Laura and Johnathan were married at Laurel Creek Manor in Sumner, Wash. on July 20. “The venue is beautiful and . . . allowed guests to flow between indoor and outdoor all while being surrounded by nature and festivities,” Laura said. “We didn’t go with a color scheme. We knew Johnathan’s family might be coming in leathers, since they are all apart of a motorcycle group. And my family would likely come dressed in dresses and ties. We went with a Midsummer Night’s Dream theme. Pastel colors of all types. We tried to keep the colors as close to natural as possible.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a beaded bodice, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls and a pair of strappy high heels, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore pale short dresses with a high-low hemline and carried bouquets of roses, sunflowers, and gerber daisies. “The moment I was walking down the aisle,” she said, was her favorite. “I had been planning for two years, and then the actual day, all I got to do was sit and get ready. I hardly got to see the setup of everything until I was allowed to go outside for the ceremony. Up until that moment, I had not seen my groom, the space, any of it. It took my breath away when my dad and I rounded the corner and it looked so magical. I felt like I had walked right into my own fairy tale.” Aisles were lined with an assortment of lanterns and quotes from 1 Corinthians 13. To symbolize their unity, the couple opted to combine sand to join two families as one. There were over 100 guests there to witness the vows. Of course, all wearing sunglasses to beat the summer heat! Cocktail hour began with lawn games such as corn hole, chess, and giant Jenga. Bonus: An improv acting group. “They helped mingle everyone during cocktail hour,” Laura said. “They were ‘wedding crashers.’ It really helped as these actors had them interacting for a good hour.” The reception took place underneath a frame tent. Wooden tables were decorated with moss runners, vintage books, champagne bottle numbers, and rippled glass square charger plates, surrounded by cross-back chairs. “I would have to say my cake,” she said. “I can’t believe how incredible the entire design turned out.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t forget that it is one day, and the most important detail is for you to have fun,” Laura said. ‘I felt like I had more fun that day because all those around me were having fun. Every vendor and detail we chose was more to promote an attitude rather than just something visible aesthetic. If you keep your end goal in mind, and then just allow the day to flow, you’ll enjoy it.” At the end of the night, fireworks lit up the sky.
Mandy and Matt were married at The Hamilton Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis. on October 18. The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a birdcage veil, faux fur coat, and jeweled sash, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a pinstriped button-up shirt and pink bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short silk taffeta navy blue dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and eucalyptus. Even though the rain threatened to challenge the couple’s first look plans, they still managed to surprise each other downtown overlooking the city skyline. The venue served double-duty for the ceremony and reception. Imagine an old cream-colored brick building featuring vaulted ceilings and crystal chandeliers! Fun fact: It used to be a “hotel” for cars. Notice the ribbon backdrop? Totally handmade. Tables were decorated with lace runners, vintage vases and vessels centerpieces, glitter numbers, and family heirloom plates and tea cups at each place setting too. Guests were given favor bags filled with personalized M & M’S and tied with a handwritten thank-you note. For dessert, a mini two-tiered cake and cupcakes. Yum!
Autumn and Andrew tied the knot at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, Calif. on June 28. The bride opted for a short a-line wedding dress and wore her hair in a curly ‘do while her groom donned dark gray pants, with a matching vest, bow tie, and top hat. Autumn and Andrew didn’t have a typical wedding, but it was chock full of games, delicious foods, and performances to keep their guests completely entertained all night. “We were looking for an outdoor space where we could set up a carnival/circus feel,” Autumn said. “We also were looking for a venue that would let us stay outside until late that evening. When we saw the space at Saddlerock Ranch, we knew it would be perfect for us, and the vineyards and animals on the property were a big bonus!” After exchanging vows in front of 150 friends and family, the carnival began. The reception had a carousel, a variety of carnival games, and a juggler. Guests indulged in festive treats like cotton candy, funnel cake, and popcorn. Family and friends were seated at banquet tables covered with a patterned table cloth and red rose centerpieces. Twinkling lights hung overhead and a stage with a red backdrop was set up for live entertainment such as a contortionist and ribbon twirler. Since the wedding took place at a ranch there were also a variety of animals around, such as horses and sheep. For dessert, guests enjoyed an ice cream sundae bar and a chocolate cake adorned with strawberries. Autumn advises that couples try to stay calm and enjoy their wedding day. “Try to relax on your big day! A few things are bound to go not according to plan, but don’t let that stop you from having a perfect, incredible, memorable day!”
Donna and Richard were married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, Calif. on May 24. “After seeing how naturally beautiful the property was, with a ton of green, rustic character, trickling ponds, the fun vintage ferris wheel, and of course the big oak tree that served as our backdrop for our ceremony, we knew we found our spot,” Donna said. The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a pair of Valentino’s “rockstud” pumps, while the groom wore navy blue suit, accessorized with a checkered button-up shirt, and denim bow tie. “This fabric was the starting point for our entire color inspiration,” she said. “The wedding passed by in a flash. Richard and I joke all the time that we can’t remember much of it but as cheesy as it sounds, but I will always remember the moment we were up at the altar. It was as if time slowed.” The ceremony took place underneath a big oak tree dangling with cafe lights, and a vintage ferris wheel off to the distance. Afterwards, all 112 guests walked with the newlyweds, waving ribbon wands, to the tented reception. Do-it-yourself mason jar escort cards were filled with nuts. Each table was decorated with white linens, peony centerpieces, and chalkboard numbers. Their favorite detail? The dessert display! Just look at that three-tiered naked cake topped with fresh fruit and various other pastries. “Be flexible,” Donna said. “I know most brides will have a clear vision of what they want, but what I have learned is no matter how well you try to plan the event, you will run into problems. Whether your problem is a logistical issue or a budgeting problem or just the fact that your bridesmaids can’t agree on their dresses, as long as you are open-minded and willing to deal, than things will work out!” Amen.
Cristina and Alex were married at Estancia Culinaria in Redland, Fla. on February 16. “We wanted the ceremony and reception to take place at the same venue (and for my bridesmaids and I to be able to get ready there, too),” Cristina said. “We wanted to be outdoors to take advantage of the ‘winter’ weather, we needed a place that would allow us to bring in our home-brewed beer, we didn’t want a place with very strict limits as to when we’d have to end the party, and most importantly, we needed a place that would let me bring my dog, Bailey. Our first visit was so magical that we instantly knew it had to be the place.” The bride wore a sweetheart mermaid wedding gown, accessorized with a finger-tip length veil, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a pink tie. Bridesmaids and groomsmen were able to choose their own dresses and suits! “My favorite moment was walking down the aisle to the ‘Throne Room’ theme-song from Star Wars,” she said. “However, I think we both agree that we’ve never had more fun in a single day ever. It really never happens that you have all of your family and friends in one place.” Following the nuptials, the reception was held underneath a tent. Tables were decorated with wooden ranunculus, peonies, baby’s breath, and roses centerpieces in mix ‘n’ matched vessels and vases and dinosaurs atop wooden slabs. At each place setting, there was a favor box filled with pretzels, but the dessert display had even more — cake, cupcakes, candies, etc. Guests’ entertainment? “The photo booth!” Cristina said. “So much fun. Everyone loved it. We made our own backdrop to kind of match the color scheme, and it turned out great.”