Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chic Southern Rustic Engagement Party

With pheasant feathers, golden pumpkins, and cafe lights strung over farm tables paired with cozy textures and mismatched chairs, this Yorktown engagement party at the Hornsby House will show that simplicity in setting a wedding tone from the very beginning goes a long way.

With the help of family and friends, Julie and Gray created a warm and welcoming environment all the while honoring tradition, family history, and their upcoming nuptials. Because Gray's heritage is firmly rooted in the Hornsby House, they knew it was the perfect spot to host their engagement party as well as carry on the Southern tradition of "burying the bourbon."

If you aren't from the South and are questioning this quirky tradition, well, you're in for a treat because this age-old one is sweet. It's Southern folklore meets meteorology. If you bury a bottle of bourbon where the bride and groom are to be married, it is said that it won't rain on their wedding day. And then on the actual wedding day, the couple are to dig up the bottle and share it with the wedding party for a nice toast to the newlyweds!

A feast of Southern charm meets fall elegance, this engagement celebration captured by Luke and Ashley Photography is just the start. Stay tuned in a few weeks for Julie and Gray's official engagement session; it's an equally chic one!

Photography: Luke and Ashley Photography // Venue/Catering/Decor/Furniture: Hornsby House // Decor: DIY by Couple and their Loved Ones

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Classic Williamsburg Bridal Session

Yesterday was all about Indian wedding traditions, and today, we're all about one good ole Southern tradition that is the bridal portrait session!

Originally an engagement session that couldn't happen due to her now-husband's move across the country, Kate and her photographer Jennifer of Shine with Jennifer Leigh decided that bridal portraits were the next best thing, and we agree! What girl wouldn't love to wear her wedding gown more than once?!

To personalize her gown from The Inspired Bride, Kate customized her dress straps so they could be removed when she wants to change the gown's look and her bridal pearls were also designed specifically to complement her gown's neckline and details.

Since her wedding was recently at the beautiful Colonial Heritage Golf Club in Williamsburg, they thought there was no other more perfect place for her very own bridal portraits. With a dash of fall foliage and cool breeze, these sunset bridal captures are simply perfect this time of year!

Photography: Shine with Jennifer Leigh // Venue: Colonial Heritage Golf Club // Bridal Gown: The Inspired Bride // Florals: DIY by Mother of the Bride // Hair and Makeup: Illusions by Marcus

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Personalize Your Traditional Indian Wedding

Indian weddings make up part of the local wedding scene here in southeastern Virginia, so earlier this year, we learned all about Indian wedding traditions and even about personalizing American wedding traditions. So today, we have the fabulous expert herself (and best bunny mom there ever was), Preeti Moberg of The Big Fat Indian Wedding, doing the ultimate mashup of those two as she shares how brides and grooms can personalize beautiful South Asian traditions for their own special days.


Indian weddings are known for their display of bright colors and intimate religious functions. While they seem vastly different from the sweet, but standard white dress ceremony, Indian weddings can be a challenge unto themselves. After all, if you're getting married in a traditional Indian setting, you might find yourself donning the expected red saree or lehenga and listening to the ancient prayers and vedas.

So how does one personalize their traditional Indian wedding? The below tips should get you started on your journey to an event that is decidedly your own:

Go bold with your colors

While red is the traditional choice for an Indian bride, representing honor and love, it isn't the only color that the star of the show would look stunning in. Indian lehengas and sarees come in all shades of every color - from dazzling golds to deep purples. Pick a color that represents you, complements your skin tone, and suits your wedding style. You'll add your personal flair to your look, while still donning traditional Indian attire.

Mix up your flower selection

Indian weddings often feature flower arrangements of roses, marigolds, and orchids. However, there's no reason why your favorite lilies or carnations can't make it to your bouquet or table display. Personalize your decor by choosing flowers that match your theme and color scheme. Carnations are a great choice since they come in a variety of colors - and peonies are popular wedding picks. Since the mandap and other decorations are probably utilizing Indian motifs, flowers are a simple way to infuse your style into your wedding while still keeping the decor traditional.

Offer a bangle bar for your guests

Indian bangles, or thin bracelets made out of metals or wood, are worn in dozens by women adorning outfits from anarkhalis to sarees. Since they come in every color imaginable and cost less than 50 rupees a pack (if you buy them in India), they are a cheap and easy way to add some fun style to your wedding. Let your female guests go crazy mixing and matching their favorite colors and designs for their own personal looks. Your bangle bar will be the talk of the wedding season, representing your taste for jewelry while making good use of Indian trinkets.

Serve your favorite foods

Indian food doesn't just consist of a few meaty curries and tandoor-grilled flatbreads. The wide range of Indian food represents flavors and cultures from the whole country, from the tender meats of the north to the simmered lentils of the south. Express your personal taste in the category where taste matters the most by selecting your favorite dishes to offer your guests. Recent experiments in Indian food have led to delicious fusion options as well – such as Indo-Chinese. Whether you're offering a buffet or a sit-down meal, let your palette take the lead so you and your guests can enjoy a wedding reception that's truly "you."

Get clever with guest books and centerpieces

Even if you're using traditional Indian motifs to decorate your wedding venue, guest books and table centerpieces are an excellent opportunity to showcase yours and your spouse's personalities.

If you enjoy traveling, consider having a globe-themed guest book that your guests can write messages in. Consider taking it an additional step and organize each table so the centerpiece represents a city or country from your travels.

Think about what hobbies and favorites you want your guests to know about you (especially if it's a large wedding) and engage in DIY projects accordingly. Consult Pinterest, ask your wedding planner to help, or grab some friends and design the small personal flairs in wedding details yourself. The guests will appreciate these details and take note of how much effort you put into the party.

Write your own vows

Although you'll probably be getting married by an official priest and listening to ancient Hindu vedas that bind you in holy matrimony, you and your spouse can still share your personal thoughts with each other. Whether you share them privately before the ceremony, make space for the reading of the vows before the Hindu rituals, or read them aloud at the wedding reception, you can find time to express your personalized love to each other.

With so much color, tradition, and excitement, Indian weddings does leave some room to personalize to your own tastes - while still maintaining the respectful allure of the age-old customs.

- Preeti

Want to get more daily South Asian wedding inspiration? Get to know Preeti and The Big Fat Indian Wedding over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

All photos by Keith Cephus Photography.
To see more of his Hampton Roads Indian weddings, head on over to his website.