Shelly and Jeff were married in a traditional church ceremony at United Methodist followed by a reception at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Ludington, Mich. on October 25. “We were comfortable in the space; it was elegant but not too snooty,” Shelly said. “We loved that they were okay with our dogs making an appearance. Not a lot of places were flexible on pets, and our boys were a big part of the day.” The bride wore a strapless ball gown with a black bodice and silk skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo and a pair of strappy high heels, while the groom wore a black tuxedo, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched long chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses. “Archie, our 2-year-old yellow labrador retriever walked with the ring bearer and Bear, our 7-year-old black labrador retriever walked me down the aisle with my father,” she said. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 150 witnessing. The ballroom was “spookified” for the upcoming Halloween holiday. Tables were decorated with white linens, feather centerpieces, black cobwebs, and candelabras, surrounded by upholstered chairs. Even paper bats hung from the ceiling! “My maid of honor’s speech,” Shelly said. “She has been my best friend for many years, and we are total opposites. She is very shy, and I was expecting her to be nervous and quick. It was so moving and hilarious. People who had never met her were crying and saying what a beautiful job she did. Leslie really nailed it.” A two-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert concluding dinner. In addition, there was also cake pops, cupcakes, fruit tarts, and popcorn. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t get caught up in every little tiny detail,” she said. “Everyone kept telling us this, and it’s such hard advice to take. No one remembers all of the tiny details, they remember how happy you looked together. If you get too stressed out, it will be harder to relax and enjoy yourself.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Thailand.
Emily and Ian were married at Pack Square Park in Asheville, N.C. on October 12. “We wanted our wedding to be integrated into the combination of urban and rural landscapes that surround and make Asheville so special,” Emily said. “The Century Room was an extension of this idea. Placed certrally within downtown, it offered the perfect location for our guests. The interior with it’s beautiful wood finishes and striking beams running the length of the event space made you feel at home and comfortable, as if you were almost nestled into a North Carolina cabin for a picturesque fall night.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace a-line wedding gown with straps, accessorized with her hair in an updo, jeweled tiara, sash, and a pair of Kate Spade wedges, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a patterned tie. Bridesmaids wore long-sleeved green dresses and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, berries, and seeded eucalyptus. “The moment we saw each other for the first time, and all the emotion that had been building for months spilled over,” she said. “It was really happening. It was incredible because only the two of us shared it (along with our awesome photographers).” The ceremony took place at 5 o’clock. Guests, approximately 90, sat in white folding padded chairs organized in a half-circle to witness the exchanging of vows before it was official! Fun fact: they each wrote their own! Cocktail hour began followed by the reception shortly thereafter. Tables were decorated with white linens, red runners, mercury glass centerpieces, and votive candles. “Our first dance was to ‘Higher and Higher’ by Jackie Wilson, a la Ghostbusters 2,” Emily said. In lieu of a traditional cake, there was a groom’s cake as well as cupcakes. “It was of Ian’s beloved cake Gandalf holding a University of Florida flag,” she said. The newlyweds’ best advice? “First, make a decision and move on,” Emily said. “It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with so many options and that just adds unneeded stress. Secondly, the day of the wedding most things can’t be changed or fixed. Allows this to relax you and just stay in the moment with the person you’re marrying for as long as possible.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Charleston.
Tanya and Andrey were married at Cannons Seafood Grill Restaurant in Dana Point, Calif. on September 27. “The view from the patio of the restaurant where everything took place was just breathtaking,” Tanya said. “It overlooks the harbor and Pacific Ocean.” The bride wore a custom-made sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, sash, and a pair of Badgley Mischka jeweled high heels, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long pink chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of garden roses, silver brunia balls, and dusty millers. “I cannot stop thinking about how much fun the morning of our wedding day was,” she said. “It was a very memorable morning when we were surrounded by our closest friends. They were always there — helping, supporting, loving, and making us feel very special.” Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look on the balcony. Andrey’s reaction: priceless! Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, only 55 witnessing. Cocktail hour began followed by the reception shortly thereafter. Guests were escorted to their seats via cards adorned with starfishes in the sand. Tables were decorated with white linens, mason jar centerpieces wrapped in burlap and lace, and votive candles, surrouned by chiavari chairs. A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake concluding dinner. The newlyweds’ best advice? “I would recommend to start planning ahead of time, at least eight months in advance for a small wedding and up to a year for a bigger wedding,” Tanya said. “Take on step at a time, do not rush with anything and enjoy the most exciting time planning your big day. It should be a fun and stress-free process.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Mexico.
Kyle and Kaylan were married at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. on November 22. “We obviously loved the grand rotunda that allowed us to get married in the round,” Kyle said. “We hadn’t seen this before and loved the idea of having our guests surround us. We also really loved the versatility of the venue. It had about five very distinct spaces that helped make each portion of the night seem unique.” The grooms wore custom-made navy blue tuxedos with black lapels, accessorized with bow ties and cufflinks that said, “Second star to the right and straight on till morning” from the movie Peter Pan. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue satin dresses with illusion necklines and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, hydrangeas, anemones, and seeded eucalyptus, while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos and boutonnieres of freesia. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that described the itinerary. In lieu of separately walking down the aisle during the processional with their parents, they walked in together, hand-in-hand. “Music has always been very special to us and having it be a part of our ceremony was a must,” he said. “Having three of our close friends sing really took our breath away and created a lasting memory.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official with almost 100 witnessing! Cocktail hour began in the boardroom with a signature drink called “The Getaway” (inspired by Hanks Oyster Bar) garnished with birch straws. Family-style dinner took place in the ballroom shortly thereafter, including a mixed green salad with seasonal fruit, candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette, garlic-butter shrimp with creame gouda grits and sliced New York strip steak with a port wine reduction, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. “There were so many things to look at, but I think the most impressive details were the seven-foot tree and candle centerpieces, and striped and sequin linens,” Kyle said. For extra entertainment, a photo booth was provided with props. Bonus: Kyle surprised Kaylan by singing Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be (The Greatest Fan Of Your Life” with his cappella group. A mini cake was cut and served for dessert. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Utilize your wedding party,” he said. “I think we drove ourselves crazy trying to do everything on our own. These people are your best friends and are usually eager to help. The whole point of having a wedding party is to not have to carry the burden of decision making, do-it-yourself creation, and box toting on your own.” At the end of the night, they exited amonst a sea of jingle bells and jetted off to their honeymoon in Key West.
Jessica and David were married in a traditional church ceremony at Old South followed by a reception at the Exchange Conference Center in Boston, Mass. on September 27. “It was right on the water in the heart of Boston’s seaport district,” Jessica said. “We loved the historic architecture, style of the building, and wide open flow to the space.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a feathered skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo, birdcage veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of Prada t-strap high heels, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of peonies, roses, cala lillies, and berries. Only close family and friends, approximately 150, sat in wooden pews to witness the exchanging of vows. Once it was sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began with drinks by the inner harbor. The reception took place shortly thereafter inside the ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens, navy blue napkins, mercury glass centerpieces, and votive candles, surrouned by folding padded chairs. The New England-style menu for dinner. Think: lobster rolls, BBQ pork sliders, fish tacos, flank steak, and butternut squash ravioli. Yum! There were also messages in bottles at each place setting. “Each one had a special note in them for guests to open and enjoy,” she said. “I also did A LOT of the custom design work, including creating a logo and ‘branded’ feel to all detail elements to tie everything together.” A five-tiered fondant cake was cut and served for dessert in addition to whoopie pies. “Everyone loved the band,” Jessica said. “We had the best band, The Ward Eights, and they played non-stop. When it was time to wrap up, guests didn’t want to leave and chanted, ‘One more song’ for an encore. It was like being at our own private concert.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Stay organized and get everything completely finished by two weeks before your wedding date,” she said. “That way, you can handle any last minute surprises. On the day-of, make sure to just tune out any planning aspect, have fun, and enjoy every minute. You have done all the work already so there is nothing else to worry about.” At the end of the night, lobster cookie cutters were passed out as favors, and they jetted off to their honeymoon in France and Spain.