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Real Weddings

19 In Inspiration/ Real Weddings

Simple, Intimate, Outdoor Wedding in Texas

Alison and Austin were high school sweethearts, together for 10 years before finally tying the knot in an intimate outdoor wedding at La La Park in San Marco, Texas.


The couple was less concerned with the aesthetics for the big day, instead, focusing on the feeling of the event. They wanted something simple, intimate, and outdoors (both graduated with Environmental Degrees). They just wanted to dance and celebrate with family and friends.


Alison and Austin conceived most of their ideas around the idea of simplicity. They decided to skip the traditional cake, party favors, and wedding party. They chose to splurge on photographer Nikk Nguyen so they could have great photos to look back on years from now.


A special moment for the couple was taking 10 minutes of personal time directly after the ceremony.

That time was incredible to be able to sit and reflect and talk about how crazy the whole day had been! Getting a little alone time prior to stepping back into the craze that is a wedding was huge.


The majority of the DIY wedding details were a true family effort with the sister-in-law arranging all the flowers, one of the groom’s best friends acting as officiant, recycling decorations from Alison’s brother’s recent wedding, and family and friends helping with all the setup. Even the engagement ring was a family heirloom from Austin’s great grandmother.


As for advice for couples planning their weddings now, the couple says:

Relax! It isn’t about the wedding. Be present. Feel everything that you are experiencing. Do your best to stay in the moment. Everyone says it because it’s true, but it’ll be over in a flash and you’ll be sorry if you don’t take the time to enjoy it!



Cake Designer: VooDoo Donuts
Caterer: Lupe Tortilla
Groomsman Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Makeup Artist: SC Beauty
Hair Stylist: SC Beauty
Dress Designer: David’s Bridal
Event Venue: Lala park
Photographer: Nikk Nguyen Photo

10 In Inspiration/ Real Weddings

Colorful California Wedding

When it was wedding planner Cassandra’s turn to walk down the aisle to marry her fiance, Jeremy, she knew she wanted to incorporate all of her favorite things. Balloons, confetti, and sparkles were essential for this California shindig.


Cassandra’s dress featured a detachable sparkly cape to take the place of a veil while she rocked a crystal gemstone tiara, while Jeremy donned a three-piece, gray suit. The ceremony took place in a studio space filled with balloons and string lighting. As the couple were pronounced husband and wife, confetti cannons went off, filling the space with


What really stole the show at the reception? It wasn’t the handsome groom or the lovely bride but rather the ring ‘bear’er and the flower girl.


The reception took place at the historic Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, CA on their rooftop terrace. Guests were greeted with bottle opener party favors that also doubled as their seating assignment. After dinner and toasts,  guests could visit an entire room dedicated to the sweets of Harry Potter and Willy Wonka, featuring chocolate golden snitches and lickable wallpaper. Towards the end, the bride changed into a shorter, second dress and sparkly converse, perfect for dancing the night away with her new husband.



Bridesmaid Dresses: Stop Staring! Clothing
Balloons: Ballooniverse
Invitation Designer: Matinae Design Studio
Apparel: Fino’s Menswear and Tuxedo
Dress Store: Enchanted Bridal Boutique
Hair Stylist: Daniella Ozuna
Beauty: The Beautiful Life LLC
Floral Designer: House of Flowers Ca
DJ: Donald Glenn
Bakery: GhilaDolci Bakery
Ceremony Venue: Beacon Studios
Reception Venue: The Padre Hotel
Cinema and Video: Patrick Ang Photography
Event Designer: Fairy Godmother a Wedding & Event Company
Photographer: Left Coast Design Studio//

0 In Inspiration/ Real Weddings

Cozy, Eclectic Austin Wedding

=With only two months to plan a wedding, Austin couple Lauren and Jeffrey knew they wanted something intimate and personal.

The food and drinks were the most important thing to them, so finding a venue that already had great decor was key. Not spending money on decorating, left them with money in the budget to serve the menu they really wanted. The obvious choice was their favorite restaurant Justine’s. With lush reds, pinks, and greenery, Justine’s offered the perfect atmosphere they were looking for. 


For their attire, they kept it easy. Jeffrey ordered his suit online while Lauren found a shoulder romper off the rack. At the mall!


Lauren’s dad walked her down the aisle to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis as a tribute to her late grandfather. He loved Elvis. According to Lauren…

“Even though there were 60 people there watching us, it felt like it was just him and I sharing the most perfect moment ever.”

For the flowers, the couple used the same florist that works exclusively with the venue. They even had a circle of flowers that they stood in during the ceremony. They opted to skip a big wedding cake and instead have a tower of perfectly sized mini bundt cakes. For favors, they gifted guests with the ever adorable succulents.


As for DIY elements, Lauren made their chalkboard welcome sign and also crafted welcome bags for out-of-town guests with Austin themed goodies and a personal letter.



Jewelry: Collections Fine Jewlery
Shoes: Gucci
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Suit Supply
Jewelry: Baublebar
Apparel: Altar’d State
Cake Designer: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Event Venue: Justine’s Secret House     psst. the password is: surrealist
Photographer: Nikk Nguyen Photo

11 In Ceremony/ Inspiration/ Real Weddings

A Love Lock Ceremony for Three

Ashley & Anthony’s country-chic wedding in Ontario, Canada was truly a family affair. With her mother as her maid of honor, Ashley married Anthony in a special ceremony that not only cemented their bond but also incorporated their daughter, Hailey.

Maria from Villa Bel Mara Photography was on had to capture all the details.


Many couples have used “Love Locks” as a part of their ceremony, taking two padlocks that represent the couple and locking them together. In this case, Ashley & Anthony included a third lock that represented their daughter. As Ashley explains, “We locked our love together with ‘love locks’ to represent our recognition of the dedication and courage necessary for securing a strong and healthy marriage. Love locks are usually only shared between the bride and groom but we did it a little different. We decided to incorporate our daughter as she’s 9 years old and it took us 12 years to finally tie the knot. It only felt right as she’s played a big role in our journey together, locking the three of us together as one.” How sweet is that.


Cake Designer: Kristy’s Custom Cakes//Beauty: Spaxs Nail Bar//Hair Stylist: Youseff Hair Boutique Inc//Makeup Artist: Brooke Elizabeth Makeup Artist//Dress Store: Bella Bridal//Jewelry: Nixon//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Joseph Abboud//Transportation: WE Trolley Tour//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Moores Clothing for Men//Ceremony Location:Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery//Photographer: Villa Bel Mara Wedding Imagery//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

0 In Elopement/ Inspiration/ Real Weddings

Washington State Elopement

Despite living and getting married in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jessica wanted her wedding photos with her fiance Glen to feature the Pacific Northwest area where she had spent much of her adult life. With photographer Traci Edwards on board, they took the opportunity to get Jessica the pictures she’s always dreamed of having while creating beautiful memories during Glen’s first trip to Washington. This little mini-elopement would take place prior to an intimate ceremony later in Arizona.

Traci met them at their Airbnb in Anacortes on a rainy cold day, but they still conquered the day hiking several trails and popping champagne! Jessica said: “Being from the Northwest, I’d always hoped to have Wedding photos taken in my home state with my husband-to-be. I’m now beyond excited to say, these photos and this memory will forever hold a very special place in my heart, and will be treasured for years to come. Not only was Traci able to capture the love (and laughter) I have with my future husband, but she was able to so perfectly capture the rainy, but beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Elopement Adventure Photographer
Elopement Adventure Photographer

Couple: Jessica & Glen
Photographer: Traci Edwards Photography
Location: Eagle’s Bluff Airbnb in Anacortes, Washington
Dress, Hair, & Makeup: by the bride
Flowers: Market Lavender


4 In Inspiration/ Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Leslie & Collin

When this wedding showed up in my inbox last week I couldn’t wait to show it.  While I still have a soft spot for the rustic barn weddings with burlap and that homespun vibe, it was refreshing to see a wedding that looked and felt so different than everything out there these days.  There was so much attention to detail that I felt transported, looking through all the photographs. I could imagine the sounds, the smells, the tastes and it was magical.  Meet Leslie Rivas & Collin Kelly.

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

Leslie and Collin met 12 years ago when she moved from California to Houston and they haven’t spent a day apart since.  Though based in Houston, the two consider New Orleans one of their favorite places so it was only fitting to have their wedding in a city that meant so much to them.  Their friends and family traveled from all over the country as well as Mexico to help them celebrate.

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

Named after the cross streets, their venue, a private home for rent, Race & Religious served as the perfect backdrop for their ceremony and reception.  Leslie, a fashion stylist, and Collin, a photographer, combined their love for vintage circus, vaudeville, & masquerade elements to create a theme that was uniquely them.

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

About her bouquet, Leslie says she made it using a mix of “dress patterns made into tissue flowers, antique brooches, dried flowers and feathers,  then an antique locket with a picture of my grandfather and my husbands father in memory and also a black lucite airplane pin”

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

Magical New Orleans wedding via Indie Wed blog
Magical New Orleans wedding via Indie Wed blog
Magical New Orleans wedding via Indie Wed blog

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

The reception included everything from vintage George Mellies films that were a favorite of the couple to stilt walkers, a fire dancer, a dog and clown act and mimes, all with an old world vibe.  The band Tuba Skinny as well as local street performer Salvatore Geloso provided the musical ambience for the reception.

Magical New Orleans Wedding via Indie Wed blog

Honestly there were just so many amazing photographs to show that I had a difficult time choosing.  Thankfully Leslie and Collin created a website where you can view all of these and many more.  I highly encourage you to check it out.  And if you get a chance, visit their personal websites.  They are uber talented and there are some amazing editorial photo shoots they worked on together.

Venue: Race & Religious, New Orleans,  Concept & Styling: Leslie & Collin,  Wedding Coordinator: Amanda Irby,  Cake: carrot cake balls, red velvet and white butter cream  made by Aunt Rebecca,  Photography: The couple’s dear friends Jhane Hoang  & Arthur Garcia Bands: Tuba Skinny  & Salvatore Geloso,  Wooden signs, cake stands etc: Father of the Bride, Invitations: Royal SteamlineBride’s Dress: custom made by Jiozei H Reyes, Bridesmaids’ attire: each selected own black lace dresses from designer Jerri Moore and store Zara, Bridesmaids’ bouqets: made from dried natural caspia, ribbon made from leftover wedding dress fabric and a Holy Spirit charm by the bride and Groom’s mother, Make-up/Hair: stylist Bianca Linette Rivas (Bride’s sister), Groom’s attire: vintage suit, shoes & bowler hat, Boutonniere: made by Groom from feathers, dried twigs, wrapped with leather and camera gears

0 In Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Tami & Chris

People often ask me what Indie Wed means.  The word “indie” often conjures images of a rock group playing local clubs, decked out in their corduroys and hipster specks, trying to avoid becoming mainstream.  While many of our vendors may sport a tattoo or two (or ten) and might tend to buck tradition, “indie” simply means “independent”.  Indie Wed supports independent vendors but also an independent spirit or attitude.  When one comes to Indie Wed, they really can find just about anything and there is not just one type of wedding that could come from it.  Consider our events like a giant Choose Your Own Adventure with countless combinations of possible weddings.

You may remember this wedding I shared with you last year that involved many Indie Wed vendors.  It was rustic and vintage and a bit eclectic.  Well this next wedding is a great example of someone else’s ideal wedding using many Indie Wed vendors; and how differ the end results are.  This wedding is elegant and girly but whimsical at the same time.  I am also excited to share this wedding because I have known the bride for a number of years and also had the privilege to attend this one.  She is going to be a first time vendor at this year’s Indie Wed, sharing a booth with the photographer from this shoot.

Indie Wed blog - Chicago bride & groom - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

The bride Tami and I met back in 2009 when I was looking for someone to share my studio space.  We both shared a love for stationery design as well as both having little dogs named Chloe.  Go figure.  One of the first things I ever learned about Tami was her love for all things pink and purple.  When I found out she was getting married, I knew there would be pink and purple in there somewhere… but don’t start picturing a cotton candy fairytale just yet.  She used bold colors mixed with whimsical touches.  It was perfectly unexpected.

Indie Wed blog - fuchsia & purple bridesmaids - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Tami shared a little bit about her big day and how it all came together saying, “my new husband Chris, my mom, and I all attended Indie Wed in January 2012 after Chris and I got engaged the previous Thanksgiving. Being in the wedding industry myself (Tamtam Couture- Invitations), I had several ideas in mind for what our big day might look, but wanted to find people with my same creative tastes and vision to help me pull it all together. We had booked our venue (Pazzo’s) as well as our photographer (Kristin La Voie Photography) prior to Indie Wed but the rest was up in the air. Indie Wed is unlike any other wedding event that I have ever been too and the inspiration and energy was contagious. I wanted to book everyone there!  Much to my surprise, Chris loved attending Indie Wed as well and kept himself occupied listening to our band-to-be (We, Unity Candle) while my mom and I scouted floral and accessory vendors. The whole experience made me even more excited and I felt better knowing I had connected with many people in one place that could help me. I left IndieWed with the faith that I had met the right people to help me pull it all off, and a very happy fiance who’s favorite part of the wedding reception was listening to our band play.”

Indie Wed blog - paper flower ceremony arch - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Another thing to note about this wedding is that Tami made a lot of the elements herself.  See that amazing ceremony backdrop above?  Yep, she made that!

Indie Wed blog - florals by Pollen - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Tami added, “My favorite detail – our wedding flowers designed by Lynn at Pollen. I absolutely loved working with her!”  Isn’t that bouquet just stunning?   As for sweets, check out these cakes made by Indie Wed alum, Tipsycake.  And yes… that is an iPod groom’s cake.

Indie Wed blog - iPad cake  & ombre cake by Tipsycakes - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

I loved all the wonderful little handmade details at their wedding.  Tami put so much thought (and work) into every aspect.  Just check out some of these adorable touches.

Indie Wed blog - TamTam Couture Invitations - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Her invitations were my favorite.  They were such a treat to receive in the mail.

Indie Wed blog - TamTam Couture Invitations - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Indie Wed blog - Mustaches by TamTam Couture Invitations - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Indie Wed blog - We, Unity Candle band - Photography by Kristin LaVoie Photography

The band, We, Unity Candle rocked well into the wee hours of the night, even after guests went home.

One last word from Tami, “I can’t wait to be apart of this year’s Indie Wed event… it truly was the highlight of our wedding planning experience. “


Indie Wed Vendors

Photography: Kristin La Voie
Flowers: Pollen,
Wedding Cake and Groom’s Cake: Tipsy Cake,
Band: We, Unity Candle,
All paper goods: TamTam Design

Other Vendors
Dress: Jacquelin Exclusive Bridal Collection, purchased from a trunk show, Complete Bridal Salon, East Dundee, IL
Wedding Belt: Custom-altered sash originally from BHLD, Chicago, Illinois
Tuxedo rentals: Black Tie Formal Wear
Shoes: J Renee,
Brides Earrings, Veil, and Hairpiece: The Wedding Etc., Downers Grove, IL 
Engagement Ring: Custom Designed by the Groom, Lustig Jewelers, Vernon Hills, IL
Brides Wedding Band: Custom Designed by Jared, Aurora, IL
Grooms Wedding Band: Jared, Aurora, IL
Groom’s Watch, Wedding Gift: Rolex Submariner 
Hair/MUA: VIP Chicago Brides, Anita Arsova,
Gourmet Popcorn:
Candy Table: Bride/Groom DIY, candy from
Linens/venue/caterer: Pazzo’s at 311
Videographer: Vanilla Video,
Wedding Planner: Yellow Diamond Events
Transportation: Chicago Trolley