Off The Beaten Path Weddings Celebrates One Year of LOVE: Melissa and Ian, September 29th, 2012

melissa and ianWe’re so thrilled to spend our Sunday wishing our Bridechilla™ , Melissa, and her husband Ian a very happy anniversary. Below we remember some of the special moments of their chill day, and we also sit back and let their talented photographer tell us how they stayed relaxed and so anti-zilla while planning, memorable moments and photos, anniversary advice, and what made their wedding, styled by Mary Ellen Murphy & the team behind Off The Beaten Path Weddings, so special and chill.

preceremonyAll photos were taken by our amazing friend and Off The Beaten Path Magic Maker, Wendy K Yalom.

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As their photographer, you must have a favorite shot from their wedding. Which one would it be and why?

I could easily name 10 images from this wedding that are favorites – The first look, Melissa preparing to walk down the aisle with her dad, the table beautifully set in the golden September sunlight, the end of the evening with the full moon shining over the celebration and if I had to select just one – it would the image of Ian nuzzling Melissa in the vineyards.
IM116We had planned to slip away at sunset to capture a few quiet moments between the couple in the vineyards and discovered the FULL moon had just risen, stunning. The setting of this image is outstandingly romantic and what I love most about it is how solidly Ian is embracing Melissa in this photo and how beautifully happy and relaxed and in love she looks in his arms.
Chills when I look at it.

Tell us some memorable details about Melissa and Ian’s day.

A couple of key moments occur to me. A close friend of the Melissa & Ian reading this gorgeous passage from Emily Dickinson during their ceremony –

“It’s all I have to bring today
This, and my heart beside
This, and my heart, and all the fields
And all the meadows wide
Be sure you count  Should I forget
Some one the sum could tell
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.”

Melissa’s dad toasting and the resulting uproarious laughter.

receptionThe wild Armenian dancing.

IM120 Late night s’mores and cigars.

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What was your favorite thing about working with Melissa and Ian?

Melissa & Ian are the perfect blend of fun, easy-going and stylish. I heard a quote recently that somehow applies here – “I don’t take photos for money, I make money so I can continue to take photos”. I make money so I can continue to have the pleasure of capturing couples like Melissa & Ian and working with incredible people like The Off The Beaten Track folks.IM118

How did Melissa embrace the anti-zilla and keep her chill on their wedding day?

She was awesome! Melissa has great tastes and knows what she loves, my guess is she knew she was working with great people, she had awesomely devoted bridesmaids at her side and she continued to take moments for herself whenever she needed them.IM121

One year of chill love for this fabulous couple. Do you have any advice/words of love to send their way?

What could I possibly way to a couple that clearly knows how to love and trust one another. If I had to say anything, I would say ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY your love as often and deliberately as possible.

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MELISSA & IAN!

Wedding Planning + Styling: Off the Beaten Path Weddings

See more of Wendy’s work here

one yearTo many many many more chill years of love and happiness. -Bridechilla™ & Off The Beaten Path Weddings

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PART TWO: Interview with a blogging Bridechilla™

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One month shy of marrying her hubby-to-be, our Off The Beaten Path Weddings Bridechilla™ Julia Bayard was blogging away about her planning experience as well as everything “preppy and fabulous”. From Wedding Planning 101 to stylish adventures with her now husband, Tom, this Bridechilla™ has been inspiring us to encourage all brides to start a blog on their journey to the aisle. One month before her wedding, we interviewed Julia about her experience with Off The Beaten Path Weddings and how blogging has kept her chill throughout the experience. Find more about Julia’s pre-wedding journey here, and read below for our interview with her on the DAY OF her wedding! All photos from the #juliaandtom Instagram feed.

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So, how are you feeling today Julia?

I’m in a good mood! Here I am, sitting in full hair and make-up, in my wedding dress… it’s kind of surreal. Is this really happening? I am so happy to have everyone I love here with me today.

There are so many things to be excited about right now, what are you looking forward to the most today?

For over a whole year I have been so consumed in this day; making sure everything will come together and finally it is my turn to just relax. I am excited to simply enjoy myself with everyone I love and care about.

Tell us about your experience with Off The Beaten Path Weddings.

It was great. Mary Ellen was a real expert and helped streamline the wedding planning process. She got our vision right away and was able to make many decisions without our involvement, which was amazing considering how many decisions we needed to make otherwise.

How has blogging about your wedding planning experience helped this process as a whole? Did you ever get any great advice from fellow bloggers and readers?

Oh absolutely- everything from what to register for “don’t register for like life you life now, register for the life you will lead” to getting ready tips “begin hair and makeup before you think you need to because you will for sure run late.” It was helpful to both be able to vent/get advice from a large network and also share any great resources we found.

How have you kept the anti-zilla attitude through this whole experience?

Mary Ellen did a wonderful job working with vendors and partners to provide us with the best options possible. That really helped reduce the stress because we knew we were in good hands 🙂

It’s been 1 month since our first interview with you. What are some things you think all brides should remember in the final month of planning?

The end is in sight! The final push is usually the most challenging but it’s so worth it when you can relax on your big day!

Side note: check out how Julia & Tom’s reception grew even more beautiful as the night went on… talk about lighting love!

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Are you a Bridechilla™ sharing your step-by-step, month-by-month experience with the world? Please send your link to us so we can stay in tune with your planning experience and be on hand with any chill advice you might need for this experience!

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Find Julia Bayard’s Blog, Tartan & Sequins by clicking here be on the look out as she begins sharing the official photos from her wedding by Onelove Photography. Find Tartans & Sequins on Facebook and Twitter. Congratulations to Julia and Tom!

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Off The Beaten Path Weddings Celebrates One Year of LOVE: Molly and Gavin, September 22nd, 2012

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otbp-congratulationsWe’re so thrilled to spend our Sunday wishing our Bridechilla™ , Molly, and her husband Gavin a very happy anniversary. Below we remember some of the special moments of their chill day, as told by their event stylist, Mary Ellen Murphy of Off The Beaten Path Weddings. All photos taken by Allison Fairfield Photography.

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What was your favorite thing about working with Molly and Gavin?

Molly and Gavin’s fun-loving spirits made them a pleasure to work with… Congrats to you both!

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How did Molly embrace the chill & be a total anti-zilla?

Molly welcomed her little pup, Ruby, to the day, always a chill move for our brides 🙂

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Tell us some memorable details that stood out to you about Molly and Gavin’s wedding day.

The couple’s location was a dream! And their color palette just accented all of the beauty with pops of orange and pink.

Words to us from the bride, “Thank you so much for everything you and the OTBPW team did to make our wedding such a great event. The wedding was altogether fantastic and Gavin and I enjoyed every minute of it! It turned out exactly how we had envisioned it and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.” Thanks Molly!

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOLLY & GAVIN!

Wedding Planning + Styling: Off the Beaten Path Weddings

one yearTo many many many more chill years of love and happiness. -Bridechilla™ & Off The Beaten Path Weddings

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Bridechilla™ Tip #40

Tip #40 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Try this for a change: embellish your wedding day with potted plants instead of fresh cut florals.

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Photo by Jose Villa Photography

Happy first day of the rest of your lives together. We can think of so many reasons to try potted plants as decor opposed to fresh cut flowers, but let’s start with the obvious: they last! What says everlasting love better than florals that will live beyond the beauty of your wedding day? Bridechilla™ has already fallen in love with potted herbs and plants for thank you favors, but now we would like to offer another eco-chill alternative.

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Photo by Carly Bish Photography

By having potted florals as your table centerpiece, you can open your floral options up to even the more sensitive flowers that would normally wilt when snipped from the stem. Feel free to choose potted gardenias, and let your guests enjoy the amazing aroma of a flower they normally wouldn’t be able to enjoy at any other wedding.

potted decor

left photo and middle photo via pinterest, right by Jess Barfield Photography

With the cost of floral design costs, why not spend your money on something that you can take home to have for years to follow instead of just one day? Take home the potted plants and adorn your backyard, front steps, tables, coffee tables, etc. with memorabilia of your wedding day. You can even send them home with your guests!

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Photo by Sloan Photographers

We can see this trend rocketing to the top very quickly. It’s simple, affordable, and full of reasons to try. What potted flower would you try for your table centerpieces?

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Bridechilla™ Tip #39 – It’s a GIVEAWAY!

Tip #39 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Take this one for that furry friend of yours, and enter to win a Bridechilla Doggie-tee (it’s so easy, trust us).

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Hello Bridechilla’s! You heard right! We will be choosing not ONE, but TEN lucky chill gals to win our Bridechilla™ wear made especially for dogs. This giveaway is perfect because there are only 3 easy steps to enter and if you win, your pooch won’t shiver one bit during the upcoming cold seasons. Why not give it a shot?

chill dogs

Top photo by Michelle Pattee + bottom three by Onelove Photography

We have countless grooms and Bridechilla’s from past Off The Beaten Path Weddings that have followed Bridechilla™ Tip #11 and have had their special furry guests attend their wedding day.

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Photo by Allison Fairfield

Off The Beaten Path Weddings always welcomes dogs to the ceremony, as they are family too. We even have a Pinterest Board dedicated to our furry friends, so no surprise that we keep a product in our Bridechilla™ Store for them.

018_catherine_halll_crawley$!900x copyPhoto by Catherine Hall Studios

Remember Anna & David’s wedding with the luscious dessert bar? You can bet they invited the furry family friends too.

View More: http://lilidurkin.pass.us/anna-david-wedding

Photos by Lili Dirkin

As you can see, we love our animals and so do our couples. It is important that you are responsible when bringing the chill pup to your chill day, and this infographic by SimplyBridal can help you with that. But we will help you with giving him or her something chill to wear.

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Photo by What Shanni Saw

Now, here is your chance to with THE DEJA:

For the 4-legged Bridechilla supporter – organic baby rib stylishly-fitted tee manufactured by American Apparel for all sizes of dogs… and if you can get one on your cat… go for it!

  • Color – Butter with Tangerine trim
  • 100% organic cotton baby rib construction
  • Cut to avoid doggie mess
  • The Deja measures 16″ from collar to hem when laid flat.
  • Shrinkage: Will shrink an average of one size when put in the dryer.
  • For medium sized dogs, 30-50lbs.

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We are so excited to be giving ten of our lucky Bridechilla™ fans The Deja for a little furry friend of theirs. We would love to award ten lucky anti-bridezillas this chill product, so please continue to scroll down to find out how easy it is to win… GOOD LUCK!

ENTRANTS MUST:

    • Like Bridechilla’s Facebook Fan Page OR have (1) friend like the page if you are already a fan on Facebook.
    • Post a photo of your chill pup on Instagram, with the hashtag #bridechillagiveaway
    • Leave a comment letting us know you’ve entered and how many times. Each “Like” is an entry, and every Instagram post counts as another entry.
    • It’s that easy! Good luck & please share this with all of your chill friends and brides-to-be!

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BRIDECHILLA™ GIVEAWAY Contest starts Thursday, September 12th, 2013 and will be ending Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at 12PM (PST). TEN winners will be chosen using random.org

Winners were announced on Facebook and Instagram (@otbpw)!

Off The Beaten Path Weddings Celebrates One Year of LOVE: Perla and Brian, September 8th, 2012

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We’re so thrilled to spend our Sunday wishing our Bridechilla™ , Perla, and her husband Brian a very happy anniversary. This couple has shown us such great love and appreciation, and today we want to celebrate them! So, below we remember some of the special moments of their chill day, and we also sit back and let the couple tell us how they stayed relaxed and so anti-zilla while planning, how married life is, anniversary plans, and what made their wedding, styled by Mary Ellen Murphy & the team behind Off The Beaten Path Weddings, so special and chill. Photos by The Becker.

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Happy anniversary! Any big plans?

Not really, since we are moving. But we are going to Italy next month 🙂

What was the best part of your wedding day?

Saying I do to the man I love. But beyond that we loved twisted willow as our location, it was just a beautiful setting.

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 7.13.11 PMTell us about your planning experience.

The planning was great. And everything was executed great. Recommendations such as the tomato bar still resonate with our guest today.

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Any advice for brides trying to avoid stress while planning?

Definitely hire a planner! Beyond that talk with your partner and agree on a vision and that will minimize so much stress!

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One year of chill love – congratulations! So far, what has been the most valuable lesson learned in keeping a strong marriage?

Your relationship keeps growing past the marriage celebration. Remember the basics!

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY PERLA & BRIAN!

Wedding Planning + Styling: Off the Beaten Path Weddings

one yearTo many many many more chill years of love and happiness. -Bridechilla™ & Off The Beaten Path Weddings

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Bridechilla™ Tip #38

Tip #38 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Remember the key behind a chill day is a chill team.

lily ann page - otbpw team

Lily Ann Page Photography

Anyone else up to their ears in weddings right now? Wedding season has reached it’s peak and we’re realizing how amazing it is to be working with such a chill team, that we have to share with our Bridechilla’s how much we value the staff behind Off The Beaten Path Weddings.

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So far, we have celebrated one anniversary, one rehearsal dinner, five weddings, and plenty more to come. And there is not an event that goes by that we don’t feel thankful for our staff, and we must recommend this tip to our readers: having a strong, reliable, chill team will maximize the chillness of your wedding day. Make sure you have vendors you can trust with your wedding and creatives that you can connect with. Whether your wedding is designed, planned, and catered by Off The Beaten Path Weddings or another company, be sure to have a team behind the company that will deliver the chill day you deserve. Below, we have a few questions for Mary Ellen Murphy, Chief Inspiration Officer and Owner of Off The Beaten Path Weddings about having a chill team and how to find one.

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What kind of qualities should a strong team have to execute an Off The Beaten Path Wedding?
Passion, a strong work ethic and desire to truly please, and a supportive attitude towards others on the team. The willingness to do whatever it takes with a smile on your face and pride in seeing the end result.  I focus on the key passion and talent of each individual team member and put them in roles where they excel..which ultimately leads to an amazing experience for the bride and groom, their families and their guests.

What advice would you offer to a Bridechilla-to-be searching for the ideal vendors?
I so strongly believe in the Team approach, that I have created my brand around that. For others putting their own team together, I would focus on putting vendors together who consistently work together. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of that.

Tell us about your favorite OTBP event so far this season and why it was so successful.
Well, hard to play favorites because you would never ask a parent who their favorite child is 🙂 Every wedding and couple is so different. However, as I am answering your question, I am still coming off of the “high” of last Saturday’s wedding in Healdsburg. My Off the Beaten Path Team-both Culinary and service were AMAZING. I often jokingly say to them, I will never give a 10 but shhhhh, they were at 10 🙂  And the wedding was a visual stunner – all because my team working together are a inspirational force!

fooooood and dessert

Thank you to Mary Ellen and the OTBPW Team, we’re so grateful
for all of your hard work!

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Be more on top of the Bridechilla™ Blog by being on our e-mail list! Send your e-mail to gloria{at}offthebeatenpathweddings.com to be added!

Off The Beaten Path Celebrates One Year of LOVE: Lani and Patrick, September 1st, 2012

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We’re so thrilled to spend our Sunday wishing our Bridechilla™ , Lani, and her husband Patrick a very happy anniversary. Below we remember some of the special moments of their chill day, and we also sit back and let the couple tell us how they stayed relaxed and so anti-zilla while planning, how married life is, anniversary plans, and what made their wedding, styled by Mary Ellen Murphy & the team behind Off The Beaten Path Weddings, so special and chill. Photos by Onelove photography.

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Happy anniversary! Any big plans?

We are going to stick around the Bay Area — hiking, biking and relaxing.

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What was the best part of your wedding day?

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that stood out from the others! I honestly loved everything.

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Tell us about your planning experience.

We lived in NYC at the time of the planning so it was frustrating at first not to be more involved in-person. That said it ended up being a pretty painless experience once we were able to let go of the things we couldn’t control.

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Any advice for brides trying to avoid stress while planning?

Talk to a few different friends and/or family members who have recently been married and get their advice on planning 101. There are so many little details that ARE important and others that may seem like big deals but aren’t — it’s best to talk to people who have done it before and can give you a hindsight view. And if you are concerned about cost (which most of us are) getting creative with things like bringing your own alcohol (if the venue allows) and asking family members to contribute to the dessert table are simple ways to shave off thousands.

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One year of chill love – congratulations! So far, what has been the most valuable lesson learned in keeping a strong marriage?

Relationships are works in progress and while we have our arguments, what has helped us through the first year is open communication and never going to bed angry. Also, spending time with close friends and family (now that we live on the West Coast, close to our childhood homes) is vital to the strength of our marriage.

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY LANI & PATRICK!

Wedding Planning + Styling: Off the Beaten Path Weddings

one yearTo many many many more chill years of love and happiness. -Bridechilla™ & Off The Beaten Path Weddings

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