Light-Filled New York City Engagement

This engagement session almost brought us to tears. Honestly, Eric Kelley seems to have somehow captured the love between these two in the most intimate and revealing way. Every frame speaks to their affection for one another, and we couldn’t love it any more.

Here’s more from the bride:

Josh and I met at the University of Virginia but our relationship really began when we both moved to New York City after graduation six years ago. Josh proposed last summer while we were on vacation in Sardinia, Italy. He swam from the small boat we had rented to meet me on the beach and when I looked up he was down on one knee proposing. We had been together so long but I was still taken back by how emotional it was, we enjoyed the moment on the beach and drank from a bottle of prosecco. The celebration continued later that night when he surprised me with a private boat ride to a candlelit beach side dinner.

I will admit that I couldn’t wait to start planning and called Easton Events while still on vacation to enlist their expertise for the big day. We’re both from Virginia and will be getting married at Verulam Farm in Charlottesville over Labor Day weekend. Since our wedding will be back home we wanted our engagement pictures to be taken in the city, were we fell in love and share a life together now. Josh is the creator of the Mason Shaker and founder partner of W&P Design based in Brooklyn, and I’m the Director at a gallery in the city.

We both were immediately drawn to Eric Kelley’s romantic but composed style and love how the photos came out. The dreamy bedroom shots were taken at the Standard Hotel, then we walked down through the cobblestone streets of the West Village to a favorite coffee shop. I worked with Lora Kelley to achieve a soft and natural look for my hair and makeup.

All in all, everything with this session is perfection.

Photographer: Eric Kelley | Event Planner (for the wedding): Easton Events | Hair and Makeup: Lora Kelley | Shoot Location: The Standard Hotel High Line & around New York | White Dress: Monique L’Huillier | Blue Dress: Chelsea Flower from Intermix | Yellow: Rebecca Taylor

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07.25.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog, Wedding Ideas Blog

DIY Gold Leaf Place Cards

GoldLeafingPlaceCarddiy-gold-leafing-placecards-tableIf we could cover everything in gold foil, we would. We simply adore the delicate and rich touch that gold foil adds to paper, and we loved these name cards that Meghan Kay Sadler created for our welcome dinner at the Erich McVey workshop. Keep reading for the full tutorial.

diy-gold-leafing-placecards-tutorial1From Meghan:

The layering of handmade paper with natural edges, charcoal writing, and organic gold leafing make these name cards a detailed gem to a simple tablescape. Instead of classic calligraphic ink writing, this name card is a bit more DIY friendly, since using a charcoal pencil is easier for a novice letterer, and you have the option of erasing.

Supplies (All found at Blick Art Supply Store)

Handmade cream paper (Comes in large sheets)

Gold leaf

Charcoal pencil (Personally, I like General’s but any brand will do)

-Small paintbrush

Tacky glue


-Pencil sharpener


1) To maintain the natural edge of the paper fold a 1 inch strip back and forth until able to tear a relatively straight edge (add moisture on the edge if necessary).

2) Fold smaller sections back and forth to make 3-4in name cards. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t completely straight.

3) Using a regular pencil, lightly write out the name to make sure it fits properly.

4) Go over your writing with a sharpened charcoal pencil. Once you get a feel for the spacing you can just use the charcoal pencil. Be sure to keep the pencil sharp so you get the fine lines. To obtain a varying line weight, press a little harder on the downstroke of all your letters.

5) Dip your small paintbrush in the tacky glue and apply a light layer of glue where you’d like the leafing to be placed. Feel free to change up the placing to keep the cards looking organic.

6) While still in bag separate the sheets of gold leafing into smaller parts. Layout gold leafing in a flat jar or plate. Dip your brush into the gold leafing, place on the glue section of your name card. The leafing should stick to the paper, but you may need to help it lay flat with your hands. Apply until all the glue is covered, remove excess gold leafing.

Tutorial Photography, Styling for Tutorial, & Calligraphy: Meghan Kay Sadler  | Table Image Styling: Ginny Au | Floral Design: Sarah Winward | Place Setting Image Photography: Erich McVey

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07.24.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

A Guide to the Perfect Wedding Toast

So you’ve been selected to be a maid of honor or a bridesmaid in a wedding –congratulations! You’ve made it through the wedding planning process, the dress fittings, the bachelorette planning, the bridal showers… you even made it down the aisle without a hitch. The final task is the wedding toast, which for some is the most nerve-wracking part. The truth is, it’s an incredible honor to be asked to stand up and toast at someone’s wedding, so don’t worry, you were invited to speak for a reason! Here are our tried and true tips for a perfect wedding speech, we promise, they never fail!

Step 1: Introduce yourself. While you might have known the bride since she was in diapers, don’t expect every other guest at the party does, so start by saying your name and how you know the couple.

Step 2: Make it personal. You’re obviously of incredible importance to at least one half of the couple, so talk about your relationship and what they mean to you. Be it a special story, a few of your favorite memories, or just some good old fashioned compliments, let them know you’re honored to be a part of their lives and a part of this very important day.

Step 3: Talk about the couple. Remember, you’re at a wedding, so make sure to dedicate a good part of your speech to the bride and groom! Say a few things you love about their relationship and some positive things they bring out in one another. Wish them a bright future and a beautiful life ahead.

Step 4: Be yourself. Some people think you should memorize your speech, while others swear by notecards. The truth is, do whatever makes you feel comfortable and at ease. If you don’t think you’re a particularly good storyteller, don’t feel pressure to tell a story! If you don’t like telling jokes, there is no need to try to make everyone laugh. The best speeches are the ones from the heart, so as long as you stay true to yourself and the love you have for the couple, your toast will be a huge and memorable success.

Step 5: Toast. Always remember to end by asking guests to raise their glasses and toast to the newlyweds. And then cheers, you’re done!

Article: Sarah Tolboe of Park & Grove | Photography: Heather Payne | Graphic: Hannah Lee

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07.24.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

Serene Bridal Styling Session

There is a true art in styling a moving and emotional photograph, and Ginny Au has a natural gift for creating touching images alongside some of the world’s most talented photographers. In order to share her gift, Ginny has started offering one-on-one sessions and recently helped Lesley Lau bring a vision to life in the romantic and lush woods of Birmingham, Alabama.

More from Lesley Lau on her inspiration for her session with Ginny:

The inspiration for this shoot was born out of the serenity of the creek and the warmth of the late afternoon light as it disperses through the lush canopy of trees.  The girl is searching for something in the elements, unknown to her and the observer – tracing the aged patterns of the tree bark and exploring the cool flow of the creek’s waters.

Details were kept to a minimum to convey the purity of her search, with the surrounding foliage used as her mask to provide a sense of protection.

One-on-one Session with Ginny Au | Photography: Brushfire Photography | Design and Styling: Lesley Lau | Gown: Gossamer Vintage | Hair and Makeup: Emily Summerville | Photo Lab: PhotoVision

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07.23.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog