Jenna and Todd’s Tuscan Villa Destination Wedding

No doubt, planning a destination wedding can be tough, but Jenna and Todd didn’t let a few challenges – including a language barrier – deter them from choosing to elope in Italy. Throwing caution to the wind and taking a gamble on a venue they had never seen, the couple ran off to the Tuscan countryside to exchange their vows beneath a stand of old olive trees and celebrate their beautiful union – in true Italian fashion – with lots of good food, great wine, and family by their side.

Special thanks to their Tuscan wedding photographer Lelia Scarfotti for sharing the photos with us!

Italy destination wedding

Jenna, 29 & Todd, 27

Montepulciano, Italy

Wedding Date: September 3, 2014

Number of Guests: 11 counting us, 9 not counting us

Wedding Cost: $9,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Villa Cicolina

Wedding Reception Location: Villa Cicolina

Italian villa property handwritten wedding vows waiter setting wedding table groom adjusting tie bride under veil bride and groom at restaurant reception bride and groom in Italy

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted to focus on creating a special and memorable moment to pledge our lives to each other. We wanted to savor every minute of the day with our closest family and friends, and we knew a very small, intimate group would help us stop and appreciate the moment at hand in the best ways.

wedding dress hanging on bed
bride getting her make-up done
bride kissing her bridesmaid
bride's refelction in mirror
bride putting on her veil
groom getting ready
groom tying his bow tie
groom getting ready

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We booked Villa Cicolina without ever visiting and only communicating via email. There was also a slight language barrier to conquer! We felt very lucky when we arrived and they were incredibly accommodating and helpful. Also, many friends and family wanted to be a part of the day, and I think they were a little sad at first that we were doing a wedding outside the country.

bride and groom first look
bride and groom first look
bride and groom first look session

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

We knew we couldn’t expect many people to fly all the way to Italy, so we kept the guest list to just our parents and siblings. Todd and I also asked our best friends (maid of honor and best man) to come with their significant others who are also close friends.  It was a wonderful group to spend time with, but there were also some close family members we wanted to include but couldn’t.

bride and groom in field
wedding portrait in Italy
bride and groom kissing
Did you have any ‘issues’with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
At first there were definitely some family members who were disappointed they could not make it, and it was hard to keep the guest list super small. We had to explain this to loved ones. However, in the end we kept it small so we could stay true to our vision of the day. We had a bigger party and local reception in Baltimore, MD that was much closer for our family members to attend! It was a chance to spend time with all the people that we would have wanted to invite. With food and dancing to boot!
groom waiting at the altar
groom waiting at the altar
bride walking down the aisle
back of the bride walking down the aisle

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Writing our own vows and looking at each other standing together under old olive trees with a vintage chandelier hanging above us. It couldn’t have been more spectacular!

bride and groom at the altar
groom reading his vows
bride reading her vows
groom putting ring on bride's finger
groom touching bride's face
bride and groom first kiss
bride and groom walking down the aisle

What were the highlights of the reception?

We had a long homemade Italian dinner and lots of great wine. Our nine guests each made a lovely toast to us. We will never forget that night as long as we live.

wedding reception table
bride with guest

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

How close it allowed us to be to each other and our guests. Every moment was meaningful and deliberate. Bigger weddings are more of a blur and a whirlwind of activity, and having an intimate wedding slowed down the pace and took the stress out of the day. We were fully in the moment and every hour was filled with love, family, food, and joy.

bride groom kissing at reception
bride and groom at dinner
italian wedding cake
womanperforming at wedding reception
bride and groom dancing

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Think clearly about what’s truly important to you on that special day. If an intimate wedding sounds appealing to you, don’t let people’s expectations of what a traditional wedding should be get in the way of planning something unique and small.  This was one of the best decisions we made in an otherwise very hectic year and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

bride and groom kissing


Venue: Villa Cicolina

Photographer: Lelia Scarfotti

Flowers:Local Montepulciano florist

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Grace and Caleb’s $6000 Florida Beach Wedding

Today’s couple, Grace and Caleb, weren’t afraid to do things a little differently when it came to their wedding day. Wanting to start off their marriage in their own way, the bride and groom chose to forego the traditional “giving away of the bride” in favor of walking down the aisle together at their picturesque beachfront ceremony. Following the nuptials, the newlyweds celebrated with their closest family and friends at an intimate restaurant reception before being sent off into the night as husband and wife in the best way possible – with sparklers of course!

Special thanks to Zipporah for sharing their wedding day photos with us!

Florida beach wedding

Grace, 26 &  Caleb, 23

Mexico Beach, Florida

Wedding Date: September 20th, 2014

Number of Guests: 30

Wedding Cost: $6,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: On the beach in Mexico Beach, Florida

Wedding Reception Location: The Sunset Coastal Grill, Port St Joe, Florida

Sea rope sign mexico beach, florida bride's hand on hip beach bride beach wedding portrait bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted our closest family and friends who mean the most to us to attend.

bride getting dressed bride portrait back detail of bride's wedding gown bride's white wedding bouquet close-up of groom's watch groom portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We didn’t run into many challenges and felt that our vision for the day fell into place quite effortlessly. The only issue was with our florist not sharing our simple vision and trying to go in a different direction than we wanted.

groom first look first look session emotional first look emotional groom hugging bride

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

It was difficult at first, but after we decided on the vision we wanted for our wedding – only our closest friends and immediate family – forming our guest list came easily.

close-up of groom's hands on bride's hips intimate couple portrait bride and groom walking on the rocks bride and groom on the beach bride and groom wading in the water bride and groom on the beach bride and groom walking down to the water bride and groom portrait by yhte ocean bride and groom hugging by the ocean bride and groom kissing by the ocean

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Initially it was hard for our parents to understand not inviting all of our extended families, but they quickly understood after we explained that we wanted the people closest to us, who mean the most to us and have shown us love and invested in our lives to be there to witness our commitment.

beach wedding sign wedding ceremony set-up on the beach beach wedding programs

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

The two of us walked down the aisle together. We felt that because our commitment to each other was our choice and not the bride being “given away”, and because we were about to commit to spending the rest of our lives together, that it only made sense to commence that by walking in together to make our vows. Our parents fully supported us and no one was offended.

Caleb’s father who is a pastor officiated the ceremony. Almost all of our closest friends were able to be there, and all of our immediate family. Having it at the beach approaching sunset was picturesque.

beach wedding ceremony beach wedding guests wedding first kiss beach wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception? 

Toasts given by our wedding party meant so much to us; the food and service provided by The Sunset Coastal Grill was fantastic; knowing that we were married; exiting with a sparkler send-off!

restaurant wedding reception restaurant wedding reception


What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

Minimized drama/stress and not feeling like we had to impress anyone or make our wedding anything other than exactly what the two of us wanted, and having only those that we felt support our lives in attendance.

sparkler send-off

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Make sure that the two of you are in agreement on what you want and stick to your vision. If someone wants your wedding to be anything else, they have to understand that it’s your wedding, not their’s. Write wedding details down and keep each other up to date with your lists as things get updated.

sparkler send-off


Bride’s Dress: Casablanca with alterations done by brides mother

Bride’s Hair: Mary Bowman

Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulu

Groomsmens’ Suits: Men’s Warehouse

Decor: Shyla Troyer

Arch: made by Groom and Best Man

Photography: Zipporah K

Videography: Richard Ceska

Ceremony Location: Mexico Beach, FL

Reception Location: Sunset Coastal Grill

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What is a Pop-Up Wedding?

las vega pop up wedding


Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of a pop-up wedding. It was a friend of mine (she ran off to Vegas to get married) who told me all about this new trend.

“You basically just show up,” she said. “If you don’t want the stress and the cost of a traditional wedding, it’s perfect!”

I wanted to learn more, so I asked almighty Google: “What is a pop-up wedding?”

What I discovered is that not all pop-up weddings are the same, but they do have a common purpose: to make it easy for a couple to get married, and to make it less expensive.

Pop-up weddings truly are perfect for couples who simply don’t have the cash to pull out all the stops on their wedding day. They are also ideal for couples with other priorities, such as travel.

And because not all of us dig wedding planning, they are a great option for couples who don’t want to invest months orchestrating an event.

Some pop-up weddings are like fancy elopements with no guests. Australia’s The Pop Up Wedding describes their service like this:

“We find the coolest venue, the hottest photographer, really creative stylists and florists and a rocking celebrant and put them all together so for one hour you can have your dream wedding with no fuss, no stress and a few guests.”

Perth Pop-Up Wedding, also in Australia, allows up to 16 guests, and lets you choose from eight different venues.

“We provide an incredibly stunning and romantic venue with three inspiring and uniquely styled ceremony options … a beautiful mini bouquet, Perth’s most awarded celebrant… your Marriage Certificate, celebratory champagne and cake for you and your guests and photographs of your ceremony followed by a short portrait session as husband and wife with one of Perth’s most sought after photographers…”

Thankfully, you don’t have to go all the way to Australia to have a pop-up wedding. The trend is catching on in North America.

Victoria Hogan’s Flora Pop offers pop-up weddings in Las Vegas. Today, we’re featuring an interview with Victoria, along with a gorgeous desert styled shoot by Gaby J Photography highlighting Flora Pop’s Pop-Up Wedding Chapel (that’s Victoria in the photos).

las vegas pop up wedding las vegas pop up wedding las vegas pop up wedding las vegas wedding

What is a pop up wedding?

A pop-up wedding is much like an elopement. A short & sweet ceremony usually consisting of the couple, their witness & myself. Endless natural landscapes for backdrops & vintage neon signage are a favorite of couples that I work with. I’m a floral designer & recently acquired the ability to officiate these ceremonies that I create with my mobile altar. I built by hand the Teardrop trailer in the photos. It’s modeled after a 1950’s Kenskill trailer & comes complete with neon signage, flowers & for the adventurous couple, a full sized bed in the cabin should they want to continue their honeymoon in nature.

I opened the flower shop two years ago and I do gardens & weekly flowers for businesses in town. The Teardrop was intended to be my mobile flower stand, but after some thought it just didn’t feel right. I kept brainstorming & one day it hit me: I can do it all! Officiate, flowers, ceremony, the works. It became a very stress-free solution for brides because the price is right, the planning is finished, they just have to show up & have a great time!

las vegas pop up wedidng las vegas pop up wedding

las vegas wedding

Why are couples choosing pop up weddings?

Large scale weddings aren’t for everyone. A lot of the couples I work with would rather spend money on their honeymoon, instead of a ceremony that isn’t really about them. My pop-ups are all about the couples & the love they share. It’s really a sweet & genuine moment.

las vegas pop up wedding las vegas pop up wedding


When did you start Flora Pop’s Pop Up Wedding Chapel?

I started this only about 4 months ago.

las-vegas-pop-up-weddings-flora-pop-300 las-vegas-pop-up-weddings-flora-pop-319


 What’s the cost?

Packages in-town start at $550. Out of town trips to remote desert locations go up in price depending on the location. There is a dry lake bed just outside the city limits. (The images were taken there.) These packages start at $1200. Flowers are extra & I have a list of preferred vendors for vintage bridal hair, specialty mixologists, custom rings, donuts & vintage airstream add-ons.




las vegas pop up las vegas pop up las vegas wedding


las vegas pop up


 Is this trend catching on?

Yes, I have bookings all the way until 2017. I have weddings every week & the interest is growing rapidly.

las vegas weddings

Photos: Gaby J Photography

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Whether you’re having a tropical destination wedding, want to add some punch to a winter palette, or are looking for a fresh spring color, we think chartreuse will be right up your alley! An unconventional choice, this lime green shade will be the life of the party – or at least your color scheme – and we’ve put together 5 palettes to show you how you can rock it on your wedding day.

Here, chartreuse adds interest and life to an otherwise drab color scheme. We love the juxtaposition of rustic and modern created in this color palette.

chartreuse color palette

Navy can be a little heavy and dark on its own, but throw in a little chartreuse, and this palette takes on a whole new spunky personality.

Chartreuse color board

Chartreuse and pink are a great color combo for spring. Accent the pairing with lots of creamy white to keep the palette light and fresh, or add a touch of black – like we did here – to give it just a little bit of edge.

Chartreuse color board

Chartreuse looks great paired with other shades of green and yellow. Just make sure to throw in enough white to mix things up a bit.

chartreuse color palette

Not everybody can pull off a rainbow themed wedding, but we think this bright and citrusy palette would be right at home in a tropical setting.

chartreuse color palette

Photo one:; Photo two:; Photo three:; Photo four:; Photo five:

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Paper Roses: DIY Escort Cards

paper roses

These gorgeous DIY paper rose escort cards are made from egg cartons! We love craft projects like these paper roses because they are inexpensive – and they involve recycling! They also don’t require lots of fancy supplies.

Our first foray into making egg carton flowers was back in 2009 when we make this spring bouquet, then in 2011 when we made some paper  daffodils.

Recently we discovered paper roses over at the spanish blog Rosi Jo. We thought they were fabulous, and they they would be perfect for creating escort cards.

This is a great project for you and your maids to work on together. As the old saying goes: “Many hands make light work!”



For these paper rose escort cards you will need:

  • egg cartons (we used two different sizes)
  • acrylic paint in desired color (we used two shades of pink)
  • raffia
  • card stock
  • floral wire
  • floral tape
  • scissors
  • hole punch

Remove the shapes from the cartons.


Cut petal shapes.


This is how it should look:



Remove bottom portion of the egg cup.




When you roll the paper it will look like the inside of a rose.


Remove second egg cup. This egg cup is larger than the previous one and will be used for the outside of the flower. Create four petals.


This is how it should look:


This is how the flower looks when the two pieces are put together.


Paint the outside flower light pink.

paper-poses-10 paper-roses-11 paper-roses-12

Paint the inside petals a darker pink.


Paint both sides.


Poke two holes in the back of the outside flower shape.

paper-roses-15 paper-roses-16

Insert floral wire in one of the holes.


Bring floral wire back through the second hole.


Pinch the two wires together just beneath the flower.


Wrap entire wire with floral tape.


Cut wire approximately 6.5 inches from base of flower.


Use glue gun to add glue to the inside of the flower.


Adhere darker pink petal shape to the larger shape.


Bend wire so that the flower will stand on its own.

paper-roses-24 paper-roses-25

Cut names from card stock.


Punch card stock.


Add raffia.


Tie raffia to the floral wire.


Voila! There you have your lovely paper rose escort cards! paper-roses-33


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