European Garden-Inspired Wedding on the Eastern Shore

I’m typically not one to be at a loss for words but when this European garden-inspired wedding landed on my desk, I was left utterly speechless. It’s the design genius of Lauryn Prattes that made for incredible details like the bride’s favorite poem calligraphed on the table runner, not to mention floral works of art crafted by Sweet Root Village. Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography told the story behind her lens and this glimpse is only the beginning.

I’m typically not one to be at a loss for words but when this European garden-inspired wedding landed on my desk, I was left utterly speechless. It’s the design genius of Lauryn Prattes that made for incredible details like the bride’s favorite poem calligraphed on the table runner, not to mention floral works of art crafted by Sweet Root Village. Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography told the story behind her lens and this glimpse is only the beginning.

European Garden Inspiration: Lauren has the most incredible sense of style and decisive nature, making her an absolute dream bride! From the start, Lauren knew she wanted a long sleeve Berta Bridal Gown, which set the tone for the rest of the planning. Bridesmaids were dressed in chic black long gowns and the gentlemen donned a classic black tux. The venue is a private estate nestled along the Wye River in Maryland. Florals featuring lisianthus, greens, and other white blooms lined the ceremony aisle and guests tossed white rose petals and olive leaves at the couple after they said: “I Do”.

Upon arrival to the Eastern Shore of Maryland wedding guests were welcomed with custom curated welcome boxes featuring treats from a few special places to the couple – a postcard welcome note featured dogwoods from Virginia where the couple had previously lived, pralines from Charleston, New Jersey blueberry jam homemade by the bride and her grandmother and of course crab chips, a Maryland favorite.

The ceremony took place outside overlooking the Wye River. Pre-ceremony cocktails allowed guests to mingle until ready for the ceremony to start. As the couple walked back up the aisle they were showered in rose petals and olive leaves. During cocktail hour guests sipped on signature cocktails named after the bride and grooms pets, such as Pippa’s Prosecco Punch featuring a silhouette cut out of the bride’s Persian cat Pippa.

In lieu of a tent top, guests dined al fresco under a vine-covered structure and antiqued bronze chandeliers. Signature cocktails were named after the couple’s two pets and featured a silhouette cutout of each. Lauren and Randy danced their first dance together to The Four Season’s, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” a tribute to the groom’s Jersey roots. Place settings featured Art Italica plates with gold matte flatware and menu’s tucked into vellum envelopes with each guest name delicately calligraphed and sealed with a custom wax seal of the local Wye Oak tree. Green vine and a flower also adorned each place setting. Dinner included fresh ingredients from local farms and featured a Chesapeake rockfish and Old Bay rubbed sirloin. Lauren wanted each guest to enjoy the food that reminded her of home.

The head table featured a white paper runner with Lauren’s favorite poem from Pablo Neruda calligraphed on each end. This was covered with a hand dyed silk runner from silk and willow. The cake was a lemon elderflower cake decorated with white bas relief and green sugar vines. Guests also indulged in a local favorite, Smith Island cake, a traditional cake in Maryland with a true love story history.

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Photography: Abby Jiu Photography | Event Design: Lauryn Prattes Styling and Events | Floral Design: Sweet Root Village | Gown: Berta Bridal | Bakery: Buttercream Bakeshop | Makeup: Carl Ray Makeup Artist | Hair: Jewel Hair Design | Calligraphy: Spurle Gul Studios | Ceremony Music: Two Rivers Chamber Music | Venue: Wye River Estate | Tent: Sugarplum Tents | Custom Dyed Silk Ribbon: Honey Silks And Company | Invitation : Cavanaugh Press | Linens: Nuage Designs | Reception Band: Jump Street with East Coast Entertainment | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Vintage Rentals, Custom Bar and China: White Glove Rentals

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Don’t Buy Your Wedding Gown Without Seeing These Gorgeous Collections First

From the moment we laid our eyes on the newest Fall 2017 Collections from Allure Bridals, we realized one thing: not all wedding dresses are created equal. Because, guys? These are the stuff that wedding dreams are made of. From their elegantly modern Couture Collection to their lace + tulle-filled Romance Collection to the innovative designs of the Allure Collection, each stunning creation is sooo on point. Scroll for “the one”.

COUTURE COLLECTION

Allure Bridals has this way of leaving us speechless on a daily basis, and their newest Couture Collection is most definitely NOT an exception. Think dramatic, awe-inspiring gowns that will make a serious statement and you are sooo on the right track. From sweeping ball gowns to sexy sheaths to fabulous fit and flares, each breathtaking masterpiece is crafted with beautiful details and luxe fabrics (hello, sparkly beadwork). We wouldn’t expect anything less.

ROMANCE COLLECTION

If a fairy tale is what you’re looking for, then the new Romance Collection most def delivers on the princess vibe. We’re talking timeless creations that boast fabrics like charmeuse, tulle, English Net and lace, plus intricate stylings that would make even Cinderella jealous. And don’t even get us started on the beautiful silhouettes that show off your curves in just the right way. These are simply stunning, you guys.

ALLURE COLLECTION

If you’re looking for a classic gown with just a bit of a kick, the newest Allure Collection is where it’s AT. A sweet mix of dramatic and demure, it takes that traditional vibe to an entirely new level. From cathedral-worthy ball gowns to sleek styles that will light up any modern penthouse, they have you covered, no matter your wedding theme or locale. Not to mention the detachable trains. We can’t even.

Ready to find that gown of your dreams in the newest Allure Bridals Fall 2017 Collections? Visit Allure Bridals today to find a retailer near you – just be prepared to spend some time drooling over these beauties, because, well… they are THAT good.

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Boho-Inspired Vow Renewal in Ojai, California with a Baby Alpaca!

Modern Gypsy Vow Renewal Inspiration

At GWS, we believe that each + every day with the one you love is a reason to celebrate… So vow renewals + anniversary sessions hold a special place in our hearts! From concept to creation, serendipity was a recurring theme throughout the entire planning process of this styled shoot turned vow renewal for Ojai couple, Cristen + Gabriel. How did serendipity play a role? Well, while the photography team, Burgundy Blue, and farmer florist, Topa Flora, were scouting locations for the shoot, they bumped into Cristen + Gabriel, the owners of Sunstream Goods, and the two were thrilled to model for the shoot!

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5 Under the Radar Summer Bachelorette Party Destinations

Planning a wedding can feel like a full-time job at times, so the bachelorette weekend should be a stress-free, epic getaway to get you hyped for the big day. Summer is the perfect time to pack your bags and hit the road with your best girls! We’ve lined up five amazing destinations for squads across the country, unique in what they offer and at their best in the summer heat!


Nantucket
A beyond easy ferry ride from Cape Cod, this is where the rich and famous ‘summer’ (it’s a verb), but you and your best girls can too! The compact, cobblestone and sand covered island is at its peak in the summer months, always feeling quaint and forever picturesque. Grab a delicious seafood brunch at CRU, right on the water. Then you can spend the day either shopping on Main Street or at Dionis, one of the many white, sandy beaches. No girl’s weekend is complete without a night of dancing, and for that, we recommend Chicken Box: a completely unpretentious roadhouse complete with live music that is contractually danceable! Pack your most glamorous, floppy sun hat and shades and let Nantucket do the rest!

 


Savannah, Georgia
This city is stunning, low-key and full of historical Southern charm. Added bonus: you can drink openly in public. Choose a place to stay that is centrally located in the historic downtown, such as The Gastonian, as it will make getting around a breeze. If you’re trying to avoid the touristy pub scene, grab a password from the hotel or a local and visit Mata Hari’s Speakeasy pub for some great ambiance, live music and absinthe cocktails! Of course, your squad will probably be in need of some comfort food at some point, and Savannah is not in short supply. After visiting Mrs. Wilkie’s Dining Room for fried chicken, grits, and mac and cheese, don’t feel pressure to plan the day! Savannah is a very walkable city, just make yourselves some cocktails to-go and admire the beautiful architecture and sights and sounds!

 


Galena, Illinois
Definitely a bit off the beaten path, but only a 2.5 hour drive from Chicago, Galena is a scenic small-town overlooking the Galena River, perfect if you and your bridal party are hoping for some R & R. The weather is ideal from May-June, with the humidity picking up in late July. Take a tour of a winery, go horseback riding, or relax at the Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, where they offer exclusive bachelorette packages with massages, facials, lunch and of course, champagne. Just getting out of the bustle of real life and wedding planning and experiencing the quiet stillness of this tiny town makes a trip so worth it. The views from the rolling hills of forest while you’re pampered will help each of you feel refreshed and ready to dive back to wedding planning!

 


Banff, Alberta
If each of you have passports, can fit in a car, and love adventure, then pack your hiking shoes and head to Banff! Only a four-hour drive from Seattle, this town is located in the middle of the Canadian Rockies and can only be described as jaw-dropping. You can have your pick of hikes: Grassi Lakes in Canmore, Emerald Lake, Tunnel Mountain Trail or go canoeing in Lake Louise or Bow Valley River. This entire trip will be packed with perfect Instagram photo-ops, and really, what more can you ask for of a bachelorette party? Finish off the trip with a session at the Banff Upper Hot Springs and some beers at one of the many local breweries.

 


Palm Springs
This desert town is hip and perfect for the ultra-chic bride and her crew to escape to. Palm Springs is forever sunny, and iconic, which makes for the perfect summer trip. Grab a villa for the gang at the Avalon Palm Springs, and for drinks, make your way to “Bar,” a relaxed spot with a backyard vibe and tasty hipster cocktails. One of the draws of Palm Springs is the vast array of vintage, consignment and estate sale shopping there is to be done. The prices and amazing pieces (ranging from YSL to Barney’s) are not to be missed, you may even find some great wedding accessories you didn’t know you needed!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. You can typically find her in a cafe, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run.

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A Sun-Kissed Garden Engagement

Monday mornings are tough – there’s no debating that. But when you’ve got a ridiculously cute lovefest shot by The Ganeys at your fingertips, the day automatically looks so much better. Take a browse through the images and get to know this sweet duo, Michelle and Colton.

From The GaneysMichelle and Colton are one of the sweetest couples! We met at Bok Tower for their sun-filled engagement session. Bok Tower Gardens is a hidden gem in Central Florida. These two were champs and totally rocked their session, even with the warm weather! They made each other laugh throughout the day with their fun-loving personalities!

Colton and Michelle met back in college. When Colton was ready to pop the question, he knew he had to plan something good. They were planning on heading out to California for a road trip after he passed the bar exam, so he determined this would be a great opportunity to propose (I mean, does it get any better than California?). While planning the trip, they were both looking forward to the stay in Big Sur the most.

It just so happens, that the day that Big Sur was on their schedule, there were crazy wild fires. As they left Santa Barbara, the hotel called and canceled their hotel room, as the fire was within 100 miles. Shortly after, the restaurant where they had reservations called with the same news. Of course, this was pretty much crushing Colton’s plans. He had even hired a photographer to capture the proposal.

The photographer was super helpful throughout the rest of the process. She dropped a pin and Colton and Michelle headed that way to watch the sun set. Michelle didn’t pause to ask questions as they drove through a gated community. Needless to say, the proposal was a success and they have beautiful images to remember that moment!

These two are planning their December wedding and looking forward to celebrating with all of their family and friends!

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Photography: The Ganeys | Hair + Makeup: Blo Blow Dry Bar | Lace Dress: Impeccable Pig | Location: Bok Tower Gardens | Photo Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Skirt + Top: BHLDN

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Boho Sophistication Rules this Palm Springs Wedding

Hipster Palm Springs Wedding

So many couples are drawn by the allure of Palm Springs in all it’s beauty, so it’s super fun for us to show how different personalities can inspire a totally unique day under the dessert sun! Rachel + Ben brought a certain sophistication to their classy union, calling on a soft color palette, modern design elements, and a fashion sense that easily brings the word, “regal,” to mind!

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