image by Nirav Patel Photography
You know that saying, when something “takes your breath away”? Today that literally happened to me.
Early this morning I received an email from one of my favorite couples on the planet, Lacy and Drew, with a link to these images from Nirav Patel Photography. I didn’t even get past the surfing pictures (yes, the bride and groom did a “first surf” the morning of their wedding… did I mention they were amazing??) before tearing up. I scrolled through the images and kept saying wow oh wow oh wow oh wow.
I dare you to look at these images — even if you don’t consider yourself a hopeless romantic — and not do the same. They are just STUNNING.
Not only did Nirav capture the incredible beauty of Lacy and Drew’s wedding perfectly, but he managed to accomplish that rare feat of capturing THEM as a couple — their genuine, fun, and laid back style, and most importantly, their bursting-at-the-seams, head-over-heels love for each other.
Working with Lacy and Drew felt like magic from Day 1. The first time I met with them at The Ferry Building, I was just wrapping up a meeting with another couple when they walked up and immediately started hugging the other bride and groom! Turns out they were great friends and not only did they attend each other’s weddings, but the groom I was meeting with officiated Lacy and Drew’s wedding (and, I will add, did an AMAZING job)!
From there, it didn’t take long for me to get to know Lacy and Drew and understand their core vision for the day. I connected them with some vendors I knew would be a great fit, including the mind-blowingly talented Svenja from Chestnut & Vine and Katie Powers Catering. Once we all visited the venue together for the first time, it was like YES. This is it. It’s real and amazing and this wedding is truly going to be an unforgettable, once in a lifetime event.
Side note: I remember at the end of that meeting sitting on the back patio with Lacy and Drew. I was mid-sentence when I noticed these beautiful little white flower petals blowing all around us in the breeze. I cut myself off and said out loud, "I'm sorry, is this real??”. We laughed and just took a moment to soak it all in. It was the kind of perfect where you felt like you accidentally wandered onto a set of a Jane Austen movie and Matthew Macfadyen was going to come around the corner at any moment.
But I digress!
All that is to say, I am so deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to be Lacy and Drew’s wedding planner and be a part of this incredible day. And in spite of the torrential downpour the morning of the wedding, not even rain could have stopped this wedding from being absolutely perfect. Although the sun coming out 45 minutes before the ceremony certainly didn’t hurt :)
Congratulations, Lacy + Drew!!
Okay, it's confession time.
One of my New Year's resolutions was to blog on a regular basis. I promised myself I would write a new blog at least once a week. It would be easy! I'd write about all of my weddings and new wedding trends and styling inspiration!
Then, wedding season hit :)
And while I haven't been blogging the past few months, I woke up this gorgeous 4th of July morning thinking of that fireworks scene in the second greatest movie of all time, The Sandlot (I grew up on this movie and have seen it probably no less than a hundred times). I realized that the way I feel about this year is exactly the way Squints, Ham, and Yeah-Yeah feel looking up at their neighborhood fireworks display -- in total awe.
This year has been nothing less than incredible. I've had the privilege of coordinating outdoor ceremonies in garden labyrinths, and helped pull off surprise mariachi bands and bridal party choreographed dances. I designed an outdoor vintage lounge area under strung globe lights, and planned dance parties by the pool. I'm perfecting the art of hand lettering using liquid chalk, and am having a blast designing personalized invitation suites and dinner menus for my couples. Since January, my weddings have been featured in Style Me Pretty THREE TIMES, and I just found one of my weddings featured on A Practical Wedding!
Needless to say, it's been an amazing, awe-inspiring past 6 months, and I'm so grateful for every day I get to wake up and do exactly what I know I'm meant to be doing.
Today I'm taking a little summer break to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year, complete with BBQ, sunshine, sparklers, swimsuits, fireworks, friends -- and with any luck, a little baseball :) I hope you get to do the same!
Happy wedding season, and happy 4th of July!
Happy Post-Valentine's Day!
Here's a little Friday sampling of four different invitations and save the dates for your viewing pleasure :)
Bold colors, art deco font, and a mountain skyline with a nod to Michael Schwab. At this wedding, expect an outdoor ceremony under a big ol' setting sun, bold pops of persimmon and pumpkin in the bride's bouquet, hearty local microbrews, and dancing the night away in a stunning mountain resort.
If this sounds like your wedding, snatch this url up now!
Backyard Garden Wedding
Romantic, elegant, intimate. I made this design with a garden wedding in mind -- one with maybe 50 guests and a backyard ceremony under a homemade garden arch (lightly adorned with seasonal flowers and hanging greens, of course!). Champagne cocktails served during the reception, and first dances outside beneath cafe lights and the trees.
Sweet, simple perfection.
Straight-to-the-Heart Save The Date
Fun, whimsical, but no frills. The little touches of this simple design -- a bold red watercolor heart and some hand drawn arrows -- are all that's needed to really express the core of the message here: two people love each other, and now they're doing something about it!
You know this wedding will be fun, sweet, and a true reflection of the couple's personality.
Colorful Beach Wedding
Festive flag pennants and a bold fun font, all in fiesta ware colors. Chances that this wedding on the beach will feature colorful paddle programs at the ceremony, a mariachi band, and an epic dessert buffet are about 100%. Guests at this wedding are going to be wowed by all of the unique DIY touches, and are straight up going to have FUN.
One of these days I promise to get all of these design samples up on a proper page on the website. For now, I'm just going to keep designing and blogging!
My total love and adoration for fonts can be summed up in this Oscar de la Renta dress.
Let me explain.
I am a huge, huge font nerd. I pore over new fonts the way my dad pores over the Sunday paper. I am fascinated by how a simple adjustment to the angle of a letter can conjure up a completely new mood and effect. When I'm working on a new wedding invitation or design, there's this moment that happens when I KNOW I've found the perfect font, when it just clicks, and it suddenly and completely all comes together.
I felt that same click (times a thousand) when I first laid eyes on this dress, and I realized it's the same with fonts as it is with fashion. The calculated angle of that bold black and white stripe pattern. The weight of the fabric. The perfectly complimentary accessories and updo…
I am as obsessed with this dress as I am with Bombshell Pro.
I promise all of this talk of fonts and Oscar de la Renta relates back to my Design A Day project!
When I started on this laurel wreath invitation (below), I knew I wanted it to be elegant, simple, and a little bit romantic. After playing around with different combinations of cursive and serif/non-serif fonts, it finally clicked when I combined Mr. Sheffield (this one, not this one) with a small caps version of Copperplate.
E voilà! Everything clicked :)
More to come tomorrow!
When I was a little kid and home sick from kindergarten, my mom used to buy me a new coloring book and a fresh box of crayons. I'd sit in our big oversized chair in the living room, turn on Sesame Street, and color my little heart out. In that way, getting sick was kind of the best treat ever.
Getting the flu when you're an adult isn't quite as fun, but this week as I fought it off, I turned to my adult version of a coloring book: Adobe Illustrator. And color I did! I made up wedding invitations, tested different fonts, designed monograms, and sketched out some save the dates. And although I watched a zillion episodes of Downton Abbey instead of Sesame Street, it still felt kind of like an awesome treat to design just for fun while I recovered.
So, inspired by play (and to make up for not blogging at all last month, whoops!), I'm sharing a Design A Day this week, both old and new.
First up, one of my faves:
I love starting with an image I adore -- in this case a rich oil painting of wild and romantic flowers -- and interpreting its personality through text and placement. I started with a more formal cursive font that just didn't feel right. The flowers were like, "camaaan, we're playful too!!". So I went with a font that's both elegant and playful, pulling the font color straight from the roses.
I don't know who Malia Thompson and Mark Davis are, but I'd totally go to their wedding.
Monday morning at Pizzaiolo... can I please start every day this way??
There's a part in Eat, Pray, Love where Elizabeth Gilbert is sitting on the floor of her apartment in Rome in pure unadulterated joy, savoring every moment of eating fresh asparagus, sitting in a sunbeam, reading an Italian newspaper. That is, until her "guilt alarm" goes off, and she hears the voice of her ex-husband in her ear, "So this is what you gave up everything for? This is why you gutted our entire life? For a few stalks of asparagus and an Italian newspaper?"
This is how I feel this morning, soaking in every sound and smell and taste at Pizzaolo.... The conversation with a sous chef boiling freshly caught crab. The crunch of my acme toast covered in blueberry jam. The crooning voice of Louis Armstrong playing overhead as I check my email.
"Is this what I gave up a stable job for, to enter the world of a thousand unknowns to start my own business? For some toast and to work from a cafe?"
My answer is the same as Elizabeth Gilbert's: a big, fat, YES.
Last week I had the opportunity to say thank you to some of the amazing people in my life who have supported my business over the past 12 months. Be Hitched, Event Planning & Design never would have happened (and grown so quickly!) without the support of my amazing community of friends and colleagues -- and what better way to say thank you then with a holiday fiesta??
The star of the party was definitely my jalapeño-infused Pomegranate Margaritas. In wintertime, I love taking cocktails usually associated with summer and reclaiming them for the holiday season. With some winter fruit and a bit of bite, margaritas are an unexpectedly perfect winter party drink.
To make these margaritas in a big batch, I highly recommend a Costco run (they have every ingredient). Here's what you'll need to make them:
Be Hitched Pomegranate Margaritas (serves 20)
4 Lonsam Carafes from IKEA (only $2.49 each!)
1 Liter Cazadores Reposado Tequila
2 cups Triple Sec
2 cups fresh lime juice
4 cups pomegranate juice
4 cups simple syrup
1.5 cups fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Lime slices from about 5 limes, for garnish
The morning of your party, pour the liter of tequila in one of the carafes. Slice the jalapeños in half, removing the seeds. Drop the four slices into the tequila carafe, cover with plastic wrap, and stick in the fridge.
1 hour before the party, make your margaritas in bulk. Add the following in each carafe:
1/2 cup jalapeño-infused tequila
1/4 cup triple sec
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup simple syrup
Cover each carafe with plastic wrap, stick in the fridge, and you're ready to go. I set up a DIY drink station for guests with pomegranate seeds and lime slices so they could serve themselves (under a gold glitter TREAT YO SELF banner I custom ordered from etsy).
Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would have been proud.
p.s. If you have no idea who Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle are, click here and here.
photo by The Weaver House
Okay, I'll be honest. I am so excited about Gabrielle + Paul's wedding featured in Green Wedding Shoes, but I've been struggling with this blog post because there are just SO MANY THINGS about Gabrielle and Paul's wedding that I want to share. These two were so amazing to work with, in part because they were both so genuinely excited about the planning process.
Gabrielle had an impeccable sense of style and vision which was reiterated by Paul. They were both on the same page, and I understood the tone they were going for immediately. Paul worked with me to take care of logistical details, and it was refreshing to be emailing back and forth with the groom for a change! (Plus he made his own tonic for the bar… if that's not the definition of an involved groom, than I don't know what is!)
Their style comes through so clearly via The Weaver House lens -- romantic, rustic, with a dash of Victorian elegance. I mean, just look at the bride's dress! Every single vendor and staff person on site that day (not to mention all of the guests) were going absolutely gaga for that dress. It was stunning beyond words.
And just to give you a sense of how beautiful and meaningful this wedding was, the minister who officiated the wedding was the midwife for BOTH the bride and the groom. Can you believe that?? And I discovered just before the start of the ceremony that she was also the midwife for my roommate and best friend -- such a small world!!
One of my personal favorite takeaways from this wedding was how it changed the way I do my "survival kits" for my weddings. At the end of the night, after seeing the 3-tiered Wedding Day Survival Kit in the bride's staging area, the groom feigned disappointment and said, "where's my survival kit??". Now I have a groom-centric kit with me at every wedding, with collar stays, a shoe brush, and even Old Spice deodorant. I lovingly refer to as "The Paul" :)
Congratulations Gabrielle + Paul!
photo (of the wedding couple, not Kate Hudson) by Greg Slick Photography
I am so lucky to be able to say that every wedding I coordinate is unique. Sometimes it's in the details of the day (a multigenerational chuppah, tonic water handmade by a groom, or ranunculus so bright pink you can hardly believe they're real). Other times, the uniqueness of the wedding shines through most in the people themselves.
That's how I felt when I first sat down with Tupelo + Brad to kickstart their planning process. I was immediately struck by the amount of thought these two had put into their family's involvement in the ceremony and throughout the wedding. Don't get me wrong, their wedding had some of the most unique and fabulous detailed touches I'd ever seen. The groomsmen all wore hand silk-screened ties featuring an image that represented them: a meat grinder for the chef, a typewriter for the writer, and a unicorn for the groom (because, according to the bride, "he's straight myth"). And that gorgeous silk dress you see on the bride? $50 on eBay. But clearly, family was a priority for these two.
Now I understand why. The bride, who happens to be a brilliant writer and novelist (the NY Times has said she is "such a poised storyteller that her prose practically struts"), has a piece published in this month's issue of Harper's Bazaar, entitled "Ready or Knot". In it, she describes with grace and wit all of the different pieces that shaped her life before and after meeting her fiancé. These pieces include relationships, illness, and tattoos that defied expectations.
As a wedding planner, I am constantly finding myself in awe at my weddings, and catch myself thinking, "how on earth is it possible that two people so clearly meant to be together actually found each other at the right time, and at the right place?" For me, it's impossible to not have that genuine feeling of admiration and wonderment be present throughout every aspect of my business -- from my first meeting with clients, to squeezing a bride's hand right before I open the doors to the ceremony. With Tupelo + Brad, that sense of wonderment has extended well beyond just their wedding day. Reading about what these two experienced before their wedding makes me think, "if it took stars aligning for these two to come together, then they've got some fierce celestial bodies looking out for them." And I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to help them navigate.
It was the best day ever.
Congratulations, Tupelo + Brad!