The Bride Wanted an Epic Dress, and this Gown Totally Delivered
August 26, 2016
Mid Atlantic
Classic WeddingsLuxury VenueSpring Weddings
Growing up in rural Kenya, Jessica used her allowance money to buy copies of British Vogue and escape to a world of fashion and glamour. And when dreaming of her wedding day she said, "I always knew when I got married I wanted to have an epic dress." Luckily her all lace, long sleeve, plunging neckline Berta gown completely fit the bill for the ultimate celebration with her love, Eric. Almond Leaf Studios captured the images and film you mustn't dare miss.
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From the Bride...Inspiration. For our wedding my biggest inspiration was timeless elegant glamour. I wanted things to be soft, romantic, clean, classic, grand and effortlessly gorgeous. When choosing different stylistic elements for the wedding I wanted to make sure everything I chose was timeless, chic, beautiful and not a fad or a trend. I love the way that you can still look at Grace Kelly's wedding dress 60 years later and fall in love with it over and over. Stylistically I love things that are clean, elegant and timeless like Jackie Kennedy and Coco Chanel. There is something I have always loved about a bride wearing a classic white lace gown and a groom wearing a classic black tuxedo on their wedding day. It is timeless and never goes out of style.

I am very decisive when it comes to things I like or do not like. I only tried on two dresses. I only visited one venue. I do my research and go with my gut.

Color Palette. My color palette was clean and classic. I wanted everything to be neutrals. I chose black, white, charcoal, ivory, champagne and gold as my colors. All my stationery was in shades of grey, pearl ivory Crane Lettra, charcoal letterpress, gold foil and gold wax seals. I specifically told my florist I wanted white flowers and white flowers only - but to include lots of greenery too. The bridesmaids wore breezy, elegant champagne dresses with sparkly earrings and belts for that little bit of extra glam.

Dress. I wanted my dress to be dramatic, romantic and memorable, but not gaudy or over the top. I fell in love with the Berta dress when I saw it online. I knew it was the one. The details on it were exquisite. I loved the deep V neck with pearl beading almost down to my belly button, the dramatic lace train, the bare back, the pearl beading detail on the end of the sleeves, and the sentimental value of the fact that it was hand made in Israel.

I grew up in Africa. I went to school at an American boarding school in Kenya and every month I'd save up my allowance to buy a copy of British Vogue magazine and just pour over the pages - It was my little escape - A little bit of glamour to dream about while living in rural Kenya. I always knew when I got married I wanted to have an epic dress.

Venue. I had always wanted to get married in the south of France or a village in Italy but the minute I visited the Duke Mansion I instantly fell in love with it's old world southern charm and glamorous feel. It was grand but it was also so warm, intimate, romantic and cozy. I loved the stately large white walls of this gorgeous historic site, the wrought iron fences and light fixtures, the stone fountains and terraces and the lush rose gardens. I was so excited to host both of our families in this classic Southern Charmed mansion in the heart of the city that we fell in love in - a city that is an integral part of our love story.

Personal Touches. Even though I wanted a big glamorous wedding, at the same time I wanted to make it very dear and personal. I wanted to make sure everybody had a blast and felt like they were there to celebrate our love. I worked hard over the course of 18 months to add a lot of personal touches to the wedding. I made and designed all the stationary myself; almost entirely by hand. (with the exception of the letterpress and gold foil stamping, done by the amazing people over at Crayton Heritage Letterpress) We wanted to make sure each guest felt contacted personally by us. I hand sketched our welcome sign, we hand-stamped coffee and tea favor bags. My mom and dad hand painted the table numbers and bride and groom chair signs. The antique silver candle sticks were used at my parent's wedding, and the champagne glasses we used to toast the cake cutting were the same ones my parents used at their cake cutting 30 years earlier. We even had our whole family (fresh off the plane from California) hand paint gold accents on olive branches (a symbol of peace and love) for everyone's plates the day before the wedding. It was such a fun group effort and made everyone feel included in some part of the wedding.
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