I still have so many gorgeous gowns and heavenly accessories from New York Bridal Week to share with you all that my fashion week may well turn into a fashion fortnight!
But before all that, let's get back to the heart of Bridal Musings – real couples in love.
Prepare yourselves for some seriously stunning real weddings and sweet engagement shoots. Starting with Mia and Joe's rustic, DIY nuptials in the awe inspiring, wide open spaces of Sun Valley, Idaho.
Mia wore a beautiful backless gown by Katie May (a design that's part of Katie May's latest bridal collection) teamed with a relaxed twisted up do, fabric flowers in her hair and her grandmother's pearl necklace worn around her wrist. The sleeves of her gown fluttering in the wind like angel's wings.
There is so much beauty, love and happiness captured in these exquisite photos by Traci Griffin Photography. (Stay tuned for their epic wedding film coming later too!)
From The Bride…
When we started the wedding planning process we looked at venues in the Bay Area and California but never found anything that felt right. I had always dreamed of having our wedding outdoors with beautiful rustic scenery surrounding us and our friends and family. When my friend suggested that we could have our wedding at her family's gorgeous estate in Sun Valley, ID, I knew that was an offer too good to pass up. Deciding to have a destination wedding was difficult as we knew we'd be asking our friends and family, the majority of which live in San Francisco and the Bay area, to travel a long way. However we hoped that our loved ones could come up for a few days before the wedding and enjoy the area and all it has to offer – and they did!
Joe's mother and the majority of her family live in Idaho, and we think a lot of them wouldn't have been able to come had we had our wedding elsewhere, so it worked out quite well. We went horseback riding and fly fishing the day before the wedding and loved being able to spend additional time with our guests outside of the actual wedding events.
Decor & Details
The venue could not have been more stunning and inspired us when planning the decor. We didn't want to detract from the natural beauty the surroundings had to offer, and chose seasonal flowers such as peonies, anemones, fox tails, sweet peas and lambs ears in soft neutral colors to compliment the rustic scenery. We kept the linens neutral as well, using white linens and burlap runners.
I was very hesitant to use a tent as I didn't want to conceal any of the beautiful views, however I'm so glad we did. The weather leading up to the wedding was very cold and rainy and when we were driving back from the horse back ride in the mountains the day before the wedding it actually snowed a little bit! Thankfully Mother Nature pulled through and our wedding day was gorgeous, but I was able to sleep at night knowing we had a “plan B” and the tent kept the heat in once it started getting cooler at night. Our planner suggested we use a clear tent so you could still see the mountains and the pond from the dance floor which I loved.
We wanted to keep the vibe very casual and decided to serve heavy appetizers in a cocktail-party setting rather than having assigned seating and a designated “dinner time.” This actually worked out really well as the guests were free to graze on the delicious appetizers and more filling items the caterer put together while moving about and socializing with the other guests.
Inspired by bridal blogs I definitely could have gone crazy with DIY projects – but the cost of shipping things from NYC to Idaho helped keep me in line. I made the pie topper as well as my hair piece but almost every other detail was created by our friends and family. We are incredibly lucky to have some very talented and generous guests whom we tapped on to help with almost every part of the wedding. My father is a real “renaissance man” and cut the wooden rounds from a tree on his property in California. He also makes award winning wine as a hobby and made and bottled the red wine for the wedding.
I was able to work with my friend Khristine who designed the invitations and wine labels. My friend Penelope addressed the invitations, and my friend Claire did hair for me, my sister, nieces, and mother. Our friend Steve played the fiddle during the ceremony. My sister and matron of honor handmade the flower girl dresses and all the cones for the lavender toss (not to mention kept my sanity leading up to the event). My mother embroidered our wedding date on a handkerchief and our friend Austin, who introduced Joe and I, was our officiant.
Photography & Videography
Our big splurge was on our photographer and videographer. I worked with the videographer at an advertising agency in San Francisco, and I knew his work was incredible. When I found out that his girlfriend was a wedding photographer, I knew I couldn't use anyone else. It cost more to fly them to Idaho but it was so important to me that we knew and trusted the people who were capturing the moments of the day – and it was worth it. You will be spending a lot of time with your photographer and videographer at your wedding, so you want to make you enjoy their company. We loved working with Tony and Traci!
Advice For Other Couples…
In addition to the standard, “get a videographer,” “take time to enjoy the day,” “don't sweat the small stuff,” I have some practical advice for brides planning their wedding.
If budget is a concern I recommend asking friends and family to help out. Everyone was more than happy to lend a hand and donate their time as a gift to me and Joe. It was such a special experience to be able to work with people that we knew and loved on all the details for the big day and added a lovely personal touch. Also, tell your vendors your budget is $500-$1000 less than what it actually is for item they are bidding on. There are a million details you probably haven't thought of and this trick can keep your budget in check. If for some reason you are under budget you can put that money towards some fun details, gifts for the wedding party, etc.
LOVE all of your vendors! You will be working with these people for a year or more and giving them a lot of money – so it is important you trust and enjoy working with them. Working with Katie and her team at Katie May on my incredible wedding gown was one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process. She truly made me feel special and really listened to what I was looking for.
If your religion and officiant allow for it, I highly recommend you write your own vows. This was one of my favorite parts of the wedding process as Joe and I were able to sit down and discuss what marriage meant to us. Your marriage is unique and it was wonderful being able to recite personalized vows that spoke to our relationship and our future together.
It truly was a magical day filled with so much love and happiness. I will cherish these memories forever.
Congratulations Mia and Joe! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us, it's enough to make a city girl like me want to run away to the country!