There is something so dreamy about this Alabama wedding from Mandy Busby. I’m not sure if it’s the pale blue accents, or the English garden-inspired decor, or maybe the bride’s ethereal gown… or maybe it’s everything put together. Whatever it is, I know you’re going to love this one as much as I do!
Holly Hollon hand-lettered the invitations and illustrated a custom map of the property where the wedding took place. “By not including an envelope liner with the invitation or a reply card,” says the bride, “I was able to save and instead have the most gorgeous letterpress invitation with a custom map of Choctaw Bluff and it is one of my very favorite details from the entire wedding.”
The bride explains the decision to hold the wedding at Choctaw Bluff: “The location was inevitable and decided upon from the time little girls start dreaming about their weddings. Choctaw Bluff is my family’s place in the country that was purchased by my great-grandfather almost a century ago. It is my favorite place in the world and a part of who I am. The ceremony took place in the chapel by my parents’ home overlooking the Alabama River and the reception followed in the yard.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? As Assistant Editor at flower magazine, a large part of what I do is study and write about floral design and weddings so my mind’s eye was full of inspiration and ideas. I have learned that English gardens always make my heart melt so the floral design was largely influenced by that sort of romantic and wild, yet also focused and impactful aesthetic. Also, I didn’t want to compete with the beauty of the land, but rather to give the impression that Mother Nature had reached in to each and every detail to make an ethereal setting.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? My favorite moment was being led, with my daddy, across the yard and up to the chapel by a bagpipe band as part of the bridal procession. This was done in honor of my beloved grandmother who is of Scottish descent and passed away only a month before Robin proposed. The pipers played “Amazing Grace” and it truly felt mystical. The gravity of how very sacred it all was hit me in that moment. And walking with my daddy to meet my groom at the altar was all that it should have been and more.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice was to keep the main thing the main thing. At the end of the engagement and wedding, I would be married to the love of my life and that is the greatest gift of all. Your brain tries to convince you that the tiny details are life or death, but that’s just not true and I had to keep myself in check there. Also, the advice to pray and purpose to soak up each moment of the incredible day. I truly feel that I can remember it all vividly despite the whirlwind and I am so thankful for this.
$500 VALUE! WIN A CUSTOM WEDDING APP AND WEBSITE FROM APPY COUPLE!
When I was planning my own wedding not that long ago, setting up a wedding website was not high on my list of things I was excited about. And a custom wedding app? Get real. If only Appy Couple had been around then! It would have made things SO MUCH EASIER! With an easy-to-use drag and drop interface, the only thing hard about using Appy Couple is picking which one of their 300 super stylish designs you love most!
Appy Couple is an absolutely brilliant online tool that pretty much does it all. Quite simply, it’s the most magical and stylish way to create and publish your own mobile wedding app and website. Here’s what I love about it:
STYLISH: Did I say this already? Well it’s true! Check out the 300 gorgeous designs Appy Couple has available. And if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can work with their design team to create something totally custom and magical.
EASY: Appy Couple guides you every step of the way to create a beautiful wedding app and website that shows off your style. With a drag and drop interface, there are absolutely no technical skills required! Not to mention it’s fun to set up!
SOCIAL: Get your guests talking to each other, and sharing photos from all your wedding events. And don’t worry about those friends and family who don’t have a smartphone – when you set up your app, a coordinating wedding website is automatically created so everyone is included.
ALL-IN-ONE: Wedding website, app, event RSVPs, gift registries, photo sharing… with Appy Couple you can have it all in one place (all with the same beautiful design), which means it’s easy for you to manage, and easy for your guests to get all the information they could possibly need right at their fingertips.
PRIVATE: This might be the best part of all. Don’t need your uncle at the bridesmaids’ brunch? Appy Couple allows you to update privacy settings so Uncle Joe won’t be able to see that event, but those invited will.
And the cherry on top that makes Appy Couple such a perfect wedding tool? You get everything for a one-time set-up fee of just $28: your app, website and coordinating emails, limitless changes, automatic updates, unlimited guests and app downloads for Apple and Android, unlimited storage, photos and RSVPs…
If you’re as excited about Appy Couple as I am, then you’re going to be even more excited when I tell you what they’re giving away to one Snippet & Ink reader: a custom Appy Couple design! You’ll get to work with Appy’s design team to create your very own, completely custom design for your wedding app and website – that’s a $500 value! To enter, check out Appy Couple’s current styles for inspiration, then leave a comment here with the name of your favorite design! And don’t forget to enter your email address, too!
Appy Couple is offering a discount to all Snippet & Ink readers! Just enter the promo code APPY2SNIPPET at checkout to receive 10% off your Appy Couple account!
Contest begins Monday, March 10, 2014 at 10:00AM PDT, and ends Friday, March 14, 2014 at 11:59PM PDT. Winner will be selected by Snippet & Ink, and announced on this post. Please note: winners must live in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec).
If you loved Molly and Thomas’s clambake welcome dinner earlier today, then you are going to adore their incredible wedding, courtesy of Jonathan Canlas. And the gorgeous, luxe details here – like the bride’s detailed sheath gown (paired with a cathedral length veil), and her cascading bouquet of orchids – are just the beginning. You won’t want to miss what’s in the full gallery (for example, hanging arrangements of succulents and moss framed like artwork)!
“The ceremony was outside and we took the less is more approach, as the gardens are so pretty and we were positioned beside a pond with a fountain,” says Molly. ”We had wooden benches for guest to sit – again very natural. Guests walked along a garden path and under a stone walkway to arrive at the ceremony area. We had two large white stone urns framing where Thomas and I got married. In the background, guests could see stone ruins…just amazing.”
Says the bride, “Consider a long veil. Antonio Berardi who designed my dress encouraged me to go with a long veil. It is such a special occasion, why not mark it with a special veil. How often do you get to wear one?”
“The history, charm and beauty of this 27 acre estate overwhelmed us. On our first site visit, we noticed a distinctive stone sculpture of a peacock perched on the corner of the house, alongside the driveway. It was then explained to us that peacocks used to roam the grounds, guarding the property. The peacock then became the inspiration behind our invitation suite. It felt fitting to incorporate the connection into the invite, almost like playing homage to this historical home.”
Molly wanted the escort card display to be an unusual, organic focal point. Semia from Flowers by Semia created framed living art by growing moss and nestling succulents in wooden picture frames (starting months in advance!). A calligrapher wrote guests’ names on metal garden tags which were tucked into the moss, and the frames were then hung on a stone wall where guests would find them as they walked from the cocktail hour to the dinner tent.
Table “numbers” were London tube stops, made with white stickers on lucite plastic. “We wanted to bring our home (London) into the mix and thought it was a fun way to distinguish the tables,” says the bride. “We chose to make them transparent so to not distract from the table décor.”
“Swedes love a speech and traditionally, there can be 10-15 speeches throughout the dinner during the reception. Dinner usually lasts 3–4 hours. We didn’t think the Americans could handle that long of a sitting, so we allowed speeches from our groomsmen and bridesmaids on Friday night and then the best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and groom addressed the crowd during dinner on Saturday night.”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We chose Newport for its charm and we wanted to get married in a seaside New England town – I spent every summer in New England, and the landscape shares some similarities to Sweden (Thomas is Swedish). We thought our international guests would really take to Newport’s charm and effortless elegance. We chose Gray Craig because we wanted an unexpected venue that was special and memorable, as well as an ‘at home’ setting which would serve as a blank canvas, so I could have creative license with the events. It was amazing luck and our good fortune that we were able to rent Gray Craig for a week, especially as it had never been done.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We were inspired by our wedding venue for its effortless seaside grandeur and the surprise hidden nature of it, tucked away from the town of Newport. Also, “Sweden meets New England” was a theme that represented both of our origins and cultures and brought together the best of both worlds.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? It’s funny as most brides find it terrifying to walk down the aisle, but it was my favorite part of the day – I felt confident and happy with my Dad by my side, knowing I was about to start my new life with Thomas and being surrounded by our closest family and friends. It felt so fulfilling and took place in the most idyllic, dream setting.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding?Also, there is the Swedish tradition of guests kissing the bride and groom when one of them leaves the table. When the groom leaves the room, all the male guests line up and kiss the bride and the women clink the sides of their glasses while this is going on. And vice versa when the bride leaves the room. Creates a fun stir.
What was the best advice you received as a bride?Once you arrive at your venue, let go and enjoy it.
What advice do you have for other brides? Do not overfeed your guests. / Know your crowd and plan a party that is going to make it memorable for both yourselves and your guests. / Investigate noise and alcohol restrictions pertaining to the location – you never want any surprises on the big day. / If couples come from different countries, inject some local customs or flair into the wedding. Put your stamp on it. Make it a new experience for each guest. / Personalize as much as you can. Your guests will appreciate it. / Think hard about a Sunday (day after) gathering – lunch or breakfast. Often guests are tired the next day and have had enough of socializing, especially if you bring them together before Saturday. / Stay as natural as possible when it comes to makeup. Nothing worse than the Groom not recognizing you. Less is more. Happiness is the best beauty remedy and every bride benefits from this blessing. / Rather than hiring a band, think about a DJ with a live music element, such as a singer.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? The style and look inside the tent was very important to me. I wanted a variety of everything – from varying shapes and sizes of tables, to a mixture of chairs – and I wanted everything to look bespoke and considered. Loads of detail was taken with how the tables were styled – we used six different types of tables (whitewashed farm tables, circular glass tables, square glass tables, circular tables with Italian linen, circular rustic wood tables, and the head table which we called the Living Table because the table top was a sliced tree slab held up with tree stumps). I wanted to use as little linen possible and fill the room with living elements. All of the tent poles were wrapped in grapevine and moss to make it feel enchanting, organic and give off an earthy feel.
Let’s kick off the week with a gorgeous two-part feature from the incredible talented Jonathan Canlas! Molly and Thomas’s wedding three-day wedding weekend included a Friday night clambake dinner for all of their guests, held at the same venue in Newport Beach where the wedding took place the next day…
Says the bride: “Our rehearsal dinner (we didn’t call it that – we called it a welcome dinner) was a clambake and all of our 200 guests were invited to the Friday event. The theme was ‘Sweden Meets New England Clambake Celebration,’ and the invite was in both English and Swedish.”
“A great moment Friday night was the Swedish Snaps sing-a-long,” shares Molly. “Every one had a shot of snaps and had to sing together to ‘Hej Lang Gore’ – we had the phonetic, English version on screens which was quite humorous. Americans loved it.”
The clambake dinner was followed by ice cream novelties (ice cream sandwiches, Eskimo pies, fudgesicles, etc.), and a bonfire for s’mores.
Says the bride: “Having a traditional New England Clambake was a wonderful experience for our overseas guests and a great way to showcase the best of New England. We had 100 overseas guests, mostly from Sweden and the UK. We worked with Compton Clambakes who were wonderful and gathered all of the guests around the pits to explain the tradition of this feast before we all sat down and ate.”