Savannah is one of the most romantic cities I can think of, and such a beautiful place for a traditional wedding. Nkechi and Mitch were married at the Mansion on Forsyth Park on a lovely day in March. I can’t get over the wisteria and the Spanish moss… Says Nkechi:

Georgia is a very special place to us. We met in Atlanta our freshman year of college and had so many wonderful experiences there. We have a great life in New York, but there was something very special, gratifying, and comforting to be married in Georgia where our story began. Like Mitch says about the first time we met, “It felt right as rain.”

I was surprised how wonderfully perfect the weather was in Savannah that day. It was like the weather wrapped all of us in a warm happy embrace. The day before was very hot, the day after the wedding was gray and rainy, but our wedding day was bright and sunny with a slight breeze. Perfect.

Gorgeous photos by Jen Huang.

Nkechi’s bridesmaids wore lovely floor length dresses by Miranda Bennett.

The wedding program was typed and assembled with the help of friends and family. It was so special to select all the Bible passages and customize our celebration. We also wrote our vows and created a special prayer that we read during the ceremony. The prayer is something that we can always use to reaffirm our love and strengthen our relationship.

In the African American tradition, we jumped over a broom. We chose to jump over Mitch’s late grandmother’s broom. It was small, old, and red – charming. Mitch more than embraced my Nigerian traditions when we traveled to Nigeria for our wedding ceremony there, so it was important for me to embrace his traditions, too.

The Mansion on Forsyth Park boasts a diverse collection of art and other surprises, including an entire wall of vintage ladies’ hats. Love it!

Nkechi’s advice for other couples getting married? Don’t forget that you are celebrating the love that you have for the person in your life. On the day of the wedding, instead of fretting over details you should be holding hands and kissing your husband, dancing, eating, and drinking. Believe me, all the little details will not mean anything if you allow the day to go by without enjoying yourself.

 

Photography: Jen Huang

Ceremony venue: Saint Michael Catholic Church on Tybee Island

Reception venue: Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia

Bride’s dress: Monique Lhuillier

Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaid dresses: Miranda Bennett

Groom’s custom tuxedo: My.Suit

Groom’s shoes: Ted Baker

Flowers: Chuck Haynes Floral

Cake: Art Cake Co.

Linen rentals: BBJ Linen

Music: DJ Mighty Mike

 

Happiest wishes to you, Nkechi and Mitch!

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Old St. Hilary’s is a little church on a hillside, overlooking the San Francisco Bay, and one of the most charming places I can imagine for a wedding. Especially on a sunny day, like the Friday in August when Marnie and Brian wed. Says the bride:

We wanted something that was more romantic than anything else – something elegant but neither fancy nor overly rustic. Something intimate and unique. We wanted to find a small chapel for the ceremony and Old St. Hilary’s was perfect, and when I first saw pictures of the Outdoor Art Club I fell in love with it. We love that both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and after that everything came together.

We chose music that we loved and that seemed fitting for the occasion including Fred Hersch’s interpretation of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and “Good Day, Sunshine” by the Beatles for walking back down the aisle. We wanted music that provided a sense of joy and of the sacred and yet was not entirely serious.

We snuck down the road before the reception to take some photos with the best man and maid of honor. The trees are giant and covered with moss and it’s beautiful – we couldn’t resist clambering around a bit in the forest and the stream, a nice way to escape for a while.

After the ceremony, guests headed to the Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley for dinner and dancing.

We have two adorable shelter mutts who couldn’t be there, so we included them by making a donation to Just a Dog Pitbull Rescue in lieu of wedding favors, and had little portraits of them on our invitations and cake.

Marnie’s advice for other brides?  You may need help where you don’t think you will, like remembering to do the basics (sleep! eat dinner the night before!). It’s so easy to get caught up in all the excitement and the lovely details, but no dress or make up artist or stylist can make you look nearly as good if you haven’t had a good 7-8 hours of sleep. You’ll need it! Also, if you’re keeping your dress long, make sure you have a free hand to life it as you walk down the aisle or you might trip.

Photography: Gia Canali / Ceremony venue: Old St. Hilary’s in Tiburon, California / Reception venue: Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley, California / Bride’s dress: Rosa Clara / Bridesmaid dresses: Dessy / Groom’s suit: Ermenegildo Zegna / Floral design: La Fleuriste / Catering / cakes: Elaine Bell Catering / Branching Out Cakes
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I don’t know how it is that I’ve never featured a real wedding from photographer Allyson Magda, especially since I’ve admired her work since I started Snippet & Ink. But today I plan to remedy that with Kacy and Kirk’s beautiful wedding. They were married on California’s beautiful central coast, in a wedding that was both rustic and sophisticated. Says the bride:

Kirk’s parents live in Cambria and we spend a lot of time up there. It is the best of both Northern and Southern California in one place: the beach, the vineyards, a small town. We love it there and many of our friends and family members had never been, so we wanted to share the area with them, and to make the wedding feel as organic to the location as possible.

Since ours was an out of town wedding, we rented a large house for 3 weeks – I went up a week ahead of my fiancé to finalize all the details and to take some time to myself just relaxing. I was totally relaxed by the time our families and friends started arriving. Then, after everyone left, Kirk and I spent a week alone in the area for our honeymoon. It was so great not to have to rush off to catch a plane!


A bagpiper led the way from the chapel to the reception site. Don’t you think a wedding “parade” would be such a wonderful way to arrive at your reception?!


Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the couple had a “cake” with tiers of cheese!


Local noise restrictions meant the reception had to end at 10:00pm, so Kacy and Kirk rented out a local saloon, moved the DJ there, and continued celebrating until 2:00am. Says Kacy, “Everyone danced all night!”


Photography: Allyson Magda

Coordinator: Taffy Gonzalez for All Traditions

Ceremony venue: Old Santa Rosa Chapel in Cambria, California

Reception venue: Fog’s End Barn, also in Cambria

Bride’s dress: Augusta Jones

Groom’s suit: Hugo Boss

Flowers: Camilla Svenson Burns

Catering: Chef Charlie

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It’s been awhile since we had Katie Stoops‘ photography here on Snippet & Ink, so I’m happy she’s back today with this charming wedding. A rustic venue on a beautiful day, delicious local food, and lots of friends and family… it doesn’t get much better than that. Zach and Clay were kind enough to share some of the details about their wedding with us:

Finding the right venue was tough. D.C. is full of beautiful ballrooms and grand spaces, but those didn’t feel right to us. This barn was perfect – it’s only about 20 miles from Washington, but it feels a world away, like you’re really in the country. Although the barn was cleaned out and “finished,” with hardwood floors and so on, it’s still a functioning barn. There are goats in the lower level! On the day of our wedding, there were some other surprise guests – a small herd of alpacas had been moved there, too! The guests loved it. The alpacas were probably the single most photographed thing from our wedding. Hot new wedding trend: alpacas! You heard it here first.


Our ceremony was the best part of the entire day – it was very personal and meaningful and “us.” And we loved how informal it was, with the guests standing beneath a large tree there on the farm. We had friends do a handful of readings. It was a very special moment for us that we were so proud to share with family and friends.


The single most important aspect of the reception, though, was the food. We write about food on our blog, The Bitten Word, so we really wanted the food to be a special highlight of the day. We were thrilled to find our caterer, Oliver Friendly, who focuses on simple, seasonal foods using ingredients from within a 150-mile radius. One bite of Oliver’s baby BLT sandwiches (he cures his own bacon!), and we were hooked. (See the entire menu below.)

Flowers were from a floral wholesaler and were arranged by friends and family. Somewhat to our surprise, the DIY parts of our wedding ended up creating really fun memories. A small group of family and friends headed out to the barn the day before the wedding to string lights, clean up, arrange flowers and so on. It was actually really fun, and the “handmade” aspect of it really made the whole event feel special and personal.


Zach and Clay’s advice for anyone planning a wedding?

In general, just approach the entire event as a blank slate, and don’t do things because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do. For example, we mingled with the guests as they arrived at the barn and were served welcome glasses of Prosecco. Then, for the ceremony, we all headed over to a big evergreen tree and stood in the shade. It just seemed silly to us to “hide” until the ceremony. If that’s what you want to do, great! Just make sure it’s because you want to, and not because you think tradition compels you. Make the day what you want it to be – there are no rules.

One more piece of advice: Read Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding. It will help you keep your sanity about what’s really important about the wedding day, and about how you can have an amazing event on a small scale.


Photography: Katie Stoops

Venue: Agricultural History Farm Park in Montgomery County, Maryland

Clay’s navy blue suit, blue checkered shirt: J.Crew

Zach’s light gray pants, vest / necktie:  J.Crew / Banana Republic

Stationery: By Hand Invitations

Rentals / lighting: Capital Party Rentals / Atmosphere Lighting

Gypsy Jazz band: Hot Club of DC

Catering / drinks: Oliver Friendly from Eat & Smile Foods / Ace Beverage

Dessert: Dangerously Delicious Pies


Congratulations Zach and Clay! Yet another example of how simple can be just perfect. And thank you to Katie Stoops for sharing these lovely photos with us. You can see lots more from Zach and Clay’s wedding over on Katie’s blog.


Zach & Clay’s Wedding Menu

Prosecco

Watermelon Mint Julep
-
36-Hour Smoked Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches
with Homemade Pickle and Slaw

Roast Vegetable Crostini

Pork-and-Scallion Wontons and Vegetable Wontons

Trio of Soup Shots
Roasted Corn; Sweet Pea with Thai Basil; Mushroom with Homemade Bacon

Ratatouille Spoons
with Lime-Poached Shrimp

Baby BLTs with Homemade Bacon

Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
with Caramelized Onions

Mini Crab Cakes
with Roasted Corn Slaw
-
Choice of Pie
Peach, Blueberry, Chocolate-Peanut Butter, ”The Baltimore Bomb”

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Ryan and I are hoping to make a trip to Blackberry Farm later this year, and Jenni and Kevin’s beautiful wedding is a perfect reminder of why it’s such a special place. You might have seen some of these lovely images in the Winter 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, and our friends at A Bryan Photo and Calder Clark Designs were kind enough to share even more stunning photos and details with us…


While studying abroad in Spain (where she met Kevin!) Jenni fell for the espadrilles worn by local women, and she wanted espadrilles for herself and her bridesmaids. Just six weeks before the wedding, in her hometown of Atlanta, Jenni stumbled across Ann Roth who is known for her custom espadrilles, and who used fabric and ribbons to create shoes that not only fit the bridesmaid dresses, but that were also comfortable.

Blackberry Farm made a split rail fence just for Jenni and Kevin’s wedding, as a backdrop against the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and Blackberry Farm’s floral team made wood boxes from scratch and potted them with masses of Aralia and herbs cut from the farm.

How adorable is this post-ceremony photo of the bride and groom!?

How about this summer dinner? Garden Beet and Fig Salad with Arugula and Blackberry Farm Brebis, Pan-Seared Scallops, Field Pea Succotash with Tomato Vinaigrette and Corn Emulsion, Wood-Grilled Short Ribs with Ribbons of Summer Squash and Smoked Potatoes with Crème Fraiche. And the wedding cake of course: Cinnamon Carrot Cake with Toasted Pecans, Fresh Pineapple, and Currants topped with Cream Cheese Icing and Blackberry Coulis.

Says Caitlin from Calder Clark DesignsThe property is already breathtaking, so we tasked ourselves with accenting the existing interiors and aesthetic instead of introducing anything that would stand in stark contrast to the soft, woodsy, gray palette. It felt very natural to opt for French grain sack linens and hand-gathered wildflowers. Our favorite detail was the oversized French grain sack dinner napkins, which at the head table were embroidered with guests’ first names in lieu of place cards.

Best wishes Jenni and Kevin! See even more amazing images from their gorgeous wedding on the A Bryan Photo blog. And now I’m off to make travel plans for me and Ryan to visit Blackberry Farm

Photography: A Bryan Photo / Event design: Calder Clark Designs / Venue: Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee / Bride’s dress: Vera Wang / Bridesmaid dresses / custom shoes: Thread / Ann Roth / Flowers: Blackberry Farm / Catering / cake: Blackberry Farm / Magpies Cakes / Rentals: All Occasions / Burlap linens: DC Rental
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