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Wedding

A Rain-Filled Eastern Shore Wedding Celebration

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Christine Tanner and Christopher Perdue first met on a big family vacation, when their families joined forces at Bethany Beach, Delaware, during the summer of 2016. And after a weekend with their families (including both sets of parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews!) and more than a few attempts to set them up, the two decided that maybe their families were right. The only problem? They lived two hours apart! But the distance didn’t stop them, and Chris drove down to D.C., where Chrissy was living at the time, to take her to dinner. “We had such a great time that he ended up staying the entire weekend,” she recalls. “We immediately knew that this was something special, and the day after he left, we couldn’t wait to see each other again. So we didn’t.” They “met in the middle” for a date the next day—and after those first few dates, Chrissy says they tried not to spend more than three days apart, with Chris often driving down as many as three times a week.

Fast forward to a year and a half later—to March 17, 2017, exactly—when Chris popped the question on yet another family vacation in Aspen. After a sleigh ride and a wine-paired dinner in a remote cabin restaurant, Chris knew exactly how he’d propose: by placing the ring below Chrissy’s pillow. “Very early on I knew I wanted to marry her, so I started this “tradition” where every night I would sneak a ring pop under her pillow,” he explains. “Months later, with about 150 ring pops piled around various places, here we were with me placing one final ring under her pillow.” He then told Chrissy that he’d forgotten something underneath her pillow, and asked her to retrieve it before he got down on one knee by a fire pit outside their room.

After such a romantic Aspen engagement, the couple considered the mountain destination for their wedding but ultimately kept coming back to Chris’s family farm in Berlin, Maryland. “Not only is it a beautiful property—it’s 168 acres of forest, farmland, and shoreline with gorgeous views of Assateague Island—but the area carries significance for both Chris and me,” says Chrissy, who grew up vacationing in nearby Ocean City, Maryland. So, with their Eastern Shore venue set, Chris and Chrissy hired local planner Kari Rider Events to bring their “black tie meets coastal chic” vision to life and asked photographer Kate Headley to capture every detail of the day—even those that weren’t, well, quite as planned. More on that below!

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Chris and Chrissy made sure to welcome their guests to the “shore” in style. To do that, they started with a custom invitation suite that featured a drawing of the family’s farm, as well as illustrations of chickens and sailboats, to set the scene for a farm wedding on the water. And once the big day arrived, they welcomed everyone with bags stuffed with local brews and snacks.

Photo by Kate Headley

Chrissy accessorized with her solitaire engagement ring, an oval diamond necklace, and diamond stud earrings—all gifts from her groom. They were photographed in a basket with an oyster shell and dusty blue ribbon to again set the tone for the day’s design.

Photo by Kate Headley

Chrissy wore a lace trumpet gown by Monique Lhuillier, which she admits she “kept coming back to” while dress shopping. “I loved how delicate the lace was and the classic feel of the dress,” she explains.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

During the wedding party portraits—and just minutes before the ceremony start time!—it became clear to the couple that their outdoor ceremony was no-go thanks to a surprise storm. “We had eight inches of rainfall in the span of an hour,” the bride recalls. But that didn’t stop them from nailing the group shots and adjusting the ceremony plan from outdoors—first, in the garden and then in a nearby tent—into their indoor Plan C: the farmhouse’s living room.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

“Within seconds, all the furniture had been removed, the flower boxes that were meant to line the aisle were placed on the mantle of the fireplace, and our 220 guests filed into the living room and overflowed into the foyer and onto the porch, creating an intimate ceremony no one will soon forget,” Chrissy explains. During the standing room only event, the bride walked down a spiral staircase as “her aisle” before she and her groom exchanged vows they’d written themselves.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

After the indoor ceremony, the skies miraculously cleared in time for the crowd, including the adorable flower girls dressed in tulle J.Crew dresses, to move outside for dinner and dancing in a gorgeous sailcloth tent.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

But first: Everyone enjoyed cocktails and cold brews (in personalized koozies!) as they played corn hole and games on the lawn.

Photo by Kate Headley

Guests found their seat assignments attached to mini honey jars, which were filled with honey harvested from bees on the family’s farm.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

The reception’s decor reiterated the couple’s Eastern Shore aesthetic with dusty blue linens, woven accents, and white blooms mixed with natural greenery.

Photo by Kate Headley

Dancing was a large part of the night as the couple kicked off the party with a special set before the salad course was served. And after family-style dinner of beef tenderloin and lobster risotto, everyone returned to the dance floor as Starlight Orchestra played contemporary pop music and classic hits. “We were told by several guests that they were the best band they had ever seen perform at a wedding,” Chrissy says.

Photo by Kate Headley

And though the wedding didn’t go quite as planned, it ended on a high note (with fireworks!) and the bride even counts the impromptu ceremony as her favorite part of the day. “It was intimate, spontaneous, and memorable,” she says. “The room was full of love and support.”

Venue: Sandy Point Farm || Wedding Planning & Design: Kari Rider Events || Officiant: Jacob Day || Bride’s Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier || Jewelry: Kuhn’s Jewelers || Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Andrea Bounds Beauty || Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire: J.Crew || Flower Girl Attire: J.Crew, Jenny Yoo || Ring Bearer Attire: J.Crew || Floral Design: Flowers by Alison || Invitations & Paper Products: Stephanie B. Design || Entertainment: Two Rivers Chamber Music, Starlight Orchestra || Catering: Gourmet by the Bay || Cake: Desserts by Rita, Classic Smith Island Cakes || Rentals: White Glove Rentals, Party Rental Ltd. || Linens: La Tavola Linen || Lighting: City Florist || Tent: Coastal Tented Events || Transportation: Executive Transportation || Fireworks: Fireworks Extravaganza || Photography: Kate Headley

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Wedding

Exclusive: An Inside Look at Rocky Barnes and Matthew Cooper's Wedding

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Congrats are in order—Rachel “Rocky” Barnes and Matthew Cooper are officially a married duo! On Saturday, September 15, 2018, the influencer and her restaurateur-slash-photographer beau said “I do” on the 10th hole at Knickerbocker Country Club in Tenafly, New Jersey. “The venue is the Cooper family’s country club,” Rocky explains. “It is a place where Matt grew up going every summer, and it holds a lot of sentimental value.” In fact, the bride jokes, “This is Matt’s wedding!” Which, in many ways is true, as the bride and groom very much tackled wedding planning as a team of two. They divided up tasks to plan the 170-person event (with the help of Ashley Port at BK Events) in nine months: Matt handled the food and the music, while Rocky took on all the “traditional meets bohemian” aesthetics, including the stunning floral-lined aisle, mix-and-match bridesmaids dresses, and, of course, her many bridal looks (more on that, below!).

So keep reading to see a preview of exclusive images from Rocky and Matt’s wedding day, plus more pics from her final dress fitting, all as photographed by Heather Waraksa.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

But first: The couple kicked off the weekend’s events with a rehearsal dinner in New York City. The bride wore a chic slip dress, paired with a hat and veil.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The bride tapped LoveShackFancy to create custom gowns for her five bridesmaids (all friends from college or high school!). LoveShackFancy also made mini versions for the three flower girls, who the bride calls “Rocky’s Angels.”

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

At the outdoor ceremony, the bride walked down a flower-lined aisle to meet Matt (wearing Franc Milton) at the altar. There, below a tree covered in deep burgundy florals and accented with pampas grass, the couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves. Matt surprised Rocky with a gospel choir singing “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison for the processional, David Grey’s “This Year’s Love” for the bridal march, and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” for their exit as Mr. and Mrs. Cooper. After the ceremony, everyone drove golf carts to cocktail hour on the country club’s terrace. Matt’s food focus was on full display with a menu of mini crab cakes, flatbread pizzas, grilled cheese and tomato soup shots, and dim sum from his restaurant in L.A. Dinner followed in the ballroom before everyone headed to the final stop of the night: an after-party at the Boom Boom Room in New York City! (We’re still awaiting pics from these fun-filled festivities, but we’ll update you once we have them.)

But, for now, let’s take a closer look at the fashionista’s two gorgeous gowns. Last week, we caught up with Rocky for her final dress fitting at the Pronovias flagship—and luckily, her wedding photographer, Heather Waraksa, was with us for the little pre-wedding photo shoot!

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Rocky worked with the team at Pronovias to create a custom Atelier Pronovias tulle gown. The final design, which took more than 113 hours to create, features a mermaid silhouette with an open back, deep-V neckline, and dramatic train. And every inch of the dress is covered in embroidered, geometric designs! “I wanted a classic shape and loved the intricacy of the beading,” she says.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Rocky says she wanted to keep her accessories to minimum—so much, that she almost didn’t wear a veil! “I wasn’t sure I wanted a veil until I tried it on, and then I couldn’t imagine my dress without one,” she explains.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

After seeing sheer dresses at the Pronovias runway show, Rocky says she considered wearing a dress sans slip—but then she thought about talking to her dad all night long and reconsidered! In the end, she had a nude lining sewn inside the dress to create the effect of a sheer silhouette without it actually being sheer. “I chose a nude color so it would show off at the intricate beadwork and make it pop,” she says. (She also adds that the beading is her favorite part of the dress!)

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

With the after-party at the Boom Boom Room, Rocky knew she needed a party-ready dress so she tapped Pronovias to create a custom look for the occasion. The flapper-style design features a high neck and short skirt trimmed with ivory feathers.

The bride’s rings are also custom. Matt worked with Kaisa Design to make Rocky’s unique, horizontal engagement ring, and their wedding bands (by By Chari) are personalized with a hidden detail. “Matt’s band has the longitude and latitude of where we got engaged and my ring has the coordinates of our wedding venue,” Rocky explains.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

And with that, we’ll have to imagine what it was like dancing the night away in this party-ready number! Cheers to the happy couple!

Wedding Venue & Catering: Knickerbocker Country Club || Wedding Planner: BK Events || Bride’s Ceremony Dress: Pronovias || Bride’s Reception Dress: Pronovias || Groom’s Attire: Franc Milton || Engagement Ring: Kasia Jewelry || Wedding Bands: By Chari || Bridesmaids & Flower Girl Dresses: LoveShackFancy || Groom’s Attire: Wedding Invitations: Sloane Harmony Design, co-designed with BK Events || Photography of Invitation’s Floral Design: Mary Jo Hoffman || Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina || Floral Design: Of The Flowers || Rentals: La Tavola, Party Rental, Ltd. || Cake: Nine Cakes || Specialty Cocktails: Moet & Chandon || Welcome Boxes: Always XO with BK Events || Entertainment: Hank Lane Music, Reggie Woods Band || Photo Booth: MirMir || After-Party Venue: Boom Boom Room || Photography: Heather Waraksa || Videography: Shark Pig

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Wedding

29 Fall Wedding Decor Ideas We're Loving in 2018

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There’s something exciting about a change of season, and especially so when that season is fall. With fall comes good weather, great food, and even better company (everyone is back together after summer vacay!). Plus, beyond the general good vibes that come with the season, fall is naturally a beautiful time of year. There are gorgeous leaves on the trees; bright flowers (like dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias) in bloom, and fresh produce (apples, pears, pumpkins) in season.

Basically, all the highlights of fall double as elements of a great (and beautiful!) wedding. So, when gathering inspiration for the season, our editors decided to focus on what exactly makes a fall wedding so special, year after year. (It is the most popular season to say “I do,” after all.) And this time, after years of twisting the look of fall with new takes on fall colors, et cetera, we found ourselves drawn to environments and palettes that felt almost stereotypically fall. But not in a cheesy way—there’s not a pumpkin or gourd in sight in this gallery. Instead, we thought about the warm hues of the flowers and leaves (reds, yellows, oranges), plus the textures (woods, ceramics) associated with being in the great outdoors. And as you’ll see in the gallery we created below, combining these textures and colors can result in gorgeous, natural, and seasonal wedding perfection in every shape and form (from tablescapes to invites and more).

Plus, in addition to our general inspo for the season, we threw in a few surprises from you. Take our new favorite color pairing (spoiler: it’s yellow with blue!) and guest-pleasing ideas (think mini beer flights). So keep reading to see what is inspiring us this season—we hope it will inspire your own big day as well. And if you’re still seaching for more pretty pics after all these slides, head over here and here for even more seasonal ideas. After all, we wouldn’t dare limit our fall wedding inspiration to one post!

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Wedding

Chiara Ferragni's Epic Wedding in Italy

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That’s amore! Chiara Ferragni is officially a married woman. Last night, the fashion entrepreneur and influencer behind The Blonde Salad married Federico Leonardo Lucia, better known as Fedez, in a wedding heard round the (social media) world. And it’s no surprise why! There were three custom Dior dresses, an grand castle setting, a performance by the groom…

But the epic-ness of the event started before guests even arrived. First, the couple flew their closest friends and family members on a chartered Alitalia flight to Noto, Italy, where the wedding would take place. The plane was branded with the weekend’s hashtag #TheFerragnez (because, of course) on everything from the tarmac to the Pringles in each snack box. Then, once everyone landed, the festivities kicked off on Friday night with the rehearsal dinner at the historic Noto Bassi di Palazzo Nicolaci. Chiara revealed the first of her bridal looks: A custom, beaded dress by Prada. She paired the glittering gown with glam, gold makeup.

On the big day itself, the bride worked with planner Alessandra Grillo of Brothers&Sisters and designer Vincenzo Dascanio to dream up a ceremony that looked as if it was straight out of a fairytale. The event took place at Dimora Delle Balze, where the enchanted castle setting (actually, a chic boutique hotel) was dressed with an abundance of florals—from trees filled with white roses at the altar to an aisle lined with flower-covered arches and bunches of white hydrangea on each side

Photo by David Bastianoni

Vogue reveals that the bride walked down the aisle in a custom gown by Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior. “Dior has always been one of my favorite brands, and I love what Maria Grazia Chiuri does,” she said. “So my dream was to get married in one of her creations.” The Dior Haute Couture design featured a lace bodice, mock neckline, and tulle skirt. It looked traditional, iconic, and timeless—but with a modern twist. Below the tulle overskirt, the bride was actually wearing a romper!

Chiara and Fedez exchanged vows in front of a dramatic backdrop—and colorful smoke bombs went off after they were officially wed! The pair was surrounded by Chiara’s bridesmaids, who wore custom gowns by Alberta Ferretti that were made from sustainable fabrics. Little Leo, the couple’s infant son, took part in the ceremony and wore a custom outfit by Dior for the special occasion.

Photo by David Bastianoni

After the ceremony, the celebration transitioned to second over-the-top space nearby. There, long dinner tables were set up below an immense canopy of twinkle lights.

For the reception, the bride changed into a second custom creation by Dior. This design, which required 600,000 hours of work and 400 meters of fabric to make, featured a bustier bodice and jumpsuit base atop a voluminous tulle skirt. The material was embroidered with lyrics from “Favorisca I Sentimenti,” the song Fedez wrote to propose to Chiara last May. (Watch the epic vid here if you haven’t already!)

Photo by David Bastianoni

And speaking of videos: You can watch the rest of the night unfold on the bride’s Instagram stories, but know it was full of surprises and creative wedding ideas (for you to copy!). For one, the couple cut into a hanging cake, shown above, as fireworks went off in the distance. Chiara also changed into a third and final look (a short skirt, paired with the second gown’s bodice).

Photo by David Bastianoni

Finally, the newlyweds surprised their guests with the “The Ferragnez Amusement Park,” complete with a ferris wheel, carousel, and even mini-me versions of the bride and groom in a prize booth. And the night ended much as the couple’s epic engagement began—with a performance by the groom!

We can’t wait to see more details come to life as the bride, groom, and their 120 lucky guests continue to post away. But for now: Head over to Vogue for even more details—and congrats to the happy couple on their Instagram-worthy celebration!

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Wedding

An Outdoor Celebration in an Aspen Meadow

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Matthew Miller had planned a picture-perfect proposal for Orly Friedman, his girlfriend of nearly two years. He selected San Francisco’s Billy Goat Hill Park, where they had their first date; lined an area with votive candles; and even had friends stationed in bushes to snap photos and shoo away passersby. Orly happily said yes—but afterward, she admits, something didn’t feel right. “I knew it was happening,” she recalls of the less-than-surprising moment. “I didn’t feel the way that everyone looks in photos! I wasn’t having those emotions!” So after celebrating, she ran this idea by Matthew: What if they took turns proposing to each other? “I wanted us to make our own rules,” she says. In the ensuing months, they went back and forth, popping the question a total of nine times—via a customized crossword puzzle, for example, during a scavenger hunt around the San Francisco Bay Area, and while paragliding in Italy (“Marry Me?” was written in a field below). “It was a fun way to keep the excitement of that year going,” she says. 

For their wedding last September, Matthew, who works in finance for a solar project developer, and Orly, the head of a lower school, invited 180 guests for a three-day event in Aspen, Colorado. “My grandparents celebrated their first wedding anniversary in Aspen, and my family has been visiting ever since,” says the bride. They enlisted Bluebird Productions to plan a weekend that kicked off with group activities—like bike rides (in the couple’s branded uniforms) and yoga sessions—before Friday night’s Shabbat meal and, on Saturday, a Western-themed rehearsal dinner. On Sunday, the couple married in a meadow—in the freezing rain! “We were always doing it outside…Plan B was ponchos and umbrellas,” Orly says with a laugh. Still, they kept their guests’ comfort in mind by serving hot apple cider, doing the “speed version” of the traditional Jewish ceremony, and planning a fun-filled tented reception. Keep reading for all the impeccable details of this couple’s Colorado celebration, as captured by James & Schulze.

Photo by James & Schulze

The ceremony and reception took place at Star Peak Meadow, a spot outside Aspen that the couple often visits when they’re in town. “It is one of my favorite views,” Orly says. “In the summer, I like to bike there, and in the winter, the only way to get out there is by cross-country ski.”

Photo by James & Schulze

The couple’s invitation suite was created by Amber Moon Design to mimic the custom artwork they had commissioned by Karina Puente. The design featured elements from Aspen (trout and leaves) and their relationship (pelicans from a favorite vacation to Italy).

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Aspen’s local flora also inspired the embroidery on Orly’s Dennis Basso gown. The custom design featured a long train that the bride says was perfect for the “wide-open mountain setting.”And as a final touch, she added an intricate belt made with white turquoise and natural pieces “meant to look like stones from the river.”

Photo by James & Schulze

Matthew wore a classic tux and bowtie by Giorgio Armani.

Photo by James & Schulze

The bride spent time with her mother and grandmother before the ceremony.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

For flowers, the bride had a vision of “something natural.” Mindy Rice brought that idea to life with wildflowers, acorns, and early-fall foliage.

Photo by James & Schulze

Matthew and Orly made sure that every detail of their day was thoughtfully executed and personalized. This included the kippahs, which were printed with their logo.The bride created the design to look like a setting sun and mountain peak using their initials (an “O” for Orly, and “M” for Matthew).

Photo by James & Schulze

“Everyone had umbrellas and it was very dramatic,” the bride recalls of the ceremony. “There was serious thunder during the ceremony, and I thought maybe we should wait to continue. But we decided to go for it in the cold rain. I don’t think our guests will forget that!”

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

The couple wanted to highlight the site’s natural beauty, so they had Mindy Rice create an aisle of flowers that looked as if they were growing from the grass below.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

The ceremony had two parts—a ketubah signing and a blessing under a chuppah. During the the first, the couple signed their ketubah as guests sang around them. The paper’s cut-out motif was the center of the day’s design and was used throughout other decor elements, from the invitation suite to Orly’s dress.

Orly and Matthew also exchanged a few words to each other at this time. “Our rabbi asked us to prepare why were there today,” she explains. “No vows, no promises.”

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Next, everyone moved to the actual ceremony site for the second half of the event. Orly and Matthew’s relatives carried their chuppah over to act as the ceremony’s focal point.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

The rabbi spoke; Matthew broke the glass; and the pair shared their first kiss under the chuppah, which was made with Aspen tree trunks and pieces of the bride’s mother and grandmother’s wedding dresses.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

The happy newlyweds!

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Afterward, everyone moved over to the tent for bubbly and “savory s’mores” (a melty cheese/potato/cracker take on the original) before dinner. But first: They were encouraged to pose with the custom photo booth.

Photo by James & Schulze

Outside the tent, Orly and Matthew set up a table to commemorate their relationship. They also asked their guests to leave messages for them to read on significant anniversaries to come.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

The bride wanted a clean, artisanal aesthetic, so she went with late-summer harvest colors and mountain accents, like stacked logs that created a doorway into the dining room and doubled as table assignments. The reception decor incorporated several wooden elements, like plates and vessels. “I tried to envision what materials would feel right in the field,” Orly says. 

Photo by James & Schulze

Artist Karina Puente, who created the couple’s custom ketubah, also made papel picado banners to hang from the tent’s ceiling.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Farm tables were lined with more papel picado elements (this time, banners!) and topped with elegant candelabras and low arrangements of red, orange, and yellow blooms.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Again, wooden chargers and candle bases, as well as seasonal fruits, reiterated the wedding’s natural setting.

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

The couple had three cakes by Megan Joy (the flavors were brewery chocolate, yuzu coconut, and chocolate tahini). Later that night, they served ice cream and warm skillet-baked cookies. 

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

Orly and Matthew’s first dance was four months in the making. “We did a surprise routine to a mash-up of songs,” says the bride. “People were really surprised. It was fun and took many, many hours—about 100!—to learn. We are not naturally gifted dancers!” (Orly changed into a beaded Naeem Khan dress for their big number.)

Photo by James & Schulze

Photo by James & Schulze

At the end of the night, the newlyweds ran through a tunnel of light tubes to find the perfect exit for their Aspen celebration: the Ultimate Taxi. Says Orly, “It’s an Aspen institution, but we’d never actually been in it!”

Wedding Planning: Bluebird Productions || Bride’s Dress: Dennis Basso || Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride’s Reception Dress: Naeem Khan || Bride’s Reception Shoes: Gianvito Rossi || Bride’s Jewelry: Monique Péan || Groom’s Attire: Giorgio Armani || Makeup: Anthony Stravlo from Bobbi Brown || Stationery Design: Amber Moon Design || Floral Design: Mindy Rice || Cut-out Artistry: Karina Puente Arts || Rentals: Theoni Collection || Catering: Hotel Jerome || Cake: Megan Joy Cakes || Favors: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory || Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings || Reception Music: Ground Control || Photography: James & Schulze || Videography: Cloudless Films

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Wedding

Brides Live Wedding: A Greenery-Filled Celebration at Montage Palmetto Bluff

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As the influencer behind @waityouneedthis, Janelle Lloyd styles the season’s hottest looks, shares decor inspo, and tastes creative cocktails for a living. So it’s not surprising that her wedding day included all of the above. But plot twist: that’s all thanks to you, Brides readers! That’s right, Janelle and her fiancé, Shola Akinrolabu, teamed up with us and let you, our stylish readers, vote on every single detail of their big day for our annual Brides Live Wedding event. You voted on the dress, the color palette, the jewelry (and even the honeymoon!) and when the results rolled in, it’s safe to say that our editors were more than impressed. Thanks to your votes and opinions, the winning categories—an elegant ballgown, greenery-filled theme, floral bridesmaids dresses, and more—coordinated perfectly with the stunning coastal setting at our venue, Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina. (Palm fronds at Palmetto Bluff? You know it!)

So, keep scrolling to see Jenny Fu‘s photos of what you put together, with the help of Brides editors and planner Brooke Keegan, for Janelle and Shola’s wedding on August 4, 2018. And as you go, don’t forget to gather inspo for your own wedding—late-night s’mores, anyone?—because it’s time to plan now that you’re a seasoned pro!

Photo by Jenny Fu

As a true New Yorker, Janelle knows that the best days begin with brunch. So, on her wedding day, she organized a special party and invited the ladies in her family to join her for a toast with Rosa Regale on the porch of her cottage. When they arrived, she surprised them with matching robes by Plum Pretty Sugar.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Janelle looked stunning (and oh-so-happy!) in her strapless “Bianca Marie” ballgown by Maggie Sottero and loose braid styled by Sexy Hair stylist Arlene Martin. “The dress was somewhat traditional, so I wanted my hair to feel relaxed and a bit bohemian,” she explains.

The bride added her own flair to her look with statement floral earrings, rose gold sandals, and a woven clutch. She also followed tradition with her mother’s handkerchief as her “something old,” friends’ rings as her “something borrowed,” and a blue garter as her “something blue.”

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Janelle and Shola, wearing a two-piece Kenneth Cole suit by Men’s Wearhouse, did their first look on a secluded drive, which was framed perfectly by rows of towering, moss-filled trees.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

After their first look among the Spanish moss, the couple explored some of the resort’s 20,000 acres to take portraits against the varied landscape. (Side note: We’re especially fond of this swing idea as both a prop for pics and as lounge seating at the reception.)

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

For the ceremony at May River chapel, Brides tapped local florist Sara York Grimshaw to create a statement display using the voted-on greenery theme. She selected the room’s main window—which, you guessed it, overlooks the May River—as her focal point and accented it with a crawling display of palms, white blooms, and tropical greenery. “Our planner Brooke also had the idea to decorate the lighting fixtures in the chapel,” Janelle adds. “It was a small space, so it was nice to draw the eye up.”

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

The bride spent time with her mother and sister (in Plum Pretty Sugar) before she made her grand entrance to “At Last” by Etta James. “I walked alone, but my father gave me away at the end of the aisle,” she explains.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

The couple asked Janelle’s godfather, who is also a minister, to officiate their ceremony. Together, they worked closely to personalize the proceedings with handwritten vows and special readings like an excerpt from The Alchemist (Shola’s favorite book) and a poem by Carrie Bradshaw (Janelle’s favorite fictional character).

Photo by Jenny Fu

After exchanging vows and sealing them with a kiss, the newlyweds exited to “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Following the ceremony, Shola and Janelle escaped for a quick boat ride on the May River before joining their guests at cocktail hour.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Cocktail hour took place on a nearby patio, where the signature bourbon cart served the couple’s “His & Hers” cocktails. For hers, Janelle selected a mezcal tequila drink, while Shola opted for a peach and bourbon mixture that was perfect for their Southern setting.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Thanks to rain the morning of the wedding, cocktail hour was actually moved inside to the porch of the River House. “It had a nice indoor-outdoor feel,” Janelle says. As guests lounged on wicker furniture (with palm accent pillows!), they tasted locally-inspired bites like mini fried chicken salad and shrimp sliders. “Our main focus was on food, music, and other entertainment,” says the bride.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Inside the reception space, the escort card display was a literal take on the couple’s greenery theme. Large palm fronds were placed inside baby blue vessels and surrounded by white cards from Minted that were decorated with gold palms.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Janelle, ever the style influencer, changed into a second look by Maggie Sottero—the figure-flattering “Ellington” gown!—for the reception.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Shola and Janelle selected “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers for their first dance. “We took lessons, but ended up throwing pretty much the whole routine out the window the week before the wedding,” she says, with a laugh. “We saved a few moves, but just had fun with it!”

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

The ballroom was filled with romantic candlelight thanks to the mixture of candlesticks (in varying shades of green) and pillar candles (in hurricane vases) on each table. The tables were kept minimal—with a neutral base of white linens and plates and small floral arrangements in bud vases—in an effort to let the greenery shine.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Everyone enjoyed on a three-course meal as they listened to the maid of honor and best man’s toasts.

Photo by Jenny Fu

David Sampson, Montage Palmetto Bluff’s executive pastry chef, created the couple’s three-tiered, buttercream cake. The white cake featured two different fillings: fresh peaches with peach buttercream and fresh raspberries and blackberries with Bavarian cream.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

The cake cutting!

Photo by Jenny Fu

But the cake wasn’t the only dessert of the night. Outside, the resort’s signature s’mores cart was also on standby in case anyone wanted a late-night chocolate fix.

Photo by Jenny Fu

Photo by Jenny Fu

The groom’s family is Nigerian so as dancing was underway, the couple slipped out to put on traditional Nigerian wedding attire. “We re-entered the reception with a parade of Shola’s family members, who were also dressed in traditional wears,” Janelle explains. They then performed the traditional Nigerian Money Dance, during which, guests tossed small bills at the happy couple to represent their hopes for good fortune. “It was a big highlight,” adds the bride.

Photo by Jenny Fu

And with that, we’ll say this: Congrats to the happy couple—and thanks for letting us be a part of such a special day!

Wedding Planner: Brooke Keegan Special Events || Venue: Montage Palmetto Bluff || Bride’s Dresses: Maggie Sottero | Bridesmaid Dresses & Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar || Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Kendra Scott || Hair: Sexy Hair || Makeup: Bride’s Side Beauty || Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse || Floral Design: SYG Designs || Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: The Lowhills; OtherBrother Entertainment || Reception Music: DJ Kiss; DJ M.O.S. || Rentals: EventWorks || Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen || Paper Products: Minted || Registry: Crate and Barrel || Honeymoon: Visit Cayman Islands; Luxury Cayman Villas; Cayman Airways || Bridal Brunch: Rosa Regale || Videography: Forged in the North || Photography: Jenny Fu

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Wedding

A Florist's Romantic Wedding at Ryland Inn

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Amanda Stupak and John Theodoropoulos went to high school together but never actually spoke! That is, until they reconnected at the gym in December 2013 and hit it off nearly nine years later. After dating for another four years, John suggested they take a trip to California to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (The bride is a florist at Twisted Willow Flowers and it was the first holiday she was taking off from her shop, so it was an occasion to celebrate on its own.) But John had other plans in mind when we proposed at the La Jolla cove in San Diego on February 11, 2017.

Just over a year later, on March 23, 2018, the couple invited 142 to celebrate with them at Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. “We have worked events there and the staff, service, and food are just incredible,” says the florist bride. “We chose the coach house for its eclectic rustic feel!” And, of course, the flowers were important to Amanda and John. “Flowers were super important in the overall vision for the day,” she explains. “We really wanted to make it feel like spring with blooms, even though the temperature outside didn’t agree. There was a massive snowstorm two days before the wedding!” But, despite the weather, the bride and groom filled the space with so many bright blooms and warmly-lit candles that it nearly felt like a spring day inside the inn’s rustic cottage. So if you’re a fan of beautiful florals and unique decor elements, we suggest you keep reading for an insider’s take on what a florist created for her own wedding!

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Amanda admits that the dress-shopping process didn’t take as long as she thought it would. She was searching for a long-sleeved dress but didn’t think many salons carried tons of options, so she made made an appointment on a whim to survey what they did have. “My mom and I weren’t expecting to find anything,” she recalls. But she quickly found her gown by Alon Livne—so quickly, in fact, that she had to fake a second appointment to include John’s mom, who only has boys, in on the fun. “We asked the salon to keep it secret that we had been there before,” she says, with a laugh. “We tried on a few dresses, but my mother-in-law had the same reaction as us. It was definitely the one!”

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

The bride paired her gown with rose-colored velvet heels by Jimmy Choo, which acted as the perfect combo between their warm vibe and winter wedding date.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Amanda admits that it was fun being in her “client’s shoes” but says it was a challenge too. “Believe it or not, the flowers were the hardest part of the planning process for me,” she says. She wanted to find the perfect combo of blooms (lush and interesting but not wild and unorganized) in the perfect shades (delicate without being too boring or too bold). “I was, for sure, my harshest critic,” she says with a laugh. “But it all came together exactly how I had hoped.”

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Inside the rustic space, the couple filled the ceiling with hanging smilax and lined the floors with a mix of candles in all shapes and sizes. The focal point—after the room’s statement chandelier—was the full arbor of greenery featuring accent blooms in dusty shades of mauve, peach, and pink.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

After Amanda entered to Johnnyswim’s “Take The World,” she and John recited traditional vows—”We’re super shy,” she says—but asked their friend, Michelle, to read a special excerpt from Ecclesiastes 4:12.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

The seating chart featured pieces of calligraphed acrylic against a backdrop of more smilax and blooms, which really allowed the bride’s handiwork to shine.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

The couple’s two signature cocktails were named after their dogs, Kobe and Gatsby.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

At both dinner and cocktail hour, Amanda and John incorporated his Greek heritage by adding feta cheese and kalamata olives to different dishes and placing an olive branch atop each dinner plate.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Tables were topped with deep slate linens, driftwood chargers, and candles in vintage-inspired vessels. “We also added greenery to the chandeliers and fireplace and emphasized lighting with lots of candlelight and uplighting on the walls,” she adds.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

The wedding cake was a four-tiered, blue-and-white creation. Inside, it featured three flavors: chocolate with chocolate fudge, vanilla with mango mousse, and red velvet with fresh strawberries and vanilla cream.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

At the end of the night, guests went home with pomegranate-shaped dishes with koufetas (candied almonds) inside. “Pomegranate signify good luck,” explains the bride.

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

Looking back, this pro of a bride says she definitely has some advice to pass along. “Make sure you really put you and your significant other first,” she says. “Many people will have opinions and suggestions, but it’s impossible to make everyone happy. The day is ultimately celebrating a union between the two of you. And that’s the most important part.”

Venue: Ryland Inn || Bride’s Dress & Veil: La Belle Mariee || Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN || Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Top Knot by Aimee || Makeup: Veronique’s Creative Artistry || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN || Grooms & Groomsmen’s Attire: Chaz Ma Tazz || Engagement Ring: Jay Robert Jewelers || Floral Design: Twisted Willow Flowers || Invitations & Paper Products: Darling & Pearl || Guest Book: Artifact Uprising || Music: Lovesick Inc. || Cake: La Bonbonniere || Rentals: La Tavola, White Glove Rentals, Adams Party Rentals, Rothweller Event Design || Lighting: Starlite || Calligraphy: MBM Calligraphy || Photography: Jessa Schifilliti

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Wedding

Go Inside the Crazy Rich Asians Wedding

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If you’re a fan of the Crazy Rich Asians books, you know the series reveals an insider’s look at the opulent world of Singapore’s elite. And just like the novels, the movie adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s series—in theaters today—deliciously delivers on the drama, the wealth, and the fashion the series is known for. Like the movie’s main character Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who wears Marchesa above, you’ll be whisked away into the inner circle of Singapore, where designer wardrobes rule, family drama reigns, and grandiose lifestyles are the norm (think a private jet for a bachelorette party on a private isle). But before we discuss the movie’s OMG-worthy details—which you’ll love, btw—we have to celebrate this movie for what it is. For one, it’s the first major motion picture with a majority Asian cast in 25 years (since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club). And two, it follows a relatable relationship and all the obstacles (ahem, family drama) and successes (no spoilers, here) that come with it. We’ll let you watch the movie for all the deets, but know that the plot revolves around the handsome Nick Young (Henry Golding) inviting his girlfriend, Rachel, to the wedding of his best friend in Singapore.

But other than all that, and the fact that we love any good romantic comedy, we’re here for Crazy Rich Asians because, duh, it features an insanely amazing wedding! In fact, we were so enamored by the wedding—or shall we say, “the social event of the season,” as guests call it—that we called on Nelson Coates, the movie’s production designer who put it all together. So, what’s it like to throw a wedding of such magnitude, especially on the big screen? “Creating wedding scenes for movies is not too dissimilar to real world weddings. Flowers, invitations, seating, décor, the music… all those decisions still have to be made,” he says. “But there’s one major difference—if the scene requires several days to film, flowers, food and costumes have to be refreshed, and look like no time has past.” Also, brides, so you can relate: Even the big producers are limited with install times, rules, and scheduling. In this case, they had just five days to install, produce, film (and strike!) the set at Chijmes, a circa 1904 church in Singapore’s downtown where the ceremony took place. And just four days to do the reception, which involved scheduling conflicts with Singapore’s Prime Minister and creating a promo movie to even secure access to the property.

So, yes, planning a wedding on screen can be similar (and also very different!) to planning a wedding IRL. But, just for fun, keep reading to hear all the film’s design inspiration and what it’s like to produce a wedding for the big screen. And after you read up and get ideas for your own big day, grab your girlfriends and reserve a row of seats (hello, bridesmaid bonding!) to take in the crazy good romantic comedy that everyone is talking about it.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

As we mentioned, the climax of the movie is the wedding of Colin Khoo (Chris Pang) and Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno). And, boy, does it deliver—so much that “the Aunties” estimate it’s worth 20 mil, or maybe even 40. First, let’s discuss the bride’s gown, which is actually a jumpsuit designed by Mary Vogt with a 10-foot train, thousands of Swarovski crystals, and “waterproof material” so she can walk on water. (More on that below!) To create the environment surrounding the “fantasy ceremony,” production designer Coates says he was inspired by Kwan’s books, director Jon Chu’s ideas, and their explorations of the Straits Peninsula. Ultimately, they decided on non-traditional seating (inside a church!)—”the wedding needed a focal point unlike any I had seen in a church,” he says—and designed an indoor garden of water and palms to illustrate the country’s slogan, “Let’s make Singapore our Garden.” To create the illusion of the guests walking through grasses (and the bride on water!), the entire floor of the church was covered in painted pegboard and then filled with 36-inch-tall artificial grasses (fake so they’d retain their shape). From there, benches were installed (as to not interfere with the all-grass look) and covered in green velvet to look like moss.

But the biggest hurdle of the install was the aisle itself. “The most challenging element was the flower-lined water aisle, constructed in truck-able segments, and somehow waterproofed during the fast installation,” Coates says. It was covered in a reflective, mylar-like fabric laminated onto waterproofed marine plywood, and lined with orchids, bromeliads, and ferns. And as if that doesn’t sound like enough work, he adds that water jets were hidden in the plants lining the constructed aisle to allow for the adjustment of water volume and direction. But that’s not all! As a final touch, Coates enlisted the props team to handcraft hundreds of copper wire butterflies and fireflies on artificial branches highlighted with LED lights for guests to lift out of the grasses as the bride walked down the aisle—ahem, we mean river. “Those wonderful touches made the bride ‘walking on water’ look even more breathtaking,” he says. “I love creating photo moments or scenes that make a venue look unique for a particular event. In real-life weddings, as in the movies, the photos will live on long after the ceremony and festivities.”

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

After the ceremony, guests move over to the outdoor reception at Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre park in the middle of the city, which is where the drama goes down in the movie—quite literally. (Spoiler alert!) “The concept included multiple levels featuring custom tables for 300 guests, plus a nod to classic Hollywood with backdrops and bandstand,” Coates explains. “I wanted the tables to be non-traditional and thought oversized to feel more opulent, which each seating 14 people.” In addition to arranging a grand-scale event that seriously makes you go OMG (seriously, the venue alone does!), Coates wanted the reception to celebrate and feel true to the region. To do so, they stuck to a red and gold color palette, which is traditional to weddings in China, Malaysia, and Singapore, and incorporated Chinese fan designs, love poems, and calligraphy into the backdrops. And, surprisingly (or maybe not!), weddings in the movies serve up a full meal! “We created a central food display table with ice sculptures, and an array of stunning regional delicacies,” he says. “And, of course, traditional 30-layer, multi-color Kua Lapis cakes were made for each place-setting.”

Now, how do you create all this on a scale that isn’t, um, quite as crazy? “Bring as much nature into the ceremony as possible,” he says. “Experiment with the color combinations found in nature to create a palette for your event. Look at a flower you like and mix your colors in the same way as the bloom. If it goes together in nature, it can work for you!”

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Wedding

One Couple's Two Over-the-Top Weddings in Phuket, Thailand

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On February 10, 2018, Nadear Chanson and Andres Pira invited 60 guests for an epic, two-part event in Phuket, Thailand. First, they had a morning ceremony to celebrate the bride’s Thai heritage and their location, Iniala Beach Resort. Secondly, they planned an afternoon (and evening!) of events that included a Western wedding ceremony, beachside cocktails, and dinner and dancing in a ballroom transformed to look like a floral wonderland. In fact, the whole theme of the weekend was to transform the five-star beach resort into a dreamy enchanted garden, and the couple enlisted the help of The Wedding Bliss Thailand and I Am Flower to do the honors. But the florals—which included a marquee covered in flowers and a dance floor with blooms below—were not the only over-the-top elements of the day’s romantic events. Throughout the day, the bride wore three gowns; Ronan Keating sang his hit “When You Say Nothing At All” (from the Notting Hill movie) for the couple’s ceremony entrance; and the newlyweds cut into a nine-tiered (yes, really!) wedding cake. So keep reading to see more of all the gorgeous, next-level details from Andres and Nadear’s wedding in Thailand, as photographed by Greg Finck.

Photo by Greg Finck

With a full day of events planned, the couple had an itinerary printed to look like a newspaper and delivered it to guests the morning-of as “news” of their wedding day. Andrews and Nadear also gave their friends and family members leather passport cases (engraved with their names and the couple’s crest) as mementos from the epic celebration to come.

Photo by Greg Finck

The couple selected Iniala Beach Resort for its views, location, and unconventional architecture.

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

The bride turned to Vanus Couture to create her traditional Thai wedding gown. The creation featured intricate silver beading and she accessorized with more silver and diamond jewels. She added white flowers to her low bun as a sweet, final touch.

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

Nadear’s bridesmaids coordinated with her white-and-metallic look, yet switched her silver accents in favor of gold skirts and accessories.

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

The flower girl and ring bearer looked adorable in white blouses—and, as the bride says, took their duties during the ceremony quite seriously!

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

Monks were invited to the Thai wedding ceremony so they could bless the couple and instill them with “merit.” The couple’s ring bearer also took part in the shell ceremony, during which guests bless the couple with holy water (placed in a conch shell).

Photo by Greg Finck

The couple celebrated the first part of their day with guests, who were dressed in coordinating attire. They still had a full day of celebrations to come!

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

For the Western ceremony, Nadear and Andres started with 2018’s Pantone Color of the Year, ultra-violet, as inspiration and worked with I Am Flower to create a whimsical setting, complete with a floral-lined aisle and clear chairs (for a modern touch).

Photo by Greg Finck

Photo by Greg Finck

The ceremony took place on the beach, which felt transformed to another setting thanks to a massive, floral-covered ceremony structure. “The arch gave the illusion of a magical garden surrounding it,” says the bride. She wore a strapless Carolina Herrera gown for this part of the day, saying it made her “feel completely herself.”

Music played a major part in personalizing the ceremony, as the couple flew in Ronan Keating to sing “When You Say Nothing at All” for the bride’s entrance with her father. The groom entered to “Words” by the Bee Gees, and the newlyweds exited to Boyzone’s “Picture of You.”

Photo by Greg Finck

The entertainment continued after the ceremony when the Bangkok All-Star Jazz Band and The Cuban Brothers took the stage. Of course, the decor was equally as amazing as the entertainment. “The vision was to create something elegant, modern, and utterly romantic, with the culmination being the reception setting,” explains the bride. To do so, they turned a tent into an orchard house filled with peonies, roses, lisianthus, hydrangeas, and tulips covering every inch of the ceiling, walls, and tables. Our favorite touch? The transparent dance floor (with flowers and fair lights below!), where they couple danced to John Legend’s “All of Me” for their first dance.

Venue & Catering: Iniala Beach Resort || Wedding Planning & Design: The Wedding Bliss Thailand || Officiant: Marek Koperski || Bride’s Thai Ceremony Dress: Vanus Couture || Bride’s Ceremony Dress: Carolina Herrera || Bride’s Reception Dress: Berta Bridal || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Jinjutha Makeup || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom’s Attire: Surin Beach Tailor Eleganza Fashion || Wedding Bands: Alexandros Jewelry, Karat || Floral Design: I Am Flower || Invitations & Stationery: Inkipit || Entertainment: Ronan Keating, DJ Mike Edwards, The Cuban Brothers, Bangkok All-Star Jazz Band || Cake: Les Diables by Peter Webber || Lighting & Sound: Charlie Lighting || Structure & Production: KS88 Event Production || Videography: Suzanne Delawar Studios || Photography: Greg Finck

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Wedding

A Creative Wedding on the Water in Baltimore

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Erica Francios and Keith Carney first met while on vacation in Ireland—even though they were living a mile apart from each other in Houston! “Once we got back to Houston, we became friends, but it took me about three years to ask her out,” Joseph recalls with a laugh. But he evidentially did, and nearly ten years later, they made their relationship even more official in yet another unique location—this time, a casita in Santa Fe—with a proposal. “We came back from dinner, built a fire, and, before we knew it, we were engaged,” Joseph says.

For their wedding, the jet-setting couple selected a special place for a destination wedding and invited 104 guests to join them in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 29, 2017. “We wanted to give our guests a ‘Baltimore’ experience for the weekend,” explains the bride. The main event took place at Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, a recently opened hotel in the center of the Fells Point neighborhood, where the group took over the property for a ceremony in the courtyard, cocktails by the pool, and dinner and dancing in the main ballroom. “For each of the events, we envisioned a style that was elegant and romantic, beautiful and happy, and yet easy going,” Erica adds. But while all the events felt romantic and beautiful (with stunning florals!), each had a unique color scheme, atmosphere, and vibe.

Keep scrolling to see more of this creative wedding—designed by Lemon & Lime Event Design and photographed by Abby Jiu Photography— for yourself. And fair warning: You may want to steal this couple’s cocktail hour display, which included a nod to Texas in the middle of all the Baltimore fun.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

“The Baltimore theme was prevalent in the invitations, the gift bags, and the local food and drink items included at the various events,” says the bride. “We included some Texas treats as well!”

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The bride carried a textural bouquet of white blooms that perfectly illustrated the couple’s elegant garden theme.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

When she started dress shopping, Erica admits that she didn’t know where to start! “I went online to see what was out there and after hours of searching, I came across Lihi Hod’s Alona gown,” she says. “It was love at first sight.”

While Erica didn’t technically have bridesmaids, she wanted to make her best friends feel special so she had the florist create a variety of floral jewelry pieces for them to wear. “From floral rings, necklaces, and earrings, they were able to pick what best accompanied their outfits and personalities,” she explains.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The ceremony took place in the hotel’s courtyard, where the couple brought in trees and floral towers to create a garden party vibe in the middle of the modern, sleek space. They added a final modern touch with the acrylic seating.

In addition to creating the garden environment, the couple’s planners and florist created a “mother’s table” in honor of the bride and groom’s late mothers. The table was topped with a statement floral arrangement for each mother and packed with seed packets for guests to take home and plant gardens of their own. “Our mothers loved being outside and in the garden, so this was a lovely way to incorporate them into the wedding,” Erica says.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The bride’s best friend officiated a highly personalized and emotional ceremony. The officiant’s partner also played live music throughout, selecting “Isn’t She Lovely” as a special recessional for the newlyweds.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The couple’s modern garden theme was further played out on the pool deck, where guests posed in front of yet another creative wedding detail: a flower-wall photo booth!

The cocktail hour menu was thoughtfully curated. “We worked with the chef to create custom dishes not on their menu,” says the bride. “That way, we were able to give our guests a taste of Baltimore, Houston, and our travels.”

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The focal display at cocktail hour was definitely the signature cocktail set-up. The massive acrylic unit was decorated with floral-filled boxes (hello, modern garden party!) and featured a choice of three signature cocktails named after the couple’s hometown, wedding venue, and garden theme.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Following cocktails, guests found their table assignments calligraphed on floral-pressed window panes. “Our hope was that the ornaments would make their way back to the guests’ homes to put on their Christmas trees as a memory from the weekend,” says the bride.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The night concluded in the ballroom, where everyone enjoyed a menu of seafood, pancetta, and lamb before the couple cut into a cactus-covered cake (another nod to their Texas roots!).

Looking back, the bride has some advice for those planning a destination wedding. “There was an amazing energy from all of our family and friends that traveled to Baltimore to help us celebrate,” she says. “We tried to involve everyone in the wedding festivities as much as possible. It made us feel connected and loved being with so many amazing people.”

Venue, Catering & Cake: The Sagamore Pendry || Wedding Planner: Lemon & Lime Event Design || Bride’s Dress: Lihi Hod || Hair & Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty || Floral Design: Steelcut Flower Co. || Paper Products: Cheree Berry Paper || Escort Cards: KM Pressed || Entertainment: Ginger House Music || Rentals: White Glove Rentals, Party Rental LTD., La Tavola Linen || Production, Lighting & Rentals: Event Revolution || AV: Five Star AV || Calligraphy: Shotgunning for Love Letters || Favors: Floret Flowers || Photography: Abby Jiu

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Wedding

A Casual, Colorful Wedding in the Bahamas

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Capel Kane and Ross Brendel’s relationship began in New York City, when they were introduced by mutual friends at a party in 2012. They started dating nearly a year later—and when it came time to pop the question, Ross knew it had to take place in NYC. So on July 7, 2017, he organized a private boat tour (Capel loves boats!) around the city. “He proposed between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges,” she recalls.

For their wedding, the couple surprisingly did not select a venue in the city where their love began, but they did include a boat getaway ride (a nod to their engagement) in their special day. The big event took place on Great Exuma in the Bahamas, where Capel’s family has a home. “I’ve grown up going there,” she says. “It’s always been such a special place to me and, fortunately, Ross fell in love with it too.” They invited close to 200 guests to make the trip down to the remote locale so they could show off the water, the people, and the island they love. “We wanted the wedding to feel laid-back more than anything,” Capel explains. “The attitude of the island is very relaxed and unhurried so a fussy wedding just wouldn’t have suited the locale.”

Keep reading to see how the couple celebrated in island style (with indigenous plants, local cuisine, and festive entertainment), while also adding their own special touches (like the groom’s crab-inspired accessories!). Lucky for us all, Caroline Lima was on hand to capture every colorful wedding detail, as planned by Chic Bahamas Weddings.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

The bride let her girls dress in gowns of their own choosing, but she gave them matching white robes and heart-shaped sunglasses to wear as they waited on the day’s events to begin.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

As for her own dress, Chapel says she fell in love the minute she tried on her strapless Reem Acra gown. “It reminded me of a mermaid, which was fitting for the location,” she says. She paired the dress with Stuart Weitzman heels and most important: a handkerchief from her grandmother that acted as her “something old.”

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Looking back, the bride says she loved how everyone’s dresses came together to create a cohesive (yet mismatched) look. “They looked incredible,” she says.” I wanted my friends to feel like themselves.”

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Capel and Ross set out with an “island natural” theme that really came to life with their floral selections and colorful wedding decor. “We used lots of palm fronds, bougainvillea, and local flowers,” she explains. “And if they weren’t local, they at least felt like they could be!”

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

The groom sported cufflinks featuring mini crab silhouettes and custom needlepoint slippers—embroidered with colorful crabs, of course.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

The couple decided to say “I do” at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church in George Town. “The easiest part of planning was choosing the location,” says the bride. “It has our hearts, and we were so happy the church and venues opened their doors for us.”

During the ceremony, the bride walked down the aisle on the arms of her father and stepfather. “They are equally important figures in my life, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way,” she says.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

After exchanging traditional vows, Capel and Ross planned to personalize their ceremony with carefully selected hymns—but their organist didn’t learn them and instead played her own tunes! “It was a small snag in an otherwise perfect day,” the bride says with a laugh.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

True to the bride’s love of boats, the newlyweds hopped on a cruiser for a ride to their reception site. They also arranged a boat ride the day before with their wedding party so everyone could play with the island’s famous swimming pigs.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Cocktail hour took place poolside as waiters served “Goombay Smashes,” a local Bahamian drink. The menu was also locally-inspired with conch fritters, lobster quesadillas, conch salad, and guava cake.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

The reception was designed to illustrate the couple’s low-key island vision, so they set up lounge areas and casual tables throughout the house and around the pool. Each was decorated with palms and colorful, tropical blooms.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

A local Bahamian band performed at cocktail hour and a junkanoo band arrived later to surprise guests and further emphasize the night’s authentic island vibe.

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

For a touch of New York, Capel and Ross flew in their favorite DJ to play for the special dances—they selected Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer,” and the bride danced to James Taylor tunes with both of her dads—and to keep the crowd on the dance floor. Capel adds, “Our only request for the DJ was the ‘Macarena’—and the crowd loved it!”

Ceremony Venue: Saint Andrew’s Church || Reception Venue: Private Home || Planning: Chic Bahamas Weddings || Officiant: Reverend Reginald Demeritte || Bride’s Dress: Reem Acra || Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair: Jordan Inman of Broome Street Society || Makeup: Dorothy Dorgerville of Paintbox Beauty || Groom’s Attire: Saks Fifth Avenue || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Orr’s Jewelers || Floral Design: Le Jardin Floral || Invitations & Paper Products: Arzberger’s || Reception Entertainment: Tropic Breeze Band; DJ Schuller || Catering: Blu on the Water || Rentals: Wildflower Event Rentals || Photography: Caroline Lima Photography

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Wedding

A Wedding Ceremony in the Round at a Brooklyn Loft

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After Lauren Devereux met Patrick Burns at a launch party, she thought she had an easy in for a second meeting. Her boss at the time was dating Patrick’s best friend, so a formal intro/double date/number exchange was a given, right? Well, not exactly: the boss and the best friend broke up the morning after the party. (Yes, seriously.) Thankfully, Lauren says her boss was “so dedicated” to making their match work that she invited Patrick (sans his best friend) to her birthday party the following week. “We sat next to each other and the room stood still,” Lauren recalls. “That was September 10, 2013. Four years later, minus one day, we were married!”

For their wedding, the couple, who got engaged on a beach in Belize, opted to host an event close to their home in Brooklyn. “We had family coming from all over the world, and we loved the idea of being able to show them our favorite borough while still giving them a great sunset view of the Manhattan skyline,” explains the bride. They selected Greenpoint Loft, a space that could show off both Brooklyn vibes and Manhattan views, and invited 182 to join in the celebration. With their venue and guest list set, Lauren and Patrick turned to Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events to bring their vision to life. “Aesthetics weren’t as important to us as vibe was,” Lauren says. “We wanted it to feel intimate and relaxed, so pretty much all of the decisions that we made stemmed from our desire to achieve that feeling.” Among these decisions, they opted to serve dinner family-style, exchange vows in a circle surrounded by their loved ones, and have their siblings sing while they walked down the aisle. But that doesn’t mean Jove wasn’t on hand to deliver on his signature style—together, they filled the space with “tons of greenery,” candlelight, and burgundy accents (the bride’s favorite color) to create a scene that felt like it “brought the outdoors inside.” Keep reading to see how exactly they did that—think greenery “trees” on columns and more—in these stunning photos by Lev Kuperman. Plus, keep your eye out for the couple’s special officiant, Senator Cory Booker.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

The bride admits that shopping for her dress took some time—and visits to seven different bridal salons. She knew what she didn’t want (ruffles, lace, sparkle) but had a hard time articulating what she did want. That said, she discovered exactly what she wanted when she saw this gown by Karen Willis Holmes. “I knew even before I put it on,” she says. “It was the perfect combination of unique, modern, and timeless.”

Lauren completed her look with a bouquet of burgundy dahlias and white anemones and a custom cape. “I couldn’t think of a more opportune moment to feel like a superhero than while marrying the man of my dreams,” she says.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

The groom and his groomsmen, including the bride’s three brothers, dressed in formal Scottish dress—including kilts! “It was so cool seeing my American family adopt a tradition that was so core to his heritage,” Lauren says. “My mother-in-law actually brought all of them with her from Glasgow. They were heavy, and she is a saint!” The bride’s side wore one tartan and the groom’s another so it felt like they were all “part of the same clan coming together.” The bride let her bridesmaids select their own dresses, as long they were in her favorite color palette.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Lauren asked her dear family friend Cory Booker, who actually officiated her parents’ wedding, to officiate theirs. “We wanted every single touch to feel super authentic to who we are as people and a couple,” she says. “We were so lucky that he shared that goal. He spent over three hours interviewing us together and separately so he could make sure the ceremony reflected exactly who we are as a couple.”

Photo by Lev Kuperman

“Getting married in the round was something that we had always talked about wanting to do, and this space was perfect for that,” Lauren says. “It was so fun being surrounded by everyone in all directions. We took a moment in the ceremony to look around, and even changed sides to equally involve all friends and family members.”

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

During the ceremony, the couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves. “This was a super crucial part for us. I’m kind of a train wreck when I’m emotional, so I decided to write down my vows to avoid any trauma for the audience,” Lauren says with a laugh. “Patrick decided to one-up me and memorize his. When he forgot a section, he recovered by telling me that he’d never let anyone put onions, my least favorite, in my food ever again. I reciprocated by telling him I’d never root for another football team. They were dysfunctional and completely us.”

Lauren and Patrick also exchanged rings that they bride made herself. “It was a super special and sentimental process for me,” she says. “And unlike DIY projects that only last for the wedding day, these will last forever!”

Photo by Lev Kuperman

The couple put a personal touch on almost every element of their big day. They included a crossword puzzle (their favorite Sunday morning activity) on the ceremony program, served apps that mixed elements from Patrick’s Scottish heritage and Lauren’s love of junk food, and added love poems to their gift bags. “We loved the idea of having the sentimentality of our day be something that everyone participated in, and was immortalized as an object that our guests could take home,” explains the bride.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Guests found their table assignments inside mini gold envelopes calligraphed with their names.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

The couple stuck with their vision to bring the outdoors inside by covering large columns in trees, so guests would be “sitting under the trees” during dinner. This look was reinforced on several surfaces, from the hanging ring of florals at the ceremony to the entrance to the reception—and even, the bathrooms! “Jove came up with some great ideas to achieve our vision and really blew our minds,” Lauren says.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

On tables, they took a unique approach to the centerpieces to make them appear as if they were “growing up the tables.” They achieved this look by not using vases.

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Photo by Lev Kuperman

The bride and groom asked their siblings to perform during the ceremony, and even brought in a piano for them to play during dinner. “They frankly stole the show,” Lauren says. But Lauren and Patrick did take center stage at one point, when they took to the dance floor for their first dance. “We decided that we’d rather have everyone dance together for the first song,” she explains. “We played Beyonce, obviously, and there wasn’t a booty not out on the dance floor!”

Venue: Greenpoint Loft || Wedding Planner & Designer: Jove Meyer Events || Officiant: Cory Booker || Bride’s Dress: Karen Willis Holmes || Bride’s Jewelry: Fabrikant || Bride’s Shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood || Hair: Teddi Crandford of White Rose Collective || Azra Red of White Rose Collective || Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: MacGregor and MacDuff

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Wedding

A Big Sur Wedding Full of Fall Decor Inspiration

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Callista Sessler and Jonathan Osburn are adventure-seekers. The couple first met in a finance class senior year at Syracuse University, and just nine months later, they hopped in a car, drove 3,000 miles, and made the west coast their home. From their new base in Santa Monica, Callista says they continued on new adventures, driving up the coast whenever they could escape work for a long weekend. But, perhaps, their greatest adventure took place in September 2014, when they spent seven days camping and hiking up to an elevation of 19,341 feet atop Mount Kilimanjaro. Once at the top, Jonathan got down on one knee. “With six layers of clothing giving me the lovely profile of the Michelin man, hair frozen to my face, and fingers so swollen I couldn’t quite get on the ring, I said a shivering but ecstatic yes,” Callista recalls. (Her dual engagement ring and wedding band is now engraved with the summit height to “serve as a memory of how far it (and we) traveled for that incredible moment,” she says.)

For their wedding, the adventurous couple selected a destination closer to home. “We chose to escape to Big Sur on our eight-year anniversary along with an intimate group of our nearest and dearest to celebrate in a way that most represented us,” she explains. “Big Sur holds a special place in our hearts.” There, Callista, Jonathan, and their 35 guests enjoyed a long weekend of festivities planned by the bride, who is the wedding planner behind Callista & Company. “I was fortunate to be completely in my element while planning my own wedding,” she says. Ever the event pro, she enlisted an all-star team of vendors, including Lacie Hansen who was on hand to capture every special moment and gorgeous detail, so keep reading to see all the creativity come to life. Seriously, get your Pinterest boards ready because Callista and Jonathan’s wedding is nearly as epic as their Mount Kilimanjaro proposal!

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

“With our 35 guests traveling in from 12 different states, we wanted everyone to have a memorable and cozy extended getaway,” explains the bride. “Our eight-year anniversary fell on a Monday, and we chose to hold the wedding on that date so all the attendees could enjoy a full weekend in the area before our big day. ” When guests checked in on Friday, they found curated welcome boxes filled of local goodies, like Carmel Valley honey, Anchor Brewing beer, and wine from nearby vineyards.

The couple’s invitation suite was just as thought out as the welcome gifts. Invites were printed on 100-percent recycled paper from Silk & Willow and adorned with a redwood tree logo. “The longevity of the redwood tree is a symbol for our marriage standing the test of time,” Callista says. The logo was woven throughout the wedding’s details from the leather coasters in the welcome boxes to the custom tasting boards (for beer!) at the welcome reception the night before the wedding.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

The couple welcomed guests with a reception on an stunning outdoor pavilion at Ventana Inn. They selected different venues for the welcome party and wedding in an effort to show their guests more of what Big Sur has to offer.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

During the welcome, they surprised guests with mini (personalized!) beer flights for tasting, as well as almond cakes, which were hand painted with each guest’s name.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

The bride shopped at the Monique Lhuillier flagship in Los Angeles, ultimately selecting a lace, ivory, cap-sleeve sheath as her wedding dress. She paired the gown with Tiffany & Co. tanzanite earrings, a gift from Jonathan that doubled as her “something blue.” “The stone was first discovered in 1967 by Tiffany & Co. and is only found in Tanzania, near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro where we were engaged,” she says.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

The bride carried a unstructured bouquet of white blooms, while her ‘maids carried smaller versions that coordinated with the same organic look. The guy’s boutonnieres featured sprigs of greenery tied together with ivory ribbon.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

The couple personalized the ceremony with music by Elan Artists. A string trio played as the bride walked down the aisle to Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and as the newlyweds exited to “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

“The incredible ceremony arch by Studio Mondine felt plucked from the surrounding landscape,” says the bride. They exchanged vows beneath that altar in a ceremony they worked with their officiant to design. One of their favorite elements was the reading of an Irish wedding blessing.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

At the end of the ceremony, guests showered the newlyweds with a hand-picked selection of dried flowers.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Photo by Lacie Hansen

When designing the reception space, Callista used uniques textures (wood, leather, and brass) that complimented touches of orange, a nod to the couple’s alma mater, Syracuse. Each table was topped with arrangements of golden mustard roses, along with ceramic plates, wooden chargers, and brushed gold and wood flatware.

During dinner, the bride’s parents popped open a bottle of vintage champagne (from the year they were married) that was given to them on their 30th anniversary. “It was such a special moment,” Callista says.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

After dinner, guests moved over to a fireside lounge area, where they relaxed, enjoyed one another’s company, and took in the beautiful Big Sur views.

Photo by Lacie Hansen

Callista and Jonathan cut into yet another almond cake before hitting the dance floor with their 35 guests. “Having an intimate wedding allowed us to spend quality time with our closest friends and family,” she says. “I so dearly cherish each of our guests who made the trip out for our wedding.”

Welcome Reception Venue: Ventana Inn || Ceremony Venue, Catering, & Cake: Post Ranch Inn || Wedding Planner: Callista & Company || Officiant: Soaring Starkey || Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride’s Jewelry, Engagement Ring & Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Fellini Salon || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale || Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford || Groomsmen’s Attire: Hugo Boss || Floral Design: Studio Mondine || Invitations & Paper Products: Copper Willow Paper Studio, Callista & Company; Jill Velez Calligraphy || Paper & Ribbons: Silk & Willow || Guest Book: Blue Sky Papers || Music: Elan Artists || Mini Cake: The Butter End Cakery || Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen, Chic Event Rentals, Casa de Perrin || Favors: Legacy Brand Leather, Carmel Honey Company, Salt Roots Soaps Co. || Transportation: Main Event Transportation || Photography: Lacie Hansen

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Wedding

A Colorful, Whimsical Wedding in Segovia, Spain

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Jimena Von Knobloch Luengo and Jaime Landeta Rozpide did not have to search far for wedding-day inspiration. After all, the couple owns a jewelry company together that’s based on one central figure: the Apodemia, a species of butterflies that travels from Brazil to Canada each year. The bride first became enamored with the butterflies while vacationing in Canada with her family—and that memory stuck with her for years to come. So much that, when she met Jaimie while at university in London, she shared the memory of the trip (and her love of nature) with her new boyfriend. A year later, after her love of crafting jewels for friends turned into a full-fledged thing, he suggested that they leave the bustling streets of London and return to his hometown of Madrid. There, they co-founded a line of jewelry—with the signature butterfly logo—called Apodemia. (She acts as the creative director, while he’s the CEO.)

And just as the special butterflies had inspired their relationship and jewelry brand, they became central to the couple’s big day as well. “We know Apodemia is our job, but it is also our way of life,” explains the bride. “I love butterflies so we chose to place as many butterflies as possible everywhere.” And on July 22, 2017, they did, adding blue paper-cut silhouettes to the escort cards and embellishments to the bride’s colorful dress by Beba’s Closet.

So if you’re a fan of whimsical touches, beautiful jewels, and bright details, keep reading to see more of this creative couple’s big day, as photographed by Juanlu Real.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

The designer bride naturally wore her own jewels for the big day. “My headdress was made with more than 800 natural tiny pearls intertwined to make the whole tiara,” she says.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

The bride worked with Spanish designer Belen Barbero of Beba’s Closet to design her dream gown. “We are a very big family, and I took my aunts, my grandmother, my best friend, and even Jaime’s mother to the studio,” says Jimena. “We really looked like a gypsy wedding family all together. It was really funny!” But despite the many voices and opinions bouncing around the room, Jimena says that she and Belen connected immediately. “The moment I went in and sat with Belen, I knew we understood each other and she knew I was looking for something different and unique.”

Jimena’s resulting gown featured long sleeves, a full, flowing skirt, and colorful embroidery—that, yes, incorporated her signature butterfly emblem on the sleeve. She paired the dress with jewelry from her own brand, as well as her grandmother’s ring and platform Miu Miu heels.

Photo by Juanlu Real

The bride completed her look with a long, beautiful veil and an organic bridal bouquet.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Jaime worked with Suitz to create a special, colorful waistcoat. He paired the design with butterfly-shaped cufflinks by Apodemia, which he also gifted to his groomsmen. Before the ceremony, the guys got together to hang out, sing, and practice for the groom’s special performance at the reception.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Jimena’s father gave her a kiss on her forehead before walking her down the aisle.

Photo by Juanlu Real

The couple married in front of 400 guests at Iglesia de los Santos Justo y Pastor in Segovia. “I wanted to marry in a small village,” says the bride. “And the chapel in the middle of the town is really pretty and detailed.”

Inside, she added accents, like potted trees and peonies, inspired by the countryside as a special contrast to the gilded, historic space.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

The couple sat at the altar alongside the groom’s mother and the bride’s father. The bride’s sister delivered their rings during the ceremony. “It was really significant for us,” says the bride of her sister’s special task.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Jimena and Jaime made their grand exit through the chapel’s stunning front door.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

The couple drove a historic convertible car from the ceremony and to the banquet reception at a nearby venue in Segovia. Jimena calls this ride one of her favorite moments from the big day.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

But first: Before meeting their guests at cocktail hour, the newlyweds slipped away for portraits. The treated this as an opportunity to relish in their excitement, showing off their wedding bands and tossing Jimena’s bouquet in the air for fun.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Butterflies naturally made another appearance on the escort card display, where printed cards (with seating assignments) and paper cut-outs were attached to a metal structure.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

“Our venue, La Estación, is an old factory, with the old train tracks passing through the interior of the whole building,” Jimena explains. “It is wonderful, really industrial, and antique looking. Even the walls are impressive! We said yes to the place the moment we stepped inside.”

That said, the couple did bring in potted trees and string lights to further beautify (and add warmth to!) the massive, industrial space. Tables were dressed with muted linens, woven place mats, and white china—and on top of each place setting, they added yet another butterfly detail in the form of a napkin holder. The final touch was a card that read, “You give me butterflies.”

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Jaime and his attendants serenaded Jimena during dinner and were met with cheers and applause by all. Jimena returned the sentiment when their first dance music starting playing, as she’d recorded the song “Yours” by Ella Henderson for the special occasion.

Photo by Juanlu Real

Photo by Juanlu Real

Following dinner, the bride divided up her bridal bouquet and handed out bundles to her very best friends. After, everyone hit the dance floor, where Jimena and Jaime had DJ Julio Torres playing late into the evening. “The music was just crazy,” she says. “We had to warn everyone that last buses were leaving because nobody wanted to move from the dance floor!”

Ceremony Venue: Iglesia de los Santos Justo y Pastor || Reception Venue: La Estación || Bride’s Dress & Veil: Beba’s Closet || Bride’s Jewelry & Gifts: Apodemia || Bride’s Shoes: Miu Miu || Groom’s Attire: Suitz || Floral Design: Bucaro || Catering: Ciboulette || Invitations: Depapel || Photography: Juanu Real

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Wedding

10 Ways to Make Your Wedding Stand Out During Wedding Season

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We all know summer is the season for weddings. And if you’re like the rest of us, you’re probably trekking from city to city, coast to coast, and country to county every other weekend for yet another friend’s special day. And as much as we hate to say it, the pattern can start to feel the same. (Ceremony, cocktails, dinner, dancing, you know the drill….) So, with that in mind, we got to thinking: How do you make your wedding stand out among the rest?

Well, first of all, make it about you and your partner. It’s your day and your friends and family should leave thinking just that! So if you’re sailors, do it by the water. If you’re foodies, make the menu a priority. And so on. But beyond all the personalized details (which, believe us, we can’t get enough of), there’s another secret to making your wedding stand out: And that’s to make your guests happy, well-fed, and comfortable.

With those three principles in mind, we curated a list of 10 fun, seasonal ideas that are sure to please every single person on your guest list. But, before we get started, we need to add one final principle: Make it Instagrammable! Cause if your friends’ feeds are blowing up with sunset group portraits, boomerangs of signature cocktails clinking, and videos of your killer band on stage, we’d say that your summer wedding was quite the success. And we think your friends will more than agree.

See more: 25 Ways To Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony

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Wedding

A Modern Garden Party in Australia

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Phoebe Sampson and Matt Keighran were first introduced by mutual friends at Soundwave, a music festival in Melbourne, Australia, on February 29, 2011. They clicked instantly—”We couldn’t believe we had not been introduced sooner,” she says—but they remained just friends. Then, in March of the same year, they became more than that. “I remember I booked a trip to Europe, and when Matt decided to join me for a week in Amsterdam, I knew things were official,” she says.

Fast forward six years, to November 24, 2017, when Matt and Phoebe made another official step—this time, as homeowners! Matt used this as an opportunity to prepare for the next: a proposal in their new living room that night. “He had set up candles, flowers, and champagne inside, and when we opened the door together, I was blown away,” she recalls. “I turned around, and he was on one knee!” (Side note: Phoebe admits that when she first walked inside, she thought their real estate agent had set up the whole display as a welcome home!)

For their wedding, the couple knew they wanted it to take place at home in Melbourne. But they only knew where the ceremony would be: a historic 19th-century Italianate mansion owned by a family friend of the bride. As for the reception, they were unsure, so they toured four venues in the surrounding area, ultimately selecting a sleek studio space overlooking Albert Lake. They filled the two different events—one, a garden party, and the other, a sleek dinner—with coordinating decor that felt modern yet whimsical. Keep reading to see more, including the bride’s statement Houghton gown, as photographed by Ali Bailey.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Phoebe first hit all the bridal boutiques in Melbourne in search of her dream gown. But after no such luck, she hit the Internet, scoured photos, and found the one on the runway in New York City. “I saw an image of Houghton’s ‘Miranda’ dress and immediately fell in love with it,” she says. “I managed to find it at another boutique in Melbourne, tried it on, fell in love, and contacted the Houghton team in New York the next day.” Together, they worked back-and-forth between New York and Australia, ultimately creating a long-sleeved, scoop-necked gown with a statement three-tiered skirt that was transparent from the knee down. “I wanted something very different yet magical,” she says.

The bride accessorized with Tiffany & Co. earrings, which were a gift from her mother and acted as her “something new.” She wore her grandmother’s ring as her “something old” and Miu Miu blue heels as her “something blue.” “I loved the way you could see the glimpse of my shoes through the transparent dress,” she says.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Matt wore a custom three-piece suit by Biggins in Melbourne. He had the inside embroidered with “Matt & Phoebe” and their wedding date.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Phoebe’s bridesmaids wore a variety of navy blue dresses, though they tied their looks together with matching bridal bouquets and rose gold heels by Nine West.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Phoebe’s three nieces acted as flower girls and wore festive dresses by Tutu De Monde. “The girls felt like Disney princesses,” she says. “Seeing them twirl around with those smiles on their faces was priceless.”

The bride gave the girls Tiffany & Co. necklaces with their initials engraved in them as a “thank you.”

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

During the ceremony, the bride made her grand entrance on the arm of her mother. “It was only fitting that she took on this special role,” she says. “She is my best friend and shining star.” After Phoebe’s march led Matt to tears, the couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves in front of a circular installation. “We tried to keep these romantic, honest, and fun,” explains the bride. “They reflected our relationship to a T—and there were tears and laughs all around!”

Photo by Ali Bailey

Phoebe and Matt enlisted Imogen Brough, a contestant from The Voice Australia, to sing throughout the ceremony and cocktail hour. She performed “You’ve Got the Love” by Florence & the Machine for the newlyweds’ cheerful exit.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Following the ceremony, the couple truly embraced their garden party theme by having champagne and canapés in the garden before heading to their lake-side reception locale.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

The reception took place at Carousel, where guests enjoyed more small bites before moving inside for a three-course dinner. The couple also served two signature cocktails, a caramelized pineapple mojito and a pear-and-rose gin Moscow mule.

Photo by Ali Bailey

In addition to signing the personalized guest book, Phoebe and Matt asked guests to drop letters and advice inside another customized acrylic box.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

Tables were dressed with arrangements of pink and purple flowers, marble coasters, and, for Phoebe, a copper wine glass.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

The couple’s cake was a semi-naked design with a copper leaf finish. It was, of course, decorated with a another special “Phoebe & Matt” detail in the form of the cake topper.

Photo by Ali Bailey

Photo by Ali Bailey

After the bride’s mum performed the epic speech from Father of the Bride, everyone hit the dance floor to party alongside the five-piece band. The couple selected Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” for their first dance.

Looking back on their big day, Phoebe has this planning advice for couples: “Don’t sweat the small things and remember the big picture, which is marrying your best friend in a room surrounded by all your favorite people,” she says. “It will be the best day of your lives!”

Ceremony Location: Raheen || Reception Location: Carousel || Officiant: Jon Moody || Bride’s Dress: Houghton || Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. || Shoes: Miu Miu || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anthea Crawford, Shona Joy || Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Nine West || Hair: Nerida Sibilia || Makeup: Celeste Jackson || Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Briggins, Hugo Boss || Flower Girl Attire: Tutu De Monde || Ring Bearer Attire: Ollie’s Place || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Torres Jewellery, Grew and Co. || Floral Design: Tillda Flowers by Casey Osbourne (bouquets and reception), Niki Sama (ceremony) || Invitations: Lauren Skorsis || Guest Book: Paper Bound Love || Entertainment: Imogen Brough, Like This || Catering: Food and Desire, Mr. B Coffee || Cake: Mad About Cakes || Rentals: Weddings for Desire, Harry the Hirer || Favors: Personalised Favours || Transportation: Limo Central, Murray’s || Photo Booth: Pixta Social || Photography: Ali Bailey || Videography: Love Soldier

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Wedding

The BRIDES Best Photographers of 2018

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Find Local Wedding Vendors

Browse the best wedding vendors in your area — from venues and photographers, to wedding planners, caterers, florists and more.

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Ashley Greene and Paul Khoury's Wedding Photos: A Stunning Evening in the Redwoods

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ICYMI, Ashley Greene and Paul Khoury are officially married! The couple—she’s best known for her role as Alice Cullen in the Twilight series; he’s a partner at Lokai—wed yesterday in an idyllic grove of redwood trees. They were surrounded by 120 of their closest family and friends, including Eiza Gonzalez and Josh Duhamel, Aaron and Lauren Paul, Evan Ross, Tom Welling, and Sean Faris. The natural setting was fitting for the duo, who met through mutual friends and got engaged in the great outdoors. On December 19, 2016, after a session of acro yoga and a monsoon that derailed Paul’s original proposal plans, the couple went on a hike (in the rain!) to the soon-to-be aptly named Bridal Veil Falls in New Zealand. “We hiked top to bottom, and Paul set up his camera for a ‘picture’ of the two of us but was really filming the proposal,” she recalls. “It was such an incredible energy. We were alone amongst a massive majestic waterfall. It was ours.”

For their wedding, Ashley and Paul set about finding an equally as special setting—and their top requirement was that it had to be outdoors. “Paul and I both grew up fully immersed in the outdoor elements and were raised to appreciate the beauty in nature,” she says. “An outdoor wedding was a must for us.” They, with the help of Ashley’s mom and Google, searched venues in the California area, ultimately finding Nestldown, a retreat in the redwoods near Silicon Valley. “Paul and I were blown away when we drove up for a visit,” she says. “We knew it was the place to start our lives together.” With their site set, they turned to Mindy Weiss to plan all the logistics and bring their vision of “a dreamy woodland, inspired by the verdant nature of the venue’s surroundings” to life. The planner was a perfect match for both Ashley, who concentrated on the day’s details, and Paul, who was more focused on the overall creative vision and energy. “Paul and Mindy are two peas in a pod, and I was the least stressed-out bride that ever existed because of Mindy,” Ashley says, with a laugh.

Keep reading to see how Ashley and Paul’s naturally beautiful wedding came together at Nestldown on July 6, 2018. These photos by Sarah Falugo are sure to inspire us all!

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

After wearing beautiful gowns on the red carpet for more than a decade, Ashley admits that she was initially worried about finding “the one” for her wedding. But when it came time to shop, it was surprisingly one of the first decisions she made. “I found a designer named Katie May who created a ‘Barcelona’ dress that spoke to me,” she explains. “Thankfully, she’s based in L.A., so I worked with her to create a custom gown that is 100 percent Ashley. It was absolutely perfect.”

For his attire, Paul selected an Armani suit, a Dior vest, and shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Ashley called on her seven best friends—including Caitie Uhlman, her maid of honor, and Joseph Chase, her man of honor—to stand by her side. Each woman wore a blush gown by Watters, but Caitie’s was especially embellished to make her stand out as MOH. Joseph’s attire also had a special touch, as Ashley had Windi Williams-Stern line the suit with pink fabric (from the bridesmaids’ dresses!) and embellishments from Caitie’s dress.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

For the ceremony, the couple selected an area on property that was surrounded by redwoods. After all, that’s what made them fall in love with the family-owned venue. (In addition to Paul and Ashley’s love of nature, Ashley says that, while growing up in Florida, the redwood trees were something she and her mother always talked about one day visiting together.)

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Though Ashley says their venue would have been beautiful without a touch of decor, she and Paul opted to make a statement with their ceremony arch. “A circular arch was the perfect choice to represent the eternal and everlasting love that Paul and I were celebrating on our wedding day,” she says. Sophie Sikora of Arts District Florals created that and more with pampas grass and pink and blush florals.

The aisle was lined with organic arrangements of pampas grass, eucalyptus, and blush roses.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

The bride walked down the aisle with her father as “At Last” by Etta James played. Though Ashley says she was calm throughout the planning process, she admits that she teared up just before the ceremony. “When my father saw me for the first time, he started crying, so I started crying right before we got in the car,” she says. (Thank goodness for pro makeup artists, right?!) That said, Ashley was again in tears when she met eyes with Paul. “I was so looking forward to seeing the look on his face—that’s why we didn’t do a first look,” she says. “But when I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh no, it’s happening! Waterworks!'” (She then talked to her dad the rest of the way in an effort to compose herself.)

After all, emotions were something the couple considered when designing their ceremony. “It was a very small wedding, and everyone was emotionally charged so we wanted to make sure there were breaks from that,” Ashley explains.”That way, our guests weren’t emotionally exhausted by the time we got to dinner and dancing!” To help ensure laughs (and, of course, tears, too), they asked their close friend, Dave Osokow, to officiate. “Dave has a flair for comedy so he kept things light and fun,” she says. The couple, with the encouragement of their officiant, also decided to incorporate one of their favorite games into their vow exchange. “We did Rock Paper Scissors,” she says. “It’s something we do all the time, and it was great.” (Paul won, but let Ashley go first to exchange vows they’d written themselves.)

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

And when it was finally time to say “I do,” Paul surprised Ashley with a final personal touch. When asked, “Do you take Ashley to be your wife,” he responded with a “hell yeah!” She, of course, answered with the same. “That was another moment that made it ours,” she says. “The wedding was ours and it was awesome.”

The newlyweds recessed down the aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. “Honestly, we were so happy,” she recalls. “It was like a bubble of warmth and love as we were leaving, we thought, ‘OMG we did it!””

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Next, the group headed over to cocktail hour, which the couple designed to be almost as engaging as their vows. Says Ashley, “We wanted to make sure the guests were fully entertained with tons of outdoor games, tours of the property, and mini horses and donkeys!” Guests found their seat assignments for dinner on a grand display surrounded by flowers.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Ashley slipped into her dreamy second gown, by Windi Williams-Stern, for the rest of the evening.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Dinner followed on a lawn nearby, which was perfectly situated between the woods and a beautiful pond. The couple wanted the night to feel comfortable and not too formal so they sat everyone at long tables placed in a U-shaped formation. “We wanted to see everyone and for everyone to feel connected,” she says.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Tables were dressed in peonies (Ashley’s favorite), orchids, which have a special significance to the couple, and driftwood brought in from Paul’s family arboretum, Dawes Arboretum, in Ohio.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Ashley and Paul sat, just the two of them, at a sweetheart table in front of their guests. Their circular ceremony arch made a second appearance behind them in an effort to eliminate waste and reuse the beautiful piece of artistry.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

During the reception, the lighting looked so perfect that Paul, who loves photography, suggest they sneak out to the forest for more pics.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

After dinner, everyone moved inside for dancing and dessert. The couple did a dessert table so everyone would all have options to choose from. That said, they still cut into a wedding cake, which was two-tiered and covered in blush icing. “I wanted to keep that tradition,” says the bride.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

Photo by Sarah Falugo

The newlyweds selected “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra for their first dance. Music by Sinatra was a given as Paul grew up listening to him with his family. After Ashley’s honorary dance with her father and Paul’s with his mother, they invited her mother and his father to the floor for a dance with their respective new in-laws.

Finally, after an enchanted afternoon and evening in the woods, Ashley and Paul led the way to their official after-party, at The Continental Bar in San Jose. But that wasn’t the end of the wedding festivities, as they still had one more pool party to go! “It’s been like a week of events, but we planned it around the 4th of July so our friends could stay, do a road trip, and enjoy the area over the holiday,” says the bride. “And because we did it on a Friday, we’re able to enjoy our guests this weekend and then get back to life on Monday!”

Wedding Planner: Mindy Weiss Party Consultants || Venue: Nestldown || Bride’s Dress: Katie May and Windi Williams Stern || Groom’s Suit: Armani || Groom’s Vest: Dior || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters || Stationery: Shine Wedding invitations || Specialty Printed Items: Shutterfly || Floral Design: Arts District Florals || Catering: Taste Catering || Rentals: Theoni Collection || Ceremony Music: Pacific Strings || Reception Music: Big Fun DJ || Photography: Sarah Falugo || Videography: Grover Films

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Maldives-Holiday

See Ashley Greene's Wedding Dress: Exclusive Wedding Album

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Congrats are in order for Ashley Greene and Paul Khoury! The couple—she’s an actress best known for her role as Alice Cullen in the Twilight series; he’s a partner at Lokai—married just minutes ago in a stunning ceremony in California. The pair got engaged in December 2016 and worked with celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss to design their dream day.

For their wedding, Ashley and Paul selected an idyllic setting outside San Jose and invited 120 friends and family members to join them for a night of celebration in the remote locale. The A-list guest list included friends and co-stars such as Liam Hemsworth, Zac Efron, Rob Pattinson, Brittany Snow, Lauren and Aaron Paul, and Evan and Ashlee Simpson-Ross. During the ceremony, which took place in a grove of grand redwood trees, the couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves. “We’re both romantics,” Ashley reveals.

The bride tapped Katie May to design a back-bearing dress for the ceremony, while she turned to Windi Williams-Stern, owner of Studio Unbiased, to create her statement reception gown (shown above). “She’s my magician. I’ve worked with her for over a decade for anything I do on the red carpet,” Ashley says. “She created a masterpiece for me, and I can’t wait to dance the night away in it!” The resulting design, which we’re dying to see under lights on the dance floor, is completely sheer and features stunning 3-D floral appliqués from the bodice to the train. (If these exclusive photos from the couple’s portrait session are any indication, it’s going to be gorgeous.)

Sarah Falugo

That said, we know this amazing sheer number isn’t the only dress the actress will be wearing throughout tonight’s festivities. Check back tomorrow for all the exclusive photos of Ashley Greene and Paul Khoury’s wedding, including her ceremony dress, all the celeb guests, and design elements (think flowers on flowers on flowers!) that are sure to make you swoon. We know we can’t wait to see every single detail, but, for now, cheers to the happy newlyweds!

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