Lush English Garden Outdoor Wedding

Categories Real Weddings + Wedding Stationery

We are thrilled to feature Ben and Robin’s colorful California wedding today. Ben and Robin were married this past February at Twin Oaks Garden Estates–a gorgeous historic venue surrounded by a giant forest and lush English gardens. One of our fave focal points is the arbor walkway and its canopy of twinkling lights…wow! These gorgeous grounds are the perfect backdrop for Robin and Ben–our playful, joyful bride and groom whose “unofficial” wedding theme was colorful. Julio Fonyat of Fonyat Photography did an amazing job of capturing the beauty of the grounds and the essence of this captivating couple. Enjoy as our lovely bride shares wedding advice and moments from their big day.

Wedding Style: Rustic & Playful
Wedding Colors: Royal Blue & Yellow
Ceremony & Reception: Twin Oaks Garden Estates, San Marcos, CA

photo Save the Date and Thank You Card

Photographer: Julio Fonyat, Fonyat Photography
Save the Dates & Thank You Cards: MagnetStreet Weddings

adorable bridea and groom

Highlights from the day…
Oh man! Everything! Lol…really though, it was just a fantastic, wonderful day. Some highlights would probably be getting the entire wedding to join us in for our first dance, an epic conga line, and a precarious chair-lifted kiss.

getting ready

garden wedding signs

blue wedding shoes

Tell us about your dress, shoes …
The dress turned out beautifully, a trumpet gown with a simple front and an elegant chiffon flowy back. Though, it was almost a bit of a disaster, since my original tailor cut a bit too much off here and there and we didn’t get it to actually fit until about three days before the wedding! You gotta take it all in turn. I ended up putting straps on for the ceremony to ensure I wouldn’t pop out, but it was great because I sort of felt like I had two dresses! I went with a birdcage veil–which I absolutely loved, as well. My shoes were bright blue.

bride holding colorful wedding bouquet

Is there advice you’re glad you took?
Absolutely. Hire experts and then trust them. They do this for a living, you don’t know more than they do. Your opinion matters, of course, but if they say that something isn’t a good idea, then you’re probably best off skipping it. Also, the first look can be a wonderful experience–a few private minutes with your loved one before the chaos of the day begins.

first look wedding photo

first look wedding photos

first look wedding photo in a garden

California real wedding party

Is there advice you wished you’d taken?
Don’t buy dresses online to save money. Seriously–nothing like ordering rush bridesmaid dresses because no online dresses fit.

What advice would you like to give?
Choose what you want your wedding to feel like, not to look like. The best thing we did in our wedding was to include our guests in special ways: having friends and family share quotes during the ceremony, having them all give their blessing before our vows (with a big “We Will!”) and turning our first dance from a slow romantic one to a crazy one with all our favorite people on the dance floor. If you’re having a wonderful time and show it, everyone else is going to follow suit.

wedding ceremony flowers

father walking daughter down the aisle

walking down the aisle

father and daughter at the altar

bride and groom reciting wedding vows

wedding party at the altar

bride and groom at the altar

plugged in wedding ceremony

What was the best part of the whole wedding day?
The overwhelming, and even surprising, outpouring of love and support. I did not realize how tangible it would all be in the moment, and how alive the night would make me feel with my new husband. So ultimately, the best part of the whole wedding day (besides, you know, getting married to my favorite person in the world) was all the people who came out to share it with us.

outdoor wedding ceremony

chalkboard wedding sign

tall floral wedding centerpiece

reception table decor

white wedding cake with cascading flowersfirst wedding dance

first dance

wedding reception dancing

chair on the dancefloorwedding reception speeches

black and white wedding photo

outdoor wedding photos

tree canopy of lights

bride and groom under canopy of lights

Congratulations Ben and Robin–thanks so much for sharing your day with us! It was truly magical. 

 

Wedding Pro Shout Out

Julio Fonyat, Fonyat Photography. The BEST EVER. www.fonyatweddings.com
I was extremely impressed with Julio’s work. He is an incredible value for what you get, and was practically invisible the day of the wedding. Even guests remarked how they barely noticed the photographers (he had an assistant) the entire night. I couldn’t be happier with my wedding photos.

Jerri Disney, Florist
I was super impressed with our florist as well, and couldn’t believe the gorgeous job she did. I literally had a total of one meeting with Jerri and she had everything she needed to run with for the wedding. Of course there were a handful of phone calls and emails, but I had never seen any samples/etc before the day of. But she totally delivered - she did incredibly beautiful work, especially since my husband and I decided to keep our floral budget low. She did a lot with a little.

DJ Mark Huntzinger
This guy IS weddings. He’s done…I think…1100 weddings? He knows exactly when to make a joke, play a good song…just naturally good at reading the crowd and adapting. He did a fantastic job at keeping the party going all night (seriously, the dance floor was never empty) and was extremely easy to work with. Very reasonable price, and he helped us plan our timeline from beginning to end, with suggestions on what he has seen work and what has not. Without Mark, the wedding would not have run nearly as smoothly. He was essentially our wedding coordinator for the night.

MagnetStreet Weddings
I was pretty impressed with MagnetStreet (plus the save the dates box ended up being our wedding storage box all year!) – what attracted me was the prices. Weddings are expensive enough these days! The customization process was super easy, and I LOVED being able to order one to test {Just One® Program}. We ended up ordering singles of about half a dozen designs we created (yeah, I know, so decisive), which ultimately helped us choose our final one. It is fun having all those on our fridge right now, though.

I was about to go for the super cheap for Thank you Cards as well, but Magnet Street had much nicer designs, and also really reasonable prices. We definitely liked the idea of having the front be an entire picture, and liked the overlay of the Thank You on the one that we chose. It was obvious enough to see, but didn’t over shadow the picture.

We chose a fairly generic save the date, but chose colors that we had in our wedding that made it look a bit more fun. We did the same with the thank you cards–loved the full front pictures, and was able to customize the Thank You on front to a color that fit well with the picture.

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Rustic Save the Date and E-Shoot in the Woods

Categories Real Weddings + Wedding Stationery

With its inherent sense of calm and muted color schemes, winter is truly a lovely time of year to have an engagement session! The raw beauty and neutral tones of the surroundings help to keep the focus on the couple–and that is exactly why we are in love with Rachel and Joe’s wintry engagement photos in the woods! Our lovely bride-to-be also happens to be part of our MagnetStreet family! Rachel is a graphic designer {check out some of her designs here}. Without further ado, here is Rachel and Joe’s rustic Save the Date and snowy e-sesh in the woods.

“We are an outdoorsy couple and hiking and hanging out in the woods is just our style.” Rachel

Wedding Style & Colors: Natural and Organic
Photographer: Emily Schmidt Photography
Save the Date: Custom-designed at MagnetStreet Weddings

 

rustic save the date and rustic engagement photos

About their rustic Save the Date 
“I designed our save the dates and had them printed by MagnetStreet. Being a designer, it’s often hard to design for yourself. I had ideas of where I wanted to go with our stationery, but it wasn’t until I saw the pictures Emily took that everything just fell into place! My fiancé comes from a large family of hunters and I wanted to incorporate antlers into the design. We will carry this rustic, organic theme throughout the rest of our wedding stationery and into our wedding. We are going for a simple yet elegant wedding that really represents us.”

antlers in engagement photos

snow engagement photos in the snow

About Emily Schmidt Photography
“Emily is great and she’s been so awesome to work with!! I sent her a mood board of the style we were going for and she was able to really bring our vision to life. It was snowy and a little chilly when we did our pictures, but she made it work and we are so happy with them. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for our wedding this September.”

black and white engagement photo

rustic winter engagement photos

winter engagement photos in the snow

romantic engagement photo

rustic winter engagement session

rustic winter engagement session

Congratulations Rachel and Joe! We look forward to seeing your rustic and organic wedding style translated to and throughout your wedding as well!

xo

 

 

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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!
xo

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.

 

WEDDING PRO SHOUT OUT

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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Military-themed + Beach Engagement Session

Categories Real Weddings + Wedding Stationery

*Deal Alert* It’s the last day to get 21.4% off any wedding stationery from MagnetStreet. Code: WEDVAL14. Check it out.

Last week we featured Kyle and Alex’s sweet proposal story and today we’re excited to be featuring their Save the Date Card and Biloxi, Mississippi military-themed engagement session. Why Biloxi? Kyle was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi for his technical training school. Being a huge fan of the beach, Alex knew they had to have their pictures taken there. And besides that, Kyle and Alex got engaged in Biloxi! They thought it would be a great way to capture the space that would always be special to them! So, off they went with Paige of Paige Reaux Photography, for some charming in-town shots and then out to the beach for more military-inspired shots in the sand. If you’re a military couple looking for creative photo ideas for your session, look no further! Love. LOVE! this military engagement session and this super cute couple. Enjoy.

Wedding Style: Traditional with a military (Air Force), vintage twist
Wedding Colors: Navy Blue, Ivory, & Gold.
E-Sesh Location: Biloxi, MS, near Keesler Air Force Base

PhotographerPaige Reaux Photography
Save the Date Card: MagnetStreet Weddings

Military engagement photos near Keesler Air Force Base

military engagement session and doing push-ups

military engagement photo and holding US Flag

miilitary engagement session Biloxi, MS

Biloxi, MS military engagement photos near Keesler Air Force Base

bride-to-be wearing military shirt in military engagement photos

Biloxi, MS military engagement photos at the beach

 

On choosing Photo Collage design for their {5×7} Save the Date Card …

“I chose my design because I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos with our friends and family who would be receiving the cards. This design face allowed me to display larger photos of Kyle and I, free of a border and other decorations. The layout was perfect, and the center section was the perfect size to represent all the necessary information we needed to get to our future guests! Plus, I wanted to show off to all our friends and family how photogenic Kyle was, so then maybe he wouldn’t fight me so much in the future if I wanted to take his picture.;)”  Alex

military-themed photo save the date magnet

 

On personalizing Photo Collage to match their wedding style …

“Our Save the Date fit our personality and wedding style in that it was Air Force-themed. Kyle currently serves in the Air Force, and intends to make a career out of it. Nothing has made me more proud than seeing him grow from a silly 21 year-old to a responsible, 24 year-old Airman. The Air Force has given Kyle an opportunity for an excellent career, and we are very fortunate for everything it has brought us. So, to honor Kyle and our country, we chose pictures that were not only our favorites, but that would incorporate and honor his military life (the push-up kiss and the flag wrap photos, to be exact).”  Alex

Beach military engagement photos

miilitary engagement session at the beach

couple wrapped in US Flag in military engagement session

bride and groom-to-be in beach, military engagement photos

Congratulations Kyle and Alex! Thanks so much for sharing your day with us. And to paraphrase what  T.J. Oshie from the USA Olympic Hockey Team said … The guys in camo are the heroes! Thank you both for your service!

 

Kudos for the Pros!

Paige Reaux Photography

Paige is a truly beautiful person. From start to finish, she was easy to communicate with and really cared about making sure we were happy with our experience. Kyle doesn’t like to get his picture taken, and I’m a ham! She made him feel comfortable, which in turn helped our photos turn out to look incredibly natural, not posed. She is a hard-working southern sweetheart – someone I will never forget! Really, I cannot say enough nice things about her!

MagnetStreet Weddings

Excellent! MagnetStreet offers so many options, and the design program is incredibly easy to work with. I was able to design many different Save the Dates, then pick the one I liked most. I absolutely loved the “Just One®“option as well. I think it’s great to offer this to customers so their absolutely sure they will be happy with what they are getting. Customer care was also very helpful as well when I needed to utilize them for a minor question.

 

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