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The Bride Wanted an Epic Dress, and this Gown Totally Delivered

Growing up in rural Kenya, Jessica used her allowance money to buy copies of British Vogue and escape to a world of fashion and glamour. And when dreaming of her wedding day she said, “I always knew when I got married I wanted to have an epic dress.” Luckily her all lace, long sleeve, plunging neckline Berta gown completely fit the bill for the ultimate celebration with her love, Eric. Almond Leaf Studios captured the images and film you mustn’t dare miss.

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Spring
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Luxury Venue
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From the Bride…Inspiration. For our wedding my biggest inspiration was timeless elegant glamour. I wanted things to be soft, romantic, clean, classic, grand and effortlessly gorgeous. When choosing different stylistic elements for the wedding I wanted to make sure everything I chose was timeless, chic, beautiful and not a fad or a trend. I love the way that you can still look at Grace Kelly’s wedding dress 60 years later and fall in love with it over and over. Stylistically I love things that are clean, elegant and timeless like Jackie Kennedy and Coco Chanel. There is something I have always loved about a bride wearing a classic white lace gown and a groom wearing a classic black tuxedo on their wedding day. It is timeless and never goes out of style.

I am very decisive when it comes to things I like or do not like. I only tried on two dresses. I only visited one venue. I do my research and go with my gut.

Color Palette. My color palette was clean and classic. I wanted everything to be neutrals. I chose black, white, charcoal, ivory, champagne and gold as my colors. All my stationery was in shades of grey, pearl ivory Crane Lettra, charcoal letterpress, gold foil and gold wax seals. I specifically told my florist I wanted white flowers and white flowers only – but to include lots of greenery too. The bridesmaids wore breezy, elegant champagne dresses with sparkly earrings and belts for that little bit of extra glam.

Dress. I wanted my dress to be dramatic, romantic and memorable, but not gaudy or over the top. I fell in love with the Berta dress when I saw it online. I knew it was the one. The details on it were exquisite. I loved the deep V neck with pearl beading almost down to my belly button, the dramatic lace train, the bare back, the pearl beading detail on the end of the sleeves, and the sentimental value of the fact that it was hand made in Israel.

I grew up in Africa. I went to school at an American boarding school in Kenya and every month I’d save up my allowance to buy a copy of British Vogue magazine and just pour over the pages – It was my little escape – A little bit of glamour to dream about while living in rural Kenya. I always knew when I got married I wanted to have an epic dress.

Venue. I had always wanted to get married in the south of France or a village in Italy but the minute I visited the Duke Mansion I instantly fell in love with it’s old world southern charm and glamorous feel. It was grand but it was also so warm, intimate, romantic and cozy. I loved the stately large white walls of this gorgeous historic site, the wrought iron fences and light fixtures, the stone fountains and terraces and the lush rose gardens. I was so excited to host both of our families in this classic Southern Charmed mansion in the heart of the city that we fell in love in – a city that is an integral part of our love story.

Personal Touches. Even though I wanted a big glamorous wedding, at the same time I wanted to make it very dear and personal. I wanted to make sure everybody had a blast and felt like they were there to celebrate our love. I worked hard over the course of 18 months to add a lot of personal touches to the wedding. I made and designed all the stationary myself; almost entirely by hand. (with the exception of the letterpress and gold foil stamping, done by the amazing people over at Crayton Heritage Letterpress) We wanted to make sure each guest felt contacted personally by us. I hand sketched our welcome sign, we hand-stamped coffee and tea favor bags. My mom and dad hand painted the table numbers and bride and groom chair signs. The antique silver candle sticks were used at my parent’s wedding, and the champagne glasses we used to toast the cake cutting were the same ones my parents used at their cake cutting 30 years earlier. We even had our whole family (fresh off the plane from California) hand paint gold accents on olive branches (a symbol of peace and love) for everyone’s plates the day before the wedding. It was such a fun group effort and made everyone feel included in some part of the wedding.

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Photography: Almond Leaf Studios | Cinematography: Almond Leaf Studios | Event Design: Love & Honey | Floral Design: Lily Greenthumb's Wedding & Event Design | Wedding Dress: Berta | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Invitations: Bride | Bride's Shoes: Guiseppe Zanotti | Rings: Diamonds Direct | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Hair + Makeup: Beauty Asylum | DJ: Split Second Sound | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Officiant: Bride's Dad | Ceremony Music: Andrea Mumm | Venue: Duke Mansion | Bridal Boutique: Anjolique Bridal | Bride's Earrings: Ambrosia Bridal | Bride's Necklace: Jane Basch | Bride's Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Jewelry: Nadri | Bridesmaids' Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Flower Girl's Dresses: J.Crew | Flower Girl's Flower Crowns: Stony Run Studio | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Groom's Watch: Skagen | Invitation Letterpress: Crayton Heritage Letterpress | Mother of the Bride's Dress: Adrianna Papell | Mother of the Groom's Dress: White House | Black Market | Photo Booth: InFocus Photobooths | Pocket Squares: Target With Monograms By EmbroidMe | Ribbon: Flower Seed Paper

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The Ultimate Anniversary Gift? Why a Puppy of Course!

Alright newlyweds it’s time to take note, because the paper anniversary just got a lot more memorable. Just ask Philip and Shelby who celebrated their first year of wedded bliss with a golden surprise – a golden-doodle to be specific. It’s beyond adorable and thankfully Brittany Brock Photography has captured it all for us to ooh-and-awe over in The Vault!

From Brittany Brock PhotographyPhilip and Shelby were married last year in Nashville, TN. Because where else do you get hitched when you were the reigning Miss Tennessee 2013! There plans to celebrate their anniversary were originally just to lounge around with friends and family, but when the family arrived, including me, we met precious golden-doodle Amelia who had just joined the family that morning! Philip had picked her up in Atlanta that morning and everyone immediately agreed she was the perfect pup and as such we should throw together and impromptu picnic/photo session to celebrate. This shoot reminded my that not everything has to be a “styled” shoot that’s thought out to perfection. Sometimes the best memories are made, and captured, when you run to Trader Joe’s to buy flowers and make your own floral dog collar while your family laughs as you stab yourself with floral wire! Anniversary’s Matter! So whether you DIY a picnic or just capture the day with your iPhone make it a point to have something documented you can look back on!

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Photography: Brittany Brock Photography | Floral Design: Trader Joe's | Goldendoodle Puppy: Heaven on Earth Goldendoodles | Location: At Home | Picnic Basket: Target | Shelby's Dress: Boston Proper

See Style Blogger Taylor-Rae’s Bridal Shower

Leave it to the ever-so-chic Style Souffle to have a bridal shower decked out in pretty. Beginning with a champagne-stocked bar cart and ending with a floral handpainted cake, it’s the kind of party that’ll perfectly kick off your own weekend festivities and we’re diving right in. More from Josh Deaton in The Vault!

From Style Souffle… First comes love, then comes marriage… but before that there are a few events along the way that every bride and groom-to-be look forward to experiencing. One of which is the bridal shower! Unlike Taylor-Rae’s soft-romantic, European countryside inspired wedding, this was the perfect opportunity to embrace her love for bright colors and beautiful florals in a Boho-Chic inspired bridal shower and luncheon. Her mom, a former corporate event planner, worked with a team of local vendors to bring the bride-to-be’s vision to life at the intimate party on May 15, 2016, at a family friend’s estate in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thirty guests celebrated the bride-to-be in a festive fête designed in pops of fuchsia, vibrant orange and mixed metallics.

Beautiful ombre watercolor invitations set the tone for the party and read, “Please join us to Celebrate Taylor-Rae with an Afternoon of Love and Laughter before the Happily Ever After.” The invitations matched the menu cards displayed that afternoon.

August Lily created arrangements of Tulips, Garden Roses, Carnations, Gerbera Daisies, Snap Dragons and Iris’ that were displayed on the mantle and throughout the house. A wide selection of foliage (including ferns, rose hips and ivy) were mixed in for texture to create a boho, natural vibe. Trademark of the theme, the bride adorned a beautiful flower crown that coordinated with the floral arrangements.

As guests’ arrived, they signed an adorable Minted “XOXO” print, which would later be displayed amongst the gallery wall in the brides office – who is Founding Editor of Lifestyle & Fashion blog, Style Souffle (@stylesouffle). Guests were also asked to leave a token of advice on slips of handmade paper infused with flower petals for the bride to read on her wedding day!

Rather than having a seated luncheon, guests helped themselves to a selection of heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by Dean & Deluca, which included: shrimp with lime dressing, tea sandwiches, tuscan bean dip, cajun crab cake bites, a variety of tossed salads and antipasto platers. A handpainted cake by WOW Factor Cakes was the centerpiece of the dessert table. Fresh fruit, macaroons and truffles were also offered.

The weather couldn’t have been better that afternoon, and everyone eventually found themselves setting by the pool for a fun guessing game with questions selected specifically for Taylor-Rae and her groom – who made a surprise appearance! All in all, it was a lovely shower and Josh Deaton was there to capture it all on film!

 

Photography: Josh Deaton | Floral Design: August Lily Florist | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Stationery: Swoozie's Denver | Catering: Dean & Deluca | Bride: Taylor-Rae (@stylesouffle) | Location: Taylor-Rae (@stylesouffle)

Even More Bridal Shower Ideas!

Bridal Shower Details
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Bridal Shower Details
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