We’re telling today’s Real Wedding story with a bit of a twist! Jared and Stephanie got married on June 7 in a rustic, casual affair at Red Horse Barn in Huntington Beach, CA. To outfit their awesome wedding party, they worked with their Nordstrom Men’s Shop stylist Josh! Read on for details.

From Stephanie: Our vision for our wedding day was to have a big celebration where everyone would be able to enjoy themselves, eat great food and dance the night away! To accomplish this, we went with a rustic outdoor inspiration that created a relaxed and casual vibe.

At first, the planning was a little tough because I was still in school and Jared was working full time in Orange County. However, once we set our minds to making decisions about colors, rentals, catering, etc., we plunged forward and didn’t look back to second-guess any of our decisions. I had lots of help from my sister and my sister-in-law getting the whole vision to come together. We dreamed up ideas for centerpieces and décor and then went to flea markets and garage sales to collect things that would fit our rustic theme.

To create our wedding party looks, we worked with Josh Boudreau at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza, in the Men’s Shop. His expertise definitely helped take all of the attire to a much greater level than we could have envisioned without him.

The bridesmaids wore matching Calvin Klein dresses: silk chiffon with rosette-detailed bodices, in a mint color that matched my mint shoes! The girls each chose their own nude or tan wedges and wore pearl bracelets.

Josh helped Jared and the groomsmen pick out which colors would work best together, and he helped us find the right fit of the pants and shirts as well. The groomsmen wore grey Topman dress pants and gingham print Calibrate shirts in black and white with mint ties. Jared wore a Topman jacket and pants with the same shirt and tie.

Jared and I didn’t see each other the day of the wedding, until I made my way down the aisle. That was one of my favorite things—getting to step out and surprise him and take it all in as I walked toward the man of my dreams!

When the reception started, we finally got to see our vision come to fruition, and things turned out better than we could have ever imagined. It was amazing to see everyone who had come out to celebrate with us and support our new adventure in life!

Photography by Frenzel Studios


Blooms for the boys: a do or a don’t? And where did that idea come from anyway?

The tradition of using flowers in bouquets, corsages and boutonnières originated in the Greek times, when fragrant flowers and herbs were thought to ward off evil spirits. Today, boutonnières are less of a good-luck charm and more of a fashion statement—but they’re still very popular in weddings.

Whether a boutonnière is worn by the groom only, or by fathers, grandfathers and groomsmen too, it can be a nice accent to a suit jacket and a way to tie in the colors or flowers in the bouquets. Plus, with all of the unique and modern ideas for materials, they can be a great way to show personal style!

However, bouts are not a necessity, and it doesn’t mean the wedding is less formal without; it’s definitely up to the style of the couple!

If you’re in the camp of “the more flowers the better,” or if you think that guys just don’t look fully dressed until they have flowers on their lapels, then we have some great boutonnière ideas here for you!

Succulents and twine, with Grandpa’s war medal, via Green Wedding Shoes

Colored succulents and small pink peonies, via Style Me Pretty

Natural green pine, succulent leaves and seeds, via Style Me Pretty

Cotton balls, wheat and dried flowers, via Style Me Pretty

Pink and dark red with lots of greenery, via 100 Layer Cake

Shades of yellow and green in all different materials, via Marin Kristine

Want to know how to make  your own boutonnières? (You know our Brideology blogger and DIY-er does!) Here are a few simple tips to follow:

1) Prepare all the stems by cleaning, taking off extra leaves and cutting them into 3-inch pieces.

2) Start by laying down the greenery or accent materials in a slight fan shape. Then layer on the main flowers to overlap slightly below the greenery.

3) Use floral tape to wrap the stems together, starting at the top and working toward the bottom of the stems. Add more flowers and wrap again as needed.

4) Depending on the type of flowers and the sturdiness of the stems, you may want to add wire to make it stronger. If so, lay the wire vertically, along the stems, and then fold over at the top, so that it’s hidden among the blooms.

5) Wrap a ribbon or thread around the tape to cover it and secure it with a small dot of hot glue on the back. Then add a large pin that will be used to pin on lapel.

We’re curious: do you (or did you?) plan to use boutonnières? If so, what style?


Is it necessary to exchange gifts as a couple the day of the wedding? We hear this question a lot. You already have some gorgeous bling on your finger, and you may be spending plenty of your hard-earned money on the wedding itself, so it’s natural that you might wonder what’s appropriate for gift-giving on the big day. Although we’ve heard of some truly amazing big gifts, we think the idea of a small, sweet gesture sounds perfect, like this idea from one of the recent brides on our team!

Getting inspiration from Pinterest (a bride’s BFF, right?), our bride put together this “survival kit” for her groom. It was an easy, personal and inexpensive way to let him know she was thinking of him and help him out through the day. (We especially love the “Lifesavers” line!) The couple also wrote each other sincere notes to commemorate the day, which they will always treasure.