Monthly Archives: April 2012

I’m a real sucker for city hall nuptials – maybe for their simplicity, or the nostalgia they elicit. Whatever the reason, Alice and Andrea’s wedding at an Italian town hall is a perfect example of what makes them so special…

A storm of confetti was the perfect way to kick of the celebration!

After the ceremony, the bride and groom took a few portraits among the autumn leaves, then joined their guests at a nearby restaurant for lunch.

Lunch took place at a restaurant in the same building as the town hall…

Instead of numbers, tables were named after different shapes of pasta. Guests found their names on cards nestled into brown bags of spaghetti, farfalle, and others.

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Since we weren’t having a church ceremony, we were looking for a nice location with a town hall and nearby restaurant. We found it in Verdello, with a beautiful town hall located in an 18th-century villa, and the restaurant was located in the same building just a few steps away.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted our wedding to be more like a big party with family and friends than a wedding following the “classic wedding rules.” That’s why we didn’t go for a white dress and tuxedo – we just wanted to look nice and comfortable to receive our guests. In a stylish way of course.

What was your favourite moment or part of the day?  The best part of the day was just after the ceremony, when we eventually got the chance to relax and spend time and have fun with our guests.

What advice do you have for other brides?  You’ll receive lots of advice, so the best thing to do is to take it all in, then just let it be and go with the flow. We wanted to avoid bridezilla moments and just enjoy the process of planning our wedding.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  It was the perfect day, just as we wanted it to be. Great people, fine food and wine, and a sophisticated but easy going party to tell everyone that we got married!



Photography: Giuli & Giordi / Ceremony venue: town hall in Verdello Bergamo, Italy / Reception venue: Villa Giavazzi / Bride’s attire: Vivienne Westwood / Groom’s attire: Tom Ford

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I think I say this every time I get to feature a winter wedding, but as a winter bride myself, they hold such a special place in my heart! Especially when they’re as beautiful as this one, from Kate Headley Photography and Ritzy Bee Events

Welcome boxes, customized with the couples names and wedding date, included snacks, water, and information about the wedding weekend.

All of the gorgeous paper goods were designed by Mr. Boddington’s Studio, with calligraphy by Tara Jones. (click on this image to enlarge it!)

Says Amber, “Jeff is Jewish and I am Lutheran, so we incorporated elements of both the Jewish and Lutheran faiths into our ceremony.” This included a beautiful calligraphy and quilled paper Ketubah…

Amber and Jeff wanted their wedding to reflect the winter season without having a holiday theme. They chose a palette of gray, silver, white and natural green, as well as plenty of glowing candlelight.

In addition to hand-selected chocolates at every table, guests enjoyed miniature candied apples, cotton candy “lollipops,” and two types of wedding cake: Brown Butter Cake with Meyer Lemon Buttercream and Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Sea-Salted Caramel Buttercream. Also, don’t you just love the chevron table runners?!

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We chose Washington, D.C. because we fell in love here and it is the place where we decided to make our home. It is the city that holds both our history and our future. The Four Seasons Hotel, nestled in Georgetown is such a special place with understated elegance and we knew it would be the perfect setting for our December wedding. Jeff’s family has a special relationship and long-standing history with the Four Seasons and all of their significant family events have taken place at various properties over the years, so having the wedding at the Four Seasons was also very meaningful to both of us.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The winter season was the initial inspiration while planning the wedding. We didn’t want a holiday themed affair, but we wanted it to feel both wintry and warm. The menu, flowers and design were all chosen with seasonality in mind. We were also inspired by all of our family and friends. It was very important to both of us to create a welcoming environment that would bring all of our guests together. Our wish was for all of our loved ones to have a fabulous time, so every detail of the wedding was planned with them in mind.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  After the ceremony, Jeff and I went to a private room to spend some time together before joining everyone for cocktail hour. In Judaism, this is known as Yichud. This time gave us the opportunity to decompress after the ceremony and take everything in. The Four Seasons had champagne and hors d’oeuvres waiting for us, which was wonderful since we were too busy and excited talking with all of our guests to eat during cocktail hour.

What advice do you have for other brides?  The advice that I would like to share with other brides is to not take too much advice. Everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. I learned the hard way that you can’t please everyone. Do what you love! It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Spend your money on what is important to you. I spent nothing on my dress, but a significant portion of our wedding budget was spent on invitations and paper products. I don’t regret that. Designing my invitations and working with Mr. Boddington’s Studio was probably the highlight of my wedding planning. Also, try to budget for an event planner if possible. They can save you a significant amount of money and time.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  I had such a wonderful experience while planning my wedding and on my wedding day, and I owe so much of that to Maria Cooke and Kelly Seizert of Ritzy Bee Events, Sidra Forman, and Kate Headley. They are all incredibly talented women with big hearts and kind souls.



Hors d’oeuvres: Chilled Shrimp with Cocktail and Remoulade Sauces / Garlice Rubbed Petit Lamb Chops with Mint Drizzle / Mini Gruyere Mac N Cheese / Smoked Duck with Mango Relish in Wonton Cup / Lobster Newburg in Puff Pastry / Mini Beef Franks in Puff Pastry with Spicy Mustard / Thai Garden Roll with Warm Plum Sauce / Sliders and Fries / Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles / Korean Tacos
Appetizers: Cream of Chestnut Soup with Sage Crouton / Baby Red Romaine Bundle with Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Caesar Dressing
Dinner: Roasted Halibut with Maple Roasted Baby Rainbow Carrots in a Leek Tied Bundle, Twice Baked Truffle and Parsley Potatoes, Beurre Blanc Sauce and Red Pepper Oil / Slow Braised Beef Short Rib with Goat Cheese Mashed Potato, Baby Candy Stripe Beets with Micro Arugula, and a Zinfandel Reduction
Dessert: Mini Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream and Doughnuts / Brown Butter Cake with Meyer Lemon Buttercream / Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Sea-Salted Caramel Buttercream / Cotton Candy Lollipops / Mini Candied Lady Apples



Photography: Kate Headley / Planning, design: Ritzy Bee Events / Venue: Four Seasons in Washington D.C. / Invitation suite: Mr. Boddington’s Studio / Calligraphy: Tara Jones / Bride’s dress: Thread purchased at Garnish Boutique / Cashmere shrug: Neiman Marcus / Bride’s custom shoes: Roger Vivier / Hair flower: Lo Boheme / Groom’s suit: Boyds Philadelphia / Ketubah: All Things Paper by Ann Martin / Flowers: Sidra Forman / Cake: K. Rose Cakes / Music: Lapis Luna Jazz Band / Custom cocktail napkins, coasters: For Your Party / Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.

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Happy Friday! What are your plans for this holiday weekend? We’ll be joining some family friends at their house for an Easter brunch, but otherwise I think we’ll have a pretty low-key weekend. I’m working on some things for Snippet & Ink that I can’t tell you about just yet, but that’s probably going to be how I spend at least part of my weekend. The rest of the time I might have to finish The Hunger Games trilogy (you can admit it – I know I’m not the only one who is loving these books)…

by Duston Todd


And now, some links for your weekend!

We didn’t bring home a puppy yet, but I’m still drooling over Frenchies.

2000 suspended dandelions – magical!

Love the tables in this Hawaiian rehearsal dinner.

Inspired by Molly Jacques.

OK Go always has the best music videos, from my friend Ariella.

Vintage-style scrapbook from BHLDN.

These Nutella waffle sandwich cookies look like a delicious accident.

Get creative with wall tape (maybe for a ceremony backdrop?).

Glittery wire name signs.

Cheesecake filled Easter eggs that look like Cadbury cream eggs.

I hope you enjoyed all the budget-friendly inspiration boards these past two weeks – I’m always open to your thoughtful feedback, so please leave a comment letting me know your thoughts! And in case you missed any of them, you can find them all right here.


Have a happy weekend, lovelies!

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Mood: charming elegance
Palette: seashell pink and white

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: Kate Spade “Nico” dress from Nordstrom, foldover clutch by Claire Vivier, save-the-date from Paperless Post, cocktails with drink stirrers from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 2: tulip-topped square cakes and scallop hors d’oeuvres both from Martha Stewart Weddings, glass candelabra from CB2, tulip bouquet from A Country Farmhouse
Row 3: pocket squares from Martha Stewart Weddings, grosgrain ribbon ring from Doyle & Doyle, art space from Airspace via The City Sage


The Idea:  Food is one of the biggest places to save in a wedding budget, which is why these inspiration boards have largely focused on alternatives to traditional sit-down dinners. Today’s board presents the idea of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as an elegant way to make nice with your wallet.

The Paper:  Though I think formal invitations are appropriate and appreciated, digital save-the-dates are perfectly acceptable and a great way to save money. Paperless Post offers a number of charming designs, some of which are even free (their pricing system seems unnecessarily confusing to me, but bottom line is: they have attractive, customizable options at affordable rates).

The Fashion:  “Bridal alternative” is basically a term for a white dress that doesn’t cost as much as most wedding gowns, and lots of department stores carry them. All I know is, it’s a great option if you’re willing to think outside the box when it comes to traditional wedding wear, like with this adorable Kate Spade dress for $468. Bella Bridesmaid is another great place to look for less expensive bridal gowns. This gives you a little wiggle room for fun accessories like a chic foldover clutch from Claire Vivier for $156 (that you can definitely use again!).

The Decor:  Candles are a beautiful way to light a room, and they can be significantly cheaper than flowers. If your venue allows, decorate the room with glass candleholders from CB2 for a modern look – the one pictured here is only $20, and can double as a gift for your bridal party.

The Flowers:  When Ryan and I had our civil ceremony at City Hall the day before our church wedding, my cousin’s partner brought me a beautiful bunch of white tulips to carry that she had picked up at the grocery store that morning. If a professionally designed bouquet isn’t a priority for you, opting for whatever’s in season (and available at your local market) and tying it together yourself is one way to help out your budget (this is especially true if you have lots of bridesmaid who will also be carrying flowers). Let pocket squares take the place of boutonnieres, and double as groomsmen gifts – you can find some for under $20, or if you’re the crafty type, you can make them yourself with a favorite fabric.

The Food:  As with a dessert reception, as long as your guests know what to expect, and the reception is held in between meal times, it’s perfectly okay to serve passed hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal. Small bites are also a way to include more expensive ingredients that might be cost prohibitive in an entree, such as scallops or truffles. If your caterer and/or venue allows you to BYOB, find out if you’ll be able to return unopened bottles to the store – why pay for what people don’t drink!

Other Details:  As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of easy DIY projects. The drink stirrers in this board are made by simply folding a piece of washi tape over a wooden skewer to create a cute little flag. Easy peasy! Make enough to adorn all drinks, or just a signature cocktail.


Today’s the last day of this budget-friendly series. I hope you’ve enjoyed them! I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section – did you enjoy these inspiration boards? Were they helpful to you? Do you have some budget-friendly tips that I missed?


If you like this budget-friendly inspiration board, you might also like:

Board #184: Cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres
Board #276: Keep It Simple
Board #355: Apricot and Rose Gold


Bella Bridesmaid is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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