THE INSIDERâ€™S GUIDE TO WEDDINGS WITH STYLE
pages of America's most amazing wedding ceremonies receptions
R&B SINGER TANK
ZENA FOSTER SHARE THEIR TRAVELS
NFL's Taylor Decker, Tahir Whitehead, Shane Vereen and Miss America Savvy Shields
WEDDING PROS GIVE THEIR BEST ADVICE
DISPLAY UNTIL MARCH 5, 2019
THE COOLEST FOR 2019
FEATURES EXPERT ADVICE 8
Gather helpful planning tips from experienced event professionals.
AN INSPIRATIONAL ESCAPE TO PARADISE ISLAND 32 Learn more about the Inner Circle Experience in the Bahamas. BRIDAL TRENDS 2019 34
See the latest styles of wedding dresses hot off the runway from Bridal Fashion Week.
ELEVATING YOUR WEDDING WITH OUT-OF-THE-BOX DESIGNS 174 Get insider advice on how to make your big day stand out.
CITY SPLENDOR 176
The perfect getaway among the hustle and bustle of New York.
DEPARTMENTS DISCOVERIES 10 YOU’RE INVITED 18 WISH LIST 22 TRAVEL DIARIES 26
Gown: Naeem Khan
COVER: Photographed by Joel & Justyna. Gown by Pnina Tornai. See more of our cover bride – who married in an actual ice castle – on page 50.
WEDDINGS MELISSA BLANCO & JASON FITZSIMMONS 50 January 27, 2018 Quebec City, Canada Photographed by Joel & Justyna BRYN TOYAMA & TAYLOR DECKER 58 July 14, 2018 Columbus, Ohio Photographed by Jenny Haas Photography BROOKE MAGEE & JACK LEOPARDO 66 December 2, 2017 Chicago, Illinois Photographed by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography CARRIE SEID & JAMES LIN 74 January 7, 2018 Huntington, New York Photographed by Lauren Fair Photography ALEXA HAKIM & NICO MOINIAN 80 October 21, 2017 Palm Beach, Florida Photographed by Roey Yohai Studios BRITTANY NELSON & RYAN ANDERSON 88 May 26, 2018 Hazlet, New Jersey Photographed by Alakija Studios KATE SHAUGHNESSY & ROBERT BIGGAR 96 December 31, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio Photographed by Karlisch Photography TAYLOUR RUTLEDGE & SHANE VEREEN 106 March 31, 2018 Santa Barbara, California Photographed by Brett Hickman Photographers PAIGE RACHEL & BRAD NASIS 114 February 10, 2018 Houston, Texas Photographed by Chris Bailey Photography SAVVY SHIELDS & NATE WOLFE 122 July 28, 2018 Bentonville, Arkansas Photographed by The Hickenloopers
MARISA GRGAS & JOHN COLANTUONI 130 January 20, 2018 Palm Beach, Florida Photographed by Nancy Cohn Weddings SHANNON WHITEHEAD & TAHIR WHITEHEAD 138 March 30, 2018 Pompton Plains, New Jersey Photographed by Amy Anaiz Photography HALEY HALL & TREVOR TAMLYN 148 March 24, 2018 Dallas, Texas Photographed by John Cain Photography KARA ZELMAN & JEREMY ROSEN 156 December 31, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio Photographed by Genevieve Nisly Photography VERA GUERIN & PAUL GUERIN 164 July 28, 2018 Beverly Hills, California Photographed by Laurie Bailey Photography
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WINTER WONDER Now that winter temperatures call for cozy evenings indoors, kick off the new year and immerse yourself in the latest issue of Inside Weddings! Whether you’re recently engaged or just about to tie the knot, you and your fiancé(e) will find these 176 pages inspiring your own fabulous fête. Best wishes to all couples embarking on this unforgettable journey! Among the 15 real weddings hosted all across North America, you’ll read about Oakland Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead’s vow renewal to his high school sweetheart, the wedding of Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker, and the nuptials of former Miss America Savvy Shields to her beloved. Whether you envision a small-town soirée or a big-city bash, you’ll surely find ideas for your own décor elements, menu selections, and clever details to personalize your celebration. Experience the creativity of couture invitation suites customized with monograms, and discover helpful wedding registry tips from a real couple. Ever consider honeymooning in Europe? Journey through one couple’s romantic postnuptial getaway to some of the most beautiful locations in Greece and France. Finally, see the amorous new looks and trends from Bridal Fashion Week! Visit InsideWeddings.com and subscribe to our newsletter for more inspirational wedding eventss, planning tips, bridal events, and more! Be sure to follow Inside Weddings on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for daily inspiration from the nation’s top professionals and and real-life couples.
STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION. Publication Title: INSIDE WEDDINGS; Publication No.: 1552-4647; Filing Date: 9/20/18; Issue Frequency: Quarterly; Number of issues published annually: 4; Annual Subscription Price $16; Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication and Headquarters: 7119 W. Sunset Boulevard, Suite 508, Los Angeles, CA 90046. The names and addresses of the Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor are: Publisher, Walt Shepard; Editor, Walt Shepard; all at Belle Media, 7119 W. Sunset Boulevard, #508, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Owner: BELLE MEDIA, Walt Shepard, and Art Scangas, 7119 W. Sunset Boulevard, #508, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Known bondholders, mortgagees and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities are: None. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Fall 2018; Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: Total number of copies (net press run): 221,700; Paid Ciculation: Mailed Outside County Paid Subscriptions: 2,594; Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution outside USPS: 54,852; Paid distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through USPS: 136; Total Paid Distribution, 57,582; Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS: 44; Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail: 4,864; Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: 4,908; Total Distribution: 62,490; Percent Paid: 92.15%. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Closest to Filing Date: Total number of copies (net press run): 205,200; Paid Ciculation: Mailed Outside County Paid Subscriptions: 2,532; Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution outside USPS: 57,445; Paid distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through USPS: 153; Total Paid Distribution, 60,130; Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS: 61; Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail: 5,292; Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: 5,353; Total Distribution: 65,483; Percent Paid: 91.83%. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. WALT SHEPARD, Publisher
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Walter H. Shepard EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Arthur A. Scangas EXECUTIVE EDITOR Nicole Palacios SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kelcy Christy STAFF WRITER Emily Lasnier CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Antonia Sardone CONTRIBUTING WRITER Emily Clarke SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Edit Issagholian CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Jay Lawrence Goldman, Joel & Justyna EDITORIAL INTERN Keeanna Garcia
PUBLISHER Walter H. Shepard BELLE MEDIA 7119 W. Sunset Boulevard, #508 Los Angeles, CA 90046 323.373.3360 PRINTED IN THE USA Inside Weddings (ISSN 1552-4647), Issue No. 64, is published quarterly by Belle Media, 7119 W. Sunset Boulevard, #508, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, CA and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Inside Weddings, 7119 W. Sunset Boulevard, #508, Los Angeles, CA 90046. 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 InsideWeddings. com. 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$16 per year. Canadian subscriptions are available at a cost of USD$40 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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E X P E R T
Learn inside tips and trends for your big day from some of the nation’s top wedding professionals. PHOTO: AMY ANAIZ
MERILEE HENNINGS, EVERAFTER EVENTS WEDDING PLANNING
NEW TRENDS I LOVE
• pre-set food on tables as guests arrive • making family-style serving more interactive • chandeliers – and lots of them! • open-air tents • unconventional venues AMY ANAIZ, AMY ANAIZ PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOGRAPHY
“Budget in an extra 15 minutes during your bridal prep for a mini boudoir session. There’s no better time to take some intimate photos to surprise your spouse with later.”
Commission custom signage showcasing your menu or other wedding-day details. Large, freestanding signs are the most impactful. For a cohesive overall look, be sure to tie in the same fonts, colors, and branding used throughout your wedding stationery.
PHOTO: SARAH CARPENTER
PHOTOS: PAUL BARNETT
CALLISTA OSBORN, CALLISTA & COMPANY WEDDING PLANNING
LAURIE BAILEY, LAURIE BAILEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO: SARAH KATE
“Embrace lots of vibrant color! A creative and bold color scheme is such a great way to put your own personal stamp on your wedding.”
EMILY CLARKE, EMILY CLARKE EVENTS WEDDING PLANNING
PHOTO: PHARRIS PHOTOS
Be ready and willing to go the extra mile when it comes to personalizing your special day. Why send traditional save-thedate cards when you could design a “passport,” stamp them with customized wax seals, or hand-draw a custom design motif for the envelope? Taking an idea to the next level adds eye-popping allure and wonder that couples today desire to give their guests in every detail of their celebrations.
PHOTOS: LAURIE BAILEY
NDIDI AYOOLA, ODA CREATIVE INVITATION DESIGN
Your invitations should be a reflection of your personal style. Don’t be afraid to have fun and give your guests a sense of your unique taste through the use of colors, textures, and mixing a variety of print methods and custom shapes.
DISCOVERIES Browse the insiderâ€™s guide to the latest wedding-related products and services.
ALFRESCO AMBIENCE Couples looking to get married in Los Angeles can hardly find a more romantic location than Vibiana, a former cathedral in the heart of downtown featuring gorgeous columns in the ballroom as well as historical alcoves that make for perfect photo backdrops. Redbird, the attached restaurant, provides excellent cuisine for the reception as well. Though it was already a perfect venue, the space still managed to improve upon itself. The Garden at Redbird | Vibiana adds a 10
lovely outdoor area to the famed site. The land is shared with the Little Tokyo Library, and in addition to offering a new dining spot for weddings, rehearsal dinners, brunches, and more, the garden will grow real fruits and vegetables, use composting and an Aquaponics system to help portions of the garden be self-sustaining, and participate in programs developed to give back to the community. Event pricing upon request; redbird.la/redbird-vibiana-garden
Photos: Katie Pritchard Photography
Photos: Two Moon Photography
Clockwise from top right: “Clean and Modern” by Kelly Schmidt, Vancouver, Canada.“Acapulco” invitation and custom postage stamp by Angela Marzuki, Saint Charles, IL. NEW! All-Script Minted Envelope™. The Minted Envelope: U.S. Patent No. 10,007,943.“Gilded Wildﬂowers” by Smudge Design, Westlake Village, CA.“Urban” by Lori Wemple, Huntersville, NC.“Lightly Penned” letterpress invitation by Jessica Williams, Nashville, TN.“Nolita” by Annie Clark, San Francisco, CA.
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BUBBLY ON BOARD Just about anyone can serve a flute of sparkling wine at a celebration, so to make your event pop you need to bring in something special. Enter The Bubble Tap Trailer, a mobile bar made from a darling converted camper trailer that provides prosecco on tap. The adorable ivory-and-blush trailer features a wooden backdrop for the taps, and a line of either glass or disposable Champagne flutes are available for guests. Not only does everyone get a drink, but it’s also the perfect photo opportunity. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, or even the wedding day itself will be improved once the mobile bar appears. Prices starting at $895; taptrailerco.com
Let There Be Light While traditional facials can certainly improve the surface of the skin, LED treatments are able to safely achieve cellular rejuvenation. Since 2012, LIGHTWAVE has offered clinically proven treatments through its patented “Red, Infrared & Blue Light Therapy” for facials, but they have recently launched the first whole-body light therapy treatment. LIGHTWAVE ENVY Light Capsule may resemble a tanning bed from the outside, but it will actually work to remove sun damage, along with helping combat other skin issues. Consistent usage can even improve restfulness and diminish stress – just what every bride-to-be needs leading to her wedding day. Treatments starting at $125; lightwavetherapy.com 12
Whether you’re looking for a gift for a newly engaged couple, your wedding party, or a bride-to-be, BoxFox likely has just what you need. With an array of curated gift boxes, as well as the option to create your own, the beautifully packaged present will excite anyone on your gifting list. Bridalthemed boxes include: “Bridesmaid” filled with a miniature emergency kit, face mask, and rosé gummy bears; “Something Blue” featuring a fortune-telling book for brides, jewelry cleaning wipes, and a ring dish; and even a “Buttoned Up” box intended for the groom or groomsmen with a tie clip, comb, and yummy caramels. This easy-to-shop collection will be your new go-to for personalized gifting. Pre-curated boxes starting at $15; shopboxfox.com
F RO M T H E STA RT, E V E RY D E TA I L M A D E U N I Q U E LY YO U R S
A MARKETPLACE OF INDEPENDENT ARTISTS
SAVE THE DATES Send unique save the dates sourced from our community of independent artists, perfected just for you.
Clockwise from top left: “Fineline” by Kelli Hall, Atlanta, GA.“Soft Glass” by Erica Krystek, San Diego, CA. “Grande Botanique” wedding website by Bonjour Paper, Offenbach, Germany.
FREE WEDDING WEBSITES Share your wedding details in style. Matching invitations available for every design. MINTED.COM/WEDDING-WEBSITES
Close To The Heart There are few wearable items more personal than jewelry, as pieces are often associated with a person or a memory. SINCERELY Jewelry takes that sentiment up a notch by offering their new design, the Engravable Disc with Diamonds. The customizable necklace features diamonds set in 14K gold in white, yellow, or rose hues. When ordering, the customer can upload an image of any initials, signature, or phrase. Brides can wear this pendant to keep a loved one’s memory close while walking down the aisle, and the necklaces can also make a touching gift for mothers of the bride or groom. $1,295; sincerelyjewelry.com
Marriage Memoir Nowadays there are all sorts of resources online for planning and organizing a wedding, but there’s still something special about having a tangible version at your fingertips. With a physical planner, you won’t accidentally delete an old draft that you need to look back on or worry about not having Internet access the moment you need it most. A Bride’s Memoir by Leeffect is no ordinary binder for wedding planning; it’s a couture tome with
Radiance On-The-Go If you’re looking for the perfect present for your bridesmaids, give them the gift of beauty. Luxury skincare brand Tata Harper is now offering a five-piece collection of their renowned 100% natural products in a travel bag made sustainably from paper. The Team Bride Glow Kit – which includes a cleanser, mask, toner, moisturizer, and highlighter – will be your attendants’ wedding-day skin survival kit to ensure they’re pampered, prepped, and camera-ready for your special day. $100; tataharperskincare.com 14
228 pages of inspiration and information on stationery, choosing a venue, creating a seating plan, writing your vows, and much more. The chic and luxurious cream leather cover with bespoke hardware finishes makes the compendium as pretty as it is useful. Following the big day, there are pages to record memories and even include blooms from the bouquet, allowing the memoir to become a family heirloom as well. $640; leeffect.com.au
ST Y L I S H S E AT I N G Enjoy FREE guest name printing on all place and escort cards, featuring a variety of designs and hand-styled fonts. MINTED.COM/WEDDING
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INVITED View invitation suites made timeless with custom wedding monograms.
Wedding monograms are timeless; the personalization behind them continues to become more artistic and unique as the years pass. Essentially, a couple’s monogram is but a few initials brought together to represent the new spouses – but it can symbolize something much more significant when these letters are intermingled in the cleverest of ways. These wedding monograms – oftentimes crafted specifically for a couple by talented stationers – can be used on invitation suites, stationery, and other décor elements for the celebration, but then later incorporated into the couple’s home serving as a lifelong motif. See some of our favorite creations using abstract art, letterpress, and laser-cut embellishments.
Luxurious ebony invitation with rose-gold foil featuring a laser-cut gatefold and matching statement monogrammed envelope from the “The Amber” suite by Oda Creative; odacreative.com
PHOTO: JAY LAWRENCE GOLDMAN
“Today’s Modernist” clean invitation with a bold design by Paper Culture; paperculture.com
“Wrapped in Love” engraved invitation with gold bevel nestled in a laser-cut black wrap and finished with a chroma monogram by RedBliss Design; redbliss.com
“Fit for a Queen” elegant gold-and-white invitation suite with monogram by Cheree Berry Paper; chereeberry.com
Engraved invitation printed on deckle-edge stock with custom monogrammed laser-cut wrap and handmade envelope with deckle edge, paired with a letterpressed liner by Elizabeth Grace; elizabethgrace.com
“Buckley Suite” custom calligraphy invitation suite in shades of blue featuring an illustrative crest and abstract art envelope liner by Lowcountry Paper Co.; lowcountrypaperco.com 20
Flat wedding invitation in Buttercream from the “Modern Initials” suite by Lori Wemple for Minted; minted.com
Ceci Couture deco-inspired invitation in black and gold foil by Ceci New York; cecinewyork.com
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W I S H
Bernardaud “Louvre” bread/butter plate, $25; Bloomingdale’s
LIST Consider great registry advice from one recently married couple. Erin (née Fink) and David Levy pursued a wedding registry for the same reasons as many other engaged couples who live together prior to their big day: to replace some existing hand-me-down items and also add unique new elements to start a home
together. “We were also looking for pieces that could be used for entertaining a large group one day,” the bride explains. Erin managed most aspects of their registries, though she and her sweetheart initially created their wish lists together.
REGISTRY TIPS FROM ERIN & DAVID Erin & David Levy
Think timeless. “Register for classic, neutral items because you don’t know what your future home is going to look like.”
Waterford “Lismore Connoisseur” tumblers, $100 (set of 2); Bloomingdale’s
Stay organized. “Keep a spreadsheet of everything people get you for thank-you card writing purposes.” Continually evolve. “Continue editing the list online and add or remove items as your tastes change over time.” Take a peek. “Open and check every item for defects. Some things might arrive damaged and will need to be returned or exchanged.”
Waterford “Elegance” wine glasses, $70 (set of 2); Bloomingdale’s
Le Creuset cast-iron Dutch oven, $380; Williams-Sonoma
NSIDEW WeddIngs EDDINGS..com COM || IInsIde
Waterford “Lismore Encore” candlesticks, $125 (set of 2); Bloomingdale’s
Le Creuset “Heritage” rectangular dish, $75; Williams-Sonoma
Le Creuset “Heritage” covered baker, $100; Williams-Sonoma COUPLE PHOTO: PAUL BARNETT
Paderno spiralizer, $40; Williams-Sonoma
OXO angled bulb baster, $13; Williams-Sonoma
FAST FACTS Number of registries: Three
“Harrison” party bucket, $149; Pottery Barn
Estimated total value of registry: $12,042.05 Total number of items: 106 Estimated percentage of guests who gave registered gifts: 90% Favorite registered items: Shun knife set, Bloomingdale’s; Bernardaud “Louvre” dinnerware, Bloomingdale’s; Breville “Infuser” espresso machine, WilliamsSonoma
Rösle garlic press, $49; WilliamsSonoma
PB classic napkins, $36 (set of 4); Pottery Barn Nonstick burger spatula, $27; WilliamsSonoma
Most expensive registered item: KitchenAid® chrome “Artisan” stand mixer, $600; Williams-Sonoma Least expensive registered item: “Antica” oil dispenser, $13; Williams-Sonoma
REGISTRIES BLOOMINGDALE’S 800.777.0000, bloomingdales.com
Riedel “O” decanter, $225; Bloomingdale’s
POTTERY BARN 888.779.5176, potterybarn.com Littledeer hardwood tongs, $22; WilliamsSonoma
WILLIAMS-SONOMA 877.812.6235, williams-sonoma.com Spanish mini rub set, $60; Williams-Sonoma
While contemplating the wide array of china, kitchenware, linens, and other household items they desired for their New York apartment, the pair elected three department stores with popular wedding-registry programs: Bloomingdale’s, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn. “We chose Bloomingdale’s because of its wide range of luxury designer brands across dining and entertaining, kitchen, and home décor; Williams-Sonoma because of its specialty gadgets for the kitchen; and Pottery Barn because of its fine linens for the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom,” Erin says. Although they arranged their registries and shopped for products in person, they consistently refined their wish lists online to ensure
that each product matched their tastes and suited their needs. Considering the three retailers, the bride and groom confide that they were most satisfied with their registry experience at Bloomingdale’s. “If I had to pick a place that was most up my alley, [this was the store] because it had almost everything we were looking for,” David remembers. Among their selections here were a few sets of timeless Waterford “Lismore Encore” candlesticks, a variety of Waterford glassware, and lovely serving dishes by Nambé from the “Braid” collection. They additionally received an assortment of Bernardaud “Louvre” dinnerware from Bloomingdale’s, which made for some of their favorite items received.
“I underestimated the number of things that we needed to register for and was thinking about more things we need now versus in the future.”
Veracruz melamine platter, $24; Williams-Sonoma
KitchenAid® “Artisan” stand mixer, $600; Williams-Sonoma High-heat grill griddle, $50; Williams-Sonoma
High-heat pizza pan, $40; Williams-Sonoma High-heat grill fry pan, $40; Williams-Sonoma
Breville immersion blender, $100; Williams-Sonoma
High-heat grill roaster, $50; Williams-Sonoma
Nearly all 250 of their wedding guests gifted products from one of their three registry lists. While they were thrilled to receive multiple appliances and gorgeous Le Creuset stoneware from WilliamsSonoma as well as luxe linens and chrome bathroom décor from Pottery Barn, the couple sadly reveals why they did not enjoy these two retailers as much as the aforementioned upscale department store. “Their exchange and return policies were stricter. Unfortunately, this became a problem when we tried to return a few things for store credit months after our wedding,” Erin describes. It was also problematic for the groom, whose main concern was having enough space in their home. “We had everything sent to my parents’ house in the suburbs because not everything fit in our apartment in New York, making the return process even more difficult,” he recalls. Although they admit that their experience was not ideal, the couple is pleased that they share the same taste for most things and were able to easily collaborate to make final decisions. “However, we couldn’t agree on flatware,” Erin laughs, “but mostly because there weren’t any sets that we really loved.” While shopping in-store is always a good choice for a registry, the bride and groom realized that an online retailer would have likely eased the process for them and potentially provided a wider selection of items. “Knowing what we know now, maybe we might have considered registering at Zola or Amazon,” Erin divulges. Considering the best advice to pass on to other engaged couples, the groom strongly encourages that they should think long-term instead of choosing items that they want or need at that moment. “I underestimated the number of things that we needed to register for and was thinking about more things we need now versus in the future,” confirms David.
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DIARIES Discover travel and honeymoon tips from one recently married couple.
Immediately following their star-studded wedding weekend in Los Angeles, newlyweds Zena Foster and R&B singer Durrell “Tank” Babbs set off on a two-week honeymoon. Spending their first summer as a married couple in Paris, the South of France, and the islands of Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, the pair enjoyed an incredible honeymoon filled with delicious food, relaxation, and sightseeing.
Destination #1: Paris, France As self-proclaimed “last-minute” travelers, Zena and Tank booked their honeymoon vacation just one week before their departure date. Initially wanting to visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy, they discovered most of the hotels were booked, so they instead chose to travel to other destinations they had never been before. For the first leg of their journey, the newlyweds visited Castille Paris, a five-star hotel in the heart of the city, known for its Italian style and prime location next to exclusive boutiques. Though they admit they spent the first couple days of their five-night trip catching up on sleep due to jet lag, Zena and Tank
made sure to visit popular tourist sites, shop, and enjoy both high-end restaurants and local favorites. “I’m a foodie,” confides Zena, “so eating was my number one priority while in Paris.” With a long list of recommendations from friends, the couple was thrilled to discover two restaurants that were so delicious they ate there on multiple occasions. “Ferdi had great burgers, churros, and the best chicken curry,” explains Zena, but “Babylone Bis was our number-one spot in Paris. It’s a hole-in-thewall African restaurant that Beyoncé and Jay-Z love, too.” Another must-try eatery, shares the couple, is L’Avenue, which is perfect for lunch while shopping along the Champs-Élysées. HIGHLIGHTS Adding love locks. “Though the locks have been removed on Le Pont des Arts, the tradition has started again on Pont Neuf.” People watching at Hôtel Costes. “The atmosphere is so cute, and the food is amazing too!” Dancing the night away. “We went to a local club and had such a ball dancing and singing; it was cool to let loose and relax after the stress of wedding planning.”
PHOTOS: CASTILLE PARIS - STARHOTELS COLLEZIONE
Destination #2: South of France After a memorable experience in their favorite city of the entire trip, the newlyweds flew into Nice to explore the South of France. “We had seen so many photos on social media of friends at the Cannes Film Festival and couldn’t wait to visit the area ourselves,” says Zena. They stayed for three nights at Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, which is set between Nice and Monaco and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. “The view on the French Riviera was unmatched – the water was a beautiful navy blue and looked crystal clear!” remembers Zena. “We would definitely recommend the hotel to other travelers. The service was absolutely amazing, the room was super cute, and they had the best pool ever.” The Côte d’Azur property also provided the couple with easy access to the activities they were excited to try, including jet skiing, waterskiing, and playing roulette at the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Though they loved every part of their time in the South of France, Zena does warn travelers that the downfall lies in the bugs and mosquitos. “No one tells you about the mosquitoes… Bring the bug spray!” she urges. HIGHLIGHTS Relaxing by the pool. “The pool is amazing! It’s filled with seawater and overlooks the rocky coastline.” Being on the water. “We rented jet skis and waterskied while looking at incredible yachts along the French Riviera.” Dining on the property. “They have three restaurants and a terrace bar. The food was delicious!”
PHOTOS: GRAND-HOTEL DU CAP-FERRAT, A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL AND MONTE-CARLO SOCIÉTÉ DES BAINS DE MER
Destination #3: Greek Islands After a week in France, Zena and Tank traveled to Greece in order to spend the last week of their honeymoon in pure bliss. They checked into Cavo Tagoo Mykonos for three nights, citing the destination as their favorite hotel of the honeymoon. “It was amazing – the property, the room, everything!” exclaims Zena. Choosing not to book any activities in order to focus on relaxing and exploring the island, the pair was able to find a few gems. “The hotel recommended a few places that were within walking distance, had great atmospheres, and amazing live performances,” says Zena, also warning travelers to be prepared for the winds common to the island. Another favored hot spot was Scorpios, which features fire pits, a beach club, and an open-air restaurant. “It’s a must-go-to place!” she affirms. Since they’d seen gorgeous photos of the cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings built into the cliffside that Santorini is known for, the couple knew they wanted to add the destination to their itinerary. They spent three nights at Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, a high-end property on the northwest edge of the island. “We loved that hotel!” confirms Zena. “It has more of a resort feel than the smaller properties built into the rock, and it’s also located nearby the perfect spot to get those gorgeous Santorini sunset views.” Since the pair had been traveling so much following a whirlwind wedding weekend, they were thrilled to end their honeymoon in a setting that welcomed relaxation. Before flying back to Los Angeles, they spent one more night in Paris to eat at their favorite restaurant and enjoy last-minute shopping before a nonstop flight. Though they admit they missed their kids throughout the trip – and especially towards the end of the long journey – Zena shares: “We wouldn’t change a thing about our honeymoon – it was perfect!” HIGHLIGHTS Watching the sunset. “Scorpios in Mykonos is the number-one spot to make a dinner reservation to watch the sunset.” Making friends. “We actually met a couple in Paris that we ended up hanging out with in Santorini. When we travel, we like to meet and talk to people.” Unwinding. “With all of the traveling, we just wanted to end our trip in a relaxed state. Santorini is so romantic!”
TRAVEL TIPS FROM ZENA & TANK: “Hire a travel agent! Kishia D’Addario of Ascot Travel did everything for us – flights, ferry, hotels, etcetera. She’s traveled to many of the destinations, so she was able to share personal recommendations for each place.” “Ask locals for advice. We always try to look for the most popular local spots with the best food and atmosphere.” “Pack less to make room for everything you purchase and want to bring back – especially when visiting Paris!” “If you take the ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, splurge on the VIP package. The ship is nice, but the VIP ticket includes a private server.” “Bring comfortable shoes for walking around Greece. Throw on some sneakers with a dress, go fresh-faced, and embrace spending time together with your honeymoon glow.”
PHOTOS: CAVO TAGOO MYKONOS (TOP); SANTO MARIS OIA LUXURY SUITES & SPA (BOTTOM)
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Inner Circle Experience speakers and attendees
Sade Awe, founder of The Inner Circle Experience and The Bridal Circle
An Inspirational Escape to Paradise Island A luxurious industry event at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas Photos by Kismis Ink Photography At the start of the fall season, Inside Weddings joined other luxury brands and entrepreneurs at the fifth annual Inner Circle Experience event on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Event founder Sade Awe welcomed guests to The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas for the exclusive gathering. The property, which has been a hideaway for celebrities and discerning travelers since opening in 1962, provided an unmatched setting for the event. Surrounded by pristine beaches, crystal-clear water, and endless tropical inspiration, the conference kicked off with a Bahamian welcome party the night before attendeesâ€™ days were filled with noteworthy speakers, networking, and exceptional excursions to private islands and nights were spent enjoying dinners, dancing, and entertainment. With gorgeous accommodations, lush gardens, exquisite dining options, and a relaxing spa, The Ocean Club offers the sumptuous escape travelers expect from a luxe Caribbean getaway and would make for an incredible destination-wedding location or an unforgettable honeymoon retreat. fourseasons.com/oceanclub/ 32
Tropical dĂŠcor at farewell party under the stars
Bahamian tablescape for poolside lunch
Speaker Kristen Hadeed and Belle Manjong of The Boutique by B.Belle Events
Live entertainment by Jordan Kahn Music Company at gala Natalie Appleyard of Wildflowers Events & Occasions
Dinner setting in the Versailles Gardens
Julio CintrĂłn, Jodi Moraru of EVOKE, Philip Carr, and Nancy Brenner of The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort
Elegant place setting by Ceci New York
Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York and Ron Ben-Israel Vibrant poolside event dĂŠcor
BRIDAL TRENDS 2019 Romance filled the air as
dresses with sculptural designs, sheer delights, and a nod to minimalism made their debuts on the New York runways. This group of gorgeous gowns highlights some of the major motifs of the season, starting with floor-sweeping capes that were deeply amorous and beautifully elegant.
Photo: Mani Zarrin
Edited by Antonia Sardone
Photo: firstVIEW Photo: Collin Pierson Photography
INES DI SANTO GRACY ACCAD Photo: Dan Lecca
BERTA NAEEM KHAN
nsIdeW WeddIngs eddIngs..com com | IInsIde
JUSTIN ALEXANDER VERA WANG
Photo: Inez & Vinoodh Photo: Dan Lecca
Photo: Anton Oparin
WILLOWBY BY WATTERS
GALA BY GALIA LAHAV
Sheer Delight A touch of transparency adds a seductive twist to chic bridal gowns.
MATERIAL GIRL Luscious fabrics, glittering diamonds, and bursting blossoms will satisfy the Madonna in all of us. “Galena” gown in Chantilly lace and silk tulle with ruffled tulle V-neck bodice over lace, cap sleeves, and tiered skirt, $2,750 by Inmaculada García; available at select Nordstrom locations. Baguette-diamond “V” earrings, $21,050 by Nikos Koulis; available at Bergdorf Goodman. Engagement rings from the Lucienne Collection, in addition to two contemporary designs, $2,340-8,830 (center stones not included) by Furrer Jacot; furrer-jacot.com.
Tiers of Joy add a dramatic flair to your special day.
Photo: David Roemer
Sculptural ruffles and controlled flounce
RANDI RAHM LIANCARLO
FRANCESCA MIRANDA Photo: Jerome Corpuz
Photo: Janice Kim/Getty Images
WHITE WEDDING Crisp, optic white is fresh as a daisy. Organza “Violette” baby doll dress with embroidered organza flowers (sold with cropped trouser), $3,520 by Francesca Miranda; francescamiranda.com. Dangle earrings, $495 from Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection. “Daisy” fishnet tights, $140 by Lirika Matoshi.
AMSALE ISABELLE ARMSTRONG
ROMONA KEVEŽA COLLECTION BRIDAL
Modern Fairy Tale Call it the Meghan Markle effect, clean and architectural–inspired gowns ruled the runways.
The Cold Shoulder set and now the trend is hitting bridal in full force.
Photo: Dan Lecca
Off-the-shoulder has been a favorite among the fashionable
Photo: Marcy Castelgrande
GALIA LAHAV BRIDAL COUTURE JENNY YOO
LEGENDS ROMONA KEVEÅ½A ISABELLE ARMSTRONG
The best wedding resources: vendors, venues, designers & salons. Our highly curated list of wedding resources are 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 here based on their reputation.
BRIDAL SALONS Bella Bianca Bridal Couture
12 W. Maple Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 312.787.2377 17W527 Roosevelt Road, Oakbrook, IL 630.627.4027
www.bellabianca.com Bella Bianca Bridal Couture is the ultimate destination for brides-to-be. The Chicago salon features high-end designer collections and a chic private bridesmaid suite, while the Oakbrook salon showcases an expansive showroom and is home to an expert alteration team that ensures every gown is absolutely perfect.
The Boutique by B.Belle Events
602 Virginia Street East, Suite 101, Charleston, WV 304.400.4979
www.bbelleevents.com This chic boutique offers designer gowns, expert personal stylists, and an “As You Wish” service that invites brides worldwide to have an exclusive experience complete with a car service, private shopping, farm-to-table meal, hair and makeup, and more to make any vision a reality.
437 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 212.764.3040 80 Westbury Avenue, Carle Place, NY 516.742.7788 3 Broadway, Massapequa, NY 516.795.2222
www.bridalreflections.com For over 40 years, Bridal Reflections has assisted brides-to-be in finding their perfect gown with the help of professional bridal consultants and world-class seamstresses. The salon is filled with cutting-edge wedding dresses and evening wear from top designers.
Carine’s Bridal Atelier
The White Dress
www.carinesbridal.com Thousands of local and international brides have found their dream dresses at Carine’s Bridal Atelier. The elegant salon is home to stylish gowns from both legendary and emerging designers. The boutique is known for its professional team of stylists and in-house alteration services.
www.thewhitedress.com The White Dress offers an expansive 3,000-square-foot location for Orange County brides looking for their dream designer wedding gown. Brides-to-be are paired with their own stylist in order to have a personal, attentive, and unique experience.
1623 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 202.965.4696
Dimitra’s Bridal Couture 1009 N. Rush Street, Chicago, IL 312.787.0920
www.dimitrasbridal.com The premier bridal salon combines expertise and exceptional service with grace and warmth. No matter a brides’ inspiration, they are sure to find their perfect gown amongst the curated selection of designers from across the globe.
Mark Ingram Atelier
110 E. 55th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 212.319.6778
www.markingramatelier.com Since 2002, Mark Ingram Atelier has become the premier bridal salon for sophisticated brides from around the world. Mr. Ingram and his highly trained staff provide all women with the highest-quality experience from gown selection to the final fitting. By appointment only.
72 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 646.638.3263
weddingatelier.com 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.
2853 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 949.723.0121
BRIDAL STYLISTS Dear Maradee Los Angeles, CA 310.770.4621
www.maradeewahl.com With more than 20 years of experience, bridal stylist Maradee Wahl provides every styling need from shopping for the perfect gown to attending to the bride on her wedding day.
CUSTOM DECOR & DETAILS The Original Runner Company 973.744.7070
www.originalrunners.com 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
www.revelryeventdesigners.com The exceptional visionary team is known as the go-to event- and interior-design company for celebrations worldwide. Their experience, creativity, passion, and professionalism provide clients with a unique level of satisfaction.
EDITORS CIRCLE | 2013
FAVORS & GIFTS The Welcome Bag Committee 214.577.5880
www.thewelcomebagcommittee.com From event planner Jordan Payne comes a specialty gifting company that creates both custom and curated collections of beautifully styled welcome bags designed for hometown fêtes, destination weddings, and all of life’s special moments.
FLORAL & EVENT DESIGN Amaryllis Floral & Event Design Washington, DC 240.770.8600
www.amaryllisdesigns.com This premier floral and event production studio offers personal service, attention to detail, and custom designs that set them apart. They will completely transform your event with incredible floral creations and specialty furniture and décor.
Bella Flora of Dallas
118 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, TX 972.445.1200
www.bellafloraofdallas.com The innovative, full-service event décor and planning studio specializes in luxury weddings and social events. Their passion for flowers, colors, and unique design is what inspires them to create breathtaking environments.
Butterfly Floral & Event Design 7305 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 323.882.8400
The Hidden Garden
www.hiddengardenflowers.com Having a true passion for floral design and creativity, The Hidden Garden utilizes nontraditional textures to create beautiful, abundant, and innovative designs that cater to the needs of each client.
8350 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 310.858.7400
Los Angeles, CA 310.575.6600
Chicago, IL 773.782.0800
www.hmrdesigns.com Known for unique designs and innovative thinking, HMR Designs works with couples from concept to creation to bring their vision to life. In addition to exquisite florals, the fullservice design firm features talents in master carpentry, custom art and graphics, and tailored fabric treatments. Artfully integrating exclusive luxe furniture, lighting elements, and décor pieces, the HMR team makes sure your event is everything but ordinary.
www.flowersbycina.com Melissa McGowan and her team of designers have created innovative arrangements for all occasions. Consistently producing event décor using fresh, diverse, and beautiful flowers, the team will transform an ordinary space into something extraordinary.
www.cecinewyork.com Named “Invitation Trendsetter,” founder and creative director Ceci Johnson and her team push the envelope of what’s possible in invitation design to inspire clients around the world with original, custom works of art for their invitations, save the dates, and day-of branded wedding details. Design and shipping available worldwide.
www.elizabethgrace.com With a strong sense of style and a passion for pretty paper, Elizabeth Grace creates beautiful invitations for discerning brides. The premier paperie and custom stationery studio helps couples reflect their personal styles on paper.
Joe Mineo Creative
Lehr and Black
Youngstown, OH 234.719.5005
Costa Mesa, CA & Garden Grove, CA 714.539.8939
New York, NY 212.989.0695
www.jacksondurham.com The full-service floral and event-design company offers unparalleled customer service and attention to detail in order to ensure each event is breathtaking and unforgettable.
Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle & Design
Flowers by Cina
Ceci New York
Dallas, TX & Atlanta, GA 214.780.0257
www.joemineocreative.com Joe Mineo brings to his clientele over 30 years of award-winning experience. Every event includes expert floral design, customized details, and masterful timing executed through an unparalleled in-house team of exceptional event professionals. Each event is designed to tell the client’s story through evocative and personalized décor.
www.eddiezaratsian.com Offering event-styling services from start to finish, the design house provides one-of-a-kind florals and rentals, such as linens, furnishings, and decorative props, including vintage glassware, to add the perfect finishing touch.
Authorities in the field of gown preservation, the professionals at Effrey’s use expert techniques and special care cleaning your wedding dress.
Jackson Durham Events
www.butterflyfloraldesign.com Butterfly Floral & Event Design specializes in stunning, one-of-a-kind weddings, designing each couple’s wedding around their unique tastes and personalities. From high-impact, custom-built pieces to the perfect bridal bouquet, we create every element with care, expertise, and style. Los Angeles, CA 310.508.6126
Effrey’s Custom Cleaners
2525 Michigan Avenue #F1B, Santa Monica, CA 310.453.3311
www.lillabello.com Lilla Bello is a boutique floral and event styling firm dedicated to designing innovative concepts, offering the highest quality, and providing concierge-level service. From daily florals to wedding blooms, the team builds lasting relationships with every client.
GIFT REGISTRIES Gearys
351 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 800.793.6670/310.273.4741
www.gearys.com 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.
Chicago, IL 773.477.9830
8921 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 310.278.8182
www.lehrandblack.com The go-to stationery company for Hollywood’s elite and beyond uses luxurious fabrics, fine details, and superior workmanship, revolutionizing custom invitations and décor.
Oda Creative 832.878.4356
www.odacreative.com Give guests an incredible first impression with eye-catching and unique paper goods from Oda Creative – a full-service stationery and design studio with a passion for creating spectacular, tailor-made experiences for clients worldwide.
PHOTOGRAPHY Amy Anaiz Photography New York, NY email@example.com
www.amyanaiz.com Based in New York City, Amy Anaiz captures the emotion and personality of her clients while using beautiful, flattering light and paying close attention to detail to ensure each joyous and heartfelt image tells a story.
EDITORS CIRCLE | 2019
Bob & Dawn Davis Photography Chicago, IL 312.719.3577
www.bobanddawndavis.com A husband-and-wife photography and design team, who believe in being authentic and downto-earth, helping them to execute memorable photos for their clients.
Carasco Photography 773.383.4112
www.carascophoto.com A sought-after husband-and-wife duo, known for luxury and celebrity weddings, who produce and preserve photographs in a distinctive documentary-meets-high-fashion format.
The Day by Ira Lippke
Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY 212.620.3900
www.thedaycollective.com Ira and his carefully chosen studio photographers capture extraordinary weddings from all over the world. Their refined skills capture the exemplified beauty of each celebration in a fineart, documentary style.
Inije Photography Atlanta, GA 678.900.0633
www.inije.com Charlton Inije is an award-winning photographer with a unique photojournalistic approach. His team incorporates fine-arts sensibility, technical mastery, and cultivated creativity to capture the story of your wedding day as it unfolds.
Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography 6139 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 323.954.7436
www.jlgweddings.com Professional and personable, Jay possesses a unique ability to anticipate and capture the special moments of a wedding. Able to put people at ease, it’s no wonder he’s one of L.A.’s most sought-after wedding photographers.
John Cain Photography
4514 Travis Street, Suite 128, Dallas, TX 214.520.6771
www.johncainphotography.com John Cain Photography offers couples an experience that’s just as memorable as the images they create. A bride can expect intuitive service and attentive correspondence. With a kind presence, editorial style, and an appreciation for effortless portraiture, John’s relaxed demeanor is matched by an acute attention to detail.
Samuel Lippke Studios
www.karlischstudio.com As one of the most established wedding photographers in the United States, Stephen Karlisch captures the energy, emotion, and elegance of some of the country’s greatest events to preserve and document them for future generations to enjoy.
www.samuellippke.com 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.
Dallas, TX 214.224.9995
Kesha Lambert Photography
547 North Avenue, Suite 195, New Rochelle, NY 914.400.0377
www.keshalambert.com Based in New York, Kesha’s boutique wedding and lifestyle portrait photography studio focuses on capturing images that reflect each couple’s originality. Taking time to connect with clients allows the team to capture their wedding days in an authentic way.
Laurie Bailey Photography Los Angeles, CA & Santa Barbara, CA 323.493.2292
www.lauriebailey.com 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.
Maya Myers Photography Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY 310.963.2623
www.mayamyers.com Specializing in wedding, lifestyle, and event photography, Maya Myers has the unique ability to capture the emotion and experience of her clients’ celebrations and translate them into dynamic images and a moving narrative that leaves a lasting and cherished impression.
Paul Barnett Photographer
2150 W. Washington St., Suite 501, San Diego, CA 619.285.1207
www.barnettphoto.com 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.
Roey Yohai Studios New York, NY 917.796.3822
www.roeyyohaistudios.com Known for his fresh, elegant, documentary-style photos, Roey Yohai enjoys photographing the emotional moments of a wedding day. With over 10 years of experience in weddings, the awardwinning photojournalist delivers a visual diary of the day in all its magic, detail, and spirit.
Los Angeles, CA 562.343.2676
Studio This Is Chicago, IL 312.888.1268
www.studiothisis.com As a close-knit family of photographers and filmmakers, the Studio This Is team has a kindred passion for storytelling. They use a fusion of an editorial- and documentary-style approach to focus on all of the special moments you’ll want to remember forever.
Vue Photography 404.844.8568
www.vuephotographyonline.com Genya O’Neall’s love of photography sparked when she was a teenager and her passion for the art blossomed into an exciting career. She has covered hundreds of weddings and is always ready to capture the genuine emotional moments of each unique event.
RENTALS Chameleon Chair Collection For information and ordering: 310.787.9200
www.chameleonchair.com Chameleon Chair Collection provides gorgeous seating options ideal for refined weddings and events across the country. Acclaimed for their elegant silhouettes and luxurious designs, the seating offers cutting-edge style for life’s most special soirées.
Southern California & Nationwide 310.548.5183
www.luxelinen.org Proudly providing door-to-door service in Southern California and nationwide shipping, Luxe Linen is a trusted leader in fine linen rental. Established in 2007, the company offers the highest quality linens, napkins, overlays, and accessories to bring style to every table. Custom orders are available.
Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL & New York, NY 305.573.7840
www.nuagedesigns.com For over a decade, Nüage Designs has provided event planners, celebrities, and luxury hotels with couture linen rentals. Offering unparalleled design aesthetics and expertise to provide the best selection in linens and accessories, Nüage Designs has been dressing the tables of some of the most prestigious events globally.
EDITORS CIRCLE | 2019
VENUES Acqualina Resort & Spa
17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 305.918.6774
www.acqualinaresort.com Situated between Fort Lauderdale and Miami on the pristine white sand beaches of Sunny Isles, this enchanting Mediterranean-inspired hotel embodies the spirit of luxury, serenity, and enjoyment. Whether an intimate or lavish affair, Acqualina provides an unparalleled wedding experience.
One South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 561.659.8415
www.weddingsbythebreakers.com A day like no other deserves a setting like no other. Be it an intimate seaside ceremony or a grand affair in a magnificent ballroom, The Breakers’ seasoned wedding specialists create events that are above and beyond in every way.
La Quinta Resort & Club
49499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, CA 760.564.5773
www.laquintaresort.com La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort is a premier desert destination. Since 1926, the luxurious property, located at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, has provided couples with the perfect Palm Springs backdrop for their wedding days.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 858.777.6720
www.lodgetorreypines.com 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
www.montagehotels.com/kapaluabay Stunning Pacific views, a majestic sea setting, and pristine sand beaches lay the groundwork for your memorable Hawaiian wedding. 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.
The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas One Ocean Drive, Paradice Island, Bahamas 561.931.0601
www.fourseasons.com/oceanclub Welcoming the world’s most discerning travelers, the glamour of The Ocean Club is surpassed only by its chic accommodations and modern dining. The 12th century cloisters, impeccable Versaillesinspired gardens, and idyllic Bahamian blues are the perfect place to say “I do.”
Bob Gail Special Events
www.oheka.com A historic mansion located on the Gold Coast of Long Island, Oheka Castle offers the ambience 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.
www.bobgail.com Led by Allyson Levine Joseph and 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.
135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, NY 631.659.1400
214 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 213.626.1507
www.vibiana.com Originally the first archdiocese Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles, Vibiana has been transformed into a full-service event facility with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, a talented management staff, and an extensive dining program that will make your celebration one to remember.
WEDDING PLANNERS & DESIGNERS Andrea Eppolito Events Las Vegas, NV & Nationwide 702.604.1857
www.andreaeppolitoevents.com Celebrating life, luxury, and above all else, love. Andrea Eppolito’s stunning designs create an emotional response. Her commitment to storytelling is enhanced by enticing the five senses and delivering flawless service.
Ann Whittington Events 713.461.8424
www.annevents.com 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.
Beth Helmstetter Events, Inc. Los Angeles, CA 323.653.5929
www.bethhelmstetter.com Beth Helmstetter Events is a full-service design and planning studio specializing in weddings throughout the world. Whether a five-day wedding in Italy or a backyard celebration, BHE takes pride in creating lifelong memories for every couple they work with.
Bluebell Events 310.770.2898
www.bluebellevents.com 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 wedding-planning process to create your unique and special day.
By BrianGreen Atlanta, GA 404.585.5775
www.bybriangreen.com Specializing in crafting bespoke experiences, award-winning wedding and event planner Brian Green and his team create events with passion, innovation, flair, and professionalism. With a focused attention to detail, they help clients celebrate fabulously.
Callista & Company Seattle, WA 310.916.9739
www.callistaandco.com Offering worldwide coordination and design services for timeless events, Callista & Company provides the highest level of service, meticulous organization, and thoughtful direction to ensure every detail of your wedding is planned to perfection.
DFW Events, Inc. 214.505.9142
www.dfwevents.com 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.
Diamond Affairs Weddings & Special Events, Inc. Dallas, TX 214.223.8000
www.diamondaffairs.com Specializing in elegant Southern weddings, Mary Wright Shah and the Diamond Affairs team custom design the elements that make dreams a reality. Each planning experience is rich in meaningful detail to achieve perfection on the wedding day.
Emily Clarke Events
500 Crescent Court, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 214.754.5822
www.emilyclarkeevents.com Based in Dallas, Texas, Emily Clarke Events has produced one-of-a-kind artful weddings across the country and at destinations abroad. Guided by a keen eye for detail and creativity, each personalized celebration is tailored to the client’s vision. The talented team strives to create a fun and encouraging experience for couples throughout the planning process.
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EDITORS CIRCLE | 2019
WEDDING PLANNERS & DESIGNERS continued Engaging Affairs Washington, DC 703.313.7659
www.engagingaffairs.com 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.
Erganic Design New York, NY 212.206.1503
www.themakersofmagic.com Led by Sojourner Auguste, the Erganic Design team creates a distinctive bespoke event experience for couples. The full-service company makes the impossible possible and creates magical moments for life’s most treasured celebrations.
EverAfter Events San Diego, CA 619.787.0978
www.everafterevents.biz Acclaimed on TV, radio, and in numerous magazines and blogs, EverAfter Events has enjoyed over 13 years of wedding and eventplanning experience. The talented staff is passionate about listening to their clients and creating exquisite weddings that surpass their expectations. As experts on customized conceptualization, design, and coordination services, EverAfter Events focuses on the dreams and details of their clients, producing flawless, memorable weddings.
Washington, DC area 301.565.5949
www.evokedc.com Based in the Washington, DC area, EVOKE is a premier full-service event company specializing in event design, planning, and management for weddings and life events. They transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Experience and relationships are the foundation of a well-planned event, but passion is the driving force behind everything they do.
11301 W. Olympic Blvd., #496, Los Angeles, CA 310.479.9000
www.gellerevents.com 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.
Ilana Ashley Events
Lily V Events
www.ilanaashleyevents.com With a background in accounting, Ilana Ashley leads her team by combining elegant artistry and sophisticated business acumen. The event production company works with a select group of clients to ensure that each receives abundant attention and feels a part of the IAE family.
www.lilyvevents.com This full-service planning, design, and décor atelier creates gorgeous custom events from concept to execution for clients seeking luxurious, tailored celebrations that capture their vision for their one special day.
Los Angeles, CA 818.963.8670
International Event Company
9744 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 301, Beverly Hills, CA 310.271.1900
www.internationaleventcompany.com 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 of your life. They will focus on every detail to design an event that flows effortlessly
Weston, FL, Montreal, QC & Quebec City, QC 646.644.2156/514.907.1170/418.767.0160
www.kamariage.com An international planning and design company with offices in Florida, Montreal, and Quebec City, KA Mariage creates unforgettable experiences by orchestrating every detail of a wedding surrounded by luxury and love.
Kelli Corn Weddings & Events Hilton Head Island, SC 843.368.2029
www.kellicorn.com Kelli Corn creates magical experiences and beautiful weddings for couples in pursuit of hosting the perfect party. Her full-service wedding design, event planning, and production company calls on the team’s intuition, experience, decisiveness, and grace to deliver extraordinary and elegant events, guaranteed to exceed clients’ expectations.
Atlanta, GA & Philadelphia, PA 267.736.4442
Linda Howard Events 310.472.5848
www.lindahowardevents.com With 20 years of experience, Linda is nationally recognized as one of the best event designers in California. Combining her background in interior design with her organizational skills, Linda plans weddings to ensure her clients’ “dream weddings” exceed their expectations. Linda offers full-service planning & mentoring.
Mindy Weiss Party Consultants
232 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 888.777.3414
www.mindyweiss.com Mindy is one of the most sought-after event planners and 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.
Nahid’s Global Events
San Diego, CA & Destination Weddings 619.920.2976
www.nahidglobal.com With offices in Northern and Southern California as well as affiliate locations worldwide, Nahid’s Global Events is a premiere wedding and event design firm that specializes in luxurious multicultural celebrations that provide couples and their loved ones with expertly tailored experiences across the globe.
www.keshevents.com Award-winning event production company Kesh Events produces opulent weddings in Chicago and worldwide. Under the direction of Akeshi Akinseye, they offer a hands-on approach, orchestrating one-of-a-kind celebrations. Recognized for their exquisite style, they are proud to cater to a vast client base including celebrities and athletes.
www.poshpartiesonline.com Based in South Florida, this luxury wedding planning company led by Heather Lowenthal creates stylish weddings from concept to completion. They pay special attention to all the little details to create events that are truly a representation of each couple’s dreams.
730 West Lake Street, #8212, Chicago, IL 312.253.7318
Levine Fox Events, Inc. 818.783.0273
www.levinefoxevents.com Alyson Fox, with over 18 years experience in event production, is committed to creating extraordinary events, personalized to her clients’ tastes. Given her warmth, professionalism, and dedication, she has gained wide respect throughout the industry for her creativity, attention to detail, and stunning productions!
Palm Beach, FL 561.302.0702
Rikki Ladenheim Events Los Angeles, CA 818.599.3996
www.rikkiladenheimevents.com Based in Southern California but available for destination weddings across the world, Rikki Ladenheim works one-on-one with each couple to create an exquisite event that reflects the style and personality of every client.
EDITORS EDITORSCIRCLE CIRCLE | 2019 2013
www.sqnevents.com Founded in 2009 and led by Beth Bernstein, SQN Events is considered one of the top event-planning 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.
www.unveiledhawaii.com With a detail-oriented team, Unveiled Hawaii offers a unique hands-on approach to planning a destination wedding in the Hawaiian Islands and is committed to providing their couples with a seamless and worry-free journey sure to leave a lasting impression.
Chicago, IL & Destination Weddings 773.469.6095
Sterling Engagements Los Angeles, CA 323.845.9500
Suzanne Reinhard Events
San Diego, CA 619.887.4915/619.435.1531
www.victoriawe.com 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
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www.whitelilacinc.com The comprehensive event-design firm is a think tank of multitalented individuals coming together to achieve inspired environments tailored to each discerning client, while ensuring flawless execution.
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Orlando, FL 407.496.6480 www.treschicsouthernweddings.com
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www.thomasbuilifestyle.com Based in San Diego, California, Thomas Bui Lifestyle is a full-service wedding and eventdesign company that specializes in luxury weddings. Since 2000, Thomas Bui Lifestyle has crafted distinctive events that exude pure sophistication, beauty, and elegance for the most discerning couples.
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www.tessa.com Tessa Lyn Events personalizes weddings to be as unique as the bride and groom. The Santa Monica-based company focuses on total organization so the couple can enjoy their entire engagement period.
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Tessa Lyn Events
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www.suzannereinhard.com Offering full planning services, Suzanne Reinhard and her team help couples treasure their wedding journey by creating stunningly beautiful, luxurious, and personalized events that the bride and groom, as well as their family and friends, will never forget.
www.vivabellaevents.com 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.
Atlanta, GA 404.213.9204
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www.sterlingengagements.com 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.
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MODERN NATURE CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
FROZEN FANTASY M ELISSA BL AN CO & JASO N FITZSI M MO NS January 27, 2018 Quebec City, Canada
Photographed by Joel & Justyna
Planning for a destination wedding, particularly one in the dead of winter, was challenging, admits Melissa Blanco and Jason Fitzsimmons, but the vision of a dreamy escape along with 40 of their closest friends and family was well worth the effort. “Jason and I have always wanted to have an intimate destination wedding, and we have always found winter weddings to be some of the most enchanting,” confides the bride. “Destination weddings offer a unique adventure and provide some of the most stunning locations.”
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RESOURCES Beauty Jonathan Lee - hair Beauté Hotwheels - makeup Bridal Gown Pnina Tornai Bridal Salon Kleinfeld Bridal Bridesmaid Gowns LulaKate Cake Sweet Couture Montreal Calligraphy Simply Steph Ko Cape/Hand Muff Sherry Bridal Couture Catering Montego Resto-Club Consulting KA Mariage Entertainment Dr. Draw; Guillaume Renaud Jeff Cote; Keith Withlock Sandy Duperval Floral Design Fleur Concept Formalwear Ideal Tuxedos; My.Suit Hair Accessories Maria Elena Headpieces Naturae Design Invitations/Stationery Casey Snyder Design Jewelry Keren Wolf; Paula A. Fox Rafaello & Co Lighting Design Contak AV Linens Location Gervais Quebec Tenue de Soirée Photography Joel & Justyna Rentals Location Gervais Quebec Venues Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique Francophone Hôtel de Glace Videography Marrone Films
The New Jersey couple’s magical ceremony took place in a gorgeously crafted chapel made entirely from carved ice and snow in Quebec City – a majestic town filled with Old World, European charm. The theme of the celebration, “Song of Ice and Fire,” was greatly inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s film Romeo + Juliet, though there were also touches from Game of Thrones and Disney movies incorporated into the décor scheme. The altar and the lectern of the sanctuary were formed from ice, while the aisle was covered in snow, and the pews – made from blocks of ice – were cloaked in plush faux fur for guests to sit. Lilac lighting blended beautifully with the glow of hundreds of candles along the altar, and candelabras and tea lights bedecked unoccupied pews. The wedding party lined up outside the fur-wrapped wooden doors, awaiting their entrance. As the doors began to slowly open for Jason, snow began to fall. “It was perfect, like we were in a snow globe,” remembers Melissa. Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” played as they processed. The best man carried an icy blue book down the aisle titled “The Snow Queen,” which contained a heart-shaped hollow inside, where the rings were kept. The sole bridesmaid, Melissa’s younger sister, carried a small bouquet of cream roses and dusty miller; attached was a silver charm with a photo of their late mother and grandmother.
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“It was perfect, like we were in a snow globe.”
Melissa looked like royalty as she walked down the aisle with her father to the powerful song “Everybody’s Free” by Quindon Tarver. In lieu of a wedding bouquet, she carried a faux fur ivory hand muff – custom-made to match her long sheer cape – to protect her hands from the cold, as it was 23-degrees Fahrenheit inside of the ice chapel. The service was sentimental with both Jason and Melissa reading aloud their personally written vows. Upon their exit, every guest was given a small lantern to hold up in the darkness as they lined up on each side of the red carpet laid outside of the igloo. A former Catholic chapel from the 1900s – deconsecrated in 1992 – served as the venue for the reception. “I was raised Roman Catholic,” explains the bride. “Although my current relationship with Catholicism has changed, it cast an enduring influence on my thoughts on love, beauty, and romanticism.” The vibrantly colored stained-glass windows and other celestial imagery provided the ideal setting for the evening festivities.
“I wanted the reception to be dramatically lit in rich, deep colors not typically seen in weddings, starting with a deep reddish pink at its base, changing into purple as it moved upwards, and then into a blue ceiling dotted with stars,” illustrates Melissa. “The effect was otherworldly.” Scarlet floral arrangements decorated tables covered in royal-blue velvet linens. Gilt candelabras and additional candles provided the dimly lit room with a romantic, opulent scene, just like the couple had always desired. “Once Upon a Dream” by Lana Del Rey from the film Maleficent played as guests shuffled into the room. The song created a hazy dream-like atmosphere that was both eerie and magical. Then, a special performance of “Ave Maria” was played live by electric violinist Dr. Draw and singer/DJ Sandy Duperval: “Their talent added a lush, theatrical, and vibrant aspect to the reception that our guests continue to rave about,” shares Jason of their entertainment choice. “When they were finished, we were announced as husband and wife and entered from behind the large majestic altar to perform our first dance on the altar itself,” describes Melissa. “It was a beautiful moment I could never have imagined.” The newlyweds and their loved ones celebrated until the wee hours of the morning and vacationed a few additional days, enjoying the snowy streets NICOLE PALACIOS of the picturesque town.
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STATE OF LOVE BRYN TOYA M A & TAYLO R D ECKER
July 14, 2018 Columbus, Ohio
Photographed by Jenny Haas Photography
As an offensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, Taylor Decker is officially listed as six feet and seven inches tall, so itâ€™s not hard to imagine him making an impression as he easily strolled through a crowded bar during his final year at The Ohio State University. Bryn Toyama, on the other
hand, is a petite five foot one and struggled to make her way through while trying to celebrate her birthday. She and her close friend, both recent transfer students, were likely the only people in the room who didnâ€™t recognize Taylor and his teammates celebrating their win earlier in the day.
MODERN NATURE CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
RESOURCES Beauty Jazlyn Gonzalez for Makiaj Beauty - hair Marlene Ayala for Makiaj Beauty - makeup Bridal Gown Berta Bridal Salon Nordstrom Wedding Suite Bridal Stylist Leslie Wood Bridesmaid Gowns Katie May; Watters Cake Miam Cake Calligraphy Script One Four Catering Two Caterers Entertainment The Shaw Brothers Swagg Event Planning & Design MMJ Events Floral Design Posy Hair Accessories Kitsch Invitations/Paper Goods Ceci New York Jewelry David Wachler & Sons Jewelers Paris by Debra Moreland Lighting Design Jeff Neff Linens BBJ Linen Photography Jenny Haas Photography Rentals Aiden & Grace Specialty Rentals All Occasions Party Rental Sally Ford - draping Veil Monique Lhullier Venue Ohio Statehouse Videography Chris McClain Productions
“Bryn was, to put it poetically, using some colorful language because she didn’t have as easy of a time navigating through everyone to the bar,” he laughs. “I jumped at the opportunity and asked her what she would like to drink.” They talked for hours, learning about each other’s families, and Bryn was surprised to learn that Taylor – an animal science major – worked closely with the Columbus Zoo and had several pictures with baby leopards, penguins, and more. “That’s probably what got me right there!” she admits of the moment that had her smitten. They met only a few months before Taylor was set to start his professional football career, so they spent as much time together as possible before he left for NFL Combine training in Arizona. “We went from seeing each other almost daily to once a month for some time if we were lucky,” he remembers. Through multiple football seasons and moves, their relationship only grew stronger. Unable to sneak a visit to his sweetheart’s hometown without arousing suspicion, he called her parents to ask for their blessing over the phone. Once the engagement ring was ready, it was scheduled to be delivered the same day Bryn left for a trip to visit friends, so he rushed her out of the house so she wouldn’t see it arrive. Upon her arrival back home, she found Taylor on one knee surrounded by flower petals and vases full of roses while music played. “It was honestly so much to walk into having no idea [what was happening], that I didn’t even see the ring box or hear him ask me to marry him!” Bryn exclaims. Once the moment registered, she of course said yes.
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As the couple lives in Michigan during football season and Arizona the rest of the year, deciding on a location for their wedding wasn’t easy. Both of their families are from Ohio, but different ends of the state. Columbus was chosen as it conveniently split the difference between their hometowns and was the city where they first met. From there, finding a ceremony and reception site was simple. “Our state capitol building was the only venue I would be married in,” confirms the bride. For a special touch, the team chaplain for the Detroit Lions officiated the ceremony, which was held in a rotunda with checkered floors and beautiful murals. “The room is a soft shade of pink and is framed by four hallways with old stone staircases,” Bryn illustrates. “We wanted to accentuate the beauty and glamour of the room with florals and not create too many distractions by doing too much.” A wall of blush and ivory blooms with greenery served as a lovely backdrop for the vow exchange.
â€œI wanted the wedding to be glamorous, but more importantly, timeless.â€? 64
Once the duo was pronounced husband and wife, 200 attendees enjoyed cocktail hour before moving to the reception space. “I wanted the look of our wedding to be glamorous, but more importantly, timeless,” shares the bride. Florals in soft hues that complemented the venue were paired with a verdant mixture to create an organic and natural feel. Some of the round tables featured large blooming arrangements held aloft by crystal vases, while others had box-shaped centerpieces covered in blossoms. Rectangular tables showcased hanging structures draped in flowers and suspended tea lights.
Following a surf-and-turf plated dinner, the newlyweds and their friends and family took to the dance floor. Having a live band was important to the groom, and the group delivered the entertainment he desired. “As with the whole wedding, the performance made for a fun environment while keeping that classy vibe we were going for,” Taylor confirms. When the night came to a close, he realized that everyone who told him the big day would go by quickly was absolutely right: “I wish I could do it all again.” EMILY LASNIER
MODERN NATURE BED OF ROSES CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
BROO KE M AGEE & JACK LEO PARDO December 2, 2017 Chicago, Illinois
Photographed by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography
“We’ve known each other since sixth grade,” confirms Jack Leopardo of his relationship with Brooke Magee. “We had a really great friendship that whole time that turned into something more.” After knowing each other for 15 years and dating for five, he knew it was time to take the next step. While visiting Chicago for the holidays, Jack worked with their families to plan the perfect proposal. After Brooke got ready for dinner, Jack told her to meet him outside. “I saw
him from the window in the door with a bunch of candles and a red carpet and knew what was going on,” she reminisces. As she stepped out front, replicas of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame led to Jack and spelled out “Will you marry me?” Brooke happily accepted her beau’s proposal, and the couple’s future wedding photographers Bob and Dawn Davis secretly captured the special moment on camera. “It was the most perfect engagement,” she muses.
Fashion edited by Juli Alvarez
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RESOURCES Beauty Nicole Cohen for Renee Feldman Salon - hair Shannon O’Brien - makeup Bridal Gown Michal Medina Bridal Salon/Veil Dimitra’s Bridal Couture Bridesmaid Gowns Katie May Cake Elysia Root Cakes Consulting Great Events, Inc. Dresser The Wedding Dresser Entertainment Arlen Music Productions Favors Competitive Distributors Floral Design Kehoe Designs Formalwear Vera Wang Honeymoon The Peninsula Paris Invitations/Calligraphy Elizabeth Grace Jewelry James & Williams Jewelers Lighting Design Kehoe Designs Linens BBJ Linen Mothers’ Gowns Camilla and Marc Romona Keveža Photography Bob & Dawn Davis Photography Registries Bed Bath & Beyond Bloomingdale’s Rentals Hall’s Rental; Kehoe Designs Venues Four Seasons Hotel Chicago St. Michael in Old Town Videography Xpress Video Productions
Months later, loved ones were invited to the celebration with a sophisticated suite designed by Elizabeth Grace in a high-contrast color palette of black, red, and white with a silver monogram, which set the tone for the rest of the soirée. On the day of the nuptials, 400 guests gathered inside a beautiful house of worship to witness the Catholic ceremony. So as not to distract from the beauty of the space, décor was kept minimal with lush arrangements of ruby roses placed on either side of the altar. The bride was stunning in a lace gown featuring an illusion neckline and removable sleeves from Dimitra’s Bridal Couture; Brooke clutched a bouquet of crimson roses as she walked down yet another red carpet to meet her groom. “There’s so much buildup leading to your wedding day, so when she finally got to me, it was a huge relief, ” smiles Jack. “Everything I could have hoped for and more.”
A luxurious hotel in the city was selected for the reception since it felt both intimate and accommodated a large guest list, two necessary components desired by the couple. Attendees found their seating assignments on rich onyx escort cards with crimson borders and vanilla calligraphy, which were neatly displayed on mirrored tables topped with a towering obsidian urn filled with roses. As they entered the ballroom, friends and family members were transported into a romantic setting showcasing bold, majestic décor. The groom desired a dark theme for the design, so the couple’s wedding team created a gorgeous space filled with dramatic details, bright red blossoms, and shimmering crystal chandeliers that worked together to provide an ambient atmosphere. Modern, rectangular ebony tables were decorated with mirrored runners topped with low arrangements of scarlet roses and crystal candle votives, while translucent ghost chairs surrounded them. Contrasting acrylic chairs in a deep ink shade were placed around circular tables strewn with metallic silver linens and adorned with lush arrangements of wine-hued roses atop crystal centerpieces. Between courses and after slices of the couple’s five-layer cake were served, loved ones enjoyed dancing to music provided by a live band on a large jet-black dance floor highlighting the couple’s oversized monogram. 70
“No one will notice if something goes wrong except for you. If something does go wrong, remember the reason why you are there – marrying the love of your life.”
When asked if they would do anything differently for their special day, both Brooke and Jack agree everything was perfect. “Actually, the one thing I would change would be bringing our dogs Tony Soprano and Louie to the reception,” laughs the groom. Despite not having their English and French bulldogs by their side, the pair was honored to spend time with friends and family until the earlymorning hours. “The wedding day really went by so fast,” affirms Jack. “Before I knew it, Brooke and I were standing in an empty banquet room at 3AM eating our late-night snack, deep-dish pizza.” The bride was equally surprised by how quickly the day passed and offers one piece of advice for engaged couples: “No one will notice if something goes wrong except for you. If something does go wrong, remember the reason why you are there – marrying the love of your life.” KELCY CHRISTY 72
MODERN NATURE CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
TIMELESS ROMANCE CARRI E SEI D & JA M ES LIN
January 7, 2018 Huntington, New York
Photographed by Lauren Fair Photography
RESOURCES Aisle Runner The Original Runner Company Beauty Makeover with Reiko Bridal Gown Pronovias - ceremony BHLDN - reception Bridal Salon Best Total Wedding Plaza Bridesmaid Gowns Hitherto Cake/Catering Oheka Castle Design/Consulting Karyn Michael Events Entertainment Art-Strings Ensembles Starlight Music Floral Design Pedestals Floral Decorators Headpiece USABride Honeymoon Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Invitations Bella Figura; Karyn Michael Events Minted Jewelry London Jewelers Lighting Design Hart To Hart Entertainment Linens Karyn Michael Events Motherâ€™s Gown Jovani Photography Lauren Fair Photography Registries Amazon; Bed Bath & Beyond Crate and Barrel Shoes Christian Louboutin Jimmy Choo Veil Blossom Veils and Accessories Venue Oheka Castle Videography Willow Tree Films
Carrie Seid first laid eyes on James Lin at a friend’s birthday party in college, where she was instantly captivated by his humor and charm. “My most memorable thought upon meeting Carrie was she was very bubbly and liked to sing along to the music,” the groom recalls. They dated for 10 years before James asked for her hand in marriage while celebrating their anniversary in Napa Valley. “I knew I wanted her to be my wife when I saw how supportive she was of my goals in life,” he affirms. With the blessing of Carrie’s family, the groom purchased a stunning loose diamond with the intention that Carrie could select her own setting for the precious stone. Because each of their families were so involved in the planning process, the couple was able to seamlessly arrange for their dream wedding in only five months, along with the help of their wedding planner. Since the majority of their attendees also reside in New York City, they decided to host their nuptials locally. Of all the fabulous venues near the “Big Apple,” they elected Oheka Castle for their sophisticated celebration. The couple designed a décor scheme of muted hues in mauve, cream, blush, and gold to enhance the regal ambience of the locale. “We wanted to bring the castle alive with fresh flowers in the winter, [so] we opted for arrangements in a classic, elegant color palette,” Carrie reveals.
“We were speechless and amazed at how beautiful the room came out.”
Moments before proceeding down the aisle, the bride and groom participated in traditional Chinese wedding customs, which were very important for them. In addition to their emotional tea ceremony, Carrie wore a qípáo, a time-honored red dress, complemented with borrowed jewelry from her maternal grandmother. Meanwhile, James played Chinese wedding door games with his seven groomsmen. “The groom has to do this before seeing his bride,” Carrie explains of the ceremonial custom where bridesmaids create challenges for the groom to complete in order to demonstrate his love for the bride. While changing into her strapless white satin gown, Carrie put on a veil that was embroidered with their new monogram CLJ. She carried a lush bouquet of ranunculus blossoms, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus, and a variety of roses. A string quartet performed classical hymns as 300 loved ones witnessed the couple exchange vows in front of the romantic ballroom fireplace, which had been bedecked in fresh florals. The same regal theme carried over to the reception, where a Champagne tower met loved ones at the entrance of the spectacularly designed space. “We were speechless and amazed at how beautiful the room came out,” admits Carrie. Guests were also thrilled to see the couple’s first dance, which James considers one of his most favorite memories of the day. “We did not have much time to practice, but when we got on the dance floor in front of all of our family and friends, we just focused on each other,” the groom reflects, remembering the fun moment. As the newlyweds took their last steps, revelers were asked to join them on the dance floor, which was emblazoned with an oversized monogram print. The band was so exhilarating, guests danced until nearly midnight! “We wanted upbeat, classic, and throwback songs that all would enjoy,” says James. “It was amazing; everyone loved it!” As party favors, loved ones took home a bottle of a prized Napa Valley wine as a nod to the couple’s engagement story. Carrie and James relished each moment of their special day. “Our advice is to take a step back during the whole process to enjoy it and just breathe,” affirms the bride. “Planning a wedding is very stressful, and at the end of the day, it’s two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their KEEANNA GARCIA lives together.”
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GARDEN OF LOVE ALEX A HAKI M & NI CO MO INIAN
October 21, 2018 Palm Beach, Florida
Photographed by Roey Yohai Studios
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Over four decades ago, two couples met in Milan and got to talking, saying how nice it would be if one of their children married a child from the other family. It turned out that was not meant to be; however, the two households did come together through their grandchildren. Alexa Hakim and Nico Moinian grew up as family friends, even having a photo of each other in a hammock together as children. Though it wasn’t until after college, where they reconnected at a real estate event, that a romantic relationship began to blossom. As time went on, Nico knew he was ready to propose. A close friend in the jewelry business helped to design the stunning emerald-cut diamond ring framed by elegant side stones. Receiving the blessing of her parents was simple, although the father of the bride tried to make the hopeful groom sweat it out at first. “My father-inlaw played a joke on me and said, ‘Let me think about it…’ and then started laughing,” Nico shares.
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Though the New Yorkers decided to host a destination celebration in Florida, the wedding was truly a family affair. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were all cousins of the couple, and both sets of parents and siblings were involved in the planning process. “Everyone in the family has a passion and a skill for throwing incredible parties,” Alexa affirms. The lovebirds were touched by how many people were able to make the destination event in Palm Beach – 690 guests out of 720 invitees. “Do you know what kind of turn out that is?” exclaims Nico. “We definitely have supportive family and friends.” After an elaborate Shabbat dinner the previous day, the ceremony began after sunset in accordance to the Jewish faith. A cousin of the bride, who is a violinist, played Persian music to honor their heritage while the bridesmaids and groomsmen processed. Forgoing traditional bouquets, the bridesmaids instead wore golden lace cuffs with ivory ranunculus blossoms. Alexa was resplendent in a custom gown with a scoop neckline and three-dimensional appliqués as she walked down the elevated, white acrylic aisle to meet Nico – donning a midnight blue tuxedo – under the lush chuppah. The structure was formed with an abundance of greenery accented by cream roses, hydrangeas, and orchids. An oversized crystal-and-floral chandelier completed the arbor. Their many loving guests were seated in the round, allowing everyone to feel included with a clear view of the nuptials. A rabbi and cantor flew in from Israel to preside over the service as well as perform several songs. 84
“We got showered with more flowers than I could imagine and more love than I can remember… It was incredible.”
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“We went with a ‘Gatsby Garden’ theme,” says Alexa of the reception. The space was f illed with verdure, from hedges along the perimeter to trees used as centerpieces. Much of the décor was a nod to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which celebrates the harvest and occurred a week before the wedding. “Mirrored tables were set with jewel-toned f lowers including peonies, roses, celosias, ranunculuses, and hydrangeas arranged with fruits such as pomegranates, grapes, and blackberries,” explains the bride. “Some focal tables featured trees with purple f lowers, and the tables along the perimeter of the room were elevated.” The back of the ballroom was similarly raised and had two
oversized bars and lounge areas on either side of the band. Despite consecutive celebrations the two days before, revelers kept the party going until 4AM. “We had lots of different music genres, from house to Latin to Persian to Israeli to jazz to Frank Sinatra… I think all ages really had a blast and connected with the music,” Nico muses. Towards the end of the festivities, they took part in a Persian custom where newlyweds stand beside the cake and guests start throwing blooms at the happy couple while singing traditional Iranian wedding songs. “We got showered with more flowers than I could imagine and more love than I can remember,” EMILY LASNIER reminisces the groom. “It was incredible.”
HAPPILY EVER AFTER BRIT TANY N ELSO N & RYAN AN D ERSO N May 26, 2018 Hazlet, New Jersey
“We would talk on the phone for hours at a time,” remembers Brittany Nelson of the initial conversations with her high-school sweetheart Ryan Anderson. On their first date, which happened to be on Valentine’s Day, Ryan was smitten. “I don’t even remember the movie because I was so focused on her,” he muses. Years later, he wanted to take the next step. “When someone motivates you to become a better person without them knowing, that person should stick around for a long time,” he shares. Armed with the blessing of her parents, Ryan proposed to his beloved in front of the Cinderella 88
Photographed by Alakija Studios
Castle at Walt Disney World. One year later, the pair hosted their fairy-tale wedding closer to home. With a ballroom venue selected, Brittany and Ryan hired Lily V Events to help turn their vision into reality. The groom admits he wasn’t involved in the planning process; however, Brittany worked alongside her mother and vendor team to create the perfect day. “He wanted me to have my dream wedding, so he thought it was important that I made the decisions,” she adds. Desiring a romantic ambience, a vibrant palette of blush, fuchsia, and gold was selected.
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When the day finally came, groomsmen in grey three-piece suits with blush bow ties and bridesmaids in light pink dresses featuring various necklines preceded the bride down the aisle. Brittany was stunning in a formfitting gown with a mermaid skirt, sparkling beaded details, and illusion elements along the bodice as she made her way towards a beautiful iron structure embellished with soft drapery and hundreds of white phalaenopsis orchids. “She went all out… I knew she would look amazing, but she completely blew me away,” recalls Ryan, who donned a tuxedo with an alabaster jacket for the proceedings.
“She went all out... I knew she would look amazing, but she completely blew me away.”
In addition to their heartfelt vows, the pair made sure to include two special moments during the ceremony. First, a candle lighting service honored the bride’s grandfather and groom’s grandmother, who have both passed on. “Although they weren’t able to be a part of our special day physically, it was very crucial that we included them spiritually,” affirms Brittany. The pair also chose to honor their African-American heritage by concluding the service with the tradition of jumping the broom.
For the reception, the same palette of blush, fuchsia, and gold was implemented; however, the hues were amplified for the dinner and dancing portion of the evening. Awash in vibrant violet lighting, the room was filled with linen-covered tables and tiered mirrored varieties left bare to emphasize the sparkling crystals in between. Chandeliers glistened overhead and illuminated centerpieces, which showcased collections of lively blooms atop cascading crystal stands. “The floral arrangements were out of this world!” exclaims the bride.
Following a sit-down dinner, the bride took a moment to honor her family. “It was very important to thank my parents for all that they have done and continue to do,” she says. “During this time, I presented my beautiful mother with a bouquet of flowers to show appreciation for all of her help in making my dream wedding come true.” After the sweet sentiments, guests enjoyed slices of a fourlayer confection featuring Oreo mousse and dulce de leche fillings. The cake showcased a blush rosette pattern, an ivory quilted design, a gilt sequin tier, and the highest layer featuring ivory
frosting dotted with crystals was topped with a fresh pink peony. With their energy high, loved ones hit the dance floor to celebrate to the sounds of both a live band and a DJ until 10PM. When asked if she would do anything differently, the bride only regrets not extending the reception time: “We were having so much fun; we didn’t want it to end!” Her groom agrees wholeheartedly, “It was truly perfect – most amazing day of my life.” After a night of revelry, the newlyweds prepared for their tropical honeymoon to Jamaica, where they continued their own happily ever after. KELCY CHRISTY
RING IN THE NEW YEAR MODERN NATURE K ATE SHAU GHN ESSY & RO BERT BI GGAR
December 31, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio
Photographed by Karlisch Photography
CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
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Kate Shaughnessy and Robert Biggar met in high school on a double date; however, they unfortunately weren’t the pair set up together. “Coincidentally, we were on dates with each other’s friends!” laughs Kate. Though they didn’t hit off romantically, they became good friends and always stayed in touch. After graduating college, Kate joined a program at the financial company Bob worked for, and a few months after being assigned as his “analyst buddy,” they started dating. “The rest is history!” smiles Kate. When planning the details of their New Year’s Eve nuptials, the couple decided to stay close to home due to the holidays. Desiring a traditional ceremony, they invited 300 guests to witness their vow exchange at the same house of worship Kate attended church and school growing up. “I loved our mass,” muses the bride. “Being a week after Christmas, all of the festive decorations were still in place, creating a very cheerful and celebratory atmosphere.” She was stunning in an off-the-shoulder gown with a lace neckline – the same dress worn by her mother at her own wedding 33 years prior. “We didn’t have to do any major restorations or alterations,” begins Kate. “Just a simple hem fix, bustle repair, and cleaning!”
Following the service, guests traveled downtown for a chic reception, designed to the couple’s specifications. The impressive marble hall where the dinner took place features beautiful columns, high ceilings, and an enormous stained-glass window, which carried over some of the details seen in the ceremony. “We wanted a truly elegant evening that would stand the test of time and not be dated with a specific trend or theme,” says the bride of the refined look they created in a creamy palette accented with hunter green, gold, and navy hues. Tables were cloaked with sophisticated ivory linens featuring a soft pattern, surrounded by gold-backed chairs with vanilla cushions, and topped with lush elevated arrangements of orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, roses, camellia blooms, gardenias, bells of Ireland, and trailing stephanotis vines and amaranthus. Though Kate, her family, and their talented wedding team planned the majority of the event, the groom shared his opinions regarding the areas he felt strongly about. “I did suggest three things at the outset: a great band, snacks later in the evening, and bagpipes,” he shares. “They were kind enough to indulge all of my requests.” Per Scottish tradition, a bagpiper introduced the newlyweds at the reception before friends and family indulged in a wintry menu of butternut squash soup and burgundy-braised short ribs. For dessert, loved ones enjoyed slices of the couple’s classic four-layer almond wedding cake featuring chocolate ganache, raspberry buttercream, and raspberry jam, and decorated with fresh peonies, anemones, ranunculuses, and smilax.
“I think New Year’s Eve is a great night to get married.”
Though initially hesitant, Bob was pleased with the recommendation of his beloved’s family to take dance lessons prior to the big day. The live band sang Michael Bublé’s rendition of “L.O.V.E.” while the newlyweds performed a foxtrot for a proper first dance. “It was a moment I will never forget and set a great mood for the rest of the evening,” he smiles. Since attendees were eager to engage in revelry leading up to the stroke of midnight, the pair made sure to have an open-air photo booth to create take-away memories, as well as festive New Year’s Eve hats, tiaras, and noisemakers. “I think New Year’s Eve is a great night to get married,” affirms the groom, who enjoyed the extra time with guests leading up to the midnight celebration. “That felt like a KELCY CHRISTY nice cap on the evening, ending with an exclamation point.” 104
SEASON OF LOVE TAYLOU R RUTLED GE & SHAN E VEREEN
March 31, 2018 Santa Barbara, California
While visiting Seattle with a group of friends, National Football League running back Shane Vereen was delighted to be seated next to Taylour Rutledge at a dinner with mutual friends. “Shane was so down to earth and humble,” remembers Taylour.
Photographed by Brett Hickman Photographers
“He has truly been himself since the day I met him.” Though neither expected to meet the love of their life that night, Shane and Taylour spent the evening growing closer. “We have spoken to each other every single day since that night,” Shane smiles.
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Though they were in a long-distance relationship for two years while Shane played for the New England Patriots, their love never faltered. “I knew for a long time that Taylour was the girl I wanted to marry… I just remember one day waking up and saying to myself I want to be with her forever,” says the groom. Armed with the blessing of her father, Shane began planning the perfect proposal. Since they were building a house together in Colorado, he told his beloved that they needed to fly out for a meeting with the builder. After boarding a plane from Los Angeles – where Shane was training – they soon arrived at the building site, where fresh flowers and Champagne had been placed in the middle of the lot, creating a romantic spot for the proposal. Not done with the surprises for the day, Shane whisked his fiancée away to Santa Barbara to celebrate their engagement with a massage at their future wedding venue. “Besides my wedding day, it was one of the most special days of my life,” muses Taylour. Since the bride had always dreamed of having an outdoor ceremony, the couple chose to exchange vows in Santa Barbara, which boasts beautiful weather all year round – and most importantly, in March when the pair decided to wed during the football offseason. Since they were living in New Jersey at the time while Shane played for the New York Giants, they relied heavily on their team of wedding professionals to make their dream celebration come to life in just 11 months.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.”
On the afternoon of the alfresco ceremony, 210 guests found their seats on a grass lawn facing a picturesque view of the sea. Two urns overflowing with blush and alabaster blooms marked the entrance to the aisle, which was decorated with vanilla petals leading to the spot for the vow exchange: an elegant archway designed by Flowers by Cina featuring a blend of white and ivory florals accented with fresh eucalyptus greenery. “Overall, my ceremony space turned out exactly how I imagined,” beams the bride. She was stunning in a strapless mermaid gown as she approached her groom holding a creamy bouquet of peonies, garden roses, and ranunculus blossoms. “I couldn’t take my eyes off of her,” remembers Shane of his favorite moment of the day. After exchanging handwritten vows, the newlyweds met their loved ones on the terrace for a sit-down dinner service under the moonlight. To create an intimate and romantic feel, three 40-foot-long rectangular wooden tables were placed in the middle of the space, with round tables on the outside. Low arrangements consisting of soft-hued garden roses, ranunculuses, and greenery decorated the tablescapes and allowed guests to converse easily with one another. “The florals were one of my favorite aspects of my wedding display!” confirms the bride.
Once the sun went down, loved ones made their way into the rotunda room to enjoy slices of the couple’s four-layer wedding cake decorated with fresh blooms. Since Taylour and Shane couldn’t decide between their two preferred flavors, they chose both: chocolate cake with whipped white chocolate filling and raspberries and lemon cake with lemonraspberry filling. They also wanted their guests to experience their beloved California treat, so the In-N-Out Burger food truck made an appearance just in time for a late-night snack that kept revelers energized for an evening of dancing. “Much appreciation to the DJ who kept the dance floor packed for the entire reception,” notes the groom. Both the bride and groom agree they wouldn’t have done anything differently. “That’s not to say we had the best wedding ever… I think just for Tay and I, it was exactly what we wanted,” affirms the groom. Taylour shares: “Everyone still talks to us about how much fun our wedding was and how much fun everyone had together… We loved every KELCY CHRISTY aspect of our wedding day.”
ELEGANT EDGE PAI GE R ACH EL & BR AD NASIS February 10, 2018 Houston, Texas
Photographed by Chris Bailey Photography
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At an orientation for freshmen athletes, Paige Rachel and Brad Nasis were both participating in a “speed dating” activity meant to serve as an icebreaker. “I overheard her conversation with another athlete and it was not going well… at all,” affirms Brad. “So, I decided to interject and that’s when I first met Paige.” They discovered they would be neighbors in their dorms, and Paige was entranced by Brad’s perfect white teeth. However, it took a year of strong friendship before their relationship became romantic. After seven years of dating, the couple took a trip to Costa Rica. “What I thought was going to be a casual getaway turned into a full-on engagement celebration,” Paige reveals. The lovebirds took a kayak to a secluded island, where Brad reminisced about their time together, dropped to one knee, and asked his beloved to marry him. Though initially surprised that their 16-month engagement didn’t give them as much extra time for planning as they thought, the bride and groom looked to event planner Ann Whittington and a team of vendors to make the day perfect. “There are just so many details that go into planning and it really does take a village to make dream weddings become a reality,” confirms Paige. Both parents of the bride were hands-on throughout the process, and Brad stayed involved as well. “It was pretty cool for me to see him get excited about stationery!” the bride laughs.
The aroma of fresh flowers filled the air as guests entered the venue, and a large circle of white blossoms suspended over the site of the vow exchange provided a wow factor. “I wanted the space to feel clean, yet edgy,” shares Paige. Following the bridesmaids in sleek champagne dresses, the bride descended the aisle in a stunning mermaid gown with a plunging V-back and textured circle skirt while arm in arm with her father. The couple elected not to have a “first look,” and the moment they finally laid eyes on each other stands out in both of their minds. “I felt like I was going to cry when I saw her. I’m not a crier but dang it, that was some emotional stuff!” Brad exclaims. As guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the main room was redesigned for the reception. “We really wanted the space to flow and feel 118
as if you were transported to a magical place,” Paige muses. Dramatic tables with collections of petite vases showcased florals that matched the aesthetic of the ceremony. Alabaster columns drew eyes upward to stunning chandeliers paired with delicately draped twinkle lights. The crisp, modern look was reflected in the cake topper, a glass panel with an etched “N” for Nasis was placed in the center of the confection. Attendees were treated to a served salad course and then enjoyed three different stations that boasted several options for fare with protein, bread, and vegetable bases. In addition, there was Cajun stew with grits and cornbread muffins, as a nod to the bride’s family roots in Louisiana. The band was then inspired to start a first line – a New Orleans tradition – during the reception.
The newlyweds are big music fans and had live entertainment throughout the big day, which contributed to the celebratory spirit felt during the event. “We are still getting compliments today on how amazing our performers were,” says Brad. In fact, if there was one thing Paige could change about their wedding, it would be to spend more time on the dance floor. However, as the groom exclaims, it was still “an epic party with everyone we care about celebrating our love!” For those preparing their own nuptials, Brad advises grooms to be active participants. “This is truly a nerve-racking time leading up to your big day and your partner is going to need all the support that they can get,” he elaborates. “Also, hire a wedding planner if EMILY LASNIER you are able… They are wizards!” 120
“We really wanted the space to flow and feel as if you were transported to a magical place.” InsIdeWeddIngs.com
THERE SHE IS, MISS AMERICA SAV V Y SHI ELDS & NATE WO LFE
July 28, 2018 Bentonville, Arkansas
Photographed by The Hickenloopers
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Just three months after giving up the crown as Miss America, Savvy Shields replaced one sparkling accessory with another. This time, she wasn’t wearing a tiara in front of millions of people, but instead presented with a gorgeous engagement ring in a private moment with her future husband, Nate Wolfe. Savvy and Nate had first met at a wedding two-and-a-half years earlier, and it was now time for them to start planning their own nuptials. “In all the prep and planning for Miss America, I honestly thought a wedding would be a breeze because [the pageant] was so intense,” says the bride. With just seven months to organize the details of the day, Savvy worked with her mother and event planner to design the celebration of her dreams. The first step was choosing a venue in her home state of Arkansas, and they were thrilled to discover a newly renovated industrial space that fit her vision perfectly. “Being an artist, I loved the blank canvas,” notes the bride. “My dream was to create an artsy, airy, dreamy garden for the ceremony and transition to a grand party for the reception.” nsIdeWeddIngs eddIngs.com com InsIde
On the day of the nuptials, 270 loved ones joined the couple for a fairy-tale fête. The stunning altar featured flowing ivory drapery and a canopy of greenery and vanilla blooms that designated the spot for the vow exchange. Candles in tall hurricane vases and rose petals bordered the custom white aisle runner adorned with Savvy and Nate’s monogram, which was created by The Original Runner Company. “I loved the artistry and personal touch it provided,” the bride smiles. “We got so many comments on it!” At last, Savvy made her grand entrance in a striking form-fitting lace gown with a plunging neckline. “I will never forget watching her walk down the aisle. It was a surreal moment for me,” muses Nate. “It was years of anticipation built up into one instant.” The couple’s pastor, who is a good friend of theirs, officiated a personalized service that was extremely meaningful to the couple. “I’ve never felt such joy or giddiness as I held hands with Nate and we shared our vows. It was beyond perfect,” reminisces the bride. In order to make sure they greeted every guest, Savvy and Nate personally dismissed each row after the ceremony. Attendees then met a hostess who helped them find their seating assignments attached to ribbons suspended from towering trees and overarching branches in the dreamy hallway between the two event spaces. “The reception area itself had an amazing garden vibe and more of a modern, industrial feel,” explains Savvy. Centerpieces showcased towering arrangements of ivory blooms and verdure as well as classic candelabra. Wanting to add a personalized element to the décor, a friend of the couple hand-lettered the welcome sign and table numbers, and Savvy painted the backs with an ebony brushstroke. “I wanted to find a way to bring some of my art in, and this was a perfect way to do it,” she says. 126
â€œMy dream was to create an artsy, airy, dreamy garden for the ceremony and transition to a grand party for the reception.â€? InsIdeWeddIngs.com
Friends and family enjoyed a sit-down dinner service to the sounds of music by Frank Sinatra and other crooners before the revelry began. “We really wanted the reception to be a nonstop party, and that is what we got,” remembers Nate. “The dance floor was packed for four hours straight.” In addition to their gorgeous six-layer confection featuring ombré, gilt, and baroque-inspired details, attendees were treated to their choice of three custom ice cream flavors served from a vintage-inspired cart. The “Nate Date” was an ode to the pair’s many coffee dates, “World Peace” provided a nod to Miss America, and “Bellisimo” – meaning beautiful in Italian – prefaced the first stop of their honeymoon: Florence, Italy. Thrilled that they were able to celebrate all day long with their friends, family, and each other – thanks to an early “first look” – Savvy and Nate drove away in a black 1940 Cadillac Fleetwood to start their new life together as husband and wife. “I wanted to make sure that the wedding reflected me as Savvy, not as Miss America, and I am so thankful that it did,” affirms the bride. “From the overgrown dreamy feeling of the florals, the hand-painted table numbers, custom ice cream, and the dance party – everything was perfect.” KELCY CHRISTY
Marisa Grgas and John Colantuoni became friends when they met on spring break in Aruba, but it took eight more years before they fell in love in New York City. Unfortunately, being stateside didn’t make things any easier, as John was only visiting the “Big Apple” while he resided in Chicago. “We traveled back and forth every weekend for two years to see each other, and thankfully he moved back [home] to New York in April 2016,” explains Marisa. John was chosen to be the godfather of Marisa’s niece, and he was able to use that opportunity to ask for the blessing of his sweetheart’s parents. “They were very happy, and her mom cried,” he divulges. In addition to arranging the meeting at the christening, Marisa’s brother helped John find the perfect ring for his beloved – one that matched her mother’s. While visiting Boston for a friend’s birthday, the couple enjoyed a beautiful brisk winter day at the harbor and John asked Marisa to be his wife. 130
DESTINATION DREAMS MODERN NATURE M ARISA GRGAS & JO HN CO L ANTUO NI
CARO LIN Florida E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS January 20, 2018 Palm Beach, by Nancy Cohn Weddings | Photographed June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio | Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
RESOURCES Beauty Marco Peña - hair; Makeup and Hair by Tatjana - makeup Bridal Gowns Marchesa Monique Lhuillier - after-party Bridal Salons The Wedding Salon of Manhasset Monique Lhuillier - after-party Bridesmaid Gowns The Dessy Group Calligraphy Carla Hagan Designs Alpine Creative Group Consulting Posh Parties Entertainment Adriana Samargia The Powerhouse Group Floral Design/Aisle Runner Design Studio at The Breakers Miami Flower Walls Honeymoon Bvlgari Resort Dubai Gili Lankanfushi Maldives One&Only Reethi Rah Invitations Alpine Creative Group Stephanie Fishwick - artwork Jewelry CoSh NYC; Lana Neiman NYC, Inc.; Van Cleef & Arpels Mothers’ Gowns Anna Maier; Reem Acra Serafina Design Paper Goods Posh Parties Photography Nancy Cohn Weddings Registries Bloomingdale’s; Macy’s Williams-Sonoma Rentals/Linens/Lighting Design Design Studio at The Breakers Veil The Wedding Salon of Manhasset Venues The Breakers St. Ann Catholic Church Videography Ray Roman Films
Though the bride and groom desired a destination wedding, they also hoped it to be convenient for their guests. “My father and I wanted Croatia but we knew that it would be a tough location for people to travel to and we would miss having all our friends and family there,” admits Marisa. “So we decided on Florida since we both love it. We visited around five locations in Palm Beach, but it was The Breakers that took our breath away and we knew it was the spot.” The couple was so impressed with the staff’s attention to detail that they
opted to use the on-site design studio for the flowers and décor as well. Marisa’s parents were committed to making the celebration one to remember. “My father genuinely wanted every guest to have a perfect weekend and never be hungry! My mother was my right-hand woman for all decisions related to decorations, outfits, and all the fun stuff along the way,” shares the bride. Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties helped to keep everything organized and also worked with the couple to create unique welcome bags for the attendees.
“Everything was a dream come true.”
As both Marisa and John were raised Catholic, it was important for them to have a traditional church ceremony with a full mass. The downside is that there were numerous restrictions in regards to the modern music the bride hoped to use; though ultimately a mix of contemporary and traditional tunes were selected. She walked down the aisle to a medley of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and Pachebel’s “Canon in D” – “I’ll never forget how beautiful she looked in her dress!” exclaims the groom. Arrangements of greenery and ivory flowers were repurposed for cocktail hour, but the reception was where the organic, natural look was really brought to life. “The Breakers created these stunning tree-like centerpieces that were breathtaking and paired perfectly with the orbs that were wrapped in ivy and suspended from the ceilings,” illustrates Marisa. “We tied everything in with a natural greenery backdrop for the band and photo booth, which had hints of white flowers throughout.” There were also displays of candelabra with feathered tulips, verdure, and gardenias around the base. The bridal party sat at two long alabaster tables with glass tops that showcased moss and snowy blossoms beneath the surface.
The mother of the groom had gifted the couple dance lessons before the wedding, which proved useful for the first dance. “We [started with] a slow song – Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” – and then broke out into “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. It was here that I surprised John with an explosion of indoor sparklers that lit up the room. His face was priceless and people were in shock!” the bride elaborates. John confirms: “Our first dance was really amazing; our hearts were pounding.” After an elegant sit-down dinner, the festivities continued as guests enjoyed performances by a live band at the reception and an after-party that concluded at 2AM. Neither of the newlyweds would change a single part of their big day. “Everything was a dream come true,” the EMILY LASNIER bride muses.
SHANN O N WH ITEH EAD & TAHI R WHITEH EAD March 30, 2018 Pompton Plains, New Jersey
Shannon (née Perkins) and Tahir Whitehead first became smitten with one another when they were young. “We were at a high school basketball game and every time I looked at him, he was already looking at me but would quickly turn away,” she smiles in reflection. Years later, 138
Photographed by Amy Anaiz Photography
Tahir proposed at a romantic rooftop restaurant in Washington, DC. “He fooled me into thinking I could see The White House from our view,” Shannon explains. “I was getting frustrated trying to find it, so I looked back toward him and he was on one knee.”
MODERN NATURE CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
RESOURCES Beauty Shawnese McDaniel - hair Angie Mar - makeup Bridal Gown Randy Fenoli - ceremony Galia Lahav - reception Bridal Salon Kleinfeld Bridal - ceremony Roma Sposa Atelier - reception Cake Jâ€™adore Cakes Consulting Elle Audrey New York Dresser Vainglorious Brides Entertainment DJ Ricky Bonds for Pulse Sounds Entertainment Favors Sugarfina Floral Design Makini Regal Designs Formalwear Fellow Headpiece Bridal Styles Boutique Invitations Hanan Paikin Stationery Papered Wonders, Inc. Jewelry MJ Diamonds Richard Nektalov for Leon Diamond Linens The Finishing Touch Photography Amy Anaiz Photography Rentals Evolution Event Rentals Glam Party Rentals Shout - dance floor Perez Events Shoes Louis Vuitton Veil Randy Fenoli Venue The Legacy Castle Videography/Cinematography Andrey Solo Films
The couple was first married in October of 2013 in the living room of their home, surrounded by only a handful of people. However, Shannon always wished for a large wedding and a big white gown. “Tahir knew how important it was to me and made sure it happened, even if it was five years later,” she reveals. The groom confirms: “It was important for my wife to have her dream wedding and receive everything she ever wanted.” This time around, the Georgia-based couple planned for an extravagant fairy-tale celebration in their home state of New Jersey with all of their friends and family present.
The venue – a brand-new castle in New Jersey – was booked while it still needed six months of construction before completion. “Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect but I trusted my planner, and the deal was sealed after I viewed the design plans,” Shannon admits, remembering her excitement. The bride confesses that working with a wedding consultant really helped to ease the stress of planning: “It made it enjoyable and easy.” In fact, the only setback Shannon faced was collecting addresses from loved ones. “It was not my cup of tea,” she laughs. Since it was football season and Tahir is a starting linebacker for the NFL Oakland Raiders, he let his beloved take the reins and helped her to make final decisions and give input when he could, especially his favorite categories: food and music. Shannon worked meticulously to ensure that every detail was designed to perfection: “I wanted to wow our guests from start to finish!” For the ceremony, a small stage perfectly draped and accented with blossoms indicated the spot for the vow renewal. Tall flower arrangements of vanilla roses, hydrangeas, and peonies, along with hurricane candleholders, lined the snowy petal-covered aisle. A live singer performed soft, romantic ballads as guests found their way to their seats; shortly after, the couple’s young sons entered, dapper in full black tuxedos. Shannon made her grand entrance looking exquisite; she wore a beautifully embroidered ball gown with an illusion neckline and crowned her classic chignon with a sparkling crystal headpiece. “Seeing my husband when I walked down the aisle was a perfect moment,” confides the bride. The traditional ceremony began at sunset and incorporated sweet sentiments geared towards the couple’s sons. 142
â€œI wanted to wow our guests from start to finish!â€?
The regal white-and-gold color scheme continued into the reception, with attendees first locating their seating assignments on a mirror table where place cards encircled a large blossom tree. Both round and serpentine tables were bedecked with glamorous towering centerpiece displays of florals and candles. Timeless crystal drinkware was mixed in with gold-rimmed chargers and bullion flatware to complete the tablescape. 144
Revelers enjoyed their seated supper and for dessert, savored slices of the prized confection. An all-white cake with gilt touches showcased a sleek look, matching the style of the luxury stationery suite and wedding motif seen throughout the event. As partygoers made their way onto the custom dance floor, Shannon changed into a second, equally gorgeous gown for
the evening festivities. “It was a surprise to me, and she looked stunning,” Tahir shares of his bride’s outfit change. The couple highly suggests that others who are engaged seek out a talented wedding planner. “It made everything better than I could have imagined,” comments Shannon. “It was truly the NICOLE PALACIOS day I had always dreamed.”
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS HALEY HALL & TREVO R TA M LYN March 24, 2018 Dallas, Texas
Photographed by John Cain Photography
Trevor Tamlyn knew very early on that he wanted to marry Haley Hall; however, he waited until the perfect moment to propose. After receiving the blessings of her parents, the groom-to-be planned a trip to New York City. On the rooftop of a luxury hotel, Trevor asked Haley to be his wife, following in the footsteps of Haley’s father and grandfather, who had proposed to her mother and grandmother, respectively, in “The Empire State” years earlier. When planning the details of their nuptials, the affianced pair agreed on two things: the ceremony would take place in a house of 148
worship and the reception would be held at the bride’s family home – a dream of hers since childhood. “Both of our families are traditional, and having our marriage blessed in a church was important to us,” notes the groom. It was also important to the bride that her Catholic priest co-officiate their Presbyterian ceremony, so they received approval from the bishop to be married at the stunning church just one block away from her home, making it possible for them to take part in the much-loved callejoneada tradition in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico of walking the streets following the ceremony.
MODERN NATURE CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
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RESOURCES Beauty Tori Harris for Studio One Ten - hair Audrey Elliot for Stanley Korshak makeup Bridal Gown Monique Lhuillier Bridal Salon Warren Barrón Bridal Bridesmaid Gowns Jenny Yoo Collection Cake Vera’s Bakery Calligraphy Laurie Harper Calligraphy Catering Nathan Burke Dallas Caterer Wolfgang Puck Entertainment Gyros String Quartet; Highland Music; Mary Preston, organist Mariachi Espuelas de Plata Party On the Moon for EastCoast Entertainment Floral Design Bella Flora of Dallas Ice Sculpture Stellar Ice Invitations Needle in a Haystack Jewelry Sackowitz Jewelers; Tiffany & Co. Landscape Design Gail McCrory Lighting Design Bella Flora of Dallas; Beyond Photography John Cain Photography Planning/Design Emily Clarke Events Rentals Bella Flora of Dallas; ChemCan Services; Emily Clarke Events La Tavola Fine Linen; Posh Couture Rentals; Sandone Productions Veil Monvieve Venues Highland Park Presbyterian Church Private Residence Videography Elle Films
As guests began to take their seats, a repertoire of classical music was performed by a string quartet, before a brass quintet and timpani brought the room to attention with trumpets signaling the grand entrance of the bride. Haley was gorgeous in an off-the-shoulder lace gown and a glamorous European cathedral veil. She clutched a hand-tied bouquet of white
garden roses, baby ivory majolica roses, wispy astilbe, sweet peas, and seasonal ranunculus as she met her groom at the altar. Following the vow exchange, the bride’s parents surprised the newlyweds with mariachis who led them and their loved ones from the church through the streets back to Haley’s family home for the reception – a highlight for the groom.
“The most unique [feature] was having the reception at Haley’s parents’ house, which was very special and felt different than any wedding I’ve ever been to.”
As attendees turned the corner, servers could be seen lining either side of the azalea-lined walkway to the residence; they held silver trays topped with Champagne coupes to offer to friends and family. “We had so many unique features thanks to Haley’s mom Michelle, who is so creative,” muses Trevor. “The most unique was having the reception at Haley’s parents’ house, which was very special and felt different than any wedding I’ve ever been to!” The décor played off the architecture of the stunning Spanish Colonial home. Thousands of flowers and lush greenery adorned all of the alfresco archways, as well as the iron railing of the staircase and handcarved furniture inside the house, beautifully accentuating the dreamy property. 152
Friends and family mingled in the courtyard beneath a large tree featuring suspended lanterns overhead. A custom bar with a motif inspired by Spanish tiles wrapped around the tree provided the “Tamlyn Twist” – a specialty cocktail poured through an ice luge decorated with the couple’s names and fresh flower petals – as well as other libations served with monogrammed ice cubes. For the sit-down dinner service, loved ones enjoyed fare at two long distressed wood tables embellished with low arrangements of lush blooms and real candlelight, which required the mother of the bride to hire a flame attendant to supervise the candles beneath the tent.
Loved ones savored slices of a classic four-layer cake, made by the brother-in-law of the family’s housekeeper for over 20 years, before making their way to the dance floor, which featured the same tileinspired design seen on the bar. Guests also enjoyed late-night snacks to keep their energy up. Pizzas from a stone-fire grill were served, as well as churros and donuts packaged with the pair’s monogram, to continue the revelry. At the end of the evening, Haley and Trevor exited the celebration in a Flutter Fetti® send-off before joining friends and family in the living room for the after-party. The newlyweds were thrilled with their decision to have a beautifully personalized at-home event. “It was always my dream to have an at-home wedding,” smiles Haley. When asked if he would do anything differently, the groom jokes: “Do it twice! Honestly, everything was incredible.” KELCY CHRISTY
MODERN NATURE CARO LIN E EVELO & SHAN E DAVIS
June 11, 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio
Photographed by Kortnee Kate Photography
DAYS GONE BY K AR A ZEL M AN & J EREMY ROSEN
December 31, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio
Photographed by Genevieve Nisly Photography
Though they had met briefly in the past, it was at a New Year’s Eve party when Kara Zelman and Jeremy Rosen struck up a lively conversation. “I remember being instantly attracted to her and her personality,” admits Jeremy. Four years later, the two became engaged and spent the next year planning for an unforgettable wedding celebration in their shared hometown of Cleveland, Ohio
– appropriately scheduled for New Year’s Eve. Since Jeremy’s schedule was a bit more hectic at the time, the bride attended the majority of vendor meetings with her family, who were all very helpful to her. The groom knew the planning was in good hands: “Kara is an extremely meticulous individual and had the vision for our entire wedding weekend.”
RESOURCES Aisle Runner The Original Runner Company Beauty Maria Lorello for Oscar Giovanni Salon - hair Alberto Gutierrez for MAC Cosmetics - makeup Bridal Gown Reem Acra Bridal Salon/Veil Dimitra’s Bridal Couture Bridesmaid Gowns Aidan Mattox; Alfred Sung BCBGMAXAZRIA; Nookie Reformation; Xscape Cake White Flower Cake Shoppe Calligraphy Más+Millie Consulting Joe Mineo Creative Entertainment In the Mood for Three Rivers Entertainment The Innocenti Strings Floral Design Joe Mineo Creative Honeymoon 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Keemala Hotel Phuket The Langham Hong Kong Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Invitations/Stationery Lovely Somethings Lighting Design Vincent Lighting Systems Linens Mosaic Inc. Photography Genevieve Nisly Photography Registries Crate and Barrel; La Bella Vita West Elm; Zola Rentals All Occasions and Event Source Shoes Christian Louboutin Venue/Catering Hilton Cleveland Downtown Videography The Image In Motion
The bride knew she wanted a striking all-white décor scheme and an especially beautiful chuppah for the ceremony. Her floral and event designer, Joe Mineo, suggested adding greenery to the structure to make the contrasting colors pop. “I loved it!” Kara exclaims. A string quartet played “Stay” by R ihanna as the bridal party processed. Bridesmaids wearing ebony dresses in a variety of regal designs carried nosegays of different cream flowers: roses, tulips, ranunculuses, hydrangeas, freesia, and lisianthus.
When the musicians began to play “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, guests were asked to rise for the bride’s grand entrance. Kara looked angelic as she walked down the aisle on the arms of her parents. She wore a gorgeous strapless gown with floral appliqués from Dimitra’s Bridal Couture and held a romantic bouquet of Vendela, spray, and David Austin cabbage roses, as well as phalaenopsis orchids. Her groom, just as dapper, donned a smart tuxedo complete with a velvet bow tie.
Loved ones later entered the space for the reception, which had been transformed into a winter wonderland filled with sparkling accents. Dramatic displays of flowers had attendees in awe; there were four different types of stunning centerpieces, boxes of blooms surrounding the dance floor, an enormous ceiling treatment with crystals and votives suspended overhead, and additional artful creations behind the bar, band stage, and photo booth. The tables themselves were either covered in sequined linens or featured mirrored tops and the entire room was meticulously draped in sheer, ivory fabric. Several chandeliers and hundreds of candles reflected light off one another to complete the dreamy ambience. 160
â€œRecognize all the people who traveled from near and far to celebrate with you and all the hard work your vendors put into making your dream day happen.â€?
With over 350 friends and family in attendance, the couple settled on a scrumptious four-course dinner, along with freshly baked flavored challah bread. For dessert, slices from the five-tier square confection bedecked with cascading sugar flowers were served. In lieu of wedding favors, the couple planned for late-night treats, including Swenson’s (the couple’s favorite burger joint), Oreo cookies covered in sparkly white chocolate, and a hot chocolate station stocked with various toppings and mixes. As the evening progressed, dancing and revelry was in high gear. At the stroke of midnight, a confetti canon was set off while the live band played a version of “Auld Lang Syne” for all to enjoy. Kara remembers the moment as one of her favorites, “It was so incredible to celebrate
the New Year surrounded by all our closest friends and family.” At the start of the reception, the bride noticed she was still worried if things were running smoothly instead of enjoying herself; after about an hour she realized everything was going perfectly and her vendor team was doing an amazing job. She encourages other newlyweds to take a couple of minutes to themselves, look around the room, and really appreciate everything: “Recognize all the people who traveled from near and far to celebrate with you and all the hard work your vendors put into making your dream day happen.” For Kara and Jeremy, their wedding day set the New Year off to a perfect start and they wouldn’t have had it any other way. “Everything NICOLE PALACIOS was flawless,” Jeremy confirms.
EVERLASTING LOVE VER A GU ERIN & PAU L GU ERIN
July 28, 2018 Beverly Hills, California
As their 50th anniversary approached, the children of Vera and Paul Guerin felt their parents should celebrate the momentous occasion. The loving couple met with Linda Howard of Linda Howard Events, who had planned the weddings of both their son Michael and daughter Lisa. “She suggested that we surprise our guests with a ceremony prior to the dinner reception,” explains Vera. After all, their original vow exchange was only five minutes! After meeting at her brother’s bar mitzvah, Vera and Paul were instantly drawn to one another. “I just turned
Photographed by Laurie Bailey Photography
around and, actually, that was it,” reveals Paul. Though he immediately asked her out to see his band perform, the date didn’t happen because Paul did not follow the protocol of her parents’ expectations. However, a few months later, Vera was watching The Dating Game with her friend, when they were surprised to see Paul as a contestant. Her friend called him to talk about the show and then pretended that Vera had just walked in the room. Paul asked to speak to her and requested she come over right away. “We were together ever since, but a few complications did ensue,” she admits.
RESOURCES Beauty Valerie Beverly Hills Bridal Gown Mark Zunino Bridal Salon Mark Zunino Calligraphy Just Robin Studios Cake Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Catering Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Consulting Linda Howard Events Entertainment West Coast Music Floral Design Markâ€™s Garden Formalwear Armani Invitations Just Robin Studios Lighting Design Images by Lighting Linens La Tavola Fine Linen Photography Laurie Bailey Photography Rentals Revelry Event Designers Shoes Manolo Blahnik Venue Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Videography Custom Made Productions
Though Paul was smitten enough that he would have married her the following week, Vera’s parents didn’t approve. As survivors of the Holocaust, it was important that their daughter marry someone who shared their Jewish faith. After some time, they acquiesced on the condition that Paul study to convert and join them on a trip to Israel to learn about their culture. Unfortunately, once there, Vera’s mother changed her mind. Vera would not be deterred, however, and she proposed to her beau. They soon ran off to Las Vegas to elope. The bride balked at the thought of being married by a minister, so it was arranged that a justice of the peace perform the quick service at the Chapel of the Bells. Though the two weddings they witnessed on-site seemed like disasters, it soon started to rain and the justice of the peace who arrived turned out to be Jewish. Vera took these both as positive signs, and shortly thereafter the duo was pronounced husband and wife. After 50 years, it’s clear they made the right decision.
The event started with cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres, and then the guests were taken to a tent to view a charming video inspired by When Harry Met Sally, which shared the incredible love story of Vera and Paul. The video concluded with a dance routine to “Another Day of Sun” from La La Land, featuring professional dancers and the married couple along with their children and grandchildren. Once complete, the dancers appeared in person, continuing the performance in the tent. Suddenly a black curtain dropped, revealing a magnificent chuppah full of exquisite orchids for the surprise vow renewal. “Our wedding was finally taking place… 50 years later,” Vera muses. A replica sign of the Chapel of the Bells to the side of the altar alluded to the original 168
ceremony. When Paul, who did in fact convert to Judaism after marriage, took part in the breaking of the glass, confetti filled the room to the delight of the many well-wishers. A delicious dinner followed, where attendees were wowed by the chic color scheme. “Gold was the prevailing color, as it was the 50th anniversary, but we must have had every white flower in the city too!” illustrates Vera. Ebony chairs with bullion accents complemented glittering linens, while towering centerpieces of ivory roses and alabaster orchids topped the tablescapes. Instead of a cake, an ice sculpture was carved to recreate the traditional confection. Gilt etchings of the couple’s names were on the front, and an ice topper displayed “50” in honor of the Guerins’ five decades of marriage.
“Gold was the prevailing color, as it was the 50th anniversary, but we must have had every white flower in the city too!”
Befitting the entertainment that started the evening, a variety of performers kept guests enthralled throughout the night. In order to bring Las Vegas to their nearest and dearest, Vera and Paul had tribute acts of both The Supremes and The Four Seasons play sets at the reception. There was even a surprise performance by Donny and Marie! The celebration of their golden anniversary could not have been better. Vera confirms, “Every detail was done to perfection and everyone had a night they will never forget… especially us!” EMILY LASNIER
EXPERT ADVICE | PLANNING
PHOTO: CARRIE PATTERSON
Elevate Your Wedding with Out-of-the-Box Designs Discover insider tips for planning a well-thought-out celebration you and your guests will always remember.
Stage Backdrops and Foreground Installations If the space behind the stage is beautiful in its own right, look at ways to further enhance the scene. Do not stop at “pretty enough” – make the area truly dreamy with a custom vinyl backdrop, large floral installations, or décor such as flowering vines or ribbons suspended from the ceiling. Likewise, if the foreground of the stage is lacking in luster or does not fit your color story, spend extra time and resources to make it dazzle. My team has learned from experience: “If you build it, they will marvel.” At a recent wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we hand-painted the stage backdrop with soft white flowers on teal and built matching foreground installations on-site. We then suspended luscious vines with vanilla blossoms to frame the lovely scene. The Dance Floor Considering how much time guests spend in this space, leaving it blank feels like a waste of design opportunity! Hand-painting or laying a vinyl with a custom floor design impresses guests every time and also ensures the scene will not be duplicated at
a friend’s celebration next season. As the finishing touch at our Jackson Hole event, we hand-laid vinyl featuring the couple’s custom monogram on the dance floor. The Bar When guests walk up to the bar to grab a drink, you want them to be blown away with the design and the details. Apply custom paneling that corresponds with your color scheme to the front of the bar, then inscribe your monogram or a witty saying that captures your love story. Remember to add signage and smaller décor elements on the bar too; custom napkins, cups, and koozies create an even greater wow factor. For a wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we created a custom vinyl that mimicked talavera – the blue-and-white tile so often seen in Mexico. At a Dallas wedding with an Asian-inspired aesthetic, we wallpapered the bar backdrop with a cherry blossom print and placed gold-framed mirrors on the front panels. Outdoor Terraces and Lounge Areas Consider renting furniture and asking the venue’s permission to swap out their pieces for styles that better suit your look. Add pillows, tabletop décor, and lighting elements that jazz up these spaces so guests will enjoy mingling during transitional moments or while taking breaks from the dance party. Constructing an additional bar with a special design in these areas also increases the likelihood of guests using them. Regardless of which areas of a venue you choose to customize, do not be afraid to push the limits. Go big or go home! When you take your day to the next level by enhancing design components in every space of your venue, your wedding will be remembered as creative, original, and memorable in the very best of ways. EMILY CLARKE OF EMILY CLARKE EVENTS PHOTO: SARAH KATE
PHOTOS: JOHN CAIN
PHOTO: CARRIE PATTERSON
t’s all in the details.” This com mon s ay i ng ho ld s absolutely true when it comes to a wedding, no matter the size, venue, or theme of your celebration. Today, couples and guests alike place great value on décor elements that are unique and original, so taking time to brainstorm and create aspects that set your day apart will result in special memories that last well beyond the end of the party. A wedding planner can help provide a cohesive design that customizes each detail, and utilizing an event professional with an in-house graphic designer helps considerably. When decorating a venue according to your vision, certain customizable spaces often get overlooked: stage backdrops and foreground installations; the dance floor; the bar; and outdoor terraces and lounge areas. Consider the following tips for making these areas something “extra”!
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and a spacious terrace. In case the 24-hour room service and fitness lounge are not enough, guests can ride around Central Park with one of the hotel’s complimentary signature bicycles that include a map and picnic basket to accommodate their explorations. They can also be chauffeured in the hotel’s house car, a luxurious Mercedes-Benz E350. For sweethearts who want to make their trip a party of three, the pet-friendly hotel offers a “Pet Wardrobe Supervisor” to happily dress your precious pup in a fashionable ensemble. As of this year, the hotel is child-friendly and offers “The Global Excursion Family Package” where children receive complimentary dining and playtime. With such unique amenities, a stay at The Chatwal guarantees a true experience of one of the world’s most beloved cities. thechatwalny.com
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE CHATWAL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY
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