November 19, 2013

“As a UK wedding photographer, dark churches are often the case. So when I had the chance to spend the day eloping with the loveliest couple to a secluded beach I was over the moon! It was a simple yet heart felt ceremony followed by an afternoon of exploring coves and running from the incoming tide! With the beautiful evening sunlight, time flew by and before we knew it we dancing the night away…” – Charlene Morton Photography

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“Definitely the first dance! We were so lucky that Lusty Glaze had a charity event going on that evening with music by the Claze a local Cornish band (contactable at www.theclaze.com). We were sitting curled up by the fire when the singer wandered past and Charlene happened to bag us a first dance! I will never forget dancing with my new husband to an acoustic version of the Foo’s ‘times like these’ in front of a lot of people we didn’t know! It was really special and felt incredibly romantic…

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..Everything for us was all about simplicity so we didn’t DIY anything at all.. apart from my hair! I hadn’t even planned anything so we ended up finding a flower clip in a shop the morning of the wedding and put my hair up together in the hotel room, about a half an hour before we left for the ceremony!

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..For blue I had a garter with a blue bow which Charlene captured in one of her pics when I’m taking off my stockings to paddle in the sea! My dress and shoes were new and the vintage shrug was old from the 70′s. As no one knew about our wedding I told my Mom I was going to a black tie work event and asked if she had any pearls to go with a black dress. She ended up lending me some pearl drop earrings and a necklace which she had received for her 21st birthday. I had never even seen them before but they suited my dress perfectly and I felt like she was with me the whole time…

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..I originally booked a big country house wedding and cancelled it as it got more and more large and complicated! If you like planning and you want a big fairytale wedding go for it – but it just wasn’t for me. I have never been so glad I had the nerve to change plans and we ended up having the perfect wedding for us. Therefore I suppose my only advice is to think about what you really want and go for it. Other people’s opinions won’t matter afterwards but your memories will.” – Dee, the bride

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photography: Charlene Morton Photography // venue: Lusty Gaze beach, UK // dress: Debenhams, Jenny Packham // suit: Hawkes Essentials

November 4, 2013

“As a new photographer in my area I could not be more honored to have photographed Tatiana and Kevin’s wedding! This couple is truly amazing. Tatiana is the queen if DIY and is as kind as she is beautiful. She’s always looking for ways to donate and help others. Her dress is consignment from Brides Against Breast Cancer, and all her details were carefully thought out with the perfect rustic farm feel. Everywhere I looked there were more details to shoot! The reception incorporated so much for guests to do: corn hole, putt putt, dancing, chalkboards, an art canvas… it was incredible. Tatiana and her amazing family worked tirelessly to make everything creative and original. Kevin and his groomsmen were so adorable in their denim and suspenders, I just couldn’t get enough of this wedding! I loved this couple since I met them when my little business was just getting started. I will forever be grateful to them and they have become so much more than clients! Keep your eye out for Tatiana because her styling and DIY skills are catching on fast, she’s so talented!” – Elizabeth Henson Photos

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“My husband blew me away with his vows. Showing his mushy emotional side is not the norm for him – especially in front of 100 of our closest friends and family! He was so intimate, sweet, and vulnerable. I think I speak for everyone there, especially those who know him well, when I say it was powerful to listen to him. At one point he started to choke up and couldn’t quite get his words out as he fought back tears. Without even thinking I grabbed his hand and told him “It’s Ok”. He collected himself and finished the most amazing set of vows I have ever heard. It was a simple moment, but at that moment time stood still. The whole day went by so fast, but at that moment things slowed down and I was able to truly appreciate the love he and I have for one another as well as the love and support that sat all around us. It was beautiful!!

The crazy fun dancing of all our wild guests would surely come in second place!! Followed by the hysterical and heart felt speeches given by the best man and the maid of honor…

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..The entire wedding was DIY!!!

My sister created our engagement party invitation, our save the date, and the print of our wedding invitation. I  purposely distressed each invitation and Modge-podged them to pieces of burlap for a rustic feel.

I wanted the bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. So, I gave them several inspiration pictures and let them run with it. They coordinated with one another via Facebook message throughout their dress buying process. It came together beautifully!

I styled the men myself. Kevin had one outfit request and that was to not wear a suit. He wears a suit every day to work and he really wanted something different. I selected the converse and tie/suspender for each guy. It was a surprise until the morning of the wedding. They were so afraid of the unknown, but I think they were all very happy with their outfits.

I hand painted all the signs, picture frames, and  decor.

My mother and I picked out various fabric prints to lay over the tables and bring some color into the mix. I made a couple of the chalkboards from old pictures found at the thrift-store and then wrote on them. I had the baby’s breathe delivered to my door and we created the centerpieces the day before the wedding. I designed the wooden structures (the bar, the arches, and the chalk board guest book) and my parents built them.

I had a very specific image in mind with the second arch. Because our ceremony and reception were held at the same site, I wanted an entry way for guests to walk from the ceremony to the reception. The bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to the “All You Need Is Love” Beatle’s cover from the movie “Across the Universe”. I was pretty certain of the song choice from early on in my planning, so I decided to give the wedding a theme of some sort, and I really wanted to incorporate that quote in the second arch. I hand painted the letters and we secured them below the chalk board. 

I took on the task of providing all the cocktail food. Because we were having Italian food, I went with an antipasto themed cocktail table. I bought a variety of selections and a good family friend set everything up before the reception began.

We had popcorn bags and homemade chocolate chip cookies using a family recipe. We bagged everything ourselves and attached homemade tags. My mom unexpectedly spent a couple days in the hospital right before the wedding and several of her closest friends, women I consider family, showed up with wine in hand ready to help bag and tag everything!! They were amazing!!!

I had a vision for the wedding and several people chipped in to help bring it to life. They say it takes a village…. and mine is pretty great!

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..I wore an old family ring as my something old. My something borrowed was the garter my sister wore during her wedding. And we forgot something blue… but that was OK cause my husband-to-be was waiting for me at the alter in his blue jeans!! That counts right?

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..Stay true to yourselves! We did a lot of unconventional things but those things screamed us – Tatiana and Kevin. (Leopard Print, Pizza, Apple Fritters etc.) When it comes to weddings, there should be no rules. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are surrounded by people who love you and they are there to celebrate your new marriage. Some things will turn out perfectly and others not so much. But thats ok… in fact it’s pretty normal. Have fun with it. Because at the end of the day you get to marry your best friend, the rest is just frosting on the cake.” – Tatiana, the bride

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photography: Elizabeth Henson Photos // planner/decorator: The Bride Tatiana ~ Smittenly Styled // venue: Back Bay Farms, VA // dress: Kenneth Pool purchased from Brides Against Breast Cancer // rentals: Grand Rental Station of Newport News // dinner: Primos Pizza and Ristorante // centerpiece flowers: Sam’s Club Online // apple crates: The Cullipher Farm // bouquet flowers: Trader Joe’s // popcorn: Jody’s Popcorn // groomsmen ties: The Tie Bar // groomsmen suspenders: Belt Outlet // special bridesmaid bracelet gifts: International Sanctuary (an organization joining the fight against human trafficking) // DJ: Endless Mic Entertainment 

November 2, 2013

Happy first weekend of November everyone! The holiday season is officially here; do we know this because it’s chilly outside or because the leaves are changing colors? No ~ it’s because Starbucks now has their red cup out!!! Lol. Wishing you all a very cozy couple days off, thank you for making ST a part of it!

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 image courtesy of: Ily Grantham Photography // color inspiration: Jen | ST 

diy wedding ideas

This past week we have had the pleasure of featuring one stunning wedding, two spooky halloween wedding inspiration shoots, one haunted halloween wedding, a super simple DIY on how to make coffee bean wedding favors, and last but not least the gorgeous DIY on how to gold-leaf a wooden ring bearer dish! You can easily find all these posts by clicking on each of the images below! 

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June 27, 2013

“It’s always a pleasant surprise when a photographer shows up to a shoot and finds a bride and groom that look as if they’d stepped off the cover of a bridal magazine! This was certainly the case with Amy + Dale. Amy’s dress was beautifully elegant with its lace bodice and button detail down her long train. What’s even more impressive? She designed it herself! Best of luck to this beautiful couple!” – BMW Photography

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“I found Brinn of BMW Photography through facebook while stalking one of my friends weddings. I loved the quality of her photographs so I checked out her blog and fell in love with her style! What stood out most about her photography was how she would capture natural moments and not just staged poses. I did some research and found out she also took pictures for many of my friends at Southern Virginia University. Because she was local and so talented I knew before I was even engaged that she would do my pictures!

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..All I’m really doing myself is my hair and makeup, some of my bridesmaids hair and makeup, and I actually designed my dress. I knew if I had anything professionally done I would just be more stressed. So doing my own hair and makeup will help me feel more in control. Everything at our wedding is going to be very relaxed so I did not focus on all the little things. We are also making very unique centerpieces to avoid flower costs. My aunt and I love an author and illustrator named Edward Gorey so she drew a picture of Dale and I in his style, cut each one out and will surround them with petals and candles on each table. For our bridal portraits taken at Washington and Lee University in Lexington – I made my own last minute bouquet out of some old Costco flowers. I threw a purple and grey bow around them and they were perfect!

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..I’m looking forward to the reception the most! I planned the wedding by myself so I’m super excited to see all those plans come together in addition to all my friends and family coming out to celebrate with us. We are having a large heated tent at our home with Carolina Brothers BBQ catering and beautiful flowers from Caren’s Florist in Vienna. It should be a great time and I can’t wait to experience it!” – Amy, the bride-to-be

May 21, 2013

Today’s etherial Etsy inspiration board was inspired by the magical, lace wedding dress below… handmade by the talented Grace Loves Lace. We are dreaming of overcast beach days full of romance and warmth… what are you dreaming of?

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All of these gorgeous images are from current Etsy listings, that’s right – you can purchase all of these items right now! For these exact listings and many more please follow this {link} to find our shopable Etsy treasury:ST_etsy_inspirationPinetsy seller credits

gorgeous white lace wedding dress: Grace Loves Lace // ‘you are my happily ever after’ print: Graphic Anthology // peach and seafoam ribbon backdrop: Pretty Peachtree // mint green chiffon fabric: Fabric Bros // peach flower cake toppers: FleurLux // ruffled romance mint and peach wedding invitation suite: Beacon Lane