Sarah and Dane were married at Mercury Hall in Austin, Texas on November 9. “We loved the Hill Country feel without ever having to leave the center of Austin,” Sarah said. The bride wore a capped sleeve a-line wedding gown with a lace bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a navy blue checkered button-up shirt and tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, berries, scabiosa pods, and seeded eucalyptus. “Getting to see each other for the first time,” she said. “We decided to do a first look before walking down the aisle so we could have a moment to ourselves. It was great getting to show off my dress and telling Dane how stunning he looked. Such a perfect, private time to be goofy and settle any last-minute nerves or jitters.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss underneath the giant oak trees, it was official, almost 125 witnessing. Cocktail hour began with mini beer churros on donkeys followed with the reception shortly thereafter. Guests were escorted to their seats via animal figurines. Tables were decorated with white linens, gray napkins, birch wood centerpieces, vintage books, and mason jar candles, surrounded by folding padded chairs. “The food was absolutely amazing, and the same caterer did our cakes as well,” Sarah said. “The groom’s cake was a total surprise to Dane. It was so fun creating it with the caterer and even better getting to see the surprise on Dane’s face when he saw it.” A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake topped with fruit was cut and served concluding dinner. Fun fact: the other one was a replica of a scene set in the wilderness! In lieu of a favors, donations were made to Heifer International, University Catholic Center, and Christian Veterinary Mission. “We broke out to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ halfway through our first dance,” she said. “We had been practicing for weeks, and it turned out perfect. Everyone was so surprised.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Hire a wedding planner!” Sarah said. “Even if it is just the day of stuff, you don’t want to be stressing when you’re tyring to focus on preparing for a marriage. Ours was fantastic, and helped us out so much. We were totally stress-free when the day finally arrived.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of sparklers and jetted off to their honeymoon.
Leslie and Irfan were married at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach, Calif. on September 28. “Other than the fact that it’s a beautiful and fun location, Crystal Cove was a significant part of my childhood,” Leslie said. “My family and I spent a lot of weekends fishing and exploring the tide pools of this beach. We even loved that the area was preserved as a state park and not bought out for condos too. We wanted to give back since choosing the venue also provided some funds to the upcoming projects.” The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown with drapped chiffon on the front and back, accessorized with her hair in a sideswept ponytail, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Her do-it-yourself bouquet featured all seeded eucalyptus wrapped in twine. “Finally typing the knot was my favorite moment,” she said. “The applause from our guests and the public standing around was really amazing as we were introduced as husband and wife.” Fun fact: They both were barefoot! The reception was held outside on the deck. Tables were decorated with seashell-filled centerpieces, engraved wood slice numbers, and Coca Cola at each place setting. “We wanted to keep it low maintanence and simplistic,” Leslie said. In addition to cake, there was also an assortment of cupcakes! The newlyweds’ best advice? “Prioritize what will matter to you on the wedding day,” she said, “Don’t spend so much time on the details that you won’t be paying attention to anyways. Your guests are there to see you, not to judge or fuss about your centerpieces. What will be more memorable to them is how happy you both are.”
Brenda and Mark were married at Villa San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. on May 18. “It fit us,” Brenda said. “It was unique, intimate, outdoors, and beautiful all-in-one.” The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls with a jeweled headband, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a patterned tie. Since there was no bridesmaids or groomsmen, the only bouquet featured garden roses, pincushions ferns, olive branch leaves, and lavender sprigs. “I walked down the aisle to “One Day More” from Les Miserables, and my favorite moment was by far saying our vows and declarations to each other,” she said. After the “I do’s,” the now Mr. and Mrs. took off for a ride in a Bentley. The reception followed outside on the courtyard. Tables were decorated with white linens, vintage vases and vessels, mercury glass votives filled with candles, and picture frames. Fun fact: “Table numbers were all of the Los Angeles Laker’s retired jersey numbers (I am a huge fan!),” Brenda said. “Both of our mom’s even made cookies for the mini dessert display.” Look at those butterscotch toffee shot glasses, caramel apple lattice top pies, In lieu of a traditional guest book, guests were asked to help build memories by writing well wishes on Jenga blocks. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t procrastinate, trust your gut, and make decisions together,” she said. “It should be a team effort.”
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.