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How to Incorporate Subtle Hints of Fall in Your Wedding Decor Without Going Overboard

That crisp morning air, early signs of transitioning colors and a pumpkin spice latte in hand… I mean, are these not the best days or what?! Today we’re so excited to be sharing with you a gorgeous Philadelphia wedding planned by Polka Dot Events that so perfectly incorporated subtle hints of Fall into the decor. It was just the right amount of foliage in the arrangements from Belovely along with a moody color palette that did the trick. For more autumn inspired wedding inspiration, head on over to the full gallery – all taken by Haley Richter Photography!

How they Met

When Matt, a Philadelphia native, met Emily, a born and raised New Yorker, the fireworks were immediate — but as Matt likes to joke, he thought Emily was way out of his league! The two of them met while working at the same software company in New York and say that their compatibility surfaced as colleagues through their mutual work ethic, drive and love for Matt’s corny jokes.

The Proposal

After three years together, Matt proposed in May of 2018. He had planned a date night for the two of them so that it wouldn’t be suspicious to ask Emily to get dressed up. However, as Emily remembers it, Matt was home from work before her, had already opened wine and was singing in the shower – not suspicious at all! Right before they were due to leave for their supposed restaurant date, Matt asked Emily if they could take a selfie, and right after the camera clicked Matt was getting down on one knee. Emily describes that moment as one she could never forget — “right there in the center of our cozy Brooklyn apartment, our first home together and our sanctuary from the hustle of NYC – the man I love with all my heart was down on one knee, asking me to marry him.” To make the moment even more memorable, Matt had organized it so that their friends and family were all at the bar below their building, ready to celebrate with them after she said yes.

The Wedding

When planning their wedding there were a few nonnegotiables for Matt and Emily. They wanted a venue close to Center City, a modern-romantic aesthetic, a fall date, and a large dance floor for all of their guests. Cescaphe’s newest venue, The Lucy, checked all of these boxes and more; however, there was a catch — it hadn’t even been built yet! Emily and Matt took a leap of faith and booked The Lucy solely on the design renderings. The Lucy promised an air of mid-century modernness; it’s moody romantic color palette offset by cool brass fixtures and marble details differentiated itself from other venues. The couple knew The Lucy would be something special. November in Philadelphia can be a stunning contradiction: Center City, where the Lucy is located, is a gray bustling metropolis, however, just a few blocks over in Old City there is liveliness in the fall foliage that surrounds you.

The couple wanted to honor both facets of the city for their big day, and so, chose the Lokal Hotel as their venue for intimate time with family in the hours leading up to their ceremony. To the bride, a successful wedding was all in the details; and details were the last thing she wanted to be thinking about on her wedding day — cue the wedding dream team! “While the food, music, and drinks are the most important aspects for our guests, for us, we’re spending most of our wedding day with our photographer and coordinator so it was so important to get the dynamics right”, stated the bride, “We had already met Haley, of Haley Richter Photography, during our engagement shoot and from the moment we met her she felt like family. When Haley referred us to Polka Dot Events for our coordinator we were quick to take her referral but couldn’t have imagined how wonderful Allie Beik would be. The two of them truly were our dream team!”. The couple photographed in several Philadelphia landmarks including the Merchants Exchange Building, Washington Square and of course, Broad Street. Carrying the warmth of autumn inside to their venue, the couple hired Belovely as their florist. 

Belovely materialized the bride’s vision by bringing in softer elements like pampas grass, linen runners, muted greens and pops of jewel toned flowers throughout the venue for their early November wedding. The bride’s gown was a custom design featuring a clean modern silhouette as an ode to her New York style; paired with statement earrings from Olive + Piper and designer Jimmy Choo shoes, she radiated confidence walking down the aisle. The couple was accompanied under their chuppah by their parents as well as the Bride’s twin sister and Groom’s brother who officiated their ceremony. Putting family first has always been a shared value between Matt and Emily; they opted to only have their siblings in their bridal party and even their rescue dog Winnie made a cameo as the namesake signature drink – the Winnie Woo! Emily, Matt, and Matt’s mom were especially excited about their band (LA Starz from EBE), and they did not disappoint! The dance floor was packed the entire time, from the minute the Cescaphe flower cannon went off after the new couple was introduced to the end of the final song. LA Starz included some of Matt’s parents’ favorite songs which really got this local crowd going, including (of course) Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita and Bon Jovi hits.

Photographer: Haley Richter Photography | Cinematography: Yours Truly Media | Coordination: Polka Dot Events | Stationery: Shine Wedding Invitations | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Engagement Ring: Rosnov Jewelers | Wedding Bands: Deco Diamonds NYC | Makeup: Makeup by Carly G | Hair: ONLO | Bridal Gown: anomolie | Bride's Earrings: Olive + Piper | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Downtown Club | Floral: Belovely | Getting Ready Hotel: Lokal Hotel | Groom's Cufflinks: Uncommon Goods | Groom's Suit + Tie: Enzo Custom | Music: Ebe Amsterdam | Wedding Party Makeup: ONLO

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The Best ‘Second First Date’ That Lead To These Two Love Birds Tying The Knot!

For these two, their first date should have been their last, but they gave it another go and their ‘second first date,’ was one to remember. Fast forward and they are tying the knot in a romantic and elegant outdoor wedding, photographed beautifully by Harwell Photography. From sunset shots to gorgeous tablescapes with overflowing florals from Andy Beach, the day was perfectly planned by Chancey Charm! Take a look below and be sure to read that ‘second first date’ story that ended at sunrise!

An interview with the Bride and Groom…

Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from, what are your interests/hobbies, where did you go to school, etc?
Bride: I am from Brooklyn, New York. I enjoy reading, helping others reach their potential by being their best selves, and meeting creatives. Oh! I am also obsessed with herbal teas and all things HGTV!

Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from, what are your interest/hobbies, where did you go to school, etc?
Groom: I am from Macon, Georgia. I am passionate about education and mentorship. I enjoy traveling, running, golfing with friends, and volunteering.

Tell us about a date you’ll always remember.
After an awkward first date of silent pauses and sweaty palms, all signs suggested that it should have been our first and last date. Yet knowing intuitively that we saw something special in each other, weeks later, we decided to give it another go. Our second date, affectionately known as our “second first date” and “the best date of our lives” is one we will remember forever and still think of fondly to this day. After a night of laughs and great conversation over dinner, I was relieved when Jamaar had the courage to say exactly what I was thinking -that he did not want the night to end. We decided to go dancing, but somehow we never made it inside. Instead, we found ourselves sitting side by side on a ledge outside of the nightclub, talking about relationships, life, and everything in between until we realized that the club was closing! We discovered that night that we found each other more interesting than anything any around us could offer. Still not wanting the night to be over, we went to the nearby Hammond Park and talked for hours on a park bench underneath the stars into the early morning. Feeling completely at ease in Jamaar’s presence, I felt unusually free to show him my silly side. So I challenged him to a foot race on the soccer field, where he met me with the sweetest forehead kisses and gentle embraces at the finish line. (We still disagree about who actually won the race that night!)

Describe the proposal: Complete synergy! Neither one of us knew that the other was planning a surprise. After weeks of secretly planning a romantic getaway to the Bahamas for Jamaar’s birthday, I was the one that ended up with the surprise of a lifetime! At the end of our one-week vacation stay in the Bahamas, Jamaar proposed on the shore of the beautifully secluded LOVE BEACH (actual name of the beach). Apparently, the proposal was a long time in the making! He had the ring for a while and had asked for my parents’ blessings in advance. Jamaar bending down on one knee and me crying tears of joy was all secretly captured on video as part of his perfect plan! There was no better way that my husband could have proposed, choosing to have the moment to be a shared personal experience with just the two of us.

Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: Jacqueline’s engagement ring is rose gold with an oval diamond center in a halo setting. I chose to have that ring made for her because it reflects her personality and style with features that are simple, elegant, and unique.

How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? The union of our marriage is very sacred to us; one which we were intentional about entering into reverently. We read his and her companion books by Tony Allen- For Married Men Only and For Married Women Only. We also completed pre-marital counseling.

Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Season, location, venue, time of day, city and state, etc. Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple?
We were married on September 9, 2016, in Alpharetta, Georgia. The evening ceremony was held outdoors underneath a beautifully decorated gazebo overlooking a small river. Being outdoors is when we feel the most connected to one another, so we knew that was where we wanted to say our “I do’s.”

Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, Loving, and Emotional

What was the weather like on your big day?
Amazing- upper 80s with a light breeze. Clear with plenty of sunshine.

How many guests attended your wedding?
100 guests

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple?
Inspired by nature, we wanted to design a wedding that was filled with as much beauty as we feel love for one another. It was also important to us that our guests felt surrounded by the joy and happiness that we wanted to represent for our new beginning as husband and wife.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding:
The highlight of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing Jamaar waiting for me. Leading up to the wedding, my matron of honor told me to “remember to stop and smell the roses and bask in the moment. It will only be about the two of you on that day.” And she was right! I focused on my husband the entire time I walked down the aisle, and I will never forget the way he looked at me with all the emotion in his eyes.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding:
The pre-ceremony gift experience. Jacqueline surprised me with a personalized gift that included a pocket watch and a handwritten letter. The letter inspired me with overwhelming gratitude and love. My heart was activated in a special way, inspiring an expression of emotion that was uncontrollable, authentic, and unprecedented.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it?
I wore a mermaid style wedding gown with off white Alencon lace by Matthew Christopher. After having tried on several dresses, I knew that it was the one because it made me feel like the most beautiful version of myself! The champagne lining ended up being my favorite thing about the dress. Choosing a dress with a hint of color, over a traditional white gown, represented my courage to be uniquely me. I finished the entire look with an off white lace-edged veil, pearl jewelry, and peep-toe shoes from Badgley Mischka.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them?
My bridesmaids wore blush-colored wrap dresses from BHLDN. I chose a dress that I hoped would be easy, light, and make them feel beautiful.

What did the groom and groomsmen wear?
I wore a blue shawl lapel tuxedo with a black bow tie, covered placket white shirt, black patent leather shoes, and a white pocket square. The groomsmen wore a navy blue suit, black tie, covered placket white shirt, black patent leather shoes, white pocket square. We all wore a black rosebud flower lapel pin for a modern take on the traditional boutonniere.

Tell us about your wedding flowers. How did you choose them? What did you love about them? Your wedding should always be infused with things that you love….and I love flowers! It was the center of the wedding design. We wanted to create an atmosphere that was classic and romantic. I was inspired by my engagement ring to use shades of blush, cream, and white. I chose to incorporate my favorite flowers which included orchids, garden roses, and hydrangea.

Bride’s bouquet:
I carried a beautiful bouquet of orchids, spray roses, and garden roses. The stem of the bouquet was wrapped in cream silk ribbon and cream lace ribbon with accented pearls.

Bridesmaids’ bouquets:
The bridesmaids carried a fluffy bouquet of white hydrangea wrapped with blush satin ribbon with a petit double loop bow with tails.

How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony?
Groom: I picked up roses to decorate our honeymoon suite, listened to special gospel songs to prepare my mind for the day, and had a quiet lunch alone. The groomsmen and I later spent time together coordinating grooming activities.

Bride: I wanted to be sure that I cherished the final moments of my singlehood bonding with my dearest friends, who are like sisters to me. So I had a mini spa day with my bridesmaids to help get us relaxed and ready for the big day!

Did you have any special pre-ceremony activities?
Being of Ghanaian descent, it was important to me that I acknowledged my heritage during this special time in my life. Prior to the wedding, we held a traditional Ghanaian engagement ceremony that involved our parents.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings?
The most special part of the wedding was having a ceremony that reflected our faith and reverence for God that brought us together.

Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony?
We included Kente cloth in our ceremony for the officiant to wear. I wanted to highlight the Kente cloth as part of my culture and as symbolism for the occasion.

What songs did you use for your ceremony? Processional, interlude, recessional?
The string trio played Canon in D Pachelbel (processional), A Thousand Years (Bride entrance), I Surrender All Hymnal (interlude), and Signed, Sealed, Delivered (recessional)

What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day?
Groom: Reading the personalized letter from my wife and experiencing her walking towards me during the ceremony.
Bride: The entire day was so special but the one lasting memory was having all of our loved ones celebrating our union. It is an amazing way to start your life together.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding?
On the most special milestone of our lives, we wished to lovingly remember those close to our hearts who were no longer with us, or unable to attend. We did this by honoring our grandmothers by placing their photos in special reserved seating in the front row of the ceremony.

What was your reception like?
Romantic, Elegant, yet comfortable.

Tell us a bit about your first dance.
For our first dance, we danced to Lalah Hathaway’s cover of the Anita Baker song “Angel.” The moment was amazing…it felt as if we were the only two people in the room.

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets.
We chose individual almond cupcakes with buttercream, adorned with a blush petal flower with a gold center. We also chose a non-traditional 8” tall carrot cake decorated with fresh ivory and blush colored roses.

What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding?
The best advice we can give to other couples is to consider that there is life after your wedding. Plan accordingly, budget, be flexible, consider each other’s feelings during the planning, and remember that life begins after the “I do’s.” To future brides, when you make a major decision- go with it and move-on! You can drive yourselves nuts if you are constantly doubting and re-thinking every decision. Be yourselves. Your guests love you and are there to celebrate you. Incorporate as much of your personality and culture as you can. Finally, be as present with the experience as you possibly can every step of the way, because it goes by fast!

Photography: Harwell Photography | Event Planning: Chancey Charm | Floral Design: Andy Beach | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Wedding Dress: Bridals By Lori | Invitations: Studio LMC | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Talk Of The Town | Makeup: Paulette Cooper | Hair: Marlena Mendez | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux

A Beautiful Beachside Wedding at Gladstone’s Malibu With Elegance at Every Turn

Think you can’t do beachy and elegant at the same fête? Think again. Today’s gorgeous Gladstone’s Malibu wedding for the sweetest couple will prove you oh-so wrong. The two tied the knot in a sun-soaked beachside ceremony (looking dapper as ever might we add), and later joined their guests at an intimate reception adorned with all-white arrangements of calla lilies, roses and ranunculus – only the most timeless of blooms by Smith + Lily. To see it all unfold, don’t miss out on the full gallery of imagery all captured by Purity Weddings.

From Purity WeddingsThe vision was to have an event where our friends and family could enjoy themselves and each other, while taking advantage of the beautiful view. Every choice, from the location, to the agenda, to the food, was motivated by that. 

Aesthetically, the event space at Gladstone’s is already so beautiful, we just wanted to elevate it with simple but elegant touches, while honoring the beach-y vibe by adding white flowers, classic lanterns, and white candles. 

Doug’s wedding ring is Cartier, Cory’s wedding ring is a gold band that his Grandfather wore when he married his Grandmother, and his Father wore when he married Cory’s mother. When Cory’s dad passed away in 2016 it was passed to him and he wore it to marry Doug.

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Photography: Purity Weddings | Videography: Purity Weddings | Coordination: Melanie Embry | Floral Design: Smith + Lily | Cake: Susie Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Gladstone's Malibu | Reception Venue: Gladstone's Malibu | Hair: Rose Room Salon | DJ: Mike Falkow | Groom's Attire: Custom Suits by Enzo | Hotel: JW Marriott | Live Music: Olivia Morreale Music

Wedding Planning Is a Labor of Love, So Treat Yourself This LDW

The last official weekend of the summer is upon us – and it’s usually one of the best times to get out, hang with friends and fam, and a special someone, but we all know that this one is going to be a lot different than years past. Social distancing is hardly LDW friendly; however, since we’re talking “labor,” it’s worth mentioning that brides-to-be (especially 2020 brides) might be okay with keeping things low key this time around. One weekend off from having to field questions about wedding planning ‘in the age of corona’ sounds like a dream come true for brides – and it doesn’t even have to be a weekend off from planning, instead, it can be more of a restful weekend with practical moments that spark joy rather than promote stress.

For these three+ days, we suggest blocking off your calendar and committing to some ‘just the two of us’ time with your fiancé. This has been a summer like no other and there’s probably no one else who understands exactly how you might be feeling than your guy or girl, so take a break from the labor of love that is wedding planning [and life these days, tbh] and treat yourselves. We curated our Style Me Pretty Collection with all the best items for soon-to-be-married sweethearts, and this is definitely the time to enjoy them. #FindSomeRoomtoBetheBrideandGroom. 

Now, we’re not going to itinerize your whole LDW, because we said low key – and we meant it – but, here’s how we imagine the perfect weekend looking for a pair that’s been working overtime on their wedding… Feel free to tweak and tailor to meet your needs!

Photography by Julie Paisley & Lauren Fair Photography


LDW lineup for lovers in lockdown.

Friday night chill.

Dax Sheppard and Kristen Bell are hashtag couple goals for us all the time, so we’re taking a page out of their book with this one. Swap out the protective face masks you’ve been wearing all week for some stress-melting sheet masks, a few glasses of wine, and a Netflix comedy that will bring all the laughs (Failure to Launch is one of our faves, if you’re into something ironic or just a major Matthew McConaughey fan…).

And when you’ve had enough and you’re getting ready for bed, pop on another kind of mask – it’s the mood of the moment, after all. 

 

Saturday AM breakfast in bed with your favorite planner.

We said that planning didn’t have to be completely paused, right? Just contemplated in a calmer context, where you can put together a master plan in PJs and under the covers! We’re already envisioning those Labor Day flat lays, with your Style Me Pretty wedding planner, a mug full of whatever pumpkin spice hot stuff you’re steaming this season, and captions that have something along the lines of “LDW looks a little different this year, but I’ve got a 💍, a sleeping stud (or stunner) next to me, and a best day ever to look forward to. #thiswilldotillIDo.” 

 

Saturday afternoon favor making.

For those of you who will be having weddings soon, in smaller swarms, a weekend spent social distancing at home can actually be the best thing for getting those favors handled and checked off the list. Plus, it’s a fun bonding thing you can do with bae! Wedding bells are ringing, and it’s about time everyone had something to smile about it in this mostly 😫 year. Tie our gold bells around favor bags filled with your favorite small-batch candies, mini bottles of wine or locally-distilled spirits, or even the best late-summer seasoning rubs. 

 

Sunday morning wedding glam gear-up.

Maybe you’ve had your hair & makeup trial already and know what kind of magical products and palettes, shades and setting sprays your glam girls will be transforming you with. Or perhaps you’re doing your own beauty for the big day, because glamming in the age of corona isn’t easy – that 6 ft. social distance is challenging for those curating your “You’re Pretty” lewk. In any case, however you’re going about it, you can prep with a pretty makeup bag and some Labor Day Weekend shopping deals…


And relax for the rest of it!

… It’s Labor Day Weekend, after all, so hop in the pool, taste test some signature sip combinations, wear the last of your white wardrobe for the year (kidding, we’re obvi way past that!), and remember that your day is going to be amazing no matter how it shakes out. Treat yourself with all the things on our Style Me Pretty Shop, because a bride planning these days definitely deserves it!

The Elements You Need for a Perfect End of Summer Soiree

Editor’s Note: Though the *technical* end of summer is September 20th, the presence of the oh-so-anticipated PSL at Starbucks and the arrival of Labor Day Weekend are as good as any indicator that fall is finally around the corner. While this summer wasn’t filled with exotic trips and neighborhood block parties, there is still much to be thankful for and that’s a cause for celebration! Here are a few tips from the pros for how to host the best end of summer soiree. 

“Summer soirees call for great food and cocktails! Nothing beats dining outdoors, with some fresh and light dishes and even some dishes straight off the grill. For me, summer parties are about laughter and fun, poolside, sipping freshly made margaritas.” – Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director, Colette’s Catering

“From a photo standpoint, I always suggest filling the tables up so there aren’t too many blank/ empty looking spaces. Cluster decor together to keep everything looking full and pretty. Photograph the details close up. Summer parties are always my favorite but can be very hot and quite bright if outdoors. If possible, plan your soiree before 12pm and after 3pm to avoid the harsher bright, hot light. If indoors, try to avoid harsh shadows from window light.” – Jillian Rose Kling, Jillian Rose Photography

“Please guys, don’t be afraid of color! Incorporating a vibrant palette will immediately put your guests in a celebratory mood. Obviously, spending time outdoors with refreshing seasonal cocktails and games are all must-haves, too!! – Lea Stafford, Designer, Lea Stafford Events, LLC

“Essentials for a summer soiree? A great playlist, no bugs and light refreshments! Set out an infused water station display with options like cucumber-lime, pomegranate seed, and strawberry-mint. Keep the menu light, refreshing, and full of grazing options like mini salad cups, one-bite tartlets, and chilled crostinis.” – Noelle Ahmad-Snedegar, Lily & Grayson Events

“Outdoor locations are going to be the safest for groups for a while, so we are looking at backyard BBQs, beachside al fresco dining and lakeside dinners on the dock. A beautiful table always sets the mood and we are loving patterned linens in summery colors for this season.” – Jaime Kostechko, Wild Heart Events

“What we are seeing more than anything, is that everyone is realizing that everything you want for a fabulous fete is already there. Show off all that gardening you did during quarantine with a farm to table dinner. Serve your garden-fresh veggies alongside flowers, or anything, from your garden.” – Stephanie Allen, Owner, Allenbrooke Farms

“We are so thrilled to be together again and have dreamt about our first celebration back! We have also spent a lot of time ideating what that moment may look like as it will be an entirely new experience. Our gatherings will have a new feel to them and some important things to consider are seating & spacing, guest comfort, individual portions & packaging, easy access to hand washing and of course, lots of champagne!” – HoneyFitz Events

“Find a location that is intimate, inviting and comfortable. This is a chance for you and your friends to have great food, conversations and fun!” – Susie Spensiero, Susie Marie Photography

“Making sure your guests are comfortable are key. To give them this experience, have an infused water station or Ice tea station right when they arrive. You can even put your invitations on a fan so they can fan themselves during the celebration, or offer cute parasols to provide shade!” – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events

“Nothing screams summer more than fun vibrant tones! Summer parties lend themselves to long family style meals, bright florals and fun paper products.” – Nora Sheils, Founder, Bridal Bliss

Create a cozy outdoor lounge space complete with jute rugs, rattan details, ottomans and throw pillows that is detailed with greenery and dried foliage. Teepees or bamboo lantern tents also make for fun set-ups to position adjacent or within your lounge furniture! – Erin Sprinkel, Sterling Social

Photography: Jillian Rose Photography | Floral Design: Lovesome Blossom | Stationery: Jordan Kentris | Catering: Colettes Catering Events | Calligraphy & Signage: Prim & Pixie | Park: Muckenthaler Mansion | Producer: Be Inspired Pr | Rentals: Circa Vintage {Rentals} | Tabletop Rentals: La Pinata Party Rentals

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How to Elevate a Blank Space Venue With the Right Color Scheme

Tying the knot at a blank canvas venue has many advantages – versatile enough to satisfy any style, super customizable and a clean setting for photos, but it also comes with its challenges. Like the overwhelming idea of “where do I even begin?!” Lucky for you, the talented team at Hummingbird Bridal and Events is here to provide you with some major inspiration. Their designs are an amazing example of how to elevate a blank space with a lively color scheme and out-of-the-box blooms by Bittersweet Gardens. Head on over to the full gallery to see it all come to life – taken by Shannon Grant Photography!

From Shannon Grant PhotographyWhen planning this editorial, we knew we wanted to showcase diversity, an elevated take on an elopement, and a modern meets timeless aesthetic with a bit of a *wink*. Pinks, peach, and little bits of fresh, summery orange set off against a neutral palette help to bring warmth and enliven an open space. 

Designating areas of interest with standing floral installs creates an intimate, yet lush and inviting ceremony space. When planning an elopement, why NOT go all out and invest in a draped fashion-forward backdrop in lieu of a photobooth? Make like a celebrity and ensure your guests all leave with photos of themselves that rival a Vogue cover story! 

When your celebration has a smaller footprint overall, you can really invest in creating an unforgettable, personalized experience. Just because the guest list may be tiny, doesn’t mean your wedding dreams need to be! Go for it, have fun, and revel in the fact that love is not, nor ever will be canceled.

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Photographer: Shannon Grant Photography | Videographer: Echo in Dreams | Planner: Hummingbird Bridal And Events | Floral Design: Bittersweet Gardens | Cake: Soul Cake Shop | Rings: E Scott Originals | Makeup Artist: Makeup Artistry by Liz | Hair Stylist: Michelle Anne Hair Design | Groom: Maggie Inc | Suit: 9tailors | Art Museum: Massachusetts Museum Of Modern Art | Bridal Boutique: Flair Bridesmaid Boutique | Bride: Misia O'Brien | Framed Art: Talula Christian | Furniture/Draping: Ryan Designs, LLC | Invitation: Wouldnt It Be Lovely | Rentals: Peak Event Services

A Colorful San Diego Wedding Day With Jaw-Dropping Ocean Views

This gorgeous couple tied the knot under a beautiful floral mandap created by TBD San Diego, complete with breathtaking Pacific ocean views. While Flora the Venue had the festivities going off without a hitch, the newlyweds danced the night away with their guests in a secluded garden reception brought to life by a colorful pastel palette. To watch it all unfold, don’t forget to check out the full gallery of images from their day – all taken by Ariel Min Photography!

From Ariel Min Photography Bhavika and Shivan’s gorgeous wedding weekend featured colorful pastel details against classic Southern California landscapes, from a beachside ceremony to a reception in a secluded garden. The weekend consisted of four major events attended by the couple’s family and friends from all over the world. On the night before the ceremony, the couple held a Sangeet ceremony at Flora in downtown San Diego, a unique indoor venue that features gorgeous lush California plants and greens all around its walls.

The evening was highlighted by singing and dance performances from family members. On the morning of the ceremony at Scripps Seaside Forum, the couple exchanged a first look against the blue Pacific Ocean dotted with morning surfers. For an hour before the wedding ceremony, the groom, his family and the rest of the wedding party danced through the baraat, also known as the groom’s procession, led by DJ Preet Bisla of VOX DJs. The ceremony took place under a beautiful floral Mandap designed by TBD San Diego, followed by a luncheon on the patio. 

 

For the evening reception, the couple and their guests moved to Japanese Friendship Garden inside Balboa Park in San Diego, a secluded garden deep inside the park. The cherry blossom trees had started blooming already, which provided a gorgeous backdrop for newlywed portraits. Inside the ballroom, guests were guided to their tables by escort cards made out of hand-cut fabric swatches that matched the evening’s color schemes.

The couple’s delicate wedding cake, made by Food Network’s ‘Cake Wars’ champions Fab Cake Girls, illustrated a sunset over the ocean. 

Guests were entertained all night with dancing, a newlywed couple’s game and heartfelt speeches. Plus, the UCSD Zor — the University of California, San Diego’s award-winning Bollywood/Fusion dance team — gave a dazzling performance towards the end of the night.

Photography: Ariel Min Photography | Videographer: Taylor Films | Coordination: Flora the Venue | Cake: Fab Cakes | Ceremony: Scripps Seaside Forum | Reception: Japanese Friendship Gardens At Balboa Park | Catering: The Wild Thyme Company | Calligraphy: Traveling Calligrapher | DJ: Vox DJs | Attire: Binari Art | Dancers: UCSD ZOR | Dessert: The Good Donut Shop | Film Lab: The Find Lab | HMU: Salt Spelt Beauty | Henna: Gopi Henna | Musician: Ronobir Lahiri Music | Photography - Assistance: Sloane Photo | Rentals & Florals: To Be Designed | Sangeet: Flora

True, Blue Southern Charm With Just a Little French Inspiration!

It’s true what they say, that inspiration can come from anywhere, and for photographer, Tracy Burch that inspiration came in the form of a piece of fabric she stumbled upon in France and translated into a picture-perfect Southern dream at Trinity View Farm. From rich blues to dreamy peach, this inspiration shoot is everything, with a jaw-dropping floral arch by Jana Brown Design Co. to a beautiful tablescape and some serious ‘Sound of Music’ vibes with rolling hills in the background of the couples portraits. Take a look below and be sure to check out the highlight video by Loomis Films!

From Tracy Burch PhotographyOur editorial concept grew from blue toile fabric snagged while perusing a fabric shop in Paris. The toile was an elegant touch to elevate a neutral tablescape, and paired nicely with the southern aesthetic of our shoot at Trinity View Farm in Tennessee.

Fresh seasonal fruits like blueberries and peaches, were added in to compliment the blue and peach hues and were also incorporated into the flat lay invitation suite and tablescape details and custom cocktails. 

Garden roses were sourced from a local grower and boasted beautiful cream, blush, and apricot tones, which went perfectly with the added greenery and rich silk tie around the brides bouquet. 

We used unruly foliage in the ceremony display to offset some of the refined details such as the gown and the manicured lawn, all set against the backdrop of a panoramic view of the rolling Tennessee hills.

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Our editorial concept grew from blue toile fabric snagged while perusing a fabric shoppe in Paris. The toile was an elegant touch to elevate a neutral tablescape, and paired nicely with the southern aesthetic of our shoot. Fresh seasonal fruits were added in blue and peach hues, which were also incorporated into the flat lay details and custom cocktails. Garden roses were sourced from a local grower and boasted beautiful cream, blush and apricot tones. We used unruly foliage in the ceremony display to offset some of the refined details such as the gown and the manicured lawn, all set against the backdrop of a panoramic view of the rolling Tennessee hills.

Photography: Tracy Burch Photography | videography: Loomis Films | hair & makeup : Katie Gurley | Estate : Trinity View Farm | bridal store : House of White | design & florals : Janna Brown Design Co. | gown design : Anne Barge | men's wear : Zara | paper : Plume Calligraphy | rentals : Liberty Party Rental | silk: Frou Frou Chic

Find Out Why This Villa Is Forever Our Favorite Amalfi Coast Wedding Venue

When it comes to Italian wedding destinations, I think we can all agree it’s pretty tough to compete with Villa Cimbrone. The venue’s timeless, old world romance enchants us every. single. time. That being said, we couldn’t be more excited to share today’s destination wedding at Villa Cimbrone from Events by Paulina. To see all the dreamy details, including an epic hanging floral installation from Malafronte Fiori, head on over to the full gallery – all taken by Bottega53!

 

How and when did you meet?

From the Bride… We met at a mutual friend’s house in Taipei, where Jimmy was invited to cook for a group of friends. Luckily, Jimmy brought his best and prepared his signature bourbon bbq ribs and sea urchin risotto, because it caught Rachel’s attention. After a few weeks of dating, Rachel told Jimmy that she was moving to Los Angeles to continue her education for the next two years. Jimmy said he was all for it and they started their two year long distance relationship from Los Angeles to Shanghai defying the cliche that long distance doesn’t last. (12/2013)

 

How and when did you get engaged?

During one of Jimmy and Rachel’s summer vacations to Europe, Jimmy had planned a little surprise along the way. Jimmy cunningly planned his proposal and rented a yacht for the day to take them from Capri to Positano where he would propose during sunset with Positano’s mystic cliffside architecture as a backdrop. However, what he didn’t plan for was a luggage that never arrived at Naples and a high tide on the way from Naples to Capri. The dramamine was in that luggage, and Rachel was so seasick that she told Jimmy she never wanted to get on a boat again. Luckily, the luggage arrived to our resort in Capri, albeit missing a wheel, but with the seasick meds, she was ready to give it another shot. We cruised around Capri, dined at one Michelin-starred Il Riccio and even had Michael Jordon dine behind us. Finally, we boarded our private yacht, headed towards Positano, and paused about 500 yards from the beach for a photo session at the bow. With John Mayer’s “Gravity” playing in the background, Jimmy dropped to one knee and proposed. (07/2018)

 

Why did you pick this venue? What did you most love about it?

We had considered a number of cities in Italy and researched a number of venues, but we wanted to bring all of our family and friends to the place that we felt was most special, the Amalfi Coast. During our search, we saw surreal, beautiful pictures of Villa Cimbrone online, and Paulina had just so suggested the same venue as one of her top choices. We knew Villa Cimbrone would be the place. Ravello was relatively close to Positano, while being a bit more quaint and dreamy. The number of rooms was perfect for our big family so we booked the entire villa for our family to stay in during our wedding. Villa Cimbrone also had such a wide selection of picturesque spaces across its property that could be used for the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and after-party. It only made sense, even if we never had the chance to visit the venue or taste the food before our wedding. Our choice was perfect, as the venue was more beautiful than we thought, and all of the hotel staff were top-notch, including the spectacular Villa Cimbrone events coordinator, Donnatella.  Looking back, we would make the same decision, hands down.

 

What was your vision for your wedding?

Our vision of our wedding was to create a journey shared with family and friends, which included traveling from Rome to Positano and hosting a Capri boat excursion with a welcome lunch party in Capri followed by evening drinks in Positano and in Ravello. Literally, we would explore, wine and dine together all the way till the big event. For the wedding itself, we wanted different experiences from the welcome drinks to the ceremony, cocktails, reception and finally the after-party, and Villa Cimbrone offered it all with such an expansive, diverse and beautiful property. We started our welcome drinks with a rooftop lemonade stand at Villa Cimbrone’s terrace where the guests had amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea. The guests were then ushered through the famous Cimbrone gardens passing by a pomegranate tree to eventually reach a cliff-side ceremony filled with white rustic florals where a quintet was playing classical love songs. Once the ceremony was finished, our guests would be ushered into one of many gardens filled with gelato stands, an escort card table with limoncello shots for each guest, and a gift table where we had custom bags and cashmere scarves with hand-ironed logos. The gelato, finger foods, Prosecco and an Italian guitar duo made for a fun way to kick off the evening.  

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Photographer: Bottega 53 | Videographer: Giordano | Wedding Planner: Events by Paulina | Florist: Armando Malafronte | Stationary: Letters by Ann | Hair: Alessandro Mancino & Marco Carpentieri | Lighting: RMS | Hotel: Villa Cimbronne | Chairs: Wedding Chairs & Co | Guestbook: Be Golden | Music: Wedding Music | Rentals: FG Eventi

Terrazzo Quarantine First Birthday Party

Editor’s Note: Celebrating during this crazy time of life has never been more important, and this AH-dorable first birthday party has all the pep and fun of a traditional birthday party with all the bonuses of being extra safe — i.e. a win-win! With a little bit of creativity and elbow grease, celebrations can STILL go a long, long way! 

When I started planning my son Eli’s first birthday party, I knew I wanted the theme to be unique and terrazzo was a perfect choice! The super fun medium is made of chips of marble or granite set in concrete by artisans. I based the color scheme off of a blue, orange, and gold terrazzo pattern that I found online.

With just two weeks to go, we found out that we wouldn’t be able to host the party because of COVID-19 government restrictions. We quickly pivoted our original plans and decided to package up the fun and celebrate with our loved ones “social distancing style”. All non-essentials shops were closed at the time so I had to get creative. I made the gift tags, party hats, pom poms, and matching gift wrap with the help of my inkjet printer and a few YouTube tutorials. Despite the necessary DIY elements, the details came together even better than I had imagined.

Our guests received a wooden box in the mail with Zoom coordinates, handmade party hats, custom sugar cookies, a recipe, and the ingredients to make Eli’s signature birthday milkshake! They were absolutely elated to be able to celebrate with us. My mother-in-law even cried when she received our package!

With our terrazzo backdrop set-up and signature birthday drinks in hand, we hosted our very first Zoom party. Eli looked especially festive wearing a birthday crown knit and mailed to us by his great-grandma. Celebrating Eli’s first birthday over a video call wasn’t what we had anticipated, but it’s definitely a birthday party that was very special- and one we’ll never forget!

Here’s Why That Pricey Wedding Photography Cost Is Worth Every Penny

If you’ve taken the time to look at potential photographers and their pricing, you may have noticed that it can be WAY expensive. But there is absolutely a reason why: wedding photography is in a class of its own. We don’t mean that in an aesthetic, “look how pretty it is” way. We mean that in the nitty gritty amount of work that goes into it way. Wedding photographers develop a unique skill set, dealing with sticky situations, anxious brides, sudden weather changes, and other hiccups. It is through years of trial and effort, practice, training, and development, plus sheer hard work that they have become the artists that they are! And yes, they are artists. 

To get all your wedding photography questions answered and more, check out our Ultimate Wedding Photography Guide!

Photo by Jen Huang Photography

Like most vendors, photographers quote based off the cost of material and their time—but keep in mind, that goes well beyond the number of hours they put in on the day of! An experienced photographer will go all in to make sure they’re ready for your day. They will take time to visit your ceremony and reception sites, to make sure they’re  familiar with the surroundings of their snaps, what layout and lighting they’ll be working with, and what (if any) challenges they might face. Not to mention, they will take time to meet with you beforehand to get a sense of who you guys are as a couple and what you’re envisioning for your special day. Then after the wedding is done, they’ll spend marathon days editing photos to produce a gorgeous, well-curated portfolio. 

Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings

So with that in mind, here’s a list of some factors photographers take into consideration when building out their pricing:

  • Educational Background | Is the photographer academically trained in photography? Are they continuing their development on a regular basis by participating in workshops and conferences? 
  • Years of Experience | How long have they been shooting weddings? 
  • Location | Photographers in large cities and destination locations  may charge more for their services.
  • Awards and Accolades | Has their work earned any honors or distinctions over the years? (This can often show you what kind of weddings they’re exceptional at shooting.) 
  • Published Features | Do they have work featured in prominent and industry-leading wedding publications like Style Me Pretty? While it might not be especially important to you, it does bolster those aforementioned professional accolades.
  • Hours of Coverage | How long will they be available on your wedding day? Do you need them from morning until midnight, or would six hours suffice? 
  • Second Shooters | A second shooter is, of course, an additional expense, but having one will allow for more moments to be captured during larger weddings. Unless your wedding is small and intimate, a second shooter is pretty much a must. You can trust your photographer’s recommendation on this.
  • Travel Expenses | Will the photographer need to travel a long distance to attend your wedding? What sort of traveling expenses might they incur? You’ll be responsible for covering these additional costs.  
  • Hours of Editing | So much time and energy is put into editing the photos from your day! As a rule of thumb, the more hours of coverage you have, the more time the gallery will take to edit.
  • Gear | The tools a photographer uses are costly and, as such, can factor into pricing. This includes state of the art cameras, lenses, lights, reflectors, styling mats, film (if a film photographer), etc. Top notch photographers replace their gear regularly!
  • Album Costs | Most good photography packages include luxe photo albums, and the cost to have one made will be included in your pricing should you choose to order one. We’re big fans of albums and will always recommend that you do one. Yes, it can add up, but you won’t want to skimp on this—it’s one of the best keepsakes you’ll have in life.
  • Insurance | Many high-end photographers have business insurance to cover any liability concerns that could arise (for example: if they accidentally break a glass at the venue, or if a guest trips over their camera bag or injures him/herself on a piece of photo equipment).

Because of all these factors, photographers are available for work at several pricing tiers. Keep in mind that those priced lower generally have less experience, less education, and less (or lower quality) equipment. So, if you’re looking at $ versus $$$ vendors, put in some extra time to really research them and their abilities. If you decide to inquire with them, ask about their process and background to make sure you trust them with your day.

“Every photographer is priced differently and offers a different experience to their couples. We are not all the same! Photographers differ by personality, editing style, what medium they use to create their images, the deliverables they offer, the number of shooters they offer, the experience of those second shooters, the number of images they deliver to clients, the amount of hours they spend with you on the wedding day, years of experience, the number of weddings they’ve shot, and many other variables. You’re not just comparing apples to apples when it comes to photographers.”

– Dana Cubbage, Dana Cubbage Weddings

Photo by The Happy Bloom 

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An Empowering Editorial at Easton Broad Inspired by Butterflies

The gorgeous gallery of images is almost as beautiful as the meaning and inspiration behind today’s shoot, dreamed up and captured by RTFaith Photography, with planning assistance from Shantilly Gatherings. This talented duo decided to create a shoot reflective of the transformation and growth our industry and our world is going through right now, elegantly embracing positive and necessary change. Please read the beautiful words from Shantel and Rithy to learn more about the creative process behind this empowering shoot – we couldn’t be more in love.

Vision Behind the Shoot

From the planner, Shantel Dix, and photographer, Rithy Tamba… “Change does Not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” -MLK
The inspiration behind the Empowerment Bridal shoot came to us in three stages and the shoot itself went through a transformation while it was in the developmental phase. As artists, we observe what is going on in the world around us and use art to reflect the change that we wish to see.

METAMORPHOSIS “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” -Maya Angelou
Shantel: I originally created the idea of a butterfly shoot as a fantasy shoot in a desire to reflect my own individual growth as an artist and a lover. Butterflies are gorgeous fragile creatures who undergo a full body transformation that requires strength in both body and mind. This is something people also endure in a metaphorical sense while journeying down the path of love with their spouse.

Adapting to change is necessary if you really want to be able to merge as a couple. Often your relationship will be put to the test many times causing your love to continuously transform. At the heart of my inspiration, my own relationship had endured many changes over the last year and our growth was truly worth representation, little did I know that the world around us was about to experience change as well.

PANDEMIC “Change is never easy, but always possible.” -Barack Obama Just as we had begun to cultivate this gorgeous vision, the world was hit with an unforeseen force that rocked the status quo. During this time of pandemic, many have been and continue to contemplate the state of normal we once accepted. I witnessed couples planning their weddings struggle with the pressure to postpone their weddings. As people have adjusted to our new normal, they began to embrace smaller ceremonies, micro weddings and elopements. It has been truly beautiful watching love continue to transform to conquer all adversities.

BLACK LIVES MATTER “I am No Longer accepting the things I cannot change. I Am changing the things I cannot accept.” -Angela Davis At this point I was beginning to call into question whether a butterfly shoot was the way to go, as we didn’t even know if we would be able to do a shoot at all. But this was my form of self expression where I could show the world the change that I wanted to see come about. Growing up I’d been to countless romance filled BIPOC weddings and as an adult I’ve helped beautify many brides and yet I still see very few represented in magazines and blogs. As much as I have always desired to see a face that reflects mine on the cover, I also wanted to see fellow vendors owned by individuals of color cited in these very same publications. I knew that this had to be where I began.

The Inspiration

What can I do to start the change I want to see? Change that is needed now. I realized that this shoot needed to become about more than just me as a Black woman, a Black mother, and a Black bride. This project reflects what I’ve always felt was missing from the wedding advertising industry: representation for the love and beauty of all Black brides. Now more than ever is the time to embrace positive change. Old ideas of what is considered desirable have often not embraced the beauty that is the Black woman. Just like the huge variety of butterflies, diversity is also a display of breathtaking beauty that should be shared with the word. I hope that you will assist us in our endeavor to show the diversity that true love encourages.

 

Vision in the Details

Butterfly veil It is said that when a butterfly flies in front of you that it symbolizes a change is coming and that you need to leave your past behind to embrace it. We chose four Black models to show the beauty, strength and diversity of the Black bride. There is not a huge diversity amongst wedding vendors in Oregon but this is changing rapidly and I am happy to say we had a group of very talented individuals. I suggest to not feel any qualms about reaching out and asking companies if they are BIPOC owned.

Rithy (Photographer)- styled the tablescape and the cake bar. The shoot reminded me of a modern romance, which we don’t often see featuring brides or people of color. So I wanted to keep the aesthetic modern, but have flowy drapes to create a romantic feel. The vision I had was a strong, but delicate table where the brides can sit and converse about all things near and dear to their hearts.

Advice for those planning:

Spring/summer wedding This is definitely a spring and/or summer wedding as butterflies respond much better to warm weather, also be sure to order butterflies native to where you’re getting married. We used fake butterflies ordered from a small company on Etsy that were made from recycled materials. I highly recommend this unless you can get butterflies locally so as to avoid any cruel treatment towards the butterfly in cross country shipping. Thrift give We thrifted a few background pieces where we could like pillows, throws and shoes adding into the sustainability of the shoot. I highly recommend thrifting for little decor and accent pieces not only is it good for the environment but it can cut down on costs and help you get unique pieces. Of course this is easier to do if you give yourself plenty of time leading up to your special day. Hiring an event planner can help you organize all of this and help you get your vision nailed down from day one.

All of our vendors were absolutely amazing and contributed so much. RTFaith Photography is POC owned and her beautiful photography lended to the soft and romantic feel while capturing the models strength. She also handled all of the details with perfect precision, from dress details, to table and cake setup. Her vision behind her film camera brought the shoot to life. Her cues and precision with the models brought chills to the room and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Easton Broad was the venue we chose, this female owned venue has urban appeal that gave us a modern twist that helped emphasize the strength behind the shoot. Finding a venue that fits your vision and will work with you towards your wedding is so important. Stephanie Mai is a POC Bridal designer which as it stands is hard to find and her work is absolutely ethereal. She helped us choose the dresses that would help bring both a modern and romantic feel on our Brides. Our florist was Knot and Fern, she pulled together a strong arch of feminine florals that perfectly framed our Brides.

Our models Shantel, Decontee, Mikaela and Karrin were all chosen for their strength during these trying times and their own unique beauty as Black women. Decontee told me that despite being a successful model even having walked in NY Fashion week she had never been asked to model as a bride and never expected to have this opportunity again because of the color of her skin. Our models had their natural beauty accentuated by Shantilly Artistry overseen by Shantel Dix with Hair and Makeup by Marissa Nwerem who is a multitalented Black Cosmetologist. They went for a rosey look to compliment the setting and bring out that Bridal flush. Vintage Meets Modern was kind enough to add in her sophisticated rental pieces that helped complete the overall aesthetic. This is a BIPOC owned company. Fat Cupcake created a sleek and modern all white cake with a white chocolate drip, white roses and white pearls. Those pearls matched the gorgeous gold earring accented with freshwater pearls from Amaree and Reese Jewelry a WOC owned jeweler. Adding into our sustainability we also enlisted Emma Brooke Jewelry who creates beautiful, modern pieces including the rings and necklaces from vintage or damaged pieces. Our crown and hair pieces were from Stem and Stone and Taimani Emerald Creative. Coordination by WOC owned Shantilly Gatherings.

From the florist… In a quest to expand my community I have been involving myself + my business in various collaborations with other wedding industry vendors. I met Rithy of RT Faith Photography while working on a styled shoot last year. We instantly connected and kept each other in mind for future projects, so I was delighted that she reached out to me to about working on a collaborative shoot based on a vision of make-up artist Shantel of Shantilly Make Up Artistry. I had not yet met Shantel but was excited to bring flowers to a photoshoot with butterflies as the main inspiration. So dreamy! During planning the photoshoot direction went through its own metamorphosis as the world around us was changing daily. This sweet and feminine photoshoot that would include a veil of butterflies became something much more profound, and Empowerment Bridal shoot. An opportunity to highlight some amazing Portland local BIPOC owned businesses while showing Portland a more diverse bride.

The day of the shoot was similar to the set-up of many other shoots I’ve been to. Everyone set up their hair and make-up tools, we began to set the scene by setting the table with gorgeous flatware and glassware, fun music played in the background and I started to build the floral installation that would be the backdrop. Golden hour was approaching and there was a clear moment that, in my opinion, set this shoot apart from others I have participated in. The energy pivoted, and everyone’s chemistry aligned. As we were finding perfect lighting and Rithy began to position the models she asked them to close their eyes, directing each model to embody a different vibe. She counted to three and these beautiful women opened their eyes with the some truly fierce looks. We all stopped and commented on how bold + beautiful it was. We all got the feels, jaws dropping, looking at one another and truly feeling the MAGIC. Shantel, Decontee, Mikaela and Karrin all posed with such confidence and poise. Their bold looks were just as beautiful as their smiles.

I am truly grateful that I was invited to collaborate with these women and proud of the images that came from this day. The message comes across so authentically in Rithy’s images, not only because of her talent but because the women shown in the images are truly beautiful Black empowered individuals.

Photographer: RTFaith Photography | Coordinator: Shantilly Gatherings | Floral Design: Knot and Fern | Dress: DeLux Bridal | Wedding Dress: Stephanie Mai | Cake: Fat Cupcake | Hair and Makeup: Shantilly Artistry | Hair and Makeup: Marissa Nwerem | Venue: Easton Broad | Crown: Stem and Stone | Event & Wedding Venue: Easton Broad | Jewlery: Amaree and Reese | Model: Decontee Peters | Model : Mikaela Woods | Model : Karrin Shriner | Model : Shantel Dix | Rentals: Sherine Iskandar | Rings and Necklaces: Emma Brooke | Styling Mat: JRD Artshop

A Little Bit of Magic is What You Get When You Mix An Ethereal Gown With A Farmhouse Backdrop!

Rolling hills, a flowing dress, and, one of the coolest barns we’ve ever seen at Bloomsbury Farm made up for today’s inspiration shoot by Dani Toscano. The mix of the three created a stunning visual paired with an elegant farmhouse tablescape, created by Janna Brown mixing striped napkins and neutral-toned florals. Scroll slowly because I promise you, this is a good one! Maybe even stop the mouse as you catch that Alon Livine gown trailing through fills!

From Dani ToscanoThis beautiful Bloomsbury Farm editorial was built upon elements that complimented the rolling hills of the landscape, the delicate movements of an ethereal gown, and the organic nature of the farm.

The tablescape, designed by Janna Brown, presented an elevated farmhouse aesthetic. She selected neutral linen to pair with beige striped napkins, and hand-lettered menus and place cards for each place setting. Her florals were predominantly cream tones, with a few mauve varieties interspersed. Hand-made bread loaves and artisan cheeses perched below the cascading florals were the finishing touches for the table.

Our bride donned a stunning gown by Alon Livne, that trailed behind her as she traipsed through the sunlit hills. Her makeup was dewy and natural, a perfect fit for such an organic setting. As the sun began to soften, we captured portraits in front of an untamed ceremony installation, brimming with wild foliage and hydrangea.

Photography: Dani Toscano | Gown: Alon Livne | Hair & Makeup: Katie Gurley | Tuxedo: Street Tuxedo | Designer & Florist: Janna Brown Design Co. | Farm: Bloomsbury Farm | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Paper Goods: Isidore Augustine | Rentals: Liberty Party Rental | Silk Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic

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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