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

One Couple’s French-Inspired Wedding in Leawood, Kansas

 Kansas, Real Weddings  Comments Off on One Couple’s French-Inspired Wedding in Leawood, Kansas
Oct 262015
 

In the age of digital dating, Justine Nolte and Michael Groff used online matchmaking to their advantage — and then put it behind them for good! "We met on Match.com in September 2013," Justine says. "We were both each other's first and last date from the site. We both cancelled our subscriptions after one week!" A year later, Michael wanted to celebrate their anniversary by recreating a special picnic they shared during the very beginning of their relationship. "He took me to the exact same spot and mimicked almost every detail," the bride says. But he changed one thing. For dessert, Michael filled an empty pint of gelato with a ring box before passing it over to Justine. "He came around to my side of the table and got down on one knee. Safe to say I was very surprised!"

They decided on a spring wedding in Leawood, Kansas, where the bride grew up, choosing the Church of the Nativity for their ceremony and Hallbrook Country Club for their reception. With visions of a French-inspired wedding, with details reminiscent of the baroque period, and a father who is a wedding planner, the couple set off to plan their April 17, 2015 nuptials and invited 147 guests to be part of their big day. Keep reading to see every photo Clayton Jenkins snapped during their romantic celebration.

For Justine, finding her dream dress was a family affair. Since her family owns a local bridal salon, she traveled with her loved ones to New York City for Bridal Market. "It was certainly a different experience looking for my own dress instead of thinking about what our customers would want," she says. In the end, though, she chose a look that came from home — literally! Her father designed a sleeveless embroidered gown that was produced by Stephen Yearick, which featured an elaborately embroidered skirt with over 200,000 Swarovski crystals. She accessorized with a long veil and a cascading bouquet of 100 phalenopis orchids.

The bride admits that the easiest part of planning her wedding to Michael was actually selecting her attendant's outfits! "It was love at first sight," she says of their floor-length white gowns. "They were light and airy, which I thought was perfect for an evening wedding in the spring." They carried bouquets of Catelya and dendrobian orchids.

Michael looked every bit the dashing groom in his classic black tux from Top Top Tux.

Justine and her father walked down the aisle as a live orchestra performed. The couple exchanged traditional vows during their religious ceremony before exiting the church to Mouret's "Rondo."

Once the party moved to Hallbrook Country Club, guests were treated to an all-out elegant affair. The celebration kicked off with a candlelit entrance before guests found their seats at long tables that were decked out with low floral centerpieces, tall candles, and gold-rimmed flatware. The end of each table included a trailing arrangement, complete with greenery, roses, and hydrangeas.

Dinner was a five-course event, where everyone enjoyed seasonal dishes like spring pea and corn bisque, poached pear and goat cheese salad, rosemary shrimp, and beef tenderloin.

In addition to towers of French macarons, the couple served up an exquisite five-tiered wedding cake, which was decorated with pistachio green fondant, edible gold leaves, and hand molded sugar details. And the inside was just as spectacular as the presentation. The couple chose the bride's long-time family favorite: Champagne vanilla cake with raspberry filling. "There were no leftovers!" the bride says.

After dinner, everyone hit the monogrammed dance floor as both a live band and a DJ took turns keeping the party going. Once the celebration ended, Justine and Michael enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico. "Planning and preparing for 'the big day' can be exciting and fun," the bride says. "But truly staying focused on the excitement of what's to come after that is what got us through the whirlwind of our engagement."

Ceremony Venue: Church of the Nativity || Reception Venue & Catering: Hallbrook Country Club || Wedding Planner: Michael J. Nolte || Officiant: Fr. Al Rockers || Bride's Wedding Dress: designed Michael J. Nolte, created by Stephen Yearick || Veil: Washington Millinery || Jewelry: Kenneth Jay Lane || Hair: Krystal Rae Reno || Makeup: Madeline Diab of Halls || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Basix Black Label || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Tip Top Tux || Engagement Ring: Tivol || Wedding Bands: Helzberg Diamonds || Flowers: The Fiddly Fig || Invitations: Dauphine Press || Ceremony Music: Kansas City Chorale || Reception Music: Atlantic Express; Entertainment To Go || Cake: Sweet Bliss Cakery || Rentals: All Seasons Event Rental || Transportation: KC Transportation Group || Accommodations: Aloft || Videographer: Wirken Photography || Photographer: Clayton Jenkins

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Want to see more spring weddings? Then check out another couple's seasonal wedding in the video below.

Aug 052015
 

Sometimes in the great search for that one perfect dress, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? With an appointment at a top-notch bridal salon. In our new August/September 2015 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best 50 bridal salons — big and small, luxury and budget-friendly, boho and traditional — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,100 real brides nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to find that dream wedding dress by rating and submitting their own gown-shopping experience. From precious, personalized boutiques in the South to giant wedding dress meccas in the Northeast to intimate indie shops in California, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the Midwest.

Ultimate Bride, Chicago
Owned by industry vet Elena Grapsas, this Oak Street salon specializes in swank labels like Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. "But I never felt pressure to spend more than I wanted," says a bride.

M.H. Pomander's, Indianapolis
Bringing Mom is a must, say reviewers: Along with gowns from the likes of Lee-Ann Belter and Theia, the shop is known for its flattering MOB dresses. P.S.: In-house seamstress Erin Young is couture trained.

Laura's Couture Collection, Shawnee, Kansas
This chic boutique carries fresh-off-the-runway gowns from designers like Marchesa and Pronovias. Says one bride, "My mom and sister couldn't be there, so owner Laura Mease FaceTimed them while I was trying stuff on."

Roma Sposa, Birmingham, Mich.
Fashion-forward Detroiters, take note: Anna Castaldi-Roselli stocks her salon with haute designs from Vera Wang and Inbal Dror. Reviewers raved about the trunk shows: "After she knew my taste, my consultant suggested I go for one by Ines di Santo. I found the perfect gown and met the designer!" says a bride.

A & Bé Bridal Shop, Minneapolis
Owned by the same duo as Denver's Anna Bé, this laid-back boutique is beloved by boho brides, who tout the crazy-good selection of indie labels (Anna Campbell, Rue de Seine) and range of prices: Many gowns ring in under $1,500.

L'Atelier Couture Bridal, Minneapolis
At this gallery-like salon, you'll find gowns by hot designers like Jenny Packham and Mira Zwillinger displayed like works of art. As for the service, one recent bride told us that her consultant made a video to show the out-of-state 'maids how to bustle her gown.

See more: The Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide: The Best Necklines by Body Type

Fleur De Lis Bridal Boutique , St. Louis
Again and again, reviewers said that shopping here was the highlight of their wedding-planning experience. Not only is it the only salon in the city with sought-after designers like Rivini and Judd Waddell, but if you avoid a Saturday appointment you'll also be the only bride in the store.

Rhylan Lang, Omaha, Nebr.
Love lace? This chic salon is the state's go-to spot for ultrafeminine lines like Hayley Paige and Anne Barge. Area brides are obsessed with the private dressing rooms; each one has an elevated platform and enough space to fit even the largest entourage.

Amanda's Hyde Park Bridal, Cincinnati
At this intimate spot, each bride gets the whole shop — and a reserved parking spot — to herself. Says one, "I was greeted at the door with champagne and a sign that said, 'Welcome, Jennifer!'"

Something White, Independence, Ohio
This light-drenched salon is filled with gowns from hard-to-find labels like Leanne Marshall and Ivy & Aster. It's also the only Ohio store selling perennial fave Lela Rose. "I loved that they weren't afraid to stray from the poofy princess dress," says a fan.

Gigi of Mequon, Mequon, Wis.
City brides flock to this mecca outside Milwaukee for gowns by Peter Langner and Monique Lhuillier and spoil-you-silly service. Says one, "In Chicago, appointments are stacked on top of one another. Here, I felt like the only bride they'd ever dressed."

For even more of the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES August/September 2015 issue on newsstands now and available for download.

A 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

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