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.
Jessica and Kevin were married at Twin Oaks House and Gardens in San Marcos, Calif. on February 2. “When I walked through the archway and saw the garden covered in greenery and twinkle lights, all surrounding an old schoolhouse, I knew it was the one,” Jessica said. The bride wore a strapless mermaid wedding gown with a lace bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of Tieks’ comfy flats, while the groom wore a three-piece dark gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses. Guests were greeted to the ceremony with a heart-shaped chalkboard sign that said, “Welcome! Today two families become one. Please choose a seat not a side,” and encouraged to grab a handkerchief “for happy tears.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 140 witnessing. Cocktail hour began at the “Wet Your Whistle” beer and wine bar followed the reception shortly thereafter inside a pole tent draped with fabric and hung with crystal chandeliers. “Besides seeing Kevin for the first time, I would have to say seeing the venue for the first time with all of my do-it-yourself decor was my favorite moment,” she said. “I had this image in my head for so long of what I wanted the day to look like and seeing it come together surpassed all of my expectations.” Tables were decorated with white linens, blush napkins, vintage plates, candelabra centerpieces, and favor bags at each place setting, surrounded by chiavari chairs. A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served concluding dinner. In addition, there were cupcakes too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “If you are planning and crafting a lot by yourself, keep an inventory of everything you buy or make throughout the year,” Jessica said. “Also, note where you want to place it. I had so many little things I had bought during our 15-month engagement. It would have helped to keep track of everything.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in London, Paris, and Rome.
Brittany and Branson were married at Middleton Place in Charleston, S.C. on March 29. “Both our parents came to Charleston to look at different venues,” Brittany said. “We toured Boone Hall Plantation and Magnolia Gardens. As we were traveling to our first destination, we passed Middleton Place. We called them to see if they had any appointments available that day to tour the venue. It was our luck that they had one that afternoon. After walking through, we both new this was the place we would say, ‘I do.'” Afterwards, we toasted with champagne knowing that we had found the one.” The bride wore a sweetheart fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, statement necklace, jeweled sash, and a pair of peacock stilettos, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a checkered button-up shirt and tie. Bridesmaids wore long black satin dresses and carried bouquets of calla lilies. “It started raining around midnight and continued until 5:30-6 a.m.,” she said. “I was in panic because I always wanted to get married at a venue that had one aisle (and boy does Middleton Place have a very long aisle). The weather began to clear up and was overcast. At 1 p.m., I had to make a decision to have the wedding outside at Butterfly Lakes or to use the backup plan. I decided to take the risk and have the wedding outside. About an hour before the wedding, the sun began to shine. And as I walked down the aisle, the clouds parted, and it was was like the heavens opened up.” Cocktail hour began followed by the reception shortly thereafter underneath the pavilion. Tables were decorated with white linens, teal napkins, mason jar centerpieces atop wood slices, and pictures of places they had traveled together over the years, surrounded by chiavari chairs. “We both graduated from Clemson University and wanted to incorporate Clemson into our wedding,” Brittany said. “Our favors included a glass bottle of Orange Crush in a purple koozie. One side of the koozie had a picture of a pirate because our last name is Pyritz and our wedding date. The opposite side of the koozie had one of our favorite lyrics, ‘Always remember there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.'” A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert concluding dinner. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Enjoy the planning process and always make sure the wedding is about the bride and groom because it is your day and no one else’s,” she said. At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of sparklers and jetted off to their honeymoon in Grenada.
Caitlin and Matthew were married at The Birkby House, Thomas in Leesburg, Va. on May 10. “It had a beautiful courtyard and garden,” Caitlin said. The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown with a ruched bodice and tulle skirt, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, pearl necklace, jeweled sash, and a pair of TOMS wedges, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short pink mix ‘n’ matched chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and stock. “The moment before my Dad was getting ready to walk me down the aisle,” she said. “Even though Matthew and I were technically already married (and had been for over two years), my heart was beating out of my chest with excitement, joy, and insane happiness that Matthew and I were going to celebrate ‘us’ with everyone that we love.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 130 witnessing. Everyone were escorted to their seats via paper airplanes. “The seating chart/ombre paper airplane ‘art piece’ could not have been possible without the assistance of my husband,” Caitlin said. “He helped engineer the whole display, fold more than 100, and drafted his groomsmen the day off to set it up without my supervision. It was amazing!” Inside the tent, draped with fabric, and hung with crystal chandeliers, tables were decorated with white linens, vintage vase and vessel centerpieces, books, chalkboard numbers, and mercury glass votive candles. Dinner was buffet style, including a Southern slider station. “I was able to surprise my dad and Matthew with a cigar and whiskey bar,” she said. “It was just a small way I could show how much they both mean to me and that the wedding day is just as much for the groom as it is the bride.” In lieu of a traditional guest book, wooden hearts were signed with well-wishes. Donations were taken in place of favors for Troops Direct and Hope For The Warriors. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Spend a little extra for great vendors,” Caitlin said. “If you do, you’ll have the piece of mind that everything will turn out better than you expected. Sometimes that’s even better than just how you planned.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Hawaii.
Chelsea and Joey were married at The Grace Maralyn Estate and Gardens in Atascadero, Calif. on July 26. “The Grace Maralyn was the perfect venue for us because it felt like we were having the wedding in our own backyard, but the amenities and the details made it a much better version,” Joey said. The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, jeweled headpiece, floor-length veil, and a pair of t-strap peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a dark gray tweet vest and pants, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short mint dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, scabiosa pods, and seeded eucalyptus wrapped in ribbons. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “Find a seat, not a side. Today, we’re family!” and encouraged them to grab a paper cone filled with lavender for the toss. “The moment we first saw each other while Chelsea was walking down the aisle,” he said. “The anticipation of the entire day and everything leading up to that, seeing her in her dress, looking as beautiful as ever, and having Florence and The Machine playing in the background, it felt like a scene from a movie. We both lost it a little bit.” During the ceremony, a unity candle was lit. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began with signature Mr. and Mrs. cocktails — my dear watson and the howdy stella. The reception took place shortly thereafter in the lawn. Tables were decorated with white linens, burlap runners, gold vase centerpieces, wooden numbers, picture frames, votive candles, and homemade jars of jelly, which served double-duty as favors, at each place setting, surrounded by folding padded chairs. “We loved having everything happen at one location,” Joey said. “The ceremony and the reception flowed together seamlessly because we didn’t have to worry about moving 100+ people to another location. It definitely kept the party going.” Dinner included a greek salad, Santa Maria tri-tip steak and chicken breast with salsa and roasted vegetables, roasted potatoes, and garlic bread. Dancing took place in the barn. A three-tiered fondant cake was cut and served for dessert in addition to caramel apples and fruit tarts. “It might sound silly, but having a photo booth was a really fun extra,” he said. “We were able to look at all the photos afterwards and see our family and friends having a great time througout the night. It was nice to know how much people were enjoying themselves.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Give yourself plenty of time to plan things out and be as thorough as possible, but be okay with the outcome regardless,” Joey said.