Monthly Archives: February 2013

With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

In the age before e-vites and Facebook invitations, Elisabeth was on the hunt for someone to help her design a paper Valentine’s Day invitation to a college party she was throwing. At a friend’s suggestion, Elisabeth enlisted Adam’s drawing skills and he produced the perfect invitation with cupids and hearts.

Despite meeting on such a romantic occasion, Elisabeth and Adam took their time with their courtship and dated for eight years before tying the knot. Adam explains that they “formed the foundation” of their marriage in those years of dating, which included a month hiking the Appalachian Trail, another month living with Adam’s parents while he recovered from knee surgery, and a year and a half spent on different continents.

When they were first dating, Elisabeth joined Adam hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, but after a while, it became apparent that Elisabeth wasn’t such a fan of hiking or mountain biking, and that she was actually deathly afraid of heights. Elisabeth explains that while she wasn’t the type to compromise to impress a boy, “I was so in love.” Now fifteen years into their marriage, Adam admits, “We hike together no longer.” Elisabeth says that she realized “I didn’t have to do his thing.” Now, when Adam takes his bike down a mountain, Elisabeth chooses to go out for a run instead. Adam advises newlyweds, “Respect your differences.” And sometimes those differences even extend to laundry baskets: “That way, we’re ruining our own laundry rather than the other person’s.”

Now the couple spends time enjoying the things they do together – cooking, eating, enjoying cups of coffee and raising their four-year-old daughter. Says Adam, “We’re strongest when we’re working together for a combined goal.”

(Side note: Elisabeth runs a company called 11stories where she interviews newlyweds and captures their story in a book.)

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
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Spring is springing and Martha Stewart Weddings has a new issue coming out on Monday (or on your iPad now)! It’s their annual color issue, and we’ve got a sneak peek at the Perfect Palette story, cornflower blue and shades of melon inspired by an Aqua Panna water bottle…

Get your copy Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2013 on stands Monday!


Cover photograph by Patricia Heal for Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2013. Copyright © 2013. // Story photographs by Raymond Hom for Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2013. Copyright © 2013.

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If you’re in love with the idea of a totally one-of-a-kind engagement ring, look no further than Erica Weiner Jewelry! I just love these two Art Deco rings from the current collection (topbottom)…

When Erica began the search for a unique engagement ring of her own, she was inspired to start offering a selection of antiques, and now Erica Weiner Jewelry is a destination for affordable (and gorgeous!) engagement and wedding rings from the 1750s through the 1940s. They have a charming online shop, but if you happen to be in the area, check out their brand new storefront at 360 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Here’s a little sneak peek!

The new store features a hand-selected collection of delicate wedding jewelry, along with a mix of new and antique jewelry retailing for under $1,000. I know they aren’t “real” diamonds, but these herkimer diamond rings (pictured above) are just too fabulous for words!

Whether it’s the perfect vintage engagement ring or something more modern (but equally unusual) that you’re looking for, Erica Weiner‘s new store is sure to have something that strikes your fancy and that won’t ruin your budget. And thankfully, for those of us who aren’t on the East Coast, there’s an equally awesome selection of Erica Weiner jewelry on their website.


This post sponsored by Erica Weiner Jewelry.

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There’s so much to say about Ashley and Christopher’s wedding, but honestly, the photos and video, along with the bride’s own words, tell it best…

I always had a lot of ideas about what my wedding day would be like, from the setting, food, dress, and especially what it would be like for my dad to walk me down the aisle. Yet all those ideas flew out the window when my parents died two years ago in a plane crash. Their lives deeply inspired me during the planning as I wanted to share this special day with them. I think one of the main reasons I have experienced so much joy in knowing and loving Christopher is because I have experienced the depth of pain in losing the two people I love the most on this earth. As Kahlil Gibran wrote, “The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” We wanted to acknowledge both joy and sorrow on this day because the two are inseparable.

Bridesmaids wore neutral dresses of their choosing. The bride carried a locket with photos of her parents on her bouquet.

Christopher constructed the gorgeous flower arrangement that hung over our heads, and hung three antique beveled glass windows at the entrance to the ceremony site.

Christopher’s ring was made from the promise ring my dad gave me. My gold band engagement ring was Christopher’s great-grandmother’s, grandmother’s, and mother’s. My canary yellow diamond earrings were my mother’s.

Thirty minutes after the ceremony, my dad’s friend and flying buddy did a Missing Man flyover at the reception to acknowledge the deep absence of my mom and dad that day.

Signature drinks were Champagne with a hint of vanilla and blueberries, and our favorite Yazoo Brewing Company beer from Nashville.

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We knew we wanted an intimate setting, in nature, a place we could go back to, that was unique to us. We decided to have our wedding ceremony on some property my family has had for many years on Lake Martin. We found a clearing created by three huge pine trees on the point of the lot looking out onto the water and we knew we wanted to get married right in between the three trees. We see our relationship and marriage about the triangular relationship between ourselves and God, and the three trees represented the theme of our wedding: I and Love and You. To prepare the space, Christopher and a few friends cut down trees, built a platform, planted grass, and created a welcoming walkway down to the site. Christopher’s hard work and preparation of that site showed me his love and commitment, which is the best wedding present I could ask for.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Ashley: Ah! I have so many, but one moment that stands out is during the reception when I was dancing on stage with the band to “Rolling on the River.” As I threw my hands up, Christopher snuck behind me and threw me up into the air. With a scream coming from my mouth I looked out over all our friends and family of all ages dancing their booties off. To see everyone else feeling and sharing in the incredible love, joy, and celebration of that day was a powerful gift. // Christopher: There is no one moment but a string of them. I remember stepping up on the platform with my soon-to-be wife next to me and in that moment everything stopped. There was no sense of time, just us feeling the wind on our faces, and the mystery of our spirits becoming entangled in one another. As passages were read and words given to one another, I felt the purest gift of love.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  A friend told me to stop throughout my wedding day and take in a deep breath of everything around me. Because I took those moments to breathe, the day doesn’t seem like a blur but rather an endless, timeless joy with details I can remember.

What advice do you have for other brides?  1. Be authentic to you. There are so many wonderful and beautiful ideas out there right now about weddings – you can have a eco-friendly, citrus-colored, parade-themed wedding in Antartica, but is it you? Don’t do things because you find them on Pinterest; do them because they represent you and your groom. 2. Prepare for your marriage, not just your wedding. The best thing Christopher and I did during the engagement season was marriage counseling. It’s easy to be distracted by all the details of the wedding, but remember, your wedding is one day, and your marriage is a lifetime.


See more photos from Ashley and Christopher’s lakeside wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: Clark Brewer / Videographer:  Eric Staples / Event Planner: Mariée Ami / Venue: private property on Lake Martin, Alabama / Bride’s Gown: Lela Rose / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Floral Design: Grace’s Flowers / Catering: Shindig’s Catering / Ceremony Pews: P.E.W.S / Cake: Venable’s Sweet Shoppe / Stationery: Social Graces / Calligraphy: Hardink Calligraphy / Music: The Undergrounders / Officiants: Jennifer Fouse, Trey Wince
  • Touching Lakeside Wedding in Alabama

    27 February 2013
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    I just love the simplicity and ease of Brooke and Mike’s engagement session near their home in Charleston. Photos by the talented Odalys Mendez.

    From photographer Odalys Mendez, “Brooke grew up in Ana Maria Island, Florida, where her days revolved around the sea. When they heard they were relocating to Charleston because of a work opportunity, Brooke and Mike knew they wanted to be as close to the water as possible, and chose a yacht as their home. I wanted these images to be a wonderful memory of their simple, carefree lifestyle in the Charleston marina. Their love is so easy and warm.”

    Brooke and Mike will exchange vows in a laid-back, beach-front ceremony in Brooke’s hometown of Ana Maria Island, Florida in April.


    Thank you to Odalys Mendez for sharing these beautiful photos!


    See more photos from this simple Charleston engagement session in the gallery.

  • Breezy Engagement Session in Charleston

    26 February 2013
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