Win an Engagement Session #oncewedgiveaway

This year at Once Wed, we’ve decided to celebrate love and Valentine’s day with a HUGE giveaway on our Instagram. We’re so excited to offer a lucky couple the chance to win a couples photography or engagement session with destination wedding photographer Heather Payne! Simply by posting a picture of you and your love, adding the hashtag #oncewedgiveaway, and tagging @oncewed, you’ll be entered to win 2 full hours of styled photography from one of our favorite fine art film photographers!

The rule are as follows:

1. Post a photo of you and your love on instagram.

2. Tag @oncewed and @heatherpaynephoto and include the hashtag #oncewedgiveaway. 

3. Tell us a little bit about your love story and why you want Heather to come photograph you.

Heather will travel ANYWHERE* to photograph you, so visit our Instagram to post your story. And as a special treat, the winner will receive 20% off of a 2015 wedding package with Heather (travel costs not included). Happy Valentine’s day!

Rules and Restrictions:

*Heather Payne will travel anywhere, but outside of North Carolina, travel and accommodations must be paid for by couple and arrangements will be made by Heather Payne. Recipients will receive 40-60 high resolution images on a USB, 4×6 proof prints in a handcrafted box. Heather will creatively direct and style the shoot including choosing outfits and locations. Session must be redeemed within the 2015 calendar year.

Photography: Heather Payne

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02.02.15 / Contests, Featured

Natural Outdoor Nashville Wedding

When a team like this gets together, magic happens. This natural outdoor Nashville wedding was designed to compliment the history of the brides family, and we love all of the special details that Ginny Au worked into the design with Tinge Floral, Signora e Mare and 12th table all captured beautifully by Rylee Hitchner. Keep reading for more on their inspiration.

From Ginny Au:

Cristina & Danny’s Nashville wedding was a tribute to the style and grace of this beautiful couple. They had a very clear vision of a wedding that embraced the union of their families and friends with an understated, eloquent design that welcomed their guests into a garden reception. Drawing inspiration from the brides Italian heritage, we chose muted, humble tones of olive greens and ivories mixed with gold and brass. Their reception tables were clothed in natural linens with the most exquisite organic Calligrpahy of Signora e Mare. The European influence was carried through to their seasonally inspired menu and of course an amazing Nashville band picking and strumming through the cocktail hour and reception. The amazing team of vendors that came together, including Tinge Floral from Utah, executed a beauteous event captured in all its beauty by Rylee.

Photography: Rylee Hitchner | Creative Direction & Styling: Ginny Au | Floral Design: Tinge Floral  | Calligraphy & Paper: Signora e Mare | Rentals: 12th Table  | Bride Hair & Makeup: Amanda Gros | Bridesmaids Hair & Makeup: Irrelephant  | Videography: Anchor Heart Films | Reception Venue: Riverwood Mansion | Ceremony Location: Cathedral of Incarnation | Catering: Miel restaurant | Band: The Carmonas | Lighting: Bright Event Productions

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02.02.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Paris

The moment you said yes, Paris popped in your mind: The Eiffel Tower, macarons, exquisite food, champagne. No wonder, Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world.

With the time difference, the language barrier and the cultural differences, you might think planning a destination wedding in Paris is impossible. It’s not! Here are some tips to help you plan your dream wedding in Paris!

1. First of all- and probably the most important detail:  you can’t get legally married in France. You have to live in France more than 40 days in a row and have documents (like bills with your name and address) to prove it. What we suggest is to have a civil ceremony where you live and plan a symbolic ceremony in Paris. You can have a religious ceremony in France but you might have to jump through hoops. It can be done, but not always!

2. Hire a planner! It’s always a good idea, especially when you’re trying to plan one of the most important days of your life, when you’re an ocean away from where you live. Paris based wedding planners will help you to select vendors and ensure their quality, help you coordinate your day,  and manage the vendors so you can relax and enjoy Paris!

3. Choose English speaking vendors- even if you have a French wedding planner! The French aren’t always great at speaking make sure you choose vendors who you can converse with comfortably. Or hire American/English vendors; there are a lot working in Paris! It is so much more comfortable to interact easily with the people around you on your wedding day.

4. Always have a plan B in case of bad weather! Oh yes, Paris is beautiful and romantic – even under the rain – but a bit capricious even in spring and summer. It will not undermine your spirit, you’ll still be in Paris, but for your guest’s sake make sure you have a plan B (with your venue) if you have anything planed outside. Rain is a little less of an issue in September and October, so maybe plan your trip for then!

5. French people usually don’t get married between July 15th and August 15th – it’s the summer vacation period. If you plan your wedding during this time before you speak to vendors, you’ll find out that a lot of them may be closed for a few weeks. 

6. This last tip isn’t just for if you’re planning a destination wedding- Take time the day before your wedding to relax, maybe visit a spa, or just walk around! 

Article by: Vanessa Toklu | Photography: Rebecca Yale

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01.30.15 / Featured, Wedding Planning

Traditional and Timeless Croatian Wedding

We never tire of seeing traditional and timeless weddings. And we love how this bride and groom created a magical evening by combining tradition and aspects of their Croatian culture. Keep reading to find out more on how they planned their perfect wedding.

From the Bride:

After almost a decade of dating, Petar proposed to me on June 13th 2013 in NYC during a weekend getaway to celebrate my birthday. Given that I had no idea about the proposal and that I wasn’t a girl who grew up planning her “perfect wedding,” we had work to do.

Our planning revolved around creating an elegant but timeless wedding that celebrated love while honouring tradition and our Croatian cultural background. Every single detail was significant and meaningful to us.

We got married September 13th 2014 at St. Francis of Assisi Croatian church. It was the church we grew up going to with our families. To us, the ceremony was the most memorable and important part of the day. We had a harpist play and all our immediate family members took part in the mass. Upon exiting the church, everyone was greeted by the Croatian instrumental band playing.

The reception was held in the Croatian Hall where Petar and I first met as kids years ago when we participated in Folklore dance. For décor, we had a classic ivory and champagne colour scheme. Pillar candles lit up the room while greenery and white florals filled it.

Our day was full of love, laughter and gratitude. We had and continue to have many guests tell us they could feel the sincere love in the room. We wanted to create a day that not only was about our own love but the love of everyone we were surrounded by. Mission accomplished.

Photography: When He Found Her | Floral Design: Flowers By Design | Wedding Dress: Watters | Shoes: Kate Spade | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: St. Francis of Assisi Church | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen’s Attire: Hugo Boss | Hair: Cabelllo Hair | Make-up: Mariane Roberto | Wedding Décor: Allure Events | Bride’s Bracelet: Mother of the Bride’s 1st year wedding anniversary pearl necklace turned into a bracelet. | Earring: Belonged to Bride’s late aunt | Butterfly Ring: Tiffany’s. Given to bride by husband on first year of dating Christmas. | Veil: Posh Veils. Embellishments were from Bride’s First Communion Veil | Purse: Worn by bride’s mother on her wedding day | Cake: Shelby’s Sweet Shoppe | Harpist: Judy Kenna

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01.29.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog