Jessica and Kevin were married at Twin Oaks House and Gardens in San Marcos, Calif. on February 2. “When I walked through the archway and saw the garden covered in greenery and twinkle lights, all surrounding an old schoolhouse, I knew it was the one,” Jessica said. The bride wore a strapless mermaid wedding gown with a lace bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of Tieks’ comfy flats, while the groom wore a three-piece dark gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses. Guests were greeted to the ceremony with a heart-shaped chalkboard sign that said, “Welcome! Today two families become one. Please choose a seat not a side,” and encouraged to grab a handkerchief “for happy tears.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 140 witnessing. Cocktail hour began at the “Wet Your Whistle” beer and wine bar followed the reception shortly thereafter inside a pole tent draped with fabric and hung with crystal chandeliers. “Besides seeing Kevin for the first time, I would have to say seeing the venue for the first time with all of my do-it-yourself decor was my favorite moment,” she said. “I had this image in my head for so long of what I wanted the day to look like and seeing it come together surpassed all of my expectations.” Tables were decorated with white linens, blush napkins, vintage plates, candelabra centerpieces, and favor bags at each place setting, surrounded by chiavari chairs. A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served concluding dinner. In addition, there were cupcakes too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “If you are planning and crafting a lot by yourself, keep an inventory of everything you buy or make throughout the year,” Jessica said. “Also, note where you want to place it. I had so many little things I had bought during our 15-month engagement. It would have helped to keep track of everything.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in London, Paris, and Rome.
Shannon and Michael were married in a traditional church ceremony at Humprey Memorial followed by a reception at The Delafield Hotel in Delafield, Wis. on February 22. “Michael and I loved the antique feel, the quaintness, and the elegance of this boutique hotel, which is nestled in the cutest town,” Shannon said. “Erin, who worked with us, made us feel like we were totally in control of our wedding and presented us with many options. We knew it was the one because of her thoughtfulness.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart a-line wedding gown with a ruched bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, wreath, faux fur coat, and a pair of snow boots, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a matching herringbone-patterned tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short and long pink dresses in various necklines, accessorized with cardigans, and carried bouquets of roses, anemones, and pine cones. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. “We had an outdoor photo shoot at Lapham Peak,” she said. “The colors of our wedding looked beautiful against the snowy background.” The ceremony took place at on Carroll University’s campus. Guests sat in wooden pews as the exchanging of vows (and custom-made rose gold rings) were sealed with a kiss, it was official! The reception began shortly thereafter in the ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens, ivory napkins, mason jar centerpieces atop wooden tree slices, animal prints such as rabbit, bear, and hummingbird, and votive candles, surrounded by upholstered chairs. “There was live pine trees that Michael installed in the ballroom of the hotel,” Shannon said. “The entire venue smelled like a forest, which was perfect because we were going for a ‘winter woodland-themed’ wedding.” Two mini cakes were cut and served for dessert concluding dinner, but there was also cupcakes too. “During our first dance, Michael kept spinning me around the dance floor, and it was perfect,” she said. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Make your wedding about YOU two and incorporate unique characteristics that really show off both your personalities,” Shannon said. “Almost all of our guests commented ‘this wedding is totally you.'”
Winter weddings are meant to be intimate, especially when it comes to your reception seating floor plan. Creating your chart isn’t the most fun-filled task, but, thankfully, WeddingWire has a FREE tool to help keep you organized. You can easily drag and drop guests at different shapes and sizes. Our Decor Editor suggests to opt for a combination of square and rectangle tables in lieu of circle. Read all the pros and cons from real event planners here.
Melissa and James were married in a traditional church ceremony at Calvary Evangelical Free followed by a reception at the Rochester Senior Center in Rochester, Minn. on January 4. “We knew that we wanted a candlelit reception (with Christmas lights and candles everywhere),” Melissa said. “The [Rochester Senior Center’s] ballroom had tall ceilings with exposed beams, low lighting, and big windowns — perfect for the idea we loved.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, faux fur bolero, knot gloves, and a pair of boots, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short gold dresses, accessorized with pashmina shawls, and carried bouquets of peonies and greenery. “I adored my bridesmaids/attendants’ dresses,” she said. “They all picked out their own glittery gold dresses, and they looked gorgeous. This kept their budget low, but allowed them to pick out dresses that fit their styles. Plus, glittery gold was fantastic with our ‘woodsy glam’ theme.” Almost 200 guests gathered to witness the joining of these two families at 5 o’clock. “The minutes before walking down the aisle were very sureal, yet clear,” Melissa said. “I was standing alone in the hallway as my bridesmaids walked down the aisle. The music was playing, and I was able to reflect on the journey that led me to my Mr. Wonderful. It was incredibly powerful to have that moment alone. To be in the moment and really say, ‘yes.’ I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” The reception took place in the ballroom shortly after portraits were taken in the snow! “Because I was living in Canada during wedding planning, my parents did so much work,” she said. “They are amazing. They handpicked, painted, and glittered over 3,000 pine cones. My dad cut down trees, making centerpieces, candlestands, and branch decor. We had tons of everything. It was really a winter wonderland wedding.” Dinner and dancing ended with a bag of Chicago popcorn from Carroll’s Corn. The newlyweds’ best advice? “The advice we would give couples is to identify your top priorities before you even start planning,” Melissa said. “My husband and I identified that we wanted to look good, have an A+ photographer, and have great decor/lighting. Throughout the planning process, having our priorities helped us to invest our time/money into the right places. It definitely brought a clarified vision, which helped a ton!”
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!