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Waterford Wedding at Eolia Mansion from Alison Lassiter Photography

There are few things in our wedding-filled world we love more than a nautical-themed soiree in a quaint, seaside town. And when it’s done beautifully on a tight budget? Swoon. Held at the historical Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park, the bride and her crafty mom infused the fête with navy + white stripes, burlap runners and sweet seaside touches. Alison Lassiter Photography captured the day perfectly, and you can see it all here!

From the Bride… When John and I met on a warm September night in Mystic, Connecticut, I knew instantly that he was the man I would marry. He asked me out to dinner, and the rest is history. Over the next several years, we spent as much time as possible in this laid-back seaside area where John spent his summers as a kid. It was clear that there was no other place for our wedding.

Our intention was to create a heartfelt celebration with the easy elegance and warmth of a party at someone’s home. To that end, we infused the many neutral spaces of Eolia Mansion with our own style. Our aesthetic was casual elegance with a classic, preppy vibe, inspired by a piece of navy blue and white striped grosgrain ribbon, which we incorporated into everything from the cake to the galvanized tins filled with fresh potted herbs as part of the handcrafted centerpieces. The décor was 100% DIY, as traditional floral centerpieces did not fit our budget or the clean look that I envisioned. My very talented and patient mother signed on as decorator and made even my vaguest DIY idea a reality. We scoured vintage and discount stores for lanterns, candles and understated nautical touches. When we couldn’t find something that we liked, we found a way to make it. One example is the oversized chalkboard and several smaller chalkboards that my mom and her friends made using chalkboard paint and inexpensive molding on a budget of just a few dollars. Among my favorite DIY touches were the table runners of classic seersucker sewn by my aunts, alternated with burlap runners and table toppers on round and long tables of different sizes. I aimed for simplicity in everything from the lack of embellishment on my gown to the simple bridesmaid bouquets wrapped in burlap and tied with ribbon. Some aspects of wedding planning took a ton of time, while others were surprisingly effortless. When I couldn’t find jewelry that felt right for the big day, I found the perfect vintage necklace and earrings within moments of walking into an antiques shop in my hometown.

My advice to any bride is to have fun with wedding planning and to make it your own, which can be done without spending a fortune. Two purely fun details that I am happy that we included were our pink Razzle Dazzle champagne cocktails and a big wire basket filled to the brim with ’80s-style sunglasses for our guests to rock on the dance floor. There was not a single leftover pair! One of my favorite moments of the day was sneaking away to exchange a pre-wedding love note with John. This “first look without the look” was the sweet suggestion of our incredible photographer, Alison Lassiter, because we were adamant about not seeing each other prior to walking down the aisle. Sharing that moment with my soon-to-be husband and holding his hand in the last hour before we were married was incredibly special. We were married in the same little town where we had met five years earlier, and it was every bit as magical as we hoped it would be.

Wedding Photography: Alison Lassiter Photography / Reception: Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut / Bouquets + Boutonnières: Green Dahlia / Centerpieces + Mansion Décor: DIY / Catering: Culinary Concerts / Wedding Invitations + Programs: Minted + Programs Designed by a Bridesmaid / Cocktail Hour Music: Jerrod Cattey Trio / Lanterns + Galvanized Tins: IKEA + Home Goods / Wedding Dress: Pronovias / Alterations: Lucy Tailors / Bride’s Jewelry: Vintage via Remember When / Hair + Makeup: Red Door Spa Groton / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Maid of Honor’s Sash: Etsy / Groom’s Suit, Groom’s Shoes + Groomsmen Ties: Macy’s

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Industrial Revolution Wedding Inspiration from Carla Ten Eyck

Here at SMP we focus on the pretty, pretty weddings that girls are going to swoon over. But that doesn’t mean we forget about the guys. So when a shoot so perfectly masculine – beer included – yet still upholding the SMP fab factor comes along, I die. And honestly, I expect nothing less from this team. Carla Ten EyckHartford Prints!Whim Events… all pros in the industry whom we adore. Click here for the whole gorgeous shoot!

From the lovely ladies at Hartford Prints! and Whim EventsThe original inspiration for this “Industrial Revolution” shoot came after a trip Callie (from Hartford Prints!) took to L.A. this past summer. She was walking around some pretty gritty areas and envisioned a wedding that would be for lovers of urban, untouched, and overlooked spaces. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes it is just around the corner!

As we began imagining a wedding that was post-industrial, masculine, urban, rustic, and minimalist we knew we needed the entire shoot to be revolutionary. We knew we wanted to style it as a gay wedding, conceptualizing our grooms as lovers of the place where raw space, design, and style all meet. We envisioned our two grooms, Jonathan & Noel, as urban hipsters, rocking handmade denim and made-to-measure suits at their wedding, while rocking out to Black Star on the dance floor! We planned a two-location inspiration shoot – an engagement session inside the studios of Hartford Denim Company and a ceremony + reception inside an old factory space.

Jonathan & Noel’s letterpress invitation reads “Cocktail attire, tattoos, bow ties, cigars, skateboards, and flasks are all welcome.” This wedding is a laid back affair, centered around five themes, “Fancy, Flight, Fete, Fed, and Footloose.” The colors are blood orange, sea blue, steel grey, and charcoal.

Guests arrive and are greeted with cocktails, polaroids, place cards, and bow ties. Their place cards are hanging from a geometric bulletin board, where a sign reads “Fancy! Leave a picture, take your name!” We loved the idea that guests are encouraged to put on a bow tie, take a polaroid, write a note, and replace their photo with their place card, organically transforming the seating chart into a wedding guest book! The bow ties then become a favor for guests to take home and remember the day.

A metal chain suspended from the ceiling, clipped with colored lights and grounded by a cinderblock full of greenery, sets the industrial landscape of the ceremony site. We loved the idea that metallic and cement everyday objects (that anyone could find at their local Home Depot) work together to create a dramatic and layered effect. We envisioned a ceremony sprinkled with laughter and a lot of love.

After the ceremony, we imagined guests mingling at the bar and lounge area. The bar tablescape echoes the industrial style of the ceremony site. Two ladders, linked by metal sheeting and decorated with green moss, orange florals, and glass lightbulbs, set up a bar offering a “Flight” of beer from a local brewery, Back East Brewing Company. The lounge area, is a “Fete” offering guests a place to relax, enjoy their drinks, and get rowdy with vintage board games.

Dinner is set on rustic wooden tables and guests are seated on vintage metal stools.The tablescape is inspired by our couples’ geometric, minimalist, and thoughtful taste. Each place setting is slightly different and unique, just as we imagine their guests to be. The light gray napkins and angular plates mimic the shapes of the invitation suite, and the orange menu pops against the black and white tones. The letterpress table number sits in a metal stand made from an everyday coat hanger. Keeping the florals to a minimum, bright hues and artistic touches create impactful centerpieces. Each flower blooms from a light bulb vase, made from real light bulbs and metal piping. Bulbs are stacked at varying heights, some lit from underneath to create a teal and orange glow. The flowers themselves – pincushion protea, thistle, orchids, and leonotis – are simple, masculine, and unique.

Jonathan & Noel are both wearing custom suits, shirts, and ties by Brooklyn Tailors, a bespoke tailor in Williamsburg, dedicated to producing artisinal cloth of the highest quality. The suits not only reflect our grooms’ love of handmade craft, but also fit them both like a glove! They each wore a boutonniere made from orange florals, with metal filament from the inside of a lightbulb adding a playful, masculine twist.

More and more couples are steering away from the “expected” and truly want their wedding to reflect their personal and unique style. We encourage every bride or groom to do something at their wedding that “revolutionizes” the norm and captures who they are. We loved working on every single moment of this inspiration shoot. From all the vendors we used, to our awesome models – Roberto and Noel, to the singular talents of Carla Ten Eyck behind the camera, to DD Nickel’s eye for beauty, everyone involved was enthusiastic, and, most importantly, had an awesome time! We hope that the fabulous readers of Style Me Pretty are as inspired and excited by our vision as we are!

Photography: Carla Ten Eyck / Venue: 30 Arbor Street, Contact William Howard at 860-202-6460 / Event Planning, Floral + Event Design: Whim Events / Wardrobe Styling: Callie Heilmann from Hartford Prints! / Paper + Event Design: Hartford Prints! / China & Glassware Rentals: Rentals Unlimited / Bow-ties: OoO Tie / Beer Selection: Back East Brewing Company / Men’s Apparel Denim: Hartford Denim Company / Suiting: Brooklyn Tailors / Shirts: Brooklyn Tailors + Hartford Denim Company / Ties: Brooklyn Tailors / Shoes: Tommy Hilfiger + Model’s Own / Leather Tote Bags: Lenworth Apparel by Lenworth Williams / Women’s Apparel: Stylist’s Own / Hair + Makeup: ddNickel / Models: Roberto Franco and Noel Keating

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Eolia Mansion Wedding from Sixpence For Your Shoe + Carla Ten Eyck Photography

You know what is always the beginning of a fabulous day at SMP? A beautiful French Countryside inspired soiree. Especially if said soiree is planned and perfected by Sixpence For Your Shoe and captured by Katie Slater of Carla Ten Eyck Photography. There is no better pairing to your favorite coffee when it comes to starting the day out perfect. Especially if you save a danish or two for the gallery perusing!

PJ and I met in college and had been together almost nine years prior to our wedding so our wedding was a long time in the making. It was completely fortuitous that almost nine years to the day that we began our relationship, and on the birthday of PJ’s late grandmother that we were married. We wanted our wedding to be intimate, personal, and to reflect our laid back fun loving personalities. We wanted our guests to feel like they were at an intimate dinner party and mostly just to have a blast.

Our venue was a natural choice. We fell in love with it when we first saw it and knew immediately it was the place. It has incredible vistas of the Long Island Sound, beautiful gardens, and fabulous architectural details. The separate rooms equipped with fireplaces, old paintings, antique chandeliers and moldings captured the romantic intimate dinner party feeling that we wanted to create.

We incorporated a ton of personal elements to give our wedding more of that intimate feel from the ceremony to the décor. Our ceremony, which was officiated by a close friend, was very non-traditional and included some of our favorite stories and memories that PJ and I shared in our relationship. Our incredible DJ actually found a softer version of one of our favorite punk band songs that we used to listen to constantly when we first met to play as our processional.

When it came to the décor I wanted a romantic feel with tons of candlelight along with a smattering of French inspired vintage elements. Talia and Lindsay of Sixpence for Your Shoe made that vision come to life and the result was more beautiful than I could ever imagine. From the toile linens to the old books and teacups filled with roses, every detail was incredible. The floral arrangements were the perfect shades of pink and peach and were elegant without being too over done to take away from the beauty of the mansion. Interspersed among the shelves, mantles, and nooks of the mansion were family photographs and photographs of our beloved Boston terrier, Chloe that added the personal touch that was so important to us.

Our family played a big role in our day. My mother in-law distressed the shutters and affixed vintage keys to the escort cards that we hung on the shutters. My mother made toss bags of lavender for the guests to throw at end of the ceremony. PJ’s sister and my nephew provided readings of inspirational poetry during the ceremony. To pay homage to PJ’s grandmother I carried one of her handkerchiefs she had given to his mother before she passed away.

It was also really important that we had some fun unexpected elements for our guests. We had a photo booth stocked with fun props which the guests frequented all night. The photos were absolutely hysterical and were some of our favorites from the day. We also had a Brazilian style barbeque which added an unexpected twist to our wedding and reflected our love of ethnic food.

One of my favorite memories from the wedding was when PJ and I managed to sneak off alone and share a private moment just the two of us. While everyone was happily dining and as we were heading back from snapping some sunset photographs we passed the empty dance floor. The song Heart of Gold was playing by Neil Young which happens to be one our favorites and we thought, what the heck we might as well dance. It turned out to be an awesome secret little moment that the two of us were able to share.

Overall, our day was perfect and I could not ask for more. We had incredible vendors that brought our vision to life and gave us a wedding day that surpassed our expectations. The food was fantastic, the music was great, and thanks to Talia and Lindsay we never had to worry about a thing. We could just enjoy ourselves and celebrate with our friends and family which was what we truly wanted. We had such a memorable day and are truly blessed that we were able to share it with our incredible friends and family.

Photography: Katie Slater for Carla Ten Eyck Photography / Event Design, Coordination, and Day-of Stationery: Sixpence For Your Shoe / Venue: Eolia, The Mansion at Harkness State Park / Caterer: Cloud Nine Catering / Flowers: Sharon Elizabeth Flowers / Musicians: Mike Connolly Sound Productions / Bridal Styling: Jennie Fresa Beauty Library / Cupcake Favors: Sugarbelle / Linens: Party Rental, LTD + Cloth Connection / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Dress: Lea Ann Belter purchased at the Plumed Serpent Bridal

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here