Bérénice and Mike’s North Carolina Courthouse Wedding

Being a grad student from France, Bérénice couldn’t see herself having the time or the desire to plan a huge wedding. Still wanting to celebrate with those closest to them, however, she and Mike didn’t feel eloping was the right option for them either. Instead, the couple opted for a low-key courthouse wedding in Raleigh, North Carolina where they live, inviting only immediate family and a few close friends. They followed up their sweet civil ceremony with a photo session around town with their talented photographer Carolyn Scott, and finished off the day with dinner at their favorite Lebanese restaurant.

North Carolina elopement

Bérénice, 26 & Michael, 34 

Raleigh, NC

Wedding Date: July 31, 2014

Number of Guests: 8

Wedding Cost: We never actually wrote everything down, but from what I calculated it was about $6,750 including wedding bands, but not the engagement ring.

Wedding Ceremony Location: Wake County Courthouse, Raleigh, NC

Wedding Reception Location: Our family went to a bar while we had our pictures taken and we met them there for drinks before dinner; then we went to a great Lebanese restaurant in downtown Raleigh for dinner.

wedding rings North Carolina groom bride walking through raleigh park bride and groom walking through raleigh elopement portrait bride and groom waiting at courthouse bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

I am French, Mike is from Massachusetts, and we currently live in North Carolina. So it was difficult to plan a big wedding because everybody would have had to travel. I am also in grad school, so I am super busy and I didn’t see myself planning a wedding! But most of all, we didn’t want anything big because it is not us: we are more comfortable in small groups. On the other end, it was important for us to celebrate that day with our closest family rather than just elope. So we decided on a very small – immediate family only – wedding.

casual groom groom in khakis and navy blazer back of bride's dress bride's fascinator bride portrait

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

For a little bit, we considered having a wedding in Massachusetts or in France and both options were challenging in their own right. However, once we decided that we would go with an intimate wedding in Raleigh with only our immediate family, there was no challenge anymore! This is one of the reasons why we wanted a small wedding.

elopement portrait elopement portrait bride and groom walking through Raleigh intimate bride and groom portrait wedding portrait in front of car bride and groom walking through the city urban wedding portrait bride and groom walking through the city elopement portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, we invited only our parents, siblings, grand parents, and a couple of close friends that live in Raleigh so they didn’t have to travel. Unfortunately, our grandparents couldn’t travel from Massachusetts and France. We would have liked to share the day with more people, but this is the compromise you have to make when you decide to have a small wedding!

Raleigh North Carolina wedding party at courthouse wedding party at courthouse wedding party in lobby

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

No we didn’t have any issues. We told our family and close friends that it was immediate family only and they understood. We sent wedding announcements with pictures of the wedding to everybody afterwards.

bride and groom at the courthouse courthouse elopement

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

I was getting ready with my family at our house and Mike was getting ready with his family at their hotel. Mike picked me up at our house to go to the courthouse and when he got there with his family, my dad walked me down the stairs of the front porch to “Ghosts that We Knew” by Mumford and Sons. It was like being walked down the aisle and it was very emotional!

courthouse wedding ceremony courthouse wedding Raleigh courthouse wedding bride and groom eloping at courthouse groom putting ring on bride's finger first kiss courthouse wedding ceremony groom kissing bride at courthouse

What were the highlights of the reception?

We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in Raleigh called Sitti. It was great to be at the same table as all of our guests! We were able to talk to everybody and enjoy our great food!

wedding guests with rose petals

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The very light amount of planning and the small bill that goes with it!

maid of honor with rose petals rose petal wedding exit

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

Do what makes you feel comfortable! It is your wedding and it should represent who you are! Also, get photographers to document the day for you and the people you didn’t invite.

elopement portrait

Vendors:

Wedding Dress: Kookaï

Bride’s Shoes: SJP Bobbie Nordstrom

Bride’s Jewelery: J. Crew

Headpiece: Dahlia Blusher from BHLDN

Groom’s Sport Coat and Shirt: Macy’s

Groom’s Jeans: J. Crew

Groom’s Shoes: Clarks

Photographers: Carolyn Scott Photography

Cake: The Cheesecake Factory

Make-Up and Hair: I did my own make-up and hair as well as my mom’s.

Flowers: My mom made my bouquet with flowers from Fresh Market.

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Sarah and Jason’s $3,500 Thorncrown Chapel Wedding

At a glass chapel in the woods of Arkansas, Sarah and Jason were joined at the altar by the bride’s daughter and the groom’s son as they became husband and wife, joining their two families together as one. The children even read their own vows, pledging to be a good brother/sister to each other in an adorable ceremony that ended with the family dancing down the aisle together to Pharrell William’s Happy.

The whole thing was beautifully captured by the couple’s friend and photographer Kari Nichols, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share the photos with you today!

Eureka Springs wedding

Sarah, 25 & Jason, 34

Eureka Springs, AR

Wedding Date:  May 18, 2014

Number of Guests: 36

Wedding Cost: $3,476, but keep in mind that Kari gave us a special price and shot the wedding on her own so that Caleb, her husband, could be one of my groomsmen.

Wedding Ceremony Location: Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, AR

Wedding Reception Location: DeVito’s of Eureka Springs

painted mural bride portrait in the woods tattooed bride and groom bride and groom in front of mural bride and groom kissing bride and groom embracing bride and groom being goofy with kids

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

Well, we already knew that we wanted our day small and intimate since this was the second time around for both of us. I guess we just felt that since we are generally private people, this day should really be for us. And when we thought about it, we really only wanted our closest friends and family to come – basically, the people who had seen each of us through the good and bad times. Once Jason suggested the chapel and we looked at photos online, we just booked it. We never even visited Thorncrown until the day of. We liked that it was small (only seating a max of 100 guest) and we liked that it was two hours out of town. We’d both been to Eureka Springs before, so we knew how beautiful the area was, and we just took a chance with the chapel.

wedding dress hanging in tree
bride getting ready
bride putting on earrings
groom's daughter getting ready
bride's arm tattoo
bride tying her shoes
groom putting bow tie on his son
groom tying son's shoes
tattoed groom rolling up his sleeves
groom tying his tie

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

Finding a place for a reception. There are very few places for a reception in Eureka Springs on a Sunday and most of the places were designed for bigger crowds and really wanted you to book a ceremony and reception. Also, most traditional reception locations would not allow us to bring in an outside vendor for food and drink. Honestly, it was a little unsettling to lose so much creative control when we knew that we wanted a personally crafted experience . Initially, we got annoyed by all the restrictions that venues were trying to place on us that we just rented a big ten person cabin in the woods and we were just going to have one big wedding reception/house party. Eventually though, we found Devito’s and Teresa Devito bent over backwards to make us feel welcome. In the end, we liked her so much that we just let her handle everything. They printed personal menus for us and made and provided an Italian wedding cake that was great!

The other challenge was flowers. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers for a glass chapel in the woods. But we did need flowers for the bride and bridal party and we wanted them to fit in with the natural beauty of the area. Our solution was to drive highway roads the morning of the ceremony and look for flowers to cut and arrange ourselves. We found a few nice irises (Sarah’s favorite flower) on the side of a particularly busy highway, and while cutting them, we were eventually noticed by a local. Steve the local was concerned that we would get hit by a car so he asked us to come and take as many irises from his yard as we liked. Steve mentioned he was going to mow them all down anyway! In the end, most of our flower arrangements were courtesy of flowers provided, for free, by some Eureka Springs’ local named Steve.

bride portrait
groom portrait
bride and groom portrait in town
bride and groom in front of mural
bride and groom kissing in front of mural
wedding portrait in park
bride and groom portrait
groom standing behind bride with his arms around her
bride and groom holding hands and looking away
bride and groom walking in park
groom with son
bride with daughter
bride and groom with kids
groomsmen portrait
bridal party portrait
bride and groom kissing in front of chapel

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? / Did you have any ‘issues’with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Honestly, it seems like it should have been, but it turned out to be a pretty smooth process. We knew that more then half of the people we invited wouldn’t be able to make it. Most of Jason’s family lives in Seattle and traveling to Arkansas would be unrealistic for them, and Sarah’s family is very small. Choosing a venue that was two hours out of town and placing the ceremony on a Sunday evening worked in our favor as well. We just went ahead and invited any friends who we thought would get offended if they didn’t get an invitation knowing most of them would probably not opt to drive out of town on a Sunday evening.

chapel sign glass chapel in the woods bride walking down the aisle groom waiting at the altar thorncrown chapel wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

Jason’s son Jude and Sarah’s daughter Penelope’s involvement. Apart from them getting to be the ring bearer and the flower girl, we also had them come up and do vows of their own, pledging to be a good brother and sister. I just remember them being so happy to be up front holding hands with us and each other  At the end we were announced as the Jason and Sarah Denney family….and then all four of us danced back down the isle to the tune of Happy by Pharrel.

groom wiping away bride's tears bride and groom holding hands during ceremony thorncrown  chapel wedding ceremony groom putting ring on bride's finger bride and groom's children at the ceremony bride's daughter participating in ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Just being able to show up. The room was set up and the cake was cut. We just got to have dinner with close friends and family and not work or stress over anything.

Eureka Springs wedding
DeVito's sign
wedding menu

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

Not having to worry about pleasing other people. We were able just to focus on our day and our family. Having just close friends/family present was great, everyone there was truly focused on us, at that moment. They were fully there for the for of us, not the open bar.

salad
restaurant wedding reception
bride and groom kissing at reception

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

Intimate weddings are just that, personal. Very personal. Our officiant (a long time family friend of Jason’s Seattle family) had to stop at one point because she couldn’t stop crying. If you’re more into celebrating this personal day, rather than the micro-managed bits of the day, DO IT. Enjoy your love as well as your loved ones.

bride and groom at reception

Vendors: 

Photography: Cottonwood Studios

Ceremony: Thorncrown Chapel

Reception: Devito’s of Eureka Springs fine Italian dining

Invites: Wedding Paper Divas

Flowers: Steve the local, we did the arrangements ourselves

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7 Ways to Use Instagram in Your Wedding

instagram wedding ideas Instagram has replaced the humble disposable camera as a way to crowdsource your wedding photographs. Even with a professional photographer capturing the main moments, it’s nice to see the day through the eyes of your loved ones. By using a personalized Instagram hashtag the images are instant, saving the wait for printing and waiting for guests to send their pics to you. We’ve picked out 7 ways for you to get connected and use Instagram in your wedding.

1. Drink Stirrers

We are obsessing over these drink stirrers. You can print out your favorite Instagram pic and have your hashtag printed onto the other side. This is a great way to include social media if you only want to include your hashtag in a subtle way.

insta10_mini

2. DIY Save-The-Date Stickers

Why not include Instagram in your DIY save-the-date cards?  You can print out an Instagram picture and turn it into a sticker. Affix them to your save-the-date cards with instructions for your guests to stick the photo onto their calendars. (Photo: Something Turquoise.)

insta5_mini

3. Print the Hashtag

For a truly interactive wedding, you can keep track of the images that are uploaded onto your Instagram hashtag. The Instaparty Box prints out all of the uploads as they arrive. This is lovely as you can see what your guests are seeing. Then at the end of the night you can collect them up to look at before bed.

insta8_mini

4. Mini Sign 

For a cute way to show off your hashtag, opt for mini signs displayed at each table. The small squares mimic the size of an Instagram shot which adds a nice detail. We love these mini signs as an alternative to having a larger one placed at the welcome table.

insta11_mini

5. DIY Photo Blocks

With all of the amazing images that you will be collecting from your wedding, it’s time to think about what to do with them. Check out our tutorial for these fab DIY Instagram Photo Blocks. You can also make these before the wedding and display a few couple portraits.

 

insta3_mini

6. Printable Sign 

The best way to show that your wedding is Instagram friendly is by having a prominently placed sign. This is also an opportunity to step up your decor. Here is a gorgeous sign for you to print out for free from Pretty Little Palace.

insta4_mini

7. Photo Scavenger Hunt

Turn Instagram photography into a fun game for your guests. Give your guests a handout with a list of shots for them to capture on the day and upload onto Instagram. Different shots could include food, photobombing or photos with the bride and groom. Great activity for them and bonus behind the scenes photos for you.

insta12_mini

Photo one: ruffledblog.com; Photo two: somethingturquoise.com; Photo three: pinterest.com; Photo four: eatsleepcuddle.com; Photo five: Intimate Weddings; Photo six: Pretty Little Palace; Photo seven: stevecowellphoto.com

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Incredibly similar to navy – just slightly darker in tone – midnight blue is an excellent color to play around with on your wedding day. Despite being as dark as it is, it’s quite a versatile hue, effortlessly switching between preppy and rustic palettes, and going from classic to modern without missing a beat. Truly a color for all seasons, here are five ways to use it on your wedding day.

Navy and pink are a pretty classic color combination, so it makes sense that midnight blue would pair equally well with both blush and magenta shades for a sophisticated spring palette.

midnight blue color palette

If pink isn’t your thing, perhaps this light and fun blue and purple palette is more your speed.

midnight blue color palette

We love the idea of using this color palette for a non-traditional winter wedding, but really it would work any time of the year.

midnight blue color palette

Two shades of blue and two different metallics make this color scheme an ultra modern choice for couples looking to step outside the box a little on their wedding day.

midnight blue color palette

How gorgeous is this fall color palette? Combined with midnight blue, orange and yellow have never looked prettier!

midnight blue color palette

Photo one: stylemepretty.com; Photo two: lovemydress.net; Photo three: elizabethannedesigns.com; Photo four: ruffledblog.com; Photo five: greenweddingshoes.com

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10 Stunning Table Runners

Table runners are a great addition to a wedding tablescape. Runners are a great finishing touch, that can work with a multitude of table designs. Bare wooden tables look lovely with them as do white tablecloths that need an injection of color; for a layered look. We’ve selected 10 table runners for you to be inspired by.

1. Bold and Bright

This table runner takes inspiration from the style of a Mexican blanket. The bold design will fit in perfectly with a bohemian wedding and accessorized with cacti and vibrant floral arrangements.

http-::www.100layercake.com:real-weddings:view:santa-barbara-mexican-themed-wedding:page-6

2. Thinking of Turquoise 

Patterned dinnerware doesn’t require much to make the table stand out. A turquoise runner with potted floral centerpieces will enhance the plates.

http-::ruffledblog.com:colorful-sonoma-valley-wedding:

3. Black and White

You can’t go wrong with a monochrome palette. Black and white are a classic pairing and including stripes modernizes the look. The thin stripes on this runner are subtle enough to give the table another element that isn’t overwhelming.

http-::ruffledblog.com:culture-chic-san-diego-wedding:

4. String Art 

How cool is this! For the creative couple, look no further than a bit of string art on your table runner. A potential DIY project that is well worth it.

http-::www.100layercake.com:blog:2013:09:10:urban-chic-wedding-inspiration-from-berlin-germany:

5. Oversized Flowers

Floral table runners are so gorgeous. The extravagance of the flowers means that you can get away with keeping the rest of your decor very simple. Tall candles and dark wooden tables are ideal companions.

http-::www.lemagnifiqueblog.com:2014:02:romantic-rustic-wedding-ideas

6. Numbered Runners 

Table runners don’t just have to be about style. Give them some more substance by doubling them up as table numbers. Have your numbers printed on burlap for a rustic touch.

 

http-::www.weddingchicks.com:2013:03:18:elings-park-wedding:

7. Sheer Romance

Draping a soft fabric over your tablecloth in a delicate pink will have your guests swooning.

http-::www.weddingchicks.com:2014:04:25:table-for-two-romantic-engagement:

8. Falling Blooms

We love the look of these flowers cascading from the end of the table. They are all the flowers that you’ll need in the space and will add to the overall decor of the venue.

http-::www.stylemepretty.com:gallery:picture:559115:

9. A Little Lace

For quaint vintage nuptials, a lace runner with small jars of flowers is such a pretty way to decorate your tables. Mismatched plates and floral napkins will add to the tea party look.

http-::www.weddingchicks.com:2014:05:15:create-a-darling-wedding-for-under-5k:

10. In Love with Lemon

Lemons will give you a fresh and fragrant table runner. When combined with pink and white floral arrangements it has a Mediterranean style with a difference. This certainly proves that runners don’t always have to come in the form of a fabric!

http-::www.stylemepretty.com:gallery:picture:1121016:

Photo one: wildwhim.com; Photo two: carolineghetes.com; Photo three: jackiewonders.com; Photo four: 100layercake.com; Photo five: lemagnifiqueblog.com; Photo six: weddingchicks.com; Photo seven: holeighvphotography.com; Photo eight: stylemepretty.com; Photo nine: christiegrahamphotography.com; Photo ten: jasmine-star.com

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