Having spent nearly every summer of my life in with family in Montana, Cecily and Nick’s summer ranch wedding just speaks to my heart – perfectly relaxed, sweet, and rustic.

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson

Both the bride and her bridesmaids wore simple white dresses. As a special touch, the bride wrapped a scrap of her paternal grandmother’s wedding dress around her bouquet.

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson

The playful invitation suite prepared guests for an easy going celebration.

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson

Guests were greeted at the ceremony with lemonade. “While this isn’t exactly a signature drink,” says Cecily, “I thought it was a really lovely touch. And it was especially good for a pregnant bride!”

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson

During the ceremony, guests sat on hay bales that had been harvested on the ranch and were later used to feed the horses during winter.

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson

From the bride: “Ron Kamp, one of the ranch managers, designed the flower boxes that were the centerpiece of each table, and branded the table numbers into them. Ron also cut up a log for pie stands. It helped create a simple, rustic look that complimented the flower boxes and some of the other wooden platforms we had around the wedding.”

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson

All white flowers, including garden roses and clematis, kept the look of the decor simple and romantic. Also, what’s a wedding without a whiskey bar!

From the bride: “My father drove me down to the ceremony in a 1972 Chevrolet Luv pickup truck that Lora Kamp, one of the ranch managers, has had since she went to college. We filled the bed of the truck with petunias.  The Luv, being blue, was something old, borrowed, and blue. The petunias were new.” (The truck also made for a nice photo op later in the day.)

Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson
Carrie Patterson Carrie Patterson


See all of Cecily and Nick’s rustic ranch wedding in the gallery.


Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  I have been going to our family’s ranch since I was 18 years old.  It’s a special place for me and for my poetry. Nick visited it once with me in the winter and loved the place. When we got engaged, we knew it was the location that most spoke to the non-urban sides of our personalities, and we were eager to share it with our friends and family.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The Wyoming landscape is so exceptional that I wanted to make sure that the wedding didn’t try to compete with it. We tried to keep decor minimal, or at least relevant to the surroundings. So I suppose the western Wyoming landscape inspired us.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Dancing with Nick to our first dance, which was to the Sam Cooke song “Good Times.”

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  One friend in particular reminded me to steal away from the hoopla from time to time.  With Nick, of course.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Make sure your dress is comfortable. Even if you’re not pregnant at your wedding, you want to feel comfortable sitting, standing, dancing, eating, drinking, and laughing in your gown!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  As a wedding gift to us, our friend (and one of the groomsmen) designed our wedding bands at New York Wedding Ring in Manhattan, using gold that was given to him as a gift while he was working as an arborist in French Guyana.

Photographer: Carrie Patterson / Event Planner: Kendra Hobson with Simply Grand Weddings & Events / Floral Design: Fleur de V / Venue: private ranch in Merna, Wyoming / Dress: Le Spose di Gio / Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Engagement Ring: Sarah Perlis / Hair, Makeup: Eternal Beauty by Leslee Anne / Grooms Suit, Shirt: Brooks Brothers / Tie: Dior / Shoes: Kenneth Cole / Bracelet: Giles and Brother / Stationery: Lynn Buckley / Rentals: Hunter Gatherer Jackson HoleCanvas Unlimited / Band: The Greg Glassman Experience / Catering: Jackson Hole Catering / Antler Chandelier: Wild West Designs
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When thinking about their summer wedding, Martha’s Vineyard was an obvious choice for Hans and Meghan. Says the bride, “Hans grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, and after college we moved there for the summer and worked at his parents’ bed and breakfast. That summer we decided if we ever got married, we would have the wedding on the island.”

Meghan wore a veil made by her sister, and chose flowers for their meanings: “The bridesmaids carried pale pink roses, which symbolize joy. I had an all white bouquet composed of lily-of-the-valley (purity), ivy (fidelity), stock (happy life), and gardenias (hospitality; they are also my grandmother’s favorite).”

Says Meghan, “We focused on creating an atmosphere that would bring all of our friends and relatives together. As many of our guest had to travel a long way to get to the Vineyard, many made a mini vacation out of it. We arranged to have bonfires, dinners, trips to the beach, and boat rides in the days leading up to the wedding. This gave everyone a chance to get to know each other long before the wedding. By the time the big day rolled around, everyone knew everyone else and it was a great big party.”

Navy blue and white striped tablecloths fit the setting perfectly!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  There were two guiding principles: First, we wanted a wedding with details that were symbolic, not only of what we hoped for in the future but of all of the wonderful experiences that we have already had as a couple. Second, and most importantly, we wanted the emphasis to be on having everyone we loved together. As a result, we had a very simple wedding, but every detail we incorporated was special. I chose the flowers for their meanings and received help from my wonderful aunts in arranging them. We also wanted the menu to reflect some of the places we had been, so we had mini fried shrimp po’ boys (we did Teach for America in New Orleans) for the cocktail hour and paella (a nod to my time studying abroad in Spain). The groomsmen were all given ties from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (where Hans and I met), and I walked down the aisle to “Loch Lomond” (a song about Scotland that my mom used to sing to me).

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  I was unexpectedly nervous right before I had to walk down the aisle, however, once the doors opened and I saw Hans standing at the top of the alter, smiling at me, all of the fear melted away and I was filled with the most intense sense of joy and calm.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We used the Bible verses that my mother and father used at their wedding and I carried gardenias in my bouquet as a tribute to my grandmother’s favorite flower.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Every 30 minutes try to stop, look around, and take in the scene. I have so many wonderful mental pictures from the day because of this advice!

What advice do you have for other brides?  Pick a few things that you want to make really meaningful and focus on those. We put a lot of thought into how to incorporate the things we care about into the flowers, music, and events leading up to the wedding.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  My dad thought that he was going to wear one of the St. Andrew’s ties for the wedding and didn’t pack a spare. When he realized (the morning of the wedding!) that there were only enough ties for the groomsmen, he decided to go for a run, thinking to himself, “I really have to get this tie situation worked out.” We were 30 minutes from the nearest store so he decided to stand at the entrance to a private road and wait until someone pulled up. When a car finally turned into the drive, he flagged them down. When they stopped and tentatively rolled down the window my dad said: “This is going to sound crazy, but my daughter is getting married in two hours and I forgot a tie. Do you have one I could borrow?” The man turned to his wife in the passenger seat and said: “What kind of guy doesn’t bring a tie to his own daughter’s wedding.” Without missing a beat his wife said: “You.” Turns out that the guy had forgotten a tie for his daughter’s wedding and had to borrow one from a waiter. My mom told the story to our guests at the reception and the tie my dad borrowed from that neighbor became the joke of the whole wedding.


See more from Meghan and Hans’ classic preppy wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: Jocelyn Filley / Day-of Coordinator: Danielle Bailey / Venue: Captain Flanders House on Martha’s Vineyard / Dress: Melissa Sweet / Shoes: J. Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Neckties: University of St. Andrews Undergraduate / Stationery Printing: Crane & Co. / Rentals: Seaside Celebrations / Caterer: Herring Run Kitchens / Cake: MV Gourmet Café & Bakery
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I can think of no better way to usher in the month of April than with this darling Spring elopement from Gia Canali! Proof that sometimes all you need for the perfect wedding is the one you love, and maybe something special to wear…

Lisa on her choice to wear a yellow dress (and the best ever re-use of a bridesmaid dress): “One of the first things I bought for the wedding was a tea length dress. However, whenever I put it on, I felt uncomfortable, like I was wearing a costume. When I thought back to the last dress that made me feel like a better version of myself, it was the one I wore in my best friend’s wedding. It was beautiful and infused with happy memories. So, I wore a yellow dress on my wedding day and donated the white one to charity.” 

Says Lisa, “I’m sure I received loads of wonderful insight from others, but the best piece of advice I can remember was from our photographer, Gia Canali. She told me to hold my bouquet down low for photographs. I can definitely see the difference in the images!”

Such an iconic shot in front of San Francisco’s City Hall!

Gia captured the couple with some of her vintage film cameras.

Miette cupcakes and the Golden Gate Bridge – what a sweet way to celebrate an elopement!

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Jared and I love to travel. When we became engaged, the first thing we agreed upon was our honeymoon destination: Japan. As we started looking at local venues and pricing out our options, we realized that the cost of the wedding could jeopardize our honeymoon. The guest list continued to balloon, and we found ourselves lamenting that we “had to” invite so-and-so in order to be polite. I’m not sure when it dawned on us, but we felt a sense of relief when we realized that this was our wedding and we could choose to invite no one at all. To have a ceremony with just the two of us was actually very appealing; it would allow us to stay within our budget and have an intimate ceremony. We began to explore courthouse weddings, but were disappointed to find that most of the venues look like office buildings. We wanted to find a way to have a beautiful wedding and still visit Tokyo. Through the wonders of the Internet, I discovered San Francisco’s City Hall. The beauty of the space, coupled with the fact that it was on the way to Japan, cemented the location for us.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The idea that we should do what we want.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  When my newly minted husband pulled me aside to read aloud a letter he had written for me. It totally caught me off guard and I was touched by his words and the gesture.

What advice do you have for other brides?  There are many ways to get married. Choose the way that best suits you and your partner.


See even more beautiful photos from Lisa and Jared’s elopement in the gallery.

Photographer: Gia Canali / Venue: San Francisco City Hall / Dress: BHLDN / Shoes: Cole Haan / Veil: Ornent / Necklace: J. Crew / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Groom’s Shirt: H&M / Tie: Ben Sherman / Floral Designer: Studio Choo / Cupcakes: Miette / Hair, Makeup: Wow Pretty
  • City Hall Elopement in San Francisco

    1 April 2013
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    I’m such a sucker for a classic wedding. Throw in gorgeous photos, a fun venue, and a Sylvia Weinstock cake, and you’ve made my day. I’m pretty sure Katie and Matthew’s New York wedding from photographer Bryce Covey will make your day, too!

    Flower girls were darling in pale blue dresses and jasmine and rose head wreaths.

    After the ceremony, the newlyweds toasted with glasses of Champagne in the vintage checker cab that transported them to the reception.

    What’s a New York City wedding without portraits in Central Park?!

    With the brick venue and romantic flowers from Poppies & Posies, the reception struck a perfect balance of urban and garden.

    I love the way Matthew tells about their gorgeous Sylvia Weinstock wedding cake: “On a table in the dressing room where Katie was looking for The Dress, there was a large book with a wedding cake on it. She comes home from this trip looking for dresses, and the first thing she wants to talk about is this book. Sylvia Weinstock immediately became an A-list celebrity in our lives, and it just so happened she works in NYC. She was so sweet when we met her, gave us an incredible amount of cake to taste, and sketched exactly the cake that Katie had been dreaming of after listening to her describe it for about five seconds. It was stunning; clearly, this woman has found her calling. Our cake came in two flavors: vanilla raspberry (the same kind Katie’s parent’s had for their wedding cake) and chocolate pistachio apricot. It was of course delicious, but the genius of this cake was its flowers. It was covered in a beautiful bouquet of completely convincing sugar flowers and succulents. Our guests – and even us! – were stunned how real these flowers looked. Needless to say, the cake was a big hit, and my wife was happy.”

    Why did you choose this location?  When we discovered The Foundry with its ivy-covered courtyard and brick-and-iron interior, not to mention the super cool history, we were in love. We knew from the outset that we wanted to get married in a place with character and charm.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Possibly our biggest inspiration was the city of New York itself. We have fallen hard for this city. Our paper designer created an icon for us that was based off the old NYC subway token and our getaway car after the ceremony was a checkered cab. We also had a pretty good idea of how we wanted the day to feel from the start. We knew we wanted a traditional, beautiful wedding that was still us – nothing too formal or stuffy. So that helped too as we looked around on awesome wedding blogs – like Snippet & Ink! We planned everything together, researched it all and just knew when something felt right for us both.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  From Matthew: Somehow we never quite found time for those dance lessons we had promised to take. We did a few trial classes at the Fred Astaire studio, and we vowed to practice at home, but suddenly the big day was upon us and we had nothing. So now we’re married just a few hours, have never been so happy in our lives, the day is more than we had dreamed, and then it’s time for our first dance. For the next 4 minutes and 37 seconds, we held each other tightly, very slowly turning around in circles in the middle of an empty dance floor, I spun her once, and we whispered I love you several times. Other than to look right into her eyes, my own eyes were closed the entire time, and the whole room might as well have been empty. And when the music stopped, I kissed my wife and my heart exploded. Favorite moment by far, of that day or any day.

    Did you include any traditions?  Katie’s family comes from a proud Polish heritage and funnily enough the hokie pokie is a Polish wedding tradition. So we insisted that James Mulry, our DJ, play it at some point during the night. I remember the look on his face when he asked, “Which version should I download from iTunes?”

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Don’t stress too much. Yes, it’s a big deal and yes, it’s a lot of money and yes, a million other scary things. But it’s the day you marry your best friend and at the end of the day, nothing else even matters.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Strange as it may sound, learning about the etiquette involved actually made planning a lot easier. Who should sit next to whom? Who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner? When you can fall back on, well, what’s the proper thing to do? No one can really argue or be upset with that. Easily diffuses any possible family issues. Also, there’s a lot of mystique around finding The Dress. When I started shopping, this stressed me out. I felt I was waiting for some ah-ha, halo-of-light type moment and became terrified after a few trips to the store hadn’t yielded any out-of-body experiences. But then I just relaxed, enjoyed it, and found the perfect dress.

    Do you have any budgets tips?  Plan it yourself. It will take you so much time, way more than you can imagine, especially if you choose all your own vendors instead of go the all-inclusive route. But it’s totally worth it because everything is how you want it, the two of you work together to decide on everything – this is incredibly fun and rewarding. And you save a bunch of money.


    See more from Katie and Matthew’s timeless New York wedding in the gallery.

    Photographer: Bryce Covey / Ceremony Venue: St. Paul the Apostle Church / Reception Venue: The Foundry / Bride’s Gown: Junko Yoshioka / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bride’s Vintage Earrings:  Charm and Chain  / Art Deco Bracelet: Ben-Amun / Groom’s Tuxedo: Hugo Boss / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ivy & Aster / Floral Design: Poppies & Posies / Catering & Rentals: Real Food Catering / Cake: Sylvia Weinstock / Stationery: Swiss Cottage Designs / Music: James Mulry of 74events
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    There’s so much to say about Ashley and Christopher’s wedding, but honestly, the photos and video, along with the bride’s own words, tell it best…

    I always had a lot of ideas about what my wedding day would be like, from the setting, food, dress, and especially what it would be like for my dad to walk me down the aisle. Yet all those ideas flew out the window when my parents died two years ago in a plane crash. Their lives deeply inspired me during the planning as I wanted to share this special day with them. I think one of the main reasons I have experienced so much joy in knowing and loving Christopher is because I have experienced the depth of pain in losing the two people I love the most on this earth. As Kahlil Gibran wrote, “The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” We wanted to acknowledge both joy and sorrow on this day because the two are inseparable.

    Bridesmaids wore neutral dresses of their choosing. The bride carried a locket with photos of her parents on her bouquet.

    Christopher constructed the gorgeous flower arrangement that hung over our heads, and hung three antique beveled glass windows at the entrance to the ceremony site.

    Christopher’s ring was made from the promise ring my dad gave me. My gold band engagement ring was Christopher’s great-grandmother’s, grandmother’s, and mother’s. My canary yellow diamond earrings were my mother’s.

    Thirty minutes after the ceremony, my dad’s friend and flying buddy did a Missing Man flyover at the reception to acknowledge the deep absence of my mom and dad that day.

    Signature drinks were Champagne with a hint of vanilla and blueberries, and our favorite Yazoo Brewing Company beer from Nashville.

    Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We knew we wanted an intimate setting, in nature, a place we could go back to, that was unique to us. We decided to have our wedding ceremony on some property my family has had for many years on Lake Martin. We found a clearing created by three huge pine trees on the point of the lot looking out onto the water and we knew we wanted to get married right in between the three trees. We see our relationship and marriage about the triangular relationship between ourselves and God, and the three trees represented the theme of our wedding: I and Love and You. To prepare the space, Christopher and a few friends cut down trees, built a platform, planted grass, and created a welcoming walkway down to the site. Christopher’s hard work and preparation of that site showed me his love and commitment, which is the best wedding present I could ask for.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Ashley: Ah! I have so many, but one moment that stands out is during the reception when I was dancing on stage with the band to “Rolling on the River.” As I threw my hands up, Christopher snuck behind me and threw me up into the air. With a scream coming from my mouth I looked out over all our friends and family of all ages dancing their booties off. To see everyone else feeling and sharing in the incredible love, joy, and celebration of that day was a powerful gift. // Christopher: There is no one moment but a string of them. I remember stepping up on the platform with my soon-to-be wife next to me and in that moment everything stopped. There was no sense of time, just us feeling the wind on our faces, and the mystery of our spirits becoming entangled in one another. As passages were read and words given to one another, I felt the purest gift of love.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  A friend told me to stop throughout my wedding day and take in a deep breath of everything around me. Because I took those moments to breathe, the day doesn’t seem like a blur but rather an endless, timeless joy with details I can remember.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  1. Be authentic to you. There are so many wonderful and beautiful ideas out there right now about weddings – you can have a eco-friendly, citrus-colored, parade-themed wedding in Antartica, but is it you? Don’t do things because you find them on Pinterest; do them because they represent you and your groom. 2. Prepare for your marriage, not just your wedding. The best thing Christopher and I did during the engagement season was marriage counseling. It’s easy to be distracted by all the details of the wedding, but remember, your wedding is one day, and your marriage is a lifetime.


    See more photos from Ashley and Christopher’s lakeside wedding in the gallery.

    Photographer: Clark Brewer / Videographer:  Eric Staples / Event Planner: Mariée Ami / Venue: private property on Lake Martin, Alabama / Bride’s Gown: Lela Rose / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Floral Design: Grace’s Flowers / Catering: Shindig’s Catering / Ceremony Pews: P.E.W.S / Cake: Venable’s Sweet Shoppe / Stationery: Social Graces / Calligraphy: Hardink Calligraphy / Music: The Undergrounders / Officiants: Jennifer Fouse, Trey Wince
  • Touching Lakeside Wedding in Alabama

    27 February 2013
  • 31 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites