Now that the year is coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to share our top fifteen weddings of the year with you! We’re so grateful for our sweet brides & grooms who shared their stories with us. So without further ado, our BEST OF 2016…
Lauren & Josh’s Chic Wedding at Winterthur Museum, Delaware
Lauren and Josh’s incredibly romantic wedding celebration is about as stylish and chic as they come. Her stunning Stella McCartney wedding dress, the lush thousand acre gardens, and the rich and moody color tones of this wedding are so inspiring. If her long sweeping train is any indication, this one will take your breath away!
Photography: Meredith Heuer
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Relax and have fun!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Do whatever you need to do before the wedding day to make it perfect, but when the day comes just let things happen as they will. There may be small hiccups, and there were in mine, but don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let anything ruin your day!
“We kept to the traditions that meant the most to us, hearing our close friends and family reflect on our relationship and lives during the speeches and exchanging our own vows in front of our guests was all the traditions we needed. My engagement ring is actually a family heirloom of Josh’s, which was give to him by his grandmother. It’s been in the family for almost ninety years. It feels modern and fresh but still timeless and classic—an engagement ring that stands the test of time.”
Lauren carried the most romantic bouquet filled with dusty pink roses, black and white anemone, and soft green foliage such as sprouted eucalyptus. The delicate tones and sweeping florals are like something from a fairy-tale.
Floral Design: Petals and Moss
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Given both of our professional experience, we felt confident in planning the wedding ourselves. The most rewarding part of the entire process was 100% the people we collaborated with. Some were people we knew personally, others we met along the way, but we had a creative connection to everyone we worked with, including the staff at Winterthur.
“The styling was very much thought out. I went to a lot of different bridal spots in NYC, and couldn’t really find anything that fit my personal style—very clean and modern, yet classic and timeless. While waiting for my bridal appointment at Bergdorf’s I spotted a Stella McCartney gown I loved. I was with my mom and mother in law, and when I tried it on it felt like this is THE dress.”
“The ceremony setting was surrounded by 100 year old trees, overflowing florals, and lush gardens, where all of the guests were seated around and old reflecting pool in the gardens of the DuPont estate. I was escorted down a long cobble staircase at dusk by my father to meet josh and all of the guests at the start of the ceremony, while a single violinist played a few pieces from Bach symphonies.”
Your ceremony in three words. Personal, family, intimate, old-world romanticism.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? The most important part to us was to share a personal, intimate, moment between the two of us with our family friends. We decided not having a bridal party would give us the intimacy we wanted, and writing our own vows would make it feel personal and romantic.
Who officiated your ceremony? A dear friend to us that we have known for several years while living in Brooklyn. She has previously done several weddings, so it was a no brainer asking her to officiate ours. Given her experience, she really helped us shape the ceremony into what felt personal and right for us.
What was your ceremony music? We loved the idea of a single violinist playing for the ceremony. My sister’s very close and talented friend played for us. She played classics like Winter’s Tale—not expected wedding processions. It was beautiful.
What were your ceremony readings? No readings. Our officiant shaped the ceremony through telling personal stories of us, along with speaking to our parents and sharing their thoughts and on our union.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. It was important to us not to recite after the Officiate, and to speak on our own. We did however decide to keep some tradition by ending our vows with a traditional ring vow.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Honestly, everything! And the fact that Josh cried…A LOT.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? When we were deciding on décor for the ceremony, Josh’s made the observation that white chairs would detract from the setting, and instead we should use black iron ones. He nailed that one! We were very careful to enhance where we needed to, while not taking away from the natural beauty of Winterthur.
“Getting married at Winterthur, I wanted a nod to the DuPont era of the 1930’s—I knew I wanted a simple dress but wanted the drama to come from the veil and a cascading bouquet of flowers. So I added and extra two feet of tulle for the exaggeration of the veil when I walked down the stair case. Taking Pictures before with an extra long veil was quite the challenge but ended up being some of our favorite pictures!”
Why did you choose this venue for your wedding? Originally we were drawn to the idea and aesthetic of getting married somewhere in the European countryside. But with busy work schedules, we decided it was best to do something close to home. We had previously visited Winterthur Museum while spending a holiday with my parents. The museum was formerly the childhood home Henry DuPont, and sits on a thousand acres encompassing rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Through Mr. DuPont’s passion for American decorative arts and horticulture, he later opened the home to the public, founding Winterthur Museum and Garden. We chose Winterthur because it had the European influence and aesthetic we were looking for.
“We wanted our guests to explore the grounds of the thousand acre estate as we did when we first came to Winterthur. So, having the reception and the cocktail hour at the reflecting pool, we then escorted the guests through the house to the front of the property where we designed a open tent concept covered with string lights that overlooked a stream of water called Clenney Run. We knew we wanted the dinner party to be all candle lit and keep it moody and romantic of course!”
How would you describe your reception? SIMPLE. We wanted it to be two things: a great sit down dinner for our friends and family to enjoy, and of course a great dance party! We threw out the usual American traditions of first dances and entry announcements. We were more inspired and touched but our family and friends clever speeches through out the dinner portion. Our band, Kokolo, created a warm and unexpected environment—playing jazz with influences of afrobeat funk to shake things up a bit!
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. When deciding on the table setting and décor, Josh found an old image from the 1940’s of a grand feast using lots of fruits and cascading florals. We loved this idea of a feast! We decided to go with a deep, rich and moody palette of rich plums and burgundy with accents of soft pink and deep greens. Our amazing florist and good friend Nancy, from Petals and Moss, then layered in plums, figs, and concord grapes which all the guests snacked on in between courses.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Accentuating the natural environment of Winterthur, engaging our guests in the celebration, and having our personal taste reflected in the décor and style.
Did you have a signature cocktail? No, but we did make sure to have specific alcohol we new guests enjoyed.
Menu: Start: Amuse Bouche of Gingersnap Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry Reduction and Candied Pecan // Salad: Baby Spinach, Oak leaf, and Endive salad with Honey Toasted Pine Nuts and Crumbled Feta and Fig Vinaigrette // Main: Mediterranean Grouper with Roasted Peppers and Onions, Basil Pesto, and Mascarpone-Citrus Polenta / Hanger Steak with Fingerling Potatoes, and Grilled Vegetables // Main dish was followed by a Lemon and Lavender Sorbet.
Catering by Restaurant Associates.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Almond cake with buttercream filling and frosting. It was so yummy!
Cake by The Master’s Baker.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The mini cakes! We had several small cakes for each table in lieu of one big wedding cake. Josh came up with the idea because we wanted to engage all of our guests in the cake cutting. It was a fun way to nominate some of our guests to cut the cake with us, and was one of the highlights of the entire night!
“After the reception we hosted an afterparty back at the reflecting pool. We surrounded the entire space with tons of candles and danced the night away to 70’s and 80’s classics! A friend of ours from New York, Jason DJ’d till the early hours of the morning. Since it was officially the dance party of the night, I changed into a simple white Club Monaco t-shirt and white Stella McCartney wide leg trouser.”
“Music was a major part of the wedding. Josh comes from a musical family and wanted to ensure we had a few surprises through the night. We wanted to break away from the transitional jazz bands or wedding singers that don’t feel special theses days. We wanted to give our guests a little taste of New York. So we brought in Kokolo, an afro-beat funk band from New York with a cult following from around the world. The five piece band played a nice up-beat mix through out the reception which had everyone on the dance floor.”
What was your first dance song? We didn’t do planned dances. After dinner everyone hit the dance floor, the circle naturally formed and we had our first dance along with the father/mother dances as the night flowed.
Reception Music Performed by Kokolo.