Lauren & Josh’s Chic Wedding at Winterthur Museum, Delaware

Lauren and Josh’s incredibly romantic wedding celebration is about as stylish and chic as they come. Her stunning Stella McCartney wedding dress, the lush thousand acre gardens, and the rich and moody color tones of this wedding are so inspiring. If her long sweeping train is any indication, this one will take your breath away!

Photography: Meredith Heuer

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? Relax and have fun!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Do whatever you need to do before the wedding day to make it perfect, but when the day comes just let things happen as they will. There may be small hiccups, and there were in mine, but don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let anything ruin your day!

 

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“We kept to the traditions that meant the most to us, hearing our close friends and family reflect on our relationship and lives during the speeches and exchanging our own vows in front of our guests was all the traditions we needed. My engagement ring is actually a family heirloom of Josh’s, which was give to him by his grandmother. It’s been in the family for almost ninety years. It feels modern and fresh but still timeless and classic—an engagement ring that stands the test of time.”

 

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Lauren carried the most romantic bouquet filled with dusty pink roses, black and white anemone, and soft green foliage such as sprouted eucalyptus. The delicate tones and sweeping florals are like something from a fairy-tale.

 

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Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Given both of our professional experience, we felt confident in planning the wedding ourselves. The most rewarding part of the entire process was 100% the people we collaborated with. Some were people we knew personally, others we met along the way, but we had a creative connection to everyone we worked with, including the staff at Winterthur.

 

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“The styling was very much thought out. I went to a lot of different bridal spots in NYC, and couldn’t really find anything that fit my personal style—very clean and modern, yet classic and timeless. While waiting for my bridal appointment at Bergdorf’s I spotted a Stella McCartney gown I loved. I was with my mom and mother in law, and when I tried it on it felt like this is THE dress.”

 

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The Ceremony

“The ceremony setting was surrounded by 100 year old trees, overflowing florals, and lush gardens, where all of the guests were seated around and old reflecting pool in the gardens of the DuPont estate. I was escorted down a long cobble staircase at dusk by my father to meet josh and all of the guests at the start of the ceremony, while a single violinist played a few pieces from Bach symphonies.”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Personal, family, intimate, old-world romanticism.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  The most important part to us was to share a personal, intimate, moment between the two of us with our family friends. We decided not having a bridal party would give us the intimacy we wanted, and writing our own vows would make it feel personal and romantic.

 

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Who officiated your ceremony? A dear friend to us that we have known for several years while living in Brooklyn. She has previously done several weddings, so it was a no brainer asking her to officiate ours. Given her experience, she really helped us shape the ceremony into what felt personal and right for us.

What was your ceremony music? We loved the idea of a single violinist playing for the ceremony. My sister’s very close and talented friend played for us. She played classics like Winter’s Tale—not expected wedding processions. It was beautiful.

What were your ceremony readings? No readings. Our officiant shaped the ceremony through telling personal stories of us, along with speaking to our parents and sharing their thoughts and on our union.

What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. It was important to us not to recite after the Officiate, and to speak on our own. We did however decide to keep some tradition by ending our vows with a traditional ring vow.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Honestly, everything! And the fact that Josh cried…A LOT.

 

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Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? When we were deciding on décor for the ceremony, Josh’s made the observation that white chairs would detract from the setting, and instead we should use black iron ones. He nailed that one! We were very careful to enhance where we needed to, while not taking away from the natural beauty of Winterthur.

 

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“Getting married at Winterthur, I wanted a nod to the DuPont era of the 1930’s—I knew I wanted a simple dress but wanted the drama to come from the veil and a cascading bouquet of flowers.  So I added and extra two feet of tulle for the exaggeration of the veil when I walked down the stair case. Taking Pictures before with an extra long veil was quite the challenge but ended up being some of our favorite pictures!”

 

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Why did you choose this venue for your wedding?  Originally we were drawn to the idea and aesthetic of getting married somewhere in the European countryside. But with busy work schedules, we decided it was best to do something close to home. We had previously visited Winterthur Museum while spending a holiday with my parents. The museum was formerly the childhood home Henry DuPont, and sits on a thousand acres encompassing rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Through Mr. DuPont’s passion for American decorative arts and horticulture, he later opened the home to the public, founding Winterthur Museum and Garden. We chose Winterthur because it had the European influence and aesthetic we were looking for.

 

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The Reception

“We wanted our guests to explore the grounds of the thousand acre estate as we did when we first came to Winterthur.  So, having the reception and the cocktail hour at the reflecting pool, we then escorted the guests through the house to the front of the property where we designed a open tent concept covered with string lights that overlooked a stream of water called Clenney Run. We knew we wanted the dinner party to be all candle lit and keep it moody and romantic of course!”

 

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How would you describe your reception? SIMPLE. We wanted it to be two things: a great sit down dinner for our friends and family to enjoy, and of course a great dance party! We threw out the usual American traditions of first dances and entry announcements. We were more inspired and touched but our family and friends clever speeches through out the dinner portion. Our band, Kokolo, created a warm and unexpected environment—playing jazz with influences of afrobeat funk to shake things up a bit!

 

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Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. When deciding on the table setting and décor, Josh found an old image from the 1940’s of a grand feast using lots of fruits and cascading florals. We loved this idea of a feast! We decided to go with a deep, rich and moody palette of rich plums and burgundy with accents of soft pink and deep greens. Our amazing florist and good friend Nancy, from Petals and Moss, then layered in plums, figs, and concord grapes which all the guests snacked on in between courses.

 

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What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Accentuating the natural environment of Winterthur, engaging our guests in the celebration, and having our personal taste reflected in the décor and style.

Did you have a signature cocktail? No, but we did make sure to have specific alcohol we new guests enjoyed.

 

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Menu: Start: Amuse Bouche of Gingersnap Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry Reduction and Candied Pecan // Salad: Baby Spinach, Oak leaf, and Endive salad with Honey Toasted Pine Nuts and Crumbled Feta and Fig Vinaigrette // Main: Mediterranean Grouper with Roasted Peppers and Onions, Basil Pesto, and Mascarpone-Citrus Polenta / Hanger Steak with Fingerling Potatoes, and Grilled Vegetables // Main dish was followed by a Lemon and Lavender Sorbet.

Catering by Restaurant Associates.

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Almond cake with buttercream filling and frosting. It was so yummy!

Cake by The Master’s Baker.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The mini cakes! We had several small cakes for each table in lieu of one big wedding cake. Josh came up with the idea because we wanted to engage all of our guests in the cake cutting. It was a fun way to nominate some of our guests to cut the cake with us, and was one of the highlights of the entire night!

 

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“After the reception we hosted an afterparty back at the reflecting pool.  We surrounded the entire space with tons of candles and danced the night away to 70’s and 80’s classics! A friend of ours from New York, Jason DJ’d till the early hours of the morning. Since it was officially the dance party of the night, I changed into a simple white Club Monaco t-shirt and white Stella McCartney wide leg trouser.”

 

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“Music was a major part of the wedding.  Josh comes from a musical family and wanted to ensure we had a few surprises through the night.  We wanted to break away from the transitional jazz bands or wedding singers that don’t feel special theses days.  We wanted to give our guests a little taste of New York. So we brought in Kokolo, an afro-beat funk band from New York with a cult following from around the world. The five piece band played a nice up-beat mix through out the reception which had everyone on the dance floor.”

What was your first dance song? We didn’t do planned dances. After dinner everyone hit the dance floor, the circle naturally formed and we had our first dance along with the father/mother dances as the night flowed.

Reception Music Performed by Kokolo.

 

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Photography: Meredith Heuer / Venue: Winterthur Museum and Garden in Wilmington, Delaware / Dress: Stella McCartney / Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Veil: Bergdorf Goodman / Suit, Tie, Shirt, Shoes: Ralph Lauren / Stationery: Custom designed by Donald West, Senior Art Director of Club Monaco / Hair: Ryan Stone / Makeup: Mackenzie Day / Band: Kokolo / Catering: Restaurant Associates / Cake, Dessert: The Master’s Baker

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M’daya and Shawn’s Wedding at the Botanic Garden in San Diego.

There are times where we come across a couple who’s love is so big we can feel it filling up our hearts through the screen. M’daya and Shawn’s genuine love shines through these beautiful images from their bohemian wedding at the Botanic Garden in San Diego. We love the bright and cheerful colors, the traditional Hawaiian leis, and most of all the big smiles across the couple’s faces!

Photography by Rad + In Love.

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? Be present. These pearls of wisdom were especially useful for the day of the wedding. Whenever I caught myself getting stressed about details, I tried to ground myself with those words and just enjoy the moment. Also, be selfish and honor your vision as a couple.

 

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Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? We created a hodge-podge of our own traditions, but all were deeply meaningful. My mom gave me her wedding shoes to wear, which went wonderfully with my dress. My cousin, Hina, lei’d us with traditional Hawaiian leis that she brought with her (not to mention they smelled heavenly!). And a good friend from the east coast who couldn’t make it lent me the tote from her own wedding day. I felt so loved. Shawn and I exchanged gifts before the wedding to open alone as we got ready which was fun and exciting. He gifted me with my garter belt and I gave him a personalized hanky.

 

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The bride’s bright and cheerful bouquet was made up of a colorful mix of blooming peonies, garden roses, white Veronica, and eucalyptus.

Floral Design and Floral Crown by Plenty of Petals.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Savor every minute. Even if there is stress or drama (which there always seems to be), remember to refocus on what matters and what this wedding truly means to your couple. At one time I didn’t even think I would ever get married, so during difficult moments I reminded myself to be grateful to even be planning such a celebration. It really does go by in the blink of an eye and you don’t want to regret missing a minute of it. As for the day of, my husband would definitely advise taking a minute to yourselves to eat and reconnect amongst the chaos. And most importantly, have fun!

 

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The Ceremony

“When we first met, Shawn was living in Encinitas. Six months later he quit his job and moved to LA so that we could be together. But to this day, Encinitas pretty much remains his favorite place in the world! So it was a wonderful surprise when we stumbled upon the hidden treasure that is the San Diego Botanic Garden. It’s a magical place full of natural beauty and an overriding feeling of peacefulness. We knew immediately that it was perfect for us. Encinitas also served as an awesome destination for all of our guests, in particular my family and friends traveling from as far as Europe and the east coast. Everyone mellowed out in this chill surf town and we were able to really spread out the festivities over a few days and spend as much quality time as we could with everyone.”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, unconventional, relaxed

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  We knew from the start that we didn’t want a traditional ceremony and that the most important thing to us was that it feel personal. We also knew that we wanted to involve our loved ones. One of the things that was wonderful about our officiant, Jason Nathan, was the large selection of ideas (ranging from vows to blessings) that he provided us with for inspiration. We integrated a few non-conventional ideas that came from him. He had also asked us to fill out individual questionnaires to get to know us better as a couple, which I of course didn’t realize he would be using for the ceremony. Let’s just say there were some hilarious and embarrassing moments when he read out loud some of our answers! Ironically, many of our guests commented on how much they loved how personal and unique this made our ceremony feel.

 

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“We included a shell blessing to incorporate all of our guests and highlight how important each of them is in our life. Our ring bearer, who is also my godson, handed out shells as guests were seated and towards the end of the ceremony, the officiant asked them for a moment of silence to bless their shell for our union. The shells were collected at the end of the ceremony and now sit in a pretty container in our living room as a lovely reminder of how much love surrounded us that day.”

 

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What was your ceremony music?  We were really excited to have my cousin (who is really like my little sister), Hina, and her boyfriend, Devon, serenade us for the ceremony. They are Hawaiian, so they definitely brought some island sunshine to the celebration. Hina sang “Sea of Love” while her boyfriend played the ukulele for the groom and flower girl procession. And as I walked down the aisle with my step-father, they performed “La vie en Rose” in French!! She practiced for months beforehand since she doesn’t speak French, which meant so much to me since I am originally from France. It was one of the best moments of the day, though it went by too fast.

 

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Who officiated your ceremony? Jason Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel. We were looking for a non-traditional officiant and we knew from the moment we skyped with Jason that he was the right fit for us.

What were your ceremony readings? Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII, and in place of our second reading, Shawn’s mom, who is an incredible opera singer, sang “O Sole Mio”.

 

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Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We wanted to honor our parents and so we included a parents blessing where we thanked them and lei’d them with fresh leis my cousin and her boyfriend brought us specially from Hawaii. Our parents were really surprised, but it was a very touching moment that allowed us to connect with them during our ceremony.

 

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What were your vows like? We came up with our own vows—short and sweet—to keep it personal.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? It was such a surreal experience. I thought I would be an emotional mess throughout it, but oddly I just felt ecstatic. My step-father walked me down the aisle and that was one of the moments I felt the closest and most grateful to him in my life. Then seeing the love in Shawn’s face and looking out at our parents, family and friends in a sea of emotion and love was an incredible feeling—just pure joy.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? I was in love with the hanging flower garlands our florist used to decorate the ceremony arch. She took my vision and elevated it with her talent. It added such a magical touch to the setting.

 

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The Reception

“The beauty of the San Diego Botanic Garden is that it has several locations throughout the venue that you can use, which allows for guests to really enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the gardens. From ceremony to cocktail hour to the reception, we used three different sites on location and guests were able to walk around the gardens and explore.”

 

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“Shawn created beautiful wooden signs for the venue. I even had my Italian cousin designing table signs while reeling from jet lag. My mom came a week early from Boston and was an incredible help in getting us through the last push—while we struggled with the table seating, she labeled all of the Morocan tea glasses we used as favors and hand wrote the escort cards.”

How would you describe your reception? Dreamy, magical, vibrant

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Most importantly we wanted it to be a big party! We both grew up with huge families and those moments spent together were the highlights of our childhoods, so we really wanted to recreate that feeling with delicious food, kids running around and everyone dancing to great music.
Our backgrounds are very diverse and we wanted our celebration to incorporate some of those cultural details, so I set out early on to imagine and create all of the decor with the help of Shawn, family and friends. The inspiration was a bit whimsical ranging from Algerian and Lebanese elements, to Oriental poppies, to poetry and all round bohemian dreaminess.

 

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“We made paper poppies as part of the wedding favors (never trust a Martha Stewart tutorial, she makes it look too easy!), petal cones, and hanging lace hamsas for the wishing tree. Everyone who volunteered to help had their work cut out for them!”

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  If you have the desire and the time, I would definitely recommend doing as many DIY details as you can—just be sure to start early! Also don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors on ways to lower costs, most of the time they will try to meet you half way.

Did you have a signature cocktail? Shawn designed two signature cocktails with a wink to our love story. One we named the Mermaid’s Elixir—fresh Watermelon juice + lime + tequila. The other one named The Splendor of the Seven Seas—orange blossom + bourbon + fresh squeezed lemon. We also served prosecco and local artisan beer during the cocktail hour.

 

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Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Poetry played a big role in the details of our celebration, since we began our long-distance courtship exchanging poems. Tables were named after our favorite poets and writers. My father, who is a writer and actor, came to California for the first time for our wedding all the way from France with my brother. I had asked him to write a poem for the occasion. As a toast, he read his poem dedicated to me in French and my brother translated. It was a powerful and touching moment that had me and many of the guests in tears.

 

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“I was definitely that crazy bride who started collecting jars from friends and family six months before the wedding. I hand painted them with Mehndi designs to use as candle votives during the reception and, to save money, I painted the largest recycled jars in turquoise for the florist to use for centerpieces. We shibori dyed table runners for the reception- luckily Shawn’s aunt saved the day by hemming all of them!”

 

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What was your wedding menu? The Wild Thyme Company helped us create a personalized Meditterenean inspired menu—they even managed to master a Lebanese salad I grew up eating. The food was out of this world.

Rosemary And Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewer, Chicken Souvlaki Skewer, Mushroom Arancini, Fattoush Salad, Spiced Chicken Tagine, Rosemary & Garlic Lollipop Lamb Chops, Stuffed Peppers, Orzo Salad, Grilled Asparagus And Yellow Squash Platter, Kalamata Dinner Rolls, And Rustic Fig And Raspberry Mini Crostatas.

Catering by The Wild Thyme Company.

 

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What type of cake or dessert did you serve? My aunt Vicky is my favorite pastry chef in the world. Her baking is to die for and she must really love us, because as our wedding gift she traveled from South Carolina with six chocolate ganache cakes in her suitcases for our wedding (which, incredibly, survived the trip!). She also made a plethora of her signature cookies to add to the traditional Lebanese baklava we had on the dessert bar. We also had a buttercream passion fruit cutting cake from a local bakery.

Passion Fruit Cake by Twiggs Bakery.

 

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What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? We made our grand entrance to Bob Marley’s “Could this Be Love”which was the first song we danced to on the night we first met.
First dance song: “Loving You” by Charles Bradley
Mother/son dance: “Play Me” by Neil Diamond

Reception Music by DJ Glenn Red.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The entire experience was magical, in fact it felt like everyone was on a “love high”. It was the first time our families were meeting and also the first time my entire family was reunited since everyone is dispersed all over the world. Friends also came from all over the country and were also meeting for the first time. But everyone blended together wonderfully; it was like a big United Nations party set to the amazing worldly beats of our awesome DJ Glenn Red. Everyone danced like crazy and the best moments were when we would catch glimpses of our parents just beaming ear to ear. Those moments were precious. Afterwards, we danced til the wee hours at the after party Shawn’s cousins threw for us at their house.

 

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If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? It was perfect. We were incredibly grateful to have an amazing team of vendors who made it all come together.

 

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“The most fun part of the night was the garter toss. Shawn had perhaps been looking forward to that his entire life and really milked the moment in a risqué performance that had us all in hysterics.”

 

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Photography: Rad + In Love / Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, California / Day of Coordinator: First Pick Planning / Floral Design, Floral Crown: Plenty of Petals / Dress: Romona Keveza / Shoes: Vintage Bruno Magli / Rings:  Variance / Suit: Black Lapel / Tie, Shoes: ASOS / Shirt: TM Lewin / Accessories: Traditional Maile Lei from Hawaii / Stationery: B Wedding Invitations / Hair, Makeup: Rare Bird Brides / Rentals: Raphael’s Party Rentals / Officiant: Jason Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel / Reception Music: DJ Glenn Red / Catering: The Wild Thyme Company / Passion Fruit Cake: Twiggs Bakery

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The White Sparrow Barn near Dallas / Fort Worth is one of those venues we wouldn’t mind moving into. For Abbe and Jordan’s wedding, the dreamy white, light-filled barn was filled with rustic yet elegant decorations and organic, loose floral arrangements which made the entire space feel ethereal. We know you’re going to love this sweet and joyful celebration as much as we do!

Photography by Shaun Menary.

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? “At the end of the day, you will be married and that is all that matters.”

 

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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Stay selfless and humble. Learn how to communicate in a healthy way, and learn when to choose your battles. Also, if you are doing a room flip like we did, have it planned out to a T to ensure better timing. It helped us so much!

 

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Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. We didn’t see each other until I walked down the isle—we prayed together before the ceremony (behind a wall).

 

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Abbe carried a simple bouquet of dahlias, roses and silver dollar eucalyptus that coordinated perfectly with their color palette.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I would have started the wedding an hour earlier; the reception felt a little rushed.

 

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The Ceremony

“I’ve always felt like ceremony locations were overlooked while the reception location hogged all of the attention! So we really concentrated on finding a location that was beautiful for both, and especially captivating for the ceremony.”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Religious, genuine, personalized

How did you go about planning your ceremony? It was extremely important for us to have our ceremony be tailored to what was important to us. We included feet washing, corporate worship, a family prayer, and personal vows. My mother is a wedding planner so she helped plan the layout for the ceremony.

 

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Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We made sure to have “Canon in D” playing as the family members walked in, because that was the song my Mom walked down the isle to.

 

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What was your ceremony music? “Canon in D” by Pachelbel for the seating of the family, “Multiplied” by NeedtoBreathe as the Bridal Processional and “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne as the Recessional.

 

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Who officiated your ceremony? The worship leader at our current church. My husband is the media director at our church and works closely with him daily. He was the perfect choice in our eyes.

What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows and then exchanged traditional vows as well.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Exchanging vows with my husband & worshipping.

 

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How would you describe your reception?  a P A R T Y!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The white walls and elegant chandeliers of the barn, green florals, candles, mercury glass, more candles, and various antique pieces

 

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Did you have a signature cocktail? We had a margarita bar with blueberries, pineapple, raspberries and strawberries as an option to add.

 

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A rustic picnic table was used as a place to set the gifts and display some sweet family pictures. A frame wall with gold metallic frames was a simple and fun way to spruce up the all white barn.

 

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Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  I mercury glassed over 100 pieces of glass! We collected items from the dollar store and antique stores. We also collected candelabras from everywhere and painted them cream. I created all of the chalk art for the wedding, and we hung up a “frame wall” inside of the venue.

 

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What was your wedding menu?  Jalapeño Fritters / Chips with Queso and Salsa / Enchiladas / Zuchinni Chicken / Rice and Beans

 

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What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Several different pies, Italian cream cake, Chai tea cake with cream cheese cinnamon frosting.

 

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What was your first dance song? 
First Dance Song: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
Father/daughter dance: “The Way You Look Tonight”
Mother/son dance: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts

 

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Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We had a bridesmaids dance complete with a boa and props.

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Having our last dance once everyone was out of the room.

 

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Photography: Shaun Menary / Venue: The White Sparrow Barn in Quinlan, Texas / Dress: Maggie Sottero / Shoes: Nordstrom / Jewelry: Anthropologie / Bridesmaid Dresses: For Her and For Him / Suit, Tie, Shirt, Shoes, Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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It was love at first sight for Maggie and Luke, when they saw the beautiful land at Yegua Knobbs Ranch. Surrounded by post oak and pine forests, the lush green hills just east of Austin made for a perfect setting for their big celebration.  From the bride’s cowgirl boots, to the unique magnolia garlands, this wedding has laid-back yet elegant perfection covered down to the last detail.

Photography by Tec Petaja.

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Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I pinned a little bag of items in my dress that included a cross my dad had given my mom on their wedding day—a 6 pence my mom had pinned in her dress on her wedding day, and I wore my mom’s veil. We also lit candles for both of our parents who had passed, and we used the same knife to cut our cake that Luke’s family has been using in weddings for years.

 

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? I guess to take it all in—the day goes by fast.

 

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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a
wedding? Don’t get caught up in any of the stress or let other people make you feel bad about any of your choices. Your wedding is one of the most special days for both of you as individuals and the both of you as a couple, enjoy it! And hiring a planning team that we connected with was worth every dollar spent. No matter what, the day of your wedding unexpected things happen, both good and bad, but really its all about you and all of the people who are there sharing it with you…enjoy it!

 

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“While Luke’s ring is unique to him, he discussed with our jeweler how to keep it as similar to his dads in terms of appearance. My wedding band has the same design as his mom’s.”

 

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The Ceremony

“We wanted an outdoor wedding with the ability to tent the reception. Texas weather is too unpredictable not to have a rain plan. I was in love with the location because I knew immediately that my dad would have loved it and that was it for me. Luke was attracted to it because he grew up in Virginia and liked the look of the Texas Hill Country. We also wanted a one stop shop and the site delivered. It was a blank canvas we could truly tailor to our personal vision.”

 

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Tec Petaja | Snippet & Ink Tec Petaja | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words. Unique, personable, picturesque.

How did you go about planning your ceremony? We chose a traditional ceremony for the most part, but we centered it around our families. We had all of our immediate family members in our wedding party and each of our best friends as matron of honor and best man. We wanted to place emphasis on not only our union but also the union of our two families. We are blessed that our families get along extremely well.

 

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What was your ceremony music? I processed to “Here Comes the Bride”—I liked the old-school tradition of it. The rest of the wedding party processed to “Only Time” by Enya and the recessional was “Book of Days” by Enya. Enya was a favorite of Luke’s mom. All were played by a string quartet.

Ceremony Music by The Vintage 15.

 

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What were your ceremony readings? We asked or readers (Luke’s god parents and a close family friend of mine) to choose their own readings… Psalm 121, Sirach 2,
and Genesis 2

Who officiated your ceremony? Colleen Swingle-Titus, we choose her for three reasons: 1) she is awesome!, 2) she had married Luke’s sister the year before, which is where I met her and knew immediately she had to marry us. We actually asked her to marry us before we were engaged! 3) she was a great friend of Luke’s mom, who is now deceased.

 

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What were your vows like? Our minister sent us a huge amount to choose from, we read through them and agreed on one we liked best and suited our relationship.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? I can’t pick one thing, it was everything!

 

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Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  I think the best advice I can give is try to decide what you absolutely must have and go from there.

 

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The Reception 

“One thing that we were very conscious of was that we were having a destination wedding and because of that we wanted to make the weekend an experience for everyone. We wanted to make sure everyone felt welcomed and loved and that it was worth the trip! So in our planning we really took our wants in to account but also the wants and needs of our guests.”

 

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How would you describe your reception? To the nines, yet relaxed.

 

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What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The Nouveau Romantics showed us a picture of a reception they had created and we fell in love with it. Luke and I had a pretty good idea of the feeling we wanted our wedding and reception to have. We were so lucky to have a great connection with our wedding planners and they really got us and what we wanted.

 

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We love the visual impact the gorgeous bar setup had—all of the gold rimmed glasses, with copper mule mugs, and the lit green background were stunning all paired together!

 

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Did you have a signature cocktail? We had 3—one of me, one of Luke, and one for both of us. Maggie’s Mule (moscow mule), Luke Andrew (Arnold Palmer with Bourbon), and a Firecracker (cranberry and bourbon)

 

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What was your wedding menu? Cocktail Hour passed appetizers: Asparagus Fries / Shiner Bock Battered Lobster Pops / Empanadas / Bacon Wrapped Quail // Dinner: Sea bass with brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes / Steak with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes / Mushroom Tower with Mixed Vegetables / Biscuits and Rolls

Catering by Kurant Events.

 

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We love the gorgeous garland and blue ribbon on this silver tray—such a unique detail!

 

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What type of cake or dessert did you serve? White cake with vanilla buttercream wrapped in fondant with painted flowers and mini mason jar apple pies with vanilla ice cream. We also had chocolate chip cookies and milk carton as people were leaving the reception.

Cake by Coco Paloma Desserts.

 

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What was your first dance song? “When Somebody Loves You” by Alan Jackson.

Reception Music by The Flashdance.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Talking to everyone and just feeling and taking in all of the love that was there! It was a feeling I had never experienced to such an extent. At the suggestion of The Nouveau Romantics, we were able to take a moment to ourselves and take everything in while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. It was nice to see how our vision for the evening had taken shape!

 

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Photography: Tec Petaja / Venue: Yegua Knobbs Ranch in Lexington, Texas / Event Planning & Design, Floral Design, Stationery: The Nouveau Romantics / Dress: Peter Langner / Boots: Old Gringo / Ceremony Music: The Vintage 15 / DJ: The Flashdance / Lighting: Ilios Lighting / Hair: Shannon Briggs-Hack from Janet St. Paul Salon / Makeup: Katherine Karli / Rentals: La TavolaLoot Vintage Rentals, Marquee, Premiere Events, Small Masterpiece, Suite 206 / Sound: Big House Sound / Tent: Whim / Transportation: Transportation Consultants / Videography: Shark Pig / Cake: Coco Paloma Desserts / Catering: Kurant Events
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Couple, Julia and Marlon, chose the charming town of Vail, Colorado to celebrate their elegant summertime nuptials, where they spent many weekends together making memories. The romantic European style chalets tucked up against the mountainside and breathtaking scenery made for such a romantic location surrounded by nature. We love the sweet details of the day, especially her elegant unique floral lined dress by designer, Tara LaTour.

Photography by Connie Whitlock.

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? To relax and enjoy your wedding day as much as possible. There is no point in sweating the small stuff.

 

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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Make sure your wedding represents you and your soon to be spouse. It’s easy to get carried away with over the top ideas.

 

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The bride’s floral lined wedding dress, designed by Tara LaTour, is such a pretty and unexpected touch. 

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? A couple of my favorite details were the accessories that we wore. Marlon wore his Grandfather’s Rolex watch, while I wore the set of pearls that my Dad gave my Mom when I was born.

 

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If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not a thing.

 

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Julia carried a bright and loose bouquet filled with beautiful florals and foliage such as cafe au last dahlias, roses, anemone, and silver dollar eucalyptus.

Floral Design by Encore Style.

 

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The Ceremony

“Vail has always been a special place to us. When we first started dating, Marlon and I would head up to Vail on the weekends to spend time together and ski. If you walk down the streets of the village, it is easy to see what makes this place so romantic and extraordinary. The European chalet style buildings rest against the mountainside, and the river curves its way through town under bridges and walkways . It has been the backdrop to some of our fondest memories together and we knew it would be the perfect place for our wedding.”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Romantic and elegant.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  When planning a wedding, there are so many online resources to reference—it can be a little overwhelming. We wanted to make sure our ceremony represented our values, so we referenced a few templates, combined the sections we liked most, and collaborated with our officiant and close family members during the process.

What was your ceremony music?  We wanted the ceremony music to be performed acoustically by our band. Our officiant, parents, wedding party and Marlon walked out to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, and I walked down the aisle to “I Will” by the Beatles.

Ceremony Music Performed by the Band Wash Park Band.

 

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Who officiated your ceremony? We chose one of our closest friends to officiate our ceremony. He was present the day we met, and we knew he would be the perfect officiant for our ceremony.

What were your vows like?  It was important for both of us to write our own vows. We felt it made the ceremony more personal and intimate.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Overall, the ceremony couldn’t have been more perfect. After our big day, we were pleased with how flawlessly everything went—from the weather, to the flowers, to the music, and ceremony. Our favorite part were each others vows. It’s a wonderful feeling to express your love for another person in front of your family and closest friends.

 

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Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Identify what parts of your wedding are most important to you, and allocate your budget accordingly based on that! Also, plan for a few things to go over budget—it happens when you’re planning your big day.

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The Reception

“We wanted to make the reception feel elegant, warm and romantic. We used bright flowers for the centerpieces, blush satin tablecloths, and had budding tree branches with candles throughout the room as well.”

 

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Why did you choose this location for your reception? The reception was located in the ballroom of the Four Seasons hotel, however we chose this location in Vail not only because it was beautiful, but because the ceremony and reception locations were close to one another.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Our biggest sources of inspiration were flower colors and the venue. We knew we wanted to incorporate a bright floral palette.

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Instead of a guest book, we asked our guests to sign a giant bottle of champagne! We plan on drinking this on our anniversary with friends in 5-10 years. Our grand entrance song was “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & The News (Marlon’s favorite band). We also had some fire pits outside for guests to enjoy while they took a break from the dancing.

 

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What was your wedding menu? Appetizers: Mini Tuna Tartar Tacos / Summer Rolls / Serrano Ham with Manchego Cheese / Baby Roasted Lamb Chops // Starter: Baby Arugula Salad with Sliced Pear and Figs // Entrees: Beef Tenderloin / Cast Iron Striped Bass // Late night snacks: Elk Corn Dogs, Grilled Cheese Bites

 

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What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Dessert was wedding cake, and we chose strawberry shortcake!

 

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What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?First Dance song: “Higher Love” by James Vincent McMorrow
Father/daughter dance: “I’ve Got The World On A String” by Frank Sinatra

Reception Music Performed by the Band Wash Park Band.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The dancing! All of it—the first dance, the father/daughter dance, and the packed dance floor! We spent a lot of time finding the perfect band, and they did not disappoint.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Just that it was better than we ever could have imagined, and want to thank our parents for everything.

 

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Photography: Connie Whitlock / Venue: Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado / Floral Design: Encore Style / Dress: Tara LaTour via Anna Be / Shoes: Ferragamo / Veil: Donna Beth Creations / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Suit: Saks Fifth Avenue / Shirt: Ted Baker / Shoes: To Boot New York / Tie: Michael Kors / Calligraphy: Val Cole Calligraphy / Stationery: Nico & Lala / Hair: Purelux Salon / Makeup: Kelsey Zabawa / Lighting: LMD Productions / Band: Wash Park Band / Rentals: Alpine Rental Party

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