The Venue Hunt Part One | Bridal Blogger Alisha

This past weekend my fiance and I took a trip to San Francisco/Oakland to check out a couple prospective wedding venues. The results of our search was... exciting, confusing, and to be honest a little disappointing. Still I'm hopeful and excited to share our progress so far. Let's get into it!

The Winery SF

Our first stop was The Winery SF - a beautiful industrial space with jaw dropping views of San Francisco. If you've  had a chance to check out my "Venue Vision" post, you already know this place is right up my alley. It's perfect with it's industrial style, stellar views, and budget friendly packages. I literally couldn't ask for anything more.

Photo via Frances Iacuzzi

The fiance and I arrived and met with the coordinator in a the beautiful wine barrel lined room. The second we stepped in I could tell Tony liked what he saw and could picture our wedding. And that's when it happened... The wedding coordinator mentioned that we are lucky to be getting married this year because the loction is being TORN DOWN in the beginning of 2016. : (

Apparently there was some sort of mix up with our application causing the coordinator to think we are planning our wedding for September 2015 when in fact we are aiming for September of next year. Bummer! 

Even though this location has been pushed off of our short list, it's a beautiful location and I highly recommend 2015 brides give it a chance. If it wasn't for the fact that this baby is getting DEMOLISHED, I'm pretty sure this would have been my venue. It ticks pretty much every box on my wish list but I guess it just wan't meant to be. 

Luckily, I'm not one to get to hung up on what might have been so, on with the venue hunt!

The Terrace Room / Lake Merritt Hotel

After our super quick meeting at The Winery SF we were pretty hungry. We decided to multitask by grabbing brunch at The Terrace Room while scoping it out for our big day. Brunch was delicious but the location confused us a bit. 

It turns out the Lake Merritt "Hotel" is an assisted living facility and not an actual hotel at all. The Terrace Room restaurant/venue shares and entrance and lobby with the Lake Merritt Hotel. The whole restaurant inside of an assisted living home concept through me off until I saw the gorgeous view!

By far the best part of this venue is its enormous panoramic windows that look out onto the lake. Tony and I did a walk through with the restaurant manager and started to get really excited about the space. It's a good mix of industrial style but with lots of art-deco touches that I love. If we chose this location our aisle would be breath taking and we could have the entire event indoors, meaning weather concerns wouldn't be an issue. 


While I'm definitely warming up to the place, I still have my reservations. I love everything about the location but I really wish it was a regular hotel and not a care facility. All I can think is - "What if the reception music keeps the residence up?" or "What's the point of getting married in a hotel if my guests won't have a place to stay?". 

E & I readers, am I being crazy here? 

At any rate, I think it's safe to say the hunt is still very much on. The Winery SF is definitely off our venue list but I'll keep The Terrace Room on and continue to mull it over (with your help hopefully). Until next week!

The Wedding Registry

I love how interesting wedding registries are getting. When I was getting married I did the traditional department store registry and it was a bit of a pain. I ended up taking several really large return trips to Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn and it took months to get all that cardboard. In retrospect I feel like we should have made more of an effort to diversify our registry a little bit to include both things we needed/wanted and experiences/trips we could do together. 

When I saw Envelope Registry I was incredibly impressed. First of all, the design is beautiful which is always a huge plus for me. (I don't know how many terribly ugly wedding websites I can take at this point.) But aside from the design -  it felt like a simple and easy way for a couple to set up a registry (and I have seen the registry process drag on for months and months). Similarly, the flow from a guest perspective is simple even kind of fun. It just takes a lot of the guesswork and pain out of the wedding registry. 

When you setup your registry you get to choose from a collection of experiences and physical categories. Did I mention I love their design? These cards represent the categories you might choose - and from there you'll include some specifics on each experience. When guests purchase something off your registry, cash will be deposited into your account allowing you to do what you want/need with that money!

From the guest perspective it is just as easy and fun in my opinion - Guests have the opportunity to buy anything from your registry, for example, 5 cups of coffee or 50 miles of road tripping! They get to choose how much to contribute (so they will never run into the issue of you not having enough items on your registry that they can't seem to pick something) and they can complete the transaction quickly and easily. 

Envelope Registry just launched in the US and are running a contest to double one couple's registry! Find more details on their website and definitely check them out - might be a great option for your registry! 

This Week I'm Loving | Bridal Blogger Alisha

I'm sad to report that this week was a total fail on the wedding planning front. Due to the Easter holiday, the three site visits I had scheduled fell through which pretty much halted my progress. Begrudgingly, I rescheduled all of my appointments and found myself with nothing to do but wait. 

I decided to put the venue obsession on the back-burner for this week since my hands were pretty much tied. With my newly found free time, I took to Wedding Gawker and Pinterest for a little non-venue related inspiration. Today I'll be sharing my top 3 wedding related blog posts from this past week. I encourage you to check them out as well because there're awesome and I bet they'll inspire you too!

Fun Bridal Shower Inspiration

First and foremost, I have to mention Wedding Party's awesome post which highlights a ton of fun bridal shower ideas. I personally have never been a huge fan of this tradition but thanks to this post, I can't wait for mine! I mean - Mimosa bar, lipstick shaped cookies, and a pinata? Count me in!

Photo via Beautylish

Photo via Beautylish

Photo via Kendi Everyday

Photo via Kendi Everyday

Photo via Jackie Wonders

Photo via Jackie Wonders

Bestie PHOTO SHOOT Inspiration 

I came across this magical little photo shoot featured by Confetti Daydreams a few nights ago and my jaw dropped! Why didn't anyone tell me that best friend photo shoots are a thing? 

I never would have dreamed up this idea on my own but now that I know about it, I'm officially adding it to my to do list. I mean, how many times will you have the excuse to get all dolled up, wear a flower crown, and take professional pictures with your best friends? Bridal party - get ready!

Photo via Debbie Lourens

Photo via Debbie Lourens

Photo via Debbie Lourens

Photo via Debbie Lourens

Photo via Debbie Lourens

Photo via Debbie Lourens

Modern style inspiration 

Lastly, my favorite post of the whole week came from 100 Layer Cake. I fell head over heals for this stunning wedding inspiration shoot. I mean...there are no words.

I love everything about it from the brides makeup to the sweet backdrop. It's the perfect mix of bold geometric patterns and soft elements. Basically, the shoot is perfection and I'll be referencing it throughout my design planning process. 

Photo via Jenavieve Belair
Photo via Jenavieve Belair

Photo via Jenavieve Belair

Photo via Jenavieve Belair

Photo via Jenavieve Belair

Even though I was pretty bummed about having to put my venue hunt on hold, it's been nice having a week to just relax and fall back in love with wedding stuff.I feel super energized and can't wait for my first site visit this Sunday! Check back next week for an update on that. 

I really hope you liked this little post and I'd love it if you'd share a link to what inspired you this week in the comment area!

8 Tips for Amazing Wedding Photos

As a lover of all things wedding related, I spend hours sifting through wedding photos. It's pretty much an all day thing for me because I'm constantly looking for inspiration. I'm always amazed by those really magical shots where the stars align and the photographer catches the bride and groom at the perfect moment. 

This got me thinking about what it actually takes to get that kind of shot. After a lot of careful consideration I've decided that the cosmos probably have very little to do with good wedding photography. In reality, I think there are a lot of things that contribute to those magical images. Obviously starting out with a well recommended photographer is key, but the process shouldn't stop there. Today I share a few important tips for you to try that can help your photographer capture those once in a lifetime wedding photos. 

Photo via Paper Antler

Photo via Paper Antler

1. Do an Engagement Session.

It's a good idea to do an engagement shoot with your photographer before your big day so that you can get a feel for how you work together. Since engagement shoots are generally pretty laid back, you'll have time to get comfortable with the camera which should help do away with any wedding day photography jitters. Think of it as a practice run for the main event!

Photo via Green Wedding Shoe

2. The Shot List:

It is important to hire a photographer you trust and let them do their thing. Sending a few photos to showcase the style you love, that is fine, but don't expect to get the exact same shots as those you pinned. When it comes to family photos or must-have photos with certain friends, create a small shot list of those must have combinations. This will ensure you get the shots you want with certain family, and it will help the photographer get these photos done in a timely manner so you can go ahead and enjoy your cocktail hour! 

3. Come Prepared.

A lot of couples like to include fun extras in their wedding photos. Thank you banners, signage, and portraits of loved ones can add a special personal touch to your pictures. If this is something you're interested in, make sure you assign someone to bring these items along come picture time. 

4. Stick to your timeline.

This tip can be really hard to follow but is so important! In my opinion, some of the best wedding photographs are taken at sunset. Chances are your photographer has carefully reviews your timeline and has carved out a small portion of time to take these pictures. Sticking to your schedule will ensure that you not only get the photos you want throughout the day, but it will also help guarantee you have time to take advantage of the illuminating light as the sun goes down. 

5. No surprises.

Weddings are all about fun so naturally some couples choose to through some surprises in for their guests. While that's totally awesome, keep in mind that your photographers job is to capture the moments. Help them out by cluing them in on any surprises so that they can position themselves in the right place at the right time. 

6. Consider an unplugged wedding.

Nothing deflates the magic of a picture like seeing someone texting in the background. Going unplugged for your ceremony eliminates the photographers need to shoot around your phone obsessed loved ones. 

7. Trust your photographer

You hired your photographer because you like their work, right? On your big day, trust them to do what they do best. If you're constantly worried about what they're doing you're not really going to enjoy your day and that will definitely translate in your photos. 

This leads me to my last and most important tip....


It's your wedding day! Be sure to enjoy even the little moments because a happy bride makes for the most amazing pictures of all.

FEATURED // Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine

Last year I had the pleasure of planning and designing a small vow renewal for one of my very favorite photographers, Carlie Statsky. She is wonderful friend and colleague so of course I had to jump on the opportunity to create some memories for her whole family!

Producing this vow renewal was one of my favorite events to date. The entire day was incredibly perfect from the wood and marble details, to the fun floral, their beautiful family of 4 frolicking around Holman Ranch making beautiful memories and of course exchanging the vows they spoke to each other 10 years prior. 

I couldn't be more excited to announce that this beautiful day has been featured in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine! Pick up a copy to see more details and read the beautiful story of this couple! 

Here is a small glimpse into the details of the day! Martha Stewart Weddings blog will be featuring more shots of the day next month - but feel free to follow us on Instagram for more sneaks!

Thanks a billion to the incredible vendor team that pulled this event off!

Venue: Holman Ranch | Planning & Design: Engaged & Inspired | Photography: Delbarr Moradi Photography | Floral: Studio Mondine | Hair & Makeup: Melissa Hoffman | Lounge One True Love Vintage | Cake: The Whole Cake | Dress: Sarah Seven | Men's Suit: J Crew | Paper Details: Wayfarer's Creative

Venue Vision | Bridal Blogger Alisha

This week I attempted my first concrete steps towards wedding planning and started the daunting process of finding a venue. I sat down and tried to picture what my wedding day would look like, only to find that I have wedding ADD. By that I mean, I can't focus on one scenario. I bounce back and forth between picturing a modern industrial spot, to an outdoor location with scenic views, and everywhere in between. 

I think this process is so hard for me because, as much as I really care where we get married, part of me knows that it doesn't really matter. I know that when our wedding day finally arrives, I really wont care so much about where I'm standing because I'll be so focused on who I'm standing with. That being said however, I'd really like to make our wedding day amazing for my fiance and there is where the challenge lies. 

Seeing that he's a male, it can be really hard to pull a definite opinion out of him. After hours of Pinterest-ing, I've finally pinned down our top three venue possibilities. Keeping in mind that we would ideally like to have our entire wedding in one spot - here is what we came up with...


I for one love industrial style weddings. You can create a clean and simple look, if the space is cool enough it wont require a lot or sprucing up, and EXPOSED BRICK. Need I say more? 

On top of all that I can have a nice, weather free, indoor ceremony. This will not only grantee my hair and makeup will be photo-ready, but it also means I can book an off-season wedding. Score!

Photo via Go Light

Photo via Go Light

Views, views, views!

This option may not have as many perks as our indoor industrial idea but, who doesn't love a good view? We honestly don't care if it's a cityscape or a rolling hillside, as long as the location has that "wow factor", we're in!

Photo via Joseph Willis

Photo via Joseph Willis

family tree

We have always loved the symbolism of getting married in front of a big beautiful tree. We love the idea of 'putting down roots" and so forth. From the start of our planning process this has been an option that we've thrown back and forth and I still love it. The trouble here is I'm super picky about the tree and have yet to find the perfect one for our big day. 

As you can see, we still have a long way to go in our planning process. Tony and I have A TON of site visits scheduled this month so we will keep you posted on our progress. We figure once we check out some of these venue styles in person, we'll have a better idea of the direction we want to go.

If you have any northern California venue recommendations let us know because the hunt is officially on!

Bridal Trend | The Slit Wedding Dress

Let's be honest ladies, wedding dress shopping is one of the best parts of being a bride. The trouble is, after trying a zillion white-ish ballgown dresses on, a girl may start to crave some individuality. In response to that feeling, I have three words for you - Slit. Wedding. Dress.

Photo via Tec Petaja

Photo via Tec Petaja

Let's stop and consider this concept for a second, shall we? 


  •  You get to show off your fab designer shoe.
  • Less fabric means you'll actually stay cool on your wedding day. 
  •  You'll be dance floor ready with all that extra leg room. 
  • You're gonna look stinking amazing!


  •  none - slit dress it is!

Now that I've convinced you with my bullet proof reasoning, see below for some inspiration and get shopping!

Photo via Heart and Colour
Photo via One Fab Day

Photo via One Fab Day

Bridal Blogger Alisha | Priority Planning

As I've mentioned, the fiance and I are having a bit of a rough go when it comes to planning our wedding. We are working with a modest budget but have pretty high expectations and it's been difficult to decide what's worth the splurge and where to save. After weeks of getting nowhere with our planning process, I finally decided to take action. I realized we needed to set priorities for our wedding and concentrate on what matters most to us as a couple.  Here's what we did...

I wrote a list of wedding related events, goods, and so on. I covered everything from our attire to the venue itself. The list looked something like this...

 attire       food       photography       venue      music

 decor      cake      videography       flowers     favors

Then we each took turns picking our number one priority.

I was actually surprised by my fiances pick! He said that the venue was the most important part of the wedding to him - particularly the ceremony site. He even went as far to say that he would be happy with a champagne reception as long as the ceremony site was amazing! I would have never guessed. 

For my pick I went with the music. I want to make sure our friends and family have a good time and dance the night away. A good DJ is a must for me. 

Finally, we picked one last item together and once again my future husband surprised me! We easily agreed on attire for our third highest ranking priority. The reason being, this is the one time I'm ever going to be able to wear a wedding dress.  I really want to seize the moment and take full advantage of my one day as a bride. Luckily for me, Tony agree's so fancy dress - here i come!

This little exercise may seem silly but it's been so helpful! It's really helped put Tony and I on the same page which, in turn, makes it easier for us to move forward with the planning process. I feel like we're a little bit closer to the big day and I can't wait! 

If you're a fellow indecisive bride, try this little trick out and tell me what you think!



10 Must-See Geometric Backdrops

I've been positively obsessed with ceremony backdrops lately. When you think about it, your backdrop is one of the most important details of your whole wedding. Not only will it be one of the most photographed areas of the day, but it's what you're going to see as you make you're way to your future hubby. It's kind of a big deal!

My obsessive search has given me a healthy appreciation for the ultra-cool geometric backdrop and I thought I'd share. Enjoy my 10 most loved designs. I hope they inspire you too!

Photo via Ruffled 

Photo via Ruffled 

Photo via Florido Weddings
Photo via Jasmine Star 
Photo via Hikari 

Photo via Hikari 

Photo via Red Field Photo 

Photo via Red Field Photo 

Photo via Catalina Jean 

Photo via Catalina Jean 

Photo via 100 Layer Cake

Photo via 100 Layer Cake