unique and fun ways to personalize your wedding day

If there’s one thing I constantly hear from couples it’s that they want their wedding to be fun, memorable and a great experience for their guests who are traveling far and wide to celebrate their relationship…

But you know what I hear just as often that makes me even more excited for what’s to come in this industry? NON-TRADITIONAL details, elements, approaches and experiences making their way into wedding days like never before. HECK to the YES, PLEASE!!

Notice the custom hanging metal sculpture behind Megan + Chris below!? A super talented metalworker friend designed and fabricated it for them! *note to self: brainstorm how to incorporate friends talents…*

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There are so many great ways to personalize your wedding and ensure stunning and sophisticated photos. Here are just a few of the favorites we’ve seen in 2018 paired together as opposites to show you all the creative ideas out there… if there’s one thing I’m all about, it’s visual inspiration! Some bright, bold and vibrant, others moody, monochromatic and minimalist… ALL beautiful and part of the story of your best day ever!!

Let’s begin with where it officially starts for you, the RING! So many choices to hold your precious diamond… are you a Kate Spade lover? Or a Mrs. Box collector (so many colors to choose from!)? Or something with more of a handmade, textured feel?

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Which pup has the best style?! ;) 1000% YES to having your dog at your wedding! Furever & Fur Always is a great resource for all of your wedding day doggie care needs!

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Are you envisioning blush floral print dresses for your girls (BHLDN/Jenny Yoo style) or more moody jewel-tones with some sparkle and beading? Maybe cool blue/green tone variations or preppy striped navy bridesmaid dresses?! Either way, mix and match looks have my heart!

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The grooms and their guys have definitely been stepping up their style game too! Most popular continues to be gray and navy suits…

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I can’t help but love slate blue suits as well, especially against an industrial backdrop like this metal wall at the Accelerator Space! This combo of light blue ties for the guys with a floral tie for the groom is making me swoon… or are you team black tie with classic black tuxes and bowties like Miles and his men?

What about fun custom shirts for your squad? Loving the preppy look of personalized pajamas and monogrammed floral robes!

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Florals… aka I never met a bouquet I didn’t love. What’s your favorite when it comes to flowers? Do you love a certain style or shape of bouquet?

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Speaking of flowers and greenery… what kind of portrait backdrops do you love? Ivy walls are always so classic and lush but mosaics add a fun artistic twist! Hint, hint: the American Visionary Art Museum has both and is one of the most unique venues I’ve ever seen that just happens to be steps away from downtown Baltimore and the waterfront… ;)

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Have you considered custom invitations for your wedding? MLC Designs created this elegant and comprehensive suite for our December couple (below) and it was the perfect way to set the tone for their festive winter wedding at the Baltimore Country Club! Programs, napkins, escort cards, drink menus and other reception signage are all additional ways to make a statement with your day of details!

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An October wedding at Holly Hedge Estate incorporated a subdued rustic theme while the whimsical vintage invitation by Hello Tenfold (with the fox save the date below) carried a botanical aesthetic throughout the suite for our Richmond, VA couple.

Loving this splash of color in a bright, garden inspired floral invitation suite paired with the floral lace on the bride’s veil! Another floral look focused on a soft romantic feel with Lauren’s lavender and gold invitation suite.

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PRO TIP: Want an easy way to bring variety to your bridal look without breaking the bank? Some brides have 2 dresses but even more frequently I’m seeing 2 totally different pairs of shoes and I LOVE IT! Shoes can easily be worn again after your wedding and they’ll make your feet smile when you change into flats to dance the night away! ;)

The hardest part is going to be narrowing down your choices…

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First looks! Inside or outside, I LOVE when couples take advantage of them… more time together means more photos before the day gets away from you, more intimate emotions and quiet moments to make memories of just the two of you…

Chuppahs and ceremony backdrops designed with lush flowers and natural elements or more minimally designed with copper tubing to accent a venue full of unique architectural features… which do you prefer?

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There are so many creative ways to feed your guests! Oyster bars, mashed potato bars, brunch bars… you dream it, it can be fed to you.

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Eleven Courses Catering (below) is one of the most talented caterers I’ve worked with and not only presents their food in artistic and beautiful ways but also ensures it tastes better than you’d ever imagine a catered dinner could taste!

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Donut towers, custom cotton candy flavors, cookie tables, smith island cakes, cinnamon rolls… who wants just cake anymore?

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Ombre tablescape, anyone? Crimson + Clover Floral Design CRUSHED this one!!

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Lighting can make such a difference in a space! When it poured at the end of Lauren + Matt’s wedding, we still were able to go outside for some epic shots on the patio at the Accelerator Space since it was tented and they had hung string lights to enhance the twinkle effect!

At Lauren + Jeff’s Holly Hedge Estate wedding, mother nature played a role in their portraits at the end of the night and I loved the opportunity we had to take advantage of creative lighting in the rain!

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Exiting at the end of the night is another way to have fun and create a lasting memory for your guests with sparklers, confetti, bubbles, lanterns or simply a fun getaway car!

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Here’s to making your wedding the best celebration it can be, full of as much personality as the two of you!! I’d love to hear from you… leave a comment with some of the unique details and elements you’re thinking of including on your day!

kathryn + casey | vibrant fall wyndridge farm craft brewery wedding

These lovebirds are absolutely beautiful people inside and out; I’m SO excited to share Kathryn and Casey’s vibrant fall wedding day with you! Their September wedding date held so much meaning because Kathryn’s grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at that same time!!!

You need to read on to learn about the prominent piece of her wedding jewelry that her grandma made over the course of 20+ years… it made me tear up when I first heard it, such a beautiful way to incorporate a tangible family heirloom over the years!

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But first, a quick recap of how their love story began…

Having been together since high school, Kathryn + Casey officially started dating in 2009 over Qdoba and Blockbuster (movie + mexican food?! ...my kind of date night!) and have bonded over a love of being outdoors, part of a close knit family, their furbaby, Cooper (who may or may not have his own Insta...) and spending summer nights enjoying a cold beer outside on the patio with cafe string lights above. These are my kind of people!!!

When Kathryn told me their wedding venue was going to be at Wyndridge Farms in Dallastown, PA, I knew it was THE perfect place for them… I also did a happy dance because of all of the unique and beautiful backdrops I knew we’d have for portraits: a modern red barn, metal brewery architecture, idyllic rolling hills and an incredible outdoor chapel to start!

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The back of Kathryn’s Essense of Australia wedding dress was exquisite and fit her perfectly… I love how all the color and texture in her elegant garden-inspired bouquet compliments the dress too! You’ll also notice all of the hand-lettered calligraphy and signage throughout the ceremony, reception and paper goods that the bride did herself!! I’m honestly in awe of the vision Kathryn had and how beautifully it all came together.

Side note: one of our previous Urban Row brides is the bridesmaid buttoning Kathryn’s dress in the photo below (hi Abby!) and one of our future Urban Row brides is also a bridesmaid (hi Marissa!)… all 3 of these ladies share a love of dogs like I do and have included their #urbanrowpup in either their wedding or engagement photos!

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Venues that have separate and spacious getting ready suites for both the bride AND the groom are hard to come by, but you can find them here! Wyndridge maximizes the natural light that pours into each space so each side of the bridal party has a ton of room to relax, prep and look their best in, not to mention easy access to outside AND the upstairs reception space… and DOG FRIENDLY facilities!!!

Hello, Cooper… the BEST golden doodle dog of honor there ever was!

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Kathryn’s grandma started her pearl necklace the day she was born and added a pearl to it on each birthday, culminating in the final pearl in the strand for her wedding day…! Hello meaningful bridal jewelry, I want more of you! (*hint, hint, future Urban Row brides*)

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This might be my favorite image of the first half of the day mainly because every single person is so full of genuine joy… and those colorful bouquets completely POP against the mix of dusty blue and green Show Me Your Mumu bridesmaid dresses!

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Sparkler exits are such a fun way to end the best day of your life with everyone cheering you on! Wyndridge makes it so easy to capture with their outdoor patio forming a perfect path to exit and kiss your best friend in front of all of your family and friends.

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Kathryn and Casey, we couldn’t be happier to have been a part of the official start to your incredible love story, 10 years in the making… CHEERS to the best paw-rents Cooper could ask for! We love you both and are constantly wishing we could do it all over again... how about a first anniversary trip back at the farm? :)

venue: Wyndridge Farms
flowers: Flowers by Bauers
dress: Essense of Australia
dress boutique + veil: Claire's Fashions
bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
bride's shoes: Jack Rogers
ring: Saxon's Diamond Center + Kay Jewelers
bride's makeup: Lauren Merrick
bridesmaids' makeup: Jaclyn Kelly Price
hair: Colleen Kelly
officiant: Mike Antinozzi
suits: Generation Tux
ties: The Tie Bar
DJ: Club Ouzo Entertainment
invitations/signage/decor: Kathryn, the bride :)
desserts: Lancaster Cupcake