A French Country Fairytale Wedding DESTINATION: HONEYMOONS â€¢ 10 THINGS: COLIN COWIE
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F R O M the publisher © 2016 HORSE & STYLE MAGAZINE
PUB LISHE R & E D ITO R - IN- C HIEF
Sarah Appel email@example.com
ED ITO R
Jackie McFarland CREAT IVE DI RECTOR
Danielle Demers ASSIS TAN T P UBLIS HER
Erinn Lew ADVERT ISIN G & SA LES
Katie Appel & Vilia Lerner firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
COP YED ITOR
Pam Maley CONT RIB UTO R S
Emily Pollard, Erinn Lew, Laurie Berglie, Lauren Fisher, Celeste Wilkins, Danielle Demers, Pam Maley PHOTOGRA P HERS
David Bacher, Megan Clouse, Drew Altizer, onelove photography, Arrowood Photography, Jensen Sutta, Stefano Grasso, Carasco Photography, Frank Ishman, Wendy Aull/Aullmyn Photography, Alison Hartwell Photography, Danielle Demers/EqSol, Ashley Neuhof, Rachel Peterson, Alden Corrigan, Beverly Joubert, Jeremy Goss, Amy McCool
ON THE COVER: Newlyweds Brian and
Lisa Wee at their fairytale French countryside wedding, photo © David Bacher
Horse & Style Magazine is an equestrian lifestyle publication that is published bi-monthly and available at participating tack shops nationwide for $10, and while supplies last at large training centers and hunter jumper horse shows. The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is legally prohibited. Copyright © 2016 Horse & Style Magazine LLC.
AR D WIN
Ella, Sarah Appel’s oldest daughter, enjoyed being a flower girl at a family wedding in Stanford, CA this Spring. Photo Credit: Robin Jolin
It wasn’t long after Horse & Style launched that we began receiving submissions from some exceptional equestrian weddings wanting to be featured in the magazine. It was wonderful to see how couples intertwined their love of horses and equestrian style with their weddings. To showcase this trend, H&S began including Bit of Bliss in the magazine, which featured equestrian weddings from around the world. We covered the story of a bride and groom who built a 6-stall barn behind their altar so their beloved horses could join the ceremony and we featured a couple who got married on the VIP berm of one of Northern California’s premier equestrian facilities, Sonoma Horse Park. We received wonderful feedback on each showcase; readers really loved getting an inside peek on these unique equestrian-themed nuptials! Last spring, I set out to do a cover feature on equestrian weddings. But as I began researching the article, it became clear that a few pages in an issue wasn’t going to be enough. And so the concept for Horse & Style Weddings was born.
In this inaugural H&S Weddings issue, we had the pleasure of featuring the fairytale wedding of Brian and Lisa Wee, two equestrians who met speed dating in San Francisco. They said “I Do” in the beautiful French countryside (page 22). And as we expected, ideas abound. This issue’s Creative Director, Danielle Demers, illustrates a DIY monogram for favors and decorations (page 20). A skilled writer and wine drinker, contributor Emily Pollard did “extensive” research on how to pair wines for your wedding based on your riding discipline (page 35). We chose to feature three locations in “Destination Weddings” (page 6), with gorgeous images of bridal bliss. In “Destination Honeymoons” (page 40), we give you a taste of Montana, Ireland and Africa. If you’re a hopeless romantic, lover of weddings and, of course, all things equestrian like me, I know you will enjoy jumping into this premiere issue of Horse & Style Weddings.
• 10 T H I N G S
• D E S T I N AT I O N
• TREND REPORT Inspired Invitations
• FA S H I O N AND F I L L I E S Houghton’s Katharine Polk
• ON THE COVER #Oui2Wee
• ST YLE PROFILES
• BEAUTIFUL BAL ANCE
• P E R F E C T PA I R I N G S
• D E S T I N AT I O N
Something Old ... Something New
Blending Two Life Passions
A Disciplined Beverage Menu
• BEHIND THE LENS Megan Clouse
JAC KIE M c FA R L A N D
PA M MALEY
E M I LY POLLARD
L AUREN FISHER
L AURIE BERGLIE W E D D I N G S 2 0 16
by Sarah Appel & Pam Maley
An explosion of talent and energy, Colin Cowie is a globe-trotting event planner extraordinaire. From intimate occasions to corporate bashes, this global citizen has visited nearly 100 countries to plan events, and he still manages to be hands-on with all of his projects. The party planner of choice for numerous celebrities, what sets Cowie apart is his experiential approach to design; what you smell, touch, taste, feel and hear are carefully orchestrated to create the ultimate experience for his clients. Cowie is a regular on NBC’s The Today Show and the author of a growing list of lifestyle and entertaining books. Through his consulting business, he works on international hospitality and design projects for hotels, retailers and airlines. With informative how-to’s, inspirational images and insider tips from Cowie and his team, his revolutionary new website, ColinCowieWeddings.com takes online wedding planning to a new level.
1. Tickling the ivory keys since age six, Cowie is a gifted pianist.
6. Truly a world traveler, he has logged 13 million miles.
2. He was born in Zambia, and raised and educated in
7. A self-described ‘purist,’ he only drinks water when the sun
3. He spent two years in the South African army.
8. Addicted to Soul Cycle, he goes six times a week and sits
4. During his time in the military, he was a medic and delivered multiple babies.
5. If he weren’t a world-renowned event planner, he would be a doctor.
is up, and cocktails when the sun goes down.
front and center.
9. While in New York, he takes City Bikes everywhere. 10. Last time he rode a horse, he was thrown off, and vowed never to ride again.
Photo © Drew Altizer
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D E S T I N AT I O N by Sarah Appel & Laurie Berglie
Weddings WHISPERING ROSE RANCH AT WO O D R A N C H C RO O K E D W I L LOW FA R M S
Whispering Rose Ranch With sweeping views of the majestic Santa Ynez mountains, Whispering Rose Ranch sits in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. A truly enchanting setting for any wedding, horses gallop across open pastures and deer stroll peacefully throughout the property. The Bride and her attendants will sip champagne in the charming Stone Cottage, while preparing for the event. And the gentleman will enjoy the old-world charm of the Saloon. Guests will be awestruck from the moment they enter the gates, as the Whispering Rose is known for itâ€™s dramatic entry way. The Bride and Groom can exchange vows on a gentle hill nestled amongst the birch trees at The Park, with cocktails to follow in Fountain Court. Imagine one long table set between two rows of ancient Sycamore Trees, with chandeliers strung overhead and candles flickering on the tables, this is the potential reception setting along Sycamore Lane. Countless romantic memories await at Whispering Rose Ranch.
V E N D O R I N F O R M AT I O N VENUE:
Whispering Rose Ranch WhisperingRoseRanch.com
Claire Pettibone ClairePettibone.com
onelove photography onelove-photo.com
Gemy Mallouf GemyMaalouf.com
DESIGN & COORDINATION:
WINK! Weddings WinkWed.com
Morris Janks MorrisJanks.com
HAIR & MAKEUP:
Ella & Louie Floral Studio EllaAndLouie.com
The Blushed Company TheBlushedCompany.com
TABLETOP RENTAL S:
The Pie Hole ThePieHoleLA.com
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Atwood Ranch Nestled in the middle of Cabernet vineyards with views of the beautiful Mayacamas mountains, Atwood Ranch is in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. A perfect venue for any horse lover, the barn and stables act as a perfect romantic backdrop and any of Atwood’s easygoing Quarter horses are happy to join the photoshoot for a walk in the vineyards with the bride and groom. The bridal party prepares for the big day on site in the luxurious accommodations Atwood provides. The bride and groom can say their vows in the middle of the vineyards, accompanied by a few chirping birds and the occasional whinny. Guests are then invited to the reception in the main barn where string lighting, chandeliers and big comfortable couches give a welcoming country-home feel. From the horses to the views to the rustic barn, the 70+ acres at the historic Atwood Ranch truly leaves no desire unfulfilled for your romantic country wedding.
V E N D O R I N F O R M AT I O N VENUE:
Atwood Ranch AtwoodRanchNaturally.com
Perfect Endings PerfectEndings.com
PHOTOGRAPHY: Arrowood Photography ArrowoodPhotography.com + Second Shooter: Myleen Hollero
MENUS & SIGNAGE:
EVENT PLANNING & DESIGN:
Twilight Design TwilightDesign.biz
Julie Atwood Events JulieAtwoodEvents.com Maria Philbin MariaPhilbinFloralDesign.com Sage Catering Sage-Catering.com
C AT E R I N G :
Persimmon Press LauraDavison.com
Atwood Ranch Quarter Horses CEREMONY MUSIC:
Nob Hill Quartet NobHillEnsembles.com
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Crooked Willow Farms If you are looking for a wedding venue with charming country, rustic elegance, look no further than Crooked Willow Farms. Located in picturesque Larkspur, Colorado, Crooked Willow is a venue that was built with the equestrian in mind. A 90-acre property that is rich in history, Crooked Willow is not only one of the most diverse and unique wedding venues in the area, it is also a state-of-the-art, private training and sales facility for top sporthorses. For an equestrian planning her wedding at Crooked Willow, the possibilities are endless.You could book the Carriage House Ballroom; the rustic interior design of this room with its white pine, red brick accents, romantic chandeliers, and floor-to-ceiling sliding barn doors will complement any wedding theme. If you prefer an outdoors ceremony, you will love the Events Lawn where the Colorado Rocky Mountains serve as the backdrop while you say, “I do!” Crooked Willow understands that this is your big day, so they are always willing to work with their brides and grooms to create a truly customized, one-of-a-kind experience. Known for delivering an exceptional experience one celebration at a time, Crooked Willow Farms truly has it all.
I N F O R M AT I O N & P R E F E R R E D V E N D O R S VENUE:
Crooked Willow Farms CrookedWillowEvents.com
Yours Truly Cupcake, Inc. yourstrulycupcake.com
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jensen Sutta JensenSutta.com
C AT E R I N G :
Butler Rents ButlerRents.com HAIR & MAKE-UP:
Biscuits & Berries BiscuitsandBerries.com
A | K Studio AKStudioDenver.com
DECOR & LIGHTING:
Newberry Brothers NewberryBrothers.com
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Be on the lookout for this new publication from Horse & Style Magazine. The Pony & Style premiere is just a few months away!
T R E N D report by Erinn Lew
1. 2. 4.
To set the mood for your equestrian-themed wedding, and as a token of love for your four-legged friends, take your pick from these pleasing prints. Choose from a myriad of monograms for the most traditional of tastes, or find rustic invitations for a country wedding. With endless options, youâ€™re certain to find an ideal look to announce your very special day. 1. Elegant Horse Wedding Invitation, MyInvitation; 2. Charming Rustic Horse Rehearsal Dinner Invitation, Lemon Leaf Prints; 3. Equestrian Floral Invitations, Cardinal & Straw Fine Paper Goods; 4. Equestrian Calligraphy Wedding Invitation, SWEET Letterpress & Design; 5. Equestrian Wreath Invitations, Cardinal & Straw Fine Paper Goods; 6. Equestrian Love Wedding Invitations, Beacon Lane; 7. Whimsical Horses Wedding Invitation, ThePaintingPony.com
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THERE IS A CERTAIN KIND OF PERSON WHO LOVES HOME DÉCOR. BUYS TOO MUCH HOME DÉCOR. NEEDS TO SELL EXCESS HOME DÉCOR. IT COULD BE A GAY MAN, BUT IT VERY WELL COULD BE YOU — ANYONE WITH GOOD TASTE WHO ENJOYS BUYING OR SELLING BEAUTIFUL HOME FURNISHINGS.
P R E V I O U S LY OW N E D BY A G AY M A N .CO M
FEATURE by Pam Maley
Young fashion designer and equestrian Katharine Polk founded Houghton in 2011, with a very specific vision – to become the first brand to blur the line between Ready-to-Wear and Bridal. FA S H I O N Polk burst on the scene with authority when she debuted Houghton’s first collection during New York Fashion Week in 2012. Intended to go from everyday to wedding day, the all ivory collection of Katharine Hepburn inspired suits, evening gowns, dresses, and separates earned an overwhelming response and instant recognition of the new cross-over category. Polk followed up by showing a classic yet edgy, non-traditional collection during New York Bridal Week in October of 2012, further opening the eyes of the bridal world with a whole new vision. In 2006, prior to founding Houghton, Polk moved to NYC from California to work as Assistant Designer at Badgley Mischka Couture, working closely with Mark Badgley and James Mischka on both their Ready-To-Wear and Bridal collections. Houghton’s distinctive silhouettes and styles have been well-received by industry leaders and press, earning Polk the 2015 Caleres St. Louis Fashion Fund Emerging Designer Award, and a place on the list of finalists for the Fashion Group International’s 2015 and 2016 Rising Star Award. Polk continues to push boundaries in the bridal world, staging the first ever “See-Now Buy-Now” fashion show for her most recent Spring/Summer 2017 collection in April 2016 and inviting brides-to-be to attend the show and shop the runway. The recent changes in the ready-to-wear market led Houghton to step away from the traditional runway show and inspired Katharine’s decision to present her latest bridal collection in an innovative way. “I wanted to give our girls a chance to buy straight from the runway and do away with traditional bridal lead times by offering styles immediately for purchase during and following our presentation,” she said. Now available at over 60 stores in 15 countries, her gowns have been seen at the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys, and are regularly worn by celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde, Kerry Washington, Kate Mara, and January Jones. Houghton takes private shopping appointments in their West Chelsea, NYC atelier for both Bridal and Ready-To-Wear collections and additionally hosts trunk-shows all over the country throughout the year. After a very successful trunk-show recently hosted in Wellington with Casey Harrison
Portrait of Katharine Polk, Designer of Houghton
and Alexa Pessoa to benefit Anne’s Night, Houghton hangs in the closets of many fellow riders. A lifelong equestrian, Polk started riding at age 11, competing in the Equitation and Junior Hunter Divisions, as well as Young Riders. As an Amateur-Owner rider, Polk was Champion or Reserve Champion at every horse show she entered in 2003 and 2004 with her hunter Eminem, as well as World Champion Hunter Rider South West Champion in 2003 and 2006. Despite the immense success of Houghton and a schedule crammed with work and travel, she still finds time to be involved with horses. FILLIES Her business partner, mother and co-founder of Houghton, Carol Rosenstein, is also her partner in Silver Raven Farms. SRF Dragonfly was originally purchased for Polk to do Young Riders and move up to the Grand Prix classes, but as she became busier with fashion design school, Polk felt that Dragonfly would be more successful with professional Nicole Shahinian-Simpson in the irons. SRF Dragonfly became Silver Raven Farms’ most successful jumper. The mare finished second after five rounds of competition in the Olympic Trials at the Wellington Equestrian Festival in 2008, and represented the United States on the 2008 Nations Cup Tour, competing in Rome, St. Gallen, Le Baule, Hickstead, Dublin, Barcelona and Falsterbo. In 2007 on a brief break in her competition schedule, Dragonfly traveled to Pollyrich Farms, a state-of-the-art breeding and embryo
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“Emily” round neck blush silk sleeveless gown with layers of ruffles and off the shoulder details with cutouts, “Marlene” nude fishnet stockings with Commando panty; HoughtonNYC.com
“Marina” ivory silk chiffon tiered gown with deep V and short flutter sleeves, “Viola” bodysuit with deep V in ivory Chantilly lace and bell sleeve with Commando panty, “Felicia” patent leather choker with silver foil rosettes, “Banks” white patent leather belt, “Marlene” white fishnet stockings with Commando panty; HoughtonNYC.com
“Presley” girls romper in dove grey French Guipure lace over “Lily” black Chantilly lace bodysuit with single flutter sleeve. “Penelope” black gown with French Guipure lace bodice and layers of French ruffled Chantilly lace over “Felicity” catsuit in black Chantilly lace with Commando panty; HoughtonNYC.com
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transfer facility, to be bred to the Holsteiner stallion Quinar, sire of five world champions. Within days she had produced four embryos, which were transferred to surrogate mares. And in one magical week in April, twelve tiny hooves hit the ground, the first-ever in-vitro triplets – all fillies. Like Houghton, April Moon, Abbey Road, and Akuna Mattata burst on the scene with authority, topping the 5, 6, and 7-year-old Young Jumper divisions. Polk and Rosenstein credit Shahinian-Simpson’s individualized training for the success and happiness of all three mares. Shahinian-Simpson developed customized programs for each mare, and continues to focus on each one as individuals, which has kept them positive and successful in their show careers. In 2014, all three mares placed in the 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships Midwestern League Finals with April Moon 1st, Akuna Mattata 3rd, and Abbey Road 7th. The same year Abbey Road and April Moon placed 1st and 2nd in the 6-Year-Old Final WEF Circuit Standings. As 7-year-olds in 2015, Akuna Mattata, Abbey Road and April Moon placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the WEF Final Circuit Standings. Rounding out the YJC 7-Year-Old Eastern League Final Standings, Abbey Road finished 2nd and sisters Akuna Matata and April Moon tied for 3rd. The same year, Silver Raven Farms was named the 2nd leading breeder in the country by the YJC. In 2016, they continue to earn their share of acclaim as 8-year-olds; all three mares have moved up to the 1.40m division and both Polk and Rosenstein are enjoying watching their girls grow under the guidance of Shahinian-Simpson. Clearly, Katharine Polk is not afraid to push the envelope; with clarity of vision, willingness to take a risk, and unwavering determination, she is making her mark both as a now fashion designer and a mother of talented equine triplets.
This Page: (Above) Nicki Shahinian-Simpson and SRF Dragonfly competing at the 2008 Nations Cup in St. Gallen, Switzerland; (Below) SRF Dragonfly’s triplets: (L-R) April Moon, Abbey Road and Akuna Mattata.
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by Danielle Demers
FAVORS & DECORATIONS WITH CUSTOM STAMPS Crafting wedding favors and decorations with custom stamps is almost too easy – and the finished results are gorgeous! Various Etsy sellers offer lovely, made-to-order monogram stamps for purchase. Alternatively, creative minds can design their own stamp and then have it custom-made.
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Once you have your stamp in hand, a pad of vibrant ink and the objects you plan to stamp are all you need. Set aside an afternoon for stamping, and – voilà – one more item will be checked off your wedding planning ‘to-do’ list!
SUPPLIES: Monogram Stamp •
Favorite Etsy sellers who stock equestrianthemed designs: • mapleandcotton.etsy.com • typoboutique.etsy.com
Online custom stamp shops: • •
Ink Objects of your choice •
Used in this DIY: • •
Blank cork coasters Jumbo kraft paper tags
STEPS: 1. Order or create your custom monogram
rubber stamp. If you are designing your own, there are several wonderful online rubber stamp companies that allow you to upload and order custom designs (two listed above). These companies offer stamps in a wide range of sizes (up to 11" wide!) to suit your specific project.
2. Choose an ink appropriate for the surface you are stamping on. Some surfaces and materials require special inks, so a bit of research is advised for best results. There are specific inks available for glass, fabrics, paper embossing, projects that need to be waterproof, etc. Additionally, most inks come in a wide variety of colors, so it should be easy to find one that matches or compliments your wedding colors.
3. Time to start stamping! Make sure that the
stamp is fully loaded with ink and press down on all corners of the stamp before lifting it straight up and off the surface to achieve a crisp, vibrant print.
4. When you are finished, your stamp should be washed thoroughly with dish detergent and warm water to remove all ink. This will keep the design crisp for future use.
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O N the cover story by Emily Pollard photos by David Bacher
A FRENCH COUNTRY FAIRYTALE WEDDING
hen Brian Wee and Lisa Kiernan got engaged, their first instinct was to keep the wedding simple. “We live in the Bay Area, so we figured we should have the wedding here to make it easy for most of the family and our friends,” Lisa explained. But when a thorough search of the area did not yield any venues that would allow for late night outdoor dancing, the couple decided it was time to expand the search beyond the Bay, all the way across the pond, to Lisa’s hometown of Bourron-Marlotte, France. Brian thought it was the perfect choice. “Lisa is very familiar with my family and has experienced so much of my ‘world’ because we live in the Bay Area together, where I grew up. I wanted the same opportunity to share in Lisa’s family and her history,” Brian noted before adding nonchalantly, “And after all, isn’t the wedding all about the bride?” Wise words Brian. Keeping it “all about the bride” meant French, wonderfully romantic, uniquely horsey, filled with family, love and laughter, creating one memorable weekend. LO C AT I O N , LO C AT I O N , LO C AT I O N Lisa dreamed of getting married at her childhood home in France, but her family had since sold the property and moved to the United Kingdom. After searching the venues in her hometown, she happened upon an amazing find, Château de Bourron. A private residence when she was a girl, the beautiful home is now operating as a boutique hotel and wedding venue. Lisa remembered this discovery with a smile. “I was so excited to see it had opened up for weddings: I have wonderful childhood memories of the Château, and the family-oriented feel there is so inviting. I knew it would be perfect.” After booking the weekend for their wedding, Lisa allowed the location to guide the style and theme of the wedding, which she describes succinctly as “romantic French-country.” The on-site restaurant, Les Prémices, provided the catering; and the local florist, Jardin et Fleurs, tended to all the details with style, including gorgeous arrangements on the horse drawn carriage. Sticking to a French theme, in lieu of a cake
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the couple opted for the traditional croquembouche, a tower of creamfilled, puff-pastry balls (‘choux’ in French) decorated with sparklers.
lesson days. Once again aboard the fairytale carriage, the couple was whisked off to the Château for the reception.
Along with finding this idyllic location, hosting this day in Bourron-Marlotte meant horses were certain to play a role. The village is adjacent to the historic town of Fontainebleau, known as the ‘horse capital’ of France. Host to over 50 stables including Lisa’s childhood riding stable, Écurie Philippe Fiocre, and a number of equestrian events annually, the fabulously French equestrian area was the perfect backdrop for the couple’s wedding photos.
Naturally, a horseshoe theme captured the essence of the wedding and the theme was carried throughout – the staircase in the front of the chateau is horseshoe-shaped and the chocolate horseshoe wedding favors given out at the end of the evening brought all who attended good luck. This included the chef catering the dinner, who was up all night delivering a foal at his breeding farm. Such a sweet country French story for their wedding day.
THE EQUINE MAGIC UNFOLDS After a ceremony held in the picturesque village church of Sainte-Sévère, Brian and Lisa left with bells ringing, cheered on by friends and family throwing rose petals in their honor. Arm in arm, the newlywed couple boarded a two-horse carriage. The driver’s handlebar mustache, full top hat, and time-period outfit enhanced the fairytale feeling of the day. First stop was the country French riding school for private pictures. The couple posed with a beautiful bay owned by Edouard, the son of stable owner Philippe Fiocre, a good-natured mare who was more than happy to ham it up for the photographer. Unmistakably European, the metal plates representing years of horse show victories decorated the stall doors and walls throughout the barn aisle. One of Lisa’s favorite pictures is of them under the “Poney Club” sign, a spot she remembers from her riding
But when asked about his favorite incorporation of the equine theme into the festivities, Brian laughed and said, “We bought a horse for Lisa three days before the ceremony. Our family could not believe that we used one of the few days Lisa and I had in town before the wedding to horse shop. But when Edouard Fiocre said he knew of some amazing jumpers, we had to go see!” The ‘wedding horse,’ Lawita du Ry, made it safely to California and is currently at Windfall Farm where Lisa rides as an amateur.
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Horses may be a bond between the newlyweds, but both had an equestrian history before they met. Lisa grew up show jumping and riding 3-day but truly enjoyed playing on the varsity polo team for the University of Oxford. Given her busy work schedule as a Corporate Social Responsibility adviser, she now enjoys riding as often as she can. Brian grew up riding jumpers in
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California and, after graduating from UCSB, began learning the ropes of the business as a working student under Leslie Nelson. His professional riding career started with Burr & Associates during the 2010 Winter Equestrian Festival and continued when he went to ride for Olympian Karsten Huck in Germany. Once back in the Bay, he rode for Gry McFarlane at Windfall Farm. Today, Brian works as a financial advisor for his family’s firm, Homewood Capital Management. He also represents 4-Star Trailers in California and maintains a modest horse sales and training business, heading out to the barn in the afternoons and evenings. H O R S E S , FA M I LY & F I R E WO R K S While the couple loved incorporating all things horsey into their wedding, their family and close friends were a priority. Certainly adored by those they are close to, of the 120 guests, 90 traveled from another country to join the festivities. Only having the time to visit the town once before their wedding, Lisa and Brian did not hire a wedding planner to assist in their absence. Instead, Lisa’s mother and father took on that important role, making arrangements and reporting back to the couple. Lisa’s father had two priorities in his role of planner, and both added an unforgettable element to the evening. One was the fabulous horsedrawn carriage for their trip to and from the church; and the other was that the event would end with a spectacular fireworks display in front of the Château. Lisa elaborates, “When my dad said he was planning fireworks, we thought, ‘ok we will all get some sparklers.’ But instead we were surprised by this incredible fireworks show that lit up the night; it was truly amazing.” Lisa paid homage to Brian’s side of the family on their wedding day by wearing the same traditional Chinese patterned red shoes that she wore for their civil ceremony in San Francisco. The couple also touched on the blending of their worlds during the wedding ceremony by reciting their personal vows in English but using French for their traditional religious vows. Brian’s brother wrote an original song that he performed as a solo while at the top of the Château’s horseshoe staircase. One of the favorite family moments of the weekend was one that speaks to the modern world we live in: deciding on an Instagram hashtag. While Brian’s mom suggested “#herecomesthebri” (Bri being her nickname for Brian), it was Lisa’s clever “#oui2wee” that won the final vote from both families. When reflecting on the experience, both Lisa and Brian agree it was an absolutely perfect way to begin their married life. The historic location, the horses, family, and friends made it a unique and memorable weekend, full of cherished memories. “#oui2wee” was a destination wedding complete with a horse drawn carriage, a photo shoot in an historic French stable, a Château and a spectacular fireworks show. And ultimately the wedding was, at its core, an intimate affair celebrating love, family and friends.
DETAIL S Venue: Château de Bourron
Video: Guillaume Brylak
Makeup: Allison Depriestre
Flowers: Jardin et Fleurs
Photography: David Bacher
Brian’s Suit: Canali
Lisa’s Old Barn: Écurie Philippe Fiocre
Honeymoon: Micato Safaris, Tanzania
Lisa’s Ceremony Dress: Mila (customized by Modern Trousseau)
Scuba Diving on Mafia Island, Butiama Beach
Lisa’s Reception Dress: Théodore by Delphine Manivet
Barn Where Brian & Lisa Bought Lawita
bourron.fr/chateau-receptions/mariages 39 Bis Boulevard du Général Leclerc, Fontainebleau
Cake & Food: Dominique Maës restaurant-les-premices.com
Horse-drawn Carriage attelagesfontainebleau.fr
Jazz Band: lovelydays.fr
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S T Y L E profiles by Erinn Lew & Sarah Appel
Bride Jazz Buckles Earrings, Tiffany, $1,200 Diamond Horseshoe Ring, J. Chapa Hernandez, price upon request Wildthing Floral Leather Sandal, Stuart Weitzman, $498, Bergdorf Goodman Victorian Horse Shoe Pearl Necklace, Isadoras Antique Jewelry, $2,900 Crystal Side-Lock Clutch in Champagne, Judith Leiber Couture, $1,995
SOMETHING NEW If there’s any occasion to exercise your discerning style eye, a wedding is it. Easily add an accessory to the wedding party for a tasteful equestrian touch. Whether it’s leather or it sparkles, your ensemble won’t be complete without that ‘something new.’
Groom L.U.C Lunar One in 18KT Rose Gold, Chopard, price upon request Mors de Filet Cufflinks, Hermès, $1,000 Rigel Bit Loafer, Salvatore Ferragamo, $595 Equestrian Knight Cufflinks in Light Gold, Burberry, $195 Collection Equestre Pocket Square, Hermès, $145
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Maid of Honor Lily Cluster Earrings, Harry Winston, $16,400 Flora Bracelet in Rose Gold, Gucci, $3,500 ‘Nudistsong’ Ankle Strap Sandal, Stuart Weitzman, $398 Iris Floral Cocktail Headband in Gold, Eugenia Kim, $215, Bergdorf Goodman PomPom Cashmere Wrap, La Fiorentina, $138
Flower Girl Girls’ Ribbon-Tied Long Pearl Necklace, J.Crew, $150 Girls’ Gold Flower Slip-On Dress Shoes, L’Amour, $46 Girls’ Lyla Dress, J.Crew, $188 Fresh Flower Crown, Flower Girl Los Angeles, $150 14KT Rose Gold Diamond Mini Horse Shoe Stud Earrings, Anne Sisteron, $295 Flow Girl Bracelet, MayaBelle, $48
Mother of the Bride Pearl Stirrup Necklace, Annina Vogel, $804 Jean Striped Box Clutch in Nude/White, Nancy Gonzales, $2,150 Camryn Wedge Pump, Badgley Mischka, $245 Crocodile Knot-Top Clutch, Nancy Gonzales, $2,150 Gold Heart Flare Studs, Michele Varian, $298 Arboreta Bracelet, BHLDN, $289
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FEATURE by Lauren Fisher
Beautiful Balance B L E N D I N G T WO L I F E PA S S I O N S
Photo © Frank Ishman
Michelle Durpetti comes from a long, proud line of entrepreneurs. As a third generation member of a hardworking Italian American family, Michelle draws much of her inspiration from her grandfather, Gene Michelotti, who founded the renowned Chicago steakhouse Gene & Georgetti in 1941, owned and operated by her family for 75 years. In 2015, the Durpetti family expanded the business, opening a second restaurant in neighboring Rosemont, IL, and affording Michelle the opportunity to join the family business as managing partner of brand development; adding another dimension to the young professional’s busy schedule. She also owns and runs Michelle Durpetti Events (MDE), a sought-after wedding and event-planning firm. Despite a demanding career, Michelle finds time to fulfill her passion for horses, riding and competing with Chicago-based trainers Greg Franklin and Caitlyn Shiels at Canterbury Farm.
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Left: Michelle and her horse Kenya, photo © Wendy Aull; Right (top to bottom): Michelle and her horse Serafina competing, photo © Alison Hartwell Photography; Michelle worked with Carasco Photography to organize and style a wedding-themed photoshoot at Canterbury Farm in Hampshire, IL
ichelle’s family instilled in her a ‘good, old-fashioned work ethic’ and a commitment to excellence – a phrase coined by her father, Tony Durpetti, who is both her advisor and confidante in all things business and horses – which has extended itself to other areas of Michelle’s life as well. The 37-year-old returned to a lifelong passion for riding seven years ago after facing a health issue that reminded her of the importance of having balance in life, and what a blessing it is to be active and able to enjoy all that life has to offer. Michelle wears many hats professionally and is also active with several charities that are special to her. Her zeal for her career and an enviable talent for multi-tasking allow her to excel in many aspects of a remarkably busy life, for which she is very grateful. “My grandfather always said, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get,’ and I find his words to be so true,” Michelle stated. “I see that same work ethic continue with my parents, and my cousin Rich (Michelle’s co-managing partner in the Rosemont expansion).” Michelle’s love for horses began at an early age, as she took her first riding lesson when she was nine years old and was immediately enamored
with the sport and with the 15-hand Appaloosa “Keebler,” a leased horse on which she won her first championship. “It was the best experience; I was in love!” Michelle said. “Grooming the horse, bathing him, learning to care for him, and spending my summer days at the barn with friends was perfect. I learned the value of hard work and the importance of practice. I have such wonderful memories from those days.” One year after she began riding, Michelle moved to a more competitive program, training through her junior years with Katie Kappler, then moving to trainer Lynn Jayne as she became an amateur. “Through riding with Katie and her brother Chris, I learned foundational elements and horsemanship that have stayed with me my entire life,” Michelle detailed. “And, after a wonderful junior experience with them, it was with Lynn that I learned the true meaning of discipline and the value of flatwork. I am very grateful to have been able to learn from some of the best and most talented in the business, and I am blessed to have both of these women as mentors to this day.” After high school, Michelle majored in communications and Italian at Dominican
University in River Forest, IL, and then took a hiatus from riding as she moved to attend university in Florence, Italy. After working at major firms Jasculca Terman & Associates, and Edelman, in public relations and event planning, Michelle was grateful for the experience both jobs gave her – but realized by the age of 26 that the corporate life was not for her. She began freelancing as an events specialist, producing various private events including birthdays, weddings, and the 60th and 65th anniversary celebrations of Gene & Georgetti. She had found her professional niche, and in 2008, Michelle Durpetti Events was officially formed. Since its inception, Michelle has planned and produced over 350 weddings and events, including some of Chicago’s most notable, celebrity-studded occasions. For her, the foundation of the business has never changed; the business is based on the principle that event planners must be good sources of creative ideas combined with practical experience, flexibility, and know-how to manage an event from beginning to end. “In a nutshell, this knowledge is why a client should choose to invest in a planner,” Michelle said. “Our attention to detail, and the fact that we speak the language of event and wedding planning daily, is what W E D D I N G S 2 0 16
A second gorgeous photo from the creative wedding-themed photoshoot at Canterbury Farm in Hampshire, IL, photo © Carasco Photography
makes us a resource and tool for each and every one of our clients.” Two years after starting MDE, at the age of 30, Michelle decided it was time to get back to riding after almost eight years out of the saddle. With a recommendation from an old friend, she scheduled her first lesson with trainer Greg Franklin at Canterbury Farm. Based in Hampshire, IL, Canterbury Farm is a full-service hunter/jumper training and show facility situated on 40 beautiful acres, owned and operated by the Franklin family. The professional atmosphere, combined with a close-knit family feel, made Michelle feel right at home. While still busy with business, she began to make more time to ride and soon found her way back to the show ring. Michelle now drives 52 miles from the city to the farm three to four times per week to train with her five horses – Serafina, Kenya, Frisco, Moody Blues, and Lucca. In addition to her friendship with Greg, Michelle has formed a great relationship with co-trainer Caitlyn Shiels, who is also the professional rider at Canterbury Farm. “Greg was, and is, very patient and really helped me find my way back to riding. Within six months, I was back to showing,” Michelle
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detailed. “The love I have for the horses goes down deep into my very soul, so I was thrilled to have the privilege again.” Michelle credits Greg and Caitlyn with keeping her horses happy, fit, and healthy, even when she has to step away for weeks at a time due to her business. When showing in Ocala this winter, Michelle said she was able to take flat lessons and then go straight into the show ring and be competitive in the adult hunters and jumpers. “Greg and Caitlyn know how to play to my strengths while focusing on the areas I can improve upon; and they do the same with my horses, all of whom have huge personalities and different needs. I never have to worry about their care,” she explained. “They love my horses as if they were their own, plain and simple, and they are really compassionate with me – a quintessential amateur who deals with some anxiety when those jumps start to get big,” Michelle joked. While continuing to balance riding and work, Michelle has also found fun ways to combine her two passions creatively and philanthropically. She has worked with many talented vendors in Chicago, and once had the opportunity to collaborate with the skilled team from Carasco Photography for a stunning wedding-inspired
creative shoot at Canterbury Farm. “We used local gown designer Alice Padrul’s gowns, and had some incredible expertise involved. It was a magical day to combine my love of all things equestrian and bridal,” Michelle recalled. She has also produced the annual “Derby Day” luncheon at Showplace Production’s Spring Spectacular Horse Show, held annually at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. The Estate catered and Michelle designed the event for all of the exhibitors and guests. Michelle said, “To produce a major event at a horse show where I have grown up competing is such fun! Pat Boyle and the Showplace Team are great to work with, and Caitlyn won the national hunter derby last year, which was a delightful bonus!” Michelle served three years on the committee of Chicago Equestrians for a Cause, a non-profit that showcases high-level equestrian events with the purpose of raising funds for charitable institutions in the Chicago area. The Chicago Hunter Derby is the organization’s highlight event each fall. MDE provided event production and design consulting for all three years, and Michelle served as marketing and PR chair as well. “It was such a joy to see the event grow from a one-day event to a three-day long ‘weekend
One of the breathtaking, glamorous events organized by Michelle Durpetti Events, photo © Carasco Photography
in the country’ that received local and national press, and featured some of the country’s top horse and rider teams,” Michelle explained. “Bringing that gorgeous 400-plus person tent to life was a challenge logistically and creatively, and I relished it. The opportunity to give back to the community and pay forward my many blessings through that event was truly a gift, and being that close to some of the country’s top horse and rider teams was such a treat!” With her horses healthy and happy under the expert care of Greg Franklin and Caitlyn Shiels, and her personal and family businesses continuing to thrive and grow, Michelle looks forward to the future while balancing riding and work. She has recently committed some of her time and expertise to the Chicago chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding, a national non-profit organization dedicated to granting wedding “wishes” to couples facing life altering circumstances. Michelle was a founding member of the Chicago board several years ago, serving as event chair, and was honored to take on the role of president of this extraordinary organization. “Riding teaches me every day to be present in the moment and to focus on the task at hand,” she stated. “The horses need my full attention, just as I expect them to give me theirs, and this is a fantastic
exercise for someone like me who is always moving in multiple directions at any moment.” “This summer, and moving forward, I hope to continue to produce weddings for my clients that make them feel happy and surrounded by love and family, and not overshadowed by details (because they know I’m handling them),” Michelle said of her goals. “I love each and every one of my clients, and anytime I have the opportunity to work with couples to plan their weddings, it really is a privilege for me. I genuinely delight in event production and could not imagine myself doing anything else.” Although everyone occasionally has “those days,” doing a job that she loves so much never feels like work for Michelle, and the lessons she learns from her riding continue to help her professionally. “What I love about riding competitively is that one day you are a blue ribbon winner and the next, you could literally fall on your behind. It is never about how many times you fall, but how many times you get up – there is no better metaphor for life,” Michelle stated. “This job can be stressful – it’s a big responsibility to produce a wedding or nonprofit event – it takes patience, attention to detail, and the ability to find a solution within
any challenge that presents itself, while not losing your cool, which is not entirely dissimilar to riding,” she pointed out. “Learning to communicate with my horses, without words and without anger, carries over when working with clients and people in general. Learning the value of patience, procedure, and practice with the horses applies to my everyday life. What they bring to my life is invaluable.” She continued, “In my work, communication is essential - with my team, with my clients, and with each and every talented vendor and creative partner we work alongside. Weddings are a symphony of details and collaboration, and when everyone can play their role to the best of their ability, that day becomes a most gorgeous work of art. My main hope in all areas of my life is to have happy, healthy horses with a quality of life that they deserve; to have my family healthy; and to be able to do the work that I love. My father always says that ‘you are only as good as the team around you,’ and I am so fortunate to have the best teams at MDE, and my family’s business, and at Canterbury. These are people who support me through frustrations, help me grow, and together we celebrate many good things. That is really what it is all about for me. The accolades and horse shows are all really sweet icing on a pretty fantastic cake!” W E D D I N G S 2 0 16
F E AT U R E by Emily Pollard
PERFECT PAIRINGS Picking a wine list for your wedding can be daunting. It is hard to know what will work best with your menu and what your guests’ palates will prefer. However, the beverages you serve play a big role in reinforcing the style of your event and setting the tone for your reception. To pay homage to this very important wedding decision, H&S offers the following wine pairing recommendations to compliment your riding style. So skip the sommelier, fill your Riedel and enjoy!
Red Burgundy Red Burgundy has what it takes to please the rider who is always aiming for step-by-step perfection. As it is swirled in a glass, this translucent, ruby hued wine will look as beautiful as any impeccably turned-out hunter. On the tongue, its tight tannin structure and velvety mouth feel make it as easy to drink as a good hunter horse is to ride. Made from Pinot Noir grapes named for the Burgundy region in France from which they come, the soft cranberry and raspberry notes are juxtaposed with hints of minerality and forest floor that give it perfect balance. And really, what more could a rider ask for when approaching a 3'6" derby jump than perfect balance?
Photo © Rachel Peterson
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Paso Robles Zinfandel
Photo © Stefano Grasso
Anyone who has had the pleasure of wine tasting in the central California region of Paso Robles knows that Zin rules and that bigger is always better. And while bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to a jumper mount, the boldness in Zin from its high acidity, and the spiciness from its black pepper notes are definitely two qualities you want in a horse who needs to take tight turns and never touch a rail. Another big plus to Paso Zin? At close to 15% alcohol by volume it will get you to through the timers fast, just like a good jumper mount will.
T H R E E - D AY E V E N T I N G
Three-Day Eventers certainly know that combining three good things can make one very great thing, and GSM is proof of that point. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre are three big, bold, spicy grapes that when combined, have enough complexity and grit to amuse even the bravest of event riders. Each grape has its individual strength: Grenache is softer and more fruitful, Syrah is bold with good earthtones, and Mourvèdre is full bodied with high tannin structure. GSM, from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, honors France, one of the founding countries of ThreeDay Eventing. Their wines are so reliably good they just might be the only beverage you need during the three day event of weddings: rehearsal dinner, wedding, and goodbye brunch.
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Photo © Ashley Neuhof
German Dry Riesling As when picking a dressage mount, if you want a carefully cultivated and traditional Riesling, you shop in Germany. Riesling grapes are terroir expressive (‘footing’ matters as much to a grape as to a dressage horse!) lending wonderful hints of minerality imparted by the slate and flinty German soil in which they grow best. Riesling offers the drinker the opportunity to learn some German vocabulary; trochen, halbtrocken and feinherb describe the dryness level that also corresponds to how sweet the wine is. And just as a dressage rider has access to the entire spectrum of a gait from rhythm to collection, so too does the Riesling drinker have access to an incredible spectrum of flavors and sweetness. Photo © Amy McCool
To please the western rider, we need look no further than the birthplace of the cowboy (and cowgirl!): the western United States. A Napa Valley Chardonnay that has been aged in American Oak fits the location, flavor and style profile of the perfect western horse. Like a hardy western mount, chardonnay grapes are easy keepers, growing in a wide range of climates and terroirs. The buttery mouthfeel and caramel tasting notes make this wine the perfect pairing for any Farm to Table or BBQ wedding menu. As smooth, full-bodied crowd pleasers, both Napa oaked Chardonnays and good western mounts will never disappoint.
Photo © Alden Corrigan
Napa Valley Oaked Chardonnay
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Located in Napa Valleyâ€™s city of Calistoga, Weppler Vineyards produces wines of exceptional complexity and structure. Our small production approach allows us to focus on crafting quality wines that we are proud to enjoy ourselves and even more excited to share. wepplervineyards.com
D E S T I N AT I O N by Laurie Berglie, Celeste Wilkins & Pam Maley
ROC K CREEK RAN C H, MONTAN A â€¢ C AS TLE LESLIE, IREL AND W I L D AT H E A RT J O U R N E YS , A F R I C A
After months of planning, your wedding day is complete. You looked gorgeous, your groom was very dapper, and you are officially newlyweds. Now with all that worry and stress behind you, it’s time to relax and enjoy your honeymoon! Whether you choose to be in or out of the saddle, you can still honeymoon at a romantic equestrian destination. If you want 5* luxury and romance in an elegant ranch setting, Montana’s 6,600 acre Ranch at Rock Creek awaits. Ride the trail system, revel in the stunning Montana scenery and its wide, open spaces, enjoy gourmet meals that showcase local products, and luxuriate at the spa. Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland, offers something for riders at every level, and for those who are not. The luxurious rooms exude Old World charm, there is a Duo Room where a couple can spa together, and both Dublin and Belfast are near for a day trip into Irish life. Or consider Africa, a magical continent that offers a treasure trove of experiences. Wild at Heart Journeys offers thousands of options, and tailors each journey to the wishes of the couple. Wildlife safaris, pristine beaches, starlit bush dinners, luxury tented camps with romantic star beds, incredibly beautiful scenery … options abound.
Photo © Jeremy Goss
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The Ranch at Rock Creek An Equestrian’s Paradise PHILIPSBURG, MONTAN A If you want 5* luxury, romance, and horses, Montana’s Ranch at Rock Creek is the spot. Established in 2007 and situated on 6,600 acres, the Ranch at Rock Creek is the perfect honeymoon destination for the couple who wants to experience ranch life at its finest. There are multiple lodging accommodations to choose from, but the Granite Lodge and the Historic Barn are favorites among equestrians. The Granite Lodge’s nine rooms feature custommade furniture, woven textiles, frontier antiques, and iconic western themes. No two rooms are alike. The Historic Barn, a lovingly restored 19th century barn featuring three unique rooms, is the definition of rustic chic.
vistas, sagebrush hillsides, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Their Rod & Gun Club fits guests with hats, boots, and riding helmets, so there’s no need to bring your own gear. All skill levels are welcome, and for those who have the desire, a nice western saddle gallop through the trails awaits!
As they say, “Montana is made for horses, and the Ranch at Rock Creek is made for riders.” With 75 horses, a diverse trail system, and acres of open land to explore, Rock Creek is an equestrian’s paradise. Start your day on horseback, flanked by your new spouse, and stroll through the countryside taking in the stunning scenery: wide-open skies, splendid
End your day with a gourmet dinner of regionally and locally-sourced organic ingredients. Preparation is a mix of mountain tradition with Montana seasonal bounty and modern palate. “Ranch style dining captures experiences like horseback riding through grasslands, and, later, tasting Montana alfalfa in the grass-fed beef or wildflowers in a Sapphire Mountain honey
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After a day traversing the countryside, a visit to the spa is in order. Grab your spouse and indulge in a couple’s restorative massage or the popular “Saddle Sore Soak,” which is a soothing soak in a jetted tub filled with bubble bath, Epson salt, and essential oils, and followed by a bodywork treatment.
vinaigrette.” All meals are tailored to your dietary needs plus a nice variety of local wines and craft beers are available for sampling. Guests can truly immerse themselves in and take advantage of everything Montana – outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, hiking, and fly fishing – as well as gourmet meals, without the burden of additional costs, with Rock Creek’s all-inclusive rate structure. Allowing for a hassle-free honeymoon, this unique rate plan is one of many reasons why the Ranch at Rock Creek is the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ranch. Luxurious rustic amenities, plenty of horses, 5* accommodations and fine dining are yours to enjoy at the Ranch at Rock Creek – the perfect place to begin your life as husband and wife. Visit theranchatrockcreek.com or call the reservations team at (877) 786-1545 to book your honeymoon.
European Old World Charm COUNT Y MONAGHAN , IREL AND Ireland may not be known for sunny weather, but the hospitality and charm of the Irish people is sure to make up for it. A honeymoon break at the luxurious Castle Leslie in County Monaghan has something for everyone. Take the scenic route with a guided ride on the estate’s 1,000 acres of undulating countryside. Or, up the pace with a cross-country ride. Gallop over a variety of cross-country jumps with one of the equestrian center’s expert coaches – it’s up to you. Take advantage of an equestrian package, offering three hours of riding a day, with a mix of dressage, showjumping and cross-country lessons, and leisurely estate rides. Ease tired muscles after riding with a treatment in the Victorian Treatment Rooms. Castle Leslie offers a “Horse Riders’ Treatment” – an indulgent leg treatment sure to reduce swelling and relieve tired muscles. Enjoy a deep tissue massage, soothing towel treatment and finish off with a firming leg treatment cream. The spa also offers a variety of treatments including facials, nail treatments and massages. Make it a
couple’s affair in the new Duo Room, which offers the chance for two people to receive simultaneous treatments. Besides riding, there are lots of other activities to choose from at Castle Leslie, including falconry, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, kayaking and walking. Explore Glaslough, a beautiful lake near the estate or venture into nearby Monaghan town to get a taste of Irish life. Meet locals in the pubs and listen to some traditional Irish music during a ‘trad session’ while sipping on a pint of Guinness. Wander further afield, with a day trip to Dublin or Belfast, which are only about an hour and a half away by car. The rooms at Castle Leslie are spread over several properties, offering a variety of luxury accommodations. Stay in the Castle, with authentic interiors and old-style hospitality. Each room is steeped in history. In the Red Room, one of the castle’s master bedrooms, you’ll find a huge panelled bath, which was the first bath, complete with working taps, installed in Ireland.
Any of the castle’s rooms makes a lovely place for newlyweds to relax after a long day in the saddle. Alternatively, the Lodge offers boutique, country house rooms with a plush, modern feel. Or, for couples wanting more space and their own kitchen, the Old Stable Mews or Village Cottages offer stylish, self-catering options. Castle Leslie also offers wedding packages. Tie the knot in the glorious setting of one of Ireland’s finest castles.You’ll be in good company – Paul McCartney married Heather Mills on the estate in 2002. With plenty of accommodation on site, arrange for your ceremony, reception as well as your honeymoon at the idyllic Castle Leslie. Available for large or small groups, Castle Leslie’s expert team of in-house wedding planners will cater to your every need. To plan your wedding or honeymoon at Castle Leslie, call +353(0)47 88100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit castleleslie.com to see all the available options.
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Wild At Heart Journeys Let the Journey Begin! B O T S WA N A & K E N YA , A F R I C A Say the word ‘Africa,’ and a mist of romance and enchantment begins to engulf you; what could be a more perfect setting for a couple beginning their life together? A conversation with Robin Felix, the owner/director of Wild at Heart Journeys, opens up door after door to pure delight. Each journey is tailored to the wishes of the individual, and is sure to leave the travelers touched and inspired. Horse & Style asked her advice on a honeymoon trip for equestrian couples, and while she pointed out that there are “thousands of different options,” she felt that probably after running at top speed for the wedding, the newlyweds might want to “take a breath, slow down, take time to relax – to spend a little more time in each place, rather than trying to cover as much ground as possible; although we can arrange it either way; it’s all about the couple.” For an equestrian couple, riding always comes to mind, but then there are those who prefer a getaway from the saddle, or possibly there’s one partner who doesn’t ride. Again, options abound. The journey can include as much or as little time on a horse as the couple wants. For those couples who prefer to maximize their riding time, pointto-point options are available that involve riding from camp to camp. And while safaris usually come to mind when thinking of Africa, it is also home to some of the most pristine white sand beaches in the world. On Pemba Island, off the coast of Tanzania, an underwater room is available that allows guests to sleep surrounded by water, in the company of exotic fish. Any of the destinations in Botswana or Kenya can be combined with a visit to the beaches and coastal islands of Mozambique or Tanzania for some idyllic beach time. Most of the lodges will do romantic bush dinners or deck dinners for two; many have enchanting outdoor bathtubs and star beds, or private
plunge pools. And Robin enjoys putting in little surprises for the couple, like a traditional African wedding ceremony. Accommodations are serene and indulgent, with ensuite baths and breathtaking views all around. Fine dining, gourmet meals, in-room massages, and more, will be part of your honeymoon stay. Robin envisioned trips in two locations, but the possibilities are endless. D E S T I N AT I O N B O T S WA N A Starting with Botswana, she mentioned three camps that a couple could visit, one of which can arrange a sleep out trip on horseback. Jack’s Camp in the middle of the Kalahari Desert is a 1940s style tented safari camp with old-world styling and superb cuisine, featuring seven twin and three double tents equipped with indoor and outdoor showers. Between November and April, you can witness the spectacular zebra and wildebeest migrations. Macatoo Camp/African Horseback Safaris offers to energetic riding couples, one of the most unique and exciting horseback adventures in the world. Talented guides take their guests into the 450,000 acres of pristine wilderness called the Okavango Delta for exhilarating rides alongside big game, returning at the end of the day to the luxurious tented bush camp. For honeymooners, there is a newly-built honeymoon tent, with an additional deck for private dining, as well as a raised double tub bath offering a view of the floodplain. Zarafa Camp is an exquisitely intimate fourroom tented camp located on the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve and overlooking the crystal waters of Zibadianja Lagoon. Each tent is 1,000 square feet, with completely open (netted) sides to take advantage of the magnificent views and the staggering wildlife populations, and to lull guests to sleep with the night noises in the heart of a wilderness wonderland.
D E S T I N AT I O N K E N YA Any of the camps in Kenya can be combined with the iconic Maasai Mara, and Robin gave us a sampling of three. Ol Donyo is perched on a hillside, with East Africa’s classic savannahs below, in a stunningly beautiful and incredibly diverse area. All twenty suites feature views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, rooftop star beds for sleeping under the stars, and multiple lounges. The staff, from the local Maasai community, offer a treasured chance to learn about their fascinating culture. Ol Malo Lodge sits on a rock escarpment on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River, at the foot of the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Kenya. Here, guests live by a different rhythm, measuring the day by the timeworn patterns of nature, and tuning into the magical sounds of wild Africa while dining under an ancient starscape. Elephants are frequent morning guests, and the waters of the stunning infinity pool offer a lovely place to end the day. Ngare Serian Camp hugs the banks of the Mara, and can only be reached on foot, over a narrow rope bridge that crosses the river, providing a break that invites guests to step out of touch and out of time. The water slipping and sloshing over the stones provides a soothing soundtrack, and each of the (only) four tents has a beautiful outdoor bath built into the veranda overlooking pods of hippos. Tucked away on the property is a treehouse called ‘The Nest’ that provides an idyllic sleep-out spot, or a perfect perch for a picnic. If you’re looking for romance, adventure, discovery, or all three, give Robin a call – and let the journey begin! wildatheartjourneys.com Office: (925) 631-7978 | Mobile: (925) 658-2650 North America Toll Free: (844) 945-7697
Photo © Beverly Joubert
Photo © Beverly Joubert
B E H I N D the lens
A country girl at heart, I was raised in a rustic Sonoma County house that was tucked in-between a creek and an apple orchard. I spent my childhood days making elaborate forts under the wooden staircase and tormenting the neighbors as I roared up and down our dirt road on my 3-wheel motorcycle. As I grew up so did my hobbies, and my love for photography blossomed. In the year 2000, my cousin was planning her San Francisco beach wedding and asked if I’d step in as their photographer. Despite my amateur title at the time and persistent stomach butterflies, I said yes and it is still one of my most cherished weddings to look back on. I was hooked. Some sixteen years later, I adore weddings just as much. The joy, the tears and all of the beautiful moments are tied up in one glorious day, and it’s an immense honor to capture moments that will last for generations.
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C A N you stand it? by Erinn Lew
There’s no better way to sport ‘something blue’ on your wedding day than with a touch of sparkle. Keep close to your championship roots and complete your bridal ensemble with Harry Winston’s Secret Wonder Reversible Diamond, Sapphire and Aquamarine Earrings. With 438 marquise, pear-shaped and round brilliant diamonds, 18 round brilliant sapphires, and 8 pear-shaped aquamarines set in platinum, the earrings swivel to reveal a diamond medley on one side and a mix of precious gems remnant of a tricolor champion rosette on the reverse side. With only a few pairs remaining worldwide, seems an ideal adornment for an equestrian on her special day.
Secret Wonder by Harry Winston, Reversible Diamond, Sapphire & Aquamarine Earrings $163,000
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amanda sho emaker teal
Based in San Francisco, Amanda Teal Design creates gracious homes with an emphasis on casual elegance. Our services extend to clients throughout California and to select national and international sites.
(415) 595-3277 | info@a m andate ald e si g n.c om | am andate ald e si g n.c om