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Boston Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

This Boston Couple Rang in the New Year with a Glamorous Black Tie Ball

 Boston, Massachusetts, Real Weddings  Comments Off on This Boston Couple Rang in the New Year with a Glamorous Black Tie Ball
Nov 072016

Cinderella isn't the only person who has fallen in love with a handsome stranger on the dance floor at midnight. In February of 2012, Amalie Keerl was flying solo at The Boston Winter Ball, an annual fundraiser full of 20-something professionals. "As the clock struck 12, I forced myself onto the dance floor, jacket in hand and looking completely unapproachable," she remembers. And there was Richard Masucci. "He told me I looked pretty, and asked me to dance. The rest is history!" A year-and-a-half later, in the privacy of their kitchen, Rick asked Amalie to marry him, and the pair quickly began planning an extravagant black tie wedding, a nod to the night they met and a celebration of their future.

Amalie and Rick planned a formal affair for 210 guests at the Boston Harbor Hotel on December 31, 2015. Their vision? Gatsby glam with plenty of black, white, champagne, and gold details. "It was a New Year's wedding, but we wanted to keep it more subtle. Less noise makers and resolutions, more glitter and romance!" says Amalie. The bride took the reigns on the elegant design, from the formalwear the couple wore in their engagement photos to the gold foil cards in the invitation suite to what the bride calls "a tasteful amount of glitter in the air." We can't think of a better way to ring in the New Year — and to kick off the next chapter in Amalie and Rick's lives! Take a peek at their chic, elegant bash — with some sparkle, of course! — photographed by Carly Michelle Photography.

The classic invitation suite included gold calligraphy, formal letterpress details, and a sketch of the Boston Harbor Hotel's iconic rotunda.

Every New Year's bride needs a fabulous pair of festive shoes! Amalie chose Christian Louboutin sling-backs, accented with gold glitter heels and laser cut lace appliqués on the toes.

Pre-wedding gifts are always a sweet surprise, and Rick raised the bar when he presented Amalie with a Cartier love bracelet in the brand's iconic red leather jewelry box.

The petite bride slipped into a gorgeous form-fitting Rivini wedding dress, with lace appliqué on the bodice and straps. She topped it off with a fur collar to fend off the winter chill — though she barely needed it on the unseasonably warm December day!

"I knew we were having a winter wedding, and while I loved a lot of the dresses I tried, none of them were screaming 'classic winter wedding' to me," Amalie remembers. "This dress was the perfect combination of classy, Gatsby-era chic and a winter feel." Rick's Hugo Boss tuxedo was just the thing to complement his bride's gown.

We're loving Amalie's all-white bouquet, which combined roses, ranunculus, and anemones with olive branches and seeded eucalyptus.

Even the tiniest members of the wedding party, the couple's two ring bearers, donned formalwear for their trip down the aisle. "They looked so grown up!" Amalie gushes.

Instead of choosing a single gown for her 'maids to wear, Amalie's bridesmaids were instructed to choose their own floor-length dresses in gold and champagne hues. "They all looked gorgeous, and I think it's because they all felt beautiful and comfortable in what they'd chosen. They were literally glowing!" the bride says. The ladies carried smaller bouquets of white roses to match Amalie's, and the groomsmen matched Rick in classic tuxes.

The ceremony was officiated by one of Rick's childhood best friends, former NHL player Rick DiPietro. The simple altar was a wooden table covered with a lush display of white blooms and glowing votive candles.

Simple ceremony programs echoed the classic style of the pair's invitation suite.

When it was Amalie's turn to walk down the aisle with her parents, she surprised Rick by having a soloist (with a striking resemblance to John Legend!) perform "All of Me." "It's our favorite song, and I knew Rick would love it," says the bride.

After the ceremony, Amalie took a moment to freshen up her lipgloss — and to swap her stilettos for a pair of all-white Nikes so she could dance all night!

In honor of their New Year's Eve wedding date, the pair purchased over 200 champagne corks and used them as escort card holders. Amalie also collected antique gold desk clocks and set them all to go off just before midnight. "It was the perfect way to ring in the new year!" she says.

A formal wedding overlooking Boston Harbor wouldn't be complete without an indulgent menu! Guests dined on Maine lobster and sweet shrimp risotto, then chose between filet mignon with caramelized onions and spinach-stuffed chicken breast.

In the ballroom, which boasts waterfront views, champagne-hued linens were topped with mirrored displays that featured vases of single varieties of blooms, like roses, hydrangeas, and ranunculus, and floating candles in tall candle holders.

When not sipping celebratory champagne, guests chose between The Blushing Bride (a mix of sparkling rosé and pomegranate seeds) and The Dirty Sooch-ini (a vodka martini with a blue cheese olive).

The dessert spread included a wedding cake wrapped in gold ribbon, decorated with white ranunculus and olive leaves, and chocolate-covered strawberries and other miniature desserts alongside a hot chocolate bar with all the fixings.

The "2016" marquee numbers, which graced the table that also served as the altar during the ceremony, were hand-made by the bride.

"We danced the night away overlooking the glimmering lights of the city," Amalie remembers. "There was a beautiful energy in the room." And after the countdown was over and 2016 arrived, the couple ended the night as every winter ball should: With fireworks over Boston Harbor!

"The best choice we made was to greet our guests during cocktail hour," says Amalie, who honeymooned with Rick in St. Lucia. "That way we could enjoy the rest of the reception without worrying about anyone else!"

Venue & Catering: Boston Harbor Hotel || Bride's Wedding Dress: Rivini || Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Nike || Hair: Jana Rago || Makeup: Dani Wagener Beauty || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Florist: Winston Flowers || Invitations: Inviting Company || Additional Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas || Music: Nightshift Entertainment || Videographer: Brighter Lights Media || Photographer: Carly Michelle Photography

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Can't get enough of this couple's wedding? Then get inspired by another Massachusetts bash, seen below.

Aug 232016
Best Northeast Bridal Salons

Photo: Courtesy of Lovely Bride

Finding the right wedding dress may be trial-and-error, but finding a bridal salon shouldn't be. Our editors polled more than 1,500 brides to discover the places with the prettiest dresses (from the designers like Carolina Herrera, Mira Zwillinger, and Houghton, just to name a few!), nicest consultants, and chicest spaces from coast to coast. Every single shop on this list is a true standout in style, service, and atmosphere whether it's the white dress mecca in your state or a gem in the middle of nowhere (we didn't judge!). Get ready for our curated, tested, and fully endorsed list of The Best Bridal Salons in America. Here, our editors narrow down the best bridal salons in the Northeast. Happy shopping!

A Little Something White, Darien, Conn.
If you're the sentimental type, make an appointment with Ashley Krauss, who adds a personal touch to each gown — like sewing in your married initials as your "something blue" or adding lace from your mom's veil — to yours.

Everthine, Madison, Conn.
Here, dresses are ruled out by sudden death: "You're allowed two at a time, and you have to choose between them before you can see another. It sounds restrictive, but it works," says one bride.

Ceremony, Boston
You get this industrial-chic loft in Beacon Hill to yourself, so go ahead and blast the Beyoncé while playing dress-up in romantic, easy-to-wear looks from cool designers like Rose & Delilah and Rue De Seine.

L'élite Bridal, Boston
Fashion types head straight to this Newbury Street salon for the latest looks from Monique Lhuillier and Amsale. Bonus: The consultants are rock stars. "I tried on my dress at the designer's boutiques in NYC and L.A. but ended up buying here because I knew they would guide me through the entire process," says one devotee.

Elizabeth Johns, Morristown, N.J., and Ardmore, PA.
You don't have to hit Manhattan to find familiar names (Reem, Lela). Beyond the labels, brides dig the pristine samples and in-the-know stylists who've worked for our sister mag Vogue.

Bridal Reflections, New York
Want a "Big Salon Experience?" This Fifth Avenue mecca has endless options and an actual red carpet for the reveal — plus an out-of-this-world seamstress, Zizi. "She knows her stuff," says one reviewer. "Even when you think you know better, you don't."

Gabriella New York Bridal Salon, New York
At this SoHo hot spot, the honest, genuine stylists feel like true partners in the selection process. And heads up: They're known to crack a good joke or two, so don't forget to bring your sense of humor.

Mark Ingram Atelier, New York
Ladies fly in from across the country to shop industry heavy Mark Ingram's collection of right-off-the-runway designs from the biggest first names in bridal (Vera, Carolina, Oscar).

Wedding Atelier, New York
This intimate boutique near Madison Square Park is for city brides who want to get their zen on while shopping. Yes, that is possible even in NYC. One smitten client says, "They had the most exceptional customer service I've ever experienced, and I work in the customer-service industry!"

Lovely Bride, Philadelphia
Most reviewers discovered this gem on Instagram and were glad they did; it has a mix of nontraditional and classic styles at a wide range of price points, plus amazing accessories, like Twigs & Honey headpieces.

Glitter & Grit, Pittsburgh
Erin Szymanski's Lawrenceville shop is filled with gowns that are romantic and sparkly but slightly less traditional. (She calls it a balance of glitter and grit.) If that's your style, book a one-on-one with the boss, who reviewers describe as "inviting and relaxing, just like her salon."

Andria Bird Bride, Newport, R.I.
Tons of Rhody brides tie the knot in Newport, but even those who don't make a beeline for this seaside shop selling only made-in-America gowns. After you find yours (from up-and-coming designers like Rebecca Schoneveld of Brooklyn and Lindee Daniel of Santa Monica), owner Andi Sperl will custom make any silk flower crown you dream up to wear with it.

Subscribe to BRIDES now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.

See More: 50 Things to Know About Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

BRIDES Boston: Boston’s Best Italian Bakeries for Wedding Sweets

 Boston, Cakes, Local, Massachusetts, Wedding Cakes  Comments Off on BRIDES Boston: Boston’s Best Italian Bakeries for Wedding Sweets
Aug 062016

Boston's North End is considered the city's Little Italy, lined with authentic Italian bakeries and pizzerias founded by immigrants generations ago. Share a slice of the city's culture sourcing traditional sweets from some of the best bakeries outside of Italy. Whether you stack these treats on a table for guests to nosh on or offer them as prettily packaged party favors, these local goodies will definitely add a unique touch to traditional wedding day dessert — and have your guests lining up for more.

Mike's Pastry
This family run bakery is a Boston legend, with a constant queue circling the block at its North End location. Mike has been in the biz for more than 50 years and still hand-selects all the ingredients himself for the Italian-inspired pastries. It's hard to go wrong here when it comes to picking the perfect wedding pastries, from ricotta- and chocolate chip-filled cannolis to the cream-stuffed lobster tails, which can also be ordered in cake form. Read real brides' reviews here!

Bova's Bakery
What could be better than a 24-hour bakery? This North End hotspot has been in Boston since 1932 and has made quite a name for itself — not only for its nonstop service, but also for its freshly baked Italian round bread. The pastries are also a local fave, especially the ricotta cannoli, but why not leave the choice up to your guests? Curate a dessert table that's topped with tons of traditional sweets, from tiramisu to fresh fruit tarts, that'll pair beautifully alongside your wedding cake.

Maria's Pastry Shop
The North End pastry shop is a winner when it comes to cannolis — voted best in Boston. Three generations — from grandma Filomina to Maria and her daughters — are behind these award-winning goods that also include Italian classics like flaky Sfogliatelle clam shells and cream-filled Aragosta lobster tails. Of course you can also go the cake route here, opting for something that's both sweet and slightly savory — like the soft crust ricotta pie that's an Italian version of a cheese cake.

See More: Need Some Catering to Go with That Cake? These Boston Wedding Caterers Are the Best of the Best

Modern Pastry
On the opposite side of the street, the shoebox-sized Modern Pastry has drawn its own cult following over its 70 odd year history. The family run bakery brings together three generations of master chefs who've perfected Italian traditions like Amaretto sponge cakes and spongy rum-soaked Baba cakes, both great off-the-beaten-path options for your big-day dessert. Read real brides' reviews here!

Parziale Italian Bakery
It's been almost 100 years since Grandpa Joe and Grandma Anna landed in Boston from Naples, Italy, who were among the first to open a pizza bakery in New England. The business has been passed down to their son and is now run by Augie Parziale, who has been instrumental in helping keep the family recipes alive. The real draw here is the bread, which comes in styles from ciabatta to French, but couples can also stock their dessert tables with batches of the bakery's stand-out Italian butter cookies. These are covered in powdered sugar — sure to be a hit with the adults as well as the kids.

Have your (wedding) cake and eat it too at these other yummy Boston bakeries!

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Feb 022016

Sometimes in the great search for the perfect wedding venue, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? Browsing the top-notch spots to get married. Ever. In our new February/March 2016 issue (on newsstands now!), we call out the best venues — indoor and outdoor, big and small, luxury and budget-friendly — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,500 real brides and grooms nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to say "I do" — by rating their own wedding location on everything, including service, food, view, and much more. From great plantations and rustic farms in the South to elegant libraries and grand hotels in the Northeast to romantic, swoon-worthy wineries on the West Coast, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite venues in the Northeast.

Boston Public Library, Boston (Above)
Get hitched in the columned courtyard, then party in the book-lined main hall. Bonus: You can use the old-school reading tables for your candlelit dinner.

Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston
Wherever you wed— the 80-foot-dome rotunda, the dockside pavilion, the rooftop terrace— guests will be wowed by the awesome harbor views.

Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts
At this classic Cape Cod retreat, weddings are all about the sea, whether you make it official on the ocean-view lawn or dance in the beachside boathouse.

White Elephant, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Dress your guy in his preppy best for cocktails, cornhole, and nautical-inspired vows on the hotel's lawn, followed by fresh oysters on the terrace overlooking the harbor.

LaBelle Winery, Amherst, New Hampshire
A wine-country wedding in New England? Believe it. Say "I do" among the grapes, then toast your nuptials with bubbly or blueberry wine in the wood-beamed great room.

The Ashford Estate, Allentown, New Jersey
Take over this 30-acre property and you and your squad will have full run of the mansion, 12 guest suites, manicured gardens, and a rustic barn chapel. theashfordestate.com.

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk, New York
With a private beach and a tented deck overlooking the Atlantic, this newly renovated hot spot at the tip of Long Island wins raves for its on-site planner and pastry chef.

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York
A favorite of the fashion crowd, this hotel draws brides with its chic rooftop garden (complete with a retractable roof), skyline views, and on-point Danny Meyer menu.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York
Set on a working farm just north of New York City, this restaurant is known for its uberlocal cuisine and insane photo ops. Think wild gardens and rolling pastures, plus sheep, cows, and chickens!

See More: Keep Your Dance Floor Packed All Night With These Northeastern DJs!

Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, Philadelphia
Want to slash your flower budget? You won't need much decor for a ceremony in the park's gardens or in its gorge greenhouse, lush with ferns and palms.

Providence Public Library, Providence
With columns, a wrought-iron balcony, and turn-of-the-last-century gilded details, the Grand Hall reads more "palace" than "library." Instead of walking the aisle, make your entrance down an elegant marble staircase.

Mountain Top Inn, Chittenden, Vermont
Kick off the day with a morning hike, then exchange vows on a hilltop or barn with major Green Mountain views.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES February/March 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

Want to see more Northeastern Venues? Check out our Northeastern Venues page to find your perfect location!

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These Boston Natives Threw a Hometown Wedding That Was a Total Nod to Their City

 Boston, Massachusetts, Real Weddings  Comments Off on These Boston Natives Threw a Hometown Wedding That Was a Total Nod to Their City
Nov 272015

After their August 2013 engagement, Andrea Benetti and Christopher Byrne knew they'd host their wedding in their hometown of Boston. "We wanted to celebrate our marriage right where we live," the bride says. Another perk of a tying the knot in their beloved city? "We were able to support local businesses, which is something Chris and I are passionate about." They set the date for May 30, 2015, and started planning a church ceremony at St. Mary-St. Catherine Siena Parish in Charlestown, Massachusetts followed by a party for 136 guests in downtown Boston at the Marriott Long Wharf.

Aside from showcasing their hometown throughout the day, Andrea and Chris wanted their reception to feel clean, modern, and very chic. "We used very neutral colors, like gray, green, and white," Andrea says. "We wanted to showcase the spring season after a very long, hard winter in Boston." Keep reading to see all of Rachel Red Photography's gorgeous photos of their day.

The couple worked with Goosefish Press, Inc., a local Boston stationer, to create their elegant invitation suite. Light gray letterpress and an illustration of the city skyline gave a refined and modern twist to the classic style. As a fun twist, Andrea and Chris ordered custom picture stamps of their English Bulldog, Frank, for the invitations and reply cards. "I thought it was a great way to include Frank in the day!" the bride says.

Andrea tried on just six dresses before she knew she had found her gown. She fell hard for a strapless chiffon and lace Adrienne Paloma stunner, complete with a sweetheart neckline and modified trumpet skirt. "I tried on three others just to appease my mother and friends, but I knew this was the dress," she says. And while she was totally certain, her mother wasn't. "My mom kept asking I was sure it was the one and that I could bring it back and look for another," the bride remembers. "I finally asked, 'Mom, what's wrong? Do you not like the dress?' She responded, 'No, I do! I guess I wasn't ready for you to pick a dress today because this means you are really getting married and you won't be my little girl anymore!' I will always cherish that moment we had together because it made me realize how the wedding was affecting her emotionally."

She accessorized with Jimmy Choo sandals and a pair of J.Crew earrings that she had purchased six years before for a friends wedding. "I've never been able to keep a pair of earrings for longer than a year," she says. "These are my favorite pair and the fact that I have been able to hold on to them this long is a miracle. They were my something old."

The groom wore a blue suit from Hugo Boss and a sunny yellow tie. As a nod to his late grandfather, Chris wore the very same pin he had worn 60 years ago at his own wedding. "We were so happy to have a little piece of him with us on our wedding day," Andrea remembers.

Another family member that they were glad could take part in the festivities? Frank! The couple's pup joined them in at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown (clad in a bowtie!) for photos.

Chris and Andrea's wedding party looked just as stylish as the bride and groom. The men wore gray suits and blue ties while the ladies donned a chiffon Jenny Yoo gown with a strapless neckline. Andrea's maid-of-honor stood out in a beaded Adrianna Pappell gown.

The bride carried an all-white bouquet of peonies, while her 'maids toted mixed arrangements of champagne Victoria roses with greenery.

For this couple, the easiest part of planning the wedding was choosing their ceremony venue. "As newer residents to Charlestown, we were eager to visit St. Mary's Church and meet the community. Once we stepped inside, we were taken back by its beauty and loving welcome from the people," Andrea remembers of their first visit. "We immediately fell in love with the church and knew that's where we wanted to get married."

Andrea and Chris exchanged traditional vows, but personalized the ceremony by asking her godmother and his aunt to each share a special reading. During the ceremony, the couple chose live music in the way of a violinist, pianist, and the bride's mother, a singer. "My mom has been a music director for over 20 years in different churches," Andrea says. "She has the most beautiful voice and I couldn't imagine anyone else singing at our wedding. I had to pinch myself while she sang so I wouldn't cry!"

The party then moved to the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, which is nestled in the city's North End where Andrea lived for seven years. Gray linens covered round tables and arrangements of white peonies with seasonal greens served as centerpieces. As another nod to the couple's love of Boston, Andrea and Chris named each table after different city neighborhoods.

After an allergy-friendly gluten-free dinner, which included tasty options like pan-fried risotto cake, brick roasted chicken, and butter poached Filet Mignon, guests dug into layers of carrot, vanilla, and mocha cake covered in buttercream frosting. They topped their confection with two blue love birds, which include their initials and wedding date.

Andrea and Chris enjoyed a night of dancing with their loved ones before heading off on a mini-moon in Nantucket. This couple advises future brides and grooms to determine what is important to you both as a pair and follow your heart. "We tried not to focus on a theme, but instead incorporating items that were meaningful to us and our families," Andrea says. "We thought of our guests throughout planning and kept in mind that if something didn't feel right us we didn't have to include it."

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary-St. Catherine Siena Parish || Reception Venue: Boston Marriott Long Wharf || Bride's Wedding Dress: Madeline's Daughter || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Miriam Meza || Makeup: Dani Wagener Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell; Jenny Yoo || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Invitations: Goosefish Press, Inc. || Florist: Bow Street Flowers || Wedding Cake: Glutenus Minimus || Videographer: Creative Eye Productions || Photographer: Rachel Red Photography

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Did you love this Boston wedding? Then check out another Massachusetts bash in the video below.

This Couple Made Sure Their Intimate Wedding at the Boston Public Library Was Filled with Multicultural Details

 Boston, Massachusetts, Real Weddings  Comments Off on This Couple Made Sure Their Intimate Wedding at the Boston Public Library Was Filled with Multicultural Details
Sep 142015
Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride and Groom Outside

Photo: Katch Studios

Jean Wang, who founded the popular fashion blog Extra Petite, first met Nicholas Nelson on their first day of college in September 2004 in Boston. Ten years later, in May 2014, the two had just moved into their first condo together and, as Jean replanted tomatoes on her rooftop terrace, Nicholas surprised her with a special set of seeds that read "Let's Grow Old Together." Inside, she found instructions — Say yes (I hope), Place on Finger, Water with Champagne, Harvest Forever — and a gorgeous round-cut diamond engagement ring. Naturally, she said yes!

The pair decided that they would tie the knot in the city where they first met and built a life together. "We absolutely love the history and charm of Boston," Jean says. "We thought the Boston Public Library embodied so much of what we love about this city. We studied there together as students, looked at historical blueprints of our first home there, and also walked by it daily to work." They booked the historic space for a June 26, 2015 wedding and planned for a day that mixed modern styles with elegant, vintage charm, and plenty of East-meets-West details to pay respects to their different heritages. Keep reading to see all of the photos of their big day, as captured by Katch Studios!

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride's Blush Lace Tea Ceremony Dress Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Black of Tea Ceremony Dress

Photo: Katch Studios

Jean spent the morning getting ready with her bridesmaids in fun floral robes before slipping into a blush silk and alencon lace dress for the couple's traditional Chinese wedding tea ceremony. "I wanted a modern interpretation of the traditional tea ceremony attire," Jean says, so she turned to her talented friend and bridesmaid, Khatu, to create a look that felt more contemporary.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, First Look Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Traditional Tea Ceremony Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony

Photo: Katch Studios

After a first look with Nicholas, Jean and her groom-to-be shared the ritual with family. "It was emotional seeing our elderly grandparents, who traveled from across the world to be there, during the tea ceremony," Jean says. "I loved seeing my entire family dolled up. They come from a humble background and said they've never had a chance to dress up in their entire lives. Not even for their own weddings!"

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Strapless Ivory and Gold Lace Bridesmaids Dresses Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride Getting Dressed in Strapless Gown Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride in Lazaro Wedding Dress

Photo: Katch Studios

The bride changed into a strapless ivory and gold lace mermaid gown from Lazaro. "I love a good fit and flare shape," Jean says of the silhouette. "This one was figure defining up top with lots of drama and volume at the bottom. I write a blog about petite fashion and I always tell my readers to wear what makes you feel the most beautiful. A lot of people told me to avoid volume in a gown since I'm smaller, but that was one of my favorite parts about this dress."

She accessorized with vintage jewelry, a DIY belt, birdcage veil, and blue velvet Manolo Blahnik heels. While she kept her hair back for her traditional ceremony, she let half of her hair flow for the later part of the day.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bridesmaids in Mismatched BHLDN Dresses Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bridesmaids in Mismatched Dresses Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Pink and White Bouquet Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Lush Bridesmaids Bouquet with Pink and White Flowers

Photo: Katch Studios

Jean asked her four bridesmaids to pick their own dress. "We worked within a common theme of champagne and blush with a mix of embellished and solid fabrics," she says of their mismatched styles. "It was one of my favorite aspects of the day!" Each attendant chose their favorite style from a range of gowns available at BHLDN, and then paired it with shoes and a hairstyle of their choosing. The couple's florist, Pollen, crafted gorgeous floral headpieces that each 'maid wore.

Jean carried a lush bouquet of peonies, tea roses, and ranunculus, which her bridesmaids all had slightly different arrangements of the same blooms, plus a mix of pale blue blooms. The small variations between the bouquets resulted in a perfectly imperfect look.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Groom and Groomsmen's Attire

Photo: Katch Studios

Nicholas chose a navy tuxedo from J.Crew, which he accessorized with a classic bow tie from Tie Bar. His four groomsmen all rented navy suits from The Black Tux and completed their look with champagne ties to coordinate with Jean's attendants.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bridal Party Outside Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Couple in Library

Photo: Katch Studios

Before their outdoor ceremony, the couple took time to enjoy the architectural beauty of the exterior Boston Public Library with their attendants. Then, they snuck off for a few solo portraits inside the space.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Ceremony Sign with Floral Garland Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Ceremony Space at Fountain Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Mini Ice Cream Cones

Photo: Katch Studios

Jean and Nicholas invited 90 guests to join them for their day. "We wanted it to be a really charming, intimate wedding," Jean remembers. Pollen created the garland that was draped over the couple's ceremony sign and the arrangements that decorated the ceremony space. Guests were offered a mini ice cream cone, with a sweet scoop of either green tea or mango, before they found a seat in front of the property's fountain for the couple's vows.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride Walking Down the Aisle Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Couple Exchanging Personalized Vows

Photo: Katch Studios

Jean walked down the aisle with her father. She and Nicholas chose to write their own vows, which proved to be as sweet as it was emotional.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride and Groom Leaving Ceremony Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Dark and Stormy Signature Cocktail

Photo: Katch Studios

After the I do's, the couple, who exited the ceremony to "Everything Is Awesome" from the Lego Movie, invited guests to join them for cocktail hour. They served their signature drink (a dark and stormy) along with an Asian noodle bar, mini lobster rolls, crab cakes, and personal potpies.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride's Second Dress

Photo: Katch Studios

Jean changed into a beaded dress from Aidan Mattox for her reception. "I wanted to eat comfortably," she laughs. The look was the perfect complement to the couple's champagne and pink hued party.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Library Card Escort Cards Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Table Settings Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, First Dance

Photo: Katch Studios

Before moving into the reception space for dinner, guests found their seating assignments on library-style cards. Everyone sat at round tables that were decorated with arrangements of peonies, roses, ranunculus, and greenery and enjoyed an east-meets-west dinner of dumplings two ways, short ribs, and sea bass.

With such a special venue, the couple couldn't resist utilizing the library's Juliet balcony for their first dance while their two musician friends (who live across the country from each other and practiced only via Skype!) performed.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Wedding Donuts Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Donut Sign

Photo: Katch Studios

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, Jean and Nicholas served locally made donuts in unique flavors like maple bacon, chocolate pretzel, creamsicle, and hazelnut. "They're my husband's favorite!" Jean says.

Intimate East-Meets-West Boston Wedding, Bride and Groom

Photo: Katch Studios

"Don't let yourself get bogged down by the details or small mishaps," Jean advises other brides. "Never lose sight of why you are planning a wedding with your loved one."

Ceremony Venue: Boston Public Library || Wedding Coordinator & Caterer: The Catered Affair || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair: TRESemmé || Makeup: Lisa Chy Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Groom's & Groomsmen's Ties: The Tie Bar || Florist: Pollen || Welcome Sign, Escort Cards & Table Numbers: Yours Truly Calligraphy || Music: Alamada Events & Entertainment || Cake: Union Square Donuts || Videographer: Long Haul Films || Photography: Katch Studios

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Did you love this intimate wedding? Then check out another couple's family-oriented bash in the video below!

Jul 152015
Best Bridal Salons in the Northeast

Photo: Courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal

Sometimes in the great search for that one perfect dress, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? With an appointment at a top-notch bridal salon. In our new August/September 2015 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best 50 bridal salons — big and small, luxury and budget-friendly, boho and traditional — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,100 real brides nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to find that dream wedding dress by rating and submitting their own gown-shopping experience. From precious, personalized boutiques in the South to giant wedding dress meccas in the Northeast to intimate indie shops in California, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the Northeast.

A Little Something White, Darien, Conn.
Floor-to-ceiling windows flood this space with natural light, making it a great spot to pose and twirl in Anna Maier Couture and Amsale styles. "I tried on 50 gowns before I came here, then I finally got my 'aha!' moment," says a fan.

The Plumed Serpent, Westport, Conn.
Armed with hair jewelry and sashes, consultants will style your Paloma Blanca ball gown or Elizabeth Fillmore sheath to the next level of fabulous. "I splurged, but the price was totally justified by the service," says a bride.

Ceremony, Boston
Hit this trendy loft for gowns by indie designers like Sarah Janks and Sarah Seven. Want a craftsy girls' night out? The salon also hosts calligraphy classes and flower workshops.

L'Elite, Boston
Reviewers were wowed by the Elie Saabs and Marchesas and the sales reps' freakish ability to match a girl to her dream dress. "My stylist pulled gowns based on our phone chat. I bought the third one I tried on!" says a bride.

Exquisite Bride, Westfield, N.J.
Manhattan brides make the hour drive for the Naeem Khan and Romona Keveza gowns and a staff that can handle anything — even, says one shopper, a 15-person entourage.

The Wedding Salon of Manhasset, Manhasset, N.Y.
Hit this Long Island salon to try on Reem Acra and Mira Zwillinger dresses without feeling rushed. "When I asked how much time I had, my consultant said, 'Until you find the One!'???" says a bride.

See More: The Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide: The Best Necklines by Body Type

Bridal Reflections, New York City
Fans say this Fifth Avenue shop is the place to come for a glam gown and a tiara to match. Sip champagne while a staffer plays matchmaker: "I told her what I liked, and she found the perfect dress for my figure," says a convert.

Kleinfeld, New York City
This bridal mecca — TLC's Say Yes to the Dress is filmed here — got props for its huge selection of gowns. (It carries 90-plus designers.) Says a reviewer, "They treat you like a princess!"

Mark Ingram Atelier, New York City
This chic salon just off Park Avenue has all the labels uptown brides love (Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta). But the private rooms, skilled seamstress, and crazy-
attentive service won equal raves.

Wedding Atelier, New York City
Practice your processional while trying on Tara Keely and Jim Hjelm gowns: There's a wedding aisle set up right in the store.

Elizabeth Johns, Ardmore, PA.
High-end designers like Rosa Clará and Lela Rose rule, but staff put you above their commission. "It was between two gowns, and my consultant voted for the cheaper one!" says a bride.

Glitter & Grit, Pittsburgh
This hip shop is filled with indie and eco-friendly finds. "The owner had an artisan design a belt and comb that made my day-of look," says a client.

The Wedding Shoppe, Wayne, PA.
Brides came for the big names (Inbal Dror, Monique Lhuillier) and stayed for above-and-beyond service. Bonus: The second floor is devoted to accessories and alterations, so you can have your fittings in peace.

For even more of the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES August/September 2015 issue on newsstands now and available for download.

BRIDES Boston: Prepare to Fall in Love With This Quaint Seaside Wedding Venue

 Boston, Local, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Boston: Prepare to Fall in Love With This Quaint Seaside Wedding Venue
Feb 062015
Brides Massachusetts - Chatham Bars Inn

Photo: Courtesy of Chatham Bars Inn

Whether you've spent every summer of your life visiting the Cape Cod shores or if you're a Boston local who's looking to host a destination wedding without traveling far, there are countless reasons you should consider the Chatham Bars Inn for your wedding ceremony and reception.

Located in historic Chatham, Massachusetts (a.k.a. one of Cape Cod's most beloved towns), this beautiful hotel, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Boston, is a true New England classic.

Breathe in sea air fresh off the bay as you wed on the property's private beach before posing for photos on the rustic wooden boardwalk or the grassy dunes. Then move your reception onto the sweeping bay-view lawn where guests can party under a sailcloth tent or into one of the beautiful dining rooms at the inn.

See More: Questions You Probably Didn't Know You Needed to Ask Your Ceremony Site

Guests will enjoy a traditional Cape Cod feast, with offerings including everything from miniature lobster rolls and Chatham-caught cod to Portobello mushroom risotto and grilled filet of beef. And what makes the meal even better is that Chatham Bars Inn owns a nearby eight-acre farm, where they grow and source the freshest seasonal vegetables and berries that are used for their dining options. Winter brides can take advantage of the farm-to-table options, too! Their two greenhouses produce tons of lettuces and micro greens for the freshest meals year round.

Whether you're hosting a quintessential beach wedding in the summer or an off-season affair in the winter, you can trust the Chatham Bars Inn will make your nuptials the most special day of your life. Plus, with tons of accommodations right on the property, you and your guests can turn your wedding day into an all-weekend event!

See the complete list of the best wedding venues in the U.S. here!

Brides Boston: Why You Should Say “I Do” at the City’s Public Library

 Boston, Local, Planning Tips, Wedding Planning, Wedding Receptions  Comments Off on Brides Boston: Why You Should Say “I Do” at the City’s Public Library
Oct 312014
Brides Boston, Boston Public Library Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Hey Boston brides! Are you searching for a quintessential New England venue to host your dream wedding? If so, look no further than the Boston Public Library, an iconic site that makes for some seriously incredible nuptials.

While there are several gorgeous rooms to choose from for your wedding day we love Bates Hall, seen above. Like the rest of the venue, this space features unique architecture, incredible pained windows, and unique details, like antique table lighting and, of course, rows of beautifully bound books. Plus, there's plenty of outdoor space to utilize if you love the idea of an event that can move seamlessly between inside and out.

See More: One Couple's Relaxed Wedding Weekend in Buzzard's Bay, MA

To make your planning a breeze, the Boston Public Library features an in-house caterer, The Catered Affair, that helps create your dream dinner menu. Their extensive menu features everything from butternut squash soup and champagne risotto to steak Frites and s'mores on a stick. Their offerings aren't just limited to hors d'oeuvres, main courses, and desserts either. They offer late-night snacks like mini pizzas and burgers, plus specialty cocktails, too.

Although the food and gorgeous space alone are enough to make any bride swoon, those are just the very beginning of the perks you get when you decide to tie the knot here. With each wedding package you have the opportunity to extend your party beyond the reception. An additional rental is available from 10 p.m. until midnight so you can keep the merriment lasting well into the evening.

See the complete list of the best wedding venues in the U.S. here!

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