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.
Simone and Jamal were married at Casa Feliz in Winter Park, Fla. on October 4. “The venue is beautiful on it’s own, but then you decorate it with a couple as gorgeous as Simone and Jamal, and it really can’t get much better for a photographer,” Rachel Bolen of Thirteenth Moon Photography LLC wrote on her blog. “When we met Simone last year, she was so nervous about everything. All I wanted to do was hug her and tell her that all of the planning would get easier. She wanted to incorporate a lof of DIY details into her wedding day and really pull together a rustic elegance that the venue just really highlighted.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in a sideswept ponytail, birdcage veil, pink sash, and a pair of Betsey Johnson jeweled bow peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a three-piece gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of gaden roses, hydrangeas, and berries. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “welcome to our wedding.” The ceremony took place outside in the restored Spanish-inspired farmhouse’s front lawn. The brick sidewalk’s aisles were lined with lanterns filled with pillar candles. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! Plus, a fist pump. Cocktail hour began followed by the reception shortly thereafter in the courtyard strung with cafe lights. Tables were decorated with navy blue linens, gold charger plates, white napkins, picture frame numbers, and boxes, which served double-duty as favors, at each place setting. In lieu of a traditional guest book, a globe was signed with well-wishes. Dinner and dancing concluded with a three-tiered fondant-covered cake and “flamin’ s’mores.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of bubbles.
Kirsten and Jesse were married at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, Md. on July 12. “Jesse and I love the water and spend a lot of time boating, fishing, and crabbing,” Kirsten said. “When we walked out onto the Beach House lawn and looked out to see the Bay Bridge, we knew it was the one! The view was just stunning. We loved how the Tavern also overlooked the Chesapeake Bay with huge sliding glass windows. Even the reception ballroom too.” The bride wore a strapless mermaid Vera Wang wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, sash, and a pair of Jimmy Choo peep-toe wedges, while the groom wore a tan suit, accessorized with a matching bow tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue Lily Pulitzer dresses and carried bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. Guests were greeted with aisles lined with the letters K and J as well as pomanders. “The ceremony decorations were a favorite detail, done by 2hands studio, with ivory draping and three gold chandeliers hanging from various heights underneath the trellis,” she said. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, only 165 witnessing. Cocktail hour began with lawn games such as corn hole followed by the reception shortly thereafter. Tables were decorated with sequin chevron linens, tall centerpieces, floating votive candles, gold numbers, and menu cards at each place setting, surrounded by chiavari chairs. “The moment when I first walked into the venue the day of the wedding, I couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything was and how it had all come together,” Kirsten said. Dinner featured a mixed baby field greens salad with red and yellow teardrop tomatoes and micro flowers dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette, filet mignon paired with a jumbo lump crab cake and fresh vegetables. A four-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. But that’s not all — boxes of chocolates were also passed out as favors. “We had a flip flop station with navy blue flip flops wrapped in pink ribbon,” she said. “It was a huge hit. I would recommend a flip flop station at every wedding!” The sign in front of it even said, “A little treat for those dancing feet and for you to keep.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “To remember that the most important part of a wedding is getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend,” Kirsten said. At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in St. Lucia.
Kyle and Kaylan were married at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. on November 22. “We obviously loved the grand rotunda that allowed us to get married in the round,” Kyle said. “We hadn’t seen this before and loved the idea of having our guests surround us. We also really loved the versatility of the venue. It had about five very distinct spaces that helped make each portion of the night seem unique.” The grooms wore custom-made navy blue tuxedos with black lapels, accessorized with bow ties and cufflinks that said, “Second star to the right and straight on till morning” from the movie Peter Pan. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue satin dresses with illusion necklines and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, hydrangeas, anemones, and seeded eucalyptus, while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos and boutonnieres of freesia. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that described the itinerary. In lieu of separately walking down the aisle during the processional with their parents, they walked in together, hand-in-hand. “Music has always been very special to us and having it be a part of our ceremony was a must,” he said. “Having three of our close friends sing really took our breath away and created a lasting memory.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official with almost 100 witnessing! Cocktail hour began in the boardroom with a signature drink called “The Getaway” (inspired by Hanks Oyster Bar) garnished with birch straws. Family-style dinner took place in the ballroom shortly thereafter, including a mixed green salad with seasonal fruit, candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette, garlic-butter shrimp with creame gouda grits and sliced New York strip steak with a port wine reduction, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. “There were so many things to look at, but I think the most impressive details were the seven-foot tree and candle centerpieces, and striped and sequin linens,” Kyle said. For extra entertainment, a photo booth was provided with props. Bonus: Kyle surprised Kaylan by singing Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be (The Greatest Fan Of Your Life” with his cappella group. A mini cake was cut and served for dessert. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Utilize your wedding party,” he said. “I think we drove ourselves crazy trying to do everything on our own. These people are your best friends and are usually eager to help. The whole point of having a wedding party is to not have to carry the burden of decision making, do-it-yourself creation, and box toting on your own.” At the end of the night, they exited amonst a sea of jingle bells and jetted off to their honeymoon in Key West.
Jessica and David were married in a traditional church ceremony at Old South followed by a reception at the Exchange Conference Center in Boston, Mass. on September 27. “It was right on the water in the heart of Boston’s seaport district,” Jessica said. “We loved the historic architecture, style of the building, and wide open flow to the space.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a feathered skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo, birdcage veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of Prada t-strap high heels, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of peonies, roses, cala lillies, and berries. Only close family and friends, approximately 150, sat in wooden pews to witness the exchanging of vows. Once it was sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began with drinks by the inner harbor. The reception took place shortly thereafter inside the ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens, navy blue napkins, mercury glass centerpieces, and votive candles, surrouned by folding padded chairs. The New England-style menu for dinner. Think: lobster rolls, BBQ pork sliders, fish tacos, flank steak, and butternut squash ravioli. Yum! There were also messages in bottles at each place setting. “Each one had a special note in them for guests to open and enjoy,” she said. “I also did A LOT of the custom design work, including creating a logo and ‘branded’ feel to all detail elements to tie everything together.” A five-tiered fondant cake was cut and served for dessert in addition to whoopie pies. “Everyone loved the band,” Jessica said. “We had the best band, The Ward Eights, and they played non-stop. When it was time to wrap up, guests didn’t want to leave and chanted, ‘One more song’ for an encore. It was like being at our own private concert.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Stay organized and get everything completely finished by two weeks before your wedding date,” she said. “That way, you can handle any last minute surprises. On the day-of, make sure to just tune out any planning aspect, have fun, and enjoy every minute. You have done all the work already so there is nothing else to worry about.” At the end of the night, lobster cookie cutters were passed out as favors, and they jetted off to their honeymoon in France and Spain.