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Our Favorite Furry Friends

You know what every Thursday evening needs?  A little dose of adorable.  Any by “a little dose,” I mean a full-fledged attack of cuteness, courtesy of some of our favorite furry friends from weddings past.  Think dapper pups in bow ties, cuddly kittens and horses dressed to perfection (seriously).  It’s a smile-inducing fur fest and the heartwarming begins in one, two, three…

Our Favorite Furry Friends
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Sunny Al Fresco Wedding in Ojai

There are wedding tents and then there are stunning masterpieces of drapery under which the prettiest al fresco weddings occur. This Ojai affair photographed by Michael Costa most certainly falls under the latter. And it comes baring floral gifts by Flowerwild and the most elegant details crafted by Jill La Fleur. Have a look at the full gallery and tell me you haven’t seen a more gorgeous tent. Am I right?

From The Bride…My only requirement when looking for venues for our wedding was that I wanted to be able to dance under the stars. After visiting the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa I realized this was the place I pictured in my dreams. After our first site visit, our search for a wedding venue was over. We never anticipated that we would only visit one wedding site and call it a day, but that is what happened. What really captured our hearts was the beauty and tranquility of the grounds. It truly was the perfect place for our dream wedding. The wedding was on a beautiful, sunny day in October 2012. After exchanging vows under the magical canopy of a 100-year-old Oak Tree, our guests were whisked off to the herb garden where they sipped on the Inn’s signature drink, the Pink Moment, and nibbled on an assortment of appetizers. After a short hour had passed, our guests were escorted through the garden down to lawn where we met them for an unforgettable night of dinner, dancing, and cake accompanied by a sundae bar. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Everything had fallen into place perfectly. My dream had become a reality. The stars were out and our hearts were full…. what a night it was. Miller and I had known each other for quite some time before we had actually started dating. We both attended Newport Harbor High School and ran in the same group, but we never thought we would end up together. After high school, Miller left for college at the University of Colorado Boulder, and I went off to San Francisco State. Six years later, we unexpectedly reconnected at a mutual friend’s wedding in Mexico. After meeting at the beach bar on the first day, we were inseparable. That was it for us! Five years later we tied the knot and had our dreamy wedding at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. I got to dance under the stars and marry the man of my dreams, what a lucky girl I am. Today we still live in Newport Beach. Miller is Vice President at Farmers and Merchants Bank and I am a stay at home mom with our beautiful 3-month-old daughter, Hannah. Life is good for the Akins Family!

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Michael Costa | Event Planning: Jill La Fleur Wedding Planner | Floral Design: Kate Flowerwild | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Invitations: Dauphine Press | Ceremony Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: AA Jewelry Box | Bridesmaids Dresses: Swoon | Lighting: Lewis Barker Decor Services | Groom's Shoes: Kenneth Cole | Officiant: Pastor Low Norris | Assistant Coordinator: Jenn Curti | Bride's Hair: Kristine Norris | Bride's Reception Dress: Erin Fetherston | Bridesmaids Jewelry: Dara Ettinger | Decor: Casa De Perrin | Dog's Bowtie: Silly Buddy | Groomsmen Attire: Tommy Hilfiger | Hair & Make-Up: Mar Team Hair & Make-Up | Linens: La Tavola | Music: Anthony Ybarra | Music: Bobby Joyner Band | Reception Dress Belt: The White Dress | Rentals: Nicole Classic Party Rentals

Hayley Paige, Jim Hjelm Occasions and Swoon are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Fleur Weddings & Events, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, TEAM Hair and Makeup, Michael + Anna Costa Photography, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, JLM Couture, Inc and Casa de Perrin are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Fleur Weddings & Events

La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

TEAM Hair and Makeup

Michael & Anna Costa Photograp...

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

JLM Couture Wedding Gown Bouti...

Casa de Perrin

Plum Pretty Sugar Summer/Early Fall 2014 + A Giveaway!

Truth be told, I still wear my Plum Pretty Sugar robe that I got ready in the morning of my big day. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan. So when I laid eyes on their brand-new summer/early fall 2014 collection that’s full of new styles and patterns perfect for getting ready, honeymoon and everyday, let’s just say it was a swoon fest!

With gorgeous new styles that are perfect for everyday + everything, this Plum Pretty Sugar collection has it all! When getting ready for the big day, I’m loving the collared, button-down Boyfriend Shirts, Tiered Maxi Dress (with removable spaghetti straps!) Maxi Robe and Jumpsuit. Perfect for the honeymoon (and for ever after!), I can’t get enough of the Petal Shorts + Crop Top, Playsuit, Side-Tie Pant and Cross Back Dress. Shown in some fabulous tried + true patterns as well as some newbies, Plum Pretty Sugar has flirty, feminine and fabulous down to a science!

To see the full collection + to start your shopping cart, head over here! And to top it all off, we’ve got a fabulous giveaway for our SMP readers!


The Prize: A lucky reader will win a set of three tiered maxi dresses! (value of $204)

To Enter: Head over to Plum Pretty Sugar’s site and take a look around. Then come back over here and comment on this post with the name of your favorite piece in the new collection!

To Win: One winner will be selected at random and announced on the WIUP on Friday, August 1, 2014.

Terms & Conditions: Can all be found right here.  Good luck my dears! xoxo

Photography: Marisa Holmes | Hair + Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy

Marisa Holmes Photographer and Kacee Geoffroy Hair and Makeup are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Marisa Holmes Photographer

Kacee Geoffroy Hair and Makeup

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