Colleen and Steven are a crazy gorgeous couple who planned an incredible wedding that perfectly combines plenty of elegance with a big dose of quirky fun! Totally our style! We know you are going to adore these photos by Jessica Peterson and that GOWN! We could not be any more in love!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
Dress shopping was one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process. I was lucky enough to have my maid of honor and mom by my side the whole day. I made sure to go into the process with an open mind; I wanted to try on as many types as possible to really make sure I wasn’t missing anything spectacular. I found my grown at the last stop of the day, Panache Bridal in Beverly Hills. I actually almost didn’t even try it on; The hanger didn’t do it any justice, but my maid of honor made sure I still tried it. As soon as the sales associate zipped it on me, I knew it was the one. What made it even better was that the salon also had my maid of honor’s wedding dress in dress in stock. (She got married 2 months before Steve and I, and I was her maid of honor as well, which made this extra special). Panache let her try on her wedding dress with me. We had champagne and took lots of pictures. It was so special to be each others maid of honors and have our wedding dresses on together. The dress I ended up selecting was The Sania by Rivini.
What made the wedding special and unique?
When it came to the details, I was especially inspired by where Steve and my relationship first flourished, our alma mater, Carnegie Mellon. I named tables after buildings on campus and had custom laser cut signs made to hang above tables, rather than using standard table numbers. These table assignments were displayed on a handcrafted board with flowers and moss, using golden mirrors to display the names. A couple of my bridesmaids and I made this feature piece, and my ultra talented friend hand wrote all the names on the mirrors. Each place setting also had a representation of where we first met. A handmade scottie-dog (the school’s mascot) sat at each place with a calligraphy place card around the neck. The dog was originally designed and sculpted by a friend. My family and I then slaved away make plaster molds, sanding and painting the dogs (we made almost 300!). This detail quickly became a signature design at the event. We also added golden frames with baby pictures of Steve and I along each tablescape.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
At the head table, a DIY Marquee sign reading “Mr. & Mrs” was the primary feature. I made sure to use my great grandmothers candelabras at this table to make it extra special as well, as It was important to me to use family heirlooms throughout the wedding. My late grandmother’s rosary was wrapped around my bouquet along with my sorority pin to add a personal and meaningful touch. I also carried a gorgeous vintage Judith Leiber Bag of my mothers as my something borrowed. I personally designed all the stationary to set the tone for the event, including save the dates, invites and menus. I also designed the wedding favor, a custom cookbook with family recipes from both Steve and I.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
We chose to not do a grand exit, because we wanted to make sure we experienced every part of the night. So instead, our band played “The Parting Glass”, a traditional Irish ballad (a special nod to our Irish culture), as the last song. Steve and I danced in the center of the room and all of our friends and family surrounded us in a circle, swaying and singing along. It was so special to see all our loved ones surround us with so much support and joy. It was the perfect ending to an amazing day, and it really brought things to a perfect closure. This was one of the only moments not caught on camera, but it will forever be engrained in my mind.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Steve and I met during Freshman Orientation at Carnegie Mellon University. The event was called Playfair, and it was basically a giant icebreaker for the incoming class. Steve and I were assigned to the same group at the event. We clicked instantly, but just remained friends for about a year until we officially started dating. We dated for almost 5 years before Steve popped the question. We had planned a couples trip to Dallas to see my best friend (and soon to be maid of honor) and her fiancé at the time (now husband). I was totally clueless that this would be the weekend he would ask me to marry him. That morning we went out for bbq and followed the meal by going to the Dallas Arboretum. Little did I know, Steve had planned an elaborate scenario where a clown (dressed in a yellow suit with no makeup) would be pretending to give out balloon animals in the park where we were to get engaged. He would make a series of wedding rings for me and then give up, saying that he didn’t have any that were the right fit. At that point he’d be on one knee with the ring that (hopefully) was the perfect fit. The balloon artist really was a clown though. He brought balloons that were already inflated, illegal to have in a place that was technically coded as a park, and got kicked out at the front entrance. So instead, Steve turned to me in the middle of having a photo taken of us and got on one knee. The setting was beautiful and it was so great to have the whole thing captured on film!
Vendors: Photographer: Jessica Peterson // Videographer: Jenner Brown // Bride’s Engagement Ring and Wedding Band: Sylvie Collection // Flowers: Andrea Matlin // Bride’s Dress: Rivini Sania // Bridesmaid Dresses: Rag & Bone // Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of the Madeleine // Reception Venue: The Cottonwood Country Club