Lush and Natural Wedding Inspiration

Taking inspiration from nature is one of the best ways to create a cohesive design, whether you’re looking at a wedding design or beautiful room. The creative team behind this lush, natural wedding inspiration (full of Once Wed Preferred Vendors, we might add!) looked to the Pacific Northwest, borrowing their palette from the forest, ocean, and sky and adding in natural stone and wood accents to ground the look. We hope this brings you beautiful ideas for your wedding!

More from the designer, Once Wed Preferred Vendor September Letters:

“Living in the Pacific Northwest, there are so many pockets of raw beauty. We were inspired by the deep colors, overgrown foliage and pale light – the organic simplicity of the coast. With that in mind, our vision was to create something that felt both effortless and lush.

The concept started with a color palette inspired by the forest, sea and sky; we loved the richness of deep greens and blues, paired with soft, hazy shades of white. The lighting was also such an important element from the beginning; the coast is known for showers and overcast skies, so we wanted to embrace the shadows that creates.

We chose natural stone and wood surfaces, untamed greenery and hand-torn, gently dyed ribbon. The table was set with antiques and heirlooms, with mismatched place settings using a variety of place cards, menus, and flatware. The antique paper came from my grandmother’s collection, so it was another important part of creating a rich, natural, time-worn quality.”

Photography: Gucio Photography | Paper and Calligraphy: September Letters | Styling and Direction: September Letters | Floral Design: Celsia Floral | Handmade Ribbon: Stella Wolfe | Rentals: Spread Love EventsThe Cross Decor and Design

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05.19.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Ethereal Countryside Wedding Inspiration

If we weren’t already convinced of it, now we know: the Italian countryside is the most perfect place on earth to be married. And if you weren’t already convinced, one glance at these beautiful wedding inspiration images is all it takes. From the truly remarkable views to the historical statuary, could there be a more ethereal place on earth? The beautiful inspiration showcased in this wedding shoot uses a palette of gold, cream and white to elevate the historical surroundings to an elegant setting for a romantic wedding. Please read on for more:

From the photographer, Laura Sponaugle:
“This past fall, a team of creatives came together in a small town in Southern Italy to participate in an awe-inspiring styled wedding shoot. With the virtuoso styling of Joy Proctor and the mentorship of Sandra Aberg and KT Merry, the Moda e Arte Workshop experience is one that will never be forgotten. We had the unique pleasure of photographing at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Villa Cimberone, an 11th century estate which sits on top of cliffs with stunning views of the Amalfi Coast. The setting was mesmerizing, so every detail of the shoot—from the bridal boudoir to the wedding and the reception—was designed to suit the ethereal nature of the countryside. As Joy Proctor notes: an airy palate of cream, white, and gold were played against the weathered stone and marble of the Villa. Samuelle Couture created the exquisite gown; the graceful drapery and subtle tulle ruching of the dress is suggestive of an ancient Roman stola and cements the historic feel of the shoot in the here and now. The nuptials were staged before ancient statuary; chiffon covered chairs, adorned in raw silk ribbon, lined the aisle. The reception was set on the Terrazzo del’lnfinito, or Terrace of Infinity, overlooking the coast. Nestled in a grove of olive trees, the intimate table was swathed in La Tavola Linens Organdy in white, with an underlay of Topaz Fog. Classic Vintage Rentals supplied the elegant gold chargers that were set for each guest. Alluring mother of pearl cutlery sat atop each charger, which was graced with vellum menus and placards written in gold calligraphy. Written Word Calligraphy created the entire paper suite and used the evocative golden lyre symbol to emphasize the celebratory nature of the event as well as its inherent musical lightness. The floral arrangements suited the airy feel as well, and the styling team accentuated the arrangements with glass candlesticks and cut glass votives to lend to the feeling of simple luxury. At Villa Cimberone, you feel at peace and connected to the world, both past and present. With the gardens, statues, stone pathways and overlooks, the history and importance of every inch of area rushes at you. It’s an absolute dream for the lucky bride and groom who may say their vows here, grounded in beauty and tradition while bounding into their future.”

Photography : Laura Sponaugle | Design & Florals: Joy Proctor Design | Gown: Samuelle Couture | Headpiece: Jannie Baltzer | Hair & Makeup: Mia Jeppson | Stationary & Invitations: Written Word Calligraphy | Tabletop Rentals & Jewelry: Classic Vintage Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Tuxedo: JCrew | Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Video: MG Image | Location: Villa Cimbrone | Hotel : Hotel Caruso | Film Lab : Richard Photo Lab

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05.18.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Simple Summer Berry Freezer Jam

Weddings are the perfect occasion to share some of your favorite recipes or traditions with friends and family. We adore the idea of creating a take-away gift for your guests from either an old family recipe, or a fresh one that can act as a new tradition for your newly created family. How sweet would it be to look back and tell your children how you gave this exact jam away to guests at your wedding? To make this recipe extra special, we prepared it in a jam pan from our favorite registry, Zola. We’re fans of this all-in-one registry because it makes registering for gifts, experiences & honeymoon funds easy and beautiful. Intrigued? Set up your registry today and get $25 to spend. Keep reading for the full recipe from Katelyn Hardwick.

Simple Summer Berry Freezer Jam

-Makes about 5 (8oz) half pints

This recipe is great because you can use as many or few berry varieties that you like. Can use fresh or frozen fruit as well but even better in the summertime when the berries are in season.

– 5 Tbsp instant pectin
– 1 1/2c sugar
– 1c blackberries
– 1c blueberries
– 1c raspberries
– 1c strawberries
– Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
– 5 (8oz) freezer jars


1. Stir sugar and instant pectin in a bowl until well blended.
2. Crush all the berries and add to the sugar mixture. Then add the lemon zest and juice. Stir 3 minutes.
3. Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze up to one year.

We love this recipe from Katelyn, so cook up your own batch in this beautiful jam pan when you start your registry with Zola and receive your sweet treat of a $25 credit upon signing up.

Creative and Art Direction: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler | Styling: Ginny Branch and Ginny Au| Food Styling: Katelyn Hardwick | Products: Zola

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05.18.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Timeless Wedding Dresses from New Designer Tomomi Okubo

Spring is the perfect time for brides to search for their wedding dresses. Bridal market has just finished, giving us a taste of new fashions and exciting new designers, and today, we’re introducing you to Tomomi Okubo.

This Japanese-born designer started her career in fashion in Tokyo, before moving to New York City to further educate herself and work as a pattern maker. After her own wedding, wearing a dress that she designed and made herself, Tomomi knew that bridal fashion was the right fit for her:  “Being a bridal designer allows me to explore my love of soft fabrics, vintage styles, and the feminine form.”

What was your inspiration for this collection? 

Many of my dresses take their inspiration from popular fashions of the 1920s and 30s, but I am not attempting to recreate these styles directly. I have always loved vintage clothing, but I’m also inspired by the cycles of the environment: not just flowers and leaves, but the falling of the rains, or the blowing of the winds.

Tell us about your style, how it has evolved, and what we can look forward to in 2015.

My dresses have always strived to combine the timelessness of classical design with the elegance of the natural world. But now I’m attempting to incorporate more of what I see as romanticism. You can expect to see a greater emphasis on the human form, on the lushness of nature.

What makes a Tomomi Okubo wedding dress unique?

My dresses have a distinctive sway to them; they flow across the body in a way that connects the wearer to the elements. I grew up on my parents’ farm, so to me, the world has always been a place of constant, ceaseless change. Perhaps this is why I have always felt awed by the outdoors. By combining loose vintage styles with lighter silks and laces, these dresses can drift and flow with an essential vitality.

Tomomi Okubo gowns are available to order online, or by making a private appointment for a custom fitting in their Brooklyn studio.

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05.16.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog