Are You a Bride With an Adventurous Side?

by Emma Grosskopf

Consider these wedding ideas that are ANYTHING but traditional.

There's nothing wrong with a traditional wedding, familiar with all of the elements that we know and love, but sometimes in order to give your wedding a more unique flair, you have to thing outside of the box. Here are five ideas for spicing up your wedding if the traditional "something borrowed, something blue" doesn't really appeal to your adventurous side!


Holiday Weddings

This might seem iffy at first, but imagine the possibilities for a winter wonderland, Christmastime wedding, or a dark and moody wedding with Halloween undertones! Incorporating these seasonal details in bouquets, décor accents or invitations is a sure way to keep your wedding tasteful and unique, as opposed to moving into office-Christmas-party or trick-or-treat territory.

Brides Hannah Parker (left) and Emily Hilbert found unique ways to incorporate the Christmas spirit into their special day! See more of Hannah on page 70 of bridebook, and Emily on page 68!

(Parker wedding photography by Anna Bowser Photography)
(Hilbert wedding photography by Pat Cori Photography)


Themed Weddings

This is an idea that many brides shy away from as well, choosing to go for more common themes such as "elegant," "romantic" or "rustic." In the past year, the wedding industry has seen more couples choosing to have themed weddings such as "Roaring 20s," "Carnival Chic" or "Travel." While this idea is definitely for the more adventurous bride, incorporating small elements of the concept can allow you to maintain the air of the theme without going overboard.

Bride Sydney Solomon chose to have a "Travel" themed wedding, including a reception with several genres of international cuisine. See more of Sydney on page 44 of bridebook!


(Solomon wedding photography by Chris Jackson Photography)


Anything-But-White Wedding Dresses

This trend has spiked over the last few years as more and more brides are dismissing the traditional white for their wedding dress. While some of the bolder brides might opt for something drastic, like a black or red gown, some brides are dipping their toes into the pool of colored dresses with shades such as blush, buttery yellow, icy blue or silver.

Bride Krystina Angelini opts for a soft blush instead of the traditional white for her wedding dress. See more of Krystina here!


(Angelini wedding photography by Tara Lilly Design & Photography)


Pantone Brights

The colors that Pantone has released as trending for this fall are mostly muted, autumnal hues, but there are a couple outliers in shades of bright yellow and lime. These colors, which many, more traditional brides might avoid, can add a vibrant, unexpected pop to any brave bride's wedding day.

Brides Marybeth Pruitt and Jordie Lane both chose to incorporate the vivid, trending colors in their eye-catching bouquets. See more of Marybeth on page 72 of bridebook, and Jordie on page 34!

(Pruitt wedding photography by Heather Chipps Photography)
(Lane wedding photography by Kaitlyn Phipps Photography)


Unique Bouquets

Bouquets are an important part of every wedding, but if you're yawning thinking about a typical floral arrangement, maybe try for something a little more avant garde, like bejeweled or feather-adorned bouquets. The most adventurous among you might choose to forgo bouquets all together and choose something unique like lanterns or parasols for you and your bridal party to carry down the aisle on your special day.

Bride Aynsley Gresko chose to combine traditional bouquets with the fresh idea of parasols on her wedding day. See more of Aynsley here!


(Gresko wedding photography by Ashley Eiban Photography)

Liz Long
Fun Facts about the Royal Wedding

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

May 19, 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are marrying this weekend and we are so excited for the celebration. They are a gorgeous couple and their story is truly something out of a fairytale. Even all the way across the pond, we feel as if we've known Prince Harry for years after being in the spotlight for most of his life. No lie, we're already pretty excited to watch the Lifetime movie and read all the romance fiction that will come about from so much inspiration! 

If you're a Royal Wedding watcher like us, you should check out our fun facts below. Congrats to the happy royal couple–we can't wait to see all the details of their big day!



Fun Facts

They have been together for 16 months.  It is quick compared to William and Kate!

Got engaged November 2017.

Meghan is not royal or British, so she breaks that rule. She is American and comes from a blue collar family. She is mixed race.

The engagement ring will come from precious diamonds from Diana’s personal collection.

Meghan was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic school. This is in conflict with the Royals who can only marry a member of the Church of England since Henry the 8th. She was recently baptized in the Church of England. She did so out of respect for the Queen.

Meghan is a divorcee; until recently that was not allowed. The Queen has never attended a church wedding for a divorcee. She didn’t even attend her own son Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla; she only attended the reception.

For 180 years since Queen Victoria, the bouquet also will have a sprig of lemon myrtle, which dates back to 1858. It represents love.

The cake is usually always a fruitcake but Prince Harry’s cake will be a lemon butter cream cake. Yum!

The engagement photos are usually covered up and demure, but Prince Harry and Meghan's photos were more fashionable.

Prince Harry and Meghan break tradition because they show more PDA than any other royal!

Most of the Royal weddings have been during the week because the Queen doesn’t like to do things on her weekends, but Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding will be on a Saturday. 

The Queen had to sign off for Prince Harry to marry Meghan. She waited until four months after the engagement to do so.

Meghan is the first person to join the family’s inner circle for the royal Christmas activities before being married into the royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan are breaking tradition by not inviting heads of state to their wedding. They are instead inviting 1,200 people from the public to be on the grounds of Windsor Castle at St. George’s Chapel.

The wedding will take place at St. George Chapel, a smaller church than usual that can only have 800 people in it so it will be more intimate. The Westminster Abbey could hold 2,000.

Traditionally the bride will wear a tiara borrowed from the Queen. It is assumed that Meghan will do the same.

Traditionally the bride and groom do not kiss. It is actually forbidden in Westminster Abbey, which is why William and Kate had their first kiss on the balcony after their wedding. We will have to see what Prince Harry and Meghan do!

-Special thanks to Shiree Carr for compiling our facts!

Liz Long
Julie & Noah: A Special bridebook Couple

Julie Mayer & Noah Magnifico
May 8, 2016
Photography by: Bobbi Brinkman Photography

The Essentials
Dress: Mori Lee Voyage Collection
Florist: Bethany Austin Designs
Cake: Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Ceremony: Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA
Venue: Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Caterer: Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Jewelry:  P.R. Sturgill Jewelers
DJ: RSP Entertainment
MOH Dress: Chantilly Lace
Groomsmen's Attire: Express Menswear
Videography: Michael's Video
Alterations: Sew Right, LLC
Hair & Makeup: Salon Bloom – Elaine Baldacci

Julie Mayer and Noah Magnifico met thanks in part to this very magazine. Julie was attending a networking event in January of 2013, speaking with vendors about how to be a part of our first issue, when she met Noah, a wedding photographer. Fast-forward a few years later and Julie and Noah are now newlyweds! 

Noah completely surprised her with his proposal on her first visit to Jekyll Island. They took a weekend trip there to celebrate his birthday. On the beach at sunset, Noah said he had something for her and pulled out a vintage wooden box. 

When she opened it, she found a hand-carved sign inside that said “LOVE.” Inside the “O” was a gorgeous vintage engagement ring. Discovered at a local jewelers in Radford, the ring is nearly 100 years old and still in its original setting from the 1920s. 

“I was so surprised when I saw it, I actually shut the box!” Julie says, laughing. 

Because Noah and Julie both love the ocean and beach, they knew they wanted a beach theme for the wedding day, even before choosing their Jekyll Island venue. Colors of coral, peach, ivory and green were woven throughout her bouquet of roses, cala lilies and button mums, while her maid of honor (her sister) had similar colors but with gerbera daisies. 

While the whole weekend was spent with family and friends, with a gathering on Friday, a rehearsal dinner Saturday night, and Mother's Day Sunday as the wedding finale, Julie's favorite wedding day memory was seeing Noah on the beach with their closest friends and family, all of them waiting for the bride's arrival. 

As she walked out onto the beach with her dad, the sun shone overhead as the song she'd chosen played on a wireless speaker held up by their DJ (reminiscent, she says, of John Cusack's iconic scene in “Say Anything” where he holds the boom box over his head!). It was at this point the tears started flowing as emotions came over her. 

Noah and Julie wrote their own vows for the ceremony. A month prior, Noah announced he'd memorized his vows from the day they were engaged. Julie was a little nervous about the pressure, wondering if she'd not only come up with the “right” words but be able to memorize them all on the big day. During the ceremony, she read her vows first. 

“I'm so glad we wrote our own vows to one another,” she says. “Our guests were crying, laughing and celebrating with us through every word!” 

Noah's brother-in-law Joe acted as officiant, becoming ordained just to marry them. To give Julie an aisle to walk down, her florist placed arrangements down the beach and scattered rose petals to make a runner. Guests were provided flip-flops for their sandy stroll to the ceremony. 

The newlyweds chose to get married in the morning so they could celebrate with a brunch reception. A custom omelette station, classic brunch dishes, mimosas and Georgia Peach bellinis were a huge hit with guests. 

When choosing her flowers, Julie marked up copies of bridebook with the styles she loved and would work with her beach theme. Her florist had creative freedom and traveled all the way from Roanoke to make sure every flower was just right. When Noah and Julie walked into the reception and saw her creations for the first time, they were blown away by the beauty of it all. 

While Julie opted not to wear a veil given the windy beach ceremony, she actually fell in love with the rhinestone headband worn by our 2016 cover bride. After searching online for that particular one, Julie got lucky and found her own headband at a local store. Her long-time hairstylist traveled to Georgia to do her hair and makeup. Julie's up-do was made even more glamorous with a white ostrich feather that tied in with the headband. 

Julie found the perfect look for the groomsmen thanks to an outdoor wedding also featured in the 2016 issue, where the men wore light gray vests with matching pants and bright shirts. The result was a great look for a semi-formal beach wedding. 

Julie remembers when they first started planning how there is sometimes a pressure to do certain things simply because it's “how they are always done.” With her own ideas and bridebook in her hands, she realized she could make her day exactly what they wanted it to be, just for the two of them. 

“Working for a wedding magazine that showcases real wedding stories and the unique elements of each couple's day – not to mention being engaged to someone in the industry – inspired us to make our wedding represent what makes us unique as a couple and not worry so much about traditions,” she says. 

Her nautical theme included colorful sea glass on tables, the boutonnieres and her hair accessory, while other elements like driftwood, an antique ship's wheel, fishing nets and wooden boats made up the décor. Their memory table held old family photographs, including their grandparents' wedding days. 

Guests signed river rocks and placed them in a wooden crate, to later be displayed in the couple's home. This was also a nod to an early moment in their relationship when Noah gave Julie a skipping stone rock from the New River as a memento. 

Julie is gluten-free and had originally planned to have a regular cake for guests with a small, gluten-free cake for herself. At a cake tasting with their pastry chef, however, Noah liked the gluten-free cake so much they decided to make the whole thing that way. 

Their gluten-free, dairy-free, two-tier square cake had homemade white fondant icing with classic navy- and white-striped ribbon bordering each tier. Rather than save the top layer for their first anniversary, the newlyweds ate the last piece for breakfast the next morning! 

On top of the cake was a painted metal bride and groom sculpture in 1940s clothing, used by her paternal grandparents for their 1945 wedding cake. As her grandparents passed away several years ago, this was very special to Julie to have in her wedding. 

To cap off the day, Julie's sister and mother invited their guests to a sunset drum circle by the hotel's waterfront. Attending the Siesta Key sunset drum circle is one of Noah and Julie's favorite things to do when visiting Florida, so gathering everyone for their wedding circle and having the photographer get unique shots was a perfect end to the weekend's festivities. 

Rather than have a grand exit, Julie and Noah opted to go swimming and hang out at the pool with all of their guests. Now that's a relaxing end to all the months of hard work!