Alyssa and Andrew were married in a traditional church ceremony at Cascade Christian followed by a reception at the Bissell Tree House at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mich. on September 14. “I picked the Bissell Tree House mostly because it was brand new,” Alyssa said. “When I booked it, there had never been an event in the building. I actually didn’t even get a tour of the inside before I booked it because I LOVED the view of downtown Grand Rapids from the tree tops. I also couldn’t resist the rustic yet industrial look of the outside. The finicular that all the guests had to take to get to the tree house was pretty neat too.” The bride wore a lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with an illusion bateau neckline, accessorized with a white sash, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a black button-up shirt and tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple dresses and carried bouquets of green tricks, succulents, scabiosa pods, and fern curls. “My flowers were my absolute favorite detail,” she said. “I love plants and our florist did a fantastic job with all the bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres. She went above and beyond with everything.” During the ceremony, the officiant said a prayer. “It made me realize how blessed I was able to marry Andrew and spend the rest of my life with him,” Alyssa said. “It brought me to sobbing tears, and I don’t think I will ever forget it.” Guests were escorted to their seats via cards atop branches, tables were decorated with birch centerpieces atop wooden slices and burlap numbers, and succulent favors were given out to let love grow. “My favors were another favorite,” she said. “This was a do-it-yourself project. My mom and I grew the succulents all year long and then planted them in mini jelly jars.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Let people help you with the planning and projects,” Alyssa said. “And mostly enjoy your day because it goes by so fast. I know people always say that, but I didn’t realize how fast it would actually go by.”
Brides, as much as you want your wedding to be the best day of your life, a lot of it starts with your bridesmaids. No one wants to be treated like a servant or lady-in-waiting, especially when they have jobs, families, and budgets. To that end, be mindful of what you say because NO one wants to hear these annoying phrases.
Megan and Dino were married at Billingsley House Museum in Upper Marlboro, Md. on July 5. “We absolutely loved that it was outdoors with a stunning view of the Patuxent and Potomac River Corridor,” Megan said. “The trees, water, and house created a beautiful backdrop for our photos. Plus, our guests were free to move about the property.” The bride wore a halter a-line wedding gown with beaded embellishments on the corset bodice, accessorized with a pair of silvers strappy high heels, while the groom wore a gray three-piece suit, accessorized with a solid bow tie. Bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses in various necklines and hemlines and carried bright bouquets of orange roses and purple bells. “Our four-year-old Pomeranian was able to be apart of our ceremony and reception,” she said. “From her face on the table numbers and our donations to ASPCA in lieu of favors.” Megan’s favorite moment? “See Dino’s face as I was walking down the aisle.” Following the nuptials, cocktail hour began with their signature drink – peach sangria – and striped straws. Tables were decorated with do-it-yourself martini glass centerpieces filled with gems atop silver platters. “The one piece of advice I would offer is to not over think things,” Megan said. “I quickly began to have ideas and wanted to add this and that, but my groom reminded me not to overwhelm myself or our guests. Simply to keep things simple, and when I listened to him, it all came together great. I could not have ask for a better day.” There even was a dessert display complete with Hershey’s kisses, butter mints, Russell Stowe’s chocolates, and lollipops.
Of all the participants in a wedding, the maid of honor or matron of honor (if she’s already married) carries the mother lode of all duties. Scary, right? It doesn’t have to be! As long as you remain active in every facet of planning and become the go-to point person on the big day, aka memorize the timeline inside and out, you’ll do an A+ plus job in our books. Check out WeddingWire’s checklist for more in-depth details.
Jennifer and Marco were married at Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, Texas on April 5. “It had a beautiful outdoor spot overlooking the winery under a canopy of overarching oak trees,” Jennifer said. The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, while the groom wore a dark gray three-piece suit, accessorized with a matching solid tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore short lavender chiffon dresses and carried wildflower-esque bouquets of peonies, roses, and lots of greenery. Notice Jennifer is wearing cowboy boots too? “Our first look was probably my favorite moment,” she said. “It was a special time just between Marco and I to see each other before I walked down the aisle. It took a lot of nerves out of the ceremony, so we could really be present physically, mentally, and emotionally.” The couple’s parents were even included in a wine tasting pre-exchanging of vows and rings. Cheers to that! Following, the reception was held inside. Tables were decorated with linens, lace runners, and tall topiary centerpieces. The four-tiered buttercream frosted cake looked oh-so delicious, and the groom’s cake was reminiscent of the state’s flag. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Invest in a wedding coordinator!” Jennifer said. “It is WAY worth the money.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of sparklers and were off to their honeymoon.