“You are always new, the last of your kisses was ever the sweetest.” – John Keats
This Texas wedding epitomizes rustic beauty: the Airstream “getting ready” trailer, the sweet bouquets, the oak tree ceremony backdrop, the outdoor reception… beautiful! And while I’m always a fan of formal updos, I absolutely love Rebecca’s relaxed bridal hairstyle – it fits the whole look of the wedding perfectly!
Rebecca’s bouquet included peonies, anemones, ranunculus, sweet peas, and maiden hair fern.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? For it’s rustic beauty and enchanting oak trees.
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, Personal, Secular
How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony? James’s parents still had the script they used during their ceremony thirty-something years ago. It was so special for us to read through and we were able to use it as a launching pad for our own ceremony. Otherwise, we scoured through other examples and readings. In the end, we mixed and matched the pieces that resonated with us.
Who officiated your ceremony? It was important for us to have someone we know officiate the wedding, so we were thrilled to have our friend, Jason, officiate.
What was your ceremony music?
Seating of Parents & Grandparents: “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding
Processional, Bridal Party: “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Vallie
Processional, Bride: “Better Days” By Jack Johnson
Recessional: “Dusty’s” by Marvin Gaye
What were your ceremony readings? “Union” by Robert Fulghum and “A Marriage Made for Two”
What were your vows like? We chose to write our own vows. We read through so many and used those as a framework to add our own personal touches.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Honestly, when it was over! There’s so much anticipation and build up to the ceremony, walking down the aisle with one another as husband and wife was just entirely joyous and we had the rest of the evening to just celebrate with all of our favorite people.
How would you describe your reception? Relaxed. Fun.
First Dance: “This Is Love” by Bob Marley
Father/Daughter: “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
Signature Cocktail: Gin + Ginger Cocktail // Passed Hors d’oeuvres: Tuna Tartare Tacos with Citron-Soy, Avocado & Red Chili Aioli / Caprese Skewers with White Balsamic Drizzle / Sweet Corn Chowder Soup Sips with Kale Chips // Salad: Butter Lettuce with Avocado, Grilled Corn, Shaved Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Spiced Pecans & Smoked Paprika Ranch // Entrees: Thyme-Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Cauliflower & Turnips, Horseradish Mustard & Kalamata Olive Rolls / Citrus Marinated & Grilled Breast of Chicken Garnished with Edible Blossoms & Candied Zest, Smashed New Potatoes with Garlic-Rosemary, Salt Sauteed Broccolini & Wild Mushrooms // Crispy Gnocchi with Sugar Snap Peas & Sorrel Crema // Dessert: Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Salted Caramel Filling, Tiny Salted Caramel Milkshakes with Flaked Sea Salt / Red Velvet Cake
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Our speeches were so heartwarming, funny and fantastic! // Our friend actually baked our cake which was entirely gorgeous, delicious and made with love. She also ended up catching the bouquet at the end of the night! // We met one another in NYC, so we finished off the night playing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” It was reminiscent of our beginnings as a couple but all our guests joined arms and created this massive circle of a kickline which was the best possible way to kick off our future life together as a married couple!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Much of it was such a whirlwind and somewhat of a blur, which I think is largely just the nature of getting married. But still, I’d try to relax more, be present and really soak it all in.
Music: Altared Weddings / Catering, Cake: Word of Mouth / Videographer: Brett Hardeman
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
Texas Airstream Trailer Wedding by Julie Wilhite8 January 2015
Photo St. Regis Princeville, Kauai
I was so busy getting ready to get married that I totally forgot to pack for my honeymoon before the wedding, which meant I was exhausted and pressed for time when I actually did start throwing stuff in my suitcase (at the last minute, of course). And guess what I forgot to pack? My digital camera! On my honeymoon!
Needless to say, whether you’re flying or driving, checking bags or carrying on, it’s a good idea to have a plan about packing for your honeymoon. With the excitement of your wedding, it’s easy to either overlook something important, or end up traveling with twice as much stuff as you need. To help you avoid my mistake, we’ve teamed up with our friends at our favorite honeymoon registry site, Traveler’s Joy, to bring you printable checklists to make sure you haven’t forgotten any essentials, plus some of our best packing tips and what we’d want to bring to Hawaii, Paris, and Jackson Hole.
Download our printable honeymoon packing checklists right here:
GENERAL HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
BEACH HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
EUROPEAN HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
WINTER HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
PACKING FOR THE BEACH: HAWAII
A beach destination like Hawaii is such a classic honeymoon spot – it’s where I spent my first week as a newlywed! Here’s a few of the things I’d love to bring with me on a beach honeymoon if I were doing it all over again…
1. Even though Hawaii is a super laid back place, you’ll still want some sort of beach cover up (sold out; similar here) for walking through the lobby. | 2. Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses from Nordstrom. | 3. You can cram this squashable sun hat into your suitcase and it will bounce back beautifully. | 4. You want to bring at least two swimsuits, so you’ll always have one that’s dry and ready to wear, and I love this high waisted banana leaf bikini from ASOS. | 5. This georgette sundress by Soft Joie can be dressed up or down – pair it with nice jewelry, shoes, and a wrap and you’re ready for an elegant evening in Hawaii. | 6. Slim gold flip flops by Havaianas. | 7. Use this canvas tote as your personal carry-on bag and it can double as a beach bag. | 8. If you plan on doing any water activities, like snorkeling or stand-up paddle boarding, you’ll definitely want a one piece swimsuit in addition to a bikini for lounging. | 9. Don’t forget your Kindle or a few beach reads! | 10. Now that our phones double as cameras for most of us, a waterproof and sandproof case is a smart investment for an island honeymoon. | 11. These strappy sandals by Coach are perfectly relaxed, but dressier than flip flops.
Packing Tip: You can buy things like sunscreen and aloe vera once you’re on the island, but it’s guaranteed to be way more expensive than at home. I’d recommend bringing them with you. Depending on your destination, other things that are better to bring with than buy there include: lip balm, bug repellent, ibuprofen, tampons and pads (especially if you’re traveling outside the U.S.), and band-aids.
Packing Tip: Ziploc bags are a must-have whenever I travel. They keep toiletries from getting all over my suitcase, protect souvenirs like local honey and jam, and generally help me keep all my little items organized. Oh, and if your swimsuit is still damp when you’re packing to come home, just throw it in a Ziploc!
PACKING FOR EUROPE: PARIS
Paris is about as romantic as it gets; Paris in the springtime? Even more so! If you’re headed to Paris (or another European city) for your honeymoon, this is the packing list for you – minimalist but still appropriate for all your Parisian activities.
1. The little black dress originated in France (thank you Coco Chanel!), so it’s only fitting that you’d bring one with you. Pair it with a cardigan and flats for day, a wrap and heels for evening. | 2. Paris can still be quite chilly in the spring, and definitely rainy, so a classic khaki trench coat (similar here) is a good bet for that time of year. | 3. A silk scarf to wear around your neck, tie around a ponytail, or even as a belt, feels très parisienne, and adds a little something to an otherwise basic look. | 4. Carry your wallet, ID, and other important items in a cross body purse that won’t get snagged off your shoulder. | 5. Classic blue oxford from J.Crew | 6. Perhaps it’s a bit cliché for a trip to France, but I do love striped sailor shirts. | 7. You can always purchase an umbrella once you arrive, or you can plan ahead and bring one that is adorable like this red-trim bubble umbrella, or super compact. | 8. What to do with all those chocolats and macarons you want to bring back from Paris?! How about a large red fold-up nylon tote – keep it folded in your suitcase until you need room for all your souvenir goodies. | 9. Calf hair cheetah print flats by Loeffler Randall. | 10. Don’t be like me and forget to bring your digital camera! (This is a great item to add to your honeymoon registry if you don’t already have one). | 11. Black skinny jeans with a little bit of stretch walk the line between comfy and chic.
Packing Tip: No matter where you’re traveling, try to pack clothing with a common color palette. I generally stick with neutrals (black, khaki, white, gray), and then choose one accent color (like the red accessories pictured above). It allows me to bring as little as possible, while still feeling like I’m dressed appropriately.
Packing Tip: You can avoid wrinkled clothes by packing wrinkle-resistant fabrics (things like knits, denim, rayon and other synthetic blends, and jersey), but another way to go is to pack a travel-sized steamer. It won’t get things as crisp as an iron, but it gets the wrinkles out.
PACKING FOR WINTER: JACKSON HOLE
Heading to a winter wonderland for your honeymoon can be as simple as packing a few extra layers, or as involved as transporting ski gear to your destination. Here’s what I’d take with me for a winter honeymoon in gorgeous Jackson Hole.
1. This gray cashmere wrap can keep you warm on the airplane, act as a scarf when you’re outside, and as a wrap for an evening out. | 2. Turtleneck sweater dress by Theory (sold out; similar here). | 3. UGG pom-pom beanie from Nordstrom. | 4. Keep warm and dry with a winter jacket with faux fur trim hood. | 5. Depending on your honeymoon plans, you might want an action video camera to capture your skiing or snowshoeing adventures. | 6. Pack a bunch of basic turtlenecks and some tank tops for layering. | 7. Look fabulous cozied up by the fire in this pink and gray fair isle sweater from J.Crew. | 8. Fair isle wool socks from J.Crew. | 9. When you’re not hitting the slopes, and you’re not eating at a fancy restaurant, a pair of jeans over thick tights can be just warm enough. | 10. The North Face winter boots from Zappos. | 11. Choose gloves and/or ski gloves with a pop of color – that way if you drop one in the snow, you stand a chance of actually finding it!
Packing Tip: Check out the real honeymoon stories and real member registries on Traveler’s Joy – even if you’re not much of a planner, having some sense of what you’ll be doing on your honeymoon can help you make better decisions about what to bring with you.
Packing Tip: Even if you’re traveling to Finland in the dead of winter, don’t forget to pack a swimsuit! There’s nothing quite like relaxing in a hot tub after a day of trudging around in the snow and ice.
Planning a honeymoon is so much fun, but worrying about what to pack can be stressful, so hopefully these tips and checklists have made that part easier. Let us know – what are your must-have items when you travel? Are you adding any travel items to your registry?
Download our printable honeymoon packing checklists right here:
GENERAL HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
BEACH HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
EUROPEAN HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
WINTER HONEYMOON PACKING CHECKLIST
This post is sponsored by Traveler’s Joy, an easy-to-use honeymoon registry site that now offers 100% free registry options, allowing members to accept honeymoon gifts via cash or check, with no fee for either the member or gift giver. Along with accepting gifts by credit card, Traveler’s Joy members now have more options than ever before in funding the trip of a lifetime.
Beginning in May and lasting through December 2015, every month Traveler’s Joy will pick one lucky couple on their wedding day, and triple the honeymoon gifts they receive from their honeymoon registry! Every couple that registers with Traveler’s Joy by April 30, 2015 will automatically be entered to win.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!
We’ve got more sunshine for you in this wine country wedding from Enjoy Events Co. and Cooper Carras! Beaulieu Gardens is such a spectacular venue, and I just love the bold palette of red, orange, blue, and green. Also, that gold-painted cake! And those flowers! Lots to love here…
“Planning the ceremony was hard, and we procrastinated on it for way longer than we should have! When we finally started to write the script for our ceremony, we realized we had no idea what components made up a traditional wedding. We knew there were vows, and someone pronounced us man and wife at some point, but that was about it. In light of that, we took to the internet for some research. We found some sample ceremony scripts, and cherry-picked the bits we liked from a variety of sources to build a template that reflected our personalities. Overall, it was important to us that we kept the ceremony short, but deeply meaningful, and I think we really accomplished that!”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, Non-traditional, Joyful.
Who officiated your ceremony? Dave has known his best man, Noah, almost his whole life, and Noah’s mother, Joan Tierney, really watched them grow up together. As Joan was a judge where we live in Seattle, we thought it would be perfect to include her in this next big step of David’s life. She did a fantastic job, and it was really wonderful to have a close family friend marry us.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Thinking about it, we really broke more traditions than we upheld. We walked down the aisle to a Kinks song, (“Strangers”). We didn’t incorporate any religious language in the ceremony. We decided not to light a unity candle or perform a sand ceremony, and we chose very playful readings (the “Love is a temporary madness” passage from Louis de Bernieres’ novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton). At the end of the day, these small choices led to a very personal, fun, and non-traditional ceremony.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows separately, and didn’t share them with each other until we got on the altar. We decided to follow a simple formula: in 300 words, say why we fell in love with the other person, what we love about the other person now, and then make our promises. Hearing each other’s vows for the first time at the altar wound up being such a wonderful surprise.
What was your favorite thing about your ceremony? Rachael: This is a tough question – there were so many moments that I hope to remember forever. I was so nervous waiting to walk down the aisle, but when I got to the altar and my Dad pulled my veil back, all my nervousness was gone, and it was just me and my (now) husband. I loved that. I also loved exchanging our vows. I actually think my favorite part might be after the ceremony ended. We had a short break following the first round of photographs, and we stood by the altar where we had just gotten married while we waited for our guests to find their seats in the reception area. It was so nice to have ten minutes to just stop, and breathe, and take it all in together. // Dave: Getting married!
“The venue was the first thing we chose, and everything else sort of flowed from that decision. Rachael’s mom lives in Napa Valley, so we knew we had a great excuse to get married there. We looked at several venues, but just fell in love with Beaulieu Garden in Rutherford, CA. It was green, and lush, and lovely, but our decision was made when we saw the arbor. Hundred year old trees intertwined to form a natural canopy over the reception area. It created an intimate space that we knew would be perfect for our reception.”
How would you describe your reception? It was elegant, but also playful and warm.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We were inspired by the natural beauty of the venue. We knew we wanted something that celebrated that beauty – refined but rustic, with lots of greens and blues and whites. We also knew that we wanted to contrast it with something a little harder and more modern; that concept led to the Edison bulbs hanging from the arbor, for example. So much of it came down to execution, though, and the team at Enjoy Events Co. excelled at taking our ideas and turning them into something cohesive and beautiful.
What was your first dance song? We danced to Ben Folds’ The Luckiest, and spent most of the dance talking about how surreal the moment was. We didn’t have a father/daughter or mother/son dance- neither of us are great dancers, and we didn’t want to make everyone watch us be awkward for 5 minutes!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had the most beautiful cake, courtesy of Sweet On Cake. It was a circular cake, made of 4 tiers covered in white fondant. At the top of each tier was a circle of edible, gold paint that looked like it was swiped on with a paint brush, and fresh flowers cascaded down the side. It was delicious, too: two tiers of white cake with fresh strawberries and basil buttercream, and two tiers of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. Towards the end of the evening, we served tiny fruit tarts with pastry cream, and salted caramel macarons. Really wonderful.
Did you have a signature cocktail? Dave and I each had signature cocktails! Mine was the Lusty Lady, a concoction of gin, lavender bitters, brandy-soaked cherries, and magic, from one of my favorite bars in Seattle, Tavern Law. Our wonderful caterer, Paula LeDuc, actually tracked down the recipe for us! Dave chose the Front Porch Cooler: bourbon, Aperol, Cocchi Americano, lemon, orange, sugar.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? Not really – we had the traditional toasts, and the first dance, and we cut the cake together (and I had to try really hard not to smoosh it in my new husband’s face!), but that was about it.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? I was so nervous in the weeks leading up to the wedding – I was so worried that things wouldn’t come together the way I imagined them in my head, and I was terrified of the public speaking. Standing up in front of everyone I knew and talking about my feelings seemed daunting and overwhelming. The best advice I got was from my mom, the night before the rehearsal. She told me to breathe. She reminded me that everyone who was coming to the wedding was coming because they loved me, and they loved Dave, and they didn’t care if things weren’t perfect. They were coming because they wanted to share a special moment with us, and the more authentic that moment was, the better.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Rachael: For me, this is a tie between listening to the toasts – which were so sweet, and so thoughtful – and dancing. I had so much fun dancing! It was the happiest night of my life. I really didn’t know that it was possible to feel that happy, and dancing was just the best way to share that with my friends, family, and new husband. And Dart DJs did a fantastic job with the music selection – they even got my little old Nana on the dance floor. // Dave: My favorite part was the dinner. Amazing food, family, and friends.
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
Beaulieu Gardens Wedding by Enjoy Events and Cooper Carras6 January 2015
Happy New Year! I can think of no better way to ring in 2015 than with this cheery ranch wedding – sweet yellow flowers, an elegantly rustic outdoor setting, classic bridal style. Gorgeous!
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? Something old: My veil has been worn my all the women on my mom’s side of the family dating back to my great grandmother. Something new: My dress. Something borrowed/blue: My mom’s sapphire and pearl horse shoe pin that my grandmother gave her on her wedding day to my dad. It was originally gifted to her by my grandfather for an anniversary gift. My sister and I both borrowed it for our wedding days.
“For as long as I can remember, I wished that one day I would be married at my family’s ranch. It is a place rooted in memories, family, love and tradition. The ceremony took place under a large madrone tree which was planted by my grandfather. My sister was also married under the madrone the year before.”
Your ceremony in three words. Classic, Cheerful, Warm
Who officiated your ceremony? The same priest who married my parents and my sister also married us. He and my father lived together in college and he has been a dear friend of our family for my entire life. We were married under the Madrone tree where my sister had been married the year before and our yellow lab, Purdey was our ring barrier.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? The ceremony and vows were traditional, but we did add a few traditions of our own including a bag piper, bluegrass band, our dog Purdy the ring bearer, and a Scottish hymn performed by Paul’s cousins.
What was your ceremony music? The ceremony music began with a bagpiper who lead our guests to their seats and the rest of the music was instrumental and preferred by a bluegrass band. The processional song I chose for our parents and grandparents was Red River Valley. I chose this because it reminds me of the ranch and it is also known as the Cowboy Wedding Song. My bridesmaids processed to Here Comes The Sun, and my dad and I walked down the isle to Wild Mountain Thyme. Paul’s cousins and aunt sang “Wild Mountain Thyme” during the ceremony. It is such a beautiful Scottish hymn and was definitely one of the highlights for me.
What were your ceremony readings? “On Love” by Thomas Kempis, “Love is an Adventure” by Pierre Tielhart de Chardin, and “Wedding Prayer” by Robert Lewis Stevenson was printed on the back of our programs.
What were your vows like? We said traditional vows.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Paul and all of our friends and family standing and smiling at me. It all seemed to hit me at once and I was overwhelmed with happiness. I remember my lower lip was uncontrollably quivering and it took everything I had not to burst into happy tears.
“Our reception was light hearted, boisterous, farm to table, yellow, rustic and romantic. Our band had tons of energy and had everyone out on the dance floor after dinner – they played 30 minutes past their contract! We also had bistro lighting strung over the pool and large paper globe lanterns hanging in the oak trees over the dance floor that helped create the warm and majestic ambiance I was after.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Our cocktail reception opened into the ceremony area once the chairs were moved. Our dinner reception area was around the pool also adjacent to the ceremony location.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by the idea of an outdoor French, Provence bistro. I imagined lots of yellow, garden roses, herbs, bistro lights natural wood and stripes! I also love texture and wanted everything to be in keeping with the natural beauty of the ranch.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. One of my favorite details was our escort card table. We had them set up on a rustic, vintage wagon with antique bottles filled with posies and herbs.
signature cocktail: firefly sweet tea vodka, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, sparkling water, mint // amuse: sweet white corn soup with dungeness crab, basil and chili oil // salad: frog hollow grilled peaches, county line arugula, endive and butter lettuce, with sherry vinaigrette, marcona almonds and chevré // entree: rack of lamb with marble potatoes, sea salt and local cress, with gypsy peppers, toy box eggplant, baby artichokes, summer squash and mediterranean salsa verde // dessert: passed chocolate and salted caramel pots de creme / gourmet s’mores station / coconut pineapple wedding cake with cream cheese frosting
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? My mom and I spent several weekends and week nights making rosemary olive oil bottles, rosemary sea salt favors, welcome candy bags and tying ribbons to everything. For the rosemary sea salt favors we got small Weck jars and filled them with rosemary sea salt. The labels said “Rosemary sea salt to remember our day,” as rosemary is the symbol of remembrance. It was all very time consuming, but we had fun with it, and lots of laughs!
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? Paul and I danced to “Rose of My Heart” by Johnny Cash and “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” by Jackie Wilson. My dad came out to the dance floor with the theme song from The Good, Bad and the Ugly (a tradition my sister started the year before) and we danced to “Do You Believe In Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. Paul and his mom danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? It all goes so fast, so remember take a few private moments to take it all in.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Try to have fun and enjoy the process as much as you can. Stress is inevitable, but at the end of the day, it should be an enjoyable experience.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? By the end of the night our two family’s were on the stage with the band, screaming whatever song they were singing at the top of our lungs and all of the men had their shirts ripped open.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? This is a tough question…sabering the champagne and cutting our cake was a special moment that I will remember forever.
Silvana di Franco, MAP Events, Brown Paper Design, Bella Figura, and La Tavola are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.