Victoria & James’ beautiful wedding not only took my breath away with its romance and aristocratic elegance, but also made me more than a little homesick taking place in my home county of Somerset, England. The venue was a quintessentially English country estate (like something from Downton Abbey) affording the couple a charming country church to exchange their vows in, before celebrating in style at the stately home whose grandeur was guaranteed to wow their guests!
Stunning bride Victoria has kindly shared every detail of their day and their wedding planning experience, which as always started with finding the perfect venue! “We wanted a venue that we’d have exclusively and that all our guests could stay at afterwards. The moment we walked into Orchardleigh we loved it – there was a roaring fire, the staff were friendly, the setting was beautiful, and where possible, all the food is grown and reared on the estate.
We loved the tiny church on the estate that had no electricity and so was all candlelit, and we liked that there were lots of different areas in the house, like the billiards room and the lounge, where we had tea, coffee and cupcakes available all day.
For James, the clincher though was that the owner of the house has a helicopter which you can hire to transport you from church to the house (although it’s only 5 minutes drive away!). ” Talk about leaving the church in style!
“I was considering buying an expensive pair of shoes, but when I saw my shoes in a department store, I loved them, and they were comfy too. I did lose a few rhinestones on the photoshoot though!”
“I came across a photo of my dress on Google images, but it turned out to be on a Chinese website where the seller had been removed for copyright infringement! A friend then told me about an app called The Hunt, where I uploaded the image and within 24 hours someone had found the original dress, which was by Allure Bridals. My mum called about ten stockists before finding one that had it and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one – although I ordered it in blush instead of ivory. I can’t tell you how much I loved my dress!
I’d tried on a lot of veils, including my mum’s from her wedding, but I was running out of time and hanging all my hopes on a long, lace edged one I’d ordered from someone on eBay who handmade them. It only turned up the day before we had to leave for the venue so I was pretty lucky it worked.”
“We wanted the guys to be comfortable and James was keen to wear tweed to fit in with the country manor vibe, so we found some navy tweed jackets at Cavani which we asked the boys to wear with navy chinos and a white shirt. I found ties in a similar colour to the bridesmaids’ dresses and bought some raw silk on ebay which I cut and sewed into pocket squares.”
“In the church we had gypsophilia as pew ends, and I’d bought a couple of rolls of rattan and silk ribbon and netting, which were tied to the posies on arrival.”
“Although I was originally considering a dusky purple for the bridesmaids, I couldn’t find any dresses or ties in the right colour. I started thinking about a grey-blue, and then found the dresses in Coast, in two slightly different colours and styles, which I liked the idea of. “
“As we were planning our wedding only 6 months ahead, all the local florists were booked up for our date. I really wanted fairly wild looking flowers and after a lot of searching I came across Lucy Anna Flowers. I collected lots of images on Pinterest and then spoke to Lucy, who helped to refine my many ideas! I really wanted peonies but otherwise I was open to whatever Lucy thought as long as the style was quite unstructured. I wanted a teardrop bouquet of mostly cream and nude, with a little bit of dusty blue to highlight the bridesmaids’ dresses. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar to mine and had trailing ribbon, which I loved.”
“We’d only told the ushers about the helicopter, so the rest of the guests were pretty surprised when they heard a helicopter hovering overhead as we were doing confetti!”
Pearls of wedding wisdom from the bride…
“Be more explicit than you think you need to be with instructions! My brother and dad parked outside the front of the venue, the gypsophilia pew ends got taken out of the church but got left in a car boot, and someone else wore my mum’s corsage.
Most of all though, enjoy the process, and when it comes to the day, forget all the small things that go wrong. It will truly be one of the best days of your life. “
“The table decorations were a mixture of tall candelabras intertwined with ivy, gold candlesticks, gold tealight holders, jam jars of flowers, and V&J cardboard letters from Hobbycraft which I sprayed gold. I used templates from Download & Print for all our stationery – invites, menus, table plan, order of services etc. I printed these on cream paper and stuck them onto gold card, and used a lace corner punch to add detailing.”
“I had seen a couple of ‘lace’ cakes at a wedding fair, and when I spoke to my sister-in-law’s friend, Holly, who has her own wedding cake business, she was up to the challenge and absolutely nailed the decoration – I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful cake. We had three tiers, Victoria sponge, lemon and chocolate.”
Tell us a little bit about your photographer…
“For me, the photos were really important – you spend so much time planning for one day, you want to make the memories last. I’m a part time wedding photographer and found Anne on Facebook while looking for photographers whose styles I admired (she prefers natural light, like myself). Shortly after we’d got engaged she’d posted a photo from a European wedding and I asked whether she’d be back again the following summer. Amazingly, the dates worked out and we flew her over from the Netherlands, where she was visiting family. We love Anne’s unobtrusive style, and the way in her more directed shots, the couple is often secondary to nature. Her photos are classic and beautiful.”
Wasn’t their day just exquisite?? And how magnificent was their venue – see what I mean about it being like something from Downton Abbey! As always a heartfelt thankyou to the happy couple, Victoria & James, and to their photographer Anne Paar for capturing the romance and beauty of their day so flawlessly! If, like me, you are completely in love with Anne’s stunning style of photography be sure to pop over to her website www.annepaarphotography.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
What do you get when you mix a bit of Mad Men, a dash of mid century modern and a whole lot of Pan Am nostalgia? You get a first class ticket to glamour! With a tea length wedding dress, vintage details galore and a fun Pan Am inspired palette of jetway blue and sunshine yellow, today’s wedding styled shoot is a creative vision of 1950s charm…..
Photographer Marisa of Peterson Design & Photography is here to talk us through every detail of and the inspiration behind this step back in time…. “IN an era where “stewardesses” were required to speak three languages, guests dressed up in their Sunday best to drink gin martinis on the upper deck while dining on a five-course meal and travel was at its finest… a time that we tried to capture with this elegant, yet colorful styled shoot.
Our backdrop is The Pan Am Experience within the Air Hollywood studio in Los Angeles. An aviation movie studio that has thoughtfully recreated an original Pan American 747 jet plane to it’s original glory. Everything from the wallpaper, beverage carts to the spiral staircase is original Pan Am swagger.
The bride is decked out in a lovely, ankle length, mid-century inspired wedding gown by Dolly Couture. The groom is outfitted in a perfect Don Draper-esk charcoal grey suit by The Black Tux. The bride’s subtle, winged eyes and crimson lips painted on by PAGE Beauty along with her up-do classic french twist pays an homage to vintage glamour and style while still be relatable and youthful. The 1960’s jet set style continues on in our couple’s vintage honeymoon outfits complete with a festive, hand-made yellow beret by The Feathered Head.
Our paper goods by GoGo Snap Vintage Stationary paid homage to the rich Pan Am heritage, while still being modern with clean type, pearlescent papers and a 3D pop up invitation that added whimsy and interest. Whilst the plucky yellow and white modern cake by Superfine Bakery was adorned with sparkling sputnik stir sticks from California Lustre. To add some natural elements to the shoot, florals by FlowerDuet decorated our greenery and added pops of texture and softness.
Our Wedding table was styled with authentic Pan Am colors, jetway blue and galaxy gold, and places set with a mix of original Pan Am porcelain china, gold chargers and stemware from Classic Party Rentals. All this goodness is perched on Azure Geo tablecloths by Luxe Linens. And no swinging mid-century pad is complete with out a teal sofa and groovy coffee and end table by Circa Rentals.
We hoped you enjoyed this magical journey back in time through the images of Peterson Design & Photography with planning and styling by Events by Holly Gray. “
Did you see Katheryn and Andy’s romantic rustic wedding? I found how they infused their day with two distinct styles so inspiring – the way they seamlessly married together Katheryn’s elegance with Andy’s modern day cowboy had me completely smitten. So we have them to thank really for today’s rather gorgeous inspiration board! Because loving their polished take on rustic, I wanted to design a board that re-interpreted the mix of styles to create a romantic Fall wedding with the same elegant, country chic…..I hope you love it as much as I do!
An unexpected color palette can make a real style statement, and so when creating this fall wedding inspiration board I chose shades of blue in place of the more traditional yellows, oranges and reds associated with the season. From pale icy blues, to dark dusky hues, blue contrasts so beautifully with the shades of brown that are so abundant at this time of year. Add a splash of brass or gold for a hint of age and luxury, and you have a palette that is both dramatic and utterly romantic.
Whilst this board is most definitely designed for an elegant wedding, I layered some rustic charm and a nod to the wild west with that gorgeous stationery suite and the introduction of a simple wood cake stand, a vintage leather ring box and that vintage truck – the perfect way to make your exit if ever I saw one!
When it comes to settings and venues, this would be surprisingly versatile! Layer rustic details and fabrics for a hotel or estate wedding, or add candles, rich fabrics, lush florals and elegant vintage details to a barn or outdoor wedding. Be it mountainside, overlooking a lake, or in the middle of nowhere; the most important thing to re-creating this look is to be surrounded by nature.
If this inspiration board has you dreaming of a rustic chic Fall wedding, you might want to take a peek at this barn wedding inspiration board in a similar color palette. Or if you love the style but blue isn’t your color, you will love this greenery filled beauty. Or should you be after more fall wedding color ideas, then be sure to check out this top 10!
Katheryn and Andy’s romantic outdoor wedding is a beautiful celebration full of Texas romance. The bride and groom met in Boston, and were eager to share elements of the Lone Star State with their guests. The setting was on the bride’s family property in Fayetteville, and along with their planner the couple did such an amazing job of transforming this already beautiful location into a dream venue. From the outdoor ceremony under a huge oak tree to the elegant marquee reception, this event is sure to inspire your to personalize your own wedding with a hint of family history……
Loving the idea of getting married on a family property? I am going to let bride Katheryn tell you all about it….. “I knew I always wanted to get married on my parent’s farm in Fayetteville, Texas. The place is so special as we always spent the holidays there. We also wanted to get married in a place that no one had gotten married in before, it was completely ours! We were so lucky my parents were willing and happy to make it happen. It definitely ended up being more challenging than we anticipated as it needed to be outfitted for a wedding and reception, including caterers, a band, etc. It was significantly more work than if we had chosen a venue equipped for a wedding, but it was well-worth it and we wouldn’t do it any other way. Andy and I had dreamed of an outdoor ceremony with the Texas landscape as the backdrop. Andy is from Boston, but has always considered himself a cowboy. Our vision for the wedding was classic, simple, elegant, timeless, and natural. We wanted to highlight the beauty of the farm and chose the color scheme of green and white, which hints of blush and lavender. Everything was natural, our centrepieces consisted of succulents, lavender, rosemary, and other natural flowers.
We would like to give a special thank you to my mother, Janine Koch, who made all of our wedding dreams come true. It is a great challenge to put on a wedding at your own property, not to mention in the Texas farmland! She worked diligently with the wedding planner to find local vendors and vendors who were willing to travel multiple hours outside of Houston and Austin to bring our vision to life. Our wedding would not have been nearly as spectacular without you – we love you!”
“We loved our invitations and signage that was beautifully crafted by Papellerie in Houston, TX. The design was gorgeous, and the best part was the map of the area showing where the farm was, the hotels, welcome party venue, etc. They also created a wedding crest for us (consisting of an A and a K within bluebonnets), which we loved so much we have ended up using it in other aspects of our life! For example, Andy’s mom had it carved in metal and placed above our bed.”
“For the bridesmaids, I loved the idea of each bridesmaid wearing a different dress in a slightly different color within the blush pallet. I knew I wouldn’t be able to decide on one dress and I thought this would look more unique. My bridesmaids got their dresses from all different stores and checked with me before purchasing – it definitely took more time and effort than picking the dresses out for them, but I think it was well worth it!”
“I LOVED my wedding dress, it was a gorgeous lace gown by Monique Lhuillier. When I saw it for the first time in L’elite Bridal in Boston, MA, I was in love. The lace details were so delicate and intricate and it fit like a glove. I feel like most of the other dresses I tried on looked as if they were wearing me instead of me wearing the dress, but this one was different. I highly recommend her dresses for petite women! As the dress was the focal point, I decided to go with simple, satin, white pumps from J. Crew . I also wore a beautiful veil with lace details that went perfectly with the dress. I found both the veil and some perfect pearl drop earrings at L’elite Bridal and they fit my vision of simple and elegant.”
“For the groom and the groomsmen, Andy knew he wanted to wear a navy tux, with brown shoes, and a blush tie to match the bridesmaids. We were able to find all of these things at Men’s Warehouse and it worked out perfectly! Andy differentiated himself from the other men by wearing a three piece suit. Andy and his groomsmen also wore the cowboy hats they purchased on the morning of the wedding, which were perfect additions to the country backdrop.”
“Like all other things about my wedding, I absolutely loved my flowers!!! I had seen many photos on Pinterest of cascading bouquets and thought they were gorgeous, so my bouquet was cascading. The flowers consistent of different types of succulents, white and blush roses, lavender, rosemary, and these little white flowers that I can’t remember the name of! I chose these with the help of the florist, Blooming Gallery, who also did all of the decorations, centrepieces, furniture, basically the entire design of the wedding (which was fabulous!). “
“Most important to us was having the ceremony outside at the farm. There was a point when we were unsure if the farm could handle the infrastructure needed for the reception, so we were potentially going to have that at another venue, but the location of the ceremony was a deal breaker for us! Luckily we were able to have both the ceremony and the reception at the farm. Had to be on the family farm where I had always imagined it would be!”
Pearls of wedding wisdom from the bride…
“Hire a wedding planner if you can! They are great for helping you make all kinds of decisions whether it’s what vendors to use, timeline of the big day, etc. With both Andy and I having demanding jobs, it was great to have someone who was able to organize and coordinate meetings, fittings, make up trials, etc. Go with a band if you can swing it! We thought it was soooo worth it. The band really brought the whole reception to life, it was one of our favorite parts of the entire reception.
When it comes to the guest list – quality over quantity. I remember the hours we spent pouring over the quest list. Thinking through who we should invite, who we needed to invite and who we probably shouldn’t haha. Both of our parents has their input as well. In the end, when the day finally came, all that mattered is that we were surrounded by our closest family, friends and loved ones.”
“For our favors, we gave out little jars of Texas honey along with a loose bag of black tea with our wedding crest on it. Before my parents bought the farm, it had beehives, which were used to make honey. My parents did keep up with the beekeeping, but it has provided a lot of inspiration for décor in the farmhouse, so we thought it would be a cute idea.”
“To go along with the natural, simple, and elegant theme of our wedding, we wanted our cake to be the same. We chose a white cake with a drawing of a bride and a groom standing under a tree – where the wedding ceremony occurred. Because we couldn’t decide on one flavour, we decided to go for two and chose raspberry-filled vanilla cake and chocolate cake.”
Tell us a little bit about your photographer…
“We found our photographers through our wedding planner, Chelsea Wenner of Belle of the Ball Events. She sent us a handful of popular photographers in the Houston area and Andy and I took a look at their websites to see the types of photos they took. We instantly fell in love with the photos taken by Koby & Elizabeth Brown . From looking at their galleries, we could see that they photographed mainly outdoor weddings, which was important to us, and we loved the style of their photographs. We thought they had an elegant, timeless, somewhat vintage look to them and thought they would be perfect for our wedding. They were also the BEST and captured every moment of the big day and more including a lot of pictures of the details, our guests, etc. We thought they were incredible and would chose them over and over again.”
If there is one thing that can transform a wedding (or any celebration) it is a cohesive color story – that can be a strong monochromatic scheme, or a complex color palette of complimentary and contrasting shades. Styling and individual elements can be stunning, but it is the color story that brings everything together; and today’s beautiful garden wedding editorial is a wonderful example of this! An exquisite vision of modern vintage romance, with a marble wedding cake, chic garden tablescape and simply incredible florals, all brought together in the most lovely of color palettes…..
The lovely Jenny Soi talks us through the inspiration behind this beauty….. “This romantic garden wedding is inspired by the simplicity, beauty, and the organic nature of citrus blooms set in a garden venue in gorgeous Sonoma. Guided by warm tones against the thoughtful textures of our handmade ceramic plates to our cake, our design defines understated elegance. Our florist Laura’s Floras created a beautifully playful and delicate arrangements dripping with citrus colors.
The greenery, hedges and flowers blossoming at Cornerstone Sonoma was exactly what we were looking for in a soft, fun, and summery shoot. We wanted a unique table styling and showcased the beautiful table texture to give it the organic touch with a different dimension to the settings. The draped linens along with the fun and free flowing bridal gowns gave us that extra movement we have through out the shoot. We hope this motivates couples to be inspired by the changing seasons and it’s colors.”
Oh its all so heavenly! A huge thankyou to the lovely Jenny Soi for capturing every detail so exquisitely, and to all of the wedding professionals and creatives who lent their time and talents. If you love Jenny’s fine art style of photography and would like to see more of her work do pop across to her website at www.jennysoi.com, and don’t forget to follow him on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.!
Whilst many of you are welcoming Fall, down here in New Zealand Spring has officially sprung – the trees are heavy with blossom, ducklings swim the park ponds and all is looking lush and green. And whilst I am a little envious of you (Autumn is my favourite season after all), today I wanted to celebrate the end of Winter ‘down under’ with this oh-so-romantic and utterly beautiful bridal shoot…..
Luckily we have the lady behind this vision, Becca Blevins, to tell us all about it….. “In my hours spent wandering through the halls of European art galleries, I’ve always been inspired and drawn in by the quiet perfection and romantic elegance of Victorian and Dutch paintings. My heart still skips a beat when I think of the Dutch Masters and the classic style of the Vanidades, a collection of symbolic still life paintings created by a group of Dutch painters. I wanted to give an ode to these intentionally composed paintings; filled with richly draped fabrics, lush flowers and moody light.
This shoot took place in Portland, Oregon fittingly known as the home of the artist. The palette was chosen to give a soft fresh airy look to these painterly images. I was so lucky to team with amazing creatives who immediately understood the vision and added their own spin, making the shoot even more than I had imagined.
The amazing Renee Tophia of Eden Willow and I hand painted a backdrop to match the style and give this shoot an editorial fine art feel. The gown by BHLDN matched in elegance and simplicity with just a touch of flow and movement. Heather at Summersweet Design did an amazing job with her structured yet cascading arrangements. She was even able to whip together a beautiful flowering branch in the off season. Kellye Jameson made us swoon with her choice of blushes and nudes for makeup and the matching hairstyle was nothing short of perfection. The shoes were provided by Miz Mooz, a small vintage inspired shoe company out of New York. The bespoke Portland boutique, The Salty Tea Cup, furnished the accessories from their private label made by owner Karen Urban from repurposed vintage jewelry.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have had the chance to bring this personal dream of a shoot to life.”
Isn’t everything about it heavenly?! The soft shades, the lush florals, the gorgeous har and makeup……I am so in love with every little detail! And especially the beautiful fine art photography of Becca Blevins and Renée Tophia of Eden Willow. They captured the romance and sense of age flawlessly. A heartfelt thankyou to them both and to all the wonderful wedding professionals involved in creating this editorial.
I’ve often said how I love a barn wedding! But my heart flutters all the faster when that barn wedding features chandeliers galore, inspiring DIY details and a mouthwatering alternative to the traditional favour! 10 years after they met at a high school house party, AJ & Kristin tied the knot in a rustic affair that whilst laid back none-the-less overflowed with elegance and romance.
Bride Kristin kindly shared their story with me…. “I knew I always wanted a rustic laid back barn wedding. When we came across Jack’s Barn we knew right away it was the perfect venue. It was the right amount of rustic, antiques, and DIY mix.
Every single detail was a DIY and handmade. To the hand painted mason jars to the hand picked lanterns. We picked our own frames and hand select pictures of AJ and I. We also had someone hand write all of the chalkboards. Because the barn was DIY, we took a lot of time in the details.”
“AJ wore a cobalt blue, skinny fit suit. With light brown wing tipped shoes with some fun colored socks. They also wore brown leather suspenders and champagne bow ties.”
“My bouquet was a lush and loose hand-tied bouquet made of pink roses, peach garden roses, white ranunculus, bright pink gerber daisies, peach spray roses, peach stock, light pink astilbe, lavender limonium, dusty miller and greens. Our florist was Barbara Bell Design.“
We’re taking a step back in time with today’s oh-so-romantic bridal shoot. Inspired by the elegance and drama of the Victorian era, it is brimming with lavish details and regal opulence. With a stunning ruby engagement ring, a modest yet alluring vintage wedding dress, and the most stately looking dessert table you will ever set your eyes on, this beautiful shoot really is a vision…..
Here’s a few words from photographer Lara Lam about the inspiration behind it: “The historic Castle Green is the most cherished building in the heart of Pasadena. The Castle Green was built in 1898 the Victorian era and it is the perfect backdrop for a vintage wedding.
The stunning interior rooms are furnished with original Victorian antiques and plush velvet drapes. Frederick Roehrig, the architect for Castle Green has has made it’s exterior Mediterranean Revival style. Castle Green gives a perfect vintage ambiance and a sense of exquisite luxury.
When we first sketched the shoot’s inspiration board, we couldn’t help imagining how regal a wedding could be. The extravagant vintage pieces from Etablir Shop magically made the old paintings came to life. From the delicate French hand-crafted linens, crystal antique scales, to the statement floral arrangement by Karen’s Garden, each detail drew the clock backward, bringing us back to the glorious old times. Invitation sets and secret vows written by Letters to You were sealed in burgundy wax seal. Laura, a flawless beauty styled by Jinjutha Make Up, dressed in victorian vintage wedding gown bringing back the stunning old world beauty … Captured in Kodak Portra film, these images have an unmistaken gold undertone. Lara developed the black and white film in her own studio darkroom that gives the images a bit of her personal touch.”
Isn’t it exquisite?! I am so in love with all those rich reds and the deep dusky greens of the wedding venue. And as always the discerning eye of Lara Lam, the lady behind the camera, has captured the details and the sense of age flawlessly. A heartfelt thankyou to her and all the fabulous wedding professionals involved in creating this Victorian vision!
Having already shared 5 of Pantone’s Top 10 Colours for Fall 2017 (you can catch up here if you missed them, alongside the lowdown on who Pantone are and why you should pay attention to their color picks each season) today I’m sharing Part II! And whilst the first five colors were what you’d expect for Fall – all jewel tones and rich neutrals; today’s bold brights and pretty pastels are an unusual take on Autumn shades sure to capture the imagination of couples looking for something a little different!
I am clearly a traditionalist at heart when it comes to seasonal shades, because Pantone’s braver picks always leave me needing a little convincing at the start. But as with last years Serenity & Rose Quartz, once I begin to see them brought to life in inspiration boards like the ones below, they soon win me over.
A powerful, dynamic red, Grenadine 17-1558 is just one of those shades that works well for any season! Mixed with Tawny Port it will lift a Fall colour palette, or pair it with Shaded Spruce and splashes of gold for a traditional holiday color palette.
Ballet Slipper 13-2808 is a move on from last year’s much loved Rose Quartz. With a cooler tone it is a surprisingly perfect shade for adding a little feminine romance to a Fall or Winter wedding. And paired with Navy Peony it would make for an elegant wedding color palette…
Neutrals have had something of a revival in recent years, and Neutral Gray 17-4402 is the perfect shade for partnering with what is undoubtedly the biggest trend in weddings right now: greenery (which you will be pleased to hear is going nowhere for 2018) Timelessly elegant, this gorgeous shade of grey can be used as an accent or a beginning-to-end statement shade for an understated affair…..
This snug and toasty shade may not be the first color that springs to mind for a Fall wedding. But it is a surprisingly chic neutral that is evocative of drinking a glass of Butterrum by a roaring fire on a cool autumn evening. And mixed with metallics it gives a contemporary twist to vintage.
Well, now you’ve seen all of Pantone’s picks for Fall 2017, what do you think? Lovelier than last year’s?? Be sure to let me know! And, as always, don’t forget to leave your favourite of these 10 gorgeous hues in the comments below and it might just be in the colour palette for CVBs next inspiration board.
Today’s wedding is a romantic affair, brimming with so many inspiring DIY and meaningful details! Sadly, beautiful bride Laura’s father passed away just 7 months before she and Jake walked down the aisle. But whilst their wedding remained nothing but a celebration, the couple ensured that they found heartfelt ways to remember him throughout the day.
All too often the focus of a wedding is largely on the bride, so I was beyond thrilled to get a few words from today’s groom Jake, about why their relationship is so special and what made Laura the one for him….. “Our favorite thing about our relationship is that we are friends first and foremost. Our friendship is the foundation on which every other aspect of our relationship rests. A lot of couples say that they are best friends, but don’t live it. No matter what we’re doing or where we are, she’s the one I want by my side to tell jokes with or be silly with. We have so many dreams and goals for our lives together. So many places we want to go, things to experience, good food to eat, laughs to be had, and family to create. I get excited thinking about every aspect of our life moving forward; the good, the bad, and everything in between! The fact that there will never be a challenge too big for us. We can handle any hurdle thrown at us and I’ve never felt so comfortable and confident in my life.”
After Jake proposed on the 13th of February, because apparently proposing on Valentines Day is a cliché, this cute couple set about planning their perfect day, and as is often the case, it started with finding the perfect venue…. “We wanted our wedding to be uniquely us. That anyone could walk into our wedding and say “this is SO Jake and Laura”. That was what drew us to Chapel In The Woods; that it was a blank slate and we could truly customize our wedding to be exactly what we wanted. Nothing cookie cutter for us! I had a huge focus on the local. From the honey in our wedding favors to the cupcakes, we used local artists and businesses for nearly every aspect. I wanted our look to be vintage rustic without taking away any elegance or sophistication. Soft golds, greens, and corals would allow for a bright spring wedding while also remaining true to our vintage style.”
“I chose to do blue suits because I wanted something different than the common gray suit that I had seen constantly. I felt like it was classy and unique enough to be different, but not completely out of the box. The bow ties added the southern charm I was looking for. Don’t forget the matching American flag socks!”
“For my wedding gown I was looking for something atypical. I knew based on my body type that I didn’t do well with sleeveless, sweetheart neckline, or ball gown style. Unfortunately for me, that is pretty much all the bridal shops are stocked with. However I found a wonderful bridal shop, Carolina Bridal World, in Smithfield North Carolina that catered to all different dress sizes and styles. It was a total game changer for me to be able to try on a wedding gown in my correct size (not 6 sizes too small) and be able to see it as the designer meant it to be. I ended up going with a sleeved Mori Lee gown with an illusion embroidered back and a semi-mermaid fit. It was everything I could have dreamed of and I’ve never felt prettier!”
“For my bridesmaids I wanted something soft and flowy. I chose to go with a soft gold to complement the pink and green tones in my florals. The tulle on the skirts added softness while the embroidered tops brought classiness to the dress. With my venue being completely outdoors in the woods I wanted to make sure that I brought sophistication into the space since it was very natural. It was a perfect blend of southern elegance.”
“Our bouquets included dahlias, roses (garden, standard, and spray), stock, astilbe, tulips, dusty miller, eucalyptus, and succulents. We also incorporated peonies and goldenrod in other places. We chose these flowers because of their classic beauty, but we chose vibrant, summery colors that made them feel modern and fun. We chose shades of peach, coral, and soft pink, with pops of yellow and bright pink added in. The bouquets were a fairly traditional round shape but still felt organic and natural.”
“Nearly everything about our wedding was a DIY project. I live and breathe handmade touches and projects and that was heavily influenced in my wedding. I made nearly everything – the welcome and aisle signs, honey jar tags, table place cards, seating chart, programs, ceremony mantle, photo collages in old vintage frames, etc. You name it, I had a personal handmade touch on it!”
“For me in the planning process I had a few things that I was very much a stickler on. I was adamant about having a quality photographer and videographer and I wanted to have a day of coordinator. Thank goodness that I made that a priority! Yes, things like catering and decorations are important, but at the end of the day once your wedding is over the only thing that you have left are the memories in your head and pictures and video footage! If those two things are not quality, you are going to regret it! I’ll say it again; you will regret not spending the money on quality professionals!”
“Our wedding favors were 4oz Mason jars of local honey from Tart Family Farms. We had been buying and loving their honey for years and knew it was exactly what we wanted to share with our guests. Each hand poured jar (seriously sticky business!) had a hand stamped label with twine that read “Meant To Bee”. It was the perfect tie-in since our wedding hashtag was #meanttobejablonski!”
“For our wedding cake we wanted to go minimalistic. We choose a lightly frosted “naked” cake with buttercream filling. Our florist added a few live flower touches and it was simply perfect. For our guests we had local cupcakes from a farm-to-table bakery in Raleigh. Jake and I had a blast picking out our flavor combinations like banana pudding, key lime pie, and blueberry lemon! They were a huge hit and there wasn’t a crumb left at the end of the night!”
Pearls of wedding wisdom from the bride…
“My best advice looking back at the whole experience would be to just not sweat the small stuff. Which for me, the type-A, check list loving, mega planner- was not easy. I had to keep reminding myself that no matter what, the end result was going to be achieved. Jake and I were going to become husband and wife. That was the reason for this entire celebration and I had to keep coming back to that singular focus. It’s about us and our love. I had a lot of little details that I wanted included our wedding to make it unique and special. But, I had to realize that, if for whatever reason it didn’t get done nobody was going to know but me! I was the only one who would notice. So, sweating the small stuff was only affecting my own happiness (and stress level) in the planning process.
I would also advise couples to be very much in communication with each other. Discuss your budget in detail, what is important to you and what is not. What are deal breakers and details that would be regretful if not included. Also, make sure you have a very very firm understanding of your guest list! Make sure all parties are involved and spend a thorough amount of time making sure this list is all-encompassing. Having surprises, a month before the wedding that your great aunt Susie’s best friend wasn’t invited and that’s going to be a huge deal are NOT fun!
Just remember, people will mean well and have A LOT of opinions (sometimes misguided) about your wedding day. But, it just comes down to what do you and your soon-to-be husband want. This is your day! This is your chance to be the belle of the ball and have your dreams become reality. Stay true to yourself, true to your love story, and the rest is all cake!”
“One of my favorite parts of the day was the dance I had in honor of my father whom I lost seven months before my wedding. I invited all of my uncles and my grandfather to dance with me to one of my daddy’s favorite Delbert McClinton songs. There wasn’t a dry eye in the entire place, myself included! Thank goodness for waterproof mascara! I truly felt my daddy in the arms of every father figure I danced with. I know that he was beaming ear to ear watching these men he loved and trusted take his place in the traditional father daughter dance. Not having my father present on my wedding day to walk me down the aisle was a very difficult concept for me. But I found small ways to honor him throughout my wedding and I felt extremely close to him on that day.”
Tell us a little bit about your photographer…
“We found Andrew & Tianna Photography through their work with Chapel in the Woods. With it being a brand new venue there were very little photos of the venue space to go on. They had done a stylized shoot at the venue and we were able to see their work in the space itself. Once we met the duo the decision to work with them was a no-brainer and the BEST decision we made! We were drawn to Andrew and Tianna’s story-telling photography style. Their pictures tell a narrative and you can see that play out in their individual styles. They not only talk the talk but walk the walk when it comes to knowing what makes love between two people so special. As a husband and wife team the benefit of having two photographers who have different strengths is invaluable. We knew we wouldn’t be getting school portrait level photography with these two! Plus the use of film was a huge bonus as we have fallen in love with the richness of that product!
I don’t think there are enough positive words that I could say about Andrew and Tianna photography. They are exceptional beyond measure. The level of attention to detail in their photographs is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever worked with before. You will get a treasure as a finished product. The attention to detail, storytelling, and use of film makes your photos look like something out of a magazine. Worth every penny! Andrew and Tianna are also some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I truly believe that makes all the difference and what sets them a step above. Being a husband and wife team the chemistry between them allows them to capture love between other people. They have their own set of strengths that you just wouldn’t find going elsewhere. When working with them you are not just a client, you become a friend. They truly care about capturing your happiest moments. Your happiness becomes their happiness and it is absolutely reflected in their work. We will use them as photographers for every life event that requires photography, that’s a promise!”
I am so completely in love with Laura & Jake’s beautiful day, aren’t you? Especially all those sweet DIYed details Laura worked so hard on and the way she honoured her father throughout the day made me reach for the tissues more than once! I have no doubt that her father would have been smiling down on them with tremendous pride.
I can’t thank Laura & Jake enough for allowing me to share every detail with you. And of course thanks must also go to their photographers Andrew & Tianna for capturing it all so perfectly. If you love their light-filled style of photography and would like to see more of their work, head over to their website andrewandtiannaphotography.com – and be sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.