Editorial: Old World Elegance Wedding Ideas

January 28

I’m absolutely smitten with this old world elegance editorial photographed by KT Merry and styled by Style Serendipity and shot on location in Ireland. How awesome are these Irish wolfhounds with their garland collars?

Castle Leslie is a fully functioning hotel and wedding location. I would seriously die and go to heaven if I got to a design a wedding here.

In keeping with the old world vibe, invitations were printed on pretty handkerchiefs, crown book marks served as favors, and lace up shoes from BHLDN captured the timeless feel.

A delicately beaded Jenny Packman gown added to the elegant feel…

Soft blooms such as peonies, roses, veronica, and astilbe made up the bride’s bouquet.

An elegant scroll nailed to an ivy covered tree serves as seating chart.

The ivy covered walls of the castle makes a beautiful background for the dinner table draped with a garland over lace and accented with velvet details.

Thanks KT for sharing this beautiful editorial!


Photographer: KT Merry
Reception Venue: Castle Leslie
Invitation Suite, Menu, Program and Seating Chart : Slideshow Press
Bride’s Dress: Samuelle Couture
Hairstylist: The Vintage Bride
Makeup Artist: Jennifer Ireland
Flowers & Decor: Best Buds Florists
Groom’s Attire: David Fittin

Editorial: Parisian Bridal Style

January 14

Today I’m excited  to be sharing this understated, but oh-so-elegance editorial by Elisa B Photography. The couple, Nicole & Thomas wed in Viriginia and then met their photographer in France for a post-wedding photo shoot. Delphine Manivet provided the dress and veil for this romantic shoot.

An elegant long veil edged with delicate lace compliments the simple wedding dress.

The beautiful Tuleries Gardens of Paris makes for an utterly timeless backdrop.

The newlyweds also visited the love locks of the Parisian bridge, Pont de l’Archevêché.

Nicole wears a messy and simple chignon that captures Paris’ elegant, but not fussy vibe.

And how could a Parisian shoot not include a vespa? A special thanks to Elisa for sharing this trés chic editorial with us!


Photographer: Elisa B Photography
Bride’s Dress: Delphine Manivet

Escape to… The Streets of Paris

November 01

Today we’re Escaping to what is known by many as the most romantic city in the world: Paris, France. To me, Paris is the ultimate destination for all-things-beautiful…from the tranquil parks to the pristine architecture and savory food, everything in Paris feels a little more dazzling than the rest of the world.

Walk through the infinite web of streets and your bound to find one of many alluring sights: cafe’s with open air dining, tree-lined cobblestone alleys, and stone stairways leading to secret gardens just to name a few.

The beauty is literally all around you, most notably in the illustrious architecture of Paris’ buildings and monuments. Some more famous and recognizable than others, you’re bound to experience it in every direction. From bridges to fountains…

…to rivers and roadways…Paris is the ultimate in charm and grace.

Even after a day in Paris…when the awe of all you’ve seen begins to wear off…only then will the city surprise you yet again with the ultimate romantic gesture: a perfectly delightful little ice cream truck.

The photographer of these beautiful photos Elisa B particularly, loved:

  • restaurant: Asstier (incredible service, and some of the best true french food I’ve had in my life)
  • market: Raspail (organic and well known, delicious Cider and a truly comprehensive fromagerie … and much more!)
  • museum: musee de la vie romantique ( it was minutes from our apartment, free, and has the loveliest garden cafe for sitting and drinking a cafe with your journal)

And some of my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see:

Sleep: Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris…renovated by renowned designer and architect, Philippe Starck, this former palace located in the infamous golden triangle of Paris is the best of everything the city has to offer:  premier location, stellar service, great food and gorgeous art. Spend hours in the tranquil spa, or watch a movie in the hotel’s private 99 seat theatre. Either way, your bound to experience beauty and comfort in every way.

Eat:  L’Ange 20 … the food and service are simultaneously exquisite and unpretentious, something that can be rare in Paris fine dining. As the prices are very reasonable and the dining room intimate and small (say 20 seats or so), be sure to make reservations before you go. Be sure to save room and order the creme brulee for dessert.

See: Of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, or Dame Cathedral, nor without a walk among any of Paris’ famous bridges. But while you’re likely to cross over the River Seine many times during your stay in Paris, I encourage you to seek out and cross it via the ultimate bridge: The newly installed inflatible trampoline.

Until next time…

xo ~Cynthia

Photographer: Elisa B Photography

Escape to… Provence, France

October 26

Today we’re Escaping to…romantic Provence, the dreamy region of Southeastern France that has delighted travels and artists alike for centuries. Tracing it’s original namesake from the Romans, as it was the first Roman territory beyond the alps, Provence has become a European hotspot for wine tasting and coastal retreats. Comprised of six regions overlooking the Mediterranean Sea (think Cannes, Nice, and Aix-en-Provence to name a few), and characterized by rolling hills, vineyards, and lavender fields, not to mention some of the most beautiful seaside views on the Mediterranean, this is the perfect location for a destination wedding or honeymoon.

The streets of Provence are more than idealic…they’re downright nostalgic for simpler times. The architecture is simple yet dazzling, with cobble stone, limestone and brick lining almost every inch of every town and village. You could literally roam the streets for hours and hours, with the exception of the occasional set of chairs or a bench calling you to sit and ponder how very lucky you are to be here.

How exquisite is that tiny chapel? Perfect for saying your I do’s, don’t you think?

There are so many places to visit, and so many things to see in Provence. Here are just a few of my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see:

Sleep: La Bastide de Boulbon…Located in Boulbon, which is near the areas of les Baux, Avignon, Saint Remy de Provence, le Pont du Gard, and Arles, Le Bastide is the ideal destination hotel of Provence. Both quintessential French country house and modern hotel, you’ll enjoy everything about your stay from the amazing service of owners Marie-Claire and Jan, to the heated pool, to the hotel’s two mountain bikes available for self guided tours of the alps. Take a hike and visit the medieval castle of Boulbon, the windmill and the Frigolet Abbey, or schedule a message and read in one of the properties tranquil gardens. Either way, your guaranteed a charming and comfortable retreat.

Eat: Fou de Fafa…the best kept secret (or not so secret) of Avignon, Fou de Fafa is ironically owned and operated by British couple Antonia Pyemont-Coughlan and Russell Coughlan. Serving French farm to table cuisine with an international twist, such as Duck breast with strawberries and a balsamic glaze, it’s no wonder this restaurant is a destination hotspot for locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere is unpretentious and prices are extremely reasonable, although reservations are recommended as the dining room is both popular and small.

See: Beyond the beaches of Nice, and the famous festival at Cannes, there is so much that the region of Provence has to offer. For the wine alone, your first stop should be Les Caves Saint Charles. Owner Guy runs this restored 13th century cellar and offers an extensive collection of wines from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC region. Try as many red varietals as you can, being this the most renowned offerings from the area. Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild is the perfect destination to experience a unique and vast collection of French furniture and art. This villa, located on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, is one of the most beautiful on the Côte d’Azur. As the former home of Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, it’s remains both a museum and tribute to Beatrice’s love of France and her travels throughout the world. And that’s just inside the villa…the gardens themselves are worth the trip. It’s important to note that the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild does offer use of the space for weddings and receptions.

Until next time…

xo ~Cynthia

Photographer: Jose Villa

Falling into Fall

October 10

All of a sudden its Fall, and I’m pulling out cozy cashmere scarves and enjoying the fruits of the season.

I went apple picking a few weeks ago, the perfect, and peaceful, way to celebrate the season.

Happy Fall! And if any local want to pick a few apples themselves, check out Apple Lane Farms in Solvang.

Escape to… A Wedding at Chateau de Montplaisant

September 28

Today’s Escape to... post is a very special one ideed. There’s nothing I love more than a destination wedding that takes place at a gorgeous European estate, and Chateau de Montplaisant near Lyon, France is no exception! The origins of this property date back to the 15th century as the home of Antoine de Loras, the Lord of Montplaisant; the current incarnation is the result of various owners since. Yet, what makes this estate and post so special is the intimate connection that bride and groom Aude & Gilles have to this region of France and the wedding details that followed suit. In the words of wedding photographer, Mademoiselle Fiona:

“Aude & Gilles have been living in Los Angeles for several years and are originally from Lyon, France. They got married at the Chateau de Montplaisant, a beautiful estate near their hometown. The style of their wedding was truly the result of the bride’s vision and creativity. As a designer, she even handmade a few details herself. I loved her ballerina wedding gown and her bridesmaids’ tutus. Earlier in the day, Aude also wore a gorgeous traditional pink sari, in honor of her mother-in-law Sri Lankese heritage. I’ve rarely seen such a handsome groom and such a graceful bride!”

As a designer herself, the bride chose a stunning Monique Lhuillier satin mermaid gown with detachable ‘ballerina’ tulle skirt…perfect for the the ceremony to reception scene change.

The ceremony itself took place in an old chapel near to the estate, followed by the reception back on the Chateau grounds.

The best part about French chateau weddings? All the gorgeous architectural details that make for the perfect wedding portrait backdrops. Makes you wonder how many couple throughout time have stood on that balcony and embraced in a kiss. If only the walls could talk!

And what chateau wedding would be complete without a vintage car to drive off as husband and wife?!

Before heading into dinner, adult guests enjoyed cocktails while younger attendees indulged in treats from a local ice cream cart.

The reception florals and decor captured the essence of the chateau’s garden, infused with colors of green, pink and white…the perfect final ode to a place the bride and groom hold so dear.


Being a destination wedding, Chateau de Montplaisant offered more than just the wedding celebration location. Just minutes to hiking, sailing, biking, tennis and horseback riding, not to mention the medieval town of Bourg en Bressethere were a million must-see spots that surely kept out-of-town guests busy for days before and after the big event. Staying at the chateau, here are my picks for the best in where and what you should eat/see while in Bresse:

Eat: La Fleur de Sel … known for simple farm to table fare, and friendly service, La Fleur de Sel is a must stop on your trip into town. Be sure to try the munkfish rissotto and creme brulee.

See: Royal Monastery of Brou … Beyond the gorgeous countryside, the Royal Monastery is a breathtaking example of the traditional Gothic style churches seen all throughout Europe. What makes this location so special is that it was built as a token of love by the Duchess Margaret of Austria to her husband, the Duke of Savoy in the early 16th century. A museum in also located on the property, and guests can take self guided tours throughout the location, daily.

Congratulations Aude and Gilles! Until next time…

xo ~Cynthia

Flowers & Decor: Le Jardin des Fleurs
Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG Maxazria
Invitations & Stationery: Paper Source
Cinematography: FIRR Paris
Catering: Pignol
Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Blanc Blanc Prune

Escape to… Lynton, England

September 07

After a short hiatus, we’re back on the road today. And for anyone who knows me, it’s fitting that we’re escaping to a place I’ve been obsessing with since the Olympics: England. But beyond the city lights of London lies one of the world’s best kept secrets in Lynton, England! Located in Devon (aka Devonshire), Lynton’s craggy coastline boasts a truly serene and magestic landscape.

Can you imagine how peaceful a walk along this coast would be? Photographer Katie Stoops captured it perfectly… and I’m desperately daydreaming of spending an afternoon on a blanket next to the barren shrub above, staring off into the turquoise sea for hours upon hours.

And as if the coastline were not idealic enough, the town of Lynton is itself everything you’d expect from a small English town, such as old stone benches and peak roof cottages. Pure romantic paradise!

A few words from the photographer, Katie“We flew into London and took the train three hours west to a small town in the English countryside where we rented a car and drove an hour further west to the coast in Devon. Our bed & breakfast in the tiny beach town Lynton which sits directly on top of the town Lynmouth. Something to think about… be aware of the time of year you’re going in relation to your location. I desperately wanted to sit and watch the deep blue sea from the cliffs; however, it was below freezing with gusts of wind. Also, since these two towns thrive from summer tourists seeking the beach getaway, our inn and two restaurants were just about the only places open in March. It was still breathtaking, but not much to do. We loved talking to people… Everyone is so open and willing to tell you great stories about the area.”

Sounds like late summer is the perfect time to escape! Here are my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see in Lynton:

Sleep: Castle Hill Guest House …the rooms are spotless, the service impeccable, and the food delicious. This delightful B&B run by Alistair & Emma Mundell is THE place to stay in Lynton. Not only are you perfectly situated near local pubs, tea houses, bistros and restaurants, but also…every room has a view!

Eat: The Oak Room on Lee Road … known for it’s tapas and excellent local fair, as well as excellent service and vibe, this should be your first culinary stop in town. It’s important to note, however, it’s a popular place…so be sure to call ahead and make reservations in advance. Another important stop? Lily Mays Tea Shop, located at 1 Castle Hill Rd.

See:  Obviously the coastline…hike along the many trails of the coast, which are part of the larger Exmoor National Park. Also, don’t miss a visit to the Lyn & Exmoor Museum, an ode to all-things-Lynton, and which houses numerous town relics. For more information, visit the Lynton tourist information center.

Until next time…

xo ~Cynthia

Photographer: Katie Stoops