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

A Sophisticated Late Summer Wedding In the Mountains of Jackson Hole

 Amsale, Casual, Elegant, Preppy, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic, Summer, Vera Wang, Wyoming  Comments Off on A Sophisticated Late Summer Wedding In the Mountains of Jackson Hole
Jan 102014
Bride and Groom in Jackson Hole

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

Though this New York-based couple met as teenagers in boarding school and were friends for years, it wasn't until they reconnected in 2009 that their friendship evolved into the romance of a lifetime.

When it came time to plan their wedding, Catherine and Brian knew that her family's home in Jackson Hole would be the perfect place to celebrate their union. "It's not only a special place for my family, but also a retreat that Brian and I have loved throughout our relationship," says Cate. "The grand scale of Jackson Hole, combined with the intimacy of our family's 'Elk Camp', really demonstrated why this place is so special to us."

Brian and Catherine's goal? "To create the best dinner party we'd ever thrown," says the bride. For their wedding on August 25th, 2012, the couple juxtaposed the casual beauty of Jackson Hole with the modern sophistication of an event planned by self-proclaimed die-hard entertainers. But with only six months to plan, the bride and groom turned to Carrie Sartor of Lyndsey Hamilton Events to bring all the details together. "She kept our perspective focused on the right place: each other," says Catherine.

Modern Invitations and Welcome Bags

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

The couple's invitations were playful and modern, with an elegant twist. They used an elk's silhouette to decorate their guests' welcome bags, and carried the playful script throughout the printed materials.

Bride's Cameo and Blue Earrings

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

Catherine's something old was her great-grandmother's cameo. Her something blue? "Brian gave me a gorgeous pair of aquamarine and diamond earrings as my wedding gift," she says.

Soft Bridal Bouquet

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

The bride's bouquet was left in the hands of florist Matthew Robinson, who created something soft and unique for the mountain-top ceremony. Roses, flowering basil, scabiosa pods, and begonias gave the bouquet lush texture.

Bride in a Lace Vera Wang Gown

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

Catherine chose her Vera Wang gown for the fabric. "There are five different types of lace and fabric used for the gown, and it's so incredible to look at. I fell in love with the texture," she says. A beaded belt added another layer of ornate detail.

Wedding Party in Blush Gowns and Tuxedos

Car in Jackson Hole

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

The bridesmaids wore blush gowns from Amsale, and the groom and groomsmen were outfitted in classic tuxedos. Before the ceremony, the wedding party drove out to the top of a butte for photos that took advantage of the incredible views.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in Jackson Hole

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in Jackson Hole

Rose Petals at a Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

The outdoor ceremony was incredibly simple, with two oversized arrangement of roses, hydrangeas, and greenery to anchor the altar. Guests were given soft pink rose petals to throw after the couple said "I Do."

Bride and Groom at an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

"Brian and I have loved E.E. Cummings since boarding school, so we had to use 'i carry your heart' in the ceremony," says Catherine. They also included readings from the Dalai Lama and Rogers and Hart.

Escort Card Display with Fresh Herbs

Unique Escort Card Display

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

Catherine and Brian's florist used copper trays overflowing with fresh herbs as a unique, textural display for the escort cards.

Tented Wedding Reception in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Floral Wedding Centerpieces and Textured Linens

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

The reception took place on the property's front lawn. "We tried to give guests a tour of the property throughout the day, moving from the ceremony's mountain views to riverside cocktails to the reception by the creek and woods," says Catherine. Textured linens contrasted elegantly with assorted vintage silver vases, lush blooms, and gray taper candles.

Floral Wedding Centerpieces and Textured Linens

Personalized Wedding Menu

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

Dahlias, roses, hydrangeas, Andromeda, and fresh herbs like basil and oregano gave the centerpieces lots of visual interest and unique pops of color. Each guest's place featured a printed menu and sprigs of lavender.

White Wedding Cake with Sugar Flowers

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

The couple's wedding cake was "perfect for both of us," says Catherine. Layers of Tahitian vanilla cake, chocolate ganache, and raspberry jam were enrobed in Tahitian vanilla buttercream and topped with sugar flowers.

Tented Wedding Reception in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Photo: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

"One of my favorite parts of the evening was just before the reception," says Catherine. "We snuck away and watched as our guests excitedly filed into the tent. It was so touching to see them all come together for us." An evening full of laughter, delicious food, and lots of dancing was the ideal way for Catherine and Brian to begin their life together.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Bride's Family Home in Jackson Hole, WY || Wedding Planner: Carrie Sartor of Lyndsey Hamilton Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti, Vera Wang || Hair & Makeup: Edvina Sarukhanyan of Fekkai Soho || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Tuxedo: Paul Stuart || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Florist: Matthew Robbins Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Mr. Boddington's Studio || Music: Cracked Ice || Catering: Bistro Catering || Cake: Jackson Cake Company || Rentals: Sperry Tents Seacoast, rEvolve, || Photography: Shawn Connell and Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

—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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An Intimate, Serene Destination Wedding at the Hotel Excelsior in Venice, Italy

 Destination Weddings, Elegant, Glamorous, Jenny Packham, Jimmy Choo, Real Weddings, Romantic  Comments Off on An Intimate, Serene Destination Wedding at the Hotel Excelsior in Venice, Italy
Jan 032014

Constanza and her family have been visiting Venice's breathtaking Hotel Excelsior for twenty years, spending time each summer surrounded by the island city's history, culture, and magic. Says Constanza, "Nicolai was the first boyfriend of mine to ever accompany us on our family trip. And he loves the time we've spent there as much as my family and I do." It was only fitting, then, that the Miami native and her Colombian now-husband return to the place that has been so dear to her for so long to celebrate their wedding.

Just after arriving for a long weekend trip to Paris (Constanza's second favorite city after Venice), she and Nicolai took a stroll through the Tuileries. As they wandered the garden in the springtime sun, Nicolai got down on one knee and asked Constanza to be his wife. After spending a few months enjoying their engagement, the bride used her creative expertise as an interior designer to plan their timeless Venetian wedding, on June 16th, 2012, in a mere six months. "We felt it was very important to let both the city and the hotel set the pace, so we worked on enhancing it without overpowering the inherent beauty," Constanza says.

Constanza whore a gorgeous Jenny Packham gown for the outdoor wedding. The simple silhouette, overlaid with beaded lotus flowers and a flattering natural waist, "felt right for the setting," she says. "I loved the craftsmanship, how it caught the light, and how comfortable it felt. I'm not one for a lot of fabric."

She paired her gown with sparkling peep-toe Jimmy Choo pumps. Her gorgeous chandelier earrings were a gift from her husband, who'd purchased them for her as a surprise during a trip to Jaipur, India, the winter before the wedding.

Constanza's tulle veil was hand-made by the bride and her stepmother. "We cut the fabric together, and she hand-sewed individual beads along the edge," Constanza says.

The bride's younger sister, Serena, served as the flower girl. She wore a simple empire-waist dress and a crown of pink and yellow roses.

Constanza's bouquet was inspired by nosegays carried by brides at the turn of the century. Pink and peach garden roses were cuffed with white bouvardia and lisianthus.

Nicolai and Constanza exchanged vows beneath an altar of peach and cream roses, eucalyptus, and silk ribbons. The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of the couple.

The hotel's soft pink interior courtyard, featuring architecture inspired by Cordova and Granada, provided a quiet place for the bride and groom to bask in the joy of their wedding day.

Peach, coral and white paper lanterns hung from the poolside gazebo, adding a pop of color to the ornate white structure.

During cocktails, Constanza and Nicolai surprised their guests with an unexpected performance: synchronized swimmers! "I'd seen a similar performance at an event a few years earlier, and was so excited to have them at our wedding," she says.

The reception décor highlighted the hotel's peach, white, and soft green color palette. "The room was already so stunning, so we kept the decorations simple," says the bride. "We dimmed the chandeliers and lit tons of candles."

The flower arrangements were soft, simple and elegant. Peach, pink, and white roses overflowed from urns and low vases.

Nicolai and Constanza kept their destination more intimate, with only 120 guests joining them in Venice. To give their reception an incredibly personal touch, guests were assigned to tables, where they each found place cards featuring photos of themselves with the bride and groom.

Constanza used ornate Florentine stationery for the escort cards and table numbers. At each guest's place was a printed menu, as well as a card upon which they could write wishes for the bride and groom. The wishes were later tied to wish lanterns and released into the sky.

"Crazy hour is so popular across Latin America—the time during a wedding when you pump up the volume and everyone dresses up in hats and costumes," says Constanza. "We put a Venetian spin on ours by providing gorgeous masks for our guests to wear."

The couple's wedding cake was served on the hotel's antique silver cake stand.

The bride, groom and their friends danced all night. "We started the party off with salsa, then changed to pop and Motown," Constanza says. "Once the grown-ups had gone to bed, we had a karaoke after-party that raged until 7 a.m.!"

After a day to rest up in Venice, Constanza and Nicolai were off on an Asian adventure for their honeymoon, traveling to Bangkok, an elephant camp in Chiang Rai, and a luxurious beach in the Maldives.

Constanza's advice for couples is to be true to who they are. "The best weddings aren't just beautiful. They're the ones where the real essence of the couple shines through."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hotel Excelsior || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Rossano Ferretti || Bridesmaid's Dress: Luca Luca || Groom's Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna || Wedding Bands: Chisholm Collection || Florist: Munaretto || Catering & Cake: Hotel Excelsior || Photography: Shannen Natasha Weddings

—Jaimie Schoen

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Dec 312013
Modern Couple Blue Shoes Chicago Wedding

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

When they were freshmen at the University of Indiana, hanging around the dorm with some other students, Jon, now 31 and an IT consultant, told a joke about sausages in a frying pan. Most of his friends dismissed it immediately as another one of his silly wisecracks—to this day, no one can remember exactly how it went—but one person laughed. Jamie, a 31-year-old communications consultant, remembers finding her future husband instantly entertaining—and, luckily, she still does.

When planning their April 2013 nuptials, Jamie and Jon knew they wanted to honor both their shared love of their home city, Chicago, and their wacky sense of humor. They chose the Chicago History Museum for their modern, sophisticated reception because it perfectly represented their city life together: the couple said "I do" surrounded by artifacts and memorabilia from their hometown, and just steps away from the path where they coach a team of runners each weekend.

By adding personal touches like custom notes, a quirky, self-written ceremony, and a visit from their favorite hot-dog truck, Jamie and Jon crafted a party that went way beyond any affair we've ever seen and became a day so completely their own, they'll never forget a second.

Couple Chicago History Museum Wedding Engagement Ring on Modern Stripe Background

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

"Jon believes that the perfect proposal contains three elements," Jamie says. "It should be a complete surprise until the moment it happens, it should be at a location I can go to when I'm having a sad day, and it should include an experience I've never had before." Ever the consultant, he put together a spreadsheet weighing every possible proposal scenario. The winner? A jaw-dropping underwater "will you marry me?" in the whale tank at Shedd Aquarium (he signed them up for a whale-training session), complete with bubble-wrapped ring box. Yes, it really does get that romantic.

Black and White Wedding Portrait Chicago History Museum Wedding Portrait Chicago History Museum Monique Lhuillier Manolo Blahnik Blue Jeweled Pumps Wedding

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

Jamie wore a trumpet-style Monique Lhuillier gown with a Chantilly lace and French tulle overlay, three-quarter sleeves and a train. Paired with a cathedral-length veil embellished with Swarovski crystals, the gown was equal parts sophisticated and modern. Her blue Manolo Blahnik pumps coordinated with Jon's orange socks as a nod to their shared alma mater, the University of Illinois.

White Wedding Bouquet Tulips Roses Peonies Groom Boutonniere White Ranunculus

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

Jamie carried a pale bouquet of French tulips, white peonies and roses tied with an ivory silk ribbon. The groom wore a boutonniere of white ranunculus.

Bride Ceremony Chicago History Museum Monique Lhuillier Ceremony Program Custom Monogram Chicago History Museum Wedding Ceremony Chicago History Museum Topiary Modern Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

In fitting with the French-garden feel of their wedding, Jamie and Jon lined the aisle with boxwood topiaries for their informal, self-written ceremony, which was officiated by a close friend. Jamie walked down the aisle to "Henry the Eighth" by Herman's Hermits, her late father's favorite song. The two vowed to "eat all the chocolate chip cookies you want to bake for me," and "always run at your pace."

Chicago History Museum French Tulips Chandelier Chicago History Museum Main Room Wedding Escort Cards Chicago History Museum Wedding

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

In the museum's quirky main room, surrounded by reminders of the industrial history of Chicago, Jamie and Jon created a modern organic paradise, lighting the room in soft green tones. As guests walked into the reception, they found their seat assignments under a giant arrangement of French tulips under a crystal chandelier—talk about a grand entrance!

Guestbook Tree Idea Jaime_Jon_16_guestbook2.jpg

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

"In lieu of a guest book we had a "Wishing Tree" where guests wrote their wishes, wisdom and wit for us and placed them on the tree. Our families read their wishes as part of the ceremony," Jamie says.

Green Centerpiece Chicago History Museum Wedding Long Table Grey Tablecloth Chicago History Museum Wedding Candle Centerpiece Chicago History Museum Wedding Jeweled Initials Bride Groom Chairs Topiary Centerpiece Wedding Reception

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

The couple swapped out round dinner tables for long ones and covered them with grey silk tablecloths, white linen napkins, white china, and green and black glassware. Boxwood-wrapped planters of white tulips, roses and ranunculus served as centerpieces, and freestanding topiaries around the room added to the mod-garden vibe.

Personalized Monogrammed Family Style Wedding Menu Square Tiered Wedding Cheesecake Dessert Lounge Wedding Chicago History Museum

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

Jon, the foodie half of the newlywed couple, took care of the menu. He included a note on each guest's custom-monogrammed card explaining his selections, and letting everyone know that he made a donation to the Kidney Cancer Association in their honor. The spread was way beyond your standard filet mignon and seasonal vegetables. Each dish was Italian-inspired, family style, and absolutely mouthwatering: think individual cheese plates for each guest, rust artisan pizzas, and baskets of warm garlic bread. "We loved to hear that guests felt pampered when they sat down to our tables," Jamie says.

The biggest surprise of the evening? Everyone got to munch on hot dogs straight from the Chubby Weiner truck, a Chicago institution, during the reception.

As for dessert, Jamie and Jon ordered their three-tier cheesecake from a local, family-run vendor to show support to their city. And that's not all: After getting down on the dance floor in flip-flops the couple provided, guests were treated to a sweet session in Jamie and Jon's dessert lounge, complete with Lucite chairs, embroidered pillows and tables with warm chocolate chip cookies, whipped chocolate souffle, and s'mores supplies.

Bride Groom Chicago History Museum Wedding

Photo: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studio

What everyone loved most about the wedding, Jamie says, is the wit they took care to weave throughout the fun-filled evening. Jon and Jamie's shared sense of humor was everywhere: in their vows, in little notes they left guests everywhere, in their whimsical song choices, and in their quirky, playful venue. They met because Jon made Jamie laugh, and—she says—years later, they're still laughing together.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Chicago History Museum || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Veil: Nancy Shefts || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Jewelry & Wedding Rings: Family heirlooms || Hair: Roger Gumm of Colette Salon and Spa || Makeup: Nicole Jacob || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Of their own choosing || Groom's Tuxedo: Nicholas Joseph || Florist: Beth Tarrant of Anna Held Floral Design Studio || Catering: Jewel Events Catering| |Invitations: Pioneer Announcements || Music: Amaryllis Strings, Michael Walters Orchestra || Cake: Swedish Bakery || Favors: Donations to The Kidney Cancer Association || Wedding Planner: Frank J. Andonoplas || Photography: Robin Sloan, River Bend Photo Studios

—Amanda First

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—Amanda First

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A Romantic June Wedding at Martinelli Event Center in California

 California, Glamorous, Jimmy Choo, Monique Lhuillier, Real Weddings, Romantic  Comments Off on A Romantic June Wedding at Martinelli Event Center in California
Dec 272013

For Angela, 28, an elementary school teacher, and Jacob, 30, an energy trader, a California wedding was a no-brainer. The two were both from SoCal's Central Valley—just 45 minutes apart—and attended UC-Santa Barbara, where they met nine years ago. But even though they'd lived so close (if unwittingly) for their whole lives, they didn't start dating until Jacob had already graduated and moved away, and they didn't live in the same city throughout their six-year courtship.

Finally, after a holiday proposal in San Francisco's Union Square, they were ready to come together for good. The couple worked for months with Angela's mom and aunt to create a classic, romantic, and vintage-inspired reception filled with DIY details at Martinelli Event Center in Livermore, a Mediterranean-style event space and winery in California's Garré wine region.

Angela had two goals: to stick with decor so timeless, she wouldn't cringe when she flipped through her wedding album decades later, and to incorporate elements both of her Chinese-American heritage and Jacob's Dutch roots. Throw in some genius desserts and a string trio, and you've got one of the sweetest weddings we've seen all year.

Steven Paddis Bride and Groom Ring.jpg
Photo: Annie Tao Photography

Jacob had planned to propose on ice skates, at San Francisco's Union Square ice rink a week before Christmas in 2011. Angela arrived ready to go, bedecked in spandex in sequins, but the two realized they wouldn't have enough time for a twirl on the ice before dinner. Angela was starving, but Jacob convinced her to take a walk around Union Square before they arrived at the restaurant. When he got down on one knee, she was so surprised and overjoyed, she couldn't eat all night!

"I've always envisioned an elegant outdoor wedding that incorporates my Asian-American heritage and the Dutch-American heritage of my fianc," Angela says. Chinese accents and parasols to keep guests out of the sun lent the affair a unique, global feel.

Angela and Jacob stuck with a color scheme of blush and ivory, incorporating gold and silver accents, which came through on their elegant lace-trimmed invitations. Angela, her mother, and her aunts created the details themselves, inspired by the lace and rhinestone accents on her gown.

Angela knew her ivory lace Monique Lhuillier gown was "the one" the moment she saw it. "I love the details that went into the dress—Alencon lace, Chantilly lace, sheer tulle, satin-covered round buttons, and a little bit of sparkle from the shiny rhinestone sash," she says.

She went ultra-glam with glittery gold Jimmy Choo sandals for the ceremony, a surprise gift from her maid of honor, and paired her feminine trumpet gown with dangling drop earrings and a fingertip veil. A classic nosegay of white, ivory and blush peonies and roses rounded out her timeless look.

Jacob wore a classic black Hugo Boss tux that reminded Angela more than a little of James Bond. His fitted white shirt was fastened with silver cuff links Angela gave him on their first dating university, one of only a few belongings to survive a house fire in 2010.

Before the ceremony, she says, Angela was so nervous about everything going smoothly, she twitched for two hours! Jacob is still giggling about it—in all their eight years together, he said, he's never seen it happen before or since.

Angela's bridesmaids looked ethereal in blush silk chiffon dresses by Amsale. Groomsmen were decked out in Vera Wang tuxedos, chosen by the best man. They chose to forgo vest, cummerbund, and suspenders for a cleaner, more streamlined look.

Angela and Jacob were married on a hill overlooking the vineyard. "The ceremony site was decorated with a light layer of white rose petals running down the aisle. The site was so amazing on its own with the rolling hills and grape vines that I didn't want to take away from the natural beauty of the landscape with too much decoration," Angela says.

Handmade lace doily cones, filled with flower petals for guests to toss during the processional, hung on the backs of aisle-lining chairs during the ceremony.

Angela and Jacob's two flowers were both just 3 years old, and when it came time to walk the aisle they got lost and wandered over to a few guests standing away from the ceremony, to hilarious results. The girls were eventually redirected to the right path, but not before everyone had a good laugh!

The traditional ceremony was officiated by Jacob's great-uncle, a retired court-appointed judge in Sacramento. "It was special," Angela says, "because he'd officiated many weddings in Jacob's family."

As Angela walked down the aisle, a string trio played Edelweiss from The Sound of Music, one of her (and her family's) all-time faves. In fact, Angela was named after Angela Cartwright, who played one of the Von Trapp children in the movie! After saying "I do", Angela and Jacob led the recessional to "All You Need is Love" by the Beatles.

After a short and sweet ceremony—no longer than 10 minutes, but still too long for their ring bearer to stand still—the couple led guests through the vineyard to an indoor cocktail hour in Martinelli's Italian-style villa, before an outdoor seated reception in the courtyard.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with oysters and a good steak," Angela says. The couple served oysters on the half shell, filet mignon, scallops, and Cornish hen. Guests quenched their thirst with colorful lemonade in between rounds on the dance floor.

Angela and her family DIY'ed the menus to reflect the lace accents on their invitations and their blush, ivory, and metallic color palette. The menu cards were made up of three layers of ivory, pink, and taupe shimmer paper with raised gold lettering, accented by ivory lace and a rhinestone. The couple used low centerpieces of blush and ivory roses, hydrangea, dusty miller, stock and dahlias with ivory votive candles and linens. The result? A soft, ethereal, classic look in fitting with the romantic surroundings.

To incorporate her heritage into the reception, Angela entertained guests with traditional Chinese lion dancers. They were a smash hit: most of the attendees had never seen anything like it before, and some raved that it was the best part of the party.

Angela has a major sweet tooth. Fittingly, guests received pink candy in lace-trimmed apothecary jars as favors (and sampled it on the dessert table) for a delectable end to the evening.

Angela, Jacob, and Angela's mom traveled far and wide, from San Francisco to Paris, to test the very best French macarons around for their wedding. They settled on a pink (apricot-peach flavored) tower sourced from Sugarie, a local bakery, to coordinate with their warm color palette.

The pice de resistance of the dessert table was a three-tier ivory cake, embellished with floral appliques and topped with pink roses edged with rhinestones. "The design of the cake was based on my wedding dress," Angela says.

For a keepsake they can return to throughout their lives, the couple decorated six jars in which guests could place written well-wishes and advice for their first, fifth, tenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth, and fiftieth anniversaries.

Angela's advice to future brides? "Find a photographer you absolutely adore and trust. We gushed over the photos of Annie Tao, our photographer, for five years before I even got engaged!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Martinelli Event Center || Bride's Wedding Dress: Chinese Cheongsam: Ling Ling Chinese Dresses, Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier, Reception Dress: Sue Wong || Shoes: Ceremony: Jimmy Choo, Reception: Miu Miu || Jewelry: Nina and Nadri, from Nordstrom || Hair and makeup: Skyla Arts || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss || Groommen's Tuxedos: Vera Wang at Bridal Galleria || Bride's Wedding Rings: Steve Padis || Florist & Rentals: Delford West Flowers and Gifts || Invitations & Paper Goods: DIY, sourced from Papyrus, Cards and Pockets, and Lace Place|| Music: Ceremony: An Elegant Touch of Strings, Reception: Amos Productions || Catering: Garré Winery || Cake: Cake Delight || Favors: Sugarie || Videography: De Novo Studio || Photography: Annie Tao Photography

—Amanda First

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A Timeless Seaside Wedding in Southampton, New York

 Classic, New York, Preppy, Real Weddings, Romantic, Spring, Summer  Comments Off on A Timeless Seaside Wedding in Southampton, New York
Dec 262013

A trip to office hours may not sound like an important occasion, but for Christina, now 28, her decision to chat with a friend on her way was. As the two women talked, a handsome man named Rashid (a friend of Christina's friend) stopped to join them. "I tried to play it cool and not stare at him too much–he had the nicest smile," says Christina. After ten minutes, Rashid, now 29, got up to leave. "It was only supposed to be a five minute break!" he says. Christina felt awful for keeping him, but his response melted her heart–and ours. "He said 'It was worth it, I got to meet you!'" Christina gushes. A few days later, they met for dinner, and that's when it all began.

For Christina's 26th birthday, Rashid planned a trip for the two of them to New York City. He booked a room at her favorite hotel, Ink48, and, after they were settled in, asked Christina if she wanted to go up to the roof to take some pictures. The rooftop was deserted, leaving Rashid and Christina alone with the panoramic city views. It was at that moment that he got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him.

The classically romantic couple headed to the New York town of Southampton on May 18, 2013, for their vineyard ceremony, then moved to a restaurant in nearby Hampton Bays for their 100-person reception. The seaside ambiance inspired their loosely nautical and perfectly timeless celebration.

"We wanted our wedding to be elegant," says Christina. Their beautiful wedding bands–hers pavéed in diamonds, his in a brushed finish–are as classic as they come.

Though the color scheme was mostly white with touches of blue, Christina added a few colorful flowers to the mix as a nod to their May wedding date. Both her bouquet and Rashid's boutonniere were made of light purple roses.

Christina fell in love with the Ali gown by Augusta Jones because of the beautiful lace. "The high-neck style was classic but form-fitting," she says. Covered buttons ran up the back of the bodice.

"Rashid and I love wine, and were so happy to share Duckwalk vineyard with our guests," says Christina. The outdoor ceremony took place overlooking the rows of vines. Small nosegays of hydrangeas and roses decorated the aisle. Christina was escorted down the aisle to "What a Wonderful World."

During the ceremony, the couple planted seeds together, symbolizing their union and how they will grow together as one. As they made their way back up the aisle, guests tossed red rose petals in celebration.

Christina accessorized her gown with a simple pearl bracelet. Blue pearl earrings served as her "something blue." Rashid wore engraved cufflinks and collar stays that Christina bought him as a wedding present.

"Having our reception at a restaurant saved us a lot of time and money," says Christina. "All the tables and chairs were included!"

The tables were topped with light blue linens and decorated with low white and green centerpieces. A printed menu marked each place. "Food and drink were a priority for us. The restaurant is delicious, and gave us lots of options," says the bride.

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the couple served their favorite flavors, like classic red velvet and salted caramel, from Georgetown Cupcake. The cupcakes were personalized with anchors and the couple's monogram.

Rashid and Christina honeymooned along the French and Italian Riviera. "The hardest adjustment was coming back to work after such a fantastic trip!" says Christina.

Her advice is to know what you're capable of, as well as what your family is willing to help with. "We didn't have a day of coordinator, which was fine for us as we had a lot of family members volunteer to help with whatever we needed day-of," Christina says. "But if event planning is not your favorite thing and you just want to be able to coast through your big day, it might be worth the extra money to get a day-of coordinator or a planner!"

Ceremony Venue: Duckwalk Vineyard || Reception Venue: Oakland's Restaurant || Bride's Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones || Shoes: Adrianna Papell || Jewelry & Wedding Rings: David S. Diamonds || Hair: Martha Ellen Van Gemert of Headchop || Makeup: Shannon Park || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss || Florist: Cathy of Roses & Rice || Invitations: Constance Sepulveda || Music: Art Strings Ensembles, DJ Will Buck || Cupcakes: Georgetown Cupcake || Favors: Tate's Bakeshop || Photography: Petruzzo Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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One Couple’s Elegant, Natural Wedding at Cherokee Plantation in South Carolina

 Classic, Formal, Ines DiSanto, Preppy, Real Weddings, Romantic, South Carolina, Traditional  Comments Off on One Couple’s Elegant, Natural Wedding at Cherokee Plantation in South Carolina
Dec 242013

What do you get when you mix natural Southern beauty with the glitz and glam of the Gatsby era? You get the September 29, 2012 wedding of Gillian, 31, and John, 32, an airy, sophisticated celebration that brings North and South together in perfect harmony.

Gillian and John met through a mutual friend on Nantucket during the summer of 2009. Their romance eventually brought them to New York City, where John got down on one knee on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A year later, the couple invited 70 of their nearest and dearest to spend three days with them at Cherokee Plantation in Yemessee, South Carolina. "My family has been going there to celebrate holidays for over a decade, and we were so happy to be able to share it with everyone," says Gillian. The couple and their guests spent the weekend playing golf, shooting sporting clays, riding horses, being pampered with massages–and celebrating at a beautifully timeless wedding that balanced elegance with Southern charm.

Gillian wore a classic fitted Ines DiSanto gown with a delicate lace overlay. "The back was open with tiny pearl buttons. I felt amazing in it!" she says. John wore a super formal white tuxedo jacket, which he paired with a classic black bow tie.

The formal invitation was written in a lovely blue ink, a twist on the traditional.

Gillian chose pewter Manolo Blahnik peep-toe pumps, complete with crystal brooches, to wear under her gown. John paired his tux with customized needlepoint cufflinks that commemorated their wedding date.

The bride carried a bouquet of white and cream roses, ranunculus, sweet peas and lilacs. John's cream rose boutonniere was tied with a navy blue ribbon.

The couple wed in a traditional outdoor ceremony. Urns full of hydrangeas, roses and greenery flanked the aisle and marked the altar.

The skies opened up just after the ceremony, sending guests running for the tent. "My favorite photo from the day was the most unexpected, taken as we giddily hurried to the tent under an oversized umbrella," says Gillian. Thankfully, the rain stopped 30 minutes later and the rest of the evening was beautiful and clear.

Soft draping transformed the tented reception into an elegant affair, while chandeliers strung from the ceiling cast a glow over the tables. Guests were seated at a variety of round, square, and rectangular tables. Some of the wooden tables were left uncovered, a nod to Cherokee Plantation's history.

A mix of high and low arrangements featured tulips, hydrangeas, peonies, and roses in shades of white, cream, pink, and lavender. Low mercury vases added a touch of shine to the otherwise simple tables. Textured tablecloths were used for another layer of visual interest.

Each place was set with a classic gold-rimmed charger. The menu was printed on pale green paper and cut to fit the plate. "It featured an image of one of Cherokee's oak trees, draped in Spanish moss," says Gillian. "I've loved that tree forever, and was thrilled to have it on my wedding menu!"

The simple two-tiered cake featured a floral applique pattern reminiscent of the bride's dress. "It was delicious!" she gushes.

Lounge seating areas beckoned guests (when they weren't on the dance floor, of course!). As dusk fell, the couple surprised their family and friends with a firework display to mark the happy occasion.

The couple departed through a wave of sparklers. "You set the tone for your wedding," says Gillian. "They feed off your energy. So don't stress! Remember: everyone there loves you and is there to see you have a good time."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cherokee Plantation || Wedding Planner: Ellen Robinson of WED || Bride's Wedding Dress: Ines DiSanto || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair & Makeup: Stuart Laurence Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection || Groom's Tuxedo: Ralph Lauren Black Label || Florist: Sara York Grimshaw Designs || Invitations: Studio R || Music: Big Ray and the Kool Kats || Catering: Cru Catering || Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal || Rentals: Snyder Rentals || Lighting: Technical Event Company || Videography: Siegel FIlms || Photography: Marni Rothschild Pictures

&mdash:Jaimie Schoen

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A Glamorous Winter Wedding at the San Francisco Design Center

 California, Formal, Glamorous, Peter Langner, Real Wedding, Real Weddings, Romantic, Traditional, Winter  Comments Off on A Glamorous Winter Wedding at the San Francisco Design Center
Dec 202013

The holiday season has brought lots of good luck and good fortune to Angela, 28, and Kevin, 29, over the years. Though the pair met when they were in high school, it wasn't until a New Year's Eve party in 2008 that they reconnected and their romance was kindled. Three years later, on Christmas morning in 2011, Kevin hid Angela's engagement ring in her stocking. As she pulled out the box, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

A few days shy of a year later, the couple wed at St. Ignatius Church, a location full of significance. The bride and groom both went to St. Ignatius College Prep, as did their fathers. During the planning process, they were looking at Angela's grandfather's football program from his days at the University of San Francisco, which St. Ignatius Church is affiliated with, in the 1930's. Seated directly in front of him in the team photo was Kevin's grandfather! There was no question that the church was the perfect place for the couple to tie the knot.

On December 22, 2012, Angela and Kevin wed in a wintry-themed wedding full of holiday joy. They ended 2012–and began their lives together–with a black-tie affair inspired by Frank Sinatra and a love of snow.

"My sister was married at the same time of year, but on a vineyard in wine country," says Angela. "We chose a more formal holiday celebration so that each of our weddings would be different and special."

Angela wore a two-piece gown by Oscar de la Renta. The duchess satin princess skirt had a retro, 40s feel. The lace bustier was studded with taffeta flowers and crystals. To fight the chill, she topped her gown with a faux-fur wrap.

The bride carried a soft bouquet of white peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, and lisianthus. The bow echoed the detail on the back of her dress.

Kevin and Angela got lucky when it came to their ceremony décor. "The church was already decorated for Christmas, so we didn't have to do anything! The trees, lights, pinecones, and ribbons were breathtaking," Angela says.

They had a traditional Catholic ceremony, including two cantors. Says Angela, "You could hear a pin drop when they sang 'The Prayer'."

Escort cards were displayed on gray and silver ribbons hung from birch branches. The same wintry theme was carried though to the reception, where votive candles hung from silver branches nestled in piles of snow.

White and soft green floral arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, and dusty miller topped the tables. Angela and Kevin's chairs were marked with wooden Mr. and Mrs. signs.

Layer upon layer of sparkle, textured chargers, sequined tablecloths, and crisp gray and white hues transformed the tables into snow-covered vignettes. Angela set favors for her guests–winter-themed candles tied with pewter ribbon to look like Christmas presents–at each place.

The five-tiered cake was frosted with buttercream. Two tiers were piped with a lace pattern to match Angela's dress.

"Make sure you take a moment together, just the two of you, to absorb it all in," says Angela. "The day goes by so fast." The couple has yet to take their honeymoon, but they're looking forward to a trip to Europe in 2014.

Ceremony Venue: St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco || Reception Venue: The Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center || Day-Of Coordinator: Celia Barbaccia || Bride's Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta, from Marina Morrison || Veil: Peter Langner, from Marina Morrison || Shoes: Kate Spade || Hair: Antonio Venegas || Makeup: Raina Rombeiro || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Siri || Groom and Groomsmen's Suits: Jos. A. Bank || Wedding Bands: Giraux || Florist: Michael Daigian Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Hyegraph || Music: The Fundamentals || Catering: Christopher's Fine Catering || Cake: Branching Out Cakes || Rentals, Lighting, & Linens: Hartmann Studios, Got Light, La Tavola || Videography: Thomas Hughes Films || Photography: Tia & Claire Studio

—Jaimie Schoen

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