Peaceful Connecticut DIY Wedding

We absolutely fell in love with this sweet, intimate, and understated wedding sent to us from Nancy Neil. Nancy is great friends with the bride, and was honored to photograph their elegant affair on the groom’s family farm in Connecticut. And we adore the story sent to us from the bride:

When Thomas and I were dating in Brooklyn, he brought me up to this beautiful farm in Connecticut, which is shared by his extended family on his paternal great grandmother’s side. When we moved to the island of St. Croix, we lived on farmland, and the surrounding fields and pastures had a similar peaceful feel. Historically, the family farm in Connecticut has always been a place for family to come together. When we talked about getting married, eloping seemed the best option; it would be simple, private and inexpensive. Then we got the idea of a getaway to the farm with a handful of family – most of his family is on the east coast anyways, and why not invite a few friends as well? We wanted this chance to share the farm with others, and soon the attendee list was at 90.

Because of a small budget and our backgrounds in the arts and production, we treated the wedding like a DIY production – enlisting the generous help of our friends and family. We’ve both earned our living as self-employed professionals – running a design company, an art gallery, an organic chocolate company and working as musicians. Thomas even has “DIY” tattooed on his finger which he gave himself for practice. I don’t think we know any other way to do things.  

There was thunder, lightning and pouring rain the day before the wedding. People got flash flood warnings on their phones, but because we had chosen the date according to the stars (and because the forecast promised) I knew that the day would be beautiful. The next day was so bright and clear and crisp, it felt like something from a storybook.

We got ready down by the lake at a tiny, one-room cabin and had a few quiet moments in the clear, chilly lake water to grounding ourselves. It was surreal to think that 90 people had gathered up above in front of the barn – friends and family from as far as California, the Virgin Islands and England, and as close as right down the road. 

Nancy took most of our photos before the ceremony, as we walked up the long path from the lake to the barn. She shot medium format film, and kept commenting on how awesome the light looked. We were having fun! Our dog Ramona knew something special happening. We didn’t plan to have her in so many photos, but she wouldn’t leave our side as we walked up into the open field.

We danced and took photos and caught up with people. The kids in attendance ran wild through the grass, blowing kazoos, using the cloth colored napkins as eye patches and rope and sword fighting with parasols. There were some moments wandering out in the golden afternoon light of the field, and taking some deep breaths. I think we succeeded in our goal, which was for guests to find some stillness and come away feeling that they had been touched by something magic and refreshing.

Photography: Nancy Neil | Venue: Private Farm in Connecticut | Music: Acoustic Bluegrass by Mike Schmidt |Officiant + Astrologer: Suzy Almond |Catering: Chanterelle | Maple Candy + Honey for Gift Bags: Hilljack Sugar Shack |Photobooth: Nick Des Jardins |Alisha’s Hair + Makeup: Adelina Atashi |Thomas’s Hair: Alisha |Alisha’s dress: Aidan Mattox |Alisha’s shoes: Toffel |Thomas’s pants: Steven Alan | Thomas’s shirt: APC | Thomas’s shoes: Johnston & Murphy | Alisha’s ring: Thomas’s great grandmother’s |Alisha’s earrings: Estate vintage, borrowed from photographer | His ring: Machete pendant by Crucian Gold

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02.11.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

The Not Wedding 2014 Schedule

It’s that time of year again! The NotWedding has just announced their 2014 schedule, and we couldn’t be more excited for all of these fantastic events. We have always loved how The NotWedding has taken a boring event like a bridal show and turned it into a party! Complete with dinner, dancing, drinks, and décor, you get a fantastic idea of what each of the participating vendors can do for your wedding and how they work together.

After starting in Atlanta in 2008, The NotWedding now hosts events all over the country- from San Diego, California to Portland, Maine! Registration is open for all of your favorite destinations and some new exciting places like New Orleans and Chicago! Tickets are selling out fast, so visit their website today to RSVP to this amazing bridal show alternative.  And Once Wed readers can use the code HalfOffTheNW to receive half off the price of their ticket!

If you’re interested in being a vendor at one of the 26 events (wow!), they’re taking applications right now! Just go online and apply here. If you’re new to the industry, TheNot Wedding is the perfect place to get your start. Take advantage of this opportunity to network with industry professionals, and most importantly, meet potential brides!

Interested in being taking part in the world’s best “fake” wedding?

Be a guest! Attend an event
Be part of the show! Apply as a vendor
Be part of The Not Wedding Team! Apply as a brand ambassador

Photography Credits:

Our Labor of Love, Jessica Oh! Photography, Lime Green Photography, Kipporah Photography

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02.11.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

DIY Eyeshadow For Your Eye Color: Green/Hazel


I am so excited to unveil a little series from Amy Clarke and Bryce Covey, Eyeshadow For Your Eye Color. Amy suggested the idea on a recent shoot, and I think it’s brilliant because I always find myself struggling to pick the right colors for eyeshadow. Anybody else walk into Sephora and feel overwhelmed by all the choices in front of you? I know I do, so I can’t wait to unveil more tutorials for blue and brown eyes coming soon.


Amy’s advice is  “When picking eyeshadow colors for your eyes, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the color wheel. Wear the opposite of your eye color to make your eye color pop! For Green/Hazel eyes you’ll want to try wearing deep purples and plums, pinks, cranberry and rust colors.” Below is a gorgeous tutorial for a beautiful cranberry and rust eye…


Here’s how to achieve this easy eyeshadow look I created for our model with green eyes.

1. Start off with an eyeshadow base or primer. Cream concealers work great, but if you tend to have oilier lids, use a primer. I used a paint pot from MAC in “Painterly”. Apply a thin layer to your whole lid and under your lash line.

2. Using a crease eyeshadow brush, apply a warm, matte rust color eyeshadow to your crease and lash line, creating a sideways “V” on your lid and blend well. I used Jane Iredale’s Crease brush and MAC’s eyeshadow in “Red Brick”.

3. Next, using a mini fluff brush, apply a small amount of the same rust eyeshadow color to your lower lash line, from the outer part of your eye, to just past the center of your eye. I used MAC’s #228.

4. Apply a darker warm brown color to your crease & lashline using the same small fluff brush and creating a smaller version of a sideways “V”. This will define and pop your crease. I used Makeup Forever’s Matte Shadow #161

5. Without adding any more product, use the same crease brush and blend the colors together.

6. Define your lower lash line by applying the same darker brown color to just the outer part of your lower lid.

7. Brush on a shimmery gold color to your lid, lower lash line and inner coroners of your eyes to really open them up. I used MAC’s eyeshadow in “Amber Lights”.

Photography: Bryce Covey | Makeup: Amy Clarke | Hair: Heidi Marie Garrett | Creative Direction: Emily Newman for Once Wed

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02.10.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

New Spring Collection from David’s Bridal


Major news for every bride-to-be! The Spring 2014 collection has officially arrived at David’s Bridal!  Their design team focused on creating a vast selection of new bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and accessories for the season, and we absolutely adore what they’ve put together! This season, we’re spotting an abundance of new trends, designed to awaken the most discerning fashion palettes: from softer silhouettes and fabrics to new iterations of pastels in bridal and bridesmaid looks.

David’s Bridal is embracing the latest bridal trends and has designed a gorgeous collection full of different shades of soft pastels and pastel accents in flowing and delicate fabrics. These softer silhouettes and colored bridal gowns in Champagne, Blush, and Whisper Pink pair well with almost any skin tone and create an airy, ethereal feel. These ball gowns and A-line styles are perfect for the bride who envisions pure romance on her big day (think peonies, cosmetic palettes, and lace accent after lace accent).


A keen eye for trend-worthy style also translated into an expanded selection of soft and fresh bridesmaid dress colors and fabrications. New colors Ballet, Biscotti, Blonde, and Mint round out David’s Bridal’s assortment of over 40 colors, allowing brides to create endless palette possibilities. Choose just one color or select different shades for different ‘maids! And hello, lace! We’re thrilled that David’s Bridal has introduced lace into their bridesmaid collection, now available in two styles and six shades. We love, love, love the simple elegance of their short strapless allover lace dress in Biscotti that’s just arrived and could just picture this dress coming down the aisle at any garden wedding.


David’s Bridal has partnered with designers like Melissa SweetWhite by Vera Wang, and Oleg Cassini to create a collection of affordable designer dresses that keep up with the latest fashions. And they just launched Zac Posen’s first bridal collection, Truly Zac Posen, and we’re obsessing over the sophisticated bridal gowns and social occasion dresses. From these designers this Spring, you’ll see dresses with sleek fitted corsets, along with gowns that feature more modest necklines. All of these new designs would look amazing on any bride looking for a classically designed gown for her wedding. We simply adore all of the new designs, and we love even more that the new collection is on point with spring bridal trends!

It’s not often that fashion, quality, and reasonable prices intersect, but David’s Bridal excels at creating on-trend styles for budget-conscious brides and bridesmaids. We love that David’s Bridal makes it a goal to lead the bridal industry in wedding dress and bridesmaid fashion!

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02.10.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog