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

Emily and Emerson’s Charleston nuptials at Lowndes Grove incorporated many of the typical southern wedding design details including a plantation courtyard ceremony, florals by and topiaries by Out of the Garden, letterpress and (rainbow) wax seal  invitations by Alaina Polander and romantic white gowns and veils. However, the LGBT couple felt confident in their freedom to “throw tradition to the wind” in much of their personalized details. The “curated vibe—to relax and celebrate” of the day planned by our friends Ooh! Events included the couple getting ready together with all of their bridesmen and bridesmaids, a rendition of the Pulse Orlando Lin Manuel Miranda speech during the ceremony (not a dry eye in the house) and ditching all typical reception activities and instead dancing from start-to-finish. Emily and Emerson had a joint goal of staying “calm and present” during the day and they did it with joy, style and huge smiles as seen in these images captured by Brooke Boyd Photo + Film.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

From Emily: Being an LGBT couple we felt like we had a lot of freedom to throw tradition to the wind. While most of our wedding was as much of a cliché southern wedding as you can get, there were a lot of really personal details. We started  the day by doing yoga together and meditating guided by a friend. After yoga and meditating, we were able to spend the morning getting ready together with our closest friends. Getting ready together relieved all pressure; so many people love the suspense of seeing your wife walk down the aisle, but we wanted everything to be as calm and fun as possible. I think that made our wedding so unique. The entire day had a curated vibe – which was to relax and celebrate. We didn’t want anything to feel stuffy or posed and tried really hard to stay calm and be present. I would also argue the most unique part about our wedding was the amount of dancing – we skipped the activities once the reception started and instead never left the dance floor. We had two people do the worm, one person break dance, my sister did a split, and someone slid through another’s legs. WILD.

Tell us about the gowns and where/how you found them!

Emerson and I started off by going to New York with our best friends. We looked separately all day and neither of us found the dress, but we both agreed it was too hard not to share with the other. A month later, I went to Wedding Belles in New Orleans with my mom and sister and tried on the Jenny Yoo Riley I had seen in New York. Just like that, I was done! I loved so many dresses, but this one just fit the day best. Emerson on the other hand tried on dresses about four more times, when she finally tried on a Sarah Seven dress at Lovely Bride in DC and knew it was the one. It was perfectly simple with just enough modern edge to feel like her.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

  1. Emerson picked out every single song that was played that day. To her, music creates the atmosphere, so she went through and chose from the prelude to the exit (and yes the afterparty). My favorite pick from her was the DJ set kicking off with “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked it” by Katy Perry.
  2. We also picked every word spoken in the ceremony with our priest. Without question the best part of the wedding (and I highly recommend everyone use this in the future) was when my friend read Lin Manuel Miranda’s speech following the Pulse Orlando shooting. It’s safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye when she got to the “and love, is love, is love, is love, is love” part.
  3. We didn’t do a traditional wedding party; Emerson has two brothers and I have two sisters so they are the only people who stood. We did ask our best girls/guys to dress within the color palette and get ready with us. We were worried it was going to be cold, so each girl laid a fur stole at their chair and exited in it.
  4. Emerson’s brother and “Man of Honor” gave the best speech I ever heard. It began with “I’ve been knowing Emerson since the early 90s” and the highlight was “I never dreamed I’d be a bridesman one day, but I can’t tell you how happy I am to be one today.”

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

There was one moment before the ceremony started when my veil kept pulling my hair and I started getting really nervous. Emerson could sense I was nervous and pulled me into a room and said “forget it, don’t wear the veil” and gave me a big kiss. At that moment, all fears were pushed away because I knew I had picked the perfect person to spend the rest of my life with.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Emerson and I met the summer of 2014, when I had just graduated college and was about to move to DC. After our first date, we didn’t spend a single day apart that summer. So much so that Emerson volunteered to make the 17 hour drive with me to DC. Even though we had no intention of being in a long distance relationship, we were inseparable. Mine and Emerson’s lives fit perfectly together. We had the same values, same drive, and liked to leave parties at the same time. She is the perfect complement to all of my weaknesses and makes me a better person on a daily basis. Through the last five years together, we’ve moved seven times, had two college graduations, and embarked on brand new jobs in brand new cities. We’ve been through ups and downs, weddings, funerals, a home renovation and so much more, but through it all, Emerson made me grateful for every day. Knowing this I finally decided it was time to seal the deal so I snuck around with Susie Satzman and designed her dream ring. Over her birthday, we spent a week at home in New Orleans at my parents’ camp. One morning while we were watching the sunrise over coffee and blueberry cake donuts, I decided that was the moment. I began acting super weird and insisted she put on cute pajamas (because I wanted a good picture) and she replied “What? No. Weirdo” it was 5:30 am. Our dog had hurt his paw and she kept trying to pay attention to him and I was trying to get her to pay attention to me! Finally I started my speech and she asks “are you proposing?” and I was like “oh my gosh no” as I pulled out the ring! At this point, Emerson is thoroughly confused, laughing, and crying. Regardless, SHE SAID YES and we celebrated that night at the place her parents got engaged.

Coordination/Rentals: Ooh! Events // Photographer + Videographer: Brooke Boyd Photo + Film // Floral: Out of the Garden // Invite Suite: Alaina Polander // Venue/Catering/Bar/Cake: Lowndes Grove // Emily’s dress: Jenny Yoo, from Wedding Belles Nola // Emerson’s dress: Sarah Seven Belmont dress, from Lovely Bride // Hair: Slate Bridal Hair + Make Up // Make Up: Marisa Warren, Sarah Early, Slate Bridal Hair + Make Up // Yoga Instructor: Isabel Groedel // Ceremony Music: Bespoke Strings // Band: Tyler Kitchen + The Right Pieces // Guests Transportation: ACW Limo // Getaway Transportation: Lowcountry Valet

 

 

 

 

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Anat and Keenan’s family traveled from afar for their 3-day wedding event en Paris. With the help of  planner Laurence Beal, the couple incorporated so much personality, and highlights from ‘the city of love’ into their big day including a Seine river dinner cruise rehearsal dinner, a bachelorette party in Disneyland, and a chateau ceremony and reception at Pavillon de Musique de la comtesse du Barry. The pale pink, light blue and gold palette is magical and shines in the florals by Lily Paloma which included a scene-stealing, voluminous ceremony arch. Other details include macaron favors and a our signature cocktail called the “Lavi(e) en rose”—a play on the bride’s maiden name and an adorably simple combination of pink bubbly and cotton candy. Lucky for us, Matthieu Bondon  was on hand to capture all the details—and spectacular Parisian scenery—in these lovely photos.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The wedding was most special as all our loved ones traveled from far and wide to be with us for the three-day event. As Paris is the city of love, it was the perfect backdrop and was also a perfect reflection of how we felt in our hearts both due to our guests and due to us getting wed. It was also so much fun to have everyone stay together in the Hotel La Perle Saint Germain and enjoy different activities throughout. On our first night, we held a Seine river dinner cruise as our rehearsal dinner. On the second day my bridesmaids and I went to Disneyland, whilst the bachelor party went to a Ju-Jitsu lesson in the morning (one of Keenan’s hobbies) and later explored Paris. All this was the lead up to day three, our wedding day which to us was a dream-come-true. Finally on day four we all gathered for a final breakfast before everyone headed home.

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

I actually found it quite a challenge to settle on a wedding dress and ended up buying two and going back and forth between which is the right one for me…. however once the Yolan Cris gown was tailored to my measurements it was a no-brainer decision to make. Keenan (who knew about the dress indecision, without seeing the dresses) was ecstatic when he saw me for the first time in the reveal and said it was perfect in every way and that he could not have pictured anything better suited, so I was over the moon.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

As French regulation doesn’t allow for non-residents to get wed, we actually held an official (and Jewish traditional), family only, 12 person event prior to our wedding in France. This worked out well as when it came to the celebration, we could make it completely personalized to us.

We didn’t have a particular theme but early on I created a list of different things that had meaning to us as a couple or that were of significance to our history and started DIY projects to incorporate these throughout. Examples of these were our aisle runner which had all the important dates of relationship, or our display of wedding photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings, as a sort of family tree. Additionally, a nod to our Jewish traditional ceremony was the beer and wine labels we created that had a picture from our first wedding and had L’Chaim (to life) written on them. To add a flair of Disney and a whimsical feel, we had garden games in the cocktail hour and had a Mickey and Minnie sitting on the moon as our cake topper (which also tied in well to our first dance song “Moon River”). We also chose wedding colors (pale pink, light blue, gold) to incorporate and to facilitate bringing all these elements together. Finally, we wanted to add detail to reflect the magnificent venue we were lucky enough to hold our wedding in, the Pavillon de musique de la comtesse du Barry and also some 1920s glam which funnily enough meshed well together. For the venue, some French highlights were giving everyone a macaroon favor, our champagne tower and our signature cocktail the Lavi(e) en rose, (a play on my last name), which was the simplest thing ever to make just pink bubbly and cotton candy. The 1920s elements we incorporated were a moon photo booth and  hats, masks, hairpieces (which I made) that we gave out to our guests during the band’s session (who played 1920s music and some Disney songs in that style).  It was a mish-mash of everything, perfectly depicting our personalities and it all ended up flowing seamlessly together.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Keenan and I have two parts of the day which we consider to be the most memorable. The first was the ceremony in its entirety, having had the opportunity to completely DIY it, it felt very pure and genuinely us from thanking our parents for showing us through example what it is to have healthy marriages, to the alchemist passage we chose as a reading, to the breaking of the glass reflecting our Jewish faith and of course our vows which we revealed to each other on the day. The second moment was our first dance to the song  “Moon River” a song that has meant a lot to us throughout our relationship and encapsulates who we are as a couple. We had a choreographed routine, got our amazing band for the night Swing’it Dixieband to preform a live version of the song and all the guests held sparklers, so there was a real magical feeling in the air.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Keenan and I met in college (we both have different opinions as to when the first encounter was, but certainly in the first few days of our first year). We were friends for a while and even before we became a couple I would tell my friends that if we were to end up together it would likely last a long, long time. In 2010, on my birthday, we kissed and the rest was history! We were boyfriend and girlfriend for about 6 years before one night when we were visiting London to organize our move there, he popped the question in our hotel room, champagne and flowers in tow. There were lots of tears and a big ecstatic yes!

Photographer: Matthieu Bondon // Wedding planner: Laurence Beal // Flowers: Lily Paloma // Venue: Pavillon de Musique de la comtesse du Barry // Reveal/ getting ready photos: Hotel La Perle Saint Germain // Bride’s Dress: Yolan Cris // Hair and Makeup: Harold James // Catering/wedding cake: Erisay // Band: Swing’it Dixieband

 

Alex and Zach’s Florida Gulf Coast wedding at Watercolor was a ‘perfectly Southern’ affair. The venue’s coastal community local set the tone and the couple embraced the scenic backdrop with an outdoor ceremony and tented reception. Details and a color palette of dusty blue, slate and white complimented the natural foliage of the surrounding and subtle tropical accents in the and florals by Myrtie Blue and stationery by Prim + Pretty Prints tied it all together. Our friends, The Happy Bloom, were on hand to capture all the beauty in these gorgeous photographs.

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How was your wedding perfectly “Southern”?

I think it starts with the location. Watercolor is a coastal community on Hwy 30A in Florida. Many of our guests stayed in beach houses and were able to ride bikes or golf carts to local seafood joints, to the beach, and to many of our events. That was so fun for us because all of our friends and family were centralized in one area and you never knew who you would see out on a morning run or getting a muffin from Modica Market.

Our rehearsal dinner was at the Perfect Pig, which is a BBQ restaurant on 30A that my family has enjoyed going to for many years now. We had a grouper and a pork & gouda grits dish for all of the rehearsal dinner guests to choose for their entree. After the rehearsal, we went to the beach for a bonfire “post-toast” that all of our wedding guests were invited to. We were apprehensive at first about the bonfire plan but were very pleased with how fun it turned out to be. We roasted s’mores and had drinks on the beach with all of our friends and family under the stars with some acoustic guitar and singing. On the day of, the weather was gorgeous as both wedding parties got ready in their beach houses before pictures. The boys were in white dinner jackets while the girls wore a blue slate dresses. White dinner jackets was one of the first decisions we settled on after getting engaged because I loved how they looked in pictures I had seen. Our arrangements featured lots of palmettos, garden roses, and ranunculus. Myrtie Blue did a great job with emphasizing that coastal feel we were going for. After the ceremony, we had delicious food from Fish Out of Water and danced the night away to Musical Fantasy, a great band from Mobile, AL.

What was your vision for your wedding day? What made you choose certain colors or decor?

Our ceremony and reception were both outdoors, so we chose decor and colors that complimented the natural foliage of Watercolor. Our flowers were all white with small tropical greenery accents and the bridesmaids’ dresses were a slate blue both of which played well with the background.

 

What is the moment you remember most about your wedding day?

I know the first look is special for so many people, and I would agree that it was the same for me. Finally seeing Zach on our wedding day after building up with all the events of the week was the best part!

 

What’s next for you and your husband?

We have moved into our house in Memphis, TN. We have been settling in, decorating, and focusing our weekend time on getting our backyard ready to be enjoyed on many a summer night. And we are hoping to get our first crop of tomatoes in a few weeks!

Photography: The Happy Bloom // Planning: Lisa Childers // Florist: Myrtie Blue // Invitations: Prim + Pretty Prints // Venue: Watercolor // Hair + Makeup: Halo Salon // Bride’s Dress: Anne Barge // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids // Shoes: Sam Edelman // Videographer: 22 Magnolias // Ceremony Music: WMP Quartet // Cake: Confections on the Coast // Suits: Jos A Bank // Bridal Shop: Maggie Louise Bridal // Reception Music: Musical Fantasy // Catering: Fish Out of Water // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Leah and Geoff ventured from their home in Canada to the desert of Arizona with their closest friends and family spending the days surrounding their wedding exploring with their loved ones. Their day which included a ceremony at Scottsdale Old Adobe Mission Church followed by a reception at Desert Botanical Gardens was truly family-focused and intimate. “As much as all the details were special to us,” says Leah “we really just wanted an intimate day that we could be present in and to not worry about anything. It ended up being a dream, were both felt so loved honored and joyful.” See all the beautiful details including the bride’s pink BHDLN gown, custom Fire & Ice Custom Jewelry engagement ring, florals by Chasing Bliss Designs  and gorgeous desert details in these stunning images by Mason Neufeld Photography.

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Details from the photograpaher: They were wed in the Old Adobe Mission Church in Scottsdale. “The church was a unique small heritage site in old Scottsdale and was built by hand in the early 1900s by the first settling Mexicans. It is the oldest catholic church built in the area. Very quaint and simplistic with concrete floors and exposed beams which appealed to our love for warehouse style.” – Leah (Bride).

During the reception they arranged the tables in a circle. The table markers were designed by the groom, and were named instead of numbered so that they could pick words that had meaning to them; love, cactus, waterfall, spirit, and Jedi (the name of their puppy). He used movie “The Wedding” poster theme as inspiration, cactus, and tie dye patterns. They introduced each table of guests to bring an intimate feeling and so that everyone knew a bit more about one another to feel more connected. Geoff’s mother created the dreamcatchers, and the centre doilies were made by his grandmothers.

The bride comes from a musical family, and each of her sisters performed songs that they wrote for their wedding during the ceremony and reception.

Photographer: Mason Neufeld Photography // Florist: Chasing Bliss Designs // Ceremony Venue: Scottsdale Old Adobe Mission Church // Reception Venue: Desert Botanical Gardens // Dress Boutique & designer: BHDLN // Makeup: Skin Apeel Spa, Fountain Hills AZ // Donuts: The Local Donut // Rings: Custom made by Fire & Ice Custom Jewelry Designed by Bride and Groom // Catering: Atlas Catering // Invitation design & print: Groom // Jewelry: Crocus and Ivy // Film Lab: Photovision Prints // Officiant: Catholic priest Fr. Greg Schlarb

 

Is there anything more delightful than realizing Dahlia season is upon us!? Emilie and Steve’s fall nuptials at Philadelphia’s Parque at Ridley Creek, highlight the much-loved bloom and all of it’s late-summer glory. The couple stated their vows in The-Secret-Garden-esque courtyard on the estate grounds followed by a celebration at the historic mansion. Dahlia-centric florals in a palette of dusty pinks, light peach, deep merlot and barely-there-blush are by Love n Fresh Flowers with coordinating by Peachtree Catering. The couple enlisted Emily Wren Photography to capture their day and you can see it all in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Our venue made our wedding so special! Parque at Ridley Creek State Park was our dream venue. The Hunting Hill Mansion is an old stone mansion that once belonged to a family as their foxhunting vacation home. The mansion is surrounded by beautiful gardens and scenery, which made our outdoor ceremony so magical! It is set in the middle of a beautiful state park outside of Philadelphia. Parque was the perfect venue for us not only because of its beauty, but because we are such outdoorsy people. We love hiking all over the world and just being in nature. Starting our future at Parque was just the beginning of a lifetime of adventures.

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

My “dress” is actually a 3-piece from BHLDN. It is a skirt, corset, and lace topper. After looking at dresses at multiple bridal shops, I didn’t find any that I loved until I went to BHLDN. BHLDN had the romantic, less-formal style I was going for. I originally wasn’t looking for a 3-piece, but my mom showed me a photo of what it looked like online and I was in love! The 3-piece was great because you can buy each piece in your size, which is a great feature when you’re petite. I still needed alterations, but not many!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

A special part of our wedding was that we read our own vows. Steve was 100% set on doing this from the start, but I was a little nervous for it especially because I despise public speaking. Writing our own vows definitely took some extra thought, but it made the ceremony so special. Our guests gave us great feedback and really enjoyed that our ceremony had such a personal touch. Another special touch was the gorgeous flowers we had from Love n’ Fresh Flowers. Jennie grows all of her flowers herself on her flower farm in Philadelphia. It is so cool that we were able to support a local farmer! The flowers and decor really brought our venue to another level.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Our first look was such a memorable moment for us! It was a moment we got to spend alone before we tied the knot and before the craziness of the wedding would begin.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Steve and I met in a bar over 5 years ago. I picked him up! It actually took approaching him twice for the sparks to fly. After that night we were inseparable. Steve and I were vacationing in Kauai, Hawaii when he proposed. We were in the middle of a day-long hike on the Kalalau Trail along the Napali Coast. It was one of the most jaw-dropping gorgeous hikes of our lives. We hiked to a private beach and then up to a waterfall that we got to swim under. Steve pulled me off the trail for a water break, then proceeded to get on one knee. He couldn’t have picked a better place to propose!

Photography: Emily Wren Photography // Coordinator: Bridget Kelly Peachtree Catering // Florist: Jennie Love Love n Fresh Flowers // Venue: Parque at Ridley Creek // Hair: Taylor McGivney // Makeup: Nicck Townsend // Dress: Catherine Deane / Watters // Caterer: Peachtree Catering // Band/DJ: Nick Diguilo White Label DJs // Transportation: Ace Limousine and Transport