I like big bouquets and I cannot lie :)
Hold on a sec’…Excuse me while I go ugly cry that summer is over, school is starting, and I’m no longer going to be woken up by fresh morning sunlight, but rather by the heinous noise that is the alarm on my husband’s phone that I hate more than anything else in the world…
Photography Credit for all Images: Sarah Dixon Photography
Ok I’m back and now that I’ve got that out of my system (for the moment) I’m sharing this beautiful formal session with Ben and Keely! I love it when work and family collide and I get to be such a big part of a family member’s amazing day and doing the flowers for my youngest brother was so so special! We were all a little skeptical when he told us he had picked up a girl working at Sodalicious (where he was a regular) but Keely is beautiful, funny as all get out, loves Ben, and is –probably most importantly - a fabulous chef! All the heart eyes that my brother snagged a culinary school graduate!
Their first look is so romantic and adorable…that look of surprise and joy on Ben’s face when he sees Keely in her wedding dress for the first time is so fantastic. I love seeing people in love :)
They’re going with this classy color palette of navy, cream, peach, and orange with just a subtle hint of neutral gray as an accent color.
You’ll see this color palette in a very debonair suit and tie for our handsome groom and then again in Keely’s perfectly sweet little posy. We’ve got navy blue thistle, peach stock, peach peonies, orange roses, and gray hypericum berries. All of this was rounded out with dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus and made a darling little nosegay.
Now I know monster-sized bouquets are all the rage, but this hand-tied posy was just so sweet and unobtrusive. It’s perfect for the bride that loves fresh flowers, but doesn’t want her bouquet to be THE statement piece in every photo.
There’s a reason the flowers are all you notice in an image when brides have huge bouquets – it’s a dramatic piece that draws the eye and visually speaking, they're often the "heaviest" object in the photo so they're going to pull a lot of attention. And for a flower fanatic like myself, that’s perfect. But, there are some cons. While huge bouquets look amazing in photos, they are super-d-duper heavy which makes carrying them around a pain, they cover your entire dress, and they tend to take the focus off of the couple in the picture and pull it onto themselves. But a small posy or sweet little nosegay like the one I designed for Keely is going to be just the perfect pop of texture and color. It's the nod to a beautiful tradition of a groom giving his new bride flowers without stealing the spotlight.
So, if you have amazing detailing on your dress that you don’t want covered, or if your upper-body strength is low, you may want to consider a small-medium hand tied bouquet or even a smaller posy. Those who watched Pippa Middleton’s wedding this year may have noticed that her bouquet was teensy-tiny (and a little under-whelming for one of society’s biggest weddings this year IMHO) but it did really allow her stunning lace dress and veil to shine in all of the photos!
Keely’s dress from Gateway Bridal and Prom had incredible detailing, especially in the neckline and through the bodice and waist, so we didn’t want to cover that up with a wildly large and cumbersome bouquet.
Also, you’ll see that the silhouette on her dress is a much dressier, classic style that wouldn’t pair well with the overly-large, earthy, organic, bohemian look that is so the rage right now. I’m forever trying to help brides keep dress style and bouquet style pairings in mind when we design their weddings, but sometimes they just want what they want regardless of how well things do or don’t go together. Maybe that needs to be a post for another day. For today, we’ll just focus on size.
And as you can see from Keely’s navy, peach, and orange bridal bouquet, you can have just as much detail, movement, and texture in a sweet posy as you can in a loose, more organic bouquet. This smaller navy, peach, and orange bridal bouquet just allows you to focus on other elements of the shot instead of just the wedding bouqet.
So congrats to my baby brother and his beautiful bride. You guys are such an amazing couple! And thank you to Sarah Dixon Photography for capturing their formal session so beautifully!
Sarah Dixon Photography
The Pear Blossom
Gateway Bridal and Prom/Latter-day Bride
Grotto Falls Destination Elopement
Meet Kiana and Fabrizio! I’m so excited to introduce you to this darling couple. Kiana and Fabrizio met at the end of summer 2016 through a dating app. After their first date, she knew she had found her husband - and even called her mom to tell her as much! Fabrizio was everything Kiana had been looking for and more, smart, fun, caring, genuine...and even Italian!
They started dating consistently from that very first week and soon they were spending every amount of free time together. They even went grocery shopping together! It only took a month before they were openly talking marriage with each other. Fabrizio and Kiana both realized that this was going to be a lifelong relationship because of the deep friendship, honesty, and commitment.
Initially, they both planned on a courtship of at least a year. As they began to plan and set a timeline, they realized there was a bit of a time crunch. Fabrizio had been accepted and was planning on going to dental school the following summer in July and it was already October. Kiana would graduate only a month before his move in June and naturally wanted to move across the country with him.
However, both Fabrizio and Kiana come from conservative, religious families and maintain these same values so moving in before marriage wasn't an option. It seemed most favorable to marry right before July in order to have the longest courtship possible.
All too soon, though, the logistics of planning a wedding during Kiana’s senior year of college, graduating, throwing a wedding, finding an apartment and moving in together, and then moving across the country all over the course of one month seemed impossible, to say the least. In addition, Fabrizio's family was still mostly located in Italy. Even with a date six months away, it was unlikely they could make all the travel arrangements to come without longer notice and they didn't want to have their large wedding celebrations without the groom's entire side of the family.
Realizing that his family wouldn't be able to come regardless of the date was actually a relief because it removed the cultural obligation of having an immediate big wedding reception and party. After many heartfelt discussions, they decided to simply elope and move forward with their marriage in November before Christmas break. Kiana and Fabrizio knew they wanted to be together and it seemed a pity to waste any more time waiting simply to log in more "dating hours".
“We were glad that we could have an intimate ceremony with the focus on our love and commitment, rather than the decorations, elaborate cake, or wedding gifts. Our elopement was just about us, our love, and our decision, rather than about all the other expenses society currently requires of a wedding. We wouldn't have done it any other way. And nearly 9 months later, we consider it the best decision of our lives."
Thanks Kiana and Fabrizio for sharing your amazing love story with us!
From the Photographer: We loved the secluded nature of Grotto Falls in Payson, Utah for their intimate elopement, and I couldn't think of a better way to showcase their exotic beauty. There was a perfect pocket of light that danced around them and allowed for all the incredible textures of her hair, dress, florals, waterfall, and rocks to shine.
From the HMUA: Kiana has gorgeous natural curl and we wanted to showcase her beautiful hair by doing an undone updo with swept curls framing her lovely face. She has a cathedral length veil tucked in the bottom of her updo. Her makeup was peachy and perfect for her skin tone. She has striking skin tones and facial features so we used natural colors to enhance her beauty!
From the Florist: Our multi-cultural couple and their unique backgrounds were such an inspiration for the florals and I wanted to combine flowers that represented both the exotic looks and cultures of the bride and the groom.
For the bride, I have stunning orchids and David Austen's "Juliet" garden roses and I paired those with sprigs of eucalyptus, olive branches, honeysuckle, and fresh rosemary as a nod to the groom and his Italian heritage. The result was a deeply meaningful bridal bouquet with organic sophistication and a heavenly fragrance. I'm in love with this earthy peach and rust bridal bouquet!
A peach carnation fairy ring was the perfect pop of color against those rocks and a simple, earthy decoration for the elopement and something that an eloping bride could easily DIY!
And I know you typically only see orchids as corsages for Mother’s Day, but these rust colored orchids were so beautiful that I had to reinvent the orchid into a chic groom’s boutonniere. I loved pairing the lines and movement of the orchid groom’s boutonniere with the pattern and colors of his suit and tie!
From the Cake Artist: Cake cutting may be the traditional wedding confection, but I couldn’t help but feel like these darling from-scratch cherry mini pies were the perfect sweet treat to grab for an elopement! Because it's not official until you share a bite :)
I made three mini pies: two with Kiana and Fabrizio’s initials and one with a heart…because even officiants need a little snack and a little love :)
Our couple loved their elopement sign and announcement! I would definitely be framing the poster as a keepsake and sending out the announcements and photos to share the big news!
So, you may have read this blog post and loved it but thought, “I could never elope! There are too many traditions I would hate to give up” If that’s the case, you can click here to see ideas we’ve put together to help reconcile our wanderlust and desire for adventure with our roots and our family traditions.
Or, if you’re just not sure if an elopement is right for you, I wrote an article here for Wed Utah on Page 30 on three reasons why you may just decide to elope after all :) I’m a traditional wedding girl myself and I convinced me!
Thanks for sharing this intimate destination waterfall elopement with me and congratulations to Kiana and Fabrizio! You can find the contact information for all the elopement vendors below:
Kiana & Fabrizio Cena
Ceremony Location: Grotto Falls, Payson, Utah
Florist and Cake artist
The Pear Blossom
Kite and Butterfly
Cassia Leigh Design
How to Prioritize Your Wedding Budget
First off: Giveaway update! If you didn’t catch the info about the Summer Baking Camps and the giveaway I’m doing along with them, hurry on over! You still have time to enter! I also still have a few slots left in each age group, so get yours reserved today. Can’t wait to bake with you!
Along those same winning lines, Julia and Marty were the winners for the Dream Team Bridal Session giveaway featuring me along with two other amazing vendors, Hawkeye Photography and Blushing Blonde. Julia and Marty weren't planning on affording a formal bridal session, so it was wonderful to style and shoot this session for our sweetest couple!
Photographer's inspiration: Julia and Marty wanted a timelessly elegant location, but one that also incorporated some elements of nature into their formal session. The Capital Building in Salt Lake City, UT was the perfect venue for their story to unfold. We started with a classic Cinderella first look as she descended to him down the grand staircase. From the moment their eyes met, I knew it was going to be an amazing shoot. Their chemistry was very real and very resonant with the camera. We created a magical fairy-tale formal session for them to cherish. –Ashley, Hawkeye Photography
HMUA Inspiration: Julia loved the traditional soft, romantic bridal updo and she has gorgeous blonde hair that falls below her shoulders, so we swept it into a twisted low updo. She had a classic jeweled headpiece to accent her beautiful hair with a few pieces left to frame her face.
Her makeup was natural, luminous, and gorgeous, and only needed a subtle natural smokey eye and natural lips with a light blush to be complete! Her eyes are the star of the show, with long lashes framing her brilliant baby blue's. – Julie, Blushing Blonde
Florist Inspiration: I loved Julia's color palette of dusty pink, burgundy, and slate blue and felt so inspired to find flowers that were organic and raw, but also soft and romantic, accenting the movement of Julia's flowing gown from Gateway Bridal and her flawless, fairy-like features.
I used peach stock, cream hypericum berry, safari sunset, burgundy dahlias, blushing bride protea, white ginestra, light blue delphinium, blue thistle, and red amaranthus to create this woodland fairy, slightly cascading bouquet and love how the texture and movement came together. – Emily, The Pear Blossom
We were so happy that we could give back and help a sweet couple like Julia and Marty get a little something something extra for their wedding and bonus – you can see all the goodness featured over on Latter-Day Bride as well. It gave me all the feels and I’ve got a few other giveaways up my sleeve after the Summer Baking Camp Giveaway because I get it people I really do. The vast majority of us…dare I say 99% of us…aren’t “One-percenters” (see Ma?! I do math good :) The sky ISN’T the limit when it comes to college, travel, and wedding budgets. We go and do what we can afford. And often times this means sacrificing something we want for something we need or want more.
But, knowing what to cut and where to cut can be REALLY difficult when it comes to your wedding because every last detail feels so important. It seems like it could make or break the look and feel of your wedding and *fingers crossed* you only get one shot at this so it has to be perfect the first time around. That’s a lot of pressure you’re putting on yourself there girl and it can also cause a lot of friction between you and your fiancée or your momma, so immagonna make it a little easier for you and show you what I did BEFORE I ever started planning my wedding to help keep the planning fun, stress and confrontation-free, and in budget.
The first thing most gals do when they get engaged is run out and start trying on dresses because that’s the fun part!!! Yay!!! And because it’s fun it must be the right thing to do right?! Wrong. There is a step that should have happened before you ever got engaged and almost everyone I know skips this step so I’m sharing it with the world now.
Step 1: Prioritize YOUR Dreams
When you’re engaged to be engaged (that awkward point in dating and courtship where you’ve talked marriage, know you want to get married, but he hasn’t popped the question yet) you need to sit down and communicate with three-four groups of people, 1) yourself, 2) your fiancée, 3) your parents, 4) and possibly your fiancée’s parents. You need to sit down with them and have a little heart to heart about what is the most important thing to them when it comes to getting married or marrying off a child and then you need to limit them. Yes you read that right. You need to limit them. Here is my general rule of thumb, but you could certainly adjust these numbers to work for you situation:
The Bride: gets her top 5 most important things. Girl when I say “Top 5” I mean the items in your wedding that are ABSOLUTELY so important to you that you are willing to go to battle over it. Everyone says “choose your battles” meaning you have to be willing to let other, less important issues go and for your wedding you need to be willing to compromise, but not with the items on this list. This is your hill to die on, this is where you’re going to spend your money, and this is where you are going to invest the most time and energy so make it worth it and dig in to the nitty gritty wedding details here. You can’t just say, “I want my reception to be perfect.” What about the reception? Oh the dancing? K what about the dancing? Is that a professional DJ, installing a dance floor at your venue, or making your groom take dance lessons? Get specific.
This was my list:
1: Dress – I wanted to feel amazing in my dress and I wanted to buy it. I was not willing to rent and I was willing to pay more and cut other places to get what I wanted. My dress was over $800, but I re-used jewelry and shoes from a “scholarship pageant” I did in high school (you can stop laughing now) and I had my cosmetologist sister-in-law do my hair and make-up to help afford the dress.
2: Photography – I have always believed that no matter what you actually do for your wedding, at the end of the day all you have are the photos, so you go big here and you get the best. dang. photographer. you can afford. You don’t cut here. Period. Your wedding day is not the day to have a neighbor with a nice camera come and do it for free. Unless your neighbor is India Earl and then yes, by all means have your neighbor do it :) lol
3: Flowers – I wanted fresh flowers and I wanted them installed everywhere! I also wanted a gorgeous outdoor wedding in a fantastic garden, but have you seen the prices? To get that lush garden look I wanted and still get all my fresh floral centerpieces and bouquets, I opted to have my reception at a greenhouse. This saved me A TON of time, effort, and money in a lot of ways…already decorated, already lush and garden-esque but not as expensive as actual garden venues, and already climate controlled so no matter the weather I could have that outdoor garden feel without having to stress.
4: Cake – I wanted a huge (five tiers people! It was amazing!!!), from scratch buttercream cake covered in fresh flowers. My mom was worried it would cost too much and wanted Styrofoam. Yikes! I was freaking out about the thought of a Styrofoam cake, but this was my hill to die on, so I compromised on catering to get the cake I wanted.
5: Wedding Line Clothing – K this one probably sounds super dumb, but it goes back to being left with just the photos at the end of it all. I wanted my photos to look perfect and to me that meant matching tuxes and perfectly coordinating Maid of honor, bridesmaid, and flower girl dresses. Some wedding parties do the whole mix and match thing and pull it off famously, but I love the seamless blend of matching outfits. Sometimes the mix and match is just too busy. I like the eye to move effortlessly over the picture and not be caught on weird, random details.
Everything else after this was totally flexible. I had a brother help with the music, a friend help with catering, a random hole in the wall do invites (because hey they just get thrown away!) etc. etc. etc. Did doing those things cheap and a little jimmy-rigged run smoothly? Not quite. But the hiccups were worth it and emotionally I could roll with it because I had already made up my mind in advance where my priorities were and the rest was just fluff.
Step 2: The Groom’s priorities
The Groom: gets his #1 most important thing. Why only one in this age of gender equality? I recommend it because the groom typically plans or takes on the majority of the planning and decision making for the wedding night and the honeymoon, so the bride gets extra say on her special day. Seems fair to me :) Some grooms care not one bit about wedding plans. Others are super involved. Adjust these numbers as needed right?
My husband was fairly involved, but only cared about 1 thing. He wanted to wear a chocolate-brown tux. At first, this seemed a little weird to me, because this was back in the day when men wore white or black tuxes and there was no Pinterest to inspire us to deviate from the norm. But then I looked at my list and the color palette I had chosen wasn’t one of those Top 5, which meant it was adjustable, so I adjusted. And I’m so glad I did. I would hate to look back on my wedding and think that I didn’t give my husband the one thing that was important to him. Sad day for him, but he has that regret, because I asked one thing from him and he refused to do it and totally regrets not compromising on that one thing. Sucker.
Step 2: Help Your Mom Pick Her Priorities
The Mother of the Bride: gets her top 3 most important things. Why? Because she’s your mom and you don’t want to look back at your wedding and realize all you did was fight with your mom. I’ve seen brides and their mothers fight over details as inconsequential as how the bride was going to style her bangs, styles of cutlery, or how big the bouquet should be. True story. If your parents are throwing a reception for you, that means they are the host and hostess and they’ll have an idea of how they want to entertain their guests, so a bride needs to be willing to work within those parameters. But, it’s also your special day and you’ve got one shot. So, if you know what’s most important to you and then what’s most important to your mother, you’re going to know where to back off, where to compromise, and where to have a knock-down drag out fight with your mom and I’m guessing for most people, it isn’t over bangs.
Step 4: The FOTB
The Father of the Bride: gets his #1 most important thing – typically you see the FOTB worry the most about budget, but you may be surprised at what he says. Maybe it’s the song you use for the daddy/daughter dance, or having red meat at just ONE dinner for the love, so just communicate about it now.
Step 5: The Groom’s Parents
The Groom’s Parents: This area is a little grey depending on what, if anything, the groom’s parents are paying for. My in-laws hosted a lovely wedding luncheon and paid for all of it, so while my mother-in-law was very sweet to ask for my suggestions and opinions, I was also really careful to make sure I deferred to her and what she had in mind. Basically, the wedding luncheon didn’t fall in my top 5 so it’s where I was happy to compromise and be flexible, which worked out well because my MIL was marrying off her 4th son and had her system down. A bridezilla tantrum here would have thrown a huge wrench in that and created a lot of friction.
There you have it my friends. THIS is what needs to happen BEFORE you start planning your wedding. Once you make the lists in a convenient little note on your phone, head out and try on dresses, taste cake, and take dance lessons to your heart’s content. And then when some awkward moment comes up over veil length or something totally random that you never expected, you can pull out your list and be like, “Hey was this important to anyone?” and then compromise from there. And then when you get images back like this, you can just sigh over them and get all sentimental and misty-eyed instead of remembering how your bridesmaid went out and changed her outfit at the last minute and no longer matched in the pictures. Seriously though, this picture gets me...every time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed perusing Julia and Marty’s fairy-tale formal session while we’ve chatted about dicey things like budgets and bridezilla moments. Nothing like a spoonful of sugar to make that medicine go down :)
Julia and Marty
The Pear Blossom
Venue: Utah State Capital Building
Dress: Gateway Bridal
"Markova" Gown in Latter Day Bride line
And the conversations I SHOULD HAVE had with my husband before we got married!
I think you saw a sneaky peek of this beautiful couple on last week when it was featured on Rocky Mountain Bride! Congratulations to Ashleigh and Jeremy! They won my recent Giveaway with Ashley from Hawkeye Photography and Julie from Blushing Blonde and got to have a styled 1st Year Anniversary Shoot. The first year of marriage can be a little bit of an adjustment from a lot of angles…and I’m not just talking about finances and religious preferences. I’m talking about the BIG ONES. The super serious subjects I never ever in a million years thought to bring up, but in hindsight, would have saved us some “discussions”.
Example #1: Whether Or Not We Wrap Presents
Who knew right?!?! I just thought everyone wrapped Christmas/birthday/Mother’s Day presents and made them all pretty and that every dad went out of his way to basically professionally wrap his wife’s presents complete with gorgeous ribbon, floral picks, and special ornaments like my dad did. Our first Christmas rolled around and my husband was busy pontificating on things like, “I don’t spend money or time on something that just gets thrown away. This is stupid and means nothing to me. My mom never wrapped gifts and I ended up just fine.” Ummm, did you though?!?!
Example #2: Baby Names
Boy oh boy should we have talked about baby names. But it was something that was going to happen like 3-5 years after we got married and I thought I had time. And then I got pregnant a week after we got married. Surprise! Go figure we feel the same about vaccinations, abortion, birth control, and how many kids we wanted to have, but man we got blindsided by baby names. We come from families filled to the brim with say-able, spell-able names like Jacob, Richard, Emily, John, Lucas, Jenny, and Benjamin. But what did my husband want?!?! Zileesh. Yes. You read that right. Or maybe didn’t read that right because what is that? How do you say that? Oh. My. No. And guess when the very worst time to talk about baby names is? Oh yeah – when you’re already pregnant, hormonal, and basically a crazy wreck of the woman he was dating and married to. Fun!
Example #3: Curtains
Hahahaha yes curtains! Did you know that sometimes people who like curtains end up married to people who feel REALLY strongly about not having curtains?!?! I’m laughing my head off about it because I really had NO IDEA people felt strongly about curtains! Why have curtains when you can jimmy rig a sheet or blanket pinned to the wall over the window??? Ah the fun of adjusting to married life and having to combine such strongly-draped feelings :) So, there you go you dating and engaged couples you. You may THINK you’ve covered all the big issues. But you really haven’t. Not until you “discuss” the needs vs. wants of curtains. And if you can survive all these adjustment discussions during the entire first year of marriage, then you deserve to celebrate and I loved helping Jeremy and Ashleigh celebrate this important milestone! Happy 1st Anniversary guys and here’s to many more adjustments and discussions in the future!
Our photographer, Ashley, took Jeremy and Ashleigh out to Antelope Island in Salt Lake City, Utah and styled a darling romantic picnic setup complete with blankets, crates, tablecloth, and place settings.
I loved creating this delightfully ruffled Orange Dreamsicle cake as a nod to the tradition of eating the top tier of your wedding cake on your first anniversary. But instead of eating a dried-out slice of freezer burn, this cake was fresh and delish.
Friends don’t let friends eat year old cake. Don’t believe me? Check the recommendation for how long bread/cake/muffins lasts in the freezer. Yup 4-6 months. So that means if you save your top tier for an ENTIRE year, it’s 6 months past the life expectancy. Gross.
"But Emily? What do we do instead?!?!" Super simple guys. Serve the top tier at your wedding. Or heck, take it and eat it on your honeymoon and don’t share because you know you’re not getting a slice at the wedding. No time for that. And then have your cake artist make you a new one. A fresh one sans the freezer burn and just right for a romantic picnic for two.
Another part of our Giveaway Package was professional hair and make-up by Julie with Blushing Blonde. I love the eye shadow and lip color palette she used and how it pairs perfectly with Ashleigh's skin tones and the barren look of Antelope Island.
Julie also created a romantic half-up knotted do with Ashleigh’s gorgeous red hair. I love all these pops of red, orange, and peach against the rocks and undergrowth out on Antelope Island. But I especially love it with the flowers.
Ashleigh received a gorgeous bridal-esque bouquet to go with her photoshoot. She messaged me a picture of her dress and I was so excited to pair the oranges and creams against her lovely navy blue wrap dress, but then when I saw she was a red head it was serendipitous!
For this bouquet I used a buttery yellow stock, cream and yellow daffodils, cream and orange alstromeria, orange roses, orange ranunculus, orange freesia, and blue thistle. I also happened to catch the tail end of kumquat and forsythia branches and included those as well! I rounded it all out with gunni eucalyptus and curly willow.
I really wanted the style of the bouquet to reflect the wild, barren crags of Antelope Island, but I went with a navy, orange, and cream color palette to pull the outfits, hair, cake, and picnic setup together. Not many brides choose orange in their color palette, so I was excited to showcase such a vibrant, enthusiastic color and maybe show brides how it can be incorporated into their own wedding colors.
I really hope Jeremy and Ashleigh enjoyed their first anniversary shoot and the gorgeous work done by all the vendors. Be sure and follow me on Instagram at @emily_pearblossom for more giveaway opportunities! Heads up to my blog readers - I'll be doing another giveaway soon!
Sweet dreams of beautiful love and heavenly Orange Dreamsicle cake!
The Pear Blossom
The Pear Blossom
Mint and coral REAL WEDDING. Plus, some super snarky quotes about marriage, because that’s the mood I’m in apparently :)
“Marriage lets you annoy one special person for the rest of your life”
Maybe that’s why I love real weddings so much – because I couldn’t wait to bug my own guy for-ev-er. FOREVER. Sucker. And now I’m passionate about helping other people exasperate each other until one of them dies or eats that last piece of chocolate cake without asking. Whichever one comes first. But I’m thinking it’s usually eating the last piece of cake first, followed by a swift, merciless death. My husband would know. Just ask him about the time he ate my homemade Mac n’ Cheese leftovers :( He’s still breathing and bringing home a paycheck, but only just barely.
I loved getting to be a part of James and Keri’s special day (and Preslie – cause we mustn’t forget James’ sweet daughter!) and I can’t believe that I’ve waited this long to share it with you. Like, embarrassingly long because between their wedding and now, they’ve had a son and he is celebrating his 1st Birthday. So you know, it’s only been about three years. Oh dear. This is an entirely new level of procrastination and overall lameness.
All photos courtesy of: Tracy Hill Photography
“Being married is like having a best friend who doesn’t remember anything you say”
James and Keri met online. Keri had great legs from figure skating and an equally great sense of humor, so James knew they had to meet. And for Keri, James was totally good-looking, intelligent, and an amazing father. They dated for a little over a year before getting engaged. I love these distressed, urban engagement photos!
“The longest sentence you can form with two words is: I Do” –H.L. Mencken
Keri chose a color palette of mint and coral with accents of white and grey. I loved these gorgeous pastels and how she incorporated them throughout the wedding with beautiful details like a mint sash on her tea-length dress and stunning mint pumps.
Wedding Venue: Sleepy Ridge
The bridal bouquet is made up of pale coral roses, succulents, Queen Anne’s lace, dusty miller, and seeded eucalyptus. The texture of the succulents is such a beautiful aspect to the bouquet!
The bridesmaids are carrying the same flowers, just in a smaller scale and James and his best man have boutonnieres of coral roses and dusty miller
Our flower girl/daughter of the groom is decked out in baby’s breath flower crowns that looked so sweet with her flowing flower girl dress and mint sash!
I seriously can't get over this amazing Daddy-daughter combo!
For the ceremony, we filled vases with baby’s breath, Queen Anne ’s lace, and curly willow and lined the entire aisle with them. It was very soft and romantic! James’ daughter Preslie – our #1 flower girl today – walked down the aisle sprinkling handfuls of pale coral rose petals.
When we switched over from the ceremony to a luncheon and reception, this same aisle décor became baby’s breath centerpieces for the luncheon, banquet, and sign-in tables.
“When I said I do I didn’t mean Laundry”
Even though James “doesn’t like cake” (I don’t even know what that means), we won him over with our classic vanilla cake and from-scratch raspberry filling! This small, two-tier wedding cake is frosted in a beautiful mint-colored ombre, although looking back, I really wish I had graded the second color better. The jump from light to dark is too drastic. Too late now, but I definitely adjusted it for future ombre cakes!
“They say marriages are made in heaven, but so are lightning and thunder” –Clint Eastwood
Before we knew it is was time to toss the bouquet… (but a separate one made of larkspur and baby's breath because Keri couldn't stand the thought of chucking her beautiful bouquet to the hordes of feral children wanting to tear into it :) And yes, the picture on the right is my daughter trying to rip the bouquet out of Preslie's hands, even though Preslie caught it fair and square)...
...And head on out of there! How perfect is this bubble send off?!?! I've honestly never seen those teensy-tiny bottles of wedding bubbles work so well. Normally when my clients want to do a bubble send-off, I recommend having a bubble hurricane machine placed strategically for the photos.
My favorite part of this whole wedding was seeing how Keri and James created not just a new marriage, but a new family and shared their special day with their daughter Preslie. Keri may not be Preslie’s biological mom, but I know Preslie feel so lucky to have “her own Keri” and I loved how these two showered each other with love and affection throughout the entire wedding planning process and on the wedding day. It can’t be easy sharing your Daddy when you’ve been his only girl for so long, but Preslie made it look delightful.
Congrats Keri, James, and Preslie (and now baby Jamen - I'll just hang my head in shame that this took so long)