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Tips For Stress-Free Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Hello beautiful brides, Caitlin here again with a few tips on how to make bridesmaid dress shopping more enjoyable for your girls! I’ve had so many dramatic, tedious experiences selecting maid dresses for weddings and I knew I wanted something different for my ladies. It seems the options are now endless for your bridal party attire – which is both overwhelming and wonderful at the same time!

I decided to host a girls night and invited everyone over for a night of cocktails, snacks and dress shopping. I asked them to bring photos of dresses they liked so we could land on a dress that everyone felt confident and happy with!

We also took to the internet and browsed sites like J.Crew, Bella Bridesmaid and Vow To Be Chic — which rents dresses. We looked at non-traditonal places like Anthropologie and H&M for non-bridal dresses too. We all found this experience to be much more fun than spending time visiting bridal salons.

In the end we ended up renting our gowns from Vow To Be Chic –I let each girl pick a color and we all decided on a style together and it couldn’t have been easier!


Communicate ExpectationsSet parameters up front (or have your Maid of Honor) about cost and style.

Make it Fun | Host a night for your bridal party and make it fun, brainstorm together and share your vision for the wedding.

Get Creative Think about using different styles of the same fabric, mixing different colors or allowing the girls to purchase their own dresses (with your approval!)

Photography: Krista A. Jones

Krista A. Jones Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Krista A. Jones Photography


Caitlin Moran

Contributing Editor: Blogger Bride
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Eclectic Chicago Loft Wedding

If you ask me, lofts are kind of the new barn. Take an old warehouse, pretty up those exposed beams + industrial windows and boom! You’ve got a killer venue to tie the knot. It’s exactly the route this Chicago couple went, and thanks to Jayne Weddings & EventsArt Of ImaginationRe:find JoyToast And Jam and others, the day was a complete and total hit. See here for yourself.


From The Bride…Although Dave is from Arizona and I am from Maryland, we met in Chicago and built our lives here, which is why we were sure this was the right place for us to get married. When we got engaged last spring, I knew I wanted our wedding to highlight our style and quirks, which is why I immediately contacted Katie Jayne from Jayne Weddings. Before we met for the first time, I had picked out a bunch of random images for our pinterest board – art that I liked and images I found interesting. When looking through everything that I had put together, there was one image of natural marble in pink and grey tones that really jumped out. Katie Jayne immediately ran with it and created the soft, yet edgy, color palette and introduced the idea of incorporating mirror prints in a few different ways to go along with the marble.

We decided to have the wedding at Loft on Lake because of the gorgeous exposed brick walls (which was the feature we loved most in our first home together) and the city vibe that went with it. We loved that you could hear the train sailing past our venue – a real nod to Chicago, where we met. About 80% of our guests traveled from out of town so we really wanted them to get a sense of how we see the city outside of the tourist areas downtown.

With the warmth of the venue set, we really had a blast finding ways to bring all of the patterns into the day. Megan at Ruby The Fox took our “inkblot” ideas and ran with them, creating the soft and modern pink invitations to go along with the custom mirror print pattern Katie Jayne created for the RSVP cards and the ceremony backdrop fabric. We found the marbled paper for the table runners at an art supply store. I hand crafted all of the paper flowers to spell out “A & D” out of crepe paper for the eye catching installation right when guests walked in the door. Of course, the pop of real flowers from Fleur helped too!

We had a blast working with Kelly Marie from Fleur to come up with the flowers for the tables using the marble paper as inspiration for colors and textures. We wanted it to look organic and flow, like the marble. The random assortment of brass vases and coups along with the pottery was exactly what we had envisioned!

Lastly, I had given my bridesmaids very lose direction on the dresses – metallic with texture. There was a bit of hesitation all around, but in the end I knew that all of their incredible styles would turn out perfectly all together. I could not have been happier with their choices – they all looked fabulous!

All in all, it was the best day of our lives and we loved every second of it. From having my Maid of Honor sing Sea of Love by Cat Power while my dad walked me down the aisle, to the heartfelt speeches, we couldn’t have asked for more. Seeing all of our guests of all ages smiling throughout the day was something neither of us will ever forget.

Photography: Pen/Carlson | Event Design: Jayne Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Fleur | Wedding Dress: Pronovias Barcelona | Ceremony Venue: Loft On Lake | Catering: Hearty Boys | Hair And Makeup: Morgan Blaul | Calligraphy: Jilly Ink | DJ: Toast And Jam | Grooms Attire: Nordstrom | Cake And Cookies: Flour Cake And Pastry | Ceremony Backdrop: Art Of Imagination | Invitations And Programs: Ruby The Fox | Vases And Pottery: Re:find Joy

Toast and Jam, Art of Imagination and re:find Joy are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Toast & Jam

Art of Imagination

re:find Joy

Love in Adversity: A Real ALS Story

You’ve seen the ice bucket challenges taking over social media, but this morning we’re sharing the real ALS story of Adam and Hollie. They met as nurse and patient, but somewhere between weekly treatments and Adam’s eventual diagnosis they managed to fall in love. What happens next is one of the most beautiful, touching, wildly inspiring weddings captured by Liz Wang Photography, and a true reminder that love conquers all.


From the Bride… I am a nurse, Adam was a patient. It all started from there. As Adam was normal and healthy as can be, I never really noticed him until this strong, handsome man walked in our office door pushing a wheelchair. Ever since that appointment, I was assigned to his case to start biweekly treatments in an exam room for 3-hours a day, every week for a year. Yes, you tend to get to know a person rather well seeing them that often! His smile, laugh, and frequent “courtship” poetry is what made me fall in love. At first we were treating Lyme Disease, but my heart and mind were telling me otherwise. Once I finally got Adam on board, we went to one of the top Neurologist in UCLA. Our end diagnosis – ALS. He tells me right then and there, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want my last days seeing your face, kissing your lips, sleeping by your side. I understand if you don’t’ want this burden on you. But if you want me, I want to marry YOU. What do you say?” With tears coming down my face, “I wouldn’t want it any other way, Yes, I want to take care of you and make sure you get the best care possible.”

We set out and even though the dark ALS cloud was above us every waking moment, we had one positive thing to look forward to – our wedding day. Adam and I made dual decisions on everything. He was just as involved as I was. From the venue, to flowers, to our photographers, down to my wedding dress, he was there. I fell in love with my dress as I drove by Camarillo Bridal’s window. When I told Adam, he immediately said, “Let’s go!” Adam came with me to my dress fitting. He is the only person I want approval from. I want to make sure he fell in love with it as much as I did. I wanted to see his face the minute I had that dress on, and of course, his smile was from ear to ear.

Our venue was another game changing aspect. I love the beach, and he loved the woods. We both knew a wheelchair was going to be necessary for the wedding. He dreaded that, as we even looked into renting a “standing” wheelchair. But that was out of the question. As there was no such thing as renting one and if we bought one, it would have only been for it’s one time use. A beach wedding was a complete “No” from Adam as he always called the beach, “A big ol’ ashtray!” Having a wheelchair on a beach would only draw more attention to him as well and he didn’t want that. So we both agreed on a woodsy theme and Walnut Grove was chosen.

That day was the best day ever. I never thought I would have a beautiful wedding, but every detail was perfect. The venue even had a brick walkway from the ceremony area to the reception area. They were right next to each other too! There was a linoleum dance floor and a dirt path that was kept clean so not every rock or stone gave Adam speed bumps as he whizzed by greeting every one in his wheel chair upon each person’s entrance. After our ceremony, my cousin surprised us by making a handmade wooden sign. It was hung on the back of his wheelchair. It read, “ Just married.” As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, that first snapshot was the best. Our son holding my right hand and my left on his wheelchair. It was priceless.

Our first dance was one to remember by all as well. I delicately sat on his lap, one arm around the headrest of his wheel chair and my head on his chest. I kept whispering in his ear, “Don’t go too fast or I’ll fall ok? That would be so embarrassing!” He said, “I would never let you fall…” We giggled…we danced in circles for about 1 minute to our wedding song,“In my Life” by The Beatles. At the end of the night, we both were as happy as can be, and I promise you, ALS was on our mind the whole day, but Adam’s words played out in my mind and I’ll never forget it. “I may have ALS, but God knows… I’m going out with a BANG!”

Photography: Timon And Liz Wang, Liz Wang Photography | Dress: Camarillo Bridal | Cupcakes: Missy's Cupcake Creations | Wedding Cake: Bread Basket Cakes | Catering: Command Performance Catering | Hair And Makeup: Cara Hartley | Dj And Sound: Mark, Production Navigators | Photobooth: ShutterBooth | Wedding Venue: Walnut Grove At Tierra Rejada Ranch

ShutterBooth is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.

Coastal California Wedding Inspiration

The lazy days of summer may be dwindling but  the perfect seaside affair is right at our fingertips thanks to Brett Heidebrecht. He teamed up with Kylie Swanson + Poppy Lane Design and One True Love Vintage Rentals  for a shoot inspired by the raw beauty of the ocean and the most stunning silver gown by Carol Hannah. Glamour and the wild beauty of the beach are an unstopable combo. See it here.


From Brett HeidebrechtDrawing inspiration from the subtle beauty of California’s coast as well as Carol Hannah’s stunning silver gown, I wanted to mimic the soft and feminine textures of both the location and the dress in all aspects of this shoot. The backdrop of the mesmerizing blue ocean was the perfect setting to complement the light, airy mood and largely influenced both the decor and floral choices.

Styling countless beautiful pieces in such a breathtakingly beautiful location just outside of San Francisco was quite the dream. Brett Heidebrecht effortlessly captured each and every detail to perfection and Poppy Lane Design took my breath away with her magical floral creations. The MVP of this shoot undoubtedly went to the team at One True Love Vintage Rentals, who happily hauled such spectacular (and heavy) treasures into some not-so-easy to reach spots. I was blessed to work alongside such an incredibly talented team of vendors, one that any bride would be lucky to have on her wedding day.

Photography: Brett Heidebrecht | Floral Design: Poppy Lane Design | Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah | Cake: Knead To Make | Jewelry: Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry | Makeup Artist: Diane Catorc For Elite Bridal Artists | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Creative Director / Stylist: Kylie Swanson | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Handcrafted Hairpiece: Carlee Sizemore | Paper / Calligraphy: Juliet Grace Designs | Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Venue: Marin Headlands

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. One True Love Vintage Rentals and Poppy Lane Design are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
One True Love Vintage Rentals

Poppy Lane Design