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Elegant + Whimsical Crane Estate Wedding

To simply call this wedding “pretty” is one of the biggest understatements of all time. It’s the story of our very own editor, Michelle and her love, Paul vowing their forever with a celebration that’ll make any wedding lover weep – it’s just that perfect. Set at New England’s beloved Crane Estate, it’s whimsical yet timeless, elegantly styled yet so deeply personal. And that O’Malley duo? They’re to thank for every last image sitting in The Vault. Whether you’re looking for invite inspiration, pastels done right or just want to see an absolutely beaming editor-turned-bride, this wedding is all that plus a million times more.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Estate
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride… Plain and simple, weddings make my heart extraordinarily happy. So, you can imagine my overwhelming gratitude that not only do I have the unique privilege to do what I love for a living, but I basically have the best job ever. My favorite part on the daily? Reading your love stories. Because it’s a given that every great love comes with a great story, and I have the immense pleasure of sharing mine with you all today.

A month before graduating Parsons NYC my girlfriends and I decided that it was time to give internet dating a try. After two weeks of what I considered “online shopping for a soulmate” I expanded my search beyond NY, and that was how I found Paul from Boston. Upon reading his profile I instantly turned to my friend (and bridesmaid) exclaiming that I had just found my perfect person. I decided to be uncharacteristically bold and send him a message, praying he would reply. Thankfully he did and our connection was instantaneous with phone calls and Skype sessions lasting into the early mornings thereafter. Since he lived in New England and I was in New York, we didn’t meet in person for an entire month. The day we finally met he was waiting for me underneath a clock tower and like a rom-com brought to life – time literally stood still. Fast forward six months and I had left my beloved Big Apple for lovely New England, and after a four year whirlwind romance Paul proposed. 

We planned our wedding close to home with the beautiful Crane Estate as our venue. I’d always envisioned an outdoor ceremony with a reception that felt more like a dinner party with endless amounts of champagne and of course a few flower crowns. I’m not terribly big on following the norm and our first unconventional choice was choosing a Monday. It gave my West coast guests the weekend to arrive and also the intimate celebration we truly wanted. Our ultimate goal was to have everyone we loved sharing in our joy, and I have to say we got just that and more thanks to everyone involved. 

Every second of our wedding stands out as a favorite, but a few special moments that bring a smile to my face are: seeing my bridesmaids’ reactions after helping me put on my veil. When my best friend from pre-school snuck up to the bridal suite and we both instantly started to cry. Anxiously walking towards Paul for our First Look and seeing the excitement in his eyes. The monarch butterflies that floated around us as we took our portraits. My dad handing me a napkin before we walked down the aisle because I was already crying. Paul’s handwritten vows that he wrote in an journal as an ode to my roots. The handmade decor my Bridesmaid surprised me with. Sharing a dance with my father to our favorite song. Watching the little ones play croquet. When our cake knife broke mid-cut and we almost died laughing. Finally, seeing a shooting star as the evening came to a close.

Our photographers, Scott and Ashlee flew all the way from Seattle to captured our Big Day. They are truly the kindest couple and their  talent speaks volumes. Everyone was instantly at ease in-front of the camera as they snapped every candid kiss and meaningful moment with such care. I felt as if my heart was going to burst with joy when they sent over the memories they captured and I can’t wait to cross paths with them for every future life event.  

As we lined up to walk down the aisle, I felt the wave of emotions from the day wash over me. It was all so surreal, it was a day that I’d been dreaming of and it was happening! As my Bridesmaids’ (all crying I might add) walked down the aisle to Coldplay – Sky full of Stars I could feel a million happy tears streamed down my face. I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude that not only was I marrying my best friend, but also that I had six more to lead the way and share in our joy. Holding my Dad’s arm (who also officiated) we followed down the grassy lawn towards Paul to the tune of The Beatles – In My Life . Through tears and streams of sunlight, we exchanged personal vows in a short but sweet ceremony and shared our first kiss as newlyweds.

The ceremony was followed by a relaxed cocktail hour as Vogue Entertainment provided the ambiance with an array of modern music played on a selection of strings. Guests were greeted by signature cocktails and my dream “cheese cake“. While everyone was nibbling on passed hors d’oeuvres and mingling, Danielle of the Trustees flawlessly coordinated our day with elegance and ease. Transitioning from cocktails to dinner inside the Great House everyone found their seat amongst long linen covered tables complete with cascading centerpieces by Les Fleurs.

Sita and the team at Timothy S. Hopkins Catering crafted our dream menu – from lobster served on homemade potato chip to the fried goat cheese salad- every bite was to die for. After dinner guests were lead outside for a casual game of croquet, lots of wedding cake from Flour Bakery, and even more champagne. We shared our first dance to a string quartet version of George Ezra – Budapest and I remember thinking just how lucky we are. It was with huge smiles, sweet kisses, and grateful hearts that we shared an evening we’ll never forget. 

Now for some advice. Think about the advantages of a weekday wedding. We wanted a small celebration and our Monday nuptials gave us just that (plus a lot of vendors have availability on weekdays). Also, consider a first look! It relieved us of any nerves, and we got all of our formal portraits done before the reception. Plus for the sake of vanity my hair + makeup didn’t run the risk of falling flat! A great piece of advice we were given was try to stop seven times during the day to take a deep breath, do your best to take in that moment. Because like everyone says it goes by in a blur, but a beautiful on that you’ll try your hardest to remember every detail of. All in all, just remember that your wedding day is the most wonderful and meaningful beginning that is about your love together – so have a glass of champagne and enjoy every minute! 

Photography: O'Malley Photographers | Floral Design: Les Fleurs Andover | Wedding Dress: Sarah Janks | Invitations: The First Snowfall | Engagement Ring: Long's Jewelers | Ring: Long's Jewelers | Catering: Timothy S. Hopkins Catering | Calligraphy: DIY by the Bride | Groom's Attire: Macy's | String Quartet: Vogue Music Events | Venue: The Crane Estate | Accommodations: The Inn At Castle Hill | Bar Menu Signage: DIY By The Bride | Bridal Boutique: The Dress Theory | Bride's Headpiece: Untamed Petals | Bridesmaid Dress: Two Birds | Bridesmaid Dress: Joanna August | Bridesmaid Dress: Dessy | Bridesmaid Dress: BHLDN | Bridesmaid Dress: Macy's | Bunny Table Name Holders: Target | Cocktail Napkins: For Your Party | Flower Crowns: DIY by the Bride | Maid of Honor Dress: Adrianna Papell | Popcorn Bar Signage: DIY By The Bride | Rentals: New England Country Rentals | Return Address Labels: Felix Doolittle | Ring Pillow: DIY By The Bride | Seating Chart: DIY By The Bride | Signage: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Veil: Handmade by Sara Kim | Watercolor Crest: DIY by the Bride | Wedding Cake + Desserts: Flour Bakery

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Blush + Metallic Wedding Inspiration Shoot at Willowdale Estate

Rustic, romantic and filled with lush florals and breathtaking details, this inspiration shoot is seriously my everything.  From the stunning locale known as Willowdale Estate to the beauty stylings of Swoone Beauty to the fabulous blooms from One Sweet Day In May. (I mentioned they were lush, right?)  Head to The Vault for every blush meets metallic moment captured brilliantly by Annmarie Swift Photography.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Event Venue
Styles
Rustic

From Annmarie Swift Photography… Lush flowers, delicate lace, pops of matte gold, romantic calligraphy, and just a hint of rustic were all inspiration for this shoot! With beautiful floral details like scrawling letters to hang on the back of the bride and groom’s chair to our open air floral escort card frame to the natural garland spilling over the farm table, we knew that romance would be abundant!

The bride was dressed in a simple lace gown, hair pulled back in an effortlessly intricate braid. The invitation suite was subtle and beautiful with sweet calligraphy and touches of watercolor to match the cake display. Combined with a variety of stunning centerpieces and classic ivory place settings, the satin gold finish of the flatware and ombre glassware brought the perfect balance of sophistication to life in the lush courtyard!

With a focus on stunning florals and the natural beauty of the venue, our shoot served as inspiration for couples with a love of natural elegance and understated details.

Head to The Vault for even more wedding inspiration!

Photography: Annmarie Swift Photography | Event Planning: Heather Dawn Events | Floral Design: One Sweet Day In May | Cakes: Nicole Starr Photography | Invitations: Bella Carta Boutique | Hair & Makeup: Swoone Beauty | Calligraphy: Sincerely Amy Designs | Estate: Willowdale Estate

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Timeless + Elegant Spring Massachusetts Wedding

For this expat couple living in Saõ Paulo, The Mount, Edith Wharton’s former home in the Lenox, Massachusetts, was the ideal location for their wedding—halfway between family in New York and Massachusetts and an intimate feel. And, with classic touches infused with Portuguese and Brazilian traditions and vendors like ReadyLuck and Mezze, it was a perfect wedding. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Estate
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride…At the time of our wedding my husband (Justin) and I were living as expats in São Paulo, Brazil. Our families, however, are from New York and Massachusetts.

One of the many connections we share are memories of growing up in New England, going to the beach and mountains, and enjoying the four seasons. We also share a love of Spanish and Portuguese language and culture, and of travel. Justin and his family are of Portuguese heritage, and both of us have spent time in Iberia and South America for work and study.

For our wedding venue we wanted a location that would be a feasible meeting point for our families in New England, and for our friends traveling from afar. Our ideal was to find somewhere that would showcase the natural beauty of New England in the Springtime, as well as provide an elegant atmosphere and comfortable accommodations for all our guests.

We chose The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts as our venue for many reasons. Firstly, it is located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains exactly on the border of New York and Massachusetts. The estate, which was designed and owned by author Edith Wharton, takes inspiration in European and American architecture and offers a unique mix of untamed natural beauty and old-world elegance. And to seal our decision, my family spent many summers and holidays in the area, making it familiar and special for me to return for our wedding.

Readyluck Photography was recommended to me by a family friend. When I reviewed their artists and the work, I was enchanted by their romantic and almost magical style of photography. The way they capture lighting and play with compositions is really beautiful. Lindsay Hite is an accomplished member of the Readyluck team and we were so lucky to work with her. Beyond her talent as a photographer, she is a very organized professional and a lovely person with a gentle manner. Everyone in my family enjoyed working with her on our wedding day.

Mezze Catering serves delicious locally farmed foods, and creates amazing wedding catering experiences by offering full-service wedding coordination. Dawn Van Ness was my hero for the wedding. She led me through every choice and option, every deadline and timeline, and she stayed on top of each delivery item, special need, etc. which helped make the day a success. She also asked her baker to custom design our cake which was made with Dulce de Leche, my husband’s favorite sweet.

Lisa Brown – Dreamy Floral independently runs her own flower business from her home in Lenox, Massachusetts, and creates beautiful works. I chose Lisa because she can do everything a high-end florist can do and more, and is very approachable and flexible. Unlike some high-end wedding florists, Lisa was willing to work within a fixed budget, and did not pressure us to do more than we wanted. She was very creative with our wishes to add some latin accents and Palm trees to the decor, and we loved our bouquets, table garlands.

I loved the intimacy of the wedding, the way that the wedding venue became our “home” for the evening and a place we could entertain our closest friends and family in comfort. The Mount is definitely beautiful and grand but not intimidatingly proportioned. The many little rooms and dining terrace held our party of 120 people well, and brought a feeling of closeness and community. I also loved how the home is open to guests, and everyone could roam inside and outside at their pleasure. Although it was an exciting day with lots of activity, there were many relaxed moments as well where time slowed down just a little and we could breathe in the moment.

I also loved how we were able to merge some Portuguese and Brazilian traditions into the wedding day, such as a spread of colorfully wrapped Brazilian desserts called Brigadeiros, palm trees and vintage cigar box accents, diverse music and musicians, and our special dulce de leche cake.


Photography: Lindsay Hite At ReadyLuck | Floral Design: Lisa Brown - Dreamy Flower | Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals | Catering: Mezze | Venue: The Mount

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Coral-Inspired Country Club Wedding

You can always count on coral. It’ll make you – and your bridesmaids – smile and in June, it’s absolute perfection. Cambria Grace’s pics sparkle extra special with this picture perfect hue and Oxford Media Film’s clip is the definition of eye candy. Put a smile on your face with these pretty pics right this way!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Elegant

From the Bride… After spending lots of time on Pinterest and Etsy, I realized there would be nothing prettier than lots of coral on a beautiful June day. The bright coral J. Crew bridesmaids’ dresses became the swatch for all wedding plans. All of our vendors were from word of mouth. There’s nothing better than a great referral! Cambria Grace Photography was a given after seeing the wedding photo she had done for my friend. She obviously continued to do an amazing job with our photos and captured our day in such great detail. We picked DJ Carlos Russin after dancing the night away at another friend’s wedding. Great choice because our dance floor was never empty! The coral flowers from Charlotte Design were the definition of spring. The bouquets and centerpieces were beyond gorgeous. Spring Valley Country Club, with it’s cathedral ceilings, rustic chandeliers and whole wall of windows, created the best setting for this event. When I put on my Allure wedding dress everything became so real at that point. All the girls hopped on the trolley (totally recommend!), blasted “Going to the Chapel,” and headed to the church to see my handsome man! Our families and friends made for the greatest audience as Jay and I exchanged our vows and became Mr. and Mrs. Lamoureux. Everyone had such great energy the whole day and night as they enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and dancing. We took our favorite margarita and transformed it into a Lamoureux signature drink. “The Lamourita” was of course a big hit! The day was flawless from start to finish. It was the wedding we had always dreamed about and more. The best part at this point is that we can relive our big day, over and over, with our video from Oxford Media Films. Always a reminder that June 6th was beautiful.

Photography: Cambria Grace Photography | Cinematography: Oxford Media Films | Floral Design: Charlotte Design Flower Boutique | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: Dessert Works | Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Church | Reception Venue: Spring Valley Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: JCrew | Makeup: Ashley Hagopian | Hair: The Salon Beau | Favors: Making Whoopie | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Groomsmen's Ties: The Tie Bar | Transportation: Above All Transportation | Bride's Jewelry: Nadri | Card Box: Bragging Bags | Dress Hanger: Snooty Bride | Flower Girl's Bow: Once Upon A Time Creations | Flower Girl's Dress: Pink Princess | Mr & Mrs Table Decor: Z Create Design | Placecards: Twig & Juniper | Ring Bearers' Attire: Brenner's Children Shop | Ring Bearers' Bow Ties: Little Subtle Arrow | Ring Pillow: Sparrow Station | Thank You Notes: Grand Designs by Joanna | Uncle... Sign: Blissfully Homemade

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
SMP Blogger Bride: Finding the Perfect Bridal Accessories

Hi Brides! It’s Jessye from City Tonic again here to chat all about bridal accessories. So far, my experience with bridal fashion has been such a departure from how I handle fashion day-to-day. I chose the second dress I tried on – which is shocking to anyone who knows me, since I’m almost clinically indecisive. After making the big decision, I realized it was time to consider my bridal accessories as well – and, admittedly, this wasn’t an area in which I’d spent much time thinking.

I was lucky enough to meet Shannon Faretra at BHLDN in Chestnut Hill, MA – and she got me super excited about the fun, unexpected ways I could add accessories to my wedding day look. Since my dress hasn’t arrived yet, we thought it would make things interesting if I tried on gowns in a few different styles (really, who can say no to that?!) and play around with sundry hair pieces, veils and jewelry. It’s no surprise that BHLDN scores big across a huge range of styles, tastes and budgets – so I would definitely recommend a visit (either online, or to a store nearby) when you begin your search. Once my dress is finished, I’m planning a return to BHLDN so I can finalize what I’ll be wearing when I walk down the aisle. Of course, it’s always a good idea to buy your accessories and jewelry when you can see the big picture (i.e. how everything works in tandem with your gown).

In the meantime, my visit to BHLDN left me feeling inspired, and the gorgeous images from Jenny Moloney (see all my looks this way!) made me feel like a real bride. So… if you’re on the hunt for accessories, I hope this will offer some inspiration, too – whether you’re a vintage-loving bride, an enthusiast of all things clean and modern, or if you simply want to feel extra glam on your wedding day.

My biggest tip for all of you SMP brides-to-be? Keep an open mind. Even if your Pinterest boards are filled exclusively with structured birdcage veils, it never hurts to try something completely different – like a cathedral veil in weightless tulle. Either you’ll be able to rule it out confidently, or you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised. Case in point: I had never considered wearing a crystal halo, but I ended up falling in love with that delicate hint of sparkle in my hair. It adds just enough glamour and romance without distracting from the rest of your look (even if you’re wearing an embellished gown).

It also really helps to work with a knowledgeable bridal stylist. I’m pretty confident when it comes to my personal style, but bridal fashion is an entirely new realm for me – so I was more than happy to defer to an expert. If you’re wearing a lace gown with lots of texture and detail (like the Gigi gown I tried on), your impulse might be to shy away from any intricate jewelry or additional texture. But in this case, Shannon suggested a vintage-inspired trapeze necklace and lace-edged veil which helped tie the whole look together without feeling too contrived or matchy-matchy. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, shapes and textures – sometimes the most unexpected combinations are the best.

Overall, your bridal accessories are an area where you can infuse some personality into your look. As cheesy as it sounds, you’ll most likely be glowing with happiness on the big day – so those extra special touches will only help enhance how pretty you feel. See every look I tried on right this way!

Photography: Jenny Moloney Photography | Shoes: M.Gemi Cammeo pumps | Bracelet: Justin & Taylor Morning Glory Bracelet | Necklace: Ela Rae Trapeze Necklace | Venue: BHLDN Store | Bridal Stylist: Shannon Faretra At BHLDN | Dress (1): Catherine Deane Winnie Dress | Dress (2): Badgley Mischka Livia Dress | Dress (3): WTOO by Watters Gigi Gown | Earrings: Crocheted Silver Drops | Flower Comb: Debra Moreland Noisette Comb | Headpiece (1): Starry Skies Halo | Headpiece (2): Chimera Crystal Halo | Skirt (worn Over Dress 2): Catherine Deane Anika Tulle Skirt | Veil: Debra Moreland Visionary Fingertip Veil

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

Jessye Aibel

Blogger Bride