What Are Your Choices For A Wedding Venue?

April 18, 2016

Getting married is supposed to be the most wonderful day of your life. But getting to the ceremony takes months of planning and preparation. It can all be quite stressful for the poor bride! One of the most difficult things to arrange is the venue itself. Finding the right place on the date of your choice can be harder than you think. Many of the best wedding venues are often booked up months and years in advance.

There are alternatives, though. Rather than change your preferred date, why not change your destination? A destination wedding provides you with far more options too. Some places allow you to wed outdoors in the garden or even on the beach. And if you can guarantee good weather for your wedding, wouldn’t you be tempted?

Photography by Sergey81

One of the things that put so many couples off a destination wedding is getting the guests to come. Some brides feel it is necessary to cover the travel and accommodation costs for their guests when they are marrying overseas. For the bride and groom, it’s easy. Most newlyweds stay on at the destination to enjoy their romantic honeymoon. But many guests have to make the journey home again to get back to their families and jobs.

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4 Wedding Items To Buy At Least 4 Months Before The Big Day

April 12, 2016

If your wedding is on the horizon, times are probably as stressful as they are exciting right now! Here are four important items you need to buy at least four months before you wedding. Read on to find out what they are. Untitled

Your wedding rings

Jewellery shop owners often report couples coming in two or three days before their wedding to buy their wedding rings. And, in some cases, they leave disappointed. This is because some wedding rings have to be ordered, and can take up to eight weeks to be ready for collection! Cutting it fine when it’s something so important is not a wise decision. Start shopping around for rings at least four months before the wedding. This gives you lots of time to try on different styles and to get your favourite one ordered. Don’t just look in-store, mind. Look online too. They can sometimes offer faster delivery, such as 2-3 weeks, like with these Tacori wedding rings.

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What You Need to Consider When Preparing Your Wedding Reception

January 19, 2016

The wedding reception is usually the best part of the bride and groom’s big day. So, you need to make it as good as it can be. Here are some things to consider.

Plan Like Crazy

The most important thing you can do to make sure that your wedding reception is perfect is plan. Planning is always the key to success if you ask me. That way, you will avoid making any basic mistakes that could have the effect of throwing the day off course. If you plan like crazy, then you’ll be as prepared as it’s possible to be for a wedding reception. Then, when the day arrives, just let events unfold. Not everything will go exactly according to plan, but that doesn’t really matter.

Prioritise Lighting, Temperature and Footwear

There are some practical considerations that you should think about before you go any further. By getting the lighting right, you will be set the atmosphere just how you want it. If you want people to be up and dancing, you will have to dim the lights and lower the disco ball. And then think about the temperature. There’s nothing worse than a reception that’s too hot and humid. Footwear should be the next thing on your checklist. You want your feet to be comfortable, so have a change of footwear at hand.

Don’t Forget the Small Things

The small touches can finish off your wedding reception and make it feel more professional. All you need to do is spend some time organising what you want the room and table to look like when everyone walks into the room. You could pick a simple theme or colour scheme to make it a little more visually interesting. You will need hotel quality banquet table cloths if you are serving a buffet for the guests. And tie some ribbons on the chair. These are all cheap ideas, but the small things really matter.

Get the Entertainment Right

The entertainment is one of the most important aspects of the wedding reception. They will be providing the music for everyone to dance and have a good time to. So, first of all, make sure you pick the band or DJ very carefully. Read reviews and don’t be afraid to spend a bit more money. When it comes to entertainment, you often get what you pay for. And don’t hide the entertainment in the corner of the room. If you go for a DJ, but them in the middle of the room so that people can interact with the DJ.

Remember, Food and Drink is What’s Important

It’s possible to overcomplicate things when you’re trying to create your wedding reception. This is something that many people are guilty of doing. If you’re stuck for ideas or are getting a bit stressed, my recommendation would be to keep it simple. Go back to basics and remember what’s really important. And that’s food and drink. People want some good food and as much drink as they can handle. As long as you provide those two things, you are sure to keep people satisfied.


Royal_Palace_Banquet_HallPhoto Source

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How To Put Together Your Wedding Theme

January 15, 2016

We all dream of a beautiful wedding that looks stunning. Most of us have an idea for a theme that will help highlight our wedding. After all, we want a little style and personality in there too. There are many parts of the wedding that can be tailored to suit your personal tastes. It’s not all about the dress after all.

Start at the beginning. The venue you choose will have a certain classical style of its own. You may have chosen it because you love the shape of the windows or the attractiveness of the gardens. Colour and shape are important parts of any theme you choose. Many people choose hearts, but you can choose shapes of a Celtic origin or even chic scrolls.

The most popular colours for this year are mint green and powder blue. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you picking colours that mean something to you both. Or you could choose a colour that is prominent at your wedding venue. Once this is booked, it’s time to order the wedding invitations. If you have a look at the affordable wedding invitation kits from Pure Invitation, you’ll see you can choose any colour from your theme. You may also find a reference to your preferred shape too.


Image source Earl53

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Wedding Photography Mistakes That Can Be Easily Avoided

January 14, 2016

Wedding photography is an essential part of any wedding day. It’s the process that captures unique moments from this life changing event. These are the images you could potentially be showing your grandchildren one day and will hold an enormous sentimental value to your family. So you naturally want to look your absolute best and ensure you get beautiful photographs from every aspect of the day. To guarantee you get wedding photographs that you are 100% happy with, here are some things you should avoid doing.

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The Stylish, Savvy Skills of Bash, Please

March 20, 2014


Much like the couples for which they plan weddings, Paige Appel and Kelly Harris experienced a marriage of sorts when they merged their respective companies—Bash and Yes, Please—into a singular creative event-production and styling company. Considering that their list of common interests includes “confetti canons,” “crooked teeth,” and “funny jokes,” and shared dislikes are “Marriott ballrooms,” “stale cheese,” and “people who take themselves too seriously,” their unification was a match made in heaven. We caught up with the LA-based duo as they dished on their two-day wedding school and one-of-a-kind bridal show, as well as the recent boom in their chosen industry.

image courtesy of Bash, Please
image courtesy of Bash, Please

What inspired you to come up with tools and new ways for wedding planners to be successful, such as The Cream and WedPrep School?

We feel that community is important—in both life and work. To inspire others is also inspiring to us. We don’t see competition as a challenging obstacle; we see empowerment as a way to thrive in this industry. There’s room for everyone.

Tell us about The Cream. How is it different from other bridal shows?

It’s a really good party! It has one cohesive theme to it, one color palette, and one idea that everyone has to turn into their own. It’s a thoughtful gathering of a curated community and not just booths with books to look through. It’s creative, experimental, and loads of fun.

Why do you think the bridal industry has seen a massive boom in the past five years or so?

Options are unlimited now. It used to be a cookie-cutter industry, and now there are so many creative people thinking in innovative ways about their weddings that the sky has busted wide open with opportunity. The blogs have really helped this movement in getting the word and the photos out there about the options available now.

But with the proliferation of bridal blogs, Pinterest, etc., brides can feel bombarded with choices and inspirations. How do you suggest that they narrow down those visions and ideas? 

We ask them to create a Pinterest board, and then we go in and edit it. We then create our own project board with a culmination of their ideas and our own take on their vision. Once they see how we envision the cohesive design, they usually let go of any residual inspiration that didn’t fit into the overall aesthetic.

What should a bride look for in a planner?

Comfort, creativity, and collaboration. We always say that our clients should feel like we are their brutally honest best friends and passionate advocates for their wedding day. If they don’t trust us, it never works out.

What kind of person do you think it takes to be a part of this industry?

A person with motivation, passion, a thinking cap, and the ability to understand the human experience.

Do you have any advice for planners that are looking to break into the field?

Be honest about your level of expertise and stay humble. You will learn something new with every client and every event.

What are your favorite wedding traditions to break? 

The garter and bouquet tosses. Major snooze fest.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Our Labor of Love and Max & Friends Photography


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Real Weddings | Well Wed

Well Wed: Vineyard Vows

August 1, 2013

From Boston University to the Bay area, Lauren and Geoff’s romance spanned the country, ending in a picture-perfect wedding in the vineyards of Sonoma, California. “Their relationship blossomed over countless dinners in the North End, one sappy Hugh Grant movie after another, snowy walks along Newbury Street, and the World Series. They fell in love one Sweet Caroline at a time,” Leslie Struble of Dandelion Events says. After moving to the San Francisco Bay area in May 2008, the active couple hiked in the Berkeley hills at dusk one August evening in 2009. With a love for photography, Lauren captured the rising sun through her lens. “With Lauren busy behind the lens Geoff dropped to one knee and waited. Lauren turned around, and realized Geoff was not kneeling to take in the view. And then, on one sore knee, Geoff proposed,” Struble says. It’s no wonder photographer James Sanders of Elle Jae Photography, immediately connected with the couple. “From a photographer’s standpoint, they were a dream couple. Super engaged in the photo making process, relaxed in front of the camera, and not holding back their emotions,” Sanders says.

Lauren & Geoff 

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Bride & Groom: Lauren Bashom & Geoff Rhizor

Photographer: Elle Jae Photography

Event Planner: Dandelion Events 

Venue: Cornerstone Sonoma

Caterer: Sage Catering 

Floral Design: Anne Appleman

Invitation Design: A Day In May 

Music: Suite Love Express & Lorn Leber Duo 

Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Groom’s Tie: Brooks Brothers



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Decor | Fashion + Beauty | Features | Modern Weddings

Inspiration Shoot:
Modern Luxe

July 19, 2013

Mason jars, hay bails, burlap table runners—check out any wedding blog and you’ll quickly see that rustic outdoor weddings are de rigueur these days. But if you’re more into Blahniks than boots then you’ll love this glamorous inspiration shoot by Davia Montoya. The principle designer and owner of Davia Lee Events puts a modern spin on old Hollywood glamour in a lavish way.

Her inspiration for the luxe looks come from the idea that there are no rules when it comes to your wedding. “The shoot was designed for the bride on top of fashion and not afraid to take risks like wearing a colored gown,” she says. The gorgeous jewels, created by Margaret Rowe Couture, help take the look from classic to contemporary. “We are seeing a lot of vintage pieces that are being made modern, so it is great for the bride that doesn’t have access to family heirlooms but wants to accomplish that same look,” she says. Check out her stunning shoot, with photography by Lindsey Hahn.

Move over, Ava Gardner.

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Designed by Davia Lee Events

Photography by Lindsey Hahn Photography

Bridal Accessories by Margaret Rowe Couture

Fashion by CLD PR

Hair & Makeup by All Dolled Up

Venue Villa Servillano


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Designer Interview | Features

Interview :: Mindy Weiss

May 15, 2013

The wedding planner extraordinaire tells us what her wedding secret weapon is, why you shouldn’t follow the rules, and what gives her butterflies

Joy Marie

My day-of-wedding secret weapon is…keeping my cool, keeping it real, and respecting the fact that my clients memories are in my hands.

I would tell a bride not to worry too much about…imperfections on the wedding day. Things rarely go just as planned, so be sure not to sweat the small stuff.

But to pay extra special attention to…taking it all in. Cherish the time when you have all your loved ones and your souse’s loved ones in one room. Document the fact that both your loved ones and your new husband’s loved ones are all in one room together.

My clients would be surprised to know that I…the ones that just meet me are very surprised that I’m down to earth and very calm..the ones that know mw know I function on very little sleep.

I realized I was destined to plan gorgeous weddings and events…during the time I was planning my first event, I was already thinking of what I could do for the next, and those thoughts have continued for the last 25-ish years!

After finishing a wedding I relax by…being with my family. Every Sunday is family time; it’s my favorite day of the week!

The biggest misconception about weddings is that…there are RULES to how to plan a wedding, so not true! You make your own rules and traditions! And consider having a sense of humor to be one of the first rules..

The thing that inspires me the most is…emotionally, seeing the hope in the new married couples’ eyes. It gives me energy knowing they are starting anew and I was there on their first day of their new path. Aesthetically, I really enjoy flea markets!

When planning a client’s wedding, I still get butterflies when…the bride and groom see each other for the first time! Whether it’s a “first look” before the wedding or when the bridge is walking down the aisle, it is always a special moment!

Simone and Martin Photography


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Designer Interview | Features

From the Eye of Elizabeth Messina, Part II

May 13, 2013

In an industry filled with talented photographers, Elizabeth Messina has stood especially tall, thanks to her luminous lighting and emotion-filled wedding photography. She shared what brides should look for when booking a photographer for their big day, how to look relaxed in front of the camera, and also what aspiring wedding photographers should know before breaking into the business

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MW: Many brides admire your work and aim to have shots that are just as beautiful as yours on their big day. Do you habe any tips for couples while booking a photographer?

Elizabeth Messina: Your wedding photographer is perhaps one of the most important decisions you will make while planning your wedding. There are three essential elements while you are in the process of picking a wedding photographer.

First – it is important to see as many images as possible from each photographer you are considering for your wedding. Take time to meet with photographers and look at as many slideshows and albums as possible. The more work you view, the better idea you’ll have of the photographer’s style, consistency, and sensibility.

Second – a good photographer will be with you while you begin to get ready, during the ceremony, the first dances and more, capturing some of the most special and intimate moments. This is a delicate balance for a photographer, to be present and unobtrusive at the same time. The more at ease and comfortable you feel around your photographer, the more natural and beautiful your wedding images will feel.

Third – the budget. It can be daunting trying to compare one photographer’s pricing to another, as pricing structures can vary as much as their images. The good news is there are talented photographers for every budget. If you have beautiful images you love, you can always find creative ways to display and share them with friends and family.

MW: A lot of people have a hard time loosening up in front of the camera, which could be especially tough on your wedding day. How do you get your couples to look so relaxed and natural?

EM: I try to truly connect with my clients. Sometimes I’ll encourage them not to look at the camera, so we can start slow. Other times I’ll ask them to hold hands and walk away. This gives them a little space, which can be calming. I think the more a couple interacts with each other, the more natural they will feel. I also talk and listen, sometimes putting my camera down from time to time. The relationship and interaction with a client is the most important aspects of getting a natural and flattering image (that and the light, of course).

MW: Do you have any advice for young wedding photographers just getting their start?

EM: First, follow your heart – this is the simplest and the most complex advice there is. For me, that meant creating intimate images, that is what I am naturally drawn to. Second, keep your overhead low. This is so important, especially in today’s economy. If you have a fancy studio and lots of expenses to maintain, you undoubtedly put a lot of pressure on yourself and your business. If your overhead is low, you give yourself much more freedom. There is no need to put a lot of undue stress on yourself. And third, embrace your own style. Here is a little secret: everybody has a style. The trick is learning to identify it and recreate it at will. A style is something that you hone and nurture over the course of your career.

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Designer Interview | Features

From the Eye of Elizabeth Messina, Part I

May 9, 2013

In an industry filled with talented photographers, Elizabeth Messina has stood especially tall, thanks to her luminous lighting and emotion-filled wedding photography. She shared what brides should look for when booking a photographer for their big day, how to look relaxed in front of the camera, and also what aspiring wedding photographers should know before breaking into the business

Planning and design: Mindy Weiss

Floral design: Tricia Fountaine

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Venue: Rancho Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbra, CA

“We were inspired by the thought of keeping the party going after the wedding! The tablescape is a late night s’mores roast with the couple’s closest family and friends. The table is set with individual helpings of the sweet sandwiches and a refreshing glass of milk, with the fire pit located just outside the barn so everyone could enjoy freshly toasted treats,” says designer Mindy Weiss.

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Designer Interview :: Angel Sanchez

March 5, 2013

 Structural Design

By Laura Neilson  |  Photos by Dusdin Condren

Angel Sanchez

The fashion flock may best recognize Angel Sanchez for his streamlined and structured womenswear designs, most especially his unforgettably elegant wedding and evening gowns. But some might be surprised to know the roots behind the Venezuelan-born designer’s influences: he’s actually a trained architect. Clearly, one discipline informed the other, resulting in a distinctly refined vision that often transcends the usual ephemeral nature of fashion and trends. We met with Sanchez in his NYC showroom to discuss his transition from blueprints to dress patterns, and how he’s even managed to fuse the worlds.

Tell us about your first foray in design—as an architect, not a fashion designer. Where did you study?

The Simón Bolívar University in Caracas. They had an architecture program—full career, six years. And I worked for a year for a big firm in Caracas.

What made you cross over into fashion?

I played with fabrics since I was a little kid, and I was very familiar with the whole process of making a dress, but I never thought it was a career for me. But then I realized being an architect gave me so many three-dimensional ideas. Being an architect, all this background helped me to face fashion in a very useful way. And I could see all my ideas materialize faster than waiting for a building. The design process to make a building—to build a building is slow, and I’m impatient. I cannot wait that long!

Did you have any formal training when you decided to transition?

I learned from my mom, from my work, and practice. But I never went to fashion school. In that moment, fashion school in Venezuela didn’t exist. My mom was my best school—and I learned a lot from my clients. Practice. Working.

Were there any early designers who inspired you? Did it help your self-education?

Definitely [Cristóbal] Balenciaga. He really dedicated his life to his career and his clients. Also the way he constructed his dresses: his patterns, how he cut on the bias, the undergarment… all this couture influence was very, very inspiring. And then I started to see a little of the light part of fashion—the beauty of a Valentino dress, the feeling and the romance. I thought it was beautiful, and I think it influenced a lot of my work in the way he understood a woman.

What is it you love so much about bridal?

Bridal’s so natural. The first 12 years of my 25 years, I did a lot of custom-made bridal where you have to understand a client, her style, the idea that the client has in her mind, and to try and please her. I did beautiful wedding dresses in the couture point of view. That’s where you show all your skills, not only as a designer, but also as a couturier: the quality of your sewing, the quality of your beading… the ability to make a dress at that level. Those years made me understand the meaning of a wedding dress. I really got connected with my clients in terms of the dream they have, and the expectations they have of me. It’s a unique experience.

And now, designing ready-to-wear?

Designing collections for ready-to-wear bridal—it’s a different approach. It’s not as personal, but still, I sit down, and I design a bridal collection in three or four days.

Three or four days? That’s astounding. Do you already have imaginary clients in mind when you’re designing, then?

Yes. I try to get into all these different experiences from my couturier career and put them in a collection: “This is the romantic, this is the traditional, this is the more avant-garde, this is the more elegant.” And I really enjoy it so much because I don’t have to worry about trends. I don’t have to worry about color trends. It’s always white. Bridal is about timelessness. It’s about lines, about lightness, about something more refined or romantic.

There’s a similarity to architecture in the idea of that timelessness. A wedding dress reflects a moment, but it’s meant to stand the test of time.

Yes. The meaning of a wedding dress in the life of a woman is so important. And always, when I meet clients after 15 or 20 years, she remembers me as an important part of her life because I designed her wedding dress.

You’re also currently working on some interior design projects with your partner, Chris Coleman. How is that going?

We’re doing three or four projects together. I’m really enjoying it. It’s my second chance to express myself. Being an architect, you can be a fashion designer, an interior designer, a graphic designer, because you have that skill set.

Have you designed your stores?

I designed my showroom, and I designed my store in Caracas. But my dream now is to open my store in the United States and design it. I have some ideas. I have some sketches.

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Rooftop Revelry

Pop Champagne and celebrate the day high above the city



Bride – Dress: Rebecca Cairelli “Florence” $2,400; Earrings: Mckenzie’s Earrings; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Groom – Suit: CK; Shirt: Kenneth Cole; Bow Tie: H&M; Shoes: Aldo





Bride – Dress:  Rebecca Cairelli “Anisa” $3,900; Necklace:  History & Industry “The Beach” $180; Shoes: model’s own

Groom – Suit: CK; Shirt: Kenneth Cole; Tie: Levi; Shoes: Hell For Leather






Bride – Dress: Rebecca Cairelli “Sabelle” $1,500; Head Piece: Mckenzie Powell; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Groom – Suit: CK; Shirt: Kenneth Cole; Bow Tie: H&M; Shoes: Aldo




Bride – Dress: Rebecca Cairelli “Bianca”  $1,450; Necklace: History & Industry “Elsa” $160; Shoes: Nine West

Groom – Suit: CK; Shirt: Kenneth Cole; Tie: Levi; Shoes: Hell For Leather


Chantal Andrea

Event & Floral Design:
McKenzie Powell Floral & Event Design

Wedding Gown Design & Styling:
Rebecca Cairelli

Hair & Makeup:
Jenny Bowker Make Up

History and Industry by Irene Wood

New Renaissance Cakes

Whitcomb & Company’s Industrial Trestle Dining Table

Luuvu Hoang

Tyson Strotz and Katharine Wimett from Seattle Models Guild

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Real Weddings | Well Wed

Well Wed: Western Love Story

March 4, 2013

Courtney and Noah

Courtney and Noah’s wedding was literally made for the silver screen: the couple married at the famed Paramount Ranch, a former movie set where Paramount Studios shot hundreds of Westerns over 70 years. “We met at a cowboy bar and both love nature, film, and vintage Americana, so Paramount Ranch couldn’t have been more perfect,” Courtney Nye says. Both the bride and groom work in design, so they took it upon themselves to create their entire wedding look. Courtney designed, printed, cut, stamped, painted, and hand-wrote every paper good for the wedding, incorporating the couple’s favorite typewriter font as a nod to Noah’s tattoos. Loosely designed bouquets added the perfect unruly touch, and an 1897 Benz Mylord Coupe—it’s only one of two existing original models—served as the perfect getaway car.

Photographer: Sloan Photographers

Venue: Paramount Ranch, Agoura Hills, California

Coordinator: Courtney Nye Design

Floral Design: Courtney Nye Design

Catering: Huntington Catering Company

Videography: Aqua Vivus Productions

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Real Weddings | Well Wed

Well Wed: Earthy Ethereal

Bethany and Derrick

Photographer James Moes knew he’d get along well with Bethany and Derrick even before shooting their wedding. “We had mutual friends, so we knew pretty quickly that we were kindred spirits,” says Moes. He found they were kindred spirits with like-minded tastes. “I like a wedding with quirky style, and they took their wedding to the next level with a Marie Antoinette inspired affair.” The bride’s hair became a talking point and one of Moes’ favorite design details. “Bethany’s hair.was.epic. You either loved it or hated it. I loved it.”

Photographer: James Moes

Ceremony Venue: Aldergrove Lake Regional Park, Langley, BC

Reception Venue: Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion, Burnaby, BC

Wedding Planner: Alison Priebe

Caterer: Klassic Catering

Invitations: Elizabeth Mans

Dress: Romona Keveza Spring 2009

Groom Attire: MEXX, Le Chateau, H+M

Bridesmaid Attire: H+M, RW+Co

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