A Majestic Garden Celebration in the Most Gorgeous San Francisco Venue

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San Francisco City Hall is one of the most magical venues in all the land. The architecture and grand sweeping staircases are beyond breathtaking all on their own but when you add a team of wedding masterminds to the roster, it’s downright majestic. That team includes Laurie Arons, Honey of a Thousand Flowers, Paula LeDeuc and Jose Villa just to name a few. See how they transformed this gorgeous venue into a stunning garden in the city.

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Fall

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City Hall

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Romantic

From the planner… Early in their engagement, Michelle & Paul dreamed of a San Francisco City Hall ceremony, followed by a reception at her family’s home in Piedmont. But as the planning got underway, the couple had an even better idea. They switched venues, instead hosting a beautiful garden ceremony in her parents’ backyard, with the celebration to follow at San Francisco’s stately City Hall. The bride’s love of botanicals became the inspiration for the wedding design. Her sister, Beth Rabkin of Seaview Studio, designed the save the dates and invitations featuring hand-drawn florals. Floral designer Sarah Winward took that floral inspiration to abundance, creating a wild & romantic chuppah and free flowing bouquets for ceremony. To make room for 155 guests, we covered the family’s swimming pool and arranged the ceremony chairs on three sides for an intimate feel. Not wanting to leave that natural beauty behind when we moved to the indoor reception, Sarah’s team brought towering trees and plants into the City Hall Rotunda, with spilling centerpieces on every table. Amber Moon Design wrapped each guest’s menu in a light leaf print vellum, for another touch of greenery. But perhaps my favorite botanical influence were the escort cards — framed and pressed flowers penned with Roman numeral table numbers site by Curlicue Designs.

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Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Wedding Planner : Laurie Arons Special Events | Floral Design : Honey of a Thousand Flowers | Dress : Oscar De La Renta | Ceremony Venue: Private Residence | Reception Venue: San Francisco City Hall | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August | Hair and Makeup: Mimi & Taylor Salon | Calligraphy: Curlicue Designs Calligraphy | Lighting : Illusions Lighting | Favors : Laura Zindel | Grooms Attire : Tom Ford | Ceremony Music : Synchronicity Strings | Additional Paper Products: Amber Moon Design | Catering and Croquembouche: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Cocktail hour catering : Manzare Events | Invitations and save the dates: Seaview Studio | Reception Catering and Croquembouche wedding cake : Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Reception Music: West Coast Music | Rentals : Classic Party Rentals | Trees and Plants : The Plant Library

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A Wildly Romantic Wedding in the Arizona Desert

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What began as a last-minute “plus one” to a wedding became a forever kind of love for Marian and Mark. And when they began planning their own big day, they knew showcasing the Arizona scenery was a top priority. A soft color palette and natural greens complemented the setting, and Rachel Solomon told the story of the day in stunning fashion.

From the bride… Mark and I met through my older brothers about 5 years ago, when he moved from the Bay Area to Arizona. We started dating about a year later when he needed a last minute plus-one to a friend’s wedding. My brothers thought that I might be able to suggest one of my friends as a suitable date, but I offered to go instead. I always thought Mark was fun, kind, and handsome – and there could be worse ways to spend a Saturday, right? We had an amazing time together, and the fun hasn’t stopped since then.

Mark proposed almost 3 years later, while we were hiking in beautiful Sedona, AZ. The love of the outdoors, especially the breathtaking Arizona scenery, has been a constant throughout our relationship, and it was the perfect spot to decide to spend the rest of our lives together.

As we began wedding planning, we knew that we wanted to showcase Arizona scenery – especially through the choice of venue. I think we knew the moment we stepped on the Casa Paloma lawn at El Chorro that we wanted to get married there. The venue features a stunning backdrop of Camelback Mountain and the property itself is simple, classic, rustic, and beautiful with wrap-around patios, fireplaces, and an open and airy event space.

The venue is stunning enough on its own, so we wanted the décor to be soft and natural with some rustic details. The florals from Sarah’s Garden featured natural bouquets and centerpieces in neutral whites, creams and blushes with pops of deeper pinks and peaches, surrounded by eucalyptus greenery. We also added some pops of color with rose quartz menus from Minted, paired with rosemary sprigs clipped from a friend’s garden that morning. The head table featured a long garland that complemented the greenery hung in the rafters of the event space.

Letters by Jennifer created stunning calligraphy for our custom signage, seating charts, and escort cards. We also featured some desert-inspired details in our cactus invitation suite, programs, and itineraries from Paperless Post and our custom logos from Snaptag Designs.

For my “something old” my mother created a ring bearer pillow and flower girl basket using lace from the bridesmaid’s dresses at her wedding. And my “something borrowed” was a turquoise bracelet that my grandfather gave to my aunt to wear on her wedding day.

We chose long, flowing, chiffon gowns in a pale blush from Dessy as the bridesmaids’ dresses. Paired with the silk ribbons from Frou Frou Chic, slightly moving in that day’s soft breeze, the bouquets were captured beautifully by Rachel Solomon Photography. Rachel and her team did an amazing job capturing all the moments and details from throughout the day.

And of course, the glue that held everything together was planning and coordination from Andrea Leslie and her team. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family and the hard work from this amazing team of vendors that created the best day of our lives!

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Videography: An Pham | Event Planning: Andrea Leslie Weddings | Floral Design: Sarah’s Garden | Gown: Watters | Cake: Ruze Cake House | Invitations: Paperless Post | Reception Venue: El Chorro | Shoes: Ralph Lauren | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Group | Hair: Molly Bardon | Calligraphy: Letters by Jennifer | DJ: MT Sounds | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Bridesmaids Boutique: Bella Bridesmaid | Gown Boutique: BHLDN | Rentals: Glamour And Woods | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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The Ultimate Rustic Chic Homestead Wedding

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For Tara and Larry, their wedding wishes came down to a day full of love and family. They decided on a celebration in Montana as a nod to their long line of farming and ranching families, plus a shared love for the great outdoors. Greenwood Events designed unique florals for the occasion and Orange Photographie captured in true fine art fashion. More to see this way in the gallery.

From the Bride… Larry and I currently live in San Francisco, but we both wanted a rustic wedding with a barn that would be close for both of our large families to attend. Larry always says that Montana is “God’s Country” and we found the perfect location at Weatherwood Homestead. Larry is from a long line of farming and ranching families from Montana and I am from North Dakota. Our wedding was the perfect combination of our heritages and love for the outdoors. Montana was a dream location of my husband’s and it all fell together beautifully.

My inspiration was to create a day full of love and family, which reflected the elements of our relationship and our heritages. We wanted to create a rustic wedding with soft blushing colors and local elements. I sought a whimsical, flowing and soft feel to all the flowers, clothing and decorations. The bay leafs were an important symbol for us, because on our first date, which involved a run on Mount Tamalpais near San Francisco. While running, we were talking about the medicinal power of plants. Just then Larry pulled a bay leaf from a tree and gave it to me, asking if I knew what it was. To this day, every time Larry goes for a run or we are on a hike together, he will pick a bay leaf for me.

Our wedding was truly the most perfect day of our lives thus far. We were married on the blue moon and we were blessed with the most beautiful 5 days. While the day of our wedding was the most perfect day, leading up the wedding we arranged fly fishing, a boat ride on Lake McDonald, a Rodeo at the Blue Moon Rodeo, horseback riding, a hike, a ride up the gondola at the big mountain to see the blue moon and receive a blessing at sunset. All of these events brought our guest from around the world so close that by the day of our wedding it felt like our already large families (I am one of 8 children and Larry one of 4 children).

Of course like every bride, I thought my wedding was the most beautiful ever. Yet, more importantly, I was so happy because all the planning was so easy that it almost seemed as if the heavens opened up and gave us ease at every corner and more importantly gave us a perfect few days of sunshine and love. The ease in how it all the details came together so perfectly only reaffirmed to us that our marriage was meant to be. We felt overwhelmingly loved with our big families and wonderful friends there to support us.

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Photography: Orange Photographie | Floral Design: Greenwood Events | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal | Catering: Kelly with Simple Chef Catering | Groom’s Attire: Andreas Gorges Tailoring | Venue: Weatherwood | Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero | Coordination + Misc. Rentals: Empress Tents & Events | Dress Boutique: J. Scott Couture | Tabletop Rentals: The Top Collection

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Show-Stopping Fashion Tucked Inside a Glamorous Wedding by the Sea

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Show-stopping is a complete understatement when describing this wedding but it most certainly is a good start. Because when fashion royalty is involved, everything from the veil to that glorious custom dress by the Groom’s father, Naeem Khan, and the runway-worthy florals are nothing short of magnificent. Held at Miami’s Vizcaya Gardens, it’s a garden meets the sea affair planned by Runway Events where fashion is at the forefront and the images by Gianny Campos will completely slay you (in the best of ways).

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Spring

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Beach

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Glamorous

From the Photographer…With a “garden by the sea” theme in mind, this couple invited 195 guests to join them for a waterfront celebration in Miami. Genevieve Peralta, Naeem’s runway florist, created the bold florals at each table, including the dripping moss, which brought the outdoors into the reception tent. To compliment the color of Vizcaya’s walls, Haniya and Naeem chose pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses which were designed by Naeem himself. “We wanted it to be harmonious” the bride says. Haniya and Zaheen used calligraphed seashells as their escort cards. The mother of the groom, Ranjana, wore custom Naeem Khan as did the officiant and many of the guests as well. The bride’s dress and veil was beautiful designed by her father in law Naeem as well. “I felt very thankful to wear a dress by Naeem, not just because of how beautiful the finished piece was but – more importantly – because it was made by my family.” – from the bride.

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Photography: Gianny Campos Photography | Event Planning: Runway Events | Floral Design: Jenevieve Peralta | Stationary: Fancy That NYC | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Naeem Khan | Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford | Bride Dress: Naeem Khan | Outdoor : Vizcaya Museum & Gardens | Rentals: Unearthed Vintage | Second Shooter: Cody Hunter Photography

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This is How You Mix and Match Your Bridal Party to Absolute Perfection

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In all honesty, tackling that bridal party style isn’t always an easy task… especially if you want your besties and their unique personalities to shine. We totally get that, and so does Allure Bridesmaids. Which is why their Spring 2017 Collection is perfect for creating that chic ensemble of mix and match styles that look seriously stunning, without being overdone. Scroll for a look you AND your maids will love.

Playing with traditional silhouettes and modern textures, Allure Bridesmaids and their new Spring 2017 Collection is all about making sure your ladies look and feel just as gorgeous as you on the Big Day with a never-ending lineup of beautiful gowns that are as easy to wear as they are show-stopping. From the silky smooth fabrics to the fab color options to the intricate details that will make your guests stop and notice, each gown is a total masterpiece that your besties will LOVE to rock. Not to mention that their options in interchangeable skirts and tops will have you creating a custom look in no time at all. #bridalpartygoals

Ready to tackle that bridal party style with gowns that will leave each one of your favorite friends looking fab AND totally happy? Take a gander at all of these beautiful images from Brumley & Wells right here, then find your nearest Allure Bridesmaids retailer to get your bridesmaid style on.

Photography: Brumley & Wells | Floral Design: Ponderosa & Thyme | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Allure Bridal | Photography – Assistance: Charles Newmyer | Photography – Assistance: Howard Film Co.

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Heading Outdoors for a Stunning Black-Tie Wedding Al Fresco

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Black-tie events are synonymous with grand ballrooms but this gem is flipping that notion upside down… or taking it outside.  Tucked in the gorgeous surrounds of Rancho Santa Fe, this tented celebration coordinated by Weddings by Design has all the elements of a super swanky affair, including overflowing florals by Anahita Events, and twinkling candlelight in the open air. It’s gorgeous and will completely make you fall hard for all things al fresco. Pore through all the pretty captured by Erica Schneider + a stunning film by Elysium below.

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From the Bride… Mike and I met when we were both 18 in class in Madison, Wisconsin and got engaged nearly 10 years later in Hawaii. We spent our Hawaii vacation excitedly thinking about what type of wedding we wanted to have. We talked a lot about doing a destination and even considered getting married at the hotel we got engaged in Maui. Ultimately, we decided that my hometown of San Diego in August was the perfect place for Mike’s east coast family, and our friends to join together for our celebration.

We wanted our wedding to be as much about the two of us and a celebration of all of those who helped us get through the previous ten years and who will be by our sides through the next 10! We looked at many different venues in San Diego but ultimately decided at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, which is not far from where I grew up. I knew from the beginning I wanted a black-tie “tent” wedding and we focused on finding a place that allowed us to have a tent.

The Inn is romantic, quaint, and it just felt like us. I right away saw how my tent-wedding dream could come to life. When I told my mom and planner, I wanted a tent wedding, I really meant that I wanted an outdoor, open-air wedding with some structure in place to make the area feel defined. I knew I wanted as many green hedges as possible to enclose an open-air space. I took several elements from other events I had seen on the internet to make my own vision and that was how my dream was formed.

When we picked the band, we had one major criterion. They had to be able to play Bruce Springsteen, Mike’s favorite artist. We chose Soulville, and I am so glad we did! They took the time to get to know us both and our music preferences, and absolutely nailed it the night of our wedding. They were terrific and played music that appealed to all of our guests and at one point there wasn’t a single person not on the dance floor, which is exactly what we wished for.

My advice to brides planning now would be to do research in advance about the type of wedding they want before picking a venue. Pinterest can be overwhelming, but it helped me figure out quickly what I liked and didn’t like. We put a lot of personal touches in our wedding, from the custom corn-hole boards to the table numbers that featured our dog. I loved mixing upscale features with custom finishes like these – it just felt more like us! We now look back on our wedding day and night, and can only smile. It was simply the most amazing day of our lives and we are so grateful to all those who helped make it a reality.

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Photography: Erica Schneider Photography | Cinematography: Elysium Productions | Event Coordinator: Weddings By Design | Floral Design: Anahita Events | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Cake: Hey There, Cupcake! | Stationery: Stacey Himmel Stationery | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nicole Miller | Hair and Makeup: A New Twist 4 U | Lighting: Excellent Entertainment | Band: Soulville Band | Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen’s Attire: Ralph Lauren | Ceremony Music: Caprice Strings | Wedding Venue: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe | Blizzards: Dairy Queen | Challah: Charlie’s Best Breads | Food Truck: Grater Grilled Cheese | Rentals: Abbey Party Rents | Rentals: Raphaels | Sheet Cakes: VG Donut & Bakery | Wine: Pampelmousse Grille

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A Destination Wedding in Island Paradise

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Alexis and Murphy decided to tie the knot in Punta Cana and with one look at the photos by Melissa Jill it’s easy to see why. Think white sand, crystal blue water, and true paradise in every sense of the word. They brought on seasoned wedding pros like The Eventeur to bring their “classic, lux” vision to life, and in our opinion? They nailed it.

From The EventeurAlexis and Murphy were married in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with the Caribbean palm trees and lapping ocean water as a backdrop. Alexis has family on the island – in fact, her mother was born and raised there –which made the Dominican Republic as meaningful a destination as it was scenic. Punta Cana boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and Alexis & Murphy’s wedding there was an absolute fairy tale from start to finish. But even the glories of nature couldn’t outshine how stunning and joyous the bride & groom looked as they were wed!

The design of the wedding was lux and classic, with white flowers and elegant details, like the pierced wood fans for the guests to use and the perfectly mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses. Tradition and family are important to the couple, and Alexis was moved to tears when Murphy surprised her with his grandmother’s ring as she prepared for the day.

The wedding was also seasoned with vibrant and unique touches, which accented the refined style and made it a perfect fit for the fun, adventurous couple. The groom, who plays minor league baseball, presented his groomsmen with custom bobbleheads, and cocktail hour was energized by the music of a Dominican trio band. The newlyweds and their guests danced the night away beneath the stars.

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Photography: Melissa Jill Photography | Cinematography: The Love Studio | Event Planning: The Eventeur | Floral Design: Ritual Salon & Spa | Cake: Cake Studios Bavaro | Stationery: Idieh Design | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Hair + Makeup: Anna Nuet | DJ: APC Entertainment | Suits: Suitsupply | Venue: La Yola | Dress Boutique: Mariée | Rentals: Punta Cana Party Events | Wedding Dress Designer: Watters

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When a Destination Planner Crafts Her Own Wedding in Umbria

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Jet setting to Umbria is now at the tippy-top of my travel list and it has everything to do with this destination wedding. It is an easy, elegant yet totally un-stuffy celebration crafted by the Bride herself, who just so happens to be a destination wedding planner and it shows! Al fresco tablescapes, the most perfect Umbria-esque rattan chairs, bright blooms and a day filled with Italian beauty… these are just a few of the details to be found in the photographs by Rachel Gomez and Sposto Photography.

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Summer

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Villa

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Al Fresco

From the Bride… It was my dream to get married in the Italian countryside; it’s my favorite place on Earth. My fiancé and I decided on Italy for the wedding (my heritage) and to tour Scotland (his heritage) for our honeymoon! I am a destination wedding planner and produce weddings mostly around Telluride, CO. I have planned pretty much every type of event.. but for my wedding I wanted to take our family and closest friends on vacation to celebrate life, eat great food and drink wine!

Our main focus was to highlight both of our personalities with unique touches to create a completely custom event. We hosted 52 of our family and friends for a week in Umbria, Italy. The guests stayed onsite at Casali Cole San Paolo a family-run olive oil estate with three guest farmhouses and a historic chapel built in the 13th century! This was the venue’s first wedding and I was lucky enough to work with the bilingual owner of the property to secure local Italian vendors in the area.

The setting of Umbria served as color inspiration, we used dusty peach, light sage, creams and taupe with rose gold and dark gray accents. We wanted to set the tone with custom invitations and worked with Whimsy Design Studio, based in Denver, CO. Whimsy incorporated a watercolor of one of the farmhouses my artist friend painted into the design of the invitation. She added watercolor touches, custom wax seals and plant-dyed silk ribbon to complete the look.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with baskets of local wine, Turkish pool towels from Positano and chocolates from Perugia. We spent the week exploring the Umbrian countryside, visiting little hamlets and relaxing at the property!

Our ceremony was set at the top of Mount Solare at Fontanelle Farmhouse, a stone house surround by fruit trees and lavender. We used natural wicker furniture and kept it very organic. My brother-in law married us and my brother played acoustic guitar was I walked down the aisle with my father. It was truly a family affair! We set a black-tie dress code, the groom and groomsmen wore tuxedos, the bridesmaids chose their own dresses based of the watercolor painting and my wedding dress I fell in love with because to me it was elegant- classic with European glam.

The reception was hosted just down the olive tree-lined dirt road at the pink farmhouse named Poderaccio. The surroundings very natural, it was important to me to create a “black-tie garden party” and the ladies at Puscina Flowers made my dream a reality. The three sisters and fine art floral designers grow everything they use. Their attention to detail was a dream come true for a wedding planner bride.

We continued the theme of art/watercolor on the table by including small paintings “of Italy” at each setting and used a custom crest designed on the menus. The table was lined with organic looking floral arrangements, herbs potted in rustic terracotta pots and accented with fresh picked fruit and taper candles. The look slightly eclectic yet polished and cohesive with the environment. We were served an elegant 5-course meal at a table set for 52 that was looking over the Umbrian countryside. We had an American-style three tier wedding cake and Italian millefoglie cake for dessert. The dance party continued for many hours after under the gazebo overlooking the pool.

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Photography: Sposto Photography | Photography: Rachel Gomez | Event Planning: Polished.Fun. | Floral Design: Puscina Flowers | Wedding Dress: Casablanca Bridal | Cake: Eros Mariotti | Invitations: Whimsy Design Studio | Ceremony Venue: I Casali di Colle San Paolo | Shoes : Badgley Mischka | Jewelry: Family Heirloom | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Elizabeth & James | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azeeza | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Eros Mariotti | Hair: Alex Cox | Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss | Hotel: Villa Monte Solare | Hotel: I Casali di Colle San Paolo | Wedding Venue: I Casali di Colle San Paolo | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Azienda Agricola La Querciolana

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The Most Glamorous Garden Affair in the Middle of the City

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A wedding through the lens of Jose Villa is pure beauty no matter how you spin it. And this celebration has a whole slew of wedding superstars behind the scenes. From the most timeless design and planning by Mindy Weiss to layers upon layers of white blooms (including a floral dog leash!) by HMR Designs and topped off with one of the most insanely gorgeous cakes by Sylvia Weinstock, this collection of images just might do you in.

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From the bride… John and I were in the same year at the same high school, but in our 4 years there, we never once spoke to each other. It was only several years after college that we finally met at a mini high school reunion in a small bar in Chicago. We’ve been inseparable ever since. Much of our wedding was planned long ago, I think it started when I was 12. I knew I wanted an airy, romantic garden in the city. I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to wear different dresses. I knew Sylvia Weinstock was going to create my sugar-flower covered cake. I knew there’d be a table dedicated purely to desserts. And I knew my dress was going to be lace. My adolescent dreams didn’t veer far from reality. John and I were fortunate enough to be surrounded by a wonderful team who helped us bring our vision to life. We wanted our wedding to feel intimate and romantic. Soft lighting, beautiful fabrics and drapes, and an abundance of flowers set the perfect tone for an unforgettable evening.

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Photographer: Jose Villa Photography | Videography : Vidicam Productions | Planner: Mindy Weiss Party Consultants | Cake: Sylvia Weinstock | Reception Venue: Jennifer Clarke At The Peninsula Chicago | Brides Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Mendel | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jovani | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Makeup: Emily Oliver | Hair : Salon Buzz | Invitations and Calligraphy : Bernard Maisner | Band : Becca Kauffman Orchestra | Brides Dress and Veil: Vera Wang | Ceremony Venue : St. James Cathedral | Florals and Decor : HMR Designs | Grooms Tux: Ralph Lauren | Mother of Grooms Gown : Johnston & Murphy | Mother of brides gown: Carolina Herrera

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A Clean, Modern Take on a New England Wedding

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In a day where clean lines and modern design reigns king, it only makes sense that the incredible Belle Mer plays backdrop. Set right on the sea, the venue was everything Samantha and Zach we’re looking for and the ever-fabulous Rebecca Arthurs captured the day from beginning to end.

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Summer

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OceanResort

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Modern

From the bride, Samantha… Zach and I met in college at The University of Michigan, but we did not start dating until a few months after graduation when we lived in the same building in New York City.

My vision for the wedding was a formal evening with a modern sophistication in a waterfront location. My favorite moment of the wedding day was the first look – it was such an honest and raw moment and something special that I will always remember.

From the floral designer, Greenlion… Samantha and Zach both were drawn to clean lines and simplicity. We incorporated lush large philodendron leaves to add a contrast to the clean groupings of white hydrangea, tulip, and orchids we used in the centerpiece work. It complimented the space beautifully. The chuppah was hand-crafted from vines and we added lush organic style florals in greens whites and creams for a bold ceremony backdrop.

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Photography: Rebecca Arthurs | Event Planning: Exquisite Events | Floral Design: Greenlion | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Shoes : Giovanetti Rossi | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Longwood Events — Boutique Venues | Catering: Longwood Events and Weddings | Makeup : Deb Houghton | Band: Night Rhythm | Band: Night Rhythm | Groomsmen’s Attire: My Suit | Venue: Belle Mer: A Longwood Venue | Ceremony Programs: Wedding Paper Divas | Escort Cards: Heather Belle Ink | Grooms Shoes: Del Toro | Menu Cards : Katlem Design | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

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