Anetra and Alioune were married in a traditional ceremony at St. Luke AME Church in New York, N.Y. followed by a reception at The Surf Club on the Sound in New Rochelle, N.Y. on October 4. “We loved the grand staircase, the beautiful grounds, and the water view,” Anetra said. The bride wore a v-neck lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a keyhole back, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of Audrey Brooke Taylor peep-toe pumps, while the groom wore a three-piece light gray suit, accessorized with a striped bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long satin navy blue dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, lilies, and billy balls. Fun fact: there was three flower girls, one ring bearer, and four attendants. “The torrential rains stopped and the sun came out just an hour before the ceremony was to begin,” she said. “I thought it would be a complete wash out.” Guests arrived at half past four o’clock. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 250 witnessing. Cocktail hour began with signature “Double A” drinks, which consisted of citron vodka, blue curacao, and white cranstrawberry juice, and reception shortly thereafter inside the ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens and napkins, tall candelabra centerpieces dripping with crystals, picture frame numbers and favor boxes at each place setting, surrounded by upholstered chairs. “One of my favorite moments was our first dance,” Anetra said. “Alioune sang to me as we danced to ‘When I’m With You’ by Tony Terry.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “I would suggest that they plan well ahead of their wedding date, create and stick to a budget because it can be extremely costly, and also be ready to deal with the headache of the dreaded guest list,” she said. “I’m an event planner, so the planning of the wedding was a breeze, but my only headache was when it came time to receive RSVPs.” A week later, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Bora Bora.
Stefanie and Trevor were married at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, Calif. on January 18 — exactly five years after they first met! “It was really important to us to have an indoor and outdoor option since we were getting married during winter, and the weather would be unpredictable,” Stefanie said. “We got lucky, and it ended up being 80 degrees.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of satin high heels, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a matching tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore short pale blue chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, anemones, silver brunia balls, and dusty millers. The ceremony took place in the Oval Terrace overlooking a pond. “It was the most favorite part of our big day,” she said. “Our good friend and brother-in-law was officiated and performed it. He shared such a special time with us and wrote the most beautiful words that was funny, thoughtful, and exactly what my now-husband and I wanted.” Afterwards, the reception followed in the ballroom. Guests found their seats via escort cards hanging from clothespins. Tables were decorated with white linens, lantern centerpieces, and mercury glass votive candles, surrounded by silver chiavari chairs. “When I walked through the venue all decorated, I almost started to cry,” Stefanie said. “It could not have been more perfect. My vision and ideas I had been planning for all finally came to life!” Plus dinner, a four-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. “Our DJ was absolutely amazing and did a fantastic job of orchestrating the dance floor component without being overbearing.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Stay true to yourselves and what you want as a couple for your wedding,” she said. “There will be many people that give you opinions leading up to and on.”
Haley and Matthew were married in a traditional church ceremony at Aldersgate United Methodist followed by a reception at Mount Vernon Country Club in Alexandria, Va. on January 4. “I had my sweet sixteen birthday party in the same venue, which Matthew had attended,” Haley said. “We were familiar with it and were excited to have another special event there. Our ceremony took place in the church I was baptized and grew up in and also the church where my parents were married exactly 28 years earlier. There was never a second thought about where our ceremony would be held.” The bride wore a satin fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with lace straps, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, faux fur shawl, and a pair of Mary Jane high heels, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of calla lilies, berries, tulips, and seeded eucalyptus. “Matthew and I were both overwhelmed with joy during our ceremony when we served each of our family and friends communion,” she said. “It was the most personal and intimate moments we had with each of the guests, and we will never forget that feeling of God blessing our marriage and providing us an amazing amount of support.” The reception took place inside the ballroom. Tables were decorated minimally with white linens and floating tea candles filled with cranberries and magnolia leaves. “All of our vendors were somehow related to us,” Haley said. “Our amazing photographer, Anna Grace Paulovkin, is the sister of one of our groomsmen, one of my aunts designed our invitations, another aunt helped coordinate and decorate, another aunt did the flowers, a best friend made our cake, the list goes on! We did a map theme throughout and labeled our tables by places we have visited together. This was one of my favorite details because it gave everyone a little glimpse into our lives.” In lieu of a guest book, advice was written down and placed into a vintage suitcase. A mini cake was cut and served for dessert as well as an assortment of cupcakes too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “It is your wedding, listen to the advice of others and be respectful, but in the end, it is your day,” she said. “Do what you want to do. The best advice I was given was to pay attention! I am an over-organizer, so I had delegated everything I wanted to be done to others, who I trusted very much, so that I didn’t worry about the details.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of ribbon wands.
Melissa and Michael were married at Big Foot Country Club in Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, Wis. on August 23. The one thing about the venue that made them know it was the one was “the shabby chic elegance of the country club,” Melissa said. “The main room has high ceilings with beams and lots of light. It was the feel of an upscale barn.” The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown with a tiered skirt, accessorized with a sideswept ponytail, jeweled headband, flower sash, and a pair of peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a navy blue tuxedo with black trim on the lapels, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of garden roses, dahlias, peonies, astilbe, and greenery. Despite unexpected rain showers, the ceremony took place outside underneath wooden two doors. “My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing everyone smile because they were there for us and only us,” she said. The couple performed a sand pouring to symbolize the unity of joining of two families. “We didn’t want a cookie cutter setup,” Melissa said. “We had action stations for food, no set dinner time, and tables to accompany all sizes – 18, 10, 4.” Each one was decorated differently with white linens, pastel napkins, vintage vases and vessels, and lanterns. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Go with your first instinct,” Melissa said. “Don’t second guess yourself and believe in your vision. If you do that, you will not be disappointed.”
McKenna and Joseph were married at Silverleaf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. on May 3. “It was gorgeous!” McKenna said. “It reminded us of a Tuscan villa.” The bride wore a strapless satin mermaid wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls with a chapel-length veil, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long black chiffon dresses with halter necklines and carried bouquets of peonies, hydrangeas, and orchids. The ceremony was held outside overlooking the canyons of the McDowell Mountains. “Holding Joseph’s hands when I met him at the altar [was the moment in my wedding I can’t stop thinking about],” she said. “I was so happy and excited to call him my husband.” Guests were greeted into the courtyard with a fountain originially from the borders of France and Spain! “It was most likely used as a functional source of drinking water for villagers,” according to The Silverleaf Club’s website. Tables were decorated with white linens, floating vase centerpieces, and a wine bottle, which served double-duty as a favor, at each place setting, surrounded by chiavari chairs. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Patience,” McKenna said. “Try to get as much done early on. It makes it much easier plus a lot of vendors tend to book up quickly.” Bonus: Be sure to check out The Bubbly Blonde!