Real Weddings

Fun Signature Cocktail Recipes For Your Wedding

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Did you happen to catch the sparkly Santa Barbara wedding we shared earlier today? Well Melissa, the bride from that stunner of a celebration, is kindly sharing the recipes for the incredible-sounding signature cocktails she not only created, but made (in large batches) for her big day! Now you might be thinking, What the ––! How did this bride pull off such a task? Well, two things! One, Melissa is the very talented co-owner of the foodie blog, CHRONICLE foodie, where she posts yummy weekly cocktail recipes, in addition to so much more. Two, these really are so much easier than they look! Promise. So check out the deets for the basil-lime italian margarita + the minted blueberry lemonade below + maybe give ‘em a try for your next brunch or bash. That’d be a great way to test these recipes for your wedding day, right?!

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So there you have it! Two great ideas for a delicious signature cocktails for your wedding. And the best part is that the hard part of coming up with the recipe is already done for you! If you choose to make one of these fun cocktails for your wedding or next party, be sure to let us know on Instagram or Facebook!

Thanks so much, Melissa, for sharing your cocktail recipe secrets with us today! Photos by Beaux Arts Photographie

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Sparkly Santa Barbara Wedding: Melissa + Jeff

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When we heard today’s bride, Melissa, works for La Tavola Linen, we knew her + Jeff’s wedding was going to be good! This charming duo wanted their day to be relaxed, chic, and filled with lots of personal touches that would show off their fun-loving relationship. By taking inspiration from the very linens Melissa is surrounded by daily, the design process began to take shape. They both love black + white details, and are fans of mixing metal tones, so a sparkly affair – bold, but infused with timeless touches – was the only way to go. Here’s a bit more about it all from Melissa:

We knew that we wanted our wedding to be glamorous yet relaxed, all while encompassing our fun-loving approach to our relationship. With Jeff being a firefighter for the United States Forest Service and me working in the event industry, our tastes are often at opposite ends of the spectrum; and so we wanted to include some nature and greenery into the glitter and glamour.

Thanks so much to Beaux Arts Photographie for the super lovely images and big congrats to the newlyweds on a beautiful, sparkly day! Be sure to check back in just a bit, too, because we’re sharing the recipes for some DELISH signature cocktails, all crafted by the lovely Melissa! :)

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Bold lips and a rad, textured hair adornment for the win!

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Processional: By Your Side – Sade, Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers (performed live on saxophone by Justin Ward)

Recessional: All You Need is Love – The Beatles (performed live on saxophone by Justin Ward)

First Dance: Angel Baby – Rosie + the Originals

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I told my bridesmaids to find solid sequined dresses in mixed metal tones — which ended up working beyond perfectly because they all chose very different sparkly hues that looked fantastic together….they are definitely one of my favorite design details of the entire wedding. 

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The star of the show at Melissa + Jeff’s reception were the gorgeous, sequin La Tavola tabledrapes. They lent such a fun + festive feel to the setting!

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My favorite moment of the day was when everything hit me right after our grand entrance into the reception. When our DJ introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time, we charged into the room and were greeted by our friends and family cheering for us. As we began our first dance, I saw my new husband laughing and smiling from ear to ear and literally collapsed into his arms. To this day it still cracks me up because I completely became a pile of mush during one of the most fun and light-hearted moments of the entire day. It was where I realized just how incredibly perfect everything was…

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My best advice for those planning now is to avoid making decisions based on what you think you should do for your wedding and make every decision based on what you actually want to do. If you don’t want to have a bouquet toss…don’t! If you want to wear a black wedding dress…go for it! As long as you are 100% authentic with your decisions based on your wants and needs, you will have absolutely no regrets.

photographer: Beaux Arts Photographie // venue: Rockwood Woman’s Club Santa Barbara, California // florals: Kelly Oshiro of Santa Barbara Chic // planning + design: Melissa of La Tavola Linen, Kelly Oshiro of Santa Barbara Chic // day-of coordination: Cynthia Beard of CHRONICLE foodie // linens: La Tavola Linen // hair + make-up: Chateau Belle // catering: Duo Events // desserts: Jongewaards Bake n’ Broil // rentals: Town & Country // lighting + draping: Bella Vista Designs // paper goods: Lilly & Louise // dj: JAS Productions // saxophonist: Justin Christopher Ward // wedding dress: Justin Alexander via Mon Amie Bridal Salon  // headpiece: Lola M Designs  // belts: Melissa Piña (bride) // koozies: Rook Design Company // puzzle guestbook: The Missing Puzzle Piece Company

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Marry or Honeymoon in Florence at The Belmond Villa San Michele

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Destination weddings seem to be getting more + more popular, and for obvious reason! What could be better than jetting off to the most romantic setting with a handful of your most favorite people in tow? Today we’re excited to share an incredible location for your destination wedding, The Belmond Villa San Michele, a stunning former monastery nestled in the verdant hills above Florence.

The Belmond hotel group has many amazing properties, trains and cruises throughout the world, including several stunning properties in Italy. To give you a peek at each of these gorgeous + unique properties, we thought it would be fun to partner with Belmond to introduce one of their amazing hotels each month for the next several months.

To get an exclusive, insider view of what it would really be like to tie the knot or honeymoon in Italy, we chatted with Vittorio, Villa San Michele’s events manager and Maurizio, the hotel’s head concierge:

GWS: Do you have a favorite wedding that was held at your property? If so, what made the wedding so special and memorable?

Each wedding is unique. Last year we celebrated the wedding of a very young couple: the bride from California, the groom came from the Hawaii and in their blessing they wanted to mix the sands from their states as a symbol of the strength of their union.

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GWS: Where is your favorite location on property for a wedding ceremony and why?

The Garden of the Lemon Trees has been recently reappointed as a special location for blessings, because of its tranquillity. From there you can enjoy the most beautiful sunset over the city of Florence.

GWS: Is there one area of the hotel that guests cannot stop raving about when they visit and experience it for the first time?

Guests are in awe of the stunning view of Florence and they cannot avoid taking at least one picture.

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GWS: What is your must have dish at a restaurant on property?

At our property, the must have dish is certainly Fillet of beef with Brunello wine sauce.

GWS: What is your favorite drink on property and where is your favorite place to enjoy it?

Besides our excellent Bellini cocktails made with fresh peach, our Barman prepares a special refreshing cocktail made with the lemons from our garden named Limonaia.

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GWS: What activities offered by your property or locally do you recommend to your guests?

• Vespa in Florence and in the Chianti wine area
• Hot-air balloon ride over the Chianti hills and vineyards
• Rafting in the Arno river
• Wine tasting in the Chianti or Montalcino (Brunello is a must try wine)

GWS: How do you make a visit special for a couple on their honeymoon?

As a special visit we suggest a private guided tour of the Vasari Corridor, an elevated enclosed passageway in Florence, which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. Beginning on the south side of the Palazzo Vecchio, it then joins the Uffizi Gallery and leaves on its south side, crossing the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and then following the north bank of the River Arno until it crosses the Ponte Vecchio.

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If an intimate + private setting is what you have in mind for your special day, The Belmond Villa San Michele is available for exclusive rental. And with tons of great areas of the property to choose from, you can exchange your vows with an unparalleled backdrop of the city of Florence and the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside + opt for a garden, pool-side, terrace, or romantically-decorated restaurant or room for your reception! To learn more about planning a wedding or honeymoon at the beautiful Belmond Villa San Michele - and to see how stress-free the experience would be for you + your guests – visit their website today!

This post is part of our series, Find Your Italian Honeymoon + Wedding Destination with Belmond. Be sure to check out all the other amazing properties!

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