Valerie and Amy were married at Monterre Vineyards in Orefield, Penn. on May 17. “We first connected over a bottle of wine; a vineyard seemed quite fitting,” Valerie said. “It was also quaint and rustic and offered a beautiful oak tree for our ‘I do’ backdrop.” The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown with a ruffled skirt, accessorized with a jeweled sash, while the other bride wore a satin one-shoulder a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a pair of red platform pumps. “Our son decided he wanted red at the wedding, but I wanted to stay away from traditional combinations,” she said. “So, we went with a ‘citrus’ color scheme.” Guests were greeted with a program that said, “during the ceremony, we will ask for support, hear a reading, take our vows, exchange our bling, braid a thing, hammer some nails, and cry some happy tears.” Following, the Mrs. and Mrs. led the way to cocktail hour with ribbon wands “like you just don’t care.” Once inside, seats were found via keys, tables were decorated with orchid centerpieces, bird’s nests and eggs, and bottle numbers, and Mad Libs and a Hershey’s chocolate bar, which served double-duty as favors, at each place setting. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Give yourself time,” Valerie said. “Spread out the timeline if you can that way you can really soak up every bit of it. Oh and have enough time to eat and enjoy the appetizers too.”
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.”
Kelsey and Justin were married in a traditional church ceremony at St. John the Evangelist Catholic in Warren, Va. followed by a reception at Morais Vineyards and Winery in Bealeton, Va. on October 26. ”We knew we wanted to have a big wedding with a small feel, so finding a quaint Virginia winery with a room to fill our 200+ guest list was a challenge,” Kelsey said. “We ended up with about 165 and it was a perfect fit.” The bride wore a strapless lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, while her ‘maids donned taupe chiffon floor-length halter dresses and carried bouquets of garden roses, succulents, and berries. The groom wore a black three-piece suit, accessorized with a striped tie. “After not seeing my husband all day and overcoming and almost dress fiasco that caused me to be 15 minutes late to our ceremony, I could not wait to walk down the aisle,” she said. Guests were escorted to their seats with mason jars. A chalkboard sign displayed, “Bring your jar to your seat and we’ll bring you something good to eat. Tables were surrounded by gold chiavari chairs, covered in neutral linens and napkins, and decorated with glass centerpieces and wooden numbers. Following dinner and dancing, a three-tiered buttercream frosted cake was served. The newlyweds’ best advice for engaged couples, who will soon tie the knot? “Just do what feels right to you and don’t stress out trying to out-do the person before you,” Kelsey said. “Every wedding is perfectly unique.”
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.
Ana and Cliff were married in a traditional church ceremony at Kentwood Community followed by an outdoor reception in the bride’s parent’s backyard on April 26 in Wayland, Mich. “It was my grandfather’s house,” Ana said. “He bought 30 acres and built a house when my mom and her siblings were growing up. After my grandfather passed, my parents bought the house to keep it in the family. I called ‘dibs’ on being able to have my wedding there for a LONG time.” The bride wore a v-neck lace wedding gown with capped sleeves and keyhole back, accessorized with an ivory sash, while the groom wore a light brown three-piece wool suit, accessorized with a denim button-up and striped bow tie. “All their suits were thrift store finds with some flare and added personal style,” she said. “We basically gave them the color scheme and told them to do their thing.” Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses and carried do-it-yourself bouquets. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. “But when we said our vows, I was astounded that we got through them without crying,” Ana said. “That moment, when time stood still, and I looked into Cliff’s eyes to profess my love to him — it’s engraved in my heart forever.” Reception tables were decorated with antique vases and vessels centerpieces, picture frames, handkerchief runners, and kraft paper bag thank-you notes at each place setting. “My mom crafted nearly every single decoration,” she said. “Everything was that much more amazing because of the extra love put forth.” In addition to a mini cake that the newlyweds cut, there was also a popcorn bar with all the toppings like M&M’s, peanuts, and cinnamon sugar and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for guests to snack on. Yum!