Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dazzling Dresses

Hello Real Weddings Magazine Brides!

Let’s get ready to kick off the New Year with our first installment of Dazzling Dresses!

Throughout the year, we’ll be posting our favorite dress styles from our favorite designers, from beautiful bridal gowns to bridesmaid dresses to mother-of-the-bride offerings, all from local bridal boutiques!

We’re hoping you’ll get inspired and find the dress of your dreams in plenty of time for your big day!

Let’s get the fashion show started with this stunner from Diamond Bridal Gallery in Granite Bay…

Style: Salome. A gorgeous gown in garza by Spanish designer Two by Rosa Clará.

Try it on for yourself at Diamond Bridal Gallery, 6963 Douglas Boulevard in Granite Bay. 916-521-9856,

About Diamond Bridal Gallery
Diamond Bridal Gallery is proud to present magnificent selection of American and European designers bridal gowns and evening wear. The salon received perfect feedback on every one of its fashion shows so you can depend on their expertise and reputation.

Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Visit Real Weddings Magazine * Visit Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Looking for local Sacramento wedding vendors? Build your dream team at Real Weddings Magazine's Resource Guide. Click here to get started!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Inspiration Board: Presenting Jennifer Beck & Steven Gary, Jr.

The Couple: Jennifer Beck & Steven Gary, Jr.

Wedding Date: May 17, 2009

Photography by: True Love Photo

What was the most amazing part of your day?
The photography definitely.

We spent about two hours before the ceremony whisking around the city of Davis and on the UC Davis campus taking all kinds of spontaneous, alternative photos.

Beth [Baugher] of True Love Photo is a WAY FUN person and so creative. We love her eye for very unique, colorful, and FUN shots. Any jitters we had completely dissolved as we spent so much time laughing and goofing around. The most unique and memorable photo moment was when a cycling team rode by and we took photos in the middle of the street with them. Colorful, crazy, and absolutely unforgettable. Everything was perfect.

The other thing that we remember most were the COLORS. The flowers were stunning in orange and purple, and my bouquet was a DREAM. The cupcake display was beautiful as we chose a variety of yummy fancy cupcakes.

What else would you like to share about your big day?
Our ceremony was performed by one of my best friends, Lisa Croll DiDio, a minister and priestess, who also happens to be a novelist and helped us sharpen our self-written ceremony. We included a traditional Scottish hand-fasting, having our wrists bound by ivy. The ceremony had an earth-centered spiritual flavor and included a poem by Hafiz.

I'm an artist so I made our wedding favors, ceramic magnets which I carved with images and words expressing our day.

Venue - Home & Garden of Sanford & Myrna Beck (bride's parents) in Davis

Photographer - True Love Photo

Cake - Cupcakes by Cupcake Craving

Flowers - Strelitzia Florist

Wedding Dress - Britt Steele Fashion Gallery

Bridesmaid Dresses - (none) our flower girl and ringbearer chose their own clothing

DJ - We didn't have a DJ but I spent HOURS compiling a wedding playlist of our favorite music, trying to keep it a bit different but still neutral. My entrance song was "Honeysuckle" by folksinger Joules Graves.

Honeymoon location - Nevada City

Hair - Sheri & Teri of HAIR

Makeup - Image Provocateur

Awesome lace-up bride's moccasins - Medieval Moccasins (highly recommend these as an alternative to traditional shoes plus they're just so darn fun)

First Dance Song - no dancing :) just socializing and keeping it informal.

Want more? Check out the couple's slideshow on True Love Photo's web site.

Want more Real Weddings? We're serving them up for you at!

Photos courtesy of True Love Photo.

About True Love Photo (in her own words)
I am the best! kidding!

My name is Beth Baugher, a Sacramento native, been in the business for 17 years. I started at the bottom, the absolute bottom, the 'taco bell' of photography doing 100 photos a day in stores like Rite Aid and Long's.

I had a beach background and a camera so old it practically let out a puff of smoke when I hit the trigger.

I would literally be in the shopping cart area or in the medicine aisle knocking over the fast actin' tanactin.

One crying two year old after the next. Tough gig!!

It has been all up hill from there.

I worked at a one hour photo/studio lab, glamour shots, kiddy sports photography, many many years in high school photography, for a big local studio, and now finally for myself. I LOVE IT!!

I feel SO blessed to be able to make a living doing something I absolutely LOVE.

Oh the stories I could tell...I have literally shot 350-400 weddings! So I feel I can call myself a 'seasoned pro.' Able to really work quickly and direct well when needed.

I am good with natural light and posing and portraits, but my FAVORITE part of being a wedding photographer is capturing emotions. I love to tell a story.

I think of your grandchildren and perhaps great great grandchildren having a glimpse into your love story, their family history through viewing your wedding photos.

Check out True Love Photo on the web and don't miss Beth's Blog!

Visit Real Weddings Magazine * Visit Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Say Cheese! – Reception Photo Booths

Photo courtesy of Profinish Design.

Here’s a wedding trend that’s guaranteed to generate smiles from ear to ear.

Setting up a photo booth at a reception is not only a unique way to keep your friends and family entertained in between drinks, dinner and dancing, but one that’s sure to create lasting memories as well.

“They are fun, nostalgic, and a great way to help guests ‘kill time’ while the couple is taking photos after the wedding with the photographer,” says John Vu of Profinish Design in Sacramento. “They help with creating a fun atmosphere and help guest warm up to the occasion.”

Many brides and grooms are choosing photo booths over traditional party favors, making customized printouts so their guests can take home a visual keepsake from the event.

“Something magical happens when people get in the booth and close the curtain,” says Chris Terry of Encore Entertainment in Sacramento. “At every event I see the same thing, early on many guests are serious, they haven’t started loosening up, and then they get into the booth to take some pictures. They always come out of the booth laughing. When you throw in props like funky hats, boas, fedoras, and a cane, things really come alive.”

Photo courtesy of Encore Photo Booths.

The Encore Web site allows guests to order reprints and enlargements of photos from the event, including print customization and incorporating wedding theme and colors. “We try to make the print a piece of art that’s appealing to the eye so you just don’t have photos but a cool look that takes the guests back to the special day,” Chris says. “The bride a groom also get a USB Thumb Drive at the end of the event containing all of the photos and prints taken.”

John at Profinish notes that there are more options than just the commercial booths you see at arcades or malls. “There are many different kinds, from a photo kiosk (a stand with a camera and backdrop), to a curtain booth (table clothes and laptop), to full-fledged photo booths (like the ones I have manufactured) that are light weight and take better quality photos,” he says. “I like to educate people about this as much as I can, considering that the term ‘photo booth’ could be a broad commodity. It’s almost kind of like finding the right photographer these days, with quality of photo prints, booth, service, etc.”

Some booths also offer the added benefit of viewing the photos in a real-time slideshow. “We just finished installing 32” LCD monitors on all of our booths,” says Chris at Encore. “After about a half hour of taking pictures the slideshow will begin and a crowd usually gathers as the guests enjoy hilarious pictures their friends have taken through the event.”

Needless to say, if you’re in search of cool favors and some more fun for your guests at your wedding reception, have one of these qualified local photo booth providers hook you up and get ready for the memories to start flashing by.

Profinish Design
John Vu

Encore Entertainment
Chris Terry

Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Visit Real Weddings Magazine * Visit Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Monday, December 28, 2009

For the Love of Etsy

You might be like, “Etsy, what the heck is that?”

Etsy is actually an online source for handmade gifts, posted by a variety of artistic vendors from across the country. Think of it as a really cool crafts fair on the Web. I’ve been going here for unique gifts for several years, but it wasn’t until recently when I made a handmade bow tie purchase that I realized what a great hub this site can be for wedding stuff.

I’m sure many of you would like to make your own wedding favors or cake toppers, and if you have the time and the talent, go for it! For others, it’s not always easy to squeeze a hot glue gun into the schedule. So, before you employ your mom or bridesmaids on putting together little projects, check out Etsy and see what other creative folks have to offer. Here are some of my favorites by their seller name:

Perfect for the outfitting the groom and his guys, this purveyor of custom neckties, bow ties and bridal accessories offers a wide range of fashionable damask, polka dots, stripes, solids and more. “Classic style with a modern twist so everyone can journey in style.”

Here’s the icing on the cake. Just Toppers provides personal and unique selection of custom cake toppers, including monograms and other popular wedding themes.

A wedding gown and bridesmaid dress designer who specializes in “custom design reproduction” with quality fabrics and materials, like chiffon, taffeta and organza depending on the style of the dress.

Does wedding invitation calligraphy and makes beautiful hand drawn wedding invitation maps to order.

Creator of unique and visually interesting wedding announcements, invitations, place cards and more.

Jewelry designer making one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces with crocheted elements, gemstones and sterling and gold-filled finding.

Offers an assortment of veils, headbands, flowers and other hair accessories.

Fabulous custom garters so cool you might not want your groom to toss.

Find these sellers and MANY more at

Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Visit Real Weddings Magazine * Visit Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Good Philosophy

What do you give the bride who has everything (or the registry to prove she soon will)?

Over here at Real Weddings Magazine, we're huge fans of philosophy products, so what about one of their wedding-inspired offerings?

The always cute and creative bath and beauty line has four gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on your bride's face this holiday season:

The Bride - Falling in Love Shower Set - $40
This sweet shower gel and spray will have you falling head over heels.

The Bride - Skincare Set - $48 (pictured at the top of this blog)
The beautiful box holds five pieces in three of philosophy’s best selling products – grace, hope and purity.

Tying The Knot - $100 (not pictured)
This nine piece set includes everything a bride would need for her big day, including hope in a jar, purity made simple and amazing grace eau de toilette.

The Wedding Party – $30
A delightful trio of shower gels in appropriately named wedding cake, bridal bouquet and bubbly.
Find philosophy products at Sephora at Arden Fair Mall, 1689 Arden Way in Sacramento; or Sephora at Westfield Galleria at Roseville, 1151 Galleria Boulevard in Roseville.

Or, check out philosophy's Web site:

Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Photos courtesy of philosophy.

Real Weddings Magazine * Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you who celebrate Christmas, a very happy and joyful Holiday!

We're taking the day off of blogging...we'll be back shortly with more tips, trends and fun stuff!

Real Weddings Magazine * Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wish Upon a Wedding...Granting Wedding Wishes!

In the spirit of the holiday season, here is a new non-profit organization with an inspiring mission.

Wish Upon a Wedding is dedicated to granting weddings and civil union ceremonies at destinations across the United States to couples facing life-threatening illnesses. The organization will begin accepting applications for Wedding Wishes in mid-January 2010.

Founded by wedding planner, Liz Guthrie of San Jose Wedding Consultants, with the hope that no couple should ever be denied the chance to marry the one they love, Wish Upon a Wedding is the only organization of its kind in existence today.

By calling on a regional database of wedding vendors known as "Wish Granters," the organization will be able to grant five types of weddings (from simple to more elaborate), some in as quickly as 48 hours. How quickly the services are granted, and how detailed the weddings are, depends upon the Wish Recipient's health condition.

"Many couples cannot afford to get married, due to overwhelming medical bills, particularly those who have been battling life threatening conditions, sometimes for many years," says Guthrie. "Often a person is too sick to even leave their hospital bed, or they may be in hospice care," explains Guthrie, "If their last wishes include marrying their partner who stood by them through their most difficult times, we want to help make that dream come true. What better way to celebrate love than with their closest friends and family, in one of life's most significant ceremonies?"

Four chapters will be ready to grant wishes in early 2010, in the following locations: San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Orlando.

Industry leaders who have joined the cause so far, by leading chapters across the country, include renowned wedding planners Sasha Souza (Founding President), Samantha Goldberg, Elisa Delgardio, and Kevin Covey, and author Sharon Naylor.

The official Web site launches January 15, 2010. For more information visit the Wish Upon A Wedding Facebook Fan Page or follow Wish Upon a Wedding on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Mark Stagi, Stagi Imagery.

Real Weddings Magazine * Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Get Inspired! Introducing the Real Weddings Magazine Inspiration Boards

Hello dear Real Weddings Magazine Brides!

You've told us over and over and over again, how very much you are inspired by the real weddings that we feature in the print magazine and on our Web site:

In our quest to constantly inspire you, and to help you plan the wedding of your dreams, we're so excited to announce our Real Weddings Magazine Inspiration Boards!

Each week, we hope to present you with a new set of Inspiration Boards — with photos, details and fun from each couple's wedding!

So without further ado, may we present...Sara & Steven Schelk, Real Weddings Magazine Inspiration Boards!

The Couple: Sara and Steven Schelk

Wedding Date: April 25, 2009

Photography by: Justin Buettner Photography

What was the most amazing part of your day?
Everything was so amazing it's too hard to choose!

Of course I would have to start with the ceremony first, the part where we became husband and wife in front of our closest friends and family. But, along with that I would say seeing everything come together. It was important to me to plan my own wedding and have everything look exactly the way I imagined. So much so that I woke up very early the day of the wedding to be there and to decorate (with the help of my friends and family) prior to getting ready. I had so much fun planning the wedding and could not have hoped for better results. It was beautiful :)

What else would you like to share about your big day?
I spent a long time thinking about what I should use as a wedding favor. There are so many wonderful things out there, but I really wanted to choose something I knew people would actually use.

I had been to several weddings where I witnessed the wedding favors literally being thrown away, which is heart breaking when you consider all the money and thought that goes into the favors.

So after months of thinking about it, I decided to order champagne glasses, have them engraved with our names and wedding date, and tie a ribbon around each one that read "thank you."

I realized later that this choice of favor killed two birds with one stone as I didn't then have to supply champagne glasses for the toast.

I received a lot of compliments on these favors, and our guests tell me all the time they use them!

Venue: The Patrick K. Willis Estate, located in Los Lagos, previously the summer home of Eddie Murphy

Photographer: Justin Buettner Photography

Caterer: Romano's Macaroni Grill

Cake: Ricks Dessert Diner

Flowers: Purchased the day prior at Flora Fresh and arranged by my aunt Monica Barnhill and my mother Sharon Svee

Wedding Dress: David's Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal

DJ/Entertainment: David Schmidt, DJ Schmidty for Beat Chef Productions

Hair: Heather Williams with Brockway Hair Salon and Jene' Console with Console Beauty Service

Make-up: Jene' Console with Console Beauty Service

Linens/Tables: Celebrations! Elegant Party Rentals

Flower Headbands: Bebe

Honeymoon Location: South Lake Tahoe

Want more Real Weddings? We're serving them up for you at!

Photos courtesy of Justin Buettner Photography.

About Justin Buetter Photography
Justin Buettner gradated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in film production and a minor in Animation and Business Administration. He has gone on to serve as the director of photography on more than 20 independent films working with some of the industry's finest young talent.

In 2000 he became the Head of Graphics for Justin started their digital studio photographing and creating a digital catalogue of over 10,000 unique images before the company was sold in 2001. He then went on to serve as a motion capture editor at House of Moves working on special effects for film and video games.

After relocating to the Sacramento area, Justin started his own business and has specialized in portraiture and wedding photography. Over the last five years Justin Buettner has photographed over 130 weddings and numerous other events. Although his professional experience began in Los Angeles, Justin grew up in Grass Valley located just north of Sacramento.

Real Weddings Magazine * Style Media Group * Contact Real Weddings Magazine