While you might assume this day was styled by the pros inside and out, take note that these crafty Grooms enlisted the help of family and friends for what can only be described as “handmade perfection.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt when designhunterLA happens to be your dear friend and Dana Damewood is on hand to capture. Ready for more? Hop to the gallery for a whole lot more!
From the Grooms… With our families and friends spread across the country, Patrick and I had a hard time finding a city to host the wedding and reception, but we finally decided on Omaha where a lot of my family is. We really searched for the perfect combination of rustic and picturesque locations in the Omaha metro area. After an initial visit to Nebraska City we weren’t sold, but as we weighed other options it became the obvious place. We had the amazing Historic Barns at Arbor Day Farms, but also the wonderful Lied Lodge for people to stay at.
It actually wasn’t till the week of, that we moved the reception into the Steinhardt Lodge, it was such a “happy accident” to quote a friend or more like an amazing accident as shown in the amazing photos by Dana and her team. The Steinhardt was air conditioned and beautiful, the lighting perfect (with the addition of a couple strings of lights), we would not change a thing. A couple of my talented cousins helped by sewing a basic gray fabric I ordered into table cloths for the long banquet tables. Patrick wanted family style dining, and thus the food was passed on beautiful, big platters. The Lied Lodge accommodated wonderfully, the food was amazing, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful, the atmosphere perfect!
My good friend, Veronica Valencia aka. designhunterLA, created the bouquets and boutonnieres the night before the wedding and I pinned the bees on. Veronica and I hand-picked these flowers and others from a local wholesaler three days prior. We found various other flowers to supplement. The white hydrangeas and other misc. greenery, the sprigs placed on the menus for example, came from my mom’s backyard. Veronica, her boyfriend Kris, and Vanessa Price, all great friends, created all of the wonderful centerpieces and tied the lavender and yarrow to the chairs in the barn. Contrary to what one would assume about a barn on a hot summer day, the ceremony space smelled beautiful.
Patrick and I are both third generation Italians (Sicilians actually), however no grandparents are still alive. We wanted to incorporate certain aspects of our heritage, if only hints, to bring alive that history of those that paved the way for us to live in this country where we can be married and share our lives openly. We served caprese and hearty Italian salads, garlic pepper rubbed rib eye, roasted chicken with capers, handmade tortellini, and rustic Italian olive bread. With the cake we served Italian wedding cookies (Patrick’s family’s recipe) and limoncello (my father made at home!). The food obviously took on the Italian theme, and during the cocktail hour we served honey bourbon shandies and a wonderful honey bourbon lemonade, both a huge hit at quenching the heat in the 90 degree, humid weather.
The honey bourbon fit into a side theme for the wedding, which was to incorporate the honey bees. They showed up in Patrick and my boutonnieres, but also in the hair pins the “groomsmaids” wore. Not only a wonderful symbol of summer in the country and historically a symbol of royalty, but honey bees also have signified immortality, resurrection, diligence and indefatigable effort. A perfect subtle touch for us to start our lives together.
Photography: Dana Damewood | Event Design: Willow & Jade, Assistant: Vanessa Price | Floral Design: Willow & Jade, Assistant: Vanessa Price | Cake: Chris Janicek's Cake Box | Ceremony Venue: Lied Lodge and Conference Center | Reception Venue: Lied Lodge and Conference Center | Shoes: Cole Haan Nike Air | Bridesmaids Dresses: Ann Taylor | Food: Lied Lodge and Conference Center | Suits: Suitsupply | Event Design and Production: designhunterLA, Andy Monaco | Rentals (Furniture and Décor): Nostalgia Rentals