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.
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