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Wedding Planner Gets Married in Urban Garden Oasis at Chicago Illuminating Company

It’s time to break out the bubbly babes! Sure, it’s only Monday, but we’re raising our glass to one of our very own Little Black Book Members—Lauren of LOLA Event Productions—who happens to be our beautiful Bride today. Not only do we get to experience her celebration at Chicago Illuminating Company through the lens of Katie Kett, she’s sharing some of her tips on how to make your own Big Day a success.

From Lauren with LOLA Event ProductionsWhat’s more exciting than when someone gets engaged? When a wedding planner herself gets engaged! I can’t even count the number of times people joked with the question, “so are you hiring a wedding planner?” From the moment I said “yes” to my now husband, Scott, to the morning of our wedding, there was so much excitement and love swirling around our big day.

Planning my own wedding was fairly easy. I knew what we needed and what we didn’t need. I knew we really just wanted a beautiful summer evening to celebrate with family and friends. The one difficult part was knowing how many options were available to us and choosing my vendors. Being a wedding planner in the Chicago market, I regularly work with the city’s best of the best. Having to choose who I wanted for my wedding was incredibly difficult as I didn’t want to let people down who I’ve become friends with in the industry. I wish I could have hired multiple photographers, florists, caterers, etc., but I really loved the “friendors” who were a part of our team and wish we could do it all over again together!

Our wedding ceremony and reception were held in a beautiful space in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood called Chicago Illuminating Company. A summer wedding date meant we definitely wanted an outdoor aspect to take advantage of the warm weather. Chicago Illuminating Company was the perfect fit with it’s gorgeous indoor space (think light, bright, and airy) and an outdoor courtyard that rivals beautiful Italian courtyards with brick pavers, vine covered walls, and café lights strung overhead. I could instantly picture filling the space with all of our closest family and friends for an al fresco dinner under the twinkling lights.

I decided to keep our color palette crisp and summery with white floral, lots of greenery, and neutral linens. I absolutely love planning colorful weddings for clients, but in the end, neutral matched my personality best. Peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and lisianthus were in abundance and beautifully accented the airy courtyard. My favorite element of the décor was our ceremony arch. It was so lush and made me feel so special standing in front of it for our ceremony. It also served as a beautiful backdrop for our sweetheart table and framed us perfectly for photos. I also loved our escort cards. As guests walked inside after the ceremony, they were greeted with glasses of bubbly with their name and table number. There were so many comments on how nice it was to get a drink right away! Speaking of décor, I have to give a special shout out to Scott for allowing me to plan my dream day. He was definitely involved in food and alcohol selections, but let me take the reigns on everything else knowing he had a wedding planner as a fiancée.

As the day went on, I became more comfortable being the center of attention (hard for someone like me who is always behind the scenes!) and I just tried to soak in every single moment from the toasts to the dance floor. I still can’t believe our wedding day has come and gone. We would get married every weekend if we could! We had the time of our lives and are so lucky we have a beautiful photos and a film to re-live it. Now to continue on with all of my clients’ weddings!

Wedding Planning Advice from a Wedding Planner Bride

Go with your gut when it comes to food selections, design decisions, etc. It’s easy to second guess yourself when you’re inspired by so many other weddings leading up to your own. I found that usually my first idea is the one I went back to when it came time to truly make a final decision. No one will know all of those other ideas were even options!

Enjoy the spotlight! Its one of the few times in life where it’s okay for everything to be about you (and your significant other).

It’s nice to make sure your guests are having a fun time, but it’s more important to make sure you’re having the best time ever! If you’re having fun everyone else will, too!

Get a fun photo booth! It’s a great way to get photos with or of your guests without needing to find your photographer all night.

Photographer: Katie Kett Photography | Videographer: Highway 61 Films | Wedding Planner: LOLA Event Productions | Florist: Exquisite Designs, Inc. | Gown: Anne Barge | Cakes: Flourish Cake Design | Reception Venue: Chicago Illuminating Company | Shoes: Vince Camuto | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Catering: LIMELIGHT food illuminated | Hair and Makeup: Gabe Post | DJ: Dustin Harris | Hotel: Ambassador Hotel | Accessories: Simply Luxe | Alterations: The Dress Doctor | Bridal Salon: Vera Wang From Vera Wang | Bridesmaid PJ's: Target | Cannoli: Conte Di Savoia | Donuts: Stan's Donuts | Lighting & Draping: Frost Chicago | Linen: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Mensware: The Black Tux | Paper Goods: Steracle Press | Photobooth: Snapbooth Chicago | Robe: Plum Pretty Sugar | String Trio: Fretless Strings

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Inside Harlow & Thistle’s Mid Century Renovation Project


The fireplace in the living was another DIY project. The original brick fireplace was badly stained so I decided to cover it with stucco and re-tile the hearth with the same Laura Ashley tile I used for the kitchen backsplash. The mat neutral finish of the stucco, along with the repetition of the tile, add to the harmony of the space. My vintage sofa was another thrift store find. I paired it with a few Hygge inspired pillows to add that cozy modern element and elevate the entire piece.


One of the main focal points in the dining room is the feature wall. I created this interesting stripe pattern with a small can of paint and some painters tape. I completed it within a few hours for a few dollars. As I mentioned above one of the signatures of my design philosophy is mixing the old with the new. I truly believe you can give a family heirloom or an old thrift store find new life by blending it with a modern element. For example, our modern chairs from Article pair really well with my antique Duncan Phyfe table; adding texture and personality to the dining room.


We originally intended to tear down the walls in the kitchen to make it fully open concept to the living room however unforeseen challenges in other parts of the home ate up our budget so we had to settle on a semi open concept layout. We kept the existing footprint but flipped the placement of the stove and fridge. The renovated kitchen has a great mix of old world charm meets modern home feel. The Laura Ashley backsplash tile is a great example of this, blending a mid century pattern with cool muted tones. The range hood is one of my favorite elements in the room, this was a DIY project we built from an Ikea cabinet I found in the As Is bin. I added a vent insert, a front piece and asked my carpenter to build the wood around the bottom. It adds emphasis to the space while providing additional storage.

Another element I made in the kitchen is this show stopping pot rack. I made this with wood strips painted black and a few shower hooks. Since our intention is to renovate this home and put it back on the market at a reasonable price we selected appliances that were not top of the line but fit the budget. My little citrus tree adds a pop of color and makes me smile everyday.


The hallway had some great textured paneling although it was in a dingy brown so we decided to paint it white and highlight it as a unique detail of the home. The bathroom is another space that needed serious work. We replaced the tub, toilet and vanity. We added some herringbone tile and some modern mirrors and lighting. Our little family of four started this journey thinking it was a temporary solution until we found our dream home but we’ve realized that renovating this little fixer upper has made us connect as a family and really made us realize our dream home is us together anywhere.

Design: Harlow & Thistle | Lighting: Hudson Valley Lighting | Cabinet Hardware: Schaub & Company | Dining Chairs: Article | Kitchen Sink: Blanco

A Monet Inspired Wedding at Eolia Mansion in Connecticut

Today’s Monet-inspired wedding in Connecticut planned by EBB & Flow Events is every bit charming as it is romantic. We love how the bride and groom incorporated elements into their wedding that represented their personal passions. So, you’ll notice horses for the bride and bicycles for the groom celebrated in subtle ways throughout the day. Their color palette was unique and beyond dreamy: grey, blue and green with pops of black and marble! Wild, organic floral arrangements by Sarah Saunders Studio had us weak at the knees.See all the gorgeous details captured beautifully by Rebecca Yale Photography below!

From Rebecca Yale PhotographyMichelle and Robert were married at Eolia Mansion in Waterford CT on May 12, 2018. The day had heavy rain, but the couple didn’t miss a beat and hosted 100 of their closest friends and family in an intimate ceremony in a tent with grey drapery and lush florals followed by cocktail hour and a seated dinner in the mansion and then back to the tent for dancing. The couple chose to use grey, blue and green with some pops of black and marble as their dominant colors throughout the day. 

The invitations set the color tone and featured custom sketches of a horse- a love of the bride’s and a bicycle- a love of the groom’s, as well as a custom sketch of the venue on the envelope liner. The horse was drawn on a piece of vellum that overlaid the center piece and vellum was used again as the place cards at the reception. The groom is an avid bicyclist and has actually competed in the Tour de France multiple times so in addition to the bicycle on the invitation they named their signature drink “Tour de Weiss Blueberry Mojito” and the planner, Ebb and Flow Events, custom made bicycle cocktail stirrers for the drinks. Guests were welcomed to the wedding weekend with two unique welcome gifts- a welcome box for the men featuring a candle, whisky infused caramels and chocolate, while the girls were welcomed with linen bags full of bath salts, elderflower liquor, a deck of playing cards and a book on the stars- a passion of both the bride and groom. Both bags came with a custom made do not disturb sign for guests to use after dancing the night away.

The wedding was planned by Jenna of Ebb and Flow Events who is also a dear friend of the bride, and Jenna’s daughter Camilla served as the flower girl. The bridesmaids were comprised of the bride’s two sisters as well as one of her son’s girlfriends and Jenna’s sister, who all wore different tones of blue dresses. The groomsmen were comprised of the groom’s best friend, Jenna’s father and the bride’s two sons, Joey and John. The groomsmen all wore suits of their own choosing in shades of grey and Joey and John each wore unique feathered bowties which tied in the blue of the bridesmaids gowns. The bride fell in love with her polka dotted long sleeved gown and felt it reminded her of her mother and Stevie Nicks and had a blast twirling in it all day and playing with the sleeves. She paired her dress with black velvet heels with black crystals on the back, which matched perfectly with the groom’s black velvet loafers with a strip of crystals on the back. One of the highlight moments of the day was when they were joined by their five month old puppy for some portraits right after the first look under a pergola on the garden’s grounds.

Their puppy sported a Tiffany & Co leash purchased just for the day and the sapphire blue dog tag fit right in with their colors, perfectly matching her sapphire earrings! Sarah Saunders created a lush organic bouquet in white and green for the bride and blues and greens for bridesmaids, each unique to fit with their unique gown and look. Inside the mansion guests were greeted with a beautiful installation of greenery with pops of blue on the grand staircase and were invited for a glass of champagne and to leave the couple “bucket list” notes before the ceremony began. The fireplaces throughout the mansion were decked out in wild floral arrangements in tones of white, green and blue and hand calligraphed marble tiles were laid on a table with silk runners and loose florals to echo the wild feeling of the flowers throughout the day. The couple wanted the ceremony to feel close and intimate so they elected for a ceremony in the round with their guests all standing around them in a circle and they set up chairs on each side of them with florals all around the back of the chairs for their wedding party to sit in. Joey and John had the honor of walking their mom down the aisle and another dear friend of the family, the planner’s mother, officiated the ceremony.

After the emotional I Do’s where they read vows they wrote themselves, they recessed out of the tent and the rain cleared for the first time that day giving the bride and groom the opportunity to walk down to the water for a moment alone and for the ocean-side portraits the bride had dreamed of. The couple grabbed their signature drink and made the long walk through the muddy and wet grass down to the water, but they couldn’t have cared less and had so much fun enjoying the view. Luckily the bride had a shorter dress to change into and had plans to cut the bottom of her dress off to make it cocktail length so she didn’t mind getting it muddy! Guests enjoyed cocktail hour inside the mansion and the bride slipped into her feathered short dress and took a quick spin around the gardens with her groom as the rain held off.

Guests made their way into the dining rooms and as the bride and groom walked back inside the mansion they all clapped and cheered watching them from the window. Dinner was served on long banquet tables in the beautiful white dining room that tied in all the colors and textures of the day. The grey table cloths were topped with marble chargers and textured white napkins with vellum place cards on top of each plate and marble and gold table numbers echoed the colors and texture of the escort cards. The fireplace in the dining room was set with more wild florals and the tables were set with greenery and pops of blue flowers, which was also echoed in the blue wine goblets and blue and gold flat ware. After the dinner guests joined the couple for a cake cutting, but the bride and groom aren’t big fans of cake so they chose to have a small ceremonial cake cutting followed by a large dessert bar of gelato sundaes, three different kinds of chocolate dipped fruit and a flambé bar creating on demand bananas foster. Country singer April Kry, who the bride had seen perform at her planner Jenna’s wedding and fell in love with her voice, was flown in from Nashville with her guitarist in lieu of a traditional wedding band and they kept the guests dancing all night long.

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Flowers: Sarah Saunders | Hair and Makeup: Cohl Katz | Calligraphy: Jordan Cotton | Venue: Eolia Mansion | Bar Sign: Bespoke Designs | Bride's Gown: Rime Arodaky | Escort Cards: Hanwriting | Invitation: The Wells Makery | Music: Brooklyn Duo | Planning and Design: Ebb and Flow Events | Rentals: borrowed BLU | Rentals: Gather and Lounge | Rentals: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Rentals: Patina | Singer: April Kry | Tent Draping: Ryan Designs, LLC

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Modernly Classic Wedding at Overlake Golf & Country Club

I can spot an O’Malley Photographers wedding from a mile away… and what gets me every time is the impeccably timeless way they capture moments—ones that will be savored for years to come, by family, children, grandchildren. Today’s wedding is exactly that. A treasure of a gallery, full of love and the most unfussy details—planned with the help of Chamber & Co—that will stand the test of time.

From O’Malley PhotographersJoe & Kerry went with a modern yet classic feel for their wedding including a color palette of white, green and silver with hints of slate and gold. The overall look was a modern, ethereal take on an otherwise traditional, elegant wedding.

Kerry, the bride, wholeheartedly believes that less is more so she opted for all white flowers, a white tux for her groom, ghost chairs, lucite place cards, and an all-white cake that mimicked the flow of her dress. Their elegant invitation suite mimicked JFK and Jackie’s invite with a blind embossed vellum envelope for a more modern touch.

Over the course of the weekend, the couple planned many events since it was the first time most of their family and friends were meeting. They kicked off the weekend at the bride’s families home where they held their rehearsal dinner in the formal garden, hosted a welcome party on the rooftop of the iconic Nest in Seattle, and said I Do in the bride’s families’ church with the reception to follow at the Overlake Golf & Country Club, a special venue with a lot of family memories.

Photography: O'Malley Photographers | Videographer: Aaron Horton Productions | Event Design: Chambers & Co. | Floral Design: Flora Nova Design | Dress: Romona Keveza Legends | Cake: Honey Crumb Cake Studio | Stationery: Perfect Press | Reception Venue: Overlake Golf and Country Club | Shoes: Prada | Makeup: Erin Hunt Makeup | Hair: Obadiah Salon | Band: Side One | Grooms Attire: Samuelsohn | Acrylic Seating Chart and Place Cards: Anchored Paper Co | Furniture Rental: Classic Vintage Rentals | Linen: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Planning: Chambers & Co.

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A Boho Chic Desert Wedding in Palm Springs at Sacred Sands

This bride and groom’s love story is proof that your soulmate can stumble on into your life at the most unexpected time and in the most unconventional way… and your love can grow into the most beautiful  partnership for life. Christine & Josh’s mid-century modern wedding in sunny Palm Springs was *just* as beautiful as their love! Amorology and Catalina Neal joined creative forces to turn their boho chic dreams into a reality. Pretty pops of light blue and yellow dance their way through this heavenly desert day. Check out the gorgeous photos from Sally Pinera and watch this magical day unfold below!

From the bride, ChristineJosh and I have an unconventional love-story. I met Josh during the busiest time of my life when dating was not a priority. I downloaded Tinder for pure entertainment, never expecting to meet “the one”. Knowing I wasn’t ready for something serious, on our 2nd date I told Josh I didn’t see this going anywhere, but I’d be happy to just be friends. Josh, being the genuine man that he is, said he’d be happy to be friends. As the year went on, Josh and I became closer. We occasionally met up for drinks, shared stories about design and tech, and even trained for a half marathon together after I jokingly challenged him to run it with me on our 1st date. Throughout our friendship, my friends got to know him
and liked him and I came to realize that I liked him too.

Our fate was sealed 11-months after our first date, when I surprised Josh with a kiss one random night. We’ve been a happy couple ever since. When Josh proposed in 2017, we already knew what kind of wedding we wanted. Our vision was a beautiful bohemian chic ceremony, close to nature, in the California desert. It all started when we took a road trip through Nevada, Utah and Arizona in 2016. We instantly fell in love with the surroundings, the stillness, and felt so creative and free in the endless horizon. We were so excited when we found Sacred Sands, because it could not more perfectly fit that vision. It was important that our wedding conveyed key elements of us as a couple while also speaking to our individual style. We wanted to mix elements of mid-century modern and boho chic playing off the desert surroundings. Josh and I are both passionate about design and fashion, so planning our wedding down to the detail was so much fun and really gave us a chance to flex our creativity.

Our amazing wedding planner, Amorology, helped us bring everything to life. Our theme was “Run Away With Me”, based on the summer before we started dating. We spent lots of time together training for a half marathon, and eventually ran all 13. 1 miles side-by-side on race day. Our escort display featured the main title “Run Away With Me” while our dinner menu header read, “Don’t Eat and Run”. We also asked our guests to share their favorite details with us. A sign featuring Josh’s favorite quote: “Delight Is In The Details” alongside his vintage camera collection, accompanied 3 instant-film cameras for our guests to use. Our signature drinks were the “Spicy Girl Margarita”, based on a recipe from one of our favorite restaurants back home, and the “Shy Guy Mai Tai” inspired by Josh’s love of Tiki drinks. Our guests enjoyed drinks along with charcuterie and tray passed purple potato flautas and ceviche tostadas while watching a gorgeous Joshua Tree sunset on the terrace.

At dinner, we featured a southwestern themed menu of tacos with fillings including carne asada, carnitas, beer battered halibut and black bean with sweet potato. We topped off the night with a late-night nacho station and fresh churros drizzled with dulce de leche. Miho Catering did an amazing job ensuring our guests never went hungry. Since we don’t have much of a sweet tooth, we opted for cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. Over The Rainbow Cupcakes, a local bakery, created an absolutely gorgeous mix of cactus and succulent cupcakes that perfectly fit our desert theme. Our tables were adorned with a mix of dried and fresh flowers, and potted cactus designed by Catalina Neal. The colors were inspired by earth’s natural colors and rust accents of the desert. We featured mix and match glassware, black plates and gold silverware to contrast with the neutral colors. We gave himalayan salt crystals as wedding favors to play off Earth’s natural elements. Despite being planned down to the last detail, our special day was also full of surprises. Josh surprised me by designing 4 custom Snapchat filters, including one that featured our Tinder profile photos and “It’s a Match!” at the top. After our first dance, I surprised him back with a custom rap on how we first met. I wrote lyrics to the beat “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem and performed it on our wedding day. My bridesmaids were my backup dancers and “lit up the dance floor” with lights in their bouquets. It was a great way to get the party started and to remind everyone how our love story began.

Photography: Sally Pinera | Videography: Atomic Tangerine Film Co. | Wedding Planner: Amorology | Florist: Catalina Neal | Cupcakes: Over The Rainbow | Catering: Miho Catering | Hair and Makeup: Luong Lasting | DJ: Dart Collective | Wedding Venue: Sacred Sands Bed and Breakfast | Cocktails: Barcon Cocktails | Furniture Rental: Folklore Vintage Rentals | Paper Goods: Four Things Paper | Tabletop: Hostess Haven

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A Modern Tuscan Style Wedding with Cambodian Flair at Ponzi Vineyards

Subtle pops of Cambodian culture, stunning Tuscan-inspired designs and one seriously crazy-in-love couple! This gorgeous wedding planned by J29 Events and captured by Sweetlife Photography truly has it all. Seventh Stem Floral Design Co. created the most heavenly arrangements of rose-latte colored blooms and silver dollar eucalyptus. Believe it or not, this is actually the couple’s 3rd wedding ceremony (how amazing is that?!) Keep on reading to see all the romantic details of the day unfold!

From Sweetlife PhotographyDavid and Melissa’s love story has taken them around the globe! They met in New York City, have traveled to 16 countries together, moved to Singapore (and back again), and have had wedding ceremonies in 3 different countries! Their marriage is recognized in Singapore, Peru, and the U. S. They understand the importance of celebrating a good love story, and they’ve celebrated theirs BIG! They were first introduced by mutual friends in NYC and began to fall in love on their first date when David attempted to fit a whole summer’s worth of activities into one day in Montauk. David has about 25 visas to Cambodia in his passport from dating Melissa long distance. Melissa, originally from Oregon, knew David was the one (or really just fell in love with him all over again) when they were in Cambodia with her late-grandmother.

David never complained about being in the countryside with no electricity or the comforts that you would usually have while traveling. He didn’t have an issue with not speaking English for more than 42 hours, and he ate everything which all of Melissa’s distant family loved. He was probably the only Caucasian person many of the villagers had ever seen. When her grandmother expressed her love for him, it was game-over. David loves Melissa for everything she is and supports her love for her heritage. “He has a Cambodian heart”, Melissa often jokes, and he now eats more Khmer signature dishes than she does! They were engaged in Tuscany in 2016. After moving to Singapore, David planned a romantic trip to Italy, sharing with Melissa the best of what Italy has to offer: wine, food and a surprise engagement at Castiglion Del Bosco overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany. As Melissa’s girlfriends prepared for her bachelorette party, they gave David a series of fill-in-the-blank questions to answer including, “I knew I had found the love of my life when she…”. He answered, “No one moment but many times when I realized that all strangers love her.”

David and Melissa planned their Oregon wedding while living in Singapore and assembled the perfect local team to help them plan from abroad. Melissa is from the Portland area and has a couple of good friends in the wedding industry there: Kelley Kenyon of Seventh Stem Floral Design Co. And Paige Thammavong of Hey Halle. They joined David and Melissa’s team and were amazing resources for vendor recommendations. The first priority was finding a planner. Melissa and David interviewed several over Skype, but Shauna at J29 Events was the one. She always made time for the couple and went to bat for them on a variety of wedding planning fiascos. For other vendors it was a matter of choosing the best of the best. Melissa calls it ‘the dream team’. Photography was Jake & Anna Tenney, the husband and wife team behind Sweetlife Photography! David and Melissa met them initially over Skype and again in person during a planning trip to Portland. The couple considers it a blessing to have had Laura and her team at Hunt & Gather Catering for their special day (the food was amazing and working with Laura was a level of professionalism that is award-worthy).

For entertainment Jesse and his team at Event Team Entertainment did an extraordinary job rolling with the punches. Planning was a challenge given the differing time zones. Weekly calls with Shauna at J29 Events, along with the design board she created, guided them along and kept things moving forward. David and Melissa shared stories with Shauna of their travels and their love for life. Shauna knew that their celebration and party would be a fun one with lots of love and a great, positive energy. They were stuck between venues at the beginning, but once they were finally able to hone in on Ponzi Vineyards, it was easy to have the venue serve as the foundation for the wedding design: clean lines, various textures and surfaces, the beautiful view, etc. From there, they discussed (over many 6am PST Skype calls) their ideal color palette and favorite accent tones. David really wanted to incorporate natural elements such as wood or slate, while Melissa really wanted a roaming peacock (perfectly characteristic of her joyful personality, but sadly didn’t pan out) and really pretty flowers. Together, with Melissa’s rockstar friends, Seventh Stem and Hey Halle, and the rest of the amazing vendor lineup, their beautiful vision of nature + travel + good food/wine was brought to life, all with an elegant touch.

​The wedding design was a blend of rustic Tuscany and Cambodian flair (what a unique blend!). So as to not create too much chaos by blending the two, they kept the fun pops of Cambodian color to cocktail hour held in a separate space and maintained the elegant, Tuscan feel for the ceremony and reception held on the great lawn. They were, however, able to add subtle Cambodian touches in signage and rattan baskets that also provided an extra element of texture in the overall design. The color palette was natural with elements of wood, and the florals were mostly greens and rose-latte for the accents (yes that is a color). It had a lot of style, and when the couple looks back at the solemnization they had previously in Singapore (again one of their 3 weddings they’ve had together!), they love that it had similar elements with eucalyptus and karaoke after-party vibes. A perfect mix of class and fun. Overall, the wedding vibe was fun and the feel was classy yet casual – perfect for their guests who traveled far and wide to celebrate such a special day in their lives. Melissa and David really wanted their guests to enjoy themselves and to be comfortable, a true nod to who they are as a couple. Their wedding reception took an unexpected turn just as Melissa and David were cutting their cake. David’s father suffered a sudden health scare. The couple handled the situation with grace and compassion, comforting David’s father until help arrived. The events brought an unexpected early end to the evening festivities, but once his health stabilized and he was recovering well in the hospital, David and Melissa enjoyed their first dance during their wedding after-party on the rooftop of Departure Restaurant & Lounge overlooking the city of Portland. There is no end in sight for David and Melissa’s globetrotting! The couple is currently planning a Patagonia honeymoon for 2019. They’re also considering plans for their 4th wedding ceremony, a traditional Cambodian celebration. Date TBD! Stay tuned.

Photography: Sweetlife Photography | Florals: Seventh Stem | Wedding Dress: Enzoani | Cake: Mama Mia Trattoria | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Hunt Gather | Makeup & Hair: Madi Make-up & Hair | DJ: Event Team Entertainment | Men's Attire: Suitsupply | Wedding Venue: Ponzi Vinyard | Bespoke Suit Tailor: Iris Bespoke Tailor | Bespoke Tie: Vanda Fine Clothing | Bridal Boutique: Ronald Joyce From JS Couture | Bride's Custom Ring: Moryia Diamonds | Event Planning & Event Design: J29 Events | Film Processing: The Find Lab | Groom's Shoes: Baudoin & Lange | Groom's Wedding Band: Jewelry By Johan | Ice Cream Cart: The Mobile Scoop | Invitations & Signage: HeyHalle | Rentals: Barclay Event Rentals

This Fall Wedding at Beano’s Cabin Is a Perfect Blend of Modern and Rustic

Some might say modern and rustic just don’t mesh. Wellllll, this stunning mountain wedding planned by For Love of Love proves that thought oh-so wrong! This gorgeous bride and groom exchanged vows amidst a backdrop of towering trees and a triangle arbor decorated with pampas grass and lush blooms by Vintage Magnolia. Her lovely bridesmaids donned all black which looked so amazing against the golden-yellow hues of the mountains. See all the pretty captured by Winsome and Wright Photography below!

From the Bride, Megan… When Jon and I started planning our wedding back in October, we could not have imagined how perfect our day would actually be. Not only did we have amazing weather, which can be so unpredictable in the fall in Colorado, but we were surrounded by our favorite people, who traveled from all over the world to help us celebrate.

I honestly wish we could relive our day over and over again. It really was the best day ever. From the first day we met, Jon and I bonded over our love of skiing and the mountains so deciding to get married at Beano’s Cabin in Beaver Creek, Colorado was easy. Every other decision wasn’t. Thankfully we hired Lauren Hill, with For Love of Love, to help us plan. From her impeccable taste in design to the dream team of vendors she suggested, Lauren truly brought our vision to life better than we could have ever imagined. We honestly couldn’t have done it without her.

Jon and I loved seeing everything come together on our wedding day. It’s so hard to imagine what everything is going to look like during the planning process. We wanted our overall style to feel organic but modern, so we went with more neutral colors but added elements of copper and marble….. My advice to future brides is invest in a good photographer.

The day is such a blur, with so many moving parts, and you want to be able to look back and remember everything. Faith Wright of Winsome + Wright photographed our day and we could not be happier with her work. She is truly an artist.

Jon and I had never been photographed professionally before, so we decided to do two engagement sessions with her prior to the wedding. BEST DECISION EVER. It the perfect opportunity to get more comfortable in front of the camera before the big day. Faith is not only beautiful inside and out, but she is so much fun to work with. We can’t wait to work with her again.

Photography: Winsome And Wright | Videography: White In Revery | Floral Design: Vintage Magnolia | Wedding Dress: Calla Blanche | Ceremony Venue: Beano's Cabin | Reception Venue: Beano's Cabin | Catering: Beaver Creek Wedding Deck | Hair + Makeup: Kim J Beauty | Bridal Shop: The Bridal Collection | Cake + Desserts: Cornerstone Chocolates & Confections | Paperie: Siuleth of Eleven Note | Planning: Lauren Hill | Rentals: Pink Monkey Solutions | Rentals: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen

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A Romantic Wedding with Venetian Flair at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans

The minute we laid eyes on this stunning New Orleans wedding captured by Lance Nicoll Wedding Photography, we were immediately infatuated by its statement-making color scheme of burgundy, mauve, deep ocean blue and gold hues. Bella Blooms created wild and dramatic arrangements (plus a truly unforgettable arbor) lush with roses, greenery and cascading amaranthus. The elements of this day planned by Sapphire Events perfectly intertwined the lively spirit of New Orleans with subtle pops of venetian flair. Take in all the moody and romantic details below…

From Lance Nicoll Wedding PhotographyFriends and family traveled from all over the country to celebrate Samantha & Tyler’s elegantly designed wedding day. The planning process began with beautiful design plan from Sapphire Events with sought to include, “romantic elements to create a dramatic design with pops of venetian flair and chic elegance.”

The floral design of Bella Blooms perfectly brought together the burgundy, mauve, and deep ocean blues of the color palette. The burgundy and gold paper pieces with velvet textures by Yonder greeted guests before the day began and tied all of the elements from the day together. The intimate setting for the ceremony staged an incredibly emotional ceremony as these two families who are so closely tied watched and these two great friends, Samantha and Tyler vowed a life together.

From Sapphire Events… Stationary: A moody and romantic suite with chic details. Personal Flowers & Bridal Bouquet: A mixture of wild and lush garden greenery with dynamic floral statements. Pops of dramatic color such as burgundy and mauve will be interspersed among neutral tones to create a stunning piece to compliment the bride and her gown. Ceremony Design: A wild, organic floral statement piece will surround the bride and groom, with the densest part of the arbor cascading just above the newlyweds. 

Cocktail Hour: The design for the cocktail hour is intended to be light and relaxing, acting as a transition between the ceremony and the romantic reception design. Dance Room: Chandeliers will hang amongst dramatic burgundy drapery from the beams in the space, providing romantic lighting and visual interest from above. All of these elements came together to turn Samantha and Tyler’s dream of a romantic, elegant wedding with venetian flair into a reality. It truly was the perfect day!

Photography: Lance Nicoll Wedding Photography | Videography: Carriage Films | Event Planning: Sapphire Events | Floral Design: Bella Blooms | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Chasing Wang | Invitations: Yonder Design | Ceremony Venue: The Monastery | Reception Venue: test | Tent: Gulf Coast Events And Rentals | Bar and Champagne Tower: The Grand Bevy | Lighting & Decor: Luminous Events | MUA: Melissa vaccaro | Projection Lighting: See Hear Productions | Reception Band: Men of Distinction | Reception Gown: Halston Heritage | Rentals: Lovegood Wedding & Event Rentals | Rentals: Perrier Party Rentals | Rentals: Distressed|Rentals & Revival

Magical Bordeaux Wedding at Château Lavergne & Chateau De La Ligne

Get ready to be charmed, babes. Today’s soiree—set at not one, but two lovely chateaus in Bordeaux—is absolutely overflowing with the most playful kind of elegance. Bree and Lee recruited the help of Laura Dova Weddings to craft their dream celebration and that it was. One look at the gallery from Dyanna LaMora and you’ll see why!

From the Dyanna LaMoraBree and Lee and their bridal party got ready at the gorgeous Chateau de la Ligne in Bordeaux. The bride and groom and their whole bridal party is so full of life, and the day was so joyful while we captured all their beautiful moments, including Bree toasting champagne with her bridesmaids as well as the women praying over her before the ceremony, Lee watching his bride walk down the lawn in front of Chateau Lavergne, the most magical and dreamy ceremony ever, and taking bride and groom formals in the rain.

A fresh white reception welcomed guests after cocktail hour. Pretty pastel florals graced the tables as well as Bordeaux wine. Guests found their seats by picking up a wine cork holder, enjoyed a cheese wheel cake and pink macarons, and danced the night away to the most incredible band. Laura Dova Weddings made sure everything was perfect, and it was. And to Bree and Lee, you’re two of the most beautiful souls I know, and it was my honor to capture your love in both New York City and in Bordeaux, France. What an adventure it was!

From the Laura Dova WeddingsDyanna said it all, but I would like to add the most magical moment of the day was the ceremony. It had been pouring rain the whole morning. One hour before the ceremony the sky was clear blue with no clouds and the sun was shining like it was a summer day. So we decided to uninstall the ceremony inside and re install it outside – thanks to amazing vendors that all went for this last minute decision. We made the most of it because 10 minutes after the end of the ceremony it started pouring rain again.  For me it’s all about karma and these two just have a pretty damn good one!

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Photography: Dyanna LaMora | Videography: Groovy Baby | Event Design: Laura Dova Weddings | Event Planning: Laura Dova Weddings | Flowers: Fleurs de Mars | Ceremony Venue: Château Lavergne | Reception Venue: Château Lavergne | Bride's shoes: Bella Belle | Catering: Lacoste | Band: Epoq | Harpist: Emmanuel Lahoz | Tent: Jlg Location | Bride's Hair Sytlist: Maelle Poveda | Bride's Make Up Artist: Virginie E | Bride's dress: Pronovias | Bridesmaids' Hair Stylist: Nadine Baillargues | Bridesmaids' Make Up Artist: Noemie Lemoine | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Château Lavergne | Getting ready venue: Chateau De La Ligne | Preparation venue: Chateau De La Ligne | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Chateau De La Ligne

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Minimalist Chic Yacht Club Wedding at Little Harbor Club in Michigan

The timeless beauty of today’s fete, planned by Sincerely Ginger Weddings, is completely captivating. It is modern yet classic, minimalist yet playful, chic yet charming… a model of blended styles like no other. In a wash of green and ivory, and a handsome splash of navy on the Groom, this gallery captured by Lauren Kinsey is refreshing and I can’t wait to see how it inspires your Big Day.

From Lauren KinseyFrom the first moment I spoke with liz, it was as though she was like a sister I never knew I had. This wedding will forever and always be near to my heart. Liz and david wed at the little harbor club under the sweeping branches of the weeping willow, in the same place that liz’s parents had married 30 years earlier, in the same month of September.

The morning of the wedding began with liz and david boating out on lake Michigan for a sunrise swim together, followed by a casual bike ride back to liz’s childhood home. David and liz are incredible visionaries- they had a clear focus on designing a wedding focused on the love for their families, as well as for good food and wine – a seated dinner consisting of 4 courses and complimentary wine pairings was a must.

Both liz and david are incredibly creative – the groom designed the gorgeous illustration of the little harbor club that was used throughout all the stationary, and the groom’s sister hand made each of the ceramic tiles used as guest favors and place settings on the family style table.

Photography: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings | Event Design: Sincerely Ginger Weddings | Floral Design: A.R. Pontius Flower Shop | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: Little Harbor Club | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Gown Designer: Pronovias | Menu: Venamour Stationery & Ephemera

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Oceanfront Wedding at Malibu West Beach Club

As I sit here in single digit temps of New England weather, this Malibu fete is bringing the warmest glow to my soul. Ashley and Samantha’s love will surely wrap you in warmth, too—from their sweet first look to a ceremony with jaw-dropping Pacific backdrop to their portraits in the sand, all coordinated by Details Darling. See their entire celebration captured by Katie Edwards in the full gallery!

Samantha is a beach girl from Santa Monica who works in the entertainment industry producing live television & award shows. She’s a girly girl who loves to travel, shop & hang with friends, and she always puts family first. Ashley is a valley girl from Woodland Hills, who works in the hardwood floors business. She is also a personal trainer & massage therapist. She’s always down for a hike or to go on a new adventure.

Because they are both from LA, they each have a huge love for the beach. They knew they wanted a wedding that was outside & one that gave them a “wild & free” feeling while at the venue… as if you could throw your hands up & twirl around, without a care in the world. Neither of them had been to Malibu West Beach Club before, but after doing lots of research, it looked like a great option. When they walked in for the first time, they immediately knew that was it. As soon as you open the glass doors to the main room, you see the open concept reception room, and the expansive outside balcony, which overlooks a 180-degree view of the beautiful blue ocean & sandy beach. You can hear the waves crashing on the shore from the moment you walk in… and the golden sun beaming upon your face. It was perfect & exactly what they wanted.

More than just about everything else (outside of her friends & family), Sam is absolutely obsessed with sunsets…especially at the beach. So Sam & Ash decided they wanted to base the whole theme/vibe of their wedding (from décor to timing) around the sunset. They used muted, but warm sunset hues & tones in all of their florals, rentals & even their desserts! They used the term “beachy chic” to explain the beautiful aesthetic of their wedding.

From the Bride… It was an absolute dream! The most magical day ever! It’s truly an incredible feeling to celebrate & share your love with all of your closest friends & family surrounding you. We will never forget the feeling we had when we walked into the room for the first time. We poured our whole hearts into making this day happen and everything turned our better than we could have ever imagined!

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Photography: Katie Edwards | Videographer: SJ Videography | Coordination: Details Darling | Florist: Shindig Chic | Wedding Dress: Martina Liana | Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop | Invitations: Minted | Rings: XIV Karats | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Catering: DJ's Catering | Makeup: Blushington | DJ: Ben Goldsmith | Hotel: Westlake Village Inn | Venue: The Malibu West Beach Club | Bridal Boutique: Panache Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Bridal Suit: The Royals Paris | Bride: Ashley Menin | Bride: Samantha Gordon | Bride Hair: Tonia Day | Bride Hair: Roselle Rabara | Bridesmaids' Robes: Le Rose | Bridesmen Suits: The Black Tux | Ceremony & Reception: The Malibu West Beach Club | Fun Decor Elements: For Your Party | Rentals: Party Pleasers | The Couple's Wedding Website: Samantha Gordon | Violinist: Gabriel Wheaton

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French Countryside Inspired Garden Wedding at Park Winters

This romantic garden wedding at Park Winters planned by Madix & Co brought the elegance and charm of the French countryside to Northern California. From organic floral arrangements by Amanda Vidmar Designs of blooms in cornflower blue, apricot and yellow hues to an intimate candlelit indoor reception… this wedding is bursting with Victorian garden party style. Don’t miss a minute of this gorgeous affair at the full gallery of images captured by Lynette Boyle Photography.

From the planner, Madix & Co… Annie, a Stanford Business School Grad, and William, Co-founder and CTO of Plaid were introduced by a mutual friend in San Francisco. He was smitten immediately with her intelligence, determination and beauty. Her feelings for him were not far behind. He proposed on a hike in Muir Beach, which was the location of their second date and then surprised her with a whirlwind trip to Europe including Paris.

When they returned and set out on wedding planning, their ultimate goal was to have a joyful and sentimental celebration that was still very lively and fun – a perfect description of the two of them! We set out on a venue search with a vision inspired by French Provincial style and British Garden parties. So it was no surprise when they feel in love with the Victorian estate and garden landscapes of Park Winters

The color palette is reminiscent of the hues found in the french countryside – cornflower blue, muted apricot, butter yellow and vibrant greens. Beautiful floral arrangements by Amanda Vidmar Designs combined with blue vine patterned chargers, sophisticated paper goods and lots of candlelight set a refined but warm ambience. We mixed pews into the ceremony to create a sentimental, more church-like setting for their outdoor ceremony. Being that Annie and William express their love with little surprises and gifts to each other, they wanted to share that with their guests as well. So they incorporated other unexpected touches to delight their guests, including their favorite local bread by Tartine Manufactory, a popcorn machine for late night snacking, a surprise encore as part of their First Dance, and a sparkler grand exit. They left directly for SF where they stayed at The Four Seasons San Francisco before heading to Bora Bora for their honeymoon.

What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning?

From the bride… William and I adore hosting friends and family, and a top priority is that our guests always feel at ease when under our roof. So while we wanted the day to feel refined and sentimental, we also wanted to ensure our guests were able to relax and truly enjoy the series of festivities. I think the way I first described my vision to Madix & Co (our planner) was that of a Victorian garden party, but a few hours into the event so that everything just felt a little less formal and orderly. We had fun embracing this theme of intentional chaos, from mix-and-match chairs to bouquets that featured the occasional wildflower.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We very much wanted to capture some of the details of our love story over the course of the day. For example, William and I first said I love you on a beautiful rooftop during a visit to Rome, so we served aperol spritzes as a signature cocktail. We also end most Saturdays with a good book and big batch of homemade popcorn, so we had a popcorn machine as a late-night snack for guests. (We even made sure to bring a baggie with us in our getaway car!)

What unique elements did you include?

William and I love the outdoors and had hoped to get married outside, but we still wanted to capture the religious heritage of our families. We ended up finding beautiful old pews for our wedding ceremony, which we placed directly on the grass — the combination was a perfect nod to tradition, while allowing us to say our vows in a buzzing and vibrant garden setting.

What was your favorite moment?

The most memorable part of the day? Our first dance! We love dancing together and had so much fun taking weekly dance lessons leading up to our wedding. We had actually choreographed a fairly elaborate routine and were so nervous we’d get to the big day and forget all the moves! But somehow all the steps came to us and we had so much fun dancing under the stars… And were perhaps a bit relieved when it was all over!

Tell us about your gown!

A Monique Lhuillier, my gown made me feel simply more like me! With an ephemeral lace top that flowed into a fuller tulle skirt, it was a nod to the 12+ years I spent studying classical ballet. I complimented the look by doing my hair in a simple bun. I wanted people to pay attention to our love and not too many frills and accessories.

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Photographer: Lynette Boyle Photography | Videography: Phillip Alan Films | Event Planning: Madix & Co | Floral Design: Amanda Vidmar | Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Ceremony Venue: Inn At Park Winters | Reception Venue: Inn At Park Winters | Shoes: Kate Spade | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way | Hair and Makeup: The Traveling Stylist | DJ: Boutique DJs | Tuxedos: Suitsupply | Bridal Hair and Makeup: Skyla Arts Makeup & Hair | Cake Designer: Freeport Bakery | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Musicians: Ivy Hill Entertainment | Paper: The Bright Line Studio | Rentals: Found Rentals | Rentals: Theoni Collection

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A Romantic Wedding Inspired by Movies at Montalvo Arts Center

What makes this gorgeous wedding captured by Sally Pinera so incredibly special is its one-of-a-kind theme. The bride being a film producer and the groom being a major movie fan, these romantic California nuptials planned by Manna Sun Events are inspired by exactly that – movies! From a venue covered in towering Cypress trees, hundreds of white roses, magical water fountains decorated in unique vintage details and elements of film… this wedding is truly something special! So, are you ready? Lights, camera, ACTION!

From Manna Sun EventsThe bride Qi majored in film studies in college, so when brainstorming on themes for their wedding, they agreed that their wedding should feature film elements which were very important to their life, along with hints of natural, rustic and vintage style. With this film theme and style in mind, we believed that Montalvo Arts Center was the magical place for their dream wedding. Montalvo Arts Center is an Italian Mediterranean Revival mansion nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. From those towering Cypress trees, fragrant citrus, and hundreds of white roses in the formal Italianate Garden, to the soothing sounds from both the wall fountain and the central marble fountain in the Spanish courtyard; from the sculpture inspired by C. S Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia in the Love Temple, in front of which, the couple exchanged their vows, to the one-and-a-half-acre Great Lawn in front of the Villa, every step in Montalvo Arts Center was a breathtaking scene from a romantic movie.

This stunning wedding was filled with film elements such as invitation details with film designs, ticket-stub like escort cards, the vintage typewriter, movie reels, director’s natural chairs, movie slates and more. Customized film canisters were for guests to leave their blessings to the couple. Menu and seating chart printed on fabric, brought some vintage vibe and warm texture to this wedding. The banquet tables with aurora blush table runners, enjoying the beautiful garden view from the villa, were decorated by floral arrangements, composed of flowers in mostly ivory, blush pink, peach, greenery and hints of burgundy colors with low gold vases. Fruits such as peaches, blackberries, pomegranates and figs on vary low vintage gold stands were placed between floral arrangements. Blush pink taper candles with gold candle holders on varying heights sparkled between floral arrangements. On the dessert table, the love story of Qi and Wei was written on the fabric, using as the table runner. That was the best wish from our team that we hoped as this couple keep writing their own love story, every bits they write together, would be even sweeter than desserts!

From the bride… Wei and I met in a party in 2016. It was just the day after my birthday, so it was very easy to remember! Despite the gloomy rainy day, Wei traveled a long way and came to the party. That was how our story began. When we started dating, Wei and I got sick one after the other for almost a month. Both of us chose to show up to our dates with our physical illness, thus we spent a lot time in the movie theaters. Because I was a film producer, and Wei was this number one movie fan, film took a large portion of our conversation, and it kept playing a crucial role in almost every stage of our relationship. This was the reason we hope our wedding would feature film elements. I’ve always like delicate and elegant designs, with hints of vintage style, just like old movies that worth watching over and over again.

Through friends, I found Manna Sun Events. After communications online and an international call, I was sure that Manna and her team were the planning group I was looking for. Manna’s team and I shared the same vision, mission, and attitude towards the wedding. Even when I could only describe the wedding I wanted vaguely, they could easily understand my ideas and needs and found a solution right away. I once saw a picture of a long path with towering Cypress trees on both sides (I didn’t know what kind trees they were at that time), and I was thinking how wonderful it would be if my wedding could be held here in the future. I didn’t know what this place was called, and where it was, until Manna miraculously showed me the information and pictures of the venue she recommended. This was IT! I was fascinated that Manna was able to find my dream place, and on the picture, was the Love Temple at Montalvo Arts Center. Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Montalvo Arts Center was the perfect match for the elegant and vintage style I was after.

It didn’t take long till Manna and I chose the color palette, composed of blush pink, ivory, the rich burgundy, decorated with lavish and vintage gold vases, berries and figs. It was such a delight when I received the décor proposal from Manna Sun Events, because it was truly the wedding that I dreamed of, with surprises I didn’t expect. The team poured the heart to every teeny-tiny detail, and it was full of unique designs. Digging throw each photographer’s portfolio to find the ideal photographer for our wedding did take me a long time. I’ve always loved film photography, and I believed that it was a good fit for the vintage style. Since every part of the wedding was attentively designed and I hoped that they could be captured and preserved, it was very, very important to find the great film photographer. Honestly, there were many good photographers, it was not easy to find the one had a style of his/her own, and could catch and match the different textures of different weddings in their works. Therefore, I was deeply attracted by the sweet yet classic style from Sally Pinera Photography. The bright yet soft lighting Sally used was so warm and elegant. The figures in her works were glowing warmly, and the sweetness she created was so delicate and irresistible. When I received the photos after wedding, I was fascinated by her sensitivity to catch those subtle emotional connections and many dramatic moments. Every time I looked at these photos, these wonderful works were able to bring me back that very emotional day.

Photographer: Sally Pinera | Videographer: Love Unique Studio | Florist: April Baytan | Cake: Studio Cake | Catering: Le Papillon | Makeup and Hair: Yi Bridal | Lighting: JL Imagination | DJ: Big Fun DJs | Officiant: Daniel Curtis from Officially Yours | Wedding Venue: Villa Montalvo | Linen Rental: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Photobooth : Pix Co Photobooth | Planning, Design and Coordination: Manna Sun Events | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Secondary rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Stationery and Calligraphy: Blush Type | Strings Trio: Corelli Strings | Sweets: Dolce Cakes

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Floral Mountain Wedding at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

I urge you to read the Bride’s beautifully written story first, before experiencing Joel Serrato‘s stunning images. She brings us along their journey from proposal to I do and makes you truly feel as if you were a guest in their mountainside celebration. Elise Events guided the duo in crafting a day that was bursting with blooms by Natasha Kolenko. Lovespun documented it all on film and I highly recommended pressing play before signing off!

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From the Bride… Love at first sight was always a lofty, imaginary platitude that plagued love songs and poetry, that never seemed to exist in my reality. On a wintery, blustery day with zero visibility and waist-deep powder on the top of Mt. Bachelor, instantaneous love struck me with such a force that my world was forever changed. Wearing snow gear from head to toe, I couldn’t even see the love of my life or fall head over heels for his brilliant blue eyes. There was only an unmistakable energy, an electric pulse that coursed through my body, and I knew that he was the one. That day sparked a whirlwind love adventure, traveling across the world and changing our lives’ trajectories so that we would never be apart. I had been living in Spain for 10 years and love’s plan was for me to finally come home.

Two years after we met, and fully ensconced in our new lives in Lake Tahoe, we took a snowy walk among the rosy pink slopes of Squaw Valley on Valentine’s Day and Michael made me his bride. Overwhelmed with excitement and eager to celebrate, we decided to plan our wedding for the end of the summer. Snowboarding has always been our passion and we believe that the mountains brought us together. A mountain ceremony was a must for us and after trying a few local ski resorts, my Mom suggested that we try the Ritz-Carlton Highlands in Lake Tahoe. We were overjoyed and couldn’t believe her generosity in choosing such a wonderful venue.

At such a special place, I started to realize that this wasn’t going to be the small, intimate mountaintop ceremony that I had imagined. I knew we had to find the perfect team to make our wildest dreams come true. Danielle Tolleson at Elise Events was recommended to me by the lovely ladies at Swoon Bridal Salon and from the first phone conversation I knew we were in good hands. Her professionalism, experience, style, and grace was exactly what we needed for our biggest day. Our enchanting, romantic celebration of love blossomed into a dream wedding thanks to Danielle and her marvelous team and vendors, my Mom, the Ritz- Carlton staff, and our memories were made that much more beautiful by Joel Serrato’s vision and expertise.

The day approached so quickly and Danielle was ever so patient and responsive with last minute changes. Before I knew it, I was sitting in the hair and make up chair (writing my vows) and I was so grateful at that moment for the wonderful celebration that we were about to embark upon. At that moment, someone pressed the fast forward button. I remember standing with Michael as his father officiated, tripping on my words (with this ring, I thee red), watching my friend, Almudena Romero dance Flamenco, leading everyone in a Greek dance, trying to talk to as many people possible ( didn’t get to half of them), dancing again to Yotto until the wee hours of the morning. It was the best day of my life and the greatest gift was marrying my other half.

Currently I am in Zermatt with my family and my brother just proposed to his wonderful girlfriend with the Matterhorn as a backdrop. Love in the mountains is a lovely theme and I can’t wait to do it all again!!!

Photography: Joel Serrato Film Photographer | Floral Design : Natasha Kolenko | Stationery : The Idea Emporium | Shoes : Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: JLM Couture | Venue : test | Beauty : Amy Clarke | Bride's Dress : JLM Couture | Music : Sounds Elevated | Wedding Production & Design : Elise Events | additional rentals : Celebrations Party Rentals | linens : BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | rentals : Theoni Collection | video : Lovespun Films

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5 Reasons Why Chalet View Lodge Is Every Outdoorsy Couple’s Dream Venue

SO – you’re engaged (woohoo!) and you can finally start planning that magical forest wedding you’ve been dreaming about ever since seeing Edward and Bella’s swoon-worthy wedding scene in Twilight. But you only have one (kinda major) problem – where on earth are you going to find a wedding venue that’s surrounded by beautiful towering trees yet offers plenty of accommodations and activities for all your guests! Enter the Chalet View Lodge.

Deep in the forests of northern California you’ll find yourself in a little enchanted wedding oasis. The Chalet View Lodge was created exclusively for destination weddings where you and your closest friends and family can spend a weekend relaxing, taking in the stunning scenery and playing in the great outdoors. But guess what, it’s more than just a gorgeous venue! A wedding at Chalet View Lodge includes complete planning and design services. That’s right. They’re going to make your dreams a reality and all you have to do is enjoy. So sit back, relax and read on for the 5 reasons why every nature-loving couple will find their dream wedding venue in Chalet View Lodge.


1. A ceremony among the enchanting trees

The ceremony site at Chalet View Lodge is truly unparalleled in its beauty. I mean, just look at it! Imagine exchanging vows in front of your loved ones on a sprawling lawn surrounded by the towering trees of Plumas National Forest. What a dream!

2. An al fresco reception under the stars

Your guests can dine and dance the night away under twinkle lights and bright stars at your intimate al fresco reception. Take your pick from the many location options they offer… from their 9-hole executive golf course to the poolside terrace. When you get married at Chalet View Lodge, the entire resort is ALL YOURS for the whole weekend – this way you can truly take advantage of all their amazing event spaces!

3. Romantic first look locations

Meet your spouse-to-be at one of their utterly romantic spots for a first look you’ll never forget. To name a few… there is the lush greenhouse, tranquil fishing pond or somewhere tucked away deep in the woods – the options are truly endless!

4. Tons of activities and adventures

Our favorite part about the Chalet View Lodge is the dozens of on-site activities that you and your guests can enjoy before and after the wedding! From hiking the heavenly trails of Plumas National Forest to playing a round of golf to chilling in the secluded hot tub – there are so many entertaining activities for everyone to enjoy.

5. Accommodations

And last but certainly not least – there are plenty of accommodations for your wedding guests to stay in all weekend long. There are exactly 51 guest rooms, suites and cabins that provide your guests with so many amazing amenities: continental breakfast, free Wifi, inclusive resort access… the list goes on. The best part? Every room at the Chalet View Lodge is dog-friendly!!! Yup, it just doesn’t get much better than that, people.

Photography: Kay Kroshus | Wedding Venue: Chalet View Lodge

When the Doors Open to Reveal a Dream Come True at the Four Seasons Biltmore

Sometimes… when the doors open, your dreams are realized, your breath is simply taken away! And when that dream is captured to perfection by Michael and Anna Costa Photography, it will be one moment after another, that you will never (ever) forget.

Recollections from the Costas… With waves lazily crashing on the shores of Butterfly Beach, the sun sparkling off the crystal blue water, the stage was set for Christine and Michael’s elegant black tie wedding at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara. Surrounded by family and friends the Bride and Groom made their promises to each other in an intimate ocean view garden setting. 

With tears springing from their guests’ eyes as heartfelt words were spoken, Christine and Michael sealed their union with a kiss. 

When the reception was unveiled, the room positively glowed from the warmth of candlelight. The room, dramatically draped from one end to the other, was a romantic masterpiece thanks to the expertise of the talented team at KB Events

Accents of gold were seen throughout ~ and guests were charmed by the sprig of an olive branch on their custom menus. As Christine and Michael entered the room, they were greeted by uproarious applause and toasts to their forever happiness.

See more of this elegant affair in the full gallery!

Photography: Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Wedding Planner : Katie Schuette | Hair and Makeup: Dreamcatcher Artistry | Lighting: SPARK Creative Events | Officiant: Patrice Pandley, Santa Barbara Classic Weddings | Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley | Floral: Tangled Lotus | Music: Red Shoe LA | Photo Booth: LA Pix Photo Booth | Rentals: Amigo Party Rentals | Resort: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

A Classic Farmhouse Meets Chic Furnishings

Certain Home Tours come along where you scroll through the images, and you can just imagine yourself there – this Lakeville, Minnesota farmhouse does just that. Designed by Bria Hammel Interiors and furnished with their new home decor line, Brooke and Lou, it’s clear that ‘farmhouse’ doesn’t have to mean frumpy! I don’t know about you, but I can imagine walking in through that big wooden door, taking off my shoes, and pulling up a stool in the kitchen to have a cup of tea, or maybe even curl up on the couch in front of the fire place. We think that after a tour of this beautiful family farmhouse, you’ll get that warm, cozy feeling too.


One of our favorite details of the exterior is the massive wrap-around front porch. Because, honestly, what’s a classic farmhouse without one? Add a few rocking chairs and the future homeowners will have a space where they can relax and enjoy their front yard!


In the foyer vestibule, we tiled the floors with a matte, black and white diamond pattern which is not only beautiful but functional for our messy winters and heavy boots that tend to drag in sleet and snow. We paired two Brooke & Lou benches on either side of the door so that guests have a spot to set their purses, jackets, or a place to sit to put on their shoes.

Pieces Featured: Bridget Bench, Oxford Plaid Pillow, Dexter Lantern Pendant, Tobacco Wood Basket Set


We knew we wanted to give subtle farmhouse nods in the interiors of this home without it going too rustic. The exposed wood beams that lead into the living room did just that and we love how it brings another level of coziness and character to the room.

Pieces Featured: Elizabeth Sofa, Bungalow Side Table, Jade Marble Calligraphy Brush, Lucca Chandelier


So often kitchen islands are faced horizontally in the room, but we decided to switch it up and have it be a long, vertical eye catcher. We love how much space it provides to not only prep and cook meals but also for family and friends to gather. We designed the island legs with beautiful soft, curved details and added our Rose Counter Stool our Life-Friendly™, wipeable fabric – perfect for a kitchen!

Pieces Featured: Rose Counter Stool, Hampton RugRectangle Wood Bowl, White Ceramic Urn, Grosvenor Large Single Hanging Shade

Adjacent to the kitchen is the pantry! A pop of natural wood in the open shelves warmed up this space and made this room so inviting. We love the natural light this room gets so we decided to go with a partially glass door so that it carried through to the kitchen.


While we love that the kitchen and dining area are open concept, we wanted to create something that was special for the dining area without making it formal. We decided to push the space out a bit and added two sliding doors (that lead either to the backyard or the wrap-around front porch) as well as place a giant window that looks out to their beautifully wooded area outside. To finish it off, a formal light fixture paired with a casual built-in bench gave the perfect balance to the space.

Pieces Featured: Draper Chairs, Blue Ceramic Jar, Gemma Throw, Fancy Darlana Large Linear Pendant


Some of the most charming rooms in the house! To tie in the wood of the front door, you’ll see that we placed more beautiful natural wood throughout the home. The scallop edge of the vanity is such a beautiful detail that truly makes the piece feel one-of-a-kind and the room that much more special.

Pieces Featured: Willa WallpaperSonny Solid Basket


The office is right off the foyer. We built this custom desk that fits two people comfortably, and for a bit of personality, we installed our Brooke & Lou wallpaper (which works perfectly in this space and makes the ceilings look so high!) and a lantern. Because it’s a smaller room, we placed a pocket door which won’t invade the space but can provide privacy and quietness if needed.

Pieces Featured: Fern Stripe Wallpaper, Taylor Arm Chair, Black and White Eucalyptus II Art


During our time designing this home, we found ourselves nicknaming this room the tree house because of how high it sits up and the gorgeous view it has of the pine trees outside. We decided to make this room an extra space for the kids in the home to play games, do their homework, or watch a movie and we love how it turned out.

Pieces Featured: Kiawah Coffee Table, Fern Pillow, Sonny Stripe BasketIndigo Plaid CarpetTerrace Floor Lamp


As soon as you walk down the stairs into the lower level you are greeted by this incredible reading nook. Situated a little away from the main living area, it’s the perfect quiet place to curl up and enjoy a good book.

Pieces Featured: Audrey WallpaperLeaf Sketch II ArtGeorgie Plaid Throw


The lower level not only includes a bar area but also this striking wine cellar. To keep with classic farmhouse style we added white shiplap to the walls and modernized the space a bit by installing a fun, checkered tile and matte black light fixture.

Pieces Featured: Buffalo Check Tile


As we mentioned above, the lower level living space has a charming bar area. With enough seating for 4 barstools, it really is the ideal place for game days and movie nights. We continued the white shiplap throughout the bar and added open shelving and cabinetry in a natural wood to warm it up.

Pieces Featured: Hazel Garden Stool, Water Hyacinth Storage BinGreen Embossed Glasses, Audrey Pillow, Marcello Barstool

Photography: Spacecrafting | Builder: Sd Custom Homes | Cabinetry: Regalwood Cabinets | Furnishings: Brooke & Lou | Interior Design: Bria Hammel Interiors

Personalized Gifts Your Bridal Party Will Actually Want to Use After the Wedding

If you ask us… the key to a unique, memorable and romantic wedding comes down to one major thing: personalization, personalization, personalization. But where do you start? Let us introduce you to the ultimate destination for a perfectly personalized wedding – it’s called The Monogram Wedding Shop by Mark & Graham! This thoughtfully-curated online shop has everything you need when it comes to bringing that extra layer of individuality to your wedding day and beyond. We’re talking customized bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, day of décor, bachelorette party essentials and sooo much more! All with your personal touch of choice whether it be names, a sweet saying or an original monogram. As if that wasn’t already amazing enough, the shop also offers informative how-to content for wedding monogram etiquette! How awesome is that?

Head on over to The Monogram Wedding Shop to check out hundreds of new arrivals launching today as well as an inside look into real bachelorette parties and weddings featuring their amazing products! Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect to find:

Mark & Graham x SMP GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive up to six bridesmaid gift boxes and six groomsmen gift boxes of their choice!!! Be sure to enter this amazing giveaway through this link right here between March 5th – March 22th (it’s super easy, literally all you have to do is enter your email address and confirm the email sent to your inbox!) The winner will be chosen on March 22nd. Good luck, friends!


Bridesmaid Gift Boxes

Are you struggling to find a cute yet meaningful way to ask your BFFs to be your bridesmaids? Well, lucky for you, the search ends now. These adorable bridesmaid boxes are the perfect way to “pop the question”. They come in 3 different colors – neutral metallic, blush or navy hues. Each gift set features personalization on one item as well as a matching engraving with their name on the outside of the wooden box! The contents of the boxes vary so you can match each gift set to your bridesmaids unique personalities to create the most meaningful gift ever.

Groomsmen Gift Boxes

Let’s face it – the men mighttt need some help in the gifting department. And that’s totally okay because Mark & Graham have got them covered! These uber-handsome wooden boxes feature an engraved lid that opens to reveal your choice of a glass decanter and two whiskey glasses or a wooden knife and flask nestled in wood excelsior. AKA literally the best present ever for your best buds. And yup, you guessed right, you can even personalize the gifts inside or the ultimate thank you or proposal box. We’re obsessed!

Personalized Gifts In Your Wedding Colors

The Monogram Wedding Shop also offers a variety of color palettes in order for you to perfectly match your wedding color scheme to your gifts! How cute is that? Check out these adorable gifts in various hues.

Gifts For Everyone (Including You!)

Cozy nightshirts, eye masks, hand-painted canvas totes, pouches, beach towels, hats, luggage, jewelry cases… need we go on? The point is there are truly an endless amount of gifts that you can put a name or your new initials on at the Monogram Wedding Shop. And every one of them is equally adorable and useful! Head on over to their site to see it all!

Photography: Mark & Graham | Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography

Austin Garden Wedding at The Vineyards at Chappel Lodge

Want to know exactly how you get this wedding look without breaking the bank? The gorgeous Bride is breaking it ALL down for us below, including 14 ways they saved money. But first, can we all just take a moment to soak in this tree? With the help of Blue Sparrow Events and Sweetwater Stems, this celebration was the perfect balance of splurges and saves—resulting in this pin-worthy gallery captured by Honey Gem Creative.

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From the Floral Designer, Sweetwater StemsWe wanted to create floral designs that were truly unique for Ally and Eric – romantic, natural, and timeless. To achieve a garden inspired look, we used a variety of blooms and foliage – including astrantia, ranunculus, roses, scabiosa, blushing bride protea, butterfly ranunculus, pieris japonica, silver dollar eucalyptus, and bouvardia are just a few of the items we selected. We wrapped the bouquets in a wide, dusty blue velvet ribbon – it was perfect! The ceremony space included hand-tied garlands on the chairs along the aisle, and a stunning floral design on the focal tree. We wanted the design to appear as if it were growing in that space, creating that really natural and whimsical look. The reception took place under a beautiful tent adorned with string lighting. To soften the ceiling and create a more warm and inviting vibe, we added loose and natural greenery to the lights – perfect touch! The guest tables included a variety of designs elements including ceramic compotes, candles, geometric terrariums, and gold metal vases. We could not be happier with the overall design for Ally and Eric. It was truly a magical day, and we are so proud to have been a part of making their wedding day so special!

How the couple met… Eric and I met a little over 3 years ago. I was at Punch Bowl Social at the Domain with one of my friends and we were just about to leave when Eric walked in with a couple of his friends. I immediately saw him walk in and couldn’t take my eyes off of him! He was exactly my type and I knew I wanted to talk to him, so I watched him walk around the bar to get a drink and waited to make eye contact. When we did he immediately came over and started talking to us. I felt an instant connection to him and honestly knew I wanted to marry him right then and there. I also found out that Eric and his friends almost didn’t even go to Punch Bowl that night and it was Eric’s last minute decision to stop by before heading home! I truly believe our paths crossed by a chance of fate.

As he was getting my phone number at the end of the night his phone died and he ended up not saving my info! To my surprise I got an instagram message from Eric the next day saying he remembered where I worked and typed in “Blonde Faith Salon Avery Ranch” on google which took him to the website and our employee staff page. During his wedding toast he thanked my boss for including this page because he was able to find my last name and searched for my instagram to get the rest of my number! When we started talking we quickly found out that we were practically neighbors living at The Domain! We had our first date 3 days later and quickly fell in love. We were brought into each others life at the perfect time and fate truly brought us together.

How he proposed… We were in San Diego visiting for a trip and went to Point Loma to the Sunset Cliffs, which is where Eric Proposed. It was so special, romantic and beautiful, the best day of my life.

From the Bride… Getting ready with everyone was such a fun part of the wedding day! I got ready at the venue with my bridesmaids, my mom and mother in law. It was so nice to be able to get ready at the venue and not worry about driving to the ceremony after getting hair and makeup done. If you can get ready at your venue or nearby I for sure recommend it! Make sure to buy waters, snacks like finger sandwhiches, fruit and veggies! And don’t forget the champagne! I gifted my bridesmaids with a cute box they could put all their items in with their initial on them. In each box I had: Kendra Scott Earrings that matched their dress (if you mention you’re getting the earnings for your wedding party you can get a discount on your purchase depending on how many pairs your buying!), a champagne flute that said bridesmaid, maid of honor, or mother of the bride/groom and a pair of silver flip flops to change into later. I also got them silk robes with their names on them. I wanted to get them robes they could wear again, so I choose to put their first names instead of “bridesmaid”. I choose to get robes that matched the color of the dresses and I got my mom and mother in law dark navy colored robes to match the color scheme! I also had the hangers made with their names on them as well!

Choosing the attire for the bridal party was one of the most difficult wedding planning decisions for me. I knew I wanted neutral colors but that was about it. It was hard to make a decision between mis-matched bridesmaid dresses, the suit colors, and the bridesmaid dress colors! Ultimately after reaching out to my photographer and wedding planner (who are both super detail oriented, and a little OCD like me) they helped me make a decision that would look best and flow nicely in photos. Our photographer explained that darker suits always make the dresses pop! So true! Especially against the white dress. And dark colors for groomsmen tend to photograph better and look more “fancy and elegent” She explained her opinion on keeping the groomsmen and groom in the same colors tends to look more cohesive, rather than having the groom in a separate color than the groomsmen. This made me realize I wanted everyone in the same color palettes, because I am lover of all things cohesive! For someone who has her entire closet color coordinated, I don’t know why I was thinking mismatched dresses would work for me… haha. We ended up choosing black suits for the guys and light grey dresses for the bridesmaids! Each bridesmaid got to choose her own neckline, which I loved. They were able to pick a dress that worked best with their body type, and it still looked “mismatched” but with the same colors!

And now….the DRESS! AHH, I miss my dress. I wish it was acceptable to wear it for date night on the weekend. So, I was never one of those people who thought about their wedding dress before getting engaged! So I had no idea what to get, or what style I wanted. But when I tried this one on…I knew! I would recommend trying on all the different styles of dresses until you find one that you like! One of my favorite moments of the day was my bridesmaids “first look” It was so fun to put my dress on and see their reaction! Eric and I didn’t do a first look, so it was really sweet and fun to do something like this with my girls! I loved the lace detail, of my dress and the long train. I added the lace sleeves to match the lace on the dress, and opted for a long veil with lace to match my dress as well!

We got our invitation suite from It was SO easy to use, affordable, and ships fast! They give you 10 free samples, (we ordered like 30 haha) We wanted everything to be cohesive and simple. We used our wedding website for guests to RSVP, and it was a great way to save money on stamps and envelopes! Since we had a smaller guest count I think it worked great. I think guests found it more convenient to RSVP online rather than sending back a response in the mail. One of my favorite decor elements from the day were these marble escort place cards I had made for our head table and the custom seating chart mirror design. I didn’t do assigned seating for each table, instead I did assigned seating for our head table with the escort cards, and then the seating chart mirror to help direct each guest to their assigned table. It saved the headache of assigning each guest to a specific seat, and they got to choose where they sat within their assigned table.

@haleywynndesigns KILLED it on the escort cards and mirror designs. Another awesome thing is being able to use the beautiful mirrors after the wedding! They were super easy to wipe off after the wedding, and look beautiful in our apartment. I got the mirrors from Home Goods! Our florist created the most beautiful floral arrangements and boutonnieres. I wanted simple bridesmaid bouquets, that incorporated the natural elements of our outdoor venue. We had an elegant, tuscan theme for our floral decorations. Since our ceremony site was beautiful, we didn’t have to spend too much to decorate it. Our florist decorated our ceremony tree with a beautiful floral design, and added beautiful greenery to the top of our tent! We created cohesion by adding that greenery to the seating chart, welcome table, and welcome sign. We incorporated a lot of loose greenery, with simple designs for our head tables. We also had little bud vases with simple roses, and candles throughout the reception tables and head table!

I made all of the signage for our wedding from a template on etsy for $10! Click here for the link. I bought the table number frames from amazon, and bought the other frames and easels from Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Marshalls. Instead of a guestbook that we would never look at again, we had custom wine bottles made for guests to sign! Our photo booth was a huge hit! We had a custom marble backdrop (cue the marble escort cards) and I ordered the cutest photo booth props from Amazon from here and here! Such a small investment, that made the night SO fun!

Our wedding planner was a godsend. Having a wedding coordinator for our wedding was the BEST decision. She took so much stress off of us the days leading up to the wedding and the day of. Our wedding wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful without her.

Our wedding day was without a doubt the best day of my life. During the wedding planning process I worried so much– about all the little details and in the end, it all turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I was so nervous, up until the minute I was standing in front of Eric at the ceremony site. As soon as I was standing in front of him, all of my nerves went away, and I said our vows with confidence and excitement. I have never felt so happy, and joyous in my entire life.

Here are a few ways we saved money on our wedding:

Veil: Purchase your veil from Etsy or from your seamstress. My veil was about $100 vs $400+ at the bridal shop.

Shoes: Again, my shoes were about $60 from Nordstroms. I wore them for 15 minutes and then changed into flip flops. Theres no need to spend $200+ on shoes that you wear for 15 minutes.

Suits: Eric’s suit and the groomsmen suits were all under $250, and they got to keep them. We got them from a local suit shop in Austin! The Black Tux is also a good option!

Pretty Ceremony Site: We saved a lot of money not having to decorate our ceremony site because it was so beautiful even without any added decorations!

Small Bridal Party: Depending on what you are gifting your bridesmaids, and if you’re paying for part of their hair or makeup, I would estimate spending at least $100 per bridesmaid (and thats low). Having only 5 bridesmaids helped us out with our budget as well!

DIY Table numbers, menus, and other signage: Instead of buying table numbers or menus, I downloaded an etsy template and printed them myself using cardstock, and a paper cutter! It cost me about $20.

Inexpensive Invitations: Minted has great options for inexpensive invitations and they usually have discounts during any holiday! Save money on stamps by personally giving the invitation to people you see often.

Linens: My wedding planner from Blue Sparrow Events said that some people spend about $40+ on each table linen! Ours were less than $30 for ALL FIVE of our guest tables combined and they looked beautiful!

Programs: You don’t really need wedding programs. They get thrown away or used as fans

Guest List: We had about 55 people at our wedding. We kept it small by only having very close friends and family at the wedding. We honestly didn’t invite anyone we didn’t have a close relationship with. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Obviously having a small guest count saves money on food. But also allowed us to have fewer guest tables, fewer linens, less floral decor, less alcohol needed, fewer invitations, and more time to spend with each person and the list goes on. Having a smaller wedding was so great if you can swing it!

Catering: We saved money on catering by having a buffet style dinner and having one entree with a pasta as a “side” rather than having 2 entrees!

Cake: We got a very small cake, enough to feed our guest count perfectly, and didn’t save the top tier.

One location: We had our getting ready, ceremony and reception all in one spot. This saved us money on transportation. We didn’t have to hire any transportation other than our getaway limo for our wedding day.

Bachelorette Party: We choose to stay in Austin for my bachelorette party, which saved on travel expenses for sure!

Photographer: Honey Gem Creative | Videographer: Paper Bird Films | Event Planner: Blue Sparrow Events | Florist: Sweetwater Stems | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Kayla Knight Cakes | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Vineyard At Chappel Lodge | Brides Shoes: Nina | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | Catering: Dagar’s Catering of Austin | DJ: Infinity Sound Lab | Bridal hairpiece: Top Gracia | Bridemaids Robes: To Happily Ever After | Bridesmaid gifts: Kendra Scott Jewelry | Groomsman Ties: The Tie Bar | Hair & Make-up: Lola Beauty | Photo Booth: We Just Click | Rentals: Premier Events | Seating Chart, Bar sign and Place cards: Haley Wynn Designs | Wedding Dress Boutique : Serendipity Bridal

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This Peach Julep-Meets-Slushy is The Frozen Drink We All Need

July marks the start of peach season. It’s a month synonymous with hot days and endless barbecues. In order to beat the heat and wow guests, Michael Fawthrop, beverage director at Noyane in Chicago, is sharing his recipe for the ‘Fo Swizzle:’ think adult dippin’ dots, a peach julep and slushy mash-up.

The cocktail is made with flavored “snow” instead of crushed ice to make sure it tastes better as it begins to melt. This boozy treat turns two childhood favorites into a grown-up cosmopolitan julep. Here’s how you can make it at home.

Fo Swizzle

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

For the cocktail:
1.5 oz Suntory Toki Whiskey
1 Barspoon Ginger Syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part ginger juice)
1 Dash Absinthe
3/4 oz water

For the dippin’ dots:
Peach ice cream or yogurt
Plastic sandwich bag
Small piping tip
mint leaves

To make peach dippin dots:

Hand-pipe peach ice cream or yogurt onto two cookie sheets. Use a plastic sandwich bag and a small piping tip to create the dots, then freeze to set. Complete instructions here.

To make cocktail:

In a rocks glass, scoop a large spoonful of the dippin’ dots mix as a base and add the whiskey. Swizzle to mix.

Layer another large scoop of the dippin’ dots and the ginger syrup. Swizzle to mix.

Add another large scoop of dippin dots and this time, add in the Absinthe and water. Swizzle to mix.

Repeat the process until full.

Garnish with the sprig of mint.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Ximena N. Larkin is a writer and publicist who resides in Chicago with her husband and dog.