Rachel and Quentin were married in a traditional church ceremony at Edinbrook Baptist followed by a reception at Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park, Minn. on January 4. “It is only a few blocks away from each of our family’s homes, and a few minutes drive from the church,” Rachel said. “When I was young, my family would go to Easter brunch here every year, and I always loved it. I thought there would be no way I could afford to get married at a golf course, but our modest food menu put it right our price range.” The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in a sideswept ponytail, jeweled headband and sash, and a pair of t-strap high heels, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a matching vest and tie. Bridesmaids wore long one-shoulder blue chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses and dusty millers. Guests were greeted with a non-tradtional card box and guest book — a birdcage and globe! Everyone was asked to sign on destination spots for the “future world travelers.” Fun fact: the ceremony was officiated by Quentin’s uncle. Once the vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official with almost 250 witnessing. Pine cones served doublt-duty as escort cards. Tables were decorated white linens, gold runners, mason jar centerpieces, animal numbers, and votive candles. “We printed off sketched pictures of animals so each table was a different one,” she said. “They looked really cute on the tables. We are so into animals, we already have three pets together and are planning our future pet family! The best part was that we announced that for any clinking of glasses, we weren’t going to kiss unless that table made their animal sound. When we first announced this, people started practicing their animal sounds. It was hilarious! It was so much fun hearing the animal sounds all night whenever anyone wanted us to kiss.” Breakfast was served for dinner and chocolate chip cookies instead of cake. “These are our favorite things, and we knew we had to have them,” Rachel said. The dance floor playlist was handpicked too. “I didn’t want to do anything except dance because it was all of my songs,” she said. “It’s cheesy! But in the middle of the party, the floor magically cleared and my husband and I danced to the Selena Gomez version of ‘Let It Go.’ We had just seen Frozen a few days earlier, and I was obsessed (even more than everyone else because, hello, I was a winter bride!). I love the snow and couldn’t believe there was a movie that celebrated it in such a great way. It was the best celebrating our beautiful new marriage in the -30 degree weather.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t get caught up in the things that the industry says you need,” Rachel said. “Make your wedding all about you and have it whatever way you want it. We had a ton of personal details and that’s what made the day so fun. We weren’t worrying about our wedding being perfect or ideal for anyone but us.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of sparklers and jetted off to Oregon for their mini-moon!
Nicole and Chris were married at The Marquee Events & Catering in Hartford, Conn. on February 15 — the day after Valentine’s Day! “It was completely different than any other venue we looked at,” Nicole said. “We were immediately drawn to the venue’s uniqueness and charm and knew right away it was where we were going to have our wedding.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of Kate Spade peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short black chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of red roses. “It snowed a lot on our wedding day, which, although, intially was not something I wanted, I love that it gave our wedding a winter wonderland feel,” she said. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look on a grand spiral staircase at Hartford City Hall. The form of transporation to get there was a yellow school bus! “Reciting our vows that we wrote to one another in front of our family and friends,” Nicole said. “It was surreal and meaningful, and it’s a feeling I will never forget. Plus, it was all officiated by an aunt! “It made it extremely special,” she said. “We were able to really personalize the ceremony, and it ended up being exactly how we wanted.” The reception took place inside the Gershon Fox ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens, tall hurricane vase centerpieces, and a cootie catcher at each place setting. In lieu of favors, a donation was made to the Alzheimer’s Society too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “The last thing you should be worried about is the weather,” Nicole said. “Photographers have gotten so creative with incorporating not so good weather in wedding photos, creating some pretty amazing pictures. My pictures would never have come out so beautiful had we not had such a beautiful snowy backdrop.”
Haley and Matthew were married in a traditional church ceremony at Aldersgate United Methodist followed by a reception at Mount Vernon Country Club in Alexandria, Va. on January 4. “I had my sweet sixteen birthday party in the same venue, which Matthew had attended,” Haley said. “We were familiar with it and were excited to have another special event there. Our ceremony took place in the church I was baptized and grew up in and also the church where my parents were married exactly 28 years earlier. There was never a second thought about where our ceremony would be held.” The bride wore a satin fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with lace straps, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, faux fur shawl, and a pair of Mary Jane high heels, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of calla lilies, berries, tulips, and seeded eucalyptus. “Matthew and I were both overwhelmed with joy during our ceremony when we served each of our family and friends communion,” she said. “It was the most personal and intimate moments we had with each of the guests, and we will never forget that feeling of God blessing our marriage and providing us an amazing amount of support.” The reception took place inside the ballroom. Tables were decorated minimally with white linens and floating tea candles filled with cranberries and magnolia leaves. “All of our vendors were somehow related to us,” Haley said. “Our amazing photographer, Anna Grace Paulovkin, is the sister of one of our groomsmen, one of my aunts designed our invitations, another aunt helped coordinate and decorate, another aunt did the flowers, a best friend made our cake, the list goes on! We did a map theme throughout and labeled our tables by places we have visited together. This was one of my favorite details because it gave everyone a little glimpse into our lives.” In lieu of a guest book, advice was written down and placed into a vintage suitcase. A mini cake was cut and served for dessert as well as an assortment of cupcakes too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “It is your wedding, listen to the advice of others and be respectful, but in the end, it is your day,” she said. “Do what you want to do. The best advice I was given was to pay attention! I am an over-organizer, so I had delegated everything I wanted to be done to others, who I trusted very much, so that I didn’t worry about the details.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of ribbon wands.
Kelsey and James were married at Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada on January 25. “I loved the SLCC because it had the ability to host a family style meal and a killer dance party all under one roof,” Kelsey said. “No really, it was actually THE best of ALL TIME. It didn’t hurt that it allowed the beautiful outside landscape of Whistler to be experienced within the floor-t0-ceiling windows too. We intentionally didn’t have a color scheme. I wanted it to feel light, rustic, and natural with a hint of glamorous sparkle.” The bride wore a v-neck satin wedding gown, accessorized with a faux fur coat and Ugg boots, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short dresses and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, berries, and ferns. “Our ceremony, most people joke about getting through it to make it to the reception, but ours felt important and special,” she said.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.” All 120 guests stood in a close circle, except for parents and grandparents, who sat atop cushioned wooden tree stumps, as the newlyweds shared their first kiss! Reception tables were decorated with an assortment of breads and spreads, wine bottles, and candlelit mercury glass votives. Plus, string cafe lights were hung behind the head table as a stunning backdrop!
Lori and Zach were married at Maumee Bay State Park in Toledo, Ohio on December 14. “Having a winter wedding was never quite what this beach blonde girl had expected for herself, but wanting to quickly marry my handsome boy, we decided December was the month for us,” Lori said. “We stepped foot first into the Lodge lobby — complete with wall to wall windows, woodsy warmth, a catching scene of the lake, and (my favorite) cozy fireplace at every turn.” In just 4 short months, these two said, “I do” in an unforgettable blizzard! One of the bride’s favorite moments? “The three nights before [the wedding] of wines, cheeses, belly-laughter, and bouquet and centerpiece making with my sweetest family and friends,” she said. ” She wore a ruched wedding gown, accessorized with a fabric floral sash and faux fur jacket while bridesmaids wore gray and mint colored dresses in different styles. We love their stockings! Following the traditional church ceremony, guests arrived at the reception decorated with candlelit lanterns, willow tree branch centerpieces, and of course, a personalized mixed CD favor at each place setting.