If I could live in a garden, I most certainly would… So you can imagine the pure giddiness I felt when I laid my eyes upon this uber-gorgeous Aurora Inn affair by the amazing Clark+Walker Studio. Simply brimming with the most luscious of peony-filled blooms by In Bloom Wedding Floral Design, vintage brooches, my favorite bridesmaid dresses (LOVE) and one simply stunning bride and groom, if this isn’t a garden lover’s dream come true, then I don’t know what is. Plus, how breathtaking is the bride’s fabulous gown? Swoon. Worthy. Yes, I suggest you prepare yourselves for a whole lot of pretty and join me in the gallery for even more!
From the Bride… We spent a year planning so that we could be as hands-on involved as possible and budget accordingly. Having live music during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception and hiring an amazing photographer were of most importance to us. To save on costs, we chose not to rent fancy linens, lights or chairs, opted for digitally printed paper goods (except for the calligraphy table numbers and place cards), used reclaimed items for decoration and postponed our honeymoon until our first anniversary. I collected crystal vases from my mother and grandmother for the floral arrangements, gathered hand-embroidered family heirlooms, like the crocheted tablecloth on the cake table, and scoured thrift shops for vintage handkerchiefs, rhinestone brooches (placed on the bridesmaids’ bouquets) and other antique pieces.
It was really important for us to incorporate decor with sentimental value or that could be reused in our new house. For instance, my mother’s lace place mats were used on the dinner tables, our ring bearer carried my parents’ ring pillow, which had been recovered in my mother’s veil by Don’s mother, and our flower girl carried a 1950’s silver bridal basket that now sits on our sideboard. I also wore Don’s late grandmother’s cameo ring that matched the 1900’s brooch I attached to my bouquet (A gift from Don—I adore cameos!) and he wore his late grandfather’s black opal ring. We gave our parents and grandparents monogrammed handkerchiefs for their tears of joy. Supporting the local community was important, as well. Our favors were muth jars of Finger Lakes honey; an Auburn, NY artist hand painted our postcard-style Save the Dates—a view of the inn; our champagne glasses and cake servers were purchased at MacKenzie-Childs; and the “guest book” were two wooden oars purchased at a nearby gift shop that Don will hang in his office.
For our palette of blush pink, rose, ivory, charcoal, champagne and soft apricot, I took cues from the poise and femininity of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and other regency-novel book covers (my favorite genre) and the sweet floral patterns of the Laura Ashley fabric that decorated my childhood bedroom. These elements also inspired the ethereal look for the bridesmaid dresses and the traditional, timeless look for my wedding gown and veil. (I fell in love with the delicate beading, lace appliques and corset that hugged my curves just right the minute I slipped the dress on!) Our signature flower was the peony. We featured a single stem on our blush and charcoal invitations and custom stamps. Our florist used peonies, Juliet garden roses, ranunculus, antique hydrangea, spray roses and sweet peas to create lush arrangements. Geranium leaves added texture. And we let the flowers serve as our main means of decoration to avoid upstaging the natural beauty of the inn. Smaller arrangements were placed on cocktail tables and hung in jars down the ceremony aisle, single blooms and candles floated in water fountains, a fragrant ruscus garland hung across the bar and flower petals covered the spot where Don and I stood during the ceremony. No two arrangements were alike.
A few other personal touches we added: tying light pink, cream and champagne ribbons to the backs of our chairs, toasting with pink champagne, a display of family wedding portraits, a bar snack of sweet potato chips and fresh lemonade and selecting a ceremony message and passages that best represented us and the special day. Our traditional white wedding cake also had meaning. A monogrammed “K” represented our new married last name, four different-flavored tiers symbolized our years together and the intricate piping and candy pearls mimicked my dress details. It was a magical day that went off without a hitch, except for my wee bit of nerves before seeing Don! We will forever hold dear the moments when my grandparents signed our marriage certificate (they will celebrate 60 years together this December), my father’s touching speech where he dubbed Don my guardian angel and of course, standing hand in hand while we declared our love for each other in front of our family and friends and then danced the night away!
Wedding Photography: Clark+Walker Studio / Floral Design: Rachel Pasquarelli, In Bloom Wedding Floral Design / Coordinator + Planner: Heather Davidson, The Aurora Inn / Ceremony + Reception Location: The Aurora Inn / Invitations: Paperwhites / Bride’s Shoes: Nordstrom / Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai via Kleinfeld Bridal / Veil: Erin Cole via Kleinfeld Bridal / Favors: Stephanie Williams, Bee Attitudes Honey / Table Number Picture Frames: Michaels with DIY paper doilies from Mother of the Bride / Favor Tags: Creative Visions / Table Numbers + Place Cards: colliding stars / Hair + Make-up: Kris Kellogg, Makeup On Demand / Wedding Cake + Catering: The Aurora Inn / Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: Clinton String Quartet / Reception Band: Little Joe & the Big Shots / Wedding Programs: Documents and Designs / Save the Dates: Dawn Jordan / Garter: Florrie Mitton / Bridal Party Robes: Blush Lingerie / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale via Bella Bridesmaid / Bridesmaid Jewelry: The Left Bank Bridal Finery / Bride’s Reception Earrings: Thomas Knoell / Ring Pillow: Mother of the Bride / Flower Girl Basket: Etsy / Bride + Groom Champagne Flutes, Cake Knife + Card Box: MacKenzie-Childs / Guest Book: Lake House / Ribbon + Candles: Jamali Garden / Vintage Handkerchiefs, Placemats + Lace: Mother of the Bride + Thrift Shops / Flower Vases: Mother and Grandmother of the Bride / Groom + Groomsmen Suits: JoS. A. Bank / Groom’s Tie: Valentino via Gilt Groupe / Groomsmen Ties + Tie Clips: Calvin Klein via Macy’s / Officiant: Rev. Rich Rose, First Baptist Ithaca / Cards + Photo Props: BLHDN / Cake Tablecloth: Bride’s late Great Grandmother / Flower Girl Dress: Joan Calabrese