When I first saw a sneak peek of this stunning bouquet on Eric Kelley‘s blog, I was dying to know about the rest of the wedding, so you can imagine how excited I was when Eric offered to share it with us on Snippet & Ink! As soon as you see these photos, I know you’re going to fall for Aris and Ona’s glamorous, romantic ballroom wedding just like I did… (Not to mention, Eric Kelley and hair and makeup artist Lora Kelley are both Select vendors!)
The bride’s bouquet included white peonies and clematis blooms and vines. A pale gray blue ribbon was the perfect accent, and echoed the color of the bridesmaid dresses.
The couple’s rings were carried in a custom ring dish by Paloma’s Nest.
The doors of the church were adorned with wreaths of olive leaves and white roses.
Says Ona: “My husband is 100% Greek Orthodox and his entire family is very traditional Orthodox as well. Our ceremony was at the Greek Church, so everything in the ceremony had great significance.”
I love this little detail: Favor boxes were finished with a wax seal of the newlyweds’ monogram, which also happens to spell out OPA! They were filled with five koufeta, traditional white sugar covered almonds. “They represent the bittersweet life of a married couple,” says the bride, “and each of the five almonds symbolizes a wish for the new husband and wife: happiness, health, wealth, children and a long life.”
In addition to two types of wedding cake, there was also a tea and cookie bar with cookies made by the groom’s grandmother.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? When my husband and I began our search for a venue we knew we wanted a few specifics – first, the food had to be amazing (my husband is a really big foodie); second, it had to be in the city, preferably close to where we had lived through our entire 5 year relationship; and finally, it had to feel like “us.” One of our favorite restaurants in the city had always been Blue Duck Tavern, which was also conveniently a block away from our condo. When we learned that the Blue Duck also catered all of the food straight from there kitchen to your guests’ tables for weddings at the Park Hyatt we were pretty much sold. Add in that the venue was modern yet still maintained a very cozy and organic atmosphere it was perfectly us!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? When I envisioned our wedding I wanted our guests to feel transported into, for lack of a better term, an enchanted forest. I wanted our wedding to feel very organic, unstructured, whimsical, and romantic. I envisioned bringing the outdoors inside – with branches and candlelight, soft colors and wood.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? My husband and I both agree that our favorite moment was walking into the ballroom before our guests to get a sneak peak. It was that moment when you realized everything you had envisioned and dreamed off was even better in reality.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Think of your wedding as a play – with each part being it’s own significant act. What do you want your guests to think, feel, experience. Go at it each one individually.
What advice do you have for other brides? Do your research & then trust your vendors! Everyone tells me that I was one of the calmest brides they’d ever seen. And honestly, it was because I had totally faith in all of my vendors doing what I hired them to do. My husband and I had so much fun on our wedding day – we were full of energy and life…and our guests just fed off of that momentum. It was one big party and completely perfect.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? First of all – Overestimate! You will almost always spend more then you think. Keep a little stash away towards the end because all of the “minor” details really start to add up to a lot. Let photography be a big money item…it’s all you have to look back on; don’t skimp here! Oh, and when it comes to lighting – yes, it’s expensive; but it also completely finishes off your atmosphere.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? We worked really hard to make sure that their were constant little touches and details that stood out as “us”. We both grew up in families that worked in agriculture. Our rehearsal dinner incorporated original wooden produce boxes from when his great grandfather founded their company. Our favors that evening were mini versions of the boxes with fruit & vegetable candies. On the day of our wedding I had him wear black jack cufflinks, his favorite gambling game. I also tucked away my great grandmother’s handkerchief in my dress. We used OPA in various places, as it is both our monogram and is used to signify a celebration in Greek. I could go on and on…but basically everywhere throughout the wedding the details were consistent with little tokens of “us”.