The second I opened this wedding my productivity levels plummeted. You see, I found myself lost in a beautiful sea of English Garden inspired blooms from Courtenay Lambert Florals and every little moment captured by BRAUNPhotography sucked me in. Before I knew it, I had been sifting through the gallery for hours. So be forewarned, you will get lost in this beauty!
From Courtenay Lambert Florals… The brides vision in planning her wedding was the use of natural elements, while keeping an elegant feel of an English Tea Garden. Our inspiration in the design was “Alice and Wonderland meets English Tea Garden meets Hobbit’s Village”. Many of the design elements were a mix of inspiration from her Event Designer as well as personal treasures belonging to her family. Use of organic and natural materials, such as moss, stones, wood slices and succulents, were of utmost importance to the bride and groom. The groom wore a tailor maid custom suit and the bridesmaids wore vintage inspired dresses that helped convey the theme of the wedding.
From the stunning bride… Joe and I always knew we wanted to get married outside, and the abundance of gorgeous outdoor venues is certainly not lacking in Cincinnati. The French House, nestled in Amberly Village, with its sprawling wildflower fields, intimate garden setting and charming red brick house really spoke to us. You see, Joe grew up in the country, a good old farm boy of sorts, and myself, while not exactly a city girl, I come pretty close. The French House was the perfect venue for uniting the best of these two worlds.
I wanted to use soft romantic colors, a tried and true color scheme certainly, used by many brides before me, but I also wanted to capture the laid back earthiness of the outdoors that Joe and I love so much. Juxtaposing more earthy elements like moss, stone and succulents with soft garden roses, ivory lace and blush colored silks was critical in making this balance a reality. It was a casual elegance I was looking for, but something unique, something enchanted. I wanted the style to be textured and spirited. We wanted to strike an intriguing, exciting cord in our style for our guests, and for us! And of course, we wanted to incorporate all kinds of personal touches! The lace overlay for the cake table in particular is a family heirloom, made by my grandmother and great- grandmother for my parent?s wedding forty two years ago. My sister also used this on her cake table and it was finally my turn. This linen demanded something special be placed on it, and I turned to no other than Maureen Thie for this task. Her family owned the original Virginia Bakery and although she no longer was making cakes for private events, my mother’s persistent begging payed off. Mo had also made my sisters cake years ago.
The ladies got ready at my parent’s house. The same place we got ready sixteen years prior when I was the Maid of Honor at my sisters wedding. Now, I could finally honor her as my Matron of Honor, her daughters as Junior Bridesmaids, and her husband as a Groomsman. Really, it was a family affair with my brother and Joe’s cousin also in that mix, not to mention a couple of wonderful friends! It was so much fun choosing the attire for everyone. I used BHLDN for the ladies and outfitted the guys in Joseph Abboud. The stylists at BHLDN were fabulous to work with. I sent my bridesmaid’s measurements along with the dresses I had chosen and they helped match each dress to everyones body type, helping to ensure that everyone looked their best! To play off the highly textured, whimsical feel of the day I selected different dresses for all my bridesmaids in slightly varying shades of blush. Their dresses were definitely one of my favorite things about the wedding! I went with a classic, vintage feel for the guys incorporating suspenders and bow ties to complete their look.
Joe and I decided to do a first look and are so glad we did. Not only did it help to calm some nerves but it was so very special to be able to share that moment and our day with all of our guests via our Same Day Edit video thanks to Studio Z Films. We didn’t even tell our wedding party this video was going down. Talk about a tear jerker! Arriving early at the French House also gave us a chance to get a sneak peak into how Courtenay Lambert and her team had transformed this venue into something spectacular. I had met with more florists than I could count, and from the moment I met Courtenay I knew she was the exact one I had been searching for! I followed my heart when it came to assembling our team of venders and I really feel the approach paid off. Even a few last minute changes, albeit a bit stressful, helped to ensure that everything and everyone felt “right”. So glad I went with printed flower girl dresses!
Our guests were greeted at the French House with a pre ceremony cocktail, paying homage to the time of year with its delicate amber hue of apple cider and champagne, complete with a spiced sugar rim. The Bacon Bar, open during cocktail hour, was also a huge hit, with people feasting on fistfuls of wasabi bacon, chocolate dipped bacon, dijon brown sugar, smoked chili, and cracked pepper bacon. A sign that read “Thank you so much for being here today! We love you more than bacon!!!” adorned the buffet. Renee Schuler of EatWell really hit this one out of the park! Not to mention just about everything else! Luckily, Joe and I had arranged to have a platter of this wonderfully delicious smorgasbord waiting for us upstairs after the ceremony. Best idea ever! In addition to our love of bacon, Joe and I are also craft beer enthusiasts. We served only beers brewed right here in Cincinnati. It was a fun way to share a passion of ours as well as highlight three different local breweries that we love.
A drizzle required us to move the ceremony under the tent. A bit disappointing yes, but as the sun emerged immediately after the ceremony, an impromptu family gathering in the garden became one of our favorite memories from the day. Before heading into the tent, Joe and I headed out to the wildflower field to capture some of our first photos as husband and wife. I absolutely adore these shots!
Dinner was served family style. It proved to be a great way to engage guests with each other and to enhance the intimacy of the evening, as well as a way to play off the time of year again, a celebration of the harvest! After dinner we showed the Same Day Edit video, cut the cake and took to the dance floor. Soul Pocket, with its funky flavor and three lovely ladies can really take a house down! We danced the night away before piling into the party bus, (another highlight of the evening) and headed downtown to Via Vite on Fountain Square for a night cap. An intimate brunch the next morning at The Metropole was the icing on the cake before heading off to Paradise, thanks to my brother! (Our honeymoon was his wedding gift, the location of which he kept a secret until our Rehearsal Dinner the night before!)
October 5th, 2013 was the most wonderful day of my life, complete with one of the biggest rainstorms of the year and a new moon! It was a magical day filled with love, warmth, and passion, family and friendship, and of course, a ton of pretty!
Photographer: Braun Photography | Videographer: Studio Z Films | Coordination: Brigid Horne-Nestor | Event Design: Courtenay Lambert Florals | Floral Design: Courtenay Lambert Florals | Catering: Eat Well | Makeup: Brideface | Hair: Sam Hills - High Five Salon | Lighting: Goodwin Lighting | Band: Soul Pocket | Hotel: 21 C Museum Hotel | Rentals: All Occasions Event Rental | Tented Ceremony/Reception: French Park | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother