Chelsea and Joey were married at The Grace Maralyn Estate and Gardens in Atascadero, Calif. on July 26. “The Grace Maralyn was the perfect venue for us because it felt like we were having the wedding in our own backyard, but the amenities and the details made it a much better version,” Joey said. The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, jeweled headpiece, floor-length veil, and a pair of t-strap peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a dark gray tweet vest and pants, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short mint dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, scabiosa pods, and seeded eucalyptus wrapped in ribbons. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “Find a seat, not a side. Today, we’re family!” and encouraged them to grab a paper cone filled with lavender for the toss. “The moment we first saw each other while Chelsea was walking down the aisle,” he said. “The anticipation of the entire day and everything leading up to that, seeing her in her dress, looking as beautiful as ever, and having Florence and The Machine playing in the background, it felt like a scene from a movie. We both lost it a little bit.” During the ceremony, a unity candle was lit. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began with signature Mr. and Mrs. cocktails — my dear watson and the howdy stella. The reception took place shortly thereafter in the lawn. Tables were decorated with white linens, burlap runners, gold vase centerpieces, wooden numbers, picture frames, votive candles, and homemade jars of jelly, which served double-duty as favors, at each place setting, surrounded by folding padded chairs. “We loved having everything happen at one location,” Joey said. “The ceremony and the reception flowed together seamlessly because we didn’t have to worry about moving 100+ people to another location. It definitely kept the party going.” Dinner included a greek salad, Santa Maria tri-tip steak and chicken breast with salsa and roasted vegetables, roasted potatoes, and garlic bread. Dancing took place in the barn. A three-tiered fondant cake was cut and served for dessert in addition to caramel apples and fruit tarts. “It might sound silly, but having a photo booth was a really fun extra,” he said. “We were able to look at all the photos afterwards and see our family and friends having a great time througout the night. It was nice to know how much people were enjoying themselves.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Give yourself plenty of time to plan things out and be as thorough as possible, but be okay with the outcome regardless,” Joey said.
Chika and Joseph were married in a traditional church ceremony at St. Mary’s Catholic followed by a reception at Greensboro Downtown Marriott in Greensboro, N.C. on July 19. The bride wore a strapless sweetheart ball gown with a ruched bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo, jeweled headpiece, floor-length veil, and a pair of Jimmy Choo glitter high heels, while the groom wore a navy blue tuxedo with black lapes, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long one-shoulder navy blue chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, lillies, lisanthus, and geraniums. Despite the rain showers hovering overhead, the ceremony took place at 1 o’clock inside the sanctuary, featuring high-pitched ceilings with wooden arch beams. Only close family and friends sat in pews, decorated with ribbon, and an altar with two of the exact same upholstered chairs, to witness the exchanging of vows. Once it was sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began in the hotel’s hallways with dinner and dancing in the ballroom shortly thereafter. Tables were decorated with gold sequin linens, red napkins, floating candle centerpieces, and lanterns. For extra entertainment, Nigerian performers arrived as a surprise. Fun fact: it paid homage to the newlyweds’ country. Even money was thrown in the air! A three-tiered cake was served for dessert during the toasts. Not a dry eye could be found the rest of the night.
Melissa and James were married in a traditional church ceremony at Calvary Evangelical Free followed by a reception at the Rochester Senior Center in Rochester, Minn. on January 4. “We knew that we wanted a candlelit reception (with Christmas lights and candles everywhere),” Melissa said. “The [Rochester Senior Center’s] ballroom had tall ceilings with exposed beams, low lighting, and big windowns — perfect for the idea we loved.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, faux fur bolero, knot gloves, and a pair of boots, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short gold dresses, accessorized with pashmina shawls, and carried bouquets of peonies and greenery. “I adored my bridesmaids/attendants’ dresses,” she said. “They all picked out their own glittery gold dresses, and they looked gorgeous. This kept their budget low, but allowed them to pick out dresses that fit their styles. Plus, glittery gold was fantastic with our ‘woodsy glam’ theme.” Almost 200 guests gathered to witness the joining of these two families at 5 o’clock. “The minutes before walking down the aisle were very sureal, yet clear,” Melissa said. “I was standing alone in the hallway as my bridesmaids walked down the aisle. The music was playing, and I was able to reflect on the journey that led me to my Mr. Wonderful. It was incredibly powerful to have that moment alone. To be in the moment and really say, ‘yes.’ I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” The reception took place in the ballroom shortly after portraits were taken in the snow! “Because I was living in Canada during wedding planning, my parents did so much work,” she said. “They are amazing. They handpicked, painted, and glittered over 3,000 pine cones. My dad cut down trees, making centerpieces, candlestands, and branch decor. We had tons of everything. It was really a winter wonderland wedding.” Dinner and dancing ended with a bag of Chicago popcorn from Carroll’s Corn. The newlyweds’ best advice? “The advice we would give couples is to identify your top priorities before you even start planning,” Melissa said. “My husband and I identified that we wanted to look good, have an A+ photographer, and have great decor/lighting. Throughout the planning process, having our priorities helped us to invest our time/money into the right places. It definitely brought a clarified vision, which helped a ton!”
Tori and Wade were married at The Duncan House in Tavares, Fla. on March 2. “We were looking for a venue that would do most of the talking for us,” Tori said. “The Duncan House, a 1920’s home, situated on Lake Dora, with it’s towering old oaks, made us feel transported to a different time. We took a weekend trip to Tavares and stayed the night there 18 months before our wedding. We knew immediately that it was the kind of place we wnated to share with our family and friends. The kind of place we wanted preserved in our memories forever.” The bride wore a ruched fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her short hair down in loose curls and a floor-length veil, while the groom wore black tuxedo, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long satin coral dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, ferns, and seeded eucalyptus. “A cold front came through the weekend of our outdoor wedding, dropping the temperatures down to a record 30 degrees,” she said. “The entire bridal party walked a couple of blocks to this nearby train station for photos, but it was so cold and windy, we just huddled together on the tracks to keep warm! We were like, this isn’t what we planned at all, but it sure is fun.” Before the ceremony, there was a grand entrace. “My dad has a 1926 Model T, and he drove me right up to the aisle,” Tori said. “Rather than have the bridesmaids escorted by a groomsmen, we asked each of our attendants to be walked down by their families or significant other. Wade even walked in carrying our, then 7-month old daughter, Juliet.” The reception followed afterwards in the backyard. Tables were decorated with white linens, navy blue chevron runners, gold charger plates, and candelabras. If dinner wasn’t enough, dessert was for sure! “Wade and I are HUGE doughnut fans,” she said. “When we first visited, we stopped at a little place on Hwy. 27 called Donut King. We knew that we had to have a donut tower at the wedding. It was a big hit.” Dancing was performed on wooden checkered floor underneath string lights and for extra entertainment, they played the shoe game too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Get started early, prioritize, and hire a wedding planner, if you can budget it,” Tori said. “Being in the industry, myself for many years, I thought I could handle it all, but thank goodness for Kehrin at Jet Set Wed. There were so many details the day-of the wedding that I could not have possibly done myself or assigned a family member to do. Knowing that I had a professional doing it all for me allowed me to relax (a little).”
Cristina and Jeff were married at Lord Thompson Manor in Thompson, Conn. on June 28. Only 16 months after the proposal in the Italian Alps. “It was one of those vacations where you wonder how life could possibly get any better at that particular moment,” Cristina said. “The third day in, we were skiing . . . the sun was shining and the sky was the bluest blue. Jeff asked if I wanted to take a photo at the highest point of the mountain. So, we walked over to the edge and no sooner could I turn around for the camera, he was down on one knee. It was unexpected, but I had been hoping for months that it would happen at the same time.” The bride wore a strapless beaded a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a sash and a pair of Jimmy Choo glitter peep-toe platform pumps, while the groom wore a black tuxedo, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long pink chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses. The outdoor ceremony took place on the 40-acre estate’s grounds underneath the towering trees. “Our venue was incredibly classic and romantic,” she said. Toasts along with flutes of champagne were given to guests immediately afterwards. Cheers to the Mr. and Mrs! “We had a choreographed dance, which we totally nailed, as our introduction into the reception,” Cristina said. “I was in all my glory! And the photos show it.” Tables were decorated with white sequin linens, mercury glass centerpieces and candelabras, charger plates with rimmed edges, pearl-studded menu cards, and pashmina shawls wrapped around chiavari chairs. Glass orbs hung from the ceilings lit with candles. Fun fact: dinner was prepared by one of the famous James Beard Foundation celebrity chefs. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Stick to a consistent theme,” she said. “Once you do that, the look will all fall into place.” At the end of the night, sparklers were lit for the send-off.