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Oh, I just love me these destination weddings. I can’t even handle it. This beautiful Hawaiian wedding comes to us from fab photog Randi Voss. Love the super relaxed style Laura and Don wanted to incorporate into their destination wedding.


Laura and Don met through mutual friends seven years ago. The couple decided on a destination wedding because they didn’t want the hassle of planning a traditional wedding.


From the bride… We live in a small town where things can easily spiral out of control with regards to guest lists; also there aren’t many venues to choose from. We wanted something as unique as we are.  Donnie was always interested in going to Hawaii for a wedding and after talking to a navy friend who is stationed there, we started planning only in February for a may wedding…

The couple married Saturday May 8, 2010 at Wainmalo beach park by Hawaii Weddings, and is planning a 400 person luau in September with all the relaxed style of their destination wedding. They plan on featuring a picnic style reception at a golf course, allowing guests to filter in and out throughout the day.

From the bride… [Hawaii Weddings] were amazing with customer service; they provided license information, limo service, travel advice, etc….highly recommended…also, they are located away from the concentration of tourists, so the service was personal despite being held in a public setting (all beach access is public in Hawaii)


From the bride… The most important thing to us when we were plannning the entire trip was to keep everything from reaching planning overload. We went for simplicity and focused the day on us, not whether or not there were appropriate party favors and coordinating table linens.


From the bride… As far as vendors: Randi was the only photographer I considered from the start and was fortunate to be able to have her available on such short notice!  I bought my dress from David’s Bridal (from their destination wedding collection of course) but really complimented my style… it was custom altered by an independent Italian tailor in downtown Pittsburgh (I had worked with him before and he is absolutely AMAZING)

The thing I love about Laura and Don… they didn’t sweat the details. They wanted this wedding to be all about them, so the things that most brides stress over for months… they left until the last minute. How cool is that? Very cool couple.

From the bride… We did not purchase flowers or rings in advance to arriving in Hawaii. I used a foam hair clip sold in every convenience store in Waikiki…. also, jewelry stores were plentiful and extremely accommodating!

Another great thing about Laura and Don’s wedding, was good friends with good jobs. Laura’s friend Jen Show is an independent travel agent, and was able to work with her to secure a hotel, flight, car rental, and reception dinner reservations for their whole crew of family and friends!


From the bride… Jen made everything MUCH easier…. we would talk about my intentions, review prices, etc and she made it happen… I couldn’t have done it without her!!!

Special thanks to Randi Voss photography! Laura, thanks so much for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! Hope you had an amazing time in Hawaii!

Hooray for Spring! Sigh. I’m so happy to share this beautiful SPRING engagement session from Erin J. Photography. Nothing says spring like D.C. cherry blossoms in bloom, and Hillary and her fiance Lee took full advantage of this beautiful backdrop for their super sweet engagement session in D.C. before they set off with 50 of their closest friends and family to Riviera Maya, Mexico for their destination wedding.

We have a beautiful new wedding this week from the super talented Erin J. Photography!

Here’s a few to start… get excited. More to come!

Are you ready for this? It’s pretty amazing. Ok- by now you should know Randi Voss, photographer extraordinaire and her amazing work on so many of our featured Real Weddings here. Not only does she shoot pretty spectacular weddings, she has a little added bonus that she just started offering up to clients as well. The ShotBox. Imagine a photobooth (my fav) on crack.  Way more people, way more creative poses, and way more fun. The result- is super amusing and super fun for guests at weddings. Couples, like Erin & Michael, are using Voss’s ShotBox in lieu of a guest book at weddings.

Saying that guests seemed to enjoy it… is a serious understatement.

Erin & Michael opted for props at their wedding, even throwing Erin’s veil into the mix, but Voss has said they are totally unnecessary and sometimes even make for a better picture sans hats and accessories. That means you have to get more creative kids.

Check out the ShotBox pictures below from photographer Randi Voss from Erin & Michael’s wedding. It’s definitely something worth adding to you reception. I mean… it’s a really good time.

Trust me. I lived it.

For more information on Randi Voss and this new Shotbox wedding trend- check out Erin & Michael’s wedding shots here and also more information on Randi Voss Photography and her stellar ShotBox here.

I love winter. I do. Born and raised in the snow, I have to say there really is nothing prettier or more magical than twinkling lights against glistening snow. When my wonderful friend Erin, seriously of my favorite people in the world, got married last weekend it was just that. Magical snow everywhere, and just in time for her rehearsal. After a super casual (which was amazing and should be adopted everywhere) rehearsal at a brewery with more than a handful of their closest friends and family, Erin & Michael hosted a bonfire complete with marshmallows, snow and some drinks to keep everyone warm. It was beautiful, and a perfect way to kick off the weekend together. Here are some more amazing photos from photographer, and friend of ours and the bride’s , Randi Voss.

The bride shares a laugh with friends by the bonfire…

Father of the Bride…

The bride and groom take a quick sled down the hill with friends…

The bride and her maid of honor head down next…

So you all remember Alison & Paul, one of my FAVORITE weddings from photographer Randi Voss! Alison & Paul decided to go two rounds for their wedding, incorporating a small intimate destination wedding in Maine first, and opting for a seriously fabulous and all out party back in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. I especially love Alison’s multi-dress change incorporating the old with the new. Love. So here it is,  round two… and really, it just keeps getting better. Enjoy!

From the bride…  After our  bed-and-breakfast destination wedding in Maine at the end of September, Paul and I were ready for an all-out party for our at-home wedding reception at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was initially under the impression that having an ‘at-home’ reception after our actual wedding would be less stress but it actually turned out to be pretty stressful!  Despite us already being married, we truly were planning a full ‘typical’ wedding reception in Pittsburgh, complete with catering, cake, music, photography, floral details, etc so there was a lot of details, organization, and coordination required. My parents were an absolute lifesaver in the month between the actual wedding and the reception and I owe most of the reception’s success to them for sure as they were my eyes, ears, hands, voice, etc for most of it! Regardless of the extra stress that popped up here and there, the reception turned out fantastic and everything came together perfectly!

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

From the bride… Our venue, the Heinz History Center was nothing less than perfect. I was certain that I wanted a venue that had its own personality and of which did not require a lot of decorating. The History Center was a perfect fit and provided just the amount of character that I was looking for with its exposed brick walls, steel beams and vintage vehicles, the best being a full-sized classic Pittsburgh trolley that provided the perfect photo-op.

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss

Photo courtesy of Randi Voss

From the beautiful bride… The best thing about our reception for Paul and I was to get the chance to celebrate with our larger group of family and friends. We have a large group of friends from our days in consulting and since many of them live out-of-town, we do not get to see them very often. We are also very lucky to still remain close to friends we had growing up through high school, many of whom live out-of-town as well. So, when we get the opportunity to have everyone together, and then adding in delicious food and cocktails, great music for dancing, photographers and videographers to capture everything, it makes for a wonderful time!

Photo courtesy of Randi Voss

From the beautiful bride… We used the ‘a&p’ logo (along with the lower-case font) on our cocktail napkins, menu cards, truffles that were placed on each table, bathroom guest towels, candy table signage, etc.  Our centerpieces utilized two different arrangement-types and included pink, ivory, and green flowers as we similarly had in Maine for our wedding.

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

From the bride…  One of the things that was meaningful to me and of which I was most excited about was what I ended up wearing to the reception. Soon after we decided to have a destination wedding and then a reception at home, I was convinced that I wanted to be a two-dress bride and wear more of a party/reception dress in Pittsburgh. Enter my mom’s wedding dress….. On a whim, my mom suggested that we take her wedding dress to the seamstress that was currently fitting me for my actual wedding dress to see if she would be willing to create a reception dress for me from my mom’s dress. Only a few weeks later, my mom’s long-train, high-neck, long-sleeved, lace wedding dress was turned into a short, strapless, lace reception dress for me! We made sure to have a picture of my mom in her dress on her wedding day at our reception to show everyone what the dress used to look like! Now that I had my reception dress, a part of me also wanted to wear my actual wedding dress so the guests that were not in Maine with us could see the dress I was married in. So, I ended up wearing my short dress for most of the reception but also changed into my actual wedding dress for our introductions, first dance, and cake cutting. Best of both worlds!

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

Photos courtesy of Randi Voss

From the bride…  The food was absolutely delicious and was presented as station-style eating, with a pasta, carving, and Mediterranean station that gave a nice variety of food for our guests. The band had everyone on their feet all night long and gave a wonderful performance. Last but not least was the most talented photographer – Randi Voss, who continued as our photographer for our reception and produced nothing less than amazing photographs for us once again!

Congratulations twice over to Alison & Paul from Wedding Belles! Thanks for sharing both of your very special days with us!

Ok. I have told you all how happy balloons make me once or twice before. I was reading through 100 Layer Cake, one of my favorite wedding blogs, and came across an INCREDIBLE wedding (the wedding of Melanie + Sky— shot by the very talented Melanie M. Waite). I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS WEDDING. Let me put that out there. This wedding is AMAZING. ANd I know you hear this from me a lot, BUT the details, the color, the whimsical honesty in this wedding is so wonderful. I love it, and I had to share a few shots with you. Check out the whole post on 100 Layer Cake here.

I love a lot of details about this wedding. The dancing flower girls with their parasols, the bride’s flower and feather bouquet, the bridesmaid’s mismatched dresses, the sunglasses… but the balloons. The balloons are the best part. I love flowers as much as the next person, you know this. But THIS IS SO FABULOUS. Wouldn’t you be so excited to follow balloons down the aisle. I know I would.

Photos courtesy of 100 Layer Cake and Michele M. Waite

Photos courtesy of 100 Layer Cake and Michele M. Waite

Photos courtesy of 100 Layer Cake and Michele M. Waite

 

Photos courtesy of 100 Layer Cake & Michele M. Waite

Photos courtesy of 100 Layer Cake & Michele M. Waite

 

 

This seriously beautiful wedding comes to us from a new, super fun and super talented photographer, Erin J. Rexroth of Erin J Photography. I love everything about this wedding. The beautiful bride, the light and airy bouquets and those yellow bridesmaids dresses with those amazing shoes. I love brides brave enough to do yellow. Love. it.

Rebekah & Ryan married July 25, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia. Enjoy all of the amazing details from her beautiful wedding.

We really love this one.

Check out her amazing vendor list at the end of the post.

Dress...

From the bride… I absolutely loved everything about our wedding day! My vendors were amazing, and the day ran flawlessly. Surrounded by my new husband, wonderful family, and 300 friends, I felt blissful! The only advice that I would give to a bride-to-be is to make sure that your reception is as long as possible! My only wish is that my reception would have been about an hour longer, but due to some circumstances, it wasn’t really possible. I would also suggest that you make sure you and your new husband go and greet all of the people who came to celebrate with you–the conversations you have with them will be some of your cherished memories later. I can certainly say that my wedding day was the best day of my life! Enjoy and soak it in ladies!

Shoes...

Bridesmaid dresses...

IMG_7995

Beautiful Bride...

Rebekah with her bridesmaids...

Rebekah and her sisters...

Homemade Jam as favors...

Bridesmaid bouquets...

I love these perfectly simple bouquets. I always hated baby’s breath/Queen Anne’s Lace as a filler with other flowers, but by itself with that little bit of yellow against those yellow dresses. GORGEOUS!

You may now kiss the bride...

Bridal bouquets...

Toasting the happy couple...

Tossing the bouquet...

Bridesmaids... and those shoes!

Check out those shoes. A. Mazing.

The happy couple...

Newlyweds...

Beautiful Bride...

Love...

Love. Love. Love.

Ryan & Rebekkah’s vendors included:

Sharper Palate–catering (quality service and divine food)
Erin Rexroth–photographer (amazing to work with, and VERY talented)
Josh Turner–jazz band (sounded amazing, very professional)
Baker’s Kitchen–wedding cake (best cake we’ve ever had!)
Magic Special Events–decorations
Flowers Make Scents–florists (a little pricey, but worth the grand and unique designs)

This super cute wedding is from the super talented  Cindy Johnson, you might remember her from the fabulous shots she took at Rocco & Larah’s Destination wedding in Nicaragua. This totally fab wedding has THREE… count ’em three, outfit changes. Gotta love a bride with options. Gina and Ryan married at 632 on Hudson in New York City, on October 3, 2009.

Gina and Ryan wanted their day to be very personal and unique to them. To make sure that happened, they put a lot of thought into the details. (I love a detail oriented bride.) Their officiant was the groom’s best friend, who also introduced them. The brides’ sister read a poem during the ceremony; a poem that the groom had written for his bride. Too cute. Their first dance was sung by a friend, another friend who is a belly dancer performed, and a cousin acted as MC for the night. The couple framed their parents wedding photos and placed them on display in one of the rooms at the venue, and each guest was gifted with hand-written cards and hand-made chocolate bonbons as favors. Now, if that doesn’t say thank you I don’t know what does. And if that wasn’t enough, the couple made sure to personally thank, and bid farewell to each and every guest at the door at the end of the night.

This truly is a very beautiful, and very personal wedding, with attention to every detail, including a very special cake, from Lauri Ditunno of NYC’s The Cake Alchemy– also one of WE TV’s featured cake decorators on Amazing Wedding Cakes! How much more fabulous can you get!?

Shoes...

From the bride…

“I wore a wedding dress, an Indian lengha, and a tailor-made Western party-wear. To be honest, I just couldn’t decide on what to wear! I mean when else are you the center of attention?!”

Dress  number one...

From the bride…

“It was most important for the wedding to be personal, warm and fun.  We wanted the wedding to resemble a cocktail party at home with close family and friends. It was a wonderful night. Ryand and I had a great time with everyone, and the small number of guests enabled us to socialize with all. Our caterer, Marcey Brownstein took care of all the details. They have a very professional and hospitable staff, and a brilliant chef!”

Getting Ready...

Getting Ready...

The bride...

Walking down the aisle...

Ceremony...

This was one of Gina’s favorite moments. Her groom and her sister frantically bustling her dress post ceremony.

Gina bustling her dress...

Love on a staircase...

Bride...

From the beautiful bride…

“Walking down the staircase of 632 Hudson.  It was quite special because all my friends and family were lined up along the walk.”

Guests...

Bridal Silhouette...

From the bride…

“I am Japanese/Indian. My mother suggested that Indian bridal wear is more festive and colorful than Japanese, so I went with that. Ryan matched me with a white Nehru suit for the Indian portion, and a tux for the Western.”

Dress number two...

Jewels...

The couple...

Outfit number three...

Reception...

From the bride…

“My former chef, Lauri Ditunno of Cake Alchemy, gifted us the “Swan Cake”. She had remembered everything I like from when I worked with her; pulled sugar, marbleized fondant, rose sugar flowers, individual cakes for each guest, stracciatella cake with passion fruit butter cream. The cake was a surprise to us, and surprised we were! It was amazing. Lauri has a TV show called Amazing Wedding Cakes on the WE Network, so the cake will be featured in the next season. It will be a good memory for us.”

Cake Story...

A Cake Story...

Photo Courtesy of Randi Voss Photography

This beautiful New England destination wedding comes to us from the very talented Randi Voss. I love Randi and every wedding she sends over seems better than the last. Alison and Paul are originally from Pittsburgh, PA, but opted for a small destination wedding in Maine, followed by a huge hometown reception to celebrate. I kind of love this idea. There’s something really wonderful about having as many people as possible there to celebrate with you, and still enjoying the intimacy of a small ceremony. Love.

Alison said… “After getting engaged on the same day as the closing of our house (and being together for 6 years), we didn’t want to wait too long to actually get married. Waiting until 2010 seemed so far off so we decided we would attempt to plan something for the Fall of 2009 (much to the nervousness of my parents who I think will admit they didn’t think we would be able to pull it off!). As Paul and I began the wedding discussions they started to head towards a destination wedding direction. We liked the idea of doing something different in contrast to the normal hometown wedding ceremony/reception all in one day or even a ‘normal’ destination wedding in a warm, sunny, beachfront location.”

I’m a big fan of this wedding and the double party. Seriously Who wouldn’t want to go round two in their wedding dress? I also love, love, love, the details of this wedding. From Alison’s “pretty in pink shoes” to the meaningful pennies and monogrammed mason jars. Too cute.

Plus this super bride managed to move into a brand new house, get engaged, plan a destination wedding AND a hometown party in 7 months! That’s pretty amazing.

We’ll have more from Alison and Paul when their hometown soiree kicks off, but for now, enjoy these amazing images from their September ceremony in New England.

The Dress...

From the bride… As funny as it sounds, the ideas for our two main colors – sage green and chocolate brown, came from kitchen dish towels that we had bought for our new house. As soon as I saw the color combination together, the color choice was made. We thought the colors would be perfect alongside the outdoor setting of the B&B in addition to the fall time of year. A little time later, as we started to really plan out the flowers, we brought in accents of pink for a pop of color and pulled in a bit of ivory as well.

Flowers...

More Dress...

Good luck...

From the bride…  My favorite moment of the day and of which Randi captured so beautifully was Paul’s and my ‘first look’ before the ceremony. We had seen each other earlier in the day, but separated for most of the day as the girls got ‘beautified’ with hair and makeup and as the guys lent their skills in setting up the tented-reception.  By the time we were all ready I was so excited to see Paul and to spend a few alone minutes with him just taking in everything together. I was not emotional at all before or after that moment but as soon as I saw Paul, I couldn’t stop the tears, happy tears of course.  Paul quickly was able to calm me down (which he does so well) and we were ready to get started!

After seeing his bride...

Seeing each other for the first time...

From the bride… The task of planning a destination wedding was a little daunting since we were not at all familiar with the vendors available in that area. However, with the help of Paul’s relatives, who own the Inn where we got married, this worry soon went away as they provided great recommendations in all areas such as catering, flowers, cake, etc. Believe it or not, we never even had a cake tasting for our wedding cake!  The vendors were extremely open to working with us through emails and phone calls, although we did make one pre-wedding trip to Maine in July to finalize a few things and of course to get our all-important marriage certificate!

Wedding...

Programs...

Runner...

From the beautiful bride… As soon as I became officially engaged, the obsession with all of the wedding internet sites, blogs, message boards, etc. began as well. The images that I was drawn too included the rustic, garden-style, outdoor weddings that paid great attention to details which were carried throughout the ceremony and reception. Our choice of the Peace With-Inn provided the ultimate back-drop for this “look”.

The Ceremony...

Newlyweds...

From the bride…  Understanding that only a subset of our family and friends would be able to join us in Maine, we also wanted to have a reception for our larger group of friends and family back in Pittsburgh after we returned from our wedding ceremony in Maine. On one hand, Paul and I wanted an intimate, relaxed style to our actual wedding ceremony, but we also are two people that don’t shy away from big celebrations either so another reception was an order!

Stealing moments...

Vintage Chic...

Shoes...

Vintage kisses...

Centerpieces...

Beverage Details...

Mason Jars...

From Alison…  After going through 10-20 invitation books, I was drawn to the casual/modern look of the lower case letter-style and after selecting the invitation, was set on carrying the monogram and lettering style throughout our Maine wedding and Pittsburgh reception.  For our wedding in Maine, I was able to bring this detail into our invitations, ceremony programs, aisle runner, out-of-town guest bag tags and cookies, beverage napkins, mason jar tags, etc.

Cake...

Group Shot...

Walking through the field...

Guests warming by the fire...

Cheers...

From Alison… Now here is when I could go into comments about how the day went so fast and that before I knew it, the wedding was over and there wasn’t anything more to look forward to wedding-wise, but this is where the perks of having a ‘back-home’ reception come into play…yes, our wedding ceremony was over and we were officially married but we still had a big party to look forward to in only a month! So instead of the wedding celebration being over within a day, we had an excuse to keep the celebration going through our reception in October! For our October reception, Paul and I are really looking forward to spending the time with the family and friends that were unable to spend the time with us in Maine. Stay tuned for my updates after our October reception!

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