A Barefoot Ceremony on a Sandbar with 360 Degree Ocean Views

In terms of ceremony spots, this middle of the ocean in the Maldives gem should probably win an award. It’s simple, undecorated natural beauty and it’s breathtaking. Plus, the whole celebration covers dream vacation and destination wedding all in one. Drool over every last insanely gorgeous image captured by the one and only Jose Villa. It’s all turquoise waters and blushing sunsets plus a knockout bride with beauty by TEAM Hair and Makeup and not one, but two stunning gowns right here.

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Winter

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Resort

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Al Fresco

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Photographer: Jose Villa Photography | Videographer: Joe Simon Wedding Films | Wedding Dress : Galia Lahav | Wedding Dress : Ines Di Santo | Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Ceremony and Reception : Gangehi Island Resort

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Travel Diary: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

rancho valencia resort san diego california

A few weeks ago, Jason and I (along with her 2 daughters) drove south for a relaxing weekend at the lovely Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe, California (about 20 minutes north of San Diego). You might recognize the resort name as we’ve featured a few weddings at this gorgeous location (see weddings here and here), but it also makes a great spot for a relaxing getaway – and I think it would make a great spot for a bachelorette weekend!

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Veil or Headpiece: Which one is right for you?

We know that no outfit is complete without an amazing accessory, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to your wedding day ensemble. But if you’re not sure if a veil or headpiece is right for you, we’re diving head first into the debut collection of headpieces and veils from Morilee Madeline Gardner to help. Because, this decision? It’s an important one. And we’re here to guide you to the perfect choice.

STUNNING VEILS

Long gone are the days when a veil was reserved for a more traditional + formal affair. The new rule? There are no rules. Which means that whether you plan on walking down the aisle in your childhood cathedral or across the beach to a seaside ceremony, a veil is a decision that really comes down to personal style. And that’s where Morilee Madeline Gardner’s new headpiece and veil collection comes in to play. From fingertip-length beauties edged with gorgeous lace and sequins to cathedral-length stunners crafted with metallic stitching and pearls, you’ll be making a statement no matter which lovely accessory you choose. Trust us on this one, loves… if you want to rock your inner Princess Kate, do it.

GORGEOUS HEADPIECES

Not quite sure a veil is right for you? Then a headpiece is the perfect choice. It adds just the right amount of WOW to your ensemble, without the traditional look you may be trying to avoid. Plus, have you seen the options from Morilee Madeline Gardner? From breathtaking crystal and rhinestone combs to gorgeous hair vines and stunning halos with floral side combs, you’ll most definitely leave all of your guests talking. Even better? Headpieces are perfect for ANY type of wedding – think a garden party soiree or country club celebration. Oh, and you can even wear a crown… gorgeous.

Ready to choose THE accessory that will make you shine on the Big Day? Head to Morilee Madeline Gardner to check out their new headpiece and veil collection to find the piece that is right for you. Because these beauties are created to complement their stunning gowns, you guys. And we can’t wait to see your look.

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Do’s and Don’ts For Picking The Perfect Bridal Party

Choosing your bridal party is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. You’re choosing the women who will be standing by your side on the most important day of your life, and it’s a place of honor. They’re also the ones who will be throwing your bachelorette party, attending your bridal shower, and getting excited with you on the morning of the big day.

Here’s a handful of tips on choosing a supportive sisterhood for the day of your wedding.

Do: Decide on a number ahead of time.

With your groom, figure out a realistic number of groomsmen and bridesmaids. You may have a mile-long list of girls to ask, but if he only has three ideas for groomsmen, you’ll need to do some compromising. Consider the size of your wedding, too—you might not want a 20-person bridal party with only 50 guests in the audience.

Don’t: Ask brand new friends.

Adding friends you’ve only recently met to your bridal party can sometimes be a decision you regret later. Even if a new pal has major best-friend potential, it’s hard to know how they’ll act in stressful situations like weddings if you haven’t experienced them with her before. With a brand new friend, it can also be difficult to see if you’ll still be as tight a year from now, or if they’re just the kind of friend who latches and leaves. For your bridal party, stick to friends you’ve known for at least a year. At the same time, just because you’ve known your childhood neighbor for 25 years doesn’t mean she deserves a spot in your wedding party. Pick friends who have proven loyalty and kindness, not just who you’ve known the longest.

Do: Consider costs.

At the end of the day, being a bridesmaid can get pricey. Most “who-buys-what” traditions have fallen by the wayside, and bridesmaids are often responsible for purchasing the dress, hair, makeup, gift, and travel costs—and that’s not even including the shower or bachelorette party! If you have a friend who’s super strapped for cash, don’t put that pressure on her. It’ll put her in an awkward situation and leave you feeling terrible for going with the more expensive gown. Be upfront when asking bridesmaids what your expectations are so they’re not left in the dark.

Don’t: Ask someone who doesn’t support your marriage.

If your groom thinks your college roommate’s quirks are obnoxious, that’s one thing, but if the friend you want to ask has tried to talk you out of your marriage? There can’t be a place for them in the bridal party. They don’t need to be best friends, but if your groom and your friend can’t see eye-to-eye, your groom has to win this one. It’s the day you two become one, and you don’t want any naysayers at the head table.

Do: Avoid negativity.

We all have that friend who complains about getting sunburned on beautiful days. You don’t want someone who will be constantly bringing down your mood around you on your wedding day. The last thing you want on the morning of your wedding is someone who’s whining about the short dress or questioning your makeup choices!

Don’t: Ask people just because they asked you.

Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor, but don’t feel pressure to ask friends simply because they asked you. As times change, who you surround yourself with changes as well, and you may not be as close to friends as you once were. Or maybe you’re having fewer maids, or you want to include every one of the groom’s five sisters (so nice of you)! The point is, don’t feel constricted by repaying favors.

The great thing about weddings? There are a million jobs that need doing. If your cousin or coworker doesn’t make the cut but you still want them to feel involved, give them another job, like a personal attendant or reader. There’s room for everyone on your wedding day—but keep your bridal party for the near and dear to your heart.

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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One Couple Ditched Tradition for a Photo Sesh on the Beaches of Maldives

If you’re suffering from a case of wanderlust, consider this your lucky day. We’re traveling to beautiful Maldives with one amazing couple, Lynda and Vu. These two gathered their closest family and friends for a destination wedding in paradise and this mini session featuring beauty by TEAM Hair & Makeup and photography by Jose Villa is only the beginning. Stay tuned for their “I do” coming up this afternoon!

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Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Hair + Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup

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Salt Flats Pop-Up Wedding in the California Desert

Salt Flats Wedding

Have you ever considered having a pop-up wedding? As in a wedding out in the wilderness, where you bring everything to set up a ceremony space, and make it completely your own? Well, today’s minimal desert wedding out on the Salt Flats in Palm Springs *might* just convince you. Jules (affectionally known as JuJu) by her darling, Mark, met on Tinder and decided to elope in the desert of California with just their closest friends + family. The two each got ready in an Airbnb, surrounded by their best friends… Jules gifted her gals, or “babes” super RAD leather jackets, which she screen printed herself (you’ll see them below!). Following their first look in a cactus garden — captured perfectly by the ever-amazing India Earl, everyone loaded up on a party bus and took the 1 1/2 drive out to the California Salt Flats.

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Honeymoons of the Rich + Famous: Where Your Favorite Celebs Celebrate “I Do”

Stars, they’re just like us, right? Wrong. Majorly wrong, at least when it comes to their honeymoons because when celebrities honeymoon, they don’t just go to a fabulous beach resort and lie in the sun for a week, they go to several five-star resorts and lie in the sun for several weeks. Jealous? Us, too, and just wait until you read the details below!

Pippa Middleton + James Matthews
According to sources, Pippa and James will spend the first leg of their honeymoon on the Pacific island of Tetiaroa, an island once owned by Marlon Brandon and now known as The Brando. With 35 thatched villas, each with their own outdoor bath and infinity pool, this eco-friendly luxury resort is basically paradise. After their romantic week on the island, the newlyweds will head back to the U.K. to the Scottish Highlands, where the groom’s family owns an estate.

Kate Middleton + Prince William
To state the obvious, Kate and Will’s royal honeymoon was worthy of royalty. Following their wedding of the century, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jetted off to the ultra exclusive North Island of the Seychelles for a 10-day honeymoon that reportedly cost $720,000. Included in that whopping price tag? A private villa, butler service, unlimited scuba diving and spa treatments — talk about the royal treatment!

Miranda Kerr + Evan Spiegel
The supermodel and Snapchat CEO jetted off to Fiji to celebrate their new marriage at the Laucala Island Resort, an exclusive island resort that sits on 3,500 acres in gorgeous Fiji that averages anywhere between $12,000 – $60,00 per night. The resort is completely secluded and only accessible via private jet. Each villa offers private infinity pools, floor to ceiling windows, 360 degrees of unreal views… need I say more?

Jennifer Aniston + Justin Theroux
We can credit the latest “groupmoon” trend to Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, who jetted off to Bora Bora with a group of close friends in tow, following their surprise backyard wedding. The group allegedly holed up in the luxe Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, an enclave of 120 bungalows and overwater villas set on a private island, accessible only by the hotel’s yacht.

Amal Alamuddin + George Clooney
Mr. and Mrs. Clooney are probably in nesting mode following the birth of twins (Ella and Alexander — so stinkin’ cute), but these new parents are quite the globetrotters! The details on their honeymoon are a little iffy, but sources report the two relaxed on the Seychelles’ secluded North Island or traveled to their English estate following their romantic Venice nuptials. Either way, we wouldn’t say no to a romantic two weeks with George Clooney!

Carrie Underwood + Mike Fisher
For their July 2010 honeymoon, Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher headed to the islands of Tahiti for a romantic vacation in paradise. The two stayed at Le Taha’a Resort, where they went swimming, snorkeling with sharks and on a helicopter tour of the island.

Whitney Port + Tim Rosenman
After their Palm Springs nuptials, Whitney Port and Tim Rosenman headed to Fiji’s Royal Davui Island Resort, a remote paradise on a 10-acre island in the South Seas. The resort features 16 thatched villas with endless views of white sand and crystal clear water.

Victoria Beckham + David Beckham
For their 10th anniversary, Posh and Becks escaped to the Seychelles for an intimate getaway in the tropical paradise. Private, pristine beaches and an exclusive eco-friendly spa were just some of the luxuries the two enjoyed on their anniversarymoon.

Jessica Biel + Justin Timberlake
Following their super-secret and oh-so-romantic Italian wedding, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake embarked on an adventure to Tanzania, Africa for one wild honeymoon. The newlyweds stayed at the luxurious Singita Faru Faru Lodge in Grumeti, where they enjoyed the private reserve, hot air ballooning and four-by-four rides.

Blake Lively + Ryan Reynolds
After saying “I do” at a hush-hush wedding at South Carolina’s Boone Hall Plantation, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds flew to Africa for what they thought would be a romantic safari honeymoon. Unfortunately, the honeymoon was cut short when the couple had to fly to Canada so he could film his project, “The Captive.” But, to make up for their honeymoon that wasn’t, the duo celebrated their first anniversary in the Maldives.

Gabrielle Union + Dwayne Wade
Not one. Not two. But three dreamy destinations were on the itinerary for Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade’s epic honeymoon. First up, the newlyweds hit the idyllic beaches of the Maldives, frolicking in the crystal clear water. Then, they headed to the Serengeti Desert in Tanzania for an exotic safari before finally heading to the Seychelles for some serious R&R (romance and relaxation)!

Fergie + Josh Duhamel
Like some of the others on this list, one honeymoon destination wasn’t enough for Fergie and Josh. The newlyweds rented a private villa at the One & Only Reethi Rah resort in the Maldives, which features lush tropical lagoons and endless white sand beaches. The newlyweds finished their honeymoon festivities with a post-wedding trip in the Bahamas.

Katie Holmes + Tom Cruise
Though they’re no longer together, TomKat had a honeymoon as over-the-top as their romance (couch, anyone?). The couple spent part of their honeymoon sailing around the Maldives on a private yacht and allegedly dined at an underwater restaurant during their stay. Casual, right?

Nicole Kidman + Keith Urban
For $15,000 per night, you too can honeymoon like Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. The native Australians celebrated newlywed bliss at the positively breathtaking St. Regis Bora Bora. Their private villa featured a massive over-water suite, fully equipped with butler service and a private swimming pool.

Lauren Conrad + William Tell
After a super romantic wedding in her native Southern California, the former reality star and her new husband jetted off to Italy where the newlyweds ate their way through the country. “We did a tour of pizza, it was like pizza every night,” she told E! News.

Reese Witherspoon + Jim Toth
When you’re a celebrity, taking two honeymoons is no big deal, which is why Reese Witherspoon and her hubs, Jim Toth, did just that, planning a family-friendly honeymoon in Belize with her two children followed up with a romantic adults-only escape to Le Sirenuse on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

Chrissy Tiegen + John Legend
Everyone’s favorite couple had pretty much everyone’s dream wedding: saying “I do” in Italy’s picturesque Lake Como. The dream with a honeymoon spent in the majestic town of Portofino on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where Chrissy tweeted she and John spent part of their honeymoon playing video games!

Leighton Meester + Adam Brody
The super-secretive couple kept details of their wedding on the down-low, but the couple reportedly spent four heavenly days at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico.

Nikki Reed + Ian Somerholder
When one beach paradise isn’t enough, why not visit three? That seems to be what was going through Nikki Reed and Ian Somerholder’s minds when they planned their sun-soaked honeymoon to Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum + Channing Tatum
Though Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum’s honeymoon in Bali sounds like a trip to paradise, food poisoning kept the couple from enjoying all of the incredible activities the island has to offer. But they were still able to get matching tattoos that read “side by side.”

Beyoncé + Jay Z
Bey and Jay’s honeymoon may come as a surprise to you. Instead of jetting off to some tropical paradise, the king and queen of music headed West to the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain for some R&R. The Arizona resort boasts a four-star, award-winning spa and luxe guests rooms with sweeping mountain views.

Mila Kunis + Ashton Kutcher
Following a relationship that spanned decades, the former That 70’s Show costars enjoyed a no-frills close-to-home honeymoon at Yosemite National Park with their sweet daughter in tow. Their low-key honeymoon is proof you don’t have to break the bank for a romantic getaway!

Kim Kardashian + Kanye West
How do you top an extravagant rehearsal dinner at Versailles followed by an absolute dream wedding at a Tuscan villa? With a honeymoon in Ireland, of course! The notoriously over-the-top couple relaxed at the Castlemartyr Resort, filling their days touring the Ballyhoura Mountains, picnicking and going to the movies. Yes, you read that right, the movies, where they saw X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Sofia Vergara + Joe Manganiello
Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello said “I do” in a destination worthy of a honeymoon, Palm Beach’s The Breakers, but that didn’t stop them from heading to Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos for their ultra-romantic honeymoon at the luxury private-island resort.

Megan Fox + Brian Austin
No passports were required for Megan Fox and Brian Austin’s romantic honeymoon at the Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii’s exclusive Kona Coast. According to E! News, the newlyweds spent a good part of their trip pampering themselves with the Romance Escape Package, that features soothing baths in a hinoki tub, aromatherapy wraps and 80-minute massages.

Jennifer Garner + Ben Affleck
Instead of jetting off to a new destination, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck decided to honeymoon at Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos,where they said “I do.” The low-key honeymoon was just what the couple needed, since Jennifer was four months pregnant at the time.

Eniko Parrish + Kevin Hart
Happily ever after started with a lavish Santa Barbara wedding and continued with the #HARTSinSTBARTHS for Eniko Parrish and Kevin Hart. The newlyweds checked in the Eden Rock Hotel & Villas, a luxury Caribbean resort surrounded by pristine white beaches.

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