Heaven is for Real — It’s Elie Saab’s Spring Summer 2017 Haute Couture Collection

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If I had a fairy godmother, my one wish would be to sit front row at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, specifically at Elie Saab‘s show, because each and every look he sends down the runway is always worthy of a princess. But since I can’t have my Cinderella moment, I’ll settle for the next best thing — poring over these gorgeous captures from the one and only Greg Finck.

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Elie Saab Haute Couture SS 2017

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Elie Saab Haute Couture SS 2017

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From Greg Finck PhotographyThis is Elie Saab Haute Couture SS17 fashion show, which happened yesterday during Paris Fashion Week. I feel grateful and honored to have counted Elie Saab as part of my clients for a year now, and I got to shoot the backstage, first look and runway for this other amazing Couture Show. This Spring/Summer collection, that comes under the names ‘The Birth of Light’ has been inspired by Egypt golden Age, in the 40s-60s. This is truly one of Arabia’s golden age, with amazing stability and freedom in the whole region. From the shores of the Nile, to the famous Egyptians actresses, dancers, and singers who have made the glory of Egypt during this golden age, beauty was everywhere. Between 1940 and 1960, Egyptian music reached a climax, with famous singers such as Oum Kalthoum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Farid Al Atrash and Sabah, whose voices songs and melodies have been exported around the globe. On another level, Hoda Shaarawi and Doria Shafik were inspiring feminist characters, fighting for women’s rights. This is also the time when the Egyptian cinema rose with directors such as Henry Barakat, Hassan Al Imam or Youssef Chahine. A golden age placed under the sign of artistic excellence and cultural wealth. Elie Saab has inspired himself with all of these elements and the woman from his SS17 collection is the reflect of this golden age.

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Photography: Greg Finck Photography | Makeup: Tom Pecheux | Hair: Orlando Pinta | Gowns: Elie Saab | Location: Potel et Chabot

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Winter Wedding Dubbed by the Couple as a ‘Champagne-Soaked Dance Party’

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I think it should be a new thing that we ask all couples how to describe their wedding day in five words or less. Because this stunning duo, came up with THE best one: ‘Champagne-Soaked Dance Party’. Now, doesn’t that sound like a wedding you want to attend? SoCo Events added their pretty touch and it’s classic elegance at it’s best. Join me in The Vault for more captured by Bonnie Sen.

From the newlyweds… How We Met: This question has a few answers. According to Facebook, we cross paths at some point while we were both at Vanderbilt in 2009. Technically, we were first introduced, as grown ups, at Hill Country BBQ as we were both helping out with a young Vandy alumni fundraising event. It was an informal host committee meeting and Matt was the only person at the table that I did not know. I thought he was cute and he apparently thought I “looked SO Vanderbilt.” However, we did not speak much at the dinner, besides a few stolen glances and watching Matt spill BBQ sauce all over his suit. After that encounter, a mutual friend and I were gchatting as I was complaining about the lack of nice men in DC. This friend, Theo, suggested that he could set me up with his old Vandy buddy Matt McGrath the next time he was in DC and we’d be a good match. About two weeks later, I unexpectedly bumped into Matt at a friend of a friend’s house party in Adams Morgan. After asking him to pour a drink, for reasons unknown to me, the next words that blurted out of my mouth were “Theo says we should date” Matt took it in stride with some mild amusement.

What was the bride’s first impression? My first impression of Matt was that he was very cute and how did I never lay eyes on him while I was at Vanderbilt. He was charming, polite, and well dressed, albeit a messy eater.

What was the groom’s first impression? I have always found Sarah captivating because she’s this tall, beautiful woman who is charming, assertive and unafraid all at the same time. About two minutes into our first conversation, Sarah told me that we shared a close mutual friend in New York, who had told her that she and I should date.  I took a sip of my drink and responded, “Well, I think we should try that.”

I also love to read, and Sarah said she did too, so I gave her a little test.  After our first date I offered her a couple books on politics that I thought she’d like.  (Sarah still makes fun of me for giving her “homework.”)  But she thanked me for the recommendations and finished both books by our third date.

Our First Date: Our first real “date” was on a Wednesday night at Brasserie Beck on March 14, 2012. After hitting it off majorly on Saturday night, I was expecting Matt to immediately call/text/date me. By Tuesday morning and radio silence I was a bit panicked. But, rather than a rash of somewhat inconsequential texts or emails that I had come to expect in the DC dating pool, Matt actually CALLED me on Tuesday afternoon and asked me to meet him on Wednesday night. He suggested Brasserie Beck, which was about 5 minutes from my then apartment. He asked if I could do 8 PM. At the time, I was a teacher with the Teach For America program and started my days at 5:45 AM, meaning dinner time for me was the early bird special at 5:30 pm, so I assumed he meant for a drink. I admittedly tried to arrive late, against my natural inclination, and actually stood around the corner and waited for him to walk in first. When we were seated for actual dinner, I was surprised – he was so grown up was my initial reaction, an actual meal! I also had sort of already eaten dinner. He was very sweet and charming and tried to impress me with his French and his reasoning for choosing a Belgian restaurant (he interned at the EU in Brussels during college). We ended up talking until around midnight – way past my bedtime.

How long did you date before getting engaged: We dated from March 2012 to January 2015

Where and How We Got Engaged: (Matt and I had discussed getting engaged a bit and I already knew that over Christmas he was planning to ask my dad permission (over a scotch at 10 AM during my nephew’s breakfast with Santa, it turns out). In his very Matt way, he had told me to plan for “Q3 2015” – obviously trying to make light of the situation while reassuring me.
During 2013 and 2014, I was traveling quite a bit for work and had racked up a number of frequent flier miles. We were originally planning to take a trip to Argentina, but the flights and times didn’t seem to work out. Instead, we decided to go to Northern India. We arrived in Delhi in January 2015; I had gotten my nails done just in case he was going to pop the question. However, after our first night and nada, I sort of assumed that he wouldn’t want to carry a diamond all over India in the next 10 days, so assumed it wasn’t happening. During our amazing trip we kept get upgraded to nicer rooms or suites and the staff kept congratulating us and calling me Mrs. McGrath. Every time, Matt sort of nervously laughed – I assumed since he was getting awkward at the insinuation.

Our final night in India, we were in Jaipur – the Gem City in Rajasthan. Matt arranged for us to have dinner at the Rambagh Palace, once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, which was converted to a hotel when the royal family moved out in the late 1950s. Before we left for dinner, he had arranged for a nail appointment for me in the hotel. I wasn’t sure if it was a sign or if he was just thinking my curry stained polish was looking a little rough. Once we left for dinner, Matt started to sweat profusely. Arriving at the hotel, the GM met us at the door and gave us a tour of the palace. Again, the royal treatment seemed a bit odd. Finally we concluded at a giant fountain in the back of the palace that was spraying water way into the air and beautifully lit up. Matt got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Earlier in the day, he had bought a little emerald bracelet to propose with and had the real ring waiting for me in DC. We then had the most amazing 6 course menu on gold plates, followed by a huge chocolate cake on a bed of roses. Truly magical!

How long were you engaged before getting married: We were engaged exactly 1 year and 7 days. We initially thought about the weekend prior, so we would have an exactly one year engagement, but thank GOD we did not as that turned out to be the weekend of the snowpocalypse and were totally snowed in. I really wanted a winter wedding and Matt did not want a long engagement. He asked if we could go to the court house multiple times to just make it official already.

Bride’s Favorite Wedding Detail: I have too many to count, but I think my favorite detail was the custom made soft seating from Edge Floral. It was a beautiful mirrored gold chair, couch and table, covered in a rich velvet. It was so beautiful and made the space cozy and comfortable and kept everyone in the room.

I also LOVED the welcome bag details – the theme of DC came across with all of the customized stickers and the water bottle wraps, not to mention the capital shaped cookies and campaign pins! The velvet bags that held the hangover kits were also so fun and luxe.

Groom’s Favorite Wedding Detail: I was totally blown away by the attention to detail that Soco Events and the Four Seasons put into the wedding reception.  We really wanted a reception where all our family and friends would dance, so I appreciated the cocktail napkins that helped people build their confidence.  I think one said, “Trust me, you can dance. -Vodka”.  Note from Sarah – Matt picked out great crushed velvet tuxedo slippers for himself and all the groomsmen

Biggest Surprise of Wedding: (from Matt) When Sarah and I started our first dance, I was totally confused when at first I couldn’t recognize what the band was playing.  Little did I know, Sarah had asked them to play an acoustic version of “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, which was the first song we danced to when we started dating in 2012.  We still laugh about “Call Me Maybe” being our first dance — maybe one day it will be a classic!

From Sarah: I loved surprising Matt with our first dance song. Call Me Maybe always makes me think of our first few months of dating, when we would listen and dance to it nonstop.  But my favorite surprise of the wedding was my parent’s participating in the Horah! It was SO funny to watch my very catholic mom get hoisted up in a chair – something she vowed she would never do (“too dangerous”). As they lifted her into the air she made the sign of the cross – which just made the whole thing funnier.

Most Sentimental/Touching Moment of the Wedding: (from Matt) Sarah was raised Catholic and I was raised Jewish, so we wanted a wedding service that would reflect who we are together and be inclusive of our families.  I spent a lot of time writing our own wedding service with my cousins Monsignor Robert Harris of Brooklyn, New York and Rabbi Dan Levin of Boca Raton, Florida.  We absolutely loved the sermons they gave, where Monsignor Bob talked about the theme of “harmony” from the Old Testament and Rabbi Dan talked about the theme of “love” from the New Testament.  We felt a lot of love in the chapel and it really set the tone for the rest of the evening.

From Sarah: My dad is a big dude. Very manly and tough, but when he came into the room to see me in my dress for the first time he was basically a crying ball of mush. It was so sweet and touching to see how much he cares and loves my family in a moment like that.

Wedding Favors or any special décor details: I LOVED the customized wedding campaign pins that Blair designed. During the wedding, I was working on the Jeb 2016 campaign and had worked in republican fundraising for the past 3 years, while Matt is an Obama White House alumnae and works with Sec. Madeline Albright. Since our wedding was the day before the Iowa primaries and everyone who knows us, knows our political involvement, it was a really fun way to incorporate the election year, DC and politics in a fun and playful (read no political arguing!) way.

First Dance Song: Call Me Maybe – acoustic. A fun surprise to Matt. By the end, all of our guests were clapping and singing along.

Wedding Theme: My vision for the theme, was a black tie evening, that was still a cozy escape from the winter, like a warm fire and hot drink. I wanted it to feel a little old school in that way.

Four Words that Describe the Wedding: Champagne soaked dance party

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Photography: Bonnie Sen | Event Planning: SoCo Events | Floral Design: Edge Flowers | Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau | Invitations: Creative Parties | Church: Dahlgren Chapel | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Makeup: Lorna Basse | Hair: Bridal Hair By Remona | Lighting: Digital Lightning | Hotel: Four Seasons | Bridal Boutique: Hitched Salon | Groom’s Tux: The Black Tux | Linens: Nuage Designs | Music: Elan Artists | Rentals: DC Rentals

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How To Pick the Perfect Outfit for Your Engagement Session

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Hi, fellow brides-to-be! It’s Ali from Love You, Mean It. I’m so excited to share our engagement photos with you today! Planning our e-sesh has been one of my favorite parts our engagement so far. We’ve used these beautiful images captured by Leslee Mitchell and Tarin Frantz on our wedding website and also printed a few for gifting to family. That said, it can also be stressful when deciding where to shoot and what to wear. So, I’ve put together a list of five tips to make the “what to wear” part a breeze.

1. Location

The first element to consider should be where you will be taking your photos. Will you be outside? What will the temperature be? Thinking through the locations will ensure you dress appropriately for the weather and will help inspire your outfits. If it will be chilly, you don’t want to be freezing the entire day. If you’re uncomfortable in your setting, you won’t be able to properly relax for the photos and be able to have fun. Will you be taking photos on a horse farm (like me!) or on grass? Don’t forget the appropriate footwear!

2. Number of Outfits

Once you have the location (or locations!) set with your photographer, it makes it easier to envision the appropriate outfits. Personally, I had two venues that I wanted different outfits for. I knew that I wanted to take more casual photos as well as dressier ones, and a few right in between. For me, it made sense to do the more casual photos when we were at home in Kentucky and take fancier ones in front of Perkins Chapel at SMU (just a few feet away from where we first met!). If you’re worried about coming off as “cheesy,” wear a typical Saturday outfit and it will make the photos look less staged and more real-life. On the other hand, I think it’s special to have photos that are a little more dressed-up to celebrate this exciting time. Ultimately, however, this is not the time to go completely out of your comfort zone when it comes to what you wear which leads me to my next point: deciding on the outfits!

3. Coordinate and Prepare Your Looks

It’s definitely necessary for both of you to think through and try-on your outfits before the day-of. You want to make sure you “match” each other when it comes to the level of dressiness. You also want to make sure you and your fiancé won’t clash and that everything is clean, pressed, and ready to go. If either of you have bought something new for the photos, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to receive the item and try it on so you can make any necessary alterations– you don’t want any surprises on the actual day! For our casual photos, I wore a solid color sweater and jeans and Ben wore a button down and jeans. Easy and comfortable! For the pictures we took in front of Perkins Chapel, I wore an ivory tulle skirt and embellished sweater from Jenny Yoo. My skirt felt bridal and super special. It’s actually from the same fabric that my bridesmaids dresses (also Jenny Yoo, of course!) will be made from which I thought was a special touch!

4. Test Your Wedding Hair/Make-up

If possible, engagement photos make a great occasion to test out your wedding hair and/or make-up. Luckily for me, I was able to meet with my wedding stylist when I was home in Kentucky for our photos. It allows you to get to know each other a little bit and, not to mention, your hair and make-up will be looking great in the photos! Because I wanted to look super natural, I asked for “my everyday look, just a little better!”

5. Be yourselves and have fun!

It’s a fact, staged photos can be AWKWARD. What you will wear should be the least of your worries! If you plan your outfits out ahead of time and feel good about them, it will be one less thing on your mind the day of the shoot. Also recommended: packing a cooler with snacks and champagne to celebrate as the day goes on!

I’ve also included a bunch of my favorite pieces for engagement sessions below, starting off with some beauties from Jenny Yoo!

How To Pick the Perfect Outfit for Your Engagement Session

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How To Pick the Perfect Outfit for Your Engagement Session

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Photography: Leslee Mitchell | Photography: Tarin Frantz | Church: Perkins Chapel | Embellished Sweater: Jenny Yoo | Tulle Skirt: Jenny Yoo

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A Wedding Under the Tuscan Sun

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It’s easy to see why couples like Courtnay and Deyhven opt for a destination wedding. Especially when it’s set in Tuscany with their dearest friends and family along to celebrate. Chic Weddings in Italy made sure their guests were treated to the best food and wine Italy has to offer, and an al fresco dinner beneath the stars was the ultimate reception setting. See the beautiful photographs by Thecablookfotolab and film below from Katia Casprini.

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From Chic Weddings in Italy… We met Courtnay and Deyhven in 2015 through a lovely Skype call. They were sweet, in love and very keen on getting married in our beautiful country. I remember chatting with them and thinking that they were really a committed couple and really sure about their idea to have a destination wedding.

Their priorities for the wedding celebration focused on enjoying a good time with their guests, treating them to fine wine and exquisite Italian dishes. They also wanted to have a recognized civil wedding in Italy and celebrate this important day not with a symbolic ceremony but with a real contract and signatures.

The palette for the wedding was blush pink, white, and light tones of gray, using a touch of gold which was used throughout the use of the gold candelabras depicted in the images.

The bride and the groom were very elegant and very beautiful and the night passed with a dinner under the Tuscan stars, among friends and family all dressed up for the occasion.

Courtnay and Deyhven are very much in love and that’s what we love about this couple. We could feel their love in their eyes and on the wedding day they were very relaxed that it was a great pleasure getting to know them in this special day of their lives.

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Photography: Thecablookfotolab | Videography: Katia Casprini | Event Design : Chic Weddings in Italy | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Stationery: Laurel Mercantile | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Rings: David S. Diamonds | Bow tie: Falerna | Tuxedo: J.Crew | Venue: Vignamaggio | Bride + Bridal Party Robes: Etsy.com | Ceremony quartet and soprano: Alma Project | Cufflinks: The Tie Bar | Event Production: Chic Weddings in Italy | Flower Design: Fluida Design | Groom’s Shoes: Hugo Boss Red Label | MUAH: Silvia Gerzeli | Tuxedo Shirt: Proper Cloth | Watch: Cartier | Watercolour of Vignamaggio: Sara Calcagno | Wedding ring: custom made by The Jewel Boutique NYC

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How Williams Sonoma and kate spade new york Will Help You Be the Hostess with the Mostest + an NYC Giveaway

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Delicious wine, yummy food and flowing conversation are three must-haves for any successful dinner party. But if you want to take your entertaining game to Hostess-with-the-Mostest status, (à la Abby Larson), an Insta-worthy tabletop is key. That’s where Williams Sonoma’s new collaboration with kate spade new york, the Sadie Street Dinnerware Collection, comes into play. And to prove it, we teamed up with them to host the ultimate dinner party in New York City.

Walking into the launch event at Haven’s Kitchen was like walking into your happy place. Think scrumptious cocktails in whimsical polka-dot-etched glasses, fresh flowers everywhere you look and French pop songs setting the tone for a joyous and playful evening. The evening’s goal? According to Abby, “not just to simply send a few pictures and tell you about the inspiration behind the Sadie Street collaboration — we wanted you to really get to know Saide. To spend an evening with her. To dine with her. And share a cocktail with her.”

After some delicious drinks and Abby’s anecdote of her first attempt at entertaining (hint: it didn’t go very well), the celebration continued with a four-course dinner plated up on the to-die-for new Sadie Street Collection’s whimsical dinnerware — it’s elegant and luxurious enough to pull out when your most important guests stop by and filet mignon is on the menu and it’s casual enough to serve a slice of homemade pizza and a big green salad on.

The collection is porcelain and it comes in three gorgeous palettes — a fun, vibrant turquoise, a blushy pink and a classic gray. And, if you’ve read SMP at all in the last few years, you know that blush is basically everything to us and that gray is basically the 2017 neutral tone that everyone wants. The crystal glassware with its etched detail is the perfect twist on a classic. And the stainless steel flatware with a knife that sits on it’s side is something so unique to this collection and really speaks to the whimsy of the line!

Whether you’re hosting an elegant dinner party with your closest friends, a romantic date night for two or brunch with the girls, Williams Sonoma and kate spade new york’s Sadie Street Dinnerware Collection is perfect for all your entertaining needs, and we will definitely cheers to that!

What: Win the ultimate trip to New York City from Williams Sonoma, kate spade new york and Style Me Pretty! The winner will receive airfare, hotel accommodations, a $1,000 shopping spree at kate spade new york, dinner for two (2) at Marta, acclaimed restaurant of Williams Sonoma Chefs’ Collective member Nick Anderer, and a collection of the new Sadie Street Dinnerware!*

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Photography: Trent Bailey Studio | Catering + Location: Haven’s Kitchen | Tableware: William Sonoma

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Want To Elope in Italy? This is Exactly Why You Should.

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Admittedly, there were more than a few times during my wedding planning process that I wanted to throw in the towel and just elope. We compromised by having a pared down guest list and splurging on our honeymoon—but still, part of me thinks if we could do it again, that this kind of scene would be an absolute dream. Captured by Krystle Akin, every bit of this Italian elopement surrounds the beautiful couple. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

From the Bride… Anthony and I met our senior year of high school. Even though we had both been going to the same school all four years, we had never crossed paths until we were in the same prom group right before graduation. We both had different dates, but all I really remember was him. We talked all night and we were both amazed at how easy it felt.

Graduation came and went – I was in a relationship and he flew to Croatia for the summer to visit family. We stayed in touch as friends from time to time, but went to college in different cities. One year later I was no longer in a relationship and Anthony contacted me after hearing the news. I am so happy he did, because I can’t imagine my life without him. He became my person and I became his. Fast forward 6 ½ years later, Anthony surprised me with a birthday trip to one of my favorite cities: Charleston, South Carolina where he asked me to marry him.

We tried planning a traditional wedding, but it just never felt right. It was all too stressful and overwhelming. Not to mention the cost! We decided that if we were going to spend the money we wanted it to be on something for us. Something less stressful so that we could be in the moment on our wedding day. We are both very private people and we knew an audience would only make us anxious.

We had already booked our photographer, Krystle Akin, and when I told her that we were thinking of eloping to Italy she offered to travel to our destination. We are so happy that she did! Photography was one of the most important aspects of the wedding for me and having a native Texan with us on that day made us feel at home.

We chose Italy, because when we imagined our wedding day Italy is what we saw. The landscapes are epically romantic and we wanted EPIC. I found Borgo Santo Pietro while wanderlusting over Smith Hotels as I typically do. It was perfect. There are no words to describe how stunning Borgo is unless you visit yourself. When we arrived from Siena and sat on the front lawn overlooking the Italian countryside our eyes welled up with tears…and we aren’t even the type of people who make a habit of being overly emotional in public. It was Heaven on Earth and in that moment we knew we made the right decision. The location and main house of the villa has so much rich history. So, not only is it beautiful, but it truly feels special. On our second day there we had an intimate ceremony in the gardens and I remember every stress-free second. We spent our honeymoon traveling all over Italy and it is a time in our life that we will never forget.

If I were to give any tips on planning a destination elopement without breaking the bank I would say it is important to pick 2 or 3 things that are important to you. Splurge on those things. For us it was the location and the photography. I knew that if the location was right everything else would fall into place and if the photography was great I would always have beautiful memories to cherish. For me, my dress was also very important. That dress is what made me feel like a bride. Also, even though it was an elopement planning can be difficult from another country. Since we were so far from our venue we decided to hire a coordinator. We were introduced to Simona Coltellini through Borgo and she made planning that much easier with her vast knowledge of the location.

From Krystle AkinWhile planning a wedding back in the states for over a year Chelsea and Anthony decided instead of having honeymoon in Italy they would get married too. Traveling Italy for two weeks seeing such towns as Rome, Florence, Siena and Positano just to name a few the couple stayed at Borgo Santo Pietro and exchanged vows on a sunny Thursday afternoon. With only the officiant/planner and photographer at the ceremony they committed forever with thoughtful vows and many heartfelt tears. See, these two have known each other since high school and have dated for years. They know the ins and out of each other and even went through purchasing their new home during their engagement. With taking the entire day to slow down, take in the beauty of the Tuscan landscape and not being rushed was a wedding unlike any I have captured before. Not worrying about time we ventured around the gorgeous five star estate and documented its many areas it has to offer for photographs.

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Photography: Krystle Akin | Event Planning: AEB Tuscan Weddings | Wedding Dress: Essence Of Australia | Shoes: Adrianna Papell | Wedding Bands: Americus Diamonds | Suit: J. Crew | Venue: Borgo Santo Pietro | Calligraphy Vow Books: Etsy | Floral: Bianchi Fiori | Grooms Gift: Longines | Jewels: Mikimoto | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Wedding Dress Hanger: Anthropologie

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The Prettiest Pink Black-Tie Wedding

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If soft, feminine romance speaks to your wedding vision look no further than Hilary and Bryan’s photo gallery as your point of inspiration. They shared vows overlooking the Pacific ocean and dressed up their Bel-Air Bay Club wedding in a sea of pink garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, and greenery for an enchanted garden look. Lacie Hansen photographed and the pretty is only just getting started.

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From the wedding planner… Guests from Nashville and Atlanta traveled west to Santa Monica, Hilary’s childhood home, to celebrate her marriage to Bryan Solomon. The weekend was packed with events which began with a welcome dinner for family on Thursday evening and ended with a lovely Sunday brunch at the Bel-Air Bay (Lower) Club by the Pacific Ocean. Hilary incorporated watercolor art on all her printed items that created a cohesive design that welcomed all guests to the Pacific Coast. Hotel guests received custom welcome boxes filled with goodies chosen by Hilary and Bryan.

An elegant Rehearsal Dinner was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. David Solomon, Senior on Friday evening at the Rivera Country Club. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served on the terrace overlooking the golf course. Champagne silk linen and ivory hemstitch napkins filled the elegant ballroom. Lovely florals of garden roses, hydrangea, peonies, and tulips in shades of white with green in crystal vases adorned the tables. Custom gold edged chargers were custom fitted with menu cards written in hand calligraphy. Dinner included an amuse bouche of tomato bisque shots with grilled cheese sandwiches. Guests choose entrees of filet or sea bass followed by a dessert of warm chocolate pot with sumptuous berries. Each guest received a gift of a personalized golf ball in honor of Bryan’s love of golf. The guests enjoyed a video slideshow and many toasts dedicated to the couple. Later that evening, all wedding guests enjoyed a “post toast” at the Loews Hotel. The late night fare and décor gave a nod to Southern California and the famous Santa Monica Pier.

The black tie wedding ceremony overlooked the beautiful Pacific Coast. A string quartet performed music especially chosen by Hilary and Bryan. Hilary processed to a special arrangement of “In Christ Alone” which provided a dramatic entrance. A wooden arch decorated with florals of garden roses, roses, and peonies of white, pink, and fuschia entwined with greenery covered the couple with the beautiful blue Pacific in the background.

Following the ceremony, guests munched on Waldorf salad, quesadillas, and a sushi bar on the lawn of Bel-Air Bay (Upper) Club. Dinner began with a tomato and burrata salad and continued with buffet stations of carved beef tenderloin, martini mashers, and Sand Dabs. Guests enjoyed vanilla buttercream wedding cake with fillings of vanilla custard, raspberry, and orea cookie. The Upper Club Dining and Music Rooms were decorated with floral shades of light pink, dark pink and fuschia with accents of gold. A lush garland of greenery and flowers spanned the length of the grand estate table for the wedding party. The courtyard fountain was filled with white flowers, and a custom gobo illuminated the night.

The party started with first dance and continued non-stop until the last song. Bryan made a quick change into his white dinner jacket for his and Hilary’s first dance. Their mood infected the entire party. It was the most memorable first dance ever! The band played continuously for 3 hours, and the dance floor was full all night. The In & Out Burger Truck provided a late night snack and was a huge hit with all the guests. A burger “to go” was the icing on the cake!

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Photography: Lacie Hansen | Videography: Forward Motion Production | Wedding Planning: Jayne Bubis Events | Floral Design: Stella Bloom Designs | Cake: MJB Cakes | Hair: Kacee Geoffroy Hair and Makeup | Band : Rembrandt Fine Artists Entertainment | Ceremony Music : Naples Strings | Venue: Bel-Air Bay Club | Calligraphy and Onsite Details: Kitty Hobbs | Late night snack: In-N-Out Burger | Linens: Lendable Linens | Paper Goods: The Romance Between | Rentals : Classic Party Rentals | Welcome Boxes: Jayne Bubis Events

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The Perfect Hue to Pair with Pantone’s Color of the Year

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When Pantone announced Greenery as 2017’s color of the year, I knew we’d not only be seeing it pop up left and right in weddings—but that we’d see it paired with the prettiest hues for to-die-for color palettes. Case in point? This greenery and tangerine combo. All the hands raised emojis you guys. Bluebird Productions, you nailed it. Catch more from this beautiful day with Connie Whitlock in The Vault!

From Bluebird ProductionsMegan and Zack’s gorgeous day can best be described as a dream mountain contemporary wedding with the perfect pop of tangerine color and a coat of sugary frosting! Megan is the most amazing pastry chef and has become a dear friend in addition to a talented vendor. Assisting her with her wedding was a true honor. Guests were welcomed to Colorado with the most beautiful of welcome gifts including sweets made by Megan. The intimate ceremony took place at the Cedar Ridge Ranch outside of Carbondale, Colorado. They were surrounded by their closest family and friends to celebrate their union. A reception at the Marble Distilling Company followed. A phenomenal meal, delicious drinks, gorgeous flowers and an abundance of joyful and loving people filled the room. As you may imagine, a gorgeous cake made a statement at the reception!

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Photography: Connie Whitlock | Event Planning: Bluebird Productions | Floral Design: Park Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cake: Megan Joy Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Cedar Ridge Ranch | Reception Venue: Marble Distilling Company | Catering: Eat | Paper: Lana’s Shop | Rentals: Premier Party Rentals | Wedding Dress Boutique: Little White Dress Bridal Shop

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The Perfect Wedding That Almost Didn’t Happen

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For starters, this gorgeous wedding…well, it almost didn’t happen. Just 8 days before they were set to tie the knot, Becca and Seth got word their venue couldn’t accommodate them due to unforeseen weather issues. Becca’s response? “As long as I get to marry Seth, I’ll be happy.” They quickly pulled together a plan B with their planner Lindsey Zamora and the result is the perfect outdoor celebration captured by Kristen Kilpatrick.

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From Lindsey Zamora, the wedding designer… Becca and Seth are one of the sweetest couples I have had the pleasure of working with. I have known Becca for several years from the wedding industry and was so honored when she hired me to design her destination wedding! Becca and Seth settled on the Texas Hill Country and wanted a day that was timelessly romantic with an organic feel. Our team was so graciously welcomed by Pilot Knob Vineyards when we were unable to have the wedding at a private residence as originally planned due to weather. It was such a great reminder of what a wedding really is- “As long as I get to marry Seth, I’ll be happy” were Becca’s words over and over as we pulled together to come up with new floor plans, worked through new logistics and let the guests know of the new location.

The vineyard overlooked the native Texas agriculture’s rolling hills, cacti and wildflowers which ended up being the perfect backdrop for the wedding. One of my favorite memories was the thank you speech given by the couple under the Texas sunset and then later dancing their first dance under festoon lights as their family and friends gazed upon them. Everyone involved was so gracious, welcoming and hardworking to pull off a beautiful day. It was such a beautiful evening and we were lucky to be part of it!

From the Bride… Our day almost didn’t happen. We received a call eight days before the wedding that the original location we wanted to use had been rained out and couldn’t accommodate a wedding due to wet soil. I think I panicked more inwardly than outwardly, but a part of me thought we would have to cancel our wedding. Luckily, a dear friend posted to social media about the dilemma and our vineyard venue was found and booked!

Seth and I are high school sweethearts and dated for seven years before he proposed, in one of our favorite parks where we used to have anniversary picnics. I don’t remember a thing he said, because the whole moment was there and gone in the blink of an eye, but I do remember knowing, without a doubt, that he was my person and I couldn’t say anything but a tearful and joyful “yes!”

When it came to the wedding, we knew we wanted an intimate, romantic, outdoor wedding, with amazing food, great music, and our closest friends and loved ones to feel relaxed enough to enjoy themselves. We chose a color palette of blush, gold, ivory, and touches of green through greenery. I decided on a custom dyed, blush Leanne Marshall gown. I was inspired by the pink and rose gold tones in my engagement ring and I also knew that didn’t see myself in a white or ivory gown. Lindsey fully understood and executed our vision for the day beautifully. With understated florals, soft touches of ivory fabric, and romantic and elegant touches of candlelight in our beautiful tablescape.

Aside from how beautiful our day was, my favorite parts were our first look, ceremony and vows. Seth and I both grew up very close with our grandparents. His grandfather, whom I never met, but I know Seth adored, passed away suddenly several years ago. Seth was given a shirt of his to keep, but he never knew what to do with it. One day, while cleaning the garage, I saw it sitting in plastic and I knew exactly what to do. I secretly took the shirt to my seamstress and had her create a pocket square out of it.

During our first look, I gave it to Seth as a way to have his grandfather close to him on the wedding day. He knew exactly what it was and proudly wore his pocket square. Even writing this makes me cry all over again, but that moment was priceless on our day. Seth and I chose to send our officiant 10 things we loved about one another, for her to read and us to hear for the first time during the ceremony. We also wrote and read our own vows, which meant the world to hear and know that our love was so much stronger eight years later.

After the ceremony, we ate with friends and family, danced our first dance to “You Make it Real” by James Morrison, and had the time of our lives. Reliving our wedding day through photos and reading our vows, which now hang on our living room wall, will never get old!

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Photography: Kristen Kilpatrick | Floral Design: Lindsey Zamora | Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall | Wedding Cake : Villa Del Sol D’Oro | Invitations: Written Word Calligraphy | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Bola Pizza | Hair and Makeup : Makenzi Laine | Lighting : Intelligent Lighting Design | DJ: Live Oak DJ | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux | Bridal Shoes: Nordstrom | Co-Planner: Villa Del Sol D’Oro | Designer + Co-Planner: Lindsey Zamora | Dress Boutique: The Sentimentalist | Earrings: Kendra Scott Jewelry | Headpiece: Twigs and Honey | Rentals : Sweet Sunday Events | Rentals : Loot Vintage Rentals | Vineyard : Pilot Knob Vineyard

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How To Have a Tuscany-Inspired Wedding in California

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There’s nothing quite as charming as fall in Tuscany. But when you can’t make the trip all the way to your dream destination? You make your dream destination a reality where you are. That’s exactly what Judy and Steven did with the help of Charmed Events Group, in beautiful California. Layered with dusty blues and oranges, and scenes like this, they nailed it. Jen Huang was there to document it all and I promise, you’ll get sucked into the gallery for far too long—a totally good thing, friends.

From Charmed Events GroupJudy and Steven had a beautiful Fall Wedding at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California. They wanted their design to be clean and elegant to reflect the venue that they chose. They liked bright pops of color but didn’t want it to be overpowering so we chose bright pops of oranges paired with light blues for their event design, paired with elements in whites and golds.

Their ceremony took place in the beautiful gardens of the estate which was reminiscent of Tuscany. Since the setting was already naturally so beautiful, we didn’t want to add too much to take away from what was in place, but we did add beautiful vines that climbed up the white pillars of the ceremony space and for whimsy, added floral crowns to the statues in place. We also had beautiful garlands draped on the ceremony chairs with pretty orange blooms to make the garlands pop.

Steven has a deep love of music so we incorporated their love of music and old records into the event design. Guests were seated at tables named after their favorite records and their names were displayed on old records that the couple has collected over the years that we sprayed white. Each record was adorned with orange blooms. Their table settings were so beautiful with pale blue linens with bright orange flowers paired with gold place settings and white chairs. Each guest had a custom menu that was also adorned in various orange blooms to make their settings pop.

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Photography: Jen Huang Photography | Event Planning + Design: Charmed Events Group, LLC | Floral Design: Poppy’s Petalworks | Cake: Kara’s Cupcakes | Catering: Le Papillon | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Standard Party Rentals

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