Fourteenth: Pics and Celebrations

The wedding day advice I give to all of my bridal clients is..."make sure you stop to breathe the air during each moment on your wedding day. It will slow the day and the scents you breathe in, will preserve your memories for a lifetime." One thing I know is how fast the time goes from the engagement to the actual wedding day because I have designed for so many brides. It seems as though we were just meeting for our initial design consultation and already my bride is walking out the door of headpiece.com with her completed design ready to walk down the aisle. It is time for me to take my own advice.

Martha's Vineyard was the perfect place to relax, celebrate, and be a little artistic. I was so happy to enjoy family time with a bit of wedding twist, especially with the bride-to-be and her maid of honor.

Martha's Vineyard was the perfect place to relax, celebrate, and be a little artistic. I was so happy to enjoy family time with a bit of wedding twist, especially with the bride-to-be and her maid of honor.

It was Alex and Paisley's first time on the island. Our week was packed full with great meals, homemade mojitos, beach days, bike rides, trips up-island, and an engagement surprise for Brielle and Alex. Brielle and Alex also chose this beautiful island to have engagement photos taken. Before our Martha's Vineyard adventure began there was a bit of designing to be done. I designed Brielle's engagement outfit including a subtle hair accessory. We couldn't leave Paisley out...something had to be designed for her too!

Brielle's engagement skirt was designed from an iced blue silk jacquard and took ten yards of fabric to create the desired soft drape to dance in the ocean breeze.

Her hair accessory was delicate and didn't resemble anything bridal. Beachy and beautiful was our aim. I chose sea colored crystals and opals for its design.

We needed something special for Paisley to wear in her first professional photo shoot. A handmade starfish brooch was the perfect thing for her to wear.

Brielle and Alex asked Milagros Batista, professional photographer and a dear friend of mine, to come up for a few days to shoot their engagement pics. This was Millie's first time in Martha's Vineyard. Over the next few days she experienced what is so special about this beautiful island through her lens. The Allen Farm, Edgartown Lighthouse, Farmer's Market, and cottages in Oak Bluffs told a tale of two hearts.

Brielle and Alex asked Milagros Batista, professional photographer and a dear friend of mine, to come up for a few days to shoot their engagement pics. This was Millie's first time in Martha's Vineyard. Over the next few days she experienced what is so special about this beautiful island through her lens. The Allen Farm, Edgartown Lighthouse, Farmer's Market, and cottages in Oak Bluffs told a tale of two hearts.

Aubrey...sister, maid of honor, make-up artist, hairstylist...and The Bride Trainer

Aubrey...sister, maid of honor, make-up artist, hairstylist...and The Bride Trainer

The setting for this spectacular photo shoot included a bit of lace, silk, and Vineyard Vines in the heart of Martha's Vineyard. The weather was perfect, maybe even a little too sunny.

The setting for this spectacular photo shoot included a bit of lace, silk, and Vineyard Vines in the heart of Martha's Vineyard. The weather was perfect, maybe even a little too sunny.

Brielle and Alex asked me to attend the shoot. I felt my contribution in the area of design was complete and it was best for me to stay home so I wouldn't interfere. Brielle asked, "What about Paisley?" After all, Paisley was just a puppy. Sweet Paisley has a way of tugging on heartstrings. I decided to go along. I kept my distance and took a few shots of my own on the breathtaking Allen Farm located in Chilmark. Then Paisley and I bonded and napped in the car while Brielle and Alex finished their time shooting with Millie B on this incredible, scenic property. 

Brielle and Alex asked me to attend the shoot. I felt my contribution in the area of design was complete and it was best for me to stay home so I wouldn't interfere. Brielle asked, "What about Paisley?" After all, Paisley was just a puppy. Sweet Paisley has a way of tugging on heartstrings. I decided to go along. I kept my distance and took a few shots of my own on the breathtaking Allen Farm located in Chilmark. Then Paisley and I bonded and napped in the car while Brielle and Alex finished their time shooting with Millie B on this incredible, scenic property. 

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Beautiful Paisley, a twirling silk skirt, and sea crystal headpiece are all featured on Millie's Blog "Martha's Vineyard Engagement Photos".


Our engagement gift to Brielle and Alex was a potpourri of things loved and collected on the Vineyard. The real surprise was a daytime sail on board the beautifully restored Nantucket from Catboat Charters.

Our engagement gift to Brielle and Alex was a potpourri of things loved and collected on the Vineyard. The real surprise was a daytime sail on board the beautifully restored Nantucket from Catboat Charters.

Brielle and Alex sure knew how to dress the part while sailing past the Edgartown Lighthouse where they shot engagements pics the day before.

Brielle and Alex sure knew how to dress the part while sailing past the Edgartown Lighthouse where they shot engagements pics the day before.

Captain Kurt...Knowledgeable, skilled, entertaining, and just a great guy. This was one of the best experiences we ever had on Martha's Vineyard!

Captain Kurt...Knowledgeable, skilled, entertaining, and just a great guy. This was one of the best experiences we ever had on Martha's Vineyard!

First Mate, Jessica, assisted in manning the ship and made sure our sail was perfect and our glasses were filled.

First Mate, Jessica, assisted in manning the ship and made sure our sail was perfect and our glasses were filled.

All of Edgartown found under the hand-painted sail of the catboat, Nantucket. Love this pic!

All of Edgartown found under the hand-painted sail of the catboat, Nantucket. Love this pic!

A beautiful sunset in Menemsha.

A beautiful sunset in Menemsha.

A kiss on Chappaquiddick.

A kiss on Chappaquiddick.

A gorgeous day at the cliffs in Aquinnah.

A gorgeous day at the cliffs in Aquinnah.


A celebration "Hunt-style" is always one to be remembered! It was time for family and friends to meet before the wedding with a little warm up party at the Hunts.

With family and friends living in many different states, we anticipated a small gathering. Celebrating Hunt-style usually means "leave everything to us." We love to entertain so we decided to have a fire-pit event and cook for everyone. First things first---we needed a theme and handmade invitations. I looked at every paper, leaf, flower, and piece of fabric available and struggled with ideas, until I spotted a beautiful piece of printed "brick" paper. Our theme would be "bricks and patio lights" just like the outdoor setting at Historic Mankin Mansion, Brielle and Alex's wedding venue.

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Gold wire, brown tape, jewels, and a white out pen were all that was needed to get the Mankin Mansion effect for the invitations. Next...What about the cake?

The most tedious step was creating the light strands.

The most tedious step was creating the light strands.

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Stringing the lights with jewels was the fun part.

Stringing the lights with jewels was the fun part.

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When it comes to cakes in NJ, there is one person who stands out among the rest...Kara Schnaidt, owner of Kara Kakes in Franklin Lakes.

Kara Schnaidt's custom cakes are beautiful and delicious, but could she handle the challenge of my designer brain and take my "brick themed, fire-pit, patio lit cake vision" and make it into a delectable, artistic, and functional dessert? The answer is absolutely....YES!!!!

An engagement calls for champagne! A champagne cake it is!

An engagement calls for champagne! A champagne cake it is!

When designing anything, the success of a great design is determined by its foundation. Kara made a champagne cake...and yes, that is real champagne in the batter! Brick patterned fondant surrounded the moist and tasty cake before Kara tackled the final showstopping but completely edible firepit. The patio lights would add the final decorative touch!

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eat...drink...and get...toasty

Our anticipated small gathering, turned out to be 72 guests coming from Georgia, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois. Jeff and I had cooked for 24 before, but never a crowd this big! Our menu consisted of Jeff's "famous" turkey chili, Swiss Pork Store bratwurst, Marie's beer braised cabbage with pancetta, home-made green beans and spaetzle, and Aubrey's star studded cookies. Hunt kitchen time had to be scheduled the week of the party for all of us to prepare our specialties with precision and on time.

Hurricane Matthew and an approaching cold front taunted us. We ordered a tent...canceled the tent...apologized to the tent company for bad decision making...then re-ordered the tent. On October 8th, it had rained everywhere around us. It poured one mile from our home, but not one drop landed on our beautiful hand-decorated uplit property.

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Everyone pitched in! The groom and his groomsman helped with lighting. Jeff stocked the bar with precision...as always.

Everyone pitched in! The groom and his groomsman helped with lighting. Jeff stocked the bar with precision...as always.

Jeff always stocks a bar with precision.
Shelley and Evie ran the show once the guests came and returned the house to normal by midnight. We couldn't have done it without them.

Shelley and Evie ran the show once the guests came and returned the house to normal by midnight. We couldn't have done it without them.

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What's amazing about this photo is that it was taken at 2:30 a.m., and it was taken many times on self timer to make sure it was perfect:) No one complained. We all laughed, joked, posed, and smiled... again and again. We all stayed up late, took a breath and breathed in all that was wonderful about this great night. Yes, Jeff and I lasted until the end with the young kids. We can't wait to celebrate with them again on October "Fourteenth".  Next month on the Fourteenth: Who will design the dress?

What's amazing about this photo is that it was taken at 2:30 a.m., and it was taken many times on self timer to make sure it was perfect:) No one complained. We all laughed, joked, posed, and smiled... again and again. We all stayed up late, took a breath and breathed in all that was wonderful about this great night. Yes, Jeff and I lasted until the end with the young kids. We can't wait to celebrate with them again on October "Fourteenth". 

Next month on the Fourteenth:

Who will design the dress?