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The French use the phrase “je ne sais quoi” to refer to an intangible quality that makes something distinctive and attractive. Yumiko of Hana Floral Designs has achieved this level of appeal with her timelessly elegant and sophisticated flowers for the big day. It is that little something you can’t put your finger on, but at one glance, you know, “That’s a Hana Bride.”

Check out these four Saltwater Farm Vineyard weddings for inspiration for your own #HanaBride moment.

Color Inspiration: Magenta

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Couple: Jen & Pat

Bride’s Bouquet: Magenta peonies, blush garden roses, white ranunculus and white freesia.

The Gals: Deep pink and magenta peonies, Baroness garden roses, ranunculus and freesia.

The Groom: Green viburnum berry.

The Tables: ‘Reclaimed’ wooden boxes with peonies, hydrangea and viburnum berries.

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photo credit: Julia Jane Studios

Color Inspiration: Terra Cotta & Minty Greens

Couple: Erin & Jonathan

The Bride & Gals: Terra cotta roses, garden roses, spray roses, dahlias, aurelia and leonidas roses.

The Groom: Ripening viburnum berry.

The Tables:  Roses and clusters of eucalyptus greens.

Escort Card Table:  Moss covering.



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photo credit: Maggie Conley Photography

Color Inspiration: Neutral

Couple: Jackie & Alex

The Bride & Gals: Garden roses, dahlias, ranunculus, football mums, protea and berzillia berries.

The Chuppah: Curly willow, various greens, football mums, hydrangeas and roses.

The Cake Table:  Baby’s breath and brambly branches.


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photo credit: Joshua Behan

Color Inspiration: Yellow

Couple: Jackie & Alex

And I just couldn’t bear to leave out this wedding from a couple seasons back. Without the help of Hana Floral’s Blog, I couldn’t identify the flowers, but the palatte of yellows and ivorys with pops of green, peach and orange is a personal favorite and perfection for a spring wedding.

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photo credit: Uplift Photography

Cheers to Yumiko and all the girls at Hana Floral for another great season!



photo credit: Yours Truly taken at the Reed home, SomewherejustofftheCape, MA, Thanksgiving 2014

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away it is easy to get lost in grocery lists (who am I kidding, I handle the wine), table settings, travel plans (who’s DDing) and the inevitable hustle and bustle of holiday shopping (Black Friday – yikes). But as important as the perfect holiday meal, cocktail party and gifts given and received, giving thanks for our family and friends, our health and our home, is at the heart of what makes this season so special. And in acknowledging all we have, however grand or modest, giving a little back to the community seems only fitting. Here are a few local ways to give a little this season…

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Dogwatch Cafe is matching donations given at the restaurant. For every turkey purchased by a customer ($15 buys one turkey, just ask your server to add it to your check) the owners will buy one too. And with all the great off-season specials they are offering, it is a no-brainer to stop in for a deal and pay it forward.


Giving Back in 1717 Style


movie-federal-parlor-reading-150x150The Denison Homestead Museum presents their Harvest Festival, November 22nd from 11am to 3pm, with a live cooking demo on their circa 1717 hearth, textile displays and other fun activities to keep the kiddos and history enthusiasts entertained. Help support a local historic landmark (admission is $5) and bring a non-perishable food item for discounted admission (kids under 12 are free). FYI, the “Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center’s Giving Garden at Coogan Farm raised 3,500 pounds of fresh, organic vegetables for the region’s hungry families, and reached 968 households in nine communities at the end of its second growing season.” Click here to read the full article. Amazing!

HomeGoods for Good

Fellow Maxxinista and other half of SFLiving, Kimberly, shared that HomeGoods in New London is accepting monetary donations for the New London Community Meal Center, a community “soup kitchen” that is at risk of running out of funds by the end of the year. Read more about all work done by NLCMC here.

Light a Light

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“The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut is proud to present the Tree of Life, a non-denominational tree lighting ceremony memorializing loved ones while also benefiting the programs and services of Masonicare….[which] provides quality, compassionate home health and hospice care to patients and their families.” The local ceremony will be held at the Mystic Arts Center, November 22nd, 5pm to 7pm. For more information and to download a donation form, visit their website here.

Give to our Neighbors

We could not leave out our friends at the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, who are hard at work year-round serving our community. Deadlines for holiday donations are Friday, November 13th for Thanksgiving and December 11th for Christmas. But don’t let the deadlines govern your giving, PNC is always there for our community providing food, diapers, rides for the elderly – you name it – so stop in any time or make a donation online here.

Cheers to all the individuals, businesses and organizations giving this season!




There is no shortage of creative brides and grooms at Saltwater Farm Vineyard. And while the floor plan and seating arrangements are more logistics than artwork (keep Aunt Kathy away from Auntie Mary and keep Larry far from the bar…) fun, nontraditional place cards and the accompanying displays can add unique detail and character to the act of finding your seat. Here are some inspiring ideas our couples and their helpers have created.


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photo credit: justin marantz

Perfectly complimenting the interior of the hangar at Saltwater Farm, similar wooden card holders or token keepsakes are available on etsy.com.




photo credit: robert & kathleen photography

For the DIY couple (drink it yourself or do it yourself?), corks are a natural choice and easy way to put all that wine drinking to good use. And a wine cork ‘cork board’ is an attractive addition to any newlyweds’ abode.



photo credit: binary Flips

Not up for all the cork slicing and hot gluing, simply fill glass vases with corks and mini-pennants – definitely the “drink it yourself” couple.




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There are endless ways to reuse and recycle and add one-of-a-kind vintage details to the decor. If you’re not up for the sanding and refinishing check out Nest in Mystic, CT for some already refurbished vintage pieces.

Land and Sea

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photo credit: justin marantz



photo credit: justin marantz

Using greenery or sea tumbled stones to display the place cards is a great way to bring some of the outdoors inside and highlight a love for the outdoors and the ocean.

Batter Up


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photo credit: crista acosta

Sox fan or not, you have to admit..this is so fun!

Cheers to choosing seats, not sides!