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Whimsical Marin Headlands Center For The Arts Wedding

You know what’s EVEN better than a “perfect” wedding? One that involves vendors going above and beyond to turn a crisis into one awesome story. And with their officiant stuck in traffic as the ceremony was set to start, this couple’s caterer Katie Powers (who just so happens to be ordained) was that vendor who stepped in to save the day big time. Thanks to the talents of Amanda O’ShannessyOne True Love Vintage Rentals and Em The Gem we’ve got so much to swoon right here.

Art Venue

From Amanda O’Shannessy CreativeJust a stones throw away from the Golden Gate Bridge and the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco you’ll find the Marin Headlands. It’s home to miles and miles of hiking and running trails, cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and a little gem of a wedding venue called the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. The Marin Headlands Center for the Arts is one of those venues that has a ton of character but is enough of a blank slate that you can truly make it your own. It’s definitely a designer’s dream! Needless to say, when Margaret + Gavin approached me and told me this was the venue they had selected for their July 2014 wedding I was incredibly excited to work with them!

When we sat down to brainstorm what their day would look like it was clear that they wanted to keep things simple and understated while still creating a sense of celebration. Margaret + Gavin spend lots of time at local farmers markets and are always trying out new recipes so amazing food was also a must for their wedding day. Luckily the in-house catering team at the Headlands, Katie Powers Catering, focuses on seasonal dishes, locally sourced meats and produce, recipes that are complex but still very approachable, and above all – delicious food! To keep things intimate and low-key, the couple selected a family style meal allowing guests to experience a number of different dishes. For dessert, the bride and groom chose an assortment of desserts from two of their favorite places in San Francisco: Miette Bakery + Birite Market. It was so special to know that guests, many of whom were traveling from the East Coast and Canada, were going to get to experience some of Margaret + Gavin’s favorite things!

With the food and venue nailed down it was time to focus on the design details. We first came up with a color palette and let the overall design direction take shape from there. Slate gray, denim blue, khaki, and pale pinks and peaches were accented with pops of burnt orange and copper. To bring in the blue we used chambray denim fabric to create custom napkins, ribbons for the bridal bouquet, and the fabric backdrop for the escort card display. We let the flowers, brilliantly designed by Studio Choo, bring in the vibrant shades of orange. Loose and wild greenery, including a hanging installation over the altar and adornments for the chalkboard signs, was used to keep the event feeling relaxed and unfussy. Finally, hints of copper were sprinkled throughout the event for an unexpected touch. My favorite use of copper can be found on the dinner tables where you will find salt and pepper cellars made out of copper pipe caps sourced from local hardware stores. After dinner, vintage lounge furniture from One True Love Vintage Rentals created a cozy place for guests to catch-up and hanging bistro lights created the perfect after-dinner glow.

As beautiful and fun as Margaret + Gavin’s wedding day was it was not without it’s hiccups! Due to terrible holiday weekend traffic the ceremony officiant was running very late and was still stuck on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge at the time when the ceremony was set to begin. Unsure of when she would arrive my team and I hurriedly came up with plans B, C, and D. Margaret + Gavin were such good sports when we broke the news that their officiant “would not be arriving anytime soon”. It turned out that Katie, the owner of Katie Powers Catering, was ordained and was more than willing to jump in and marry Margaret + Gavin. Talk about saving the day! With only 5 minutes notice (and the hors dourves cooking downstairs in the kitchen!) Katie walked down the aisle ahead of Margaret + Gavin and led a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony. The best part? Most guests had no idea that Katie was the chef until they saw her downstairs in the dining room leading her team! At the end of the day, Margaret + Gavin were married and now they will always have a great story to tell!

Photography: Em The Gem | Event Design, Planning & Creative Direction: Amanda O’Shannessy Creative | Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Floral Design: Studio Choo | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cakes: Miette Bakery | Catering: Katie Powers Catering | Make-up: Audrey Kral | Hair: John Brody Salon | Lighting:Got Light? | DJ: DJ Cams | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Marin Headlands Center For The Arts | Ceremony Pianist: Dan Zemelman | Desserts: Birite Market | Linens: La Tavola | Paper Goods: The Aerialist Press | Photobooth: Magnolia Photo Booth Co. | Shuttles: Bauer’s Transportation | Chalkboard Artist: Sarah Lynn Jones

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Tips for Making an Entrance from Mr & Mrs Smith

Taking a walk down the aisle is a bold enough move for some, but for some thrill-seeking couples they wouldn’t be content stopping there. So we’ve turned to the boutique honeymoon planners and boutique travel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith to round up a few luxurious, one-of-a-kind stays that will knock your socks off. With more than 950 of the world’s most stylish boutique hotels in their hand-picked collection, Mr & Mrs Smith can help you kick-off your happily-ever-after adventure with a serious bang. Today it’s all about making an entrance…

Mr & Mrs Smith Making an Entrance
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Mr & Mrs Smith Making an Entrance
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Ready to get your adventure on, SMPers? My bags are packed! Whether you’re up for a remote resort or a swanky Italian hotel, Mr & Mrs Smith can help design your dream honeymoon. Give them a call at 800-464-2040, or submit an inquiry on their site (here) to get in touch with a honeymoon expert who can help you plan your dream escape.


Elegant Summer Wedding in Ischia

The fact that the Bride’s grandparents married on this Italian island years ago and now she too will say her vows here is amazing. But add in these sort of views, a ceremony site that radiates romance and this incredibly chic Delphine Manivet gown and I have to admit, I’m literally speechless. Taylor Barnes’s captured it all in this gorgeous gallery, also known as where I’ll be, mesmerized, for the rest of today.


From Taylor Barnes Photography… Myself and Faye love this wedding not just because of its phenomenal beauty but because of the people and their connection with the destination in which they chose. Natalie and Mark contacted me after seeing my work on Once Wed and after many transatlantic Skype conversations picked us to photograph their nuptials on the breath-taking island of Ischia. I had the pleasure of watching Natalie’s ideas develop and it was amazing to see it all tied together so well on the wedding day. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to bring all the elements together especially planning from so far away but it sure paid off.

The castello where they held the wedding was very exclusive, only choosing to do two weddings a year, ran by siblings. This venue was kept impeccably and the views were ones you would never forget… a perfect setting to marry the love of your life! Made even more special as Natalie’s late grandparents were married on the island bringing a different type of connection to the place, carrying on the tradition of getting married on the island.

The day was kept simple and was filled with Italian elements from the stunningly foraged floral arrangements to appetising food, it made our job pleasurable and effortless. With beautiful natural light and a spectacular colour palette it was easy to photograph the wedding on film.

Photography: Taylor Barnes Photography | Floral Design: Saipua | Wedding Dress: Delphine Manivet | Ceremony Venue: Castello Aragonese Ischia | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Calligraphy : Stephanie Fishwick | Groom's Attire: Individualized Apparel Group | Bride's Engagement Ring: Jessica Fields | Bride's Jewellery : Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Ring: Doyle And Doyle | Letter Pree: Foxy And Winston

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
DIY Wedding Cake Pinata

Mad libs are amusing and scavenger hunts are sweet, but piñatas? Well, they’re the perfect addition to any fête. If you’re looking to interject some fun into your upcoming celebration look no further because we’ve got just the ticket. With our easy to follow DIY, you can celebrate that very special day with a beautiful wedding cake piñata. Scroll on for more!


2 packages of iridescent tissue paper
4 packages of pearly white tissue paper
Silver foil tissue
Fringe cutter
White cardstock paper
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Clothesline rope


step-1 Draw out four circles on the cardboard: 7” diameter, 11” diameter, and (2) 16” diameter. To make a perfect circle, trace a bowl or plate with the same diameter, or tie a pencil to a string and a tack. Cut out the circles.

step-2 Cut a 6” diameter hole out of the center of the 11” circle and an 8” diameter hole out of one of the 16” circles. Poke a hole in the center of the other 16” circle and the 7” circle.

step-3 Cut out cardboard strips that are 6”, 5”, and 4” wide and as long as they need to be to wrap around their circles (smallest width matches to the smallest circle).

step-4 Glue the cardboard strips to the circles, then glue the circles together in a cake shape. Before you add on the top layer, tie a knot on one end of the rope and string through the hole in the bottom of the biggest layer, up through the center of the other layers, and out through the hole of the top layer. Add in your pinata treats (may we suggest mini plastic bottles of booze?), then glue the top layer in place.

step-5 Cut the tissue paper into 5” wide strips. Layer 12 sheets of paper together and use the fringe cutter to cut 4” long fringe down the length of the strips. Separate the fringe into 4 groups of 3 sheets each and staple the 3 sheets together at either end. Repeat until all the tissue paper is fringed.

step-6 Starting from the bottom of the cake, glue the fringe around the cardboard. Place the next layer about 1” from the edge of the layer underneath. Place an iridescent layer after 2 of the pearly white layers.

step-7 Cut a 7” circle out of the cardstock and cut a hole in the center for the rope. Glue to the top of the cake.

step-8 Cut the silver foil tissue into 4” wide strips. Glue three sheets end to end, then twist into a rope. Repeat with a second set of sheets, then twist the two ropes together in the opposite direction of the original twist. Having trouble picturing it? Check out these instructions for fabric rope to get an idea. Make enough rope to go around each cake layer.

step-9 Hot glue the silver foil ropes in a ring around each cake layer. Hang the cake from a tree branch or the ceiling and let the happy couple whack away!

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

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Rehearsal Dinner Venues
Ruth Eileen Photography
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