Crystal Cove Beach E-Session

Categories Real Weddings

Hannah and Dale’s engagement pics were taken at the Crystal Cove--a state beach in Newport Beach, CA. Coastal e-sessions are some of the most fun and free aren’t they?! And what a gorgeous location Crystal Cove is–from the beachfront cliffs and coves to the field of wild flowers. Rustic and romantic … kudos to AlliChelle Photography for bringing us all this natural light and beachy goodness! Enjoy.

Photographer:  AlliChelle Photography

California beach engagement session

Crystal Cove beach engagement pictures

California beach engagement session

Newport Beach, California engagement photos

Newport Beach engagement pics

Newport Beach, Crystal Cove

by AlliChelle Photography

Crystal Cove State Beach

California beach engagement session

Crystal Cove engagement pictures

Cali beach engagement photos

Newport Beach at sunset

sunset at Crystal Cove State Beach

sunset beach engagement photos

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Real Wedding: Crystal and Carlton

Categories Real Weddings + Wedding Stationery

I have another beautiful and stylish couple for you today… Carlton and Crystal were married on 10-2-10 at ~ Christian World Ministries in Lake Charles, LA. Their reception was held at the Lake Charles Civic Center on the top floor… the Buccaneer Room. The photographer capturing all this elegance is Ashley Wood of Sulphur, LA    Woodlands Photography.  The Wedding Coordinator was Monica Rideaux of Lake Charles, LA

Evident in these lovely pics … Carlton and Crystal meld family and faith with such style, grace and tenderness. It just seems effortless. Enjoy and read along as Crystal shares about their style, colors, and how she enjoyed her wedding day!

Wedding Style Classy. Elegant. I’m not a flashy person. I’m just me. I love things that are nice, but not stuffy or stiff. 

{click on each image to enlarge}

{So delicate and wonderful … and seemingly made just for her, I had to ask Crystal about her dress}  *Love*

THE dress I have always admired Spanish-style wedding dresses. When they zipped me in and hooked the veil … that was it! I started crying and I KNEW this was MY dress. {2010 Concord from Blue by Enzoani – Alecon Lace in Ivory}

Highlights of the Day When I woke up the morning of my wedding, I thought I would be anxious and nervous but I was so peaceful and happy. Sharing a moment with my mom as she looked in my eyes with love and hooked my necklace around my neck… Having all of my bridesmaids, my best friends around me on my special day… Grabbing my Dad’s arm as he lead me down the aisle… Kissing my husband!

Wedding Colors I love black and white… but I felt that I needed to add color to our wedding. I decided to go with apple red… deep and beautiful. I knew the color would look wonderful on all of my bridesmaids.

Bouquets These were ostrich burgundy and red feather stick picks, died to match the roses.

Best part of the whole wedding day The best part was joining Carlton in marriage in front of friends and family who genuinely love us and want the best for us. On this day I became Mrs. Carlton Briscoe and also a  full-time step mom. My life changed on October 2, 2010 and it was one of the best days ever!

Advice you’re glad you took I was so overwhelmed towards the last few weeks before the wedding. Several people told me to take in every moment of our wedding day, to soak it in and embrace it. And I am so happy I did! If I had worried about other unimportant factors, I would have missed the little things that made my wedding day so special.

The dessert table My husband enjoys sweets, so what better way to honor him than to give him his very own table fun of the desserts he loves. Variety of cookies – Chocolate cake with chocolate dipped strawberries, Traditional white cake with Pineapple filling and another traditional white cake with strawberry filling. The cake was a four tier classic round cake with bavarian cream filling and almond flavored icing.

{I love the tenderness in these photos… *sigh*}

Advice you wished you took I really tried to listen to all of the advice I received. I had several aunts and friends who shared their knowledge on love and marriage. The wedding was truly my vision as well as the ceremony. I tried to incorporate some of my Catholic faith in the ceremony and some of my husband’s Baptist traditions as well. I believe the wedding was about us and that was important.

Advice you’d like to give Each and every couple is different as each and every wedding is unique. Make your wedding about you and your spouse!

Gorgeous and inspiring! Thank You Crystal and Carlton for sharing your special day with all of us! We wish you oodles and oodles of joy and happiness and blessings!

This is the Thank You that Crystal and Carlton ordered from MagnetStreet Weddings. The design is from the   Soothing Blue line. And, what a great photo!


Crystals: 2011 Wedding Trend

Categories Inspiration

Happy New Year!

Brilliant Beautiful Crystals. We’ll be seeing them incorporated in new and sparkly ways in 2011 …  delicately beaded into the bodice of a gown … hanging from manzanita branches … and of course in accessories like jewelry, attire and other reception decor.

2011 crystal wedding trend {click & enlarge}

Crystals are inherently glamorous and even if you don’t consider yourself to be the “glitzy” type, you can still integrate them in ways and areas to attract light and color~ that’s what they do best! Crystals are just magical that way!

How will you be integrating wedding crystals in 2011?

{click to enlarge}

top inspiration board: hot pink manzanita and crystal wedding tree via Lara Rios Wedding Photography, Elya wedding gown, and flat square wedding invitation {Antique Rose} with vellum overlay and band inside petal holder via MagnetStreet Weddings. {View all designs for Antique Rose}

bottom inspiration board: toasting glasses, Etsy: necklace via Jurgita Handmade, Haute belt via IngenueB


Elegant Fall Wedding at the Morton Arboretum

Categories Real Weddings + Wedding Stationery

“Not even the rain rattled my spirits,” said bride Cristina about their wedding ceremony that was moved inside due to inclement weather. Aaron and Cristina had a gorgeous–almost ethereal–fall wedding. Cristina had this say about their “Fall in Love” theme, “I have been in love with the aura of autumn ever since I was a child. There is something so beautiful about the changing colors, the smell of pumpkin spice, and the crisp, cool breezes that surround the season. Thinking about fall instantly brings a smile to my face, and I knew I had to be married during this gorgeous season.” Continue on to read more from our beautiful bride about their day, their colors, things learned, advice given. and shouts of praise to all that helped to bring their “big day” to fruition! Enjoy!

Wedding Style: Elegant with a “Fall in Love” theme
Wedding Colors: Copper| Olive Green| Ivory
CeremonyThe Morton Arboretum
ReceptionPescatore Palace

Photographer: Open Iris Photo
Thank You Cards: MagnetStreet Weddings

Elegant wedding at the Morton Arboretum

Bride and Groom getting ready for their wedding

Wedding dress and white wedding shoes

The dress …
My dress was Maggie Sottero’s Ambrosia style. It was the only dress I put on and had the instant feeling of, “This dress is just beautiful.” My shoes were Benjamin Adams London, completely crystal-encrusted and FIVE INCHES tall. My veil was shoulder length and had beading to match the beading in my dress bodice, and my florist made me a hair piece with Mokara Orchids.

Pre-wedding gift from groom to the bride

The color scheme 
I fell in love with a Jordan Moments bridesmaid dress that came in the perfect copper color, so everything kind of evolved off of that. My junior bridemaid dresses were my accent olive green color, and then ivory was present throughout the day, too. My colors were in everything from the dresses, to the programs, to my party favors!

Rustic fall wedding with an olive and pumpkin color scheme!

Rustic fall wedding bouquet of calla lilies, roses and berries

Rainy wedding day photo at Morton Arboretum

Walking down the inside the Morton Arboretum

Wedding ceremony at the Morton Arboretum

Wedding ceremony at the Morton Arboretum

Wedding ceremony at the Morton Arboretum

Reading vows during wedding ceremony

Exchanging Vows
Another highlight is definitely when my husband and I exchanged our vows. We both wrote our own, and hearing the kind words my husband expressed to me is something I will cherish for always. On top of that, I will never forget how he was on the verge of tears while I recited mine to him … Seeing how emotional he became was so special to me because it just shows how deep the love between us is.

Unity sand ceremony at Morton Arboretum

Outdoor wedding photo at the Morton Arboretum

Bride and Groom cake topper

White wedding cake with bride and groom cake topper

Northern IL's Pescatore Palace: wedding reception tables with floral centerpieces

Wedding reception buffet at The Pescatore Palace in Northern IL.

Bride and Groom's first dance: Northern IL's Pescatore Palace

Our First Dance was of course memorable. Aaron was so nervous to dance, but it flowed effortlessly. We danced to “So Beautiful” by Darren Hayes.

Wedding reception and getaway car

Congrats Aaron and Cristina! We wish you every happiness… thanks so much for sharing your wedding with us!

Highlights From The Day

The Speeches
I have to say, my husband’s toast was also an exceptional highlight. I was so proud of him standing there and thanking all of our guests and expressing how excited and happy he was that friends and family came from all over the country to share in our day. And, of course, he did a great job of complimenting me (and saying that all my hard wedding planning work paid off! Of course a girl LOVES hearing that, haha).

My Maid of Honor’s speech was also a great highlight. We have been friends for 10 years, and there is no one else on this planet that resembles me as much as she does. Her speech was just perfect. Reflecting on how far we have come in our friendship gives me chills sometimes—I remember being in biology and journalism with her, and there we were on my wedding day. It’s like I knew that we would be there for each other’s wedding days, but you can’t actually really imagine it until the day is there. I felt that way about the entire wedding, actually. You have such a dream and vision for everything, and then when it finally happens, you almost can’t believe it.

Talking with all of our guests – so many people said so many wonderful things. I will not forget my uncle telling me it was the best wedding he had ever been too.

The flowers! My goodness, I have never seen such beautiful flowers in my whole life. If there is one vendor that deserves high praise, it is definitely my florist. She is above and beyond an artist!

Our husband and wife entrance was pretty cute—Aaron is a soccer player, so we thought the FIFA 2010 World Cup song would be appropriate (it was also significant to us because we started dating the summer of the World Cup, so the song was memorable). The song is called “Waving Flag,” so, naturally, we came in waving flags (me, an Italian one, him, an American one).

Advice you’re glad you took
Many married couples told me to make sure I eat on my wedding day because they never got to taste their dinner! I am glad Aaron and I got to enjoy most of our Italian feast, because we both love food so much, so we kind of made it a priority to get to take more than just one bite of each of our courses. Dessert was kind of another story, but we made the dinner count!

Advice you wished you’d taken
Often my MOH and co-workers would tell me to not worry about the several different opinions people would present about this or that, and many times, it was hard for me to ignore the opinions of others, despite the decisions I knew I wanted to make. In the end, I usually went with what I wanted to do, but if I had taken more stock in the “this is your wedding, you do it how you want” way of thinking, I would have eliminated a lot of back-and-forth conversations and stressful thinking.

Advice you’d like to give?
I want to preface this by saying that I am ecstatic with the way my wedding turned out and would not change a thing. All of the hard work in planning really paid off for me BUT do not be fooled by wedding-planning seeming fun. I think the best advice I can give is that most of the time, wedding planning is not fun. Most of the time, you are pulling your hair out over the tiniest details – you will start second guessing decisions, and yes, you will have a fight with your fiancé over something at some point. There were many times where I started asking myself, “Is this normal? Am I supposed to feel this stressed out about getting married? Isn’t it supposed to be fun to plan a wedding?” When you are working a full time job, wedding planning becomes another full-time job. I can promise though that everything will be work it in the end—and that is what a honeymoon is for afterward, right? ;)

Also, wear low-heeled shoes!

The best part of the whole wedding day …
Is it cheating to say the whole thing? I think the best part was all of the love expressed by not only me and Aaron, but by all the people around us. There was just a general happy, loving feeling about the entire day that I will never forget.



Open Iris Photo
My photographer was recommended by a co-worker of mine, and after seeing his beautiful portfolio, I could not find a photographer I liked better. It’s why I flew him out from California to Illinois. I think the best comment I received so far is that the photos “belong in magazines.” I think that comment stands on its own to show how impressed I am, and how impressed others are, with the photos.

The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum was exceptional! Our photos came out so well partially thanks to them and their absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous scenery.

Pescatore Palace
The Pescatore Palace took extra special care of me and Aaron. I was able to have a traditional Italian banquet wedding just like my cousins, 2nd cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents because of Pescatore, and that meant so much. Thank you Frank!

All Flowers by Marisa
My florist made my dreams come true. The number one comment that was made about anything that day was the flowers. People were literally in awe. I am eternally grateful to Marisa for bringing my vision to life.

Eclipse Entertainment – DJ Elmo Arcari
Elmo is one of the kindest individuals I have ever worked with. I had a couple people express how they “never dance,” but at my wedding, they did. Elmo knows how to feel out a crowd and get everyone to have a great time.

MagnetStreet Weddings
MagnetStreet was the only company I could find that allowed me to personalize the photo card EXACTLY how I wanted it. The font, the color of the font, the layout of the card was exactly what I had pictured in my head, and they were the only company who could deliver that vision.

On choosing Life of Luxury Thank You Card design
I loved that design because it was simple, yet elegant. I didn’t want the words to block out the photo too much, but I wanted them to be there. The font was absolutely perfect, too. Again, it had the elegance I was looking for to pair perfectly with the photo.

How did it fit with your personality or wedding style?
When I think of fall, I think of it as an elegant season—this card helped portray that. There is sort of an ethereal nature behind it, and I feel like that is what made it fit so well with my theme.


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