Donna and Richard were married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, Calif. on May 24. “After seeing how naturally beautiful the property was, with a ton of green, rustic character, trickling ponds, the fun vintage ferris wheel, and of course the big oak tree that served as our backdrop for our ceremony, we knew we found our spot,” Donna said. The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a pair of Valentino’s “rockstud” pumps, while the groom wore navy blue suit, accessorized with a checkered button-up shirt, and denim bow tie. “This fabric was the starting point for our entire color inspiration,” she said. “The wedding passed by in a flash. Richard and I joke all the time that we can’t remember much of it but as cheesy as it sounds, but I will always remember the moment we were up at the altar. It was as if time slowed.” The ceremony took place underneath a big oak tree dangling with cafe lights, and a vintage ferris wheel off to the distance. Afterwards, all 112 guests walked with the newlyweds, waving ribbon wands, to the tented reception. Do-it-yourself mason jar escort cards were filled with nuts. Each table was decorated with white linens, peony centerpieces, and chalkboard numbers. Their favorite detail? The dessert display! Just look at that three-tiered naked cake topped with fresh fruit and various other pastries. “Be flexible,” Donna said. “I know most brides will have a clear vision of what they want, but what I have learned is no matter how well you try to plan the event, you will run into problems. Whether your problem is a logistical issue or a budgeting problem or just the fact that your bridesmaids can’t agree on their dresses, as long as you are open-minded and willing to deal, than things will work out!” Amen.
Julie and Steven were married at Clover Forest Plantation in Goochland, Va. on September 14. “It reminded me of the house I grew up in,” Julie said. “They were both built during the same time period, so I felt right in my comfort zone.” The bride wore a sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a layered skirt, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Notice the polka dots? “They were on the bodice of my wedding gown, which inspired me to use this pattern in other parts of the decor like the invitations, linens, and even the paper straws,” she said. Fun fact: Julie is a graphic designer! Bridesmaids wore short purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses and seeded eucalyptus. “The ceremony location had a beautiful pergola that overlooked a private lake for us to say our ‘I do’s’ underneath,” Julie said. “It had an overall romantic, Southern charm to it. Having our dog, Madison, as the flower girl was really important to both of us. We had a little flower collar made for her and had a ‘maid walk her down the aisle.” Guests were asked to write well wishes and advice on cards for the new Mr. and Mrs. Tables were decorated with gray linens, pink napkins, and mini pots filled with succulents. “Steven’s brother, Michael, performed ‘Thank You’ by Led Zepplin on his guitar for our first dance,” she said. “This unique song means a lot, and we thought it was special to hear it played live. It also took some attention off of us while we were dancing, since we ran out of time to practice.”
Kelly and Chris were married at Sugarman Estate in Wailea-Makena, Hawaii on October 11. The bride wore a sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a lace bodice and ruffled tulle skirt, accessorized with shoulder-length veil in her half-up/half-down ‘do, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a skull-themed bow tie. The maid of honor wore a short navy blue chiffon dress and carried a bouquet of roses, berries, dusty millers, and ferns. The ceremony took place at sunset with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop stretching from the shores of Honua Kai Lani to the islands of Kahoolawe, Molokini, and beyond. The couple decided to write their own vows. “There are no words I could ever relay about how I feel about you . . . I could only think of a movie — Jerry McGuire — you literally complete me, you make me want to be a better man, you make me a better man, and even though it’s taken 17 long years, it was worth the wait,” Chris said. Fun fact: They dated in high school and went to Arizona State University together! That’s why “I always knew you were the one,” Kelly said. After wiping away the tears and sealing their commitment with a kiss, it was official! The reception followed underneath a framed tent decorated with hanging lanterns, overflowing centerpieces atop moss-covered wooden boxes, and “mahalo” (thank you) notes at each place setting.
Rachel and Nick were married at Pinnacle Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio on September 21. “We wanted a natural, warm location with a rustic feel,” Rachel said. “The open garden was perfect for our cocktail hour, and the ballroom with the marble dance floor and hanging crystal chandeliers was the absolute best backdrop.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a jeweled sash, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a white vest and tie. Bridesmaids wore short satin dresses and carried bouquets of dahlias, roses, and dusty millers. Not to mention their statement necklaces too! “Planning our wedding while living in Nashville made me really lean on my friends’ suggestions and vendor recommendations,” she said. “Luckily, each and every one completely surpassed our expectations.” The reception followed the traditional church ceremony. Tables were decorated with white linens, tall centerpieces, and 250 votive candles. “Our DJ took our list of songs, but also was able to ‘read the room’ and keep the dance floor packed ALL night long,” Rachel said. Guests didn’t leave hungry either — a dessert display was stuffed with a four-tiered cake and an assortment of cookies.
Candace and Jason were married at The Yacht Club at Marina Shores in Virginia Beach, Va. on April 19. “Honestly, everything about the venue was gorgeous!” Candace said. “It had me at hello, but if I had to pick one thing about it, it would have been the water.” The bride wore a satin mermaid wedding gown with crystal beading on the front and back, accessorized with a drop dangling earrings and a fingertip-length veil, while the groom wore a dark gray three-piece suit, accessorized with a white tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids looked oh-so lovely in their blush long crinkle chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and peonies wrapped in teal fabric around the stems. The ceremony was set up like a half moon so each and every guest could see. Notice at the end of the aisle the wooden “This is how our story begins” sign? The way Jason’s face looked when I walked down the aisle was all I needed,” she said. “I felt like, in those two moments, there wasn’t anyone else around, and it was just him and I in our own little world.” Following the nuptials, the newlyweds released doves. “It was very important to me to remember our loved ones who couldn’t be there,” Candace said. Inside the ballroom, reception tables were decorated with chevron runners, lanterns, candles, and of course, starfish picture frames. Plus, just look at the cake! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.