I’m feeling a little under the weather, so I’ll be taking it easy this weekend. I’m thinking lots of movies and popcorn… What about you? What are you up to?

How gorgeous is the detail on this Louis Vuitton dress?!

Smiling at Will Cotton’s cake sculptures.

Love this moody tablescape from Coco + Kelley.

These scared faces are fantastic!

Ballerina bun how-to.

Accordion holiday cards.

Stunning pleated veils from Reem Acra.

Branding the Presidents of the United States.

Love this styled shoot – equal parts modern and romantic.

Poison labels for your Halloween libations.

I wondered when we might see an all-Instagram wedding!

Have a happy weekend everyone!

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

When Danielle and Greg got married, one of the first challenges they faced was in purchasing a home together. They quickly realized they wanted very different things – Danielle grew up in a town surrounded by neighbors and Greg was looking for the solitude he was used to in a rural area. Danielle explains, “When we were looking for our own house, Greg wanted something out in the sticks but the thought of living that far away from civilization scared me. I liked the security of having close neighbors.” In the end, they compromised by buying a house on a lot with lots of trees hiding the neighbors on either side.

Greg and Danielle have also found it valuable to carve out time not only as a couple, but also for themselves as individuals. Greg explains, “When you have time apart from your spouse, it gives you time to reflect and appreciate the time you do spend together.” Danielle agrees, adding, “One of the pieces of advice we were given as newlyweds was not to forget about our relationship and the things we like to do together once we have kids.” With that advice in mind, the couple makes a point to catch a few hockey games or summer concerts together each year. Danielle summed it up perfectly, “Happy parents make for happy kids.”

Photo by Lauren Bodwell.

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 emily@fromchinavillage.com 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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I don’t know what I love most about this wedding! The sunflowers, the awesome red barn, the rustic wedding sign – all of it comes together for a perfect day. 

Caitlin and Jarred not only wanted a fun wedding that was a reflection of their love for one another, they also wanted a sustainable wedding that highlighted local products and vendors. They chose the West Monitor Barn for their celebration. Says Caitlin, “The barn is home to the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, a small nonprofit that works with young people to maintain trails and preserve natural spaces in Vermont. The barn itself is a magical place for us, and we loved that it wasn’t trying to be anything other than a working farm with a great barn!”

Their favorite part of the day? “Exchanging our wedding vows. We wrote our own vows, and telling each other how we felt about one another and listening to each other’s carefully selected words was so special. We’ve never been happier.”

Berry mojitos, the signature cocktail, were served in mason jars. 

The wedding was a labor of love, with lots of help from the bride’s and groom’s families. Jarred’s mother made the colorful napkins, barn curtains and table assignment tags. His father made a beautiful farm table for the desserts, a table for the guestbook and cards, large chalkboards for the ceremony information and menu, and, together with Jarred, built the arbor that was the backdrop for the ceremony. Caitlin’s mother painted all the outdoor signs. 

From Caitlin:

What advice do you have for other brides?  Sometimes it’s best when everything isn’t perfectly planned, and things don’t go as expected. Our photographer had to cancel last minute and we (rather serendipitously) found the amazing Meg Hamilton of Rodeo & Co. We anticipated a beautiful September day, but a wild storm passed through just after our outdoor ceremony, leaving us with a gorgeous rainbow. You simply cannot plan for that! Also, schoolbuses to transport your guests to and from the event are fun, have character, and allow your guests to enjoy the party without worrying about driving. If you can, host an informal welcome party to spend time with your guests before the big day. The wedding and reception fly by and having that extra time to spend with guests is invaluable, particularly if guests are traveling to attend your wedding.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  This day was truly a collaboration of a group of amazing people. We became friends with our dream team of vendors. We have wonderful, supportive families who planned, built, set up, danced their hearts out, and then cleaned up after our wedding. We couldn’t have done it without them.


See the full gallery here.

Photographer: Meg Hamilton of Rodeo & Co. / Venue: West Monitor Barn in Richmond, Vermont / Officiant: Kathy Blume / Bride’s Dress: Modern Trousseau / Bride’s Shoes: Milk and Honey / Groom’s Suit: Michael Kehoe / Groom’s Tie: Beau Ties Ltd. / Stationery: Goosefish Press / Floral Design: Stray Cat Flowers / Catering: Pace Catering, (802) 233-8148 / Bar Service: Bevo / Apple Pies: Jarred’s grandmother / Other Desserts: Mirabelle’s / Band: Hard Scrabble / Rentals: Vermony Tent
  • Vermont Barn Wedding with Sunflowers

    24 October 2012
  • 17 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    Today, Maggie Battista from Eat Boutique and Heidi Murphy from White Loft Studio are back with recipes for not one, but two signature cocktails! Both feature ginger, the perfect ingredient to warm up a chilly October evening.

    From Maggie:  “After the autumn chill sets in this month, warmth can come from any number of places: from an oversized belted wool coat, an embrace from your partner or a spicy drink. How about a spicy drink with your partner? We made fragrant, warming cocktails for both the bride and the groom using homemade ginger syrup, but Morris Kitchen in Brooklyn makes a favorite version you can purchase at Eat Boutique.”


    Ginger Bourbon Fizz
    Serves 1

    • 1 tablespoon ginger syrup (homemade or shop-bought)
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 4-5 thyme sprigs
    • 1.5 ounce bourbon
    • ½ teaspoon honey
    • 4 ounces club soda

    In a cocktail shaker, add ice and all ingredients, except for club soda and 1 sprig of thyme. Shake the mixture a bit, then strain into a low-ball (or rocks) glass. Add a handful of ice cubes and club soda. Garnish with remaining sprig of thyme.


    Sweet Ginger Sparkler
    Serves 1

    • smoked bourbon sugar or demerara sugar
    • 1 lemon wedge
    • 1 tablespoon ginger syrup (homemade or purchased)
    • 4 ounces sparkling wine
    • 1 1-inch piece of candied ginger

    1. Spoon the sugar onto a flat plate. Run the fruit of the lemon wedge around the rim of a champagne flute. Gently dip the rim of the flute into the sugar until the entire rim is coated.
    2. In the sugared champagne flute, gently pour the ginger syrup (careful not to touch the sugar). Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with candied ginger, either on a stick or dropped into the glass.


    Scroll down or click here for the darling illustrated recipe “card” from Rebekka Seale!

    See the full gallery here.

  • Ginger Bourbon Fizz & Sweet Ginger Sparkler

    23 October 2012
  • 16 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: DIY, Inspired Ideas, Signature Cocktails