Anna and Rodney were married at Cornerstone Sonoma in Sonoma, Calif. on October 18. “We knew it was the one because the venue had beautiful gardens and art installations, but also several different places for the events of the day to take place,” Anna said. The bride wore a custom-made blush ball gown with an embroidered bodice and ruffled skirt, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, floor-length veil, and a pair of peep-toe platform pumps, while the groom wore a black tuxedo, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore long pleated dresses with halter necklines and carried bouquets of roses, scabiosa pods, and berries. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “I Do,” directing them to the Vineyard Lawn and another wooden sign that said, “Ceremony, where the I dos happen, Cocktail Hour, to celebrate the fact that ‘WE DID,’ dinner, off to the tent where fine dining, drinking, and memories will be made, and Back to the Barn, head to the dance floor, grab some sweets, and P-A-R-T-Y.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 200 witnessing. “My favorite moment was walking down the aisle, with everyone standing, music playing, slow motion, and anxiety,” she said. Tables were decorated with white linens and napkins, mercury glass centerpieces, vintage books, and votive candles, surrounded by mix ‘n’ matched chairs. In lieu of a cake, there was a cake pop tower. Fun fact: a gobo monogram was projected behind it! However, favors were pashmina shawls. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Excel is your best friend,” Anna said. “From the very beginning, keep lists for everything like your guests and vendors with as many line item details as you can and keep it up-to-date. If you get it all in there, (i.e. phone numbers, addresses, emails, meal preferences, etc.) it will make things that much less stressful when it comes time to confirm attendees, final counts for rentals, catering, reminders, thank you cards — too many things to list.” At the end of the night they jetted off to their honeymoon.
Tina and Andrew were married in a ceremony at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church followed by a reception at St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club in St. Petersburg, Fla. on October 5. The bride wore a strapless satin a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, pearl necklace, and a pair of comfy flats, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short striped coral dresses and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, craspedia, poppies, silver brunia balls, and pincushion proteas. “I remember first meeting with Tina and her mom about her big day, and the one thing that Tina stressed was FUN,” Rana Mohammadian of Roohi Photography said. “She didn’t really want to fuss about the details (But I would have never guessed. Aren’t the details adorable?) or worry about a certain design. She just wanted it to be a fun, fabulous day for everyone. And that it was!” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official. Transportation was provided to and from in a trolley. “From the photo booth from Photogenica to the live Mariachi band to the Brazilian style meat station (yummy), everything about this wedding screamed UNIQUE,” she said. Guests were escorted to their seats via a yarn art chart. Tables were decorated with teal linens, white napkins, testing tube centerpieces, disc numbers, and mad libs at each place setting, surrounded by folding padded chairs. For extra entertainment, there was board games too. “In case Tina looks familiar, it’s because I had the honor of shooting her sister Sam’s wedding earlier this year,” Mohammadian said. “I’ve been so fortunate to building an amazing relationship with this family, so being a part of another celebration was a joy!” A two-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert concluding dinner. The favors? Personalized koozies. At the end of the night, the newlyweds exited amongst a sea of sparklers and jetted off to their honeymoon.
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.
Amanda and Matt were married in a traditional ceremony at Lakewood Memorial Chapel followed by a reception at Aria in Minneapolis, Mn. on October 19. “We saw Aria early on, but we couldn’t think about anything else once we saw it,” Amanda said. “That space is what we love — urban, artsy, a bit gritty, decidedly contemporary, loads of brick, cavernous ceilings, and steel beams play against glam touches like crystal chandeliers and Warhol prints. It’s a former armory, then later theater space in the 1990s. It has a stage that’s illuminated with a sign that says, ‘The World Is Yours.'” Aria is a white hot venue in Minneapolis right now. Whereas, a year ago, when I would tell people about it, they would look at me blankly. Now they say, ‘Oh yes, Aria! How did you get in there?'” The bride wore a strapless mermaid wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, birdcage veil, bow peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, dahlias, anemones, and ferns. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official. “As crazy and nervous as it all was with everyone looking at us, we were focused only on each other and pouring our hearts out,” she said. Tables were decorated with white linens, pink napkins, mercury glass vase and vessel centerpieces, and votive candles, surrounded by chiavari chairs. Each one was named after a renowned actor, actresses, and writer such as: Ethel Merman, Mel Brooks, Langston Hughes, and T.S. Eliot. A donut bar opened concluding dinner. “That and later on, watching everyone dance in sweaty, happy circles,” Amanda said. “We were always looking forward to that dance party. We wish we could have a dozen more wedding dance parties.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Stay true to the things that matter to you,” she said. “The wedding is a reflection of the two of you as a couple, and (in a perfect world) it should be just that. A celebration of your love, a showcase of your personalities, a chance to bring all the people in your lives in around your to share in it. It’s a rare and special moment. The details matter, but they shouldn’t drive you crazy. Also, other people will want to be involved to varying degrees in your planning. Let them have their role if it’s important to them and you’re able to. They will really appreciate it. And think of ways to let the people in your life with special skills and resources contribute (the budding designer friend, the aunt with an eye for table settings, etc.).” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon.
Sarah and Dane were married at Mercury Hall in Austin, Texas on November 9. “We loved the Hill Country feel without ever having to leave the center of Austin,” Sarah said. The bride wore a capped sleeve a-line wedding gown with a lace bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a navy blue checkered button-up shirt and tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, berries, scabiosa pods, and seeded eucalyptus. “Getting to see each other for the first time,” she said. “We decided to do a first look before walking down the aisle so we could have a moment to ourselves. It was great getting to show off my dress and telling Dane how stunning he looked. Such a perfect, private time to be goofy and settle any last-minute nerves or jitters.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss underneath the giant oak trees, it was official, almost 125 witnessing. Cocktail hour began with mini beer churros on donkeys followed with the reception shortly thereafter. Guests were escorted to their seats via animal figurines. Tables were decorated with white linens, gray napkins, birch wood centerpieces, vintage books, and mason jar candles, surrounded by folding padded chairs. “The food was absolutely amazing, and the same caterer did our cakes as well,” Sarah said. “The groom’s cake was a total surprise to Dane. It was so fun creating it with the caterer and even better getting to see the surprise on Dane’s face when he saw it.” A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake topped with fruit was cut and served concluding dinner. Fun fact: the other one was a replica of a scene set in the wilderness! In lieu of a favors, donations were made to Heifer International, University Catholic Center, and Christian Veterinary Mission. “We broke out to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ halfway through our first dance,” she said. “We had been practicing for weeks, and it turned out perfect. Everyone was so surprised.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Hire a wedding planner!” Sarah said. “Even if it is just the day of stuff, you don’t want to be stressing when you’re tyring to focus on preparing for a marriage. Ours was fantastic, and helped us out so much. We were totally stress-free when the day finally arrived.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of sparklers and jetted off to their honeymoon.