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Modern Barn Wedding Inspiration with Pops of Coral Charm Peonies

This gorgeous shoot was inspired by the herringbone walls of the gorgeous North Carolina barn venue – Board and Batten! Eliana Nunes Floral & Event Design brought their modern yet whimsical vision to life complete with lush coral charm peonies, velvet tablecloths and a blooming floral arbor that’s about to go viral all over Pinterest. Lucky for us, Hillary Meulleck was there to capture every inspiring detail! Head on over to the full gallery and prepare to fall in loveee. 

From Eliana Nunes Floral & Event DesignThis Modern Barn Wedding was inspired by the venue itself! Board and Batten highlights herringbone walls, a huge double-sided stone fireplace, and a stunning bridal suite that would make any bride feel gorgeous! 

For this inspiration, Eliana of Eliana Nunes Floral & Event Design wanted to use the pantone color of year, along with shades of blue. She designed the ceremony with draping greenery hanging from the chandeliers, a whimsical floral arch, and lines of white wooden chairs to give the space a clean, yet whimsical look. At the reception, coral peonies, coral parrot tulips and rich greens highlighted the stone fireplace, with golden candle holders adding the final touch. Velvet tablecloths from Nuage Designs helped bring the most gorgeous shades of blue, from sky blue to rich turquoise. Signature drinks were displayed on a charming antique piece from Eventful NC

Gorgeous velvet escort cards and hand-painted invitation suite with a custom crest, dinner menus, and cocktail signage were designed and calligraphed by Priya of Piachella Calligraphy. The cake was a simple two tiered cake with a marbled exterior, swirls of gold and just the right touch of florals. Hair and Makeup was provided by Tease and Blush to create a flawless and glowy look for our bride. The pink lip and rosy cheeks were the perfect compliment to the subtle pink and floral accented wedding gown that was designed by TWOO and provided by Bellissima Bridal Boutique

From Windsor Jewelers, our bride wore the emerald cut halo engagement ring and wedding band while our groom wore a hammered silver wedding band. Hillary Muelleck Photography used Fuji 400 film to best capture the rich and vibrant color palette of the pink florals and blue velvets. Shooting on film provides a richness to each photo while also keeping the elements soft and intimate. Every detail, from the floral accents on the wedding gown to the herringbone architecture of the venue walls, was intentionally highlighted when designing and styling this vibrant barn wedding. We hope this inspires all you barn wedding lovers who want a modern and whimsical vibe!

Photographer: Hillary Muelleck Photography | Floral and Event Design: Eliana Nunes Floral & Event Design | Cake: Cake And All Things Yummy | Hair and Makeup: Tease and Blush | Barn: Board and Batten | Bar, Candlesticks, Glassware, Flatware: Eventful of NC | Bridal Gown: Bellissima | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Chairs and Chargers: Party Reflections | Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Custom Design, Windsor Jewelers | Film Photo Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Linens and Napkins: Nuage Designs | Models: Directions USA | Paper Goods and Calligraphy: Priya Chelladurai

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How She Upped the Cozy Factor in her Modern Loft!

Here comes Fall… sweaters, pumpkin spiced lattes and all. Is your home ready? With cozy layers and warm neutrals, Neelam Gurm of Patterns and Prosecco transformed this industrial loft into the perfect place for cozying up with a great book and a hot cup of your favorite sip. Get inspired to add cold weather comfort to your abode with images by MJay Photography plus our favorite pieces to snag the look below!

For this project I transformed an industrial space into a cozy space to welcome fall. My intention was to inspire and help readers transition their own spaces from summer into fall and winter.

The inspiration and most prominent piece in the space is the beautiful vintage Turkish rug. From the 1960s it’s hand knotted, vibrant and the perfect addition to the concrete floors. Area rugs and scatter rugs are an easy and inexpensive way to change up decor with the seasons. In a large space like this the rug not only defines the space, but also helps to absorb sound and reduce echoing.

Since I wanted the rug to be the star, I kept the rest of the furnishings neutral, choosing to play with texture over color to create interest. An oversized knitted throw, fringed pillows, and a knotted pouf keep the space from feeling boring, while creating a warm and inviting space.

Gorgeous caramel leather chairs offer contrast to the sofa, but blend in beautifully with the brick, keeping the space mellow. A sheep skin rug and cozy pillow help to soften the chairs and play well with the other textures in the space.

Natural elements like the raw wood nesting tables and warm tones like the bass accents help to warm up the space even more. Vintage art, books and candles complete the transformation.

Photography: Michelle Johnson | Design: Neelam Gurm | Brass Side Table: West Elm | Candles: Anthropologie | Chairs: Homesense | Fringed Pillow: Anthropologie | Knitted Throw: West Elm | Lamp: Homesense | Nesting Tables: Homesense | Pouf: Homesense | Rug: Etsy | Sofa: Homesense

The Floral Adorned Garden Wedding of Our Dreams!

Garden wedding lovers – this one’s for you! Blush and mauve hues decorated their day from the bridesmaids dresses to the floral ceremony arch created by Gather Design Company. The bride stunned in a V-neck Jusere gown and a delicate princess tiara (total royal wedding vibes). Later, FNMS Inc. Planning and Design brought the garden inside at their reception complete with a living staircase and lush pink blooms. See all the magic unfold at the full gallery – taken by The Ganeys!

From The GaneysDaisy and Jixiong had a beautiful Thornewood Castle wedding! The weather could not have been more beautiful and this couple couldn’t have been sweeter. Daisy and Jixiong opted for an intimate wedding with only 60 guests, allowing them to spend time with everyone that made the trip to celebrate with them! Daisy has impeccable taste – I could have photographed her all day! 

Her bridal shoes were absolutely stunning with the lace detailing and the jeweled accent. Her hair was pulled up neatly in a high bun, and around it, she wore a crown. She wore a ballgown that flattered her figure with ascending floral accents on the bodice. Her bridesmaids wore mauve gowns and carried garden bouquets filled with roses, dahlias and sweet peas. 

Jixiong and Daisy decided to do a first look up on the balcony of Thornewood Castle. They were so excited to see each other for the first time – all of the nerves melted away with that first embrace! The wedding ceremony was held in the garden. A harpist played classical love songs as guests found their seats – the aisles flanked by floral arrangements. 

The lush floral arch from Gather Design Company was the most romantic centerpiece to the ceremony. Daisy and Jixiong shared personal vows during the ceremony, and friends and family cheered as they were announced as husband and wife! The reception was held indoors in the main dining room. Each table was set with organic florals and each guest sat with a gold rimmed charger, gold flatware and a menu card. Daisy and Jixong’s family shared toasts and the couple made their way to every table to greet their guests. At the end of the evening, we walked down to the dock for some sunset portraits. As the sun set behind the mountains, Daisy and Jixiong had the opportunity to soak it in – this was their wedding day. Shortly after, they exited through a row of sparklers!

Photography: The Ganeys | Floral Design: Gather Design Company | Wedding Dress: Jusere | Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana | Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera Wang | Catering: Foodz Catering | Hair & Makeup: Tianyao Su | Harpist: The Solo Harp | Venue: Thornewood Castle | Crown: Qianse Bride | Dining Dress: Tadashi Shoji | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | MC: Lucy Meng Wedding MC | Planning: FNMS Inc. Planning and Design | Rentals: Cort Party Rentals | Rentals: Sweet Buffet Lady | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Codes

Planning a wedding means that there are a million decisions to make, and little details to iron out. One detail that often gets overlooked is the wedding dress code. Sure, you’ve thought about what you and your partner will wear, but what about your guests? We know, the idea of assigning a dress code may seem a little outdated, but trust us, it’s not! Dress codes not only ensure that your wedding guests look cohesive with the event as a whole, but it also helps your guests be confident and comfortable in the ensemble they decide to wear. There are dress codes available for any and every occasion – but for weddings, here are the dress codes you need to know:

Helpful Tip: When choosing your dress code, it is best to have a venue booked first, this way you can adjust the dress code to fit the venue accordingly.  

1. White-tie

White-tie is the most formal option and not very common–think royal ball. Men are required to wear tuxedos with tails, or a tailcoat, and of course–a white bow tie. Women are required to wear a floor-length ball gown-a gown that is fitted through the bodice and then flares out from the waist into a bell-shape. Some white-tie functions also request that the women wear long gloves, past the elbow. For a wedding guest, it would be acceptable for a woman to wear a floor-length evening gown with a little less fullness–it would be in poor taste for a guest’s gown to be more voluminous than the bride’s. That being said, if you are a bride and you are hosting a white-tie affair, be sure to go big! We’re talking princess-level ballgown with the dramatic train and cathedral veil complete with children to carry it.


PHOTOGRAPHY | Zosia Zacharia Photography

 

2. Black-tie

Though not the most formal dress code, black-tie is still a formal affair. Men are expected to wear tuxedos but may choose a more modern design (without the tails). Black ties are a must. Some sources will tell you that it needs to be a bow tie, but these days a black necktie will do just as well. Women are expected to wear a formal floor-length gown, there are no requirements on color or silhouette. If you are hosting a black-tie wedding make sure that you, your partner, and your bridal party adhere to the dress code as well: meaning, the men are in tuxes and the women are all in floor-length gowns. 


PHOTOGRAPHY| Luna de Mare Photography

 

3. Black-tie Optional or Formal

If you don’t feel the need to be super strict with your dress code, consider this option. Black-tie optional, or sometimes referred to as “Formal”, is a very considerate way to host a formal event without requiring your guests to purchase or rent an ensemble just for your wedding. It allows men to wear either a tuxedo or a dark suit. It is recommended that men wear a white shirt with their dark suit to mimic the look of a tuxedo. Women are encouraged to wear floor-length evening gowns or formal cocktail dresses. For a black-tie optional event, we would recommend that women opting to wear a cocktail dress go for a midi-length hem. For couples that are hosting a black-tie optional wedding, we recommend that you follow the black-tie dress code to ensure that you have the most formal looks at the wedding.


PHOTOGRAPHER | Oliver Fly Photography

 

4. Semi-formal or Cocktail 

Semi-formal is currently the most popular dress code for weddings. Men can wear a suit and tie ensemble or a sport coat. For women, it’s super easy, just wear a cocktail dress! The hem of the cocktail dress can range from midi to just above the knee. For formal events, in general, try to wear a dress with a hem that falls at your fingertips or below. Women may also wear formal pantsuits and separates. Men in the bridal party and the groom(s) should wear a suit while women in the bridal party wear a cocktail dress or a slightly less formal floor-length gown. Brides that are hosting a semiformal wedding can still wear a formal wedding gown or they can opt for something playful, like a gown with a high-low hem or a midi-length dress.  


PHOTOGRAPHY| O’Malley Photographers

 

5. Dressy Casual

This dress code is a great option if you are hosting an outdoor wedding but still want it to feel like a formal affair. For a dressy casual wedding, men should wear a sport coat or blazer with khakis or slacks; no tie required. It is still expected that men wear dress shoes or loafers. Women can wear separates or dresses at any hem length and in more casual materials like cotton or linen. For shoes, women should wear heels, wedges, or dressy flats. It is still expected that the bridal party will be the most formal, so the groom(s) and any men in the bridal party may still wear a suit. Bridesmaids can wear anything from a sundress to a less formal floor-length dress. The bride(s) may still wear a formal wedding gown, though some silhouettes lend themselves better to a dressy-casual wedding like A-line and mermaid. Brides hosting a dressy casual wedding may also choose to go with a less formal/traditional look like a pantsuit, jumpsuit, or a cocktail dress. 


PHOTOGRAPHY | Jose Villa Photography

 

6. Casual

A casual dress code can get a little tricky because it truly depends on how casual you want to go. If you are hosting the wedding, it’s a good idea to outline the specifics of the dress code for your guests so they aren’t stressing about being over or underdressed. Typically, a casual dress code means that men don’t need jackets, a nice button-down shirt and khakis or slacks is perfect. If you are getting married outside, maybe on the beach, and you would like to give men the option to wear shorts, make sure to specify that on your invitation. The same goes for sandals. Women can wear separates or sundresses. If you are hosting a casual wedding, linen is always a good look for the men, depending on the season, of course. The women in the bridal party can wear sundresses or casual maxi dresses. A couple hosting a casual wedding may dress a little more formal, with the groom(s) wearing a casual linen suit or sport coat and pants, while the bride still wears a traditional wedding gown with a slim silhouette. Brides hosting a casual wedding may also choose to wear a pantsuit, shorter cocktail dress, or sundress. 


PHOTOGRAPHY | Joel Serrato Film Photographer

Whatever dress code you and your partner decide to go with remember to outline as much as you can for your guests. It’s not necessary to put it all on the invite, just state the dress code and you can dive into more detail on your wedding website. It’s also a good idea to consult with your wedding planner on this topic. They will have a lot of great advice about which dress codes would coordinate best with your venue and how to word it properly for your guests. 

Now that we’ve laid out all of the rules, we just wanted to take a second to remind you that at the end of the day, your wedding is a party–try not to be too much of a stickler when it comes to enforcing the dress code. Just trust your guests to do their best and enjoy the day; it goes by so fast!

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Make Your House Guest-Ready In 10 Minutes Flat

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting on your couch, recognizing the fact that “declutter” has fallen lower and lower on your to-do list, when your phone vibrates. It might be your mom stopping by. Or, in my case, it’s a friend who wants to come up for a post-workout glass of wine. You ask yourself, “who has time to keep her home guest ready?” The answer is you!

Here’s how to quick-clean your place in 10 minutes for an unexpected visitor:


Minute 1: Brew coffee.

Surprising fact: the scent of brewed coffee masks almost any smell. I turn my Keurig on before I do anything else. That way it’s had time to waft through my apartment before my friend arrives. And who doesn’t like the smell of fresh coffee?


Minutes 2-5: Stand in your doorway.
Seriously, get up and stand where your guests will enter your home. Look around. Whatever you see is what your guest will notice when she walks in.

These “sightlines” are where you should concentrate your precious minutes. Are there dirty dishes in the sink? Unsightly piles on the coffee table? Crooked lampshades or crowded chairs? Take care of those things first.

The less clutter, the cleaner the room feels. Clear the mess from the rooms your guest will enter. Sightlines first, then where you’ll sit, then the bathroom. Throw the items in a laundry basket and tuck it away in your closet. (You’ll sort it out later.)

Tip: Shut doors leading off your common areas (like your bedroom door). It will focus your guest’s attention on the one room you “cleaned.”

Minutes 6-8: Wipe down surfaces.
Grab some counter spray and go to town on your kitchen counters, dining room table, and coffee table. Think about the largest surfaces in your entertaining space. Or any space where your guest will put her glass down. Because you wouldn’t host a guest without offering her something to drink, right? You’ll also want to spray down your bathroom counter if you use hair products or loose makeup.

Minutes 9-10: Turn off overhead lights.
Bright overhead lights can be a spotlight on dusty places! Be kind to your nooks and crannies by swapping harsh lighting for soft lamps. Plus, lamplight makes your space feel warmer and more inviting for guests.

Candles are also a great idea. I light a candle at the very end of the process. Mostly because I’d rather my friend walk in while I’m about to light a candle than when I’m about to wipe down my counter. Plus, candlelight is more forgiving on the space


Minute 10: Fluff the throw pillows.
If you have any time left, take 30 seconds to fluff the throw pillows on your couch and chairs. Well-arranged pillows give the room a pulled together feel without a lot of effort.

Okay, so maybe it’s cheating. But perception is reality, right?

Nobody has time to deep clean her home every day. But, in a pinch, you can at least give the impression. Let’s just hope your mom doesn’t open your closet door…

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Madeline Littrell is a corporate PR strategist and freelance writer. Born and raised in the South, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers. Madeline lives in Dallas with her Sheltie puppy, Tennessee.

Jackie O Would 100% Approve of This Chic & Timeless Ballroom Wedding

This stunning former NFL cheerleader and her handsome hub tied the knot in true Jackie O style at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in front of their closest family and friends. The bride was the epitome of elegance in her classic strapless gown while rocking a pair of matching opera-length gloves (#goals)! Callista & Company planned the entire day to perfection while O’Malley Photographers captured every chic detail. Head on over to the full gallery to see all the modern blooms from Sinclair & Moore and so much more… the arbor is truly EVERYTHING.

From the planner, Callista & Company, and the Bride, Brittany… As a newly engaged couple going into wedding planning, we already had a vision of our perfect wedding, which included a traditional base with modern twists sprinkled in. Luckily, Reid and I had the industry’s best of the best help bring our wedding dreams to fruition.

Our wedding was traditional with a Kennedy-esque flare to the evening – I wore a clean high bun, a full gown with delicate buttons down the back, accompanied with silk opera length gloves. Reid wore a classic black tuxedo with a white button-down shirt and black bow tie.

Our modern twists included all white bridesmaid’s gowns, an energetic little Flower Boy and all white floral arrangements. The all white ensemble was complemented with shades of grey and black accents and different textures to truly bring the room to life.

Being a former Seattle Seahawk’s Cheerleader (Go Hawks!), it’s tradition to perform a dance called ‘Turbulence’ at all former / current cheerleaders’ weddings. What made this tradition even more exciting was having Reid, an honorary Squad 5 member, show off his dance moves in front of friends and family and join in as the shared point of the triangle!

Guests roared and applauded and could not believe Reid was up dancing with former NFL cheerleaders – he fit right in! Another special moment happened just minutes before walking down the aisle. My bridesmaids and I had a “My Best Friend’s Wedding” moment and played the song “Wishin’ and Hopin’ as we danced around with the Flower Boy, sipped champagne and giggled as we prepared to walk down the aisle. It was the most perfect, unplanned moment of the entire day!

Photography: O'Malley Photographers | Cinematography: Green Attic Films | Event Planning: Callista & Company | Floral Design: Sinclair & Moore | Wedding Dress: Sareh Nouri | Stationery: Grey and Cake | Ceremony: Olympic Fairmont Hotel | Reception: Olympic Fairmont Hotel | Hair & Make-up: Geraldine Legaspi | Veil: Sareh Nouri

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A Floral Escort Card Display Unlike Any We’ve Seen Before!

A little bit of rustic romance mixed with a bit of sophisticated style made for the perfect wedding day for this music-loving couple! Held at The Full Moon Resort, Bride and Groom adorned the venue with a variety of stunning floral displays by Faye and Renee! From a jaw-dropping ceremony setup, allowing the bride to walk through a set of doors (while being completely outside,) to one of our favorite escort card display’s we’ve seen! Top off the day with the sounds of live band, Cafe Wha? Band and you have a wedding day full of all of the love and all of the dancing! Take a peek below, and see how Emily Wren Photography brought this couples whimsical day to life!

From Emily Wren PhotographyMarli and Zach brought a sophisticated sense of style and love of live music to their wedding weekend at the Full Moon Resort. The rustic romance of the Catskills provided an idyllic backdrop for this glowing couple, along with family and friends, to celebrate from the rehearsal dinner on Friday night to the farewell brunch on Sunday morning! 

The Full Moon Resort is situated in the heart of the Catskill Forest Preserve and offers both in-house catering and an array of accommodations and venues, making it the perfect destination for a summer wedding!

The floral design, courtesy of Faye & Renee, augmented the Full Moon Resort’s grounds, bringing heavenly floral arches (and dreamy french doors!) to the lush green lawns and decking the handsome golden barn in rosy sprays of summer blooms! While there were so many major moments of floral inspiration in this wedding, I was struck by the escort cards, nestled in the baskets of yellow and white wildflowers outside of the Wedding Barn. It was the sweetest way to transition from the cocktail hour in the garden to the reception indoors.

Music plays an important part in Zach and Marli’s relationship–Zach, who used to be a music blogger, actually met Marli at a concert– so getting a world-class wedding band was a must! They booked New York’s legendary Cafe Wha? band, who were absolutely amazing! The spirits were high in the Wedding Barn, and the golden lights hanging from the ceiling like full moons lit up the equally beaming crowd! Cafe Wha? read the energy of the room and kept the dance floor rocking until the end of the night, when Zach and Marli joined their guests for an after-party at the Roadhouse–a late-night bar on the premises!

Photography: Emily Wren Photography | Videography: Luxe Reel | Floral Design: Faye and Renee Floral and Event Design | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Minted | Reception Venue: Full Moon Resort | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Full Moon Resort | Makeup & Hair: Tara Pross of Bella Trucco | Band: Cafe Wha Band | Groom's Suit: Enzo Custom | Groom's Wedding Band: Chris Ploof | Ring Box: Alwedo | Wedding Ring: Jemma Wynne

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A Flower Themed First Birthday Party fit for a Little Lady!

First Birthdays. A chance to celebrate the little person that we’ve fallen so deeply in love with. A milestone where we recognize that our baby isn’t such a baby anymore. But more than anything? A holy-cow-we-did-it-sleepless-nights-and-all party where we can (and should) celebrate that being a parent isn’t for the faint of heart. That it truly does, take a village. Well, lucky for us, the creative and crazy talented village that surrounds floral designer Michelle Lywood and her precious little girl Livia, whipped together a first birthday party to end all first birthday parties. Planned by Lovely Time Weddings & Events with flowers by La Lavande and photos by Taralynn Lawton, this is one for the books!

From Tammy at Lovely Time Wedding & EventsBig congratulations to Michelle Lywood, our oh-so talented florist friend in the industry. After taking a break to spend time with her sweet daughter, Livia. It was so much fun to see Michelle come back to events though hosting a beautiful party for her friends and family! Michelle can never get away from her love for florals, so Livia in turn was born to bloom beautifully. This theme of the event came from Michelle’s hope for her daughter to blossom into a beautiful woman!

Michelle really wanted a cute, but high-end cake design, different from usual baby party celebrations. We also knew that she really loved the watercolor effect and peachy-coral tones that we were using as the main colors of the event, so La Vie Douce Design incorporated those themes into the cake design using white fondant applique to give a higher-end floral look. Inkinity Studio designed and executed the beautiful watercolor backdrop. 

We had two varieties of handmade cookies by Not Betty Cookies – one shaped into colorful florals and the other featuring handpainted farm animals which helped to tie in the petting zoo that we had. Having the cookie maker use black outlines for the animals with a pop of color to represent the color palette and floral theme made them feel fresh and modern.

Knowing both mother and daughter, the pair are always so happy and sweet, our design team found a quote that fit their family perfectly. “If I had a flower for every time you made us smile and laugh, I could walk in my garden forever,” fitting in with the floral theme. We used the quote as a backdrop and a focal point which was crafted beautifully by KLP Calligraphy

Along with the beautiful aesthetics, we worked to include many interactive and photo elements for the guests and the family with 3 photographable backdrops and plenty of food and activities!

The whole party was a great gathering of family and friends with activities that both the children and adults could enjoy in a homey backyard with personalized decoration.

Photography: Taralynn Lawton | Floral Design: La Lavande | Cake: La Vie Douce Design | Catering: Far Out Catering | Calligraphy: KLP Calligraphy | Art Direction: Michelle Lywood | Backdrop: Inkinity Studio | Balloon Design: Balloonatics Events | Bartender: Bartending Babes | Cookies: Not Betty Cookies | Face Painting: Happy Cake Face Painting | Lasercut Signs: Happily Ever Etched | Linen Rental: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Petting Zoo: Little Explorers Petting Zoo | Planning: Lovely Time | Rentals: Abbey Rentals | Shave Ice: Annie Viv's Shave Ice | Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals

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A Stunning Floral Cross Set the Tone for This Southern Fête

A living floral cross, a minimalistic yet stunning wedding dress, a rickshaw send off and the best advice we’ve ever heard from the bride herself – these are just a few things you can expect from today’s beautiful Charleston wedding. There may have been a major heatwave the weekend of their wedding, but the team at Hill and Co Creative kept their cool and had the festivities going off without a hitch. Stephanie Gibbs Events created stunning, organic arrangements bringing the couple’s elegant vision to life. Take in all the southern charm at the full gallery captured by Pura Soul Photography!

From Skylar Stetten of Pura Soul Photography… Caroline and Daniel opted for a large southern style wedding just outside of Charleston, SC and celebrated with over 200 of their closest friends and family. Since the wedding celebration was large, Hill and Co. Creative designed a unique reception that felt like you were in an outdoor living room with fine furnishings including winged, cane back chairs and leggy sofas. A custom blue and white bar, blue and white pillows, and blue and white ginger jars were just a few of the elements that gave this wedding it’s traditional southern charm. Standing just over 6 feet tall, the floral cross created by Stephanie Gibbs Events was the cornerstone of the ceremony site. The religious ceremony was rooted in heartfelt readings of scripture by close friends and family.

Ceremony

From the Bride and her mother… Large floral urns flanked the aisle entering the ceremony site, which was framed by sprawling oak boughs with Spanish moss. Ushers escorted guests to vintage salvaged church pews with simple greenery aisle markers. A large wood cross covered in flowers stood against the backdrop of a peaceful pond. As if on cue, several white cranes gracefully skimmed the water surface. It was the hottest Memorial Day Weekend on record in Charleston, totaling a steamy 100 degrees, but during the ceremony, a gentle breeze suddenly wafted through the venue (to every guest’s delight). Crisp, white umbrellas shaded the venue from the glaring sun, and guests were provided with handmade sweetgrass fans, thanks to my mother’s brilliant last-minute improvisation.

Reception

Characterized by subtle, low-country elegance and layers of texture and light. A gray and white paneled bar backed by etagere shelving for glassware was strategically positioned under an ancient oak. A cluster of beehive pendants cast a warm glow, as guests gathered to enjoy cocktails around gray barley-twist pedestal tables. I (the bride) took a stab at etching the bar menu on an antique mirror in white fabric paint. Bamboo folding chairs pulled up to round tables covered in off-white linens with floral centerpieces in cement urns and etched glass votives with blue tapered candles. Guests had a perfect view of the action perched on Penelope chairs surrounding long community tables that flanked the dance floor. A lounge area, with cane-backed wing chairs, a sofa, and blue- and- white- chinoiserie pillows invited guests to linger and enjoy the night. Under the tent, guests crowded onto the birchwood- and- white checkered dance floor with a white plantation-front stage. The one-and-only, Charlotte-based Sol Fusion band provided the energy, talent, and tempo to overcome the heat and rally everyone to dance. Later in the night, our guests donned a hilarious assortment of hats and dance floor props – from Finding Nemo characters to saguaro cacti (an ode to my AZ roots, of course).

Ramses/The Exit

The highlight of the evening was a surprise visit by Ramses, the famed mascot of the University of North Carolina (our alma mater), who leapt onstage in the middle of ‘Uptown Funk,’ bringing the crowd to its knees. The peak of the evening (and quite possibly my existence) was shimmying with my father and Ramses after both families and bridal parties had rushed on stage. For our exit, we knew a glitzy Rolls-Royce wasn’t fitting, so we started brainstorming creative alternatives. We have a few friends who’ve manned bike taxis in downtown Charleston, therefore the idea for a rickshaw bike unfolded organically.

Florals

My vision was to infuse as many elements as possible with loose, overflowing arrangements of seasonal garden florals. Stephanie Gibbs worked her magic with jasmine vine, tulips, lilacs, eleagnus, smilax, garden roses, lisianthus. For the bridal bouquet, I carried hand-tied florals of garden roses, tulips, lisianthus, and lilac with loose greenery. Bridesmaids had similar, but smaller arrangements. Last, but not least – the large wooden cross was exquisitely draped in natural greenery and white florals to serve as the centerpiece of our ceremony.

Invitations

Our invitations hinted at what was to come; one of my bridesmaids, Charlotte Moore, painted a watercolor of the Wingate farmhouse for the save-the-dates. Our formal invitations were engraved in breeze blue ink, with a simple oak tree motif that I designed. My mother collected a palette of muted blue, sea-glass and rose-colored vintage stamps from various sources, each representing an aspect of our lives.

The Food

Charleston is a foodie town, and we wanted to treat our guests to a coastal Carolina feast. Our idea: innovative, artful local cuisine fused with comfort food. Salthouse, our caterer, was a great choice to implement this vision. During cocktail hour, we served piquant tomato pie tartlettes, lobster BLTs, okra tempura, and local Ashley Farms duck confit. During the reception, guests grazed at the “Chef’s Best of the Season” table, a charcuterie loaded with locally-sourced hand-cured meats, cheeses, lavosh, and gourmet condiments. During the evening, guests sampled local shrimp and grits with Tasso gravy, braised short rib with mushroom ragout, and a mac-n-cheese bar with cavitappi pasta and five cheese mornay with toppings. To ward off the heat, we provided cooling towels, sweetgrass fans, umbrellas, electric fans, and a popsicle vendor, King of Pops. To soak up the late night cocktails, we had bourbon-glazed fried chicken with homemade biscuits, and the one-and-only Krispy Kreme donuts.

Gift Bags

We sourced Snack Monster prickly-pear rice krispies cookies coated with house-made salted caramel, Chapel Hill toffees, Old Bay Virginia Peanuts, assorted Red Clay hot sauces, and Lowcountry Kettle chips. Oh, and a sophisticated hangover kit to combat Monday’s struggle.

The Dress

As a tomboy at my core, I was secretly dreading the dress search. Unlike many brides out there, my idea of a ‘dream’ wedding dress consists of clean lines, minimal frills and an understated, yet sleek silhouette (i. E. Megan Markle’s gown, but more summery). I was not at all expecting to find THE frock when I stumbled into a sample store in downtown Charleston almost one month after being engaged… In fact, I made the appointment in the first place thinking it would be a beneficial introduction to the process, which I had convinced myself would take 6+ months based on my chronic indecisiveness (and the conflicting female opinions in my family). My “moms” (AKA mother and mother-in-law) were in town at the time and instantly started pulling options off the shelves for me to try when we waltzed into the shop with my roommates. One of the dresses that caught my eye immediately was a strikingly simplistic Sarah Seven frock with a form-fitting bodice that happened to be a size 2 (what are the odds?). I tried it on in front of my posse, and no one said a word for 20 seconds, until my mother exclaimed, “Well, time to go. You have your dress.” The rest of the room chimed in and adamantly agreed, including my mother-in-law, who brought along an exquisite antique Brussels lace veil “just in case” I wanted to see it in-person. Turns out, the exquisite off-white pattern of the veil was a perfect fit for the Sarah Seven dress – and the rest is history. As for the groom’s vision… Our attire was black tie, but ended up with an unexpected twist: shorts. Explanation below!

The Shorts

Given the go-ahead by the mother of the bride earlier in the day, the groomsmen disappeared shortly after cocktail hour and reemerged wearing makeshift tuxedo ‘shorts’ above their knees (really just strategic black swim trunks). Soon enough, nearly half of the male population in attendance followed suit – literally – flaunting every style of short imaginable – from chubbies to neon swim trunks.

How We Met

If at first you don’t succeed…

Caroline and Daniel crossed paths in 2012 when she arrived as a freshman (and he was a junior) at UNC. Instantly smitten, Daniel decided to make his affection known one night under the stars at Chapel Hill’s most enchanting venue: Pantana Bob’s. Needless to say, things didn’t exactly go as planned. Then, nearly two years later, Caroline finally agreed to go to a cocktail function with Daniel, where she was floored by his swing dancing skills (compliments of his dedicated trainer, Angela) and uncanny ability to make her laugh. It wasn’t until 2014 that the duo made their relationship “official” on the patio of another romantic watering hole: Blind Tiger Pub–ironically located a few doors down from Daniel’s workplace. Four years later, these star-crossed Tar Heels tied the knot in the same city where they took the first step—surrounded by friends and family from across the globe.

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Advice for Brides/Grooms

I could easily draft a novel for this prompt, but I’ll try to keep it brief. No matter what calamity strikes or bad weather ensues before, during or after the wedding – the outcome of the wedding is 100% in the bride and groom’s hands. For starters, my car was totaled in the middle of the night four months before my wedding by a one-legged man with no insurance. Then, two months later – I found out my videographer had taken his own life after not hearing from him for a month. A few weeks after that, I discovered the bridesmaid dress I chose sold out of all sizes except 14, 16 and 18 (turns out my sister and two best friends from home hadn’t ordered theirs yet). Fast forward to the week before the wedding, and my in-laws’ car broke down on the highway en route to Charleston with my husband’s 94-year-old grandmother in the backseat. Meanwhile, I picked my rehearsal dinner dress up from the seamstress, only to discover she had accidentally sewn in size DD cups (instead of the correct B size). And on top of all of this, we began reading reports of a Charleston heat wave approaching, which was predicted to culminate in 99 degrees on our wedding day, May 26. Trust me–I could keep going, but my point is to stress that none of the logistics and fluff really matter in the long-run. Most of us have been to a wedding or two where the bride is clearly uptight and preoccupied with over-calculating every aesthetic detail around her. I made a promise to myself not to fall into this category. So instead, Daniel (my husband) and I concocted a simple, foolproof game plan to truly enjoy the best night of our lives:

Remember what the day is about. Hint: it’s not the dress designer, venue, draping or shoes that matter in the end – it’s who’s waiting for you at the other end of the aisle. When in doubt, report to the dance floor. It’s that simple. We weren’t afraid to let loose at our wedding (sweat and all), and I’m so glad we did. I truly believe that the bride and groom’s collective attitude is one of the single most critical factors to determine the night’s success. Allow yourselves to have a blast, and I promise – your guests will too. Ladies, this should go without saying… But break in your wedding shoes at least two weeks out. I’m still suffering the consequences.

Conclusion

As evidenced by the uncontrollable tears, I’ll never forget walking down the aisle escorted by my sweet daddy. It’s truly an impossible task to narrow down every glorious moment of that 100-degree day… However, the surprise Ramses cameo, last-second shorts rebellion and rickshaw exit (sporting sombreros) were obvious highlights.

Photographer: Pura Soul Photography | Videographer: Knotted Arrow | Wedding Planner: Hill & Co. Creative | Florist: Stephanie Gibbs Events | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Charleston Cakes Etc | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Salthouse Catering | Calligraphy: Bonnie Clark | Lighting: East Bay Lighting | Band: Sol Fusion | Wedding Venue: Wingate Plantation | Donuts: Krispy Kreme | Dress Shop: Gown Collective | Film Lab: Indie Film Lab | Mascot: University of North Carolina | Paper Goods: Reaves Engraving | Popsicles: King Of Pops | Rentals: Eventworks | Rickshaw: Rickshaw | Specialty Rentals: Ooh! Events | Strings: Other Brother Entertainment. Josh. | Watercolor: C. H. Moore

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Ditching the New Build for a Charming Colonial Fixer-Upper

After setting their sights on a custom new build, this city family happened upon their dream house. A charming colonial fixer-upper with loads of potential stole their hearts and with Maureen Ursino leading the design helm, this home was transformed into a modern farmhouse with serious cozy vibes. Sneak a peek inside this charmer shot by Raquel Langworthy.

When looking at this beautifully edited, bright and wonderfully personal home it’s hard to believe that just a year ago it almost didn’t happen. I was initially hired by my clients last summer to design a custom new build about 30 minutes outside of New York. At the time, the young couple was living in Hoboken, NJ and eager to find the perfect first home to welcome their first baby.

We were in the midst of design development when one day the wife called me and said, “I’m so sorry, but we’ve fallen in love with another house in the town over.” She explained the house was an older home and needed some work, but it had given them “that feeling” and they were sure this is where they wanted to raise their family. I agreed to pivot my efforts!

They settled on their new house quickly and as soon as I visited, I immediately understood the appeal. The house is in a beautiful, walkable New Jersey suburb, situated on a cul-de-sac with a gorgeous lush lawn, a large patio, and lots of privacy, but most importantly, it offered a unique canvas for which we could pay homage to their roots and also look to the bright future.

The couple, who were married on their family’s 200-year-old farm in Pennsylvania, wanted to design a modern farmhouse that felt bright, fresh, and clean, while also still being comfortable and family-friendly. They used the opportunity of a new home to focus on the furnishings.

We went with a warm neutral palette, bringing in color through natural elements and texture. One of my favorite parts of the home are the beautiful oversized windows. We intentionally selected furnishings and textiles that allowed the natural light to really illuminate the space and provide the airy, clean feel we wanted to achieve.

The home has 8’ ceilings, which can be a little tricky, but they can also enhance the sense of intimacy in a space if treated correctly. For this reason, we decided on lighting fixtures that were large in scale, but translucent or white to allow the light to spread around the home.

The couple inherited a few keepsakes from their family farm, including an original copy of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. We wove these items in to their story via styling moments, which add the personal touches I feel are so important to any project! The project took about 5 months and the family was able to begin making memories in their newly designed home this summer. 

Photography: Raquel Langworthy | Lighting: Circa Lighting | Interior Design: Maureen Ursino

Almost All Decor Was Brought in from Family Homes to Create the Ultimate Personalized Wedding!

We’re all about personalization over here at SMP, so when we saw Belle and Jon’s Nashville wedding planned by The New Eclectic – we were immediately obsessed. Every single corner of this delightful affair was carefully curated with personalized details. They tied the knot at a plantation the bride’s family frequented as she was growing up, they used items from family homes for the decor (major vintage chic vibes), the bride’s mom created their custom wedding monogram, the list goes on… we’re pretty sure this is the most personal and unique wedding we’ve ever laid eyes on! See all the can’t-miss details at the full gallery – all taken by Kati Mallory Photo & Design!

From the planner, Alex Cantrell, of The New EclecticBelle and Jon Aaron were married on June 8, 2019 at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, TN. They met at Harding University in Searcy, AR, where Belle was a football cheerleader and Jon Aaron played football. When we started planning the wedding, we wanted to focus on making every little detail incredibly personal. Belle always wanted a formal garden wedding. They had looked into a few different venues around Nashville, but Belle Meade was the perfect fit. It was extra special to Belle’s family because they would go by the plantation every year for Easter lunch as she was growing up. Belle’s mom, Beth, is a painter and created the custom monogram and crest that was featured on the Save the Dates, table numbers, coffee bar banner, head table napkin, ring bearer pillow, and various other places. You’re Invited, a local shop, was integral in bringing the vision for all the paper goods to life. 

All of the blue and white ginger jars were from Beth’s personal collection, and Stella Rose Florals filled them beautifully. We incorporated a handful of silver pieces from the groom’s grandmothers silver collection, and the diamonds in Belle’s ring are heirloom diamonds. Almost all decor we used was brought in from the family homes, making the day unique to the couple and very personal. Belle and Jon Aaron both grew up eating on Blue Willow China, which is why we decided to use the Royal Doulton China on the head table. 

The crest, created by Belle’s mom, was monogramed onto head table napkins by Sew Special by V. The Honeydew Palomino linens and runners used in the tent came from Nuage Designs, and all other linens, chairs, and other rentals came from Liberty Party Rental. Belle has always considered herself a “pink and green” girl, so we used various touches of pinks and greens throughout the design. Bows are also something Belle has always been known for, so incorporating bows into the day was a must. Copper Whisk Cakes created a beautiful cake with a bow accenting the upper tiers. 

The Bridesmaids dresses (Bridals by Lori by Alfred Sung) were customized with beautiful bows at the bottom of the open backs, and the invitation and programs all had bows on them as well. Belle’s dress was a custom Blush Sparkle Lazaro gown. We decided on white dinner jackets for the men because of the classic, southern summer look, and because both Belle & Jon Aaron’s grandfathers got married wearing the same look! On the day of the wedding, storms were rolling in through Nashville. Every hour or so, a downpour would occur – everyone was nervous about the outdoor wedding that so much thought and planning had gone into! We all prayed that the clouds would part, and miraculously they DID! Belle & Jon Aaron were able to have the outdoor wedding they’d dreamed about, and as soon as they said, “I do!” the rain started. It was God’s perfect timing!

One of the hits of the evening was the live painter, Jordan Sprague. This was a special surprise to Belle from her parents. Jordan painted the reception tent throughout the evening, and the end product was absolutely gorgeous! The guests loved getting to witness her paint as well, and it now hangs as a cherished piece in the couple’s home. Every detail for this lovely southern garden wedding was thought through and personal. It was such a special evening for all who were involved!

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Photography: Kati Mallory Photo & Design | Videography: Colling Films | Event Planning: The New Eclectic | Floral Design: Stella Rose Floral | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Copper Whisk Cakes | Invitations: You're Invited | Catering: As You Like It Catering | Calligraphy: Hope Stanley | Lighting: Bright Event Productions | DJ: Blair Saldana | Ceremony Musicians: College Grove Strings | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Belle Meade Plantation | Coffee Bar: Proverbial Cup | Draping: Quest Drape | Getaway Car: Matchless Transportation | Linens: Nuage Designs | Monogram Napkins and Ring Bearer Pillow: Sew Special by V | Rentals: Please Be Seated | Rentals: Liberty Party Rental

A Proposal AND a Puppy Lead To This Perfectly Perfect Wedding Day!

When it came time to pop the question, this groom-to-be decided to go all out and plan an after-party with friends and family, AND surprise his new fiance with a puppy! Talk about fiance goals! Once she obviously said yes, the planning began and The Madison Hotel is where it started, with a gorgeous, light-filled glass conservatory for all of the vows and wows. Cassi Claire photographed and captured every moment, even the guest appearance of the couple’s pup! With classic ivory florals mixed with just the right amount of greenery to compliment the venue, Apple Blossom Flower Shop made gorgeous arrangements from the bride’s bouquet to the floral arbor. Take a peek below, and watch the couple’s magical video by our friends, NST Pictures!

From the Bride…

How they met:
Mike and I met at the University of Maryland College Park on spring break. A few girlfriends in my sorority knew Mike who was in a close fraternity and introduced us. Mike graduated a year before me and moved back home to Scotch Plains, NJ, where he got a job and started establishing himself. After I graduated the following year, I moved up to NJ with Mike (I’m originally from Maryland) and we moved in together. We’ve lived in a few different cities since, but are now located in Green Brook, NJ, living a suburb life with our adorable 5-month old mastiff-rottweiler puppy, Leo (who was a surprise part of the proposal!).

The proposal:
From Mike’s perspective, it was very important for his proposal to be a big surprise for Christine and be something that they will never forget. It was their most important day with each other to date, and he wanted it to be something special. Mike and Christine lived in Hoboken, NJ for two years and it was a place that was significant to them. Mike had arranged a double date brunch at Halifax, a great restaurant along the Hudson River. After brunch was finished, he tricked Christine into going upstairs to a lounge area for some more drinks before heading home. What Christine didn’t realize was that it was a private space and that Mike had secretly rented it out and had it decorated for the proposal. After he asked the question (and she said yes!), the photographer told us to go to the Hudson River across the street, so we could take some photos with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. As a secondary surprise, our new 10-week-old adopted puppy Leo was looking dapper with a bow tie and patiently waiting to meet his new mom. Christine, already completely overwhelmed and surprised, just about broke down at this point! Leo is a (mostly) rottweiler/mastiff mix that is now the focal point of our lives and will always represent the day we started to grow our family. Our family and friends were also there for the surprise as we continued the celebration in a private space rented out at a local bar in Hoboken.  If you ask Mike, he’ll say the months leading up to the proposal were extremely STRESSFUL. There were a lot of moving parts and many times where he thought that he bit off more than he could chew. You can understand why when you consider getting the ring, coordinating the brunch, booking and coordinating the private lounge, hiring the photographer, adopting the puppy, planning with family and friends, and arranging the after-party. However, it was worth every second of stress and effort and, in the end, we were so satisfied with how it worked out. It was a perfect day and one we will both fondly remember for the rest of our lives.

Before hearing more from the Bride, let’s watch their captivating video by NST Pictures! [iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/345782930 600 338]

Wedding story:
While most of Mike’s family and their friends live in New Jersey, the majority of Christine’s family had to travel long distances to attend the wedding. Therefore, it was important for us to consider those guests and choose a location that was convenient for out-of-state travelers. Morristown was a great spot for us because it was near major airports. Also, the Convent Station train was right next to our venue, which has a direct line to NYC, convenient for our city friends. Given the short distance and easy transport to/from the city, a few of our out-of-town guests decided to take long a long weekend and use the extra time to visit NYC. It was an added bonus that the venue is also home to a beautiful hotel, making this location that much more convenient for us and our guests. With the venue being a beautiful, flower and light-filled glass conservatory, we wanted to keep additional decor and colors neutral, as to not overdo the already stunning space. For bouquets and centerpieces, we chose white flowers with lots of greenery, and kept secondary colors, like the bridesmaid dresses neutral. All of the signage and stationery was a classic black script on a white background, keeping everything consistent with the classic elegance we were going for

Attire choices:
We thought it was important to have an elegant and refined look to match the style of the venue. Mike went with a black shawl collar tuxedo by J.Crew for a timeless, traditional look. Mike’s shawl collar and black stud buttons on the shirt created subtle differences from his groomsmen who wore black notch lapel tuxedos from The Black Tux with a covered placket. All the tuxedos were paired with a skinny black silk bow tie for a slightly more modern take.
The bride chose a strapless, mermaid silhouette dress by Stella York with a sweetheart neckline and a dropped waist. The dress had silver and ivory beading and lace, in a detailed linear pattern, and a full, tulle skirt with a long cathedral train. The bridesmaids wore a variety of long chiffon styles in a neutral, taupe color from Kleinfeld Bridal Party.

Splurge/Skip
We heard from so many people that the day flies by (which it did!). Therefore, we wanted to make sure we documented the day perfectly, so we always had photos and videos to look back on. Our photographers, Keri and Yumi from Cassi Claire photography, did an amazing job capturing the photos, and Axel and Megan from NST Pictures shot the footage for a video that couldn’t be more perfect. We would consider the video to be a splurge, as it can be seen as a “nice-to-have” rather than a “need-to-have”, but having a videographer was one of the best decisions we made. Photos are beautiful and look great on display in our house, but there is also something so special about a moving video with music and voiceovers, that help you to truly relive the day and feel all the emotion associated with it each time you watch it.

Favorite parts of the day:
The getting married part of course! :) Since we chose not to do a first look, the moment we saw one another for the first time as Christine walked down the aisle towards Mike was one we’ll never forget. It was a long day of anticipation up until that point, so both of us were finally able to breathe and be present in the moment once we found one another at the altar.  Another favorite moment was when our dog, Leo, showed up to take photos with us! Our neighbor drove Leo to the venue dressed in his tuxedo bandana, and he was so surprised to see us there! He was very excited to see us, our family, and our wedding party who were out on the lawn for photos, and happily received lots of belly rubs and attention between photos. When it was time for him to take photos, Leo posed so handsomely for the camera and we got some great shots! It wouldn’t have been the same without him there.

Advice for couples:
Create a wedding planning calendar and follow it! There is so much that has to be done to prepare for the big day but creating a sectioned-out calendar really helped us stay on top of everything and feel at ease through the whole process. Some larger items like choosing bridesmaid dresses or booking the DJ were assigned to an overall month. As we got down to the final three months leading up to the big day, we put every single to-do item, from creating the seating chart to ordering food for while we got ready on the morning of, on a calendar assigned to specific days, and spaced it all out in a manageable way. We slowly chipped away at the list without having to feel panicked or overwhelmed!

Photography: Cassi Claire | Florist: Apple Blossom Flower Shop | Wedding Dress: Stella York | Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Kleinfeld Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Kleinfeld Bridal | Makeup Artist: Stephanie Nuzzo | Hair Stylist: My Makeup Artist Victoria | Entertainment: POSH Entertainment | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux | Officiant: Rev. Ed Abato | Harpist: Karen Stern, Harpcat | Wedding Venue: The Madison Hotel | Bridal boutique: Seng Couture | Other stationery: Etsy | Photobooth: GIF & Giggle | Video: NST Pictures

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A Classic Meets Modern, White Inspired SoCal Home

From where we sit, Mindy Gayer can do no wrong. Need proof? Take a peak here and here and you’ll see exactly what we mean. But this California stunner may have taken Mindy’s mad design skills to entirely new heights. With the perfect juxtaposition of family and function, Mindy transformed an iconic one story Spanish style home into something that design dreams are made of. Read on to see the entire abode laid out in flawless design detail and click here to see the entire gallery with imagery by Vanessa Lentine!

This Spanish Style one Story consists of 5 Bedrooms, 3. 5 baths and clocks in around 3,800 square feet. The goal was to update the space with a fresh, modern palette along with contemporary finishes throughout to bring the once dated and formal interiors into a more current and cozy home for the young professional couple and their 2 little boys. 

ENTRY HALL

And it all began with this stunning entry space featuring an arched, steel door system that will leave you weak at the knees.

LIVING ROOM

With 2 little boys, all design decisions were prioritized with both livability and comfort in mind while making dedicated efforts to not skimp on a luxurious palette and high style design, giving each space it’s own look and feel while creating connectivity among the home.

KITCHEN + BUTLER’S PANTRY

The kitchen is the main focal point of the home, with our Client being a big cook! She uses her kitchen daily to curate new recipes, and wanted to dream up a DREAM KITCHEN that could double as a fully working and functional kitchen, while also integrating clever & plentiful storage solutions for her many props. We added an updated butler’s pantry for that very reason!

FAMILY ROOM

The family room is the space where the family watches movies and plays games and logs their daily snuggles so comfort was key. We designed a room that felt cohesive with the rest of the home while embracing a place that made cozy its mantra.

MASTER

With pops of color throughout the house, our Client wanted to keep their Master Suite serene and hotel-like. We added touches of interest with textures to play up the understated & sophisticated monochromatic color palette.

MASTER BATH

HALLWAY

KIDS’ SPACES

In addition to their 2 boys’ room, we dreamed up a playroom that could house all of their toys, books, stuffed animals and art supplies and had custom cork boards made to display all of their little creations as art. An oversized rattan daybed serves as a kid-friendly sofa in here too, with playful wallpaper, textiles and art – all with a nod to So Cal being their backyard!

Playtime is big around our client’s day to day life, so we incorporated a play table in each of the boys’ rooms since each room boasts lots of extra room for playing make-believe, reading books and just about everything else!

BOYS’ BATH

OUTDOOR

The backyard celebrates the indoor/outdoor vibe that most California homes crave. With a fully landscaped yard, we added a faded wood dining table and rattan chairs with white cushions that beg for long dinners and even longer glasses of wine. But don’t worry, with two little ones happily sitting atop, we used a sunbrella fabric which is easy to clean and always looks its best. 

Photographer: Vanessa Lentine | Interior Design: Mindy Gayer | Landscape Design: Houzz

The Story Behind This Lithuania Meets Louisiana 26 Person Wedding Is a Must-Read!

Not only is this coastal wedding planned by HauteFêtes a total beauty, but the story behind how this adorable couple met and fell in love, the bride from Lithuania and the groom from Louisiana, is truly something out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Check out the full gallery of images captured by Whiskers and Willow Photography to see their Pinterest-worthy reception complete with rattan lighting, pampas grass details and blooms by Plenty of Petals not to mention their precious little boy!

From HauteFêtes Fine Weddings & Events… Monika and Michael grew up worlds apart, she in Lithuania and he in the bayous of south Louisiana. While their meeting may have seemed impossible, fate intervened in 2012. At the time, Monika was studying in Chicago and Michael was running a successful financial services business in New Orleans. A chance introduction through a friend on one of Michael’s business trips to Chicago provided the opportunity for them to meet whereupon, just like in the movies, the couple caught each other’s eyes in the bar of Palmer House as Michael went over to say, “hello”. Despite several hours of conversation, at the end of the evening they parted ways. However, what they both realized but didn’t want to admit was that something was different. As they swapped stories and chatted about their dreams, they realized that the tone of their conversation was more than simply getting to know each other; it had set the foundation for each other’s last ‘first’ date. A year later, on July 4, Michael who hadn’t stopped thinking about her, finally texted Monika seemingly out of the blue. Thus began a long distance relationship which would culminate in Michael moving to Chicago and together, the couple moving to Austin, Texas and then San Diego, California, and finally the birth of their beautiful baby boy. Their love story didn’t end there. A (pre-planned by Michael) getaway weekend to Catalina Island provided the perfect opportunity for Michael to pop the question. 

After a day of exploring the island, the couple made their way to Mt. Ada and looking down on the rest of the island, Michael surprised his bride with a perfectly timed sunset proposal. With a classic-meets-coastal vibe in mind, the pair decided on Coronado Island in San Diego, where they live, to host their wedding on October 13, 2018. However, taking a slight detour from standard southern and Lithuanian wedding traditions, Monika and Michael wanted the event to maintain a feeling of intimacy. Instead of the usual several hundred person wedding, they decided on an intimate guest list of 26 of their closest friends and family. For their wedding, the couple also wanted to give their guests – all of whom were from out of town – a taste of their new home town of Coronado, so we drew inspiration from the locale, incorporating classic beachy hues of duck egg blue, coral and sand throughout the stationery, the tabletop, the florals and décor. 

Monika’s affinity for flowers and texture was evidenced not only in the décor, but also the couple’s invitation suite where we layered vellum hand illustrated with sand dune flowers over paper. Knowing that she wanted an understated and timeless wedding gown, Monika picked a romantic Provonias with simple off the shoulder cap sleeves and tiny buttons down the back. Vintage diamond earrings and necklace from her grandmother’s collection, neutral Sam Edelman strappy sandals and a pretty lace scalloped veil rounded off her elegant ensemble. A bouquet of feathery grasses, coral colored garden roses, white lilies and soft lambs ear contributed to the coastal palette. And for her flower girl, a crown of sandy and blush colored wispy dried flowers and grasses continued the theme. As for Michael, he wowed in a custom three-piece suit by Zeglio, deciding to go tie-less for a clean, modern look. For the ceremony, we extended the coastal theme with whitewashed benches, stacked wood crates, clusters of pampas grass-filled baskets and a green and white arbor decorated with roses, pampas grass and eucalyptus. 

The moody clouds and ocean provided the perfect blue-grey backdrop combined with the soulful flamenco guitar stylings of Anthony Garcia, all of which made for an insanely romantic and magical setting. Escorted by her brother, Monika walked down the aisle to an acoustic guitar rendition of “Canon in D” by Pachelbel toward Michael who was holding a mini-me Jack in his arms. It was so natural and yet traditional and in every way the culmination of one beautiful chapter and start of another for the little family of three. After the ceremony, Monika and Michael spent some one-on-one time with their photographer, Whiskers & Willow walking the docks together, while guests enjoyed cocktail hour. A pretty vintage lounge vignette and La Tavola striped beige and white linens offered the perfect place to relax and enjoy a his and hers signature cocktail of Buffalo Trace Manhattan and Moscow Mule, respectively, and eating tray passed dill crème fraiche smoked salmon on potato crisps and mini polenta cakes with wild mushroom ragout.

Afterwards, guests made their way to the reception. Lush arrangements of theme floral alongside wood and wicker candleholders lined a long feasting table above which we hung clusters of wicker lanterns from sailcloth sails. Natural textures of linen, wood and ceramic dominated the stunning Casa de Perrin tabletop, with glass and silver adding reflective light to all the candles and overhead lanterns. Guests feasted on a California-inspired menu of wild mushroom soup, followed by beet salad and goat cheese crostini, and an entrée of pistachio crusted sea bass which was served with roasted fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus. 

Decked out with a few extra flowers, the couple’s two-tier, chocolate naked wedding cake featured Italian buttercream frosting which guests enjoyed for dessert. Heartfelt toasts preceded the couple’s first dance to “Die A Happy Man”, Thomas Rhett, which had meaning for the duo since it was playing in the background as Jack was born, after which their guests all took to the dance floor, too. And just as it had when Michael first proposed to Monika, the sky deepened to a perfect shade of sunset coral as the evening came to a glorious end. Looking back, Monika provides this one piece of advice. “Take time and care and choose your planner carefully. We were referred to HauteFetes by Laurie Arons and we are so glad that she did. Dani Blasena from HauteFetes brought together our vision together perfectly with so many exquisite details by selecting the absolute best vendor team. So much of your wedding day or weekend depends on your planner, so find someone you trust, connect with and has a similar vision to yours. You’ll never have as much fun or be so in the moment if you don’t!”

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Photography: Whiskers and Willow Photography | Videographer: Regan Elizabeth Films | Floral Design: Plenty Of Petals | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Stationery: Custom Crafted | Ceremony Venue: Loews Coronado Bay | Reception Venue: Loews Coronado Bay | Wedding Shoes: Sam Edelman | Hair and Makeup: TK Hair and Makeup | Lighting: Amber Event Production | Ceremony Music: Antony Garcia | Venue: Loews Coronado Bay | Custom Grooms Suit: Zeglio Custom Suits In Chicago | Design and Planning: HauteFetes | Dessert: Babycakes | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Reception Music: Acoustic Spot | Rentals: Archive Rentals | Tabletop: Casa de Perrin

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As the Saying Goes, ‘Everything is Bigger’ With This Floral Color Palette

For this Texas-born bride to be, she stuck with a popular Texas saying – “everything is bigger In Texas” for some inspiration from giant, colorful floral arrangements from Asiel Design which were just bursting with color to a stunning Monique Lhuillier ball gown. When it came to the venue, it took a few attempts and a bit of searching throughout California to find The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay which turned out to be the perfect choice for this colorful soiree. Take a look below and see how Catherine Hall Studios captured every color, every detail, every moment!

From the Bride…I had the dream of having the wedding outside by the beach. We live in Los Angeles, so we started in Malibu, however, the logistics were not great, and the options we hoped for were already booked. Then we thought we would move north a bit to Ojai or Santa Barbara. Sadly, the fires made it impossible to go and scout. We would have to take a chance site-unseen, which I did not want. Todd started looking up Northern California locations and came upon The Ritz at Half Moon Bay. We went and visited and I knew the minute we saw it, that it was perfection. 

The Ritz has breathtaking backgrounds so we knew we just needed to add some personal touches to make our wedding gorgeous and distinct. I am originally from Dallas, and you know what they say, “Everything is bigger in Texas’. So I definitely wanted it to be grand and unforgettable, but also classic, yet colorful. Therefore, my idea was to “go big” with the flowers especially.

I was interested in a colorful palette for flowers; something extraordinary and also classic. Asiel Design has some of the most beautiful arrangements in the State of California that we have ever seen. I wanted them to incorporate yellow wildflowers and make it rich with color and trusted they would do an amazing job…which of course, they nailed. I feel very fortunate that my family agreed to give me the wedding of a lifetime!


Photography: Catherine Hall Studios | Cinematography: AVR Films | Coordination: Harlene Events | Event Design: Asiel Design | Floral Design: Asiel Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Jonathan Wright And Company | Ceremony Venue: Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay | Reception Venue: Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay | Jewelry: Golden String | Catering: test | Makeup: Corola Gonzalez | DJ: Michelle Pesce | Groom's Attire: Jerry Bakhchyan, JB Clothiers | Ceremony Music: Blue Jaguar Entertainment | Cake Designer: Cake Coquette | Flower Girl Dress: ANA BALAHAN | Hair Design: Clifford Hashimoto | Lighting Design: JL Imagination | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Project Management: TOAST of LA | Reception Music: Blue Jaguar Entertainment | Rentals: Blueprint Studios

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New Orleans Lovers, This Classic Wedding is a Must-See

“…this is the happiest moment of my life. I just married my best friend and all of my favorite people in the entire world witnessed it. It was powerful.” This my friends, is what weddings are all about. Pretty details aside, it’s the culmination of a love that has grown for some months, some years, some decades—all coming to a peak, with a new beginning on the other side. But thankfully, pretty details weren’t kicked to the curb, and this day of love was heightened with Blue Gardenia Events and Kim Starr Wise Floral Events behind the scenes. Lance Nicoll collected all the moments in every beautiful image below.

Ashley Hamby, Miss Mississippi 2017, and her fiancé Doug Horaist planned their destination wedding in New Orleans, LA with the help of their planner Blue Gardenia Events. The wedding day was filled with beautiful and emotional moments captured on film by Lance Nicoll Wedding photography. Classic Southern styling with an large lush florals permeated the design for the day. The large cascading floral piece served and the central focal point of the reception design, created by the talented Kim Star Wise. After a rehearsal dinner at Broussards in the French Quarter, the bride and her bridal party began the wedding day by getting ready at the Roosevelt Hotel in the Teddy Sweet. After their ceremony at Immaculate Conception guests were treated to a beautiful reception at the NOPSI hotel where the highlight of the evening came by way of a guest appearance by Lee Greenwood who had Doug and his fellow West Point grads join him on stage to sing his famed “God Bless the USA”. The evening concluded with a classic New Orleans 2nd Line send off.

From the Bride… Doug proposed to at the beach, where we met. We were on vacation with my family. It was early in the morning and it was just the two of us when he got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife. I was in complete shock, and I even responded “Is this real life?” He assured me that yes this was real life. I obviously said a million times yes! It was so special, romantic, and intimate! Then we celebrated with my family at the beach!

I have a few favorite wedding moments! There was a moment during the ceremony after Doug and I had just exchanged vows. I was overcome with excitement, love, happiness, and joy. I had just promised to spend forever with my person and my best friend. I think I did a little excitement jump/dance. I couldn’t control it, and it was in that moment that I thought this is the happiest moment of my life. I just married my best friend and all of my favorite people in the entire world witnessed it. It was powerful.

There was a moment in the second line that Doug and I were leading the way all of our favorite people in the world behind us. The wind is blowing hard, the band is pumping music, and the atmosphere is electric. I looked behind us to see everyone dancing and singing and having the best time, when all of the sudden all of my best friends, bridesmaids, come running towards us to help us lead the line. It was incredible and something I will never forget. Also, Lee Greenwood sang God Bless the USA for Doug and all of his West Point Alumni that were there.

My advice to other couples: Take time to slow down and enjoy every little second. I made a very conscious decision to not worry about anything because every little thing would work itself out and to soak in every moment! And I did that I took in every moment. I enjoyed my morning and day with my best friends and mom. I never wished the minutes away and enjoyed the moment I was in throughout the day. It made the biggest difference.

Photography: Lance Nicoll Wedding Photography | Videography: Studio Vieux Carré | Event Planning: Blue Gardenia Events | Floral Design: Kim Starr Wise Floral Events | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Bittersweet Confections | Invitations: Scriptura | Ceremony Venue: Immaculate Conception Church | Reception Venue: NOPSI Hotel | Hair: Sean Gispert | Lighting: Firefly Ambiance | 2nd Line Band: Kinfolk Brass Band | Bridal Prep: Debbie Heyd | Film Lab: Indie Film Lab | Guest Music Appearance: Lee Greenwood | Linen: Nuage Designs | MUA: Tina Rodosta | Mobile Bar: Bourbon Bubbles & Brew | Music: Bucktown All Stars | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Broussards

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Of All the San Francisco Venues, City Hall May Be the Most Breathtaking.

There are countless, beautiful venues in Northern California, but one of my personal favorites happens to be City Hall. The building is stunning, both inside and out and just so happened to be the location of choice for this city couple’s elopement! Kylee Yee Photography captured the intimate moments from the vows to gorgeous portraits of the bride adorned in an all lace dress by Suzanne Harward and natural, glowing glam by April Foster Bridal. Scroll on down for a look inside an architectural dream that is San Francisco City Hall and check out the full gallery here!

About the Wedding…There are many gorgeous venues in San Francisco but none quite as iconic and historic as San Francisco City Hall.

An all lace Suzanne Harward gown accented with pops of blue ribbon from Frou Frou Chic and classy and cool hair and makeup by April Foster Bridal is the perfect mix of urban chic elopement for the city couple captured by Kylee Yee Photography.

Bride and Groom made their way through the stunning structure hand in hand as they took photo after photo, sharing their love for one another. 

Sometimes all you need is a beautiful building, bouquet, and bride and groom to have the ultimate wedding!

Photography: Kylee Yee | Florals: April Baytan | Wedding Dress: Suzanne Harward | Ceremony: San Francisco City Hall | Hair and Makeup: April Foster Bridal | Calligraphy: Hanwriting | Earrings: Samantha Wills | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Styling Board: Emma Natter

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The Bride Always Knew She Wanted to Get Married Here Since She Was Just a Little Girl!

Her Oscar de la Renta gown, a blooming ceremony by the river and the most perfect early Fall day on Kiawah Island – this wedding officially has our hearts. A Charleston Bride planned every detail of this traditionally elegant day while the incredibly talented Greg Finck Photography was there to capture it all! Our favorite part? The flowers… oooh, the flowers – let’s just say Gathering Floral & Event Design – we are amazed by you. Don’t miss out on all the magic at the full gallery!

From A Charleston BrideWe knew immediately that this wedding was going to be the perfect unity of beauty and grace.

The bride dreamed of getting married at the River Course on Kiawah Island since she was a little girl and it was in fact on this same island, during a family vacation years later, that the groom realized she was “the one”.

Our heart were full and our minds dripping in dreamy bliss when planning this wedding. The ceremony set the tone for the evening with a live painter, string trio and choir and the details continued flowing at the day went on.

As the couple walked down the aisle, the choir sang “singed, sealed, delivered” Cocktail hour was adorned with strolling oyster shuckers, a champagne and bourbon bar as well as a clear top tent with the dreamiest draping, floral and lounge. The inside ballroom was a sea of couture linens from La Tavola, and the perfect place for guests to dance the night away. As a nod to the couples recessional song, the couple exited their reception in a vintage car adorned with a garland and a calligraphed “signed, sealed, delivered” banner!

Photography: Greg Finck Photography | Cinematography: Life In Rewind | Event Planning: A Charleston Bride | Floral Design: Gathering Floral + Event Design | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal | Reception Venue: The River Course | Catering: The River Course | Calligraphy: J.Lily Design | Lighting: AV Connections | Beauty: Paper Dolls | Ceremony Musician: Peter Kiral | Choir: Archer Music Service | Draping: Veil | Linen Rental: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Painter: Gina Strumpf | Photobooth: ShutterBooth | Runner: Boutique Tents

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From Florida to California This Shoot Combines The Best of Both Coasts!

From coast to coast, the battle is ever going, East Coast vs. West Coast. But for this inspiration shoot, Natalie Choi Events was inspired to combine the two after photographers, The Ganey’s moved cross-country from Florida to California. Held at a signature California venue, Annadel Estate Winery, a color palette of citrusy hues and oceany blues brought this shoot to life mixed with the most gorgeous florals created by Gather Design Company. Check out how The Ganey’s captured every detail including that stunning tablescape in the middle of the vine-covered grounds!

From Natalie Choi EventsThe Ganeys recently moved cross-country from Florida to California and inspired by their move from coast to coast, I wanted the color palette to be a meeting of juicy, citrus tones and breezy, ocean colors with a laid-back California vibe.

Set in the heart of June, it felt appropriate that our summery shoot be a celebration of their relocation from one sunny state to another. Vineyard weddings being a signature of Northern California, we chose the overgrown ruins of Annadel Estate Winery as the backdrop for our shoot.

Dressed in a romantic Marchesa gown with an illusion neckline and flowing skirt, our blushing bride was styled with makeup that enhanced her natural beauty and a fun pop of color on her lips. A bejeweled hairpiece and earrings rounded out her sweet, flirty look. She and our dapper groom were all smiles and giggles as they explored the grounds of Annadel, strolling and dancing their way past rows of grapevines.

They made their way through the vine-covered ruins to the simple but elegant table adorned with an array of luscious summer blooms. Handmade ceramic plates crafted locally were chosen as a nod to fellow creators in our Northern California community, pulling in seascape tones from our coastal inspiration and placed on an ocean colored linen. Modern, gold flatware added a luxe touch to our tablescape, while the woven chairs pulled together the organic, Californian aesthetic. We envisioned our laid-back couple relaxing in the shade, enjoying the breeze as they soak in the feeling of being newly married.

Photography: The Ganeys | Design & styling: Natalie Choi Events | Floral Design: Gather Design Company | Dress: Kinsley James Couture Bridal | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Ring: Erstwhile Jewelry | Hair and Makeup: Urban Beauty Loft | Tux: The Black Tux | Venue: Annadel Estate Winery | Accessories: Lindsay Marie Design | Chairs: The Chiavari Guys | Dress Designer: Marchesa | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Models: scout model and talent | Paper Goods: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Styling Dishes: Simple Things Ceramics | Tabletop Rentals: Chairs And Cups

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Organizing With The Home Edit

There has never been a better time to get organized than now! Especially thanks to Clea and Joanna – the amazing women behind The Home Edit. With the release of their first book The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals, (out today!) getting your life together has never been easier!

If you aren’t familiar with The Home Edit (where have you been?) they are the duo behind those perfectly put together pantries and color coded closets you’ve seen all over Instagram. With over 1 million followers, and major celebrity fans – Reese Witherspoon, Khloe Kardashian, and Lauren Conrad to name a few – it was about time that their organizational knowledge be shared with the masses!

What we love about this book is the totally reasonable and realistic approach to getting organized. They know how overwhelming it is to open up that overstuffed closet; so, they tell you how to get started. One of the hardest parts about organizing is knowing how to begin. The answer? Start by taking everything out so you have a blank slate! Clea and Joanna guide the reader through different ‘clutter-prone’ areas of the house and suggest starting small (i.e. tackle that junk drawer first!).

STORAGE ITEMS WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

Keep a lookout for these items at your local home goods store:

SHOE BOXES

Not the cardboard boxes from your shopping trip. The ones we like are plastic with snap-on lids to keep items dust-free. You can use them for shoes, but they have other great uses as well. Also, the see-through plastic is ideal for storing seasonal items (so you can remember what you’ve stored).

LAZY SUSANS

Not just for spice cabinets—you can also use these for crafts, toiletries, laundry supplies, and under the kitchen sink. Just to name a few!

STORAGE INSERTS

Go for the unlidded kind for easy access and fast pickup like in kids’ playrooms where you need to organize things quickly and neatly. Or use them on closet shelves for organizing small accessories and sunglasses. These can tip over (and they’re not lidded) so make sure they’re lined up safely and on a stable surface, like on a shelf with a lip.

NON SLIP HANGERS

No wire hangers! JK, but seriously, why bother hanging things up if they just slip off and fall on the floor? Velvety hangers are a godsend—they’ll hold anything.

DOOR RACKS

The inside of every closet or pantry should have a door rack, and a quick search online shows so many different uses: for organizing shoes, gift wrap, the tops of pots and pans. If you haven’t shopped for a door rack lately, you’re missing out.

MAGAZINE FILES

We almost never use magazine files for their intended purpose. Instead, we put them to use separating handbags, clutches, notebooks, stationery, board games, and boxed puzzles.

STORAGE BASKETS WITH HANDLES

Handled baskets are one of our most frequently used items. They serve the critical purpose of containment and allow for easy-to-reach access on upper shelves.

CLEAR PANTRY BINS

Nothing goes in our refrigerator or freezer without first being stashed in a clear bin. They’re great for avoiding spills and organizing types of food.

LINED STORAGE BINS

Don’t put delicate items in bins that will snag. Look for lined baskets. Also, they add a softer touch for the bedroom.

STORAGE TIERS

Make your pantry shelves work a little harder with these tiered shelves, which help you reach the back of the cabinet more easily.

The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals is out today! Order your copy now and get ready to declutter! You can also shop the below items on The Home Edit Shop

Reprinted from The Home Edit. Copyright © 2019 by The Home Edit Print, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 Clea Shearer. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.”

 

Photography: The Home Edit