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

Kristen and Michael’s wedding day at Country Club of Rochester was “organic and natural with a luxe edge.” As always, we love to see a fresh point-of-view and Kristen’s vision for her day was definitely that. The mix of wood, grasses and greenery with brass metallics and dripping black candles makes for a complete twist on the typical country club affair. Lush, graphic florals and greens are by Arena’s, with invitations by Papery & Cakery and coordination by Events By Jen. Lucky for us, Alexandra Elise Photography was on hand to capture all the cool details is these lovely fine art images.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

The tone of the wedding was an organic/natural feel with a luxe edge. Natural to me means elements produced by nature such as fire, wood, light, grasses and greenery. Luxe says sumptuous, lavish, subtle yet extraordinary. The black candlesticks give off the fire element yet at the same time the black color gives off that subtle yet bold luxurious feel. The farmhouse head tables comply with the wood element. The clear top tent brings in the natural light element. The combination of greenery and floral were an absolute dream come true; a phenomenal work of art by Charles Arena and crew at Arena’s Florist. Greenery with accents of white orchids, chocolate sunflowers, menthe roses, dahlias, jasmine, and anemone. Also, tying in gold dipped branches, decorative pheasant feathers, and mini cactus’. We decided to do a tent wedding because it acts as a clean slate. You are able to incorporate your own design and style without having to cover up the style of an already decorated ballroom or country club. Design and decorating has always been a passion of mine. Since I was a little girl I always wanted to be an interior decorator. It was a dream come true to design a space from scratch as we did here.

For the dessert portion of the night we decided to go big! Being an owner of an Italian bakery we naturally had to have a huge display of pastries, Italian cookies, and of course a 5-tier wedding cake. We went with a slightly different theme in the dessert tent as we did in the main tent. We had bistro lighting strung from the top of the tent and small bistro tables to give off that Italian bistro feel. Pastries including cannolis, cream puffs, sfogliatelle, mini cheese cakes, mini pies, tiramisu, napoleon, eclairs, and more. Cookies including cuccidati, neopolitan, almond paste, Italian meatball cookies, tea cookies, biscotti, etc. Coffee and tea were also served in the tent. During the ceremony we did a butterfly release dedicated to our deceased family members.

Words of wisdom:

Don’t stress! Everyone told me leading up to the big day that it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. It is something that stuck with me throughout the process. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment of the planning process even when things wouldn’t go as planned. I wanted to remember what each part of the process and big day felt like, even the most dreadful parts like the seating arrangements. Does anyone enjoy that? On the big day I would recommend to all bride and grooms to take a couple minutes, just the two of you, and step out of the spotlight. Look around the room and take this moment for it all to sink in – enjoy the company of your new husband or wife. Tell each other how much they mean to you and acknowledge the love that is surrounding you from friends and family. It truly is the most amazing day of your life. You want to be able to feel what that feels like in the moment, not just afterwards.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Mikey and I met in Chicago, IL back in 2012. I had lived there at the time and he was in town visiting his sister who lived in Springfield, IL. My sister was friends with him and told him to call me and get together for lunch. So we did just that. It wasn’t until Christmas of 2012 that I ran into him again at the restaurant that he had just opened. He and my sister, being close friends, hung out a lot. She would go to his restaurant and drag me there while I was home over Christmas break. He told my sister “I am going to marry your sister someday” and my sister Lisa’s response was “Yeah, okay Mikey!” Telling him she isn’t going to put up with you – being the protective sister that us sisters are.

I head back to Chicago and every now and then I would get a call from him (confused at why he was calling me because I barely knew him). A couple months had passed and at the end of March my sister, cousin, mom, aunt and I went down to Florida for a girls’ trip. Mikey happened to be there the same weekend with one of his friends who is ironically someone I’ve known since childhood; all planned on his behalf I’m sure. The boys picked me up from the airport and brought me to my family. I had just gotten out of a 4-year relationship so I wasn’t really looking to date again anytime soon. I guess it’s true that love happens when you least expect it. The whole week we were there it was like I had known him forever. He was always a gentleman, I will say that. On the last night we were heading home from the bar we were at and he asked, “when will I be seeing you again?” I replied without thinking that he would be as persistent as he was and said” I’m sure I’ll run into you back at home in NY.” That must not have been good enough because a few weeks later he had booked a flight to Chicago to see me. It quickly escalated into a relationship and a lot of trips back and forth from New York to Chicago. It took about 8 months of a long-distance relationship to realize that we didn’t want to be without each other. I always knew I was going to end up back in my hometown of Rochester, New York but I had never anticipated that soon.

The proposal took place on April 9th, 2017, which also happened to be my 27th birthday. The night before he proposed we went to dinner with my parents at Louie Bossi in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We were sitting at dinner and I said all I want for my birthday this year is for dad to come to yoga with me. I was trying to get him to hop on the yoga train. Shockingly my dad agreed. Little did he know that Mikey had planned a proposal for the next morning. He now had to change his plan.

We woke up on Saturday, my birthday, and headed to yoga. Mikey told my dad he was going to propose to me after yoga back at our condo. He had asked my dad for my hand in marriage a few months back. Now, not only is my dad nervous about doing a 110 degree power vinyasa class for the first time in his life but is now panicked thinking he is going to have a heart attack from the heat and ruin this special day. Needless to say, my dad finishes the 1 hr. and 15 minute class like a champ – he heads to his house and Mikey and I head to ours. We get home, very quickly, we drop our stuff at our lobby front desk and head out to our uncle’s yacht that is docked at our place on the intercoastal. He tells me, “come out to Jimmy’s boat. I want to say hi to them before they head out for the day.” Now, mind you, we just finished hot yoga- if you’ve ever done heated yoga before you know you come out of there nothing shy of drenched. I asked, “can we please just get out of these wet clothes before we step on his beautiful boat?” The answer was no. So, we got out to the boat and there were these huge vases with gorgeous white flowers, which happen to be my favorite. It still didn’t register what was about to happen. I stepped on the boat and stopped to admire the flowers thinking that the crew is setting up for the day at sea. In hindsight, why there would be vases of flowers set up before a boat ride is beyond me. I walked inside the boat where his parents and some of the crew were. He tells me to come outside on the sundeck. I walked out to where the flowers were, admiring them again and I turn around and he is on one knee with a gorgeous serving platter with the diamond ring in the middle. I was so in shock! I had no idea that was coming. It still to this day gives me butterflies!

 

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography // Event Coordinator: Events By Jen // Florist: Arena’s // Invitations: Papery & Cakery // Programs & Stationery: Anna Marino // Venue: Country Club of Rochester // Dress Designer: Berta // Bridal Boutique: Chic Parisian // Bakery: Savoia Pastry Shoppe // Hair Stylist: PCK Salon // Makeup Artist: Scott Miller Salon // Tent Rental: LT Rentals // Custom Lighting & Rentals: RES Exhibits // Accent Decor Rental: Warehouse 127 // Linen, Chairs, & Drapery Rentals: Hank Parker// Videographer: Kraig Adams // DJ: Breakthrough Entertainment // Sax player: Danny Win // Pianist: Giovanni Fazio // Quartet: Felice String Quartet

 

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Bride Ryan described her wedding day to Dylan as “special, unique, exciting, fun, sweaty and filled with endless love, margaritas and churros.” Fun, right?! The couple’s San Jose del Cabo wedding day was also incredibly gorgeous. Planned by Amy Abbott Events, the event was held at the art-centric Hotel El Ganzo with a ceremony on the lawn and an open air reception with stellar views. Florals by Pina Hernandez are spectacular and include an over-the-top chuppa and bold, coral and pink hued table arrangements. Ryan and Dylan enlisted the skills of Ana and Jerome Photography to capture their love, joy and the super beautiful party that celebrated it all.

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Who proposed? When and how? February 4th started out like any normal day. Ryan and Dylan woke up, had their coffee and headed to the gym. They then had plans to meet friends at Firehouse, their favorite local breakfast spot. Their standard walking route takes them through the beautiful Venice Canals, where they always dream of living one day. Due to their obsession with the neighborhood, Ryan follows a blogger who lives there and on this morning Dylan was convinced he knew the location of her home. As Ryan started following him in a different direction they both noticed a bridge that they had never seen before. There was a big sign hanging that read: “No Regrets. No Bad Days”. As they both repeated the words Dylan continued talking…. When Rya noticed that he had stopped walking she turned around and he was on one knee. To say she was in shock is understatement. She was so overwhelmed with emotion that she couldn’t even see the ring, nor respond to his question. He stood up and hugged her and then the waterworks began. Once Ryan got her head on straight and realized she was being proposed to she politely ask that he do it again. Dylan being the most patient and kind man, he graciously did, and this time she said YES!

How did you choose your wedding venue? I knew I wanted it in San Jose since we frequent there for vacations and feel at peace there. Then it was a question of where. My mom is a travel agent and remembered visiting El Ganzo. She told Dylan and I about the venue and we just fell in love. We though it was so unique and beautiful.

Who designed your rings? Mine – We designed together with a jeweler in downtown Los Angeles. His – Cartier Love Ring.

What were some things that made the wedding special and unique?

1. Every bridesmaid chose their own gown. Robes were purchased on Etsy.

2. My necklace was recently given to me by mom. The center is a diamond from my grandma’s old necklace and my mom had a Pacific Palisades jewelry designer recreate a more modern look by drilling a rose gold chain through the center. It’s very special to me since it comes from my mom and grandma.

3. My parents were huge contributors to the event. My dad took care of all food and alcohol arrangements, since cooking is his passion. My mom went on every appointment and checked in with me everyday regarding wedding details. They also traveled with Dylan and I to San Jose to meet with every vendor.

What was your biggest splurge of the day? Biggest splurge were probably the outfits. I purchased a dress that I was not intending to spend that much money on, pricey shoes and earrings, and then I bought a jumpsuit for an outfit change. All worth it!

Please describe 3 personal touches:

1. Our guestbook. I assigned Dylan the task of creating our guest book. He used old photos throughout our relationship and it came out so beautifully.

2. The tallit that was wrapped around Dylan and I during the ceremony was my grandfather’s. He had just passed away a few months ago so this was a very special moment for us and our family.

3. The kiddush cups we drank from during the ceremony were from my parents’ wedding.

Please describe 3 favorite moments:

1. I love my husband so much and our first look was beautiful, but I have to say, the first look with my dad was extremely emotional. He was the first man in my life and has always been the most important man. Growing up I really admired him. This was a big moment for us and there was so much love in the room. It was really special.

2. My first favorite moment was getting on the boat with my parents to go to the ceremony site. I remember being so present and excited. I just kept thinking to myself…”how many girls get to arrive to their ceremony site by boat!?”

3. My second favorite moment was when we were all standing at the altar and the public beach across the way was blasting music. I kept telling myself to not be upset because years from now I will look back and laugh. At that moment, the Rabbi said “well, having music like this across the way is definitely a wedding first for me” and it completely broke the ice and made the crowd laugh.

What did you learn from the experience?

I learned that planning a wedding is the most stressful thing ever and having an amazing wedding planning team is key! You also need a great support team around you for the days that are extra stressful. Family and friends that can also help you make important decisions is extremely helpful. I also learned that there are just some things you have no control over, no matter how much you plan and plan…sometimes you just have to suck it up and move on. That’s life!

If you could sum up your wedding day in one sentence, how would you describe it? My wedding day was special, unique, exciting, fun, sweaty and filled with endless love, margaritas and churros.

Photography: Ana and Jerome Photography // Coordination: Ximena Perez for Amy Abbott Events // Flowers: Pina Hernandez // Signage and Printed Items: Serendipity // Venue: Hotel El Ganzo // Hair and Makeup: Blanc Bridal Salon // Dress: Leanne Marshall // Rentals: Warehouse

 

Carlie and Mike were married in the bride’s hometown of Pittsburg. The bridal party got ready at the house the bride grew up in, the ceremony took place at St. Bede Parish where the bride’s grandfather sand in the choir throughout her youth and they danced the night away a The Pennsylvanian, an old train station with spectacular views of the city. A neutral palette of oyster, black and white was incorporated into all the details including florals by The Farmer’s Daughter and invitations by The Little Blue Chair. We’re loving Carlie’s high-neck and low back crepe Paloma Blanca gown and Lauren Renee Photography captures it beautifully—along with all the special moments of the day—in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

We were married in my hometown church that I grew up in, which is where my grandfather used to sing in the choir and I received all of my sacraments. We chose the Pennsylvanian as our reception venue, which is an old train station with amazing architecture in downtown Pittsburgh, and had our cocktail hour under the rotunda lined with lights outside. I got ready with my bridesmaids in the house that I grew up in, and we spent the day surrounded by our closest family and friends!

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

My gown is a Mikaella by Paloma Blanca design, which I found at Bridal Beginnings–a bridal boutique outside of Pittsburgh. I initially thought that I wanted a ballgown, but my sister recommended I try on a crepe, more form-fitting dress and I immediately fell in love! I liked how the front of the dress was high to my neckline for a classy and timeless look, but the back of the dress felt dramatically feminine with an open back and large bow from the belt being tied. I also asked the designer to add fabric buttons down the back of the entire dress to add a traditional look that would contrast the trendy, open back. It was the perfect combination!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

My husband and I wanted to make our wedding fun and did not include some parts of the reception that have traditionally been used. We had a customized bar personalized with decals from our wedding stationery and pictures of our engagement session that we placed right off of the dance floor so our guests would stay close to the dance floor all night. Instead of introducing the bridal party, we had our matron of honor and best man introduce us as a couple while all of our guests stood around the dance floor, making an extremely fun entrance for us and our guests. We then went right into our choreographed first dance, which consisted of a mix of 3 songs and ended with a hip-hop dance. My matron of honor, my sister, sang a rap as part of her speech, and our two best men put on a skit for a combined speech. Our guests loved that we created a fun atmosphere with dancing that lasted all night! We also had a traditional “Pittsburgh cookie table”, which consisted of homemade baked goods from family members and friends—one of my favorite parts of any Pittsburgh wedding!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Definitely the ceremony itself. We chose not to do a first look so seeing each other as I walked down the aisle for the first time was an incredible feeling, and saying our vows was so meaningful! We also loved spending time with our photographer after the ceremony for our portraits where it was just the two of us, and of course dancing the night away with our closest friends and family was a highlight as well!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met in 2012 when we both attended the same graduate school. We were initially really good friends, and started studying together every day. Over the years, our friendship grew into a relationship and survived a year of long distance. After 5 years, he proposed at a restaurant on the Hudson River with the NYC skyline in the background. He surprised me with a new dress and encouraged me to wear it for what I thought was a birthday celebration for his brother. When I arrived at the restaurant, he had decorative lighted bottles guiding a path along the grass to the river where he was standing. He proposed, and to my surprise our families had traveled to New York to celebrate with us! He treated us all to an intimate dinner–it was the best surprise and proposal I could have ever asked for!

// Photography: Lauren Renee Photography // Flowers: The Farmer’s Daughter // Invitations: The Little Blue Chair // Venue: The Pennsylvanian // Church: St. Bede Parish // Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca from Bridal Beginning // Hair & Makeup: Beauty Justified // Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein // Reception Shoes: Kate Spade // Favors: The Pretzel Shop // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Film Scans: Richard Photo Lab // Catering: Rania’s Catering // Lighting: EF Lighting, LLC // Linens: Lendable Linens // Rentals: All Occasions Party Rentals // Video: Otis Visual Media // DJ: Modern Era Weddings

// photography @laurenreneephoto // flowers @thefarmersdaughterflowers // invitations @thelittlebluechair // wedding dress @palomablancabridal @bridalbeginning

hair & makeup @beautyjustifiedbyjustine // wedding shoes @badgleymischka // groom’s attire @calvinklein // reception shoes @katespadeny // favors @thepretzelshop // ring box @the_mrs_box // film scans @richardphotolab // catering @raniascatering // lighting @eflighting // linens @lendablelinens // rentals @alloccasionspartyrental // dj @moderneraweddings

Jessie and Adam let The Harper—a BRAND new venue—steer the design direction of their lovely Costa Mesa wedding. The couple wanted to emulate their laid-back style but maintain a modern and sophisticated feel and The Harper‘s design elevated the look perfectly. The sunny, courtyard ceremony framed by olive trees was followed by a lovely reception where guests sat family style under large retro brass chandeliers. Understated, modern elegance was at every turn including soft, white florals by French Buckets, Jessie’s streamlined gown by Made With Love from Love & Lace, and type-driven paper design by Kayla Adams. The couple enlisted the eye of Hannah Beth Photography to capture all the details in her signature journalistic style and we’re totally loving every bit of it!

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

We were so honored to be the FIRST wedding at the new venue in Costa Mesa, The Harper. It was exactly what we wanted – something modern and sophisticated but not overly fancy. Our style is laid-back, but we really wanted our guests to feel like they were coming to something special. The ceremony was outdoors, where the altar was framed by two big olive trees. The reception was literally in this completely renovated room with brass chandeliers, refurbished antique wood bars, and modern decor. It came with long wood farm tables so our guests could sit family style. The chairs were metal and wood and felt so much more sophisticated then a typical folding chair. There is a huge sky light over the dance floor that created a really nice focal point in the reception. I loved that everything at the venue was close together, but there were plenty of little spaces for guests to hang out; modern lounge furniture, outdoor space, and a garden. I wanted to keep the color palette really neutral and timeless, but since it was an October wedding, we decided to incorporate some dried florals with the live florals. It was a perfect way to create a Fall look without using orange and red.

The venue uses a caterer called roomforty. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever loved wedding food like I loved ours. They did a modern tostada bar with a gorgeous presentation. And the appetizer highlight was the “Nachos in a Gutter”, where delicious nachos were served straight from an 8 ft rain gutter!

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

I knew I wanted something minimalist, but it was surprisingly hard to find! So many people told me not too stress about the dress since you “only wear it for one day.” As I thought more about it, your photos are the only thing from the day that last, so if I didn’t like my dress, I probably wouldn’t like the photos either! So I did a TON of research and found a brand called Made With Love Bridal. It’s an Australian brand with an amazing mix of modern and timeless dresses that are so flattering! And they all have cute names – mine is called Georgie. Oh, and I bought it at an amazing little shop in Irvine, CA called Love & Lace Bridal. The whole team was lovely.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

– A friend of ours is a musician and played live music (that he wrote for us!!) as the bridal party walked down the aisle. It was perfect.

– During the ceremony, my brother came up and told the story of how we met in a sweet but funny way. It had the whole audience cracking up, and instantly made the environment feel light-hearted and relaxed. It helped slow everything down and we really got to take it all in. We had time to actually look around, laugh, and remember our journey.

– For the guestbook, we pre-attached photo corners to note cards so guests could take a Polaroid photo, attach it to the card, and write a note. Then we had them put the cards in a customized wood box from Artifact Uprising with our names and wedding date printed on the lid.

– We had signage at the Bars & Dessert Bar highlighting each of our favorite desserts and drinks.

– We had pouches of flower petals on the aisle seats to be tossed as we came back up the aisle.

– Our biggest highlight – we had an epic balloon drop during Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

Adam and I wrote each other letters that our bridal party exchanged for us in the morning. Before all the photos and festivities started, I read his letter and it set the tone for the whole day. The week of your wedding is busy and hectic, but pausing for a moment to read a letter about how he felt about me made me forget the crazy past week and look forward to the day in front of me!

I never wanted to do a first look, but I also didn’t want to leave in the middle of our wedding to go take photos, so we decided to do it. Honestly, it was perfect. It felt so special and intimate. It allowed us to get our nerves out of the way and just be able to enjoy the day. I’ll never forget his teary eyes when he turned around and his shaky hands that grabbed mine, and our nervous laughter as we awkwardly looked each other up and down with complete joy!  Of course the day still flies by, but we tried to incorporate little things throughout the day to slow time down.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

It was Summer 2014. Jessie walked in her front door, and a foxy blue-eyed, red-bearded man in a Carhartt t-shirt was sitting on her couch. Our roommates were hanging out and Adam happened to tag along. There was an instant friendship but things stayed casual. We spent the rest of summer BBQing with friends.

Then, it happened.

One night while they were hanging out with friends, the new Tim McGraw song came on and when Adam sang every word verbatim, Jessie knew this wasn’t your typical Orange County boy. The flirting quickly became more obvious, followed by our first hang out at SideCar donuts, a trip to the OC Fair, and our first official date at Side Door. And two days later Adam met Jessie’s entire family, so it’s safe to say he was all in.

The next 4 years were a roller coaster of lots of travel, a couple moves, and some career highlights and challenges. But in the midst of it all, we became best friends, fell in love, and scored the most amazing community of people.

Alexander Wedding from Abbey Pickett on Vimeo.

Venue: The Harper // Photographer: Hannah Beth Photography // Catering: Room Forty // Florals: French Buckets // Invitations: Kayla Adams // Wedding Dress Designer: Made With Love from Love & Lace in Irvine, CA // Groom’s Suit: Hudson’s Custom Suits // Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu // Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux // DJ: Ahsohn The DJ // Wood Box for Guest Book: Artifact Uprising //  Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Meghan and Sid wanted to keep things low-key and intimate for their spring nuptials at the picturesque Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond in St. Michaels, Maryland. So, Kari Rider Events got to work creating a scene that blended the waterfront setting with the bride’s vision for a modern-meets-botanical vibe. Enter Sophie Felts Floral Designs‘ greenery chandeliers, graphic black and white calligraphy signage and table numbers by Stephanie B Design, cool blue velvet linens, black flatware, wooden cross-back chairs, and a well-equipped cigar bar—all beneath a gorgeous sailcloth tent. Nowhere was the weaving of setting and theme more evident than in the cake display—a stunning two-tier cake by Chef Steven Anthony adorned with a blue wave pattern accented by focal roses that sat on a marble and wood stand atop a black and white striped linen. Perfection! And it’s all captured inthese stuning images by Eric Kelley.

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Photography: Eric Kelley // Planning & Design: Kari Rider Events // Florals: Sophie Felts Floral Designs // Invitation & Paper Goods: Stephanie B Design // Venue: Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond // Cake: Chef Steven Anthony // Hair & Makeup: Ariel Lewis // Tent & Rentals: Eastern Shore Tents & Events // Rentals: White Glove Rentals // Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen // Band: Sound Nation // Ceremony Musicians: Bay Strings // Transportation: Extroardinar Limousine