Elegant Inspiration in an Urban Setting


The Colorado based team of photographer RACHEL HAVEL, florist LALE FLORAL and stylist NICOLE CRUSE – alongside a host of other fabulous vendors – wanted to showcase how an urban setting can be made delicate and elegant without having to drape and up-light every wall and corner. BLANC in Denver proved to be the perfect venue to showcase this, with everything from blank walls, factory floors, old train tracks and crane hooks on the ceilings. The purposefully understated decor highlights the stunning florals and allows for a beautiful, less is more approach. This same sentiment was considered in suspending the flowers above the table to make more room for dinning. The floral tablescape suspension is a great surprise element that if put on the table just wouldn’t have had the same effect. Thanks ladies for sharing your beautiful vision with us!

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Big Sur day after photo session


Here’s an idea… how about relaxing on your actual wedding day, enjoying time with family and friends, and then have your photo session the next day? That way you also get to dress up twice… and let’s face it who doesn’t want to wear their wedding dress at least one more time! Without being rushed for time, Megan & Brandon got to relax and make the most of their photo session… and for Megan it meant not stressing about getting the gown too dirty on the actual wedding day. “It was so fun to adventure around Big Sur & not be afraid of getting my dress dirty since I didn’t have to think about having a ceremony later. Our photos are something I will cherish forever. Danielle is SO talented and fun to work with!

Danielle being DANIELLE POFF, who’s work I adore! She’s done a beautiful job of these images. Megan & Brandon had slightly different ideas of what they wanted for their wedding… he wanted an actual wedding, she wanted to elope. After some research Megan came across the perfect location in Big Sur and promptly fell in love with it. Some unforeseen circumstances saw them having a surprise ceremony back home on family property in Kentucky. Megan tell us, “We told all of our guests they were coming to a party celebrate our marriage since we were eloping. The party was nautical themed and we even built a small “boat dock” and surrounded it with sand, so technically I could still get married in the sand. During the party we showed a video and when it was over we walked out and were married by our grandfathers. It was so special and fun! I opted not to hire a photographer for our ceremony because I still wanted to have our photos taken by Danielle on our honeymoon in California and I’m so glad we did! She was completely understanding of our change of plans and I couldn’t have been more thankful.

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HOW DID YOU MEET? Brandon and I met through a mutual friend who kept telling us about one another, but at the time neither of us were too interested in seeing anyone. One day I received a phone call from him trying to set us up on a date, which happened to be to a Nascar race in Bristol, Tennessee. I was a little skeptical because we live several hours away from Bristol, so even if we didn’t hit it off our first date would be an all day event. Plus, I’m not a huge Nascar fan, but I agreed to go. I can’t say our first date was very romantic, but it was so much fun! Brandon was such a gentleman and he still is to this day.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL? Brandon proposed on the beach at night in Jacksonville, Florida. It had rained almost our entire trip, so one evening we went on a movie and dinner date. After dinner I asked if we could take a walk on the beach. We walked out to the water and were standing ankle deep when he popped the question. His proposal made up for our not so romantic first date!

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I’m not a very high maintenance girl, so I knew I wanted a simple wedding dress. My mom, aunt, and I went on shopping trip to Knoxville, TN. I can’t even remember why, but we decided to stop and look at dresses in David’s Bridal on our way home. My wedding was still almost two years away and we didn’t even know where we were getting married yet, so I definitely wasn’t planning to buy. I ended up picking out a few dresses to try on and bought the first one a tried! Despite having no wedding plans, the dress ended up being perfect for our surprise wedding and day-after California photo session with the amazing Danielle.

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ANY DIY OR BUDGET ELEMENTS? We were on a budget, so our ceremony/party was completely DIY, from the invitations, to the decorations and flowers, to the food. I have an amazingly talented aunt and she worked so hard to make our wedding beautiful. For our photo session with Danielle, my bouquet was DIY. Brandon and I spent the day driving down the beautiful California coast and stopping along the way to pick wildflowers. I put the bouquet together just before our photo session. I loved how it turned out!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Don’t worry about tradition or what everyone else wants you to do, just do what your heart desires. Remember, a wedding is about celebrating the start of a marriage, so plan and prepare more for your marriage than for your wedding. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just have fun & enjoy every moment because the wedding and the honeymoon come and go real quick!

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? After our ceremony/party we a had a campout with a few of our best friends and family. We stayed up all night & it was an absolute blast! No, not your typical wedding night, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing. We had so much fun! Like I said, everything doesn’t have to be traditional. For our session with Danielle, I loved getting in the water in our wedding attire. The pictures turned out awesome!

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Photographer DANIELLE POFF / Cake BRIDE’S COUSIN / Gown GALINA / Shoes CORRAL BOOTS / Grooms Attire J.C. PENNEY
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Laura Hooper Calligraphy Workshop


A calligraphy class seems like the perfect way to spend some quality time with your best girlfriends to me. As someone who once dabbled in the handwritten world, I’d love to take a class like this myself, and with LAURA HOOPER CALLIGRAPHY teaching her ways, well you really can’t go wrong. Just imagine how inspiring it would be!!

The written word is powerful for telling stories, sharing emotions and the passing down of history. All things that are central to the hearts of the ladies at RIVEROAKS CHARLESTON, so when the opportunity to host a LAURA HOOPER CALLIGRAPHY workshop arose, it seemed a natural fit. Laura is an expert in her honed craft. Her willingness to patiently share penmanship lessons with others is a thread in the renewal of this nearly lost art threatened by the digital world.

The inspiration for the overall styling of the workshop began with understanding the history of calligraphy. Knowing the influence of the written word and how that impacts our lives today can not be understated. However, the beauty of one’s penmanship has been nearly lost in modern times. Therefore, the styling details for the workshop by the RiverOaks team hopefully connected the attendee with being a part of beautifully continuing this practical art form. Drawing from the tools used, the coloUr of the India ink and the texture of paper used in ancient times the workshop atmosphere and story unfolded.

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RIVEROAKS used this blue-black ink colour in the stripe table runners, slate boards and black rooster feathers and quills from the venue’s chickens. The idea of linen paper was brought in through the use of vintage French linens that were used on the European inspired food table and a soft fabric that created a canopy above the attendees. All were welcomed to their place setting with gold pumpkins personalised by LAURA. The colour gold reflected the metal nibs used today replacing quills and the pumpkins gave seasonal relevance in a subtle way. Along with a welcome bag of supplies gifted to each student by LAURA and put to use in the class the tedious lessons began under perfect skies. All who came were inspired by her encouraging instruction and the challenge that “Practice Makes Perfect.”

LAURA HOOPER CALLIGRAPHY is currently offering pointed-pen calligraphy WORKSHOPS around the US and even in Canada! The class covers the basics to get you started and then delves into a full Copperplate alphabet. Can’t make it to a class? Laura also offers these fabulous calligraphy STARTER KITS that ship worldwide!

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Photography LAUREN JONAS / Venue, Design, Styling RIVEROAKS CHARLESTON / Calligraphy LAURA HOOPER CALLIGRAPHY / Striped Runners POTTERY BARN  / Chairs and tablecloths SNYDER EVENTS / Welcome and food table vintage linens and lace CLIN D’OEIL MEUNLES, FLEA MARKETS / Pumpkin bread bags STEMPLEGRUSSE / European sourcing SIMONE GEBSATTEL & BARRETT CALDWELL
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