I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Anna and Antonio planned their dream wedding in the Northwest, which meant that all their family and friends would get to experience the region where they fell in love. Haylo Wedding & Events helped the couple plan their Spokane wedding celebration with a traditional ceremony at St. Aloysius Cathedral followed by a picturesque reception at Beacon Hill. White florals and greenery installations by Rose & Blossom added romance while the al fresco, family-style reception was filled with seasonal local cheeses, fish and beers. It’s all set against the venue’s breathtaking views and Forthright Photo captured all the moments in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Our wedding was special and unique in that we planned to have it in the Northwest, which meant that all of our family and friends would get to see and experience the region where we fell in love.  We grew as individuals and as a couple in the Northwest to something truly special. The weekend started with a gathering of our entire guest list at a cruise welcome reception on Lake Coeur d’Alene on a picturesque summer night. We received the blessing of a Jesuit, who connected with all of our guests in a profound and personal way. And ended with the perfect amount of detail at Beacon Hill, including a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream truck, polaroid photobooth and decorations from both the bride and groom’s hometown.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I knew I had found the perfect dress when I tried it on, it fit like a glove, and made me feel like the most authentic me. My mother had flown in from Minnesota for the weekend, so I only had a few days to try on and find the right dress. After trying on quite a few different gowns at multiple boutiques, we landed at David’s Bridal and I spotted a dress that looked very different from the rest. I asked to try it on and the rest was history!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

The bride’s mother decorated the wedding venue and added personal touches to create the feel of an enchanting, classical evening amongst gardens and vineyards. Much of our focus was on blending our families and friends so we wanted to be sure to incorporate long dinner tables and the family-style service to help encourage conversation and promote a large family feel to the meal. Our meal choices were also made with regard to the season and uniqueness of the Northwest, which meant we incorporated local cheeses, fish and beers.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The ceremony itself was incredibly memorable and special for us. We had no idea the emotions and love we were going to feel during the ceremony at St. Aloysius Church at Gonzaga University.  The homily given by Fr. Peter Byrne was incredibly personal and heartfelt that everyone in the church could feel the love. We also incorporated Filipino wedding rituals that incorporated the veil, cords and coins.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

It was the weekend of November 17th, Anna and I were heading back to Seattle for what Anna believed to be a “baby shower” for our friends that recently announced their pregnancy.  In actuality, we were going there to get engaged and the “baby shower” was simply a ploy to get us back to our former and favorite neighborhood of Ballard. This was the place where Anna and I had first lived together when we moved across the country a year or so before; it was where we fell in love.

However, on our way to Seattle things began to unravel with my carefully orchestrated plans. The weather was exceptionally dicey driving through rural Washington and ended up turning into a full-blown snow/sleet storm in the mountain passes, which created a bit of anxiety for both of us. As a result, Anna had picked and scratched at her manicured nails until they appeared as though they had been run over by a lawn mower. This was no good.

This was something I did not think about. I was pretty sure if I were to ask her to marry me with her nails in such a condition, I would be in big trouble. Luckily for me, the morning after our arrival she was so bothered by her nails that she wanted to spend the morning in the nail salon. The rest of the weekend went on without a hitch! We strolled the streets of our old neighborhood, visited the dog park with our yellow Labrador, Dupree, and we ate at the best Caribbean-inspired sandwich shop in all the land.

On Friday evening we made plans to grab a cocktail and dinner at a couple more of our favorite spots, which is where I had planned on proposing. While we were sipping on our overpriced cocktails at the bar, it hit me…I needed someone to grab a picture of the moment, as my plan was to pop the question on the walk to dinner next door. So, when Anna went to the powder room, I explained to our bartender what was going to happen and asked her to take our picture when I was on my knee. Finally, after I had paid for the bill and went to the bathroom to splash water on my face, we left and were off to dinner. Right before we got to the restaurant, I stopped gave Anna a hug, told her I love her more than anything in the world, got on one knee and asked her to marry me. To my surprise, she said “Wait, what?! Are you serious? Is this for real? Is this really happening?” and after I assured her this was very much for real, she said “YES!! Of course!”.

At dinner, we were greeted by our favorite wine sommelier with glasses of champagne, wine and an amazing charcuterie board. To be honest, we were so excited we could hardly eat! Little did Anna know, there was yet another surprise in store for her. I had always known that this night would be something she wanted to share with all of our closest friends and family, so I made a few phone calls and the plan was set.

After dinner, I suggested we keep celebrating and go to another amazing restaurant for drinks. Again, this was all a ploy to get her to the location where twenty of our closest friends from Seattle, Spokane and Minnesota were waiting. When we arrived, Anna cried from excitement and surprise after recognizing all her favorite people were there with us to celebrate our engagement. It was so amazing to see all of the love and support from our friends and family that made that evening and weekend one to remember!!

Photographer: Forthright Photo // Planner: Haylo Wedding & Events // Flowers: Rose & Blossom // Reception Venue & Catering: Beacon Hill Events // Ceremony Venue: St. Aloysius Cathedral // Videographer: Grace Media // Dress: David’s Bridal // Tux: Bonobos // Hair & Makeup: Rachel Jordan Beauty // Furniture Rentals: Event Rents Spokane // Tabletop & Settee Rental: Artifact Rentals // Music: Coeur d’Alene DJ // Limo Service: VIP Party Bus Spokane // Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s Spokane

 

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Brown graduates, Kelley and Jimmy moved from New York to Detroit and marked their new lives with an event that was as much a celebration of Detroit’s renaissance as it was their marriage.  They enlisted the help of Kathy Byrum of Dream Wedding & Event Planners to help them show off Detroit to their many out-of-town guests with fabulous local vendors and a stunning ceremony at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and a show-stopping reception at The Detroit Institute of Arts. Dusty florals and greenery installations by Katie Wachowiak dressed the day and an epic cake by Sweet Heather Anne finished it off. Befitting to the theme, the couple and their guests danced the night away under Diego Rivera’s ultra-famous mural and Blaine Siesser was on hand to capture each moment of Kelly and Jimmy’s day.

 

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What made the wedding special and unique?

When Jimmy and I had gotten engaged we had already made plans to move from New York to Detroit. Jimmy grew up in Detroit as did my parents and grandparents. We were so excited to be moving back during a time that has become known as the renaissance of one of America’s greatest cities and we’ve enjoyed spending time downtown exploring new restaurants and supporting local entrepreneurs. We knew we were going to have a lot of out of town guests so our biggest goal was to show off Detroit! I couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate our new life together in our new city than the Detroit Institute of Art – a true gem of Detroit and rich with important history.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I had the best dress shopping experience! I returned to New York where my little sister (and maid of honor) still lives and set up three appointments at different bridal boutiques for my mom, my sister and me to visit. I was nervous so before the day started I went to dry bar and got my hair done so I would feel confident trying on those dresses. Every appointment was different and special. Ultimately, I returned to the very first boutique we visited and bought the second dress I had ever tried on! I think I knew it was meant to be when the woman assisting me told me she had grown up in Michigan! The dress is Vera Wang’s Kathleen – a strapless mermaid gown with a hand-draped bodice and an inverted flange skirt. When my bridesmaids were asked what they thought my dress would look like, not one came close to guessing it right! And that’s what I loved about my dress, it was so unexpected for me but I felt like a total movie star on our big day.

 

 

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We looked for little ways to add personal touches throughout the weekend. My favorite were the signature cocktail signs we had made with a sketch of our English Cream Retriever puppy, Wally, after whom we named our signature cocktail. On top of that, we had light-up cowboy hats for the dance floor as a nod to my having grown up in Texas. Our invitations had an olive branch emblem on them as a nod to Jimmy’s family’s Greek heritage. The song my dad chose for our father-daughter dance was One Shining Moment by Motown great Diana Ross. And finally, our gift bags were filled with special items from Detroit – a “Detroit vs. Everyone” branded water bottle, Detroit Tiger’s peanuts (Jimmy’s family has been season ticket holders for 30 years), a post card and visitors guide from the Detroit Institute of Arts, along with Sander chocolates.

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Gosh there were so many! From my first look with my dad, to dancing all night with the Diego Rivera mural surrounding all my friends and family, the moment I am always transported back to is when Jimmy and I exchanged our vows. Even though we were standing in front of 300 people, in that moment it felt like it was just the two of us in that church. It was incredibly emotional and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Jimmy’s face.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Jimmy and I met in college at Brown University. He played football and I was on the field hockey team so we bumped in to each other quite a bit in Brown’s athletic training room. At first, I don’t think he was interested in a relationship but I wore him down over time and we were dating by the time he graduated! We both moved to New York out of college and after a few years we moved in together. The weekend Jimmy proposed I should have known it was coming. My parents were visiting New York to celebrate Easter and we had a busy weekend lined up. First thing Saturday morning we were supposed to meet at Bridget’s Garden, a garden located in Madison Square Park, that was named after my mother’s sister and a very special place to our family. I didn’t think anything of it when we got there before everyone else because my family is always late. After a moment, Jimmy grabbed my hands and said, “You ready?” and I instantly knew what was coming. He dropped to one knee and proposed. Meanwhile, he had hired a photographer to capture the whole thing! On top of that, when I came out of shock and we crossed the street to where my family was waiting, we found my family, Jimmy’s family and a group of my closest friends from all over the country waiting with champagne! The rest of the weekend was one big celebration. My sister had organized a big dinner that night at Buddakan in the Meat Packing district followed by a Tex-Mex brunch (my favorite!) on Sunday. Jimmy knew I wanted family and friends to be a part of our engagement and he nailed it!

Kelley // Jimmy from Life in Rewind on Vimeo.

Photography: Blaine Siesser // Wedding Coordination: Kathy Byrum of Dream Wedding & Event Planners // Invitation Designer: Written Word Calligraphy and Design // Florist: Katie Wachowiak // Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament // Reception Venue: The Detroit Institute of Arts // Dress: Vera Wang // Cake: Sweet Heather Anne // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaid Dresses & Clutches: BHLDN // Jewelry & Veil: Jules Joyner Designs // Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kendra Scott // Rings: George Koueiter & Sons Jeweler // Hair & Makeup: Hair Erika Cortez and Makeup Tammy LoMedico // Videographer: PJ Brown of Life in Rewind // Live Music: Your Generation in Concert // Linens: Event Source // Grooms Apparel: Custom // Officiant: Reverand J.J. Mech // Rentals: Gerych’s Flowers, Events and Rentals // Ceremony Music: The Paris Project String Quartet

 

Design team Paper & Moon found inspiration for this shoot from their trips to Marrakesh where they fell in love with the colors, textures and energy. Drawing upon the juxtaposition of an earthy terracotta palette and bright jewel tone the team kept the Moroccan-inspired atmosphere casual and intimate by using traditional poufs and Persian rugs. The airy, industrial setting of Chocolate Factory contrasted perfectly with the romantic and vibrant florals by The Informal Florist, artistic cake by Cove Cake Design and layers of soft textiles and mixed metallics in the tablescape. The laid-back, cozy and boho vibes feel so right, right now and we love the way it’s all captured in these images by Studio Brown.

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Photographer: Studio Brown  // Styling: Paper & Moon // Flowers: The Informal Florist // Stationery: Lettering by GRG // Venue: Chocolate Factory // Dresses: Folkster Bridal and Folkster // Model: Kathleen Yasmin // Hair: Michelle Grimes for Maven // Makeup: Asta // Cakes: Cove Cake Design // Jewelry: Chupi // Costume jewelry and accessories: Folkster

 

Ari and Rolan’s story, which started under the night sky in Haiti, is “deeply rooted in friendship, love, and fun” and their personalized wedding day at Roaring Camp Railroad was befitting of their romance. The couple enlisted Nicole Presley to help them bring their vision to life with a rustic barn ceremony and reception filled with greenery chandeliers, equine-centric touches like the groom’s custom leather suspenders and a gluten-free donut wall by Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery as a focal point in honor of the bride’s favorite treat. Kristin Lin was behind the lens and captured the details and the adorable couple’s love in these images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

I really loved that all of our vendors were people we knew and felt comfortable with. With the exception of our photographer (who soon became a friend anyway), everyone who was working on our wedding made it feel like a big family party where everyone was helping out. Another one of my favorite parts of the wedding were the dances. This really felt like a joining of families, and it was so special. My dad had passed when I was 16, so getting to dance with my husband’s dad (to the song I danced to with my father when I was little) was so sweet, and pretty emotional for everyone who got to see. As far as decor, we had an incredible donut wall set up! This was my favorite creative part of the wedding, and Nicole did an incredible job of making it come to life. We had hanging hoops of greenery decorating the station, a beautiful wooden wall, and three kinds of donuts– gluten free of course!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

My gown was simple, but so elegant. I had gone shopping with my family all day, and by the fourth store it was just my mom and I left feeling tired and ready to go. We only stopped by this second hand bridal shop because it was in a town we rarely go to, but it did not disappoint! All day I had been looking for a sweetheart, strapless, bohemian feeling dress, until I saw this dress hanging on a rack at Second Summer Bride. It was unlike anything I had liked, so I tried it on first. I fell in love right when I saw it, and found myself comparing all of my other options to this one. I wasn’t even expecting to buy a dress that day, but when I looked at my mom with tears in her eyes I knew we had found the one. We celebrated with the assistant who was helping us, picked a gorgeous handmade belt to go with it, and ended up leaving with the dress that night. That dress made me feel simply beautiful.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Our favors were a little piece of us given to our guests. It was a cute little brown paper bag with a stamp on the front that said “besos” and our names. Besos means “kisses” in Spanish, which is my family’s language, but is also what Rolan and I would say while bidding goodnight to each other while we were dating. The paper bag held a handmade chapstick, that was made and assembled by a sweet friend. The donuts were another thing that made our wedding personal, because I only eat gluten free foods! Gluten free donuts are some of my favorite things ever, so it felt like we were sharing a special treat with our friends and family, and it was something we could all enjoy together. Our first dance song made my heart melt, and we actually chose it for this reason: the first line is “You came like a resolution, under a starry sky…” (My Lover – Birdtalker). Rolan’s and my story started under the night sky in Haiti, on a mission trip, so stars bring us back to our early days of blooming love.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

After the ceremony we took family and bridal party photos, and then Rolan and I got to sneak away to take pictures alone. We got to be removed from the craziness of family portraits, away from our beloved (but 200) guests, and outside of the production of the wedding, and it all just sunk in. Our photographer did a really great job of celebrating with us for a second, but also just letting us be natural together and show affection. When I look back to that pause in the day I well up with tears thinking about how excited we were for our life together. We got to talk about how we felt, laugh, and kiss a little, as we prepared for the rest of the fun that was ahead.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

I met Rolan at the first Cru event I went to. (Cru is a Christian college ministry, that is on a lot of big college campuses.) We were getting boba with a huge group of people and he walked up next to me and introduced himself. I ended up getting pretty involved in Cru, and through that Rolan and I got to develop a sweet friendship. He was someone that I naturally felt comfortable with, and I’ve always thought he was hilarious. He’s someone I always enjoyed spending time with, and looked forward to seeing. I remember towards the end of that year we were doing an outreach with Cru and I was telling Rolan I was bummed that I couldn’t grab coffee before I had work on campus, and after about 30 minutes into work, Rolan stopped by with a big (also nervous) smile and a coffee in his hand for me. That was when I started looking at him with hearts in my eyes. That summer was soooo much fun with our friends, and Rolan and I were just smitten. Dating didn’t work out for us heading into the next year, but fast forward a whole year of crushing and we found ourselves on a mission trip to Haiti. I’ll never forget the night Rolan and I got to sit under the stars and talk about what the past year had been like for us. We got to share our hearts and agree on how hard that year was, but also got to end with the sweet conclusion to *finally* date. After about seven months of dating, I remember being at our favorite coffee shop in Santa Cruz, and Rolan asking where I was on the thought of marriage. Long story short, we started to talking to parents, pastors, and friends shortly after that conversation, and at the eight month marker we were getting engaged! Rolan’s proposal to me was the most thoughtful, in our beloved Santa Cruz. He had a timeline of pictures laying out our story and an empty frame at the end. He told me he loved me for the first time (a commitment we made to save for our future wife/husband), said he had loved making all of those memories with me. Then he asked to make another one, and got down on his knee. Our friend that captured the moment described “the rich roots and branches [of the tree behind us] as a great stage,” and I can’t help but to agree. Our story is deeply rooted in friendship, love, and fun, and would not have been possible without God’s faithfulness.

Coordination/Calligraphy: Nicole Presley // Photographer: Kristin Lin // Venue: Roaring Camp Railroad // Gown: Stella York, Second Summer Bride Sacramento // Handmade suspenders: Kenny Wong // Donuts/Cake: Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery // Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals // DJ: Scott Bolin // Catering: Rubio’s Mexican Taco Catering // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

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La Quinta was Alexa and Nate’s first vacation spot so it only makes sense that they would have their wedding at their special getaway location! Alijah at Boutique Event Planning knew from the first meeting that the couple’s celebration would be the “perfect wedding—a classic California affair with none of the pomp and circumstance: a first look, a guacamole bar, an outdoor reception, churros instead of cake and spending the most time with friends and family.” Highlights include vibrant florals by FlowerAllie, a the courtyard ceremony at La Quinta Resort and some serious couples’ style including Alexa’s Grace Loves Lace  gown and Nate’s adorable floral patterned tie. Lucky for us, the duo enlisted the expertise of Kir2ben to capture all their special moments.

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Photography: Kir2ben // Day of Coordination/Planner: Alijah Boutique Event Planning // Floral: FlowerAllie // Invitations: Minted // Venue: La Quinta Resort & Club La Quinta Resort // Wedding Dress: Grace Loves Lace // Beauty: Amanda Wedding Beauty Co // Lighting: Lights for Nights // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Jewelry: Sarah Leonard // Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu // Videographer: Mallory Harrison // Tux: The Black Tux // Dance Floor: Signature Party Rentals // DJ: DJ Chris Paul | Palm Springs Wedding DJ