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Bride Kelly drew inspiration from favorite movies and television shows—like Little Women and Downton Abbey—for the styling of her wedding her wedding to groom Matthew. So, the couple enlisted Cibi Events to turn Legare Warring House into an English garden and with the help of floral genius The Purple Magnolia, the result was spectacular. Every last detail is filled to the brim with roses and we’re loving it. Kelly’s minimalist gown is by Theia, letterpress invitations are by Aerialist Press and beautiful photographs are by Caroline Ro.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

It was important to Matthew and me that our wedding reflect our individual personalities and our interests as a couple. I drew a lot of inspiration from my childhood and favorite movies and television shows (including Little Women and Downton Abbey.) I wanted the wedding to feel as if our guests were strolling through an English garden, and I felt as if our ceremony and reception space perfectly reflected that! (All thanks to the fabulous CiBi Events and Purple Magnolia)

Another aspect of the wedding that was important to us was our dinner. Both Matthew and I enjoy sharing meals with our families and friends. Our family style dinner allowed us to recreate the feeling of a huge family dinner made even more special among candlelight, flowers, and drapery. It was so special to look out from the head table and watch our families laugh, chat, and mingle.

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

I was so excited to go shopping for my dress, and I had in mind a bohemian/loose fitting style dress. Everyone tells you that your wedding dress will never be what you initially have in mind, and it’s very true! I shopped at two stores in Charleston, SC, and I found my dress at the second store we visited.

After trying on multiple dresses, my sister picked a classic style dress with a sweetheart neckline. I was shocked at how much I liked the clean silhouette. The bridal consultant then pulled the unassuming Theia gown I chose. As soon as I slipped on the dress, I loved how elegant and sophisticated I felt. I felt like myself but older and more mature – in a good way. The very next day, I returned to the shop to ensure my first reaction held true, and it did! I would suggest to other brides that they have an open mind when trying on dresses. Also – don’t forget the ability to customize! I love that I wore a lace topper for the ceremony which made the dress feel even more bridal to me.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Matthew and I are lucky that so many women in our families are creative and artistically talented! My mom embroidered pillows with forget-me-nots to recognize my grandmother who battled Alzheimer’s disease. Matthew’s sister custom made two signs that were both showcase pieces for our ceremony and reception. Matthew’s mother painted and hand-drew many smaller signs for our wedding and rehearsal dinner. We also included family photos inside Legare Waring House which allowed us to remember our entire families. Now we are able to showcase these signs and photos in our home, and they will always remind us of our wedding day.

Additionally, Matthew and I love music, and it was important that our music choices reflected our personal interests. The song I walked down the aisle to (“For the Beauty of the Earth”) was one of my favorite church hymns and was also featured in Little Women. We also used the same DJ that our friends had used in their weddings, so it was great to relive those memories!

Another feature that became personal was the first layer of our wedding cake! Matthew’s parents also had Italian Creme Cake as their wedding cake.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

There were so many memorable parts! However, one sticks out in my mind. As soon as we finished family photos, Matthew and I sneaked back inside the house and went into the library which overlooked the courtyard. It was very special to peek out through the window and watch as our family and friends visited with each other and enjoyed cocktail hour. We loved having a quiet moment to ourselves prior to joining everyone. Our caterer spoiled us with some of our passed hors d’oeuvres which made the moment even better.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Matthew and I met through Matthew’s sister SaraBeth. Matthew attended Clemson University, but he had an internship in Columbia, South Carolina my freshman year at the University of South Carolina. One night a few of my friends headed over to Matthew’s apartment to celebrate the end of the year, and the rest is history! We dated for seven years (many of those long distance) prior to becoming engaged.

Our engagement seemed like a dream to me! Matthew planned a date night in August during the middle of the week. He suggested we walk along Sullivan’s Island, SC (a place we frequented while we dated), and then afterwards we would get a drink at one of our favorite restaurants. The day he planned to ask me, my cat became seriously ill (he’s now recovered), and Matthew almost backed off his plan, but I’m glad he didn’t!

As we walked down the beach, I noticed a photographer taking photos of three young girls dancing. I mentioned to Matthew that my sister and I had our photographs taken on the beach as a Father’s Day gift when we were young. As we walked closer to the girls, I noticed a huge heart drawn in the sand with white flowers and three signs that said “Kelly, will you?” Just moments before Matthew proposed, his mom and dad set up everything for the surprise.

Everything around me disappeared, and I had a hard time paying attention to what he was saying! The photographer was actually for us, and the young girls dancing were visiting from France. I’ll never forget that moment.

kelly and matty from Gabrielle Powell on Vimeo.

Planning & Design: Cibi Events // Photographer: Caroline Ro // Flowers: The Purple Magnolia // Invitations: Aerialist Press // Venue: Legare Warring House // Dress Designer: Theia // Dress: Gown Collective (Formerly Fabulous Frocks) // Hair & Makeup: Ash & Co // Escort Cards: Candlefish // Cake: Cakes by Kasarda // Catering & Bar: Cru Catering // DJ: Dragon Entertainment // Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals // Rentals: Ooh Events // Ceremony Musicians: Charleston Virtuosi

 

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Katie’s wedding vision was gathering all the people she and Mike love in one spot with the beach in the background. She achieved just that (and a whole lot of white roses!) at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. With the help of planner Ooh! Events, the couple enhanced the scenic backdrop of their celebration with striking floral structures and greenery by Out of the Garden and elegant details at the white tent reception. Photographer Perry Vaile was on hand to capture all the retrained beauty of the day in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

From the bride: I had always wanted a beach wedding. I love the ocean. My vision was to have all of the people we love in one spot, with the beach/ocean in the background and have it feel like a special getaway weekend where we celebrated not only our love for each other, but all of our friends and family who had helped us get to that point in our lives. I also wanted it to feel simple yet elegant while not being too stuffy. I wanted mostly greens/creams with some blush.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Our light and airy color palette was very “us” and fit the venue and time of year beautifully. Because Charleston is so hot in the summer, we knew we could still go with a light palette even though it was technically fall. As I mentioned above, I always wanted a beach wedding. In searching for a venue I was shocked by how many hotels up and down the east coast didn’t have great venue space that incorporated the beach/ocean but weren’t actually “on” the beach. After visiting what felt like dozens of venues one of my very best friends (the gentleman that ended up walking me down the aisle) recommended I visit the Sanctuary. His cousin had been married there the year before. He sent me the link to the article/post done on her wedding and I immediately fell in love. It was exactly what I had envisioned in my mind for a venue. My mom and I traveled to The Sanctuary the following week for a day trip and decided on the spot it’s where we wanted to get married! The fact that The Sanctuary is outside Charleston was a huge bonus. Most of our guests would be coming from DC and there are tons of direct flights from CHS-DCA every day. Plus Mike and I LOVE low country food so the restaurant/food scene was perfect! The icing on the cake was The Sanctuary introducing us to Jerri at Ooh Events. I wouldn’t have wanted to plan my wedding with anyone else!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Being surrounded by some of our favorite people in the world and having our first dance as husband and wife. Also, seeing Mike’s face as he saw me for the first time. It was a moment I will never forget!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We were friends and colleagues for about a year and realized we kept working on things together and were almost always aligned on how we’d want to approach something and/or what outcome we thought was best for the organization. I think working together before we started dating was really nice because we already knew so much about each other.

Katie & Mike from byDesign Films on Vimeo.

Planning, Design, Coordination and Rentals: Jerri Heater of Ooh! Events // Photographer: Perry Vaile // Florist: Out of the Garden // Venue + Catering: The Sanctuary Hotel // Hair + Makeup: Paper Dolls // Tabletop Rentals: Polished Tabletop // Band: ATL Groove Factory // Ceremony + Cocktail Entertainment: Charleston Virtuosi // After party entertainment: DJ Illumination // Videographer: ByDesign Films // Tent: Snyder Event Rentals // Officiant: Doug Farmer

 

 

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

 

Who else is ready for proposal season to heat up? It seems like as soon as the temperatures dip, and the closer we get to the holiday season, the more we see new shiny rings on fingers! And with so many options out there today for rings, we thought we would partner with Clean Origin to navigate the decision making process. 

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How to navigate the 4 c’s

You’ve likely heard of the four things to look for when you’re searching for a diamond — cut, clarity, color and carat. But what exactly do all of those mean? And why are they so important to your diamond?

Cut
It’s common for people to mix up cut with the shape of the diamond. However, the cut is actually a grade of how well the diamond interacts with light, and how well the jeweler plans, maps and hand cuts the facets on each individual diamond. It’s no surprise that we all want our diamonds to shine, and how well your diamond is cut will ultimately be the deciding factor in how much sparkle you get. The cut of your diamond will be: Good, Very Good, Excellent, Ideal, or unavailable. Obviously, the better the adjective, the better the diamond cut. It’s also common that your diamond might not possess a cut at all. For some fancy-shaped diamonds, such as cushion, there is no cut grade. This is simply because there is not a grading system in place to measure the light return. If you’re interested in one of these shapes, simply talk with your jeweler about what else to look for during the purchasing process — often you’ll be looking for specific qualities in specific cuts. 

Clarity
The clarity of a diamond is a bit more self explanatory. Due to the high amounts of pressure that’s used to create a diamond — either in the earth’s surface or in a lab — it’s common for these jewels to include internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’ or external characteristics called ‘blemishes’. Naturally, the fewer characteristics that the diamond has, the more expensive it becomes. When you’re searching for your diamond, the clarity will includes one or two letters and a number — SI2 for example is the lowest you would want to go on the scale if you do not want to see any visible imperfections.

Color
Although a pink diamond might be turning in your head right now, when you hear about color in diamonds, it’s actually referring to the absence of color. The color of a diamond is graded on an alphabetical scale, starting at D and ranging all the way down to Z with D being a colorless diamond and Z being yellow. Most of the time, you’ll want to look for a diamond that is higher up on the alphabet — yellow in a diamond can actually leech the sunlight and minimize sparkle. It’s important to note that the differences from one letter to another are often minute — go with your eye, your gut and a trust jeweler. 

Carat
Finally, you’ll have to choose what carat size you want. Carat refers to the actual weight of the diamond. As you probably already know, size is a huge contributor to the price of the stone. It’s extremely important to understand some of the terminology around carat. For example, if you see “tw”, that means “total weight”. Unless marked otherwise, this could be the total of the center stone and the accent diamonds together. If you want a center stone alone that weighs a certain amount, make sure you specify! However, some small differences in carat size can be almost absent to the naked eye, but can cause a dramatic price jump. Make sure your jeweler knows your budget and is getting you the best bang for your buck in that range.

We know, we know, your head is starting to turn with all of these numbers and letters. But don’t worry, your jeweler should be able to help you with all 4 C’s, but it’s important to be educated so that no one tries to rip you off. And, always remember, this is your decision! Sometimes choosing one ‘C’ over another might be the right choice for your style or budget.  

Diamond choices
It used to be that you had very little say in where your diamond was sourced. In fact, if you walk into the average jeweler, it’s unlikely that they will be able to tell you where your diamond came from. With lab-grown diamonds, this is no longer the case. Lab-created diamonds, like the ones from Clean Origin, give you an ethical, environmentally friendly and less expensive option for diamonds. 

Not only does Clean Origins offer engagement rings, but you can also find loose diamonds, wedding bands, wedding sets, beautiful earrings and also bracelets! With over 100 ring styles available, free shipping, free resizing, a 100-day return policy, and a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty – using them is a no-brainer!

Ethically sourced, environmentally friendly diamonds may be their product, but their business is making sure that the individuals purchasing and receiving those diamonds are 100% satisfied. No matter how small the detail or how many questions you have, they’ll be there to help you throughout this important decision. 

Bright, natural, elegant and effortless—these are the words Carolina and Ethan gravitated to in early discussions of what they wanted their wedding to feel like. The couple enlisted Michel B. Events to create a day at Ojai Valley Inn filled with mixed wood textures, greens, linens and warm metals like copper and rose gold. The vibrant reception florals by Rockrose were inspired by the bride’s childhood home in Santiago, Chile and a fun, illustrated invitation suite by Nooney Art and La Happy Design set the joyful tone. Michelle Beller was behind the lens, all over the grounds of the venue, capturing the lovely couple and their fresh, romantic wedding day.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

When we talked about what we wanted our wedding to feel like, we gravitated toward words like bright, natural, elegant and effortless. We wanted the wedding to feel like it represented us. And having been to many weddings as guests, we both knew what we didn’t like – anything opulent or stuffy was definitely out. That’s how we arrived at the mix of wood, greens, linens and warm metals like copper and rose gold. Lighting was also key. We wanted to achieve a warm and cozy glow for Friday’s event, and a brighter, though still soft and romantic feeling for Saturday.

The colors were inspired by the bride’s childhood home in Santiago, Chile. Nine months before the wedding, we walked through her father’s beautiful garden and picked flowers, trying different combinations. What became clear was that we preferred the vibrancy of a Spanish garden to the pastels that are widely used.

To have so many friends and family coming together, many from long distances, we wanted our guests to feel that each space was inviting and comfortable. We wanted people to be able to sit and talk and feel at home, hence the sofas on both Friday and Saturday nights.

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

My dress Saturday was Inbal Dror. I wore Saint Laurent shoes and a pair of vintage rose gold and diamond drop earrings.

Deciding on the flower girl dresses was actually one of the hardest decisions we had to make! We knew we wanted something classic and simple. After searching for months, we finally settled on these cute seersucker dresses.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

We wanted our ceremony to be as intimate, authentic and personal as possible. To that end, we wrote our own vows, chose meaningful readings, and invited our mothers to light a candle symbolizing the union of our families. The officiant was Ethan’s best friend, who also lives in Los Angeles.

Our favorite part of the day was the ceremony. Standing under the majestic oak tree, surrounded by friends and family, promising to love each other for the rest of our lives – that was truly magical. A close second would be our first dance. The band played a gorgeous version of Colin Hay’s “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin,” and all the practice we’d put in paid off. We nailed it!

Also, Marilyn Stillman, aka “Nanny,” the groom’s 93-year-old grandmother, flew across the country from Boston, and Ethan walked with her down the aisle. This was one of the most special moments of the whole weekend.

Tell us how you met and became engaged?

Both of us had been waiting for the right person to come into our lives, and when we met, we instantly knew that this was unlike anything we had experienced before. It was also the perfect moment; Carolina was consulting at a non-profit in downtown Los Angeles and Ethan was writing a pilot for ABC, which means we had the time and energy to prioritize and really get to know each other. Within a few weeks, we knew that this relationship could last the rest of our lives. And two happy years later, having fallen in love with each other and each other’s families, Ethan proposed under a gorgeous, red sunset in magical Sedona, Arizona.

Planning & Design: Michel B. Events // Photo: Michelle Beller // Floral: Rockrose // Stationery & Calligraphy: La Happy Design // Invitations: Nooney Art // Venue: Ojai Valley Inn // Video: Lovespun // Band: West Coast Music BH // Cocktail Musician: Anthony Ybarra // Ceremony Music: Angelica Strings // Linens: La Tavola Linens // Silks: Stella & Wolfe // Rentals: Elan Event Rentals / Casa de Perrin / The Ark / Found Rentals / Lounge Appeal // Hair: Sheila Raye Stone // Lighting & Drape: Spark Creative // Ice Bar: Ice Bulb // Favors: Staffords Chocolates // DJ: RedShoe LA // Rentals & Drape: Rrivre Works // Lighting: Images by Lightinghttp://imagesbylighting.com/ // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box