This February, Ryan and I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of our dear friends, Lawton and Shelton, who we’ve known since our Teach for America days. It’s such a treat to share their sweet wedding with you today, especially since Shelton sent over such a thoughtful write-up about the day.

Many elements of the wedding were influenced by the February date. Many decisions, ranging from our color palette to our menu were inspired by the season. While most brides worry that the weather won’t be nice, I found myself worried that we were going to have unseasonably warm temperatures. Ridiculous!

Wedding planning for us was completely a team effort. I think the wedding industry is very bride focused, but I couldn’t have made it without Lawton’s involvement in every decision. He helped me to remember to focus on what was most important about the wedding – marrying my best friend.

The Episcopal wedding liturgy doesn’t traditionally include the line “you may now kiss the bride.” During the rehearsal, our priest, who felt that a bride and groom shouldn’t have to be given permission to kiss anyway, suggested an appropriate point in the ceremony for us to kiss. At the agreed upon time, we kissed at the altar before being announced as husband and wife. The congregation, not knowing about our previous arrangement, all laughed believing we had jumped the gun. I hadn’t even thought about how everyone else would react, and it’s a moment I will never forget!

My sister and I made the paper garlands and the cake topper. My family loves themselves a craft, and I had a list a mile long of things that I would have loved to do myself, but we tried to minimize the number of projects so that everyone could fully enjoy the days leading up to the wedding.

One of the biggest surprises of the night? Lawton, along with many of his friends and his father’s friends doing the “Gator” when the band played Shout. I can’t believe the number of people who took turns sliding on their backs onto the dance floor one after another as the band played the song over and over!


Photography: Meghan McSweeney

Ceremony venue: St. James Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia

Reception venue: Country Club of Virginia, James River Clubhouse

Bride’s ceremony dress: Jenny Yoo purchased at Hannelore’s of Olde Town

Dancing dress: LulaKate purchased at Bella Bridesmaid

Hair, makeup: Nicki Crocker for Cary Town In Style Salon, 804-355-6334

Groom’s suit: JoS. A. Bank

Flowers: Judy Hillman

Fabric flowers: Emersonmade

Cake, catering: Country Club of Virginia

Band: Gentlemen and Their Lady


Congratulations dear friends! We had an absolute blast at your wedding, and your relationship is a model for the rest of us. We love you! See more from this darling wedding over at photographer Meghan McSweeney’s blog.


Bella Bridesmaid is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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You might remember Caroline and Clark from their darling engagement shoot awhile back, and their backyard wedding is just as sweet! Caroline sent over details about the day, and photos by our friends at A Bryan Photo

Says Caroline: I wore the same earrings and carried the same Bible that both my mother and grandmother carried as they walked down the aisle. This was something I had always looked forward to!

Our ceremony was very sweet and intimate. The expression on Clark’s face when I walked down the aisle is a moment I will never forget! We had our families come on stage with us and pray over our marriage, which was also very special for us.

I was inspired by Father of the Bride, thus the backyard reception. We wanted our wedding to feel sweet and intimate and the reception to feel like a fun summer garden party!

Mismatched china purchased at flea markets added to the homespun charm of the wedding. Some fun details for a July wedding: decorated jam jars for the kids to catch fireflies, and a five-tier strawberry wedding cake with cream cheese icing. Says Caroline, “I wanted the frosting to look like my grandmother had iced it.”

The couple and their 275 guests danced the night away. I think the rest of these photos speak for themselves…

Congratulations Caroline and Clark! 

Caroline and Clark recently joined the team at A Bryan Photo, and Caroline has started her own styling business, so I imagine we’ll be seeing lots of more of them down the road. In the meantime, see tons more photos and details from their wedding over at the A Bryan Photo blog.

Photography: A Bryan Photo / Ceremony venue: Wightman Chapel at the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee / Bride’s dress: The Cotton Bride by Chris Kole / Bridesmaid dresses: Bari Jay / Groom’s suit: Street Tuxedo / Flowers: Julie Brown (615-300-5795) / Trolley transportation: Good Time Trolley (615-226-1900) / Catering: Martha Stamps Catering / Cake: Gracious Goodness Cake Co. (706-534-1374) / Band: Scat Springs Band


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Black and red each exude drama, doubly so when paired together. Sometimes a little too much, maybe. But if you think blackberries and raspberries, the dramatic colors turn sweeter. In this imagined garden wedding with its berry motif, black and red act as accents, adding a touch romance, whimsy and sophistication without being overbearing. Hints of pale blush pink and the backdrop of garden green round it all out nicely.

Mood: modern garden romance
Palette: red raspberry, vine green, pink blush, black accents

Top row from left: blackberry bramble from Martha Stewart Living, red poppy dress by Rubypearl via Enjoy Events Co.
Row 2: place card calligraphy by Neither Snow, cake with raspberries and pistachios from Seven Spoons via Enjoy Events Co.
Row 3: stationery by stripe & field, tiny raspberry arrangement by Chelsea Fuss, red lips from BHLDN, inspiration board from Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes (photo by Johnny Miller)
Row 4: berry lemonade via Sunday Suppers, invitation with black striped ribbon from Wedding Style Guide, arrangement with pink anemones by Saipua


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

Board #366: Briar and Berry
Board #273: Garden of Black and White
Board #472: Red Bistro Chairs

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Ever since Spanish designer, Helena Mareque, appeared on my radar I’ve been itching to share her gorgeous wedding gowns with you. High necks, sleeves, subtle embellishments – they’re all just so romantic! The amazing veils her brides choose to wear are equally stunning. See for yourself…

After the royal wedding, I imagine we’ll be seeing lots more long-sleeved wedding gowns…

I cannot get over the sheer golden sleeves on this next one…

Helena’s website is under construction, but for now you can see more of her work at her blog, Ejercicios de Estilo. It might be in Spanish, but the photos certainly don’t need translating!

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There’s always something so charming about a small wedding. Last September, 55 guests joined Gretchen and Bert to celebrate their marriage at the beautiful San Ysidro Ranch. Says Gretchen:

We spent the weekend in Santa Barbara while we were dating, and were just astounded by its beauty. For our wedding, it felt like a “destination,” but still close enough to our home in Laguna Beach that we could go back to our for our anniversary or other special occasions. Seeing the lavender fields blooming on either side of the brick driveway at San Ysidro Ranch, we knew it was the place.

We wanted a really special invitation, so we had them designed by Kelsey Towne of Peony Prints. She hand water-colored each one and they turned out beautifully.

At our ceremony, our rings were passed through the hands of our guests so they could bless them with a good thought. When we look at our rings, we think of all the positive energy they hold from our family and friends.

The moment we walked into our reception was amazing! We were seeing everything for the first time: the cake, the flowers, the tables, the linens all put together, and it was gorgeous. It was cozy, romantic, vibrant and eclectic. Kate from Flowerwild really captured our style in the floral design. Plus, it was filled with our favorite people, and the live Spanish guitar music was so perfect for the setting.

The three tier buttercream cake included two flavors: Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Vanilla Sponge Cake with Dark Chocolate Mousse Filling.

Gretchen and Bert both love gourmet salts, so they sent guests home with jars of Himalayan pink salt and Bert’s recipe for Mexican Spicy Shrimp with Corn Risotto.


Photography: Aaron Delesie

Venue: San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California

Day-of coordinator: Jackie Burgio

Officiant: Rev. Linda Spencer of Santa Barbara Unity

Bride’s dress / shoes: Nicole Miller / Vince Camuto

Groom’s suit: DKNY

Invitations: Peony Prints

Flowers: Kate Holt of Flowerwild

Cake and catering: Stonehouse Restaurant

Music: Rico Espinoza

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / La Tavola Linen


Gretchen’s advice for other brides: Get a day of coordinator! I don’t know what I would have done without Jackie. She organized the scheduling for everyone, and got all the last minute details in place without having to ask me a single question on the day of. She lovingly earned the nickname ‘Franc’ (as in Father of the Bride) from my family because she was so fabulous.

You can see lots more from Gretchen and Bert’s lovely wedding over at Aaron Delesie’s blog!

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