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A 3rd Anniversary at the Couple’s Favorite Museum

Here at SMP, we believe every anniversary is worth celebrating in a meaningful way. So kudos to Tina and Chase for ringing in three years of marriage with a whole lot of fun, and no shortage of style. They took a trip to their favorite museum and brought Nicki Metcalf along to photograph the day. Cheers to Tina and Chase, and the many years to come!

From the bride, Tina… This month we celebrate three years of wedding bliss. On our anniversary we have a tradition that we love to reminisce about our wedding day, look through photos and discuss our favorite memories we’ve made from this past year. Some of our favorite memories from this past year include getting our sweet golden retriever, Magnolia, renovating our back deck so that we can eat dinner outside when the weather is nice or just relax outside while we tell each other about our days. Several fond memories also include us traveling to new fun places we were able to unplug from work and truly enjoy each other on interrupted while exploring a new city and their local eats. Although we no longer live in the city – we love to visit often with our pups. Some of my favorite Saturday mornings involve packing up the pups, picking up breakfast and coffee from Captain Buzzy’s and walking around together.

Chase has been instrumental in helping me see that life is meant to be lived and that we work to live, we do not live to work. We bring out the best of each other. I am so thankful to have found someone that is supportive, loving, adventurous, strong and incredibly thoughtful. We truly believe that marriage is not 50/50… But rather each of us giving 100%, 100% of the time.


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Photography: Nicki Metcalf | Floral Design: Emily Artistry | Venue: The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design | Film Developer: PhotoVision Prints | Hair Sylist: Sandra Ross

A Boudoir Inspired by the Words of Lord Byron

You know Michael & Carina as one of the most talented husband-wife photography duos in the industry, so it should come as no surprise that their latest workshop resulted in some pretty incredible imagery. Just take this boudoir session carefully designed by East Made Event Company with beauty by Emily Artistry. Inspired by the immortal words of Lord Byron, it’s romanticism at its very finest.

From Michael & CarinaRooted in the same concept of romance, history, inspiration, and idealism, these boudoir images are dreamy, lost in a world of florals and soft fabrics. The natural elements, like the vines, hung on the headboard and the freshly collected blooms add a dream-like aesthetic to the editorial. Inspired by art and poetry, our lens was guided by the words from Lord Byron:

“She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow’d to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair’d the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!”
——–

In 2016, we hosted a workshop in Italy for photographers around the world. But as the year came to an end, we had a desire to host something of equal elegance but closer to home in Virginia. Virginia is a lovely homeland – filled with history and a variety of landscapes from rolling meadows and valleys to salty marshlands, with vineyards and old colonial homes sprinkled throughout. We chose a secluded historic home as our workshop location, The Retreat at Cool Springs, built at the start of the Age of Romanticism in music and art, in 1799. Our immensely talented stylist Elizabeth of East Made Event Co. Curated a series of inspirational shoots for our workshop attendees with the 5 ‘I’s’ of Romanticism in mind:

1. Imagination
2. Intuition
3. Idealism
4. Inspiration
5. Individuality

Elizabeth’s instruction to our workshop attendees was to ‘bring true original feeling, emotion, and inspiration back into photography by creating unique ideas that are full of purpose and meaning, inspired by sentiment and nature.’

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Photography: Michael And Carina Photography | Event Planning + Design: East Made Event Company | Floral Design: La Fleur Du Jour | Shoes: Bella Belle | Rings : Susie Saltzman | Hair + Makeup : Emily Artistry | Venue: Retreat at Cool Springs | Calligraphy + Paper: Signora E Mare | Decorative Dishes: Marbella Dish | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Garters: The Garter Girl | Headpiece + Earring Designer: Enchanted Atelier | Lingerie + Accessories: GirlandaSeriousDream | Model : April Lentz | Rentals : White Glove Rentals

Cheerful Spring Blossoms for this Virginia Engagement Session

Every detail is better than the next in this engagement session by Michael and Carina Photography – the natural light, the Bride-to-be’s pretty bouquet and floral crown by Floral and Bloom Designs, her dreamy dress, and the cheerful spring blossoms at Chatham Manor’s gardens. I may or may not have pinned every single image.

From Michael and Carina Photography We photographed this gorgeous couple for their garden romance engagement session in Northern Virginia – her textured BHLDN dress, the pastel bouquet, his dapper look, and the magical spring setting is every bride’s dream.


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Photography: Michael And Carina Photography | Floral Design: Floral & Bloom Designs | Dress: BHLDN | Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Hair and Makeup: Face and Crown | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Stylish Southern Clambake Welcome Dinner

Now that we’ve gotten to drool over their engagement session, we’re stepping into Katie and Ryan’s clambake dinner that welcomed guests to Charlottesville for an unforgettable weekend. Held the night before their big day, Katie and Ryan took the opportunity to mingle with their loved ones who traveled from the East and West coasts, and paid homage to their both their home states with playful design choices by Jacin Fitzgerald throughout. Take a stroll through the gallery by Ryan Ray and stayed tuned for their big wedding day reveal!

From the bride… Ryan is from California and I’m from Massachusetts, but it was important to us to get married someplace that held special meaning to both of us. Charlottesville was an easy choice for us to make. We fell in love with the town during our three years of law school there and knew our families and friends would also adore its incredible small town charm. We wanted to find a way to show our appreciation for everyone traveling such great distances to celebrate with us on our special day, so we decided to invite everyone to a Welcome Dinner the night before our wedding. We were so fortunate that so many of our family and friends decided to make long weekends out of our wedding, so much so that almost every single guest decided to come to our Welcome Dinner!

Ryan and I traveled throughout the French countryside in a special trip we took after taking the bar exam, and we absolutely fell (even more) in love with the country. We worked with Jacin to bring the same feelings and imagery from the French countryside into the décor at our wedding, and she absolutely hit the ball out of the park. For our Welcome Dinner, we wanted a much more relaxed atmosphere that felt more like “home” to us. Both being from the coasts, “home” for us involves amazing seafood, being with family and friends, and a beachy relaxed atmosphere. Those are always our favorite nights. We decided, therefore, to do our take on an East coast meets West coast clam bake for our Welcome Dinner. We wanted it to be a fun, relaxed time, just like clam bakes on the beach are. We asked everyone to dress “Nantucket casual”—and our guests really took this theme to heart, coming out in droves in Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer. Ryan and I also built and painted our own cornhole set to be used at our Welcome Dinner, which had a California side and a Massachusetts side, as an ode to our roots.

Ryan and I really wanted to make sure we had a chance to truly thank everyone for coming so far to celebrate with us, so we decided to write out individualized letters on custom vintage postcards to every guest, which were placed on each guest’s place setting. We worked with Chelsea Petaja to choose eight different vintage Cape Cod and San Francisco postcard images, which she then turned into custom postcards for us. We spent weeks writing out letters to each guest, and everyone seemed to really love them, which truly warmed our hearts. We knew we were going to have lush, overflowing flowers at our wedding, so we wanted the tablescapes at the Welcome Dinner to have a very different feel. Our escort cards were scallop shells that Chelsea wrote everyone’s name and table number on—we still have ours today! Jacin used beach grass, fishing nets, lanterns, driftwood, and classic red and white seersucker napkins on each table, truly making the table feel coastal. Every seat also had corn holders and mini Tabasco sauce bottles. String lights and lanterns lined the pathway down from the cocktail hour area to the tent for dinner, and a guitarist played during dinner, really setting the tone for our fun evening. We were absolutely blown away by all of the décor. Jacin truly did transform our venue into a beachy atmosphere!

Our signature jalapeno margarita cocktail was a huge hit, and it was amazing seeing everyone drink our favorite beers from each coast in our koozies. Our East coast station included clam chowder, mini lobster rolls, and corn on the cob. Our West coast station included different types of tacos (including fish) and classic San Francisco garlic fries. And of course, we had oysters and a raw bar, fitting in both coasts.

Our Welcome Dinner was such a blast! It was really special for us to be able to chat with all of our guests that evening, and then be able to truly enjoy dancing at our wedding without worrying about having missed anyone. We asked some of our best friends from different time periods in our lives to give little speeches (or roasts), which ended up being extremely special to us, and the whole night was an amazing way to kick off the fun weekend and welcome our guests to Charlottesville. It made everyone excited for the wedding, and was a night I will never forget.

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Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Event Planning + Design: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Floral Design: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Lighting: The AV Company | Venue: Keswick Hall | Music: Peter Richardson | Napkins + Koozies: Southern Fried Paper | Paper Goods Design + Production: Oh My Deer Handmades | Rentals: Festive Fare Event Rentals | Shuttle Bus: Ambassador Limo | Specialty Linens: BBJ La Tavola

You Can Never, Ever Have Too Many Flowers

My motto: You can never, EVER have too many flowers. There’s just something about beautiful florals that makes it impossible not to be happy, so when I saw this gorgeous bridal inspiration session captured by Jen Fariello Photography, I was in love. Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs created an abundance of spectacular floral arrangements, each one of them even better than the last. Take one look at that bouquet, and you’ll be swooning. This is one enchanting gallery to get lost in!

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Photography: Jen Fariello Photography | Floral Design: Southern Blooms | Wedding Dress: Elaya Vaughn Bridal | Cake: Favorite Cakes | Makeup: Anna Breeding | Bridal Boutique: Sealed With A Kiss | Embroidery: Belovedthread | Flower Girl Dresses: Whimsies | Veil: Hushed Commotion

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Summer Lake Wedding With a Boat Grand Exit!

The groom’s family has lived on Lake Barcroft for more than 40 years, so this couple knew it was the perfect spot for their summertime wedding. They planned a quiet ceremony outdoors followed up a classic tented reception with a boat ride on the lake for an unforgettable grand exit. Clarence Chan photographed and you can see even more waiting in the gallery.

From the bride… Our wedding on Lake Barcroft was such a meaningful day in many ways.  Dave’s family has lived on the lake for over 40 years and it holds many special memories for us.  We knew once we were engaged that was where we wanted our friends and family to gather for our wedding day.  There is a beautiful park on the lake that was just the right venue – lined with trees and flowers that made for a natural setting and amazing photos!

When we picked our August date for an outdoor wedding we knew we would need to plan for weather and it’s a good thing we did!  As we anxiously watched the weather forecast leading up to our day, we saw increasing chances of rain but held out hope for our ceremony overlooking the lake.  On the day, we ended up flipping the ceremony and cocktail hour, bringing everyone under the tent for a passing thunderstorm, and then the sunshine came out during the ceremony! The rain gave way to a beautiful afternoon surrounded by all our loved ones…and the ice cream treats helped keep everyone cool.

We ended the day with a farewell from friends before taking the boat for a ride back home.  We waved to friends on the lake as we passed by in our wedding attire and enjoyed the most beautiful sunset.  The perfect ending to our perfect day on the lake.

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Photography: Clarence Chan Photography | Event Planning: Cheers Darling Events | Floral Design: Floral & Bloom Designs | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Bakery | Invitations: Minted | Hair + Makeup: Modern Bridal Studio | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Lake Barcroft | Desserts: Ice Cream Jubilee | Getting Ready Location: Lorien Hotel | Paper Pieces: Paperzest

Proof an Anniversary Session Is Always a Good Idea

Exactly two years after Gabe Aceves Photography captured Eden and Brandon on their wedding day at Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards, he photographed this beautiful couple once again on a Virginia hilltop during the golden hour. Just like with their classic wedding, this gallery is filled with photo after photo of sheer perfection. If you’re debating an anniversary session, scroll on for proof that it is always a good idea!

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Photography: Gabe Aceves Photography

A Brooklyn Couple Brought Style to Their Virginia Engagement

I’ve seen a LOT of engagement sessions, but this one? It’s something special. Angela Newton Roy captured two Brooklynites who traveled back to the bride’s home state of Virginia for a photo session full of style and heart, including a family heirloom quilt used for this stunning shot. Take a closer look at our favorite moments below!

From Angela Newton Roy… These two super stylish Brooklynites who traveled down to Virginia for their engagement session. The bride always loved the quaint town of Waterford, having grown up close by, and chose this as the perfect low-key and beautiful setting for their session. I adored how much these two laughed and genuinely enjoyed their time together. Not only are they funny and down-to-earth, they are both super stylish.

The bride styled their session and seemed to select the perfect attire for their cozy surroundings. The best part was including a 100- year-old quilt that her great-grandmother crafted! The pictures in the field that included this were some of my favorite for this reason. We were also lucky enough to be greeted by sweet horses at one of our stops.

Nothing about these two, or their engagement session, was cookie cutter and I loved that they felt comfortable enough to really let their personalities shine. From her super cool engagement ring (a gemstone from a woman-owned mine) to the laughter they shared the entire time, they brought a unique and playful vibe to the day that was just perfect!

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Photography: Angela Newton Roy Photography

5 Bridesmaid Dress Trends Your Besties Will Actually Love

When it comes to choosing the perfect bridesmaids dresses, keeping your besties happy is priority number one. Which means finding gowns that are chic, show off all of their best features AND bring the bride’s vision to life. That’s where Brideside and their lineup of designer dresses comes in to play. From romantic Jenny Yoo frocks to glam Sorella Vita numbers, they’ve got you sooo covered. Scroll for five trends we’re all about in 2017.

HUES OF BLUES

Remember when mixing and matching bridesmaid gowns meant your bridal party had to wear the exact same dress, but each chose a different neckline? Yep, those days are gone. Now you can mix it up with color to add dimension to your ladies, all while keeping the look completely cohesive. We love playing with the many blue options available from Brideside, from seaglass to sapphire to that gorgeous hue of navy that is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Photo Credit: (Top to Bottom): Joanna August + Wtoo

BOHEMIAN FLAIR

You and your love are definitely more Coachella than ballroom, so your wedding day look should totally reflect that. And that includes your bridal party. With Brideside, you can peruse their lineup of dreamy gowns that are so, so perfect for your one-of-a-kind besties, whether that’s an ulta-boho look with flowy chiffon overlays or an off-the-shoulder number that is the epitome of romance with a dash of bohemian flair.

Photo Credit: Joanna August

FLORAL TAKEOVER

Beautiful blooms aren’t just for those centerpieces and bouquets… they’re also an awesome way to make your besties stand out. Think drop-dead gorgeous floral prints in amazing textures like chiffon and embroidered tulle and you are sooo on the right track. Jump right in and have all of your besties rock stunning floral numbers from Brideside… or mix it up with a few florals and a few solid prints. It’s also a perfect way to have your Maid of Honor stand out. All in all, it’s beautiful, my friends.

Photo Credit: Jenny Yoo

ROSE GOLD ROMANCE

You know we never say “no” to a metallic anything. But rose gold? We love it a little extra special. This beautiful hue is the perfect way to add a little modern romance to your festivities and we’re totally on board with the glitzy and glamorous sequin options available at Brideside. Want to add just a touch of shine, but not go overboard with the bling? Mix and match the sparkle with solid blush hues for a subtler look that is just as special.

Photo Credit: Watters

SLEEK AND SEXY

Your ladies aren’t your average besties, so shouldn’t their dresses match their crazy cool personalities? With Brideside, you can dive head first into looks that are sleek, sexy AND sophisticated… just like your loves. Which means saying “goodbye” to full skirts and “hello” to slim silhouettes and flat-front shapes that are flattering and hip-hugging and so, so easy to re-wear. It’s ultra-modern and completely versatile and, well… we love.

Photo Credit: Watters

Promotion

Ready to find those gowns of your besties’ dreams? Visit Brideside today and talk to a complimentary style consultant about their amazing designer assortment of gowns, new showrooms opening this spring and their Try at Home program, which makes your life beyond easy. Oh, and if you sign up with Brideside by May 25, 2017, you’ll receive 15% off your entire bridal party. Just another reason to love them, you guys. Happy shopping!

Bridesmaid Gowns: Wtoo | Bridesmaid Gowns: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaid Gowns: Watters | Bridesmaid Gowns: Joanna August

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
5 Bridesmaid Dress Trends Your Besties Will Actually Love

When it comes to choosing the perfect bridesmaids dresses, keeping your besties happy is priority number one. Which means finding gowns that are chic, show off all of their best features AND bring the bride’s vision to life. That’s where Brideside and their lineup of designer dresses comes in to play. From romantic Jenny Yoo frocks to glam Sorella Vita numbers, they’ve got you sooo covered. Scroll for five trends we’re all about in 2017.

HUES OF BLUES

Remember when mixing and matching bridesmaid gowns meant your bridal party had to wear the exact same dress, but each chose a different neckline? Yep, those days are gone. Now you can mix it up with color to add dimension to your ladies, all while keeping the look completely cohesive. We love playing with the many blue options available from Brideside, from seaglass to sapphire to that gorgeous hue of navy that is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Photo Credit: (Top to Bottom): Joanna August + Wtoo

BOHEMIAN FLAIR

You and your love are definitely more Coachella than ballroom, so your wedding day look should totally reflect that. And that includes your bridal party. With Brideside, you can peruse their lineup of dreamy gowns that are so, so perfect for your one-of-a-kind besties, whether that’s an ulta-boho look with flowy chiffon overlays or an off-the-shoulder number that is the epitome of romance with a dash of bohemian flair.

Photo Credit: Joanna August

FLORAL TAKEOVER

Beautiful blooms aren’t just for those centerpieces and bouquets… they’re also an awesome way to make your besties stand out. Think drop-dead gorgeous floral prints in amazing textures like chiffon and embroidered tulle and you are sooo on the right track. Jump right in and have all of your besties rock stunning floral numbers from Brideside… or mix it up with a few florals and a few solid prints. It’s also a perfect way to have your Maid of Honor stand out. All in all, it’s beautiful, my friends.

Photo Credit: Jenny Yoo

ROSE GOLD ROMANCE

You know we never say “no” to a metallic anything. But rose gold? We love it a little extra special. This beautiful hue is the perfect way to add a little modern romance to your festivities and we’re totally on board with the glitzy and glamorous sequin options available at Brideside. Want to add just a touch of shine, but not go overboard with the bling? Mix and match the sparkle with solid blush hues for a subtler look that is just as special.

Photo Credit: Watters

SLEEK AND SEXY

Your ladies aren’t your average besties, so shouldn’t their dresses match their crazy cool personalities? With Brideside, you can dive head first into looks that are sleek, sexy AND sophisticated… just like your loves. Which means saying “goodbye” to full skirts and “hello” to slim silhouettes and flat-front shapes that are flattering and hip-hugging and so, so easy to re-wear. It’s ultra-modern and completely versatile and, well… we love.

Photo Credit: Watters

Promotion

Ready to find those gowns of your besties’ dreams? Visit Brideside today and talk to a complimentary style consultant about their amazing designer assortment of gowns, new showrooms opening this spring and their Try at Home program, which makes your life beyond easy. Oh, and if you sign up with Brideside by May 25, 2017, you’ll receive 15% off your entire bridal party. Just another reason to love them, you guys. Happy shopping!

Bridesmaid Gowns: Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaid Gowns: Wtoo | Bridesmaid Gowns: Watters | Bridesmaid Gowns: Joanna August

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A Vintage-Inspired Wedding by the River

Although Susanne and Rich currently call NYC home, they chose a wedding day away from the city bustle and said “I do” in Alexandria, Virginia. With a ceremony next to the Potomac River, their guests enjoyed the best of nature while Elisha of Love Life Images captured the entire affair behind the lens. Filled with meaningful details and vintage-chic style, this gallery is one you don’t want to miss.

From the photographer, Elisha… Susanne and Rich are one of my favorite long distance love stories. They dated for five years while they completed their residencies in different states. Finally, they chose to settle down together in the hustle and bustle of New York City. Despite choosing NYC as their home, they were so excited to come back down to be with friends and family to celebrate their special day at River Farm in Alexandria, Virginia.

Susanne told me how much a wedding by the water meant to her as she always dreamed of being married on the river, and what better backdrop in the Mid-Atlantic than the Potomac! Susanne and Rich were blessed with some amazing weather on the day-of. The wind sweeping off the water and gorgeous clouds in the sky perfectly framed quite a few beautiful moments throughout the ceremony and during their portraits.

They had so many elegant and sentimental details tied into their day. Susanne was wearing her father’s family ring and had the rings of a couple of whom she and Rich admire tied into her bouquet. I just loved all the pastel colors, the vintage teapots, and their ombre cake. The day was filled with breathtaking moments and I’m so thankful that Susanne and Rich allowed me to document their special day.


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Photography: Love Life Images | Event Coordination: Etc. Coordinators | Floral Design: Helen Olivia Flowers | Cake: Occasionally Cake | Catering: Well Dunn Catering | Makeup: Alison Harper and Company | Hair: Alison Harper and Company | Transportation: Limousines, Inc. | Venue: River Farm | Reception Music: Bachelor Boys Band

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Vineyards Meet the Mountains in this Classic Blue Ridge Wedding

Seated in an alcove of vines, nestled next to the Blue Ridge mountains… that all sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? One look at this gorgeous wedding photographed by Lauren Kinsey and you’ll be on Team Mountainside. It’s a classic beauty with pretty pastel blooms by Floral and Bloom Design and sun kissed portraits all sitting pretty in the vault. Have a look!

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Settings
Vineyard

From the Bride… My husband and I were married in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, halfway between our current home in Georgia and our hometowns in the Northeast. The whole day felt like a dream. It was a perfect breezy summer day, with blue skies. We had an outdoor ceremony that was held at a local vineyard, among our family and friends. Our guests were seated in an alcove of vines, nestled between the rolling blue mountains that surrounded them. As our loved ones began to walk down the aisle, the sun slowly started setting over the mountain tops in the distance.

The date we picked for our wedding was special to us because it marked ten years from the day we first met. We were first introduced when we were just fresh out of high school, and over the years, we have watched each other grow into the adults that we are today. We have waited so many years for this day, that I couldn’t believe I was finally seeing him all grown up, standing there, as we said our “I do’s”. The moment felt surreal.

Our wedding day was one that was filled with love and it showed. Everyone in our family had come together to help make our day a reality. My father had built the wine barrel tables for our ceremony and reception. Our three tier wedding cake was baked by my mother, and she had also sewn the textured damask linens for our reception. Our sweetheart table was set with vintage plates collected from various family members and antique stores. My husband was wearing his late grandfather’s cuff links, that his grandmother had given him as a wedding gift. For a more personalized touch, I had learned calligraphy and hand addressed our wedding invitations, and place cards. My husband constructed the escort card display using an antique frame from his mother. As a thank you to our guests, we left tiny, hand wrapped, wine related gifts at each place setting.

We had envisioned our day to be elegant, whimsical, and romantic. We pictured soft pastels, chantilly lace details, candle lit rooms, chandeliers, delicate summer blooms, and airy bouquets. Our color palette consisted of natural greens – paired with dusty rose, soft purple, and petal pink hues. We were inspired by organic elements that would play up the natural beauty of our venue. My bridesmaids and I carried free-form bouquets, accented with pastel peonies, clematis, dahlias, and handfuls of greenery. As our guests approached the ceremony site, they passed a flower bar, where they could fill cones with petals and lavender “wishes”. The ceremony and reception areas were decorated with soft florlas, light green pears, hand-made paper goods, and silk textiles. Our stationary consisted of recycled paper, and a hand-painted, watercolor monogram that accented the invitation suite.

For my wedding gown I knew that I wanted a look that was timeless and feminine. I was inspired by the iconic dresses from years ago, with soft, airy ballgown silhouettes, and lace details. When I first tried on my gown, it immediately reminded me of the dress that Jackie O. wore on her wedding day. Once we paired the dress with a chapel length lace veil, the whole thing felt like a vision from a dream, we all knew that this was exactly the gown that we were looking for.

I had given my bridesmaids the freedom to pick their own dresses. I chose a soft rosy pink and lilac color scheme for them to follow. They all looked like a vision in their gowns. One of our favorite moments of the night was when my two childhood friends privately sung a song they wrote for Jason and I, it perfectly summed up our ten years together.

After the last song was played, and all the lights were dimming out, we were having such a great time with our family and friends, that we lost track of time. Our last few guests were heading home, when my husband and I realized we missed our limo ride back to our house. We piled into the last two cars that were leaving the vineyard. With layers of tulle filling up half the vehicle, we laughed and snuggled with our wedding party until we made it home.

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Photography: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings | Floral Design: Floral & Bloom Designs | Wedding Dress: Lazaro bridal | Invitations: Stephanie B Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Savoir Faire Limited | Hair and Makeup: Ana Buitrago | DJ: Y It Entertainment | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos A. Bank Rentals | Calligraphy Decor: Spurle Gul Studios | Day of Coordination: Infatuating Affairs | Event Manager: Breaux Vineyards | Rentals: Select Event Group | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Ribbons: Silk and Willow

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A Winter Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Take all the elegance of a winter wedding and pair that with mountainside scenery and you’ll have the essence of this day captured by Adam Barnes Photography. All white florals and greenery accents dressed up the indoor setting, and we kindly invite you to see every moment for yourself.

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From the Bride… When we began to plan our wedding day, we knew we wanted to honor our families’ American and Korean traditions, highlight our Ohio and Virginia roots, and keep the day intimate with our families and closest friends. Through all of the planning, it was important to us to focus on the real reason for the day: our love and lifetime commitment to one another.

We chose Charlotteville, Virginia because we spent many weekends meeting there during our two-and-a-half-year long-distance relationship. As our wedding weekend was a “destination” for 100% of our guests, we knew we wanted our guests to experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. King Family Vineyards, our favorite winery in the area with its spectacular views, was the perfect location. We had visited many times during our long-distance relationship and knew that it was beautiful in all seasons, including winter. We also knew that it would be a place that we could revisit for years to come. Every year on our anniversary, we plan to open a bottle of King Family’s Meritage wine that we served at our wedding.

Above all, we wanted to remember our wedding day as classic, timeless, and “us.” We first had a traditional Christian ceremony in the carriage house. We held firm in our decision to not do a first look before the ceremony, opting instead to follow tradition and wait until I walked down the aisle. We will never regret that decision. Seeing each other for the first time when those doors opened is something that we will both remember forever. A longer cocktail hour in the carriage house gallery accommodated wedding party photos and allowed our guests to experience sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Before sitting for dinner, we had a second ceremony: a traditional Korean paebaek (bowing) ceremony to honor our families. My amazing mother ensured that every Korean custom was authentic, down to the silk tablecloths and wooden ducks that were brought over from South Korea, the Korean wine that we served our elders, and personally preparing the nine different snacks and Korean jujubes (dates) on the table. The traditional screen that served as the backdrop for the ceremony was hand-painted by my talented grandmother, a Korean folk artist, and shipped over from South Korea.

We approached the planning process as an introduction to marriage – a true partnership. We worked together to design and create the day-of paper goods, including the ceremony programs, menus, and cork place cards. All of the signs were designed and calligraphed by me, and ultimately inspired me to start my own lettering business on the side, The Write Decision, fully encouraged by Michael. We were also incredibly fortunate to work with the best team of vendors. The talented Alyssa Kristin (along with Lesley Bartosek at B.Loved Bridal Boutique) custom-designed my wedding dress, turning my hope for a timelessly elegant dress with sleeves into reality. Amy and her team at Blue Ridge Floral Design perfectly captured our vision of simple, beautiful greenery. And, of course, Adam Donovan-Groves of Donovan-Groves Events, as well as The Local catering led by Helen Osinga, brought our day to life and ensured that the day went seamlessly. Every moment was wonderfully captured by Adam Barnes Photography and eMotion Pictures Wedding Films. It was such a happy day – not counting every day thereafter.

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Photography: Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography | Cinematography: eMotion Pictures - Wedding Films | Event Planning: Donovan-Groves Events | Floral Design: Blue Ridge Floral | Wedding Dress: Alyssa Kristin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Catering: The Local | Makeup: Rouge 9 | Hair: Top Knot Studio | Band: The Adrian Duke Project | Ceremony Music: Amanda Masson | Ceremony Music: Eve Watters | Wedding Venue: King Family Vineyards | Bridal Boutique: B.Loved Bridal | Calligraphy/Lettering: Bride | The Write Decision | Invitation Suite: Shine Wedding Invitations | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: C&O Restaurant | Rentals: MS Events | Sushi: Sushi'N | Wedding Cake and Desserts: Favorite Cakes | Welcome Party Venue: The Whiskey Jar

5 Ways to Involve Pets in Your Wedding

Hands down, there’s nothing better than a sweet fur baby making an appearance on your Big Day. So if your best friend happens to be an adorable pooch (or cat, or bird, or pig…), we’re teaming up with The Westin Birmingham to run down a list of 5 ways to include your loves in the most important celebration of your life. Prepare for a cuteness overload below.

ONE: AS THE CUTEST BEST MAN OR MAID OF HONOR EVER

There’s nothing cuter than a pet in a bow tie or floral crown, so when it comes to stealing the show (they will), let your sweetie shine as your Best Man or Maid of Honor. You’ll love it, your guests will love it and it will most definitely go down in history as one of your fave wedding moments.

Photography: Jose Villa

TWO: AS THE PERFECT FAVORS

Love your furry friend more than anything? Then be sure to pay tribute to them in every possible way. One of our faves? A cute little favor that also happens to be in the shape of their likeness. It’s taking “puppy treats” to an entirely new level and your guests will appreciate the ode to your sweet little pooch.

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography

THREE: AS YOUR INVITATION SHOWPIECE

Want your fur baby to make a giant wedding statement? Then include them in your invitation suite, so your nearest and dearest know just where your heart is. It’s creative, unique and, let’s be honest, sooo darn cute. We’re totally on board with this.

Photography: Brumley & Wells / Invitation Design: Karen O’Bryan

FOUR: AS CRAZY CUTE ESCORT CARDS

And speaking of paper, why not include Fido on your escort cards? Whether you’re having a romantic soiree, a modern celebration or something else entirely, it’s a detail that will leave everyone talking. We promise.

Photography: Jasmine Lee Photography

FIVE: AS THE MOST ADORABLE RING BEARER IN THE WORLD

Your nephew is definitely a cutie, but you know what’s even cuter? Having that sweet little guy walk your adorable pooch down the aisle. It’s a double dose of sweetness that will make your entire day. We promise.

Photography: Jose Villa

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From the cutest Best Man ever to a yummy treat your guests will love, including your fave fur baby in the celebration of the century is a definite must. Just be sure to book a pet-friendly venue like The Westin Birmingham, so that everything goes off without a hitch. Think breathtaking views of Uptown, an amazing locale close to awesome eateries and shopping and a team of talented wedding coordinators that will take your pet-centric celebration to the next level. You’re going to love every moment of your Big Day… and so will your best friend.

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Photography: Brumley & Wells | Photography: Jasmine Lee Photography | Invitation Design: Karen O'Bryan

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Both the Bride and the Groom Wore Louboutins…and We’re in Love

This wedding will live on as that time we all fell in love with not one but two red soled shoes. A Bride and a Groom in Louboutins is just the beginning of this gorgeous day. It’s infused with sweet Summer vibes and classic meets rustic details all planned by the bride with month-of assistance from Pop The Cork Designs — along with layers of blooms by Whimsical Floral Design. See the full celebration captured by Rachel May that ends with the most spectacular sparkling kiss.

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Lucy & Matt were married on a beautiful summer day in July at Pippin Hill. From the vintage Mercedes, to the gorgeous floral bridesmaid gowns from Jenny Yoo, to the beautiful paper and calligraphy from Written Word this wedding was an absolute dream to photograph.

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Photography: Rachel May Photography | Planner: Pop The Cork Designs | Floral Design: Whimsical Floral Design | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Stationery: Written Word Calligraphy | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Hair & Makeup: Emily Artistry | Calligraphy: Written Word Calligraphy | Lighting: Blue Ridge AV & Lighting | DJ: DJ SaturDave | Groom's Suit: Beau & Co | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Brides Gown: Hayley Paige | Wedding & Reception Venue: Pippin Hill Farm

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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This Wedding will Surely Get You in the Mood for All Things Spring

I don’t know what it is but the second the calendar tells me Spring is officially sprung, I’m all (and I mean all) about the florals. The same goes for weddings too.  This Charlottesville beauty falls right into that “Three Cheers for Spring” category. With ribbons and classic details crafted by Donovan-Groves Events, those blooms I can’t stop blabbing about by Whimsical Floral Design, this is just the celebration to get you in the mood. Pore through the prettiest of images by Josh & Serena with even more here.

From the Photographer…Rachel and Marc’s ceremony and reception both took place at Keswick Hall under the impeccable direction of their planner, Adam of Donovan-Groves Events. It was an honor to document the love between these two and to capture the love felt for them by their family and friends!

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Photography: Josh & Serena | Event Planning: Donovan-Groves Events | Floral Design: Whimsical Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai | Cake: Maliha Creations | Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Men's Attire: Tailor & Bond | Wedding Venue: Keswick Hall | Beauty: Charlottesville Makeup Artist | Bridal Boutique: Kleinfeld Bridal | Escort Cards: Invite Alice | Groom's Attire - Bowtie: Brackish Bowties | Photography - Assistance: Josh Gooden Cinematography | Photography - Assistance: Love by Serena | Shoes (Bride): Badgley Mischka | Shoes (Groom): Hugo Boss | Wedding Bands & Engagement Ring: Custom made in NYC

You’d Never Guess this Wedding Took Place at the Groom’s Parents’ Home

It’s no surprise that this beautiful duo pulled off one of the prettiest fetes I’ve seen all week… they happened to meet at a wedding! Once you begin to peruse the images from Nikki Santerre, I think you’ll agree. And while you might be dying to know what venue they landed—you’ll come to find that their Big Day backdrop is the Groom’s parents’ estate. Ridiculously gorgeous, right? See it all in motion with the film from Heart Stone Films below!

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From Nikki SanterreNo detail was without intention on Jessica & Stephen’s wedding day. Having planned her Virginia wedding on Stephen’s parent’s estate from their home on the West Coast, Taylor of Alyson Taylor Events perfectly executed Jessica’s vision for a “West Coast style” meets “East Coast tradition” event. A memorial table for Jessica’s late father, beautiful bar display including His and Hers signature cocktails, a mix of both modern and classic chandeliers, and lovely lounge furniture all made the tent come alive with elegance and joy. The couple also met at a wedding, and chose their reception band because they were playing at the event where they met. The emotion of Jessica and Stephen’s First Look, caught on film, was truly one of the highlights of the day as well.

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Photography: Nikki Santerre Photography | Event Design: Alyson Taylor Events | Floral Design: The Proper Petal | Wedding Dress: Watters | Cake: Sweet Fix RVA | Invitations: Sue Corral Ink | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: A Sharper Palate Catering & Events | Hair and Makeup: Avenue 42 | Calligraphy: Capital Calligraphy | Calligraphy: Sincerely Amy Designs | Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting | Band: Soul Expressions | Desserts: Sweet Bella Bakery | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Linens: Party Tables | Rentals: Rent Equip | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Silk Ribbon: Silk and Willow | Specialty Chairs: Perfect Settings | Video: Heart Stone Films

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Looking for that perfect seaside locale? We’ve got the answer right here.

Celebrating your “I do’s” in paradise is sort of the end-all, be-all of glam weddings – and when it comes to finding that perfect locale to host your drop-dead gorgeous “party of the century”, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel has you totally covered. Think world-class resorts, seriously stunning ocean views and wedding pros that will make all of your dreams come true. It doesn’t get better than this, loves… take a look below.

Destination weddings are all about kicking back with your toes in the sand, sippin’ those tasty libations and really, really pampering yourself AND all the ones you love. Whether that’s a day of fun-filled activities (hello, kayaking and beachside yoga), or simply spending some luxurious time in a Sanibel spa. That’s the beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel… with a plethora of amazing resorts and inns to choose from, you’re guaranteed a weekend (or week!) of total fun. From your sure-to-be awesome bachelor + bachelorette parties, to those breathtaking “I do’s” with the ocean waves crashing in the distance and the goodbye brunch with your nearest and dearest, it’s a vacation of a lifetime meets a beautiful wedding celebration. Ah, yes… that’s the best way ever to tie the knot.

We can’t say it enough, you guys… contact The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel TODAY to start planning that dream destination wedding with wedding experts that know everything about celebrating your “I do’s” in paradise. Then enter for your chance to win a romantic getaway for a much-needed preview. Details are below!

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What: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is giving away a romantic getaway! See why there is no better place to say, “I do” and honeymoon.

How: Pin your “I do” and honeymoon, too! Choose your favorite wedding venue and honeymoon destination from The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel’s Pinterest board for a chance to win!

Who: One lucky person will win a three-night stay for two in a gorgeous Southwest Florida resort, plus a $1,000 travel voucher from Expedia!

To Enter and for Terms & Conditions: Click Here

Photography: Sundial Resort | Photography: DiamondHead Beach Resort | Photography: Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina

A Bridal Shoot Inspired by Old World Europe

What do you get when you combine the vibes of Old World Europe with the modern, chic design sensibilities of Eventi Floral & Events? This inspiration shoot, that’s what. Go ahead and get comfortable, because we’re pretty sure you’ll want to stay in this gallery a good, long while.

From Eventi Floral & Events… We went into the shoot dreaming of Old World Europe peppered with modern touches so the Tuscan feel of Stone Tower Winery was the perfect location. The loose and organic bridal bouquet, the lace detailing on the dress, and the embroidered suede ballet flats kept things soft and romantic.

At the same time, we wanted to anchor the tablescape so we used a heavier velvet linen paired with metal and wood café chairs. Some extra special elements were the mini cheesecakes provided by Heirloom DC at each guest’s place settings as well as the vintage knife rests.


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Photography: Amelia Johnson Photography | Wedding Dress: Love Couture Bridal | Stationery: The Dandelion Patch | Bride's Shoes: Aerin | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Catering: Heirloom Catering & Event Design | Hair + Makeup: Behind The Veil | Men's Attire: Menguin | Desserts: Catherine George Cakes | Floral Design + Styling: Eventi Floral & Events | Food Stylist: Heirloom Catering & Event Design | Model: Meghan | Napkins: BBJ La Tavola | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Winery: Stone Tower Winery

Top 5 Reasons to Say “I do” at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

When it comes to celebrating your Big Day, being true to yourselves is THE number one priority. Whether that’s keeping your guest list small with just close friends + family or infusing your day with cultural details that are meaningful to you both. And that means finding a locale that can take all of those dreams and run with them; a place like The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. It’s a little slice of wedding heaven that will easily be the best decision you’ll make while planning. Scroll to find out why.

ONE: ROOM FOR WEDDINGS OF ALL SHAPES + SIZES

Whether you plan to say “I do” in front of your immediate family only, want to throw the biggest celebration Atlanta has ever seen or need enough room to host for your stunning cultural affair, The Westin Buckhead Atlanta is THE place to make it all happen. Think a 10,000 square foot Grand Ballroom that can be divided into five different spaces, 20 different venue options and a grand staircase that will make those bridal portraits POP. Even better, The Westin Buckhead Atlanta’s team of event professionals are skilled in coordinating all types of affairs, no matter the size, shape or budget. So that fabulous three-day Indian affair of your dreams? They have you covered.

TWO: PROXIMITY TO FINE DINING + SHOPPING

Your wedding isn’t just a one-day celebration, it’s an entire experience. Which is why we love The Westin Buckhead Atlanta and their close proximity to everything that the city has to offer. Located right smack-dab in the middle of Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, it’s amazing shopping opportunities meets top-rated restaurants meets everything your guests will ever need. Totally convenient.

THREE: Professional Event Planning Services

From breathtaking cultural affairs to small, intimate soirees, The Westin Buckhead Atlanta’s talented staff is here to help you every step of the way. And I mean every step of the way. They’ll even put you in touch with an amazing team of vendors who can bring you vision to reality – from stunning floral arrangements to the perfect lighting. Not to mention that The Westin Buckhead Atlanta will work with outside caterers, so if you have any special dietary needs – absolutely no problem.

FOUR: An Amazing Culinary Team

And speaking of food… The Westin Buckhead Atlanta happens to boast a team of culinary experts that will make your foodie dreams come true with decades+ of experience cooking up tasty meals. (Yes, that’s a lot of experience.) From yummy cocktails to going away brunches to specialty menus, they’ll leave all of your guests talking. And full.

FIVE: LUXURIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS

You can’t talk about The Westin Buckhead Atlanta without mentioning their fabulous accommodations, aka, the most luxurious suites + rooms you AND your guests will ever have the privilege to stay in. Think the Westin Heavenly Bed®, a marble bathroom (with dual showerhead) and a club lounge with daily breakfast service… and that’s just the beginning. Oh, and did I mention the complimentary bridal suite? It honestly can’t get any better.

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Ready to book the wedding of the century at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta? Contact their talented staff today to talk all things wedding, from receptions to rehearsals to golf outings, they’ll take care of your every wish. And the best part? It will scream YOU from start to finish.

Photography: Derek Wintermute Photography