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

A Timeless Seaside Wedding in Southampton, New York

 Classic, New York, Preppy, Real Weddings, Romantic, Spring, Summer  Comments Off on A Timeless Seaside Wedding in Southampton, New York
Dec 262013
 

A trip to office hours may not sound like an important occasion, but for Christina, now 28, her decision to chat with a friend on her way was. As the two women talked, a handsome man named Rashid (a friend of Christina's friend) stopped to join them. "I tried to play it cool and not stare at him too much–he had the nicest smile," says Christina. After ten minutes, Rashid, now 29, got up to leave. "It was only supposed to be a five minute break!" he says. Christina felt awful for keeping him, but his response melted her heart–and ours. "He said 'It was worth it, I got to meet you!'" Christina gushes. A few days later, they met for dinner, and that's when it all began.

For Christina's 26th birthday, Rashid planned a trip for the two of them to New York City. He booked a room at her favorite hotel, Ink48, and, after they were settled in, asked Christina if she wanted to go up to the roof to take some pictures. The rooftop was deserted, leaving Rashid and Christina alone with the panoramic city views. It was at that moment that he got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him.

The classically romantic couple headed to the New York town of Southampton on May 18, 2013, for their vineyard ceremony, then moved to a restaurant in nearby Hampton Bays for their 100-person reception. The seaside ambiance inspired their loosely nautical and perfectly timeless celebration.

"We wanted our wedding to be elegant," says Christina. Their beautiful wedding bands–hers pavéed in diamonds, his in a brushed finish–are as classic as they come.

Though the color scheme was mostly white with touches of blue, Christina added a few colorful flowers to the mix as a nod to their May wedding date. Both her bouquet and Rashid's boutonniere were made of light purple roses.

Christina fell in love with the Ali gown by Augusta Jones because of the beautiful lace. "The high-neck style was classic but form-fitting," she says. Covered buttons ran up the back of the bodice.

"Rashid and I love wine, and were so happy to share Duckwalk vineyard with our guests," says Christina. The outdoor ceremony took place overlooking the rows of vines. Small nosegays of hydrangeas and roses decorated the aisle. Christina was escorted down the aisle to "What a Wonderful World."

During the ceremony, the couple planted seeds together, symbolizing their union and how they will grow together as one. As they made their way back up the aisle, guests tossed red rose petals in celebration.

Christina accessorized her gown with a simple pearl bracelet. Blue pearl earrings served as her "something blue." Rashid wore engraved cufflinks and collar stays that Christina bought him as a wedding present.

"Having our reception at a restaurant saved us a lot of time and money," says Christina. "All the tables and chairs were included!"

The tables were topped with light blue linens and decorated with low white and green centerpieces. A printed menu marked each place. "Food and drink were a priority for us. The restaurant is delicious, and gave us lots of options," says the bride.

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the couple served their favorite flavors, like classic red velvet and salted caramel, from Georgetown Cupcake. The cupcakes were personalized with anchors and the couple's monogram.

Rashid and Christina honeymooned along the French and Italian Riviera. "The hardest adjustment was coming back to work after such a fantastic trip!" says Christina.

Her advice is to know what you're capable of, as well as what your family is willing to help with. "We didn't have a day of coordinator, which was fine for us as we had a lot of family members volunteer to help with whatever we needed day-of," Christina says. "But if event planning is not your favorite thing and you just want to be able to coast through your big day, it might be worth the extra money to get a day-of coordinator or a planner!"

Ceremony Venue: Duckwalk Vineyard || Reception Venue: Oakland's Restaurant || Bride's Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones || Shoes: Adrianna Papell || Jewelry & Wedding Rings: David S. Diamonds || Hair: Martha Ellen Van Gemert of Headchop || Makeup: Shannon Park || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss || Florist: Cathy of Roses & Rice || Invitations: Constance Sepulveda || Music: Art Strings Ensembles, DJ Will Buck || Cupcakes: Georgetown Cupcake || Favors: Tate's Bakeshop || Photography: Petruzzo Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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One Couple’s Elegant, Natural Wedding at Cherokee Plantation in South Carolina

 Classic, Formal, Ines DiSanto, Preppy, Real Weddings, Romantic, South Carolina, Traditional  Comments Off on One Couple’s Elegant, Natural Wedding at Cherokee Plantation in South Carolina
Dec 242013
 

What do you get when you mix natural Southern beauty with the glitz and glam of the Gatsby era? You get the September 29, 2012 wedding of Gillian, 31, and John, 32, an airy, sophisticated celebration that brings North and South together in perfect harmony.

Gillian and John met through a mutual friend on Nantucket during the summer of 2009. Their romance eventually brought them to New York City, where John got down on one knee on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A year later, the couple invited 70 of their nearest and dearest to spend three days with them at Cherokee Plantation in Yemessee, South Carolina. "My family has been going there to celebrate holidays for over a decade, and we were so happy to be able to share it with everyone," says Gillian. The couple and their guests spent the weekend playing golf, shooting sporting clays, riding horses, being pampered with massages–and celebrating at a beautifully timeless wedding that balanced elegance with Southern charm.

Gillian wore a classic fitted Ines DiSanto gown with a delicate lace overlay. "The back was open with tiny pearl buttons. I felt amazing in it!" she says. John wore a super formal white tuxedo jacket, which he paired with a classic black bow tie.

The formal invitation was written in a lovely blue ink, a twist on the traditional.

Gillian chose pewter Manolo Blahnik peep-toe pumps, complete with crystal brooches, to wear under her gown. John paired his tux with customized needlepoint cufflinks that commemorated their wedding date.

The bride carried a bouquet of white and cream roses, ranunculus, sweet peas and lilacs. John's cream rose boutonniere was tied with a navy blue ribbon.

The couple wed in a traditional outdoor ceremony. Urns full of hydrangeas, roses and greenery flanked the aisle and marked the altar.

The skies opened up just after the ceremony, sending guests running for the tent. "My favorite photo from the day was the most unexpected, taken as we giddily hurried to the tent under an oversized umbrella," says Gillian. Thankfully, the rain stopped 30 minutes later and the rest of the evening was beautiful and clear.

Soft draping transformed the tented reception into an elegant affair, while chandeliers strung from the ceiling cast a glow over the tables. Guests were seated at a variety of round, square, and rectangular tables. Some of the wooden tables were left uncovered, a nod to Cherokee Plantation's history.

A mix of high and low arrangements featured tulips, hydrangeas, peonies, and roses in shades of white, cream, pink, and lavender. Low mercury vases added a touch of shine to the otherwise simple tables. Textured tablecloths were used for another layer of visual interest.

Each place was set with a classic gold-rimmed charger. The menu was printed on pale green paper and cut to fit the plate. "It featured an image of one of Cherokee's oak trees, draped in Spanish moss," says Gillian. "I've loved that tree forever, and was thrilled to have it on my wedding menu!"

The simple two-tiered cake featured a floral applique pattern reminiscent of the bride's dress. "It was delicious!" she gushes.

Lounge seating areas beckoned guests (when they weren't on the dance floor, of course!). As dusk fell, the couple surprised their family and friends with a firework display to mark the happy occasion.

The couple departed through a wave of sparklers. "You set the tone for your wedding," says Gillian. "They feed off your energy. So don't stress! Remember: everyone there loves you and is there to see you have a good time."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cherokee Plantation || Wedding Planner: Ellen Robinson of WED || Bride's Wedding Dress: Ines DiSanto || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair & Makeup: Stuart Laurence Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection || Groom's Tuxedo: Ralph Lauren Black Label || Florist: Sara York Grimshaw Designs || Invitations: Studio R || Music: Big Ray and the Kool Kats || Catering: Cru Catering || Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal || Rentals: Snyder Rentals || Lighting: Technical Event Company || Videography: Siegel FIlms || Photography: Marni Rothschild Pictures

&mdash:Jaimie Schoen

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Dec 062013
 
Bride and Groom in Philadelphia, PA

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

When Elizabeth began throwing her annual Christmas cocktail party for her friends in New York, she had no idea that the event would become so popular, or that one day, three years later, her future husband would walk through her front door.

Ryan arrived at Elizabeth's apartment as a guest of their mutual friend, and immediately knew that he needed to ask her out on a date. With Elizabeth busy cooking, entertaining, and making sure they didn't bother the neighbors, there was barely a moment for them to speak, but she couldn't help but be distracted by the man who kept trying to talk to her. As the party came to an end, Ryan was too nervous to get Elizabeth's number, but instead gave her his email address as he headed out the door. She waited the appropriate two days before writing to him, and their plans to meet for a bike ride began what would become a whirlwind six-month romance.

In June of 2011, after a morning spent in Central Park and an afternoon with Ryan's family, the couple headed off alone to meet friends for a drink. As they rounded 86th street and 2nd avenue, the location of their first kiss, Ryan got down on one knee and asked Elizabeth to be his wife. 14 months later, on August 25th, 2012, the couple tied the knot at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Monique Lhuillier Ball Gown and Green Badgley Mischka Peep-Toe Shoes

Wedding Bands and Bride's Hand-Embroidered Slip

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

"Once we'd chosen a venue, I let my wedding dress dictate the formality of the wedding," says Elizabeth of her two-piece Monique Lhuillier ball gown. The top was covered in Alencon lace and had elegant cap sleeves. The silk gazar skirt had gorgeous pick-ups, and was finished with a satin ribbon sash. Beneath the gown, Elizabeth wore a pair of green Badgley Mischka pumps embellished with crystal brooches. Her mother hand-stitched and embroidered a slip for her to wear beneath her skirt.

Monogrammed Formal Wedding Invitation

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple's ornate monogram made many appearances throughout the wedding, from the invitations to the programs.

Groom's Dog Wearing a Floral Collar

Bride and Groom Outside the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple's dog was dressed up in a floral collar for the occasion. Ryan wore a classic black tuxedo with a cumberbund and bow tie to complement Elizabeth's formal gown.

Bride in Monique Lhuillier with Yellow Balloons

Bouquets of Roses, Freesia, Hydrangeas and Lily of the Valley

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

As her something blue, Elizabeth wore a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings that her groom gave her as a wedding present.

She and her bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets. Elizabeth's featured garden roses, freesia, Lily of the Valley and dusty miller leaves. Her bridesmaids' bouquets were yellow freesia, blue hydrangeas, garden roses and lamb's ear.

Rooftop Wedding Ceremony at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Blue and Yellow Floral Wedding Ceremony Decor

Rooftop Wedding Ceremony in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple chose the Franklin Institute because it enabled them to have an outdoor ceremony with sweeping views of Philadelphia. The aisle was decorated with arrangements of light blue hydrangeas and yellow roses.

Reception in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia

Cream, Yellow and Blue Floral Centerpieces

Father-Daughter Dance at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

After guests wandered the Franklin Institute's exhibits during cocktail hour, they gathered in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial for a formal reception under the watchful eye of Ben Franklin himself. Vintage inspired silver vessels overflowed with cream and yellow garden roses, lisianthus, and hydrangeas. The Memorial provided a memorable location for Elizabeth's dance with her father during dinner.

Three-Tier Wedding Cake with a Lace Pattern and Fresh Flowers

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

The couple's three-tier wedding cake was a red velvet cake with chocolate ganache filling and white chocolate icing. It was piped with a lace deign and featured the monogram that was used on all of the wedding's printed materials. Fresh roses and hydrangeas provided an elegant finishing touch.

Sparkler Wedding Exit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

Ryan and Elizabeth exited the Franklin Institute in a shower of sparklers. Shortly thereafter, the duo found themselves dancing in the fountain out front with their friends!

Bride and Groom at a Wedding in Philadelphia

Photo: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

Elizabeth and Ryan honeymooned in Spain, spending five days on the beach, then heading to the Pyrenees Mountains to spend a few days road biking - a nod to the bike ride that started it all.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Franklin Institute || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier, via The Bridal Garden || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair & Makeup: Mackenzie Hughes of Mack Stylist || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung || Groom & Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Black Tie Formal Attire || Wedding Bands: Sackowitz Jewelers || Florist: Nancy Saam || Invitations & Paper Goods: Matthewy Kelsey, Printer || Music: Imagine, EBE Entertainment || Catering & Cake: Frog Commissary || Photography: Marie Labbancz of Art of Love

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Charming Country Wedding at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri

 Classic, Elegant, Fall, JLM Couture, Missouri, Monique Lhuillier, Preppy, Real Weddings, Rustic, Winter  Comments Off on A Charming Country Wedding at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri
Dec 042013
 

When a wedding has this much rustic, country charm, you know the bride and groom must have a strong connection to cowboys and moonshine. For Luke, 30, and Jen, 34, there was no question that their wedding would feature feathers, antlers, and plenty of cowboy hats. In 2009, Jen and Luke were both in Nashville for a Professional Bull Riding event. She was there to watch from the stands, while he was center-stage on the back of a bull. Jen quickly became familiar with the Professional Bull Riding world, falling in love with the sport as she fell in love with Luke.

In December of 2011, Luke got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The couple got to work planning their dream wedding in Missouri's Ozark Mountains, heading to a place they've loved and returned to for years - Big Cedar Lodge. They let the resort inspire their wedding, turning to nature and cowboy style, dressing it up for their rustically elegant celebration.

Just six days after competing in the World Finals, Luke donned his cowboy hat and Jen put on a gorgeous gown for a memorable night full of love and laughter.

The forest-themed invitation suite let guests know they were in for a woodland escape.

A Lazaro wedding ball gown with an embellished bodice and full skirt.

Jen wore a voluminous Lazaro ball gown with an embellished bodice. She topped her dress with a fur stole in honor of her late grandmother. She wasn't able to find her grandmother's, but purchased a beautiful stole at a vintage store. The stole has a hand-embroidered silk patch inside with a mysterious set of initials. "I'd like to think it belonged to someone else's beloved grandmother," says Jen.

Jen's simple bouquet featured white roses, scabiosa pods, dusty miller leaves, and ranunculuses.

The bride and groom at a rustic wedding at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri.

Bridesmaids in Monique Lhuillier chiffon dresses.

Luke paired his tuxedo with a black cowboy hat. His boutonniere featured two pheasant feathers.

Jen's bridesmaids wore strapless chiffon dresses and carried bouquets that matched the bride's. The groomsmen, like Luke, wore tuxedos and cowboy hats. Three of the groomsmen were also professional bull riders.

Bride being escorted down the aisle by her fathers.

Jen had both of her fathers escort her down the aisle to the outdoor wedding ceremony. Big Cedar Lodge's terrace and sweeping Ozark views provided a gorgeous backdrop for Luke and Jen's vows.

A sign for the bride and groom at a wedding at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri.

Jen's sister was responsible for the majority of the wedding's décor. Clusters of candles, logs, antlers, and feathers helped create the feeling of a gentleman's hunting lodge.

Western-inspired dcor at a wedding in the Ozarks.

Vignettes of saddles and rope, books, feathers and comfy, worn leather furniture kept the wedding as far as possible from a traditional ballroom feel. Cozy seating (and buckets of ice-cold beer) encouraged guests to wander and mingle throughout the evening.

A board covered in moss and edged with horseshoes served as the place card display. Guests' names were written on simple tags and hung with horseshoe nails.

Wedding centerpieces with antlers, roses, and hydrangeas in log troughs.

The simple, elegant tables were topped with troughs that appeared to be carved from tree trunks. Antlers punctuated overflowing arrangements of white roses, hydrangeas and fresh herbs.

The three-tiered wedding cake featured freshly-ground almond cake with layers of strawberry jam. The cake topper was a nod to the hunting lodge motif, as well as the bride and groom's love of the outdoors.

Later in the evening, guests headed outdoors to make s'mores over the fire.

The bride and groom's getaway car was a vintage pickup truck, complete with strings of cans.

Jen and Luke's advice is to stick with what you know and love. "We spent a weekend at Big Cedar Lodge a few months after we started dating. We both remember that weekend as the one when we first fell in love. It only seemed fitting to return for our wedding," says Jen.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Big Cedar Lodge || Event Design: Julie Manna, Sister of the Bride || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro || Hair: Jared Cluck of Studio 417 || Makeup: Melissa Britt || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier || Groom's Suit: Black by Vera Wang || Groomsmen's Boots: Ariat || Wedding Bands: The Jewelers of Las Vegas || Florist: Ron Johnson, The Thicket || Invitations: Tupy Boutique || Catering & Cake: Big Cedar Lodge || Favors: Moonshine from Big Cedar Lodge || Photography: Love Is a Big Deal

—Jaimie Schoen

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An Intimate Wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan’s Battery Park Neighborhood

 Classic, Elegant, New York, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on An Intimate Wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan’s Battery Park Neighborhood
Dec 032013
 

When Mark and Kevin first met at a club in Richmond, VA, "it was love at first sight," says Mark. He was looking for a place to sit and have a drink while his friend danced, and noticed Kevin sitting alone at a table near the bar. Mark asked if he could have a seat, and the two began talking. Their connection was instant, and from that evening on, they were inseparable.

On February 22nd, 2012, Kevin took Mark out for dinner for his birthday. A group of their closest friends was waiting for them at the restaurant. "I thought 'how nice!'" says Mark. At one point during dinner, Kevin got up from his chair, got down on one knee, and asked Mark to marry him. He was completely caught off guard, but immediately said yes! He was so happy to be able to share and enjoy the happiness and excitement of the moment with their friends.

The couple planned their city wedding in four months, with help from their close friend and wedding planner, Daevid Reed. On June 29th, 2012, they took to the 14th floor of the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan's Battery Park neighborhood, where panoramic views of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty provided the backdrop for a day that Mark and Kevin will never forget.

A boutonniere of scabiosa pods, Queen Anne's Lace, rosemary and liriope grass.

Both Kevin and Mark wore classic black tuxedos with Armani ties. Mark's was powder blue, while Kevin's was a sleek platinum color. Their boutonnieres, created by their wedding planner, featured shades of green in the form of scabiosa pods, fern curls, Queen Anne's Lace, rosemary, and liriope grass. They took advantage of the beautiful weather and had their portraits taken beneath the trees in Battery Park.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park.

The couple worked with New York-based 14 Stories to arrange their ceremony. They chose non-religious vows and added a personal touch. They played Celine Dion's "Have You Ever Been in Love" as they entered the hotel's sun-filled terrace, allowing the song to play for a few moments before walking down the aisle. Says Mark, "There were no dry eyes anywhere. I think it was the reality and joy of seeing two men who meant so much to each other finally get married."

Daevid came into New York a day and a half before the wedding to source all of the flowers. He wanted to pick only what was in-season and what inspired him in the moment. Light yellow garden roses, oncidium orchids, celosia, scabiosa pods, and Queen Anne's Lace came together into vibrant, fresh centerpieces that were beautiful in the simple reception room.

Printed menu at a wedding reception at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park in New York City.

At each place setting was a single green cymbidium orchid. The menu featured scallops, roasted chicken, beef, and salmon. Smaller arrangements of scabiosa pods and Queen Anne's Lace mimicked the couple's boutonnieres, while roses and orchids added a playful, cheery pop of yellow to the table.

The wedding cake was simply decorated and topped with two cymbidium orchids. Red velvet cake, topped with cream cheese frosting, was the perfect end to Kevin and Mark's intimate wedding celebration.

As the sun began to set, Mark and Kevin stepped back out on to the terrace for one last picture. A DJ played a mix of their favorites, from Whitney Houston to ABBA to Adele.

"The memories we hold dear are of being in New York with family and friends to celebrate our special day," says Mark. "Many who came had never been to New York before, and it was a real treat. It was also the first time our families got to meet." Their advice for couples is to hire a wedding planner–but only after interviewing several to find the one who best understands your vision. And then? "Surrender all the stress and focus on the bigger picture: Getting married to the love of your life," says Mark.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park || Wedding Planner: Daevid Reed of Daevid's Flowers and Décor with Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 Stories || Grooms' Attire: Hugo Boss || Grooms' Accessories: Armani || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Music: Wendy Kidd Entertainment || Catering: Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park || Cake: Empire Cake || Photography: Levi Stolove Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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An Intimate Wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan’s Battery Park Neighborhood

 Classic, Elegant, New York, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on An Intimate Wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan’s Battery Park Neighborhood
Dec 032013
 

When Mark and Kevin first met at a club in Richmond, VA, "it was love at first sight," says Mark. He was looking for a place to sit and have a drink while his friend danced, and noticed Kevin sitting alone at a table near the bar. Mark asked if he could have a seat, and the two began talking. Their connection was instant, and from that evening on, they were inseparable.

On February 22nd, 2012, Kevin took Mark out for dinner for his birthday. A group of their closest friends was waiting for them at the restaurant. "I thought 'how nice!'" says Mark. At one point during dinner, Kevin got up from his chair, got down on one knee, and asked Mark to marry him. He was completely caught off guard, but immediately said yes! He was so happy to be able to share and enjoy the happiness and excitement of the moment with their friends.

The couple planned their city wedding in four months, with help from their close friend and wedding planner, Daevid Reed. On June 29th, 2012, they took to the 14th floor of the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan's Battery Park neighborhood, where panoramic views of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty provided the backdrop for a day that Mark and Kevin will never forget.

A boutonniere of scabiosa pods, Queen Anne's Lace, rosemary and liriope grass.

Both Kevin and Mark wore classic black tuxedos with Armani ties. Mark's was powder blue, while Kevin's was a sleek platinum color. Their boutonnieres, created by their wedding planner, featured shades of green in the form of scabiosa pods, fern curls, Queen Anne's Lace, rosemary, and liriope grass. They took advantage of the beautiful weather and had their portraits taken beneath the trees in Battery Park.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park.

The couple worked with New York-based 14 Stories to arrange their ceremony. They chose non-religious vows and added a personal touch. They played Celine Dion's "Have You Ever Been in Love" as they entered the hotel's sun-filled terrace, allowing the song to play for a few moments before walking down the aisle. Says Mark, "There were no dry eyes anywhere. I think it was the reality and joy of seeing two men who meant so much to each other finally get married."

Daevid came into New York a day and a half before the wedding to source all of the flowers. He wanted to pick only what was in-season and what inspired him in the moment. Light yellow garden roses, oncidium orchids, celosia, scabiosa pods, and Queen Anne's Lace came together into vibrant, fresh centerpieces that were beautiful in the simple reception room.

Printed menu at a wedding reception at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park in New York City.

At each place setting was a single green cymbidium orchid. The menu featured scallops, roasted chicken, beef, and salmon. Smaller arrangements of scabiosa pods and Queen Anne's Lace mimicked the couple's boutonnieres, while roses and orchids added a playful, cheery pop of yellow to the table.

The wedding cake was simply decorated and topped with two cymbidium orchids. Red velvet cake, topped with cream cheese frosting, was the perfect end to Kevin and Mark's intimate wedding celebration.

As the sun began to set, Mark and Kevin stepped back out on to the terrace for one last picture. A DJ played a mix of their favorites, from Whitney Houston to ABBA to Adele.

"The memories we hold dear are of being in New York with family and friends to celebrate our special day," says Mark. "Many who came had never been to New York before, and it was a real treat. It was also the first time our families got to meet." Their advice for couples is to hire a wedding planner–but only after interviewing several to find the one who best understands your vision. And then? "Surrender all the stress and focus on the bigger picture: Getting married to the love of your life," says Mark.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park || Wedding Planner: Daevid Reed of Daevid's Flowers and Décor with Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 Stories || Grooms' Attire: Hugo Boss || Grooms' Accessories: Armani || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Music: Wendy Kidd Entertainment || Catering: Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park || Cake: Empire Cake || Photography: Levi Stolove Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Classic Summer Wedding at New Jersey’s Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club

 BHLDN, Classic, Formal, Glamorous, J.Crew, New Jersey, Pnina Tornai, Real Weddings, Retro, Traditional  Comments Off on A Classic Summer Wedding at New Jersey’s Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club
Nov 262013
 
Bride and groom at a wedding in New Jersey.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

Though Lindsey, 28, and Matt, 32, met in 2003, when she was a freshman and he was a senior at Bucknell, it wasn't until a Homecoming weekend after she'd graduated that their friendship (and her self-described "huge crush") turned into something more.

When Matt knew it was time to propose, he'd planned to pop the question on top of Table Mountain during the couple's trip to South Africa. However, concerns about bringing the ring through airport security (and thereby blowing the surprise) prompted him to propose before they left. So, after a broken-down car pushed his plan back yet another day, Matt got down on one knee in the couple's dining room and asked Lindsey to be his wife.

The couple, who'd originally wanted a backyard BBQ before Lindsey's father talked them into a country club reception, combined shades of white and green, burlap runners and lots of candlelight to bring the outdoors in. With help from family and friends–and a few DIY projects–on July 27th, 2012, they had the simple, sweet wedding they'd dreamed of, with an elegant twist.

Pnina Tornai lace wedding gown and corc Via Spiga pumps. Engagement ring and wedding bands with the couple's initials.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

A college friend of Lindsey's works at Kleinfeld's in New York City, so choosing a place to go dress shopping was a no-brainer. Lindsey's friend knew exactly what the bride wanted, entering the fitting room with a backless lace gown by Pnina Tornai. Cork peep-toe pumps gave her bridal ensemble a natural flair.

Bridal bouquet of baby's breath wrapped in lace.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

Lindsey carried a simple bouquet of soft baby's breath. She wrapped the stems with a piece of fabric from her dress.

Groom and groomsmen wearing Vans sneakers.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

Matt and his groomsmen all wore Vans sneakers. His were plain white, while his groomsmen were in the classic checkered pattern.

Bridesmaid in a taupe J.Crew dress with a bouquet of hydrangeas.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

Lindsey's bridesmaids wore J.Crew dresses in a soft taupe hue. They carried bouquets of white and green hydrangeas, wrapped in twine.

Groom in a Black by Vera Wang tuxedo, bride in Pnina Tornai. Bride in a lace Pnina Tornai wedding dress with an open back.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

The simple silhouette of Lindsey's lace gown was accentuated by the dramatic keyhole back. Her loose up-do let the dress's details speak for themselves. Matt's Black by Vera Wang tuxedo was a classic, timeless choice, while his white Vans gave his outfit a dose of personality.

Wedding ceremony programs with unique typography. Two of the bride's friends served as

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

Printed programs outlined all of the details for Lindsey and Matt's ceremony. Instead of flower girls, Lindsey's two best guy friends served as "flower boys." At 6'5" and 6', they were hard to miss as they tossed petals on their way down the aisle!

A classic Catholic wedding ceremony at Church of Christ the King in New Jersey. Classic Catholic wedding ceremony in New Jersey.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

The church's soft blue walls, vaulted ceiling and checkered tile floor created a light, airy backdrop for the couple's traditional Catholic ceremony. Buckets overflowing with baby's breath were the only things Matt and Lindsey added to the church's décor.

A vintage Rolls Royce getaway car with a

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

A vintage Rolls Royce with a burlap "just married" sign brought the bride and groom from the ceremony to the reception. Says Lindsey, "People beeped at us and waved our entire drive to the reception and I can whole heartedly say that that was our favorite moment of the night." She also loved that their private ride gave her a few minutes alone with her new husband.

Place cards in grass.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

In keeping with the fresh, vibrant color scheme, place cards were displayed in burlap-wrapped trays of fresh grass.

Burlap runners with baby's breath centerpieces at country club wedding.

1Wooden table numbers with white and green hydrangeas. Wedding reception decorated with burlap, daisies, hydrangeas, and candles.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

Burlap runners, arrangements of baby's breath, votive candles and mason jars full of hydrangeas and daisies transformed the reception space, bringing touches of the outdoors in.

Bride and groom releasing a wish lantern.

Photo: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

At the end of the evening, Lindsey and Matt released a wish lantern. "It was the best day of our lives. Words cannot describe how amazing that day was," says Lindsey. "It meant so much to be with my mom and mother-in-law, and to dance with my dad. It made Matt and me both realize that weddings are just as important to the family as they are to the couple."

Ceremony Venue: Church of Christ the King || Reception Venue: Fiddler's Elbow Country Club || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai from Kleinfeld Bridal || Veil: Kleinfeld Bridal || Shoes: Via Spiga || Jewelry: BHLDN || Hair: Gail Ortuso || Makeup: House of Luciano || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom and Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Black by Vera Wang || Wedding Bands: Jared || Florist: Fiddler's Elbow Country Club || Invitations & Paper Goods: Papyrus, BHLDN || Music: Sounds to Go DJs || Catering: Fiddler's Elbow Country Club || Favors: Donation to Team for Kids || Photography: Kate Connolly of OffBeet Productions

—Jaimie Schoen

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An Elegant Garden Wedding at Vancouver’s Cecil Green Park House

 Classic, Elegant, Garden, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic, Vera Wang  Comments Off on An Elegant Garden Wedding at Vancouver’s Cecil Green Park House
Nov 222013
 
Bride and groom at a garden wedding in Vancouver, Canada.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Anne-Marie and Michael's relationship began with a single red rose. After meeting while studying for exams in dental school, the couple attended a Halloween party together, where they shared their first kiss. The next day, Michael convinced Anne-Marie, who had dressed as a rose garden, that she had left part of her costume at the party, and that he would happily return it to her. Though she was convinced that she hadn't lost anything the night before, Anne-Marie invited Mike to stop by her apartment and drop it off. To her surprise, she opened her door to find Mike holding a single red rose. The flowers have become a theme of their relationship.

When it came time to propose, Mike knew he couldn't do so without roses. He set up ten dozen roses and 50 candles in his apartment with hopes of surprising Anne-Marie when she came by later that day. But she threw him a curve ball, asking him to come pick her up instead of meeting him at his apartment. So Mike improvised, leaving his apartment with the candles lit! He met Anne-Marie at a store nearby, where she continued to browse slowly while Mike did his best to stay calm. He finally convinced Anne-Marie to return to his apartment, which thankfully had not caught on fire, and she said yes! And so a single rose became the inspiration for Anne-Marie and Mike's elegant garden wedding with a hint of 1920's glam.

Ring pillow with gold ribbon.

Lace Vera Wang wedding dress and silver Kate Spade shoes.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Though Anne-Marie has a background in fashion design and wanted to make her own dress, Mike convinced her to choose between planning the wedding and designing her dress, and the wedding won. She'd originally purchased two vintage dresses to re-work, should her dream dress prove to be elusive, but finally found exactly what she was looking for: a v-neck lace Vera Wang gown that allowed her to add some personal touches without building a dress from scratch. Anne-Marie paired her dress with metallic Kate Spade pumps, tying into the glam aspect of the wedding's theme.

Bride in a vintage-style lace Vera Wang wedding gown.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Anne-Marie purchased two belts to wear with her dress so she could change her look slightly as the evening progressed. The layered tulle skirt and lace overlay were perfect for a wedding in the garden.

Bride in a low-back Vera Wang wedding dress and an updo.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

One of the updates Anne-Marie made to her gown was a lower back, which created a slinky 1920's feel. Pearl and crystal hair combs shimmered in the bride's retro-inspired updo.

Bridal bouquet of pink roses, ranunculuses, anemones, scabiosa pods and brunia berries. Boutonniere of pink ranunculus with gold ribbon.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Of course, Anne-Marie carried roses in her bouquet. Garden roses, ranunculuses, anemones, scabiosa pods and brunia berries in cream, light pink, fuchsia and silvery-green appeared to have been casually gathered from a rose garden. Michael's boutonniere was a fuchsia ranunculus and white anemone, wrapped with gold ribbon.

Groom with a moustache tiepin.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

On the night Michael and Anne-Marie started dating, he'd been dressed as a beer keg with a moustache. His moustache tiepin was a subtle nod to that very important evening. It was a playful addition to his classic navy blue suit.

Bride and groom outdoors at the Cecil Green Park House in Vancouver.

Bride and groom outdoors.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

The bride and groom chose the Cecil Green Park House for many reasons. It's situated on the university campus where they first met and has gorgeous grounds and gardens. It also is the same venue where Anne-Marie's sister was married 13 years earlier.

Bride in silver Kate Spade shoes.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

In addition to sharing a wedding venue, Anne-Marie and her sister both wore the same silver pumps to Anne-Marie and Michael's wedding.

Outdoor wedding ceremony in Vancouver.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

With such a beautiful setting, the couple chose to keep the ceremony simple. Classic white chairs flanked the aisle, while scattered rose petals and flower arrangements on white pillars marked the altar. Anne-Marie's cousin officiated the traditional ceremony.

Chalkboard wedding welcome sign.

Ring bearer with a navy blue bow tie.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

DIY projects included the invitations, programs, and signs. A silver rose motif tied it all together.

Two of Anne-Marie's nephews served as ring bearers, wearing navy blue pants and vests with Chuck Taylors and striped bow ties.

Outdoor wedding reception with pink and white flowers and mercury glass.

Outdoor wedding reception in Vancouver with pink and white flowers and mercury glass.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Guests gathered for dinner at two long tables on the Cecil Green Park House's terrace. Pink and white flowers in mercury vases dressed up the simple white linens.

Bride and groom at an outdoor wedding reception in Vancouver.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Anne-Marie, who'd added some extra beading around the neckline of her gown for a truly custom look, paired her dress with vintage-inspired jewelry.

Hand-made wedding photo booth props.

Outdoor wedding photo booth.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

Another one of Anne-Marie's DIY projects was the photo booth. She used card stock to create props like glasses, lips, crowns and moustaches, and built the structure out of PVC piping. A sheet of sequined fabric completed the backdrop. The photo booth was a hit with guests as they wandered the lawn during cocktail hour.

Green cake on a wedding dessert buffet.

Pink wedding cake on a dessert buffet.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

The bride and groom opted for a dessert buffet in order to offer guests a variety of sweet treats. Three small cakes were accompanied by cream puffs, macarons, and marshmallows.

Bride and groom at an outdoor wedding reception.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

The couple had their first dance to John Legend's "Stay With You." They shared their father-daughter and mother-son dance, choosing Louie Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" for their spin around the dance floor with their parents.

Wedding at the Cecil Green Park House in Vancouver, Canada.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

The venue's gardens, terrace and indoor space provided plenty of room for the couple's 105 guests.

After the wedding, the couple took a mini-moon to Rockwater Resort on Halfmoon Bay in British Columbia. Two weeks later, the headed to Indonesia for a close friend's wedding, then extended their stay into a romantic honeymoon in Bali.

Mike and Anne-Marie have great advice for couples whose weddings are fast approaching: "Don't stress over the small stuff. Know that not everything will go exactly as planned... and that's ok," says Anne-Marie. "Make sure you take a few moments throughout the wedding day together (try and sneak off by yourselves and have a moment)."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cecil Green Park House || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Shoes: Kate Spade || Jewelry: Catherine Popesco, Blue Ruby || Hair: Laine Majadillas || Makeup: Kylene Konkin || Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss || Wedding Bands: Hers - Maison Birks, His - Laura K. Jewitt || Florist: Celsia Florist || Invitations & Paper Goods: Hand-made || Music: Paolo of Audio Edge || Catering: Wescadia || Cake: Cakes By Meg || Photography: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

—Jaimie Schoen

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An Intimate Fall Wedding at the Sunken Garden in St. Paul, MN

 Classic, Fall, Garden, Minnesota, Outdoor, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic  Comments Off on An Intimate Fall Wedding at the Sunken Garden in St. Paul, MN
Nov 202013
 

Marriage is a partnership based on trust and support, and Kate and Jeff, both 33, knew they could rely on one another long before their walk down the aisle. The duo met at a rock climbing gym in 2008, soon becoming climbing partners and friends. The time they spent supporting and encouraging one another during climbs helped turn their friendship into something even more special.

This adventurous couple loves to travel, and in 2011 they went on a romantic vacation to Venice, Italy. After wandering around the city for a few days, they took a day trip to Burano to explore the colorful streets. Before heading to the ferry to return to the heart of Venice, Jeff and Kate sat in a little park along a canal. In the late afternoon sun, they discussed their future travel plans and all of the exciting things life has in store for them, and Jeff surprised Kate by getting down on one knee and proposing. A year and a half later, on September 22, 2012, they invited 30 friends and family members for a charming, intimate wedding celebration in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Vintage three-strand pearl necklace.

Kate chose a lace fit-and-flare dress by Robert Bullock, complete with a row of buttons down the back. She accessorized with a handmade sash, simple tulle veil, and a vintage pearl necklace. She chose the dress because "it was the right combination of simple and delicate, with a slight vintage feel," says the bride.

White satin flats with rosettes kept Kate comfortable all day.

Kate's handmade belt featured a chiffon flower with tiny pearl beads. She accentuated her gown's sweetheart neckline with 3 strands of vintage pearls.

The bride's vibrant bouquet included roses and ranunculus buds in pink, orange, white, and yellow. Green succulents gave the bouquet some structure.

Jeff wore a black three-piece suit, which he paired with a bold blue tie. Because there were only 30 guests at the wedding, they chose to forgo a wedding party and instead invite a few friends and family members to participate in the ceremony.

Wedding ceremony at the Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.

The Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory was a place that Kate had loved since she was a little girl, so it was an easy choice for the ceremony. The open, airy room and beautiful flowers create a feeling of romance and calm, perfect for a wedding!

In Kate's words, "The ceremony was a whirlwind, but once the guests left the conservatory, my new husband and I spent about 30 minutes there alone, drinking in all that had just happened. It was amazing to have that quiet time together after such a busy, emotion-filled day."

Kate is a graphic designer, so she designed and printed the invitations, place cards, menu, and table numbers herself.

Wedding reception at W.A. Frost restaurant in St. Paul, MN.

The couple chose to have an intimate reception at W.A. Frost, one of their favorite restaurants. The cozy ambiance was ideal, and the staff made sure every detail was taken care of. Soft candlelight and beautiful flowers set the mood.

In addition to creating all of the paper goods for the wedding, Kate arranged the pink, white, and orange flowers in milk glass vases for the reception.

W.A. Frost restaurant wedding reception dcor.

The couple skipped a traditional guest book and instead invited guests to leave them notes and well-wishes.

Having a small guest list allowed Jeff and Kate to spend the evening talking and celebrating with every single person they'd invited. They skipped the entertainment, focusing on delicious food and great company. Says Kate, "It shows that you don't need a big production to have a successful and memorable reception!"

While everything went smoothly in the end, Kate does wish she'd hired a day-of coordinator to handle the details. "Our wedding day was absolutely lovely, but it wasn't without a few minor hiccups," says Kate. "Having that person there as a buffer will take some stress away from your day so you can enjoy every moment."

Ceremony Venue: The Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory || Reception Venue: W.A. Frost & Company || Bride's Wedding Dress: Robert Bullock at Che Bella || Veil, Sash & Jewelry: Che Bella || Hair & Makeup: Juut Salon || Wedding Bands: Blue Nile || Officiant: Reverend Bill Albertson || Ceremony Music: Laurie Leigh || Invitations & Paper Goods: Kate Siebert Design || Catering: W.A. Frost & Company || Cake: Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique || Photography: Amy Majors Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Colorful, Rustic Wedding at the Carneros Inn in Napa Valley

 California, Classic, Garden, Outdoor, Peach, Pink, Preppy, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic, Summer  Comments Off on A Colorful, Rustic Wedding at the Carneros Inn in Napa Valley
Nov 132013
 

You never know when putting away your headphones and chatting with the person seated next to you on an airplane might change your life. That is exactly what happened to Mark and Bridget in 2009 on a flight from Burbank to Oakland. The duo talked for the entire flight and exchanged contact information just before landing. They became e-mail pen pals, developing a friendship that became something more when, six months later, Mark was in San Francisco for a business meeting and invited Bridget to dinner.

After three years of flying back and forth to visit one another, the couple took a last-minute trip to Orange County. Mark was antsy all day, but his nerves subsided when he finally took Bridget's hand and asked her to be his wife. On August 3rd, 2013, Mark and Bridget wed in Napa, California, proving that love may really be waiting for you anywhere–even on the other side of your airplane armrest.

Bridget's wedding-day accessories held a special place in the bride's heart. Her mother passed away a mere month before the wedding, so Bridget reached for her mother's emerald and diamond bracelet in order to keep a piece of her mom with her on such a special day. Though bittersweet, Bridget says that "wearing her bracelet made me feel connected to her, and I knew she was with me that entire day."

The bride's bracelet and engagement ring complemented her dress's pearl and crystal-embellished belt. She kept her accessories minimal to really let the dress shine.

While she was getting ready with her bridesmaids, Bridget received a sweet surprise from her husband-to-be in the form of a decadent chocolate cake.

Bride with purple makeup and a bouquet.

Bridget paired a simple, elegant up-do with a subtle purple smoky eye, adding a touch of glamour to her bridal look. Her bouquet featured white and off-white roses, peonies and dusty miller. A sparkling floral brooch was a playful finishing touch.

Bridget's wedding dress was "not at all what I had envisioned for myself," says the bride. The combination of lace and tulle in her a-line Blue by Enzoani dress was the fourth dress Bridget tried on, and she bought it on the spot.

Mark wore a gray suit and a blue polka-dotted tie. The single white rose and dusty miller leaves in his boutonniere complemented Bridget's bouquet.

Bridesmaids in blush chiffon dresses.

Bridget's four bridesmaids wore blush-hued strapless dresses. They carried soft bouquets of pink and white peonies and dusty green leaves.

The groomsmen matched Mark in gray suits and blue ties. Their soft pink shirts complemented the bridesmaids' chiffon dresses.

The bride's father escorts her down the aisle.

Bridget went traditional for her procession down the aisle. Her father escorted her as a string trio played Pachelbel's Canon in D.

Judge Guy Reece, a longtime friend of the groom, performed the ceremony. The couple kept it traditional, short and sweet. As the ceremony came to an end, Judge Reece read an Irish Blessing in honor of Bridget's mother, who truly loved her Irish heritage.

After a recessional to The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," Mark and Bridget snuck away for portraits. The rolling hills of Napa provided a beautiful, natural backdrop.

Instead of tchotchkes that would get left in a drawer, Mark and Bridget chose to thank their guests for joining them with individual potted succulents. The plants were included in much of the reception's rustic-chic décor

Burlap runners and twine-wrapped votive holders were the finishing touch to the pretty, rustic reception. "Simplicity was key," says Bridget. "We wanted our guests to feel comfortable and not overwhelmed by decorations."

Wooden boxes overflowed with flowers in soft pink, white and green hues. Candles and mason jars surrounded arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, and succulents.

The four-tier wedding cake was topped with fresh pink peonies and a cascade of white fondant flower petals. The cake featured alternating layers of salted caramel chocolate cake and lemon-raspberry.

Mark and Bridget's one request to their DJ? Lots of dance-worthy songs–
particularly Michael Jackson!

After the wedding, the couple spent their relaxing honeymoon in Maui. Bridget's favorite thing about being married is never being lonely. "The first three years of our relationship were long-distance," she says, "and it is so nice to not have to fly home every weekend and leave Mark."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Carneros Inn || Planner: Brooke Baglietto of the Carneros Inn || Bride's Wedding Dress: Blue by Enzoani, from Bridal Project || Hair & Makeup: Carrie Aldous || Shoes: Sam Edelman || Jewelry: The Bride's Mother || Wedding Bands: Symbols Myrtle Beach || Groom and Groomsmen's Suits: Hugo Boss || Bridesmaids' Dresses: JLM Couture || Invitations: Minted || Florist: Themes and Flowers || Catering and Cake: The Carneros Inn || Music: Lawrence String Trio, Randy Kort of Extravaganza Productions || Photographer: Angie Silvy Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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