Etiquette advises against dating your boss so, even though Jesse was merely an older student working at Peri's college's calling center, it took the couple six years, two graduations and many ski trips to move from coworkers to friends to something more.
In July of 2011, Jesse was in Europe for work, so Peri hopped on a plane to visit him for a vacation in Provence. They rented a VW bus and drove around the region, tasting wine and enjoying the scenery. On their last day, they had a picnic lunch in a lavender field, where Jesse proposed. Unbeknownst to Peri, a few weeks earlier he had flown from Washington to San Diego and back (all in one day!) to pick up the engagement ring.
This Northwest couple took the farm theme a step further, planning a wedding on a real working farm near Seattle that belongs to Peri's sister. Their authentic, natural wedding on August 11th, 2012, featured local vendors, a late-night bonfire, and lots of help from family and friends.
The invitations featured hand-drawn plants and leaves found around the farm.
Peri dressed up her lace Pronovias gown with her diamond engagement ring and a sparkling floral necklace from J.Crew "to add some glamour to our rustic-chic wedding," she says.
Both the bridesmaids and groomsmen were mismatched. The girls chose their own coral dresses, while the guys wore gray suits. "It looked more organic than having everyone in the exact same color," says Peri.
Peri and one of her bridesmaids hand-made the bouquets using white, pink and coral flowers like hydrangeas and cabbage roses. She wrapped them in pieces of tulle from her wedding gown. The groom and groomsmen's boutonnieres featured flowers and berries from around the farm. "Making the bouquets was fun, but in retrospect I'd rather have spent the day before the wedding at the spa!" Peri says. "I'd recommend doing as little as possible the day before your wedding so you can really kick back and enjoy the ride, rather than worrying about last-minute projects."
The ceremony took place beneath an old maple tree in the center of the farm. The couple had an open bar before the ceremony and were out greeting guests as they arrived. A few minutes before the ceremony, the coordinator had guests take a seat while the wedding party hid in Peri's sister's house. The entire group walked down the aisle together.
Peri and Jesse exchanged vows that they'd written together. "We started each line with 'Let's...', listing things like living in France and having a family," she says.
Jesse assembled a free-standing window and shutters, which were painted blue like the ones they'd seen in Provence when they got engaged. They used the shutters to display their guests' place cards. Strands of light and streamers decorated the open-air reception area.
The focus was really on the food, so table decorations were kept very simple. White linens were topped with brightly-hued bouquets of daisies. Table names were hand-made signs that the couple found laying around the farm. The menu incorporated one of the drawings used on Jesse and Peri's invitations.
Forgoing a traditional guest book, Jesse made a wooden jigsaw puzzle that Peri's mother painted. Guests were asked to leave messages for the bride and groom on the puzzle pieces, then put them in a box handmade by Jesse's father. On their first anniversary, the couple assembled the puzzle and read all of the messages their guests had left.
The wedding cake was made by a friend of Peri's. Almond cake was layered with fresh stone fruits and créme fraîche. "Unfortunately I didn't take the time to stop and eat much of the cake that night, so I had Abby make us another one a month later for my husband's birthday," says Peri.
Strings of lighting hung from the barn roof, lighting the reception as the sun set.
Peri was so glad that she and Jesse were able to marry on her sister's farm. "We had full access to the venue for months leading up to the wedding. The whole family pitched in to help get the farm ready," she says. "And we could stay up partying as late as we wanted! Several of our friends camped out under the stars after it was all over."
The couple's advice is to really identify what is important to you, and stick with that. She also recommends hiring someone to help. "I think hiring a professional to assist with planning and logistics, as well as day-of coordination, is a good idea and would have been worth the money. But we did alright without one!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Local Roots Farm || Day-Of Coordinator: A Friend of the Family || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pronovias, from A Princess Bride || Jewelry: J.Crew, and Kate Spade || Hair: Tonic Salon || Groom's Suit: Indochino || Engagement Ring: Custom Design by Robbins Brothers || Wedding Bands: Bride: Beverley K., Groom: His Grandfather || Florist: Flowers from Marigold and Mint || Invitations & Paper Goods: DIY || Music: The Rolling Retreads || Catering: Foraged & Found || Cake: Abby's Hot Buns Bakery || Rentals: AA Party Rentals || Photography: O'Malley Photographers
Grace's grandparents knew Bradley long before she did—they babysat him as a boy, the bride now says. When Bradley showed up to a few family functions, including a pirate-themed party, "we really re-met as adults," Grace says. "A few weeks later, he was at several other family functions and we really started to notice each other. Then, he finally asked me out!"
Bradley proposed at a more private family function—the couple's third Christmas together. As Grace dug into her stocking, Bradley swapped Charlie Brown Christmas for their favorite Hawaiian tune and stuck his hand between the couch cushions. The bride admits, "I kind of knew what was happening," but says she was "in complete shock and burst into tears when he got down on one knee."
Their August wedding at Twenty Mile House was "natural and green, as well as stylish and modern," the bride describes. "It was also very important for our cultures to be a part of the wedding weekend and for our guests to have a wonderful time."
Six children participated in the couple's wedding afternoon ceremony, serving as flower girls and ring bearers dressed in tutus and Chuck Taylors. "There were so many little ones that it was difficult for there to be any kind of order going down the aisle," Grace recalls. "The ring bearers pretty much ran down and then the flower girls walked and two of them threw petals. At the very end, the last flower girl remembered she was supposed to do something and dumped her entire basket of petals out on the grass."
Just before the bride descended down the grass aisle with her father, two junior groomsmen—Bradley's nephews—carried a sign that read "Here Comes The Bride."
"We put a lot of thought into [the ceremony] and made it ours," Grace says. "We both wanted it to be short, but still very special and spiritual." Bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the song that played when Bradley popped the question, while the bride read a Hawaiian love poem to her new husband. Above them hung 1,000 paper cranes the bride and her family had folded in the weeks before.
Instead of a boutonniere, "Bradley wore a traditional maile lei and kakui nuts to show his Hawaiian culture," the bride explains.
The junior groomsmen also carried a sign that read "There goes the groom" at the end of the ceremony, Grace says.
The bride wore a sweetheart neck Pronovias gown that at first didn't strike her as just quite right. "Originally I didn't think I wanted lace, but I tried it on and fell in love. It felt very me." She also wore drop earrings she picked up in a San Francisco boutique and "my husband's grandmother's pearl ring that was handed down to me," she says.
The bride's something blue? Her shoes. "I found these awesome Dolce Vita navy blue wedges," Grace says. "They were comfortable and cute!"
The couple's white gold wedding bands were purchased from San Francisco jeweler Padis Jewelry, the bride says.
Grace's eight bridesmaids chose their own knee-length navy blue dresses, which they paired with nude heels. Their bouquets matched the bride's—a mixture of succulents and full, white flowers made up the round arrangements.
"Oh man!" Grace says as she thinks back on the couple's reception. "It was so beautiful. We were surrounded by our favorite thing in the world, the sky and the mountains!" The couple made sure the food was amazing, too. The menu included comfort-food staples like chicken and mashed potatoes.
"We wanted there to be a huge dance party, and there was!" the bride says. "But we also wanted the food to be good and for people to have a great time."
Grace's father and Bradley built more than 20 containers from reclaimed wood for the couple's centerpieces, which were made of succulents the couple grew themselves.
"Each table was named after a park where Brad and I had either gone camping or hiking," Grace says. The couple attached a photo of the park to each centerpiece.
Grace and Bradley grew hundreds of succulents to give to their guests as favors. "We really wanted something that people would keep for a long time," the bride explains.
In lieu of a cake, the couple offered a donut bar. "And we got the donut shop to make a giant donut for us," Grace says. "There were all kinds of flavors—chocolate, glazed, sprinkles, sugar, donut holes. Our giant donut was sugar."
While the couple didn't host an official after party, "we did party all night long at the venue," the bride says. "Our caterers hooked it up with late night sandwiches and leftovers from the reception dinner. It was so necessary to soak up all those drinks!"
Ceremony Venue: Twenty Mile House || Reception Venue: Twenty Mile House || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pronovias || Bride's Wedding Ring: Padis Jewelry || Groom's Tux: Ben Sherman || Groom's Wedding Ring: Padis Jewelry || Florist: Gray's Flower Garden || Caterer: Southern Accent || Stationery: Vincent Sacco || Cake Baker: Papa's Donut House || Videography: Stevens Ink Productions || Photography: Stevens Ink Productions
Photo: Torkil Gudnason
Not only did we pack the June/July issue of Brides full of pretty wedding color ideas (750 of them to be exact), we snagged one of our favorite looks from the Pronovias 2013 collection, a strapless tulle ball gown with embellished waistline, for the cover look. Decorated with delicate floral lace, the look is accessorized with a Jennifer Behr silk-chiffon head wrap, diamond earrings by Katie Decker, a diamond bangle by Tiffany & Co., and last but certainly not least, a shimmery platinum engagement ring by Scott Kay. In her hands, our bride is holding a wedding bouquet of scabiosas, tulips, sweet peas, calla lilies and ranunculus in summery, sherbert hues. Taking a cue from our June/July beauty piece, Sizzling Summer Beauty Secrets, our cover girl sports a pair of sun-kissed coral lips. The exact lipstick color is called Fresh Watermelon. Love it!
Earlier today, we kicked off Bridal Fashion Week with a front-row seat at the 2014 Pronovias runway presentation. Known for their embellished fabrics, striking silhouettes and fantasy appeal, the 24-piece collection was Pronovias at its best. Below, a few of our favorite looks from the runway.