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Idyllic Lakeside Wedding

Today’s Real Wedding features Love vs. Design’s own, Willem and his bride Saskia. The two were wed in their home country, the Netherlands, which set a beautiful setting with it’s natural beauty.

the outfits

Looking to do something unique for their wedding day, Willem rented a retro VW t2 to make their entrance to the beautiful lakeside venue, he remembers “it was so good to arrive at the venue with such a cool car.” When selecting their venue, the two felt that their biggest wish was to get married on a sunny day outside in the open air. They were immediately drawn to a beautiful historic location, Huis Nieuw Rande, Geb&Gaia (The Netherlands) that was just outside the city they live in. Also, because it rains a lot of times in The Netherlands they needed a location that they would be able to hold the wedding inside as a backup. This location can be described as idyllic, romantic, dreamy and rustic, the perfect place for their vision.

picking up the bride
off to get married

At the ceremony, Willem and Saskia also added a personal touch to their wedding ceremony by writing vows for one another, which is not a typical thing to do in their country. Willem recalls the reciting of their vows saying, “We were both so excited to say yes to each other in front of our family and friends…it surprised our guests in a super positive way with some of the guests wiping away tears. This was a really special and unforgettable moment for us.”

the venue
the aisle
marriage certificate signing

Following the ceremony, to create the ambiance, a music band with their own repertoire played at the beginning of the wedding party. But a really special moment was when the band started to sing a love song that Saskia wrote for Willem. Some other memorable reception moments for the couple were the personal and humoristic speech Willem’s father wrote as well as the song Saskia’s father and brother wrote for them. To the couple’s surprise, before the wedding their guests prepared a libdub (a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video.) It really set the mood for the beginning of our party as they had all of their guests dancing out of nowhere, they couldn’t believe what was happening especially seeing their 87 year old grandmother dancing! It was a memorable day we’ll never forget.

the kiss
flower petals
the couple

Advice they give to those currently in the wedding planning process: “Choose the things you like the most and what’s close to yourself, it’s your special day. Start planning your wedding early so you are able to relax before the wedding is there. Also have someone to coordinate the wedding. We choose our brothers to be masters of ceremonies. They were the contact point for all of our guests and lead the whole day. This made it a lot easier for us to just enjoy our day and not worry about practical things.”


Bride & Groom chose the Heart in Hand Photo Save the Date and City Life Wedding Invitation for their wedding stationery.

Heart in Hand Save the Date
City Life Wedding Invitation

Wedding Venue: Huis Nieuw Rande, Geb&Gaia (Netherlands) | Photography by Sushilla Kouwen | Videography by Best Moments

Stay organized with a Wedding Planning Timeline

wedding planning checklist

A lot goes into planning a wedding: deciding on the venue, selecting the right flavor and design of the cake, designing the invitations and sorting through your guest list for the reception. While it may all see overwhelming, fear not it can be done with a little organization!

Your wedding day is all about you and your loved one, so be sure to incorporate things that you both like. The best way to plan a wedding is to create a plan to help you stay on top of your deadlines. Create an agenda with the amount of months you have before your wedding day. Once everything is written down, it will less likely be forgotten. Also, be sure to ask for help from your friends and family, more than likely they will be happy to help participate in planning your special day.

To help keep you organized, we’ve created a wedding planning checklist of important tasks you will need to accomplish each month leading up to the wedding day. We hope it helps keep you on top of your to do’s before you say I do!

• Plan your budget: Knowing this in advance will help you with selecting venues and vendors.
• Begin a draft of your guest list: Knowing an estimated number of guests is helpful when researching venues and setting your budget.
• Reserve a date and book the venue: They tend to book up quickly!
• Book an officiant: They also tend to book fast
• Have an engagement party: Traditionally the parents of the bride will host an engagement party. Everyone loves a party; there is no limit to how many celebrations you are given!
• Register for gifts: It’s better to do it sooner than later, this way friends and family know what to get if they want to send an engagement or shower gift.

• Research & contact vendors: It may be a good idea to book vendors that have worked together as well as having worked at the venue you have chosen.
• Choose your bridal party: Family, childhood/college friends as well as your fiancés siblings would be traditional choices
• Start shopping for the Wedding dress: It’s best to shop early possible to find the right dress. Keep in mind that it can take up to 8 months to receive your dress once you order.
• Shop for bridesmaids/flower girl dresses: Dresses can also take up to 5 months to receive and you’ll want enough time for any alterations that may be necessary.
• Create a wedding website: offers free personalized wedding website designed Love vs Designs popular wedding invitations.

• Order wedding stationery: Shop our wedding stationery for invitations, menus, accommodation cards and more!
• Engagement photos: It’s a fun way to spend some time together and capture some memories, you can even use them for save the dates for a fun announcement!
• Find a hair and make up artist: Hiring one for your Engagement photos shoot is a great way opportunity for a trial run otherwise make appointments for hair and makeup trials to find someone you can book for you and your wedding party
• Block hotel rooms: If you plan on having a large amount of out of town guest a room block at a local hotel can provide your guests with a discounted group rate.
• Reserve Day of Transportation: Plan how the bridesmaids, groomsmen and families will arrive to the wedding locations.
• Set up cake tasting & order the cake: You get to spend a day sampling yummy desserts...enough said.

• Finalize guest list and gather mailing addresses: Check out our blog, Collecting Mailing Addresses made easy, for some helpful tips. Prep early so you don’t have to worry about this later.
• Send save the date cards: While 6 months notice is ample time for those having a local wedding, for destination weddings it’s best to give 8-12 months advance notice.
• Book all of your vendors: Florist, caterers, photographer/videographer, DJ/band even a day of coordinator. Book any additional ones if needed.
• Book your honeymoon: This can be a fun wedding break for you and your partner to enjoy. Make sure any documents are in order (i.e. passports)
• Buy wedding bands: This is best to do in advance if having your bands inscripted in case there are any sizing issues.

• Shop/reserve groomsmen attire: Advance planning will help the groomsmen who need to be fitted and/or reserve suits if renting.
• Address your Invitations: Starting this early and working in batches will help to not overwhelm you later. At the same time, prepare an organized list of the RSVPs and meal choices for when response trickle in.
• Select location for rehearsal dinner: This will take place after your wedding rehearsal, usually the night before the wedding day.

• Mail invitations: These should be mailed to guests 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding date.
• Send rehearsal dinner invitations.
• Apply for marriage license: You may want to review US Marriage Laws, which offers your local requirements and details.
• Touch base with your vendors: Confirm dates, details and deposits.
• Meet with your wedding officiant: Discuss ceremony details, vows and readings
• Purchase wedding favors and wedding party gifts: Wrap gifts so you can check them off your list early!
• Purchase reception/ceremony items: Guest book, toasting flutes, cake servers, unity candle.
• Purchase accessories for your dress fitting: Shoes, undergarments, accessories

• Contact guest who have not RSVP’d
• Create seating chart: It’s a good idea to sit friends and acquaintances together.
• Print out stationery accessories: Programs, Menus, Place cards, and signage should be ready to go!
• Final dress fitting/Pick up dress
• Pick up Wedding rings
• Have a bachelorette/bachelor party: A fun wedding break, typically planned by the MOH or Best Man.
• Have a bridal/couples shower: Hosted by your bridesmaids, family, or even the grooms mom.

• Provide caterer with final head count
• Confirm arrival times for wedding party and vendors
• Meet with your day of coordinator to discuss timeline for the day and any reception/ceremony details.
• Provide shot list to photographer: List the shots that you feel would be most important to capture.
• Review music with DJ/band: Confirm special song requests and wedding party names for introduction.

• Wedding day emergency kit
• Enjoy a manicure and pedicure
• Pack for the wedding day and honeymoon
• Arrange for reliable relative to transport wedding gifts after the reception
• Organize tips and final payments for vendors: Put them in clearly marked envelopes and give to someone you trust to hand out at the reception.

• Have a rehearsal dinner: Enjoy the moment!
• Give your bridesmaid & groomsmen gifts: Express your gratitude for their help through the wedding process.
• Get plenty of rest for the big day tomorrow...or at least try to!

• Eat a light breakfast and drink plenty of water
• Get hair and make up done (wear a button down shirt)
• Get married!

• Write and send out thank you cards, be sure to check out our blog on when to send out your thank you cards.
• Dry clean/preserve wedding dress
• Legally change name on all documents and accounts
• Enjoy married life

Download this handy wedding planning checklist PDF for free and follow our tips above to help you stay on track when it comes to planning your wedding and remember not to get too caught up in the all the minor details and stress, at the end of the day its all about marrying your best friend. 

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas

The Love vs. Design Team wishes you a Very Merry Christmas today!

We hope you enjoy the holiday cheer with your friends, families and loved ones.

Holiday Gift Tags Round Up

Only a few more days and its Christmas, can you believe it?! Jen and I are heading to Amsterdam soon and look forward to spend some time with our family. We wanted to put together a gift tag round up of all the different gift tag printables we've created over the years. All you have to do is download the template, open it in Adobe Acrobat and print them at home. Have fun wrapping your presents!

Arrow Gift Tags

Arrow Gift Tags

Gem Stone Gift Tags

Gem Stone Gift Tags

Ugly Sweater Gift Tags

Ugly Sweater Gift Tags

Bright Holiday Gift Tags

Bright Holiday Gift Tags

Feather Gift Tags

Feather Gift Tags

Kraft Gift Tags

Kraft Gift Tags

Simple Gift Tag Printables

Sweet Simple Gift Tags

Free Holiday Gift Tag Templates

Holiday Gift Tags

Ornaments Gift Tags

Folk Ornaments Gift Tags

Fun Free Holiday Gift Tags

Crystals Holiday Gift Tags


Only a few days left to order Holiday Cards!

The deadline to order your holiday cards in time before Christmas is coming up fast. If you want to receive your cards by December 24th, place your order by Monday December 16th at the latest with regular shipping, or Wednesday December 18th with overnight shipping ($50 total).

holiday sales deadline


Amelia Lyon Photography - Holiday Cards

Today we're excited to introduce you to one of our favorite photographers Amelia Lyon. When Jen was planning our own wedding nearly 5 years ago, Amelia was one of the photographers on her inspiration boards. We really enjoy her colorful and playful style. This year we're excited to have used some of her photos for our Holiday Card templates. Many of these designs you might have already seen on our website in the last few months.

first look groom
We asked Amelia a few questions about her inspiration and camera gear, so you can also get to know her a bit better:
  • I grew up in Southern California, Chino Hills to be specific!
  • I am currently a portrait and wedding photographer, but most days I get to be a mom!:)
  • I don't get to spend a ton of time online because I'm a mother of three, so when I sit in front of a computer it is to work and not browse around. I LOVE listening to good music, it really lifts me up and inspires me, especially prior to a shoot! Right now I'm really into Bon Iver, Dr Dog, Ra Ra Riot, (always) Jimmy Eat world, The XX, Rihanna, Jonsi, Grouplove, Radiohead (always), and The Killers.
  • My photography style is colorful, playful, emotional, and when I shoot, I try to capture subject so that it feel larger than life!
  • I shoot with a 5D Mark II and my favorite lens is the 35 mm 1.4
  • My favorite thing about photography is that I get to work with happy people who don't mind showing love in front of my lens, my favorite "thing" to shoot is a wedding:)
  • Proud of my family, my business, my work, and am grateful I get to do what I love every time I work.
  • pinit
    noel ornaments holiday card

    Noel Ornaments Holiday Cards 

    triangles holiday card

    Little Triangles Holiday Postcards 

    merry and bright holiday card

    Merry and Bright Holiday Cards 

    red fox holiday card

    Red Fox Holiday Cards 

    Kraft and Shimmer holiday card

    Kraft and Shimmer Holiday Cards 

    merry and bright holiday card

    Warm Wishes Holiday Cards 

    To see more of Amelia's photography, check out her website and follow her on Twitter.

A Wedding day with sunhine and fluffy clouds

Sam and Lexi met through mutual friends at a concert and the rest was history. Due to their appreciation of art, aside from the act of being married, they felt the aesthetics of the day were the most important to them. With a weather scare of pouring rain the day before their wedding, fortunately, their day was sunny and filled with white fluffy clouds. Which created the perfect setting for their vineyard first glance shoot.

first look groom
first look bride
the ceremony

Sam and Lexi fell in love with the first venue they toured, Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, Maryland. The location was a divine old stone bed and breakfast, whose grounds held a vineyard, a pond, a willow tree, old barns and small stone buildings, fitting for their vision and offering many photograph opportunities.

subtle glances
bride and her bridesmaids
groom and groomsmen

Something unique they choose to do with their reception tables was that each table centerpiece was a unique object belonging to the Groom, Bride or one of their families. Lexi tells us “the object at the table held significance to at least one person that was there. For example, the bridal party table held tin can props that Sam & I used in our engagement photo session, my grandparents table held my great grandfather's bird watching binoculars. The centerpiece was then incorporated onto each persons place card which I hand drew & made.”


The happy couple wanted to look at their wedding day and see that it was a reflection of themselves. They filled the day with things they enjoy as a couple from record shopping and playing music to bike rides and reading and writing. Lexi says "We wanted to showcase all the things we love, even if that meant combining bicycles with boat shoes!"

cake fight
City Life Invitation

Lexi & Sam chose the City Life Invitation design for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue - Stone Manor Country Club, Middletown, MD | Photography by - C&I Photographers

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

In the husssle and bussle of prepping today's Thanksgiving Holiday, we would like to take a moment to give our THANKS to you. May your tummies and hearts be filled, while surrounded by loved ones and remembering to take in all that there is to be thankful for in life.

Brooklyn Winery Wedding

Melissa, who grew up in the wedding business, wanted to steer clear of the typical old school wedding catering halls and instead find something intimate, romantic and most importantly fun. So when she and Nicky found Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, they knew the moment they stepped inside that is was the perfect venue for them.

mr and mrs
something blue

Melissa wanted the wedding to reflect them as a couple. Since they love hosting parties, creating an environment where friends and family could let loose and get down was their goal. Also unique to the day was the couple taking part in helping to make wine at the Winery for their special day. The couple spent a few weeks before the wedding with the staff creating a connection to the place and the employees. Melissa tells us: “The staff was SO excited for our wedding because we spent a lot of time there in the year leading up to our wedding - it felt like we were surrounded by friends all day, even with the wait staff and especially with our day-of coordinator.”

here comes the bride
wedding vows
wedding cake

The most special part of their day was the vows they each wrote and spoke to one another during the ceremony, “They were funny, sarcastic, romantic and really captured our relationship beautifully.” Melissa also recalls a few more memorable moments, such as her Maid of Honor speech, which sent Melissa into tears, as her best friend pointed out the fact that the couple was getting married the same day they also met 16 years earlier. Then of course the Father/Daughter dance which was full of happy tears because “it was something my father and I looked forward to my whole life.”

wedding party

Our Real Wedding Bride offers the following advise to those currently planning a wedding, “RELAX and enjoy the planning process! I know it sounds cliché, but enjoy every moment of the day - no matter how cheesy it may feel at times, the memories are all you have left when it's over! And the day FLIES by. Take time to really take a deep breath and take it all in.”

Place to Be wedding Invitation

Bride & Groom chose the Place to Be Wedding Invitation design Suite for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue - Brooklyn Winery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY | Photography by - Bella Pictures

Printable Arrow Gift Tags


Arrow Holiday Gift Tags

Change up the boring standard gift tags by using colorful arrow shaped gift tags. These printable gift tag templates come in 5 pretty color ways and they'll adorn any of your holiday packages and gifts. There is room for a short personal message on the back of the gift tag. Download them now and don't forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win.

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