{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} 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.

Mood Board Monday

I may not have made it to the beach this weekend, but it certainly feels like summer is here. And I’ll take it! With my mom and step dad’s upcoming wedding anniversary, I started to reminisce — and think about beach wedding details. Between their wedding (which is where I got my start in wedding planning!) and a good friend’s wedding, both on the beaches of New Jersey, I was able to scrounge up some old photos that don’t seem old at all.

These beach wedding details are timeless — seashells, starfish, sand and a light blue & white color palette will always make for the perfect beach affair! PS. Those centerpieces with the shells and votives in the sand were made by yours truly (thank you very much).

all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts

Mood Board Monday

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I couldn’t not do a Mexican-themed mood board today. There are just so many fun fiesta ideas out there! From flags, to cakes, to aqua frescas.

I’m loving Samantha’s rehearsal dinner from the blog Could I Have That? Today’s first image shows her flower-lined tables — See the whole event here. What a fun way to celebrate the night before your wedding!

Hope everyone’s week gets off to a good start — especially if margaritas and tacos are involved tonight!

tables, wedding cake, maracas, aqua frescas, flags

Mood Board Monday

Yellow is popping up everywhere – on the flowers outside, in our lighter wardrobes and in wedding decor. Doesn’t yellow just put a smile on your face? It’s such a happy color – After all, it’s pretty much the international color of the smiley face 🙂

Add it to your bridesmaid’s bouquets, dessert table or signature drink — citrus sangria anyone?! Recipe in the link below.

Have a happy Monday, sweet readers – and a great week ahead!

lemon tart, Kate, tulips, wedding cake, citrus sangria

Trending

donut cake via meg ruth blog

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donut skewers via ritzybee

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donuts via style me pretty

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donut cups via Style Me Pretty

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Get.in.my.belly. I’ve been totally craving donuts lately – And I guess that’s because they really are everywhere these days. And now donuts are making their way into the wedding scene. I’m seeing donut cakes as wedding cakes, birthday cakes and shower cakes. I love the idea of popping some donut holes on sparkly skewers for a bridal brunch or shower. And I’ve had the image of a donut on a stirrer in hot chocolate pinned since my own days of wedding planning – Such a cute touch for a winter wedding!!

I think we all know donuts aren’t just for breakfast anymore – And they’re definitely another fun option for your dessert table! Okay, now I’m hungry.

Trending

Momofuku Milk Bar Cake

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Style Me Pretty Cake

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Grey Likes Weddings Cake

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Style Me Pretty floral naked cake

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100 Layer Cake

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You know what else is trending? Naked wedding cakes. What’s that you say?! Cakes without all the frosting and fondant. But boy, are they still gorgeous? I’m not sure if it was Momofuku Milk Bar who started this trend or just everyone’s love for funfetti (thanks Pillsbury!), but I’m on board.

So who’s going naked?!

ps. Is that a naked wedding cake I spy at Sean & Catherine’s ‘The Bachelor’ wedding?!