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Greek Orthodox Northern California Wedding

Don’t get me wrong, the rest of this wedding is hold-the-phone gorgeous, but even getting past this first bouquet image? Well, it’s easier said than done. The prettiest mix of peonies, garden roses and ranunculus by Mandolin Floral, it’s a Pinterest sensation just waiting to happen and we certainly wouldn’t blame you if stopped to stare All. Day. Long. More wedding goodness from DeFiore Photography in the gallery right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Hotel

From DeFiore PhotographySandra and Chris traveled 3,000 miles to exchange vows and celebrate their wedding in the heart of wine county in Northern California- the very same place they got engaged! Sandra’s family choose the ascension cathedral to pay homage to Sandra’s greek upbringing. Their Greek orthodox wedding ceremony took my breath away. The fact that Sandra and Chris choose an area so rich with culture and tradition while incorporating so many of their personal touches is a testament to their deep connection to family and desire to blend their distinct personalities into the wedding day. Shades of pinks, blushes, ivories and gold complimented their day and it all came together like an excellent, balanced glass of Pinot Noir. I have a special place in my heart for eucalyptus, Peonies and letter press so the natural Mandolin flowers and Postscript paired together perfectly on the invitation suite.

Sandra wore a delicate strapless modern lace Vera Wang and Chris’s black tux with pink bow tie matched the featured wedding color. Their look was simple, classic and elegant. 

The wedding and reception took place at the Auberge De Soleil, one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph. There’s something alluring about Northern California, the lush, rich feel of the ocean air that’s so enticing, and a nice change of pace from mountains of Northern Colorado.

I’ve been coming to Northern California on and off for years, but Sandra and Chris’s wedding was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to take in the richness of the landscape while documenting such a beautiful affair. Just a few of the things I love about “Wine Country” ; the wild rosemary and olive trees, mixed with a hint of ocean air from the bay. The turning of the grape leaves and the quiet stillness just after the harvest. The valley was still bustling, but over all, it held a quite space. The grapes had been pulled from the vines, which means it’s time for people to quietly retreat and close things up for the winter.

This energy was perfect for Sandra and Chris’s intimate wedding cerebration. The warm, golden light of October in wine county was the perfect shade for all the outdoor photographs and really helped to set the mood for the whole event. A rainbow means something different in each culture, but to me it’s a symbol of promise and connection. This is what I see in store for Chris and Sandra. Their connection is undeniable – and made this wedding celebration was a perfect kick-off to a new life together.

Photography: DeFiore Photography | Flowers: Mandolin Floral | Invitations: Postscript Paper | Ceremony: Ascension Cathedral | Reception: Auberge Du Soleil | Band: Shake | Film Lab: The Find Lab | Jewelry- Wedding Bands, Engagement: Fuenfer Jewelers | Rehearsal Dinner: Silverado Vineyards | Venue: Auberge Du Soleil | Wedding Attire: Vera's House Of Bridal

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DIY Fluttering Heart Sign

Do you hear that? That m’dears is the sound of our heart strings going pitter patter. Why you might ask? Because today is the day we get to share our newest DIY from the lens of Ruth Eileen Photography. A sweet little signage that is pure ombre goodness, guaranteed to set your hearts aflutter. Scroll below for every pastel petal detail!

MaterialsCanvas in size of your choice, we used 24”x36”
10-15 sheets white cardstock paper
RIT fabric dye
Heart hole punchers in two sizes, we used this one and this one
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Bone folder
Scissors
Pencil
Ruler

instructions

step-1Fill a large mixing bowl with hot water and slowly stir in a pinch of dye. Test the color with a scrap of paper towel and continue adding dye until you reach the lightest color you’d like for your ombre.

step-2Lay down a trash bag or piece of cardboard on the floor to keep your workspace clean. Lay out several sheets of paper towel to cover the cardboard or trash bag, it will help the paper dry.

step-3Cut the cardstock sheets in half. Dip in a piece of paper until as submerged as possible (you may want to put on some latex gloves for this part), then remove after a minute or so and lay on the paper towels. Repeat until about ⅓ of the cardstock is dyed.

step-4Add more dye to the mixing bowl to create a darker shade. Repeat step 3 to dye another ⅓ of the cardstock.

step-5Add even more dye to create your darkest shade and repeat step 3 to dye the remaining cardstock. Let the cardstock air dry for several hours.

step-6Use the heart punches to cut out heart shapes in two sizes. You need about twice as many small hearts as big hearts. Keep the cut hearts separated by size and shade in six different bowls.

step-7Use the bone folder to draw a line down the center of each heart, then fold in half with your fingers.

step-8Use a ruler to evenly draw out the monogram letters. We made two evenly spaced boxes about 6” away from the edge of the canvas. Then we drew the letters inside the boxes, and added a plus sign in between the letters. You could also use a large stencil or print out large letters in a font you like, then cut them out to trace onto the canvas.

step-9Lay the canvas on a flat surface like a table. Lay out the big hearts over the letters, with the darkest shade at the top and the lightest at the bottom. Leave an inch or so between each big heart, then fill in with the little hearts. Place the hearts haphazardly in every direction and fill in as much negative space as possible.

step-10Once you are satisfied with your placement, hot glue the hearts in place by picking up and gluing one heart at a time. Use an eraser to get rid of any stray pencil marks, then hang the sign on the wall or prop on an easel.

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

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Romantic Botanical Garden Wedding

It’s official. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the gardens in St. Louis, and this this darling fete is the reason why. From the personalized parasols, to the brass band parade, to the sentimental ceremony, every detail Jordan Brittley captured is pure loveliness. Scroll below for a first glimpse at the pretty, and don’t miss the gallery all waiting right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Romantic

From Jordan BrittleyThis darling wedding is going to have you falling head over heels in love with the gardens in St Louis. And don’t miss the beautiful cake & parasols that the bride had specifically made for each of her maids!

From the beautiful Bride… We chose to get married in the STL Botanical Gardens because our first date was to art exhibit of Monet Nympheas. (Also a wedding present to ourselves – large copy of the piece) Although its no Giverny, A garden only seemed right. We were hopeful that the reflecting pond would have blooming water lilies (bit too early). We also fell in love with New Orleans (We were long distance while Chris worked hard at Tulane’s Medicine Internship) therefore we wanted to do a second line. It’s a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. We marched to the Dixieland tune of “When the saints come marching in’ to celebrate our entrance to the reception as Husband and wife. The St louis Big Band was great enough to play.

As for the ceremony we had Sanskrit (Hindu), His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and Christian reading John 17: 20-23. We wanted our readings to represent our varied background (my Nepali Tibetan background) and his Christian background.

Photography: Jordan Brittley | Videography: Jordan Brittley | Floral Design: Walter Knoll | Dress: Simply Elegant Bridal | Cake: Cravings | Ceremony Venue: St Cecilias | Reception Venue: Botanical Gardens | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: St Louis Catering | Ceremony Quartette: Quartette Accord | Earrings: Nadri | Limo: JED Limo | Parasols: Heart And Soul Wedding | Reception Band: St Louis Big Band | Veil: Simply Elegant Bridal

5 Budget-Friendly Secrets from a Wedding Planner

Hi SMP Brides, it’s Ali from A Dash of Details back to talk all things wedding planning. When it comes to organizing the chaos, a wedding planner is a MUST to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch. So without further ado, I want to introduce all of you to my amazing planner, Jen from Imoni Events. Finding someone who truly understands your style, vision and of course, budget is so important. For me, that’s Jen!

Since we’re planning our destination wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona and I’m currently living in Dallas, being organized and having someone keep me on track have been essentials to our zero-stress planning process. We have nailed down all the big details for the day, like the date (that’s a big one!), the venue, the band, and our amazing photographer, Elyse Hall

Jen and I are working to create my dream wedding and wanted to share some top tips and tricks on how you can create your dream wedding without breaking the bank. We stopped by Butterfly Petals to take a look at a few of the creative details and pick Jen’s brain along the way!

ALI: WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDING PLANNING, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU CONSIDER WITH A COUPLE? 

JEN: Without a doubt, the first thing I ask my couples is, “Tell me what’s going on?” This usually relates to why they scheduled the meeting, what they are looking for in a planner and what they envision for their dream wedding. I quickly move on to the more detailed about the couple. How did they meet? What did they do on their first date? How did he propose? What do they do for fun? Really, anything to give me insight as to who they are as individuals and as a couple. It really helps me to know who it is I am working with and how I will relate to them during one the most special months of their life. Most importantly, I am able to use those stories and interactions to create details that we can wrap into the entire wedding design that shares the couples love story.

ALI: WHAT TIPS DO YOU GIVE YOUR COUPLES WHEN DECIDING ON WHERE AND WHEN TO HOST THEIR BIG DAY? 

JEN: As you know the first question when it comes to venue is budget. Most couples do look at style of venue before really considering their overall bottom line. The look of the venue is important, yes, but if you look at venue without establishing a good working budget then most brides either blow their imaginary budget, or go venue poor and can’t really do anything else at a high level. It is so important to establish an estimated number of guests and how much you want to spend. Once the number is set, we look at venues that fit the style the couple is going for, within budget, and can accommodate the guest count. This is quite the puzzle. But once you figure it out, everything else falls into place nicely.

ALI: WHAT ARE SOME TIPS TO GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET?

JEN: First of all, I think everyone should feel pictures and video are worth spending on. When it is all said they’re all you have left. That being said, you really need to ask your planner for great people within your price point. I have been doing this for twelve years and I have not had one year go by where there wasn’t an amazing photographer that is priced in the “budget range.” For whatever reason, the photographer may be starting out, or they made a conscience choice to keep their prices low, you can always find talented photographers at every price point. This also takes a planner who really keep a pulse on the market, AND can recognize good work.

ALI: ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO MAKE DESIGN DETAILS UNIQUE WITHOUT BURSTING THE BUDGET?

Jen: I try to look at the things that we know we are going to spend on anyway. For example, this past weekend I had a groom whose mom passed away and she grew her favorite flower in their gardens back home. He wanted to use this flower in the wedding, but they were nowhere near in season or available. Instead I had a watercolor made and included it on the invitations, menus, cake, and other details that we were making anyway. To the family that attended the wedding, it meant so much to see that flower everywhere. If there is something meaningful, try and look at what you know you have to have and make those items mean something.

ALI: FLOWERS. EVERYONE LOVES THEM BUT THEY ARE CERTAINLY A PRETTY PENNY. AFTER SPENDING ENDLESS HOURS ON PINTEREST AND THE SMP FLOWER GALLERY, WE DECIDED ON A VERY ORGANIC LOOK AND FELL. SO WHEN IT COMES TO LARGE, LUSH ARRANGEMENTS, HOW CAN YOU KEEP COSTS DOWN WHILE GETTING THAT DREAM LOOK?

JEN: Well some couples see a picture and just can’t imagine anything else except what is right in front of them. So it is hard to bring them into a more budget friendly flower arena, if you are not careful. It’s important to create a style board or design plan that incorporates a specific style, color palette and overall feel of the wedding. Once that happens the actual flowers are irrelevant. We can tweak little things here and there to give the same feel with a different flower or various sizes and scales of such arrangements. Ultimately “the style” of the wedding comes through, not the specifics. This is very similar to style trends in the fashion world. You can create a specific look with many different pieces as long as the colors, style and overall feel are the same. Be open-minded and trust your designer. And if you have all the money in the world, spend it on flowers. It’s worth it!

I hope you these tips and tricks help as you plan you big day! The special details are what make your wedding unique, but remember that your dream wedding does not have to burst your budget. Thanks for following along!

xoxo, Ali

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Wedding Planner: Imoni Events | Florist: Butterfly Petals | Florist: Butterfly Petals | Engagement Ring: Tivol | Hair and Makeup: BeGlammed | Black Jeans: Paige Denim | Blogger: A Dash of Details | Bracelets: J.Crew | Heels: Steven by Steve Madden | Heels: Manolo Blahnik | Linens: La Tavola | Outfit 1: White Top: Heidi Merrick | Outfit 2- Sweater Dress: Intermix | Paper And Design Studio: Page And Mason | Paper and Design Studio: Page and Mason | Watch: Michele

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