Jennifer + Brandon Tie The Knot

In honor of the first week of Fall, we have the pleasure of sharing the wedding of Jennifer and Brandon. Their wedding was full of warm Fall colors, echoing the surrounding grape vines which were in the process of transitioning from shades of green to yellows, oranges and reds.

In the months following her wedding, we asked Jennifer to share the story of her relationship and wedding to Brandon. Here she shares their sweet story, as well as some helpful tips on making the most of your own special day:

There was a lot of history leading up to our big day. Brandon and I grew up together since elementary school, and share many mutual childhood friends. We even went to the high school prom together!

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We went our separate ways for college, but one day during summer break our paths crossed in our hometown Clayton, Ca.  We hung out together almost every day that summer, even before we started dating.

We dated for about three years before Brandon proposed at one of our favorite picnic spots at Rutherford Hill winery.  It was the most perfectly romantic proposal; just the two of us overlooking the valley.  We then spent the weekend visiting other wineries across the valley.

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I always knew I wanted to find a venue in the wine country, so I asked our friends, the Sherwins, of Sherwin Family Vineyards, if they had any suggestions.  They told me about Beaulieu Garden.  After seeing Beaulieu firsthand, we knew immediately that this was the spot!

We were engaged for a year and four months before we got married. We had a lot of close friends getting married that same year, so we wanted to choose a date that gave enough space between all the different events. We also liked the idea of getting married in September, as the weather is usually mild and the vines are lush with grapes.

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When the wedding day finally arrived it was absolutely beautiful. The venue was gorgeous, and the flowers were absolutely amazing! It is so wonderful to see all the details come together and look more outstanding than I could have ever imagined. It was so special to have all of our friends and family coming together to celebrate our marriage and future lives together. I was so excited to see Brandon, to be with Brandon and to start our life together. It was so exciting that the day had finally arrived.

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On the day of the wedding, I was so happy and I felt so blessed that all I could do was smile. I watch my wedding video and I laugh because on my wedding day all you can see is teeth! I am smiling from ear to ear the whole time. Brandon and I had the most incredible time at our wedding. We enjoyed ourselves and had tons of fun! We danced with our friends and family and truly enjoyed our time together. It truly was an amazing day filled with so much love and a tremendous amount of happiness.

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The best advice I could give to other brides is to take a few moments to take it all in.  For Brandon and me, our first opportunity to do so was after the formal dances and speeches. We went around the property with our photographer and took pictures of just the two of us. These were the moments during which we could view the reception and watch all of our guests dancing and having fun. It was so cool to see our wedding from a distance. It was also nice to have time for just the two of us to be alone and appreciate our special day.

It can be overwhelming when you are surrounded by all the guests. Part of you feels obligated to visit with people you haven’t seen in a long time or to thank people for coming. I think it is very important to step away with your husband for a short time to relax and take in all the special little moments. Otherwise it can seem like the day went by way too fast. So remember to have fun and enjoy every moment!

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Happy Anniversary, Jennifer and Brandon!

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Planning & Coordination: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Photography: Kate Webber Photography / Venue & Catering: Paula Le Duc Fine Catering  / Venue: Beaulieu Garden / Flowers:  Sharla Flock Designs / Lighting & Sound: Got Light / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Videography: Weddings On Film / Printed Pieces: Union Street Papery / Calligraphy: Michelle Papineau Calligraphy / Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Eloquence String Quartet / Band: Sage Music / Cake Maker: Sweet On Cake / Toasting Flutes: Kate Spade / Transportation: Pure Luxury / Getaway Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours / Wedding Gown and Bridesmaids Dresses: Alvina Valenta / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Men’s Suits: Calvin Klein for Mens Warehouse

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2013 Trends: Bridal Party Jewelry with AJ Stout of Stella & Dot

In this month’s 2013 Trends feature, we decided to have some fun discussing a favorite pastime of many women out there: accessorizing!  As wedding planners, we encourage our brides to think about bridal jewelry (their own as well as their bridal party’s) as they move along in the planning process. Plus, playing with jewels and accessories is just plain fun!

We reached out to AJ Stout, Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, based out of San Francisco, for her expert opinion on 2013 trends. AJ also shared some photos from a recent shoot she styled using Stella & Dot jewelry, enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about Stella & Dot, when and where was the company created, and how you got involved as an independent stylist.                                                                                                                                                                     Stella & Dot was founded by our CEO Jessica Herrin as Luxe Jewels in 2003. The company evolved, and in 2007, Jessica partnered with Blythe Harris, Chief Creative Officer and re-branded Luxe Jewels as Stella & Dot, which they named after their grandmothers. The company is based in San Bruno, CA. I began working as an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, as a means to satisfy my need to work in a “feel good” capacity after battling Triple Negative Inflammatory breast cancer last year. Styling my clients with beautiful jewelry has motivated me and helped me make many wonderful personal connections!

AJ Stout

AJ Stout

How does the process of seeing and selecting pieces of jewelry work with Stella & Dot? Have you ever held a special party for a bride and the members of her bridal party?

Stella & Dot jewelry is designed in New York City and San Francisco and each piece is hand crafted. Our design team has worked with luxury brands like LVMH and Coach. For wedding jewelry, I have helped brides incorporate a Stella & Dot trunk show into their bridal shower so that they can earn style rewards (jewelry credit) towards their own wedding jewels, and choose jewelry for the bridesmaids, mother-of the bride, or flower girls.  Typically, when the guests know their shopping benefits the bride, they are happy to shop to help her earn style rewards to look beautiful for her big day!

Tell us about the price range of Stella & Dot jewelry.

Half the line is under $50, which makes it affordable for most women. Our current price range is $16 – $298.

Does Stella & Dot create pieces that are specifically geared towards brides?

Our products are not geared to a specific occasion; however, our designers do an excellent job of having some very elegant pieces available, which I have often recommended to my bridal clients.

What bridal trends have you noticed in 2013?

The Great Gatsby film has influenced many bridal looks this year. As seen in the bridal photos, the Stackable Deco rings (et of 3 for $49).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

As well as the vintage inspired Deco Drop earrings ($44).  Both pieces emulate the art deco style of The Great Gatsby.

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Adding a ‘pop of color’ with jewelry can really heighten the overall look of a bridal outfit. Which colors have been the most popular in 2013?

The aqua stones of the Lily Chandelier earrings have been a pretty choice for my bridal clients who want to add a little color to their look, and they’re priced well at $39!

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

What are some favorite pieces that you’ve seen brides and bridesmaids wear in 2013?

My hands down favorite piece is the Ainsley bracelet ($98), which I am wearing in the potrait above.  It’s a sparkly stretch bracelet that adds a lot of glamour to the overall look:

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

In your opinion, which pieces of jewelry should a bride consider giving to her bridesmaids to wear at her wedding?

I think it all depends on the dress style and is often budget driven. When I got married a few years ago, I bought matching bracelets for my bridesmaids to give them a consistent look and a little color as they were in black dresses.  Something to keep in mind when giving the bridesmaids a piece of jewelry is that it’s a gift for them to wear on the wedding day and hopefully something they will want to wear again and again.

In the 2013 collection, does Stella & Dot feature pieces that would be appropriate for a wide range of ages within a bridal party (i.e. the Bride, Bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom)?

We have a wonderful collection of jewelry appropriate for the different age ranges of the bridal party.

The bride may want something as simple as our Glint Flower Cubic Zirconia necklace ($39):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Or something more contemporary, like our Dot Bloom necklace ($198):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Bridesmaids can acheive an elegant lace look with the Geneve Lace Bib necklace, ($96):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Flower girls will feel fancy in their Mini Soiree necklace ($24) and Bracelet ($16):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

I’ve also seen the mother-of-the bride choose to wear a statement necklace. Some women are reluctant to wear larger pieces of jewelry, but for a wedding where they will be wearing a glamorous dress, these pieces can really bring out the best in their personal style! I like the Marchesa necklace ($178) for a luxurious look.

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

If you had an opportunity to style your dream wedding featuring jewelry from the 2013 Stella & Dot collection, which pieces would you include?

I recently styled the following photo shoot and included pieces which really set the tone for the overall elegant theme.

On the blonde model is the Metropolitan Mix Chain necklace, (was $198, now available directly through me for $99), the Glint Flower cubic zirconia earrings ($39), and one the Stackable Deco rings (set of 3 for $49).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

On the brunette model are the vintage inspired Deco Drop earrings ($44), as well as some very affordable bling: the Radiance Coil bracelet ($29).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Check out the photos from my shoot here:

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo shoot credits:

Photographer: Michelle Lascon http://www.michellelacsonphotography.com

Jewelry Styling: AJ Stout, Stella & Dot Independent Stylist http://www.stelladot.com/AJStout

Shoot Coordinator: Hoofrish Patel – Tamrish Events http://www.tamrish.com/

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Thank you, AJ, for sharing all of these helpful tips and ideas!

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Please contact AJ directly for more information about Stella & Dot and any of the pieces she referenced in this interview: ajstoutstyle@gmail.com.

And be sure to read out last installment of 2013 TRENDS focusing on Wedding Cakes with Amber McKenney of Sweet On Cake!

Some Very Special Mother/Son Songs

Last month, we shared a list of our Very Favorite Father/Daughter Songs.  In this post, we wanted to show our Grooms and Moms a little love.

Let’s face it, when it comes to the special dances at a wedding, most of the attention is focused on the bride and the much anticipated father/daughter dance. But hey, every Mom deserves to have a special moment with her son as well!  The mother/son dance is one of the most touching traditions to take place at wedding receptions. Choosing the perfect song for this dance can prove to be a little difficult, so here’s a list of our all-time favorites.  Warning: you may want to grab a tissue before giving these songs a listen!

Laura & Jeff Wedding by Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo by Gertrude and Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel

Now put on those dancin’ shoes and enjoy your special dance!

Questions for Stacy: When and Where Should I Set up my Registry?

Question:

Hi Stacy.  I am recently engaged and am wondering when I should set up my registry.  Additionally, with how many companies do you suggest I register?

 Answer:

Congratulations!  Setting up your registry is one of the most fun activities you and your fiancé get to do together, because it allows you to dream big and start to piece together the way you want your new home to look.  It’s a good idea to get your registry underway before you send out your Save The Date , as your friends and family might want to send you an engagement gift when they receive it.  It’s also a good idea to determine which companies you’re going to register with before you set up your wedding website, as this is where this information should live (registry information should never be included on any of the wedding-related mailed pieces, except for any showers that are thrown in your honor).

I think it’s wise to keep your registries to a maximum of three companies.  Some of our favorites are Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, REI, and Amazon.  An alternative option for the bride and groom who already live together or feel that their kitchen and bedroom are already well-situated is to register with a company such as HoneyFund or Wanderable, which allows guests to purchase dining experiences, adventures and overnight stays that a couple hopes to enjoy over the course of their honeymoon.  We’ve also had some clients sign up with a company such as JustGive, which works like a registry to send funds to the philanthropic organization of their choice.

Your registry should be as unique as you are as a couple, so have some fun putting it together!

Cheers,
Stacy
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Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!