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

Grandeur in Melbourne is what today’s real wedding is all about. Bride Emily Simms (yep—of The Bachelor fame!) enlisted the help of some fabulous vendors to pour all the drama into the details of her glam wedding to groom Pierre. Graphic, rose-centric floral arrangements by Foxy Evergreen flanked the ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall followed by all the antique glitz of their reception at The George Ballroom. Laser-cut invitations by Bwedding Invitations introduced the glam that flowed through all the details including the bridal party in all white and a show-stopping Nikos Cakes creation. Lucky for us, Ateia was on hand to capture all the details and the special moments of the day in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

As we only got engaged in February, and our wedding was August, we decided on things very quickly. The style I went with, was glamorous and a sort of antique feel. Our ceremony was on the balcony of the Melbourne Town Hall. I loved the columns, and I found it in keeping with the style of The George Ballroom. I really wanted everything to flow nicely.

I suppose the only thing considered unusual was that our wedding was very bittersweet for us. My beautiful older brother had taken his own life only 3 weeks prior to our wedding, so it was incredibly difficult, and when it first happened, I couldn’t even comprehend the thought of a wedding. But I like to think he was there, shining down on us. It was also the only day that week of really beautiful weather (for the middle of August!), and I like to think that was Michael’s doing.

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

My gown was designed and made by Tanya Didenko Bridal Couture. I have dealt with Tanya for 3 years now. She has made me some stunning dresses to wear to various events over the past few years, so it was a no-brainer that I would go to her for my wedding dress. I never tried on any wedding dress at all. I went to her with photos of different designs that I liked, and took inspiration from each of them. She knows me quite well now, knows my body shape and knows my style, so it all worked really well.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We chose the 3-tier cake, mostly because Nikos suggested that because both Pierre and I are quite tall. I wasn’t sure what difference it made, but it did look great! We had a white rendered cake, with gold foil on the bottom and top tier.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The highlight of the day was definitely when we first saw each other down the aisle, and walking down the aisle with my dear old dad. It was a beautiful moment, and one I will never forget.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Pierre and I first met at Pontoon, a trendy bar on St Kilda beach (the old Riva). I went there with my friend Anna (one of my bridesmaids), and as soon as we walked in, she said, “oh there’s my friend Pierre at the bar!” Turns out she used to be very good friends with a girl that dated Pierre for 2 years, about 9 years ago.

Pierre’s birthday is the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day, and I had arranged to take him out for dinner at The George on Collins. He suggested we get a nice photo out the front before we go in. So, we asked a nice passerby if they could please take a photo for us. He then turned to me and proposed. The lady taking our photo switched it to video mode, so we have both photos and videos of the gorgeous moment.

Photography: Ateia // Styling: Giant Invitations // Wedding Invitations: Bwedding Invitations // Florist: Foxy Evergreen // Wedding Ceremony: Melbourne Town Hall // Reception: The George Ballroom // Emily’s Dress and Veil: Tanya Didenko // Videography: C2 Films // Welcome Sign/Event Printing: Inktank Printing // Cake: Nikos Cakes // Graphic Design: Catsy Creative // On the Day Stationery: Adorn Invitations // Emily’s Robe: Home Bodii // Hair: Rachel Vitullo // Makeup: Bec and Anna Amelia Webb // Emily Makeup: Emily // Lashes: (Emily) Melb Lashes // Skin Prep: (Emily) Clinicalase // Tan: (Emily) Le Tan // Bridesmaid Dresses: Love Honor // Shoes & Headpiece: Jeanette Maree // Earrings: Shannakian Fine Jewellery // Cutlery: Gold Cutlery Hire // Napkins: Di Simmons // Suits: Remy // Bride: Emily Simms // Singer/Entertainment: Main Entertainment // Cars: Triple R

 

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There is something so soft and beautiful about pastel hues in the winter months and today’s real couple incorporated a light pink palette perfectly into their Charlotte-area nuptials. Bride Chelsea is the owner and florist behind Blooming Branch Creative and when it came time to marry her love, Alex, she—naturally—had a pretty strong vision. The couple created a winter wedding that was neither rustic nor classic southern and personally sourced much of the decor including hundreds of vintage votives adding to the romance of 10 Catawba. Chelsea enlisted the help of Jimmy Blooms to implement her vision and the florals are—of course—fabulous with just the right amount of dusty, pink roses and textured accents. Lucky for us Cheyenne Schultz Photography was behind the lens capturing this winter inspiration in her signature timeless style.

What made the wedding special and unique?

With the fact that there are weddings every day in every part of the world, I always feel like having a truly unique wedding is a difficult achievement, but we had fun pulling our design together and creating a winter wedding that was neither rustic nor classic southern – as I feel those are frequently the two styles that I see in the Charlotte area. As a small business owner of Blooming Branch Creative – a floral and wedding design company – I have seen my share of weddings and didn’t struggle very much with identifying the particular elements that are reflective of my personal style. We sourced glassware from every thrift store in the metro area (we had over 350 votives lit in the space!), decorated an old mantel from my childhood home, and sourced every piece of china for our sweetheart table. Everything we did was planned and executed together, so it perfectly reflected our personal taste individually and as a couple. Our wedding was a true labor of love and while it was a ton of work being so hands on, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

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

My wedding day look was completely custom, and it was truly fun to piece together something that was so reflective of my personal style. I always knew I wanted a simple, fit-and-flare gown, but I looked for a while to find a removable overskirt that gave me a sleek silhouette, but without the bulk of a full skirt. I ultimately pieced my entire dress together because I couldn’t find a single style that checked every box. My Stella York fit and flare dupioni silk gown was altered to include the slits on the sides of the bodice to give an interesting element (and some very subtle sex appeal) to an otherwise simple dress. I found the tulle overskirt at a different bridal salon, and knew immediately I wanted to add lace. We had some trial and error with that alteration (and only a few tears in the process!), but I ultimately ended up choosing a lace that looked almost exactly like the vintage trim on my Mom’s wedding veil, which made it that much more special. Ever the deal hunter, I sourced my wedding day shoes and headpiece from Zulily, and found a custom jewelry designer in Israel to cast my blooming branch earrings, a tribute to their significance in my life and our wedding design.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Alex and I are not people to do anything without intention or meaning, so our wedding was special because there were so many elements that represented us and what our marriage means to us. One of our favorite elements were the branches that were suspended over several of the tables with hanging tealight terrariums. I’ve always loved the aesthetic quality of winter branches and how they mirror the seasons in the same way that our lives ebb and flow, so they were symbolic in that sense, and to us they represented the commitment that we have for one another in all seasons of life. Plus, we sourced them from my parents’ property in the mountains, which was equally meaningful. My other favorite element was the giant greenery hoops that were suspended over the head tables. I created these on the Wednesday before our wedding alongside my Dad and Uncle, who had way too much fun playing florist for the day. It’s a memory with them that I’ll always cherish. There were so many other elements that we made together or held meaning for us personally, and we loved sharing those particular details with our friends and family.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Hands down, our favorite part of the day was our first look. We never thought we’d want to do one, but with a winter wedding, we ultimately had no choice with such an early sunset time. We were both emotional, and I was so thankful for a few moments alone with Alex prior to everything to calm nerves and reconnect. I also remember standing in the small vestibule with our parents and wedding party, waiting to be announced in to the reception and feeling so overwhelmed with joy. It was the moment I felt like everything had finally come together and we could just relax and celebrate, and being mushed into that tiny room with everyone we loved most was pretty much a perfect moment.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Alex and I ironically met at a singles/young professionals event hosted by his church. I attended with a friend, begrudgingly, and neither Alex nor I wanted to be there. When we were grouped together by the area of the city we lived in by the color on our nametags, we immediately hit it off and spent the rest of the evening together. After that time, Alex and I stayed in touch and hung out, but I still considered him a friend and nothing more. Eventually, my friends teased me that we needed to date, but I wasn’t so sure. We consider our first official “date” a trip to the movies to see the MOST unromantic movie ever – The Revenant. From there, he took me salsa dancing, taco eating, wine rooming and to cooking class. I was impressed by his widespread interests, creativity in planning, punctuality, consistency, ability to communicate, and most importantly, how comfortable he made me feel. We started dating, he met my parents a few short weeks later, and the rest is history. We got engaged during a private picnic at The Duke Mansion in Charlotte, under the most beautiful oak tree. He gave me a card that outlined his feelings and hopes for our future together (which is awesome because I never would have remembered what he’d said), and we celebrated with my family afterward. Planning our wedding together and being married has had its challenges of course, but Alex and I are truly partners and I’m beyond blessed to have him by my side.

Photography: Cheyenne Schultz Photography // Design and Decor: Blooming Branch Creative // Coordination: Magnificent Moments Weddings // Florals: Jimmy Blooms // Ceremony Venue: Covenant United Methodist Church Gastonia // Reception Venue:  10 Catawba // Make Up: Cali Stott Artistry // Dress: Stella York // Overskirt: Allure Bridal // Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell // Grooms Attire: SuitSupply // Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux // Film Scans: PhotoVision // Officiant: Chris Payne // DJ: Raise the Roof Charlotte // Catering: Family Catering Service // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

 

Brown graduates, Kelley and Jimmy moved from New York to Detroit and marked their new lives with an event that was as much a celebration of Detroit’s renaissance as it was their marriage.  They enlisted the help of Kathy Byrum of Dream Wedding & Event Planners to help them show off Detroit to their many out-of-town guests with fabulous local vendors and a stunning ceremony at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and a show-stopping reception at The Detroit Institute of Arts. Dusty florals and greenery installations by Katie Wachowiak dressed the day and an epic cake by Sweet Heather Anne finished it off. Befitting to the theme, the couple and their guests danced the night away under Diego Rivera’s ultra-famous mural and Blaine Siesser was on hand to capture each moment of Kelly and Jimmy’s day.

 

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What made the wedding special and unique?

When Jimmy and I had gotten engaged we had already made plans to move from New York to Detroit. Jimmy grew up in Detroit as did my parents and grandparents. We were so excited to be moving back during a time that has become known as the renaissance of one of America’s greatest cities and we’ve enjoyed spending time downtown exploring new restaurants and supporting local entrepreneurs. We knew we were going to have a lot of out of town guests so our biggest goal was to show off Detroit! I couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate our new life together in our new city than the Detroit Institute of Art – a true gem of Detroit and rich with important history.

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

I had the best dress shopping experience! I returned to New York where my little sister (and maid of honor) still lives and set up three appointments at different bridal boutiques for my mom, my sister and me to visit. I was nervous so before the day started I went to dry bar and got my hair done so I would feel confident trying on those dresses. Every appointment was different and special. Ultimately, I returned to the very first boutique we visited and bought the second dress I had ever tried on! I think I knew it was meant to be when the woman assisting me told me she had grown up in Michigan! The dress is Vera Wang’s Kathleen – a strapless mermaid gown with a hand-draped bodice and an inverted flange skirt. When my bridesmaids were asked what they thought my dress would look like, not one came close to guessing it right! And that’s what I loved about my dress, it was so unexpected for me but I felt like a total movie star on our big day.

 

 

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We looked for little ways to add personal touches throughout the weekend. My favorite were the signature cocktail signs we had made with a sketch of our English Cream Retriever puppy, Wally, after whom we named our signature cocktail. On top of that, we had light-up cowboy hats for the dance floor as a nod to my having grown up in Texas. Our invitations had an olive branch emblem on them as a nod to Jimmy’s family’s Greek heritage. The song my dad chose for our father-daughter dance was One Shining Moment by Motown great Diana Ross. And finally, our gift bags were filled with special items from Detroit – a “Detroit vs. Everyone” branded water bottle, Detroit Tiger’s peanuts (Jimmy’s family has been season ticket holders for 30 years), a post card and visitors guide from the Detroit Institute of Arts, along with Sander chocolates.

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Gosh there were so many! From my first look with my dad, to dancing all night with the Diego Rivera mural surrounding all my friends and family, the moment I am always transported back to is when Jimmy and I exchanged our vows. Even though we were standing in front of 300 people, in that moment it felt like it was just the two of us in that church. It was incredibly emotional and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Jimmy’s face.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Jimmy and I met in college at Brown University. He played football and I was on the field hockey team so we bumped in to each other quite a bit in Brown’s athletic training room. At first, I don’t think he was interested in a relationship but I wore him down over time and we were dating by the time he graduated! We both moved to New York out of college and after a few years we moved in together. The weekend Jimmy proposed I should have known it was coming. My parents were visiting New York to celebrate Easter and we had a busy weekend lined up. First thing Saturday morning we were supposed to meet at Bridget’s Garden, a garden located in Madison Square Park, that was named after my mother’s sister and a very special place to our family. I didn’t think anything of it when we got there before everyone else because my family is always late. After a moment, Jimmy grabbed my hands and said, “You ready?” and I instantly knew what was coming. He dropped to one knee and proposed. Meanwhile, he had hired a photographer to capture the whole thing! On top of that, when I came out of shock and we crossed the street to where my family was waiting, we found my family, Jimmy’s family and a group of my closest friends from all over the country waiting with champagne! The rest of the weekend was one big celebration. My sister had organized a big dinner that night at Buddakan in the Meat Packing district followed by a Tex-Mex brunch (my favorite!) on Sunday. Jimmy knew I wanted family and friends to be a part of our engagement and he nailed it!

Kelley // Jimmy from Life in Rewind on Vimeo.

Photography: Blaine Siesser // Wedding Coordination: Kathy Byrum of Dream Wedding & Event Planners // Invitation Designer: Written Word Calligraphy and Design // Florist: Katie Wachowiak // Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament // Reception Venue: The Detroit Institute of Arts // Dress: Vera Wang // Cake: Sweet Heather Anne // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaid Dresses & Clutches: BHLDN // Jewelry & Veil: Jules Joyner Designs // Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kendra Scott // Rings: George Koueiter & Sons Jeweler // Hair & Makeup: Hair Erika Cortez and Makeup Tammy LoMedico // Videographer: PJ Brown of Life in Rewind // Live Music: Your Generation in Concert // Linens: Event Source // Grooms Apparel: Custom // Officiant: Reverand J.J. Mech // Rentals: Gerych’s Flowers, Events and Rentals // Ceremony Music: The Paris Project String Quartet

 

Marco is a talented DJ and Sound Designer, and his blushing bride Elise is an interior and event designer in Chicago. Drawing from her professional background, Elise conceptualized every detail of this celebration at Chicago Athletic Association , and was inspired by the Alfonso Cuaron’s 1998 adaptation of “Great Expectations,” with its bohemian ballrooms, textures and greenery. And, commissioning the work of local artists and creative friends was of utmost importance. From the florals by Moon Canyon to stationery suites from Vichcraft Lettering and even her reception gown by Samantha Sleeper– nearly every detail of this celebration was a labor of love from fellow industry creatives whom Elise admires deeply. The couple enlisted the skills of Olivia Leigh Photographie  to capture all their fabulous details and we’re thrilled to share the images with you today!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

From the bride: I am the founder of Forward Fruit, an experiential design and interiors firm, and co-founder of Filigree Suppers, a design-driven supper club highlighting local makers and culinary talent. Needless to say, our wedding was both an expression of love for each other, and a wonderful collaborative creative project. My passion is in creating engaging and memorable environments, so it was only natural our wedding would follow suit. With a deep admiration for the creative event industry, we commissioned the work of independent makers, many of whom were friends, who perfectly complemented the overall design vision. Marco is a sound designer by day/ DJ by night, so music was a really important part of the day. He also weighed in on pretty much every detail, which was a great way to keep us both involved!

I called upon my industry friends who contributed to the overall vision of the celebration – many of whom were standing by our side on our wedding day. This parallels the foundation of Filigree Suppers, which was designed so the makers would attend the gatherings they were a part of, and be engaged in conversation with those who were enjoying the fruits of their labor.
My friend Jenna Blazevich, a Chicago-based graphic designer and owner of Vichcraft did all the lettering and calligraphy. She also did the design for the save the date, which was inspired by the Venetian Gothic architecture of the venue. This design was also carried over to the cake.

Floral designer Kristen Caissie of Moon Canyon designed the flowers and was also a bridesmaid. Many other elements were from independent artisans, as noted in the vendor list.

Rainbow letterpress foil and an envelope liner inspired by “The Equatorial Jungle” 1909 by Henri Rousseau amplified the bespoke invitation suite, designed by me in collaboration with Vichcraft.
The front of the programs and invitation suite were inspired by the architecture of the venue. Small moon & stars/shells/squirrel references were made with an explanation about the symbolism seen through some of the wedding day design and how it told a story of our love. The shell motif was seen on my reception dress, place cards, and even the bread and butter plates!

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

My ceremony gown was previously worn by two generations of women – my grandmother in 1937, and my mother in 1976. For our reception, I switched into a fun, costume style gown which was custom created with Chicago native and bridal designer, Samantha Sleeper.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

A thoughtfully-designed ceremony highlighted our individual heritages. A rabbi married us beneath a floral and lace chuppah in a nod to my Jewish faith, while a lasso ceremony reflected  Marco’s Catholic upbringing. Marco, who is also Mexican and Puerto Rican, called upon his uncle to read a Pablo Neruda poem in Spanish, which was also read in English by my best friend.

​A string quartet played “In My Life” The Beatles for the wedding party. I walked down the aisle to a string adaptation of “Latch” by Sam Smith, a song that was popular our first full summer together. The recession was to “Wedding March” because we love tradition. My parents met playing in an orchestra so this was a nod to them. This was our gift to (and surprise for) my parents.

​Marco and I surprised our parents and guests with a performance by a Mariachi band during the reception!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

We did a lift during our first dance that went off without a hitch! We were so excited we barely finished the dance!

​ ​The most epic dance party either of us had been to. As a DJ (him) and a former dancer (me), that was SO special to have our family and friends with us on the dance floor all night.​

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Neither of us had ever used a dating app, but in the summer of 2013, we both signed up and that first night I was on, I met Marco. A few weeks after that, I went on my first and last blind date. A few weeks after THAT, we both had the feeling that “this was it”!

Marco proposed in 2016 against a sunset backdrop with a stunning emerald (my favorite color) ring on the dock at my family’s lake house. We had just polished off a few pieces of strawberry rhubarb pie. We were married just over a year later at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, a recently renovated, men’s club turned destination hotel.​

Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie // Wedding Designer: Elise Metzger (bride) Founder of Forward Fruit and co-founder of Filigree Suppers // Planner (partial): Bianca Hall Estera Events // Florals: Kristen Caissie Moon Canyon // Invitations: Bride made with Vichcraft Lettering // Lettering & Calligraphy: Jenna Blazevich Vichcraft // Venue/Catering: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel // Bride’s Gown Ceremony: Vintage Mother’s and Grandmother’s // Reception Gown: Samantha Sleeper // Bride’s Shoes: Ferragamo (ceremony) SJP (reception) // Bride’s Earrings: JCrew // Bride’s Veil Designer: Blair Nadeau // Bride’s Hair: Angelica Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists // Makeup: Nika Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists // Groom’s Tux: Custom // Groom’s Shoes: Suit Supply // Rings: Hers Both Tiffany & Co Michigan Ave // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Fame and Partners Online // Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Black Tux // Candles: Creative Candles // Photo Booth: Paper Moon Shoppe // Cake: Cake Chicago // Invite Details: Little Postage House Vintage Stamps // Rentals: Flatware and Vintage Stemware Nimblewell // Ceramics: Ashley Lin Ames // Linens: Dot & Army / La Tavola Fine Linen // Lighting: Kehoe // Chuppah: Chuppah Studio // Cocktail Stirrers: Vintage on Etsy // Toss Flowers: Larkspur Hill via Etsy // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Ceremony Entertainment: Innocenti Strings // Reception Entertainment: Mariachi Ameca // DJ: DJ Matt Roan // Videographer: Logan Moore Wholehearted

 

Vanessa and Justin celebrated with a wedding in Mexico that “felt like a vacation with all of our favorite people!” The Cape, one of our favorite Cabo venues, offers views of downtown and El Arco, with a chic, contemporary vibe. Lynette Dow with Amy Abbot Events planned the day which included modern florals and decor that enhanced the stunning views and atmosphere of the venue while personalized details like graphic letterpress invitations by Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy, a short and sweet ceremony by the sea and fireworks made the night that much more special. See all the details in these stunning images by Ana & Jerome.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Mexico is a special place for us and we loved that our wedding felt like a vacation with all of our favorite people!  The rooftop of The Cape has views of downtown Cabo San Lucas and El Arco, making it a stunning and unique place for a wedding.

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

I went to a dress shop by myself while out of town and fell in love with the gown’s Josephine embroidery and silhouette. The designer is Atelier Pronovias.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We were really detailed when picking the music and that made the ceremony and reception feel personal. The DJ was awesome and we didn’t leave the dance floor all night long! Instead of traditional centerpieces and the standard wedding look, we wanted modern flowers and decor that would enhance the stunning views and atmosphere. Our florist totally captured our vision – the orchids and succulents were the perfect compliment the beautiful venue. Having our favorite snacks as late-night food was also a fun personal touch!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It’s really hard to choose what was most memorable but we both loved the fireworks and the dancing. Justin had forgotten about the fireworks so that was a really fun surprise for him!  The ceremony is a special memory – it was short and sweet and made us both laugh and cry. We also have great memories of the heartfelt speeches from family and friends. The service at The Cape was excellent and we will always remember how special they made our guests and us feel that day.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. We didn’t know anything about each other and no pictures were exchanged beforehand so neither one of us knew what to expect but it ended up being a great first date! As far as getting engaged, Justin made big plans for our 1-year anniversary – drinks at the same place we had our first date, followed by dinner at a secret location, and a proposal at the end of the night. But things didn’t go according to plan. The day before the planned proposal,  Justin took the ring out of his safe and it started “burning a hole in his pocket” so he drove over to Vanessa’s house and jumped the gun by proposing out of nowhere. It was definitely a spontaneous proposal!  We celebrated our engagement with a vacation to Cabo!

Photography: Ana & Jerome // Wedding Planner: Amy Abbot Events Lynette Dow // Floral Design: Pina Cate // Venue, Catering and Cake: The Cape // HMUA: Blanc Bridal Salon // Invitation Suite: Jacques Oskanian, Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy // Printed Material: Bells & Whistles Design // Dress: Atelier Pronovias in Sacramento // Rentals: Del Cabo Events, Pina Cate Warehouse Rentals // Cocktail Entertainment: Smart Music Francisco Alatorre (guitar & violin) // Dj  Entertainment and Lighting: Alex Alanis