Love Inc. V3

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PAGES of inspiring

REAL weddings



ENGAGEMENTWORTHY WATCHES Because not everyone wants a diamond



Find out when your favorite petals peak




table of contents

LOVEmagazine INC. #BehindTheScenes

Winter 2015 05 | STYLE

Fringe gets a lavish update for the 21st century; wrist candy is the new bling; there’s no room for gender boundaries when it comes to love and fashion; show off killer footwear while you dance the night away

17 | PLAN

At these indoor garden venues, it’s summer 365 days a year; a guide to help you pick in-season blooms; etiquette advice for addressing envelopes; top wedding experts answer your most pressing questions

34 | LOOK

A fresh look delivered to your front door; our favorite dapper bloggers share their grooming picks; unisex scents that are wedding-worthy; beauty inspiration from runway to aisle


Six real weddings to swoon over, from Gatsby-inspired summer nuptials to a laid-back New York City wedding



Croatia’s gorgeous scenery and historic beach-town vibe make it an ideal honeymoon spot … and did we mention it’s where our editor-in-chief got engaged?


Talented, equality-minded vendors




editor’s letter

AFTER YEARS OF WORKING IN THE WEDDING MEDIA, THIS PAST SUMMER I FOUND MYSELF ON THE OTHER SIDE. I GOT ENGAGED! Being on the soonlywed side of things has brought to reality just how many decisions go into the wedding planning process, from savethe-dates (page 24) to your signature scent (page 37). And boy, does it get pricey! Luckily, our Flower Calendar on page 18 will help you pick in-season blooms to save $$$ and we’re currently obsessed with subscription boxes (page 35), which allow you to try out a variety of beauty and grooming products in sample size, saving you time and money as you hunt for the perfect day-of products. Volume 3 Founder, Editor-in-Chief Brittny Drye Art Director | Designer Abby Downing Fashion Editor Krista Roser Copy Editor Jill Baughman

photo credit: ryan carville

Editorial Intern Meghan Kennedy Contributors Clair McLafferty Kaitlynn Moquet Diane Kolanović-Šolajak

I’ve also learned that inspiration is just as important as advice so we’ve doubled down on the real weddings in this issue that run the gamut of styles. If you and your fiancé/e have a flair for vintage, you’ll want to flip to Mikki and Caleb’s Roaring Twenties wedding immediately (page 60). For those who seek DIY ideas, Serena and Melissa (page 41) and Stacia and Andrea (page 46) executed handmade weddings in two very different ways: one is an ode to New York City life while the other is a rustic, mountaintop celebration. And for adding that special touch of whimsy, Eric and Danny’s North Carolina nuptials (page 54) is a must-read. Of course, we wouldn’t be Love Inc. without an equality underlying. For this issue’s fashion spread, our creative team removed gender from the equation. Cover model Dylan Stephens wore looks across the spectrum, symbolizing that no matter the gender, love is love. My goal for this feature is to make you think. Whether you draw a socio-political message from it or simply pin it to your Wedding Suit Pinterest board, I hope that it inspires you, in one way or another. So, from one soonlywed to another, best of luck on this journey — we’ll be there with you every step of the way.


founder & editor-in-chief




(top left, clockwise) ‘isla’ fuchsia lace and suede ankle boot by monique lhuillier, $1,095; ‘portland’ leather derby shoes by paul smith, available at, $675; ‘piera’ double monk shoe in fiama by peter nappi, $450; ‘francesca’ by emmy shoes, $480; ‘remmie’ in sky by sophia webster, $650; ‘gramercy’ oxford by cole haan, $198; ‘siena’ velvet slip-ons by dolce & gabbana, $1,125

PREVENT THE PAIN! You don’t want to be waging warfare on your feet during your I dos. In the weeks leading up to the big day, put these tricks to the test to help break in your leather and suede statements.

While wearing thick socks, blast the shoes with a hairdryer for 10-20 seconds, wiggling your toes to help stretch. Keep on as they cool. Repeat if needed.

Fill a Ziploc bag with water and stuff it into the toes of the shoes. The more stretch you need, the more water you should use. Place in freezer. As the water freezes, it will expand the shoe from the inside out.

Dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and spread throughout the inside of the shoe. Wear around the house until they are dry. The moisture will help soften the shoes, adapting them to your feet.

Fringe Fancy

From beaded Art Deco-inspired to boho tassels and gentlemanly dapper style, fringe is taking the fashion world by storm in a variety of personalities.

TOP LEFT, CLOCKWISE Preston and Olivia beaded fringe headband, available for $175 at / Pronovias ‘Carendina’ dress / J.Crew collection beaded fringe dress, $1,295 / Hayley Paige style 6505 / Rebecca Minkoff fringe tassel necklace, available for $98 at / Lanvin women’s lambskin loafers, $895 / Della Giovanna ‘Sharmaine’ dress


OF YOUR LIFE For those who may not want to put a ring on it, luxury watches are an increasingly popular engagement exchange option. Get down on bended knee with one of these handsome timepieces and we can (almost) guarantee they will say yes.

(from top, clockwise) kate spade ‘gramercy’ pave skinny, available at macy’s, $275; fossil ‘wakefield’ chronograph stainless steel watch, $175; allen lyle ‘porter,’ $140; triwa rose ‘nevil,’ $350; cartier ‘ballon bleu,’ $6,350; baume et mercier ‘clifton,’ $2,850; autodromo ‘stradale,’ $875



BE YOU art direction by brittny drye / styling by krista roser / photography by ryan carville / model: dylan stephens / hair: jessica watkins of shearluxe hair studio / makeup: cali jeffries / assistants: marnie bush, michella leverette

LEFT Velvet dinner jacket by Dorien Gray, $890; ‘Ludlow’ slim tuxedo pant by J.Crew, $265; ‘Sir’ French-cuff tuxedo shirt by Robert Graham, price upon request; micro dot pocket square from, $12.90; formal black bow tie from, $29.90; ‘Miles’ patent leather shoes by Jimmy Choo, $950 RIGHT Red moleskin sport coat by San Remo for Haymakers & Co., $455; ‘Donegal’ trousers by Hertling for Haymakers & Co., $240; skinny flannel tie from, $18.90; floral pocket square from, $14.90; 14K white and red gold wedding band by Christian Bauer, available at Genesis Diamonds, $2,150

LEFT ‘Adrian’ pull tweed sweater with fringe embellishment, quilted jogger pants and boots by Delphine Manivet, price upon request; 18K rose gold band by Supreme Jewelry, $3,435 RIGHT ‘Tux for Love’ jacket by Victoria KyriaKides, $2,680; ivory duchess satin pant by Victoria KyriaKides, available at Marina Morrison Bridal Salon, $1,590; ivory heels by Delphine Manivet, price upon request; 18K rose gold band by Supreme Jewelry, $3,435



Style BR-14-21 dress by Inbal Dror, $9,300; ‘High Noon’ temporary tattoos by Lulu DK, $28/ sheet; 18K white and rose gold engagement ring by Christopher Designs ($29,995), 14K white and rose gold .45-carat diamond bangle bracelet by Asher Jewelry ($3,895), 14K white and rose gold .23-carat diamond bangle bracelet by Asher Jewelry ($2,150), 14K rose and white gold topaz bracelet by Asher Jewelry ($1,195), 18K rose gold and sterling silver ‘Promise’ bracelet by Tacori ($2,390), available at Genesis Diamonds

‘Leeta’ dress by Kelly Faetanini, price upon request; headpiece by Deepa Gurnani, $224; 18K white gold diamond heart necklace by Christopher Designs ($29,995), 14K rose gold diamond ring by Asher Jewelry ($850), 14K white gold diamond bracelet by Genesis Designs ($2,950), 14K white gold ladies’ fashion bracelet ($5,600) by Genesis Designs, available at Genesis Diamonds


FLOWER CALENDAR Your wedding date can have a major influence on your floral design. Pick a perennial that is out of season and you can end up paying double the price. To help guide you through the seasons of blooms, we asked our favorite floral designers from around the country to share their expert advice on when the most popular petals peak, from anemones to zinnias.

SPRING ANEMONES: “These reach a peak window around May when they are awesomely, unbelievably big,” says the trio behind Brooklynbased design team Tinsel & Twine, Erica Taylor, Liz Castelli and Adette Contreras. “The deep indigo center is a sexy way of adding dark tones to bouquets and arrangements while still keeping the overall palette light.” The Style: Romantic and chic with just the right amount of moodiness.


love incorporating sprigs of fresh lavender for springtime events. Because they are so hardy and maintain the soft, signature scent people recognize, these are great for personal flowers like corsages and boutonnieres,” note the designers. The Style: “Can skew rustic, but we like using it as a textural element in otherwise polished arrangements.”


FORSYTHIA: “Like other flowering branches, these spring beauties make a stunning, romantic statement. They’re great to incorporate in larger mixed arrangements or standing simply on their own in glass column vases.” The Style: Ranges from modern minimalist when styled on their own or romantic and lush when incorporated with other textural flowers.

PEONIES: Quintessential spring

flowers and Instagram favorites (with good reason). “These flowers are a great bang-for-your-buck since they really can make a bold statement when placed alone in simple bud vases.” The Style: Feminine and flirty with different “personalities” depending on the size and color selection.

DAHLIAS: “Dahlias are the darlings

SNAPDRAGONS: Snapdragons


ZINNIA: An old-fashioned cottage

of the mid-to-late summer garden, boasting an array of colors,” exclaims Jennifer Haf, owner and designer of Bloom Floral Design in Michigan. The Style: Lovely for use as a focal frill, the abundant texture and interesting color choices make these beloved blooms ideal for bouquet and vase designs.

as hydrangeas are coveted for their blooms, their long-lasting green foliage can be used for abundant greenery into the late summer months,” says Haf. Other summer foliage faves include peony greens, forsythia and tansy foliage. The Style: The leaves add a grounding element to an arrangement that is unique and long-lasting.

bloom long and lush throughout the summer months and often last through a light frost. “Seek out unique trumpeting varietals of these linear beauties to add texture and shape,” Haf advises. The Style: Snapdragons are widely available and useful in bouquet and centerpiece work.

favorite, nothing claims summer like the delightful zinnia. “These summertime sweethearts come in a variety of sizes and colors true to the glory of the vibrant season,” says Haf. The Style: “Best used in water, zinnias are the perfect addition to centerpiece designs and also do well in bouquet work as long as the stems can drink.”



AMARANTH: Available in plume


and hanging varieties, their colors come in rich fall shades of rust gold, burgundy, red and green. The Style: “The hanging variety is perfect for adding drama,” say Nicole Spector and Tom Sebenius, the fierce duo behind New York City’s The Arrangement. “Plume varieties add rustic texture and rich color to centerpieces and personals.”

“A funky-looking flower that is known for its interesting shape, reminiscent of a rooster’s comb,” says Sebenius. The Style: “For a bolder couple not afraid of color and interesting texture, this bloom tends to add a modern edge to florals that would otherwise feel traditional,” says Spector.



A popular accent sought after for its yellow color and whimsical shape and texture. “Craspedia is excellent for boutonnieres, bud vases and bouquets,” notes Sebenius. The Style: They can have a rustic, classic or modern style depending on what it’s paired with and how it’s used. “A bride once described it as ‘Seussian,’ which we found very appropriate.”

summer berry varieties such as raspberry and blackberry phase out, hypericum berries move into prime spot. The Style: A hardy yet delicate accent green, they’re perfect in smaller personal flowers such as flower crowns and boutonnieres and accents in centerpieces.

RANUNCULUS: “Ranunculus is

standard colors of white, red, peach and deep pink pretty much yearround, but in the winter you can find striped- and thin-petaled varieties,” says Nancy Teasley, who owns Oak & the Owl, a boutique design company located in Southern California. The Style: It can hold up well out of water which means it works beautifully on altars.

a spring bulb, but you start seeing it at market at the beginning of winter,” says Teasley. “It’s one of my favorite winter flowers because it gives such movement to an arrangement, yet also gives it a lush garden feel.” The Style: Its small head is great for boutonnieres and corsages and it gives a beautiful accent to bridal bouquets and centerpieces.

SWEET PEAS: Sweet peas begin

TULIPS: “They have so much

coming in strong in the winter. “I love sweet peas for their fluffy and sweet addition,” explains Teasley. The Style: Sweet peas can be used for just about any type of arrangement, “except for boutonnieres and corsages,” warns Teasley. “If you’re lucky enough to get long-stemmed sweet peas, they hold up extremely well and can be used for altar designs.”

character and wildness. They also keep growing, so that closed tulip you pick up will go through an entire life cycle and end up looking very different.” The Style: Best used in arrangements that have an element of movement to them. Unless the bouquet is supposed to be wild in its design, be sure to add in the dayof since it keeps growing.


AMARYLLIS: “You can find it in





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Addressing Etiquette Some rules are meant to be followed, some broken. But before sprinting to the post office, be sure to read our etiquette guidelines (plus our modern suggestions!) when addressing your invites. By Brittny Drye

Married Couples ~ F or an opposite-sex couple, traditionally the man’s name goes first. Examples: Mr. John and Mrs. Sarah Smith or Mr. and Mrs. John and Sarah Smith

~ I f you’re aiming for extra formal, the

wife’s name is dropped. Example: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

only), a commissioned military officer and judge outrank social titles thus always appear first. Example: Captain Jessica Forsyth and Mr. Jason Forsyth

~ F or a same-sex couple, list the names

~ T he only acceptable abbreviations are Dr.

~ I f a couple has different last names, list

~ I f both individuals of a married couple are

alphabetically. Examples: Mr. Adam and Mr. Bradley Jones or Mr. and Mr. Adam and Bradley Jones one above the other and use Ms. for the female(s).

~ I f one has hyphenated their last name,

use the hyphenated name for the individual. Example: Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Sarah Kennedy-Smith

Unmarried Couples List on two lines. For straight couples, the woman goes first; for same-sex, alphabetize by last name. Example: M s. Scarlett Sager Ms. Marie Turner

P.S. If you’re having a military wedding, ranks should always be spelled out and branches are also included.


Professional Titles ~ T he professional titles of doctor (medicinal

and military ranks; however, extra formality calls for them to be spelled out. Oftentimes, the length of the name ends up being the deciding factor. doctors, you can use The Doctors or Drs., followed by their names. Examples: The Doctors Jason and Brandon Weiss or Drs. Jason and Brandon Weiss

~ F or married couples with different last

names who are both doctors, use each of their full names, female first or alphabetically if same-sex. Example: Doctor Katherine Herman and Doctor Gary Shepherd

~ F or couples who are both in the military, list by highest rank first. If they are of the same rank, list female first or alphabetically if same-sex. If they have different last names, include the last name with each individual. Example: Lieut. Francis DeBois and Capt. Jacob Falk

~ I t can get tricky if the couple has two dif-

ferent professional titles. If you have some seriously impressive friends, generally the female goes first or list alphabetically by first name if they are same-sex with a shared last name (if not, alphabetize by their last name).

Children ~ Kids over the age of 18 but who still live in their parents’ house should receive their own invitation. ~ C hildren under the age of 18 are listed with the parents but only on the inner envelope. Tradition calls for boys under 8 to be listed as Master and over the age of 8 as Mr. while girls under the age of 18 are referred to as Miss. However, if the child does not identify with their birth-assigned gender, your use of abbreviation for them should respect them for who they are. If you’re unsure, ask their parents or simply list their name!

Widows & Divorcees ~W idows are Mrs. ~ I f a divorced woman kept her married

name, you can use Ms. or Mrs. but be sure to spell out her first name. Tip: It’s best to find out her preference beforehand!

When A Man Is A Junior ~ F or a more formal route, write

out “junior” and always use a comma and lowercase. If abbreviated (which is also acceptable), use an uppercase. Examples: Mr. Gregory Carter, junior or Mr. Gregory Carter, Jr.

Modernize It! We understand that not every wedding (or couple) has the same level of formality. While etiquette is important, the invite should still reflect your personalities, relationships and wedding day. Not at all close to your friend’s husband? We love the idea of listing the person you’re actually friends with first as a less conservative option! If you’ve never uttered the name “Thomas” in reference to your buddy Tom (and you’re not throwing a black tie soiree), don’t feel pressured to use his formal name.

~ D istinctions such as II and III do

not involve a comma. Example: Mr. Charles Hancock III

IDENTITY TRUMPS TRADITION If your masculine-of-center friend doesn’t identify with the gender-driven abbreviations of Mr. or Ms., simply list their name. Respect is key!

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STATIONERY Ceci Johnson of CECI New York


What are some ways you see couples changing up tradition and adding their own twist to wedding stationery? Think bigger! Paper is just the tip of the iceberg — we can create so much more, from custom wallpaper and decals to hand-sewn pillows for your brunch. It’s all about creating that complete branded wedding statement.

What’s your take on traditional invitation language? While I’ll always be a fan of following proper etiquette and love transitional phrases, anything goes these days! I say if tradition is important to you, then stick to the expert’s [language] recommendations, but if not, have fun and craft up your own wording to make a personalized statement! What are some of your favorite stationery trends that we’re currently seeing? One of my favorite trends is mixed metals. Think glamorous golds, silvers, pewters, rose golds and coppers mixed together with ivories and even black for a sleek color palette. Florals are also a big trend that’s here to stay.

Photo credit: Allan Zepeda Photography

For the couple with no clue about where to start, what’s your number one piece of advice? Honestly, it’s completely okay to not know! That’s our job to help you define it and help set the proper tone. Best to start with a talented and reputable invitation designer — that is the first step to making your process easy, fun, creative and in line with your tastes. Then, my main tip is to be true to your own style and the tone that you want to set. When you turn yourself over to the talented hands of a professional, amazing things can happen.

What’s the stationery timeline look like? You should plan for long lead times with design, printing, calligraphy and mailing, which typically take a couple of months after you have approved your design. Get started with your save-the-dates right after you book your wedding date and then aim to mail out six to eight months before your wedding. Invitations are mailed out one to two months before your wedding.

What are some cake trends you foresee for 2015 weddings? Big cakes are making a comeback, with many tiers of joy piled on top of each other … I just couldn’t resist the pun!



Ron Ben-Israel of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes

What are your personal favorite cake flavors? I like exotic flavors, such as ginger, passion fruit and cakes with spices, but it’s important for me to provide the ultimate flavor experience for each unique couple. Therefore, our initial tasting session covers more than 20 options, so there’s something for everyone. Where can couples look for inspiration when it comes to their cake design? Rather than decide on a cake design before meeting the cake designer, I suggest to collect and bring to the appointment everything to do with the wedding. I like to see the invitations, the outfits, the colors, the flowers, the linens, the menu, the location — anything can be inspirational and may lead us to ideas that will reflect the couple’s sensibilities in their one-of-a-kind cake. How far in advance should a couple book a cake designer? Some couples book us more than a year in advance, but for most three to six months seems comfortable. What is the secret equation for a perfect cake + icing + filling formula? Each baker will have their own style, but for us it’s about serving generous portions of at least four layers of moist cake alternating with three fillings and then topped with the outside frosting. Of course, there are endless variations, especially when adding fresh fruit, nuts, spices, liquors and surprises such as chopped cookies, sprinkles and chocolate bits.




PLANNING & DESIGN Tara Guérard of Tara Guérard Soiree

Can you give us a breakdown of the differences between a wedding planner vs. a designer? A planner oversees the various to-do lists associated with a wedding and makes sure vendors are doing their jobs on time and on budget. A designer determines the creative direction of the event and sets the stage with a concept for the look and feel — from table settings to flowers and decor. We are one of the few businesses that do both! Other than wedding blogs/magazines/Pinterest, where can couples look for inspiration for their big day? I find inspiration from many different things and I encourage my couples to do the same. Sometimes a favorite trip or experience can spark the theme of a wedding. Try to look at things that are not related to weddings, that way your ideas can be new and original. What is the most memorable moment you’ve witnessed at a wedding? We brought in a stunning white horse for an Indian wedding — the groom rode into the traditional ceremony and it was magical. We also had a father of the bride get up and sing at the ceremony as a surprise … still makes me cry. When creating a seating chart, what are some important tidbits to keep in mind? Try not to seat couples next to one another. Put a mix of personalities at the table — someone lively next to a more quiet person. It helps to keep the conversation going. I never use tables larger than 48” because it’s difficult to talk across a table any larger.


Photo credits: this page, Corbin Gurkin; opposite page, Beaux Arts Photographie

What are some of your favorite ways to add unexpected details? It’s fun to get creative with printed pieces — letterpress butler’s cards, personal notes for guests in their welcome bags and so forth. Custom-printed fabrics are a great way to carry a pattern or color throughout the event. We love personalizing even the most unexpected things such as hotel keys or custompainted rickshaws.

Describe your wedding photography style in five adjectives. Intimate. Artistic. Soft. Romantic. Luminous. When it comes to wedding photography, what is the most common misconception that couples have? I think some couples may not realize how beautiful they are just as they are. Maybe they saw an image and want to recreate it with their photographer. The real magic resides in the unique sweetness that every couple in love possesses. There is no need to recreate anyone else’s wedding photos. Simply be present and breathe in every moment. Film vs. digital: what are the pros and cons for each? I fell in love with film long ago and remain enamored to this day. I do not think it is film vs. digital but rather film and digital. Film has a mystery and nostalgia that I think adds to my continued development as an artist — I cannot check my images as I shoot so I am forced to remain fully in the moment of creating. I really appreciate digital

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What should a couple look for before booking a photographer? First, try to look at as much of their work as you can. The more you see, the more you will become aware of what you like personally. For me the most powerful photographs evoke some kind of emotional response. Perhaps you may like more playful images. No matter what your preference, be sure to trust your instinct with the way you respond to those images. Second, being aware of how you feel in the presence of the photographer is important. A photographer is intimately involved in most of your day so feeling comfortable, natural and at ease is a priority. Finally, knowing your budget is crucial. There are so many talented photographers at so many different price points.

PHOTOGRAPHY Elizabeth Messina of Elizabeth Messina Photography

photography as well and have a couple of beautiful digital cameras. They are tools that I use when I feel appropriate and are great for super low light situations. My artist preference remains with film. I think each photographer has to choose what works best for them. What is your advice for couples in order for them to feel relaxed in front of the camera? I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to just enjoy being with the one you love. Love and good light make for magnificent photographs. If you have chosen a photographer whose work you love, then just trust them to capture you well. If you really feel overcome with shyness or cannot relax, then I suggest not looking at the camera. Look down, or better yet snuggle in the arms of the one you love and remember to breathe.



CATERING Chef Rossi of The Raging Skillet

Buffet, stations, family style, plated — there are so many serving style options! What is your advice for a couple when trying to decide which style suits their wedding best? Consider what you love and what you have to spend … it’s nice when the two can go together. If they want great food, not expensive, lots of fun and nothing too formal, I always tell them about my floating supper — small tapas-size plates passed around the room. So fun and different. If they have the budget and want something more formal, a sit-down is the way to go — I love to do family style side dishes or table side service. It’s more interesting and people-friendly. If they want a party with loads and loads of food and the ability to let people come back for seconds and thirds, then stations are a great way to go. What are the catering trends you foresee for 2015 weddings? Real food, not so fussy, not pretentious, just great real food. What’s the secret for a successful cocktail hour? For a reception dinner? There is some hidden fear amongst wedding guests that they will not have enough food. I kill them with hors d’oeuvres in the first half hour, so they understand immediately that this is not a caterer they need to worry about. I’m Jewish — I always make a lot of food! It’s great to pass the signature drinks in the beginning of the cocktail hour so no rush on the bar and for dinner. Currently, what’s your favorite dish to create? Right now I am loving our “Oreo Crack” cookies filled with peanut butter mousse and dipped in rich dark chocolate. YOWZA! What is your number one piece of advice for couples when creating their menu? This is your wedding! If it was your last meal on earth, what would you like to eat? If you say deep-dish pizza with artichokes on it, well honey, that is the first hors d’oeuvre we pass.




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Columbus, Ohio

Chicago, Illinois

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Victorian-styled John F. Wolfe Palm House is intimidatingly gorgeous. Natural light floods the space and a double staircase and indoor fountain are just two of the many architectural elements that are perfect for photo ops. Inside the greenhouse, you’ll be married amongst lush greenery framing you and your spouse, and at night, the LED installation from artist James Turrell gives you and your guests a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

The Crystal Gardens has one of the most impressive indoor gardens available for weddings — no decor required! — thanks to the sheer intensity of the plants and dramatic six-story glass arched atrium. The myriad of greenery is brightened with soft, intimate lighting, creating an enchanting experience.

This working greenhouse is laden with statues, fountains and a network of pathways winding through the tropical plant life. Bonus: the food is guaranteed to be exquisite thanks to their exclusive partnership with renowned restauranteur Stephen Starr of Starr Events.

»C apacity: Seated dinner 525, Cocktail 1,000

» fairmountparkconservancy.

» Capacity: Seated dinner 170, Cocktail 250 »



» Capacity: Seated dinner 300, Cocktail 500


Photo credits left to right: Lambert Photographs, Phil Farber Photo Images, Marie Labbancz Photography


Photo credits left to right: Denver Botanic Garden, Nancy Neil Photography, Richard Bell Photography

Swoon-worthy conservatory venues offer the beauty of Mother Nature without the rain risk. By Meghan Kennedy




San Francisco, California

Charleston, South Carolina

Sleeping Beauty’s cottage in the woods has nothing on the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Solarium. The gardens surround the small, rustic venue and natural light streams in from every surface, making this space absolutely enchanting for an intimate wedding.

This San Francisco space is simple, elegant and boasts unique plants, custom metal work and architectural beauty. The conservatory has suffered a fury of fires, earthquakes and windstorms throughout its 130 years of existence, yet still stands strong. Not bad symbolism to begin a marriage!

» Capacity: Seated dinner 30, Cocktail 50

»C apacity: Seated dinner 165, Cocktail 200



If sweeping, open spaces and “Gone with the Wind”-worthy scenes sound like your dream wedding venue, look no further than Charleston. The Magnolia Plantation Conservatory is loaded with gorgeous unruly greenery with a twist of Southern charm. Light pours through the glass ceiling and French doors open up to a patio shaded by the towering namesake magnolia tree overlooking the Ashley River where guests can drink, dance and be merry.

Denver, Colorado

» Capacity: Seated dinner 75, Cocktail 100 »



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Aisle Inspo

Hot off the runways, we nabbed beauty ideas from the Fall 2015 Bridal Market shows. By Brittny Drye


Spotted at Della Giovanna, Theia, Claire Pettibone and Lela Rose

Braids were all the rage this season in a myriad of personalities: chunky halos, side sweeps, wispy strands and trendy fishtails to name a few. theia lela rose


Spotted at Inbal Dror, Reem Acra and Ivy & Aster

Floral crowns’ gilded cousins took the spotlight this season, paired with updos that were both simple and majestic. reem acra inbal dror


Spotted at Houghton and Delphine Manivet

Less is more with the minimalist makeup look. Freshen your face with a neutral palette or play on the trend to enhance one specific feature, such as a strong brow or bold lip. houghton

delphine manivet


Spotted at Dennis Basso, Claire Pettibone and Ines Di Santo

Sculpted cheekbones are praised in the beauty world for flattering faces. From perfectly balanced dark/light tones to flirting with colorful peaches and pinks, the chiseled look is oh-so-chic.

dennis basso claire pettibone


Spotted at Isabelle Armstrong, Monique Lhuillier and Jean-Ralph Thurin

The classic chignon is chic once again (was it ever really not though?). Style with a ball gown and polished center part for a timeless look.

isabelle armstrong jean-ralph thurin


ANDROGYNOUS The latest to love from the cologne counter are fragrances fancied by both men and women. By Meghan Kennedy

Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte

Kiehl’s Original Musk


Calvin Klein ck One

The classic unisex fragrance from Hermès, Eau d’Orange Verte, is refreshing and clean. The summery scent opens with bursts of citrus and greens and dries to a slight spice. Its reputation claims it as the truest, most realistic orange cologne on the market, and we don’t disagree. 1.6 oz., available at Hermès for $79

Hand-crafted in New Orleans using natural essential oils, this small-batch blend narrates a night on the bayou. The vetiver base and notes of citrus and jasmine tantalize the senses while the keepsake cypress vessel makes it worthy of countertop presence. 9 mL roll-on, available at for $60

This strong musk is slightly sweet, almost reminiscent of soap at first, and we see this as a signature scent rather than something you try once and forget about. Masculine overtones come through at the beginning, but the scent ends on a feminine note. 1.7 oz., available at Kiehl’s for $42.50

The ‘90s powerhouse fragrance is nostalgic to anyone who grew up in the decade where Calvin Klein reigned supreme. There’s a reason ck One is still around today: it’s becoming a true classic. The aroma is clean but crisp and light, almost like a younger sister of Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermès. Fruity and green top notes melt into sandalwood and amber for a not-too-feminine finish. 3.4 oz., available at Sephora for $58

Ferragamo Tuscan Soul

Ferragamo’s Tuscan Soul is the perfect balance of feminine and masculine features. Floral aromas meet woodsy scents as the fragrance’s base notes for a delightful combination. Bergamot top notes give the fragrance a slight citrus scent at first whiff, but then fades into a more masculine scent as the day goes on. It’s a perfect choice for a day-to-night perfume. 4.2 oz., available at for $43

Tom Ford Tuscan Leather Probably the most romantic unisex perfume on this list, Tom Ford’s private blend line features the standout Tuscan Leather. A fruity top note is the first thing you’ll notice, toning down the eventual leather and suede base notes that linger and captivate the senses. It’s masculine and strong but still works as a unisex fragrance; it’s the perfect scent for a winter wedding. 1.7 oz., available at Nordstrom for $215




Ashley “Bing” Bingham,

BLOGS AT I Dream of Dapper and Qwear Got2b Glued Spiking Wax Having very long hair, I find that putting it up allows me the option of curly locks and a freeing updo which has been called the “queer pomp.” Available at drugstores nationwide for $7 Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel I’m a fairskinned blonde, with even fairer hair. My eyelashes are see-through and my eyebrows can only be seen when light catches them. I use eyebrow filler to fill in the blanks, so to say. Available at Sephora for $22 LUSH Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub LUSH’s sea salt scrub is the perfect, gender-neutral exfoliator and cleanser. Made from actual sea salt, the scrub offers a clean yet almost beach-fresh feeling. Available at for $36 LUSH Cosmetic Lad Moisturizer LUSH’s “male line” of products is ideal for individuals who wish to avoid the feminine perfumes that many toiletries provide. Available at for $24 LUSH Color Essentials Generally, I prefer not to wear makeup but I like the airbrush look that cosmetics offer. This accomplishes a fresh, awake appearance with little work. Available at for $17

BLOGS AT The Handsome Butch The Iron Society Grooming Aids The petroleum-based pomade creates shape and texture and the water-soluble pomade sets my hair in place for the day. Available at The Iron Society for $15 each Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner I wipe pores clean with cotton pads of witch hazel multiple times a day. Available at drugstores nationwide for $6 Clinique Facial Soap My older sister (who has flawless skin) has used this fragrance-free, mild soap since the ‘90s, so it’s something I picked up from her. One bar lasts me a whole year. Available at Clinique for $13 Kiehl’s Panthenol Protein Moisturizing Face Cream This natural lotion keeps my skin healthy and moisturized even when it begins to feel thirsty this time of year. Available at Kiehl’s for $26

FANCY RAE’S PICKS? If you’re in the Brooklyn area, be sure to swing by Willoughby General, Rae’s artisanal goods store that is opening up this spring!

Gabrielle Royal, BLOGS AT dapperQ

Surface Taffy Whip I usually wear my hair in some rendition of a faux hawk and it works perfectly if you’re trying to achieve an edgy look that will hold all day, but not make your hair too stiff. Available at for $18 Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Massage Oil I travel significantly and my body pays the price. This product helps loosen up the tightness in my muscles and relax after a long work week. Available at Bath & Body Works for $16 Surface Bassu Shine Spray Instead of a harsh hairspray, I opt for Bassu Shine Spray. It detangles, protects and gives your hair a nice shine after being styled. Available at for $26 Trader Joe’s Vitamin E Oil Great product for face, hands and legs! It moisturizes your skin with no added scent and works as a healing agent. Available at Trader Joe’s for $3.99

Photo credits: Ryan Fryoüx Studio; TTK Photography


Rae Tutera,


DEAR NEW YORK It was important for Serena and Melissa to celebrate their beloved city, infusing their day with subway-inspired elements and taking photos at the foot of the iconic bridges. The result was a love letter to New York, and to each other. By Brittny Drye Photography by Calvina Photography


and started building their lives together in New York City and it quickly became a place that they felt deeply connected to as a couple, rooted by a community that was supportive of their lives and their love. The brides found inspiration in their daily commute: invitations were designed with subway mosaics in mind, subway maps were turned into bridal bouquets and favors mimicked platform signage.

THE VENUE When a 10 percent chance

of rain turned into a downpour, the brides unexpectedly had to move their celebration indoors. Luckily their venue, the landmark Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, was as stately inside as its outdoor gardens they had to planned to wed in. “We first saw BSEC a year prior when we were passing by after playing basketball in our gay basketball league. It happened to be a gorgeous spring day and BSEC was holding an event in their outdoor space. Serena made a mental note of the venue even though we hadn’t even moved in together yet,” explains Melissa. “When searching different venues in the city that would be affordable for our budget, we remembered BSEC and it was a perfect fit.” The two-story mansion, built in 1900, oozes with old New York charm, and the couple let the historic interior speak for itself, adding minimum decor to the space.

THE CEREMONY As both brides grew up in religious homes, it was important that they had a faith-based ceremony. They were wed by Pastor Vicki Flippin of the


United Methodist Church of the Village in Manhattan. “She’s a passionate advocate and church leader for marriage equality and full inclusion of LGBT persons in the United Methodist Church,” says Serena. “She married us despite the UMC’s laws forbidding its pastors from marrying samesex couples.”

THE IDEA WAS THAT THESE VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE OVERSAW US IN OUR LIVES AND WOULD BLESS US AS WE BEGAN OUR MARRIAGE AND WOULD CONTINUE TO OVERSEE US THEREAFTER. Serena and Melissa were heavily involved in the ceremony planning, mixing traditional and nontraditional practices to reflect their beliefs as a couple comprised of two strong and independent individuals. They each individually walked — nay, danced — themselves down the aisle and met at the altar along with their closest family members. “The idea was that these very special people oversaw us in our lives and would bless us as we began our marriage and would continue to oversee

LEFT Melissa looks on as the love of her life gets pampered by makeup artist Afua Addo. // The brides take photos around their beloved Chinatown neighborhood.

us thereafter,” explain the brides. Melissa’s mother and brother — and dog, Zoe! — were her overseers. Unfortunately, Serena’s parents are not supportive of her sexual orientation; however her uncle and aunt, who have always played a significant role in her life, stepped up to the plate and took the title. (As did her pup, Sebastian.) They asked Pastor Vicki to read a passage on love, loyalty and devotion from the scripture of Ruth and Naomi. “Pastor Vicki gave a killer word about the scripture, noting the historical and social context of Ruth and Naomi — that their relationship would be regarded as a modern-day lesbian couple. She blew everyone’s minds!” exclaims Melissa.

THE PARTY Using (free!) New

York City subway maps, which had the perfect pastel palette, Serena created approximately 150 hand-folded flowers for the table arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres, hair ornaments and corsages. In lieu of a cake, the lovebirds served mango sticky rice, a Thai dessert. “That was a huge hit with our guests,” adds Melissa.


The open bar (which actually began preceremony!) ensured drinks flowed and DJ SheRock, a prominent spin master in the lesbian party scene, kept guests grooving. The brides switched things up a bit for their first dance. Swaying to Whitney Houston’s epic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” for only a few lines, the newlyweds then encouraged all of their guests to join them on the dance floor. “It was a blast and got everyone dancing!” exclaims Serena. As the fun-filled evening came to a close, guests were sent home with a small token of love showcasing the couple’s affinity for New York: homemade cookies designed as New York City subway platform signs. “We bought small soy sauce plates in our Chinatown neighborhood and put two cookies on each plate,” says Melissa. “Serena made all the cookies from scratch using her signature coconut/corn flakes/ chocolate chip, so-tasty-it-hurts recipe.” Their by-hand-from-the-heart celebration was deeply personal in the absolute best of ways. “It was powerful to share our love, devotion and commitment to one another in front of our most beloved friends and family,” says Serena. “It was incredibly private, intimate and spiritual while at the same time, a moment of public declaration.”


LEFT TO RIGHT Their faith-based ceremony was conducted by Pastor Vicki Flippin, a fierce advocate for marriage equality. // Their love was captured underneath the Manhattan Bridge.

VENDORS Photography: Calvina Photography Venue: Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture Catering: On Occasion DJ: DJ SheRock Makeup/Hair: Afua Addo; MessLook Officiant: Pastor Vicki Flippin

LEFT TO RIGHT In keeping with the New York theme, the lovebirds took the subway to their wedding venue. // DIY escort cards were made from MetroCards that the women had collected. // Serena hand-folded subway maps to create their bridal bouquets. // Their dogs Zoe and Sebastian played a role in their ceremony.


ON TOP OF THE WORLD Stacia and Andrea proclaimed their love from the mountaintops (literally!) in a picturesque ceremony and reception that delivered in entertainment, from beginning to end. By Brittny Drye | Photography by Amanda Summerlin


SEEKING SCENERY, PRIVACY and beauty, Stacia and Amanda found solace at the North Peak Lodge of Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine. Only accessible via a chondola (a chairliftgondola hybrid), they sealed their love in front of 145 guests as the towering Maine mountaintops played backdrop to their outdoor ceremony as well as served as inspiration for their lodge reception.

THE FASHION On the quest for the perfect ensembles, they came across 9Tailors in Boston. “We’re not dress people and we didn’t want to wear a menswear suit,” says Andrea. “Sam, the owner, helped make the perfect suits for us. We custom designed everything, from overall style to the placement of our buttons.” Stacia’s modern cut incorporated her mother’s wedding dress train into the vest, an incredibly special touch for both Stacia and her mom. The dapper brides paired their custom suits with white button-down shirts inscribed with the wedding date, “something blue” brightly colored socks and minimalist bouts that nodded to their mint and purple color palette.

THE CEREMONY Taking advantage of

their unique location, Stacia and Andrea doubled down on the drama with a chondola processional. “Our ‘aisle’ started on the chondola ride up to the lodge!” they exclaim. Live cello and violin music filled the mountain air as they exchanged vows underneath a birch tree altar, orchestrated by a friend who perfectly balanced the ceremony with faith, love and humor.

THE PARTY They transformed the rustic

lodge space into a party atmosphere using fabric and an expertly crafted lighting design. Sparking inspiration from the state of Maine, the creative sweethearts handcrafted buoys for the escort cards and centerpieces. Rustic signs made from old pallets directed guests to their tables, which were each named after an event the couple had attended and pulled together with an installation of pictures illustrating each memory. Stacia’s dairy allergy did not hinder the sweets selection. Heather’s Bakery created a dairy-free seven-inch cake for the newlyweds to cut alongside a tower of chocolate cupcakes with raspberry filling. For favors, she whipped up a dairy-free version of whoopie pies, a Maine classic. “These were a huge hit and so good!” exclaims the couple. Their first dance was a choreographed number to Michael Franti’s “Life Is Better with You” (which was such a hit that the DJ made them repeat it at the end of the night!). Their epic performance took the fun factor to a whole other level, where it continued through the remainder of the evening. “The dance floor was packed like we were at a club all night,” says Andrea. “The celebration was such a highlight. Even relaxing with my new wife during the cocktail hour alone was perfect. Having all of your friends and families’ support and love all in one place is something I will never forget,” says Stacia.


CLOCKWISE Andrea and Stacia looked dapper in custom suits created by 9Tailors. // After their first look on an old covered bridge, they carved their initials into its walls, permanently marking their memory. // The birch tree altar was embellished with ivy and hydrangea blooms.


VENDORS Photography: Amanda Summerlin


Venue: North Peak Lodge at the Sunday River Resort CLOCKWISE Guests arrived to the ceremony site via chondola. // A friend conducted the emotional ceremony. // Their dairy-free chocolate cake was topped with a Mrs. & Mrs. topper. // Miniature handmade buoys served as escort cards.

Cake Designer: Heather’s Bakery DJ: DJ Jon Wedding Suits: 9Tailors Makeup/Hair: At Last Salon

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME Ken and Steve met 22 years ago at a University of Washington basketball game. Their love of the university, and each other, hasn’t stopped. 50 LOVE INC.

By Clair McLafferty | Photography by Lionlady Photography


marriage seemed like the next step for Ken and Steve. The Palm Springs natives met at a Washington Huskies basketball game and quickly bonded over their love of college sports. The proposal “just sort of happened one day” after the grooms decided they should get married. Once the decision was made, they quickly started planning their wedding. But planning came with its own set of challenges. When they began planning, Prop 8 had not yet been repealed in their home state, so they set their sights on another beloved city: Seattle, Wash., home of the Huskies. During one of their visits to Seattle for a Husky football game, the grooms-to-be took a tour of Hotel 1000 for their upcoming nuptials. Steve immediately fell in love with the venue, but Ken needed some convincing. “We finally decided on Hotel 1000 because of the staff and how much they cared and connected with us.”

Made from a combination of hydrangeas, calla lilies, tulips and orchids, these centerpieces underscored the day’s simple elegance. By keeping the decorations minimal, the focus stayed on the most important part of their day — the people who came to celebrate.

THE FASHION For the wedding, Ken and

Steve picked out non-matching blue suits from Nordstrom. Ken, the free, fun-loving groom, chose a light blue BOSS HUGO BOSS seersucker suit. Steve, the more serious and formal of the two, wore a dark blue Ted Baker suit. To complement the blue, “both ties had to be purple, so Ken wore a bow tie and I wore a regular tie.”

THE CEREMONY “The wedding was special because we had so many of our friends and family with us to celebrate on this special day,” says Ken. Julie, one of Ken’s childhood friends served as their officiant and helped make sure their ceremony was absolutely perfect.

every part of their wedding to shine with casual elegance. A purple and gold color palette was chosen to incorporate the love for college sports that brought them together and they worked with Floressence floral design to bring their vision to life.

Ken and Steve’s ceremony took place in the outdoor terrace, an enclosed glass atrium at the Hotel 1000. While guests entered, the couple waited with Julie in the library. “We were anxious and nervous. We wanted it to start,” laughs Ken. Once everyone was seated, the grooms made their way to the altar.

“We found our floral designer by accident. We were on a visit to another possible venue and Floressence was setting up for a wedding later that day. We loved her style,” says Steve. “The decorations for the reception were really about simplicity.”

Originally, the couple had wanted their godchildren Ryan and Reid to participate in the ceremony as their witnesses. Since minors can’t witness a wedding, Steve and Ken worked with Julie to include the kids by having them sign a certificate during the

THE INSPIRATION Ken and Steve wanted


LEFT Hotel 1000 won their hearts because of the staff’s caring attitude.

During the reception, Ken and Steve toasted everyone who had joined them to celebrate. “We wanted everyone to know how special they all are to both of us and our lives together.”

ceremony. “Ryan and Reid have such a special part in our lives and it meant so much [to us they we could have them participate],” says Steve.

THE PARTY After the ceremony, the couple’s 80 guests

made their way to a cocktail hour featuring Dungeness crab salad, truffle fries and a selection of meats. From there, they moved on to a seated dinner that began with a candied beet salad. Guests had the choice of either a grilled flat iron steak with a mustard soy glaze, Alaskan halibut with lemon verbena butter or gnocchi with mushrooms and summer peas in brown butter. The tasty dinner was followed by cake — each groom’s favorite flavor was layered together. Ken’s decadent layer featured a pecan sponge cake with espresso and milk chocolate mousse and German chocolate filling. Steve’s lighter layer was a white cake with calamansi-andcoconut mousse and diced mangoes.


VENDORS Photography: Lionlady Photography Venue and Catering: Hotel 1000 Floral Design: Floressence Cake Designer: Tallant House Wedding Suits: Nordstrom

CLOCKWISE A friend of the couple conducted their ceremony. // Ken wore a light seersucker suit while Steve complemented with a darker, more formal option. // Monochromatic blooms added pops of color in the glass-enclosed space. // Ken and Steve take a walk with their pup before their Seattle ceremony. // Bold purple monograms stand out on their white-on-white cake decorated with L-O-V-E fondant lettering.


HIGH COUNTRY HOSTS Rocking chair ceremony seating, moonshine tastings and whimsical animal elements helped infuse the charm of North Carolina’s high country into Eric and Danny’s celebration at Mast Farm Inn. By Brittny Drye Photography by Kayla Coleman


Eric and Danny take a moment after the ceremony to reflect.

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY WAS IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN AIR as Eric and Danny hosted 50 friends at a 19th-century farmhouse for a wedding weekend that was filled with personal, DIY details.

The cabin-clad property provided a retreat for the grooms and guests alike. “It was exactly what we wanted. A fun destination wedding where our guests could spend the entire weekend celebrating with us,” says Danny.

THE INSPIRATION Danny’s art school studies (not to mention raw talent) came in handy when pulling together day-of elements. Whimsical illustrations of foxes and greenery embellished custom stationery in a handsome palette of navy, yellow, maroon and dark green, setting the day’s eccentric vibe.

THE FASHION Not afraid of a little color, they let their personalities shine in their wedding

day wardrobe choices. Eric donned a navy suit, plaid shirt and maroon suspenders adorned with foxes. Danny looked equally dapper in a maroon suit, chambray shirt accessorized with an oversized floral bow tie, a golden crown and two small pins — one of an owl, the other of an arrow, gifted to him by his soon-to-be husband.


LEFT TO RIGHT Whimsical illustrations were seen throughout the couple’s custom stationery suite. // The place cards were animal cutouts in navy, green and orange.

The couple’s eye for detail extended even into their jewelry. Danny’s yellow gold wedding ring features a small wheat detail while Eric resized his mother’s wedding band to fit, creating a treasured family heirloom.

of the once backwoods, bathtub-produced whiskey, the grooms were able to include a tasting of several varieties from local distillery Midnight Moon, which was a hit.

Animal silhouette place cards pointed THE CEREMONY Guests were directed with everyone to their seats as Eric and Danny hand-painted signage toward the ceremony swayed to a live music rendition of Brett site and encouraged to “sit a spell” in rocking Dennon’s “Ain’t Gonna Lose You” for their chairs set up on the lush lawn while the first dance. During the touching toasts, Eric’s grooms exchanged vows under an arch made father read a poem aloud, written for the of intertwining vines. two of them by Eric’s late mother, leaving no dry eye in the room. THE PARTY During the cocktail hour, guests sipped the of-the-moment spirit: The reception meal was served up family moonshine. Thanks to a recent renaissance style underneath an expansive tent and


LEFT TO RIGHT Eric and Danny met while living in Houston and, later, moved to North Carolina for Eric’s job where they now reside. // Moonshine flavors such as cranberry, blackberry and strawberry were offered during cocktail hour tastings.

guests passed a hearty steak dinner down long farm tables topped with terrariums and paint swatch-inspired tablecloths. Their cake was divided into fruit-filled and almondfilled tiers and accented with hydrangeas to match the groom’s bouquet. A charming ceramic topper of a suited bunny and moose put the finishing touch to the dessert.

quotes from ‘The Princess Bride’ onto them with green twine,” explains Eric.

VENDORS Photography: Kayla Coleman Photography Venue: Mast Farm Inn

Resident goats joined along as the newlyStationery: 3Eggs Design weds partied with their loved ones long into Suit Accessories: Fox & Brie the night. As the evening came to a close, small journals were handed out as a token Moonshine: Midnight Moon of the grooms’ appreciation. “[The journals] had a drawing of the Appalachian Mountains on the front, then we tied pencils with


TOP LEFT, CLOCKWISE Their tented reception featured farm tables, topped with a swatch-inspired tablecloth. // A Spotify-curated playlist resulted in epic dance moves. // Guests sat in rocking chairs during the ceremony.


AN ERA OF ELEGANCE Infusing fashion and decor elements from the Roaring Twenties, Mikki and Caleb’s stunning wedding style is straight out of a Fitzgerald novel. By Meghan Kennedy Photography by Crystal Puim Photography

IT TOOK 13 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP before Mikki and Caleb

decided to take the plunge and seriously date each other. “We have always been friends first,” explains Mikki of her thenbudding romance. “It developed into a strong relationship, the kind you know will be there all your life.” Their charming love story and simply sweet proposal led to the combination of two wedding styles: 1920s Gatsby-esque flair with the most popular wedding trend of the year, rustic chic. The couple held a simple and elegant 85-person wedding in a quiet park in Edmonton, Alberta’s bustling capital.

THE VENUE Fort Edmonton Park in

Alberta, Canada is rich in history and sprinkled with small simple churches, drawing in any couple looking to travel back in time for their wedding. “I loved the look and the variety of the venue,” explains the bride of their choice. “Guests could walk around and enjoy the park in between the ceremony and reception.”

THE INSPIRATION Taking inspiration

from the lush opulence of the Roaring Twenties and juxtaposing it with the romantic-driven rustic chic trend was a huge undertaking, but Mikki’s creative vision was brought to life with understated neutral tones and vintage accents, transforming Egge’s Barn in Fort Edmonton Park into a rustic Jazz Age paradise. Under Mikki’s watchful (and thrifty!) eye, the wedding party made their own bouquets and boutonnieres utilizing pale silk flowers, burlap, lace and embellishments. After the

ceremony, the bouquets doubled as the reception’s floral design.

THE FASHION The bride herself was the

picture of early 20th-century glamour, wearing a drop-waisted champagne dress by Sue Wong with a singular feather peeking out of her headband. Meanwhile the wedding party mismatched in perfect coordination, dressed as if they were about to hop into Jay Gatsby’s yellow convertible and head to a West Egg mansion. The bride ordered a mix of vintage and contemporary gowns for her bridesmaids off, while the men were asked simply to wear pants that were either brown or gray (suspenders encouraged!).

THE CEREMONY The church remained

undecorated, as the natural light and finished wood of the venue lent an element of nostalgia. Under a blisteringly hot Canadian sun, the couple exchanged vows as their friends and family looked on, witnessing the beginning of a new chapter.

THE PARTY The reception decor featured

old cigar boxes repurposed into rock and succulent displays, mason jars acting as candelabras wrapped in yellowed book paper to give off an antique glow, tissue flowers in neutral colors and burlap and lace table runners. The pièce de résistance, however, was that every table featured a unique centerpiece. “Some had books stacked with doilies and teacups. Some tables had birdcages with embellishments. I had vintage metal bikes on a couple of the tables,” notes the creative bride. “All place cards were hand-stamped on the yellowed


paper and we also cut log drink coasters and hand-stamped everyone’s names on them.” Personalized touches and downhome decor gave the reception a warm, close-knit feel. While their goal may have been rustic chic, there was nothing antiquated about the food. Dinner was provided with all guests taken into account; the menu featured a buffet dinner of roast beef or chicken madeira, vegetarian pasta and salmon. Each guest found a bag of candy at their seats as a token of appreciation, as well as being able to take home their personalized log coaster as a keepsake. The dessert table, filled with different kinds of mini cupcakes, from glutenfree to the wildest flavors you could imagine, was emptied by night’s end. As their first dance, Ray LaMontagne’s “Forever My Friend” began to play, the two swayed in time to the slow, soft melody while Caleb and Mikki shared their first feelings as newlyweds. Guests enjoyed cocktails and looked on as the two officially began their lives as a married couple. A slideshow of the couple and their wedding party set to a loop of music played as the guests enjoyed dinner, cocktails and


TOP Mikki and Caleb exchanged vows in an intimate setting. // Mikki channels Daisy Buchanan in her vintage-styled gown.

conversation. The reception was filled with games of eraappropriate croquet, a fire pit for guests to relax and a photo booth to create everlasting memories. The newlyweds and their guests danced the night away even throughout cleanup during which the DJ continued to spin, making their celebration a blast up until the very end.

VENDORS Photography: Crystal Puim Photography

Venue: Fort Edmonton Park Dessert: Flirt Cupcakes Wedding dress: Sue Wong

BOTTOM The perfectly mismatched wedding party looks on as a ferris wheel spins in the distance.


A LOVE GROWS IN BROOKLYN Alex and Ben drew inspiration from their urban oasis surroundings and infused it with familyoriented details to create a floral-filled fantasy. By Brittny Drye and Kaitlynn Moquet Photography by Sara Wight



have painted a more perfect scene for New York City sweethearts Alex and Ben’s nuptials, held at the exquisite Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The property’s sprawling 52 acres, colored with every perennial imaginable, awakened the senses of their 230 guests and provided a kaleidoscope of backdrops for the couple’s romantic day.

THE INSPIRATION Their modern garden

party vibe shined with brightly hued bridesmaid dresses, a soft and summery floral design and chic calligraphed stationery. Needing minimal decor, the couple let the petal-carpeted venue speak for itself. A lily-clad pond invited guests to linger for cocktail hour while its terrariumstyle Palm House reception space felt open and airy, allowing the sun to pour through the glass ceiling and cast a summer glow.

THE FASHION Alex’s guipere lace Romona Keveza gown featured a scoop neck and

dramatic, plunging back with an underlying blush tone that complemented the wedding’s rosy palette, and she paired it with pale pink suede heels handcrafted by a designer friend. Ben toned down the formality with a handsome navy suit and tie from Ralph Lauren. “We are very casual people and we never wanted a black tie wedding,” Alex explained. “We also felt that given the typical weather in New York in August, black just wasn’t a good seasonal option to wear!”

THE CEREMONY The couple exchanged

rings underneath a dramatic willow tree. The wedding vows hit close to home given that they were lucky enough to have the bride’s grandfather officiate the entire ceremony. “Alex’s grandfather performed the ceremony, as he has done for three of his other grandchildren,” Ben beamed. “It was very special to have such a close relationship with our officiant. We felt so lucky to have a member of our family who has known us as


LEFT TO RIGHT Alex looked stunning in a Romona Keveza dress and carried a summery bouquet tied with a pale pink grosgrain ribbon. // Their floral designers mingled seasonal berries with fresh greenery for the boutonnieres. // The ceremony took place underneath the swaying branches of a willow tree.

a couple and individuals for many years.”

THE PARTY The newlyweds served up a

seasonal meal for their guests: summery arugula-and-strawberry salads and a choice of either steak or fish as their main course. Their wedding cake, cleanly decorated with pearl dots and flowers, was composed of vanilla cake, strawberry mousse and fresh strawberries. “Ben’s father passed away in May and his favorite dessert was strawberry shortcake so it was somewhat of an homage to him,” explains the bride. Their wedding band performed a medley of timeless hits, keeping guests on the dance floor for the entire evening. “We made our entrance to the Jackson 5’s ‘ABC’ and had our first dance to Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Stay Together,’” exclaims Ben of their classic choices. As the evening came to a close, guests were handed a bottle of homemade limoncello, a long-standing tradition in Alex’s family. “It


was a big chore making limoncello for 230 people,” laughs Alex. “But it was worthwhile and people were able to take a couple of little bottles home.” Reflecting back, the couple notes, “Realizing how many people were there to love and support us, seeing 230 people seated all looking at you, is so powerful and moving. It was special for us to have all of our faraway relatives in our hometown and able to meet our local relatives and friends.”


Photography: Sara Wight Photography Wedding Planning: Exquisite Affairs Productions Venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Floral Design: Poppies & Posies Cake Design & Catering: Charles Sally Charles Band: Vali Entertainment Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza Wedding Suit: Ralph Lauren Beauty: Styles on B

CLOCKWISE An idyllic fountain greeted guests at cocktail hour. // Vintage ceramic pots filled with dahlias, garden spray roses, zinnias and fresh raspberries topped the tables in The Palm House reception space. // Alex’s grandparents have a longstanding limoncello-making tradition, so the couple handcrafted batches to pass out to guests for favors. // For their first dance, Alex and Ben slow danced to the Marvin Gaye classic “Let’s Stay Together.”





CROATIA: The Ultimate Utopia By Diane Kolanović-Šolaja

Sharing the Adriatic Sea with Italy, Croatia is the land of a thousand islands. Known for its crystal turquoise blue waters and breathtaking scenery, it also boasts a diversity in landscape, people and cuisine, beckoning travelers to explore the country in its entirety and revealing a medley of hidden beaches and bars, off-the-beaten-path views, an on-the-rise wine country and luxurious, worth-the-splurge surprises along the way.

Split, the largest city on the Dalmatian Coast,

is a vibrant shore town where vintage meets modern in the sweetest way. Start your evening with a walk along the sea promenade (“Riva”) and you will notice the modern architecture attached to century-old buildings. For dinner, enjoy delicious, local cuisine at Konoba Kod Joze. Only a five-minute walk outside of the Golden Gate (“Zlatna Vrata”), this traditional and intimate tavern is the perfect setting to share a big plate of seafood risotto, the house specialty.


Photo credit: Split Tourism Board


Split Apartments-Peric Hotel


Divota Apartment Hotel

$$$ Hotel Luxe

But, for the most romantic walk of your life, upon sunset get lost within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace, which feels like a city within the city. If you have more than a day in Split, take advantage of the gorgeous port in front of you. Book a private boat cruise and island hop — Split is centrally located to some of the best isles in Croatia. For top catamaran tour information, contact Mateo Jurić of Water Polo Cruise Croatia. An ex-professional water polo player with a gorgeous fleet and healthy network of catamaran owners, Mateo is a mini-celebrity. A native of Split, he will be able to curate a special cruise just for your honeymoon that will make you want to stay in Croatia permanently.

SMART SPENDING: High season is between June and September. For a more budget-friendly honeymoon, consider going after Labor Day and before October 1. You will still have beautiful weather and no influx of tourists.

For a sweeping view of the Dalmatian Coast,

be sure to ride the Dubrovnik cable car. A four-minute ride will take you to the summit where you will learn the unique history of the renovated cable car (the former was destroyed in 1991). Be sure to take a newlywed selfie!

How about shaking all the stress off in a 16th-century fortress? Culture Club Revelin will give you a “Game of Thrones”-meets-dance party experience. If you’re not in the mood for crowds, take your love to D’vino Wine Bar and sample Croatian wines to your heart’s content. Steps away from the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and Pile Gate (the main entrance to Old Town), dine in a 200-yearold home complete with vaulted ceilings and vine-covered terrace. The ambiance at Tovjerna Sesame will transport you from the hustle and bustle of the city into your own foodie fairytale. The restaurant boasts homemade ravioli, goat cheese and prosciutto soufflé, risotto with sea truffles, slow-cooked lamb and spice-crusted sea bass. For an amazing (hidden!) beach experience, head 15 minutes outside of the Old Town walls to the Radisson Blu hotel in Orašac. Once you arrive, tell the gate guard that you are headed to the public beach. Walk to the right of the hotel and make your way down a very tall staircase to enjoy a nearly private beach experience. It is a pebble beach, but the water is so crystal clear that you can see meters down. Ninety minutes north lies an incredible landscape within the borders of Opuzen and Metković. Better known as the Dubrovnik-Neretva region, the lush landscape will surprise you, the gastronomy will intrigue you but, best of all, the people will delight you. Experience a safari ride through the meadowlands or a tangerine farm excursion while you stay at the Villa Neretva, a bed-and-breakfast sure to please (book the honeymoon suite!). The owner is a true gem, a very good tourist guide and the on-site restaurant is one of the best in the country.


ROMANCE & HISTORY COLLIDE WHERE TO STAY $ Various private hostels or apartments such as Airbnb $$

Hotel Lapad, Hotel Adria

$$$ Villa Dubrovnik, Hotel Royal Princess, The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik



Photo credit: One Day Studio

Head back down the mountain and take a stroll along Stradun, the main street in Old Town, enjoying all of the small shops and experiencing the charm of the locals. While there, walk the top of the city wall and experience history first-hand. During your stroll, be sure to stop at Café Buža, a literal hole in the wall, for some cocktails and impromptu cliff diving.

Take a day trip while in Dubrovnik and enjoy the

Photo credit: Lešić Dimitri Palace

beautiful island of Korčula. Another walled town, be sure to visit the Marco Polo House Museum and St. Mark’s Cathedral to admire the island’s architecture. For a romantic garden retreat, visit Restaurant Zure, a family-owned eatery surrounded by lush greens serving authentic Dalmatian dishes. Rumor has it they serve a local and homemade pomegranate rakia, a perfect way to toast your new marriage!



Hotel Korsal

$$$ Lešić Dimitri Palace

Or, if staying overnight, splurge on a special palace treat at the Lešić Dimitri Palace. A sanctuary for the senses in the midst of an ancient city, enjoy a sunset sail together complete with a three-course dinner or a 90-minute spa treatment. The perfect cherry on top to a most delectable honeymoon in Croatia. IN-THE-KNOW: Pick up a copy of Like Croatia Magazine. Written in English, it is a great resource for tourists to know of regional happenings while you are visiting Croatia. Find out about local concerts, festivals and eateries.

Dubbed the new St. Tropez, the island of Hvar can be described in two words: sun and fun.

Hvar’s claim is the “sunniest” island in Croatia. Take a day trip and visit the Pakleni Islands or a short boat ride to Vis to visit the Blue Cave, a famous natural beauty spot. Enjoy excellent scuba diving experiences and gorgeous dips in the sea within secret coves and beaches. And, if you’re on the right day excursion, you may just find the perfect place to skinny dip. A little bit of honeymoon ooh la la!

Photo credit: Carpe Diem

If you are looking for an exquisite meal experience, Restaurant Gariful sits on an exclusive waterfront and serves some of the best Dalmatian cuisine on the island. Or, head indoors and enjoy the sea life conveniently underneath your feet in the restaurant’s own mini aquarium. As for fun, live your honeymoon life to the fullest at Carpe Diem. From a serene breakfast to an après beach party where you dance until sundown (or into their high energy nightclub scene!), Carpe Diem will satisfy your every urge for entertainment, luxury and celebration. Mixed with just the right amount of sexy, your honeymoon will take on a whole new set of steam.




The Palace Hvar Hotel


Riva Hvar Yacht Harbour Hotel

$$$ Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel

To appreciate the full pleasures of visiting Croatia,

you must experience the beauty and expression found in a delicate glass of wine. Istria is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic, and its landscape marries hilltops and the sea into one picture-perfect honeymoon setting. The Romans referred to Istria as “terra magica” and rightfully so. A landscape similar to Napa and Tuscany, Istria homes more than 105 winemakers in a geographic region of only 1,220 square miles (about the size of Rhode Island). Istria is so diverse that you may need another honeymoon just to see everything. But, the must-visit city is Motovun. The medieval town is surrounded by vineyards and curative thermal waters, but be prepared to walk steep cobblestone streets to get to the city gates for a breathtaking view. (Insider tip: Skip the parking lots at the base of the hill and make your way up closer to another lot. Be nice to the attendants and, if you wait long enough, you’ll get a WHERE TO STAY good spot!) Once at the top, take a rest and enjoy cuisine $$$ Hotel Kaštel Motovun at Konoba Mondo. Your palate never had it so good with creamy polenta and a side of beef carpaccio topped with shavings of black (and sometimes white!) truffles. Motovun sits in the valley of the Mirna River, which is known for some of the best truffles in the world.



But, the best way to toast to Croatia is to book a wine tour with Culinary Croatia. Visit the likes of Kozlović Vina or Matošević Wines in Istria. Or, if you have time, take the full Dalmatian region wine tour and visit the famous vineyards of Mario Bartulović, Mike Grgich and Alen Bibić, as well. For a very exclusive tasting room experience, complete with a five-star prepared cuisine and an afternoon you will never forget, schedule the BIBICh Tasting Room for a special honeymoon meal.


Pan Adriatic FUN FACT: The zinfandel grape is originally from Croatia and is found in 10 percent of California vineyards today!

Adriatic Travel Croatia Travel


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