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This past fall, Lauren and Evan married at the beautiful Glastonbury Boathouse in Glastonbury, CT. This swoon-worthy wedding had a soft and romantic feel on the quiet waterfront that any couple would love! We asked Lauren a few questions about their big day and the planning process.

Where did you get your inspiration for your wedding?: I wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us. I got my dress pretty early on and based a lot of things on that. I wanted it to be really romantic and soft.

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What area of your wedding did the bulk of your budget go to?: The catering and photographer were our biggest expenses, but we were lucky enough to have our parents help us out.

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Was there any part of your wedding day that wasn’t worth the cost?: I bought me and my bridesmaids robes to get ready in that none of us wound up wearing because we were hot in the hotel room getting hair and makeup done. Other than that, I tried really hard not to make frivolous purchases.

I wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us.
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Did you hire a wedding planner? If so, how did they help?: I did not hire a wedding planner. I'm a music teacher, so I'm used to planning and organizing things myself.

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What is your best advice for future brides and grooms on their big day?: Keep it about you and your partner. Don't let other people's opinions bother you or deter you from the choices you want to make. It's YOUR wedding, not theirs. Also, it's easy to get caught up and stressed out about every little detail. People won't remember what color the napkins were. They're going to remember the love in the room and the open bar.

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People won’t remember what color the napkins were. They’re going to remember the love in the room and the open bar.
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What moment do you cherish the most about your wedding day?: Our ceremony was amazing. My husband's sister performed it for us and made it so personal. If that wasn't enough, a bunch of our musician friends surprised us with a choral performance of "This Marriage" by Eric Whitacre before we processed out. It was so special.

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Venue: The Glastonbury Boathouse Glastonbury, CT
https://www.facebook.com/glastonburyboathouse/
Instagram: @glastonburyboathouse

Photographer: Jennifer Sullivan Photography
https://www.facebook.com/JenniferSullivanPhoto/
http://jennifersullivanphotography.com/
Instagram: @jennifersullivanphotography

David Alan Catering
https://www.dahospitalitygroup.com/
https://www.facebook.com/davidalancatering/
Instagram: @davidalancatering


Make up: Jackie Tanguay
Instagram @allaboutthatface.jt

Flowers: Laylock Cottage Designs West Hartford ct

Center pieces/signs were all DIY between bride, MOH, and friends

Invitations: Cat Ficht
https://www.cathleenficht.com/
Instagram: @catfightpress

Dress: BHLDN
https://www.bhldn.com/
Instagram: @BHLDN
https://www.facebook.com/bhldnues/

brides maids: https://www.weddingtonway.com/
groomsmen: menswearhouse.com

DJ: Mike at Upbeat City Entertainment
http://www.upbeatcityentertainment.com/
https://www.facebook.com/upbeatcityentertainment/
Instagram: @upbeatcityent

Spanish Paella is the Valentine's Day Dinner You'll Love

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and you probably have no idea what you and your man should do for dinner. This year, opt for a satisfying and intimate meal at home instead of a fancy and overpriced restaurant! We wanted to stay away from the stereotypical spaghetti and meatballs or steak dinner, so we chose a dinner that is just as delicious and rich-- paella! This Spanish paella dish is spicy, flavorful, and bold! Cook it together or surprise him with a romantic dinner, either way you both will love it! (Recipe adapted from Food Network)


RECIPE

Servings: 2

Total Time: 2.5 hours

Combine ½ tbsp. smoked paprika and 1 tsp. oregano in a small bowl. Rub over 1 lb. of cubed chicken breast and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

IMAGE SOURCE: SAINSBURY'S

IMAGE SOURCE: SAINSBURY'S

Heat 4 tbsp. oil in a paella pan, or large skillet, over medium heat, and sauté 1 chorizo sausage (thickly sliced) until browned. Remove and reserve. Add the marinated chicken, a pinch of salt and pepper, and brown until cooked through. Remove and reserve. In the same pan sauté ½  diced yellow onion, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, and a bunch of chopped fresh parsley for 2-3 minutes.

Add ½ can (7-8 oz.) crushed tomatoes and 2 tsp. smoked paprika to the skillet and cook until the flavors combine. Fold in 1 ½ cup short grain Spanish rice and add 2 cups broth (chicken or lobster are our choices!) and juice from half a lemon; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. If the rice has absorbed the liquid too quickly feel free to add more broth ¼ cup at a time.

Add the chicken, chorizo, and a generous pinch of saffron threads to the skillet. Tuck ½ dozen scrubbed mussels and ½ lb. jumbo peeled shrimp into the rice mixture and let simmer until the mussels open and the shrimp cook (about 5 minutes). Add ¼ cup sweet peas (frozen and thawed) to the skillet, mix, and take off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

Add more salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and lemon juice to taste! Enjoy!


The Minimalist Story

We were inspired by the gardens and architecture of this late 1800's historical home nestled next to the Emily Dickinson homestead in the heart of Amherst, Massachusetts. The house and surrounding grounds helped us create a space where we could incorporate the unique elements of softness, texture and romance.

Our vision for this seasonal shoot was to embrace a balance of nature's elegance and feminine romance. We created a soft design with hues of creams, greys and blues, a palette that softened our base of earth textures; wood, succulents and ivy.

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While touring the grounds we decided to set our table beneath the canopy of a gorgeous old tree, whose low hanging branches created a stunning backdrop. Our table was a mix of wood, bark and succulents softened by accents of gold and sweeping fabric. It was the type of setting would make any guest linger in their seat to absorb the surroundings and details.

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Our bride was styled in a beautiful lace BHLDN gown and elegant accessories. Her hair was simply done and her soft makeup with a hint of pink lip was all this bride needed to allow her stunning lace dress to take center stage.

The setting was dreamy, and perfect for a lush, cascading bouquet filled with Dogwood, roses, peonies, the first sight of dahlias and on-site greenery designed by Flowers by Justine.

From the elegant invitation with its perfect velvet envelope, the earth inspired cake with its handmade details of succulents and grapevine, to the beautiful balance of nature and romance, the new Minimalist Bride is defined.

Event Design: Parsimony Vintage | Photography: Melanie Zacek | Fine Art Photography | Model: Maya Simone | Succulent Favors: AudandEl | Table Number: Everlaser | Floral Design: Flowers By Justine | Hair and Makeup: Michelle Anne Hair Design | Wedding Veil and Hairpeice: Bridal Heirlooms | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Rentals: Jerome's Party Plus | Cake: Pete's Sweets  | Jewelry : DMG Gallery  | Ring Box: OaknShield | Invitations: With Wild and Grace | Wedding Venue: Amherst Women's Club