Your venue naturally has a big impact on your wedding day, and Jessica and Nima’s pick – a modern private estate in Dallas – was perfect when this long-time pair tied the knot. From the bride’s embroidered Valentino shift to the spectacular modern sites for the ceremony, dinner and poolside dancing, this celebration speaks to every bride who’s ever eyed a Eames chair.

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS MODERN PRIVATE ESTATE WEDDING BY JESSICA GARMON.

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

“At a fundraising event at a client’s estate, Jessica and I met an elderly couple, and shared with them that, although we had been dating for 10 years and known each other for nearly 15, we were not convinced that marriage was a necessary next step. The couple cautioned that there would be limitations if we were unmarried – in critical moments, being officially recognized as spouses can make all the difference as partners. This conversation occurred at the wonderful home of one of my clients, and it planted the seed that convinced me that my life partner and best friend should also be my wife.

Months later, after asking Jessica to marry me, I asked my client and dear friend if we could host our ceremony and reception at their beautiful estate, sharing the story of the significance. She graciously obliged, and the setting could not have been more meaningful.”

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“It was most important to us that the ceremony felt ‘true to us’ and didn’t abide by traditions just for tradition’s sake. We were fortunate that our families were open-minded and supportive of whatever way we wanted to express our love and celebrate our marriage. With their support and the help of close family friends, we crafted a secular ceremony, knowing from the start that our ceremony would feel unconventional. Jessica’s father passed away several years ago, and since he could not walk her down the aisle, we decided to walk into the ceremony hand in hand. Symbolically, we felt we were coming into the ceremony together and strengthening our union.”

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Modest, Intimate, Sincere.

Who officiated your ceremony?  A family friend, David, officiated our ceremony. He and his wife, Clair, are second parents to Nima, and their son who passed away was truly a younger brother to the groom. Their bond is so strong that Clair offered the ring she had planned to offer her son to Nima and Jessica. It is Jessica’s wedding ring, and we chose not to exchange wedding bands in order to leave this significant symbol unadulterated. We feel it not only unites Jessica and Nima, but honors and strengthens these strong familial ties.

What were your ceremony readings?  A friend of the bride read a passage from Earnest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and a friend of the groom read a passage from Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows, albeit very late in the game, but they really came together. We decided we would have one part that was personal to each of us, and also create communal vows that we both repeated. The day before our wedding, we woke up early, went into separate rooms to write our personal pieces. After sharing these meaningful words of admiration and commitment, we realized how complementary our vows were. Then we then sat together and wrote our communal vows, and rather enjoyed doing it!

READ JESSICA AND NIMA’S PERSONAL AND SHARED VOWS RIGHT HERE.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your ceremony music?  We we honored that Jessica’s cousin provided the music for our ceremony.  We walked out to the ceremony together to a song she had set to the E.E. Cummings poem “I carry your heart with me.” After our readings, Erica played her rendition of Sade’s “By Your Side.”  The song embodies our commitment and intimacy, and it evokes memories of the earliest days of our relationship.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Although it was very short, time seemed to stand still in certain moments. The day was such a beautiful blur, and yet we can remember certain parts so clearly.  At one point during the ceremony, we stood together arm-in-arm with David, our officiant, while Erica sang one of our favorite songs. Everyone was listening together with the sun warm our backs, and it was as though nothing else existed in the world but that moment. I remember wishing we could stay like that for hours on the hill, in the grass and the sun, surrounded by our most cherished, listening together to my cousin play songs on her guitar.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Don’t skimp on a photographer. It’s a big expense, but it’s all you have left to remember that day by. Going through the pictures together has been such a joy, and we plan to do again and again. That said, do skimp on numbers and sizes of flower arrangements; if you have a great florist, less can be more. Because we were flexible about the musical selections, we hired a band that didn’t advertise themselves as a “wedding band” – or charge us “wedding band” rates. They were absolutely fantastic!

Did you give your guests wedding favors? We chose a series of our favorite things to give to our guests from some places that were special to us. Each guest received a letterpress postcard from Lilco with a handwritten note, Perfect Granola from Urban Acres, a few sticks of Palo Santo wood, chocolates from Dude Sweet Chocolate, and Marfa Brand’s Ranch Road Soap. Since we were using small vendors, many of them were able to work with us on sizing and pricing!

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“We were inspired by the feeling we wanted to evoke at our reception. We collected photographs that evoked the ambiance we wanted, rather than a particular style or color, and focused on textures and sentiments that spoke to us. We found Kinfolk Magazine to be a wonderful source of inspiration. Overall, we ended up with something that was one part modern minimalist, one part rustic, and three parts our personal aesthetic.”

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  There were more guests at our reception than our actual ceremony, but it was still very intimate. Our reception was laid back and communal, while still being very moving and so much fun!

How did you go about planning your reception? The manager of the estate, Jeff Bogert, has restaurant, catering, and event planning experience.  He volunteered his time to consult with us on settings for the ceremony, pre-dinner reception, dinner, and dancing. He suggested caterers and vendors he respected and were familiar with the home from previous fundraisers.  Together, we spent many hours thinking through the day’s transitions and the experiences we wanted our guests to have during each stage of the event.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

Why did you choose this location for your reception?  Dinner was served in a grove of crepe myrtles.  We wanted a relaxed, family-style meal and the rows of trees strung with lights seemed like the perfect spot for a fall feast!  After dinner, everyone strolled across the  lawn to the pool house, which was set up for dancing and merriment! Plus, it allowed for sort of a group procession across the property late at night. We all had flashlights and went in groups on this walk together.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your wedding menu?  We wanted to make dinner a large part of the event, a communal meal like Thanksgiving, so that our guests could really bond over dinner.  We had three rounds of shared plates, all served family style:

First Course:  Whitefish Ceviche, Fried Castelvetrano Olives, Grilled Radicchio with Aged Balsamic & Parmigiano Reggiano, and Chick Pea Fritters with Whipped Goat Cheese // Second Course: Fried Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Yogurt Sauce, Fontina Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Speck, Roasted Fennel with Gaeta Olive Tapenade, and Zucchini Rolls with Ricotta and Oregano // Third Course: Applewood Bacon Wrapped Quail Halves with Homemade Chow Chow, Grilled Salmon with Salsa Verde, Roasted Acorn Squash Wedges with Calabrian Chiles, and Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika

What type of dessert did you serve? We aren’t big wedding cake fans, so we dug into ½ pints of our favorite Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Salty Caramel, Dark Chocolate, The Buckeye State, Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean, Pistachio & Honey, and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso.

Did you have a signature cocktail?  We had three! An Infused Cucumber Margarita, a Gin-Gin Mule, and a Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned.

 

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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  David and Clair mentioned to us a few days before our wedding that we should probably make room for people to toast or give speeches. We didn’t anticipate so many people standing up to speak. At dinner, we were taken aback by the number of people who felt moved to share their feelings. It was one of the most humbling experiences of our lives.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  At first we really wanted to elope or have a tiny destination wedding, but our moms both encouraged us to have this celebration and supported us throughout the planning process. The weekend of our wedding, their presence meant so much to us. Nima’s mom hosted a Persian feast Thursday night before our wedding, and Jessica’s mom helped her remain calm and collected throughout the weekend. They both gave such beautiful toasts at our reception, and Jessica’s mom was a riot on the dance floor. We certainly owe the best night of our lives to their encouragement and wisdom.

 

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your first dance song?  We didn’t hire a typical wedding band – Shoot Low Sherriff played their own songs and music, and we gave them no other orders than “jazz it up a little.”  They were just the right balance of soul and class.  Our first dance together was impromptu. Jessica was inside the pool house grabbing some popcorn when Nima’s mom ran inside, snatched it out of her hands, and ushered her onto the dance floor! We shook our booties and had the time of our lives.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Think most about the energy and emotions you want people to experience, and less about the details. Everyone said it would be the best day of our lives, but the planning process was hard and on multiple occasions we felt ready to give up. We might not voluntarily repeat all the work we did, but if we could live one day 100 times over, it would be our wedding day. It was worth it, but only because our guests embraced it. We focused on what we wanted our friends and family to feel, and in turn, they made our night unforgettable.

 

Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink Jessica Garmon | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Jessica Garmon / Venue: Private Residence in Dallas, Texas / Event Planning & Design: Jessica Chiles, Jeff Bogert / Dress: Valentino / Wedge Sandals: Givenchy / Jewelry: TenOverSix / Suit: Gucci / Tie: Valentino / Boots: Alessandro Dell’acqua / Shirt: Ermenegildo Zegna / Pocket Square: Luca Roda / Stationery: Lilco / Tintype Photographs for Invitations: Frank Lopez / Floral Design: Posh Floral / Hair: London Michael, Blow Salon / Makeup: Love Dose Beauty / Rentals: Ducky Bob’s / Ceremony Music: Erica Curnutte / Reception Music: Shoot Low Sheriff / Catering: Food Co / Cake, Dessert: Jeni’s Ice Cream
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When Gretchen and Al tied the knot in Boca Grande, Florida, they were inspired by classic wedding elements, including blue and white strips, lush ivory floral arrangements, and a ceremony by the sea. If you love a classic, preppy wedding, get ready to settle in for a gem!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS FLORIDA WEDDING BY LAUREN KINSEY.

 

“We made our wedding a weekend celebration. On Friday, we held a golf and tennis tournament for guests, and my grandfather gave boat tours around the island. That evening, Al’s parents hosted a cocktail party at the Boca Grande Library to welcome guests. Almost three-quarters of our guests took part in Saturday morning’s Island Run Race, and my grandparents graciously hosted a Sunday brunch. We definitely took over the island!”

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you incorporate something old, new, borrowed and blue into your wedding day attire?  My grandmother’s handkerchief served as my something old, while beautiful drop earrings from Al’s parents was my something new. My mother and my sister both wore my mother’s best friend’s ring, which was a sentimental something borrowed and blue.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“My family has been venturing to Boca Grande every year for Christmas since before I was born. This special little island feels like home. When Al and I began dating, it became very dear to him, too. When we thought about where to get married, it wasn’t even a choice – we knew Boca Grande was the place!”

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Non-traditional, playful, windy!

Who officiated your ceremony?  Our fathers officiated the ceremony. Both have played such large roles in our lives, and having them officiate was unspeakably special.

 

 

What was your ceremony music?  Al and I absolutely love Frank Sinatra, so every song in the ceremony was a Sinatra tune.

What were your ceremony readings?  My father revised a Leo Tolstoy story, one of my favorites growing up, to mimic our relationship. It started the ceremony on a very special note. Al’s father also included a reading about baseball, which has always been a big part of Al’s life, and love.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

What were your vows like?  Two of our close friends got married in early June and we loved their vows, often called “Eskimo Love Song.” When we heard them, we knew they were special. It made it extra sweet that they were chosen by such good friends, who were honored that we used the same vows:

“You are my husband / you are my wife,
My feet shall run because of you,
My feet dance because of you,
My heart shall beat because of you,
My eyes see because of you,
My mind thinks because of you,
And I shall love, because of you.”

What was your favorite moment of your wedding ceremony?  It was very windy the day of our wedding, and halfway through the ceremony, Al took off his coat and gave it to me. I don’t think anyone will forget that!

 

 

Gretchen carried a bouquet of white and ivory garden roses, peonies, and soft dusty miller.

 

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The Reception

“We wanted our guests to have an amazing time, and that inspired most of our decisions.”

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  Fun! I don’t recall ever leaving the dance floor once the band started playing!

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

The escort table featured a lush bed of hydrangeas where calligraphy cards were displayed, and Gretchen and Al incorporated nautical touches throughout the reception, including rope knots to hold table numbers and blue bottles of water at each place setting.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your wedding menu?  We served a salad with hearts of palm, spiced pecans, gorgonzola and a mustard vinaigrette, followed by bronzed grouper and pan-seared beef medallions with sweet corn relish, wild mushrooms and basil-whipped potatoes.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink
Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Enjoy every minute, because the day goes by in a flash.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  No – we loved every second, even the wind at the ceremony. It made our wedding day special and memorable.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

What songs did you dance to at your reception?  My father and I danced to “Do You Love Me” by the Condors, and  we invited everyone come to the dance floor to boogie down to “Sweet Caroline” with Al and his mom. Since Al and his family are big Red Sox fans, this was only fitting, and our guests loved it!

Did you serve any special treats at the end of the night?  We surprised everyone with pizza and Boca Bay Pass Club Hummers, an after-dinner drink staple.

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Vanilla with Buttercream frosting. We also served a groom’s cake – a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting – and a candy bar. My best friend’s family has a chocolate company in Milwaukee, and they helped us create the most delicious chocolate bar full of toffees and caramels.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite part of the reception?  The looks on our family and friends faces when we surprised them with our wedding dance! We began with “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra and midway through surprised everyone by transitioning into a swing dance, then a meringue! No one saw it coming, and it was great fun.

 

Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink
Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink Lauren Kinsey | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Lauren Kinsey / Event Planning & Design: Sarah Tucker Events / Venue: Boca Bay Pass Club in Boca Grande, Florida / Floral Design: Victoria Blooms / Hair, Makeup: Ali Severson / Transportation, Trolley: Green Hibiscus / Photobooth: Peekaboo Photobooth / Cake: Publix / Tent: Sperry Tents / Stationery: Holly Hollon / Wood Tables: Tuck Tables and Event Decor
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We all went crazy for the modern bohemian vibe of this Northern Calfornia celebration. Annie and Jake’s whimsical celebration in the Russian River Valley is the stuff of sun-dappled afternoon dreams, and we simply can’t get enough! Details we adore include the bridesmaids’ woven white dresses, the couple’s graphic stationery suite, and dinner in the apple orchard.

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS BOHEMIAN RUSSIAN RIVER WEDDING BY KATE HARRISON.

 

“The best advice we received, and the most important thing we kept in mind while we planned our wedding, was not to forget what our wedding day was about – the love between us, and our union. We could have easily get forgotten this when we were obsessing over tablecloths or playlists.”

 

 

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Don’t feel obligated to invite too many people. And don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I stayed out too late the night of the rehearsal dinner. I was so excited to have all my favorite people in one spot that I didn’t pay attention to the clock and ended up paying for it the next day.

 

 

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We love western Sonoma County, and Guerneville has always been a special place to us. It is casual wine country and there was so much for our guests to do: float on the river, hike, eat great food, and go wine tasting. Our guests stayed in Dawn Ranch Lodge‘s cabins and the hotel across the street, and all of our wedding events, including the rehearsal dinner, were on the property, so guests didn’t have to go far. For the weekend, the Lodge became “Camp McKHable.”

 

 

Did you include something old, new, borrowed and blue?  Jake’s great grandmother’s ring, given to me that day was my something old, and his sister’s handkerchief, which I used to wipe away tears of joy during our first look, was my something borrowed and blue. Another something blue was a necklace from my mother, given to me the morning of our wedding.

 

 

The Ceremony

“We didn’t want a ‘traditional’ ceremony – one that felt overly formal and stuffy, but we also wanted to make sure the ceremony had weight and importance. We worked hard to make it a reflection of the people gathered in the meadow, our families, and us as a couple.”

 

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Non-traditional, heartfelt, and us.

Who officiated your ceremony?  We asked Jake’s dad, Mike, who is one of the most thoughtful and spiritual people we know, to officiate our ceremony. As a writer and person with tremendous public speaking presence, he was able to perfectly capture the moment and communicate our hopes and values with the ideal combination of lighthearted emotion, sincerity, and love.

 

 

What were your ceremony readings?  Jake’s parents’ read “i thank You God for most this amazing” by e.e. cummings at their wedding, so it was special for us to include it in our ceremony, and since we are both big fans of the Grateful Dead, Robert Hunter’s “I Will Love You” was a perfect fit.

What were your vows like?   This was actually one of the only aspects that was traditional. Reciting traditional vows to one another felt meaningful and poignant.

 

 

What was your ceremony music?  A guitarist from our band played as guests filtered into the meadow. The Beatles “All You Need is Love” was our processional, and Annie walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. After the ceremony was over, the entire wedding party walked out to “Ooh La La” by Faces.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? From Jake: The love and happiness in the meadow was palpable. Seeing some of my tough-guy friends crying was indicative of how everyone was there in the moment, and part of our love and union. But, for me, having my father be the one who pronounced us “husband and wife” while he choked up made my heart soar. // From Annie: I loved having everyone outside in the beautiful meadow with the sun peaking through the redwoods. I thought I was going to be very nervous standing in front of everyone, but I was overcome with a feeling of love and calm, one I’ll never forget. I was so happy to be marrying Jake in front of my family and friends.

 

 

The Reception

“Everyone let their hair down and had a blast. Dinner was in an apple orchard, followed by dancing by the pool. This broke our night into distinct events, set the mood and gave our guests a clue where they needed to be. Plus, with the Giants in the playoffs and late night skinny dipping in the pool, there was plenty of energy to keep the party going!”

 

 

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted it to be a true reflection of us as individuals and as a couple. The natural beauty and rustic charm of Dawn Ranch, and Guerneville’s eclectic, hippy vibe suited our style and provided inspiration. I added my creative touch, and every detail, down to the DIY dream catcher escort cards and indigo-dyed napkins, perfectly represented us.

 

 

What was your first dance song?  Our first dance was to Bonnie Raitt’s “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About.” My dad and I danced to Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers,” and Jake and his mom hit the dance floor to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.”

Did you have a signature cocktail?  No signature cocktail, but we had great local beers on tap, including Lil’ Sumpin’ and Trumer Pils. Since our wedding was in wine country, we also selected our favorite local wines.

 

 

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Our favorite part of the reception were the toasts. Jake’s childhood friend and my sister each gave heartfelt and humorous speeches, and my dad’s toast included an amazing slide show. It was a big surprise, and such a loving moment.

 

Photography: Kate Harrison / Venue: Dawn Ranch Lodge in Guerneville, California / Dress: Isabel Marant / Suit: J. Crew /  Bridesmaid Dresses: Madewell / Floral Design: Natasha Kolenko / Band: Smash City Band / Pies: Three Babes Bakeshop / Stationery Design: Tor Kologlu /  Stationery Printer: Scan Art / Foil Pressing: JR Press / Hair: Susan K Powers, Bellezza Salon /
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Organic elements and elegant details married beautifully at Justice and Melanie’s early fall wedding at Swann Lake Stables. Their celebration, chock full of traditions, proves that it’s possible to have both a big guest list and an intimate wedding day. This wedding is a must-see for brides who’re partial to rustic and romantic, and we’re particularly smitten with the spectacular natural setting, the lovely jasmine vines in the bride’s hair and around their classic buttercream cake, and cornhole on the lawn. Who’s up for a game?

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS ALABAMA WEDDING BY MARY MARGARET SMITH.

 

“Several people told us that our wedding day would fly by, so we should pause to take it all in from time to time. It really does go by so quickly, but we made a conscious effort to savor it and enjoy our day. It’s good to remember that your wedding day is not the time to stress about the unimportant details. Being surrounded by so many family and friends at one time is a blessing.”

 

 

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Swann Lake Stables is surrounded by the city but it feels like you are deep in the woods. I loved how natural and peaceful it was. I saw photos of other ceremonies by the river and thought it was beautiful, but when I was able to visit the venue, I completely fell in love. The ceremony location was the reason that we chose our venue.

 

 

Did you incorporate something old, new, borrowed and blue?  For my something old, I wore my grandmother’s earrings and my great-grandmother’s gold bracelet, from my father’s side. Tied to my bouquet was a gold pendant that belonged to my other grandmother, which my mom’s father gave to her as a gift – my something borrowed. It’s engraved with a French phrase that means “I love you more today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow.” My dress was my something new and I wore a tiny necklace with a cross of blue flowers, a gift from my mom’s best friend when I was born, as my something blue.

 

Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  While I was looking for invitations, a family friend told my about Kempis Press. After seeing Jonathan’s studio and his beautiful work, we collaborated on the invitation suite. I designed the suite myself and he printed them. The invitations ended up being one of my favorite details from our wedding. I designed our wedding programs to match our invitations and my mom and sister-in-law helped me assemble all of them a few weeks before the wedding. I also made all the signage – bar menus, guest book table décor, and wooden signs directing guests to the ceremony.

 

Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink
Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink

 

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Pick a few things that are really important to you. It’s easy to get caught up in every detail, but it’s not easy to get everything you want without blowing your budget. My priorities were the venue, food and drinks, and paper goods, including our invitations, programs, etc.

 

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The Ceremony

“The ceremony was the part of our wedding day that I kept picturing in my mind. I imagined exactly what I wanted it to look and feel like. I also knew that the reality of an outdoor ceremony meant that things may not go as planned. But the day of our wedding, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. One of our readings was Song of Soloman 2:10-13, 8:6-7, ‘Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.’ At that moment I heard the river beside us and thought of how perfectly everything had come together.”

 

Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Traditional, natural, relaxed.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  Justice and I both wanted a very traditional religious ceremony, so we didn’t stray from the standard Episcopal service. We selected the readings and music together, and the priest from my parents’ church officiated the ceremony.

What were your ceremony readings?  Song of Soloman 2:10-13, 8:6-7 and 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

What was your ceremony music?  We had a solo violinist, and I loved that the music just seemed to accompany the sound of the river rather than drown it out. Justice and I selected the songs together from traditional favorites.

Prelude – Trumpet Tune, H. Purcell
Processional – Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, J.S. Bach
Bridal Processional – Air, The Water Music, G.F. Handel
Recessional – Hornpipe, The Water Music, G.F. Handel

 

Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink

 

How did you select your wedding party?  Our wedding party was all family plus one very close lifelong friend. We loved that the people surrounding us on our wedding day were our biggest supporters. It also meant that the night before our wedding and getting ready the day of our wedding were intimate gatherings. To be honest, the time before our wedding ceremony, just hanging out with our families, was one of my favorite parts of the day.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  It was an incredible feeling to walk back down the aisle together at the end and head to our reception – the really fun part. Justice and I were nervous about standing in front of so many people at such an intimate moment, so I focused on him and our priest and tried not to think about everyone watching us. When our priest pronounced us husband and wife and we walked back down the aisle, it was such an exciting moment and a relief for both of us.

 

 

The Reception

“We wanted the reception to feel relaxed and fun. The stables were the perfect place to create that vibe. The building itself is informal with all natural wood and brick floors, and our décor complemented that feeling with natural greenery arrangements, potted plants, and a neutral color palette. It felt like having a party in someone’s backyard rather than a venue.”

 

Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink
Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink

 

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  While planning our wedding, we thought about weddings we had been to and what we enjoyed most. And, of course, I followed wedding blogs – including Snippet and Ink – and looked for ideas on Pinterest. The venue inspired the look and feel of the flowers and colors. I wanted to compliment the natural environment, not compete with it. Since the venue was already casual, I didn’t want the reception to feel too informal or rustic, and chose lots of metallic details that were simple and elegant.

 

Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink Mary Margaret Smith | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you have a signature cocktail?  We served Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds as our signature cocktails, along with a selection of local beers. We actually gave monogrammed copper mugs as a gift to our wedding party and immediate family before the wedding so they could use them at the reception.

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Our cake was a simple white cake with buttercream frosting. Each layer was ringed with jasmine vine.

What kind of music did you play at your wedding?  Justice and I have very different tastes in music, so we chose a DJ which allowed us to play a wide variety of music. Before our wedding day, we also asked our family and friends for their music recommendations and incorporated those into the playlist.

 

 

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Justice loves the Bee Gees, so he requested several songs from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. He joked with me before the wedding that he was going to memorize John Travolta’s dance to “Staying Alive.” So when the DJ played it at our reception, I told him to get out there and dance. He did, and got everyone else dancing, too! It ended up being one of my favorite moments of the night.

What was your first dance song?  Our first dance song was “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison. My father and I danced to “Boats to Build” by Guy Clark, and Justice and his mother danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.

Any special details or moments from your reception?  As we left our reception our guests tossed lavender – it smelled amazing!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  Absolutely not. It really was exactly what we wanted. At the end of the night as we drove away from our reception we both couldn’t believe how perfect it all was.

 

Photography: Mary Margaret Smith / Venue: Swann Lake Stables in Birmingham, Alabama / Event Coordination: Becky’s Brides / Officiant: Father Charles Youngson / Dress: Rafael Cennamo from Finery / Shoes: Gianni Bini / Veil: Sara Gabriel / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale  / Suit, Groomsmen Attire, Ties: Banana Republic / Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Tie Clip: J. Crew / Stationery: Kempis Press / Floral Design: Hot House Design Studio / Hair, Makeup: Molly Stilley, Morgan Ashley Salon / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Violinist: Karen McDowell / Reception Music & Lighting: Amerson Events / Catering: Savoie Catering / Cake, Dessert: Cakes by Audrey
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If there’s one person who’s been thinking about your wedding day longer than you have, it’s your parents–which is why we think it was especially sweet that bride Leila made sure her dad was delighted by her glamorous New York City celebration at The Foundry. With lush flowers, a 1920’s jazz band and twinkling café lights, it’s full of inspiration for brides who dream of Gatsby’s garden parties.

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS GREAT GATSBY WEDDING BY ERICH MCVEY.

 

“I wanted to combine my more Bohemian, quirky aesthetic with traditional, opulent details so that my father and I could both have the wedding we’d dreamed about since I was a little girl.”

 

 

Poppies and Posies used summer blooms including dahlias, roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus, pieris, and clematis to craft lush bouquets and classic boutonnieres.

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and thought it can feel stressful, do your best to enjoy every minute of it. Choosing the cake to the flowers to the dress–it’s all great fun!

 

 

The Ceremony

“Walking down the aisle towards Alex with my dad is my favorite moment of the whole day.”

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Brief, intimate, traditional.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Jesse Hendrich, a Manhattan-based officiant. From the moment we first met him, a calm fell over the room and we were so comfortable talking to him about ourselves and our relationship. He has a quality that instantly puts people at ease, and we found him tremendously sincere and personable.

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  Jesse was a big help planning our ceremony. We wanted to keep the ceremony fairly brief, so we decided not to include any readings. We also exchanged traditional vows. I didn’t want the pressure of having to write them ourselves, and I love the sound of traditional vows.

 

 

What was your ceremony music?   The wedding party processed to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach. I walked down the aisle with my father to Pachelbel’s Canon. Our recessional was the Allegro from Vivaldi’s Spring.

 

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  I wanted a raw space so that we could personalize the whole celebration, and infuse aspects of ourselves into the whole affair. The Foundry’s courtyard was the perfect space for our ceremony, and we transformed it into an alfresco dining room for the reception!

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you have a signature cocktail?  Our escort cards were drink stirrers with guests’ names and table numbers on them, tucked into a Thyme-infused Vodka Lemonade.

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

New York-based band Carte Blanche played jazz tunes during dinner (dressed perfectly for a Gatsby-inspired event!).

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink
Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  Classy, fun, and absolutely delicious!

 

What was your wedding menu?  For the first course, we served a Roasted Tomato Tartare with a Fried Quail Egg, Capers, Creme Fraiche and Toasted Boule. For dinner, guests chose either a Black Trumpet Crusted Filet Mignon & 48 hour Short Rib with Truffled Potato Gratin and English Peas, or a Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lime Beurre Blanc and Pea Risotto.

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Dessert is my very favorite thing, so we went all out with a dessert bar and a beautiful cake from Nine Cakes covered in spectacular black sugar pearls and featuring several different delicious flavors.

 

Erich McVey | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your first dance song?  Alex and I had our first dance to “The Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine. Our Father-Daughter­ dance was to “A Ma Fille” by Charles Aznavour, and Alex and his mom danced to “In My Life” by The Beatles. Favorite moment of the reception?  The dancing, hands down!

 

Photography: Erich McVey / Venue: The Foundry in New York, New York / Event Planning & Design: Firefly Events / Floral Design: Poppies and Posies / Officiant: Jesse Hendrich / Bride’s Dress: Wedding Atelier / Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN / Suit,Tie, Shirt: Martin Greenfield / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Stationery: Alpine Creative / Calligraphy: Summer Yang / Escort Cards: Rachel Jane Couture / Hair: Allen Wood / Makeup: Face Time Beauty / Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals / Ceremony & Dinner Music: Carte Blanche / DJ: Jason Fioto / Catering, Desserts: Creative Edge / Cake: Nine Cakes / Lighting: Universal Lighting
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  • Great Gatsby Wedding in New York by Erich McVey

    11 March 2015
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