Denim Shirt on a Windy Day.

There’s nothing like a little wind to remind you that winter is right around the corner! These photos were tough, but fun, to take! This shirt is absolutely my GO-TO shirt! It is cozy, versatile, appropriate for any season! It looks great in spring with white jeans or the summer over a cute tank with lace shorts. And now, it carries right into fall and winter as a stand alone or under a cozy knit sweater! This shirt is a closet must-have if I have ever seen one! 🙂

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Pants and black jeans are from The Loft. Shoes are from Marshalls. The photos are taken by my loving husband in Shullsburg, Wi.

 

Visit to Family Farm.

Life has a way of making time fly by when you are busy doing things you love, and crawl when you have a distaste for your surroundings. Lately, life has been flying. It was just finally last week when my husband and I made it back to visit his family on their farm in Shullsburg, Wi. The farm has been owned by his grandfather and his father for many years and is particularly special because each time we go back, we find nothing but the love and warmth that comes from laughing with family. This is one of the most BEAUTIFUL times of year to go back and visit because the animals are lively, the corn stalks are a beautiful golden brown, the autumn air is crisp, and that makes cozying up with our loved ones even more fun!

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Romantic Dress and a Hay Field

It has been just about a year since Ryley and I became homeowners for the first time! When we started looking for a home in which to begin our life together, we knew one thing- we wanted OUT of the city! We wanted to TOTALLY get away from the hustle and bustle and to wake up each morning to a gentle breeze blowing across the countryside. The only problem- we also wanted a house with modern amenities. We ended up in the quaint small town of Ashippun, Wi. It is a perfect blend of the two things we wanted- it is totally country, but we live in a small neighborhood where we found a newer built home. Now that we are settled here, one of our favorite things to do is to take walks at night after dinner. This is when we often talk about our future, our dreams, and learn about the intricate thoughts that make each of us tick. SOO important! The other night, on one of our walks, I noticed that the farmer in our neighborhood had just freshly cut his hay field. We HAD to sneak in for a few pics in one of the most romantic white dresses you can possibly imagine!!! It has small white textured dots on it, an incredible neckline and a crazy-cute bow around the waste! It is a soft, light fabric- so chic and comfortable! I paired this intricate dress with a pair of blush feminine heals and a matching blush purse. I just love the gold accents on the purse!! It is an amazing shape and is just the right size for an every day piece! My favorite part of the outfit is actually the earrings! They are vintage earrings that pull the whole look together and really emphasize the romantic textures in the dress. This might be the MOST ROMANTIC outfit I could ever find!! It is sooo sweet and sentimental!! There is just something about the ivory and the textures- this dress is all kinds of pretty!

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Photos taken by my husband in Ashippun, Wi. This incredible dress is from Ann Taylor. The shoes are from Famous Footwear (old- similar pair here at Aldo). Purse is from The Limited (similar here). The earrings were purchased at forever 21- these are a MUST HAVE- so versatile and yet so detailed (I love this pair! Or these! This pair is the closest to what I am wearing above! Also very close!)

Enjoy an evening out in this beautiful, soft, romantic ensemble!

 

World Cat Day

According to Ellen, it is World Cat Day today!! Being an animal lover, I just couldn’t pass this up! Now I actually don’t have any cats, but my mother in law has a zillion because she lives on a farm in Shullsburg, Wi and is able to have as many cats as she wants. They live in the barns and she doesn’t have to worry about cleaning up all the hairballs! She calls them the Sunshine Gang because they are all a pretty sunny orange or orange and white color! So here’s to those adorable kitties that make us smile! 🙂

Photo credits go to Emily Steffen.

A Recipe for Rustic!

The latest and, in my opinion, the greatest new thing to hit the wedding industry seems to be brides that are willing to forego the traditional chapel experience and embrace the beauty of wood, candlelight, and the great outdoors. Rustic weddings are, by far, my favorite wedding inspiration. Having just finished planning the rustic wedding of my dreams, I have a few ideas about how it all came together! So what are some of the ways you can add some rustic flair to your big day? Here are the ingredients to planning a beautiful rustic affair!

 

Selecting your canvas.

The venue that you select is probably the single most important component to planning a rustic wedding! I like to think of the venue as the canvas for which you will paint the picture of your big day. The venue will provide the basic atmosphere for your wedding festivities. It will give your wedding a particular “feel” and possibly even a color palette. Some of my favorite canvases for a rustic wedding are barns, gardens, vineyards, or the great outdoors! At our wedding, we knew we wanted a rustic feel, but we also wanted to have modern amenities, so we opted for the most AMAZING wedding venue- we selected a barn in Poynette, Wisconsin. Be sure to consider amenities when you select a venue. Many of the barns we visited did not have air conditioning, heat or even restrooms! Imagine lil grandma trying to use a port-a-john… not quite the image we all had in mind.

Flowers Set the Stage.

Pick a florist you trust to help you create your rustic vision. Some of my favorite flowers for a rustic feel include peonies, ranunculus, dusty miller, succulents, seeded eucalyptus, dahlias, and baby’s breath. Keep it simple if you are having your soiree outdoors so nature can speak for itself. You will notice my husband and I went with aged buckets of baby’s breath for our ceremony decor- simple, romantic, and very rustic! Bring light pastels into your color palette for a beautiful romantic feel!  Bring flowers into EVERY part of your wedding for an overall intimate day, including your cake, your decorations, and even your centerpieces! I love how the long wooden plantar boxes accentuated the soft color palette we chose for our wedding day! I also love how the beautiful puffy peonies complimented the long, romantic, soft bridesmaids dresses my ladies selected!

 

Personal Touches.

A rustic wedding can’t go without some personal, intimate touches! This is the part that if you are planning the wedding by yourself can feel really crazy to coordinate! But trust me- it is SOOO worth it to have a wedding that truly reflects the love that you and your significant other share together! This is what makes your wedding different than every other wedding ever held at your venue!

We focused on hand-made details that were meaningful to us. We included a bonfire with s’mores after dinner because that is probably what we would have been doing that evening had we not been getting married, we created a rubber stamp that we used on items throughout the wedding day, I learned calligraphy to create hand-made signs for throughout the barn, we incorporated some beautiful flowers that my father grew for us in his garden, we had a guest book specifically designed for us  by a local artist, we included romantic lace everywhere we could and my mother even sewed our lace table runners. I collected some vintage handkerchiefs and had my aunt hand embroider them for a sweet gift to each of our mothers. We created a candy station for our favors where guests could fill a linen bag that we had hand-stamped to take home. We even collected antique pieces of pink depression glass to sprinkle throughout the barn for a more personal feel. All of the plantar boxes for the flowers as well as the table numbers were hand made by a family friend. We lined the entire perimeter of the barn with candle-lit mason jars that we hand-decorated (about 150 lit jars!) and strung globe lights for a cozy feel for dancing! As an added sentiment to our families, we included a beautiful picture of each of our parents’ weddings in vintage frames; after all, they are our examples of how a loving marriage should be. For my something borrowed, I used a handkerchief that has been passed down through many generations of women (including my mother). Since my grandmother passed away shortly after we got engaged, I decided to include her in the “getting ready festivities” by using her antique gold hand-mirror.  On the bottom of the menus, we wrote “Per Centanni” which is an Italian blessing to honor my deceased grandfather who spoke Italian and loved all things Italy. My favorite detail of all, is the small heart-shaped patch that I hand-embroidered (which I learned how to do for the first time!) and sewed on the back of my handsome groom’s tie.

 

Be Yourselves and FEEL THE LOVE!

This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life! One of the trademarks of a rustic wedding is that you and your significant other are sooooo in LOVE that the guests can FEEL it when they watch you look at each other! Enjoy every moment, from getting ready to I Do, and try not to stress! Just be PRESENT. The glow of love is what rustic is ALL ABOUT!

 

All photo credits go to the AMAZING Emily Steffen!!

engagements that are “so you”

It has now been a year since we had our engagements done and our wedding has come and gone. Looking back on the experience, I only wish someone would have given me some tips on getting engagement pictures that are both unique and true to the special bond that Ryley and I share. Here are some of the things I wish I would have known!

. get cozy .

The best pictures from our entire session were the ones where you could see the love in our eyes or the passion in our embrace, so don’t be afraid to get cozy and lovey with your hunny!

. location, location, location .

Choose somewhere special or significant to your relationship to have your lovely engage session. Not only will it allow you to have pics that no one else could have, but it will be something you look back on fondly. We chose to have our pics taken on Ryley’s family farm and we will never forget the experience of running through the fields where his grandparents and parents have farmed for years!

. forget about the weather .

It would have been easy for Ryley and I to get discouraged. I had checked the radar for two weeks straight and it had said beautiful, sunny, 75 degrees with a light breeze. On the day of our session, it misted the entire time and was nothing but gloom. In the end, our pictures still came out great because of our amazing photographer. The love will shine through any storm, so don’t give it a second thought!

. bring props .

To make your session even more “you” consider bringing in props that are unique to you and your partner, or your loved ones. For our photos, I wore a locket that my grandfather had given me as a little girl. I also brought a quilt that was handmade by my grandmother and passed down through the generations. We made sure to take some pictures with an old tractor that Ryley’s grandfather used on the farm (and it is still used by his father to this day!). We also brought a cute little chalkboard to display our wedding date! These little touches were meaningful to us and made our photos even more special!

. don’t forget about the fun .

Last tip- be yourself and have fun! This is a chance for you to really just enjoy being engaged and to have some fun photos taken where you and your partner aren’t in “wedding attire”. These pictures should show your personality. Don’t obsess over making sure they are just like something you saw on pinterest. You don’t want to have the same pictures as everyone else!

Photo credits go to the amazzzzing Emily Steffen!