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

Haley and Jerry both hold Wisconsin dear to their hearts, so when it came time to choose a venue, Door County’s The American Club proved to be a natural one. Haley’s stunning Naeem Khan gown provided inspiration for the design of the day in its intricate floral applique and glam vibes. The celebration included a garden ceremony and candlelit ballroom reception filled to the brim with white florals in all shapes and sizes. Classic details shine throughout the day and Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay capture it all in their signature photography style.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

Jerry and I are both from Kansas City and have lived there most of our lives, so one would think it would make sense to get married in our hometown. However, from the very beginning of our wedding planning we knew we wanted to do something different. We had tossed around many different ideas– Southern California, somewhere in the Caribbean, and Napa to name a few, and were pretty undecided about it until my dad actually suggested The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Once he suggested it we knew it would be the perfect place for our big day. Wisconsin holds a special place in both of our hearts— my family has had a second home in Door County, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan for over 20 years, where my parents currently reside half the year. Having spent every summer of my life up there, Wisconsin is truly my second home. Born and raised a Green Bay Packers fan, it was pure fate that Jerry and his family were also diehard Packer’s fans. A match made in “cheesehead” heaven! We spent many weekends of our courtship up in Green Bay and Door County, making Wisconsin a special place for us, and a perfect wedding destination.

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

Having gotten engaged on Christmas Eve surrounded by family and friends, my mom and I knew we had to begin the dress search quickly so that everything would be ready in 8 months time. Little did we know how incredibly easy my dress search would be! She and I went to Nolte’s Bridal in Leawood, Kansas just a few weeks after Jerry and I got engaged. At our appointment the owner, Michael Nolte, had pulled out several dresses from various designers. Not having any idea what kind of dress I wanted, I let him surprise me with some selections, and surprise me he did! When he brought out the stunning long-sleeved Naeem Khan “Palma” ball gown dress that was nothing short of a masterpiece, I was instantly intrigued. I was excited to try it on, but was unsure of the sleeves and all of the intricate florals sewn throughout, not knowing if it was what I had envisioned for my wedding day. Once I had it on, my mom and I were both speechless. We had never seen anything more beautiful or unique. Nolte said that one of the signs he notices when a bride has found her dress is that she won’t stop touching it and moving in it, and I could not keep my hands off it! After twirling around and looking at every possible angle in this dress, I went ahead and tried on four more gorgeous gowns, each very different from the other but each having elements that I loved. After going over some pros and cons of each dress, I tried on the Palma gown once more, and we knew— this was THE dress. By the time I had the veil on I think all three of us were in tears. I could not have been more happy with my decision, and I still think about my wedding dress all the time. Who knew I would choose the very first dress I ever tried on!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

The most personal “touch” of the wedding was the fact that it took place in Wisconsin, a special place to both Jerry and me. From the rehearsal dinner and welcome party at the Irish Barn at Whistling Straights Golf Course overlooking fairway and dunes atop cliffs over Lake Michigan, we knew our guests would be in a location like many of them had never seen before. Immediate family and wedding party spent the weekend in the historic and pristine Riverbend club, right down the road from all of our guests at The American Club, where from check-in to check-out guests are treated with first-class service by a staff who goes above and beyond. Having been a guest at The American Club several times previously, I wanted our friends and family to be able to experience the old fashioned charm that you feel from the moment you pull up the large circle driveway. My favorite part of being at The American Club is that it makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, and we hoped that would create a unique and different experience for our guests.

When guests arrived we had gift bags waiting in their rooms containing some mementos from the weekend, all with Wisconsin-themed touches. For the rooms, we created our own version of “Do Not Disturb” signs for guests to hang on their doors that we designed in Kansas City at stationery store RSVP in Prairie Village, where we had all of our printed materials for the wedding made. Throughout the weekend we encouraged our guests to “Drink Wisconsinably”!

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

There was hardly a part of the day that was not memorable. We had the most beautiful weather all day long, making for amazing pictures and the perfect temperature for the outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. From start to finish the day went on without a hitch, and there was such a great calm, excited, happy energy the entire time. One of my favorite parts of the day, aside from saying our vows at the altar, was finally revealing my wedding dress to my sisters, brother, and my dad. My mom and I had been the only ones to see it, a tradition that my younger sister is now carrying on for her upcoming wedding, and we had been waiting anxiously to finally show them all the dress of my dreams. When I walked down the stairs and had a private “first look” with my immediate family, before seeing my bridesmaids, friends, and even my groom, we were all in tears. I will never forget the looks on all of their faces, especially my dad’s. It was such a sweet, special, and private moment before the whirlwind of the wedding day festivities began. Another moment we enjoyed so much was the ‘first look’ between Jerry and I, and taking all of our pictures on the grounds of Riverbend. You can see in the photos how beautiful the scenery was, how happy we were, and how comfortable our amazing photographers made us feel.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Jerry and I have known each other for over ten years now, having met in Kansas City during high school, however we never spent much time together during those years. After graduating, I went to Miami of Ohio for college, while Jerry went to St. Louis University to play baseball. Following college, I moved to Chicago with many of my friends, and Jerry moved back to Kansas City. At the time, we had many mutual friends living in Chicago, most being from Kansas City, and Jerry would occasionally come in town to visit those friends. We crossed paths a couple of times and were able to reconnect as friends before we decided to start dating long distance in the fall of 2014. While I was finishing grad school at Northwestern, and Jerry was working in Kansas City, we dated almost one year, racking up many airline miles and road trips to see each other. Many of our weekends were spent driving from Chicago to Green Bay to catch Packer games, one of our favorite activities in the fall. When grad school finally ended, I decided it was time to move back home to KC. It was the best decision I ever made, and five months later we were engaged!

HALEY + JERRY: KOHLER, WI from CAPTIVATE // ONE FINE DAY on Vimeo.

Photography: Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay // Floral/Catering/Rentals: Provided by Venue The American Club // Printed materials: RSVP (store in Prairie Village, KS) // Venue: The American Club // Dress: Designer: Naeem Khan // Store: Nolte’s Bridal in Leawood, Kansas // Hair & MUA: Ashley Renee Tribble // Band: Michael Walters Orchestra // Videographer: One Fine Day Productions

 

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Carly and Dave’s first date was a bust—Dave got sick and his car was towed—but it was meant to be and, for better or worse, they’ve been together ever since! The couple tied the knot in a modern celebration at La Quinta Country Club in Palm Springs. HoneyFitz Events planned the day filled with tropical and luscious greens by Little Hill Floral Design that reminded the couple of their favorite vacation spots. An understated color palette highlights all the stand-out details like the graphic acrylic seating chart affixed to a topiary wall and white blooms dancing around the custom neon signage. We love the bold, happy vibes and lucky for us Michelle Kyle Photography  was on hand to capture it all!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Having all of  their closest family and friends together to celebrate with them!

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

Carly’s Wedding Gown is Pronovias and was purchased at The White Dress in Newport Beach. She was immediately drawn to the unique lace and illusion panels on the side.

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What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Touches of tropical and luscious greens reminded them of their favorite vacation spots — including Palm Springs. The Chuppah Canopy was hand-sewn by the groom’s mom. Carly’s wedding gown had lace from her mom’s wedding gown sewn on the inside.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Stomping on the glass and making it official!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Carly and Dave met at a bar — Palihouse in West Hollywood, CA. After having one of the worst first dinner dates — Dave got sick and his car was towed — they have been together ever since!

Planner: HoneyFitz Events // Photographer: Michelle Kyle Photography // Florist: Little Hill Floral Design // Signage & Paper Goods: Simply Stated Stationery // Ceremony & Reception Venue:  La Quinta Country Club // Wedding Gown: Pronovias from The White Dress in Newport Beach // First Look/Hotel Block: La Quinta Resort and Spa // Entertainment: Dart Collective // Rentals: Signature Party Rentals // Makeup: Make-up by Hailey // Videography: Viken Photography

 

Gabrielle and Benjamin’s Miami wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is DRAMA—in the best possible way. The bride’s vision of “Secret-Garden-meets-Miami, edgy-meets-romantic, and art-deco-meets-old-world-elegance” was achieved with the help of Elite Planning Firm and a slew of fabulous vendors. Gabrielle runs her own design biz, Cazadora Creative Co., and set the tone with the custom stationery suite. The rest of the details followed suite, highlighted by florals in a moody, dusty palette by Anthology Co. The couple enlisted Lauren Apel Photo to capture their day and the result is pretty spectacular!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

I think the fact that it was a destination wedding already made it a little more special. We really wanted to give our guests the Miami experience! But other than that, the wedding was just so us. I was very involved in every single decision throughout the process & at the end of the day I think our personalities really came through. Also, getting married at the famous Vizcaya Museum & Gardens didn’t hurt. We even had a tiny bit of rain after the ceremony and luckily were able to move the reception inside the mansion. It’s the first time Vizcaya has ever had a dance floor on the marble overlooking the east terrace!

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

I love this story! I spent all day with my mom and best friends trying on gowns. BUT I spent all day trying on over-the-top, lace, beaded gowns and they were ALL beautiful. On my way to my last appointment we got stuck in traffic and nearly missed the entire appointment. When I arrived they told me I had only 15 minutes and that I could try on one dress. I quickly ran thru the showroom and I grabbed this long sleeve crepe gown, not a bead or lace in sight. Sure enough she zipped it up and I knew instantly it was the one. But I wanted to see my mom and friends’ reaction before I truly decided. The moment I walked out it was tears all around! The dress was purchased at Patsy’s Bridal Boutique in Dallas, Texas.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

My vision was Secret Garden meets Miami, edgy meets romantic, and art deco meets old world elegance. We used a lot of mauvey colors and matte black accents. I also designed all of the wedding stationery. I own my own stationery design business (Cazadora Creative Co.), so I knew that was one way that my guests would feel the personal touches.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Hardest most impossible question. There are so many sacred moments for me! I loved when we were pronounced Husband & Wife and we walked out together to Say A Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin, all of our guests were singing along. Or maybe dancing the night away with all of our family and friends. Every single guest was on the dance floor and that was really special!

Tell us how you met and became engaged?

Benj & I met while both watching Game 7 of the NBA finals with mutual friends. Ironically, the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs that night and it was the first time Miami would come into our lives. Ben proposed 3 years later at the San Fernando Cathedral surrounded by our friends and family – AND mariachi bands. We stayed up until 5am celebrating our engagement with our friends!

Photographer: Lauren Apel Photo // Planner: Elite Planning Firm // Florals: Anthology Co. // Stationery Designer: Cazadora Creative Co. // Venue: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens // Videographer: Mcduff Productions // Dress: Martina Liana Bridal // Bridal Salon: Patsy’s A Bridal Boutique // Hair & Makeup: Sydney Ann Lopez // Shoes: Gucci // Veil: Kathryn’s Custom Veils // Jewelry: Family Heirlooms // Rings: Custom // Catering & Event Services: Thierry Isambert Culinary & Event Design // Cake: Earth & Sugar // Officiant: Rev. Eddie Rodriguez // DJ & Lighting: The Event Factor // Car Rental: Florian’s Classics // Hotel Block: East Miami // Groom’s Shoes: Stubbs & Wootton // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Atva and Samir’s destination Morocco wedding is absolutely breathtaking. Set at Kasbah Bab Ourika just outside of Marrakech, the multi-day, multi-cultural event blended the couple’s traditions with celebrations and ceremonies staged against the stunning backdrop of the Atlas mountains. The couple enlisted multi-talented planner, Best Day Ever Events, for the planning, styling and florals—all with a subtle modern, bohemian flair. We’re loving the fresh invitation suite by Mark van Wijk and the floral-dressed naked cake by Amandine Marrakech. But it’s photographer Raisa Zwart‘s stunning images that truly make Atva and Samir’s day feel like an advertising campaign for Moroccan nuptials. 

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What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

I think what made it us was the fact that we were able to capture the best of both Western and European wedding traditions and it blended perfectly on both days. The Henna night did have a traditional Morrocan dress – although less dramatic and traditional wedding djelleba for Samir. Our entrance was accompanied with traditional Berber folk music and dance. We also served shared Tagines and desserts as you typically see in Moroccan weddings, and of course Henna but for everyone not only the bride. Which was a huge success. Our wedding day was more traditional western with my dad walking me to the aisle, a western ring ceremony, photo shoot and toast,  but with Milk and Dates for prosperity and fertility before the ceremony and of course sugar – or candy – throwing at the end of the ceremony topped off with traditional Moroccan (and from Samir’s childhood). Pulo Duro – 50cent ice cream cones for our guests.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

For Samir his moment was me walking down towards him on Jacob Banks Silver Lining. Slightly nervous and stressed but so beautiful. For me it was the brief moment we (finally) sat together before dinner when you realize this great man is now my husband!

Tell us how you became engaged.

Samir proposed to me when I didn’t expect him to do so anymore (to be honest I was hoping for it for quite some years). We just had a very romantic holiday in Mozambique, we just celebrated our 14 Year anniversary and nothing. So one random Saturday morning, when I was just desperate for coffee he asked me to sit down and he gave me a gift to unwrap. It was a traditional Moroccan sugar cone with a note that said will you marry me?

Samir + Atva / Wedding in Ourika, Morocco (4K) from The Dreamers on Vimeo.

Photography: Raisa Zwart // Event Planning, Styling & Floral Design: Best Day Ever Events // Floral Design: Le Kiosque a Fleurs & Theun & Bloemen // Stationery: Mark van Wijk // Venue: Kasbah Bab Ourika // Cake: Amandine Marrakech // Officiant: Marry van’t’ Zelfde // Videography: The Dreamers // Makeup Artist: Rob Peetoom // Wedding Dress: Pronovias // Henna Dress: Selma Benomar // Bridal Accessories: Jimmy Choo & Astley ClarkeIsabel Marant // Groom’s Apparel: Oger // Rings: Tiffany & Co

 

Sarah and Ramez were accustomed to the large weddings of their culture—they even met at one! When it came to their own nuptials, however, they preferred an intimate affair where their guests felt like they were on vacation. And what better vacation than the breathtaking scenes and stunning views of Florence?! Planned by Exclusive Italy Weddings, vows were said in a traditional Coptic Orthodox ceremony at Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti followed by an incredibly romantic celebration at Villa di Maiano. Garden party vibes were accentuated by florals EVERYWHERE by Tuscany Flowers and guests enjoyed the outdoor dinner seated to view the sunset over the city. The couple enlisted the genius of Katie Mitchell Photography to capture all the details of Sarah and Ramez’s stunning destination affair and we’re thrilled to be sharing the photos with you today.

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How did you meet, how did you become engaged and for how long had you been engaged before your wedding day?:

Ironically enough, we met at a wedding! It was about 5 years before we got married, and we were actually both unsure if we were going to be able to make it (it was in Canada!). At the time, we both were focusing on catching up with old friends and family and weren’t in the “single and ready to mingle” mind set but another guest: “Mike from Toronto” introduced us and we will forever be indebted to him. We talked a while and Ramez tried to drag me out to the dance floor a few times but we missed each other at the end of the night and didn’t say goodbye. I came home to a Facebook message from him and while it was a little cheesy, much to my surprise I had no inhibitions talking to him. We would have long chats about our closest family and friends, our life aspirations, and eventually what we expected from the friendship. At the time, he lived in California and I in Virginia so long distance was difficult at times but we knew it was worth trying. One of my favorite things about him is he was bold enough to express his feelings for me yet allowed a natural progression of our relationship. A few months went by and he came to visit me in Virginia. My family fell in love with him just as much as I did and I knew it was right.

Ramez proposed about 1 year before the wedding, he had an elaborate plan for us to go skydiving and on the way down he had his friends hold up life- sized signs asking if I would marry him!! We were all set to go but before we got on the plane to jump, the winds changed and it was considered too dangerous. He was able to come up with an alternative, and took me to a winery where his friends emerged from the background with the signs! It was one of our favorite days but we’re still due for our skydiving date!

What was most important to you when planning your wedding?

In our culture, we tend to have extremely large weddings (think +300), but we wanted our wedding to be more intimate and make our guests feel like they were on vacation with us which is why we decided on having a destination wedding, so location was very important to us. We came up with Italy because it was the perfect location that gave us the romantic vibe we were looking for but also had ancient roots and and a rich culture.

We wanted our wedding venue to have amazing views and what’s a better backdrop than the city of Florence?! Villa di Maiano is perfectly positioned on a hillside that overlooks Florence so for dinner, we had everyone seated so they could view the sunset over the city.

Your outfits and accessories – what made you choose them and what did you love about them?

I always had a vision about my dress, I wanted something dramatic but romantic and tasteful. I imagined a lace dress with a low- cut back, I must have visited 10 different bridal stores before finding the perfect dress but when I tried it on, I knew it was the one! I love the dress because to me, it’s elegance is timeless yet it still had a “wow factor” to it that made it unique.

RAMEZ: We wanted a break from the norm of grooms in black tuxes so I wore an royal/electric blue, and thought it would make me stand out that much more from my groomsmen who did wear the traditional black tux. We also love how sharp the groomsmen looked wearing their ivory pocket squares which matched the bridesmaid dresses. The list goes on and on for accessories! I wore Pantherella merino wool socks, Calvin Klein loafers, a T.M. Lewin Marcella wing collar tuxedo shirt, a Tissot watch given to me by my father. Perhaps my favorite accessory though were the Italian flag cuff links I purchased for me and my groomsmen. They were elegant, but also very fitting for a wedding in the Tuscan Hills!

What made you choose your flowers/general decorative arrangements?

We wanted lots and lots of flowers at our reception, so the idea of a pergola with hanging flowers over the guests tables captured the garden feeling we were looking for, we hung lanterns from the pergola for warm lighting at night. We wanted to match that with floral table arrangements that were full and lower to the table to balance out the look. From there, with the help of our planner and florist we came up with the gazebo floral arrangement for the sweetheart table and around the chandelier on the dance floor. We were blown away by the results!

I initially wanted a bouquet of peonies but our florist told us they were out of season in July but then I saw this amazing round bouquet of garden roses on Pinterest that my florist was able to replicate. I fell in love with it and wish I could have brought it home to the states with me. The bouquet was simple, pale peach garden roses with no greenery, but since my dress was intricate, I thought it was the perfect balance.

Tell us more about your ceremony including any readings, any special moments and your vows:

We are Coptic Orthodox which is one of the most ancient denominations of Christianity so our wedding ceremonies are very traditional. We are robed and crowned as a symbol of becoming king and queen of our new home together as we take the responsibility of making our home in a sense, a Church, where God will be the center of our marriage. We embrace our traditions and couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

 

Where there any DIY elements?

Though it was difficult to transport items from the US to Italy, we wanted to give our guests a favor that would be memorable to our location so we asked Villa di Maiano for bottles of olive oil that they make and we tied “Grazie” notes to each one for our guests. Since the wedding, many of our guests have told us they use the olive oil when they cook. We love that our favors were a little taste of Italy and something our guests could use when they came home.

My sister, Marina Salama, was pivotal in our wedding planning. We were both first years in residency and dental school so our hours were long and we were exhausted by the time we came home. She was so helpful in keeping us encouraged and worked to make our vision into a reality. A lot of the time, she was the point person that would be speaking to our planner and vendors and did a lot of research with our vision in mind, this wedding truly couldn’t have happened without her help! She understood what we were looking and worked tirelessly to make sure we were happy and we are forever thankful for her. By the way, she did this when she was 7 months pregnant! Talk about superwoman.

What was the vibe of your day? What colors/styles/themes did you use?

We wanted the vibe of the day to be whimsical and romantic which is why we wanted our reception to be outdoors with an emphasis on the flowers to make it an elegant but airy garden party. We kept the color scheme simple, mostly shades of ivory, white, and peach with gold accents seen in the flowers, the tableware, and the decorative pieces on the tables. Our tables were full of vases and delicate candle holders and votives. While it was a formal event, we still wanted everyone to feel relaxed so we decided to have long tables to make it feel more family style.

 

 

 

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

This is an almost impossible question to answer, but if we had to pick we would say we loved the moments we had alone after the ceremony. Driving through Florence in an old school Bentley and taking pictures at some of the cities most famous landmarks had to be the highlight for us. It was the first time in the day when the nerves seemed to settle and we were able to just catch our breath, and process the fact that we just got married. Those private moments we spent together, and the undying smiles on both of our faces in the car on the way to the reception were moments we will never forget for the rest of our lives!

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and their wedding day, what would they be and is there anything you would do differently?

We would tell anyone planning their wedding to try not to stress too much. That’s certainly easier said than done because ultimately everyone has different opinions and there are just so many options out there it’s hard to pin it down! Pick the most important 3 elements for the wedding day to your (ex: the food, the entertainment, the decor) and focus on those initially then tackle the rest. Be prepared for a few set backs and always be open to other options. Ultimately, your wedding will always be the most memorable to you, no matter what!

 

Wedding Video at Villa di Maiano Florence from Marcoabba on Vimeo.

Photography: Katie Mitchell Photography // Wedding Planner: Laura Frappa of Exclusive Italy Weddings // Second Photographer: Fontaine // Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers // Stationery: Minted // Preparation Venue: Florence with a View // Ceremony Venue: Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti // Reception Venue: Villa di Maiano // Videography: Marco Abba // Dress: Pnina Tornai, Dress 4372 from Kleinfeld Bridal // Veil: Kleinfeld // Jewelry: Swarovski // Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein // Groom’s Watch: Tissot // Groom’s Attire: 3 Day Suit Broker // Hair and Make Up: Laura Navarinni // Décor, Styling & DJ: The Alma Project // Transport: Alterini // Caterer: Galaeto // Cake: Sugar & Spice