Romantic Beach Wedding in Hawaii

While those planning a destination wedding in Hawaii typically dream of a warm, sunny day, sometimes that’s just not the case. And in looking at these beautiful images from Amanda and Brandon’s Oahu wedding, we can’t help but feel that the rain only added to the romantic ambiance. With the stormy skies whipping Amanda’s veil around, fog cover, and rough blue waters in the background, their beachfront vows couldn’t be more inspiring.

More from the photographer, A Fist Full of Bolts: 
“These two came into our lives about 8 months ago as Brandon was planning his proposal. He was planning something special, something elaborate and he wanted us to be there to watch it unfold. During this time, we fell in love with them. Their love was so thick you could reach out a grab it — They are so absolutely in love with one another. Fast forward to their wedding day. Brandon and Amanda wanted something intimate. They invited only their closest friends and family to Oahu where they got married on a secret beach off the North Shore. This day was magic. Their wedding was honest and real. It was a true honor to capture the love and spirit of their wedding.”

Photography: A Fist Full of Bolts | Floral Arrangements: Passion Roots | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero with custom alterations by Bride’s grandmother | Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie | Groom and Groomsmen Tuxes: Urbana Custom Clothier | Wedding Rings: Tiffany & Co. | Bride/Groom First Look Location: Turtle Bay Resort | Wedding Ceremony Location: Laie Hawaii LDS Temple | Ring Ceremony Location: Kualoa Ranch – Secret Beach | Wedding Dinner Location, Food, and Custom Cake: Moana Surfrider Resort

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09.29.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

(how) Can I like being on Instagram?


At a recent workshop, Emily asked a group of florists,“How many of you spend more time curating your Instagram than your blog or website?”14 out of 15 raised their hands.

What’s more, 10 out of 15 said a lot of their weddings for next year came from Instagram. [Big eyes emoji.]

Instagram is creating a huge and rapid shift in the way the wedding world is working, for better or for worse. Do you think it’s an overstatement to say one must have a winning IG account to maintain a growing wedding business these days?

This development is pretty good news for photographers as it leans so heavily on a skill set where they’ve already got a leg up. But florists, planners, calligraphers, rental companies, stylists, designers and even caterers are all equally required to add photography to their list of necessary competencies now in order to create compelling imagery to promote their services.

But even for the photographers there are some real challenges. (Can I get an amen?)

For all of its benefits, Instagram comes with  some real challenges that tend to create a love/hate relationship with the platform.

  • How do we walk that fine line between staying relevant yet remaining authentic?
  • How do we continue to use Instagram for the growth of our business without that feeling of “selling out” in order to make a living?
  • Can Instagram truly be a fulfilling creative outlet? Or will it always feel like a drain and chore?
  • How can I continue to grow my following on Instagram AND book more business

It’s a question Joy and Emily have been grappling with for some time now, posing the question “Can I Like being on Instagram?”

We think you’ll be surprised by their thoughts on the topic. CLICK HERE to read more!

09.29.15 / Featured, News Blog

A Classic Vineyard Wedding

We’ll never tire of a classic garden party, bedecked in crisp whites and natural greens. Chris and Adrys’ vineyard wedding is just that: with local flowers and fresh foliages, wicker charger plates and cafe lighting, and a vineyard just down the way, you could follow this wedding as a recipe for an elegant event.

More from the photographer, Merari: 
“When I first met Chris and Andrys in Miami they were so excited to have a local small, intimate celebration with close family and friends. A few months before the wedding Andrys got in touch and said that their small event had ballooned up to a huge party. Since they both had huge families and many acquaintances it was difficult to control the guest list and pretty soon it became overwhelming. She and Chris had a heart to heart and decided that they were going to follow their original plan. They found the perfect location in San Luis Obispo and planned their new destination wedding in just three months!

On their wedding day Adrys and Chris exchanged vows in front of 25 friends and family members. They had an al fresco dinner with locally-made wine and danced the night away under the stars. It was magical and exactly how they always envisioned their wedding day.”


Venue: Biddle Ranch Vineyard | Event Planning: SandCastle Celebrations | Floral Deisgn: Clover and Branch | Photography: Merari Photography | Paper Goods: Epoch Design | Catering: Field to Table Events | Baked Goods: Splash Cafe | DJ: Modern Symphony DJ | Wedding Dress: Monique Lluillier, Rocha | Videography: Dustin Wise 

09.28.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

How to Plan a Wedding Tablescape


Your wedding reception is a celebration, where the people that cherish you both come together to commemorate your new beginnings. A part of this celebration is the meal you share together. As one of the most important events of your life, your table design should be carefully thought out and represent who you are as a couple and individually.

Wedding planner and designer Eileen Morales, of Beauty in the Making, talks us through how she helps her clients plan their wedding tablescape.

Find your style
1. To begin, collect images that distinctly inspire your color combination and aesthetics. With those create an inspiration board. While doing this, take into consideration the style of your ceremony, wedding dress and location. You want to use this vision to help make your “tablescape” design uniquely yours.

Pay attention to your venue
2. Let the venue inspire you. Feel the life of the reception space and let it dictate how it can be used. Look at the lighting, structure and design to determine the type of table, linen and color combination that works best for your style. Establish whether or not you will use table linens, runners or none of these if the table’s natural composition complements the look you’re aiming for.

Choose your chairs
3. The chairs should complement the table, the space and design without conflicting with the “tablescape”. It should all bring harmony.

Plan your centerpiece
4. The centerpiece is literately the “center” of your design and it sets the stage. When you choose the flowers think of the desired colors, size, textures and shape that enhances your look. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to only flowers. If you desire, you can explore with other elements such as candles, wood, greenery, etc. Make sure that your centerpiece does not block the view of your guests, so they can enjoy their time without barriers.

Select your plates, flatware, glassware
5. Your plate, flatware and glassware setting selection helps to complete your story. There are many styles that can be rented to fashion your design. Having the setting on the table when the guests arrive is like an invitation to the feast.

Accent with details
6. Once you’ve set your table, the addition of details such as stationery, napkins and candle votives provide the finishing touches. The stationery need not be over the top, something as simple as a personalized place card set neatly on a folded napkin can be enough. Candles, whether tea light votives or tapers, add to the atmosphere of your tablescape.




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09.25.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning