From The Archives: 10 Things I Loved About Your Wedding (Puff)

Update: This week, Mr. and Mrs. Puff celebrated their one year wedding anniversary so I thought it’d be nice to walk down memory lane with this post! Happy anniversary to a couple that I care for deeply!

I’m excited to kick off a new blog series with highlights of real weddings. I’ll pick my top 10 favorite aspects of the big day to share with my readers. I recently had the pleasure of attending the wedding of Amanda and Ben, now, Mr. and Mrs. Puff! It was a special family-oriented event with amazing food and drink, all on the backdrop of a beautiful castle from the 1800s.


  1. Venue The wedding took place on the grounds of the Lyndhurst Mansion which had sprawling green hills and a formal gothic-style castle. It was positioned right next to the Hudson river which added beautiful views, especially when the sun was setting.Puff Wedding - 718
  2. Photographer While the photography was also a highlight, the actual photographer was a stand out! Luisa Wall is a personal friend of the bride and she was absolutely beaming. Any time you looked over at her, she had a big grin on her face. She was one of the first people there and the last to leave but you never saw her sweat. Her love and dedication put towards to capturing the special moments was really touching to see.Luisa.png
  3. Flowers The flowers were all silk and fit in perfectly with the shabby chic theme. While I’m normally not a big fan of silk flowers, the bouquets and centerpieces were absolutely stunning. Each piece was hand crafted by the brides mom and really added to the special day. The flowers were a smart investment because they now double-up as home decor for the bridal party. (Don’t you love this photo?!)
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  4. Bride’s Incorporation of Diabetes Amanda lives with type 1 diabetes and manages her health with an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. These are two separate devices that she wears all of the time, and she knew she had to wear them on her wedding day. When she searched for a dress, she found one with pockets that could hold her diabetes devices. (She even worked with her seamstress to make some alterations to the pockets so she could easily access what she needed.) Since diabetes is a big part of her life story, it was nice to see that it didn’t hold her back and she was able to find a way to incorporate it into her big day.Puff Wedding - 124
  5. Bride’s Manicure Amanda always has a perfect manicure so her wedding day was no exception! She used a beautiful rose gold color on her ring finger and light pink nails on the rest of her hand. This made her ring finger stand out and tied together beautifully with her rose gold jewelry. All of her bridesmaids also incorporated rose gold into their manicures in different ways.Puff Wedding - 1072(1)
  6. Bride’s Dancing Shoes Her Toms wedges were gorgeous for the ceremony and first dance, and then she put on her dancing shoes! I’ve seen Converse done before at weddings, but never with ribbon-shoe laces!
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  7. The Shabby Chic Theme The dainty yet rustic decor was tied throughout all of the details, both big and small. Their guestbook and gift table were great examples of that. The guestbook in particular was so smart because it also matches their home decor and will look really nice on a wall displaying their last initial and wedding wishes!Puff Wedding - 346
  8. The Quote in the Toast  The Maid of Honor gave a lovely toast at the reception and shared this Dr. Suess quote which was completely wedding-appropriate! “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whos weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
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  9. The Gender Reveal While the couple were celebrating their life of newlyweds, they also celebrated another life chapter: becoming new parents. At their reception, the bride and groom opened up poppers with their bridal party that shared the gender reveal! They were able to announce to all of their guests that they would be having a baby girl this fall.Puff Wedding - 1269.jpg
  10. Dessert Parade All of the food from the cocktail hour through to the reception was amazing, but the dessert “took the cake.” After a traditional cake-cutting and serving, the servers came by each table one by one, each with a unique dessert in their hand. They called it a “dessert parade.” It was decadent, extravagant and absolutely delicious.Puff Wedding - 1855

These were just my top 10 details of a very special day that showcased the love between two very special people. I hope you liked them, too!Before we go, here is some more vendor love:

With love,Girl with a diamond ringFollow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

Planning a wedding? Is it all worth it?

When I was in the midst of the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, I kept asking myself “Is it all worth it?”, and I hear other brides ask the same thing, too.
Is it worth it to spend hours contemplating between two shades of one color, when they look the same to most other people? Is it worth it to invest in a dress that you will likely only wear once? Is it worth it to pay for food and drink for 100+ people? Is it worth it to put so much time into the DIY elements that might only be recognized by a few guests? (And the list goes on…)
Here’s the deal. Second guessing (everything) will be part of the planning process. But the answer is “yes” as long as it truly meets this criteria:

    You aren’t just doing something a certain way because ‘that’s how everyone else does it’ or ‘Grandma would be more comfortable if it’s more formal…’ Instead, you’re making decisions that are true to who you are to make YOUR day special.
    You aren’t over-extending yourselves either mentally, physically, or financially just to put up a front for your guests. You don’t throw a wedding party to please people or make them think something you’re not, you throw a wedding party to celebrate a forever-union. Honestly, the wedding invitation that comes in a velvet monogrammed box just might not be worth it, unless you’re going that route because it MEANS something to you and your future spouse.
    You aren’t making spinning your wheels and spending unnecessary energy on the drama. If there’s one way that you can actually enjoy the planning process a little more, it’s to not get wrapped up in the things that will not bring value to your big day. Like really, who cares if your mom’s friend from high school is mad they didn’t get invited. And who cares if Aunt Ruth thinks it’s inappropriate to have someone give you lingerie at your bridal shower. Dust it off, because that’s NOT worth it, and you’ll need that space in your mind and heart to focus on what is. (This isn’t meant to sound harsh, but these are the details that are not worth it because they won’t matter after your big day.)

Be intentional and challenge why you are making each decision throughout the planning process. Because then once you make those decisions, you can rest assured that your big day will represent who you are and turn out exactly they way it’s supposed to. I promise you, it’s worth it.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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How to be a Gracious Wedding Guest

June is here: the most popular wedding month of the year! Whether or not you’re getting married this summer, you are probably invited to a wedding or two (or five!) Since every wedding varies based on the couples’ culture and personal preferences, it’s sometimes hard to know how to behave once the big day arrives.

  • When you get the invite, it will likely give you an idea of the format and theme. Take clues from this on how formal it might be and if there is a specific insight you can glean from the upcoming day.
  • You better RSVP!!! And don’t do it last minute. This is so important.
  • Try not to reach out directly to the couple with questions! You can always reach out to an immediate family member or someone in their bridal party. Instead, reach out to the couple with a word of encouragement before the big day. They are likely stressed and have a lot going on. If possible, offer help or take them out to get their mind off of everything going on.
  • Be on time! While most ceremonies never start on time, don’t assume that. Plan your day so you can have a buffer so you’re there before it starts.
  • The bride won’t get tired of hearing how beautiful she is, so make sure to compliment her if you do get to speak! Also, let the groom know how handsome he looks.
  • Take notice of the smaller details because either she or he put thought and effort into putting that entire experience together. Save those things in the back of your mind to tell the couple after the big day. Once things are all over with, they might question all of the effort, so it will be nice for them to hear a kind word of notice and appreciation.

Hope this helps! Enjoy wedding season, I know I will!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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10 Reasons to Elope From a Real Bride

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Newlyed Margaret (Meg) Woodward Herd recently eloped in Dallas, Texas. She and her now-hubby, Joseph, are absolutely beaming in their photos and it’s crystal clear that they made the right decision for their special day.

A shoutout to Swink Photography for capturing all of the special moments from their elopement. The bride contributes a lot of the success from the big day to their photographer, Betsy, who helped create intimate moments that will last for a lifetime.31712215_973795852797341_8724603394645295104_n

Are you considering the upsides of an elopement? Here is what this real bride had to say for her top 10 reasons to elope!

10. Your officiant can provide you with refreshments of your choosing immediately after the ceremony, with NO judgment.


9. Extremely small wedding parties = saved money, less obnoxious outfits, and more time for sister tattoo rubbing.


7. You can pass the time staring at the beautiful sunset while your bride tries to pull off a tearful sneak attack.


6. Your vows can contain inappropriate jokes not suitable for church settings or in the presence of relatives.

5. You save money on flowers. And food. And decorations. And music. And space. The list goes on…

4. Everyone loves a group photo…old friends, distant relatives, wedding party, etc. But you know what everyone loves more? Taking no more than five minutes to complete all different combinations of said photos.

3. Cake for two, anyone?

2. There is little risk of a ring bearer/flower girl melt down when your fur baby holds the title. Also, how adorable is a puppy in a bow tie?! He gives any toddler in a tuxedo a run for his money.


1. Because at the end of it all, you shouldn’t focus too much on the flowers, or the food, or the decoration, or any of the little details that go into the party planning. It leaves more room for focusing on exactly your way and  how he/she looked the first time you saw each other right before you said “I do.” Or how that first kiss as man and wife felt. Or how his/her voice sounded saying their vows. Or how your heart felt, most importantly.


Congratulations! I LOVE that you two threw tradition out the window to make some really special memories together as you enter this new season hand in hand.

Follow Swink Photography to see more of Betsy’s work:




With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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3 Things To Do Right After Your Engagement

7-18-2017 5-30-31 PMSo you just got the ring. Now what? Your emotions will probably be all over the place so here are my tips on what to do RIGHT after your engagement!

  1. Take a selfie with your mate. Your enthusiasm will be at an all-time high and it will be a special and authentic memory to capture in your relationship. Don’t be too “posey” with the pictures you take because it might take away from the genuine emotions.
  2. Then, take a deep breath and spend a moment with just your fiancé. Let it sink in. Don’t be so frantic to rush and tell everyone because this is time together that you won’t get back. If your now-fiance told you some really romantic things when the question was popped, take some time to reciprocate and share your feelings, too.
  3. Talk about who you’re going to tell and in what order BEFORE it goes on to social media! (This article from The Knot has some good tips.)

And once you share the news, don’t be surprised that everyone will respond with “when’s the date?” but don’t rush this process. It’s important to treat your engagement as a new phase in your relationship, and not just a period of time that you skip right past before walking down the aisle. My number one tip to any new bride-to-be is to enjoy this time! Once you have the “married” or “spouse” title, you will be able to have that f-o-r-e-v-e-r. You only get to be “engaged” and a “finance” for a short period of time so don’t let it pass you by without taking some time to focus on the beauty of this life season!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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