One last wedding before we sign off for the Thanksgiving holiday – this one is a sweet military elopement in Chattanooga. Because all you really need to say “I do” is the two of you!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS CHATTANOOGA ELOPEMENT BY LESLIE KERR.

Leslie Kerr | Snippet & Ink Leslie Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“We knew that we wanted to get married, but hadn’t been in too much of a rush. Our plans were to get engaged this year, but when the Navy announced Art would be deployed to the Middle East next month, we knew there was no better time than to run off and get married. So with our parents and my dearest friend and photographer, Lesley Kerr, we got married on Lover’s Leap on Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our home base is now Atlanta, and it was so special to have a little destination elopement. It was intimate and beautiful and simple. With just under two months of planning, this little wedding was everything I hoped for.”

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Spontaneous, Breathtaking, Powerful.

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  Having a dreamy, mountain view in my wedding was a dream. I had visited Lookout Mountain once before and I knew that view would be magical.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Besides the breathtaking view of Chattanooga, I loved how intimate it was. Just me, my favorite person in this world, and the people that love us the most. The amount of joy we felt in those moments was outrageous. So much love, and so much happiness. We had all these onlookers that came up and congratulated us and they kept saying how perfect and happy we looked. And we were so happy.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  It went by so fast! Before we knew it, we were married, and that was the happiest moment of all.

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Even though the ceremony was scripted and quick, we had a nice little Jewish touch at the end. I grew up culturally Jewish, and my parents provided the glass at the end for Art to crush. My mom tried to place it on the ground, and it broke when she did, which made everyone laugh. It’s funny to remember in times like those how much a wedding is a family affair.

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  All the flowers were put together by Lesley, the photographer, and me. We used several things from her personal garden, like rosemary and sage, and it smelled incredible!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Relax and keep your focus on what matters: you and your future husband. Don’t let yourself get lost in the planning, or the opinions of others. My mother told me this, and it was something I reminded myself daily. Running off and getting married can bring on a lot of negative comments. It’s easy to get lost in stress and negativity. Stay focused on your love and the reasons you’re getting married.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Take a deep breath, and do what makes sense for you. If doing a tiny, intimate wedding is the most meaningful to you, then do that.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  It was the most perfect day. Beautiful in every aspect and more lovely than I ever imagined. We never played any music, but with that mountain view, we didn’t even notice.

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Lesley Kerr / Venue: Lover’s Leap, Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee / Dress: ASOS / Shoes & Trenchcoat: Madewell, Engagement Ring: Satomi Kawakita
2 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

I absolutely love this beautiful wedding – it’s got so many special touches, not to mention these beautiful photos from Nancy Ray. I especially love the private sweetheart dinner that the bride and groom enjoyed before joining their guests at the reception – what a nice way to really take everything in after saying your vows, to just be together as brand newlyweds, and to actually eat something!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS NORTH CAROLINA WEDDING BY NANCY RAY.

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you do any DIY projects?  With a 20-month engagement, I had a lot of free time before starting graduate school, and one of the projects I took on was to draw a map of events, which I first painted as a Save the Date postcard. The image was later used as a weekend itinerary, rolled up like an old-fashioned map, and tied onto Cheerwine bottles with red-and-white twine. I also designed custom napkins, koozies, and cups using a twig-themed monogram. I made the escort cards and table numbers on Zazzle. For our friends who rented houses, we lined baskets with Spanish moss, and filled with goodies from the local Mast General Store, as well as Krispy Kreme Coffee. Finally, my friend’s sweet mom helped me design a personalized needlepoint belt for one of Dex’s wedding gifts. I was surprised how little time I had for the wedding once school began, and I am grateful for all that I accomplished at the beginning.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any special details you’d like to tell us about?  In honor of Dex’s father, his mother mailed me monogrammed buttons from an old sports coat, which I wanted to secretly sew into Dex’s suit coat. The day of the wedding, just an hour before the ceremony, I finally located the button, and Dex’s cousin quickly led me to the suits. It was later that we realized that I had sewn the button onto the wrong jacket (which should have been obvious, as it was made for someone 6’10″!). It’s the thought that counts, right?

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“The first time Dex brought me to his grandparent’s mountain home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it was our senior year of college, and we had not been dating very long… at all. The first thing Dex showed me was the bark-shingled chapel directly across the street, and I told him that I wanted to get married there one day, quickly adding, “to anyone!” Over countless trips, I never faltered that it was the perfect place to get married… and it is equidistant from our home states of Pennsylvania and Alabama. Five years later, my dream came true!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words. Rustic, quaint, sweet

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  All Saints Episcopal Church is a historic, sacred space. Designed by Henry Bacon over one hundred years ago, we are honored to be allowed to marry there, and followed the traditional Episcopalian marriage ceremony procedures, including vows from the Book of Common Prayer.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Luckily, the visiting officiant during the month of August was the former Bishop of Alabama, whom Dex’s family knew and rightfully admired. We planned our ceremony over phone calls and emails, but Bishop Parsley felt like an old friend.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  We did not want a large wedding party crowding the tiny chapel. Therefore, we only had four people in the conventional bridal party – our sisters, a cousin, and an oldest friend – to stand beside us. To honor special friends, we had eight friends each proceed down the aisle and sit in the choir pews, facing us. Not only did it free up space, it really helped us focus on each other, which is the point after all!

What was your ceremony music?  With such a small, intimate chapel, we opted for a string duo, both violin and cello. The ceremony music was classic, from the processional through the declaration. Our only two requests were to end the prelude music with “Carolina In My Mind” (by James Taylor,) and to play “God Only Knows” (by The Beach Boys) for the recessional.

What were your ceremony readings?  Having met during our senior year at UNC, it was fitting that both of our readers were our college roommates. The first reading was from Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), followed by Living in Love by Dr. Gerald May.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Before the ceremony, our bridal party and family gathered in the backyard of Dex’s grandparents’ house. With such a small chapel, some guests stood in the lawn, and I got to see so many of our favorite people from the house all the way to the altar.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We have already been back to Linville twice since our wedding, and it is so wonderful to wake up in Dex’s grandparents’ house and see “our church” across the street before the day even begins. It is something we will cherish for many years to come.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Following pictures on the golf course, we drove directly to the boat house, which is downhill from the Camp. A private dinner was waiting for us, and as we sipped champagne and enjoyed our first meal as a married couple, we could not only see, but hear, our most loved people all in one place!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  We really wanted our guests, who came from so far, to experience the Linville we love – including a bluegrass band party on Friday, hiking and a picnic lunch on Saturday, and a poolside brunch on Sunday – for their entire visit. The epitome of the mountain weekend experience, however, is always an evening at Camp Yonahnoka (also known as The Camp at Eseeola Lodge,) where you have a panorama of Grandfather Mountain, and an expansive view of the stars. With a gorgeous view of the mountain reflecting onto a lake, the Camp itself is a wooden, open-air pavilion, with a centralized floor plan, encouraging everyone to mingle and join in on the dance floor.

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?  Our first dance was to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. We took lessons and surprised people with a choreographed dance. My father and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Dex and his mother danced to “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, a favorite of Dex’s father who passed away.

What was your wedding menu?  The Eseeola Lodge serves the most decadent and rich Southern food! There were buffet stations for flexibility, yet assigned tables, so people could sit and enjoy. The stations served shrimp and grits, pork tenderloin, butternut squash souffle, mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, grilled summer vegetables, salad, and corn bread with various sauces. The only perk of going to school the Monday after your wedding is having delicious leftovers in your lunchbox all week!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Instead of a large cake, there was a simple cake for us to cut (almond with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting,) and four cupcake flavors for our guests: cafe au lait, raspberry lemonade, red velvet, and chocolate-peanut butter ganache. My father works for Krispy Kreme, so we also served warm doughnuts. There were mini boxes of doughnuts for favors. I did not know until the pictures arrived that Dex was carrying trays of doughnuts around the dance floor!

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  For the entrances to the restrooms, I blew up and framed black and white photos of both of us at about 5 years old. In typical fashion, I was dressing up as the prim and proper bride, while Dex was barefoot, with a wrinkled tie and an untucked shirt. Some things never change.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  No one knows what you had in mind. If something is forgotten or goes awry, no one will know what could have been!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  I was so lucky to have such an opinionated groom, which was helpful, as my parents refrained from any opinions. I would suggest finding ways in which to get grooms excited and to feel important in the process, which makes for fun teamwork. We really let this be our idea of our perfect weekend.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I wish we had entered the reception to House of Pain’s Jump Around, but did not think of that in time. Hopefully another Tar Heel couple will take note!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  We truly made our wedding a weekend affair, with events from Thursday to Sunday, thanks to the help of many hosts, hostesses, and helpers. Housing worked out wonderfully, with friends and family on every corner, as we took over the little mountain community.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Event Planning & Design: Viva L’Event NC   / Reception Venue: Camp at Eseeola in Linville, North Carolina / Church: All Saints Episcopal / Dress: Allure via Victorian Rose / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses, Ties: J.Crew / Jewelry: Mikimoto / Cake: Hallmark Cakes / Catering:  The Eseeola Lodge  / Floral Design: Callista Designs / Hair, Makeup: Hair 101 / Stationery: Opus 1 Weddings / Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Band:  Summit Strings  / Reception Band: The Voltage Brothers / Grooms Attire:  Martin Greenfield Clothiers
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Camp Eseeola Wedding in North Carolina by Nancy Ray

    24 November 2014
  • 5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Classic elegance, blooming gardens, and Spanish-style architecture made this couple and their guests feel as though they were transported to a European garden… and if it’s freezing cold wherever you are, then let their sunny SoCal wedding at Rancho Las Lomas transport you too!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS CALIFORNIA WEDDING BY ESTHER SUN.

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “We chose this location for our ceremony because it was so beautiful – it’s almost hard to describe! The venue itself is a unique, private resort with beautiful architecture, and also had a small zoo. With the property and Spanish-style architecture, it felt like being transported to Europe. The ceremony site was an outdoor courtyard surrounded by trees with a beautiful ceremonial stage which was a perfect setting for us to exchange our sacred vows.”

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Traditional, Light-hearted, Religious.

    Who officiated your ceremony?  It was important to Matt’s mother and grandmother that we have a Catholic ceremony for our wedding. We had Father Christopher from St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Irvine, California officiate our ceremony.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Our wedding ceremony was very traditional – we said traditional vows and had traditional Catholic readings. But, Father Christopher incorporated a brief Q&A with Matt and me and asked us personal questions which allowed our ceremony to be more light hearted and fun. Our guests also had a good laugh which we enjoyed as well. We weren’t expecting Father Christopher to incorporate the Q&A into the ceremony, so it was a pleasant surprise for us.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “After the ceremony our guests went upstairs to another courtyard located above the ceremony site with a beautiful fountain and our guests enjoyed cocktails and food. We transformed our ceremony site for the reception, using all round tables for our guests and a head table for us and our wedding party. Market lights strung across the dance floor set a romantic mood especially at dusk.”

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    Did you work with a wedding planner?  Matt and I planned our wedding in six months. Due to our time constraints we hired Jenna Kang from Divine Day and she was a huge help. She was able to help us from the initial stages to the final stages of our wedding and we went with her guidance and knowledge. Planning was exhausting but it was nice to know we had an expert guiding us and making sure we had everything covered.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The venue really inspired us during the planning stages of our wedding. With its rustic, romantic, outdoor setting, we wanted to base the rest of the wedding details around that.

    First dance song:  “Your Song” by Elton John
    Father/daughter, mother/son dance:  “In My Life” by The Beatles

    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  We had a rustic buttercream cake decorated with greenery. We had two flavors, coconut and Nutella, and both tasted delicious. We also had a dessert table with an assortment macarons, cupcakes, cake pops and mini parfaits.

    Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  My something old and something borrowed was a diamond bracelet I borrowed from my aunt. It was a beautiful bracelet that matched my dress perfectly. I also had a blue charm bracelet that I used for my something blue. // During our cocktail hour we incorporated foods from our ethnic background. Matt brought Vietnamese spring rolls and I brought Korean rice cakes to serve to our guests.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To slow down and take a moment amidst all the chaos during the wedding day because the day goes by too fast!

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Although stressful and overwhelming at times, enjoy the planning process have fun, and don’t stress too much because it is one day and the most important thing is that you are getting married to the most important person in your life and that is what counts, not the minor details that may consume your time.

    If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  Start the wedding earlier in the day because it goes by too fast.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Our favorite moment of the reception was just looking around the room and seeing all of our loved ones, our family, our friends who took the time to spend this special day in our lives.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Esther Sun / Event Planning: Divine D-day / Venue: Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, California / Dress: Cymbeline from Panache Bridal / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bracelet: Van Cleef and Arpel / Bridesmaid Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress / Suit: Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen Attire: Friar Tux / Floral Design: Kristine Shin / Catering, Rentals: 24 Carrots / Hair, Makeup: Studio MM&B / Videography: The Seven Production / Cake, Desserts: Sweet and Saucy / Stationery: Exclusively Weddings / Strings Trio: Seaside Strings /
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Orange County Wedding by Esther Sun

    20 November 2014
  • 3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    We’re well on our way toward the winter holidays, and as a December bride myself, I always love seeing how couples bring this festive season into their weddings. Larkyn and Jim included red flowers and linens and a jingle bell send-off – plus how gorgeous is the bride’s vintage-inspired look?!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS FESTIVE WINTER WEDDING BY A BRYAN PHOTO.

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    “I didn’t even look at traditional white dresses,” says Larkyn. “When I found the Jenny Packham dress, it became the focal point of our Southern winter wedding”

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Larkyn and her bridesmaids carried bouquets of red ranunculus, pale pink roses, privet berries, lamb’s ear, and brunia berries.

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “I always knew I wanted to get married at the church I which I grew up, in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama,” says the bride.

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your wedding ceremony in three words. Glamorous, Vintage, Classic.

    How did you go about planning your ceremony?  The upside (in my opinion) to getting married in a church is that the choices are sometimes limited – I actually spent much less time thinking about our ceremony than our reception because I didn’t have a desire to stray too far from the traditional vows, the traditional music, the traditional processional. We did feel like it was very important to have family involved in the ceremony, so all of my cousins’ children played roles, which was really special.

    Ceremony Music:
    Processional: Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke
    Recessional: Water Music – Hornpipe by Handel

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  We incorporated bagpipes at the end of our ceremony and it felt pretty magical – I studied abroad in Scotland and thought the unique sound of bagpipes would be pretty remarkable in the grand church in which we were married – and indeed it was!

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Try to throw your stress out the window once the wedding day arrives – I admit I didn’t take this advice myself, but I would pass it along to other brides! Also try not to lose your new husband at the reception. You are talking to so many friends and family, but you can’t forget the party is to celebrate your new life together, and you should enjoy that celebration together.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  If your parents are helping to plan (and/or pay) for your wedding, find a middle ground that reflects your style as a couple but also allows for some compromises (such as the guest list) that will ensure they feel appropriately represented. It’s not going to be perfect, but some give-and-take is important on both sides.

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  It was helpful for us to start with an overall number to keep us organized and to prioritize. Often during the planning process, I wanted to splurge on everything, but there are many ways you can save money, and having a budget helps you identify which elements are the most important to you and where you want to splurge (the band and the photographer, in our case).

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “My grandmother was a collector of all things vintage and antique – furniture, clothes and of course, jewelry. One of my favorite memories as a child when going to visit her house in Alabama was going through her piles of jewelry – and on special occasions, receiving a token of my own. I grew up with an affection for vintage jewelry and carried this with me to New York, where I currently live. When I got engaged, I knew I would get married back in Alabama and I wanted our wedding to feel classic and Southern, and to reflect my affection for vintage style. I didn’t even look at traditional white dresses; when I found the Jenny Packham dress, it became the focal point of our Southern winter wedding – with a bit of glitz, plenty of glamour and a nod to my grandmother who inspired it all.”

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Why did you choose this location for your reception?  I knew I wanted to do something somewhat traditional and vintage-inspired, but within a non-traditional venue, and BridgeStreet fit that mold.

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  One of my favorite traditions is one my college friends began when the first of us got married in 2009. We have passed around a garter – monogrammed with our maiden initials and wedding date – to each friend on her wedding day. The most recent friend to have gotten married presents the garter while we are getting ready. It’s always a very special moment!

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  I wanted the boys to look classic and really honed in on finding the right bowties. We found them at Billy Reid, a vintage-inspired clothing store based in Alabama – I got stuck on herringbone, so when we found them, we grabbed them all! // The flower arrangements that Buffy Hargett created were absolutely beautiful and really stood out as a uniquely winter element of the wedding that I was excited to incorporate – I gave her a general color scheme but let her run with it, and on the wedding day she emerged with bouquets that were richly colored and textured – a subtle acknowledgment of the holiday season but not overtly so. // In addition to my dress, my paper suite also served early on as a blueprint for the wedding – simple and classic but with uniquely vintage, art-deco elements. Mary came up with the idea to use the shell pattern found on F. Scott Fitzgerald book covers and we incorporated that into the save-the-dates, welcome bag cards and church programs (we kept the formal invitation simple and classic – a hint of red on the edges and a gold band).

    Signature Drink: Bourbon Apple Cider on Ice
    Cake Flavor: Red Velvet and French Vanilla with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
    First Dance Song: Book of Love by Peter Gabriel

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Did you include any DIY elements in your wedding?  Although I would not qualify my wedding as DIY, there were a few homemade elements that were very special. My mom hand-embroidered the initials of every member of the wedding party onto vintage handkerchiefs of my grandmother’s that she had been saving away for the right occasion. We also used pearls from one of my grandmother’s many strands to create bracelets for each of my bridesmaids and readers. My dad and sister also get credit for a truly DIY element – as a family, we created an assembly line of hole poking and jingle bell threading to create the mini jingle bell tambourines that guests shook as we were departing.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  As I was getting ready to leave for the church, I snuck away to read a letter that Jim had given me the night before. I didn’t have any photographers around, so it was a special moment to have alone. Although I won’t say all nerves dissipated, it was very special to read those words and remember the reason I was about to walk down the aisle in the first place!

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: A Bryan Photo / Event Planning and Design: Mariée Ami / Venue: BridgeStreet Gallery and Loft in Birmingham, Alabama / Church: United Methodist Church / Dress: Jenny Packham via Carriage House/ Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Earrings: Oscar de la Renta / Hair, Makeup: Celine Russell / Bridesmaid Dresses: Swoon, Bella Bridesmaid / Suit: Freeman’s Sporting Club / Bow Ties: Billy Reid / Stationery: Mary Baugh / Calligraphy: Steve Logan / Floral Design: Buffy Hargett / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Music: Robert Williamson Band / Catering: Savoie / Cake: Barb Sullivan / Bag Piper: Jim McGraw / Drummer: Todd Kelly / Lighting, Drapery: AG Lighting / Linens: BBJ
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Christmas Wedding by A Bryan Photo

    18 November 2014
  • 2 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    This intimate Milwaukee wedding featured two very special guests: the bride and groom’s dear pups! From the invitations, to the ceremony readings, Lily “The Pill” and Max played a central role in Samantha and Jason’s celebration. Other aspects of the wedding were inspired by the Wisconsin location (local cheese and beer) and by the couple’s love of Sea Island, Georgia. Everything came together for a beautiful day at Villa Terrace!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS MILWAUKEE WEDDING BY HEATHER COOK ELLIOTT.

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “Our favorite thing about the wedding ceremony was definitely the inclusion of our dogs Lily ‘The Pill’ and Max as our very non-traditional wedding party. Their presence and love were with us through multiple years of a long distance relationship and this most amazing moment of our lives wouldn’t have been anywhere near complete without them. Plus, they’re totally gorgeous and were very well-behaved!”

     

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Personal, Playful, Heartfelt.

    Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  It reminded us of one of our favorite (and most romantic!) places to vacation: Sea Island Resort in Georgia. It has wonderful mediterranean inspired architecture with stone work and a tile roof. It also has immaculate gardens and is on the ocean so the outdoor experience is as incredible as the inside. From the moment we saw photos of Villa Terrace we knew it had the same feel and features – just with Lake Michigan instead of the Atlantic and a lot closer to home.

    How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  We had help from both our wedding coordinator and our officiant. We followed a relatively traditional but non-religious template, and went outside the playbook a lot when it felt right. Every step of the way we chose elements that would be meaningful to us and make us happy, regardless of how they fit into convention.

    Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  We made a lot of new ones!

    What was your ceremony music?  We had an amazing acoustic guitarist who fit the feel of the wedding perfectly. He sang and played wonderfully, setting the perfect relaxed and inviting tone to the day. The processional was made up of only two songs: one for when our families and then “wedding party” (our two dogs!) entered and another for when Samantha came down the aisle. The first was James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (perfect for the dogs) and the second was “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, with only the guitar. The recessional was a favorite song of the couple, “When We’re Together” by Joshua Radin. The lyrics of the chorus fit the moment incredibly. “…I’m with you forever, cause we’re the best when we’re together. I’m with you forever, you are the only one and we’ve just begun…”

     

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    What were your ceremony readings?  We had two readings. The first was a poem by Taylor Mali entitled “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” and the second was called “Love if Friendship Caught Fire” by Laura Hendricks. (See Samantha and Jason’s readings right here.)

    What were your vows like?  They were a traditional format but not traditional verbiage. We especially liked how the last line ended: “until the end of our forever.” That seems tangible and real, but still so full of love. (Read Samantha and Jason’s complete vows right here.)

    READ SAMANTHA AND JASON’S FULL CEREMONY RIGHT HERE.

    Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  As the start time of the ceremony approached, a really thick fog rolled in off the lake – so thick it seemed like we were up in the clouds. At first we were a little disappointed to not have the amazing views of Lake Michigan during the ceremony, but exactly at the moment he was pronouncing us husband and wife, the fog cleared and a brilliant blue sky and sun came out. It was pretty incredible and although we had a non-religious ceremony seemed pretty divine. So many guests commented on how magical that moment was. (I’ll admit here that I (Samantha) only partially noticed it happening because I was so in love with my new husband at that moment… I probably would have missed a marching band, fireworks and a laser light show had they all been going on…)

     

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    Are there any special details you’d like to tell us about?  In our welcome bags at the hotels, we used all things from Wisconsin: Sprecher root beer, Gardetto’s, Wisconsin shaped cheese. And the best thing of all were caramels that Samantha and her Mom made together. // We had a welcome BBQ at my parents home the day before the wedding. My mom and I made cupcakes with hickory nut frosting – the special part is that the hickory nuts were from trees at my parents’ home. My mom and dad picked the fallen hickory nuts, opened and dried them and then shelled them. If you’ve never seen a hickory nut, they’re small – really small – so shelling them is no small feat!

     

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “Our reception was relaxed, inviting and fun. We tried to mix Wisconsin inspired ideas (had many guests from out of town) with the elegance of a Southern estate. We wanted everyone to feel like we were all celebrating together. To us that meant trying to make it feel the same as if we were throwing a party in the backyard… if our backyard was on a Southern plantation overlooking Lake Michigan.”

     

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    Menu:  appetizers: sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup shooters / brie puffs with apricot and blackberry / bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Boursin / cheese plate with all Wisconsin cheeses (complete with Wisconsin shaped chalkboard menu) / caprese skewers // starters: caesar salad / lobster stew (made from a recipe from a little crab shack in Maine that we try to visit every year) // main course: beef tenderloin with green beans and rosemary red potatoes / chicken marsala over polenta

    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  We had a dessert station with ginger peach cobbler, schaum torte with berries, and tiramisu. Our cake was a white cake layered with with almond cream and Door County cherry preserves. Heaven.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  There are two… After everyone moved from the courtyard to the terrace for dinner, Jason and I were still in the courtyard with the guitarist. Believe it or not, Jason and I had never danced together! So the guitarist played one more song, just for us, and we had a “practice dance” together. It was really wonderful – private and perfectly special. And then the official first dance! We had dancing out on the terrace, in the same space the ceremony and dinner were held. Once the sun started to set during dinner, Edison lights strung over the terrace were lit, and one of my closest friends played the guitar and sang the first dance song (The Shape of Us, by Ian Britt) with the help of another friend. It was perfect – real, romantic, and only ours.

     

    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink
    Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink Heather Cook Elliott | Snippet & Ink

     

    FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER:

    Sam & J’s wedding lives in my memory the way a good meal in a perfect setting with the right people stays on the mental palette for years to come. It was intimate, romantic, playful, delicious – the kind of day that never feels hurried; the kind of day that slowly simmers every experience to perfection. These days Sam & J live and work together in Virginia where he’s from but they decided to marry back in her home state at the incomparable Villa Terrace, a little garden oasis in Milwaukee that reminded them rather a lot of a beloved travel destination of theirs – Sea Island, Georgia. Travel is something they’ve done quite a bit and in talking to them one gets little hints of lovely trips and awesome adventures in their past: the engagement ring was found in a little shop near Italy’s Lago Como and she had just returned from a Tanzanian safari when we did their engagement session earlier this year. And really, seen through their eyes, Wisconsin even becomes a bit of a destination, one who’s traditions and local fare they mixed with southern-inspired charm to create a simply gorgeous day. I adored the woven grass fans and moss covered gates paired with New Glarus beer (only available in Wisconsin!) and assorted Wisco artisan cheeses and playful bites like mini-grilled cheese & tomato shooters.

    Off and on the sun shone brightly, a perfect match for the gardenia in Sam’s hair and J’s summer suit, all of which combined with gorgeous lake views to trick the senses – maybe we are staring out at the Georgia coast after all …but then the mist rolled in and the edison lights overhead began to glow and it all felt very lakeside, very cozy, very Wisconsin again. My favorite part of the day was just after cocktail hour and before dinner when all the guests were seated and ogling the now sunny lake view, but Sam & J were missing. I spied them through the villa doors back in the courtyard dancing alone to one last song by the guitarist. I snuck upstairs and spied on them, capturing a perfectly serene, incredibly romantic moment between them; It was, like Sam & J, unplanned and spontaneous, sweet and real.

    And I have to say a little something about the most adorable and well-behaved bridal party a photographer could ask for. Fur siblings Lily “The Pill” and Max walked down the aisle and practically posed for pics all day, two constant companions for both Sam & J. I loved how they helped Sam & J feel truly at home on their wedding day, and how they made the Villa their own. They had both told me that it was inconceivable to them to get married without the dogs present and celebrated along with them. Thus the invites with the dogs silhouettes and instead of flowers on the aisle, little glassine bags with dog bones (as in “bridal party will beg for treats.) The bigger dog Max is J’s buddy so J wore a tie to match Max’s collar and Sam’s girl Lily got a little sparkle and flower treatment with a floral collar that any dog would be lucky to sport. And during their ceremony a dear friend read the most surprisingly perfect poem by Taylor Mali – titled How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog, the reading was the ultimate ceremony customization Sam & J could have planned.

    Photography: Heather Cook Elliott / Venue: Villa Terrace in Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Event Planner, Styling: Tailored Engagements / Dress: Jenny Yoo / Shoes, Bracelet: J.Crew / Floral Design: Marius Bell / DJ, Edison Lighting: Milwaukee Airwaves / Catering: Gracious Catering / Rentals: BBJ, Arena / Guitarist: Ryan McIntyre / Makeup: Tayla LaMachhia / Hair: Neroli Third Ward / Cake: Sweet Perfections / Fans: Hanson Ellis / Stationery: Paper Envy / Suit: R Coffee LTD / Tie: Pomp and Ceremony / Leash Accessories: R.E. Stowe / State Shaped Chalk Board: Chalk Style / Favor Recipe Card: Pickle Dog Design / Moss Initials: Cellar Window / Dark Chili Powder Favor: Eden’s Meat Market
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Villa Terrace Wedding from Heather Cook Elliott

    17 November 2014
  • 3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings