A Vintage Supper Club-Inspired Wedding at The Metropolitan Ballroom in Minneapolis

 Fall, Minnesota, Real Weddings, Vintage  Comments Off on A Vintage Supper Club-Inspired Wedding at The Metropolitan Ballroom in Minneapolis
Jan 132014
 

This beautiful Minneapolis wedding is all about the details. For their wedding on November 9th, 2012, Kathleen and James enlisted Amy Zaroff Events + Design to bring their English garden ceremony and supper club reception to life. Lush flowers, shimmering vintage-style gold and a 19-piece band come together for a cozy, classy wedding celebration.

A little over a year after meeting on E-Harmony, Kathleen and James took a trip to California to celebrate Kathleen's birthday. As they walked along the cliffs of the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel looking for whales, James got down on one knee and asked Kathleen to be his wife. "It happened at sunset—it was incredibly romantic," she says.

The supper club theme lent itself beautifully to James and Kathleen's black tie affair.

When wedding dress shopping, Kathleen knew she wanted something traditional and modest. "I love lace, so that was a must," she says. She wore a beaded tulle garter and peep-toe pumps beneath her classic gown, with a British six pence in her shoe for good luck.

James's boutonniere featured hydrangea blossoms, berries, and acorns.

Kathleen carried a bouquet of white and light pink roses, hydrangeas, peonies, scabiosa pods, and Jasmine vines. The bouquet was wrapped in lace, and featured a framed portrait of the bride's dog, Barnaby.

The aisle of the University of Northwestern St. Paul's Nazareth Chapel was decorated with gorgeous arrangements of roses, hydrangeas and greens. "I love the church's gorgeous interior, and was so excited to get married at my alma mater," says Kathleen. Her father walked her down the aisle.

Warm gold and ivory came together for the evening reception. Antique-style dishes and flatware brought the 1930s supper club theme to life, where the couple offered their guests an indulgent menu featuring beef tenderloin and pheasant.

The couple's guest book kept with the 1930's theme. They created a poster with their wedding details, then had guests sign around the edges for a memento they can display in their home.

A 19-piece band kept the couple and their guests dancing to big-band classics all night. James and Kathleen's first dance was to "The Best Is Yet To Come" by Frank Sinatra.

The highlight of the evening was the French Patisserie display. From macarons to flourless chocolate cake, there was no shortage of sweets! The three-tiered cake featured rich burgundy, gold and ivory. Sugar rosettes were printed with lyrics to the couple's favorite songs. And in case they hadn't had enough dessert, guests were given boxes of macarons to bring home with them at the end of the night.

Kathleen recommends that all couples hire a wedding planner and designer. "Having a wedding planner will enable you to really enjoy the time with your partner. Trust your planner to handle the details, big and small!" she says.

Ceremony Venue: Nazareth Chapel || Reception Venue: The Metropolitan Ballroom & Clubroom || Wedding Planner: Amy Zaroff Events + Design || Bride's Wedding Dress: Luxe Bridal || Hair: Sherry Fredkove || Makeup: Amanda from MAC || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jim Hjelm || Groom's Attire: Heimie's Haberdashery || Florist: Martha's Gardens || Invitations: William Arthur || Music: Ceremony - Lake string Quartet, Bagpiper - Jeff Perry, Reception - The Wolverines Big Band || Catering: D'Amico Catering || Cake: Gateaux Inc. || Favors: International Cigars, Inc., Cocoa & Fig || Rentals: Linen Effects, Après Party and Tent Rental, Richfield Flowers and Events || Photography: Kelly Brown Weddings

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Formal Late Fall Wedding at the Berkeley Hotel on the Jersey Shore

 Ceremony & Vows, Elegant, Fall, Formal, New Jersey, Real Weddings, Romantic, Traditional  Comments Off on A Formal Late Fall Wedding at the Berkeley Hotel on the Jersey Shore
Dec 302013
 

When Joe, 32, proposed to Emily, 31, at their NYC apartment in 2011, he knew they were in for the event of a lifetime. Emily's the wedding and events manager of the New York Public Library, host to some of the city's most glamorous and elegant soirees—not to mention, of course, Carrie Bradshaw's would-be wedding in Sex and the City.

Emily's helped coordinate some of the most memorable weddings New York has ever seen, but she knew she wanted something a little different for her and Joe. The two were longtime friends from summers past at the Jersey Shore, and they chose to honor their time there together with a formal, modern reception at Asbury Park's breathtaking Berkeley Hotel. Family heirlooms, personalized details, and organic decor helped make the late fall (November 17, the same wedding date as Emily's parents!) bash feel warm and intimate.

One sunny day in October 2011, Emily's boss told her to take the afternoon off as a special treat. Psyched for a few blissful hours of shopping and pampering, Emily shrugged off Joe's insistence that he wasn't feeling well and needed her to hightail it home ASAP. She strolled in in the late afternoon, laden with shopping bags, to find Joel kneeling on the floor with a ring. "I had no way of knowing, but Joe had called my boss to tell her he was planning to propose and to have her send me home," she explains. "Knowing that he put all of that together for me—on his own—made it truly one of the best days of my life."

"The formality of the venue dictated a very traditional invitation with some modern changes, like custom envelope liners and a laser-cut shape," Emily says. She worked with Adrienne at the Village Invites to create a custom suite that felt both traditional and of-the-moment.

Emily knew right away that a traditional gown with sleeves would look just right in a formal church ceremony. "Finding something with sleeves in a sea of strapless gowns was easier said than done, but I ultimately fell in love with a long-sleeved, high-necked Alencon lace Augusta Jones gown," she says. With a cathedral-length veil, the look was elegant, timeless and breathtakingly beautiful. "I was so sad to take off the veil," Emily says. "The gown—amazing. But the veil was...magic."

Her mother's gown was also made of Alcenon lace, and Emily's seamstress cut out a small piece and sewed it into the lining of her gown, just above her heart. In her black velvet clutch, Emily carried old love letters her grandparents sent to each other—talk about something old!


Emily wanted an unconventional bouquet with lots of texture that spoke to the season. She chose a wintry, organic mix of white kale, artichokes, succulents, pepperberries, seeded eucalyptus and grey craspedia.

Emily's bridesmaids wore slate gray chiffon gowns from Bill Levkoff. Their gorgeous black fur stoles and smoky quartz jewelry were generous gifts from the bride!

Joe looked extra-dapper in a slim fit custom tuxedo from Calvin Klein.

Emily and Joe were married in St. Elizabeth's Church in Avon by the Sea, New Jersey, where they'd spent many summers together with their families. To add to the warm, inviting feel of the evening ceremony, they lined the stairs outside with candle-lit lanterns. The traditional Catholic ceremony was officiated by the Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, a friend of Joe's parents.

Emily and Joe planned to have the wedding party arrive to the church via antique trolley, but engine trouble led to some unforeseen circumstances. "After the engine began sputtering and smoking, I still can't believe the boys drove the trolley to the church as it billowed exhaust and fumes and onlookers stared in horror!" Emily says. Her bridesmaids gamely piled in an SUV instead, and Emily made a dramatic entrance in a vintage Rolls Royce.

At their large, formal nighttime reception at the beaux arts Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park, the couple used organic elements like mercury glass, tall hurricanes, and sprays of white berries to match the height and elegance of the soaring, high-ceilinged ballroom. They incorporated both round and long tables to create a communal feel, even with the 242-person guest list, and added flickering candlelight, lanterns, and dark linens to make the room feel extra-inviting.

They collaborated with Kitschens Catering, a small Asbury Park-based caterer, to create a dream seasonal menu. After hors d'ouvres like mini lobster rolls, shrimp shooters, and cheese-stuffed olives, guests dug into sweet potato bisque, a petite filet, and homemade pasta with veggies.

In fitting with their classic wedding, Emily and Joe chose a traditional vanilla cake with raspberry filling. They had custom cake toppers created to look just like them, and they plan to break them out every year on their anniversary!

Joe plays the drums in a band, and the couple surprised their guests by having him jump on stage to jam out to "Boogie on Reggae Woman" as the evening wore down.

The wedding was held just two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, and though they feared for days the future of the town that meant so much to them, the couple's ceremony and reception venues remained unscathed. In lieu of favors, they made a donation to the Asbury Park conservancy in each guest's name, and a year later, they remember the devastation of those weeks and feel grateful for the perspective the storm offered.

"While the color of the flowers and the flavor of the cake may seem all-consuming, remember that in the end, it is just one day to celebrate a lifetime of love and friendship. It is the people around you and the fact that they may be coming from near and far to celebrate with you that really matters," Emily says.

Ceremony Venue: St. Elizabeth's Church, Avon by the Sea, NJ || Reception Venue: The Berkeley Hotel, Asbury Park, NJ || Day-Of Coordinator: Lisa Archambault and Andy Spray of Palm Productions, Stefani Hanson at the Berkeley Hotel || Bride's Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones || Veil: Kleinfeld Bridal || Hair: Jessica Gere of Simply GorJess Hair || Makeup: Josie Vega || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Lefkoff || Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire: Calvin Klein, Vera Wang at Men's Wearhouse || Wedding Bands: Custom || Florist: Bonnie Capuzzello of Petal Beach || Invitations & Paper Goods: The Village Invites || Music: The Smokin' Section || Catering: Kitschen's Catering || Cake: Roseanna Cobb || Rentals: Party Rental LTD || Photography: Jeri Houseworth Photography

—Amanda First

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A Four-Day Multicultural Wedding Extravaganza in Chicago, Illinois

 Chicago, Elegant, Fall, Formal, Glamorous, Real Weddings, Romantic  Comments Off on A Four-Day Multicultural Wedding Extravaganza in Chicago, Illinois
Dec 122013
 

Chances are, by the time your wedding is over, you'll wish you'd had a few more hours to celebrate. Lisa, 30, and Vinay, 31, knew a single day wouldn't be long enough for their Hindu and western wedding celebration, so they had their family and friends join them in Chicago for a four-day weekend that brought their cultures together in an extravagant, colorful way.

This couple's over-the-top wedding started with a quiet proposal on a lake. Pretending that the sailboat they were supposed to take had left without them, a captain took Vinay and Lisa out on the water to "catch up with their party"–though what Vinay really wanted was to get Lisa out on the boat alone. Suddenly, an airplane appeared overhead with a banner reading "Lisa, Will You Marry Me?" and Vinay got down on one knee.

Lisa and Vinay met at Northwestern University and still live and work in Chicago, so they knew they wanted to get married in the city. The entire celebration took place at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel on the weekend of September 2nd, 2012. "We had multiple events and many out-of-town guests, and didn't want people to have to run all over the city, so having everything at the hotel worked perfectly," says Lisa. Here are the gorgeous, colorful details of their marathon wedding celebration.

Bridal Henna

As is tradition for Hindu weddings, Lisa had intricate mehndi, or henna, done for the celebration.

Bride in Gold and Red Lengha

Lisa wore a bridal lengha, which is traditional Indian attire. "I wanted something more gold than the traditional red that Indian brides wear because the ceremony décor was all red," she says of her outfit. Her bridesmaids wore brightly-colored saris with matching beading and embroidery.

Vinay arrived at the ceremony according to tradition, on a horse decked out in beaded and embroidered fabric. He was escorted by family members and friends.

Hindu Wedding Ceremony Mandap
Hindu Wedding Ceremony Decor

The Hindu ceremony took place in the hotel's Empire Ballroom. The couple's families joined them under the mandap, or canopy, for the ceremony. Vinay and Lisa's priest helped them keep the traditional ceremony on the shorter side ("Hindu ceremonies can be three hours or more!" says Lisa), and also said the blessings in both Hindu and English so that everyone could follow along. Pillows were arranged on the floor so that guests could get close and feel comfortable.

"Our family and friends practiced for weeks to perform dances for us," Lisa says. "It was so touching to see how our two families came together. It made me realize how lucky we are to have so many people dedicated to being a part of our lives."

Purple Stuart Weitzman Peep-Toe Pumps

For the Western wedding, Lisa couldn't help but include a vibrant pop of color. She paired her gown with purple Stuart Weitzman pumps and carried a bright bouquet of fuchsia garden roses and spray roses, phalaenopsis orchids, purple hydrangeas, and lisianthus.

Bridesmaids in Floor-Length Magenta Dresses

The bridesmaids wore magenta chiffon gowns and carried smaller versions of Lisa's bouquet. Vinay and his groomsmen wore three-piece tuxedoes.

"Because our Indian ceremony and other events were pretty bold and flashy, I wanted the western ceremony to be more simple," says the bride. She let the ornate room speak for itself, adding a simple stage cover and aisle runner. "Having two wedding ceremonies seems like a lot," she says, "but it was important for us to have both of our cultures represented."

Formal Pink and Purple Wedding Reception
Pink and Purple Floral Centerpieces
Pink and Purple Floral Centerpieces with Candles

The ceremony décor featured rich colors and Indian touches. Metal lanterns and elephants were a nod to Vinay's heritage. Orange and fuchsia roses, dahlias, and purple hydrangeas were arranged in low vessels. A touch of shine from the mercury-glass candle holders broke up the colorful displays, while the glow of candlelight warmed the room.

"Vinay designed the monogram that we used on the cake," says Lisa. Henna-inspired piping decked the colorful confection, which was topped with bright fresh flowers. Alternating layers featured red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting.

The groom's cousins played Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue" for the couple's first dance. "Vinay and I put so much time and effort into everything, and we wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of our family and friends," says Lisa.

After planning such an involved wedding, you can be sure that Lisa has some great advice. "Figure out what is most important to you, and make sure that you make those things happen," she says. "Don't worry about the small stuff."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Palmer House Hilton Hotel || Wedding Planner: Lauren Carter of lola Event Productions || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lengha: Studio Elite, Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones || Shoes: Indian Wedding: Gucci, Western Wedding: Stuart Weitzman || Jewelry: Bloomingdale's || Hair: Cathy Battistoni of Beauty on Call, Pamela Moore of Avieve Salon & Day Spa || Makeup: Rebecca Males of Sonia Roselli, Joshua Graham of Façade Make-Up Artistry || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Saris: Studio Elite, Western Dresses: The Dessy Group || Groom's Tuxedo: Armani || Groommen's Tuxedos: Calvin Klein at Men's Wearhouse || Bride's Wedding Rings: Harry Winston || Florist & Rentals: Event Creative || Invitations & Paper Goods: Designed by Lindsay Chenault Bolton, Printed by Gary Mordhorst of AccuColor Plus, Inc. || Music: Tabla Dhol, Rendezvous Music || Catering: Palmer House Hilton Hotel, India House || Cake: Take the Cake || Favors: Indian Sweets from Devon Street in Chicago || Videography: Epic Motion || Photography: Jen Lynne Photography

—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 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 Sleek and Contemporary California Wedding at the Andaz San Diego

 Blue, California, Fall, Glamorous, Modern, Pink, Real Weddings, Romantic, White by Vera Wang, Yellow  Comments Off on A Sleek and Contemporary California Wedding at the Andaz San Diego
Nov 092013
 

What could be better than a romantic trip to the historic mansions of Newport, RI? How about a trip that ends with a surprise proposal on one of the mansions' sprawling lawn? This was just the moment that awaited Faye when she and Rich took a trip to visit his family in June of 2012. The couple spent the next 15 months planning a downtown San Diego wedding that brought friends and family from near and far to celebrate in contemporary style. With a muted but playful palette of yellow and gray, Rich and Faye's wedding on September 7, 2013, was fresh, fun, and everything they'd dreamed of.

Bride getting her makeup done at the Andaz San Diego.
Bride in an empire-waist ball gown from White by Vera Wang.

Says Faye of her empire-waisted ball gown from White by Vera Wang, "I fell in love with how the dress felt light yet it had the fullness that I was looking for." A bonus? The dress had pockets and an oversized bow at the waist.

A self-described minimalist, Faye paired her gown with a simple tulle veil. She wore her mother's earrings as her something borrowed, and Rich gifted her a bracelet for the perfect finishing touch.

Shimmering Enzo Angiolini pumps peeked out from beneath Faye's gown, adding a touch of shimmer to her classic bridal look.

Rich and his groomsmen all wore charcoal gray 3-piece tuxedos. Rich paired his with a light gray tie and gray argyle socks, while his groomsmen wore soft yellow ties and sunny socks to match.

Bride and groom at the Andaz San Diego.

Rich's gray tuxedo was the perfect match for Faye's beautiful ball gown. The Andaz San Diego was the ideal venue, allowing Faye and Rich to say I Do in modern San Diego style.

Faye's bridesmaids wore floor-length chiffon gowns in platinum from the Dessy Group. She had each woman pick out a style she loved, and tied their look together with bouquets of yellow peonies and roses.

The ceremony was held on the rooftop of the hotel. Simple white dcor was accented with oversized arrangements of white and yellow hydrangeas. The rooftop location gave the couple's guests, 80% of whom were from out of town, a great view of the city. Each guest received a packet of confetti to toss after Rich and Faye had said "I Do."

The ring bearer, wearing a gray suit and yellow tie to match the groomsmen, was escorted down the aisle by Faye's daughter Mailynn. Faye's goddaughter was their flower girl. During her walk down the aisle, she took her responsibilities a playful step further, tossing petals at the guests instead of on the aisle.

Bride, groom and bride's daughter braid a unity rope during the wedding ceremony.

As a symbol of their new family, Faye, Rich, and Mailynn braided a unity rope. The bride and groom wrote their own vows, allowing them to speak directly to one another as they became husband and wife.

Escort cards featured Faye and Rich's simple monogram and a pop of yellow.

Gray, white and yellow modern wedding cake.

The pièce de résistance was a gray square cake with white and yellow stripes, topped with white flowers. The flavor was a crowd-pleasing carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream. A candy bar, featuring gray, white, and yellow favorites like marshmallows and chocolate drops, served as both a sweet treat and favors for the guests.

For the first dance, Rich and Faye danced to Ingrid Michaelson's version of "Can't Help Falling In Love". Faye and her father shared their father-daughter dance with Rich and his new stepdaughter. They danced to "My Girl" by The Temptations, an upbeat way to celebrate the new family. Finally, Rich danced with his mom to Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World"–the two of them danced to the same song when his mother married Rich's stepfather.

So what's next for the happy couple? Rich and Faye are planning their honeymoon for the spring of 2014. In the mean time, they're getting used to calling one another "husband" and "wife".

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Andaz San Diego || Coordinator: Mel Montoya of Something Blue Wedding Coordination || Bride's Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang || Veil: David's Bridal || Shoes: Enzo Angiolini || Hair: Florence Pacho of Pikku Salon || Makeup: Lindsay Lloyd || Wedding Bands: Robbins Brothers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: The Dessy Group || Groom's Tuxedo: Black by Vera Wang || Invitations: MagnetStreet || Florist: Bloomeria Floral Design || Catering: Andaz San Diego || Cake: Crumb Fairy Bakery || Music: Eddie Palma || Photographer: Renee Clancy Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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Wedding Lessons From Our Favorite Spooky Brides (Just In Time For Halloween!)

 Beauty, Fall, Hair, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on Wedding Lessons From Our Favorite Spooky Brides (Just In Time For Halloween!)
Oct 252013
 
Halloween wedding guests

Photo: Lisa Berry

It doesn't matter if you're getting married on Halloween or smack-dab in the middle of summer. Horror-movie brides rock some truly fierce wedding-day looks! What can a bride-gone-wrong teach you about beauty and fashion for your wedding? While you might not want to rock pasty skin and spiders on your big day, these scary ladies are good to keep in mind for avoiding wedding-day blunders, and keep you looking your best.

Miss Havisham


Miss Havisham


Photo: Getty Images


The creepy spinster of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (and its many film adaptations) refuses to take off her ripped and ratty wedding dress, even years after a disastrous trip down the aisle (which, trust us, is not going to happen to you with these tips!). Surprisingly, there's a lot a bride can learn about how to pick and care for her own dress, like:

DO pick a dress that you'll feel comfortable spending a lot of time in. While you might not wear it nonstop for decades like Havisham, weddings are full day (and night!) affairs. During your fittings, make sure nothing is poking, prodding, itchy or scratchy.

DON'T forget to get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved (if you want to have it for years to come). A dress hanging in a closet is prone to discoloration, wear, and rips over time.

The Bride Of Frankenstein


Bride of Frankenstein


Photo: Getty Images


Not many people can pull off a towering black beehive and a dark lip, but the Bride of Frankenstein is one of them. If you're having trouble deciding on hair and makeup, take some tips from this striking bride:

DON'T shy away from a strong hair or makeup look. You still want to look like yourself, but it's a big day, so you rock some big makeup!

DO schedule a trial run on your hair and makeup before the big day, especially if you're trying something new. You want to make sure you look fantastic, not frightening, and ironing out any kinks before the actual wedding will help the whole day run smoother.

The Corpse Bride


Corpse Bride


Photo: Getty Images


The Claymation star of Tim Burton's musical manages to look great even from beyond the grave. Want to steal a little of her style? All you need to do is:
DO try new ideas for your "something blue". We're not saying to dye your hair like the Corpse Bride (though that would be pretty cool), but try a blue-tinted gown, racy turquoise lingerie, or azure shoes.
DON'T be afraid of unconventional accessories, like a dried flower crown or lacy, fingerless gloves like the Corpse Bride's.

Keep in mind, these tips aren't just for Halloween (and can work well for your bridesmaids, too!) While undead brides might be frightening, there's no reason planning your wedding should be!

—Caitlin Van Horn

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A Cozy Fall Wedding at an Undiscovered Washington, D.C. Venue

 Anna Maier Ulla-Maija, Classic, Fall, Purple, Real Weddings, Red, Romantic, Traditional, Washington D.C.  Comments Off on A Cozy Fall Wedding at an Undiscovered Washington, D.C. Venue
Oct 172013
 

Freshman orientation can be a blur of new names and faces, but when Terri and Curt, now both 26, met during their first few days at Tufts University, they both knew that they had met someone they wouldn't soon forget. Within hours, Curt knew that Terri was The One, and that was that.

A few years later, Curt prepared a candlelit dinner for Terri as their weekly date night. The meal came to an end with a single star-dotted Baci, Terri's favorite chocolate. Calling upon a game Terri plays with her sister before opening fortune cookies, Curt suggested that Terri ask a question for the quote inside the Baci wrapper to answer. Referencing the meal Curt had just prepared, she asked, "How did I end up with such a wonderful guy?" as she opened the wrapper. Curt fell to one knee and presented Terri with a ring as she read the question concealed inside - "Will you marry me?" Says Terri, "I was in disbelief!"

On October 20, 2012, they invited 120 guests to join them at a celebration full of love, whimsy and the cozy comforts of fall.

"St. Francis Hall was the perfect venue with its exposed beams, wooden floors, and rustic charm," says the bride. "It was really the perfect venue, hidden within D.C. We would have never discovered the venue without our wedding planner's help. After stepping onto the grounds of St. Francis, it felt as though we were transported to an old town in Europe."

Terri paired her fluted Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija wedding dress with sparkling gold pumps from Kelly & Katie, a gift from her sister. She knew that she wanted a fit-and-flare style with lace, and fell in love with the details of her gown—but only after trying on more than 20 styles in her quest for the perfect dress.

An organza belt and birdcage veil (made by a close family friend who also did her hair) put the finishing touches on Terri's wedding day look. To play off her gown's romantic vibe, she carried a loose bouquet of dahlias, cymbidium orchids and freesia. Scattered orange hypernicum berries added a subtle hint of fall.

Terri's bridesmaids wore floor-length Bari Jay dresses in a cheery coral hue. Their gold leaf earrings were a gift from the bride. The jewelry maker created a special pair of coordinating earrings for Terri, whose ears aren't pierced.

Curt and Terri said "I Do" at an outdoor ceremony on the lawn of St. Francis Hall. The aisle was lined with mason jars overflowing with soft pink and cream dinner plate dahlias.

The ceremony was a mix of religious and secular, designed to be reverent but also comfortable for the couple and their guests. Their readings were followed by a unity cup ceremony which, fitting with the season, featured warm apple cider. After their first kiss, the bride and groom headed back up the aisle to an instrumental version of First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes.

A teal runner, topped with orange napkins and white pumpkins, "evokes the richness and beauty of fall without being the basic orange, red, and yellow," says Terri. Long tables spanned the space to turn the reception into a great hall feast.

Table assignments were hand-written on cards shaped like leaves, which Terri pinned to lengths of twine.

The couple sought out a venue with warmth and character for their fall-inspired wedding. St. Francis Hall, with exposed beams and rustic charm hidden within D.C., fit the bill perfectly.

Terri and Curt took a spin on the dance floor to Etta James' At Last for their first dance. Curt worked closely with the DJ to compile a list of music choices, and his handiwork kept guests on the dance floor all night. Being surrounded by the love of their family and friends was a surreal experience. "After two years of planning and envisioning our wedding, having everything come together so well was a huge accomplishment for us."

Ceremony and Reception Venue: St. Francis Hall || Planner: Pavaune Pearson of Invited Special Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Ulla-Maija via Hitched Salon || Shoes: Kelly & Katie || Makeup: Dawn Newsome || Hair and Veil: Mairelis Sanchez || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bari Jay || Accessories: TheHoneyCup and SevenNin9 Shoppe || Invitations and Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas || Escort Cards: Jen Aitchison || Florist: Growing Wild Floral Company || Catering: Putting on the Ritz || Music: MyDeeJay || Favors: Baci || Transportation: UberBLACK || Photography: Michelle VanTine

—Jaimie Schoen

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Oct 172013
 

Freshman orientation can be a blur of new names and faces, but when Terri and Curt, now both 26, met during their first few days at Tufts University, they both knew that they had met someone they wouldn't soon forget. Within hours, Curt knew that Terri was The One, and that was that.

A few years later, Curt prepared a candlelit dinner for Terri as their weekly date night. The meal came to an end with a single star-dotted Baci, Terri's favorite chocolate. Calling upon a game Terri plays with her sister before opening fortune cookies, Curt suggested that Terri ask a question for the quote inside the Baci wrapper to answer. Referencing the meal Curt had just prepared, she asked, "How did I end up with such a wonderful guy?" as she opened the wrapper. Curt fell to one knee and presented Terri with a ring as she read the question concealed inside - "Will you marry me?" Says Terri, "I was in disbelief!"

On October 20, 2012, they invited 120 guests to join them at a celebration full of love, whimsy and the cozy comforts of fall.

"St. Francis Hall was the perfect venue with its exposed beams, wooden floors, and rustic charm," says the bride. "It was really the perfect venue, hidden within D.C. We would have never discovered the venue without our wedding planner's help. After stepping onto the grounds of St. Francis, it felt as though we were transported to an old town in Europe."

Terri paired her fluted Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija wedding dress with sparkling gold pumps from Kelly & Katie, a gift from her sister. She knew that she wanted a fit-and-flare style with lace, and fell in love with the details of her gown—but only after trying on more than 20 styles in her quest for the perfect dress.

An organza belt and birdcage veil (made by a close family friend who also did her hair) put the finishing touches on Terri's wedding day look. To play off her gown's romantic vibe, she carried a loose bouquet of dahlias, cymbidium orchids and freesia. Scattered orange hypernicum berries added a subtle hint of fall.

Terri's bridesmaids wore floor-length Bari Jay dresses in a cheery coral hue. Their gold leaf earrings were a gift from the bride. The jewelry maker created a special pair of coordinating earrings for Terri, whose ears aren't pierced.

Curt and Terri said "I Do" at an outdoor ceremony on the lawn of St. Francis Hall. The aisle was lined with mason jars overflowing with soft pink and cream dinner plate dahlias.

The ceremony was a mix of religious and secular, designed to be reverent but also comfortable for the couple and their guests. Their readings were followed by a unity cup ceremony which, fitting with the season, featured warm apple cider. After their first kiss, the bride and groom headed back up the aisle to an instrumental version of First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes.

A teal runner, topped with orange napkins and white pumpkins, "evokes the richness and beauty of fall without being the basic orange, red, and yellow," says Terri. Long tables spanned the space to turn the reception into a great hall feast.

Table assignments were hand-written on cards shaped like leaves, which Terri pinned to lengths of twine.

The couple sought out a venue with warmth and character for their fall-inspired wedding. St. Francis Hall, with exposed beams and rustic charm hidden within D.C., fit the bill perfectly.

Terri and Curt took a spin on the dance floor to Etta James' At Last for their first dance. Curt worked closely with the DJ to compile a list of music choices, and his handiwork kept guests on the dance floor all night. Being surrounded by the love of their family and friends was a surreal experience. "After two years of planning and envisioning our wedding, having everything come together so well was a huge accomplishment for us."

Ceremony and Reception Venue: St. Francis Hall || Planner: Pavaune Pearson of Invited Special Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Ulla-Maija via Hitched Salon || Shoes: Kelly & Katie || Makeup: Dawn Newsome || Hair and Veil: Mairelis Sanchez || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bari Jay || Accessories: TheHoneyCup and SevenNin9 Shoppe || Invitations and Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas || Escort Cards: Jen Aitchison || Florist: Growing Wild Floral Company || Catering: Putting on the Ritz || Music: MyDeeJay || Favors: Baci || Transportation: UberBLACK || Photography: Michelle VanTine

—Jaimie Schoen

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Elizabeth Stuart Bride to Launch in the U.S. This Fall

 Classic, Fall, Romantic, Wedding Dresses, Winter  Comments Off on Elizabeth Stuart Bride to Launch in the U.S. This Fall
Sep 052013
 
elizabeth stuart bride white label collection

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Stuart

Good news for brides with an affinity for romantic wedding dresses crafted from fine silk and French lace: Elizabeth Stuart, the British-based luxury bridal design house, is touching down in the United States this fall. Stay tuned to our New York Bridal Fashion Week coverage to find out where the 2014 Elizabeth Stuart White Label collection will be available. Until then, here's one standout look from the collection that we simply love. Fondly called the Fiorella gown, this dress features lace cap sleeves, a keyhole back and silk ribbon at the waist. What's not to love?

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