close

Jaimie Mackey

Wedding

A Beautiful Barn Wedding with a Modern Twist

no thumb

In early 2014, China McGee and Daniel Macena were both in the market for new jobs in advertising, and wound up at the same firm. “I actually conducted Daniel’s interview,” China recalls. “Needless to say, he made an impression!” Three months after Daniel got the job, the couple headed out on their first date. Two-and-a-half years after that, Daniel surprised China with a trip to New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. After ringing in 2017 together and ordering a leisurely room service breakfast, they decided to commemorate their trip in a leather-bound journal they share. “We each wrote a few haikus, then had the other person read them,” says China. “When I got to Daniel’s last poem, it was his proposal!”

The pair of creatives gave themselves a year-and-a-half to plan their wedding in Long Eddy, New York, setting the date for July 7, 2018, and inviting 115 loved ones to join them. “We chose Handsome Hollow for its natural beauty,” she says. “The elegant barn, lush fields, and ceremony site surrounded by towering trees make an incredible statement without trying too hard.” They kept their vision clean and minimalist, letting the organic setting truly shine. That said, they did still ask many of their friends and coworkers to put their skills to good use, and hired Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography to capture every detail of the celebration. Keep reading to see China and Daniel’s highly personalized and special day, below!

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

China’s former art director stepped in to design the paper suite, using line drawings and clean fonts to tie together the save the dates, invitations, and welcome notes.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

“I’d tried on a lot of dresses, and always felt like something was missing,” says China. “This dress had everything I was looking for, plus details like the detachable overskirt that I didn’t even know I wanted!” The modern Justin Alexander design featured an open back, cut-out sides, and a flowing overskirt that took the silhouette from sleek to soft.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

To complement the clean lines of her wedding gown, China carried a dramatic bouquet of king protea, Queen Anne’s lace, and lots of textured greenery.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Daniel’s custom AyeHommes suit was paired with a mandarin collared shirt. He had the pants hemmed high to show off his black monk strap shoes, accented with creamy suede and patent leather.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

As guests arrived for a ceremony in the woods, they picked up cones (made from pages of the couple’s favorite books!) filled with white rose petals.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Daniel’s sister’s boyfriend, hip-hop violinist Marvill Martin, accompanied the ceremony, playing instrumental versions of the couple’s favorite songs from Hamilton. The couple’s charismatic former boss officiated, and even wove lyrics from “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need to Get By” by Method Man and Mary J. Blige into his commentary on the couple’s relationship.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

“After we read our vows, our officiant had us turn to face our guests as they repeated words of love and support for us. It was incredibly moving to have them participate in such an emotional moment,” China recalls. After, they did the traditional jumping of the broom.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

A close friend is a beverage director and sommelier, so he helped craft the pair’s signature cocktails. His combined dark rum, black walnut bitters, and burnt vanilla syrup, while hers paired mescal, tequila, and ginger beer.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Instead of numbering the tables, China and Daniel named each after a song that reminded them of time spent with the guests who were seated there. The head table was, fittingly, called “Love on Top.”

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Inside the barn, long wooden tables were accented with high arrangements of tropical greenery and pops of fuchsia from bright orchids.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Between the taller arrangements, single blooms were tucked into modern bud vases.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

The night’s menu included chilled carrot soup, braised flageolet beans with tomatoes and a chèvre and sourdough crouton, mustard- and white wine–braised chicken, and salade niçoise with local trout cakes. “We worked with our lovely caterer, Early Bird Cookery, to create a family-style menu inspired by flavors of the French countryside,” says China. Wedding cake was replaced with sweet potato bourbon bread pudding and apple tarte tatin.

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Looking back on their big day the bride has this advice to share: “Daniel and I approached designing our wedding the same way we approach projects for work, assembling inspirational briefs to direct our vendors,” says China. “In the process, we realized there is a lot we didn’t know about planning a wedding, so we made sure to give our team the space and freedom to do what they do best–create.” (Sounds like a great idea to us!)

Day-of Coordination: JCM Planning || Venue: Handsome Hollow || Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander, from The Bridal Garden || Bride’s Shoes: LK Bennett || Bride’s Jewelry: J.Crew || Hair: Tinika Sadiku for Swivel Beauty || Bridesmaid’s Dress: David’s Bridal || Groom’s Attire: AyeHommes || Engagement Ring: Ben-Dannie || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Floral Design: Tierra & Flor || Paper Products: Johari Huggins || Catering: Early Bird Cookery || Bar: Cask and Rasher || Ceremony Music: Marvill Martin || Reception Music: DJ Gambit Bronson || Rentals: Events Unlimited Tent and Party Co. || Transportation: Rolling V Specialty Transportation || Photography: Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography, The Wedding Artists Co.

read more
Wedding

A Destination Wedding in Puerto Vallarta

no thumb

Jennifer Santos and Terrell Holt Jr. knew they wanted a destination wedding, and couldn’t resist the thought of heading to Mexico to escape a wet and chilly spring in New York City. The pair, who first met on OKCupid in June of 2014, had been together for four years and engaged for a year when they made the trip with 45 family members and friends to tie the knot in Puerto Vallarta on April 4, 2018. “We loved the seclusion and the setting of Martoca Beach Garden,” says Jen. “It’s beautiful and private, and we could customize every detail.”

The couple embraced the oceanside setting, but put a luxe and shimmering twist on a tropical wedding by using shades of white, coral, and gold. Fresh blooms, crystal chandeliers, and dramatic lighting created an intimate and inviting environment. Photographers Kristen Curette and Daemaine Hines captured every moment as Terrell and Jen exchanged vows surrounded by the people they love most. Keep reading to see more photos of this destination wedding in Mexico below—and don’t forget to watch the couple’s emotional video by Carly Marsh up above.

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

Jen turned to Bijou Bridal for her sparkly mermaid gown featuring an embellished bodice and flowing skirt. A jewel-edged veil and statement earrings upped the shine-factor, while sheer accents kept her style feeling modern and fresh.

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

Curtains parted for the bride’s march down the aisle to “Why I Love You” by Major. The couple exchanged vows in the venue’s garden, where they had chandeliers hung from the trees. “As a surprise to our guests, we had Terrell’s grandmother serve as our officiant,” says the bride.

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

After the “I do’s,” guests sipped piña coladas and white wine sangria as the sun began to set over the ocean.

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

At dinner, guests sat at tables draped in coral linens and decorated with gold accents. The night’s menu was Latin-inspired dinner, and the bride and groom surprised their guests with mini caramel apple dessert tacos.

During the al fresco meal, the newlyweds hit the dance floor for their first dance to “You” by Jesse Powell.

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

Photo by Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

As the party continued, string lights and floating candles created a romantic glow throughout the garden, and late-night fireworks illuminated the sky. Says Jen, “It was such an epic moment! Our guests were totally surprised.”

Looking back, the couples says they were able to have the wedding of their dreams and stick to a budget. “Keeping the guest list small really helped,” says Jen. “It meant we were able to invest in great photography and videography to preserve all the memories!”

Venue: Martoca Beach Garden || Coordinators: Maribarra Weddings || Officiant: Sylvia Edmondson-Holt || Bride’s Dress: Bijou Bridal || Bride’s Veil: Bijou Bridal || Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair: Graciela Saldivar || Makeup: Paloma Garcia || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Coco Melody || Groom’s Attire: Bespoke Noir || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Catering & Cake: Martoca Beach Garden || Accommodations: Hyatt Ziva, Puerto Vallarta || Videography: Carly Marsh || Photography: Kristen Curette, Daemaine Hines

read more
Wedding

An Intimate Elopement in Italy

no thumb

Alyssa Mancini and James Ramirez first met in 2013 at the bar where they were both working. “We’d caught each another’s eye, but were on-and-off with other people so not much had come of it,” she recalls. In fact, not too long after they met, Alyssa was out with her brother and sister and ran into James while he was on a date with someone else! “When she got up to use the restroom, he came over and gave me his number,” Alyssa says with a laugh. It may not have been the most romantic moment, but it worked, and in May of 2016, James proposed to Alyssa outside of the Philadelphia airport, just before she got on a plane for a girls’ weekend. “Boarding my flight was the hardest thing I ever did,” Alyssa recalls.

The couple never wanted a big wedding, just an incredible dinner party and getaway with a few of their closest friends. “I found a beautiful villa in the hills of Florence, surrounded by gorgeous natural land,” says the bride. They booked the 3-bedroom home sight unseen, and had 12 guests fly to Italy with them for their wedding on April 19, 2018. “We wanted color, intimacy, and romance overlooking Florence, and that’s exactly what we got!” Alyssa describes. They hired a local florist, as well as a local chef they’d found through a friend who used to live in Florence, and it all came together from there. They also decided to keep things simple (no invitations, no wedding party, no first dance!) with just an emotional ceremony, an indulgent meal, and lots of belly laughs. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of an elopement in Italy (with your best friends by your side!), go ahead and check out these photos by Pat Furey Photography for all the inspo you could ever need .

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

“I always knew I wanted a statement dress, and when I saw this Rue De Seine design online, I immediately made an appointment to try it on,” says the bride. “This is the only dress I tried, and my friends and I were immediately in tears!”

James and Alyssa got ready together, sharing in the excitement as their moment at the altar approached.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

The bride’s engagement ring is a 1920s Art Deco European cut solitaire, which she paired with the “Marquise Tiara Butterfly Band” from Anna Sheffield.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Though James originally wanted to wear a charcoal suit, Alyssa talked him into a tailored navy blue suit from Suit Supply. The bride’s sculptural bouquet featured king proteas, peonies, scabiosa, spray roses, and eucalyptus in shades of soft cream, punchy fuchsia, and burgundy hues.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Since the couple decided to elope in Italy, it was only fitting that they exchange vows on a hill (surrounded by olive groves!) overlooking Florence. They decorated the space with a simple wooden arch draped in eucalyptus, pampas grass, and king proteas. They also lined the aisle with Persian rugs in various shapes and sizes.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Alyssa walked herself down the aisle–and even stopped halfway to fix a rug that had been flipped up by the breeze. “We all started to laugh–it was such an ‘us’ moment,” says the bride. The couple’s best friend officiated, filling the ceremony with sweet personal stories. Alyssa’s favorite line? “He began the ceremony with ‘Together we’re a group of the most important people in their lives, and they’ve brought us here to eat pasta and publicly recognize that we’ve all played some special part in the love they share today,’” she remembers.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Any Italian wedding needs Negronis, and thankfully James and Alyssa are bartenders! “We went to a massive supermarket the day before and got 400€ of Campari, prosecco, gin, and Barolo,” says the bride. They batched dispensers of strawberry Negronis, Boulevardiers, and Americanos so guests could help themselves.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Dinner was served at a long table set on the villa’s patio. A blue runner and dark blue taper candles were layered with brass vases and candlesticks and amber glassware.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Dinner was full of Italian classics. The antipasto spread featured burrata, eggplant parmigiana, and puff pastries stuffed with wild mushrooms. The pasta course was a pairing of cacio e pepe and ravioli with beef ragu. And for the final course, guests were offered potato-encrusted Chilean sea bass, as well as filet mignon. “We didn’t have any dancing after dinner, but we had a soulful, funky, hip hop playlist in the background,” says Alyssa. “It was the perfect soundtrack to share such an intimate experience together.”

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

For dessert, the couple served tiramisu and a lemon cake that read “Married AF.” “The first thing I told our chef was that I wanted tiramisu instead of lemon cake,” says the bride.

The next day, the couple and all of their friends headed into Florence to explore the streets, see David, and eat gelato. “It was seriously so much fun,” says Alyssa. As the getaway came to an end, the couple realized that those moments were so much more important than anything they’d stressed over. “We couldn’t have planned it any better,” she says. “But I do miss the excitement of planning, so try to enjoy that as much as you enjoy your wedding day!”

Bride’s Dress: Rue De Seine || Bride’s Shoes: Free People || Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply || Engagement Ring: Verma Estate Jewelry || Wedding Bands: Anna Sheffield, Studebaker Metals || Floral Design: Il Profumo Dei Fiori || Menus: Sandy Plum Design Co. || Catering: Chef Edo Fonti of La Corte di via Verdi || Rentals: Tableset Luxury Rentals || Photography: Pat Furey Photography

read more
Wedding

A Stunning Atlanta Wedding at the Swan House

no thumb

Claudia McVeay has her mother to thank for pushing her towards a handsome stranger (who turned out to be Alexander Lovato!). “She kept telling me that I should pretend I was going for a run to meet him on the sidewalk, or to take a yoga class at the gym so I’d bump into him there,” Claudia laughs. Then, one night at a dinner party at a friend’s house, she was chatting with a man she’d never met before, but who seemed all too familiar. “I asked a few subtle questions, and realized it was the same guy my mom had been talking about for months,” she says with a laugh. That night, Claudia and Alex shared a plate of food, and the rest is history.

After a romantic proposal beneath an oak tree lit with twinkling lights, the couple got to work planning their October 15, 2017, wedding in Atlanta, Georgia. “We drew inspiration from The Secret Garden and Great Expectations,” says Claudia of their overgrown, Old World vision. The historic, European feel of the Swan House made the 1920s property the perfect location—and from there, the couple built an all-star team starting with planner and designer Alise Taggart. Keep reading to see more of Alex and Claudia’s enchanted celebration, as photographed by Erich McVey.

Photo by Erich McVey

Swan House’s tiered fountains and dramatic stairways set the scene with an English garden vibe.

Photo by Erich McVey

The couple treated their invitation suite as a preview to their big day, using layers of vellum and deckled-edge paper goods to create the feeling of age-old romance.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

Claudia wanted a gown with classic details and found that in a Monique Lhuillier dress with an elegantly draped bodice and tulle skirt. “I probably tried on 100 dresses, and this one made me feel like myself,” the bride explains.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

The bride carried a delicate posy of lily of the valley, gardenias, and garden roses. She paired her custom engagement ring with two bands–one platinum, one gold. “The mixed metal represents the uniqueness of each of us,” says Claudia. She completed her look with vintage-inspired Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

“We had our first look on the stone steps, where Alex waited for me at the bottom,” Claudia recalls. “Halfway down, as Alex was looking at me lovingly, my veil got caught and jerked my head back. We both broke into laughter, and the moment couldn’t have been more us.”

To complement Claudia’s soft gown, Alex wore a Calvin Klein suit that he’d bought at the very last minute. “The day before the wedding, Alex tried on his first suit and realized it was far too big, so after the ceremony rehearsal, we went shopping!” Claudia laughs.

Instead of bridesmaids or groomsmen, the pair’s beloved Pomeranian, Lilly, walked down the aisle in a collar of lily of the valley.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

The organic altar was designed to look as if it had grown naturally on the property’s grounds. It was made with rambling moss and vines that lead to a half-moon accented with white blooms.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

The couple’s friend officiated the ceremony, incorporating their personalized vows and a reading of “Hinterhof” by James Fenton.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

During cocktail hour, two large farmhouse tables were styled with indulgent spreads of charcuterie so guests could grab bites as they mingled on the spacious lawn.

Photo by Erich McVey

Claudia is an artist so she hand-painted the canvas for the escort card display herself. “It was a mixed medium piece, and I designed it so it would really blend in with the weathered stone of Swan House,” she explains. Guests’ names were calligraphed on hand-torn escort cards to complete the soft, romantic display.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

At the other end of the property, a long row of washed Tuscan farmhouse tables was set for the 60-person dinner. The “singular table” was draped with a silk runner, and finished with trailing greenery and small arrangements of cream and white English garden roses. Place settings layered white dinner plates with vintage silverware, crystal water goblets, and hand-dyed silk napkins. Calligraphed menus and place cards completed the overall look.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

After dark, a wash of uplighting illuminated the Swan House’s dramatic columns and nearby trees.

Photo by Erich McVey

Dessert was served on the patio next to the boxwood garden, where Claudia and Alex cut into an elegant vanilla-and-almond cake draped in more trailing greenery.

Photo by Erich McVey

Photo by Erich McVey

At the end of the evening, Claudia and Alex ran through a cloud of rose petals and made their getaway in a 1931 Chrysler. “Alex and I did our best to remain present, both through the process and on our wedding day,” says Claudia. “Don’t forget to take a moment to take everything in!”

Wedding Planning & Design: Alise Taggart || Venue: Swan House and Gardens || Officiant: Lauren Soleil-Downer || Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride’s Veil: Emily Riggs Bridal || Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair & Makeup: Claudia Mejerle || Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein, Ted Baker || Floral Design: Forage Botanical || Paper Products: Written Word Calligraphy || Catering: Epting Events || Cake: Gingerspice Bakery || Music: DJ Greg Picciano || Rentals: Crush Event Rental, Old South Vintage Rentals || Lighting: PPI Events || Transportation: Atlanta Hotrod Limos || Videography: Story of Eve || Photography: Erich McVey

read more
Wedding

How to Ask for Money Instead of Gifts for a Wedding

Stocksy_txp52f0441c6u4200_Small_1302171.jpg

Whether you’ve lived together for years and don’t really need to upgrade your home, have a tiny space that won’t fit any new luggage, or are working on a project that’s getting pricey, sometimes all you really want as a wedding gift is cash. If you’re wondering how to ask for money instead of gifts for you wedding, it requires a bit of tact. Asking guests for cash for a wedding gift might rub some family members and friends the wrong way, so we asked our experts to share their best tips when it comes to asking for and handling cash gifts.

1. Use a Cash Registry Website

For those more tech-savvy guests, turn to a cash registry site! There are many options, including:

Zola allows you to ask for cash gifts, honeymoon contributions and physical gifts all on one all-inclusive registry.

If you’re primarily interested in cash for your honeymoon specifically, this honeymoon registry has fun breakdowns where guests can contribute to upgrading your airfare or paying for an exciting excursion.

Tendr is the perfect site when you’re just registering for cash. Contributors can gift cash without the need to send a check or deliver an envelope of bills at the reception.

2. Never Ask for Cash on Your Wedding Invitation

The one place your request for cash should never be included? Your wedding invitation. Registry information of any kind doesn’t belong here. Instead, add it to your wedding website. You can include your wedding website on the invitation, however, or as an insert in your wedding invitation suite.

3. Be Specific About How You’ll Use the Cash

Cash or a check can feel impersonal, so letting guests know where the money will go helps your guests feel more connected to the two of you and your plans.If you’re in the middle of a big project, like renovating your home or moving across the country, let guests know about it on your wedding website. Adding a more personal touch with the story of how the project got started, how far along you are, and even the pitfalls you’ve faced along the way (now that you know how expensive it is to rewire your whole house!) will both make your guests feel more connected to your lives if they send you a check and also serve as a plea for help that they’ll be more inclined to answer.

4. Ask Your Parents and Wedding Party to Spread the Word

Make sure to let your parents and bridal party know that you’d prefer cash (as well as why) and encourage them to tactfully spread the word. Chances are guests will ask them what they should get you, and this will prepare them to share what you’re saving for, whether it’s the trip of a lifetime, a kitchen remodel, or a down payment on a home you can call your own. They can then suggest that your guests make a contribution to your savings fund instead of getting you a new toaster.

5. Set up a Traditional Registry

Don’t skip the traditional registry altogether. You’re guaranteed to have a few guests who prefer to give you a physical gift, so make the process easier for them by registering for a selection of items you really want.

6. Set Out a Box for Cards at the Reception

Not everyone will use your cash registry. Instead, they’ll bring a check or cash to the reception. Buy (or craft!) a card box that you can designate for cards at the reception. Ask your planner or maid of honor to periodically check the box throughout the evening. They can collect the cards you’ve received and put them in a safe place so you don’t have to worry about money wandering off, and your guests can give their gifts with a little peace of mind.

7. Ideally, Checks Should Be Made Out to Both Of You

Guests might address your checks in a variety of ways: to just the groom, to just the bride (under her maiden name), to the bride (using her new married name), or to both of you. The best way (if anyone asks) is to address the check to the both of you, using “or” instead of “and.” For example, let’s say Mariah Nichols marries Joe Griffin. Ideally, the check will be made out to “Mariah Nichols or Joe Griffin.” That will allow for seamless transactions at the bank. In the event that Mariah changes her name to Griffin, she can bring along her old and new I.D., as well as her marriage license, to the bank. While you won’t be dictating how guests make out checks, of course, it’s still good information to know just in case someone asks how they should make out the check. Remember, then, to stick with both of your names and “or” for smooth deposits.

8. Stick to Physical Gifts for Your Bridal Shower

You might be tempted to ask for cash and gift cards at your bridal shower, as well, but that’s a little trickier. Of course you’d be thrilled to have extra cash in your pocket (who wouldn’t be?), but it’s better to steer clear of any requests for cash at this event. Why? Unlike a wedding, a major part of a bridal shower is unwrapping presents. Even if you already have a furnished home, you could probably stand to replace heavily used items like sheets and towels, or upgrade to some shiny new cookware.

But if you really want to skip the registry, your bridesmaids should rethink the party plans and instead organize a gathering that, accordingly, isn’t gift-focused. A relaxing spa day, perhaps? You shouldn’t expect gifts if you do this, but you can expect to have a great time with your best girls.

See more:

read more
Wedding

A Timeless Chicago Wedding in Lincoln Park

no thumb

Kristin Hanson and Elliot Lauzen’s meet cute seems straight out of Cinderella. “We met at a charity event in Chicago in March of 2013, and after a night of chatting, I accidentally left my favorite jacket behind,” recalls the bride. “Elliot did a lot of research to find my phone number so he could return it—and ask me out!” The pair dated for four years after that, with a stint in New York City before returning to Chicago in March of 2017. “Elliot planned an entire day of our favorite Chicago activities, from visits to the Art Institute and Restoration Hardware to the Lincoln Park Conservatory,” Kristin remembers. When they got back to their apartment, Kristin opened the door to find the space filled with flowers, and Elliot got down on one knee to propose. “We headed to the Boarding House, where we’d had our first date, and all of our family and friends were waiting there to surprise me!” says the bride.

The bride had known for years that she wanted to get married at Café Brauer—and even told Elliot as much on one of their first dates!—so they set the date around the venue’s availability, giving themselves 15 months to plan their June 16, 2018, wedding. They loved the neighborhood charm of this Lincoln Park venue, and turned to florist Vale of Enna to fill the elegant brick building with white blooms, olive branches, and candlelight. “Elliot and I wanted to look back on our wedding day, 25 years from now, and say that we wouldn’t change a thing,” says Kristin of the timeless design. Photographer Kristin La Voie captured every detail of the celebration—from the stunning floral installation to the adorable father-daughter dance—so keep scrolling for more!

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Kristen is founder of gifting company Blissfully Broke, so putting together welcome boxes for the couple’s 200 guests came easy to her. Every item in the welcome boxes was meaningful to Kristin and Elliot’s five-year relationship, including sugar cookies in the shape of their beloved cavapoo pup, Hudson.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Kristin was in the market for a simple gown, turning down anything with lace, beading, or sparkle. “I thought I’d found my dress and brought my sister-in-law to look at it again when a saleswoman walked by with a gorgeous Anne Barge design,” says Kristin. Her sister-in-law chased down the dress, and the second Kristin put it on, she knew it was the one. Elliot also kept it classic, wearing a black tuxedo for the ceremony and a navy blue jacket with a black shawl collar for the reception.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Kristin’s bridesmaids wore crepe Dessy dresses in shades of champagne, while her two maids of honor stood out in taupe. Their bouquets combined peonies, anemones, dahlias, and olive branches for a soft, romantic look. “My bouquet included a locket with a photo of my niece, Addie,” says the bride. “She passed away three years ago, and is my guardian angel so it was so special to have a little bit of her with me.”

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

All three flower girls wore lace gowns with satin bows and crowns of baby’s breath. “They were the absolute cutest, and everyone made it down the aisle in one piece!” Kristin says with a laugh.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

The ceremony took place at Assumption Catholic Church. “Our priest incorporated segments from love letters we’d written to one another in his homily,” the bride explains.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

As guests arrived at Café Brauer, they were treated to two signature cocktails: the “Lighting Bolt,” a jalapeño margarita, and the “Squirtky,” a combination of grapefruit and vodka.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

In addition to candlelight, Kristin and Elliot filled Café Brauer with flowers and greenery. Bare tables were topped with low arrangements, while the head table was placed beneath an overhead installation of olive branches and garden roses. Votive candles in glass orbs were suspended as a final romantic touch.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

“Elliot is by far the better dancer between the two of us, so he did his best to spin and swing me so we would both look like we knew what we were doing,” says Kristin.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

After she and her groom danced to “I Love You Always Forever” by Betty Who, Kristin and her father had a surprise for everyone. “We started our dance to ‘Because You Loved Me’ by Celine Dion, then we put on a jersey, a jacket, and glasses to dance to ‘Go Cubs Go’ by The Steve Goodman Anthology,” she explains. “The smile on my dad’s face is something I’ll never forget!”

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

The couple’s funfetti cake was covered with buttercream frosting. “We wanted to save some of it for our anniversary, but it was so hot that day that it melted beyond saving!” Kristin laughs. Thankfully, the petite confection wasn’t the only dessert. “We also had a doughnut wall with our favorite flavors of Stan’s mini donuts, plus a Firecakes truck pulled up at 11p.m. to serve late-night snacks,” Kristin says.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

KRISTIN LA VOIE PHOTOGRAPHY

“The wedding is so much fun, but it’s important to remember why you’re doing it all, too,” says Kristin. “Early on, Elliot asked that we make Friday nights date night, with no wedding talk allowed. It quickly became something I looked forward to as a break and a moment to reconnect. Planning a wedding can definitely be all-consuming, so it was nice to press pause on a regular basis.”

Wedding Coordination: Blush and Luxe || Ceremony Venue: Assumption Catholic Church || Reception Venue: Café Brauer || Bride’s Dress: Anne Barge || Bride’s Veil: Justine M. Couture || Bride’s Shoes: Adrianna Papell || Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN, Justine M. Couture || Hair: Juan Jose Herrera || Makeup: Bride Eyes || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy || Flower Girls’ Attire: Milly Wedding Shop || Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Rings & Wedding Bands: Windy City Diamonds || Floral Design: Vale of Enna || Silk Ribbon: Tono + Co. || Paper Products: EVR Paper, Macaw Multimedia || Catering: Tiger Lily Events || Cake: ECB Studio || Donuts: Stan’s Donuts, Firecakes Donuts || Donut Wall: Trim Tech Designs || Caricatures: Doodle Booth || Music: Dan Hayes Orchestra || Rentals: Rustique Swan || Transportation: Windy City Limo, Premier Trolley || Videography: Wooten Films || Photography: Kristin La Voie

read more
Wedding

This Couple Planned Their Destination Wedding in Just Eight Weeks!

no thumb

When Anna Stuffco and Evan Duffy started planning their wedding, they knew exactly where they would not be tying the knot: Close to home! “We live in northern Canada, and thought it would be cruel to ask people to travel all the way up there in the dead of winter,” says Anna. Thankfully, another location immediately sprung to mind. The bride’s cousins had rented three villas at Hacienda Antigua at Rancho Escondido for their wedding in Sayulita, Mexico the year before, and Evan and Anna knew their loved ones would be more than happy to return for another celebration. “Rancho Escondido is ultra private and has gorgeous views, plus there was plenty of room for our 52 guests,” the bride describes.

The couple had a simple, chic vision, and didn’t have any time to veer from the course. In fact, they selected a wedding date just eight weeks from the day Evan proposed! “We didn’t have time to dawdle about making decisions,” Anna explains. The bride and groom are both lawyers, so being decision-oriented came naturally—though they say having planner Yas Gizeh of Sea of Dreams on board definitely helped. “We didn’t taste our food or meet our planner or photographer until we arrived for our wedding,” Anna recalls. “It was a huge leap of faith!” But, they put their faith in the right people, and as snow swirled in Canada, Anna and Evan said “I do” in the Mexican sun. Keep reading for a look at Jillian Michell‘s photos and all the details, below!

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Anna’s simple Catherine Quin silk shift was the only dress she tried on. “My girlfriend runs a boutique and called me when she saw it,” she explains. “We ordered it right away, and that was that!” Her flowers were just as chic and simple—Anna skipped an ornate bouquet in favor of an ethereal bunch of baby’s breath.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

The bride paired her gown with platform sandals that were perfect for wandering the hotel’s rocky paths. Meanwhile, the groom donned a Canali suit, a Hugo Boss shirt, and Paul Smith shoes.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

The ceremony was a family affair: Anna’s nephews served as ring bearers, while her uncle officiated the outdoor ceremony.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Rows of rustic wooden benches led to a chuppah draped in white fabric, topped in roses, and surrounded by urns filled with baby’s breath and greenery.

“As litigators, we’re used to being overly articulate, but, on our wedding day, we wanted to, for once, stick to someone else’s script,” Anna says of their decision to recite traditional vows.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

After their first kiss, a mariachi band led guests to cocktail hour on the lawn, where they enjoyed ample margaritas (the unofficial signature drink) and toasted to the couple.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Dinner was a casual-yet-beautiful affair. Metal star lanterns lit long dinner tables topped with white runners and small arrangements of spray roses and greenery, while the bride and groom’s seats were draped in arrangements of garden roses, baby’s breath, dusty miller, and more spray roses. “We let Yas take the lead on the design, but one thing we did know we wanted was bottles of tequila and hot sauce as favors,” says the bride.

The night’s menu was as fresh and local as possible, and included salt water-steamed white fish, grilled vegetables, late-night fish tacos, and a churro cart instead of a wedding cake.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

After speeches and toasts, the couple surprised their guests with a fireworks display before dancing began. “We decided the morning of our wedding to go for it, and it was worth the splurge,” says Anna. “It was insane, and definitely something that would have been illegal in Canada!”

So how did these Canadians celebrate in such style less than two months after getting engaged? Says Anna, “We let go of expectations that things would be perfect, and trusted our team. Things will go wrong, but once you accept that and know things will be ok, the fun really begins!”

Wedding Planner: Sea of Dreams || Venue: Hacienda Antigua at Rancho Escondido || Bride’s Dress: Catherine Quin || Bride’s Shoes: Ports 1961, Sacai Luck || Bride’s Jewelry: Judith Jack || Hair & Makeup: Jenn Chivers || Groom’s Attire: Canali, Hugo Boss || Engagement Ring: Van Den Bergs Fine Jewellers || Paper Products: Paperless Post || Catering: Hacienda Antigua at Rancho Escondido || Music: Jex Opolis || Photography: Jillian Mitchell

read more
Wedding

Who Pays for the Honeymoon?

Wedding in the Maldives islands, Its celebration of happiness in the middle of ocean with World class Accomodation and Food on your Holiday package, Photo by Asad

As you budget for your wedding, things can get complicated, especially if multiple parties (parents, grandparents, the bride and groom) are helping to foot the bill. One question in particular: who pays for the honeymoon? It’s easy to get lost in planning the where and when, but first things first. You need to find out who’s writing the check. Our experts have a few different options for who will be handing over their credit card for your honeymoon expenses.

The Parents

One set of parents, or both, may offer to step in a gift the couple with their honeymoon. That might come in the form of a check that the couple can use to plan their own trip, or it might be a trip that the parents arranged. And, in some cases, the honeymoon might be a complete surprise where the couple has no idea where they’re headed until they open an envelope and find tickets inside (let’s hope they’ve packed correctly!).

The Couple

Couples can also pay for the honeymoon themselves. Or, perhaps one of you will cover the expenses for the entire honeymoon while the other is responsible for another aspect of the wedding. It’s up to each individual couple and their financial situation to find a solution that works for them. There are no wrong options!

Even if you have limited funds, you two can find ways to save on your honeymoon and get the most bang for your buck. Even if it’s a quiet trip up the coast or a campground adventure, you’ll be together and married — and that will make it magical.

Everyone Contributes Via a Honeymoon Registry

If a couple has arranged a honeymoon registry instead of or in addition to a traditional wedding registry, the answer to who pays for the honeymoon is actually the guests! A honeymoon registry allows guests to pay for activities, meals or excursions the couple can enjoy during the honeymoon, or help fund flights or hotel stays. It’s an ideal option for a couple that doesn’t necessarily need housewares or other traditional wedding gifts. There are honeymoon registry websites that make it super simple and easy to set up the fund, including Honeyfund, Zola, Traveler’s Joy and more.

Use the Cash and Checks You Receive as Wedding Gifts

Another option is to pool all the money you received as wedding gifts (which can really add up!) and use that to fund your honeymoon. As more and more couples opt to take their honeymoon a few months or even a year after the wedding, using monetary gifts from guests to cover honeymoon costs is a great way to know exactly how much money the couple has to work with, as well as to ease the strain on their savings account after the wedding has come and gone. Plus, that way, you can wait until after the wedding (and wedding planning) to start honeymoon planning!

Surprise Benefactor

When it comes to who pays for the honeymoon, there’s really can be no wrong answer. You grandparents, great grandparents, extended family member or even a close friend might surprise you with the trip of a lifetime. It’s an incredibly generous gift that you’ll be forever grateful for. Ideally, they’ll gift it to you early on in the wedding and honeymoon planning process so you’ll know what you’re working with! Perhaps the honeymoon budget you started can then be allocated elsewhere!

See More:

WATCH: The 10 Most Romantic Destinations in the World

read more
Wedding

A Modern Garden Wedding at Cannon Green in Charleston

no thumb

When Ashley Brundrett and Will Schutze started planning their May 14, 2017 wedding, they searched for a modern, intimate setting that would be just the right size for their 90-person guest list. “The first time I visited Cannon Green in Charleston was right around Christmas, and seeing the courtyard lit with café lights was so enchanting,” the bride recalls. “It was magical and romantic, perfect for our garden wedding vision.”

With the modern-meets-romantic venue set, the couple set out to create a chic, candle-lit celebration full of natural accents and enlisted the talented Amy Osaba to make that all happen. And it did! On the big day, Will and Ashley surrounded themselves with their loved ones amid installations of lush flowers and vibrant greenery. So keep reading for a peek at a romantic spring wedding with a modern twist, as photographed by Austin Gros.

Photo by Austin Gros

Flowing brush calligraphy was soft and whimsical, while the black-and-white palette of the invitation suite kept things contemporary.

Photo by Austin Gros

Ashley’s Romona Keveza gown added a modern edge to the event, as well. “I saw the dress online and just knew it was the one. It was elegant, sophisticated, and definitely not traditional,” she says. The asymmetric neckline topped a sleek skirt, while the slit revealed Ashley’s Valentino Rockstud pumps.

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

Ashley added a soft chignon and floral hairpiece to complete her bridal look. Will donned a royal blue suit, paired with a pink and blue tie and a blush pocket square.

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

Green hellebores made up the modern boutonnieres, while Ashley’s bouquet was filled with garden roses, ranunculus, and sweet peas.

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

“I loved the idea of having bridesmaids in white,” says Ashley of her ‘maids ivory gowns. Each girl also wore a delicate flower crown, which added a bohemian air to the flowing dresses.

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

The ceremony took place beneath an altar of greenery and blush roses, set in front of Cannon Green’s living wall. Guests were seated in modern acrylic chairs. “My two half brothers walked me down the aisle, and our officiant read love letters that Will and I had written to each another as part of the ceremony,” Ashley explains.

Photo by Austin Gros

As the ceremony wrapped up, guests headed to cocktail hour to nibble on crispy oysters with sambal mayo, duck confit carnitas, and fried green tomatoes—while a bridesmaid waded into a fountain to cool off in the South Carolina heat!

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

Inside, long tables were topped with champagne-hued crinkled linens. An installation of ivy and olive branches was lit with twinkle lights and sparkled over the head table. Nearby, pink and ivory arrangements featured ranunculus, spray roses, and garden roses.

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

A fresh, seasonal dinner was followed by a petite almond cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Modern bud vases held long-stemmed roses.

Photo by Austin Gros

Photo by Austin Gros

“Will and I were so nervous for our first dance,” Ashley recalls. “We did the Texas Two-Step to ‘Be My Baby’ by the Ronettes, and all of our guests were cheering!” When the party really got started, the bride changed into a sleek white mini dress. She adds, “Have as much fun as you can. It’s such a beautiful day, filled with everyone you love!”

Floral Design & Wedding Coordination: Amy Osaba Events || Venue & Catering: Cannon Green || Officiant: Danielle Baker || Bride’s Dress: Romona Keveza || Bride’s Shoes: Valentino || Hair & Makeup: Megan Workman || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew || Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein || Paper Products: A Fabulous Fete || Cake: Wild Flour Pastry || Accommodations: Restoration Hotel || Photography: Austin Gros

read more
Wedding

A Modern Wedding at the Bride’s Nashville Home

caroline-and-derek-wedding01.jpg

When Caroline King and Derek Dedeker first met as freshmen at Texas Christian University, they were both dating other people. But their friend groups collided and merged over the following years, and, in the summer of 2014, they found themselves single and interning in New York City. That summer, Derek patiently pursued Caroline—and in July, he took her on their first date.

By December of 2016, Derek and Caroline were talking marriage, and she admits that she was anticipating a late spring proposal. But Derek had other plans. “Unbeknownst to me, he’d been planning a New Year’s Eve proposal all fall, flying to Nashville to talk to my dad and even going with me to go ring shopping after he’d already purchased a ring,” says Caroline with a laugh. When Derek asked Caroline to join him for a drink before meeting up with her family for dinner, she didn’t think much of it as Derek took off to get ready. “When I came downstairs, my mom was picking up a box on the porch that was addressed to me. As soon as I opened it and saw Derek’s note to follow the signs, I knew a proposal was coming,” she says. Quotes and arrows led her from the front door to her family’s barn, where Caroline followed a path of candles to a table and a laptop. “He’d made a slideshow of every photo of us together, from friends to best friends to forever, and as it came to an end, I heard him walk up behind me. My heart absolutely exploded as he got down on one knee!”

Caroline had always dreamed of getting married at her childhood home near Nashville, so she and Derek turned to Big Events Inc. to create a chic, modern celebration with a residential aesthetic. “I didn’t want it to feel like a Southern barn wedding, but instead be something that was design-focused but still comfortable,” Caroline explains. On October 21, 2017, they invited 350 guests to join them for a church ceremony, followed by cocktails in the drive and a tented reception that felt like an extension of the King family home. Don’t miss this gorgeous fall wedding, photographed by Clark Brewer Photography!

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

When Derek took Caroline “ring shopping” in the fall of 2016, she had no idea that he had already designed and purchased her vintage-style engagement ring. But, lucky for her, he knew his bride. “The ring he designed is absolutely perfect,” she says. Caroline donned a gauzy lace robe and beaded slippers as she and her bridesmaids got ready for the big day.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Caroline’s Carolina Herrera dress featured a floating tulle skirt and an illusion neckline topped with embroidered leaves and flowers. Her bouquet of calla lilies, orchids, and garden roses matched the veil and the day’s botanical theme.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

“Derek hesitated about having a first look because he didn’t want to sacrifice the emotion of me walking down the aisle, but in the end we were both so glad we did it,” Caroline says. “We’re so grateful we had the chance to laugh and hold hands together before the ceremony.” (And, yes, Derek still got his emotional moment.)

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

A first look also meant plenty of time for fun photos before the big moment. The bridesmaids wore beaded charcoal gowns by Adrianna Papell. “My friends and I have been in quite a few weddings over the last few years, so I wanted to pick a dress that stood out from the others in our closets,” says the bride.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Derek and Caroline exchanged letters to each another before the ceremony, then tied the knot with traditional vows at the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. “We had the Nashville country group, Mamadear, sing a compilation during the ceremony,” Caroline says.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Back at the King family home, the state flags of Tennessee (the bride’s home) and Minnesota (the groom’s) hung from the balcony, welcoming family and friends with true Southern hospitality. Cocktail hour took place around the fountain in the front drive, where garden roses and strands of orchids spilled from each tier. A jazz trio played as guests mingled beneath strings of café lights.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

For the reception, the group was invited through a floral-draped arch into a dramatic clear tent set over a wood grain floor. “We added some New York edginess with Sputnik chandeliers, swirling metallic linens, and brass accents,” Caroline describes. Clusters of lounge furniture kept the tent feeling like an extension of the family home.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Dark taper candles in marble holders lit glass dining tables, which were set beneath chandeliers covered in eucalyptus. Pieces of modern art also hung along the perimeter of the tent to reiterate the modern residential setting.

With such a large crowd, a series of buffet stations turned out to be the perfect choice for dinner service. Guests were able to choose between bourbon salmon and herb-encrusted beef tenderloin, a harvest salad, Mexican street corn, and pimento mac n’ cheese. Later in the evening, a coffee station served up a dose of caffeine alongside Bailey’s and beignets, while waiters passed bite-sized chicken and waffles as a nod to the Nashville setting.

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

After spinning–literally!–around the dance floor to “You Are” by Lionel Richie, Derek invited his family to the floor for a surprise performance to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. “They all know how much I love Bruno Mars, and they’d spent weeks on FaceTime going over the moves,” says Caroline. “One night Derek kicked me out of our apartment and wouldn’t tell me why I had to leave. It turns out they were rehearsing!”

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

As the night came to a close, Caroline and Derek gathered on the front porch with family and friends—only to be surprised when, all of a sudden, the sky illuminated with fireworks. “My parents hadn’t told anyone about the fireworks, so it was a huge surprise,” Caroline says. “It was a moment of pure magic we will never forget!” Finally, the couple ended the night with more lights—this time, a planned sparkler exit!

Wedding Planner: Big Events Inc. || Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church || Bride’s Dress: Carolina Herrera || Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN || Hair & Makeup: Parlour 3 || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell || Groom’s Attire: Alton Lane, Hugo Boss || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Suzy B Jewels || Floral Design: Big Events Inc. || Paper Products: Emily Holmes || Catering: G Catering & Events || Cake: Dessert Designs by Leland || Ceremony Music: Sam Levine Music || Reception Music: Atlanta All-Stars || Rentals: Liberty Party Rentals, 12th Table, Please Be Seated || Lighting: Bright Event Productions || Tent: Nashville Tent & Awning || Draping: Quest Events || Transportation: Matchless Transportation || Videography: Dallas Wilson || Photography: Clark Brewer Photography

read more
Wedding

Who is Responsible for Honeymoon Planning? | Brides

no thumb

When you’re deep into wedding planning, with time ticking down toward your big day, sometimes the honeymoon can seem like the only thing that’s getting you through your never-ending to-do list. With so much already on your plate, you might be wondering who is responsible for honeymoon planning?

A week (or more!) of relaxation, adventure, and quality one-on-one time with your new husband or wife will be amazing, but it’s hard to get excited about a trip you haven’t planned yet. So, who should take the lead when it comes to making calls to the travel agent and booking those flights?

True, one person can do everything and even leave it as a surprise vacay for their partner. While this gesture is totally romantic and a perfect fit for a person who loves a little mystery, most couples choose to plan this once-in-a-lifetime getaway together. After all, have you tried packing for a trip when you don’t know where you’re going? It can be seriously stressful, even if you know it will be “warm” or you’ll be “doing a lot of activities.”

Instead, we’re all for handling honeymoon planning together as a fun break from the nitty-gritty of getting ready for your wedding. Brainstorm the destinations you’ve always wanted to visit, find the activities and excursions (or relaxing beaches) that speak to you, and make sure to throw in an elegant dinner for two or an indulgent stay in a souped-up suite.

Want to keep that element of romance and mystery without going in totally blind? Assign a day for each of you to plan completely as a surprise for your significant other, to be revealed that morning or as the day goes by. That might mean a few luxurious hours at the spa, a hike to a breathtaking waterfall, or passes for that scuba-diving excursion that your hubby-to-be has always dreamed of. Mix a little suspense in with all of that vegging for a trip you’ll remember!

Now that you know who is responsible for honeymoon planning, it’s time to tackle how to plan! Check out these 13 tips to create the trip of a lifetime!

See More:

WATCH: The 10 Most Romantic Destinations in the World

read more
Wedding

Travel Engagement Ring: Do I Need to Buy a Separate One for the Honeymoon?

no thumb

You love your engagement ring almost as much as you adore your partner. So it goes without saying you’d never want anything to happen to it. That’s why some people prefer to wear a separate travel engagement ring while on vacation — because your honeymoon (in addition to being the best vacation ever) could be just the place for something bad to happen to your engagement ring or even your wedding band.

Why? If you’re taking a tropical vacation, you could dull the shine of your sparkling diamond with sunscreen — or, much worse, your slightly-loose diamond could get swept away while you’re swimming in the ocean. Let’s say you’re traveling from city to city, and hotel to hotel, on an epic adventure across Europe: You could leave your ring behind on a bathroom counter, never to be found again. And if you’re traveling to a high-risk area, your engagement ring could simply get stolen.

But you can’t spend your honeymoon worrying about your ring. Deciding whether or not to bring your actual engagement ring — or a travel engagement ring — on your honeymoon requires a little proper planning before you head to the airport. We spoke to James Allen and Michele Sigler, the co-founders and husband-and-wife team behind James Allen to get insight from jewelry pros on what to consider before you take off.

1. Insure Your Ring (If You Haven’t Already!)

If you didn’t get jewelry insurance right when your engagement ring was purchased, make sure to do so before heading on a trip. It’s better to be safe than sorry in case anything happens!

2. Have Your Ring Inspected

Before you board a plane, take your engagement ring to be serviced and inspected. Bring it back to the jeweler where your ring was purchased, and they’ll check for any defects, such as a loose stone or an ill-fitting band. As Sigler points out, “it’s better to catch a loose stone before you go than lose it during a trip.” If you don’t already have your ring insured, now’s the time to do it, too. While you don’t want to have to replace your ring, you’ll be glad you can in case it gets lost, Sigler says.

3. Use Your Judgment and Listen to Your Gut

Still can’t shake the feeling that you shouldn’t bring travel with your ring? Your gut is probably sounding off warning bells for a reason, so listen to it. Truth is, there are plenty of popular honeymoon destinations where a diamond ring will stand out, and the last thing you want to do is feel awkward — or even like a target — on such a relaxing vacation. If you decide it’s best to leave it at home, be sure to keep your engagement ring in a secure location such as a safe or lock box.

4. Wear Your Ring Strategically

If you do bring your ring with you, know when to wear it — and when to take it off. “When you’re at the beach or on an excursion such as hiking or snorkeling, you can accidentally damage the setting,” Schultz says. And you definitely don’t want that.

“We also suggest removing your ring while you’re getting ready, because sunscreen and perfume can cause grime to build up and reduce the sheen of your diamond or gemstone,” adds Schultz.

5. Never Wear Your Ring in the Pool or Especially the Ocean

This bears emphasis: never wear your ring in the ocean. The cold water will cause your fingers to shrink, which in turn makes it easy for your ring to slip off your finger and sink to the bottom of the ocean. Even if you’re in shallow water, your ring will likely be loss forever as it gets swept up in the current and sand. The same rule applies to the pool. The ring can slip right off. On top of that, chlorine can damage platinum, gold and white gold.

6. Lock Your Ring in the Hotel Safe When You’re Not Wearing It

When you remove your ring, don’t just set it anywhere in your hotel room. Sigler and Allen advise that you take advantage of your hotel room’s safe whenever you’re not wearing your rings.

7. Consider Wearing Your Wedding Band Solo

Here’s a compromise: wear you less valuable wedding band and leave your engagement ring at home! “It still says, ‘I’m married,’ without risking the much more expensive engagement ring,” says Sigler.

8. Rock a Fake Travel Engagement Ring

Can’t resign yourself to a honeymoon sans bling? Get a fake engagement ring that’s just for traveling! There’s some very authentic-looking cubic zirconia out there. If you’re worried about damaging or losing your engagement ring while on your honeymoon, this can be a sparkling solution. If, however, you’re traveling somewhere that theft is a concern, this might not be your best bet, as your fake can easily be mistaken for the real thing and put you in danger.

9. Or, Rock a Rubber Ring

Another option is rocking a rubber ring. QALO is one of the leaders in rubber rings, designed for activities and professions that get in the way of a traditional ring. They come in just about every color, and celebrities like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Audrina Patridge and James Aldean are big fans. If you want a hassle-free travel engagement ring, this is a good way to go.

10. Never Voluntarily Take Off Your Ring at the Airport

One last tip for traveling while wearing your engagement ring: don’t voluntarily remove your rings at airport security. Platinum, silver and gold will not set off the alarm, and all that TSA confusion provides the perfect distraction for a leering eye to swipe a sparkler.

See more:

read more
Wedding

A Tuscan-Inspired Wedding in the Pacific Northwest

no thumb

Though Joleen Zanuzoski and Kelan Potucek both grew up in Lakewood, Washington, they didn’t meet until just before heading off to college in July of 2002, when Joleen was invited to the Potucek family’s annual 4th of July party. After, she headed to New York to attend Syracuse University and then began a career in Manhattan, while Kelan enrolled at Central Washington University and then started working in Seattle. It wasn’t until a decade after they met, when Joleen moved back to Seattle in 2012, that they reconnected. After finding each another again, Kelan and Joleen dated for four years before getting engaged. “I had just returned from a work trip to Bozeman, and Kelan picked me up from the airport to drive to Mt. Rainier for a ski weekend,” Joleen recalls. “I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep in the car, but Kelan was so antsy!” All of a sudden, he pulled over in the forest and asked Joleen to get out of the car in the dark—and to bring a flashlight. “When I turned the light on, Kelan was in front of me on one knee, ” she remembers. “I was completely shocked!”

The couple hired Sinclair & Moore to design and plan their October 14, 2017, wedding in Seattle, and chose the historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel as the setting. “We were really inspired by the Italian Renaissance design and classic opulence,” explains the bride. “And I knew we would need a large venue to fit Kelan’s huge family!” They invited 215 guests to celebrate with them, filling the space with Tuscan touches inspired by the bride’s family’s Italian heritage. “We wanted every moment to surprise and delight our guests, and every detail to tell our love story,” she says.

Keep reading because you don’t want to miss all of those personal details, as photographed by Belathée Photography!

Photo by Belathée Photography

Welcome boxes included a note from the bride and groom and some of their favorite snacks, from gourmet coffee (personalized with the couple’s names!) and granola to popcorn and chocolates.

Photo by Belathée Photography

Photo by Belathée Photography

Joleen wanted a gown with lots of detail, and headed straight to MeaMarie Bridal Atelier to find it. She fell for designer Ysa Makino’s creations, and says she especially loved the structure and bones of each dress she tried. The winning design was a soft ball gown with a hand-draped French net bodice, handcrafted floral appliqués, and intricate beadwork that made the dress weigh 20 pounds in total!

Photo by Belathée Photography

Photo by Belathée Photography

Photo by Belathée Photography

The bridesmaids wore custom gowns by Nina Cherie Couture, inspired by the bride’s own attire. Each wore a white lace top with a different neckline, paired with a deep green taffeta skirt. The flower girls wore miniature versions with sleeveless tops and tulle skirts. Their bouquets paired fall leaves with peach roses, white dahlias, and soft spray roses.

“For our wedding party photos, we rented out Union Station for an hour. The entire building was cleared out—it felt like we were on a movie set!” says Joleen.

Photo by Belathée Photography

Guests were greeted with Italian bubbly in flutes rimmed with sugar as they arrived for the ceremony. Kelan and Joleen walked down an aisle decorated with blush rose petals (a surprise for the bride from the couple’s wedding planner, Steve Moore) and lit with pillar candles. Joleen is an only child, so both of her parents accompanied her to the altar. “We played the score from Father of the Bride, which I’d dreamed of walking down the aisle to since I was eight years old,” she says. Kelan’s childhood friend served as the officiant, weaving in their family history and stories about their relationship into the proceedings.

Photo by Belathée Photography

Photo by Belathée Photography

In the ballroom, rectangular tables were topped with neutral linen tablecloths and green velvet runners. Low, organic centerpieces included garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and dahlias in shades ranging from cream to rust. Gold-rimmed chargers were topped with menu booklets that included a special addition: the recipe for the menu’s pièce de résistance! “In addition to a plentiful antipasti platter, local salmon, and cacio e pepe, we also served sausage made with my late grandfather’s recipe,” says Joleen. “He and my mother made the same sausage to serve at her wedding, and it was a must to do the same at mine!”

Photo by Belathée Photography

Photo by Belathée Photography

The couple’s six-tiered wedding cake was decorated with delicate sugar flowers that perfectly mimicked the bouquets and centerpieces. Inside were three flavors: Lemon raspberry, caramel espresso pecan, and dark chocolate. The cake was paired with a display of Italian wedding cookies, tiramisu, and donuts.

Photo by Belathée Photography

All the guests (especially the flower girls!) enjoyed the Big Band music. An eight-piece band played a variety of songs, ranging from Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra to Chicago and Dean Martin.

Photo by Belathée Photography

Photo by Belathée Photography

Says Joleen, “The personal touches that are meaningful and significant to you as a couple should be the top of your priority list. Use your wedding day to tell the story of your love through what and who you love. It creates special moments your guests will talk about for years to come.”

Wedding Planner: Sinclair & Moore || Venue: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel || Officiant: Pastor John Candler || Bride’s Dress: Ysa Makino || Bride’s Veil: Naama & Anaat Couture || Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN || Hair & Makeup: Yessie Libby || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nina Cherie Couture || Groom’s Attire: Trillium Custom Tailoring || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Harry Winston || Wedding Bands: Blue Nile, Kantor Diamond || Floral Design: Sinclair & Moore || Paper Products: LaHappy || Catering: The Fairmont Olympic || Italian Sausage: Deru Market || Cake: Midori Bakery || Groom’s Cake: Mike’s Amazing Cakes || Ceremony Music: Puget Sound Strings || Reception Music: Blue Wave Band || Rentals: Cort Party Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linens || Favors: Wish & Pink, Fran’s Chocolate || Transportation: Butler Seattle || Videography: Aaron Horton || Photography: Belathée Photography

read more
Wedding

A Sophisticated Garden Party Wedding in Napa

no thumb

Emily Anderson and Jake Ryan first met in 2008 as freshman at at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. They met at a party at Jake’s fraternity house, becoming fast friends. “It wasn’t until a group spring break trip to the Bahamas during our senior year that we actually started dating,” Emily adds “But we stuck with it after graduation, spending countless hours on Amtrak between D.C. and New York before I moved to D.C. in 2014.” Three years later, in June of 2017, Emily headed home to California to visit her parents during a work trip. “I’d invited Jake to join me, but he couldn’t get away,” she recalls. As she got ready to head to dinner with her grandmother, Emily got a phone call from Jake and walked outside to answer. “As we said hello, I heard his voice echo. When I looked around, he was standing in my backyard!” she says. “I ran across the lawn to hug him, and he got down on one knee.”

A few weeks after getting engaged, Emily and Jake were back in California for a friend’s wedding and decided to look at Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena. “I knew Jake would love the preppy feeling of the property. Plus, he’s allergic to horses so a barn venue was out of the question!” Emily says with a laugh. The couple made the most of the property, kicking off their wedding weekend with a croquet party on Friday, followed by their wedding on the June 16, 2018. Their big day was all about casual elegance, as the bride, her mom, and Cole Drake Events collaborated on a fabulous garden party with great food, incredible wine, and a serious dance sesh. Keep scrolling for all the pretty photos by Olivia Rae James.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The couple invited their wedding party and their plus-ones to a croquet party complete with all-white attire, Aperol spritzes, and lessons from Meadowood’s croquet pro. “Things got pretty competitive,” Emily says with a laugh. “My mom ended up winning, though Jake claims he let her!”

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The next day, Emily traded her croquet whites for a different white dress—her wedding gown! The bride wore a spectacular Carolina Herrera gown with flowers embroidered on the organza skirt. “I thought I wanted a big skirt and a dramatic back, but after trying this dress on, I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” says the bride.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The bridesmaids all wore midi tulip dresses by Shona Joy, choosing between a few different necklines for a mix-and-match look. Emily carried a bouquet of peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, and olive leaves, all wrapped in a Carolina blue ribbon (a nod to the couple’s alma mater). A sprig of lavender, a symbol of devotion, was tucked in amongst the petals. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of greenery, combining olive leaves, hellebore, and white wild flowers.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Emily’s mother’s floral gown was a perfect fit for the garden theme, while her grandmother looked chic in dove grey pants and a soft blue scarf.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

My dad walked me down the aisle, and we were both so nervous!” says Emily. When she got to the elevated altar, she and Jake were both thrilled their close friend was serving as officiant. “Jake was so overcome with emotion that he had a hard time getting through his vows. It was so special that I could hold his hands and Will could put a hand on Jake’s back to support him as he read his vows,” the bride recalls.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Following the ceremony, guests moved over to a nearby lawn for cocktail hour. Instead of one or two signature cocktails, Emily and Jake had six, ranging from the groom’s signature Jack Daniels and Diet Coke to a “Southern Spritzer” (sauvignon blanc, lemon, mint, elderflower, and soda) and the “EmRy” (gin, lime, grapefruit, bitters, fennel, bay, and tonic).

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The cocktail hour space was decorated with light wood lounge furniture and modern white balloons. Guests also had fun with the parasols.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Table assignments were printed on a piece of acrylic. The display was surrounded by white ranunculus and sweet peas in white and glass bud vases.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Dinner took place on the ceremony lawn, which had be re-set with long banquet tables for a family-style dinner. Each was topped with slate blue runners, white dishes, and lots of wine glasses—it was Napa, after all! Striped napkins gave each place setting a preppy finish, while clusters of bud vases softened the design.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

“Having a family-style meal kept our reception feeling like a cozy dinner party with everyone we love,” says Emily. The menu included heirloom tomato and burrata salad, crab and avocado salad, fried chicken (another North Carolina touch!), and spring pea gnocchi. “My dad and I had a blast putting together the wine list,” Emily adds.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Though the bride’s bustle broke as soon as the first dance started, carrying a train couldn’t stop her from spending the rest of the night on the dance floor–when she wasn’t on stage with the band!

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

But first: The newlyweds cut into a custom cake by Jasmine Rae. The created featured a tiered design with dramatic white and light blue sugar flowers. Inside, vanilla rose cake was layered with vanilla buttercream and lemon curd. “Jake and I are vanilla-vanilla fans, through and through!” Emily laughs.

Though she’d asked repeatedly, Emily knew when it was time to cut the cake that Jake was going to stuff a piece into her face, whether she liked it or not. “He was very delicate in putting cake on my face, but I retaliated with a huge piece!” says the bride. “In the end, I’m glad he didn’t listen!”

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Looking back on their big day, Emily has this piece of advice for those of you planning: “There are a million decisions to make and a million things people will tell you must (or mustn’t!) do for your wedding, but you don’t have to listen to any of that,” she says. “Prioritize early on what is important to you, your fiancé, and your families, and let the rest of it go.”

Wedding Planner: Cole Drake Events || Venue: Meadowood || Bride’s Dress: Carolina Herrera || Bride’s Veil: Carolina Herrera || Bride’s Shoes: Alexandre Birman || Bride’s Jewelry: Jade Trau || Hair & Makeup: Sherrie Long || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Shona Joy || Mother of the Bride’s Dress: Biyan || Groom’s Attire: Canali || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Jade Trau || Floral Design: Brown Paper Design || Paper Products: Color Me Carla || Catering: Meadowood || Cake: Jasmine Rae Cakes || Ceremony Music: Synchronicity Strings || Reception Music: Hip Service || Photography: Olivia Rae James

read more
Wedding

Pros & Cons of First-Look Wedding Photos

brandy-joy-smith-and-tyler-henry-wedding20171110_12.JPG

First-look wedding photos may not be the newest trend in wedding photography, but they’re still a hot topic. The time-honored practice of not seeing the bride until she walks down the aisle is more of a good-luck superstition and many couples are still sticking to it, while others are opting for a first look for reasons that range from easing nerves to making sure they can actually get to cocktail hour. As your big day approaches, you’re probably wondering whether you want first-look wedding photos or whether you want to wait until you walk down the aisle for your big reveal. Here, we asked the pros (i.e. fantastic wedding photographers!) to share their expert thoughts on first-look photos and how they actually work, so you can know what to expect and figure out if you want a first look or not.

Wedding First Look Pros

“Couples should consider the first look for more than just the practicality of timing,” says Caroline Lima. “It’s a great decision for couples who want to spend some quiet time together before the ceremony. If you’re nervous, having a first look and seeing your partner is a great way to ease that feeling.”

“Personally, I loved having a first look at my own wedding,” remembers Ashley Sawtelle. “It gave us a moment before the day officially started to connect with one another and take a deep breath.”

Of course, practicality can’t be ignored. “A first look enables you to take a lot of your photos before the ceremony so you can get to cocktail hour and your reception sooner,” Lima says.

“A first look definitely does not spoil the ceremony,” says Carrie Patterson. “You’ll be overwhelmed with emotion no matter what, so if you want to see your partner, don’t skip it.”

You’ll get some privacy. “It’s a whirlwind once guests arrive, and having a first look gives you and your partner a few moments together before all of your family and friends surround you,” Sawtelle says.

It can be highly emotional, says Cat Mayer. “A wedding is an intimate, emotional experience, and a first look means I can capture a couple together in that moment. Yes, walking down the aisle is emotional too, but you’re not together in those photographs.”

“If you’re having a winter ceremony, first-look wedding photos are critical if you want portraits taken with natural light,” Patterson says. “The sun will be down between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., so this is your chance for pictures in the sun.”

Wedding First Look Cons

If you’re traditional, it’s okay to skip it. “Remember that you can always change your mind—even on the day of your wedding!—and opt for a first look if you decide you need to see your partner. A skilled photographer will be able to adapt and help you make that moment happen,” says Mayer.

“There’s nothing like the groom seeing his bride for the first time when she walks down the aisle. It’s the most magical moment!” Lima says. You may have to adjust your timeline. “If you’re having a ceremony earlier in the day, a first look will mean you have to be ready even earlier than you’d planned—which means you have to start getting ready earlier, too,” says Sawtelle.

First looks can build up the pressure. “Some grooms are very private with their emotions, which can disappoint a bride if she expects him to have a big reaction the first time he sees her,” says Lima.

“If there isn’t time in your timeline to transport you and your partner to the first look location, don’t force it. The rushing will take away from the opportunity to photograph meaningful moments, and could cause stress instead of relieving it,” Mayer explains. “Your first look should be at least an hour before the ceremony so you can be tucked away before early guests arrive, and if that doesn’t fit into your timeline, skip it!”

Timing works the other way, too. “If you have the ability to host a longer cocktail hour and are getting married on a day when there will be plenty of sunshine until later in the evening, there will be plenty of time to take photos together after you’ve tied the knot,” says Patterson.

It’s not as private as you think. Says Lima, “Yes, your photographer and videographer will try to be discrete and as far away as possible, but we will still be around!”

“Lighting during a first look isn’t ideal,” Lima explains. “They usually happen during the day, when lighting is harsh. So you’ll probably need to take more photos after the ceremony, anyway.”

Real Brides and Grooms Talk First-Look Photos

Want to know what real brides and grooms chose? We asked newlyweds on Instagram to fill us in on what they decided: first look or not!

“We did a first look and it was awesome! While I am a fan of tradition and the groom seeing the bride for the first time at the ceremony, this made more sense as we did photos beforehand (would have been too dark after) and I’m really happy we did. We got to spend time together afterwards, and the photos are super cute and emotional.” —@allyhuish

“No I did not. My photographer tried to talk us into a first look, but my groom and I decided to stick with tradition and meet for the first time at the alter. We felt that seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle would make that moment so much more special, and it sure did.” —@elle_erica

“We did a first look because we were too excited to see each other, and it was great! Plus, we got the couple photos done before the ceremony so we didn’t spend hours after the ceremony taking photos when we could be with everyone who attended our wedding.” —@candylewis13

“Yes, we did, and it was kind of awkward! My groom didn’t really know what to do, and he felt weird having all that attention and expectation on him. People expected him to cry or something, but he didn’t. He just said, ‘Oh you look beautiful!’ And we moved on with our lives.” —@ivyjacobshair

“I started off firm with no first look, as I felt there’s something so magical about the opening of the church doors and seeing each other for the first time. However, we did decide on doing the first look, and it was the best choice ever! It allowed us to enjoy more of the day together and with our bridal party. Plus, it allowed for our amazing wedding photographer to spend more time and take even more amazing images of the day!” —@amichels105

“No first look! We wanted the first time we saw each other to be when I walked down the aisle in church. It was exciting and emotional, and I’m glad that we were able to share that moment with our guests. We did photos after the ceremony which I love because they capture us wearing our rings!” —@elizabethacandido

“Yes! It was mine and my husband’s favorite part of our special day. It was such an honest and raw moment between us. There wasn’t the pressure and anxiety of hundreds of eyes watching us. Still brings tears to my eyes.” —@bonniedraper

“We didn’t. My husband and I wanted to see each other when I was walking down the aisle. And it was such a special moment. We will always remember seeing each other for the first time on the aisle.” —@ms.carol_ramirez

“We did! It was important to both of us to read our own vows, but I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get the words out. The first look helped to get some of the jitters out of the way. Plus, it was a perfect, intimate moment that gave us lots of great pictures!” —@bridgetkm

“We didn’t! My dad and I, however, did a first look, which I loved! Super awesome idea for girls that are close with their dad and want to wait for the aisle for their husband-to-be to see them.” —@colleenjones815

See More:

read more
Wedding

How to Request Time Off for Your Honeymoon

no thumb

Wondering to how request time off for your honeymoon? With all the wedding plans swirling around your head, this is one key detail you can’t afford to forget. It’s one of the first steps to figuring out the ideal time to take your once-in-a-time-vacation. It’s best to get this out of the way as soon as possible. A trip of this magnitude requires at least a few days off, so here’s how our experts suggest talking to your boss about taking some personal time.

Start Budgeting Your Vacation Days Now

When you start planning your wedding, look at your calendar and budget your vacation days as best as possible. If you can avoid taking any other days off before you say “I do,” you’ll have a lot more to work with (and the chance to take a longer honeymoon!).

Talk to Your Boss Before You Book Anything

If you’re getting away during a busy time of year, talk to your boss about the honeymoon dates you’re considering before you book your flight. Try to get the go-ahead to add a vacation to your calendar before you’ve made any pricey purchases. Your boss should also be able to let you know if there are major projects or events you need to be aware of as you’re considering dates. Once you’ve gotten approval, put in a formal vacation request and book those tickets!

Don’t Forget to Take Any Other Upcoming Travel Into Account

In addition to your time off for the honeymoon, you might also be planning some days off for things like your bridal shower or your destination bachelorette party. Or, maybe you have non-wedding related travel plans between now and the big day. Either way, don’t forget to take these into account when you talk to your boss about days off.

Consider Unpaid Time Off

If your vacation days aren’t going to cover your time off and you’d like to take unpaid vacation days, don’t be afraid to ask. Ask about how much would be docked from your salary for taking extra unpaid vacation days, and consider whether it’s worth it to get paid a little bit less, or if you’d rather [take a shorter honeymoon now and save up vacation days for a bigger trip later].

Give as Much Advanced Notice as Possible

While most bosses and managers will be happy to give you your requested days of for such a special occasion, do your best to give them as much advance notice as you can, providing an opportunity to rearrange staffing or schedules if they need to. After all, you’ll be coming back to work once the trip is over, so it’s always good to leave on a high note!

If You are Your Own Boss, Have a Game Plan in Place

If you’re a freelancer or consultant, you can give yourself as much time off as you want! That being said, make a solid game plan for how you’re going to get your work done ahead of time and keep the bills paid. That might taking on more leading up to the wedding, or setting aside money to cover you during your days off. Communicate with you clients that you’ll be taking time off. If they need someone to fill your place during a prolonged absence, have a trusted colleague you can suggest to step in during your honeymoon.

See more:

WATCH: This Sandals Honeymoon Resort in Grenada is the Vacay You and Your S.O. Need

read more
Wedding

A Wedding Planner’s Stunning Winter Wedding in Canada

julianne-and-kristian-wedding01.jpg

Canadian wedding planner Julianne Young is no stranger to crazy summers, and 2016 was no exception. So in October, when her boyfriend Kristian Wieclawek suggested they spend a relaxing weekend in Banff, she was just ready for some R&R. “We love going for trail runs, so after breakfast we geared up for a few hours outside and headed to the trailhead,” she recalls. Kristian took the lead (in case of bears, of course!), and after just a few minutes, Julianne spotted a bouquet of flowers on the ground and a photographer up ahead. “There are so many tourists in the area so I didn’t think much of it. In fact, for a split second, I was worried we were running into someone else’s proposal!” she says with a laugh. But Kristian stopped, picked up the bouquet and handed Julianne the flowers—and that’s when she realized she’d run into her own proposal! She realized the photographer wasn’t a tourist, but was local favorite Corrina Walker, on-hand to capture the sweet moment. “Kristian led me down a path filled with framed photos of our relationship, from our friendship in high school through vacations, dates, and other adventures. As we came around a huge rock, I saw an antique table topped with flowers, candles, macarons, and champagne nestled among floral ice cubes,” Julianne recalls, and that is where Kristian got down on one knee.

Of course, Julianne knew he couldn’t have pulled this off alone, and immediately asked who had helped make it all possible. Suddenly, her entire planning team emerged from behind the rock to surprise her! “We had recently launched a new program to plan proposals in addition to weddings, and I had been our first client!” Julianne exclaims. “They’d planned the whole thing without me knowing, and had brought a change of clothes and makeup for an engagement session. They’d taken care of everything.”

For their February 10, 2018 wedding, Julianne’s team stepped in again, this time with the bride as the lead designer to execute her vision. “It was incredible to experience wedding planning on a personal level,” she says. “I really appreciated being on the other side. It was so much fun, but now I can relate to any of our stressed-out brides!” The couple selected the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, and invited 145 guests to join them in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. For the winter wedding, the bride chose a clean palette of white and dove grey, creating a modern secret garden in the snow. And after capturing the couple’s engagement, Corrina Walker was an easy choice as their photographer.

Want to see how the pros tie the knot? Keep reading to see Julianne Young‘s big day!

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Plush Invitations created a white-and-dove grey suite that featured modern fonts, deckled edges, and a custom wax seal.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

“Dress shopping was so much fun,” says Julianne. “I knew I wanted long sleeves for our chilly winter evening, and I found my Pronovias gown at my very first appointment!” The crepe style had a fitted silhouette and lace overlays along the bodice and sleeves.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

“My veil was incredibly important to me,” says the bride. “I wanted it to be an heirloom I could hand down to my kids, so I had it custom-made by Daphne Newman Design.” She donned the cathedral-length style for the first look, which took place in front of the altar. “My dad walked me to the ceremony site, and Kristian was there waiting for me. I’d literally dreamed about it a few months earlier, and it was so special to have this moment for just the two of us where we were about to exchange vows.” The groom’s sleek tuxedo was custom-made by en-ti-tled.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

A white, ivory and violet bouquet of clematis, sweet peas, hellebore, and O’Hara garden roses was perfect for Juliane’s wintery garden vision.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

The bridesmaids were invited to choose floor-length gowns in shades of grey, each selecting a color and style she loved.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

After a record snowfall, Lake Louise was shimmering and pristine on Julianne and Kristian’s wedding day. “It felt like we were walking on sparkling clouds,” says the bride.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Three ring bearers led the way down the white aisle to Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s towering stone fireplace.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

“We draped the mantle in greenery and accented it with fresh flowers, then filled the fireplace itself with pillar candles for a cozy glow,” Julianne describes. The couple wrote their own vows, speaking from the heart about their early friendship, their relationship, and what they were most looking forward to as they began their marriage.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Though she’d designed countless receptions before, Julianne was still speechless when she walked into the ballroom.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

A mix of round and long banquet tables were draped in matte ivory satin, mimicking the snow outside the windows. Grey chargers were paired with white hemstitch napkins and golden cutlery, while centerpieces in weathered vessels paired clematis and roses with sprawling greenery. Sandstone-colored pillar candles completed the look.

The indulgent dinner menu featured creamy mushroom soup en croute, an elegant salad presented as a bouquet of greens, and a choice of locally sourced bison, sablefish, or roasted chicken.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

The simple four-tiered wedding cake was draped with creeping clematis and jasmine vine. Inside, chocolate cake was layered with salted caramel filling and vanilla buttercream.

Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

“Even as a professional event planner, I couldn’t have done it without my amazing team,” says Julianne. “Having someone take care of us on our wedding day was invaluable and essential to us enjoying every moment and really being present.”

Wedding Planner: Julianne Young Weddings || Venue: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise || Officiant: Tamara Jones || Bride’s Dress: Pronovias, from The Bridal Boutique || Bride’s Veil: Daphne Newman Design || Bride’s Shoes: Valentino || Bride’s Jewelry: Hillberg & Berk || Hair: Top Knot Brides || Makeup: Trena Laine || Groom’s Attire: en-ti-tled || Groomsmen’s Attire: en-ti-tled || Engagement Ring: Blue Nile || Wedding Bands: Blue Nile || Floral Design: Amborella Floral Studio || Paper Products: Plush Invitations || Catering: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise || Cake: Kake by Darci || Ceremony Music: Ensemble Cascade || Reception Music: Pez Productions || Rentals: Special Event Rentals, Modern Luxe Rentals || Videography: Parfait Productions || Photography: Corrina Walker Photography

read more
Wedding

Shirley & Audrey Founder’s Vintage-Inspired Garden Wedding in The Bronx

shirley-and-geoffrey-wedding01.jpg

In June of 2009, Shirley Liu and Geoffrey Lawson were both interning in Washington, D.C., and living in adjacent apartments. “We spent the summer exploring D.C. together and going to as many indie concerts as we could get tickets to,” Shirley recalls. “There were definitely sparks by the end of the summer, but we parted ways.” They kept in touch for the next three years, and finally started dating when Geoff moved to D.C. for a job. Shirley moved to New York shortly thereafter, but they made the distance work until Geoff moved to the New York area a few years later. “We spent weekends exploring the city, camping in the Catskills, and traveling all over the world,” says Shirley.

In January of 2017, during a hike in the Catskills they’d done many times before, Shirley noticed that Geoff was a little more dressed up than she’d expected for a hike to a frozen waterfall. “I knew something was up, and when we got to the top, he gave me an album commemorating our relationship, then got down on one knee to propose!” Though the trip was supposed to be for hiking, Geoff was ready for a celebratory rehearsal dinner, with one of Shirley’s favorite outfits tucked away in his suitcase.

Instead of choosing between a beautiful garden, an historic estate, and New York City views, Geoff and Shirley found all three at Wave Hill Gardens in the Riverdale neighborhood in the Bronx. “I loved that it almost feels like a secret garden, and Geoff pas partial to the fact that it had been home to his favorite president, Teddy Roosevelt,” says Shirley. They worked with All Who Wander Events to add a personal touch to a classic garden wedding, mixing shades of green and ivory with brass accents to complement the venue’s vintage feel. Take a peek at this May 26th, 2018 wedding, photographed by Carmen Santorelli!

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

The invitation suite featured vintage-inspired botanical drawings, softened by a deckled edge.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Before the ceremony, Geoff and Shirley honored their parents with a Chinese Tea Ceremony. “We loved the idea of taking a moment to thank our parents in a more intimate setting,” says Shirley, who donned her mother’s qipao from her own wedding 38 years ago.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

After the tea ceremony, Shirley changed into an ornate Vera Wang gown with a high neck and long sleeves over a sleek silhouette. The dahlia pattern of the lace was accented with hand-sewn pearls. “I loved that the neckline had a romantic, Victorian feel. It was bridal enough to please my parents, but modern enough to fit my personal style,” says the bride. Shirley’s “something blue” was a pair of cobalt Paul Andrew sling-backs, while her flowing veil was her own design. “My mom and I own bridal accessories company Shilrey & Audrey, so of course wore one of our custom veils and a set of silk hair flowers!”

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

The bridesmaids each chose a Halston Heritage gown, picking a silhouette that fit her personality. All three women carried white bouquets that combined peonies and garden roses.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

“After so much commotion all morning, my nerves were at a high before the ceremony,” says Shirley. “I realized I needed a few moments alone with Geoff, so our planner whisked us away. I’m so glad we had that peaceful time together, because all my nerves faded away.”

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

The ceremony took place in front of a vine-covered pergola that framed views of the Hudson River. Wild arrangements of white flowers and greenery accented the cement structure. “We actually shared our personal vows privately before the ceremony, then exchanged traditional vows in front of our guests,” says Shirley.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

The garden’s succulent-filled greenhouse was the perfect private space where Geoff and Shirley could take it all in after tying the knot.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

The first gift Geoff gave Shirley was a necklace with a laurel wreath charm, and the couple have embraced the symbol ever since. Instead of asking guests to toss flower petals after the first kiss, everyone waved pennants with a laurel wreath in celebration!

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

A mix of high and low arrangements added height to the reception space. Branches of greenery poured out of tall glass vases, surrounded by bud vases of ranunculus. Nearby tables featured lower combinations of roses and peonies, with small blooms creating a wild and flowing look.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

An amazing cake was Geoff and Shirley’s priority, and they loved working with Nine Cakes for this simple masterpiece. Tiers of orange blossom cake with orange buttercream and candied pistachios were layered over cardamom cake with raspberry buttercream and fresh raspberries. “We had a gold deckled edge on each layer to mimic our wedding invitations,” Shirley describes.

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Shirley and Geoff first bonded over their shared love of indie music, so their wedding playlist was the most personal part of their celebration. “The wedding party processional was to ‘Lisztomania’ by Phoenix, and I entered to ‘Sweet Disposition’ by Temper Trap, all played by a quartet,” says Shirley. “We kicked off cocktail hour with ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ by LCD Soundsystem, which really set the tone!”

The newlyweds made sure to take every chance they could to thank their family and friends for all of their support. “Everyone who was there with us has had a meaningful impact on us both as individuals and as a couple,” says Shirley. “Saying ‘thank you’ was so important to us.”

See more: A Nautical Wedding in Nantucket

Wedding Planner: All Who Wander Events || Venue: Wave Hill Gardens || Officiant: Dr. Richard Sheffield || Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang || Bride’s Veil: Shirley & Audrey || Bride’s Shoes: Paul Andrew || Bride’s Jewelry: Chanel, Roberto Coin || Hair: FaceTime Beauty || Makeup: Laura King || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Halston Heritage || Groom’s Attire: Dunhill || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Erica Weiner || Wedding Bands: Erica Weiner, Graff || Floral Design: Days of May Florals || Paper Products: Hello Tenfold, Ink + Nibs, Shin Hae Lee || Catering: Great Performances || Cake: Nine Cakes || Music: Beat Train Productions || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. || Accommodations: The New York Edition || Photography: Carmen Santorelli

read more
Wedding

A Nautical Wedding in Nantucket

nina-and-ross-wedding01.jpg

Ross Butler’s proposal to Nina Han couldn’t have come at a better time. Nine years after the pair first met as students at Georgia Tech, they took a family trip to Spain, and Ross took advantage of a stunning sunset at Park Guell in Barcelona to pop the question. “It was an amazing moment, and the timing was incredible, too,” says Nina. “Two days later, while we were in Valencia, someone stole all of our stuff out of our rental car!” Thankfully, Nina’s engagement ring was already safely on her finger.

The bride, co-founder of party décor company Rent the Party, took easily to wedding planning, devoting just 10 months to design their wedding on October 21, 2017. After considering outdoor options in upstate New York, the bride’s mother suggested a late-fall wedding on the beach, leading Ross and Nina to The Wauwinet in Nantucket. “We loved that we could rent the entire hotel so our 80 guests could stay with us,” says Nina. “It made it feel like a backyard wedding with five-star service.” They added autumnal tones to a nautical theme, pairing deep navy with hints of rose and gold. Photographed by Clayton Austin, this expertly styled fall wedding is what Nantucket dreams are made of!

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

“Nantucket is the most amazing little island,” Nina says. “It feels like another world as soon as you get off the ferry!”

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

In addition to their family and friends, Nina and Ross celebrated with their totally adorable dog, Princess, who donned a white lace dress for her trip down the aisle. “Princess stuck close to us throughout the day,” says Nina. “At one point, I felt something heavy on my veil and looked down to see her fast asleep on the tulle!”

Photo by Clayton Austin

Monogrammed tote bags, painted with Nantucket’s iconic hydrangeas, were perfect for bridesmaid gifts.

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

I tried on almost 200 dresses,” Nina reveals. “I kept thinking I’d found the one, then changing my mind when I saw the pictures my bridesmaid had taken.” But by the time she slipped on this French lace gown with an illusion neckline and a detachable train by Olvi’s, Nina knew. “The train gave it a little bit of wow factor, and it was the most comfortable dress I tried,” she describes. She paired the gown with a petite bouquet of antique roses, hellebores, and seeded eucalyptus combined soft blush and deep cranberry tones.

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

The bride’s mother donned classic Nantucket navy, while her bridesmaids wore desert rose dresses with fluttering sleeves—the perfect compromise between deep cranberry and light blush.

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

The groom paired his custom InStitchu navy suit with a Tom Ford bow tie and nautical lobster cufflinks.

Photo by Clayton Austin

The flower girls each paired white lace and tulle dresses with studded Mary Jane flats.

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

Nina’s parents escorted her to the altar, where arrangements of berries and hydrangeas were arranged to make a small statement in the natural setting. “We got married on the lawn behind the hotel, where there are amazing views of the water,” Nina explains. “We didn’t want to take away from that, so we had flowers in urns instead of on an altar.”

Photo by Clayton Austin

These crisp gray and blue origami sail boats were a labor of love, all hand-folded by the bride and groom! “We named tables after countries we’d visited together. At the time there were 18 total, but now we’re up to 20!” says the bride.

Photo by Clayton Austin

The couple’s grand entrance!

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

Photo by Clayton Austin

The reception took place at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, TOPPER’S. “The seashell dishes and sea foam chairs were perfect for our theme,” says Nina. The couple added navy blue taper candles and delicate garlands of eucalyptus and burgundy flowers to dress up the space.

With a wedding on the beach, of course the menu was all about seafood! Guests enjoyed everything from miniature lobster tacos and oysters Rockefeller to mini crab cakes and herb-crusted Atlantic halibut as they sipped the Georgia Peach (a peach bellini) and the groom’s favorite, Hendricks gin and tonic.

Photo by Clayton Austin

After dinner, the bride and groom sent guests home with favors in Chinese-inspired packaging.

Photo by Clayton Austin

“Sharing our favorite little island with our loved ones was so special, from cruising around the island on The Wauwinet’s boat to cocktails at The Proprietor’s Bar & Table,” says Nina. “We can’t wait to go back and relive it again every year!”

Venue: The Wauwinet || Bride’s Dress: Olvi’s || Bride’s Shoes: Valentino || Hair & Makeup: B Lovely Beauty || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lulus || Groom’s Attire: InStitchu || Groomsmen’s Attire: InStitchu || Engagement Ring: Jean & Alex || Wedding Bands: Jean & Alex || Floral Design: Grey Lady Revelry Co. || Catering: TOPPER’S || Cake: The Wauwinet || Music: Jeff Ross & The Atlantics || Accommodations: The Wauwinet || Videography: New England Wedding Film || Photography: Clayton Austin

read more
Wedding

A Lowcountry Wedding on Dewees Island, South Carolina

annie-and-evan-wedding01.jpg

The second time Annie De Mayo and Evan Huggins saw each another, Annie says people were already assuming they’d be together forever. “We were at a dinner party before we even started dating and another guest asked how long we’d been married,” Annie says with a laugh. Their first official date took place a few later—and after dinner, Annie told Evan she was going down to Dewees Island in South Carolina the next day. “Being Southern and overly polite, I extended an invitation,” she recalls. But when she slipped out of his car that night, Annie realized Evan had been waiting to kiss her so she told him that he should have taken his chance. “He may have missed it that night, but the next day he was on a flight to South Carolina to join our family getaway!” says Annie. They shared their first kiss in a grocery store parking lot shortly after he landed, and spent the weekend trying to convince her family they were “just friends.”

Three years later, in October of 2017, Evan popped the question—though it didn’t quite go according to plan. “We had planned to go for a hike but there was a torrential downpour,” Annie remembers. “Evan convinced me to go anyway, resulting in a hike to an anticlimactic waterfall in the pouring rain. My umbrella blew away, and when Evan got down on one knee to propose, I thought he’d slipped!” Though not the most-wished-for proposal scenario, it was absolutely memorable and they soon set a date for May 12, 2018. The venue? A private home on Dewees Island, of course. “We wanted to be outdoors, smiling our faces off, and surrounded by our community,” Annie explains. The team at A Charleston Bride helped the couple plan the spring celebration, and 183 guests made the trip to enjoy gorgeous natural setting. Says Annie, “Figuring out how to have a wedding in a remote location with few local resources was a challenge, but our planners, my parents, and the island manager were such an incredible team!” Trust us: You don’t want to miss the sunny Southern details of this lowcountry wedding, as photographed by Olivia Rae James, so keep reading for more.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

A month after getting engaged, Annie was in L.A. for work and made a beeline for The Way We Wore, a vintage shop owned by Evan’s grandfather’s friend. “She showed me a few Edwardian and Victorian pieces, and this dress was the very first I tried,” she says. Made in the early 1900s, the white lace frock featured a sheer yoke, soft sleeves, and a blouson bodice–perfect for a modern bride with vintage style. Annie paired the dress with a gathered bouquet of Claire de Lune peonies, coral peonies, and white daisies. “I wanted it to be small and feel wild,” she says.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The bride credits her sister with finding the perfect pair of shoes, blush Dolce & Gabbana Mary Janes finished with roses and butterflies. Her sisters also selected their own dresses—one wore Ulla Johnson, the other, Red Valentino—in different shades of soft blue.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Annie walked down the aisle arm-in-arm with both of her parents.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Evan’s father served as their officiant as the couple wed beneath a towering oak tree. “My dad chose readings for my sisters to share, then Evan’s sister read a passage, as well,” Annie recalls. They wrote personalized vows and sealed them with a kiss.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The groom paired his blue Italian linen suit from J. Crew with hand-sewn leather sneakers from Feit. Guests gathered for cocktail hour to sip Negronis on the lawn outside of the dinner tent.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Inside the tent, wooden tables were accented with cream chargers, white and gold flatware, and mint green napkins. “We wanted our décor to keep things simple and let the natural beauty of the surroundings shine,” the bride describes. The wild centerpieces paired branches and grass with peachy peonies and ranunculus.

For dinner, the couple embraced their lowcountry wedding setting and put an elevated spin on a lowcountry boil. “By elevated, I mean we served everything in bowls instead of newspaper on the tables!” Annie laughs.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

“Love and energy were really flowing that night,” Annie says. “I’ve never felt so deeply connected to the people around me!”

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

The three-tiered wedding cake, topped with fresh blooms, featured three different flavors: vanilla cake with Swiss meringue and fresh strawberries, chocolate cake with Swiss meringue and chocolate ganache, and lemon cake with Swiss meringue and lemon curd.

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

After Annie and Evan shared their first dance, the bride and her father took a spin to “My Girl” by The Temptations. “When the song was done, I asked the DJ to play a Joe Tex song my dad had always played for me and my sisters when we were little to make us laugh,” Annie remembers. “My sisters rushed on the dance floor to join us, and I’ve never seen my dad smile bigger!”

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Photo by Olivia Rae James

“We had a sparkler exit, and Evan and I were both sure we’d catch on fire. He tucked me under his arm and we sprinted to our ‘Just Married’ golf cart, finished with ropes of seashells instead of cans. My sister was our getaway driver, and kept telling us to pretend she wasn’t there,” says Annie.

Wedding Planner: A Charleston Bride || Venue: Dewees Island || Bride’s Dress: The Way We Wore || Bride’s Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Valentino Red, Ulla Johnson || Groom’s Attire: J. Crew || Groomsmen’s Attire: J. Crew || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Erie Basin || Floral Design: FlowerShop || Paper Products: Studio R Design, SAS-E Ink || Catering: Cru Catering || Cake: ABCD Cakes || Ceremony Music: Charleston Virtuosi || Reception Music: DJ Natty Heavy || Rentals: Ooh! Events, Snyder Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linens, Royal Restrooms || Lighting: Techincal Event Company || Transportation: Barrier Island Eco Tours, Charleston Style Limo || Photography: Olivia Rae James

read more