I know I talk a lot about details here, but if you are here and participating in this medium, I am pretty sure you’ll understand where I am coming from…
Weddings are more than “colors” and “themes.” Weddings are a communion, a reverent celebration, a story, (your love story!) and an experience for not only you, but for your family and friends to savor and remember for a lifetime.
The fact that this was Brittany’s sensibility when she met with me for the first time told me everything I needed to know and offered me the perfect charge! She and Barret had been on what I call the “wedding circuit.” So many of their friends and peers are getting married and it seemed as if they were going to a wedding every other month! Through these weddings she and Barret attended, she had seen, heard and tasted what seemed to be everything, and she wanted hers and Barret’s wedding to be signature, just like them! *wink.
First things first; starting the day relaxed and confident is the perfect approach to experiencing all of the beautiful moments that are ahead of you as the day unfolds.
This space here is to give you ample warning (and time to grab some tissues!) as to quite possibly the most emotional Daddy reveal I have ever seen. Now tell me these are not images that will turn into forever mementos!
Recovered yet? Shall I give you a moment? Here’s a sweet Bridesmaids reveal as you gain your composure!
How about a stunning look at Brittany’s processional, a sharp wedding party and some portraits of Brittany and Barret to look at while you take care of that pesky thing in your eye… *wink!
Brittany’s white, lush and romantic bouquet consisted of white garden roses peonies and, my favorite, ranunculus (seriously, I try to sneak them in every wedding that I am able!) against light touches of greenery. The trailing ribbons were soft, feminine and I loved how the bouquet moved with her in that striking Ines DiSanto gown.
I love that these portraits here are the perfect transition from the garden aesthetic from just outside Knowles Chapel to what we created inside the ballroom at The Alfond Inn!
So what sets this wedding apart from the others? Cue the details!
Designing a wedding reception in a ballroom needs particular attention to details that offer those 4 walls life. We opted for these tall centerpieces with cascading greenery and candles on top to offer a romantic and dreamy glow as guests dined.
I loved how the seating directory turned out thanks to Andi Mejia Calligraphy!
This wedding cake was very well deserving of it’s very own backdrop!
I had four custom trellis panels constructed where vines and greenery were interwoven throughout with touches of white florals creating a 10-12 foot canopy over our bars and cake. It was magical!
These chic, marble chargers with gold flatware and the vellum menu card with gold foil, were perfect, minimal, yet chic details-
First Dance, Daddy-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance; give me alllll the dances!!
Brittany and Barret, this is one I shall never soon forget! Your confidence and trust made my “job” so worthwhile, and I loved watching this beautiful day unfold for you!
May you forever wear these same smiles! xx, LS
While Marie Antoinette may have been the one to dub the famous phrase, “Let them eat cake,” by all means allow me to be the one to advocate the celebration of Bastille Day by way of cocktails! *wink
The Kir Royale is the perfect light and refreshing, classic French champagne cocktail, which is bound to draw out even the teensiest francophile in you!
Simply add 1/4 oz of Chambord to a flute or coup of champagne with a garnish of a raspberry or lemon twist, and you will be celebrating like a true French girl! Here, I garnished with blackberries because I loved the darker look with the Chambord, (it’s always okay to take a little creative license with your cocktails!) and I couldn’t forget the baguette and the cheese, of course.
Care to celebrate by way of brunch? This grapefruit infused and *tart* cocktail is elevated with the Eldeflower, and can certainly count as an effective way of getting your daily Vitamin C intake in, right?
Allow me to introduce you to The French Tart!
I love that The French Tart didn’t immediately jump to mind for a Bastille Day celebration, but it’s refreshing for the middle of July and so very French!
I found my inspiration from Emily and Matt Clifton with Nerds with Knives, and love their story behind it too!
- 2 oz vodka (gin would work too)
- 1 oz elderflower liquor (recommended: St. Germain)
- 1-2 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, strained
- ¼ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ oz rosemary simple syrup*
- *For the rosemary syrup, add two medium sprigs of fresh rosemary along with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Bring to simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and allow it to steep for 30 minutes until it cools. Remove rosemary and store in an airtight jar in refrigerator.
- In a mixing glass three-quarters filled with ice, combine all liquid ingredients. Stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a small slice of grapefruit or rosemary sprig.
Lastly, at the risk of being a *total girl,* how could I not include the ever-popular Frosé? It’s about as hot as I can take out there these days darlings, so anything that can reduce my core temp to under 110 degrees in the form of a cocktail will forever have my vote!
I took a *healthier* and simple apprach with this recipe and quite frankly, just winged it! In this case practice made perfect, and I certainly enjoyed the research!
I simply combined one bottle of Rosé wine and used my favorite, Whispering Angel. I combined 3 tbsp of Agave nectar and about a teaspoon of fresh lime juice. (You can certainly use lemon juice as a substitute!) I put this in a long baking pan in the freezer and simply scraped it with an ice cream scoop to serve. It couldn’t be any easier, and the simple mint and lime wheel garnish made this unbelievably effortless and chic.
Over the course of my adult life, I have become an avid fan of French fashion, lifestyle, and sophistication. That all being said, all I can do is humbly emulate and inspire, as I hope you will too! I’ll see you tomorrow, pinkies up and with my stripes on!
À votre santé
With a wink and a smile…
All Images: Abby Liga
Floral: Lana Faulkner Designs
Jewelry : Quest Stones
Linen: Lettermade Linen
Laura and Rory’s Alfond Inn Wedding
Laura and Rory tied the knot this past fall with a classic, luxurious ballroom Alfond Inn wedding. Although the two love birds currently call North Carolina their home, Laura grew up in the Melbourne area of Florida not too far from the elegant Winter Park boutique hotel venue. However, it was at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina, that she met Rory. The two went on to practice law, and the rest was history!
Despite the Muted Tones, This Wedding Was Anything But That:
Naturally, the two North Carolina lawyers approached planning their wedding in an analytical way. But, they soon found that they couldn’t help but fall in love with the charm this Florida venue had to offer. They decided to get married in Florida, and I was more than excited to help give them their dream wedding day. With Laura’s love for muted tones and thistle in the floral design, together we were able to create a breathtaking event that was anything but subdued in nature.
Needless to say, their beautiful outdoor courtyard ceremony was as grand in style as it was intimate in feeling. I loved putting a modern twist on their classic design with the layout of the ceremony seating to create a more intimate feeling. The couple opted for guest seating in a circle around them as they tied the knot so that everyone had a close seat to take in the moment with them. Beautifully abundant arrangements from Fairbanks Florist‘s Lana Faulkner lined the backs of chairs. All together, the Alfond Inn’s lush, green courtyard complete with the white and greenery filled arrangements gave their ceremony a classic look that is truly timeless.
Meanwhile, their indoor ballroom reception adorned with silver and grey accents was like a fairytale ending to the big day with charm that truly romanced their guests. The lavish centerpieces, abundance of candles, and twinkling wall installations transformed this space into a luxurious ballroom fit for royalty. Not to mention, the clear chiavari chairs paired with glass accents were as perfect as the fit of cinderella’s glass slipper. The glowing princess in her Calvet Couture gown had her breathtakingly beautiful ballroom to twirl the night away in with her sweet prince. And, that’s just what they did!
Congratulations, Laura and Rory!
My heart completely melted when I saw these images from Vitalic Photography. There is not a single photo where Laura and Rory weren’t completely glowing and grinning from ear to ear. One of my favorite moments of the day was when I had the chance to give Laura her a private ballroom reveal. As you’d expect a lawyer’s personality to be, Laura was quite analytical throughout the entire planning process. However, by her own admission, she was found herself pleasantly disarmed by how emotional she became during the big reveal. She was finally able to see how the all details and plans over our time with one another finally came together, and how simply lovely it all was.
Laura and Rory, I am so honored that you chose me to be a part of your truly charming wedding day. You are absolutely the sweetest couple and were such a joy to work with. I hope to have more couples who radiate as much pure love as you in the future. I wish you all the happiness and well wishes in the world as Mr. and Mrs!
So this is love; so this is what makes life divine.” – Cinderella
Thank you to all the vendors who came together to make this day truly unforgettable!
There are BBQ’s, parades, concerts, 5K’s and later-evening firework displays, but if you’re looking for an option for something in between, consider this chic alternative to celebrating Independence Day.
I was feeling like celebrating in a more subdued manner this year, and after I caught the morning patriotic concert in Central Park and bicycle parade down Park Ave. in Winter Park, I had some of my favorite dames celebrate with a little bit of rose, white and blue with me. *wink
Smaller gatherings with girlfriends like these are so manageable when you can pool together your resources to make the celebration equally as festive as it is fun.
Malia bought her chic monogrammed linen napkins, Lana some bright and beautiful blooms, Jessica shared some stylish jewelry, (I mean, it was a girlie-party, after all!) I had some fun vases and pillows to add to the décor and Abby always has her trusty camera and expert eye on hand!
After we previewed what we had all brought to contribute to our fun gathering, it was time to set the table!
After foraging in her own backyard, Lana showed up with a bucket of beautiful red blooms, then swiftly got in her element, and started to arrange them in the vases I had brought.
Using chinoiserie vases with clear vases with blue twine was an unexpected but elegant touch as was mixing floral and striped patterns with the pillows. Mixing patterns isn’t always easy for me all the time, but once I started to lay everything out on the table, I was thrilled with the look and filing this under “must try again!”
Since the heat here in Orlando rivals that from the surface of the sun, brunch was particularly delightful indoors, where we al agreed to get a little bit fancy and save our tank tops and short s for the fireworks show later!
To compliment the Rosé, (ha!) we opted with summertime, Southern favorite morsels like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles, courtesy of Hamilton’s Kitchen.
PS: Diets start TOMORROW!
Who doesn’t love to feel fancy?
Wishing you a fun, safe and Rosé-filled Independence Day, darlings!
*Post in collaboration with Hamilton’s Kitchen*
Images: Abby Liga Photography
Floral: Lana Faulkner
Jewelry: Quest Stones
Monogrammed Linen: Lettermade
Vases/Plates: Home Goods
What is it about red, white and blue that makes us want to get outside, cook and grill, sip some wine and cocktails and most importantly, celebrate our big and beautiful country , the good ole’ USA?!
The way I see it is that if I am going to celebrate like it’s 1776, I am going to be comfortable, stylish and have make sure my surroundings speak to the occasion! *wink
Celebrating the 4th can be as casual as it is dressed up, inside our outside, but since our most patriotic holiday is just a week away, I wanted to share and easy-breezy outdoor affair.
I gathered a star-spangled blanket so that the Mister and I could have a picnic with our beloved senior-rescue beagle Andy (isn’t he so cuuuute?!) along with some other fun red, white and blue décor pieces, including a navy blue pouf for the pooch to designate a spot on the lawn of a nearby boutique hotel where many other locals and travelers will be boasting their blankets and spirits to share in the Independence Day festivities.
I kept it classic and cool with white jeans, a navy silk top ,tried-and-true sunnies and my jewelry is just as much practical (a life-saver, really!) as it is stylish. We are in Orlando, so it is HOT, (Rosé to the rescue!) and we have also had a very soggy month of June which has welcomed a new breed of mosquitos. My bracelets have mixed stones and beads where you can apply essential oils to them for aromatherapy but in this case, and thanks to peppermint oil, they warded off those pesky insects. Brilliant!
Are you feeling inspired to kick it up a notch this 4th of July?
Come on baby, you’re a firework! (couldn’t resist!)
*Post in collaboration with The Alfond Inn*
Images: Abby Liga Photography
Jeans & Blouse: J. Crew
Jewelry: Quest Stones
Purse: Cult Gaia
Shoes: Kate Spade
Blanket & Pouf: Home Goods
Pinwheel: A Girl and Her Glitter