There are few places on earth more spectacular than Glacier National Park – what a magnificent place to be wed! Elaine and Mark chose it because it’s one of their favorite places, and husband and wife photography duo, Jeremiah and Rachel, captured the celebration perfectly…
Says the bride, “Mark and I love outdoor adventure and travel. One of our first dates was a long weekend of climbing mountains in Glacier National Park, where I grew up playing each summer. We chose to get married in Many Glacier Valley because of the spectacular mountains, because it was already memorable for both of us, and it’s a place we’re sure to return to many times.”
The bride’s favorite part of the day? “Sitting on the bow of the boat with Mark after dinner, as we cruised around Swiftcurrent Lake, watching the mountains drift by. The weather has cooperated, the ceremony had gone off beautifully, and we had hours more celebration to come.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The natural beauty of the place was our inspiration. We planned the day around sharing our favorite things about Montana with our guests, most of whom had never visited before. We also chose not worry about adding details beyond that, and to rely on the general spectacle of being there all together.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… and a sixpence in her shoe. It’s good to have British aunts who explain these things to you and provide the sixpence!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? I heard that after so much hard work and anticipation that the day can seem to be over too soon. So we planned five days of celebration, at my mother’s house on Swan River, at Many Glacier and on the shore of Flathead Lake. We were completely exhausted by the end, but it was a good choice.
What advice do you have for other brides? Keep the invite list short, go big on a couple things and skip the ones that aren’t important to you.
Today’s laid back DIY wedding from Select vendorCappy Hotchkiss has us dreaming about sunny summer days. Says the bride: “We knew we wanted to be married on the East End of Long Island – it’s truly our happy place. As soon as we saw Bridge Gardens, we knew it was meant to be. Michael and I are both Californians who have fallen in love with the East Coast, in large part, due to the East End. Our wedding weekend was the first time we were able to share this special place with our family. It was so great to see the people we love fall in love with a place we love!”
“My parent’s song was Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles, which played during their recessional. My oldest sister used this as her recessional music too, and it has become a Perth girl tradition – I was the third and final daughter to have this song play as I walked down the aisle hand in hand with my new husband!”
The wedding included lots of personal touches: the bride did a drawing of Long Island used on the save-the-dates; an uncle officiated the ceremony; the cake was Michael’s mom’s famous mud pie (“Our caterer used the family recipe tweaking it only to make it into a beautiful three tiered cake. It is our favorite dessert and was a special way to incorporate her memory into our special day.”); the signature drink was called Mikey’s Mystery Cocktail (“because the groom famously has never had an established drink of choice”); the DIY table numbers were made from vintage botanical books found by the bride’s mother; the bride and her mother also went to the local nursery and bought tons of different potted plants for the escort table (“We later replanted these in our garden.”); the bridesmaids and flower all wore wreaths in their hair, made by the bride’s sister and sister-in-law.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We were inspired by the outdoors. We wanted our evening to capture what we love most about summer nights in the Hamptons. Our look was laid back, yet timeless and classic. We didn’t want to compete with the natural beauty of Bridge Gardens so we went for a very organic and natural look – like our very own little garden party.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? My favorite moment from the day was when Michael was giving his toast and asked for a moment of silence to just look around the room and take in all the faces. Holding hands, we stood there together, and did just this. I have never felt such overwhelming love – having my husband by my side and feeling the love in the room is a moment I will never forget.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? There may only be one time in your life where you stand in a room full of people that have all joined together to celebrate you. Don’t let this moment pass you by. Make sure to take a minute, to look out at that crowd and feel their love.
What advice do you have for other brides? Enjoy the moment! Don’t get too caught up in the fuss of creating the perfect day – in the end, it is the moments that you can’t plan for that end up being the most cherished memories, so just sit back, relax and soak it in!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Prioritize! There are a lot of expenses that go into making a night an amazing party. Decide what you think is most important and then stick to it! In our minds we placed the value of the guests’ experience above anything else – as such, we prioritized things like music, food and venue.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? The earrings I wore were my “something borrowed.” They were borrowed from one of my best friends who couldn’t be at the wedding, and I loved knowing that a piece of her was with me on our big day. The necklace I wore is by Tiffany, and was given to me by Michael on our wedding day. The bracelets I wore, I wear everyday – the gold bracelet was my dad’s and the delicate rose gold bracelet was a gift from my parents. // Michael’s mom passed away from cancer in 2005 during the first year of our relationship. As a gift to him on our wedding day, I sewed his mom’s initials into the lapel of his jacket as a memento and tribute to her that he could carry with him on this special day.
I know I say it all the time, but I’m a sucker for a classic Southern wedding! This elegant South Carolina celebration comes to us from Landon Jacob and Spencer Special Events, and it’s full of lovely Southern details from magnolia leaf garlands to boiled peanuts. I know you’ll love this one as much as I do!
Says the bride, “We wanted a classic, elegant, lovely, Southern wedding. We wanted the focus to be the May River, and to showcase the beautiful Lowcountry. We chose neutral colors throughout (white flowers and champagne bridesmaid dresses) to enhance the natural colors of the river and marsh, trees, and Spanish moss.”
After taking pictures inside and outside the church, the bride, groom and wedding party boarded a boat which took them down the May River to the bride’s parents’ dock, where they joined the rest of the guests for the reception in the bride’s parents’ backyard.
“Our favorite part of the day was the boat ride between the church and the reception with our wedding party,” share the couple. “We loved having that special time to celebrate with our closest friends and family. Catching our first view of the reception was a spectacular sight.”
The reception featured bluegrass music by the Savannah River Bluegrass Band, plus a Southern menu: fried oysters, tomato sandwiches, ham biscuits, boiled peanuts, fried green tomatoes, jumbo lump crab cakes, shrimp and grits, beef tenderloin, and collards in squash boats.
The dramatic cake was created by Minette Rushing Cakes, and featured hundreds of realistic sugar flowers. Each tier was a different flavor: pound cake with vanilla buttercream, chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream, vanilla cake with raspberry and white chocolate mousse filling, chocolate cake with caramel and white chocolate mousse filling, and pound cake with caramel and white chocolate mousse filling.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We chose this location because I grew up in Bluffton, and we both love the Lowcountry. We chose to get married at the Church of the Cross because it is where my family has attended church all of my life. The Church of the Cross is a gorgeous, historic church in the heart of downtown Bluffton. The beautiful setting of my parents’ home on the May River in Bluffton was the perfect location for our outside reception. The view of the marsh and river in October is breathtaking.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We celebrated communion in the church service. At the reception, we had the father-daughter dance, the mother-son dance, we cut the cake, and I threw the bouquet. Our friends and family threw white confetti when we left the reception.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To take the time to step back and soak in every moment of the wedding day.
What advice do you have for other brides? My advice would be to first of all, enjoy the planning process! Keep your perspective and don’t get wrapped up in the tiny details. It doesn’t matter if the drink stirrers don’t perfectly match the cocktail napkins! You are marrying the love of your life, and that should be your focus. Secondly, look around you at your reception. Take in the flowers, the music, the atmosphere, the kind words, and most importantly, your guests – your closest family and friends who have traveled from near and far to be with you on this special day. Third, hire a good photographer and videographer. It is worth it to have timeless and beautiful coverage of your wedding day. Finally, soak up every minute, because it all flies by entirely too quickly!
Late summer weddings have the benefit of beautiful weather, gorgeous summer fruit, so many lush flowers to choose from, and the easy going mood of the season. Add a personal ceremony, floral design by Ariella Chezar, photos by Belathée (two of our Select vendors!), and event planning and design by Storied Events, and you’ve got the makings of an extraordinary fête.
Ariella created centerpieces in her signature style, using shades of rich purple and magenta, incorporating dahlias, carnations, zinnias, garden roses, and dusky plums, as well as a variety of foliage.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Even though we had a large wedding, we wanted the day to feel as personal as possible. Robert arranged music that several of our friends played for our ceremony and our first dance, and one of my dearest friends wrote and read a beautiful poem during our ceremony. Our friend officiated and we asked him to write a ceremony that felt specific to us, and Robert and I wrote our own vows together. We also wanted to be able to spend as much time with our guests as possible. Instead of having a smaller rehearsal dinner, we had low key welcome barbecue for everyone. The morning of our wedding, I went to a swimming hole with all my best girl friends, since I had a very small bridal party (just our sisters) and knew we wouldn’t need the whole day to get ready. At the end of the night, we had a fire pit and s’mores for everyone.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? The whole weekend was wonderful. I’ll admit that I had found the planning process quite overwhelming and stressful at times, but when the weekend finally arrived, I felt very calm and was so happy to be surrounded by our family and friends. Two moments really stand out. During our ceremony, the song I walked in to wasn’t quite finished when I got to the front of the aisle. Robert and I just stood there holding hands, crying, looking at each other, looking out at everyone surrounding us, and just paused and waited for the music to play. We hadn’t planned for it, but it is one of the most treasured moments of my life. Another highlight happened after our first dance: everyone was seated for the first course, and the DJ started playing Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” We had planned for low key music during the courses, with dancing following dinner. I think he thought it was a good choice for background music. Well, one of my friends came over to my table and asked me to dance, so I got up, and within moments, the tables were empty and the dance floor was completely packed with people! Not what we had planned for, but we just went with it, and danced the night away!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? A co-worker told me to ask both sets of parents, and ask each yourselves early on: What are your priorities for this wedding? (Such as the size of guest list, type of venue, religious ceremony or not, etc.) She added that, though you know that you can’t make everyone happy with every decision you make, it’s helpful to be clear as possible about things early on and try to balance the most important decisions.