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.”
Kelly and Stephen were married at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, S.C. on March 31. The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a jeweled sash and pair of silver peep-toe platform pumps, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Bridesmaids wore long purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and berries. “My favorite part of the day was our first look,” Kelly said. “It was the only time that we really had to ourselves where we could take in all what was happening.” The outdoor ceremony took place underneath giant oak trees with sweeping scenic views of Ashley River from behind. After they were announced husband and wife, cocktail hour kicked off with signature “Blushing Bride” and “Plantation Tea” drinks in mason jars complete with striped straws. “We felt so blessed that all our family and friends traveled to attend our destination wedding,” she said. Inside the Carriage House, farm tables were decorated with runners, mercury glass vases and vessels, and chalkboard numbers. Dinner included traditional Southern fare like crab cakes, macaroni and cheese squares, and homemade corn bread. Yum! The newlyweds’ best advice? “Take your time and really focus on what matters to both of you.” A three-tiered square cake was the focal point of the dessert display, and following the last dance of the night, sparklers were lit to send them on their honeymoon to Dubai.
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 Tom were married at Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills, Calif. on February 8. “Not only was our venue located on a beautiful garden making, but also it was large enough for everyone to fit comfortably,” Kelly said. “So many other venues we’d seen had advertised maximum capacity at a number far greater than what I believed could actually fit. It also had a rain plan (it was winter, after all), and in my opinion, didn’t overcharge us.” The bride wore a sweetheart mermaid wedding gown with a beaded bodice, accessorized with a chapel-length veil, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a gold tie. Bridesmaids wore long satin gray dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and calla lilies. “The moment right before I walked down the aisle, my dad whispered, ‘You’ve made the right choice. Many marriages fail because they didn’t make the right choice. You did, kiddo,'” she said. “And that’s when this poised go-get-‘em bride lost it.” After the vows were said and done, the newlyweds kissed! Notice the fist pump? The reception followed inside the ballroom decorated with rhinestone vase centerpieces atop mirrors, picture frame numbers, and floating candles. The most sentimental details of all? “The nods to mom,” Kelly said. “I incorporated the day to feel the presence of my mom, who passed away when I was 14. They included, fastening her wedding ring to my bouquet, taking our vows in the rose garden like the one she nurtured, having her carrot cake recipe as a layer of our wedding cake . . . and playing the song ‘When I’m 64′ by the Beatles as my parents did at their wedding.”
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.”