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Colorful DIY San Luis Obispo Wedding

Without fail, a good ol’ family gathering tugs at my heart strings like no other. And when it comes in the form of this intimate celebration captured by Mirelle Carmichael, the imagery becomes wedding-candy for the soul. Complete with a handmade dress passed down from the Bride’s mother, darling DIY details for days and so much love to go around, I’m betting this gallery will warm your heart right up!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Farm
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Romantic

From The Bride’s Mother… It all began when the bride, Annika Johnson (now Michetti), tried on her mother’s handmade wedding dress when she was 10 years old. As she swirled, twirled and laughed, she said, “I want to wear this on my wedding day!”

It was truly a family affair, with handmade decorations, home-cooking, and kind friends wanting to help. The wedding had the vibe of a lovely summer party and village fête! Fairy lights and strings of candy colored tissue-paper flowers created a canopy over the “family style” tables. The tables were studded with gorgeous standout features made by the family: napkins, jars of strawberry jam favors, sparkly letters of “Mr. & Mrs.”, miles of bunting, tea lights, gold polka-dot mason jars and assorted arrangements of country flowers.

For the ceremony pristine white tissue-paper flowers were attached to the front of the cottage and guests threw confetti from hand-sewn wax paper packets made by the bride’s sister, Miranda Reader. The presider and musicians were all friends and circled the couple with words and songs of love.

Vintage lace and linens, borrowed dainty china plates and country mice (that once graced the wedding cake of the bride’s parents) were all used to adorn the pie table. The pie table was stacked with assorted pies that were baked by the mother of the bride and her good friend during the peak of summer to ensure the best flavor for this special day. The happy couple used a machete (a pun on the common mispronunciation of their last name) to cut into the first pie.

The bride, Annika, was ethereal in her “restyled” mother’s wedding dress; floating in soft raw silk and chiffon. At the rehearsal dinner, she had also worn her grandmother’s wedding dress to the event. She created all the lovely hair pieces for the women in the bridal party, as well as sewing the final touches to her crystal beaded sash on her wedding day!

The groom created the wedding invitations/responses with the whimsical charm of flora and fauna inspired from the venue site. It was serendipitous to be able to have Mirelle Carmichael photograph the wedding as she had previously photographed the bride’s sister’s wedding as well! Her artistic instincts were much appreciated and her calming smile were soothing for the wedding party.

From the beautiful Bride…I was so incredibly blessed to have my mother and sister take on so many projects for the wedding. With only a five month engagement it was a huge relief to be able to tell my mother what my husband and I had in mind for the wedding and having her organize it and create a wedding more magical than we could have imagined. Wearing my mother’s wedding dress (after having a few alternations done) was very special, especially since my parent’s 32 year marriage has been an inspiration to me. Favorite moments for the groom and I during the wedding were giggling with the groom during wedding pictures with Mirelle before the wedding, the groom’s prayer during communion together and, seeing each other “all dressed up and fancy,”cutting the pie with the machete, the fun interactive toast by the maid of honor and dancing down the aisle during the recessional as guests threw confetti and the musicians sang “Hey Ho” by the Lumineers. The groom and I both thought we were blessed to be in love and have our families all around us!

Photography: Mirelle Carmichael Photography | Videography: Selah Video | Event Design: Alles Liebes | Floral Design: Alles Liebes | Invitations: Lee Michetti (Groom) | Ceremony Venue: Old Edna Townsite | Caterer: The Paring Knife | Alterations: Something Blue Fine Sewing | Hair Piece And Sash: Annika Laurel Designs

Mirelle Carmichael is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Mirelle Carmichael

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San Francisco Wedding at the Asian Art Museum Wedding

This wedding defines lovely. The kind of lovely that just makes you want to squeal with glee for this Bride and her picture perfect day. Planned to perfection by Stacey And Company with beautiful florals from  McCalls Catering & Events, this gallery from Kristen Wood is simply overflowing with pretty, and you can see it all here.

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Spring
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ChurchMuseum
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Romantic

From The Bride…For the reception, we loved the idea of using a public space & that some of the wedding costs would go to something worthy (like preserving art!). The Asian Art Museum, all openness and marble and light, was an easy choice. At some point we also learned that the architect who designed the space, was the same one who designed the Musee D’ Orsay in Paris, which happened to be where Michael and I were the day we got engaged!

The day really felt like a collection of perfect moments strung together by a sort of euphoric disbelief that I would be married to my best friend by the day’s end. It’s hard to pluck out a favorite moment when I was spoiled with so many, but here are a few I come back to all the time:

I loved putting on my Godmother’s shoes. My aunt Kirsty is not only my personal hero, but also a personal style icon. What started at 11 (when I finally hit a size 9 and inherited a pair of her Converse sandals) grew into a extremely fruitful one-sided shoe relationship I’m still shamelessly benefiting from today. But never so meaningfully as I did on the morning of the wedding. It was truly an honor & a special delight wear the same shoes both she and my aunt Melina both wore on their wedding days.

I loved our ride to the church. Between the champagne pulls and marriage advice, I remember feeling so thankful for my mom, step-mom and bridesmaids– who had not only spent the entire day with me, but had been wildly generous with their time, effort, ideas, and patience to help me plan out that day for months. And just perfectly stunning, all of them.

I loved the few minutes spent alone with my dad before we walked down the aisle. Hearing the first few chords of Ave Maria start, waiting for the doors to open, seeing the emotion on his face and knowing the same was on mine, knowing we were in it together– it was all really wonderful.

Predictably, I most loved the moments I got alone with Michael. Holding his hand for the first time that day, as we looked out on our friends and family during the ceremony, was like coming home. Our trip to Land’s End for photos was magical.

Walking into our reception was like walking through a dream– seeing a million tiny decisions I’d made as one collective expression in reality was a bizarre and fantastic experience.

And every single second I got to spend in that dress. Every. single. second.

My only advice to other brides is to delegate. I wish I listened to it more. The best is also yet to come! I found that as long as I kept the end goal in sight and focused on how excited I was for the actual marriage, the planning-related panic/stress/anxiety would dissolve. Also: Bring water to the Church. Try to get a second alone during the day to breathe it all in. Carry breath mints. Bring dancing shoes to change into, and stay close to your husband.

Photography: Kristen Wood | Event Planning: Stacey And Company | Floral Design: McCalls Catering & Events | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: The Cakemaker | Ceremony Venue: St. Igantius Church | Reception Venue: Asian Art Museum | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: McCalls Catering & Events | Hair Stylist: Meaganne McCandess | Hotel: The Clift Hotel | Make Up Artist: Colleen Harnett

J.Crew and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Romantic Napa Valley Winery Wedding

This stunning Bride described her wedding day as a blur of amazing love. And from the looks of the beautiful imagery from U Me Us Studios, that’s exactly what it was. Splashed in coral charm peonies, blush tones and set amongst the gorgeous vineyards at Brix, every bit of pretty made way for smiles, sweet kisses and a whole lotta love. Peruse the full gallery right here!

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Seasons
Spring
Settings
Winery
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Romantic

From the beautiful Bride… We met in Washington, DC in January of 2011 at a swearing-in party for Representative Colleen Hanabusa from Hawaii that was hosted by a mutual friend. It was very crowded and we ended up being crammed in a corner together. He asked for my number and the rest is history! We were engaged in February of 2013 in Miami.

In early 2014, we both started new jobs and had been very busy traveling over the holidays for family events. We had a long-planned President’s Day weekend trip to Miami to get away, congratulate ourselves on the new jobs, and spend some much needed alone time together. On Saturday, we had late dinner reservations in Brickell Key and after spending all day at the beach, Ankit casually suggested we get cleaned up for dinner and go for a walk on the beach at sunset. The beach had cleared out so it was virtually deserted as we kicked off our shoes and walked in the sand. Ankit surprised me by getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. We’d been talking about getting married but I didn’t have a clue it would happen that weekend! I was completely surprised. We hugged and laughed and cried and then walked to get a glass of champagne and call our families.

We had a small Thursday night gathering at the Hill Family Estate Tasting room in Yountville, a family-run winery that Ankit and I love to taste the current release of wine and sample some charcuterie and to die for cheese. We had a family dinner planned at Redd Wood that had to have a sight detour due to some late flight arrivals. We ended up ordering a bunch of pizzas to bring to our families at the hotel when they arrived, Nora’s dad bought beer and wine and we had a great time! On Friday night, we had a welcome dinner for everyone attending the wedding at the beautiful Flora Springs Estate in St. Helena. The group of about 140 guests took a wine cave tour, sampled the current selection of wine, and ate delicious local fare from Marks the Spot food truck: prosciutto wrapped figs, wild mushroom tarts, gluten-free fried chicken, duck and pulled pork sliders, seasonal ravioli, risotto, potato and celery root gratin, and meyer lemon curd with graham cracker crust. Despite the rain (and a last minute rented tent) the guests had a blast and enjoyed the food and Flora Springs Wine, including by drinking them dry of a guest favorite red blend. A fantastic party to start the weekend!

Once we decided we were going to do a destination wedding in Napa, we took a trip over Memorial day weekend in 2013 on a whirlwind wedding venue tour. We fell in love with Brix Restaurant and Gardens immediately and even more so after eating lunch there! The food is off the hook. The grounds are absolutely stunning and we loved the idea of getting married in the vines in the garden with the bluffs as the backdrop, seeing the wine train go by in the evening, and being able to use the restaurant when the sun went down and it got chilly! Matt Guyot was so friendly and helpful and we knew that he would be able to help us create our perfect wedding. Food and beverages were extremely important to us for the wedding, as well as making guests feel really special. Having the wedding on restaurant property made the food and beverage service flawless and every guest felt really well taken care of. All the food was so incredibly delicious we are still getting compliments from our guests about it. We loved being able to design our menu with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and creating a wine paring with each course. We loved being able to use the entire property for different purposes. Guests experienced being in the vines for the wedding, in the gardens for cocktail hour, in a beautifully decorated tent for dinner, then inside the restaurant for dancing and desert and outside on the heated patio if they wanted to sit by the fire pits or smoke cigars. It really allowed for a feel of many different locations all in one for our 150 guests.

Having been to a lot of weddings before our own, guest comfort, amazing food, and lots of good wine was a priority! We did an american wedding, but I really wanted to incorporate some design elements from the Indian culture, which started with the invitation and our other printed materials. We used a lot of small touches to personalize the wedding – welcome bags that included Wisconsin cheese curds, my Dad did the ceremony, my brother played an original composition on his saxophone during the ceremony, and our friend Senator Mark Warner gave the reading. Ankit’s nephew (with help from his brother) was the ring bearer. We had a table with photos of our parents and grandparents at their own weddings, as well as some family photos and memories of those no longer with us, like Ankit’s Dad. The escort cards were hand-painted wooden elephants I got in Crawford market in Mumbai when Ankit and I went to India in December. The place cards were stamped with a lotus leaf and tucked in the napkin. We put a sign near the vineyard with the places we both grew up (Madison, WI for me and Nutley, NJ for Ankit) the place we met and live together (Washington, DC), and the place we got married (Napa, CA). We used a lot of candles and flowers to create a beautiful and romantic, warm and welcoming feel. We chose the menu and the wine pairings with each course, and had the menu printed with our monogram.

It was the most epic party we’ve ever thrown! Both Ankit and I love to entertain and a wedding is the quintessential gathering. We were thrilled to have loved ones from near and far join us to celebrate in our day. From the morning of getting ready, to walking down the aisle with both my parents, to my dad marrying us, the incredible cocktail hour, the ridiculously delicious dinner, touching toasts, Ankit’s mom dancing up a storm on the dance floor, everyone dancing up a storm on the dance floor, late night food and apps, people hanging out on the patio smoking cigars by the fire pits outside and the photo booth – everything was the absolute most amazing time. We also loved how after spending a few days together everyone knew each other and the photo booth had new friends from the weekend taking pictures together!

Everything was the most memorable and everything was the highlight! We had SO much fun. Marrying Ankit was so touching, real, and meaningful. Everyone loved how meaningful the ceremony was with the personal touches and emphasis on family and love. My dad was a hit and a genuine mix of funny and emotional. My veil flying off because of the wind during the ceremony was pretty memorable, and it got everyone laughing. The food was really incredible as was the stunning scenery. But most of all, we were so happy to have all of our family and friends in one place and having a blast, and marrying each other. We were thrilled to see everyone having such a blast. The whole day was a blur of amazing love.

I wanted to incorporate some Indian elements into the design but also keep things classic and romantic, classy and elegant but warm and welcoming. It was tough to incorporate small touches while still maintaining a soft romantic feel, so the vision changed a lot as things evolved. The colors changed from the navy base with magenta flowers I had originally envisioned to a navy accented affair with ivory, gold, white and many colors of pinks for the flowers. I worked with the florist to refine the idea I wanted with tons of flowers and candles. I wanted a look that was polished and full of flowers, but also didn’t look too fussy. I never wanted to get married in a ballroom, I wanted to get married outdoors because I love how beautiful natural colors are outside, so we built off of that. Music – we just wanted to keep people dancing!

The escort cards were painted wooden elephants that Nora bought in Mumbai when she and Ankit were visiting there in December before the wedding. It was Nora’s first experience “street haggling” in India and Ankit’s cousin helped her negotiate the prices.

I was looking for something unique but classic – just like my rose gold ring with a classic design. I tried on a lot of dresses and wanted something with some lace but that felt more structured and “bridal” to me. I had given up thinking I was going to find “my dress” when I found this Matthew Christopher dress at a small boutique about 30 minutes outside of DC. It has a champagne underlay and lace overlay and is trumpet style with a lot of crinolin underneath. The lace overlay has a classic floral design but also some formal striped patterns that make the dress really unique and the color look great on my fair skin. Ankit also wanted something a little different than a black tux and decided on a beautifully tailored navy tux.

When it comes to the day of – just enjoy! I was so incredibly happy the day of my wedding, any minor things that went wrong I didn’t even care.

Photography: U Me Us Studios | Event Planning: Boutique Events | Floral Design: Kate Stanley Designs | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Ceremony Venue: Brix | Reception Venue: Brix | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Caterer: Brix | Makeup Artist: Carrie Aldous | Hair Stylist: Stella Stevens Hair Designs | DJ: Boutique DJs | Grooms' Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Baker: Sweetie Pies | Blue Beaded Bracelet: Gorjana | Bride's Rings: Shenoa & Co. | Ceremony Musician: Bellarosa String Quartet | Chiavari Chairs: Classic Party Rentals | Earrings: BHLDN | Groom's Bow Tie: Isaia | Groom's Tuxedo & Shirt: Ermenegildo Zenga | Grooms' Wedding Ring: Boone & Sons Jewelers | Linens: La Tavola | Tent: Classic Party Rentals

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. U Me Us Studios is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
U Me Us Studios

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