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Big Sur Weddings

Looking for an oceanfront property with all the rustic charm of the redwoods?  Big Sur, CA is a wonderfully rustic and romantic place to say “I do” with an ocean view.  If you’re planning a rustic wedding, a big day in barn or forest even, then this destination wedding inspiration is for you.

big sur weddings Big Sur Weddings

{Photos: Big Sur: Mike Levin, Bride & Groom: Nancy Neil via OnceWed, Ceremony: Pinterest, Signs: Brandon Kidd via GWS, Bouquet: Shayla via Amour Amour, Invitation: Martha Stewart Weddings, Left Table: Pinterest, Right Tables: Design Sponge, Cake: Laurie Cinotto via OnceWed, Cake Table: 100LayerCake}

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Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

ventana inn big sur Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

Today we’re taking a trip up the coast of California to one of the state’s most beautiful and untouched spots – Big Sur.  A rustic region where the forest meets the ocean along rocky and oh-so lovely cliffs, Big Sur is home to some of the best hiking in CA and sea life spotting.  But it’s also home to some of the most secluded and romantic resorts around.  Ventana Inn and Spa is one of those such special places.  A haven for celebrities to be left alone for days on end and honeymooners to enjoy the peaceful quiet of the great outdoors, this hotel is a perfect place for an intimate destination wedding or post-nuptial getaway.

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Ventana means window, so take a peek into this special place to say “I do.”  Set on 243 acres of rolling hills and land, you’ll love lounging in your private hammock and simply taking it all in.  If spa is your speed – two pools, two Japanese bathhouses and all the  relaxing experiences you could desire will certainly make you feel pampered and rejuvenated after that exhausting wedding week.  Then, once rested and relaxed, head off to dinner at The Restaurant at Ventana, a cabin-like space that feels as warm and inviting as your own living room.

big sur resorts Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

But don’t spend all your time resting, wining and dining – Ventana provides the start to some pretty epic nature walks and hikes too, should you bring your sense of adventure with you.

big sur ventana inn and spa wedding Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

If you want to live like royalty and take your guests along with you, then host your own laid-back but oh-so celebrity style wedding at Ventana.  They’ve got two terraces designed just for you and your ceremony.  The first “wedding site” hosts up to 80 people and has views that go on for miles and  miles (literally, 50 miles) and yet, it is secluded enough to feel like you are the only 80 people in the world.

celebrity wedding big sur ventana Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

The “upper terrace” welcomes a slightly larger wedding party and is just off the famed restaurant on property.  With equally wonderful views, this spot is fit for a group with a little more party in their party.

Should you find you want to wed with just the two of you present, then the vista space is for you.  Say “I do” in the restaurant’s herb garden to the sound of a flowing fountain and sweet smells of the great outdoors.

ventana big sur Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

With countless awards and accolades, they are clearly doing something right with their service.  But that’s not the best part.  Ventana Inn is where one goes to truly unplug, unwind, and begin anew in one of the most beautiful places on the west coast.  What better way to start your life together?

 ventana big sur weddings Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

Travel Tip: Take a day trip along the coast whether by car or by foot and picnic while you watch the sea otters play in the surf or visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the local town for a less private tour of the landscape.  Hearst Castle isn’t too far by car either if you like to get out and hit the tourist hot spots – it’s quite fun and also provides some spectacular views and insights into California and its history.

When to Go: California has great weather most of the year, though along the coast it can tend to get chilly, especially in the evenings.  We find fall to be the best time of all to visit but you can’t go wrong year round.

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Big Sur, CA Destination Wedding

big sur destination wedding Big Sur, CA Destination WeddingRandy and Kaitlin wed along the Northern California coast in beautiful Big Sur.  The couple wanted guests to not only attend a wedding at a spectacular place, but it was important that everyone get the opportunity to take in the natural surroundings.  The selected the Mill Creek Ranch as the perfect spot (the couple were lucky enough to have a family member who owns the ranch and could not think of a better use for it than an intimate wedding).  Kenna Krivacsy, the bride’s sister and wedding planner explained, “Randy and Kaitlin’s wedding guests were shuttled up to Mill Creek Ranch in Big Sur for New Year’s Day to enjoy the 110 acre ranch. From the redwood canyons, waterfalls to meadows and wildflowers, to the succulent gardens guests were able to relax and enjoy the beauty. As guests arrived they were greeted with champagne and appetizers to take with them as they explored the property.”destination wedding big sur Big Sur, CA Destination WeddingThe ceremony took place high above the Pacific Ocean on a deck overlooking the coast and included the couple’s favorite four pups that were an important part of the big day.  We love the mismatched ceremony chairs to infuse a bit of character and depth into the deck without taking away from the incredible view!big sur weddings Big Sur, CA Destination Wedding

weddings in big sur Big Sur, CA Destination WeddingPost ceremony guests were ushered into a chapel on property that had been transformed into a swanky dinner setting.  Kenna explained, “When you came into the reception in the chapel you instantly were taken back by the structure which was constructed with redwood from the property. They wanted to mix elegance with comfort and that is exactly what they did. The table was adorned with diamonds, silver, milk glass, and a black pin tuck runner all which gave an elegant look but we made sure to keep the sofa in the chapel so guests could relax.”

And as dinner came to an end,  “The sun was about the set the guests were wisped up to the point surrounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains of the Los Padres National Forest on the edge of the ocean to watch sunset. This was a perfect way to end the evening.”Mill Creek Ranch weddings Big Sur, CA Destination Wedding

Congratulations Randy and Kaitlin!

Destination Wedding Photographer: John Patrick Images

Wedding Vendors: Location: Mill Creek Ranch, Wedding Planner & Floral Designer: Kenna Krivacsy Floral and Event Design, Custom Wedding Dress: Lori K&co

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Perfect Red Carpet Looks for Your Big Day

If you’re anything like me, you are probably still obsessing over the Oscars. From the fashion, the winners, and Ellen Degeneres’ oh-so-hilarious hosting- skills seriously what’s not to love about Hollywood’s biggest night? The Oscars, and really any big red carpet event, can bring some serious glamour inspiration for your big night. You may not be walking the red carpet anytime soon but here are 4 trends I found this past Sunday that are perfect to help you celebrate your wedding day!

1. Blast From the Past. Many celebrities chose to give a nod to the old Hollywood glamour with retro waves and curls. Viola Davis proves that this hairstyle is perfect for any length of hair! Go for a tighter curl like Margo Robbie for a crisp and glamorous look or if you’re looking for a more soft and romantic feel go for a looser curl like Cate Blanchett.

retro waves Perfect Red Carpet Looks for Your Big Day

2. Up, Up and Away! A huge trend that I noticed on Sunday was intricate updos. From chignons to buns, everyone had their own unique take. Maria Menunous sported a gorgeously braided double bun which I love for a beach wedding. Or if you’d like something a little more polished, how about trying out Amy Adam’s twisted updo, which is sure to make you look and feel modern and beautiful! Whichever updo you choose remember to pick out some stunning earrings to compliment your hair.

updos Perfect Red Carpet Looks for Your Big Day

3. A Punch of Color. Another big trend on the red carpet were bold lips. A pop of color goes great with every skin tone and will give you an extra glow on your big day! Spring is just around the corner so consider colors like pinks, oranges, and bright reds.

punch lips Perfect Red Carpet Looks for Your Big Day

4. All Smoked Out. Winter may almost be over but that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t go dark and dramatic on your wedding day! Complete this look with false lashes, tons of mascara, and a soft pink or nude lipstick. You can also had a pop of color to your smokey eye like Penelope Cruz for a fun yet elegant look. This look is sure to make you feel red carpet ready!

smokey eyes Perfect Red Carpet Looks for Your Big Day

{ Maria Menounos & Angelina Jolie: E! Online, Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz & Kristin Bell: Glamour Magazine, Rest of Images: Pop Sugar}

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Destination Wedding in Carmel, CA

weddings in Carmel Destination Wedding in Carmel, CADenelle and Aaron wed in a sea of purple fantasy in one of California’s most beautiful places, Carmel.  Highlands Inn was the venue the duo selected for their “I do.”  The couple wanted a destination wedding with an ocean view and the property provided them just that – including an outdoor terrace for a jaw-dropping wedding ceremony site.  Carmel also proved to be the perfect spot for the groom’s love of hiking, the beach, and the great outdoors.  Located in the Big Sur area, the great outdoors of California doesn’t get much better than this!Purple wedding ideas Destination Wedding in Carmel, CAIt’s good luck for rain to fall on your wedding day, and Denelle and Aaron had lots of luck on their big day!  With rain in the morning, the clouds parted in time for them to wed on the terrace they had been dreaming of for months.  carmel weddings Destination Wedding in Carmel, CAThe ceremony design was a blend of the natural surroundings and the more modern purple dream of Denelle’s.  The softer pink and white tones of the bouquets added a romantic touch to this breathtaking ceremony.  And while both Aaron and Denelle looked flawless on their big day, their ring bearer did a pretty good job of stealing the show as he hurried down the aisle!carmel wedding locations Destination Wedding in Carmel, CAFor the reception, the couple opted for a buy-out in order to host dinner in the boutique property’s private member’s lobby.  MB Wedding Design and her team moved out all the furnishings so they could rebuild an atmosphere with a “Z Gallerie meets Anthropology vibe, a favorite of the bride’s while infusing the groom’s laid back style of West Elm and CB2.”  Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini of MB Wedding Design and Events described.purple place cards Destination Wedding in Carmel, CAPurple, glamour, orchids, and bling were on the design menu and they wove those details through every turn in the evening.  An orchid pattern was created on the wedding invitation and translated right down to gobo on the dance floor and the centerpieces with Manzanita branches where phaleonopsis orchids were hung.  To infuse the local surroundings, Denelle and Aaron opted to include white river rocks at the base of these centerpieces and of course the branches brought the beautiful California forests inside for their event.

To finish the coordinating look, “The escort cards were designed with a tree and a branch filled with orchids and were displayed on wooden boxes in-between succulents against a rock wall and the table numbers were made out of wood and spray painted to match the wedding colors.”  Michelle explained. The perfect combination of indoor and outdoor Carmel.

And as the night progressed, the guests moved locations.  For dancing, the group gathered downstairs on a dance floor with a custom gobo illuminating the area.  Meanwhile, staff hurried to restore the lobby to its original state as the end of this evening of love approached.purple wedding flowers Destination Wedding in Carmel, CA

Congratulations Denelle & Aaron!!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Luna Photo

Wedding Vendors: Location & Catering: Hyatt Highlands Inn Carmel, Event Design & Planning: MB Wedding Design and Events, Cinematographer: Studio MSV, Floral Design: Asiel Design, Hair and Makeup: Professional Makeup Artistry – Maria Chang, Cake: Cake Coquette, Linens: Napa Valley Linens, Rentals: Hartmann Studios, DJ: Ruben Palma Jr., Lighting and Drape: Enhanced Lighting and Sound, Stationery: Cards de Luxe, Martini Luge: Clear Memories, Photo Booth: Light Sky Photo Booths

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Mexican Wedding Cake Ideas

Recently we had a slice of this fabulous cake from Fantasy Frostings. Not only was it delicious, it got me thinking about what other festive design options there are for couples who are hosting a destination wedding in Mexico and want a Mexican inspired wedding cake.

cake Mexican Wedding Cake Ideas

So here are even more fun and creative designs your baker can recreate for you for your big day! There’s a fine line between having a Mexican wedding cake and just having a colorful cake so make sure you do a bit of research on cultural patterns, designs, colors, and flowers.  When designing a Mexican wedding cake there are four rules:

1. Make it colorful.

2. Make it personal! Show off your personality.

3. Decorate with fresh flowers or wedding calaveras.

4. And of course it has to be absolutely yummy!

mexican wedding cake Mexican Wedding Cake Ideas

 {Cake 1: The Goodness via Ruffled Blog, Cake 2: LVL Wedding & Events, Cake 3: Adrienne Gunde Photography via Ruffled Blog, Cake 4: The Graceful Host, Cake 5: Adrienne Gunde Photography via Ruffled Blog, Cake 6: Jonas Peterson via Polka Dot Bride}

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Tips for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

In light of Earth Day today, I thought we’d talk about Eco-friendly weddings!  Having an eco-friendly destination wedding can be a little bit tricky but with some research and help from us, you will be prepared!So if you’re looking to have a fabulous wedding without leaving a huge carbon foot print, here are some tips on how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle for your big day!

flowers1 Tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding

Choose local and in season. In order to reduce your carbon foot print, make sure to choose flowers that are in season. Google the type of flowers you are looking for and plenty of pages will populate on whether that particular flower will be in season for your wedding. Green house forced flowers are not only expensive but not gentle on the planet, not to mention all the emissions released in order to ship the flowers to your location. When choosing a caterer for your big day, choose one that makes a commitment to buying local produce. This will again eliminate tons of emissions but will also support local farms and businesses.

bridesmaids Tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding

Choose bridesmaid dresses that can be reused. You’ll not only be doing Earth a favor but also your bridesmaids! Find a dress that they will be able to use for all those fabulous cocktail parties or dates they will attend! This also ensures that tons of fabric won’t end up in a land fill.

paper goods Tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding

Eco-Friendly Paper Goods. Weddings require a lot of paper! From Save the Dates to Menus, we could be talking tons of trees here. Look into a shop or website that offers 100% recycled paper, bamboo card stock, or other eco-friendly options. Don’t worry though, going with recycled paper won’t ruin the look of your invite. You’d be surprised as to how creative designers can get with recycled paper are now-a-days!

placement Tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding

Compostable Disposable Items. Wow that’s a mouthful! What does compostable mean? Basically, the products you use like plastic forks or paper plates will decompose on their own rather than sitting in landfills. Look for products that are made with sugar cane or corn-based plastic.

il 570xN.435682046 bvrl Tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding

Recycle at Your Wedding. Make sure that the venue for your reception has a recycling program set up for all the bottles, you will use at your wedding or even encourage guests to recycle on their own by providing bins that separate paper, plastic, and glass.

{1L: AMB Photo via Wedding Chicks, 1R: Joyeuse Photography via Fab You Bliss, 2: Talia Studio via Bridal Bar , 3: Kate Ignatowski Photography via Green Wedding Shoes:,4L+R: Christie Graham Photography via Fab You Bliss,5: Etsy}

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A Preppy Lake Wedding in Michigan

Central Lake MI wedding A Preppy Lake Wedding in Michigan

Molly and Ryan traveled from Chicago to Northern Michigan for their domestic destination wedding at Molly’s family home.  We asked Molly to share a bit about their big day and how it all came together.  “My family lake house is located in Central Lake, MI. My husband and I love to spend our summers at the lake in Northern Michigan, and Ryan drove up to the lake one summer, as a surprise, which ended in a proposal! We wanted to share one of our favorite places with our closest family and friends, so when my parents said “yes” to holding the ceremony on our front lawn, we jumped at the opportunity!”  And so the ceremony was set at a sentimental spot, while the reception was held nearby at the Shanty Creek Resort.

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“Our lake house is straight out of the 60s, and not much has changed, so we wanted everything to feel both nautical and a bit rustic. We wanted our guests to see the charm in the lake house, so we chose flowers and plants that paired well with our existing landscaping.”

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What was this bride’s most memorable moment?  “Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing all of our family and friends gathered at our favorite place. I felt such an overwhelming sense of joy and love! We also tried to get a picture of the whole bridal party on my family dock, which started to give way! We have 10 or so action shots of everyone running off of the dock. Those are some of my favorite pictures!”

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“We love the nautical feel that comes with being at the lake. Navy and green seemed like the perfect choice to compliment the natural colors found at our lake house.”  

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And what was Molly’s advice for those of you out there planning to tie the knot?  “Don’t get caught up in the details. Being far away from your venue, you can’t always be there to make every decision. Trust in those who you’ve hired to make your day special. If you communicate your vision clearly, it will all work out! (And even if it’s not perfect, having all of your family and friends in one of your favorite places will more than make up for it!)”

lake wedding photos A Preppy Lake Wedding in Michigan

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Paul Retherford Wedding Photography

Wedding Vendors: Band: Mac Daddy Band, Ceremony: Private Residence, Reception Venue: Shanty Creek Resort, Hair: Style North, Flowers: Cottage Floral, Invitations: Earthy Invites

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Color Palette Inspiration: Navy + Pink

Elegant Spring Styled Shoot 34 600x400 Color Palette Inspiration: Navy + Pink

If you’re looking for a preppy Spring wedding, look no further than this lovely color scheme, navy + pink. It’s fun, bright, and just the right amount of glamorous!  Personally I never thought these colors would go together but for some reason this color scheme looks amazing! I really love this color scheme for a destination outdoor wedding, whether on a ranch or garden. Another great thing about this color scheme is that it also looks great on grooms! It has just the right amount of softness with the pink and masculinity with the navy, perfect for any groom who is looking to make a statement at his big day! Don’t worry grooms, this color palette has just enough blue for you!Whether you’re planning your preppy, fun wedding in the Spring or Summer this board is sure to inspire! Happy Planning!

navy + pink Color Palette Inspiration: Navy + Pink

{Cover Photo: Debra Eby via Wedding Bells, Bridesmaid: The Sweet Iced Tea Soiree, Groom: Southern Weddings, Long Dress Maids: Hannah Suh Photography via SMP, Short Dress Maids: Stephanie A. Smith Photography via Floridian, Invitation: Jupiter and Juno Shop, Gingham Jacket: Southern Weddings, Bouquet: Revel Blog}

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4 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

traveling pet 4 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

It’s your big day and you want everyone that you love with you, that includes those furry friends of ours. Traveling with your pets can be a bit tricky but definitely doable. I’ve dug up four basic tips to help you travel with your best friend!

1. Crating your Pet. I know I hate to see my pooch in a crate but remember that this is the safest way (and most of the time required way) to travel with your pet. Don’t worry too much as most pets actually don’t mind being in crates. Make sure that your pet gets plenty of exercise the whole week up to the day of the big trip in order to keep your pet from getting fussy on a long airplane flight. Make sure to bring her favorite toy, blanket, or any other object that will make her feel at home.

2. Double Check with the Airline. It’s crucial you make sure your airline has options for your four legged friend! Also, many airlines will want verification such as vaccine records, rabies shot certificates and proof of registration so you’ll want to make sure to call them with enough time to dig out all this paperwork.

3. Act Normal. Whether your pet sitting with you in the main cabin or elsewhere, remain calm and neutral with her. Never make the pet feel as if they are out of place or something is wrong, this will only make your pet anxious and can lead to bigger problems on the flight like crying, barking, or vomiting. If your pet tends to get anxious or nervous very easily, you may want to speak with your veterinarian about sedatives for your furry friend.

4. Don’t Fly on a Full Stomach. Remember you don’t want any accidents! Your pet should fast for 6 hours prior to take off. Of course always have water readily available for your pet though!

Remember that your pet isn’t used to flying the way you are so make sure to praise them for good behavior on the plane once you land! You’ll also want to take them on a long walk once you’ve arrived to your destination.

Happy Travels!

doggies 4 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

{Cover: Sweet Little Photographs, Bottom Left: Evan Hunt, Bottom Right: Erich McVey Photography via Junebug Weddings}

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