I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Alicia and Jeff planned a gorgeous wedding combining Alicia’s love for woodland creatures with her elegant aesthetic (which obviously involved some creative wrangling from her designers of Intertwined Events!) The celebration took place at one of our fave venues, Casa Romantica, and was shot by Candice Benjamin. We know you will love it all!

Wedding Blog Casa Romantica Wedding by Intertwined Events
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Tell us what made your wedding unique and special? 

Of course having my closest friends and family at the wedding was the largest part of the day being special and unique for us.  Design-wise, I think those qualities came naturally because we just followed our own sense of style. I was hesitant about things being “rustic” and nearly downright allergic to “whimsy”, but once I let go of trying to figure out a theme and went with what I liked, it all fell into place.  Thank goodness for my wedding planner, Katie Webb of Intertwined Events, because she just understood me right off the bat and lined me up with vendors who could work with her to execute my vision and effectively read my mind.  I was determined to walk the line between organic and modern, which is tough to do, and I think pretty special in how we pulled it off.  I have a thing for antlers, branches and other raw elements like that, so we were able to incorporate classed-up versions of those things that I find beautiful and a little bit strange.  My taste tends to be very offbeat, a word people use to be nice, whereas my husband is far more conservative, and it was important to me to be able to reflect both of us, even where we are divergent.  Katie and the other vendors, particularly the florist, were great at balancing me when I started to go into left field, softening hard elements that I like so much.

The ceremony took place at the church that my grandmother attended for many years, and that choice was very personal to me. Of course, as tends to happen in the planning process, a wrench was thrown in the works when the priest who presided over her funeral service retired a couple of months before my wedding, but it still meant very much to me to celebrate my new life with my husband, witnessed by family and friends, in a place that meant so much to her, my mom, and her family.  Since the wedding was in November, a month when Catholics celebrate those who have passed, a cross with her name on it hung on the wall, and that was really special for us.
At the end of the day, what made it special and unique was that I really did put my heart into every little detail, wanting it all to be beautiful according to my taste and to reflect us as a couple. My heart went into velvet chocolate ribbons with rosemary sprigs around the napkins, it went into pizazzing up the linens, it went into the signature cocktails, the bridesmaids dresses, ceremony music, ceremony musicians, everything.  No doubt it was a stressful way to live, but fortunately I had a great group of vendors that oftentimes I could just fall back and trust.  It all paid off in the end with a wedding that was exactly how I wanted it.
I even got to eat dinner, which I hear is pretty special and unique.
Tell us about some of the personal touches.
I had a few personal touches, even though I steered away from DIY due to time constraints and distrust of myself holding a can of paint or a glue gun.  We dropped the glass-clinking-earn-a-kiss tradition in favor of a must-do list of options which included waving streamers with bells, serenading us, toasting us, or telling a lawyer joke.  We are both lawyers, so the bigger the laugh, and our profession can be a tough audience, the better the kiss, and I will say, there were a few good ones in there.  The most popular one was having to write a haiku about love, even though I was sure that would bomb.  We even inspired my aunt from Cuba to write a dirty one in Spanish!  People had a ton of fun with that one.
I was in love with little aesthetic elements like our bear-bunny cake topper, which was borne of my inclination towards the weird and my husband’s inclination away from more traditional cake toppers.  I saw them on Etsy and fell in love with them, so I deferred to my husband to pick his favorite, and I picked mine accordingly.  I thought they were amazing at balancing weird with pretty.
My husband really feels a connection to music, so there were some songs that were very personal to us.  The anniversary dance was a song his grandfather loved, which was important to my husband and his dad.  The song playing during the cake cutting, though I’m sure very few people actually heard it, is a goofy song that we sing to each other from a TV show that we like.  Of course the first dance song was very personal and meaningful to both of us, even though it seems lighthearted.  We’ve associated so many of our special moments with songs that it was great to hear “the One we mangled the lyrics to on a lazy Saturday morning” played at a celebration of our relationship.
Tell us about what you remember the most from the day.
Most of the day is pretty hazy, unsurprisingly.  I barely got my hands on a cocktail, so that wasn’t the reason, so I know it was pure excitement and nerves.  The one thing that stands out the most is when I was standing on the church steps listening to the entrance music for the bridal party, which incidentally I also can’t really remember.  The double doors to the church were open for my bridesmaids, and my husband and I hadn’t done a first-look, so I was standing off to the side a little bit to not be so visible.  I was so nervous, I felt like I was going to start shaking and crying.  It didn’t help that my dad said “Don’t cry, because if you do, I will” and the thought of my dad crying was almost too much to handle.  My frazzled mind felt chaos everywhere with my sisters processing in, my dad talking to me, latecomers trying to squeeze in before me or hang around behind me, and the church coordinator and my wedding planner giving me smiles and words of encouragement.  When I looked up into the church, trying to get a peek of what was going on in there, I noticed my husband was right in my eyeline.  In trying to avoid him, I had placed myself in perfect view.  However, we both just started smiling so big, just beaming, that I didn’t feel nervous anymore, the chaos in my mind cleared, and I just wanted to get in there and see him.  I pretty much grinned like a fool the rest of the walk down the aisle, sat like a deer in headlights through the ceremony, natch, then continued to grin and laugh back down the aisle and through the reception.  I’m still kind of grinning like a fool.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We actually met at work.  I was introduced around during my first week, but he was always out of his office.  Fast forward to the next week, and the elusive senior associate had set up a “welcome” happy hour for the newbies and all the existing associates and partners to interact.  I was stuck in the office working on a project, so I arrived late and took a seat at the opposite end of the table from the host, whom I still hadn’t met.  The long table was packed and I was sitting with my friends, so we didn’t interact until the middle of the table thinned out.  As I’m chatting it up, I hear this deep voice say something I can’t fully hear, then that whole half of the table just erupts in laughter.  I leaned forward and looked down the table to figure out who the unicorn funny lawyer was, and he was leaning in at the same time to drive the joke home, smiling and laughing himself.  I always thought when some of my married friends said “the world stopped” it was just a fluffy expression, like “seeing stars” and “hearing crickets”, but wouldn’t you know it, it really did seem like everything stopped.  I just felt this inner peace and clear knowledge that this person would be very important in my life.  How cool, I thought, a lawyer with a beard.  This was before beards were hip and more common, and yes, that was my real first solid thought about him.  I carried that weird sense of knowing with me throughout the ups and downs in our relationship; I had this innate calm that no matter what, everything was going to work out okay, which, as a natural worrier, was a first for me.  We still had times of turmoil and happiness, but for the first time, even from the beginning, I felt in my bones that it was all going to turn out right in the end.  So I married him.  That proved me wrong!  Just kidding.  Of course, his telling of that night and how we met is much more subdued, it’s shortened to just “we met at work” and leaves out the fluff, but that’s what makes us great for each other.

Vendors: Photographer: Candice Benjamin // Event Planners & Design: Intertwined Events // Venue: St. Catherine of Siena Parish Church // Venue: Casa Romantica // Videographer: FlyFennix // Florals: Bloom Box Designs // Entertainment: Ocdamia Strings // DJ & Lighting: Honored Occasions // Rentals: Bloom Box Designs // Rentals: Signature Party Rentals // Catering & Rentals: Carbonara Catering // Cake & Mini Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop

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Last week, we decided it might be fun to put together a styling guide for throwing a Champagne and Cheese Party. Using gorgeous wares from VIETRI (which you can register for at Belk, Bloomingdales, and Neiman Marcus, or directly through VIETRI) we pulled together a monochromatic look that is perfect for a small cocktail party! We employed a soft grey, white, and green palette and even chose cheeses that coordinated in color! Rosemary flatbread and marcona almonds are the perfect and simple accompaniment to pull everything together. The platters from VIETRI’S Incanto line worked beautifully with our subtle palette.

I could not be more obsessed with those gold rimmed wine glasses, so we decided we ought to give away a set of four (by the way…these lovers were on Oprah’s Favorite Things list this year!). There are tons of ways to enter below, and we’ll announce our winner next week!

*Very special thanks to Lacie Hansen for these GORGEOUS images, and to Richard Photo Lab for the processing.

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI
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Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

Wedding Blog Champagne and Cheese Party with VIETRI

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Laetitia and Ben planned an intimate vineyard wedding that was meant to reflect their usual entertaining style–close family and friends, an al fresco family-style meal, and drinking wine fireside. What more could you want? Very special thanks to Michelle Warren Photography for sharing such gorgeous images.

Wedding Blog Santa Ynez Vineyard Wedding
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Tell us about what inspired your wedding.

Ben and I met on a trip to Thailand, Vietnam & Cambodia 8 years before we tied the knot. We spent plenty of time imagining our life together and realizing that our wedding day values were about our friends and family who would graciously make a long trip to be a part of our special day. We enjoy having our friends over for dinner any night we can all get together. We often follow up dinner by drinking wine fireside and enjoying conversation with one another. It was important to us that our wedding reflected our entertaining style and would be a fun, memorable event that made everyone feel comfortable and ready to have a good time!
We took inspiration from the idea of a harvest celebration at a vineyard. Visuals of an Italian countryside, family style meal, and festivities carrying on into the night abounded. We imagined the décor as elegant in its simplicity, aged but not rustic per se, and complementary to natural beauty of the vineyard landscape.
What made the day unique?
We always knew the wedding would be the ultimate family affair. True to prediction, the wedding was held at a private vineyard estate of my mom’s twin sister. The groom’s brother created all of the wedding stationary artwork which included custom watercolor paintings hinting at different parts of the property (apple orchard, vineyard, barn, olive trees, etc). The hostess (bride’s aunt) hand-packed lavender sachets from the estate’s lavender field as a fragrant favor to the other guests. As a nod to the groom’s love of golf, the tables were adorned with ribbon-tied labels highlighting famous golfers and chocolate golf ball favors were commissioned by a local chocolatier.
In a fun twist, a 1951 Chevy flat bed truck was delivered just hours before the wedding rehearsal. As the story goes, the bride’s Uncle had his eye on this truck for quite some time for their vineyard; his wife wasn’t so sure about it.  After soliciting input from all his male friends, “of course buy the truck!”, he had the truck delivered the day before the wedding. Needless to say, it was a big hit!

Tell us a little about the vendors you chose.

Our love of food and family was captured in a spectacular meal created by JR’s Catering. We feasted family-style on grilled herb salmon with a wine caper butter sauce, smoky chateaubriand, and vegetables in a veritable rainbow of colors. For dessert, we took a turn from traditional and opted for a small serving of gelato instead of a wedding cake.
The breathtaking floral arrangements by Renaes Bouquet perfectly captured the colors, textures and atmosphere of our wedding and I was immediately captivated upon my “first look”. Tying the entire experience together was our invaluable wedding coordinator Carla and her assistant Kristi. All the details that emerged at the last minute were taken on headfirst by these two and I was able to enjoy my day unburdened.
Last but by no means least, the first vendor we booked was our incredible photographer Michelle Warren. It was so important to us to find someone who could journal the day in a way that would enable us to look back 10 years from now and know exactly where we stood in the room when the photo was being taken. We are incredibly grateful to her for not only capturing a lifetime of memories, but making us and our guests look like we are all in a magazine spread! Our expectations were beyond surpassed!
Overall we were blessed to have such an incredible team of talented individuals to make our dream wedding come true and family and friends to match.

Janie Medley of The Bride’s Cafe put together an incredibly gorgeous shoot for us to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you! Along with her amazing team of vendors, Laura Gordon Photography, Sarah Park Events, and Laura Hooper Calligraphy, we could not be more excited to drown away in bright pink peonies and colorful blooms. Obsessed. Be sure to add The Bride’s Cafe to your list of must-read blogs for gorgeous inspiration!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!
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Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Wedding Blog Happy Valentines Day!

Photographer: Laura Gordon Photography // Venue: Belle Haven // Floral Designer: Janie Medley Flora Design via The Bride’s Cafe // Event Design: Sarah Park Events //
Makeup: Airbrush Makeup by Ariel // Dress: Gossamer // Vintage Rentals: Paisley & Jade // Stationery Design: Laura Hooper Calligraphy // Model: Sammy Jaeger

For those of you planning a wedding for this fall and summer, now is the time to start thinking registry!!! Our newest sponsor, Cuisinart, has some really fab multi-use products that make it much easier to cook at home and entertain friends (which is really what I’m all about)!

My favorite idea, of course, is a grilled cheese party for friends! With the Cuisinart Griddlers®, invite a group over, have out bread, plenty of cheeses, and super fun toppings to mix-and-match for gourmet sandwiches. Make it even more fun and compete to see who makes the favorite version! Some fun ideas? Artichokes, sun dried tomatoes with jalapeno cheese, or pears, brie cheese, and arugula. The Griddler®  also has a set of reversible plates that snap in and out turn into a Contact Grill, a Panini Press, a Full Grill, a Full Griddle, or Half Grill/Half Griddle–so bacon and eggs, or burgers, or pancakes–all doable on this guy! You can see more fun recipes here, here, and here.

Wedding Blog Cuisinart
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We also love the food processor for fun dips and appetizer nights!

Wedding Blog Cuisinart

For baking, the Cuisinart mixer is another tool that you’ll be shocked at both how easy it is to pull out and use, and how often you find yourself using it!

Wedding Blog Cuisinart