A Wine Country-Inspired Wedding at Vine Hill House in Sebastopol, California

 Badgley MIschka, California, Garden, J.Crew, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer  Comments Off on A Wine Country-Inspired Wedding at Vine Hill House in Sebastopol, California
Dec 172013
 

Is there anything more gorgeous than the rolling hills of a vineyard in California's wine country? If there is, we can't think of it, and Jonathan and Renee agree. The couple took to Sebastopol, CA, for their August 17, 2012, wedding, where the venue's natural beauty was allowed to speak for itself.

Renee and Jonathan are proof that it never hurts to seek out the single bridesmaid or groomsman at a friend's wedding. That's just how they met—serving as members of the wedding party when their dear friends got married in 2010. They'd never met before, but began dating soon after their friends tied the knot. And the same friends that brought them together played a key role in Renee and Jonathan's engagement, too. "It was very unassuming," says Renee. "We were getting dinner with the friends who'd introduced us and, when dinner was over, Jonathan got down on one knee and proposed."

For their wedding, the couple sought out California's beautiful weather and endless rows of vines. With most of their guests flying in from the East Coast, this quasi-destination wedding embraced family traditions (as well as the couple's love of the kitchen) and let Vine Hill House's scenery shine through.

White and Orange Wedding Invitation Suite

Oversized calligraphy in a bright, punchy hue gives Renee and Jonathan's fairly traditional invitation suite a playful touch. The eye-catching orange envelope seals the deal.

Renee's vintage-style engagement ring is surrounded by an intricate hexagon setting.

Blush by Hayley Paige Wedding Dress

"I wanted something that didn't scream 'I'm a bride!' and was a little more unique than most bridal gowns," says Renee of her scoop-neck ball gown from Blush by Hayley Paige. The box-pleated skirt adds an extra touch of crisp volume. Bejeweled Badgley Mischka pumps peeked out from beneath the ivory silk.

Bride in Blush by Hayley Paige

A fabric flower accentuated the neckline of Renee's gown. She and her bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets in soft, sweet colors. Garden roses, dahlias, parrot tulips, hydrangeas, and pops of yellow from billy balls were ideal for the late-summer celebration.

The flower girl and junior bridesmaid are the couple's nieces, daughters of Jonathan's late brother. "We used diamonds from their father's wedding band to have earrings made for the girls, then used the remaining stones to make a necklace for Jonathan's mom," says Renee. The flower girl carried a flower wand decorated with billy balls, ribbon and tulle.

Groom with Custom Map Cufflinks

Jonathan's map cufflinks featured the locations of where the couple met, and where they were getting married.

The wedding party wore gray, a light sage green, and soft purple, tying into the natural, pastel hues of the wedding's décor. "Their suits were dressed up, but not stuffy or uncomfortable," Renee explains.

Vintage Frames with Escort Cards

Antique frames hanging from the property's oak tree displayed the guests' escort cards. Tiny clothespins held the cards to stretches of tulle ribbon. A chalkboard featured the evening's menu.

Pastel-hued mason jars and milk bottles appeared throughout the reception. Colorful paper straws were on-hand for the couple's signature white sangria, which was made using Jonathan's recipe.

Homemade Jam Wedding Favors
Homemade Wine Jam Wedding Favors

A vintage suitcase was the ideal receptacle for cards. "We both love being in the kitchen," says Renee, "so we decided to create something edible and homemade to share with our guests. We made Hot Pepper and Berry Wine Jellies, tying in to the vineyard venue." The guestbook was a unique take on the wine bottle guest book. Guests wrote notes to the couple and slipped them into empty bottles, which Renee and Jonathan will crack open so they can read the notes inside.

Outdoor California Wedding Reception

The simple, muted color scheme let Vine Hill House's landscape really shine. Neutral tables were arranged under large umbrellas, while heat-lamps were at the ready for when the sun set. Garden roses, dahlias, tulips, and hydrangeas in ivory, pink, peach, and yellow were used for the low centerpieces.

White Wedding Cake with Fresh Flowers

The three-tiered cake was decorated with fresh roses, dusty miller leaves, and hydrangeas to match the reception décor. In honor of the couple's grandmothers, who were "avid and wonderful pie makers," Renee and Jonathan served a selection of pies along with the cake.

Lights, strung from the branches, cast a whimsical glow over the reception.

Jonathan and Renee honeymooned in Maui three months after their wedding. "It was nice to have something to look forward to once the wedding was over," says Renee. But before the wedding has come and gone? "Don't procrastinate!" says the bride. "And don't be afraid to stay on top of your vendors. More than anything, though, enjoy every minute. Don't get caught up in the snafus that may happen. None of your guests will remember!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Vine Hill House || Day-Of Coordinator: Elsa Vera || Bride's Wedding Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Jewelry: Janene's Bridal Boutique || Hair & Makeup: It's a Date at the Powder Room || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom and Groomsmen's Suits: Perry Ellis from Men's Wearhouse || Wedding Bands: Seelenbacher Jewelers || Florist: PoppyStone Floral Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: New England Invitations || Music: Ceremony - Golden Gate Strings, Reception - Denon & Doyle || Catering: Park Avenue Catering || Cake: Fleur de Lisa || Photography: Janae Shields Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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

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

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

Ring pillow with gold ribbon.

Lace Vera Wang wedding dress and silver Kate Spade shoes.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Groom with a moustache tiepin.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

Bride and groom outdoors.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Bride in silver Kate Spade shoes.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Outdoor wedding ceremony in Vancouver.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Chalkboard wedding welcome sign.

Ring bearer with a navy blue bow tie.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

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

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

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Bride and groom at an outdoor wedding reception in Vancouver.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Hand-made wedding photo booth props.

Outdoor wedding photo booth.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Green cake on a wedding dessert buffet.

Pink wedding cake on a dessert buffet.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

Bride and groom at an outdoor wedding reception.

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

Photo: Lucy Farkasova of Blush & Whimsy

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

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

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

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

—Jaimie Schoen

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

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

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

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

Vintage three-strand pearl necklace.

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

White satin flats with rosettes kept Kate comfortable all day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

W.A. Frost restaurant wedding reception dcor.

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

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

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

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

—Jaimie Schoen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bride with purple makeup and a bouquet.

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

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

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

Bridesmaids in blush chiffon dresses.

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

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

The bride's father escorts her down the aisle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Summer Wedding with a “Fresh and Crisp” Aesthetic

 Casual, Classic, Garden, Outdoor, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer, Traditional  Comments Off on A Summer Wedding with a “Fresh and Crisp” Aesthetic
Aug 092013
 

Love bloomed between Leah and Chris during a college Bible study, but when the couple moved to different cities after graduation, they were forced to date long-distance. "It was hard," Leah recalls, until Chris proposed on a weekend visit as the couple dined at the Crown Center Plaza. "I was so excited I shrieked 'yes' before he could get the whole question out. Apparently he had a whole quote rehearsed. Whoops!"

Just three months later, the couple—a marketing coordinator and an NFL player, respectively—wed in a backyard celebration, taking advantage of Stilwell, Kansas' picture-perfect July weather.

With fewer than 60 guests in attendance, a family member's lake house was the perfect venue for Leah and Chris' intimate celebration. "Their house is so beautiful," the bride gushes, listing the home's lush landscaping as a major boon to her simple decor scheme.

Moments before the bride was ready to walk down the aisle, her young nephew snuck into the room, "walked up to me and said, 'Aunt Leah, you look beautiful,'" the bride recalls.

The bride's Emily Hart Bridal gown featured a rhinestone detail that wrapped around her waist. Leah describes its short train as a "tail." Her Emily Hart Bridal veil was embellished with a beaded floral detail.

Her shoes—by designer Antonio Melani—were bold, with a circular beaded pattern covering the tops of her feet.

Leah envisioned a white wedding, where everything looked "fresh and crisp," she says, with just the slightest hint of green. Her bouquet reflected that aesthetic, with its white roses and peonies and green mums.

Chris wore an Astor & Black suit, which he paired with a sage green tie and white rose boutonniere.

A winding stone path, landscaped with wispy greens and manicured shrubs, led the ring bearer down to the deck where the couple would host their outdoor ceremony.

A flower girl dropped red rose petals on the path, just moments before the bride walked down it to meet her groom. Of the home and its outdoor space, the bride says, "it's the most perfect place for a small, intimate wedding."

A pastor read passages from 1 Corinthians and Ecclesiastes during the couple's wedding ceremony, which took place overlooking the lake.

The bride made each of the centerpieces for her long, white reception tables herself, filling cylinder vases with white and green blooms and tying each arrangement with a crystal "H," the couple's married-name monogram.

Guests noshed on Chilean sea bass and champagne chicken served alongside a candied-pecan mixed greens salad, dumpling potatoes and roasted vegetables.

With a diamond pattern and pearl detailing, the couple's four-tier wedding cake was simple and classic—the perfect addition to Leah and Chris' "crisp" wedding theme. Each lemon cake layer was filled with raspberry preserves.

White lanterns strung above the dance floor created a "wonderful ambiance during the night," Leah says. Chris' only wedding assignment? Picking the DJ, the bride says.

—Jillian Kramer

Ceremony Venue: Family residence || Reception Venue: Family residence || Bride's Wedding Dress: Emily Hart Bridal || Bride's Veil: Emily Hart Bridal || Bride's Shoes: Antonio Melani || Bride's Accessories: Dillard's || Bride's Wedding Ring: Shane Co. || Groom's Tux: Astor & Black || Groom's Wedding Ring: Shane Co. || Groomsmen Attire: Astor & Black || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Steinmart || Flower Girl Dress: Nordstrom || Florist: Sidelines Custom Floral Designs, Inc. || Caterer: Nick and Jake's || Rentals: All Seasons Event Rental || Photography: Sharayamauck Photography

A Summer Wedding with a “Fresh and Crisp” Aesthetic

 Casual, Classic, Garden, Kansas, Outdoor, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer, Traditional  Comments Off on A Summer Wedding with a “Fresh and Crisp” Aesthetic
Aug 092013
 

Love bloomed between Leah and Chris during a college Bible study, but when the couple moved to different cities after graduation, they were forced to date long-distance. "It was hard," Leah recalls, until Chris proposed on a weekend visit as the couple dined at the Crown Center Plaza. "I was so excited I shrieked 'yes' before he could get the whole question out. Apparently he had a whole quote rehearsed. Whoops!"

Just three months later, the couple—a marketing coordinator and an NFL player, respectively—wed in a backyard celebration, taking advantage of Stilwell, Kansas' picture-perfect July weather.

With fewer than 60 guests in attendance, a family member's lake house was the perfect venue for Leah and Chris' intimate celebration. "Their house is so beautiful," the bride gushes, listing the home's lush landscaping as a major boon to her simple decor scheme.

Moments before the bride was ready to walk down the aisle, her young nephew snuck into the room, "walked up to me and said, 'Aunt Leah, you look beautiful,'" the bride recalls.

The bride's Emily Hart Bridal gown featured a rhinestone detail that wrapped around her waist. Leah describes its short train as a "tail." Her Emily Hart Bridal veil was embellished with a beaded floral detail.

Her shoes—by designer Antonio Melani—were bold, with a circular beaded pattern covering the tops of her feet.

Leah envisioned a white wedding, where everything looked "fresh and crisp," she says, with just the slightest hint of green. Her bouquet reflected that aesthetic, with its white roses and peonies and green mums.

Chris wore an Astor & Black suit, which he paired with a sage green tie and white rose boutonniere.

A winding stone path, landscaped with wispy greens and manicured shrubs, led the ring bearer down to the deck where the couple would host their outdoor ceremony.

A flower girl dropped red rose petals on the path, just moments before the bride walked down it to meet her groom. Of the home and its outdoor space, the bride says, "it's the most perfect place for a small, intimate wedding."

A pastor read passages from 1 Corinthians and Ecclesiastes during the couple's wedding ceremony, which took place overlooking the lake.

The bride made each of the centerpieces for her long, white reception tables herself, filling cylinder vases with white and green blooms and tying each arrangement with a crystal "H," the couple's married-name monogram.

Guests noshed on Chilean sea bass and champagne chicken served alongside a candied-pecan mixed greens salad, dumpling potatoes and roasted vegetables.

With a diamond pattern and pearl detailing, the couple's four-tier wedding cake was simple and classic—the perfect addition to Leah and Chris' "crisp" wedding theme. Each lemon cake layer was filled with raspberry preserves.

White lanterns strung above the dance floor created a "wonderful ambiance during the night," Leah says. Chris' only wedding assignment? Picking the DJ, the bride says.

—Jillian Kramer

Ceremony Venue: Family residence || Reception Venue: Family residence || Bride's Wedding Dress: Emily Hart Bridal || Bride's Veil: Emily Hart Bridal || Bride's Shoes: Antonio Melani || Bride's Accessories: Dillard's || Bride's Wedding Ring: Shane Co. || Groom's Tux: Astor & Black || Groom's Wedding Ring: Shane Co. || Groomsmen Attire: Astor & Black || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Steinmart || Flower Girl Dress: Nordstrom || Florist: Sidelines Custom Floral Designs, Inc. || Caterer: Nick and Jake's || Rentals: All Seasons Event Rental || Photography: Sharayamauck Photography

An Upscale Wedding in a Relaxed Outdoor Setting

 Amsale, Casual, Fall, Garden, New York, Outdoor, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic, Vera Wang  Comments Off on An Upscale Wedding in a Relaxed Outdoor Setting
Aug 082013
 

It was a friend—one determined to play matchmaker—that brought Erin and Brett together. He riddled Erin, a then-student Kalamazoo College, with so much information about Brett that she felt she knew him long before they met. "The moment we met, I knew Kevin was right," she says now of their mutual friend. "To this day Kevin takes all the credit, and he was deservedly the best man in our wedding."

Six years later, Brett was set on surprising Erin with a proposal, but his plans to pop the question at The Cloisters—The Metropolitan Museum of Art's gardens in Washington Heights, Manhattan—were foiled when Erin accurately pegged his unusual behavior as part of a larger, more romantic scheme. "Brett told me that he would figure out another day to surprise me," Erin says. But after a romantic dinner, Brett proposed anyway. "He still managed to surprise me. The proposal did not go as perfectly as Brett had planned, but that is what made it so perfect."

Though the couple calls New York City home, they're Midwesterners at heart—so when it came to planning their September nuptials, it was important to "represent" their Ohio and Michigan hometowns, the bride says. "We brought our love for upscale city elegance to a casual and relaxed outdoor setting," she says.

With dozens of their 95 guests coming from out of town, the Hudson Valley's Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa"had everything we were looking for and more," for a miniature-destination wedding, Erin says. "The exquisite gardens, winding paths, quaint yet modern and luxurious cottages, and an on-site full service spa provided a charming and breathtaking location for our wedding weekend."

Erin considered designing her own wedding dress—but in the end, the bride chose a ready-to-wear gown that "reflected my aesthetic by a designer that I truly admire," she says. Her Vera Wang dress' drop waist and raw-edged organza skirt combined for a "soft yet architectural modern silhouette that photographs beautifully and looks different from every angle."

Erin's asymmetrical bouquet of white phalaenopsis orchids, fuchsia dendrobium orchids, garden roses and hot-pink ranunculus was tied with a pleated gray ribbon and adorned with a blue brooch that the bride's great grandmother, grandmother, mother and sister each used on their wedding days.

Fuchsia Bridesmaids Shoes

Photos: Style Art Life

Bridesmaids who wore short gray dresses from BCBG and Amsale also carried hot-pink bouquets made of dahlias, garden roses and ranunculus. "It was important to me that everyone felt beautiful and comfortable on my wedding day," Erin says.

In honor of Brett's undying love for the Detroit Tigers, groomsmen donned argyle socks bearing the baseball team's logo.

Rustic wood signs led guests to the couple's ceremony.

Held on a lawn near Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa's Swan Pond, Erin and Brett's ceremony was personal, they say, from the pastor's touching sermon to their handwritten vows. Music also played a large role in their nuptials, with a friend playing an acoustic guitar from the time guests arrived until the couple recessed to The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun.

The asymmetry of the bridesmaids' bouquets complemented some of the bridal party's one-shoulder dresses.

Bird Seed Toss Short Gray Bridesmaids Dresses

Photos: Style Art Life

Guests and attendants alike tossed pink rose petals into the air as the couple recessed down the aisle.

A cousin's bulldog, Frog, traveled from Ohio to attend the couple's wedding, donning a vest and pink bow tie for the occasion, "so we had to include him in the ceremony as our junior groomsman," Erin says. "He was so well-behaved and the highlight of the wedding weekend!"

As guests left the ceremony and headed toward the couple's reception tent, they were served pink Kir Royales in rustic mason jars. Staff with Oliver Kita Fine Catering also passed eight hors d'oeuvres, including risotto cakes topped with bitter chocolate beef ribs; lobster brochettes with a Panko-crumb and caramel glaze; and shooters of pear veloute soup.

"Throughout the wedding styling process we added details that truly represented us," Erin says. The couple labeled tables with numbers meaningful to their relationship—the address where they first met, the date they moved to New York City, and the number of Brett's favorite Detroit Tigers pitcher.

The bride "wanted the decor to reflect my own personal style and artistic aesthetic," she says. A blend of grey driftwood tables, mercury glass containers and fuchsia centerpieces created "a juxtaposition of clean architectural lines with subtle rustic and feminine details," she says.

Oliver Kita Fine Catering nicknamed the rustic farmhouse buffet "The Edible Hudson Valley Table," displaying local-farm cheeses, artisan breads and seasonal fruits for guests to enjoy.

The couple's white chocolate cake was covered in buttercream and layered with lemon and thyme flavors. White chocolate shavings gave the three-tier confection "a simple and modern look," the bride says.

The couple chose Barry White's Can't Get Enough Of Your Love for their first dance as husband and wife. "We chose fun and lighthearted songs for our special dances," Erin says.

Despite what the bride describes as hot and humid weather, guests danced all night to the live music of Live Wire Entertainment. "We are still receiving compliments about the amazing band," Erin says.

"The entire day was relaxed, intimate, flawless and exceptionally fun," Erin says of the couple's wedding celebration. "The night ended with our guests singing and dancing to New York, New York under a full moonlit sky. You could definitely feel the love stemming generations."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Events That Matter and Erin Braun Design || Ceremony Venue: Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa || Reception Venue: Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Bride's Veil: Bride's Head Revisited || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Bride's Accessories: Erin Braun Design and Erwin Pearl || Bride's Wedding Ring: Linhardt || Groom's Tux: Ticknors || Groom's Wedding Ring: Linhardt || Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBG and Amsale || Bridesmaids' Accessories: Alexis Bittar || Groomsmen Attire: Ticknors || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Emmelle || Florist: Steven Bruce Design || Caterer: Oliver Kita Fine Catering || Stationery: Gourmet Invitations || Cake Baker: Oliver Kita Fine Catering || Favors: Bell's Inspired Brewing, Two Little Red Hens and Russell Farms || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. || Lighting: Stortz Lighting || Entertainment: Levi Schmidt and Live Wire Entertainment || Photography: Style Art Life

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