When the bride is a freelance stylist and former craft editor for Martha Stewart Living then you know her wedding is going to go above and beyond in the style department.  This Cape Cod beauty by Ned Jackson Photography is such a sweet, whimsical, nautical dream.  I feel like I’m seeing the nuptials of Ariel and Prince Eric in a romantic underwater celebration and that makes my inner Little Mermaid fanatic totally giddy.  Click here to see it all!

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From the Bride…Planning a wedding from across the country was no easy task, but thanks to the internet and an initial scouting trip I was able to find a great location and put together a wonderful team.  As a stylist, I am always creating crafty moments for my clients, so it was hard for me not to want to do the same for my own wedding.  With so little time, I had to curb my desire to create everything myself and enlist the help of family and some crafty vendors.  I looked to Etsy for some of the handcrafted details, hired a florist, determined what could be delegated to (my amazing) family and friends, and then chose a few projects to create myself.

I started off designing our save the date and invitations – a great way to begin the creative process of choosing a color palette and overall look and feel.   I wanted our wedding to feel elegant and to be an authentic expression of us as a couple.  As I perused countless magazines and blogs for ideas, I kept seeing seaside weddings that felt very “preppy-nautical,” but this just didn’t feel like the right fit for us.  I wanted to give the seaside theme a different twist, so I chose a soft romantic color palette based on my shell collection and a few old sea glass bottles I found at the flea market – shades of aqua and shell pink – and then punctuated it with navy accents.

The seahorse theme was inspired by a trip we’d taken to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I fell in love with their graceful elegance and the way they seem to dance effortlessly together – a sweet metaphor that we wove throughout our ceremony and reception.  A pair of white chocolate sea horses graced the top of our cake, we had custom seahorse wine stoppers made out of pewter for our favors, and for the sand ritual in our ceremony we poured sand from a large nautilus shell into a glass vessel etched with the sea horse artwork I created for our invitations. My vision for a romantic seaside wedding really started to come together when I decided to look to the beautiful intricacy of 19th century Sailors’ Valentines  for inspiration. These mosaic-like masterpieces composed entirely of small sea shells were originally brought home from a sailor’s voyage as a souvenir for a loved one.  Many contain examples of tiny shell flowers and intricate symmetrical patterns which inspired many elements of our wedding, including the design for our cake – a delicious mango cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, covered in tiny pastel sugar shells.

For my bouquet, I created some shell flowers by adhering small pink petal-shaped shells to pearl bead centers and then mounted each one to a separate wire to make it easy for our florist, Katie McConnell, to incorporate them into the feather- fringed fresh floral bouquet.  For my tiara, I glued small shells in symmetrical patterns to a metal head band wrapped with satin ribbon, and for my bridesmaids I created small pink shell flowers attached to hair pins.  My flower girl looked like a little sea shell princess, wearing a crinkled shell pink and gold satin dress, and a mini tiara and fashioned out of shells and small fabric flowers.  My ring bearer carried our rings tied onto a little satin pillow that I glued inside the opening of a large nautilus shell.

It was truly a memorable day!  Although we had to hold our ceremony inside because of wind and rain, Katie’s flower arrangements were so gorgeous that we almost didn’t notice.  Our chuppah was constructed of white branches draped with orchids, carnations, and crystals, and encrusted with shells, and sweet white carnation kissing balls lined the aisles. White manzanita branches dripping with orchids, crystals and hanging glass votives, set in mercury glass vases graced the center of our reception tables. Some of our family and friends weren’t able to be with us that day, so we chose to honor their “presence in spirit” by placing  pink and white feather butterflies throughout all the bouquets, flower arrangements, and boutonnieres.  They perched on the branches and the kissing balls, and floated from the orchid-draped chandelier above us on the dance floor as we did the fox-trot to Dancing Cheek to Cheek played by the amazing White Heat Swing Orchestra!

As I look back on it all I can’t say enough great things about our photographer, Ned Jackson.  He captured every moment, and all of the details with tireless enthusiasm and patience.  We couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out!

Wedding Photography: Ned Jackson Photography / Floral Design: Katie McConnell of Wild Bunch Studio / Event Design + Planning: Kelli Ronci / Ceremony + Reception Location: Wychmere Beach Club / Invitations: Kelli Ronci / Menus + Programs: Lilia Kay / Calligraphy: Barbara Callow Calligraphy / Shell Flowers + Tiaras: Kelli Ronci / Feather Butterflies: Floraltrims / Silver + Gold Shell Holders/Escort Cards: Gallery 360 / Starfish Place Cards: Timeless Paper / Sailors Valentine Cake: Michael’s Creative Baking / Etched Sand Ceremony Vessel: The Cutting Etch / Sea Horse Wine-Stopper Favors: Faro Products / Linens: BBJ Linens / Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza / Bridesmaid + Flower Girl Dresses: J.Crew + Crewcuts / Swing Band: White Heat Swing Orchestra / Hair + Makeup: Lisa George

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