Elegant Charleston Plantation Wedding Ideas for Bliss & Bokeh

Back in October, Joy Thigpen and I were asked to take part in a wonderful retreat for female photographers, Bliss & Bokeh. We had a lovely time escaping for a few days and being a part of such a wonderful community of female photographers and creatives. In addition to speaking, we were also asked to create an editorial at Middleton Gardens for the attendees to shoot.  So much of our inspiration from the shoot came from the gorgeous venue, Middleton Gardens. We loved the contrast of the dark shutters on the main house up against the delicate spanish moss hanging from the surrounding trees. We added hints of lace and gold to give the details of the day a more elegant feel.

The ladies of Bliss & Bokeh just announced a workshop in February for wedding planners. Be sure to check out Bliss & Bespoke for more information about the retreat.

Photography: KT Merry | Venue: Middleton Gardens | Creative Direction, Styling, & Flowers: Joy Thigpen | Hair and Makeup: Joy Thigpen | Cake: Joy Thigpen | Invitations: Gather Co. | Wedding Dresses: Elie Saab from Ever After  | Assistants: Kelly Sauer and Stephanie Gibbs | Farm Table: Ooh Events | Rentals: Event DRS | Calligraphy: Meagan Tidwell

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11.05.13 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Shepherd under the hawthorn tree….

Shepherd under the hawthorn tree….

We created a shoot about simplicity, probity and calm, the girl unveiling her natural, relaxed, and unpretentious beauty to a condition of holiness. Her hermitage is deep in the mountains, a life lived true and a celebration of nature – the girl is a living sermon. The book she clutches surely contain the words of wisdom and no doubt the honeysuckle wine is a labour of love. Wildflowers and grasses enliven the brown tones of the stoney hills – the girl with the brown hair is a lapidarian – envisioning her life inscribed in these monuments of mountain and stone.

Sometimes she listens to the silence, she gazes at the falling light on the hills, or a patch of heathered weeds – for her sources of unimaginable happiness. She has no longings to be other than where she is. It is a gift that comes from discovering the joy of connecting with her soul’s purpose. This girl radiates outer simplicity but fulfilling inner plenitude, her life radiates both purity and joy.

She, seduced by the golden light, follows the wind through the fields of barley and wheat, ready to be harvested. She lives imposed in a colour palette of ivory, milk, sage, muted butter, mottled through and through with flowering cosmos and sprigs of blackberries. These tones set off the few treasures that she owns, give depth, and personality. One day she knows the wool she spun or vessel she painstakingly carved will be heirlooms of their own, but for now remain simply true and handmade charms.

This shoot is a unique way of looking at minimalist purity, simple but with an undeniable and enviable balance of charm and warmth.

Every Shepard Tells His Tale Under the Hawthorn Tree from story of eve on Vimeo.


Creative Direction, Production & Design: Pearl & Godiva | PhotographyRylee Hitchner  | Cinematographer: Story of Eve | MUA: Sarah Keary from Dylan Bradshaw | Hair: Michelle O’Halloran | Florals: Hanako Floral Studio | Stationery: Pearl & Godiva | Props sourced by: Pearl & Godiva | Food Styling: Jetti Virdi | Wedding Gowns: Maria Lluisa Rabell | Bespoke Headpiece & Shoes: Opal & Owl | Jewellery: Boho & Plume  | A special thank you to Slea Head Farm Guesthouse

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11.04.13 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Khanh Hogland Wedding Photography


We were instantly in love when we first came across Khanh Hogland’s film photography. We adore the crisp, bright, colorful, yet soft quality of her photos, and we immediately wanted to see more. We are so happy to have Oklahoma based fine art film photographer Khanh Hogland Photography as a new sponsor here on Once Wed, and we’re thrilled to tell you more about her and her absolutely stunning photography!

Like most photographers, Khanh worked in the digital format for a while before discovering her passion for film photography. Khanh fell in love with film while working with natural light, and organic locations, as film brought out the natural beauty of her surroundings. She appreciates clients who are searching for photographs that have amazing depth, richness, color, and sharpness for their wedding day. By shooting in film, Khanh is able to capture your love story and the beauty of your relationship in the most organic and lovely way possible.

We are just enamored with Khanh’s style of photography, and we’re so excited to announce that she’s been generous enough to offer an 8 hour photography session to a lucky Once Wed reader!  You will receive 7 hours the day of your wedding, and a 1 hour engagement shoot the day before because Khanh loves getting to know her couples prior to their wedding day. You will get to experience the beauty of her craft first hand as she shoots your wedding day in all film, which is a $3,000 value! Albums, prints and other products are additional and can be ordered through Khanh. She is willing to travel to you for your photography session, but the lucky winner of this giveaway must pay travel fees up front if your wedding is located outside of Oklahoma.*

To Enter: Comment below with your name, email, wedding date, and wedding location or venue. Please tell us a little about your story, style, wedding and why you think Khanh would be the right photographer for you! Khanh will pick the winning couple on December 1st.

Visit Khanh Hogland’s website to check out her absolutely stunning portfolio!

*Khanh Hogland will make travel arrangements for herself.

This contest is now closed. The winner is  Wesley Sheffield.

11.04.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

How to Blow Dry Big Waves


Yes, you can get big waves without using a curling iron! One of my favorite things about this look is the amount of time you can rock this look. Yes yes, it does take a little bit of time to do but not much more than blowdrying AND curling it, plus it cuts out another heat damaging tool. With the products we used, it allows the hair to stay voluminous for a couple days!



Blow dryer.
Boar bristel brush.
Heat protectant and styling product. Like B&B Prep- heat protectant/detangler and B&B Thickening spray- root lift.
and a little bit of time :)

1. Start by prepping the hair with bumble & bumble prep and thickening spray. This allows the hair to stay in the shape you blow dry. Make sure hair is generously damp with the product (either from the shower or dry hair) Comb the hair evenly.

2. First, dry the roots lifting them away from the direction of the growth. Then start taking sections of hair (as big as your round brush) and start drying the hair as your rolling the brush up and down the shaft of the hair.

3. Once you have dried each section, take your fingers and roll the hair around them, as if you’re “rolling” your hair. (also- make sure there is a good hole in the rolls, this assures a good curl)

4. Pin and spray each roll as you go. Let the hair cool off, once you’re done with the last roll give the entire hair time to set. (we suggest to do your make up at this point)

5. Once the hair sets, take each roll down. Then take a boar bristle brush and start brushing your hair out. This might seem like you’re combing all the curl out, but what you’re doing is creating a wave by combing all the curls together, and taming them.Let the hair do its thing and spray once you achieve the look you love!

Photography and Styling: The lovely ladies of Irrelephant

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10.31.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured