Lauren & Josh’s Chic Wedding at Winterthur Museum, Delaware

Lauren and Josh’s incredibly romantic wedding celebration is about as stylish and chic as they come. Her stunning Stella McCartney wedding dress, the lush thousand acre gardens, and the rich and moody color tones of this wedding are so inspiring. If her long sweeping train is any indication, this one will take your breath away!

Photography: Meredith Heuer

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? Relax and have fun!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Do whatever you need to do before the wedding day to make it perfect, but when the day comes just let things happen as they will. There may be small hiccups, and there were in mine, but don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let anything ruin your day!

 

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“We kept to the traditions that meant the most to us, hearing our close friends and family reflect on our relationship and lives during the speeches and exchanging our own vows in front of our guests was all the traditions we needed. My engagement ring is actually a family heirloom of Josh’s, which was give to him by his grandmother. It’s been in the family for almost ninety years. It feels modern and fresh but still timeless and classic—an engagement ring that stands the test of time.”

 

Bridal Portrait, Stella McCartney Wedding Dress Bridal Portrait, Stella McCartney Wedding Dress

 

Museum and Garden Wedding, Rose Anemone Eucalyptus Bouquet Museum and Garden Wedding, Rose Anemone Eucalyptus Bouquet

 

Lauren carried the most romantic bouquet filled with dusty pink roses, black and white anemone, and soft green foliage such as sprouted eucalyptus. The delicate tones and sweeping florals are like something from a fairy-tale.

 

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Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Given both of our professional experience, we felt confident in planning the wedding ourselves. The most rewarding part of the entire process was 100% the people we collaborated with. Some were people we knew personally, others we met along the way, but we had a creative connection to everyone we worked with, including the staff at Winterthur.

 

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“The styling was very much thought out. I went to a lot of different bridal spots in NYC, and couldn’t really find anything that fit my personal style—very clean and modern, yet classic and timeless. While waiting for my bridal appointment at Bergdorf’s I spotted a Stella McCartney gown I loved. I was with my mom and mother in law, and when I tried it on it felt like this is THE dress.”

 

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The Ceremony

“The ceremony setting was surrounded by 100 year old trees, overflowing florals, and lush gardens, where all of the guests were seated around and old reflecting pool in the gardens of the DuPont estate. I was escorted down a long cobble staircase at dusk by my father to meet josh and all of the guests at the start of the ceremony, while a single violinist played a few pieces from Bach symphonies.”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Personal, family, intimate, old-world romanticism.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  The most important part to us was to share a personal, intimate, moment between the two of us with our family friends. We decided not having a bridal party would give us the intimacy we wanted, and writing our own vows would make it feel personal and romantic.

 

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Who officiated your ceremony? A dear friend to us that we have known for several years while living in Brooklyn. She has previously done several weddings, so it was a no brainer asking her to officiate ours. Given her experience, she really helped us shape the ceremony into what felt personal and right for us.

What was your ceremony music? We loved the idea of a single violinist playing for the ceremony. My sister’s very close and talented friend played for us. She played classics like Winter’s Tale—not expected wedding processions. It was beautiful.

What were your ceremony readings? No readings. Our officiant shaped the ceremony through telling personal stories of us, along with speaking to our parents and sharing their thoughts and on our union.

What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. It was important to us not to recite after the Officiate, and to speak on our own. We did however decide to keep some tradition by ending our vows with a traditional ring vow.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Honestly, everything! And the fact that Josh cried…A LOT.

 

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Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? When we were deciding on décor for the ceremony, Josh’s made the observation that white chairs would detract from the setting, and instead we should use black iron ones. He nailed that one! We were very careful to enhance where we needed to, while not taking away from the natural beauty of Winterthur.

 

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Museum and Garden Wedding, Bride and Groom, Flowing Veil, Stella McCartney Wedding Dress Museum and Garden Wedding, Bride and Groom, Flowing Veil, Stella McCartney Wedding Dress

 

“Getting married at Winterthur, I wanted a nod to the DuPont era of the 1930’s—I knew I wanted a simple dress but wanted the drama to come from the veil and a cascading bouquet of flowers.  So I added and extra two feet of tulle for the exaggeration of the veil when I walked down the stair case. Taking Pictures before with an extra long veil was quite the challenge but ended up being some of our favorite pictures!”

 

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Why did you choose this venue for your wedding?  Originally we were drawn to the idea and aesthetic of getting married somewhere in the European countryside. But with busy work schedules, we decided it was best to do something close to home. We had previously visited Winterthur Museum while spending a holiday with my parents. The museum was formerly the childhood home Henry DuPont, and sits on a thousand acres encompassing rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Through Mr. DuPont’s passion for American decorative arts and horticulture, he later opened the home to the public, founding Winterthur Museum and Garden. We chose Winterthur because it had the European influence and aesthetic we were looking for.

 

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The Reception

“We wanted our guests to explore the grounds of the thousand acre estate as we did when we first came to Winterthur.  So, having the reception and the cocktail hour at the reflecting pool, we then escorted the guests through the house to the front of the property where we designed a open tent concept covered with string lights that overlooked a stream of water called Clenney Run. We knew we wanted the dinner party to be all candle lit and keep it moody and romantic of course!”

 

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How would you describe your reception? SIMPLE. We wanted it to be two things: a great sit down dinner for our friends and family to enjoy, and of course a great dance party! We threw out the usual American traditions of first dances and entry announcements. We were more inspired and touched but our family and friends clever speeches through out the dinner portion. Our band, Kokolo, created a warm and unexpected environment—playing jazz with influences of afrobeat funk to shake things up a bit!

 

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Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. When deciding on the table setting and décor, Josh found an old image from the 1940’s of a grand feast using lots of fruits and cascading florals. We loved this idea of a feast! We decided to go with a deep, rich and moody palette of rich plums and burgundy with accents of soft pink and deep greens. Our amazing florist and good friend Nancy, from Petals and Moss, then layered in plums, figs, and concord grapes which all the guests snacked on in between courses.

 

Museum and Garden Wedding, Vintage Plates Museum and Garden Wedding, Vintage Plates

 

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What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Accentuating the natural environment of Winterthur, engaging our guests in the celebration, and having our personal taste reflected in the décor and style.

Did you have a signature cocktail? No, but we did make sure to have specific alcohol we new guests enjoyed.

 

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Menu: Start: Amuse Bouche of Gingersnap Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry Reduction and Candied Pecan // Salad: Baby Spinach, Oak leaf, and Endive salad with Honey Toasted Pine Nuts and Crumbled Feta and Fig Vinaigrette // Main: Mediterranean Grouper with Roasted Peppers and Onions, Basil Pesto, and Mascarpone-Citrus Polenta / Hanger Steak with Fingerling Potatoes, and Grilled Vegetables // Main dish was followed by a Lemon and Lavender Sorbet.

Catering by Restaurant Associates.

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Almond cake with buttercream filling and frosting. It was so yummy!

Cake by The Master’s Baker.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The mini cakes! We had several small cakes for each table in lieu of one big wedding cake. Josh came up with the idea because we wanted to engage all of our guests in the cake cutting. It was a fun way to nominate some of our guests to cut the cake with us, and was one of the highlights of the entire night!

 

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“After the reception we hosted an afterparty back at the reflecting pool.  We surrounded the entire space with tons of candles and danced the night away to 70’s and 80’s classics! A friend of ours from New York, Jason DJ’d till the early hours of the morning. Since it was officially the dance party of the night, I changed into a simple white Club Monaco t-shirt and white Stella McCartney wide leg trouser.”

 

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“Music was a major part of the wedding.  Josh comes from a musical family and wanted to ensure we had a few surprises through the night.  We wanted to break away from the transitional jazz bands or wedding singers that don’t feel special theses days.  We wanted to give our guests a little taste of New York. So we brought in Kokolo, an afro-beat funk band from New York with a cult following from around the world. The five piece band played a nice up-beat mix through out the reception which had everyone on the dance floor.”

What was your first dance song? We didn’t do planned dances. After dinner everyone hit the dance floor, the circle naturally formed and we had our first dance along with the father/mother dances as the night flowed.

Reception Music Performed by Kokolo.

 

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Photography: Meredith Heuer / Venue: Winterthur Museum and Garden in Wilmington, Delaware / Dress: Stella McCartney / Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Veil: Bergdorf Goodman / Suit, Tie, Shirt, Shoes: Ralph Lauren / Stationery: Custom designed by Donald West, Senior Art Director of Club Monaco / Hair: Ryan Stone / Makeup: Mackenzie Day / Band: Kokolo / Catering: Restaurant Associates / Cake, Dessert: The Master’s Baker

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There’s no better feeling than putting on that special piece of jewelry before you begin your day. But there’s nothing more painful than reaching for that statement sparkler, and it’s not there! That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

 

 

Jewelers Mutual ® is an insurance company that exclusively insures jewelry, and has for over 100 years. They offer the most comprehensive coverage in the business, including: Worldwide travel coverage, flexibility to work with your own jeweler, optional $0 deductible and coverage for loss, theft, damage and mysterious disappearance.

 

 

Getting a free quote couldn’t be easier. Just put in your zip code, jewelry type, jewelry value and voilà! I put in a quote for a $5000 engagement ring and it was only $75 for the year with a $0 deductible. Can you believe that for less than $7 a month you can have peace of mind that your most precious pieces are protected? Premiums start at $25 and are typically 1-2% of the total value of your jewelry. If you’re unsure of the current value of your jewelry find a local certified appraiser through American Gem Society.

 

 

Jewelry is so personal and sentimental, and Jewelers Mutual understands exactly what your jewelry means to you. Because they only insure jewelry, they do it better than anyone else! So, before your beautiful baubles are lost, damaged or worse, get covered with a policy from Jewelers Mutual.

 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by  Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. While I was compensated to write a post about Jewelers Mutual, all opinions are my own.

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M’daya and Shawn’s Wedding at the Botanic Garden in San Diego.

There are times where we come across a couple who’s love is so big we can feel it filling up our hearts through the screen. M’daya and Shawn’s genuine love shines through these beautiful images from their bohemian wedding at the Botanic Garden in San Diego. We love the bright and cheerful colors, the traditional Hawaiian leis, and most of all the big smiles across the couple’s faces!

Photography by Rad + In Love.

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? Be present. These pearls of wisdom were especially useful for the day of the wedding. Whenever I caught myself getting stressed about details, I tried to ground myself with those words and just enjoy the moment. Also, be selfish and honor your vision as a couple.

 

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Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? We created a hodge-podge of our own traditions, but all were deeply meaningful. My mom gave me her wedding shoes to wear, which went wonderfully with my dress. My cousin, Hina, lei’d us with traditional Hawaiian leis that she brought with her (not to mention they smelled heavenly!). And a good friend from the east coast who couldn’t make it lent me the tote from her own wedding day. I felt so loved. Shawn and I exchanged gifts before the wedding to open alone as we got ready which was fun and exciting. He gifted me with my garter belt and I gave him a personalized hanky.

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, Pink and Purple Peonies Roses Eucalyptus Bouquet, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, Pink and Purple Peonies Roses Eucalyptus Bouquet, www.snippetandink.com

 

The bride’s bright and cheerful bouquet was made up of a colorful mix of blooming peonies, garden roses, white Veronica, and eucalyptus.

Floral Design and Floral Crown by Plenty of Petals.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Savor every minute. Even if there is stress or drama (which there always seems to be), remember to refocus on what matters and what this wedding truly means to your couple. At one time I didn’t even think I would ever get married, so during difficult moments I reminded myself to be grateful to even be planning such a celebration. It really does go by in the blink of an eye and you don’t want to regret missing a minute of it. As for the day of, my husband would definitely advise taking a minute to yourselves to eat and reconnect amongst the chaos. And most importantly, have fun!

 

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Botanical Garden Wedding, First Look, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, First Look, www.snippetandink.com

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, First Look, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, First Look, www.snippetandink.com

 

The Ceremony

“When we first met, Shawn was living in Encinitas. Six months later he quit his job and moved to LA so that we could be together. But to this day, Encinitas pretty much remains his favorite place in the world! So it was a wonderful surprise when we stumbled upon the hidden treasure that is the San Diego Botanic Garden. It’s a magical place full of natural beauty and an overriding feeling of peacefulness. We knew immediately that it was perfect for us. Encinitas also served as an awesome destination for all of our guests, in particular my family and friends traveling from as far as Europe and the east coast. Everyone mellowed out in this chill surf town and we were able to really spread out the festivities over a few days and spend as much quality time as we could with everyone.”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, unconventional, relaxed

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  We knew from the start that we didn’t want a traditional ceremony and that the most important thing to us was that it feel personal. We also knew that we wanted to involve our loved ones. One of the things that was wonderful about our officiant, Jason Nathan, was the large selection of ideas (ranging from vows to blessings) that he provided us with for inspiration. We integrated a few non-conventional ideas that came from him. He had also asked us to fill out individual questionnaires to get to know us better as a couple, which I of course didn’t realize he would be using for the ceremony. Let’s just say there were some hilarious and embarrassing moments when he read out loud some of our answers! Ironically, many of our guests commented on how much they loved how personal and unique this made our ceremony feel.

 

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“We included a shell blessing to incorporate all of our guests and highlight how important each of them is in our life. Our ring bearer, who is also my godson, handed out shells as guests were seated and towards the end of the ceremony, the officiant asked them for a moment of silence to bless their shell for our union. The shells were collected at the end of the ceremony and now sit in a pretty container in our living room as a lovely reminder of how much love surrounded us that day.”

 

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What was your ceremony music?  We were really excited to have my cousin (who is really like my little sister), Hina, and her boyfriend, Devon, serenade us for the ceremony. They are Hawaiian, so they definitely brought some island sunshine to the celebration. Hina sang “Sea of Love” while her boyfriend played the ukulele for the groom and flower girl procession. And as I walked down the aisle with my step-father, they performed “La vie en Rose” in French!! She practiced for months beforehand since she doesn’t speak French, which meant so much to me since I am originally from France. It was one of the best moments of the day, though it went by too fast.

 

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Who officiated your ceremony? Jason Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel. We were looking for a non-traditional officiant and we knew from the moment we skyped with Jason that he was the right fit for us.

What were your ceremony readings? Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII, and in place of our second reading, Shawn’s mom, who is an incredible opera singer, sang “O Sole Mio”.

 

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Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We wanted to honor our parents and so we included a parents blessing where we thanked them and lei’d them with fresh leis my cousin and her boyfriend brought us specially from Hawaii. Our parents were really surprised, but it was a very touching moment that allowed us to connect with them during our ceremony.

 

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What were your vows like? We came up with our own vows—short and sweet—to keep it personal.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? It was such a surreal experience. I thought I would be an emotional mess throughout it, but oddly I just felt ecstatic. My step-father walked me down the aisle and that was one of the moments I felt the closest and most grateful to him in my life. Then seeing the love in Shawn’s face and looking out at our parents, family and friends in a sea of emotion and love was an incredible feeling—just pure joy.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? I was in love with the hanging flower garlands our florist used to decorate the ceremony arch. She took my vision and elevated it with her talent. It added such a magical touch to the setting.

 

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The Reception

“The beauty of the San Diego Botanic Garden is that it has several locations throughout the venue that you can use, which allows for guests to really enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the gardens. From ceremony to cocktail hour to the reception, we used three different sites on location and guests were able to walk around the gardens and explore.”

 

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“Shawn created beautiful wooden signs for the venue. I even had my Italian cousin designing table signs while reeling from jet lag. My mom came a week early from Boston and was an incredible help in getting us through the last push—while we struggled with the table seating, she labeled all of the Morocan tea glasses we used as favors and hand wrote the escort cards.”

How would you describe your reception? Dreamy, magical, vibrant

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Most importantly we wanted it to be a big party! We both grew up with huge families and those moments spent together were the highlights of our childhoods, so we really wanted to recreate that feeling with delicious food, kids running around and everyone dancing to great music.
Our backgrounds are very diverse and we wanted our celebration to incorporate some of those cultural details, so I set out early on to imagine and create all of the decor with the help of Shawn, family and friends. The inspiration was a bit whimsical ranging from Algerian and Lebanese elements, to Oriental poppies, to poetry and all round bohemian dreaminess.

 

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“We made paper poppies as part of the wedding favors (never trust a Martha Stewart tutorial, she makes it look too easy!), petal cones, and hanging lace hamsas for the wishing tree. Everyone who volunteered to help had their work cut out for them!”

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  If you have the desire and the time, I would definitely recommend doing as many DIY details as you can—just be sure to start early! Also don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors on ways to lower costs, most of the time they will try to meet you half way.

Did you have a signature cocktail? Shawn designed two signature cocktails with a wink to our love story. One we named the Mermaid’s Elixir—fresh Watermelon juice + lime + tequila. The other one named The Splendor of the Seven Seas—orange blossom + bourbon + fresh squeezed lemon. We also served prosecco and local artisan beer during the cocktail hour.

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, Long Tables, Paper Lanterns, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, Long Tables, Paper Lanterns, www.snippetandink.com

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, Floral Centerpiece, Red and Orange, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, Floral Centerpiece, Red and Orange, www.snippetandink.com

 

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Poetry played a big role in the details of our celebration, since we began our long-distance courtship exchanging poems. Tables were named after our favorite poets and writers. My father, who is a writer and actor, came to California for the first time for our wedding all the way from France with my brother. I had asked him to write a poem for the occasion. As a toast, he read his poem dedicated to me in French and my brother translated. It was a powerful and touching moment that had me and many of the guests in tears.

 

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“I was definitely that crazy bride who started collecting jars from friends and family six months before the wedding. I hand painted them with Mehndi designs to use as candle votives during the reception and, to save money, I painted the largest recycled jars in turquoise for the florist to use for centerpieces. We shibori dyed table runners for the reception- luckily Shawn’s aunt saved the day by hemming all of them!”

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, Dessert Table, White Cake, Paper Flowers, Paper Banner, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, Dessert Table, White Cake, Paper Flowers, Paper Banner, www.snippetandink.com

 

What was your wedding menu? The Wild Thyme Company helped us create a personalized Meditterenean inspired menu—they even managed to master a Lebanese salad I grew up eating. The food was out of this world.

Rosemary And Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewer, Chicken Souvlaki Skewer, Mushroom Arancini, Fattoush Salad, Spiced Chicken Tagine, Rosemary & Garlic Lollipop Lamb Chops, Stuffed Peppers, Orzo Salad, Grilled Asparagus And Yellow Squash Platter, Kalamata Dinner Rolls, And Rustic Fig And Raspberry Mini Crostatas.

Catering by The Wild Thyme Company.

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, White Cake, Paper Flowers, Paper Banner, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, White Cake, Paper Flowers, Paper Banner, www.snippetandink.com

 

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? My aunt Vicky is my favorite pastry chef in the world. Her baking is to die for and she must really love us, because as our wedding gift she traveled from South Carolina with six chocolate ganache cakes in her suitcases for our wedding (which, incredibly, survived the trip!). She also made a plethora of her signature cookies to add to the traditional Lebanese baklava we had on the dessert bar. We also had a buttercream passion fruit cutting cake from a local bakery.

Passion Fruit Cake by Twiggs Bakery.

 

Botanical Garden Wedding, Floral Crown, Leis, Paper Banners, Paper Lanterns, www.snippetandink.com Botanical Garden Wedding, Floral Crown, Leis, Paper Banners, Paper Lanterns, www.snippetandink.com

 

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What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? We made our grand entrance to Bob Marley’s “Could this Be Love”which was the first song we danced to on the night we first met.
First dance song: “Loving You” by Charles Bradley
Mother/son dance: “Play Me” by Neil Diamond

Reception Music by DJ Glenn Red.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The entire experience was magical, in fact it felt like everyone was on a “love high”. It was the first time our families were meeting and also the first time my entire family was reunited since everyone is dispersed all over the world. Friends also came from all over the country and were also meeting for the first time. But everyone blended together wonderfully; it was like a big United Nations party set to the amazing worldly beats of our awesome DJ Glenn Red. Everyone danced like crazy and the best moments were when we would catch glimpses of our parents just beaming ear to ear. Those moments were precious. Afterwards, we danced til the wee hours at the after party Shawn’s cousins threw for us at their house.

 

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If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? It was perfect. We were incredibly grateful to have an amazing team of vendors who made it all come together.

 

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“The most fun part of the night was the garter toss. Shawn had perhaps been looking forward to that his entire life and really milked the moment in a risqué performance that had us all in hysterics.”

 

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Photography: Rad + In Love / Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, California / Day of Coordinator: First Pick Planning / Floral Design, Floral Crown: Plenty of Petals / Dress: Romona Keveza / Shoes: Vintage Bruno Magli / Rings:  Variance / Suit: Black Lapel / Tie, Shoes: ASOS / Shirt: TM Lewin / Accessories: Traditional Maile Lei from Hawaii / Stationery: B Wedding Invitations / Hair, Makeup: Rare Bird Brides / Rentals: Raphael’s Party Rentals / Officiant: Jason Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel / Reception Music: DJ Glenn Red / Catering: The Wild Thyme Company / Passion Fruit Cake: Twiggs Bakery

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tambour embroidery from guerlain tambour embroidery from guerlain

 

Have you ever heard of tambour embroidery? Incredible!

I love beauty products that come in tins, especially for under $5.

one of the more important aging discoveries ever” – fascinating!

I found my perfect purse. Unfortunately it’s sold out. And it was like $1200. So not really perfect, but you know. (Since our girl J.Law was seen with this exact bag, I probably shouldn’t be surprised by either of those two things.)

Who knew chefs had such strong opinions on tape?!

These floral bobby pins would be so lovely for a bride.

So would this blush feathered clutch!

I always loved Tasha Tudor’s books as a kid, but never knew much about her. Enjoyed learning a bit more.

How magical to sleep in a hanging tent.

Did you know that jaguars live in the wild in the United States? Well at least one does.

Cheerful yellow shoes for spring.

Here’s an easy way to make your snail mail more fun!

I am fascinated by Teachur – could it be the future of college education?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

 

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