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So my super fab friend Erica and her hubby John (who are also stellar foodie bloggers) are getting MARRIED! Can you tell I’m excited? Well I was even more excited after I saw their amazing engagement photo shoot  from the super amazing ladies at Boston based  Studio Nouveau.

Engagement photos should be absolutely be 100 percent unique to you as a couple. Generic looks fat on everyone.  Just don’t do it.

Be you.  It’s so much more fun.
And , if you knew Erica and John… you’d know that these are absolute perfection.

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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!

Ok ladies… here it is. I have been coveting these photos selfishly and having serious wedding ENVY for days because well… they’re just that amazing. Cindy Johnson is INCREDIBLE at what she does, and Laura and Jason’s stunning destination wedding in Turks & Caicos was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen… and I’ve seen a lot.

Laura & Jason (who have been together for 8 years!) were married at the Grace Bay Club in beautiful Turks & Caicos (also where Jason proposed) on April 3, 2010.

Before deciding on a destination wedding, the couple went back and forth trying to figure out what to do for their big day. They finally decided on a small and intimate destination wedding with immediate family, followed by a post-wedding reception back in New York City.

Photo Credit by Cindy Johnson

Photo Credit by Cindy Johnson

Photo credit by Cindy Johnson

From the beautiful bride… It was important to us to have everything leading up to our ceremony be as easy as possible. As our coordinator in Turks and Caicos would say “easy breezy”.  Planning a party for  many people naturally comes with a certain amount of stress and anxiety. So doing it this way we didn’t have as much to worry about and we were able to focus on enjoying some time away, enjoying time with our families and most importantly enjoying the time together.

Photo Credit by Cindy Johnson

Photo Credit by Cindy Johnson on Wedding Belles Online

Photo credit by Cindy Johnson
From the bride… Over the years we have always done beach vacations. Jason actually proposed to me during a trip to Turks and Caicos, it was our second time back to the island. Of all the islands this was the only one we actually returned to. So we finally decided that it made sense to go back for a third time to get married there.

Cindy Johnson photo credit on Wedding Belles Online
Photo Credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
From the bride…  The Grace Bay Club had experience with coordinating weddings (only one per night) so I knew they were capable and the food from the Anacaona restaurant was outstanding. These were the two most important things for us.

From the pictures you can see how amazing the resort grounds were as well as the setting for the ceremony.
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Photo credit by Cindy Johnson for Wedding Belles Online
Stay tuned for pictures from Laura & Jason’s post-wedding reception in NYC…

You know how some people get really excited at Christmas? Yeah… I get that way when my favorite photographers send me incredible destination weddings from places like Turks & Caicos, and Nicaragua. Hello magical.

Yes. Stellar photographer Cindy Johnson is really, really amazing, and somehow always gets to go and shoot these incredible destination weddings. Seriously, what memo did I miss to have this not be my life? Sigh.

I was going to wait and show you these, but I can’t. I can’t, I’m just too excited! I’m just going to tease you with a little bit of heavenly wedding candy,  you only get three, and then you have to  go to bed and wait … Stay tuned.

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Cindy Johnson

Photo Courtesy of Photographer Cindy Johnson

Photo Courtesy of photographer Cindy Johnson

So one of my favorite photographers, Randi Voss spent the last week in Hawaii.

“Doing what,” you may ask.

Shooting this beautiful, amazing, magical wedding.

Sigh.

This is her job.

Jealous.

More to come.

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!

Ohhh I have such a fun wedding to share with you all!  I love me an off-beat bride, and Jessi was just that. Wanting to do everything and anything that was as much fun and unique as she and her fiance Benjamin, they put little bits of themselves into all of the best details of their wedding! Jessi and Benjamin married on November 14, 2009 in Washington, PA, and fab photog  Randi Voss was there to capture the day.

As soon as I saw the pink crinoline and the polka dot shoes… please. I was totally hooked.

I mean, how could you not be? So much fun!

From the bride… Benjamin and I are far from your typical couple therefore we couldn’t have a typical wedding.  I wanted to put as much of Benjamin and myself as I possibly could into our wedding as individuals and as a couple. My attire was my favorite part of our wedding.  My dress with my pink crinoline down to my polka dot shoes.  I feel like it just fit my personality.


Like many couples these days, Jessi and Benjamin opted to see each other before the ceremony.

From the beautiful bride…  I loved, for our first kiss as husband and wife Benjamin picked me up and I wrapped my  legs around his waist and kissed (our cake topper matched).  Our son, Keagan, joined us during our first dance and sang every word of our song while strumming his chest as if he were playing his guitar.

From the bride… It was important to me to remember my grandmother on such an important day of my life so I had her picture in my bouquet.
Years ago, Benjamin found a ring while working and as a joke he sent it to me in the mail (in a regular letter envelope) when it got to me it was half falling out of the envelope with a note saying “Jessica, will you marry me?”.  Joke or not, I wore it then had it sewn into my dress.

From the bride… To down play it, Benjamin and I are Dave Matthews fans.  There was no doubt that we had to incorporate the band into our wedding.  I walked down the aisle “Steady as we go”, at our reception our bridal party was introduced to “Best of what’s around” while we were introduced to “So Right”, our first dance was to “You and Me”,  and Benjamin did the garter toss to “Smooth Rider”.  We named each of the tables a DMB song.  And of course we told our DJ to play as much DMB as he wished!  Our wedding wouldn’t have been complete without DMB.

From the bride… Benjamin’s favorite part was when we were announced at our reception, we were wearing our personalized hockey jerseys… his a Flyers jersey and my Pens jersey.  We may not like the same team but we love the same game.

From the bride… It was also important for us to have a child friendly wedding.  Not only b/c we have a child but because we love children!  We had 2 flower girls and 2 ring bearers and about 20 children attending the wedding.  I had coloring books, crayons, and fun straws at the tables with children and my favorite was hula hooping with all the kids!

VENDORS:
Photographer: Randi Voss– ” I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else.  She is absolutely outstanding!
DJ: Andy Hutelmyer“He was fantastic!
Bridal Salon: Sorelle Bridal Salon“They went above and beyond anything I could’ve asked for!”

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!

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