Winter weddings will forever have a special place in my heart after my own this past December, including Alison and Duncan’s December wedding, sent to us by Erin Hearts Court. It was a beautiful day full of traditions and classic details, and the couple planned it themselves in less than three months. Says Alison:

Since Duncan would be deploying in early 2011, and because it was important to me that we planned our wedding together, we decided to get married during the time we had off for Christmas and New Year holidays – this way we not only got to have our dream wedding, we also had time to sneak away for a honeymoon. A lot of people think I was crazy for trying to pull a wedding together in just two and a half months, but in reality it was quite simple. We just focused on the key elements – the venue, photography, flowers, food, music – and then hired vendors we trusted could deliver on our vision. Even if we had 12 months to plan the wedding we wouldn’t have changed a thing!

The first thing we did was choose a venue. We’d been to the Grand Del Mar for dinner and loved the location and the food, so it was the first place we called – luckily they were available! We were able to have our ceremony and reception at one venue, which simplified things for our out-of-town guests. Paige Levy (the Grand Del Mar’s in-house wedding coordinator) and her entire staff were amazing to work with. From planning the menu to managing the flow of events on the wedding day, everything was flawless because of Paige and her team.

My favorite moment from the day was our “first look.” There was something so special about walking down the stairway and seeing my husband standing at the foot of the stairway in his uniform – it just took my breath away! At that moment it felt like everything was right in the world.

It was important to Duncan that we have a traditional Marine Corps wedding, so that was the primary theme of our wedding, and everything else was meant to complement these traditions. Since we were getting married the week before Christmas, we also decided to incorporate some Christmas elements in our day to keep things festive.

I was fortunate enough to wear my mom’s wedding veil, so it was a special moment to have my her adorn me with the veil she wore 36 years earlier when she married my father.

I loved wearing a blusher veil during the ceremony. Duncan and I saw each other before the ceremony for photos, but I didn’t wear my veil, so wearing it for the ceremony allowed us to have a special moment as I walked down the aisle. There’s something so nostalgic about having your groom lift the veil at the end of the ceremony.

Instead of a traditional guest book, guests signed Christmas ornaments.

The band was fabulous and had everyone on the dance floor all night long!


Photography: Erin Hearts Court

Venue: La Capella and Manchester Salon at The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California

Bride’s dress / shoes: Casablanca Bridal / Jimmy Choo

Bridesmaid dresses: Tadashi Shoji

Hair / makeup: Haim Salon / 10.11 Makeup

Flowers: Meg Fickling from La Partie Events (Says Alison, “Meg and I worked together at a flower shop in high school and I’ve admired her work for years. She was the only one trusted to do my flowers.”)

Band: Jordan Music Entertainment


Congratulations Alison and Duncan! Thank you for sharing your beautiful winter wedding with us!


This wedding was submitted via Two Bright Lights.

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Champagne, cake, pretty pink cherry blossoms – all good choices for a spring bridal shower. But how about a modern trousseau theme? I love this updated take on a hope chest, from Kate Webber and Jess Flood. Says Jess:

We love the tradition of building a hope chest of handmade linens for a bride’s future home. The care, creativity and thoughtfulness of making and collecting items that will last and be passed down for generations is part of a wonderful historic custom that we wanted to see renewed and modernized.

“Blushing Bride” cocktails include sparkling wine, pink grapefruit juice, a splash of grenadine, all garnished with a raspberry. Mmmm…

The modern trousseau concept lends itself perfectly to a bridal shower party focused around friendship, craft and fine textiles. We imagined a group of creative women gathering together to build a collection of useful and beautiful things for their friend’s married life and we designed it in the tones of early spring in Northern California: gray fog and clouds, and dreamy pink blossoms. Serene, simple and handcrafted.

Ask guests to bring fine linens, vintage or new, and send them home with crafty supplies like embroidery hoops and thread.

We made sure to include things that every party needs, plenty of bubbly and amazing desserts! The dessert table included meringues, Mexican wedding cookies, and homemade bundt cakes. Find similar stemless champagne flutes at Napa Style.


Photography: Kate Webber

Design, flowers: Jess Flood Event Design

Calligraphy: Barbara Callow

Hope chest linens: Ambitalia Textiles

Furniture, glassware, dessert stands: Wine Country Party Rentals

Dishes, vases: Heath Ceramics

Table linens: Rough Linen

Hair, makeup: It’s a Date at the Powder Room

Wedding cuvee: Iron Horse Vineyards


See lots more from this photo shoot at Kate Webber’s blog, right here.

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Lately I’ve been revisiting inspiration boards that I made (what feels like) ages ago, especially some of my earlier inspiration boards which aren’t always the most well put-together (what can I say – I’ve been learning as I go along). Today’s inspiration board is a blend of one of my very first posts and a board I recently created for Kiss the Groom, and if I were to get married in South Carolina in the spring, I think this is what I’d like my wedding to look like…


Mood: classic Southern elegance
Palette: pale French blue, magnolia blossom, Spanish moss

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: flower girls via {frolic!}, photos of porch ceiling fan and magnolia blossom both by Elizabeth Messina, photo of bride and groom under canopy of Spanish moss by Millie Holloman via Style Me Pretty
Row 2: photo of bride and groom in vintage getaway car by Elizabeth Messina, bride style by Rebecca Thuss for Martha Stewart Weddings, photo of cocktails by Elizabeth Messina, blue patterned hand fan from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 3: hanging glass lanterns from Real Weddings, red velvet cake with buttercream frosting and sugar magnolia blossoms from Martha Stewart Weddings, photo of bluegrass band by Belathee, mint julep and rose arrangement by Ariella Chezar (photo by Lisa Lefkowitz)
Row 4: miniature pecan pie favors from Martha Stewart Weddings, Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Inn, calligraphy from Martha Stewart Weddings


If you like this inspiration board, you might also like:

Board #493: Blue & Spanish Moss
Board #463: Robin’s Egg Blue
Board #476: China Cabinet


Kiss the Groom (Elizabeth Messina) is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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A few weeks ago I included a link to General Knot & Co. in my weekend round-up post, but I thought it would be fun to do a whole feature with some of the designs I like most. Plus, one lucky reader will win a $100 gift certificate to General Knot & Co., so that’s fun too!

{Left, Right}

General Knot & Co.‘s  neckties, bow ties and pocket squares are made from fine vintage fabrics with unique prints and patterns. Each design is a limited edition, made in the USA, and frankly, they make me want to start wearing neckties. I especially love that there are reverse designs of each tie – I imagine one for the groom, and then groomsmen in the reverse.

{Left, Right}

{Left, Right}

How about a whole set for your wedding party? Here are some ties that a groom commissioned for himself and his attendants. Each tie is different, but the coordinating colors create a cohesive look. What a fun one-of-a-kind gift for your groomsmen!

How about corresponding neck ties and bow ties for the wedding party?

Outfit your gents! Leave a comment here telling me your favorite item available at General Knot & Co., and a randomly selected person will receive a $100 gift certificate. You have until Thursday at 5:00pm Pacific time to enter, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday morning.


Update! This contest is now closed!

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Sponsored Post


At my wedding, I was lucky to have not one but two talented makeup artists on hand to make everyone look their best. Darlene Carlson worked her magic on moms and sisters, bringing out the glamorous in all of them while still maintaining their natural beauty. She also happens to have a very calming presence, and what bride wouldn’t want that present on her wedding day?

Here a few shots of Darlene at work (including my pretty sister and sisters-in-law!)…

Photo credits: 1 and 2 by Elizabeth Messina, 3 by Blonde Tulip


Darlene’s website is still in the works, but if you’re a Bay Area bride wanting to look lovely for your wedding day, you can get hold of her by phone or by email:

phone: 415-381-5609


This post sponsored by Darlene Carlson.

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