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June 30

Fourth of July Wedding Inspiration

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Summer officially starts for me on the Fourth of July, my favorite time of year. To get us revved up for more days spent outdoors, we have a shoot from Anastasia Yatskevich that reminds me why I love summer. The striped bold colors and bold lips dares us to be more adventurous and the softness that reminds us to be relaxed and free spirited. Tell us, what is about summer that you love? I would love hear your summer favorites!

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Photographer: Anastasia Yatskevich of Wedding Report /  Gown & Accessories: Victoria Spirina / Makeup & Hair: Christine Marischenko  / Floral Designer: Leyka Flowers / Model: Alexandra from Aquarelle

categories SUMMER WEDDING

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June 29

Jewelry Designer Tesia Alexandra of Vena Amoris Jewelry

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We’re so excited to start a new series here on our journal. I am always intrigued and inspired by the studio spaces, behind the scenes and the process of artisans and creative businesses that I admire.  Artisans who pour their love of craftsmanship into their art when creating parts and pieces of your wedding. I think you’re going to love this series as much as I do. Today, we start with Tesia from Vena Amoris Jewelry. Say hello to Tesia!

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Tesia Alexandra started designing and creating jewelry after being an engagement and wedding ring blogger. She had a thirst to not just look at other people’s work, but to fully understand the process.

Vena Amoris stemmed from her fascination with the idea of the engagement ring throughout history. It’s rumored the ancient Romans would give a string of hemp and tie it onto a lover’s finger as a remembrance. Puritans in the early colonial period of the United States customarily refused to wear jewelry based on the belief of it being ostentatious and frivolous, and would instead exchange a thimble at the time of betrothal. After the wedding, the thimble’s cup was often cut off and the rim would be worn as a ring.

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Her bespoke work is based on her love of art history. Her work is mainly influenced by Middle Ages and Renaissance religious art, and most of all by Mideast and Mediterranean jewelry. Vena’s style is romantic, bohemian and whimsical.

She has been recognized by Refinery 29, The Huffington Post, and Etsy many times over for her unique style, affordability and ethical jewelry.

Describe your path to what you’re doing now.
Vena Amoris has no set path other than exploring the idea of devotional jewelry. It is an outlet for my love of research, history, art and romance in all forms.

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Did you have any formal training in jewelry design and creation? How did you come to realize your talent?
I began blogging using the name Vena Amoris and my objective was to demystify the engagement ring market. I wanted to help people follow their own ideas and debunk modern tradition that comes from marketing. I then started taking classes in metal work to properly understand what I was researching. I eventually gave up the blog to devote my time to crafting.

What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made? How have your designs evolved?
The first piece I made was a simple bezel­set citrine ring in a basic silversmithing class. My style is simple overall—tasteful bling. However, I have started adding more melee stones into my work. It’s about showcasing the stone and having it work with your personal style and lifestyle.

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Who inspired you to create such striking pieces.
My inspiration comes from my consistent research. I’m always looking up online archives and books or going to museums. Also, my love of gemstones inspires me. I can look at a stone and my head just races with color schemes and ideas.

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Where did the name Vena Amoris come from?
I’m a history nerd. Vena Amoris is a Latin name meaning, literally, “vein of love.” Traditional belief established that this vein ran directly from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand. This theory has been cited in western cultures as one of the reasons the engagement ring and/or wedding ring was placed on the fourth finger, or “ring finger.” This traditional belief is factually inaccurate as all the fingers in the hand have a similar vein structure. - wikipedia

Where do you see yourself in the next few years? Are there any projects you want to explore?
Over the next few years, I’m trying to work on some more consistent lines. I want to explore other traditions that we are less familiar with, like the poses ring or traditions within cultures.

What does a day ­in­ the ­life of a jewelry designer look like?
Well, this jeweler still has a day job. So it’s all about balance—paying the bills while growing Vena Amoris. I am a one­ person­ shop which might surprise people when they see the amount of work. I do get help with the stone setting.

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What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Stay true to yourself and your craft.

How do you balance your career, creative passions, and family?
I just follow where my thoughts and feet take me… I have my wonderful boxer named Boris who is the best hiker and buddy. And I love to adventure as much as I can to recharge. I also have an amazing circle of friends that give me amazing support—Ned, Aya and Josef, you’re my Alexandrites.

What has been the most rewarding experience since you started your Vena Amoris?
The messages from the couples with how happy they are. I really enjoy meeting and helping couples and giving them something unique and special to them.

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Studio Photography by Danielle Ezzo

categories BEHIND THE SCENES

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June 15

Chic Rustic DIY Northern California Wedding

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Today, we’re smitten to share a chic, rustic wedding captured by Alexandra Wallace at The Grace Maralyn Estate & Gardens in California. What I love about this wedding is that even though this was filled with DIY elements, it was refined, chic, and didn’t overpower the bride and groom. Thank you Alexandra for sharing their sweet wedding with us. And congratulations to Olivia and Wesley who are going to celebrate their one year wedding anniversary this week!

As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen the ‘rustic’ look time and again, and often with the same, run-of-the-mill details. And, along with it, I’ve seen few DIY elements that go beyond the Pinterest posts we see every day.

San Francisco couple Olivia and Wesley’s wedding, took things to a whole new level. ‘Do-it-yourself’ didn’t entail hand-written chalk boards or mason jar lanterns; it instead means  the bride’s “gown”, as well as some pretty fabulous hand-pressed invitations.

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Let’s start with that dress. Full lace, a deep-V back, and a smokin’ leg slit - all designed by Olivia, the bride. She had spotted a gown she liked, but it wasn’t quite to her taste; rather than settling, she made the gown that she *really* wanted happen! The day began with her mother, grandmother, and sister helping her put it on [with grandma sewing the finishing touches!], and then a big reveal to all of her closest girlfriends. Their reactions were priceless, with many tears and ear-to-ear smiles!

Olivia and Wesley had a short and sweet ceremony, ordained by a close mutual friend, in a circle of their family and friends. Olivia walked down the aisle to a beautiful, live rendition of Cat Power’s ‘Sea of Love’.

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Love this modern family portrait!

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Following the ceremony, guests were seated at long rows of farm tables, where they were served by the bride and groom themselves! As they announced to their guests, they envisioned the celebration being, “something similar to Thanksgiving”.

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In lieu of a wedding cake, guests were offered donuts and cupcakes for dessert, and dancing in the beautiful Grace Maralyn’s barn followed.

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CREDITS: Photographer: Alexandra Wallace /  Event Designer: Brides and Bouquets  /  Equipment Rentals: Taylor Rentals

categories SUMMER WEDDING

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