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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

 

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Bride Katherine—who works in landscape architecture and formerly at flower magazine—knew florals would play a major role in her hometown Birmingham wedding to Howard. The couple enlisted Holly Carlisle of ROSEGOLDEN whose artistic work “glorifies the wild beauty and unpredictability of plants and never tries to fight it.” They also brought on Mariee Ami to help plan the rest of the cool-weather celebration in rich blues and greens, with golden accents and velvet ribbons setting that back drop for arching branches, shades of white blooms, lots of greenery, and pine cones from Katherine’s dad’s farm.  Davy Whitener Photography was on hand working his magic and capturing all the lovely details in his signature fine art style.

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From the bride: When Howard and I started planning our wedding, we really didn’t have a vision for what the day would look like. We just knew that we wanted to be surrounded by family and friends, and we wanted everyone to have a great time. We feel so lucky to have found each other and were excited to celebrate in a big way!

So with no real direction, the first thing we did was bring on Mariee Ami to plan the event – Neillie Butler, owner of Mariee Ami, is a longtime family friend and was actually my boss one summer in college. It was extra special to have Neillie and her team work their magic for us.

Our next move was to line up a florist. I work for a landscape architecture firm and formerly worked for flower magazine. The one thing I did know going into the planning process, is that I wanted the flowers to be special. I’ve been Instagram stalking Holly Carlisle of Rosegolden’s work for some time and was thrilled when we were able to bring her on board. Her work glorifies the wild beauty and unpredictability of plants and never tries to fight it—she’s an artist.

We decided to get married in my hometown, Birmingham, Alabama, and settled on a date in January. We both love being outdoors and would have enjoyed having at least part of the festivities outside—but we didn’t want to wait for spring, and January in Alabama can be balmy one day and frigid the next. We huddled with the team and ultimately decided to bring the outdoors in with a kind of enchanted forest aesthetic. Rich blues and greens, with golden accents and velvet ribbons set that back drop for arching branches, shades of white blooms, lots of greenery, and pine cones from my dad’s farm. It was magical.

Overall, the weekend was just perfect. We felt surrounded by love and we had so much fun. It is a testament to the team we worked with, that we truly got to enjoy each other and our friends and family, and didn’t have a care in the world on wedding day. So many thoughtful and special details were expertly woven into this event; it was more wonderful than we could have hoped for. And thank goodness for these gorgeous photos by Davy Whitener, lest we ever forget what a blessed day (and epic party) we had.

Photography: Davy Whitener Photography // Planner & Paper Goods: Mariee Ami // Floral Design: ROSEGOLDEN by Holly Carlisle // Ceremony: Canterbury United Methodist Church // Reception: Mountain Brook Club (Birmingham, AL) // Wedding Dress: Lian Carlo // Wedding Dress Shop: Carriage House Weddings // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Cake: Barb’s Cakes // Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic // Band: Atlanta Showstoppers // Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental // Catering: Mountain Brook Club

 

“Marrying Justin is all I care about… I trust y’all and I’m just not sweating the small stuff!”  These were the words that Madison emailed to The Burlap Elephant during the wedding planning process and we couldn’t love them more. The couple, who have known each other since childhood, had their priorities straight and they ended up with a stunning event at Lowndes Grove in Charleston to prove it. The New Orleans natives kept this simple with a neutral palette and let the grounds of the plantation take center stage, while Out of the Garden added to the backdrop with an airy ceremony arch and classic white florals. The couple enlisted Brandon Lata to capture all the moments of their day in these lovely images.

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Tell us how and where you found the dress!

It was the second dress I put on. I did try on a few more during that appointment, but ended up putting that dress on again and it just felt right. I did not purchase that day because my mom didn’t think it was possible to buy a dress at my first wedding dress appointment (classic) so I did sleep on it. I went back two days later to put it on for my dad and there was no question to me that this was the dress I wanted to wear.

For the bridesmaids I wanted to do navy blue and figured it would be cooler weather on March 3, so the darker color made sense to me. I am not into chiffon or nudes, or plain dresses that just “blend in” and that’s pretty much what 90% of bridesmaids dresses are for some reason! I found Katie May on the internet one day and then I found them in a local store so I to went to see them in person. I loved the fit and the material. It was similar to my dress which I really loved. I decided I wanted my friends to pick out whichever dress they wanted. It was all the same material, color, and fit so I just let them pick out their favorites. I don’t like telling people what to wear or how to do their hair and makeup. I just wanted everyone to feel beautiful and like themselves instead of me telling them how be.

What made the wedding personal and unique?

What made the day personal for me wasn’t a thing or something I brought. It was honestly the wedding guests. It was so meaningful to have people get on a plane and travel to Charleston for Justin and I. 170 people that truly wanted to be there for us. That for us was a ‘wow’ moment. To know we have that many people that were there to support and celebrate us. It was special.

Is it unique to have groomsmen take their shirts off during the reception…? But really, Lowndes Grove made it unique for me. Working with the designers to pick out linens, chairs, chandeliers, etc. was amazing. It wasn’t just the standard items that came with the venue. It represented me and my style, not someone else’s.

My earrings were my mother’s diamond studs she gave me for the wedding. I had a ring you probably couldn’t see in the photos, but I was wearing my great grandmother;s wedding band which was really special to me. Kept it simple.

Walking down the aisle with my dad was really memorable for me. You see that moment repeatedly in movies so that moment was surreal for me.

How we met & became engaged:

I attended high school with Justin’s younger sister, Emma. We were, and still are, best friends. Justin was a few years older at the College of Charleston so I wouldn’t see him often. We did kiss after my high school graduation, but it was kind of an ongoing joke that he liked his younger sister’s friend. It wasn’t until he moved back to New Orleans after college that things kind of turned into something. I think I was 20 or 21 when we started dancing around this idea of liking one another, but he was not interested in having a girlfriend at the time. But I knew I was going to marry this person and kept persisting. We dated for 4 years before we became engaged.

He proposed last April 2017. It was a Thursday and I was on my way home from work, and he was annoying me all afternoon about when I was going to be home and what I was doing – I should have known by his weirdness what was going on. I walked in the house and our golden retriever, Haley, was sitting down with a ring box attached to her head and he was kneeling on the floor next to her. It caught me off guard and the dog sitting there with the ring was just such a sweet moment.

 

Design & Coordination: The Burlap Elephant // Photographer/Videographer: Brandon Lata // Floral: Out of the Garden // Invitation/Stationery: Scriptura and Calligraphy by Maria Helena // Venue: Lowndes Grove (Patrick Properties) // Dress Designer: Mikaella Bridal // Wedding Dress Salon: Town and Country Bridal // Hair & Makeup: Lashes and Lace // Cake/Catering/Bar: Patrick Properties // Tabletop Rentals: Polished Tabletop // Band: Crystal Clear Band // Ceremony Musician: Holy City Strings // Transportation: Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle // Shoes: Chanel // Bridesmaids: Katie May Bridesmaids Collection // Bridal salon for bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaids Mandeville // Groom tux: Brooks Brothers // Groomsmen: The Black Tux // Rentals: Ooh Events / Snyder Events / La Tavola Linen

 

Lindsay and Brad loved the idea of a destination wedding where friends and family spent an entire weekend getting to know one another. With Palm Springs as their chosen location, Stone Eagle Golf Club was a natural choice of venue with it’s spectacular mountain views. Lindsay loves neutrals and settled on a palette of blush, mauve, maroon, deep purples and grays and planner COJ Events implemented the pared-back hues in fabulous fashion. A casual elegance underlies the design in the both the outdoor ceremony and garden reception and florals by Arrangements Floral and Party Design are spilling from every detail. Stationery is by Union Street Paper, cake by Exquisite Desserts and it’s all captured by Birds of a Feather Photography.

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Why did you choose Palm Springs/Desert Area as your wedding destination?

Brad and I really wanted a destination wedding. We loved the idea of our friends and family spending a few days together and really getting to know each other. Zika quickly limited our options, as we loved the idea of hot and sunny location! Palm Springs came to mind as it’s such a manageable destination and a lot of our guests had never been; it seemed perfect. Also, I loved the idea of being able to quickly fly down from SF for any wedding meetings; it made the planning process so much easier.

About 12 years ago, when I was working at Merrill Lynch, I assisted with an event at Stone Eagle Golf Club. From that day forward, that venue always stuck out in my mind. If you’ve been there, you know why. The views are spectacular. The venue sits upon these amazing mountains, and it is extremely unique. When we started looking I knew we had to check it out. And bonus, they had just redone the restaurant where we had cocktails and the reception, which is completely stunning. We spent a full day in Palm Springs venue hunting, and Stone Eagle was our last spot to check out. The minute we walked in, we knew. It really takes your breath away. We really wanted a unique venue, something different. And Stone Eagle was just that. You also get to head up the mountain in these sporty Jeep safari vehicles (the guests loved it!).

What colors/themes/diy/handmade elements did you include on your wedding day? How did COJ help?

I love neutral tones and my favorite season is fall so I tried to marry those two for the overall theme/color palette for the wedding. Blush, mauve, maroon, deep purples, greys also some greenery. My bouquet was this amazing airy and wispy creation with lovely fall neutrals of wild flowers, roses, dahlias, and anemones with a cascading nude ribbon. The bridesmaids had a smaller version also with a ribbon, I loved the look the neutral ribbons. I wanted the boutonnieres to be succulents; I thought it was such a cool way to bring the desert to the wedding and they looked so sharp against the tuxes.

One of my favorite elements was the escort card display. As my venue is not traditional, there was no clear separation between cocktails and dinner. We decided to use the escort card display to divide the two areas. Luna, at Arrangements (who is a genius) said she would create something with linen/drape and velvet ribbons. Seeing her work before, I trusted her but also had no idea what this would look like. It was STUNNING. It was DREAMY. We loved it so much we ended up moving it as the photo booth backdrop after dinner.

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

I’ve loved fashion from the moment I was born and was extremely excited when it came time to look for the dress. However, I had no idea what I was looking for. I did not have a real vision in mind, but there were a couple details I had to have: lace, a deep v and something unique. I had almost finalized on this beautiful long sleeve lace number when my girlfriend and I spotted this whimsical fairy tale dress that had butterflies (never thought I would end on a dress with butterflies!). She said, “Try it on for fun”. So I did, and that was it. My dress was the Francesca Miranda Aurora dress. It’s a-line with a deep v. It has embroidered silk butterflies and Swarovski crystals sewn on the bodice. The details are one of a kind. It also has a gorgeous French lace underskirt with layers of Italian tulle on top. It was romantic, and perfect for Palm Springs. However, I customized it. I wanted the tulle removable so I could experience that princess bridal feeling and also something a little sleeker. I also opened up the tulle in the front so you got more of a glimpse of the stunning lace skirt. I wore the tulle for the ceremony and cocktails.

It was a lot of dress so I opted for no veil and minimal jewelry. I wore a simple pair of diamond studs, one of the diamonds was from my great grandmother’s engagement ring, very special. I also wore my mom’s diamond tennis bracelet, which my sister also wore on her wedding day. For the shoes, I also knew they had to be simple, but I wanted some sparkle, obviously! I went with Stuart Weitzman Nudist (in the tallest heel!), in platinum lame. The best part of those shoes, I have worn them many times post wedding.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Our favorite moment was cocktails (seems crazy) but that was the first time we could let loose, say hello to our friends and family and really start enjoying the evening as a married couple. The setting was perfect, a cotton candy sunset on top of a mountain with 110 of our best friends and family (with great music and bacon wrapped dates). We loved scanning the crowd and seeing the mixing and matching of guests. Brad’s family talking to Lindsay’s friends and vice versa. Those moments are so special to us and we will always remember it.

How did you fall in love and become engaged?

Brad and I were set up by mutual friends in February of 2015. To be honest, neither of us had high expectations as set ups had not really worked for us in the past. We met at a popular bar in Santa Monica named The Bungalow with a small group. It was an instant connection. We both thought we would end up leaving early that night, however we wound up closing the bar down at 1:30am. The following weekend we spent a weekend in wine country. In August of that year, Brad was offered a job in San Francisco. Taking a big step, he asked me if I would move with him. I said yes and the rest is history.

Brad and I dated for about a year and a half prior the proposal. The proposal happened in Split, Croatia. It was the 2nd night of our 12-day trip. We stayed in the cutest boutique hotel called Villa Split; it only has 9 rooms. Brad had asked the owner to decorate our room with some flowers and add some champagne while we were out at dinner. We later walked back into the room and were greeted with flowers everywhere, champagne and a heart made out of rose petals and chocolate on the bed! I was still clueless and thought it was just a sweet gesture since we had a very nightmare travel experience getting to Croatia. Brad said “I have one more surprise”. He pulled the ring out of his suitcase, (which is another story in itself, almost getting caught with it going through security) got down on one knee and said, “Will you have my babies and marry me?” (yes in that order!).

It was the best night. I was extremely surprised, which I loved. I think that is the best way to get engaged, when you have no idea it’s coming. I couldn’t believe he brought a ring (my dream ring) all the way to Croatia. We were on cloud nine and about to embark on our first international travel experience together for another 10 days. Couldn’t have been better!

What advice do you have for future brides and grooms?

A few pieces of advice…Do not start planning the wedding right after you get engaged. If you have the luxury to have a long engagement, enjoy those first two months and just glow in your happiness. We loved those first few months just celebrating and enjoying life as an engaged couple. Next, EXAMPLES are your friends. When you are researching vendors, have them send examples, so many examples. Do not feel bad about asking for multiple examples. Full photo albums, full wedding videos, florals from previous weddings, etc. They are so helpful in nailing down your favorite. Instagram is a great place to look too! Also do not rush into decisions, if you start early you can take your time and feel 100% about your decision. Last piece, you do not need your photographer that late on the actual day. If you are working with a certain time limit, have them arrive early and leave early (no one wants professional photos past 9:30pm, trust me). Oh and one more, let it all go that weekend. Have fun, take it all in and enjoy it. Fastest weekend of my life, but also the best weekend of my life.

Photography: Birds of a Feather Photography // Wedding Planning: COJ Events // Flowers: Arrangements Floral and Party Design // Stationery: Union Street Paper // Venue: Stone Eagle Golf Club // Brides Dress:  Francesca Miranda // Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo  // Videography: Satellite Pictures // Dessert: Exquisite Desserts // Hair and Makeup: Chelsea Nicole // Photobooth: Classic Photo Booth // Bridesmaid Gift: Madewell Handbag with custom embroidery // Guys Tuxes: The Black Tux // Rentals & Lighting: Arrangements Floral and Party Design // Entertainment: Dart DJ

 

Tara and Jeremy’s wedding at Boone Hall Avenue of Oaks + Cotton Dock is all of it—romantic, southern, fresh, rustic, vintage, scenic, intimate, inviting, timeless….and the list goes on and on. The day, planned by Erin Altman of Ooh! Events, is truly a modern wedding dream in a beautiful palette of blues. Florals in white and tall greenery centerpieces are by Out of the Garden, monochromatic blue-on-blue letterpress stationery sets the tone and a lovely pantry blue cake is by Declare Cakes. We’re loving the bamboo chairs and the velvet touches but the bride’s smile truly lights up all these breathtaking images captured by Shauna Veasey.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

Having our friends and family all in one place was what made it so special. Most of my family and friends are from New York and my husband’s family is from Georgia, so having them travel to Charleston, SC meant the world to us. Boone Hall Plantation was a dream venue and getting married under the oaks made it a perfect setting.

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

I found my gown at the very first boutique I visited, Hayden Olivia Bridal in Charlotte, NC. It was actually the very first one I tried on and fell in love. It was exactly what I was looking for. Simple and elegant. I, of course, went to two other places and tried on more dresses just to make sure, but I knew the first one was the one. The designer was Modern Trousseau. It was deep V-neck with pearl beaded bodice and Italian crepe fit to flare skirt with chapel train.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Instead of a wedding guest book, we had a custom portrait made for guests to sign. It was an illustration of us in our wedding attire and we even had our two dogs included in the photo.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The entire day was amazing. However, I would say the most memorable moment was walking to the Cotton Dock for the first time with my husband and having our first dance with all our friends and family around us. The dance floor was outside on the Cotton Dock which reaches out over the tidal marsh. It was beautiful and one of my favorite moments.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met online and realized we had mutual friends so we went on a date and have been together ever since. We were dating for 3 years before we got engaged. My husband works in the racing industry so we went to Las Vegas for the NASCAR Awards Ceremony. Little did I know he had the ring with him the entire time. We went out to dinner and then headed back to the hotel and he proposed in the hotel. It was the sweetest proposal and brought me to tears. I definitely had no idea it was coming. It was the best surprise.

Coordinated + Designed by: Erin Altman of Ooh! Events // Photographer: Shauna Veasey // Floral: Out of the Garden // Venue: Boone Hall Avenue of Oaks + Cotton Dock // Dress Designer: Modern Trousseau // Boutique: Hayden Olivia in Charlotte, NC.  // Videographer: Hart to Heart // Cake: Declare Cakes // Ceremony Musicians: Palmetto Strings // Reception Entertainment: Darby Events with Stephen Darby // Catering + Bar: Cru Catering // Transportation: Marquee Limo // Dishware: Polished // Shoes: Jimmy Choo classic white satin pump // Suit:  Jos A Bank  // Officiant: Rick Burton // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box