Wedding Vendor Wednesday :: Vendor Highlight // Dream; A Unique Bridal Boutique

:: Vendor Highlight // Dream ::

“Our dream is to make the day you find your wedding dress as memorable as the day you say ‘I do’” [Dream].

For brides in the northeastern United States, Dream is a lovely unique bridal boutique {MRSter Approved} that is based in Sudbury, Massachusetts. “Dream is a bridal boutique for every bride who cherishes individual style and timeless glamour, with an elevated wedding dress shopping experience” [Dream]. They aim to make your dress finding experience as unforgettable as possible, and do so by their provision of a highly intimate experience for brides and their closest family and friends.


The founder, Malinda Macari, always wanted to open a bridal boutique “due to a sincere desire to create the ultimate bridal experience with the core belief that the day you choose your wedding gown should be as memorable as the day you wear it” [Dream]. What makes this lady extra awesome, is that she has completed the Gay Wedding Institute Certification Course in order to be able to better serve LGBT wedding couples!

This boutique boasts an impressive range of both ready-to-wear and custom wedding gowns; sourced from up-and-coming, established, locally sourced and even fair trade bridal designers. Miranda (founder of Dream) believes that it “seems that most shops carry the same dress designers thus making options limited” [Dream]. For this reason, Dream have worked hard to be able to offer their brides something different. They do so by carrying collections that are unique to Massachusetts or New England. As well as this, they hand-pick their selection so that they are able to offer “a little bit of bohemian, casual, vintage, modern, romantic and traditional”.


Unlike many other bridal shops, Dream also carry dresses for brides of all shapes, sizes and age by carrying sample sizes from 8 to 28, as well as an exclusive curve-friendly collection to truly cater to plus-sized brides.

Not only this, but this bridal boutique also caters to a variety of budgets, with prices starting at $1,500, and up to $4,000. HOWEVER, Dream are currently trying to make room for some new dresses, and are therefore selling a selection of their dresses for up to 70% off! You can visit their page to see a selection of the sale dresses that they have on offer!

Dream bridal boutique really aim to provide brides with the best shopping experience ever. Malinda believes that “when shopping for your dress, you should feel like the bride vs. one of many. You should be able to try on dresses without other brides around you. You should feel special and have your boutique of choice make it all about you” [Dream].


In order to be able to provide such a personalized and comfortable experience, their hours are by appointment only, 7 days a week, meaning that they see just one bride at a time; giving brides “the time they need to find their perfect dress, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed”. So you and your closest family and friends (“three to five key people”), will get to have the ultimate experience; able to enjoy a luxurious dressing room, a spacious lounge and a dedicated dream dress stylist to help you pick your perfect dress!

 “A wedding dress is the most magical, meaningful and memorable item of clothing a bride will buy in their lifetime. Dream aims to make this experience luxurious, exciting and seamless. I truly want every bride to feel beautiful, special and confident on their wedding day.” [Dream]

So if you are shopping for your dream bridal dress, be sure to check out this MRSter Approved company via their website here.

Don’t forget to check out their FABuLIST listing by clicking here!

Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Boho Chic Wedding :: Santa Barbara, California // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Boho Chic Wedding ::

Submitted by :: Molly Hauge of MRSter Approved – Molly + Co

From the wedding creative team of Wild Heart Events, Molly + Co, and Rowan Oak Events:

The beautiful BoHo Chic inspiration of this day started with the amazing venue in Santa Barbara, CA.  An old Orchid Farm along the Gaviota Coast consisting of a series of old greenhouses with sweeping ocean views and ancient fig trees was the site for the festivities. We wanted to showcase the natural rustic beauty of the land and pay homage to the thousands of orchids that once grew there. The tablescape consisted of items that could be found on the property from everything from reclaimed wood, fresh vegetables, orchids, and cheesecloth to create a farm to table aesthetic.

Our florist created the most amazing installation above our sweetheart table using an iron rod and bare orchids, brushing off the roots for a very raw look and finished it off with hanging terrariums. Jaime of Wild Heart Events, the wedding planner, completed the design by placing radish napkin treatments, colored glassware and farm animal menu indicators. We even took plants out of their pots for the centerpiece, leaving the dirt on the roots to achieve a very organic farm feel.

The bride’s bouquets took queue from the wealth of natural elements and textures abundant along the Gaviota Coast. Our venue called for something rustic but we also wanted to honor the feminine as well. A grapevine crescent, tillandsia, cymbidium orchids, and bear grass gave one bouquet an architectural bent, while the other was more a traditional composition both in shape and content. We added drama to the natural setting by hanging bare root phaleanopsis orchid plants, iron lanterns, and large tillandsia above the table. Fresh produce finished the look and brought the intention of the greenhouse into the moment itself creating a richly organic experience.

We wanted to ensure our invitation represented the overall theme of the wedding, so the invitation suite was done all by hand on 100% recycled kraft paper. We also watercolored a floral pattern using greens and yellows to go with the greenhouse theme. We then mounted the invitation suite on a leather background to juxtapose the soft florals and cursive calligraphy to flow with the modern take on a greenhouse wedding.


Boho Chic, Natural Rustic Beauty, Feminine

The Professionals

Event Coordinator :: Wild Heart Events
Graphic Design // Signs :: Wild Heart Events
Venue :: The Orchid Greenhouses
Photography :: MRSter Approved – Molly + Co
Rentals :: Milk & Honey Farm
Hair & Makeup :: LunaBella Makeup & Hair
Jewelery // Accessories :: Clothesline Home Boutique
Napkins :: La Tavola
Florals :: Rowan Oak Events
Wedding Cake :: Sugar Cat Studio


Santa Barbara, California



How to Have a Wedding for $1,000 :: Part 1

:: How to Have a Wedding for $1,000 ::

In today’s society, whereby the national average cost of a wedding is at an all-time high; a staggering $29,858 in 2013, and rising (The Knot, 2014), it’s really no wonder that wedding planning is so stressful and evidently costly. You may think that having a wedding on a budget is difficult, and I’m sure you think it is impossible to come up with a wedding for just $1,000. However, this is actually a feat that many couples have managed to make happen. The key? Keep it simple, be flexible, and think outside the box. Here’s some guidance as to how…

piggybankMoney – Savings” by 401(K) 2012 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Timing :: Be flexible about the timing of your wedding; down to the month, day and time of the ceremony. Understandably, the majority of event spaces charge considerably more for the most popular months and dates, because the demand is there. So rather than opting for a Saturday evening in June, September or October, instead go for a Friday or Sunday afternoon in a less popular month. If you time it right, this could help you save big on the catering side of things too. Appetizers and champagne mid-afternoon is going to cost you much less to provide to your guests than an evening sit-down meal. Due to there being less demand for these options, vendors will be more willing to negotiate discounted prices on various wedding services; saving you tons of funds.

Venue :: The venue is arguably the biggest wedding expense for couples. This is supported by the findings of The Knot’s Real Wedding Study (2014) that revealed the average spend on the reception venue alone is $13, 385. Add the separate expense of $1,793 for the ceremony site, and you can see that the average venue comes with a hefty price tag! But fear not, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be relatively easy to find free or inexpensive locations to get married, such as beautiful local parks, lakes or beaches. Or perhaps a relative or a friend of yours has a gorgeous backyard that would make the perfect setting. Think outside the box on this one, and do your research to find somewhere that’s perfect for your special day.

Lesbian Wedding Ceremony DecorationTaken by Cyndi Hardy Photography

Numbers :: Cost of Wedding (2014) state that “a single guest could add between $157 and $192 to the overall cost of your wedding”. So when it comes to numbers, the easiest way to save money on your wedding is to keep the guest list to a minimum. Instead of throwing a big extravagant affair where you feel compelled to invite anyone and everyone, opt for a more intimate occasion whereby you only invite your closest family and friends. Alongside this, try and keep the size of your wedding party to a minimum as well; this will greatly alleviate other costs such as apparel and floral.

Apparel :: The internet is one great resource for finding heavily discounted wedding attire. Some great options include recycled wedding item websites, whereby couples sell their items used for their big day, including apparel. Another popular alternative is rental websites; you can rent apparel items for yourselves and the entire wedding party for a fraction of the cost of buying them. When you’re done, just bag them up and put them in the post… simple! Also, keep an eye out for discounts in department stores, and sample sales at local wedding apparel stores, as they often have big discounts on designer suits and dresses.

CoronadoWedding32Taken by Kristina Lee Photography

Invitations :: Making your own wedding invitations could save you hundreds of dollars. If you are the crafty sort, or can recruit a friend or family member who is, you can visit a craft store and get all of the supplies you need to create DIY invitations for very little money. Alternatively, there are numerous templates and online photo print companies that allow you to upload photos that can then be easily turned into wedding invitations with the click of a few buttons. This has recently become a very popular option, and a cost effective one at that.

Head over to the blog next week for part two of the ‘How to Have a Wedding for $1,000’ series, where I’ll be giving you even more suggestions as to how you can pull off a beautiful wedding that doesn’t blow the budget.


Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Kevin & Kevin :: Lakeside Love in Long Island // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Lakeside Love In Long Island ::

Submitted by :: Photography by Verdi

The thing that impressed us most about Kevin and Kevin’s wedding was all the love that surrounded them. Not only the love between the two of them, but how much their families and friends were so close and loving.

The ceremony was set outdoors under the trees next to a beautiful lake. It was a warm summer day on Long Island’s north shore with a beautiful warm breeze that matched the warmth of the couple.


Lakeside Ceremony, Family and Friends, Warmth and Love

The Professionals

Venue: Flowerfield
Submitted and Photographed by: Mindi Verdi of Photography by Verdi


Long Island, New York


Oscar & Gary :: Ocean and City Views in Coronado // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Ocean and City Views in Coronado ::

Submitted by :: Grooms, Mr. Oscar De las salas and Mr. Gary Jackson

MRSter: How did you meet?
O + G: We were brought together from diverse backgrounds, perspectives and continents, and found love and partnership that neither of us expected. Our different styles, energy and talents have found a balance in life and love that has grown more intense and more inspiring each day. We were friends long before the time that fate took a surprising course, and the relationship that we know today, started quietly with a Friday afternoon lunch, which was in reality a thinly veiled interview/date to survey the possible future together for us. Apparently passing the tests, the connection grew stronger and we became a couple in 2007, to the surprise of many friends. In 2008, little Hugo (our pug) found this family merely a week prior to us moving in together and making a home in a house which we later discovered we had both placed separate offers as single men.

MRSter:  Why did you choose to do a destination wedding?
O + G:  In the non-romantic sense, as a same-sex couple, we had to travel to a state in which then our marriage would be legally recognized. But with that reality, we also valued the importance of a location which reflects both of our backgrounds and origins as children. Gary was born in a small port town in Washington state, north of Seattle, while Oscar was born in the port city of Barranquilla, Colombia in South America. So holding the most important ceremony of our lives near the ocean and bay, and next to a marina, offered us a connection to our roots, as well as a beautiful backdrop. And given the close vicinity and connection that Arizonan’s have to San Diego, the quaint nature of Coronado became the perfect choice for our wedding and for the ease of our guests to travel.

MRSter:  How did your family and friends respond to the decision?
O + G:  We both believe strongly that our friends are our family, and we are very lucky to have a network of intimate friends who value and believe in our relationship – so anywhere we would hold the wedding, we knew that our close friends would literally drop everything and simply ask – where and when and we will be there. We chose to have a small, intimate ceremony, so we knew that the travel and commitment that comes with that would not be an issue. In fact, all of our guests found our choice to be the perfect fit and they all took an extended weekend to enjoy the beauty and vibe of San Diego.

MRSter:  How many people attended the wedding?
O + G:  We chose to keep it small and limit the number of guests to about 28 people, not including us. This made for a wonderful mix of friends, intimate cocktail parties and a strong connection between every attendee.

MRSter:  How/why did you choose the location/destination?
O + G:  As we noted above, we have an affinity for the coast and a port city. Sitting along a marina brings both of us a sense of calm and well-being, and being from Arizona, San Diego is a perfect contrast to the desert locations and heat of the Sonoran landscape. As part of our decision, two close friends (Mark and Angela Karp, who also own an events company called Angelic Grove) opened their home on the Glorietta Bay Marina to us for a location scouting trip, which afforded us time to spend in Coronado and experience the beauty of the island.  The city of Coronado recreation department was extremely helpful and supportive in helping us find the right ceremony location, and when we walked into Centennial Park in Coronado, which overlooks the San Diego Bay and city skyline, we knew we had found our location.

MRSter:  Was planning a destination wedding easy?
O + G:  No, No, No. Given our circle of friends and business in Phoenix, we know many event planners, florists, and entertainment companies in Arizona, but San Diego was an unknown to us. Luckily we have many referrals to contact, but we still had to take a leap of faith with several providers. And the San Diego market is a very laid back coastal community, so there is no sense of urgency in the industry. It made it challenging to get timely responses and confirmations in coordination in the market.

MRSter:  Can you describe the ceremony?
O + G:  We wanted to have a close, personal ceremony what reflected our sense of style, and the importance of marriage equality for us and our friends. With Oscar’s background in fashion, he also had a clear vision of the overall feeling he wanted in the color scheme. Our wedding was based in the feeling of the beach, bay, marina and natural pieces of nature, so the overall look of the ceremony was one of classic and fresh design.  The guests sat overlooking the bay on crystal ghost chairs, with sun parasols and sandalwood hand fans to cool in the sun. Since we are a couple from diverse background and countries, we also wanted to incorporate those origins in the event, and also maintain an open format and wrote the entire ceremony ourselves.  The ceremony was backed by acoustic classical Spanish guitar music, by artist David De Alva. Our officiate was our close friend and artist, Mayme Kratz, who we have known for 20 years, and knows each of us very well, bringing a personal emotion to the proceedings. Without family at the ceremony, and avoiding traditions set for opposite sex couples, we also wanted to include our closest friends to present the two grooms for marriage. Our friends Jeff Brodin and Irma Diehl give their approval of the union as representatives of all of the friends of Oscar and Gary.  To note the cultural mixing, we asked another couple of Anglo and Latin backgrounds, Bill and Irma Diehl to read a verse in both Spanish and English, representing the diversity of culture in this marriage. At the conclusion of the ceremony, we also loved the tradition in the Jewish culture of breaking the glass, but we wanted to take it to a different level. We wrote on cards several myths and negatives that we wanted to crush and ‘break’ – so our friends, Erika and Russ Dickey read aloud each item, such as bigotry, hatred, false traditions, ignorance, and put them into a bag with the glass – which we then broke by foot.  The overall impact of the ceremony was one of embrace, love and hope.

MRSter:  Would you mind describing the reception?
O + G:  We made our way in a classic 1955 Bel Air convertible to the Bluewater Boathouse on Glorietta Bay Marina, in which we had the entire balcony overlooking the marina. It was a perfect setting for cocktails, with a four course seated dinner in candlelight. We chose the texture and simplicity of white linens, and white hydrangeas in clear cylinders to maintain the classic look, with a contemporary tone. The reception was underscored with big band music from the 1940s completing the mood of retro, and complementing the history of Coronado and the boathouse we were in, which was built in 1887. One of our close friends provided a special dessert table with Brazilian and Lebanese chocolates and sweets, adding both a sweet and stunning  addition to the reception,

MRSter:  Did you do any pre/post activities? If so, please describe them.
O + G:  Since we did not have a rehearsal dinner, we chose to hold what we called our bachelor cocktail party on the evening prior to the wedding. At the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, we had our entire guest list join us for cocktails and tapas on the private half-circle balcony jutting from the side of the hotel, overlooking the bay, with additions of blue and bright green flowers to the white wedding theme to punch up the color a bit. With our guests in beautiful summer cocktail attire, it was an amazing pre-event for our friends to meet up and connect prior to the wedding day itself.

MRSter:  What did you use when planning your wedding – internet searches, wedding magazines, personal referrals, wedding planner?
O + G:  We contacted several local Sean Diego wedding coordinators and sadly, never received any follow-through from ANY of them. Not sure why – same-sex couple or maybe too small? So our good friends from Angelic Grove events provided us with some local resources in San Diego, and we did the coordination ourselves, from requesting quotes, checking rates and finding what we wanted on the Internet. We booked the location for the wedding ourselves from the city of Coronado, and handled the coordination of both our bachelor cocktails, reception set-up, cake, classic car – all ourselves.

MRSter:  What was your favorite moment on the wedding day?
O + G:  There are so many moments which took our breath away, which includes our personal vows read to each other. This was the first time we had heard each other’s vows and our hearts were filled to overflowing. But for the event itself, one of our favorite moments was driving in the classic convertible along Orange Avenue and coming over the crest of the street to the reception at the historic boathouse, to see all of our guests standing and waving to greet the new grooms at the reception. It was exhilarating and emotional all at once.

MRSter:  Do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?
O + G:
a)      Give yourself time to plan and use your friends as much as you can for a sounding board.
b)      Understand that nothing will be perfect. The perfection of the day lies in your connection and love from your friends, your family and the personal moments.
c)      If you are getting wed in a public venue, hire security.
d)      Invest in a fantastic photographer. The event itself goes by so fast, that you will not remember the individual moments themselves – but good photos will revive those memories in your heart to relive again and again.
e)      When you choose your flowers, colors, outfits etc – remember that these photos and images are forever. Trends and fashion may come and go, but your photos will be there forever. Last thing you want is to have some current fashion trend that will disappear and leave you with a look that you and your family will cringe each time you see that photos.
f)      Have someone you trust, whether that is a coordinator or a friend, double check on the ceremony and reception set-up prior to walking in. As we noted, nothing goes as planned, but don’t leave your requirements for your wedding in the hands of the people who manage the space. What is the adage? Trust by verify.


Breaking Hate, Dapper Dog, Destination

The Professionals

Photographer:  Kristina Lee Photography
Rehearsal Cocktails: Tracy vanDam Fotografie
Wedding and Reception: Kristina Lee Photography
Wedding Planner: Self-planned
Ceremony: Centennial Park, Coronado, CA
Reception: Bluewater Boathouse, Coronado, CA
Florist: Flowers By Erin
Grooms’ Clothing Designer: SuitSupply
Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: self
Wedding Consultant: Angelic Grove
Bluewater Boathouse was the location for the Reception and provided the multi-course meals, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
Cake provided by Extraordinary Desserts, San Diego, CA
Dessert Table provided by: Sweets Table by Micheline Etkin
Ghost Chair Rentals by: Raphael’s Party Rentals
Parasols and Fans by: Paper Lantern Store
Classic Car Transportation provided by: Haynes Antique Car Chauffeuring


Centennial Park, Coronado, CA



Free Wedding Give-Away!

Love wins in Arizona….and to celebrate, MRSter is producing a same-sex wedding give-away in which one Arizona couple will be awarded a dream wedding!!

Pool Deck Meal Set - JPEG

To celebrate their long time support of the LGBTQ community, Kimpton Hotels of Arizona has joined MRSter and will be sponsoring the free LGBTQ wedding give-away.  In order to enter, couples can submit their love story in the form of a short essay, video, or collection of pictures to  Finalists will be selected by the events team at Hotel Palomar Phoenix and a winning couple will be announced in January.

Arrival Lobby L1 - JPEGPool Deck at Night - JPEG

The winning couple will receive a rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding at Firesky Resort and Spa. The ceremony and wedding reception will take place at the beautiful Hotel Palomar Phoenix at Cityscape. The couple will then be sent to enjoy a mini moon at Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona. For more information, click here


Photos Courtesy Hotel Palomar Phoenix Cityscape

Alex & Augustina :: An Intimate Mid-Century Modern Wedding

Submitted by :: MRSter Approved – Kym Ventola Photography

Weddings come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Alex and Augustina’s mid-century modern wedding in Phoenix was the perfect example of an intimate, unique style that came together beautifully.

The wedding party was exceptionally quaint with just two bridesmaids and one groomsman. The ceremony style was that of simplicity and delight. The couple shared vows in a room at the Hotel Valley Ho- a place that is both colorful and muted  If you haven’t been to the hotel just imagine a scotch glass, Dean Martin and a contrasting desert scene surrounding it. It’s like a Palm Springs spectacle, but in Phoenix, and Alex and Augustina were beaming there the entire afternoon.

The color palette was pink, black, white, gold, and blue (even the bride wore a dazzling, modern dress by Max Mara to change things up a bit). Contrasting hues of bright pink peonies and light orange were where the pops of color were seen.

Following the ceremony there were photos at the hotel and a celebratory dinner at FnB- a nearby foodie hotspot where the same close group assembled for an evening meal gathered around one big table. The couple actually planned their entire day around dinner factoring in how many people the restaurant could accommodate. Additionally, the bride and some of her friends are vegan and vegetarian and FnB was the perfect place to provide them with a special meal.

Needless to say, this couple chose every detail with meaningful intentions and their love for those closest to them was very evident. It was a truly blissful, modern and quite uncomplicated day. Everything was perfectly balanced.


Mid-Century Modern, Foodie, Uncomplicated

The Professionals

Dress :: Max Mara
Suit :: Hugo Boss
Shoes :: Jimmy Choo
Flowers :: D and F flower shop in downtown Phoenix arranged by Michelle Finzer
Venue :: MRSter Approved – Hotel Valley Ho
Dinner :: FnB
Submitted and Photographed by :: MRSter Approved – Kym Ventola Photography


Phoenix, Arizona



Real Wedding :: James + Michael

James and Michael live in Chicago, but they wanted to celebrate their union in Arizona’s perfect February weather. They chose Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale to host their destination wedding.

James and Michael hired the following vendor team to create their wedding day ::

Venue + Catering :: MRSter ApprovedHotel Valley Ho
Floral :: Avant Garde Studios
Photography :: Kimberly Jarman Photography
Event Planner :: MRSter Approved – Life Design Event Planning
Wedding Cake :: La Dolce Pesca
Band :: The Hamptons

The Curvy Bride

Finally, a place for the ladies with a little extra. Strut Bridal Salon is a stylish new boutique in central Phoenix featuring a wide variety of designer gowns that don’t look like potato sacks. Sizes start at 12, and go up to 32.
Mermaid dresses, column styles and gorgeous details for all? Yes, please!

Guest blogger Gina Niemiec is the owner ofFiori Floral Design in Scottsdale, Arizona.