Thursday, May 8, 2014


Today I'm introducing you to a lovely Brooklyn-based photographer who was named one of the top five wedding photographers in Dubai by Emirates Bride Magazine.

She has traveled around the world photographing weddings, has a background in theatre and film, and is so super cool and sweet that you'll love hanging out with her all day at your wedding.

And, she's currently hosting a contest to win a free makeover and boudoir session - what a great gift for your future groom! Enter here before the end of May:

Meet Julie Saad of Julie Saad Photography...

Q. How did you get into wedding photography?
A. In 2007, I was working as a fashion, portrait, and event photographer, when my then boyfriend asked me to fly to Dubai to document his brother's wedding. I had never even considered photographing weddings, but I realized that I had the necessary training in other types of photography, so if I could stitch them all together, I could photograph a wedding successfully. I spent the next few months poring over books, magazines, and websites about wedding photography, soaking in as much knowledge as I could about the special considerations for photographing such momentous occasions. I condensed everything down into a one page "cheat sheet" of things I needed to remember to provide the best photos I could, and spent the 13 hour plane ride from America to the Middle East memorizing that and imagining the wedding in my head. 
I was expecting to photograph the day and go back to my previous areas of photographic expertise. The getting ready was so much fun; the ceremony was moving; and the party was jubilant, including lively dancing and cutting the cake with a giant sword as per Arabic tradition (grooms tend to love this part because they get to play with weapons). When it was all over I left, cameras slung across my back, to go to sleep, thinking to myself, "well that was a cool experience. I'm glad I did that this one time." It wasn't until the next day when I would realize that wedding photography was going to be more than a one-time thing.

As I sat at the computer, looking at the photos I had just copied over from the camera's memory cards, I couldn't believe how much I loved every single image. I moved through the collection of images slowly, not wanting to reach the end. I soon realized that my face was in an enormous amount of pain, from excessive smiling! At that point, I was pretty sure I would like to photograph at least one more wedding, however when I later gave the couple their images, I knew for sure I had found something I loved. It was magical to watch them relive their wedding day and see things they hadn't even noticed. I didn't sleep at all that night; I was just too excited about my new-found passion. 

Q. How would you describe your photography style?
A. My photographic style is happy, romantic, and artful. I look for real emotion and heightened beauty. I draw on two of my biggest interests: cinema and fashion. I want to tell the story in a masterful way, and help everyone look their best at the same time. I'm often asked what genre I consider myself. A lot of photographers call themselves photojournalists, and while I do draw from and have training in this method of photography, I consider my style to be more fine art and editorial. As I move through getting ready, ceremony, and reception, I seek to be a fly on the wall the way a photojournalist would, but I am also injecting my own emotions into the imagery. I am adding my own sense of wonder and beauty and layering that on top of the work, to create a look that is all my own, but heavily influenced by my prior conversations with the couple, in which I determine their tastes and learn more about their unique story. During portrait sessions, I blend a variety of styles together, seeking to craft images that are aesthetically superior while also being laced heavily with emotion and romance. 

Q. Who is your ideal client?
A. My ideal client is any couple that values the craft of photographic storytelling.

Q. Where in the world is your favorite place to photograph? 
A. That is a difficult one to answer! I have photographed weddings extensively in the U.S., India, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt, and Mexico. I'm going to have to cheat on this answer a bit and say that wherever I photographed last is my favorite place, as those are the photos I'll be enjoying working on at any given time. So, by that logic, my current favorite place would be Mersea Island in the U.K., as today I have been photographing my husband, his sister, their parents, and our adorable little niece Molly, who got a real kick out of learning to use a Hasselblad medium format camera loaded with Polaroid film. Also the sun sets so late here at this time of year, so you get this amazing early evening light that makes everything look like a still from a nostalgic movie. 

Q. What is your favorite part of the job?
A. I love working with my wedding couples and seeing them through newly engaged to newly wed. My favorite part is presenting my clients with a slideshow of their images, and watching this together. I hold a belief that an image doesn't truly become art until it is shown to someone else.

Q. What tips/advice would you give to couples as they are searching for a wedding photographer?
A. Look at lots of wedding photographer's websites, and when you see ones you like, try to figure out why. This will help you make your choices. For example, a lot of my brides and grooms come to me because of my strong work with candids and in low light situations. They know that they will get excellent portraiture and detail shots with me as well, but I seem to have a knack for capturing hearty laughs, slick dance moves, and stolen glances. If you're working with a planner, you are lucky in that you will have a pre-screened group of photographers from which to choose. Find someone whose work you love, then make sure to meet them or at least do a video conference call to confirm that you like the photographer as a person. It's important to find someone who's cheerful and relaxed. If you feel like you'd invite this person to a party, that's a good sign.

Q. What do you do when you're not taking pictures?
A. Editing pictures. Ok, kidding, I do have a life outside photography. I love going to see films and the occasional play. I play a little guitar and hopefully soon the accordion as well (so far I can only do half of the theme from Amélie on it though). My husband, Sam, and I are training for the New York City Marathon, and also do the occasional bicycle tour. We once rode our bikes all the way down the coast of California and then across the Southwest into Texas. I do volunteer work when I can, and would someday like to open a photography camp for underprivileged kids. I also love reading fashion magazines, walking around New York, and people watching.

Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. Hmm, if you're reading this and happen to be engaged, congratulations! I wanted to be a bride so much that I proposed to my husband myself, who fortunately said yes. Weddings are so much fun, but the best part comes afterwards, when you wake up the day after saying your vows and realize that for the rest of your life, you will have a partner with whom to share your life.

To see more of what Julie has to offer and to book her for your wedding, check out her site or send an email to Don't forget to like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest. And, of course, enter for a chance to win her boudoir contest!

If you missed our previous vendor interviews, you check them out here, here, and here.


Thursday, April 3, 2014


When I first got engaged and started flipping through magazines for inspiration (yep, those were the pre-Pinterest days), I instantly knew I wanted needed a Monique Lhuillier gown, and I became obsessed. 

I didn't like any gown that was not designed by her and I just had no idea how I would be able to afford it. 

Well, I ended up finding a Monique sample dress, meaning that it was on display at the store, so it wasn't brand spanking new,  but it was never worn, was in excellent condition, and I scooped it up within 30 minutes - it was actually the first dress I tried on!

<---- There I am wearing it on my wedding day back in May 2009.  

Photo by Zev Greenfield

So, if you are interested in a designer dress for your wedding but don't have the funds to back up your good taste, purchasing a sample dress could be a great option for you.

And if you're in NYC, you're in luck, because the lovely ladies at Forever Amour Bridal are hosting a sample sale now through Sunday. They have a great selection of designer dresses at discounted prices, and for this special sale, the prices start at only $699.

Make an appointment and get ready to feel right at home at their intimate boutique - it's the perfect setting to find the perfect dress. Mention "Ruffles & Tweed" when you make your appointment and then let me know how it goes! Details are below.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Blue is one of those universally appealing colors, especially when it comes to weddings, so I was excited to take on day 29 of the Full Circle Eventi design challenge: Placid Blue.

It's another one of Pantone's colors and I decided to pair it with 3 other shades of blue, ranging from pale to navy, creating an ombre effect. There's something very calming, but also cheery about using these shades together, and I don't think you can go overboard with it either.

I love the idea of mismatched bridesmaid dresses - different shapes and styles in all different shades of blue - it creates a fresh, modern look, and it's still cohesive to the overall vision. Even the bride has a bit of blue at the bottom of her gown - that gown - ah, love. 

The escort cards are perfectly written out on mini cards and attached to the wall, while tinted glassware, china, and flatware adorn each place setting. Big blue and white blooms cover the ceremony arch, while the invitation suite, and even the cake get a splash of the multiple blue shades.


Image found via Brancoprata
Image found via French Wedding Style
Photography: EmmPhotography | Dress: Martin Hrča
Image found via The Perfect Palette
Image found via Style Me Pretty
Photography: Pat Furey | Floral Design: Doan Ly of  Sprout Floral | Makeup + Hair: VickyC5
Image found via Fab You Bliss
Photography: Esther JuLee Photography | Floral Design: Tulip | Coordination:
Peachtree Weddings & Events

Image found via Love and Lavender
Photography: Kimberly Chau Photography
Image found via Etsy
Design: GalaPrintShop
Image found via Weddings of Elegance

Friday, March 7, 2014


Day 28 of the Full Circle Eventi challenge is Vintage Glam, which is one of my all-time favorite weddings styles. For this particular inspiration, I chose a silver and gold color palette with pops of deep blue-green. 

The style is elegant and glamorous without being over-the-top. The ceremony is draped with dramatic white and gold fabric, while green decor adorns the chairs. The long dining tables are dressed with a textured silver runner and white feathers are added sparingly to the white centerpieces, while the napkins, wrapped in gold rope and crystal, sit atop antique gold chargers.

Popcorn in fancy shimmery holders is passed during cocktail hour and the ornate vanilla cream cake gives guest a little sugar rush to help them dance late into the night.


Image found via Bridal Guide
Photography: Cami Jane Photography 
Image found via Wedding Bells
Image found on Facebook via Strictly Weddings
Image found via Vintage Bleu
Image found via J Grace 
Photography: Rippee Photography
Image found via Grey Likes Weddings
Photography: Clark Brewer Photography | Wedding Planning: Karen Kaforey | Floral Design:
Clay Pots Floral, Pat Felts Knoxville, TN

Image found via The Knot
Photography: Tara Welch Photography | Event Design + Coordination: Tinsel & Twine
Image found via Etsy
Image found via Ruffled
Photography: ARTIESE | Event Planning: Sarah Tsao & Olivia Tsai of DU*O Events Toronto (olivia at | Stationary: Jacqueline To (jacquelineto28 @

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to an extremely talented musician-drummer-bandleader, who also has a background in jazz as an editor, critic, speaker, teacher, theorist, and author. WOW. 

We first worked together at a wedding last June where he and a few of his fellow musicians played for the cocktail hour at a wedding I planned/designed. They were amazing - not only in terms of their music, but also in the way they presented themselves - such a pleasure to work with during the planning process, friendly as could be in person, and flawless in their musical execution. If you're looking for a jazz band for your wedding or other event, look no further.

Meet Chuck Braman of New York City Jazz Events...

Q. When did you form New York Jazz Events and what led you to start?
A. New York Jazz Events was formed in 2011 based on what I perceived as a unique need of the marketplace that I was in a good position to provide: a sort of one-stop shopping for event planners and brides, to be able to locate real, quality New York City jazz bands that are also experienced at performing for private events at a high professional level.

Q. What types of events do you typically perform at?

A. We typically perform at corporate events, weddings, private parties, concerts, and in restaurants and night clubs around New York City.

Q. What makes you different than a typical wedding band?

A. A wedding band by definition needs to be many things to many people, whereas I provide a niche service to a niche market. We are real, working New York City jazz musicians who happen to play weddings, rather than wedding musicians who happen to play jazz. We provide a very high level of sophistication and elegance which fits certain weddings very well, and our music can be combined with the music of a DJ for those clients who need all the stylistic bases covered.

Q. How many bands make up New York Jazz Events? How does someone decide between them?

A. I have several different groups, either built around a particular lead instrument, such as piano,  vibraphone, guitar, or saxophone, or around particular individuals, such as the vocalists I work with. Each of these groups has worked together on a regular basis for many years. In addition to these, I’m able to mix and match my sidemen into additional groups if the client is seeking a different instrumentation other than what we already offer.

To decide between them, my website has videos of each of the groups that are categorized according to instrumentation and size, so our clients can both see and hear the various options. I’m also quite happy to help guide clients to a decision based on their preferences and my knowledge and experience.

Q. What areas do you service? Just New York?
A. One client who was a guest at a wedding in New York liked us enough to to fly the entire band out for his own wedding in Los Angeles! In general, though, we perform within the Tri-State area.


Q. What is your favorite part of the job?
A. Playing! I'm a musician first and foremost, so my passion for this field derives from the music that we create. That said, however, it's a wonderful feeling when our clients tell us how much they loved our music, how many positive comments they received from their guests, and that we made a special occasion even more memorable.

Q. What tips/advice would you give to couples who are considering a jazz band for their wedding?

A. Do it! We live in an age of recorded music, but there is nothing that can substitute for the experience of seeing great artists creating great music before your eyes, which is exactly what jazz musicians do. In addition, live jazz is synonymous with elegance and sophistication and the greatest jazz musicians in the world are concentrated in New York City. The trick is to find the subset of those who care about and can fulfill the special needs of a wedding or private event. Once you’ve located a band you like and can trust, you need to decide whether to use them for the entire event, or combine them with a DJ. Either scenario can work very well depending on your preferences.

Q. Anything else you would like to add?

A. I can honestly say you are one of the nicest and most professional event planners I’ve ever worked with. Thanks a lot for the opportunity to present my music to your readers, I hope we have the opportunity to work together many more times!

Awww, shucks! Well, I think you guys are pretty great too and I know that we'll get to work together again - I wouldn't have it any other way!

To see more of what New York Jazz Events has to offer and to book them for your event, check out their site or call 212-989-5281. Don't forget to like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and watch them on YouTube too!

If you missed our previous vendor interviews, you check them out here and here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Day 27 of the Full Circle Eventi challenge introduces us to BALLOONS! Probably not the first thing you would think of as you design your wedding, but when used in a fresh and modern way, they can be breathtaking. 

I chose peach and white over-sized balloons and paired them with lots of tassels and fringe. The coral and gray invitations hint at balloons with a subtle design, and the guest book even incorporates balloons by encouraging guests to leave their fingerprints and signature.


Image found via Lemondrop
Image found via Elizabeth Anne Designs
Photography: Shipra Panosian Photography | Venue: Cypress Grove | Floral Design: Milk & Honey| Event Design/Planning: Emily Grace Design | Hair: Carly Milleson of Halo | Makeup: Love and Arrows Makeup by Cristina Jones | Gown: Lazaro | Bridal Salon + Veil: The Collection Bridal | Suits: Jos. A. Bank
Image found via Joelle Charming
Image found via Brenda's Wedding Blog
Photography: Anna Bella Charles | Floral Design: | Deedra Stone Bergeron
Image found via Etsy
Art: bleudetoi
Image found via Weddings By Lilly
Image found via Etsy
Art: appleberryink
Image found via Green Wedding Shoes
Photography: Leah Lee Photography | Design + Styling: GATHER Events and Occasions | Cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop | Floral Design + Styling: Krista Jon

Monday, February 17, 2014


I'm back with day 26 of the Full Circle Eventi challenge: Asian Flair. I decided to do a mix of Chinese and Japanese culture for this one, and chose "good luck red" as the dominant color, with pops of white, gold, and pale blue-green.

Paper cranes embrace the ceremony space, while festive lanterns hang above the dance floor, as guests light wish lanterns and send them off into the night sky. Sushi, noodles and lychee martinis are prevalent, while fortune cookie cupcakes are a hit for dessert. The bride steals the show with a traditional red lace gown and full red blooms cover the candlelit tables.


Image found via Always Planned
Photography: InFocusDesigns | Event Planning:  Always Planned
Image found via Artfire
Image found via Little Pink Book
Image found via Cupcakes Take The Cake
Image found via Here Comes The Guide
Image found via Bollea
Floral Design: Inspired Floral Design
Image found via Project Wedding
Image found via Alchemy Fine Events
Image found via PCS Event Productions
Image found via Sky Wish Lanterns
Image found via Maharani Weddings

Friday, February 14, 2014


Happy Valentine's Day, lovers! 

To celebrate, I'm sharing my Valentine's Day wedding inspiration, which includes gorgeous jewels from Brilliant Earth, who asked me to participate in their Valentine's Day Style Challenge.  

Not only does Brilliant Earth design some drop-dead gorgeous sparklers, but they're also dedicated to socially and environmentally responsible sourcing, so all of their diamonds and engagement rings are ethically sourced - how great is that? Everything they do is of the highest standards and they even donate 5% of their profits to directly benefit communities harmed by the jewelry industry. I would highly recommend checking them out - you might even find some gifts for your bridal party!

I started my design with Brilliant Earth's 18K white gold petite shared prong diamond ring and their 18K white gold pave heart diamond stud earrings - totally loving those. From there, I added lots of full red and pink blooms, heart details, and pops of silver and gold, for a fun, sophisticated, modern wedding filled with tons of beauty and love.


Image found via Calie Rose
Photography: Chelsy Ann | Floral Design: Calie Rose
Image found via Style Me Pretty
Photography: Youkeun Oh Photography | Event Design + Planning: Catherine Cindy Leo | Dress: Tomato Wedding
Image sent via Brilliant Earth
Image found via Chic Vintage Brides
Image found via Engaged and Inspired Events
Image found via Etsy
Image found via Snippet and Ink
Photography: Lauren Ross | Event Planning: Duet Weddings | Floral Design: Flowerwild | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Linens: La Tavola
Image found via Rue Mag
Image sent via Brilliant Earth
Image found via Daisy Chain Events  

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Freesia is one of Pantone's colors for the Spring, and I decided to pair it with gray and green for day 25 of the Full Circle Eventi challenge. 

I designed a cheerful early Summer affair with loads of succulents and lemons and even succulents inside of lemons! Greenery drapes the ceremony space and the bride's hair, while guests are greeted by a refreshing lemonade stand and personalized favors.


Image found via Cheryl Style
Image found via Style Me Pretty
Photography: Wings Of Glory Photography  | Planning: VOWS Wedding & Event Planning | Floral Design: The Flower Lady
Image found via Blooms by the Box
Photography: NBarret Photography
Image found via Brides of Adelaide
Image found via Style Me Pretty
Photography: Silvana Di Franco Photography | Coordination: Raylene Zats | Cake: The Buttery | Floral Design: Tiffany’s Flowers
Image found via The Aisle Style
Photography: Stephanie Williams via Sitting in a Tree
Image found via Southern Weddings
Image found via Ruffled
Photography: Gina Meola Photography
Image found via Pinterest
Image found via Boho Weddings
Image found via Oh So Beautiful Paper
Photography: Lavender’s Blue