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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

 

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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

 

Marco is a talented DJ and Sound Designer, and his blushing bride Elise is an interior and event designer in Chicago. Drawing from her professional background, Elise conceptualized every detail of this celebration at Chicago Athletic Association , and was inspired by the Alfonso Cuaron’s 1998 adaptation of “Great Expectations,” with its bohemian ballrooms, textures and greenery. And, commissioning the work of local artists and creative friends was of utmost importance. From the florals by Moon Canyon to stationery suites from Vichcraft Lettering and even her reception gown by Samantha Sleeper– nearly every detail of this celebration was a labor of love from fellow industry creatives whom Elise admires deeply. The couple enlisted the skills of Olivia Leigh Photographie  to capture all their fabulous details and we’re thrilled to share the images with you today!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

From the bride: I am the founder of Forward Fruit, an experiential design and interiors firm, and co-founder of Filigree Suppers, a design-driven supper club highlighting local makers and culinary talent. Needless to say, our wedding was both an expression of love for each other, and a wonderful collaborative creative project. My passion is in creating engaging and memorable environments, so it was only natural our wedding would follow suit. With a deep admiration for the creative event industry, we commissioned the work of independent makers, many of whom were friends, who perfectly complemented the overall design vision. Marco is a sound designer by day/ DJ by night, so music was a really important part of the day. He also weighed in on pretty much every detail, which was a great way to keep us both involved!

I called upon my industry friends who contributed to the overall vision of the celebration – many of whom were standing by our side on our wedding day. This parallels the foundation of Filigree Suppers, which was designed so the makers would attend the gatherings they were a part of, and be engaged in conversation with those who were enjoying the fruits of their labor.
My friend Jenna Blazevich, a Chicago-based graphic designer and owner of Vichcraft did all the lettering and calligraphy. She also did the design for the save the date, which was inspired by the Venetian Gothic architecture of the venue. This design was also carried over to the cake.

Floral designer Kristen Caissie of Moon Canyon designed the flowers and was also a bridesmaid. Many other elements were from independent artisans, as noted in the vendor list.

Rainbow letterpress foil and an envelope liner inspired by “The Equatorial Jungle” 1909 by Henri Rousseau amplified the bespoke invitation suite, designed by me in collaboration with Vichcraft.
The front of the programs and invitation suite were inspired by the architecture of the venue. Small moon & stars/shells/squirrel references were made with an explanation about the symbolism seen through some of the wedding day design and how it told a story of our love. The shell motif was seen on my reception dress, place cards, and even the bread and butter plates!

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

My ceremony gown was previously worn by two generations of women – my grandmother in 1937, and my mother in 1976. For our reception, I switched into a fun, costume style gown which was custom created with Chicago native and bridal designer, Samantha Sleeper.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

A thoughtfully-designed ceremony highlighted our individual heritages. A rabbi married us beneath a floral and lace chuppah in a nod to my Jewish faith, while a lasso ceremony reflected  Marco’s Catholic upbringing. Marco, who is also Mexican and Puerto Rican, called upon his uncle to read a Pablo Neruda poem in Spanish, which was also read in English by my best friend.

​A string quartet played “In My Life” The Beatles for the wedding party. I walked down the aisle to a string adaptation of “Latch” by Sam Smith, a song that was popular our first full summer together. The recession was to “Wedding March” because we love tradition. My parents met playing in an orchestra so this was a nod to them. This was our gift to (and surprise for) my parents.

​Marco and I surprised our parents and guests with a performance by a Mariachi band during the reception!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

We did a lift during our first dance that went off without a hitch! We were so excited we barely finished the dance!

​ ​The most epic dance party either of us had been to. As a DJ (him) and a former dancer (me), that was SO special to have our family and friends with us on the dance floor all night.​

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Neither of us had ever used a dating app, but in the summer of 2013, we both signed up and that first night I was on, I met Marco. A few weeks after that, I went on my first and last blind date. A few weeks after THAT, we both had the feeling that “this was it”!

Marco proposed in 2016 against a sunset backdrop with a stunning emerald (my favorite color) ring on the dock at my family’s lake house. We had just polished off a few pieces of strawberry rhubarb pie. We were married just over a year later at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, a recently renovated, men’s club turned destination hotel.​

Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie // Wedding Designer: Elise Metzger (bride) Founder of Forward Fruit and co-founder of Filigree Suppers // Planner (partial): Bianca Hall Estera Events // Florals: Kristen Caissie Moon Canyon // Invitations: Bride made with Vichcraft Lettering // Lettering & Calligraphy: Jenna Blazevich Vichcraft // Venue/Catering: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel // Bride’s Gown Ceremony: Vintage Mother’s and Grandmother’s // Reception Gown: Samantha Sleeper // Bride’s Shoes: Ferragamo (ceremony) SJP (reception) // Bride’s Earrings: JCrew // Bride’s Veil Designer: Blair Nadeau // Bride’s Hair: Angelica Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists // Makeup: Nika Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists // Groom’s Tux: Custom // Groom’s Shoes: Suit Supply // Rings: Hers Both Tiffany & Co Michigan Ave // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Fame and Partners Online // Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Black Tux // Candles: Creative Candles // Photo Booth: Paper Moon Shoppe // Cake: Cake Chicago // Invite Details: Little Postage House Vintage Stamps // Rentals: Flatware and Vintage Stemware Nimblewell // Ceramics: Ashley Lin Ames // Linens: Dot & Army / La Tavola Fine Linen // Lighting: Kehoe // Chuppah: Chuppah Studio // Cocktail Stirrers: Vintage on Etsy // Toss Flowers: Larkspur Hill via Etsy // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Ceremony Entertainment: Innocenti Strings // Reception Entertainment: Mariachi Ameca // DJ: DJ Matt Roan // Videographer: Logan Moore Wholehearted