December 4, 2013

We have super sweet and very colorful wedding to share with you today! With the help of crafty family and friends along with many talented Etsy vendors, Mike and Erin planned a vibrant wedding that was perfectly fitting to their personalities. Navy blue and lots of vibrant colors created the days palette and was accentuated through all the amazing details! 

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“For me, the actual wedding ceremony was an extremely emotional and special part of the day; Mike and I had been together for a long time before we got married, so making that commitment in front of our family and friends truly meant a lot. My favorite part of the reception was the cocktail hour: 1) we had a chance to spend time with our guests and 2) we were blessed with the most AMAZING day in terms of the weather; the scenery was beyond picturesque. Our cocktail hour definitely ran over, but we were having too much fun enjoying the weather (and of course the drinks); luckily, the band had a great time as well, so they agreed to play a little longer and make up for the overage at the end of the night. 

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..The only item that was truly DIY was the wedding program. Although it came out great, it was a project we left until the last minute, and I had to recruit my bridesmaids to help tie 180 bows during their bridesmaids luncheon; everyone obviously pitched in, but I think they would have enjoyed relaxing more rather than manual labor. I did, however, leverage others with DIY skills as I admittedly am not that crafty. Etsy was my go-to website and I basically was able to bring my vision to life by working with small crafters; you can find literally anything on the site and I had a great time working with such passionate people!

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..Yes. My something old was my grandmother’s handkerchief; she and I were very close and is sadly no longer with us, so my mom wanted me to have something special from her for my big day. Our closest family friends have 2 daughters of similar age to my sister and I and we have been best friends since the day we were born. Kara and Katie got married before my sister and I, so they started a tradition, and my something borrowed was a garter. Katie passed it along to me on my wedding day and I passed it along to my sister on her wedding day. Finally, my something blue was my shoes; I chose a very classic dress and therefore wanted to wear really fun shoes. My wardrobe is dominated by navy and white, so I obviously fell in love with a pair of navy and white striped J. Crew shoes!

ST_advice_for_current_brides

..I knew all the extra details I wanted to include to make my wedding special would add up in terms of costs, so I started buying things as soon as we got engaged; which really helped! A few weeks out from your big day, you are literally handing money out to every single vendor involved, so if you can start buying things earlier, it definitely helps ease the strain on your wallet.” – Erin, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Kate Connolly Photography with Off BEET Productions // dress: Henry Roth (purchased at Kleinfeld) // shoes: J. Crew // bridesmaid dresses: Lilly Pulitzer // men’s attire: Jos A. Bank // ceremony venue: Our Lady of Perpetual Help // reception venue: Roxiticus Golf Club // cake & cake topper: Karen Gryctko (aunt of bridesmaid – cupcake tower) // catering: Roxiticus Golf Club // invitations & save the dates: Paperazzi // programs: DIY // flowers: Flowers by Addalia (father of bridesmaid) // music: Cashmere (part of Barry Herman Entertainment) // ice cream truck:Delicious Ice Cream LLC

October 23, 2013

“I absolutely loved photographing this beautiful bride with the bright gorgeous colors that she chose for her outdoor arboretum wedding! The beautiful pinks and navy’s just popped against the rich greens of the grass and trees. And the bright pink parasols were so much fun! This wedding took place in a lush arboretum in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where the flowers and trees were in full bloom and just breathtaking at this time of year.” – Gayle Driver Photography

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“Oh my, this is tough! There were so many wonderful memories! It’s difficult to choose just one. One of my many favorite memories from the day was when Scott and I were introduced at our reception. As we walked down a flight of stairs and made our way to the dance floor, we were able to see all of our wonderful friends and family who were there to help us celebrate our love for each other. The support and love we felt at that moment was definitely unforgettable…

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Yes, I truly enjoyed working on projects for the wedding. I am a teacher and had the summer off, so I had time to be crafty. I printed and put together the program fans for the ceremony. I also made the escort cards, table numbers, and multiple signs for decoration. These projects required a little extra time, but I decided that I was willing to devote this extra time rather than paying more for things that I could simply do myself.  I, however, cannot imagine working full-time and trying to complete all of these projects. I’m fortunate that I had all summer to work on them!

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My Grandma loved to crochet but sadly, she cannot remember how to anymore. The last piece she was able to complete was given to me as a bridal shower gift. I used this piece as my ‘something old’. It was wrapped around my bouquet on my wedding day. My ‘something new’ was my wedding dress and shoes. My ‘something borrowed’ was the lipstick my friend, Anne, gave me to use after she did my makeup for the day. My ’something blue’ well, that was under the dress :)

ST_advice_for_current_brides

Enjoy it! This is the one day in your life that you get to make completely yours! It does get a little overwhelming at times, but try to keep in mind that all of the work you are putting in will be completely worth it in the end. When your wedding day arrives, it is amazing to see how everything that you have been working on during the planning process comes together to create a truly unforgettable day. A good friend of mine gave me some wonderful advice that Scott and I are so glad we took. Make sure during your reception, you and your husband take a minute or two to step back and watch all of your friends and family celebrating your love for each other. It is a wonderful memory to share together and makes all of the time you spent planning your day, well worth it!” -Amy, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Gayle Driver Photography // dress: Casablanca from Bridal Impressions // bridesmaid dresses: Allure from Bridal Impressions // men’s attire: Classic Tuxedo // DJ: National DJ Connection // bakery: Buttercream Dreams, LLC // ceremony flowers: Blakemore’s Flowers // reception flowers: Flowers Galore // venue: Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens @ James Madison University // Event Coordinator: Maureen McKenna // hair: Aly Lemasters, Verde Salon // makeup: Anne Whitney Driver // transportation: Custom Transportation // favors: Beau-coup.com

September 30, 2013

“Katie and Rian are such a sweet, fun loving couple! They have been together FOREVER and finally became husband and wife this summer. All parts of their wedding took place at the beautiful Inn at Longshore, in Westport CT, which complemented their love of all things nautical as well as their coral and navy color scheme. It was a pleasure working with them!” – Candace Jeffery Photography

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I absolutely love these darling gifts that Katie gave her bridesmaids! Beautiful styling… and I bet her girls were absolutely thrilled! Make sure to do something nice like this for your besties… I’m going to buy that bracelet, I’m obsessed! 

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“We have so many great memories from our wedding day, it’s hard to choose just one! But I would have to say our first look. I got a ride on a golf cart and met Rian where he was anxiously waiting in the middle of the huge oak trees that line the long windy road to the Inn At Longshore. It was so beautiful, romantic and exciting. It was so nice to have that special moment together and some relaxing time before we said “I do”…

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..We had many DIY projects for our wedding. I feel that it’s the little details that truly make your wedding unique and special. We were very lucky to have the help of a friend and artist Molly Shanahan who’s amazing talent helped make this possible. A few were hand painted chalkboard signs for the bar, bathrooms, favor table and thank you photo. As escort cards we came up with the idea of message in a bottles laid in sand, which were so adorable! As table numbers we purchased blown glass balls with nautical rope and attached sand dollars to them with the table numbers written on. A top favorite was our favors which was my Uncle Kenny’s homemade relish! As a family we spent many hours canning and putting the jars together. It was definitely time consuming but well worth it to see the final product beautifully displayed at our wedding!

ST_advice_for_current_brides

..Have Fun!! It’s very easy to become overwhelmed with all there is that goes along with planning a wedding. Take the help when offered. Give yourself plenty of time if possible to plan your wedding. This will ease the stress and also allows you to really get creative and most importantly have fun doing it! Go with your instinct, if you like something and think it’s a good idea then go for it! There will be many different opinions but do what you feel will make you happy. My family and friends and I made some amazing memories throughout the whole process!” – Katie, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Candace Jeffery Photography // venue: The Inn at Longshore // dress: The Wedding Embassy // bridesmaids dresses: Mariellas Creation // shoes: Nordstroms // jewelry (bridesmaid’s): J.crew // makeup: The Beauty Bar // hair: Hair by Asije // grooms apparel: Melluzzo Menswear // flowers: Agnew Florist // stationary: The Greeting Shoppe // cake and cannoli display: Mozzicato, Hartford CT // band: Marty Q Band // calligraphy artist: Molly Shanahan 

September 9, 2013

“Kevin and Loni’s wedding was my absolute favorite to capture so far! Seriously, what a photographers dream this couple was! They had the best of both worlds getting married barefoot on white sand next to the blue water of Emerald Bay and then having their reception outside underneath the huge pine trees of South Lake Tahoe. Loni’s dress was so chic and fashionable with lace detail and a navy blue ribbon tied around her waist. A little fun extra for the bridesmaids was getting their makeup done by the talented woman who started Benefit Cosmetics. What an exiting day it was!” – Ashley Paige Photography

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Isn’t this such a darling first look?!?! I love how they incorporated their signature color of navy blue with the ribbon that covered Kevin’s face. I just love the last image of Loni smiling and holding the ribbon…

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“Our wedding day was such a blur… I feel like someone spun me around and it was over – but in a lovely way. I cannot pick just one memory but there were 3 things that really stood out to me that day. 1) All of our friends and family together in one place there to support and love us felt incredibly special. There probably won’t ever be another time in our lives when that many people from both our lives will be together and the feeling was undeniably sweet. 2) Kevin saying his vows while Sierra (our dog!) slept at his feet. I was afraid that the adrenaline wouldn’t let me feel anything but his sweet vows really broke through and I was able to feel the immensity of our love (and the love around us), it was beautiful. 3) Finally it was walking into the ceremony, I and many people spent a lot time making, arranging, acquiring, setting up to make the space as lovely as possibly and seeing the final product just blew me away. In that moment everything came together and it was lovely and so satisfying. A wedding is so intense that its hard to describe with words how great it all feels, so I’m afraid these descriptions might not do my feelings justice!

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..Yes!!!! Our wedding was filled with DIY elements and projects. The favors, the table runners, the flowers, multiple decorations, the sweets table, the bows at the ceremony, etc…

Favors: I bought burlap favor bags and decorated them with flowers and buttons, there were almost 200 people at the wedding so putting 3 flowers and 3 buttons turned out to be a lot of hot glue gunning but I think they turned out very nicely. I got the idea off etsy but the decorated bags were pricey and I figured I could just decorate them on my own and I saved a lot of money just buying cheap bulk flowers from Michael’s and buttons from Joanne’s fabric. They went with the candy bar and looked lovely.

Chalkboard signs: I converted several picture frames into chalkboards – so they looked more ornate then the traditional blackboards and much cheaper than the fancy blackboards. I painted the back of the frames with chalkboard paint and took out the glass and it was easy and fast to do and the only thing I can caution is that some of the backs have multiple holes or rough surface so check out the backs before you buy them. Some of the frames I plan to reuse as picture frames again (I kept the glass) and others I will use in my home as a chalk board because they came out so nicely.

Flower girl basket: The flower girl basket using Michael’s flowers, leftover lace for the bow, and glue gun. It took maybe 20 minutes and cost a fraction of the cost of flower girl basket on etsy or other wedding sites.

Table runners: My new Mother-ln-law, actually made our table runners out of burlap and used a sewing machine to add lace to sides of them and the effect/combination is stunning, another word of caution on burlap (all things burlap), the fabric has a very chemical smell. There is no way around it and there is no way to make the smell go away although it does lessen a bit overtime: but be prepared if you want to use it.

Flowers: I planned to do my own flowers for the table because florist are outrageously expensive and my mother-in-law, in preparation for this took, the mason jars we were going to use and made “froggers” (its like a grating over the top that helps keep the flowers arranged and makes the process much easier); we found a way to do it online with wires and it looked complicated. I will have to ask her how long it took but I am pretty sure we would not have gotten the flowers done in time with out it. My thought on doing your own flowers is if  you have a large wedding and the extra money don’t do it! Unless you are lucky like I was and had a team of bridesmaids and family to help get it done. I think I had 20 people people there helping to set up before the wedding and still we cut it close.

Candy Bar: My mother-in-law also sourced and arranged the Candy Bar. She found beautiful glass containers from all around the bay area but mainly at Ross. She made the table cloth out of lace and burlap, my sister in law made the banner from material and stencil to paint the letters on. It looked fantastic and was hit with the guests!

Ribbons: My mother did the ribbons that my dog sierra had on her, as well as the ribbons at the ceremony (with Flowers) that hung on every aisles. She is expert ribbon maker so I am not sure what advice I would give on that other than to maybe take a class?  They came out beautifully though!

Seating Cards: We used river rocks and paint pens to assign people their tables. While it was super cute it was really hard lugging around a 200 river rocks!!! I would suggest it for smaller weddings!! :)

Guest Book: My Sister-in-law made me a “guest book” made out of hooks, a tray, a burlap board, lace, and more. There were tags available for the guests to write words of advice and love to us and they then hung them from hooks on the burlap board. It was stunning and creative and I was floored when I saw it. I also got a lot of lovely notes that Kevin and I have enjoyed looking at since we got back from our honeymoon.

There was so much more that was done, even at the site where my family and friends hung burlap, lanterns, lights and decorated with old doors and pictures too. It was a lot of work from a lot of different people but it the final product was literally stunning!  My final thoughts on DIY is that for me it was a great opportunity to work closely with my family and Kevin’s family. It’s not always easy and without help, I would limit the projects – but if you like being creative it can be really fun. And the DIY projects got the most compliments :)!

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..Yes!! New was my dress LOL, Borrowed was my veil from Annie (my sister in law), Blue was my garter and old was my earrings! Also I guess the end of that saying is “with a penny (or sixpence) in your shoe”, so… while I forgot to do that part which completes the superstition – and some people aren’t aware of it, I thought I would mention it!

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..Take a deep breath, it will all be okay. I am not a type A planning type of person so the whole process was very intimidating, daunting, and stressful for me. But I wish I would have had more faith in myself because everything got done, the wedding was lovely and I wish I had let myself enjoy the journey a little more. And its worth it!! It’s a hundred percent worth it, the day is over quick but the feelings, pictures, memories last forever. I didn’t believe people when they told me – so I am hoping people with trust me when I say that it all ends up fine and that you will be glad you went through all of it. So stick with it, and try to enjoy the process as it truly is a special time in your life!!! Oh and if someone offers to help you, take them up on it! – Loni, the bride

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photography: Ashley Paige Photography // ceremony venue: Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe CA // reception venue: Rockwater Murphy’s Irish Pub // makeup: Benefit Cosmetics // hair: Etch Salon // dress: Lian Carlo // cake: The Cork & More // florals: Rose Petals

August 1, 2013

“Jordan & Justin’s wedding was such a memorable day for us! They are a sweet couple who have been together since they were 17. The month they were married they celebrated not only their marriage, but also Jordan becoming a Doctor. Jordan & Justin took the time to add so many personal details to their wedding day that it was truly a photographers dream capturing it all!” – MattnNat Photographers

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I am obsessed with Jordan’s gorgeous dress!!! It fit’s her beautifully and she had the lace straps created and sewn just for her!!! This is such a pretty picture of her and her stunning accessories…

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“My favorite wedding memory was definitely the first look. After our wedding photographers suggested the idea we thought about how great it would be to just spend a few minutes together before the ceremony. Afterwards most couples spend time talking with family and friends and of course dancing so to have those few moments together in the quiet of the woods was so special to us. I also enjoyed being able to see Justin’s reaction when he saw me for the first time up close. That moment and the pictures that capture the moment are truly priceless…

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..My wonderful parents and I DIY’d almost everything for the wedding. For the invitations we used cards and pockets paper with a pocket fold and envelope and we designed, printed and cut all the inserts. We did the same for every paper product including menus, programs, place cards and the seating chart. We bought a specialty pressed paper from a local store, which was incorporated into all of the paper products. We also made tags for our favors. Other DIY projects included the table decorations. For the candles, we bought inexpensive glassware and used a glue to make the glass appear frosted; other candles were decorated with bark ribbon. For the cocktail tables and the ceremony aisle decorations we wrapped galvanized buckets with bark ribbon and our florist filled them. All of the table numbers and the Mr and Mrs sign on the sweetheart table were made from wooden letters/numbers from the craft store and were spray-painted. We had wooden signs for the cake, guestbook, bar, specialty drink, a here comes the bride sign and a welcome sign all made by my father.  He also made a series of frames with pictures of close family members who had passed. He stained the wood to look like barn wood and I painted the white lettering on all the signs. My father also made our ceremony table and our cake box the same way. He even made our ring box and I filled it with moss and tied the rings down with ribbon. Our family friend handmade the wooden vase that we used for our ceremony, which now sits in our living room with our original wedding rose. We also use our ceremony table as a side table in our hallway. These items are so special to us and we love that we were able to incorporate them into our home. Aside from these sentimental items that we display and use, I was able to sell the rest on Craigslist!

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..My something old borrowed and blue was a family heirloom ring from my mother’s side. It is still in its original setting from the late 1800’s. This was my great-great grandmothers engagement ring and we still have the original box. After having the setting checked I wore the ring on my pinky finger during the wedding. My shoes were new, and sequined blue!

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..My advice to all my friends planning their upcoming weddings is to pick a photographer that you are comfortable with and that you know will give you the type of pictures you want. Everyone will tell you how fast the whole day flies by and what you really have left besides the memories are the photographs or videos so it’s SO important to know what to expect and to be comfortable on the day of the wedding so you have the best pictures possible. Remember, as a bride or groom you are only seeing one perspective of your wedding. It was so fun to look through pictures and watch the video and see all of our friends having fun and actually watch our ceremony from the viewer’s perspective. I would also tell upcoming brides in the planning process not to let others influence you or your fiancés decisions too much. Once you agree on something, just have it your way. This is your wedding and you should have things how you want them. Justin’s piece of advice is not to stress about the small stuff. Things don’t always go perfectly on the day of the wedding but it’s better to just let go and not worry about the small things. You are getting married to your best friend and no matter what; it will be the happiest day of your life!” – Jordan, the bride

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photography: MattnNat Photographers (Matt and Natalie Thomas) // venue: Riverdale Manor, Lancaster PA // paper supplies: Cards and Pockets // florals: Splints and Daisies // ceremony guitarist: Luke Abruzzo from GigMasters // DJ: DJ Freez (Ray Rowe) // videographer: Black Tie Video // cake: House of Clarendon // dress: Robin Jillian (Lily’s Bridal, Arbutus MD) // bridesmaid dresses made by the brides seamstress Diane Blakley – she also made the straps that were added to the brides strapless dress! Columbia, MD // guy’s attire: Men’s Warehouse // hair: Lauren Ward, of Ooh la lal Salon // makeup: Jennifer Tanko