A Color Happy Affair in the Arizona Desert

With friends and family traveling from Texas, Lindsay and Whit knew a “mini-destination” wedding in Arizona would be just the escape their guests needed. They set to work planning a lush, colorful, vibrant celebration while playing on Paradise Valley’s natural scenery of desert and mountain beauty. Rachel Solomon and Something New Media came on board to document the day and you can watch it all unfold from beginning to end.

From the bride… Whit and I met at a SuperBowl party in February of 2012. Our conversation was fun and effortless and we learned that we had several mutual friends, but the spark was just not initially there for me. We lost touch for several months after that and went our separate ways – he moved to Nebraska while I stayed in Texas – but thankfully, we reconnected in September of 2012 when I learned that he was a groomsman in a wedding that I would be attending the following February. Since we lived in different states, we began texting all day long, talking on the phone every single night, and spent as many weekends as we could to visit each other. We survived a two-year long distance relationship and after we both finished graduate school, we decided to settle down in Texas in the summer of 2014.

Whit and I got engaged at the Camelback Inn in Paradise Valley, AZ on December 27th, 2015. I was hoping Whit would propose when we were visiting my family for Christmas that year. Many of my friends were beginning to get engaged and married, and I was just dreaming about when it would finally be our turn. Little did I know, Whit had taken a day off work and flew to Scottsdale a few weeks prior to the proposal. During his quick 12-hour visit to my hometown, he picked up my engagement ring at Oliver Smith Jeweler and started hunting for wedding venues with my parents and grandmother! Whit also scouted out the perfect spot to propose to me, in front of Camelback Mountain.

Whit and I stayed in Scottsdale through New Year’s Eve and began planning our springtime wedding in Arizona, the most beautiful time of year. Although we had a 15-month long engagement, we had most of our wedding vendors and details planned out by March of 2016. We felt lucky that we had tackled all of the “big stuff” pretty early on because that March also happened to be the same time we learned that we were expecting a baby flower girl in November of that year. We welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world a week before Thanksgiving, and she quickly stole our hearts and the hearts of all of our guests as my mom carried her down the aisle on March 18th, 2017, our wedding day!

When the wedding planning began in late December of 2015, Whit and I decided that we were going to have a “mini-destination wedding” in Arizona (considering most of our guests would be traveling from Texas). We chose to have our ceremony at Brophy Chapel since I graduated from Xavier College Preparatory in 2008, and we just knew our reception had to be at El Chorro! The desert landscape and breathtaking mountain views were the perfect scenery for our wedding.

My vision for our wedding theme was a romantic garden with some Arizona desert flair. My mom, Karen Hoffman, worked an endless amount of hours tying all of the details of our theme together, with the help of our planner, Christine Southerland. Randi Eshelman of Carte Blanche Design made my floral dreams come true, from the greenery that dressed the ceiling pipes in Casa Paloma to adding blue thistle and succulents into my hot pink bridal bouquet! The bright floral arrangements accompanied by the blue table linens from La Tavola Fine Linen added so much life and color to Casa Paloma at El Chorro.

Other details that made our wedding unique were our custom floral invitations and monogram designed by Jacki Miller of Foil & Ink; a special song (“Isn’t She Lovely”) dedicated to our daughter during the reception from Shining Star Band; Whit’s Death Star groom’s cake and the cactus cookie favors for our guests (with gold embossed monogram tags done by my mom) from Ruze Cake House; our wooden welcome sign, which was created by Autumn Matney; the groomsmen’s baby blue dotted bow ties from The Tie Bar; and my “something old”! Oliver Smith Jeweler designed all of the jewelry that I wore on our wedding day, except for my ruby cross, which was my something old passed all the way down from my great-great-grandmother.

I recently learned that my great-great-grandfather found this beautiful family heirloom on the ground in a park in Poland in the early 1900’s. The cross was given to my Babcia (my grandma), who wore it on her wedding day. She passed it down to my mother, who wore it on her wedding day, and now I got the privilege of wearing the cross on my wedding day. I am so looking forward to the day when I can place this cross around my own daughter’s neck just like my mom did for me!

Everything about our wedding day was absolutely perfect, and I am so thankful we chose the amazingly talented Rachel Solomon to photograph our wedding, as well as Something New Media who filmed our special day. Both Rachel and Something New Media have allowed us to relive our special day over and over again through the truly beautiful images they captured. We feel like we hit the jackpot with our wedding vendors and we wish we could play our wedding day on repeat, but for now, Whit and I will just enjoy watching our wedding film with our baby girl!

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Videography: Something New Media | Event Planning: Christine Southerland | Floral Design: Carte Blanche | Gown: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Ruze Cake House | Ceremony Venue: Brophy College Preparatory | Reception Venue: El Chorro | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Oliver Smith | Bridesmaids: BHLDN | Makeup: Maureen Cosovich | Hair: Meaghan Gingrich | Band: Shining Star Band | Ties: The Tie Bar | Groom: Calvin Klein | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Gown Boutique: Schaffers Bridal | Groom’s Ring: Qalo Rings | Invitation Calligraphy: Pretty Paperie | Invitations & Paper: Foil And Ink | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Reception Calligraphy: The Letter House | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Strings: Allegro Quartet

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Should You Spend or Save That Wedding Gift Cash?

When it comes to wedding gifts, more and more guests are giving cash. Considering many brides would rather have a boost to their bank account than fine china, this is a great problem to have! But when you walk away from your big day quite a bit richer, it can be tricky to resist the temptation to splurge on a fun vacation or the latest phone. Does it make more sense to spend or save wedding cash?

Jeremy Walter, the founder of Fident Financial, gave some great tips to brides and grooms who aren’t sure what to do with the cash burning a hole in their post-wedding pockets! He suggests breaking the money down into four categories and putting together a plan that makes the most sense for you and your new groom.

Live:
Although spending smart will pay off in the long run, it’s also totally valid to want to use some of your wedding money for enjoyable activities. “Using some wedding cash to enhance a honeymoon, buy some new heirlooms for your family, or simply spend time doing something together can create invaluable memories,” said Mr. Walter.

Give:
Your friends and families just gave a lot of time and money to your big day, whether it was traveling a long distance or writing you a significant check. Giving custom-designed thank you notes, while a bit pricier, can be a great way to show your appreciation. Another idea from Mr. Walter is to solicit votes from wedding guests on a charity to donate a portion of your wedding money to.

Owe:
“If you financed a chunk of the wedding via credit card or other means of debt, then I’d give strong consideration of using some of the wedding cash to pay off that debt,” said Mr. Walter. “Also, if you have other lingering debt such as student loans, car loans, or other ongoing credit cards – using the cash can be a great way of getting a fresh start.” While it doesn’t sound glamorous, anyone with loans or debt can speak to how great it feels to have fewer monthly payments.

Grow:
If you’ve got your finances under in control and have already spent a bit of dough on fun memories or a charity, consider putting money into either a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA. “Invest in a diversified portfolio of either low cost mutual or index funds or a basket of exchange-traded-funds and don’t plan on touching it for a long time,” Mr. Wagner said. “Putting a chunk of change into investments when you’re young will go a long way as you allow the power of compound interest to work for you.”

At the end of the day, you and your groom need to decide what works best for your family and your situation. But these four categories are thoughtful ways to get started!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Claire Swinarski is a writer and podcaster based in Wisconsin. When she isn’t writing, she can be found obsessing over football, eating a burrito bowl, or hanging out with her husband and son.

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Bachelorette Camp Getaway Inspiration with the CUTEST Restored Trailers!

Bachelorette Campfest Inspiration

Forget glamping, this bachelorette getaway makes camping with the girls a straight-up luxury! Vintage trailers, a boho lounge, 5-course dinners, and a classy desert bar that doesn’t hold a candle to s’mores (and we seriously love s’mores…), the team, led by Lovelyfest +Kelsea Holder Photography, set up the ultimate boy-free camp-fest at Trailer Pond at Alta Colina Winery. Camping at a winery? SIGN US UP.

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This Texas Fete has all the Anthropologie Vibes.

If walking into Anthropologie gives you all the heart eyes, you’re going to want to spend some solid time with this dreamy Texas fete coordinated by Heavenly Day Events and designed by Gypsy Floral. I mean, can you EVEN?! And let’s just drop our jaws for this seriously beautiful Bride and her ‘maids. I mean, come on, does it get any prettier? Lauren Peele made sure to snap up every single inch and her images have happily consumed my morning. Join me right here.

From Heavenly Day EventsHiring the best that Austin has to offer certainly paid off for Kate and Wes. Just look at these stunning details… a timeless palate flawlessly combined with modern and Anthro touches that just somehow worked due to the meticulous design efforts made by Gypsy Floral. Wisely, they partnered with Loot Vintage Rentals, Birch & Brass and Premiere Event Rentals to bring all of these fabulous details to life. Building backdrops, creating displays and styling is something these designers clearly mastered. Of course, Prospect House is a dream that affords the best of natural light that can be chased all day against it’s crisp and white walls. A blank canvas for the best of all creativity to run wild. Photographer, Lauren Peele captured it with top level talent.

To provide a unique guest experience, Kate and Wes opted to hire Vannagram for memory making photos and chose to incorporate Voodoo Doughnuts in their dessert set up, alongside a cake from Sweet Treets Bakery. And yes, that’s with two E’s. Of course, part of the experience was having Peached Tortilla bring it home with an amazing menu. Known for their fusion, they wow’d guests with droolworthy awesomeness such as peach bbq sauce.

And can we talk about how stylish Kate is as a bride? I keep finding myself drawn to her look- that hair and makeup are breathtaking. Hint of Shimmer really brought out her natural beauty with a loose up-do and soft skin. As expected with a stylist of this caliber, Kate’s look managed to survive a night on the dance floor, courtesy of DJ Mark Warren, whom had guests on their feet all.night.long.

What does every wedding need to bring this all together? An event manager! Heavenly Day Events swooped in alongside Kate in the last six weeks to reconcile and tie it all in a bow. Having a fabulous team is on Heavenly Day’s “must have” list when considering clients and this was no exception in the fabulous team department.

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Photography: Lauren Peele | Event Coordination: Heavenly Day Events | Event Design: Gypsy Floral | Floral Design: Gypsy Floral | Cake: Sweet Treets Bakery | Catering: The Peached Tortilla | Hair and Makeup: Hint Of Shimmer | DJ: John Hislop | Ceremony and Reception: Prospect House | Donuts: Voodoo Doughnuts | Photo Booth: Vannagram & Co. | Rentals: Birch And Brass Rentals | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Premiere Events

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Sweet ‘n’ Natural Rustic Wedding in the Texas Hill Country

Romantic Outdoor Wedding

Ashley and Chris both grew up in small-town Texas where destiny brought them together via one particular athletic event: high school pole vaulting!! Chris immediately fell for Ashley and, after a bit of hard-to-get on her part, it wasn’t long before they were deep in teenage love. When it came time for these high school sweethearts to tie the knot, Ashley imagined an organic event, deep in the heart of…you guessed it!

botanical invitationleather bootiesbridesmaids in robesHayley Paige Wedding Dresspink bridesmaidswedding pupboho flower girlsgray suit groomsmenRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor Weddingolive oil favorsRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor Weddingnaked drip cakeRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor WeddingHayley Paige Wedding DressRomantic Outdoor WeddingRomantic Outdoor Wedding


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Don’t Forget to Bring These 5 Items On Your Honeymoon

One of the best ways to prevent pre-honeymoon stress is to give yourself a week or two to make your packing list and check it twice. You’ll, of course, want to think through the clothes you’ll need for the weather, the fancy outfits you’ll pack for your romantic dinners and the items from your lingerie shower that should make an appearance (ooh la la)! But don’t forget to think through the random items that might make your trip more comfortable and memorable. Here are five items not to leave off the list!

 


Medications
You probably have a mini first aid kit, but if it’s not already in there, Pepto Bismol is a definite must. Wherever you go you might encounter some different kinds of foods, and you never know how you’ll react. Taking Pepto tablets preventatively before a meal can prevent any discomfort – which is awesome because an extended visit to the bathroom isn’t, ahem, romantic. Also be sure not to forget any prescription medications or items you regularly take for any known conditions.


Sunscreen
You likely are hoping for some sun on your trip. Don’t get sunburned, just don’t do it. Besides the fact that it’s terrible for your skin, you don’t want to spend your honeymoon wincing every time your new hubby brushes your arm. It’s worth noting that sunscreen can be a lot more expensive in some countries, and can get marked up at many resorts, so if you have space, throw in a few travel sized bottles.


A notebook
Pack a small journal or your phone/tablet equipped with your note-taking app of choice. This will be an experience to remember for a lifetime. You’ll surely take hundreds of pictures, but there is also something special about remembering the names of the restaurants where you ate, the song that was playing at the bar, the type of pastry you couldn’t get enough of, what made you laugh so hard you cried on the train. As a bonus – when you get home you can use one of the photo-printing websites to compile your shots into a keepsake book with detailed captions.


A collapsible tote bag
Give yourself permission to gather a few souvenirs of your special trip. Pack a collapsible tote bag or duffle that takes up little space in your suitcase but gives you some extra real estate on the way back. A lightweight tote also doubles as the perfect beach bag, or bag to sling over your shoulder as you wander a local market.


Blister BandAids
Right now you’re likely mostly focused on deciding how much of your lingerie and new outfits you can cram in your suitcase. But don’t forget that more than likely you’ll end up wanting to take an impromptu stroll and spending some time exploring your destination on foot. You’ll want a comfortable pair of walking shoes, and I’ve found there is nothing better than the band-aids designed for blisters to help a new pair of shoes feel old and worn in (they even stay put in the water). You don’t want to cut any adventure short because your feet can’t cut it!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Chloe O’Sullivan is a freelance writer and sales director based in Washington DC (soon relocating to Northern New Hampshire). When she isn’t writing, she can be found trying new restaurants, planning her next trip, or hiking with her soon to be husband.

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How To Know If A Destination Wedding Is Right For You

Having a wedding at a far-off destination, either underneath tropical palm trees, in a quaint European village or on top of a mountain, can be beautiful and unique—but it’s not right for everyone. Here are some things you should consider before officially deciding to jet off with your wedding dress in tow.

Your Guests
Whether you have five guests or 100, the most important part of the wedding is who is there with you. Are your loved ones willing and able to travel to your destination? And will you be okay if there are a few who ultimately can’t attend? Make sure you are fully confident with your decision before moving forward!

The Communication
When you get married close to home, you have the luxury of seeing, and meeting, everyone and everything in person. You have the chance to become friendly with your vendors, and you get to see certain decisions come alive long before the day. But, with a destination, this isn’t always possible. Understand that you’ll be making a lot of choices via phone or email, and will have to be flexible when planning.

The Dress Code
If you envision your guests in tuxedos and floor-length gowns, you may want to rethink a destination wedding to a tropical island. If breezy and casual is more your speed, a wedding in the mountains may not work. This is also true for your own look: you want to look beautiful and be comfortable! Considering all of these little details will help you further decide if a destination is truly right for you.

Scheduling Events
If you are having your guests travel for your wedding, they most likely will be in the area for more than just one or two days. To accommodate them, you’ll need to schedule weekend events, whether it’s sit-down dinners, daytime activities, or simple gatherings to keep them entertained throughout the weekend (or week), not just the day of your wedding.

The Size
Circling back to number one, there may be some guests who won’t be able to attend. This means that if you imagined dancing the night away with your work BFF’s, second cousins and well, everyone you know, a destination may not be right for you. Even if the guest list is large, most destination weddings don’t accommodate huge groups, and you always have to be ready for a handful of guests who won’t be able to make it simply due to the travel.

While there are things to consider (and sometimes things to give up) when choosing a destination wedding, the pros often outweigh the cons. If you’re okay with all of the above, and your dream nuptials have you imagining sand in your toes at the beach or wrapped in a cozy blanket in the woods, it’s time to start planning that destination. Next step: plane tickets!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Jessica Tzikas is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager from South Florida, who recently moved back to the sunshine state after living in Philadelphia for the past few years. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading by the beach, practicing yoga, and exploring nearby towns with her new husband.

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1st Anniversary Celebration in Paradise

Hi readers, it’s Ali from A Dash of Details and former SMP Blogger Bride here to share our first anniversary in Maui, plus a few things I learned during our first year of marriage. After our honeymoon in Costa Rica, we knew we wanted to create a travel tradition for each anniversary and this year we were lucky enough to celebrate in Hawaiian paradise.

When we arrived at the Four Seasons Maui resort, we were greeted with traditional leis and ginger lemonade! It felt like we were right back on our honeymoon! From relaxing on the sandy beaches to beautiful dinners, this anniversary trip was the perfect time to reconnect and relax.

One of my favorite experiences during our stay was The Ultimate Dinner private dining experience. It was a unique and memorable way to reflect on the day we said “I Do.”

3 Lessons From Our 1st Year of Marriage

Compromise: My mom always said, “don’t sweat the small stuff” and oh, was she right. In the first year of marriage, I learned that compromise is the key to happy life.

Communication: While this seems simple, this can be the most difficult to learn. We have been together for almost ten years, and we have learned that spending the time to talk about our personal and relationship goals has created a strong foundation for our marriage.

Making Time for Each Other: With busy schedules, it can be tough to carve out time for each other. We started a tradition in our house to have a date night at least once a week. Whether it is dinner our favorite neighborhood restaurant or cooking a meal together at home; taking time for just the two of us have been so important in our growing relationship.

To keep updated on our life as a married couple, follow along over on A Dash of Details.

xoxo, Ali

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Photography: A Dash Of Details | Black Dress: Everything But Water | Black Swimsuit: Everything But Water | Blogger Bride: A Dash Of Details | Hat: Indego Africa | Resort: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea | Resort: Four Seasons Maui | Swimsuit: St. Bernard Sports

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Looking to Pantone’s Color of the Year for the Prettiest of Wedding Inspo

Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery, is playing the starring role in this wedding inspiration dreamed up by Ivory Birch and Alex Warschauer Photography. A mix of organic, rambling florals and greenery by Inessa Nichols and bright white surroundings of Lombardi House gives this inspiration classic vibes with a modern twist. See all the beauty unfold (and more of that emerald ring!) in the gallery.

As spring approached, Alex W Photography and Ivory Birch were in the midst of putting together another bridal editorial featuring some of Los Angeles most inspired wedding talent. The direction of the shoot was to incorporate clean white as a base palette, and tie in Pantone’s highlighted hues of green – with a kick of gold. I immediately knew that the creative direction of the shoot would be beautifully executed at the Lombardi House. Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, this hidden gem set the scene for our bridal editorial. Boasting vaulted ceilings, expansive white walls and country French flair – the background was accented by a stunning tablescape, a floral wall-installation, and the most pristine vintage Rolls Royce. Choosing a couple for a shoot is a particular task that can become daunting and overwhelming. We were fortunate to bring the models real-life boyfriend on set with us. Their chemistry was real, which allowed me to capture more genuine moments between the two. Not to mention, there’s a fun dynamic when working with your significant other. Kicking it into high-gear, we had to work quickly to work within a tight timeframe. The amount of detail incorporated, and the flawless execution – was a testament to our creative team. Lindsey (Ivory Birch) and I painted the scene of where integral settings would take place. While Inessa’s team started unloading a van (yes, an entire van!) full of florals, Dianuh was preparing to do a live-calligraphy session. Justin prepped the video camera, Mel pulled in the driveway with his beautifully polished car, and we were officially ‘a-go’!. They say it takes a village, which couldn’t be more true. I am grateful to be a part of an industry that allows creative minds to come together.

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Photography: Alex Warschauer Photography | Videography: MarmoFilms | Styling: Ivory Birch | Floral Design: Inessa Nichols | Wedding Dress: Gossamer | Jewelry: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup + Hair: Cheek to Cheek Artistry | Barn: The Lombardi House | Model: Becca Lane | Rentals: Archive Rentals

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