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From The Bride…

My vision was tropical, modern, and Miami! The color palette was all white everything. However, I did have to modify because of the reception space. The ballroom was very dark moody, with grays, black, golds and white so we incorporated those tones a little, just for the reception.

I knew from the beginning I wanted my bridesmaids to have their own take on a bridesmaid dress so the only requirement was white and short, they all have amazing style so I know the combo would look amaze balls together, I mean they are all gorgeous!

I was most excited about the venue location! I wanted something easy that did not require a lot of extra decor. The W South Beach is absolutely fantastic and needed minimal wedding extras. I always think the people that fill the space make it beautiful!

My gown was custom made by Erin Grey Couture in Charlotte! I wanted something super sexy, but not too sexy. CJ the owner of Erin Grey helped bring my vision to life!

My shoes were probably one of my favorite memories of the wedding. My husband surprised me a few months before the wedding and flew my best friend and I to New York so I could get my Sophia Websters at Saks on Fifth! It was so special – that was a beautiful wedding gift from Michael! One of the many reasons I love him.

Another favorite moment was walking down the aisle! Wow, it still brings tears to my eyes. Cherish that moment girls! It is breath taking.

I had the dream team working magic on me and my girls! My fab boss, Lindsey Thorne (owner of Be Pretty) did absolutely perfect hair and makeup and my photographer Allison Kuhn is just a phenomenal photographer! They did more than I could have imagined in my most perfect dream.

I wanted a gorgeous wedding of course, but what was most important to me was that our closest friends and family had a magical time! They mean so much to Michael and I and we knew we had to make it a fun party for everyone!

My cake was fabulous! I found two designs and combined them. I love marble, so the entire cake was a gray marble with gold flakes on it! It came out perfect, and even though I didn’t try an actual piece everyone said the fresh strawberry was a great choice!

My best advice for brides is hire the best vendors, it makes life so much easier! They are great at their job and it allows you to relax and enjoy time with the people you love on your big day! Also, pay for GOOD food and booze! Your guests will thank you over and over! Sabrina and Michael decided to get married this past February. The couple lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, but wanted to warm things up a bit and take their wedding to South Beach Miami, FL. Family and friends flew from all over to soak in some sun, warmth and fun for this laid back, modern wedding. The couple wanted to incorporate the artwork and modern vibes of the W South Beach Hotel. Sabrina is a wedding hair & makeup associate artist with Be Pretty Lindsey Regan Thorne, so now it was her chance to switch roles and sit in the chair to be beautified for her big day. Her dress was custom designed by Erin Grey Couture and had was a modern, glamours design that was perfect for Sabrina!

From Allison Kuhn Photograph..

Sabrina’s shoes were a gift from Michael from when Sabrina and her best friend, Olivia visited New York last year.

Sabrina broke the trend of the bridesmaids robes and went for something more edgy with their black and white t-shirts.

They also chose to hold their ceremony in the garden area underneath palm trees and really pull in the Miami vibe. The cake was decorated just perfectly and included the marbling seen around the hotel.

This couple was engaged in Las Vegas where a helicopter took them through the Grand Canyon! They enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures and always something new. They are an incredibly sweet and fun couple who are laid back and enjoy everything life throws their way!

PHOTOGRAPHER Allison Kuhn Photography | PLANNER Events By Phillipa | WEDDING DRESS Erin Grey Couture | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES BCBGMAXAZRIA | HAIR + MAKEUP Lindsey Regan Thorne | GROOMS ATTIRE J.Crew | VENUE W South Beach | GETTING READY T-SHIRT Etsy | BRIDES SHOES Sophia Webster

Gushing over every single picture in this real mountainside wedding! From the horse pasture for their formal shots, to the decor at the reception, this venue was the perfect location for a weekend wedding retreat! Read on to see how the brides vision came to life.

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From the bride..

When Vince and I first started brainstorming on where we wanted to get married, we had a few top priorities.  First of all, we knew we wanted to get married in the mountains.  I grew up in Colorado, and we spend a lot of time there still despite living in San Francisco.   Secondly, we wanted a venue that would allow for all our wedding events to be onsite as well as accommodations.  Many of our guests were going to be traveling, so we wanted to create a fun and stress-free weekend that would allow our guests to fully enjoy the great outdoors of Colorado without having to worry about transportation between events.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch was a perfect match.  Situated in the middle of 6,000 acres with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains, it both a stunning backdrop and also provided an abundance of activities!  We knew it was the venue for us the second we stepped foot on the property.  Vince and I both love spending time outdoors with our dog, so Devil’s Thumb Ranch seemed to reflect us as a couple.  When looking at past weddings held at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, I kept on bookmarking the ones that were designed and planned by Kara Delay of Love this Day Events.  We reached out to her and immediately knew she would be the one to help us create the perfect wedding weekend.  Our mutual love for chocolate labs was only the beginning of us becoming fast friends.  Since we had already seen (and fell in love with) so many of the weddings Kara had planned, we knew we could completely trust her to help us create something that aligned with what we had envisioned for our wedding.  I was in full-time grad school and working, so I didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to planning.  And while we had some requests and ideas, we put our complete trust in Kara to make suggestions and decisions, including helping us hire our other vendors.  She enlisted the amazing Gretchen from Yonder Floral and Décor House to help pull our vision together.  The two of them designed and executed such a beautiful wedding, and we could not have been happier with the results.  Everything down to Charlie’s floral collar was perfect.

Vince and I agreed that the setting of our venue was so beautiful itself that we didn’t want to do anything over the top in terms of our flowers or décor.  We decided to incorporate whites, blushes, and sage into our flowers and tablescapes, with lots of greenery!  The interior of the barn where the reception was held has beautiful exposed beams and a gorgeous fireplace.  We didn’t want to take away from the rustic beauty of the space, so we filled the tables with low-set flowers and lots of candles.  Kara strung some drapery from the beams and added a couple of chandeliers to pull the whole look together.  It was pretty amazing walking in for the first time and seeing our vision become reality.

We felt so lucky to work with the vendors that we did for our wedding.  While some knew each other and some did not, they all worked so well together throughout the planning process and on our wedding day.  For our photographer, we were recommended Lane Dittoe, who was based both in Boulder and Los Angeles.  Logistically it worked perfectly, as we were able to do our engagement photos in San Francisco, and then he did our wedding in Colorado, without having to do too much traveling.  He has such a calm demeanor that put Vince and me at ease in front of the camera.  And as you can see in the photographs, he is extremely talented.

Micah and Will from Velare did an unbelievable job on our wedding film.  The highlight film turned out to be beyond our expectations, and we could not be happier.  They were such a treat to work with, also making us feel comfortable in front of the camera.  Simply put, they are some really cool dudes with wild talent, and we feel so lucky that we were able to have them shoot our special day.  We are anxiously awaiting our feature film!

On the days surrounding the wedding, our guests enjoyed mountain biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and more! Being somewhat of a destination wedding, it was the perfect place to organize a weekend of events for our guests to show our appreciation for their travels.  Friday kicked off with a game day on the front lawn of the ranch followed by a casual BBQ rehearsal dinner for all guests.  While the girls were getting ready on Saturday, the boys hiked around the property playing a round of Frisbee golf, with our girl Charlie happily running around beside them.  Having our dog there for the weekend and a part of our wedding was especially important to us.  She served as a floral girl of sorts, and my heart still melts every time I see an image or video of Vince walking down the aisle with her.

The whole weekend went off without a hitch (at least as far we know!), and we had an absolute blast.  While we were able to share this special time in our lives with all our most loved family and friends, we also felt like we were able to cherish each moment together as a couple and acknowledge the true meaning of the weekend.  We took a few deliberate moments to step away to take it all in and just have some private time together.  We were both pretty emotional leading up to the ceremony and throughout the ceremony, but we were able to let loose during the reception and dance the night away as a newly married couple.

PHOTOGRAPHER Lane Dittoe Fine art wedding photographs | PLANNER Love This Day Events | FLORIST Yonder Floral And Decor House | WEDDING DRESS Ines Di Santo | BRIDES SHOES Valentino | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Joanna August | GROOMS ATTIRE Isaia | VENUE Devil’s Thumb Ranch | GROOMS SHOES Gallo Bianco

Timeless, traditional wedding inspiration, styled in the utmost prettiest way! I love the brides gown, endless display of candles and the natural color palette. This styled shoot is surely to inspire and to draw inspiration from. Want more styled inspiration? Visit my Styled Shoots page!

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From the planner..

I wanted to design something elegant and gorgeous that resonates with the bride who wants a truly timeless wedding day, a design with traditional roots that pushes the boundaries a bit, a neutral and classic color scheme, and incorporating elements that were a little organic and full of movement and emotion. My inherent designs feature all of those characteristics, so I brought this shoot to life with my photographer and friend, Greer Gattuso.

I design from the grandest scale of the venue, to the smallest detail on the tabletop, and the goal is always creativity and cohesiveness. The venue Il Mercato offered great architectural aspects for my design to play off of: rounded arches, a grand outdoor fireplace, gorgeous wrought iron gates, and modern landscaping.

The fireplace would be our ceremony location and I knew I wanted to deck it out with layers and layers of exposed candles, lush florals, and natural greenery cascading from one level of the structure to the next. My incredible florist, Dee with Bella Blooms Floral, and my candle team, Lisa and Jason with Luminous Events, turned my vision into my favorite ceremony backdrop to date.

I wanted our tablescape to sit perfectly between the arch of the venue’s arcade. Our dining table would remain bare and our chairs were round to mimic the arch. Each chair decor was different, but greens and florals accented each to tie the look together! The centerpiece featured asymmetrical florals that created a lush runner of neutral, fluffy flowers! Bare candles nestled between to keep the look natural yet luxurious! I featured beautiful silver rimmed Vera Wang china for the place settings and each plate was adorned by a different floral bloom with the place card. To finish off the setting, we layered exposed candles in the windowsill and added foliage and florals to each gas lantern.

The cake from Melissa’s Fine Pastries was a textural, slate colored fondant cake with the most intricate white sugar flowers. I love the way the pattern created interest in an understated way. Our invitation suite by Jaynie of Ebb and Flow Ink showcased her gorgeous calligraphy on fine art paper which was torn on the bottom edges. It created a polished, yet natural look for all of our paper products. Our bridesmaids in taupe dresses offered the ability for Bella Blooms to show how different style bouquets with varying focal flowers could still have a cohesive look. And they gave me the opportunity to style them for some great Vanity Fair-inspired photos.

With movement in mind, everything from the dress skirt, her hair style, to the raw silk ribbons that adorned her bouquet would be able to flow in the breeze and exude emotion. An elegant, neutral affair that could make our ideal brides want to get married in New Orleans and bring a similar design to life with us!

PHOTOGRAPHER Greer Gattuso Photography | PLANNER Elyse Jennings Weddings | FLORIST Bella Blooms | BRIDE’S DRESS Theia | CAKE Melissa’s Fine Pastries | BRIDE’S SHOES Jimmy Choo | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Amsale | GROOM’S ATTIRE J.Crew | VENUE Il Mercato | CAKE STAND BHLDN | CANDAL DECOR Luminous Events | RING BOX The Mrs Box

Your save the dates should be mailed to your guests four to six months before your wedding. If you are throwing a destination wedding, send them out six to eight months your wedding.


The invitation is where you give all the details, for the save the date simply include your names, date, wedding website, location, and that’s it!


All you need to do is write “and guest” after their name on the envelope. This will allow your single guests to plan for your big day with hotels and plane tickets for two! Also if you are including kids, write “and family” on the envelope.


The Save the Date is the perfect place to introduce your wedding website. It will save you a lot of phone calls to have a go-to place for all your guests to go for every last detail about your wedding from the ceremony start time, to where you are registered and more!



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From the wedding planner..

Natalie & Pat wanted nothing more than to provide an intimate and unique experience for their wedding celebration and bringing together their family and friends from both coasts to Napa, offered just that! After many a trips to Napa, Natalie & Pat thought there would be no better a location for their day. Natalie’s never ending passion for interior design fueled the process with me and her design team referencing architecture, restaurant design and the like for inspiration for her day. She certainly didn’t want a day that looked like any old wedding and in the end, I think we accomplished just that. Sleek and modern with just the right amount of charm played off of the juxtaposition of the venue’s industrial meets rustic design. For the ceremony, Natalie chose the Apple Orchard as the place to exchange vows and kept the area understated with simple black X back chairs and shepard’s hooks. The main statement piece at the ceremony was the black baby grand piano that played Coldplay’s Reign of Love as Natalie walked down the aisle.

During cocktail hour, the pianist continued as guests enjoyed elderflower champagne and wines selected during several trips to the Napa area by the bride and groom. For dinner, we had a true Napa Valley inspired menu that included seasonal ingredients straight from the valley. For design, based on a color story inspired from the interior of a cathedral that Natalie couldn’t get enough of, we worked with a pale slate blue as the base for everything from the invitations to the linens. To keep the look clean and streamlined, Natalie had her heart set on ghost chairs designed by Philipe Starck and the design team was happy to oblige. Clean vessels filled with soft white flowers added romance to the look while maintaining the sophisticated vibe and touches of whimsical yet mod butterflies for everything from place cards to random moments on the drum shades to the picture display.

The evening ended near the outdoor fire place surrounded by modern meets romantic lounge furniture and an elaborate S’mores display. Guests enjoyed, cocktails, cocoa and sweets until the wee hours of the morning when Natalie & Pat said their goodbyes to all of their guests that traveled so far to celebrate with them in true Napa style.

PHOTOGRAPHER Jose Villa | PLANNER Beth Helmstetter | FLORIST Kathleen Deery | LINENS La Tavola | VENUE Carneros Inn | CAKE Perfect Endings | PAPER GOODS Village Invites | DRESS Oscar De La Renta | SHOES Manolo Blahnik | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Amsale