Monday, December 29, 2008

A look back at 2008

Lindsay and I want to offer congratulations once more to all of our 2008 clients on their marriages and beautiful wedding days. We feel so honored to have worked with all of you, such wonderful people we have met and become friends with. Wishing you all the happiness in love, in life, in marriage together! Remain friends always!

or a direct link to the slideshow HERE

Leslie and Chris - The Fox Hill Inn, photography by A Taylored Picture

Jennifer and Thomas - Water's Edge Resort and Spa, photography by Annandale Photography

Amy and Jeremy - Farmington Club, photography by Jake Koteen
Coleen and Jon - Eolia Mansion, photography by Dru Nadler
Jacky and Ben - Branford House Mansion, photography by Steve Depino, guest appearance by Carla Ten Eyck

Lindsey and Doug - Inn at Longshore, photography by Dreamscape Photography
Larissa and Garrett - Pavillion at Rocky Neck, photography by Carla Ten Eyck
Kate and Mark - Lord Thomposon Manor, photography by Troy Photography

Samira and Patrick - Racebrook Country Club, photography by Carla Ten Eyck
Katy and Alex - Country Club of Darien, photography by Jerome Braga, Studio 1923

Jessica and Davide - Gelston House, photography by Steve Depino
Eileen and Nate - Wadsworth Atheneum and Bond Ballroom, photography by Rich Esposito, RE Photo Design

Andrew and Karen - Candlewood Inn, photography by Jerome Braga, Studio 1923
Nicole and Patrick - Water's Edge Resort and Spa, photography by MS photography
Heather and Jason - Lord Thompson Manor, photography by Sam Chinigo

LouWanda and Mike - Eolia Mansion, photography by Megan LaBarbera
Jen and Will - Guilford Yacht Club, photography by Leslie Dumke
Claudia and Scott - Villa Rosa, photography by Jerome Braga, Studio 1923, assisted by NoDo Photography

Lori and William - Silas Robbins House, photograhy by Dolce Photography

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours!
Photo credit: Iris Photography

We wish everyone the happiest happy holiday season filled with family, friends, laughter, love, good food and wine.

Lindsay, Stephen and Landon

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jen and Will

Jen and Will were wed on Sunday, October 12, 2008 at the Guilford Yacht Club in Guilford, Connecticut. In addition to be lucky in love, they also were lucky enough to get married on quite possibly the most amazing early fall day in all of history as well! Seriously, the day they had is one all brides dream of the minute the become engaged (myself included). With clear skies, a perfect sunset and weather so warm that ladies didn't even have to wear a wrap during an evening ceremony on the shore . . . it was just a slice of heaven.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of Leslie Dumke Studio. Leslie, everything looks like a magazine spread, gorgeous job.

Jen, her mom and her two maids began the day bright and early getting hair and make-up done by Dora Oppedisano and Emilie Orenstein; both of Stylin' Salon in Norwalk. Happy and relaxed in her Uggs, Jen was in great spirits when we checked in with her all the ladies.

She wore a dazzling Maggie Sottero with a pick-up skirt and her hair . . . My goodness, it would have made the red carpet bow down with respect. The green orchid could not have been more perfect. Swoon.

Will was so snappy in a fabulous three piece linen suit by J. Crew, layered over an even more fabulous shirt and tie. He was absolutely one of our best dressed grooms of the year. They had their first sighting by the flagpole. It was intimate and sweet. I love, love this photo!
Formal photos followed for the rest of the family and bridal party. Jen's bridesmaids wore brown dresses of their own choice. Florist Kathy LaCouture did a beautiful job with the blooms for this seaside soiree. Jen's carried a round arrangement of gerbera daisies, orchids, hypericum berries and dusty miller.
The gents wore their own suits, with fishing lewers as bouts, imagine that!

The ceremony took place at five o'clock, on the great lawn overlooking the sound. Officiant Mary Pugh presided and keyboardist Steve Moran accompanied the ceremony. Jen walked with both parents to "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkle.

Following the ceremony, cocktail hour followed on the patio with an alluring spread by Jordan Caterers. They passed apps on square plats garnished with ribbons. A jazz trio via Steve Moran added to the upbeat atmosphere. Photos taken by me.

Inside, guests were greeted by place cards with sand dollar motif, groupings of bud vases and a wish bowl, which was a total hit. It was heaping full of advice by the end of the night.

The reception tables were smartly dressed with brown linens. A blue folded napkin draped over the side of the tables gave a striking splash of color. Brightly colored centerpieces of gerbera daisies, greens and berries, along with votives completed the whimsical look.
One fun personal touch Jen and Will did was to name each table after a year of their lives and include adorable photos of themselves growing up. This one is too cute!

A shot of the ballrom. A fabulous space, with loads of light.

In lieu of a tradition wedding cake, Jen and Will chose a cupcake tower, as well as a small cake to cut, both by Sugarbelle. Delicious inside and out, as I can attest. Adore the blue frosting.

Guests were treated to an extensive menu featuring marinated flank steak, chicken roulade with sundried tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese, tortelllini with vodka sauce. The purple potatoes, in particular, were to die for.

Music was provided by Jim Nuzzo of Dance To The Music Entertainment. He sure knew how to keep the floor packed, see for yourselves!
Jen and Will - from the moment we met I *knew* what an incredible day it would be. Your event reflected both your personalities in every way and I hope you loved your day as much as I did. It was a privelage to witness your love from one another as well as get to know your families. I wish you nothing but happiness.


Lindsay & Alicia

Pretty in ... Purple! - Sixpence For Your Shoe in La Bella Bride Magazine

When Lindsay and I received a call from the lovely Katina at La Bella Bride Magazine to participate in a photo shoot for the 2009 issue, we were ecstatic. Ecstatic both to have our work showcased in such a highly regarded magazine, as well as ecstatic to be so well respected at what we do to even be asked.

On a cool damp morning in July, we drove up to the Winvian resort to begin the set-ups for our 9 am shoot. We choose the most incredible patio location, overlooking the rolling lawn behind the resort's country barn. The fog was still fairly heavy in the background.

We asked floral designer extraordinaire, Tony from Datura, a Modern Garden to help us create the vision. Tony and Kat, his right hand lady, GOT IT! Just see for yourself:

Sweet Sophistication - Vintage toile in a country setting, juxtaposed by a majestic garden cresent with three Moroccan-style lanterns. A rich palette of amethyst, lilac & cantaloupe are grounded to the landscape by the natural elements of chocolate brown. Lacey textures of the orchids, mimicking the pattern of the toile, adding an air of elegance to the scalloped china, gold leafed flatware and antique stemware.

A special thank you to Jocelyn Filley who took the beautiful photographs for our shoot, and Rentals Unlimited who provided our tables, chairs, underlay, napkins and napkin rings, and flatware.

The 2009 Issue of LaBella Bride Magazine is on newstands this week! Pick up your copy today as it is chock full of fabulous ideas and beautiful pictures.

Katina, thank you so much for including us!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Love: Interpreted

A few Friday's ago, I dragged my exceptionally flexible, agreeable, and not to mention wonderful, husband Stephen to Love: Interpreted, a woman's photography show at the new MAC 650 Artspace in downtown Middletown. I had received the email invitation earlier in the week and upon seeing that so many amazing female photographers were being featured at the same show, I had to check it out in person. Middletown also has a special place in our hearts as that is where we lived for three years, and also where we were married.

The gallery itself was tiny and minimal, but good things do indeed come in small packages, as inside beheld a fierce combination of talent on those white walls. It was so exciting to see the work of photographers we have worked with the past and those we hope to book weddings together in the future.

Steve and I had a great time taking in all the different perspectives and of love, meeting husbands and kiddies of fellow vendors (Jerome & Jen, Leighton is a doll; Carla that Georgie of yours a total peach), and as well as enjoying a bit of Justin and Paul's special brew. Another treat was the unexpected appearance of one of our clients, who is the grand dame behind The Wedding Embassy, in Watertown.

Upon my daily read of Justin and Mary's blog, I had to chuckle, as in their photo of the event, you can see my back (I'm in the plaid coat), as well as my husband Stephen's(to my left), as we are catching up with Jane (to the right).

Thanks again for the invite, ladies! We had a great time.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rock the Tulle

OMG, if I was getting married again (to my darling husband, of course) with the hindsight I do now, I would absolutely take myself 1000 times less seriously and don this fabulous skirt/tee combo for weddingish excursions. The tiny silver flats seal the deal.
Image courtesy one of my favorite blogs, Absolutely Beautiful Things.


So many reasons to celebrate!

We couldn't have been more thrilled to be invited to spend a holiday evening together with the fabulous ladies of The White Dress by the Shore, Something Blue Special Events, and Stonington Paperie. The evening started with a fashion show featuring the fabulous frocks of Callie Tein at Modern Trousseau. Each gown she designs is more spectacular than the next.

Following the show, we gathered for champagne and delicous delights by Gourmet Galley who are always spectacular. It was so nice to see Anna as we chatted together about a beautiful tented wedding we are planning together for the spring.

In the Chic by the Shore studio space, dessert called our names. A winter twist on the take home buffet bar sat perfectly on the bay window with coconut puffs, white chocolate covered pretzels, vanilla frosted butter cookies and many other sweets! Elizabeth Hodes provided dessert cake tastings and shared samples of her stunning works of sugar paste art.

It was so nice to see so many vendors we have worked with this year. As the holiday's near it is always a pleasure to take a step back and enjoy an evening of celebration.

Thank you so much for inviting us Beth!

Champagne Pretties with Dana Bartone

A few Fridays back, Talia and I were invited to a cocktails and a product introduction party at Dana Bartone's gorgeous new home and salon. Dana has introduced Arbonne to her existing line of beauty and while we sipped bubbly and munched on bark and other goodies, we were treated to exhilirating hand rubs and invited to try her new products.

Our girls have worked with Dana over and over for hair and make-up. Some past brides of ours:

Photo credits: Adrian Broom, Troy Photography, and Studio 1923.

Thanks for having us Dana. As always it was great to see you. We had a wonderful time!
Lindsay & Talia

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher, Connecticut Native

On Thanksgiving Day, Lindsay and I want to express our sincerest gratitude to so many people who impact our lives, day in and day out.

To our families and husbands, who offer endless support in pursuit of our own dreams, who love us dearly, and who constantly push us to be better people and be stronger women. We are forever grateful.

To vendors we have become so close with, who we consider friends now as well! You are all incredible in your own rights and your support of our work means the world to us!

And of course to our clients who without, we would not be able to do what we love so much! You welcome us into your homes, welcome us into your families, and we are so thankful. You give us inspiration, allow us the creative outlet in life we thrive on and have chosen us to share in the most special day of your lives.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Talia and Lindsay

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our first PUG!

Despite what you may be thinking, Tal and I have not selected a flat nosed friend to be the SPFYS canine mascot. Oh no, Chloe and Lady fill those roles quite nicely (and noisily, I might add!).

Rather, last nght we attended our first Pictage Users Group, or PUG, meeting! Invited/hosted by neighbor and family photographer extraordinaire Jane Shauck, organized by the famous/infamous duo Justin and Mary and featuring the genius Carla 10ike ; it was a great opportunity to catch up, dish, mingle with photographers and videographer (shouts out to Geoff) we have worked with over the past few years as well as meet in person those whose work and blogs we have admired for quite some time.

Thanks so much guys for letting us crash your party! We had an absolute blast and it was great to see everyone. Looking forward to working with you in 2009!

Tiffany and Mark - A look back

There is nothing more fun than reminiscing about beautiful weddings past, so in the spirit of fall, I thought it would be nice to pull up the details of this fabulous fall wedding from one year ago. The details were gorgeous, the flowers divine, the colors - jaw dropping, the band - rockin' and the specialty lighting... off the hook.

All photography above taken by the ever-so-talented Toby Morris Photography

Location: Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club
Flowers: Candi's Floral Creations
Stationary: Sixpence!
Band: Synergy Band
Lighting: Big Wave Events
Videography: Digital Ink Studios
Rentals: Party Rental, LTD

Monday, November 10, 2008

LouWanda and Michael

When LouWanda and Michael came to meet with us during for their initial consultation last fall, they had a clear vision for their wedding, it was to feel very fall, have a distinct lounge atmosphere and exclude a sexy vibe.

While at that time it was all just a vision, Lindsay and I could not wait to get started. We were literally giddy from excitement when we said goodnight to them! This is what unique weddings are all about! From that night on, LouWanda, Mike, and I began to build up their dream wedding. Details began to materialize, we made clear choices on vendors who would deliver exactly what Lou and Mike envisioned and in the process also became great friends!

Speaking of fantastic vendors, the photography was taken by Megan LaBarbera of Creative Image Collections who so graciously provideded the vast majority of the photos used in this post. She couldn't have done a better job capturing Lou and Mike's wedding!

Lou and her girls started the day beautifying at the Springhill Suites. LouWanda's stylist came to the hotel to do all of the ladies hair and make-up. When I stopped in, they were having a blast, laughing, chatting and relaxing to mimosa's and snacks. How fun!

Following my check-in at the hotel, I made my way to Eolia, The Mansion at Harkness, which is one of the most gorgeous spaces in Connecticut. The historic home, overlooking Long Island Sound, with it's stunning, expansive lawn and views, the beautiful architecture both inside and out, and the incredible gardens make for a truly magical wedding.

With a guest list of 65 people, we were able to decorate the "Music Room" for dinner where all guests were seated in one space.

We started with a luxe chocolate brown linen on the tables, used gold charger plates to add visual interest, and tied in their color scheme, by adding lamour copper colored chair sashes and matching napkins. We went with a modern twist to the sashes on the chairs and it provided the perfect amount of umph! to the ballroom. Linens provided by BBJ Linens And how about that yummy light!

We provided all of the wedding stationary, including the table numbers and escort hanging tags seen in these pictures.

Tony at Datura, A Modern Garden nailed it with the floral design. A mix of high and low centerpieces filled the room, brimming with orchids, hanging amaranthus, manzanita branch and two toned orange and burgandy lillies.

The entrance arrangement was so perfect. All of the hanging escort cards were strung at different heights with the same copper and cranberry accent colors, shaped to mimic the hanging votive holders on the tall centerpieces in the ajoining dining room.

LouWanda carried these gorgeous flowers. This bouquet could not have been more perfect for her. The two toned callas were stunning, the cranberry amaranthus was so lush, the delicate orchids hanging from golden strands and polished off with feathers for that sexy flair. The most sentimental component of LouWanda's bouquet are the incorporation of both her mother and father's wedding bands, which you can see on the shelf, just below the base of the feathers. The rings hung loosely in front of LouWanda's hand as she processed down the aisle.

The ceremony itself took place at the Amphitheather at Harkness at dusk. The sun was setting over the marsh beyond the ceremony site. Father Henry Smolinski performed a moving and personalized ceremony, everyone was very touched and LouWanda and Mike were so so happy. Live music was provided by Judy and Mark, a Guitar and Mandolin duo, who played the most incredible arrangements with Spanish flair.

Following the ceremony, guests were delighted to a fabulous cocktail spread by Felix and his wonderful staff at Grand Gourmet A blessing was given by Father Henry and toasts by Corey, LouWanda's maid of honor, and Doug, Mike's Best Man.

Then, dinner was served in the station fashion, there was something for everyone to consider. It was all delicious.

We snuck Lou and Mike away for some fun portraits with Meg. I have always wanted to get pictures of clients taken in this cool little nook of Eolia. It is really considered the "coat closet" but I can't help but feel like it was really meant to be such a cool little photo op just waiting to happen!

We then moved them into the tent space on the patio behind the mansion. This space had been off-limits to guests until after dinner and became the swanky lounge Lou and Mike had really wanted!

White leather love seats, black shag carpet, a black and white checkered dance floor and light up tables created the look. A fun arrangement of crystals and ostrict feathers, soft candlelight and fanstastic uplighting in deep burgandy and blues really brought the space together. Guests were in awe. Rentals were by American Furniture Rental and Taylor Rental.

And of course, I couldn't pass up sharing this picture Megan took during their personal photo session of LouWanda's gorgeous Jimmy Choos! This girl had always wanted to go couture on her wedding shoes, in fact she mentioned it in our very first meeting, and she did not disappoint. le sigh.

This three tiered confection provided by Victoria of Toria Dolce was absolutely heavenly. The branched design matched the manzanita branches in the tall centerpieces and ceremony arrangements.

There was chocolate cake with a spiced filling, and white cake with a maple filling and apricot filling, both of which were delicious, (yes, I tried both, heh) but truthfully my heart lies with the chocolate.

Following the cake cutting, dancing commenced under the tent. We did the formal introductions of the bridal party and Lou and Mike right through these doors and into the tent where guests were gathered. All guests were immediately invited to join the newlyweds on the dance floor and they rocked the night away with quite the spicy musical selections.
The DJ and lighting were done by Rob at Correlation Productions. He did a great job creating the atmosphere that Lou and Mike were looking for and kept the dance party going!

LouWanda and Mike, working with you on your stunning wedding was such an incredible pleasure. You are two of the most warm, sincere, genuine and passionate individuals we have worked with.

You both are a perfect match and Lindsay and I wish you years filled with love, happiness and all the "spice of life" that a marriage following a wedding such as yours deserves.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Goodwin Hotel to Close

In sad news, we have recently learned of the Goodwin Hotel's plans to close its doors at the end of this year. A beautiful hotel, a historic Hartford skyline staple, and a venue which holds a great deal of weddings will be no longer.

I ask our fellow vendors to do all that they can to help their clients who have booked their weddings at this venue in being flexible on rescheduling, offering suggestions on alternate venues, and understanding of the stress and uncertainty this puts on brides, grooms and their families.

If you are a bride, groom or family member looking for assistance in locating a new venue for your wedding, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE so that we may guide you through this difficult time.

Read the article in the Hartford Courant Here

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heather and Jason

We first met with Heather and her adorable sister Jacky last August. With a love of everything and anything vintage, antique and "old" as she always said, Heather was primarily looking for assistance in transcending her ideas through paper and statement blooms the day of. Yes please! With the fabulous back-drop of Lord Thompson Manor, it felt like total serendipity and were were tickled pink (no pun intended) to be part of her big day.

Two weeks before my due date, Heather and I took a trip throughout the tri-state area in search for the perfect florist. From the moment we walked into Stoneblossom's Studio and saw our inspriation book on the coffee table, we were sold. Living up to their spectacular reputation, Stoneblossom was top notch in every sense of the word from planning to execution. Kristen, we can't thank you enough for your kindness, flexibility and swoonworthy flowers!!

Talia did a fantastic job designing Heather's stationary suite; setting the stage with a spectacular boxed invite. The gift-like box opened to an embossed gold luxe wrapper tied with a black satin ribbon; further leading to an ecru cotton stock letterpressed with metallic gold black writing. STUNNING.

On Saturday, September 27, the ladies began getting ready bright and early at The Cottage House, a sister property of the Manor. This darling shabby chic cottage would have made Rachel Ashwell proud with its whitewashed furniture, jute rugs and slipcovered chairs. Just being there made everyone calm and cheery as they brunched and were beautified by Yazmin Mendez's hair and make-up. Yazmin was a total powerhouse that day and everyone looked gorgeous.

During this time, Talia and I were busy ensuring everything was in place over at the Manor. Stoneblossom pulled up with their truck and began carting in their magnificant flowers, starting with the bouquets. Heather carried a modern cascade or roses, orchids, stock and freeshia, while the girls carried bouquets of purple sterling roses, hydrangea and begonea leaves.

The ceremony began with the signing of the ketubah with Heather, Jason, their immediate family members and chosen witnesses in the Drawing Room. Heather wore a Lazaro gown (purchased at Mariella's)with the most breathtaking Amsale ribbon edged veil I have ever seen. It was so sheer, so soft, so shimmery, so there and yet so not, it was like air. . . . ooh, I get tingles just writing about it!

Her maids wore black dresses of various designers. The gents wore black pinstriped suits and black shirts. Jason sported gator shoes which were v. cool.

Due to the pending rain, Heather and Jason were married at 6:30 in the Conservatory in the Jewish tradition. The back-up plan worked effortlessly as the Manor had a gorgeous arbor for Stoneblossom to decorate with soft and vintage greens and blooms. Millennium accompanied the ceremony, featuring a pianist who also specialized in country vocals. Heather walked down the aisle to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland. With the pattering of the rain on the glass windows, it was incredibly soft and intimate. So lovely!!

Close up of the program, designed by Talia:

With the breaking of two glasses and a kiss, the ceremony ended and cocktail hour was in full swing. Millennium played light jazz and the guests enjoyed mingling with one another and sampling yummy apps of all kinds.

There are four separate dining rooms at Lord Thomson Manor, each with a distinct color scheme and decor style. Taking this into consideration, we designed the florals for each space to complement their respective pallettes; yet at the same time to also play off the decor and flowers to the ballrooms in which they were juxtaposed. It came together brilliantly . . and the staff at the Manor said they had never seen centerpieces like that of Heathers. Eeeeee - we were thrilled!!!

In Breakfast, a room of very strong and majestic purples, we chose high centerpieces of the most perfect proportion to the smaller room, filled with creamy white roses/stock/lisianthius, antique green hydrangea, and antique purples of all kinds.

Close up of the glorious centerpiece!

Hunt, which adjoins Breakfast, is a cool and calming pewter. As such, we chose various antique purples, greens and whites placed in aged stone urns to pop against the background as well as tie in the deep and sensual purples next door. The purple hyndrangea, in particular, were delish!

The mantles were decorated with candles and glass of various heights. The photo is Heather's parents wedding photo - a sweet touch! Table numbers and menus were designed by Talia.

In Belmont, or the shabby chic rooom as we all called it, mossy urns were filled with creamy white and blush roses, hydrangea, Queen Anne’s lace, freesia and other pale goodies. I could have sat in this room all day. Sigh.

Finally, a stunning and tighly packed high centerpiece of 75 roses on a gold candelabra play off the bohemian aristocratic deep taupe in Terrace. I *LOVE* the blood red contrast against the moody masculininity of this room, as well as the dainty whites of Belmont.

Totally bananas . . . all of it.

Donna of Creative Cakes provided the cake. Scrumptious inside and out!

Following dinner, the guests danced the night away to Radiance, from Boston. The lead singer was a hot ticket and belted out some great sets.

One of the perks of having your hair and make-up team stay extra long is that they can constantly touch up make-up and restyle hair, if need be . In a flash, Yazmin took Heather from soft and romantic to high and elegant, perfect for dancing.

Sam Chinigo was the photographer and David Lammey the videographer. We are anxiously awaiting to see their final products!

Heather and Jason, I had so much fun working together over the past year on your day. All our hard work truly paid off as it came together just as we had imagined. I hope the two of you had a wonderful honeymoon in Costa Rica, as it was much deserved. We wish you a wonderful life together. Please do keep in touch!


Lindsay and Talia