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.”
Lisa and Chuck were married at the bride’s parents backyard in Lake Minnetonka, Minn. on June 29. “We got married lakeside in the yard of my childhood home,” Lisa said. “My parents moved into the house a few months before I was born, and I lived there all my life. Chuck, too, fell for the charms of Lake Minnetonka over years of visits, and the one thing that we knew when we got engaged was that there was no other place we would rather start our next chapter together.” The bride wore a custom-made and -designed wedding gown with a hi-lo hemline in the front and a cowl back, accessorized with a her hair down in loose curls, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore white blouses with striped skirts and carried bouquets of almost all greenery. “Chuck and I wrote our entire wedding ceremony ourselves,” she said. “We chose two very special readings: an excerpt from our favorite book ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ as well as the E.E. Cummings poem ‘I Carry Your Heart With Me.’” Even their five-year-old English labrador retriever, Tucker, was the ring bearer! Following the sincere nuptials, the newlyweds grabbed a glass of champagne, hopped on a boat, and cruised away from the crowd to celebrate with smooches for a bit. Guests were escorted into the reception tent draped in fabric with compasses, which directed them to “island” tables. In addition to the three-tiered buttercream cake, pecan pie was also served. For entertainment? A band and abstract painter! Plus, homemade truffles were wrapped up in boxes to take home as “bon voyage” favors.
Emmy and Brian were married at the Greystone at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Ga. on April 26. “It was a place we spent a lot of time when we started dating,” Emmy said. “Brian and I used to love walking there to watch the dogs and attend concerts. When we found out they had venues in the park, we knew we wanted to add ‘the place we got married’ to the list of memories made there.” The bride wore a mermaid wedding gown with a jeweled shoulder and flutter cap sleeve, accessorized with a birdcage veil, while the groom wore a three-piece black suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long green chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of tulips, hydrangeas, and berries. Guests were asked to grab a pair of sunglasses to fight against the glaring sun during the outdoor ceremony. Inside the the reception space, known for it’s original granite walls, tables were decorated with mix ‘n’ matched vases and vessels, vintage books, and votive candles. In lieu of a traditional guest book, a globe was marked with all the places they should travel together too. The newlyweds’ favorite moments? “Our wedding party dance to ‘The Evolution of Hip Hop’ that opened the reception,” she said. “The views of the city at sunset, and the amazingly delicious food and cake.”
Bridget and Karl were married at Campovida in Hopland, Calif. on November 1. “The grounds of Campovida are amazing, there is no mistaking that,” Bridget said. “There were so many vibrant and beautiful natural spaces for us to host our family and friends.” The bride wore a sweetheart a-line wedding gown with lace appliques, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, while the groom wore a black three-piece suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long black chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, and vines of ivy. The ceremony took place underneath a giant oak tree. Bridget’s favorite moment of the day? “My dad and I had just gotten out of the car, and Gwen was readying my dress for it’s big debut, ” she said. “I saw all of these smiling faces in the sunlight gazing back at us as I continued to take in all that was in front of me, seeing everything we’d planned so hard for. It was just as it was supposed to be! But then, there was the man I was about to marry with a big smile on his face. I took a deep breath, and my nerves were settled instantly.” Dinner followed at the pergola with tables decorated in damask patterned linens, votive candles, and leaves. “All Star Juxebox rocked the house,” Bridget said. “The dance floor was full the entire night and all of our guests raved about them too.”
Beth and Wyatt were married in a traditional church ceremony at Saint and Christ Luke’s Episcopal followed by an indoor reception at Town Point Club in Norfolk, Va. on March 22. “With a three-month engagement and a hectic professional life, I didn’t have much time to plan and Town Point Club handled all the coordination with the vendors for the reception, and it was centrally located for all of our out-of-town guests,” Beth said. “It had amazing views too!” The bride wore a lace v-neck fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a keyhole back, accessorized with flats and a flower in her updo, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a patterned bow tie and Virginia Tech socks. “My bouquet featured items from both my grandmothers, who are deceased,” she said. Did you notice that the engagement ring is a sapphire too! Following the nuptials, the newlyweds went to Hague Bride where they placed a padlock on the railing and threw the keys into the water. The reception was decorated with paper pinwheel centerpieces, koozie favors at each place setting, and dancing shoes for guests to wear on the dance floor. Plus, a fun crossword puzzle to solve as alternative entertainment.