For those of you dreaming of a winter escape, today’s post features Erin and Trevor’s beach wedding full of bright and breezy details, all captured by photographer Jo Ann Manolis. Working with a tight budget, and feeling uninspired by venue options in their home city of Phoenix, Erin turned to her friend, Kelly Nicoletto, a wedding planner in San Diego. With Kelly’s help, Erin and Trevor planned an intimate barefoot ceremony on the beach of Coronado Island, followed by a reception just a short walk away at a Mexican restaurant.

The groom and groomsmen wore matching Chuck Taylors.

The flower girls, Trevor’s daughter and Erin’s goddaughter, carried nautilus shell “purses” full of orchid petals. Kelly Nicoletto made these purses by drilling small holes in the shells, and tying on a ribbon of pale yellow lucite beads for handles.

Children were greeted at their seats with muslin goody bags filled with a coloring book, crayons, candy and playing cards. Grown-up guests also received muslin bags filled with candy.

To help initiate conversation, guests were invited to play a game of cocktail trivia: swizzle stick flags were printed on one side with a trivia question about the couple, and on the other side with the answer to another question. Guests had to find the person with the corresponding swizzle stick to answer their question, and it was a fun way for everyone to break the ice.

I love this advice from Erin: “Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Do not waste too much time stressing. When you feel a bridezilla moment coming on, take a step back and breathe. It’s just one day, and you spend months planning for it. Something won’t go perfectly. Laugh when it doesn’t. A family member is bound to do something embarrassing. Take it in stride. This one day is over in the blink of an eye, so don’t waste your moments on anything other than the purpose and meaning of the day. Enjoy.”

Ceremony venue: Central Beach in Coronado, CA

Reception venue: Miguelito’s at El Cordova Hotel

Bride’s gown: David’s Bridal

Hair / makeup: Scarlett Iaccino (480-516-1321)

Bridesmaid dresses: BCBG Generation

Flower girl dresses: Kitson / J.Crew CrewCuts

Planning / flowers: Kelly Nicoletto (559-940-2733)

Dessert: Heavenly Cupcake

Thank you so much to Erin and Trevor for sharing all of these wonderful details with us, and for showing us that you can still have great style on a smaller budget. And thank you to Jo Ann Manolis for sending over these beautiful photos – see even more from Erin and Trevor’s wedding at Jo Ann’s blog.

19 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

Off to Alt!

SEE MORE: Events

I’m headed out to Salt Lake City for the Altitude Design Summit – how exciting! I’ll be speaking on a panel with three awesome bloggers – Joslyn from Simple Lovely, Erin from Design for Mankind, and Megan from Not Martha – and I’ll get to meet all of the other wonderful bloggers who are speaking and attending. I’ll still be posting while I’m in Salt Lake, but if I’m a bit slow to get back to emails (I mean, even slower than usual), it’s because I’m off gallivanting with some of my favorite blog friends!

12 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Events

Ariella Chezar and Meg Smith are such a talented pair, and it’s so much fun to have them back today with another gorgeous and inspiring shoot, this one at two beautiful Napa Valley wineries. Don’t all of these rustic details make you want to take a trip to the Italian countryside?

The bridesmaid bouquets and centerpieces include dahlias, chocolate cosmos, angelica gigas, and of course, sunflowers.


Young purple artichokes are incorporated into both the menu and the decor. The menus, place cards, and favor tags were customized with rubber stamps. 

Splits of champagne are wrapped in little burlap sacks from Shibata, and finished with eggplant purple ribbon and a scallop-edged tag. The bubbly favors are displayed on a wine barrel.



Photography: Meg Smith / Flowers, Design: Ariella Chezar

  • Rustic Wine Country Wedding Ideas

    21 January 2010
  • 24 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings

    Today I’m skipping right over spring and into summer, with an inspiration board that I think could work just as well for an intimate dinner party as for a larger wedding celebration…

    As much as I’m a sucker for gorgeous floral arrangements, I also know that they’re not always friendly on a budget. Splurge on a gorgeous bouquet for the bride, smaller nosegays for bridesmaids, and then save by choosing non-floral centerpieces. Tomatoes (accented with breadsticks and olives) are not only eye-catching, they’re also totally budget friendly when used in-season.* Send them home with local guests at the end of the party. Display a small layer cake on a beautiful stand that you’ll be able to use over and over after the wedding is over; use this cake for cutting, and save by serving several less-expensive sheet versions of the same cake. Twine in all its forms is an incredibly cheap element that can be used throughout the wedding, from the invitations to the bouquets to the utensils.

    *Buy little baskets like these from the Texas Basket Company for around 50-cents apiece (good for any kind of farmers market centerpiece or favors, from tomatoes to berries to nuts).

    Mood: summer simplicity
    Palette: tomato, gold, buttercream

    {click image to enlarge}

    Top row from left: tomato and breadstick centerpiece from Martha Stewart Weddings, buttercream cake on wooden cake stand by Herriott Grace, Twigs & Honey tulle veil photo by Elizabeth Messina
    Row 2: twine-tied vintage silverware from Napa Style via Bonbon Oiseau via Elizabeth Anne Designs, bouquet with roses, dates and kumquats by Matthew Robbins for Martha Stewart Weddings
    Row 3: twine-tied menu from Sunday Suppers, long-sleeved lace dress via Kiss the Groom, signature cocktail photo by Marla Aufmuth (coaster by Hello Lucky), monogrammed linens from Idee Online via Design Shimmer

    21 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Inspiration Boards