Bold Fall Floral Inspiration (Part 2)

From the lush blooms asymmetrically braided into her hair, to a juicy berry lip shade and a bold fall bouquet, this inspiration shoot has style in spades. Fall flowers don’t always have to be the traditional reds and oranges. We love the bold punch that a hit of lemon yellow and a touch of pink adds to this bouquet, and encourage you to ask your florist to play outside the box when deciding on your florals. If you’re a traditionalist, the autumnal hues from the natural fall foliage will be the perfect finishing touch.

Photography: Ryan Ray | Hair & Make Up: Amy Clarke | Florals: Bows + Arrows | Film: Indie Film Lab | Studio Dress: Warron Barron Bridal | Outdoor Dress: Claire Pettibone

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03.26.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Romantic Spring Floral Inspiration (Part 1)

If there’s one thing that we love, it’s flowers. We’re so excited to share not one, but two, gorgeous floral inspiration posts today from the dream team of Once Wed Vendor Bows & Arrows and Ryan Ray Photography. First, this pastel bouquet is a dream come true for spring brides. The pale sorbet palette is reminiscent of a springtime sunset, and with the ruffled textures and gentle gradation of tones, this bouquet is truly perfect for a romantic fete. And isn’t this pale blue dress the perfect addition? Plus, if you’ve been looking for some new ideas for ways to wear flowers in your hair on your wedding day, then you’ve got them!

Photography: Ryan Ray | Hair & Make Up: Amy Clarke | Florals: Bows + Arrows | Film: Indie Film Lab | Studio Dress: Warron Barron Bridal | Outdoor Dress: Claire Pettibone

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03.26.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Chic Country Wedding on the Coast

When it comes to outdoor country weddings, we know that it can be tough to get out of the typical rustic-inspired decor, and at the same time, weddings on the coast can easily turn into an over-done nautical style. We love the simple, farm-to-table appeal of this inspiration shoot, and the creative team has some great ideas for your planning. Plus, they’ve shared a delicious recipe that you’re going to want to try out right away!
“The Martha’s Vineyard wedding is typically pigeon-holed as a traditional, seaside celebration with a nod to the nautical, preppy heritage of the Northeast coastline (read: lighthouses, blue & white color schemes, khaki pants & needlepoint belts.) We really wanted to highlight the side of the Vineyard that appeals to the more free-spirited couple: the magic of starry nights by a bonfire, acres of unspoiled farmland, and a laid-back, community of creative people inspired by the land and ocean. Chef & Farmer, Chris Fischer, provided the backdrop and farm-to-table inspiration for the shoot at his idyllic Chilmark farm, known for it’s impromptu “Greenhouse Dinners” where the menu is literally picked from the day’s freshest crops. The gowns from Rue de Seine and Delphine Manivet worked so nicely in this space – with the stunning laces and silks bringing a sense of richness and romance but still feeling very down to earth and relatable — perfect for a laid-back, island bride with an impeccable sense of style. Nearly everything at the shoot was island-grown, from the florals, to the salad greens, to the sheep –even the letter-pressed pieces were created just a couple miles away!”


RECIPE (for potatoes pictured above)

Late Fall Gratin
Chris Fischer & Lauren Schaefer, Beetlebung Farm

8-10 MediumYukon Gold or Red skinned potatoes
6 garlic cloves
Sea salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 400.

  • Prepare your baking dish with a drizzle of olive oil lightly coating the bottom of your baking dish.
  • Gently peel and thinly slice lengthwise 5 garlic cloves
  • Wash potatoes thoroughly, then slice about 1/8th inch thick, using a mandoline for consistent slices.
  • Begin to tile your potatoes by laying each slice down one by one. Take care to cover each previous slice halfway with each new potato slice.
  • As you work down the row, tuck a few garlic cloves between slices making sure they are in between slices to protect them from burning. Gently salt each row as you go.
  • Begin a new row of potato slices by covering the previous row by 1/2.  As you move across your baking dish, be sure your slices are packed tightly, pushing rows closer together if possible.
  • When your slices cover the length of your baking dish, pour 1-3 cups water over your potatoes. With the addition of each cup, stop to press your potatoes down with your hand, once the water rises above the potatoes, you have a sufficient amount.
  • Drizzle the dish with a healthy portion of olive oil and lightly salt the entire dish.
  • Bake the gratin for 25 minutes covered tightly with foil. Then uncover your baking dish and turn your oven down to 375 and bake for an additional 25 minutes uncovered to achieve browning.

Wedding Dress, Accessories & Styling: Ceremony Bridal Shop | Photography: Henry + Mac | Venue & Food/Drink: Beetlebung Farm | Invitations & Styling: Emma Young | Florals: Tea Lane Farm | Hair: Stacey Kuehn | Make-up: Blush Wedding Day/Tryst Studio

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03.25.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Wedding Budgets: How to Cut Costs

From a true expert and icon in the wedding industry and the editor-in-chief of Today’s Bride magazine, comes the ultimate handbook for brides planning their big days. In The Wedding Expert, Bettie Bradley shares with bridal couples more than 400 tips and tricks she’s learned are vital to the wedding planning process. She’s been observing changing wedding traditions and new trends over the past thirty years, so Bettie offers practical, thoughtful, and expert advice to make every wedding a success.

Here are four of her best tips for cutting costs when your budget needs a bit of help:

Limit the hours the bar is open. Having a cash bar is a faux pas, but good hosts are not obligated to offer an open bar throughout the whole reception. Instead, have a tray service at the cocktail party, have just wine available during dinner, and then open the bar after the dinner and toasts are over.

Don’t include something just because “it’s tradition.” Use only those services or traditions that are important to you and you’ll see a measurable decrease in your budget. For example, is a wedding cake a must-have for you? Maybe you’d rather serve your guests an unusual dessert. The omission of a wedding cake won’t be noticed—except maybe in your budget, when you see your savings!

Choose any day but Saturday for your wedding. Be sure to ask any ceremony or reception site you’re considering about possible discounts they offer for a weekday or Sunday wedding. Many venues offer substantial price drops!

Charge everything to one credit card. To help pay for your honeymoon, designate one credit card to pay your wedding bills—and choose a card that earns frequent-flyer miles. Make payments from your designated wedding bank account, and pay the bill in full each month so you don’t run up high-interest debt.

Beautifully designed, bursting with tons of ideas, and featuring sample budgets and invitations, quizzes, and even wedding etiquette, The Wedding Expert is a charming and indispensible guide for the biggest day of your life.

The Wedding Expert was published by Appetite by Random House and is available wherever books are sold.

To connect with Bettie Bradley’s publisher online, please follow them on Twitter @RandomHouseca and Instagram @appetite_randomhouse.

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03.25.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog