“Life is a Crazy Circus” Birthday Celebration in Napa Valley

circus party

While our next post wasn’t a wedding (it was a 30th/40th combined birthday party for a husband + wife and 50 of their closest friends!), it can certainly act as incredible inspiration for an extraordinary wedding or event! Photographed by the talented Steve Cowell and designed by one of our faves, Jesi Haack, the main feature of this soirée was the Vau De Vire Society, a professional group of circus performers based out of San Fran. There was a contortionist, stilt walkers, human statues and a ton more. Not to mention beautiful details + delicious-looking fare + treats! Sounds like such an amazingly fun night, doesn’t it?! I know that circus + carnival themed weddings are always a popular choice amongst couples who are looking to do something a bit different, so be sure to take note of all the fab details incorporated into this super fun bash!

circus mask

black and white circus invitation


The circus theme was not just picked at random. In fact, the couple is pregnant with their fourth child, which will soon give them 4 kids under the age of 4 years, hence they’ve been caught saying “Life is a Crazy Circus”. Such a cute idea to incorporate into your celebration! :)

circus party

gold fringe letters

circus party

circus party

drinks

drinks


Love all of the creative, handmade signage Jesi Haack created for the party!

circus acts

circus acts

carnival games

carnival games

carnival games

carnival games

carnival games

step right up

circus party

party circus masks


And this marquee-style seating chart is one of my absolute favorite details from the day. Wouldn’t this be great for a wedding, too?!

circus light seating chart

tassel fringe

green sequin tablecloth

circus party menu


The tables were dressed with awesome emerald green sequin table drapes from La Tavola topped with pretty florals by Casey of Krista Jon!

circus party florals

dinner sign

circus party

circus party

soup

circus party

circus party desserts

circus act


Big thanks to The Love Riot for planning a day that was amazing down to the most minute detail + to the rest of the talented creatives below for inspiring us with their incredible work today!

photography: Steve Cowell // design: Jesi Haack Design // planning + design: The Love Riot // venue: The Napa Valley Reserve Napa Valley, California // florals: Casey of Krista Jon // stationery: Pitbulls + Posies // circus acts + carnival games: Vau De Vire Society // rentals: Classic Party Rentals // linens: La Tavola // catering: 5 course dinner provided through Meadowood // band: Ever Music through Wine Country Entertainment

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryJesi Haack Design is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery
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Intimate Sayulita Mexico Wedding: Ashley + Bucky

mexico wedding

When Ashley + Bucky began to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted a day that was intimate, personal + most of all FUN. They decided on a destination wedding in beautiful Sayulita, Mexico at a lovely retreat rental called Brisa del Mar. It was important to them that the day be special + unique for both them and their small group of guests, so they made sure to include lots of meaningful details + elements that they knew everyone would love; like handwritten vows, a fun, non-traditional first dance + a wish lantern release honoring family + friends who could not be present at the celebration.

Destination weddings are a great idea for couples who want to eliminate the pressures (and sometimes cost) of planning a traditional + local occasion. According to Ashley, Our wedding week was truly perfect and you could feel the love everywhere. We did not feel pressured to make sure we were able to talk to everyone considering we had been with them all week; we got to dance with each person including all of our nieces and nephews (who owned the dance floor!). Looking back, our decision to have such an intimate wedding was the best decision we could have made and Sayulita was the perfect destination.

Big thanks to Jillian Mitchell for sharing Ashley + Buckey’s lovely day with us + best wishes to the happy couple!

invitation

mexico first look

mexico first look

mexico first look

mexico first look

mexico bride and groom

mexico bride and groom

mexico bride and groom


Majorly in love with the bridesmaid’s fun dresses which were designed by Ark & Co. and were purchased from Cose Belle in Charleston, SC. If you’re feeling this style, check out more cute Ark & Co. dresses here.

gold dotted dress bridesmaids

mexico flower girl

wedding sunglasses

here comes the bride sign


Such a bright + cheerful ceremony arch!

mexico wedding arch

This is so hard I loved every moment of that day. I would have to say it is a toss-up between reading our vows to each other and our first dance. We wrote our own vows and I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of giddiness and love I had while reading my vows to him & listening to his or the smile on his face ( Me: To keep the lights in the bedroom low so I don’t hurt your baby blues, To always dance with you in the kitchen. Him: To cook you breakfast and mess up the yolk on your over-easy eggs, but try like heck not too, To enjoy your company and conversation, even when we are old and grey.)

To kick off the reception Bucky had planned a spin-off from your traditional first dance song. In Bucky’s words he didn’t want some sappy first song that people just watched us boringly slow dance for 3 minutes, he wanted it to be fun and entertaining. Our first dance was a combination of one of our favorite songs, A Woman Like You by Lee Brice – the lyrics to this song totally ring true to a lot of aspects of our lives, Bucky loves to fish, play golf (he’s a Golf Pro), cheer on the Saints and eat fried chicken, but the song also has a sweet side to it too which we like and makes us laugh every time. It then faded into a song we could shag to, With This Ring by The Platters, a super upbeat rhythm and blues song. The Shag dance is the South Carolina state dance and Bucky has been dancing it since he was little and is a 2 time National Shag Champion, so to put it lightly he has got some serious dance moves. It was such a fun first dance and I think the guests definitely enjoyed our spin on the traditional first dance.

mexico wedding

mexico wedding


And love their “sunglasses recessional”! :)

bride and groom sunglasses

bunting

floral napkins

mexico wedding

bride and groom sunglasses

donkey

boy riding donkey

sombrero

sombrero

first dance


Bucky’s mix for their first dance included A woman like you by Lee Brice which faded into With this Ring by The Platters, a combination of their two favorite songs!

first dance

mexico wedding

wishing lanterns

sparkler exit

The thought of planning a wedding for me was nerve-racking to say the least. I about had a breakdown over making our Save the Dates, which thanks to Bucky and his patience turned out super cute. Luckily, my amazing sister is an event planner and I am the youngest of three girls so this was not my mom’s first rodeo in throwing a knock-out shindig. The only things I really pulled the trigger on for the wedding was “Igor” the beer donkey - he was a super important mascot throughout the weekend, the incredible photographer, Jillian Mitchell, the location and “Drew”, my dress. Everything else was put together by my mom, sister and Luz. Each event was a surprise and every detail was more amazing than the one before. Long of the long, I would say choose to focus on the things that are important to you and hire a planner that understands how you want to be involved in the planning process.

photography: Jillian Mitchell // venue: Brisa del Mar Sayulita, Mexico // event design, planning + florals: Luz Ochoa, Sayulita Weddings // wedding dress: Jenny Packham – “Drew” + more Jenny Packham Dresses // shoes: Rowen // bridesmaid dresses: Ark & Co. // hair + makeup: Raquel Sandoval // groom suit: J. Crew // paper goods: Dee Ruel // catering: Don Pedro’s both nights and La Terrazola for the welcome party

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Ivy & Aster 2014 Collection

Ivy_Aster_Collection

We are big fans of Ivy & Aster’s stunning gowns here at GWS, so we’re super excited to be sharing an exclusive first look at their newest collection, captured by Rosie Hardy, with you all today! Launched in 2010, Ivy & Aster’s bridal and social lines have become a favorite of brides around the globe. Starting with an air of romance and adding a dash of whimsy, Ivy & Aster delivers a novel spin on traditional wedding attire. Delicate silk fabrics are fashioned in modern, refined silhouettes, giving the perfect mix of ethereal and wearable. According to Ivy & Aster, the darling is in the details. They love a hint of sparkle, rows of ruffles, a velvety swiss dot, essentially anything that is one part sweet and one part sass. Their accessories borrow from vintage nostalgia, give a nod to current fashion trends, and were designed to help you style out a unique and personalized look for your wedding day!

Read on for a fun interview with the Ivy & Aster team and to see our favorites from their 2104 collection…

RomanticStroll-spring


GWS: Tell us about the concept for the imagery of the new collection…

I & A: I was so excited to work with photographer Rosie Hardy because I felt her style was so different than a lot of bridal imagery out there now and I wanted something different. Ideally we would have shot outside but the cold and rainy season was here so Rosie decided to create the outdoors inside! We worked in a great studio with old mill floors and huge windows so you really do feel as if there is a forrest inside a building, as if nature has taken hold of the studio. A friend of Rosie’s brought in tree trunks all the way from Scotland! Furthering the idea of a forrest and nature, Rosie created three sets to capture Spring, Fall and Winter. The images to me are very ethereal and almost magical. It worked perfectly to showcase our dresses!

spring_dresses_ivy_aster

nowandforever-fall


GWS: Tell us about the dresses in the new collection…

I & A: We always try and stay true to our design philosophy which incorporates a beautiful dress, in a soft, flowing fabric, but is affordable and therefor approachable for a lot of customers. Adding to that, we love to drop in a new novelty fabric or a new embellishment or fabric treatment, which makes the dresses feel modern with a nod to nostalgia. We want the dresses to be simple and really let the bride wearing them become the showcase. We also create a lot of accessories that you can mix and match and really make each dress reflect your own personal style.

afternoondelight-fall

fall_dresses_ivy_aster


GWS: What do you want your customer feel when views your new campaign?

I & A: We always want the bride to get caught up in the story created with the imagery but we want her to picture herself in the moment. Hopefully these capture how she wants to feel on her wedding day and inspire her to live in this once-in-a-lifetime dream of choosing a wedding gown and creating an unforgettable day.

artistmuse-winter

Morningdewdrop-winter

Stillofthenight-winter

IvyAster_win


And we’re excited to let you know that Ivy & Aster will be selecting (from a random drawing) three Facebook followers to receive a FREE Moonstone Cuff (as seen above)!  There’s only one rule to qualify: you must ‘Like’ Ivy & Aster’s Facebook page. Thanks so much to Ivy & Aster for letting us in on this fun opportunity! Be sure to follow @ivyandaster on Twitter + Instagram to stay up to date + check them out on Pinterest, too! So much beautiful inspiration!

Drawing will be held on February 1st, 2014.

dresses: Ivy & Aster // photography: Rosie Hardy // studio: Hallam Mill, Stockport UK // props: Emma Mycock // models: Toni & Anna @ J’Adore Models Manchester, Emily Higgins + Chelsea Edge // makeup Artist: Laura Gingell //  hair stylists: James Alfie Parr, Alex Nutting + Louise Smith // hair accessories: Heart of Gold Designs // handbags: Red Ruby Rose // all other accessories: Ivy & Aster

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