Never Forget Your Honeymoon.

When my hubby and I were planning our honeymoon to Puerto Rico, we new that we were about to have a once in a lifetime experience. Similar to the wedding day itself, we also knew that the honeymoon would fly by quicker than we could imagine. We wanted a way to forever remember the love and romance that came with our honeymoon experience in Humacao, PR. I decided that photos were a great way to achieve this. But after what we paid for our wedding, there was no way we could afford to hire a photographer to follow us around for the trip, or even an hour of the trip. So I bought a $15 tripod on amazon, set it up in the sand and we had our own early morning beach honeymoon shoot! And the results are dreamy and intensely romantic!!!

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All photos are taken by me and my tripod! No photographer necessary! Contact me with any questions!! Where did you and your sweetie go on your honeymoon?! 

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!

 

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!!

Florals You CAN’T miss for your big day!

When it comes to wedding planning, there is soooo much to consider! It is easy for any bride to get bogged down in all of the decisions and lose sight of the vision they were hoping to create on their big day! Looking back at my own wedding in retrospect, it is easy to see how all of the details came together and how all of the decisions, big and small, helped to create a unique atmosphere at our wedding. However, during my planning, I did find myself wondering what direction to go, where to prioritize in my budget, and how all of the small details would look when brought together. In my mind, florals can be the difference between a beautiful, well put together day and a day that feels disconnected. Florals can give your day a warm, intimate feeling, or a classic romance that is the stuff of fairytales. It is crucial that when you meet with your florist you feel like she “gets you” because you will be trusting her to encompass your vision. Pick vendors that can connect naturally with what you are hoping to create for an easier process and a stress free big day! Make sure to bring along lots of inspiration so they can really visualize exactly what you are hoping for. To help with that, here are some inspirational blooms (from various florists) that you CAN’T go wrong with- these blooms are all kinds of PRETTY!