Benita + Andy | Reem Acra Wedding from Marco Schwarz

Fairy tale wedding in Florence, Italy? Yes please! This intimate and romantic destination wedding for 40 of Benita + Andy’s friends and family is absolutely swoon worthy…I love Benita’s Reem Acra ballerina inspired gown and how the majestic surroundings just seem to lend itself to today’s featured dress, The King and I. And although the bride lost her father very suddenly the year of the wedding, it warms my heart that Benita was able to keep her father close during the ceremony by including a locket with an image of him on her bouquet. Such a very special detail for an absolutely enchanting day…Cheers to the beautiful couple!

Benita + Andy | July 2, 2012 | Florence, Italy

The Ceremony
We wanted our wedding to be a memorable, intimate destination wedding! We picked Florence, Italy, as it’s a very romantic city with a beautiful hillside. The wedding ceremony took place in the garden at Castello di Vincigliata, located in the Tuscany hillside. The ceremony was intimate and casual. My dad passed away suddenly earlier this year due to a brain infection, so it was sad that he couldn’t make it to the wedding, but I included a picture of him on my bouquet. My Uncle Stanley, who is like a second dad to me, officiated the ceremony. We had a Christian ceremony for 40 guests, that included scripture reading, worship, communion and a stone ceremony, where everyone was given a piece of pebble that represents their blessing and they came up to drop it into a jar at the front while they took the bread and wine for the communion.

The Reception
After the ceremony, we took pictures with everyone and enjoyed an amazing selection of Italian hors d’oeuvres at the garden. The reception took place at the courtyard of the castle. We had homemade pasta and a very delicious BBQ buffet. We also played some pasta related games and listened to some funny and heartfelt speeches. After the reception, we had our first dance back at the garden and cut our cake. The cake was 5 times bigger than what I had envisioned. Our vendors were awesome and we had such a wonderful time!

Benita’s Dress Search
I started my dress search with a simple A-line dress in mind. I stumbled upon this Reem Acra dress and I fell in love with the embroidery and crystals on the dress! It’s intricate, yet simple.

How Benita Felt in Her Wedding Dress
I can only think of one word that best describes how I felt in my dress – pretty!

Why Benita Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I love my dress, but I really have no use for it now and it’s taking up a lot of space in my closet, so I decided to sell it. I have enough beautiful pictures to remember it forever.

Wedding Dress: Reem Acra
 | Photography: Marco Schwarz
 | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Castello di Vincigliata
 | Wedding Planner: Federica Lattuada
 | Floral Design: Jardin Divers
 | Caterer: Preludio


Tags : , Posted in : Real Weddings | 1 Comment

Lindsay + Branden | Lazaro Wedding from Photography by Theresa

“Happily Ever After Starts Here”…. I love the hand painted sign welcoming guests to Lindsay and Branden’s wedding. Lindsay’s parents’ gorgeous waterfront home was the perfect place to say “I do”. The charming details continued at the reception, like flip-flop party favors and a hilariously adorable cake topper, giving the party whimsical style.  As friends and family danced the night away at the reception, and Lindsay and Brandon knew that this magical celebration was the perfect beginning to their new life together.

Lindsay + Branden | September 1, 2012 | Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

The ceremony

Branden and I were very lucky because one of my best friends, Ashley, did us the honour of marrying us. We worked together with her to draft our ceremony from scratch with personal stories, etc. to make it memorable and more meaningful. The ceremony was on the beach of our family property. I remember looking out the window watching everything get set up and it was even more beautiful than I had envisioned. My family is Russian so we included a Russian ceremony to carry on the tradition.

The reception

Our guests enjoyed lawn games set up at the house while Branden and I took pictures. What a hit! People were lining up to play croquet and bochee. Next, we entered the seated dinner held inside a large tent. About half way through dinner our friends began toasting us. I can honestly say that we had the BEST wedding party. After hilarious speeches by the groomsmen, and an amazing “rap” toast by my sister Caitlin, the live band started and we had our first dance. Branden was super nervous because we took a couple of dancing lessons to surprise our parents. We did really well for the first half and then were like oh screw it ha this is waaay harder than it looks. It was super fun. The band played till midnight and the dance floor was packed for hours.

Lindsay’s dress search

Initially I wanted to go with a very tight fitting vintage lace dress. I tried one on and looked way too skinny, so that idea was out the window pretty fast. The more I tried on ball gown type dresses, the more I felt like a bride. When I tried on the Lazaro gown I fell in love. That was it! I’d found my dress.

The way Lindsay felt in her wedding dress

Timeless, stunning, elegant

Why Lindsay decided to sell her wedding dress

Because I want to hopefully get some of the money back, and also because what would I do with it after? I’d rather have someone else enjoy it. It’s too beautiful to sit in the closet forever.

Lindsay’s wedding dress: Lazaro, 3063

Photographer: Photography by Theresa (Trail, British Columbia, Canada); Ceremony & Reception Venue: My family home in Nelson (Harrop) British Columbia; Event Planning: Myself, and my mom and mom-in-law; Rental Company: Avalon Tent Rentals  (Kelowna, BC); Floral Design: Private florist-Brandie Jollimore; Cupcake Tower and Cake: Epiphany Cakes 

Tags : , Posted in : Real Weddings | 3 Comments

Tito + Shomari | Kenneth Pool Wedding from Bryan Glen

Beauty, blessings and a bridal party twenty people strong…Tito + Shomari’s wedding was a sparkling and vibrant event complete with a modern Nigerian reception for all 500 of their guests! I love how this couple combined the bride’s Nigerian customs and the groom’s Caribbean heritage by including a traditional Nigerian Thanksgiving Ceremony as well as giving traditional Jamaican rum cakes as party favors. And how about Tito’s gown called Anastasia!? Truly, Amsale Aberra said it best: “Ultimate Femininity combined with Kenneth Pool’s signature brand of sexy, opulent, unapologetic glamor.” Bravo!

Tito + Shomari | August 4, 2012 | A La Carte Pavilion, Tampa, Florida

The Ceremony
Our ceremony included several personal touches, and included a candle lighting ceremony, a rose presentation to our mothers, personal written vows, and lastly a traditional Nigerian “Thanksgiving Ceremony”. The Thanksgiving Ceremony is when guests dance up to where the bride and groom are seated and place money in a basket; and all the money was donated to a charity called “International Justice Mission”.  We had a large bridal party consisting of 20 of our best friends.

The Reception
We had a modern Nigerian reception. The guest count was approximately 500 people, with several friends and family who attended from Nigeria. The groom’s family is of Caribbean descent, and in addition to Nigerian customs we had a traditional Jamaican Rum cake, which was offered to friends and family as our favors. The affair was very colorful, and people danced to a mix of current music and traditional Nigerian music. As the music was played, the bride and groom and their family members were gifted with money as they danced, which is seen as a blessing in Yoruba Nigerian culture.

Tito’s Dress Search
I went to a few different dress stores, one in Tampa and two in NYC. The second place I went, I said yes to the dress…but I had another appointment at Amsale and my mother -in-law thought it couldn’t hurt to check it out before making a decision. When I went to Amsale, everything fit and I could see myself in all of her gowns. I really wanted a mermaid style gown with a jeweled bodice and intricate skirt, but wasn’t finding what I wanted. So, I ended up trying on the Anastasia gown in Amsale’s Kenneth Pool Collection, which was a ball gown and not originally what I thought I wanted. I knew it was the right dress when I didn’t want to take it off

How Tito Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Beautiful, Regal, Showstopper

Why Tito Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I loved my wedding gown, but I realize it’s a dress I can only wear once and someone else should be able to feel as lovely as I did.

Wedding Dress: Kenneth Pool | Photographer: Bryan Glen  | Wedding Planner: Tammy Waterman of Special Moments Designs | Ceremony + Reception Venue: A La Carte Pavilion | Floral Design: A La Carte Pavilion | Cake: A La Carte Pavilion | Amsale Aberra Quote: From Amsale Aberra Biography

Tags : , Posted in : Real Weddings | Leave a comment

Joyce + Tory | Monique Lhuillier Wedding from Chenin Boutwell

Here is a real treat for you, Joyce + Tory’s  Beverly Hills wedding complete with a stunning and modern Monique Lhuillier gown called Devotion…I love the raw silk organza layering and the way this gown offers a real sense of tradition with just the right touch of modern flare.  Other subtle, yet very tasteful touches: matching crisp white parasols throughout the ceremony, bow ties for the gents and really charming and exquisite flower arrangements – I am in love with Joyce’s bouquet! Don’t miss my absolute favorite part about Korean wedding tradition, when the bride and groom change into full Korean costume to celebrate p’ye-baek, the throwing of dates and chestnuts. Enjoy!

Joyce + Tory | May 12, 2012 | Beverly Hills, California

The Ceremony + Reception
Our ceremony was outdoors at the Greystone Mansion and the weather was perfect in May. Tory and I read our personal vows to each other and it was the most special part of the day!
Our reception was at the Montage Beverly Hills and was very classy and heartwarming.

Joyce’s Dress Search
When I started my search I only had a vague idea of what I wanted.  I tried on a wide range of styles and narrowed it down to 2 very different gowns.  This strapless Monique Lhuillier gown was actually the very first gown I tried and was the one I had to go back to in the end.  The other gown I liked was made of lace and had cap sleeves.  It was also beautiful, but Devotion by Monique Lhuillier was the gown that matched me best.  There are so many beautiful and exquisite gowns out there, but it’s important to go with what looks best on your figure and brings out your beauty.

How Joyce Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Sexy, Bold, Timeless

Why Joyce Decided To Sell Her Wedding Dress
I would love if someone else would make use of this gorgeous gown rather than it sitting in my closet!

Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier Devotion | Photography: Chenin Boutwell | Ceremony Venue: Greystone Mansion | Reception Venue: Montage Beverly Hills | Event Planning: Fresh Events Company | Floral Design: Flower Allie | Cake: Montage Beverly Hills

Tags : , Posted in : Real Weddings | 1 Comment