Intimate French Countryside Wedding

We stand in awe of Ginny Au’s timeless and inspired work, and this sweet and romantic French countryside wedding, captured beautifully by Ryan Ray, is no exception. We absolutely adore every detail of this simple and intimate affair, especially that stunning chapel. We have more beautiful words about their special day from the bride:

Some of my and William’s most treasured memories were created in France. We have a tremendous love affair with the country, whether it’s sunshine contrasted against our then wet home of Ireland, or the awe-inspiring architecture of Paris, France that have given us memories that dreams are made of. It seemed only natural for us to say our vows in the French countryside. It was important to us since all our family and friends had to travel from different countries to be with us that we had a small, intimate, communal and family/friends-centric event. From the long al fresco tables during dinner to the tiny old Italian chapel (the estate which housed all guests was originally owned by an Italian family centuries back and would attend mass out the back of the chateau) we just wanted a warm, intimate, and loving vibe.

Having documented so many weddings myself, I immediately wanted somewhere that had the potential for fantastic light paired with rich detail. During the planning process, at nearly every turn, I was insistent on having our ceremony outside to take advantage of the perfect light. However, as soon as I saw the tiny chapel on the chateau grounds, I fell in love ,and though it was fairly dark from a photography standpoint, it was incredibly romantic and beautiful (and of course our photos were still incredible). For our ceremony, I wanted it to be slightly different from the rest of the wedding because it was to us, the most important and sacred part and start as a married couple. The tiny church held hundreds of candles, wooden and slightly mismatched chairs, a single aisle lined perfectly with foraged greenery from the grounds by the amazing and tireless Ginny, and simple, natural ceremony programs. We ended our ceremony with cute acoustic rendition of Johnny and June Cash’s “Jackson” which was perfectly us. If I had to choose a favorite detail from the day, it might have been our “Together in a Bucket” sign. Its a little quote William and I say to each other and Lindsay (House of Hannah) put her talents to inscribing it on my dear grandmother’s old mirror who had recently passed. We now have it in our home and it means the world to me. 

There were a million things that made the day but having our friends (all vendors included) and family there and simply enough marrying each was a magical experience. 

 Photography: Ryan Ray | Creative Direction & Styling: Ginny Au | Rentals & Design: Lindsay Moynagh, House of Hannah | Dress & Veil: Kathy de Stafford | Paper: Brown Linen Design | Hair and Makeup: Brittany Massey | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Flower girl dress: hand sewn by the bride | Earrings: Knights Bridge Boutique | Engagement Ring: Appleby | Weddings Bands –  simple gold bands (his and hers) by local Irish goldsmith | Singer/guitarist for ceremony and cocktail hour: Polly Jones | DJ | Videography: Rewind Documentaries | Venue and Catering: Chateau De Varennes | Groom’s suit: Louis Copeland | Cake: Patisserie Cherie |  Makeup: Annette Fouracade | Officiant/Vicar: Father Christopher Morgan – OEC East of England, Parish of St. Thomas | Hair: Samuel Gachet from Jack Holt Prestige International

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04.28.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Botanical Inspired Wedding Invitations

Ending the week with a set of gorgeous botanical inspired wedding invitations from designer, Lisa Hedge.

Have a wonderful weekend!

via Snippet & Ink

04.25.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

A Guide to Writing Your Perfect Wedding Vows

The truth is, when a bride first begins envisioning her wedding, her attention naturally shifts to thinking about how beautiful the tablescape will be, whether or not she will fall going down the aisle (which NEVER happens by the way!), and how amazing it will be to finally marry her sweetie.  It’s usually a bit further down the road that they begin contemplating their vows, which is ironic, since it’s the moment they truly become husband and wife.   Not unlike the décor or the food, the vows are an opportunity to truly represent the couple is at their core.  There are two ways to go about your vows; the first is to simply go the traditional, pre-written route.  While some people might be hesitant about this, if you’re really nervous about writing or reading your vows, these vows are classics for a reason.  From now until eternity, their beauty will always ring true.  And in some situations, like a church ceremony, the traditional route is by far the most appropriate.  And for those who want to write their own, it’s a beautiful way to cap off your ceremony.  Keep a couple of things in mind if you do decide to write your vows on your own:

First, vows are meant to be vows; they are the promises you’re making to one another, the rules that will guide your marriage, no matter where life takes you.  Make sure you touch upon the love, support and respect you will always have for the other and the dedication you’ll have to your marriage.

Second, if you are taking the time to write your own vows, make them personal!  For example, does your husband tend to compromise to make you happy? Promise to try to meet him in the middle as best you can and when you can’t, let him know you’ll always love him for being the one who can.

Third, keep in mind that you’ll be thinking back on these words thirty years down the road.  Although you want them to be personal, and maybe even a bit playful, you might look back and regret if all you spoke about was your promise to support their favorite football team and share the remote when you want to watch American Idol and he wants to watch Sports Center.

Most importantly, whether you’re creating new vows or using the classics, remember that the moment you read them, no matter how nervous you are, or what you’re saying, you’re promising to love someone for the rest of your life, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

Article written by: Sarah Tolboe & Marla Weintraub of Park & Grove Event Studio | Graphic: Stephanie Shertz | Photograph for Graphic: Tec Petaja

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04.24.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

Tips for Cleaning Your Ring from Jewelers Mutual

Your jewelry, especially your engagement ring, deserves special attention. You should insure, guard, and take care of your engagement ring- part of taking care of your ring involves cleaning it properly. We have a few tips from our favorite jewelry insurers, Jewelers Mutual, on how to properly clean your jewelry for this spring!

Skip the toothpaste: It’s a bit of a misconception that you should clean your jewelry with toothpaste. Yes, it does give your diamonds some sparkle, but the abrasives that clean our teeth can cause damage to the metal and stones of your ring. Instead of using toothpaste, try taking an ammonia-based cleaner or rubbing alcohol and a soft toothpaste to clean your diamonds.

Watch out for the sink: It’s your worst nightmare- you’re cleaning your engagement ring, it slips, and down it goes… Avoid washing your jewelry in the sink because they can easily slip out of your hands and get lost down the drain.

Keep an eye out for labels: If you’re using cleaning supplies created specifically for cleaning jewelry, make sure you’re mindful of which stone it is meant for. There are some cleaners made specifically for cleaning diamonds, opals, emeralds, etc.

Other helpful hints from Jewelers Mutual on how to keep your jewelry in the best shape- have it professionally checked and cleaned a couple of times a year to ensure the stones are secure and everything is still in place. Visit the jeweler for a check when you bump your ring or if you feel like anything is off. And remember, during your yearly jewelry check-up, have them check the current value of your jewelry to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Thanks so much to Jewelers Mutual for sharing these tips with us. Your engagement ring won’t mean anything if it’s ruined or lost, so take care!

Photography:  Mandy Busby | Graphic: Hannah Lee

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04.24.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog