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Anna Price Olson

Wedding

The 50 Best Wedding Photos From 2018

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If there’s one thing we love here at Brides, it’s a really gorgeous real wedding. Each week we bring you five inspiring stories, all packed with unique details, beautiful dresses, and some of the most unique love stories we’ve ever heard. And while we will never get enough of the flowers and decor, it’s really the two people at the heart of each celebration that draw us in, again and again. After all, it’s the couple that makes each wedding so distinctly unique and personal. So, in honor of the spectacular couples and the weddings they threw, we went through the archives and selected 50 of our favorite real-wedding moments from the past 12 months.

Of course, choosing our favorite photos from this year’s celebrations was no easy feat. After all, we’ve shared each of our real weddings with you because they featured great ideas, beautiful details, and even better photography. That’s why, in the end, we resurfaced the photos that felt distinctive, unique, and downright beautiful. They’re photos of real people, in love, having the time of their lives. They felt in-the-moment and, above everything else, real.

Keep reading to see which photos (and couples!) made the cut, and get inspired for your own big day while scrolling through. After all, you could be included in next year’s list of the 50 best real-wedding photos!

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Wedding

10 Creative Ideas of Your 2019 Wedding

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Here at BRIDES, we like to dedicate the month of December (hello, engagement season!) to brainstorming creative wedding ideas for the year ahead. What will the dress trends be? Is baby’s breath still back? Is there a new food truck? But here’s the secret: We’re not inventing these ideas out of nothing! Instead, we look to real couples who are throwing real parties, and planners who are doing the same for inspiration. (That is, after all, the whole point of the real weddings on our site.) So while we could easily tell you to scroll through pretty pics from now until 2019 for all the best inspo, we thought we would instead do you a favor by highlighting some of our favorite ideas right here.

Below, you’ll find 10 trends/things/thoughts that we’re excited for in 2019. And we’re revealing all of our best secrets! You’ll find decor moments we’re obsessed with, practices we want to steal (um, we mean politely borrow), and concepts we can’t wait to see couples execute. Basically, these are the ideas that could take your wedding from “cool wedding” to “wedding of the year.” And not to brag, but we kinda know our stuff: We look at wedding pictures All! Year! Long!

Keep reading to see exactly what we’re talking about, but we hope you take these ideas and create some of your own as well. We’ll be right here ready to swoon over your wedding pics when you do!

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Wedding

Malin Akerman's Boho Beach Wedding in Tulum, Mexico

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Congrats are in order for Malin Akerman and Jack Donnelly. The couple—she’s the star of Billions, he’s the lead in BBC’s Atlantis—married on December 1, 2018, on the beach in Tulum. And the bride officially has her younger sis to thank for the set-up with her now-husband! The two first met through her sister’s boyfriend and were friends for two years before making their relationship official. After they did, Jack proposed in their Brooklyn home, after surprising Malin with a private dinner in the garden of their favorite neighborhood restaurant.

Though, for their wedding, Malin and Jack decided to venture farther away—specifically, to Tulum, Mexico—to say “I do.” “The environment is very important to us so we were drawn to Tulum, and Papaya Playa especially, because of the way they take great care in preserving the Mayan Jungle,” Malin explains. As for the setting itself? “The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and the first time we saw it in person we fell in love with the boho vibes and gorgeous beach,” she adds. In fact, the couple decided to exchange vows in said sand (actually, in the water!) as friends such as Carla Gugino, Rob Thomas, and Michelle Monaghan looked on.

Andrea Freeman of Andrea Freeman Events helped plan the relaxed weekend celebration, ultimately bringing the couple’s vision to life with local cuisine, live music performances by Rob Thomas and “LP”, and plenty of macramé touches. Thankfully, MemoryBox Photography was on hand to capture every detail so keep reading to see all the #inspo. (Seriously, wait ’til you see the bride’s pink dress!)

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Guests were welcomed to Mexico with beach totes filled with local chocolates, pineapple drink glasses, and woven blankets.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The weekend’s events kicked off on Friday night with a casual welcome dinner (they served tacos!), followed by a jam sesh led by Rob Thomas on the guitar.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

For her wedding dress, Malin, with the help of her stylist Molly Fiskin Levin, looked to designer Cushnie. “I’ve worn many of their pieces to events and have always felt so chic and cool in their stuff,” she explains. As for the blush hue: “I decided on a color instead of white because it’s the second time round and I wanted it to be different,” she says. She also tucked a single purple bloom into her wavy updo for an additional pop.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The bride accessorized with jewelry by Jacquie Aicheno, a bouquet of purple blooms and pampas grass, and no shoes—it was a beach wedding, after all! Friend Maranda Widlund did her makeup, creating a “fresh and glowy” look for the beautiful bride.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The couple’s siblings made up their wedding party and had full rein on their outfit choices. “We just wanted them to feel comfortable,” says the bride. Malin’s son, Sebastian, also took part in the day and wore a white fedora, vest, and bowtie for the special occasion.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The groom went with a low-key look, pairing Paul Smith pants with a John Varvatos button up.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The bride is from Sweden and the groom is from England—so in true European form, cocktail hour took place before the ceremony. The couple also had a tequila shot bar as a nod to their Mexican destination. (How cute is that “Take a Shot, Take a Seat” sign?!)

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The main event happened on the hotel’s beach, overlooking the ocean. (Malin describes the scene as “intimate and magical.”) The aisle was lined with pampas grass in glass vessels, and the ceremony altar was made with dreamcatchers that the couple could take home as a memento.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The couple’s friend Laura Pergolizzi “LP” performed as Malin walked down the aisle with her father Magnus Akerman (right) and her stepfather Victor Tarnoy (left). Once at the altar, she and Jack exchanged personal vows and wedding bands by Deanna Devries. “Every element of the ceremony was so true to what’s important to us,” she says. “Having all of our friends and family there, speaking our own vows with the water washing over our feet felt so amazing.”

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The happy newlyweds!

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

The ceremony ended just in time for golden hour, so Malin and Jack took advantage by taking portraits on the beach. Malin also posed with her son, Sebastian.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

For the reception, Malin and Jack rented out a section of the hotel to make the celebration “feel even more special and intimate.” There, tables were set up in a U-formation and topped with tall taper candles, etched vintage glassware, and bud vases of purple blooms and pampas grass.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

“We just wanted a great party so the idea is to keep it casual, chill, and fun,” Malin says. To create that vibe, the menu of Mexican-style seafood was served family-style at intimate, candle-lit tables.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Both the bride and groom gave heartfelt speeches during dinner.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Michelle Monaghan, Peter White, and Rob Thomas enjoyed the “casual dinner atmosphere” that the couple strived to create.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Laura Pergolizzi performed her hit “Lost on You” for Malin and Jack’s first dance.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

After Malin and Jack’s swing around the dance floor, the rest of their guests—including Carla Gugino—joined them as international DJ Zen Freeman took over.

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Photo by MemoryBox Photography

Towards the end of the revelry, the bride slipped into yet another slip dress by Cushnie (this one, gold and mini) before continuing to party. The fun was fueled by cupcakes and late-night snacks of tamales, esquites, and tacos. Recalls Malin, “The reception was incredible. Everyone was laughing, the place looked beautiful, we danced for hours, and it ended with everyone jumping in the pool. We finished the night happy and wet.”

Wedding Venue: Papaya Playa Project || Wedding Planner: Andrea Freeman Events || Bride’s Dress: Cushnie || Hair & Makeup: Maranda Widlund || Groom’s Attire: Paul Smith, John Varvatos || Floral Design: Maria Limon || Rentals: Archive Rentals || Stationery: Minted || Catering: Ginger Hotel Tulum || Spirits: Bodvar Rose, Viva XXXII Tequila || Welcome Bags: Gracious Goodies, Chocolates KaoKao, W&P Design || Photography: MemoryBox Photography

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Wedding

An Elegant Farm Wedding in the Berkshires

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Jackie Egan and Jim Doolin had the quintessential office romance. They first met at a consulting firm in Boston in September 2010, becoming fast friends as they worked on a project together, and then took things to the next level after the company’s ski trip in March 2011. After that, their office romance turned into a long distance one when Jackie moved to New York City for business school (Jim was in medical school in Massachusetts). Finally in February 2016, after years of traveling back and forth, Jim surprised Jackie with a proposal in Boston (the place where it all began) and even organized an engagement party with their families and friends to follow.

After that, Jackie and Jim decided to look outside the city for a wedding venue, ultimately deciding on the Berkshires, a place they often visited when they were long-distance. “We really loved how it had a relaxed, farm-to-table vibe,” she explains. “It also helped that it was equal distance between Boston and NYC, where most guests were coming from.” They booked an intimate chapel, St. Joseph’s, for their Catholic wedding and an actual farm, Gedney Farm, for their rustic-meets-elegant reception. “We wanted it to feel refined, clean, and classic, but also welcoming to our guests and not too stuffy,” Jackie says.

Based on these photos by Jacqui Cole, we’d say that Jackie and Jim succeeded in creating an understatedly elegant celebration—but keep reading to see for yourself.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Jackie says selecting her wedding dress was surprisingly the easiest part of planning. “It was the second dress I tried on and it just felt right,” she says of her Carolina Herrera lace gown. “I loved how it was classic, yet modern, and that it was comfortable. It also fit well with our wedding vibe, which was clean and elegant, but also understated.” She completed her “classic minimalist look” with a custom lace veil, nude Stuart Weitzman block heels—”I’ve worn them several times since the wedding,” she says—and diamond studs that she fittingly describes as “simple and classic.”

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

The groom wore a suit by Brooks Brothers, while the bride carried a lush bouquet of garden roses, quicksand roses, and white majolica roses to match her Carolina Herrera gown.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Jackie wanted her bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses so she considered letting them choose their own—that is, until she realized she was “too type A to not have everyone in the same color.” So she came up with a solution: The same designer (Monique Lhuillier) and color (blush) but in whatever style they wanted. The groomsmen all wore their tuxes—in classic black, of course.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

At St. Joseph’s, the bride’s father walked her down the aisle as “Trumpet Voluntary” played. She and Jim then exchanged traditional vows in a Catholic ceremony. “Although we didn’t have much latitude being married in a Catholic ceremony, we also really liked the idea of sharing vows that millions of other couples have already shared with one another,” Jackie says.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

After making it official, everyone headed to the nearby Gedney Farm for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. The couple took portraits during cocktail hour, while everyone else enjoyed dry rubbed pork ribs and Brazilian sliced sirloin cooked on an Argentine grill. “We liked that the grill created a lively, relaxed setting with the chef cooking up food in real-time,” explains the bride.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

When they entered the barn, guests were greeted by a statement escort card display. Cards were placed on a long farm table at the foot of the stairs, and it was decorated with a tall glass urn filled with wild cut Russian olive, wild cut prunus, white delphinium, and red charm peonies. “I loved the pop that the red charm peonies added,” Jackie says.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

For the night’s decor, the couple looked to the property’s two-story barn for inspiration, even including a custom illustration of it on their guest book, gift bags, and favor bags. They kept to a neutral color palette for florals and decor items, but also made sure to add pops of burgundy to coordinate with the barn’s red exterior.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

“We wanted to elevate the barn setting, while keeping it very clean and refined,” says the bride of the reception’s overall look. To accomplish that, they filled the space with a mix of round and farm tables (imagine that!) and red-hued Chiavari chairs that coordinated perfectly with the wood beamed ceiling and floors.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

The bare farm tables were lined with a sheer runner and topped with tall taper candles and small arrangements of red and cream florals in mercury glass vessels.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

A big band was a must for Jackie and Jim so they hired Nightshift Entertainment’s Soho group at the recommendation of a friend. “They were terrific and had everyone dancing to Top 40 hits and Motown classics,” Jackie says. A few standout numbers? “Blame it on the Boogie” by the Jacksons (a favorite at Dartmouth, where Jim went for undergrad) and “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. “Katy Perry is my sister Caroline’s absolute favorite,” says the bride. “We ended up doing karaoke to it and it was a total blast.”

Photo by Jacqui Cole

True to their farm setting, the couple served assorted farm jars in key lime, s’more, and apple pie flavors—as well as wedding cake and mini donuts.

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Photo by Jacqui Cole

Looking back on the big day, Jackie had this to say: “First, have so much fun and be present—it goes by in a flash. And second, try to finish all remaining things on your to do list before the wedding week. You won’t have time that week!”

Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church || Reception Venue, Catering, & Cake: Gedney Farm || Wedding Day-Of Coordinator: Eutopia Events || Bride’s Dress: Carolina Herrera, from L’Elite Boston || Jewelry: Kate Spade || Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair & Makeup: Allure Traveling Beauty || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier, from L’Elite Boston || Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers || Wedding Bands: Depriscos || Floral Design: Crocus Hale || Paper Products: Ruby the Fox || Calligraphy: Charlie Whiskey Lettering & Design || Custom Illustrations: Emily Jo Gill || Music: Night Shift Entertainment || Rentals: Classical Tents || Favors: Home Sweet Home Doughnut Shoppe || Transportation: Dufour Tours || Photography: Jacqui Cole

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Wedding

A Fairy-Tale Wedding at Ireland's Adare Manor

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They say third time’s the charm, but for Eamon Bradley, it was actually four. After chatting with Suzanne Denihan on an online dating site, it took him four attempts to persuade her to meet him for drinks. “He said, this is the last time I’m asking you out, and I listened,” she recalls. And she’s sure glad she did. “We both knew right away that this was it and were inseparable after our first date,” she says.”We spent everyday together after that.”

In fact, Eamon popped the question just seven months later, while vacationing at Suzanne’s parent’s home in the Hamptons. To do so, he asked Suzanne to go on an early-morning walk (still in their pajamas!)—and by the time they had reached the beach, he was down on one knee. After a proposal by the water, the couple traveled to the other side of the Atlantic—specifically, to Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland to say “I do” on June 16, 2018. “We knew we wanted to do Ireland as it holds a special place in our hearts,” Suzanne explains. “Eamon’s parents are from Donegal and my great grandparents are from Co Mayo.” The actual venue came at the suggestion of a friend and fellow bride-to-be, who was marrying there a few months prior. “She suggested we check it out, and we booked it without seeing it,” she adds. (The couple’s planner, Alise Taggart, admittedly did visit during the property’s 18-month renovation process to get a feel for the space and create the layout.)

Keep reading to see how Suzanne and Eamon tied the knot at a historic manor in the heart of Ireland. And trust us: After scrolling through these stunning photos by Taylor and Porter, you might be willing to book the venue sight unseen, too!

Photo by Taylor and Porter

In terms of the day’s decor, the couple very much looked to their venue for inspiration. In fact, they even asked Color Box Letterpress to include an illustration of the property on their elegant invitation suite.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

On the day itself, photos around Adare Manor’s 840 acres—featuring luxury interiors, manicured grounds, and historic architecture—were a must. “The venue is already so picturesque that it didn’t take much work to make it look even more incredible for our wedding,” says the bride.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Suzanne selected an ornate Pronovias gown that featured lace appliqués and a train, which she wore in lieu of a veil. “It was so beautiful but also so comfortable,” she says. “I wanted something I could dance in!”

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

The bride paired her royal-worthy gown with earrings from BHLDN and shoes by Badgley Mischka. Her lush bouquet consisted of peonies, garden roses, roses, sweet pea, hydrangea, blushing bride protea, and soft foliage.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

The groom wore a custom suit by Nicholas Joseph in Chicago—and we’d say they both looked worthy of their castle-like venue.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

For the ceremony, the couple felt limited by Ireland’s ever-changing weather and their large guest count, so they had a tent constructed in the walled gardens. “It had a clear roof and open sides as we still wanted our guests to be able to see the beautiful walled garden and have the space as open to nature as possible,” says the bride.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

The couple had their nieces and nephews acts as flower girls and ring bearers. The little ladies dressed in moss green-accented dresses, while the boys wore coordinating ties in the same hue. “They were all bribed with candy waiting for at the altar,” Suzanne adds. “The youngest, our niece Edie, accessorized with a snack cup she carried down with her!”

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

The bride’s father walked her down the aisle—”He was more nervous than I was,” she says with a laugh. Once at the altar, Suzanne and Eamon exchanged traditional vows and had their officiant read an excerpt from The Alchemist.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Talk about a grand exit!

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Of course, no Irish wedding is complete without a signature cocktail of Guinness.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

Photo by Taylor and Porter

The reception took place in the chandelier-filled Adare Ballroom, where the wedding party was seated at one long head table, while the rest of the couple’s (400!) guests sat at rounds. Each was topped with arrangements of blush and white florals in both tall trumpet vases and lower compotes, calligraphed menus and table numbers, and gold-rimmed china.

Photo by Taylor and Porter

After a four-course meal and plenty of visits to the signature vodka bar, guests hit the dance floor as The Bentley Boys Band played. The couple danced to “I Waited For You” by Daniel Norgren for their first dance (Eamon picked the song!) before the groom’s cousins surprised the crowd with a traditional Irish dance. After all, what’s an Irish wedding without that?!

Wedding Venue & Catering: Adare Manor || Wedding Planning, Design, and Styling: Alise Taggart Events and Design || Officiant: Father James Kennan and Anthony Refalo || Bride’s Dress: Pronovias || Jewelry: BHLDN || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair: Glen Cullen || Makeup: Sarah Keary || Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhullier || Groom’s Attire: Nicholas Joseph || Flower Girl & Ring Bearer Attire: Custom || Wedding Bands: Trabert & Hoeffer || Floral Design: The Informal Florist || Paper Products: Color Box LetterPress || Calligraphy: Tara Jones Calligraphy || Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Bohemian Springs || Reception Music: The Bentley Boys Band || Cake: Cove Cake Design || Tenting, Draping & Rentals: Pavilion Marquees || Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental || Transportation: Carrig Carriages ||Videography: Story of Eve || Photography: Taylor and Porter ||Photo Booth: Smile Photo Booth

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Wedding

The Zero-Drama Guide to Your Engagement Ring: Get More Bling for Your Buck

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Check out five fool-proof ways to maximize value of your engagement ring (and maybe save something for the wedding).

Know Your Shapes

Round diamonds cost about 25 percent more than other shapes, says Nicole Wegman, founder of Ring Concierge. Ovals also tend to be pricier because they’re in demand right now (when the inventory is lower, the price rises). You can save up to 10 percent by going with another shape.

Get the Right Cut

When your heart is set on a bigger rock—specifically a round shape—you can go for lower color and clarity if you get an excellent cut, Wegman says. It will sparkle more than lower-cut grades, appear whiter, and can hide flaws.

(Slightly) Downgrade Your Dreams

A 0.9 carat looks so much like a 1 carat, and a 1.9 looks so much like a 2.0 (and trust us, even your pettiest friend won’t notice). Wegman says you can save as much as 25 percent on the stone when you stay just under full-carat marks. In the same vein, get a G-quality stone, which is right under the colorless range (D–F). When it’s placed next to an F, that snobtastic friend still won’t see the difference, but it costs about 8 percent less.

Avoid Three-Stone Styles

Sure, we all want the #MarkleSparkle, but Wegman points out that adding side stones like trapezoids or half moons can increase the price of the setting by $2,000 to $5,000.

See more: 91 Gorgeous Engagement Rings Under $5,000

Skip the Pavé Band

A thin band in platinum or gold will showcase your diamond—and can cost $600 less than the same setting with micropavé.

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Wedding

The Etiquette of Showing Off Your Engagement Ring

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From the moment you get engaged, people—friends, acquaintances, that lady behind you in line at the juice place—will demand, “Show me the engagement ring!” And doing so may trigger follow-ups, like How many carats? and Can I try it on? and, cringe, OMG how much did that cost?! By now, the #RingSelfie is a legit way to announce your news.

If that feels braggy, Myka Meier of Beaumont Etiquette in New York City suggests posting a portrait in which your left hand just happens to be visible. Of course, in real life, things get trickier—especially when people have, ahem, no filter. When Daniella Yacobovsky, founder of Baublebar, got engaged last fall, only her closest friends asked about the size, and “I didn’t mind telling them! The carat count on my ring ranks #458 on the list of invasive info they have on me,” she says with a laugh.

If you prefer playing it more coy, Meier recommends blanket responses like “I’m not sure [of the size], but I just love it!” and “Sorry, I’m superstitious about letting others try on my ring.”

And one thing you might not have considered—if your rock is sort of enormous (you poor thing), take it off for job interviews.

See more: 91 Engagement Ring Selfies We Love

“Don’t wear anything that might take attention away from you,” Yacobovsky says, “especially while you’re touting your amazing qualifications.”

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Wedding

A Bridal Designer's Wedding in Western Australia

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Australians Harriette Gordon and Alex Fletcher had known each other for years before their connection turned romantic. “He’s my dear friend Tess’s older brother,” Harriette explains. But, in June 2014, after years of knowing each other, they “collided” at Winter Music Festival in North Fremantle, Australia. “We didn’t leave each others side all night,” she recalls. “We had our first kiss—the rest is history.” In fact, in June 2016, two years after that first kiss, Alex popped the question before the same music festival. “We were sitting on top of Monument Hill looking out over our hometown of Fremantle, sipping Champagne and discussing plans of our impending Europe trip a month later, before we headed to the festival,” Harriette says.

But, for the wedding, the couple surprisingly did not select a June date or the festival grounds as their venue. Instead, they looked to the groom’s family vacation home in Yallingup, Australia, where the bride also holidayed growing up. “Yallingup means ‘Place of Love’ in Aboriginal culture,” she adds. From there, Harriette and Alex took that meaning quite literally, making it their vision to create a “place for all our loved ones to be together and celebrate with us.” This translated to a free-flowing day, where guests arrived to refreshments and canapés before the ceremony even started and showed off their musical talents late in the night.

Keep reading to see all the stunning photos by Katie Grant—and you can’t miss the bridal designer bride’s gorgeous looks.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Before their guests arrived, the couple posed for photos so Harriette could rock her second look, a white two-piece number by Edward McCann, in the daylight. The bride worked with the designer to make a “bespoke natural white suit,” which consisted of a smoking jacket with a silk satin lapel, a cropped pant, and a silk camisole. The groom also wore Edward McCann.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

The bride is the bridal designer behind Harriette Gordon so she, of course, designed her own dress. “I knew I wanted to wear something embellished and couture but in a relaxed, nonchalant way,” she says. “It was such a special experience creating the gown. And it took many many many more hours than anticipated! In the last month before the wedding, there were times when five seamstresses were working on it. I will never forget the magic and madness of that month!” The resulting creation was made of two layers: the base of corseted tulle, and a top hand-beaded and embellished in mixed metal antique gold, silver, and brass. As a finishing touch, lyrics of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” were embroidered on the hem of the gown.

Photo by Katie Grant

Harriette accessorized with Valentino Shoes, antique diamond stud earrings, and a vintage ruby-and-diamond bracelet (“something old and borrowed” from her grandmother!). She also wore her solitaire diamond-and-platinum engagement ring, which the couple found together at an antique store in Dublin, Ireland.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

The designer bride also made custom gowns for her each of her bridesmaids. “I wanted the girls to wear different modern, slightly bohemian couture gowns,” she explains. She originally planned on adding color but ended up going with a classic black and gold mix.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Alex’s tux may appear black in photos, but it was actually a green, navy, and black woven together. His groomsmen wore classic back tuxes with a surprise underneath: hot pink socks!

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

The couple’s flower girls wore Harriette Gordon gray dresses, which were accented with sweet Peter Pan collars. “I wanted their dresses to be classic, refined, and traditional, along with their patent black Mary Jane shoes. I have loved these shoes since I was a child,” Harriette says. As a final touch, the girls wore dried bunny-tail floral crowns to tie into the rest of the day’s palette.

Photo by Katie Grant

The ceremony site was decorated with a bed of roses and fresh blooms mixed in with dried florals and grasses. “We wanted a refined and muted palette with lots of texture,” the bride explains.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Harriette walked herself down the aisle—to to “Ember” by the Dirty Three—to meet Alex at the altar. (She says her favorite moment of the day was seeing him smile back at her!) There, they exchanged vows they’d written together over red wine at their favorite bar in North Fremantle. “First, we each wrote a couple of sentences, read them to each other, and then combined them,” she says. “Simple and meaningful.”

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Dinner was served in a big Sperry tent set up on court on the family’s property. “We loved the way the tent felt like a grand canopy from an old circus or fair,” Harriette says. Inside, the poles were decorated with dried ferns and roses (to match the ceremony’s design), and, below, tables were set with gray linens, black taper candles, and antique candle holders.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Minimal rose arrangements were placed in mini bowls, and each place setting was accented with a calligraphed place card and yet another dried fern.

Photo by Katie Grant

The newlyweds selected “Magnolia” by JJ Cale for their first dance—but that was not the only performance of the night. The groom is in a band so several of his friends surprised the couple by performing their own songs. “The live music was so much fun and was a really important part of the day for us,” she says.

Photo by Katie Grant

The bride changed into her second look just in time to cut into their buttercream cake, which was filled with passionfruit, chocolate, and rose flavors.

Photo by Katie Grant

Photo by Katie Grant

Looking back, the designer bride shared this advice: “Don’t do things you think are expected of you because it’s a wedding,” she says. “Do the things you want to do, have what is important to both of you and stick to your instincts.”

Bride’s Dress & Veil: Harriette Gordon || Bride’s Suit: Edward McCann || Jewelry: Delphi Antiques || Shoes: Valentino || Hair: Kayla Marshall of The Pretty Parlour || Makeup: TXC Collective || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Harriette Gordon || Flower Girl Attire: Harriette Gordon || Groom’s Attire: Edward McCann || Engagement Ring: Delphi Antiques || Wedding Bands: Steven Sher Antiques || Officiant: Adrian May || Floral Design: Ivy Flowers || Paper Products: Chil 3 Design || Music: Lucy Peach Music || Catering: Tim Whitty || Cake: The Cake and I || Rentals: Heart Strings, South West Events || Tent: The Zest Group || Transportation: Gannaways || Photography & Videography: Katie Grant

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Wedding

55 Beautiful Cakes for Every Wedding Venue

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Oftentimes, choosing a wedding cake feels like checking off yet another box on your wedding to-do list. (Bouquet? Check! Dress? Check! Cake? Check!) But, today, it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than ordering some traditional cake for ceremonial purposes, you now have the option to treat it as both a design element and a delicious menu item. So, basically, it’s time to get creative!

In terms of the cake’s design, it’s often smart to start by thinking about your venue. The venue sets the scene for the rest of your wedding and also affects what material the cake can be made of (fondant can be hard in direct sunlight, et cetera). Plus, we think it’s fun to have the wedding cake match the venue’s aesthetic and the rest of the day’s design details. So, if you’re into that idea as well, we suggest you start by imagining what exactly you’re looking for (five tiers, a single tier, etc.) and thinking about design elements you like (“drip” elements, fresh flowers, geometric designs).

As you’ll see below, we’re especially into recreating textiles in buttercream, using local flora as accent pieces, and even adding fruit toppings. So, to show you exactly what creative ideas we’re talking about, we compiled a list of 55 wedding cakes (yes, 55!) that will perfectly fit in at a farm, beach, garden, and more.

Keep scrolling to gather inspo for your own celebration, and remember: You can customize all of the cakes below to your wedding, venue, and taste—quite literally!

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Wedding

A BRIDES Editor Tested Rent the Runway’s Unlimited Service

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Here at BRIDES, we spend so much time talking about “the one”—wedding dress, that is. But here’s the thing: I’m not a bride, and I still feel like I’m always searching for that one memorable dress between all the bachelorette parties, bridal showers, weddings, and life events on my cal…Or at least that’s how I felt, until I discovered Rent the Runway’s unlimited service. I first heard about “RTR Unlimited” at a party a few months ago when I complimented a friend’s Derek Lam midi dress. She revealed—in a whisper, almost as if it was some major secret—that the dress was, in fact, not her own. She had rented it from Rent the Runway, the online clothing rental company, and she had three (equally as cute) options waiting for her at home. The concept? As an Unlimited member, you pay $169 a month—$99 the first month—to borrow any four items at any time. You can wear a piece once, multiple times, or not at all, and then, when you’re finished with said dress, skirt, sunglasses, et cetera, you simply mail it back in a pre-paid envelope or drop it by a store location to replace it with your next item.

Yep, it all sounded too good to be true—so, naturally, I decided to give it a try. At first, I said I’d do it for a vacation at the beginning of the summer… but now it’s five months later, and I’m still shopping the site’s new arrivals on Saturday mornings and coordinating outfits with my upcoming calendar. After all, fall is the most popular time of year to say “I do,” and I have a bachelorette party this month, a four-day destination wedding the next, another bachelorette, another wedding…you get the picture.

So, am I a devoted member? Yes, and I do think Unlimited is the right plan for me and my lifestyle right now (thanks, wedding season!). But if you’re looking to rent fewer pieces or can’t seem to justify the $169-a-month charge, there are different plans that might be a better fit for you. (There’s the RTR Update for $89, which includes four pieces total a month, and the option to rent per item.) But, for experiment’s sake, here’s what I’ve learned in the past few months—and why I’ll be continuing my membership as I strive to be the best dressed twenty-something on the wedding (and social and life!) circuit.

It has introduced me to new designers—and made me try more adventurous looks!

Right now, I have dresses by The Kooples, Alexis, Nicholas, and Parker hanging in my closet. And they’re colored, florals, and all different lengths!  Which, if you know me, is quite a break from my typical wardrobe of exclusively neutral hues. Honestly, my favorite part of Unlimited has been experimenting with colors and prints that I would never have bought out of fear of them being “too memorable.” (Thanks, IG!) But with one wear here, and another there, why not…?!

It has stopped me from shopping (somewhat).

Believe me, I LOVE online shopping, and I’ve still been doing it (everyone needs new booties for fall, right?!). But having RTR Unlimited has forced me to cut back—$169 is an investment to me—on event-specific purchases and spontaneous trips for fast-fashion purposes. And when I do choose to spend, it has been on more investment pieces and basic staples I felt were missing from my wardrobe.

It has saved the day on numerous occasions.

Have a big meeting tomorrow? No worries. A four-day wedding in Mexico? Come at me! In all seriousness, I’ve had a great overall experience using the site (and app) for both spur-of-the-moment occasions and planned events. I often utilize the “heart” feature, which lets you highlight pieces for specific events on specific dates, like showers, parties, et cetera. For instance, right now, I have a general folder for items I want to wear this fall, and I’m starting a specific mood board for my friend’s wedding next month. That said, the reviews and photos are helpful but you do have to be smart about what you’re shopping for and what fits your body. (So, ladies, now’s the time to learn your best silhouettes!)

And, most importantly, it makes me feel great about myself.

At the end of the day, a new designer dress does put an extra pep in my step, whether I’m wearing it to the office on a Monday or black-tie wedding on Saturday. And honestly, as a bride-to-be or regular gal like me, what more could you want?

Oh, and that feeling when someone gives you a compliment? Forget the price tag because, to me, that might as well be priceless.

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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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