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Celebrity hairstylist

Andrew Fitzsimons talks trans* advocacy, product picks and extension care




Steps to Getting Your Glow On






Local planner Off the Beaten Path blends signature experiences into Sonoma weddings














Stylish sleeves dominated Fall 2019 runways; fluidity in wedding fashion; pearl accessories make a comeback; personalize your aisle style with a statement-making veil


Everything you need to make your house a smart home; out-of-the-box ideas to inspire an adventurous engagement shoot; turn wedding day details into keepsakes; creative canned cocktails that will up your bar game; budget saving tips you haven’t heard, straight from industry insiders; Gen Z’s bright and bold hue

Celebrity hairstylist gives beauty products a new purpose; find out why we’re mad about the skincare benefits of matcha; upgrade your skincare routine for glowing, weddingready skin

Three couples say “I do” in detail-driven celebrations, from a blue-hued brewery wedding to a chic Puerto Rico soiree and an emotional ceremony in the Hawaiian rain

Sonoma County offers the best when it comes to wine country weddings; our comprehensive guide to LGBTQ-friendly resorts in the Caribbean



Nostrand // Makeup by Beautini // Styling by Krista Roser // Modeling by Vanessa Villegas and Jake LaBarbera


Talented, EQUALITY-MINDED™ vendors


editor’s letter STAY TRUE TO YOU! It’s easy to get caught up in trends, falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole of “prettiness” when it comes to wedding planning. But it’s important to take those trends that you’re inspired by and give them a personal touch—that’s what takes it from trendy to timeless. Whether it’s your color palette (page 26), your signature cocktail (page 23) or even the style of your engagement photos (page 18), in this issue, we are celebrating YOU, and showing that you don’t always have to go by the (wedding planning) books. This is perhaps illustrated the most in our non-binary fashion cover shoot. We showcased several gender-fluid looks to prove you don’t have to limit yourself to a dress or a suit. Or, you can pair a dress or suit with a cape, or a tulle skirt. The point is, fashion is a way that we express ourselves, so don’t be afraid to do so, on your wedding day and every day.

Founder & Editor-in-Chief Brittny Drye Art Director Abby Downing Assistant Editor Danielle Renton Copy Editor Jill Baughman



And to ensure that you can safely express your true self (and love!), we did extensive research across multiple Caribbean islands to bring you the most LGBTQ-friendly resorts. But if you’re more about wine time than island time, our other destination feature shows you a chic new side to wine country with a tour of Sonoma County (page 58). Speaking of beautiful locales, you’ll find weddings from Hawaii (Mandy and Kaliko, page 50), to Puerto Rico (Stephen and Hector, page 45) and California (Brittany and Alex, page 40) within this issue’s pages. Each one, filled with intentional details that told their love story. Because really, that’s what this whole wedding thing is really about.




Skip the Dishes


Single-use place settings give that pre-wedding party the perfect dose of pretty. Without the cleanup. L’entramise

BLK chai Photography

GOLDSHEEP x Mindy Weiss Celebrity wedding designer Mindy Weiss teamed up with the athleisure brand to create a legging collection that is perfect for soonlyweds (and their VIPs!). Goldsheep Clothing, $98

Best Bach» Bach parties are incorporating unique experiences—like perfume-making! — into their itinerary. Olfactory NYC, 281 Mott Street, New York City

<<< These would make fun, interactive drink stations! -Brittny Drye, Editor-in-Chief

Magic In a Bottle A salon-worthy manicure with flawless, no-fuss results. After two coats, nails stay chipfree and shiny for up to two weeks. Essie Gel Couture Collection, $11.50

The Bomb Squad Drop a Mixologi drink bomb into your glass and watch it turn into an artisanal cocktail. Mixologi, $7.50 for pack of two

High Heel Hack Still Standing is an all-natural spray that prevents sore soles and keeps you comfortable until the last dance. Still Standing Total Comfort Set, $39.99

<<< I always receive compliments on my mani when wearing this polish, which is why it's my new go-to! -Danielle Renton,

Assistant Editor














SLEEVES THAT SLAY Statement sleeves stole the spotlight on Fall 2019 Bridal Fashion Week runways. From billowing balloon sleeves to beautifully beaded cuffs, this season is all about wearing serious style on your sleeve. By Danielle Renton


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1 1 ‘Dench’ by Rivini 2 ‘Camille’ by Isabelle Armstrong 3 ‘Dulce’ by Ines Di Santo 4 Style Z6179` by Mark Zunino 5 ‘Noureev’ by Rime Arodaky 6 ‘Lark’ by Ines Di Santo 7 ‘Primavera’ by Morilee by Madeline Gardner

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Photo credit for 1, 2, 6 by BLK Chai Photography



Bending the Rules Be you. Express as you choose.


It’s enough. Produced by Brittny Drye Photography by Phillip Van Nostrand Fashion styling by Krista Roser Beauty by Beautini Models: Vanessa Villegas and Jake LaBarbera

Jumpsuit by BOSS, $895; ‘Erin’ shoes by Steve Madden, $79.95; Opposite page: Jumpsuit by BOSS, $895; ‘Chelsea’ cape by Naeem Khan, $5,995


‘Rock’ pant ($600), ‘Bond' shirt ($375) by Nicholas K; Opposite page: ‘Vivianna’ blazer ($525), ‘Tatum’ top (price available upon request), ‘Lou’ pant ($365) by Cinq à Sept; ‘Triton’ shoe by Steve Madden, $129.95

There isn’t 10

anything â&#x20AC;&#x153;nontraditonalâ&#x20AC;? about love. 11

White buttoned asymmetrical shirt ($220), ‘Wilde’ pants ($260), ‘Kim K.’ dress ($360) by Wilde Vertigga; ‘Emmett’ shoes by Steve Madden, $99.95


fresh fashion


Edgy pearl-laden accessories are a far cry from your grandmother’s strands. Photography by Phillip Van Nostrand

From left: Floating pearl bracelet by Amanda Pearl, $575; Modernist natural signet ring ($1,250) and Modernist birthstone signet ring ($498) by S/H KOH; ‘Betsy’ silver long pendant necklace by Kendra Scott, $100; Black agate and mother-of-pearl cuff links by Shane Co., $125; ‘Teddi’ rose gold statement earrings by Kendra Scott, $150; ‘Perla’ earrings by Millapani, $910




Phillip Van Nostrand


Hermione de Paula, $1,800; ‘Constance’ veil by Sara Gabriel, $350; ‘Dana’ drop veil by Untamed Petals, starting price $540


Designer Hermione de Paula will embroider anything you can imagine: quotes, names—even pets!


plan 16













August Home Smart Lock Home Kit, $229


Google Home, $129 Recommended for first-time users of smart home technology!

Nest® Learning Gen 3 Thermostat, $249

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 4-Bulb Starter Kit, $199.99




Ring Video Doorbell 2, $199


David Lai Photography


SO EXTRA Want to take your engagement shoot to the next level? Industry pros lend ideas for bringing personality into your e-sesh.

Incorporate Video A big trend that we’re seeing? Video engagement sessions! “Like wedding films, the style and content vary,” says Rachel Jo Silver, founder of LoveStoriesTV.com. “Some include interviews with the couple about their love story or proposal, some just have music and capture the couple in sweet scenes, some include calls-to-action and act as a digital save-the-date for the wedding or extra content for the couple's wedding website.”

Weddings by Nato

At-Home Intimacy “We love engagement sessions that capture date nights in or lazy weekend mornings—this is an easy, relaxing shoot that rounds up the warm fuzzies,” says Lesley Smith of Ceremony App. “Wear what you normally wear, cook your favorites and even do chores around the house. You'll be surprised at what photographs well—hello, spaghetti and wine!"

Lighting can be tricky in homes, so connect with your photographer about lighting needs beforehand.

Adventure Awaits Miller also recommends taking your engagement shoot to new heights—literally. “For thrillseeking couples, having your e-sesh on a mountaintop or in a hot-air balloon guarantees the view will be almost as stunning as you two are!”

Nerd Out

Around Town Look no further than your bestloved local joints. “Go to your favorite pizza shop, clothing store, dive bar or amusement park,” says Keith Phillips, Classic Photographers. “You are going to get some cool-looking photos and will definitely have a blast doing so.”

Glam It Up “I encourage my couples to create a Pinterest board with inspiration photos that help me and my team create a one-of-akind experience,” says Pittsburgh photographer Angie Candell. “On the day of their photo shoot, they’re pampered with hair and makeup, and I work with a vintage rental company to design a session that's based around their style.” Go big by creating an entire styled lounge to snuggle in, or simply hang a chandelier from a tree for a touch of glam. “If you like the idea of capturing real life but want something more artistic, consider renting or buying formalwear for the shoot. Think ball gowns in IKEA. Tuxes in Target. Cocktail hour in Waffle House,” adds Smith. “It's a great way to balance a typical day with something special.”


Be sure to get permission before shooting in a store or restaurant.

InterestDriven Imagery Turn your hobbies up a notch! “So you and your partner love to swim? Why not be super extra and have your e-sesh under water. Crazy about some other activity? From indoor rock climbing to shooting pool to dancing like nobody's watching, there are endless possibilities when it comes to playing up your passions,” says Jenna Miller, creative director of Here Comes the Guide. Or nod to nostalgia with activities like riding a carousel or playing games at an arcade. These captures are sure to bring up happy childhood memories and create instant smiles.

“Embrace your inner geek, and use your love for comics or even Star Wars and incorporate throughout the shoot,” says Phillips. Think lightsabers and capes—don't be afraid to have fun with it!

Michael Novo Photography

Casey Fatchett Photography

Day-Inthe-Life Have your photographer follow you through a typical day: grabbing your morning coffee, doing laundry or grocery shopping and hitting up happy hour. There’s beauty in the life you share together, and it’s fun to have a snapshot into your everyday routine.

Vintage Vibes If you're a couple who is into everything vintage, Smith suggests re-creating favorite old photos of loved ones. “Not only can you have fun sourcing clothes and even traveling for the shoot, you can create a beautiful gallery wall with the old and new photos.” Phillips adds that vintage transportation, like a classic car or motorcycle, is perfect for photo opps. «

Classic Photographers


memories IN THE MAKING MEMORIES Seeing relics of one of the happiest days of your life adds a little romance in the day-to-day. Let your wedding day details live on by turning them into creative keepsakes.

Did you have a custom motif or design created for your wedding stationery? Spoonflower lets you turn your design into wallpaper or fabric. spoonflower.com, prices vary

Have your vows, first dance lyrics or speeches eternalized in gorgeous calligraphy on canvas that doubles as wall decor. canvasvows.com, $60

Turn a picture of your florals into a beautiful piece of embroidered art so you can enjoy the blooms forever (with no wilting!). Available on Etsy, prices start at $21.50

Shards from your glass-breaking ceremony get a second life as an heirloom vessel. Your breaking glass arrives in a beautiful velvet pouch. After your wedding, send the broken glass back in the pouch and Mazel Tov Glass will suspend your shards in clear molten glass to create a bowl or vase. mazeltovglass.com, $50

Photo credit: Wallpaper photo by Charlie Juliet Photography


Can Can Cocktails Tasting Notes: cucumber, lemon, herbal Refreshing and light, Can Can’s White Linen is perfect for summer sipping. Fresh cucumber and lemon are blended with gin botanicals, elderflower and a little bit of cane sugar in this vodka libation.

COCKTAILS IN A CAN Artisanal makers have raised the bar on canned spirits, creating recipes that taste just as good as the real thing … no bartender needed.

Cutwater Spirits Old Grove Gin & Tonic

Vrai Green Tea

Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye

Tasting notes: bright and citrusy Few cocktails are as timeless as the G&T, and Cutwater Spirits' version is blended with house-made grapefruit-cucumber tonic for a refreshing twist. They also offer canned versions of other classics, such as vodka sodas, Bloody Marys, vodka mules and rum and Cokes.

Tasting Notes: earthy sweetness This easy-to-drink recipe is light when it hits your tongue, then transforms into a more earthy aftertaste.

Tasting notes: honey, smoke, orange At 84-proof, we recommend sipping this canned old-fashioned, well, slow and low. Whiskey lovers will love the strong smoky flavor mixed with a touch of sweetness to balance it out.


Insiders’ Secrets to Saving Secret #1: Single Spirit “If you’re looking to cut back on costs but not on #Instaworthy inspiration, set up a signature bar where you offer wine, beer or ONE kind of spirit in a bunch of different ways,” says Amy Shey Jacobs of Chandelier Events." Right now, I’m really into sangria bars! But you can do this with vodka—serve Moscow mules and martinis; or tequila—palomas and margaritas. This keeps the drink tab in check and maxes out savings by buying spirits in bulk.”

Secret #2: Disposable Design “I am all about the new chic options for bamboo disposable plates,” says Jacobs. “While china and rentals still reign on the tabletop, for cocktail stations, cheese boards, barbecues, antipasto, raw bars and desserts, I think earthconscious, biodegradable bamboo disposables are really accepted while keeping rental costs down.”

Secret #3: Beware of the Square!

Bambu Home, $70 for 100 7-inch plates


Fun fact! Square envelopes cost more to mail than rectangular ones. Why, you might ask? “The square envelopes don’t fit through the postal machines and have to be hand-stamped,” says Amber Harrison, head of weddings at Shutterfly. “Choose a standard size to avoid added costs.”

Event pros share their tricks for savvy savings. Shhh, you didn’t hear it from us. Secret #4: Multi Talent When it comes to the documentation of your event, Amy Abbott, of Amy Abbott Events, suggests seeking out someone who is skilled in both photography and videography. “Negotiate photography and videography together—this can often assist in a savings between 10 and 15 percent.”

Secret #5: Seeing Green Greenery might be trendy but it can also be very cost-efficient. “The key is going with larger leaves—so you need fewer of them—and picking a green that works all by itself, such as magnolia leaves, ferns, palms, vines, fisci and olive branches,” says Jacobs. “But beware, some greens are super pricey so consult your florist!”

Secret #6: Double Up “A great way to save money on wedding invitations is to combine your ceremony and reception information on one card instead of two—the trick here is making sure that it doesn’t appear too crowded,” says Harrison. As for day-of stationery, Abbott recommends using seating boards instead of place cards and having menus include guests’ names to also act as place cards. “This not only is an eco-friendly approach, but it also saves the green in your wallet, too,” she says.

Seat board photography by Emma McMahan Photography from Sarah and Kate’s Brewery Wedding; Greenery photography by Paige Vaughn Photography at Cypress Falls Event Center





“This bouquet features Brownie tulips as the main mustard hue and Crocus roses, which are a soft, buttery cream and yellow,” says Lunghi. “The honeysuckle vines, foxglove and popcorn viburnum bring in texture and fluidity.” Floral design by Siren Floral Co., photography by Blue Rose Pictures


“I love mustard and mauve—those antique colors just absolutely make my heart explode," says Lunghi.


Pull hues from your favorite fruits such as lemons, oranges and even grapefruit.

“For a long time, I felt yellow could be too much of a harsh contrast but the truth is, it can actually be the perfect accent,” says Rachael Ann Lunghi of Siren Floral Co. “Consider the big picture of the event or arrangement to incorporate touches of it here and there.”

Left to right: ‘The Mahatma’ tie from TheTieBar.com, $25; Signature cocktail signage from Sean and Shawn’s Ritz Carlton Wedding; ‘Whitney’ natural sole weejuns by G.H. Bass & Co., $110; ‘Godshaw Goddess’ gown in honey gold sheen by Show Me Your Mumu, $228; Yellow sapphire wedding band by Shane Co., $425; Unique 21 linen blazer two-piece from ASOS, $64; Ombre wedding invitation by Roxy Cervantes for Minted, $234 for 100

This pretty centerpiece is made up of Honey Dijon roses, toffee roses, straw flower, columbine, blue eucalyptus and buttery carnations. Floral design by Siren Floral Co., photography by Rad + In Love


When design firm Dorothy Draper & Co. painted the Brazilian Court yellow, locals actually called to complain!


Top left, clockwise: The Brazilian Palm Beach Court, starts at $250/ night; TL-04 tinted aviators by Foster Grant, $20; Pret-APorter vegan leather hip pack by Lulu Dharma, $89; ‘Firework’ tassel earrings by Wink of Pink, $32; 'Me BuzzWorthy' by Dermelect, $15; ‘Curio’ 29-inch spinner by American Tourister, $169.99; Yellow stretch skinny shorts by Topman, $60; ‘Solas’ shirt from Wildfang, $64








INFLUENCER FOR ADVOCACY WHEN CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST AND BRAND AMBASSADOR ANDREW FITZSIMONS BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT HE WASN'T THE ONLY SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY DROWNING IN UNUSED BEAUTY PRODUCTS, HE SAW AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUT ITEMS INTO THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO NEED THEM MOST. By Danielle Renton In an Instagrammable society where influencers have become a trusted voice in advertising, brands are eager to get their products into the hands of those with thousands of followers at their fingertips. Particularly in the beauty community, products arrive at the homes of industry pros in droves—glimmering eye shadow palettes, scented shampoos and conditioners, the latest fragrances, nourishing skincare and tools galore— and they accumulate faster than they can be used up.


“I noticed a lot of my colleagues who work in the field had the same problem—if you can even call beauty products a problem,” says celebrity hairstylist and beauty influencer Andrew Fitzsimons. “We had an abundance of product, so much so that we couldn’t possibly use it all. I have several friends who are involved with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, so when I learned how the Center and other organizations that serve trans women were desperately lacking in personal care products, it was a lightbulb moment.” Fitzsimons, who is the talent behind the highly sought-after hairstyles of A-list celebs, such as the

Kardashians, Adele and Ashley Graham, partnered with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Transgender Economic Empowerment Project to launch the Trans Cosmetic Donation Drive. The initiative, which offers an avenue for beauty professionals as well as brands, celebrities and even private individuals to donate personal hygiene and beauty products to lowincome transgender and nonconforming people, has been so successful in Los Angeles that Fitzsimons is currently exploring options to expand the program to New York City and Canada. With major brands pledging donations, such as Alterna Haircare, who has committed to donating 100 shampoos and conditioners monthly, Fitzsimons says the support from within the beauty community has been immeasurable. While the Center encourages donations of beauty products, cosmetics and any items that can help make a person feel like their authentic self, it’s self-care products such as body wash, cleansers, moisturizers, toothpaste and toothbrushes that are highest in demand. According to the Center, because transgender

individuals and especially transgender women of color are more likely to live in poverty and experience higher rates of unemployment, their access to everyday personal hygiene products is often restricted. “An important thing to remember is that it’s a privilege that many of us are able to take beauty for granted,” Fitzsimons says, an assertion to remembering his arduous days after first coming to the United States with only a few dollars in his pocket to build his business from the ground up. And now that he has, he isn’t going to pass on the opportunity to give back.

“AN IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT IT’S A PRIVILEGE THAT MANY OF US ARE ABLE TO TAKE BEAUTY FOR GRANTED.” “It’s been a longtime career goal of mine to be able to leverage my job to give back to marginalized communities in some way, so it’s been an honor to work on this initiative,” Fitzsimons says. “As a gay man who lived in a small town in 31

Ireland, I know firsthand what it means to be considered ‘other,’ so being able to use my privilege to give back, even in a small way, is really important to me.” With nearly 250K followers on Instagram, Fitzsimons often uses his social platforms to be vocal about advocating for LGBTQ rights and representation in the industry and is hopeful about the momentous shift toward inclusion. The LGBTQ community has always been an essential part of the beauty industry, and for Fitzsimons, seeing the beauty world band together to offer support to those in need has been a reminder of the power of the community itself. “As we’re seeing across the board on many issues, representation matters,” Fitzsimons says. “As a society, I’m so happy to see that we’re realizing that the one representation of beauty that we’ve seen for years isn’t the only representation of beauty, so brands are starting to be more inclusive, especially in regards to their marketing and advertising. But we still have a long way to go. Beauty is for everyone, and beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.”




Beauty Works Extensions: “My absolute favorite extensions brand. Because they’re human hair, I recommend the same care products that I do for my clients who don’t use extensions.”

Alterna Haircare’s CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Conditioner: “One of my favorite conditioners for most hair types.”

NatureLab TOKYO Repair Treatment Mask: “It’s super nourishing and helps strengthen your hair, which can often be a little stressed from extensions.”

EXTENSION COURSE We asked the talent behind some of the most sought-after celebrity tresses to give us the scoop on extension styles. By Brittny Drye



Application: Wefts of hair are pre-attached to a clip and then clipped to your own hair.

Application: The hair is braided tightly to create a base for the hair wefts to be sewn into.

“They can add length and volume in just about every texture, color and price range. I typically recommend to my clients whose real hair is much easier to style when using heat.”

“This technique is not for everyone as not all hair types can handle the stress from the braiding and weight of the extensions.”

>> Least-damaging to your natural hair!



In styling, it’s important to remember to hide the extensions as much as possible. “Back comb the root of the hair in front of the extension to help hide the starting point!”

Application: A thin strip of glue is heated on the extension hair weft, and then the client’s hair is put between two wefts to create a seal.

Application: Extensions are looped through the natural hair.


TIPS & TRICKS Cut Matters

Fitzsimons recommends avoiding blunt cuts. “It creates a definite line between your hair and the extensions, so it won’t look as natural.” For best results, get a haircut after putting extensions in. “Getting a great haircut can make all the difference! If the person installing your extensions doesn’t cut, go to your stylist and get a layered cut to help the extensions blend seamlessly. This rule applies any time you get new clip-in extensions, as well.”

Match Made

It’s important to match your extensions with your hair color and texture. “One of the trickiest parts of choosing extensions is shade matching, but it’s one of the most important,” he says. “You can’t dye hair extensions, so it’s easier to dye your hair to match the extensions.” >> Interior lighting can affect color so be sure it’s the same in the outdoor light as well!


Extensions are best after they’ve been lived in for a day or two, so apply them any time up to three days before your wedding, and if they’re well-cared for, they can last for up to three months. If you’re getting extensions put in regularly, Fitzsimons advises giving your hair at least a week break in between. «

Your love, your life, your family, your identity are all beautiful.

Wedding, portrait, and family photography in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and worldwide. hello@devonrowland.com devonrowland.com


MATCHA LOVE The superfine tea leaf powder that you have been sipping also packs major beauty benefits. By Brittny Drye

The Chemistry Matcha’s Instagram-worthy bright green hue comes from the chlorophyll found in the plant, which is typically used by plants in photosynthesis. “Because of this, chlorophyll has an amazing power to protect the skin from sun damage and the formation of wrinkles,” says Dr. Alissia Zenhausern of NMD Wellness in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Just like chlorophyll protects the plant, it can help shield the skin from toxins and chemicals that are so often found in our environment.” Like other types of green tea, the leading antioxidant in matcha is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).

“Matcha is more concentrated in EGCG than other types of green tea, and because it's powdered, it is easier to measure and use in topical skincare preparations,” adds Rachael Pontillo, founder of Create Your Skincare. “Because it is more concentrated, its properties are easier to extract, which means it's more likely to have a positive effect on the skin.” The Benefits When it comes to beauty, matcha really is a super plant. “It contains polyphenols and micronutrients that work to provide amazing antioxidant properties that help reduce redness, as well as fight the signs

of aging,” notes Dr. Zenhausern. “The power of matcha lies in its high antioxidant and nutrient content, which makes it great for most skin types.” And its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties make it perfect for your beach honeymoon, as it protects skin prior to sun use and after. “It has been shown to heal sunburn— though it is not a replacement for proper SPF—as well as brighten sun exposure-induced hyperpigmentation, prevent certain types of skin cancer and reverse other visible signs of sun damage,” says Pontillo.


For cleansing: Best used for daily facial cleansing, SkinOwl’s antioxidantpacked bar will quench tired, thirsty skin. SkinOwl Matcha Beauty Bar, $24

For toner: The world’s first solid toner, Milk Makeup’s Matcha Toner gives a refreshing sensation upon application and its solid formula is TSA-friendly— perfect for honeymoon travel! Milk Makeup Matcha Toner, $26

For at-home facials: Gentle enough for sensitive skin, Drunk Elephant’s at-home peel leaves your skin feeling oh-so-soft, without the wreckage, thanks to formula ingredients such as, you guessed it, matcha. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, $80

For masks: Two of Mother Nature’s most soothing ingredients—lavender and matcha—join forces in Urb Apothecary’s clay mask that will leave your complexion bright and clear when used once or twice a week. Urb Apothecary Lavender Matcha Mask, $22

For the lips: The natural caffeine in matcha stimulates collagen production to make your lips ultra soft (and kissable). Don’t worry, the balm goes on clear! Winky Lux Matcha Lip Balm, $14


Glow On

Wanting radiant skin for your wedding day? We asked Nashville-based licensed esthetician and makeup artist, Allyson Roe, to share her step-by-step routine to get that just-married glow even before you walk down the aisle. By Brittny Drye

1 2 step



USE A CLEANSING OIL. Packed with hydrating natural oils and vitamins, cleansing oils help with dehydrated and dull-looking skin. “You can switch over to oil cleansing completely or you can do it a few times a week in place of your regular cleanser,” advises Roe. Even if you’re prone to oily skin, you can still benefit. “Oil dissolves oil so it won't make your face shiny, and may actually help balance out your skin's sebum production. When you overdo it on trying to control your oil, like with an oilfree cleanser or over-exfoliation, your skin freaks out and ends up producing even more. That’s why you may be dry during the first part of the day and greasy by the end of it.” Frequency: day and night / Recommended product: Sonia Roselli’s Japanese Cleansing Oil, $39

EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN. “Some people like the feel of a physical exfoliator, but I prefer a chemical exfoliant since it can actually get down into the skin and work its magic from the inside out, rather than just scraping off the top dead layer.” Frequency: twice a week / Recommended product: Sonia Roselli’s SEXAPEEL™ Instant Exfoliation Spray, $42

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INDULGE WITH A MASK. A hydrating mask is not only a great excuse for some self-pampering, but it's also nourishing your skin to give back that youthful radiance. Frequency: once or twice a week / Recommended product: Dermactin’s Anti-aging Facial Sheet Mask, $2.99


TONE IT UP. Toners are meant to balance the pH of your skin after cleansing or doing a mask, and Roe opts for rose water ones. “Rose water is full of antioxidants to help fight free radicals that cause damage to your skin, and it is soothing and antiinflammatory. It has antibacterial properties so if you have acne caused by bacteria, rather than hormones, a rose water toner can help heal those areas as well.” Frequency: day and night / Recommended product: Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, $9

APPLY SERUM. Roe regularly uses vitamin C serum in the morning and Retinaldehyde serum in the evening. The vitamin C serum will boost collagen production and even out skin tone for a brighter appearance. Meanwhile Retinaldehyde is a great alternative to traditional forms of Retinol. “It’s more gentle, so sensitive skin that can't typically handle the intensity of Retinol can usually benefit from Retinaldehyde,” says Roe. “Retinaldehyde helps with cell turnover, so fresh, healthy cells are always coming to the surface which, in turn, produces more radiant skin. It can also fight acne and help with hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Used nightly, it’s an awesome ingredient all around.” Frequency: vitamin C serum every morning and Retinaldehyde serum every night / Recommended products: Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum, $17 and Skin Script RX Retinaldehyde Serum, pricing varies by salon retailer


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MOISTURIZE. “I moisturize like it's going out of style!” exclaims Roe. She recommends applying moisturizer day and night. Frequency: day and night / Recommended product: Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, $16


APPLY SPF. You should wear at least SPF 30 every day. Frequency: every morning / Recommended product: Farmacy Green Screen Daily Environment, $36

day-of advice


HYDRATE. Water intake is incredibly important. If you are dehydrated, your skin is going to look dull, so drink up!


If you’re DIYing: Cleanse in the morning, even if you normally don’t, and apply a mattifying moisturizer to keep the shine at bay throughout the day. For sunscreen, stick to either a zinc oxide-only or chemical sunscreen (look for ingredients "oxybenzone" and "avobenzone" in a chemical sunscreen). “Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the two main ingredients in sunscreens, but put together is what can cause that flashback white cast in flash photography,” explains Roe. If you’re using a pro: Find out if your artist is doing a full cleansing and skin prep routine. If so, a quick rinse will suffice, otherwise clean with a cleansing oil and always come makeup- and product-free.








Brews and Blues

Brittany and Alex tapped into their individual talents to create a casual party vibe at a Berkeley brewery. By Brittny Drye / Photography by Kayla F Photography


As the abundance of toasts throughout the day suggests, Brittany and Alex succeeded in their vision to create a casual party vibe for their guests. “The inspiration for our wedding came from being true to ourselves,” says the laid-back couple. “The elements that were most important to us included: family, friends, food, drink and music.” And clearly, that was a recipe for one heck of a celebration.

THE FASHION The bride chose her Sarah

Seven gown in less than 90 minutes. “I even got a ‘decisive bride’ discount,” she exclaims. Her simple French silk dress paired perfectly with her grandmother’s pearls, a family heirloom that has been worn by all other women in the family at their weddings before her. Alex wore a casual blue chambray linen suit and opted to skip on the tie because “he never wears one.” In fact, they encouraged others to let loose and follow suit with a self-tie check at the door. The bridesmaids all wore hues of blue to create a striking monochromatic palette. In lieu of bouquets, they wore corsages on copper bangles trailing with hand-dyed shibori ribbons, while the groom’s side wore gray outfits with shibori handkerchiefs, dip-dyed by the bride herself.

THE CEREMONY The Rare Barrel Brewery in Berkeley, California, of which Alex is a cofounder, provided the perfect setting for their celebration. As Brittany was escorted down the aisle by her two brothers, guests started clapping in sync to the music, a telling sign of the festivities that were about to kick off. The couple exchanged vows—with a quick Rock

TOP TO BOTTOM: Brittany’s modern bouquet held wild vines, lush white blooms and a touch of greenery. | The soonlyweds take a swig with the staff pre-ceremony at the Chambong station. | Amber vases of Queen Anne’s lace and daisies decorated tables.


Paper Scissors game to determine who would go first—underneath a wreath overflowing with foliage, standing atop a delicately faded bluepatterned circle rug that later sat underneath their sweetheart chairs at the reception.

THE PARTY Guests enjoyed cocktail hour

in the brewery’s tasting room before moving outdoors to the reception space where a taco truck and pizza truck were waiting to serve up delicious casual fare. Sparkling rosé, which was handpicked by the bride after several tastings (a favorite memory of the planning process!), was served along with the couple’s favorite beers. And for the true revelers, a Chambong station was set up, “for those who wanted to kick it up a notch, which we like to do,” laughs the bride. The single-hue blue tones continued into the tablescapes with blue goblets and shibori table runner and napkins, hand-dyed by the bride and the groom’s sister. “We took a class together at a workshop in San Francisco and we both fell in love with the art!” she exclaims. Minimalist white blooms and trailing vines decorated the tables in amber glass bottles and paper flowers created by the groom’s mother dotted the walls, adding a touch of whimsy to the industrial space. “We couldn’t have done it without her amazing craftiness. Everything turned out beautiful,” says Brittany. The night finished off with an epic dance party underneath a disco ball and bottles of sour beer—a signature of the brewery’s—were passed as favors for guests. The golden sour batch was blended by the couple, dubbed, “Brillex,” and boasted a label designed by Alex’s mom with a poem written by his dad: Two hearts and minds, always blending. A deep love, never ending.

TOP TO BOTTOM: The table runner and napkins were handdyed by the bride and groom’s sister. | The couple jokingly play a game of Rock Paper Scissors to decide who reads their vows first. | The groom’s mother drew and watercolored the map of Berkeley for their stationery suite. | Guests were encouraged to let loose and take off their tie at the tie check upon arrival.


VENDORS Photography: Kayla F Photography Planning: Steele My Heart Venue: The Rare Barrel Floral Design: Wild Club Dress: Sarah Seven Suit: Bonobos Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Ring: Koa Wood Rings Veil: BHLDN Headpiece: Lelet NY Shibori Decor: IndigoShibribri Shop / Etsy DJ: DeBorba Events Videography: Gold & Gumption Rentals: Abbey Party Rents SF Tableware: Frances Lane Hair: Haute LA Salon Makeup: Mea Beauty Stationery: Ejue Studio / Etsy Taco Truck: Tacos el Rey Pizza Truck: Del Popolo Catering: Good Karma and Mission Chinese Food BOTTOM LEFT, CLOCKWISE: Cane back Louis XIV sweetheart chairs sit atop the same rug Brittany and Alex stood on during the ceremony. | Guests dine on delicious pizza and tacos from local food truck vendors. | The ceremony installation doubled as decor for the reception.


TOP TO BOTTOM: Alex is Lithuanian, so the newlyweds cut into a ĹĄakotis, which is a traditional Lithuanian spit cake, cooked on a rotating spit or over an open fire. | Bottles of sour beer brewed by the couple were handed out as favors. | The bridesmaids had shibori ribbons tied to their copper bangle-corsages. | The couple married in a brewery owned by the groom.




Wooden calligraphy signage draped in foliage welcomes guests to their celebration. | Hector and Steven wrote their own vows.

On their first date, Hector and Steven knew they would one day be standing across from each other exchanging vows. In fact, that connection was so strong, Steven had to sneak away from their sangria-and-tapas meal to phone a friend and share his excitement, “I’m going to marry this guy!” Six years later, that intuition turned into reality, as the couple traveled to Hector’s home country of Puerto Rico with 100 of their nearest and dearest to say “I do.”

THE VENUE “Puerto Rico was a top choice due to Hector’s upbringing on the beautiful island,” explains Steven. “He had taken me there many times throughout our relationship. The island is so gorgeous, and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered.” With the archipelago paradise on their radar, they began researching venue options. With a specific vision in mind, Steven (who planned the entire celebration himself) knew he wanted a venue that provided flexibility. While searching on Instagram, Steven stumbled upon Casa de España, a gorgeous historic, Andalusian-style space in San Juan. “The bright colors juxta46

posed with the dark woods throughout the space deeply inspired me,” explains Steven. “We decided to book a flight to Puerto Rico to see Casa de España live and in color, and its majestic features left us both in awe. Needless to say, we booked the venue right away without even looking at other options.” The intricate columns, vibrant tiles and grand archways set the scene for the couple’s classic celebration.

THE CEREMONY Dressed in custom white

Indochino tuxedos, Hector and Steven were escorted down an aisle lined with 25 feet of greenery on each side toward an altar flanked with large arrangements made up of roses, hydrangeas and foliage. They exchanged self-written vows, guided by Hector’s sister, who was ordained specifically for the occasion. “When Hector and I were reciting our vows, there was just an abundance of love and other emotions that flooded the space,” says Steven. “It was overwhelming in the most beautiful of ways.” After sealing the deal with a kiss, the new Mr. and Mr. Oliver were sent into happily ever after with guests waving rainbow-colored streamers as a nod to the #LoveWins movement.

THE RECEPTION The grooms then made their way into the amber-lit reception space where each table was dressed with towering gold vase arrangements of white blooms and greenery and gilded place settings topped with Spanish tiles that doubled as coaster favors. “The tiles came in various designs and colors but perfectly complemented the hand-painted ceiling of the reception hall,” says Steven. “I manually stamped a message on the backs of the tiles that read ‘Thank You, Steven and Hector, July 14, 2018.’” Guests enjoyed a plated seated dinner of local fare. “We wanted our friends and family to enjoy traditional Puerto Rican cuisine so we went with roasted pork, chicken breast stuffed with mofongo, and a Puerto Rican take on eggplant parmesan,” notes Hector. They later joined the grooms on the dance floor while taking turns in the photo booth that was constructed by the grooms and Hector’s father the week before the wedding. To close out the evening, the newlyweds cut into a three-tier classic white cake finished with a gold “Happily Ever Oliver” topper. “The love that surrounded us that day was palpable!” Hector exclaims.

TOP TO BOTTOM: The grooms looked dapper in matching custom Indochino suits. | Guests waved colored ribbons as the new husbands recessed down the aisle. | Groom and groom chair signs accent the gold Chiavari chairs.


VENDORS Photography: Lucky You Weddings Decor: Blanco by Mara Venue: Casa De EspaĂąa Cake Design: La Casa Del Bizcocho DJ: DJ Fabian Kroselj Suits: Indochino Shoes: Christian Louboutin Second Shooter: Maydeline Ines Photography Stationery: Minted Catering: Bon AppĂŠtit Catering Rings: Brilliant Earth and Blue Nile Bow Ties: Ties.com Rentals: Ambiance Event Rental


TOP TO BOTTOM: At each place setting was a Spanish tile that doubled as a coaster for guests to take home. | The grooms chose two flavors for their wedding cake: vanilla with cream cheese buttercream and vanilla with coconut cream filling. | Elegant arrangements of white hydrangeas, roses and greenery were placed at each table. | The wedding party wore navy dresses and suits.


Romance in the Hawaiian Rain Embracing the rain on their wedding day, Mandy and Kalikoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tropical soiree struck the perfect balance of fun and emotionfilled with a surprise petting zoo and tearful, heartfelt vows. By Danielle Renton | Photography by Jenna Lee Pictures



An emotional moment is captured during the ceremony as Mandy listens to Kaliko’s vows.

On the north shore of Oahu, where majestic mountains provide a regal backdrop against the Hawaiian ocean, Mandy and Kaliko were exchanging vows when a light sprinkle of rain began to fall. A far cry from Alanis Morissette’s notorious, raspy tune, in Hawaii, rain on your wedding day is considered a blessing. Six years before, Mandy and Kaliko had just met during their first year of law school in Washington, D.C. Enrolled in all of the same classes, their lives quickly intertwined, and they fell fast in love. “By the end of that year, we were inseparable,” Kaliko says, fondly remembering the early days of their relationship. As time passed and their bond grew stronger, Mandy was eager to propose when a trip to London provided the perfect opportunity to ask Kaliko, an avid Beatles fan, to be her wife. On a sunny day, Mandy and Kaliko headed out to Abbey Road in West London with two of their closest friends to re-create The Beatles’ iconic album cover. After the four friends had taken a picturesque stroll across the crosswalk, Mandy suggested they get a shot of just her and Kaliko. Then, on the narrow street outside Abbey Road Studios, where a simple traffic marking has become sacred ground for Beatles fans, Mandy dropped to bended knee and surprised Kaliko with a ring and the question of a lifetime. 52

THE STYLE Back home in Hawaii, with an

oval diamond on Kaliko’s finger, the brides-tobe broke from tradition and went shopping for wedding dresses together. “Not traditional,” the brides say, “but neither of us could imagine selecting wedding attire without the other. It was important to us that the dresses complement each other while still reflecting our individual styles.” Kaliko fell in love with the first Galia Lahav gown she tried on, a stunning sheath dress adorned with geometric lace and delicate embellishments with a striking plunging neckline. Meanwhile, Mandy was enchanted by the clean lines and simplicity of a gorgeous Made with Love Bridal gown that shared a similar silhouette to her bride’s. For an added flair that didn’t cover her hair or the v-back detailing of her dress, Mandy completed her look with a long tulle cape that draped beautifully from her shoulders.

THE CEREMONY On the morning of their wedding, Mandy and Kaliko awoke in their room and pushed the blinds back from their window to let the light stream through when they spotted a Hawaiian monk seal lounging on the beach. “The seals are an endangered species and one of Hawaii’s two endemic mammals,” the brides say. “This unexpected visit was such a wonderful way to start our day.” A busy morning quickly ensued as Mandy and Kaliko parted ways to get ready

in separate suites with their bridesmaids before making their way to the venue where they would commit to forever together. The brides were immediately drawn to the natural beauty of their venue, Sunset Ranch Hawaii, where a lush 30 acres with towering trees created a tropical oasis with a natural arch that perfectly matched the vision for their wedding day. With sweeping views of the ocean and mountains in the distance, Mandy and Kaliko were escorted down the aisle by their parents, and as they caught sight of each other for the first time, tears streamed down their cheeks. During the ceremony, bursts of laughter rang out between tearful exchanges as they recited their vows while a Hawaiian wedding blessing rained down from above. After Mandy pulled Kaliko’s face to hers for their first kiss as wife and wife, the ceremony concluded as they walked back up the aisle with their fingers interlaced, stealing another kiss as their guests cheered energetically behind them. The photographer then whisked Mandy and Kaliko away for some portraits amid the sprinkling rain, but not even the gray skies could extinguish the brides’ glowing smiles. The newlyweds twirled happily through the damp Hawaiian soil, leaving an ombre dusting of mud along the hems of their dresses, forever infusing the very ground where they committed their lives to each other into their gowns.

The brides and their wedding party re-enact a moment from their engagement during which Mandy proposed in the middle of the famous Abbey Road.

THE RECEPTION Meanwhile, Mandy

and Kaliko had a one-of-a-kind cocktail hour experience in store for their guests. Lying in wait, a mini horse, donning a red peony atop its mane, along with a small white goat and a Muscovy duck, made up an adorable petting zoo, which became an instant hit among their friends and family. A particularly memorable moment from their wedding day occurred when the eager goat unexpectedly jumped on Mandy and took a beastly bite out of her bouquet, leaving behind a muddy hoof print on her dress. “She handled it like a champ,” Kaliko says with a laugh. Underneath the white reception tent that was pitched along the manicured lawn, the brides’ vision for a boho wedding with a tropical flair came to life. Green ferns and leafy plants hung in macramé hangers above long farm tables that were draped in white linens and topped with crawling garlands of greenery. Eucalyptus, blue thistle and pink proteas were sprinkled along the garlands, which mirrored the blooms in Mandy and Kaliko’s bouquets and acted as an extension of the lush Hawaiian landscape that surrounded them. “We wanted a mix of tropicals, classic wedding blooms and lots of greenery to create unique and textured florals to complement our venue’s scenery,” Mandy and Kaliko say. “Our florist, Hawaiian Floral, perfectly executed our vision.” 53

As a nod to their forthcoming honeymoon in Australia, Mandy, who is an avid animallover, assigned each table an Australian animal instead of table numbers. In addition to a card lined with tropical monstera leaves denoting each table’s assigned fauna, the brides included illustrated drawings of the adorable creatures—sugar gliders, wallabies and tree kangaroos, to name a few—and placed them among the greenery garlands. Guests found their seats underneath the tent, and shielded from the rain, indulged in a delicious dinner before being treated to desserts from some of the brides’ favorite local bakeries. “They weren’t your typical fancy wedding desserts, but they tasted like home, and our guests loved them,” the blushing brides say. As the end of the night drew near, with sparkling wine bubbling in their Mrs. and Mrs. flutes and Hawaiian leis hanging on the backs of their chairs, Mandy and Kaliko looked out at their guests, who came from far and wide to join in celebrating the next chapter of their lives. Reminded of the love that has surrounded them since they first began dating more than six years ago, the brides raised a glass and toasted to the beginning of their happily ever after. Mandy's emerald halo ring coordinated beautifully with Kaliko's oval diamond. | Macramé plant hangers added a boho touch to the reception decor. | Clad in strappy block heels ideal for walking on grass, Mandy’s shoes featured a tropical motif while Kaliko’s were lined with crystals.


VENDORS Photography & Videography: Jenna Lee Pictures Venue: Sunset Ranch Hawaii Floral Design: Hawaiian Floral Cake Design: Liliha Bakery Beauty: Cherbu Makeup & Hair by Cheryl Hazelgrove Photo Booth: The Photo Bus Oahu Mixology: Tropical Moon Events Wedding Dresses: Galia Lahav and Made With Love Shoes: Sam Edelman and Steve Madden

A hungry goat took a bite out of Mandyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bouquet, a funny moment that has become one of their favorite memories from their wedding day. | The wedding party donned mismatched outfits in varying shades of blue hues. | Illustrations of Australian wildlife were used as table numbers.



destination SAY YES IN SONOMA





A NEW TASTE IN WINE COUNTRY Even after the devastating fires in October 2017, the resilient region of Sonoma continues to surprise and delight with industry-leading inspiration. By Brittny Drye

Photo credit: Krista Lynch, Krista Marie Photography


Sonoma County is proving that it’s more than just Napa’s younger sister to the north. Their repertoire of vineyards is just as impressive, but it’s the variety of settings and styles, and a focus on small locally owned businesses within the county’s million acres, that has couples exploring farther up the California coast to exchange vows. “Wine country is vast, and all of the towns in our region have their own personal and unique vibe, just like every couple, in turn, has their own vibe, vision and ideals of what they want for their wedding day,” says Stephanie Brown, owner of the local events planning and design firm, Off the Beaten Path Signature Experiences. And it’s these hidden gems and talents that creatives like Stephanie are seeking out and incorporating into the wedding weekends they plan. “We provide our clients with curated experiences and unique locations that would be hard for them to find and source on their own. We’ve essentially thrown the ‘cookie-cutter’ wine country experience out the window,” she says. “We love using outdoor spaces and incorporating local artisanal producers and products from throughout our region, that give the ‘wine country’ wedding a refreshed take.”

Stephanie’s Venue Picks Petroni Vineyards: To me, Petroni Vineyards is the epitome of wine country and offers both a unique wine cave experience paired with vineyards as well as offering some of the most amazing wines that aren’t readily available to consumers outside of their winery. Boot Hill at Kunde Vineyards: This setting will ensure that your event leans on a fabulous Sonoma County sunset with 360-degree views of the vineyards that the property sits in. A huge bonus at this location is that they offer delicious and affordable wine. Ru’s Farm: This venue boasts one of the best ceremony views, plus there is a barn with enviable chandeliers hanging in it and elegant lounge furniture is also included in the site rental. The vineyards, ancient olive trees, lavender and aviary all lend to the perfect wine-country vibe. Private Estate: Our exclusive location nestled between Santa Rosa and Kenwood, is honestly one of my favorite places to host a celebration. It’s absolutely magical, highlighting gorgeous greenery, redwoods, bistro lighting and natural beauty. The property flows so well from one element to the next so that your guests are continually in awe as they progress throughout the evening.

“We've essentially thrown the ‘cookiecutter’ wine country experience out the window.”

STEPHANIE’S VENDOR ROLODEX MUSIC: Keri Campbell Music RENTALS: Encore Events VENUE MANAGEMENT FIRM: The K Group and Distinct Locations TRANSPORTATION: Beau Wine Tours

If you’re looking for a setting that’s truly exclusive, many estate owners offer up their private properties a few times a year for events through venue management firms and exclusive planners. 59

Tips for a Wine Country Wedding:


TAKE TIME: “Couples try and pack too much into a short weekend,” notes Stephanie. When planning a destination wedding, she advises to maximize your time by taking an extra day before or after the wedding weekend to relax and recharge. “Another fun idea is to have your wedding on a Thursday or Friday instead of a traditional Saturday—that way after your wedding you still have a couple of days to enjoy the area.”


LIBATION LIMITS: “A lot of our clients don't realize the restrictions on winery venues and estates and how it can affect things like bringing in your own alcohol or what types—beer, wine, spirits— can be served,” says Stephanie.


PAST CURFEW: Noise ordinances also affect the time frames that weddings can take place, and most venues in the area have a 10 p.m. curfew. “Finding a location that lets you party past 11 p.m. requires being ‘in the know’ and your planner having access to alternative venues,” she says.


Photo credit: onelove photography

THINK BEYOND VINEYARD HOPPING AND OFFER UP THESE FUN ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR GUESTS’ WEEKEND ITINERARY. AMY’S WICKED SLUSH: A transplant from Boston, Amy brought the famous slush to the West Coast, and Californians are digging the icy treat. 13840 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, Calif., 95448

Photo credit: onelove photography

Photo credits: Krista Lynch, Krista Marie Photography

HEIDRUN MEADERY: Made from honey, mead is the oldest form of alcohol (really!), and Heidrun is the only maker in the world who creates sparkling mead via the French MĂŠthode Champenoise. Their trademark style results in a dry, light and refreshing flavor. 11925 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, Calif., 94956 COWGIRL CREAMERY: Stock up on artisanal cheeses for your wine country picnic or book a tasting to try several in their collection. 80 4th Street, Point Reyes Station, Calif., 94956 ARTISAN ALLEY: A back street boasting several small-batch beverage artisans in a cool warehouse-style setting. Sip your way through the tasting rooms of wine, cider, beer and spirits. 7755 Bell Road, Windsor, Calif., 95452 61

TAG-Approved Accommodations QUALIFYING PROPERTIES BASED ON THEIR SUPPORT OF THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY HEALDSBURG Hotel Trio | Best Western Dry Creek Inn GUERNEVILLE Applewood Inn & Spa | Highlands Resort SONOMA Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn | MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa | The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa SANTA ROSA Hilton Sonoma Wine Country | Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel FORESTVILLE Farmhouse Inn



Keep your bottled souvenirs safe during travel back home with VinGardeValiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patented-design rolling suitcase. The bottle-shaped foam inserts keep your wine secure but can also be removed for regular usage. VinGardeValise Wine Suitcase, $249.99



PARADISE FOUND Many resorts are trying to break free from the anti-gay reputation that haunts the Caribbean. By Brittny Drye


Though the sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean make for prime destinations to say “I do,” LGBTQ soonlyweds often have to do extra research to make sure the islands are welcoming and even, at times, safe. “No one should feel they cannot visit their dream destination because of their orientation or gender identity, but they need to do their homework in advance and understand the laws and culture of the island,” says John Tanzella, president and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association (IGLTA).

of masculinity, femininity and sexuality are deeply traditional,” says Tanzella. “It definitely isn't changing overnight, but we are seeing positive signs that it will change over time.”

Many Caribbean resorts hide behind the legal curtain that same-sex unions are not recognized in their country, but ultimately it’s simply an excuse. “If a wedding is part of the picture, there needs to be an open dialogue with the resort about the experiences they've had planning same-sex nuptials,” adds Tanzella.

“Remember, the Caribbean is not one place, even though it's often discussed that way. LGBTQ travelers are still concerned about homophobia and acceptance when they travel,” says Tanzella. “What has changed is an increased willingness to explore outside of LGBTQ comfort zones. We get far more inquiries about places to go in the Caribbean that are safe and welcoming, whereas before, many people viewed the whole region as a ‘no go.’”

Religious and cultural expectations carry a great deal of weight in the Caribbean. “These are often small communities where concepts

But the islands and properties that are equality-minded are contributing to that change, while providing an oasis for LGBTQ travelers in the short-term. Curaçao received the IGLTA’s Destination Pioneer honor in 2015, while the Dominican Republic now hosts Caribbean Pride annually, and Aruba Tourism just joined the IGLTA in an effort to evolve.


“Same-sex couples traveling for romance should think about what that means to them. Do they want to walk hand in hand through town and show affection wherever they go, or are they okay with limiting the romance to a resort or their private accommodations? That answer will help decide if they want an LGBTQ-friendly island or if they are happy with a welcoming resort regardless of its location.” 65

CURAÇAO The island of Curaçao holds the unofficial title of being the most LGBTQ-friendly island in the Caribbean, and the adults-only Floris Suite Hotel has captured that audience. If you’re looking to party, don’t miss their daily LGBTQ happy hour and Rainbow Lounge XL dance parties. florissuitehotel.com; Rates start at $109/night

ARUBA The charming, Colonial-style boutique hotel Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort has been TAG-approved since 2012. Upgrade to their all-inclusive option ($136/ day) as a worthy splurge! amsterdammanor.com; Rates start at $250/night


GUADELOUPE If your dream wedding is an intimate destination celebration with close friends and family, La Toubana Hotel & Spa on the Sainte-Anne island of Guadeloupe will meet your desires. Get married on their lawn overlooking the ocean, or rent out one of their villas for a party thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rockstar-approved. toubana.com/hotel-guadeloupe; Rates start at $173 per person/night

PUERTO RICO Old World glamour meets beachside romance at the Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan. The decadent hotel, located in the heart of the historic Condado District, offers wedding packages for both intimate and large celebrations up to 600 guests. condadovanderbilt.com; Rates start at $350$600/night for guest rooms; $650-$3,000/ night for suites


JAMAICA While Jamaica itself still has a long way to go, LGBTQ couples can happily wed and celebrate their love at Round Hill Hotel and Villas. The resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention to detail, farmto-table menus and impeccable service make their wedding packages top-notch and their super luxe villas are the perfect splurge for a honeymoon stay. roundhill.com; Rates start at $429/night


For those who prioritize eco-friendliness, the recently reopened Hotel Manapany perfectly pairs sustainability with style. The handmade decor celebrates Mexican artisans and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find only organic ingredients on the menu at the propertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spa and restaurants. hotelmanapany-stbarth. com; Rates start at $640/night


SAINT MAARTEN Sonesta Ocean Point Resort is reopening on November 18, 2018 after enduring hurricane damage, and coming back better than ever. This five-star, all-inclusive resort is a member of the IGLTA and their in-house wedding coordinator has completed the Gay Wedding Institute Certificate Program. sonesta.com; Rates start at $229/night






A CHARMED AFFAIR: A Charmed Affair was born out of my strong desire to celebrate life, love and bliss. We don’t believe in impossible and are always looking for and finding ways to create the most amazing events for not only the couples we work with, but also their friends and family. We pride ourselves on making your dreams come true, and we’re here to help make that so. » Based in New York, acharmedaffair@gmail.com ALEXANDRA KNIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY: I’ve been photographing love stories and weddings since 2010. I believe that love is love, and I steadfastly believe in equal rights for all, regardless of religion, gender, race and orientation. Come as you are because I promise you that I can’t wait to get to know you and the person you’ve created a love story with. » Based in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, alexandraknightphotography@ gmail.com ALLYSON ROE MAKEUP ARTISTRY: Allyson Roe Makeup Artistry is dedicated to making soonlyweds feel confident and gorgeous on their wedding day. As an on-site service, clients can be more relaxed knowing the beauty room is coming to them, with everything needed to provide a timeless, beautiful look. » Based in Nashville, allysonroemua@gmail.com ANA ISABEL PHOTOGRAPHY: The AIP team's photojournalism approach to weddings allows them to capture candid moments their clients can relive for years to come. They are firm believers that the best photographs emerge when people feel comfortable with the people behind the camera. Their focus on providing an excellent experience

allows their couples to be themselves on their big day. » Based in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio, ana@anaisabelphotography.com

ANNA SCHMIDT PHOTOGRAPHY: I am an Annapolis-based international photographer who specializes in weddings and portraiture. I aim to tell each unique love story by capturing fresh, authentic and sophisticated imagery that celebrates your heritage and honors your legacy with images that last forever. » Based in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., info@annaschmidtphoto.com CAMPBELL EVENTS: From Brooklyn to Seattle, we get to see it all. Let us help you create a party full of passion and whimsy that reflects your style. Your day should be as unique as your relationship. Whether you scream city chic or vintage vibes, we can help you navigate through planning an event custom to you. » Based in New York, destination, carissa@campbelleventsblog.com CHELSEA MATSON PHOTOGRAPHY: I am passionate about learning more about people through photographing important moments in their lives or just an individual as a storyteller. Photography allows me to give a voice to a person or moment that might otherwise go unnoticed. » Based in New York and Wisconsin, chelseamatsonphotography@ gmail.com CHERRY BLOSSOM PLANNING FACTORY: We are the Cherry Blossom Ninjas, and we would love to help plan your big day. We specialize in day-of coordination, partial planning and LGBT weddings. From fine tuning logistics to pinning boutonnieres, we will organize the

tiniest of details. » Based in Virginia, ninjas@ cherryblossomplanningfactory.com

CIAO BELLA STUDIOS: At Ciao Bella Studios, I believe that you should unapologetically put YOU, YOUR voice into everything you do. That includes how you celebrate your love. Let me help you tell your love story through emotion-filled photographs. » Based in New York City, destination, teri@ciaobella-studios.com CLEAN PLATE PICTURES: We are Clean Plate Pictures, a boutique fine art wedding photography studio based in New York City and the Hudson Valley. We make the experience of being photographed easy and fun, capturing genuine emotions and telling each couple’s unique story. » Based in New York, info@cleanplatepictures.com COLOR POP EVENTS: Color Pop Events is a New York City-based event planning company specializing in vibrant, charming and bold events for a wide variety of clients. At the end of the day, Color Pop Events is here to make you happy and your event POP! » Based in New York City, leah@colorpopevents.com CONFETTI SKIES: Confetti Skies is a wedding planning and design firm, specializing in creating personalized weddings for extraordinary couples. Our no. 1 mission is to get to know our clients and pull their personality into their wedding day as much as possible. Whether it’s helping a client find a venue that they completely fall in love with or adding a personal element to their ceremony, we are here to make wedding planning fun and exciting for the couple. » Based in California, aimee@confettiskies.com


CONTAGIOUS EVENTS: Contagious Events is a Boston-based, full-service event and wedding planning company, specializing in unique weddings for fun-loving couples who are too extraordinary for a cookie-cutter wedding day. We work alongside our clients to craft everything from scratch so that everything is unique to our clients and their personalities. » Based in Boston, joe@contagiousevents.net CYPRESS FALLS EVENT CENTER: Cypress Falls Event Center is located on Cypress Creek, which has been recognized as the jewel of Texas Hill Country. The natural beauty and breathtaking elements draw people to the shores of Cypress Creek for weddings and events. » Based in Texas, info@cypressfallsevents.com DEVON ROWLAND PHOTOGRAPHY: I am Devon Rowland — dancer, goofball and traveling photographer. With home base in Virginia, I explore near and far while photographing couples, families and events throughout the greater Baltimore-Washington area. My style is fun, spontaneous, playful and down to earth with a focus on natural moments of real joy, beauty and intimacy. » Based in Maryland and Washington, D.C., devonrowlandphotography@ gmail.com EUTOPIA EVENTS: Eutopia Events is a Massachusetts-based event planning company started by two friends with a flair for art and design and a passion for throwing amazing parties. Lauren and Ruthie’s backgrounds as designers give them the tools to create unforgettable weddings and special celebrations that fit their clients’ personalities and styles.


» Based in Massachusetts, eutopiaevents@gmail.com

» Based in Florida, hello@jennifermatteo.com

GREENWICH ST. JEWELERS: Greenwich St. Jewelers is a downtown New York City jewelry boutique with collections from more than 40 independent fine, fashion and bridal jewelry designers. Our on-site master jeweler offers complete repair, restoration and custom design services. » Located in New York City, 212-964-7592

KATE ALISON PHOTOGRPAHY: Kate Alison Photography is an alternative wedding and portrait photography studio based in New York City, specializing in documenting the passionate and personal moments between creatively colorful couples. Our aesthetic is candid, vibrant and genuine, capturing all those little moments that fly by way too quickly. We believe in celebrating love in every form it takes with gorgeous imagery. » Based in New York City, kate@katealison.com

J.NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY: J.Nicole Photography thrives on capturing the pure and natural love that couples express to one another. Not only are we there to capture your big day, we form a relationship with our clients leading up to the event to ensure trust and a more personal experience from our team. We want you to be as comfortable around us as possible that way we can capture those genuine and heartfelt candid moments that can’t be staged. » Based in Delaware and Maryland, info@jnicolephotographyde.com JACQIE Q PHOTOGRAPHY: Capturing love sets my soul on fire! I want to create art for you that expresses the connections within your family. Let’s document your legacy so you can treasure your most important memories and share your love story for years to come. » Based in Maryland and Washington, D.C., hello@jacqieq.com JENNIFER MATTEO EVENT PLANNING: With over a decade of experience in the industry, allow me to use my knowledge and connections with area professionals, who are the best in the business, to make your wedding day perfectly personalized and stand apart from the rest. It is my pleasure to take the stress out of your wedding so you can enjoy the fun stuff!

KERRY RENEE PHOTOGRAPHY: My photography style is genuine, lighthearted and natural. I love capturing those moments between you and the one you love and creating an environment that allows you to be yourself, which is why your experience with me starts way before the camera is even in my hands. » Based in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., kerryreneephotography@yahoo.com LINDSAY KING PHOTOGRAPHY: Lindsay King Photography is a passionate and creative husband-andwife duo that believes your wedding photos should reflect your true selves. Images have a unique ability to bring back a single moment in life just when you need it the most, let us capture the images you'll want to remember. » Based in Virginia, lindsay@lindsayking.com MARY VEAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Mary Veal Photography is a luxury boutique studio, specializing in destination wedding photography throughout the Florida Keys, Key West and the Caribbean. We cater to stylish, adventurous, head-overheels couples who recognize quality

photography and value the artistry involved in elegantly telling the love story of their wedding day. » Based in Florida, maryvealkw@gmail.com

MIKKEL PAIGE PHOTOGRAPHY: Colorful and crisp imagery truly reflects this photographer’s vivacious and outgoing personality that couples immediately find comfort in. She is an avid traveler who adores capturing love and laughter at local and destination weddings. » Based in Raleigh, New York City, destination, mikkel@mikkelpaige.com PHILLIPVN WEDDINGS: With a strong background in weddings, commercial and lifestyle projects, Phillip Van Nostrand is an expert in capturing bright, cinematic lifestyle imagery. He travels abroad once a year and has photographed 30+ countries. » Based in California, New York City, phil@phillipvn.com PINEAPPLE UNION: Our mission at Pineapple Union is to create unique, affordable and environmentally friendly experiences with a relaxed approach and keen attention to detail. » Based in Michigan, kaya@pineappleunion.com ROEY MIZRAHI EVENTS: Roey Mizrahi Events is a boutique wedding planning and event design haven for the modern couple. With a decade of experience in the events industry and a family background in fashion, Roey combines her eye for style and her desire for authenticity into every event, creating one-of-a-kind memorable celebrations that honor tradition but follow no rules. » Based in Southern California and New York City, roey@roeymizrahi.com SACHI ROSE DESIGN: If you’re looking for a luxurious take on nature,

you’ve come to the right florist. Sachi Rose is a boutique flower studio that specializes in lush, whimsical and utterly romantic floral designs for weddings and events. We place every bloom with thought and care and work closely with our clients to make sure their vision comes to life. » Based in California and New York City, sachirosedesign@gmail.com

SINCERELY PETE EVENTS: At Sincerely Pete Events, with more than 15 years of experience planning weddings and events, we believe in a personal approach to each and every client. Clients can participate as little or as much as they want in the planning process, knowing they have an educated and experienced professional keeping their vision and relationship at the forefront while making sure timelines, budgets and important details are all perfectly managed. » Based in Washington, D.C., sarah@sincerelypete.com SOMETHING FABULOUS EVENTS: When you choose Something Fabulous to tell your story, you will begin a design experience unlike any other. Our 20 years of collective experience and our commitment to telling your story lays the foundation for your personalized experience. At Something Fabulous, each story we tell is personal, special and never duplicated. » Based in Michigan and Washington, D.C., info@somethingfab.com

TANYA COSTIGAN EVENTS: We are completely smitten with weddings here at Tanya Costigan Events. As a full-service planning and design team, we offer planning, design and day-of services, as well as flowers, invitations and decor rentals. You will have complete peace of mind and relief when you hire Tanya Costigan Events! » Based in Massachusetts, tanya@tanyacostiganevents.com WANDERLUST WEDDING CO: Wanderlust Wedding Co is a destination wedding planning and management company, partnering the expertise of an experienced wedding planner in Sincerely Pete and an award-winning travel agent in Heather Christopher Travel. Whether a guest list of 20 or 200, in Charleston or Italy, hosting a destination wedding has a unique set of challenges, and we’re equipped to handle them all. The only question now is ... where will you wed? » Based in Washington, D.C. hello@wanderlustwedco.com WEDDING PREP GALS: Wedding Prep Gals is a wholesale manufacturer selling directly to customers, specializing in high quality robes for all wedding parties. Robes are made locally in Los Angeles, California, and never imported. Love is love, and we enjoy being a part of everyone’s special day! » Based in California, info@weddingprepgals.com

SUSAN SHEK PHOTOGRAPHY: Award-winning New York City wedding photographer, Susan Shek, loves capturing love in all forms and from all different cultures. She has worked as a photographer for all types of weddings and events and is very detail-oriented with her photos and is always thinking outside of the box. » Based in New York City, susan@susanshek.com


Love List

A curated collection of the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top talents who celebrate all love. JOIN TODAY! Catering | Floral Design | Photography | Wedding Cakes & Desserts Stationery | Wedding Planning | DJ & Entertainment

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