Confession: When my husband Terry and I were married in 2001, we eloped. Well, actually it was a surprise wedding that I knew nothing about until the morning of, but more of that another time. The fact is, we eloped. A month later, we honeymooned in Paris; and two weeks after that we threw a big party for our family and friends to celebrate. Not what you would call a traditional wedding, but you know what? It was absolutely perfect…for us. That’s what we want you to do for your wedding day: plan your wedding the way you want and do what’s perfect for you and your beloved! That’s been our editorial voice for Real Weddings since we launched it 11 years ago! If you want to do the Hokey Pokey, then do it. If you want to do the Chicken Dance, then do it. If you want to not do the bouquet toss, then don’t do it. Ultimately, it’s your wedding—define it so that it fits you and your beloved to a tee.
Now, let’s get started on your wedding planning! Let’s talk photo shoot inspiration: each issue we assemble teams of talented wedding professionals to inspire your wedding style, from décor and details to attire, accessories and beyond, and this issue is no exception! Here, we have three distinctly different styled shoot vignettes: “Silk and Spices,” “Heaven Sent” and “California Dreaming.” We had a lot of fun putting them together for you, and we hope you enjoy them.
Then, check out our cover model contest finalist features: “Flower Girls” and “Uptown Girls.” Like all of our cover model finalist feature photo shoots, we had a great time playing dress up—with gorgeous hair, makeup, accessories, bouquets and dresses, along with fabulous décor sets.
Next up: a different kind of fashion shoot, “One Look Two Ways.” We hear all too often, “that dress doesn’t fit my wedding style.” Well, we beg to differ! Here, we feature three gorgeous dresses, each designed with two different styles. Don’t think a dress can look “Beachy” and “Badass Bride?” Turn to page 121 and judge for yourself.
Oh, and if you want to see more photos from any of our shoots, be sure to tune into our website for each photo shoot’s blog series—we’ll overwhelm you with more gorgeousness!
We wouldn’t be Real Weddings Magazine without, well, real weddings. For this issue, we picked 35 fabulous real weddings—starting on page 131. We’re so lucky that we get to be flies on the wall at all of these weddings, and we hand-select each one of them specifically to inspire you.
Next up: advice from couples who’ve been there, done that. That’s right. We went back to some of the couples we’ve featured in the past 11 years and asked them what makes a successful wedding and a lasting marriage—turn to page 46 to find out (and go to our blog for even more!).
And, as always, our resident “Always a Bridesmaid” columnist Darren Elms talks trends starting on page 28; our “For Your Review” columnist Sharon Penny presents you with a plethora of planning tools starting on page 36 (with even more on our website); our “Gift Guide” will help you check everyone off of your gift list (including a few gifts for you!); and so much more packed into the pages of this issue.
As always, dear readers, happy planning!