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

An Intimate, Modern Wedding at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills

 California, Modern, Real Weddings  Comments Off on An Intimate, Modern Wedding at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills
Feb 182014
Wedding Beverly Wilshire Hotel Romona Keveza

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Karen likes to call her first date with Jonathan "semi-blind"—the two had worked together for months, but, amazingly, had never met in person. Back in 2004, she was working as a mortgage lender when Jonathan needed a loan. After she helped him get one he asked her out without ever having met her face-to-face. (While Karen had done a little Googling, Jonathan had no idea what she looked like!)

Eight years later, his loan became hers at an elegant, intimate wedding in Beverly Hills. Fifty guests watched as they tied the knot on the rooftop of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (can you say Pretty Woman moment?) before a reception in the hotel's Royal Suite.

Prince of Jewels Wedding Bands

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

One January evening in 2010, Karen and Jonathan had dinner reservations at a top-tier restaurant, Il Sole. As they were getting dressed, Karen asked if Jonathan thought she should add any accessories to her look. "Here's an accessory that would work really well," he said, holding out an engagement ring. "Dinner was extra-special that night," Karen says.

Carlo Cards Wedding Invitations

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

The couple's invitations, designed by Carlo Cards, matched their green and white color scheme.

Romona Keveza Wedding Gown Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes White Bouquet Roses Lilies

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Karen wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Romona Keveza, only the third dress she tried on. "I knew it was the dress Jonathan would most love to see me in," she says. She paired the glam silhouette with a bouquet of wild roses and lilies, sparkly peep-toe Jimmy Choo pumps, and a custom veil made from the same lace as the Duchess of Windsor's wedding dress. Talk about a future family heirloom!

Groom Suit Salvatore Ferragamo

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Jonathan looked dapper in a navy tuxedo by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Wedding Shoes Salvatore Ferragamo

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Jonathan accessorized his tux with a traditional bow tie and these Ferragamo tuxedo shoes.

Wilshire Boulevard Wedding Portrait Beverly Wilshire Hotel Wedding Beverly Wilshire Hotel Rooftop Ceremony Beverly Wilshire Hotel Wedding

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

The two were married in a Jewish ceremony, but Karen likes to say it was "semi-Jewish," explaining, "We were married under a chuppah by a rabbi and stepped on a glass after we were pronounced man and wife, but most of our guests weren't Jewish so our rabbi had to keep explaining why he was doing what he was doing." It took two tries for Jonathan to break the glass, Karen says. "The first time it came flying out of the velvet bag!"

Flower Girl Beverly Wilshire Hotel Wedding

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Karen and Jonathan's flower girl was the 2-year-old daughter of a close friend (appropriately, her name was Violet). "She adores her 10-year-old brother Aiden, so he waved to her the whole time she as walking down the aisle to make her feel comfortable. When she saw her brother, she walked to him and began throwing all her petals in his direction!" Karen says.

Karen_Jonathan_tables_17.jpg Karen_Jonathan_decor2_21.jpg

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

The couple decked out the Beverly Wilshire's Royal Suite, which Karen loved for its swanky NYC penthouse feel, with white flowers. Every surface was covered with pale blooms, and the entranceway featured a cascade of white roses, orchids and lilies. Most stunning of all were the long dinner tables, which were laid with a 50-foot white runner made of 5,000 clumped white roses.

White Modern Place Setting Wedding
Beverly Wilshire Hotel Royal Suite Wedding

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Karen placed Jo Malone orange blossom candles throughout the venue. "I've worn the scent daily since Jonathan and I started dating, so it's a subtle reminder of me wherever he goes," she says.

Butterend Wedding Cake Dog Topper

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

On their three-tier cake, the couple placed a figure representing Zeus, their beloved dog who had passed away from a brain tumor months before. They'd planned to make him their ring bearer, but instead, they asked guests to make a donation to the rescue where they'd gotten him in lieu of a gift.

Wedding Portrait Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Photo: Adam of Embrace Life Photography

Karen and Jonathan dated for over six years and were engaged for nearly three before they were married, so they had life together down pat by the wedding. "It isn't really the wedding that solidifies the relationship," she says, "but the everyday togetherness—being a team of two and being each other's solid ground—that makes a marriage."

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Beverly Wilshire Hotel || Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Veil: handmade by Letitia Alta Moda || Rings: Prince of Jewels || Hair & Makeup: Monique Powers || Groom's Suit: Salvatore Ferragamo || Planner: Linney Kim at Button Events|| Florist: Kelly Hancock of Garden Spells || Invitations: Carlo Cards || Cake: Butterend Cakes|| Photography: Adam atEmbrace Life Photography

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A Refined Fall Wedding at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, MI

 Glamorous, Michigan, Modern, Real Weddings  Comments Off on A Refined Fall Wedding at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, MI
Jan 222014

Ask any New Yorker, and they'll tell you just how unlikely it is that you'll meet your future husband at a bar. But Alexandra and Todd are an exception to the rule. Before moving to New York, Alexandra spent a summer in the city and went out with friends for a post-work happy hour. That night, she met Todd, but they didn't keep in touch after she left. When she moved to Manhattan full-time for work, the two reconnected and began dating almost immediately. In full New York fashion, they had their first kiss at Yankee Stadium!

In January of 2013, Todd invited Alexandra up to the rooftop of their new apartment building. He'd strung lights around the roof and hired a photographer to capture the moment as he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes!

For their wedding on September 9th, 2013, Alexandra and Todd headed back to her hometown of Rochester, Michigan. Meadow Brook Hall was the perfect venue choice—they were able to have the ceremony and reception all on the property, and delicious in-house catering made planning a wedding in eight months even easier. "The home is so gorgeous and full of little details. It speaks for itself," says Alexandra. They infused the space with a touch of Gatsby glamour, complementing the building's elegance with white flowers and a hint of mirrored shine that brought the couple's wedding dream to life.

Alexandra and Todd kept their wedding party small, both choosing to have only two attendants. The bride and her bridesmaids carried simple rose bouquets, hers in cream and theirs in light pink, wrapped in silk ribbon.

"We chose to do a first look, and it was such a magical moment," says Alexandra. "I was so glad we got to see each other before the ceremony, as well as enjoy the rest of the day without worrying about missing anything to take photos."

Todd and his groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos. Alexandra wore a scoop-neck gown with a tiered skirt from David's Bridal, while her bridesmaids wore black tulle and cream lace ball gowns.

The couple's outdoor ceremony was short and sweet. Rows of white chairs were decorated with pomanders of white chrysanthemums. Alexandra was escorted down the aisle to the wedding classic, Pachelbel's Canon in D.

Meadow Brook's gardens and grounds provided an elegant backdrop for the couple's portraits.

The couple introduced the Gatsby theme during cocktail hour. Place cards, featuring vintage-inspired fonts, were arranged on an antique table topped with a mirrored display of candles and white hydrangeas. Each table was named after a one of the couple's favorite places in New York City, from parks to restaurants and bars.

Tables were topped with either off-white or black and white striped linens. Arrangements of white hydrangeas and glowing candles were a minimal but beautiful finishing touch.

Tall hurricane vases were wrapped in crystals, while oversized arrangements of white hydrangeas rested upon sleek glass vases.

Guests loved getting creative in the couple's photo booth during the reception.

Todd and Alexandra's first dance was to "Annie's Song" by John Denver. As a nod to their hometown of New York City, they served New York cheesecake instead of traditional wedding cake. "It was a total hit," says Alexandra.

While they were planning, a friend gave Alexandra and Todd an amazing piece of advice. "They told us to enjoy the night together instead of splitting up to talk to different people," says Alexandra. "It would have been so easy for us to make the rounds alone, but instead we made a sincere effort to stay by each other's side all night long. Todd even walked me to the bathroom!" Alexandra really cherishes that she and Todd have the same memories from the evening, and that they got to enjoy the whole day by one another's side.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Meadow Brook Hall || Wedding Planner: Dorothy Burlakowski of Dochelle Custom Creations || Bride's Wedding Dress: David's Bridal || Shoes: Unlisted by Kenneth Cole || Hair & Makeup: Via Linda Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Aidan Mattox || Groom's Tuxedo: Suitsupply || Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Jos. A. Bank || Florist: Viviano Flower Shop || Invitations: Kim Gray of One Girl Press || Printed Materials: Dorothy Burlakowski of Dochelle Custom Creations || Music: Horizon Strings Group, Rare Blend || Catering: Meadow Brook Hall || Cake: Maggiano's || Rentals: Luxe Event Linen || Videography: Tweed Weddings || Photography: Widdis Photography

An Urban, Yellow and Gray Wedding at the Clock Tower in Denver, Colorado

 Colorado, Modern, Real Weddings  Comments Off on An Urban, Yellow and Gray Wedding at the Clock Tower in Denver, Colorado
Jan 152014

Caitlin and Jeb may live in Montreal, but they knew that they needed to return to Denver, Colorado, to start the next chapter in their relationship. The couple, who've known one another since elementary school, reconnected on Facebook (and started dating!) before finally having their first official date when Jeb, a professional soccer player, was in Denver with the Montreal Impact to play the Colorado Rapids. "We were boyfriend and girlfriend before even seeing each other after 10 years," says Caitlin. "When you know, you know!"

They had their first kiss on the light rail platform in downtown Denver, and their relationship came full circle a year later, when Jeb surprised Caitlin on the same train platform with a proposal! The couple quickly got busy planning their wedding, putting together their clean, modern Colorado celebration in barely six months. Though they were marrying at the beginning of December, "We wanted to stay away from more conventional winter colors and be true to our personality as a couple," says Caitlin. A mix of sleek gray, mustard yellow, and white transformed the historic D&F Clock Tower, where Caitlin and Jeb took over the top five floors of the building for an interactive, constantly-moving ceremony and reception that let them truly experience the day with their guests.

Jeb and Caitlin let their venue, built in 1911, infuse their modern celebration with vintage touches.

Caitlin wore mustard yellow shoes for a pop of color under her gown. "It was a ray of sunshine in the Colorado winter," she says of the bold hue. Her gown was unembellished when she purchased it, but she bought beaded fabric to create playful, shimmering straps (as well as create her chic birdcage veil!).

"I knew I wanted a flowing, silk dress. The straps gave it some winter sparkle," the bride says. Caitlin carried a bouquet of peonies, roses, billy balls, and dusty miller leaves in white, yellow, and soft gray.

It was only fitting that the couple's St. Bernard, Moose, joined them for photos (wearing a sweet yellow bow tie!). After all, he was the one who delivered the ring to Caitlin the day she and Jeb got engaged.

Caitlin wanted a dress that would flatter all four of her bridesmaids' bodies, so she chose a dove gray multi-way dress. They carried small bouquets of billy balls tied with gray ribbons.

Jeb's groomsmen kept it casual in dark gray suits and vests, accented with yellow ties—and yellow argyle socks!

The ceremony took place in front of the tower's clock face. "After the ceremony, we moved the chairs and swept up the petals to turn the room into the dance floor for later in the evening," says Caitlin.

Once they'd said "I Do," Jeb and Caitlin headed up to the top floor of the tower to take photos on the spiral staircase. Candles and chandeliers dressed up the raw space.

"We're both vegetarians, so a tapas-style reception allowed us to incorporate seasonal ingredients and still satisfy everyone's tastes," says Caitlin. Dark gray linens and small white and yellow arrangements topped the cocktail tables. They served their guests His and Hers signature drinks - a Whiskey Lemonade for him, and Apple Cider Sangria for her.

Jeb and Caitlin purchased a book of Colorado photography to use as the guest book, having guests leave them messages on different pages.

The dessert table featured wedding cake, pie, and the couple's favorite yellow candies.

Each tier of the cake was a different flavor - almond cream, Bailey's Irish chocolate, Strawberries and champagne, and lemon. An overblown white peony cascaded down the side.

Caitlin and Jeb escaped the Colorado winter with a honeymoon to Hawaii, where they reminisced about celebrating with their guests as the snow fell over Denver. With only 90 guests at their wedding, Caitlin and Jeb were able to spend time with each and every person they'd invited. "Choose your guest list wisely," says Caitlin. "We're very outgoing as a couple, so we wanted our wedding to be about people we love interacting with one another and celebrating with us."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: D&F Clock Tower || Wedding Planner: Kara Delay of Love This Day Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Purchased at Felicé Bridal || Shoes: Nordstrom || Jewelry: Kate Spade || Hair: Brie Francis || Makeup: Lizanne Brovsky || Bridesmaids' Dresses: twobirds Bridesmaid || Groom and Groomsmen's Suits: Express || Florist: Kara Delay of Love This Day Events || Invitations: Minted || Music: Josie Quick of Perpetual Motion, Chris Cockroft of Tip Top DJ || Catering: Three Tomatoes || Cake: Das Meyer || Rentals: Butler Rents || Photography: Brinton Studios

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Winter Wedding in Laguna Beach—and the Bride Wore Pink!

 California, Elegant, Glamorous, Maggie Sottero, Modern, Real Weddings, Romantic, Winter  Comments Off on A Winter Wedding in Laguna Beach—and the Bride Wore Pink!
Jan 092014
Bride and Groom at a California Wedding

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Julia and Nicholas's first meeting was classic California: They met riding bikes on the boardwalk at Newport Beach. Eight months later, they were engaged. For Julia's birthday, the couple went on a morning hike in Monarch Beach. Nicholas surprised her with the new camera she'd been dying for, as well as a night at the nearby Ritz Carlton Hotel. Once at the hotel, the couple headed outside to test out Julia's new camera as the sun set. While Julia fiddled with the settings, Nick reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter Julia had written her father when she was little. When she recognized what it was, Julia realized that Nick could only have the letter if her father had given it to Nick himself. When she looked up from the letter, he was down on one knee, ring in hand. Of course she said yes!

A two-year engagement allowed Nick and Julia to go with the flow as they planned their simple, modern wedding. "Since we were getting married four days before Christmas, we wanted a wintery feel that wasn't too over the top," Julia says. "We looked for a venue that would be a blank canvas, allowing us to create whatever setting we wanted." On December 21st, 2012, the couple danced the night away with 175 guests at 7 Degrees in Laguna Beach.

Blush Maggie Sottero Wedding Gown

Bride in a Blush Maggie Sottero Wedding Gown

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Julia eschewed traditional white for a full-skirted mermaid gown in blush pink. "I wanted something a little different," she says. "I'm by no means a girly girl, but when I saw this gown, I had to have it!" Layer upon layer of chiffon ruffles filled out the dramatic train.

Pink Rose Bouquet

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Julia paired her gown with a bouquet of pink roses studded with crystals, white ranunculuses and hydrangeas.

Baby Flower Girl

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The couple's 8-month-old daughter served as their (absolutely adorable!) flower girl. "She wasn't quite walking, but she did wonderfully," says Julia. "She smiled at everyone and clapped throughout the ceremony."

Tented Wedding Ceremony at 7 Degrees in Laguna Beach

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The ceremony took place on the rooftop of 7 Degrees, just after sunset. Guests were greeted with a glass of champagne, and then were seated under a tent lit with paper lanterns for the short and sweet ceremony.


Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Nick and Julia's wedding party was outfitted in shades of gray. The bridesmaids' soft gray gowns complemented Julia's blush pink and carried soft white bouquets.

Wintery Indoor Wedding Reception

Simple White Centerpieces

Succulent Centerpieces at a California Wedding

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The reception's cool blue tones gave the space a wintery feel. "We didn't want to waste flowers, so we used succulents in concrete vases and just a few floral arrangements," says the bride.

Bride and Groom's First Dance

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The couple's first dance was to an acoustic version of John Legend's "Stay With You." Then, the volume was pumped up and the couple and their friends danced all night. "We had a hard time with my bustle," Julia says, "but my photographer saved the day!"

White Frosted Wedding Cakes

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Instead of stacking the tiers of the cake, the couple served four individual cakes in different flavors: White chocolate, vanilla, tiramisu, and red velvet. Clusters of buttercream flowers were the tasty finishing touch.

Bride and Groom's Sparkler Exit

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

A sparkler send-off was the perfect ending to the evening. "The best compliment I received about our wedding had nothing to do with the details," says Julia. "It was that guests could feel the love we share, and had a wonderful time making memories with us." And isn't that what it's all about?

Ceremony & Reception Venue: 7 Degrees || Bride's Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero || Jewelry & Wedding Bands: Traditional Jewelers || Groom's Attire: Burberry || Music: Ceremony - John Troy, DJ Julius || Catering: 7 Degrees || Cake: Family Friend || Photography: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Girly Bridal Shower and Intimate Formal Wedding in New York

 Elegant, Glamorous, Modern, New York, Real Weddings, Romantic, Spring, Summer  Comments Off on A Girly Bridal Shower and Intimate Formal Wedding in New York
Jan 062014

When you've already chosen a rock star planner and photographer for your wedding, why not use their expertise to turn your bridal shower into an event to remember, too? That's just what Rachel, 33, did to celebrate both her shower on May 5, 2013, and her wedding, with a ceremony on June 10th and a reception on June 13th.

"Instead of one big wedding day, I wanted a bunch of small intimate events so we could really enjoy them and spend time with the people there," says Rachel. "Every time an event was over, it was almost time for the next one!" By having both the bridal shower and the ceremony at her mother's home in Brooklyn Heights, planner Laura Remmert was able to help Rachel create an intimate, family-focused series of celebrations that captured the importance of the event to the couple.

From the playful and girly bridal shower to the intimate ceremony in her mother's dining room, to an Art Deco-inspired reception at the Bleecker Street Arts Club three days later, Rachel and her now-husband Anthony, 37, celebrated their marriage in as many ways as they possibly could.

"The shower was very girly and whimsical," says planner Laura. She mixed rented mix-and-match floral china with Rachel's grandmother's crystal to put an antique spin on the décor, while gold chairs and black and white cushions added a whimsical touch. A date in May meant there was an abundance of fresh, seasonal flowers in vibrant pink. Says Rachel, "Having Laura help with the shower meant we didn't have to worry about rentals or design, and that my mother and sister could enjoy themselves during the party."

The lush centerpieces featured peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, and sweet peas. A combination of gold and silver bud vases carried on the celebration's eclectic feel.

For such a playful event, there was no better choice for food than caterer Peter Callahan. Whimsical hors d'oeuvres, like bite-sized fish tacos served with mini margaritas, kept all the ladies satisfied. Another one of his signature passed treats? Pastry rings topped with caviar and a dollop of cream.

Instead of a traditional guest book, Rachel's friends and family left her messages on a bottle of wine.

There's nothing more fun than s'mores, and they're even better when they come in a one-bite package!

For both her ceremony and her reception, Rachel chose sleek, modern gowns designed by Inbal Dror. "I wanted something unique and different, and Inbal was really able to do that," she says.

The couple, who met 15 years ago, were engaged for almost a year and a half before they began planning their wedding. Once they started, bringing in a planner meant they could pull it all together in 8 months.

Anthony wore a classic tuxedo from Tom Ford. His rose gold Patek watch belonged to Rachel's late father.

In honor of her father, who passed away seven years ago, Rachel had her elegant white and green bouquet wrapped in one of his ties.

Her strapless Inbal Dror gown featured va-va-voom sheer nude lace on the back of the corset.

The ceremony was supposed to take place outside, however the threat of rain caused them to move it indoors. The chuppah, draped in orchids, roses, and hydrangeas in shades of white, was erected in Rachel's mother's dining room, which ended up being the perfect location for the cozy ceremony.

Three days later, on June 13th, 2013, Rachel and Anthony gathered 65 of their friends at Bleecker Street Arts Club for the reception. Rachel donned another Inbal Dror design, this one featuring modern beading and an a-line skirt.

Layered gold, silver, and champagne were accented with fresh white and green flowers. Patterned linens put a glam spin on the tables, which were topped with white peonies and tall candlesticks.

For the wedding reception, Rachel and Anthony turned to Mario by Mary, serving their guests a menu curated by Mario Batali and created by Mary Giuliani. They shared some of their favorite—and indulgent—foods, from blinis and caviar (served with chilled vodka shots) to burrata, tortello puzzone, and strip loin.

When they weren't dining or dancing, guests entertained themselves with a photo booth full of playful props. For dessert, a white-on-white wedding cake was topped with the couple's monogram.

And the party didn't end there! As a nod to their Anguillan engagement, Anthony and Rachel invited friends and family to Cap Juluca resort to celebrate with them yet again.

"I know everyone says this, but don't forget to enjoy your wedding day," says Rachel. "Don't stress over every little thing—just be in the moment." Whether it's your bridal shower or your wedding day, having a great team in place will keep the stress to a minimum, and the joy at an all-time high.

Bridal Shower & Ceremony Venue: The Bride's Mother's Home || Reception Venue: Bleecker Street Arts Club || Bridal Shower & Wedding Planner: Laura Remmert Events || Bride's Wedding Dresses: Inbal Dror || Shoes: Prada, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin || Jewelry: Family Heirlooms || Hair & Makeup: Jessie Riley || Groom's Tuxedo: Tom Ford || Wedding Bands: Michael Herman || Florist: Lewis Miller Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Regas || Music: Venus Ensembles || Bridal Shower Catering: Peter Callahan || Wedding Catering: Ceremony – KG Fare, Reception – Mario by Mary || Cake: Ceremony – Lady M Confections, Reception – Cheryl Kleinman Cakes || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. || Favors: Molly's Cupcakes || Photography: Roey Yohai Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Vibrant Golf Course Wedding at PGA West in La Quinta, California

 Badgley MIschka, California, Casual, Modern, Outdoor, Pink, Preppy, Real Weddings, Summer  Comments Off on A Vibrant Golf Course Wedding at PGA West in La Quinta, California
Nov 142013
Bride and groom on the PGA West Golf Course in La Quinta, CA.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

It seems that fate has been trying to bring Annie, 28, and Jeff, 30, together for 20 years now. They grew up in the same town, their parents were classmates in high school, and the couple even met for the first time in 1993, when Jeff's older sister was Annie's softball coach. In high school, they were in the same group of friends. Annie was a cheerleader and Jeff was on the soccer team, so it was only natural that she developed a crush on him over the years.

Through the powers of social media and annual Thanksgiving gatherings in their hometown, Jeff and Annie stayed in touch through college. But it wasn't until her brother's wedding that Jeff made a move and asked her out (with her brother's permission, of course). The two became inseparable, with Annie visiting Jeff in Lake Tahoe almost every weekend. In August of 2012, he got down on one knee, and Annie moved to Lake Tahoe permanently. The couple kept their wedding local, heading to a gorgeous golf club for a modern-meets-classic Cali celebration.

Diamond engagement ring.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Jeff proposed to Annie during one of her regular weekend visits to Lake Tahoe. He set her up with 'the perfect day': coffee, lunch, a massage, and happy hour with wine and cheese. Why didn't Annie catch on to the impending question? "This was just another day in the life of dating Jeff," she says. Jeff orchestrated a ruse that resulted in the couple taking Jeff's client's boat out on the lake. He led Annie to the bow and got down on one knee. The entire marina cheered as Annie said "yes!"

Bride's Badgley Mischka pumps and bridesmaids' colorful shoes.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Annie went classic white with her peep toe Badgley Mischka pumps. Her bridesmaids, on the other hand, paired their little black dresses with shoes in bright, fun colors.

Backless Katie May lace mermaid wedding dress.
Bride in a lace Katie May mermaid wedding dress with a hot pink bouquet.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

When Annie began her wedding dress search, she knew she wanted something simple that wouldn't look dated when she looked back at the pictures. The one thing she did want? "A dramatic back!" says the bride. Her lace dress by Katie May was the first–and only–dress she tried on. The simple mermaid shape and scalloped neckline were perfect for the couple's California wedding.

Hot pink peony, hydrangea and rose wedding bouquets.
Bride with bridesmaids in little black dresses in La Quinta, California.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Annie and her bridesmaids all carried bouquets of bright pink hydrangeas, roses, and peonies.

Because her bridesmaids all live in Southern California but Annie and Jeff live in the northern part of the state, it was much easier to ask them to each pick a flattering Little Black Dress, creating a unified but personalized look.

Groom in a gray Hugo Boss suit at PGA West Golf Course.
Groom and groomsmen in gray suits on a golf cart in La Quinta, CA.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Jeff wore a Hugo Boss suit and a polka-dotted tie for his trip down the aisle.

The groom and groomsmen all wore colorful socks from Hook + Albert and Ralph Lauren ties. The socks and ties were a gift from the groom.

Outdoor wedding ceremony with pink flowers at PGA West Golf Course.
Outdoor wedding ceremony with ring bearers in a wagon.
Bride and groom's outdoor wedding ceremony in La Quinta, CA.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The ceremony was held outdoors at the PGA West golf course. Pomanders and hot pink flower petals edged the aisle, while the altar gave way to a dramatic mountain view.

Jeff's nephews served as the ring bearers. The youngest, only 6 months old at the time of the wedding, was pushed down the aisle in a wagon by his older brother and cousin. The ceremony was officiated by Jeff's cousin. The couple spent months prior to the wedding doing marriage counseling with him and personalizing their ceremony. Jeff and Annie wrote their own vows, and now have them framed in their home.

Bride and groom at the PGA West Golf Course in La Quinta, CA.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

La Quinta, CA, was the ideal location for the couple's wedding. "We wanted a location that would guarantee good weather," says Annie. Additionally, they've been vacationing in the area their entire lives, giving the day an added layer of personal significance.

Black and pink wedding reception dcor.
Pink wedding menu with cherry blossoms.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The couple came up with their black and pink color scheme together. Says Annie, "I always went to Jeff with 3 ideas and had him choose the one he liked best. This way, he would always be a part of the wedding planning."

Black and pink dessert bar at a wedding reception in La Quinta, CA.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

Jeff and Annie paid for most of the wedding themselves, so the bride took on a number of DIY projects to help keep costs down. The dessert bar, however, was a labor of love that Jeff's sister tackled. It featured some of the couple's favorite treats, from gummies and chocolates to donuts.

Black and white funfetti wedding cake with pink peonies.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

The couple sliced into a simple black and white cake with a surprise inside: Instead of plain vanilla, the cake was Funfetti flavored!

Sparkler wedding exit at the PGA West Golf Course in La Quinta, California.

Photo: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

After a night of dancing with their friends and family, a sparkler send-off was a fitting end. The couple chose a far-flung honeymoon destination, spending two weeks in Tahiti and Bora Bora.

Annie hopes couples planning their weddings will "remember why they're getting married in the first place." Even with all the stress, that's what will get you through. Her other tip is to "choose one thing you don't want to miss out on–whether it's dancing, eating dinner, drinking, talking to a certain guest, etc.–and make sure that happens! That way, you'll always have that memory."

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Club at PGA West || Day-Of Coordinator: Alex Hillier of Carter & Cook Co. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Katie May || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Makeup: Erin Perencevic || Hair: Nadia Draper of Panache Hair Studio || Jewelry: The Bride's Mother || Wedding Bands: Pepi Fine Jewelry || Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss || Florist: Laura Kilts of Magnolia's Floral || Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas || Cake: The Pastry Swan Bakery || Music: Luke Manthe of Vox DJs || Photography: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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An Elegant Seaside Wedding in Malibu, CA

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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An Elegant Outdoor Wedding at an Iconic New York Venue

 Casual, Elegant, Jenny Yoo, Modern, New York, Purple, Real Weddings, Romantic, Traditional  Comments Off on An Elegant Outdoor Wedding at an Iconic New York Venue
Sep 112013

Cupid's arrow struck Anna and Akshay on their first date—a date arranged through the online cherub OkCupid.com. "We felt incredibly lucky," the bride says. Nearly three years later, as the couple lounged in New York City's Fort Greene Park, Akshay popped the question. "The funny part was that we had tickets to see King Lear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in a couple of hours—so we had to go, and that is the least celebratory play ever!" Anna exclaims. "We got to go out for champagne afterward, though."

The couple wed at the Bronx Zoo. They strove to make their wedding "feel elegant and special but still relaxed and comfortable—kind of like the zoo itself," Anna says.

While the bride fell for the do-it-yourself craze, she also "wanted to make sure that any of those personal touches still felt authentic to me," she explains. "I was very wary of cutesy wedding cliches."

"The zoo is crawling with peacocks that roam free, and I absolutely love the colors of their feathers. The peacock also happens to be the national bird of India, and we had sort of a half-Indian wedding," the bride says. With the peacocks as their inspiration, the couple's color palette came easily: Rich jewel hues of blue, purple, green, and gold. "I liked not being super strict with the color scheme—it felt more authentic than trying to carefully make everything one of two specific colors," Anna explains. "Sometimes I feel like that can get a little stiff or cheesy if you're not careful."

The bride sought a simple and elegant gown to counter the elaborate and vibrant Indian sari she donned during the ceremony. "I tried this dress on early in the process and just couldn't get it out of my head," Anna says of her Jenny Yoo dress. "I didn't have that amazing aha moment, but even as I tried on several other gorgeous options at other stores I just kept thinking about it. So I finally went for it!"

"The most important accessory for the dress itself was the purple and gold sash," the bride says. She searched "high and low" and across the Internet until she found the perfect strip of fabric for sale by an Indian eBay vendor. "I had my seamstress attach it to the dress. It definitely helped make for a nice transition from the sari," Anna says.

The bride describes her sari, which was purchased by her in-laws in India, as "purple and green silk with tons of gold embellishments and beading."

Days before the wedding, Anna hosted a Mehndi party for herself and her six bridesmaids "so I had henna on my hands for the big day," she says. Bridesmaids also wore the decorative ink.

Bridesmaids wore mismatched jewel-toned dresses the bride discovered on Polyvore. "We organized via Pinterest," she says. Because the dresses were purchased online, sight-unseen until the wedding day, the experience was a little "nerve-wracking," Anna says. "But it worked out perfectly. Everyone looked great, and they all looked awesome together."

The bride's bouquet was a luscious mix of 10 types of flowers, including pink and white peonies, lisianthus, garden roses, and clematis.

With their backs to the sea lion pool, 160 guests watched the couple exchange hand-written vows. "I was reluctant to do it—being a writer and editor, it just feels extra nerve-wracking writing about myself—but Akshay really wanted to, and I'm so glad we did," Anna says.

The ceremony space—just beyond the zoo center, where the rhinos roam—was "so beautiful that we really kept everything else simple," the bride says. The couple wed beneath a classic Indian mandap that was decorated with birch, foliage, ribbons, and flowers.

Purchased on Minted, the couple's invitation suite was called Royal Plumage, the perfect complement to their peacock feather-inspired color palette.

Escort cards were tied to tiny plastic animals the bride bought online and spray-painted gold. "Pretty much my only DIY," she admits. The type of animal corresponded to a table name—guests whose names were attached to a zebra were seated at the zebra table, and so on with the other members of the small animal kingdom.

But the small animals presented a conundrum for the children at the wedding. "I'd originally been a little worried that some of them wouldn't get the animal they really wanted and would be upset," Anna says. "What happened is a few of the little rascals ran around to all the tables and tried to steal everyone's animals when they weren't looking! Obviously no one really minded, but it was pretty silly."

At each table sat a gold picture frame, which held a printed image of the animal for which the table was named. "I used PowerPoint to lay them out along with the actual number for the table and had them printed out at Walgreens," the bride says as she describes perhaps her only other do-it-yourself project.

A mixture of textured purple, cream, and orange blooms made up the centerpieces, which were held in mercury glass vases. Vintage books and votive candles also decorated the table tops.

Uber-hits Call Me Maybe and Gangnam Style drove people to the to dance floor in droves, the bride recalls. "Those are two of the best wedding-dancing songs out there," she says.

"One of my favorite dancing moments was when the DJ played Shout," Anna says. "I'm not generally the biggest fan of those kind of cheesy wedding songs, but people got so into it. There's literally a photo of someone lying down on the floor during the 'a little bit softer now' part. Amazing."

Momofuku Milk Bar designed a four-tier wedding cake made with layers of chocolate pretzel and birthday cake. "They don't really frost the outsides of the cakes," the bride explains. "They just look kind of unfinished and super cool."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Erganic Design || Ceremony Venue: Bronx Zoo || Reception Venue: Bronx Zoo || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo || Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade || Bride's Wedding Ring: Soho Gem || Groom's Tux: Theory || Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Name || Bridesmaids' Accessories: Name || Henna Artist: Akiyo Ogura || Florist: Sweet & Flower || Caterer: Bronx Zoo || Stationery: Minted || Cake Baker: Momofuku Milk Bar || Favors: TheBigZoo.com || Linen Rentals: Name || Entertainment: Carlos Rey Sebastian || Transportation: DeCamp Bus Lines || Photography: Oh, Darling! Photography

A Sleek, Silver Bridesmaid Dress from White by Vera Wang

 Bridesmaid Dresses, Bridesmaids, Formal, Glamorous, Modern, Silver, White by Vera Wang  Comments Off on A Sleek, Silver Bridesmaid Dress from White by Vera Wang
Aug 192013
White by Vera Wang peplum bridesmaid dress

Photo: Courtesy of White by Vera Wang

Style-seekers are going to love this silver bridesmaid dress from White by Vera Wang. The slim-fitting shape and clean lines will make your bridal party look uniformly sophisticated, while the peplum adds a stylish touch that doesn't feel too trendy. Dress up the look with ultra-glam jewels or dress it down with loosely waved hair and a solid-hued shoe.

Style VW360134, satin and matte crepe peplum dress with satin sash, $178, White by Vera Wang available at David's Bridal

—Lauren Frankfort

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A Simple Yet Classic Bridesmaid Bouquet of Baby’s Breath

 Classic, Flowers & Decor, Modern, Romantic, Spring, Summer, Wedding Flowers  Comments Off on A Simple Yet Classic Bridesmaid Bouquet of Baby’s Breath
Jul 232013
white babys breath bridesmaid bouquet

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

A simple clutch of baby's breath makes for a pretty (and cost-effective!) bridesmaid bouquet. The popular flower is sometimes used as filler, but we love the way the delicate white buds stand alone here. The bouquet's monochromatic color palette appears modern, and when paired with a brightly-colored bridesmaid dress, in this case lavender, the combination is classic. Says the bride who designed the bouquet with the help of Washington D.C.-based florist DBI Events, "I wanted the bouquet to complement (the) dress but not be a distraction." Mission accomplished.

See more of our favorite wedding bouquets from real weddings.

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