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Lauren and Dan enlisted Grey Collective member Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events to fill their wedding day at The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain with all the “boho-desert vibes!” they dreamed of. The couple adored every single detail—and there were many, many details—including a custom-designed teepee, the organic blend of floral filled with roses and king protea Alexis Grace Floral Design, the Moroccan runner and rugs, custom designed luggage tag escort cards by Victoria York Design. The mood is vibrant, layered and so, so fun and lucky for us  Betsy and John Allen were on hand to capture all the details.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

We described the entire wedding from start to finish as “boho-desert vibes!” Every detail was absolutely wonderful. We were obsessed with the custom designed teepee, the organic blend of floral mixed with roses and King Protea, the Moroccan runner and rugs down the aisle way and under the teepee, string quartet, signature drinks- Lauren’s Honey-Do Sling and Dan’s Desert Old Fashioned, array of leather and wicker boho-style furniture, an abundance of candles, and the custom designed luggage tag escort cards displayed on wood! To be honest, we could go on and on about how each detail was so perfect!

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

I found my gown at Lovely Bride in Philadelphia! Each dress there is absolutely stunning and truly unique. When I saw my dress, I knew it was the one as it was everything I envisioned! The designer is Rue de Seine. It definitely fit the “boho-desert vibes!”

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

My brother was our officiant, which was absolutely perfect. Everything he said was a true reflection of us and he made the wedding so personal and special. We felt so comfortable with him standing next to us and we were so excited that he was the one to pronounce us husband and wife!

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The most memorable part of the day was walking down the aisle. We were surrounded by all of our closest family and friends. The views were picturesque, the teepee was to die for, and Dan standing at the end of the aisle with tears in his eyes made for the most special moment.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We are high school sweethearts! We met freshman year of high school. Dan describes our meeting as love at first sight! We have been truly inseparable since freshman year. We became engaged on July 2, 2017 at Longwoods Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. We were on a quiet bridge surrounded by fields of different grasses and wildflowers. We were totally alone and it was perfect.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain:Lauren & Daniel from Stepheny Keith on Vimeo.

Wedding Planner And Stylist: Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events // Photography: Betsy and John Allen // Floral: Alexis Grace Floral Design // Invitations & Paper: Victoria York Design // Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain // Gown: Rue de Seine // Videography: Black Sheep Filmworks // Hair and Make Up: I Do Hair and Make Up Artistry // Specialty Rentals: Dang Fine Rentals // Chair Rental: Red Diamond Rentals // Ceremony Music: Araceli Strings // DJ: SATYR Entertainment

 

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Michelle and Nick chose Palm Spring’s Korakia Pensione as their wedding venue because “…nestled in the mountains—it felt like a Moroccan/Mediterranean dream in the middle of the desert.” Orange Blossom Special Events embellished that Moroccan dream and led the design team in creating a stunning day filled with bohemian touches and rich red, pink and white roses in arrangements by The Bloom of Time. Our friends at Jenny Smith & Co. captured all the details, the gorgeous venue and all the joy of the couple so perfectly in these images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Palm Springs has always been a special place for us; we have a lot of great memories in the desert and it’s where Nick’s father used to live. When we looked at different venue options in the area, we visited Korakia first and we completely fell in love with it. Korakia charmed us with the lush bougainvillea and palm trees. We loved that it was nestled against the mountains – it felt like a Moroccan/Mediterranean dream in the middle of the desert. Each room is unique and we rented the entire hotel to ourselves – what made it special was that everyone at the hotel was a guest at our wedding. It felt like a weekend retreat! We did yoga in the morning before the wedding and ate breakfast together; it was truly a special weekend to have all of our family and friends in one place. We thought it was unique that Korakia makes guests feel like everyone is on vacation, not just the couple getting married!

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

I started looking online to get an idea of what I would want my dress to look like. I stumbled across the Nicole Miller website and on a whim decided to book an appointment to try on the gowns. I didn’t think I’d find my dress when I went – but after trying on my 4thdress I knew it was the one. I knew I wanted a form fitting mermaid style gown and I’ve always loved lace; so this dress felt like the perfect fit for me. I didn’t hesitate – I bought it then and there.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

I should have had 6 bridesmaids. A month before we were engaged one of my best friends passed away from cancer. Her absolute favorite stone was emerald, so on my wedding day I decided to wear emerald earrings in her honor. For the catering, Nick and I are both vegetarian. We wanted to have a wedding that felt like us, so we decided to make our entire catering menu vegetarian! They did an excellent job. I also ordered personalized napkins to be used during  the cocktail hour; which had a special message to our guests thanking them for being a part of our wedding. During our ceremony, we had Nick’s sister Mira read a passage from my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It magically turned out to be the perfect passage to be read; and it was years ago that I had fallen in love with it – so it was not a coincidence that it was read at our wedding day:

“When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke—the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen—the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.”

“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”—Paulo Coelho

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Nobody ever tells you about the rush of feelings you get as a bride (and groom too) when you’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. There’s nothing you can do to prepare for it and it’s a powerful moment you have with yourself. Hiding in the car (before my entrance) and watching the ceremony begin was a wild experience; I was filled with so much love and excitement and nervousness at the same time. I’ll never forget that feeling of seeing Nick for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. We also didn’t know if my dad would be able to walk me down the aisle due to his Alzheimer’s. We didn’t know if he would even be aware of what was happening that day. One of the best feelings was seeing the smile on his face when I came out of the car as he prepared to walk with me during the ceremony. It was evident he knew exactly what was going on; and it was the greatest gift I could ever ask for to have him present and by my side that day.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

I’ve known Nick’s best friends longer than he has. We kept missing each other at social gatherings but one summer we finally met at a BBQ during Memorial Day weekend. It was the summer I decided I was bored with LA and was moving to NY. So we met and 6 weeks later I moved across the country. He told me he didn’t want to do long distance and my response was “so when are you going to visit me?” A year later I moved back to LA and Nick and I went on several backpacking and hiking adventures together. When he proposed, he took me on his favorite hike in LA. He completely surprised me, I thought that he would be proposing during a Paris trip we had planned that summer!!

 

Michelle & Nick Highlight Film – Korakia Hotel – Palm Springs Wedding from Rebecca Blue on Vimeo.

Photography: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planner: Orange Blossom Special Events // Florals: The Bloom of Time // Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas // Venue: Korakia Pensione // Dress: Nicole Miller // Makeup: Susie Moldavon // Hair: Done personally by the bride // Videography: Rebecca Blue Media // Catering: F10 Creative // Bartending: Mint Bartending // Officiant: LA Wedding Woman // Photo Booth: Classic Photo Booths // Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals // Rentals: Planks & Patina // Dessert: Top Tier Treats // DJ: Dart Collective

 

Aimee wanted her wedding to Ted be a “love letter to our relationship.” The couple, both Filipino with a love of food and travel, personalized every last detail of the menu and experience for their guests at Early Mountain Vineyards. Hosting a fall wedding was a priority for the couple and they selected a venue overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains playing up the lush foliage and color palette it offered. Florals were by The Posey Detail and floral invitations by Citrus Co. and the beauty of the day is beautifully captured in these images by Elizabeth Fogarty.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

I wanted our wedding to be a “love letter to our relationship”. At our core, Ted and I are consummate hosts, foodies and world travelers. We saw our wedding as the opportunity to share our personality and the experiences that shaped us as a couple with our guests. Every decision was purposefully made to craft a thoughtfully curated experience. Hosting a fall wedding was at the top of our list. It is our favorite season and I knew the lush, saturated tones of the fall foliage would be the perfect backdrop for our wedding. I was also remarkably picky about our venue because it would set the tone for our day. It was important to me that our guests experienced different moments of our day in different spaces. We selected Early Mountain Vineyards for that exact reason. We hosted cocktail hour in the beautifully decorated Tasting Room and the reception and ceremony in the Event Hall. Our wedding was held in the evening so the venue took on a lovely romantic glow that made our fall wedding dreams come true.

The food was also a top priority for us. Ted and I are both Filipino and food is a defining aspect of our culture. We also plan our trips around food! We worked with a local caterer to create a completely custom menu and curated cocktail selection. I worked for months and months researching recipes to pinpoint exactly what we wanted. We selected a menu that was elevated, yet comfortable. One of my favorite moments was seeing our guests take to our cocktail selection and enjoy the Aperol Spritz. We love turning people on to new foods and experiences.

With delicious food and the haze of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, our wedding was the most perfectly, imperfect day.

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

I wore the Watters Alice gown in ivory. It was actually one of the first dresses I tried on. I tried it first at a boutique in Georgetown, DC and then again at Love Couture Bridal in Potomac, MD. I am notoriously a more conservative dresser so I was surprised when I fell in love with the form fitting silhouette of the Alice gown. It made me feel beautiful, elegant and just a little bit sexy. The modern, graphic lace detail was my favorite feature.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Our wedding was all about the special touches. My favorites were:

Our wedding cake topper was handmade by my mother. Baking and fondant work have been become a great hobby of hers. She recreated the magnolia flowers from our invitation suite.

Matchbox favor: As a designer, I’m a huge proponent of function over form. I wanted to give something to our guests that would be both useful and remind them of our special day. Ted and I love to collect matchboxes from restaurants. We designed two matchboxes to give a nod to the wedding and our love of Washington, DC.

Playing New Orleans jazz during cocktail hour: New Orleans is a city the holds a special place in both of our hearts. We visit every year. During cocktail hour, we played New Orleans jazz to pay homage to our favorite foodie paradise.

Bridesmaid dresses: I am a huge fan of the mismatched bridesmaid dress trend. I think it elevates the concept of matching dresses to look more purposeful and gives each bridesmaid the opportunity to share their personality. At the time, it was really difficult to find what I wanted in bridal salons. I had selected a dusty, slate blue color and no one had that color let alone varieties of that blue. In addition to wanting shades of this hard-to-find blue, I wanted each girl to wear different textures. A lot of conditions, I know! But I had a vision. I scoured the sale section of Nordstrom.com and purchased a variety of dusty, slate blue dresses that fit the bill. I set up a bridal salon in my own apartment and treated my bridesmaid to a homemade brunch. They selected their exact dresses for our wedding and my vision came to life. Each girl is wearing a different fabric/texture and I love the look of them together.

My veil: My veil was a nod to my favorite design era: Art Deco. I selected a custom-made Juliet Cap style veil to blend together the modern look of my dress and soft, romantic design of our wedding.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The outpouring of love and support we felt throughout the entire day. Given that our wedding was a destination for all of our guests, we were so grateful for those who traveled near and far to celebrate with us. It truly was the best day of our lives.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Ted and I met right after college in April 2011 but our stories differ. I will say we met through a mutual friend while Ted says we met at a local bar.

One of the first things Ted learned about me was my love for food and design. The Kennedy Center is my favorite building in DC and they host a Sunday brunch in their Roof Terrace restaurant. I took Ted years ago to share one of my favorite DC experiences. Fast forward to 2017, Ted had slyly suggested that we go again in May. The day he proposed was a miserable, rainy day. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go anymore but Ted was adamant. We arrived at the top of the Kennedy Center and Ted asked me to go out on the roof terrace (in the rain) which I found so odd. (He had hired a college friend turned photographer to capture our proposal.) To my surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question! It was a beautiful, special moment between the two of us that I’ll remember forever. Afterwards, we had brunch with our families who met for the first time.

Aimee & Ted // November 4th, 2017 from Altamira Film Co. on Vimeo.

Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty // Month of Coordinator: Dream Defined Events // Flowers: The Posey Detail // Invitations: Citrus Co // Venue: Early Mountain Vineyards // Dress: Love Couture Bridal (Watters- Alice gown) // Makeup and hair: First Look Artistry // Tux: The Black Tux // Catering: C&O catering // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Molly and Bryan’s wedding at Millwick in downtown Los Angeles was super-personalized celebration with industrial-tropical flair. The venue provided and cool, relaxed visual foundation and the couple enlisted Tealight Weddings & Events to help them add in the rest of their details. Punchy red, white and green florals were by Wild Vase while special details like the chuppah made by the bride’s mother and the custom movie dance scene reel playing on the big screen behind the dance floor add Molly and Bryan’s own touch. Behind the lens, Jenny Smith & Co. was working he magic and we love how her images truly capture all the joy and rad details.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

It was my mother’s wish to create a chuppah that all 4 of her daughters would be married under and with each subsequent wedding she has embroidered the names and the date onto the cloth. My oldest sister married us, under the same chuppah she was married under. A nice bonus was that our wedding day was actually my parent’s 37th wedding anniversary, which made it even more special.

What were some of the touches added to make the wedding personal?

We have so many talented friends and family members that we turned to them to help us personalize our day. My oldest sister wrote and officiated the ceremony. One friend designed our invitation suite. Another did our flowers. Another drew little vignettes for our program, as well as the backdrop that we projected onto the screen during dinner. Traditionally, Jewish weddings have seven blessings – and instead of reciting them in Hebrew, we asked seven of our closest friends to offer a short blessing. It had the potential to be all over the place, but it was the perfect mix of humor, sincerity, and so much love. And to add the final personal touch, led by my mother, many of our family and friends baked a batch of their favorite cookies to make an incredible cookie table spread for dessert.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The dance party! Leading up to the wedding we spent hours combing through of all of our favorite dance scenes from movies and music videos, and we patched them together into a video that played up on the huge screen while everyone danced throughout the night.

Tell us how you met and became engaged

We met a restaurant where we both worked – I was the manager, Bryan was the bread baker. He continued to ask me out for months, and I continued to politely decline. Finally his charm won me over, and we went on our first date. I realized pretty quickly that I should had said yes a long time ago. He proposed while we were doing laundry, at home, in pajamas, on a Saturday night.

Photography: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planning: Tealight Weddings & Events // Florals: Wild Vase // Invitations: Francesca Greggs // Venue: Millwick // Dress: Jenny Yoo Collection // Programs/Menus: Lexie Smith // Hair: Spoke & Weal – Jennifer Potter // Makeup: Joelle Pitts // DJ: Dart DJ // Photo Booth: Jenny Smith & Co. // Rentals: A Rental Connection // Catering: Olive Wood Pizza // Bar: Mama’s Medicine

 

Grace and Scott’s wedding day was held at The Club, a venue known for it’s iconic views of downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The couple, who met on a local kickball team, recited their vows in front of a stunning floral arch by Edna K Design on a terrace that overlooked the exact location of Scott’s proposal to Grace. Invision Events planned the day filled with classic details like letterpress by Empress Stationery, calligraphy by The Refined Pen and romantic florals in blush, peach and deep pinks. We especially love the very southern monogrammed linens from Sassy Biscuit—adorable! No details was left un-personalized and lucky for us Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography was on hand to capture it all.

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What made the wedding special or unique?

Scott and I chose to have our ceremony and reception at The Club in Birmingham, Alabama. We knew early on in our engagement we wanted to get married outside. The Club is iconic for its views of the city, so we had our ceremony on the terrace. What made the terrace extra special is that you can see the overlook where Scott proposed from where we said our vows. In addition to the beautiful views, we wanted to have a focal point to help make the space feel intimate, so our florist created a beautiful arch with flowers and greenery. It was the perfect nod to our love of the outdoors, and helped make the terrace feel personal.

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

I searched and searched for the perfect gown and found elements I liked in a lot of dresses, but not everything all in one. When I went to Carriage House Weddings, my consultant explained how customizable Augusta Jones dresses were. I found two separate dress styles I loved: the shape of the Jessie, a fitted A-line, and the bodice of the Skyler. When combined, both dresses checked all the boxes. Even more, I was also able to select a lace pattern. At the end of the process, I had my own custom gown that was everything I had envisioned.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?  

In memory of my father, and as my “something blue”, my seamstress sewed a patch of his favorite blue shirt into a layer of my dress. A boutonniere was also placed in his chair during the ceremony. After a year of dating, Scott and I adopted a puppy  from the local humane society. Needless to say, he’s the center of both of our worlds, so we knew we wanted him to be a part of our day. While although he wasn’t present at the ceremony, a great friend of ours brought him to take photos with us and the wedding party beforehand. He was the only one with an outfit change that day – a floral collar and a bow tie!​

Scott loves to cook, so we wanted to be intentional about our menu. While neither one of us is Greek, we both love Greek food and went to a local Greek restaurant for our first date. We knew we had to have gyros as a menu item, and the chef at The Club was excited to prepare something atypical of the standard southern menu.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

I loved the moments Scott and I shared right after the ceremony. The ceremony was incredibly special, but it was such a fantastic feeling to be married and have some time just the two of us to take it all in. While we were excited to celebrate with our family and friends, we were able to sneak away and our photographers snapped some of our favorite wedding photos as the sun was setting.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.  

A mutual friend asked Scott and I to play on an adult kickball team. I’m not athletic in the slightest, but was new to the city and thought it would be a fun way to meet other post grads. Growing up, instead of sports, I took dance lessons, so the emphasis has always been to run pretty, more so than fast. Scott however, played team sports his entire childhood and is very competitive. Fortunately, he put my pointed toe kicks and graceful running aside. I never scored a run that season, but we became more than teammates by the end of summer. Then, on a Sunday in the middle of October, Scott asked me if I wanted to take our dog on a hike. I absolutely love the peak of the fall season, when all of the leaves are bright red, orange and gold. The fall foliage in Birmingham was at this point, so I was especially excited to get outside. We headed to Ruffner Mountain, a meaningful place to both of us, and hiked to the overlook that oversees downtown. I was checking out the cityscape, and when I turned back around, Scott was on bended knee. Extra special note: you can see the overlook where Scott proposed from the very spot we said our vows on the terrace of The Club.

Photography: Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography // Planning: Invision Events // Florals: Edna K Design // Stationery + Custom Monogram: Empress Stationery // Venue + Catering: The Club // Getting Ready Venue: The Tutwiler // Dress Designer: Augusta Jones // Dress Boutique: Carriage House Weddings // Calligraphy: The Refined Pen // Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental // Groom’s Tux: Mr. Burch Formalwear // Hair & Makeup: The Hair & Makeup Collective // Bride’s Cake: Barb’s Cakes // Groom’s Cake: Pastry Art // Monogrammed Details: Sassy Biscuit // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Entertainment: Creativity! via Music Garden Bands // Group Transportation: Rare Transportation // Newlywed Transportation: Coats Classic Cars