Staycation Box from Simone LeBlanc

Simone LeBlanc has taken gifting and presentation to another level with her bespoke gifting boutique. She works to create unique gifts and gift box sets for moments in life where you need or deserve something extra special. Her shop is full of absolutely beautiful gift ideas to celebrate the birth of a child, settling into a new home, and even a special box to gift to a sick friend. Our favorite, by far, is the Staycation Box for Her, which would be perfect to give to your bridesmaids, mother, or even as a gift for a friend who is getting ready for her own wedding. And if you’re looking for the perfect way to thank your planner, a Staycation Box would be a welcome present for their aching back and tired feet after your wedding. We got to try out the Staycation Box and loved relaxing at the end of the day in a nice bath with the amazing bath salts!

The Staycation Box is filled with a perfect, soothing Tatine Moonline Mile Candle, Herbivore Botanicals Dead Sea Salts, Fog Linen Wash Cloth, Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Cleansing Bar Soap, Herbivore Botanicals Neroli Luminous Body Oil, and Oblation Letterpress Sketchbook. Each piece of the box was meticulously chosen to provide everything needed to bask in an afternoon of pure indulgence right at home. Each custom-made box also comes with a menu detailing the components, including a quote that serves as inspiration for the box. And Simone LeBlanc designs each box to include your recipient’s name within the packaging of the gift.

We can’t think of a better way to thank the women in your life who have joined you throughout your wedding journey, or even as a way to treat yourself after a stressful year of wedding planning. Visit Simone LeBlanc to place your orders now. And remember- these would make amazing Christmas gifts, so order soon to ensure delivery.

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11.26.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

DIY Summer Floral Centerpiece

The cold weather and impending holiday season has us yearning for warmer days and fields full of wildflowers and gardens ripe with vegetables and berries. We’re so happy to have Robyn of Bare Root Flora show us how to take clippings from your garden to create the perfect summer centerpiece. You could easily do this with fall foliage and fall flowers like peonies and maybe even amaryllis to give it a holiday flair. Keep reading for the full tutorial! summer-floral-centerpiece-tutorialFrom Robyn of Bare Root Flora:

Late summer offers such a wealth of gorgeous flowers and foliage. I really wanted to celebrate the abundance of the season with a huge, wild piece that would be perfect for a focal piece at a summer gathering. Nearly all of the flowers in this piece were foraged in my own yard and the beautiful yard of a good friend. The few that weren’t were locally grown. Foraging for beautiful blooms makes you appreciate each stem so much—each one is a treasure, as was the sweet lady bug that hitched a ride into the arrangement! This design can be made on a large scale, like the one here, or scaled down to be a pretty table centerpiece.


-Your favorite opaque vessel—I used a beautiful concrete vessel to ground the arrangement and give it an earthy texture.

-A piece of chicken wire large enough to create a reasonably tight fit in your container

-Several types of flowers and foliages you’ve gathered or bought. Try to vary the shape a bit so that some are soft and fluffy, some have a longer line, some are larger, some are smaller, some are viney in nature. Variety makes the arrangement dynamic! We used coneflower, rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans), dahlia, cottage yarrow, gomphrena, cosmos, zinnia, elderberry, mint, tomato, raspberry foliage, and reed grass, but use what your garden offers up to you!

-A floral knife or some clippers—no scissors! Scissors damage a flower’s stem, prohibiting it from drinking properly.


Step 1: The first step to any gorgeous floral arrangement is to prepare your flowers! Make sure you clean off any foliage that will fall below the water line. Leaves in the water will encourage the growth of bacteria, which will shorten the life of your arrangement.

Step 2: Next, prepare your container. Bend your chicken wire to fit snugly inside the container. The chicken wire acts as a grid to hold your flowers where you want them, giving your design the shape you want.

Step 3: Begin by greening your container with the foliage you’ve gathered. I used long-line
raspberry foliage to give my piece a dramatic shape. I filled in with gorgeous elderberry, tomato foliage, and mint. That gave me a good base to start flowering the arrangement.

Step 4: First, place some of your large, fluffy flowers in varying heights throughout the arrangement—here, big red dahlia for a pretty focal flower. I placed some low, near the lip of the container, and some higher, as if they were growing naturally. Next, start adding in your other flowers, being sure to vary the height of your placements, along with the colors of flowers—I used coneflower, zinnia, rudbeckia and sweet cosmos. The goal here is to create a wild, garden-grown look. Movement and flow are key—let the flowers reach and arc! It will give your piece so much depth and life!

Step 5: Be sure to design your piece from all the angles it will be seen. Turn your vessel as you design, continuing to place your larger, fluffier flowers a little lower, letting others reach toward the sky. Fill in with more foliages and pretty filler—we used lovely cottage yarrow.

Step 6: We finished our arrangement with sprigs of reed grass and little tufts of gomphrena for a wild look.

Florals and Tutorial: Robyn Rissman of Bare Root Flora | Photography: Laura Murray 

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11.26.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Organic Seaside Wedding Ideas from Bliss and Bokeh

We always love seeing what the ladies behind the Bliss & Bokeh Retreat collaborate on every year, and this year they styled this lovely organic, seaside wedding inspiration featuring a stunning lace Samuelle wedding gown and florals from Gathering Events. We adore that these photographs on the coast of Charleston are an original way to incorporate the beach and ocean into your oceanside wedding. Beach weddings are beautiful, but sometimes it’s nice to see a little bit of a twist on an older idea.

If you’d like to work with industry professionals like Lynn Easton Andrews of Easton Events and Ginny Au, and learn how to create stunning photographs with other creative women, registration for the next Bliss & Bokeh retreat May 4-7, 2015 is now open. Visit for more information on the speakers and the retreat. Hurry before all of the spots are full!

Photography: KT Merry | Gown: Samuelle  | Groom’s Attire: Louis Purple | Florals: Gathering Events | Hair and Makeup: Charlotte of Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Workshop: Bliss & Bokeh | Location: The Cottages on Charleston Harbor  | Processing: Richard Photo Lab

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

Intimate Wedding in the Fjords of Norway

We’ve been huge fans of the work of Nina & Wes Mullins for years, and we fell even more in love with them when they renewed their vows in Norway and shared their story with us. When Jesslyn saw that how much of a connection Nina & Wes had to Norway, they knew that the couple would be the perfect choice to capture their elegant wedding in the Fjords of Norway.

From Nina & Wes:

With a mother from Norway, and having spent many childhood summers there, it has been a dream of mine (Nina of Nina & Wes Photography) to photograph a wedding in Norway. One day we received an email from a lovely bride who had seen our vow renewal photos on Once Wed and really connected to our story and then our photography. We never could have imagined how amazing this wedding would be, and then Martin and Jesslyn turned out to be one of the most generous and kind couples we have ever worked with. Even though they hired us to come to Norway and capture their wedding day on film, they went above and beyond and were constantly looking for ways to make us comfortable wherever we were. We’ve never seen a groom look at his bride the way Martin looked at Jesslyn. With every glance, you could see his love for her overflowing from every ounce of his being. Every moment of their wedding day was another moment of not only emotional beauty, but visual beauty. There are no words to quite accurately describe the awe-inspiring view from the church they married in….a church that was built in the 1200’s and stands picturesquely to this day, in the midst of mountains and fjords. From the church we made our way to the barony, which was built in the 1600’s and holds history in every corner, and had a lovely reception in different rooms throughout the property. They sealed the night with sweet treats in the old kitchen, where, as Norwegian tradition holds, they removed 3 rings from their almond cake, the number of children they hope to have some day. Jesslyn and Martin share something incredibly beautiful together, and we can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold for them as a couple.

From the bride:

“Martin and I met each other at a university in Canada where I was a freshman and he was an exchange student from Norway. After years of exchanging letters (and stamps) and then a long distance relationship with many visits back and forth, Martin proposed and we decided to settle down in Norway. We knew that we wanted our wedding to be small and intimate, and we wanted to give an exquisite experience to our dear families and close friends, many of whom had to fly across oceans from every corner of the world. We couldn’t imagine anywhere more romantic and beautiful than the town of Rosendal by the Hardangerfjord of Norway, with its medieval stone church and centuries-old baronial manor. A small town so rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, perched on a valley blessed by the fjord, glacier, mountains and waterfalls.

I’ve always appreciated meanings in details and so, I wanted personal touches and elements to the wedding. It wasn´t always a smooth easy ride to plan the wedding, but I learned a lot and had a whole lot of fun. I enjoy painting and designing and so, I made the entire stationery set with the help of my family who would spend hours with me cutting and gluing things. I was also lucky to receive help from my mother and mother in law who are both very crafty and resourceful. And then there were the little things here and there that other family members and friends would help us with. We tried our best to avoid hassling anyone so they could just enjoy the wedding, but we wouldn’t have been able to successfully pull off this wedding without the collective effort and help from our loved ones and for that, we are tremendously grateful for.

The wedding had a blend of Norwegian, Indonesian-Chinese and North American traditions. Martin and I had a private moment together right before the church ceremony, and it was an emotional moment we took our time to bask in. We also had our portrait session done then. I was sacred to us to recite our own vows during the ceremony, and we had a Chinese tea ceremony performed after the church ceremony as a homage to my heritage. Our favourite part of the day, the cherry-on-top and one we would forever treasure, were the speeches and songs our families gave or performed for us during the dinner reception. As cliche as it sounds, we bawled our eyes out…

We were so glad to have Nina and Wes Mullins capturing the day for us. Two talented and kind souls whose own love story touched my heart, and whom I first got to know about through Once Wed. And there was also Lesley Lau who understood and shared my vision for the day and turned that into a beautiful reality. A reality that feels like a beautiful dream now.”

Photography: Nina & Wes Photography | Flower & Styling: Lesley Lau | Ceremony Venue: Kvinnherad Kyrkje | Reception Venue: Baroniet Rosendal | Dress: Bespoke by a fashion designer in Indonesia, Yofi Harlianto | Wedding bands: SK Jewellery | Ring: Mother of the bride | Hair vine: Twigs & Honey | Belt sash: DIY | Stationery: DIY | Cakes & Sweet Treats: Baroniet Rosendal, Yngves Konditori, Birgit Hjelmeland and mother of the groom

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11.24.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog