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.
Jaimie and Aaron were married at the Oakwood Resort in Syracuse, Ind. on September 27. “I loved that we could have everything at one place: accommodations, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception,” Jaimie said. “They even had a salon, so I could get my hair and makeup done without leaving the venue. It was convenient to be able to be there from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. And it was pet-friendly, which was must.” The bride wore a v-neck lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a keyhole back, accessorized with her hair in an updo, feather headpiece, and a pair of comfy flats, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short mint chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, amaranthus, stock, and caspia. “I utterly loved my dress,” she said. “It was exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted a very classic Audrey Hepburn/Grace Kelly/Princess Kate/ look, but couldn’t find that concept anywhere until I stumbled upon pre-owned wedding dresses’ website.” Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “order of ceremony: music starts, we get married, and everyone parties.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss underneath an arch draped in fabric, it was official, with almost 125 witnessing. “It was such a beautiful day, and the pictures turned out perfect,” Jaimie said. “The major detail I couldn’t control was the weather. Of course, I was freaking out about it. But the day came, and the sun was shining, and the water was sparkling. It was 80 degrees! I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more.” Cocktail hour began followed by the reception shortly thereafter in the ballroom. Tables were decorated with white linens, black napkins, vintage vase and vessel centerpieces, lanterns, tea cup candles, and guest libs at each place setting. “My absolute favorite detail was that we had our two huskies,” she said. “They mean the world to us and to include them in our special day was a must from the beginning.” In lieu of a traditional guest book, everyone was asked to share their favorite date idea with the new Mr. and Mrs. A two-tiered purple ombre cake was cut and served for dessert concluding dinner. In addition, there was also cupcakes. The newlyweds’ best advice? “At some point, you have to stop using Pinterest!” Jaimie said. “There are many great, beautiful, and cost-efficient ideas, and it’s so easy to just keep pinning and adding more and more concepts to incorporate into your big day. It came to the point where I had to stop going on it at all. I couldn’t see any more ideas of pictures that I had to have. This helped me focus myself on what really needed to be done instead of continually adding extras that weren’t a necessity.” At the end of the night, they opted for a kiss on a boat.
Meg and Brandon were married at Vinewood Plantation in Newnane, Ga. on November 16. “The stables and grounds at Vinewood Plantation had that perfect relaxed charm we were looking for,” Meg said. “I knew the day would be beautiful, even if I had no money left to spend on the decor!” The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, sash, and a pair of flats, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with striped tie. “I wore my great aunt Margaret’s earrings for my ‘something blue,'” she said. “She was my mom’s favorite aunt, and I was named for her. My mom gave me the earrings years ago — they were special then, but it meant so much to include them in my wedding.” Bridesmaids wore short patterened dresses they picked out themselves and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, anemones, scabiosa pods, and succulents. “Our guests were greeted with hot apple cider upon arrival,” Meg said. “My mom made 150 felt coffee koozies and 150 of her famous caramels for cider stirrers. The handmade touches from our family and friends made us feel so loved and supported.” Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. Of course, tears were shed! “I will never forget the look on Brandon’s face when we first saw each other,” she said. “It was such an emotional moment, even with our small audience standing 50 feet away. Planning a wedding is such a long and laborious process, but in that moment it was so clear why we were here. I was so full of joy (and relief) that the day had finally come.” The ceremony took place underneath a giant oak tree with everyone sitting in mix ‘n’ matched chairs. Afterwards, the reception was held inside the barn. Tables were decorated with burlap runners, vintage plates and goblets, and votive candles. Dinner was a traditional Southern fare, BBQ! “I loved having individual cakes on each table,” Meg said. “They served two purposes: table numbers and desserts. They were rum cakes, made using grandma Guynelle’s famous recipe. I made the bunting toppers and my mom scoured flea markets and goodwill stores for a year buying up cake stands.” For late-night snacks, s’mores could be roasted over an open fire too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Plan every last detail,” she said. “We loved Google docs to track everything. Then, turn it over to someone you trust and let it go.”
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.”