This Wedding is the Prettiest Ode to All Things Blue

Crafted by Jacin Fitzgerald, this Pippin Hill wedding has way too many pretty details to gush over in one little intro. Let’s start with the “Trade Your Tie for a Bowtie” bar (cute!!) or the personalized macarons by Laura Hooper Calligraphy and finish with those sweeping Virginia landscapes. But that’s only the beginning of this French country inspired celebration. Jump into all the stunning imagery captured by Ryan Ray. And if you missed it, take a peak at this couple’s seriously pretty engagement and pre-wedding festivities that include a good ol’ southern clam bake.

Colors

Seasons

Fall

Settings

Vineyard

Styles

Rustic

From the Bride… From the minute we got engaged, we knew we wanted to get married at Pippin Hill. We felt it was a perfect representation of the beauty of this special spot in the country where most of our guests had never been before. Fall is our favorite time in Charlottesville, so a September wedding was a no brainer for us. We wanted our wedding décor to have the same feel as the French countryside, with lush, overflowing flowers, woven baskets filled with lavender and herbs, and a rustic yet refined feel.

Working with Jacin was a true dream come true. She completely understood our vision for the wedding, and perfectly transformed the ideas in our head into reality. Working with her on the flowers was one of my favorite experiences from wedding planning, as flowers played such a big part in the décor for the day. I wanted a lush and loose bouquet, and the centerpieces to be low and overflowing flowers as well. We chose lots of champagne, cream, and blush-colored flowers, and the bridesmaids had pops of color in their bouquets. Jacin traveled to Nashville, TN to meet one weekend and pulled together the entire tablescape and flowers that we were going to use at my wedding. It was amazing to be able to see it all together in person and work with her on what I liked, and what I hoped to change. I loved watching her swap flowers in and out right in front of me. It was such an incredible interactive experience that I will never forget.

It was so fun to be able to get ready at Pippin Hill on the morning of our wedding, as we were able to watch Jacin and her team pull together the entire décor for the day. We could see all of the details that we had talked about and planned for the past year and a half come together, which was truly special. My bridesmaids and I had mimosas and were in a fun, celebratory mood all day long. It was a perfect getting-ready day!

We had absolutely stunning overflowing baskets of flowers that were at the entrance to the aisle for our ceremony. As for the ceremony, we wanted to stand at an altar, but did not want to block the incredible views of the mountains behind us—one of the main reasons why we chose to get married at Pippin Hill. Jacin found vintage screen doors that she then draped in flowers and greenery, which blended in beautifully with the natural beauty of our backdrop and made for an absolutely breathtaking altar.

Our wedding ceremony was both my and Ryan’s favorite time from the day. My dad walked me down the aisle to a string version of All I Want Is You by U2, his favorite band. Our dear friend from college officiated wonderfully, and he chose some very special poems and quotes to incorporate that resonated deeply with us. We had a ring warming ceremony, where we passed around our wedding bands through the guests for them to send their love and well wishes into. We also had one of the bridesmaids sing the song Halo with our string trio. It was so special to have her sing during our ceremony. While she was singing, we invited our immediate families to join us in lighting a unity candle, to symbolize the blending of our two families. Another one of my favorite parts of the ceremony was that two of my little nieces walked down the aisle as flower girls. They got a little diverted during their walk, which made everyone laugh, but they eventually made it down the aisle, cuter than ever. We wrote our own vows, and didn’t share them with each other beforehand, making it truly special hearing them for the first time at the ceremony. We followed the same pattern, so our vows would have a similar feel to them. We each said “I am here because…,” “I love you because…,” and “I promise to…” with three reasons for each. Ryan was pretty emotional during his vows, which ensured there was not a dry eye in the crowd.

Ryan loves wearing bowties, so we thought it would be fun to have a “trade your tie for a bow tie” bar at our cocktail hour. My mom worked for months on sewing bowties for every male at our wedding, and created lavender sachets for all of the women. They turned out so gorgeous (I still think she should open an Etsy shop!), and it was so fun seeing guests helping each other tie bowties at our cocktail hour. Jacin hung the bowties from vintage shutters, and placed bunches of lavender and other herbs in little vintage boxes and baskets all around them. She also lined the bars with beautiful hops, which added to the lush, green feeling of the day. We had a bluegrass band start the fun and merriment at our cocktail hour, and our signature cocktails were a hit. Everyone was able to watch the sun set behind the mountains during our cocktail hour—we couldn’t have timed it more perfectly.

Our centerpieces and tablescapes turned out perfectly. Jacin created the most gorgeous low and overflowing centerpieces with all of my favorite flowers, and surrounded them with tall candles, votive candles, little vases holding single stems of flowers, and herb pots. We chose vintage plates that had a variety of blue patterns on them to serve as charger plates, topped them with our hand torn menus and lavender sprigs, and used vintage silverware alongside them. We also had macarons serve as escort cards, with each guest’s name written on an individual macaron and placed in mini cake holders at each seat. The entire tablescape and place setting truly felt like we were back in France—I couldn’t have dreamed up something more gorgeous!

Our band, A Town A List, made sure our wedding reception was incredibly fun. Ryan and I danced to Zac Brown Band’s Loving You Easy, and I still get a rush of emotion every time I hear the song. Ryan and his mother invited all other mothers and sons to join them on the dance floor partway through their dance, which was so heartwarming to watch. Our band made sure no one left the dance floor all night, and we had an absolute blast. We ended the night with a sparkler sendoff while our band played The Saints Go Marching In. It was such a perfect day and night, we both wish we could relive it again.

We are so thankful for all of our vendors, who played such special roles in our planning and big day. I’ve already talked how much we appreciated Jacin and her whole team for planning the weekend of our dreams (which involved essentially two weddings!). She was such a joy to work with and has become a dear friend. She and her team made the whole weekend move seamlessly and perfectly, even playing the dual role of planner and florist. Our photographer, Ryan Ray, has provided us with some of the best memories of our special day, as our pictures are absolutely stunning and perfectly capture the feel from our special day (and Welcome Dinner). He was even right in the middle of the dance floor all night, missing nothing. Chelsea Petaja took our vision for paper goods and absolutely nailed it. I still cannot get over how beautiful our initiation packets were. Our videographer provided us with such a special video of our wedding, weaving in vintage film for parts of our day, that makes us cry every time we watch it. We cannot thank them enough!

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Photographer: Ryan Ray Photography | Videographer:: Shaking Hands Productions | Wedding Cake: Sweethaus | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Band: The Adrian Duke Project | Transportation: Albemarle And Ambassador Limo | Additional Bridesmaids Hair: Mariam Muhammad | Additional Bridesmaids Makeup: Tinsley Onuegbu | Bluegrass Band: Early Grove String Trio | Bow ties & Suspenders: High Cotton Ties | Bridal Gown: Vera Wang | Bride and Bridesmaids Hair & Makeup: Amanda Dang | Bride’s Earrings: David Yurman | Bridesmaids Monogrammed Bow Tie Tank Tops: LPE Designs on Etsy | Ceremony Musicians: Linden Trio | Ceremony Singer: Ashley Hogan | Cocktail Table Linens: Nuage Designs | Cork Board, Save the Dates, Seating Chart Design & Napkins: Southern Fried Paper | Flower Girl Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire: Kenneth Cole Reaction | Hand-made Bow Ties & Lavender Sachets: Beverley Venables, Mother of the Bride | Ice Cream Sandwiches: It’s-It | Invitations and Day-of Paper Goods Design & Calligraphy: Oh My Deer Handmades | Lighting, Sound & Stage: Blue Ridge AV & Lighting | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Macaron Hand Lettering: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Macarons: Buttercream Bakeshop | Martini Glasses, Easels & Trays: Festive Fare | Mother of the Bride Gown: Badgley Mischka | Mother of the Groom Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Place Settings, Glassware, Ceremony “Altar” Production & Vin: Southern Vintage | Ring Dish: Paloma’s Nest | Seating Chart Production: I Do Linens | Wedding Planning, Design & Florals: Jacin Fitzgerald Events

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Coastal Wedding Inspiration With Pink Sea Salt Details

Romantic Coastal Beach Inspiration

The beach wedding is an instant classic: between insane views, great weather, and the salt in your toes, it’s no wonder! We’re looooving this inspiration for a summer wedding, shot at the beautiful Panther Beach in Santa Cruz, California. In addition to all those beach perks, Panther Beach has incredible cliffs overlooking the ocean for a wedding, elopement, even engagement, that bring on the WOW factor. Designed and planned by Spreading Lovely, the colors + elements of this day have us craving a romantic day at the beach!!

marble invitationyellow ranunculus bouquetAlexandra Grecco DressRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach Inspirationyellow ranunculus bouquetRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationDonutsRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationAlexandra Grecco DressRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach Inspirationpink tabletop detailsRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach InspirationRomantic Coastal Beach Inspiration


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Stylish Southern Clambake Welcome Dinner

Now that we’ve gotten to drool over their engagement session, we’re stepping into Katie and Ryan’s clambake dinner that welcomed guests to Charlottesville for an unforgettable weekend. Held the night before their big day, Katie and Ryan took the opportunity to mingle with their loved ones who traveled from the East and West coasts, and paid homage to their both their home states with playful design choices by Jacin Fitzgerald throughout. Take a stroll through the gallery by Ryan Ray and stayed tuned for their big wedding day reveal!

From the bride… Ryan is from California and I’m from Massachusetts, but it was important to us to get married someplace that held special meaning to both of us. Charlottesville was an easy choice for us to make. We fell in love with the town during our three years of law school there and knew our families and friends would also adore its incredible small town charm. We wanted to find a way to show our appreciation for everyone traveling such great distances to celebrate with us on our special day, so we decided to invite everyone to a Welcome Dinner the night before our wedding. We were so fortunate that so many of our family and friends decided to make long weekends out of our wedding, so much so that almost every single guest decided to come to our Welcome Dinner!

Ryan and I traveled throughout the French countryside in a special trip we took after taking the bar exam, and we absolutely fell (even more) in love with the country. We worked with Jacin to bring the same feelings and imagery from the French countryside into the décor at our wedding, and she absolutely hit the ball out of the park. For our Welcome Dinner, we wanted a much more relaxed atmosphere that felt more like “home” to us. Both being from the coasts, “home” for us involves amazing seafood, being with family and friends, and a beachy relaxed atmosphere. Those are always our favorite nights. We decided, therefore, to do our take on an East coast meets West coast clam bake for our Welcome Dinner. We wanted it to be a fun, relaxed time, just like clam bakes on the beach are. We asked everyone to dress “Nantucket casual”—and our guests really took this theme to heart, coming out in droves in Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer. Ryan and I also built and painted our own cornhole set to be used at our Welcome Dinner, which had a California side and a Massachusetts side, as an ode to our roots.

Ryan and I really wanted to make sure we had a chance to truly thank everyone for coming so far to celebrate with us, so we decided to write out individualized letters on custom vintage postcards to every guest, which were placed on each guest’s place setting. We worked with Chelsea Petaja to choose eight different vintage Cape Cod and San Francisco postcard images, which she then turned into custom postcards for us. We spent weeks writing out letters to each guest, and everyone seemed to really love them, which truly warmed our hearts. We knew we were going to have lush, overflowing flowers at our wedding, so we wanted the tablescapes at the Welcome Dinner to have a very different feel. Our escort cards were scallop shells that Chelsea wrote everyone’s name and table number on—we still have ours today! Jacin used beach grass, fishing nets, lanterns, driftwood, and classic red and white seersucker napkins on each table, truly making the table feel coastal. Every seat also had corn holders and mini Tabasco sauce bottles. String lights and lanterns lined the pathway down from the cocktail hour area to the tent for dinner, and a guitarist played during dinner, really setting the tone for our fun evening. We were absolutely blown away by all of the décor. Jacin truly did transform our venue into a beachy atmosphere!

Our signature jalapeno margarita cocktail was a huge hit, and it was amazing seeing everyone drink our favorite beers from each coast in our koozies. Our East coast station included clam chowder, mini lobster rolls, and corn on the cob. Our West coast station included different types of tacos (including fish) and classic San Francisco garlic fries. And of course, we had oysters and a raw bar, fitting in both coasts.

Our Welcome Dinner was such a blast! It was really special for us to be able to chat with all of our guests that evening, and then be able to truly enjoy dancing at our wedding without worrying about having missed anyone. We asked some of our best friends from different time periods in our lives to give little speeches (or roasts), which ended up being extremely special to us, and the whole night was an amazing way to kick off the fun weekend and welcome our guests to Charlottesville. It made everyone excited for the wedding, and was a night I will never forget.

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Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Event Planning + Design: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Floral Design: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Lighting: The AV Company | Venue: Keswick Hall | Music: Peter Richardson | Napkins + Koozies: Southern Fried Paper | Paper Goods Design + Production: Oh My Deer Handmades | Rentals: Festive Fare Event Rentals | Shuttle Bus: Ambassador Limo | Specialty Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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Pretty French Blue Engagement Session in Nashville

Today isn’t an average Friday around SMP. Today is a pretty filled celebration of love with one special couple – Katie and Ryan – at the center. These two hired the dream team of Jacin Fitzgerald and Ryan Ray for their East-Meets-West-Coast Southern Wedding and we’re diving into all the events leading up to “I do.” First up – their darling engagement session set in Nashville. Get to know this sweet duo and sit tight for their clambake welcome dinner up next!

From the planner, Jacin FitzgeraldKatie and Ryan were a match in wedding planner/client heaven. Katie is from Cape Cod and Ryan is from San Francisco and they planned to marry in the South. I’m from New England, lived in San Francisco, and had recently relocated to the South when Katie reached out to inquire about my availability. From our very first phone call, I knew these two were special and I couldn’t wait to work with them over their extended engagement.

From their New England meets San Francisco in the South “Clam Bake” welcome dinner to their French Country-inspired wedding day, a nod to travels taken in their favorite place, we wanted to work together to really weave their story through the details without getting too kitschy or cute.

Subtle details were included to really make all of their guests feel welcomed and appreciated while exuding Katie + Ryan’s personalities to a T. Ryan Ray perfectly captured everything from their engagement session to their wedding weekend and we are so excited to share these photos with you today.

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Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Wedding Planning: Jacin Fitzgerald Events

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This Couple Hiked for Three Days to Get These Epic Engagement Shots in Norway

Norway Engagement

Where would you go for the engagement photos of your dreams? Would you hike the tree covered mountains, get your boots dirty, and make the trek up into the clouds? Well, that’s exactly what this couple did! Vikky + Artheme met each other at the end of 2011… Little did they know, but they soon would not be able to go a day without each other. Fast forward several years, and during a holiday trip to a ski resort, Artheme proposed to Vikky  — on the very edge of one of the highest slopes!

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Here’s What To Eat On Your Wedding Day—Dietitian-Approved!

Wedding planning can be stressful and even exhausting, but no one wants to feel anything but blissful on the big day. Nutrition plays a large role in how you feel both physically and emotionally. On your wedding day, it is important to make the right food choices to help you last from morning makeup and blowouts, all the way through to the final dance. These tips will not only keep you looking your best, but will help you feel energized enough to truly enjoy the day.


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Keep Breakfast 
Simple but include Complex Carbohydrates

The morning of may seem like the perfect time to dive into a celebratory brunch, but instead, stick with something similar to your regular routine. Try to keep this meal as simple as possible, while still incorporating complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the brain’s preferred source of fuel, meaning without them, many people feel somewhat drained. Choose whole grains for sources of complex carbohydrates, like steel cut oatmeal or 100% whole grain toast. These fiber-rich grains take longer to digest, meaning you will feel fuller for longer, and therefore, less likely to have an energy crash later.


Round Out the Morning Meal with Protein and Healthy Fats

Keep breakfast as balanced as possible by including lean protein and healthy fats with your complex carb choice. Both protein and fat provide satiating nutrients, and also help control any spikes in blood sugar. This means, you will feel satisfied all morning long, with a steady level of energy. Lean proteins are easier to digest than high-fat varieties, so skip the bacon or sausage, opting for an egg or low-fat Greek yogurt instead. Stick with healthy fat sources like 1 TBSP of chia seeds or ground flaxseeds to provide anti-inflammatory omega-3s, too. Even easier? Choose a plant-based protein, like nuts, for a high protein and healthy fat combo in one. Try 1 TBSP of almond butter, or other nut butter, to stir into your oats or spread onto toast.


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Use Caution with Caffeinated Beverage Choices

Caffeine is a morning must-have for many, but if flavored lattes, soda or juices are part of your routine, you may want to rethink your drink. The sugar in beverages adds up quickly, meaning these simple carbohydrates will leave you buzzing, followed by an energy crash. Instead, choose unsweetened coffee or tea with a milk of your choice, like a skim or almond milk latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon. You’ll still get the caffeine boost, just without the added sugars and probable crash later. In place of soda or juice, use still or sparkling water to quench your thirst. Staying hydrated helps avoid false hunger cues; plus, hydrated skin means an extra-glowy bridal complexion.


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Eat Small, Frequent Meals

One major energy zapper? Skipping meals. On your wedding day, mealtime may be the last thing you care to think about, but be sure to find time for fuel. Stick with small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day. Just as skipping a meal can drain your energy, overeating at meals causes similar issues. Consuming too much food at once can lead to discomfort or bloating, takes extra energy to digest, and ultimately leads to tiredness or fatigue. Instead, choose small, balanced meals and snacks. Ask a bridesmaid to stash easy, portable options, like fruit and nut bars, to avoid low energy levels and keep hunger pangs at bay.

Overall, incorporate these tips for healthful meals and snacks into your wedding day to take care of yourself and enjoy each special moment.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Amanda Baker Lemein, MS, RD, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer from Chicago. She works in private practice, helping both pediatric and adult clients find healthy lifestyles that work for a variety of nutrition needs.

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