Some weddings have high points, where the celebration shined extra bright for a moment in time. Everything else may be lovely, but in that one instance, everything was picture perfect. And then we have weddings like this one here, where the whole entire affair was one super chic high point after another. From the gorgeous gown to the candlelit reception at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, it’s almost too good to be true. But with Bia Sampaio and Jason’s Walz’s pics – and Valerie Barnes Film (a total must watch!)- we’re reassured that all this style is in fact real – see it all right this way!
From Bia Sampaio… Lana and Justin had one of those weddings that was out of this world elegant. Not only they are a gorgeous couple (Lana is also a fashion blogger) they have a great sense of style.
They enlisted the incredible Claudia Hanlin from The Wedding Library to design and plan one of the most beautiful and tasteful wedding I had ever shot.
Lana in her impeccably chic wedding dress from Ersa Atelier radiated happiness, beauty and glamour. Justin looked super dapper in his tux. And together they enjoyed every single second of their wedding.
From the Bride… Justin and I had a strong vision for our wedding. We wanted something rustic (inspired by the English countryside) but modern and extremely upscale at the same time. Blue Hill at Stone Barns was the venue that perfectly fit the aesthetic we were searching for. The natural beauty is breathtaking and makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a different country.
Romantic, intimate ambiance was also essential to us and few spaces accomplish that like Blue Hill. I’m also a huge foodie!—and I loved that the cuisine at Blue Hill is not only spectacular, but farm-to-table fresh. The culinary team there is incomparable.
With regards to my dress, I wanted something that felt regal and editorial as opposed to bridal. When I tried on Ersa Atelier’s “Candor” dress, that was it. I’m extremely decisive when it comes to fashion, and the color of the fabric, intricate beadwork and silhouette suited me perfectly.
I knew I wanted a short dress to change into late night, and Karen Willis Holmes is another one of the best bridal designers out there. I was so nervous when I did it, but I loved her monochromatic ‘Anya’ gown so much that I bought it and had it chopped into a mini.
If I could give all brides to be one piece of advice, it would be to really take the day in and find little moments to be present. I know people always say that, but take time to center yourself and observe what’s going on around you. Pay attention to the conversations you have, how it feels when you put on your dress and slip on your shoes, how your new wedding band looks on your finger, how happy your new spouse looks, how the wine tastes.
After our ceremony, Justin and took time to read each other our own vows in private. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement that comes with greeting your guests, but it’s important to remember that the day really is about you and your partner enjoying yourselves.
It was so special to see our guests enjoy themselves from afar, and that’s the image that sticks out in my mind the most. I’ve also heard that the majority of brides don’t even get to taste their own wedding cake and vowed not to let that happen! A girl’s gotta have her cake after all those wedding workouts!
Ultimately, your wedding day is going to be the best day of your life no matter what happens. Don’t sweat the small stuff during planning, and regardless of how stressed you might become, always bring the real reason why all of this is happening back into focus: you love someone enough to commit your life to them, and if you’ve found that, you’re beyond lucky.
From The Wedding Library… I was lucky enough to work with the Russo family on Lana’s sister’s wedding a few years prior to Lana’s engagement. Working on a second wedding with a family is a special treat – wedding designers and planners rarely get to work with the same family twice. Just when you are fully immersed in the dreams of each family member, the wedding is over! But while Cassie’s event was all glitz and glamour (Gatsby-inspired), Lana was looking for pure English-garden beauty. When she shared inspiration photos of Kate Moss’ wedding in England and tear-sheets from British Vogue weddings, I knew exactly the editorial, bohemian-chic look that she wanted.
To make our design and planning even more special, Lana and Justin re-created the “dream team” of her sister’s wedding. We worked with the same band, photographer, videographer, floral designer and planner/event designer to create a very different event. Each vendor, in love with the family in their own way, brought their best to the table for this gorgeous wedding.
The Rockefeller barns and rolling hills were the perfect backdrop; around each corner it appeared as if the rich and delightful design just effortlessly belonged. We re-defined the farm wedding – romantic, elevated and soft, with luxurious fabrics and metals that created distinction.
We orchestrated a distinct progression to the evening. Each stage brought new surprises to the guests and beautiful details and views. Guests arrived along the curving drive, through the fields of the farm, and were quickly absorbed into the relaxing atmosphere of Blue Hill. As they approached the courtyard with its stone walls and grand arch, they were transported to a countryside wedding.
We laid an enormous 40X40 foot sisal carpet in the middle of the barn’s courtyard for the ceremony. A lush arch and even fuller aisle flowers bracketed the space and truly defined and highlighted the gorgeous flowers. Lana wanted a long aisle, and we hid her and her bridal party so that the approach would be through the iconic barnyard arch.
As guests moved into the cocktail area terrace, they were treated to a “bread experience” from Blue Hill’s bakery, and the open-air grill that smokes meats, fishes and herbs day and night. Experiencing the working bakery, restaurant and farm is part of the rare treat of getting married at Blue Hill at Stone Barnes and delights ALL the senses!
To continue the excitement of a new experience at every turn, guests came through the same courtyard as the ceremony to get to dinner. During cocktails the floral team moved the giant carpets (that were cut in two), lined a pathway with lanterns and rotated the ceremony arch for guests to pass through on their way to dinner.
Dinner was an elegant affair. Colors, where they appeared, were subtle and included soft whites, ivories and creams. There were greens of foliage, breathy grays, greige and lamb’s ear softness. Crystal clear, gleaming glass added clean texture and reflection. Finally, brushed pewters and soft silvers picked up the light and elevated the design further. There was a slight pull of restraint throughout the design – where the flowers felt like they’re bursting to be set free. Custom chargers, cushy chairs and deckled edged menu and place cards finished the look. The band was ready in the dining area, flanked by the aisle flowers from the ceremony, and ready to perform more sedated standards during the elegant dinner.
During dinner our team was busy pulling out the stops for the last stage of the party – an after-party fully decked out with specialty bars, multiple lounges, photo booth, a gleaming plexi dance floor, band AND DJ and topped off with the wedding hashtag in neon lights above the bandstand. During dinner filament bulbs were strung across the courtyard, furniture was moved in, trees were placed and the courtyard was transformed. Passed desserts, dark sunglasses, flip flops and glow necklaces kept the party rocking until late into the night. As the perfect Blue Hill touch, an old-fashioned push wagon was filled with cookies for guests as they finally left the party that no one wanted to end.
Now the wedding team can only wait until the third Russo sister gets engaged. Hint hint.
Photography: Jason Walz Photography | Photography: Bia Sampaio Photographs | Videography: Valerie Barnes Film | Event Planning + Design: The Wedding Library | Floral Design: StoneKelly | Wedding Dress: Ersa Atelier | Invitations: The Wedding Library | Wedding Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Sarah Janks | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Make Up: Robin Chism | Hair: Gina Rossi-Foley | Lighting: Pegasus Productions | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Transportation: MTC | Wedding Venue: Blue Hill At Stone Barns | Accomodations: test | Bridal Suite: test | Dinning Chair Rental: Rentals Unlimited | Lounge Rentals: AFR | Mother of the Bride Gown: Terani Couture | Music: Vali Entertainment | Photobooth: Mir Mir | Photography - Assistance: Frank Marshal | Reception Dress: Karen Willis Holmes | Sound + Dance Floor: KM Productions | Welcome Basket: Sarah Janks