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FALL 2015


96 pages of





On handling unruly guests

engagement rings

get the look Nikki Reed + Ian Somerhalder

escape to



honeymoon safari


etiquette expert

Anna Post



available exclusively at:

Audrey is wearing ‘Alice’ from Modern Trousseau’s Spring 2016 Bridal Collection. Photography by Jill Wachter. Hair and Makeup by D.D. Nickel. View the entire 2016 bridal runway at

MONIQUELHUILLIER.COM Monique Lhuillier Salons: new york 212.683.3332* los angeles 323.655.1088* Additional Salons: Alabama birmingham Ivory & White Bridal Boutique* 205.871.2888 mobile Something New 251.345.0860 / Arizona scottsdale Destiny’s Bride 480.368.8868 / California costa mesa Erin Cole Couture Bridal 949.642.5552 la jolla M Bride 858.551.1718 san francisco Bridal Galleria* 415.362.2277 / Connecticut westport The Plumed Serpent Bridal* 203.226.9868 / Florida coral gables Chic Parisien* 305.448.5756 orlando The Collection Bridal* 407.740.6003 / Georgia atlanta Joan Pillow Bridal Salon* 404.841.6202 / Illinois chicago Ultimate Bride* 312.337.6300 / Louisiana baton rouge I Do Bridal Couture 225.361.0377 / Massachusetts boston L’elite* 617.424.1010 / Michigan birmingham Roma Sposa Atelier* 248.723.4300 / Minnesota minneapolis L’Atelier Couture Bridal 612.367.8120 / Missouri st. louis Town & Country Bridal Boutique 314.863.7200 / New Hampshire portsmouth Madeleine’s Daughter 603.431.5454 / New York manhasset Wedding Salon of Manhasset* 516.869.8455 new york Bergdorf Goodman Bridal Boutique* 212.872.8957 new york Mark Ingram Atelier* 212.319.6778 new york Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Salon* 212.940.2269 rochester Juliana’s 585.271.1830 / North Carolina raleigh Alexia’s Bridal Boutique 919.829.5900 / Ohio cincinnati Bridal & Formal 513.821.6622 / Oregon portland Divine Designs 503.827.0667 / Pennsylvania pittsburgh Anne Gregory For The Bride 412.531.3160 wayne The Wedding Shoppe* 610.293.1299 / South Carolina charleston Maddison Row Bridal Chic 843.720.7979 / Tennessee nashville The Bride Room 615.297.9899 / Texas dallas Neiman Marcus-Dowtown* 214.573.2663 dallas Warren Barrón Bridal* 214.526.8400 houston Casa de Novia Bridal Couture* 713.523.9090 houston Joan Pillow Bridal Salon* 713.622.1122 san antonio Julian Gold Bridal 210.824.2493 / Utah salt lake city Alta Moda 801.531.1215 / Washington seattle Marcella’s La Boutique* 206.264.0700 / District of Columbia washington Carine’s Bridal Atelier* 202.965.4696 Canada montreal White Montreal* 514.507.4296 toronto Dina Alonzi 416.236.0270 toronto White Toronto* 416.849.9196 vancouver Bisou Bridal 604.696.0880 International Salons: london paris istanbul hong kong tokyo sydney. For a complete list of International Salons visit our website. *Indicates Platinum Collection












FALL 2015


Discover engagement rings that feature the same brilliant styles as the jewels worn by your favorite celebrities.


Admire carefree bridal gowns brimming with pure, ethereal style.

BEYOND THE VISUAL: MAXIMIZING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY INVESTMENT 176 Five ways you can help your photographer take beautiful photos on the big day.


Utilize these strategies to graciously deal with guests’ etiquette faux pas.


Be prepared for your pre-wedding festivities with a perfectly packed rehearsal dinner clutch.

DEPARTMENTS Discoveries 29 Celebrity Style 35 You’re Invited 41 Wish List 47 Travel Diaries 53





COVER: Photographed by Liz Von Hoene for Stockland Martel. Hair by Felix Fischer at Factory Downtown using Matrix Style Link. Makeup by Kajsa Svanberg at Art Department using Diorshow. Ball gown of silk organza in a cherry blossom print, price upon request by Romona Keveža; available at the Romona Keveža Flagship Boutique (NYC). Custom rustic moss crown, $85 by Crowns by Christy. Rose-quartz drop earrings with diamonds, $2,000 by Rina Limor Fine Jewelry. “Butterfly” ring with diamonds, $9,120 by Djula; available at Djula Madison Avenue (NYC).


You’ll know love when you see it. At Crate and Barrel, we work with artisans around the world to design our more than 50 exclusive dinnerware patterns, including that special one that will speak to your heart. Create a gift registry you’ll use every day and love for years to come at our stores and

WEDDINGS CAROLINE SUNG & ROBERT BOWLING 80 September 6, 2014 Malibu, California Photographed by Caroline Tran MEAGHAN ROBERTS & JE’CARYOUS JOHNSON 88 November 15, 2014 Los Angeles, California Photographed by Joe Latter Photographer JENNIFER STONE & CHAD CARROLL 98 November 8, 2014 Cleveland, Ohio Photographed by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography ALEXANDRA PORTARO & NAVID POUR-GHASEMI 106 January 3, 2015 Beverly Hills, California Photographed by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography MEGHAN SIKKEL & RYAN CHUANG 114 January 24, 2015 Dallas, Texas Photographed by Karlisch Studio DANIELLE KELLER & MICHAEL MAKAR 120 November 8, 2014 Los Angeles, California Photographed by KLK Photography CAROLINE PARTEE & BENJAMIN BUMGARNER 130 November 15, 2014 Darrow, Louisiana Photographed by Kevin Beasley Photographer MEREDITH MUECKE & CAPTAIN ANSON HOWARD 138 October 4, 2014 Bay City, Texas Photographed by Chris Bailey Photography


ALEXANDRA EPSTEIN & JONATHAN GUDAI 144 September 20, 2014 Los Angeles, California Photographed by Mi Belle Photographers NICOLE CARDINALE & MATTHEW UNGER 152 August 2, 2014 Brooklyn, New York Photographed by Heather Waraksa NISHITA PAWAR & MICHAEL CUMMINGS 162 October 4, 2014 West Hollywood, California Photographed by Lin & Jirsa Photography DANIELLA JASSIR & HERNANDO FADUL 168 January 17, 2015 Santa Marta, Colombia Photographed by EVOOKE






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Fall in Love You know autumn has arrived when you step outside and are embraced by a brisk nip in the air. This is the perfect time for strolls among rustling leaves in the amber light of dusk with your sweetheart or to cuddle up on your couch and watch a movie together.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Walter H. Shepard EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Arthur A. Scangas EDITOR Nicole Palacios ASSOCIATE EDITORS Kelcy Christy, Rosibel Guzmán

As you dream about the look of your upcoming wedding, let the rich palette of fall delight your senses – as we did in our invitation showcase. Spark your creativity with a cornucopia of celebrations for all seasons in the pages of the print and digital edition (included with magazine subscriptions or available for purchase in app stores) of Inside Weddings.


We are honored to be a part of this exciting phase of your life. In this issue you will find 96 pages of magnificent real weddings from across the United States, as well as the exquisite Colombian fête of famed bridal designer Francesca Miranda’s daughter. Our experts also provide practical tips on how to handle guests who may not mind their manners, how to communicate with your photographer to avoid pitfalls on your special day, and what essentials to pack in your rehearsal dinner clutch. Retrace a couple’s 21-day African adventure honeymoon to inspire your own exhilarating getaway. The romantic fashion feature will be a breath of fresh air, while you’ll be dazzled by an array of luxurious engagement rings similar to designs gracing the hands of some famous ladies.


For more elegant events and guidance from the nation’s top event professionals, visit Peruse our extensive collection of images for ideas from wedding dresses to color schemes and themes. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and receive the latest inspiration and need-to-know advice right in your inbox. 24



CONTRIBUTING pHOTOGRApHERS Jay Lawrence Goldman, Liz Von Hoene pUBLISHER Walter H. Shepard EDITORS CIRCLE MEMBERSHIp MANAGER Gillian Gensler BELLE MEDIA 6255 W. Sunset Boulevard, Suite 860 Los Angeles, CA 90028 323.373.3360 pRINTED IN THE USA Distributed by Curtis Circulation Company PreMedia Services by DMG Atlanta Inside Weddings (ISSN 1552-4647), Issue No. 51, is published quarterly by Belle Media, 6255 W. Sunset Boulevard, Suite 860, Los Angeles, CA 90028-7403. Annual subscriptions cost USD$19.98 per year. periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, CA and at additional mailing offices. postmaster: Send address changes to Inside Weddings, 6255 W. Sunset Boulevard, Suite 860, Los Angeles, CA 90028-7403. We wish to thank the wedding professionals who contribute to Inside Weddings® and share their expertise. The opinions expressed by our contributors are their own and other professionals in their field may express differing views. We reserve the right to refuse advertising. All advertisements are accepted and published on the representation that the advertiser is properly authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. WEDDING FEATURES: Readers interested in having their weddings considered for publication may submit their information at Due to the volume of submissions, we regret that we are unable to respond to all requests. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS: Those submitting manuscripts, artwork or other materials to Inside Weddings® for consideration should not send originals unless specifically requested in writing; no responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited material. SUBSCRIpTIONS: Annual US subscriptions (4 issues) are available online at a cost of USD$19.98 per year. Canadian subscriptions are available at a cost of USD$19.98 per year. If the postal authorities alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within two years.

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Browse tens of thousands of images from real wedding events from around the world to find inspiration based on your color palette, theme, or style.

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fAShIoN Find your dream wedding ensembles from your favorite designers, all in one easy-to-shop location. Browse by silhouette, style, and price!

REAL WEDDINGS Get inspired by Real Weddings to find the perfect ceremony & reception decorations for your special day. Browse weddings, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners by season, color, style, location, and more!


Browse the insider’s guide to the latest wedding-related products and services.


Your entire wedding is personalized to complement your unique style, so why should your shoes be any different? Brides are invited to send their weddingday pumps to Figgie Couture, whose artist will adorn each pair with custom paintings based on their requests, including favorite pictures, color swatches, landmarks, and other meaningful or inspirational items. Figgie’s perfectly painted pumps are featured in Nicole Cardinale and Matthew Unger’s wedding in this issue! Take a peek on page 154; it may spark an idea for your own. Prices starting at $598;





Recognizing how frustrating it can be when table coverings blow away or must be secured with clips, TableVogue offers tablecloths that are neatly tailored and fitted to a variety of table sizes and shapes, ensuring they won’t slip. The sleek linens come in a rainbow of colors and can also be screen-printed or embroidered with a wedding monogram or motif for a rehearsal dinner or sweetheart table. $49.99-79.99/each;


For centuries, Indian brides have adorned their hands, arms, and feet with gloriously detailed henna designs. Kitsch True Henna Tattoo sets allow all brides and bridesmaids to give themselves a similar look, with a twist: instead of a traditional amber color, these temporary tattoos are a bridal white. Each set contains a variety of designs that can be cut out, moistened, and applied anywhere on the body. Get creative during your bachelorette party or bridal shower; or, tuck into gift bags as a thank-you to your wedding party. $11.99/set;

FESTIVE FLORALS No need to let florists have all the fun! Fleurish, by floral design studio The Hidden Garden, gathers all the supplies you need (including fresh flowers) to build your own boutonnieres, bouquets, flower crowns, and more, and delivers them right to your door. Choose from the pink “Classic Romance” or bright “Vibrant Love” collections, and follow the step-by-step instructions to create a beautiful arrangement. Enjoy the DIY process as an entertaining activity during your bridal shower or bachelorette party. $14.95-124.95/kit; 30



The moment you were fashionably late to the reception.

From our romantic Capella chapel to breathtaking pavilions and terraces, your occasion can be sun-kissed or starlit and absolutely unforgettable. To begin planning your perfect day, contact our Wedding Specialist at 1 858 314 2010 or Photo courtesy of True Photography



Happy toasting! Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke ® campaign offers the chance for anyone to see his or her name on a vintage-style glass bottle. Order them personalized for place settings, each member of the wedding party, or serve bottles featuring the bride and groom’s names at cocktail hour for a playful detail. “The Mrs.,” “Flower Girl,” “Bridesmaid,” and “Mom of the Bride” labels are also available. Don’t be surprised if guests save them as keepsakes! $5/each;

PIECE OF CAKE After the last bites have been eaten, wedding cakes typically only survive in photos and the newlyweds’ memories. Aberrant Ornaments constructs painstakingly detailed miniature replicas of wedding cakes, based on photos and descriptions of the actual confections, allowing couples to admire them long after the big day. Completed models stand at three to four inches tall and include a small loop on the top and a flat bottom, so they can be displayed multiple ways. So, brides and grooms can have their cake and eat it, too! $165-300/each;

lovely lingerie Whether you’re planning on participating in the classic garter toss tradition or simply want to add a sexy accessory to your ensemble, you’ll want a garter that’s as beautifully crafted as your gown. La Gartier offers exquisite pieces, including fresh designs featuring Swarovski rhinestones, blush pink satin, and dainty bronze stag head charms. The sparkling new “Hayley” garter was inspired (and worn) by bridal designer Hayley Paige; also among La Gartier’s celebrity fans are Kandi Burruss, Katherine Webb, and Jamie Lynn Spears. $10-390/garter;


Every wedding gown requires pretty foundation garments that don’t add unnecessary lines and bumps. Yasmin Joseph Lingerie’s “Nayara Jacquard Lace Evening” bra includes a jacquard lace mesh back and no clasps – brides step into it or pull it over their heads, rather than fastening it behind. White, nude, and black color options allow brides to choose a style that will provide seamless, invisible support. $35; 32


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Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Photo: Mike Larson Photography

Photo: Mike Larson Photography

Stylist to the stars Anya Sarre reports on Hollywood’s hottest wedding trends.

Nikki Reed & Ian Somerhalder

décor Photo: Mark Steines Photography

Anya’s Advice: Use an element native to your location in your table settings for a styled look.

“Lace and Leaves” cake; Photo: Callaway Gable

Draw inspiration from the rustic wedding of Twilight’s Nikki Reed to The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder. Their alfresco nuptials – held in Malibu, California – evoked a romantic feeling beginning with the décor, which incorporated antique elements, and concluded with the couple and their guests dancing beneath the stars. Celebrate your special day in a similar fashion with a color scheme of neutrals, blushes, and accents of baby blue. Work in lace details and the simple beauty of nature to create a gorgeous and memorable event! “Earthly Paradise” by Claire Pettibone;

Wedding cake forks, $22.50; “Artichoke” large dip bowl by Vagabond House, $96; “Wood & Pewter” pepper mill by Match, $220;

Style Tip: Your invites should serve as an introduction to your wedding. They should reflect your personality, style, and theme, as well as the formality of the day.

Photo: Kristina Lee Photography




“Tambourine” bangle with 14.79cts. of diamonds, $68,500;

“Triple Blossom” crystal tiara, $130;

“Amelie” 18K-rose-gold ring by Rahaminov Diamonds;

Anya’s Advice: A lace sheath with sheer sleeves is a timeless silhouette that can work for any type of wedding, in any season.

“Two Lovebirds” ring tray by Lalique, $395;

Style Tip: If your dress doesn’t have any embellishments, add some sparkle and texture with your accessories. Don’t be afraid to pair lace, tulle, and crystals together.

“Rustic Elegance” bridal bouquet, $375;

“Michaela” gown with gold and silver embroidery by Claire Pettibone, $6,250; Valentino “Valentina Assoluto” Eau de Parfum, $90;

bride “Peace” crystal clutch, $380;

“Secret Cluster” diamond earrings, price upon request;

Limited-edition polish by alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet, $15;

Cat-eye sunglasses by Saint Laurent, $280;

“Farfalla” pearl pumps, $2,000;

“Sea Green Dangler” earrings, $24.99;

“Mr. and Mrs.” luggage tag set, $18;

Style Tip: An emerging trend is asking your guests to dress in your wedding colors. Be specific and give examples. “Andy” bangle in plated 14K gold over brass with white pearls, $50;

“Laurel” heel, $1,400; “Night Pochette” metal clutch, $7,200;



“Bengaline” cocktail dress, $395;

wedding guest

“Gilt Agate” by Kaydi Bishop, San Francisco, CA. “Art Deco Filigree” by Jennifer Wick, Harrisburg, PA. “Classic Garden Flourish” Envelope by Kelly Schmidt, Vancouver, Canada. “Majestic” by Oscar & Emma, Columbus, OH. The Minted Envelope: US patent pending. © 2015 Minted LLC


custom design, F L AW L E S S LY D E L I V E R E D.

Wedding invitations, with guest address printing designed to match.

FREE wedding websites. Start yours at

I D O. M I N T E D.C O M



“Floral Lace”™ diamond earrings, $7,297;

“Stella” minaudière, $1,895;

Anya’s Advice: The best gift you can give your bridesmaids is choosing dresses for them that they will actually want to wear again.

“Little” charm bangles, $184-198/each;


“Rustic Elegance” bridesmaid bouquet, $125;

Style Tip: Pick a bridesmaid bouquet in the same palette as your wedding. Neutrals and nudes with blush and cream will always look chic against any backdrop.

“Birdsong” jewelry roll, $39;

Baby alpaca throw, $225;

“Plaza” bridesmaid gown by Maid by Yifat Oren for Rory Beca, $280;

“Dory” sandal, $750;

Nail polishes, $12/each;

“Blushing Rose” wine, $10;

Aviator sunglasses by Saint Laurent, $220;

“Martin” plaid pocket square, $55; “Rustic Elegance” boutonniere, $35; “Key” tie bar, $75;

“Supreme Leather” cologne by Ralph Lauren, $125; “David” wallet by Clare V., $199;


Vagabond House “Rustic Horn” steak knife set, $287.50;

“Chronomat 41” watch by Breitling, price upon request;

Style Tip: A tan or light suit is a staple for any groom’s closet. Not only is it perfect for spring or summer weddings, the pants and jacket can be styled separately to create looks for every occasion. Captoes in perforated suede, $598;

“New Pebble” cuff links, $335;



“Alpha Fit” cleansing device, $189;

“The Foundation” cotton suit in stone, $450;

A. R. Morris Jewelers, Wilmington, DE | Albriton’s, Jackson, MS | Barmakian Jewelers, Nashua, NH & Framingham, MA | Beards Jewelry, Jacksonville, FL Borsheims Fine Jewelry, Omaha, NE | Costello Jewelry, Glen Ellyn & Naperville, IL | Diamonds Direct, Charlotte & Raleigh, NC, Birmingham, AL, Glen Allen, VA Ganem Jewelers, Phoenix, AZ | GMG Jewellers, Saskatoon, SK, Canada | Hannoush Jewelers, Albany, NY | J. Brown Jewelers, Pikesville, MD Joe Escobar Diamonds, Campbell, CA | Lewis Jewelers, Moore, OK | Mervis Diamond, Tysons Corner, VA, Washington DC, Rockville, MD Robbins Brothers, Southern CA, Dallas & Houston, TX, Bellevue & Seattle, WA | Windsor Fine Jewelers, Augusta, GA Signatures, Wichita, KS | Zachary’s Jewelers, Annapolis & Severna Park, MD

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Shimmery stationery styles that enhance the glorious shades of fall.

Hollywood glamour meets Art Deco for this invitation suite inspired by the bride’s love of geometric patterns and diamond-cut glass. The timeless custom collection by Zenadia Design boasts wonderful details, including a handdrawn map of the wedding destination, as well as a pen-andink sketch of the ceremony location. The die-cut invitation features silver foil stamping and a laser-cut bellyband, which provided a striking sneak peek for this unique celebration. Shown here: invitation with bellyband, lined envelope, front/back response card, front/back map and website information card;



YOU’REINVITED “Confetti Toss” invitation featuring a glittering border and pocket fold with response card and envelope by Envelopments;

“Bound” invitation and lined envelope with French flap by Checkerboard for Papyrus; Invitation from the “Modern Splendor” suite (available in multiple shades) by Mindy Weiss for Wedding Paper Divas;

“Metallic Deco Elegance” invitation featuring metallic embossing, Swarovski crystals, and gold engraving, and 100-percent cotton envelope with embossed shell design by Lehr and Black;



Invitation showcasing a delicate laser-cut gold chrome frame and sophisticated type by RedBliss Design;



Wedding reception dinner menu from the “Flourish” custom invitation suite engraved on ultra-heavyweight stock paper featuring a handpainted beveled edge by RoxyLou;

“Kate & Zachary” custom invitation suite by Ceci Couture;

“Brand Name” faux-leather invitation in rustic grey featuring a stamped monogram by Carlson Craft;

“Gilt Agate” wedding invitation inspired by watercolor and natural geodes by Kaydi Bishop for Minted;



“Floral Extravagance” invitation with laser-cut details and matching floral back by Invitations by Dawn;

Linear invitation featuring letterpress and gold foil with matching gilt-tipped deluxe envelope by East Six;



Consider great registry advice from one recently married couple.

Rosenthal “Tac 02 Skin Platinum” salad plate, $42; Bloomingdale’s

Kate Spade New York “Pierrepont Place” 2-piece serving set, $60; Bloomingdale’s

Couple photographed by Embrace Life Photography

“Dizzy” double OldFashioned glass, $1.95; Crate and Barrel

Kosta Boda “Contrast” vase, $100; Bloomingdale’s

Erica & Justin Nussen Michael Aram “Molten” napkin box, $59; Bloomingdale’s

“Take your time, as you will enjoy many of these gifts for your lifetime.” REGISTRY TIPS FROM ERICA AND JUSTIN Pace yourself. “Break up the registry process into several days, so you don’t become overwhelmed.” Explore the possibilities. “Take the time to weigh your options and try not to be hurried.” Make the final decision. “Don’t be afraid to return or exchange something from your registry because you don’t want the purchaser to know.” Meld your tastes. “Create your aesthetic as a couple together.”

Mother-of-Pearl lacquer tray by J. Fleet Designs, $195; Gearys

Rosenthal “Surface” vase, $188; Bloomingdale’s

Erica (née Levin) and Justin Nussen had moved into a new apartment a few months before he proposed. At the time, they purchased the basics and supplemented with generous hand-me-downs from their respective parents. So after Justin popped the question, the couple looked forward to selecting components to fully equip and decorate their home according to their tastes. “Justin has a good eye for style and for the most part wanted to be included in all the decisions,” says the bride. The pair took a leisurely approach to registering in person at Bloomingdale’s, Heath Ceramics, Gearys, Crate and Barrel, and Williams-Sonoma. “Do it in bits and pieces and you’ll both stay sane,” advises Erica. “Take your time, as you will enjoy many of these gifts for your lifetime.”

“Avignon” 5-piece place setting by Jean Couzon, $295; Gearys

Nambé “Curvo” spoon rest, $30; Bloomingdale’s

Carrol Boyes “Large Man” hurricane lamp, $330; Bloomingdale’s




Orrefors “Swerve” double Old-Fashioned glass, $90/set of 2; Bloomingdale’s

Nambé “Mikko” ice bucket with tongs, $150; Gearys

FAST FACTS Number of working registries: Six Estimated total value of combined registries: $36,889 Total number of items: 680

Nambé “Butterfly” cheese tray, $125; Gearys

Estimated percentage of guests who gave registered gifts: 80% Favorite registered items: Orrefors “Divine” wine decanter, Bloomingdale’s; “Ryder” wall clock, Crate and Barrel; Nambé “Infinity” platter, Gearys; Vegetable bowl in Aqua Turquoise, Heath Ceramics

Petite Santoku knife, $111; Cutco

Kosta Boda “Mine” bowl, $55; Bloomingdale’s

Villeroy & Boch “Artesano” salad servers, $37; Bloomingdale’s

Most expensive registered item: AllClad 10-piece pot/pan set, $699.99; Bloomingdale’s Least expensive registered item: “Dizzy” double Old-Fashioned glass, $1.95; Crate and Barrel

Nespresso® & De’Longhi Lattissima Plus espresso maker, $500; Bloomingdale’s

REGISTRIES BLOOMINGDALE’S, 800.888.2933 Riedel “Swirl” red wine glasses, $29.50/set of 2; Bloomingdale’s

CRATE AND BARREL, 888.249.4155 CUTCO, 800.828.0448

Large serving bowl, $120; Heath Ceramics Photo: Jeffery Cross Nambé “Spiral” wine coaster, $75; Gearys

Rim stack mug, $30; Heath Ceramics Photo: Jeffery Cross

The couple found most of their desired selections, from platinumembellished Rosenthal china featuring a modern pattern to decorative accent pieces with sculptural flair, at Bloomingdale’s. “It was the first registry appointment we had and got us both very excited for the whole process,” recalls the bride. “I loved the personalized attention from the registry department. Their shopping experience and return policy make it so easy.” Erica and Justin were fans of Heath Ceramics long before becoming engaged. “Many of the restaurants in our neighborhood 48


GEARYS, 800.793.6670 HEATH CERAMICS, 415.361.5552 WILLIAMS-SONOMA, 877.812.6235

serve on Heath plates or platters and we’ve always been obsessed,” she shares. “We spent a long time deciding which of the gorgeous colors we wanted to outfit our kitchen. We ultimately decided that based on our basic white dishes, we would enhance [our collection] with an assortment of colorful items.” With this in mind, the couple selected pieces in vibrant blue tones like a vegetable bowl in Aqua Turquoise and large serving bowl in Moonstone. Justin also enjoys pouring his morning coffee into their Rim stack mugs, so they added an assortment to their wish list.

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Cuisinart GreenGourmet® electric skillet, $149.95; Williams-Sonoma

Cuisinart Smart Stick® 2-speed hand blender, $59.99; Crate and Barrel

“Ryder” wall clock, $79.95; Crate and Barrel

Dual citrus squeezer, $16.95; Crate and Barrel OXO “Good Grips” salad spinner, $29.99; Bloomingdale’s

Nambé “Infinity” platter, $225; Gearys

KitchenAid “Artisan” 5-qt. stand mixer, $440; Bloomingdale’s

Boos edge-grain carving board, $169.95; Williams-Sonoma

Michael Aram “Gotham” nut dish, $90; Bloomingdale’s

Carrol Boyes “Wound Up” salad servers, $200; Bloomingdale’s

50 |

Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus, $49.95; Crate and Barrel

Keeping the convenience of their wedding guests in mind, as most of them are frequent patrons at Gearys, the bride and groom opted to include the boutique in their registries. On their venture, they discovered specialty items – not available at other retailers – to complement their china and entertainment pieces, such as an espresso lacquer tray with motherof-pearl detail by J. Fleet Designs and a Nambé “Infinity” platter favored by Erica. When making their selections, the couple appreciated the expert assistance of a personal shopper. Erica and Justin also attended a special registry event held by Crate and Barrel. The store opened its doors an hour early specifically for engaged couples. The pair stocked up on classic glassware, nifty food storage containers, and an array of mixing bowls; however, what they truly fell in love with was a handsome clock in dark wood. Since Justin loves to cook, he found desired culinary tools at Williams-Sonoma, including the Le Creuset Signature castiron Dutch oven he now often uses. Bakeware was also added to have on hand for producing delectable treats should the mood strike. The couple also made it a point to have a wish list dedicated to cutlery. They chose Cutco knives because growing up these had been mainstays in both of their parents’ homes. “This registry was completely done online, but they still provided a great salesperson to assist over the phone,” says the bride. “The registry process as a whole was quite fun,” admits the groom. As someone who likes to enliven their surroundings with beautiful floral arrangements, Erica jokes, “We agreed on nearly everything. However, if it were only up to Justin, we probably wouldn’t have registered for as many vases!” From their experience, Erica and Justin discovered the importance of timing at different stages of registering. “I learned to register early, especially if you’re planning on having an engagement party. People start purchasing gifts early on, [so you] might as well have them purchase something you want,” notes the bride. “Remember to give thanks and do it early!” advises the groom. “Nobody likes to receive a thank-you note months after their gift was received.”


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Discover travel and honeymoon tips from one recently married couple. Following their destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Whitney (née Leipzig) and Ross Spielfogel set off on a 21-day African adventure, visiting the coastal city of Cape Town, embarking on safaris in Kruger National Park, relaxing Photo: Andrew Richey in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and exploring Johannesburg before returning home to New York. With such a wide range of locales, the newlyweds succeeded in planning a honeymoon that was adventurous, cultural, and romantic.


he first stop on Whitney and Ross’ African adventure was Cape Town, one of South Africa’s capital cities. The couple spent four nights at the One&Only Cape Town, a luxurious, centrally located property in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – “which is a great jumping-off point for the many sites to see in the area,” shares Whitney. Their first day included a tour, where they saw thousands of penguins on Boulders Beach and visited Cape Point, the most southwesterly tip of Africa. They also enjoyed a privately guided sunrise hike to the top of Table Mountain. “[We’re] not avid hikers coming from New York City, but we very much enjoyed the hike itself, a panoramic view of the city, and our time talking to the local guide,” says Whitney. Venturing away from the heart of the city, the newlyweds were thrilled to explore the wine regions

Photo: Robert Miller

Photo: Adene Photography

of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. “We might consider going back to this area and spending a few nights there next time,” adds Whitney. Another one of the couple’s favorite experiences was a dinner at La Columbe, a fine-dining establishment at the Constantia Uitsig winery (now located at the Silvermist organic wine estate). They dined at a private table in the vineyard where they enjoyed springbok meat (similar to venison) among other local specialties and fine wine. “The food was superb, the ambience was amazing, and it was the perfect setting for a splurge of a meal that we’ll never forget,” says Whitney. Relishing their time exploring the outer towns, the honeymooners suggest to other travelers: “Get out of the city center and visit the Cape’s awesome wine region, go shark diving in Hermanus, and revel in the beauty of the beaches.”

HIGHLIGHTS CAPE TOWN Visiting a cheetah conservatory. “We got to pet and play with Joseph the cheetah, which was a blast!” Drinking wine. “We enjoyed a private wine-region tour of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. We had a lovely time in these little towns and beautiful vineyards!” Cage diving with Great White sharks. “This is a MUST do and a total thrill! We had such a blast seeing these amazing creatures up close.”




HIGHLIGHTS KRUGER NATIONAL PARK Seeing the “Big Five.” “We saw lions, elephants, buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopards. They were so close that you could touch them – a lion grazed Ross’ leg while in the Jeep!” Photo:

Indulging in a private picnic. “As a honeymoon surprise, a private treetop picnic lunch was arranged. It was romantic and secluded… no one but us – and a radio in case we were in danger.” Flying a plane. “When we went from the first safari to the second via small plane, Ross asked the pilot if he could sit in the cockpit. Not only did he sit up front, the pilot let him fly the plane!”

For their first safari, Whitney and Ross spent four nights at the five-star, all-inclusive Singita Lebombo Lodge. “It was the most remarkable hotel that we’ve ever stayed in and absolutely worth the splurge!” they admit. Each day, the newlyweds participated in two game drives where they saw male lions on a hunt and female lions playing with cubs, as well as other encounters with “Big Five” animals. “On safari, go on every game drive,” urges Whitney. “While the 5AM wake-ups aren’t the most natural, you won’t want to miss a thing! No two drives were alike, and all of them were filled with the most amazing animals and unique experiences.” Between excursions, the couple indulged in incredible fare (“The hotel will literally make you anything you want,” shares Ross) and impeccable wines, enjoyed bike riding in the bush with a guide, and spent time relaxing poolside. 54


Following their first safari, the honeymooners visited another part of Kruger National Park to stay for three nights at the Londolozi Game Reserve. “At this property, we had more intimate encounters and time spent with animals,” reveals Whitney, which allowed the couple to have “two very different, but unbelievable, experiences” at each lodge. Outside of morning and evening game drives, Whitney and Ross also had fun learning to shoot a rifle, as well as a delightful tour of the employees’ village. When choosing where to stay, the newlyweds suggest other couples take the region and time of year into account: “Animals are easier to spot in the winter when the bush is bare, but migrations take place in the summer when there’s warmer weather. You can’t go wrong either way,” explains Ross. They both agree that the safaris were extraordinary: “We felt worlds away from New York City, and we long to go back for another experience!”


“We felt worlds away from New York City, and we long to go back for another [safari] experience!”

Photos: Conrad Hong Kong



• “Purchase an awesome camera with a super zoom and a great lens. You’ll want to remember the images from the safari – and your honeymoon – for a lifetime!” • “Splurge on spa treatments! Honeymoons are a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you want to fully relax, be pampered, and enjoy these romantic moments.”

Splurging on spa treatments. “We enjoyed a treatment every single day during our weeklong stay.”

Photo: Baraza Resort and Spa - part of The Zanzibar Collection

• “Make sure every hotel knows you’re on your honeymoon. They’ll often give you the room with the best view, make sure complimentary bottles are included, and they’ll go out of their way to light candles, draw baths, leave rose petals, and more.” • “Initially the cost of the safaris gave us sticker shock, but once we were there, we knew exactly what we had paid for. If there’s one time to splurge, it’s on your honeymoon.”

Eating lobster on the beach. “The staff arranged a Champagne lunch on the beach with freshly caught lobster and the catch of the day.” Photo: Baraza Resort and Spa - part of The Zanzibar Collection

Following a week on safari in the bush, Whitney and Ross were thrilled to end their trip at an island destination and decided upon a remote, off-the-grid location in Zanzibar. Spending “a week in paradise” at the Baraza Resort and Spa – a gorgeous property off the beaten path – was “pure zen,” the newlyweds describe. “The resort is situated on the award-winning Bwejuu beach on the southeast coast of Zanzibar,” shares the bride. “The design and grounds are very relaxing; it’s beautifully maintained and features a continuous stretch of palm trees and soft, white sand. We were completely tranquil all throughout our stay.” The couple stayed in a luxurious oceanfront villa complete with 56


Relaxing by the pool. “The employees waited on us hand and foot – helping us to rotate our chaises when the sun moved, bringing us drinks, and making sure we never went hungry.”

a private plunge pool and appointed beach area, as well as a butler. “The staff went to every extreme to ensure that every need and want was met at all hours,” recalls Whitney. “We had daily end-of-day massages, but that was the extent of our movement. This part of the trip was pure rest and relaxation for us.” All in all, Whitney and Ross were pleased with their trip itinerary. Adventurous activities in Cape Town, two iconic safaris in Kruger National Park, a romantic stay in Zanzibar, and spending two culture-filled days in Johannesburg before returning stateside allowed them to experience as much as they could. “All of the excursions, little details, and surprises along the way made it a trip to remember,” they affirm.


See the collection during our Trunk Show on December 4-6 WWW.MONAMIE.COM WWW.YSAMAKINO.COM





A BUBBLY WELCOME A bottle of chilled sparkling wine elegantly arranged in your room upon arrival to toast your future. A ROMANTIC GESTURE A special turndown service that includes flower petals on your bed on an evening of your honeymoon. WAKE UP TO WEDDED BLISS Delight in a delivery of fresh flowers and a decadent breakfast in bed one morning of your choice.




At Beaches Resorts you can celebrate the most special time of your life with the people who mean the most to you. Best of all, after your magical wedding day, the two of you can slip off to a private honeymoon in luxurious suites so romantic we had to call them Love Nests. Enjoy every land and water sport under the sun, including a scuba program* voted Top 5 in the Western Hemisphere by PADI. Indulge in Gourmet Discovery Dining at up to 21 exceptional restaurants serving unlimited pours of premium spirits. So while you celebrate your love, your loved ones will enjoy their own unforgettable celebration, too!




1-800-BEACHES • • or call your Travel Agent ENTER TO WIN * A BEACHES HONEYMOON! Monthly drawing at *Visit or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.



Photo: Liz Von Hoene; Hair: Felix Fischer; Makeup: Kajsa Svanberg; Gowns: Francesca Miranda, front, and Marchesa, back


Fall in love with your wedding gown. Your affair begins here and now with heartbreakingly beautiful gowns. Fan the flames of fashion with a passionate display of frills and thrills. The temptation is too great to resist.

SPARKLE LIKE THE STARS Get the look of the most stunning celebrity engagement rings.

“Illustrious Halo” engagement ring with a starting weight of 2.20cts., starting at $15,000; Hearts On Fire

Ring set in 18K white gold with diamond halo and emeraldcut center stone, $3,080 (center stone not included); Sylvie Collection

Amal Alamuddin

Dantela collection three-stone emerald-cut ring set in platinum with round diamonds, $7,570 (center stone not included); Tacori

Amber Heard

Semi-mount engagement ring with round-cut diamond set in 18K white gold, $8,250 (center stone not included); Carizza

Classico collection ring in platinum with emerald-cut diamond and bullet-shaped side stones, price upon request; Harry Kotlar

“Cosette” platinum ring with emerald-cut side stones, $8,285 (center stone not included); Penny Preville



True Romance collection ring with scalloped diamond border, side stones, and diamond shank, $3,700 (center stone not included); Sethi Couture

Ring set in platinum featuring a 22.10ct. tanzanite center and over 2cts. of diamonds, price upon request; Jack Kelége

Unique ring in 18K white gold with round- and pear-shaped diamonds, $2,970 (center stone not included); Simon G. Jewelry

“Three-Stone Halo Diamond” ring in 18K white gold featuring a French-set halo and accent stones, $3,220 (center stone not included); Ritani

Aura collection cushion-cut diamond engagement ring in platinum with a micropavé halo setting, price upon request; De Beers

Photos: Amal Alamuddin - Pool/Getty Images; Amber Heard - Marc Piasecki/Getty Images; Lady Gaga - Marc Piasecki/Getty Images; Sofía Vergara - Bildnachweis: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

Signature Color collection ring in platinum with a 3.08ct. heart-shaped pink spinel and diamond accents, $15,020; Coast Diamond

Platinum ring featuring a 5.58ct. cushion-cut center and diamond shank, price upon request; Jack Kelége

Lady Gaga Per Lei collection heartshaped ring in platinum with diamond shank, $2,880 (center stone not included); Danhov

Sofía Vergara “Ideal Cushion Halo Solitaire” platinum ring with diamond shank, $3,200 (center stone not included); A. Link for Forevermark

Arabesque collection split-shank ring in platinum with heartshaped center, price upon request; Harry Kotlar

Heart-shaped ring set in 18K white gold with a 1.71ct. blue-green center and diamond halo, price upon request; Supreme Jewelry

Double-halo diamond engagement ring with split shank and oval center, $3,487 (center stone not included); Sylvie Collection

Pavé halo ring with a 2.04ct. signature cushioncut diamond set in 18K white gold, $3,300 (center stone not included); Henri Daussi



Band of 18K gold accented with diamonds featuring a 1.52ct. green fancy diamond, $17,820; Todd Reed

Eternity band of 18K gold featuring four rows of pavé diamonds, $14,145; Sasha Primak

Cameron Diaz

Marquise-cut diamond ring featuring a double halo of white and pink diamonds, $6,050 (center stone not included); Simon G. Jewelry

Ashlee Simpson “Intertwining Regal” engagement ring with three round diamonds that create the illusion of a marquise center, starting at $14,250; Hearts On Fire

Diamond Softed™ band with seven rows of pavé diamonds, price upon request; Katharine James

Ring of 14K Honey Gold™ with signature white and brown diamonds, $3,097; Le Vian

Ring of 14K white gold with diamonds and an oval-cut sapphire, $3,005 (center stone not included); Sylvie Collection

Engagement ring in 18K white gold with marquise-cut center and side stones, $2,860 (center stone not included); Simon G. Jewelry

Diamond band in 18K gold from the Angelique collection featuring handcrafted milgrain edging, $3,530; Kirk Kara



Band of 18K gold with diamond links, $3,995; Frederic Sage

“Harlow” ring in 18K white gold with diamonds featuring a 1.42ct. emerald-cut center stone, $10,530; Penny Preville

Photos: Cameron Diaz - Neil Mockford, Alex Huckle/Getty Images; Ashlee Simpson - Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Iggy Azalea - Gonzalo, Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images; Nicky Hilton - Donald Bowers/Getty Images

Ring in 18K white gold with cushion-cut fancy yellow diamond and pavé halo, $3,300 (center stone not included); Henri Daussi

Signature Color collection ring in platinum featuring a 2.44ct. emerald-cut sapphire and trapezoid side diamonds, $19,210; Coast Diamond

Aura collection yellow radiant engagement ring with halo and diamond shank, price upon request; De Beers

Iggy Azalea

“Triplicity Dream” engagement ring in 18K white gold or platinum with starting weight of 1.65cts., starting at $21,170; Hearts On Fire

Nicky Hilton

Charisma collection ring in 18K white and yellow gold with diamond halo and shank featuring a 1.68ct. yellow diamond, $22,000; Coast Diamond

Ring set in platinum with 18K gold accents featuring a 6.21ct. fancy yellow diamond and white diamonds, price upon request; Jack Kelége

Stella collection tapered ring featuring scroll engravings and a princess-cut diamond, $2,770 (center stone not included); Kirk Kara

Ring set in 18K white gold featuring tapered baguette diamonds, $3,500 (center stone not included); Ritani

Ring in platinum with Asscher-cut diamond and trapezoid side stones, $30,000 (center stone not included); Sasha Primak

Luminesce collection ring in platinum and 18K gold with two bullet-shaped side stones, price upon request; Harry Kotlar

Ring set in platinum featuring a fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond with micropavé halo, $2,110 (center stone not included); Ritani

Tre collection ring in platinum with trapezoid side stones, $8,420 (center stone not included); Danhov



SPLENDOR ON THE GRASS Embrace bucolic pleasures with top-to-toe blossoms. Strapless “Botanical Beauty” ($3,300) and V-neck “Love in Bloom” ($2,090) silk-chiffon gowns in watercolor print, both by Ivy & Aster; available at Lovely (NY). Silk floral “Liza” crown with crimson anemones and “Cleo” crown with plum anemones ($425/ each), both by Wilhelm (NY). Leafmotif earring in antique gold, $425 by Maria Elena Headpieces. Lily-pad earring with fancy sapphires, price upon request by Lydia Courteille. Amethyst cabochon bracelet in 18K gold, $7,000 by Rina Limor Fine Jewelry. Ring of 18K Honey Gold™ with 4.28ct. emerald, $23,399 by Le Vian Couture. Multi-colored canvas “Paname” pumps, $365 by Repetto.




Wear a ball gown with carefree abandon. Let Mother Nature adorn you with her regal riches, her flora and fauna. Don a coronet of buzzing butterflies and budding blooms and envelop yourself in the beauty and romance that surrounds you. Photographed by Liz Von Hoene for Stockland Martel Hair by Felix Fischer at Factory Downtown using Matrix Style Link Makeup by Kajsa Svanberg at Art Department using Diorshow




GOWN OF THRONES I crown thee, Bride-to-Be. Two-piece “Joann” gown with geometric lace bodice and silk satin organza skirt, $4,400 by Olia Zavozina; available at the Olia Zavozina Flagship Salon (TN) and Nordstrom Wedding Suite. Flower brass-and-enamel headband, $575 by Masterpeace. Floral, cameo drop earring with diamonds, $2,200 by Rina Limor Fine Jewelry. “Baba” leather platforms, $613 by Repetto. “Tiara” ring, $2,100 by Sethi Couture.Oval moonstone ring in 14K Strawberry Gold® with diamonds, $5,317 by Le Vian Couture.



SHABBY CHIC Countrify your couture with rustic touches. “Emmanuelle” ball gown with corset in pleated satin, $4,500 by Steven Birnbaum; available at Neiman Marcus Bridal Salon (TX). “Sparkly Antlers” glitter headdress, $1,500 by Wilhelm (NY). Gold “Tribal” diamond earring, $128 by Virgins, Saints & Angels. Large medieval-themed ring, price upon request by Lydia Courteille.



FIELD OF DREAMS Live your fashion fantasy to the fullest. Plunging V-neck “Digna” ball gown with sparkle tulle skirt, $4,900 by Isabelle Armstrong; available at Exquisite Bride (NJ). “This Is It” earrings with beaded fringe, $313 by Paris by Debra Moreland.



WHO’S THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL? Why, every bride on her wedding day, of course! Left: “Isabel” ball gown of guipure lace and Italian tulle, $6,270 by Francesca Miranda; available at Wedding Atelier (NY) and Kleinfeld Bridal (NY). Mesh rose crown, $286 by Colette Malouf. Ornate Victorian “Josephine” hand mirror, $750 by Maria Elena Headpieces. Floral vine ring with diamonds, $2,900 by Rina Limor Fine Jewelry. Right: “Gardenia” tulle ball gown with feather flowers and opal crystals, price upon request by Marchesa; available at Ultimate Bride (IL). Diamond ring in rose gold with marquise accent border, $6,850 by Sethi Couture. Tulle wreath with laser-cut flowers, $625 by Maria Elena Headpieces.



ROYAL FLUSH Put the “blush” in “blushing bride” with a delicate, skin-toned dress. “Severine” ball gown with Chantilly lace appliqués, $4,900 by Monique Lhuillier; available at Monique Lhuillier Flagship Salons. Rose-gold “Poppy” bandeaux, $525 by Jennifer Behr. Dangle earring in opal and peach RAZZMATAZZ coral, $21,200 by Rina Limor Marry Fine Jewelry. Ring offeathery rose gold fluff sizzling with milkytoquartz and diamonds,sparkles. $9,870 by Silver sparkle mini Pasquale Bruni. dress with fringe, price Minaudière with Swarovski upon and request by Alvina crystals semi-precious Valenta;$1,500 available stones, by exclusively JLM Maria at Elena Couture. Marabou Headpieces. crop jacket, $395 by Adrienne Landau. “Vogue” rhinestone bib necklace and rhinestone rose cuff, prices upon request from Stazia Loren. Large crystal ring, $450 from Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection. “Top Vague” suede pumps with crystals, $2,995 by Christian Louboutin.



THE PRINCESS BRIDE Hold court with medieval-inspired treasures. Textured “Molly” cape ($660) worn over “Farren” gown of Italian pleated tulle and Alençon lace ($3,480), both by Modern Trousseau; available at select Modern Trousseau MOVIE STAR salons. Gold “Margaritte” Think$595 Liz Taylor as tiara, by Jennifer the exotic Behr.ultimate, Handpainted “Call of Queen the Wild”Cleopatra. earring, $375 by Long-sleeve laceMoreland. dress Paris by Debra with handcrafted beading, Antique-gold rosary with $8,360 by Berta; Swarovski crystals, available $725 by at MonElena Amie Headpieces. Bridal Salon. Maria Robert Sorrell Egyptian Diamond butterfly rings, headpiece with fringed $4,600-5,200/each by Swarovski price Rina Limorcrystals, Fine Jewelry. upon request from New York Vintage. Left hand: rings from Stazia Loren, Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, and engagement ring by Rahaminov Diamonds, respectively. Right hand: rings by Swarovski and Stazia Loren, respectively. Feather fan with tassel, $450 by Leah C. Couture Millinery.



SOMETHING LIFE IS A CABARET BLUE Fan A the modern-day flames of Cinderella desire in bias-cut, displays hercurve-inducing red-soled slippers silk. likeCorseted a medal “Washington” of honor. “Sylvia”gown lace ball in paneled gown with silk cap withsleeves center slit and($7,480) painted rose and appliqués, fully beaded $4,000 pewter by Eugenia “Charlton” Couture; cape ($2,075), available both at Wedding by Johanna Angels Johnson. Bridal Boutique Black (GA). feather Custom fans“Blue with Bird” crown, tassels,$115 $450/each by Crowns by Leah by Christy. C. Couture Handpainted Millinery. “Rostov” Swarovski-crystal earrings, $325 tassel by earrings, Masterpeace. $400 “Treliliane” by Robert patent Sorrell;flats in Horizon Blue withOval mini engagement spikes, $695ring by Christian in 18K gold, Louboutin. price upon Blueedged request flowerby ring, Rahaminov $115 by Diamonds; Kenneth available Jay Lane. at Gearys (800.793.6670). “Strass” string sandal, $1,470 by René Caovilla.



LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU Top off your high-fashion performance with femme fatale flair. Bustier of lace and tulle with ostrich feather skirt, $9,950 by Lela Rose. Charcoal “Jaunty” mini top hat ($525), ostrich feather hair comb ($145), and nude birdcage veil with crystals ($325), all by Leah C. Couture Millinery. Vintage crystal fringe earrings and vintage Coro bracelet, prices upon request from Stazia Loren. Vintage Dior gold star bracelet, $1,500 from Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection.

MY FAIR LADIES Triple the romance with gobs of lace, tiers of tulle, and a smattering of sparkle. Left: “Limoges” tulle gown with crystal-embellished bodice, $5,710 by Anne Barge Black Label; available at The Bustle (CA). Flower ring, $180 by Kenneth Jay Lane. Custom “Bird’s Nest” crown, $115 by Crowns by Christy. Handpainted “Blue Dragon” earring, $95 by Masterpeace. Center: Strapless gown with pleated French tulle and Alençon lace, $4,130 by Liancarlo; available at Mon Amie Bridal Salon (CA). Silk-floral “Sade” crown, $425 by Wilhelm (NY). Enamel bird ring, $140 by Kenneth Jay Lane. Gold python runway stilettos, price upon request by Christian Louboutin for Marchesa. Right: “Maeve” V-neck ball gown in Chantilly and dotted lace, $9,500 by Ersa Atelier; available at L’Fay Bridal (NY). Custom butterfly crown, $95 by Crowns by Christy. Linking bracelet in 14K Honey Gold™ with diamonds, $4,199 by Le Vian Red Carpet.





The best wedding resources: vendors, venues, designers & salons.


933 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 310.307.9213

CUSTOM DECOR & DETAILS The Original Runner Company JINZA Couture Bridal focuses on individually crafted dresses from its San Francisco atelier. Famous for her detailed approach, Jinza Jin creates collections with signature fabrics and intricate patterns. Made with the finest fabrics, each dress has a unique personality while remaining comfortable and lightweight, perfect for a bride’s big day.


Kleinfeld Bridal Revelry Event Designers is an exceptional visionary team and known as L.A.’s go-to eventand interior-design company, specializing in designing and installing private and corporate events worldwide. Their experience, creativity, passion and professionalism combine to provide clients with a unique level of satisfaction.

110 West 20th Street, New York, NY 646.633.4300 For more than 60 years, brides have learned that the magic of Kleinfeld lies not in just their magnificent store, but in the hearts of their professional staff. They carry the largest selection of bridal gowns from top American and European designers.

Mon Amie Bridal Salon

355 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 714.546.5700 Mon Amie Bridal Salon has served as Orange County, Southern California, and the West Coast’s most elegant & premier bridal salon for over 35 years. They present to their brides an unparalleled selection of designer gowns in their spacious boutique. Mon Amie’s enthusiastic & knowledgeable staff are renowned for exceptional and personalized service.

Wedding Atelier

72 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 646.638.3263 Wedding Atelier offers gorgeous, hand-selected couture wedding dresses and generous personal attention in a lovely private space located on Madison Avenue in New York City. They work one-on-one to help ensure that each client becomes the bride she’s always dreamed of being.


| Creators of the first nonslip fabric aisle runners, The Original Runner Co. offers their own unique designs, as well as customization to match your colors, theme, or motif.

Revelry Event Designers

3604 Medford Street, Los Angeles, CA 323.263.1657

The Hidden Garden Los Angeles, CA 310.575.6600 The Hidden Garden team has a true passion for floral design and creativity as their guiding force. The Hidden Garden utilizes untraditional textures to create beautiful, abundant, and innovative designs that cater to the needs of each client.

GIFT REGISTRIES Crate and Barrel 888.249.4155 Explore exclusive products and discover why so many couples are falling in love with registering at Crate and Barrel. With private events and dedicated registry experts, the Wedding and Gift Registry is the place for couples to start their new lives. Register in stores or online.



Amaryllis, Inc. Gearys offers a diverse range of high-quality products that make a perfect addition to any wedding registry. They pride themselves on superb customer service and offer great gift ideas, as well as same-day shipping.

Washington, DC 240.770.8600 Amaryllis, Inc. is a premier floral and event production studio with over 25 years of experience. Their personal service, attention to detail, and custom designs set them apart. From an intimate affair to a grand soirée, they will completely transform your event with incredible floral creations, specialty furniture, and custom décor.

Empty Vase

9033 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 310.278.1988 The bold, lush, and luxurious creations from the Empty Vase have been the first choice in contemporary floral artistry for over 25 years. Owner Saeed Babaeean and his team work directly with growers to provide the freshest blooms to their clients and offer an array of uniquely crafted and breathtaking designs.

351 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 800.793.6670/310.273.4741

Villeroy & Boch 800.VILLEROY This family-owned company, based in Germany, has been one of the largest worldwide producers of premium porcelain and ceramics since 1748. As an award-winning, innovative company rooted in a time-honored tradition, Villeroy & Boch has become internationally recognized as a trusted premium lifestyle brand over its 267-year history.


The Editors Circle is a highly curated list of wedding resources. Recognized to be among the best in their industry, our list includes rising stars along with wedding celebrities. Their work best reflects our commitment to creativity, quality, and excellence. Our editors turn to these experts first for the most beautiful celebrations to showcase, as well as authoritative advice on wedding issues. These talented professionals can assist you in creating the event of your dreams. You can be confident in their abilities and the quality of their services because we’ve either spoken to their clients and checked their professional references, or invited them to be part of the Editors Circle based on reputation.



Carasco Photography

Effrey’s Custom Cleaners

Bonnie Foster Productions Carasco Photography has become one of the most sought-after photography companies for luxury and celebrity weddings. Husband-and-wife duo and founders Cara and Scott Nava produce and preserve memories in a documentary-meets-highfashion-format. They blend their personal style to create a photographic experience that embodies elegance, tact, and distinction.

8917 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 310.858.7400

Authorities in the field of gown preservation, the professionals at Effrey’s use expert techniques and specialty know-how when caring for the most important dress you will ever own.

INVITATIONS Laura Hooper Calligraphy 703.619.0480 Laura Hooper picked up her first calligraphy pen at the age of 12 and has been in love with the art of lettering ever since. She has worked with elegant brides and high-profile celebrities to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Laura is a member of the Association of Calligraphic Arts and the Society for Calligraphy.

Lehr and Black

8921 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 310.278.8182 For over 40 years, Lehr and Black has been the go-to design company for invitations and décor for Hollywood’s elite and beyond. The use of luxurious fabrics, fine details, and superior workmanship by designer Ellen Black and brother Sol Lehr has revolutionized custom invitations, and the end result is always a oneof-a-kind creation that is truly a work of art.

Zenadia Design 805.757.7693 As a couture invitation studio, Zenadia Design creates exclusive, one-of-a-kind invitations for couples worldwide. Lace, natural herbs, exotic papers, and beautiful laser-cut designs are just a few of the many details that Zenadia Design can incorporate to make your invitation truly unique and personal.

858.967.0167 Coming from a long line of entertainment experts, Bonnie Foster understands her clients’ needs and strives to create musical magic beyond their expectations. She is proud to carry on her parents’ legacy of providing the perfect blend of classic and contemporary music, and having a passionate drive for perfection as she offers new and extraordinary ideas in event entertainment.

Larry King Orchestra, Inc.

400 Central Avenue, Suite 004, Northfield, IL 800.634.0014 Larry King Orchestra has been servicing the entertainment needs of celebrations worldwide for over 17 years. From classical string ensembles to live mash-ups for first dances, Larry King Orchestra provides a personalized musical experience for each event, creating a unique affair you and your guests will remember for a lifetime.

PHOTOGRAPHY Bob & Dawn Davis Photography Chicago, IL 312.719.3577 A husband-and-wife photography and design team, Bob and Dawn Davis believe in being authentic and down-to-earth. Bob has over 25 years experience as a professional photographer while Dawn has had the opportunity to design wedding books for numerous clients, including high-profile celebrities.


Christine Bentley Photography 949.521.4764 Trusted by affluent and high-profile clients and celebrities, Christine Bentley surpasses her clients’ expectations delivering timeless, stunning imagery. Her beautiful photography is internationally published and the recipient of multiple international awards.

Images by Berit, Inc. Basking Ridge, NJ 908.221.9440 For 15 years, Berit Bizjak has been photographing weddings as owner of Images by Berit, Inc. A high level of integrity is a core principle of her business and clients receive the highest level of attention, devotion, and commitment. Authentic by nature and true to her craft, Berit’s hope is to connect with you and start a wonderful partnership.

Ira Lippke Studios

Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY 212.620.3900 Ira and his carefully chosen studio photographers capture extraordinary weddings from all over the world. The studio team possesses artistic vision, which enables them to highlight the individuality of every event, showcasing each couple’s rare and unique moments. Their refined skills capture the exemplified beauty of each celebration in a fineart, documentary style.




Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography 6139 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 323.954.7436 Professional and personable, Jay possesses a unique ability to anticipate and capture the special moments of a wedding. With his unique ability to put people at ease, it’s no wonder Jay is one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after wedding photographers. A modern Renaissance man, Jay also shoots fine jewelry, still-life, and celebrity portraits for advertising and editorial.

KingenSmith Chicago, IL 773.278.8401 After photographing hundreds of sophisticated weddings, KingenSmith is a highly trusted and respected photography studio based in Chicago. Known for consistently creating emotional, artful, and elegant images, KingenSmith continues to be the studio of choice for many discerning couples and families.

Laurie Bailey Photography

Los Angeles, CA & Santa Barbara, CA 323.493.2292 Laurie has a deep love of storytelling and captures stunningly emotional moments in her images. Her work has been called “romantic, elegant, and timeless,” and has been featured in numerous publications, including Nikon World magazine. Laurie has also had the privilege of photographing numerous dignitaries, including President Obama and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Paul Barnett Photographer

2150 W. Washington St., Suite 501, San Diego, CA 619.285.1207 Since opening his studio in 1989, Paul Barnett’s wedding photographs have been published regularly in bridal magazines. He consistently captures the poignant moments throughout the wedding ceremony and reception that create the perfect wedding album.

Samuel Lippke Studios Los Angeles, CA 562.343.2676 An artist and photographer with a passion for capturing magic on film in any environment, Samuel Lippke uses his highly trained eye to naturally create wedding images with a mix of fashion, fine art, and photojournalism.



Inside nsIdeWeddings

VENUES The Breakers

One South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 561.659.8415 Everything you desire is here – a magnificent resort, limitless amenities, and a dedicated team that embraces your dream as its own. From a seaside ceremony to an opulent reception, The Breakers is a sublime setting.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, CA 858.314.2029 Whether you hold your reception in the Elizabeth Ballroom, your rehearsal dinner in the intimate Wine Cellar, your cocktail hour on the Aria Lawn, or marry in the Elizabeth Capella, the private wedding chapel, this Mediterranean resort is one of San Diego’s premier venues.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 858.777.6720 Bordering the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course on the coastal bluffs of La Jolla, The Lodge at Torrey Pines offers an inspiring setting for an unforgettable wedding. Enjoy awardwinning service and the undivided attention of the staff and wedding planners as the only bride on property during your special day.

Montage Kapalua Bay One Bay Drive, Lahaina, HI 808.662.6600 Stunning Pacific views, a majestic sea setting, and pristine sand beaches lay the groundwork for memorable events. Montage Kapalua Bay builds on natural beauty with lushly landscaped outdoor spaces, chic private dining spaces, and its private Cliff House venue perched over the ocean.

Montage Laguna Beach

30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 949.715.6220 Set on an oceanfront bluff with sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean, this 250room luxury beach resort features striking Craftsman-style architecture. Commanding 30 lushly landscaped acres in the heart of Laguna Beach, Montage is an ideal choice for a wedding or luxury honeymoon.

Oheka Castle

135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, NY 631.659.1400 A historic mansion located on the Gold Coast of Long Island, Oheka Castle offers the ambiance and sophistication inspired by the châteaux of France. Formal gardens, award-winning cuisine, and meticulous service make the estate an unforgettable setting for a luxurious wedding.

WEDDING PLANNERS & DESIGNERS Alex Events Alex Alexander 310.284.4882 The process to create and produce a wedding celebration is very personal to Alex, and she makes herself exceedingly accessible to her clients. She approaches each wedding like she is producing a romantic movie, designed to reflect each client’s individual style.

Ann Whittington, Event Planner 713.461.8424 Based in Texas, Ann provides event-planning services locally and nationally. Ann’s expertise along with her passion for celebrations is evident through her thoughtful expression of her clients’ personalities.

Bluebell Events 310.770.2898 Owned by award-winning planner Charley Izabella King, Bluebell Events is an international event company that specializes in weddings and destination celebrations. Charley will personally lead you through the weddingplanning process to create your unique and special day.

Bobbi Rice Weddings New Orleans, LA 318.419.6733 Known for her exquisite, quintessential New Orleans weddings, elegantly infused with cultural nuances and Southern charm, Bobbi Rice is one of the most sought-after wedding professionals in the South. By providing attentive concierge-style planning, event design and production, and dramatic floral décor, she crafts lavish celebrations that welcome guests with Southern hospitality worldwide.


Bob Gail Special Events

International Event Company

SQN Events Led by Allyson Levine Joseph & Katie Pincus, the coordination team at Bob Gail is known for producing custom environments filled with inventive design, seamless flow, and thoughtful details. Bob Gail Special Events is a full-service event planning, design, music, and production company with over 36 years of experience creating unique and personalized events. Jonathan Reeves and his staff pride themselves on assembling an entire team of creative professionals to produce a memorable and unique experience on one of the most important days in your life. They will focus on every detail to design an event that flows effortlessly. Founded in 2009 and led by Beth Bernstein, SQN Events is considered one of the top eventplanning companies in Chicago. Producing only a select number of events each year, SQN provides unparalleled service. Beth produces weddings of every scale and size, carefully curating each celebration to reflect her couples’ unique visions.


DFW Events, Inc. 214.505.9142 Whether you’re dreaming of saying “I do” at an exotic destination or prefer a wedding on a private estate, their hand-selected team has the experience, creativity, and international design connections needed to convert your vision into an extraordinary celebration.

Engaging Affairs Washington, DC 703.313.7659

9744 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 370, Beverly Hills, CA 310.271.1900

Jordan Payne Events

3100 Carlisle Street, #16117, Dallas, TX 214.577.5880 Jordan Payne and her team believe that getting to know you and your vision is one of the best parts of the job. Offering destination-wedding planning anywhere in the world, Jordan uses her design experience to bring a couple’s vision to life – from the elegant to the avant-garde.

Levine Fox Events, Inc. 818.783.0273 For 20 years, Engaging Affairs has been orchestrating the Washington, DC area’s most gracious and glamorous weddings. Known for breathtaking ballroom events, gorgeous museum bashes, and spectacular South Asian celebrations, they create weddings that are as seamlessly planned as they are stunning. Alyson Fox and Diane Levine, with over 15 years of experience as event designers and producers, have built an outstanding reputation in the community. Known for their commitment to their clients, their avant-garde style, and their stunning events, they give close attention to every detail.

Geller Events

Linda Howard Events

11301 W. Olympic Blvd., #496, Los Angeles, CA 310.479.9000 Debbie Geller heads a boutique event-planning company that coordinates a limited number of weddings and special events throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe. Debbie limits the number of events she coordinates to ensure that each of her clients receives personalized attention.

Hope Weis Consulting Chicago, IL 847.940.1741 Geared with over 25 years in event management, Hope Weis believes that a seamless celebration is the result of a creative vision, combined with extensive planning and attention to detail. She will personally guide couples through the entire process and create a wedding that illustrates their personal style and makes them feel that it is truly their own.

310.472.5848 With a background in psychology and 20 years of experience as an interior designer, Linda calls on her extraordinary attention to detail and creativity to make each wedding as unique as the couple. Organized, confident, and calm, Linda makes her clients her top priority and works 24/7 to create the weddings they have always envisioned.

Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

232 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 888.777.3414 Mindy is one of the most sought-after event planners & lifestyle experts. She and her team are best known for their creative and unique ideas, and exquisite attention to detail. These qualities, together with a respect for her clients’ privacy, make her the top event-planning choice for celebrities and high-profile clientele.

SoCo Events Washington, DC 202.695.2025 SoCo Events is a full-service company focused on event production and design dedicated to creating beautiful weddings on the cutting edge of style. Founder Jennifer Stiebel executes each of her events with graceful passion and well-respected experience.

Chicago, IL & Destination Weddings 773.469.6095

Sterling Engagements Los Angeles, CA 323.845.9500 Sterling Engagements is a premier Los Angelesbased, full-service event design and production firm. From the warm and intimate to the lavish and luxurious, they offer personal yet professional service. Consistently transforming visions into breathtaking realities, they push past limitations with cutting-edge design and unparalleled elegance.

Victoria Weddings & Events San Diego, CA 619.887.4915/619.435.1531 After seven years of stellar success with Coronado Weddings, Victoria Schroeder launched sister company Victoria Weddings & Events to fill the demand for her services throughout Southern California and most recently New York City. Her events have earned rave reviews and continued referrals.

Viva Bella Events

3218 Madison Road, Studio C, Cincinnati, OH 513.871.0077 Viva Bella Events is a premier wedding and event-planning agency. Their award-winning team conceives, designs, and executes luxury weddings all around the world. Passionate about producing beautiful, organized, and memorable experiences, Dora Manuel and her team aim to fulfill each client’s unique wedding-day vision and create the once-in-alifetime moment that it is.

If any member of our Editors Circle does not perform as you expected, we want to hear about it. If you would like to be considered for an invitation to join the Editors Circle, please let us know. Contact Inside Weddings at

IInside nsIdeW Weddings com

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September 6, 2014 Malibu, California

While developing the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Robert Bowling didn’t think twice about the woman managing its marketing strategy, Caroline Sung. After all, they had only worked together remotely. But everything changed when the two finally met in person at an annual gaming expo. “There was an obvious connection that I couldn’t ignore, so I hounded my producer to find out where her group was going after the show so I could ‘accidentally’ bump into her again,” Robert reveals. After a few years of dating and 80


Inside nsIdeWeddings


Photographed by Caroline Tran

the birth of their son, Robert surprised Caroline with a Christmas Eve proposal. Initially desiring woodsy Northern California nuptials, the couple ultimately opted for a wedding at a tree-lined ranch near their hometown in Southern California. The woodland atmosphere met the aesthetic they desired, while also being convenient and a comfortable fit for their families. The sunshine and warm temperatures of the area made the rustic-yet-elegant venue further appealing.

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RESOURCES Beauty HairDay - hair Jessica Lee - makeup Bridal Gown Vera Wang - ceremony Manuel Mota - reception Bridal Salon Vera Wang - ceremony Panache Bridal - reception Bridesmaid Gowns Vera Wang Cake/Desserts Superfine Bakery Two’s A Party Consulting/Floral Design Aquafuzion Entertainment Bohemia Dance; Cabaret Versatile Eric Zimmerman for Elegant Music Favors Bottega Louie Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse; Tom Ford Hair Accessories Wedding Belles New York Honeymoon Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu Invitations/Stationery Zenadia Design Jewelry Blue Nile; Vera Wang Lighting Design TMMPRO Linens Elegant Designs Specialty Linens Photography Caroline Tran Registries Bloomingdale’s; Honeyfund Rentals Archive Rentals; TMMPRO Town & Country Event Rentals Shoes Jimmy Choo; Manolo Blahnik Tom Ford Venue/Catering Calamigos Ranch Videography Rainbowfish Cinema



Presenting a peaceful contrast to the dramatic reception to come, the ceremony was designed with delicate shades of pastel pink, lavender, French blue, and cream. White chairs sat on a lawn facing a magnificent oak tree, which was adorned with fairy lights and round floral arrangements suspended from vanilla ribbons. Champagne and pearl petals covered the stone aisle, and urns at the altar brimmed with blush roses and hydrangeas in purple, pale blue, and ivory. Bridesmaids glided down the aisle in draped grey dresses, while the bride wowed her groom in a ball gown with a short-sleeved lace bodice and luscious tulle skirt. As his soon-to-be wife walked towards him to the sounds of “Great Fairy’s Fountain Theme” from The Legend of Zelda, Robert says he was overcome by how beautifully the ceremony represented who he and Caroline are as a couple. “In that moment, I realized how perfect and uniquely tailored to me she is,” he muses.



A theme of “pre-20th century Parisian Carnival” governed the reception, which kicked off with hors d’oeuvres in a courtyard festooned with boxes of flowers shaded with black and white parasols. A performer dressed in chic French attire served guests glasses of Champagne that were affixed to her incredible crinoline-style skirt. A “roaming” orchestra and a cabaret show also entertained friends and family.



Inside the delicate vanilla tent, loved ones found a fanciful pastelhued celebration that recalled feminine French style. Round tables were topped with blush linens and ivory pillar candles on gold stands. Spherical arrangements of pink, cream, baby blue, and red blossoms rested on either gilt candelabra or glass cylinder vases. Place settings included rosy boxes of macarons and menu cards personalized with each guest’s name and a message of thanks from the newlyweds.

“Everyone we loved was in one location and the moment was perfectly crafted to reflect us.”





The bride and groom dined at a sweetheart table adorned with a hedge of flowers and a tablecloth composed of fabric blooms. Chandeliers sparkled overhead, and the ceiling and walls of the tent gradually transformed from soft blue to purple thanks to subtle spotlights. Caroline changed into a sequined evening gown that perfectly complemented the elegance of the reception. Caroline and Robert took great care to curate their menu, serving their favorite delicacies like lobster mashed potatoes and even an assortment of desserts the groom took great pride in selecting.

Caroline describes their wedding cake as “upscale Willy Wonka,” since the ivory confection featured mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and sour belts that were painted gold. “No one could even tell they were candy,” she boasts. Indeed, the quirky details that captured Caroline and Robert’s passions allowed their celebration to truly symbolize their bond as husband and wife. “Everyone we loved was in one location and the moment was perfectly crafted to reflect us,” Robert remembers. ERIN MIGDOL




November 15, 2014 Los Angeles, California

When guests received the stunning, bespoke invitation suite for the wedding of Meaghan Roberts and Je’Caryous Johnson, they also got a clear indication of what to expect from the event itself: custom details, a violet color palette, and a contemporary twist on classic elements. “I wanted a traditional theme with a touch of modern,” says Meaghan, who commissioned a timeless stationery design etched on die-cut sheets of Lucite instead of premium paper. Letterpressed inserts




Photographed by Joe Latter Photographer

in lavender accompanied the cutting-edge invitations, which were delivered in royal purple envelopes to 250 loved ones. The couple chose to host their nuptials in the Los Angeles area, where Meaghan completed college and law school. “Los Angeles is one my favorite cities, and since Je’Caryous and I knew that many of our family and friends had never been there before, we thought it would be a great opportunity for them to experience it,” she explains.



RESOURCES Beauty Yana Beauty Studio Bridal Gown/Salon Vera Wang Bridesmaid Gowns Vera Wang Catering/Cake Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Consulting Carrie Johnson for Details Details Entertainment DJ B-Hen Enchanted Evening Productions West Coast Music Floral Design/Aisle Runner White Lilac Inc. Formalwear Friar Tux Shop Hair Accessories David’s Bridal Honeymoon Banyan Tree Phuket The St. Regis Bangkok Invitations/Stationery Rachel Jane Couture Jewelry Zoland Lighting Design Shine Lighting Mother’s Gown Distinctions in Fashion Photography Joe Latter Photographer Registries Bed Bath & Beyond Bloomingdale’s Crate and Barrel Rehearsal Dinner Piccolo Paradiso Rentals White Lilac Inc. Veil Vera Wang Venue Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Videography Vantage Point Productions, Inc.



Selecting an event venue was another easy decision for the pair. “We both love the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills,” affirms the bride, “and they have the best customer service I have ever experienced from a hotel by far.” For the ceremony, an exquisite gazebo of crystal-clear Lucite was erected on a raised platform within the property’s landscaped Wetherly Gardens. Flowers ranging from the palest lavender-tipped hydrangeas to violet lisianthus blossoms were woven between vivid garlands of aubergine orchids all along the top

of the structure, while votive candles in blownglass ornaments were suspended from the back. Additional arrangements featuring the same combination of florals decorated the altar and entrance to the candlelit aisle. The bridesmaids’ formal floor-length gowns were a lovely shade of byzantium that brought out the mulberry and magenta hues in their beautiful mixed nosegays. Mauve roses mingled among delicate stems of white phalaenopsis orchids to compose the bride’s bouquet, and a sweet pair of flower girls wore floral crowns in a pastel shade of violet.



Meaghan’s lissome Vera Wang gown swirled with asymmetric layers that were draped and tucked with strategic pleating, the shirred bodice accented at the waist with a sparkling crystal brooch. The groom and his honor attendants were turned out in smart black tuxedos, including a dapper ring bearer



who coordinated flawlessly with the men. “The vows were definitely the most important element to me,” recalls Je’Caryous of the ceremony that also included the lighting of a unity candle. “We wrote and exchanged our own as well as recited traditional vows.”



“Stay in the moment and enjoy it.”



Guests found their seating assignments for the reception etched on a series of framed mirrors that featured the same floral design that decorated the couple’s invitation suite. The ballroom echoed the look of the ceremony décor with Lucite chairs, copious candlelight, and lush arrangements. “There were tall pillars with orchids cascading down on the round [tables],” Meaghan describes, “and we had a few rectangular tables with orchids bridged across them.” Gleaming metal scaffolding held the flowers aloft, including pink hydrangea

garlands that wrapped gracefully around the length of the structure. Je’Caryous and Meaghan took to a personalized dance floor for their first turn around the room as husband and wife, serenaded by a special performer. “Brian McKnight singing our first dance song was definitely memorable,” confirms the bride. “All of the music and entertainment at the reception was fantastic, I’m told – but I don’t remember much except Brian McKnight singing for our first dance,” the groom seconds.



The celebration perfectly captured Meaghan’s desired aesthetic of traditional with a touch of modern, and the evening was over much too soon. “It was the longest day and shortest experience, so stay in the moment and enjoy it,” says Je’Caryous aptly, who also has some advice to share specifically with other grooms. “The wedding is for everyone else, but your bride is for you,” he stresses. “Observe and MARILYN OLIVEIRA absorb as much as you can about her.”







Photographed by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography

If you’ve managed to capture your engagement on film, you’re a couple who’s truly blessed; if your engagement is also broadcast on Bravo original programming, you’re lifestyle host Jennifer Stone and real estate powerhouse Chad Carroll. “The proposal happened while we were filming for Chad’s show, Million Dollar Listing Miami,” shares Jen. “We had a romantic evening planned for the shoot, and knowing that the show is completely professional and based on real estate, I thought it was going to be



just that!” Delightfully surprised, Jen said yes, thus the engagement was enjoyed by thousands of viewers. Although the couple famously resides in Florida, they opted to marry in Ohio where the majority of their family members live. “Chad was very supportive but really just wanted me to be happy,” reveals Jen, who handled most of the wedding details with the help of her mother. “My mom was very involved, and I really enjoyed the special time we shared planning the wedding.”



RESOURCES Beauty Sasha Maras for Santo Salon & Spa - hair Lindsay London - makeup Bridal Gown/Headpiece/Veil Oscar de la Renta Bridal Salon Saks Fifth Avenue Bridesmaid Gowns Jill Stuart Cake Phyllis Lester Designs Calligraphy Reva Nathan & Associates Catering Chef Douglas Katz for The Cleveland Museum of Art Consulting Reva Nathan & Associates Entertainment Arlen Music Productions Floral Design/Aisle Runner Burt Rubenstein for HMR Designs Formalwear Ermenegildo Zegna; Hugo Boss Honeymoon Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Invitations/Stationery Reva Nathan & Associates Jewelry ECJ Luxe; Meyers Jewelers Lighting Design Vincent Lighting Systems Mother’s Gown Romona Keveža Photography Bob & Dawn Davis Photography Registries Bed Bath & Beyond Bloomingdale’s; Williams-Sonoma Rentals BBJ – Table Fashions; Event Source Tablescapes Event Rentals Shoes Christian Louboutin Venue The Cleveland Museum of Art Videography Red Bicycle Media



Without a specific look or theme for the décor in mind (“I just wanted it to be romantic and refined,” reflects Jen), the bride opted for a dramatic venue with inherent style: The Cleveland Museum of Art. “The setting was probably the most mesmerizing part [of the event],” says Chad. “The entire museum was shutdown and one massive room was converted into three totally different spaces.” Although dividing the area was a practical move, the look was intrinsically ethereal. “We transformed a large, open atrium into intimate settings by constructing flowing, draped dividers to designate each section of the

evening: nuptials, cocktails, and the reception,” explains Jen. The ceremony space was a vision of ivory and white. Sinuous chiffon fabric with floral tiebacks set the stage for the vow exchange, which took place on a raised platform beneath a crystal-and-gold chandelier. Gleaming candelabra and Swarovski-crystal votives glowed softly with candlelight alongside standing displays of creamy flowers that ran the length of the aisle. Alabaster foundations added height to the décor, including two towering arrangements of roses that stood sentry over the entrance.



Radiant in a strapless Oscar de la Renta gown and a chapel-length veil, the bride held a spectacular bouquet of cascading phalaenopsis orchids. Bridesmaids dressed in black carried nosegays of vanilla roses, while the tuxedo-clad groom and his groomsmen wore mini calla lilies as boutonnieres. The service was followed by an unexpected twist: “After an elegant ceremony, we surprised our guests – and the groom – with a Miamiinspired cocktail hour featuring dramatic lighting and Latin club music,” shares the bride. An enormous square bar radiated violet light from within and featured a floral focal point of palm fronds and purple orchids. Hors d’oeuvres were embellished with custom “J&C” picks, and fish tacos were paired with shots of Patrón Tequila to “help bring out the Latin, Miami feel,” adds Jen.





“The entire wedding, from start to finish, was incredible. It truly was one of the most elegant and memorable nights of my life.�



The formal reception was a study in classic elegance. Tables were draped in silk linens in a crème brûlée shade and set with cut-crystal stemware and clear-crystal charger plates. Menu cards monogrammed in chic gold and black were tucked into napkins placed on each setting, and an array of glass and crystal vessels held copious amounts of flowers and candles. The celebration continued into the early morning hours with an after-party held at a grand Cleveland hotel. Guests enjoyed local delicacies and took home sweets from a milk-and-cookies bar. Bridesmaids added gifts of personalized bracelets to the satin robes they’d previously received, and groomsmen were presented with custom bobbleheads. “The entire wedding, from start to finish, was incredible,” Chad declares. “It truly was one of the most elegant and memorable nights of my life.” MARILYN OLIVEIRA



WHITE WINTER DREAM ALEX AN D R A PO RTARO & NAVI D POU R- GHASEM I January 3, 2015 Beverly Hills, California




Photographed by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography

Navid Pour-Ghasemi and Alexandra Portaro met briefly during their sophomore year at the University of California, Los Angeles, and didn’t reconnect until just before their senior year when Navid was late to a lecture and Alexandra signaled him to sit next to her. “I was so surprised she wanted me to sit next to her, and continued to be surprised and intrigued by her for the next seven years,” he grins. “Now I get to be surprised for the rest of my life.” The bride was equally excited that he chose to sit by her and was thrilled years later when Navid got down on bended knee. “In that moment, all of my dreams became reality and the emotions were overwhelming,” shares Alexandra of the proposal. Since the couple lost touch for nearly two years before their romance even began, Alexandra and Navid didn’t want to waste any time during the wedding-planning process. With only four months to organize an event with an attendee list of 200, the twosome enlisted the help of Los Angeles-based wedding planner Alyson Fox of Levine Fox Events, who aided them in designing their nuptials at an iconic Southern California venue. “We wanted a grand location with history that our guests would be excited to travel to, and there was no better place than The Beverly Hills Hotel,” says the bride.



RESOURCES Beauty Color Lounge Bridal Gown/Salon/Veil Vera Wang Bridesmaid Gowns Jenny Yoo Cake The Butter End Cakery Consulting Alyson Fox for Levine Fox Events Event Design Romina Manolio for Revelry Event Designers Entertainment West Coast Music Floral Design Mark’s Garden Formalwear Giorgio Armani Men’s Wearhouse Honeymoon Nayara Springs, Costa Rica Shangri-La Hotel, Paris Invitations Lehr and Black Jewelry Sahabi, Inc. Swarovski Lighting Design Images by Lighting Linens La Tavola Fine Linen Revelry Event Designers Mother’s Gown The Rio Collection by Marcia Goncalves Photography Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography Registries Bloomingdale’s Crate and Barrel Restoration Hardware Rentals Classic Party Rentals Revelry Event Designers Venue/Catering The Beverly Hills Hotel Videography Bluecat International



On the evening of the winter ceremony, guests stepped into a magical garden setting through an arch of alabaster roses and hydrangeas embellished with verdure and branches. Crystal chandeliers glistened overhead and provided a sampling of the glamorous event to come. Since Alexandra desired a “winter fairy tale” theme, the space was decorated with creamy blossoms and ambient candlelight. A white aisle runner was lined with ivory petals and illuminated by floating candles in etched crystal vessels, which were suspended from shepherd hooks adorned with vanilla roses and greenery. Tray-passed mugs of warm apple cider and hot chocolate were served to keep guests warm throughout the outdoor service. Alexandra’s Chihuahua, Jody, who Navid fell in love with, preceded the bride down the aisle in a miniature tuxedo and top hat. Alexandra’s elegant curled coiffure was fastened with pearldotted stephanotis blossoms, and she carried a snowy bouquet composed of peonies, roses, and gardenias. She wore a strapless ball gown featuring layers of romantic tulle and a cathedral-length, lace-trimmed veil; her “something blue” was a beautiful pair of earrings as well as a matching cuff. Bridesmaids and groomsmen were handsomely attired for the soirée in flowing ebony dresses and smart tuxedos, respectively.



“I would not have changed a single thing about the wedding. It was the wedding of my dreams.”



Following the Christian vow exchange, loved ones discovered escort cards atop square tables decorated with sequin linens and golden vessels brimming with purple, green, and magenta blooms. As guests entered the ballroom for the reception, they took their seats at tables surrounded by chairs covered in luxurious fabric or plush tufted settees. Tables were adorned with candleholders wrapped with wintry birch bark and either low arrangements of white orchids, roses, hydrangeas, and branches, or towering treelike centerpieces showcasing branches, curly willow, natural greenery, and billowing vanilla flowers. A single ivory rose bedecked each guest’s place setting. “My breath was taken away when I saw my ideas had come to life,” says Alexandra. “It was just what I had envisioned and more.” Signature cocktails, including “Navid’s Salty Dog” and “Lexi’s Something Blue,” were served to attendees, and the revelry began after the couple’s first dance to “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton. “It was as if we were floating in a cloud around the dance floor, listening to the cheers of all our most beloved family and friends,” shares the bride. Live music entertained loved ones until the early hours of the morning. “Having a live band really made the reception. They had so much talent and energy that hyped up the crowd,” notes Navid.



A stunning confection boasting six white tiers decorated with gilt paintbrush accents, wintry branches, and alabaster florals awed onlookers and featured mouthwatering vanilla bean cake with buttercream, and chocolate almond cherry cake with marzipan. Other delectable dessert options included crème brûlée and pecan praline tarts. A recommendation from their event coordinator was for guests to receive vintage-inspired prescription bottles filled with candies as wedding favors. Each one was labeled with Alexandra and Navid’s names listed as pharmacist and physician, respectively – in honor of their medical professions. Though their celebration was organized in just a few months, Alexandra and Navid were pleased with the outcome of their big day. “The advice I had received was to enjoy the planning process and to get a good wedding planner,” shares the bride. “Well, we hit the jackpot with our wedding planner who made the process fun and KELCY CHRISTY enjoyable. The experience was flawless, and I wouldn’t change a thing.” 112


“My breath was taken away when I saw my ideas had come to life. It was just what I had envisioned and more.”






January 24, 2015 Dallas, Texas

College is often the setting for many exciting experiences, but for Meghan Sikkel and Ryan Chuang, their time at Southern Methodist University (SMU) was positively life altering. “SMU is a very special place for Ryan and me, not only because it is where our relationship began and developed, but because


Photographed by Karlisch Studio

it’s also where we grew together spiritually,” says Meghan. “It was the perfect place to get engaged.” Prepared with an iconic little blue box that contained a sparkling diamond engagement ring, Ryan surprised Meghan on campus in front of Dallas Hall, and she excitedly accepted his proposal of marriage.



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A single venue immediately came to mind for the couple’s vow exchange, making the selection utterly effortless. “We had a nuptial mass at Perkins Chapel, the same church we attended in college,” says Ryan, who converted to Catholicism while studying at SMU. The priest who presided over Ryan’s baptism and confirmation at the same house of worship was also on hand to officiate the wedding. “That was very special,” the groom concedes. An abundance of blooms greeted guests upon arrival. “Floral designs framed the pathway to the chapel, and garlands lined the handrails that led up the front stairs,” recounts Meghan. Wreaths of flowers were positioned on the front doors, and the sanctuary was brimming with hydrangeas and roses. “It took my breath away,” says the bride. Although the floral design was indeed dazzling, the groom only had eyes for his beloved. “Seeing my wife for the first time [on our wedding day] was an incredible moment,” he recalls. “I knew I was going to be emotional, but I didn’t realize I would be that emotional. It just hit me, especially when I saw her walk down the aisle.”



“I knew I was going to be emotional, but I didn’t realize I would be that emotional.”

The exquisite ballroom of a luxury hotel was the romantic site for the couple’s wedding reception. “We aimed for a classic style with personalized touches,” describes Meghan, who incorporated a custom wedding logo into many of the details. Skillful lighting accented the room, and blossoms were lavished throughout the space. “Floral arches lined the entryways to the ballroom; floral runners ran the length of tabletops and lined the stage; and flowers also embellished the ‘Crystal Rain’ chandelier situated above the dance floor,” she illustrates. Elaborate centerpieces also decorated tables, and fresh blooms separated each layer of the couple’s traditional white wedding 118


cake. “It had seven layers with detailing modeled after the lace on my gown and veil,” says the bride, while the groom’s confection was a reflection of Ryan’s background and interests. “I wanted to incorporate everything about me,” he says of the unique design. “I incorporated Busch Stadium (St. Louis is my hometown); Shiner Bock (my favorite beer and symbol of my new Texas life); SMU, where I attended undergrad; and Rice University, where I will be obtaining my MBA. It was great!” In addition, guests were treated to a “His & Hers” candy buffet and tray-passed fortune cookies complete with custom messages that teased the couple’s after-party, “Club Chuang.”

“Because our ceremony and reception were so traditional, we wanted the after-party to be incredibly colorful and give off a club-like feel,” explains Meghan. A lion dance (a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture) marked the transition by leading guests to a separate area of the ballroom. “This was a nod to Ryan’s Chinese heritage,” acknowledges the bride. “During this time, a mariachi band also joined the celebration and performed for guests as a nod to my Mexican heritage.” Paper lanterns and flowers brightened the space, and a DJ kept the party going until 4AM. “I know it’s common advice to tell brides not to become wrapped up in the details of planning, but I think it is important to really think about – and act on – anything you have always envisioned for your wedding,” Meghan confirms. “Looking back, there isn’t anything I would have done differently – it was truly special and filled with love.” MARILYN OLIVEIRA




November 8, 2014 Los Angeles, California

Danielle Keller had suggested to her boyfriend, Michael Makar, that he should propose marriage to her at her favorite place – Disneyland. Since the two discussed becoming engaged often, she also thought it would be a wonderful idea if he did so on her favorite day – her birthday. “He kept telling me no, so I finally stopped pestering him and just waited for him to do it on his own,” she explains. The day of her birthday came and as they sauntered from one attraction to the next at the famous amusement park, he urged her to take a different route to a ride she loves. “I kept thinking, this is sooo not the way to Splash Mountain. I know the way to Splash Mountain,” laughs Danielle as she reflects. The couple ended up at the wishing well in Snow White Grotto, where Michael finally made Danielle’s fairy-tale dreams come true, and dropped to his knee with dazzling diamond ring in hand. It also warmed the bride-to-be’s heart when she learned that her 120



Photographed by KLK Photography

knight in shining armor had secured her parents’ blessing. “I went to dinner with her parents and talked to them about how much I loved their daughter,” he reveals. “Her dad jokingly gave me a hard time, while her mom was really excited.” Michael initially wanted to be highly active in determining the details for the celebration. “Then he started attending some of the meetings and decided to let my mom and I plan most of it,” Danielle smiles. “He was involved in what mattered most to him: the food, alcohol, and music.” The Greek Orthodox sanctuary selected for the nuptials was minimally decorated. “We didn’t want to add much décor to the church because it was so striking on its own,” explains Danielle of their choice to feature only two floral components and a custom aisle runner that ran much of the dramatic 85-foot-long walkway. “We wanted the church to speak for itself.”



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Danielle and Michael incorporated traditions from each of their religious affiliations. They first had a traditional Coptic Orthodox ceremony, followed by vows in a typical American Christian exchange. The bride’s grandfather, a deacon, held the honor of officiating. Though music is not the norm in customary Coptic services, Danielle surprised guests with a grand entrance that included musicians playing long trumpets. “As soon as the chapel doors opened, the trumpets began,” she recalls of the fanfare. Since Danielle works in the bridal industry, as the Creative Director for Mon Amie Bridal Salon, her affection for weddingday jewelry has grown immensely. “I absolutely love flowers, but I wanted to be able to keep my bouquet after the wedding,” she explains of her custom brooch arrangement composed of family heirlooms, vintage brooches, and antique pieces she selected during the engagement. “Now I am able to keep [the bouquet] in my office permanently.”





The bride wore a classic ball gown made of tulle with gold flower details on the bodice. Danielle asked the designer to also infuse a bit of whimsy to the customized piece, so he added horsehair along the edges of the skirt to create a full and frilly look. “My gown was truly a work of art and everything I had envisioned,” she confirms. “It could not have been more perfect.” Bridesmaids wore elegant long dresses in a deep purple shade and carried lovely nosegays of roses in light hues. The groom and his group of gents wore stylish black tuxedos with bow ties. A cocktail hour provided guests with small bites, as well as plenty of beverage choices offered from an impressive 30-foot bar. The patio was organized into intimate lounge areas for family and friends to relax and mingle, while a large floral monogram made an excellent backdrop for pictures with loved ones. “The entire space was stunning and portrayed classy details contrasted with fresh, chic elements,” notes the bride.





Focusing on a reception filled with fun and glamorous components, Danielle worked with her wedding planner to create the ultimate celebration. “The first thing I said was that I wanted something different and hadn’t seen at everyone else’s receptions,” she confides. A rich color palette of eggplant, deep burgundy, and plum, and gold accents was settled on. Tables were decorated with unique concepts such as modern acrylic candle boxes and chandeliers adorned with flowers for a romantic flair. Attendees enjoyed fare from several live-service stations with mix-and-match options, including an Italian station with different types of pasta and sauces; a salad station; Mediterranean with an assortment of kabobs, spreads, and pitas; and finally a Mexican station that served homemade tortillas. “It was beyond the average buffet,” attests Danielle. “We wanted our guests to have the freedom to create what they wanted, essentially.” In lieu of traditional wedding favors, the newlyweds wanted to honor a close family friend. “We set up a table celebrating his life and made a donation to the MakeA-Wish® foundation in his name,” says Danielle. “We wanted to pay it forward.”



The groom shares that the special day was “amazing” throughout, and confides that it was a powerful moment when he saw his bride at their First Look, which the couple agrees was an excellent decision. Speaking like a true prince, Michael admits: “When I saw her in the courtyard, I was stunned by her beauty – she was absolutely gorgeous.” A beautiful combination of whimsy, personalization, sophistication, and sentimentality culminated in a magical wedding day. Danielle suggests to other brides readying for their celebrations not to overcomplicate matters and to trust their hired event professionals. “If they are telling you that you should do something then it is probably for the better… Oh! And breathe!” she advises. NICOLE PALACIOS



“The entire space was stunning and portrayed classy details contrasted with fresh, chic elements.�




November 15, 2014 Darrow, Louisiana




Photographed by Kevin Beasley Photographer

Years after they completed their undergraduate degrees, Benjamin Bumgarner revealed to Caroline Partee that he would go to their college campus on days he did not have to attend just to walk her to class. “Though we had only begun dating, I knew from that moment that he was The One,” she confirms. Benjamin worked hard to find Caroline the ideal engagement ring. He admits that he searched online, in magazines, and finally scoured a jewelry store. “I grabbed my best friend, Josh, and made him go ring shopping, telling our better halves we were at a Fantasy Football convention,” he laughs at the memory. Sadly, nothing Benjamin looked at seemed right. “Then, I hear from across the store, ‘How about this one?’” shares Benjamin, who recognized Josh had discovered an excellent choice. “So basically, my best man picked out my wife’s engagement ring.” When Benjamin proposed during a vacation in Turks & Caicos, he again divulged information that made his sweetheart swoon. While walking on the beach, he surprised his beloved and asked for her hand in marriage. “I was in shock and froze, at which point he exclaimed, ‘Don’t worry – I asked your dad,’” recalls Caroline. She delightfully accepted and the two celebrated with Champagne on the sand as the sun set.



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The couple opted to work with a talented wedding planner to help in the process of designing and executing their dream affair. Arranging for a beautiful venue that could accommodate their 375 guests was the first challenge. Once they took the tour of a historic plantation, the pair knew it would serve their needs perfectly. “After we walked the property, we took the prior difficulties as a plan of fate,” attests Caroline. Plus, the location provided added value. “It gave us the opportunity to have a few close friends and family members stay with us for the entire event,” she affirms. Excited by the idea of having a Gatsby-like fête, the couple chose a

color scheme of royal blue and antique silver. Thousands of blooms and sparkling rhinestones were considered a necessity to help the event come to life as the bride envisioned. To achieve dramatic results, chandeliers and orchid garlands were suspended from the branches of 100-year-old oak trees. “I loved that they shined as I walked down the aisle made of rose petals set in a whimsical design,” confides Caroline. Small candles formed additional patterns on the grassy area leading to guest seats – which were covered in alternating vanilla tones, while lush arrangements of peonies, roses, and hydrangeas decorated rows.





The bride arrived by horse-drawn carriage with her father. The only music heard at the ceremony played as she made her grand entrance down the aisle to “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera. Wearing a strapless, champagne-colored full ball gown, Caroline walked towards her husband-to-be, who donned a classic ebony tuxedo with a sterling vest and peony boutonniere. The bridal party, dressed in royal blue gowns, and the groomsmen, sporting tuxedos with matching jewel-toned components, stood beside the bride and groom throughout the traditional service. The couple shared a very memorable moment just before their vows began. “Right as Caroline met me at the top of the steps, she slipped, almost falling back,” Benjamin reveals. “I caught her, though.” The bride’s face was priceless, says the gallant groom, and the effort was so smooth that only the two of them knew what had occurred.



For the reception, a five-course dinner service was offered, as well as slices of the masterpiece wedding confection. “We had a replica of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cake made,” explains Caroline of the towering dessert. “It was a delicious lemon-blueberry cake with berry ganache.” Tables were covered in silver satin linens and delicate pearly overlays; chairs were bedecked in the same fashion. Glossy chargers were topped with silky napkins fastened with shimmery crystal ties and a customized menu sat at each setting. Florals in all white alternated between high and low arrangements and were surrounded by candles in varying heights. The historic fixtures of the antebellum estate, such as the antique fireplace, evoked a homey – but sophisticated – ambience to the celebration. A live band provided great energy and guests danced until well after midnight. As a departing gift from the newlyweds and their parents, a magnificent 45-minute fireworks show was held for attendees to enjoy. From there, loved ones waved sparklers as the couple passed them by to begin their Happily Ever After. NICOLE PALACIOS



“We had a replica of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cake made.”




M ERED ITH MU ECKE & CAPTAIN ANSO N H OWARD October 4, 2014 Bay City, Texas


Photographed by Chris Bailey Photography

Just months after meeting Meredith Muecke, Anson Howard knew that his happiness was dependent on spending the rest of his life with her. “She was the ultimate lady: poised, intelligent, ambitious, supportive, and absolutely gorgeous… all the qualities I was hoping to find in a wife,” he says. In the window between completing law school and training with the United States Marine Corps, Anson popped the question with a family heirloom ring – and Meredith, who was thrilled, joyfully accepted his proposal. “I believe the planning started the moment I watched the movie Father of the Bride as a six-year-old little girl,” confides Meredith, who had a very clear vision of the gracious style and Southern 138


hospitality to which she wanted to treat her guests. “It has always been my dream to host my wedding reception at my parents’ English manor home, and they opened their doors to welcome all of our wonderful family and friends.” Anticipation began to build with the distribution of custom savethe-date cards. “The watercolor featured the two of us walking my dog, Gunner, in front of First United Methodist Church in Bay City,” says Anson. The illustrated house of worship was particularly meaningful since it was the same location where Meredith was baptized and confirmed as a child, and would serve as the site of the couple’s vow exchange.



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“The ceremony décor was reminiscent of the stately magnolia trees that grow at my childhood home,” Meredith describes. The sanctuary walls were draped with grandiose garlands of fresh magnolias punctuated with cascades of orchids, hydrangeas, calla lilies, and roses. The altar was paved with a verdant mix of smilax and English ivy before being capped with white hydrangeas laced with phalaenopsis orchid sprays. Eighteen bridesmaids sheathed in chartreuse silk preceded the lace-clad bride, who wore a custom Isabelle Armstrong gown. “Holding true to tradition, my first look at Meredith on our wedding day was when she walked down the aisle – and it was her first time seeing me in my United States Marine Corps uniform,” Anson confides. “It was a breathtaking moment we will treasure forever.”



“She was the ultimate lady: poised, intelligent, ambitious, supportive, and absolutely gorgeous... all the qualities I was hoping to find in a wife.�



Chartered buses transported guests to the Muecke residence for the postceremony celebration. “Welcome entertainment was provided by The Choraleers, a popular, all-male R&B group established over 40 years ago at Texas Southern University,” shares Anson. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed on the front lawn, where the entrance to the English manor was wreathed in white flowers. Dinner and dancing then commenced in the gardens, which were abloom with vanilla hydrangeas and masses of ivory roses. Hundreds of yards of magnolia-leaf garlands stretched as far as the eye could see, and Meredith’s favorite oak was festooned with the leaves and wrapped with a curving bar. “An array of verdigris urns, filigree baskets, planter boxes, and candelabra – along with containers and vessels from my mother’s personal collection – were used throughout the home and garden,” reveals the bride. Towering trees lit with Stockholm lanterns could be seen through the clear walls of multiple tents housing food stations, buffets, libation bars, and favor displays. Lush floral arrangements graced reception tables and upholstered banquettes where guests mingled and celebrated with refreshments in hand. Two amazing cakes were admired and enjoyed: a traditional white bride’s cake with cascades of fresh flowers, and a wonderfully elaborate groom’s cake featuring another likeness of Anson’s Labrador retriever. “The cake was a complete surprise to me, and I was blown away that Meredith had a pastry chef design it as a lifelike quail-hunting landscape with Gunner in it!” the groom exclaims. “At first glance, many groomsmen didn’t realize it was a cake.” As Anson and Meredith danced for the first time together as husband and wife, the bride was overwhelmed by the warmth and conviviality that seemed to reflect the whole event. “We were dancing to ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’ by Natalie Cole on a dance floor constructed over the pool that I swam in throughout my childhood,” she recalls. “I was so touched to look around the tents and see so many special friends and family that traveled to celebrate our marriage. It is a feeling I will never forget!” “I wouldn’t change a thing about the entire wedding,” the groom concurs. “I MARILYN OLIVEIRA only wish we could do it again!”




September 20, 2014 Los Angeles, California

Jonathan Gudai had recently moved to Las Vegas and was looking forward to connecting with other professionals in the Jewish community at a youth leadership mixer; meanwhile the event’s host, Alexandra Epstein, was preparing for the casual 70-person fête at her family’s hotel. What the two were not anticipating that evening was to meet their future spouse at what became – due to lackluster attendance – an intimate 10-person sit-down dinner. “The sparks between Alexandra and I were evident,” confides Jonathan. So much so that her sister, Katie, and best friend, Natalie, immediately took interest in the affable stranger. “Within minutes of our 144



Photographed by Mi Belle Photographers

introduction, Katie and Natalie playfully predicted that I would be Alexandra’s future husband,” says Jonathan, who smiles, reflecting on the unique memory. After several months of courtship, Jonathan asked Alexandra’s parents for her hand in marriage. He then wisely consulted with Natalie – who is a jeweler – to design a stunning custom engagement ring. The ring was made of platinum and rose gold with sparkling pavé diamonds and an oval-cut center stone. A special inscription – “J♥A∞” – was accented by Alexandra and Jonathan’s respective birthstones on the inside of the band.



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To celebrate the first anniversary of the night they met, Jonathan whisked Alexandra away to Laguna Beach, California, for a romantic getaway. “We love spontaneous weekend trips,” Alexandra explains, remembering that she wasn’t initially suspicious of a proposal. Though Jonathan had carefully planned out the logistics, he was met with a few challenges. As they made their way to the beach for a picnic, Alexandra observed a professional photographer and overheard a hostess tell another guest that a proposal was about to happen. “Rather than relaxing on the sand, I was completely distracted, looking for that other couple,” adds Alexandra, who then also noticed her dad in the window of the beach club, binoculars pressed to the glass. Finally, an airplane flew over and spelled out “J♥A∞,” prompting Jonathan to get on bended knee and propose. Afterwards, the couple and their families dined on the terrace and celebrated the “perfectly imperfect proposal.” Alexandra and Jonathan were certain they wanted a destination celebration. Since they both love Southern California and wanted a central location for their guests traveling from all over the world, Los Angeles seemed like an ideal fit. At the suggestion of Alexandra’s father, they selected the Hotel Bel-Air because of its charm, nostalgia, and luscious alfresco setting. “We wanted our venue to feel private and like ‘ours’ for the weekend,” elaborates the bride.

“Try to invest in moments that capture the essence of who you are – that’s what people talk about!”



Months of planning and weekend trips for meetings with famed event planner Mindy Weiss proved to be a fun and great bonding experience for the couple and their families. With the assistance of the groom’s family, who own a stationery business, a custom invitation suite was created. The invite incorporated deep blue paint stroke designs and each component showcased engraved gold lettering on ultra-thick paper edged in bullion. “They were gorgeous,” Jonathan describes. The outdoor, evening vow exchange took place beneath a stunning hand-stitched quilt made by a family friend, which was suspended from an impressive chuppah intertwined with colorful magenta and ruby flowers, as well as fresh pomegranates and citrus. “We wanted our chuppah to represent a celebration of life, love, 148


nature, and happiness, so we intermingled bright colors, fruit, and lots of texture,” reveals the bride of the pièce de résistance. The aisleway was edged in a lovely floral pattern, while collections of tall crystal vases and planters brimmed with jewel-toned blooms. String musicians serenaded loved ones with contemporary melodies throughout the processional, including “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities and “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley. Alexandra looked resplendent in a strapless A-line gown and carried a romantic vanilla-colored bouquet. The couple incorporated a number of Jewish traditions, such as circling the groom, the seven blessings, and the breaking of the glass. And after their first kiss, a 12-person gospel choir surprised onlookers with three soulful tunes.

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A dinner tent was festooned with thousands of flickering string lights. The seven-piece band – dressed in white jackets – played 1940s and 1950s music for a true supperclub feel, while attendees dined at place settings featuring giltrimmed chargers and glassware, in addition to cobalt blue goblets. Tables were adorned with both high and low centerpieces inspired by the arrangements found at La Grenouille in New York City (a legendary French restaurant decorated with magnificent florals) and showcased bright fuchsia and violet flowers, including orchids, roses, and hydrangeas. Following the sit-down dinner service, family and friends moved inside the ballroom for an enchanting night of merriment. Velvet-upholstered booths and tufted lounge furniture were arranged for those in need of a break from dancing. “Several of our guests have shared with us that they felt like they were walking into an old Las Vegas [hot spot],” says Alexandra. After cutting the first slice of the red velvet wedding cake, Jonathan had yet another surprise in store for his beloved. He and his groomsmen joined professional twin tap dancers, Sean and John Scott from the hit Las Vegas show Absinthe, on the white-and-gold checkered dance floor for an elaborate, choreographed performance. “Seeing Jonathan’s excitement and satisfaction at pulling it off made me fall in love all over again,” she recalls. “Plus, he was really good!” To keep the party going Las Vegas-style into the wee hours of the morning, the newlyweds provided sandals, vodka-filled flasks, and snacks, such as sliders, chicken wings, pizza, and French fries, for the revelers. “The best weddings are those that capture the personality and style of the couple,” Jonathan advises. Alexandra agrees, “Try to invest in moments that capture the essence of who you are – that’s what people talk about!” And for the next three weeks, the newlyweds enjoyed new adventures together while traveling throughout Italy, India, and Israel. BROOKE CHRISTY






NI CO LE CARD INALE & M AT TH EW U N GER August 2, 2014 Brooklyn, New York


Photographed by Heather Waraksa

Matthew Unger was very nervous about meeting Nicole Cardinale. “The second I saw her, I was shocked by how beautiful she was, which made me even more nervous,” he admits. “When we sat down and started talking, the conversation flowed with ease and my nerves went away. Nicole was funny and sweet; she was just perfect. It was love at first sight.” Nicole also felt a connection. “It seemed like we had known each other for years,” she says. Surprisingly, the couple’s first date was a long time in the making. A mutual friend had tried to connect the two for several years, though it was not all for naught. Nicole and Matt’s relationship flourished and soon they became engaged.



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As they embarked on the preparations for their summer nuptials, Nicole discovered the process was more complicated than she anticipated. “Luckily, we had an amazing wedding planner and she helped us navigate through the planning,” she shares. The bride and groom selected a majestic historical landmark in Brooklyn as the location for their event. “The architectural design was one of a kind,” notes Matt. As for the color scheme, they chose exuberant bright tones. The traditional Jewish ceremony was held beneath the 110-foot-high dome marvelously

bedecked in vivid frescoes. Soft lavender uplighting bathed the space. Clear chiavari chairs faced a striking chuppah composed of four posts enveloped in branches, greenery, and hot pink and crimson blossoms topped with a canopy delineated by cascading fuchsia orchid garlands. In honor of Nicole’s deceased father, colorful faux butterf lies – symbolizing resurrection – were sprinkled amidst the structure. “The f lowers in my wedding were one of my favorite [elements],” she says. “My f lorist took my vision and made it a reality.”



Nicole’s mother escorted her down the aisle to a live band singing “Marry Me” by Train. The bride was beaming in a strapless gown with draping at the bodice, a satin sash with sparkling crystals, and an airy, tiered skirt. Heels adorned with handpainted pink and lavender butterflies and the couple’s names lent a touch of color to her ensemble. She accented her updo with a dazzling headpiece, and carried a lush bouquet of fuchsia orchids, to which



a charm containing a photo of her late father and grandparents was affixed. A similar singular bloom graced the lapel of Matt’s black tuxedo. The service was full of emotion. “Circling Matt in front of the chuppah was a really special moment,” recalls the bride. The couple also incorporated the tallit that had belonged to Matt’s grandfather, as well as his kiddush cup, in the proceedings.





“It is an indescribable feeling to walk with your husband into a room filled with everyone you love.” Being introduced as husband and wife as they entered the reception was an unforgettable experience for the newlyweds. “It is an indescribable feeling to walk with your husband into a room filled with everyone you love,” muses Nicole. The tablescapes displayed two stunning floral designs. On the long tables, tall stands overflowing with fuchsia orchids and verdure – punctuated with tea lights in suspended glass spheres – created a trellis effect. Below it, floating candles highlighted a runner composed of hot pink orchids and roses in red and blush.



Round tables were embellished with trumpet vases filled with abundant bundles of foliage anchored by ruby carnations and magenta orchids and roses. Votives in golden mercury-glass vessels surrounded the centerpieces. Place settings sat on silver textured linens that matched the menus and charger rims. The wedding cake also reflected a metallic accent hue. The five-layer confection was sculpturally adorned with a central pewter rose with petals fashioned in an ombré pattern. “Our band was amazing,” notes Matt of the festivities. “They played a mix of old and new party songs.” The merriment of the lively dance floor was evidently infectious. “I was nervous [about dancing] in front of everyone,” reveals the groom. “I am the worst and have cement in my shoes; but when the party started, I let loose and danced the whole time.” To couples caught up in the details of planning their big days, Nicole offers the following advice: “Don’t stress about the little things; it will end up being the best day of your life, no matter what.” She certainly heeded her own words by relishing every moment and dancing the night away alongside her newly minted husband. ROSIBEL GUZMÁN






October 4, 2014 West Hollywood, California




Photographed by Lin & Jirsa Photography

Before Mike Cummings could ask his girlfriend’s parents for her hand in marriage, he prepared by doing some research. He discovered that in Indian culture it is customary for the groom-tobe to gift sweets to the bride-to-be’s parents on such an occasion. So, Mike further equipped himself with the requisite pastries with the help of an attendant at an Indian bakery. “I was very nervous,” he admits. “I think Nishita’s father was content to let me squirm for a bit before giving his answer; but fortunately her mom liked me, so she let me off the hook, said yes, and gave me a big hug.”

Mike and Nishita planned their big day as a team. “He wanted to be involved in the creation, choices, and decision making, so both of our visions were captured,” she notes. “As for what was most important to me, I was just excited to be getting married to Nishita and celebrating with my friends and family – the rest was just a bonus,” he declares with a smile. The couple also credit their event coordinators for their invaluable assistance. “Having our wedding planners [was] key and made the process so much smoother,” Nishita adds.



RESOURCES Beauty Beauty by Linda Chiriac Bridal Gown Manish Malhotra - ceremony Yasmin Boutique & Jewels reception Cake The Butter End Cakery Calligraphy Laura Hooper Calligraphy Catering Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood Nirvana Restaurant Consulting/Design Exquisite Events Entertainment Rossi Music; Special Occasions Floral Design The Hidden Garden Formalwear Tom Ford Honeymoon Citadines Suites Louvre Paris Das Stue Hôtel d’Almeran Saint-Rémy-deProvence Hotel Royal-Riviera Invitations Celebrate Planning for an Event to Remember Jewelry Ella Tein Yasmin Boutique & Jewels Lighting Design Luna Party Rentals Linens Wildflower Linen Mothers’ Gowns Ritu Kumar Photography Lin & Jirsa Photography Registry Zola Rentals Classic Party Rentals Luna Party Rentals Venue The London West Hollywood Videography Avec Lumière Productions



Since their five-year courtship had unfolded in Los Angeles, California, the bride and groom searched for a venue in the area that would showcase the wonderful weather of the location. They found what they were looking for in a chic hotel in West Hollywood, where they could have an alfresco vow exchange and rooftop reception. The colorful extravaganza began with a baraat – groom’s procession and – through When Ashleigh Tomasello Saul the lobby. Mike wore to an Tokyo ivory sherwani with Castagnello traveled to celebrate an collar,the cuffs, buttons, asa fiveornate years golden of dating, tripand represented well as a ruby turban with bullion trim for the homecoming of sorts. The college sweethearts traditional Hindu wedding ceremony. were visiting the metropolis for their threeA anniversary vivid magenta canopy clusters of year in 2011 whenwith the devastating amber and and red floral tiebacks each corner earthquake tsunami “Despite the was set on Gilded bowls disaster, wethe leftterrace. our hearts there andcontaining had to go petals orchid says. and mango bordered the aisle.a back,” in Ashleigh This time, Saul planned Reflecting the couple’s taste in music, a fivepiece jazz band played modern and classic rock

songs as guests took their seats. Mike walked down the aisle to an instrumental rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band,” while Nishita made her entrance to an Indian song. She was gorgeous in a custom-designed crimson bridal lehenga and fuchsia veil with elaborate silver embroidery. The bride accessorized with a collar necklace and dangling earrings featuring white and stones, carried a bouquet surprise forscarlet Ashleigh thatand ensured their second of chrysanthemums, roses in Tokyo vacation would beorchids, joyously and unforgettable. orange, yellow, and coral tones. Since a fair amount of attendees were not familiar with this type of wedding service, Mike and Nishita painstakingly looked for the appropriate officiant. “We found a Caucasian priest that had converted to Hinduism and could fully explain the intricate details in English,” she says. “All of our guests appreciated the significance of each part of the ceremony.”



“I recall fondly [ my mother] turning to me at the end of the night and commenting on how we did a wonderful job and that it was a dream come true.”

After a wardrobe change that fit the ambience of the reception, the newlyweds joined their friends and family. Nishita reemerged in a ball gown – with a removable skirt for ease of dancing – that she designed with her private tailor. A sprinkling of stephanotis blossoms adorned her hair. Mike looked dapper in a classic tuxedo. The couple selected a modern, elegant aesthetic for the rooftop reception. Ivory draping created an intimate, open tent-like setting, affording expansive views of the Los Angeles skyline. Illuminated glass spheres were suspended overhead along the center of the space. A variety of table shapes were clad in either textured champagne tablecloths or satin-finished linens, while chairs donned sheer sleeves. Large bouquets of mint hydrangeas, blush and white roses, and succulents were displayed atop clear, tall pedestals. Pink dahlias were added to a similar compilation of blooms in low, footed bowls. Each place setting featured a menu – tucked into a rosy napkin accented with a succulent – listing the delectable dishes of the extensive Indian buffet. 166


The wedding cake was not merely dessert, but also a striking décor element with its center layer boasting a taupe replica of the lasercut motif Nishita created for their invitation suite. The confection was fantastically finished with large pastel yellow dahlias, blush and vanilla roses, and succulents. As wedding favors, guests received jeweled boxes and traditional Indian sweet treats that were made from scratch by the mother of the bride. Bringing their loved ones together, Nishita and Mike’s nuptials were truly a celebration of family. “The memory that I cherish is of my mother. [She] was extremely sick battling ovarian cancer, but managed to find the courage and strength to make it through the day,” shares the bride. “I recall fondly her turning to me at the end of the night and commenting on how we did a wonderful job and that it was a dream come true.” Adds the groom, “I had grown extremely close to Nishita’s parents over the year leading up to our wedding. I was so happy [her mother] got to be there on our wedding day. It will be a lasting memory for me.” ROSIBEL GUZMÁN




DANI ELL A JASSI R & H ERNAN DO FADU L January 17, 2015 Santa Marta, Colombia


Photographed by EVOOKE

The glamour of a bygone era was beautifully brought to life at the wedding celebration of Daniella Jassir and Hernando Fadul. “I have never been to Cuba,” admits the graceful bride, “but I imagined walking into a Havana nightclub in the 1950s – that was the atmosphere I envisioned.” Urbane and evocative of heady Havana nights, the couple’s reception was strictly a black-tie affair and played host to a who’s who of Colombian society and international guests. However, the pair’s historic theme actually began with their nuptial mass, which was held at a landmark famous throughout the Latin community. 168


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RESOURCES Beauty José Amaris Bridal Gown/Salon Francesca Miranda Bridesmaid Gown Francesca Miranda Cake Just Baked by Kathy Saieh Catering Marta Daza Floral Design Carmen Elena Pérez Formalwear Francesca Miranda Hair Accessories Halo & Co Honeymoon The Fairmont San Francisco The London West Hollywood Mr. C Beverly Hills Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu Invitations/Stationery Bórvill Impresores Jewelry TRU by Juliana Trujillo Waleed Khbeis Lighting Design Carmen Elena Pérez Mothers’ Gowns Francesca Miranda Photography EVOOKE Shoes Aquazzura Charlotte Olympia Manolo Blahnik Venues Catedral Basílica de Santa Marta Club Santa Marta Videography EVOOKE



“The ceremony took place at Catedral Basílica de Santa Marta, the first cathedral in Latin America,” shares Daniella, who fell in love with the Spanish Colonial church when her cousin married there in 2003. The imposing sanctuary featured vaulted ceilings, marble columns, round archways, and a richly detailed dome indicative of Colonial architecture, all of which lent an aura of wonder and

reverence to the proceedings. “It was majestic,” Hernando recalls. For the couple’s comfort, a plush chaise bench was set behind the traditional prayer version so they could alternate kneeling and sitting throughout the lengthy service. The altar was lavished with fragrant white flowers, as was the red-carpeted aisle where strolling musicians played.



“It was the most amazing night of my life. I was so happy, and enjoyed it until the very last minute.�



“I chose all of the music for the ceremony,” shares Daniella, who selected special arrangements of traditional songs plus two nontraditional picks: “’O Sole Mio” for when the groom entered the church, and “All You Need is Love” for the recessional. The bride was resplendent in a custom couture gown conceived by her mother, successful designer Francesca Miranda. Strapless and appliquéd with thousands of florals, the dress featured an asymmetrical high-low skirt and a Watteau-style train of exquisite tulle. A total of 16 flower girls and ring bearers preceded Daniella down the aisle. “They were all my little cousins and children of my friends,” she notes. “My sister was my maid of honor.” The reception that followed completely fulfilled Daniella’s desire to recreate a glamorous nightclub scene. Masses of white flowers accented with vibrant greenery and the occasional purple bloom lent a clean, polished look to the twostory event space. Crystal candelabra and clear chiavari chairs gleamed beneath the light of sparkling chandeliers, and additional crystals were suspended overhead by a forest of satin ribbons. “The whole atmosphere was one of elegance,” Hernando recalls. “I felt transported to another era.”





A black-and-white checkered dance floor offered plenty of space for guests to move to live music after the bridal couple took a turn. “Our first dance was the waltz, but we added a little twist and danced to a Cuban rhythm instead of a traditional one,” says Daniella. “We had a Cuban band, a crossover band, a DJ, and a champeta band,” Hernando shares (the latter being a genre of Colombian music). “The music was the one part [of the reception] I wanted to be involved in, and I think we made great choices.” In addition to wedding cake – 12 bare, golden layers separated with creamy frosting – a full buffet of desserts concluded the celebration on a very sweet note. “It was the most amazing night of my life,” Daniella reflects. “I was so happy, and enjoyed MARILYN OLIVEIRA it until the very last minute.”






electing a photographer for your wedding is an important task. During your search, you’ve reviewed numerous portfolios and, perhaps, reexamined your spending limit a couple of times. Along with ensuring that your photographer’s style and approach are in line with your aesthetic and that your personalities are a good match, there are other factors that can enhance the overall results and your photography experience. Choose a Great Location Much care and attention went into creating your overall wedding look – from attire to décor. So, why not make a statement with the background and landscape of your photos? Start the conversation with your photographer early in the planning process! A beautiful garden can be a wonderful option for the First Look, if you and your spouse-to-be decide to see each other before the ceremony. Additionally, a hotel with well-lit architecture can work perfectly for both getting-ready photos and as an indoor backup plan for more traditional portraits should the weather turn against your favor. A venue with abundant daylight will be a photographer’s dream. Consider a Photo Timeline Although there has been a shift to photojournalistic wedding coverage, you should contemplate a formal session with your attendants. Don’t wait until weeks before the big day to talk to your 176


photographer about your couple portraits. Also, consider photos you may want of family and friends. Various details need to be discussed including travel, lighting, and the amount of time your photographer may need to accomplish your wishes. Smaller groups take less time to photograph, while larger ones – with over 10 attendants – can take more time to arrange for variation of photos. For an average-sized bridal party of 10 or less, you can anticipate a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour, not including travel time to and from locations. If there are specific sites, such as a garden or alternative space, where you would like to be photographed, be sure to factor in how long it will take to get there and return to the ceremony or reception. The last thing you want is to be rushed or stressed if you neglected to plan an adequate period to capture creative portraits. However, if your schedule doesn’t allow for other locales, your photographer can utilize your venue and make recommendations. The bottom line is the experience should be fun and relaxed for you, your bridesmaids, and groomsmen. Remember, the more time you dedicate, the more opportunities you have to create flattering photos of everyone. Make a List The majority of the wedding day will be comprised of candid moments that will be captured as they happen naturally: mom smiling as she sees her daughter for the first

time in her gown; a father embracing his son after a toast. In addition to these unscripted instances, you should also think of the key people you want in formal portraits. How often do you have all of your loved ones together? We recommend writing a list and sharing it with your photographer prior to the special day to ensure enough time is allotted to capture the desired images. Every couple has different expectations for posed photos, whether they involve immediate family only or extended family with variations of members. It is a good idea to consider taking pictures with older relatives first. The momentum of the day can be fleeting and it is easy to forget to include an aunt or second cousin in shots after the ceremony. Moreover, once loved ones depart for the reception, it could be difficult to round them up later. Find an Alternative to Table Shots If your parents are funding the festivities, they will likely have their own list of desired photos. There have been occasions where the parents had lengthy lists of images they wanted taken with friends and family that may or may not include the newlyweds. Instead of table shots, consider a step-andrepeat option, where attendees can come up and take photos with a customized backdrop featuring the couple’s monogram or a photo booth. This can be a wonderful way to incorporate extended family into pictures during cocktail hour or throughout the evening. After all, you want to be able to enjoy the reception without being pulled away for photos at guests’ tables. Utilize Your Photographer’s Expertise As photographers, we’ve seen numerous events with different styles and recognize that couples have many factors to juggle. Most established professionals have a plethora of experience, so be sure to lean on them. From beginning to end, they know the ins and outs of the big day and can offer insight. It is wise to maximize the money spent with your photographer by communicating with him or her throughout the planning process. This ensures he or she understands your vision and the coordination of the event. Ultimately, it is your celebration and your planner will likely be the final authority as to how it should be scheduled logistically. However, your photographer will be one of your biggest advocates as he or she will be with you, in many cases, throughout your CARA NAVA entire wedding day. PHOTO: CARASCO PHOTOGRAPHY

other attendees – it will only give more life to the situation and draw attention to it. Ask a bridesmaid, planner, or someone else close to you to alert the caterer, remove the absent guests’ name cards, and clear and rearrange the chairs at their assigned tables, if they have one. This will minimize any visibility of their unfortunate absence.




GUIDING YOUR WEDDING GUESTS Four ways to help you deal with poor behavior from loved ones.


anners are sets of acceptable social behavior – how we are expected to carry ourselves, and how we expect others to act in return. And weddings have lots of expectations – err, manners! For guests who are not up to speed on what those are or how to read the more subtle signals, there are a few ways you can help steer them on the right path. And what happens when an attendee steps afoul of wedding-day manners? Generally, it’s rude to correct someone publicly, but sometimes the moment calls for diplomatic action. Addressing the Dress Code Not everyone’s interpretation of dress codes – let alone style or taste – is the same. From guest apparel that is too casual, revealing, or even over-dressed, sometimes people miss the mark. To clarify what you mean, first, make sure the style of your invitation reflects the level of formality you are planning. Second, include mention of desired dress, but preferably on the enclosure, rather than on the invite itself. Wording can vary from the direct to the delicate: “Semi178


formal attire,” “reception to be held on lawn” [read: ladies, beware of high heels!], and perhaps for a beach wedding, “flip-flops welcome.” More details can be provided on a wedding website. Third, there is word of mouth. Even descriptors such as “semiformal” can mean something different depending on where you are and what time of day the festivities will occur. So make sure to paint a picture for loved ones when asked – “Think day dresses for ladies and sports coats for men” or “It’s a bit dressier – most will be in cocktail dresses and suits with ties.” Examples can offer a better idea of how they can pin down the right note to hit. The No-Show In the past, I’ve talked about handling wedding guests who RSVP for – or worse, arrive with – individuals who weren’t invited. But there isn’t much you can do in the moment about someone who RSVPs and then fails to show up. It is inconsiderate, but dwelling on that faux pas won’t do anything to change it, and will take away from enjoying your day. Don’t mention it to

Enthusiasm Overload It can happen at any social function – that individual who, in his or her enthusiasm, latches on to you and doesn’t let go. This is understandable at a wedding – it is an emotional event, and in many cases you haven’t seen your guests in a while. It’s important for the newlyweds to spend time speaking with everyone (in fact, it’s worth stressing that this is perhaps your single most important task during the course of the day), but it can be tricky to mingle when one person monopolizes your time. A simple solution is to introduce him or her to another attendee. If that’s not an option, don’t show any impatience, but when the exchange begins to run on, smile your truest smile and say, “I’m so sorry, but duty calls! If you’ll excuse me.” Most anyone will understand that as the bride you are busy, and not take offense. This can happen especially during the receiving line, which is a time for hellos, congratulations, and quick pleasantries. In this case, you might draw the next person in the receiving line into the conversation in an effort to transition your chatty guest on. The Switcheroo So much thought goes into seating assignments; but some family members and friends, for whatever reason, decide to swap their place with someone else. Maybe they want to catch up with an old buddy or avoid a relation who they don’t get along with. Unless the change involves a head table – say, the wedding party or your closest relative – it’s often best to turn a blind eye and let it slide. While they should respect your designations, it’s simply too small to be worth your attention on such an important day. But if the choice does affect any special seating, either discreetly (and with a smile) ask them to switch the places back, or ask a sibling or bridal attendant to do so on your behalf. “Sorry Jim, but this table is for my parents and some of our closest family members. Would you mind returning to your original seat? Thanks.” Any friend worth their salt will happily comply. PHOTO: FRED MARCUS STUDIO



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Our editors are here to help pack your rehearsal dinner clutch, so that you are prepared for your pre-wedding festivities! Don’t forget these important items. 1

Freshen Up: Your rehearsal dinner is a time for loved ones to talk and celebrate. You’ll want to maintain fresh breath for this intimate event.

Dress Up: Complement your engagement ring by accessorizing with subtle bangles.



On the Glow: Pack a mini sponge and tan towelette in your purse for touch-ups! 3

8 9



5 6


Space Saver: Be sure to include beauty products that work double duty to save space in your bag.

Fast Fix: Don’t stress about last-minute blemishes the night before your wedding. Find a remedy that will make them disappear by tomorrow!

1. “Miraya” clutch, $195 (via special order); 2. “X-foliator Towelette” by TanTowel, $24 (pack of 10); 3. Square pocket mirror by Oh My Chic!, $9.95; available at Papyrus (310.255.7909) 4. “Prêt-à-Powder” dry shampoo, $27; 5. Natural mini breath spray by Hello, $3.75; 6. “Forget Me Knot” essentials to remember from the Bridetastic Kit by Pinch Provisions, $74.96; 7. “Beauty Booster” lip & cheek color by Trish McEvoy, $30; 8. Loose shimmer shadow by Kevyn Aucoin, $29; 9. Fruit Enzyme Mist for skin, $14.75;





Inside Weddings Fall 2015  

Our 96 pages of stunning real weddings will inspire you. We showcase dazzling celebrity engagement rings & beautiful ball gown fashion. Anna...

Inside Weddings Fall 2015  

Our 96 pages of stunning real weddings will inspire you. We showcase dazzling celebrity engagement rings & beautiful ball gown fashion. Anna...