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

Emily and Emerson’s Charleston nuptials at Lowndes Grove incorporated many of the typical southern wedding design details including a plantation courtyard ceremony, florals by and topiaries by Out of the Garden, letterpress and (rainbow) wax seal  invitations by Alaina Polander and romantic white gowns and veils. However, the LGBT couple felt confident in their freedom to “throw tradition to the wind” in much of their personalized details. The “curated vibe—to relax and celebrate” of the day planned by our friends Ooh! Events included the couple getting ready together with all of their bridesmen and bridesmaids, a rendition of the Pulse Orlando Lin Manuel Miranda speech during the ceremony (not a dry eye in the house) and ditching all typical reception activities and instead dancing from start-to-finish. Emily and Emerson had a joint goal of staying “calm and present” during the day and they did it with joy, style and huge smiles as seen in these images captured by Brooke Boyd Photo + Film.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

From Emily: Being an LGBT couple we felt like we had a lot of freedom to throw tradition to the wind. While most of our wedding was as much of a cliché southern wedding as you can get, there were a lot of really personal details. We started  the day by doing yoga together and meditating guided by a friend. After yoga and meditating, we were able to spend the morning getting ready together with our closest friends. Getting ready together relieved all pressure; so many people love the suspense of seeing your wife walk down the aisle, but we wanted everything to be as calm and fun as possible. I think that made our wedding so unique. The entire day had a curated vibe – which was to relax and celebrate. We didn’t want anything to feel stuffy or posed and tried really hard to stay calm and be present. I would also argue the most unique part about our wedding was the amount of dancing – we skipped the activities once the reception started and instead never left the dance floor. We had two people do the worm, one person break dance, my sister did a split, and someone slid through another’s legs. WILD.

Tell us about the gowns and where/how you found them!

Emerson and I started off by going to New York with our best friends. We looked separately all day and neither of us found the dress, but we both agreed it was too hard not to share with the other. A month later, I went to Wedding Belles in New Orleans with my mom and sister and tried on the Jenny Yoo Riley I had seen in New York. Just like that, I was done! I loved so many dresses, but this one just fit the day best. Emerson on the other hand tried on dresses about four more times, when she finally tried on a Sarah Seven dress at Lovely Bride in DC and knew it was the one. It was perfectly simple with just enough modern edge to feel like her.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

  1. Emerson picked out every single song that was played that day. To her, music creates the atmosphere, so she went through and chose from the prelude to the exit (and yes the afterparty). My favorite pick from her was the DJ set kicking off with “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked it” by Katy Perry.
  2. We also picked every word spoken in the ceremony with our priest. Without question the best part of the wedding (and I highly recommend everyone use this in the future) was when my friend read Lin Manuel Miranda’s speech following the Pulse Orlando shooting. It’s safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye when she got to the “and love, is love, is love, is love, is love” part.
  3. We didn’t do a traditional wedding party; Emerson has two brothers and I have two sisters so they are the only people who stood. We did ask our best girls/guys to dress within the color palette and get ready with us. We were worried it was going to be cold, so each girl laid a fur stole at their chair and exited in it.
  4. Emerson’s brother and “Man of Honor” gave the best speech I ever heard. It began with “I’ve been knowing Emerson since the early 90s” and the highlight was “I never dreamed I’d be a bridesman one day, but I can’t tell you how happy I am to be one today.”

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

There was one moment before the ceremony started when my veil kept pulling my hair and I started getting really nervous. Emerson could sense I was nervous and pulled me into a room and said “forget it, don’t wear the veil” and gave me a big kiss. At that moment, all fears were pushed away because I knew I had picked the perfect person to spend the rest of my life with.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Emerson and I met the summer of 2014, when I had just graduated college and was about to move to DC. After our first date, we didn’t spend a single day apart that summer. So much so that Emerson volunteered to make the 17 hour drive with me to DC. Even though we had no intention of being in a long distance relationship, we were inseparable. Mine and Emerson’s lives fit perfectly together. We had the same values, same drive, and liked to leave parties at the same time. She is the perfect complement to all of my weaknesses and makes me a better person on a daily basis. Through the last five years together, we’ve moved seven times, had two college graduations, and embarked on brand new jobs in brand new cities. We’ve been through ups and downs, weddings, funerals, a home renovation and so much more, but through it all, Emerson made me grateful for every day. Knowing this I finally decided it was time to seal the deal so I snuck around with Susie Satzman and designed her dream ring. Over her birthday, we spent a week at home in New Orleans at my parents’ camp. One morning while we were watching the sunrise over coffee and blueberry cake donuts, I decided that was the moment. I began acting super weird and insisted she put on cute pajamas (because I wanted a good picture) and she replied “What? No. Weirdo” it was 5:30 am. Our dog had hurt his paw and she kept trying to pay attention to him and I was trying to get her to pay attention to me! Finally I started my speech and she asks “are you proposing?” and I was like “oh my gosh no” as I pulled out the ring! At this point, Emerson is thoroughly confused, laughing, and crying. Regardless, SHE SAID YES and we celebrated that night at the place her parents got engaged.

Coordination/Rentals: Ooh! Events // Photographer + Videographer: Brooke Boyd Photo + Film // Floral: Out of the Garden // Invite Suite: Alaina Polander // Venue/Catering/Bar/Cake: Lowndes Grove // Emily’s dress: Jenny Yoo, from Wedding Belles Nola // Emerson’s dress: Sarah Seven Belmont dress, from Lovely Bride // Hair: Slate Bridal Hair + Make Up // Make Up: Marisa Warren, Sarah Early, Slate Bridal Hair + Make Up // Yoga Instructor: Isabel Groedel // Ceremony Music: Bespoke Strings // Band: Tyler Kitchen + The Right Pieces // Guests Transportation: ACW Limo // Getaway Transportation: Lowcountry Valet

 

 

 

 

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Alex and Zach’s Florida Gulf Coast wedding at Watercolor was a ‘perfectly Southern’ affair. The venue’s coastal community local set the tone and the couple embraced the scenic backdrop with an outdoor ceremony and tented reception. Details and a color palette of dusty blue, slate and white complimented the natural foliage of the surrounding and subtle tropical accents in the and florals by Myrtie Blue and stationery by Prim + Pretty Prints tied it all together. Our friends, The Happy Bloom, were on hand to capture all the beauty in these gorgeous photographs.

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How was your wedding perfectly “Southern”?

I think it starts with the location. Watercolor is a coastal community on Hwy 30A in Florida. Many of our guests stayed in beach houses and were able to ride bikes or golf carts to local seafood joints, to the beach, and to many of our events. That was so fun for us because all of our friends and family were centralized in one area and you never knew who you would see out on a morning run or getting a muffin from Modica Market.

Our rehearsal dinner was at the Perfect Pig, which is a BBQ restaurant on 30A that my family has enjoyed going to for many years now. We had a grouper and a pork & gouda grits dish for all of the rehearsal dinner guests to choose for their entree. After the rehearsal, we went to the beach for a bonfire “post-toast” that all of our wedding guests were invited to. We were apprehensive at first about the bonfire plan but were very pleased with how fun it turned out to be. We roasted s’mores and had drinks on the beach with all of our friends and family under the stars with some acoustic guitar and singing. On the day of, the weather was gorgeous as both wedding parties got ready in their beach houses before pictures. The boys were in white dinner jackets while the girls wore a blue slate dresses. White dinner jackets was one of the first decisions we settled on after getting engaged because I loved how they looked in pictures I had seen. Our arrangements featured lots of palmettos, garden roses, and ranunculus. Myrtie Blue did a great job with emphasizing that coastal feel we were going for. After the ceremony, we had delicious food from Fish Out of Water and danced the night away to Musical Fantasy, a great band from Mobile, AL.

What was your vision for your wedding day? What made you choose certain colors or decor?

Our ceremony and reception were both outdoors, so we chose decor and colors that complimented the natural foliage of Watercolor. Our flowers were all white with small tropical greenery accents and the bridesmaids’ dresses were a slate blue both of which played well with the background.

 

What is the moment you remember most about your wedding day?

I know the first look is special for so many people, and I would agree that it was the same for me. Finally seeing Zach on our wedding day after building up with all the events of the week was the best part!

 

What’s next for you and your husband?

We have moved into our house in Memphis, TN. We have been settling in, decorating, and focusing our weekend time on getting our backyard ready to be enjoyed on many a summer night. And we are hoping to get our first crop of tomatoes in a few weeks!

Photography: The Happy Bloom // Planning: Lisa Childers // Florist: Myrtie Blue // Invitations: Prim + Pretty Prints // Venue: Watercolor // Hair + Makeup: Halo Salon // Bride’s Dress: Anne Barge // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids // Shoes: Sam Edelman // Videographer: 22 Magnolias // Ceremony Music: WMP Quartet // Cake: Confections on the Coast // Suits: Jos A Bank // Bridal Shop: Maggie Louise Bridal // Reception Music: Musical Fantasy // Catering: Fish Out of Water // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Raina and Scott’s San Jose Del Cabo celebration is what modern destination wedding dreams are made of. Tropical foliage galore, a clean contemporary aesthetic and serious beach party vibes. The couple enlisted the super-skills of Lauren Lemke for Amy Abbott Events and the rest is history. Lauren suggested their stunning venue, Solaz, and complimented it with “a very clean aesthetic that went with the hotel’s beautiful, modern architecture and beach front setting.” Pina Hernandez utilized neutral tropical blooms and plenty of palms and fronds in the florals while black, white and gold accents in the paper and details by Bells & Whistles added graphic impact. Our friends Ana & Jerome were on hand to capture all the beauty and fabulousness in these gorgeous images.

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How did you meet, and how long did you date before getting engaged?

We met through mutual friends at a 21st birthday party while we were at college at the University of Maryland. We dated for 6 years before getting engaged.

Who proposed? When and how?

Scott proposed when we were in Paris having a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was the last stop on our trip through Europe and he had hidden the ring and surprise from me (and our friends and families) the entire time.

How did you choose your wedding venue?

It was recommended to us by our wedding planner Lauren Lemke.

How did you choose your table decor?

We wanted a very clean aesthetic that went with the hotel’s beautiful, modern architecture and beach front setting.

 

 

Please describe 4 favorite moments:

1- The first time we saw each other before the wedding (first look). It was so special to be able to have a little bit of time to ourselves during all of the excitement. There was so much build up to the day, so being able to share a moment in the midst of it all was unforgettable.

2- When Scott’s dad and cousin got on the stage and played with the band. Everyone was so surprised and it meant so much to us that they had planned such a thoughtful and fun addition to the day.

3- Being able to blend our two cultures together and have a combined wedding ceremony performed by one of our closest friends, as well as elements from traditional Hindu weddings that were coordinated with Raina’s Aunt and Uncle.

4- Listening to all of the stories and memories that were shared with us throughout the weekend during the speeches, toasts and just in conversation. Having all of our closest friends and family in the same place for the whole weekend brought back so many memories and allowed us to make even more.

Photographer: Ana & Jerome // Planner: Lauren Lemke for Amy Abbott Events // Flowers: Pina Hernandez // Invitations: Minted // Paper goods/printed items: Bells & Whistles // Hair & Makeup: Blanc Salon // Dress: Alessandra Rinaudo // Groom’s Attire: State and Liberty // Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell // Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS, Chrissy Teigen for Revolve, Lulus // Rentals: Del Cabo Events  and Let it Be // Band: Pura Vida

 

Rebecca and Wilian’s Napa Valley wedding took lace at Brasswood Cellars. Dusty pastels and velvet textures gave the winter nuptials a moody vibe while romantic floral arrangements, centerpieces, backdrops, and bouquets by Tango & Foxtrot mixed whites and greens with blush, and deep burgundy to brighten and complimented the dark navy and gold of the details. The highlight of the event was the emotional ceremony—the couple had enlisted Lauren Snead to officiate and personalize their ceremony including Rebecca’s to both Wilian and also to his daughter Sophia. Not a dry eye in the place and Apollo Fotografie was on hand to capture it all.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Our wedding was winter elegance at a winery with a moody color palette and velvet textures. We wanted our wedding to be an intimate celebration, under 40 guests, with our closest friends and family. We wanted to celebrate real, honest love, making our guests feel like part of our celebration. We also wanted our Brasswood Cellars wedding photos to be classic and romantic so we felt this venue would be a perfect match.

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

It felt like I had an endless search for a wedding dress. I tried on dresses at more than a dozen bridal stores. As a winter wedding, I knew I wanted a long sleeve dress, which is hard to find in Los Angeles. I finally found the dress at Lovella Bridal. I made alterations to the dress (the sleeve lace coming down on my hand, cinched-in waist, and more lace applique on the shoulders) to make it my own. Wilian knew he wanted either a Tom Ford or John Varvatos tuxedo. Together, we found a classic, elegant, chic black John Varvatos tux.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Our floral arrangements, centerpieces, backdrops, and bouquets mixed winter whites and greens with blush, and deep burgundy. They brightened and complimented the dark navy and gold.  We also had an electric violin duo, Chris and Laurann. They played the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner. They played our favorite songs as a violin duo with tracks in the background. They played Imagine Dragons, Lana Del Rey, The Postal Service, Sia, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It was very important to us to include Wilian’s daughter, Sophia, in our ceremony and the day. I was not just marrying Wilian; I was lovingly committing to Sophia as well.  Another one of our favorite parts of the wedding was our wedding officiant, Lauren Snead. She worked with us to create a beautiful, unique-to-us wedding ceremony. It was a real and true expression of our love for each other and Sophia. The ceremony was our most anticipated and special moment from our wedding. We were both excited because it was a true expression of our love. It was unlike any other wedding ceremony. And, we were able to include Sophia. There wasn’t a dry eye as we exchanged vows, and then I said my vows to Sophia. It was a very emotional, loving and real ceremony.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met at a mutual friend’s party and literally bumped into each other. We began talking and spent the rest of the night chatting. I put up a wall at first (I was afraid of being hurt), but I soon realized that Wilian was true to his word, respectful, and truly loyal. He saw through the wall I put up, seeing that I was protecting my sweetness and kindness, so he continued to pursue me. Months after being together, Wilian asked me to marry him at Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma. He brought me outside to show me the views. Unaware what he was about to do, I tried to turn around and go back inside because the sun was too bright and hurting my eyes. I almost ruined his proposal, but he urged me on. I followed him outside, and he proposed to me. I said “yes!” without any hesitation.

Photography: Apollo Fotografie // Planner: Charmed Events Group // Florals: Tango & Foxtrot // Venue: Brasswood Cellars // Dress: Trudy’s Brides // Hair & Make up: Stylebee // Dessert: Flour & Bloom // Officiant: Lauren Snead // Event Rentals & Decor: Encore & La Tavola // Tux: John Varvatos // Videography: Apollo Fotografie // DJ: Heart Of Gold DJs // Catering: Brasswood Cellars

 

Creative couple, Jaimie and Daniel (she’s a theater producer and he’s a film producer), were married at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Befitting the couple, the celebration planned by Christine Janda provides drama abound. The moody florals and black and metallic reception details were were designed and created by HMR Designs with calligraphy by LBrown Design & Paperie and an artful cake by Alliance Bakery. Studio This Is made great use of all the art and graphic backdropsto create fabulous portraits of the couple and all the details of their day.

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

My grandparents were founding members of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, so I always knew that was where we would get married. I didn’t want a gown that felt bridal in any way, so looked high and low for something easy, effortless, elegant, timeless, and unique. I fell in love with  the entire Valentini line at a trunk show at Dimitra’s Bridal. It was important to me that I feel like myself, so I had my good friend Azeeza design the most incredible jumpsuit for dancing.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

I’m a theatre producer and my husband is a film producer, so it was really important to us that we created a different world for each portion of the wedding with a seamless flow. Daniel walked down the aisle to the Top Gun anthem, and I walked down to Janis Joplin’s Piece of my Heart. We wanted the dinner tent to feel like the coolest pop-up fine dining experience in an unexpected way. The chef did an amazing job with a tasting menu to truly make the dinner an experience, not just a meal. Having lived in several different cities, my friends and family are spread far and wide. Walking down the aisle and seeing all of the people I consider my chosen family in one place, and the man I now call my husband waiting for me under the chuppah, provided me with so much warmth and love. There was a certain ease to the entire day which made it that much more enjoyable for all!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Daniel’s brother was the chair of the board of a nonprofit I used to work for! We’d been friends for years before we started dating. Daniel plays ice hockey, and I was a competitive figure skater as a child, so we were both really excited to see I, TANYA as soon as it came out. As the lights were going down at the movie theatre, Daniel handed me a Chinese takeout box (a nod to my love for Asian food) filled with dark chocolate covered orange peels (my family’s official favorite candy). Under the first few orange peels was a green ring pop, because Daniel knew I had wanted an emerald engagement ring but am too clumsy to ever wear something that soft. Daniel also knew I wanted a hand in designing the ring from my favorite jeweler, so the ring pop was absolutely the right way to go! Daniel suggested we leave the movie to celebrate, and I insisted we stay, as I was so excited to see it. After the movie we walked home debating and discussing different aspects of the film, as two producers would. We were almost back at the apartment when we realized we should probably get some champagne to celebrate! It all felt so natural and so right.

Photography: Nancy Beale Studio This Is // Planner: Christine Janda // Design + Florals: HMR Designs // Stationery: LBrown Design & Paperie // Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art // Bride’s Gown Designer: Valentini // Bridal Boutique: Dimitra’s Bridal // Bride’s Reception Jumpsuit: Azeeza // Hair: Colleen Mortag-Krejczyk // Makeup: Mireille Hamon // Cake: Alliance Bakery // Lighting: Frost Chicago // Entertainment: Michael Lerich Band