If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t given much thought to boudoir photography. Or if you have thought about it, it seems either totally cheesy or totally intimidating, and not the sort of thing you’d ever consider for yourself. And if you’re anything like me, I think you might just change your mind once you see these beautiful photos by Kristen Hudson, the talent behind Haute Boudoir.

I absolutely love the fashion-influenced, fine art style of Haute Boudoir‘s portraiture – it may sound like a strange thing to say about boudoir photography, but there’s something truly timeless about Kristen’s photos. Here’s just a little peek of some of the lovely images from the Haute Boudoir gallery…

I think the thing I love most about Haute Boudoir is that not only do Kristen’s clients walk away with a beautiful set of photos, but they also walk away with an amazing experience. While the photos may be an anniversary or Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone, the photo shoot itself is just for you. As one of Kristen’s clients says, “I’m so glad I did this for myself!”

Inspired to unleash your inner starlet? Head over to the Haute Boudoir site to see even more beautiful photos and learn more about the different photo packages that Kristen offers.

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Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had delightful holidays, and maybe some left-over treats to make this Monday back at work a bit sweeter. I thought I’d pick up where we left off in December, with inspiration boards that take a less-is-more approach to wedding planning…

I absolutely adore this beautiful dress by Elizabeth Dye, and when I noticed the “nosegay” of raw cotton* in the model’s hand, I was inspired to create this quaint winter wedding board. This would have been pretty in just brown and white, but a small amount of the faintest Tiffany blue adds a bit of visual interest, and allows this look to work as well in early spring as in winter. The tea-length dress, birdcage veil, locket, and champagne coupes are the perfect touch of vintage – sweet, not theme-y. Glassine envelopes filled with rice look pretty either plain or embellished with a custom rubber stamp. And how about this for a twist on DIY? Write out your wedding invitations by hand. It doesn’t require craftiness or creativity, just nice enough hand-writing, pretty ivory paper, and good black ink. Not only is it traditional, it will also be a delightfully unexpected surprise for your invitees. Depending on the tone you’re trying to set, you can either use traditional wording or you can write a personalized note to each guest.

(*Raw cotton is a wonderful decorative element during winter months when fresh flowers are either unavailable or frighteningly expensive, and it makes for unusual bouquets and boutonnieres, as well as beautifully rustic wreaths and centerpieces. You can order it online, or if you live in an area that grows cotton, see if a local farmer might let you have some on the cheap.)

Mood: sweet and quaint
Palette: cotton boll white, chocolate truffle, barely-there blue

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: custom Beatrix dress by Elizabeth Dye, twine-bound letters photo by Elizabeth Messina, miniature bundt cake and wooden cake stand by Herriott Grace via Darling Dexter, birdcage veil by Twigs & Honey
Row 2: cotton branch wreath from Blue Moon Events, glassine packets of rice from Martha Stewart Weddings, chocolate truffles photo by Elizabeth Messina
Row 3: vintage locket from Deanna Littell’s Charm School (published in Martha Stewart Weddings), champagne coupe photo via Kiss the Groom, country chapel photo by HH Fine Arts via {frolic!}, cotton boll bouquet from New York Magazine

I’m still totally smitten with the idea of a simple ceremony followed by a reception of champagne and dessert. It works with any number of guests – champagne and dessert makes for a perfectly lovely gathering of just a few close friends and family, but it’s also not going to break the bank if your guest list is considerably bigger. Also, this type of reception doesn’t require professional event planning experience. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely admire the beautiful work that event designers do, and have so much respect for the skill of planners and coordinators. But not everyone can afford (or wants) to hire one of these professionals, and for those who are planning a wedding without one, a dessert and champagne reception is manageable with help from a few friends and family members. Bake or purchase some pretty cakes and treats, pick up some chocolates from your favorite local shop (if you’re in San Francisco, the caramel truffles at XOX are my personal favorite), buy some nice champagne in bulk, and borrow pretty cake plates and candy dishes from aunts and godmothers. Plus, there’s something charming in a wedding that doesn’t seem “produced.”

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As another year comes to a close, I would be remiss if I didn’t take time to thank all of the amazing people who make Snippet & Ink what it is. So here’s a little toast…

…to the readers, for the beautiful stories and weddings that you share in your comments and emails. Hearing kind words, and that you’ve found inspiration on Snippet & Ink, is exactly why I keep blogging everyday.

…to the photographers, flower designers, event planners, and all of the other talented vendors who contribute to posts on Snippet & Ink, for sharing your beautiful work with me and allowing me to share it with my readers.

And last, but certainly not least, to the sponsors. Because of your continuing support, I am able to put all of my time and energy into Snippet & Ink, and hopefully into making it a better blog with every post.

Here’s looking forward to another year full of inspiration, for weddings and for everyday.

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