March 26, 2014

“Take some outstanding weather, a beachside venue and a crowd that really knows how to party and you have yourself the perfect wedding! Jenn and Jesse truly had a beautiful wedding day, from beginning to end. The sun shined as Jenn walked down the aisle to meet her handsome groom. After the ceremony, guests had time to grab a drink from the canoe or tiki bar, as they snacked on some amazing food. Paradise Cove is a fantastic venue because everything is very close together to guests do not have to walk very far, as well, the view is absolutely stunning as the property is situated on a large lake in Orlando. Jenn and Jesse were super crafty and created a lot of the small details themselves, such as the adorable chevron runners that were on all of the guest tables. Towards the end of the evening, Jenn switched out of her stunning gown into an even more decadent gold sequined dress that was a huge hit. Congratulations to the happy couple!” – Jaclyn of At Last Wedding + Event Design

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“My favorite wedding day memory was a surprise from my new husband, Jesse. I hadn’t noticed the very large frame placed next to our dinner table (The excitement and nerves were still overwhelming me at the time, I just wanted to sit down for a moment!) But when my mother-in-law pointed it out, I began to sob. Jesse had gone to our most memorable locations and taken pictures with him holding signs at each location. For example, he went to the college apartment where we first started dating with a sign that said, “This is where is all began”, one at our first apartment we lived in together that said, “This is where I fell for you”, one where he proposed, “This is where I took you to see the fishes” (a little inside joke of ours), one with him and both of our amazing rescue dogs that said “This is what I got myself into”, one at our wedding venue wearing his wedding suit that said, “This is the best day of my life” and the last he took at a farm (because I always say that I want to retire to a farm and rescue animals all day) that said “This is where I want to grow old with you”. It was immensely thoughtful and such a surprise. 

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..We did a ton of DIY! Jesse is the artist in the family so he built, designed, and drew all of the chalkboard signage, one of those being 5.5 feet tall with the wedding party info on it. We also had a “Open bar, Open late” sign that we hung above the bar. We also had tiny “message in a bottle” for our place cards. We stuffed each one with each person’s name and table number. I created the stickers for the cookie favors. We used Publix chocolate chip and the sticker said, “Jesse’s favorite cookie”- we tried to keep everything extremely personal to Jesse and I . We also had buckets with sandals for our guests so they could take off their heels and party in sand or dance all night in comfort! (that was a huge hit!). I found these 2 huge tree stumps outside someone’s yard, I knocked on their door to ask if I could take them. We painted those white and used them at the start of our aisle with mason jars, candles, and flowers on top of them. People liked them so much that when we tried to pick them up the next day, a bride was already asking if she could use them, so they are still being utilized at Paradise Cove today! There were many other projects even before the wedding, we placed personalized water bottles and door hangers in each guest’s hotel room. For me, it was very important to incorporate details and DIY projects. I wanted people to be “wowed” at my wedding but NOT because we spent a ton of money of everything. We tried to do as much ourselves as we could. I think these details can add so much ambiance and love to the occasion. People kept telling me, “Wow, you worked so hard on everything, there are little details everywhere, everything looks so amazing!” – I have to give thanks to my wedding planner and her team for bringing everything together perfectly!

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..Jesse and I are not very traditional so we did not follow many of the “rules” of weddings. I did have something old. It was a surprise wedding gift from my childhood next door neighbor. She wrote me a tear-jerking letter about her marriage and within the letter was a tiny velvet bag containing a beautiful diamond solitaire necklace. I was so honored to wear it on my wedding day and I continue to wear it almost every day. It was a truly amazing gift and something I will cherish for a lifetime and hopefully pass on to someone I love as well.

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..My best advice is to take it slow, know what you want and prioritize! I am not the type of person who agonizes over every decision, I know almost instantly if I like something or not. However, many brides start thinking about “well does it go with this?” or “Will my mom/friends/whoever like this?” etc. You can really drive yourself nuts overthinking all of these wedding decisions. Find something you like, that’s in budget, and build from there. Before you know it, your vision will be fulfilled! Prioritizing your wish list will also help you manage your budget, but make sure you know what items are important to your future husband as well.” – Jenn, the bride

ST_event_credits

Wedding Coordinator: At Last Wedding + Event Design // Venue: Paradise Cove // Caterer: Arthurs Catering // Photographer: Misty Miotto // Videographer: Key Moment Films // DJ: Soundwave Entertainment // Floral Design: Lee Forrest Design // dress and bridesmaid dresses: Soulutions Bridal // shoes: David Tuterra // suits: Express // tie + pocket square: The Tie Bar // Cake and cupcakes: The Sugar Suite // Hair/Makeup: Beaute Speciale // Photobooth: Photobooth Rocks

March 20, 2014

Today I am so excited to share this beautiful, nautical styled engagement shoot from Carmen Ash Photography. The groom happens to be the Captain of the gorgeous yacht you will see below, so Charlie and Chrissy took full advantage and incorporated it into their session. Those of you who have been reading ST for a while, know that I cannot resist a seaside event and this seafaring couple and their adventurous spirits had me at hello! 

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“After announcing the exciting news of our engagement, the first question we were asked was of course: Have you set a date? The next question that repeatedly followed was: Who is your photographer? We had numerous people recommend Carmen Ash, all of whom spoke very highly of her work. After clicking through the first album on her website, we knew we had to have her! Aside from a brief meeting with Carmen, our first opportunity to really get to know her was the day of our engagement shoot. Both Charlie and I quickly felt as though we had been friends with Carmen for a long time. As you can see from the images she captured, we had such a fun, exciting, and memorable day! We now join the many others who speak so fondly of Carmen Ash and feel very lucky to have her as our photographer for our special day.

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..Yes! I LOVE arts & crafts and DIY-ing so I do have big plans on incorporating that into our wedding day. However, when I began jotting down a million DIY project ideas onto numerous sticky notes, the month of June seemed so far away! With the countdown to our big day fast approaching, I am sure I will narrow down my DIY projects and get started on that any day now … :)

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..I am beyond excited for family, friends, and all of those we love most, to be gathering together for what will soon be the happiest day of our lives! I am so thrilled for many of our family members and friends, traveling from all over, to finally get a chance to meet one another and enjoy each other’s company. Blessed is how I feel when thinking of all those who will be joining us in celebration to start off our lifetime of happiness together!!!”
- Chrissy, the bride-to-be

ST_event_credits

photography: Carmen Ash Photography // event design + planning: Gigi Noelle Events // rentals: EventWorks // nautical cupcakes: Cravinleys

March 5, 2014

“As long as I can remember brightly color beach homes have been a favorite of mine. My husband and I always drive through beach towns and day dream about which color we would own… So I am sure you can understand why I was over the moon about shooting Sally and Matt’s wedding in Cape Charles. The venue was beyond words, so quaint, elegant and truly one of a kind. Their wedding embodied what I can only call beach chic. As soon as I showed up to the beach house I was greeted by gorgeous girls all so full of excitement! Sally had the most stunning Swiss Dot tulle dress and sparkly Kate Spade heals to match. Her groom complimented her so elegantly in a light blue seersucker suit with a pink bow tie. My absolute favorite part of their wedding was the love that surrounded them and being able to capture those moments! I had never met their family and friends but could tell by their genuine looks of happiness for Sally and Matt, that they had surrounded themselves with the best people to help start their new lives together!” – Jen Harvey Photography

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“I have so many unforgettable memories but one of my most favorite moments was walking down the aisle with my Dad knowing that Matt was waiting for me at the end. Being surrounded by all of our favorite people in the world and having them all there to share in such a special moment with us is definitely a feeling I will never forget. It was was a “once in a lifetime” moment that I will always treasure. 

ST_DIY_wedding_projects

..We got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Etsy! I think my favorite DIY project for the wedding was making the favor bags for our candy bar. I bought gold and white chevron paper bags and then had a personalized rubber stamp made with our monogram on it. I hand stamped over 200+ bags. I was very glad that the candy bar at the wedding was such a  huge success!

ST_advice_for_current_brides

..The best advice I received was to stop every so often on your big day and really take it all in – seriously! It all goes by SO fast and it can get a bit overwhelming. The moments I remember most vividly are the ones that I stopped, took a breath and took a mental note of. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. Something will probably go wrong on your wedding day – but try to shake it off and remember what the day is truly all about. Try to enjoy every second with your new husband!!!” – Sally, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Jennifer Harvey Photography // venue: Kings Creek Marina, Cape Charles VA // dress: James Clifford from Betsey Robinson Bridal in Baltimore, MD // shoes: Kate Spade // grooms tux: Brooks Brothers  // bridesmaid dresses: JCrew // groomsman suits: Ralph Lauren // caterer: Aqua at Kings Creek Marina // cake + cupcakes: Sweet Disposition, Selbyville DE // hair & make-up: La Clinica Salon & Spa, Baltimore MD // flowers: Flowers By Alison, Ocean City MD // music: Ceremony-Cocktail Hour- Cris Jacobs  // reception band: Second Nature, from Sam Hill Entertainment Company // invitations + programs: Chelsey Emery

February 13, 2014

The very best part of a destination wedding is that it lasts more than just one day! Being away gives couples and their guests the opportunity to relax and truly enjoy all the celebrations…

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A huge trend in destination weddings is extending celebratory events beyond the wedding day, like welcome parties and post-wedding brunches. For those of you planning a destination wedding, Dreams Resorts & Spas has the perfect offer to help you get the most out of your special time with your loved ones. Save Your Date at a Dreams Resort & Spa by February 28th (for wedding dates between August and December 2014 and August-December 2015) and receive a Welcome Cocktail Party for up to 50 guests – complimentary!
Valued at over $1500! 

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Dreams Resorts & Spas offer the perfect venues for destination weddings. With locations across Mexico and the Dominican Republic – and Costa Rica coming December 2014, you will be sure to find the resort that perfectly fits your wedding theme. With their expertly crafted wedding packages, couples can rest assured that no hair or petal – will be out of place. There is no need to worry about having a cookie-cutter wedding, couples can send their dedicated on-site wedding coordinator pictures, themes, and ideas of how they envision their special day and their coordinator will turn that vision into a reality…

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You and your guests will love that all Dreams Resorts boast Unlimited-Luxury – where everything is included! Delight in gourmet a la carte dining, top shelf spirits, daily activities and nightly entertainments. Meaning your wedding day will undoubtedly turn into cherished memories that will last a lifetime, for everyone involved!

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Check out DreamsResorts.com to learn more about the different resort locations and many special offers that will make your destination wedding a dream come true!

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February 12, 2014

“A fun-loving, gorgeous couple + a Malibu destination wedding – You absolutely cannot go wrong with that combination! When Ryan and Audra asked me to shoot their wedding, I knew it was going to be a great time. Not only was this wedding completely stunning down to every last detail, it was also extremely genuine. Ryan and Audra have such a sincere love for one another, you could just feel it in the air. I walked away from this wedding very inspired!” – Tony Gambino Photography

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“Oh gosh, this is a tough one! Not to sound too cliché, but everything was my favorite! But to try and pin point one thing – it would probably have to be the moment when my dad escorted me to the front door of The Sunset Restaurant, the doors opened, and I look up to see my very handsome groom for the first time! His lip started quivering and that’s when I lost it. The whole way down the aisle I held on to my dad as tight as I could and didn’t stop looking into Ryan’s eyes. It was the most incredible feeling ever. Words can’t describe that moment from when I walked out with my dad, down the aisle to be greeted by my groom. It was amazing…

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..We actually DIY-ed a lot of our wedding. To list everything that was DIY- our beach sign for the ceremony, all of the centerpieces, our entire sign in table – from our chalkboard Instagram sign, to our name tents, to our sign in map of where we should travel throughout our marriage, the entire candy bar (which was a HUGE hit), and the chinese lanterns that hung on the patio for the reception. I absolutely loved having most of our wedding day be DIY. It added such a special touch and was just everything we had wanted and what we had envisioned. I would recommend to anyone to try and add in anything DIY as possible. It just makes everything more personal and exactly what/how you want it. It was very meaningful to us.

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..I kind of had forgot about the old, new, borrowed, blue things until my sister reminded me. I didn’t end up having a something old. My something borrowed were my earrings that I wore-they were the same earrings that my sister wore on her wedding day. My something new was my pearl bracelet. And my something blue, thanks to our DJ, was a CD case that he had given to me that our playlist for our reception was in.

ST_advice_for_current_brides

..Have fun with it! It goes by SO incredibly quick. Don’t stress. You don’t want to have any regrets or look back and wish you would’ve done something differently. So do it your way. Do what you want to do and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Ask for help because you can’t do it all by yourself. But definitely enjoy it! It’s such an amazing time that you will never forget, so remember to breath and just enjoy it. It only happens once!” – Audra, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Tony Gambino Photography // venue: The Sunset Restaurant, Malibu CA // event planner: Julia Bogan from Small Wonders Event Production and Design // shoes: Aldo Shoes // ceremony set up: Marcia from McCann Florist // flowers: Chantal Dodson of Garden Florist // dress: Martina Liana // grooms attire: coat: Forever 21, shirt: Express, pants: JC Penny // groomsmen: JC Penny // bridesmaids: Modcloth.com // DJ: Steve Martinez of Mindscape Entertainment // cake: Vanilla Bake Shop // videographer: Joel Kirkendall from 7th Stone Media // invitations: Lace & Lemon