Travel to Greece for a Breathtaking Wedding by the Sea

June 27, 2017 by Jessica

Greece is one of the most magical spots that blends weathered white architecture with the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and this inspiration is a direct reflection of its surroundings. Designed by Mazi Event, this intimate elopement pulls from the colors of the ocean, and folds in elegant details for a look both easy and glamorous. Captured by Anna Roussos, get inspired by the true beauty of the Grecian landscape and this intimate wedding by the sea.

From the planner… Starting to draw the canvas for an inspirational photo shoot in such a regal destination, Spetses, was a creative spring time journey. This intimate elopement had an aery style, a mix of vintage and contemporary elements, with a feel of earthy opulence. Inspired by the natural aura of Spetses we created a color palette composed of grey, clean white and dusty green hues. Our conceptual mood board, was based on one of the Circles of Life: That of marriage. Beginning and completion, wholeness, diversity, fertility, regeneration, strength and balance are essential for a couple to endure the test of time, to flourish and relish the greatest gift given to them: their love. All preparations were made in the historic Poseidonion Grand Hotel with the highest standards. Inspired by the power of the circle we created the invites, envelopes, a map, menus, flower arrangements, even treats for the guests and the wedding cake, to accentuate the strength of this perfect form of nature with no start, no end and no imperfections. The Seed of Life mandala pattern -the universal symbol of creation- applied in selected details with respects to the concept, made everything come together. A traditional horse carriage drove the couple to the beach where everything was ready for an ethereal wedding. The couple barefoot, equal and united, whispered their meaningful vows under the tones of the violin. The beachfront family table was already set up for an intimate dinner. All the decorative details radiated a royal beauty with al fresco flower arrangements composed with greeneries and white flowers, calligraphy menus with sealing wax on water colored handmade papers, marble sous-plats, tasteful silver cutlery and glassware. Silk wedding favors with silver calligraphy engraved details were personalized for each guest. We were so content to work with such a talented team of professionals for this, our debut project, and see our vision come to life. Anna Roussos captured every detail with the most creative eye. Enjoy!

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Photographer : Anna Roussos | Florals: Pavlos The Flower Workshop | Wedding dress: Katia Delatola | Catering: Poseidonion Grand Hotel | Make up + Hair: Frantzeska Koukoula | Hotel : Poseidonion Grand Hotel | Assistant Photographer : Bill Kouroupis | Cake + Desserts: Pavlov’s Lab | Calligraphy and Sketches : Chirography | Carriage: Devo Estrada | Design and Planning : Mazi Event | Grooms’s Attire: Dimitris Petrou | Model Agency: The Legion

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Should You Spend or Save That Wedding Gift Cash?

June 27, 2017 by Jessica

When it comes to wedding gifts, more and more guests are giving cash. Considering many brides would rather have a boost to their bank account than fine china, this is a great problem to have! But when you walk away from your big day quite a bit richer, it can be tricky to resist the temptation to splurge on a fun vacation or the latest phone. Does it make more sense to spend or save wedding cash?

Jeremy Walter, the founder of Fident Financial, gave some great tips to brides and grooms who aren’t sure what to do with the cash burning a hole in their post-wedding pockets! He suggests breaking the money down into four categories and putting together a plan that makes the most sense for you and your new groom.

Live:
Although spending smart will pay off in the long run, it’s also totally valid to want to use some of your wedding money for enjoyable activities. “Using some wedding cash to enhance a honeymoon, buy some new heirlooms for your family, or simply spend time doing something together can create invaluable memories,” said Mr. Walter.

Give:
Your friends and families just gave a lot of time and money to your big day, whether it was traveling a long distance or writing you a significant check. Giving custom-designed thank you notes, while a bit pricier, can be a great way to show your appreciation. Another idea from Mr. Walter is to solicit votes from wedding guests on a charity to donate a portion of your wedding money to.

Owe:
“If you financed a chunk of the wedding via credit card or other means of debt, then I’d give strong consideration of using some of the wedding cash to pay off that debt,” said Mr. Walter. “Also, if you have other lingering debt such as student loans, car loans, or other ongoing credit cards – using the cash can be a great way of getting a fresh start.” While it doesn’t sound glamorous, anyone with loans or debt can speak to how great it feels to have fewer monthly payments.

Grow:
If you’ve got your finances under in control and have already spent a bit of dough on fun memories or a charity, consider putting money into either a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA. “Invest in a diversified portfolio of either low cost mutual or index funds or a basket of exchange-traded-funds and don’t plan on touching it for a long time,” Mr. Wagner said. “Putting a chunk of change into investments when you’re young will go a long way as you allow the power of compound interest to work for you.”

At the end of the day, you and your groom need to decide what works best for your family and your situation. But these four categories are thoughtful ways to get started!

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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The Dos + Don’ts When Putting Together a Guest List

June 26, 2017 by Jessica

Creating your guest list can be one of the most fun – or most dreaded – tasks when planning your wedding. Between keeping your parents happy and managing your budget, who and how many people you invite will have a major impact on your big day. That’s why the experts at Cristen & Co. are here to help! From b-lists to plus ones, they share the dos and don’ts of putting together your guest list.


1. Establish Your Budget First

Think about your total wedding budget before you create your guest list because the more people you invite, the more you will be spending. The average cost for a wedding here in New England for 150 guests is between $ 60,000 – $ 70,000. You have to choose – and pay for – a venue with the capacity to fit your total guest count, and you’ll have to pay for food and beverage, invitations, stationery, rentals like place settings and chairs, florals for centerpieces and more based off of the number of people you invite. The cost of a wedding adds up quickly, and you need to be realistic about how many people you can afford to have attend.

2. Begin With Your Nearest + Dearest

After determining your total wedding budget, begin writing down your immediate family members and closest friends. The be mindful who is footing the bill of your wedding – if your parents are gifting you the budget for your wedding, make sure you give them the opportunity to invite some guests, too. If you have the budget, then feel free to add more guests after that.


3. It’s Okay to Be Exclusive

You don’t have to invite everyone under the sun! Remember, you don’t necessarily have to invite work colleagues – you may or may not be at the same job forever, and if you aren’t super close with them, then don’t spend the additional money to invite them. Ensure all the important people are there first!

4. Should You Have a B-List?

I get this question quite often from my couples, especially if we are working within a certain budget but they have super large families or friend groups. You can definitely expect roughly 10-15 guests that won’t be able to attend, so if you are going to have a b-list, create it early on. Don’t put close friends or immediate family on a b-list, instead think acquaintances, colleagues or extended family members. Have a second set of RSVP cards printed with a later date for your b-list group. Remember, don’t send a save-the-date to your b-list.


5. The Rules of the “Plus One”

If you’re inviting a family member or friend that is engaged to be married, it is expected to give them a plus one. If your friend or family member has a very serious boyfriend or girlfriend and you know their significant other, it would be proper etiquette to give them a plus one as well! However, if it is a single guest, and they aren’t dating anyone, you do not have to give them a plus one. Most single guests tend to expect a plus one and can sometimes be a little upset if they don’t get it, but it is up to you and your wedding budget if you want to allow it or not. However, be mindful of your single guests and seat them around mutual friends so you know they will have a good time!

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Photography: Kim Lyn | Expert Advice: Cristen & Co.

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A Color Happy Affair in the Arizona Desert

June 26, 2017 by Jessica

With friends and family traveling from Texas, Lindsay and Whit knew a “mini-destination” wedding in Arizona would be just the escape their guests needed. They set to work planning a lush, colorful, vibrant celebration while playing on Paradise Valley’s natural scenery of desert and mountain beauty. Rachel Solomon and Something New Media came on board to document the day and you can watch it all unfold from beginning to end.

From the bride… Whit and I met at a SuperBowl party in February of 2012. Our conversation was fun and effortless and we learned that we had several mutual friends, but the spark was just not initially there for me. We lost touch for several months after that and went our separate ways – he moved to Nebraska while I stayed in Texas – but thankfully, we reconnected in September of 2012 when I learned that he was a groomsman in a wedding that I would be attending the following February. Since we lived in different states, we began texting all day long, talking on the phone every single night, and spent as many weekends as we could to visit each other. We survived a two-year long distance relationship and after we both finished graduate school, we decided to settle down in Texas in the summer of 2014.

Whit and I got engaged at the Camelback Inn in Paradise Valley, AZ on December 27th, 2015. I was hoping Whit would propose when we were visiting my family for Christmas that year. Many of my friends were beginning to get engaged and married, and I was just dreaming about when it would finally be our turn. Little did I know, Whit had taken a day off work and flew to Scottsdale a few weeks prior to the proposal. During his quick 12-hour visit to my hometown, he picked up my engagement ring at Oliver Smith Jeweler and started hunting for wedding venues with my parents and grandmother! Whit also scouted out the perfect spot to propose to me, in front of Camelback Mountain.

Whit and I stayed in Scottsdale through New Year’s Eve and began planning our springtime wedding in Arizona, the most beautiful time of year. Although we had a 15-month long engagement, we had most of our wedding vendors and details planned out by March of 2016. We felt lucky that we had tackled all of the “big stuff” pretty early on because that March also happened to be the same time we learned that we were expecting a baby flower girl in November of that year. We welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world a week before Thanksgiving, and she quickly stole our hearts and the hearts of all of our guests as my mom carried her down the aisle on March 18th, 2017, our wedding day!

When the wedding planning began in late December of 2015, Whit and I decided that we were going to have a “mini-destination wedding” in Arizona (considering most of our guests would be traveling from Texas). We chose to have our ceremony at Brophy Chapel since I graduated from Xavier College Preparatory in 2008, and we just knew our reception had to be at El Chorro! The desert landscape and breathtaking mountain views were the perfect scenery for our wedding.

My vision for our wedding theme was a romantic garden with some Arizona desert flair. My mom, Karen Hoffman, worked an endless amount of hours tying all of the details of our theme together, with the help of our planner, Christine Southerland. Randi Eshelman of Carte Blanche Design made my floral dreams come true, from the greenery that dressed the ceiling pipes in Casa Paloma to adding blue thistle and succulents into my hot pink bridal bouquet! The bright floral arrangements accompanied by the blue table linens from La Tavola Fine Linen added so much life and color to Casa Paloma at El Chorro.

Other details that made our wedding unique were our custom floral invitations and monogram designed by Jacki Miller of Foil & Ink; a special song (“Isn’t She Lovely”) dedicated to our daughter during the reception from Shining Star Band; Whit’s Death Star groom’s cake and the cactus cookie favors for our guests (with gold embossed monogram tags done by my mom) from Ruze Cake House; our wooden welcome sign, which was created by Autumn Matney; the groomsmen’s baby blue dotted bow ties from The Tie Bar; and my “something old”! Oliver Smith Jeweler designed all of the jewelry that I wore on our wedding day, except for my ruby cross, which was my something old passed all the way down from my great-great-grandmother.

I recently learned that my great-great-grandfather found this beautiful family heirloom on the ground in a park in Poland in the early 1900’s. The cross was given to my Babcia (my grandma), who wore it on her wedding day. She passed it down to my mother, who wore it on her wedding day, and now I got the privilege of wearing the cross on my wedding day. I am so looking forward to the day when I can place this cross around my own daughter’s neck just like my mom did for me!

Everything about our wedding day was absolutely perfect, and I am so thankful we chose the amazingly talented Rachel Solomon to photograph our wedding, as well as Something New Media who filmed our special day. Both Rachel and Something New Media have allowed us to relive our special day over and over again through the truly beautiful images they captured. We feel like we hit the jackpot with our wedding vendors and we wish we could play our wedding day on repeat, but for now, Whit and I will just enjoy watching our wedding film with our baby girl!

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Videography: Something New Media | Event Planning: Christine Southerland | Floral Design: Carte Blanche | Gown: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Ruze Cake House | Ceremony Venue: Brophy College Preparatory | Reception Venue: El Chorro | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Oliver Smith | Bridesmaids: BHLDN | Makeup: Maureen Cosovich | Hair: Meaghan Gingrich | Band: Shining Star Band | Ties: The Tie Bar | Groom: Calvin Klein | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Gown Boutique: Schaffers Bridal | Groom’s Ring: Qalo Rings | Invitation Calligraphy: Pretty Paperie | Invitations & Paper: Foil And Ink | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Reception Calligraphy: The Letter House | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Strings: Allegro Quartet

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This Texas Fete has all the Anthropologie Vibes.

June 26, 2017 by Jessica

If walking into Anthropologie gives you all the heart eyes, you’re going to want to spend some solid time with this dreamy Texas fete coordinated by Heavenly Day Events and designed by Gypsy Floral. I mean, can you EVEN?! And let’s just drop our jaws for this seriously beautiful Bride and her ‘maids. I mean, come on, does it get any prettier? Lauren Peele made sure to snap up every single inch and her images have happily consumed my morning. Join me right here.

From Heavenly Day EventsHiring the best that Austin has to offer certainly paid off for Kate and Wes. Just look at these stunning details… a timeless palate flawlessly combined with modern and Anthro touches that just somehow worked due to the meticulous design efforts made by Gypsy Floral. Wisely, they partnered with Loot Vintage Rentals, Birch & Brass and Premiere Event Rentals to bring all of these fabulous details to life. Building backdrops, creating displays and styling is something these designers clearly mastered. Of course, Prospect House is a dream that affords the best of natural light that can be chased all day against it’s crisp and white walls. A blank canvas for the best of all creativity to run wild. Photographer, Lauren Peele captured it with top level talent.

To provide a unique guest experience, Kate and Wes opted to hire Vannagram for memory making photos and chose to incorporate Voodoo Doughnuts in their dessert set up, alongside a cake from Sweet Treets Bakery. And yes, that’s with two E’s. Of course, part of the experience was having Peached Tortilla bring it home with an amazing menu. Known for their fusion, they wow’d guests with droolworthy awesomeness such as peach bbq sauce.

And can we talk about how stylish Kate is as a bride? I keep finding myself drawn to her look- that hair and makeup are breathtaking. Hint of Shimmer really brought out her natural beauty with a loose up-do and soft skin. As expected with a stylist of this caliber, Kate’s look managed to survive a night on the dance floor, courtesy of DJ Mark Warren, whom had guests on their feet all.night.long.

What does every wedding need to bring this all together? An event manager! Heavenly Day Events swooped in alongside Kate in the last six weeks to reconcile and tie it all in a bow. Having a fabulous team is on Heavenly Day’s “must have” list when considering clients and this was no exception in the fabulous team department.

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Photography: Lauren Peele | Event Coordination: Heavenly Day Events | Event Design: Gypsy Floral | Floral Design: Gypsy Floral | Cake: Sweet Treets Bakery | Catering: The Peached Tortilla | Hair and Makeup: Hint Of Shimmer | DJ: John Hislop | Ceremony and Reception: Prospect House | Donuts: Voodoo Doughnuts | Photo Booth: Vannagram & Co. | Rentals: Birch And Brass Rentals | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Premiere Events

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