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

Melissa and Jess poured themselves into the personalized details of their wedding day at McCormick Home Ranch. The garden filled venue set the spring-y tone with it’s chic rustic vibe and the couple dreamt up the rest. Melissa has a huge sweet-tooth and knew she wanted more than just a cake so their guest got enjoy an adorable donut bar by MJB Cakes complete with just-out-of-the-oven donuts in every form. Florals were by RTTO Events, coordination and rentals by My Lovely Events and the bride’s lace appliqué gown by Essence of Australia and the entire bright and sunny event is captured beautifully by Rhianna of Anna Delores Photography.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

What’s special about our wedding is that every single aspect of our wedding was completely designed by ourselves. From the custom culinary menu for the day, to handpicking each song on our playlist, to our special sign in book, to the vision that ultimately became our scrumptious donut bar, to participating in an ancient centuries old traditional Chinese ceremony, we had a say in every little detail of our wedding. That is why when some of our family and friends came up to us after the wedding to let us know that was “the best wedding we’ve ever been to, so real and full of love” we can’t help but burst with pride because it truly was a representation of us as our most authentic selves.

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

I found my dream wedding dress in an unassuming little bridal boutique shop in Los Angeles. I knew from the start I wanted a long sleeve laced dress with a slight bohemian feel to it. I was surprisingly having a hard time finding any long sleeve laced dresses until I went to this boutique shop which was my 5th store. I made an assumption there wouldn’t be much selection in this shop since I went to large bridal stores and didn’t have much luck. Little did I know, this shop was a goldmine! Not only did they have a wide variety of long sleeve laced dresses, they had the gown that I ultimately went with. It was about the 6th or 7th dress I tried on that day and I instantly knew this would be MY dress when I looked in the mirror. I was immediately giddy and my best friend who was in the shop with me said she wasn’t surprised that I chose that dress; it was very much my style and me.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Culturally, I am Chinese and it was important to me to have an ancient tea ceremony tradition and uphold cultural traditions out of respect to my parents. Jess was all on board and was very invested in getting the details accurate. We had our normal ceremony and during cocktail hour, I quickly switched out of my wedding dress into my red Chinese dress (qipao) and we had our tea ceremony in the garden. We had many interested guests standing by watching. It was such a beautiful blend of two cultures coming together for our union.

I have a huge sweet tooth so I knew our wedding had to have way more sweets than a cake! I had dreamed of a donut bar for a while and had a vision of copper piping blended into the donut bar to add a rustic touch. The donut bar ended up better than we could have imagined and the smell of freshly baked donuts lured all our family and friends to indulge in our evening sweets!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Our first look was quite memorable for me. The anticipation and excitement culminated all at once for me. By the time we did our first look, I was quite ready to see my soon to be husband and eager to be near him as he always brings a wave of calmness around me. We met in a quiet, secluded clearing behind the house and I was surprised at how nervous I was walking up to him, with his back facing me. I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned around, he immediately became emotional which sparked instant waterworks from me! I completely forgot what my makeup artist told me about dabbing the tears back to not stain my airbrushed makeup and we just hugged each other. It was a sweet and tender moment that I’ll always cherish.

For Jess it was our vows. It was nerve wracking yet significant because this was the moment we stood up in front of all our family and friends and declared the reasons why it’s us together for the rest of time.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

I went to Las Vegas for one of my closest friend’s (and bridesmaid) wedding during Thanksgiving weekend in 2012. After their wedding reception, a bunch of us were still full of energy from the festivities and decided to go to the Strip to continue the celebration.  That same night, I met Jess. Turns out he was a Vegas local, which go figure, everyone I usually meet is from California. We embarked on a long distance relationship for a year before he moved to Los Angeles. All of our friends like to joke that “we found love in a hopeless place” so it was only appropriate that the ending song to our wedding was Rhianna’s “We Found Love”.

Jess took me to Joshua Tree the weekend of my birthday. We left Los Angeles on a Thursday evening and didn’t make it to Joshua Tree until another two and a half hours later due to traffic. We dropped off our stuff in our AirBnb and even though we were super tired, I really wanted to go outside just to see the stars because I had heard that the stars shine brighter in Joshua Tree and it’s a sight that can’t be missed. We walk out into the backyard and continue to walk down a trail until we stop. We peer up at the sky together and Jess turns to me and starts telling me how much he loves me and before I know it, he gets down on bended knee and asks me to marry him. One thing about me is that when I get nervous or really excited, I laugh or giggle profusely. I could not stop giggling like a little school girl and it must have felt like years to Jess before I screamed out “YES!” It was very intimate and in every way, perfect. We got to keep the news to ourselves for one day before sharing it with the everyone else.

Photographer: Rhianna of Anna Delores Photography  // Coordinator & Rentals: My Lovely Events // Florals: RTTO Events // Invitations: Minted // Venue: McCormick Home Ranch // Bridal Dress: Essence of Australia // Makeup & Hair: Blushing Beauty // Cake & Desserts:  MJB Cakes // Bridesmaids: Revelry // Catering: Conejo Valley Catering // Music: All The Above Events // Officiant: Dr. Kimber Lee Wilkes // Groom Attire: Ted Baker // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

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Allison and Christian’s love for old world glitz and southern charm is apparent in every detail of their stunning Charleston nuptials designed by A Charleston Bride. Allison stunned in a crystal-encrusted and tulle Jenny Packham while the groom in his classic black tux was flanked by groomsmen in white dinner jackets and bow ties. Vows were said in a classic church ceremony at Grace Episcopal Church, followed by a reception kicked off with a cocktail hour in the garden of the Govenor Thomas Bennett House. Overhead string lights and a beautiful bar with a jazz ensemble captured the New Orleans flair of the groom’s heritage. Palmetto Bloom created romantic florals in soft white, and added impact with graphic rust palms set against luxe pink velvet accents throughout the lounge area. And, lucky for us, it’s all captured beautifully in these images by Virgil Buano.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

 The groom, Christian J. Leveque, is known as the master of surprises and always has tricks up his sleeve. From giving his bride-to-be, Allison, a pile of Legos she had to build into the Empire State Building before being whisked away for a birthday in NYC, to a surprise engagement in New Orleans where each candid moment was captured by a hidden photographer, to the unveiling of his surprise honeymoon plans to the Maldives and Dubai, this groom never disappoints.

Christian and Allison tied the knot on February 25, 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina. The joyous occasion started with a 4:00 pm ceremony at Grace Church Cathedral followed by a cocktail hour and reception at the Governor Thomas Bennett House. The night was capped off with an after party at The McKee’s. Lindsey Boyce of A Charleston Bride planned every detail of this amazing day to perfection. Virgil Bunao put his signature touch on the photography at the wedding, as well as an engagement shoot in downtown Charleston and bridal portraits at Lowndes Grove. Adam Siegel captured the event in motion, providing flawless video production. Betsy Weir of Lemontree Calligraphy & Illustration, a watercolor studio based in Melbourne, Australia, designed an original crest displaying the bride and groom’s heritage that was used throughout their wedding season, including save the dates and a gobo projection on the dance floor during the reception. Jonie LaRosee of Palmetto Bloom went above and beyond with her creative floral designs and bouquets for the special occasion.

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

The bride chose two different looks for her big day, both of which were from White on Daniel Island. Allison’s first dress – designed by Jenny Packham and known as the Dixie – was vintage inspired and embellished with heavy crystals. For the reception Allison changed into a two-piece couture gown designed by Jodi Moylan, owner and designer at White. The talented Madison Hughes was the make-up artist and stylist that dolled up the entire wedding party. For Allison’s first look, Madison styled her hair down in soft elegant, romantic curls – then for the reception Madison created a beautiful up-do so she could dance the night away. The mother of the bride wore a blush Romona Keveza gown she discovered while wedding dress shopping with Allison in New York City from the bridal boutique Panache with the help of Elise Rosenblum.

Christian’s 13 leading men wore ivory dinner jackets from Berlin’s paired with midnight blue tuxedo pants and Ralph Lauren pocket squares, highlighting the groom’s love of southern staples with a contemporary twist. The groom wore a custom midnight blue tuxedo from Klein Epstein & Parker of Los Angeles, California. Christian chose to mark the occasion with a quote from Winston Churchill embroidered inside his jacket that was revealed to his bride during their first look, as well as a final touch of their wedding hashtag #Lev4ev under the jacket collar.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

The reception kicked off with a cocktail hour in the garden of the Thomas Bennett House. Overhead string lights and a beautiful bar with a jazz ensemble captured the New Orleans flare of the groom’s heritage. The couple’s love for old world glitz and southern charm was evident from their choreographed first dance that started with a classical tune and ended with the South Carolina state dance. Cru Catering outdid themselves with delicious southern dishes displaying both Louisiana and South Carolina Lowcountry cuisines. Guests indulged in these tasty entrees served in the secret garden during the reception. The wedding cake was designed by Jim Smeal, who drew inspiration from a floral dress design and crafted the perfect cake to represent the couple’s big day. The 8-piece Atlanta band, Mo’ Sol, brought the party to life as they performed an electric mix of Motown classics and modern hits.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The groom and his groomsmen surprised the bride by paying homage to the classic scene from the 80’s hit movie Top Gun, serenading her with “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” With beignets in hand, guests were draped with Mardi Gras beads and sequined feather masks as the night drew to an end. The couple exited to the famous New Orleans “Second Line” wedding tradition. Allison and Christian had beautiful custom-made umbrellas for the occasion, as their guests formed a long line waving monogrammed handkerchiefs and sending the couple off in style at the close of this magical night. The couple made their getaway in a vintage 1948 Oldsmobile convertible, taking in the crisp Charleston air and waving goodbye to the many friends and family who helped celebrate the new Leveques.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

From the groom: Allison and I met at the wedding for two mutual friends, although we did not know each other previously. The attraction was instant and the chemistry undeniable. I was living in Atlanta at the time, while Allison was in Charleston. A few weeks after the wedding, Allison visited me in Atlanta on Mother’s Day, which was very special to me as my mother succumbed to leukemia and passed away when I was 20. Subsequently, I visited Allison in Charleston for Memorial Day weekend. The rest, as they say, is history. We were basically inseparable from that moment forward!

I wanted the proposal to be unique and special. After nearly five years of courtship, Allison was convinced I couldn’t surprise her but I still had a few tricks up my sleeve! I grew up in New Orleans and we were planning a weekend trip there for a friend’s wedding. I knew the timing would be perfect, as Allison wouldn’t be expecting it! My dad picked us up from the airport and was waiting to stealthily hand off the custom engagement ring I had designed myself. He dropped us off at the rehearsal dinner and wished me luck, knowing I would be proposing the next day. It was there that the mother of the bride-to-be told Allison we were invited to an intimate family brunch the following morning at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue – a New Orleans favorite of ours. Of course this was all part of an elaborate plan to get an unsuspecting Allison to the right spot for me to pop the big question! The next morning we arrived for “brunch” and were met by a photographer who told us she was there to photograph the brunch for the wedding party and asked if we minded letting her snap some photos to perfect the lighting, as we were the first from the wedding party to arrive. Allison, ever the picture aficionado, ate it up. Shortly thereafter she said, “I hope we get to do this one day,” to which I replied, “How about right now?” Before she could quite figure out what I meant, I dropped down on one knee and asked Allison if she would give me my life’s greatest honor and spend forever with me. Luckily she YES!! (Christian spent over 6 months custom designing the ring with a jeweler in New Orleans. Allison had no idea what any of it would look like…it truly is spectacular and very unique. The center stone came from Sri Lanka!)

Christian + Allison | Charleston, SC from Adam Siegel on Vimeo.

Coordinator: A Charleston Bride // Photographer: Virgil Buano // Floral Design: Palmetto Bloom // Calligraphy and Invitation Suite: Sweet Magnolia Paper // Watercolor Crest: Lemon Tree Calligraphy // Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church // Reception Venue: Govenor Thomas Bennett House // Bridal Gown #1: Jenny Packham / White on Daniel Island // Bridal Gown #2 (Reception): Jodi Moylan of White on Daniel Island // Hair and Makeup: Madison Hughes // Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s Custom Tuxedo: Klein Epstein & Parker // Groomsmen Tuxedos: Berlin’s // Rings: Aucoin Hart Jewelers (New Orleans) // Caterer: Cru Catering // Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal // Videographer: Siegel Films // Equipment Rentals: Snyder Events // Tent Rentals: Skyline Tent Company // Linen Rentals: La Tavola Linens // Lounge Rentals: Ooh! Events // Lighting Rentals: Technical Event Company // Reception Musicians: Mo’ Sol Band // Transportation: Carolina Executive Limo

Green Pastures Austin, a historic property that’s hosted celebrations for three generations with majestic peacocks, canopies of live oak trees, and stunning southern architecture—a classic gem in an otherwise funky and progressive town—served as the inspiration for this shoot as old meets new and modern meets classic. Highland Avenue Events envisioned touches of black surrounded by swaths of white with pops of soft color mixed in which can be seen in the flowing bouquet by Bristollane, stationery August & Ember, and a timeless white vintage Rolls Royce from Four leaf Limo. Lucky for us all the details were photographed flawlessly by Virginia Ann.

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Photography: Virginia Ann // Planner: Highland Avenue Events // Mentor:  Michelle Boyd // Florals: Bristollane // Invitation Suite & Calligraphy: August & Ember // Venue: Green Pastures Austin // Dress Designer: Robert Bullock Bride // Bridal Shop: Unbridled // Jewelry: Prior Jewelry // Rentals: 10th Collection // Vintage Car: Four leaf Limo // Hair & Makeup: Lavish Beauty // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Annette and Emil met on a Tinder date and while neither of them expected to find true love—it happened—and just one-and-a-half-years later they are husband and wife. Their Norwegian nuptials took place at Losby Gods, a majestic countryside manor outside of Oslo. We’re loving the color scheme filled with punchy peach, dusty pink and soft neutrals—especially beautiful in the floral by Rosehagen. The grounds of the venue provided a gorgeous sun-kissed, forest backdrop for the celebration and some stunning portraits all captured by Mattias Bergdal.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

I loved the outdoor ceremony with the flower arch and decorations. We did everything ourselves, and decorated the venue with light chains, lots of candles and flowers.

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

I teamed up with the Norwegian fashion designer and artist Nora Farah, and together we designed my perfect wedding dress! I was very involved in the process and had a lot of fittings, and it turned out to be just the way I wanted.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

We wrote some fun facts about every guest on the back of the menus, to have some ice breakers for the wedding dinner. At the ceremony we exchanged our own written vows, which was very emotional and personal. We rented a photo booth which we used together with our friends and family all night!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The whole day was like a dream…but my favorite parts were our wedding vows and speeches to one each other, and of course: the first dance! We had taken a lot of dance classes and put together a very special choreography for the dance, which was so fun to perform.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met for the first time on a Tinder date, only one and a half years ago. Neither of us were expecting to find true love, but it happened! Just a few months later we moved in together, and my husband proposed to me on a road trip in Iceland. It was just the two of us, in front of an amazing waterfall, when he went down on one knee. Five months later we’re married, and expecting our first baby!

Photographer: Mattias Bergdal // Flowers: Rosehagen // Stationery: Bryllupsinvitasjoner // Venue: Losby Gods // Dress: Nora Farah // Makeup-artist: Dajana Makeup // Decorations: Festkompaniet // Chairs: Bryllupevents // DJ/Light/Sound: DJB // Bride: Annette Haga

 

Yellow. An often underutilized color in fine art wedding design, yellow exudes joy, happiness, and cheer. Goethe wrote, “We find from experience that yellow excites a warm and agreeable impression…the eye is gladdened, the heart expanded and cheered, a glow seems at once to breathe toward us.” East Made Event Company designed this editorial with a desire to demonstrate how the boldest, sunniest color can be elegantly subdued. Set at the National Cathedral School in DC for the Jeremy Chou Photography Workshop, the shoot features delicate and detailed gowns by Emily Riggs Bridal, floral arrangements by Blossom + Vine and calligraphy by Julie Ha Calligraphy all captured beautifully in these dreamy fine art images by Katrina Kim Photography.

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Photographer: Katrina Kim Photography // Stylist / Planner: East Made Event Company // Floral Designer: Blossom + Vine // Calligraphy: Julie Ha Calligraphy // Venue: National Cathedral School // Dress Designer: Emily Riggs Bridal // Cake Designer: Fleur and Flour // Hair & Make-up Artist: Georgetown Bride // Images from Jeremy Chou Photography Workshop // Accessories: Emily Riggs Bridal (Gold Crown) // Dessert Tarts: Black Pearl Tarts // Ring: Susie Saltzman // Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes // Model: Haley from Modelogic // Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic // Styling Surface: Simply Rooted // Film Lab: The FIND Lab // Rentals: White Glove Rentals