Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mindy and Travis

Castle Hill Cidery is one of my very favorite venues. Its beautiful grounds and striking open spaces proved the ideal setting for Mindy and Travis' rustic-elegant celebration in shades of blush, cream and champagne designed by just a little ditty and full of personal touches. Starting with the romantic floral letterpress suite by Bella Figura with calligraphy by Debi Zeinert of The Blooming Quill, each detail of the couple's celebration was chosen with care, creating one spectacularly beautiful day.

Mindy wore a romantic tulle Vera Wang gown and beaded belt; loose curls, a simple veil and silver Jimmy Choo peep toes were the perfect compliment to her classic bridal look. Bridesmaids carried petite versions of the bride's rose, ranunculus and hydrangea bouquet from Southern Blooms by Pats Floral Designs perfectly matched to their gauzy Amsale gowns, while the flower girl wore a darling dress by OliviaKateCouture. Travis chose a custom tuxedo from Astor and Black, which no doubt serves as a romantic reminder of their nuptials each time he dons it.

The couple exchanged their vows beneath a birch chuppah built by the groom; in the shade of the cidery's Linden trees, the rustic structure was a seamless natural addition and transformed the vast lawn into a sacred space. The groom's family's favorite beer, Spotted Cow, was driven from northern Wisconsin to Virginia and served during the couple's cocktail hour on the terrace, and when guests drifted into the barn, they discovered romantic bistro lights, classic Chiavari chairs and piles of romantic blooms in shades of blush and ivory. Wild Alaskan salmon the newlyweds caught during a trip to the groom's family lodge was served during dinner by Harvest Moon Catering, before the couple and their guests took a whirl on the dance floor. Mindy surprised Travis with an oil painting of their first dance by impressionist painter Rich Flynn, one of the couple's favorite momentos of their wedding day. After dinner and dancing, everyone was ready for something sweet; in addition to a four-tiered buttercream confection from Cakes by Rachel, guests enjoyed the bride's favorite brownies and old-fashioned cartons of milk–the perfect ending to one heavenly day.

Many thanks to Jen Fariello for letting me share her stunning images–tell me, what's your favorite detail or photo from this romantic fête?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Your wedding day is one of the few opportunities you have to wear white shoes, no matter the season.  So would you pick a pair of classic round-toed pumps like these, or instead chose something with a wild color or pattern for the big day? 

Image by Elisabeth Millay, embellished white pumps by Kate Spade.

Monday, July 28, 2014


 After a busy week and a hectic Friday afternoon, I was so looking forward to the first of many of our weekend rituals–Indian food! John swung by the office and I ordered takeout in the car before a quick pit stop for English cider, the perfect compliment to spicy curry. We got home just as our food was, and happily curled up with Frasier for a cozy evening in.

John had us both up at dawn the next morning, and after coffee in bed, we poached a few eggs that were perfect over avocado toast. After preparing our weekend to-do lists, we started tackling our respective projects. While John practiced some competition repertoire, I worked on my editorial calendar, considered florists and dove into my latest read, Astonish Me. After a midday pause for laundry and pan con tomate, we settled into the living room and back into our work, enjoying hours in companionable silence. By the late afternoon we were both starving, so we cooked up one of our favorite salads–grilled haloumi with watermelon and mint. After sharing a little glass of white wine, John tackled our messy filing cabinet while I cleaned up my inbox and poured over some gorgeous wedding inspiration. With our window still missing, we climbed into bed and under two down comforters (the joys of San Francisco summers...) to watch Bottle Shock and plan our next Napa trip!

Another early morning meant a run for John and some lazy reading in bed for me. He headed out to grab coffee with a pal while I roasted fingerlings and poached eggs, then curled up with my to-do list to take advantage of having the house all to myself. After diving into a book on the history of the San Francisco ballet, catching up on my correspondence and reading everything in my Bloglovin' feed, I pulled out my favorite crops and worked up a sweat. John returned home buzzing with espresso and triumphant from an impromptu coffee house concert of some of his competition repertoire, and after a little snack, he settled in with an arranging project. With the foggy weather slowly drifting off into the sea, I strolled to our local coop for some fresh veggies and fruit, and couldn't resist a visit to the beach before heading home. While John diligently edited, I grilled corn and cooked up a spicy summer corn chowder–the perfect dish for chilly July evenings in the Sunset! We curled up with an episode or two of Frasier before heading to bed early, ready to tackle the week ahead! 

Tell me, what were you up to this weekend? Cliff jumping like my brother-in-law, voicing your opinions on international conflicts like one of my besties, or just lounging by the pool with a great summer read, perhaps? I want to hear all about it!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Old Cuban

 The Old Cuban is a minty rum cocktail topped with Champagne–and really, what could be better than that?

Old Cuban

1 1/2 oz rum
1 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
mint leaves
Angostura bitters

Combine lime juice, syrup and mint leaves in a mixing glass; muddle gently. Add rum, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and ice; shake well. Double strain into a cocktail glass, top with Champagne and garnish with a freshly slapped sprig of mint.

Notes: Created by Audrey Saunders of NYC's Pegu Club, the Old Cuban could also be called a Mojito Royale for its use of Champagne. Though a gentle muddle brings out the flavor of fresh mint, you could also infuse your simple syrup, or use a bit of cane syrup for an authentic sweetener. Just don't leave out the bitter or the bubbly–cheers!

Recipe by Audrey Saunders, image by Romulo Yanes.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Modern Engraving

This week I'm loving Southern-inspired details like this dogwood invitation, laid-back nights at home after long days at work, and lots of progress on the planning front that I simply cannot wait to share! Tell me, what are you loving this week? 

This classic South Carolina celebration photographed by Pasha Belman and featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs is so very pretty in pink–don't you love the bridesmaids dresses?

Speaking of color, this cheerful yellow fête photographed by Kimberly Chau from Grey Likes Weddings will put a big smile on your face.

This romantic early spring celebration photographed by Marta Locklear and featured on Snippet & Ink has me dreaming of delicate blossoms and sweet scents.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Caroline and Tyler



 Amy Arrington captured Caroline and Tyler's beautiful wedding at Georgia's Burge Plantation, filled with lovely lace dresses, beautiful blooms and the sweetest of kisses. Tell me, what's your favorite detail from this romantic Southern celebration?