Mood: glamorous elegance with a Deco twist
Palette: candle white, gold leaf, navy blue

I started this inspiration board with the idea to create something entirely gold and white, but when I came across the Charbonnel et Walker box of chocolates, with it’s gold edge and navy blue lettering, I immediately switched gears to incorporate navy blue into the palette. And I love it! I chose to use navy as a simple accent, rather than a dominant color, and I think it works wonderfully to temper what might otherwise be an overwhelming amount of gold.

Row 1: gold lettering photo card via Christie’s / gold t-bar shoe by Maison Martin Margiela from Farfetch / constellation dress from Carolina Herrera / champagne balloons from Martha Stewart Weddings  //  Row 2: gold applique gown by Marchesa / white chocolate truffle cake from Martha Stewart Weddings / navy and gold “Arrow Union” invitation suite by Studio On Fire for Martha Stewart Weddings  //  Row 3: lilacs in blue and white china bowl by Carolyne Roehm / Charbonnel et Walker truffles / champagne coupe tower from Travelling Wares / oysters from Martha Stewart Weddings
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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.

Benny and Nita both grew up in the Philippines and met at a conference when they were in college. Nita attended because it was an opportunity to go on her first plane ride; Benny was looking for a smart woman to marry. After a weekend of first dances, gifts of fried bananas, and both playing a little hard to get, they were hooked.

On asking Nita to marry him, Benny says, “I didn’t ask her. I told her. I said, Nita, we will get married.” His daughters recently asked him, “Why didn’t you get down on one knee and ask?!” He replies, “I didn’t want to be rejected. What if she said no?”

Nita explains that since they were old enough, their decision to marry wasn’t questioned. “Even the nuns [at the school where Nita was a teacher] believed that whatever decision we made was the best decision for us. They trusted we knew what was right.” She says she wasn’t given any advice before they were married, mostly due to Filipino customs: “Marriage was so sacred that people didn’t discuss it in public.”

At the time of the Iran hostage crisis, Benny and Nita decided to move their young family to Saudi Arabia, and the culture there taught the couple many lessons they keep with them after forty years of marriage. Nita recounts an evening when she wanted to see a movie, which would only be shown four times. Benny fell asleep and the couple missed the movie, for good. But Nita explains, “There have been many moments, like this one, when I was very angry. I would always tell him later what upset me, but it’s not worth discussing it in the heat of the moment. I don’t want to fight about petty things. I know he loves me, and it’s remembering that love, which makes finding patience easy.”

Beyond just missing movies, Benny and Nita try to work through challenges together. Benny credits Nita: “With whatever I did, Nita always just said, You can do it. When I made mistakes driving around [our new neighborhood], Nita would say, Why don’t we go back to this spot, and we would go back to some place I knew, and I’d eventually find my way around the city. It’s a good analogy for my life with her: I have the courage to discover and to try because she has always been there, behind me. Her support is everything to me.”

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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Sponsored Post


I don’t think I’ve ever received a save-the-date magnet quite as charming as these! The save-the-date designs you love from Minted are now available as high-quality magnets. In both photo and non-photo options, they are printed on luxuriously thick paper with a magnetic back – and I adore the rounded corners! Plus, they’re totally affordable, starting at just $2.07/magnet.

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Okay, so the best part? One Snippet & Ink reader will win $200 toward Minted Wedding Merchandise! Just check out the awesome assortment of save-the-date magnets at Minted, and then leave a comment on this post telling us which design you like best and why. Don’t forget to include your email address in the comment form so we can contact you if you’re the winner!

Contest begins Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:30AM PST, and ends Friday, January 11, 2013 at 11:59PM PST. The winner will be selected by Snippet & Ink, and notified by email. Please note: winner must live in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec).

Update: This contest is now closed.


This post sponsored by Minted.

Official contest rules.

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In the midst of winter gray, citrus offers a bright, cheery respite. Today, Meg Smith and Ariella Chezar share a romantic inspiration shoot full of sweet yellow and lush citrus details.

The potted lemon trees are probably one of my favorite decor ideas of all time – what a perfect way to bring the feeling of a garden indoors during colder months. Thanks so much to Meg Smith and Ariella Chezar – what a talented duo!


See a few more shots from this lemon themed wedding shoot in the gallery.

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You might remember Holden and Ryan from this fun engagement session last summer. Well they’re back with their wonderfully stylish wedding! From the bride’s mod-inspired Valentino dress to the intimate San Francisco reception, there’s lots to love here (also, tons of frame-worthy photos from Christina McNeill)…

All of Holden’s jewelry held special meaning, including the pendant she wore around her neck: “The pendant is a coin my maternal grandmother sewed into her clothing when she escaped Stalinist USSR,” says Holden. “Since she is ill and could not make it to the wedding, I wanted to honor her by wearing the pendant.”

Each invitation was hand-lettered and watercolored by hand by the bride, so no two were alike.

Isn’t this a fantastic shot?! Definitely worthy of framing and sharing in your home.

Holden’s favorite part of the day? “Returning to the very place we met, Cafe de la Presse on Grant. I was there one morning years ago having cappuccino and a rather cool guy I’d been checking out asked if he could join me. To go back to the cafe right after our ceremony and have a little mini-celebration with cappuccinos on the sidewalk was pretty sweet. And the caffeine helped us through the rest of the day!”

Says the bride, “We love and use The Cake Gallery for all cake occasions! They might have a bit of a silly reputation, but their cakes taste better than any I’ve had. Our wedding cake was vanilla with raspberry filling, and the groom’s cake was chocolate. My mother made the floral cake topper and used an San Francisco skyline paper cutout around the pedestal.”

There was no shortage of dancing at Holden and Ryan’s wedding! They hooked up an iPod to the hotel’s restaurant sound system and played mostly rock ‘n’ roll from the 1960s (their first dance was to “Never My Love” by The Association).

“Instead of a traditional guest book we left out self-addressed, stamped San Francisco post cards and colorful markers,” says Holden. “The best man mailed the cards while we were on our honeymoon so we came back to a mailbox full of good wishes. We kept getting them weeks after we returned! Now, I’ve stuck them all in a photo album for keeps.”

A little more info about the day from the bride:

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Having the ceremony at City Hall was something we barely discussed as it just seemed so natural. It’s a stunningly gorgeous historic building and we’re proud citizens of the city. There is a sense of gravitas and official-ness about the place. All that marble! We’ve each been San Franciscans for over ten years and feel at home here, so we wanted our out-of-town guests to feel the same sense of magic and history. Ryan, who has worked in the hotel industry, knew about Hotel Majestic, the oldest continually-operating hotel in the city. San Francisco is known for its boutique hotel charm and being able to share that in Hotel Majestic’s beautiful, deco styled all-white dining room was perfect for us.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  I wouldn’t say we had any kind of theme but it’s natural for us to want to showcase the place where we live. Ryan is a musician and we like a rock ‘n’ roll edge. We love mid-century modern design and I’m inspired by vintage Vogue photography. I love fashion icons like Jackie O, Brigitte Bardot as well as newer ones like Kate Moss. We wanted something classic, timeless and maybe a little bit punk. Ours was a wedding of yet another guitarist to yet another (former) model and we can make fun of that and play with it a little. We have to be ourselves: music and fashion are important!

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We wanted to keep the ceremony short. My parents’ Ukrainian Orthodox ceremony was something like three hours long. Not our style. I’d say we had a modern take on a traditional wedding. We tweaked some old traditions to make them our own.

What advice do you have for other brides?  First: Make sure your maid-of-honor (and/or event planner) is one of those people who can just take care of things before you even hear of them. My sister is amazing at this – there were definitely hitches, but I didn’t know about them until after my honeymoon. To me and the guests, the entire event moved like butter. Second: Leave for your honeymoon immediately, and get your family to pack up and return things to your home. We flew to Bangkok the very next day. It felt wonderful to leave everything behind!

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Keep your list short and think of weddings before our era. People don’t need tchotchkes or lots of extras to have a good time. Good food, music and company (okay, and liquor) will do the trick. Overall my budget tip is to be skeptical of anything a wedding vendor says you NEED. You don’t need a lot of stuff to have a beautiful and fun wedding. Like Jean Luc Goddard says, “All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.”


See more photos from Holden and Ryan’s retro-chic wedding in the gallery.

Photography: Christina McNeill / Ceremony Venue: San Francisco City Hall / Reception Venue, Catering: Hotel Majestic / Hair: DryBar / Makeup: Kristine Burget of Le’Burget Salon / Bride’s Dress: Valentino / White Patent Leather Pumps: Gucci / Veil: Ginger Wedding / Groom’s Suit: Burberry / Cufflinks: Molte Cose / Wedding rings: Kay Jewelers / Bridesmaid dresses: Halston Heritage, Tracy Reese / Stationery: K. Holden Pumphrey / Flowers: Flowers on Chestnut / Bag Piper: Fred Payne / Cake: The Cake Gallery
  • Mod-Inspired City Wedding in San Francisco

    7 January 2013
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