Rustic Kentucky Plantation Wedding…

I love a plantation wedding, I mean seriously LOVVVVVE!!! Needless to say, I was completely taken by this one. Christen + Andrew were married at Richwood Plantation in Milton, Kentucky . It is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also over 200 years old! The couple wanted their wedding weekend to be romantic and personal, and they got just that. The location paired perfectly with their rustic decor- and check out all those homemade desserts and that s’mores station! Adorable! Big thanks to Ariel Renae Photography for sending this lovely wedding over.


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Photography: Ariel Renae Photography
Venue: Richwood Plantation
Bride’s Dress: J.Crew
Groom’s Suit: ExpressMen


Rustic North Carolina Wedding…

Hello, gorgeous ceremony altar! Hillary and Cody were married amongst the trees in Albemarle, North Carolina, and Hillary’s younger sister and her fiance hand crafted the altar used in the ceremony as a gift. What an awesome gift!!! I love when couples do something special to bring a little extra oomph to the ceremony space. It doesn’t take much to make a big impact. Thanks to Connection Photography for sending this lovely wedding over!


Photographer: Connection Photography
Reception Venue: Il Bella Gardens


Jesse + Hannah’s Louisville Elopement…

I love a good elopement!  I’ll admit, as much as I wanted our big wedding (which ultimately I’m so glad we had), there were moments in the midst of planning when I got super stressed and thought- maybe we should just elope! Even though it wasn’t the right choice for us, I think elopement is such a wonderful option for lots of couples. It’s intimate, often budget friendly, and a special experience shared just between the two of you. It was definitely the right option for Jesse + Hannah, and I love the way they chose to document their day. Here’s more from the bride, Hannah…

We tried to use a lot of friends and focus on places that supported our farmer friends in Louisville. Overall, by thrifting a lot and the support of friends, the whole day cost under $1000.

My dress was made by Aryn K from a small boutique in Lexington, but everything Jesse was wearing was thrifted. I made my own bouquet/hair pieces. We stayed at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, and visited amazing places with emphasis on farm-to-table and local ingredients: Hillbilly Tea, Harvest Restaurant, Louisville Beer Store.

It was a super casual day in some ways, but also really special. I am confident that we will always be able to remember every perfect detail of it…whereas I feel like most couples experience a sort of whirlwind on their wedding day after all the buildup and expectation and planning and money. It feels like a blur!

If I have any advice, it would be that having a small and intimate wedding, even an elopement, can still be special and extra-memorable. I think in some ways, it is MORE special. It is not for everyone, I am aware, but for us, while we are putting every penny towards our new farm and generally trying to live lives of small-impact, it just made sense.

By spending some money on our photographer (the extraordinary TIM HARRIS!), we are still able to share the day with all our friends and family, even though they weren’t technically there. Basically, for engaged couples: do what YOU want – not what you think is normal or expected. It is YOUR day and about YOUR happiness.

Jesse + Hannah’s photographer, Tim Harris, also put together this awesome video of their day. Which brings me to another point that I’ve said before, and I will probably say a million more times- having a video of your day is worth every penny! Great photos are incredibly important, but there is just something about being able to watch a video of your wedding that is really special and truly brings you back into the moment. With that, here is Jesse + Hannah’s wedding video…

from on .


Rustic Autumn Wedding…

Thanksgiving is just a day away, so today I wanted to do two things. First of all, I want to wish you all the happiest of happy Thanksgivings, and tell you how thankful I am for you!!! Every time I get an email from a bride telling me how The Loveliest Day inspired her, or sharing her wedding with me, it fills my heart! The second thing I want to do today is share this beautiful rustic autumn wedding with you! Not only is it absolutely perfect for the holiday upon us, (Thanksgiving table inspiration, *wink, wink*), it was sent over by the bride, Brittany. I’m having full heart overload today, people!

Here’s some more about this wedding from the bride, Brittany:

Our wedding planning journey began even before Sergio proposed as I had been compiling a list of venues in the area that fit our criteria. I even had an appointment to a venue on the day we got engaged! We knew we wanted to be married in the fall, outdoors, surrounded by nature. To me, autumn is the most romantic season with the leaves changing, the air getting crisper and fireplaces roaring to life (even though San Diego has less than adequate change of seasons). We found our venue, Temecula Creek Inn, the second weekend we searched. We didn’t even have an appointment but we arrived an hour earlier than we had anticipated for our other appointments and decided to swing by. Sergio and I hadn’t made an appointment because we had already been to Temecula Creek Inn for our 2nd dating anniversary trip. We didn’t see the Stone House when we stayed there but I am so glad we were able to see it without an appointment. We took one look around and were sold! The Stone House is nestled against a mountainside in a grove of oak trees. It’s like taking a step back in time and a world away from the city. The Stone House was used as a mess hall in the 1800’s for miners from the nearby quarry.

We wanted a rustic, organic, natural feel while using the jewel toned autumn palette and mixing traditional with unexpected elements.

Sergio and I made the wooden signs and the directional post.

I am Cherokee and was raised with the Cherokee heritage and culture. Sergio is Kumeyaay, a tribe native to San Diego. Though we still wanted to have the traditional Western ceremony, we also wanted to incorporate our cultural background. To honor Sergio’s heritage we were getting married on his homeland. We asked my dad to perform the Cherokee portion of the wedding ceremony. On wine barrels set on either side of the entrance of the aisle were abalone shells with burning sage bundles. As the guests walked to their seats they were smudged with the smoke from the sage. Smudging cleanses people and the area of bad spirits, feelings or influences while the ceremony is conducted.

My dad began the ceremony by having Sergio and I exchange the Cherokee double walled baskets that were handmade by Sergio and I. My basket held dried corn while Sergio’s held venison which are representations of our responsibilities in our marriage to provide for each other.

Our tables had burlap runners I made and napkins with wheat stalks and tied in raffia.

Our table numbers were wood burned tree slices. Each table was based on a day that was significant in our relationship.

We wanted to create a sense of warmth so we had candles everywhere and fires lit in the fire pit outside and the fireplace inside.

Brittany also shared this video of their first dance, along with an explanation:

We chose to combine the traditional first dance with a surprise dance mix that was unknown to all of our guests, even our maid of honor and best man. We started with “Only You Can Love Me This Way” by Keith Urban and surprised our guests by jumping into “Like a G6” by the Far East Movement. The rest of our Ultimate Wedding mix was “Sexy Chick” by David Guetta, “Baby I Like it” by Enrique Iglesias, “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool and Dcup “Cotton Eyed Joe” by Rednecks and a Riverdance song “Lord of the Dance” by Ronan Hardiman and Michael Flatley.


Photography: Emily Faulknor Photography
Day of Coordination: One and Only Events
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Temecula Creek Inn
DJ: Vynce with DJ Phreek
Florist: Tessilk
Cake: Yves Fournier
Pies: Julian Pie Company
Bride’s Dress: Custom Casablanca via 2000 Dreams Bridal
Cinematography: Ashley Video Productions
Design: Bride + friend Denise Slepak
Officiant: Alison of One and Only Events
Stationery: Bride + friend of bride
Calligraphy + Hair and Makeup: AnnaMae Ouimet of One and Only Events
Catering: Temecula Creek Inn
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: After Six
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse


Crafty Literature Wedding…

Rich and Meg Photography sent over today’s crafty literature themed wedding via Two Bright Lights! Erinleigh + Joseph blended their love of classic literature (and based on Joseph’s shoes, a little comic love too), with Erinleigh’s passion for crafting, and this lovely wedding was the result. As a voracious bookworm myself, I loved all the vintage books that they used in their centerpieces. Not just as props, but because of the rich stories within the pages. Can I sit at the Neverland table, please?


Photographer: Rich & Meg Photography
Reception Venue: Belle Voir Manor
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal
DJ: Marlin Disc Jockeys


Laura + Phil’s Vintage Wedding…

This gem of a wedding was sent over by the lovely Abi of Abi Q Photography! The couple, Laura + Phil, were super resourceful and found or made almost every single thing in their wedding!!! From thrift store items to family heirlooms, everything they incorporated into their day was uniquely them.

More from the bride, Laura:

We love all things vintage and our family, so of course we would start there. We scoured thrift stores to find the treasures that made up our wedding. Frames, the groomsmen suits, books, suitcases, you name it….. we found it at a thrift store! We are also very family oriented people so we wanted to reflect how much we love and honor our family. Several things in the wedding we borrowed from our parents and grandparents. It was special using their things to start our new life together.

My mom and sister, my maid of honor, went with me to the LA flower mart, then bought and arranged all the bouquets, arrangements, boutonnieres, etc. This saves a ridiculous amount of money. Do it!

I made my veil. All the veils I saw or found online were about $60+ and didn’t look like me. SO I went to downtown LA and found the material and flowers and made it in about 3 mins for $7.

Almost everything you see, my wonderful husband and I either found or made. Every dollar you can save adds up when planning a wedding. DIY as much a possible!

Some advice from Laura:

Create your wedding to reflect you and your fiance! Phil and I brainstormed what was really important to us before we started planning and that was the best way to start. We had a clear idea in mind and we stuck with it. Secondly, hire and Day-of wedding coordinator. On your wedding day you want to sit back and enjoy. Pick someone who isn’t afraid to make decisions and let them do it! Thirdly, do your vendor research. There are people who you will naturally click with, and people that make you think you took crazy pills. Be picky, it’s worth it! Lastly, enjoy your entire wedding day. Little things will go wrong, just laugh them off. They are not worth ruining your day. Savor getting your hair done, walking down the aisle, seeing your fiance eyes light up when he catches a glimpse of you, saying your vows with all your heart, and beginning the wonderful journey of marriage with the love of your life.

Wedding Vendors:

Photographer: Abi Q Photography
Venue: Freedom Church
Bridal Gown Rental: One Night Affair
Bride’s Shoes: Baker’s


A Rustic Literature Wedding…

Denys and Matt were married at a beautiful ranch in Central California. They share a deep love of literature that was woven throughout their day. Denys created miniature versions of some of their favorite books to serve as escort cards. The mini books were lined up in handmade card catalog boxes. Each guest’s burlap favor bag was adorned with a unique quotation, no two the same. Cones were made from book pages, and filled with lavender for guests to throw as Denys and Matt walked up the aisle as man and wife. It was all these little touches and more that made this wedding so personal, and Jennifer of Jennifer Williams Photography was there to capture them all.

Photographer: Jennifer Williams Photography
Venue: Springville Ranch
Florist: The Flower Mill
Caterer: Gina Merritt of Bella Donna Catering
Bride’s Dress: Ladies and Gents
Hair Stylist: Elisha Wilkerson of Karma Salon
Bride’s Hair Piece: Jennifer Behr
Rentals: Paula’s Precious Memories & Walker-Lewis

I hope you all have a fantastic Valentine’s Day!!!