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Jane Austen Meets Gatsby Style in This Glamorous Wedding

This beautiful Bride and Groom had a vision for their wedding day that married “a romantic garden wedding with a touch of gilded art deco detail, and a dash of old-school soul.” With a focus on the details — like the Bride’s Pronovias lace dress and classic Chevrolet — they captured their “Jane Austin’s garden meets Jay Gatsby’s mansion” feel. See it all from Alexandra Meseke Photography in The Vault!

Al Fresco

From The Bride…Chris and I are unapologetically old-school romantics. He continues to open car doors for me, pull out my chair at dinner, and surprise me with fresh-cut hydrangeas from our yard – one of the only plants we can keep alive in our tiny excuse for a garden! We have always been drawn to the styles, music, and culture of another era – we always say we should have been born 100 years ago.

In a few words, our vision for our wedding day was a romantic garden wedding with a touch of gilded art deco detail, and a dash of old-school soul. We wanted our guests to feel like they were stepping back in time. Yet we didn’t want it to become a costume party. It was important for me to chose colors, themes and details reminiscent of a time long ago, while still remaining fresh, simple, and modern.

We also both love spending time outdoors together in the woods, lakes, and parks in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area, so we knew an outdoor ceremony would be magical. Our hometown of Rochester, NY is overflowing with rich history and was the perfect setting to bring this vision to life while paying tribute to the place we grew up and met. When we were dating and I lived in an old city mansion-turned- apartment in the Park Avenue neighborhood, we loved to take walks and explore the city streets, admiring the beautiful old homes and architecture, and imagining a time when things were so much simpler, yet so much more grand and opulent at the same time. Just blocks away from my old apartment was the George Eastman House, the historic home and gardens of Kodak founder George Eastman and now an international museum of photography. It’s always been a favorite spot for us to visit. Think: Jane Austin’s garden meets Jay Gatsby’s mansion – to me, it really doesn’t get any better than that! Shortly after we were engaged, we knew this was our spot, and we couldn’t imagine saying our vows anywhere else.

We both come from large, tight-knit Italian families, so we knew there was no getting around a big wedding – and we wouldn’t want it any other way! But we also wanted something that felt intimate and special. The seclusion of the garden tucked away in the middle of the city felt like we were letting our closest friends and family in on a special secret as we took our vows. We were so touched to be able to share these few moments with everyone in the world who means the world to us, all in the same place at the same time.

Incorporating small but meaningful mementos to honor important family was something I felt strongly about. To honor my dad who passed away when I was a teenager, I carried an antique locket with his photo and mine on my bouquet, so he was close to my heart as I walked down the aisle. I also borrowed a silver beaded clutch that belongs to my mother, and inside, carried a handkerchief that belonged to Chris’ grandmother.

One of my favorite parts of the day was riding in the rumble seat of a 1931 classic Chevrolet Coupe along historic East Avenue from the ceremony to our reception. Aside from taking in the gorgeous view of the old homes and architecture, it was so special for Chris and I to be able to take this moment alone together (along with our family friend in the driver’s seat!) and bask in the glow of our recent vows and look forward to the party ahead. We couldn’t resist snapping a few selfies!

After the ceremony, we continued the celebration at another historic Rochester venue, Inn on Broadway, for dinner and dancing with our bridal party and guests. We both love to dance, and wanted our guests not only to remember a great wedding, but to remember a great party. Music for me was key to creating the perfect soundtrack to transport our guests back to a time of roaring jazz music, and free-flowing cocktails and champagne. A 5-piece jazz band set the scene at our cocktail hour, along with signature drinks “The Flapper” and “The Philosopher” – a champagne cocktail, and a whiskey-ginger. A cigar bar staged to look like a man’s prohibition-era suitcase and dressing table was filled with vintage photos, postcards, newspapers, and liquor bottles from the time, curated from local antique shops and Etsy stores.

Then our amazing DJ carried us into the wee hours of the night, playing a healthy mix of everything from Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and James Brown (some of our all-time favorites to listen to at home) to Beyonce, Fergie, and Coldplay.

A big part of our life is centered around cooking and eating good food with the ones we love, so it was important to us for the day to reflect that. Tournedo’s Steakhouse at the Inn on Broadway prepared an exquisite, seasonal menu, and Gourmet Goodies created a gorgeous cake and pastry display overflowing with creative mini-desserts and traditional Italian wedding cookies and pastries. At the same time, it was important to us to give back, and sharing food is one of the best ways I know how. For this reason, we skipped wedding favors in lieu of a more meaningful contribution to a local food bank in honor of our guests.

We were so lucky to find Alexandra and Michael as our photographers – the moment we met Alexandra, we knew she would be able to beautifully capture our day aesthetically, as well as emotionally. The two of them together are a breath of fresh air. They put our entire bridal party at ease, and made a long day of wedding photos feel effortless.

It was important to us to choose vendors that were not only able to turn our vision into reality, but who were also just kind, genuine people who we knew would be there for us every step of the way. We also wanted to work with as many local vendors with ties to the Rochester community as we possibly could. We couldn’t have gotten through the day without this amazing group of people that we were so blessed to work with – everyone from our amazing photographers, Alexandra and Michael Meseke, to my lovely hair and makeup stylists who not only made me camera-ready but also calmed my jitters, to the meticulous event coordinators at the George Eastman House and Inn on Broadway, to our hugely talented florist and show-stopping band and DJ. Because of them, each detail came together without a hitch, and Chris and I were overwhelmed with gratitude and joy when we saw our vision brought to life.

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: Alexandra Meseke Photography | Floral Design: Kittleberger Florist | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Gourmet Goodies | Ceremony Venue: George Eastman House | Reception Venue: Inn On Broadway | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Makeup: Blush, Brush And Bronze | Hair: Cori Palazzolo with Scott Miller | Band: Showcase Sound | Bridal Boutique: Juliana's Bridal | Flower Girl Dress: Watters

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Spring 2016 Collection from Lovely + A Galentine’s Day Party + A Giveaway!

In the off chance you aren’t completely obsessed with all things Lovely (read: you totally should be), today we’re giving you THREE big reasons to fan girl out immediately.  I’m talking a debut collection of seriously stunning bridesmaid + party dresses from Lovely’s sister site,, a “Galentine’s Day” celebration with Bow & Drape AND a fab giveaway.  Happy Monday?  Yes, indeed.

Crazy gorgeous dutch floral maxis, chic + structured bridesmaids’ dresses and beyond flattering silhouettes…’s new playful collection of bridesmaid + party dresses is EXACTLY what all of you fashion-forward SMPers are looking for.  Think crazy cool crop tops, open back dresses and hi-low hems ready to party the night away at every event in your Big Day lineup… from your wedding (your besties will love you) to your engagement party to your rehearsal dinner and beyond.

Continuing the fun in their NYC location, Lovely is hosting a “Galentine’s Day” party on February 11th from 6:30-8:30 pm with Bow & Drape.  It’s a fabulous evening of dancing, bubbly and crafting your very own sweatshirt using only sparkly letters and your very clever imaginations.  RSVP today at and prepare to have some major FUN.  (All sweatshirts retail for under $100.)


What: Lovely is giving away a Bow & Drape sweatshirt with your own custom theme at each Lovely location!

How: Simply visit one of Lovely’s fabulous locales in NYC, Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Rochester, NY to enter with your name and email.

Who: Six lucky winners (one per locale) will be announced on Lovely’s Instagram on February 12th! Good luck, loves! xo

Photography: Brooke & Sam Photography | Event Planning: Shop Lovely | Calligraphy: Lauren | Co-Sponsor: Bow & Drape


Photography Focused Fall Wedding

Since both this Bride and Groom are photographers, they decided it was only proper to pay a little homage to their joint passion, and so while they had Tawni Lee photograph their special day in entirety, they also picked up the camera themselves. In front of their Oliphant backdrop, these cuties snapped away, capturing some of the simplest yet sweetest pics I ever did see. See them all – and every other bit of this bash – in our VAULT right this way!


From the Bride… When we were first engaged, we knew fall would be the perfect time of year for the celebration. On October 11th, a beautiful and sunny fall day, my husband and I made our love-fest official in my home city of Rochester, NY.

We are both photographers, and work together on our blog a Better Happier St. Sebastian. We knew that incorporating some part of our photography background would be an important aspect for our big day. I decided it would be fun and quite meaningful if we shot film portraits of each other using my hasselblad, on the beautiful Oliphant backdrop we used for our family portraits. What ensued was a truly unique experience. Our photographer captured the two of us, capturing each other. Being able to spend a moment focusing on one another, during a day that was so full of commotion was something I will always treasure.

It was important to us to keep the ceremony a bit laid back. Our guests stood on tiered steps overlooking High Falls and fall foliage, while my brother read us our vows. We even had a rainbow appear near the falls after the ceremony, making the whole thing feel extra whimsical. The reception followed at Good Luck restaurant. With an emphasis on having the absolute best food for our guests, we worked closely with Good Luck to create the perfect seasonal menu. Chickpea Dumplings with Tomato Coriander Sauce and Cilantro Chutney, and Duck Confit with Caramelized Shallot and Blood Orange on Rye Toast were just a couple of the seriously delicious hand passed hors d’oeuvres. Dinner involved orecchiette with mushroom ragu, a fall seasonal salad, stuffed pork loin with roasted squash, and our favorite, the Good Luck burger and fries. Our friends at Scratch Bakeshop handled dessert, making a tiered pumpkin chocolate cake, fall flavored macarons, mini apple pies and red velvet madeleines.

The dress is such an important part of the day, and I still find it funny that I ended up falling in love with a gown completely different than what I imagined myself in. I pictured a simple silhouette with long sleeves, and wasn’t entirely sold on the traditional notion of gown shopping. That’s when the Dietrich dress from Pronovias found me. I went looking with my mom and sister, and the woman helping us suggested I try it on. I thought the feather detailing looked so odd when it was on the hanger that I hesitated to even bring it in the fitting room. Once I slipped into it I had tears in my eyes. I felt like the most glamorous version of myself. After deciding that a veil wasn’t quite right, I found the head piece, also from Pronovias and it completed the look perfectly.

For me, all the little details are what made the day look, and feel so magical. I mixed and matched my collection of vases and handed them off to the florist before the wedding for her to use. My vision for the flowers was executed perfectly, relying on fresh greens with hints of white flowers and hypericum. I have a love for vintage objects, and spent weeks searching for brass animal candlestick holders that were spread across each table. I wanted everything to look natural, with that perfect mix of undone elegance.

When we decided to do assigned seating, I made table assignments with my vintage found photo collection. Using an old window frame, we pinned up dozens of polaroid pictures. Each guest got a vintage found photo with their name on it corresponding to their table. It was an added detail that felt particularly unique and special to us.

It was a day dedicated to beautiful little moments. I love that we get to look back on each detail and remember how joyful every second felt.

Find more Upstate New York weddings here!

Photography: Tawni Lee Weddings | Floral Design: Nancy Ellison Of Wildflowers! | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Ceremony Venue: La Luna At High Falls | Reception Venue: Good Luck Restaurant | Bridesmaids' Dresses: & Other Stories | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen's Attire: Zara | Desserts: Scratch Bake Shop | Film Portraits: Jillian Guyette

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here