It’s here, it’s here! The day has finally arrived as we witness our very own blogger bride, Kara of Politics of Pretty, walk down the aisle, and darlings this is one we’ve been waiting to share. The epitome of style grace, it’s a day infused with plenty of Real Doll Makeup, perfectly saturated hues of pink, and of course endless love. Thankfully Elizabeth Fogarty captured it all and we’ve got it all in THE VAULT!
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From Blogger Bride, Kara Manos of Politics of Pretty… I had spent almost two years planning my wedding. I’m sure any bride would agree— wedding planning is basically a temporary part-time job. I experienced all the highs (the bridal shower, the bachelorette, the tastings) and lows (budgeting, the seating chart and more budgeting) on our journey to the altar. Needless to say, wedding planning came with a bunch of mixed emotions, a lot of work and months of saving. But well worth it, because here I am, on Style Me Pretty, sharing all the little details that made our day so special.
The vision I had for my wedding was a mix of vintage and whimsical—I like to refer to it as The Great Gatsby meets Alice in Wonderland. Like any bride, I wanted this entire day to be one-of-a-kind and memorable for us as a couple and for the friends and family we chose to celebrate this monumental moment with.
I loved the idea of a fall wedding and I wanted my color scheme to compliment that time of year. It didn’t take me long to decide on a rich raspberry, navy and gray color scheme with accents of gold. While it took a long time to find the right shade of berry I was looking for, I found it in beautiful Donna Morgan bridesmaid dresses (that also happened to be on sale at Nordstrom). According to my husband this was going to be, “a very berry wedding.” I loved the idea of navy tuxes for the guys but it did take some time to convince my husband.
One of the best decisions I made was booking B Floral Event Design as my wedding florist for the big day. Shelly Bagdasian, founder of B Flora, designed the most beautiful centerpieces. She understood my vision perfectly, not to mention, completely exceeded my expectations with my bouquet (a hand tied bouquet in a range of berry colors filled with dahlias, peonies, roses, and pepper berries tied with a silk ribbon and flower shaped broach to coordinate with my dress detail). My favorite reception centerpiece was our escort card table—Shelly came up with the clever idea of hanging vintage skeleton keys from the arrangement. In my free time, I tied heart shaped skeleton keys with a silk ribbon to each table card—a way of telling them that their “presence was key.”
For my bridal look, I wanted to look like a modern Jean Harlow— and a timeless one shoulder satin gown worked perfectly for my vision. I felt so lucky because I found this gorgeous Pronovias dress at a sample sale at Love Couture Bridal. It was equal parts elegant and sexy, but most importantly, unique. As you may already know, I was a bride on a budget and proud of it! My experience at Love Couture was nothing short of amazing and it’s what prompted me to go back there to shop for my veil and jewelry. I also happened to have the best hair and makeup team a bride could ask for. Anna of Styled by Anna Fazio and Lauren of Real Doll Makeup perfected my look with old Hollywood waves and glam makeup.
Curtis & I made the decision to do a first look and I’m so glad we did. As you may remember, the proposal was filmed in front of our family and posted on YouTube, so we enjoyed having an intimate moment to ourselves before the ceremony. It was certainly more emotional than I thought it would be, but it was also extremely calming for one another, considering the chaos while getting ready and what was about to ensue.
I was baptized and raised in the Greek Orthodox Church and my heritage has always been a huge part in my life. We had our ceremony at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, D.C. A Greek ceremony is typically 45-minutes long. Sounds grueling, I know. Especially when you’re wearing 4-inch Jimmy Choo heels. Miraculously, the shoes were pretty comfortable (we are three hours in at this point though).
We had our reception at The Hyatt Regency Bethesda. Our Hyatt wedding planner, Shelley Belk and her team went above and beyond to make sure the evening went off without a hitch. Perhaps the most generous to note was the hotel upgrading us to the Presidential Suite for a truly memorable weekend. After the toasts, cake cutting, and mother/son and father/daughter dance, we wanted to make sure we had as much open dance time as possible. Our emcee and DJ, Jordan Solender, had our guests on the dance floor all night thanks to the variety of music he played.
Elizabeth Fogarty Photography captured our day perfectly. I love the dreamy, ethereal aesthetic in Elizabeth’s work and I knew she would tell our story in beautiful images.
My husband is a videographer so our friends at Reflexion Videography and one of his close friends, Adam Reuter, captured all the memorable moments of our wedding day on film. Without them, our wedding day would not have been complete. We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to experience those moments all over again.
I thought I would experience a loss from no longer wedding planning but after coming back to reality from our dream day, I have felt nothing but relief and pure happiness. I underestimated what married life would be like and that’s the journey I’m looking forward to most.
What advice would I give to brides-to-be? Make a list of the things that matter most to you and invest in those details for the big day. Find budget friendly alternatives for the rest. Spend time researching every vendor so you can choose the right team to help you bring your visions to life. I spent much of my time on WeddingWire reading reviews before reaching out to vendors. If budget is a concern, negotiate! It never hurts to ask and if they are truly a great vendor, then they will be willing to work with you as long as your budget is realistic. And most importantly, don’t stress about the little things! It’s easy to get caught up in the headache of wedding planning but remember the point in all of this—love.
From Elizabeth Fogarty… Where do I even start to talk about Curt and Kara? Gosh, their wedding day was one of a kind! These two are just sweethearts and from all the pictures, you can tell that Curt is CRAZY about Kara. The colors and the theme were perfect for the fall. My favorite detail was the Donna Morgan bridesmaids’ gowns. They were simply gorgeous! My favorite part of their wedding day was their first look. Curt’s reaction was simply priceless! There were lots of smiles and kisses. It was such an honor to capture such sweet memories for these two.
Follow Kara’s Journey:
Meet the Bride | Makeup with Carl Ray | Nail Polish Ideas | Bridal Beauty Checklist | Parisian Inspired Bridal Shower
Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty | Videography: Reflexion Videography | Floral Design: B Floral Event Design | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Creative Cakes | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral | Reception Venue: Hyatt Regency Bethesda | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Makeup: Real Doll Makeup | Hair: Anna Fazio | DJ: Jordan Solender | Groomsmen Attire: Jos A. Bank | Transportation : Awards Limousine | Blogger Bride: Kara Manos | Bridal Boutique : Love Couture Bridal | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Table Numbers + Escort Cards: Minted | Veil: Sara Gabriel