Real Wedding: Vintage England, II

October 27

My sister’s ceremony was held at the Richmond-upon-Thames registry office. A small room in a historic house, the ceremony had just 40 guests in attendance. The service is very simple, bridesmaids and groomsmen sit with guests. The bride and groom also sit at the registrar’s desk. During the ceremony the license is signed  by the best man and maid of honor. After that, the couple and all the guests stand as the wording before the kiss is said. And afterwards, the couple gets showered with confetti as they leave the office. I love, love this tradition!

Post-ceremony we took portraits, some more traditional, some less so (we had to bring some westside style to this shindig).

Tracy & Mark continued with photos while we headed to the reception. I’m absolutely in love with their wedding portrait by the Thames by Kirsten of Beaux Arts. My mom had brought wellies from the US and they just happened to match her wedding dress perfectly. Mark, of course, wore a traditional morning suit.

My sister, like me, opted to go with a short wedding dress. She paired it with a classic birdcage veil and some Badgley Mischka heels. You can see more of the wedding right here on Snippet & Ink!

Real Wedding: Vintage England (aka my sister’s wedding!)


I can’t believe its been almost a year since my sister Tracy got married… I traveled to England two weeks prior to the big day to help her with all the last minute details and to gather all the decor for the wedding. My sister wanted something that felt appropriate to the reception space and we talked about a color palette of soft blues, bits of lavender, and cream. I threw out the ideal of Toile which is that perfect shade of blue/grey and definitely had that old world elegance. Once we had that piece decided on, I ordered fabric and had my linen vendor make a runner for the head table and napkins for all the guests.

I brought the menus, linens & napkins, and a suitcase full of floral supplies with me (TSA was a big fan I’m sure). Tracy and I bought containers ranging from old tea sets, to old trophies, to vintage biscuit tins from flea markets and antique stores. I sourced flowers from the London Flower Market (I used Alagar, who were easy to work with and delivered the flowers directly to my sister’s house) and I ordered  garden roses from David Austin.

For seating cards, we found a vintage letterpress drawer to tuck the cards into. My mom was kind enough to write them all out, since I elected her as having the prettiest hand writing. The menus are from Wedding Paper Divas. I accented them with Italian paper from Paper Source and a “R” seal for Ryan (the groom’s last name). I got the seal and the wax from Letter Seals. My sister made the majority of the seals which we dubbed “Ryan money” since they looked like copper pennies.

Of course, what would an English wedding be without many proper pints? My dad, up top making friends with the groom’s family, and myself, after finishing setup.

There was much laughter and love that night, the two families with extremely different backgrounds came together and crushed many a pint. Above, my sister with my dad, below Tracy and I with the two bridesmaids, Lisa, my sister’s BF, and our cousin Jocelyn sharing a moment right after toasts.

My sister’s first dance was adorable… She chose “At Last” by Etta James which was fitting. They met in Australia while both were back packing and working… Mark is from England (though ethnically Irish) and she was an American… After much world trotting back and forth and going through the immigration process to get into the UK, it was nice to simply celebrate their new lives together.

I was absolutely in love with the adorable cake my sister designed with Georgina’s Cakes. The bride and groom figurines are sitting on a rucksack with a map and book saying Australia in reference to how they met. It was so much fun to get to spend time hanging out with my sister and her husband and seeing how happy they are. Congrats you too!!!

*And where is ceremony you might ask? It’s up on Snippet & Ink right here. Go look, the bride & groom photos are adorable! And I’m a big, big fan of the UK tradition’s of a confetti toss.

**And a very special thank you to the amazing Kirsten at Beaux Arts Photographie for coming all the way to London to shoot my sister’s wedding!

*** You can see more about my adventures in London right hereherehere and here.

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!


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!


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

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

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.