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

I’m really pleased to be able to share Nicole and Justin’s wedding with you. Nicole is the talent behind one of my new favorite home blogs, Kirei Nest (which you should most definitely check out!). Her wedding was very handmade with a number of personal details that went in to making it very unique. After the photos, Nicole has shared about her winter wedding, and all of the family DIY efforts that went into making it such a special day.


A lot of brides are planning their winter weddings now, and it can seem as though there’s not much inspiration out there aside from adding mittens or snowflakes to your theme (at least, that’s how I felt!). Our December wedding showcased rich, bright jewel tones. We added a few details of berries, pomegranates and eucalyptus to keep it seasonal, but other than that we just went off and running with our own style!

We had a traditional, beautiful ceremony at the Naval Academy cathedral in Annapolis, Maryland; but we wanted our reception (at the waterfront Chart House restaurant) to really be unique!

Our family affair highlighted my husband’s Japanese-Hawaiian background and my family’s Italian-ness. My new in-laws spent six months prior to our wedding folding 1,000 paper cranes, the colors of which really inspired our palette. Our 1,000 cranes symbolize lifelong love and peace, and we cherish them. We gave a few strands to close relatives and gently string a few around our Christmas tree as modern garland, but we really hope to hang them from the ceiling of our “dream” home someday.

My husband’s grandparents flew in from Hawaii with beautiful orchid leis for all of the groomsmen to wear at the reception, and we incorporated orchids into our cake- along with winter berries, because I was afraid things were getting a little too “tropical” for December on the East Coast! We adored our cake, created by Charm City Cakes in Baltimore (just before they got their own TV show on the Food Network and became impossible to book!).

One of my grandmas and an uncle made our family’s cherished Italian cookies for dessert. Another uncle made three varieties of his famous biscotti for dessert. My other grandma sewed sashes for our bridesmaids’ champagne dresses from berry silk ribbon.

I wore my grandma’s headpiece from her wedding in 1959. It is made of pearls and glass beads- perfect, because I am decidedly not a rhinestone type of girl!) and was very intricately hand-strung in Armenia. It was beautiful when she unearthed it from her attic, but some of the beads’ lustre had dulled or chipped and a few strings were loose. So, I did a bit of repair sewing myself and painted a teensy bit of pale apricot Chanel nail polish to restore shine where needed. No one was the wiser! I can’t begin to tell you how special it was to wear my grandma’s tiara; it’s a treasure!

It’s really heart-warming to look back at our wedding, which I planned before I ever found out about wedding blogs. When I first found sites such as yours, Snippet & Ink, Style Me Pretty and such, I began to think of all the ways I could have made my wedding “better.” We didn’t even think of half of the inspiring details I’ve since learned about, nor could we have afforded most of the to-die-for vendors I see featured everywhere!

But now, I see that our day really did incorporate a lot of DIY and special touches that might have been lost otherwise. And, they are even more special to me because they are original.