Unique Outdoor Wedding with DIY Details

There is something special with every wedding, and with Lauren and Jordan’s wedding, many of those special details were DIY and designed with intention. Lauren and Jordan wanted their wedding to reflect who they were as a couple. The day was intentionally kept simple, and focused on their relationships with each other, their family, and their friends. From a large bridal party to asking several of their friends to provide different services for the wedding, their photographer described their wedding as “truly intimate and special.”

They chose the South Saskatchewan River Valley for their ceremony, and love how the natural beauty of the grassy knolls created the perfect backdrop for Lauren and Jordan to exchange their vows. The groom made log benches for their guests, and repurposed them in the newlywed’s new home. Lauren knew she wanted a unique gown, and found it in this detailed Mara Hoffman design. To her surprise, Jordan sent her a link to the exact same dress, thinking she might like it. The creative bride also foraged for, and designed, her own bouquet. A highlight of the day was the foot washing ceremony. This act of service to each other was so powerful and beautiful, not a dry eye could be found on the river bank that day.

Photography: Adrian Michael Photography | VenueCranberry Flats, SK | Dress:  Mara Hoffman purchased at Free People | Headpiece and bracelet: Oneiro Designs | Make-up: Sarah Korchinski, (friend) | Hair: DIY by bride | Floral Design: DIY by bride | Bridesmaids Dresses: Free People | Groomsmen Attire – Luna and Hill

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03.30.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Stunning Wedding Dresses from Karen Willis Holmes

We know that every bride is on the search for a wedding gown that perfectly captures her individual style. Luckily for you, we love the new collections from Australian designer Karen Willis Holmes, designed for the trend conscious bride, with unfaltering attention to detail and exceptional fit. Even better, the new collections cater to women wanting couture-like quality, but with the ease and price of a ready-to-wear wedding dress.

Some of our favorite gowns are from the Wild Hearts Collection. Each piece has distinctive style and a sophisticated aesthetic, creating romantic, ethereal silhouettes with their unique overlays, jackets, and skirts to top a simple gown.

The KWH by Karen Willis Holmes Collection is another favorite collection, capturing the imagination of the modern bride. Focusing on exceptional fit, the designs centre on exquisite embellishment and embroidered details. Some of the details we’re loving the most are sheer sleeves, boat neck necklines, and a little old-world glamour.

Even better, each of the KWH Collection is available off-the-rack, nation-wide around the US. Find a complete list of stockists and more information here!

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03.30.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Romantic Blush Wedding Ideas

Blush has been a popular color for weddings for the past few years, and for good reason. This soft, beautiful shade of pink brings a romantic feel to any celebration, and after reading through Chelsea and Austin’s wedding story, you’ll find that the color palette wasn’t the only romantic part of their day. Read on for more, and be sure to Pin some of these ideas to your wedding board. If you’re looking for more blush wedding ideas, check out a few of our favorites here  and here!

From the bride:

“The entire day was perfect and I tend to never fall short of words [or feelings!] when moments like that grace my life. There are two moments that were especially wonderful. 

First, Austin and I  wrote letters to one another. The photos of me reading Austin’s letter to me are some of my favorites. Seven years ago, when Austin and I first started dating, his mother passed away from breast cancer.  I never had the opportunity to meet her, but on our wedding day, in that moment, reading Austin’s words and him giving me a couple of her beloved items meant everything.

And secondly, during our reception we had the band surprise my parents by playing their wedding song and inviting them out on the dance floor to have their own special dance. The song is “Something So Right” by Barbra Streisand. And as this story goes, every year on my parents’ anniversary, my mom puts on her wedding dress and they dance to this song. Every year! Even the years she was pregnant, the dress would be on, the back of it wide open, and they would be dancing. As part of their tradition, my brother, sister and I would always sit on the couch and watch. When we were little, we found the whole thing to be very interesting and would sit there with big eyes, when we got a bit older, we would just sort of roll our eyes and wonder how much longer we had to sit there, but as we’ve grown up, we have developed such an appreciation and incredible love for this sweet tradition of theirs. I think it is so important for children to grow up in an environment like that, to see their parents’ bold love for one another. It’s a special song to us all, and actually the song Austin and I danced to before he proposed!”

Photography: Ali Harper | Wedding Venue: Swan House | Wedding Reception: Atlanta History Center’s Grand Overlook Ballroom | Videography: Timm Young Films | Calligraphy & Paper Goods: Chelsea Petaja | Florals: Amy Osaba Events |  Planner: Stella Harper Events | Gown: Cheryl Taylor | Groom’s suit: J-Crew | Bridesmaid dresses: Kennedy Blue | Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Band: Rhythm Nation | String Quartet: Piedmont Strings | Catering: Affairs to Remember Caterers | Wedding Cake: Frosted Pumpkin | Engagement & Wedding Rings: Jonathan Shapero | Vintage Rolls Royce Getaway Car: Atlanta Vintage Rides | Getting Ready Location: St. Regis Hotel | Photobooth Rental: The Majestic Photobooth

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03.27.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Creating Custom Wedding Sites with Squarespace

When you’re in the process of hiring different vendors for your wedding, chances are that you’re reading testimonials and looking for referrals from your friends who’ve also been married. So, we thought we’d share a testimonial about Squarespace today from Tori, wedding planner at Victoria Austin Designs, who creates a custom wedding website on Squarespace for each of her clients. Why does she choose Squarespace? The attractive, customizable templates that are offered, the user-friendly system, and how simple it makes sharing information with guests! Read on for more!

From Tori, at Victoria Austin Designs:

“What do I think about Squarespace for wedding websites? It’s awesome. I choose to use Squarespace for all of my clients who need a wedding website because of the clean and user-friendly templates they offer. I love that I can easily customize the templates to fit the needs and style of each couple. Plus, they look great, with or without professional engagement photos. It can even have the same elements, colors and/or font styles as the couple’s wedding stationery, to keep the whole look cohesive! The templates are professional, modern and aesthetically pleasing, and you can add maps, links, many pages of information, a blog, gift registries, etc.

When it comes to simplicity, Squarespace is very user-friendly. All of my brides have full-time jobs, so I love to be able to take care of this “to-do” for them if they don’t have the time, or let them take the reigns without major issues. Brides can easily add their information and customize it on their own, or I can pass a finished product off to them and they can simply edit it as they feel needed. Plus, the couples are able to instantly send information regarding their wedding to their guests, without clogging up a pretty invitation suite! It is a lot easier to send tech-friendly guests a quick link when they ask a few questions regarding wedding weekend plans or registry. I think our generation looks to websites first before asking questions, which always gives the bride + groom a little “break.”

Friends and family love seeing wedding websites! They have fun sharing the couple’s wedding website on their own social media outlets so friends near-and-far can see the couple’s upcoming nuptials. They are easy to navigate and when done right, they can find every piece of information they may need…all while still looking good!”

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

First Image Photography: Image Haus Weddings

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03.27.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog