Win 8 Hours of Wedding Photography from Kate Holstein

Once in a while, someone comes along who can truly speak volumes without uttering a word; Kate Holstein is one of those special people.  Kate sees a kind of beauty in the world that most of us only imagine, and somehow, she has taken her vision and channeled it into absolutely stunning photography.

In order to get to know Kate, you need only look at the stunning images she creates. Through her images, you can see that she loves natural light and appreciates organic, simple, and natural details.  She is drawn to images and moments that translate movement,  and captures photographs of people and things in their natural state.  Kate’s relaxed and casual nature puts her couples at ease, which makes for organic and elegant photographs that truly represent who they are. Kate’s goal is to turn those moments into timeless, romantic images that will be treasured not only today, but also years from now.

Kate has two passions – photography and travel, which she calls her insatiable wanderlust. Kate adores combining her two loves by traveling the world to photograph beautiful weddings. Kate is so excited to continue on her search for adventure and travel that she is offering a free 8 hour wedding photography session during 2014 or 2015 to one lucky Once Wed reader. Although she is based in Colorado, she would love the chance to share in your destination wedding and travel the world to capture your perfect day.*

The winner will have their wedding beautifully shot in film and digital by Kate.  Your package includes proof prints, an online gallery, and all images on a USB flash drive.  Albums, wall prints and other products are additional and can be ordered through Kate.

To enter to win 8 hours of wedding photography from Kate Holstein, comment below with your name, email, wedding location, venue, and wedding date.   Because most of Kate’s inspiration comes from your love story, please tell us a little about your journey together, your wedding style, and why you think Kate would be the right photographer for you. Kate will read your stories, and pick the winner on April 17, 2014.

Good luck, and thanks again to Kate for sharing her talent with our readers!

This contest is now closed. Congratulations,  Leah Audrae! 

*Travel fees for Kate must be paid up front and Kate will make her own travel arrangements.

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03.17.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Modern Wedding Registry with Zola


Lucky for all our sweet Once Wed readers, Zola will be treating one follower to a $500 gift card!

Enter to win by either creating a registry with Zola or adding new items to one you currently have set up. Leave a comment below to let us know what your favorite Zola item is and that you’ve registered!


As a bonus, you will receive extra entry if you include your public registry link in your comment.

Do you feel stifled by the wedding registry options out there? Maybe you don’t need a crystal deviled egg plate or another set of margarita glasses.  Well, meet ZolaRegistry, the new online wedding registry designed specifically for modern couples.

The team at Zola believes that registering for wedding gifts should be joyful and easy:  a chance to focus on the life you’re building together, rather than on your overwhelming wedding to-do list.

Zola combines everything you want from a registry into one elegant package: a custom homepage that reflects your personal tastes and unique story, the ability to register for everything you want in one place, and features that make giving and receiving gifts simple and easy for you and for your guests (which is equally important!).

We love that Zola lets couples get up close and personal with their wedding guests. You can share your love story with family and friends through photos, notes on every gift, a custom URL, and custom collections to organize your gifts.

We also like how easy Zola has made it for you to register for what you really want! For example, do you have your eye on that Jonathan Adler couch, but feel self-conscious about the price tag? Mark it for Group Gifting and ten friends can contribute to the sofa of your dreams.  Their Gift Tracker lets you see everything you’ve received, and gives you full control over when each gift ships to you.

That brings us to what we love most about Zola: the site’s thoughtfully curated merchandise. In addition to traditional items like KitchenAid mixers, classic home decor and tablewares, Zola also offers cool experiences for couples who perhaps already live together and don’t want a replacement blender. From cooking classes, hikes, and yoga memberships to honeymoon and cash funds, every couple will find something that suits them. And because we know we all want to register everywhere,Zola also makes it possible to import any product from any store in just 3 clicks.

The best part? No matter what your guests choose to purchase, everything – whether it’s something Zola sells, something from another store, or a contribution to a honeymoon fund – goes through a single checkout. Long gone are the days where guests have to bounce around from site to site to buy the perfect gift. Now it’s a one-step breeze- which for you means you only have to register once!

And lucky for all our sweet Once Wed readers, Zola will be treating one follower to a $500 gift card! Enter to win by either creating a registry with Zola or adding new items to one you currently have set up. Leave a comment below to let us know what your favorite Zola item is and that you’ve registered! As a bonus, you will receive extra entry if you include your public registry link in your comment.

We will pick and announce the winner in 2 weeks. Thanks again to Zola for this fun contest, and happy registering!

This contest is now closed. Thank you for entering! 

Layout design by Hannah Lee Designs

03.12.14 / Featured

Pin to Win a Saja Wedding Dress- EXTENDED!


We’ve made it even easier to enter to win 1 of 6 Saja wedding dresses from their Spring Collection! We’d love to see your favorite Spring Wedding Ideas, so fill out this form to start pinning and you’re instantly entered- it couldn’t be easier! The last day to enter the contest is Friday March 14, 2014- winner will be chosen at random. CLICK HERE TO START PINNING! 

Thanks for all of your entries! We’ve picked a winner!

Design and Layout: Hannah Lee

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03.11.14 / Contests, Featured

Colorful Beaulieu Garden Wedding

Shiv asked asked me to marry him on the side of a mountain in the South of France, beneath a grove of ancient mulberry trees. He had chosen to propose in France not only because we both love to travel, but also because it was the last place I had lived before I met him, and because I am a French translator. The moment of our engagement was so poignant–I recall looking up into the ink blue sky of June in Provence, breathing in jasmine on the night air, and admiring the berry toned flowers on the table before us, squeezing Shiv’s hand.

Later, as we planned the details of our wedding, we decided that it was important for us to celebrate our marriage outside, in a garden that could capture some of the feeling of our engagement night, echo our love for France, and our love of history. Many of my closest family members live in the Bay Area, so Beaulieu Garden was a perfect fit. We chose midnightand evening-sky blues along with berry tones as primary colors for the wedding to evoke the night sky in Provence and the mulberry trees we sat under when we decided to join our lives together. I worked with our lovely floral designer to include fragrant, local garden roses, jasmine and lily of the valley–for Indians and for Iranians, fragrance and the sacred are deeply connected, thus it was essential to incorporate fragrance. We also made sure to include in our décor pomegranates and young almond branches, along with other seasonal fruits, as symbols of hope and good fortune in our new life together, and as symbols of respect for our diverse family traditions.

It was important to us to have our guests feel as though we were all taking part in a large, elegant dinner party, in which each guest was a member of our family. Photos of our departed loved ones were positioned on the mantle of the outdoor fireplace so that we could honor their constant presence in our lives: my Great Grandmother, pictured in these photos on her wedding day in 1924, was the inspiration in selecting my wedding dress. And Shiv had my engagement ring handmade after a historical design, using a diamond that has been in his father’s family since the 1860s. Most of all, Shiv and I wanted to create a sacred, intimate and inviting experience to honor and celebrate our love for one another and for our closest family and friends. We are so grateful for all of the talented vendors who helped us create a day that we will cherish and remember for the rest of our lives.

Photography: Jose Villa | Planner: Stacy Mccain Event Planning | Wedding Venue: Beaulieu Garden | Wedding Catering: Paula Leduc Fine Catering  | Invitation/Paper Pieces: Happy Menocal | Floral Design: Flowerwild | DJ: Dan Battle | Ceremony/Cocktail/Dinner Music: Gaucho | Cake Makers: Crisp | Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Officiant: Weddings of Heart | Transportation: Napa Valley Tours & Transportation

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03.10.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog