New York City Engagement Session • Divine Light Photography

 

One of the best things about being a local wedding blogger is seeing something old through new eyes. We've shared several New York City engagement sessions (and more to come!), but experiencing the city from a new perspective is so refreshing. We adore Amanda + Jeff's engagement session from Divine Light Photography. Fun, carefree and full of color... these two are completely smitten, and clearly up for adventure! 


From Divine Light: I'm a wanderer. I love going off path, getting a little lost and then stumbling on something I hadn’t seen before. I guess Im using the word ‘Wander’ more like ‘adventure’. The two are the same in my book. Its the best way to explore the world. Same goes for New York City!

I took Amanda & Jeff along on a wandering trek through the streets and alleys for their New York City engagement session. Under bridges and through a little rain. It was great. These two can’t wait to wander (adventure) through life together.

Rustic Garden Chic Wedding Inspiration • Ann Blake Photography

 

Boxwood gardens, barn tables and vintage place settings... this gorgets Rustic Garden Chic Inspiration shoot has it all. Ann Blake Photo and Marsha Flowers Events pulled together some of the East Coast's best vendors at the gorgeous Appleford Estates. A vintage dress, stunning blooms and each detail more beautiful than the next: this shoot is nothing short of magical. 


FROM ANN BLAKE: Marsha Flowers Events, collectively brought together a team of East Coast vendors for a "Rustic Garden Chic Wedding" inspiration shoot, nestled in the beauty of Main Line, Pennsylvania at Appleford Estates. The country estate complete with lush boxwood gardens, glistening streams and stone walls adorned with romantic vines, proved to be the perfect setting. The focus areas for the inspiration areas were a rustic reception farm table, complete with a floral runner and vintage place settings; vintage rentals were curated to show of a new trend of creating a seated outdoor lounge for wedding guests; and a romantic floral wall along a tree lined walk way for an intimate first look and couple's portraits area. We hope that this submission inspires brides to bring their reception outdoors!

Vendors: Styled Shoot Design: Marsha Flowers Events | Floral Design: Julie D'Agostino Designs | Invitation Suite: Bella Carta Boutique | Bridal Gown: Lovely Bride | Groom's Suit: Harleys Ville Bridal |  Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Cake: Groovy Deliciousness |  Chairs and Place Settings: Party Rental | Cotton Candy: Sweetistry |  Hair Stylist: Happily Ever After Hair |  Jewelry: Susie Saltzman |  Makeup: Underground Artistry | Lasercut Signs: Ever Laser | Venue: Appleford Estate |  Vintage Rentals and Farm Table: Maggpie Vintage |  Photography: Ann Blake Photography Photo Assistant: Antrim and Spruce  

Meet-the-Maker • Katherine Bignon

 

Stories like these are exactly the reason we started this Meet-the-Maker series. We've always been passionate about small businesses, shopping local, and supporting your community. But these makers - the ones that use their hands to craft, sew, paint, build, weld... the ones with stories to tell and who want to create heirlooms to be passed down to future generations... they're the ones that inspire us to no end. Katherine Bignon, a custom wedding gown and lingerie designer in NYC, is one of those true artists whose story we're honored to feature. 


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU!

Hi there!! I’m Katherine, wife to a handsome Frenchman (I had only written Frenchman, but he was reading over my shoulder while I wrote this and wanted to make sure the handsome part was added in!!), mama to three bilingual babies 3 and under, and a bridal gown + lingerie + tulle skirt designer! We live on the outskirts of New York City, where I design custom pieces for my brides out of a studio in our home. My mom actually taught me to sew ages ago, and it stuck! She made all of my clothes when I was little, and so I grew up with an intense love for fabric and shiny scissors! She made her own wedding gown, and there’s this gorgeous picture of her and my dad on their wedding day hanging at the end of the hallway in their house. I walked past it every day growing up, and honestly I think that’s the reason I ended up making wedding gowns. I always wanted a marriage just like hers, and since the story always started with her making her own gown, I figured that’s where I should start too!! (Disclaimer: I did not end up making my own wedding gown, I bought the first one I tried on… oops! But now I get to design heirloom gowns for my brides and it’s my little way of sending them off into a beautiful marriage!) I studied lingerie design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and one day a dear friend asked me to branch out into tulle skirts as well, so it’s been a lovely little adventure to launch a full service studio for custom design to brides!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

WHAT DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN?

My heart is designing custom heirloom bridal gowns. The kind that she’ll save and cherish, and one day her daughter will beg to be able to try on and hear the story one more time. Along with the custom gowns, I design silk robes, and honeymoon trousseaux, as well as loads of colorful tulle skirts for bridesmaids, bridal showers, and rehearsals!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS UNIQUE?

I don’t simply design wedding gowns, I design them unique to each bride. I get to know her, I listen to her love story, and get a sense of her style and aesthetic, and then I design a gown that was intended to be worn only by her. The gowns I create have a classic yet modern and feminine feel to them, and they each contain a nod to the things that inspire me as a designer and honestly, I just love finding the point where my inspiration meets her aesthetic + story, and watching the magic unfold!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WORKING WITH BRIDES?

Oh gosh, I think I would have to say it’s that moment where she slips the gown on for the first fitting, and suddenly her eyes light up and she squeals a little when she realizes it’s real! Before that moment, we had only worked in illustrations and ideas, but suddenly the gown is real, and she envisions herself as a bride for the first time. It’s so much fun to watch!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR COUPLES?

 Let’s see… I’d have to say: take a deep breath, relax, and remember to laugh. There’s always something that doesn’t go as planned (we have a few from our wedding!!), but choose to laugh about it instead of stress, and it’ll make all the difference!

CHILDHOOD CAREER ASPIRATION?

I drove my parents crazy with this one!! It changed like every five minutes, but the major ones that I kept bouncing back and forth between were: professional ballet dancer, fashion designer, and, wait for it… a Russian linguist for the Navy. I even went on a college visit to the Naval Academy!!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

COFFEE OR TEA?

Tea. Every morning. Looseleaf in a pot, with milk, no sugar, and a china cup! It’s a habit I picked up when I lived in France, and it’s still my favorite part of the morning! And my French in-laws taught me how to enjoy a perfect shot of espresso in the afternoon!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

HIDDEN TALENT?

I’m a master parallel parker. And I still get a crazy sense of satisfaction every time I get our SUV into a spot on the first try and my husband’s mouth is hanging open!!

Katherine Bignon | For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

 

Participating Vendors: Abby Grace Photography (all photography in this post)

Magical Greenhouse Wedding at Philadelphia Horticulture Center • M2 Photo

 

It's absolutely impossible not to smile while looking at the photos from this wedding. Kiley + Graham's Wedding from M2 Photo is full of raw emotion, personality and thoughtful details. Weddings like this are such a wonderful reminder of what that day is really all about. Best friends, the details that make up your relationship and celebrating strong, everlasting marriages. 


From M2 Photo: We love Kiley and Graham for so many reasons. Their kind, fun, and so easy to be around. They are also plant lovers, which is like music to my ears. Being the plant lovers that they are, it only made sense that their wedding was held at the Horticulture center in Philadelphia. This was a magical greenhouse wedding. For the favors, they themselves grew over a hundred succulents for their guests.

Enjoy this beautiful late May wedding!

Venue: Philadelphia Horticulture Center | Caterer: Star Events | Photographer: M2 Photography | Planner: LJ Events | Florist: A Garden Party | Band: Jack Faulkner Orchestra | Hair: Mirror and Mantel | Makeup: Bombshell Hair Salon | Dress designer: Madison James | Bridesmaid dress: J Crew | Tux: Jos A. Bank

Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows • Carly Totten

 
weddingvows.jpg

As much as I adore incredible details and a great party, it’s during the ceremony that I always feel the most inspired by the couple. I love the bride and groom’s emotions as they see each other for the first time; I adore listening to the readings so carefully chosen by the couple; and I will forever treasure listening to couples recite their vows, especially those they have crafted themselves.

Your vows serve as the foundation for your marriage and oftentimes the most significant moment during your wedding, so the decision to write your own vows can be a difficult one to make. “Where do we even begin?” is likely your number one question. To ease your mind and spark your creativity, here are five top tips to inspire your own vow writing journey: 

FIVE TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR OWN WEDDING VOWS

1.    Make the decision mutually. First things first, make sure you’re both on board with writing your own vows! Although you don’t have to write your vows together (surprising each other is highly recommended!), it’s helpful to decide together whether to only include sentimental statements or if you would prefer to mix in a few humorous notes. Whatever you decide, make sure you are comfortable making each promise in front of your friends and family – it’s not quite a broadcast, but you don’t want your partner to feel uncomfortable.

2.    Talk with your officiant. Before you begin writing your vows, talk with your officiant. She will be able to walk through your ceremony with you, so you will know exactly when you will be reciting your vows. Plus, your officiant will have notes to share about personal vows she has listened to before, formats that work well, ideas about perhaps incorporating traditional vows with your originals, the length of time you should plan to speak, and more. Knowing all of these details ahead of time will help you to outline the vows you will write.

3.    Leave enough time for inspiration to strike. Although it may feel tempting to wait to write your vows, try to start early! Each and every one of your notes about your journey together, things you love about your partner, and moments you want to continue to share together will add up during the months, weeks, and days leading up to your ceremony. Having a notebook at the ready will allow you to jot down ideas on the go and help to prevent an amazing idea from escaping your mind too quickly. 

4.    Be meaningful and genuinely you. Although inspiration is wonderful, always remember to take a step back and ask yourself if what you love about a quote or verse is something you’re typically drawn toward. Further, think about the tone and words you’re using while writing. If you feel like something doesn’t feel authentic to you, don’t write it or plan to say it to your partner. Remember: your vows are yours, and they should sound exactly like something you would say! Don’t lose yourself in the process.

5.    Don’t feel the need to memorize. Once you complete your vows, you will likely need to edit them in order to include the best pieces and meet your timeline from your officiant. While it’s important to practice and practice some more, there is absolutely no need to memorize your vows. By removing the need to memorize, you will help to keep your nerves at bay, and you will remove the fear of forgetting to say something. Instead, plan to rewrite your vows in a vow book (like this or this!) and encourage your partner to do the same! The books will be something you will treasure and have the ability to read for years to come.  

Are you planning to write your wedding vows? What is a vow you loved from a ceremony you attended? Let’s inspire each other in the comments!

Photography by Clean Plate Pictures + Saltwater Studios

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Fall Engagement at Rockland Lake • Lin Pernille Photography

 

We're about to enter 90+ temps this weekend in another summer heat wave, so it's only appropriate that we're already dreaming of fall. Sweaters, boots and pumpkin-everything? Yes, please! This adorable fall engagement from Lin Pernille Photography is just what we need to start looking forward to cooler temperatures. With gorgeous fall foliage as their backdrop, Kristen, Michael and their adorable puppy make engagement photos seem like a walk in the park (pun intended!)


FROM LIN: In just under a year, this awesome couple is getting married! Their wedding day will mark exactly 6 years and 1 day together. We decided to take their engagement photos near their house at Rockland Lake State Park, right at the peak of the gorgeous fall foliage! They had considered having a fall wedding but the timing wouldn't work, so instead they choose to take their engagement photos amidst all the colorful leaves instead. They were so easy to photograph and did awesome at their shoot – it made me even more excited for their wedding day 6/3/17!

Romantic White Barn Wedding • Eva Lin Photography

 

There's just something about this wedding that puts the biggest smile on our faces. The emotion, the details, the enormous amount of love pouring out of every photo from the incredibly talented Eva Lin Photography. Weddings like this are always a wonderful reminder of why we do this... to celebrate love, creativity, and the endless talent of our local wedding vendors. Haley + Joel's day is as gorgeous as it gets, and we know you'll love it as much as we do! 


From Evalin Photography: You know it's going to be a good day when you see the groom and he's jumping up and down saying "I AM SO PUMPED FOR TODAY! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MARRIED!" Haley & Joel are two of the sweetest people I know, and their wedding day was filled with so much joy. You can tell that they are so in love by the way they talk to each other, respect one another, and couldn't stop kissing each other all night! I love when my clients become friends - I was lucky enough to borrow their beautiful birch arch for my own wedding (hand-built by the bride's father)! It was a beautiful day with an incredible sunset. And you know you throw a good party when one of your guests jumps in the pond!

Vendors: Second Shooter: Levana Melamed Nunez | Florist: All about Reclaimed | Dress: Sophia Tolli | Shoes: Nine West | Jewelry: Contessa Di Capri | Catering: Pete Medure | Wedding Cake: Autumn's Cake | Hair & Make up: Local Motion | Groom's Suit: Express | Suspenders: Hellobin.com | Photography: Eva Lin Photography

Meet-the-Maker • Omi Gold Jewelry

 

Tuesdays are quickly becoming our favorite day of the week. Our hearts for small local businesses is big, and our meet-the-maker series is the perfect way to show them some love, and introduce them to you! Omi Gold Jewelry is based in NYC, with a focus on gold bands made from reclaimed material, they've redefined the jewelry industry, and we're so excited to have them on the blog today!

And, we'd be so thankful if you answered our Reader Survey, and entered our giveaway, here! The survey closes on Friday, so be sure to answer soon!


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!
I was born and raised in NYC. I live with my husband and my 7 year old son in Hell’s Kitchen. I worked in the traditional bridal jewelry manufacturing world for a long time and I saw a need for something a little different. Something clean and simple—more meaningful and less blingy. I’m also very interested in locally made and sustainable manufacturing which has been a real struggle for the jewelry industry at large but quite doable for a smaller company. 

For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?
We make wedding and commitment rings. We specialize in a minimalist aesthetic and we offer our rings in a much larger range of gold colors and Kts than what is available in the commercial jewelry market. We also do custom work which is a great way to make something really special.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS UNIQUE?
We are unique in that we are really focused on gold bands and nothing else. We use reclaimed material for all of our rings and I don’t think that there is another business that offers as many options on each style as we do.

For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WORKING WITH COUPLES?
It’s fun to see a couple's decision making process. Some people are very decisive while others like to weigh the options over many times. It’s nice to see a couple working together to select something very personal and meaningful. Not to get too heady but they are potentially going to wear this particular piece of jewelry every day for the rest of their lives.

For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR COUPLES?
Trust your own instincts and keep it simple. It may sound cliché but it’s true. Do what feel is right for you  as a couple. Don’t try to please everyone else. Pair everything down to what is most important to you and you will be good to go!

For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

CHILDHOOD CAREER ASPIRATION?
Doctor or Vintage clothing store owner.

COFFEE OR TEA?
Both.

HIDDEN TALENT?
I can stand on my hands—don’t press me I’ll do it 

For the modern couple planning their wedding in NY, NJ + PA. Real weddings, engagements, inspiration + more!

Classic Elegance at Historic Shady Lane • Char Co. Photography

 

At first glance, you might think that this post is actually a styled shoot created by Pennsylvania's best wedding vendors... but it's not. This real wedding is actually that beautiful. Jena + Nigel imagined the most elegant day to celebrate their marriage, and these stunning images from Char Co. are proof that their dreams really did come true. From Jena's classic gown and Nigel's dapper tux, all the way down to their puppy's floral collar, every detail is completely flawless. 


From Char: The photos tell the story of this wedding day, it truly was stunning. Jena and Nigel are two of the kindest people ever. Their eye for design and creating comes thru in the impeccable details. What an incredible joy it was to witness and document this beautiful day at Historic Shady Lane in Central PA.

Vendors: Venue: Historic Shady Lane |  Florals: Kortney Copper Dowell |  Dress: Alfred Angelo | Catering: Acomac Events | Planning: Alegre Concierge | Photography : Char.co.com

Reader Survey + Giveaway!

 

While we're on vacation this week, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on the last few months and make sure we're giving all of you (our wonderful readers + fans!) the content you want! And, as a little thank you for taking the survey, you will be entered to win this gorgeous gift basket from one of our favorite shops, That's Darlin'! 

To enter, simply complete the survey below, which should take less than 10 minutes. For extra entries, share or tag a friend on Instagram or Facebook (make sure to tag us in the post, too!). Please rest assured that all entries are 100% confidential, and none of your information will be shared with anyone. This survey will close next Friday, July 22nd, so be sure to submit your answers soon!

Your candid feedback is so important to us, and we appreciate each and every one of you that come here every day (or week or month!) to read our posts! 

 

RED OAK WEDDINGS READER SURVEY

this survey is now closed, thank you!