Erin and Robert were married in a traditional church ceremony at Yosemite Chapel followed by a reception at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls in Yosemite Valley, Calif. on September 21. The bride wore a strapless satin a-line wedding dress, accessorized with a collared, capped-sleeved bolero, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a white vest and tie. Notice the pine cone boutonniere? Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched long neutral chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of mums wrapped in ribbon. Following the intimate nuptials, portraits were taken around the park just before Mother Nature let down rain, thunder, and lightning, but the skies were oh-so dramatic! The reception followed inside the Moutain Room Restaurant and Lounge, decorated with cylinder vases filled with pillar candles and evergreens atop wood slices. Guests found their seats via a handwritten chalkboard sign, devoured an organic and sustainable, buffet dinner, and sweetened up with a three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake. The newlyweds danced the night away and then jetted off to their honeymoon for two weeks afterwards.
Jessica and Brett were married at the groom’s parent’s backyard in Greensboro, N.C. on July 12. “My initial thought process for planning our wedding was based around some chickens I saw at the Wayne County Fair in Pennslyvania the week we got engaged,” Jessica said. “They were a beautiful gray color, and I knew that’s what our bridal party needed to wear. I also knew I wanted a lot of green and cream as well as coral and mint for a pop of color too.” The bride wore a strapless lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with an ivory sash, while the groom wore a white button-up, khaki pants, and gray vest, accessorized with a mint bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short gray chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, berries, and hosta leaves. “Our venue was my in-law’s backyard,” she said. “So, I knew this would be a wonderful place to have our wedding because it was where my husband grew up, and it was cost effect as well.” Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that displayed the couple’s love story, which began in September 2008. Fabric was draped across the trees to create a ceremony backdrop, and in lieu of traditional unity candle lighting, they combined paint onto canvas. “I LOVED the handmade signs,” Jessica said. “They added a fun, little quirk to everything. I also loved all of the floral arrangements. They were perfect. I wish I could have kept them longer. I also loved all the antique-y things we were able to incorporate.” Tables were decorated with burlap runners, wine bottle and mason jar centerpieces, and twine-wrapped napkins. The dessert display featured a two-tiered cake topped with birds and assorted cupcakes such as Chocolate Oreo, red velvet, and vanilla with strawberry filling. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Make sure to communicate what you want with other people and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” she said. “If I had really thought about this the week before the wedding, I wouldn’t have been such a stress, and it would have alleviated a lot of arguments with the parents!”
Courtney and Charles were married at The Island House in Charleston, S.C. on October 14. “The peaceful beautyof the location made us know that it was the perfect place for us to get married,” Courtney said. “The entire grounds were made available only to our wedding party and guests, so our event was private and intimate. The surroundings were stunning with the colorful flower fields, tall trees, white house with stately columns, and the picturesque view of the water. We could not have found a place that encompassed everything we were looking for.” The bride wore a strapless lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a fingertip-length veil, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long gold satin dreses and carried bouquets of hydrangea, stock, and seeded eucalyptus. “I was obsessed with the boxes that lined our aisles during the ceremony,” she said. “They were transportated to our tables during the reception too. They brought an overgrown fairytale garden feeeling that we were hoping for.” Fun fact: Once the couple was announced husband and wife, the song “This Magic Moment” by Lou Reed was played. “It made the moment even more exciting,” Courtney said. Dinner was vegetarian and gluten-free! “It was important to me that our guests enjoyed the food, but I could still eat,” she said. Guests also enjoyed playing lawn games such as giant Jenga. “Our first dance was absolutely my favorite,” Courtney said. “Everything leading up to it was special leading up, but in those few minutes, it was just my husband and I holding each other and talking as if no one else was around.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “I took on a lot of the planning and preparation leading up to the weding and gave myself an awful lot of responsibility during our weekend as well,” she said. “I absolutely loved the whole process, and it was so important to me that all of our guests had a great experience after traveling so far. In the end, I tried to take too much onto my plate, and I had to come to the realization that my family and friends wanted a chance to help and be involved. It made them feel good to know that they had contributed something. My advice is to accept help! It makes the experience more full when the people that love you are there by your side.” In lieu of a traditional sparkler send off, they rode off on a red moped.
Jennifer and Michael were married at Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville, Ga. on June 2. “We knew we wanted to get married outside and have a tented reception,” Jennifer said. “Our location, Pebble Hill Plantation, had so many beautiful ceremony spots that, at first, it was hard to choose. During our tour of the plantation, I described wanting a ‘secret garden’ feeling. We stopped at an old tennis court covered in grass with beautiful ivy-clad brick walls. It fit perfectly with our vision.” The bride wore a lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with illusion straps, accessorized with an ivory sash, while the groom wore a khaki suit, accessorized with a solid tie. Bridesmaids wore long black chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of peonies, hydrangeas, and succulents. “We had an amazing moment before the ceremony,” she said. “We had both finished getting ready and were just waiting for the ceremony, so Michael came to find me just as I was starting to get nervous. He walked up to a window with his back turned and his eyes closed. We just talked for a minute. I felt much better afterwards. Before he left, he gave me a kiss, and the next time I saw him, he was standing at the altar.” Fun fact: the groom’s father was the officiant! “It was nice to have him be such an important part of the ceremony,” Jennifer said. “He immediately reminded us of the love from our family and friends that supported us.” Following the nuptials, guests were escorted to their seats inside the pole tent. Tables were decorated with burlap linens, birdcage centerpieces, and Full Moon farm’s famous honey jars at each place setting. Instead of a DJ, there was a bluegrass band! The newlyweds’ best advice? “Many couples, often mostly the bride, have an exact vision of the things they want for their wedding day,” she said. “They struggle to let go of details they’ve been dreaming over for years. I would say to couples planning their wedding that the most important thing to keep in mind is the reason behind the celebration, the love that you and your partner have for each other. If you keep this at the forefront of planning, it will help to relieve some of the stress you might feel when things aren’t lining up exactly.”
Julie and Jonah were married at Aspen Lakes Golf Course in Sisters, Ore. on May 16. “It had amazing views of the [Cascade] mountains,” Julie said. Fun fact: Thanks to the inspiration from the chilly proposal. “Jonah had planned a little outing to hike after one of the first snowfalls before the mountain opened for the season,” she said. “When we got there, a worker driving a snowcat just ‘happened’ to go by and ‘randomly’ asked if we wanted a ride to the top, so we could ski down. When we got to the top, Jonah had already jumped off to ‘grab our gear.’ I turned around to face him, and he had gotten down on one knee! I was so excited that I didn’t want to put my glove back on.” The bride wore a strapless fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a beaded bodice, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls and a fingertip-length veil, while the groom wore a tan suit, accessorized with a striped yellow tie and succulent boutonniere. Notice the matching Keds canvas sneakers? Bridesmaids wore short pink chiffon dresses and carried cascading bouquets of garden roses, hydrangeas, and greenery wrapped in ribbons. Before the ceremony, the couple exchanged gifts from each other with notes that said, “See you at the altar @6p.m.! Don’t be late!” No one was, of course. The reception followed inside the clubhouse lodge. Tables were decorated with white linens, tall baby’s breath centerpieces, and votive candles, and a dessert display featured a mini ruffled buttercream-frosted cake and cupcakes. The newlyweds’ favorite moment was when the live band was performing their first dance. “It was amazingly awkward,” she said. “But remember to relax and fully enjoy each other during the engagement and wedding planning process too. It all always comes together.” If that wasn’t enough entertainment, the photo booth sure was. Guests enjoyed posing with silly props in return for a keepsake snapshot memory. They even received coffee bean favor bags at the end of the night. Then, it was time to jett off to Mexico for the international honeymoon. Ole!