A Meaningful Elopement in Hawaii

We’re honored to share some of the beautiful images and moments from Lisa and Luke’s Hawaiian elopement. They created a rich, meaningful ceremony full of unique traditions. What traditions will you be including in your wedding?

Read on for more ceremony details from the bride:
“From the moment we connected with our officiant, Kelvin, we knew he would create the completely unique and spiritual ceremony we were dreaming about. We gave him complete freedom to create the ceremony and incorporate Hawaiian traditions he thought would be meaningful to us.The only involvement we had in designing the ceremony was in writing our own vows and contributing a poem that we felt was representative of us and our approach to life. During e-mail correspondence (we never met in person or talked on the phone even before that day!) he asked about our love story and our vision for the day.

One thing we mentioned was our deep, mutual commitment to mindfulness and gratitude in our relationship and life. With that information, Kelvin decided to include a few traditions that he thought would “speak to our hearts.”

We started with a hand washing ritual. First we each washed our own hands to signify acceptance, recognition and forgiveness of our individual past, then we washed each other’s hands to represent the same kindness towards one another. We followed this with the traditional exchanging of leis as a symbol of our love for one another.

We were also led through a tradition called “ha.” “Ha” was a practice meant to bring awareness to our breath. We gave silent thanks to our respective paths for bringing us to this place, and developed a place of remembrance for this peak moment in our life together.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the ceremony was the coconut ritual. As told by our officiant, the coconut is essential to island life historically as it could satisfy every basic need. During this, Kelvin broke open the coconut with a rock and presented Luke with half. He held it out for me to drink from it and then I to him, symbolizing our dedication to providing for one another. I then poured the rest into the sand as an offering to the Earth and lastly he had Luke throw the shell into the sea.”

Photographer: Rachel Thurston |Dress: Michelle Mason | Necklace: Grandmother | Rings: Halloween (vintage collection) | Suit Jacket: Enzo Custom | Shirt: Ratio Clothing | Pants: Lands End | Maile Lei | Hair: Lauren at Boston Hair Design (beeshieedoeshair@gmail.com) | Haku: Elvirine Chow (heavenlyhakus@aol.com) | Bouquet: The Bride | Officiant

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08.12.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Elegant Garden Wedding Reception

Yesterday, we shared Jen and Salil’s wedding ceremony, and today we’re excited to showcase their elegant garden reception. Set under an amazing canopy of verdant foliage, with tables dressed in oatmeal linen and lush arrangements of white and green florals lining long, family-style tables, this gorgeous event is one not to be missed.

Photography: Tec Petaja | Design and florals: McKenzie Powell | Planner: Holly Rohrbacher | Paper goods: Willow and Ink Studio | Dress: Luly Wang | Groom attire: Theory | Venue: Lakewood Gardens

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08.11.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Elegant Black Tie Wedding in Washington

With just a quick glance through these photos, anyone can see that Jenn and Salil’s Washington summer wedding was an elegant affair. If you’re planning a black tie fete, we encourage you to take a second look, as some of our favorite details set this beautiful wedding apart from other classic weddings. Floral design is always one of the best-loved elements of a wedding day, and these amazing blooms created by McKenzie Powell are no exception. The lush arrangements and elegant white and green palette lend a traditional feel, while the garden-inspired flower selections and botanical greenery reinvent the classic look.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2, with more images and inspiration from Jenn and Salil’s wedding day!

Photography: Tec Petaja | Design and florals: McKenzie Powell | Planner: Holly Rohrbacher | Paper goods: Willow and Ink Studio | Dress: Luly Wang | Groom attire: Theory | Venue: Lakewood Gardens

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08.10.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

5 Things to Know About Wedding Calligraphy

So, you’ve pinned some gorgeous calligraphy ideas on Pinterest and you’ve been obsessively researching envelope etiquette. Now how do you find a calligrapher who can take your wedding to the next level?

Whether you’re drawn to whimsical, modern styles or want a simple, classic look, you can find a calligrapher to fit your aesthetic, time frame and budget. Here Kristara Schnippert shares with us five things you may not know about working with a calligrapher.




There are a lot of different styles of calligraphy—modern, classic or casual brushed lettering. Take a look at your calligrapher’s portfolio of past work or ask for some samples to see if they’re a good fit for you.


More than just beautiful writing, calligraphy is a skilled art that can never be replicated with a font or a printer. Each letter is written carefully and precisely. Each envelope must be prepped, dried and proofed. Every once in a while, the ink splatters or something smears. Because of this, calligraphy is a slow process. Calligraphers have several projects going at once, so expect your order to take a couple of weeks (or you’ll be considered a rush job and be charged accordingly).


With calligraphy, you really do get what you pay for. An experienced calligrapher has worked with a wide range of papers, surfaces, inks, nibs and paints, so they’ll make fewer mistakes. Calligraphers can also customize letter styles, join letters in unique ways, add gorgeous flourishing, custom match inks and more. In general, the more experienced a calligrapher is, the more options you’ll have. The best calligraphers are booked weeks – if not months – in advance, so it’s good to be proactive.


A lot of calligraphers charge extra for dark envelopes, lined envelopes, metallic ink or extra lines. That’s because all of those things take more time. Dark envelopes require penciled guidelines to ensure straight writing. Metallic inks are more time-consuming to write with. And four-line addresses take more time to write out than just three.


Beyond envelopes, you can incorporate calligraphy elements into your invitations themselves, develop a monogram or even create one-of-a-kind wedding signage. Most calligraphers ask that you send the paper or mediums (think fun mediums like leaves, rocks, driftwood, ribbon) you want to use. And remember, this is all done by hand, so don’t forget to include extras (usually 10-15%) depending on the project.

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08.07.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog