Kristi and Ryan were married at Sunny D Farms in Williamson, Ga. on October 4. “The simplicity of it all,” Kristi said. “It didn’t need much to be everything I had visioned my day to be.” The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, sash, and a pair of comy flats, while the groom wore a navy blue suit, accessorized with a striped bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short two-tone dresses, accessorized with cowboy boots, and carried bouquets of carnations, silver brunia balls, and craspedia. “My florist Cyndi, owner of Twigs, Leaves and Flowers, took my vision and made it a reality with only using three real flowers,” she said. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “welcome to our wedding.” The pews’ aisles were lined with wooden tree stumps, an altar adorned with a fireplace mantle, monogram decal, and vintage boxes and wash pans. “The moment when I lost it, and I couldn’t control the tears,” Kristi said. “I had asked Coleton our preacher to ask Ryan and I before the wedding, ‘why do you want to marry him/her?’ separately. It’s one of those answers that you could go on and on about, but putting it into words was so hard! When Coleton came in my room, I automatically lost it. At that moment, I knew what he was going to ask. I cried (a happy cry) all the way through my answer — no matter what Ryan makes me the center of his world. You can just tell when he looks at me how much he loves me.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, with almost 135 witnessing. Cocktail hour began followed by the reception inside the barn. Tables were decorated with yellow linens, chevron runners, mason jar centerpieces, and lanterns. “Everything reflected Ryan and I’s personality,” she said. In lieu of a traditional guest book, tags attached to keys were written with well wishes. Concluding dinner, a two-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. “The perfect mix” table was open for a late-night snack too. Bonus: cookie baking sheets from the Great American Cookie company! The newlyweds’ best advice? “Any decor that you buy for the wedding think: ‘how is this going to look in my house when the wedding is over?'” Kristi said. “‘Why spend a ton of money on things you can’t reuse?'” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of sparklers.
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.
Shannon and Michael were married in a traditional church ceremony at Humprey Memorial followed by a reception at The Delafield Hotel in Delafield, Wis. on February 22. “Michael and I loved the antique feel, the quaintness, and the elegance of this boutique hotel, which is nestled in the cutest town,” Shannon said. “Erin, who worked with us, made us feel like we were totally in control of our wedding and presented us with many options. We knew it was the one because of her thoughtfulness.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a ruched bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, wreath, faux fur coat, and a pair of snow boots, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a matching herringbone-patterned tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short and long pink dresses in various necklines, accessorized with cardigans, and carried bouquets of roses, anemones, and pine cones. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. “We had an outdoor photo shoot at Lapham Peak,” she said. “The colors of our wedding looked beautiful against the snowy background.” The ceremony took place at on Carroll University’s campus. Guests sat in wooden pews as the exchanging of vows (and custom-made rose gold rings) were sealed with a kiss, it was official! The reception began shortly thereafter in the ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens, ivory napkins, mason jar centerpieces atop wooden tree slices, animal prints such as rabbit, bear, and hummingbird, and votive candles, surrounded by upholstered chairs. “There was live pine trees that Michael installed in the ballroom of the hotel,” Shannon said. “The entire venue smelled like a forest, which was perfect because we were going for a ‘winter woodland-themed’ wedding.” Two mini cakes were cut and served for dessert concluding dinner, but there was also cupcakes too. “During our first dance, Michael kept spinning me around the dance floor, and it was perfect,” she said. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Make your wedding about YOU two and incorporate unique characteristics that really show off both your personalities,” Shannon said. “Almost all of our guests commented ‘this wedding is totally you.'”
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.
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!”