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SMP Welcomes Our Advertisers!

Fall is, hands-down, my favorite season. And autumn weekends? The absolute best. Let’s get it started off right with an introduction to a brand-new member of the SMP advertising family, Love Bird Vintage Jewelry! Offering unique + timeless designs that are perfect for life’s most treasured moments, these pieces are truly special.

Inspired by designer Heather Roth’s love for all things vintage, each and every necklace, bracelet, belt + pair of earrings are beautifully designed and crafted. I’m loving the handmade, brass pendants featuring custom calligraphy engravings which are perfect as a bridesmaid gift! And get this, if you live in the Kansas City or St. Louis area, Love Bird Vintage Jewelry can host a trunk show in your home or event space to see all the jewels in person + earn a complimentary piece! For more information + inspiration, check them out on Facebook + Instagram. Be sure to head over here for more info and to start shopping!

Photography: Heather Roth Fine Art Photography | Jewelry: Love Bird Vintage Jewelry

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{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
Social Hour with SMP

It’s Friday, which means over here the party is just getting started. We’ve pinned and posted a ton of pretty pics this week and rounded up your most loved for an awesome recap. Kick off your weekend with all sorts of inspiration and take a minute to scroll through the gorgeous highlights from Pinterest and Instagram right now. Plus, read on for giveaways, discounts and winners! xoxo

The Week's Most Loved Pics
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ONGOING GIVEAWAYS

Something Blue Prize pack from La Marca Prosecco

This week’s DISCOUNTS…

Alexandra Grecco

For our California brides… Discounts from Love and Lace Bridal and don’t forget to check out  Weddings Unveiled, the free bridal and Wedding fair Sunday, September 14, 2014.

For Our Midwest brides… Discounts from a&bé bridal shop and WASIO Photography.

For our Tri-State brides… A special engagement session offer from Twah Dougherty.

And WINNERS…

Congratulations to Eden Theodora who won five boxes of boxed Stationery from Vera Wang!

Big congrats to Marsh who won the Alexandra Grecco tulle skirt!!

And finally congratulations to Tali who won the WASIO Photography giveaway!

Elegant Black Tie Affair at The Biltmore

Don’t champagne towers make you want to celebrate? We just know when the champagne’s a flowin, a gorgeous black tie affair is on the horizon. And the Biltmore in Santa Barbara knows how to host just such an affair along with beautiful rich details by Jill La Fleur, blush flowers with pops of orange by Blue Magnolia and an elegant candlelit reception captured by Michael & Anna Costa. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Resort
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride…We were attracted to the effortless and understated sophistication that inspires the relaxed Santa Barbara lifestyle. It’s impossible not to feel more alive and healthy here, and it’s no surprise why this part of the country is called the American Riviera. Plus, anyone who knows me well knows I am obsessed with Spain and the Mediterranean. As soon as Santa Barbara was on our wedding venue radar, I thought it was the perfect backdrop:  Spanish Colonial architecture, wine country, lavender fields, olive trees, ideal climate, and the ocean and mountains. We both also loved the classic, timeless feel of the Four Seasons Biltmore. The hotel is nestled in the Montecito foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, overlooks the Pacific ocean, has lush gardens, and is a place any girl would feel incredibly lucky to plan her wedding (which is exactly how I felt).  We kicked off the weekend festivities with a wine country trip, including a pit stop to pick up Enjoy Cupcakes in Los Olivos to celebrate my husband’s birthday (who doesn’t love wine and cupcakes??), followed by an outdoor welcome cocktail reception in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.
 
We wanted to amplify the celebratory mood and play up on the California Spanish style, so we invited guests for a ceremony prelude, where they were greeted with Spanish guitar, white sangria and sparkling wine, fresh fruit, and rosemary and raspberry-infused lemonade. We wanted to create a space that was not stuffy, but tastefully relaxed and joyful. Our wedding was intimate, in a private garden near the ocean, and it felt like our own hidden space. I personally think the whole idea of an ostentatious wedding has been overdone. As a couple, we gravitate toward the idea that simplicity is more sophisticated.  We let its natural beauty shine, and kept décor minimal; we brought in custom chairs, hung garlands of bay leaves and flowers alongside the aisle, and added larger arrangements where we exchanged our vows.
  

Immediately following the ceremony, we all toasted with a champagne tower—I was very excited about that!  The cocktail hour was al fresco (which I love)–we had an open bar and also offered an elderflower champagne cocktail and a grapefruit margarita, which complemented the color palette. In addition to passed hors d’oeuvres with crowd-pleasers like mini gourmet cheeseburgers with parmesan fries and black bean empanadas, we also were really pleased with how the Four Seasons did such an excellent job of incorporating local ingredients, such as fresh lobster, avocado, Point Reyes blue cheese, and California olive oil into other appetizers. We also included a cheese station and charcuterie, sushi and a raw bar for our guests. We kept the escort table unfussy, so as not to compete with the hotel décor, and instead chose classic ivory paper goods and fragrant gardenias as an accent. Cocktail tables were topped with single gardenias and petite terrariums.

 
Walking into our reception space exceeded our expectations, and our entire vision was executed so flawlessly. We had added weathered oak cross-back chairs and long feasting tables lined with natural linens and touches of citrus and succulents, as well beautiful bud vases and larger blooming arrangements done in a palette of corals, melons, ivories and greens. Kerstin of Blue Magnolia incorporated hydrangea, garden roses, dahlias, poppies and ranunculus, along with pops of color, texture, and clementines. Soft votive candles flickered to create a beautiful glow, which is super flattering for dinner conversations. I felt so involved in the wedding details that I really enjoyed being surprised with the final result. There were so many thoughtful touches, down to the olive sprigs on each napkin and local Santa Barbara wines. We really wanted our guests to feel like they were at a dinner party, and give them something beyond what they might expect.  
 
Now for the praise: we were so incredibly lucky to work with such a talented team. Their professionalism gave us confidence while we were planning from the opposite side of the country, and allowed us to truly enjoy a stress-free day. Jill LaFleur has such a graceful and relaxed presence, which immediately put us at ease. I sometimes have a hard time relinquishing control, but it was easy to put my trust in her and she worked her magic to tie everything together beautifully. We could not have asked for a better husband and wife team than Michael and Anna Costa, who captured our day so beautifully and made us feel so comfortable. Kerstin Horneman of Blue Magnolia is so warm and personable, and practically read my mind when it came to what I wanted. Maria Axiotis of the Four Seasons is so poised and I felt like I’d known her for years. My advice when selecting a supportive team is to listen to one’s gut because our first impressions did not fail us and it all felt like a natural fit.
 
Our wedding was personal, honest and full of so many tender moments. It was a day full of love, and truly better than we could have ever imagined. Our family and friends helped make it an unforgettable day, and we are looking forward to an excuse to return for anniversaries!  

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Michael Costa | Event Planning: Jill La Fleur | Floral Design: Blue Magnolia | Invitations: Umi By Elum | Ceremony Venue: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Maria Axiotis @ Four Seasons SB | Band: Free Radicals Band | Grooms Attire: Tom Ford | Grooms Attire: Burberry | Officiant: Judge Thomas Adams | Assistant Coordinator: Jenn Curti | Bridesmaids Robes: Pretty Plum Sugar | Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier | Hair & Make-Up: The Studio Agency | Lighting Design: Ambient Event Design | Linens: La Tavola | Music: Sam Adams | Music: JSH Music Productions | Rentals: Town And Country | Transportation: D&D Party Bus

Amsale and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Michael + Anna Costa Photography, Ambient Event Design and Plum Pretty Sugar are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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Michael & Anna Costa Photograp...

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Ambient Event Design

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Plum Pretty Sugar

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Desert Engagement Inspiration in Hues of Blue

After poring over the images from Brett Heidebrecht, I’m thoroughly convinced that all engagement shoots should be captured in a desert. There’s something about that dreamy red rock landscape that photographs impeccably. And with the cool blue styling by Kylie Swanson paired with king protea florals by Poppy Lane Design and the prettiest hand lettered save the date courtesy of Lindsay Letters, you’ll probably agree that this inspiration is one for the books.

From Brett HeidebrechtThe desert can be a scary place. Ragged rocks for days with not much life other than cactus sprouting up and scorching sun. But there is a lot of beauty in the desert as well. I teamed up with Kylie to produce this beautiful engagement session inspiration and the team she put together as the creative director and stylist was over the top. What better way to cool down the desert landscape than with hues of blue… so Kylie reached out to the folks at Neiman Marcus about outfitting our couple and we were blown away that they obliged to provide the wardrobe from head to toe along with some beautiful jewelry. My favorite had to be the light blue and very form fitting Victoria Beckham dress. It was such a nice contrast against the desert colors. We knew we wanted to add some floral elements but we didn’t want to forget that we were in the desert so we kept it as simple as possible and Poppy Lane Design really came through in a big way. Lastly we had the amazingly talented Juliet Grace and Lindsay Letters produce a map of the desert as well as a save the date to tie everything together. With all the details taken care of by Kylie, all that was left to me to do was shoot this beautiful and in love couple as they enjoyed some time gallivanting around in the desert.

Photography: Brett Heidebrecht | Floral Design: Poppy Lane Design | Creative Director / Stylist: Kylie Swanson | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Paper / Calligraphy: Lindsay Letters | Paper / Calligraphy: Juliet Grace Designs | Venue: Phoenix Desert Mountains | Wardrobe: Neiman Marcus

Poppy Lane Design is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Poppy Lane Design

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