Real Wedding | Selena + Erik

This pretty California wedding is loaded with charming details and chic vintage style.  Selena and Erik said “I do” at a beautiful outdoor location, sharing self-written vows with friends and family who came to celebrate. Whimsical touches like chandeliers suspended from tree branches and an antique bike-basket filled with lovely flowers set the scene for romance. Selena’s cake is one of the prettiest I’ve seen…the simple design is topped with charming hand made “lovebirds.” Don’t miss it!

Selena + Erik | June 23, 2012 | Santa Ynez, California

The ceremony

We had an outdoor ceremony with an amazing backdrop! The aisle was lined with white roses and led guests down to a willow tree (that had beautiful white flowers hanging from it), and a pond in the background. We wrote the entire ceremony ourselves, and each wrote our own vows. We had a good friend perform the ceremony so the whole thing was very intimate and magical.

The reception

For the reception we served dinner under an enormous oak tree. We wanted it to feel very magical and whimsical so we had antique-y chandeliers hung in the tree and lots of huge flowers and candles covering the tables.

Selena’s dress search

I had originally started my search with the idea that I wanted to get a mermaid style dress because I am so tall.  Still, I ended up trying on everything! It turns out what I had in my head is what I really wanted!

The way Selena felt in her wedding dress

Elegant, Stunning, Comfortable

Why she decided to sell her wedding dress

This was the dress of my dreams, and it made me feel so beautiful and happy. I wanted to share that feeling with other brides because every girl should get to wear her dream dress!

Selena’s wedding dress: Vera Wang, GemmaPhotography: White Haute PhotographyEvent Planning: Tonya Szele, Soigne Productions ; Floral Design: Kelly Oshiro ; Cake: Solvang Bakery

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Real Wedding | Robin + Chris

It’s the little details that make Robin’s wedding to Chris unique and so special. Robin wanted to create an atmosphere that was intimate and inclusive. So, during the ceremony, guests sat at long tables, angled inward to achieve a feeling of closeness. At the reception, guests dined family style at a sit down dinner, and recipes from Robin’s grandmother and aunts were included on the menu. A large wooden cross, handmade by the bride’s grandfather, and fantastic individualized bridesmaids gowns made a lasting impression. So much inspiration awaits in today’s Real Wedding. Enjoy!

Robin + Chris | May 12, 2012 | SODO District, Seattle, Washington

The ceremony

The most important thing to us for the ceremony and reception was that our guests had fun. We wanted to create a sense of family and community at our wedding. To help achieve that, we had the tables set in a chevron pattern so people all sat together at long tables in a community style setting. We kept the colors of the wedding neutral (black, white, and grey) and the bridesmaids wore “runway” gowns of all different jewel tones. 

The reception

We wanted a modern wedding with touches from the past and both some natural and industrial elements. Chris and my father carved the 5’ long flower vases for the tables from wood off of our property, and my grandfather carved the wood cross for us. We had a family style dinner with platters of food delivered to each table, which created a very social atmosphere during the reception. Also, my aunts baked all of the amazing desserts for the dessert table, including my grandma’s cinnamon rolls. 

How Robin found her dream wedding dress

I was looking for a dress that was a little edgy and fun but sophisticated at the same time. All of the bridesmaids’ dresses were selected ahead of time, so I wanted something that would blend well with theirs. I was hoping for something both fashionable and classic, and I think I found the perfect one!

The way Robin felt in her wedding dress

Fun, Comfortable, Elegant

Why Robin decided to sell her wedding dress

I am so sad to let it go, but it doesn’t seem right to be left in my closet. I would love for another bride to wear it on her special day!

Robin’s wedding dress: Vera Wang, Fiona

Photography: Christina Mallet & Sandra Coan
Ceremony & Reception Venue: URBAN ENOTECA, Seattle
Event Planning Bride & Groom (Aunts of the bride created the dessert buffet)
Floral Design Bride & Family (Groom and father of the bride made the flower boxes)

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Real Wedding | Kathrine + Nicholas

Brilliant pops of lemon yellow and fresh whites, palm trees and an ocean view…today’s Real Wedding is a summery treat complete with a truly party perfect Oscar de la Renta gown.  I am in love with the details from Kathrine and Nicholas’ small and intimate wedding. So let us count the ways this couple made their special day lighthearted and inspiring…
1. Sweet and sunny yellow bridesmaid gowns
2. Beautifully staged paper lanterns and oodles of twinkle lights
3. A cotton candy cart!?
4. And my favorite detail: Jones Soda Pop bottles as a really unique touch of color and an equally fun party favour.  So sweet. Enjoy!

Kathrine + Nicholas | August 4th, 2012 | Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach, CA)

The Ceremony + Reception
Our ceremony and reception was small and intimate, held outside at the Long Beach Museum of Art. The museum has a nice lawn and patio with interesting sculptures, an architectural fountain and an old Craftsman house. It was a warm summer night right on the edge of the ocean. We tried to make the reception light-hearted and fun with paper lanterns, games, a cotton candy cart and bright florals.

Kathrine’s Dress Search
I started my dress search wanting a loose-fitting, Grecian-inspired sheath dress. That completely changed once I tried dresses on. I fell in love with a drop-waist ball gown with ruffles at an Oscar de la Renta trunk show. The dress was better suited to my body shape and the vibe of our wedding.

How Kathrine Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Fun, Romantic, Beautiful

Why Kathrine Decided To Sell Her Wedding Dress
I doubt I will ever get the chance to wear it again. I hate the thought of it just sitting in the attic and never seeing the light of day! It’s an amazing dress, and I know someone will appreciate it as much as I do.

Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta | Photography: Luminaire Images | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Long Beach Museum of Art  | Floral Design: Empora Flora | Cake: Sweet & Saucy 

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Real Wedding | Elsa + Murat

Elsa and Murat brought together friends and family to celebrate their love at a gorgeous oceanfront resort. Casual seating and multicultural traditions at the ceremony created an atmosphere that was intimate and fun.  The sit down dinner reception went on late into the evening, as guests laughed and danced the night away.  Elsa looked so beautiful and comfortable in her Vera Wang gown, such a perfect fit for an elegant destination wedding. Cheers to this happy couple!

Elsa + Murat | July 7, 2012 | Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico

The ceremony

The ceremony was held outdoors at an estate in Los Cabos. We wanted to have view of the ocean but without necessarily having the ceremony right on the sand. It was a small wedding with only 65 guests. We had 4 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen, family and close friends. As a multicultural couple we customized our ceremony to include different traditions and readings that represented our views on marriage, and us as a couple. Some of those traditions included exchanging coins, exchanging rings, writing our own vows, having  a lasso surround us and having a butterfly release. To add some ambience we had a violinist play classical music during the ceremony. The ceremony was very intimate. Murat and I, and our guests, enjoyed it so much.

The reception

The reception was held immediately following the ceremony, at the same location. The reception went on for about 11 hours! We started with a live band playing calm music while we had a celebratory cocktail, followed by dinner. After dinner and our first dance to Etta James’ At Last we started playing dance music from different parts of the world. Later in the evening the live band was followed by a DJ that played some of the hits of the moment. Some of the highlights of the reception include a conga line, throwing the bouquet, a group picture with all the guests and lots of dancing.

Elsa’s dress search

Some friends that had been recently married had told me you rarely ended up with the dress you first thought you wanted, so I started my search with an open mind. All I knew is that I wanted a dress that looked simple with almost no ornament and probably a strapless/sweetheart style. I tried on maybe 3 dresses before this one, and when I tried my wedding dress I decided that was the one and stopped searching.

The way Elsa felt in her wedding dress

Elegant, beautiful, like myself.

Why Elsa decided to sell her wedding dress

As much as I loved my dress, I feel like storing it would not really benefit anyone. I would rather sell it and have another bride enjoy it as much as I did.

Elsa’s wedding dress: Vera Wang, Calla Lily

Photography: Ana Lilia Castillo, Agencia FVS (out of Mexico City)

Ceremony & Reception venue: Casa Vista Ballena

Event Planning: Vanessa Velasquez (

Floral Design: Rene Larios at Cabo Floral Studio

Desserts: Sweet Dreams Cabo

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