{real weddings} Cassie & Alex

Hello lovelies! I have such a fun wedding for you today. Just get a look at this gorgeous bride – her gown, her party dress, her SHOES! Meet Cassie, my fellow barre instructor at Work it Out, who definitely didn’t hold back on showing off her dance moves on the dance floor. Get it girl! I was so excited that Cassie wanted her wedding to be a part of the blog – and I just loved learning how much this wedding truly was a reflection of them as a couple. Congrats newlyweds – I’m so happy for you!

1143When / where was your wedding?
September 19, 2015 at the Captain Flanders House on Martha’s Vineyard

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What’s your love story?
Alex and I met through a mutual friend, Brandon. Brandon is a good friend of mine from college who moved back to Martha’s Vineyard after graduating. I was visiting him one summer and met Alex, who has been friends with Brandon since they were 5. After that visit, we started talking and eventually Alex visited Hoboken and we went on our official first date. We dated long distance for over a year – I was here and he was in Boston. Eventually, he made the move down here.0411

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What made your wedding dress you?
I take very little credit for the dress choice! Since my mom works in bridal, I left most of it up to her and trusted her and her colleagues to select the perfect dress, and they did! I wanted something classic but also couture, so I think the lace in the Pnina Tornai dress top was the classic and the bottom of course was the couture. I also loved the back of the dress with the illusion look. As a dancer, I knew I would be moving and grooving on the dance floor all night, so I wanted to change into a short bridal reception dress, which is where the Mark Zunino dress came into play. He made me the short dress, which was so fun, comfortable, and let me dance all night freely!064507000677

What’s one wedding detail that really defined you as a couple? Made the wedding feel like you?
The band was amazing. We had the Joanne Cassidy Band, and they just made the night so much fun. We wanted great entertainment and they lived up to everything we could have imagined. It was a nonstop dance party, which is so us!

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What’s one piece of advice you’d give to future brides?
Enjoy it! I had so much fun planning and Alex and I enjoyed being engaged very much, which just built more excitement for the big day. We made sure to enjoy our wedding day, we danced all night, and we had the absolute best night with the people we love the most. Last piece of advice – eat! Everyone said you don’t eat at your own wedding, and we did not! Luckily, our caterers packed up two meals for us and we ate them at the end of the night. Still delicious!1512Photography: Jamie Levine Photography; Venue: Captain Flanders House; Dress: Pnina Tornai; Reception dress: Mark Zunino; Band: Joanne Cassidy Band

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{real weddings} Leah & Nick

Leah and Nick’s wedding was a special one to witness…Their love for each other is just so sweet and was apparent the entire day. Not only was I able to attend this beautiful wedding, but their nuptials also brought me back to the city of my alma mater, which always warms my heart. I’m so happy for these two — and hope you enjoy their love story and gorgeous wedding photos below!NickLeahWED01When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding ceremony took place at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The evening reception followed at The Jefferson Hotel.

What’s your love story?
Nick and I met at Hardywood Brewery several years ago in Richmond. We had mutual friends and ended up in the same group that night. We got to talking over some beer and street food and there must have been something in that beer because the following week at a local 5K (at the same brewery), I had a feeling I was going to run into him again. (Of course after running a race and looking as glamorous as possible in leggings). Our groups of friends ended up together again that night and after talking the entire night, we ended up making plans to go running and eventually started dating.NickLeahWED230

nickleah-99What made your wedding dress you?
I loved my dress! It was pretty comfortable and I really liked the classic style with the embellishments around the neckline and the train.NickLeahWED249

Tell me a little about your wedding style and why you chose the historic Jefferson Hotel.
I wanted a classic, pretty, romantic style for the wedding along with some personal touches. My florist really helped make it personal, our head table was probably one of my favorite details — Our florist found the perfect romantic looking flowers and a sequin runner that really added a cool look. With the candles on top, it reflected really nicely and was so pretty. Nick and I always loved The Jefferson and usually take out of town family members to see the historic hotel. It has become one of our favorite places in Richmond so we thought, why not do our wedding there? The price was also comparable to other Richmond venues and we loved that it was in the city so our guests would have a lot to do.

nickleah-243What’s one piece of advice you’d give future brides?
This may sound silly, but don’t lose sight over the most important detail of the wedding — You are marrying your best friend and all the people you love the most will be there to celebrate it — so don’t sweat the small stuff.  

Nick and I would get into fights over small details during the wedding process — like how we were wording the church programs or what we should wear for our engagement pictures or “Did you see my updated pins on our wedding board?… what do you mean you don’t like it…”. Emotions were so high and we each wanted everything to be so perfect for one another on the big day. I doubt anyone really remembered the church programs or what we wore for our engagement pictures. And after it all, my favorite part was walking into the church and seeing Nick and actually going through our ceremony and the vows. There is and never will be anything like the ceremony or celebrating with our closest friends and family at the reception. nickleah-187Photographer: Megan Garrison; Venue: The Jefferson Hotel; Church: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart; Wedding Planner: Jennings Whiteway of Belles & Whistles; Florist: Jen Wiley of Wiley’s Florist

{real weddings} Natalie & Ryan

I always say the best part about this blog is the people it’s introduced me to. Today’s bride, Natalie, is just another one of those special people. Natalie was a regular in my Tuesday morning barre class (I say was only because she moved out of Hoboken after her wedding), as she was dedicated to looking and feeling her best for her wedding day. Of course, I wanted to learn more details about her wedding, which brings us to today’s post. If it weren’t for Natalie I also wouldn’t have been introduced to the beautiful work of Abby Grace — a photographer who also loves to photograph ballerinas! (Where do I sign up?!) I hope you enjoy today’s “southern romantic” wedding and their adorable love story.
View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat’s your love story?

On Friday, September 6, 2013 at noon Ryan got a call from a good friend Nick asking to join him for a road trip to UVA. At the last-minute, he had an extra ticket to the football game and asked him to go. Obviously, he was in. The next morning, Ryan joined Nick’s UVA friends at a backyard party just outside the stadium. True to form, the guys threw a party riddled with kegs, fried chicken and corn hole. Little did Ryan know that in a couple of hours he was going to meet his future wife!

I was invited to the tailgate by Emily, a mutual friend of Nick’s and was only planning on staying for a few hours (I didn’t have a ticket to the game). Ryan can remember the exact moment when I approached him with the pick-up line “I like your silly band bracelet. Did your daughter make that for you?” Ryan doesn’t remember many moments in his life where he was as nervous as he was here — but he told me that his niece Katherine had made it and we continued to chat. I like to say that I remember Ryan following me around like a puppy dog, but Ryan has a different recollection. As game time approached, Ryan offered to buy me a ticket so we could continue hanging out. We bought two tickets in the nose bleed section — and it was hot and still and felt like a sauna. We stayed at the game for maybe 10-15 minutes (5 minutes worth of game time and Oregon was up 3 TDs already) before we both were sweltering and went to a local spot to grab some food. Ryan even forced down some fried green tomatoes (not his favorite) just to impress the beautiful southern belle in his company. Ryan remembers being impressed with my knowledge of college football and my sweet southern charm. We finally made it back to the tailgate, exchanged phone numbers and have been together ever since. Who knew a random day of football could have turned into such a great thing!

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhen / where was your wedding?
We got married May 16, 2015 in my hometown of Hanover, Virginia. It is located about 15 minutes north of Richmond. We got married in St. Ann’s Catholic Church. My family has belonged to it since I was 9. Our reception took place at the Hanover Tavern. The Tavern was built in 1733 and is one of the oldest working taverns in the country. I loved the history involved with our venue as well as the beauty and location. Our wedding took place on a beautiful spring Virginia day. Most of Ryan’s family had not visited Virginia prior to our wedding and it was a perfect way to show off my hometown!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingView More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat made your wedding dress you?
I LOVED MY DRESS! I know every bride says this (and I hope they do!). I only went once to try on dresses and this was the last one I tried on. I really did not want a strapless dress. (I felt I was too old to wear one.) My dress was not strapless — it had illusion lace on the top. It was gorgeous, but I did not love it on me. After talking to the ladies at the salon, we were able to make the dress strapless. I really wanted a lace dress. This dress was just different from all the others I had tried on that day. I did not want to take it off once I put it on, my mom still says the dress was so me! I am a very girly girl and always love wearing dresses. This dress was just so flowy, romantic and me!

When we were cutting the cake I dropped a fork full of cake on my dress! I had navy icing on me the rest of the night, anyhoo my mother took my dress to the cleaners the Monday after the wedding. Thankfully it came out right away and my mother was getting my dress preserved. The man asked if my mother wanted to come back and watch them put it into the box! I found this so cute that he asks this to the mothers. I still can’t believe our wedding is over and my dress is stored away!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-wedding

What was your wedding style?
When we first got engaged people would ask what my “wedding theme was?” I was clueless and came up with my own. I called our wedding “southern romantic” — and I think I pulled it off pretty well. Our colors were navy, gold, pale pink, and mint green. I went a little overboard on the colors, but I think they ending up looking beautiful. All the colors worked together very well. My mother and I made a lot of the decor, it was a lot of fun painting and glittering everything! I also ordered a lot of things on Etsy. I have a girl I have ordered many things from in the past. She worked with me and made a lot of the table details. I just loved our table settings/center pieces! It all turned out beautiful!

Thankfully I got married in May because peonies are my favorite flower. Our florists did a beautiful job having my vision come to life! Of course I got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, but I had to be careful not to go too crazy with details. My cake toppers were my favorite! We have a black lab named Magnolia. She could not spend the day with us, so my cousin made us a cake topper of her holding a sign saying “I do too!” Another favorite thing was the groom’s cake. Ryan loves Goldfish crackers. He is always stealing them from his niece and nephews! I had a cake made in the shape of a Goldfish cracker! It was adorable and Ryan was very surprised by it! I really enjoyed making all the details special for our day. It is really what made our day so special for us. It also made me very happy when people noticed the details and said how much they enjoyed it all!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingView More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
BREATHE! No matter how big or small your wedding is, it is a BIG deal for you. You’ll cry about things and have arguments with the ones you love during planning, but all because it means so much to you and them. The day will be wonderful no matter what happens that day! Something will turn out different then you thought, but it is OK, you are the only one that will know that! Our venue space was not done and we had to go to plan B! I was in tears the day before, but the day ending up being amazing and beautiful! Everyone had a BLAST! Stories are still being told about our day! Just breathe often and enjoy the day! I still can’t believe we got married and the day has happened! It was an amazing day!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingPhotography:  Abby Grace Photography; Event Planner: Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events; Venue:  Hanover Tavern

{real weddings} Lauren & Christian

Oh Jenelle, you did it again…Took my breath away with your beautiful photography. I think you all remember Jenelle’s work from my own wedding photos — and here she goes again capturing Lauren & Christian’s elegant, old-world affair. What’s better than finding a wedding photographer who you love? Finding one who you become friends with. Thank you Jenelle for letting me continue to share your work with the world. I hope you enjoy Lauren’s interview.

DeMartino_1419_08242013_JS0434What’s your love story?
Christian & I met on a blind date. We were introduced by two mutual friends who were dating at the time. We double dated for a while, not sure that we were a good fit for each other, but eventually his quiet charm completely won my heart.

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When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding was held on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Kimisis Tis Theotoku Greek Orthodox Church in Holmdel, New Jersey. The reception was held at Navesink County Club in Red Bank, NJ.DeMartino_1719_08242013_JK1212

What made your wedding dress you?
My dress was simply exquisite and it just made me feel beautiful. I loved how different it was. It had a vintage, almost old Hollywood feel to it. But it was also heavy!!!

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Tell me about your wedding style. What made your wedding unique to you?
I wanted my wedding to glow. I wanted it to feel like a warm, old-world love affair. My sister and I scoured antique shops looking for old mercury glass vessels for flowers and candles. I love candles and wanted them everywhere. I opted for the long tables (among great opposition from others) with flowers and candles flowing down the center. It was unique in its warmth and love. You just felt the love in that room when you walked in and best of all it was my dream in real life. The idea I had for so many months in my head was finally in front of me and that was incredible.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
I have two pieces of advice (they go hand in hand):  1. Hire a fantastic photographer — the best you can afford. I truly am so thankful I did because those photographs bring tears to my eyes every time I look at them. They just capture beautiful moments that are easily forgotten years later and Jenelle’s talent is unparalleled. She is warm and wonderful to work with. Part 2. Enjoy the day. Feel every moment and just enjoy it. Step back at some point and just admire how incredible it is. It is the culmination of months of work and years of dreams and it will take your breath away.

DeMartino_2202_08242013_JK1540Photography: Jenelle Kappe Photography; Florist: Fine Flowers; Shoes: Manolo Blahnik c/o Garmany; Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dessy Group; Hair & Makeup – Glen Goldbaum 72; Band: The Storytellers NYC; Groomsmen Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

{real weddings} Amy & Scott

Hi loves! I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start — January was a productive month and here we are in February already. I’ve got a thing for February though. The days start to get a little longer and love is in the air…there’s of course, Valentine’s Day — and it’s the month we got engaged. It’s always a quick month too, which just brings us one month closer to Spring.

I’m loving the elegance of this wedding. The photograph on the staircase is just jaw-dropping. Photographer, Susie Sefcik, did a beautiful job capturing this classic wedding. Keep reading for more — and be sure to check out the tons of amazing local vendors featured in this post!
sspw-1760What’s your love story?

Scott and I met four years ago at The Downtown in Red Bank, NJ on the 4th of July. I first spotted Scott from across the bar while dancing with a friend of mine. An hour or so later, my stare must have stuck as Scott reached out his hand to introduce himself with a good old, “Hi, I’m Scott”. After an intense two-way interview, we realized we were both from the area and came home on summer weekends, lived in Hoboken, were the same age, and had several mutual friends. What started out as an okay night, turned into one of the most memorable nights of my life. Scott enjoyed our meeting so much that when we left the bar, he walked to the nearest 7 Eleven, purchased headphones and walked a short 5 miles home at 2am to reflect on the night. There were definitely fireworks and the rest is history…

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When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding was September 20, 2014 at Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury, NJ.

sspw-1210What made your wedding dress you?
As a child, I always loved playing dress up. So much in fact that a wedding dress and veil was one of the most worn outfits in my dress up box. That being said, I knew how important finding the perfect wedding dress was going to be. To assist with my search, my mom, my Aunt, and two of my best friends came shopping with me in NYC. I found my dress at a walk-in dress shop while killing time before my appointment at Kleinfelds. It was the last dress I tried on and the only one the sales consultant picked out for me. She just knew it would be the one. As soon as I walked out in it to show my family & friends, there were tears. I must admit, it made me feel like a princess with the perfect amount of glitz and glam. As a fairly simple dresser, I knew this was my one opportunity to add a little sparkle without going over the top.

I had my dress altered at Ally Bridal in Hoboken which happens to be right across the street from where I live. Ally continued to personalize my dress by turning the sash with bow into a fastened belt which made it absolutely perfect.

I decided to leave the veil in my dress up box and wear flowers in my hair instead 🙂sspw-1378sspw-1461sspw-1197

What was your inspiration behind your theme, colors, decor, etc.?
My wedding style was very classic with a touch of bright colors. Our ceremony took place in the main garden of the old Georgian Mansion. The gardens, fountains and pergola were the perfect backdrop for the bridal party and elegant arbor designed by my florist.

Our reception took place in the Oak Room of the estate. My florist brought the rich tones of the English oak walls to life by incorporating bright textured centerpieces, with mercury votives and mirrors underneath bringing more light into the room. My sister-in-law Stephanie is a partner at Fancy That NYC and as a result I was lucky enough to have her do my invitations, programs, menus, cocktail napkins, and all the other paper accessories that can become completely overwhelming. She created the most beautiful and elegant designs that fell in line with our style.sspw-1507

What’s one piece of advice you would give other brides?
My advice for planning…Nail down your vendors right away. Figure out what is most important and book it first. For us, it was our band. We had The A Band on standby for a few dates before choosing a wedding date. By choosing our vendors well in advance, we were able to get all of our top choices and then take our time throughout the planning process rather than scrambling towards the end.

My advice for wedding dress alterations…Choose a trusted tailor; however, also make sure they are located in a convenient location for you. Having my tailor right across the street made it extremely easy to stop in for alterations. It took about 5 or 6 fittings down to the last week to get my dress to fit perfectly. Since the last 2 months before your wedding can be extremely hectic, save yourself time on the multiple appointments and make sure it’s convenient. Also, make sure you find someone who you connect with and trust. Ally from Ally Bridal made each fitting a memorable experience. I preferred the feel of a small boutique and personal attention over a large wedding dress store in the city with several people and distractions.

My advice for your wedding day…The planning is over and your wedding day has arrived! Everything is out of your hands at this point so enjoy the ride. Enjoy every aspect of the day from getting ready with your best girl friends to marrying the love of your life with all of our friends and family by your side. Take several moments throughout the day to look around and take it all in. Everyone is there for YOU! And the rest is happily ever after!sspw-1843

sspw-1888Congrats Amy & Scott! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us!

Photography: Susie Sefcik Photography; Venue: Shadowbrook; Florist: Eileen Larkin Events; Invitations & Accessories: Stephanie Palumbo Fancy That NYC; Band: The A Band; Hair: Giovanna @ Jon Lori Salon; Makeup: Gracia Phillips; Cake: Piece O’ Cake

{real weddings} Mallory & Patrick

I’ve got one last wedding for 2014 for you today! And with all the romantic lighting and gold details, it’s the perfect wedding to ring in 2015! The bride, Mallory, is also someone special — as we grew up dancing together and are still close friends to this day. It brings me great joy to share her gorgeous wedding day with you!

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3--47>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848457337nu0mrjWhat’s your love story?
The story of how we met always makes me laugh. A couple of my friends and I headed to our favorite bar in Charlotte, Connolly’s, after a pre-season football game. We were enjoying the shaded patio and this guy came and sat at our table, completely uninvited, he made himself right at home. He began talking to me and we realized we were both from New Jersey, so we chatted for a while about places we had both been in NJ, college, jobs, and the standard “getting to know you” banter. We exchanged numbers and parted ways. That was the end of that. About 6 months later I was back at Connolly’s celebrating a friend’s birthday. I see this guy with a Yankee hat on so I approached him and started talking. He looked right at me and says, “Mallory?” I was completely confused and wondering how this stranger knew my name. He kept up this charade that he was psychic and kept mentioning things about NJ and other facts he remembered from our first meeting. I finally started to connect the dots and realized it was the same guy from that night in August – Patrick. We continued talking and he apologized for never contacting me when we first met so he wanted to make it right by taking me out. He insisted on the next night, but I played it cool and settled for a couple of days later. We went out that Tuesday and I don’t think there has been a day since then that we haven’t talked. I guess you could say it was love at 2nd sight.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv37--2>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;984843-337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv36747>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848438337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848443337nu0mrjWhen/where was your wedding?
Our wedding was November 7, 2014 at The Big Chill in Charlotte, North Carolina.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv34389>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848447337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv34552>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848453337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv35;38>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;984844;337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848449337nu0mrjWhat made your wedding dress you?
I’m typically the kind of girl who thinks “more is more” vs. the old “less is more” mantra. I love glitz and sparkle but when it came to my dress I wanted simple and classic. I knew I wanted a large ball gown skirt so every gown I tried on definitely had that in common. The dress I picked was the 2nd one I tried on and it just felt right. It felt like me and that’s what I wanted. I kept my sparkle to a minimum with my belt that had some simple rhinestones and metallic detail.

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I love all the little gold details! Tell me a little about your wedding style.
Our wedding style can be best described as simple with a dash of whimsy. We knew we wanted the ceremony and reception at the same location, and luckily, the space was set up separate from the cocktail hour and reception space which made it, logistically, much easier for us! The ceremony was written by Patrick and me and was presented by a childhood friend of Patrick’s. It was especially personal for us to have him be a part of that special moment. We also opted to go un-traditional when it came to the music. We selected many songs from a band called Vitamin String Quartet. They have a large variety of pop and classic songs, but are performed by string musicians. Instead of the typical bridal march, I walked down the aisle to “Home” by Edward Sharpe, but in a gorgeous instrumental version. Any brides out there looking for something different, you must check them out! We had so many compliments on the music!

After the reception, the guests flowed into a lounge-like cozy setting with a fireplace, couches, pub tables, and a large bar. We had golden touches everywhere throughout the bar area. Little signs with witty sayings, large golden initials hanging by the fireplace, and other little touches that made it totally “us”! We wanted to have details that made people smile.

The reception room was so special and different. The venue used to be an old fine dining restaurant so the back of the room had these large booths, which Patrick and I sat in the middle one. It gave us the perfect viewpoint of the whole night, and we sat some of our wedding party and close friends in the booths beside us. The venue also used to be a roller rink, so the massive beautiful dance floor was actually the recycled wood! We loved that the space had some history behind it.

We kept centerpieces simple with all white and ivory flowers, some simple votive candles, and pops of gold. I utilized the bridesmaid’s bouquets and my own for the booths and other areas near the bar.

I’m crafty so I decided to DIY the majority of the decorations. I loved doing this since I saw TONS of ideas on Pinterest, and was difficult to find everything I liked. Doing it myself guaranteed it was exactly what I wanted!

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What’s one piece of advice you’d give future brides?
One tip I would give brides to be is:  This day is about you and your groom and that’s all that matters. Weddings inevitably bring on a lot of stress, especially as the big day approaches. Issues will come up and something will not go 100% how you planned it. How the centerpieces look is not why you’ve asked guests to travel near and far to come see. Every time I started to freak out a little, Patrick kept reminding me…as long as you and I are both there that day, then it will be perfect. It is easier said than done to think that way, but after him repeatedly telling me that I started to get it. This day was about us and us only. It truly is the most magical day in your life, so don’t spend energy stressing over the little things.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv34237>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;984846;337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv3nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848468337nu0mrj232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv36486>nu=3342>634>2-3>WSNRCG=3-;9848472337nu0mrjMore from the bride…Since we met Uptown (which is what people call center city of Charlotte) we wanted to celebrate that, which is why we chose to do our photos right in the city. The skyline acted as the perfect backdrop and the weather that day was beyond perfect with the bright blue sky and lush green grass!

Cheers to this fabulous bride & groom! Wishing you all health, wealth & happiness as we ring in a new year! Happy 2015!!

Photography: Brookelyn Riley Photography; Venue: The Big Chill; Dress: Mori Lee; Bridesmaid Dresses: Aria

{real weddings} Kerry & Colin

Hi! I know it’s been a while, but life happens and other things take priority and the days just go by way too fast — and here we are in December. This little blog still holds a special place in my heart — and so does the couple being featured today.

Being only 18 months apart, my brother and I were always the closest growing up — and then he met Kerry. She fit right in — and has been a part of my family long before they got married. I have never met two people more perfect for each other. Their wedding day was so special, so touching and will remain one of my favorite memories of all time.

I’ll let Kerry do the rest of the talking… I hope you enjoy their story as much as I do.

KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1346What’s your love story?
Col and I actually first met about 15 years ago. Having grown up in adjacent towns our groups of friends started overlapping in 8th grade. The exact first time we ever met was when he was dating a girlfriend of mine and a group of us went to the movies together – although I’m not sure he really remembers this.

Throughout high school and college we continued to have the same friends and eventually began to develop a friendship of our own. Though we had a few moments (ahem, make out sessions) over the years that could have started a more serious relationship, it wasn’t until the summer before senior year of college that Col got the courage to ask me out on a proper date. I’m not sure either one of us really thought this would be “it” when we began dating that summer, as we were both returning to different schools in different states, but when it came time to go back to school, it wasn’t even a question if we were going to be staying together or not.

Six years later – after a cross-country road trip, a move to Chicago and one fur baby (Max!) – he got up the courage again and asked me to be his wife! We’ll be together seven and a half years this Christmas and I can honestly say that it’s been an incredible ride so far. I can only imagine what the next 7 (and 10 and 20 and so on) will bring!

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When / where was your wedding?
We got married on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

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KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1455What made your wedding dress you?
I had a really hard time with the dress selecting process…every dress was gorgeous and a lot felt like they could be the one. But I remember putting this one on and something felt different. I had a natural affinity towards lace and I was really drawn towards dresses that had an interesting back. (Originally I really wanted a Grecian style dress with a drapey loose back but quickly found out I didn’t have the body for it). This dress had both of those things. It was simple, yet the soft lace and silhouette gave it a really classic feel. And then the back gave it a little bit of extra “fun-ness.” I remember I cried and said “I think this is the one” and with that my mom was downstairs writing the check, which was terrifying but also exactly what needed to happen. I knew if I kept looking, I’d be looking forever so in hindsight I’m so glad she pulled the trigger.

In the end, it really was everything I wanted it to be and more. We added the thin crystal belt (BHLDN) at my last fitting and it really brought it all together. I felt incredibly beautiful and it felt really “me.” I love the vintage, classic looks of past times and my dress, for me at least, had a similar feeling. It felt timeless but the back made it a little more current than lace dresses of the past. Now if only it was socially acceptable to wear your wedding dress in public after your wedding…

KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1222KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1531KWP-kerrycolinwedding-1393Tell me a little about the theme of your wedding? Any little details that stood out?
To be honest, I actually loved that we had no real theme or color scheme to our wedding. Though gold was definitely the most prominent tone, we ended up mixing in a lot of the vibrant fall colors with our flowers and a little navy here and there (the bridesmaid’s dresses, invitations and, of course, Colin’s suit) and I was so happy with how it turned out.

There were definitely a few stand-out things that felt really “us” though. Instead of basic table numbers, Col and I decided to name each table after one of our favorite places from our travels or life experiences. Having road-tripped for 3 months together, we had a lot of these but some of them had even more significance like our home state (NJ), my birth place (San Antonio) and Chicago (obviously), which felt really fun to include our guests in on.
Our cake was also one of my favorite things – which is surprising to me, as I’m not a huge cake fan. Being that it was made by one of our good friends, it was more about the fact that someone we know and love made it for us than the cake itself – although it was insanely tasty! We were really honored that she was willing to take on such a daunting task and could not have asked for anything more perfect than what she did. I remember Col and I just stood and stared at it for a few minutes when we first saw it. I think we were both in awe that she had given us that gift.

Above all else though, our ceremony really was my favorite. It was inside the museum’s lobby, which ended up being perfectly intimate, and officiated by Reverend Bruce Otto. I’m not really sure how to describe it but I think the fact that we spent a lot of time deciding the wording of much of the ceremony combined with us writing our own vows that made it feel so right and so perfectly reflective of who we are that I would not have changed a thing. There were laughs, tears, readings from dear family members, and even a ring drop by yours truly but I loved every second of it.

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What’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
Oh man, this one is hard! There’s of course the advice of “take it all in” and “enjoy every second” as it really does go by in a flash but my best helpful (hopefully) piece of advice is to accept help when it’s offered. For micro-managers, like me, it was hard to relinquish control over some of the many wedding tasks. I had so many people who offered to help and looking back, I didn’t take advantage as much as I should have, which would have alleviated some stress in those last few months/weeks. It can definitely feel like you’re giving up control of the most important day of your life, but there are so many little things that you can hand over to friends or family to do, or even just start/finish, that will still have your stamp on them in the end.

My only other thought – and, I’m sorry I know this is more than one piece of advice – is to just be you. It’s easy to get tripped up by all the things that may be tradition or what so-and-so did at their wedding, but in the end, it’s about you and your soon-to-be-hubby (or wifey). Make decisions based on what feels right for you and what suits your taste and try not to worry too much about others concerns or wants. In the end it will all come together and on the big day everyone will be so happy to celebrate you and your marriage that those other things won’t even matter.

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IMG_4394This post is dedicated to my favorite angel…
I know she’s watching over us in her #cheerstocheney sunnies!

Photography by Kina Wicks. Last photo taken by yours truly the day after the wedding.

{real weddings} Danielle & Russ

Romantic. Soft. Sweet. All words I would use to describe this next wedding feature — between the lighting, the photography and the looks of love between this couple, this wedding is just that. I hope you enjoy my interview with bride, Danielle — and photography by Jessica Ames.

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When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding was on May 24, 2014 in Newark, Delaware at Deerfield Golf Club.

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What’s your love story? Or more simply, how did the two of you meet?
Russ and I met while we were both working at Dover International Speedway. I was only there for a short time but we really hit it off.

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What made your wedding dress you?
My dress did not come with the belt. I picked the belt out to give it some bling. I knew I wanted something classy but with sparkle. When I found the dress it didn’t take me long to realize it was the one but it was missing something. Adding the belt really gave it the pop that I thought it needed.

Band or DJ?
We went with a DJ. We really tried to make our wedding as classy but as simple as possible. A DJ seemed like the easiest choice as far as music goes. There weren’t really any limitations with what they would do for us. They were sure to have something for everyone.

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What’s one piece of wedding advice you’d share with other brides?
It’s so easy to get stressed out. The little details are just that…little details. No one but you will notice if something is out of place so don’t get too bent out of shape about it. The only thing I didn’t worry about that I should have was timing. I was the last one to get my hair and make up done and we were running behind by the time I got everything done so we missed out on some picture time. Speaking of pictures…be as specific as you can with your photographer. They have no way of knowing what you want unless you tell them. After the wedding is done and over all you’ll have left is the memories and photographs. Make sure you capture every moment possible.

DR-jessicaamesphoto-0604DR-jessicaamesphoto-0794DR-jessicaamesphoto-0352Thank you for sharing, Danielle — Congrats to you and Russ!

photography: Jessica Ames Photography; gown: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardener from Bonjulies; bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Angelo; florist: Sweet Peas

{real weddings} Callie & Tim

I’ve been so lucky to meet so many beautiful couples through this blog. While we all love seeing pretty photos of all the wedding details, I hope you take the time to read the interviews with these brides. I absolutely love the heart & soul my brides put into their answers — To me, it really brings the wedding to life.

Today’s wedding is no exception — Although it was difficult to narrow down the photos to include, so many little details, a gorgeous couple and what looks like one killer dance party! I hope you enjoy Callie & Tim’s wedding shot by the talented Lauren Fair!

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ExasMosback030What’s your love story?
We met at my first job out of college at MediaEdge — a digital ad agency in Manhattan. Initially, I thought he was weird because at the office picnic he asked to sit next to me but then didn’t say a word to me at all. Then we sat across from each other at the office and after chatting more, found out we had a lot in common. One office event led to another until he found the nerve to ask me out on a date. We went to some corny Mexican place (called Cancun) in midtown Manhattan and the rest is history. Almost 8 years later, we got married. I can’t believe how far we’ve come and how much we grew up in those years, but it was all worth the wait.

ExasMosback183CallieTim1-11When/where was your wedding?
Friday, July 18, 2014 in the North Fork region of Long Island — The ceremony was held at the Greek Orthodox Church in Greenport and the reception was held at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead.

ExasMosback257ExasMosback268ExasMosback615What made your wedding dress you?
My dress was Jim Hjelm, and I’ve always loved his dresses.  I found the dress to be elegant and classic, yet sexy and romantic all at once and that’s what I wanted to be for the day.  I think what really made the dress me were my accessories.  My jewelry was an eclectic mix of vintage and modern, delicate and chunky. I wore a bracelet that was made out of several pieces of jewelry from my Yiayia, my Aunt, and my Great Aunt.  I also wore my Grandmother’s sapphire ring and another bracelet from my “Big” Yiayia (Great Grandmother).  Having them there with me in that way meant a lot to me. 

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ExasMosback796I love all the little details of your wedding! Tell me about one detail that really spoke to you as a couple.
Ha! I think I never want to decoupage or cut or paste anything for a very long time! A lot of it was DIY. We actually made each terrarium center piece together. Tim and I bought all of the plants, dirt, vases, and figures for each terrarium and then hauled it all out to Long Island where we were staying for the week in a house. We collected rocks and shells and drift wood from the local beaches and put them all together on the deck of our rental house (while having a few drinks). We had a lot of fun with the scenes in each vase. Tim and I had a bit of a sense of humor with them and we had Batman fighting crab claws, nudist bathers about to be attacked by dinosaurs, etc. We got a real kick out of putting them together and deciding which table would get certain scenes based on who was sitting there. I also really loved our C & T marquee lights. They really personalized our space and it was a great focal point for the night.

I highly recommend for any bride if they can swing it to take off the week before the wedding to get everything together and organized. Doing this meant that I wasn’t completely frantic at the end of the week. I really enjoyed that time with Tim and our friends and family that came out early to celebrate with us and help us get stuff together.

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ExasMosback1137What was your vision of your wedding day? Did you hire a wedding planner?
I’m not sure I had a vision per se, but I knew I wanted it to be fun. I didn’t want it to feel stuffy at all…I was going for fun, fresh, whimsical, laid back, and romantic. Our event space was managed by their event coordinator, Molly, who was awesome. Our caterer (John from Catering By…A Small Affair) was the day of event manager, who was also absolutely amazing. I also have a friend (Megan Good of Sparkle Motion Decor) who is starting a wedding decor business (she did all of our day of set up and tissue paper tassels, drink stirrers, flowers, Geronimo balloons, table settings, seating display, gift display and dessert display) that helped me out. She helped bring my vision together amazingly. It turned out beautifully.

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CallieTim1-19Lastly – you didn’t ask me this question BUT, I just wanted to give some useful wedding day advice. Something (or many things) very well may go wrong on your wedding day with so many different people coming in to do a lot of different jobs. My advice is…
1. Double confirm ALL of your vendors with day, date and time of arrival.
2. You can’t control what may or may not happen on your wedding day, but you can control your reactions. Remember what the day is really about and after that it will be no sweat. You only get this one day so make sure you choose to be happy no matter what happens.

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And since I’m obsessed with all of their wedding photos, here’s the link to the whole gallery.

Photographer: Lauren Fair Photography; Venue: Martha Clara Vineyards; Bridal Gown: Jim Hjelm; Caterer: Catering by…”A Small Affair”; Event Decor: Sparkle Motion Decor

{real weddings} Katie & Michael

I’ve got a really pretty wedding for you today. The details are amazing — the bride has a tulle gown — and the reception just so happens to be at the same venue as my own! Hi Molly Pitcher! So without further adieu, I bring you Katie & Michael…

Huthwaite-2967What’s your love story? Or more simply, how did you two meet?
Ok, this one isn’t so simple! Michael and I have known each other since the 6th grade. I never imagined anything would ever happen between the two of us, until about 10 years later. My good friend Nicole was dating Jordan, Michael’s twin brother. Michael and Jordan went to Clemson University in South Carolina. My twin sister Erin and I went to the University of South Florida. Lots of twins going on here! Anyway, Nicole was visiting Jordan at school his senior year, so Erin and I decided to meet her there. Let’s just say there was a spark that developed between Michael and I – still nothing had happened….we did keep in touch ever since that visit. When it came around to Christmas break, we were both home and hung out everyday, that’s when we began dating. 7 ‘short’ years later he asked me to marry him, and as you can imagine, my reaction was FINALLY! Was the best decision of my life.

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Huthwaite-5184When/where was your wedding?
Our wedding was on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, New Jersey. Same location as yours, I guess we have good taste!

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Huthwaite-6070What made your wedding dress you?
It was the one I pictured myself in. I hadn’t tried anything on yet and I said to my mom this is the dress I know I’m going to end up getting. This was all online, not even in the store! I loved everything about it. I called Wedding Atelier about 2 weeks before I went in to see if they had the dress there, they did. I go in with my mom and sister to find out the dress had been swept from the floor and returned to the designer the weekend before I was there. It was an older Alvina Valenta style, they had to make room for newer seasons. I tried a bunch of different dresses on and none of them were wowing me. The store ordered the dress I had my eye since the day I got engaged, it took about 2 weeks to come in. I went back, tried it on and fell in love. I just knew it was the perfect dress for me!

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Huthwaite-6077I love your color palette. Tell me a little about your wedding style.
Thanks. I wanted a very classic wedding, nothing too fancy or over the top. My vision was all white – with pops of gold and mint. All my favorite colors! It turned out exactly how I envisioned it 🙂

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Huthwaite-7653What’s one piece of advice you would share with other brides?
Really take a moment to take everything in. The amount of preparation and work that goes into planning your wedding is crazy. When your day finally arrives – it seems like it all happens in a flash. You want to remember every detail of your wedding and have fun at the same time. I would relive my wedding every weekend if I could!

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Huthwaite-6037Congrats Katie & Michael! Thanks for sharing! ps. Link to their wedding video in the vendors below – It’s adorable!

Photographer: Louise Conover; Videographer: Your Cinematic Wedding StudioDress: Alvina Valenta from Wedding AtelierBridesmaid’s dresses: Diane Von Furstenberg – Zarita Dress; Shoes: Kate SpadeHair: The Anchor Salon in ShrewsburyVenue: Molly Pitcher InnFlowers: Eileen Larkin EventsBand: Ariel Music & EventsTuxedos: Tuxedo Park