A Bridal Shower Checklist

Bridal showers are one of my favorite things to plan because I love the small, intimacy of them. Gathering together with the closest ladies in your life is a beautiful experience in itself so everything I do beyond that is just meant to highlight that atmosphere. Bridal showers are full of opportunities to go wild with the details without breaking the bank. Use my five-step checklist for a beautiful and meaningful bridal shower...  

1. Cute Invites

Your invites set the mood for your event as well as your guests. They are the first detail your guests see and it gives them a sneak peek at what the day holds.

vintage floral bridal shower

Choose an invitation that best represents the mood you want to set. Sometimes I get lucky and find what I'm looking for at Target or TJ Max, but most of the time I order (this also  saves me from doing the work of all the handwriting myself). These invites are from Emily Costopoulos Photography Film & Design. For $15 you can order the digital file, and then edit and print the number your want. Or for $45, she will do the edits and then mail 20 printed invites with envelopes to your door. She also offers custom design if you can't find what you are looking for. 

2. Thoughtful Menu and Presentation

I'm a firm believer that good food speaks to the heart and beautiful food just tastes better.

bridal shower buffet

Your menu matters and how you display it sets the mood. I use real china and glassware whenever possible because that's what my Grandmother always did to make something feel special. Even if it was just a back yard picnic, when she let us use the real dishes, my cousins and I always felt like we were hosting the Queen of England. 

floral bridal shower
vintage dessert plates
pink glassware

Here's a sample menu from Etiquette Catering Co. for the perfect summer bridal shower: 

Mini Tea Cucumber Sandwiches
Watermelon & Feta Cubes (the perfect mix of sweet and salty)
Deviled eggs (our famous deviled eggs are classic with an elevated flavor)
Mini Pesto Toast Crostini (with melted Havarti and heirloom tomatoes)
Caprese Bites (tomatoes, mozzarella, greens, and balsamic)
Mac and Cheese Bites
Bacon Wrapped Dates (stuffed with goat cheese)
Baby Greek Salad (served in a sweet sample size)

3. Something To Do

Give your guests something to do, and I don't mean just another Pinterest game. Think outside the box and spend time doing something together creates an atmosphere for lasting memories. How fun would a bouquet bar be!?

bouquet bar sign

Playing with sweet-smelling floral allows your guests to work with their hands and take home a tangible memory from the party. Other ideas I am in love with: making a sugar scrub, reading poetry, playing lawn games, or potting plants.  

bouquet bar
bouquet bar bridal shower
bouquet bar

4. Photo Backdrop

Designate a place for a fun photo. Use a pretty chair or two, hang some greenery. It's simple reminder to document the memories! 

bridal shower

5. Fun Favors

My rule for favors is, I don't send my friends home with anything I wouldn't want to be sent home with. This avoids giving favors just for favors' sake.  These white chocolate marshmallow pops from Fireside S'mores were perfect "something white' favors. 

bridal shower favors from fireside s'mores

Photography: Cadey Reisner Weddings
Design + Rentals: The Vintage Lease

Ice + Song: A Styled Elopement

The word elopement used to be reserved for shotgun weddings, shy people, or those that had something to hide. As a cheaper version of a real wedding, oftentimes it lacked personality and was defined by a sense of rush and hurry. 

Good news, friends! Times have changed and over the past several years, people have been redefining elopement to mean something else entirely. Modern day elopement is a chance for an intimacy that is beautifully curated to represent you as a couple. You can choose a place that speaks to you, wherever that might be. If you want to wear your favorite pair of boots, you can. If you love details, you can still have them. Freedom is key and traditions are just guidelines. So if you want to get married in front of a frozen waterfall and serenade your lover by violin, you can...

Ice + Song

Tucked away in Spearfish Canyon, the frozen outline of Bridal Veil Falls was a natural backdrop for this intimate elopement.  Blues, greys, and caramels made up the color palette. I was inspired by the thought of frozen water over the rocks of the canyon. The bride wore a BHLDN gown and carried a simple greenery bouquet. Her hat, boots, and fur coat were carefully selected to represent her sense of adventure and confident style. The groom's simple white shirt and navy pants reflected his freedom to choose comfort over formality. As if they were going on a picnic, they walked across a creek with a basket, blanket, and celebratory champagne to get to the ceremony spot. He read her his vows and she serenaded him with a violin solo in front of a sheet of ice. 

Rental Love: Vintage Music Stand ($15), Woven Basket ($10), Blanket ($5), Smoke goblets ($3)

musical elopement
Spearfish Canyon
musical black hills elopement
Black Hills Elopement
winter elopement
winter elopement
boho winter bride
black hills elopement
hat and boots bride
frozen waterfall elopement
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frozen waterfall black hills elopement
unconventional wedding ring
winter elopement
winter bride
winter black hills bride
black hills winter elopement
ice + song elopement
violin winter bride
ice + song styled elopement
ice + song winter elopement
winter picnic elopement
ice and song elopement
winter elopement picnic
black hills winter elopement
black hills elopement
black hills elopement
winter elopement black hills
black hills elopement
black hills elopement
black hills elopement
black hills elopement
frozen waterfall elopement
frozen waterfall elopement
winter elopement picnic black hills
winter elopement
black hills elopement
black hills elopement

Emily Costopoulos has such an artistic soul; be it through her camera lens, design skills, or written word. You need to read her blog post that tells her perspective on our frozen waterfall elopement. Side note, you should have seen this lady balance on a log in high heeled boots and holding her camera as we crossed a running creek. It was epic!

Location: Spearfish Canyon, Black Hills South Dakota
Photography: Emily Costopoulos Photography, Film & Design
Design + Rentals: The Vintage Lease
Paper + Calligraphy: Emily Costopoulos Photography, Film & Design
Dress: BHLDN
Hat & Boots: S & Co Boutique
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Models: Jennifer and Luke Enos

Pssst, Emily and I are on a quest to showcase what's unique, beautiful, and unexpected about elopements in the Black Hills. If you have any ideas or locations you think we should highlight, let us know! And don't forget to follow along on our social media for sneak peeks! 

Determine Your Design Style BEFORE Pinterest

“Every great design begins with an even better story,” Lorinda Mamo. My favorite part of the planning process is in the design because it allows me to help my clients examine who they are as individuals and who they are as a couple to create an event that is beautiful, thoughtful and entirely their own. Deciding on the design aesthetic early will help take the stress out of the planning process because the overall look and feel of the event helps determines everything from the venue to the smallest of details. 

So, that said. How do you go about determining your design style? BEFORE you type anything into Pinterest, here are four things you need to consider.  

1. Think about YOU. 

            I don't want to scare you, but to have a wedding that is unique to you, you need to know who "you" is. What do you like? Think about what's in your closet and how you like to decorate your home. What are you favorite pieces? What colors do you gravitate towards; are they neutral or bold and bright? Do you lean more towards casual or are you the type who lives in heels and loves it? The type of clothes you have tell a lot about what you like to do. People who love the outdoors have clothes that reflect the time they spend in it. This might influence you to choose an outdoor venue setting over an indoor one. Thinking about where you like to shop, restaurants and coffee shops that make you sigh in happiness can help too. What is the decor like in these places? What kind of music do they have playing? What is it about them that you love so much? Can you put a name to their design style? Industrial. Chic. European. Vintage. Vintage Modern. Eclectic. Boho. My suggestion is to start by taking your little wedding notebook down to one of these spots, order something off the menu, and write down some of these details. 

2. Think about HIM. 

            So, now you need to think about your guy. What does he like? This is his day too, so you want to make sure he is represented on your big day. Marriage is about the coming together of two separates into one, so it might as well start right on day one. This is a conversation you need to have early. What do they want? Are they comfortable saying their vows in front of the 300 people you want to invite? Do they want to wear a formal tuxedo or would they prefer something else? When you are planning a day this big, with this many details, be prepared to make compromises. And be creative in your solutions. If vows in front of 300 people sounds like walking the plank to your future husband, maybe consider intimate vows or a private ceremony with more people invited to a larger reception. This is your day and there isn't a rulebook. 

3. Think about who you are TOGETHER. 

             Remember, there is no other love story on the face of the planet like yours. And when it comes to your wedding, your wedding is a NEW thing! Sure you got inspiration from other weddings, and yes, there are definitely design styles you gravitate towards. But its the beauty of putting it all together in a new way that is so special. The design is really a culmination of the two of you melded into one. It represents more than just a color scheme and tabletop decorations. It is a reflection of who you are as people, what you value and what makes your heart sing. 

4. Gather inspiration. 

              Here is a list of a few of my favorite places to gather wedding inspo (and don't forget to bookmark your favorite weddings!) ...

Blogs.

Magazines.
    I'm a sucker for hardcopy because I like to hold something in my hand, turn crisp pages, and smell new print. Plus the pictures are big and I can rip ones out that I like and pin it to my mood boards. My current go to magazines are Dainty Obsessions and Rocky Mountain Bride. Dainty Obsessions is based out of Sioux Falls, SD so you will see real Black Hills weddings, but more than that, what I love about Dainty is that they are always on the hunt for new and different. They seek to inspire. It's overall aesthetic is light, bright, and airy. Rocky Mountain Bride has a bit of a moodier vibe. They tend to feature darker color palette and photography style and will really appeal to the couple in love with epic outdoor adventures as the flavor of the Rockies is in every wedding. RMB follows the trail of the Rockies and as such extends from the Southwest states all the way into Canada. 

Instagram.
      I will admit it. I love Instagram. Sooo many beautiful things happening on there. When it comes to determining your design style, the best way to use this platform is by following your favorite wedding blogs and professionals. Pay attention to the tags and shout outs, they just might lead you to book a vendor or help you find your dream pair of shoes. And I almost forgot hashtags. When you find photos you like, look at the list of hashtags and use those to search for more like images. Last Insta tip...follow local vendors to see what they offer, who they like to work with, and what their personality is. It will also keep you informed of any upcoming events so you don't miss out!! 

Pinterest.
     Please note: I do not hate Pinterest. I just think it is not the first step to wedding planning. And if it is the first step, it is the first step to overload and overwhelm. If you have done the groundwork I described above, Pinterest can be a great way to search specific styles, color palettes, and ideas. For example, you've decided you love snacks at weddings so you want to provide your guests with a trail mix bar of your favorite munchies. Typing "trail mix bar" into Pinterest will pull up a load of cute ways to style one. And I'm not saying you shouldn't have a Pinterest board. I am saying that you want to use Pinterest AFTER you have decided on your style, perhaps even your venue, as a way to collect workable ideas all into one spot. Having a Pinterest board is very helpful when it comes to describing what you want to your vendors. Oftentimes, my brides will pin their favorite pieces from my website to their board so that when we have a consultation, I know what pieces they are looking at. If you want to read more about using Pinterest to plan your wedding, read this blog post by Every Last Detail.

I hope this post leaves you feeling ready to conquer the world...or at least nail down your design style! And remember, we are here to help! We offer design consultations, digital styling boards, site visit, layout renderings and so much more. Visit our services page to learn more. Oooh and don't forget, follow me below!!    xoxo Sarah  

Sarah Enos of The Vintage Lease

Was this post helpful!? I'd love to hear from you. Email me at thevintagelease@gmail.com

Galentine's Day

It was a gal only event on Sunday (with maybe the exception of one handsome baby boy). We laughed, we chatted, we sipped, we ate treats, and we wrapped bouquets in brown paper and tied them with string. These are truly a few of my favorite things. 

Just a few highlights.... bouquet bar . champagne marshmallows . message macaroons . handmade watercolor calligraphy escort cards . vintage dessert dishes . pink goblets .  hand stamped jewelry . ladies celebrating ladies . 

bouquet bar
bouquet bar
bouquet bar
bouquet bar
galentine's day
bouquet bar
bouquet bar
galentine party escort display
watercolor escort cards
galentine party
marshmallow pop favors
galentine party
vintage dessert dishes
anti pasti platter
Bakehouse cupcakes
message macaroons
champagne marshmallows
pink goblets
pink goblets
galentine party
galentine party
milkglass and brass
galentine party
galentine party
gold flatware
tailored faith co. jewelry
Tailored Faith co. jewelry
Tailored Faith co. jewelry
emily costopolous
Galentine's Day
mama love
Galentine's Day
Galentine's Day
Galentine's Day
Galentine's Day

My favorite part of the day was when a girl won a prize and then WITHOUT EVEN PEEKING INSIDE, gave it to her friend. And that, my dear friends, is exactly the kind of love we celebrated this Galentine’s Day.

Thank you to all the ladies that joined us to spend a few hours to celebrate mother, daughter, sister, and friend loves. When I dreamed up this event, I had you in mind. I wanted to create a beautiful space for you to enjoy each other’s company and make memories, so I hope we did just that.

All good parties have good people behind them. This one was no exception. A very special thank you to all our friendors, this event would not have been possible without you!

Photography: Cadey Reisner Weddings
Design, Styling, & Rentals: The Vintage Lease
Host: Love Struck Bridal Boutique
Invites, Calligraphy, & Video: Emily Costopoulos
Floral: Victoria’s Garden
Food: Anythings Possible Catering Co., Bakehouse, Fireside S’mores
Jewelry: Tailored Faith Co. 
Sponsored Prizes: Aj’s Wicked Salon & Spa, Planet Hair, Hotel Alex Johnson, S & Co Boutique, Studio LB, Indigo Blue, Tailored Faith Co., Cadey Reisner Weddings, Love Struck Bridal Boutique, Emily Costopoulos, The Vintage Lease

And special thanks to Justina and Tessa Walter for being the best drop in helpers ever!

Rental Love: Dorilla buffet, Petal desk, Farmhouse bar, Dotty dresser, goblets, dessert plates, vintage gold flatware, milkglass vases, brass candlesticks, handkerchiefs, serveware, three pane window, Gladys, Deloria, peacock chair, vintage linen
 

Christmas Cheer Tablescape

"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." And while we completely agree with you, Buddy the Elf, we think crafting a beautiful tablescape has to be right up there too. And gingerbread bundt cake, that too right!? Recipe at the bottom... 

Christmas tablescape

We know the holidays can get crazy busy and picking out table decor might be the last thing on your agenda. Or maybe your family, like mine, is so large, paper products are the saving grace that keeps you from having to meet Santa in the middle of the night. But even if one of those rings true, I hope this post helps you save time, energy, and money. And even if you use paper plates and plastic silverware, you can still set a darling little table and spread the Christmas cheer. 

First, you want to think about your space and what you already have in your inventory. I knew the staple of Cadey's dining area was a gorgeous handcrafted table from local co Fitch Finds & Designs. It would have been silly to cover that up with too much linen so I opted for an eye catching buffalo check napkin instead.

Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape vintage rental
Christmas tablescape
Christmas buffalo check

Cadey's style is definitely very modern farmhouse so the color palette of black, white, and green was a seamless fit. I love to mix metallics so I chose vintage gold flatware, brass candlesticks, and silver ribbon napkin rings to add a little shine. Mixing metallics is very in right now, which makes it easier to collect things from around your house without having to worry about everything being exactly the same.

Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape buffalo check
Christmas tablescape

You can add balance elsewhere by keeping the color palette simple and all the glassware the same. Vintage green goblets and clear cut glass wine goblets blended in with the color scheme, but caught light to add just the right amount of sparkle. I added the amber dessert dishes as an afterthought because the pattern is so lovely and I knew they would look almost gold against the table. 

Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape

When designing a tablescape, most people spend the most thought and money on the centerpiece. They either use the same one every year or head to the store and buy a new one, every year. Both are frustrating situations. The first is boring and the second is expensive and exhausting. For this table, I wanted to design a practical, easy, and inexpensive centerpiece. Thus the dessert course became the focal point.

Christmas tablescape

Normally it just sits over on the counter at the end of the food line. But as a centerpiece, it steals the show.

Gingerbread bundt cake

If you put your tablescape up early in the season, and your dessert isn't made yet, use the cake stand to display pinecones, old books, Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses---there are lots of options. Or you could just go with the candlesticks until showtime, that would be lovely too.

Christmas tablescape

And just FYI, foraging your greens is a real thing now (save those tree trimmings!), but greenery can also be found at the grocery store or floral shop. These greens were a whopping $4 and came with a few evergreen variations, including juniper berries. Side note, fresh floral smells ahhhmazing. 

Christmas tablescape

Rent this look: $64 (candlesticks, gold and white plates, gold flatware, napkin rings, green goblets, cut glass goblets, amber dessert dishes, cut glass and silver cake stand). 

Special thanks to my friend Cadey of Cadey Reisner Weddings for opening up her home, popping the champagne, and taking all these gorgeous pictures. Not to mention all the laughs we had trying to get Rizzo to pose in front of the fireplace or put his paws on the table!

wine gift
Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape
Christmas dog

P.S. Here's a gingerbread bundt cake recipe. And make sure you grease and flour that bundt pan thoroughly

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread bundt cake

 

INGREDIENTS

cream together
1⁄2 cup shortening
1⁄3 cup sugar
2⁄3 cup molasses
2 large eggs

mix in a separate bowl
1 3⁄4 cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
2⁄3 cup sour milk (add 3 1/2 teaspoons vinegar to whole milk)

DIRECTIONS

1.    Preheat oven to 350°.
2.    Grease and flour an 8" square pan (or use Pam).
3.    The ingredients listed under "cream together" should be added one ingredient at a time, creaming in between each addition.
4.    When you have finished adding/creaming all the liquid ingredients, keep beating the liquid mixture, folding in the dry mixture, alternating with the 2/3 cup sour milk.
5.    Once everything is mixed in, pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6.    Bake at 350°. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle.
7.    When it comes out clean, it's done.

recipe from Genius Kitchen

Gingerbread bundt cake

Styled Shoot: Homestake, History Meets Modern.

It all started with a chair. It’s true! When our golden tufted wingback armchair Hearst was added to the VL collection, a delightful idea popped into my head. I'm a history buff, so Hearst got his namesake from gold mine baron George Hearst, owner and proprietor of the Homestake Mining Co. in Lead, South Dakota. From 1877 to 2002, Homestake was one of the largest gold mining businesses in North America and left an undeniable legacy in our little corner of the world. So when I was dreaming up The VL’s first styled shoot, I knew I had to showcase our history rich region as a place for a modern elopement style wedding. And what could be richer than a gold mine? Thus the theme for this styled shoot became Homestake, History Meets Modern.  

Black Hills styled shoot

 Everything about this shoot has a historical flavor with a modern twist, even the location itself.  A rich mining history with modern scientific advancements, the small town of Lead was a perfect fit.  I stumbled upon the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center when I was "tour guiding" for my parents who were visiting from Maine.  A museum of both history and science, the Visitor Center tells the  story of the Homestake Mining Company and the modern science behind the experiments taking place 4,850 ft below the surface. And when I saw the circular piece of the Davis experiment (if you don't know what I'm talking about then you need to take a trip to the Visitor Center) with the expansive Open Cut as its background, my heart said, now this would be an epic place to get married

Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
Black Hills grass
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 The color palette was inspired by Black Hills Gold jewelry--black, blush, gold, and leafy greens.  I wanted to inspire beyond the typical  bridal accessories and chose a black onyx ring, black tear drop earrings, and a delicate leaf patterned necklace and bracelet set. The groom modeled a classic Black Hills Gold band and a simple black leather strapped watch. 

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Black Hills styled shoot
Landstrom's Black Hills Gold groom watch
Black Hills Gold wedding rings

 The invitation suite created by Emily Costopoulos Photography & Design was totally on pointe. Moody black watercolor invites on hand torn paper, brushed with gold leaf, set the tone for the invitation suite. Beautiful script, blush pink RSVP cards, and a hand drawn map put this suite in a collection entirely out of this world. It felt old, yet edgy. 

Black Hills moody invitation suite
Black Hills Gold invitation suite
Black Hills moody invitation suite
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Black Hills map invitation suite

 The VL mismatch wooden chair collection provided seating, and the ceremony scene took place in front of the impressive 20 ft mine shaft with the raw and rugged Open Cut looming in the background. Greenery encircled oil lanterns and vintage rugs decorated the aisle, drawing the eye to octagonal gold pedestals bearing gorgeous floral arrangements provided by Victoria's Garden. The florals complimented the theme perfectly with hues of blush, neutrals, and pops of dark color, framed in greenery and pampas grass. 

Black Hills styled shoot
Mismatch wooden chairs ceremony
Oil lantern aisle decor
Aisle decor
Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
Altar decor with pampas grass
Black Hills elopement wedding

 The bride and groom's apparel was selected to highlight the history meets modern theme. I chose a simple and chic Madison James gown from Love Struck Bridal Boutique with clean lines and plenty of romance.  Stylists from  AJ's Wicked Salon + Spa gave the bride a natural eye palette with bold lips and a romantic side-swept hairstyle that completed that old meets new look. For her bouquet, a loose asymmetrical floral arrangement was carried in an heirloom bride's basket for a truly unique look. The groom's apparel was classic casual with sandstone brown pants, a white button down, and suspenders. He looked like he could have walked straight out of the 1880 Homestake Mining Co.   

industrial bride
Bride's basket
industrial bride
modern chic bride
Black Hills Gold earrings
casual groom
Black Hills Gold men's watch
casual groom
casual groom
casual groom
Homestake styled shoot
Homestake styled shoot

 Outside on the concrete patio overlooking the Open Cut, our heirloom sweetheart table was draped in flowy blush chiffon, the bride's basket florals, and brass candlesticks. Black taper candles and velvet napkins added a pop of dark color to an otherwise light and romantic tablescape. Vintage gold flatware, china from our extensive collection, and layered goblets took this look to the next level. Calligraphy on rocks from the Open Cut and a menu for two designed by Emily Costopoulos Photography & Design gave a personalized and intimate feeling to this sweetheart tablescape. 

Black and blush sweetheart table
Black and blush tablescape
Black and blush tablescape
Black and blush tablescape
Black and blush sweetheart table
menu
gold flatware
Black and blush floral centerpiece
Black Hills wedding styled shoot
sweetheart table
sweetheart table
Homestake styled shoot
Homestake styled shoot
First dance
First dance
industrial wedding

 The tiered cake from Bakehouse exceeded expectations and brought the old and modern theme to life. The bottom tier  was modern with its marbled grey black fondant and gold leaf details. In contrast, the top tier, a naked cake with hints of gold, perfected reflected its natural surroundings. Sitting on top of a vintage gold rimmed cake stand, the cake was topped with real floral and surrounded by gold dusted chocolate macaroons in cut glass dessert dishes. A champagne station on our gold Venetian side table, complete with a vintage ice bucket and champagne flutes, stood ready to toast the happy couple. 

Moody naked marbled cake
Black and white cake
Octagon cake table
Industrial modern cake
Dark chocolate macaroons with gold flecks
Black Hills styled shoot
Toasting station
Toasting station
Black Hills wedding
Black Hills wedding
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Inside the Visitor Center, first looks were exchanged before the couple moved on to a comfy lounge area, perfectly curated to  provide an intimate setting for the bride and groom to read their vows. Verendrye, our intricately detailed floral Victorian settee, was the perfect focal point of a comfortable and stylish seating area.  Flanked by velvet chairs in blush and gold, the lounge area stayed true to the color palette. These old furniture pieces really stood out among the modern scientific displays of the Visitor Center. 

First look
First look
Black Hills styled shoot
Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center lounge
wedding lounge
lounge details
lounge details
Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
Black Hills wedding
Black Hills styled shoot
Reading vows in the lounge
Black Hills styled shoot
Reading vows in the lounge
Intimate vows
Intimate vows
Black Hills wedding
Open Cut wedding

As the sun began to set, the bride threw on a blush suede jacket and booties from Altar Ego Fashions and we  hiked a hillside for some epic light shots and one last dance. I am always amazed by the skills of Cadey Reisner Weddings and these perfectly dreamy, sun streaming shots are classic examples of her work. 

unique bridal bouquet
classic eyes and bold lips
Black Hills styled shoot
Black Hills styled shoot
Homestake styled shoot
Black Hills wedding
Homestake styled shoot
booties and jacket bride
bridal booties
blush jacket bride
blush jacket bride
Black Hills wedding
South Dakota wedding
street dance
first dance

I can not find words to completely express my gratitude towards the vendors who shared their talents to make this styled shoot come alive. I am truly thankful. As I approached each vendor with my vision for the shoot and ideas for what I wanted things to look and feel like, each took my vision and added their personal touch and expertise. They are all wonderful people and would make an excellent choice for your special day, always going above and beyond in everything they do! 

Photography: Cadey Reisner Weddings
Planning + Styling + Rentals: The Vintage Lease
Floral: Victoria's Garden
Invitation Suite + Calligraphy: Emily Costopoulos Photography & Design
Dress: Love Struck Bridal Boutique
Jacket + Booties: Alter Ego Fashions
Makeup + Hair: @kylie_hairmadness of  AJ's Wicked Salon & Spa
Jewelry: Landstroms Jewelry, Downtown Location
Cake + Macaroons: Bakehouse
Video: Emily Costopoulos Photography & Design
Venue: The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
Real Couple: @cm_brewster , @samwcoil

3 Tips To Nail a Styled Engagement Session

One of my new favorite things is a styled engagement session. I like to think of them as a sneak peak, mini version of your big day. Ultimately, the concept is the same, just on a smaller scale. 

When planning a wedding, you are trying to create an experience that encompasses your new life together; who you are as a couple and who you have been. It is both a reflection of each of you and a celebration of who you now are together. You invite your closest friends and family members to share in that experience. The point of a styled engagement session is to start that experience with your initial introduction of the merging of two lives into forever togetherness. Here are 3 tips I used when working with  JC + Shelby to style their e-session with Cadey Reisner Weddings

engagement photos

1. Tell the love story. 

When I first spoke with Shelby, I asked her to tell me about how they had met, what they liked to do together, what she loved most about JC, etc. I needed learn who they were as a couple in order to plan their session. From their first meeting at Pactola where JC showed up in a Hawaiian shirt and peace sign sunglasses, it was clear they were going to spend a lot of time laughing together. Shelby described them as a couple who loves to be together doing things they love--hiking, golfing, traveling, wake surfing, skiing, eating Armadillo's strawberry butter icecream, watching Netflix, and hanging out with friends and family--just to name a few. From this, I was inspired to incorporate a few of their favorites into the session: the great outdoors, an easy and relaxed couch scene, and Armadillo's ice cream :)    

2. Use the color palette. 

Shelby shared her wedding inspiration board with me and it was filled with all things berry toned and dark, teal green. I immediately thought of Cheryl and some new velvet green pillows I had just purchased. She also mentioned that she would be using these photos for save the date cards. Thus, using this color palette would make a well curated and seamless transition between engagement announcements and wedding invites. 

3. Incorporate the vision. 

This e-session needed to highlight JC + Shelby's couple personality while foreshadowing their big day. Shelby's inspiration board had a well defined vision that is best defined as romantic boho. Pairing classic romantic style and colors with boho vibes, this style is both eclectic and refined. The red velvet couch and antiqued brass accents pair perfectly with the boho elements of a rustic crate, an entirely greenery bouquet, and Shelby's lace maxi.   

I had no idea what she was going to come up with which made it such a lovely surprise when I saw it for the first time. I don’t think I could have envisioned a more beautiful, romantic boho look. Looking back at our engagement pictures I couldn’t be more obsessed with how they turned out...The Vintage Lease definitely delivers Pinterest worthy styling services and I am so happy to have chosen Sarah to be a part of my engagement pictures.
— Shelby
3 Tips to Style Your Engagement Session
boho lux engagement session
styled engagement session
ice cream engagement
3 Tips to Nail Your Styled Engagement Session
ice cream engagement photos
ice cream engagement session
3 Tips to Nail your Styled Engagement Session
engagement photos
engagement bouquet
save the date
3 Tips to Nail your Styled Engagement Session

Are you ready to book your styled engagement session!? Drop us a line today.

Rent Vs. Buy

When I started planning my wedding 10 years ago, eeek! has it really been that long!? I didn't even consider renting. Honestly, it just didn't cross my mind. I was the ultimate DIY bride even before there was Pinterest. Yes, I was a pre-Pinterest bride. Yes I'm still a little bitter.  And my wedding and reception took place in a very small, rural town in eastern Montana where the nearest Walmart was 80 miles away with no local rental companies. I sourced everything, but the good thing is you don't have to.

Today on the blog, I want to discuss the pros and cons of renting vs. buying decor for your wedding. I am a rental company, but I also care about your budget. I want you to enjoy planning and feel good about the choices you've made and the money you've spent along the way. I'm going to borrow from my vintage rental friends at Queen City Vignette in Cincinatti, Ohio who outlined the rent vs. buy conversation into these 5 topics, which I've expanded upon for you.

Collecting

vintage brass candlesticks
vintage plates

Collecting vintage items can be really fun, but it requires a lot of time and energy. I've spent years growing my collection, first personally and then for the business. I have items from as far away as Maine in order to vary my collection. Buying your own vintage items is an excellent option if you intend to re use the item in your home. But if you just plan to resell, be warned. With the increase of vintage stores, online markets, and new replica pieces, reselling vintage is a tough game. 

Budgeting and Targeted Spending

vintage red couch

Rental items are typically a fraction of the price of buying new. We are able to rent the couch for $100 even though we bought it for $1500 because we have plans to rent, and rent, and rent again. Deciding to buy your items can find you scoring deals, but it becomes hard to track spending and when you fall in love with an over-priced item, its hard to say no. Without really knowing how your rental budget will play out, it is easy to spend too much too quickly, and you find yourself blowing your cake budget because all those centerpieces really added up. With a rental co, you receive a proposal with a clear bottom line, allowing you to continue planning with other vendors. 

Storage

mismatch wooden chairs

Ahhh....the ever elusive storage problem. During the months and weeks leading up to the wedding, bride's (or their parents) end up with a wedding room. The wedding room used to be a guest room or a closet, or maybe a little pile on the other side of the bed, but it grows bigger and bigger as the day of the event draws near. One of the strongest reasons for renting vs. buying is that all those wedding things have to go somewhere. And a mismatch wooden chair collection, a vintage lounge, and mismatch china for 150 is hard to keep in the wedding room. 

Styling and Setup

wedding styling services

One of the most over looked details a DIY bride underestimates is the wedding day timeline. All those tables don't set themselves . And the dishes NEVER wash themselves. One of the things I hear most from my brides is that they were so glad they didn't have to think about their wedding decorations on the day of their wedding, knowing a professional was taking care of it all, so that neither they nor their loved ones had to. 

Delivery and Venue Logistics

Renting means you pay a delivery fee, and then think no more about how your items magically arrive on the day of your wedding. Professionals will take their inventory, meticulously pack it and check it off their list, load it up and bring it over. They work with your venue to determine times of delivery and pick up to ensure deadlines are met. When you buy your decor, this is on you. Packing, sorting, finding a vehicle big enough or taking 50 small trips in your mom's minivan, and then you're done. You will be off in wedded bliss. But your loved ones aren't. Someone has to clean up and pack up and be out of the venue at the appointed time.

 

Ultimately, I don't want you to read this and think I despise the DIY bride, because I don't. I was one, remember!? I just want to bring your attention to some things you may not have thought about. This is your wedding; you know yourself and those that will be with you on your special day. Have those conversations and make sure everyone is on the same page! Happy planning! As always, let me know if I can help :) 

xoxo Sarah

Sarah Enos owner of The Vintage Lease vintage rental co