A Playful, Modern Wedding That’s Anything But Stuffy

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Brian and Nicole weren’t interested in a stuffy celebration, but instead wanted a wedding that felt like a party with all their favorite people. The night included good food, good drinks (pre-ceremony popcorn, anyone?), a playlist hand-selected by their guests and Lisa Ziesing of Abby Jiu behind the lens. This, my friends, is a happy day done right.





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FromLisa Ziesing of Abby Jiu Photography… They wanted to party and they did, all while eating delicious food. Bar was the focus and music was important (on the RSVP cards, guests were asked for a song request, which was later played at the wedding). Nicole and Brian live in the Shaw neighborhood in DC, so it was no surprise they picked Long View Gallery down the street for their venue.

Food was very important to the couple. They had a taco station setup called “chipotle Sunday” in honor of N+B getting chipotle every single Sunday. They are also huge movie-goers, so popcorn was handed out as a pre-ceremony, along with pre-ceremony specialty cocktail, to get everyone ready for the night!

The menu reflected a theme of “around the world” in shaw (their DC neighborhood). They both are huge foodies and love to eat. The menu mimicked a restaurant in the neighborhood, Sundevich, one of their go-to spots. They were trying to pull all of their favorite foods into one. 

There was a “Bride’s Seat” at the Bar – Nicole is known to have her spot at the bar, so it would only be fitting to have a fancy seat at the bar for her on the wedding day! And maybe a note about sunglasses never leaving Nicole’s face, hence the bridal party recessional with the white shades and having them for all guests during dancing.

To make things light-hearted and playful, airplane bottles were used as escort cards with a legend to help guests find their seats. They love to play games, so this was the perfect way to show that!

All of the wording throughout the stationery/paper goods was playful and informal and also unique. The quote we used for the save the date set the tone and expectation for the wedding and that it was going to be fun, fun, fun!

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Photography: Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography | Coordination: Cheers Darling Events | Event Design: Lauryn Prattes Styling and Events | Floral Design: Amaryllis | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Stationery: Stephanie B Design | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Heirloom Catering | Makeup: Nikki Fraser Of Beauty N The Bride | Hair: Bridal Hair By Remona | DJ: Chris Stiles | Hotel: Hotel Monaco DC | Venue: Longview Gallery | Bridal Boutique: Love Couture Bridal | Decor: Amaryllis | Furniture Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals | Linen Rentals: Nuage Designs

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Classic DC Wedding Just Blocks From the White House!

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Imagine a Washington DC wedding that’s classic as can be, set just down the block from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Rachel and Tommy took that vision and ran with it, bringing on some amazing vendors like Kate Ignatowski, Federal City Caterers, Amie Decker Beauty, Buttercream Bakeshop and Joanna August, just to name a few. Pop to the gallery for even more imagery to inspire.






From Kate Ignatowski PhotographyRachel and Tommy threw a classic DC affair full of elegant details – all just a couple blocks from the White House. From the exquisite design in the Hay-Adams where Rachel had her finishing touches to the church where they said the vows, full of presidential history.

As the long summer sun started to set, everyone gathered in the courtyard of the Decatur House for cocktails and conversation – it really was a sophisticated oasis in the city. Their party went into the night with dancing and soulful live music. It was my absolute pleasure getting to work with these two very sweet people and their families!

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Photography: Kate Ignatowski Photography | Event Planning: Simply Chic | Floral Design: Sidra Forman | Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Invitations: Rock Paper Scissors | Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Decatur House | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Federal City Caterers | Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | Hair: Locks & Lace | Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones | Band: Keynote Band | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Bridal Boutique: Annalise Bridal Boutique | Getting Ready Venue: The Hay-Adams Hotel | Rentals: Frost Lighting | Rentals: Fabrication Events | Rentals: Party Rentals Ltd | Signage: Amanda Krovic

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5 Wedding Planning Tips, Only a Pro Planner Could Know

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bridalmusings/~3/2uYBUQOUnug/

We look at, think about, and write on weddings every day, so we think we reckon we know a thing or two about how to plan them.

But when it comes to logistical finesse, flawless finishing touches, and zero on-the-day mishaps, there are some things only an expert wedding planner can know. Like the odds on someone cancelling last minute, the chances of your decor going missing for a destination wedding, and how many people will actually eat the cake.

So to share a few of her tricks of the trade, we’ve turned to renowned international event planner, Lindsay Landman.


Photo by Allan Zepeda, Planning by Lindsay Landman Events

Recently named one of the ‘Top Wedding Planners in the World’ by Vogue, Lindsay has been planning weddings and events across the globe for 15 years, with her New York City-based company Lindsay Landman Events.

There are some things a bride or groom would never, (or should never) think about in the lead up to their wedding, and being able to predict these things and stay ahead of the game, is what makes wedding planners so gifted at what they do.

Like magicians, wedding planners rarely reveal their secrets, so when someone like Lindsay Landman shares her top five tips for wedding planning success, you listen up!

1. Let Them Eat (Less) Cake


Cake by Lovecakes, Photo by Emi Fujii Photography via Bridal Musings

You never need to order a wedding cake for your total guest count.

If you are having 200 guests, save some money and order a cake for 175. Venues and caterers tend to cut smaller slices than bakers account for, not to mention that by the time cake is served many guests are on the dance floor or have snuck out early.

Ordering for about 15% less than your total count is usually a safe bet. Don’t go too low, though… you still want the physical size of your cake to be proportionate with the overall scale of your wedding. In other words, you don’t want to have 200 guests and a cake that looks like it can only feed 20 of them.

2. Down Count at Dinner


Photo by Allan Zepeda, Planning by Lindsay Landman Events

Always “down count” your final count to your venue or caterer when you need to provide the final numbers for your wedding.

In my 15 years of planning weddings, I have never once had a wedding where at least two guests didn’t cancel.

So, if a couple tells me that their final count is 206, I will report 202 to the caterer. Once a number is reported to the venue or caterer, you are locked into it and must pay for that number of guests; since I can say with confidence that there is always at least one couple who drops out at the last minute, you can save yourself the headache and get ahead of it!

3. Go Pro with the Lights


Photo by Roey Yohai Photography, Planning by Lindsay Landman Events

Investing in lighting with a professional lighting company (not your DJ!) is always worth it.

Lighting has an incredible impact, not just on how a room looks, but also how the people in it will feel. A skilled lighting designer knows how to manage the light in the room to create the right ambience at the right time – from romantic and intimate to fun and energetic.

It takes finesse to do it right, so this is not a place to skimp.

4. Ditch Your To-Do List


Photo by Allan Zepeda, Planning by Lindsay Landman Events

Don’t save any tasks to do on your wedding day. None. Zilch. You may think that alphabetizing your escort cards is a five minute project you can do while getting your lashes on, but it is not!

Even my team and I don’t leave tasks like this for the wedding day – we prep absolutely everything ahead of time – so you should too.

5. Destination Dos and Don’ts


Photo by Allan Zepeda, Planning by Lindsay Landman Events

If you are having a destination wedding, never, ever, ever ship your wedding dress! Always carry it with you. Better that it is wrinkled (which can be remedied) than lost.

On the same note, if your wedding is overseas, consider packing personalized items like favors or things that are hard to replace like an heirloom cake topper rather than shipping them.

Customs procedures vary greatly from country to country and there is no way to know if that one must-have box will be impounded and inaccessible for your big day.

Happy planning!


Photo by Allan Zepeda, Planning by Lindsay Landman Events

So many great tips, lights definitely give even the most simple weddings a polished look and the ones about the cake and the catering numbers – genius!

Thanks so much to Lindsay for sharing her tips – visit her website for a closer look at her beautiful events.

If you’re interested in wedding planning as a potential future career, then check out Lindsay Landman’s courses at the Event Leadership Institute. This December, she is teaching a comprehensive five-week online course on Destination Wedding Planning.

Check out our Step-by-Step Planning Guide

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How to Make Yellow the Star of Your Color Palette

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For those of you that are looking for your daily dose of vitamin C, allow us to introduce you to the pretty that is this inspiration from Sylvie Gil Photography. It’s a saturated shoot that’s sure to warm up a chilly afternoon and thankfully we’ve got it all to share in The Vault!

From Carrie MoeI had a painting that inspired me for a long time with reds, blues, yellow and pinks that blended so beautifully. I wanted to try make a color palette that was different and unique but similar to the painting. We added in a touch of orange as well to really give it a pop and I am very pleased how the colors came together. We gave each artist (cake artist, invitation, backdrop etc) the same painting that inspired me and let them each mix the colors and blend them together. With so many combinations of colors it is easy to go off stray but each artist really did a beautiful job of interpreting the colors to them and kept them cohesive. The invitation designer used acrylic paints, the backdrop artist dyed papel picado paper and the cake designer used food paints and they all came together to really work so beautifully together.

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Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Styling: Type A Society | Floral Design: Studio Mondine | Dress: Romona Keveza | Cake: The Whole Cake | Invitations: Yonder Design | Jewelry: Single Stone | Hair + Makeup: LunaBella Make-up and Hair | Backdrop: Karina Puente | Chair Rentals: Abbey Party Rents | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Model: scout model and talent | Stylist Assistant: Anna Lord Studio | Tabletop: Casa de Perrin

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A White-on-White Wedding Design Made for the Classic Couple

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Vendors are the heartbeat behind every wedding, and this day includes some of the very best. KT Merry photographed, Shannon Leahy Events designed and the result was everything the couple, Kevin and Candice, ever wanted. One peek in the gallery and you’ll see why this wedding will surely stand the test of time.







Al Fresco

From the Groom…Candice and I met in Los Angeles, and we were friends for the better part of a year before we started dating. We laugh now looking back because all of our close friends knew we were meant for each other and we were the last to know. Soon after we started dating, we moved together to San Francisco. Both of us quickly fell in love with all of the nature that California had to offer – the mountains, beaches, vineyards, redwood forests and ocean-side bluffs. We had spent every Thanksgiving in Lake Tahoe since we moved to SF and the memories that we had accumulated there together made Tahoe the perfect place to propose.

We knew we wanted to stay in California for the wedding, even though it meant a fairly long trip for our families. We quickly settled on a wine country wedding and our planner, Shannon Leahy (Shannon Leahy Events in SF), was crucial in making our vision become a reality. Our preference for venue was a private estate, and Shannon did an incredible job of finding some amazing and unique properties to choose from.

Our first priority was hiring a photographer. We took our time and met with a few really talented shooters before choosing KT Merry. In addition to KT having an amazing portfolio, we wanted to make sure our personalities matched well and we could be comfortable that she had all of the bases covered on the day of. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice in KT.

A couple months before the wedding, we set off with KT and her husband, Chad, to meet for our engagement shoot. Again, we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful scenery in our backyards. KT suggested Mendocino for their picturesque bluffs along the water and it turned out to be the perfect choice and we truly lucked out on the weather. The Pacific beaches can be volatile and unpredictable but the wind died down and the fog cleared out just in time for the sunset, which made for some really great shots.

Before we knew it, it was our wedding day. Candice had a vision for the design and SLE executed it perfectly. Seeing all of those months of planning come to life was pretty incredible and all of our vendors did a great job of taking away all of the stress of the day and allowing us to truly enjoy our time with our loved ones. Candice and I are constantly reliving the special moments from our wedding day, and we’re thankful for all of the talented people that made it so memorable.

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Photography: KT Merry Photography | Cinematography: Reel Eyes Media | Event Planning: Shannon Leahy Events | Floral Design: Rion Designs | Wedding Dress: jinwang | Cake: Branching Out Cakes | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Hair + Makeup: Maria Chang, Professional Makeup Artistry | Groom’s Attire: Jonathan Behr | String Quartet: Synchronicity Strings | Bathrooms: Royal Restrooms | Photo Booth: Tomfoolery | Reception Dress: Vera Wang | Rentals: Rion Designs | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: Lux Production | Silent Disco: Hush Concerts | Transporation: California Wine Tours

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Stylish & Atmospheric Havana Wedding Inspiration

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bridalmusings/~3/WTx8hUh50MM/

We’ve got such a beautiful shoot to share with you guys that resonates for so many reasons. Captured in Havana, Cuba, it’s atmospheric, romantic, and so stylish.

I went to Cuba last year, and it’s probably the most unique place I’ve ever been.

Like going back in time for your holidays, all at once it’s old world colonial, like Eastern Europe in the 80s, Florida in the 50s, with lashings of both Central American and Caribbean vibrancy thrown in, just to add to the kilter. And it’s also on the cusp of big changes.

It’s pretty cool.

So we’ve been more than a little excited to share this gorgeous shoot by Gaby Rguez Photography with styling by Birds and Honey and details from a host of talented vendors.


With a fabulous Claire Pettibone wedding dress, that walks the line of old and new beautifully, pretty beauty ideas, gorgeous florals (the big foliage bouquet by Siren Floral Co. is phenomenal) and chic, informal tablescaping, there’s a lot of ideas to love about this shoot, even before you take in the incredible setting.

Scroll down to see this unique wedding inspiration (FYI, it’ll be hard to resist looking up flights to Cuba when you do) but first up, a little more on this special location, from Gaby Rguez Photography

About the Shoot

The shoot took place in the streets of Old Havana in Cuba during the month of February.  

Meticulously preserved, Cuba’s colonial cities haven’t changed much since musket-toting pirates stalked the Caribbean.

Grandiose squares and cobbled streets tell erstwhile tales of opulence and intrigue. Elsewhere many buildings lie ruined and tattered like ageing dowagers waiting for a facelift.

Trapped in a time warp and reeling from an economic embargo that has grated for more than half a century, this is a country where you can wave goodbye to Western certainties and expect the unexpected.




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So beautiful, right? Cuba is such an awesome place for a honeymoon, make sure you get out of Havana and away from the beaches too – there’s a lot to explore!

Oh and I think I actually ate in the venue where the tablescape was shot – if I’m correct, it’s La Guarida, and the food is incredible!

Thanks so much to Gaby Rguez PhotographyBirds and Honey and the rest of these talented vendors for sharing their shoot with us.

Get more unique ideas for Destination Weddings & Honeymoons

Photographer: Gaby Rguez Photography / Styling & Design: Birds and Honey / Hair & Make-up: Emily V Phung of Blushed Beaute / Florist: Siren Floral Co / Bride’s Dress: Claire Pettibone / Rings: Susie Saltzman / Stationery & Calligraphy: Jenny Sanders, Graceline Art / Ribbon: Silk & Willow / Model: Heather Hockley / Model: Igor Vladetić
Photographer: Gaby Rguez Photography / Styling & Design: Birds and Honey / Hair & Make-up: Emily V Phung of Blushed Beaute / Florist: Siren Floral Co / Bride’s Dress: Claire Pettibone / Rings: Susie Saltzman / Stationery & Calligraphy: Jenny Sanders, Graceline Art / Ribbon: Silk & Willow / Model: Heather Hockley / Model: Igor Vladetić

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10 Bridal Cover-Ups for Winter Weddings, From Cool to Classic

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Are you a winter bride looking for the perfect cover-up for your big day? You’re in luck!

The cold weather is coming (or if you’re in London, it’s well and truly here). And while that means warm cocktails, evergreen decor, an abundance of candlelight, and all the romance of a winter wedding, it also means brides in light dresses turning blue while they get their pictures taken.

Not a good look!

View More: http://jonhartmanphoto.pass.us/veronicaandchris

Bouquet by Gail Vander Laan, Photo by The Jon Hartman Photography Co via Bridal Musings

So today, we’re bringing you a round up of our favourite coats and cover-ups to leave you feeling toasty, or at least a little less exposed to the elements, on your big day.

If you’re opting for a wedding day cover-up, there are so many ways to go depending on your style.

You can keep it classic with a faux fur coat or wool wrap. Light cardis and sweaters make preppy cover-ups while still keeping things pretty and feminine. Vintage shawls, capes and hoods add a touch of glamour, or something sheer and sparkly is a light accessory that won’t change up your bridal look too much.

If you opt for a coat, channel the likes of Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama or Jackie O for chic and formal outerwear.


Photo by Frances Tulk-Hart, Dress by Savannah Miller via Bridal Musings

Then of course, you can go a little alternative instead. Lots of wedding dress designers (Ivy & Aster, Houghton NYC, Otaduy and Savannah Miller to name just a few) have been creating coats and jackets to match their aesthetics.

Likewise, you can ditch the bride tag altogether and look to your favourite stores and designers for kimonos, leather or denim jackets, sequin or silk bombers or cool tuxedo blazers and cropped coats.

Long gowns look awesome contrasted with short casual jackets, so don’t be afraid to mix up your look.


‘I Do’ jacket by Otaduy via Bridal Musings

Still stuck? Scroll down to check out our round-up of 10 gorgeous bridal cover-ups, and shop more of our favourites at the end of the page.

1. Go For Faux


Faux Fur Jacket by Helen Moore for BHLDN

2. Brides of a Feather


Feather Cover-up by Serenity Kate Couture on Etsy

3. The First Lady


White Wool & Cashmere Coat by Reiss

4. Caped Crusader


Chiffon Cape Train by Gibson Bespoke on Etsy

5. Blushing Bomber


Embroidered Bomber Jacket by Stella McCartney

6. Prima Ballerina


Wrap Cardigan by Ivy & Aster for BHLDN

7. Little White Riding Hood


White Faux Fur Hood  by Pits by Triin Isak on Etsy

8. Cute Cardi


Knitted Cover-up by ASOS

9. Biker Bride


Limited Edition Leather Jacket by Houghton NYC

10. All That Glitters


Beaded Wrap by Carol Hannah for BHLDN

Some really chic options, right? I love the look of a leather jacket with a formal gown, but the faux fur coats are hard to resist for a glamorous winter wedding look, don’t you think?

Get more ideas for bridal coats and cover-ups below, and don’t forget to check out more of our shoppable posts (they make shopping for your wedding so much smoother!).

Shop More Cool & Classic Bridal Cover-ups

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When Setting Meets Diamond: Choosing the Right Pairing for You

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Here at SMP, we wholeheartedly believe that adding a little bling to your work day makes it that much better. So today we’re teaming up with our friends at Bailey, Banks & Biddle and Scott Kay to do just that. From dazzling diamond engagement rings to stunning eternity bands, we’re taking some time out to help YOU choose that perfect pairing for your finger, one step at a time. Dive in to find out how.

Think Lifestyle

Whether you’re an adventurous lady who would rather rock climb than sit, an avid marathon runner, a lover of reading Jane Austen (guilty) or something else entirely, trust us, narrowing down the right stone and metal combo for your lifestyle is key.  Thankfully, Scott Kay has sooo many amazing settings (like the Oval Halo Setting) and metal combos (hello, Platinum, 18kt, 14kt Yellow and White Gold) that fitting any and all lifestyles is the definition of easy-peasy.  Not sure which one to choose? Bailey, Banks & Biddle’s talented diamond experts can walk with you step by step throughout your ring search to ensure you’re selecting the stone and Scott Kay setting that will last.

Tell Your Story

At the heart of every engagement + marriage is an amazing love story. One that is unique to you and yours… and your ring should be an extension of that. Whether it’s a setting that reminds you of how you first met, or simply the promise of the future, Scott Kay’s newest Embrace Collection is the perfect symbol of the bond that you and yours share. Think stunning designs that showcase diamond links or alternate metal + diamond links for a look that is breathtaking AND gives a little added dimension. Not to mention the linked design detail is the perfect way to tell each other you’re in it for forever… linked for life. How sweet is that?

Remember the Four C’s

We can’t talk engagement rings without talking about the four C’s – Clarity, Cut, Color and Carat Weight. At Scott Kay, all gorgeous settings are fitted with a beautiful Bailey, Banks & Biddle diamond that has been hand-selected to guarantee the highest in all of the above, plus that added brilliance and quality you know is so important. I mean, that’s even MORE than the four C’s…. they go above and beyond, y’all. Which is why Bailey, Banks & Biddle is known for diamonds that stand apart from the rest and have all been certified by a third party accredited gemological laboratory, which is sooo important. I mean, a Bailey, Banks & Biddle diamond in a Scott Kay Classic Setting? Beyond beautiful.

Stay Within Budget

Ahh… the budget. We don’t necessarily love the word, but we all have one and it’s seriously important to stick to it. (You’ll thank us for this tip later.) But just because you have one, doesn’t mean the world isn’t still your oyster. At Bailey, Banks & Biddle, there is a wide variety of drop-dead gorgeous, I’m going to die if I don’t have it style of rings in every stone, setting and price point. And remember those four C’s (and beyond) we talked about above? No matter the budget, they stick to it. So, basically, you’re set for life with an exceptional piece of jewelry that will showcase just who you are. (Which is awesome.)

Ready to select that ring of your dreams? Visit Bailey, Banks & Biddle today and work with one of the leading experts in fine jewelry design and craftsmanship to create your forever piece.

Photography (Top to Bottom): Rebecca Yale + Tamara Gruner + Sally Pinera + Rebecca Yale + Jose Villa


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An Epic Wedding Ceremony Set Cliffside!

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From destination wedding plans in Italy to a simple elopement at city hall, Mike and Trinh settled on a last-minute compromise with an intimate celebration on the cliffs of Big Sur, California. They shared vows in front of those they love most with ocean views for as far as the eye can see. Thanks to Jessica Kay for an entire gallery waiting in The Vault.







Al Fresco

From the Bride…Originally I had different wedding plans from having the wedding in the coast of Italy to just eloping at San Francisco city hall. Two months before our wedding date, we compromised and decided to have it in Big Sur, California which is about a 3 hour drive from where we currently reside. Mike and I have traveled the world together and lived in several different cities before Mike proposed in NorCal where he was born and raised in a small town.

I am an artist and nature gal at heart, my vision for our wedding was to incorporate as much nature and us in there as possible. Big Sur has captured my heart long ago when we first visited, she has her unique beauty and a sense of adventure like myself. Big Sur reminded me of my adventures around the world, living on the edge, and trekking to many mountains including Machu Picchu and Mount Everest. Although, I’ve never been to Point 16 before, when I saw the photos of the venue online I knew that I wanted our wedding ceremony to be on that point overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. Our love story has been about adventures, taking risks, and making sacrifices and I think that’s what keeps it all exciting and we’re still very much in love since day one.

Although I am proud to be Vietnamese American, many days of my life was spent living and working in Europe. I’ve always admired French and Italian artists along with their culture and aesthetics. I wanted to incorporate a Tuscany garden feel, Greek romance, and French countryside and California laid back to the dinner table which included old clay pots filled with olive branches and few florals, macaroons for take away gifts, and name cards handwritten in watercolor by me. My wedding designer Joy Nicolas helped carried out the rest of my vision, and I couldn’t have done it without her.

Growing up I enjoyed reading Greek methodology, and in late 2000s I visited a few parts of Greece and loved it there too. I created the design for my dress which was influence by Grecian clothing. My vision of my dress came to life thanks to my friend Judy from Julee Chic Bridal based in San Jose, CA. I tried on so many dresses, I’m very petite, and I didn’t have much time to keep looking for dresses so I simply wanted to have one custom made.

Everyone enjoyed the organic food that was locally sourced by our caterer Cheri and prepared right there at the outdoor kitchen. The view was amazing according to everyone. On a normal day, this part of Big Sur is sunny with a nice breeze. However, recently the big fire has been burning over 100k acre of the forest two weeks prior to our wedding left a haze which also left a very beautiful sunset for our sunset photos. In the end all we have left are photographs, which were captured by Jessica Kay Photography perfectly.

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Photography: Jessica Kay | Cinematography: Filmman Video | Event Design: Joy Nicolas | Floral Design: Petals Of Love Floral Studio | Wedding Dress: JuLee Collection | Cake: Fleur de Farine | Catering: A Big Sur Affair | Hair + Makeup: Styles By Ann | Calligraphy: Ink and Linen | Band: Ivy Hill Entertainment | Venue: A Big Sur Affair | Bridal Boutique: Ju.Lee Collection | Candle Holders: Trunks & Tales | Stylist + Designer: Joy Nicolas

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Beautiful Multicultural Wedding with a Hindu and Catholic Ceremony

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Planning a multicultural wedding, or even just bringing two different families together, can be a challenge. But when you want a ceremony that incorporates two different religions, well that’s a whole other ball game.

But in today’s real wedding, gorgeous couple, Jessica & Parth pulled it off so beautifully.

From their attire to their decor, and their ceremony to their refreshments, every last detail of their day was a marriage not just of them, but of their traditions, cultures, cuisine, music, and love of cake!

And we can’t wait to share all the details, captured by Andy Carretto of Carretto Studio.


With guests coming from around the world to St. Louis, Missouri to help them celebrate, the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel, provided a suitably glamorous backdrop.

The Crystal Ballroom with its grand space and luxurious, yet neutral decor was just the setting for all the rich tones and bright blooms of an Indian wedding.

As for the attire, we could gush about the traditional clothing (sourced all the way from India) all day, but we love that Jessica also got her big reveal, with a ‘second look’ with Parth, in her elegant Morilee gown.

There are so many gorgeous details about this day, we should really let Jessica (and the wonderful photographs) do the talking instead.

Oh and make sure you read about how Parth proposed too – who knew such epic love stories could start in McDonalds?


Our Love Story

We met as teenagers back in 20016 while we were both working at McDonald’s. We quickly became best friends while continuing to stay in touch as we both started college and started dating three years later in July of 2009. 

On July 2 2014, we went on what I thought would be a ‘simple dinner’ to celebrate our five-year anniversary. We had discussed not doing anything big and not doing gifts in the weeks prior. Parth found a company that did group restaurant tours and said he wanted to try that.

When we arrived at the restaurant at The Cheshire, the woman leading the tour said that the others in the group missed their flight and had to cancel so it would be just the two of us. 

We then went to a private room where Chef Rex came to talk to us about the food and drink pairings for the evening. He showed us around his kitchen and made the most amazing dishes for us. 

I believe at one point I told him his food speaks straight to my heart. Little did I know, Parth had planned the whole thing. 

After The Cheshire, we went downstairs to Basso for more food and drinks. The waitress raved about their wine market and told us we had to go see it before we went to our next place. We ventured up the private elevator and entered a room filled with candles and a table full of desserts. 

At this point I heard ‘our song’ playing and grabbed Parth’s hand, smiled and told him to listen. The biggest smile came across his face as he pulled me around the corner where both of our families were waiting. That’s when it finally hit me. 

He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We spent the rest of the evening eating desserts, drinking Champagne, and spending time with our families. It was perfect. 

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The Inspiration

We really wanted our wedding to reflect both of us and our cultures. The simplicity and class of a Catholic wedding with the fun, colorful, high energy of an Indian wedding.

Finding a color that did not clash with the traditional red of my bridal lengha was difficult as well. Ultimately the colors came together when all the girls went to try on bridesmaids dresses-the cobalt blue was so beautiful on all the girls and the contrast of the hot pink really brought it all together.

From there we added a few purple accents. Our goal was to make everything flow from ceremony into reception and not be too matchy.

We brought in the gold table cloths to break up all the color and bring that simple class black into the reception space.


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The Attire

All of the ceremony outfits were picked out and bought in India. Parth’s mom, sister, and cousin did a great job finding something that we would like.

My dress was from Clarice’s Bridal, I loved the lace detail and open back.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Bella Bridesmaid – I let them pick their style from the Amsale line.


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Favourite Moments

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin.

First, it was so exciting that we had so many of our guests join us from all over the world including his uncle from India and family friends from Switzerland. It was his uncle’s first time to the United States and was very special that he could share our big day with us.

Even though the bride does not go down to the Baraat (parade where the groom comes in on a horse and our two families meet) I loved listening and trying to catch a sneak peak of the festivities from the widows upstairs.

I thought the ceremony would be the most boring part of the entire day, but it turned out we laughed and had so much fun with the two parts.

Both of our families embraced the other’s culture and my dad was excited and proud to wear his outfit he picked out while on a business trip in India. I loved seeing our parents laugh and enjoy the day as if they have been friends for life.

I think one of my favorite parts was our second look. Since Parth knew what my ceremony outfit was we decided to keep the white dress for the reception a surprise.

When my mom, sister, and I were trying on wedding dresses, my sister leaked this big, poofy dress that was not me at all to Parth. So for a year he thought that I was wearing something else.

When he turned around he was shocked to see me and whispered ‘You look beautiful to me.’ That was a special moment that he and I shared together.

Another one of my favorite moments was when we gave his parents their thank you gift. I wrote them a note and we gave them first class tickets to India. They were shocked and so excited to get to go and see their family comfortably.

I also think our reception was a blast! Our dance floor was filled the entire night that I didn’t even stop to eat the nacho bar that I was so excited about.

And you know how I love my desserts – I enjoyed every bite of my four pieces of cake (and part of Parth’s during our cake cutting too which you can see in the video – that is me inside and out.)


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The Venue

The Crystal Ballroom where the ceremony was held made our venue the one. It is a historic ballroom that first caught my eye in pictures.

When we saw the vaulted ceilings and huge bay windows I knew this was the spot. It helped that the Marriott staff was wonderful and has done many Indian weddings in the past.

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The Ceremony

This started as the biggest challenge in our wedding. Parth being Hindu and me being Catholic really posed some obstacles for some of our family members as well as finding officiants.

From the start of the planning Parth and I wanted a ceremony that combines our two beautiful religions. We did not want a ceremony for him and a ceremony for me. To us, starting our marriage meant being united and respectful of our differences.

Through word of mouth we found a Hindu priest who performed in mostly English. Usually it would have been done in Sanskrit (which neither Parth nor I understand). I think it was the first time many people from his side heard the ceremony in English.


My parents talked to their former pastor who was overjoyed to meet with us. We had met with two or three other Catholic priests who immediately said they would not perform the ceremony anywhere outside of the church.

Father Craig was enthusiastic and listened to Parth and I. We had a traditional reading from the Bible, ring exchange and vows. It was a beautiful ceremony filled with tradition, love and laughter and it was completely unique.

Many of our guests said they have never seen two priests simultaneously pronounce a couple husband and wife or combine things the way we did.

Many of the songs were Indian love songs, but the song that my father and I walked down to was an instrumental version of Ave Maria.

This song is very important in my family. My late aunt sang this when my mom walked down the aisle and married my dad and I knew I wanted this song to be a part of our big day.

It was recognizable and symbolic to my side yet still beautiful for his side to enjoy.

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Advice for Other Couples

I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest. I took a lot of pictures into vendors to make sure they fully understood what I was saying. We were very organized and stuck to a timeline.

We spread out the big expenses and tried to plan for unthought – of expenses that blogs don’t discuss like stamps and welcome bags.

I made a weekend packing list for myself, the groom, and our parents so no one would forget anything since we were staying at a hotel.

We delegated tasks to our bridal party like music playlists for the party bus, getting drinks for the bus, being in charge of flowers, and being contacts for our vendors in case they needed anything.

We left for our honeymoon the Monday after the wedding so we packed before any wedding events started.

When we started to get overwhelmed with ‘wedding talk’ we decided that we would only discuss and plan the wedding one night a week. This kept us both sane, happy, and excited to plan our big day.

We found wedding planning can be stressful especially if family members and friends wanted specific aspects in our wedding. We stayed united and were a team throughout the planning.

Remember that the day is about the two of you, your love for one another, and starting your life together. Certain things the day of are out of your control and you cannot let them impact you negatively.

Surround yourself with people who love and support you and will help make the day run smoothly.

And lastly, wear comfortable shoes! I got beautiful wedges for both the ceremony and reception. My shoes stayed on the whole time and allowed me to dance all night!

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The Photography & Videography

We searched through countless photographers looking for someone who captured our style: timeless, romantic, and classy.

We first heard of Carretto Studio through my friend who had used them the year prior for their wedding. We met with him and loved his work!

We wanted to make sure our photographer has been exposed to the stress of an Indian wedding and would be able to handle a large guest count. Andy surpassed all of our expectations.

For videography we used a friend ours who had just started his own company here in St. Louis. We wanted someone who would take the time to add unique features and really show who we are as a couple.

Ryan from Fathom Studio did a beautiful job! I have so many favorite parts from the video and feel as if I am still there on my wedding day every time I watch. Here is a link to the video on YouTube

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The Flowers

We originally wanted peonies, but quickly found out how expensive they were. My florist was wonderful about working with our budget.

We used a lot of various types of roses (which were much cheaper than I anticipated), fuchsia stock, hydrangeas to fill out the pieces, and some greenery and baby’s breath to break up the color.

My florist looked at pictures of the bridesmaids outfits and helped me pick colors that would complement the blue and continue with the pops of hot pink and again tie in some purple.

For the centerpieces we alternated small vases and tall vases to mix it up and used the glass and votive candles provided by our venue to help save money. We also did 1/3 of the tables in candles to help bring that romantic light back into the reception space.

Our decorator used fuchsia flowers in the vases to tie them together with the floral arrangements. We saved money by using flowers from the ceremony for some of the tables in the reception as well as taking two of the bridesmaid bouquets to make one small centerpiece for the reception.

We used the small floral centerpieces for decoration for the brunch the following morning.

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The Budget

We splurged on venue and photography. Food and drink is expensive, especially when you have top shelf alcohol and three meals for 330 guests.

Our hotel worked with us to get the price down to an affordable level for us. We were able to make up the cost by doing the escort cards and ceremony programs ourselves, being creative with getting sheet cakes and getting a simpler cake design, and reusing flowers.

We spent $700 for cake for 330 people! I was so excited about that. I originally wanted this ornate design that was $8/slice and then thought why spend that much for something that is only seen for a few moments?

Like I mention below, we used two cake places to save money and got a variety of flavors. I think the sheet cake was $1/slice and saved us so much!

Our flowers were $1,300. My florist was great about telling me what flowers are in season at that time and helping me find cheaper alternatives to flowers that I liked. By reusing flowers for decorations we were able to cut our decoration cost as well.

Another option is to ask vendors if they do a cash discount. We got a few places to give us 5-10% off if we paid them in cash.

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The Refreshments

I love food and I really love desserts. Getting the food right was very important to us, especially when you have such a wide variety of guests.

The chef at the Marriott trained in India and took notes about how to make it taste more like the style of cooking Parth’s family enjoys and allowed both of our parents to join us for the tasting.

We started with lunch for all of our guests catered from our favorite place, India Palace. For our passed hors d’oeuvre’s we wanted more of an Indian flare. We had a bhel puri station, spinach pakora, chili & queso rangoon, lamb chops, and assorted cheeses.

Our plated dinner menu was American and included eggplant parmesan, and mushroom and ricotta stuffed chicken. All of which were incredible. Our late night snack was a nacho bar.

My sister and I went cake tasting together and had such a hard time deciding which cakes to order. Ultimately we decided to get them all! So we had four cakes from two different places. We saved a fortune by getting a smaller tiered cake and sheet cakes for the rest.

I am so proud to say that this bride ate and enjoyed all four pieces of cake.

Our flavors included something for everyone: chocolate with fudge, lemon with cream cheese, white with raspberry, and almond with ganache filling. We also had desserts flown from India.

We had a brunch the next day that included both Indian and American breakfast items and a Bloody Mary bar.


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The Decor & Details

We used a lot of florals and candle light for decoration. We tried to use as much from the hotel as we could to help save money.

They provide votive candles and mirrors for the centerpieces so we asked for extra to use on our place card table and gift box area. We used our framed engagement pictures for those tables as well.

Our backdrop for the reception was done by the same lady who did our Mandap (stage) for the ceremony. She was able to bring an Indian element to the reception.

Our DIY projects were the ceremony pamphlets and escort cards which was more than enough for me when you have 330 guests. All of our desserts were our favors.


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The Music

Our first dance song was ‘Overjoyed’ by Matchbox 20. Our videographer even used it.

My dad and I chose a very fitting father-daughter duo by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. Their song ‘Unforgettable’ was perfect.

Parth is more modern with his tastes and chose ‘One Call Away’ by Charlie Puth for the mother-son dance.

I spent countless hours listening to music and finding translations. Our ceremony songs included: ‘Tum hi ho’, ‘Latika’s theme’, an instrumental of Ave Maria, and our first walk song was ‘Mast Magan’.

Another song that reminds me of our wedding was ‘Tu Meri’- I like this song because it sounds like they say my name, Jessica in it. We even started to get a choreographed dance to this song we all liked it so much. This song is also in our wedding highlight video.


The Honeymoon

We went to St. Lucia for an amazing 10 days. We stayed at one of the Sandals resorts.

In St. Lucia they have free shuttles to their other two Sandals resorts so that allowed us to mix it up a little. I highly recommend Sandals and St. Lucia.

We were able to just show up and have their help booking excursions and everything was included. We had a butler suite which was the cherry on top of the whole experience.

We felt on top of the world having someone drive us around in our own golf cart, make us dinner reservations or dinner on our patio.  


So much colour! I just love all the luxe decor and textures, and reading more about all the details behind the day makes it even more special.

Thanks so much to Andy Carretto of Carretto Studio and of course, Jessica & Parth for sharing their beautiful Indian wedding in St Louis with us!

Get more ideas for your own multicultural wedding

Photographer: Andy Carretto from Carretto Studio / Reception: Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel / Bridal Salon: Clarice's Bridal / Bride’s Dress: Morilee / Indian Attire: Bombay, India / Groom’s Attire: Savvi Formalwear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids / Videography: Fathom Studio, Ryan Meyer / Hair & Make-up: Emily Miller / Flowers: Soulard Florist / Cake Baker: Sarah’s Cake Shop for tiered cake / Cake Baker: Wedding Wonderland Cakes / Invitations & Stationery: Metrocard Agency / DJ: Millennium Productions / Decor: Fatima Dahal / Linens: All Seasons Linen
Photographer: Andy Carretto from Carretto Studio / Reception: Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel / Bridal Salon: Clarice's Bridal / Bride’s Dress: Morilee / Indian Attire: Bombay, India / Groom’s Attire: Savvi Formalwear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids / Videography: Fathom Studio, Ryan Meyer / Hair & Make-up: Emily Miller / Flowers: Soulard Florist / Cake Baker: Sarah’s Cake Shop for tiered cake / Cake Baker: Wedding Wonderland Cakes / Invitations & Stationery: Metrocard Agency / DJ: Millennium Productions / Decor: Fatima Dahal / Linens: All Seasons Linen

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