Black Tie Downton Abbey Inspired Wedding
January 18, 2016
Mid Atlantic
Classic WeddingsBallroom WeddingsWinter Weddings
The final season of Downton Abbey is officially underway, so a wedding with a touch of that old world glamour and impeccable elegance is just the inspiration we need. Think grand, gilded decor and classic floral design, all thanks to Kyle Michelle Weddings, and a four-tier wedding cake fit for a queen. Pour a cup of tea, and join me for all of Judy Pak's images in The Vault.
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From The Bride...After Hery and I got engaged on Christmas Day, we decided to jump right into the planning process. We knew a planner was essential – I was both working and attending graduate school full time – so we quickly set up a meeting with Kyle Michelle Weddings. Because Hery and I had a clear picture of what we wanted our wedding to look and feel like, it was crucial that our key vendors understood our aesthetic and personality. Kyle Michelle Weddings immediately impressed us with their style, professionalism, and enthusiasm, and we quickly brought them on board. These ladies encouraged my attention to detail and helped execute the weekend to perfection.

Our vision for the wedding day was a black tie, historically and traditionally inspired event. More than anything, I wanted our guests to be given a relaxing and indulgent escape for the weekend. I drew inspiration from the weddings of the Kennedy's and the Cambridge's, with hints from Downton Abbey and Jane Austen. I quickly chose a flowing ballgown with little a long train and little additional and paired it with Louboutin peep toe gold pumps, a cathedral length veil, and diamond drop earrings. My bridesmaids complimented me with full length, chiffon blush dresses, and the flower girl in a custom design that tied in several elements from my own look. Hery wore a Ludlow tuxedo from J. Crew with a shawl collar and accessorized with items from The Tie Bar and custom Broadland velvet smoking slippers. His groomsmen looked dashing in tuxes provided by The Black Tux.

Despite the intimidating winter weather, the limos smoothly transported us to Sharon Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church that Sunday morning. Hery and I chose not to see each other until I walked up the aisle, and the moment was especially emotional, as two of our dear friends sang an arrangement of "You Have Me" by Gungor as I walked toward my future husband. The Pastor of the boarding high school I attended performed the ceremony, and Hery and I shared our personalized vows, displayed beautifully in calligraphy. As we exited to the performance of a string trio, the room had nye a dry eye. It was truly an unforgettable day.

For the décor, we chose a blush neutrals color palate, inspired by the historic Golden Ballroom of Hotel du Pont, our reception venue, with its engraved, ivory walls and grand, golden chandeliers. We love the soft romance of candlelight, so we chose to adorn the tables, decked in ivory linen, with stately candelabras accented with clusters of soft ivory and blush flowers. The escort cards, displayed on vintage, golden vanity trays, furthered the gold accents. We opted for calligraphy details, such as signs reading "avere" and "tenere" on the back of our chairs and a guest book alternative to be framed and displayed in our future home. My matron of honor designed the stationery and adhered to traditional etiquette in wording and layout. The ladies at Kyle Michelle Weddings helped me put together our favors -- individual glass bottles of herb infused olive oil. Throughout the reception, there were homages to my Italian heritage, including the olive oil, the tiramisu dessert, and the use of Italian in our stationery.

Cocktail hour featured butlered hors d'oeuvres with a pianist expertly setting the mood, and the reception consisted of a 3 course, plated meal. Our red velvet and Grand Marnier pound cake featured simple pearls around each tier to match the buttons on the back of my gown and was gorgeously arrayed with fresh blooms, tying in the centerpieces and my bouquet.

The reception contained several moments I will forever cherish. Hery and I danced to Chet Baker's "I Married an Angel", choreographed by my cousin, a professional dancer in NYC, and my father and I dance to Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me", referencing my dad's career and passion for piloting. Instead of a bouquet and garter toss, we chose to gift these items to the longest married couple in the room – my paternal grandparents. The moment was especially sweet as Hery and I danced with them, a special moment, as my grandfather passed away just a few months later.

Photography was our highest priority when budgeting and planning for the wedding, and we knew we'd trust no one else than Judy Pak with capturing these precious memories. Hery and I both adore film photography, and Judy truly has mastered her art. Her photography characteristically captures light and airiness, and her eye and instinct for arranging a shot are unparalleled. We are always drawn to the story she tells in her photographs, and we were so very grateful for the opportunity to have her capture our love story.

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