Chic-Natural NOLA Wedding

Michelle and Matthew wanted a destination wedding that mirrored their urban yet natural style, so the New York couple traveled to New Orleans for their big day. The Southern charm and history of the French Quarter sealed the deal, so much so that the bride and groom served Gumbo and pralines at their reception! After family portraits near the famous St. Louis Cemetery, Veronica from VeroLuce Photography captured shots of the Big Apple twosome as they celebrated in the Big Easy!



From the Bride, Michelle:

“We met in Spring of 2008, in the classic ‘Guy has adorable puppy, beautiful girl sees puppy on college green and offers to watch said puppy, after which clever guy offers to buy dinner for said girl for watching puppy’ scenario. Six months later we were moving in together (he brought the dog and I came with a cat), instantly becoming a family.”



“In the years that followed we moved to Boston, then NYC (our mutual dream city), and grew closer and more in love with each twist and turn of our journey. In 2012, as I stressed about transitioning careers, Matt knew exactly how to cheer me up… planning an elaborate engagement on Penn’s campus, in the very same room where we first said ‘I love you,’ and quietly gathering family and friends for a post-engagement celebration. I said yes! (Thank goodness, because that could have been awkward!)”



“My aesthetic (and therefore Matt’s by extension of me) is urban-glam meets raw-natural-chic. An NYC loft wedding was out of the question due to budget, so our next move was finding a fun location – somewhat rough around the edges, with tons charm, mystery, and history – New Orleans seemed to fit the bill! We took a trip down to LA to scout reception locations and were just about to give up, when we stumbled upon Cafe Amelie and struck up a conversation with Danny Akers, their amazing manager and co-owner, who was setting up for another wedding. We fell in love with the open courtyard and the twinkling lights strung through the trees! The greenery everywhere juxtaposed the buildings’ raw brick façade and stone fountain.”



“Together the three of us planned a laid-back, eclectic event. We combined NOLA traditions (from Gumbo to praline favors) with my Japanese heritage, in the form of origami used throughout (not to mention the MOTB’s kimono), culminating in what was, by far, the most memorable part of the evening… our very own Second Line parade through the French Quarter, with wedding guests and locals alike dancing, singing, and marching with complete abandon through the streets of New Orleans!!!”



Congratulations to Michelle and Matthew on their wedding, and thank you to Veronica for sharing the love!

Photos: VeroLuce Photography | Venue: Cafe Amelie | Florist: Fat Cat Flowers | Cake: Fondant Flinger | Pralines: Laura’s Candies | DJ: Rock-it Productions | Second Line Band : The New Orleans Kinfolk Brass Band | Dress Designer : Martina Liana | Bridal Boutique: Wedding Atelier
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Beautiful Beach Maternity Session

Florida mom Jen chose to show off the beautiful coastline of her home state by doing her maternity session on the beach. She headed out early to get the lovely light of sunrise in her portraits, and Captured By Belinda helped Jen pick the perfect spot on the beach to feature her bump. And all their hard work paid off, as the brave mom-to-be looks gorgeous perched on the rocky shore with the waves crashing behind her!



From Mom Jen:

“I woke up at 4 a.m. to get ready for this shoot! I did my hair and makeup, as my husband and 3-year-old slept. I got ready and went to the gas station around the corner, to grab some hot chocolate and coffee for Belinda and her daughter (who was her helper for the shoot). Word to the wise: DON’T go to the gas station at 4 a.m.- the clientele at that time is NOT GOOD!”



“We loaded up the car and raced to the beach, because we realized we timed sunrise wrong! We parked our car in a nearby grass lot and ran to the beach to catch the last bit of the sunrise. I was posed precariously on a rock here and there and kept getting closer and closer to the water. Then came the big wave and I thought I was done for, and was going to fall in, good thing I had a firm toe grip on the rocks!”



“The pictures turned out beautiful- just like our little girl who was born a few months later. These pictures are perfect and show off all the natural beauty our coastline has to offer. We are hoping our Arden will be a beach bunny when she gets older!”



Thanks to Jen and Belinda for sharing this beautifully beachy photo shoot!

Captured By Belinda

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Vintage Modern Summer Shoot

Warm sunny colors and vintage modern art inspired this summery styled shoot from Ohio photographer Mary Wyar, and Aimee Paquin of Modernly Events. These Midwestern ladies had felt their share of winter, and were anxiously awaiting some warm weather, while planning this April photo shoot. Summertime brings out the playfulness in us all, and this theme really shines. So, grab your shades and SPF, because today we’re celebrating the sun!



From Coordinator Aimee:

“After a long, hard Midwest winter, we were craving sunshine and warmth! This shoot was inspired by the vibrant, colorful, and geometric sun motifs created by mid-century modern textile and interior designer Alexander Girard.”



“We carried the sunburst motifs, geometric forms, and summery red, orange, and gold hues with pops of aqua throughout the design, from the ceremony backdrop and stationery to the flowers and cake, to capture the spirit of Girard’s cheerful mid-century modern designs. All of these details, and our retro but modern vibe, beautifully popped against the minimal loft-like art gallery location at the Secor Building in Toledo, Ohio.”



We love how Aimee and her team used the inspiration of summer, and classic mid-century furniture, to bring this photo shoot together. The bright colors and mod styling really caught our eye! Warm reds and oranges evoke the rays of the sun, and the cool aqua blue makes us want to grab a towel and head to the pool. And the geometric accents in this shoot meld modern and vintage together in the best kind of way (plus that cake… wow!).



Thanks to Aimee, Mary and their team of talented vendors! We can’t wait to see more of your work.

Concept Design & Furniture: Modernly Events | Photos: Mary Wyar Photography | Venue: The Secor Building | Florals & Linens: Elite Events | Invitations & Signage: Alisa Bobzein Design | Calligraphy: Rebecca Bischoff | Cake: Cherry Lane Custom Cakes | Macarons: Sugar Macaron Patisserie | Makeup: Carl Graf | Hair: Sarah Miller Sandford | Dress: Robert Bullock Dress, provided by The Dress Bridal Boutique | Suit: ASOS | Bracelet: Nicole Miller Accessories | Earrings: Badgley Mischka Jewelry

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How to be more productive

If your life is anything like mine, chaos with running two companies and a toddler getting into everything moving a mile a minute than you probably need to learn how to be more productive in your work day. I don’t know about you but there definitely needs to be more hours in my day. So after years of being unproductive I discovered a few small things I could change to make myself feel like I’m getting things done.



1. Make Lists & Use Them

We all say “Oh I should make a list” but we never actually do it and then end up forgetting what we were supposed todo. Your list of tasks that is. I forget to do this crucial prep step sometimes because I just want to hit my pillow at night but then I spend my mornings rushing through the things I have set aside for pleasure. Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to prep for the next day with a simple list. You will thank m later when you are sleeping peacefully. Make sure you keep your list concise and attainable so you can set yourself up for success.


2. Accept Defeat

Some days, you CANNOT do it all. This is the biggest thing I’ve had to accept over the years. Some days, I won’t answer every email, I won’t put real clothes on (I actually will wear my piglet pajamas from rise in the morning to bed at night), I won’t cross one single thing off my to do list, I won’t eat lunch or drink a drop of water. And that’s OK, when you learn to accept that you’re human and you can’t run on autopilot every single day of your life. I look at it this way; if I’m going to spend a good chunk of my time on the weekend working on client’s design proposals because I felt inspired then and knew I could crank out some good stuff (again my choice), I’ll feel comfortable calling it quits on Friday at 3:00 pm in the afternoon when I’m feeling overwhelmed and in need of a break. When you know you need to step away, do it. Accept defeat.


3. Get Up Early & Go To Bed Early

How many of you try and work at 3am like I do? Well it’s time to stop that now! Get up early like 6am early and start your day you will be more productive, I promise. As a business owner we tend to make our own crazy hours and find ourselves sleeping in somedays (pre kids). Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.




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Washington Anniv Session

Being a Southern California based blog we swoon over photos that have SEASONS since we have to be around the constant sunshine all the time. I know it’s terrible isn’t it! When I saw this session I knew I had to share it from one of our favorite states…Washington. Not only is the clothing style perfect but the photos are captured so crisp as the air seems to be that day.

 From the photographer: “It’s been a year since they said ‘I DO’ and I love Theresa’s vision that she wants to do an anniversary shoot every year. Last year, after their wedding, we ventured up into the snow. This year they wanted to reminisce of their proposal and have photos taken at Pike Place Market. They brought their beautiful dog Simon who was a trooper downtown among all the people. We later ventured to the Asian Art Museum and enjoyed the different tree populated areas. Although overcast it turned out to be the perfect day for them, and Theresa looked gorgeous as ever!”

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