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This Wedding Editorial Was Inspired by Doors!

Inspired by the blue doors found throughout Tuscany, this Texas editorial created by Southern Affairs Weddings + Events at Le San Michele will transport you directly to the Mediterranean. We’re talking a bride wearing an effortlessly romantic gown from Lovely Bride Dallas and drool-worthy lace shoes from Bella Belle, some of the most gorgeous stationery we’ve ever seen courtesy of Seniman Calligraphy, and a tablescape that captures Tuscany’s quintessential rustic look thanks to La Tavola Fine Linen Rental and Bella Acento. See all of this brought to life through the lens of Allen Tsai Photography in the full gallery, and you’ll be singing, “Vita bella.”

From Southern Affairs Inspired by the blue doors found on many Tuscan-style stone homes, Le San Michele was the perfect venue to bring Italian-inspired elegance to Austin, Texas. This quaint venue is nestled within the rolling hills of Austin and provides an infinite amount of beautiful European-esque textures and details.

I knew immediately that I wanted Allen Tsai from Allen Tsai Photography to capture this editorial. Having extensive experience photographing in Tuscany and all around Europe, I knew he would be the perfect fit to accentuate the look and feel of this editorial since he has immersed himself in that environment. Adriana Smith from Moss Floral created inspiring textures and structures for the bouquet, installs, and centerpieces. The bouquet had creamy tones of orange and yellow looped with trailing greenery. Everything she designed was so romantic and effortless, which completed our vision and design.

So much thought and care was put into every details and piece of décor, from the menus on top of the lace chargers to the meringue-inspired cake created by Whisk Until Sweet to the vines tracing the cross back of the wooden chairs. Hand-drawn stationery was created by Seniman Calligraphy on the most beautiful organic cream and blue papers with floral sketching. The Italian welcome gift was curated by Bonjour Boxes, and the charcuterie spread was crafted by Eden East Catering.

Our inspiration was complete with the natural and elegant look created by Lola Beauty paired with hairpieces from Maggie Wu Studio and sheer Bella Belle shoes. The airy and flowy gown by Alexandra Grecco from Lovely Bride Dallas would be the perfect gown for any Italian countryside wedding.



Photography: Allen Tsai Photography | Event Planning: Southern Affairs | Floral Design: Moss Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Alexandra Grecco | Cake: Whisk Until Sweet | Invitations: Seniman Calligraphy | Shoes: Bella Belle | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Catering: Eden East Catering | Hair + Makeup: Lola Beauty | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: Le San Michele | Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bridal Shop | Film Lab: Goodman Film Lab | Hair Piece: Maggie Wu Studio | Linens: BBJ La Tavola | Rentals: Bella Acento | Rentals: Gold Dust Vintage Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Silks: Silk and Willow | Tarts: Tartalicious | Welcome Box: Bonjour Boxes

A Romantic Al Fresco Dinner Set Amidst an Old-World Backdrop

This photo shoot has the look and feel of a gorgeous villa wedding. Olive branches, ethereal dresses and dining al fresco pair beautifully with old world charm. Crafted by Highland Avenue Events, along with florals by Bristol Lane and imagery by Jenna McElroy, let this shoot inspire you to host your own european infused affair even if you’re staying stateside.

From Highland Avenue Events… There are few things I love more than a romantic al fresco dinner set amidst an old-world backdrop. With so many of our brides being enticed by a love of European weddings these days, I couldn’t help but be inspired when I stumbled on Le San Michele just outside of Austin, TX. I wanted to show couples that it’s possible to design a wedding embodying so much of what we love about Europe right here at home. The historic stones and beautifully painted doors of the family home, the decorative iron window coverings, and the tall cypress trees were the initial source of my ideas. I also loved the subtle nods to the south that were tastefully woven into the landscape…terra cotta potted agaves and sporadic palms. The idea of mixing these two worlds into one was unique and intriguing. I envisioned a stunning but soft table to host the bride’s dearest friends and family. Flowing muted blooms composed by Bristol Lane added a layer of subtle color, while the place settings exuded an old but elegant touch. Adorned by a beautiful Reem Acra flowing lace gown, our bride shimmered in the slow evening sun, and it was all captured flawlessly by Jenna McElroy. My favorite detail of the day was the hand-written scroll place cards by Boarding School Collective set atop vintage silver and glass boxes full of goldenberries. I loved the unique yet approachable way this added a tasty and colorful touch to welcome guests to a beautiful sunset dinner.



Photography: Jenna McElroy | Event Design & Planning: Highland Avenue | Floral Design: Bristol Lane Florals | Shoes: Bella Belle | Jewelry: L Priori Jewelry | Venue: Le San Michele | Backless Gown: Alexandra Grecco | Film Scans: PhotoVision Prints | Gown Boutique: Unbridaled | Lace Back Gown: Reem Acra | MUAH: Makenzi Laine | Model: Grace Davila | Paper Design: The Boarding School Collective | Rentals: Marquee Event Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

Rustic Elegant Texas Wedding Full of Love

While they may have crossed paths years ago in the military, it wasn’t until they had a second chance at love and life that they really were able to kick off their happily ever after. So, full of gratitude and love, these two said “I do” and celebrated with a rustic, elegant Texas affair, coordinated by Emily Leach, and captured by Julie Wilhite. It’s a fall fete sure to inspire – see every pretty pic in our Vault right this way!

From Julie Wilhite… Jennifer and Tim met while both working at the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization dedicated to providing unique, direct programs and services to injured service members. When Jennifer moved from Florida for the job, she vowed to remain single for at least a year in her new city. Yet two months later, she found herself on a first date with Tim. Charmed, she quickly changed her mind about staying single and they have been inseparable ever since.

They realized that they shared many similarities and experiences, both personally and professionally. They were even deployed overseas at the same time and they often ponder if they ever crossed paths, as she was a flight medic and Tim was severely injured just three weeks before coming home from his seven month deployment. Tim was medically retired after losing his left leg below the knee and Jennifer separated from the military after that deployment. Now, ten years and many not-so-happy-ending relationships later – they met one another and the rest is history.

Although they voiced no doubt that their wedding would be both beautiful and fun, they were genuinely most excited for one thing: to be married. They both had nearly lost faith in the idea of settling down based on their past relationship experiences, so they truly feel beyond blessed to have found one another.

As Jennifer says: A wedding is the ultimate celebration of two people overcoming life’s many twists and turns to get to this point. Tim came very close to losing his life, so this wedding is a time for us to reflect on the blessings of each other and, in a sense, second chances.

They didn’t necessarily have a theme; but more of a focus on gratitude, love, and celebrating their union wholeheartedly. Their outdoor celebration was many things, although heartfelt, beautiful and simple are the words that come to mind. The wedding took place in the scenic Garden Grove just outside of Austin, Texas. The design was kept soft and natural with romantic, feminine touches throughout the details. Lush florals in a range of neutrals including cream, beige, and blush were accented by bold plum and hints of seasonal fall foliage. Wood accents and a feminine color palette carried through into the stationery and signage. The party was all housed under a whimsical canvas tent illuminated by string lighting that has us swooning still! Their guests were a riot, speeches and music performances shot straight to your heart and the details were not to go unnoticed. Beyond the signage, our favorites were the laser cut name cards, gold flatware + celebratory favors!

All vendors involved can attest that they are truly the sweetest couple. It was our pleasure to make their special day everything they dreamed of!



Photography: Julie Wilhite Photography | Floral Design: Clementine Botanical Art | Bakery: Walton's Fancy & Staple | Invitations: Gourmet Invitations | Catering: Royal Fig Catering | Makeup: Avery Allen Makeup | Hair: Debbie Murphy | Lighting: Intelligent Lighting Design | DJ: B-Boy Productions | Venue: Garden Grove | Coordination + Event Design: Bird Dog Wedding | Lawn Games: Bee Lavish Vintage Rentals | Photobooth: Le Photo Booth Company | Rentals: Premiere Events | Rentals: Whim Hospitality | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals

This Intimate Wedding Had One Very Special Guest: A Donkey!

I’m just going to come out and say it, this couple planned one major celebration. Because not only did they have one crazy stylish bridal party, but their surprise guest? May or may not have been a few adorable donkeys. That’s right, so you can only imagine that we’ve got more stylish surprises from Kerry Jeanne Photography in store for you via The Vault!

From The Bride…We always envisioned our wedding to be outdoors. Growing up in the Philippines and coming from simple families, we spent a majority of our time outdoors enjoying anything from parks, beaches, and even our backyards. There is something about being and connecting outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of society. In addition, our frequent trips to Austin and its surroundings made us realize this is where we wanted our wedding to be. Le San Michele, which is in the city of Buda is just 20 minutes from Austin, played a perfect host as it had everything we hoped to have and more. Driving through the gates and onto a gravel filled driveway led us to house which represented simple old world charm. Having an expansive lawn, ample greenery which included a myriad of flowers and trees, and intricate chandeliers hanging within the branches had us imagining what our day would be like from the minute we walked out of the French doors and into the vastness of the vicinity. The only thing left to do at that moment was book our day and hope for great weather.

Having come from very tight knit families we always knew that we wanted our wedding to revolve around the theme of bonds. We involved our family members to help us in every aspect of the wedding so that when it came to the big day they would feel a sense of pride knowing they contributed to a successful event. Till this day, we are still so appreciative of our family as they supported us from the beginning to the end without hesitation. For instance, Ralph’s uncle officiated the ceremony, which turned out to be very heartfelt and full of humor. Monica’s eldest sister and Ralph’ sister in law were the wedding coordinators. To sum it up everyone from both sides of our families played a role.

As for our guests, they traveled as far as Houston, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, New York City, Alberta, Minnesota, Philippines and even the Czech Republic. Keeping with the theme of our wedding, we invited those who truly saw our relationship develop throughout the years. Our story is a little out if the ordinary. Monica came from a military family that moves around. Ralph was raised in Houston TX a majority of his life, but both somehow found each other in their freshman year of college in the Philippines 7 years back. Our family, friends and former classmates were able to see us grow as individuals and as a couple. With everyone so close to us being so spread out across the world, we felt so much gratitude to those who came to share this day with us.

One thing we really wanted for our wedding was for our guests to feel at ease. We ensured this by preparing lawn games during cocktail hour. Children and adults could be seen enjoying themselves in a round of corn hole and crochet. Passed Hors d’oeuvres were prepared by the awesome Catering With a Twist. Cocktails and beer on tap kept the guests mingling, and to top it off we brought two miniature burros for the children to play with. They also made for a great picture opportunity. After cocktail hour, everyone made their way to the stoned patio, found their seats under the hanging garden lights and Catering with a Twist delighted us again with an amazing dinner. We had the best seats in the house as we were able to see everyone’s faces smiling, conversing, and enjoying the music. After the formalities, we were treated to a night of incredible music prepared by Toast Entertainment. Hips were moving, legs were shuffling, and hands were nae naeying. It was picture perfect, and we are so thankful to have Kerry Jeanne capture it all. We still find ourselves in awe at how amazing the pictures came out.

Realizing that everything turned out to be exactly what we wanted , all we can be is thankful to those who were involved. Our wedding was a night to remember not only because of the amazing venue or the serene atmosphere but because it was full of love. Love from our guests and love for each other. We believe that we belong to each other, and it transpired throughout our wedding night.

Photography: Kerry Jeanne Photography | Floral Design: The Flower Studo | Wedding Dress: David's Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Various | Catering: Catering with a Twist | Makeup: Sarah Frey | DJ: Toast Entertainment | Venue: Le San Michele | Film Processing: The Find Lab

Marriage Matters: 45+ Years of Adventure + Love

Anyone who knows me knows how much I absolutely adore Valentine’s Day. And while yes, I’m quite the fan of flowers and sweet treats, it’s love stories like this one here that truly pulls at my heart strings and gives me so much joy. This one, told by the dapperest of gentlemen, and the pure love captured in Julie Paisley’s pics, are the best #relationshipgoals I ever did see. Sound a little too good to be true? Read on – I promise you it’s not only worth it, but you’ll be smiling all weekend long.

From Fred… This story begins on a cold winter’s’ night in March of 1967, in a small, remote town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Marquette, Michigan to be exact. How a boy from Deptford, New Jersey and a girl from Floresville, Texas happen to cross paths there is beyond me, but this is where this story begins. Did I say it was a cold winter’s’ night in Marquette? Cold may not begin to describe what it’s like in the Upper Peninsula, take my word for it, when I say cold I mean cold. Snow, about 200 inches a year, and the temperature that night was probably around 8 or 9 degrees… yes, it was cold.

There was a dance that Friday night at the Airman’s Club. A small version of a Non Commissioned Officers Club on K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, smack dab in the middle of the Michigan State Forest. And… it didn’t take long to make eye contact with a woman, who, little did I know at that time would become my wife of 45 (+) years. Yep, I was hooked. Call it fate, a chance meeting, destiny, happenstance, call it what you will, that chance meeting changed my life forever. There she was dancing in the middle of the dance floor creating a scene, and stopping traffic. Well, whatever she was doing was mesmerizing half the male population of K. I. Sawyer AFB, (the other half must have been sleeping), and of course being the suave, sophisticated Mr. Cool boy from New Jersey that I am, I asked her to dance. (Of course I was immediately turned down)….

But… persistence pays off, and before the night was over, we danced and talked and laughed. She made fun of my New Jersey accent, and I made fun of her… well, there was nothing to make fun of. Let’s just say, it was great. And, from that moment on our lives have been full of one shared memory after another. Some of the coolest, fondest, most wonderful memories anyone could ask for. I’d like to take a moment or two to share some of those memories with you.

Let’s see, where do I begin… from the Ice Carvings at Northern Michigan University, smack dab in the middle of Marquette, to about two years later, in August of 1969, when we were married in her home town of Floresville, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. It was a dream come true for me. Of course, I should mention that it was the middle of summer, 105 degree heat in Floresville, and me in my dress Air Force blues. But 105 degrees… really? But that was the day I can say my life actually began.

From that day forward we shared memories halfway around the world and back again… several times over. We spent many unbelievably special evenings on the beaches of Waikiki on the island of Oahu. Crisscrossed most of these 50 United States over the years, and made a second home for ourselves in Europe. Ramstein, Germany to be exact. In between all that we have been showered with good fortune that most couples can only dream about.

From Michigan to Goose Bay, Canada. From Washington D.C., to Hawaii, and many spots in between, we’ve had a blast along the way. Three Children and six grandchildren later and we’re still together, and enjoying a life together that most folks envy, and many families only hope for. I have a funny feeling that this journey is far from over. We have so much still to see, so many places to experience, and still so very memories to share.

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More Marriage Matters moments right here!

Photography: Julie Paisley Photography | Venue: Carrington Crossing

Leven Rambin + Jim Parrack’s Al Fresco Texas Wedding

You know her from roles on our favorite shows like One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and All My Children, but today Leven Rambin is stepping into the role of bride with a look inside her autumn wedding to Jim Parrack (a.k.a . Hoyt from True Blood.) Taking cues from the venue, Leven and Jim’s planner, Something To Celebrate designed a day infused with European-style elegance and Heather Curiel came on board to capture. Consider your wedding plans infinitely inspired, and pin every bit inside The Vault.

From the Bride, Leven… I really wanted my wedding to have an ethereal, bohemian elegance to it. I was so inspired and elated once I found the venue, Le San Michele in the tiny town of Buda, Texas. Virginia, the owner, has turned her home and property into an adorable, unique, modern shabby church paradise with hints of European elegance. I immediately fell in love with all the lighting fixtures she had in the trees and the Moroccan lamps that scatters the property. The gardens added a romantic feel, too.

I wanted earthy Pastel tones more appropriate for a spring wedding, but I didn’t care! I knew exactly what I wanted down to every detail and my planners and florists nailed it. When I arrived, my breath was taken away at how accurately they were able to make my vision come to life! It was small and intimate and absolutely perfect.

The Karaoke on the back patio after a delicious dinner was SUCH a hit! We sang, danced, and partied until the wee hours! Numerous guests have told me it was the best and most beautiful wedding they’d ever been to, and that it was like a fairytale! And that’s exactly what I was going for, so I’m very happy!

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Photography: Heather Curiel | Event Planning + Design: Something To Celebrate | Floral Design: Petals, ink. | Wedding Dress: Suzanne Neville | Cake: Sweet Treets Bakery | Catering: Crave Catering | Makeup: Corina Kramer | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Venue: Le San Michele | Reception Music + Karaoke: Altared Wedding Productions

Classic + Romantic Texas Engagement

Picture perfect? Well, that’s a major understatement when it comes to these two. Because not only does their Southern e-sesh serve up some serious style, it also happens to be set on an Italian style property with major curb appeal. I’m talking stunning gardens and sweet kisses and it’s all lives in a gallery that is just too good not to share. See it all fromVasia Photography here!

From Vasia PhotographyI was so excited to have the opportunity to travel to Texas for the first time to visit some dear friends. The trip was made even better when Aman & Justin asked me to do their engagement session while I was in town!

Le San Michele is a heavenly location, just outside of Austin it is a beautiful rustic stone cottage nestled on a gorgeous Italian style property. I hope you love this one as much as I do!

Photography: Vasia Photography | Dress: Free People | Reception Venue: Le San Michele | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Lace Dress: Jen's Pirate Booty

Organic French Bridal Inspiration

Some of my favorite captures during a wedding day are the quiet, calming (yet filled with anticipation) getting ready moments. They radiate that sweet wedding glow and the excitement of a full day of love to come. This shoot from Sarah Carpenter and Meggie Francisco defines that emotion—from the color dotted blooms by Bricolage Curated Florals to the Sarah Janks wedding dress. See it all here.

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From stylist Meggie FranciscoThis shoot tells the story of a bride day-dreaming of her Parisian wedding from the comfort of her home town. Cozy in her favorite grey tee, she tries on her veil and waits for winter to pass.

Suddenly but slowly, she opens her eyes between naps. She finds herself enveloped by a hazy warmth as the colors begin to dance alive from the gray and everlasting cold, yet she still feels disbelief: Is this real? Is that time finally here? A half-smile comes to her lips as she feels the sun warm her bones. She breathes in the scent of fresh blossoms and relishes the feeling of her delicate dress resting – finally – on her shoulders.

This style session draws on inspiration from the buttery tones at the Palace of Versailles: warm yellow and cream colors, complemented by subdued blues for contrast. After the icy winter and rainy spring, it’s time for peaches and pastels to come to life. The concept celebrates the joy and sophistication of summer with just a touch of European elegance.

Photography: Sarah Carpenter | Styling And Design: Meggie Francisco | Floral Design: Bricolage Curated Florals | Wedding Dress: Sarah Janks | Invitations: Yeti & The Beast | Hair And Makeup: Q Makeup & Hair Artistry | Bridal Boutique: The Dress Theory | Film Processing: PhotoVision Prints | Model: Kourtney Kellar | Pajamas: Anthropologie | Photo Shoot Location: Carrington Crossing | Rentals: Birch And Brass Rentals | Ribbon: Silk and Willow

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