Sponsored Post: Anjolee Rings

Jun 30, 2011

One of the many reasons I chose to have a classically-styled wedding was because I never wanted to look back on my photos and have regrets ... I followed the same line of thinking when it came to my ring. Trends can be quite enticing but in the end, I firmly believe classic will always win.

And that's why I'm loving the Bridal Sets from Anjolee:

I absolutely love the simplicity of the top-left bridal set. All of Anjolee's jewelry is customizable by metal type (10k, 14k, 18k white/yellow gold or platinum), diamond quality (6 choices), carat size, and ring size. They offer a 360 degree view of all jewelry on their website and the ability to view it in white or yellow gold - perfect for virtual shopping with your honey, no? ;o)

All of Anjolee's jewelry can also be certified with an I.G.I. Certificate at time of purchase. And a few added perks: They offer free shipping, gift box, gift bag, and free heart pendant with every order. Sweet!
Have fun shopping for your own diamond bridal set! ;o)
This post sponsored by Anjolee.

Subtle colors

I'm kind of loving the idea of having a few subtle pastel hues mixed in among a platinum head of hair for a modern-meets-bohemian bridal look.

What do you think? Too much? Maybe better for a strictly-editorial shoot?

Image found on Chasing Heartbeats - awesome blog to ck out, btw.

Adorably Preppy Summer Picnic E-sesh

Jun 24, 2011

A longtime CB favorite, photographer Melanie Mauer just sent over this delightful summer picnic engagement session with Elise and Barry- what a darling pair! I could easily be convinced that these photos are from the pages of a vintage J. Crew catalogue ... they are so classic + crisp - I adore!!!

From Katie, Melanie's super sweet production manager:
Elise and Barry are a sweet couple who live in the Bluegrass [Lexington, KY]. Their session was in town at Keeneland race track just as the green started to spring up again. Their amazing picnic basket and Elise's poppy skirt made for a spring time engagement celebration that inspires love and everything great about this time of year. They will be wed on Elise's family farm on August 20, 2011, ohh happy day!

Don't you just love Elise's vibrant skirt? It really makes the images pop with color, doesn't it?! I can only imagine how beautiful the wedding photos will be! Congrats to you both and thanks again to Melanie for sharing her lovely photos ... fabulous, as always!

All photos by Melanie Mauer

Simple + Outdoor-sy E-sesh

Jun 23, 2011

Enjoying this super cute engagement session today by photographer Alyssa Vincent. Hope you enjoy, too:

I'm really loving this last photo set with an editorial feel to it ... It's kind of like a nod back to traditional portraits with the dropcloth look but with a modern twist ... I'm totally seeing this becoming a trend for engagement pictures. An editorial shoot minus all the props ... loving it. Minimalism is sometimes underrated.

Thanks to Alyssa for sharing these lovely images and congratulations to Tiffani and Craig who will be wed in Portland in August! :o)
Photos by Alyssa Vincent Photography

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Le Mont St. Michel, France

Jun 17, 2011

Entry No. 9: Le Mont St. Michel, France

Did you miss my first two entries about the recent road trip I took through France? If so, you can catch up here and here. :o) Today, I'm excited to share with you our visit to Mont St. Michel.

If you're planning a honeymoon or vacation through France and you'll be anywhere near Mont St. Michel, it's definitely worth a day {or two} trip. We were able to spend a full day on this enchanted little island and it felt like the perfect amount of time to fully enjoy everything.

Located on the north coast of France, near the border of Brittany and Normandy, Mont St. Michel is probably most well-known for the ancient abbey {dating back to the 8th c.} that perches atop its rocky landscape. We made the abbey our first destination in an attempt to beat the crowds that start flocking to the island between 8.30 and 9a. Later in the day, we stopped for an apertif of sorts - A traditional Mont St. Michel cider {above}. If you try one, don't expect a sweet apple cider or a warm + spicy mulled cider ... this was cold and different than anything I had ever had ... but good!

We enjoyed roaming the ramparts and the winding cobblestone streets throughout the day, catching glimpses of the always-changing tides that surround the tiny island. For most of the day, the tide stays out leaving a sandy {albeit cold and wet} path for the more daring tourist to attempt to cross the land like former pilgrims ... while my friend and I opted to stay warm and dry on the island, we did spot several tour groups walking the bay, most with experienced guides {which would definitely be recommended as the tides can be tricky and every year, there are a few emergency cases where tourists get a little too brazen and adventurous and get into trouble - so be careful!}.

Above: Beautiful views from the Abbey.
Below: The sunset is something you just can't miss if you visit Mont St. Michel. We drove out onto a dusty country road to get this shot and watching the sun sink behind the abbey is something I'll definitely always remember.

La Mère Poulard is the most famous restaurant on the island and is known around the world for their deliciously fluffy + frothy omelettes. We made our dinner reservation in the morning because the restaurant is notorious for filling up quickly. Although a tad pricey, this was a fun treat and we both very much enjoyed the fabulous three-course meal ... have to say, it was probably the best omelette I've ever had! Great service, too.


The tide started to quickly come in around 7p the day we visited and the view was incredible with the water surrounding the island. Magical, to say the least.

Finally, this was the quaint B+B that we stayed at ... it is a working farm and each morning we were served fresh eggs from the adorable chickens who roamed the grounds, fresh jams and yogurts that the hostess made and fresh bread with authentic Normandy butter - a breakfast doesn't get much better than that! Our room was right behind the main house {shown above} and we had two French doors that opened up onto a patio with a beautiful view of the island of Mont St. Michel. It was a great experience and I definitely recommend a stay here. See my top tips below for details.

CB's Top Tips:
-- If you're interested in touring the abbey, definitely arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds. It's worth getting up a little earlier!

-- Make sure you take some time to enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate at one of the many streetside bistros in town. We did this mid-morning near the entrance of the town and were visited by the cutest of little birds ... they actually tried landing on our saucers to try and share our whipped cream and cookies. ;o)

-- We stayed at an incredible B&B called Ferme Saint Joseph located in Polders Saint Joseph {50170 BEAUVOIR}. Just a short drive to Mont St. Michel and we had beautiful views of the island from our room. Fantastic homemade breakfasts, too.

-- Do make a reservation at La Mère Poulard to enjoy one of their amaaaazing omelettes. I definitely recommend dinner as each course was fabulous and it was fun to gawk at the photos of famous celebs who had dined here years ago ... Yves Saint Laurent and Ernest Hemingway, to name two.

-- Try to stay for sunset ... you'll get to see the tides roll in and surround the island and it's a fun local tradition to watch. There are even announcements made over the PA on the island alerting people of the incoming tide and warning them to move their vehicles if they are in the lower parking lots. It was pretty entertaining watching people run out and move their cars in a nick of time. One almost didn't make it!
If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Hope you enjoyed the second installment of the European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal! Happy Honeymooning!

A few more little Loire towns coming up ... plus Versailles and the Paris Flea Market. Stay tuned!
Did you miss the other entries of CB's Travel Journal? Click here to catch up! ;o)
{All images by me}

European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal: Loire Valley, France, p.2

Jun 16, 2011

Entry No. 8: Loire Valley, France, p.2

Did you miss my first entry about the recent road trip I took through the Loire Valley? If so, you can catch up here. :o) Today I'll share a few of my favorite castles we visited + the sweet town of Blois.

If you're planning a honeymoon through the Loire Valley, there are two castles you simply *must* visit: Chenonceau and Chambord. There are many more lovely castles that dot this magical countryside and are definitely worth a visit but if you're pressed on time or just want a good overview of how former royalty lived, these two will certainly impress.

The Château de Chenonceau was such a fairytale-like delight with its long ballroom sprawling across the River Cher, its amazing kitchens built into the bridge piers and the history of being a 'Château des Dames,' {Women's Castle}, mostly safeguarded against wars and destruction.

We stopped for a light lunch at L'Orangerie, the restaurant of the castle, which faces the Green Garden designed by Bernard Palissy. Not bad for some fresh fruit and tabouleh but I wouldn't plan a feast here as it was rather overpriced and didn't have incredible French fare.

Next up, we drove over to Chambord ....

The word stunning doesn't measure up to the beauty of Chambord ... it is beyond breathtaking in person. And the interior surpassed impressive. There is a magnificent central staircase inside designed by Da Vinci and the rooftop is sprinkled with winding towers, spiraling chimneys and gorgeous stairways.

Later in the week, we ventured to the city of Blois ... loved this romantic view of the rooftops:

And how fun would it be to explore the Loire in a brilliant vintage car like the one above? I don't know the make or model but I can imagine how fun it would be to toot around France with your lovebird in that car! I just adoooore the color!

After touring the city of Blois, we headed to the Château Royal de Blois. Steeped in history and so very well preserved, it was easy to imagine the events that occured at this incredible castle {including the horrific murder of the Duke of Guise}.

The stormy skies lent a fabulous mood and dramatic air to both the castle and town ...

Hope you enjoyed this peek at my journey. Lots more still ahead!

A CB Tip or Two:
-- If you're visiting Chenonceau during the spring or summer, try to book a boat ride that will take you under the magestic arches of the castle. We didn't have the time or foresight to do this but I think it would be incredibly romantic for a honeymoon! ;o)

-- When purchasing your ticket at the Château at Blois, you can get a discount on the Museum of Magic that is directly across the courtyard of the castle. It's a little lighthearted but offers an interesting performance-art piece in their little theater. When we visited, the theme was Alice in Wonderland and I greatly enjoyed it. A little lacking in the magic tricks but pretty creative and very visually pleasing.

Lots more little Loire towns coming up ... plus Mont St. Michel, Versailles and the Paris Flea Market. Stay tuned!

If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Hope you enjoyed the second installment of the European {Honeymoon-Inspired} Travel Journal! Happy Honeymooning!

Did you miss the other entries of CB's Travel Journal? Click here to catch up! ;o)

{All images by me}

A Summer in Sundance E-Sesh

Jun 14, 2011

Beautiful skies, glowing sunlight and lush landscapes ... it's finally starting to look and feel like summer here in Germany {yay!} so when one of my favorite photographers, Alyssa Vincent, sent over Camille and Aaron's lovely summer engagement session in Sundance, Utah, I thought it would be a lovely way to usher in and celebrate a warmer season. Enjoy:

From Alyssa:
Camille and Aaron will be getting married July 8th at a private cabin in Sundance.  This engagement session was geared toward kicking off summer and incorporating the look and feel of a Sundance, Utah, mountain wedding.  Camille and Aaron's love for the outdoors is what brought these two together so it only seemed appropriate to shoot their engagement [session] up at this mountain lake.

Love, love, love Camille's boots, the cozy blanket and the editorial feel of the last few photos!

Thanks for sending this session over, Alyssa, and we're looking forward to seeing Camille and Aaron's wedding photos! Early congrats to both of you! xxo.

More Loire Valley Travel Journal coming up this week! Stay tuned!

Photography by Alyssa Vincent