{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

{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

Wedding Sneak Peek!

Hello loyal readers! Apologies for the radio silence around here — But now that my travels have quieted down, I promise I have some pretty great Real Weddings features in store for you. Stay tuned!

But first, here’s a sneak peek from my brother’s wedding on Saturday — Can’t wait for all of Kina’s fabulous photos! Congrats to the newlyweds!

colin-kerry-teaserphoto by Kina Wicks

 

{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 

{real weddings} Erin & Todd – Part 2

Last week I shared with you Erin and Todd’s gorgeous engagement photos, as well as the adorable story of how they met. Today I’m excited to show you their wedding photos! Keep reading for more details about their classic, summer wedding — and a look at their video!

erin-todd-3First and foremost, when and where was your wedding?
We were married on Saturday, August 17, 2013 in Farmingdale, New Jersey at the Eagle Oaks Country Club.

erin-todd-5What made your wedding dress you?
During one evening commute home from New York City to Connecticut, the man sitting next to me on the train noticed me flipping through wedding magazines and asked if I was planning a wedding. His curiosity stemmed from the fact that his wife, Ashley, was months away from opening a wedding dress boutique in Darien, CT (just a few miles from home) and suggested that I visit the boutique. I wandered into Ashley’s boutique one afternoon shortly after she opened and found a lovely, energetic and knowledgeable boutique owner who had a room filled with gorgeous dresses. I visited the boutique on three occasions (at least!) and continued to gravitate towards the same Liancarlo dress which I found to be perfectly representative of my personality – all business and classic on the top and fun, flirty and whimsical on the bottom. The perfect complements to the dress were a gorgeous cathedral veil I “borrowed” from my lifelong friend, Lisa, and a fabulous sparkly pair of “new” Kate Spade ‘Charm’ Slingback Pumps inspired by my friend Meghan who wore the same shoes at her wedding two years prior.

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erin-todd-13DJ or band?
Band! I grew up in a family who had a fine dining/catering business, and my cousins and I spent countless weekends and holidays at the restaurant watching as children (and eventually working as young adults) weddings and events which nearly always had a live band for entertainment. While most little girls dream about the dress they will wear on their wedding day, I was the little girl who dreamed about which of the house bands from the family business would play at her wedding and which song the band would be playing when she and her husband were announced. It’s no surprise that one of my favorite memories from our wedding was the band’s introduction of our parents and wedding party to “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” by Bruce Springsteen. As said by my friend Meghan that evening, a perfect entrance for a Jersey Girl!

With the opportunity to do it all over again, and with unlimited financial resources, I would have both a band and a DJ, with the DJ playing through the band’s breaks and late into the evening after the band completes its final set.

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erin-todd-9What’s one piece of advice you would share with other brides?
I am hoping Caitlin lets me share two pieces of advice here!

1. You often hear how important it is to steal a moment away with your husband and really soak it all in because your special day will be over in the blink of an eye. As much as your wedding is about family and friends and you want to thank them for being there to celebrate with you, it is so important to have some quiet moments alone with your husband to experience the magic of the day and to stand on the sidelines as an observer of the party watching your friends and family dance the night away on the dance floor!

2. I would encourage brides who do not engage a full-service wedding planner to seriously consider a day-of planner or a planner who provides support in the weeks leading up to the wedding. I did not have any wedding planners, and as a consequence, there were details that were missed that were certainly insignificant given the joy and magic of our special day. However, with the assistance and expertise of a planner to help you, your bridal party and family navigate through the wedding day, allows the focus to be entirely on the enjoyment of the day and not on the coordination of logistics and resolving issues that arise.

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erin-todd-8Thank you so much for sharing, Erin! And as an extra treat, here’s their beautiful wedding video!

Photographer: Kate Connolly from Off Beet Productions; Videographer: Mike Simons Video Productions; Wedding Dress & Flower Girl Dress: Liancarlo at A Little Something White Bridal Couture; Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale from Bliss Bridal Boutique and Special Occasion; Hair & Make-up: Hot Mess Studio; Venue: Eagle Oaks Country Club; Bridal Accommodations: The Savannah House at Eagle Oaks Country Club; Flowers: Van Brunt Florist; Band: Ariel Entertainment; String Quartet (Symphony): Shrewsbury String Quartet

Opening! BHLDN – New York City

Hey, New York…

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BHLDN New York City opens tomorrow!

Where:  Anthropologie
1230 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10021

When: Opening Friday, March 21, 2014

What:  Gorgeous gowns, unique accessories, pretty shoes!

How: To book an appointment, click here.

It’s about time New Yorker’s got to see BHLDN’s beauties in person! I mean can we just stop and talk about this gown for a minute?! Remember this post (here)?? Beautiful back + flowing tulle = perfection. Plus, I’m loving the ivory/champagne tone and embroidered details on top.

For more, visit: http://www.bhldn.com

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Seeing a trend here? I certainly am! While back details of wedding dresses have been popular for a couple of years now (think open backs, cut-out backs, low-cut backs), I’m seeing a new back trend lately – I’m going to call it the “elegant back.” Whether an intricate lace, delicate tulle or mixture of both, these gorgeous back details are popping up on lots of wedding dresses lately. And I’m a fan. I think it’s such a stunning, timeless look – and works for any time of year!

Are you a fan? Will you be wearing this look?