Simple Engagement Session Ideas

There has been a desire in recent years to over-plan engagement sessions, when all a couple really needs is a beautiful location, a talented photographer, and to feel comfortable enough to be themselves in front of the camera. We love how simple Emily and Tyler’s engagement photos are; read on for more from the bride:

Tyler and I are both performers and directors. We spend our lives on stage and off crafting epic and emotional stories. When it came to our engagement shoot, however, we found ourselves gravitating toward inspiration that evoked a feeling of intimacy and simplicity, something much more reflective of who we are offstage. As we sat readying for our shoot we asked our creative director, Ginny Au, to break down the story for us: “What is our blocking? What is our intention?”, questions a performer would typically ask. Ginny responded with wisdom and love by articulating that Tyler and I spend so much of our lives on stage, playing other people, being “on,” and this was our time to turn inward and allow the cherished, truthful moments of our quiet life to be captured. Our photographer, Rylee Hitchner, guided us with such skill that we barely realized we were being photographed. We just got to be us, to be in honest love with each other. It is an enormous gift to see that love suspended in time through the lens of Rylee’s inspired artist’s eye.”

Photography: Rylee Hitchner | Creative Direction: Ginny Au | MUAH: Claudia Mejerle | Location: The Inn at Serenbe | Bride’s Attire, White Nightgown: Lacausa, Cream Dress: Kaarem | Groom’s Attire, White T-shirt, Grey Shirt, Navy Pants: Everlane, Linen Pants: H&M, Shoes: Allen Edmonds, Belt: J.Crew

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10.27.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Elegant Garden Wedding in Wine Country

We’re always excited to see how couples style and plan their own weddings, and Laura and Jimmy’s garden wedding is absolutely brimming with beautiful ideas and elegant inspiration. Set at an estate in wine country, their vows took place in a garden under a romantic canopy of eucalyptus and hydrangea. We’ll never get quite enough of the lush bouquets, with soft touches of color and luxe ribbon.

Looking for more winery wedding inspiration? View this French-inspired Sonoma wedding, this elegant Santa Barbara fete, and this outdoor Napa wedding with touches of autumn color.

More from the bride, Laura:
“Jimmy and I met in high school during a production of My Fair Lady. We were high school sweethearts for 2 years, and then when Jimmy went to college, we grew apart and went our separate ways. Cut to 3 years later when Jimmy randomly decided to visit me at college, and sparked the romance again. We’ve been dating ever since, and almost 8 years later we finally tied the knot! From the start, we knew we wanted to do something in wine country. We moved from Washington DC to San Francisco together in 2010, and since moving to the Bay Area we have made it up to Healdsburg pretty often. We became wine club members at a winery down the street from Madrona Manor, and we just absolutely loved the area. I am a lover of all things vintage and old school European style, so that was a strong influence on our aesthetic choices for the wedding. We wanted a great meal for all of our guests in a great setting, and a truly elegant garden affair. Madrona’s delicious restaurant and beautiful interior perfectly fit the bill, and we knew it was the right venue as soon as we did our first walk through. We wanted to keep the colors classic, natural, and seasonal so we stuck with ivory, gold, and green. I knew from the start I wanted the bridal party in black and white, and I loved the way all of the bridesmaids looked in different ivory dresses. For my dress, I’ve always been drawn to pieces with beading and embellishment, so it wasn’t too surprising when I fell in love with a beaded Lazaro gown. I really did not want a strapless dress however, so Lazaro was kind enough to customize it for me and add straps. We did a lot of DIY work for the wedding as we did not have a wedding planner or day of coordinator. Making the crescent moon photo booth and the gold pumpkins for each seat was really fun, as was the wax stamps we used for table cards and place cards.”

Photography: Jessica Burke | Floral: Twigss Floral Studio | Dress: Custom Lazaro | Tux: Jcrew | Venue, food, and drinks: Madrona Manor | Croquembouche: Costeaux French Bakery | Harpist: Michelle Sell | Paper Goods: bride & groom, Cover art – friend Keith Stanley | Getting Ready Rttire – For Love and Lemons | Shoes – Manolo Blahnik | Rings: Brilliant Earth

10.26.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

New York Bridal Fashion Week Report


With Bridal Fashion Week wrapping in New York, the trends for Fall 2016 bridal have officially been decreed.

On the catwalks we’re seeing a lot of sheer, barely­there, and lingerie­esque motifs. The aforementioned transparency often helps prominent embellishments ­such as beading, lace, and floral appliques ­pop against the gowns. Even on more stiff opaque fabrics, we’re seeing romantic floral patterns and textures.

When shopping for a wedding dress, one naturally considers basic factors first: budget range, body type, as well as favorite shapes and materials. The trends determined by Fashion Week will impact what types of styles are available in the bridal salons over the coming months.

Luckily, transparency, floral patterns, and embellishments are timeless and universally flattering when applied in moderation. They are also simultaneously feminine and sensual.

To give you a better sense, we’ve selected 30 of our favorite dresses from Bridal Fashion Week that range from modern to boho, and current to classic. You’ll find designs by BHLDN, Hayley Paige, Inbal Dror, Jenny Packham, Reem Acra, Sarah Seven, Vera Wang, Watters and many more.

We hope you find this inspiring as you search for your perfect wedding dress!

Article by Once Wed contributor Caroline Boneham Roche


10.23.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

Soft and Ethereal Bollywood Wedding Inspiration

We love to see beautiful traditions transposed into a modern aesthetic, and this soft and ethereal Bollywood bridal inspiration is nothing short of lovely. Bridal sarees are always detailed in the most stunning of ways and typically bolder hued, and we simply cannot take our eyes off this delicate champagne hue (which is actually a bridal gown from Lazaro, but it sure does the trick!). With traditional jewellery accents and a romantic bouquet, this look couldn’t be more perfect.

More from the event designer, Birds & Honey:
“We hoped to create a minimalist shoot that embodied a modern, effortless South Asian bride. A little bit of wind and a breathtaking bride were all the elements we needed as inspiration for this Bollywood inspired editorial. Most South Asian brides are accustomed to bold and brighter tones of deep red and pink tones when planning their weddings, but we wanted to showcase a softer,  more muted touch for the modern bride. I find so much beauty in simplicity and showcasing softer, neutral palettes. There is still an element of the bolder homage to the beautiful culture of the bride with her stunning jeweled Lazaro gown while the florals balance everything out. The beauty is truly in the movement of the bride as she is walking towards a new adventure in her life and how the wind delicately blows her saree, her hair and the stunning Silk & Willow ribbon in her bouquet.”



Photography: Justine Milton | Styling + Design: Birds & Honey | Hair & Makeup: Connie Quiza | Florals: Amy Sanderson | Bridal Gown: Lazaro | Bridal Salon: Delica Bridal | Model: Harveena Dhillon | Ribbon: Silk & Willow 


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10.22.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog