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.

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

An Epic Summer Wedding in Connecticut Farm Country

 Connecticut, Real Weddings  Comments Off on An Epic Summer Wedding in Connecticut Farm Country
Jul 212016
 

Though William Bitter enrolled at Deerfield Academy for a post-graduate year to play soccer and lacrosse, his best decision in December of 2006 was actually joining the ski team, captained by Christie Schnurr. "You might say Billy fell head over heels for me while we were on the ski team," she remembers, and a few months later, the pair became an item. That high school love lasted and, in December of 2014, Billy decided to make it a more permanent arrangement. "He drove to my parents' home at 4 a.m. to ask my dad for his blessing and then, on December 23, he proposed in a courtyard at NYU during a walk through the West Village," Christie says.

After years of visits to Christie's family's home in Connecticut, the pair knew Lion Rock Farm in the bride's hometown of Sharon would be the most gorgeous location for their celebration. "We wanted a summer wedding, and Billy didn't want to wait a year and a half to get married. So we planned the whole thing for August 29, 2015 — just nine months after we got engaged!" says Christie. They turned to The Wedding Library for planning expertise, putting together an epic summer celebration for 226 guests. The Farm was the perfect backdrop for their country elegance theme, with a hint of preppy style from the Carolina blue, navy, and white palette. You'll fall in love with the classic style — and the fun surprises! &mdash photographed by Sara Wight Photography.

An elegant wedding starts with an elegant invitation, and this one was no exception. Gold and navy calligraphy popped on white paper, with a shimmering gold envelope liner and custom postage stamps to finish it off.

Christie was an ultra-classic bride in her Modern Trousseau wedding dress, which she paired with white Manolo Blahnik sandals. The gathered bodice and deep V-back were finished off with a playful detail: Pockets!

The bride topped her gown with a flowing veil and pearl earrings (a gift from Mom and Dad). She also had two accessories from her grandmothers: Her maternal grandmother's diamond tennis bracelet, and her paternal grandmother's diamond brooch pinned to her bouquet. The all-white arrangement combined David Austin garden roses, ranunculus, seeded eucalyptus, and dusty miller.

When choosing bridesmaids' dresses, Christie looked for a style that she would wear as a guest at a wedding. The navy dresses she ultimately selected featured boat necklines and scalloped skirts, which Christie's eight 'maids all paired with nude pumps and summery bouquets of white hydrangea, lisianthus, and seeded eucalyptus.

Before heading into the church for the ceremony, Christie and her dad watched guests arrive from the car. "We had a few minutes to chat, and it was so calming. I'll remember that moment forever!" she says.

With ten nieces between their two families, Billy and Christie decided to have each of their siblings' oldest daughters serve as flower girls, with the younger girls as "flower girl helpers." The older girls wore Carolina blue and white dresses with monogrammed white bows in their hair.

"While we didn't do much DIY, we did turn to Billy's grandmother for a gorgeous watercolor illustration of the church," says Christie. The stunning painting was printed on the cover of the ceremony program.

The pair kept the décor at the Church of Saint Mary simple, opting for white hydrangeas along the aisle. Billy and Christie exchanged traditional vows, asking the groom's sisters, the bride's aunt, and a cousin to offer readings.

The newlyweds drove off from the church in a yellow convertible dressed up with a "Just Married" sign. Says the bride, "We wanted our guests to be able to enjoy the beautiful countryside, then have the time of their lives drinking and dancing all night!"

Billy's groomsmen matched him in stone-colored khakis and navy blue jackets with gold buttons. The ring bearer followed suit, donning a miniature version of the groomsmen's attire.

During cocktail hour, guests sipped champagne on the lawn. Escort cards were displayed on a table topped with a white porcelain vase and blue hydrangeas.

"With only nine months to plan, we had to make decisions quickly," says Christie. "We also had to be selective. If anything didn't fit our vision, we nixed it immediately!" We'd say the classic, preppy pair hit their country-elegant theme dead-on.

Beneath the white tent, guests were seated at a mix of long and round tables. Linens were white pique cotton, and the classic china was all white with platinum bands. "We added a pop of color with cobalt blue water goblets," Christie adds.

Centerpieces combined white roses, ranunculus, hydrangea, and stock, all set in silver-footed Revere bowls. Christie's mom came up with the idea to finish each place setting with a monogrammed hem-stitched napkin. "I think she'd been dreaming of those napkins since before I was born!" the bride laughs.

The three-course dinner included crab cakes with avocado cream and mango relish, arctic char with sweet corn polenta, and filet mignon — all followed by a five-tiered cake with alternating layers of chocolate chip cake with chocolate cream and almond cake with classic cream cheese fondant. The timeless cake was decorated with draped fondant, piped flowers, and a simple monogram.

No detail went unplanned, from the dappled lighting over the dance floor to the selection of beers from The Alchemist in Vermont. "Billy loves their Heady Topper double IPA, which is notoriously hard to come by. We reached out to the brewery and they were able to set some aside for us. Billy and our guests were so thrilled!"

An amazing band, the Kevin Osborne Band, had the dance floor full all night. "That was the one thing we really wanted," says Christie. "I'll always remember looking around the tent and seeing everyone letting loose on the dance floor."

After the cake was cut, Christie's parents had a surprise of their own for the bride and groom: Fireworks! "They went to extraordinary lengths to keep this a secret and get those fireworks in the air for us," says the bride. "Love is genuine and real, so let your love shine through as you're planning your wedding." We'd say that's exactly what these newlyweds did!

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Catholic Church || Reception Venue: Lion Rock Farm || Wedding Planner: The Wedding Library || Bride's Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair: Hair Modern || Makeup: Suany Leedy || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Camilyn Beth || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Brooks Brothers; Collared Greens || Flower Girls' Dresses: Bella Bliss || Florist: Country Gardeners || Invitations: Bella Figura || Music: Kevin Osborne Band || Catering: Hunt & Harvest || Cake: A White Cake || Rentals: Smith Party Rentals; Mahaiwe Tent || Lighting: Limelight Productions || Favors: Catherine's Chocolates || Fireworks: Zambelli Fireworks || Videographer: Craig Williams Films || Photographer: Sara Wight Photography

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Can't get enough of this beautiful celebration? Then check out another stunning Connecticut wedding in the video below.

A Multicultural Connecticut Wedding Overlooking the Long Island Sound

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Jun 282016
 

Fashion designer Katie Fong met husband-to-be Owen Biglin at Manhattan's Public House shortly after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. Katie, who lived in Connecticut, was in town for a visit, while Owen was staying at a nearby hotel because his apartment had flooded in the storm. After few happy hour specials and some friendly conversation between their groups of friends, the two realized they had completely hit it off. In January of 2015, Owen popped the question while walking with Katie through Grand Central Station. "Everyone around us was clapping and congratulating us. It was so sweet, simple, and such a surprise everything I had ever wanted for a proposal," Katie says.

On September 26, 2015, Katie and Owen invited 210 guests to take part in the couple's ceremony and reception in the bride's hometown of Greenwich. With plans to start a family there, the bride and groom wanted to tie the knot in church that they could call home for the rest of their lives, which they found in Second Congregational Church. And when it came to their reception venue, Katie knew just where to look: She recalled memories of fishing with her father each Sunday and passing by the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, her dream venue. Read on to see their stunning fall day overlooking the Long Island Sound, as captured by Kevin Kelley Photography.

As a designer who regularly works on custom gowns for clients, Katie knew from the start that she wanted to create her own wedding dress. Thanks to her partnership with a local bridal salon, the fashion-savvy bride still had the experience of trying on dresses, which helped her determine what style worked best for her body. "It's something every bride must do!" she says.

In the end, she stuck to her original plan of creating something custom and decided on a fit-and-flare wedding dress with a Chantilly lace illusion top and alencon lace detailing. "When my maid of honor saw it during my first fitting, she broke out in tears and I did too," Katie says.

Owen teamed up with one of Katie's bridesmaids, jewelry designer Andrea Del Bello, to create earrings made with crystal quartz, moonstone, and sapphires for the bride to wear down the aisle.

Owen wasn't the only one to design some accessories for the big day. Katie worked with a local jeweler to create a pair of sterling silver cufflinks for Owen that were engraved with the couple's wedding date and monogram. He paired the thoughtful gift with a custom navy suit, Paul Stuart shirt, bowtie, and loafers.

Bridesmaids wore navy lace pencil dresses lined in white silk charmeuse from Katie's own collection. The bride also gifted her attendants rectangular crystal earrings. Owen's groomsmen paired khaki pants with white button down shirts and navy jackets.

Before their wedding ceremony, the bride and groom took part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. There, Katie wore an old fashioned "kwa," a two pieced embroidered satin outfit, while Owen donned a requisite navy embroidered top.

Katie and Owen served tea to their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles during the ceremony. In return, they receive red envelopes that represented good luck. The bride also received one more special token during the ceremony: Her mother gave her a jade necklace that Katie's late grandmother had chosen for her to wear during the meaningful tradition.

With help from their reverend, the pair decided on a 45-minute-long ceremony that included classic vows and scripture readings. An organist played Canon in D while the bride made her way down the aisle, carrying a breathtaking bouquet of white mini calla lilies, roses, dahlias, Israeli ruscus, and seeded eucalyptus.

"Owen was raised Catholic and was used to the idea of a two-hour long ceremony, while I was raised Protestant and thought we should have a ten-minute long ceremony," Katie says. "Settling on this ceremony instead was perfect. We kept everything modern with certain word choices."

The reception décor was kept simple at this wedding, with white and navy linens used to top the tables and Chinoiserie pots as centerpieces. Guests snacked on hors d'oeuvres ranging from white truffle mac & cheese to lobster quesadillas before exploring the "summer dip" station, the "tea sandwich" station, and the two raw bars where everything from oysters and clams to shrimp cocktail were served up. They also sipped on "His" signature cocktail, the Dark & Stormy, or "Hers," the Moscow Mule.

Once inside, guests watched as the newlyweds shared their first dance to Ray LaMontage's "You Are The Best Thing."

The couple's tiered dessert consisted of layers of vanilla wedding cake with hazelnut filling and key lime cake (the groom's favorite!). Katie and Owen chose a statement basket weave detail for the frosting and decorated the entire sweet treat with hydrangeas and Italian ruscus.

Mr. and Mrs. Biglin drove off as husband and wife in Katie's late grandmother's vintage Jaguar, closing the day with a meaningful touch. "Though it can be very stressful, enjoy every second of it," the bride tells future couples. "All the crazy planning will be so worth it in the end!"

Ceremony Venue: The Second Congregational Church of Greenwich, Connecticut || Reception Venue & Coordination: Indian Harbor Yacht Club || Bride's Wedding Dress & Bridesmaids' Dresses: Katie Fong || Jewelry: Andrea Del Bello Jewelry || Hair & Makeup: Christopher Noland Hair Salon || Groom's Attire: My Suit Bespoke Suiting || Groomsmen's Attire: J.Crew & Vineyard Vines || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Landsberg Jewelers || Florist: Mr. Bokay Flowers || Invitations: Minted || Music: ETA Music || Cate: St. Moritz Bakery || Photographer: Kevin Kelley Photography

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Did you love this wedding? Then check out another couple's Connecticut celebration in the video below.

An Ethereal Garden-Inspired Wedding on the Connecticut Coast

 Connecticut, Real Weddings  Comments Off on An Ethereal Garden-Inspired Wedding on the Connecticut Coast
Jun 062016
 
Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride and Groom Portrait on Docks

Photo: I Wanna Marry

When Mike took Sarah on a romantic trip to Vermont in December of 2013, the pair had been dating for almost nine years, but Mike still had a few surprises up his sleeve: "We took a snowy walk to a waterfall, and on the way, he surprised me with a ring!" says Sarah.

The pair knew they wanted a venue with old school charm, which drew them to Deep River, Connecticut. "When we saw The Lace Factory, we immediately fell in love," the bride explains, citing the high ceilings and strings of lights as details that caught her eye. The nature-lovers chose May 16, 2015, as the date and planned a romantic, ethereal celebration full of floral elements and shades of dusty shale and pale pink. They invited 140 guests to join them on the Connecticut coast — and shared all the garden-inspired goodness with us, too! Check out the details, photographed by I Wanna Marry, below!

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride and Groom Rings Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride Getting Ready, Lace Heels

Photo: I Wanna Marry

Sarah created the wedding programs and signage herself, taking on the DIY project to personalize their wedding day. "The most difficult part was the program, and figuring out how to recognize my parents, who both passed away before I was ten," says Sarah. On the last page, she wrote a letter to her mom and dad about her wedding day.

The bride fell for a beaded Maggie Sottero wedding dress with an A-line skirt. "I didn't know it was 'The One' until I got home and saw the pictures my friend had taken of me wearing it," she says. Another DIY project? Her lace-embellished shoes! "I found a pair of nude heels on sale and I was happy with the simple design — but my friend wasn't! I glammed them up with lace appliques." We're loving her creative handiwork!

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride and Groom First Look Coastal Connecticut Wedding, First Look on Docks Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride and Groom Portrait with Cherry Blossoms

Photo: I Wanna Marry

Mike and Sarah had a first look on the dock by the Deep River Town Landing. "I was running a little late, so Mike was anxiously standing there waiting for me longer than he'd expected," Sarah laughs. But the wait to see his bride was worth it! Mike complemented Sarah's shimmering gown in a gray Brooks Brothers suit and vest, with a playful skull pattern hidden on the back of the vest.

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride's White and Green Bouquet with Dusty Miller and Ranunculus Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Wedding Guest Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bridal Party in Green Dresses

Photo: I Wanna Marry

Sarah knew she wanted dusty miller in her bouquet but let her florist take it from there. The white and green arrangement included ranunculus and tulips.

Though the ceremony wasn't a religious one, Mike and Sarah included elements of both of their cultures, including guests in hanboks in honor of the bride's Korean heritage.

The inspiration for the couple's color scheme came from the bridesmaids' dresses, which Sarah found on Etsy from a designer who helped her 'maids each choose the silhouettes they loved best.

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride and Groom First Kiss

Photo: I Wanna Marry

The ceremony took place beneath a chuppah of bamboo branches and white fabric, decorated with blush and cream blooms and greenery. "We didn't have any décor on the aisle, but a breeze came through the trees just before the ceremony, scattering cherry blossoms on the path," Sarah remembers.

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Succulent Escort Cards Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Long Tables with Fabric Runner Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Sweetheart Table

Photo: I Wanna Marry

At The Lace Factory, guests found their table assignments tucked into pots holding a variety of succulents, adding to the wedding's garden theme. Guests were seated at long tables topped in cream linens and textured runners. Glass vases holding roses, stock flowers, and greenery were scattered along the tables.

The newlyweds sat at a sweetheart table, surrounded by sheer drapery and lit by a hanging chandelier.

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Wedding Cake with Duck Toppers

Photo: I Wanna Marry

After dining on braised short ribs and grilled salmon and sipping Moscow Mules, the pair cut into a carrot cake simply iced with cream cheese frosting. The duck cake toppers were another nod to Sarah's Korean heritage.

Coastal Connecticut Wedding, Bride and Groom Dancing

Photo: I Wanna Marry

"In the Jewish tradition, the bride and groom spend 15 minutes alone right after the ceremony," says Sarah. "It was so nice to have a moment to be with each other before being surrounded by our family and friends."

Another favorite detail? The fact that the pair have been together since high school. "Most of our guests are friends we share, which meant everyone knew pretty much everyone else. It made the wedding feel like a reunion, and it brought it to another level" says the bride.

Ceremony Venue: Deep River Town Landing || Reception Venue: The Lace Factory || Bride's Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Renz Rags || Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Florist & Succulents: Ashleigh's Garden || Music: ETA Music || Catering & Cake: Cloud Nine Catering || Photographer: I Wanna Marry

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Did you love this wedding? Check out another Connecticut bash in the video below!

One Couple’s Antique-Inspired Wedding in a Connecticut Barn

 Connecticut, Real Weddings  Comments Off on One Couple’s Antique-Inspired Wedding in a Connecticut Barn
Sep 232015
 

Jenni Levine and Eric Driscoll were both living in Hoboken in 2011 when an evening out at a bar (which just so happened to be right between their two apartments) first brought them together. "Eric appeared out of nowhere with a funny comment and the banter continued back and forth between us all night," Jenni remembers. From then on, the pair knew they had something special, but it wasn't until three years later, on March 20, 2014, that Eric popped the question. The groom-to-be waited until the first official day of spring to surprise Jenni with a romantic proposal in their apartment. "When I got home, the lights were off but I noticed candles and flowers," she remembers. "There was a line of them, each with a note attached to it. The notes told the story of us, from the first day we met until that day. He started crying, because he's a crier, and got down on one knee and proposed." Naturally, Jenni said yes.

When it came to planning their wedding, Jenni and Eric only had two must-haves: they wanted to get married outside and they had to say their vows underneath a tree. The Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown, Connecticut delivered on those two points and so much more. "The Barns had everything," Jenni says. "A pond, tons of weeping willows, and, of course, the beautiful old barn." They set the date for June 6, 2015 and invited 141 guests to watch them say "I do" in what the couple describes as an antique garden party. Keep reading to see Michelle Gardella Photography's photos from their late spring day!

"I never thought about or knew what style wedding dress I would like or want," Jenni admits. "So I wanted to try on every type of dress before I made a decision." Although she had plans to give every silhouette a shot, the bride ultimate fell in love with one of the very first dresses she tried on, a strapless art deco-inspired gown from Lazaro. She tried on several other styles but kept coming back to the embroidered and ruffled gown, so when she tried it on one last time at Kleinfeld's, she didn't want to take it off. "They were having a Lazaro trunk show so I ended up meeting the designer," she says. "He drew a sketch of me in the dress and signed it. I have it framed and hanging in my bedroom."

Since her embellished wedding dress had plenty of detail, Jenni wanted to keep her accessories simple. She chose simple diamond studs, a headpiece that mirrored the design of her gown, and light bronze Jimmy Choo flats.

Jenni worked with her florist to create a loose, natural bouquet. "I'm not a fan of tight bouquets, but I didn't want it to be cascading either," she says. With instruction to include peonies, dahlias, and plenty of greenery, florist Leah O'Hearn created a romantic, garden-inspired arrangement in shades of white and blush. She included lockets with photos of Jenni's loved ones that couldn't be part of the day.

Her six bridesmaids wore blue Jenny Yoo gowns, and customized the convertible straps to suit their own style.

Eric and his groomsmen all visited New York City's Beau to have custom suits crafted in their favorite shade of blue. The groom gifted each attendant different pocket squares, ties, and socks from The Tie Bar, which they wore down the aisle.

Just two months before the wedding, Jenni and Eric called to inquire about getting their marriage license in Connecticut and learned that their officiant wasn't able to legally marry them in the state. "In Connecticut, only a justice of the peace or a minister can legally marry you, so Eric made us an appointment the day before our wedding to get married by the town mayor," she says. "Technically, we got married on June 5, but I love that this happened because we got to have an intimate marriage in the mayor's office."

On the day of, guests arrived at the Barns at Wesleyan Hills and were treated to pre-ceremony champagne and flavored water. Jenni and Eric chose to keep their ceremony décor simple and let the natural beauty of their outdoor venue shine. They decorated their aisle with galvanized buckets of baby's breath and exchanged vows between two larger displays of mixed blooms.

As Jenni walked down the aisle with her father, Eric couldn't contain his excitement. "Seeing Eric cry like a baby while I was talking down the aisle was something I won't forget," the bride says. "Once I saw him crying, I lost it!" The couple wrote their own vows, which included readings from The History of Love and the Blessing of the Hands. After the duo was pronounced husband and wife (for the second time in as many days!) they left the ceremony to Bob Dylan's "The Man in Me."

In keeping with their antique theme, the couple chose to use vintage spools as escort cards. They decorated their barn reception space with café lights and topped each table with a stack of old books, a wooden table number, and mixed arrangements of hydrangeas, peonies, dahlias, and greenery in mismatched mercury glass vases. "We loved the bare bones of the barn so we just dressed it up with garden lights," the bride says.

Following their seated dinner, the couple cut into their two-tiered red velvet wedding cake. "We painted our own topper," Jenni says of the whimsical wooden figurines. "We were initially intimidated by the project, but I think we did a pretty good job!" Since neither Jenni nor Eric love wedding cake, the two wanted a dessert that reflected their taste. They brought in a full sundae bar, complete with a Ben & Jerry's staffer passing out scoops.

After dancing to Ingrid Michaelson's "You and I," Jenni and Eric invited their guests to join them on the dance floor. "We danced like crazy all night," the bride remembers. "We took dance lessons before the wedding, which was fun to do in general, but we ended up dancing like our usual selves on the day of which I was happy about." Their DJ took a break from playing hits so the groom's father, a professional bass player, could perform with his band mates. As a special treat, one of Eric's friends joined the band and sang "Lazy Mary" by Lou Monte.

"The best part of the wedding should be planning it," the newlyweds, who honeymooned in Corsica, say. "The wedding day will be perfect but it flies by. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the things you 'get' to do together because that's what it's really all about and what you'll remember most."

Venue & Catering: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills || Day-of Coordinator: Melinda Pratt and Traci Pessina of Connecticut Wedding Group || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro, purchased at Kleinfeld Bridal || Veil, Jewelry, & Accessories: Kleinfeld Bridal || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Emily Gonzalez || Makeup: Mary Wallis || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo, purchased at BHLDN || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: BEAU || Florist: It's So Ranunculus || Guest Book: Our Wedding Invites || DJ: Todd Armstrong of Powerstation Events || Jazz Band: The Rave Tesar Trio || Cake: J Cakes || Favors: Donation to Tomorrows Children's Foundation || Accommodations: The Inn at Middletown || Videographer: Tree of Life Films || Photographer: Michelle Gardella Photography

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Did you love this antique-inspired wedding? Then check out another couple's bash, complete with their own vintage details, 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.

A Cheery Wedding with a Turquoise, Orange and Yellow Color Palette

 Blue, Casual, Connecticut, Melissa Sweet, Orange, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer, Whimsical, Yellow  Comments Off on A Cheery Wedding with a Turquoise, Orange and Yellow Color Palette
May 202013
 

"Aaron asked me out in the most romantic way possible," Christina pretends to brag, then deadpans, "via text message." Yet despite a less-than-script-worthy start, the Connecticut couple took off and two years later, Aaron proposed.

Surrounded by friends and family at a surprise birthday party for the soon-to-be bride, Aaron dropped to one knee and presented Christina with a square-cut diamond ring. "Aaron and I had the tightest embrace ever," Christina recalls, until an excited Aaron attempted to slip the ring on her finger and instead accidentally tossed the diamond onto an outdoor patio, complete with cracks. "After a few seconds of panic, one of my girlfriends found the ring and I was finally able to wear it as an officially engaged woman," Christina laughs.

Working with wedding planner Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs, Christina and Aaron crafted a quirky September affair held in rustic Deep River. With vibrant turquoise accents offsetting an otherwise neutral palette, the couple's wedding took on an atmosphere that Christina describes as "light, fun and lively."

Christina spotted her Melissa Sweet gown online—and was crushed when she discovered the dress had been discontinued. "It had caught my eye online, and I was dying to try it on. Unfortunately, the designer had stopped production of the dress and a single sample was the last of it's kind at The White Dress by the Shore. By some stroke of luck or fate, someone had actually purchased the gown but changed their mind and brought it back.. Once I put it on, it was love. We purchased it on the spot," Christina says. "It's so true when they say that it's just a feeling. When you know, you know."

Christina adored the gown's silk organza overlay, accented with delicate polka dots and tied with a matching sash. "I loved how it was so simple, yet had these amazing and fun details that made it so romantic," she says. Plus, "it hugged my curves in all the right places, but was comfortable at the same time. Comfort is key."

A champagne-colored faux floral hairpiece by Mignonne Handmade softened Christina's half-up-half-down hairstyle.

Kendra Scott's chunky turquoise necklace accentuated Christina's collarbone. "I tend to gravitate towards a statement piece here and there, so decided to go with a couple of accessories to make my overall look pop," Christina explains.

Aaron and his groomsmen donned slim-fit ties by Forage Haberdashery, which crafted the neckpieces from limited-edition blue and orange fabric.

Bridesmaids selected from two knee-length Ivy & Aster dresses in hues of rosemary and grey. "I loved the fun and flirty feel of these dresses," the bride says.

Florists wrapped bright orange ranunculus, white anemones, succulents and a few sprigs of leafy green filler with white lace to create Christina's bouquet. "Just For You Floral Design Studio translated our vision into exactly what we were looking for," the bride gushes.

Dusty miller, wide green leaves and Billy Bobs were mixed with berries and small bright flowers for the groom and groomsmen's boutonnieres. "We loved how non-traditional these were and how each one was different from the next," Christina says.

Boutonnieres were pinned to the lapels of light gray suits, which the men picked out at : Macy's.

Christina and Aaron exchanged vows on the grounds of Mount Saint John, a high school for at-risk boys set on 80 acres of rustic Connecticut real estate. "It had a wonderful vintage feeling," Christina says of the space, "with the actual school serving as a backdrop during the ceremony."

"Short, sweet and non-traditional," the bride says, Christina and Aaron's wedding ceremony included a reading from I Corinthians and humorous dialogue from their officiant—a cousin whom the couple convinced to become a justice of the peace especially for the occasion.

While the couple purposefully kept the ceremony space sparse, "the one thing we did splurge on were two large, beautiful arrangements that stood on each side of the front of the aisle," Christina says.

Trolleys transported guests from the school grounds and to The Lace Factory, where the couple would host their indoor dinner reception. "We were looking for something non-traditional, something that was an arms length away from the typical hotel ballroom," Christina says. Constructed in 1875, the former shipbuilding-yard-turned-event-center combined the historical character and modern amenities the couple craved. "We loved its exposed brick walls and beams, the large bright windows that extended across every wall, the vintage bar," Christina explains.

Christina and Aaron "loved the raw space of our reception venue," so they "tried to use details that would accentuate the space rather than cover what was already there," the bride says. The couple's color palette shown through in bright blue Chiavari chairs and vibrant orange flower arrangements—a nice "pop here and there," Christina describes.

Sheer white swag hung from the building's exposed beams, flanked by sparkling twinkle lights, "adding a touch of softness and elegance to the space," the bride says.

"My absolute favorite?" Christina says. "Two funky, ocean blue chandeliers were hung overhead just below the swags on each side of the room. Love, love, loved these."

A mixture of orange, coral and yellow blooms filled pedestal and bowl-shaped pots, creating a mish-mash of tablescapes across the entire dining room. "We loved how no two tables were alike," Christina says.

Lace overlays laid across champagne linens paid homage to The Lace Factory's name, Christina said. Blue and mercury glass candle holders were scattered across each tabletop.

Neutral-toned tented cards bore table names and numbers.

The couple left a heartfelt thank you to guests at each place setting. The blue-striped Chevron patterned cards were designed by Patti Murphy Designs.

Personalized pint glasses from online retailer Grandstand served as the couple's favors.

Dubbing him their "flower boy," the couple asked a young man to carry a turquoise wood sign that read Here Comes The Bride down the aisle. "As we exited, it turned around to say, 'Hooray!'" Christina says.

Because she wanted to "cut a rug," Christina slipped into a short-and-sassy Ivy & Aster dress during the reception. "I'm still waiting for an occasion where I can recycle this dress," Christina says. "I absolutely love it."

Christina's advice to other couples? "Forget the stress," she says. "Enjoy every second, and be kind along the way. And to remember to stop, take a breath and smell the roses. I found that everything went by much too quickly."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs || Ceremony Venue: Mount Saint John || Reception Venue: The Lace Factory || Bride's Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet from The White Dress By The Shore || Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden and Ashley Brooks Designs || Bride's Accessories: Kendra Scott and Mignonne Handmade || Bride's Wedding Ring: M.K. Winston Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Macy's || Groom's Wedding Ring: M.K. Winston Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Ivy & Aster from The White Dress By The Shore || Groomsmen Attire: Macy's || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Macy's || Florist: Just For You Floral Design Studio || Caterer: Cloud Nine Catering || Stationery: Patti Murphy Designs || Cake Baker: Cloud Nine Catering || Favors: Grandstand || Rentals: Ryan Designs and Rentals Unlimited || Entertainment: Power Station Events || Photography: Michelle Gardella

A Cheery Wedding with a Turquoise, Orange and Yellow Color Palette

 Blue, Casual, Connecticut, Handmade, Orange, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer, Whimsical, Yellow  Comments Off on A Cheery Wedding with a Turquoise, Orange and Yellow Color Palette
May 202013
 

"Aaron asked me out in the most romantic way possible," Christina pretends to brag, then deadpans, "via text message." Yet despite a less-than-script-worthy start, the Connecticut couple took off and two years later, Aaron proposed.

Surrounded by friends and family at a surprise birthday party for the soon-to-be bride, Aaron dropped to one knee and presented Christina with a square-cut diamond ring. "Aaron and I had the tightest embrace ever," Christina recalls, until an excited Aaron attempted to slip the ring on her finger and instead accidentally tossed the diamond onto an outdoor patio, complete with cracks. "After a few seconds of panic, one of my girlfriends found the ring and I was finally able to wear it as an officially engaged woman," Christina laughs.

Working with wedding planner Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs, Christina and Aaron crafted a quirky September affair held in rustic Deep River. With vibrant turquoise accents offsetting an otherwise neutral palette, the couple's wedding took on an atmosphere that Christina describes as "light, fun and lively."

Christina spotted her Melissa Sweet gown online—and was crushed when she discovered the dress had been discontinued. "It had caught my eye online, and I was dying to try it on. Unfortunately, the designer had stopped production of the dress and a single sample was the last of it's kind at The White Dress by the Shore. By some stroke of luck or fate, someone had actually purchased the gown but changed their mind and brought it back.. Once I put it on, it was love. We purchased it on the spot," Christina says. "It's so true when they say that it's just a feeling. When you know, you know."

Christina adored the gown's silk organza overlay, accented with delicate polka dots and tied with a matching sash. "I loved how it was so simple, yet had these amazing and fun details that made it so romantic," she says. Plus, "it hugged my curves in all the right places, but was comfortable at the same time. Comfort is key."

A champagne-colored faux floral hairpiece by Mignonne Handmade softened Christina's half-up-half-down hairstyle.

Kendra Scott's chunky turquoise necklace accentuated Christina's collarbone. "I tend to gravitate towards a statement piece here and there, so decided to go with a couple of accessories to make my overall look pop," Christina explains.

Aaron and his groomsmen donned slim-fit ties by Forage Haberdashery, which crafted the neckpieces from limited-edition blue and orange fabric.

Bridesmaids selected from two knee-length Ivy & Aster dresses in hues of rosemary and grey. "I loved the fun and flirty feel of these dresses," the bride says.

Florists wrapped bright orange ranunculus, white anemones, succulents and a few sprigs of leafy green filler with white lace to create Christina's bouquet. "Just For You Floral Design Studio translated our vision into exactly what we were looking for," the bride gushes.

Dusty miller, wide green leaves and Billy Bobs were mixed with berries and small bright flowers for the groom and groomsmen's boutonnieres. "We loved how non-traditional these were and how each one was different from the next," Christina says.

Boutonnieres were pinned to the lapels of light gray suits, which the men picked out at : Macy's.

Christina and Aaron exchanged vows on the grounds of Mount Saint John, a high school for at-risk boys set on 80 acres of rustic Connecticut real estate. "It had a wonderful vintage feeling," Christina says of the space, "with the actual school serving as a backdrop during the ceremony."

"Short, sweet and non-traditional," the bride says, Christina and Aaron's wedding ceremony included a reading from I Corinthians and humorous dialogue from their officiant—a cousin whom the couple convinced to become a justice of the peace especially for the occasion.

While the couple purposefully kept the ceremony space sparse, "the one thing we did splurge on were two large, beautiful arrangements that stood on each side of the front of the aisle," Christina says.

Trolleys transported guests from the school grounds and to The Lace Factory, where the couple would host their indoor dinner reception. "We were looking for something non-traditional, something that was an arms length away from the typical hotel ballroom," Christina says. Constructed in 1875, the former shipbuilding-yard-turned-event-center combined the historical character and modern amenities the couple craved. "We loved its exposed brick walls and beams, the large bright windows that extended across every wall, the vintage bar," Christina explains.

Christina and Aaron "loved the raw space of our reception venue," so they "tried to use details that would accentuate the space rather than cover what was already there," the bride says. The couple's color palette shown through in bright blue Chiavari chairs and vibrant orange flower arrangements—a nice "pop here and there," Christina describes.

Sheer white swag hung from the building's exposed beams, flanked by sparkling twinkle lights, "adding a touch of softness and elegance to the space," the bride says.

"My absolute favorite?" Christina says. "Two funky, ocean blue chandeliers were hung overhead just below the swags on each side of the room. Love, love, loved these."

A mixture of orange, coral and yellow blooms filled pedestal and bowl-shaped pots, creating a mish-mash of tablescapes across the entire dining room. "We loved how no two tables were alike," Christina says.

Lace overlays laid across champagne linens paid homage to The Lace Factory's name, Christina said. Blue and mercury glass candle holders were scattered across each tabletop.

Neutral-toned tented cards bore table names and numbers.

The couple left a heartfelt thank you to guests at each place setting. The blue-striped Chevron patterned cards were designed by Patti Murphy Designs.

Personalized pint glasses from online retailer Grandstand served as the couple's favors.

Dubbing him their "flower boy," the couple asked a young man to carry a turquoise wood sign that read Here Comes The Bride down the aisle. "As we exited, it turned around to say, 'Hooray!'" Christina says.

Because she wanted to "cut a rug," Christina slipped into a short-and-sassy Ivy & Aster dress during the reception. "I'm still waiting for an occasion where I can recycle this dress," Christina says. "I absolutely love it."

Christina's advice to other couples? "Forget the stress," she says. "Enjoy every second, and be kind along the way. And to remember to stop, take a breath and smell the roses. I found that everything went by much too quickly."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs || Ceremony Venue: Mount Saint John || Reception Venue: The Lace Factory || Bride's Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet from The White Dress By The Shore || Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden and Ashley Brooks Designs || Bride's Accessories: Kendra Scott and Mignonne Handmade || Bride's Wedding Ring: M.K. Winston Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Macy's || Groom's Wedding Ring: M.K. Winston Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Ivy & Aster from The White Dress By The Shore || Groomsmen Attire: Macy's || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Macy's || Florist: Just For You Floral Design Studio || Caterer: Cloud Nine Catering || Stationery: Patti Murphy Designs || Cake Baker: Cloud Nine Catering || Favors: Grandstand || Rentals: Ryan Designs and Rentals Unlimited || Entertainment: Power Station Events || Photography: Michelle Gardella

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