April 23, 2014

“It’s not often that a photographer from Ohio has the opportunity to photograph a beach wedding, so I was thrilled to be a part of Kirsta and Darin’s gorgeous waterside ceremony and reception in Huron, Ohio. Aside from the beautiful location where their special day took place, I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful group of people to work with. From the very start, the couple and their families were so easygoing and hospitable. They even invited me to stay for an amazing filet mignon dinner at their home after our engagement session! The wedding day was no different, we felt like a part of the family. And, of course, their DIY decor was lovely and perfectly reflected the fun-loving nature of Kirsta and Darin.” – Kristen Nicole Photography


“It’s hard to pick just one, because it was an amazingly perfect day! But my top three moments are:  1. Seeing my husband and the ceremony set up for the first time when I turned the corner of the sidewalk onto the beach. Our guests had perfectly set up a human barrier so that I couldn’t see anything until I was down to the “aisle”. It was an unplanned perfect thing that happened!  2. My husband and I were really emotional at the start of the ceremony. We have had a mustache joke for a couple of years, so I put mustaches on the finger of myself and all of my bridesmaids as a way to take some funny pics through the day. We were both on the verge of crying right when I got down the aisle, so I put my mustache to my face and we both started cracking up (including my Pastor!). It was a great break to our emotions and allowed us to relax and enjoy the ceremony. There are a few pics that captured that moment too (although only we knew what was going on). 3. At the end of the night, we had a fireworks show on the beach. My hubby and I went out to the beach to sit and watch away from everyone. We had a chance to sit back and enjoy the event from afar and look at everyone having a fantastic time. It was a great one on one moment that allowed us to appreciate the night/day and I am so glad we had that moment!


..Yes, we did a LOT of DIY! Mostly everything was a DIY, and we are so happy we spent the time on this. It made the event so much more personal, and we had all of our family and friends helping out. This made it more special as well, sharing the jobs of the day with everyone we love. They were champs and did so much to help us get things done and to make it beautiful and unique!


..Enjoy it! I was really stressed in the beginning, and really didn’t want to do the “work”.  I wanted to just plan a destination wedding and have a planner do everything in the beginning. But after I actually got into the process, I absolutely loved making this event our own and special to us. I am so glad we did things the way we did, and that we didn’t do a destination. I loved having our family and friends there to celebrate, and I had such a great time doing it all. If I could go back, I would have relaxed and enjoyed it from the very beginning instead of after a few months in, because the time goes so quickly!” – Kirsta, the bride


photography: Kristen Nicole Photography // venue: Old Homestead Beach // dress: Robin Jillian // bridesmaids: Mori Lee // hair: Angels Hair Salon // makeup: Lindsay Oliveria // mens attire: Macy’s // invitations: Marilyn Windau // flowers: DIY purchased from Sam’s Club // caterer: Mesenburg’s Creative Catering // cake/bakery: Pink Moon Bakery // lighting and rentals: Witt’s Tent // music: The Going (Live Band) and Joe Steager (ceremony)

April 21, 2014

“While Guests enjoyed panoramic views of the ocean for this Half Moon Bay, CA wedding, Deze was waiting anxiously to walk down the aisle to her groom. Everyone wondered how beautiful Deze would be but no one could have imagined how truly breathtaking she was. Her gaze met his, and smiles became infectious. Deze and Brian are the type of couple who can change your day by spending time with them. They are kind, intentional and are very much in love! Tiffany blue and hues of pink, orange and yellow pulled the day together and Deze’s vision for her day came together like a dream. Our long distance Skype dates had me dreaming of what this day would be like, and it was everything Deze described and more!

We couldn’t be more thankful for Deze and Brian! Pinterest connected two lovebirds in CA to two photographers in love in Texas and it couldn’t have been a better pairing. Their kindness, intentionality and joy were a blessing we won’t soon forget and we wish them all the happiness in the world!” – Jennefer Wilson

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“This is a tough question! It’s very tough to pick out one single memory in such an amazing day as my most favorite. I do have have to say that I’m very glad that my husband and I got some time together before our wedding when we did “our first look”. Our ceremony took place on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean so it was a nice, relaxing moment to spend together before all the festivities began…


..Yes! I did several DIY pieces for our wedding. In fact, most of the reception pieces were DIY including various signs (outside reception chalk board, candy buffet, sparklers, Mr. & Mrs. sign, etc.), table decorations, sand ceremony kit, table numbers and table number key/chart). I even did the flowers for the whole reception with the help of my mom, sister and mother-in-law!


..Of course; I had all four! My blue and new items were my garter and shoes while my something borrowed was the hanger that I used to hang my dress on and that I also used for my dress pictures. My little sister had gotten the hanger for her special day so I was able to borrow it from her to do the same. My something old was a piece of lace that my mom cut from her wedding bouquet from my parent’s wedding. She gave me this on the morning of my wedding and I had it incorporated into my bouquet as well!


..Give yourself plenty of time to plan, be as creative as possible and enjoy every minute. Ultimately, no matter what you decide, your day will be perfect. You will most likely stress over little things but in the long run, it will all be worth it!” – Deze, the bride


photography: Jennefer Wilson // venue: Half Moon Bay Golf Links // dress: Monique Lou // bridesmaid dresses: DELia*s // men’s attire: Calvin Klein // hair & makeup: Aqua Beauty Lounge // cake: Ashley Wilson from Papa Haydn // ceremony and bridal party flowers: Jane’s Personalized Flower Services

April 19, 2014

Hooorraaayy…. for the weekend and for Easter! My family always throws a huge picnic in the park, so I’ll be relaxing in the sun, grilling, playing games and hanging with my favorites. Whatever your plans include I hope this holiday treats you well – thanks for stopping by – I appreciate it! xoxo


Image courtesy of: Love Meets Life Photography

diy wedding ideas

This past week we have had the pleasure of featuring so many awesome posts!!! We shared two beautifully DIY-ed weddings, the BEST 10 Wedding Tips from our DIY brides, a darling engagement session on the beach, a #SomethingTurquoise themed inspiration board for Crate & Barrel, and last but not least how to make your own Swarovski ‘something blue’!!! You can easily find all these posts by clicking on each of the images below! 


April 14, 2014

Amy and Rocky’s wedding was elegance personified. Their day began in the enchanting rooms under the Mountain Winery’s Banquet Hall. The girls got ready in different colored kimono robes while the guys had clips of their favorite comedies projecting on the wall. There were libations, traditions, flowers and tons of laughter. The family and wedding party congregated in the Mountain Winery’s amphitheater for portraits – the same place where great musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, ZZ Top, and so many other famous artists have performed through the decades. As the day progressed and the couple said their vows, the light slowly receded behind the Saratoga hills. It made for incredible ambiance as the couple strolled through the winter grapevines. Even with all the excitement from the day, photographing the couple’s first moments as husband and wife had a quiet peace to it. I felt grateful to be witness to this sacred time, because soon after they were rushed into their reception with the kind of wild crowd that only a rock-n-roll venue can inspire.” – Evan Chung Photography


“After having spent so many months planning and preparing for our wedding, it’s difficult to chose just one memory to call my favorite! There were so many special moments in the day that I cherished, which included the anticipation of walking down the aisle with my father as all of our guests were seated, watching, and waiting. Among some other cherished memories was seeing how happy my mother was, my soon to be husband and I exchanging our vows with each other, watching our precious flower girl, who was too young to understand her task, picking up the flower petals instead of dropping them, or my very soon to be husband accidentally saying “I do” before the officiate finished his speech. Other fond memories included, feeling so beautiful in my wedding gown and Chinese dress, taking pictures with my soon to be husband was another favorite one as it was one of the few times as we were able to have time alone as husband and wife.  Also, my dance with my father and my first dance with my husband. Lastly, one of my fondest wedding day memory was the end of the night when my husband and I could finally take our shoes off to relax and reflect over the day that had passed, while feeling overjoyed with contentment that we are now married to each other!


..We DIY-ed many things, both in the interest of saving money and in adding a personal touch to the decorations for our wedding day. My sister and I actually spent 12 hours in the day before the wedding arranging all of the flowers that were used for the wedding. That and the weeks of work in buying and assembling the other decorations and components of the wedding gave us a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that I had a personal touch in creating a beautiful memory and environment for our guests!

We created the:

Table Center piece
Aisle flower arrangement
Goodie bags for the kids
Name and table cards
Flower girl basket
Ring pillow
Bird cage for our wedding cards


..Spend time with the wedding party and savor every moment of the wedding day as the day goes by so quickly.

Try to enjoy the planning phase and have fun with your fiancé as you two are in this together. It is an extremely stressful time involving ideas, deadlines, and budgets, so remember to take time out to enjoy each other and remember why you are getting married in the first place! Don’t be uptight and too rigid about the little things and embrace the unexpected and each other’s opinions – compromise!

Even after months of planning, something will go wrong as it always does, so roll with the punches and go with the flow.  Realize that everyone involved is eager to help, so be sure to ask for that help. Ultimately, realize that everyone who shows up will be so wowed and happy to be there, that fine details and missteps probably won’t even be noticed!

Remember that the day is about you and your fiancé or fiancée. Many friends and families will undoubtedly lend advice, opinions, and objections to your decisions, but go with what your heart tells you. The day is a celebration of your love and future together so the choices should be yours alone. 

Lastly, make sure you take some time to eat on the day of your wedding or request the waiters to pack your food to go. In the rush and excitement of the day, my husband did not have time to eat his much of the delicious meal or the beautiful cakes that we had planned for the evening!” – Amy, the bride


photography: Evan Chung Photography // venue: Mountain Winery // wedding dress and alterations: Novella Bridal, Casablanca 2072 // men’s attire: Tuxedo Fashions // wedding coordinator: Kendra Stapp // hair & makeup: Chau Nguyen of A-list Makeup // invitations: Wedding Paper Divas // cake: Satura // photobooth: Say Ya! Photo Booth // DJ: Blaze Wave Entertainment

April 9, 2014

“Nicole and Jeremy both live out of state so planning a wedding from far away is a bit of a challenge, especially a heavily DIY-ed wedding. Fortunately Nicole’s family lives local to their wedding venue so that made a lot of the DIY projects for their wedding a little easier. They decided to get married at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, home to the world famous Portland Headlight. The park opens it’s dates for Maine residents first and then for out of state couples – this worked in Nicole & Jeremy’s favor tremendously. We were having one of the hottest spells in a very long time that week – but it thankfully broke for Sunday morning. Had they gotten the Saturday date they originally wanted we would have been hit with 90-100 degree temps!

Almost all of their details were DIY so it made their entire wedding really personal. Everything from the invitations, flowers, the cake pops, decorations all the way to the favors were lovingly handmade. One of the standouts from the day were the doors & platform for her ceremony. Even though they were having an outdoor ceremony, Nicole still wanted that feeling of walking through doors and down the aisle. Another one of the DIY highlights were the flowers. Nicole bought buckets of flowers from a local garden and all the girls, the night before the wedding, went through all the flowers and each created their own handmade bouquet. Lovely!” – Brittany Rae Photography


“We really enjoyed the entire wedding journey! My husband and I agree we really enjoyed the ceremony and taking sunset pictures together after the reception was over. It was a quiet moment in a busy day where we could really soak in the reality of the day. We also really appreciated how each of our friends and family contributed something unique and important! We could not have managed such a wonderful wedding without their support, guidance, assistance and expertise…


..We did as much DIY as possible for a few reasons: I really enjoy crafting and creating things, to save money and because we wanted everything to be very meaningful and intentional. It was so rewarding to watch all our time and effort come together on the wedding day to create a simple but beautiful presentation.

- Invitations: Thankfully, my now husband is a very talented graphic designer, so we created, printed and assembled all our invitations, which were a huge hit!

- Centerpieces: My mom and I collected and assembled all the candles with the twigs and moss. I made some of the twig balls and bought the others. I wrapped and hot glued all the vases with the brown roping (this took the longest). We cut the table runners from a giant piece of burlap we ordered online. Some of my favorite memories are of my mom and I calling each other to a report a special find or a good deal at a store.

- Flowers: After one very frustrating session at the florist where I was feeling very anxious about which flowers to pick (there are so many options!), my mom found a lady down the road who sells wildflowers for a few dollars a pail and I said, “That’s it! Everyone makes their own bouquet with whatever flowers they want!” And we did. We ordered 15 pails of wildflowers she cut the night before the wedding and each bridesmaid was able to customize their flowers how they wanted. They also helped make the wildflower bunches to put in the vases as centerpieces. We also made the boutonnières for the guys out of leaves left over from the wildflowers. Lovely and extremely inexpensive!

- Background for ceremony: We collected wooden boxes, the ladder and chest at yard sales throughout the spring and early summer! I remember one woman cried when I told her I was going to use the boxes in my wedding because they belonged to her grandfather, who had recently passed, and she was overjoyed they were being put to such special use. My husband’s father and brother (both in carpentry/building) created the stand alone doors for us to walk through from scratch! My dad and I made the wedding signs to tell people where to go out of an old wooden pallet we found at the dump yard. He pulled all the boards off and I stencil painted them. I remember when my dad and I were driving one day and I said, “I really want some old wood that already looks worn,” and my dad came through.

- Favors: My husband and I also designed, printed and created our favors. We wanted something lasting that would be really special, so we donated the cost of favors to missionary friends and created cards to remind people to pray for them.

- Appetizer Food tables: My mom and I collected plates, platters and items from family, friends and yard sales and spent hours figuring out how to place everything on the table. We took pictures of how we wanted it set up so people would know the day of. We bought all the food/drinks as things went on sale and had friends lay it out that day.

- Cake pops: My friend/bridesmaid Sam Tate owns a cake pop business in Pennsylvania, who made all the cake pops and brought them special delivery to Maine for the wedding even though she was in a wedding in Pennsylvania the night before (she and her husband drove through the night to get to Maine for the wedding the next morning)! My mom found the baskets at a local store for really cheap and we put styrofoam blocks in the baskets (weighed down by rocks) and then put moss over top to create a “flower bed” look. The baskets were propped up by cardboard blocks from the basement we used to play with as kids and strategically covered by tablecloths!


..Looking back at the entire wedding experience, some of my favorite memories and fondest moments were actually before the wedding even happened! I remember keeping a weekly countdown chart and writing down what I did for the 25 Sundays leading up to the wedding. I really enjoyed bonding with family and friends, planning with my fiancé, completing a Bridal Workbook called “The Conscious Bride,” compiling things for the wedding and silly things like calling my mom over another 50% off coupon at the craft store. I highly recommend keeping a journal, chart or scrap book of the planning, preparation and wedding because it goes by so fast. Take the time to close your eyes and treasure the moments leading up to the wedding and of course, the wedding day itself! Also, keep discontentment at bay by remembering what you are thankful for and letting go of unreasonable expectations. Your wedding is unique and cannot be compared to any other wedding! Make it your own. Enjoy the journey!” – Nicole, the bride


Photography: Brittany Rae Photography // Venue: Fort Williams Pavilion, Maine // Dress + Bridesmaid Dresses (picked their own – in clover): David’s Bridal // Veil: Etsy // Shoes: Tom’s Bridal // Necklace: customized with the brides birthstones and initials via Etsy // Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse // Rings: custom by Don Basch Jewelers // cake pops: Pint Size Pops // catering: Dandelion Catering

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