A Glam and Cozy Autumn Wedding by Crystal Stokes Photography


Even though enjoying the blissful warmth of summer, that doesn’t mean we’re not looking forward to the cooler months ahead. Cozy evenings and colder weather have a special place in everyone’s heart, right? Well, luckily for us, there are weddings like Jenny and Sean’s special day that give us a little dose of that autumnal feeling when we need it. The bride and groom’s wedding day was held at the regal (but cozy!) Old Edwards Inn, with a ceremony at their local church. With breathtaking photos of the couple in the rain, a totally glam reception, and a whirlwind sparkler send-off, Jenny and Sean’s wedding day is the stuff autumn wedding dreams are made of.

And, can we talk about the bride’s Blahniks? They’re just too pretty. We can’t.

Read to see more of this amazing wedding day, shot and shared by Crystal Stokes Photography.










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Wedding etiquette: If someone is not invited to your wedding, can you invite them to any pre-wedding wedding events?


Yvonne Wong Photography

GINA’S ANSWER: No, as I think that would be incredibly awkward. You’ll probably have invited guests at these pre-wedding events, and they’ll likely mention something about your upcoming wedding, and the univited people will feel reeeaaaaally awkward and/or slightly hurt. The only time I think this would be okay is if you are having a small destination wedding with just a few friends and family (understandably so), but are organizing a pre-trip event so you can celebrate with the masses.

JESS’ ANSWER: This is a decision that is best felt out based on the friendships you have with these guests (or, non-guests, if you will). If you’re having a casual,“more the merrier” engagement party celebration, like a BBQ, then inviting those outside your guest list would be appropriate. However, if it’s a more formal setting (think of your parents throwing you a cocktail party, paper invitations, the whole shebang) then inviting guests you don’t intend to have at the wedding might give them the wrong idea.

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: You may invite guests to any event you feel like, but you should be wary of who is throwing the event, their financial ability, and also who else will be in attendance. You really don’t want to create any awkward situations between guests and non-guests You might create expectations by inviting someone to one event and not the wedding, and you should be prepared for some hurt feelings too if they are not invited to the wedding

Engagement parties are probably the best case of an event to invite non-guests wedding guests to. They generally fall way before the wedding, and are hosted by someone other than the wedding hosts. If you wish to invite someone to other events, I think that a less formal and less special gathering is acceptable. Establishing some distance from the wedding is best because it gives people a chance to be included but is not so fresh or close to the actual event.

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She’s an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she’s a freelance graphic designer (www.designscribble.com).


Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She’s partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she’s not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.


Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.

The Pink Flamingo Bridal Shower: Finally! A Bridal Shower That Doesn’t Suck


When I first got engaged, I really struggled with the idea of whether or not to have a bridal shower. Showers can be so awkward, boring, and downright gratuitous, er so I thought. In fact, I wrote about bridal shower etiquette and how it’s all a bunch of phooey in one of my earlier blog posts.

However, now that I’m nine months into this whole being engaged business, I can confidently say that I’ve learned a lot about how to enjoy being a bride. And one way to do that is to let your friends throw you a fabulous shower!

It’s amazing that this shower even happened. After I got engaged, two of my closest friends – Karli and Cathie – offered to throw me a shower, and naturally they were rebuffed because I felt a shower was unnecessary, too much to ask of anyone, and would probably be lame for all parties involved. A few months later I changed my tune and decided it might be fun to celebrate a bit. Luckily my friends were more than happy to oblige their finicky friend.

A quick note about these two ladies. Karli is a blogger, full-time mom of a toddler and has another heathen due in October. Cathie is a full-time nurse and mom to a three year-old. How these chicks had the time and energy to do this shower is beyond me. They’re superheroes in my book.

This shower broke all the rules. First of all, I only invited some close friends and immediate family – no random family members from out of state, no acquaintances, and certainly not every female that is invited to the wedding (gasp!). And it was thrown by two friends who aren’t even in my wedding (double gasp!). Yep, we opted for a tiny bridal party of two on each side, so many of my friends don’t get the privilege of having to buy a dress and stand in the heat for our 15-minute ceremony. But did that deter them? Nope, Karli and Cathie are just great friends, so they threw me a bridal shower. You better believe they give me sh** on the regular about not being in my wedding though.

This shower didn’t suck. In fact, it was quite creative, awesome, and pink flamingo-themed! There were no games, no kids, and no gluten. Seriously, I’m gluten intolerant and every single food item at this shower was Gina-friendly, as I like to say. The fact that my friends made my favorite foods and ensured there wasn’t one thing I couldn’t put in my mouth was so incredibly thoughtful. And I definitely put everything in my mouth. The menu included grilled shrimp, chicken and steak skewers, sweet potato salad, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and the most amazing cupcakes from a local GF bakery (those were supplied by my in-laws, who rock). We sipped chilled champagne, white wine and lemonade from mini mason jars with striped paper straws, and bottled water with custom labels. I mean seriously, these ladies brought their A-game. They even painted a photo backdrop, gathered up some props and created a really fun photo booth.


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20 gold wedding dresses inspired by Jessica Simpson


Bek Grace

It looks like brides this summer are going for the gold! Gold wedding dresses, that is. Brides in gold is one wedding trend that has been catching on in popularity this year, but ever since Jessica Simpson wore a couture gold Carolina Herrera confection for her July 4th nuptials, this is one look that’s really caught fire. And I mean come on — Jess looked pretty great in that dress, right?

Glam, playful and warm, gold is the perfect alternative wedding dress look for summer brides who want to make a statement. From gowns with gold beading to sequined gold sheaths to shimmery metallic numbers, brides everywhere have embraced this luxurious color for their moment in the spotlight. If you’re considering this look for your wedding day, take a cue from Jessica and these 20 gold wedding dresses, worn by real brides, below!


Spindle Photography


Truvelle via Etsy


Bethany Small Photography


Brandi Smyth Photography


A Bear A Deer And A Fox

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