Monday, October 21, 2013

Real Wedding Recap: Gwen & Mike, Acquaviva Winery

Hey Friends!

Guess what? We are starting a new series of blog posts in which we provide a full breakdown of some of the fabulous big days that we've been lucky enough to be a part of. We have seen SO MANY WONDERFUL moments, while so many lovely La Di couples tied the knot. So get excited people, because things are about to get BEAUTIFUL!

We're going to start with the absolutely stunning wedding of Gwen & Mike, which took place at Acquaviva Winery on June 8, 2013. Get ready to gasp at all of the gorgeousness in three...

Am I right about the gorgeousness? That really happened, and we can all thank Redwall Photography for capturing this amazing moment, and for providing all of the beautiful photos that we're about to obsess over.

Gwen & Mike's incredible ceremony took place in the midst of Acquaviva's lovely vineyard. They provided fruit infused water for their guests before the ceremony, which looked lovely and left guests happy and hydrated!

Gwen walked down the aisle to the sweet sounds of the Nerius String Quartet. They sounded incredible. If you were thinking that there is nothing more romantic than a string quartet in a vineyard, then you are absolutely right.

The weather was absolutely perfect throughout the whole ceremony, and Rev. Toni Maddi did an incredible job officiating. During one particularly memorable moment, Rev. Maddi had the couple take a moment to turn out and face the crowd, to see how much everyone there loved them. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't tear up a bit there.

The couple's dog made an adorable addition to their wedding party. She was a real class act, standing proud and tall throughout the ceremony.

Immediately following the ceremony, guests headed to the reception across the street, at Acquaviva's stunning restaurant. In keeping with the wine theme, the escort cards were made from corks from wine bottles. They were adorable.

Even more adorably themed was the guest book, which was a wine barrel that guests were invited to sign. What an incredible piece of decor that Gwen and Mike can now incorporate into their home, as a reminder of both their special day, and of the love of their family and friends! 

Gwen and Mike's centerpieces were expertly composed by Tiffany of The Petal Boutique. I loved how elegant and simple the combination of the flowers and lanterns turned out.

Tiffany also provided olive branches to lay around the gorgeous cake, to make sure that the rustic Italian villa vibe carried into the cake-display as well!

Cake cutting is not always easy. Honestly, who among us has any real experience cutting tiered cakes? The perks of having a planner: when Gwen & Mike had some trouble getting the cake on the plate, it was Amanda to the rescue!

After cutting the cake, the lovely couple hit the dance floor for their first dance. Let's take a moment to admire how absolutely gorgeous they look. Gwen's INCREDIBLE hair and makeup was the work of the super talented Jamie Herst. Her look was so classic and beautiful. And her dress was absolutely to die for! 

I'm not being cheesy, I'm just being perceptive when I say: look at how obviously in love they are. It's so sweet and wonderful to see a couple that is THIS happy to be with each other. Thanks so much to Gwen & Mike for allowing us to be a part of your incredible day. We wish you a lifetime of happiness and love!

Venue: Acquaviva Winery
Photographer: Redwall Photography
Florist: The Petal Boutique
Dj: Music by Design
Musicians: Nerius String Quartet
Hair and Makeup: Jaime Herst
Officiant: Rev Toni Maddi
Wedding Planner: La Di Events

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cutest Wedding Readings Ever: Kids Books

Let's get real for a second. What is your favorite book? What book do you love more than any book in the world, and makes you smile when you think of it, and makes you want to make sure that every person in the world reads it at least once so they know how great it is? For some of you smarties, that book is going to be something like One Hundred Years of Solitude or The Sound and the Fury or Gone With the Wind. English majors, theater people, and liars will say that it's something by Shakespeare. Every teenage girl will say it's one of the Twilight books, and 37% of the world will say Harry Potter. And all the people that are left will be honest, and say it's a kids picture book. Because kid's books are frickin' fantastic.

These kids know what's up.  Image borrowed from here.
So, if you know how awesome kids books are, and you're having a slightly nontraditional ceremony, why not consider a reading from an amazing book that meant a lot to you in your formative years? Before you get all "What? That's crazy!" consider these things:

1. Odds are, a kids book has a more prominent place in your heart and your memory than some random poem on a wedding reading website, even if that poem is very pretty and romantic.

2. Can you imagine how crazy and wonderful it would be to read your children and grandchildren the same book that was read at your wedding?  I mean- OMG.  SWEETEST. THING. EVER.

3. I really like this idea, so just consider it, okay?

And if those arguments weren't convincing enough, please consider the following books, and then tell me you don't want a picture book read at your wedding.

1. Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boyton

Are you a cool, fun couple who doesn't take themselves too seriously?  Then this adorable book might make the perfect wedding reading for you.  The text of this book was also recorded as a song by Davy Jones, which is pretty darn cute, and could very easily make a sweet encore appearance at you reception. Here's an excerpt: 

I like you a lot. 
You're funny and kind. 
So let me explain 
What I have in mind. 
I want to be your personal penguin.
 I want to walk right by your side. 
I want to be your personal penguin.
 I want to travel with you far and wide.

2. I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

I am not convinced that this book wasn't written for the sole purpose of being read at wedding ceremonies, while everyone smiles with happy tears in their eyes.  It is a perfectly perfect expression of love, friendship, and companionship. The entire book is wonderful- so much so that it would be really difficult to pick a single passage for a reading.  Go ahead and read the whole darn thing! Here are some of the many amazing moments:

I like you because

I don’t know why, but

Everything that happens

Is nicer with you.

I can’t remember when I didn’t like you.

It must have been lonesome then.

I would go on choosing you,

And you would go on choosing me,

Over and over again.

That’s how it would happen every time.

I don’t know why

3. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This book is definitely a children's classic, and most people read or owned a copy at some point in their childhood. And while you probably remember bits and pieces, I bet you don't remember how incredibly sweet, wise, and quite frankly, profound, the Skin Horse was. That old horse had a lot of valuable advice that is equally applicable to the lives of toy rabbits and newlywed humans.  Here's what I'm talking about:

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

So there you have it. And believe it or not, these are just a few of the many MANY kid's picture books that would make amazing wedding readings.  Some other great options include Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. And I bet if you raid your childhood bookshelf, you'll find a lot more.  So do it! And then tell me about all of the other incredible, touching wedding readings disguised as children's picture books. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bridal Beauty Tips from Fashion Icons

I'm willing to bet that you have NEVER thought about your outfit more than you've thought about your wedding day look.  Have you ever bought a dress MONTHS in advance, and then had multiple fittings to make sure it's just right?  Have you ever agonized so much over your shoes?  Have you ever scoured the internet for belts, earrings, necklaces, and hair combs to complete your ensemble for a single day?  If the answer to that question is anything but "no", I worry that you may A) have a shopping addiction and B) be SERIOUSLY overdressed on a regular basis.

And while it's pretty awesome to be pulling together the loveliest look of your life, it can get a little stressful, right?  If you get too wrapped up in the importance of the look, it's pretty easy to take that sharp turn into crazytown. And then, before you know it you're in some church bride's room, forcing your bridesmaids to superglue Swarovski crystals to your train.  You don't really want Swarovski crystals superglued to your train, right?  I didn't think so.  So let's chill out, take a deep breath, and listen to some great advice from the world's most famous fashion icons.

1. "Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off." -Coco Chanel

It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the bridal accessories. Bridal salons would love to convince you that you NEED that cathedral length veil, tiara, those sapphire drop earrings, the crystal necklace, tennis bracelet, and beaded sash. If you WANT all those things, go ahead! But history has shown us that understated is almost always better than overdone, so don't ever feel pressured into excessive bling!

2. "Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live." - Gianni Versace

I CANNOT STAND when a bride is talked out of a look that she loves because it is too old for her, too young for her, too modern, too dated, not cool, etc. Do you love it? Then it's perfect. If there's one day that you want to look like yourself, it's your wedding day. Don't let anybody talk you out of it! 

3."Elegance is the only beauty that never fades." -Audrey Hepburn

Being graceful, happy, and calm on your wedding day is so much better than being a panicked bridezilla. Remember to take a deep breath, relax, have fun. Stress shows, and nothing is more beautiful or elegant than a happy bride.

4. "Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." - Sophia Loren

Know how beautiful you look!! Honestly, I have never seen a bride look anything less than SUPER PRETTY, and you'll look even lovelier if you're confident about it. You look gorgeous. Own it.

5. "The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves." -Yves Saint-Laurent

BAM! Yves just brought it home with that one. Cool true fact: At the end of your wedding day, you will be married to the person you love. And I bet that person thinks you're a total knockout no matter how you look! So remember that, and don't freak out about the little stuff. Big picture: You're getting married. That's awesome.

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