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Elegant Wedding on the Connecticut Shoreline

With ties to Paris and Connecticut, this couple blended the two in an elegant affair by the Connecticut shoreline. Jubilee Events helped with the finishing touches, and every detail, from the Bride’s dress from Everthine Bridal Boutique to the personalized invitations by French calligrapher Bernard Larboillat, is flawless! Take a peek at all the pretty captured by Tony Spinelli Photography right here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Mansion
Styles
Elegant

From the beautiful Bride…We hired Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events to assist with design and coordination. We did a lot of legwork ourselves such as finding the venue, accommodation, photographer, caterer and music. Candice helped us find our last few vendors, managed our rentals and helped us develop and implement the design.

We spent about half the engagement planning. We did a lot of work immediately after we got engaged finding a venue and vendors and then things came in small spurts thereafter.

The Branford House is a beautiful property that is conveniently located in walking distance to my parent’s beach house. It was not the first place we looked but it was the one we choose. It was the perfect fit. It was on the shore with an amazing view and it could accommodate our guest list! We have spent many weekends on the Connecticut shore swimming, kayaking, sailing, running and biking, and it was the perfect place for us to get married.

I wanted to look classic, elegant, and understated and be comfortable! I tried on a bunch of wedding dresses both in stores and at home that I ordered online. I fell in love with my dress. It was an A-line cut. The bodice was structured lace with an illusion top with fabric so thin it looked like it was strapless with the lace climbing up. The skirt was chiffon and very lightweight. It was white. I wore a headpiece and a belt to embellish the look. For my shoes, I wore silver Varas. I custom ordered them so I even got my initials put on them. I wanted my shoes to be beautiful and comfortable.

For jewelry, I used earrings I already owned (a gift from my parents several years before) and wore my maternal great-grandmother’s rose gold watch that my dad had gotten restored for me. The clutch was by b.m.c. and I purchased it off Amazon.

I had five bridesmaids and one bridesman! I told the ladies to each find a gray dress of any shade, length, and design from J.Crew. For the bridesman, I asked that he wear a tux (of his choosing) and I got him gray paisley suspenders, socks and a bowtie from thetiebar.com. I told everyone to choose something they were comfortable with–they all selected their own accessories including shoes. I had very wonderful and beautiful people in my bridal party and I wanted them to be happy and comfortable! For hair and makeup, they each decided what they wanted.

We had our niece, Avery Kagan, was our flower girl. Her dress was purchased off dressale.com. She carried a basket of rose petals down the aisle. I decorated the basket (that I purchased from Michael’s) with Martha Stewart Crafts Vintage Specialty Girl Ribbon I bought off Amazon. The ring bearer was Marc’s second cousin, Cole Robertson. He wore a kilt in Robertson clan tartan (Marc’s mom’s family is of Scottish descent, the Robertsons), a sporran purchased from sportkilt.com and a Joey Couture tuxedo purchased on Amazon. Cole made it down the aisle… but not with anything in his hands!

From the Groom… There were five groomsmen. They all wore tuxedos. They were not required to have a particular brand and all but two owned one already, some had midnight blue and other black. I had a bespoke tuxedo made (with both black and ivory jackets) by W.W. Chan, done with grosgrain shawl lapels. My shirt, tie and cummerbund were also made by W.W. Chan. I wore Allen Edmond Vernon shoes in black with a bright polish and the overall package finished with a silver and mother of pearl stud set from Brooks Brothers. All the groomsmen wore Bresciani socks (I had pink ones!), and they all had skull and crossbones suspenders and pocket squares purchased from thetiebar.com (to mark our trip to the Carribean for the bachelor party). Each groomsmen finished their look with their own details such as different shoes and cufflinks.

From the Bride… Our second wedding was in Paris, France so the loose theme was Connecticut (my home and now our home) meets France (Marc’s father is French and Marc used to live and work in Paris). So for our Connecticut wedding we wanted to have a blend of Connecticut shoreline and Paris. I wanted a very neutral color palette; I didn’t want to be overpowered. I wanted the beauty and color to come from the flowers. Candice helped us develop a palette of white, blush, peach, khaki, mint and grey that were much more about showcasing the flowers. The design was really driven by Candice, and she really listened to what we wanted and developed the color story and feel of the event: elegant, simple and romantic.

For our save-the-dates, we used photos from our engagement shoot with Tony Spinelli and made postcards on WeddingPaperDivas.com.

The wedding invitation stationary was an original design by French calligrapher Bernard Larboillat. Bernard lives outside Paris and when Marc was working in France over the winter he brought me back a few of his cards because I love stationary. We loved his designs so much that we contacted him and Marc met with him a few times and he created this very unique invitation for us. He drew the view of Branford House and composed his drawing of letters and words of the item he was drawing. For example, the house was drawn using the letters “b” and “h”. We carried his design through a few elements of our wedding design such as the cocktail napkins (ordered from foryourparty.com with our custom design on them), our guest board and the groomsmans’s gifts.

From the Groom… The design also made it way into the groomsman’s gifts, which were laser etched solid wood wine cases with the Branford house and the wedding couple designs. Inside were the ingredients for my favorite drink, a Manhattan, along with home made maraschino cherries. I also etched a limerick to explain the contents on the inside of the case. Bernard also designed the invitations for our Paris wedding. We had everything printed locally at Minuteman Press in Hartford, CT.

From the Bride… For programs and menus, we used chalkboards with design by Molly Shanahan. The chalkboards displayed on easels and were adorned with garlands from Just For You Floral.

For our escort cards, I used tags from paperpresentation.com and my mom (who has excellent handwriting) wrote out all the names. The Jubilee Events team attached fresh lavender with twine to each card. They escort cards were left on a whitewash barrel bar with flowers, garland and antique family silver trays.

We had 42 inch wide banquet tables and our meal was served family style so the goal of the table centerpieces were to be beautiful but leave plenty of room for platters and bowls and cutting boards. I wanted the simple, elegant and romantic vibe to come through. Jane of Just for You made every table and centerpiece look a little bit different. Each table had a mixture of arrangements with different flowers (many of the flower types used in the bouquets), in varying sizes and containers (antique glass vases, silver cups, trays, etc.). The linens were camel with white napkins and the chargers gold. Table numbers were simply displayed with cards on stands. Everything was very simple. The idea was beautiful but functional–lots of room for food! Food being part of the beauty!

During dinner we challenged guest tables to sing us love songs (as a group) if they wanted us to kiss (instead of the traditional clinking of the glasses). Shockingly almost every table participated! We got the range from Frank Sinatra to Salt-N-Pepa! Between guest tables singing and speeches, we had on some background music during dinner. For dancing, the Nu-Cullers did what they do best– a mix of pop, soul and mo-town! My father-daughter dance was to “My Girl” and Marc’s mother-son dance was to “Into the Mystic”. The band even played a great version of Hava Nagila.

Photography: Tony Spinelli Photography | Event Planning: Jubilee Events | Floral Design: Just For You Floral Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Everthine Bridal Boutique | Cake: Le Petit France | Invitations: Bernard Larbouillat | Bride's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Rings: R. Hollander Master Goldsmith | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Emily’s Catering | Makeup: EyeCatcherz | Hair: Chameleon Salon | Band: Nu-Cullers | Groom's Attire: W.W. Chan & Sons | Groom's Shoes: Allen Edmonds | Wedding Venue: Branford House | Groom's Pocket Square And Tie: The Tie Bar | Groom's Socks: Bresciani | Lighting And Sound In The Tent-: Rob Alberti | Programs: Molly Shanahan (chalkboard) | Rentals: New England Country Rentals

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Glamorous Branford House Wedding

When it came to their Big Day, this theater loving pair wanted to put on the show of a lifetime. From the softly arranged white blooms a la Green Dahlia to the Bride’s sophisticated gown, every detail evoked hollywood glamour. Carla Ten Eyck captured an evening ending with a breakfast themed dinner, and it’s all right here!

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
Mansion
Styles
Elegant

From the beautiful Bride… James and I met at our local theater; I was costuming a show that he was performing in. As we are both performers and designers, we have a lot of opinions on style and have a need for things to be visually interesting and cohesive.

We had decided on getting married in the colder months, so we knew we needed to find a venue that was beautiful both inside and out. After googling “mansions you can rent in CT” (seriously), I found the beautiful Branford House. I knew before we even visited it that it was the place we were going to get married. When we saw it in person, we were blown away by the beautiful architecture, stunning woodwork, marble fireplaces and the incredible views.

My best friend and man of honor also happens to be the most talented floral designer in the world. I knew I wanted all white, soft flowers with waxy, tropical foliage – in my head I wanted it to look like an old Fred and Ginger movie. This is all that I told Tony and he and Cat of Green Dahlia Florist blew me away. The beautiful palms on the fireplaces, the centerpieces, the arrangements on the stairs and all of those candles were everything I imagined and more. Tony also created my bouquet with inspiration from brides of yesterday. It was delicate and beautiful and the perfect complement to my dress.

I selected my Monique Lhuillier gown at The Plumed Serpent bridal shop. I loved that it was simple and elegant while being classic and sophisticated. With accessories from The White Dress by the Shore and styling by Beth Chapman, my bridal look was the perfect embodiment of 1930s style without looking like I was wearing a costume. Topped off with beauty by a dream team and I felt like the most beautiful bride in the world (as every bride should). James had a custom Joseph Abboud navy blue velvet jacket with black satin shawl collar made, which he wore with Calvin Klein tuxedo pants and a black velvet bow tie. We loved that our looks perfectly complemented our personal styles, each other and our venue.

Our menu was all based on the idea of breakfast for dinner. A Thyme to Cook brought that to life from cocktail hour bites to comforting and savory entrees and even a fantastic mimosa and bloody mary bar!

The warm and intimate ambiance was captured perfectly by the amazingly talented Carla Ten Eyck. Her photos communicate the soft glow and loving atmosphere that defined the evening while flawlessly exhibiting all the sumptuous details of the venue. Having these emotional moments preserved so beautifully is something that we will cherish forever.

Photography: Carla Ten Eyck | Florist: Green Dahlia | Cake: Ana Parzych Cakes | Caterer: A Thyme To Cook | Make-Up: Catie Bane | Hair: D.d. Nickel | Band: Lapis Luna | Bowties: Anna Runa | Bridal Accessories: The White Dress By The Shore | Bridal Gown: The Plumed Serpent | Groom's Tuxedo Jacket: Joseph Abboud | Mansion: Branford House

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Gatsby Inspired Wedding at Branford House

This wedding is like a movie. No, not just because it has all the makings of a perfect glam Gatsby soirée, but because it transports you. Brought to us by Katie Slater Photography, this New England affair is positively captivating. We got lost in the the gilded gold details, the dreamy castle setting, and all the touches of tassel. Do not even get us started on that veil. Beyond stunning. Get lost in all the old world elegance of this Connecticut soiree right here in the gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Mansion
Styles
Glamorous

From Katie Slater PhotographyWhere do we begin gushing over Stacey and Alan’s wedding that even Jay Gatsby would be envious of?? We can’t get enough of Stacey amazing dress and one-of-a-kind veil. It’s the perfect fit for this old world romance-filled day. Stacey planned every little detail to ooze glamour including gilded tree stumps, velvet bow ties, and tiny tassels on each place card. The florals from Tony at Datura were nothing short of miraculous in their golden urns. We could enjoy this day over and over…and we feel the love radiating from the couple every single time.

From The Bride…I wanted the day to have an old-world, romantic, authentic, and casually glamorous feel. The Great Gatsby had always been a huge inspiration, but more paired down, in the most naturally beautiful way. My ultimate goal was lots of gold, flowers, candles, and champagne!

In planning our wedding, I became a professional online sourcer, Goodwill shopper, and general forager. It’s amazing how many options and resources are out there to make your wedding unique! Etsy and Pinterest were huge sources of inspiration not only for the look of the day, but also provided sources for hard to find items (the guys’ velvet bow ties and our niece’s flower girl dress were purchased from websites overseas, along with a bulk order of mini tassels, one for each guest’s name card). On the topic of place cards, each was made from a package of Avery business cards, printed at home with free fonts downloaded online, hole punched, and finished with a mini silk tassel. Table numbers were a similar project, printed at home on craft paper, then traced with gold pen, and placed in dollar-store frames.

Goodwill was a great source for vintage-looking frames, glass votives and bud vases, and candles. Our niece’s flower girl basket was found there, spray painted gold and finished with various ribbons and tassels. The large gold frame for our wedding party chalkboard was also a Goodwill find (minus the ugly print that was purchased with it, and plus chalkboard insert we made ourselves).

Probably my most favorite project was gathering and creating gold tree stumps to fill the interior of the massive main fireplace at the Branford House. Based on an idea found on Pinterest, Alan and my father-in-law and I selected various stumps from a neighbor’s yard, cut them down as needed, created a schematic with various highs and widths, and spray painted them gold. Day of, they were arranged in the main fireplace with candles placed atop each one. I love them because they were a great solution for the space, a group effort, and left us with some great decor pieces we can use in our house!

Photography: Katie Slater Photography | Videography: Forever Lucky | Floral Design: Datura: A Modern Garden | Wedding Dress: White Dress By The Shore | Reception Venue: Branford House | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Gourmet Galley | Makeup: Andrea Blair Of Two Spa Girls | Hair: Evelyn Cotto

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Barn at Gibbett Hill Wedding by Snap! Photography

We have Snap! Photography to thank for giving us our daily dose of lovely this morning, and it’s coming by way of this gorgeous wedding at The Barn at Gibbett Hill. With a classic color palette we never tire of (love the pop of green) and beautiful birch details (how amazing is that birch cake by Konditor Meister?!), this winter wedding is the epitome of winter chic. See it all here!

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From the Bride… It’s funny, the whole birch thing came from Dave — we’re kind of outdoorsy (or I try to keep up with his outdoorsy side anyway) and being that it was winter and the reception is in a barn, we thought it fit! Strangely, one of the only things he had an opinion on was the flowers and he said “I don’t know. I think, like, birch would be fun,” so we took it and went with it! Dave’s dad brews his own beer out of the basement of Dave’s parents house, which was given out at the end of the night of everyone’s way home. He was so psyched to be showcasing his special home brew for the wedding, and we were proud to showcase it. We also gave out Vermont maple syrup as a favor. Dave’s sister Amy’s boyfriend has acres and acres of land in Vermont that he does maple sugaring on, so we thought that it make that a perfect favor with our rustic theme.

As much as you’ll laugh, I was never a beer drinker in college or even after, but Dave is QUITE the beer connoisseur, so naturally , when we started dating I had to up the ante. Now we together have more favorite beers than I would have ever dreamed, hence us naming all of our tables after our most favorite beers. Dave has been an insane Bruins fan since he was in diapers, so last year, the winning of the Stanley Cup was more than he ever could have dreamed. So a special appearance by Rene Rancourt as a surprise wedding gift from me to him was an obvious choice.

Like I said, we really tried to play the birch theme up. We had flower pots with our initials inside of a heart carved into them that we did ourselves (it was a theme with our save the dates and invitations) that also went on the tags on the maple syrup favors. And with the beer theme, each table card had a bottle cap of one of our favorite beers on them — we had this jar in our apartment that we would toss beer caps into every time we opened one, and one we day said, “What are we going to do with all of these?” After we got engaged, we came up with a way to use them!

Wedding Photography: Snap! Photography / Wedding Venue: The Barn at Gibbett Hill in Groton, Massachusetts / Floral Design: B&G Sawin Florist / Cinematography: Ready Set Film / Wedding Cake: Konditor Meister / Programs: DIY with Materials from Paper Source / Trolley: A Limo Affair / Photo Booth: The Original PhotoLounge by Snap! / Entertainment: Rene Rancourt from the Boston Bruins Singing the National Anthem / DJ: NuImage Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Vineyard Collection for Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung

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Barn at Gibbet Hill Wedding by Ruth Eileen Photography

I absolutely ADORE a sweet, sweet love story, so it’s no surprise that I am seriously smitten with this darling duo and their fairytale-come-true romance.  Yep, after dating at the age of sixteen, these two cuties reconnected FOURTEEN YEARS LATER and the result was PURE MAGIC – a meant-to-be winter wedding, dreamy rustic DIY details and a plethora of beautiful images captured by Ruth Eileen Photography.  This, my friends, is what I call a FABULOUS Monday.  Join me in the gallery for more.

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From the Bride… Keith and I met back when we were 16 at a Phish concert on November 29, 1997. We started dating immediately after for a few months. We broke up and went our separate ways for 14 years. We met back up on January 25, 2011. We had a three-hour-long dinner and have been together ever since. On October 1, 2011, we got engaged at Apple Crest Farm among the apple trees. Three weeks later, we decided that we wanted a winter wedding, and we didn’t want to wait a year. It seemed fitting for us to get married in January because it marked a year almost to the date that we reconnected. We both liked the idea of being dressed up and everyone in their elegant fur coats and fancy scarves. We decided to have our wedding ceremony at The First Parish Church of Groton. Groton is where Keith first asked me to be his girlfriend 14 years ago. And the church is where the funeral service was held for Keith’s father a little over a year-and-a-half ago. We knew he would be with us in spirit anywhere, but there seemed to be more of a direct connection at the church. Also, the church has a Paul Revere bell that is rung at funerals and weddings. It is a beautiful thing, and we liked the idea of ringing the bell in honor of our union. Nothing was added at the church — we kept it beautiful and simple. The Barn at Gibbet Hill, only two minutes down the road from the church, was the best option for our reception. The only Saturday available in January was January 14, 2012. So January 14th it became. We didn’t really have a specific theme, but I guess overall, it was a rustic winter white wedding with a few twists.

The Barn at Gibbet Hill is a gorgeous space all on its own. The exposed beams and old wood that was incorporated into the renovation make it a warm, inviting space filled with great energy. The twinkle of the lights from the lights along the banisters and the chandeliers made the space even more magical, so I really only added a few things. We created all our own centerpieces. We wanted to give the idea of snow without being too literal, so we found organic and other funky objects that were white, silver or off-white and filled large glass vases with them. The vases we got at various Christmas Tree Shops and all the fillers were found either from there or various HomeGoods stores. My mom found a few objects at antique shops, but the majority were found at the two other stores. Then we added a few candles and a printed out of a number on a card with a variety of objects, placed them a black easel, and voila!

We both like antiques and trinkets, so our favors and name tags were skeleton keys (replicas found on eBay) on shipping tags with the Richard Bach quote, “A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks.” On that same table, I hand-painted a piece of Cape Cod fencing with the soulmate quote. Keith and I both love music. Because we met at a concert, our music selection for the day was very important to us. We were introduced with the Phish song “Wilson,” which is our last name, and the song we danced to was called “Brand New Start” by Little Joy, which really sums up how we feel about our life together. At the present table, I also hand-painted song lyrics on records from a thrift shop with a record player and glass vase for cards.  The guest were encouraged to sign a book of love song records, again found at a thrift shop, with metallic paint pens. I found the record book and thought it would be a different idea for a guest book.

Wedding Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography / Wedding Ceremony: First Parish Church of Groton in Groton, Massachusetts / Wedding Reception: The Barn at Gibbet Hill in Groton, Massachusetts / Floral Design: Lavender / Wedding Coordination: Carolyn Hilton of The Barn at Gibbet Hill / Wedding Cinematography: Robert W. Dreissig of Playback, Inc. / Wedding Invitations + Programs: DIY by the Bride / Centerpieces: DIY / Most Centerpiece Materials: Christmas Tree Shops + HomeGoods / Wedding Cake: Konditor Meister / DJ: Seth Isaacs / Skeleton Key Favors: eBay / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet “Uma” for Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) / Bride’s Jacket: Vintage / Bride’s Shoes: Audrey Brooke / Bride’s Pearl Necklace: A Gift from the Groom’s Parents / Bride’s Earrings: From the Groom’s Great-Grandmother / Groom’s Attire: John Varvatos / Rings: Anderson’s Jewelers

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