Friday, March 16, 2012

Inspired by...Mehndi

 I'm a huge fan of elaborate, intricate mehndi designs drawn with henna on the hands of Indian and Muslim brides around the world. They don't only look gorgeous but are made up of symbols that stand for love, fertility and protection for the bride and groom.
For an additional twist, on the wedding night, the groom has to find his name hidden in the pattern before the nights 'proceedings' can begin. Cupookie has translated this beautiful tradition into a cookie. It's a great way of sending love and best wishes to your guests...with sweetness. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Put A Ring On It

Whenever I try to draw a picture of the typical bride that chooses a destination wedding, the picture is rarely typical at all. Something about having the chutzpah to drag your friends and family half way across the world to witness your wedding seems to correlate with daring choices in other areas. 2-carat diamond solitaires are lovely but jewelry designers have been working over time to offer brides more off beat choices. These are a few of my favorites.

1. 18 kt rose gold and sapphire ring-Ileana Makri  Net-a-Porter
2. 18 kt gold and diamond ring-Aurora Lopez Mejia Net-a-Porter
3. 18 kt gold, black and white diamond ring-Diane Kordas  Net-a-Porter
4. 14k gold and sterling silver diamond ring-Artisan   Net-a-porter
5. 18 kt gold skeleton ring-Solange Azagury-Partridge Net-a-Porter
6. 14-kt white gold diamond leaf ring-Irit Design  Net-a-porter

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elegant Beach Wedding in Mauritius by Mukhina Ekaterina

This elegant beach wedding, captured by Mukhina Ekaterina at the Shanti Maurice, shows that sometimes, you and your beau are the only guests you need. From the ceremony on the edge of turquoise waters to a candle lit dinner on the beach, everything about this wedding is divine. -{Rachel}

The couple swapped your traditional satin ring pillow for floating frangipani's. Fragrant and functional.

I had to draw attention to the groom's aeroplane cufflinks. It shows that this couple are real destination die- hards.

I love Mukhina Ekaterina's work. She captured an intimate moment without it coming across cheesy or contrived.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, South Africa

This private game reserve, owned by Sir Richard Branson, is the definition of dreamy. Perched on a koppie, you have the sky above you and nature's finery at our feet. 13500 hectares of pure bush land where the ''Big Five'' roam free. If you love safari's you'll fall in love more, if not, you'll be converted.

The entire reserve is available for weddings, so you can have your reception/ceremony anywhere you want. Exchange you vows under the Amarula tree, which is known locally (and quite romantically) as the marriage tree, or serve cocktails on a deck to enjoy glorious African sunsets and spectacular views of the vast land.

 The view of the wilderness here is priceless. It's the perfect backdrop for a late afternoon ceremony and a scattering of twinkling candles and glowing lanterns makes the ambiance magical.

For a reception, I love the boma. It's rustic but elegant and the fire pit is mesmerizing. When your guests are dancing around the flames, you can hand out s'mores as a bit of back home nostalgia and also because they are delicious.

These are the Amarula/Marriage trees. Ideal for an intimate dinner in the bush. You can't get closer to nature than this.

This room is great if you want more of a safari themed party. The african print chairs, wood carvings and fire place lend themselves really well and as you can see, they photograph beautifully.

If you prefer things simpler, choose the deck. It's at the top of the hill, so you get the most gorgeous views of the bush and river banks while you dine al fresco.

The loveliness doesn't have to end at the reception.  There are so many places on the reserve that will be great for an 'after-the-day' photo session.  

If you are that way inclined, you may want to 'trash the dress' at the watering hole or in the tree house. But watch out for the hippos, they may look cute but they are quite ferocious when disturbed.  Whichever you choose, you certainly can't take a bad picture here.

and if you don't have bridesmaids......

 After all is said and done, relax and sip some lemonade in your private pool. Wish I was there.
  -{Rachel and Maria} all images courtesy

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meet us in St. Louis

It may have been your first date overlooking the empire state building. Or his proposal under the Eiffel Tower. Or you are just a die-hard Dubliner. No matter what your story is,  icons that have played a part in your love story or life’s adventures can be an alternative to traditonal design elements for your wedding stationery. Aside from looking pretty cool, they’ll be great conversation starters, reminding guests of their own time at the Taj Mahal or trying to hail the infamous NYC cab. And with so many fonts and illustrations to choose from there should be something to suit all tastes.

London calling by La Belle Vie Design. I'm in love with this invitation. It's Mod, it's cheeky, and the illustrated elements add the right dose of fun and nostalgia (when last did anyone see a red telephone box). The Liberty print brings in the 'summer' in a way that says Cool Brittania as opposed to pretty-pretty and the vintage poster layout of the main card, ties everything in beautifully for the very English affair guests can look forward to.

Ellen and Gara's letterpress illustration by Lucky Duck Press is quirky and cool. You wouldn't expect anything less from Brooklyn.

Another beautiful invitation by La Belle Vie Design.This card really shows that icons can be more than quirky and fun. The art deco illustration of the Empire State Building is instantly eyecatching but a closer look reveals embossing
that mimics the hand carved stone you would find on New York's fancy buildings. Very elegant.

You may be getting married away from home, but that doesn't mean you can't take home where you are going.  This card shows the less graphic and more romantic side of the trend. Here, the bride is from NY and the groom is  from London, but they were getting married in NY. So the skylines of their individual cities were spliced together, to create this beautiful custom-made suite by Rifle Paper Co. The illustrated skylines reminds me of a vintage story-book illustration. Very dreamy!

Confession: I've been saving wedding invites since I was nine, but even if most of your guests havn't, I can't imagine anyone throwing these engraved wood invites by Ngrave Solutions away. And not just because the wood is from sustainable forests in the Appalachian and Cascade mountains (so you can don't have to feel too guilty) but because its a charming keepsake. You have the choice of Alder, Cherry Maple and Walnut and you aren't restricted to rectangles and squares. The map of texas, the outline of the coliseum or even a simple heart could all work.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Rajasthan is a colourful state in India, deep in culture, rich in history, that really lives up to its name as  the land of kings. The architecture reflects a glorious past, with  magestic palaces on land and water, temples and lush gardens. Inspiring venues perfect for your celebration of love.

The Devi Garh
For the bride interested in historical romance, ancient palaces and pageantry, the Devi Garh Palace in the Aravalli Hills is ideal.  It's a grand, magestic 18th century palace that was beautifully renovated by architects Gautan Bhatia and Navina Gupta, in a modern, minimalist, luxurious style, without losing its old world essence.

In terms of where to hold your ceremony and reception, you are spoilt for choice here. There are  courtyards with bonfires lit in the winters, lush gardens, ornate dining areas and a roof top with panoramic views of the Aravalli hills.The rooms here vary in size and style so there’s something for everyone. You can have an intimate reception for 2 in one the cosy meditation rooms or lavish cocktail party for 250 in the lush gardens.

This beautiful stone pavillion over-looking the Aravalli mountains, lends itself as an intimate, romantic spot to exchange vows.

This is the Ram rooom, which used to be a mediation room. The calligraphy dates back to the ancestral family that lived here 200 years ago.

The Janana courtyard. Very romantic for a candlelit reception

This is Sheesh Mahal. A cosy but magestic room ideal for a small ceremony 

Photos courtesy

This boutique hotel is for the more sophisticated bride, that's into design and aesthetics. The hotel itsef, while rustic and charming, loses none of its elegance. And you are not limited to amazing design in the hotel only, the walled city itself offers a beautiful inspiring backdrop for an 'after-the wedding' photo session. The perfect "something blue".

The Mughal-style terraced garden beautifully lit in the evenings, perfect for an evening reception.

Photos courtesy

The Serai, Jaisalmer
 For the Sensualist, it has to be the Serai. You can recline in the tents of the Mughal camp while taking in the desert sunsets, ending your evening bathing in the walled pool. It's bewitching, It's alluring and perfect for an intimate summer wedding. 

Photo courtesy The Serai

For the princess bride, you can't find any venue more opulent and lavish than the Jag Mandir Palace.How many brides can say they had their own parade of elephants (albeit in stone) usher them into their garden reception. It's famously known as the architectural-inspiration behind the Taj Mahal.

Photo courtesy Ashish T

Photo courtsey

Photo courtesy

Photos Courtesy
   The pictures below show a charming wedding that took place here. Despite the opulence and grandeur of the setting, the couple were able to bring in a lot of fun and colour. The pictures were taken by Karen Wise, a photographer who is based in New York but travels the world capturing couples special moments.

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