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.”
Traci and Andrew were married at Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, Md. on April 12. “Everything about Traci and Andrew’s tree-themed wedding fit their personalities and interests perfectly,” said Susie and Becky, the photographers. “Sometimes, brides want a natural look to the day, but Traci managed to create a natural feel also.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace a-line wedding gown with a keyhole back, accessorized with a pair of ballet slippers, while the groom wore a three-piece gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. The do-it-yourself bouquet was something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Notice all the family heirloom brooches? “Every guest received a stone upon arriving to the ceremony,” they said. “As the couple said their vows, they were asked to hold the stones and make wishes.” Rather than a traditional unity candle, they even planted and watered a tree to symbolize their marriage’s growing strength! “At the end, guests left the stones in the righthand compartment of the box, so the newlyweds could take home.” The reception followed underneath a framed tent. Tables were decorated with sage green linens, tall curly willow branch centerpieces accented with delphiniums, orchids, and heathers, and named after none other than different types of trees like Sycamore, Popular, and Birch. As the sun was setting, extra portraits were taken, and “Traci offered to kick off her shoes to walk through a stream,” Susie and Becky said.
Sydney and Matt were married at Bernardo Winery in San Diego, Calif. on April 19. “It was very unique,” Sydney said. “It is the oldest working winery in San Diego and had so many beautiful backdrops that it made decorating easy. We absolutely loved the rustic feel it had too.” The bride wore a sweetheart mermaid wedding gown, accessorized with a chapel-length veil, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a white tie. Bridesmaids wore long one-shoulder pink chiffon dresses and carried do-it-yourself bouquets of hydrangeas and baby’s breath. “The moment I saw my emotional groom standing at the end of the aisle,” she said. “It is one of the images I will never forget, and I just could not wait to be his wife. The whole ceremony was filled with so much love, and it meant so much to me to see how happy everyone was for us.” Guests were escorted to their assigned tables via a chalkboard. Tables were decorated with burlap runners, numbers stamped on, succulent centerpieces, and homemade cookies in favor bags that said, “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats” at each place setting. “My grandma’s helped me make them a couple nights before the wedding,” Sydney said. “The recipe was on the back.”
Danielle and Rich were married at Brooklyn Winery in Brooklyn, N.Y. on August 18. “I had gone to Brooklyn Winery with a girlfriend one day, and they were hosting a wedding and thought, ‘Wow, what a different and interesting venue,’” Danielle said. “After we became engaged, we went to check it out more, and the place felt like it took our personalities and created an event space with it! The materials they use, their approach with food and wine, the decor — everything felt so natural to us!” Danielle walked down the aisle wearing a sweetheart lace wedding gown with an illusion neckline to a string trio playing an unchained melody, while Rich stood waiting patiently wearing a classic black tuxedo and gray tie. Fun fact: They were married by the bride’s sister! “I definitely didn’t think I would cry but just the feeling of so much love and support with our closest family and friends being there made me melt,” she said. Above, hung cafe lights and garland, and below on banquet tables, was vintage china and sprigs of rosemary at each place setting. “We chose to have a dessert bar featuring our favorite Brooklyn vendors,” Danielle said. “We picked mini doughnuts from Dough based in Clinton Hill and insanely delicious pies from Butter & Scotch. We served them out with kraft take out boxes stamped with our initials and wedding date.” Their first dance? Chris Cornell’s cover song to Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.”
Nina and Sergery were engaged on Valentine’s Day and married six months later at Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center in a secluded redwood grove. The bride’s favorite detail from the day? “I loved my dress,” she said. “I wanted to have something simple but unique, and that dress was it.” During the ceremony, they was surprised with a speech from their officiant about them being secret agents from other planets. “It was hilarious,” she said. In order to make their day personal and a reflection of them as a couple, they also wrote each other letters and sealed them in a box along with a bottle of wine to open on their 10th anniversary. Guests enjoyed a semi-vegetarian meal and went home with a “tie the knot” kit, since Nina and Sergery are both into backpacking and hiking.