{real weddings} Leah & Nick

Leah and Nick’s wedding was a special one to witness…Their love for each other is just so sweet and was apparent the entire day. Not only was I able to attend this beautiful wedding, but their nuptials also brought me back to the city of my alma mater, which always warms my heart. I’m so happy for these two — and hope you enjoy their love story and gorgeous wedding photos below!NickLeahWED01When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding ceremony took place at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The evening reception followed at The Jefferson Hotel.

What’s your love story?
Nick and I met at Hardywood Brewery several years ago in Richmond. We had mutual friends and ended up in the same group that night. We got to talking over some beer and street food and there must have been something in that beer because the following week at a local 5K (at the same brewery), I had a feeling I was going to run into him again. (Of course after running a race and looking as glamorous as possible in leggings). Our groups of friends ended up together again that night and after talking the entire night, we ended up making plans to go running and eventually started dating.NickLeahWED230

nickleah-99What made your wedding dress you?
I loved my dress! It was pretty comfortable and I really liked the classic style with the embellishments around the neckline and the train.NickLeahWED249

Tell me a little about your wedding style and why you chose the historic Jefferson Hotel.
I wanted a classic, pretty, romantic style for the wedding along with some personal touches. My florist really helped make it personal, our head table was probably one of my favorite details — Our florist found the perfect romantic looking flowers and a sequin runner that really added a cool look. With the candles on top, it reflected really nicely and was so pretty. Nick and I always loved The Jefferson and usually take out of town family members to see the historic hotel. It has become one of our favorite places in Richmond so we thought, why not do our wedding there? The price was also comparable to other Richmond venues and we loved that it was in the city so our guests would have a lot to do.

nickleah-243What’s one piece of advice you’d give future brides?
This may sound silly, but don’t lose sight over the most important detail of the wedding — You are marrying your best friend and all the people you love the most will be there to celebrate it — so don’t sweat the small stuff.  

Nick and I would get into fights over small details during the wedding process — like how we were wording the church programs or what we should wear for our engagement pictures or “Did you see my updated pins on our wedding board?… what do you mean you don’t like it…”. Emotions were so high and we each wanted everything to be so perfect for one another on the big day. I doubt anyone really remembered the church programs or what we wore for our engagement pictures. And after it all, my favorite part was walking into the church and seeing Nick and actually going through our ceremony and the vows. There is and never will be anything like the ceremony or celebrating with our closest friends and family at the reception. nickleah-187Photographer: Megan Garrison; Venue: The Jefferson Hotel; Church: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart; Wedding Planner: Jennings Whiteway of Belles & Whistles; Florist: Jen Wiley of Wiley’s Florist
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{real weddings} Natalie & Ryan

I always say the best part about this blog is the people it’s introduced me to. Today’s bride, Natalie, is just another one of those special people. Natalie was a regular in my Tuesday morning barre class (I say was only because she moved out of Hoboken after her wedding), as she was dedicated to looking and feeling her best for her wedding day. Of course, I wanted to learn more details about her wedding, which brings us to today’s post. If it weren’t for Natalie I also wouldn’t have been introduced to the beautiful work of Abby Grace — a photographer who also loves to photograph ballerinas! (Where do I sign up?!) I hope you enjoy today’s “southern romantic” wedding and their adorable love story.
View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat’s your love story?

On Friday, September 6, 2013 at noon Ryan got a call from a good friend Nick asking to join him for a road trip to UVA. At the last-minute, he had an extra ticket to the football game and asked him to go. Obviously, he was in. The next morning, Ryan joined Nick’s UVA friends at a backyard party just outside the stadium. True to form, the guys threw a party riddled with kegs, fried chicken and corn hole. Little did Ryan know that in a couple of hours he was going to meet his future wife!

I was invited to the tailgate by Emily, a mutual friend of Nick’s and was only planning on staying for a few hours (I didn’t have a ticket to the game). Ryan can remember the exact moment when I approached him with the pick-up line “I like your silly band bracelet. Did your daughter make that for you?” Ryan doesn’t remember many moments in his life where he was as nervous as he was here — but he told me that his niece Katherine had made it and we continued to chat. I like to say that I remember Ryan following me around like a puppy dog, but Ryan has a different recollection. As game time approached, Ryan offered to buy me a ticket so we could continue hanging out. We bought two tickets in the nose bleed section — and it was hot and still and felt like a sauna. We stayed at the game for maybe 10-15 minutes (5 minutes worth of game time and Oregon was up 3 TDs already) before we both were sweltering and went to a local spot to grab some food. Ryan even forced down some fried green tomatoes (not his favorite) just to impress the beautiful southern belle in his company. Ryan remembers being impressed with my knowledge of college football and my sweet southern charm. We finally made it back to the tailgate, exchanged phone numbers and have been together ever since. Who knew a random day of football could have turned into such a great thing!

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhen / where was your wedding?
We got married May 16, 2015 in my hometown of Hanover, Virginia. It is located about 15 minutes north of Richmond. We got married in St. Ann’s Catholic Church. My family has belonged to it since I was 9. Our reception took place at the Hanover Tavern. The Tavern was built in 1733 and is one of the oldest working taverns in the country. I loved the history involved with our venue as well as the beauty and location. Our wedding took place on a beautiful spring Virginia day. Most of Ryan’s family had not visited Virginia prior to our wedding and it was a perfect way to show off my hometown!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingView More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat made your wedding dress you?
I LOVED MY DRESS! I know every bride says this (and I hope they do!). I only went once to try on dresses and this was the last one I tried on. I really did not want a strapless dress. (I felt I was too old to wear one.) My dress was not strapless — it had illusion lace on the top. It was gorgeous, but I did not love it on me. After talking to the ladies at the salon, we were able to make the dress strapless. I really wanted a lace dress. This dress was just different from all the others I had tried on that day. I did not want to take it off once I put it on, my mom still says the dress was so me! I am a very girly girl and always love wearing dresses. This dress was just so flowy, romantic and me!

When we were cutting the cake I dropped a fork full of cake on my dress! I had navy icing on me the rest of the night, anyhoo my mother took my dress to the cleaners the Monday after the wedding. Thankfully it came out right away and my mother was getting my dress preserved. The man asked if my mother wanted to come back and watch them put it into the box! I found this so cute that he asks this to the mothers. I still can’t believe our wedding is over and my dress is stored away!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-wedding

What was your wedding style?
When we first got engaged people would ask what my “wedding theme was?” I was clueless and came up with my own. I called our wedding “southern romantic” — and I think I pulled it off pretty well. Our colors were navy, gold, pale pink, and mint green. I went a little overboard on the colors, but I think they ending up looking beautiful. All the colors worked together very well. My mother and I made a lot of the decor, it was a lot of fun painting and glittering everything! I also ordered a lot of things on Etsy. I have a girl I have ordered many things from in the past. She worked with me and made a lot of the table details. I just loved our table settings/center pieces! It all turned out beautiful!

Thankfully I got married in May because peonies are my favorite flower. Our florists did a beautiful job having my vision come to life! Of course I got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, but I had to be careful not to go too crazy with details. My cake toppers were my favorite! We have a black lab named Magnolia. She could not spend the day with us, so my cousin made us a cake topper of her holding a sign saying “I do too!” Another favorite thing was the groom’s cake. Ryan loves Goldfish crackers. He is always stealing them from his niece and nephews! I had a cake made in the shape of a Goldfish cracker! It was adorable and Ryan was very surprised by it! I really enjoyed making all the details special for our day. It is really what made our day so special for us. It also made me very happy when people noticed the details and said how much they enjoyed it all!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingView More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
BREATHE! No matter how big or small your wedding is, it is a BIG deal for you. You’ll cry about things and have arguments with the ones you love during planning, but all because it means so much to you and them. The day will be wonderful no matter what happens that day! Something will turn out different then you thought, but it is OK, you are the only one that will know that! Our venue space was not done and we had to go to plan B! I was in tears the day before, but the day ending up being amazing and beautiful! Everyone had a BLAST! Stories are still being told about our day! Just breathe often and enjoy the day! I still can’t believe we got married and the day has happened! It was an amazing day!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingPhotography:  Abby Grace Photography; Event Planner: Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events; Venue:  Hanover Tavern

{real weddings} Lauren & Christian

Oh Jenelle, you did it again…Took my breath away with your beautiful photography. I think you all remember Jenelle’s work from my own wedding photos — and here she goes again capturing Lauren & Christian’s elegant, old-world affair. What’s better than finding a wedding photographer who you love? Finding one who you become friends with. Thank you Jenelle for letting me continue to share your work with the world. I hope you enjoy Lauren’s interview.

DeMartino_1419_08242013_JS0434What’s your love story?
Christian & I met on a blind date. We were introduced by two mutual friends who were dating at the time. We double dated for a while, not sure that we were a good fit for each other, but eventually his quiet charm completely won my heart.

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When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding was held on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Kimisis Tis Theotoku Greek Orthodox Church in Holmdel, New Jersey. The reception was held at Navesink County Club in Red Bank, NJ.DeMartino_1719_08242013_JK1212

What made your wedding dress you?
My dress was simply exquisite and it just made me feel beautiful. I loved how different it was. It had a vintage, almost old Hollywood feel to it. But it was also heavy!!!

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Tell me about your wedding style. What made your wedding unique to you?
I wanted my wedding to glow. I wanted it to feel like a warm, old-world love affair. My sister and I scoured antique shops looking for old mercury glass vessels for flowers and candles. I love candles and wanted them everywhere. I opted for the long tables (among great opposition from others) with flowers and candles flowing down the center. It was unique in its warmth and love. You just felt the love in that room when you walked in and best of all it was my dream in real life. The idea I had for so many months in my head was finally in front of me and that was incredible.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
I have two pieces of advice (they go hand in hand):  1. Hire a fantastic photographer — the best you can afford. I truly am so thankful I did because those photographs bring tears to my eyes every time I look at them. They just capture beautiful moments that are easily forgotten years later and Jenelle’s talent is unparalleled. She is warm and wonderful to work with. Part 2. Enjoy the day. Feel every moment and just enjoy it. Step back at some point and just admire how incredible it is. It is the culmination of months of work and years of dreams and it will take your breath away.

DeMartino_2202_08242013_JK1540Photography: Jenelle Kappe Photography; Florist: Fine Flowers; Shoes: Manolo Blahnik c/o Garmany; Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dessy Group; Hair & Makeup – Glen Goldbaum 72; Band: The Storytellers NYC; Groomsmen Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

{real weddings} Danielle & Russ

Romantic. Soft. Sweet. All words I would use to describe this next wedding feature — between the lighting, the photography and the looks of love between this couple, this wedding is just that. I hope you enjoy my interview with bride, Danielle — and photography by Jessica Ames.

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When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding was on May 24, 2014 in Newark, Delaware at Deerfield Golf Club.

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What’s your love story? Or more simply, how did the two of you meet?
Russ and I met while we were both working at Dover International Speedway. I was only there for a short time but we really hit it off.

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What made your wedding dress you?
My dress did not come with the belt. I picked the belt out to give it some bling. I knew I wanted something classy but with sparkle. When I found the dress it didn’t take me long to realize it was the one but it was missing something. Adding the belt really gave it the pop that I thought it needed.

Band or DJ?
We went with a DJ. We really tried to make our wedding as classy but as simple as possible. A DJ seemed like the easiest choice as far as music goes. There weren’t really any limitations with what they would do for us. They were sure to have something for everyone.

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What’s one piece of wedding advice you’d share with other brides?
It’s so easy to get stressed out. The little details are just that…little details. No one but you will notice if something is out of place so don’t get too bent out of shape about it. The only thing I didn’t worry about that I should have was timing. I was the last one to get my hair and make up done and we were running behind by the time I got everything done so we missed out on some picture time. Speaking of pictures…be as specific as you can with your photographer. They have no way of knowing what you want unless you tell them. After the wedding is done and over all you’ll have left is the memories and photographs. Make sure you capture every moment possible.

DR-jessicaamesphoto-0604DR-jessicaamesphoto-0794DR-jessicaamesphoto-0352Thank you for sharing, Danielle — Congrats to you and Russ!

photography: Jessica Ames Photography; gown: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardener from Bonjulies; bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Angelo; florist: Sweet Peas

Mood Board Monday

Happy Monday dear readers — Hope everyone has a good week as we look forward to the last holiday weekend of the summer and dive into September next week (umm woah!). Before we get to the actual weddings (it’s been all showers and bachelorettes for me this summer), I’ve got a mood board full of summery yellow details from my (almost) sissy’s shower.

We threw her a champagne brunch complete with mimosas and an omelette man. Mason jars tied with burlap ribbon and raffia (made by my sister) were filled with sunflowers on every table. Each guest received a wooden spoon with the inscription “The Perfect Recipe” — a nod to the bride’s love for cooking, as well as homemade lemon bars.

It was a perfect summer afternoon… And now I’m ready for the fall weddings to begin!

all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts

Mood Board Monday

How was your weekend?! It seems like everyone’s summer plans are in high gear — It certainly is a busy, yet fun time of the year! How about some hot pink for a summer Monday? It definitely is one of my go-to summer colors — and I came up with some chic ways to incorporate the bright hue in your wedding details.

Kate Spade heels. Space 46 tulle skirt (Shower or rehearsal dinner outfit?). Blood orange margaritas as a signature drink (recipe here). Lily Pulitzer lace dress — Great to wear as a wedding guest. Plus, you can rent this dress from Rent The Runway! I think they’re all fun ways to add a pop of color to your wedding without going overboard!

heels, tulle skirt, lace dress, flowers, margaritas

What to Get Your Shower Hostess

Hosting a bridal shower, like any event, can be hard work. Especially with all the ideas popping up on Pinterest these days (remember this post?!) — It’s not a competition ladies, stick with things that compliment your guest-of-honor. Anyway, I digress. But as a bride, know that your hostess will put in a lot of extra time to make your shower perfect — and it’s nice to thank her in a special way.

Most likely, your mom or bridesmaids will be hosting your shower and you’ve probably already got some gifts up your sleeve for them come your wedding day. But maybe another woman in your family has offered to host the shower or a friend is graciously opening up her home for the occasion. There’s no need to go crazy with additional bridesmaid’s gifts or totally break your wedding budget, but if someone is hosting your shower in their home, it’s always nice to thank them with a little something.

A bottle of bubbly is always my go-to housewarming gift and it works perfectly for a hostess gift too! Since it’s summer, I always have rosé on hand (don’t we all?) — And this Juvé Y Camps Brut Rosé is my new fav. Don’t let the color fool you — It’s dry and delicious! This double wine tote is the baby sister to your classic Lands’ End beach bag, and is also an adorable gift bag for your wine. Not to mention it’s $9.99!

IMG_2432When in doubt, flowers always, always make the perfect hostess gift. Every girl likes flowers and a simple bouquet is not only thoughtful, but will make her smile all week long. Like I said, there’s no need to go overboard — These little things go a long way!

photo of flowers by Tulle Wedding Skirts

Mood Board Monday

How was everyone’s weekend? It may be a rainy Monday morning, but flowers make everything better right? Plus, it was such a gorgeous weekend (by me at least).

‘Tis the season for peonies, which is what today’s mood board is all about. Peonies in your bridal bouquet, peonies in your bridesmaids’ bouquets, peonies in your centerpieces, peonies on your kitchen table. Get ’em before they’re gone ladies!

But if your event is post-peony season, there are always these flowers — Remember this post?!?

bright pink peony bouquet, peony arrangement, bridesmaid’s peony bouquet, peony centerpiece, peonies at Brides & Bubbly!

Mood Board Monday

I may not have made it to the beach this weekend, but it certainly feels like summer is here. And I’ll take it! With my mom and step dad’s upcoming wedding anniversary, I started to reminisce — and think about beach wedding details. Between their wedding (which is where I got my start in wedding planning!) and a good friend’s wedding, both on the beaches of New Jersey, I was able to scrounge up some old photos that don’t seem old at all.

These beach wedding details are timeless — seashells, starfish, sand and a light blue & white color palette will always make for the perfect beach affair! PS. Those centerpieces with the shells and votives in the sand were made by yours truly (thank you very much).

all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts

Fancy Friday

thank-you-mom

Thank you for reading this blog every day. Thank you for answering all my stupid questions. Thank you for teaching me how to sew my pointe shoes and put my hair in a bun. Thank you for always being there, mom. You’re the best.

Be sure to thank your mom, grandmother, step-mother, mother-in-law this weekend. They deserve it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there!

photo c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts