{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

{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} Amy & Scott

Hi loves! I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start — January was a productive month and here we are in February already. I’ve got a thing for February though. The days start to get a little longer and love is in the air…there’s of course, Valentine’s Day — and it’s the month we got engaged. It’s always a quick month too, which just brings us one month closer to Spring.

I’m loving the elegance of this wedding. The photograph on the staircase is just jaw-dropping. Photographer, Susie Sefcik, did a beautiful job capturing this classic wedding. Keep reading for more — and be sure to check out the tons of amazing local vendors featured in this post!
sspw-1760What’s your love story?

Scott and I met four years ago at The Downtown in Red Bank, NJ on the 4th of July. I first spotted Scott from across the bar while dancing with a friend of mine. An hour or so later, my stare must have stuck as Scott reached out his hand to introduce himself with a good old, “Hi, I’m Scott”. After an intense two-way interview, we realized we were both from the area and came home on summer weekends, lived in Hoboken, were the same age, and had several mutual friends. What started out as an okay night, turned into one of the most memorable nights of my life. Scott enjoyed our meeting so much that when we left the bar, he walked to the nearest 7 Eleven, purchased headphones and walked a short 5 miles home at 2am to reflect on the night. There were definitely fireworks and the rest is history…

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When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding was September 20, 2014 at Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury, NJ.

sspw-1210What made your wedding dress you?
As a child, I always loved playing dress up. So much in fact that a wedding dress and veil was one of the most worn outfits in my dress up box. That being said, I knew how important finding the perfect wedding dress was going to be. To assist with my search, my mom, my Aunt, and two of my best friends came shopping with me in NYC. I found my dress at a walk-in dress shop while killing time before my appointment at Kleinfelds. It was the last dress I tried on and the only one the sales consultant picked out for me. She just knew it would be the one. As soon as I walked out in it to show my family & friends, there were tears. I must admit, it made me feel like a princess with the perfect amount of glitz and glam. As a fairly simple dresser, I knew this was my one opportunity to add a little sparkle without going over the top.

I had my dress altered at Ally Bridal in Hoboken which happens to be right across the street from where I live. Ally continued to personalize my dress by turning the sash with bow into a fastened belt which made it absolutely perfect.

I decided to leave the veil in my dress up box and wear flowers in my hair instead 🙂sspw-1378sspw-1461sspw-1197

What was your inspiration behind your theme, colors, decor, etc.?
My wedding style was very classic with a touch of bright colors. Our ceremony took place in the main garden of the old Georgian Mansion. The gardens, fountains and pergola were the perfect backdrop for the bridal party and elegant arbor designed by my florist.

Our reception took place in the Oak Room of the estate. My florist brought the rich tones of the English oak walls to life by incorporating bright textured centerpieces, with mercury votives and mirrors underneath bringing more light into the room. My sister-in-law Stephanie is a partner at Fancy That NYC and as a result I was lucky enough to have her do my invitations, programs, menus, cocktail napkins, and all the other paper accessories that can become completely overwhelming. She created the most beautiful and elegant designs that fell in line with our style.sspw-1507

What’s one piece of advice you would give other brides?
My advice for planning…Nail down your vendors right away. Figure out what is most important and book it first. For us, it was our band. We had The A Band on standby for a few dates before choosing a wedding date. By choosing our vendors well in advance, we were able to get all of our top choices and then take our time throughout the planning process rather than scrambling towards the end.

My advice for wedding dress alterations…Choose a trusted tailor; however, also make sure they are located in a convenient location for you. Having my tailor right across the street made it extremely easy to stop in for alterations. It took about 5 or 6 fittings down to the last week to get my dress to fit perfectly. Since the last 2 months before your wedding can be extremely hectic, save yourself time on the multiple appointments and make sure it’s convenient. Also, make sure you find someone who you connect with and trust. Ally from Ally Bridal made each fitting a memorable experience. I preferred the feel of a small boutique and personal attention over a large wedding dress store in the city with several people and distractions.

My advice for your wedding day…The planning is over and your wedding day has arrived! Everything is out of your hands at this point so enjoy the ride. Enjoy every aspect of the day from getting ready with your best girl friends to marrying the love of your life with all of our friends and family by your side. Take several moments throughout the day to look around and take it all in. Everyone is there for YOU! And the rest is happily ever after!sspw-1843

sspw-1888Congrats Amy & Scott! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us!

Photography: Susie Sefcik Photography; Venue: Shadowbrook; Florist: Eileen Larkin Events; Invitations & Accessories: Stephanie Palumbo Fancy That NYC; Band: The A Band; Hair: Giovanna @ Jon Lori Salon; Makeup: Gracia Phillips; Cake: Piece O’ Cake

{real weddings} Mallory & Patrick

I’ve got one last wedding for 2014 for you today! And with all the romantic lighting and gold details, it’s the perfect wedding to ring in 2015! The bride, Mallory, is also someone special — as we grew up dancing together and are still close friends to this day. It brings me great joy to share her gorgeous wedding day with you!

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3--47>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848457337nu0mrjWhat’s your love story?
The story of how we met always makes me laugh. A couple of my friends and I headed to our favorite bar in Charlotte, Connolly’s, after a pre-season football game. We were enjoying the shaded patio and this guy came and sat at our table, completely uninvited, he made himself right at home. He began talking to me and we realized we were both from New Jersey, so we chatted for a while about places we had both been in NJ, college, jobs, and the standard “getting to know you” banter. We exchanged numbers and parted ways. That was the end of that. About 6 months later I was back at Connolly’s celebrating a friend’s birthday. I see this guy with a Yankee hat on so I approached him and started talking. He looked right at me and says, “Mallory?” I was completely confused and wondering how this stranger knew my name. He kept up this charade that he was psychic and kept mentioning things about NJ and other facts he remembered from our first meeting. I finally started to connect the dots and realized it was the same guy from that night in August – Patrick. We continued talking and he apologized for never contacting me when we first met so he wanted to make it right by taking me out. He insisted on the next night, but I played it cool and settled for a couple of days later. We went out that Tuesday and I don’t think there has been a day since then that we haven’t talked. I guess you could say it was love at 2nd sight.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv37--2>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;984843-337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv36747>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848438337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848443337nu0mrjWhen/where was your wedding?
Our wedding was November 7, 2014 at The Big Chill in Charlotte, North Carolina.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv34389>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848447337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv34552>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848453337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv35;38>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;984844;337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848449337nu0mrjWhat made your wedding dress you?
I’m typically the kind of girl who thinks “more is more” vs. the old “less is more” mantra. I love glitz and sparkle but when it came to my dress I wanted simple and classic. I knew I wanted a large ball gown skirt so every gown I tried on definitely had that in common. The dress I picked was the 2nd one I tried on and it just felt right. It felt like me and that’s what I wanted. I kept my sparkle to a minimum with my belt that had some simple rhinestones and metallic detail.

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I love all the little gold details! Tell me a little about your wedding style.
Our wedding style can be best described as simple with a dash of whimsy. We knew we wanted the ceremony and reception at the same location, and luckily, the space was set up separate from the cocktail hour and reception space which made it, logistically, much easier for us! The ceremony was written by Patrick and me and was presented by a childhood friend of Patrick’s. It was especially personal for us to have him be a part of that special moment. We also opted to go un-traditional when it came to the music. We selected many songs from a band called Vitamin String Quartet. They have a large variety of pop and classic songs, but are performed by string musicians. Instead of the typical bridal march, I walked down the aisle to “Home” by Edward Sharpe, but in a gorgeous instrumental version. Any brides out there looking for something different, you must check them out! We had so many compliments on the music!

After the reception, the guests flowed into a lounge-like cozy setting with a fireplace, couches, pub tables, and a large bar. We had golden touches everywhere throughout the bar area. Little signs with witty sayings, large golden initials hanging by the fireplace, and other little touches that made it totally “us”! We wanted to have details that made people smile.

The reception room was so special and different. The venue used to be an old fine dining restaurant so the back of the room had these large booths, which Patrick and I sat in the middle one. It gave us the perfect viewpoint of the whole night, and we sat some of our wedding party and close friends in the booths beside us. The venue also used to be a roller rink, so the massive beautiful dance floor was actually the recycled wood! We loved that the space had some history behind it.

We kept centerpieces simple with all white and ivory flowers, some simple votive candles, and pops of gold. I utilized the bridesmaid’s bouquets and my own for the booths and other areas near the bar.

I’m crafty so I decided to DIY the majority of the decorations. I loved doing this since I saw TONS of ideas on Pinterest, and was difficult to find everything I liked. Doing it myself guaranteed it was exactly what I wanted!

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What’s one piece of advice you’d give future brides?
One tip I would give brides to be is:  This day is about you and your groom and that’s all that matters. Weddings inevitably bring on a lot of stress, especially as the big day approaches. Issues will come up and something will not go 100% how you planned it. How the centerpieces look is not why you’ve asked guests to travel near and far to come see. Every time I started to freak out a little, Patrick kept reminding me…as long as you and I are both there that day, then it will be perfect. It is easier said than done to think that way, but after him repeatedly telling me that I started to get it. This day was about us and us only. It truly is the most magical day in your life, so don’t spend energy stressing over the little things.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv34237>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;984846;337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848468337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv36486>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848472337nu0mrjMore from the bride…Since we met Uptown (which is what people call center city of Charlotte) we wanted to celebrate that, which is why we chose to do our photos right in the city. The skyline acted as the perfect backdrop and the weather that day was beyond perfect with the bright blue sky and lush green grass!

Cheers to this fabulous bride & groom! Wishing you all health, wealth & happiness as we ring in a new year! Happy 2015!!

Photography: Brookelyn Riley Photography; Venue: The Big Chill; Dress: Mori Lee; Bridesmaid Dresses: Aria

{real weddings} Kerry & Colin

Hi! I know it’s been a while, but life happens and other things take priority and the days just go by way too fast — and here we are in December. This little blog still holds a special place in my heart — and so does the couple being featured today.

Being only 18 months apart, my brother and I were always the closest growing up — and then he met Kerry. She fit right in — and has been a part of my family long before they got married. I have never met two people more perfect for each other. Their wedding day was so special, so touching and will remain one of my favorite memories of all time.

I’ll let Kerry do the rest of the talking… I hope you enjoy their story as much as I do.

KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1346What’s your love story?
Col and I actually first met about 15 years ago. Having grown up in adjacent towns our groups of friends started overlapping in 8th grade. The exact first time we ever met was when he was dating a girlfriend of mine and a group of us went to the movies together – although I’m not sure he really remembers this.

Throughout high school and college we continued to have the same friends and eventually began to develop a friendship of our own. Though we had a few moments (ahem, make out sessions) over the years that could have started a more serious relationship, it wasn’t until the summer before senior year of college that Col got the courage to ask me out on a proper date. I’m not sure either one of us really thought this would be “it” when we began dating that summer, as we were both returning to different schools in different states, but when it came time to go back to school, it wasn’t even a question if we were going to be staying together or not.

Six years later – after a cross-country road trip, a move to Chicago and one fur baby (Max!) – he got up the courage again and asked me to be his wife! We’ll be together seven and a half years this Christmas and I can honestly say that it’s been an incredible ride so far. I can only imagine what the next 7 (and 10 and 20 and so on) will bring!

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When / where was your wedding?
We got married on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

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KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1455What made your wedding dress you?
I had a really hard time with the dress selecting process…every dress was gorgeous and a lot felt like they could be the one. But I remember putting this one on and something felt different. I had a natural affinity towards lace and I was really drawn towards dresses that had an interesting back. (Originally I really wanted a Grecian style dress with a drapey loose back but quickly found out I didn’t have the body for it). This dress had both of those things. It was simple, yet the soft lace and silhouette gave it a really classic feel. And then the back gave it a little bit of extra “fun-ness.” I remember I cried and said “I think this is the one” and with that my mom was downstairs writing the check, which was terrifying but also exactly what needed to happen. I knew if I kept looking, I’d be looking forever so in hindsight I’m so glad she pulled the trigger.

In the end, it really was everything I wanted it to be and more. We added the thin crystal belt (BHLDN) at my last fitting and it really brought it all together. I felt incredibly beautiful and it felt really “me.” I love the vintage, classic looks of past times and my dress, for me at least, had a similar feeling. It felt timeless but the back made it a little more current than lace dresses of the past. Now if only it was socially acceptable to wear your wedding dress in public after your wedding…

KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1222KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1531KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1393Tell me a little about the theme of your wedding? Any little details that stood out?
To be honest, I actually loved that we had no real theme or color scheme to our wedding. Though gold was definitely the most prominent tone, we ended up mixing in a lot of the vibrant fall colors with our flowers and a little navy here and there (the bridesmaid’s dresses, invitations and, of course, Colin’s suit) and I was so happy with how it turned out.

There were definitely a few stand-out things that felt really “us” though. Instead of basic table numbers, Col and I decided to name each table after one of our favorite places from our travels or life experiences. Having road-tripped for 3 months together, we had a lot of these but some of them had even more significance like our home state (NJ), my birth place (San Antonio) and Chicago (obviously), which felt really fun to include our guests in on.
Our cake was also one of my favorite things – which is surprising to me, as I’m not a huge cake fan. Being that it was made by one of our good friends, it was more about the fact that someone we know and love made it for us than the cake itself – although it was insanely tasty! We were really honored that she was willing to take on such a daunting task and could not have asked for anything more perfect than what she did. I remember Col and I just stood and stared at it for a few minutes when we first saw it. I think we were both in awe that she had given us that gift.

Above all else though, our ceremony really was my favorite. It was inside the museum’s lobby, which ended up being perfectly intimate, and officiated by Reverend Bruce Otto. I’m not really sure how to describe it but I think the fact that we spent a lot of time deciding the wording of much of the ceremony combined with us writing our own vows that made it feel so right and so perfectly reflective of who we are that I would not have changed a thing. There were laughs, tears, readings from dear family members, and even a ring drop by yours truly but I loved every second of it.

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What’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
Oh man, this one is hard! There’s of course the advice of “take it all in” and “enjoy every second” as it really does go by in a flash but my best helpful (hopefully) piece of advice is to accept help when it’s offered. For micro-managers, like me, it was hard to relinquish control over some of the many wedding tasks. I had so many people who offered to help and looking back, I didn’t take advantage as much as I should have, which would have alleviated some stress in those last few months/weeks. It can definitely feel like you’re giving up control of the most important day of your life, but there are so many little things that you can hand over to friends or family to do, or even just start/finish, that will still have your stamp on them in the end.

My only other thought – and, I’m sorry I know this is more than one piece of advice – is to just be you. It’s easy to get tripped up by all the things that may be tradition or what so-and-so did at their wedding, but in the end, it’s about you and your soon-to-be-hubby (or wifey). Make decisions based on what feels right for you and what suits your taste and try not to worry too much about others concerns or wants. In the end it will all come together and on the big day everyone will be so happy to celebrate you and your marriage that those other things won’t even matter.

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IMG_4394This post is dedicated to my favorite angel…
I know she’s watching over us in her #cheerstocheney sunnies!

Photography by Kina Wicks. Last photo taken by yours truly the day after the wedding.

Mood Board Monday

This weekend was spent celebrating this girl’s birthday in Charlottesville, VA doing one of my favorite activities — wine tasting. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some of the best places in the world for wine, which has really opened my eyes and taught me a thing or two. I really like learning about the vineyards of the world — Don’t get me wrong, I like drinking it too!

But one of the best parts of wine tasting is the scenery — Vineyards are beautiful places and it’s no surprise why they are so popular for wedding venues. Can’t you picture cocktail hour around the pool or in the yard above? I didn’t get married anywhere close to a vineyard, but I did sneak some little wine details into our wedding decor with the corks and wine bottles shown here.

ps. That’s the house we were lucky enough to stay in this weekend.

Photos of wedding decor by Jenelle Kappe, Pool and yard from our honeymoon in Tuscany and house in VA c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts 

Getting Crafty {on a budget}

There’s no doubt that photo booths are a wedding trend that’s here to stay — they’re just so much fun! But when planning a wedding, especially on a budget, there are always things you need to cut back on or details you can’t include. So a professional photo booth may not be in your budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have one. You just need to get a little creative, but that’s where I’m here help.

It’s safe to say there will be a few cameras (or a few dozen) at your wedding. And while your photographer may not be stationed at your homemade photo booth the whole time, he or she will still be able to get a few shots there. All you need are a backdrop and some props. For the backdrop you could find a cool wallpapered wall in your venue or just hang up a sheet (like my friend did below) or some streamers (see here).

IMG_7161{We may have been too big of a group for the sheet in the back, but you get the idea}

As for the props, here’s where you get to have a little more fun. Hats and sunglasses are always crowd-pleasers — and I’m sure between you and your friends and your old Halloween costumes and kids’ toy bins, you’ll be able to scrounge up enough of them. The best part?! That’s all free!

If you want to get a little crafty, you can make your own themed props. You’ll just need some popsicle sticks or sturdy paper straws, some cardboard, tape and colored paper. I was so impressed by my sister’s DIY graduation props, that I just had to share!

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She got the idea off of Pinterest, no less — and you can buy these all over Etsy (here) — but why not, make your own?! Your friends will be impressed. I love a good hashtag – and this is another great opportunity to share your wedding hashtag with your guests!

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Fun photos. Great memories. Happy guests. And more importantly, happy wallet.

Did you or are you planning on having a photo booth at your wedding? Leave a comment below!

all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts

Mood Board Monday

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I couldn’t not do a Mexican-themed mood board today. There are just so many fun fiesta ideas out there! From flags, to cakes, to aqua frescas.

I’m loving Samantha’s rehearsal dinner from the blog Could I Have That? Today’s first image shows her flower-lined tables — See the whole event here. What a fun way to celebrate the night before your wedding!

Hope everyone’s week gets off to a good start — especially if margaritas and tacos are involved tonight!

tables, wedding cake, maracas, aqua frescas, flags

Card Box Alternatives

I love when my readers ask me questions and look to me for wedding advice – It really gets my creative juices flowing.

Q: Any suggestions for card boxes or creative ways to collect cards at the reception?

A: There are lots of options here – But it is hard to have your own unique twist. We’ve all seen the birdcages and antique suitcases, but here are my picks (in three categories) for card box alternatives.

Rustic

card box alternative 1

These chalkboard boxes can be used as centerpieces or to hold floral arrangements – But why not write “Cards” on it and call it a day? It would definitely work for a rustic/shabby chic/outdoor/farm wedding. You can find this one at Pressed Cotton (here).

Modern

card box alternative 2

Lucite everything is everywhere these days. But my favorite pieces are the trays – which I think would make for the perfect “card tray.” I love the modern black and white pattern on this one. You could also get one monogrammed. The tray above comes from COCOCOZY (here).

Classic

card box alternative 3

You can always count on Pottery Barn for a classic look – which is where these lanterns are from (here). Use one to hold cards and a couple more for candles for a completely elegant card table. You can also find lanterns with a more nautical look for a beach wedding.

Hope this sparks some of your own ideas while wedding planning. Or if this sparked another question, feel free to leave it in the comments below!