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David's Bridal Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning
Aug 282013

Kim and Emil's love of sports shown almost as brightly as their love for each other when they wed on June 29, exchanging heartfelt vows then partying with 240 guests inside Washington Nationals Ballpark in Washington, D.C. "We are avid sports fans and love to celebrate life," says Kim. "We wanted our guests to have a completely unique experience and feel what it would be like to be in a Major League dugout and batting cage."

But the couple is quick to stress that baseball was merely the backdrop to their big day. "While we wanted to tie in the baseball theme, we did not want it to overwhelm our wedding," Kim says. Incorporating a rich color palette of eggplant and pewter lent formality to the event, while the couple's event planner struck the perfect balance between traditional decor and "baseball design elements," Kim says.

Kim and Emil also had "an overarching, guiding principle that truly directed our planning process," Kim says. "We said we were going to do two things that day: marry each other and have a big, fun party."

Kim knew exactly the kind of dress she wanted—until she fell for a Watters gown that was the complete opposite of everything she had envisioned. "There is something about the dress that is so me," she says. "While it has a lot of intricate detail in terms of the stitching, the detail and pearls, it's very understated. It's not flashy, yet it's tremendously elegant."

Kim's six bridesmaids helped her narrow down their attire to two options: A lavender gown with a purple sash, and an eggplant dress with pockets. In the end, the eggplant-hued Alfred Angelo prevailed. "We think it was the pockets!" Kim jokes.

Kim's hand-tied round bouquet was arranged with lavender roses, violet stock, and mini calla lilies and agapanthus in shades of purple. Dusty miller accented the vibrant blooms.

"The ceremony was absolutely special, beautiful and sacred," Kim says of the couple's traditional service at historic Asbury United Methodist Church, where the bride attended services as a child. A florist accented the church's altar area with two towering arrangements of purple-hued agapanthus, roses, stock and larkspur.

Though Kim's mother passed away years ago, "it was very important for her to be included throughout the wedding," the bride says. "In the lighting of the unity candle, I had three special participants: My mother's best friends come down the aisle together and lit the candle in my mother's honor."

Kim and Emil asked bridesmaids and groomsmen to recite readings at the ceremony, including Wilfred Arlan Peterson's The Art of Marriage and an anonymous version of The Blessing of the Hands.

"Emil literally swept me off my feet when the pastor pronounced 'you may now kiss your bride,'" Kim recalls. "He picked me up about two feet off the ground and kissed me."

Held in the field, where guests could explore the dugout and batting cages, the couple's cocktail hour featured "typical all-American baseball classic favorites presented in a modern way," Kim says. Guests nibbled on popcorn sprinkled with rosemary and Parmesan, ballpark peanuts and warm, soft pretzels at cabaret tables draped in eggplant-colored satin linens.

Minor League players pitched to guests and the bride and groom in between bites at the cocktail hour. "Guests had a blast and got in a workout!" Kim says.

Dinner was served inside the ballpark's PNC Diamond Club, "a hotel-like banquet hall with one glass wall that overlooks the field," Kim describes. Here, guests could nosh on chef-carved grilled sirloin, pan-seared wild salmon and white truffle and Parmesan risotto at tables topped with deep purple linens and pewter-colored napkins. "Selecting the food was very important to us," Kim says.

Submerged dendrobium orchids and calla lilies filled cylindrical vases topped with white floating candles that dotted the round tables at the reception. A custom-designed pennant, bearing the table's name, adorned each tabletop. Table names included Pitcher, Catcher, and Home Run. And favors? "Each guest received a miniature baseball gumball machine that said, 'We hit it off.'" Kim says.

The couple's square, ivory wedding cake was accented with purple-swirled piping. Its layers of almond and red velvet cake and cream cheese filling were "delicious," the bride says.

A DJ "had all 240 guests up and dancing all night," Kim says. "At the end of the wedding, our planner said, "Wow, I've never seen an entire wedding dance all night," Kim says. "This totally fulfilled our goals—we got married and had a big, fun party!"

Kim and Emil walked onto the dance floor to Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight, "right at the point where there's the big breakdown," Kim explains. "So we walked out calmly and then broke out into drumming motions."

When it was time to slow things down, the couple swayed to Let's Stay Together by Al Green.

The DJ also spun tunes "from Washington, DC's native go-go music, to line dances like the Cupid Shuffle," Kim says. "The guests were up and having fun."

"Throughout the evening, we would find some guests outside on the balcony looking into the ballpark," Kim says. "When we asked why they were outside, they would say they were taking it all in and enjoying having a major league baseball stadium all to themselves."

In the weeks since their wedding, Kim and Emil are "still both on Cloud 9," Kim says. "On some days, we will just look at each other and say, 'hi husband,' and 'hi wife.' Other times, we have the weird realization that we're actually married, the wedding has happened and now we're in the next phase of our journey. All in all it's just a wonderful time."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Sparkling Events & Designs || Ceremony Venue: Asbury United Methodist Church || Reception Venue: Washington Nationals Park || Bride's Wedding Dress: Watters || Bride's Veil: Love Couture Bridal || Bride's Shoes: David's Bridal || Groom's Tux: Black by Vera Wang || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo || Florist: Maryam Flowers || Caterer: Levy Restaurants || Cake Baker: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes || Favors: Wedding Star || Entertainment: DJ Oz || Photography: Connor Studios

May 062013

Stony Brook University sweethearts Tara and Frank settled into an 11th floor apartment with views of the ocean after graduation. Tara doesn't offer this tidbit to induce jealousy—it's important to the couple's engagement story.

"It was an early, cold Saturday morning in February," she recalls, and Frank beckoned the soon-to-be bride to come outside "because he had something to show me. When I stepped out, written in huge letters in the sand below us was, 'Will you marry me?' I turned around and there was Frank, on one knee."

"We wanted to get married with our feet in the sand," Tara explains, "because that is how Frank proposed." Fourteen months after Frank popped the question, Jamaican resort Half Moon accommodated the couple's 80 guests and offered a sandy respite with "panoramic views of the ocean," Tara says.

Sea shells played a large part in the couple's wedding decor and complemented their chosen color palette of soft hues and bright whites. "We brought our own vases and candles from New York," Tara says.

Tara's nails were painted a pale pink for the big day. Her square-cut engagement ring was set in white gold.

Bride Getting Ready

Photos: M&A Photography

The bride bought her Badgley Mischka bridal gown at Kleinfeld, home of the popular reality TV series Say Yes To The Dress. The strapless dress featured a sweetheart neckline and ruffled bodice.

Tara chose gold open-toed Jimmy Choo strappy sandals to go with her gown.

Yellow and aqua accents throughout the couple's wedding—even in the bride's garter—brought out "the color of the beautiful water," Tara says.

Eight bridesmaids wore pale yellow dresses by Jim Hjelm that featured neckline ruffles and empire waists

Groomsmen wore yellow pocket squares tucked into their soft gray vests, and sported casual aqua-hued boating shoes.

The couple's nieces and nephew served as their flower girls and ring bearer. The girls' white dresses, from David's Bridal, mimicked the bride's own ruffled assemble.

White Calla Lily Bouquet All White Calla Lily Bouquet

Photos: M&A Photography

Tara carried an all-white, long-stemmed Calla lily bouquet.

The traditional bouquet came with a twist: It was tied with raffia and pinned with pearls.

Frank's white Calla lily boutonniere was also tied with raffia.

Tara and Frank exchanged vows beneath a bamboo arbor dripping with white flowers and nestled into the soft sand.

Palm leaves and ferns added a pop of color to the otherwise all-white arbor, which was draped in shear fabric.

The ring bearer descended the aisle just before the bride, carrying a soft burlap pillow and a heart-shaped wood sign that read Here Comes The Bride.

As Frank spotted his bride walk down the sand, a boyish grin stretched across his face.

With 60 years of marriage under their belts, the bride's grandparents offered wisdom for the newlyweds during the ceremony.

A steel drum band welcomed guests as they left the beach and headed to the resort's terrace for the couple's cocktail hour.

The couple "wanted a weathered, beachy, nautical feel" to their reception, Tara says. Escort cards were nestled in sand between tiny sea shells.

Atop each white and blue menu card sat a starfish, a perfect complement to the couple's surf-and-turf dinner.

"The entire week was so special, with many memories," the bride recalls. "That was one of the reasons we wanted a destination wedding. Close family and friends together for a week—what more could you ask for?"

—Jillian Kramer

Ceremony Venue: Half Moon || Reception Venue: Half Moon || Bride's Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Groom's Tux: J. Crew || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jim Hjelm || Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Nordstrom || Flower Girl Dress: David's Bridal || Caterer: Half Moon || Stationery: Purple Ink Press || Photography: M&A Photography

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