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.
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.”
Kabri and Jora were married at Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, N.Y. in front of 80 of their closest family and friends, traveling from over 14 states, on September 28. “The grounds gave us the connection we wanted to nature and the outdoors,” Kabri said. “There was a big tree that we could use as the centerpiece of our ceremony, and the open-air pavilion looked out onto the vineyard for the reception.” The color scheme incorporated red, oranges, and purples or “mountain sunset.” “We wanted to evoke the beauty of fall,” she said. As guests arrived, they were greeted with a chalkboard sign that quoted Robert Mondavi, “Wine to me is the passion, it’s friends and family, it’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.” The nuptials began shortly after they chose a seat not a side. To symbolize their unity, the two nail a bottle of wine and love letters inside a wooden box to be open on their fifth anniversary.”While the sun was setting over the vineyard, Jora and I rose and gave the first toast of the evening. . . we wanted to share our appreciation for their fervent desire to celebrate our marriage,” Kabri said. The newlyweds’ favorite part? The food! “The farm-to-table menu that we created with our caterer exhibited the season’s and region’s local and delicious produce. It was definitely the highlight,” she said.
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
We only looked at four venues and Clover Forest was the last one we saw. We knew that as soon as we approached this long and winding driveway that this plantation built in the 1700s was perfectly in sync with our personal style. Everything from the grand interiors, the library with antique carpets and mahogany walls, the beautiful lawn, brick walkways and lake in the back, it was just the perfect place for us. We could easily imagine a perfect autumn day there with all of our friends and family, and trust me, we had to really use our imaginations since when we first saw the plantation, there were several feet of snow on the ground!
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. The overall plaid theme was by far our favorite detail. We’re both plaid-crazy guys, so we made sure to include that part of our style in the big day. Our custom-made suits were plaid. There were plaid table runners that we painstakingly sourced with our amazing event planner, and we even carried the menswear theme throughout to the table cards and stickers on the wedding favors (mini candy bins full of M&Ms), which were inspired by classic striped oxford shirts and men’s shirt labels. Even the cupcakes had plaid toppers.
2. We put a lot of attention into the food and drinks, which we also wanted to reflect our personalities. We had beautiful mini glasses of French fries for cocktail hour passed along with exotic dipping sauces, bacon wrapped dates (a favorite appetizer of ours), and we even wanted to have our favorite wines and other adult beverages with dinner.
3. With such an interesting array of friends and family, it was great to see some of them meet for the first time. We were absolutely touched that people literally came from near and far (from Virginia, New York City where we live, from Milan, London, Paris, and even one of our best friends who is a Marine, came home for the wedding from Afghanistan). The fusion of people, who mean so much to us, really made the day.
3. Give us the one moment from your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
Standing in a room of this grand old mansion and watching (from behind curtains) everyone arrive in their beautiful outfits and full of smiles was especially memorable and got the evening off to a great start. Then, we both remember the long walk from the house, through the gardens, and down to the ceremony site, walking to a hand-picked song by us that meant a lot (R.E.M.’s “At My Most Beautiful”). But, most of all, the vows were really memorable. We both spent a lot of time on them, and they were full of emotion as well as humor. Rich (a radio DJ by trade, someone who gets paid to talk each day) got choked up on the very first word — so much so, Michael had to do his vows first to get Rich through. It made each word all the more special.
From the photographer: “Jeff and Blair, reality TV stars of BRAVO’s Newlyweds: The First Year, married in Savannah, Georgia at the doors of the historic and prestigious Harper Fowlkes House. They arrived in a majestic horse drawn carriage with the ceremony performed by Reverend Steve Schulte with their closest friends and family. They were transported post-ceremony to their “Southern Soiree.” Guests were directed to their tables that were named after great Southern movies and treated to an elegant evening in a luxurious garden-like setting complete with chandeliers. The details including the cake were all black and white and natural greens. All enjoyed Southern style food and childhood favorites like Girl Scout Cookies and milk. Guests popped streamers and sent the happy couple on their way at the end of the night. It was a perfect send off on their adventure!” — Donna Von Bruening of Donna Von Bruening Photographers