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Wedding Registry Items You Can’t Find In The Stores

While we’re not usually ones to say no to shopping, when it comes to unique registry ideas, thinking beyond the shops can lead to some pretty fun and exciting experiences. From honeymoon activities to expanding your horizons or raising funds for causes near and dear to your heart, we’re on board. We may dream of that espresso machine but we don’t doubt the satisfaction factor in these ideas as well!

Offbeat Registry Items
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Offbeat Registry Items
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More Registry 101 Goodies

ABC’s of Registries | Top 10 Registry Essentials | Registry Etiquette 101

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A Backyard Wedding That Will Convice You to Get Married at Home

A backyard wedding is touching as it is, but add in that this couple wed in the Bride’s family home just makes it all the more unforgettable. A chic celebration centered around family, Kelsey & Andrew planned the sweetest shindig and thankfully Alison Duffy Photography captured it all to share. From the stunning ceremony to their sparkling exit, we’ve got all that and more waiting for you in The Vault!

At Home

From Alison Duffy PhotographyKelsey & Andrew have grown up with each other their whole lives as their dads have been best friends since college. As fate would have it, their love story began down the road when Andrew asked her to go to Cardinals baseball game with him and there was instant chemistry.

When it came time for their big day, it only seemed perfect to have their wedding in the yard of the bride’s family home, with a focus on family. The bride Kelsey, admittedly, said she was also all about the beautiful details and I think it paid off in a big way as everything from her shoes to the floral arrangements to the romantic brass candlesticks were incredibly elegant while also being perfect for their backyard affair. To top off the night, loved ones gathered outside the tent while Kelsey and Andrew made their grand exit through a tunnel of glimmering sparklers; a truly magical ending to their gorgeous and fun wedding celebrations!

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Photography: Alison Duffy Photography | Floral Design: Magnolia Market | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cakes: The Cake Mom & Co. | Bride's shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Renz Rags | Catering: Rays of Kelso | Makeup: Lipstick and Lashes | Hair: Colour Couture Salon | Bride's Earrings: David Tutera | Candlesticks: Ebay | Film Processing + Scanning: Indie Film Lab | Flower Girl Dresses: Zulett Couture | Invitations + Programs: Bride | Rentals: Wedding Rental Solutions | Wedding Dress Boutique: Andrew Jackson Bridal | backyard: bride's family home

We’ve got the perfect favors for a backyard wedding below!


#SMPWedding101 – What To Consider When Hiring Your Cinematographer

Wedding videography has evolved immensely over the years and these days, there are so many different styles, it can be a bit unnerving to find that perfect fit for you. Which one will capture your celebration the best? What are all the factors to consider? Feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost?! Stop right there because we got the gurus of Happy Together Films to share their insight so you can be prepared and ready for your time in the limelight!


Be sure you know exactly who will be at your wedding! Ask the videographers to identify which professional will be shooting on that day during your meetings. Knowing the specific person who will be with you all day is very important – imagine if it’s someone you don’t get along with? They will be with you all day so a comfortable relationship is essential when starting the videographer search!


You should consider what your priorities are for your for your wedding day and apply that to your videography plans. If you really want your day to be intimate and simple, a team with one or two videographers is perfect. Usually these teams are quiet and try to mix in with guests. But if showing aerial shots, having a same day edit, etc, is important for you, a bigger team is the way to go. Sometimes teams like these can be big but you will be able to get those epic aerial shots that you desire.


Don’t be shy! Ask all the questions you can think of BEFORE hiring the team you want to film your wedding. What do the packages include? When is the final results delivered, what sort of timeline? Are preview clips included? How are they delivered, and more!


Some videographers offer couples the option of having engagement sessions just like photographers do. Talk to them and see if that is possible and ask them how they approach it. Most couples feel much more comfortable on their wedding day, if they had already been filmed before.


Audio gives film another dimension. If you want your speeches to be recorded, make sure that is known and understand how it works – you may need to wear a small mic. If you have a friend singing a song or reading a poem, remember to talk about that with your wedding videographer prior to the wedding day. For recording good audio, preparation is key. The more information your wedding videographer has, the better.


Songs aren’t just important to discuss for setting the mood and aesthetic of your wedding film, but also for copyright issues. Something additional to consider – if you choose the songs for your film, you’ll miss out on a fun, little surprise! If you love your team’s portfolio and trust them in choosing the best songs for you, the song surprise can be totally worth it!


We love wedding films with those wonderful epic shots. To capture many of these, you’ll need cinema gadgets like drones, sliders or cranes. Don’t forget that some of these can be noisy and quite large. Sometimes that can disturb the environment, the gorgeous natural views of your venue and also disturb some moments and guests. If your aim is to have an intimate wedding, less gadgets may be a better choice.


Be sure your contract has every single aspect clarified and in print. If you have specific moments happening on your wedding and you want them to be recorded, make sure to include them in the contract!


Inquire if it’s possible to make any changes after your wedding film is delivered. Since video can take a long time to be ready because of the editing and post-production, some videographers don’t allow any changes. Others allow a specific number of changes and others charge for each change on the final film. Ask the team how they approach this topic.


ModCloth’s Memorial Day Sale

We’re excited to share that Shine invitations is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $500 (US orders only) as well as a free sample kit featuring the invitation of your choice, color charts, paper samples, and an example Save the Date! Don’t miss out!


For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Weddings by Susan Dunne

For our Tri-state Brides… Discount from Femina Photo + Design and giveaway from The Duchess!

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events

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Cinematography Advice: Happy Together Films

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The Bride Wore an Open-Back Dress That Stole the Show

You know we go a little weak at the knees for a beautiful wedding dress, so when Carmen Santorelli shared photos of this bride rocking an open back Watters Wtoo gown, we dropped everything and simply drooled. It’s the kind of gown that perfectly sets the tone for an elegant, outdoor affair, and once you take a look through the gallery, don’t miss the clip from Tim Kang Films.



From The Bride…Eric and I attended the same church, but it was at our church softball practice that we first met, in March 2013. It was the first season our church would have a women’s team, and, ironically, my oldest and over protective brother had encouraged me to join. Lucky for Eric, he was asked (he calls it “forced”) to coach the girls team, and I joined the team by the 3rd or 4th practice. By then, Eric had gotten a black eye from pitching for the girls… but something about his black eye and his deep monotone voice was mysteriously attractive. That’s where our love story emerged, and we have been best friends ever since.

The main inspiration for our wedding was a bohemian, laid back style. We immediately fell in love with Hummingbird Nest Ranch and its Villa ceremony + reception sites. Once we decided on the venue, the other details came together. I loved how peaceful and close to nature this outdoor venue was. Every section, every angle, and every detail was absolutely beautiful and unique.

The Spanish style villa and fuchsia colored flowers around the Hummingbird Nest Ranch inspired the burgundy colored bridesmaid dresses and bouquet florals. To go along with the boho-elegant look, I wore my hair in a low loose bun with a braid on each side tucked in. My bridesmaids wore their hair down in any style, and then had incorporated a braid to each bridesmaid’s hair as well.

When it came to choosing the dress, I wanted a slender and elegant, yet somewhat bohemian or non-traditional. It was actually one of my bridesmaids who encouraged me to try on the dress that I thought would not be flattering. But after trying it on, we all unanimously agreed it was THE dress.

We held a Korean traditional ceremony “Pae baek” during our cocktail hour. The main purpose is to bow in honoring the groom’s family and receive their words of advice/wisdom.

We did a sparkler send off during our reception. Though this required 3 friends to help make 200+ DIY sparklers with me 3 nights before the wedding, it was a pretty simple and sweet way to include all wedding guests…and of course an opportunity for great photos.

Aside from the incredible BEAUTY all around us that day, my favorite part was having all of our loved ones from all over the world with us that day. It was a celebration that happens once in a lifetime, and we feel so blessed.

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Photography: Carmen Santorelli | Cinematography: Tim Kang Films | Event Planning + Design: Everly Events | Floral Design: Bloomwell and Co. | Wedding Dress: Watters Wtoo | Cake: Sweet Lady Jane | Stationery: Davina Kim | Catering: Huntington Catering Company | Hair + Makeup: Yuri Sinata | DJ: Jason Cova | Venue: Hummingbird Nest Ranch | Film Processing: Good Man Film Lab | Photo Booth: Instabooth | Rentals: A1 Party Rentals | Rentals: A Rental Connection