wedding

Wedding Inspiration: Purple + Pink

I've been in love with this design since the moment this sweet bride approached me with these gorgeous colors - hello Pantone color of the year, radiant orchid! The design that we've created for Rachel + Mike's October wedding at the Mint Museum Uptown is without a doubt full of romance and chic style. I love every single detail we have planned, from the vibrant color palette of pinks and purples to the mixing of metallics to the floor plan! This couple is so great and we're having a blast planning for their big day, which will be here so soon and I cannot wait! Here is a little peek at our inspiration!

Rachel + Mike - Wedding Inspiration Board

XO,
A.

Wedding Inspiration: The Colors of Sunset

I'm so excited to share a little inspiration for Lindsay & Ben's October wedding at Vesuvius Vineyards with y'all today! This adorable couple fell in love with the natural Southern charm of Vesuvius Vineyards and knew immediately that this was the place where they'd exchange I Do's. We are putting the final touches on some really amazing plans for this sweet couple's wedding - I can't wait to see everything come together! When we first sat down to talk about design, Lindsay mentioned being inspired by the colors of sunset. What could be better inspiration?! Drawing from the colors of a gorgeous cotton candy sky, we've created a vibrant organic inspired wedding incorporating elements like birch wood, natural wood, full color textured floral arrangements, pumpkins, and kale. Take a peek!

Design Inspiration - Bachner Lehman Wedding

It's going to be a gorgeous fall wedding, that is for sure! I can't wait to celebrate this sweet couple!

XO,
A.

Bridal Portraits: Taylor

I can't say enough about this sweet bride! Working with Taylor and Kyle for their May wedding at Byron's South End was an absolute blast. Taylor is about as easy going as they come and Kyle is such a gentleman! I loved getting to know this gal - she is so lovely and her heart is so big! I'm excited to share her gorgeous bridal portraits taken at Separk Mansion. Just take a look at her stunning smile - It's so infectious! I am pretty much in love with these photos from Lauren Rosenau Photography and I'm absolutely obsessed with her colorful bridal bouquet by the talented New Creations Flower Company. Take a peek at a few of my favorite portraits!

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TGH - Bridal Portrait 1 - Taylor Fenig
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TGH - Bridal Portrait 3 - Taylor Fenig
TGH - Bridal Portrait 2 - Taylor Fenig

Cheers to you, Mrs. Shirkey!

XO,
A.

Anniversary: Stephanie + Bryce

I'll never forget the first time I met Steph and Bryce - I loved them from the moment we met. What an amazing couple these two are! Planning for their June 2013 wedding at St. Peter's Catholic Church and the Mint Museum Uptown was so much fun! The cherry on top was that half way through planning, as we're getting to know each other, Steph and I find out that we were both part of the same sorority. It is such a small world! I'm honored to have helped these two sweethearts plan a simply gorgeous wedding! Happy Anniversary you two! Time flies when you're having fun, right?!

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XO,
A.

It's All in the Little Details

I'll admit that I have a special appreciation and love of the little details.  After all, it's the little details that make life special, and the special moments in life personal.  With each new wedding design, my goal (always) is to make those little details, that are so important to brides and grooms, come to life! I've had the opportunity to create a lot of things over the years for brides and grooms. And, after finishing some watercolor creations for a wedding at Daniel Stowe, a Chuppah for two spring weddings, and lots and lots of escort cards, programs, and favor tags, I thought "I really need to gather up all these little projects and share them!" So, without further adieu - here are some of the things I've created for weddings so far in 2014 that I wanted to share! A few have been complete surprises, and revealing those surprises to my sweet clients brings me so much joy!  Just a warning: the photo quality is not that great - actually it's down right awful! - and is courtesy of my trusty iPhone. (Thank God for real photographers!) So, please excuse my photos... I'll just stick with wedding planning and leave the photography to the pro's! 

Custom table runners for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Prop pillows and ring bearer pillows for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Sashes for the draping to match the runners and pillows for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Floating frame display for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Watercolor table numbers for Mia & Alex's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding

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Watercolor seating chart for Mia & Alex's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding

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Chuppah and organza draping for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding (Okay, confession: I can't take all the credit for this one. My amazing husband actually built this chuppah for two weddings this year, and has come to both weddings to help me assemble it on-site. So grateful to have such a supportive and super crafty husband!!) 

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Ceremony programs for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding

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Calligraphy favor tags for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding

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Acrylic table numbers for Whitley & Darian's Brakefield at Riverwalk wedding

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"Here Comes The Bride" sign for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Travel-themed escort card display for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Travel-themed table numbers for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Citrus-themed escort cards for Taylor & Kyle's Byron's South End wedding

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I hate to even share all of these terrible iPhone quality photos, but I'm really proud of the little details that leave my office each weekend to make their way to the amazing brides and grooms wedding days. I'm honored to have the opportunity to be creative and give priority to the special touches of a wedding day!  And believe me when I say that each has been an absolute labor of love.  But it makes me so happy to see my brides and grooms smile with excitement over these details they never expected!

XO,
A.

Featured: Southern Simplicity Wedding Ideas

Oh my goodness! I am SO excited and honored to see my "beauty in simplicity" wedding inspired design was featured on the amazing Ruffled Blog! Y'all, I had way too much fun designing this wedding inspiration. And, the incredible photographer capturing all the details was the oh so talented Crystal Stokes of Crystal Stokes Photography  - what an eye this gal has!  For a long time now, I wanted to plan a shoot that celebrated simplicity because I am a firm believer that less is more.  It's easy to get caught up in the tiny details when planning for a wedding, and often times brides get lost along the way, loosing the bigger picture and feeling like they need to keep adding and piling on detail. But, there is so much beauty in simplicity, and I think this is an idea that is often forgotten and overlooked. So, we wanted to take a chance to really celebrate simplicity and show brides how beautiful, sophisticated and elegant simplicity can be. Ruffled Blog - Simplicity - Screen Shot

 

I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite detail shots. But, hop on over to Ruffled Blog to see more of the feature!

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Absolutely LOVE colored glassware! And how perfect are these ruffled plates?! I want to steal them so badly! View More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beauty

 

Have you ever seen a more perfect cake?! I am in love with naked cakes, y'all. This is so stunning! And, how adorable are the little tarts? Sweets tables are my favorite.

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The bridal bouquet was out of this world gorgeous! I love the "wild flower" look and the gorgeous jewel tone colors that popped perfectly against the natural decor and landscape.  Such a beauty - I absolutely LOVE this look! View More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beauty

 

You guys - this is an actual a real couple!  Our models were such troopers… and, talk about good lookin'!! Ow! Ow! Gorgeous hair and makeup by Erin Ashley Makeup and Mirror Bomb Studios - perfectly captures the look and feel of the design.

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The paper goods were out of this world beautiful! I love the addition of lavender - such a treat for the senses and it works perfectly for our natural and simplistic design. Even the response card envelope was made of seeds and could potentially be replanted! How cool is that?!

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This ceremony arch made of garland and driftwood is one of my favorite details! SpringVine Design did an incredible job crafting this on-site for the photo shoot. I wish I could have one of these at every wedding! It's really stunning!

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One of my favorite photos from the day. Oh … be still my heart! So gorgeous!

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Oh man, I could go on and on and on! I'm a total sucker for these details, y'all. And, our entire vendor team was absolutely incredible - I'm so honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these talented wedding pros: Crystal Stokes Photography, SpringVine Design, Elisabeth Rose, Sky's The Limit Custom Cakes and More, Erin Ashley Makeup, Mirror Bomb Studio, Party Reflections, J Majors Bridal Boutique, & The Laboratory Mill. A big, big thank you for donating your time and talent to this shoot! And a huge thanks to RuffledBlog for featuring my design!

 

XO, A.

 

Engaged: Keely + Hill

No words could describe the beauty that is this engagement session from the amazing Lauren Friday Photography.  I mean, seriously, how stunning is this bride and how handsome is her groom?!  I absolutely adore these two.  Keely is such a sweetheart and every time we get together, it feels like meeting with a long-lost friend rather than a client meeting.  This engagement session is perfectly them - genuine, romantic, sweet, and full of L.O.V.E.!  Take a peek at a few of my favorites. 2014-04-11_00012014-04-11_00022014-04-11_00042014-04-11_00032014-04-11_00102014-04-11_00152014-04-11_00092014-04-11_00082014-04-11_00122014-04-11_00112014-04-11_00062014-04-11_00052014-04-11_00072014-04-11_0014 I'm pretty much obsessed with every single photo. Lauren you outdid yourself… These images are simply stunning! A big, big, big thanks to the talented Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty for Keely's hair and makeup. I can't wait for Keely and Hill's May 31 wedding at the gorgeous Boxwood Estate in Mocksville, NC! XO, A.

Wedding Inspiration: City Chic

Foundation For the Carolinas Wedding, Wedding, Pink and Grey wedding, Fuchsia Wedding, Uptown Charlotte Wedding, Charlotte Wedding, Wedding Inspiration
Foundation For the Carolinas Wedding, Wedding, Pink and Grey wedding, Fuchsia Wedding, Uptown Charlotte Wedding, Charlotte Wedding, Wedding Inspiration

I just love a good uptown Charlotte wedding! So, when Jacquelyn and Daniel approached me about a chic wedding design at an uptown Charlotte venue - my mind immediately went to Foundation For The Carolinas. Oh this place is beyond stunning!  We have wrapped up our design plans for their Labor Day weekend wedding, and y'all… I cannot wait to share this one with you!  Big, bold, fun pops of fuchsia mixed with sleek gun metal grey.  I love the playful mix of feminine and masculine details.  Beyond the design, we've infused creativity with each turn to keep guests entertained and guessing all night long.  But, I won't give it all away - I have to save some surprises for the big day, right!?  Take a peek at our inspiration.

August 30 can't come soon enough!

XO, A.

Everything You've Ever Wondered About a First Look

Oh the first look. Arguably one of the biggest debates among weddings today is this question of: to do a first look? Or, to not do a first look?  And, you can probably make a sound argument for either side.  As a wedding planner (and former bride!), I have a strong stance on this topic.  But, I wanted to bring in a pro to also weigh in with her professional opinion and view points.  I've asked Charlotte wedding photographer, Crystal Stokes of Crystal Stokes Photography to help me answer common questions and clear up some misconceptions about the first look.

1. Let's start with the basics.  What is a first look? It is a private moment between the bride and groom prior to the wedding ceremony.  The photographer and videographer are the only other individuals around to capture this intimate meeting when you get to see your soon-to-be spouse for the very first time.  It's usually a bit staged so that the photographer and videographers can have the chance to capture your reactions as you see each other.  Basically, my clients will trust me to seek out a beautiful location for this moment to happen, and I do my absolute best to get them away from the crowd so they can be alone in this moment together.  Typically, I will place the groom somewhere with his back to the bride, and she will approach him and either tap him on the shoulder, or ask him to turn around to see her.

 2. Why do a first look? What are the pros?  A first look is advantageous for brides and grooms who want to get formal photos taken care of quickly.  The first look is helpful in a couple of ways.  Not only does it give the couple the opportunity to join the cocktail hour or reception more quickly, in order to enjoy the reception longer and to spend time with their guests who all travelled in to celebrate with them.  But, most importantly, it can also ensure that a couple doesn't run out of day light so that they can take all the photos they want out of their day.  A first look also will typically give a photographer more time to do what I like to call the "romantic shots".  You know, the ones that when you finally get your wedding photos back you immediately search for while skipping the others because at the end of the day, your wedding is about your marriage and the person you are committing to spend forever with - and having extra time to create those beautiful photos is really incredible and valuable! Another big pro is that the first look helps couples remain calm on the wedding day.  Nerves can often get the best of people on their wedding day, and I've seen those nerves settle on multiple occasions when the bride and groom were able to hold each other before one of the biggest moments of their life.  It really is a beautiful thing!

First Look - Crystal Stokes Photography
First Look - Crystal Stokes Photography

3. But, won't doing a first look ruin the big reveal? It won't feel as special when the ceremony time comes because we've already spoiled the surprise. I do not think that the first look ruins the big reveal.  There is something so beautiful and fresh and life altering that happens the moment a groom sees his bride walking down the aisle during the ceremony, among loved ones, for the first time. Perhaps he just saw her moments before the wedding, but that doesn't change the magical moment that happens when their eyes met moments before becoming man and wife.

 4. Any other advice you have to share with brides on the topic of a first look? Or anything you want to share with brides to help demystify the first look debate? A first look is a wonderful thing, and I believe that it really depends on what you want from your wedding day and the timeline you want to keep.  I know some couples want to remain very traditional - and I've noticed that the groom more often than the bride wants to wait until the walk down the aisle!  And, if tradition is a top priority, then I never push to change that. However, if a bride is on the fence about which direction to go, I absolutely let them know the benefits of a first look.

I wanted to add a little something, too!  Brides, I echo and want to further explain my personal and professional preference for the first look.  I have never met a photographer that did not prefer a couple to do first look. That is a fact!  I can tell you from experience being a bride that it does not in any way ruin that special moment at the church when you're walking towards your groom.  For me, I got to experience those butterflies and have a whole new rush of emotion all over again once the church doors opened!  I've seen brides visibly become calmer and more natural once they got to see and touch their groom.  The first look is meant to be an intimate time where you can take a deep breath together, and really take a moment to pause for just one little minute on one of the biggest days of your life to take the chance to soak it all in with your guy by your side.  Oh, it's such a special time - I really can't sing it's praises enough!  Brides always want to see their grooms reaction when they finally see them in their beautiful gown for the first time.  A lot of times you get a more genuine and natural reaction from grooms during the first look vs. waiting until the ceremony because they can let their guard down within that private moment and not feel like their whole family (and yours!) are staring at him waiting for him to react to his beautiful bride. Talk about pressure!  First look photos continue to be some of my favorite from the wedding day.  As a planner, I advocate for a first look because it helps with the timeline SO much! Like Crystal said, the photos you want to frame and hang on your wall, to send out as Christmas cards, to show your children one day, etc. are the photos of you and your groom! So, why not make that a priority by getting those coveted photos taken first so that you can be sure that you do not lose any time.  Things happen on a wedding day, and although we do our best as planners to control the schedule, I can't control family members that walk away before photos are complete, or unforeseen distractions that push the timeline back.  All of that being said, it's your day and no one will (or should!) ever force you to do something. However, your vendors are professionals that have done this a time or two, so they are giving you advice based on experience.

Thanks so much for bringing your viewpoint as a photographer to this fun debate, Crystal!  For more information about a first look, check out this helpful video explanation from Every Last Detail, this rather humorous explanation from The Knotty Bride, and this article about wedding day photography from The Knot - check out number 9, y'all.

But, I really want to hear from you! Brides - are you considering a first look? What's your hesitation and/or concerns? And, former brides - let's hear your experience! Did you do it? Did you skip it?

XO,
A.

Engaged: Lauren + Chris

Meet Lauren and Chris. Two of the sweetest people you'll ever have the pleasure of knowing!  These two fitness enthusiast met at… yup, you guessed it… the gym!  And, even though Chris had to introduce himself to Lauren a few times and their paths happen to cross every now and then, they eventually got to spend time together outside of the gym at a charity event.  The rest is obviously history!  And, when the groom to be proposes to his love at Amelie's, where they ended their first date … you know their love is truly as sweet as can be!  We have been busy, busy planning for their beautiful August wedding at Founders Hall - and having so much fun pulling together all the lovely details.  I'm so excited to share Lauren and Chris's engagement photos from the amazing Love Shutter Photography.  I LOVE that they incorporated their first meeting into the photos!  All of these photos are just so amazing - isn't this couple way too adorable for words?! Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding,

XO, A.

Anniversary: Heather + Sean

It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE celebrations and I will find a reason to celebrate pretty much anything.  And, one year wedding anniversaries are so incredibly special and a major reason to celebrate!!  I want to wish a very, very happy one year anniversary to Heather & Sean!  Your wedding will always hold a special place in my heart.  I absolutely loved being a part of such a memorable day for your family and witness such genuine love.  I hope you two had an amazing first year of wedded bliss and enjoy many, many more to come! Lots of love to you and your adorable family! And, I love every single photo from Lauren Rosenau Photography!

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Featured: Mardi Gras Wedding Inspiration

I'm so ecstatic to share our big, big, big news! Our Mardi Gras Wedding Inspiration shoot is featured on Southern Weddings - and on Mardi Gras Day, Fat Tuesday!  Oh, be still my heart.  It is an absolute dream come true to see my work featured by a publication that I admire and love so dearly! I'm humbled to think that brides from the Carolinas to the great state of Louisiana will be inspired by the unique and fabulous culture of New Orleans.  Really, I feel like someone should just pinch me! You never know why certain people are placed in your life.  And, I do truly believe that God does place people in our paths.  Julie Staley of Old South Studios and I met at a wedding earlier this year - and it was our first time working together, too.  At the end of the night Julie says, hey do you want to design a Mardi Gras wedding for an inspiration shoot? The rest is history, of course, and I just can't help but believe that we were meant to work on this project together. In that moment, I was thinking YES!, YES!, YES!, and later told Julie that I was actually born and raised in New Orleans.  I had a million ideas to share for the shoot!

First and foremost, the most important aspect of the design was to infuse the energy of Mardi Gras and unique characteristics of traditional New Orleans weddings.  I wanted this wedding inspiration to be as authentic as possible, so we incorporated real New Orleans wedding traditions - a second line complete with boa-lined umbrellas and a jazz band, and cake pulls to name a few.  To me, New Orleans is full of life in every way. It's people full of personality and passion; It's architecture full of character and poise; It's landscapes expressing charm and a rich history; It's food full of flavor; It's creativity expressing the unique voice of its' artist; and it's celebrations full of energy - Each element is beautiful in it's own way.  So with that inspiration in mind, I started to pull together a design plan. With the idea of Southern elegance, we choose to have the shoot at the stunning Separk Mansion - a renovated venue full of natural light, gorgeous chandeliers, and rich wood floors.  Chelish Moore of Chelish Moore Flowers took my vision and ran with it, incorporating gold candelabras, vibrant flowers and candles upon candles.  I love the sophistication and luxury of the floral design! Best Impressions Caterers provided a delicious menu, influenced by the incredible food and unique flavor palette of New Orleans.  The chef had all of starving by the end!  And, of course they provided us with a creative signature drink that was naturally N'awlins.  Elisabeth Connolly of Elisabeth Rose created all of the amazing paper goods, and incorporated the grace of New Orleans weddings.  The incredible cake was crafted by Mandie Miller of Got What It Cakes.  I love how she captured the grandeur of Mardi Gras through her design.  I just had to include a welcome box designed to greet guests upon arrival full of Louisiana goodies - Abita Root Beer, Tabasco chocolates, and Mardi Gras-inspired chocolate doubloons - tucked within a glittery gold box from Paper Source.  Stephanie and John, our bride and groom for the day, are actually a real married couple - which I just thought was so perfect!  The gorgeous bridal gowns were both by Modern Trousseau from their Fall 2014 collection ("Tate" and "Teacup") and came from Hayden Olivia Bridal. I am absolutely obsessed with these ultra glam dresses!  They couldn't have been more perfect for the shoot.  And our bride and groom looked picture perfect thanks to Erin Ashley Makeup and Adrian D. Howe Esthetics & Beauty.  All of the rentals came from Party Reflections of Charlotte - Sara Shelor you are amazing!  It is always a team effort to pull together a shoot like this, and I'm so grateful to each of the talented vendors that helped make my dream a reality.  Especially Julie Staley of Old South Studios who allowed me to design every detail.  Julie is so insanely talented, and her eye for capturing emotion and storytelling is incredible!  I can feel her passion for the art of photography and the love of her job with each photo - I am so lucky she asked me to work with her on this project!

I hope you grab a big slice of King Cake and stay a while - come celebrate New Orleans on the Southern Weddings blog! Happy Mardi Gras, y'all and laissez les bon temps rouler!

Here are some of my favorite shots from this fun shoot!


XO,
A.

Wedding Inspiration: Vivid Love

Y'all know how much I love a bright color palette. Well, can you image how excited I am for Taylor and Kyle's sunny, citrus-inspired wedding full of beautiful yellows, oranges, pinks, mints and greys?!  The vivid colors fit Taylor to a tee - this girl is about a sweet as honey and can light up any room. We've been having so much fun planning for her May wedding at Byron's South End, and I want to share a bit of our inspiration with you!  Our bride's style is clean and classic, but with a funky twist.  So, we're pulling in some unique and fun details to mimic their lighthearted personalities. I just love these two, and cannot wait to see everything come together in a few short months!

Taylor and Kyle - inspiration

XO,
A.

Inspiration: Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Inspiration
Valentine's Day Inspiration

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year! A day full of love and happiness? Yes, please - sign me up! I just can't get enough.  There are so many different kinds of love that we'll experience throughout our lives, and I feel so honored to have been a part of so many love stories over the years.  In honor of this special day, I've pulled together some Valentine's Day inspiration to share.

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I hope you get to hug someone you love and that your day is full of joy!  I am so grateful for all of the special people in my life - especially my sweet husband that is way too good for words and puts up with all my craziness. I'm a lucky lady!  And, I do hope y'all know how much each of you mean to me. Know that you are loved! And, I have to share this beautiful print from one of my favorite calligraphers, Laura Hooper, that is perfect for this love-filled day.

LH_Calligraphy
LH_Calligraphy

Happy Valentine's Day!

XO, A.

Engaged: Breeze + Montell

These two … Oh, my heart just melts looking at these sweet photos by Lauren Rosenau Photography.  The bride, Emily "Breeze", is an amazing personal trainer and owns a great yoga studio in Charlotte, Moga Charlotte, and the groom, William "Montell", is a former college athlete.  When Breeze and I first met, I instantly knew we were a great match.  (Plus, this girl competes in Crossfit - she's like my idol!)  Every single meeting  is full of laughter and full of OMG moments - I can't get enough of her!  She's laid back, absolutely hysterical, and one of the most genuine brides I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I'm so excited about our plans for her and Montell's big day, but for now, I want to share with you their beautiful engagement session, which was featured in the latest issue of Charlotte Wedding magazine in "Love on Location"! These photos are without a doubt a perfect representation of their love.  I cannot get enough of these two!

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Breeze & Montell in Charlotte Wedding magazine
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Breeze & Montell 4
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Sorry y'all, but I had to point this out... holy moly!  Hello calves! Hard work and dedication gets you incredible legs! 

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Breeze & Montell 3
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Breeze & Montell 1
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And these last few are my absolute favorite! I just love their love! 
 

XO,
A.

All Eyes on the Bride: Wedding Day Hair + Makeup

This post is part of a series of real questions, from real brides.  Do you have a question about wedding planning, or any part of the process? Ask me! I want to answer YOUR questions. To submit your questions, email me at ashley@gracefulhost.com.

Question: What do I need to know about wedding day hair and makeup? Is there something special that I need to do to prepare for the big day?

There is a whole lot of planning that goes into a wedding day.  And as a bride, I'm sure you're very much aware of your ever growing to-do list.  But, as you're carefully planning every last detail for your big day, it's important not to overlook a big part of your wedding - hair and makeup!  On the biggest day of your life, you want to look your best.  So, leave the beauty prep to a professional!  I've asked the oh-so-talented Kymm McLean from Who's The Fairest? to weigh in on some frequently asked bridal beauty questions.

Wedding Day Hair and Makeup

1. What's your biggest advice to brides regarding a wedding beauty regimen? Keep it simple and don't stray from your regular routine. Definitely don't try anything new the week of your wedding! Unless you've tried it before and had good results, don't try it the week of your wedding - especially the day before your wedding. This includes waxing, facials, microdermabrasion, new cosmetic brands, new hair stylist, tanning, and many more. Anything that could potentially end in error, should be avoided.

2. The bride wakes up on her wedding day with a huge zit! Yikes! What's your recommendation to girls that have breakouts as the wedding day approaches and/or on the big day? A pimple is usually the result of excess oil getting trapped in the pore; however it can also be caused by hormonal imbalances caused by stress.  Since a pimple is just one little small area, there is no need to treat your entire face with strong products or medication. The best treatment is a spot treatment product for that one area: Boo Boo Zap!, Yes To TomatoesAcne Free are some great options.  You can also go by a medi-spa and get it "zapped" with a high frequency implement - don't worry, it's painless and takes only seconds - which will help speed up the drying/healing process.

3. What beauty service(s) should every bride absolutely, without exception, have on her wedding day? Certainly, makeup and hair.  Unless the brides hair is very short or naturally very curly and she is wearing it naturally.

4. What do you recommend all brides should do the morning of their wedding? The bride wakes up and then what are the first few things she should do before starting to get ready? Stick to your normal routine.  There is peace in familiarity, and feeling normal on your wedding day is important to keep the stress level at a minimum.  And, if bride had a little too much fun the night before, then hydrating is key.  Don't forget to eat breakfast and lunch - eating as well is important.  I see a lot of brides with nervous stomachs so keeping an antacid handy is also a great idea.

5. What is airbrush makeup? Do recommend this for bridal makeup? Airbrushing makeup is formulated to spray through a gun that sprays in tiny micronized droplets.  It "lays" on the skin, so it accentuates fine hairs, texture and pores.  And when your skin moves, it tends to "crackle" since the formulations tend to have a shellac finish to them. The product itself is very expensive with a very short shelf life, so once they expire, it separates and smells rotten. The airbrush machines are loud, bulky and difficult to transport, too.  They often clog which is a disaster because it takes a lot of time to disassemble them to clean and put back together.  (Precious time not available during a wedding beauty session.)  Also, the foundation may be self setting but you still need to set with a finishing powder to get a matte finish for photos - so what's the point of airbrushing?  You can't spray the eyes or lips so you still have to transport and apply traditional makeup, so again, what's the point?  I find it much more effective to apply a foundation with a brush and buff it into the skin so it looks like a part of the natural finish, and then setting with powder for a beautiful velvet finish.

6. What's something you wish all brides knew about wedding/bridal hair and/or makeup? Brides should book hair and makeup with a professional that schedules a practice session, so on the actual day, there are no surprises.  Aside from this, it's important that the bride work with someone that listens to her and finds out her daily makeup routine, her lifestyle and her exceptions on wedding day.  And, that professional should be able to incorporate those aspects while also achieving a style that photographs beautifully, lasts all day and night, and most importantly - makes the bride feel like she looks like herself, but just a bit more glamorous!

Thank you so much, Amanda, for the great question! Do you have a question about wedding planning that you’d like answered?  Email your question to ashley@gracefulhost.com.

XO,
A.

Engaged: Mia + Alex

These two are really, really sweet.  And, their December engagement session at Freedom Park with Lauren Rosenau Photography captures their adorable love perfectly!  Mia and Alex met in the Queen City, but a residency at John Hopkins for Mia sent them just north to Baltimore, Maryland.  They'll be coming home to get married in the city where they fell in love - you may remember our inspiration for their romantic garden wedding - and we cannot wait until April!  Cuddle up with your special someone, and spend some time with these two love birds.

Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau
Engaged - Mia and Alex - Photo by Lauren Rosenau

 

XO,
A

Inspiration: All That Glitters

There's something about glitter and sequins that just makes a girl feel special, you know?  I think it goes back to iconic characters like Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz and her gorgeous ruby red glittery shoes.  Lately, I've been drawn to sequin-adorned anything!  From my usual browsing of Pintrest, I came across this amazing dress from Free People, and I was instantly flooded with snapshots full of glittery party details.  This adorable dress is the source of todays glitzy wedding inspiration. When it comes to wedding design, using a little sparkle and shine can go a long way.  Gone are the days when glittery details were solely reserved for holiday and New Years Eve parties.  No ma'am!  We can see a little shimmer in linens, paper goods, glassware, cake design, bar accessories, bridesmaids dresses, and of course, wedding shoes year round.  For the girl that wants to be truly dazzling on her wedding day, this is the inspiration for you!

All That Glitters
All That Glitters

XO,

A.