Rebecca Yale Portraits

Our amazing sponsor, Rebecca Yale Portraits, is giving away an entire wedding photography package including full day wedding coverage and an engagement session to one lucky Once Wed reader for absolutely free.  Rebecca combines her background in photojournalism with her love for fashion photography to create beautiful intimate portraits while capturing every moment as the day unfolds.  Rebecca Yale does not place time limits on her coverage, because she wants to tell your whole wedding story from the minute you slip on your dress to your final spin on the dance floor.

The prize: The package being given away has a value of $3000 and is for full day wedding coverage and an engagement session.  Albums, prints and other products are additional and can be ordered through Rebecca Yale Portraits.  A standard wedding photography contract applies and must be executed within two weeks of notifying the winning couple.  If the wedding chosen is outside of New York City or the surrounding boroughs, the winning couple agrees to pay for travel feels including room and board upfront, with travel arrangements made by Rebecca Yale. The couple must not have an existing contract with another wedding photographer and Rebecca Yale will be the exclusive photographer for the event.

TO ENTER:  Comment below with your name, email, wedding date, and wedding location or venue. Please tell us a little about your story, style, wedding and why you’d like to win the photography package.  Rebecca will pick the winning couple on April 27th.

Be sure to check out her website to see more of her lovely images!

04.02.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Bartram Gardens Outdoor Wedding

Sean and I met as college sophomores in an intermediate photography class nearly ten years ago. Since then we’ve studied together, traveled the world, and started a family He proposed under an Oklahoma waterfall, with a custom ring he designed of his great grandmother’s diamond.

Thinking about our wedding day even now (nearly a year later) brings tears to my eyes. It was exactly what I hoped and dreamed it would be. As a designer, I had a really clear vision of how I wanted everything to look. Sean and I described our day as a modern, funky garden party. I worked really hard to ensure that by the time our wedding day arrived, it felt natural and effortless, but beautifully styled. We were lucky enough to work with some great vendors who really brought my vision to life.

Our wedding took place in early June at Bartram’s Gardens, in Philadelphia. Bartram’s is a unique 10-acre sanctuary of gardens and woodland located smack in the middle of an otherwise metropolitan area. It’s very peaceful and quiet, and home to many rare plants. Exactly 100 of our closest friends and family were with us on our big day. The morning of our wedding started out with some questionable weather, but I was honestly too giddy to even notice. The clear blue sky arrived with perfect timing for our Quaker-style ceremony in the formal garden, followed by cocktail hour. Our guests were encouraged to explore the gardens, play bag toss, and sip Sean’s home-brewed beer and homemade cocktails on the lawn. The reception took place on the brick patio, under a gorgeous draped tent. The fireflies put on quite a show in the open meadow, while the Philadelphia skyline glimmered in the background. At the end of the night, Sean and I climbed into the “party bus” with all of our friends, and took a quick ride to our neighborhood where we ended the night with a mini bar hop.

Planning and Print Design by the bride, Sarah Stone // Venue: Bartram’s Gardens // Photography: Kate Murphy // Flowers: Loven Fresh Flowers // Day of Coordinator: Precise Events Inc // Ceremony Music: Philadelphia Wedding Guitarist

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04.01.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Coastal Maine Outdoor Wedding

The wedding weekend took place on a secluded island off the coast of Maine. The guests and I were transported by ferry and stayed at an old New England Inn for Katie and Tyler’s wedding weekend, and the entire experience was extremely beautiful and unique. We all the spent the weekend in celebration together and on their wedding day, the fog off the coast rolled in and out throughout the day and guests dined and danced under an amazing Sperry Tent overlooking the harbor. It was styled to perfection with everything from calligraphy to fresh figs and seasonal fruit centerpieces. The whole day was both classic New England and really whimsical and fun, an expression of Katie and Tyler together.

Photography: Gabe Aceves Photography // Venue: Chebeague Island Inn // Planner: Melanie Voros Blissful Beginnings // Bride attire: Amsale // Bridesmaid dresses: Jcrew // Groom + Groomsman attire: Ralph Lauren // Flowers: Flora and Fauna by Judy Bourgeois // Catering: provided by the inn // Cakes / food: Two Fat Cats Bakery // Music: Tony Boffa Band // Invitations: Gus and Ruby Letterpress

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03.28.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Dent House Rustic Wedding

Tim and I were set up through mutual friends and met while Tim was still stationed in Hawaii and I was living in Los Angeles. We had a long distance relationship for about a year, lots of letters, phone calls and frequent flights to and from the islands. During that time, I convinced Tim to get a puppy to help cope with the loneliness of being in a long distance relationship. We got our dog Kimokeo together when I came to visit Tim in Hawaii and when we decided to get married; we knew we had to have Kimo with us. Even though we would have loved to get married in Hawaii where our story began, that would mean flying Kimo as well which made things much more complicated. Our search for the perfect venue was difficult, especially when we knew we wanted someplace that felt like a getaway but close enough to have all our family and friends join. We knew we wanted to be surrounded by nature and Ojai felt like the perfect place. We found gorgeous pictures of The Dent House on a blog and decided to see it in person. When we visited the property we saw the potential of an amazing wedding and Kimo had a blast running around and enjoying the Ranch.

We didn’t really go with a particular style or theme; we just tried to keep everything as organic as possible. I told our florist what I liked and asked her to use flowers you could easily find in the surrounding area. I let the bridesmaids pick their own dresses and told them to stick to a neutral color palette, which is what we did with the “styling” of our tables as well. We really wanted the food, flowers and natural surroundings to stand out so we kept things to a minimum. It’s so easy to get wrapped up into what people think your wedding should be like, you have to take a moment and really decide what YOU want it to be and do your best to stick with it.
There was a ton of work involved since we had to bring everything in and coordinate every last detail, but our family and friends all pitched in which really made it a once in a lifetime experience. We loved every moment of our wedding weekend, from the secluded environment we shared with our guests, to the love that was poured into making it all come together. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Photography: Kurt Boomer // Venue: The Dent House at Matilija Canyon Ranch, Ojai // Planner: This was truly a team effort, many family and friends pitched in to make every detail run smoothly.  // Cake: Grand Casino Bakery & Café, Culver City // Floral Design: Krista Ward-Sell at Petaling a dream Dress: Angelina Bridal Couture from Panache, Beverly Hills The dress was actually two pieces (a slip and the lace overlay) that I had made into one complete dress. I had the straps of the slip cut off and attached the entire slip to the overlay lace of the dress // Veil and alterations: Marie at West Coast Couture // Shoes: Jeffrey Cambell, trudeau // Makeup and hair: Renee Loiz Makeup // Grooms suit: Custom made, Nordstrom – Tim picked every detail of the suit himself, from the fabric to the inner lining and even the stitching and our embroidered wedding date on the inside pocket. It was definitely a fun experience for him // Grooms shoes: Frye, James lace up boot // Groomsmen suits: Marc Ecko, Mens Warehouse // Bridesmaid’s dresses: I let the girls each pick their own in any shade of nude, ivory, peach or cream. The only thing I asked of them was to get a dress they loved and that they would wear again and again. I love how each dress reflected their own individual style. The choices came from Anthropologie, Zara, Forever 21 and Kensie // Caterer: Eco Caters // Homebrewed beer and Wedding website: Cousins of the Bride- Vanessa and David Shanks  Created by David Shanks // Save the dates, Invitations and beer labels: Graphic designer/artist and cousin of the bride- Alina Stempa,, available for hire!  // Lighting: Ideal lighting and sound // Rentals: Ventura Rentals // Music:  The Get Down Boys – welcome reception, ceremony and first dance // DJ Eddie Polhill- dinner and reception.


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03.27.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog