Elegant Garden Party Wedding

Sarah and Thorsten’s wedding story is so charming. Because they lived abroad, they planned two celebrations, one in Germany and one in the United States. Their American wedding, photographed by Ciara Richardson, is a stunning combination of their cultures and style, and we love the result. This charming garden party style wedding is timeless, and we hope serves as inspiration for any bride looking for a casual, fun, intimate, yet elegant celebration with friends and family.

Here’s a little more from Sarah: As Thorsten and I come from different continents, we had the joy (and intensity) of planning two wedding celebrations- the wedding in Germany and a garden party shortly afterward in Utah. We met while I was in Stuttgart, Germany doing an summer internship during my master’s studies in architecture. Our meeting was clearly fated, and I knew I would return to Germany after finishing my last year of school. We had many wonderful years of exploring Europe together before we were engaged, and we decided to hold the ceremony in Germany as well. Our wedding took place in the Germany countryside where I was fortunate enough to have my closest friends and family fly from the United States to share the day with us. We celebrated again shortly after the wedding in my parents’ garden, where my larger extended family and friends were able to attend. In planning both wedding celebrations, we combined American and German traditions, foods, and languages. For our Utah celebration, we brought the casual elegance of a European sidewalk cafe into the Utah garden setting. Although planning the event from Europe was challenging, I was fortunate enough to have an old family friend (the amazing Vicki from Ella Bella Floral) as a coordinator and stylist, and through many late-night Skype calls and a shared Pinterest board the event came out exactly as I envisioned. We served Mediterranean- and German-style foods (including freshly grilled sausage and apfelstrudel!), to create an atmosphere where guests could mix and mingle and enjoy our fabulous band below the evening skies. After an early weather scare at the beginning of the party, the rainclouds cleared away and we had a perfect evening.

Photography: Ciara Richardson | Wedding Planner: Ella Bella Floral| Dress: Marchesa | Tux: Groom’s own attire | Hair and Makeup: Celise Artistry | Caterer: Off-Premise Catering | Cake: The Graceful Baker |Linens, tables and chairs: Red Poppy Linens | Balloons: Sego Events | Water-colored Food Labels: Peter Loves Jane | Party Lights and Draping: Embellish the Moment | Bohemian band: St Boheme |

Flowers and Vertical Installations, Lounges and Signage: Ella Bella

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05.21.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Lace Wedding Invitations from Invitations by Dawn

Have you been searching for the perfect wedding invitations? Are you overwhelmed by the choices out there? Are you looking for a vendor who will advise you along the way? Well look no further than our sponsor, Invitations by Dawn

Invitations by Dawn has been guiding couples to the perfect invitation suites for over 30 years, and are famous for their variety of designs, quality, and high level of customer service. To make this part of your planning process easier, they have a team of courteous and knowledgeable consultants on call to help you with all of your etiquette questions, and any other questions you may have about your invitation suite! 

Our favorite part about Invitations by Dawn is their huge selection of designs- especially their lace collections! If you’ve been struggling on a design for your wedding invitations, lace is a flawless choice! Invitations with lace accents are the perfect way to bring a little elegance to your rustic wedding, and they create an instantly vintage feeling for a classically designed wedding. Lace is the most timeless wedding detail, and we love the lace accents that Invitations by Dawn have included in their new collections! If you’re looking for an elegant and vintage accent for your wedding, be sure to check out Invitations by Dawn’s new Love and Lace design from their classically styled Letterpress Collection. And the Embroidered Embrace design from their David Tutera Collection is the perfect addition to any rustic wedding! 

We’re so excited about Invitations by Dawn’s newest lace wedding invitations and they’re excited to share an amazing discount with Once Wed readers today! Get 25% off of your wedding invitation suite by using the code ONCEWED25 at checkout.*

*This offer includes their premium collections such as Letterpress and Foil-Stamped invitations but does exclude Disney Invitations. Offer valid through 8/31/2014. 



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05.20.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Romantic and Rustic Wedding in Mexico

Sometimes we are sent weddings that almost don’t even seem like they could be real. Megan and Stephan’s wedding, sent to us by the talented Rylee Hitchner, just seems like a dream. All of the antique Mexican details are so incredibly beautiful, and we can’t wait to share their special day with you. We have a little more about the wedding from the Bride herself:

>We kicked off our wedding celebration on Tuesday before the wedding.  My family flew down early and we spent the week showing them around Mexico City, where Stephan is from and his large extended family still lives.  The pre-wedding celebration gained momentum as our friends trickled in from the US throughout the week.  By Friday morning, most of our guests had arrived and we left Mexico City for Cuernavaca.  Cuernavaca is about two hours outside of Mexico, and it is known for being the “land of eternal Spring”.  The biggest challenge for us was melding together two difference cultural concepts of what a wedding should be. I envisioned a formal event. Stephan wanted a party that would go all night. I like to think we accomplished both! Our favorite part of the wedding day was the ceremony itself.  It included Mexican traditions, American traditions, and a few touches that were all our own.  We had a string quartet and 2 guitarist.  They actually learned an acoustic version of a techno song we both love called White Sands. They played this song while we whispered vows we had written ourselves just to each other.  It was a very intimate and romantic moment.  The DJ later announced us with the same song playing, but that time it was to the original techno version to send everyone the message that it was time to celebrate!

Photographer:  Rylee Hitchner | Hotel:  Ex-Hacienda de Vista Hermosa | Wedding Venue:  Ex-Hacienda de Temixco | Videographer:  Wade Koch | Florist:  Ana Lya | Music: Ezquerro | Caterer:  Les le Croissants | Bride’s Dress:  Pronovias | Bride’s shoes:  Jimmy Choo |Bride’s Earrings:  Vintage Lulu Frost | Groom’s Tux:  Gucci | Calligraphy:  M. K. Sadler |Ribbon: Froufrou Chic

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05.19.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

How to Wear a Blush Wedding Dress

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Anything other than a white or ivory wedding dress used to be considered nontraditional, but not these days. “Blush” is possibly the most popular wedding color of the last few years. It first caught on as the “it” bridesmaid dress color and has crept its way into bridal fashion. Modern brides are opting to add a touch of color to the most important dress they’ll ever wear. When deciding how to add a touch of color, soft pink tones are at the top of the list. In fact, the image below by Jose Villa is one of the most pinned images of wedding dresses this year!

blush gowns

While I’m not a pink girl myself, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the tasteful blush wedding dresses on the market recently. This past fall, I had a client wear a gorgeous blush Reem Acra wedding gown. It was simply stunning. I dare say, it was more beautiful than any white gown I’ve seen in person!

When picking a gown with color, it’s important to ask for a swatch of the fabric so you can choose complementary colors for the bridal party attire. This was a little bit of a challenge for my client. At first, she thought that she wanted her bridesmaids to wear champagne dresses, but up next to her blush dress the colors just didn’t work. The champagne color looked a little “dirty” and it detracted from her beautiful dress. She also considered having the groomsmen wear navy, but that didn’t look right either. We tried a few other options and settled on dove grey dresses by Jenny Yoo. The groom opted for a black modern ­cut tux and the groomsmen wore charcoal grey suits. Instead of competing against one another, all the colors complimented and blended well.

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There are styles and cuts of blush dresses for every type of bride. Whether you are looking for a modern dress or a bohemian gown, there is “the one” out there for you. When you are shopping for your pink dress, keep in mind the shade of pink that you are looking for. If you have warm undertones, pick a pink that is yellow or peach based. If you have cool undertones, pink a pink that is grey or silver based. It’s simple to remember, warm with warm, cool with cool.

Don’t be afraid to shop in unexpected places if you are looking for a nontraditional dress. Although most bridal boutiques have caught on to this trend, they may not have as many options as a high­-end department store or a boutique that sells evening gowns.

If having something custom-made is an option, you can work with your designer or seamstress to choose the perfect style, fabric and shade for you. You could even just add a hint of color to the detail of your white/ivory wedding dress.

If there’s any day that you should feel your best and most beautiful, it’s your wedding day. And to be completely honest, white isn’t always the most flattering color. If you feel best in a pink dress, then wear it with confidence!

I’d love to hear, are you a pink wedding dress kind of bride?

Article: Jessica Sloane | Graphic: Hannah Lee | First Image: Jessica Lorren | Second Image: Jose Villa | Last Image: Jessica Lorren

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05.15.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog