Timeless Bridal Portrait Inspiration

bridal inspiration

Brides-to-be! Tell us, have you thought about setting aside some time to take bridal portraits on, before, or after the big day? If you haven’t, this shoot may be just the nudge you need. Rebecca Schoneveld is the talented designer behind the beautiful dresses featured in this session and Rebecca Shepherd worked her magic with the florals. I mean check out that stunning couch swag above. Love. And don’t even get us started on the moody, dramatic feel of the gorgeous photos by Chellise Michael

A few words from Rebecca: I wanted to create some interesting, artistic images to inspire brides looking for a modern, emotional, and sensual style for their own bridal portrait sessions. I felt inspired by boudoir portraiture and a play on light and shadows as a fresh way to capture the drama of these bridal looks, which I styled with some of my favorite 2014 collection gowns.

bridal inspiration

flower crown

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration


The Green Building in Brooklyn couldn’t have been more perfect for this session. And the elegant veils + accessories by  Twigs & Honey, Hushed Commotion, + Jaclyn Jordan really gave the bride such an ethereal look + helped set a romantic tone for the shoot.

veil

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

gatsby veil

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

flower couch

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

lace edged veil

low back dress

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

layered dress

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration


Majorly love the 30′s-inspired look present in the next few images…

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration

bridal inspiration


So ladies, what do you think? As Elizabeth says, Bridal portraits seem to capture a behind-the-scenes, private moment, the quiet before the “show”. We totally agree. Definitely something to consider, right? Big thanks to everyone below for sharing this gorgeous shoot with us today!

photography: Chellise Michael // dresses: Rebecca Schoneveld // florals: Rebecca Shepherd // accessories + veils: Twigs & Honey, Hushed Commotion, Jaclyn Jordan // hair: Tina Mercurio // make up: Face The Day NY // venue: The Green Building Brooklyn, New York // green velvet couch: Rent Patina // model: Anastasia Zima

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryTwigs & Honey is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery
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Homespun California Ranch Wedding: Kate + Nick

bride and groom

Last October, Kate + Nick had the homespun California ranch wedding dreams are made of – and it took place on Nick’s birthday! These two had one main goal and it was to make sure their guests would feel right at home. So an un-stuffy + simple celebration combing elements of Oregon (where Nick is from), Texas (where Kate is from) and California (where they now live) was just perfect. McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo provided a low-key + cozy, yet elegant, backdrop. And we adore the simple, heartfelt decor + relaxed vibe. But more than anything, we love, love, love the sweet way that Kate + Nick explained their story to us, so here it is for you to read, too:

He was in Taiwan. She was in LA. He had a blog. She read it. She tweeted at him. He tweeted back. He followed her on Instagram. She followed him too. They met last December, became friends on Facebook, and after 214 hours on Skype, 7,440 miles of traveling, 10,000 prayers, 7 months of falling in love, 1 talk with her dad, 3 months of planning, and 1 diamond ring, Nick + Kate got married.

A big thanks to Floataway Studios for sharing these beautiful images with us today + congratulations to Kate + Nick!

ruffle sleeve bride

gold heel boots

ruffle sleeve dress

groom

bow tie

Nick - Seeing Kate in her dress for the first time, and when JP (DJ) started playing "Birthday Sex" right before Kate and I left. You can’t get married on your birthday and not play that song.

Kate - Nick’s 13-year-old brother, Ethan, gave an incredible best man speech. Like, if someone had filmed it, it would have blown-up on YouTube. It was the perfect combination of roasting and toasting. By the end, he had the entire crowd in side-splitting laughter and tears. I also loved seeing Nick for the first time – that feeling is indescribable.

first look

bride and groom


Kate’s vintage-inspired dress was made by a dear friend. It’s so, so lovely!

bride and groom

wedding party

wedding party


And um, can we discuss these perfectly-clad bridesmaids for a sec? Each gal chose her own frock in shades of nude (from places like Free PeopleAnthropologieBrandy MelvilleBCBG, and Nordstrom) and the end result is the all time best mishmash of bohemian pretty!

bridesmaids

bridesmaids bracelets

bridesmaids

pink bouquet

groomsmen

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

boutonniere

ceremony

ceremony


It only made sense for this couple, both of whom work in social media, to have a “social moment” during their ceremony – 60 seconds for everyone to take pictures and post them online (including themselves.) This minute allowed for the bride and groom’s quirky personalities to shine through AND gave them a one-of-a-kind picture.

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

estate wedding


Reception details included homemade Texas peach preserves, Oregonian wood rounds (cut down by the groom’s father), and wedding portraits of grandparents + parents, honoring the many years of marriage within both of the couples’ families. Tables were adorned with ferns, miniature gold animals, gold tin cans, and glass juice jars, and inside them, cactuses, cotton, wildflowers and peonies.

peony centerpieces

garden roses

cactus centerpieces

tree guest book

pie and cake

floataway-wedding-35

flower engagement ring


LOVE that they served In-N-Out, a California staple, for dinner!

in n out catering

bride and groom

candlelight

first dance

first dance

Pick and and choose your battles. If someone (whether that be the bride’s family, the groom’s family, the bride, or the groom) feels strongly about having/not having something be a part of the wedding, assess its importance, and decide if it’s worth fighting over.

Check something small off your planning list each day, but don’t make the wedding a part of every conversation with your fiancé. Have a day each week where you don’t bring it up, and just enjoy each other.

Hire people to setup and cleanup on the day of. It was so stress-free, knowing that my parents and dearest friends (most of whom had come from very far away) were going to be able to enjoy themselves from the start of the day, to the very end, and not have to worry about things being taken care of.

photography: Floataway Studios // venue: McCormick Home Ranch Camarillo, California // event design: Kate, Her Mom, and Becky McCormick // event planning: Becky McCormick // florals: Jenn Sanchez Floral Design // wedding dress: Handmade by a family friend, Cynthia Hawkins // hairpieces: Jennifer Larcomb // shoes: Steve Madden // bridesmaid dresses: A mixture of nudes – several dresses were from Free People, Anthropologie, Brandy Melville, BCBG, and Nordstrom // hair + makeup: Kate did her own makeup, and hair was done by one of her bridesmaids, Karley Kiker // groom’s suit: Topshop // videography: Mackenna Millet and Candace Lowry // paper goods: Invites were designed by Kate, and printed by a friend in Dallas // catering: Wildwood BBQ and In-n-Out Burger // cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop // music: JP McLeod

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryJ.P. McLeod and Sweet and Saucy Shop are all Featured Vendors in the GWS Vendor Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Guide.
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Marry or Honeymoon in Sicily at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Dreaming of an ultra romantic wedding with the rugged hills + dazzling shoreline of Sicily as your backdrop? We know we are! If you share our sentiment for a one-of-a-kind celebration, then look no further than The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, where your vision for a destination Italian wedding can easily become a reality! Entertain your guests in a stunning environment and treat them to a tailored menu of regional cuisine. Accommodate your friends + family with style by renting out the entire hotel or adjacent villa for exclusive use. Or plan the Italian honeymoon of your dreams and let the Grand Hotel Timeo staff set you up with all of the must-see sights + send you off on the most exciting adventures. Whatever journey you have in mind, The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo will take care of all the details + hook you up with the trip of a lifetime!

Belmond hotels (formerly Orient-Express) have many amazing hotels, trains and cruises throughout the world. They have a few stunning properties in Italy and since we love Italy so much (we can’t wait for our next trip), we thought it would be fun to partner with Belmond to introduce one of their amazing hotels each month for the next several months. Hopefully this series will help those of you dreaming of a wedding or honeymoon in Italy! If you’re already married, consider one of the Belmond properties for an anniversary trip.  :)

To give you a better sense of the personality and key features of each Belmond property, we’ll be interviewing a member of the hotel staff. These team members will share with us what they love most about their property, weddings and some tips from a local. To begin our series, we’re sharing the thoughts of Anna, The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo PR Manager, and Mariangela, their Events Manager (who has arranged nearly 500 weddings!), a couple of questions:

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

Our favorite location for a wedding ceremony is the private and exclusive terrace of the Presidential Suite with the most romantic view over the Bay of Naxos and on Mount Etna. Another great location is the hidden and exclusive terrace which leads right to the Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina. We held amazing ceremonies in this terrace with a great view on the Theatre itself and on the Bay of Naxos.

Belmond_Wedding_Ceremony


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

The most memorable wedding we had was a Danish/English wedding we had some years ago. The bride was a beautiful Danish girl and she was already pregnant. The groom was a young and fashionable English businessman. All the guests were beautiful and elegant, all the men were wearing tight and top hats, while all the women had long dresses. During the ceremony the landscape looked astonishing and while the bride went down by the stairs, with the sound of the violin playing “Here comes the bride”, flashes of lightings splashed on the nearly dark sky, it looked like a movie. Everything was moving and it was very touching. All the evening was very elegant with jazz music and decors of white lilies, grapes and grapevine – typical of September. They all had a great time and at the end of the meal wonderful musical fireworks were a splendid frame to the huge wedding cake.

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

One of the many highlights our guests rave about are definitely the gardens of the hotel. Most visitors might think that the Island of Sicily is rather dry and the landscape barren. Who has visited the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in its blooming season from April until June will be surprised by its colourful flora and fauna which is almost too tacky to be true. Flourishing almond trees, purple Bougainville entwining around fences and door posts and perfumed iceberg roses seaming the paths! And if this is not enough, guests can continue their stroll right into the Botanical Garden of Taormina, which is connected to the hotel’s garden.

Belmond_gardens_views


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

One of our Signature Dishes, which our Executive Chef Roberto Toro and his team prepare at the Restaurant is the Fish and shellfish from the gulf served raw or lightly marinated with herbs. As you’d expect from an island, seafood is celebrated on most menus, and crudo, the Italian version of sashimi, is one of the most popular ways to eat it. Raw tuna and sea-bass Carpaccio in citrus marinade, oysters, red prawns from Mazara and much more is a plate of fresh flavours and soft, silky textures, topped with the salt of the salt mines from Trapani.

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

It’s said that the Literary terrace of the Timeo with it’s amazing view on fiery Mount Etna was one of the showplaces, which inspired D.H. Lawrence to write the novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. No wonder – our Head Barman Alfio Liotta had more than one muse when creating the passionate Cocktail LoveMe! Champagne Rosè, Chambord liquor, fresh strawberries, Passion fruit and black pepper are the ingredients of this aphrodisiac.

Belmond_Grand_Hotel_Faves

GWS: What is one local destination, store or restaurant you recommend our readers experience during their stay to give them a true sense of the local culture?

The staircase of Madonna della Rocca is a wonderful panoramic walk with fantastic views on the city of Taormina from above. In order to access the walking path, leading to Madonna della Rocca, you need to climb up one of the many stairways that cross Corso Umberto and after passing by picturesque Sicilian villas you will reach the bypass road Via Don Bosco, crossing the road and climb up the many stairs that will lead you up to the shrine of the Madonna della Rocca. The sanctuary itself is a very romantic place which embodies the heart of Taormina and this is also the reason why many couples chose this intimate place for their wedding or wedding proposals.

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

Start your married life by taking on a big challenge and conquer Europe’s tallest active volcano – Mount Etna.  You will discover the volcano when less crowded and hot. Wait for a magic moment: the Etna Sunset. Explore Etna’s lava caves while our friendly and knowledgeable guide will explain the fascinating volcanic phenomena. You will wait the magic moment when the sun sets behind the volcano.

Another real once in a lifetime experience, which will last forever in the mind of our newlyweds, is a 30 minutes helicopter ride with breathtaking aerial views and great opportunities to take your own pictures of Europe’s tallest volcano, Mount Etna.

Mount_Etna

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

We try to surprise them with little romantic touches throughout their stay at the Timeo. This can be a heart formed dessert at the restaurant at the end of dinner, a romantic turn down with rose petals and candles in their bedroom on their return at night or even a personalized welcome amenity with a romantic poem and a bottle of sparkling Sicilian wine to clink glasses on a lovely honeymoon.

Belmond_pool

 

To see how fun + stress free planning a celebration or honeymoon at The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo can be, visit their website for more details today! And for all of you lovely couples who pull of a dreamy Sicilian destination wedding, know we’ll be just the teensy bit jealous, but more than anything super happy for you! ;)

Ciao bella + happy wedding planning!

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