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After a dreary winter, we were craving all things bright, which may or may not have led to our sunniest V9 editorial falling first on the calendar this year! While not everywhere in the South is photoshoot-ready by March, St. Augustine, Florida certainly was, and I couldn’t have been happier to hop on the plane to meet up with our team at Casa Monica Hotel. For this shoot, we loved the idea of a couple who had relocated to the Sunshine State together inviting their family and friends to their new home for their wedding–something I think many couples nowadays take advantage of doing (my husband and I included!). The locale, therefore, was an automatic source of inspiration, and from the citrus and flamingo-inspired palette we used, to the tropical blooms Ashton Events arranged, to the graphic, art deco patterns that popped up throughout, I think we did Florida pretty proud.

We’re so grateful to our longtime friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Justin DeMutiis for capturing all the fun!

P.S. Spot any familiar faces in our beautiful bridal party? :)

Twinkle & Toast created the most beautiful and pop-y invitation suite to announce our colorful soiree. The die-cut invitation shape, inspired by Florida’s art deco pools, popped up several more times throughout the shoot.

Our bride’s bouquet, by Laura from Ashton Events, included Yves Piaget, Romantic Antique and Lemon Pompon garden roses; Coral Charm peonies; daffodil;, fritillaria; boronia; ranunculus; Mambo and Majolika spray roses; salal; fern; and gardenia.

Working with ghost chairs at your ceremony? Order vinyl cling-on names to mark reserved seating for loved ones.

It’s safe to say our whole team is obsessed with this tablescape, from the matte black chairs to the banded linen, colorful flowers, and poolside locale! Ashton Events, Wish Vintage Rentals, Luxe Party Rentals, and Kate Ryan Linens knocked it out of the park!

For so much more from this issue, pick up your copy on newsstands around the South or in the Southern Weddings Shop right now!

Planner, stylist, and florals: Ashton Events | Photographer: Justin DeMutiis | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Ceremony venue: St. Augustine Lightner Museum Garden Courtyard | Reception venue and catering: Casa Monica Hotel | Hair and makeup: Amanda Hopcraft | Cakes and desserts: The Pastry Studio | Popsicles: Hyppo Popsicles | Paper goods: Twinkle and Toast | Linens and rentals: Kate Ryan Linens | Rentals: Wish Vintage Rentals | Chargers: Luxe Party Rentals | Bride’s gown: Kate Spade New York | Bride’s veil: Yuri C. Wedding Shoppe | Bridesmaid dresses: Ralph Lauren | Menswear: The Black Tux | Bow ties: Rock Avenue

Ashton Events and Justin DeMutiis are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    Remember this adorable engagement session? Y’all loved Sara and Austin, and their bright, preppy style, as much as we did, and we’re delighted to share their wedding today! With the help of Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events, Sara and Austin planned a colorful celebration in the heart of Texas, complete with Kate Spade-inspired details, plenty of gorgeous blooms, sweet nods to their families and Southern roots, and a few cameo appearances by their lovable bulldog. It’s impossible not to smile looking at these photos by Love, The Nelsons, and be sure to read about the heart that was poured into every detail of this joyful day!

    Describe your wedding flowers. Mind-blowing. Beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t even know where to start. Rhi took a video of my first look at my bouquet–I was just so giddy and excited, and the squealing sound I made was embarrassing. There were flowers everywhere at our wedding–dahlias and hydrangeas and various kinds of garden and sweetheart roses were used throughout the floral elements as base blooms. Ranunculus, anemones, stock blooms, and sweet pea were used to create lush texture. Boxwood greens, laurel-like garlands, and small amounts of green jasmine vine were used throughout the event to add a touch of kelly green to the color palette, while lending to an understated preppy look. There were also pops of succulents and the most amazing accents of vibrant, wine-colored leaves! Rhi seriously outdid herself!

    My something borrowed was my grandma’s bible, which my dad and I held together as we walked down the aisle. All the women on my dad’s side of the family have carried it with their bouquets. My something blue was a small piece of satin that had “love and loyally” embroidered on it with blue thread, sewn into the hem of my dress. The saying is the closing salutation used in formal correspondence with other members of my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. My something old was a diamond earring (just one, because I lost the other as a child) given to me by my mom, which was a gift from her parents when she was young. I had the single diamond reset into a tragus earring. My something new was my amazingly sparkly Kate Spade glitter shoes! The second I saw them, I knew I had to have them for my wedding!

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did! We really wanted to have those traditional words in our ceremony, like “to have and to hold” and “for as long as you both shall live,” but we also wanted to add our personal vows, so our ceremony ended up being a hybrid of both. Exchanging our vows was very emotional–I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. I have to say, Austin totally knocked it out of the park! My favorite line from his was, “I promise to always bring you flowers when I am wrong and carry your shoes home when I am right.” It got a great reaction out of the crowd, because everyone knows I always end up complaining about my feet hurting due to my impractical choices of shoes.

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. In March 2013, my mom and my sister came to help us pack and get ready to make our move from Florida to Texas, so we took advantage of the three of us being together and went to every bridal store in the Tampa Bay area. After trying on what felt like a million dresses, we were exhausted and I was discouraged. Wedding dress shopping took a backseat for about five months while we got settled in Texas. That September, my parents came for their first visit, and again, I had a jam-packed schedule of bridal appointments. From the beginning, I had said that I didn’t want strapless and I didn’t want mermaid. After yet another long day of trying on dresses, the sweet stylist at the boutique pulled a strapless mermaid and said, “Please just try it, you might be surprised.” Boy, was she right! I fell in love with the strapless mermaid sample that came as-is, needed to be altered into a sweetheart top, couldn’t be let out, and was totally outside what I ever imagined myself wearing on my wedding day.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our invitations were very traditional, with a twist. The front of the invitation was simple and understated, with traditional wording straight out of the Emily Post etiquette book, but the back had this beautiful floral pattern, designed by Lemon & Lavender, that was used throughout the wedding. Our food was very Southern–we served Texas BBQ, complete with beef brisket and sausage, mesquite-smoked chicken, macaroni and cheese, and jalapeño cornbread. People said it was the best wedding food they had ever had!

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: So many details, so many favorites. The blush-colored sequin linens (Rhi was right, a tablecloth can make such a statement), the laser-cut cake topper, the boxwood Mr. & Mrs. chair swag, the programs that doubled as fans (because it was HOT and those came in handy for our guests), our hand-lettered chalkboard welcome sign, and clear plastic beer cups that incorporated our clever wedding hashtag: #mrmrslafinally (our last name is LaFaille, and after a four year, seven month, 30-day courtship, followed by a one year, nine month, 27-day engagement, we FINALLY got married!).

    Our cake was so amazing! It was a three-tiered round cake with black and white stripes on the top two tiers and an all-white bottom tier. It was sitting on a base covered in beautiful bright green boxwood, had a small, perfectly-placed cluster of HGE blooms, and was topped with a gorgeous gold laser-cut cake topper that said “happily ever after.” We also had a groom’s cake in the shape of Howard’s Rock at Clemson University, Austin’s alma mater. The groom’s cake sat on a marble table that was adorned with all of Austin’s favorite things: hot tamales, cigars, golf balls/tees in big apothecary jars, an old gumball machine that was given to him by his late grandfather filled with peanut M&M’s (his grandpa’s favorite candy), a square gold vase that held the state flags of all the places Austin has lived, and even a ceramic figurine of an English bulldog.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in March 2008 while we were both vacationing in Negril, Jamaica. I was in my junior year of college and on a trip with two friends–girls only, relaxation required, and no drama allowed. Austin was on his high school senior trip with 15+ friends–last hurrah, no rules, and a whole lot of memories to make. It was hard not to notice them. We were officially introduced after running into each other on the beach. Our groups exchanged friendly conversations and hollow declarations of meeting up again. It wasn’t until a fortuitous encounter at the hotel bar that same evening that we started to recognize there was a magnetism that existed between us. We had our first kiss in a Jamaican discotheque, and thanks to the sheer scandal of this budding relationship, we have a picture of our first kiss. We spent the rest of the week getting to know each other and hoping it would never end. Once the trip was over, the reality of the situation set in. I lived in Colorado. Austin was in South Carolina. It all seemed crazy, but we knew we had a connection and we knew we wanted to make it work. So, a zillion dollars in plane tickets that first year while I was still in Colorado, a lot of miles on our cars once I moved to West Virginia, four years of college for Austin, three moves, and one ornery-but-lovable bulldog later, here we are–starting our lives in Texas. We couldn’t be happier or more excited to finally be husband and wife.
    Tell us all about the proposal! It was the week of Thanksgiving 2012 and my parents and sister were visiting us in Florida. On Saturday morning, the only thing on the agenda for the day was decorating our Christmas tree, which I really wanted to do while my family was still there. Since decorating a tree and dropping people off at the airport hardly requires getting ready, I was going to go sans shower, which was met with extreme opposition by my sister and mother–so much so that they ended up convincing me that I smelled and I reluctantly heeded their demands that I get ready. Once everyone was showered and looking cute (unnecessarily, in my mind), we began to decorate our Christmas tree. True to form, The Colonel (my daddy) was filming the whole event on his iPad. We emptied four boxes of ornaments and topped it off with a giant gold glittery bow (obvi). My parents said, “Okay, now let’s light it up and get a picture of y’all in front of your first Christmas tree.” We turned the lights on as I hammed it up in front of the camera, and then Austin got down on one knee in front of everyone and said, “Sara Ashley Lucas, I love you more than anything in this world–will you marry me?”
    When did y’all get married? September 20, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My Uncle Steve officiated the wedding; he also married my parents 35 years prior. That was really special to us. We took his standard ceremony and made a few tweaks here and there to put our own stamp on it. My mama loves 1 Corinthians 13, so we spilt that up between two of my sorority sisters and they each read a portion. It was really special to be able to involve them in such an intimate way!
    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. My daddy and I walked down the aisle to “Shape of Us” by Ian Britt. I did struggle a bit with whether or not I should use the original version with the words or find an instrumental version. I took my wedding planner’s advice to just do what felt right to me and not to worry about what people would think, so I ended up using the original. After all, it’s the words that made my first listen of the song so profound. A crowd favorite at our reception was “Country Roads” by John Denver. It was the last song of the night and such a perfect way to pay tribute to West Virginia. My parents both grew up there, we still have a lot of family there (many who were in attendance), and I even lived there for three years right after college. A part of my heart will always be in the “Wild and Wonderful” state of West Virginia!
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We loved the concept of juxtaposition; the idea of our guests eating good ol’ Southern BBQ off of gold-rimmed china with gold flatware was so perfect! The whole BBQ notion lent itself seamlessly to a buffet rather than a plated dinner, which is inherently less expensive. I mean, let’s be honest, everyone wants to serve up their own helping of macaroni and cheese!
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner–not just any wedding planner, but one that shares your aesthetic and style, one that understands your vision, and one that you can be honest with. Hands down, the best investment. I would have lost my mind without Rhi! And make sure you “click” with your photographer. Feeling comfortable in front of Shalyn and Drew was really important to us!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have planned so much of everything up to this point, so we are really just looking forward to living and not planning! We are excited to continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. And eventually, grow our family! But for now, Austin, Rumpelstiltskin, and I are looking forward to a long weekend cuddling on the couch!

    Photographer: Love, The Nelsons / Planner and Florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Venue: Vista West Ranch / Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes by Lori / Caterer: PoK-e-Jo’s / Rentals: Premiere Events, Loot Vintage Rentals, Whim Event Rentals / DJ: Complete / Paper Products: Lemon + Lavender / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Bride’s Gown: “Sorento” by Ines Di Santo / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Bride’s Sash: Venust Bridal Design / Bride’s Bracelet and Shoes: Kate Spade / Bride’s Garter: Fallen Star Couture / Bride’s Earrings: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway / Hair Stylist: Mindy Fuller / Makeup Artist: Makenzi Laine / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Bridesmaids’ Monogrammed Chambray Shirts: Crystal Faye / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbons: Oatmeal Lace / Flower Girl’s Tutu: Tutu Girl / Dog’s Bow Tie: Mia’s Closet

    Vista West Ranch is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    29 Comments
    1. avatar Zookbinders reply

      What a gorgeous bride, love the earrings. The wedding cake is also beautiful! Love the stripes and the Happily Ever After on top.

    2. avatar Bradley James reply

      This is incredibly stunning! Love everything about this wedding, impeccable job Rhi and Shalyn.

    3. avatar Julie reply

      That place setting is gorgeous!

    4. avatar Shalyn Awesomesauce Nelson reply

      YOU GUYS ARE MY FAVORITE MUFFINS IN THE WORLD! Thank y’all for the beautiful feature! Truly wish y’all lived close so I could hug all of your necks! <3

    5. avatar MaryIsabel reply

      Love the Ines Di Santo dress!

    6. avatar Dana reply

      love her shoes, the pink suspenders, the flowers, and the ceremony arch!

    7. avatar Amy reply

      Just lover-er-ly all the way around! Best wishes to the bride and groom

    8. avatar Amy reply

      Love the pink, suspenders, dresses, and the bride, how gorgeous and the smiles, best part!

    9. avatar The Fabulous Five – Spunky Sapphire Events reply

      […] Spade-inspired wedding designed by the always fabulous Rhi from Hey Gorgeous Events and featured on Southern Weddings.  That sentence is just a plethora of incredible people with missions that mean so […]

    10. avatar jacin reply

      that arch is insane! so gorgeous.

    11. avatar Jadzia reply

      The flowers!!!!!!! Truly spectacular!!

    12. avatar Liz reply

      This was such a beautiful wedding! Amazing job Shay and Rhi!!

    13. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

      The floral arrangement on the arch at the reception is stunning. There are so many details to love at this wedding: the bulldog with the bowtie, the circle twine lights at the reception, the hot pink suspenders, and her shoes to name a few!

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    It’s a good week here at Southern Weddings for my fellow pink and gold glitter-loving gals! After thoroughly gushing over yesterday’s wedding, I considered reigning in my enthusiasm a little for Katey and Matt’s post, but decided against it. If you know me, you know that when I get excited, I talk WAY too fast, so please read this quickly and drink in all the prettiness below!

    As a wedding planner herself, Katey had so many creative ideas, but she knew she didn’t want to go overboard. Armed with Kate Spade as her inspiration and the beautiful Sanderling Resort as her backdrop, she created a perfectly preppy celebration! I think she found just the right balance of big and bright (hello ah-mazing paper flowers at the ceremony) and sweet and subtle (that LulaKate bow belt)! It’s also completely romantic that Katey and Matt held their wedding weekend in the same place where she realized he was the one for her–swoon!

    I’m so glad Meaghan Elliot was there to capture this wedding!

    Tell us all about the proposal! We were with my family in the Bahamas over the holidays. Although it seemed like the perfect time to propose, I had no idea it was coming, as we had briefly talked about getting engaged sometime in 2014 and then getting married in 2015. This vacation was in 2012! My sister and I gifted our parents with professional family photos on the beach as a Christmas present. While the photographer was snapping pictures, I turned around to check out the sunset, and when I turned back around, Matt was on one knee. It was the shock of a lifetime!

    Oh, nelly! Wedding dress shopping was so much fun! For the first shopping trip, I brought my mom, sister, best friend, and a few aunts. We had a large group, but it was such a special time to share with some of the most important women in my life. I went back with just two ladies a few weeks later and found my dress! To make it more “me,” I found the perfect bow belt from LulaKate and a veil with three stripes on the bottom, which really helped complete my look and personalize it a bit.

    Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! I felt as though nothing would take away from that iconic moment when I walked down the aisle with my dad and saw Matt at the end waiting for me–even if we had seen each other before. I loved being able to see him and it helped settle a few nerves. We were able to get some pictures together and with the bridal party, which allowed us to enjoy more time with our guests after the ceremony.

    Our bridal party walked down the aisle to “In My Life” by The Beatles, We thought that was a great song to celebrate all of our friendships with our bridal party. We went very traditional for the other songs–I walked down the aisle to “Bridal March,” and “Wedding Chorus” played when we were announced man and wife.

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Matt and I were taking pictures on the beach at sunset when we came up over the dune to join everyone else who was already dancing. We stood up on top of the dune for a few minutes and watched our friends and family celebrating our marriage at one of our favorite places. The sun dipped into the bay and we went to join in on the party…we’ll never forget that!

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It sounds corny, but it was so amazing to have so many of our friends and family not only in the same state, but in the same 400-foot radius. Our loved ones are spread out all over the country and to have them all in the Outer Banks for a few days was so nice. As for the details, we didn’t even plan this, but guys ended up putting their escort card flowers on their shirt or suit pockets, so it was like all the men had boutonnieres. It really added a fun pop of color to the wedding in an unexpected place.

    Describe your wedding flowers. Working with Renee Landry was fantastic, and with my ideas and her creative genius, we ended up with three looks for the tables. They were all rectangle or square and were inspired by a bright, colorful, Kate Spade look. We did small bud vases with massive peonies in them for the longer tables, and we sprinkled in garden roses as well. Everything was bright and bold and I loved it! We also spray painted artichokes gold to stick the table numbers in, and they turned out beautifully!

    Since my family is from Pittsburgh and we are Italian, we followed a big Italian tradition in Pittsburgh of a cookie bar, where tons of family members bake cookies and serve them at the wedding. Since we had a destination wedding, we knew this wouldn’t exactly be possible. I ended up doing a cookie display with cookies that represented some of our favorite things–our hobbies, dogs, favorite sports teams, and of course, our monogram!

    To see more of this gorgeous wedding, take a peek at Katey and Matt’s video by our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Blueberry Creative!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I lived in DC for awhile working on Capitol Hill, and then headed up to Baltimore to pursue a career in advertising. Mutual Virginia Tech alumni friends brought us together a few times, but it wasn’t until Halloween that we finally met while aboard the Urban Pirate Ship that sails around in the inner harbor in Baltimore (kind of a hilarious place to meet!).
    When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up going to the Outer Banks, and some of my fondest memories have happened there. After about a year of dating, Matt and I and some friends went to OBX in October for a long weekend. It was the first time many of my friends who didn’t live close by were able to meet Matt and hang out with him. Everything went so well (I figured it would, of course!), and it was on that vacation that I realized he was the one for me. How special to go back and marry him there! Guests stayed at The Sanderling, and we celebrated the welcome party, ceremony, reception, and brunch there. We wanted our wedding weekend to be a vacation for everyone.
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had our bridesmaids read our wishes and promises to each other instead of readings. Some were funny and others were more serious–one wished us a lifetime of love, laughter, and strength through life’s ups and downs. In another, I promised not to not force Matt to eat all of the crazy healthy meals I make, like cauliflower pizza!
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Being a wedding planner and working in weddings every day, it was hard to “stop.” I wanted to do so many things and had so many ideas/etc, but I didn’t want to go overboard or over budget. There’s just so much inspiration out there and it’s hard to narrow down ideas.
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I had our bridesmaids carry the boxes with the wishes instead of flowers. Since I chose a very expensive flower for the reception, I knew we needed to save somewhere. It was a fun unique twist for bridesmaids, and it saved me from having to buy 12 bridesmaid bouquets! A few of the girls carried huge paper flowers too.
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When you and your fiancé need to do some planning, go to an interesting place, like a park, a bench on the water, a restaurant (with Internet of course), etc. That way, even if you’re talking about less fun topics, it is not as bad if you’re eating a great meal or watching sailboats go by–we did lots of planning on Baltimore’s waterfront! Also, it’s never too soon to start purchasing things for the wedding! After you nail down your color palette and vision for the day, if you see a cocktail napkin design on Etsy you love, order it, even if the wedding is still five months away. Nothing is worse than praying for a shipment to get in on time!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. We’re in such a great time in our lives–so many of our friends are having babies, buying homes, and creating their lives together. We can’t wait to join in the fun with them!

    Photographer: Meaghan Elliott Photography / Videographer: Blueberry Creative / Planner: lemon & lime event design / Day-of Coordinator: Orangerie Events / Venue and Catering: The Sanderling Resort / Florist: Renee Landry Style / Cake Baker: Patti Cakes / Rentals: AFR / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting / Band: Burnt Sienna / Paper Products: Fig2 Design Company / Bride’s Gown: “1103” by Blush by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: Garnish Boutique / Bride’s Jewelry: Kate Spade / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Hair and Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers / Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate / Menswear: Perry Ellis / Dog Cookies: Sweet Kiera / Monogram Cookies: Sweet Goosie Girl / Beach/Ski Cookies: Miss Lizzy Cakes / College Cookies: Ruthie’s Cookies / Watercolor Calligraphy: Perch Paper Company / Cheers Signs and Bridesmaids’ Flowers: Lovelyfest Goods / Ceremony Music: Club Violin / Cocktail Hour Music: Hear Steel Drums Play / Escort Card Paper Flowers: Land of Flowers / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbon: Oatmeal Lace Design / Wedding Signs: Sweet NC Collective / Custom Clutches: Bobbie K Designs / Table Numbers: Better Off Wed / Instagram Clay Vases: Hadley Clay / Koozies: Rouge and Co

    Blueberry Creative, Orangerie Events, and the Sanderling Resort are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    12 Comments
    1. avatar Jenn – Wedding Supplies reply

      Amazing details for each any every component of this wedding design – adorable!

    2. avatar Calling Local Mama’s…. | Meaghan Elliott Photography Blog reply

      […] brides (Katey & Matt) weddings (think Kate Spade meets nautical… Outer Banks wedding) is featured on their site today! […]

    3. avatar Hadley reply

      What a beautiful, inspiring wedding! I’m SO thrilled my little instagram bud vase was included! XO

    4. avatar Lisa reply

      What a fun wedding!! Love all the creative ways they used navy and white stripes, and that ceremony space is a show stopper!

    5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

      […] Katie and Evan did our blush and bashful-loving hearts proud at their beautiful Arkansas wedding! Katey and Matt‘s Kate Spade-inspired wedding took place at a sentimental beach […]

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    9. avatar Excited M-I-L to be reply

      I really must know where the Katey purchased the robes for the bridesmaids in the Kate Spade inspired wedding. Please, can anyone help me find those….??

      • avatar Lisa reply

        They are from Plum Pretty Sugar! Find them here: http://rstyle.me/ad/w7heabfdsf

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