorgeous.

2. Accents Features In a Home

Another place we’re seeing wood tones really pop in when they’re used as accents to the space. Whether as a door or even as a ceiling treatment, putting wood in both expected and unexpected places makes it really stand out. This can also look like things like pillars, fireplace mantels, ceiling beams or even countertops.

3. Dominant Furniture Choices

There was a time when it felt like you painted EVERY piece of furniture that came into your house. But that time has now passed and gorgeous wood pieces are here to pop. When you’re working with bright white spaces, a little wood-toned furniture goes a loo0ong way.

4. Accessories Throughout The Home

If you’re trying to make your home feel a little more collected and peaceful, many times the solution is actually adding some wood accents to your space! Whether that’s a few candlesticks here, a cutting board there or a chair with wooden legs, adding small pops of nature-made warmth brings a lot of much-needed balance to your home.

We’ve been seeing this “trend” sneak into the home for a while now, and overall we have to give it a solid 10/10 in both short term aesthetic and long term lasting power. This is one trend train you won’t regret hoping on!

 

1.: Amy Johnson | 1.: Amy Johnson | 2.: Love Grows WIld | 3.: Studio Ezra | 4.: Nicole Davis | 5.: Nicole Davis | 6.: Studio McGee | 7.: Bria Hammel Interiors | 8.: Studio McGee

Have Your [Wedding] Cake and Eat It, Too, With the Help of These Tasty Touches

By a show of hands, who has heard something along the lines of “the veil makes the bride” at some point in their wedding planning journey? Well, any of those silly little clichés, really, we’ll be as bold as to say that they’re all fake news. The only real sentiment we can get behind is that “it’s not a wedding, unless there’s cake…” (kidding, of course,  these days, more than EVER before, a wedding can be anything that the couple wants it to be, we’re just particularly hungry for the ones that have cake 😉🍰). Five concentric tiers and tantalizing from top to bottom? Three square levels of luscious, buttercream-frosted perfection? Maybe it’s a croquembouche or a cheesecake, a tower of cupcakes or a creative cookie cake display, perhaps? No matter the look, if it’s a pretty confection, enjoyed in the name of love, it’s a wedding cake and we’ll take it! 

Speaking of taking it, just a couple days ago, we were speaking to a vendor friend of ours who had her own microwedding last month, and she said that one of the highlights of their day was the wedding cake. It was a festive moment and one that brightened up the bitterness that could have befallen her COVID wedding, but didn’t. And we couldn’t agree more! Wedding cake lifts the mood and gives the couple and their guests a little sugar high on top of the wedding high that already accompanies the day. A slice of cake and a dollop of newlywed dust is iconic to the wedding experience, and it’s pretty universal – whether it’s a big wedding, small wedding, just with fam, just with friends, or just the two of you.


Our Style Me Pretty Collection wouldn’t be nearly as sweet without some special cake-related items. We have metallic serving sets, gold-wired toppers, the perfect stand, and the most stunning porcelain cake plate duo for the guests of honor, so there really is no reason you can’t commemorate the occasion #totalpieceofcake.

And some ideas to keep things sweet, if COVID’s done its best to make things sour.

If you’re “saving room” for later… And postponing your big day to another [hopefully safer] time, you can still celebrate your original date. Check in with your bakery to see if they can create a smaller version of the cake you would have enjoyed on your wedding day. Let them know that you have your own cake stand, and share the dimensions ahead of time, just so you can be sure the scaled-down delight fits!

All that’s left to do is to top it, and why not do it with the one word that’s been on your mind this whole time: LOVE!!! 

 

If you’re in the mood to make your own…

Throw on some aprons, pour yourselves a glass of postponed-wedding Prosecco, and have some fun in the kitchen (especially since you might have some brand-new wedding registry items that haven’t been broken out yet #standmixersfirstmoment). Your wedding cake doesn’t have to be perfect, either, as long as it’s baked with love. For extra points, document all of the DIY-ing and the delicious final product, sliced and served on your adorable porcelain cake plates, so that you can Polaroid the proof and stick it in your topper to impress your guests next year!


If you’ll be sending guests home with a slice or two to-go…

Have your photographer capture a few pics of the two of you cutting your cake (with your special serving set), and then allow a dedicated server to cut the remainder of the cake and carefully place slices in cute, mini take-home boxes with pre-packaged, disposable utensils. This way, the cake won’t be sitting out for hours and guests won’t have to worry about any extra germs floating around.

We actually have two serving options in our shop, a white and gold cake serving set and a silver ornate cake serving set, so if you’re having a small celebration now and a larger event later, you can make use of both! Designate one for cake at your microwedding / minimony, etc. and the other for cake at your post-COVID party, and then put each set into respective date-engraved shadow boxes, along with other wedding mementos from the events. Talk about a well-confectioned time capsule!

Shop everything for your cake cutting ceremony right now – and maybe put a little “Sugar Sugar” on in the background, too, you know, to candy-coat your purchase all the more!

Danielle Halibey is a writer, editor, and publicist living in New Jersey. She has been immersed in the world of weddings since planning her own whimsical, romantic affair in 2014. And isn’t that what they always say, “those who can’t do, teach?” Well, once her nuptials were over, she still had stuff in the ‘I Do’ industry to do. She writes regularly for top wedding blogs including Style Me Pretty and Wedding Chicks, and has garnered millions of press impressions for brands in the wedding space: fashion, beauty, wedding talent+tastemakers and more. 

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California Chic in the Santa Ynez Valley Complete With a Must-Have Addition for Coffee Lovers

Today’s timeless affair at Kestrel Park planned by Event of The Season is the definition of “California chic” and we’re living for it. The two exchanged vows underneath a blooming floral arbor by Camellia Floral Design with blush, white and pops of burgundy hues. Our favorite part? The cutest little coffee bar addition to their reception for a caffeine pick-me-up to keep the dance floor going all night long – how cute is that?! To see it all unfold, head on over to full gallery – taken by Taryn Grey Photography!

From Event of the SeasonWhen we started designing Chelsea and Bradley’s wedding they told us they wanted a day that was elegant and timeless, with a European flair and hint of California Chic. Kestrel Park was the perfect location for their romantic garden nuptials and last hurrah in the states before settling down as a married couple in London. 

The palette consisted of a balanced mix of textures with neutral hues, warm pinks, sophisticated pops of deep navy/black, and an abundance of organic greenery. Bradley wore a custom suit, and Chelsea an incredible Mira Zwillinger gown with hair and makeup done by TEAM Hair and Makeup. The ceremony took place down the sycamore lined allee, with organic string quartet playing nearby. The two said their vows under an abundant floral archway and twinling candlelight. 

Camellia Floral Design did an incredible job blending the natural elements in from the venue, and incorporating moody unexpected details into her organic arrangements. The black cross back chairs from Bright Event Rentals really grounded the ceremony. After the ceremony guests enjoyed cocktails and bites in the gardens and apple orchards. Signature margaritas and gin and tonics were served over custom ice cubes with the couple’s shared initial. On the way to the reception guests were invited to find their table assignments which were displayed on a freestanding backdrop with clusters of florals at the base. Each escort card was embellished with a wax seal. 

The reception was composed of 4 long feasting tables set with textured linens, modern tabletop pieces, and an onyx charger with a velvet napkin to carry on the chic. In lieu of material favors, the bride and groom wrote each of their guests a sentimental note, which sat beside each place setting. The evening was lit up by Spark Creative Events, while guests enjoyed a family-style dining experience prepared by Omni Catering followed by black and white marble cake by Colin O’Dea Cakes. Following dinner, guests enjoyed gourmet coffee and espresso martinis (the groom’s favorite) from Welcome Coffee Cart. Everyone danced all night to a lively performance by the Halfmoons. Taryn Grey captured the day so beautifully, while SJ Videography created the most romantic film. It was truly a night to remember.

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Photography: Taryn Grey Photography | Videography: Sj Videography | Floral Design: Camellia Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger | Cake: Colin O'dea Cakes | Catering: Omni Fresco Catering | Hair & Makeup : Team Hair And Makeup | Lighting: SPARK Creative Events | Ceremony Music: Organic String Quartet | Wedding Venue: Kestrel Park | Coffee Cart: Welcome Coffee Cart | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Personalized Ice Cubes: Ice Bulb | Reception Band: Dart Collective | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Wedding Planning, Event Design, Stationery: Event Of The Season

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Intimate Micro-Wedding Inspiration At One Of Northern California’s Premier Private Estate Venues

It is no secret that micro-weddings are here for the immediate future, but after we saw today’s inspiration shoot photographed by Ashley Baumgartner, we might be on board for the long run! Put together by Stephanie Teague Events, this shoot set amongst the gardens of Park Winters was exactly what we needed with lush greenery and delicate gold details. Take a look and see why sometimes less is more, even when it comes to the guest list…and see the adorable flower girl steal the show!

From Ashley BaumgartnerAmidst life’s greatest uncertainty, remains love. Love that can stand the test of time. That can stand the tests of this world. And can stand the tests of this period in time where we all face insurmountable uncertainty. And that’s exactly what couples should grasp to, the certainty of love. The certainty of love, and life. Happiness and humor. Family and friendship. And that’s exactly what Leslie, Lamar, and their precious daughter did during this time. Clung to love. Clung to family. Clung to friends. And chose celebration anyways.

In this classically intimate garden inspiration editorial designed by Stephanie Teague Events and Taylor Petrinovich, Leslie and Lamar welcomed guests to their micro-wedding, an ever-growing and much-needed trend in our wedding industry. An intimate affair for those closest to their heart. Their daughter. Their family. Their friends. The people most important to them in the world. And what perfect place to have it – Northern California’s premier private estate venue, the grounds of Park Winters.

Their guests and bridal party alike arrived at Park Winters famous inn to be greeted with champagne shelves from Lux Event Rentals and Design and a refreshing sip to begin the celebration. After being invited by a modern, black-tie themed paperie suite by Ashley Baumgartner, guests knew they were in for a classic, elegant and intimate affair. The grounds of Park Winters were only a tease of the beauty they were in for before heading to their garden view for a ceremony lush with florals by Le Bloomerie, stunning white and gold chairs, and the glimmer of sunset.

In front of their closest friends and family, Leslie and Lamar tied the knot with their stunning daughter between them. A kiss sealed the deal and then there was certainly no shortage of reasons to celebrate with those that meant the most to them.

The couple, their bridal party adorned in blush-toned Bella Bridesmaid gowns, and their family returned to the lawn of Park Winters for classic cocktails and more champagne, a preview of the night’s desserts – a three-tiered gold-encrusted wedding cake by Baker & A Black Cat, and a few portraits with their guests to memorialize the company that they chose so dearly to celebrate alongside them.

Guests were then lead to an enchanting corner of the property to their private dinner affair at Park Winters, known for its famous farm-to-fork dinners curated on property. Mouths were agape as guests entered the nook adorned with flowing greenery draping from an outdoor chandelier and delicately placed blooms. A table set just for them, in gorgeous neutral linens from Hensley and sleek modern chairs signified the start of their relaxed evening. Classic place settings lined with gold trim and a menu in a modern black and ivory palette gave a peek into the feast they would enjoy together. Blush and ivory florals provided a romantic touch to the evening’s soiree along with delicate gold and black details. Leslie and Lamar’s bridal party toasted to their love and their union of their family in celebration as the couple stole kisses from each other.

For their classic black-tie micro-wedding, Leslie and Lamar opted for classic looks. A simple and understated Goddess by Nature gown from Grace and White proved to be elegant and timeless, in combination with a sleek hairstyle and makeup palette from All Dolled Up Norcal. But a little bling is always needed, and Leslie’s beaded Bella Belle heels brought just that. Lamar opted for a classic black suit but brought his own personality with a velvet blazer. Their daughter stole the show in a white tutu ball gown complete with matching bun. Leslie’s look would not have been complete without an overflowing and bountiful ivory-toned bouquet, draping in a sleek ivory ribbon from Party Crush Studio.

Although it was micro, it was nothing short of a perfect wedding day for Leslie and Lamar perfectly captured by the film photographs of Ashley Baumgartner and the cinematography of Taylor Petrinovich. It will surely be a day that Leslie, Lamar, their daughter, and their closes inner circle will never forget.

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Photography: Ashley Baumgartner | Videography: Taylor Petrinovich | Florals: Le Bloomerie | Wedding Cake: Baker A Black Cat | Hair & Makeup: All Dolled Up | Officiant: Tan Weddings Events | Backdrop & Styling Mats: Suzy Pierce Art | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Bridesmaids Gowns: Bella Bridesmaid | Coordination & Styling: Stephanie Teague Events | Furniture Rentals: Lux Event Rentals Design | Invitation & Paperie: Ashley Baumgartner | Private Estate/Garden: Inn At Park Winters | Ribbon: Party Crush Studio | Tabletop Rentals & Linens: Hensley Event Resources | Wedding Dress Designer: Goddess By Nature | Wedding Gown Boutique: Grace and White Bridal

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Who Knew Southern Blooms in the Desert Was Such an Epic Combo!

Magnolias? In the desert? You might be thinking that this unlikely combo sounds a little too out there – but P.S. & Associates Event Planning just proved us all oh-so wrong. The results are magic and we’re obsessed. There’s nothing better than when a couple and their vendors aren’t afraid to reach outside the typical wedding box and create something incredibly unique and beautiful. To see how it all came together, don’t miss out on the full gallery of inspiration captured by Katie Jane Photography!

From The Katie Jane PhotoOur goal with this stunning shoot was to celebrate love along with the gorgeous tones of the Southern California desert. Tumbleweed Sanctuary provided the perfect setting for this romantic and edgy inspiration shoot.

Every detail was perfectly styled by P. S. & Associates Event Planning, from the romantic ceremony between the Joshua Trees to the whimsical bar trailer perfectly decorated with magnolia leaves by La Rosa Que Crecio. The table was styled with earthy details, such as raw crystals and magnolia leaves, alongside metallic gold accents and clean, modern tabletop elements.

Each of our brides were styled to match their own unique tastes. Laura wore an incredible custom bridal jumpsuit by Amanda James that was complimented by a Nina Berenato spiked ear cuff to add a little edge. Heather’s look was more ethereal and romantic . Her gown by Chosen One Day was perfectly styled with her loose waves and soft makeup.

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Photography: Katie Jane Photography | Floral Design: La Rosa Que Crecio | Wedding Cake: Nicole Bakes Cakes | Rings: Kobelli Fine Jewelry | Venue: TumbleWeed Sanctuary | Beauty Concierge: Elwynn and Cass | Bridal Gown: En Blanc | Bridal Gown Designer: Chosen By One Day | Bridal Jumpsuit Designer: Amanda James Bridal | Ear Cuff: Nina Berenato | Furniture & Specialty Rentals: Provenance Vintage Rentals | Hair Piece: Accessories by Juliana | Hair and Makeup Artist: Veronica Lara | Models: Heather & Laura | Paper Goods: Blissful Stationery | Planning & Styling: P.S. & Associates Event Planning | Rentals: La Pinata Party Rentals | Specialty Tabletop Rentals: Dish Wish

An Upscale Rustic Wedding With the Cutest Escort Card Idea You’ll Want to Steal

A dreamy Wyoming setting, foraged blooms by Fleur De V and the most adorable four-legged wedding guest – today’s elevated ranch fête planned by Simply Grand Weddings & Events is a country girl’s dream. Get ready for some majorly gorgeous additions to your Pinterest board after admiring the full gallery – all captured by Carrie Patterson Photography!

From the planner, Simply Grand Weddings & EventsMarissa and Ezra’s wedding was truly full of faith, love, and laughter. They got married on Snake River Ranch, just a stones throw from Ezra’s family home with wide open Teton views and beautiful aspen groves. They find their inspiration in music and the mountains. Their foremost desires for their day were a great band (check!) and a beautiful, easy setting (check!). Everything was very relaxed and beautiful. It felt like one large family celebrating! Because their wedding fell on the Fourth of July weekend, they wanted to incorporate lots of American feeling touches like denim, used in their invitation suite and leather. We brought the hints of blue in throughout the wedding in different subtle ways. 

Marissa wanted the landscape to be the star so Vanessa at Flue de V kept the beautiful florals and decor very classic and romantic with whites and greens and touches of blue here and there, utilizing flowers and grasses that felt wild and foraged but also thoughtfully arranged and lovely. Their traditional Jewish ceremony was held in the large green aspen grove on the property. After walking with his parents through the grove, down the aisle to “Walk the Line” Ezra waited under a gorgeous white floral Chuppah. Marissa crossed over the bridge and into the grove with her parents by her side to the song, “Yellow” by Cold Play played acoustically by a small ensemble in the trees. After grabbing a glass of champagne, the guests walked along the stream through the forest for the grand reveal of the reception site. 

The sweeping green fields and Teton views are always such a wonderful surprise for guests. As guests entered the field for cocktails and appetizers, they were greeted by a large board holding the escort tags attached to rustic leather tassels that would later be transformed into a donut wall for dessert. Utilizing every space in a fun and functional way, we made sure guests could circulate between all of the bars and appetizers throughout cocktail hour while the band played outside. Marissa and Ezra practiced their first dance along the stream as they made their way to cocktail hour. Inside, the tent felt like a garden as abundant flowers and grasses surrounded the stage and the head table. 

Marissa wanted lots of beautiful lighting and to bring the outside in. Lush green vines crept up the tent poles into the antler chandeliers and string lights criss-crossed above. The modern table settings by XOWYO lent an organic elegance to the romantic white and green arrangements and cups of wild grasses on each table. The hand painted watercolor table numbers were named after Marissa and Ezra’s favorite Teton peaks. Marissa wanted the floor plan to feel like a large family dinner but also have easy flow to the dance floor and to the outside of the tent. The meal was served family style, and keeping table top design impactful yet minimal for ease of service and passing was a task Vanessa at Fleur de V mastered. The timing of the event was free flowing with dancing from beginning to end so access to the bars and dance floor were key. This is something I enjoyed most about their day. I loved the open concept timeline! Much less regimented feeling and kept people guessing what’s next. Plus The Cowling Band was amazing so it would have been a crime to limit them to a few hours. Everyone danced the night away!

Photography: Carrie Patterson Photography | Cinematography: Apres Visuals | Floral Design: Fleur De V | Stationery: Xowyo | Catering: Cafe Genevieve Catering | Lighting: Hughes Productions | Wedding Venue: Snake River Ranch | Airstream: The Silver Bungalow | Cake and Donuts: Jackson Cake Company | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Planning: Simply Grand Weddings And Events | Rentals: Xowyo | Tables and Chairs: Canvas Unlimited | Tent and Floors: Sperry Tents Colorado

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This Is the Perfect Blueprint for a Romantic Garden Wedding

Charleston charm, personalization inspiration at every turn and gorgeous organic arrangements from Roadside Blooms. This my friends is the perfect blueprint for a romantic garden wedding done right – all thanks to We Do! Charleston. Head on over to the full gallery to pin your favorite details, all captured by Samantha Jean Becker!

From Love, Samantha JeanHistoric wedding venues in Charleston hold a special charm in which garden party vignettes are most at home. For this editorial wedding shoot, we wanted to create specific moments in various spots of the Governor Thomas Bennett House and surrounding property that marry lush, organic floral arrangements and manicured landscaping to modern lines of physical structure and design. Since launching We Do! Charleston, our wedding planning and design company, last summer, this shoot served as sort of a branding debut for us. We incorporated the shade of blue from our company color palette as well as a WD monogram for the bride and groom, Whitney and Declan, that also represents We Do! 

As you enter the ceremony location on the crescent lawn, you’re greeted by an ornate fountain, that begets an Old World sophistication. Transparent ghost chairs from Eventworks added modern lines while still allowing you to blend seamlessly into the grounds as you waited for the lovebirds to enter. Roadside Blooms perfectly executed a floral archway sprouting with natural woody textures and pastel blossoms that served as the backdrop for ‘We Do’. To introduce the ‘something blue’ color palette of the day, we designed double-sided custom program fans, die cut in the outline of our couple’s WD monogram on the front and the ceremony information on the back. Leaving the ceremony, you enter cocktail hour on the oyster tabby with french striped linens from La Tavola on high tops. There was a beautifully handmade bar from The French Eclectic, framed with W and D marquee lights from Alpha Lit Charleston. Lawler Beverage Co. 

Just finished pouring the champagne tower and had begun serving the couple’s signature drink, a white cosmopolitan. The French Eclectic also provided beautifully upholstered velvet lounge furniture that invited guests after snacking on savory hors d’oeuvres from Thurston Southern Catering, displayed on a vintage mahogany sideboard that is part of We Do! Charleston’s rental inventory. A pink velvet tablecloth with lace overlay holds the wedding cake from Dessert Designs by Gisela, complete with cakesicles and sugar cookies stamped with “We Do”. Entering the reception, two handmade pine farm tables stood end-to-end beneath a large wooden arbor adorned with two capiz chandeliers and smilax greenery. Roadside Blooms planted an entire garden on the tabletop with a greenery table runner amongst the glass plates and gray stoneware. The stems of pink goblets were tied with hand-dyed gray silk ribbon with white lettering on blue handmade paper for place cards. To further customize this dinner party, the WD monogram was embroidered in blue on white napkins, displayed beneath the glass salad plates. Prism pillar candle holders were placed amongst the greenery and florals as focal points to catch light and reflect the pastel color scheme of the tableware. A white backdrop from SomethingoodCHS held the seating chart, bringing in more blue and modern lines on the table cards of guest names. WD monogram motifs persisted throughout this event in the decal on the dance floor, in the wedding invitations themselves, and welcome bags for traveling guests. Inside the Governor Thomas Bennett House, circa 1825, Bridal Portraits took place on the cantilevered staircase in the foyer that extends, with no visible means of support, to the second floor–one of only two in the entire city of Charleston. Hair and makeup by local artists, Contours and Curls, began in the stucco-over-brick basement on the ground floor. Lowcountry Valet brought in a 1950 Packard, in dove gray, adorned with a cloth banner on the trunk that was hand-lettered with “It was always you” for our lovely couple’s grand exit to their happily ever after.

Photographer: Love, Samantha Jean | Florals: Roadside Blooms | Stationery: Tiny Shindigs | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Caterer: Thurston Southern Catering | Suits: Charleston Tuxedo | Bar Service: Lawler Beverage Co. | Chairs: Somethin' Good | Crowns: Emma Katzka Bridal | Desserts: Dessert Designs by Gisela | Gowns: Gown Boutique of Charleston | HMUA: Contours and Curls | House: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Lounge: The French Eclectic | Marquee Lighting: Alpha-Lit New Orleans | Planning + Coordination: We Do | Rentals: Eventworks

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You Just Have To See This Unique Way To Display Your Seating Chart!

From elegant emerald to bold black this simple, yet stunning styled shoot photographed by Branson Maxwell, will make you swoon! Shot at The Olana, in Dallas, Texas, the venue was the perfect mix of elegant and vintage, with regal doorways and grand staircases! A floral circle was crafted by Cece Designs to creatively display the seating chart (and of course offer up absolutely gorgeous photo opp’s!) which guests surely won’t forget! Carried over to the beautiful table design, these floral circles might just be the answer to your design questions for your own special day! Take a peek below and get your Pinterest board ready!

From Branson MaxwellThis styled shoot is the perfect inspiration for all Spring and Summer brides, especially those who want to keep it simple yet elegant. The floral circle is unique yet classy, and will sure to stay in guests’ minds forever. The simple palette of green, white, and black is timeless and chic. Every detail, down to the invitation suite and tablescape, is dignified and well thought out.

The black and white vintage theme kept consistent throughout all the details, from the traditional black tux, the simple black, and white invitations, and table set up. Nature and foliage were an important part of the inspiration as well. Long vines of flowers were dangled across every doorway, tablescape, and accent piece. The shoot took place at The Olana in Dallas, Texas. This venue gave an elegant, romantic feel to the images with high ceilings and a grand entrance staircase which displayed the feeling of luxury and significance.

Photographer: Branson Maxwell | Styling: Lyons Events | Florist: Cece Designs | Wedding Dress: Weddings By Debbie | Cake: The London Baker | Stationery: Lyons Paperie | Venue: The Olana | Accessories: Etoile | Concept & Planning: Heather Benge Events | Decor: Gold Dust Event Co | Groom's Tux: Generation Tux | Hair & Make Up: Sunkissed And Made Up | Host: Styled Shoots Across America | Linens: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Marquee Event Rentals | Ribbon: Flower Shack Blooms

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This Wedding Will Instantly Inspire You to Add a Touch of Whimsy to Your Wedding Flowers

When your sister is an insanely talented floral designer, Juniper & Jasmine – you know your blooms are going to be better than your wildest dreams. Today’s stunning bride wanted to ditch the done-before green and white wedding palette and go with something a little more whimsy. With the help of ELM Events, they incorporated deep moody hues with soft sage and shades of blue to create what might just be our new favorite Fall wedding color scheme. Check out the full gallery for more inspiration – all taken  by The Happy Bloom!

From The Happy BloomWhen your sister is a florist in Charleston, you know your wedding day florals are going to be heavenly. Elizabeth and James were married last Fall and treated their guests to the party of their lives. Royal hues adorned their reception and a champagne wall welcomed their guests to cocktail hour. Enough from us. We’ll let Elizabeth fill you in on all of the details!

What was your vision for your wedding day? What made you choose certain colors or decor?

From the Bride… Whimsical was the word we kept going back to – from picking out my dress to the florals and decor to just the overall feel of the day. While we wanted our day to be timeless, we also added a touch of whimsy to most elements to allow our personalities to shine through. With Caroline as my sister, I spend a lot of time around weddings so the majority of our color/decor ideas were driven by floral inspiration. I knew I didn’t want your basic white + green palette and wanted to embrace color very early on. I ended up finding a random photo of an arrangement on Instagram that I was really drawn too. It had a such an awesome mix of deep moody hues while also incorporating some softer colors like sage green, shades of blue, and violet in a way I hadn’t really seen before. I shared it with Caroline and from there we were able to guide our decisions on everything else – we were always thinking “ok, but will this work with the flowers I want?” before making the final call on all other design elements.

A few of my favorite whimsical/color design details:

– The mismatched boutonnieres – I pointed out about 1000 “favorite” flowers leading up to the wedding day when helping Caroline with other weddings, so she just rolled with it and gave the guys options! Word on the street is they were fighting over their favorites in the man cave haha.

– The table scape on the farm tables. This was all Caroline too! She selected the black taper candles and silk table runner and then had the idea to add vintage books in. I loved how it turned out and am so happy we got to hide a few Harry Potter books in there!

– Our champagne bookshelf that we had handmade by Piece of Work – rather than choosing a rental we had the owner Les create a one of a kind piece with mix-matched shelves for us using material salvaged from a historic home on New Street which we’ll be able to use in our home! (and will obvi house our Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. Etc. Collections haha)

– Our rose and gold cakes were so much fun to design with Ashley Bakery!
– All the velvet – from the furniture to the linens to the bridesmaids dresses, I loved the different shades and texture we were able to incorporated here.

What is the moment you remember most about your wedding day?

Oh gosh, there are a few. Does being followed all over Charleston by church bells qualify haha? For me, I think just looking back on the day and knowing I got to spend such special moments with the people who mean the most to me. Getting ready with my girls during the day. Those final few seconds of chaos getting dressed with my mom and sister. The car ride to the church with my dad and the last few moments before we walked into the church where we were both trying so hard to play it cool. Waiting in the bridal suite in the church with my sister and soon to be sister in law. Messing up my vows, haha. Driving around Charleston with James for photos and getting a few minutes by ourselves before we joined the reception. Then spending the entire night on the dance floor with our family and friends. It was all truly a dream! But if I had to pick one moment, it would probably be walking into the reception. The band cranked up a Led Zeppelin song for James as we were weaving our way through the crowd and when we got to the dance floor I finally got to see the amazing floral centerpiece my sister and her team created hanging above us. It was such high energy from everyone as we were being announced as Mr. And Mrs. Combined with James and I’s excitement, which created such a special moment!

What’s next for you and your husband?

We have a crazy few months ahead of us! James graduates from his masters program at Clemson on December 19th and we head to Southeast Asia for our honeymoon just a few days later! Once we return in mid-January we will be settling down here in Charleston. We have been long distance for the entirety of our relationship so knowing that is coming to an end in just a few short weeks is such a relief. We’ve been joking that 2019 was the year of the wedding, 2020 is year of the dog. So official what’s next: 1) Finally settle into a home together here in Charleston and then 2) rescue the most perfect pup sometime in the spring to start our little family!

Photography: The Happy Bloom | Florist: Juniper & Jasmine Designs | Cake: Ashley Bakery | Invitations: Dodeline Design | Ceremony Venue: St Matthews Lutheran Church | Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Jewelry: Emma Katzka Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Salthouse Catering | Hair + Makeup: Lashes And Lace Charleston | Suits: M. Dumas & Sons | Vintage Car: Lowcountry Valet | Bar Service: Squeeze OnSite | Bridal Boutique: Verità Bridal | Bridal Dress Designer: JLM Couture | Historic Home: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Planning + Design: Elm Events | Reception Music: Liquid Pleasure | Rentals: Event DRS | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Veil: Bel Aire Bridal

Sweet Ways to Set Your Mr. & Mrs. Table Settings Apart on Your Special Day

For a moment, let’s consider that your wedding reception is the fanciest, most looked-forward-to date you’ve had in the entirety of your relationship. You’re dressed to the nines, you’ve undoubtedly had those butterflies fluttering around in your stomach since you went to bed last night (seriously, it’s excitement like sleeping before Santa, to the enth degree), and you’re sitting down for the happiest lunch or dinner date of your life. It has to feel different, right? Sitting down with your wife or husband for the first time? Ahh, it’s the best!! And to be honest, it’s made even better by all the special touches that honor your new titles. Wives for life? Hubbies for the long haul? That’s right, you can lean in!

We don’t shy away from any opportunity to make our couples feel unique on a day that’s all about them – so, of course, we made sure our Style Me Pretty Collection was well-stocked with bride and groom goodies. From personalized golden toasting flutes to signs that put your wedding roles on display [in the best way], these little details aren’t just phenomenally photogenic, they’re also perfect for helping you get used to your new life-long labels – mister or missus sounds 👌. Our table settings aren’t only reserved for sweetheart tables, either, they look similarly-stunning on communal tablescapes shared with all of your guests!

Just make sure your photographer snaps at least one of each of these. Promise?

 

The “let’s just sit and soak it all in before the squad gets here” shot.

Because the day is inevitably going to fly by, and you’ll want to be to recall the perfection of the table set for YOU. The way the rosé in those glasses matches the sky behind you, the pristinely-placed flatware, the mood-making blooms in the middle, how it all comes together in your honor. 

Tenth + Grace 


The “listening to your toasts with those speechless looks on your face” shot.

Because you’ll want to remember the exact feelings you had when you heard your favorite people talk about your love and just how much they love you. 


The “let’s steal a kiss when no one’s watching” shot.

Because there’s something about newlywedship that just makes each kiss feel like magic – quite literally, sparks fly. If your shutterbug can capture the chemistry of your smooch, underscored by some telling signage, then you might just be taken right back every time you see it. 

Like we said earlier, you’ll be missus and mister forevermore, but the bride and groom for only a moment. So, take advantage of your wedding day and set your table with looks that will have your guests smittenly going “awww, these seats are taken!” 

 

Shop these wow-worthy wares now!

Get the look with our Mr. & Mrs. Napkin Rings

Get the look with our Gold Bride and Groom Toasting Flutes.

Get the look with our Chair Signs – can be matched with any wedding vibe, classic (to match the real wedding look above), romantic, bohemian, etc. 

Get the look with our Our Day Gold Chair Signs

 

Get the look with our Mr. & Mrs. Chair Signs with Tassels

We’ll be the first to say that sweetheart tables are the GOAT, but these days, with weddings taking on a more intimate ethos overall, we’re particularly keen on seeing those bride and groom call outs at one main table. You two in the center of it all, toasting to your new life together and feeling especially blessed to be able to celebrate with the ones you love most? It’s a beautiful picture and a memory that will last forever.

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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The Most Important Last Minute Details You Can’t Forget

There will be so much going on the days before your wedding that it’s very easy to forget some key details – and some things that are not merely a detail. Here is a list of 6 things brides forget, so you can be sure not to forget them yourself!

 

1. Things you’ll need in your getting ready suite

Hand sanitizer/wipes, tissue paper, drinks, food, and a phone charger. I also highly recommend having some electrolyte replenishing drinks or powder to help you and your squad stay hydrated throughout the day. Also, don’t forget to have your meals as usual! It is a very busy day, but staying fed and hydrated will help you enjoy the day without fatigue and headaches. Pay special attention to water intake if you’ll be sipping on a (few) delicious mimosa(s)!

Hillary Muelleck Photography

2. Marriage License

Believe it or not, with all the excitement and anticipation for the more fun parts of the wedding day, it’s not that uncommon for couples to forget to bring their marriage license to the ceremony site. To avoid forgetting it, have it in a folder and pack it into your wedding day bag the week before your wedding. After the wedding, your officiant will take it with him to file with the county, then you will receive your marriage certificate.

3. Items for detail shots

For your photographer to be able to capture those beautiful detail shots you swoon over online you will need to remember to bring the important items that make a beautiful detail shot. Be sure to bring a full invitation suite with you, order a few extra blooms from your florist, and if you have pretty items that are meaningful to you, such as a pretty family heirloom, a small decorative tray, brooches, a heirloom ring box…Anything beautiful and meaningful that helps tell your story will make those shots all the more special. Most photographers and designers have a styling kit with basic items that can be used for these shots, so if nothing else, be sure to bring your invitations!

Hillary Muelleck Photography

4. Cake knife and flutes for your champagne toast!

There is sometimes a misconception about who provides the couple with their toast flutes as well as cake cutting utensils. In most cases, those are provided by you. Some caterers do offer cake cutting utensils, but most couples choose to buy their own so they can choose the design – since those appear on so many pictures – as well as choose beautiful and personalized flutes that you can use again on your special milestones.

Hillary Muelleck Photography

5. Prepare tip envelopes

Be sure to prepare any tips in separate envelopes ahead of time for any vendors that require a tip or that you wish to tip because they’ve been amazing. For catering staff, the caterer may prefer you place tips in separate envelopes that can be handed to each staff member, or you may be able to hand the catering manager a single envelope with all the tips. Ask your caterer ahead of time or check your contract, so you’ll have that ready to go.

6. Designate someone to collect all your personal items at the end of the night.

It’s easy to overlook this need, but it’s very important to make sure you assign someone to collect all of your items at the end of the night. Most venues usually need the space clear that same night after the event, so you need to be sure someone is in charge of collecting all of your things and taking it home for you. Between making sure you don’t miss the last dance, saying your goodbyes, and making that remarkable exit, you will be too busy at the end of the night so assign someone ahead of time. Also remember to assign someone to take your dress to the cleaners, if you’re leaving right after the wedding for the honeymoon.

Cathy Durig Photography

 

By Eliana Nunes, Owner and Designer at Eliana Nunes Events

 

A Bright and Lively Desert Wedding for a Couple With an Unforgettable Love Story

This is what happens when two New Yorkers tie the knot in the desert with the help of Caitlin Outstanding Occasions – pure magic! Royal Palms Scottsdale was the perfect setting for their romantic affair, made even more beautiful by a hot pink and blush color scheme and lush blooms by Lux Florist. Check out the full gallery for all the desert wedding inspiration – all taken by Leslie D Photography!

From the Bride… We wanted an elegant and romantic wedding. It was a destination wedding for most of our guests – (about 95%) flew in from the East Coast for the wedding. We love the desert vibe with the bright colors and greenery around the resort! We wanted to look back on our day and cherish the southwest views, plants, colors and overall ambiance for everyone to remember. All those natural details paired with the colorful cake, florals of our wedding day. Andrew and I met in September 2015 when I worked on Wall Street. 

At the time, my co-workers and I would frequent Capital Grill for happy hour which was across the street from my office. One day after work, we decided to sit at the bar for happy hour. My coworker invited a friend of hers to join us, and her friend invited a friend – which happened to be Andrew. Unintentionally, Andrew walked in and grabbed the only spot at the bar that was left open and that seat was directly next to me. Totally unset up, we had a great time, ended up hitting it off and I couldn’t help but notice how genuine, funny, and interesting Andrew seemed to be (haha). 

A couple of weeks later, after another random meeting set up by the same co-worker, Andrew asked for my number. After 1 minute and 20 seconds of me giving permission to pass along my number, I received a text message saying, “Hey Tiff, this is Drew.” I accepted a date, had a great time and never imagined that it would be the last first date of our lives! After 9 months of dating and enjoying New York City with each other, Andrew’s life nearly changed as a result of a serious car accident. 

After continuous rehab including many ups and downs, the one constant was that we 100% complimented each other and that we both had found the love story that we had each craved. As his health continued to return, one Sunday afternoon we took a walk along along our favorite path in our back yard with the perfect view of the Statue of Liberty. In front of tourists checking out the view, Andrew, to my surprise got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. After asking him if “this was for real” I happily accepted and he put my dream diamond ring on my finger and gave me a t shirt that said, “I Said Yaaaaasssss!” Every day is a truly a dream and we both couldn’t be any luckier to live our lives together.

Photography: Leslie D Photography | Event Planning: Outstanding Occasions | Floral Design: LUX Wedding Florsists | MAKE-UP: Ashley Doran Makeup | Hair: Erin Fink | Wedding Venue: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | LINEN: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Glamour And Woods | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Sharing The 2020 SMP Diversity Audit Results With Our Community

As many of you know, one of the 6 promises we made to our community back in June was to undertake a diversity audit of all content posted in 2020 to date. Well, that we did. We used an independent analyst to work through every editorial posted in 2020 to analyze what percentage of the couples featured are diverse, whether that be in race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. So, in an effort to stay completely transparent with our community – today we’re sharing the results of our audit, along with our goals for a better, more inclusive future on SMP. 

Let us first start by saying, wow… we certainly have a lot of work to do – as you will see clearly in our data. Despite a conscious effort to publish more weddings featuring BIPOC & same-sex weddings since mid 2018 when the business was taken back over by Abby & Tait, we have not done enough to combat underrepresentation of these couples on SMP. Using the US census as a benchmark, we fell way short of being representative of the makeup of the US population where the majority of our audience is located. 

Lauren Fair

 

Okay, now let’s take a look at the numbers.

In the period from January 2020 to May 2020, there have been a total of 282 posts. The breakdown of which is as follows:

  • White / Caucasian: 158 (69%)
  • Asian: 40 (17%)
  • Black / African American: 20 (9%)
  • Hispanic / Latino: 12 (5%)
  • N/A (no bride/groom): 52

As you can see, between January and May of this year, just 9% of our weddings featured a Black or African American bride or groom, and only 5% a Hispanic or Latino individual. We are striving to raise these percentages to each be consistently over 15% every month by the end of 2020. 

Michael Radford

In June 2020, there has been a total of 25 posts, down 40% MoM (due to COVID-19 and a brief pause in publishing). The breakdown of which is as follows:

  • White / Caucasian: 10 (40%)
  • Asian: 3 (12%)
  • Black / African American: 9 (36%)
  • Hispanic / Latino: 3 (12%)
  • N/A (no bride/groom): 0

Between January to May 2020, 2% of the celebrations we published were same sex weddings and 12% included just a single bride or groom.  In June 2020, this increased to 4%, while single bride or groom publications remained at 12% of the total.

Moving forwards we also strive to ensure that our representation of LGBTQ couples spans across all the different races, religions and ethnicities that we showcase on SMP.com and forms an integral part of our commitment to diversity, rather than an aside. The estimate of those in the US currently identifying as LGBTQ stands at 5% – so again we work to increase our representation here from 2% between January – May, 4% in June and above 5% by the end of this year. 

As we continue to work towards achieving our diversity goals, it’s very important to us to continue to be transparent with you all. We also want to acknowledge that improving representation of minority couples on our site is just one part of the puzzle. We must improve representation of the vendors we showcase and the voices we provide too. There is much more work to be done, but we’re committed to it. And with all of your support, we’re confident that we can become a better ally to any and all minority individuals moving forward. 

If you would like to submit a wedding or wedding-related event that features a diverse couple to SMP, we sincerely encourage you to do so! Head on over to our submissions portal and please submit, submit, submit! Thank you all so much again for your continued patience, understanding and support. Thank you for encouraging us to always be better and strive for change as a leader in our community. We have so much for you all!

 

Xoxo,

The SMP Team

 

This Is Old World Romance Done Right at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

If you’re looking for ways to incorporate that timeless feel of old world romance to your wedding day, then this styled shoot is right up your alley. With a venue reminiscent of a Monet painting and enchanting arrangements by Bloom Floral Co, the full gallery is loaded with inspiration in every corner – all captured to perfection by Manda Weaver Photography!

From Manda Weaver PhotographyPreserved amidst the modern context of the warm Florida coast the Bonnet House is filled with old-world Spanish charm, secret hideaways, and ponds reminiscent of a Monet painting. This historic setting surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the new world reminded me of the convergence of two stories as they meld into one. 

Romance will flourish be grounded in history, as a new life together is built, enduring love discovered, a deep friendship built, and a story written that is worth telling. This shoot depicts a celebration of a couple in love who is writing such a story. A couple that will build upon the pages written in their past, both together and separate, and begin the next chapters that will tell of their ever after. 

The design created by Manda Weaver for Styled Shoots Across America featured linens from Nuage Designs, Airy Romantic Florals from The Bloom Floral Co, stunning paper elements and calligraphies name card tiles from Pretty Written Things, and a gorgeous dress from Kelly Faetanini and with echoes of textures and colors found in the architecture, flora, and fauna at the Bonnet house, as well as vintage books that elude to the focus on a storied romance. 

Photography: Manda Weaver.Photography | Floral Design: Bloom Floral Co | Gown: Kelly Faetanini | Cake : The Starfish Cottage | Invitations: Pretty Written Things | Shoes: Bella Belle | Rings: Susie Saltzman | Tux: The Black Tux | Venue: Bonnet House | Beauty: Janine Wehby Artistry | Lab: The Find Lab | Linens/Dining Table & Chairs: Nuage Designs | Linens/Tables/Chairs: Nuage Designs | Planning & Design: Manda Weaver.Photography | Robe: By Catalfo | Veil/Cape/Necklace: Champagne and Grit | Vintage Rentals: MiVintage Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Here’s Why Maui Is the Ultimate Elopement Destination

The island breeze, the inspiring culture, and those can’t-be-beat views. I mean, let’s be real… when it comes to elopement destinations – the Hawaiian islands take the cake. Need proof? Check out the full gallery captured by Dmitri and Sandra Photography from today’s gorgeous Maui elopement planned by Platinum Weddings & Events. Trust us, it won’t take long ’till you’re convinced ;)

The story:

Loreal and John intimate celebration on Maui is the perfect blueprint for a luxury getaway with just a few of your closest friends and family members. This lovely couple said I do in front of the Pacific Ocean, at the gorgeous Sheraton Maui Resort in Kaanapali. The talented team of Platinum Weddings and Events, styled and planned their intimate gathering to perfection. After their beautiful ceremony, Loreal and John joined Dmitri and Sandra on an Adventure Photo Session in different Maui iconic locations, followed by dinner with their friends and family. They wanted wedding photos that showed Maui’s raw beauty, and they did … They scored a perfect Maui day with light trade winds blowing, and plenty of sunshine.

From Platinum Weddings… Loreal and John dreamed of an intimate yet elegant Maui wedding, an event that would be both simple but at the same time have a definite wow factor. They envisioned saying their I Dos with the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean behind them, on the romantic island of Maui, but didn’t want to actually be on the beach with their toes in the sand. 

Instead, they decided on the stunning and secluded Ka’anapali Point on the property of The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa as their Maui Wedding Venue. Choosing this venue allowed the couple the privacy that they desired while also providing amazing ocean views Taryn Wyant was the Lead Planner on this gorgeous Maui wedding and designed a lavish ceremony in shades of greenery and white, clear acrylic chiavari chairs were set for guest seating and elegant acrylic calligraphy was placed for signage. The overall look and feel of their intimate elopement was decidedly elegant, graceful and provided the exact look that the bride and groom had in mind. Teresa Sena Designs created the focal point of their ceremony, a luxurious wedding arch covered in white floral decor and touches of greenery. Everyone in attendance commented on the breathtaking decor, and most importantly, the bride shared that it was everything that she imagined and more.

Photography: Dmitri & Sandra Photography | Event Planning: Platinum Weddings Events | Floral Design: Teresa Sena Designs | Ceremony Venue: Sheraton Maui | Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Bridal Gown: Vera Wang | Hair + Makeup Styling: Meili Autumn Beauty | Rentals: Hawaiian Style Event Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Nordstrom Sale Home Picks

Sales come and go but the truth of the matter is, this sale just makes us excited. Why? Because it’s a traditional marker that summer is dwindling down and fall is FINALLY just around the corner. And, this year, it’s the small taste of seasonal normalcy that we’ve been craving. So we picked out a few of our favorite home decor items because hello, that’s what we do, and also because these items tend to not just FLY off the shelf as alarmingly fast as things like, oh you know, shoes and skincare. Take your time, peruse the options and enjoy this year’s selection from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale.

Linens

There comes a time in life where you start to notice things like the difference in thread count. This time comes a different point for everybody, some are never cursed with this expensive knowledge, but if you’ve started to notice some of the fabrics in your home are a little… itchier… than you remember, now’s a good time to stock up on the good stuff!

Kitchen

Nordstrom’s does a totally fab job of sourcing form and function — especially when it comes to the kitchen! Now’s a good chance to update some of your appliances and basics with prettier, sturdier options!

Decor

Aside from going ALL OUT on Christmas decor, one of the biggest decorating shifts happens in summer to fall. Small changes like pillows, throws, and artwork take a home from bright and vivacious exciting summer to a moodier, cozier fall setting.

Candles

This gets a category all on its own because SERIOUSLY have you ever seen so many aesthetically beautiful and aromatically perfect candles on sale? No, no you have not. Take advantage and stock up while you can!

 

Think Tropical Can’t Be Timeless? Allow This Hawaiian Wedding Weekend to Prove You Wrong.

If you love all things tropical but don’t know how to make a beachy setting look timelessly elegant? Allow Moana Belle Events to show you how it’s done. Today’s wedding at Lanikuhonua in Hawaii has absolutely stolen our hearts and convinced us to book a one way ticket to paradise. With its romantic pink, white, mauve and green color scheme, Passion Roots knew exactly how to blend the two worlds with a mixture of tropical and garden blooms. Head on over to the full gallery to get inspired for your beachside affair – all taken by Kerry Jeanne Photography!

From the Bride… Vanessa and Nathan’s love story began in New York City, where the serendipitous opening of elevator doors, led to plans for coffee where Vanessa would tell Nathan about her secondment to Sydney, from which she had recently returned. Nathan (who of course being Australian and having lived in Sydney before) saw this as the perfect opportunity to get to know Vanessa. Time must have been standing still, since, what was meant to be a 30-minute catch-up over “flat whites” between client meetings turned into hours of conversation and plans for a follow-up date. As they say, the rest is history. After several months dating in NYC, we decided to move across the globe to Sydney, Australia where Vanessa had a work opportunity that she couldn’t refuse, and Nathan would be returning to his home country.

She knew she would regret not taking this opportunity, and several years later, it’s turned into the best decision. We knew that we wanted our wedding celebration to be outdoors with amazing views that showcases the natural beauty of Oahu. We wanted the setting to capture Hawaii’s gorgeous greenery and were intentional with our design/décor so as to not take away from the gorgeous landscape. Relying on our wedding planner, Moana Belle Events, we actually picked our wedding venue sight unseen! We knew exactly the vibe and scenery that we wanted and more importantly, the ability to customize our wedding day. We loved the versatility and accessibility that Lanikuhonua offered and the ability to have a blank space to customize the design details to our liking. We also had ultimate trust in our wedding planners to help bring our vision to life. We saw photos and videos online and thought it was a great venue to hold both our ceremony and reception to allow for a seamless guest experience. Lanikuhonua, the Hawaiian term for “where heaven meets the earth”, is an oceanfront paradise which remains true to its name. Our ceremony took place in the garden lawn in front of a stunning ocean view. Our venue also has exquisite sunsets which made for an unforgettable setting the evening of our November wedding. We absolutely loved being able to experience this tropical destination with our closest loved ones and were treated with a postcard-worthy sunset that was simply stunning – it was so magical!

What was your vision for your wedding?

Our vision was all about romance! We wanted an elegant, memorable and fun-loving destination wedding. We planned a 3-day wedding celebration which started with a Welcome Event for our guests since we had family and friends traveling from around the globe (from Australia, California, New York City, Florida, Texas, Washington DC and even Saint Kitts in the Caribbean where Vanessa’s family is originally from) and many had not met each other before. Our Wedding Day vision was all about bringing two families together and celebrating our love every step of the way. It was so exciting to see our loved ones come together from around the world to celebrate our union. We believe our vision came true as our family and friends left Hawaii with so many new friendships and memories. Having our closest family and friends in one place was such an incredible feeling. The last day ended with a beach party celebration where we had a chance to unwind and have fun in the sun before we said farewell to our loved ones. We rented surfboards, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, beach chairs and umbrellas which made for a perfect way to unwind. Fortunately, the weather had cooperated for us all weekend, but as we packed up in the early evening, the sky opened up and a thunderstorm rolled in across the mountains, and left us with an incredible rainbow which stretched across Waikiki – a fitting end to a truly magical couple of days. Our ceremony arch designed by Passion Roots was an organic pillar of both tropical and garden greenery arranged to perfection with garden flowers in pink, peach and white. Our wedding guests were seated in white vineyard chairs with rattan seats. We made the last- minute decision to add a rose petal aisle splash and I couldn’t imagine our ceremony without it. It completely tied our romance theme together! Flowers was an important factor for us to create the romantic atmosphere during our day. We loved the work of Passion Roots and selected this vendor immediately after we secured our wedding venue. 

We had an amazing wedding planner, Moana Belle Events, who are locally based in Hawaii and truly brought our vision to life. We actually selected our planner right after we got engaged and worked with the team throughout the entire planning process – it was so helpful to have their local expert advice, ranging from venue selection, refining our wedding vision, and all the way up to the actual coordination of vendors and timeline on our wedding day. Our reception area was decorated under an expansive sailcloth tent which helped protect our guests from the heat and potential rain. The tent was strung with a mixture of alternating café and twinkle lights for a magical outdoor feeling for our guests to dance the night away on a natural wood dance floor. Outside the tent, the trees leading to out cocktail bar were also strung with café lights. Our reception space had large rectangular tables in a U-shape surrounding the dance floor and DJ, draped in neutral linens and rose-colored gauze table runner for texture and romance. Our table settings had wood charger plates, oversized white plates, gold flatware, a blush napkin and stemless glassware for a relaxed elegant vibe. Our tables were set with beautiful low arrangements that were a mixture of garden and tropical flowers and greenery in pinks, white, mauve and green. The arrangements were surrounded by votive candles in mother of pearl candle holders. Some of our favorite small details from our wedding which tied our theme together was the tropical wedding crest which we used throughout the event, our bride and groom floral chair decorations and the raffia hand fans for our wedding guests (which were absolutely necessary given the warm weather!). We also had a wall seating chart with a white backdrop and mix of pink colored envelopes. Each envelope had our guests name and table number as well as a white wax seal crest which matched our invitation suite. The wording at the top: Syned, Sealed, Delivered (and play on words from our wedding hashtag #SyneSealedDelivered) was the perfect final touch to our seating chart!

Photography: Kerry Jeanne Photography | Videography: Aria Studios | Planner: Moana Belle Events | Floral Design: Passion Roots | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Upcountry Creations | Shoes: Bella Belle | Jewelry: Anna Campbell | Rings: James Allen | Makeup: Kecia Littman | Hair: Ashlee Valeros | Lighting: Accel Rentals | DJ: DJ Kneekz | Groom's Suit: Mr Mister | Officiant: Reverend Michael Nelson | Transportation: Royal Star Hawaii | Venue: Lanikuohuna | Groom's accessories: Tag Heuer | Grooms Shoes: Magnanni | Guest Book: Designed By Bride Via Artifact Uprising | Maid of Honor Dress: BHLDN | Menswear: Hugo Boss | Music: Jason Laeha | Rentals: Loulu Palm Estate | Rentals: Aloha Artisans | Rentals: Accel Rentals | Veil: Ivonn couture | Wedding Dress Tailor: Bespoke Bridal Tailors

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
The 5 Important Steps To Check Off Before Beginning Your Venue Search

Congratulations,  you’re getting married! This is a time for joy, so definitely take it all in – pop some champagne, get all blissed out on your soon-to-be boo for life, and welcome everything that comes with him or her putting a ring on it, but get ready for some big decisions, too, starting first and foremost with a pretty big necessity: the venue.  In addition to being one of the biggest investments you’ll make while wedding planning, the venue also sets the tone for the entire event. We see it as the glue that holds all the elements of your wedding day together, from ceremony all the way to send off. Needless to say, choosing a venue is a big decision! So, before you get down to the nitty gritty of finding your dream venue, let’s talk about the steps you need check off your list before starting your search. 

For more wedding venue advice – get your SMP ultimate venue guide today!

1. Find a Planner

If your budget allows for one, hiring a wedding planner can make the process OH so much easier. Having someone who can design and plan your big day, down to the last detail, not only takes some pressure off of you as a couple, it also helps to bring on an advocate, advisor, and all-around wedding pro who can make things more manageable ((and stress-free, which is major)). The right planner will be with you every step of the way as you narrow down your venue options, and can help negotiate the contract to get the most bang for your buck. Our full Wedding Planning Guide is the perfect resource for knowing exactly what you need in a planner and how to find the right one for you.

2. Set a Budget

Hiring a wedding planner might be to-do numero uno, but determining your budget is right up there in rank of  priorities.  Knowing who is going to be contributing to your overall wedding finances will help you set realistic expectations on every decision you will be making. Granted, that conversation, whether it be between the two of you or all of the parents (and even extended family members), could be a tough one. So, in our experience, it’s best just to bite the bullet, sit down with your beverage of choice, and figure it ALL out together. Keep in mind that exploring expectations vs. reality  can be a learning curve, and things may need to be adjusted down the road. Just try to stay nimble with those nuptials needs! 

3. Consider Dates

There are a few things to consider when looking at wedding dates. The first step is to sit down with your partner and determine what season works best for the both of you. You may ask yourselves:

  • Is there a particular season where life is less hectic for you?
  • Do any “must-have” loved ones have limited availability due to health, travel, or work? 
  • Is there a date or season that has particular meaning to you as a couple? 
  • What kind of climate, florals, menu and overall feel are you envisioning for your day?

Determining the answers to these questions will help you narrow down the range of possibilities. The overall feel you want will serve as a guiding light time and time again when planning the details for your day. If you want a cozy gathering with natural textures and warm tones, consider hosting a fall wedding at a venue with stunning foliage. A springtime soirée might be the answer if you want lush green grass and flowering trees in full bloom. There are advantages and disadvantages to all seasons, so be sure to weigh the options carefully. Check weather patterns and plan accordingly, from the beginning, for a pleasurable experience for guests, rain or shine.

If you’re not particular about a season or range of dates, there are a couple things you can do to save money. First, consider booking in the off-season. This will vary based on where you are located, but venues should be able to give specifics. In addition, booking a day other than Saturday ((which used to be the gold standard in wedding-perfect days of the week)) can also help the budget, but in return is a bit less convenient for guests. Holidays may also create some scheduling conflicts with guests, so consider avoiding those. Remember that dates that play with numbers (11/12/13, 08/18/18, etc.) tend to be popular and more expensive, so if booking one of those dates is important to you, reach out to venues sooner rather than later.

Above and beyond personal preference, the biggest factor in selecting the date is the actual availability of the venue!  Venues often book 12–18 months in advance, so keep those timelines in mind when setting appointments. Going in with several date options or a general season in mind may be best ((again, that flexibility can be SO important for keeping your sanity)). Keeping options open ensures you’ll be able to book a venue that truly speaks to you, rather than one that just one that just happened to have your date open.  

For more advice on how to pick your wedding date, check out our article, What to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Date.

4. Determine Guest List 

It’s easy to underestimate how many people will actually end up on the guest list, especially when you factor in whose parents (or other hosts) might want to take part in the planning, from a financial standpoint. Having a firm number early on of who you’d like to be invited will reduce the likelihood of squeezing people in a space meant for a smaller count, and will help determine what venues fit your needs. Knowing the size of the guest list will also help budget considerations, as the number of people invited will affect the cost of things like stationery, catering, rentals, centerpieces, etc. 

Of course, some invited guests will not be able to make it to the wedding. When estimating final count, it is normal for about 85% of invited guests to attend a local wedding, and 65% to attend a destination wedding. Keep in mind that it is best practice to be more generous with plus ones for destination weddings, or in any situation where a guest is traveling a long distance, so you’ll find that your guest count, here, will need to be increased. 

“99% of our couples are destination weddings so we typically see about 60–75% of invitees attend.” – Ashley Peterson, Sugar Beach Events

5. Location: Domestic vs. Destination

More and more couples are choosing destination weddings, and with breathtaking locations like Paris or Provence, Lake Como, Tulum, and Santorini increasing in popularity, it’s not hard to imagine why. When deciding between destination or domestic, think about what makes the most sense for you based on your style, budget, and schedule. In addition, you may consider:

  • Tourism Seasons: High tourist traffic can affect everything from transportation to accommodations.
  • Guests: It needs to be realistic for must-have loved ones to attend, financially and otherwise.
  • Budget: A destination wedding is more costly than a domestic one, especially considering transportation to and around the location. Given all the nuances of planning nuptials abroad makes things even harder to navigate if you’re doing it sans expert counsel (in a wedding planner), so you might also want to consider enlisting the help of a destination planner. These professionals know all the ins and outs of curating celebrations in your coveted locale(s), so they can handle a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Again, this requires extra spending against, but it’s a completely worthwhile endeavor (if you have the means!) 
  • Culture and Language: Planning a wedding remotely necessitates a different approach than planning domestically, so think about potential language barriers, laws and cultural differences.
  • Safety, Health, and Politics: Dive deeply into research (and we mean deep!) to make sure guests have easy access to information regarding safety, health, and political issues. The extra thought and consideration given to your guests might take more time and planning, but it will pay off in spades when navigating any potential sticky situations. TSA reports, friends who’ve visited, planners, and other couples who’ve gotten married at the location are great resources for this research.
Summer in D.C. Never Ends for These Two Law School Sweethearts!

A true love story for these two who met in law school, endured a long-distance relationship, finally decided to tie the knot where it all began, Washington D.C, at The Mayflower Hotel! The day was planned and detailed by Lily & Grayson Events and not a detail was missed, from the city map inspired invitations by Minted to homemade cookies using recipes by past First Lady’s! An endless amount of stunning portraits were captured by Marlayna Photography throughout all of the monuments, miles away from where they first met! Take a look below and see all of the magic that played out from first look to first dance!

From Lily & Grayson EventsYou wouldn’t know by watching them on the dance floor but Kelsey and Will are one of the most studious and diligent couples we’ve had the pleasure of working with. The plans for their big day were both touching and triumphant—a long-distance relationship that finally brought them back to the city where they fell in love; details incorporating a classic D.C. experience in the most charming ways!

From the contemporary city map-inspired invitations to the homemade cookies using First Lady recipes, guests felt a true sense-of-place for the entire weekend. We were able to build in extra time for them to escape to the monuments for their portraits, less than a mile away from where they first laid eyes on each other.

From Petal’s EdgeWeddings at Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC are truly exquisite, and Kelsey’s and Will’s was no exception! With an elegant, classic color palette and a showstopping mix of blooms, their celebration was one that will inspire brides and grooms for years to come. Kelsey’s bridal bouquet was breathtaking in both texture and color, blending rich burgundy, blush, and ivory hues. Burgundy peonies, peach Juliet garden roses, champagne roses, Café au Lait dahlia, burgundy astrantia, blue thistle, and white astilbe were accented with scented geranium and jasmine vine foliage and wrapped in ivory satin ribbon.

The design for Kelsey’s and Will’s guest table centerpieces meshed perfectly with the timeless beauty of the rest of their wedding. Atop each table, a gold cube vase contained lush, tailored design of white hydrangea, peach stock, burgundy roses, Café au Lait dahlia, burgundy astrantia, blue thistle, and white astilbe, accented with scented geranium and seeded eucalyptus foliage.

Photography: Marlayna Photography | Florals: Petal's Edge | Gown: Maggie Sottero | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Stationery: Minted | Rings: James Allen | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Catering: Spilled Milk Catering | Hair & Makeup: Alison Harper and Company | DJ: DJ Dan Goldman | Favors: Hello George Candles | Officiant: Bride's Grandmother - Doris Ferguson | Ceremony Music: Cherry Blossom Strings | Hotel: The Mayflower Hotel | Hotel: The Mayflower Hotel | Venue: Carnegie Institution for Science | Beverage: ACE Beverage | Bridal Shoes: Ted Baker London | Ceremony & Reception: Carnegie Institution For Science | Gown Shop: Love Couture Bridal | Menswear: The Black Tux | Planners: Lily & Grayson Events | Portraits: Thomas Jefferson Memorial | Rentals: Select Event Group | Rentals: DC Rental | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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