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Jaimie Mackey

Wedding

A Modern Warehouse Wedding in Upstate New York

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Back in 2008, one of Elizabeth Dilk’s friends was dating a pal of Garrett Morin’s, and the relationship caused both friend groups to collide. While that love story didn’t last, it did lead to a new one: Liz and Garrett’s. Five years later, as 2015 was coming to an end, Garrett and Liz headed to the Hamptons for a long weekend to celebrate the New Year. “The morning of New Year’s Eve, Garrett and I went for a run on the beach,” Liz remembers. “As we got to the end of the beach, Garrett proposed! We made our way back to the house, and our friends had filled the house with balloons. We got to celebrate with them all weekend!”

Though they’d dreamed of an outdoor wedding, Liz and Garrett will both tell you that they have bad luck with weather, so they figured a unique indoor space would keep their guests comfortable and dry. They loved that The Basilica in Hudson, New York, could really take on whatever personality they brought into the space—and just as they’d expected, it started to pour once the dance party was underway! “We were very happy to be dry inside,” says the bride.

“We kept planning easy by booking things as soon as they felt right, instead of overloading on options,” Liz explains. Photographer James Autery of Within This Day was on-hand to capture the finessed, colorful, and eye-catching details that made Garrett and Liz’s wedding day their own. The couple invited 150 guests to join them upstate on August 12, 2017, where the creative couple (she’s a designer, and he’s a creative director) art directed the best party they’ve ever planned. Keep reading for more!

Photo by Within This Day

Garret’s illustrations were used throughout the invitations, and also turned into confetti that was tucked into the save the dates. “We designed all of the printed elements together,” Liz says.

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

The bride wore a tailored silk Naeem Khan gown with a low back and beading around the bodice. “It was exactly what I wanted,” she says. “My mom and I went to get a glass of wine to ‘decide’ so it wouldn’t feel like an impulse buy, but we both knew we’d be going right back to the salon to purchase it as soon as we were done!”

Photo by Within This Day

Garrett wore a Paul Smith suit, which he paired with a tie decorated with mushrooms and rainbows.

Photo by Within This Day

The couple’s flower girl wore a peasant-style white dress and leopard-print flats for her trip down the aisle.

Photo by Within This Day

“I told my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted, and they ended up choosing perfectly coordinated floral dresses. It worked out so well!” says the bride.

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

Liz and Garrett wrote their own vows, and actually exchanged them twice. “We read them to one another in private the night before our wedding,” she says. Before the “I do’s,” there was a much-needed moment of levity: The best man’s phone started to ring in the middle of the ceremony!

Photo by Within This Day

Wooden fans kept guests cool in the August heat, and also served as escort cards.

Photo by Within This Day

A bouquet of crisp white calla lilies was the perfect pairing for Liz’s sleek wedding gown. They newlyweds couldn’t resist posing for portraits during golden hour.

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

To make the large warehouse space feel more intimate, Liz had her coordinator hang 100 paper lanterns from the ceiling, between the venue’s strands of café lights. The tables were kept modern to contrast with the rustic setting, with sideswept arrangements of orchids and grasses in gold and copper vessels, all set on simple white linens.

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

After a South American-inspired meal (and a few spicy cucumber margaritas!), Liz and Garrett took to the dance floor. The pair danced to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, then each danced with their parents. Liz and her dad chose “In My Life” by The Beatles, while Garrett and his mom chose “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison.

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

Photo by Within This Day

In addition to a DJ, the couple and their wedding party served as the live band. Liz played bass, Garrett sang and played guitar, and their friends (many Garrett’s actual band-mates!) filled out the rest. “The cast rotated throughout the night as we played ‘Pretty Woman,’ ‘Say You Love Me’ by Fleetwood Mac, and ‘Crimson & Clover’,” says Liz. “We even passed out tambourines so the other guests could get in on the fun!” Talk about putting a personal spin on your wedding reception!) The night came to a close as the entire band played “Bigmouth Strikes Again” by The Smiths, making months of planning (and band practice!) worth every moment.

Day-of Coordinator: Hudson Valley Ceremonies || Venue: Basilica Hudson || Bride’s Dress: Naeem Khan || Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall || Hair: Ashley Rubell || Makeup: Alicia Marie Campbell || Groom’s Attire: Paul Smith, Acne || Engagement Ring: Repossi || Wedding Bands: Repossi, WWAKE || Floral Design: Metaflora || Catering: Bridge Creek Catering || Photography: Within This Day

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Wedding

A Sleek Black-and-White Wedding in Santa Barbara

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Whitney Greenstein and Michael Wolters have Mike’s sister to thank for their love story. Whitney, a hairstylist and makeup artist, worked with Mike’s sister and nabbed an invite to her wedding. “She had been telling me about Mike for months, and we finally met at her wedding,” she says. “We had a moment of eye contact, and the next thing I knew, his mom was pushing us together on the dance floor and insisting that I date her son!” Mike’s family was right about the pair, and three years later, Mike decided it was time that Whitney become part of the family officially. “We were fishing up near Mammoth Lakes, California, and Mike asked me to get him a different lure,” she recalls. “I asked him which one he wanted, and he told me to get the bright, shiny one. When I opened the tackle box, there was an engagement ring on top!” A few minutes later, family arrived at the lake with champagne to celebrate.

The couple planned their March 10, 2018, wedding at the Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara, but the region’s early spring mudslides made that impossible. “We had to find a new venue just five weeks before our wedding,” Whitney explains. The team at the Four Seasons helped the couple find the Hotel Californian, and the pair filled the rooms with their 175 guests and their natural-meets-modern theme. “Aside from changing our venue, planning our wedding was pretty easy,” says Whitney. “My sister got married two years ago, and her wedding was so amazing that we decided to hire the same planner, band, videographer, and photographer!” So Bustle Events, JB Project from West Coast Music, Margaret & Corey, and Heather Kincaid came together for another Greenstein wedding, and sent Whitney and Mike down the aisle in style. Keep scrolling to see more of their special day!

Photo by Heather Kincaid

“It was so fun bumping into our guests around the hotel all weekend,” says Whitney. She and her bridesmaids loved the central location, and the sunny suite where they got ready!

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Whitney fell in love with her Inbal Dror gown the moment she put it on. “My first thought was how much Mike would love it!” she says. The fitted lace gown featured intricate beading and luxe pearl accents.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

The bride paired her gown with pearl-accented heels, obvi.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

It poured on Whitney and Mike’s wedding day, but that didn’t stop them. “There was one moment before the ceremony when we were out in the rain under clear umbrellas, taking photos,” recalls the bride. “All we could hear was the rain and one another’s breathing. It was so magical!”

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Whitney paired her slim gown with a dramatic bouquet of white roses, anemones, stock flowers, and cherry blossoms.

“I asked my bridesmaids to all wear long black dresses, because I knew it would be easy for them to each find something that made them feel beautiful,” Whitney says.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

The couple’s tented ceremony was cozy and full of love. Mike and Whitney stood beneath the chuppah Whitney’s dad and brother built for her sister’s wedding. The chuppah was draped with Whitney’s grandfather’s tallit, and Michael’s grandfather’s favorite hat hung from the upper right corner.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

After the pair were pronounced husband and wife, guests rang gold bells to fill the tent with music.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

A lucite escort card board told everyone where to sit—and reminded them that their real place was on the dance floor!

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Inside the ballroom, long tables were draped with white linens and set with black chairs. Manzanita branches and white orchids added height to each table, while bud vases and candles added warmth below.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

A warm fire glowed in the ballroom’s fireplace during dinner. The couple added a rustic touch to their dinner service by topping gold chargers with black-and-white speckled tin camp plates. Dinner started with corn soup (perfect for the rainy day!), followed by steak and snapper. Later in the evening, the couple offered ramen and mac and cheese. “That’s what we love to eat after a late night,” says the bride.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Branded signage encouraged guests to grab a drink and hit the dance floor!

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Instead of cake, the couple served doughnuts in maple glazed, chocolate glazed, and vanilla-glazed varieties for a sweet finish to the night.

Photo by Heather Kincaid

Photo by Heather Kincaid

“We took our friends’ advice and stuck together all night. I think we held hands for most of the evening,” says Whitney. “It made it so much more fun to do the rounds and talk to our guests, and I love that we have the same memories of our wedding day!”

Wedding Planner: Bustle Events || Venue: The Hotel Californian || Bride’s Dress: Inbal Dror || Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Bride’s Jewelry: EF Collection || Hair: Robyn Sweeney || Makeup: Justin LaMonte || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Their Own || Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen’s Attire: Their Own || Floral Design: Stella Bloom Designs || Paper Products: The Aerialist Press || Catering: The Hotel Californian || Ceremony Music: Matt Shockley || Reception Music: JB Project from West Coast Music || Rentals: Theoni Collection || Videography: Margaret and Corey || Photography: Heather Kincaid

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Wedding

A Charming Virginia Wedding With an Historical Twist

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In August of 2015, two years after Annalise Ashdown and Austin Lee first met, the pair was getting ready to move to Stanford to attend business school, and planned a going-away party for the occasion. “The party was on Saturday, but Austin asked me to take Friday night off from prepping so we could relax and have a date,” she recalls. After dinner at her favorite restaurant, Annalise discovered that Austin had lit their deck with string lights that flickered in the Bay Area fog. “Austin asked me to dance, and it occurred to me that he might be proposing—but I quickly squashed the thought and enjoyed the moment,” she says. But when the song ended, Austin did, in fact, get down on one knee.

With business school on the horizon, Austin and Annalise gave themselves two years to plan their wedding and set the date for October 14, 2017 at Austin’s parents’ home in Middleburg, Virginia. “I’m a California girl, but adore the charm of Middleburg,” she says. “It was also so sentimental to get married at a place Austin and I both love.” (Also, how else would we get their Cali business school friends to a farm in Virginia except for a wedding?!) She mixed a little 19th-century inspiration in with clean lines and a feeling of casual elegance, which ended up being the perfect match for a ceremony on the lawn and a reception in a tented horse arena. With so much time to plan, the bride took on new hobbies (like letterpressing and calligraphy!) that fit right in with her vision, making their wedding day even more personal. Keep reading to see all her handiwork (and more!) in these photos by Heart Visuals.

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

Annalise grew up sewing, and combined that skill with her new calligraphy chops to hand-monogram PJs for herself and her bridesmaids to wear as they got ready.

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

“Trying on wedding dresses was so valuable, and what I’d loved on Pinterest was nothing like what I loved in person, but I still wasn’t finding ‘the one,’” she says. The bride kept imagining what she’d create if she had time to make her own dress, and decided to turn to a pro to make it happen. Julie Ireland Dressmaking helped Annalise take inspiration from Kate Middleton’s reception gown, add lace and a dramatic detachable train (no bustling required!), and create a long, flowing veil to match. “I got to be part of the creative process without having to sew the dress myself,” says the bride.

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

The couple headed to the neighboring farm for their first look, which took place on a path that was perfectly framed by rows of trees. Austin also wanted a custom ensemble, and turned to friend who founded Chookhare and Sons to create a bespoke tuxedo.

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

Annalise created an ombré palette for her bridesmaids using Jenny Yoo and Hitherto designs from BHLDN. “My maid of honor wore dusty rose, Austin’s sisters wore soft plum, and my three other bridesmaids wore dark cherry and cabernet,” the bride describes. “We can’t think of a better range of colors for a fall wedding!” The bride carried a white and cream bouquet of garden roses, ranunculus, tulips, jasmine vine, sweet pea, and japonica. “My dad and I used to plant sweet peas in our garden, and that was his nickname for me when I was little,” Annalise explains.

For the sunny ceremony, guests gathered under paper parasols as they waited for the “I do’s.”

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

The bride’s father walked her down the aisle to a copper altar that he and the groom’s father built together.

Photo by Heart Visuals

Guests’ table assignments were displayed in an oversized gold frame draped in greenery.

Photo by Heart Visuals

Photo by Heart Visuals

Bundles of olive branches and arrangements of roses and hydrangeas welcomed guests to the tent, where long tables were set with low compotes of dusty pink roses. “I knew I wanted lots of candlelight to reflect the history of the location,” Annalise explains.

The Virginia-meets-California menu included a green salad with goat cheese, biscuits instead of bread, and short ribs with caramelized figs. Austin’s signature cocktail was a Manhattan, while Annalise’s was a sparkling French gimlet with elderflower, lime, vodka, and soda.

Photo by Heart Visuals

After a friend of the couple sang “Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett for the first dance, the bride and groom cut into a very special wedding cake. “My mother passed away when I was 14, and I wanted to include her presence in the most joyful way possible,” says Annalise. “A friend of ours baked our cutting cake from the recipe my grandmother used for all of my mom’s childhood birthdays, then guests were served German chocolate cake, my mom’s favorite flavor of Baskin-Robbins ice cream!”

Later that night, guests were treated to the newlyweds’ favorite childhood treats, too: PB&J sandwiches and chocolate croissants!

Wedding Coordinator: Kim Newton Weddings || Venue: Groom’s parents’ home || Officiant: The Right Reverend Marc Andrus, Bishop of California || Bride’s Dress: Julie Ireland Dressmaking || Bride’s Veil: Julie Ireland Dressmaking || Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade || Bride’s Jewelry: Giraux Fine Jewelry || Hair & Makeup: Anna Breeding || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN || Groom’s Attire: Chookhare and Sons || Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse || Engagement Ring: Giraux Fine Jewelry || Wedding Bands: Giraux Fine Jewelry || Floral Design: Love Blooms || Paper Products: DIY by the bride || Catering: Purple Onion Catering || Cake: Homemade (cutting), Momofuku (for guests) || Ceremony Music: William Hagen & Andrea Ashdown || Reception Music: Nightsong || Rentals: Select Event Group, Something Vintage Rentals || Transportation: Limousines, Inc. || Photography & Videography: Heart Visuals

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This Winter Wedding was Palm Springs Chic

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Ali Macer and Max Vaughan have known each another since high school, but didn’t really connect until their 10-year high school reunion in November of 2014. A few weeks later, on December 16, 2014, they went on their first official date. And two years after that, during Christmas of 2016, Ali and Max went on vacation with Ali’s family to the North Shore of Hawaii. There, with the help of his brother, pro surfer Nic Vaughan, and surf photographer, Jim Russi, Max cleared the beach to propose with a 150-year-old family heirloom ring. “I was absolutely blown away,” she recalls.

The pair chose their third anniversary as their wedding date, inviting 220 guests to the Parker Palm Springs on December 17, 2017. “We loved that the property was stylish, but still laid back and intimate,” says Ali. With overgrown bougainvillea on site, snow-capped mountains in the background, and a design-focused setting, it was easy to envision an evening of Cali glamour, with warm gold accenting crisp black-and-white details. Jana Williams Photography was on hand to document the festivities as designed and planned by RO & Co. Events. Keep reading for a gorgeous peek!

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Ali and Max loved that the Parker Palm Springs felt like “a super classy adult playground,” where they could wander through the grounds, get lost in hidden nooks, and really settle in for a weekend of celebrating. The bride and her ‘maids got ready on the property, where Max surprised Ali with diamond studs before she slipped into her gown.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Ali’s modern wedding gown put a unique twist on a classic silhouette, topping a fitted bodice and mermaid skirt with 3D flowers and lots of lace. “This Marchesa gown was so comfortable, I didn’t want to take it off,” she says. Max’s Armani tuxedo was also an updated take on a classic thanks to its midnight blue hue. “His oversized Gucci bowtie gave his tux an edgy look,” Ali adds.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

“I’ve always known I wanted my bridesmaids in all white,” says Ali. “It was perfect against the Parker’s lush, tropical background.” Ali’s company, StyleLab (an on-demand personal styling site), helped coordinate and source the dresses, finding each bridesmaid a gown she loved. Each woman carried a single white protea, accented by lush greenery. Ali’s bouquet was a dramatic all-white creation of lilies, hellebores, and peonies, paired with ferns and leaves that had been painted white to fit right in.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

The maid of honor’s daughter served as flower girl, walking down the aisle in a dress by Tutu du Monde. The groomsmen all wore black tuxedos with peak lapels.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

A pop of color marked the outdoor ceremony site, where lucite boxes filled with palm leaves flanked the aisle. Each was topped with a gold compote overflowing with tea roses and feathery ferns.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

The altar itself was framed by two trees, which acted as the perfect place to hang rose gold circles decorated with lilies, ferns, and gold-painted palm leaves.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Ali’s bridesmaids walked down the aisle hand-in-hand before the bride made her grand entrance. “I am one of five children and the only girl, so that walk was just as special for my dad as it was for me,” she says.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

The couple wrote their own vows, filling their words with the emotion of their love story—so much so, they had the bride’s brothers all in tears!

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Max is a big surfer, so his surfboards were used as décor and as the guest book.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

As guests wandered through cocktail hour, they found their table assignments tied to fresh coconuts. Ali and Max served drinks named after their nicknames. For him, the Crystal Max (a mix of tequila, lime, and fresh grapefruit juice) and for her, the Ali Baba (vodka, rose water, lemon, and ginger).

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Inside, the ballroom was full of drama! Long tables were topped with black-and-white palm print runners and gold arrangements of more palms, which had been spray-painted gold. The gold was echoed below each arrangement with gold-rimmed plates and gold flatware.

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Ali and Max’s red velvet wedding cake was paired with a indulgent dessert spread of banana pudding, peanut butter bars, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Guests snacked on all of the above before hitting the dance floor. “We had DJ Smiles Davis spin during the reception,” says the bride. “I love her vibe, and it was awesome to see her in Palm Springs again for Coachella!” Late in the evening, the bride’s brothers surprised the couple with a silent disco after-party, keeping the celebration going (quietly!) until early in the morning.

Looking back, Ali has a few words of wisdom for those planning a wedding. “Do your best to enjoy the process,” she says. “Drink wine while you’re stuffing envelopes—it makes everything more fun! And if people offer to help you, let them!”

Wedding Planner: RO & Co. Events || Venue: The Parker Palm Springs || Bride’s Dress: Marchesa || Bride’s Shoes: Gianvito Rossi || Hair: Alisha Cheney || Makeup: Lindsey Dickenson || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: StyleLab || Groom’s Attire: Georgio Armani, Gucci, Ferragamo || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Floral Design: Of the Flowers || Paper Products: Copper Willow Paper Studio, Prim & Pixie || Catering & Cake: The Parker Palm Springs || Reception Music: DJ SMiles Davis || Rentals: Signature Party Rentals, ModMix Studio, Hostess Haven || Cigar Roller: The Cigar Guys || Photography: Jana Williams Photography

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Maldives-Holiday

A Nautical Wedding in Montauk

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For two people who don’t like sports, it’s probably surprising that Kelly Rhatigan and Liam Griff met at a sports bar in New York’s West Village in December of 2014. (But it probably means there weren’t any distractions from their instant attraction!) “We were drawn to one another right away, but it took three weeks for a ‘casual’ Sunday afternoon to progress into an epic and romantic first date,” says Kelly. After that first date, though, the pair was smitten, and got engaged less a year-and-a-half later. “Liam and I spent our summers at a shared beach house with our closest friends in Montauk, but one weekend he convinced everyone else to stay home so we could have it to ourselves—and so he could propose!” Kelly recalls.

That very weekend, the couple headed to Gurney’s Resort and Seawater Spa for celebratory piña coladas, and ended up reserving the venue for their wedding before they’d finished their drinks. “We knew we wanted to have a fall wedding somewhere that felt like a destination, but that was close enough for our family and friends to get to,” Kelly explains. As a bonus, their November 4, 2017 wedding date fell just a few days after Kelly’s birthday! They embraced the nautical setting, but mixed in an autumnal off-season vibe to embrace the time of year they love most on Long Island. Kait Rovnyak of AaB Creates helped combine a sea of blues with warm fall tones, weaving in a watercolor crest, fall leaves, and oyster shells to really tie it all together. Photographer Heather Waraksa captured the oceanfront celebration, which definitely proves that beach weddings don’t have to happen in the summer!

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The couple embraced their stunning nautical location by incorporating a blue palette throughout their wedding day’s details.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

A watercolor crest inspired the invitation suite, and combined both seashells and floral elements. The white invitation was finished with cobalt blue watercolor calligraphy. “We used the artwork throughout our suite, as well as on the day-of stationery,” says Kelly.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The wedding party was family-only, and Kelly invited her sister, her brother’s wife, and Liam’s sisters to join her as bridesmaids. She let each woman choose a Joanna August gown that made her feel her best—but did treat all the women to matching Eberjey PJs to wear while they got ready!

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Kelly first put down a deposit on a beachy, bohemian gown, but changed her mind once she tried on this Carolina Herrera design. “It was so classic and simple—exactly my style,” she explains of the gtrumpet silhouette, V-neck and bow at the back. Of course, every bride needs a little drama, and Kelly found hers in the form of a floral-edged Oscar de la Renta veil. The flowers on the veil were a perfect match for Kelly’s mother’s mother-of-pearl Van Cleef & Arpels studs.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The bride’s white bouquet combined peonies, pink-tinged anemones, and eucalyptus.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Liam donned a navy blue tuxedo from Ralph Lauren Purple Label. The groomsmen (Liam’s two brothers, Kelly’s brother, and Kelly’s brother-in-law) wore their own tuxedos, and the bridesmaids wore Joanna August dresses in steel blue, cobalt, and navy.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The bride’s father walked her down the aisle before she and Liam exchanged vows on the resort’s East Deck. “My dad is a big, tough guy—he is a former New York City Fire Department captain—but even he couldn’t hold it together for our walk down the aisle,” Kelly remembers.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Liam and Kelly’s ceremony was framed by an arch of autumn leaves accented with blush roses. “We didn’t write our own vows, and that’s one of my only regrets,” Kelly says. “Liam wrote his own vows anyway, and shared them with me in a letter earlier in the day. It was one of my favorite moments!”

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Cocktail hour included a full raw bar, showing off Long Island’s bounty, as well as miniature lobster rolls. The pair served a Dark ‘n Stormy as their signature drink. “Liam’s family loves ginger beer, and we thought they were a perfect beach drink that felt fall-appropriate,” says the bride.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The reception took place beneath a clear tent hung with dozens of basket lanterns. “That was our planner’s idea, and it gave the tent a beachy but still sophisticated look,” Kelly says. Tables were topped with light linens, while the dark wood head table was left bare and accented with a matching runner.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

A deep blue napkin and printed menu was set on each crisp white charger. The meal included a tomato and burrata salad, filet mignon or halibut, and a caramel tart for dessert. “The food at Gurney’s was amazing—it’s one of the reasons we chose the venue,” says Kelly. Instead of paper place cards, each guest’s name was written on an oyster shell. “I ordered the shells on Etsy, and they weren’t so fresh-smelling when they arrived,” Kelly says, with a laugh. “I washed 200 of them with a toothbrush in our bathtub!”

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The three-tiered naked cake had layers of vanilla and apple spice cake sandwiched with vanilla buttercream. Roses, peonies, and olive branches adorned the tiers.

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Photo by Heather Waraksa

The basket lanterns glowed as stars shone through the tent. Kelly and Liam kicked off a night of dancing to “For the Longest Time” by Billy Joel before their band took over. “We told them to err on the side of a regular rock band rather than a wedding band, and they were fantastic!” says the bride.

Though Kelly got overwhelmed with all the opinions that come up during the planning process, she kept it in perspective. “Anytime it became overwhelming, I tried to take a step back and look at the bigger picture: I found the love of my life, and that’s what matters!”

Wedding Planner: AaB Creates || Venue: Gurney’s Resort & Seawater Spa || Officiant: Father Robert Allmen || Bride’s Dress: Carolina Herrera || http://saipua.com/Bride’s Veil: Oscar de la Renta || Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Bride’s Jewelry: Van Cleef & Arpels || Hair: Lisa Lord of Sam Brocato Salon || Makeup: Sally Duvall Makeup || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August || Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren Purple Label || Engagement Ring: SH Zell || Wedding Bands: SH Zell || Floral Design: Saipua || Paper Products: Ipanema Press, Melinda Cantor Designs || Calligraphy: Papersoul || Catering: Gurney’s Resort & Seawater Spa || Cake: Sugar Sugar Custom Cakes || Music: Artie Stuart Band, Hank Lane Productions || Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linens, Party Rental Ltd. || Transportation: M & V Limousines, Ltd || Photography: Heather Waraksa

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Maldives-Holiday

A Laid-Back Beach Wedding in Sayulita, Mexico

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Back in 2011, Terence Kirk and Nikki Pappadato were recent college grads starting their first jobs. Shortly after they met, Terence invited Nikki to join him and some friends at a hockey game, but what he really wanted was a date with just her. “A few days later, he took me to the most romantic Italian restaurant for what I consider our real first date,” she says. “We were there for hours, drinking wine and talking nonstop.” They both agree that they knew they’d found “the One,” but of course had to play it cool for a while before they’d admit it! Four years later, in November of 2015, Terence invited Nikki to join him on a work trip to London. “They had to check our bags at the airport, and Terence was so stressed about it,” says Nikki. Little did she know, her engagement ring was in the bag–so Terence snuck back to the desk to retrieve the ring before the bag was thrown onto the plane. When they arrived in London, Terence asked Nikki to take a walk with him to a park on the way to dinner. “I was so hungry, but I reluctantly agreed,” she recalls. When they arrived, the park was closed, but Terence couldn’t wait any longer and got down on one knee in the middle of the street. “I was completely surprised!” says Nikki, who was happy to learn that it wasn’t a work trip after all, but a romantic getaway for two!

Terence and Nikki enjoyed a long engagement, setting their wedding date for March 11, 2017 in Sayulita, Mexico. “We’ve lived near the beach for the past few years, so getting married on a beach just made sense,” says Nikki. They loved that Teitiare Estate was a private place where all 100 of their guests could stay, turning the entire weekend into a celebration. The couple embraced the tropical setting, using palm leaves for a pop of vibrant greenery, but didn’t let having a wedding go to their heads. “We’re very laid back, so we only did the things we really wanted to do, instead of feeling like we had to do them,” says the bride. From churros to tequila toasts, that meant personalizing the day to fit the setting and the vibe they wanted–and nothing else. Photographed by Jillian Mitchell, this beautiful beachfront wedding is major destination wedding inspiration and a reminder to make your big day all about you!

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Nikki tried on dozens of dresses she didn’t like before finding just the right one. “I loved that this dress was simple but unique,” she says of her gown by Luella’s Bridal. The gown’s clean lines were the perfect backdrop for Nikki’s structural bouquet, which combined white proteas with ranunculus and palm leaves.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Terence wore a royal blue suit to match the nearby ocean. “We were originally against having a first look, but our photographer and coordinator convinced us that it was the best choice if we really wanted to enjoy the reception,” says Nikki. “I was so emotional on our wedding day, but getting to see Terence calmed me down instantly. We got to hang out, enjoy a margarita, and have some alone time, and it was so special.”

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Geometric shapes, like these chairs and tables, added a modern edge to the natural setting. Palm leaves appeared everywhere, from crisp white vases to the prints on lounge pillows.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Dark wooden benches were arranged around a rattan runner, with fans and fresh coconut water available to keep guests cool.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Nikki’s father escorted her down the aisle to “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

The couple exchanged vows they’d written to each another. “Terence cried while he read his and had most of our guests crying too,” says Nikki. “By the time we got to mine, I was laughing because I was so surprised by how emotional everyone had gotten!”

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

The couple left their shoes behind to head down to the beach for photos, scaling the rocks and enjoying their first moments together as husband and wife.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Lounges in the sand surrounded a fire pit, where guests hung out and relaxed before cocktail hour and after dinner and dancing.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

The menu was packed full of local flavors. “We wanted the cuisine to be really authentic and represent the region we were in,” says Nikki. Red sangria and hibiscus margaritas were paired with bite-sized empanadas and cones of tuna ceviche.

Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Continuing with the palm theme, guests’ names and table assignments were written on faux palm leaves that were hung from a macramé curtain.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

The celebration continued on the beach, where bare tables were surrounded by clear ghost chairs. White protea flowers were the main focus in the floral arrangements, which also included lush greenery, accented with ranunculus and gold geometric shapes. Each white charger was topped with a palm-printed menu as well.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Café lights lit the dance floor, where a DJ had guests from every part of Nikki and Terence’s lives dancing together. Adds the bride, “Two of our best friends surprised us with a choreographed routine they’d practiced via FaceTime from different countries!”

Wedding Planner & Designer: Nicoella || Venue: Teitiare Estate || Officiant: Trevor Howard || Bride’s Dress: Luella’s Bridal || Bride’s Shoes: Schutz || Hair: Kristen Perkins of Garrett Markenson Coiffure || Makeup: Jordyn McCray || Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers || Engagement Ring: Bella Diamanti || Floral Design: Francisco Salazar || Paper Products: Citrus Press Co., CJ Designs Paper || Catering: Plush Catering || Reception Music: DJ Nick Challad || Favors: Las Bayadas || Photography: Jillian Mitchell

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