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Romantic Military Wedding at Villanova University

Dress blues have a way of making me weak in the knees. Military weddings in general do, seeing as my own sweetie has dedicated 10 years of his life serving our country, and I’ve been proud to stand beside him 9 of those years. So when Rachel Pearlman and La Petite Fleur sent this beautiful day our way, complete with a handsome Marine Groom and his glowing Bride, my heart felt as if it doubled in size.

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From Rachel Pearlman PhotographyFollowing a Christmas proposal at Longwood Gardens, Colleen and Nick knew from the start that their wedding would be held at Villanova University’s Chapel – the site where they met – and immediate began to plan for what was one of the sweetest and most romantic weddings I have had the pleasure of photographing. Colleen wanted her wedding day to represent the couples’ love for one another : sweet, simple, and effortlessly romantic. Nick is a Marine, and the couple is stationed in North Carolina, so everything was planned from afar. As a military man, Nick had to travel around the U.S. during their engagement, but that only made their love grow stronger. Skype, frequent airway miles and the pure excitement of being with each other made the time pass quickly. From an emotional father-daughter reveal, to a tear jerking letter reading session prior to the ceremony and lastly, a classic Military Sword exit following the ceremony, their wedding was filled with memorable moments. The bridesmaids wore classic navy, which looked perfect against Marine dress blues and gorgeous Summer blooms designed by La Petite Fleur. Centerpieces were rustic, and contained twigs, bark and wildflowers. The reception venue, Normandy Farms, provided twinkle lights and barn doors that created an intimate ambiance.

From the beautiful Bride…It wasn’t love at first site, nor do either of us remember the first time we met. It was sometime during our freshman year at Villanova University, and over the next few years we shared some of the same friends and always greeted each other in passing. In November of senior year, Nick needed a date for the Navy Ball and because we saw each other more frequently that year, he decided to ask me. We had a wonderful time that night, and Nick asked to take me out to dinner that weekend. I remember getting ready and when I heard the doorbell ring I became so nervous that I asked my two roommates to go to the door and let me know what they think. He showed up with a bouquet of flowers and instantly won their approval.

Nick and I were inseparable as we finished that year at Villanova. After graduation Nick began training with the Marine Corps in Virginia, and I began law school in North Carolina. We filled the time by watching movies over skype, and every weekend that he could Nick would drive four hours down to see me and then four hours back home. I remember one time I was excited about watching a Christmas special on Skype with him, and when the time came he knocked on my door. He drove four hours down to watch the two hour special with me, and then drove four hours home. I remember being so happy and telling him through tears I couldn’t believe he did that for me. He simply responded that he missed me and just wanted to see me smile.

On December 20th, 2011 Nick took me to see the Christmas display at Longwood Gardens which was absolutely breathtaking. At the end of the night, we sat on a bench and marveled at the outdoor lights. It was then that Nick got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t be more ecstatic, or more sure as I said yes. Afterwards, he took me to the little Italian restaurant where we had our first date, and I was so happy to see all of our family was there to celebrate with us.

Over the next two years while I finished school in NC, Nick spend time stationed in Florida and Texas. Luckily I was able to find summer internships in these places so that we could spend the summers together. When we were apart, we continued to have date nights where we would watch the same movie and laugh over it on Skype, or make the same recipes and have “dinner together.” It made our time apart pass by, and we had this level of commitment that made me sure we would make it through anything.

We planned all of our Pennsylvania wedding from afar. We knew we wanted to have the wedding at the Villanova University chapel. We picked our May 31st, 2014 date and everything fell into place from there.

Photography: Rachel Pearlman Photography | Floral Design: La Petite Fleur | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Reception Venue: Villanova University | Hair And Makeup: Daneene Jensen

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Coastal United Kingdom Wedding Inspiration

If I could take this shoot and with the snap of my finger turn it into my wedding day, I would in a heartbeat. To say that it’s everything I want my wedding to encompass is quite the understatement. Raw, simplistic beauty, flow-y dresses, utterly gorg florals from Lucy MacNicoll, ridiculously captivating coastal views, oh and the imagery, of which every single capture was thought out to perfection by Belle and Beau Photography. I’m kind of gushing over it all if you can’t tell. Join me right here.

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From Belle and Beau PhotographyWe created a Fine Art coastal editorial that we wanted to keep it simple and beautiful with the emphasis on the simple raw beauty of the natural landscape with beautiful natural and wild blooms created by Lucy the florist. To compliment our gorgeously wild UK coastal surroundings we went for a muted colour palette of greys and blues with pops of reds in the flowers to create some depth. Lucy used cosmos flowers, dahlias, mimosa, O’hara roses and clematis to create some beautiful and dramatic floral centrepieces for the tablescape and bouquets.

The whole thing was planned to perfection by Lisa from Isla and Smith Wedding Design. Our models wore dresses from Anita Massarella and Halfpenny London, with one of the dresses being a dress that was actually worn by Kate Moss! This shoot is to inspire brides to take their inspiration from the raw beauty of nature and to show just how beautiful keeping things simple can be.

Photography: Belle And Beau Fine Art Photography | Styling: Isla And Smith Wedding Design | Floral Design: Lucy MacNicoll Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Halfpenny London | Wedding Dress: Anita Massarella | Stationary: Ever After Press | Hair And Make Up: Victoria Farr | Calligraphy: Kirsten Burke | Glassware: House Of Fraser | Napkins: The White Company | Venue: Saltburn Pier

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Elegant Garden Themed Wilmington Wedding

Overflowing gardens make me so happy; add in a gorgeous wedding and I’m downright giddy. This garden themed Southern celebration is bursting with beautiful blooms by Salt Harbor Designs and the ceremony alone at Airlie Gardens captured my heart… and got my Pinterest habit going once again. Theo Milo snapped every perfect petal and these photos are a breath of fresh air during these winter months.

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From Theo Milo Photography… Beautiful garden themed wedding! Her veil was a family heirloom. Her father is a 2 star general for the military. Lots of pretty floral detail and an invitation suite that is breathtaking!

From The Bride… Wes has always planned incredibly classy dates. On our third date, we went to Airlie Gardens for a jazz concert under the Live Oak tree. From then on, Airlie was a special place for us. We went back regularly for a picnic or just a stroll. So when we got engaged, the Pergola Garden at Airlie was the obvious venue choice for our ceremony. When we started looking for reception venues, we wanted to find somewhere with just as much meaning to us. It was interesting how easily the Brooklyn Arts Center fit in with our vision. Not only did the venue have the classy yet rustic look to it that we wanted, but it was located three blocks from where Wes lived when we started dating and was the location of another date!

After choosing our venues, we decided on a garden themed wedding to tie Airlie Gardens in throughout the entire day. Since we had over a year and a half to plan our wedding, we opted to do all of the planning ourselves and stick with just a day of coordinator (I say “just” but she was phenomenal!). Initially we wanted to incorporate a lot of DIY projects, but found it to be logistically difficult since we were planning from New Orleans. Still, my mom made the cotton lace linens, my sister painted our seating chart, and we hand picked many of the antique decorations. We put a lot of thought into buying things that worked for the wedding and that we could reuse afterwards. It’s so nice to see the wedding decorations in our house now. The most special decorative piece was the veil I wore. Wes’s great grandma’s sister first wore it in 1927. Since then his great grandma, grandma, and mom have worn it.

The wedding day itself was incredible. A harpist played during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Hearing some of our favorite classical music in the gardens leading up to the wedding was so magical. I walked down the aisle to Clair de Lune, a song that has been meaningful to Wes and I for a long time. It was one of those surreal moments that literally took my breath away. Laughing with my dad as we walked down the aisle was one of my favorite moments from the day. I always thought I would be a crier! A second favorite moment for Wes and I was walking into the Brooklyn Arts Center for the reception. The roar of all the people we loved combined with the faint floral aroma was so memorable.

To us, the aspect of wedding planning that made our wedding the most special was the integration of flowers, music, and smells that will always bring us back to that day. We can’t look at peonies and garden roses, smell confederate jasmine, or listen to Clair de Lune without being swept back into a wedding memory.

Photography: Theo Milo Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Kickstand Events | Florist: Salt Harbor Designs | Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel | Cake: Imaginary Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Airlie Gardens | Reception Venue: Brooklyn Arts Center At St. Andrew's | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Hair: Jennifer Schoff | DJ: Active DJ Entertainment | Tux: JCrew | Harpist: Christina Brier | Makeup: Chelsea Sule | Rentals: Rent A Tent | Wedding Dress From: Wedding Belles, New Orleans, LA

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