Archive for the ‘Love Stories’ Category

Wedding Advice and Tips for Planning a Small Wedding

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

As a newlywed, I am here to share with you a few tips and things I learned while planning my wedding this past year. I have no doubt that you are receiving A LOT of (unsolicited) Wedding Advice from everyone and their mother, and now me too! Specifically, though, I’m talking, Tips for Planning a Small Wedding that is what your dreams are made of! (Because our wedding day was more than I could have ever dreamed up!)

First off, if you’re reading this post, chances are that you’re recently engaged or maybe you’re smack dab in the middle of planning your wedding already, either way- CONGRATS And ENJOY this special time in your life. It will fly by before you know it. My first piece of advice for you is to fit the word fiancé into the conversation as much as possible before the big day!


Wedding planning is fun, but also is met with many emotions and decisions to make in its process. So, let’s all just take a big deep breath and remember WHY you’re getting married in the first place! Now, keep this WHY at the front of your mind and at the center of your entire wedding planning process. This day is all about celebrating you two and your love for one another. So, no matter what, keep it about you two, and how you two want things to be as you start your new married life!


So that leads me to tip number one in wedding planning,

Don’t Follow “The Rules”.

It won’t make you any happier and will cause you to spend money on things that do not really matter to you. You will hear “you’re supposed to blah blah blah…” or “Usually, at weddings people blah blah blah…” or “ At my wedding blah blah blah” (…you get the point) a thousand times through out planning your wedding but do not let any of that (not even me/this article ;P) pressure you into anything you do not want to include or exclude on your day.

Every bride is different and every wedding will be different too. While each family, religion and culture have their own traditions, when it comes to weddings, it is okay to choose which ones fit you and your partner, and it’s even more okay to add in some new traditions too. Wedding talk is fun and it’s (sometimes) helpful to get advice from loved ones, but don’t let the guilt from mom or grandma not getting their way on this day get to you. Your wedding day is to celebrate your new family union, so start day one off on your own rules!


My husband and I got engaged and married in Iceland. We skipped the traditional American wedding cake and opted for a traditional Icelandic cake, Kransekake, literally meaning wreath cake . We kept, the tradition of feeding each other, but this cake is more like a hard cookie, so there was no smashing it in each other’s faces!

Set a budget. Stick to it. Get creative and compromise where you can.

Even Planning a Small Wedding can be the most expensive day in your life and it all adds up quickly! I suggest shopping around for venues first. Check out some dream spots and more ‘realistic’ options as well. This way you can get a general idea of what is on the market and how much it cost you.


From there, prioritize what other aspects of the wedding is important to you and your partner and budget accordingly. For Chris and I, the venue (as far as look/location) wasn’t as important to us as photography, food (we didn’t want buffet style) and alcohol. For example, we saved A LOT of money by having our wedding outdoors (free) and finding a super swanky hostel (KEX ) for the reception venue. I know it sounds strange to have a reception at a hostel, but it was actually one of the coolest venues we found (aesthetically speaking). AND we saved so much money on the space, that we we’re able to have a private room with a sit down + served dinner (from one on the best chefs in Iceland). This all goes back to tip one, break the “rules”. There is no need for a fancy, over priced, wedding venue if that’s not where you want to spend a large chunk of your money. I suggest checking out confernce spaces and private rooms at resurants, hostels and office buildings that are trypically used for meetings or smaller gatherings.


{our wedding reception at KEX Hostel in Iceland}


We also saved a lot by making my own (fake) bouquet, which I did months in advance, packed in my suitcase and now I can keep it forever. As well as, by asking a friend to play dj with a Spotify playlist we created, sending out evites like these from Paperless Post in lieu of traditional invites and doing my own hair and makeup (with help from my sisters and friends). These things alone saving us thousands of dollars, allowing us to splurge elsewhere, like on my Rue De Seine gown and our two week honeymoon. So stick to that budget, but you have got to get creative and make it spread. Only spending money on things that REALLY matter to you!



Breaking tradition AND saving money, creating an evite for the wedding just seemed like the most practical thing for us. We only had about 20 guests coming and couldn’t justify the time and money going into sending out physical wedding invitations (that would realistically get thrown out). Making .>these Paperless Post evites we’re super quick and easy, AND I was able to find a design that matched our theme PERFECTLY. Bonus is, if you’re like myself, with mothers who want a physical invite, you can get some printed JUST for them!




{You can check out the evite in action, here!}

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan and get things done.

Seriously. And this is coming from a queen of procrastination. Not only will it make your wedding week/day (more) stressful and chaotic, waiting to plan or take care of things will most likely cost you extra money too. If there was anything that I learned in my 5 years of teaching elementary school, it was that as much as I hated the time consuming act of lesson planning, in the middle of chaos with 20+ children, my lesson plan was always my saving grace. Planning ahead was also the way I was able to make my (tiny) budget stretch the entire school year.

Looking back, I am so thankful I took the time to map out my wedding day and have all the little details fully taken care of before hand. It allowed us to wake up slowly and have a stress free morning getting ready. This is extremely important if you are not going to hire a day of planner. As a bride, everyone will be looking to you for answers- even for answers you’ve probably already given them. But every little thing needs to be thought about. I suggest accounting for each hour of your wedding day (making sure you make time to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner). Ask a friend or relative to take your phone and take over, day of so you can be on cloud 9, enjoying your wedding and all the hardwork you did!


Since our wedding was a destination wedding, we had these leather passports custom made (by Blue Sky Papers, of course) as wedding favors. Each having a booklet on the inside including a handwritten note to each guest and the wedding week + day itinerary, maps and any other information our guest may have needed. This ended up being a huge hit. Not only did everyone get new passport covers, but they had something to reference for any information that they would need.


All in all, keep it simple, have FUN and do YOU!

It is human nature to overthink and complicate things, but in life (and in marriage) it really is easier when you keep it simple. For us, keeping it simple was to keep it small. We tried planning the big traditional wedding, but about 4 months in it felt like too much and not like us at all. So we threw out those plans and started over. Throughout your wedding planning process, double check yourself on the decisions you’re making. Making sure it is what YOU and YOUR partner truly want and not what the industry, society or family is pressuring you to do. This day will only happen once in your life and you don’t want to look back with regrets or remember being upset over anything.

{Our wedding vedors: Photography : Kelley Raye // Gown : Rue De Seien // Suit : Calvin Klien // Passports + Vow Book : Blue Sky Papers // Custom Painted leather Jacket : StudiOH, Shoppe // wedding invites : Paperless Post // Florals + decor  : Bride DIY // Jewlery : Vintage // Venue/Hostel : Kex // Cake : Sandholt Bakery // Ribbons : Silk and Willow // lip stick : @muchlovelips}

{This post is in collaboration with Paperless Post. }

Bound With Love Vol. 1 : Paige + Blake’s Valentine Vow Book

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Paige + Blake Molina  Photo By : Paige Jones

Paige + Blake Molina
Photo By : Paige Jones

As our first couple up in our new series called #boundwithlove we couldn’t possibly be any more excited to introduce you to Paige and Blake Molina, who are using one of our vow books to celebrate their anniversary. They are a romantic couple- marrying on Valentines Day 2015, here in Atlanta, GA! And considering it is the week of Valentines day, we knew they’d be perfect to kick this series off with!

#Boundwithlove is a hashtag we started using on Instagram when tagging pictures of our journals. As, each one of our products are made + bound with lots of love for you to treasure for a lifetime! We decided to also turn this hashtag into a series for this blog, so we can share the stories behind the journals, albums and books we make + the homes they go to.

We are always so touched to hear our clients stories and decided it would be selfish to keep them to ourselves!

Paige + Blake  Photo by : Paige Jones

Paige + Blake
Photo by : Paige Jones

Paige is art teacher + photographer with a passion for living creatively. Her and her husband Blake share a home with their adorable Frenchie pup, Judy here in Atlanta, GA.  They love love, and they love each other, so we were so excited to send Paige + Blake one of our Vow Books to help them celebrate their one year anniversary and have them share their love story with us!

Read below what Paige has to say, and if you would like to share your love story with us too, please reach out to Courtney at

Paige + Blake's love lock on the bridge in Paris prior to it being taken down

Paige + Blake’s love lock on the bridge in Paris prior to it being taken down

“It all started late in the summer when Blake & I met at Piedmont Park in August 2013. He laughed at all of my jokes, so I knew he was something special! [wink]”

Paige + Blake's engagement

Paige + Blake’s engagement in Paris

“He was so laid back & sweet- life finally made sense & was so easy. I think he officially became my boyfriend when he took me to the Sundial on one of our first few real dates.”


“We spent time drinking coffee, seeing movies, & going to church. The night I met his family- I knew I wanted to be with him forever!”

Paige + Blake's wedding cake Photo by : Paige Jones

Paige + Blakes wedding cake
Photo by : Paige Jones

“We were engaged in Paris 11 months later & married at a Catholic church in Atlanta, GA on February 14, 2015.”

Paige + Blake Molina  Photo by : Paige Jones

Paige + Blake Molina
Photo by : Paige Jones

“I really got my happily ever after!”

– Paige Molina


Rustic Leather Vow Book Photo by : Paige Molina

Rustic Leather Vow Book
Photo by : Paige Molina

Congratulations Paige + Blake on your one year anniversary! We are so thrilled to be a small part of your love story! 

P.S. : Don’t forget about the giveaway in our last post, check it out!