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A Dream Ballgown For a Beach Ceremony

If you’re under the impression that ballgowns and beach weddings don’t mix, this wedding will come as a pleasant surprise. The bride, Ashleigh wore her dream Lazaro dress for their toes-in-the-sand ceremony and Carrie King made magic happen behind the lens. Believe me, this is one gallery you can’t afford to miss.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Al Fresco

From the Bride… Brian and I knew from the start of the wedding planning process that we wanted our wedding to have some very important key elements — not all of which were easy to accomplish simultaneously! We knew that we wanted our wedding to have a romantic and elegant feel while also making our guests feel at home at a spectacular party. After searching high and low from Europe to Mexico to the Caribbean, we were so fortunate to find a venue that was the ideal fit, Casa de Campo.

We were able to have a private toes in the sand ceremony, just as we had imagined for our dream wedding. Directly following, we hosted our reception in the town square of a beautiful cobblestone village on the resort property that makes you feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to 17th century Italy. It truly felt like we were living in a fairytale with the best part being that I got to marry my very own Prince Charming! We danced the night away under the stars with a local band that kept the party going until 3am. It was everything we hoped for and so much more.

The Dress: The first Lazaro gown I ever saw was in a bridal magazine. My 5 year old self decided that one day, when I got married, it would be in a Lazaro. When the time came to actually pick out my dream dress, I jumped into the hunt to find the perfect one by trying on every possible style and designer. After countless appointments from coast to coast, I finally tried on my first Lazaro gown at the Bridal Galleria in San Francisco. I had never worn anything that felt like such a complete expression of my personality. The asymmetrical lines, varied blush hues, intricate embellishments around the waist, and deep v-back all came together in such an artistic way. It was love at first sight! The icing on the cake is that I got to meet Lazaro and hear his vision for the gown. Such a dream come true.

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Photography: Carrie King Photographer | Floral Design: Tres Eventos | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture, Inc | Invitations: Dove House Handmade | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Casa de Campo Resort | Hair + Makeup: Angelina Loren Beauty | Band: Benny and the Cupids | Groom's Attire: Burberry | Ceremony Music: Zacc West | Venue: Casa de Campo Resort | Groom's Shoes: Sperry | Save the Dates: Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence | Veil: JLM Couture, Inc

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From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
Inspiration for the Fashion-Forward Bride

If you’ve never considered wearing a cape on your wedding day, this photo shoot is all the inspiration you’ll ever need. Photographed by Almond Leaf Studios and designed and planned in the hands of Emily Claire Events, it’s a fashion heavy, floral loving slice of pretty guaranteed to find a place on your Pinterest boards. Find even more to love inside The Vault.

From Emily, the planner and designer… We knew that we wanted our inspiration to be the chic Atlanta bride, so we included a mix of classic yet slightly modern details. Fashion is front and center here with the bride wearing a gorgeous Caroline Hayden gown, Oscar de la Renta earrings, and Christian Louboutin heels. We loved how structural the gown was and how the cape gently flowed across the staircase at the venue. If that cape doesn’t make you feel like a queen on your wedding day, then we don’t know what will! 

Ivory satin linens, ghost chairs, and silver details set the stage for the fabulous tones in the flowers to shine through. Peonies, carnations, roses, and ranunculus play together beautifully as they cascade across the table. Every brides favorite shade of blush, peach, and ivory can be seen making an appearance!

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Photography: Almond Leaf Studios | Event Design: Emily Claire Events | Event Planning: Emily Claire Events | Floral Design: Philosophy Flowers | Wedding Dress: Caroline Hayden | Cake: Sweet Peeps Bakery | Stationary: Flourish Calligraphy | Ceremony Venue: Swan House | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Hair + Makeup: Beauty Asylum | Groom's Attire: Generation Tux | Chair Rentals: Sweet Seats | Earrings: Oscar De La Renta | Models: Kristin and Cody | Tabletop Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

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A Wedding Planned in 2 Days Due to a Hurricane Evacuation!

When the South Carolina governor issued official evacuation orders due to Hurricane Matthew, Calli and Brandon knew their Hilton Head wedding plans had taken a serious turn. But as fate would have it, an entirely new wedding day was in store for them in Atlanta…and everything fell right into place. I’m talking a venue with a last-minute cancellation plus vendors AND guests all willing to pack up and make the drive. Read below for Calli’s amazing telling of the story, and see how their wedding came together in 2 days with photographs by Amy Arrington.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Ballroom
Styles
Classic

The Proposal

The story began after a dreamy proposal on July 4th, 2015. Where would we get married? Would we have it in Nashville, where we lived, where our relationship started, where we bought our first home? Would we have it in Atlanta where I was originally from and where my family still lives? After much deliberation and a few weeks of visiting venues, we retreated to my fiancé’s family vacation home in Hilton Head Island, SC. With fall being our favorite season we opted for October. The wedding would take place on October 8th, 2016. I had visited Hilton Head as a child and always loved it. My fiancé spent most of his summers there. Since the two of us had dated, Hilton Head had become our spot…it just felt perfect.

The Storm

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 I lay in bed watching Good Morning America knowing I need to get up and ready for work. Ginger Z comes on with a special weather alert. A hurricane is brewing in the tropics and could potentially impact the United States in the next week or so. It could either move towards the gulf or it could move straight up the Atlantic coast, as of now they just don’t know. I felt a pit growing in my stomach. My fiancé came out of the bathroom to catch the end of it and then looked at me. He assured me it would be fine as did everyone else. Hurricanes never hit Hilton Head they all told me.

We were set to leave for the wedding the following Tuesday, October 4th. By the time October 4th came around there was very much a hurricane heading towards the United States. They had named the hurricane Matthew and it was not only a hurricane but a category 4 hurricane. We had a rain plan. We had rented tents to go along the golf course. The only event outside was the ceremony and cocktail hour. We would have those events in the tents and then the remainder of the night would continue as planned. We had a rain plan but we did not have a hurricane plan.

As I walked down the stairs at my parents’ house in Atlanta on the morning of October 4th I could hear my parents and fiancé talking. As I entered the kitchen they asked me to sit down and we talked about what I had been trying to avoid—the event that you have put your heart and soul into for the last fifteen months may not happen. I sat there and stared at them emotionless. I had nothing to give back. My Dad explained that we would continue on as planned until we couldn’t go any farther. I decided to lay my head down and just try not to think about it.

The Evacuation

As I woke about an hour later I looked at my phone. I had a few missed calls from my wedding planner and then the text message. The text message was probably one of the hardest texts she had ever had to write. She informed me the Governor of South Carolina was about to declare a State of Emergency and issuing an evacuation for Hilton Head Island effective tomorrow morning, October 5th. No one would be able to enter the island after tomorrow morning and there was no date for the evacuation to be lifted. I immediately called her. I could hear it in her voice–it wasn’t a good feeling. We were 30 minutes outside of Hilton Head. She was in Charleston and asked me to go to our house in Hilton Head and she would meet me there later that evening.

I spent the next thirty minutes calling close friends and wedding party. I broke the news to them and they were devastated. I explained we didn’t know what we were going to do but if they had flights or house rentals they should probably cancel them while they can get their money back.

The phone calls kept coming in. The Governor had changed her evacuation order and it was now mandatory. Hotels, businesses, restaurants, offices, private clubs – all were to evacuate and close their doors effective immediately. One by one my vendors called me. I explained I understood and didn’t know what we were going to do but I would let them know. The hotels where we had rooms blocks closed. The country club closed. The event rental company closed. The list goes on. My parents began asking me what we would like to do. It was hard to process the fact that this was not happening.

The New Game Plan

My mom suggested Atlanta where they lived. I shrugged. I wasn’t ready to make a decision but I didn’t have time to wait because we had 200 people waiting by the phone for the decision. My fiancé and I talked and decided Atlanta would work —we couldn’t reschedule for a later date. I don’t think we could emotionally handle doing it all over. I started to call my vendors back. I started with my wedding planner. She said she was in. I thought she was joking but realized she wasn’t when she packed up her Denali and hit the road with all of our wedding stuff shortly after we spoke. She was on the way to Atlanta to start planning wedding two. My florist—same thing. She packed up her van with as many flowers as it could hold and she hit the road to Atlanta. My band—same thing. My photographer—same thing. My videographer—same thing. All we needed was a venue, food, rentals, string quartet and a lot of help.

The help came quickly. My parents have a core group of friends that consists of about 10 couples. They have been my family growing up. We do life together. They had all gathered at one house and were waiting to take orders. I told them all that I could think of that we needed and they began. One was in charge and she would be the person working with my wedding planner. I called my wedding planner and explained she had ten women waiting on her when she arrived and they were hers until Saturday. I don’t think she realized what she was getting into but I am sure it quickly became apparent that they were there to do anything she needed. They found vases for flowers, an identical getaway car, a bakery that was willing to bake my original wedding cake, a string quartet, rose petals, hair, makeup—the list goes on. All we needed was a venue, rentals and food.

We never unpacked the car. We slept overnight because we were just too tired to drive back—well I should say we tried to sleep. I met my mom in the living room at 2am staring at her phone as I was doing the same lying in bed. When we left that morning we were escorted off the island by the National Guard. Businesses were boarding windows; the beaches were cleared and prepared for a disaster. The five-hour drive would take us about nine hours. An hour outside of Atlanta my mom called and asked us to pull over at the next exit and get out of the car. I thought to myself I think she has lost it.

We did what she asked and we pulled over. She explained to us along the drive something had told her to call a venue close to our house in Marietta, so she did. Two of our close family friends had been married there in the past. It was an old country club. It had ceremony locations, a golf course and many event spaces for a reception. They had a cancellation this morning for an event that was planned to take place this Saturday, October 8th. We looked at each other. She explained they thought she was pranking them when she told them our story. When they realized she was not they quickly leapt into action and said they had never planned a wedding in two days but if we came tonight and finalized everything they would do it!

The Wedding Day!

The wedding went off without a hitch. My girlfriends found the best hair and makeup people in town and they both weirdly were available. One even mentioned it was the only Saturday she wasn’t booked the whole year. We lost five guests total –everyone else came. The weather was beautiful. I married the man of my dreams. It was the best day ever.

I am not sharing my story in hopes that you may feel bad for us. I had numerous news stations contact us and ask us to share our story – I kindly declined. I am sharing my story for a few reasons. The Sunday before our wedding we sat in church. We were ending a series called “Wild and Free.” Our guest speaker was a man by the name of Gavin Adams. Gavin talked about using our limiting moments in unlimited ways. Turning our limiting moments into refining and defining moments.

Most people say after your wedding is over you can go into a depression-like state. Something you have planned for so long is over in the blink of an eye. Mine was a different feeling. Something I planned for so long never happened and would never happen. It was a feeling that is hard to describe. One part of me was ecstatic that I could now call the man of my dreams my husband. Another part of me avoided the wedding at all cost. I wouldn’t watch my wedding videos, I wouldn’t look at pictures, I wouldn’t talk about it unless someone talked to me directly about it. I avoided it as much as I could.

Then I thought about the message in church. Members of our family who were not speaking are now speaking because of our situation. People who normally don’t get along sat at the same table because of our situation. My Grandmother who was recently diagnosed with cancer was able to make it because of our situation. Our limiting moment was used in unlimited ways. When things don’t go quite as planned on your wedding day try to step back and remember this story and know that it will all be ok.

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Photography: Amy Arrington Photography | Videography: Francis West Studios | Event Planning: Sparks And Hearts | Flowers: The Flower Shop Bluffton (Lauri Leber) | Cake: Confection Perfection | Rings: James Elliot | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: The Moore Agency | Hair: Drybar | Band: Emerald Empire Band | Officiant: Pastor: John Schubert | String Quartet: Canon Strings | Alterations: Jenny Muzzey | Bride's Dress: Custom designed by the bride - started with the Cici dress in Ivory from Olia Zavozina and purchased additional lace then Elegan | Bride's earrings: James Elliot | Ceremony & Reception: Hilton Marietta Hotel & Conference Center | Champagne bridesmaid cookies: Ann Potter Baking | Custom crest and calligraphy: Bunny And Bear Paper | Flowergirl Dresses: Marmellata | Garter: The Garter Girl | Get away car: Prestige Luxury Rentals | Groom's bow tie: Burberry | Groom's cuff links: Louis Vuitton

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They Wed at a Sleeping Beauty-Style Castle!

Hailing from Virginia, Christina and Sam decided a destination wedding in France was the vision for their day. They chose a XVIth century castle straight out of a fairytale and brought on Fete in France to help every details fall into place. Greg Finck captured their incredible day to remember, and you can see so much more right this way.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
LodgeOutdoor
Styles
Al Fresco

From Greg FinckChristina and Sam are both from Virginia, but had decided to plan their destination wedding at Château de la Bourdaisière, in the Loire Valley, France. The Château de la Bourdaisière is a stunning castle from the XVIth century, and was the perfect backdrop for a classical and elegant wedding. Roses and ivy along the walls, reminded of a fairytale castle, straight out of The Sleeping Beauty.

The day was perfectly planned and organized by Fête in France, with beautiful florals by Sol Y Flor. Despite an unreliable weather that day, the ceremony still was held outside in between two showers. Christina and Sam exchanged vows with the glorious chateau as a backdrop.

Reception was held in one of the Chateau’s galleries, with a wonderful and colorful setup. Such a beautiful Spring wedding day to remember!

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Photography: Greg Finck Photography | Event Design: Fete in France | Event Planning: Fete in France | Floral Design: Sol Y Flor | Wedding Dress: Mark Zunino | Bride's Shoes: Louboutin | Venue: Château de la Bourdaisière | Invitations + Stationery: The Silver Starfish

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