Seaside Wedding Anniversary Photos

Beautiful photography is not something that you should limit to your engagement and your wedding day. Today we’re honored to showcase this emotional, honest set of photographs from Lauren Balingit Photography, which celebrates Matt and Natalie’s 8th wedding anniversary.

Lauren Balingit shares the couple’s story:

“When Natalie first met Matt, she was 15 and scoping the mall for ‘cute guys’. Having never had a boyfriend before, she certainly didn’t expect to be meeting her husband that night! After meeting, they talked and laughed for hours, and couldn’t believe how much they had in common; most importantly, their relationship with God and how it impacted their lives. At the end of the night, Matt asked for her home phone number and it was the beginning of their love story. They were married in 2006 when Natalie was 18 and Matt was 21. “People were worried because we were so young, but we never had any doubts. God brought us together at a young age, and being in the center of our marriage, he has kept us together,” says Natalie. “The first years were tough because we were both full time students, but what mattered the most is that we were doing it together and having fun along the way,” said Matt. Matt finally graduated from pharmacy school in 2012, and they decided to follow their dreams and move to sunny southern California, where they currently reside. This year they will be celebrating 8 years of marriage and a love that continues to grow stronger as time passes.”

Vendors: Photographer: Lauren Balingit | Film Lab: Photovision Prints

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02.24.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Moody Bridal Inspiration From Joanna August

Joanna August has long been synonymous with the light, ethereal side of bridal fashion. While beautifully in line with the brand’s typical aesthetic, the versatile 2015 Ceremony collection  invites brides to tell their own story.  The gowns, often featured against the backdrop of a lush green forest, rustic country ranch or sandy beach at sunset, are shown here beautifully juxtaposed against the bleakness of winter displaying the darker, deeply romantic side of the designer and her creations.

Creating something uniquely inspirational for bridal party fashion, designer Joanna August embraced the dark skies of a New York City snow storm to evoke the longing that often accompanies romance, resulting in a perfectly moody while still elegant winter shoot. The industrial location at the Paper Factory Hotel lent itself to the dramatic theme and created an ideal backdrop to the story she wanted to tell. The light color palette stood out against the stark setting and harsh elements to illustrate the fantastic contrast of light shining through the dark…the pure essence of romance. Be sure to view the credits to get the details on all the amazing wedding professionals involved!

All dresses from the Joanna August Ceremony Collection

Credits: Hair: Styles on B | Make Up: Stacie Ford | Photographer: Chellise Michael | Location: Paper Factory Hotel | Jewelry: Elizabeth Bower | Accessories: Twigs and Honey | Flowers: The Arrangement NYC

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02.24.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog


There’s something about a lace wedding dress that instantly gives an air of refinement, elegance, and delicacy. A bride slipping into a lace gown feels an old-world sense of sophistication. Today we’re sharing more from our time with Madison James in Tulum (see our first two shoots of their wedding dress collections here and here).

The two gowns we’re highlighting today are both designed with stunning lace, but are completely different. The first gown’s single strap allows the leaf-inspired lace pattern to be the focal point of the dress, and the sheath shape simply puddles into a gorgeous train. Plus, can you get enough of that  beaded neckline for a little glamor?

The second dress is definitely one of our favorites. The fluttery sleeves and the low back are stunning features that will ensure all eyes are on you.




Dresses: Madison James | Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler | Creative Direction + Bookings: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Creative Direction + Styling + Hair and Makeup: Joy Thigpen for Once Wed |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Venue: Coqui Coqui Vallalodid

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02.23.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

Simple, Gorgeous, Customizable Wedding Websites from Squarespace

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Up to just a few years ago, the options available for wedding websites were, in a word, pathetic. Yet, wedding websites are one of the best resources that a couple can have to keep their guests informed and keep themselves organized. That’s why we’re so excited to share more today from one our favorite sponsors, Squarespace.

The major problems with a lot of the wedding websites that are available today are a lack of user friendliness, dated designs, and complicated URLs—and every single one of those problems is eradicated with the gorgeous, simple, and customizable template options from Squarespace (seriously, we’re obsessed!).

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Why we love Squarespace:

-Completely customizable, award-winning templates that are elegantly designed (perfect for showcasing your beautiful engagement photos!)
-It’s easy to collect your guests’ mailing addresses and RSVPS, saving them into a simple spreadsheet
-Connecting your wedding registries to your site is SO simple, making it a snap for your guests to select a gift. You can even create a customized cash gift registry
-Register for an annual account and you’ll receive a free custom domain name (ie.
-Not a technology-friendly person? No problem. Squarespace is incredibly easy to use, and they also offer incomparable 24/7 support via live chat (and trust me, their support is top notch—we’ve used it several times)
-Squarespace templates feature a built-in responsive design, meaning your website will scale automatically to look great on any device

Better yet? Squarespace is offering a 10% discount exclusively for Once Wed readers! Simply sign up for your annual subscription using the cost ONCEWED15.

Websites courtesy of: Brian and Twila and Reauxphoto | Jill and Ryan and Nostalgic Photography

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02.23.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog