March 12, 2014

“Rachel + Andrew’s wedding was such a relaxed, fun celebration of love! They were so smart to pick such a fantastic venue… Orcutt Ranch is one of those locations where everywhere you turn you see something new. Having the reception in the garden created a feeling of being transported to another time, and the little details they brought in worked so seamlessly with the space. You don’t need much when surrounded by roses and a historic house from the 1920′s!” – Candice Benjamin Photography

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“The wedding venue lent itself very well to a DIY bride, because it was a beautiful blank slate – every little thing had to be brought in. After making lists upon lists of everything we needed, from extension cords to ribbons, one of my favorite moments of the wedding day was finally being done with the lists and the worrying and walking from the bridal suite to the ceremony. When I heard the song that I had chose so many months earlier (Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day”) and saw my soon-to-be husband waiting for me under this breathtaking sunny sky and huge tree, its one of the memories that I flash on most often…

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… Yes! The burlap wreaths on the aisle were sewn by my mom, the kid gift bags at the reception with coloring books and little toys were stuffed and stamped with love by me, my Mom sewed the awesome purple lace that was made by her Mom onto the ring pillow, I made the chicken wire table assignment from a frame I found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, the street name signage at the tables were an Etsy purchase, my mom and I glued ribbon around the edges of the cheap-o dessert stand to class it up a little bit and it hid the corrugated cardboard really well, and Andrews graphic designer friend made the cutely worded bar signage for us. I strung the childhood photos in the dessert room on the twine to fill up the empty shelves, it was a fun way to get our moms involved (they are both out of state) by going through old photos and choosing their favorites. I also had a friend string nylon rope outside and then he attached all those globe lights to the rope with zip ties and that alone saved us over $2,000! My brother and cousins did all of the globe light removal/tear down at the end of the night too, total lifesavers. The caterer also was the table/chairs/linens vendor and that was a huge relief, less coordination for me to do! Our officiant was one of my oldest friends from growing up in New Mexico who did such a great job, people asked if he was a professional wedding officiant!

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..My something blue were my shoes; something old was my grandmother’s handmade lace wrapped around my bouquet; something new was my dress and something borrowed was my earrings…

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..My planning advice is to only focus on what’s important to you and your husband. I don’t remember every detail of the menu because it wasn’t as important to us as spending hours deciding on music playlists! My ceremony advice to the future brides is to remember to look over at your family after you become a wife – with your family sitting on your side, they end up being a bit out of sight and I didn’t really make eye contact with my parents or brother after we became husband & wife!” – Rachel, the bride

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Photographer: Candice Benjamin Photography // Dress: Maggie Sottero/Madison Marie – purchased from Kay’s Bridal in Simi Valley // Grooms Attire: Jos A Bank // Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor // Flower Girl Dresses: Mini Boden // Hair Stylist: Novak Salon // Ceremony + Reception Venue: Orcutt Ranch // Caterer + Rentals: Pierre’s Catering // Mini-pies: Simplethings Sandwich & Pie Shop // Florist: The Exotic Green Garden // Invitations: ‘Dappled Glade’ by Wedding Paper Divas // DJ: DJ Bumbaclot – Andrew Veeder

March 10, 2014

“If you can imagine having your wedding at a Lemonade stand out in the orchards of southern California, Bryan & Whitney’s wedding is what you would get! It was a warm summer day filled with much laughter and love from friends and family. The couple had a lemonade stand set up overflowing with a family recipe lemonade that greeted the guests as they arrived. But the best part of the day by far wasn’t the cute decorations (which were fun and summery), but the couple’s sweet love for each other and easy going attitude! They even dealt with a mini-catastrophe, an old door used as a prop blew over onto their cake, so an aunt had to run to the grocery to get another generic cake. The couple didn’t know about it until the cake cutting, and they burst into laughter wondering where their cake was, but just smiled and cut the cake they had, acting like nothing was wrong!” – Lukas & Suzy VanDyke

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Married: Whitney & Bryan from Lunch Pail Pictures

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“I don’t know if I could ever choose one specific memory! The day was so much more than I ever could have imagined because of the amazing help of my family and friends who helped pull together all the details we had envisioned. I had so been looking forward to just being married to Bryan that once we said “I Do”, the whole rest of the day we were all smiles. I think I hear often how a lot of couples can’t remember their wedding day because it went so fast, but I was really intentional about taking everything in. It’s all still so vivid! If I had to pick one memory that still stands out to me so vividly it would be when I first saw Bryan as my dad walked me down the aisle. We had decided not to do a first look so that moment was a big one, and I just remember feeling like it was so surreal that we had finally reached our wedding day. It was also really special for me to have those moments with my dad right before everything got underway. I also about died laughing hysterically when they told us our cake had been knocked over by a vintage door and had been replaced with a white Happy Quinceanera from a grocery store down the road that had the frosting scraped off. When we cut into it and it oozed out onto the platter, we burst into laughter. No one knew but us and our families – it was hilarious!

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..Yes, we did a lot of DIY projects for the wedding. Most of the decor was DIY – we found a lot of items at thrift stores like the vintage doors and old windows. A lot of the garlands we used at the reception had been made by my amazing bridesmaids and sweet family friends for the bridal showers they threw for me and I just loved them so much I had to use them again. My talented aunt made the big “Eat, Drink Lemonade, Be Married” banner that we hung from the trees above the favor table and my uncle made sure it got strung up just right the morning of. The wooden signs we used as directional pointers to get to the reception and also at the venue my mom and I painted in my parents’ garage at 1am the night before the wedding. My dad constructed the archway we entered through at the reception with branches from the lemon tree in my parents’ backyard. Those are the little things I loved about prepping for this wedding, how everything just came together with so much laughter and joy. I really couldn’t have done it without my mom & sweet aunties plus my lifelong friends/bridesmaids (& their moms!) They were just incredible.

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..I did! It all sort of came together the day of! My Something Old: was a vintage handkerchief I kept in the pocket of my wedding dress (yes my dress had pockets!) from my grandma, Delphine. Something Borrowed: was the stunning diamond bracelet that my Aunt Lou let me wear. Something Blue: was my garter, made by the lovely Emilee Hegg of Tasteful Tatters. And Something New: was my Tiffany’s necklace from my sweet groom engraved with my new last name!

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..First of all, enjoy the process! From finding your venue to opening the RSVP envelopes, soak in every moment. It goes by so quickly. Pick what’s most important to you and really focus your attention there and let the smaller details fall into place on their own. It’s just one day so make it absolutely memorable but most importantly, remember that you’re getting MARRIED. The rest of your life is so much bigger than just that one day. So if your cake falls over (which ours did!) or if your ring bearer goes fleeing in the opposite direction of the aisle (which ours did), laugh and enjoy every moment. You’ll be so thankful that you remember all the once in a lifetime moments, both big and small, when you think back on your big day. We do!” – Whitney, the bride

ST_event_credits

Photography: Lukas & Suzy VanDyke // Videography: Lunch Pail Pictures // Dress and Belt: Watters Gown from Marylinn’s Bridal (now Panache), Pasadena, CA // Alterations, Veil, & Reception Hairpiece: Chantilly’s Bridal, Newhall, CA // Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles // Garter: Tasteful Tatters by Emilee Hegg // Suits & Men’s Shoes: Mr. Tux, Newhall, CA // Groom’s Tie: Men’s Warehouse // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Banana Republic // Flower Girls Dresses: updated from when me and my cousin wore them in my aunt’s wedding in 1998  // Ring Bearer’s Outfit: J.Crew, Janie & Jack, and Gap Kids // Make-up: Nicole Lind // Hair: Amy Wolf, Beyond the Fridge, Newhall, CA // Invitations: Minted // Calligraphy: My mom! Wendy Kane // Ceremony: Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA // Ceremony Program: Kea Brooks // Reception Site: La Campana Ranch, Fillmore, CA // Reception Map: Jamie Long // Music: Subito Strings // Flowers: Yamaguchi’s, Ventura, CA // Wedding Cake: Cakery Bakery, La Canada, CA // Rentals: Ventura Rental Company // Reception Details, Favors & Guestbooks: DIY by bride’s family & bridesmaids. Hanging Lemonade Banner by Brooke Moore

February 5, 2014

“Maggie & Chris – we’ve got to give them as much praise as we can. They got it 100% right. Their day was beautifully accentuated with amazing style and class, incredible Green Mountain beauty, super fun loving friends and family, intricate design and crowd moving live soul music. Every made to order customized detail stood out strong! Their rings, the clothes, a typewriter for personalized messages, super fun photo booth – you name it. Having this incredible day nestled at the Riverside Farm in Pittsfield was an obvious choice. They provided an incredible space full of eye pleasing places to photograph. School House Gardens provided their usual floral excellence, Occasions Catering did an incredible job making sure everyone was fed in style while My Little Cupcake perfectly sweetened up the whole deal. Grippo Funk Band melted the crowd all night long and right before leaving we witnessed a striking sparkler send off. Congrats on both your love AND your wedding day perfection Maggie & Chris!” – Ampersand Wedding Photography

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“I’ve heard many brides say their day was a blur… but truly I remember each and every little moment, from the blessing my yoga instructor said during my morning practice to the final toast my husbands grandfather made at our after reception. One outstanding moment was my walk down the aisle to my husband to be.

I chose to walk alone because in my heart that was what felt best. I stayed calm and collected all day getting ready, but as the bridal procession began their walk my knees began knocking and the butterflies in my stomach began fluttering. The walk from the farmhouse, across the field, to the arbor where I was to meet Chris was a long walk (probably 2 1/2 minutes). As the last of my bridal party had left the farmhouse, my nerves settled and I felt an overwhelming calm. I’m ready to marry my man! The song I chose to walk alone to was “Bliss” by Phish, a sweet instrumental that always gives me chills. I began my entrance, I was fearless and excited. As I got closer where our friends and family were seated, Chris came to meet me, I took his arm, he told me I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. We happily walked up the final leg of the aisle together, arm in arm. Nothing could have felt so right. BLISS

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..from start to finish I created every detail from our handmade save the dates to the extra long sparkers we used for the send off. I wrote the entire ceremony and we each wrote our own vows. We designed our programs, menus, and lots of different kinds of signage from old painted fence posts, chalkboards and stencil stamped burlap. My mother-in-law helped me find a vintage typewriter for guests type out their advice and best wishes and I found photos of all 4 of our grandparents on their wedding day.  

My thoughts on DIY: Don’t try to do it all yourself if you have people who know you and understand your vision, delegate! Wedding planning is very stressful if you are doing it completely on your own like I did. Your wedding can still have a lot of character and reflect both of you without getting glue gun happy!

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Old- I wore my Grandmother Ann’s wedding veil, however I had it refurbished. It was a lace edged, 2 tier, cathedral length veil from 1947. I had it cut to elbow length and found some gorgeous 1920’s style hair clips to attach it to my head.

New- I got a tattoo with my big sister, a couple weeks before my wedding day. It is a mantra written in Sanskrit on the inside of my right bicep.

Borrowed-  My ring! My husband had my engagement ring custom made. He recycled some of his mothers diamonds to create the perfect ring for me. A beautiful, ethically sourced Malawi Sapphire surrounded by diamonds borrowed from his mother. 

Blue-  My shoes! I am a petite 5’2 lady so I always can get away with wearing high heels to stand with my burly 6’5 husband. I found a super cute 1920’s style shoe in light blue they were about 4 inches and super comfortable. I had no problem in the grass or getting down on the dance floor. I wore them all night long. Happy feet!

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1. Stay Calm and Trust the Universe.  (another mantra I continue to live by)

2. Whatever amount of time you have is enough. Work with what you’ve got! 

3. Try your best not to get overwhelmed, ask for help, talk it out. Everyone wants to help, sometimes they just don’t know how. Also talk to your vendors, I didn’t have a wedding planner but my vendors were more than happy to help me feel confident that things were going run smoothly on my wedding day.

4. Accept that there will be errors. I planned every little detail and all the big ones too from types of seating to linens to flowers, transportation, food, music, etc. Things get lost in the shuffle for sure and in the end it really didn’t matter.” – Maggie, the bride

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photography: Ampersand Wedding Photography // venue: Riverside Farm, Pittsfield Vermont // dress: Claire Pettibone // bridesmaid dresses: Amsale // grooms suits: Alton Lane // ties: Tie Crafters // shoes: Allen Edmunds // groomsmen: Brooks Brothers “Gatsby Collection” // engagement ring: Lisa Linhart // wedding bands: Vanessa Lianne // favors: Vermont Maple Syrup from the Begin family sugarhouse, Pittsfield, VT (Trees were tapped less than a mile away from the venue!) // florist: A Schoolhouse Garden // cake: My Little Cupcake // invitations: Paper Source // band: Grippo Funk Band // caterer: Occasions Catering // hair: Cailyne Crowder // transportation: Gramps Shuttle Service

January 27, 2014

“Megan + David are a sweet, fun loving Seattle couple. When I asked them what they love about each other, Megan said she loves David’s laugh and sense of humor; David said he loves Megan’s thoughtfulness and how she always thinks of others. Then and there I melted and was so excited to get to know them! Their wedding was held at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center at Discovery Park, a unique and beautiful park that is a holdout of wilderness within the city. The park is built on the historic grounds of Fort Lawton, which provided the perfect backdrop and pop of color for their portraits. After a heart-felt outdoor ceremony with a blue sky and the mirrored waters of Puget Sound behind them, the couple enjoyed a ‘fiesta’ themed evening of amazing Mexican food, a few cocktails, handmade donuts, and hitting the dance floor hard with their overjoyed friends and family.” – Red Sparrow Photography

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“It’s obviously really hard to pick just one, but I would have to say the dance party! I don’t think I sat down once after the music started, and most of the guests didn’t either! It was so nice to just let go after the more stressful parts of the day, and dancing was the part of the wedding I was looking forward to the most ~ aside from marrying my best friend of course! Our DJ was great and I could have danced all night!

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..I, along with some fabulous helpers, DIY-ed quite a bit for our wedding. The programs, seating cards, the decorative poms, the table numbers, my flower piece for my hair and the thank you cards were all done by me. Additionally, instead of having a traditional guest book, we decided to use a cookbook by one of my favorite chefs, Rick Bayless. My husband proposed to me in his restaurant, where the chef gave me a signed copy of one of his books. We had guests write on the pages of the book. We are looking forward to cooking and seeing our friends and families little notes to us!

I had a fabulous group of family and friends that helped with all the flowers, both centerpieces and bouquets. A big shout out goes to my Mom, who spearheaded the whole thing and helped me pick out my flower types and colors and my friend Jenny who is basically the bouquet making queen. While DIY-ing can get a bit stressful, it really allowed me to put my own stamp on the event – while making great memories with the people the helped me along the way. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

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..I did indeed! My something old was my grandmother’s bracelet; my something new was my earrings and my dress; my something borrowed was the necklace that my mother wore in her wedding; and my something blue was my shoes!

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..I think the biggest thing to remember throughout the whole process is – there is no right or wrong way to do things, so throw that rule book out the window! I really wanted the focus of our wedding to be on the celebration portion, so we made the ceremony short and sweet and allotted the most time for eating, drinking and dancing. Don’t want a cake? Get something you and the groom really enjoy, which in our case was donuts! Don’t want to do a bouquet or garter toss? Don’t! Just because your wedding isn’t super traditional, doesn’t make it any less special.” – Megan, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Red Sparrow Photography // second shooter: Paul Gibbons Photography // venue: Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center // dress: Maggie Sottero, alterations: Eltsa Custom Sewing // men’s attire: Men’s Warehouse // bridesmaid dresses: Donna Morgan // bride and bridesmaid earrings: Mumsy // invitations: Minted // hair: Swink Stylebar // makeup: brides sister // flowers: DIY, purchased from: Every Day Flowers // caterer: Madres Kitchen // donuts: Street Donuts // DJ: Headsmile Productions

January 13, 2014

“I absolutely loved photographing Jen and James’ garden party wedding this year. The ceremony was at a pretty little church in Upton Cross in Cornwall called St Pauls, followed by a wonderfully rustic outdoor reception at the bride’s parents house. Trestle tables were set with vintage tablewear and pretty jam jars were stuffed full of wild flowers. As the evening set in, the garden was lit up with twinkling outdoor lights setting the perfect ambience for the first dance. Quite simply every detail had been thoughtfully planned, making it an effortlessly happy occasion and one I will certainly remember!” – Ross Talling Photography

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“Our favorite memory is probably dancing our first dance to a beautiful rendition of Skinny Love by acoustic band, The Duotones, and also watching the fireworks my brother set off at the end of the evening, it was a perfect end to a great day…

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..there wasn’t a lot that we didn’t make ourselves other than the catering. We started by re-landscaping my parents garden as it was very overgrown, sewing a 100 metres of bunting, printing and making the invitations and service books, making table runners and that was just the start. I also altered and made flowers for my dress and a belt, my mum made butterflies and moths to go on it too. We couldn’t have done it all without lots of help from our friends and family in the week before the wedding to make decorations for the church, hang the bunting, arrange the cut flowers, put up the lights, make a bar in the workshop, pot up the flower boxes ready for the church. I think this was also one of our favourite memories, it meant a lot to us to have everyone helping out and bringing it all together. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe how much we pulled together in such a short time, six months before, we couldn’t decide on what we wanted to do and had no plans or bookings in place… but it turned out better than we could have imagined! 

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..I think so! I borrowed earrings from my mum, I had blue butterflies on my dress that my mum made for me, my shoes were old, I bought them when I was 16 (they are a little tatty so don’t look too closely at them) and my knickers were new!

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..Do it your own way. It was really important for our wedding to reflect us! We didn’t want to have to work around any restrictions or stipulations. We wanted our family and friends to relax and to just enjoy the day and evening with them… and we did!” – Jen, the bride

ST_event_credits

photography: Ross Talling Photography // church: Saint Pauls // garden venue: Bride’s Parents Home // dress: Justin Alexander from All About Eve, Newport South Wales (which the bride altered herself!) // grooms suit: Perfection in Cardiff // hair and makeup: Gem Ryder // catering: Kerra’s Catering // acoustic band: The Duotones // all other details you see, from the invitations to the table runners and flowers were DIY-ed by the bride and her family!

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