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Phil Torres and Silja Danielsen's Sustainable Seattle Wedding

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What do you get when a Norwegian model and a rainforest biologist get married? Silja Danielsen and Phil Torres found out on September 23, 2018 when the pair tied the knot in Seattle, Washington, in front of 130 guests.

The couple first met in 2014 through a mutual scientist friend and, after a few years of friendship, realized “the one” had been right there all along. In August of 2017, Phil took Silja to Fedje, a small Norwegian island where Silja’s grandparents got married, and asked her to start a lifelong love story of their own. The couple now lives in New York, but loved the idea of getting married at the Nordic Museum in Seattle. “My grandfather was one of the founders, and their newest building was designed by a Scandinavian architect,” says Silja. The sleek setting was the perfect backdrop for the couple’s sustainable Viking feast, decorated with lush jungle accents and sleek scientific details to fit both of their personalities. “We did most of the legwork family-style, bringing in my mom, aunt, and cousins to lend a hand,” says the bride.

Photographed by Andrew Parsons, this intersection of Scandinavian design and the Peruvian rainforest is a wedding you won’t want to miss! Keep reading for more!

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Silja says she knew she wanted a couture gown, but she also wanted her wedding dress to embody she and Phil’s goal of creating a sustainable celebration as much as possible. “I love Monique Lhuillier’s designs, and the butterfly details on this gown were perfect, given Phil’s work in the Peruvian rainforest,” she says. She found this design at Bridal Garden, a not-for-profit charitable organization that’s also a bridal boutique that carries gowns donated from designers and exclusive retailers as well as gently-used gowns from newly-married ladies. “They give back to benefit education for disadvantaged children, which is a cause I can really get behind,” the bride explains.

The gown paired a draped bodice with a bow at the waist and a soft, flowing train. Because Silja and Phil recently moved to New York City, the bride opted for a Sex and the City moment and donned a pair of Jimmy Choo heels beneath her gown. Her ethereal beaded headpiece was the same one that her mother wore on her own big day.

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Phil wore a Tom Ford tuxedo with Gucci loafers that featured a bee on the vamp. “I gave them to Phil as a gift,” Silja says. “He’s always loved insect designs included in high fashion.”

The groom, who has done extensive research in the Amazon, and his groomsmen all wore preserved butterflies on their lapels instead of floral boutonnieres. “They were sustainably collected in the area of the rainforest where Phil works, and the color was perfect!” says the bride.

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

All of the bridesmaids wore gold and silver sequins to capture the museum’s ethereal light. The flower girls wore butterfly wings and carried wands, while the ring bearer brought the rings down the aisle in a butterfly net.

Photo by Andrew Parsons

“I walked halfway down the aisle on my own, then met my bother and brother to finish walking to the altar,” says Silja. The couple’s friend, Danny Hoyt, is a professional TV and live audience host (you might have heard his voice at San Diego Chargers of L.A. Kings games!) and his father is a pastor, so he was the perfect fit to officiate the ceremony. “He kept it lively and fun, yet incredibly meaningful,” Silja describes.

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

The ceremony included a traditional Viking hand-binding, swapping the rope for a vine of greenery. “We are drying and pressing the vine so we can frame it and hang it in our home,” adds the bride.

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

The museum’s indoor-outdoor event space was perfect for the couple’s September wedding. Long farmhouse tables emulated the feeling of a Viking feast, while clear chairs kept the clutter minimal. The center of each table was decorated with corkscrew willow gathered from Silja’s mother’s yard, and strands of pampas grass were placed in beakers—a nod to Phil’s scientific profession. “We even put milkweed seed beneath each guest’s plate for them to take home and plant, as a way to contribute to the conservation of Monarch butterflies,” Silja explains.

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Photo by Andrew Parsons

Dinner included curried cauliflower, eggplant moussaka, and baked salmon inspired by their friend Nevada Berg’s Norwegian cookbook, North Wild Kitchen. Instead of champagne, the couple toasted with GT’s Kombucha, and also served American Harvest Organic Vodka (sustainably produced in the U.S.) and Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey (made in Oregon, with profits supporting the National Forest Foundation).

Photo by Andrew Parsons

“We served a Nordic wedding cake, called Kransekake,” says Silja. “One of the cakes had cricket flour in it—it was actually the most popular flavor!” (They were all adorned with butterfly accents, naturally.)

While wedding planning may feel like it’s all about creating the best experience for your guests, Silka says to remember that your loved ones want the best possible day for you too. “The tiniest details don’t always matter,” says Silja. “It’s about how much fun you and your spouse are having, and how much genuine love is in the air!”

Venue: Nordic Museum || Officiant: Danny Hoyt || Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier, from Bridal Garden || Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Heidi Nymark || Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford, Gucci || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth || Wedding Bands: Anna Sheffield || Photography: Andrew Parsons

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Wedding

11 Winter Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Totally Keep

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Not all wedding favors are created equal. Some are cute, some are cheeky, some are tasty, and some are downright tacky! The key to a great wedding favor is to make it both personal and relevant to your wedding—and, of course, to pick something your guests will actually enjoy.

Some more rules of favor giving: 1) Make it pretty. If it’s not already in a pretty package, it’s up to you (or your wedding planner!) to make sure it is presented in a way that seems intentional and put-together (vs something haphazard or sloppy). 2) EVERYONE enjoys food. Period. And drinks. So any favors that have something to do with either of these will most likely be a hit. 3) Call us crazy, but if you really want your guests to hang onto the favors, (unless it’s something that IS food related that will either be consumed or thrown away when it’s gone) don’t brandish it with your name and/or wedding date. Think about it: would you rather have a cozy throw or scarf that doesn’t say anything or one that is monogrammed with someone else’s initials and wedding date? It’s your day, but give your guests something they’ll actually enjoy!

As the snow falls and the temperatures drop, we say keep it seasonal, too, and treat your guests to one of these winter wedding favors, sure to be crowd-pleasers.

See More: 14 Fall Wedding Favors to Get Your Guests in the Autumn Spirit

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Wedding

A Garden-Inspired Indian Wedding in Memphis, Tennessee

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When Nayha Patel and Zubin Shetty first met as juniors at the University of Michigan in 2010, the pair were both seeing other people. But, a year later, Zubin was pleasantly surprised to find that both he and Nayha were finally single. “I asked her if she wanted to see a few concerts with me, and after a few late nights and some crazy football Saturdays, we realized we’d spent almost every day for a month together,” he recalls. “We were inseparable for the rest of the year, and have been ever since.”

Five years later, Zubin had plans to propose, and let Nayha’s family in on the surprise. “They can’t keep a secret, so I had to quickly change plans and propose a week early,” he reveals with a laugh. During a walk around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., the groom recited a rap he’d written for his bride-to-be and popped the question.

For their wedding on May 27, 2018, Nayha and Zubin knew they’d have a massive guest list so they found the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, which could accommodate the crowd of 500 family members and friends. “It’s also so beautiful, with so much history and grandeur,” says the bride. But planning wasn’t easy: Nayha is in medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans and Zubin is a resident near Detroit. (So they were planning the wedding from afar—in different cites!) “Nayha did a lot of the initial planning while I was interviewing for my residency, then I took over while she prepared for her first board exam,” Zubin explains.

Even with so many moving parts, Zubin and Nayha were able to put together a spectacular Indian wedding full of lush flowers and an elegant blush, champagne, and ivory palette. They went all out on their garden theme, from the embroidery on Nayha’s gown to the roses you could smell from outside the ballroom. Keep reading to see more of this Memphis beauty, as photographed by Kristin Sweeting and planned by SJS Events!

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Nayha’s spectacular lengha was made of creamy raw silk and finished with intricate floral embroidery. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it after we left the shop,” she says. She paired delicate mehndi with stacks of color-coordinated bangles and necklaces from a jeweler in India.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Zubin wore an ivory raw silk sherwani with red and gold accents to match Nayha’s floral ensemble. He even had mehndi of his own—his bride’s name and two hearts on his left hand.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Zubin donned a red turban for his dramatic entrance on a horse.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

“Traditionally at Indian weddings, the bride is walked down the aisle by her mother’s brothers,” says Nayha. “Because my uncles in India were unable to attend, my mom’s ‘surrogate brothers’ here in the States and their wives walked me down the aisle, instead. We’re all very close and I really look up to them, so it was a special moment to share.” During the ceremony, Nayha and Zubin exchanged garlands of white and pink roses, and received blessings from their loved ones.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

For the reception, Nayha changed into a spectacular gold beaded and embroidered gown, while Zubin went classic in a black tuxedo and bowtie.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Long mirrored tables were set with gold chargers and lots of candles, while orchids and white roses cascaded down from arrangements above. Nearby, round tables featured manzanita branches festooned with white orchids and votive candles.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Nayha and Zubin made their grand entrance to “All of the Lights” by Kanye West. “The peaceful interlude, followed by the song’s powerful horns, definitely brought the enthusiasm and hype for the party!” says Nayha. The couple shared their first dance to “LOVE” by Kendrick Lamar before opening up the dance floor, where guests got down to lots of hip hop—and the couple’s favorite, “Call Me Maybe.”

2018 Kristin Sweeting Photography

The simple wedding cake, decorated with fresh blooms, had layers of almond, strawberry, lemon, and coconut cake. “The coconut was the best,” adds the groom.

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

For Nayha and Zubin, the highlight of their wedding was seeing all of their loved ones come together from all over the world. “Over 30 of our friends, from all different parts of our lives, secretly spent the weekend practicing a surprise choreographed dance, then performed it during the reception,” says Nayha. “Zubin and I had no idea!”

Wedding Planner: SJS Events || Venue: The Peabody Hotel || Bride’s Dress & Veil: Sabyasachi Mukherjee || Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Jimmy Choo || Bride’s Jewelry: TBZ Jewelers || Hair: Exotic Looks by Karen || Makeup: Bridal Gal || Groom’s Attire: Telon || Engagement Ring: Tapper’s || Wedding Bands: Tapper’s || Floral Design: Atlas Floral || Paper Products: Katie Fischer Design || Catering: Peabody Hotel || Cake: Frost Bakeshop || Music: DJ Raj Gandhi || Videography: With This Ring || Photography: Kristin Sweeting

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Wedding

A Relaxed Wedding on Shelter Island

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During Claire Nolan and James Peterson’s wedding reception on June 23, 2018, the bride’s sisters joked that they “never thought anything good could come out of Santacon.” “They were wrong!” says Claire, who credits the boozy day full of people dressed tipsy Santas and elves for introducing her to her now-husband, Jimmy, in 2013. Though the couple met in San Francisco, after three and a half years together, Jimmy proposed on the way to Claire’s family home on Shelter Island, so they decided to tie the knot there as well. “My parents’ property is simply stunning, right on Gardiners Bay. It was perfect for our modern yet beachy reception,” says the bride. “We wanted the celebration to be a blast for ourselves and our guests, filled with eating, drinking, and dancing. We also envisioned a sunny early summer day, which we didn’t get, but it worked out regardless!”

While the logistics were tricky (getting 250 guests, plus all the bells and whistles needed for a wedding, to Shelter Island wasn’t easy!), Claire and Jimmy pulled off a waterfront evening that was light, airy, and totally memorable. Keep reading to see all the details, as captured by Trent Bailey!

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Claire wanted a wedding dress that was “unlike anything else she’d seen,” and she felt this design by Watters fit the bill. Why? It paired floral lace was paired with short sleeves, a high neck, a sheer panel at the waist, and an open cut-out back. “It was so flattering, and comfortable enough that I knew I’d be able to dance all night,” says the bride. She also carried a petite posey of white anemones and white astilbe, wrapped in a handkerchief.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Claire’s bridesmaids chose their own blush dresses, combining fabrics, textures, and necklines for a perfectly mismatched look.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Jimmy paired a shawl collar white dinner jacket by Collection by Samuelsohn with Hugo Boss tuxedo pants and velvet smoking slippers. His delicate boutonniere combined a green hellebore with lamb’s ear.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

The altar of Our Lady of the Aisle was flanked with two arrangements of vibrant greenery and a mix of white, blush, and vibrant pink blooms.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

“I was absolutely in love with my lace-trimmed veil, but of course I forgot to bring it with me to the church,” says Claire. “My brother went back to get it, but grabbed the simple veil I’d received with my dress, so I didn’t wear one at all for the ceremony. I ended up putting on my lace veil for photos, and wore it all through cocktail hour.”

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Guests sipped “Huckleberry Mules,” a twist on a Moscow Mule in honor of Jimmy’s home state of Montana, as they nibbled on miniature crab cakes, cucumber cups full of poké, and dumplings.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

“I have to admit that it was a blessing that it rained on our wedding day,” says Claire. “It kept everyone inside during the reception—instead of wandering the property or heading down to the water—and really forced us all to be present.”

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

The dinner tent was filled with long farm tables draped in lace runners. Clusters of bud vases were filled with sweet peas, astilbe, ranunculus, lavender clematis, green hellebores, and chamomile flowers.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

To honor Claire’s mother’s Italian heritage, a light pasta with tomato and basil was served in place of a salad before entrées of flank steak and sea bass were served family-style. “All the ingredients were local to the East End, and incredibly fresh,” Claire says. Dinner was served alongside wine and champagne, plus beer from the couple’s brother-in-law’s brewery, The Great Northern Brewery in Whitefish, Montana.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

“Our wedding date was both of our parents’ 45th anniversaries,” says Claire. “Yes, both of their parents were married on June 23rd, 1973! “We invited them up to help us cut our chocolate and vanilla cake, and the band played ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’ by Blood, Sweat and Tears, which was my parents’ first dance song at their wedding.” The newlyweds also gifted their parents with engraved Tiffany & Co. cake servers to mark the occasion.

Photo by Trent Bailey Photography

After, the Kenny Ford Band kept the dance floor packed, ending the night to “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen after guests begged for one more song. But the party wasn’t over! “My siblings hired a local band to play at our after party at nearby bar The Dory,” says Claire. “They are so fun, and it was so thoughtful of my siblings to surprise us! It was such a treat to have live music all night long.”

Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of the Isle || Bride’s Dress: Watters || Bride’s Veil: Aleksa Karina || Bride’s Jewelry: Cinar Jewelry || Hair & Makeup: Next Management || Groom’s Attire: Collection by Samuelsohn, Hugo Boss || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Cinar Jewelry || Wedding Bands: Cinar Jewelry || Floral Design: Sag Harbor Florist || Paper Products: Printerette Press || Catering & Wedding Coordination: Art of Eating || Cake: Kathy Burton Cakes || Reception Music: Kenny Ford Band || After Party Music: The Realm || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. || Transportation: North Fork Trolley || Videography: McKenzie Miller Films || Photography: Trent Bailey

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Wedding

Exclusive: Principal Ballerina Sara Mearns’ Intimate Beach Wedding

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This past weekend, New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns traded her pointe shoes and tutu for stilettos and a custom tulle gown as she tied the knot with television and Broadway director and choreographer Joshua Bergasse. In November of 2012, Josh was working as the choreographer for the NBC television show SMASH, and was looking for the perfect lead for an elaborate musical dream sequence. Executive producer Scott Wittman was a huge fan of Sara’s and insisted that Josh cast her in the role. “Josh and I had never met and he was worried I’d be a diva, so he asked to interview me first,” she recalls. The sequence ended up being scratched from the storyline, but after that interview, Josh was smitten. A few months later, the pair started dating, and five years later, Josh got down on one knee. “I’d planned to propose during a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, but the restaurant was packed and we were squeezed in with as many diners as they could fit,” Josh recalls with a laugh. “So I ate as slowly as I could and waited for everyone to leave so we’d have a little privacy when I proposed!”

Though Sara and Josh call New York City’s stages home, they headed south to Sunset Beach in North Carolina to say “I do.” “Sara used to vacation in Sunset Beach with her family as a child, so the venue was really sentimental,” Josh describes. Their careers in Broadway and the ballet heavily influenced the wedding celebration, with swan motifs as a nod to Sara’s role as the swan in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. So keep reading to see how Sara Mearns and Josh Bergasse brought touches of the Big Apple (and a few surprises!) to North Carolina for their big day, as photographed by Perry Vaile Photography.

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Sara turned to a New York City Ballet’s costume director, Mark Happel, to create her custom wedding gown. “We went to try on dresses so I could figure out what I wanted, and then Marc and I designed two looks, one for the ceremony and one for the reception,” she describes. The bride’s ceremony gown featured layers of pink tulle, hand-embroidered with beads and pearls, and the tea-length skirt was perfect for showing off her matching pink pumps by the SJP Collection.

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Happel also dressed the wedding party, creating custom purple ensembles for each person asked to stand alongside the bride and groom. New York City Ballet dancer Christian Tworzyanksi acted as the “best person to the bride,” while Gretchen Smith was a bridesmaid.

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Scott Wittman (the Tony and Grammy-winning director, lyricist, and writer who introduced the bride and groom) walked Sara halfway down the aisle before she met Josh at the driftwood altar accented with arrangements of palms and colorful roses. Sara slipped off her shoes to exchange vows with Josh.

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Josh and Sara chose to break a glass together after the ceremony, then recessed to the dramatic sounds of the Game of Thrones theme song.

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Guests headed to cocktail hour while Sara, Josh, and their photographer headed down to the water for sunset portraits. Of course, the pair couldn’t resist a dramatic dip in the sand!

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

The bride swapped her tulle gown for a draped gold mini for the reception, and slipped into black Cole Haan sandals. “We ate shrimp and grits, Southern-style ham, and mac and cheese,” says Sara of the locally inspired menu. After, the couple cut into their purple marble wedding cake, finished with swan-like feathers around each tier.

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

“I’ve known our wedding planners, John and Libby of LDesigns, LLC, since I was three,” says the bride. “They know me so well, so I didn’t even have to tell them what I wanted!” The planning team made sure to fill the celebration with a few surprises for the happy couple, including a top hat toss for the grand exit as a tribute to the groom’s Broadway career.

So how did these two creatives make their wedding dreams a reality? “Compromise is key,” says Josh. “Share ideas, responsibilities, and costs!”

Wedding Planner & Floral Design: LDesigns, LLC || Venue: Sea Trails Resort || Bride’s Shoes: SJP Collection, Cole Haan || Bride’s Jewelry: Robert Sorrell, Jamie Wolf Jewelry || Hair & Makeup: Karla Elie || Bride’s Dress & Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Marc Happel || Groom’s Attire: Martin Greenfield || Wedding Bands: David Yurman || Paper Products: Cait Maloney Creative || Catering: Sea Trail Resort || Cake: Patty Bakes || Ceremony Music: Classical Charleston || Reception Music: The Root Doctors || Rentals: Simply Shells, Ambient Media, || Ice Sculpture: Ice Man Ski || Favors: Sugarfina, Firefly Spirits, Cole Haan, So Danca, Tiger Balm || Photo Booth: The Snap Bar || Photography: Perry Vaile Photography

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Wedding

18 Common Wedding Guest Etiquette Questions, Answered

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We don’t drink alcohol, but we know our guests do. How should we handle the bar?

It’s sweet of you to consider the enjoyment of your guests, even if you don’t partake in alcohol consumption. Think about what, if any, alcoholic beverages—wine, beer, mixed drinks, hard liquor—you feel comfortable serving. If cocktails make you nervous but you still want adult beverages, opt for lower ABV (alcohol by volume) drinks like wine, beer, cider, and liqueurs like amaros. If you still want to participate in a “Champagne toast,” serve a non-alcoholic cider in flutes for a formal toast sans booze. You guests already love you and know you don’t imbibe, so they won’t hold it against you if there isn’t a full bar. Plus, they may even thank you for the hangover-less brunch the next day.

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Wedding

A Relaxed Waterfront Wedding in Lake George, New York

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The friends who introduced Rachel Fox and Adam Lathan in September of 2012 must be pros at setting up happy couples. “Not only are Adam and I married, but those friends are married to one another, too!” says Rachel. Though the pair had both attended LSU, they didn’t meet until they were introduced by said friends in New York City, and Adam wasn’t about to let a good opportunity pass him by. “He casually asked me to join him at a Bruce Springsteen concert, saying he had an extra ticket,” says Rachel. “I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but happily agreed to what I thought was a group outing – I had no idea it was going to be a date!” It was a night the pair will never forget, and was nearly as memorable as their engagement five years later.

On July 1st, 2017, Adam asked Rachel to join him on a boat ride at Lake George, saying he wanted to show off his new boat-driving skills. “He popped the question in the middle of Camp Andrew’s Bay, and as soon as I said yes, it started to pour!” the bride laughs. They hurried back to the dock, where Rachel’s family was waiting for them. “My mom didn’t know Adam was going to propose, and I thought she was going to fall in the lake when she saw the ring on my finger,” Rachel recalls.

After getting engaged at Lake George, it was only natural for Adam and Rachel to head back to the lake for their June 16th, 2018 wedding. “We loved having so much flexibility at Wiawaka Holiday House to pick our vendors, combine our Southern roots with our favorite Lake George memories, and spend an entire weekend celebrating,” says Rachel. And celebrate they did! The couple hosted a rehearsal dinner at the same restaurant where Rachel’s grandparents had their 50th anniversary party, then invited all their out of town guests to a welcome crawfish boil and pig roast, a nod to the couple’s time at LSU. Finally, they made it official with a romantic lakefront wedding that made the most of the gorgeous natural setting. These photos by Brklyn View Photography will have you dreaming of your very own wedding on the lake!

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

The bride’s friend, Sara, owns Ink Revival, and took the helm designing all of the paper goods for the wedding weekend. The details combined aspects of Louisiana, Alabama, and Lake George, from trees draped in Spanish moss and adorable painted foxes to little red crawfish.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Adam and Rachel kept the crawfish boil fun and playful, floating white balloons around the picnic tables and treating guests to boiled crawfish, hog po’boys, caricatures, and sweet treats from a local ice cream truck.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

On Saturday, Rachel and Adam swapped their shorts and sunglasses for formal attire as they got ready to head down the aisle. Rachel donned a corded lace gown with sheer cap sleeves by Sarah Seven, topped with a voluminous overskirt by Carol Hannah Bridal. “I loved that I could wear my gown all day, but still have two looks,” says Rachel. Adam wore a custom navy blue tux with a black shawl collar, created by G. Harvell Men’s Clothier in Mobile, Alabama.

Rachel’s romantic bouquet combined garden roses and peonies with spotted foxglove, white scabiosa, sweet peas, and bunny tails.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Rachel’s bridesmaids all chose their dresses from Fame & Partners, working within a neutral palette and picking from a variety of lengths and silhouettes. Instead of matching bouquets, they carried a variety of delicate nosegays and single white peony stems.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Wiawaka Holiday House boasts a natural amphitheater overlooking the lake, the perfect spot for a sunny ceremony with a birch arch draped in greenery as the focal point. “We didn’t want to take away from the panoramic views of the lake,” says the bride.

Rachel’s uncle Jim was ordained for the occasion, working with the couple to craft a personalized ceremony and meaningful vows.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Guests gathered by the lake for a few of the couple’s favorite things: Shrimp cocktail, tomato bisque shooters with grilled cheese, and the “Shuffleboard Bob.” “It’s our favorite drink from the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn,” says Rachel. The cocktail combines gin, coconut water, lime juice, cucumber syrup, and Peychaud’s Bitters.

When it was time to head to dinner, the four-piece brass band led a New Orleans-style second line parade to the dinner tent. “We all marched, danced, and sang ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ while they played,” Rachel raves.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

The dancing didn’t stop at the tent – Rachel and Adam took to the dance floor for their first dance, set to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by the Rolling Stones.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

The reception décor was kept simple, with garlands of asparagus ferns trailing down long wooden tables. Hundreds of candles in brass holders glowed as the sun set around the tent.

“We loved the idea of a sit-down dinner, but wanted it to feel more laid-back so we opted for family-style service,” says Rachel. After wedge salads (Adam’s favorite!), guests were treated to bone-in Berkshire pork rib chops, New York strip steak, and grilled summer vegetables. For dessert, they dined on almond cake with vanilla buttercream.

Photo by Brklyn View Photography

The dance floor was packed all night – until a surprise fireworks show lured guests outside! “We think the town of Lake George put it on, and we had no idea it was going to happen,” says Rachel. “We had the perfect view from right outside the tent!”

See more: A Pastel-Infused, Modern Wedding in Charleston, South Carolina

While it’s easy to have your heart set on a certain vendor or a particular plan, Rachel reminds brides not to sweat the small stuff. “There is always another solution or an alternate amazing vendor who will make your day special, even when Plan A doesn’t work out!”

Wedding Planner: Katie O Weddings & Events || Venue: Wiawaka Holiday House || Bride’s Dress: Sarah Seven, Carol Hannah Bridal || Bride’s Veil: Your Heirloom Veil || Bride’s Shoes: Schutz || Bride’s Jewelry: Jennifer Behr || Hair & Makeup: Strut Spalontique || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Fame & Partners || Groom’s Attire: G. Harvell Men’s Clothier || Wedding Bands: Tendenza || Floral Design: Olive & June Floral Co. || Paper Products: Ink Revival || Catering: Mazzone Hospitality || Cake: Cake Street Sweets || Ceremony & Reception Music: Nonstop Music DJ || Cocktail Hour Music: Hudson Horns || Rentals: Rain or Shine Tent Co. || Transportation: First Student Inc., Love is on Lake George Cruises || Caricature Artist: Phil Singer || Photography: Brklyn View Photography

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Wedding

A Lush Garden Wedding Overlooking the Hudson River

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Two years after their first date (at a Starbucks after meeting on OkCupid.com!), Sarah Hagerbrant and Arjun Ramachandran both knew they wanted to get engaged. “We decided to go ring shopping together,” Sarah recalls. “I picked my three favorites, then Arjun chose his favorite from there.” Once the ring arrived, Arjun came home early from a work trip, surprising Sarah in the middle of the night with a proposal at home.

From there, the couple (who each took one another’s last name as their new middle name) got to work planning their May 5, 2018, wedding at Wave Hill, just outside of Manhattan. “When we visited, there were four inches of snow on the ground and it was freezing, but we could tell it was exactly what we were looking for,” says Sarah, who dreamed of an outdoor celebration overlooking the Hudson River. The couple wanted their wedding to be “relaxed and romantic” and full of the colors of spring in the Northeast. Ang Weddings and Events made planning a New York wedding all the way from Miami a breeze, and photographer Mademoiselle Fiona captured every romantic, garden-inspired detail. Keep scrolling for all the pretty pics!

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

The lush garden and greenhouse at Wave Hill blended seamlessly with Sarah and Arjun’s lush floral vision. It all started with the invitation suite, which featured watercolor blooms and adorable illustrations of Sarah, Arjun, and their three “fur-babies“—Sammy, Pumpkin, and Georgia.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Sarah was sure she wanted a gown with long sleeves and no veil, but did a complete 180 at a Lela Rose trunk show. “I tried on the Primrose Hill dress, and loved how romantic and feminine the floral appliqué s were,” says Sarah. “As soon as I put on the matching veil, I was sold!” She paired her textured gown with an equally textured bouquet of peonies, ranunculus, and parrot tulips in blush, orange, pink, and peach.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Arjun looked dapper in a burgundy velvet jacket, a black velvet bowtie, and matte black shoes. Sarah’s bridesmaids also wore color, in shades of lavender, lilac, and blush. Arjun’s groomsmen wore black suits, white shirts, black suspenders, and no ties. “Arjun wanted them to have a more laid-back look,” Sarah explains.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

The ceremony took place beneath a pergola flanked with lush arrangements of peonies, roses, and cherry blossoms.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

“The most personal part of our wedding was definitely our ceremony,” says Sarah. “We decided to walk down the aisle together, because we’d decided to get married together. We also asked my sister and Arjun’s brother to serve as our officiants. They’re definitely the people who know us best.”

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Guests sipped blackberry and basil lemonade and nibbled on Hudson Valley foie gras with sour cherry preserves, lobster rolls with chives, and smoked tofu tacos—but cocktail hour actually took place before the ceremony! “The shuttles bringing our guests in from Manhattan got stuck in traffic, so we had cocktail hour first with the guests who had already arrived, then went from the ceremony right into the reception after,” says Sarah. “We wanted a non-traditional wedding, but we didn’t know we’d be flip-flopping the timeline, too!”

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Once all the guests had arrived, they found their table assignments written on cut-paper butterflies, scattered around an enchanted display of cherry blossoms, peonies, roses, and tulips in ceramic vessels.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Inside Wave Hill, guests were seated at tables topped with champagne-hued linens and lush, vibrant centerpieces. Mercury vases overflowed with peonies and ranunculus in shades of pink, peach, orange, and blush, while nearby votive candles cast a romantic glow. Menus and table numbers, coordinated with the invitations, were a perfect match for the floral design.

After a salad of tomatoes and burrata, guests enjoyed seed-crusted arctic char with einkorn risotto and apple and endive slaw.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Arjun and his mother danced to “A Song for My Son” by Mikki Viereck, while Sarah and her father danced to Ray Allaire’s “A Song for My Daughter.”

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

The couple’s wedding cake was elaborately decorated with hand-painted flowers and handmade sugar flowers to match the couple’s invitation suite. Inside, alternating layers of almond and chocolate cakes were layered with vanilla buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, and fresh raspberries. “We also served a strawberry Eton mess, warm chocolate chip cookies with vanilla milkshakes, and late-night bacon and cheddar grilled cheese bites,” says Sarah.

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

“Getting a wedding planner was so worth it,” says the bride. “Planning a wedding is no easy task, and having our planner on our team kept everything moving smoothly.” That left more time for Sarah and Arjun to focus on why they were planning a wedding, and to enjoy it once the day arrived. Says the bride, “Try to slow down and absorb the moment instead of rushing around to greet everyone. The day is for you and your spouse, so enjoy it!”

Wedding Planner: Ang Weddings and Events || Venue: Wave Hill || Bride’s Dress: Lela Rose || Bride’s Veil: Lela Rose || Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair & Makeup: Face Time Beauty || Groom’s Attire: Stitched Lifestyle || Groomsmen’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Engagement Ring: Diamond Nexus || Wedding Bands: Freddy’s Jewelry || Floral Design: Denise Fasanello || Paper Products: Printerette Press, Lion in the Sun || Catering: Great Performances || Cake: Nine Cakes || Music: Blaire Band || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. || Lighting: Frost Productions || Transportation: Golden Touch Transportation || Photo Booth: Amazebooths || Videography: Kiss the Bride Films || Photography: Mademoiselle Fiona

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Wedding

An At-Home Wedding in the Virginia Countryside

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When Charlie Williams proposed to Molly Higgins in August 2017, she got as close to the Sweet Home Alabama proposal as a girl could hope for. “We took a trip to the beach for a weekend, and while we were driving around and dreaming about the beach house we’d own one day, he surprised me by stopping at a jeweler to design my engagement ring,” she recalls. “He had a diamond from his grandmother’s ring, and I was able to design the setting around it. I loved it!” A month later, with Molly’s dream ring in hand, Charlie got down on one knee on the beach at sunset before their family and friends joined them to celebrate.

Molly says she has always loved the storybook feel of her family’s home in Waterford, Virginia, and knew it was the perfect setting for a relaxed celebration on May 26, 2018. “Our inspiration was Jane Austen meets Anne of Green Gables,” says the bride, who asked for lush greens and flowers that appeared to be foraged from the nearby fields.

Charlie and Molly’s wedding was all hands on deck, with the bride’s mother, sisters, in-laws, and bridesmaids playing crucial roles in the planning, doing everything from the ceremony flowers to the bride’s gown alterations. “I am so incredibly blessed to have such talented women in my life, and I was so thankful to have them rally around us in such big ways,” says Molly. Add photographer Kate Headley to the mix, and you’ve got a serious girl squad ready to make wedding magic. Keep reading for more!

Photo by Kate Headley

Vintage stamps and silk ribbon gave the invitation suite the feeling of relaxed country elegance and hinted at the homey celebration to come.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Molly says she has always loved the sleeves on her mother’s wedding gown from the ’70s but wasn’t able to find anything similar while dress shopping. “My mom is an amazing seamstress and used to work on wedding gowns, so we decided that she would make the sleeves to fit my vision,” she says. The bodice and skirt of her gown were made with a simple, fitted French crepe silk gown from Essense of Australia, while the sheer sleeves were made of silk chiffon. “My mother made four different sleeve styles in four different fabrics for me to choose from,” says the bride.

The bride’s lace-edged veil was borrowed from her sister-in-law, Genevieve, and her thick-heeled sandals were Badgley Mischka. “I thought I was going to splurge on shoes, but realized they’d be filthy after a day in muddy fields and on gravel roads,” she adds. “A thick heel and a moderate price seemed much more practical!”

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Charlie donned a classic John Varvatos suit, brown Cole Haan wingtips, and his father’s original wedding band. “Charlie’s parents have been happily married for over 30 years, so Charlie loved the idea of having that good energy carried into our marriage,” Molly explains.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Molly’s wild bouquet paired soft pink astrantia, baby’s breath, eucalyptus, lavender larkspur, baby white daisies, nigella, white peonies and chocolate Queen Anne’s lace. Her bridesmaids carried bouquets of soft pink astrantia, baby’s breath, eucalyptus, lavender larkspur, baby white daisies, nigella, and blue thistle.

Molly and Charlie’s grandparents have passed, but the couple made a point to include them in as many ways as possible. Molly’s engagement ring features a stone from Charlie’s grandmother and the rose-gold band on her right hand belonged to her great-grandmother. She also wore another great-grandmother’s monogrammed mother-of-pearl and rose-gold pin on her cuff and tucked her grandmother’s lace handkerchief into her sleeve.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Sweet Root Village made the bouquets and provided the reception flowers, but the décor at John Wesley Church was created by Molly’s sister. “The church is so charming, and reminds me of the chapel in Georgia where JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married,” says the bride. Her sister created wreaths of eucalyptus, boxwood, larkspur, peonies, and ranunculus for the doors, as well as a lush garland for the altar.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

As Molly and her father walked down the aisle, her sister (yes, the same one who made the wreaths!) sang, accompanied by a harpist.

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Molly’s mother was determined to give her youngest daughter a royal wedding moment, hiring a horse-drawn carriage to take the newlyweds from the church to the family home. “We were supposed to have shuttles to transport our guests, in order to keep them from getting stuck in a traffic jam behind us and the horse, but the shuttles never arrived,” Molly says. “We wound up having a huge processional, with onlookers stopping to wave and take pictures as we and all of our guests meandered by.”

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Guests gathered on the lawn of Molly’s childhood home for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, sitting on wicker furniture the bride set out that morning. “I was arranging furniture in my silk robe and full hair and makeup before getting dressed,” she recalls. “It had rained the night before, so we waited to put the furniture out until it was dry. A wedding at home is a labor of love!”

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

Beneath the nearby tent, the couple’s 135 guests were seated at bare farm tables topped with garlands of eucalyptus and taper candles in brass candlesticks. Each gold-rimmed plate was topped with a champagne-hued napkin and a menu finished with a wax seal—which Molly had assembled the day before!

Photo by Kate Headley

Photo by Kate Headley

One of Molly’s bridesmaids is an incredible baker and offered to make the couple’s chocolate mousse wedding cake, topping the confection with fresh white peonies.

“If Father of the Bride has taught us anything, it’s that weddings at home are so much work,” says Molly. “I was in denial about it when we first started planning—and in hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing—but there was no denying the challenge as we got deeper into planning. You have to consider everything: renting tents for dinner and for the caterer, fire codes, procuring tables and chairs, finding a spot for restroom trailers, landscaping, maintaining the exterior of the house…the list goes on and on! My father was doing yard work 10 minutes before we left for the ceremony. It was so worth it, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but if you’re considering it yourself, know what you’re getting into!”

Ceremony Venue: The John Wesley Church || Officiant: Reverend Bill Copeland || Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia || Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN || Bridesmaids’ Hair: Lori Nansi || Bride & Bridesmaids’ Makeup: Jacqueline Gellner || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom’s Attire: John Varvatos || Engagement Ring: Island Jewelers || Wedding Bands: Island Jewelers || Ceremony Florals: Megan Thomas || Floral Design: Sweet Root Village || Paper Products: Little Carabao Studio || Catering: 6 Star Events || Cake: Christina Boucher || Ceremony Music: Iraida Poberezhnaya || Reception Music: Wall and Frye Band || Tables & Bars: Local Wood Event Rentals, LLC || Chairs: Something Vintage || Tent & Lighting: Sammy’s Rental || Horse & Carriage: Shenandoah Carriage || Photography: Kate Headley

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Wedding

This Mountaintop Wedding in Aspen was Planned in Just 4 Months!

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,For Christmas of 2017, Hudson Smythe gave Lindsay Patterson a gift that she was sure was a clue about their engagement. “He suggested getting away to Napa for Martin Luther King Weekend, and I was immediately suspicious,” she recalls. So when Hudson brought her a cup of coffee in bed the morning of their departure, she didn’t suspect a thing—and was completely caught off guard when, instead of coffee, her mug held a ring box! “We spent the weekend in Napa, celebrating with friends and then relaxing and wine tasting, just the two of us, at Calistoga Ranch,” the bride describes. “I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect proposal!”

The bride and groom didn’t waste any time planning their wedding, setting the date for just four months later on May 27, 2018. “We knew we wanted to get married in my hometown of Aspen, loved where my sister had gotten married their eight years earlier, and adored her wedding planner,” Lindsay says. “It made getting started so easy!” So they booked the Sundeck on top of Aspen Mountain, hired Bluebird Productions to help them pull off a short engagement, and turned to Lindsay’s parents as their local representatives while the couple planned from California. “Thankfully, my family loves to be involved. We couldn’t have done it without their support and enthusiasm!” the bride says.

With a hometown as charming as Aspen, putting together an exciting itinerary and an inspiring mountain modern celebration came easily to Lindsay and Hudson. Keep reading to see more of this Colorado wedding, as photographed by Ashley Sawtelle.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Watercolor mountains in springtime shades of green and blue graced the couple’s invitation suite by Lana’s Shop. Hand-painted gondolas and adorable icons on the weekend itinerary tied it all together.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Lindsay and her bridesmaids donned matching floral pajamas as they got ready. The couple exchanged love letters before getting ready for their big day.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

“I had no idea what I wanted my dress to look like, so I was lucky that Lihi Hod was having a trunk show in San Francisco the weekend I went dress shopping,” says the bride. “I got to work with the designer herself to customize my gown, combining the lace off-the-shoulder bodice of one gown and the tiered chiffon skirt of another. I’m so grateful that she was able to work with my short timeline!” Hudson embraced the mountain aesthetic with a navy suit from Suit Supply and a navy floral tie.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Lindsay completed her ensemble with a bouquet and hair pin by her florist, Flora by Nora. The pin featured three white ranunculus, while the bouquet combined peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and poppies in white and yellow.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

“I wanted my bridesmaids to have styles that coordinated well, and was drawn to Yumi Kim’s floral patterns, which were perfect for late May in Colorado,” says Lindsay. Each woman chose a style and pattern they loved, creating a perfectly mismatched selection.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The views from the Wedding Deck are second to none, so the altar was decorated simply. Two concrete urns overflowed with garden roses, peonies, and seasonal foliage.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The bride’s nephews served as ring bearers, donning tiny suspenders and bow ties for the occasion. Luke, the older of the two at four years old, held the rings on a pillow, while Will (only two!) held a sign that read, “They don’t trust me with the rings.” “They held hands down the aisle, and Luke helped Will with the stairs. They stole the show!” Lindsay says.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The couple exchanged a modernized version of traditional vows, inviting family members to share readings. Lindsay’s uncle and cousin performed an acoustic version of “Heaven” by Bryan Adams.

After the marriage license was signed, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres like mini boursin mac & cheese and Hamachi sashimi on the deck of the Aspen Mountain Club, taking in the views before heading inside for dinner.

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

“The Sundeck was the perfect space for our 179 guests,” says Lindsay. “We loved that we could dress it up without taking away from the ski lodge feel.” Light gray velvet linens and taper candles brought elegance to the space, while organic centerpieces of peonies and roses kept things feeling soft and wild.

One of the perks of getting married at the Sundeck is that it is operated by The Little Nell—which means late-night snacks can always include the famous truffle fries from Ajax Tavern! “We also had a dessert table with a huge spread of sweets from my parents’ business, Paradise Bakery,” says Lindsay. “We had brownies, gluten-free carrot cake, mini chocolate chip cookies, and raspberry bars.”

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

“Hudson and I love to dance, so we chose Liquid Blue to make sure no one left the dance floor all night,” says Lindsay. That included the very last song. “A fuse blew right before they started the last song, but instead of sending everyone to the gondola early, the band invited us up on stage and we and our guests danced and sang ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ totally acoustic!” says the bride. “There was so much joy and energy in the room, and it ended up being the perfect end to the night!”

Wedding Planner: Bluebird Productions || Ceremony Venue: Wedding Deck at The Little Nell || Reception Venue: The Little Nell Sundeck || Officiant: Dan Dangler || Bride’s Dress: Lihi Hod || Bride’s Shoes: Chloe || Bride’s Jewelry: Katherine LeGrand || Hair: Christina Perau, Lather Salon || Makeup: Vanessa Vieni, Cos Bar || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Yumi Kim || Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply || Groomsmen’s Attire: Suit Supply || Ring Bearer Attire: The Littlest Gentleman || Engagement Ring: L. A. Giacobbi || Wedding Bands: Sofia Jewelry || Floral Design: Flora by Nora || Paper Products: Lana’s Shop || Catering: The Little Nell || Dessert: Paradise Bakery || Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings || Reception Music: Liquid Blue || Rentals: Colorado Party Rentals || Lighting & A/V: Halcyon Productions || Favors: Skida Headwear, Lahlouh || Transportation: Smiddy Limo || Accommodations: The Gant, Hotel Jerome, The Aspen Square Hotel || Videography: Elysium Productions || Photography: Ashley Sawtelle

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Wedding

Blogger Chloe Wen’s Saturated Spring Wedding in Tennessee

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If you like Chloe Wen’s blog or Instagram account, you’ll love her March 3, 2018, wedding outside of Nashville. The blogger bride, who met her husband, Jason Wozniak, while the pair were students at Belmont University, planned an organic celebration full of rich colors, rustic accents, and a “Dutch Masters” aesthetic. “I was envisioning something white and green, but as soon as I started talking to Stephanie, the owner of Allenbrooke Farms, we both realized something more saturated was much more my style,” she says. That led to a palette of dusty blue, deep red, and peachy orange, which they then paired with refined details that kept the saturated hues classy and elegant—and perfect for a modern, bohemian bride.

Get your Pinterest board ready, because after scrolling through the below photos by Molly Peach, you may want to save all the pretty details of this spring wedding in Tennessee.

Photo by Molly Peach

A frame of greenery and touches of copper on the invitation suite set a moody tone for Chloe and Jason’s wedding day.

Photo by Molly Peach

The couple’s first look was one of their favorite moments of the day. It’s also when Chloe finally showed off her organza Sarah Seven gown, which she paired with a long coordinating veil.

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

Chloe’s bridesmaids wore a variety of dusty blue chiffon dresses by Azazie. Their gowns were the perfect backdrop for the women’s colorful bouquets, combining peach, pink, and burgundy roses, peonies, and ranunculus with blue delphinium and dark greenery.

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

The outdoor ceremony took place beneath a branch arch flanked by barrels and covered in flowing greenery and fresh blooms. Chloe’s cousins served as flower girls, wearing lace and tulle dresses and petite flower crowns.

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

“My mom adopted me as a single parent, and it was so special to walk down the aisle with her,” Chloe says. The couple exchanged traditional vows, then sealed their ceremony with a kiss as the spring sun began to set.

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

The reception took place inside Allenbrooke Farm’s crisp gray barn. Dark farm tables and cross back chairs contrasted with the blonde wood of the barn, while panels of white fabric and strands of fairy lights added an ethereal feel. Behind the head table, a bough strung with garlands of greenery framed the newlyweds’ love seat.

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

Gathered navy blue runners were topped with compotes overflowing with peach, pink, cream, and blue flowers. Each place setting featured a copper charger and a printed menu detailing the evening’s Southern-inspired barbecue meal. “Nashville has such amazing food, so choosing a caterer was a delicious challenge,” says Chloe.

Photo by Molly Peach

Photo by Molly Peach

The couple served two cakes for dessert. The chocolate cake was topped with a drizzle of fudge and fresh succulents, while the vanilla cake featured a wash of dove gray texture and clusters of ranunculus and roses.

Photo by Molly Peach

Chloe removed the organza overskirt of her gown to reveal a fitted crepe silhouette underneath—just in time for dancing!

Photo by Molly Peach

At the end of the night, guests waved sparklers as the newlyweds made their exit. “Try not to stress out about the little things,” says Chloe. “No matter what happens, it will be the absolute best day!”

Venue: Allenbrooke Farms || Officiant: Kevin Twit || Bride’s Dress: Sarah Seven, from The Dress Theory || Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel || Bride’s Shoes: AD and Daughters || Hair: Leah Wilson || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie || Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse || Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse || Wedding Bands: David Yurman || Floral Design: Gradient and Hue || Paper Products: Minted || Catering: Martin’s Bar-B-Que || Cake: Copper Whisk Cakes || Videography: Peerless Weddings || Photography: Molly Peach

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Wedding

An English Garden-Inspired Wedding in Santa Ynez, California

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Though Alexandra Cheek and Christopher Scholem went to the same small university in Texas, they never met on campus. “We both moved to New York City after graduation, and a mutual friend from college introduced us there,” Alex says. “It took moving to a huge city to bring us together!” The couple dated for four years, moving back to Texas along the way, but Chris wanted to bring Alex back to where it all started to propose. “We spent the day doing the things we loved in New York, then he got down on one knee in Central Park. The first friends we made as a couple in the city were there to celebrate with us!” the bride recalls.

But neither Texas nor New York City won out when it came time to pick a venue for their wedding on May 19, 2018. Instead, they headed west to Santa Ynez, California. “We wanted a romantic and timeless outdoor wedding, and Kestrel Park had everything we were looking for,” says Alex. From the sycamore-lined allée to the hedge-trimmed gardens, Kestrel Park has the ambiance of an English estate and a dose of sunshine that’s all California.

The couple worked with Toast Santa Barbara to plan their wedding from afar, and loved that their planner, Kim Curtis, was able to translate their ideas into a stunning reality with the help of some of the region’s best vendors. “The idea of planning from afar was daunting, but as soon as we met Kim, we knew we were in good hands,” says Alex.

This classic garden wedding is loaded with inspiration—don’t miss the photos by Rebecca Yale!

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

The crisp white and soft gray invitation suite featured clean lines and accents of gold engraving, including a chic frame on the invitation and a garden-inspired monogram.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

With 13 bridesmaids in tow, Alex knew a single dress in a single color wasn’t the way to make her besties feel, well, their best. “Instead, I chose three dresses and three colors, then had each of my bridesmaids rank their favorite color and style combinations,” Alex explains. From there, she assigned each bridesmaid one of her top choices while making sure there was an even number of colors represented.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Alex’s organic bouquet was a stunning combination of cream and blush garden roses, blush peonies, lily of the valley, gardenias, Hanoi ranunculus, blush astilbe, plum-star clematis, and chocolate cosmos. Her bridesmaids carried smaller hand-tied bouquets of garden roses, peonies, clematis, and ranunculus, while Chris’s boutonniere featured a garden rose and Fair Bianca.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

The garden ceremony took place next to the stone turret of Kestrel Park’s stable, surrounded by fruit trees and a lush garden. A moss-filled display held cones of white rose petals for guests to toss after the couple’s first kiss.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Alex wore an Alençon lace sheath by Ines di Santo, complete with an illusion neckline, plunging sheer back, and detachable Watteau train. Before she and her stepfather made their debut, the bride had a bout of nerves—but her veil quickly calmed them. “It was so windy, and my veil was all over the place!” Alex laughs. “I nearly lost it, and while it made my entrance less dramatic, it definitely helped to break the tension.” Knowing it would be an emotional moment, Chris and Alex opted to exchange traditional vows instead of writing their own. Instead, they wrote love letters to each another and sealed them in a wine box to share on their first anniversary.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

The couple’s signature cocktails were a huge hit. Alex’s was a blackberry mojito, Chris’s was a blood orange margarita—and, of course, they offered a drink in honor of their beloved cat, Leo! “We are obsessed with Leo, and were enamored with the idea of having his likeness and cute sayings (think ‘Hair of the Cat’ and ‘Purr Me Another, Please’) on cocktail napkins,” Alex recalls. “We were blown away by the watercolor illustrations our planner surprised us with!”

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Guests enjoyed a crostini bar, fennel sausage flatbread, and grilled squash and prosciutto skewers as they wandered amongst the lavender and trimmed hedges.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

When it was time to sit for dinner, they found their seating assignments tucked between bud vases holding peach roses and vibrant greenery.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

A series of feasting tables made a dramatic statement, all while providing ample room for Chris and Alex’s 95 guests. Crisp linens were surrounded by whitewashed chairs, keeping the focus on the gold vine chargers and lush centerpieces. Gold footed bowls overflowed with café au lait dahlias, peonies, plum-star clematis, peony tulips, garden roses, ranunculus, astilbe, jasmine, and Camilla.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

After a burrata and tomato salad, guests were treated to a California-inspired dinner of branzino with citrus and herbs, red wine-braised short ribs, and wild mushroom ravioli with brown butter and sage. The couple’s wedding cake was topped with a cascade of blush and cream garden roses and peonies over textured buttercream frosting.

“We also had a fantastic chocolate display for dessert,” says Alex. “My father passed away a few years ago. He was a chocoholic, so Joe’s Chocolate Station was a way to have him there with us.” The display included spicy chocolate and ginger bark, ganache bites, chocolate hazelnut bread pudding with dried fruit and brandy, Mexican chocolate mousse, and McConnell’s double peanut butter chip ice cream, a Santa Barbara favorite.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Alex donned a faux fur wrap to fend off the spring chill during dinner.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

When it was time to dance, Alex changed into a lightweight lace sheath with spaghetti straps—ideal for a dramatic dip with her new husband to “Our Love is Here to Stay” by Ella Fitzgerald.

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

“Our wedding wasn’t perfect, but it was still such a beautiful day,” says Alex. “It’s important to not get wrapped up in the little details, whether it’s while you’re planning or on your wedding day. We had an 18-month engagement and got to really revel in that happiness, and on our wedding day we were able to really live in the moment and enjoy it.”

Wedding Planner: Toast Santa Barbara || Venue: Kestrel Park || Officiant: Jon Ireland || Bride’s Dress: Ines di Santo || Bride’s Veil: Julian Gold || Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride’s Jewelry: Family Heirlooms || Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Fame & Partners || Groom’s Attire: Armani || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Bock Jewelry Co. || Wedding Bands: Bock Jewelry Co. || Floral Design: TOAST Santa Barbara || Paper Products: The Stationery Collection || Catering: Seasons Catering || Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes || Ceremony Music: Santa Barbara String Quartet || Reception Music: DJ Bennett of Gavin Roy Presents || Rentals: Bright Event Rentals, The Ark Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen || Lighting: Spark Creative Events || Transportation: LL Transportation || Accommodations: Montecito Inn || Videography: Aaron Novak Films || Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography

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Wedding

A Modern-Meets-Industrial Wedding in Upstate New York

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Jerónimo Riascos and Rachael Lee say they were “hooked ” by the end of their first date in February of 2015—but that wasn’t the first time they’d met. “We actually met three times before it stuck, and I pursued Jerónimo for weeks before he finally agreed to go out with me!” Rachael recalls. After that amazing first date, though, the couple was inseparable, and three years later, the morning after another fantastic date night, Jerónimo woke Rachael to propose with a bespoke rose gold and gray diamond engagement ring.

After, the couple set their wedding date for just five months later, on June 16, 2018. “It was the right decision for us. We didn’t need to prolong the stress of planning a wedding!” says the bride. Though they now reside in Boston, the couple’s love story began in New York, and they turned to their favorite weekend memories in Hudson to inspire their wedding day. “We always admired Basilica Hudson, an arts and performance venue in town, and loved it even more once we went inside,” Rachael describes. With a rustic-industrial aesthetic, high ceilings, and huge windows, the venue acted as the perfect backdrop to their big day. So keep reading to see how exactly they transformed the space in these photos by Golden Hour Studios!

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

“I knew I wanted a dress with sleeves and delicate lace,” Rachael says. “After a day of shopping with my friends, we sat around looking at photos of what I’d tried. The first time I put on this Margaux Tardits dress, I was grinning. They even got a video of me saying I thought it was the one!” The dress paired a lace top and cropped sleeves with a silk skirt and an open back. Rachael added bubblegum pink Maryam Nassir Zadeh pumps, a French twist, and pearl-and-diamond earrings (a gofy from Jerónimo’s grandmother).

Rachael encouraged her bridesmaids to each choose something they loved, asking only that they stick to the celebration’s palette. Each ‘maid carried palm leaves, while Rachael’s bouquet paired blue tweedia, acacia, caspia, million star baby’s breath, and leather leaf.

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Jerónimo wore white cuffed pants, a navy blazer, and a blue shirt with Frye shoes, a Shinola watch, and Warby Parker glasses. “He planned most of the wedding,” says Rachael of her now-husband. “I helped in the beginning, but found it so stressful. And Jerónimo was so much better at it than me! Hosting is very important to him, and he really enjoyed planning the perfect evening for our guests.” In fact, She adds that Jerónimo and his mother were at the venue until 2 a.m. the night before, preparing the space, and he spent so much time setting up the morning of the wedding that he missed getting-ready photos with his groomsmen!

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

The venue has an eclectic collection of vintage chairs that gave a dose of edge and whimsy to the ceremony space. Rachael’s father escorted her to the elevated altar, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows.

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Potted tropical plants enhanced the venue’s existing ivy. “We walked down the aisle to ‘When I’m 64’ by The Beatles, but had our bluegrass band change it to 94, because 64 isn’t very old anymore!” the bride says with a laugh. As another twist, the newlyweds recessed to “Here Comes the Bride.”

“We wrote our own vows, but didn’t actually read them out loud,” Rachael explains. “We wanted that moment to be just between us, so we put our vows on handwritten cards and exchanged them, reading them silently together, instead.” The rest of the ceremony (as well as the speeches during dinner) was translated into Spanish for Jerónimo’s Colombian relatives.

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

On the patio, freshly shucked oysters were paired with a cocktail of gin, champagne, soda water, and crushed berries. “Jerónimo and I were too busy hugging everyone to have any oysters, but we heard they were delicious,” Rachael remembers.

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Inside, the couple’s 70 guests were seated at three long tables that formed a “U” shape to ensure that everyone “felt like they were a part of the party.” The farm tables were decorated with large tropical leaves, votive candles, and gold flatware.

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

The seasonally-inspired menu included lamb with harissa yogurt and grilled salmon with peppadew peppers.

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

Rachael and her dad danced to “Daddy Lessons” by Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks. “We chose a fast song, and decided to dance next to each another rather than a more formal slow dance,” says the bride. “People were clapping and singing along!” After, the DJ kicked off the couple’s carefully curated playlist. “We spent months perfecting an over-the-top list for our DJ,” she says. “It was 10 hours long!”

Photo by Golden Hour Studios

“After our wedding in Hudson, we headed to Colombia for a second wedding planned by Jerónimo’s mother,” Rachael says. “We brought some close friends with us and spent the days between our weddings exploring and lounging on the beach.” says Rachael. (That’s right: The couple had not one, but two weddings barely five months after getting engaged!)

Wedding Coordinator: Hudson Valley Ceremonies || Venue: Basilica Hudson || Bride’s Dress: Margaux Tardits || Bride’s Veil: The Mews Bridal || Bride’s Shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh || Hair: Cut Splice || Makeup: Dianna Quagenti || Groom’s Attire: Massimo Dutti || Engagement Ring: Maniamania Fine Jewelry || Wedding Bands: Maniamania Fine Jewelry || Floral Design: Flowers by Maria || Paper Products: Alysa Marie Studio || Catering: The Farmer’s Wife, Lekker 209 || Cake: The Farmer’s Wife || Ceremony Music: Cowboy Jim Music || Reception Music: Baby Dayliner || Rentals: Events Unlimited || Photography: Golden Hour Studios

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Wedding

A Breezy Waterfront Wedding in Hawaii

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Many brides and grooms dream of a wedding close to home—and just as many envision a tropical celebration on a Hawaiian island. Lucky for Briana Liljestrand, she and her now-husband Andrew Lawrence (who goes by his middle name, Webb) didn’t have to pick. The bride was born and raised on Maui, so a wedding in the stunning town of Hāna was an easy choice. “Hāna is my favorite place in the world,” says Briana, who met Webb while the pair were students at the University of Denver. “Webb loves it, too, and we’d always talked about spending a weekend with our family and friend exploring a place that’s so special to us.” After Webb proposed during a gorgeous Maui sunset on Christmas Eve in 2016, the couple gave themselves 18 months to plan their May 12, 2018, wedding at Travaasa Hāna, and invited 150 guests to join them for days filled with hikes to secret beaches, liliko’I margaritas, and a night of dancing under the stars as the pair exchanged vows.

Webb and Briana embraced the organic, natural beauty of Hāna, turning to Belle Destination Weddings + Events to weave together a tropical bash filled with the scent of eucalyptus and shades of white, blue, and green inspired by the ocean and the nearby rainforest. Keep reading to see how it all come together, as photographed by Maui Maka Photography!

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Briana’s Monique Lhuillier gown was the perfect choice for the couple’s relaxed, breezy celebration. The silk shift gown featured a cowl neck and back, along with a small sweep train. “I felt like myself in the dress, almost like it was something I’d worn many times before,” she describes.

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Briana’s bridesmaids all wore simple white chiffon shift dresses paired with hair combs and bouquets of maidenhair fern. Webb and his groomsmen donned white chinos, aloha shirts by Reyn Spooner, and maile leis in place of boutonnieres.

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Briana’s best friend lent her the kiawe wood arch from her own wedding, and a cluster of eucalyptus branches was all it took to make it ceremony-ready. “It smelled so good!” says the bride. Guests were seated on bamboo folding chairs, and the ocean and cliff views did the rest.

The bride’s brother, Shan, walked her down the aisle as a Hawaiian musician played “Crazy Love” and favorites by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. But the ceremony almost didn’t take place outside! “It rains every day in Hāna, and we woke up to a downpour,” the bride recalls. “Webb went for a hike with no cell service, so I had to make the rain call on my own. I really wanted get married outside, so we risked it—and it wound up being beautiful and dry!”

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

During the ceremony, Briana’s gown was topped with a white crown flower lei. “Giving a lei is a way of showing love and respect, and is also a symbol of unity,” says Briana. “We had the most incredible Hawaiian ceremony, using local traditions and the native language as much as possible.” The officiant, CJ Helekahi, performed an Oli Aloha chant to begin the ceremony, which the bride says “took her breath away.”

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

The reception took place beneath a tent lit with string lights, with garlands of eucalyptus running down the center of bare wood tables. Blue-and-white chargers added a pop of color to the organic setting, while taper candles cast a romantic glow.

The menu was full of Hawaiian favorites: coconut ceviche, ahi poke, pan-roasted mahimahi with coconut rice, and green papaya salad with red curry all made the list. Instead of wedding cake, the couple served Briana’s favorite: banana cream pie! “Our caterer made us nine different versions for our tasting, and they were all so delicious. She called us ‘the banana cream pie people!’” Briana says with a laugh.

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

A live band played all night, with Briana and Webb kicking things off to “Oh, What a Night!” by The Four Seasons.

Photo by Maui Maka Photography

“Everyone tells you your wedding day will go by quickly, and it’s so true,” says the bride. “I wish I knew better how to really be present, but it’s a whirlwind. My advice is to make sure you love your photographer and take tons of photos so you’ll remember those little moments later!”

Wedding Planner: Belle Destination Weddings & Events || Venue: Travaasa Hāna || Officiant: CJ Helekahi || Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride’s Shoes: Aquazzura || Bride’s Jewelry: Na Hoku, The Golden Bear || Hair & Makeup: Jessica Waite || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August || Groom’s Attire: Reyn Spooner, Bonobos, Cole Haan || Groomsmen’s Attire: Reyn Spooner, Bonobos, Cole Haan || Engagement Ring: Williams Jewelers Cherry Creek || Wedding Bands: Artëmer Jewelry Design, Williams Jewelers Cherry Creek || Floral Design: Mandy Grace Designs || Paper Products: Studio Luzance || Calligraphy: Miss B. Calligraphy || Ribbon: Adorn || Catering: Travaasa Hāna || Ceremony Music: Marvin Tevaga || Reception Music: Shea Derrick Full Flavor Band || Rentals: Rio Event Design, Set Maui, Sperry Tents Hawaii, La Tavola Fine LInens || Videography: Ohana Films || Photography: Maui Maka Photography

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Wedding

A Sunday Brunch Wedding in Columbus

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Though it took two years for Brooke Ellis and Geoffrey Schwartz to graduate from coworkers to significant others, once they started dating in August of 2016, the two creatives fell fast. They got engaged less than a year later, in late May of 2017, when Geoffrey proposed with an engagement ring hidden inside a book from their favorite Brooklyn bookstore. The New York-based couple then set a date for just six months after that, heading to Columbus, Ohio, on November 11, 2017, for their big day.

In Columbus, Brooke and Geoffrey chose Strongwater as their venue for it’s blend of Old World and industrial aesthetics, as well as its support for local artists and the community. “Most of the warehouse is used as a space for local artists, which gives the building such great energy,” says the bride. Brooke and Geoffrey used the space for an intimate Sunday brunch wedding, during which everyone enjoyed strong coffee, mimosas, and breakfast bites before they watched the couple tie the knot. “It really fit our vision of camaraderie and conversation,” she explains.

So, if your favorite meal is brunch and you’d rather toast with a mimosa than a martini, keep reading to see more of intimate fall wedding, as photographed by Addison Jones!

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

“I wanted something bohemian, edgy, and definitely not ‘bridal,’” Brooke says of her wedding gown search. “When I saw this Alexander Wang dress at Barneys, I knew it was just the thing—and that I could wear it again.” In fact, Brooke was so sure that it was the only gown she tried on. And with such a simple dress, the bride says she decided to go “big” with her bouquet, choosing an organic-feeling design made with roses, ranunculus, lilies, hellebores, and berries surrounded by eucalyptus leaves and ferns.

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

“We asked our dear friend, artist Lisa Baumstein Smalley, to design our ketubah,” says the bride. “The ketubah, or Jewish wedding contract, asks that you be equal partners in life, friendship, and love. Signing it felt really momentous!”

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

A lush chuppah covered in greenery acted as the centerpiece of the ceremony site. “Our florist also used a lot of potted plants and ferns to make everything feel a little more relaxed and real,” Brooke adds. The couple stood on a vintage rug that now has a place in their home.

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

After walking down the aisle with their parents, Geoffrey and Brooke were married in a modern twist on Jewish tradition. “We included the Seven Blessings, but wrote our own interpretations of each and invited family members to read them,” the bride describes.

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

Photo by Addison Jones

For the seated brunch, guests found their way to whitewashed tables topped with sleek black chargers and lush centerpieces of ferns, seeded eucalyptus, roses, and ranunculus. The meal included seasonal salads, frittatas, and challah French toast. “Everyone was asking for the recipe!” says Brooke. Instead of cake, the couple served a selection of doughnuts to round out their morning meal.

Photo by Addison Jones

“The only dance we had—or really needed!—was the Hora,” says Brooke. “Being lifted into the air above everyone is one of my favorite memories.”

Looking back on their simply chic wedding brunch, the couple says to do just that:

“Keep it as simple as you can, and don’t sweat the details,” says the bride. “Hire great vendors so you can rely on them to make it happen!”

Wedding Coordinator: Auburn and Ivory || Venue: Strongwater || Bride’s Dress: Alexander Wang || Bride’s Shoes: Alexander Wang || Makeup: Victoria Moore || Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein || Floral Design: Bear Roots Floral || Catering: Two Caterers, Native Juice || Cake: The Donut Kitchen || Rentals: Auburn and Ivory || Accommodations: Hotel LeVeque || Photography: Addison Jones

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Wedding

Real Housewives of Potomac Star Candiace Dillard’s D.C. Wedding

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Calling all Real Housewives fans! If you’ve caught the latest season of Real Housewives of Potomac, you’ve probably spotted 2013’s Miss United States, Candiace Dillard—and the sparkling diamond on that finger. On August 11, 2018, the reality TV star traded a pageant gown for a wedding gown when she tied the knot with D.C.-area restaurateur Chris Bassett.

“As a former pageant queen and self-proclaimed girly girl, I knew I wanted a grand wedding that epitomized classic sophistication, with a touch of Southern charm as a nod to my Mississippi and Georgia roots,” she explains. So when Chris popped the question surrounded by 100 family members and friends at Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ in May of 2017, Candiace was ready to start planning. She hired Strawberry Milk Events to execute her grand vision at the equally grand Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, all while making sure groom Chris felt represented in the details too. “I’m a vocalist and Chris is a chef by trade, so the entertainment and the food were at the top of our list of priorities,” she says. Caterer Spilled Milk created a mouthwatering menu, while the String Queens, live band We the Fix, and DJ Tryfe provided the perfect tunes for every moment of the epic celebration.

We’ve got your inside look at the reality star and her restaurateur partner’s summer wedding in D.C., photographed by Abby Jiu, below!

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

After years in pageant gowns, Candiace knew she wanted something that really stood out for her wedding gown. So, instead of hitting bridal salons, she went straight to Karen Sabag Couture for a custom creation that took eight months to perfect. The ball gown featured a corset and full skirt draped in 70 yards of imprinted pearl cream silk organza. And for an additional dose of drama, the floaty style was bejeweled with 80 yards of hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and finished off with two French bows at the shoulders. “Your wedding gown should be exactly what you want it to be,” she says. “If you can’t find what you want, don’t be afraid to go custom!”

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The couple married at an iconic D.C. building: the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. “The grandness of the venue can’t be denied,” says the bride. “The lofty ceilings, the marble and stone accents, the gilded details, the parquet floors… it was a dream!” For their fairytale ceremony, the couple dressed up the space even further with a modern gold arch draped in lush greenery and soft white blooms. A mercury glass-inspired aisle treatment was edged with white roses in gold boxes, and beaded chandeliers were framed with white rosebuds. Guests were seated on matching gold chairs.

“I walked down the aisle with both my father and stepfather,” says the bride. “Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to honor the role they both played in raising me in this way.” The bride began her walk toward groom Chris alone, then met her father a quarter of the way down the aisle. They walked together to her stepfather, who joined them for the remainder of the walk, and then Candiace’s mother joined the three of them to give the bride away.

And that wasn’t the only twist on tradition. The bride and groom wrote their own vows, with the bride opting for a mix of heartfelt and witty. The groom put his own spin on things, incorporating lines from his favorite ‘90s R&B hits to emphasize his love for his bride.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The opulent, elegant theme continued at dinner, with long tables set beneath additional gilded arches that matched the ceremony altar. Crisp white linens were topped with gold mirrored runners, which acted as the perfect backdrop for clear glass chargers and delicate crystal stemware. Nearby, round tables were topped with towering arrangements of soft white blooms, and the entire space glowed in the candlelight.

The caterers put a modern twist on a classic French menu, serving a watermelon and smoked feta salad followed by braised short ribs with mushroom demi glace, pan-roasted sea bass with fried pickled leeks, and summer pappardelle with grilled seasonal vegetables.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

“John Legend’s music really reflected the feeling we wanted to create on our wedding day,” Candiace explains. The bride walked down the aisle to “You and I (Nobody In the World),” and the couple shared their first dance to “I Love, You Love.”

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

The couple’s attire made as much of a statement as their decor. Chris’s black-and-white tuxedo was topped with a textured white paisley jacket accented with crisp black buttons—and once it was time to dance and cut the cake, Candiace traded her ball gown for a shorter frock, also by Karen Sabag Couture. The wedding cake featured tiers of almond cake layered with raspberry jam and Chambord buttercream.

Looking back on her own big day, Candiace had this advice for couples planning: “You won’t realize until you’re in the thick of things just how much people might try to insert themselves into your wedding planning,” she says. “It’s important to remember that this is your day with your partner, and no one else’s. It can get hectic at the end, so do your best to remember why you’re doing it all: to celebrate your love for each another!”

Wedding Planning & Design: Strawberry Milk Events || Venue: Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium || Officiant: Reverend Doctor Howard-John Wesley || Bride’s Ceremony & Reception Dresses: Karen Sabag Couture || Bride’s Veil: Karen Sabag Couture || Bride’s Ceremony Shoes: Sophia Webster || Bride’s Reception Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Bride’s Jewelry: The Jewelry Design Company || Hair: Stephanie Harris || Makeup: Melissa Mangrum || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Kleinfeld Bridal || Groom’s Attire: Lawrence Clothiers || Groomsmen’s Attire: Lawrence Clothiers || Engagement Ring: Blue Nile || Wedding Bands: The Jewelry Design Company || Floral Design: Edge Floral Event Designers || Paper Products: The Dandelion Patch || Catering: Spilled Milk Catering || Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop || Ceremony Music: The String Queens || Reception Music: We the Fix, DJ Tryfe || Rentals: Select Event Rentals, Table Manners, Accent Event Rentals, D.C. Rentals || Transportation: Fleet Transportation || Accommodations: The Willard Intercontinental || Photo Booth: Pixilated || Videography: Pope Weddings || Photography: Abby Jiu

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Wedding

A Foodie Couple's North Carolina Wedding

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In the fall of 2011, Lauren DiMartino was in her first year of pharmacy school at the University of North Carolina, and had fallen into a study routine with her best friend that included afternoons at a local café, followed by a glass of wine at a nearby wine bar when the café closed for the evening. “We became regular customers at both places, and quickly befriended the bartender,” she recalls. That bartender was Dylan Terhune, and he fell for Lauren much more quickly than she fell for him. “Over the next year, I visited that wine bar quite a few times for first dates, and Dylan was often the one carrying the conversation between me and my date,” she says with a laugh. Finally, he got the courage to ask Lauren out on a first date of their own—and it was the last one either ever went on.

In December of 2016, the couple was planning to leave for a vacation in St. Martin, where Dylan had elaborate plans to propose on the island—but he couldn’t wait that long. “He got down on one knee in our home, with tears in his eyes,” says Lauren. “I said yes, then we grabbed the champagne from our fridge and picked up take-out Chinese food and showed up unannounced at my parents’ house to share the news!”

The couple gave themselves 10 months to plan their October 27, 2017, wedding in Raleigh, North Carolina. “We wanted an intimate wedding with just 100 guests, and the Merrimon-Wynne House was perfect for that,” says Lauren. The couple loved the Southern and historic charm of the venue, as well as the multiple locations they could utilize to create a celebration that evolved throughout the evening. They turned to planner Chelsey Morrison of Gather Together to create a Southern wedding reminiscent of the couple’s food-focused trips to New York City. “We were inspired by the design of the Nomo Soho hotel, and the menu drew from our favorite meals at Jack’s Wife Freda, Joe’s Shangai, and Barbuto,” Lauren describes. If that doesn’t have your mouth watering already, just wait until you see the photos from Morning Wild Photography!

Photo by MorningWild Photography

A rich forest green tone tied together the couple’s invitation suite by One + Only paper, which combined watercolor washes and illustrations of delicate greenery.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Photo by MorningWild Photography

“I knew I would be a Hayley Paige bride the minute I got engaged, but I assumed I’d wear long sleeves and lace,” says Lauren. Instead, the bride chose a chiffon A-line gown with a beaded bodice and a delicate T-strap low back. “I tried it as an outlier, but it immediately felt like an extension of me,” she describes. Her organic, textured bouquet combined white dahlias, garden roses, snapdragons, hellebores, and ranunculus with snowberry, thistle, lavender, and ferns.

The flower girls all wore ballerina-style tulle dresses and crowns of roses and eucalyptus.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Photo by MorningWild Photography

The ring bearer carried a needlepoint pillow made by the bride’s mother. “At the rehearsal, everything went smoothly, but when the ceremony started our youngest flower girl took a detour through the garden, only to be herded back by our planner,” Lauren recalls. “From there, everyone made a bee-line down the aisle as quickly as they could!”

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Photo by MorningWild Photography

The ceremony took place on the porch of the Carriage House, festooned with soft white linen. Dylan now works in landscaping, and sourced live oak trees to flank the aisle. The couple’s friend, Jake Zuckerman, played guitar and sang for the ceremony, playing “Only You” by Yaz as Lauren walked down the aisle with her dad.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

The groom wore a modern blue herringbone suit, which contrasted beautifully with his groomsmen’s darker navy suits.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Photo by MorningWild Photography

For cocktail hour, guests moved inside the house, where the décor paid homage to the Asian-inspired menu of hors d’oeuvres. A mix of high and low tables were draped in blue silk Chinese floral prints, and the bar was decorated with a garland of greenery and accented by a gold bamboo-framed set of shelves.

Appetizers were served on dim sum-style carts and ranged from Xi’an style lamb dumplings and Korean fried broccoli to smoked tofu summer rolls.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

“We wanted the reception to feel like you were walking into Nomo Soho in New York City,” Lauren says of their plant-inspired decor choices. To that point, escort cards were tucked into potted herbs set on an industrial bar cart.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Inside the carriage house, long tables in the center of the room were decorated with blue printed runners, tall arrangements of lush greenery and white and blush flowers, and place settings that paired gold-rimmed chargers, white fluted dinner plates, and blue and white floral printed salad plates. Brushed gold utensils and modern glassware added a sophisticated feel to the elegant setting. Around the edges of the room, guests were seated at banquette-style tables sectioned off with soft draping to evoke the spirit of private dining.

“We really wanted the meal to be fresh and local, so we had a sign listing all of the local farms our caterer worked with to source the evening’s ingredients,” says Lauren. The mouthwatering family-style dinner included wood-fired bread and local cultured butter, pasta with braised beef cheeks and broccoli raab, and roasted heritage chicken with dried plums and olives.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the couple served a selection of their favorite flavors from local bakery Hayes Barton Café, including coconut, lemon blueberry, chocolate heath bar, carrot, and Boston cream cakes.

Photo by MorningWild Photography

Looking back on their own big, the couple shared one bit of advice for those planning: have a Friday wedding! “It gave us the ability to spend more time with our family and friends before we left for our honeymoon on Sunday,” Lauren says. “We got to celebrate for an extra day, as well as catch up with everyone who’d come to be a part of it!”

Wedding Planner: Gather Together Events || Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House || Officiant: The Reverend Tambria Lee || Bride’s Dress: Hayley Paige || Bride’s Veil: Coastal Knot Bridal || Bride’s Shoes: Sergio Rossi || Bride’s Jewelry: David Yurman || Hair & Makeup: Ceremony Salon || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Hayley Paige Occasions || Groom’s Attire: HUGO Hugo Boss || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Flower Girl Attire: US Angels || Engagement Ring: Finks Jewelers || Wedding Bands: Finks Jewelers || Floral Design: Meristem Floral || Paper Products: One + Only Paper || Catering: Snap Pea Creative Dining and Catering || Cake: Hayes Barton Café || Coffee Bar: Event Espresso || Ceremony Music: Jake Zuckerman || Reception Music: Affirmative Groove || Linen & Draping: Party Tables || Rentals: Themeworks, Cottage Luxe, Petal & Oak, American Party Rentals || Transportation: Carolina Livery || Photography: MorningWild Photography

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Wedding

A Garden Dinner Party Wedding in Coastal California

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When Alexandra McClure and Ryan Loomba started dating in November of 2010, it wasn’t the first time. “We grew up together outside of San Francisco, and dated my senior year of high school,” she recalls. “Ryan was my prom date!” The pair parted ways for college, but when they both found themselves back in San Francisco after graduation, they rekindled their romance.

In April of 2017, Ryan and Alex were getting ready to head to India for his cousin’s wedding, so Alex popped out for a mani-pedi. “When I came home, our apartment was full of flowers and our favorite song was playing,” she says. The next thing she knew, Ryan was down on one knee—and thankfully, her fingers were ready for their close-up! “Ryan whisked me off to dinner before I could even call my mom to share the news, but I was happily surprised to see both of our families waiting for us at the restaurant,” she says. “An engagement dinner was the perfect send-off for our trip!”

Alex had loved Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara for years, and was just waiting for Ryan to pop the question so she could take him there to see what she already knew: That the hotel would be the perfect wedding venue. “It’s in the hills above town, with Spanish bungalow styling, sprawling grounds, and the most spectacular views,” says the bride. They worked with planners Alison and Bryan to bring a clean, crisp and coastal vibe to the property, using shades of soft and dark pink with natural greenery and an aesthetic of “approachable luxury.” “I plan large events for work, but it was so much more fun to work on something so personal,” says the bride. Keep reading to take a peek at the photos by Amy & Stuart and see how this California couple brought soft spring tones to their April 6, 2018 wedding.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Alex and Ryan’s invitation designer, Karli Strohschein, painted a custom crest for the couple’s suite of paper goods. It paired one of Belmond El Encanto’s signature bungalows, palm trees, and bougainvillea. “We used it on everything, from our invitations to the cocktail napkins to the filmstrip from our photo booth,” Alex explains.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Alex’s Monique Lhuillier gown was stunningly simple, with architectural pleating, an illusion panel over the plunging neckline, and a crisp, wide waistband. “The original dress is tea length, but my bridal salon, Bridal Galleria, had custom-ordered a floor-length sample,” the bride explains. “I immediately loved it, and couldn’t stop thinking about it!” Just before walking down the aisle, the bride made a surprising discovery about her gown: “I realized there were pockets!”

Her silver and pink brocade Prada sandals, complete with bejeweled block heels, weren’t a guaranteed accessory. “They were a pre-order and weren’t supposed to ship until after our wedding, but I ordered them just in case and had a back-up plan,” says Alex. “Thankfully they were sent out a month early so I could wear these instead!”

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Alex and her bridesmaids carried single-varietal bouquets. The bride had a lush cluster of pink peonies, while her bridesmaids had smaller bouquets of either peonies or ranunculus. The women wore various floral dresses, which they selected themselves. “I wanted my bridesmaids to all express their own style, so instead of picking a color or a palette, I made a board on Pinterest with ideas that ranged from solid pastels to florals to whimsical prints with embellishments,” she explains. “I loved how their unique dresses worked together!”

The couple’s flower girl paired her lace-embellished dress with a crown of blooms and a special gift from the bride, a Tiffany floating heart necklace.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Rows of white cross-back chairs surrounded the Lily Pond, where the couple wed beneath a pergola covered in wisteria. “It provided such a pretty touch of purple,” says Alex.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Ryan and Alex read a number of other ceremonies to piece together the perfect vows. “My uncle, who is a judge in Los Angeles, performed the ceremony. He even wrote a poem about a love story to share when we couldn’t find the right reading!” says Alex.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Guests headed to the property’s terrace for cocktail hour while the ceremony space was flipped for the reception. “We wanted the menu to reflect the local cuisine and the season,” says Alex of bite-sized options including spring pea bruschetta and ahi tuna tartare. The cocktail menu included jalapeño-infused Palomas and citrus whiskey sours, as well as a Casa Dragonas tequila bar. “Our friends love tequila!” Alex recalls.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

The couple’s custom crest also made an appearance on the seating sign, where each name was hand-painted onto a chart hung amongst the wisteria blossoms.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Back by the lily pond, rows of chairs and an altar were replaced with two long tables that sat a total of 110 guests. Beneath a canopy of twinkling lights, monochromatic centerpieces were filled with peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, and sweet peas in shades of pink that popped against soft linens. Each table number was a hand-painted tile, and guests’ place settings were finished off with personalized dinner menus.

“We had a family-style meal of burrata caprese, a little gem Caesar salad, seared sea bass, short ribs, brown butter and sage ravioli, and seasonal vegetables,” Alex says. For dessert, the couple cut into two flavors of cake: devil’s food cake with dark chocolate mousse and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography

Looking back on their big day, the bride says they loved seeing their families coming together most. “My family is Jewish and Ryan’s dad is from Punjab, India, and we loved seeing our cultures come together,” says Alex. “After we did the Hora, our brilliant DJ transitioned into back-to-back Punjabi hits.

Wedding Planner: Alison and Bryan || Venue: Belmond El Encanto || Officiant: Bert Bresticker || Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride’s Veil: Monique Lhuillier || Bride’s Shoes: Prada || Hair & Makeup: Nine Zero One Salon || Groom’s Attire: Zegna || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Flower Girl Attire: Joan Calabrese || Engagement Ring: Icerock Diamonds || Wedding Bands: Spinelli Kilcollin || Floral Design: Camellia Floral Design || Paper Products: Karli Strohschein Art || Catering & Cake: Belmond El Encanto || Ceremony Music: Chris Fossek || Reception Music: DJ Patrick Belton || Rentals: The Tent Merchant || Lighting: SPARK Creative Events || Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen || Favors: Dosa Chips, Babe Rosé, Lolli & Pops || Accommodations: Belmond El Encanto || Photo Booth: SoCal Selfie || Photography: Amy & Stuart

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Wedding

An Interior Designer's Museum Wedding in Alabama

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During her first week of 10th grade, Emma Reich was introduced to Pritchard Allen (a then-senior) through mutual friends. She had no idea that, as a high schooler, she’d just met her future husband. But a decade later, after the ups and downs of a relationship through high school and college, Pritchard got down on one knee while at the beach in Florida for Emma’s annual birthday trip. “We’d gone out to pick up beer and wine for dinner and took a detour to Camp Helen State Park,” she recalls. “After he proposed, we still had to go to the store, and somehow everyone thought we got engaged at the grocery store!”

When it came time to plan their wedding, the bride was already quite familiar with the process—she had worked for wedding planner Mariée Ami for seven years before becoming an interior designer—so choosing a planner (and ironing out the details!) came naturally. “Everyone assumed I had the entire thing planned, but really I’d saved little details over time, and we had to plan backwards, building a vision around them,” she explains. She zeroed in on a blue-gray, muted green, and teal palette and envisioned garden-inspired florals to fill the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Birmingham Museum of Art on May 12, 2018.

Keep reading to see how this design pro and her high school sweetheart celebrated in lush Southern style in an event planned by Mariée Ami and photographed by Davy Whitener.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

The weekend kicked off with a welcome party, during which the bride donned her fashion-forward “something blue.” Out-of-town guests were also greeted with customized welcome baskets full of the couple’s favorite local treats.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

Instead of setting up in a hotel suite, Emma and her bridesmaids got ready at her parents’ house and spent the day surrounded by family.

Photo by Davy Whitener

The bride’s classic style extended into her choice of jewelry, from her three-stone engagement ring to her late grandmother’s diamond bracelet and diamond-and-sapphire bands (a pre-wedding gift from her groom’s mother).

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

Emma picked her Alexandre Birman heels before she found her wedding dress, and the simple suede style was the perfect choice. The dress, however, was harder to find. “I’ve seen so many dresses and nothing really stood out to me, even after days of searching,” she recalls. But while she was trying on her top pick (a Lela Rose lace style), she spotted a Monique Lhuillier skirt in the fitting room and decided to put it on over the Lela Rose gown. “The combination was exactly what I wanted,” she says.

Photo by Davy Whitener

The bride paired her gown with a classic lily of the valley bouquet, tied together with an antique brocade ribbon in the perfect shade of blue.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

Emma’s bridesmaids wore ivory wrap dresses from Joanna August. “With such a big group and a detailed church, I knew I wanted their attire to be simple and classic to really suit the setting,” she explains.

Her ‘maids carried bouquets of white and ivory roses, ranunculus, peonies, and sweet pea.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

The two flower girls, Emma’s goddaughter and Pritchard’s niece, wore hand-sewn French lace dresses made by Emma’s mother. “They wore flower crowns and carried a garland down the aisle,” she says. “And in typical Southern fashion, they were barefoot!”

The bride wore her mother’s veil down the aisle of St. Paul’s, where she and Pritchard exchanged traditional vows.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

Emma originally wanted to get married at her grandmother’s home, but knew that the logistics of a backyard wedding for 350 people were more than she wanted to take on. The Birmingham Museum of Art, however, was a beautiful (and much easier!) alternative. The bride embraced the modern setting, using lush florals and accents like concrete urns and lucite chairs to play with the sleek space. Her favorite detail? The wall behind the dance floor! “It had 48 little boxes, each topped with a bud vase or candle,” she explains. “It was such a wow factor, and was the best backdrop for photos!”

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

A calligrapher created special signage for the signature cocktails and personazlied decals for the serving trays. The drink specials were a classic mint julep and a grapefruit spritzer (the “crowd favorite,” Emma says!).

Photo by Davy Whitener

Emma is a self-proclaimed picky eater, so her planner took the lead on choosing a menu for the evening. “Neillie made sure our guests weren’t served grilled cheese and chicken fingers,” Emma says with a laugh. The couple’s loved ones were treated to a seafood bar with lobster rolls and fresh oysters, seasonal flatbreads, and beef tenderloin—as well as bacon grilled cheese, by special request of the bride!

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

“We had a hard time selecting linens,” says Emma. “We landed on a few different colors and patterns, including slate blue with a white hemstitch overlay, a white laser-cut floral, and a white linen with blue embroidery.” Tables were topped with a mixture of the linens, as well as bud vases filled with single blooms and branches. Lounge furniture was mixed in throughout the space and accented with custom pillows made from a peacock Schumacher fabric. “I fell in love with the fabric and had a custom linen made for our cake table too,” she adds.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Pritchard is a huge Chick-fil-A fan, so guests were treated to late-night chicken biscuits sealed with custom stickers that recreated the chain’s iconic ad campaign (but with the couple’s last names!).

Photo by Davy Whitener

Photo by Davy Whitener

After dancing all night to Pure Party Band, Pritchard and Emma made their exit beneath a shower of confetti.

Photo by Davy Whitener

Once the party came to an end, Pritchard and Emma made their getaway in a vintage Mercedes decked out in flowers, heading to their new home for their first night as husband and wife.

Looking back on her own big day, Emma has a familiar piece of advice to share: “For years, I told brides to do their best to enjoy their wedding day, and I finally realized just how hard that can be,” she says. “It goes by so fast and is such a blur, so just do your best to take in as much as you can!”

Wedding Planning & Design: Mariée Ami || Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of Saint Paul || Reception Venue: Birmingham Museum of Art || Officiant: Bob Sullivan || Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier and Lela Rose, from Ivory & White Bridal Boutique || Bride’s Shoes: Alexandre Birman || Hair & Makeup: Celine Russell || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August || Groom’s Attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear || Engagement Ring: Wallace and Burke || Wedding Bands: Bromberg’s || Floral Design: Buffy Hargett Flowers, Edna-K Design || Paper Products: MMInk, Grace Calligraphy, Mariée Ami || Catering: A Social Affair || Cake: Barb’s Cakes || Ceremony Music: The Birmingham Boys Choir, Bruce Ludwick || Reception Music: Pure Party Band || Lighting & Drapery: Mariée Ami || Transportation: Rare Transportation, Coats Classic Cars || Photography: Davy Whitener

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Wedding

Bridal Designer Leanne Marshall’s Intimate Wyoming Elopement

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When bridal designer Leanne Marshall began planning her elopement with Rémy Falgayrac on June 8, 2018, she faced a dilemma that’s all too common for brides to be: She had no idea what to wear! “Deciding on a wedding dress added a new level of stress to my usual indecision around my attire,” she reveals. “I had no constraints whatsoever on what I could make for myself, and ended up trying on every single sample in our studio and making dozens of patterns.” She says she was overwhelmed by the pressure of creating the most incredible dress she’d ever made, but, in the end, she looked for the feeling she’d found when she met Rémy. “You don’t date every single guy within a 500 mile radius before choosing the one, and finding your wedding gown shouldn’t follow that pattern, either,” she says. “Instead, a dress—just like a partner—will let you know when it’s the one. You won’t be able to get it out of your head!”

While she grappled with what to wear, Leanne and Rémy focused on the easy decisions: hiring a photographer and picking a location. They knew they wanted India Earl behind the camera (and wanted just their best friends and their officiant in attendance), so they asked India when she was free during the summer of 2018 and where she’d be. “She gave us a choice of two places where she could squeeze us in, so we chose Dubois, Wyoming, in June,” Leanne explains. In fact, the couple limited the number of decisions in general and instead focused on what was important to them. “We’d rented a nice cabin, so we all went back and barbecued, making dinner together, and enjoying some of our favorite wines,” says the bride.

Keep reading for dramatic views, major fashion moments, and a peek at the inspiration behind the designer’s fall 2019 bridal collection!

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Leanne and Rémy kept their planning under the radar, and didn’t tell friends or family about their elopement to avoid the pressure of throwing a big wedding to please everyone. “We kept it minimal to be true to us,” says the bride. That included her accessories. Leanne made her veil just minutes before leaving for the airport, and found her perfect “YES” earrings at a shop in Jackson Hole.

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

The bride’s dramatic gown was full of details that Leanne kept coming back to as she sorted through what to wear. The bodice featured a wavy neckline and illusion “sleeve-lets,” while the silk organza skirt featured a print of a watercolor and pencil drawing that Leanne had created, superimposed with the words “Je t’aime” for her French groom. Shades of peach, carnelian, and periwinkle added depth to the floaty layers.

Leanne’s best friend wore a custom gown made by the bride. “She was both my witness and my hair and makeup artist,” Leanne says. “She sent me her measurements, and I surprised her with the dress in return!”

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Leanne’s veil was “a mile long,” perfect for the Wyoming breeze. “It didn’t want to stay on my head!” she laughs.

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

The groom wore a navy blue suit and a shirt in a peach floral Liberty print. “I helped him find the perfect color to complement my dress,” the bride describes.

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

The ceremony took place in the middle of a field, where Rémy and Leanne each made carb-focused promises to each another. “I vowed to bring him a fresh baguette every day, and he told me that the cookies I make were enough for him to want to be married to me,” she says with a laugh. “Carbs are the glue that binds us together for life, I guess!”

While most of the day was DIY, Leanne did leave her bouquet to the professionals. Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral combined garden roses, soft lisianthus, fox glove, and greenery with flowing silk ribbons.

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

For their newlywed photos, Leanne and Rémy headed out to the Badlands, an area filled with rolling hills, rocky terrain, and spectacular color. “It was absolutely incredible, and happened to be right by the town dump,” Leanne laughs. “There were no trash smells, but we did have the most surreal views!”

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

The bride’s white combat boots ended up being the perfect shoes to wear around the rocky terrain.

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

For the reception, Leanne changed into a long-sleeved gown in deep periwinkle and navy. “I was still adding beads to the dress—which was from a past New York Fashion Week Collection—up until the moment I had to get ready for the ceremony,” she remembers. Flowing appliqués and architectural triangles of fabric caught the wind and perfectly complemented the natural setting.

Photo by India Earl

Photo by India Earl

For dinner, the couple and their friends cooked locally sourced steaks and sipped natural wines shipped in for the occasion. “We didn’t plan on having a cake, but at the last minute decided that even an elopement deserves one,” says Leanne. “The bakery at the local supermarket wouldn’t write anything other than ‘Happy Birthday,’ so our chocolate wedding cake read ‘Happy Birthday Rémy Leanne’!”

Looking back on her own big day, Leanne Marshall has a piece of advice for all brides to take to heart: “Try to remember that it is your day as a couple, and that it’s not about trying to impress your friends and family,” she says. “You won’t ever be able to make everyone happy, so keep it true to what you believe in, what you love, and who you are as a couple.”

Bride’s Dresses: Leanne Marshall || Bride’s Veil: Leanne Marshall || Bride’s Shoes: Free People || Hair & Makeup: Amanda Nix || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Leanne Marshall || Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply || Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth || Wedding Bands: Ken and Dana Design || Floral Design: Tinge Floral || Photography: India Earl

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