How To Create A Meaningful Vintage Wedding | Today's Focus: Getting Started; Shopping for Book Lovers

Jul 25, 2014

Want to plan a classic vintage styled wedding with meaning but not sure how to achieve it? Well, I've outlined a guide for just that! Let's get started! :)

No. 1 | Color Palette
The very first thing I suggest you do is select a color palette. It will make everything else so much easier. It can be tough to choose but once you've made a selection, stick with it - from your Save the Dates to the wedding favors to the flowers - everything will look so much more pulled together and streamlined if it's all in the same palette. This will also help you achieve a better focus when shopping - you'll be able to zero in on your colors creating a much easier process. You'll also know when to say no and won't be tempted to buy antiques that don't fit your palette and vision.

No. 2 | List Making
Next up, it's time to make a vintage wares shopping list. The best way to start this process is to make a list of things that make you and your love smile. Think: traveling, taking photos, creating art, writing, reading, cooking, etc. Next, expand on each topic and think about ways you could incorporate each interest into your wedding. For instance, let's say your love has a passion for photography - maybe you could create your own photo booth for guests and collect several vintage cameras for use or decor. It might be fun to shop for vintage feather boas, spectacles, sunnies from the 60s, etc., as fun props, as well. Now it's time to start compiling your shopping list. In this example, you'd write down: vintage cameras, boas, spectacles + sunnies. 

No. 3 | Time to Shop
Okay, so you've made your lists and you're ready to hit the flea markets, Etsy, and those antique shops. If you have a clear focus, this shouldn't be a problem but if you're easily distracted or seduced by items not on your list, stop and ask yourself the following two questions:

- Does this item hold any significant meaning to us as a couple?
The last thing you want to do is buy a bunch of vintage stuff just to have a vintage styled wedding. Instead, slow down and have fun shopping for antique pieces that actually feel special to you and/or your fiance. I gave myself a year to plan our wedding and some of my favorite memories are antiquing all over the South with my Mom and friends. 

- Will I want to keep this item after the wedding?
It's okay if you say no to this question on some items but make sure you're answering yes more times than you answer no. Buy things that truly speak to your own sense of style and that you'd be happy keeping house with. When I was shopping vintage for my wedding, I looked at much of what I was buying as investment pieces. Some of my best silver was purchased for our wedding and I completely treasure those pieces today. Remind yourself that it's okay to splurge if you truly love the item and know that you'll grow old with it. 

To help get your creative wheels turning, I'm going to share a few of my favorite ideas for incorporating meaningful vintage wares over the next few weeks. Today, I'm going to focus on couples who love books!

Today's Focus: Couples Who Love To READ!
Let's say you or your love is a complete bookworm (I'm totally married to one!). Include that passion in your wedding day by hunting for antique versions of favorite titles ... or just hunt for vintage book titles that reflect your shared interests. They're also fun to include in photo sessions like your engagement! And to make the process even easier, I have a large selection of carefully sourced vintage books for sale in my wedding boutique so make sure you take a look. But to get your thoughts flowing, here's a peek back at two shoots I styled with some meaningful (to me) books:

These photos are from the preppy vintage shoot I did with eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY while I was in San Francisco last fall. I found the red RIP DARCY ADVENTURER book shown above when I was just 12 years old antiquing with my parents. As you may know, Darcy is my last name so this book immediately meant something to me and my family and I loved that it was a story about adventure. It was too perfect to pass up and almost 20 years later, I still adore having it on my bookshelf.

I love cheeky titles so when I spotted BAD GIRL at an antique shop in Alabama, I knew I had to have it. My friend, T, and I are always joking about the trouble we'll cause on vacations together so it was a no-brainer to include this in our shoot. ps. BAD GIRL is for sale if it has some meaning to you, too! ;) And there are lots of other cheeky titles in my collection, too! 

How can you not love a small book in weathered Nantucket red called THE LITTLE MAN? I haven't had time to stock this one in CBV yet but if you're interested, just shoot me an e-mail at

If you've been a regular in blogland for any amount of time, you've probably fallen in love with the I MARRIED ADVENTURE book - you know the one. Well, I think this weathered Tiffany Blue BRIDE OF FORTUNE book is just as lovely (and not nearly as trendy). Again, e-mail me if you're interested in purchasing. ;)

These next two photos are from the inspiration shoot I styled in Paris with Juliane Berry. I found the lovely French books at brocantes in French towns near where we lived. For a Francophile like me, these romantic books are the epitome of classic French style. I think including them would be a lovely way to pay homage to French ancestry or any fun connection to France. :) They are all for sale - just e-mail me.

Feeling inspired yet? In addition to being fun photo props, vintage books can also be great visuals to stack by the guestbook; create centerpieces along with florals ... OR, my personal favorite, creating a custom clutch! Did I lose you? Remember a few years ago when Kate Spade came out with those darling book clutches (The Great Gatsby, etc.). Well, here's a book clutch tutorial I found that shows you how to turn any vintage book into a sweet clutch! Hello, original bridal clutch.

Tell me your thoughts on including meaningful vintage books in your wedding. I'd love to hear which books mean something to you! Tune in next week for another installment on creating meaningful vintage! 

Refined Boudoir in Texas

Jul 24, 2014

You guys, this is a groundbreaking post - it is the first boudoir session I've ever shared on CB. When the trend first rolled around in 2009, I found the concept tacky and tasteless and wanted nothing to do with it. I even wrote a post about boudoir alternatives. To be honest, I'm still not fully on board with boudoir but I'll admit that every once in a while there's an exception to the rule. Every once in a while, there's a photographer who is able to capture a sophisticated elegance with the nude (or nearly nude) form and create true art. They're rare but today I'm sharing one such lovely example by Archetype Studio.

The bride, Rebecca, wanted to create a special gift for her groom on their wedding day. The entire shoot was inspired by the romance of her stunning veil and was shot at a private residence in Houston, Texas.

What do you think of boudoir? Yes? No? On the fence? Planning on incorporating a session for your wedding? Tell!

Credits: Location: Private Residence, Houston TX / Photography: Koby & Terilyn Brown, Archetype / Makeup & Hair:

Top 3 Preppy Looks for the Summer Groom

Jul 23, 2014

I discovered Jared Bailey, of Summers in Newport, on Instagram (@summersinnewport) and quickly became a devoted follower due to his impeccably classic East Coast style. After thinking time + time again how great his looks would be for a preppy + polished groom, I decided to reach out and see if he'd be interested in putting together a few favorite summer looks for grooms to share with you guys. Well, Jared obliged (yay!!) and put the following ensembles together for us while he was on vacation in the Outer Banks. It's all yours, Jared!

"When it comes to summer, the heat can pose a problem as no one wants to sweat out their special day while also sweating out the details and making sure everything is just right. So let’s lighten up the colors and fabrics and go through three looks that can help you get through the day without worrying about what you look like or posing a secret fear of ending up on the front page of GQ’s 'What Not to Wear' page.

Look No. 1 | The Prep.
There is nothing wrong with having a lot of fun on what it supposed to be the happiest day of your life. This combination is perfect for the beach wedding. With a linen jacket, light blue shirt, madras tie and sockless in white bucks, its a win. If you don’t like how I did it, switch out the tie for a bow tie and bucks for some loafers or boat shoes.

Look No. 2 | The Classic.
If you’re slammed with time, lack of preparation, or little funds, there’s no need to spend time and break the bank if you already have a basic light gray or navy suit in your closet. Easy to wear and easy to pair, these basic suit staples are also really easy to dress up and make special for that special day. If you don’t like this look, these suits will also pair well with a pink or blue shirt, almost any tie, and a nice pair of dress shoes. For a more formal look add a red tie and black shoes to a light gray suit. If you’re stressing the day make it easy with something you should already be familiar with.

Look No. 3 | The Seasonal. 
Nothing says fun and tells her “I prepared” like a seersucker suit. Although it's more traditionally known for the striped blue and white version, this navy seersucker is one of my favorite suits. Cool like only navy can be, and light as a feather, this suit is for those that want to have a little more fun. Even though I played it safe and paired it with a pink linen tie, consider having some fun and incorporating a gingham or madras tie.

Which look is your favorite? Mine is definitely The Prep but I'm also loving that navy seersucker suit - so chic! Thanks so much to Jared for stopping by and sharing these wonderful summer styling tips! And make sure you stop by his blog for more inspiration for your groom. :)

Intimate Garden Chic Wedding in Berlin, Germany

Jul 22, 2014

Today's Berlin wedding is a lovely example of how beautiful a civil ceremony can be with the right resources in place. Nona and Roland wed at the local city hall (Rathaus) and held a garden chic reception at a nearby tavern for 40 guests with the talented help of Beautiful Occasions and Botanic Art. / Photos by Ashley Ludaesher Photography.

Says Bettina, of Beautiful Occasions, "At the end of September 2013, Nona and Roland tied the knot at Rathaus Schmargendorf in Berlin. Although a civil ceremony is typically a rather simple affair, Nona and Roland wanted to create an extra special afternoon for their guests, many of whom had traveled from abroad to be there to celebrate."

Nona + Roland's Love Story
Says Nona, "Roland popped the question while we were in Paris. I had to take the European ophthalmology exam in Paris and Roland had some work to do. After the exam Roland asked me to come for a walk through parque Monceau, a very romantic little park in Paris. He had a picnic arranged with the help from the event planners and designers from Beautiful Occasions and Botanic Art. It was so lovely, we had cupcakes, champagne as well as cheese and bread, a little instax camera to take pictures, delicious food and after he popped the question, I was given postcards with our names as well as the dates and the words 'we got engaged' to send to all our friends and family."

Says Bettina, "There was Cremant served after the ceremony with lavender flowers and small bands on the jars with the inscription 'To have and hold from this day on.' For the little party, we went to the tavern on the Rehweise for a lunch with about 40 guests. The team of Botanic Art transformed the small room into a lush garden paradise and created a stunning bouquet for the bride."

Credits: Planning & Coordinating: Beautiful Occasions / Floral & Event Design: Botanic Art / Photographer: Ashley Ludaesher Photography / Macarons: Makrönchen Manufaktur / Wedding cake: Mistress Cake / Ceremony: Rathaus Schmargendorf, Berlin / Reception: Wirtshaus an der Rehwiese