I’m always such a sucker for weddings full of Gatsby-era details and inspiration, and Bettina and Daniel’s is a gorgeous example of just why I love them so much! From the Art Deco ceremony “arch” to the bride’s and bridesmaids’ flapper-inspired dresses, from the Art Nouveau invitation to the gold fan adorned wedding cake, you’ll find tons of inspiration for any Gatsby-inspired celebration.

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS GATSBY INSPIRED WEDDING BY KAREN KRISTIAN.

Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink

 

“I was very much inspired by the film, Midnight in Paris. I’ve always been such a huge fan of The Lost Generation, Jazz Age, and the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods, and I loved the film’s modern take on it, so I wanted to recreate that feeling in our wedding,” says Bettina. “Our décor was a reflection of this modern-yet-nostalgic glamour: the ceremony was conducted under a rectilinear arbor wrapped in fan-like foliage and calla lilies, and our reception tables had sequined chevron-patterned linens and crystal, rhinestone, and mirror votives. My florist did a fantastic job creating lush, decorative arrangements that featured huge blossoms with succulents and air plants​.​ My graphic-designer-bridesmaid-friend also illustrated an Erté-like modern flapper on our invitations, which were black with silver and gold foil.”

 

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Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink

 

“I wore an ivory silk and tulle wedding dress, with delicate beading and rhinestones, that felt very Gatsby, although it was a contemporary design, and I selected silver-sequined dresses for my bridesmaids, made by a company that specializes in Jazz Age and flapper dress replicas.”

 

Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“As a person who considers herself the non-conformist, I didn’t think I would want a traditional wedding,” says Bettina, “but that wasn’t the case. I was surprised to find myself really appreciating wedding traditions, from creating and delivering wedding invitations to the traditional format of the wedding day​. I would say many of the elements of our wedding “traditional,” with a twist of individuality.​​​​”

 

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Your ceremony in three words.  Inspired, non-conformist, nostalgic.

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  We live in Manhattan, and we wanted to put some distance between our special day and the typical energy and high stress that defines the “City.” So we chose The Garrison, a venue in upstate New York (45 minutes from Manhattan) that was known for its gorgeous views in the spring and, very importantly to us, its fantastic food.

Who officiated your ceremony?  ​A very good friend of mine from law school happens to also be an officiant, so that was a no-brainer choice for us. It was a family affair, actually, because his wife was a bridesmaid and their two children were my flower girls!​ ​ ​

What was your ceremony music?  The processional was Jose Gonzalez’s version of “Heartbeats” (originally by The Knife). Daniel and I really love this song. The recessional was the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s song, “Hysteric.” We both are huge fans of the band and this song seemed very fitting.

What were your vows like?  We wrote our vows together, and then we each wrote a short, personal message, which we chose not share with each other until our wedding day.

 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  My favorite moment​ was when I shared my personal message with Daniel. His eyes welled with tears when I said aloud, “I have loved you for a very long time.” I had never seen him shed tears before, and it was such a beautiful moment – the sun was literally sparkling through the windows into our ceremony – that my voice broke and I had to pause before continuing. I don’t think our love has ever been more palpable.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your ceremony?  As an agnostic, I knew from the outset that I did not want a religious ceremony, which could have caused some issues with my in-laws, who are Christian. But they were such good sports about absolutely everything – including the fact that the ceremony would not be religious – that I wanted to give something in return: I asked my father-in-law to read aloud a blessing and prayer during our ceremony. I think it meant a lot to him, which in turn made me very happy. ​

 

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The Reception

“I really wanted to make sure every visual and sensorial element was carefully considered – that everything felt authentic to my husband and me – so I was hands on with all my vendors. But the most important thing was that at the end of the day, the only thing that mattered is that we had fun. There comes a point in time when you have to stop planning and nitpicking and just focus on the family and friends who show up especially for you!”

 

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Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink

 

First dance song:  Our first dance song was “All I Want Is You” by U2, which my best friend, Ted, sang and played on his guitar. U2 was a childhood favorite for all three of us (Daniel, Ted, and me), and that particular song – especially the title – encapsulated how Daniel and I felt about each other pretty accurately!

Father/daughter, mother/son dance:  My father’s favorite song is “Unchained Melody” – he used to make me play that piece on the piano thousands of times! Although the lyrics totally didn’t fit, I couldn’t think of a better song to share with him. D​aniel danced ​with his mother to “​​Forever Young” ​by Bob Dylan​, which is one of her favorite songs. ​

Did you have a signature cocktail?  We did! All our guests received custom 5-spice Asian bitters as a favor,​ which could be added to alcohol or tea (you can even cook with it). The bar served the bitters in our signature cocktail, and guests got to keep a sample.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  As is traditional Chinese custom, I changed into a qi pao dress that I had custom-made for my wedding. While I was changing into my qi pao, my mother and aunts (her sisters) spent time adorning me with a ton of gold jewelry that is passed from generation to generation, which was a really beautiful moment.

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  There was a lot of DIY! I was very hands-on with the whole process, from conceptualizing our motif and the illustration for the invitation, to working on our our wedding website, to creating wedding favors. And I had a lot of help: my friend and bridesmaid is a graphic designer and illustrator, so she helped me with the visuals and the invitations, menus, and signage; my cousin-in-law helped with the wedding favors.

 

Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink

 

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? ​ Our cake was so delicious. It was an angel food cake filled with strawberry ​preserves and ​​​white​ ​chocolate​ ​mousse.​ I found some inspiration online for an “art deco” cake design and asked our pastry chef to re-create that feeling.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Make sure to set aside time for you and your groom to eat. We served delicious food, but we neither Daniel nor I had much of a chance to eat!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I​ would have​ done a sound check before the wedding! The only issue I had with my wedding at all was that the speakers were way too loud for a portion of the ceremony and reception.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  Our wedsite!

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  My favorite moment was actually when my husband and I had a chance to sneak away from the party. We spent so much time speaking with and thanking our guests that we didn’t have much time for each other. It was really lovely to step away for the moment, sit outside with our shoes off under the moonlight and stars, hand-in-hand, my head on his shoulder, and just ​enjoy the happy quiet.

 

Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink Karen Kristian | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Karen Kristian / Venue: The Garrison in Garrison, New York / Event Planning & Design: Bettina Chin / Dress: Pronovias / Rhinestone Headband: Jennifer Behr / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Chevron Tabard from LeLuxe Clothing / Suit, Tie: Burberry / Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent / Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang / Stationery: Naomi Otsu Illustration and Design / Floral Design: Lee Vasquez Floral Design / Hair: Aut Sivongxay / Ceremony Music: The Metropolitan Hot Club / DJ: Jason Scott Henderson / Cake: The Pastry Garden
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  • Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding by Karen Kristian

    19 January 2015
  • 4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Amy and Greg wanted a wedding that focused more on the friends and family gathered to celebrate, than on making a big production. The result was an intimate summer wedding at a favorite restaurant – proof that small and simple can be just perfect…

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS INTIMATE RESTAURANT WEDDING BY KRISTEN WOOD.

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    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink

     

    From Lidia of La Fleuriste, a Snippet & Ink Select vendor: “Amy had mentioned an affinity for smaller blooms, such as lily of the valley, spray roses, etc. Her bouquet included a variety of petite garden roses, sweet peas, sweet basil, lisianthus, lily of the valley, ranunculus, and accents of organic greens. Her head wreath was made with lily of the valley and creeping fig.”

     

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    The Ceremony

    More from Lidia: “I loved the process of working with Amy on her wedding flowers. She was such a sweet bride! She contacted me after seeing my work on Snippet & Ink, and in the months that followed, we met in person and exchanged numerous emails about flowers, vases, and inspiration. Amy wanted a very classic look – focusing on white flowers with hints of natural greenery. She mentioned that Greg’s father was Italian and this became a subtle theme for the day. It was also appropriate given the venue for the wedding. As part of the altar décor we used olive branches featured in Tuscan cachepots. I even included stems of sweet basil in her bouquet.”

     

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    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Short, simple, traditional.

    How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  I looked up “Traditional Roman Catholic Vows” on Google and followed that. What was important to us was that they were the same words that many other people had said before us.

    Who officiated your ceremony?  Greg’s dad officiated our ceremony. It just seemed like a natural fit.

    Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  Our ceremony was very minimalist: the traditional walk down the aisle, giving away of the bride, the vows themselves, and the kiss. We didn’t have any readings. I would just say to other brides who are planning and who might be like me and thinking that to have a ceremony that is long and/or personalized is somehow going to be boring for people (or for you!), really give it a lot of thought before making that decision. You want to show everybody a good time, but you also want to put the appropriate emphasis on what this day is all about.

    What was your ceremony music?  My processional music was a lovely instrumental song by a Welsh band called Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci called The Blues Trees from the album of the same name. Our recessional song was also by that band and from that album and it is called Fresher than the Sweetness in Water.

    What were your vows like?  Taken from the Internet, we did not write them ourselves, but after reflecting back, we both wish we’d written at least part of the ceremony ourselves. It was great to have the tradition, but the ceremony didn’t end up feeling personal enough for us.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  The kiss.

     

    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink
    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “We knew that, to save money, we wanted to have our reception and ceremony in the same place. And we couldn’t imagine having a reception in a place that did not have amazing, rustic, delicious food and great wine and cocktails. Plus Pizzaiolo is one of Greg’s parents’ favorite restaurants. And also they have a beautiful backyard, complete with a fountain and a bocce court.”

     

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    How would you describe your reception?  Like a big dinner party.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The simplicity and conviviality of both weddings in the first Godfather movie.

    Did you have a signature cocktail?  We had two. Mine was something called Smoke and Flowers (it involves, among other things, smoky scotch and St. Germain) from Hotel Delmano in Brooklyn (where we live). And Greg’s was a classic Negroni.

    What was your wedding menu?  To be completely honest with you, I can’t remember. We didn’t know what our menu would be until we arrived at the wedding (they shop for a wedding dinner a lot like any other dinner service there, using the greenmarket), and we were so busy talking and introducing ourselves to people that we didn’t really have time to take in the name of each dish. I do remember that all of the food was rustic, simple, and delicious, and that everybody loved it.

    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  In honor of Italy, America, and my family’s love of this kind of ice cream, we had a Neapolitan cake, with alternating layers of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla cake – naked, so you could see the layers and frosted with an Italian meringue buttercream with chopped up strawberries in between.

     

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    Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  They’re not pictured, but I made our save the dates out of vintage airmail stationary using the font from Moonrise Kingdom. It’s a hand-drawn font, but I got a printout of all the letters and numbers and then using airmail paper (which happens to be transparent) traced the letters onto the page. I was pretty proud of myself.

     

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    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  It’s not about the wedding; it’s about the marriage.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Nothing will matter more to you on that day than being surrounded by people you love and who love you. Make your guest list your number one priority.

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  If you pick a space (or spaces) with good design built in, you will have to pay less to embellish it and you will also have less to worry about. Pick people whose work you really love and feel a connection to and then see what they can do within your budget. I was very lucky with my photographer and my florist – I never felt pressured to spend more than I had and I always felt they were excited to work with me, on my side, and wanted to create something beautiful and cool. I also think that a wedding doesn’t have to be at all splashy and in fact some of the best weddings are the ones that are the most humble and modest. It’s really about the people you have there and the connection you feel with them.

     

    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink
    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Cutting the cake was fun, because it’s such an iconic moment. Plus we hadn’t seen the cake before, and it was so beautiful.

     

    Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink Kristen Wood, La Fleuriste | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Kristen Wood / Venue, Catering, Coordination: Pizzaiolo Restaurant in Oakland, California / Dress: Leanne Marshall / Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Suit: Bindle and Keep / Tie by Penguin / Shoes: Cole Haan / Floral Design, Floral Crown: La Fleuriste / Stationery: Rifle Paper Co. / Rentals: Event Magic / Cake, Dessert: Kiri Mah
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  • Oakland Wedding at Pizzaiolo by Kristen Wood

    12 January 2015
  • 7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Happy New Year! I can think of no better way to ring in 2015 than with this cheery ranch wedding – sweet yellow flowers, an elegantly rustic outdoor setting, classic bridal style. Gorgeous!

    SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS CALIFORNIA RANCH WEDDING BY SILVANA DI FRANCO.

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    Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Something old: My veil has been worn my all the women on my mom’s side of the family dating back to my great grandmother. Something new: My dress. Something borrowed/blue: My mom’s sapphire and pearl horse shoe pin that my grandmother gave her on her wedding day to my dad. It was originally gifted to her by my grandfather for an anniversary gift. My sister and I both borrowed it for our wedding days.

     

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    The Ceremony

    “For as long as I can remember, I wished that one day I would be married at my family’s ranch. It is a place rooted in memories, family, love and tradition. The ceremony took place under a large madrone tree which was planted by my grandfather. My sister was also married under the madrone the year before.”

     

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    Your ceremony in three words.  Classic, Cheerful, Warm

    Who officiated your ceremony?  The same priest who married my parents and my sister also married us. He and my father lived together in college and he has been a dear friend of our family for my entire life. We were married under the Madrone tree where my sister had been married the year before and our yellow lab, Purdey was our ring barrier.

    Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  The ceremony and vows were traditional, but we did add a few traditions of our own including a bag piper, bluegrass band, our dog Purdy the ring bearer, and a Scottish hymn performed by Paul’s cousins.

     

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    What was your ceremony music?  The ceremony music began with a bagpiper who lead our guests to their seats and the rest of the music was instrumental and preferred by a bluegrass band. The processional song I chose for our parents and grandparents was Red River Valley. I chose this because it reminds me of the ranch and it is also known as the Cowboy Wedding Song. My bridesmaids processed to Here Comes The Sun, and my dad and I walked down the isle to Wild Mountain Thyme. Paul’s cousins and aunt sang “Wild Mountain Thyme” during the ceremony. It is such a beautiful Scottish hymn and was definitely one of the highlights for me.

    What were your ceremony readings?  “On Love” by Thomas Kempis, “Love is an Adventure” by Pierre Tielhart de Chardin, and “Wedding Prayer” by Robert Lewis Stevenson was printed on the back of our programs.

    What were your vows like?  We said traditional vows.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Paul and all of our friends and family standing and smiling at me. It all seemed to hit me at once and I was overwhelmed with happiness. I remember my lower lip was uncontrollably quivering and it took everything I had not to burst into happy tears.

     

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    The Reception

    “Our reception was light hearted, boisterous, farm to table, yellow, rustic and romantic. Our band had tons of energy and had everyone out on the dance floor after dinner – they played 30 minutes past their contract! We also had bistro lighting strung over the pool and large paper globe lanterns hanging in the oak trees over the dance floor that helped create the warm and majestic ambiance I was after.”

     

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    Why did you choose this location for your reception?  Our cocktail reception opened into the ceremony area once the chairs were moved. Our dinner reception area was around the pool also adjacent to the ceremony location.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  I was inspired by the idea of an outdoor French, Provence bistro. I imagined lots of yellow, garden roses, herbs, bistro lights natural wood and stripes! I also love texture and wanted everything to be in keeping with the natural beauty of the ranch.

    Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  One of my favorite details was our escort card table. We had them set up on a rustic, vintage wagon with antique bottles filled with posies and herbs.

     

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    Menu:
    signature cocktail: firefly sweet tea vodka, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, sparkling water, mint // amuse: sweet white corn soup with dungeness crab, basil and chili oil // salad: frog hollow grilled peaches, county line arugula, endive and butter lettuce, with sherry vinaigrette, marcona almonds and chevré // entree: rack of lamb with marble potatoes, sea salt and local cress, with gypsy peppers, toy box eggplant, baby artichokes, summer squash and mediterranean salsa verde // dessert: passed chocolate and salted caramel pots de creme / gourmet s’mores station / coconut pineapple wedding cake with cream cheese frosting

    Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  My mom and I spent several weekends and week nights making rosemary olive oil bottles, rosemary sea salt favors, welcome candy bags and tying ribbons to everything. For the rosemary sea salt favors we got small Weck jars and filled them with rosemary sea salt. The labels said “Rosemary sea salt to remember our day,” as rosemary is the symbol of remembrance. It was all very time consuming, but we had fun with it, and lots of laughs!

     

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    What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?  Paul and I danced to “Rose of My Heart” by Johnny Cash and “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” by Jackie Wilson. My dad came out to the dance floor with the theme song from The Good, Bad and the Ugly (a tradition my sister started the year before) and we danced to “Do You Believe In Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. Paul and his mom danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  It all goes so fast, so remember take a few private moments to take it all in.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Try to have fun and enjoy the process as much as you can. Stress is inevitable, but at the end of the day, it should be an enjoyable experience.

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  By the end of the night our two family’s were on the stage with the band, screaming whatever song they were singing at the top of our lungs and all of the men had their shirts ripped open.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  This is a tough question…sabering the champagne and cutting our cake was a special moment that I will remember forever.

     

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    Photography: Silvana di Franco / Event Planning & Design: MAP Events / Venue: Private Family Ranch in Gilroy, California / Dress: Oscar de la Renta / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Stationery: Bella Figura / Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy / Floral Design: Brown Paper Design / Hair, Makeup: Sarah Hyde / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Ceremony Music: The Get Down Boys / Band: Notorious / Catering: Sage Catering / Cake: SusieCakes / Linens: La Tavola / Lighting: Got Light

    Silvana di Franco, MAP Events, Brown Paper Design, Bella Figura, and La Tavola are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

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  • California Ranch Wedding by Silvana Di Franco

    5 January 2015
  • 5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    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.

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    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.

     

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    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
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  • Camp Eseeola Wedding in North Carolina by Nancy Ray

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

    There are a few venues that I fall in love with every time I see them, and Serenbe is one of them, especially when it’s the backdrop for such a magical wedding. Designer Jessica Sloane did such an incredible job with all the details, photographer Jessica Lorren captured it beautifully… and I mean really, listen to this:

    “A few months into dating, Daniel and I realized that his parents’ and my parents’ anniversaries were both in June,” says Melanie. “Okay, that’s pretty cool, we thought. But then we realized both anniversaries were on June 25th… Then we realized they were both married on June 25, 1988. Um…what?! Is that even possible? We knew if we ever got married, we would have to choose June 25th because, really, how could we not? After he proposed to me, we started planning our wedding for our parents’ 26th wedding anniversaries.”

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS ROMANTIC SERENBE WEDDING BY JESSICA LORREN.

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
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    Tell us about your beautiful dress.  Being in the wedding industry, I see so many wedding details and so many dresses. I was very picky when it came to certain aspects of the wedding, one of which was my dress. I wanted something custom, but also something that wasn’t going to break the bank. I was referred to Miss Tashina by a friend and it was one of the best decisions I made. After going back and forth with pins and ideas and inspiration, I sketched out my final design and sent it to her. She brought my vision to life in a way that I could never have imagined. I threw in my idea for a custom veil super last minute, and once again, she worked her magic. Everything was absolutely perfect! A dream come true.

     

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    Any special details?  Daniel wore his great great grandfather’s pocket watch. It was such a special heirloom to carry with him on such a special day! Also, the week before the wedding, while packing boxes for our long drive from south Florida to northern Georgia, my parents gave us their toasting glasses to use for our toast. It was so sweet and so special to use those glasses on their 26th anniversary!

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “We chose our pastor for a very special reason,” says Melanie. “He had been my husband Daniel’s mentor and big brother figure for over 10 years, and it was so special to have him be such a big part of our day. When he introduced himself and explained his relationship to Daniel to our guests, he also took a second to describe Daniel’s character and choked up mid-way. I cried my eyes out. We let him have control of the order of the ceremony and what he wanted to say, but we knew we wanted him to share the gospel with our guests, the picture that marriage represents in the Bible, the deep and powerful meaning of love, and to pray over our marriage. It was the most beautiful ceremony I had ever heard. He did an absolutely perfect job!”

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink

     

    Ceremony Music: We were so blessed to have my cousin Matthew play the music for our ceremony. All of the music was instrumental, played on acoustic guitar. Simple and beautiful.
    Processional, bridal party: “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
    Processional, bride: “Marry Me” by Train
    Recessional: “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words. Romantic, Intimate, Heartfelt.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Melanie: My favorite part of our ceremony, and one of my favorite moments of the day, was our vows. we chose to write our own. To me, it was so much more intimate and heartfelt. Pouring out my heart to him. Listening to him pour his heart out to me. Our dearest friends and family there witnessing what we were promising to each other. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye there. The two of us, our bridal party, our parents, our photographer, our guests… everyone was crying. But when you’re promising something that deep and that important, it’s hard for those words not to reach in and grab hold of your soul. When we finished our vows, my father-in-law uncontrollably let out a shout “I just love everyone!” // Daniel: My favorite moment of the day was the moment our officiant pronounced us man and wife, because at that moment, she was finally mine.

    READ MELANIE AND DANIEL’S PERSONAL VOWS RIGHT HERE.

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “We wanted a small, intimate wedding so that we could really focus on each other and be able to enjoy the day. We knew a destination wedding would be a great way to do that, but didn’t want the stress of coordinating a wedding in the typical destination wedding locations such as Europe or the Caribbean. Serenbe was such a quaint location with the perfect feel, and it was easy to incorporate our wedding inspiration.”

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
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    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink

     

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Our wedding was inspired by us! Our planner did a fantastic job of breaking down what our top five values were as a couple so that we could be sure that we made our wedding about us and our story. Our top values were: romantic, honest and heartfelt, simple and clean, organic, and elegant. She then took those values and helped me tie them into the vision I had for a French Provençal wedding, since Provence is one of our favorite places in the world!

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Melanie: I have so many favorite moments, but one of the ones that sticks with me the most was our first look. I was all dressed up, walking toward the person I would spend the rest of my life with, my very best friend in the entire world. With butterflies in my stomach, it was all I could do not to burst into tears and just run into his arms! The moment he turned around, he smiled, wrapped me in his arms and with tears in his eyes he whispered, “You look like a princess.” And the world just stopped. In that moment, it was just us, holding each other close. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Our wedding gifts to each other were special in their own ways. I had a family crest designed by our calligrapher, Signora e Mare, and then had it hand painted on a guitar pedal as a surprise to my musician husband-to-be. In his letter to me the morning of our wedding, he wrote that his gift to me wasn’t something I could unwrap and that I would have to wait until later to find out what it was! I love surprises, but the suspense almost killed me. In the busyness of the day, I had completely forgotten about it, but just after our toasts, I was asked to take a seat and the groomsmen were scurrying around the dance floor. I had no clue what was happening until the instruments came out and my husband started singing a song about our love story. The lyrics included our parents’ wedding day in 1988, the day he proposed to me, our wedding day finally being here, and the chorus “Love comes and takes away what we thought was a dream.” And he was right. It was our reality. The start of our new lives together.

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
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    Dessert Buffet:  Lavender Shortbread Cookies / Salted Caramels / Espresso Madeleines / French Breakfast Puffs / Lavender Créme Brûlée / Mini Lavender Tarts / French Macarons / Mini Almond Croissants / Chocolate Wedding Cake with Vanilla Espresso Bean Buttercream

    Signature Drinks:  Lavender Lemonade / Peach Basil Cooler / Blackberry Clove Spritzer / Rosemary Cardamon Sparkler

    First Dance Song:  “What Can I Do” by Joy Williams. I still get tears in my eyes when I listen to the words of that song!

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  I received two crucial bits of advice before my wedding day. The first was that things won’t go perfectly, but at the end of the day you’re married to your best friend and that’s all that matters. We had so many crazy things happen to us… we had to change our venue just three days before the wedding, our coordinator woke up with the flu on the morning of our wedding, our flower girl had an eye infection, some of our rental items arrived late so everything ran behind, the sparklers never arrived, I had bugs in my dress, one of my bridesmaids tore her dress at the zipper… Everyone expected me to freak out, but I knew that at the end of the day, I was going to be married and that was all that mattered to me. Which brings me to my second bit of advice. Your attitude as a bride affects your guests attitudes. They feed off of you. If you’re upset because nothing is running smoothly, they will be upset. If you’re angry, they’ll be angry. If you act as if everything is perfect and you’re so, so happy because it’s your wedding day (!!!!!) they’ll be so, so happy for you. It’s important to remember this because it’s how your guests will remember your wedding day.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t skimp on your photography! Those precious images will be what you have to remember your wedding for years and years to come. What you hand down to your children and grandchildren years from now. It is such an important and essential part of the wedding day! I am so grateful for our photographer and the irreplaceable gift that she’s given us in those images.

     

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Jessica Lorren / Event Design, Styling, Bride’s Bouquet: Jessica Sloane / Venue: Serenbe Farms in Palmetto, Georgia / Floral Design: Amy Osaba / Dress, Veil: Miss Tashina / Shoes: Chloe flats, BHLDN heels / Crown: Carlee Sizemore / Earrings: BHLDN / Suit: Express / Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos, Macy’s, Nordstrom / Groomsmen Attire: H&M / Stationery, Calligraphy: Signora e Mare / Catering: Sun In My Belly / Desserts: Earth and Sugar / Bouquet Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic / Videography: T&C Photographie / Hair, Makeup: Amanda Agros / Rentals: Goodwin Events
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  • Romantic Serenbe Wedding from Jessica Lorren

    14 October 2014
  • 11 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites