Monthly Archives: January 2012

Isn’t there something so romantic about a lighthouse wedding? Emily and Matt chose Wings Neck Lighthouse in Cape Cod for their low-key Labor Day weekend wedding, and filled it with DIY details (and a lobster bake)!

“The ceremony was our favorite part of the day,” says Emily. “The weekend was super windy, but during the ceremony, the winds calmed and it was sunny. It was magical as we said our vows. We wanted to keep the wedding intimate, so we Matt’s dad officiated the ceremony, and we got married legally when we got back to Chicago.”

Instead of a full bar, Emily and Matt offered beer and wine, as well as cranberry lime seltzer and grapefruit pineapple ginger ale that guests could mix with vodka and gin if they liked. Dinner was a classic lobster bake which included New England clam chowder, Cape Cod steamers, mussels, linguiça sausage, corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes, cole slaw, fresh rolls, and sliced watermelon.

Some details about the day from the lovely bride…

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We aren’t from Massachusetts and many people ask us why Cape Cod. I’ve always loved lighthouses and we wanted an outdoor destination wedding from the start. We Googled lighthouses and this place was one of the first searches that came up. It’s both a lighthouse and a vacation rental – it was perfect. We rented the place for a week, which was really convenient for setting up the day before and the day of.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We really wanted to enjoy our wedding weekend with the people that matter most to us, and a small casual wedding appealed to us. Because it was a small destination wedding, we were able to treat everyone to a sunset sailboat ride after the rehearsal. Three hours at the reception was not enough time, so a weekend full of activities allowed us to engage with our guests and take in the moment.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t sweat the small stuff. I didn’t care if my hair wasn’t perfect or I forgot to wear my earrings or it was too windy for flying lanterns at the end of the night. It was about all my family and friends together for that day.



Photography: Julia Hui / Venue: Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset, Massachusetts / Bride’s dress: purchased off eBay / Bridesmaid dresses: Target / Groom’s vest: Forever 21 / Stationery: DIY with paper from Paper Source / Catering: Clambakes Etc. / Dessert table: Alexis Evonne Concepts / Rentals: American Tent Company

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I know lots of you probably follow Jonas Peterson’s blog, so you may have already seen shots from Claire and Nick’s darling wedding, but it’s just so darn sweet that I figured you wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Especially since I have all sorts of fun info from the bride about the day!

You know why I love Jonas Peterson’s work, but it’s always nice to hear why a bride and groom love someone they’ve hired. Says Claire, “We found our photographer Jonas Peterson before we even had a venue! He was an integral part of our wedding. Even though he just walked quietly around the venue taking snaps, barely saying a word to anyone – there was something about his quiet presence that really defined the day. There was no cheesy posing, no tying a tie that had been done hours ago. His sense of humor and honesty captured the true spirit of the day. Our photos reflect that.”

Nick wore Levi’s and a corduroy jacket he already owned. Claire purchased her Karen Willis Holmes gown off the rack.

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Trying to find a place that offered garden ceremonies with a marquee reception in Sydney was proving incredibly difficult and expensive. We found out about Terrrara House from a friend and instantly fell in love with the place – we booked Terrara the same day we found it! Rosie Jennings and her husband actually live on site, and host weddings in their spare time on weekends. The love and commitment they display in making every wedding perfect is just mind boggling, and their team went above and beyond anything we had ever hoped or dreamed of for our wedding. They coordinated everything for us from the food to the flowers and took the stress out of planning our big day. Plus there was the day spa at the venue!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We weren’t really concerned with a theme. It was important to us that our guests feel comfortable at our wedding. We wanted people to have a good time. An out of town wedding can be a pain if you do it the wrong way, and we didn’t want people to feel burdened by the long trip. My mum owns a homewares store, Papaya, so we took a lot of inspiration from her store, and used a lot of her stock for decorating. Mostly, though, the wedding came together as a result of thinking about How can we make people feel at home? How can we make this an experience? The rest just happened organically.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  There are too many to count, but the Irish dancing was a highlight. Instead of the traditional father-daughter waltz, my dad and I danced an Irish jig while Nick – who is a classically trained violinist – played the violin. Soon all of my dad’s family got involved and everyone had a great time reeling it out on the dance floor. My 12 uncles and aunts are all gold-medal winning Irish dancers. I had never been formally trained so my uncle and Dad to taught me the basics three weeks before the wedding. Somehow I picked it up. Sort of. I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life. And if my memory starts to fade – I’ll always have the YouTube clip for posterity! (See below.)

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We lit two memorial candles to remember those that had passed. Nick’s father passed away when he was very young and my grandparents both died a few years ago, so it was important for us to do something that honored their memory.

What was the best advice you received as a bride? What advice do you have for other brides?  Be low maintenance. People will love you for it.



Photography: Jonas Peterson / Venue: The Verandahs, Terrara House Estate in New South Wales, Australia / Bride’s dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride’s shoes: Salvio’s Dancing Shoes / Bridesmaid dresses: Forever New / Groom’s shirt: Nigel Lincoln / Flowers: Rosie Jennings for Terrara House Estate / Stationery: Peppermint Press / Music: The Baker Boys Band

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Today’s post is for the designer in all of us! The Dessy Group, known for their stylish bridesmaid dresses and accessories, has partnered with the experts at Pantone to bring brides the ultimate color-coordinating tool: Pantone Wedding™ Chiplettes. You can purchase them individually, or you can start with a complete Fan Guide of more than 180 colors. Use it to figure out what colors you love, and what colors work well together!

Portable and affordable, the wallet-size Chiplettes provide an exact match for easier communicating about colors. No more guessing about a shade of green, or trying to describe the taupe you’re looking for. Share them with your wedding party, florist, stationery designer – anyone who’s helping you create the perfect palette!

Check out all of Dessy’s Pantone resources - and right now, when you order six or more Chiplettes and get a free Pantone Wedding color planner to stay organized while you’re out shopping or visiting vendors.



This post sponsored by Dessy.

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It’s raining here in the Bay Area, so I thought a gray San Francisco wedding was appropriate (I was married on a gray day in San Francisco, so there’s a special place in my heart for weddings like this).

The bride and her bridesmaids all wore romantic dresses by Sarah Seven. “I also wore something old (my engagement ring was Michael’s maternal grandmother’s and my earrings were vintage), something new (my dress and shoes), something borrowed (my garter from my aunt and my mother’s tanzanite ring), and something blue (also that gorgeous tanzanite),” says Margo.

Margo’s aunt made her bouquet, along with the bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, and reception arrangements.

Margo shares a bit about the ceremony… “Our ceremony was our favorite part of the day. Hands down!  It was so personal and joyous. It really was the 20 minutes or so at the core of a beautiful day. We included a few key Jewish traditions: We were married under a chuppah, we signed our Ketubah (marriage contract), and, Michael broke glass, of course.”

Some tidbits about the day…

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We wanted to be married someplace iconically San Francisco – someplace that we could visit and enjoy for years to come as a staple in the city. We also wanted our setting to be distinctly urban. Fort Mason met these requirements, plus it is a place that we have visited over the years and, it is right on the water!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Our major inspiration was us as a couple. That seems so simple, but we really wanted the day to feel personal, and we wanted to share the joy in our relationship with our loved ones.  So, we focused on the things that we adore – photography, eating and cooking, intimate gatherings, for instance – and made those factors central to our celebration. I read numerous wedding blogs every day. Just seeing tons of weddings was useful in determining what resonated with me. I would save photos from those weddings that I liked most, then Michael and I would review those together and use them as a kind of road map to guide our choices and help us decide where we could add personal touches, or put our unique spin on another couple’s ideas.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Last I checked, our wedding cost approximately 2/3 the price of an average wedding in San Francisco of the same size. We did absolutely everything that we could ourselves, and we shopped tirelessly for affordable resources. This kept our spending down, but we put a ton of time into the planning process, so know that saving money might mean more time spent on something. Also, we found that it was easy to stay on budget when it came to the big things, and that it was the little odds and ends that cost us. When you are down to the decorative specifics, decide which details are worth the money. What will you really delight in on the day?

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Often, I felt like wedding planning was a total slog. But, at the end of the day, I don’t hesitate to say that it was 110% worth it!  Michael and I had our dream “urban modern meets vintage, art opening inspired, quintessentially San Francisco” wedding, the memories of which will be a gift for the rest of our lives together.



Photography: Jon Rivera / Venue: Firehouse at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco / Bride’s dress: Sarah Seven / Bride’s shoes: Melissa / Veil: Jade Rose Designs / Bridesmaid dresses: Sarah Seven / Groom’s attire: Brooks Brothers


PS – Margo is selling her lovely dress on Craigslist, so if you’re in the Bay Area and love it, check out the listing right here!

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