Intimate Wedding in the Fjords of Norway

We’ve been huge fans of the work of Nina & Wes Mullins for years, and we fell even more in love with them when they renewed their vows in Norway and shared their story with us. When Jesslyn saw that how much of a connection Nina & Wes had to Norway, they knew that the couple would be the perfect choice to capture their elegant wedding in the Fjords of Norway.

From Nina & Wes:

With a mother from Norway, and having spent many childhood summers there, it has been a dream of mine (Nina of Nina & Wes Photography) to photograph a wedding in Norway. One day we received an email from a lovely bride who had seen our vow renewal photos on Once Wed and really connected to our story and then our photography. We never could have imagined how amazing this wedding would be, and then Martin and Jesslyn turned out to be one of the most generous and kind couples we have ever worked with. Even though they hired us to come to Norway and capture their wedding day on film, they went above and beyond and were constantly looking for ways to make us comfortable wherever we were. We’ve never seen a groom look at his bride the way Martin looked at Jesslyn. With every glance, you could see his love for her overflowing from every ounce of his being. Every moment of their wedding day was another moment of not only emotional beauty, but visual beauty. There are no words to quite accurately describe the awe-inspiring view from the church they married in….a church that was built in the 1200’s and stands picturesquely to this day, in the midst of mountains and fjords. From the church we made our way to the barony, which was built in the 1600’s and holds history in every corner, and had a lovely reception in different rooms throughout the property. They sealed the night with sweet treats in the old kitchen, where, as Norwegian tradition holds, they removed 3 rings from their almond cake, the number of children they hope to have some day. Jesslyn and Martin share something incredibly beautiful together, and we can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold for them as a couple.

From the bride:

“Martin and I met each other at a university in Canada where I was a freshman and he was an exchange student from Norway. After years of exchanging letters (and stamps) and then a long distance relationship with many visits back and forth, Martin proposed and we decided to settle down in Norway. We knew that we wanted our wedding to be small and intimate, and we wanted to give an exquisite experience to our dear families and close friends, many of whom had to fly across oceans from every corner of the world. We couldn’t imagine anywhere more romantic and beautiful than the town of Rosendal by the Hardangerfjord of Norway, with its medieval stone church and centuries-old baronial manor. A small town so rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, perched on a valley blessed by the fjord, glacier, mountains and waterfalls.

I’ve always appreciated meanings in details and so, I wanted personal touches and elements to the wedding. It wasn´t always a smooth easy ride to plan the wedding, but I learned a lot and had a whole lot of fun. I enjoy painting and designing and so, I made the entire stationery set with the help of my family who would spend hours with me cutting and gluing things. I was also lucky to receive help from my mother and mother in law who are both very crafty and resourceful. And then there were the little things here and there that other family members and friends would help us with. We tried our best to avoid hassling anyone so they could just enjoy the wedding, but we wouldn’t have been able to successfully pull off this wedding without the collective effort and help from our loved ones and for that, we are tremendously grateful for.

The wedding had a blend of Norwegian, Indonesian-Chinese and North American traditions. Martin and I had a private moment together right before the church ceremony, and it was an emotional moment we took our time to bask in. We also had our portrait session done then. I was sacred to us to recite our own vows during the ceremony, and we had a Chinese tea ceremony performed after the church ceremony as a homage to my heritage. Our favourite part of the day, the cherry-on-top and one we would forever treasure, were the speeches and songs our families gave or performed for us during the dinner reception. As cliche as it sounds, we bawled our eyes out…

We were so glad to have Nina and Wes Mullins capturing the day for us. Two talented and kind souls whose own love story touched my heart, and whom I first got to know about through Once Wed. And there was also Lesley Lau who understood and shared my vision for the day and turned that into a beautiful reality. A reality that feels like a beautiful dream now.”

Photography: Nina & Wes Photography | Flower & Styling: Lesley Lau | Ceremony Venue: Kvinnherad Kyrkje | Reception Venue: Baroniet Rosendal | Dress: Bespoke by a fashion designer in Indonesia, Yofi Harlianto | Wedding bands: SK Jewellery | Ring: Mother of the bride | Hair vine: Twigs & Honey | Belt sash: DIY | Stationery: DIY | Cakes & Sweet Treats: Baroniet Rosendal, Yngves Konditori, Birgit Hjelmeland and mother of the groom

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11.24.14 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Soft and Elegant Wedding Inspiration

Sweet, soft, beautiful. We love this stunning inspiration shoot styled by Joy Proctor and photographed by Sara Hasstedt. We just can’t get enough of all of the delicate textures and movement in these images, and we adore how Jess Wilcox styled the model’s long, luxurious hair. If you’re looking for a classic and elegant wedding, you can easily pull inspiration from this elegant photoshoot.

From Joy Proctor:

With this editorial we envisioned a young girl, walking through the gardens of her parents Chateau on the eve of her wedding.  Her creamy gown, mimicing the nude colors of the stone in the fountain and walls around her.  Thinking about the day before her, as in a dream, she lets down her hair as she wanders through the estate.

Photographer: Sara Hasstedt | Planner/Stylist: Joy Proctor | MUAH: Jess Wilcox  | Dress: Paolo Sebastian | Dress Store: Nearly Newlywed | Paper: Maybelle Imasa | Ribbon: Silk & Willow

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11.21.14 / Featured, Real Weddings Blog, Reception Tables Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Most Pinned Fall Wedding Ideas

Autumn is right up there with spring when it comes to perfect wedding weather, especially in the South where the days are warm and the evenings have just the slightest chill. The fall foliage adds such a beautiful layer to weddings set outdoors, and you can’t beat the overall comfy feeling you have in the months leading up to winter. So, before we say goodbye to autumn until next year, we wanted to share some of our favorite (and yours) fall weddings and wedding ideas!

1. (Pictured below) We’ve shown you this Romantic Outdoor Fall Wedding multiple times, but you can’t deny that it is dripping in elegance and fall charm.
2. Next, this couple chose a more muted palette and highlighted rich fall tones by adding pops of color around their ceremony and reception. See the entire feature here.outdoor-fall-colors-wedding-reception-ideas
3. The ideas you’ll find in the post highlighted below would be perfect for your Thanksgiving table next week! Visit the page to gather some autumnal inspiration. fall-dinner-wedding-ideas
4. We adore how Joy Thigpen used variations on fall colors to create this stunning shoot with Buffy Dekmar for Once Wed. If you’re getting married in the fall, but want to avoid traditional reds and oranges, these subtle tones may be the perfect inspiration. fall-wedding-colors-bouquet
5. And finally, we finish our fall favorites with this timeless and elegant inspiration shoot that Joy worked on with Eric Kelley. You just can’t get more fall than this- we love the additions of coral, purple, and foraged fall greenery. fall-wedding-bouquet-wild-garden-roses-orchids-mauve-berry-peach-coral-1

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11.21.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Should I change my last name?

Wedding planning collectively boils down to one thing: decisions. Whether you go through the process with meticulous detail or set your sights on eloping, decisions have to be made.  Among the list stands the age-old (and loaded) question: are you changing your name?

Here are some thoughts that may help you decide:

1. It seals the deal. It’s a special honor to be recognized as one family unit and you may ultimately feel closer because of it. Down the road, your lives are in sync with things like insurance, travel documents, children, and anything else your names are associated with.
2. It’s tradition. Whether or not you agree with the reasoning behind why women traditionally change their last name to match their husband’s, it’s definitely tradition. Your fiance may have strong feelings toward you changing your name, and your family may too!
3. Your new name sounds better. Correcting every jumbled mispronunciation just to get a dinner reservation makes your new five-lettered name sound extra sweet. Party of 5 for Mrs. Jones? Yes, please.

1. Losing your name may make you feel like you’re losing your identity. Your name feels like a part of you, and losing it may make you feel like a different person (but it doesn’t have to!).
2. It’s a little bit of a tedious process. You’ll have to go to the social security office, the DMV, and ultimately change your name on Facebook and Instagram, of course.
3. Changing your name means losing your namesake. You may come from a long line of daughters or you only have 1 male cousin to carry on the family name, so keeping your name may mean more to someone with 15 brothers.

Much like some of the other decisions you’ll make about your wedding, this one may be easy for you or it may take a little soul-searching. The beauty of this choice is that you have the freedom and time to make the best decision for you and your family. Take the time to discuss your feelings with your fiance and family, and ultimately, we’re sure you’ll make the choice that’s right for you!

Photography: Tec Petaja | Article: Melanie Robertz of Calluna Events

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11.20.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning