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Romantic Fall Durham Ranch Wedding

For a girl who always thought she’d one day elope, this bride managed to find the ultimate happy medium. Think an intimate celebration in the Napa countryside with long, family-style tables that made every guest feel right at home. Of course, the day couldn’t have gone off so beautifully without the talents of Bustle Events, Lavender & MintPaula LeDuc and Twigss, and the captures from Sylvie Gil completely speak for themselves. More in the gallery!

From The Bride…Firstly, I will say I never thought I would be a bride. I assumed that if I did find my life partner (I can be picky) that we’d sneak away to a beach in Bali and elope. That being said, as soon as I had that ring on my finger and Ryan and I started day dreaming about a small intimate ceremony in the Napa countryside, we never looked back. We are both from Texas but we recently moved to San Francisco with our company and we love taking drives up to Sonoma and Napa on the weekend to enjoy the beauty and majesty of all the nooks and crannies of the small towns and hiking trails. When we decided on Napa I found Erin at Bustle Events through the SMP blog and she suggested we look at Durham Ranch, as soon as I saw the stately drive lined by Cypress trees I knew that was the place I would marry my best friend. Ken Fulk and his team have created an effortlessly chic Napa hideaway that begs you never to leave, although I am not sure he would prefer not to have us as permanent house guests.

Erin and her amazing team helped me put personal touches throughout the wedding, but I truly think our wedding was the perfect mix of delicate beauty and rock n’roll. Two highlights were the band and the gorgeous floral chandelier Twiggs designed for over the dance floor. Ryan and I are both avid music fans, he actually self-published a book of music poetry (A Circus Mind) and one of our all-time favorite bands is the Talking Heads. We looked all over the place for a Talking Heads cover band and finally Erin found the Naïve Melodies and they were perfect! My favorite part of the reception was dancing to This Must Be The Place under the gorgeous chandelier of lilies and garden roses. Also I loved the leather touches throughout the event, especially the strips of leather that acted like place cards and the fact that I was able to wear my leather jacket over my dress for a couple of the pictures.

The most memorable part was exchanging our vows. Ryan and I decided to write our own vows and one of our very best friends officiated the ceremony and it was truly magical. The sun was setting right as we walked down the aisle together as husband and wife was a moment to be remembered. I am filled with gratitude for the beauty of the day and for the amazing staff with Paula Le Duc and of course Team Bustle.  Ryan and I met at work about 4 years ago and we were instant friends. Ryan has a truly dynamic personality, he’s the funniest person I’ve ever met, and I knew immediately that I wanted to be around anyone that could make me laugh like he did. I had a boyfriend when Ryan and I first met, but I fell in love with him at a music festival in 2011 and it was in Gulf Shores Alabama listening to Paul Simon that I think we both realized that we were supposed to be together and so we were. Ryan proposed in Paris in October of 2013. Ryan is not much of a planner, but October 21st, 2013 was a day for the record books. We woke up and had breakfast at Café de Flore, walked to Musee D’orsay, secured a lock on Pont des Arts and eventually ended up relaxing around the pool in the Luxembourg Garden. I eventually fell asleep on Ryan’s shoulder and he woke me up and walked me to a bench where he had a friend sneakily waiting to take pictures and he proposed. To say I was stunned would be an understatement, but it was one of the most amazing days of my life.

I found my dress at Marina Morrison in San Francisco. My best friend and maid of honor, Lauren, actually picked out my wedding dress. We walked in to the Marina Morrison showroom and the Austin Scarlett ball gown I wore was on the center mannequin and she said “YOU HAVE TO TRY THAT ON”. As soon as I slipped on the dress and came out of the fitting room, Lauren started crying and she is not typically one for tears. Austin Scarlett definitely knows how to flatter a woman’s figure but still make her feel classically chic. As soon as I saw myself in the main showroom mirrors that was my dress. I actually had the opportunity to meet Austin the week before my wedding and he was the one who suggested I wear my hair half up and down, that was my celebrity moment!

All my vendors were beyond amazing- from the invitations featuring a sketch of Durham Ranch, the brain child of Lily Lasuzzo, owner of Lavender and Mint stationary in Houston, TX to the stunning photos produced by Sylvie Gil. Sylvie and her team actually became our wedding guests and I am pretty sure my friends would have preferred she stay until midnight with the rest of us dancing the night away! I also can’t say enough about Twiggs and the beautiful floral arrangements they created, the chandelier was an epic display of beauty and their creativity. Paula De Luc of course produced an amazing experience and even better food, those PB&J macaroons are truly sinful they are so good. Tom Foolery and their photo booth were also a hit, I think I took easily 100 snaps that night! It has to be said nothing would have come to fruition without Erin Taylor and Team Bustle. Erin is beyond amazing and her creativity, organization and responsiveness are all a bride could ever hope for. I am in awe of Erin and she will be a friend for life!

Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Wedding Planner: Bustle Events | Wedding Dress: Austin Scarlett | Cakes : Fox and Fawn | Invitations: Lavender & Mint | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Two Birds | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Calligraphy : Julie Song | Durham Ranch: Durham Ranch | Florals : Twigss

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Mindy Weiss’ Top 2015 Wedding Trends

When it comes to predicting the wedding trends, Mindy Weiss knows her stuff. From celebrity soirees to some of our favorite SMP affairs (like this one, and this one), she’s always one step ahead and is popping by to share her predictions for the upcoming year. Think elegant details, deep jewel-tones, romantic decor, watercolorombre and more. Treat yourself to ALL of Mindy and 2015 picks in the video below, and get even more on Wedding Paper Divas!









Designer Spotlight from the SMP Look Book + A Giveaway + Discounts!

If there’s one thing I miss most about planning my wedding, it’s getting to sift through gorgeous dresses all day long. Truth be told, since the release of our new + improved Look Book, I’m back to perusing the pretty — from bridesmaid dresses to wedding gowns and everything in between! Today, we’re introducing you to three fabulous Look Book designers — say hello to Wtoo and Love Marley by Watters, Durga-Kali + Julie Vino.

For over 30 years, Watters has been a highly sought after brand in the bridal wear market thanks to their hand-stitched details, luxe fabrics and innovative designs. With brands such as Wtoo and Love Marley, Watters offers brides and bridesmaids some of the most gorgeous dresses out there. Designed for the independent + trend-drive bride, the Love Marley label features dresses that are relaxed yet romantic and reflect a bride’s unique personality. See the full collections in the Look Book! With a huge range of styles and silhouettes there’s a Watters dress for each and every bride. Ready for something really exciting? You could win a gorgeous Little White Dress from Watters!


What: Watters is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Little White Dress from their Encore collection (choice of PoseyPratoCamelliaIrisGuava or Hydrangea. Value of $500.)  How: Comment on this post with your favorite LWD and where you’d want to wear it! A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Friday, April 3, 2015 in our Social Hour. Good luck!

Let me introduce you all to the brand that’s taking the world of ho-hum bridesmaid dresses and turning it on its head: Durga-Kali. Get this: all 24 of the styles turn into little black dresses (even the long ones!) so when the big day is done, your ladies will be able to wear these pretty little numbers over and over again.  Offered in a ton of colors, two different fabrics and both matte and shiny finishes, this line of dresses from Durga-Kali is a game changer. They even have options for brides. See the full line here!

Made in the USA, these adorable designs fit like contemporary ready to wear dresses so there’s no guesswork when it comes to size and choosing the most flattering silhouette. Wondering how it works? Check out their video here and be sure to visit Durga-Kali on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest for tons of inspiration and eye candy. Ready to start shopping? Well now’s the time because Durga-Kali is offering our readers 15% off all orders submitted before April 15, 2015! To redeem, simply use code SMP15 at checkout. Oh There’s more!
the-giveaway Durga-Kali is giving away a reversible bridesmaid dress for your bridal party! To enter, visit their Facebook page.  All entries must be received by April 15th. Good luck lovelies.

Last but certainly not least, we’re introducing you all to Tel-Aviv based bridal designer Julie Vino and SMP is giving you a super sneak peek into her new styles arriving this summer! This soon-to-be-released collection of gowns are detail-oriented, unique and simply breathtaking. To see past and current Julie Vino collections, head over to the Look Book. Featuring stunning detail work and amazing silhouettes, the gowns from the newest Julie Vino line are truly out-of-this-world. Between the four gorgeous collections (Desert Rose, Mystic Dusk, Urban + Empire) Julie Vino has made it easy for every bride to find her dream wedding dress. To learn how you could be one of the first brides to get the chance to try these beauties on, call 1.844.JVBride. Sponsored-Post

Romantic Nautical Cape Cod Wedding

This Bride is a my hero. Not only did she plan a gorgeous seaside affair filled with nautical charm, but she also designed and sewed her own wedding gown! From the newlywed’s summer sail, to Beat Train Productions serenading, every minute is what dreams are made of. And with Trent Bailey Photography behind the lens every detail is downright dreamy, and it’s all right here!


From the beautiful Bride.. Being from New England and having spent many summers on Cape Cod and Nantucket, I always dreamed of having our wedding there. When I met my husband in San Francisco and discovered after his first trip to Nantucket that it was one of his new favorite places to vacation, I knew having our wedding on the Cape or Nantucket would be perfect. My father had suggested Chatham Bars Inn, stating that it was the most beautiful place he had seen for a wedding in that area. So I hopped on a plane and flew across country to visit Chatham Bars Inn with my parents. Even in the winter time, it was beautiful and it didn’t take long before the decision was made! Being a designer with a love for everything coastal and preppy, we decided to base our design around the nautical theme. It seemed very fitting for the location and our style!

I had always wanted to make my own dress, and after seeing an amazing Oscar de la Renta wedding gown in a fashion show, I was inspired to do it. It was the perfect balance of simple, elegant and timeless. With the preppy theme we had chosen, I decided simple and elegant would perfect. I began by using what I had seen on the runway, and creating my own version of that style. With some very helpful encouragement and guidance from my Aunt Karen on the East Coast, who is a seamstress, I started the process. I wanted to do everything myself, and my luckily she was there to lift an eyebrow when she saw me doing something that was completely wrong and would direct me to restart! After a huge amount of work, it turned out just the way I wanted it to. It was such a special part of the wedding and after getting all put together, I was presented with a beautiful Hermes Bracelet from Sean that I had been eyeing forever! It was the perfect touch to give me a smile just before going down the aisle.

Our Ceremony was held outside by the Ocean and my brother Greg officiated the ceremony. He made it fun and light hearted while also keeping it very special and personal. It was the perfect way to start our marriage. My Uncle John played the flute with accompaniment as guests arrived and then for our walk down the aisle. During the ceremony, my mother, my Aunt Suzie and my Uncle Don sang and played the Guitar in honor of the family that had passed. There were so many personal touches that made the wedding feel so special. We took pictures out on the beach and boardwalk before the wedding and we even stumbled upon a sailboat that had just conveniently docked!

My 13 bridesmaids wore very simple pale yellow J. Crew Dresses with simple pearl earrings and white pagmina scarfs, and the perfect sunny day just completed the look. The night before the wedding it had rained so hard and we were so thankful for the amazing weather we had that day. The men wore the classic preppy Cape Cod look: Khaki pants, blue blazers and boat shoes with preppy Nantucket Tartan ties. I pulled in a pop of color for the girls with Navy and White Stripped Ribbon on their bouquets to tie in with the guys outfits. We also had metal pales with flowers hanging down the aisle with the same preppy stripe ribbon on either side to tie it all in together. Our flower girl and her brother walked down the aisle with a pale of flowers holding the ribbon together. It was adorable! And our ring bearer looked so cute in his suit carrying the rings down for us.

Lauren Rhodes, one of my bridesmaids, sang a very special song for the Father Daughter dance to start out the reception. Her voice was incredible and it was one of the most special moments of the night. After all of the dances, Photographers Trent and Dara Bailey took us out for a sunset photo session. The lighting was absolutely perfect and it was so nice to have a few minutes with Sean out on the beach before rejoining the festivities. My Father and Sister, my maid of honor, delivered the most amazing speeches followed by Seans Best Man Tim who gave everyone a laugh! Looking around the room during the speeches and the dinner. It was so great to see so many special people and we were so happy with how it all came together. The day was a complete success.. We did sparklers when the night fell and everyone danced until the venue closed! It was truly the most perfect day for both of us.

Photography: Trent & Dara Of Trent Bailey Photography | Floral Design: Wedding Flowers By Nichole Bourne Florist | Wedding Dress: Designed And Hand Made By The Bride | Invitations: : Knots & Pearls | Wedding Shoes: Ferragamo | Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew | Bridal Party Hair Stylist: Wedding Hair By Gina Joubert | Custom Fabric For Pillows And Table Runners:: Gary McBournie For Antilles Designs | Custom Table Number Buoys: Tina Kish From "The Unpolished Barn" On Etsy | Father Daugher Dance Music: Lauren Rhodes Sang "I Hope You Dance" By Leanne Womack | Flower Girl Dress: : Janie & Jack | Groomsman And Ring Bearer Attire: Vineyard Vines Khakis And Belts, Theory Jackets, Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirts, Tommy Ties, Sperry Topsiders. | Music: Instrumental John Curran (flute) & Accompaniment | Music: Beat Train Productions | Pillows And Table Runners: Karen Vogel | Video: Robert Smith | Wedding Officiant: The Brides Brother Gregory Curran | Wedding Venue: Chatham Bars Inn | White Oxford Shirts For Getting Ready: Rae Danae Designs On Etsy

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here