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

Win $800 from Watermark Stationery

Watermark Stationery  is an award-winning design studio, in love with all the details of your day.  With a firm reputation in providing paper services for every budget, they believe working with a design team shouldn’t increase the budget.  They also believe that your invitation should be a collaboration of your style and influence.  Their design team will help you articulate that style onto paper while respecting your timeline and spending expectations.

Watermark will work together to create the perfect unveiling of the first and only peek into your event before your guests arrive. Fluent in every print process and a leader in setting trends, their Graphic Designers are not just consultants. Their team takes pride in their craft and offer a truly personal experience, putting you at ease from the very beginning.

Once Wed is delighted to announce that Watermark is giving one lucky Once Wed reader an $800 credit to use for either custom designed stationery, or for a wonderful shopping spree in their online store.  With all online orders always 30% off this a really wonderful opportunity!

Just visit  Watermark and comment below, telling us what you love about their products and why the products you love will be a great fit for your wedding style.  Please comment by April 15, 2014 for a chance to win.

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Cassie Dexter!

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03.10.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

DIY Knotted Bun Wedding Hairstyle


As you all know…I love easy hairstyles. It’s so nice being able to throw my hair up and go, and I know many of do too. It feels like I’m constantly running from meeting to meeting, so the bun has become a staple part of my wardrobe. If you’re like me at all, you want your hair and style to represent who you are despite what you’re doing- may that be a coffee date at Starbucks or your wedding.  You want to feel comfortable on your wedding day, just like every other day, so you can truly enjoy every moment without having to fuss over your hair too much.  Thank goodness that Heidi Marie Garrett and Bryce Covey have shared this DIY Knotted Bun tutorial with us! This is a beautiful everyday alternative to a top knot, and it would make the most elegant wedding hair- it is the perfect updo for a bride looking for an elegant style with a casual flair. diy-low-bun-hair-tutorial-bryce-covey-amy-clarke 1) Gather hair to one side and place in a ponytail behind the ear 2) Begin twisting a wrapping the ponytail as if you are tying a knot 3) As you tie the ponytail into a knot, do not pull the tail all the way through 4) Secure the knotted bun with large bobby pins 5) Gently pull and tug the hair from the crown and throughout the bun to create texture and fullness 6) Spray with a finishing product Try it out this quick and easy DIY bun tutorial and let us know how it goes! Instagram your photos, tag us @OnceWed, and use the hashtag #OnceWedDIY.

Photography: Bryce Covey | Makeup: Amy Clarke | Hair: Heidi Marie Garrett  | Creative Direction: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Layout and Graphic: Hannah Lee

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03.06.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Romantic English Countryside Wedding

Isn’t this just the dreamiest wedding? This sweet English Countryside wedding seems just like a scene out of Downton Abbey. We adore the old-world feeling created by the combination of the bride’s traditional dress and veil, the simple use of wildflowers, the men in morning coats, the 11th century church, and the simple reception, which was held at the Bride’s childhood home. We’re going to bask in the loveliness of this beautiful little wedding all day.

From Charlotte, the Bride:

James and I met at university and had been together for 7 years when he asked me to marry him. When I said ‘yes!’ there was no question in our minds where we would get married – at my parents’ house in the countryside. Having lived here for most of my life; a farm house surrounded by wildflower meadows, vegetable gardens, ponds and orchards – it was easy to image a quintessentially English wedding here. 

We married in June and were blessed with blue skies and fair weather. We wanted to create a relaxed and informal day for our guests – a traditional, country wedding…with a few surprises thrown in. The ceremony was held at an 11th century church in the village filled with vintage flowers and all our friends and family. Afterwards, we travelled the short distance back to the house for a marquee reception. The traditional pole tent was positioned in the middle of a buttercup field and guests walked through meandering cut-grass paths to reach it. Inside, the long tables were laid with cut glass, fresh flowers and pewter tableware. We enjoyed beautiful food and wine, laughter-filled speeches and big band dancing until the early hours. It was the most perfect, dreamy day and one that we will all remember and cherish for the rest of our lives. 

Photographer: Polly Alexandre | Florist:  Scarlet & Violet | Make Up: Arabella Preston | Hair: Beverley at Eclipse | Band: The Staxs | Cake: Jacky’s Cakes | Catering: Cavendish Events | Ceremony Location: All Saints Church, Brill | Reception Location: Bride’s Parents Home, Buckinghamshire | Bride’s Dress: Mira Zwillinger | Bride’s Shoes: Emmy | Bridesmaids dresses: Tephi | James’ Suit: Ede & Ravencroft | Invitation: CLD Stationery | Oyster Man: Oyster Meister | Afternoon Reception Music: The Cash Cows 

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03.04.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog