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High School Sweethearts Summer Garden Wedding at Elm Bank

Straight from the lens of Suzanna March Photography, this Elm Bank Reservation wedding is like fiction has come to life (secret garden anyone?). With floral elements such as Plum Pretty Sugar robes and Winston Flowers adding to the magic, this summer celebration is undeniable, but add in the artistic work of Paper Moss and we’re in heaven. Peek the pretty and pin it all from THE VAULT!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Modern

From The Bride…John and I met when we were 17; I was attending an all-girls high school and needed a date to my junior prom. Two of our mutual friends actually set us up and the rest is history! When I started planning our wedding, I kept two important details in mind. We’d been together for over 7 years and I wanted a wedding that would include a lot of personal details that represented our journey together. I also wanted to make sure the day reflected some of John’s personality as well.

For the overall style and impression of the wedding, we envisioned a hybrid between modern and rustic elements. We were drawn to the elegance of modern weddings, but also wanted ours to feel warm, welcoming, and intimate. We struck this balance in our design through farm tables, cream ikat linens, glass votives, candles, chalk and slate accents, wrought iron chandeliers, and lots of succulents, bright roses, and texture. Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley beautifully enhanced these qualities. The venue was a special place for us, as we had attended prom there together many years ago. Our love for succulents and texture was a jumping off point for the aesthetic, but I also grew up in a household with a lot of color—my childhood bedroom was bright orange, pink, and teal—so I wanted to incorporate a lot of color into the details. Eventually, we settled on taupe, coral, orange, yellow, and teal green.

The floral details at the wedding definitely stole the show. Tori at Winston Flowers really took our “secret garden” vision and ran with it. As guests entered the cocktail hour space, they were presented with a magnificent slate escort card wall, covered in succulents and moss. This piece doubled as a beautiful backdrop for cocktail hour (and a few photos!), and juxtaposed cool and modern colors with warm wooden cards. The hanging floral installation above the dance floor was my favorite floral element of the night. I remember walking into the tent before the reception started and this piece took my breath away. The bright roses and succulents added a lush weight, while the green vines, hanging glass teardrops, rose-petals, and tea candles gave the dance floor a romantic and intimate feeling.

The chalkboards that we created with the help of the incredibly talented Niki Weinberg at Paper Tangent were some our favorite personal touches. Because Elm Bank is a large property, we knew guests would need directional signs. Niki created a large, tented chalkboard map of Elm Bank that seems part of a storybook illustration. My favorite piece of Niki’s was the compass, inspired by the large painted compass rose in Nantucket town center. John and I spent many of our summers in Nantucket, and Niki helped us create our own compass illustration that included mile-markers from our relationship. I love that we will be able to use these pieces after the wedding in our house—they’re beautiful as stand-alone artwork.

Although we didn’t have too many DIY details, we did make the colorful ribbon that we used at the ceremony to “tie the knot.” John and I both come from Irish backgrounds, so we wanted to honor our heritage by bringing this tradition into our ceremony. We chose several textured and color lengths of ribbon, and I think it brought a fun pop of color to the ceremony!

I’m one of those people that when I know what I want, I know what I want. This was certainly true for my dress! When I thought about my ideal dress, I’d always imagined something that I felt sexy in, that had a dramatic bottom, and that didn’t swallow my 5’2” frame! I instantly fell in love with this dress when I saw it in a magazine a few years ago. I love the fluidity of the rose-shaped ruching at the end, and I wanted to use a taupe sash to tie the dress into our color scheme. For the bridesmaid dresses, I prioritized finding a dress that would make each girl feel comfortable and beautiful; I think these dresses fit that to a T. I fell in love with the romantic vibe of the off the shoulders draping, and chose a teal/green color that would contrast nicely with the colorful bouquets. John wanted the guys’ attire to uniquely reflect his and his groomsmen’s personalities. Cohesion with the ladies’ dresses was important, especially because the grooms’ party had a “groomsmaid.”

Exchanging vows was my favorite moment of the evening, especially hearing John’s vows in particular. In his vows he spoke about a “time-capsule” letter he wrote in high school that he recently received. At the end of this letter he wrote, “turn around and give Michela a kiss for me because I know she’s standing right behind you while you read this.” It was truly a gift and really reflected the joy and gratitude we felt the entire day.

If I were to give advice to a future bride, in terms of practicality, I’d start off with planning as far ahead as you can! Right after we got engaged, we moved from Boston to Miami, and I started my doctoral program. We definitely had a lot to juggle. Before we left, we selected our major vendors (around the 7 month mark) and made a timeline for completing the remaining tasks. While planning this early definitely helped, I can’t thank our incredible vendors enough. I like to think of our planner (Eliza Cowan), our florist (Winston Flowers) and our caterers (The Catered Affair) as the “dream team” because they took our inspiration and created an incredible and cohesive event. We never could have pulled this off without them.

Lastly, the future therapist in me would want to tell brides to not worry about sweating the small stuff. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the details and worry about everything turning out perfectly, but if you approach the day knowing that things may go wrong (they will, and it’s okay!), you’ll enjoy the day a lot more! Focus on what you’ll remember about the day 20 years from now—your friends, family, emotion and the love from that day. During the ceremony our minister thoughtfully asked us to stop, take a breath, look around and take a moment to let everything sink in—I highly recommend this!

See even more Elm Bank weddings in THE VAULT! 

Photography: Suzanna March Photography | Event Planning: Eliza Cowan | Event Planning: Merren Events | Floral & Event Design: Winston Flowers | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang Boston | Cake: Cakes to Remember | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: JCrew | Rings: Barmakian | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: The Catered Affair | Hair And Makeup: Caitlin Murphy Stylist | Lighting: Design Light Co. | Band: Protege | Groomsmen Attire: JCrew | Venue: Elm Bank Reservation | Bridal Boutique: L'elite Boston | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Chalkboard Signage & Welcome Bag: Paper Tangent | Desserts: Flour Pot Cookies | Escort Card Calligraphy: Lettering by Liz | Groomsmen Watches: Seiko | Hair Accessories: Kate Spade | Invitation Calligraphy: Kristen Henderson | Paper Goods: Paper Moss | Rentals: Peterson Party Center | Rentals: New England Country Rentals | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

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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Blogger Bride Colour Bloc’s Elegant Garden Wedding

You followed her adventures from “I will” to “I do,” and today our blogger bride, Colour Bloc’s Amelia’s SMP journey is coming full circle. She’s giving us an inside peek at her summer garden nuptials designed by the pretties of Bash, Please and spoiler alert – it’s the stuff wedding dreams are made of. We have First Mate Photo Co. to thank for every snap of the day and there’s so much eye candy + one epic love story sitting right below.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Garden

ABOUT US
When Michael first met Amelia on a date to the South End Buttery, they both knew that they had met someone very special. Their early dates were spent exploring new restaurants around Boston, but soon they found themselves happiest when making each other homemade dinners and talking late into the night about life, friendship and family.

Michael excitedly took Amelia to his favorite places in New England; Crane Beach, Maine, and sailing to the Cape and Islands. Amelia would tell Michael she was genuinely impressed with his boogey boarding and surfing skills. And, it was there on the rocky cliffs of the Maine coast where Michael first told Amelia he loved her.

Amelia also loved exploring—and showed Michael the beauty of the South; Savannah, Kiawah, and Amelia Island. Amelia shared her passion for contemporary art with dates at the ICA, LACMA, and the South End Studios. For his 35th birthday, Amelia surprised a sick and jetlagged Michael with a surprise party at one of their favorite Mexican restaurants in Boston—Michael was deeply touched by the thought and effort Amelia put into it.

Amelia and Michael quickly became a couple on the go–be it for work, friends’ and family weddings, or weekends spent exploring. Reading a questionnaire in Vanity Fair on a flight to Palm Springs, Amelia asked Michael, “Who or what is the love of your life?” and without hesitation, Michael replied, “you are!”

PRELUDE
This courtship begins the old fashioned way. Boy meets girl on OKCupid, and hatches an elaborate multiphase plan to convince girl to go on a first date. Girl reluctantly agrees and wows boy with Southern grace and charm. Girl and boy spend increasing time together talking late into the night about art, travel, and family life. Girl travels to France with family, boy misses girl. Girl and boy travel together to their favorite places and explore new ones, girl starts her own company and wows boy with her immense talents, families are met over the holidays. Things start getting serious…

THE ENGAGEMENT
Nothing could be more intimidating than meeting your future father-in-law and asking for permission to marry his daughter. After receiving a big bear hug and a “welcome to the family!”, Michael knew that he would not just be marrying his best friend, but he would add a whole new family. Michael had always envisioned them getting engaged by the sea on a warm sunny day, because it was on the shores of Maine where he first told Amelia he loved her. A Southern belle, Amelia always spoke fondly of her family vacations to Amelia Island, Florida. After a weeks’ long search for the perfect emerald cut solitaire, Michael had found his ring—off the Florida they went! Once they checked into their seaside hotel, Michael insisted they take a long walk on the beach. It was there that he fumbled his way through the proposal, asking Amelia if she’d like to spend the next 65 years together. Tears streaming down her face, Amelia happily accepted!

DESIGN APPROACH
A modern southern belles approach to a summer solstice garden party. It was important to us to compliment and enhance the natural outdoor setting. We wanted to draw inspiration from the different gardens of the Elm Bank space using lush, feminine elements with a mix of modern and living materials. We wanted the wedding to feel romantic with each garden full of summer blooms and greenery, personal with hand written vows and toasts by the people closest to us, and like a reflection of us as a couple with signature cocktails and a customized wedding ceremony.

A few of my favorite visual details included the green moss A & M that hung on the entrance gate to Elm Bank, handkerchiefs with our monogram for each guest during the ceremony, and on either side of the aisle we had various garden flowers “sprouting” from the ground. It was also very important to transform the Sperry Tent into a garden type space, complete with delicate ferns wrapped in the chandeliers to a living wall that became the backdrop for the band. Another special touch was an assortment of family heirloom sterling silver vessels, complete with monograms of my family from generations passed, which held delicate garden inspired flower arrangements. The flowers lined the crisp white hemstitched linen table clothes. A perfect nod to a bygone Southern romantic era.

FAVORITE MOMENTS
My favorite moments from the day was reciting my heartfelt and handwritten vows to my husband in front of our favorite people in the world, my husband’s sweet groom’s toast, the moment we took to walk outside of the tent and just be in the moment of our wedding night, and our first dance as husband and wife!

Photography: First Mate Photo Co. | Videographer: Caravan Cinema | Event Design: Bash, Please | Floral Design: Foret | Cake: Oakleaf Cake Bake Shop | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Baker's Best | Make Up: Dani Wagener | Lighting: ALPS | Wedding Venue: Elm Bank | Tent: Sperry Tents | Bride's Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Bride's Hair: Kate Winsmann | Cocktails : Pharmacie | Groom's Tuxedo : Hugo Boss | Lounge Furniture : Sassafras Vintage | Music : Elan Artists | Paper Goods: Bash, Please | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited Boston | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

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Charming Outdoor Wedding at Elm Bank

The trends come and go so quickly with so much beautiful inspiration readily available, but I tend to find myself drawn to the classically beautiful weddings, especially when they feel as soft, romantic, and fresh as this one does. Studio Atticus Photography captured the absolute perfect wedding day, with the sweetest love at the center, and it’s all right here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Garden

From Studio AtticusAlthough it was slated to rain upon their wedding day, the heavens were quite merciful to Chase and Justin. A brief shower fell while the bride dressed, but the skies cleared before the guests arrived. The celebration was effortless and beautiful. The ceremony took place outdoors and was officiated by a friend of the couple. Guests enjoyed cocktails in the gardens, and then everyone moved inside for a night of wonderful toasts, dinner, and dancing.

Photography: Studio Atticus Photography | Floral Design: Petalena Flowers | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Invitations: Gus And Ruby | Catering: Max Ultimate Food | Makeup: Cynthia Klocek | Hair: Lisette Murphy | Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones | DJ: White Label DJs | Wedding Venue: Elm Bank In Wellesly, MA | Linens: Table Toppers Of Newton | Reception Lighting: Design Light | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

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