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Building Up the Wedding Industry

July 4, 2016

Building Up the Wedding Industry
Behind the scenes photo of myself with Candice of Blush Bridal along with the bride and groom, photographed by Caroline Lima.

Today I’m speaking to all you amazing wedding professionals out there. You know who you are – the small business women and men who are hustling to create a successful, thriving business that begins the first day of a couple’s life together.

We have a big, important job, you know. Our job as wedding professionals is to make sure each and every couple has the very best first day of marriage EVER. The wedding is the stage that unites these two individuals and families into one. It can feel like a lot of pressure on us sometimes, as the chosen professionals to provide them with these services! No less than once a day do I have conversations with other wedding professionals (florists, stationers, venues, photographers, caterers, planners, stylists, you name it!), making sure we’re serving our clients in the best way possible. We want them to remember every tiny detail of their wedding day with fondness, right?

Well, I want to get real honest for a minute, friends. Over the past few months, I’ve chatted with wedding pros who have been made to feel inferior by their peer wedding pros. I’ve read posts of professionals putting restrictions in place, making it difficult for their peers to provide their contracted services in a timely manner. I’ve gotten text messages from upset friends in the industry because another professional belittled them or asked for steeply discounted services for their client (friends, this is how we feed and support our families!). I’ve personally experienced that pit in my stomach that comes from wedding professionals treating me poorly. I’ve had first-hand experience and chatted with others in the industry who have spent time painstakingly creating schedules and timelines to ensure the client has an amazing planning experience, only for them to be completely disregarded. I could go on, but you get my drift, right? This probably makes you feel a little icky inside – even worse, it might bring back bad memories of an experience you’ve had like this in recent months.

So let me just throw out one thing we can all agree on – we are on #teammarriage (and if you want a warm fuzzy feeling, you should go search that hashtag on Instagram this instant). We pour our hearts and souls into our work because we believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity of marriage.

I have no doubt this is also why we get stressed out and perhaps pin our stress on other wedding professionals.

So how can we, as an industry, build each other up? How can we be a pillar of light for our peers so that we continue to provide amazing service for our clients, while also building friendships, eliminating stress, and feeling really great about the gifts we, collectively, are providing for each couple? How can we put an end to this streak of professionals feeling inferior to others in the industry?

Because I enjoy bulleted lists, I’ve broken my ideas down into just that. I welcome any and all additions you have to this list, as well as continued discussion on how to make sure our industry thrives.

Communicate, communicate, communicate. I think we’re all pretty aware that communication is the key to all healthy relationships. Peer-to-peer relationships are no different, friends! If your services align with other professionals, keep them in the loop! Do you have a vacation planned at the same time your peer plans to send out a design proposal for a wedding you’re involved in? Share that information with your team! Are you a florist who needs a final headcount for centerpieces by a certain date? If you’re working with a planner or venue coordinator, make sure this information is clearly communicated. For aligning services, it’s so important to clearly communicate specific details with other professionals whose services hinge on those details.

Don’t take your stress out on your peers. I think it’s natural for wedding pros (and humanity in general) to take their stress out on their peers. We often go into fight-or-flight mode when we’re approaching deadlines, when there’s a tight timeline to work with, and/or when it seems a timeline date has been missed. Instead of us, as wedding pros, verbally taking our stress out on our peers, let’s ask for help! Let’s realize we are all in this together to make the day the best it can possibly be for the couple. Let’s also realize we ALL want it to be a beautiful, stress-free experience and day for the couple – we don’t ever go into it thinking otherwise.

We are this couple’s chosen team. How amazing that this couple chose each of us because they knew we were the best fit to be a part of their wedding team! They trusted our expertise, our skills, and our experience to put together one of the most important days of their lives. Let’s encourage that teamwork for each and every wedding. Not sure how to support your “team”? Think about how your services coincide with another professional’s services. What can you do to work together and make the experience even more amazing than the couple could have dreamed? How can you take a peer’s schedule and services into consideration to ensure you both provide the best service possible to the couple? I make these statements broadly, because there are so many incredible ways we can create a top-notch team for each and every wedding by working together as a team and uplifting one another.

Trust one another. Although we are all a part of the same overarching industry, we each specialize in particular aspects. A stationer is an expert in the etiquette of when to send out save the dates and invitations while a florist is well-versed in what florals will be in season. Trust the professionals this couple has chosen to be their wedding team instead of pushing back or insisting on something that simply may not work. Listen to this couple’s chosen professionals when they have a different idea or a suggestion, because there is likely a reason and it will likely make for a much better wedding day experience for the couple!

Understand that processes are put in a place for a reason. It’s heartbreaking to hear of wedding professionals who have spent hours and hours (adding up to years, y’all) fine-tuning their process to ensure their couple has an amazing experience only to hear of other vendors completely disregarding these processes. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you probably think. Consider these hypothetical scenarios:

A stationer creates a schedule only for a planner to not even look at it.
A planner schedules appointments with venues only for venues to schedule multiple meetings they are bouncing between.
A florist requests linen colors/swatches from rental companies and is completely ignored.

In every single one of these scenarios (which are all scenarios I’ve heard or seen happen!), the professional is trying to do their job well, but is met with resistance or a roadblock. This ends up helping no one and hurting everyone! If there is an issue amongst peers with regard to timelines, schedules, or requests, it’s important for us to communicate (see first tip above). And please, whatever you do, if another professional sends you a schedule, timeline, or request – read it! It’s heartbreaking to see a professional dedicate their time and energy to their craft and process to be met with such disregard.

So, I’m on #teammarriage, what about you? Will you make a concerted effort to lift up individuals in the industry, create a team environment, and work together to create a gorgeous day for each couple? How else can we build one another up?

Inspiration

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5 Healthy Date Ideas

March 4, 2016

5 Healthy Date IdeasPhoto by Heather Chipps Photography

I love, love, love thinking of new date ideas. Sure, I adore going out to fancy dinners with my husband, but in all honesty, we can do that anytime. It’s so much fun for us to think outside the box and go on dates that are new and different for us. And bonus points if we’re making our minds and bodies healthier at the same time!

Here are 5 healthy date ideas for you to surprise your significant other with this weekend:

Sweat it out. Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about the gym! Make a date with your significant other to get your sweat on a the gym. Spot each other as you lift weights, do some cardio side-by-side, and then when you’re done, treat yourself to a smoothie.

Head to the farmer’s market. Ahh, one of my and my husband’s favorite things to do together! Schedule an early Saturday morning date at the farmer’s market to enjoy the warmer temps, get some fresh air, and snag some delicious, healthy grub. Bonus points if you score some yummy produce to make dinner with that evening for your second date of the day! (Another one of our favorite things to do!)

Take a garden tour. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, schedule a tour of a local garden for you and your spouse. Enjoy the fresh air, admire the new blooms, and then get your energy back at a local coffee shop.

Take a hike. No…literally. Pack a picnic for just the two of you (I won’t tell if you sneak in a bottle or two of wine) and go hiking at one of your favorite locations, or a new-to-you trail! Once you’re done and have worked up an appetite, find a spot to enjoy a picnic together.

Head to the dog park. Grab your pups and head to the dog park for a fun-filled day of play, fetch, and walks! Your sweet fur babies will thank you, too.

Now if you’ll excuse me…I have a picnic to pack.

What are your favorite healthy dates to go on?

Inspiration

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The ONE Way You Should Be Using Pinterest for Wedding Inspiration

February 29, 2016

The ONE Way You Should Be Using Pinterest for Wedding Inspiration

When I was planning my own wedding six years ago, Pinterest was still one of those amazing, mysterious websites that you had to be invited to in order to create an account. Remember that? Now everyone in the world is using Pinterest to get more crafty, learn new recipes, and plan the most important events of their lives.

I’m going to be brutally honest here, but most wedding professionals get very nervous when they see an email pop up with an invitation to connect to a board from a current client who is using Pinterest for wedding inspiration. We dread the fact that you may be asking us to recreate something you’ve seen done a million times before because we want to create something special and unique just for you – not what everyone else has done. By locking yourself into a very specific idea, you’re not allowing us to be as creative as we can possibly be for you. You’re not giving us the opportunity to create something for you that you never knew existed and would be even better than your wildest dreams!

But there is one very refreshing, inspiring way you can be using Pinterest for wedding inspiration! I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world that could be if you shouldn’t be using Pinterest to find visuals you love and want to incorporate into your wedding day. How in the world could you use Pinterest any other way?

Pin visuals that set the mood and tell your story when using Pinterest for wedding inspiration. 

It’s that easy. Stop pinning exact replicas of what you want to include at your wedding, because that automatically boxes in both you and the wedding pro you are working with. Instead, look for images that are not past weddings. Pin images that are not an exact replica of the invitation you want. Pin images that are not the exact bouquet you want.

Instead, look for images that make you feel how you want your wedding day to feel. Do you want a warm, cozy winter celebration? Pin images that inspire that feeling. Do you want a bright, cheerful summertime soiree? Pin bright color palettes and sunny outdoor scenes. Use your captions section effectively by noting why the image inspires you. Is it the color palette? The mood? They style? Don’t just pin the image with the previous caption, make it your own by adding new captions and comments!

When you begin to pin this way, your wedding professionals will thank you and will stop dreading the invitations to pin to your secret board! This will get the conversation started in a much deeper way than just what’s on the surface. Your wedding pros will be able to capture the feeling and mood for your wedding day that you’ve always wanted – and probably even come up with new and unique ideas you’ve never even thought of!

Here’s an example of a board I created using Pinterest for wedding inspiration for a Springtime Brunch Wedding. You can also view the entire board and how I used the captions section here.

The ONE Way You Should Be Using Pinterest for Wedding Inspiration

I promise if you start pinning this way you’ll get the most amazing wedding of your dreams! Now, pin away! 

Inspiration

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My New Cabin Studio Inspiration Board

February 24, 2016

Last year, my husband and I moved to a beautiful 30-acre farm property. While we downsized our house, we upgraded our amazing views and acreage so we can spend more of our time outdoors. There are several very old tobacco buildings on our property, one that was converted into a small cabin by the previous owner. While it’s super cute, it definitely needs plenty of TLC. We thought and thought and thought about what we wanted to do with this cute little cabin (it’s literally at the very front of our property, so it’s not a space we can just “forget” about!). Should we turn it into a B&B? Nah, not something we’re interested in. How about our own little getaway? Nope, it’s only about 1/4 mile from our actual house, so we’d never use it for that. We tossed around the idea of turning it into an office, but the idea never really stuck until we began talking it through with other friends and family members (shout out to Heather for helping on this one!).

So, it’s set. We’re turning the sweet little cabin into my very own studio and I could not be more thrilled about it! At first, I was hesitant because I thought I wanted a bright white, open space. But after thinking about it and jotting down ideas, I fell more and more in love with the thought. The cabin space is the perfect size (and is already there so I don’t have to add onto our house or get creative with our bedrooms!), it has tons of charm and character, and it’s basically a blank slate I can do whatever I want with! Not to mention….are you ready for it?…it also has a mini kitchen and FULL-SIZE BATHROOM already built into it!

So as the weather begins to warm up, I have a feeling we’ll be spending many, many hours fixing up my little cabin studio and hopefully have it fully completed sometime over the summer!

To give you an idea of the space, it has a very large, covered front porch (with two huge peony bushes in front!) and you walk into the mini kitchen, with a small bathroom next to it, a large, open space currently used as a living area, and a loft currently used as a small bedroom.

So, here’s the plan…

My New Cabin Studio Inspiration Board

I plan to add more color and cheerfulness to the front porch area with lots of potted plants and some charming outdoor furniture. I’d love to have an outdoor watering area on the side of the cabin for my floral orders as well. When you come down our driveway, the back of the cabin is actually what you see first, so I plan on filling the backside of the cabin with plenty of colorful pots and plants, too.

And then…

My New Cabin Studio Inspiration Board

I really want the interior space to be overflowing with charm and quirkiness! I want to throw all the “normal” studio and office space ideas out the window (READ: file cabinets, traditional desks, storage…), and create my own unique storage space and work area with unique garage sale and vintage finds. In the kitchen/dining area, I plan on creating my “floral” studio – close to the water supply – where I’ll process, clean, and design my florals. The space that is currently used as a living space will become my paint and design studio, with a small table for my laptop where I can easily access emails and send proofs. I want the walls to be covered in inspiration! I’ll also keep a bed in here for guest overflow if we ever need it (and perhaps a nap or two on long studio days?). The loft area will become storage for all my supplies so it’s out of the way, but still easily accessible!

You guys. I am so excited about this project and can’t wait to get started so I can share the final outcome with you! I know there is a lot of work to do, but I also know it is going to inspire me, too! And I’m also excited to greet you in this space if you’d ever like to stop on in for a cup of coffee (oh, believe me, there will be plenty of that here)!

Now…spam me with your amazing finds! I want to see it all – light fixtures, unique storage units and countertops, functional wall decor – send it my way! 

Oh, and P.S. Just for reference, here’s a photo of our little cabin (soon to be studio) in the snow a couple of weeks ago! I mean, can you just imagine the loads of potted plants and sitting areas around there, come this summer?

My New Cabin Studio Inspiration

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Easiest Ever Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

February 8, 2016

Easiest Ever Valentine's Day Date Ideas

For long-term couples and married couples, Valentine’s Day can sometimes feel like one of those last minute “What are we supposed to do?” holidays. I, admittedly, never really know if we should celebrate it or not, because I love my husband fully and completely every day, and we share so many fun adventures together throughout the entire year. But it is really fun to do something a little different on Valentine’s Day as a couple, even if it’s as simple as staying in and ordering takeout.

Here are some quick and easy Valentine’s Day Date ideas that you may just want to do all year long:

Pack a backyard picnic. Pack up your favorite bottle of wine, a favorite meal, some disposable utensils and a few candles and head to your backyard for a romantic evening “out”!

Plan a game night. Grab you and your significant other’s favorite cocktails, a few easy appetizers (crackers, cheese, fruit, vegetables, and sliced chicken are a great start!) and pick out 2 or 3 favorite board games. Turn the electronics off, and enjoy spending time together without any distractions!

Cook an elaborate four-course meal together. If you both enjoy spending time in the kitchen, research some really amazing, elaborate recipes together ahead of time, pick up the ingredients the day before, and spend time in the kitchen creating a gourmet meal to share.

Put your dreams on paper. Order your favorite takeout, grab a pen and a notepad, and plan out the rest of the year’s dreams together. Where do you want to travel, what goals do you want to accomplish, what adventures do you want to have together? Write them all down, pick out your top three, and start putting an action plan in place to make them happen.

Settle in for a movie marathon. Pop some popcorn, change into comfy PJs, grab a few beers, and take turns popping your all-time favorite movies into the DVD player.

Get all gussied up for a date night in. Put on your Sunday best, set the dining room table with your finest china and some candles, turn on some music, and invite your significant other to join you for dinner. Whether it’s leftovers, takeout, or a gourmet home-cooked meal, enjoy the quiet time together!

Watch the stars. Grab a few cozy blankets and head outside to watch the stars and share your dreams together. Leave the electronics inside and enjoy the night sky and each other!

Plan a coffee date. Grab some extra-good coffee, some gourmet muffins and chocolate, a couple of good books and spend the morning (or evening!) curled up together sharing coffee, sweet treats, and a good book together.

Whether you prefer an elaborate date night or a laid-back evening in, I hope you enjoy spending a little extra quality time with the one you love most!

Easiest Ever Valentine's Day Date Ideas

Photos by Heather Chipps Photography
Styling by Amanda Day Rose

Inspiration

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January PowerSheets Recap

February 1, 2016

January PowerSheets Recap

This past month was my first month ever using Lara Casey’s PowerSheets. I honestly was hesitant to even buy them because I wasn’t sure how they’d actually help me, but after hearing rave reviews from so many others, I decided to give them a try.

I have to say, after only one month, my 2016 PowerSheets have kept me on task both personally and professionally and given me the drive and energy to pursue those really scary dreams I never thought I’d be comfortable enough to put into action!

So what exactly were my goals for January? 

Today I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and opening up my precious, private PowerSheets to share with you in hopes that you’ll see how incredibly rewarding it is to take steps in the direction of the dreams, goals, and plans that matter to you most!

Ways I’m Going to Recharge This Month:

  • Unplug on the weekends. I did my best to make sure this happened, but I have to admit it was not easy! At the very least, I stayed away from my email as much as possible on the weekends to allow for more quality time with my friends and family. This will likely be a goal I set for myself every month in order to build this habit!
  • Schedule a lunch date away from my work once per week. I was actually concerned this one was not going to happen because when I get in my workday groove, it’s hard for me to step away for a proper lunch break (funny, I didn’t have any problems stepping away when I worked in the corporate world!). But…wait for it…I DID IT EVERY SINGLE WEEK! I am so proud of myself for this one. It means I spent quality time away from electronics with special in my life. Not to mention, one of my lunch dates was with one of the sweetest girls I met for the very first time, Stephanie of of Stephanie Scholl Events!
  • Take one weekday off to learn something new. This one was a big fat fail for me. I knew it would be really difficult for me to take a weekday off to do something for myself, and I was right. I really want to make this happen once a month from here on out, though, so next month I’m going to plan ahead and actually schedule a learning activity that makes me put this one into action!
  • Schedule a fun day date one weekend. This one was actually easy for me, but something I always want to remind myself to do. My husband and I are always looking for new weekend adventures, and in January we took a trip to Annapolis and had a double-date with good friends of ours!

Monthly Goals:

  • One education day away. This goes hand-in-hand with my “weekday off” mentioned above, so it didn’t happen, but it will continue to be something I strive for each month!
  • Read two books. Yes! Done and done. I read one book for fun and one educational book. Not only do I enjoy learning something from the books I read, but I also love that it really makes me step away from work, technology, and the hustle and bustle of life to slow down and get absorbed in something else.
  • Create streamlined templates and processes. I did this one right away, and I had to ask myself why I hadn’t done it sooner! It’s really made my workflow so much less cumbersome and has created a clear vision for both my clients and myself so we’re always on the same page. This was something I kept telling myself over the last year that I needed to do but just kept putting off, so I’m thankful to finally have this done!

There are three other monthly goals that I can’t share with you just yet because they are works in progress for future projects! As a general update, though, these three goals were met this month, and I’m well on my way to being able to share them with you! 

Weekly Goals:

  • Email-free weekends. I did pretty good with this one! There were very short instances where I glanced at my email, but for the most part, I unplugged and spent time with my family!
  • Lunch date each week. This is also listed in my “Recharge” list above, and was a huge success this month!
  • Draw/paint for fun. I spend a lot of time drawing and painting for my clients, so I really wanted to spend some time each week drawing and painting for myself. This one was a success and it was so fun to spend time with a pencil (or paintbrush) and paper creating nothing in particular.

My daily goals were pretty generic, because I wanted to make sure I was able to accomplish them each day without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.

After just one month of using my PowerSheets, I’ve also created some tips for ensuring you get the most out of them, too!

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your PowerSheets:

  • Find common themes. You’ll notice some of my items in the Recharge list are also listed in my Weekly and/or Daily Goals. Find these common tasks and themes to prevent overwhelm and also to see how that one simple task is affecting multiple areas of your life!
  • Think small. I have goals in my January Tending List that were BIG. Apparently, I thought I could capture all my dreams and goals in one single month. After just a couple of days, I realized I needed to break those goals into smaller, bite-size pieces, so I scratched through them and made them more manageable. The goal for these PowerSheets is to feel empowered and accomplished – not frustrated and overwhelmed.
  • Don’t worry about filling every single blank line. I thought I needed to have a new goal on every. single. line. That’s simply not true. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you need to pull a new goal out of thin air. Come up with a few really good, concrete monthly, weekly, and daily goals and use the extra spaces to brainstorm or take notes on those goals so you can review them later.
  • Do a check-in a few times a week. I, admittedly, did not plan on “checking in” with my PowerSheets each week. But I found when I did not check in, I lost sight of my goals and intentions for the month and year. Just a quick 5 minute check-in a few times a week is all it takes to make sure you’re on track to make the important things happen. It’s also a great way to refocus your energy if you feel stumped, frustrated, or off-track.

Now I want you to tell me how you use your PowerSheets to work for you! Do you have any other tips for making sure you stay in line with the goals and ideals of your PowerSheets? 

I’ll be doing a monthly recap of every month’s PowerSheets in 2016, so stay tuned to see how they pan out! (I’m really interested to know myself!)

Inspiration

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Personalized Wedding Invitation Ideas to Impress Your Guests

October 5, 2015

Personalized Wedding Invitation Ideas

So, I really don’t think it’s any secret that I think your wedding invitations are so important to your overall celebration. As I’ve probably said a million times, your invitations are the first glimpse your guests get into the overall vibe and style of your wedding day.

That means your invitations are the perfect opportunity to add your unique, personalized spin that will impress your guests!

Here are a few ideas to personalize your wedding invitations:

Word choice. Your word choice is a perfect place to personalize your invitations! Use word choices that you and your fiancé would use in real life. If you’d like to keep your invitation card more formal, the perfect opportunity to play with your word choice is on your response card.

Custom illustrations. Whether it’s an illustration of you and your fiancé, your favorite flower, or the church you’ll be married in, custom illustrations are a beautiful way to personalize your invitations. Not only will a custom illustration give a glimpse into your unique celebration, the illustrator’s style will also provide visual details to the overall mood of your wedding day.

Materials. Believe it or not, the materials absolutely matter when it comes to your final invitation suite. Imagine a gorgeously designed traditional invitation with classic black typography and a detailed illustration of the church on a luxurious textured card stock with letterpress printing and a classic gold envelope. Now imagine that same design printed on a hot pink card stock with black envelopes. They give you a completely different idea without even changing the design, right? Be open with your stationer about the overall mood and style you have planned for your celebration, and your stationer will be able to offer material options that best suit your style.

Typography. If you’re having a formal ballroom wedding celebration, your invitation design should most definitely speak to this style! It would seem a little silly to have a handwritten font style, wouldn’t it? For a formal ballroom celebration, consider a traditional Copperplate calligraphy typefaces. On the contrary, if you’re planning a laid-back reception at your family farm, a formal calligraphic typography would seem out of place and a modern, handwritten font may be more suitable.

Envelope liners. Envelope liners are a wonderful surprise element to include in your invitations. When it comes to envelope liner patterns and design, the sky’s the limit to what you can include! Think: a custom monogram, your wedding date, a pattern used in your linens, a photo, and tons of other options.

Custom monograms. If you ask me, monograms will never go out of style. The great thing about monograms is that they can be designed to be formal or informal. Your monogram can include things you enjoy doing together, your pets, your wedding date, a favorite icon – there are endless ways to design a monogram around your style and the atmosphere of your celebration!

Now that you’re armed with these personalized wedding invitation ideas, how would you personalize yours?

Visit the galleries to see some of the ways I’ve worked with ADR couples to customize their wedding invitations and stationery!

Personalized Wedding Invitation Ideas

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Heartfelt Weddings: Incorporating Heirlooms in Your Wedding

July 15, 2015

Incorporating Heirlooms in Your WeddingI don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a big fan of meaningful, heartfelt wedding celebrations. I’d shout it from the rooftops if I didn’t think someone would send me to the loony bin. To me, every little detail, down to the toasting glasses and beyond, is an opportunity to create a heartfelt celebration. Believe it or not, the details you choose with love and care are the ones you’ll remember years down the road – and may even become family traditions.

One way to add meaning to those little details is by incorporating family heirlooms into your celebration. This may seem like an impossible task if your having a more modern celebration or your style doesn’t mesh with the heirlooms you’d like to include, but there are so many unique ways to incorporate them, you can certainly find a way that works for you!

Here are a few ways you can incorporate heirlooms in your wedding celebration, but this is just a starting point! Get creative and do what speaks to your heart.

Include a vintage family photo in a locket on your bouquet

This is such a beautiful way to include a family heirloom in your wedding. Tie the locket with a ribbon around your bouquet in memory of loved ones who may not be able to be present.

Incorporate family linens on the reception tables

You know all those linens and doilies your sweet Grandma made you when you every year for Christmas when you were younger? (That can’t be just me, right?). This is the perfect opportunity to use them! Use small doilies or linens in your centerpieces, incorporate throw blankets in a lounge area, or cover reception tables with those handmade table runners you have stacked up, waiting to be used.

Pay homage to your heritage through your invitations and paper goods

Do you have a traditional family crest or tartan that dates back to the beginning of your family lineage? Or even a symbol that represents your culture (the Southern hospitality symbol of a pineapple is a great example)? Consider incorporating portions of these elements in your wedding invitations and stationery as a nod to your heritage and culture that got you where you are today!

Use family toasting glasses

My husband and I aren’t big champagne drinkers, so we didn’t see the significance of investing in nice champagne toasting glasses for our wedding. Instead, we chose to use my parents gorgeous toasting glasses. Not only did it save us the unnecessary expense of something we didn’t feel was important, but we got to use a family heirloom that made the toast that much more special to us.

Use family recipes in your menu

Depending on your caterer’s policies, you may be able to include some special family recipes in your menu!

What are some special and unique ways you plan to use family heirlooms in your wedding celebration?

Photo courtesy of Jason Collins Photography

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5 Unexpected Ways to Honor Loved Ones at Your Wedding

June 22, 2015

lovedones

Your wedding day is such a special time for you, your spouse, and your family and friends. You’ll likely want to honor loved ones who have passed away, but may realize there is a fine line between happily honoring their memory and creating sadness amongst your guests who were close with those you are honoring.

While there is probably a deep sense of sadness that those loved ones can’t be at your wedding in person to celebrate with you, it’s also a wonderful time to celebrate their life and the joy they brought while they were here on this Earth.

Here are 5 unexpected ways to honor loved ones and celebrate their life and personality at your wedding celebration:

Share their favorite reading or quote at the ceremony.

The ceremony is a wonderful place to celebrate loved ones. It’s already a very special bond between you and your soon-to-be spouse, so including a special remembrance of loved ones makes it all the more meaningful. Consider sharing a reading or a quote that was significant to your loved one(s). You don’t even have to  announce to your guests that’s what you’re including it for – if you and your spouse know, that is all that matters.

Wear something of theirs.

Is there a special necklace or brooch you can wear to honor loved ones? This is a wonderful way to feel close to them on your wedding day. Make sure to get photos of what you are wearing – you’ll cherish those photos for years to come! (As shown in the photo above with my grandmother’s photo in a vintage locket on my bouquet!).

Reserve a seat.

Consider reserving a seat in your loved one’s honor. If you plan on reserving 10 seats for close family members, save 1 more seat for loved ones who have passed on and display a small bouquet of flowers and a note on the chair.

Display their favorite flowers or serve a favorite food.

Did your great-grandmother love gardenias? Try incorporating them into your bouquet and/or the centerpieces at your wedding. Was your great-uncle nibbling on peach cobbler every chance he could? Incorporate this into your dessert menu. These are beautiful ways to honor loved ones that celebrate their life wholeheartedly without creating an atmosphere of sadness. Your guests who were close with those individuals will recognize the gesture and likely begin sharing fond memories.

Celebrate their life.

Was Grandma trying to entertain every second she could? What about having a bunch of balloons (in her favorite colors!) at the entrance of your ceremony or reception to honor her memory of entertaining.

There are so many beautiful ways to honor loved ones at your ceremony and reception. Think about what those individuals loved – their hobbies and favorite things – and incorporate those into your decor where it feels right. You guests who were close with those loved ones will appreciate it and you’ll be so thankful for the photos and memories for years to come.

How do you plan to honor loved ones at your wedding celebration?

Photo courtesy of Jason Collins Photography.

Inspiration

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Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

May 4, 2015

Not only is this romantic nautical wedding absolutely swoon-worthy, but this couple is just the sweetest, y’all! The only thing that makes me happier than working with kind souls is becoming friends with them in the process, and I’m so happy to now call Sarah a friend. Sarah also “introduced” me to one of my favorite people in the world, Alex of Magnolia Letter Arts (that’s a story for another day!), so I feel like I owe Sarah a puppy or something.

So, get yourself situated and settle in to read Sarah and Andrew’s sweet love story and get inspired by their romantic nautical dream wedding!

 

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

The Basics

Wedding Date: July 13, 2014

Wedding Location: Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

All the Fun Details

How did you and your significant other meet?

We were introduced by our mutual friend, Kara. I was out at a bar with Kara one night when we ran into Andrew and his friend, Sean. Kara had been friends with Andrew in college so she introduced us. He got my number and called me the next day for a date! Kara ended up being the maid of honor at our wedding and Sean was Andrew’s best man.

How did your proposal happen?

My parents throw a New Year’s Eve party every year. All my friends, my brother’s friends, and our family are always there. Immediately after the ball dropped ringing in 2013, Andrew proposed in front of all my friends and family. It was perfect to be able to celebrate with all of them around.

What tradition(s) were important for you to include in your wedding ceremony? Why?

We had a very simple ceremony. It was more important to us for the ceremony to be about the vows we wrote for each other and not anything else. Also, it was July and outside so we didn’t want to be standing in the heat for too long!

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

What was the inspiration for your wedding style?

Our venue. The Inn itself is beautiful, airy, romantic and nautical. With the marina they have on site, it was the perfect setting for us.

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

 

What were the top 3 most important aspects of your wedding?

  1. Doing a first look.
  2. Having it at a venue that took care of everything for us so we had no worries on our wedding day.
  3. Having a fun wedding!

What was your color palette?

Mint, bellini, dove gray, blush and accents of navy and gold.

What was your favorite part of the planning process?

Working with Amanda on all the fun print products and incorporating lots of fun details into the whole wedding!

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

What is the best memory you have from your wedding day?

Oh my gosh, there are so many, but if I had to pick one it would be walking down the aisle with my dad. We walked in to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles, it was one of the most special moments I’ve ever had with my dad. (Even though he walked entirely too fast!)

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

 

What was your favorite piece of advice you received about marriage?

To never stop dating your spouse! (Someone really smart gave that to me…it’s definitely my favorite!)
(Aww, thanks, Sarah! I’m blushing!)

Romantic Nautical Wedding Inspiration

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sarah and Andrew!

 Photography: Catherine’s Photography

Inspiration

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Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

April 27, 2015

This Montauk destination wedding is one for the books, y’all. I had the best time creating Emily and Sean’s fun, personalized stationery, and absolutely adore how all the details throughout their celebration represent them as a couple. I truly love how they stayed true to themselves throughout their decor – and the final outcome is nothing short of spectacular! Be sure to keep your eye out throughout these gorgeous photos for their sweet little French bulldog, Matilda.

You’ll want to grab a cup of coffee for this one.

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

The Basics

Wedding Date: September 20, 2014

Wedding Location: Montauk, New York

All the Fun Details

How did you and your significant other meet?

Sean and I met in high school. We were introduced by mutual friends. Amy (one of our mutual friends) actually read the first reading during our ceremony.

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

How did your proposal happen?

Sean proposed during a weekend trip out to Montauk. After a lunch at the Sloppy Tuna and a long walk on the beach, he popped the question at Kirk Park Beach with a stunning rose gold sparkler.

What tradition(s) were important for you to include in your wedding ceremony? Why?

Music is a huge park of our life and we wanted to have a soundtrack that would always bring our wedding day to life. For the bridal procession we chose 40 Day Dream by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I walked down the aisle to Sweet Thing by Van Morrison. The ceremony concluded with Naïve Melody by the Talking Heads. We also wanted to personalize our ceremony, which meant including some literal elements that spoke of our relationship. We included readings from Just Kids by Patti Smith and Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce. It was also super important that someone we admired and loved officiated the ceremony. We chose our cousin, Ray, who is downright amazing in every way. Matilda, our French bulldog, also made an appearance which was super special.

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Did you include any family heirlooms or heritage in your wedding celebration?

We are both Irish and proud! We included a Celtic hand tying into our ceremony. Our siblings joined us which made it even more special.

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

 

What was the inspiration for your wedding day style?

Both Sean and I wanted to feel super comfortable on our wedding day. We wanted the vibe to be as comfortable as if we were hanging out in our own backyard. That laid-back, Montauk vibe translated through our entire wedding weekend.

What were the top 3 most important aspects of your wedding?

  1. We wanted our wedding to be telling of our love for each other.
  2. We wanted our friends and family to be comfortable and fall in love with Montauk just as we did.
  3. We always want to look back on our wedding day with fond memories and everlasting joy and love.

What was your color palette?

We really didn’t have a color palette. Our flowers had a mix of white, pinks, raspberry, purples, greens, and blues. We were very inspired by texture. You will see a lot of burlap, seersucker, gold glitter , blue watercolor, and lace throughout our wedding.

What was your favorite part of the planning process?

We really loved planning our wedding and I’m still withdrawing from not planning. Both Sean and I had the same ideas on the type of wedding we wanted, which made the planning all the more enjoyable.

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

 

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

 

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

What is the best memory you have from your wedding day?

Honestly, to quote Biggie, “It was all a dream!”

But, if I had to choose two moments it would be when my cousin gleefully pronounced us husband and wife and dancing to “Shout” at the end of the night! Both moments were captured on video and I watch them constantly.

What was your favorite piece of advice you received about marriage?

My Nana, who passed away in 2012, told both of us that you have to bend like a tree for a marriage to work.

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Montauk Destination Wedding Inspiration

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Emily and Sean!

 Photography: Levi Stolove

Inspiration

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Rustic Chic Winery Wedding Inspiration

April 20, 2015

Oh, y’all. There is so much lovely and heart in this wedding celebration today! When Kari sent me photos of her wedding day, I literally could not stop smiling at all the sweet moments that were captured behind the lens. And on top of that, they didn’t leave a single detail out of this gorgeous day! So get ready to swoon and be inspired through Kari and Chandler’s sweet love story and heartfelt rustic chic winery wedding celebration!

Rustic Chic Winery Wedding Inspiration

 

The Basics

Wedding Date: November 16, 2014

Wedding Location: Longshadow Ranch Winery • Temecula, California

All the Fun Details

How did you and your significant other meet?

We met at a restaurant, actually. He was there with some co-workers and I was there with some friends watching football.

How did your proposal happen?

When we were in the process of buying our second home I would say, “The only thing that is missing inside is a ring!” The day we got the keys to our new home my fiancé asked my best friend, and later maid-of-honor, to tell me she wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate and take pictures of us in the home with our new keys. So that evening we arrived at the house and started taking pictures. In the front of our house we have these beautiful French doors that open up to our front porch. My fiancé said he really wanted to take a photo with those open. So we did. When I thought we were done taking pictures, I was mistaken. As I started to walk back into the home, he grabbed me back and said he had something for me as he reached in his pocket.

In “Kari” fashion I told him don’t mess with me, since I thought he was kidding. But then he got down on his knee and he really did have something for me. My ring! I had so many emotions running through me that I couldn’t even say yes right away! I just started bawling my eyes out. I’m a very hard person to surprise and I’m very lucky to have a husband and best friend to make my dreams come true.

What tradition(s) were important for you to include in your wedding ceremony? Why?

I wouldn’t necessarily say we had any traditions during our ceremony besides the fact that we did not see each other until I walked down the aisle.

I also had my great-great-grandfather, my papa, walk me halfway down the aisle and then my dad the rest of the way. And instead of doing a sand ceremony or candle lighting we did a first fight box. We wrote our own vows so we wanted to put them into the box along with our favorite bottle of wine and nail the box shut. When we get into out first major fight as a married couple we want to open the box and be able to remember why we got married in the first place.

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

kari4

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

Did you include any family heirlooms or heritage in your wedding celebration?

We did do a longest married dance. All the couples that were married at our wedding got up and danced and slowly got booted off as they announced certain number of years of marriage. The couple with the longest marriage won and had to give us, the newlyweds, marriage advice.

Rustic Chic Winery Inspiration

What was the inspiration for your wedding style?

I really wanted to capture our personal style. We both love rustic, vintage and antique designs. You could say our home is eclectic but chic.

What were the top 3 most important aspects of your wedding?

I would have to say the décor, the music and all of our various stations. We wanted our guests to feel like it was a family party while still being classy.

What was your color palette?

Love me some neutrals! We had whites, creams, beiges, tans and champagne colors with subtle hints of blushes and gold.

Rustic Winery Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Winery Wedding Inspiration

 What was your favorite part of the planning process?

My favorite part was seeing it all come together. I bought and did most of the wedding décor myself. There were a lot of times that I doubted my planning skills and worried things would not flow. But when they did, I was so proud and happy that we were going to have our dream wedding that was totally us.

What is the best memory you have from your wedding day?

The best memory is when we got to finally see each other. As soon as I started down the aisle, we did not take our eyes off of one another. Even with tears in our eyes, that moment was amazing!

Rustic Winery Wedding Inspiration

What was your favorite piece of advice you received about marriage?

Never go to bed angry. And I completely agree. It seems so minor compared to other things, but we have found that this is very important.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I would say that when the planning is all done and the wedding day is happening, don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day the wedding will be beautiful and it’s the start to a new life. Embrace it!

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kari and Chandler!

Rustic Winery Wedding Inspiration

 Photography: Kirstin Burrows Photography

Inspiration

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Rustic Wedding Inspiration

April 13, 2015

Happy Monday, y’all! Today I have so much goodness to share with you from Shana and Ian’s beautiful rustic wedding last summer. Shana has shared so many great tips and some wonderful advice for you throughout the wedding planning process! Read on to get inspired for your beautiful wedding celebration.

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

 

The Basics

Wedding Date: August 2, 2014

Wedding Location: Smithville Inn

All the Fun Details

How did you and your significant other meet?

Well, it all started back in 2004… It was my first year of college and Ian’s second but we were both new to Florida Atlantic University. Living in the same dorm building, we crossed paths several times during the first few weeks of school. In passing, Ian whispered to a friend that he thought I was beautiful. I remember walking out of the dorm while Ian was walking in and he politely held the door for me…we shared a smile and both went our separate ways. Not long after that, Ian worked up the nerve to sit next to me outside on campus and we began talking. Ultimately, from that day on, we were inseparable!

Meet the Swensons

How did your proposal happen?

During the summer of 2012 (going on eight years of being together), we embarked on an adventurous trip that included flying from Maryland to Colorado where we hiked the Indian Peaks Wilderness…a beautiful mountain with a lake at the top, Lake Isabel Glacier! The next day, we began our road trip from Colorado to California. During the five days on the road, we drove through Arches National Park and the Petrified Forest, camped at Canyonlands in Utah where we woke up to a beautiful sunrise with multiple rainbows, slid down the cold and slippery rocks at Slide Rock in Arizona, hiked halfway down the Grand Canyon and camped overnight (we had never seen SO many shooting stars), hiked back up and out of the Grand Canyon (one of the hardest and scariest things we had ever done), and then drove to California…where the engagement happened!

After being on the road and enduring some intense sightseeing, we relaxed at a B&B in La Jolla, California. Our first day there, we got all dressed up to go out to dinner. After dinner, we walked down to the ocean to see the sunset. As we sat and watched the sun go down,  Ian began talking about our relationship and how it has evolved over the last eight years, and before I knew it, Ian got down on one knee and proposed…I said YES, of course!

What tradition(s) were important for you to include in your wedding ceremony? Why?

As guests arrived and were being seated, we had various Beatles and Van Morrison love songs playing…We wanted to create a fun/loving atmosphere from the very beginning.

We did not allow guests to take because we wanted everyone to be present in the moment.

We had a family processional with “In My Life” by the Beatles playing…Ian’s mom was escorted by his two brothers who were also groomsmen, then my mom was escorted by my one brother.

My dad walking me down the aisle was really special for me. It was a moment I had dreamed about since I knew I wanted to marry Ian because I knew my dad fully supported our love and, although it was still an emotional moment for my dad, I knew he was content with “giving me away.”

Our officiant was a dear friend of ours and I have known him since we were babies. He had never officiated a wedding before so together, we wrote our ceremony. It meant so much to us to have someone who knows and loves us to officiate our wedding versus a stranger.

We had two very special people share readings during our ceremony. The first was titled, “A Lifetime of Love”, read by Ian’s uncle who helped raise him during his teenage years and the second was titled, “These Hands”, read by a woman I look to as my second mom who I nannied for all throughout college and has known Ian and I since we first started dating over 10 years ago.

For our vows, we each read the same poem titled, “I Promise” and then read our vows which we each wrote on our own.

The girls I nannied for and who have known Ian and I since we started dating over 10 years ago walked ahead of us with a sign that said, “Finally”…then myself, our wedding party, parents, family and guests all walked back up the aisle to, “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

Did you include any family heirlooms or heritage in your wedding celebration?

My engagement ring was my mom’s. My mom and dad had given it to me when I was 16 and I wore it on my middle/left finger. Ian then asked for it a little over a year before proposing and had the diamond reset in a new setting.

My grandmother, Mary, who passed away years ago, gave me a set of charms when I first got my license and told me to always keep them in my glove compartment to keep me safe…I asked our florist to incorporate the St. Mary charm into my bouquet.

In addition to our first song, “Thank You”, we also asked the DJ to play our parents wedding songs at any point during the reception as a surprise for them. My mom and dad danced to “Family” by Joe Walsh. Ian’s mom and stepfather danced to, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis.

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

What were the top 3 most important aspects of your wedding?

Our vows, which we wrote ourselves, the celebration with family and friends and bringing everyone together; and meaningful selections such as wording for our ceremony, those who participated, and music.

What was your favorite part of the planning process?

In addition to the excitement Ian and I shared leading up to our wedding day, I am so grateful for the time I spent with my mom. We lived almost 4 hours away during the planning process but saw each other more in the year leading up to our wedding than we had in previous years…and we had so much fun! My mom never had a big wedding so she really enjoyed planning mine with me.

What is the best memory you have from your wedding day?

Ian’s favorite time was after our “First Look” pictures, but before the ceremony. We had time to just walk around the village where our wedding was going to take place…although we broke tradition be seeing and spending time together before the actual ceremony, we are so thankful we had that time together to embrace our special day.

I loved standing in the doorway with my dad, waiting for it to be our turn to walk down the aisle…I was SO excited knowing my dad was so happy for us, for his love and support, and knowing in the next few seconds, I was going to be walking toward the love of my life and marrying him.

Dancing….we danced all night long! It was such an overwhelming feeling to know everyone we loved and adored was in the same room, together, with us.

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

What was your favorite piece of advice you received about marriage?

Enjoy the moment…whichever moment it is…just enjoy it. This goes for the planning process, the wedding day itself, and life in general.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We were non-traditional in the fact that we spent the night before together. Ian dropped me off at my parents’ house to get ready, and we saw each other before the ceremony…we are both SO thankful for all of that time together, because once the ceremony and reception got started, we didn’t really have time just to ourselves…and the thing is, your wedding day is truly about the two of you. We are thankful we had time for just the two of us at different parts throughout the day.

Meet the Swensons

Meet the Swensons

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Shana and Ian!

 Photography: Mary and Roy

Florals:Michelle at Primrose and Company

Inspiration

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Nautical Wedding Inspiration

April 6, 2015

Friends! I’m back with another beautiful wedding and loads of pretty wedding inspiration for you today. If you’re on the hunt for some gorgeous nautical details, well, you sure are in the right place! Eleni and Rich tied the knot with a beautiful, nautical-themed soiree in Connecticut during the peak of the summer. Keep reading to learn more about their fun planning process and see some peeks of their gorgeous celebration.

Meet the Mitchells

 

The Basics

Wedding Date: August 25, 2013

Wedding Location: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills

 

All the Fun Details

How did you and your significant other meet?

Rich and I met when I was his mother’s oncology nurse.

How did your proposal happen?

Rich proposed at David’s Tea. My ring was inside a tin of loose leaf Blueberry Jam tea!

What tradition(s) were important for you to include in your wedding ceremony? Why?

My aunt married us, which was really important. We both wanted someone who knew and loves us and understood it was about two families now becoming one. It was also very important for us to have a moment of remembrance in honor of the loved ones in our lives that passed. It was a special moment where my mom and his dad threw sunflowers on the water to the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by IZ – it was a very real and touching moment. It was also very important to me that my gown represented who I am – it was classic and timeless. A nurse is such a big part of who I am, so it was so special to me to have my veil and headpiece made by a patient’s mom, too.

Meet the Mitchells

Did you include any family heirlooms or heritage in your wedding celebration?

Even though we were the first couple in our families not to get married in a church, we wanted to make sure our heritage was still represented. We did the Irish traditions of “tying the knot” and “ringing of the bells”. We also represented my European side in our vows. Us getting married on location of our reception was important because it was all about families and friends celebrating the starting of lives together from start to finish.

Meet the Mitchells

What was the inspiration for your wedding style?

Nautical and classic.

What were the top 3 most important aspects of your wedding?

Creating timeless lasting memories with family and friends, food, and carrying out our nautical theme from invites to décor.

What was your favorite part of the planning process?

Being able to take our wedding vision and execute it, while creating special moments along the way.

Did you use a wedding planner?

No, just me. My vision was to have a wedding that would create timeless lasting memories for all my guests, so every detail was important to me.

What is the best memory you have from your wedding day?

Our favorite memory was our first look. After the crazy morning getting ready it is what we both needed to refocus on “us” and not the rest of the wedding. It felt like time stood still for those moments.

Meet the Mitchells

Meet the MitchellsWhat was your favorite piece of advice you received about marriage?

Be each others anchor when the waves comes crashing down.

Anything else you’d like to share?

It is very easy to get wrapped up in trends and style, but create a day that reflects who you are as a couple. It will fly by so try to give yourself time to create memories with the people that matter most. The day will pass by so quickly, so make sure you pick a photographer and videographer you trust and feel comfortable with to document those moments. We almost did not pick a videographer but I am so glad we did. We can watch our video clip and it brings back to all those powerful feelings we had that day.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Eleni and Rich!

 Photography: No Eye Has Seen

 

Inspiration

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Wedding Inspiration: Meet the Gunnings

March 30, 2015

Happy Monday, friends! I’m excited to share with you today the first interview in a regular series of wedding inspiration I’ll be posting each week! In this series, many of my very kind, beautiful, and gracious past brides will be sharing their experiences planning their wedding along with some of their very own planning, inspiration and marriage advice. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming our very first sweet guest, Layla, and her new husband, Stephen!

Meet the Gunnings

Meet the Gunnings

Meet the Gunnings

AmandaDayRose_Invitations_Dec_2014_017

The Basics

Wedding Date: August 30, 2014

Wedding Location: The Fells Historic Estate & Gardens

 

All the Fun Details

How did you and your significant other meet?

Stephen and I met through mutual friends who were dating…after insisting they not set us up on a double date.

How did your proposal happen?

Stephen proposed on the dock of his family’s Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire home, with a message in a bottle floating in the water!

What tradition(s) were important for you to include in your wedding ceremony? Why?

My step-brother officiating the ceremony was really important to us. We also did the breaking of the glass & standing under a Chuppah, which is a Jewish custom. My maid-of-honor and Stephen’s god-mother did readings we chose for each of them. At the end of the ceremony everyone walked down the aisle to some of our favorite songs that are special to us.

Did you include any family heirlooms or heritage in your wedding celebration?

Both Stephen and I got married in my great-grandparents’ wedding bands, which was a tradition for both my grandparents and parents.

Meet the Gunnings

Meet the Gunnings

What was the inspiration for your wedding style?

We really wanted something simple, neutral, elegant, rustic, romantic, and fun!

What were the top 3 most important aspects of your wedding?

The wedding party, the music, and the photos!

What was your favorite part of the planning process?

Everything! Except the seating chart…

What is the best memory you have from your wedding day?

This is the hardest question! The cucumber martinis. Kidding! They aren’t lying when they say it’s all a blur, but I guess the moments that stick out the most are both parents walking me down the aisle, our first dance, and dancing with my sisters to “Chandelier.” There are so many more, though!!

Meet the Gunnings

Meet the Gunnings

What was your favorite piece of advice you received about marriage?

We got the same advice from three of Stephen’s aunts on our advice book! Each of them said, “May all your ups and down be between the sheets.” Haha…They’re all still married so I guess they know what they’re talking about!

Anything else you’d like to share?

To all the brides-to-be…Don’t feel like you need to spend a ton of money on every aspect of your wedding. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in all the planning and feel like you need to have the best of the best of everything. Pick what is most important to you and your husband and don’t skimp on that. Cut costs elsewhere. For example, pictures were very important to us so we spent more on our photographers but kept the flower budget low. We also knew having a band wasn’t important to us so we hired a great DJ and used the extra money to hire live music for the rehearsal dinner and cocktail hour..and we still ended up spending less than if we hired a band. Just personal preference! Also, nothing is going to go perfect and that’s okay! I almost passed out while getting my dress on, and during the ceremony, I forgot to put on my gorgeous earrings that were a gift from my maid-of-honor. Our head table, which was supposed to have 8 seats, only had 2 and after our first dance we all had to stand there and wait for more chairs while all the other guests were seated. But no one else notices or cares and it makes for some pretty great memories!

Meet the Gunnings

Meet the Gunnings

Meet the Gunnings

Visit their gallery to check out more of Layla and Stephen’s fun wedding stationery!

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Layla & Stephen!

 Photography: Fidelio Photography

 

Inspiration

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Passport to Style with Loverly

January 28, 2015

One of the most fun decisions you’ll make about your wedding day is the dress you choose to walk down the aisle in. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it has to be perfect and encompass your own personal style! No pressure, right?

When I began styling this dress, I knew I wanted to do something meaningful, because that’s what is so important to me about helping couples with their weddings. I absolutely adore creating something special for couples that means something to them and that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Your personal style on your wedding day shouldn’t be any different!

When I got married, I wore my grandmother’s earrings and tied a locket with her photo in it around my bouquet. I’m all about making sure every little detail of your wedding is created with intention and care. That’s what this style below is all about to me.

I envisioned the bride choosing this dress for it’s subtle details. A little femininity in the lace and ruffle details and a little modern flair with the structured cut. In this passport to style, my (imaginary) couple is getting married at River Oaks in Charleston, South Carolina – one of my favorite venues in the southeast! (And they have hearts of gold, y’all).

Passport to Style with LoverlyAnd, of course she needs to accessorize this beautiful dress, too. I carefully hand-picked the accessories below based on the subtle details of this dress. The earrings reminded me of vintage hand-me-downs like my grandmother’s – a wonderful way to add a personalized and special touch to your wedding day style. The subdued shoes are a perfect style for an outdoor wedding in the south – classy and feminine but not so high you’ll get stuck in the grass! The clutch is, oh so special to me. Jamie, owner of Eclu, is an amazing artist and handmade my own wedding day clutch, so there was no question I’d want to include one of her amazing designs in this style. And a perfect manicure is a must-have accessory. These neutral tones from Essie’s Cashmere Matte collection are spot on for any wedding day!

Wedding Day Style with Loverly

Shoes: Jimmy ChooEarrings: BHLDN, Clutch: Eclu Nail Polish: Essie Cashmere Matte Collection

Head on over to Lover.ly to shop your wedding dress and style, too!

What is your wedding day style?

Inspiration

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Lauren + Jonathan’s Sleek Rustic Wedding Invitations

December 1, 2014

I absolutely love how Lauren and Jonathan’s wedding invitations turned out, guys! These were so much fun to make. We took one of my most popular designs, and decided to play around with fonts on it to get a bit more of a modern look to the rustic invitation. When we were almost done with the design process, Lauren decided it may be fun to layer them onto navy cardstock, and I am so glad we did! The layered look really polishes off the entire suite very nicely.

We also did coordinating escort cards, and you have to see the most adorable escort card display they used, y’all! Love, love, love everything about this wedding (see all the photos here!).

lauren1

lauren

lauren2

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Lauren and Philip: Featured on Style Me Pretty

November 26, 2014

You know those days where it feels like it’s the day before your birthday? You literally cannot wait, and are ready to burst with excitement? (Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets that excited over my birthday….)

That was me yesterday. The minutes couldn’t pass fast enough for me to go to bed and wake up to view this gorgeousness of a wedding on Style Me Pretty! I am so incredibly honored to have been a part of this amazing day. And with Jillian Michelle behind the lens, there was never a question in my mind that this beautiful mountainside wedding would get the credit it deserved.

Here are a few of my favorites from Lauren & Philip’s wedding, but be sure to check it out on Style Me Pretty to view the day in its entirety!

View More: http://jillianmichellephoto.pass.us/lauren--philip-wedding

Lauren & Michael's Chic Mountainside Wedding

View More: http://jillianmichellephoto.pass.us/lauren--philip-wedding


Lauren & Philip's Chic Mountainside Wedding

View More: http://jillianmichellephoto.pass.us/lauren--philip-wedding

 

View More: http://jillianmichellephoto.pass.us/lauren--philip-weddingLauren and Philip's Chic Mountainside Wedding

View More: http://jillianmichellephoto.pass.us/lauren--philip-wedding

View More: http://jillianmichellephoto.pass.us/lauren--philip-wedding

 

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Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

November 15, 2014

A couple of months ago, I had the absolute pleasure of working with Kristina of Vision of Elegance Events and Karina of Metts Photo on a fun rustic glam fall shoot. I jumped on the idea when Kristina first contacted me because, really, I am sort of obsessed with the whole rustic glam thing. Natural decor and textures intermingled with gorgeous jewel tones and decor? I’m all in!

And the outcome?

Totally gorgeous, right? The best part is that I got to “meet” (virtually) these two beautiful women!

So if you’re looking for some fun inspiration for your rustic glam wedding, look no further! And that cake…I need it.

Rustic Glam Fall Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Rustic Glam Fall Wedding Inspiration

Credits:

Linens: Nuage Designs
Place settings: Rent Vintage Chicago
Stationery: Amanda Day Rose Paperie
Cake: Bake Me Happy
Florals: Blumgarten & Co.
Styling: Vision of Elegance
Photography: Metts Photo

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Erica & Bill’s Georgia Peach Wedding Invitatons

November 3, 2014

Oh my goodness, y’all, you know I am a sucker for sweet Southern weddings, right? Well, this one definitely takes the cake!

Erica left no Southern stone unturned when planning their wedding. We incorporated peaches and navy into both her save the dates and her wedding invitations. And you just have to see her amazing wedding dress (and take a peek at the rest of their gorgeous Georgia wedding while you’re there!).

For Erica and Bill’s invitations, she knew she wanted a somewhat formal, traditional invitation, but with a Southern twist. I think we were completely successful in combining those elements, what do you think?

Erica + Bill's Georgia Peach Wedding Invitations

Erica + Bill's Georgia Peach Wedding Invitations

Erica + Bill's Georgia Peach Wedding Invitations

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Erica + Bill's Georgia Peach Wedding Invitations

Erica + Bill's Georgia Peach Wedding InvitationsWant more wedding invitation inspiration? Click here.

Want some behind-the-scenes looks at invitations that haven’t made it to the blog yet? I post lots of in-progress work and designs not yet featured on Instagram!

Photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

 

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Isabel and Scotty’s Modern Rustic Wedding Invitations

October 30, 2014

Y’all, I am so thrilled with how Isabel and Scotty’s modern rustic wedding invitations turned out for their late summer/early fall wedding! How insanely gorgeous are these colors?

To give you a little background, we started out with a more traditional format for the text of the invitations. We actually we’re THISCLOSE to going to print with those more traditional invitations until Isabel started second-guessing herself and involved her maid of honor in the process (so fun to work with both the bride and the MOH!). And I’m so glad she did, because this modern format mixed with the rustic style is so gorgeous!

And that, my friends, is a perfect wedding lesson for you. If you have any doubts about the overall feel of your invitations (or flowers or cake or dress…), don’t be afraid to involve your bridal party or family or even a stranger! (That’s the whole reason  I created this Facebook group for my clients!). You never know what ideas someone else may have that you fall in love with!

Isabel and Scotty's Modern Rustic Wedding Invitations

Isabel & Scotty's Modern Rustic Wedding Invitations

Isabel & Scotty

Isabel & Scotty Photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

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Sarah + Michael’s Garden Party Wedding Invitations

October 22, 2014

You guys. If you’re visiting the blog for the first time, you may not understand truly how much I love, love, love weddings full of personality. Truly unique weddings are infused with family history and are about more than just the couple – they are also about the uniting families. In my opinion, that’s what a wedding is all about – joining two individuals who love each other deeply into one united family. Their separate histories combine to begin forming a new, unified history together.

So, you can imagine my delight when these invitations came together for Sarah and Michael. To me, these invitations just scream heritage and personality. It’s not every day you see a wedding invitation with a huge artichoke on it!

I hope you’ll join me in admiring their fun invitations. I also hope they also inspire you to continue building the wedding of your dreams – a wedding filled with history, family, and culture!

Sarah and Michael's Garden Party Invitations

Sarah and Michael's Garden Party Invitations

Sarah and Michael's Garden Party InvitationsSarah & Michael's Garden Party Invitations

 

All photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

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Amanda + Chris’ University-Infused Fall Wedding

October 20, 2014

Today, Amanda and Chris celebrate two years of marriage together (where did the time go?!). Amanda and Chris are both friends of mine, dating all the way back to when we were in middle school together. So I was completely honored when they asked me to be a part of their wedding celebration by creating their custom wedding invitations. Especially after seeing the amazing wedding the couple threw. They thought of every single detail, and I hope they look back on this celebration with fondness!

Happy anniversary, Amanda and Chris!

(You can also check out a cameo appearance from their wedding in this post from Southern Weddings – can you spot their details shot?)

amanda-and-chris1

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris' University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris' University-Infused Fall Wedding

Amanda + Chris' University-Infused Fall Wedding

 

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Interview with Emma Arendoski: The Inspired Wedding

October 16, 2014

Hello, loves! Happy Thursday! So, I have to ask, have y’all picked up your copy of The Inspired Wedding yet? If you’re still deciding if you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, you’re in luck! I am thrilled to share my interview with Emma Arendoski, author of The Inspired Wedding!

If you have picked up your copy, how do you like it? Leave a message in the comments and let me know what your favorite theme or section of the book is!
The Inspired Wedding

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get involved in the wedding industry?
    Hi, I’m Emma and I eat, sleep, and blog about weddings. I first got involved in the wedding industry immediately after planning my own wedding a few years ago. We were married and I couldn’t stop pouring over the gorgeous wedding details. I didn’t want to stop the planning – I had found my passion.
  2. How did you get the idea for The Inspired Wedding?
    I wrote The Inspired Wedding as an idea book for brides who want to plan a themed wedding. Planning a wedding with an overall theme makes the planning process easier, more personal, and results in a more cohesive event. I wrote The Inspired Wedding to be the definitive source, since there is no other book like it on the market.
  3. What was your favorite part of writing The Inspired Wedding?
    I loved immersing myself in each individual theme. The more I wrote on one particular theme, the more I loved it; it would be difficult to actually pick a favorite theme because each is unique in its own accord and full of gorgeous ideas and details.
  4. You highlight several themes in your book. How did you choose the themes that would be published? Were there other themes you considered?
    I chose the seven themes that I felt best represented what brides are seeking today: beach, rustic, vintage, modern, bohemian, traditional, and offbeat. I felt any other themes would really fall under sub-sets of the above.
  5. You focus on handcrafted weddings – small businesses and artists who are in the wedding industry. Do you think couples planning their wedding today focus more on small business vendors as opposed to large businesses?
    Absolutely. Handcrafted weddings are heartfelt and memorable. I think more couples are choosing to buy handmade because it supports small business; plus, there is a personal connection one has when buying direct from the maker. It is made with two hands and can be customized by request. That’s a unique detail you can’t find in mass production.
  6. What, in your opinion, are the benefits of having a handcrafted wedding?
    A handcrafted wedding allows the couple to tell their unique story. I think couples today want to make their wedding unlike anyone else’s , and handcrafted touches like custom cake toppers, invitations, a unique guest book (or alternative), table names instead of numbers, a do-it-yourself coffee bar or candy buffet, personalized wedding party gifts, and a handpicked playlist are just a few ways to create a more handcrafted wedding. The most memorable weddings I’ve attended weren’t necessarily the largest or most expensive; instead, the most memorable ones were those where the couple took the extra time to customize the details and tell their story.
  7. Each of the artists you highlighted in The Inspired Wedding supplied their own photos for the book. Did you purposely compile the book this way instead of having photo shoots for each of your themes?
    Since I have the privilege of working with such talented artists at Emmaline Bride, know how important it is to highlight an artist’s work in the way they feel is best. With that being said, I know how much thought and care goes into the styling and presentation of one’s own work, so I felt it best to show it from their perspective.
  8. You go into meticulous detail about all aspects of wedding day details for each theme – from the stationery to the attire to the flowers. How did you develop each of these details for each theme?
    The wedding is all about the details! For each theme, I carefully selected my favorite ideas that were suitable for that particular style. My goal of The Inspired Wedding was to create a resource where a couple could identify their favorite theme and plan an beautifully themed wedding from start to finish – with all of the details carefully laid out right in front of them.
  9. Even though each section focuses on a specific theme, do you think pieces from each section can be mixed and matched to create a more unique, personalized theme?
    Definitely. The wedding day should be all about you, so if that means you don’t like the look of rustic mason jars and opt for vintage milk bottles instead, do it. You certainly shouldn’t feel stuck in one particular theme: it’s all about selecting the ideas that clearly resonate with you.
  10. What do you hope couples getting married take away from The Inspired Wedding?
    My goal is for couples to read my book and feel empowered to plan the best day ever, one that is just as fun for the couple getting married as it is for their guests in attendance. I hope my book gives them a sense of confidence and assurance that, yes, you can plan an incredible day that is a reflection of your unique style; no, it doesn’t have to fit into a certain ideal. Every wedding is special in its own right, and I feel The Inspired Wedding is a reflection of this notion.

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Emma Arendoski

Emma Arendoski is the author of The Handcrafted Wedding, as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Emmaline Bride, a blog dedicated to all things handmade for your wedding. Why handmade? A handmade piece is special — it’s been crafted with love and care, which can’t be said for most mass-produced items. When planning their own wedding, Emma and her groom-to-be wanted every element to reflect their personalities — but store-bought finds fell short of their expectations. Online, however, Emma discovered an abundance of beautiful, handmade goods, along with unlimited opportunities for customization. She was so inspired that she decided to create a place where other brides could experience the special qualities that handmade items bring to a wedding. Emmaline Bride became that place. The site now features a shop and a vendor guide, and boasts more than 550,000 visitors per month. Emma lives with her husband and son in Michigan.

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Rachel & Vince’s Rustic Glam Wedding Invitations

October 6, 2014

Let’s be honest here, shall we? Rustic glam weddings are probably one of my current favorites. The mixture of rustic decor (think: burlap, twine, wood) with glam details (think: glitter, metallics, and luxurious fabrics) just comes together, oh, so well.

And this invitation set? This one is certainly no exception, y’all. I had so much fun working on this invitation set with this sweet couple. The rustic monogram, script font, and cream twine mixed with the gold envelope liners and blush pink details came together so beautifully.

Rachel & Vince's Rustic Glam Wedding Invitations

Rachel & Vince's Rustic Glam Wedding Invitations

Rachel & Vince's Rustic Glam Wedding Invitations

Rachel & Vince's Rustic Glam Wedding Invitations

Rachel & Vince's Rustic Glam Wedding InvitationsWant to see more of Rachel & Vince’s amazing wedding day? Head on over to Emily Elizabeth Photo’s blog to check out more of their amazing details. Trust me. You’ll want to check it out – if for nothing else than the gorge bridal bouquets.

Congratulations, Rachel & Vince!

Photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

 

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An Evening of Summer Splendor

October 3, 2014

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of creating stationery for an amazing event held at Rockland Estates. The event was hosted by Rockland Estates, and was meticulously put together by a group of amazingly talented vendors who donated their time and services to making this a wonderful, relaxed evening for event planners and wedding professionals.

And, y’all. How amazing did this come together? Every last detail was meticulously crafted to create one beautiful evening.

I apologize in advance for the overload of photos, but the detail and thought that went into this event is just too good not to share! Enjoy!

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

An Evening of Summer Splendor

The amazing vendors who made this evening happen:

Catering: Rouge Fine Catering
Event Planner: Celebrating Moments by Marcie
Event Rentals: XOXO Vintage
Event Rentals: Premier Event Rentals
Florist: Candlelight Floral Designs
Portable Toilet Rentals: Don’s Johns
Parking: Midpark Transportation and Parking
Entertainment: The Reagan Years
Sweets: The Perfect Truffle
Lighting: WoW Event Lighting
Hospitality Service: Plamondon Hospitality Partners
Media: One Room Media
Hair: Hair by Giselle
Stationery: Amanda Day Rose Paperie
Photo Booth: Picstacheo Photo Booths
Photography: Rodney Bailey

 

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Katie + Andrew’s Country Club Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

October 2, 2014

I just love the meticulous detail this mother-of-the-groom wanted to include in her son and future daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner stationery.

We carefully created a rehearsal dinner invitation together with specific details, down to the color of the tulips and the customized design of the stamps. The result is a perfectly sweet rehearsal dinner invitation loaded with charming details

Katie + Andrew's Rehearsal Dinner

Katie + Andrew's Rehearsal Dinner

Katie + Andrew's Rehearsal Dinner

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Megan + Scott’s Modern Stone Tavern Farm Wedding Invitations

September 30, 2014

You guys. I feel like I am constantly saying the same thing – how much I love my clients and how much I love all the designs are we come up with for them.

The truth is….it’s all true. 

I couldn’t love my clients or the collaborations we concoct together more. I am absolutely blessed to be able to do what I love and work with couples I love every single day. Not a day goes by that I don’t tell myself how incredibly grateful I am to be where I am today. Not one single day.

So when I tell you I absolutely love this invitation design, you have to believe me! Megan was so much fun to work with and brought a lot of her and Scott’s ideas and personality to the table with the final design. So without further ado, here are Megan and Scott’s super fun modern Stone Tavern Farm wedding invitations.

Megan and Scott

Megan _ Scott

Megan + Scott

And here are some photos of their paper goods from the day of their wedding (courtesy of Catskill Weddings):

Megan + Scott

75c86707dbc1cbb5d9cafded8a4eb9f2

be197c7f126b7cf99b3eafc7a19bc351

And happy first anniversary to Megan and Scott coming up on October 5th!

 

 

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Tracie + Paul’s Botanical Garden Invitations

September 25, 2014

Botanical weddings are the way to my heart, friends. (This may have something to do with the fact that my husband and I exchanged vows in a botanical garden 3.5 years ago. Or the fact that gardening is my second favorite thing to do, after designing for weddings).

Seriously. Botanical garden wedding encompass everything that is beautiful to me. Love. History. Nature. Organic elements. It just doesn’t get much better than that in my book.

And the hydrangeas? One of my absolute favorites. Tracie and I need to be best friends, y’all. It’s like she can read my mind.

Here’s a glimpse at Tracie + Paul’s wedding invitations. I can only imagine there wedding day was just as beautiful.

Tracie + Paul

AmandaDayRose_Invitations_Low_Resolution_2014_043

AmandaDayRose_Invitations_Low_Resolution_2014_047Photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

 

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Katie + Desmond’s Cape May Beachfront Wedding Invitations

September 22, 2014

This invitation set holds a special place in my heart. When Katie called me and asked me to design her Cape May wedding invitations, I think I screamed, “YES!” before she even finished talking.

Cape May is one of my favorite places in the U.S. In fact…I’ll be working right from the heart of Cape May later this week.

If you’ve never been to Cape May, it is a charming little beachfront town that is an absolutely perfect wedding location. And the Southern Mansion, where Katie and Desmond tied the knot? Well, you just have to go see that in person, y’all. It’s spectacular. If I had the chance to do it all over again, Cape May would be at the top of my list!

So, in honor of my trip to Cape May this week, here’s a peek at Katie and Desmond’s July 4th wedding on the beach in Cape May (with a nod to their Irish heritage).

Katie + Desmond

katieI’ll report back next week with some pretty photos of Cape May for those of you who have never been!

 

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Featured in: The Inspired Wedding

September 19, 2014

Y’all! If you’re in the early stages of your wedding planning and haven’t picked up a copy of The Inspired Wedding by Emma Arendoski (editor of Emmaline Bride), you need to order it right now! 

The Inspired Wedding is an amazing resource if you’re looking for ideas and vendors that fit within a specific theme – everything you need is right there at your fingertips! The great big worldwide web can get a little intimidating when it comes to wedding planning, so if you prefer a smaller group of (still amazingly talented) wedding vendors to choose from, this is definitely the book for you.

The Inspired Wedding

The Inspired WeddingOh, hey! That’s me! A huge “THANK YOU!” to Emma for featuring several photos of my work alongside so many other talented wedding vendors!

What are you waiting for? Order your copy (or pick one up at Barnes & Noble!) today!

 

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Brittanie + Mark’s Romantic Napa Valley Wedding

September 18, 2014

Y’all. This wedding is absolutely breathtaking. This bride thought of every last detail, all the way down to the pretty lace umbrellas in her photos.

And I am in love with the personality and history she infused into the entire day – notably the wine given to her guests that is from the very vineyard they were married in. There’s really something special about including bits and pieces of history and nostalgia into your special day. After all, it is a celebration about joining two very special individuals that were created from years of memories and experiences.

Here’s a quick look at Brittanie & Mark’s romantic vineyard wedding invitations.

brittanie1

brittanie2

brittanie3

You can view more photos from their wedding day on BRIDES. Isn’t Brittanie an absolutely gorgeous bride?

Photos in this post courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

 

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Alli + Mike’s Preppy Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

September 15, 2014

Couples don’t get much sweeter than Alli and Mike, y’all. I had the pleasure of working with them throughout their entire wedding process – beginning with the most adorable invitations all the way through their day-of stationery including the sweetest little escort cards and programs.

By the details and style we incorporated into all aspects of Alli and Mike’s stationery, I know the wedding day was absolutely beautiful, and 110% polished!

Here’s a peek at the rehearsal dinner invitations we designed for their pre-wedding get together.

Alli + MikeAnd bowling after the rehearsal dinner? Too, too cute.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

 

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Caitlin + Beau’s Rustic Glam Las Vegas Wedding Invitations

September 10, 2014

This is a Vegas wedding with style, y’all.

When Caitlin first contacted me to begin discussing her wedding invitations, one of the first things I remembered her telling me was that she didn’t want a cliche Vegas-style invitation. They were going for a rustic chic look, but still with a bit of Vegas flare. A touch of gold, a splash of rustic chic, and a nod to Vegas culture? I’m all over that like lemon buttercream on grandma’s pound cake!

The result? A modern invitation with rustic charm and a hints of glam. I think it encompasses everything this sweet couple was looking for, what do you think?

Caitlin + Beau

Caitlin + Beau

Caitlin + Beau

Caitlin + Beau

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Terra + Daniel: The Charlotte NotWedding

September 8, 2014

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may remember that I participated in the NotWedding in Charlotte last month. Y’all. This was such a beautiful, sweet event. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a NotWedding, I highly recommend it.

Here are some of my favorite highlights of the event. I think I pretty much squealed with delight when I got the photos back from the amazing Lacross Photography and Caroline Lima Photography(Side note: if you haven’t already figured out by following me, I pretty much love this girl. Caroline is so incredibly talented and one of the sweetest people I know. Plus…she loves Property Brothers.)

Charlotte NotWedding

Charlotte NotWedding

NotWedding Charlotte

Charlotte NotWedding

NotWedding Charlotte

Charlotte NotWedding

Charlotte NotWeddingAnd seriously, y’all, let’s discuss that cake for a sec. Sugar Euphoria is a sugar genius.

Want more? Check out the inspiration behind the event here and more photos on Ruffled.

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Venue: Levine Museum of the New South / Catering: Queen City Catering / Rehearsal Dinner: The McGill Rose Garden / Rentals: Party Time Rentals / Photography + Styled Shoot: LaCross Photography / Photography + Rehearsal Dinner: Nicole Claude Photography / Photography: Caroline Lima Photography / Videography:Whitewash Films / Day-Of Coordination: Galej Events / Floral + Event Design Tables 1, 4, 7, 10 & Bridal Party Flowers: Shay Brown Events / Floral + Event Design Tables 2, 5, 8, 11 & Ceremony Backdrop: Simply Southern Wedding & Event Design / Floral + Event Design of head table + Tables 3, 6, 9, 12: Nectar / Invitations + Programs: Amanda Day Rose / Invitations + Menus: Coppia Creativa / Invitations + Paper Accents: Greatest Story Weddings / Wedding Dress + Bridesmaid Attire: Fabulous Frocks / Hair + Makeup: Blushing / Entertainment: DJ Rang / Photobooth: ShutterBooth / Wedding Cake: Sugar Euphoria / Vintage Dishes:Vintage Charlotte/ Handmade Guestbooks: Three Trees Bindery / Wooden Signs: Back40Life / Decorative Pillows: Two Peaches Design / Ceremony Performances: Event Performances / Monogram Gifts: Vine Backyard Designs / Wedding Website Builder: Squarespace / National Travel Vendor: Bliss by Luxury Concierge Travel/ National Linen Vendor: LinenTablecloth / National Sparkling Wine Sponsor: Ferrari / National Magazine Media Partner: Flower MagazineThe KnotInspire Weddings and Marriage Magazine,Southern Bride and Groom Magazine

 

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Amy and Justin’s Classic Vineyard Wedding Invitations

September 5, 2014

I know I’ve said this before, but I absolutely love to watch the evolution of a design when couples first contact me to create their wedding stationery.

When Amy first contacted me, she was pretty set on using something similar to this design. Once we saw it, though, with the other details of her event, we decided it may be a bit too rustic for what she was looking for.

So we went back to the drawing board!

And after some back-and-forth edits, we finalized her design. Completely amazing and different from what she first wanted, right? I was so thrilled with how these turned out, y’all.

Classic Wedding Invitations

Amy and Justin's Classic Vineyard Wedding Invitations

Amy + Justin

Amy + Justin

The lesson: It’s easy to fall in love with an idea or design you see on someone’s website or Pinterest, but remember to always infuse your own style into what you ultimately use! Just because you love a design doesn’t mean it fits the personality of you and your fiancé, so make sure you love your final design!

All photos courtesy of the oh-so-talented Caroline Lima

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Chelsea + Steven’s Rustic Lake George Wedding Invitations

August 28, 2014

I’m not sure Chelsea and Steven could have picked a more fitting invitation for their Lake George wedding this summer. They were looking for something clean with a rustic touch. And the sweet arrow monogram? And light blue details? Simply perfect for a lakeside wedding if you ask me! Finished off with rustic paper bag envelopes and navy baker’s twine and you have yourself an invitation suite fit for a perfect summer wedding on the lake! Chelsea + Stephen

Chelsea + Stephen

Chelsea + Steven

Chelsea + StevenAll photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

 

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Samantha & Alex’s Rustic Mountain Layered Invitations

August 25, 2014

One of my favorite things about the design process is seeing the design transform over time. Sometimes the final design is exactly what the first proofs portray, and sometimes it changes fairly drastically over time. This is one of those times, and I couldn’t be happier with the final result.

When working with Samantha and Alex, we started off with a horizontal invitation with a sketch of rolling hills and a couple of small dark green elements. What we ended up with is below. The final outcome is more beautiful than I had originally anticipated. They were full of rustic charm, detail, and personality, just like the beautiful wedding Samantha and Alex had dreamed of!

Samantha + Alex

AmandaDayRose_Invitations_Low_Resolution_2014_004

AmandaDayRose_Invitations_Low_Resolution_2014_003

Sam + Alex

Sam + Alex

Photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

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Emily & Sean’s “Meet Me in Montauk” Wedding Invitation Suite

August 14, 2014

As soon as Emily contacted me to create her wedding stationery, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite suites yet. When “our French bulldog, Matilda”, “watercolor”, and “gold glitter” all come up within the first couple of sentences, I’m sold.

We incorporated details of Matilda, Emily and Sean’s sweet French bulldog who will, of course, be attending the wedding, along with “Meet Me in Montauk” details, including a list of some of Emily and Sean’s favorite places and where they got engaged! To make the suite complete, we printed on a textured linen card stock wrapped in gold and white bakers twine, with gold glitter envelope liners and navy envelopes. Alex, from Magnolia Letter Arts, addressed all the envelopes, and we completed the look with a super sweet “Meet Me in Montauk” postage stamp with Matilda’s sweet little silhouette!

Emily + Sean

Emily + Sean

Emily + Sean

Emily + Sean

Emily + Sean

Now you can see why I was so excited to work on these!

Photos courtesy of Caroline Lima Photography.

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Cabo Wedding Featured on Style Me Pretty

August 10, 2014

I am absolutely thrilled that Janelle + Brian’s beautiful destination wedding in Cabo was featured on Style Me Pretty last week! You can check out the full post, along with all the beautiful details, here.

Janelle + Brian

Photo courtesy of Lane Dittoe: http://lanedittoe.com

 

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Love is the Answer iPhone Download

August 3, 2014

Now that we’re well into a new month (how did that happen?!), it’s time for a brand new iPhone background for y’all! And this one I love, oh, so much, because, really…when is love not the answer?

And if you missed last month’s download, you can grab that one here!

Enjoy, y’all!

iPhone Download

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The Future Mrs. iPhone Wallpaper Download

July 2, 2014

Happy July, loves! I can’t believe we’re already halfway through 2014. What a whirlwind of a wonderful year it’s been so far! I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many beautiful couples on their weddings this year, and I have plenty ore coming up in the coming months.

Are you fall brides ready for your big day?! I sure hope so, because I have a fun download for you to get you excited as you spend the last few weeks planning one of the biggest days of your life! Enjoy, and remember to get some rest and try not to stress so much as you finalize the details of your wedding. Everything will turn out perfectly, no matter what!

You can download the “Future Mrs.” iPhone wallpaper here.

julydownload_iphone

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Hannah and Jeff’s Watercolor-Stained Wedding Invitations

June 23, 2014

If you’re in the hunt for a modern wedding invitation with a rustic, whimsical splash, you’ve come to the right place!

My favorite part of these invitations is that we were able to capture Hannah and Jeff’s style with just a simple neutral cream and gray color scheme. The overall look infused their personality with a crisp, clean look.

Based on this first impression, Hannah and Jeff’s guests are in for a fun-filled evening later this summer!

Hannah & Jeff

We created a custom map with clean lines to mimic the clean fonts chosen for the invitation, while accenting the faint watercolor marks in the background.

Hannah & JeffWhen packaged together, the overall look is fun, whimsical, and clean for a perfectly sweet summer wedding. The circular tag adds a nice contrast to the linear feel of the suite.

Hannah & JeffAnd what can be better than a clean, crisp color palette of khaki, charcoal gray, and cream? We sure do love it!

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials, Hannah and Jeff!

 

 

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Classic Southern Wedding Featured in Kentucky Bride

June 11, 2014

Classic Southern Kentucky Bride Feature
Oh, ya’ll! I am so excited about this feature on so many different levels.

Courtney contacted me last summer to create her and Ryan’s sweet, classic-with-a-splash-of-prep wedding invitations and programs. It was such a fun, fun design to work on and Courtney was a sweetheart to work with. Not to mention, I have a sweet spot for anything Southern that includes stripes and navy blue! This insanely beautiful wedding is the epitome of preppy, classic style – the ultimate recipe for Southern beauty in my book! And can you believe it was planned in less than 5 months? This couple definitely knows what they’re doing when it comes to wedding planning!

So, you can imagine my over-the-moon excitement when I found out her beautifully photographed wedding was going to be the cover story of the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of Kentucky Bride! Though, I was not at all surprised with Leslee Mitchell behind the lens.

From the couple: “We wanted a classic, simple yet elegant outdoor wedding.” They sure didn’t have trouble achieving that and then some!

To see more of Courtney + Ryan’s sweet love affair, order your copy of the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of Kentucky Bride here. Believe me. Even if you don’t live anywhere near Kentucky, this is one you’ll want to check out!

Classic Southern Kentucky Bride Feature

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An Introvert’s Guide to Your Wedding Day

March 4, 2014

Photo courtesy of Megan Clouse Photography

Photo courtesy of Megan Clouse Photography

If the title of this article caught your eye, you’re likely to be an introvert – or an extrovert who does not understand introverts! And when it comes to planning a wedding, introverts view the experience very differently than extroverts.

Let’s face it. People are different and that’s what makes us all interesting. Some people thrive on being a social butterfly in a large setting, while some of us enjoy being with just one or two close friends spending time together off the beaten path. The thought of going to a big party or celebration is exhausting for an introvert.

So, imagine planning a wedding if you don’t really relish the spotlight, social events, or large crowds.

If you feel overwhelmed with planning your wedding and wish you could simply run away and elope, you may be an introvert. And you’re not alone.

Here are some tips that can make the planning and the actual event a lot more fun for an introvert who prefers a small, intimate gathering.

  1. Don’t hide the fact! Introverts often think there is something wrong with being shy or a little withdrawn. They don’t want to bring attention to themselves, so they try to hide the fact that they are introverts. But don’t hide it – embrace it!  Your partner asked you to marry him because he loves you for who you are. Be sure your future spouse knows how anxious you feel and ask him to share your feelings with his family. This will help you relax and not worry that he or his family thinks you are being ‘unsociable’ by foregoing some traditions or keeping your wedding small. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert and since this is your big day, plan it in such a way that will make you comfortable and enjoy it.
  2. Consider a destination wedding. When you travel a distance for your wedding, you are less likely to have a large crowd in attendance. It can be calming and quiet to head off to an island destination. Typical destination weddings are planned and managed by  an event manager at a facility or resort. This can take a lot of the planning, pressure, and spotlight off of you – which allows you to enjoy the engagement and your wedding day.
  3. Keep the reception shorter. Getting married is an exciting time, but be sure to understand and respect your own limits. Extroverts may plan a reception that goes into the early hours of the following morning – well past midnight. But for introverts, a shorter reception may be in order.  Spending 7-8 hours socializing with people is exhausting and stressful for introverts. There are no hard and fast rules that say receptions must go past a certain time. Ending the festivities early can result in a welcome evening alone with your new spouse with a picnic basket of goodies from the reception. Spend a couple of hours with your guests and say your goodbyes around 8pm. Then your guests are free to continue partying or head home. Or consider ending the reception early and meeting up with very close friends and family at a nearby location to continue the celebration in a more intimate setting.
  4. Choose a day that works best. For introverts, Sunday may be the best option for a wedding. It’s often a quieter time with less partying. Couples can enjoy a casual reception in the early afternoon with no expectations of a party late into the evening. Or you could opt for a morning wedding followed by brunch to keep it low-key, yet fun and memorable.
  5. Make your words count. Most introverts obsess over the vows and ceremony. Rather than a lengthy ceremony and long wedding vows, use fewer words and make them count.  Short vows can be extremely sweet and meaningful. Don’t worry about memorizing them – either have your officiate say them for you to repeat, or use notes. You will have special memories of vows when you record them in a special book that is used during the ceremony too.

    An Introvert's Guide to Your Wedding Day

    Photo courtesy of Jason Collins Photography

  6. Keep it casual. Weddings that are more casual rather than formal tend to be less intimidating for the couple and the guests. And remember that the wedding and reception are up to you – you can customize the day just like you want it to be so don’t assume there have to be speeches, formal toasts, a first dance, reception lines, garter/bouquet toss, or other formalities and traditions that cause you discomfort. You may even prefer an outdoor BBQ in lieu of a traditional reception. It’s totally up to you.
  7. Don’t forget to prepare for the pre-wedding week. The week before the actual wedding can be stressful – especially for introverts. There are plenty of last minute decisions to make, people to contact, and things to do. Be sure and plan some quiet time in your week to allow a few momemts to decompress and remain calm.  Spend time alone, with your future spouse, or with a trusted friend or family member several times during the week rather than frantically running around and not taking the time to enjoy the festivities. (Good advice for introvert or extroverts!)
  8. Enjoy your wedding day and the celebrations following the ceremony by preparing ahead of time. Create ‘escapes’ from the crowd by spending moments alone with your new spouse. This is a day to remember for a lifetime, so plan a wedding that fits your own personal style, personality, and desires.

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Amanda and Ethan’s Rustic Romantic Wedding Stationery

March 1, 2014

There’s something so romantic I just love about a wedding in Napa Valley. Even better? When the couple isn’t afraid to sprinkle their personality all throughout the wedding day.

The design we created for Amanda + Ethan’s day-of stationery turned out oh-so-romantic with a little flair, too!  The final outcome? A charmingly rustic and romantic style that coordinated perfectly with their wedding decor.

Amanda and Ethan's Rustic Romantic Wedding Stationery

Boho Chic Wedding Menus

collage

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