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New England Nautical meets West Coast Whimsical Inspiration

What would summer be without a great beach party or, in this instance, a pretty seaside wedding? Crafted by The Little ThingsSweet Annie Floral Design, and imagery by Ruth Eileen, this inspiration pulls the essence of the West Coast and the East Coast and blends them into a nautical meets whimsical affair by the sea. It’s a land where lobsta dinners and floral laden bicycles go hand in hand.

From Ruth Eileen PhotographyThe theme for this shoot was “New England Nautical meets West Coast Whimsical,” and the idea behind it was to take a classic New England fete and infuse it with some west coast flair! We envisioned our couple eloping and celebrating with a simple but stellar reception a deux, one that they could pull off themselves without too much effort. We began by brainstorming which New England elements we’d include: a lobster bake, nautical rope, the groom in a preppy bowtie, oysters and anchors, and some classic New England florals: coral charm peonies, anemones, and hydrangea. Then, we decided on our West Coast elements: a bohemian-style pallet table, air plants, ferns, and (of course!) a custom beach cruiser! With the vision in mind and design plan in place, we assembled an amazing team of collaborators who really took to the vision and brought this shoot to life! Anna and Caitlin from Paper Moss designed custom menus, elopement announcements, and drink stirrers to commemorate the day. Bethany and Sean from Shindig provided individual lobster bake pots (and New England clam chowder served in mini mason jars!), Katie from Sweet Annie Floral Design created the stunning bouquet and centerpiece, and stuffed the groom’s pocket with looser, fresh florals for a fun twist on a boutonniere. Shara from Chickadee Hill Cakes designed the beautiful cakes, and our bride Shayna, in her stunning BHLDN gown, was made beautiful by Tara ad TADA Makeup and outfitted with a nautical Porcelain and Stone handmade porcelain and gold chain-link necklace. Laura from Laura Hooper Calligraphy so beautifully penned this JFK quote onto our piece of navy blue Irish linen: “All of us have, in our veins, the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean and therefore, we all have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or watch it, we are going back from whence we came.” Our couple rode off into the sunset on their beach cruiser that Alexis from The Little Things scooped off of Craigslist and customized in white and gold for the shoot. Alexis and Katie wired florals to the cruiser’s spokes (and learned a lesson in patience along the way!), and Katie filled the basket to the brim with the most beautiful flowers. Ruthie from Ruth Eileen Photography captured the day perfectly, and on film, to boot!

Photography: Ruth Eileen | Event Design: The Little Things | Floral Design: Sweet Annie Floral Design | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Chickadee Hill Cakes | Invitations: Paper Moss | Jewelry: Porcelain And Stone | Catering: Shindig | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Hair & Make Up: TADA Makeup | Venue: Beach

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Paper Moss and Ruth Eileen Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Laura Hooper Calligraphy

Paper Moss

Ruth Eileen Photography

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Black & White Vintage-Inspired Wedding

My favorite weddings are always the ones that tell a story. The weddings woven with personal moments, which is exactly what you’ll find in this vintage-yet-modern Texas affair snapped by Stephanie Hunter. Look close and you’ll see nods to the bride’s love of animals alongside a colorful blend of autumn-loving blooms. And in case you want more (you know you do!) there’s a whole gallery of pretty waiting to be swooned.

Event Venue

From Stephanie Hunter Photography… Lindsey & Johnny, had such a sweet, unique wedding – a vintage feel but with a kick! The main colors were black and antique gold. The table runners were black and white striped with colorful centerpieces adorned with different animals as table markers. The bride, Lindsey, has a great appreciation for animals – she worked at Sea World as a dolphin trainer & currently works at the San Diego Zoo with birds of prey and gorillas. She has also worked with horses her entire life and has a dream of opening an Equine Assisted Therapy Center for the elderly (she also has a degree in Psychology)! So she knew she wanted to incorporate her love for animals in a sophisticated way.

In addition to animal marked tables, the couple also chose gold napkin rings in the shape of animals. The ceremony was supposed to be outdoors but, due to weather, had to be moved indoors. The rain plan was beautiful with gorgeous draped fabric, strung cafe lights & chandeliers. An ornate rug framed with two planters filled to the brim with flowers served as the altar. The reception was so very charming – a decorative continuation of the ceremony. Parasols hung over the dance floor & lights were strung throughout for a romantic, cozy feel in the uncharacteristically chilly weather.

Photography: Stephanie Hunter Photography | Floral Design: Central Market | Wedding Dress: Custom By Lezu | Cake: Central Market | Catering: The Salt Lick | Hair & Makeup: Justin Blair | Band: London Calling | Officiant: Peggy Edge | Coordination: J. Blair Productions | Printing: Papel | Venue: Pecan Grove At The Salt

The Salt Lick BBQ is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
The Salt Lick

Adventurous Safari Wedding in South Africa

The only thing that could possibly top a rehearsal dinner in the middle of the South African wild, is a wedding following suit. This gem is overflowing with the raw beauty of an African safari coupled with impeccably crafted details at the hands of Afresh Event DesignNineteen Eight Five, and Wedding Concepts. Now throw in image after stunning image by Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio and you have a gallery not to be missed.


From The Bride…While Jon and I got ready with our family and wedding parties, the guests were treated to an early morning game drive at sunrise. After our preparations, we boarded the safari jeeps once again for the ceremony at Inkwazi Hide, a large, wooden deck under a 200-year-old Acacia tree overlooking the Sabie River. A local African choir sang Zulu praise songs as I walked down the aisle and we were greeted by our officiant who spoke on themes of friendship, adventure and nature (punctuated by hilarious hippo grunts coming from the river). When we were pronounced man and wife, our guests surprised us by loudly trumpeting on Vuvuzelas. Afterwards, Jon and I snuck away for a few photos and our guests were treated to signature cocktails while taking in a glorious African sunset on a deck overlooking the river. When it was time, guests journeyed towards the candlelit reception dinner.

Memorable Moments…True to our adventure theme, some of our most memorable moments from the wedding were the unplanned and unexpected ones. Our 2-year-old ring bearer not only dressed up as a lion cub, but also burst out with spontaneous roars as he walked down the aisle. A curious hippo joined us during our couples shoot on the riverbed. And despite the demanding travel and early morning safaris, guests rallied and still managed to dance the night away. One of my favourite moments was during the last song of the night, Toto’s “Africa.” As the lyrics blared “I bless the rains down in Africa” at 3am, it started to pour and we all rushed outside to dance in the rain.

Local flavor…Since the locale was so rich in raw beauty and splendor, we wanted the African landscape to be the focus and also tried to stay true to local elements and flavors. Waiting for guests in their lodges on arrival was a handmade Guide Box, filled with South African favourites like rooibos tea and Amarula liqueur. Also included were some clues for an adventure-filled weekend: a compass, an Acacia twig, and a Field Guide with information on local customs, wildlife facts and useful Shangaan phrases. To ensure that the florals would hold up under the fierce African sun, we opted for a combination of King Proteas, succulents and feinbos. As guests enjoyed local wines from the famous Stellenbosch region, a group of traditional Zulu dancers set the African rhythms in motion by teaching guests tribal dances.

Personal details…We wanted the wedding to be not just a celebration with family and friends but also a heartfelt thank you and show of appreciation for their constant love and support throughout the years. We tried to achieve this through personalized details. These ranged from surprising guests with their childhood photos on their seating cards (a great conversation starter) to calligraphy on the place cards with goofy nicknames and individual welcome “telegrams” that described our favorite past adventures with the guest.

In gratitude…In the end, it was a true “Wild At Heart” wedding adventure. A bottomless THANK YOU to Kim and Michael for helping to create and document our dream wedding. Jon and I were so grateful to begin our new chapter together with such an incredible adventure with our family and friends.

Photography: Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio | Event Design: Afresh Event Design | Floral Design: Nineteen Eight Five | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Invitations: Lara's Designs | Catering: Lion Sands | DJ: DJ Rene | Beauty: Mist | Planning: Wedding Concepts | Travel Logistics: Travel Concepts | Wedding Venue: Lion Sands

Wedding Concepts is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Wedding Concepts

South African Safari Rehearsal Dinner

This rehearsal dinner goes out to all those wild at heart. Capital A Adventure was an underlying theme that was woven throughout this South African safari wedding starting with a rehearsal dinner amongst the wildlife and the stars. Have a look at the gorgeous imagery captured by Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio and stay tuned for the stunning wedding coming up next!

From The Bride…Why Africa? Jon and I met in NYC through a mutual friend and over the course of our 8-year relationship, our favorite moments together are ones where we felt like we were on an adventure. So when it came time to plan our wedding, we wanted to cultivate that sense of curiosity and wonder by hosting a safari wedding out in the untamed African bush. We settled on my native South Africa and after five months of intense planning, 75 of our closest family and friends from different corners of the globe set out for our “Wild At Heart” wedding adventure.

Into the wild…After a long day on the road, our guests arrived at the Lion Sands Game Reserve, in the heart of Sabi Sands. All the arduous travel paid off as the remote locale allowed our guests to experience the majestic African landscape in all her unbridled splendor. After a refreshing afternoon tea, the guests hopped into jeeps and set out on their first safari game drive. The guides did not disappoint and fearlessly took everyone off-roading in search of the famed Big Five game. The wild encounters included four lions feasting on a freshly killed buffalo, a baby elephant tripping over its trunk, a pair of rhinoceros brothers napping together in the shade, and a mother leopard teaching her cub to track with a playful game of hide and seek.

Rehearsal Dinner in the Bush…After the eventful game drive, the jeeps brought the guests into an unprotected clearing where a casually elegant bush dinner awaited. The guests shared their experiences from the first day around a campfire and savored local meats such as kudu, ostrich and biltong. Glowing fireflies, oil lanterns hanging from trees and the dramatic Milky Way up above helped to illuminate this surreal evening.

Tea ceremony…After the relaxing dinner, our loved ones gathered around us in a protective circle as Jon and I served tea to our parents and elders to express our gratitude. A particularly poignant blessing from my 87 year-old grandmother resulted in moist eyes all around. I loved that the emotional moment was an unexpected melding of two cultures: a traditional Chinese ceremony taking place in the African bush, illuminated by a campfire and lanterns (with a few hyenas looking on as well).

Photography: Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio | Event Planning: Wedding Concepts | Wedding Coordinator: Wedding Concepts | Floral Design: Nineteen Eighty Five | Stationery: Lara's Designs | Catering: Lion Sand's | DJ: DJ Rene | Accommodation & Travel Logistics: Travel Concepts | Beauty: Mist | Decor & Lighting: A Fresh Event Design | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Lion Sand's

Wedding Concepts is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Wedding Concepts