The first item on many brides wedding planning to-do list is a dress, and for this bride, she was able to check off a custom-designed dress by Monique Lhuillier! Next on the list for this Greenwich couple was a venue, and the decision of the Greenwich Country Club was a no brainer, as the brides’ parents were married there 32 years prior! Add in a lush bouquet of blush peonies for the Mrs. and white sweet peas for the ‘Maids by Blush Floral Design and STUNNING sunset photos by Kelsey Combe Photography and you have what we would call the epitome of romance! Take a look below and be sure to read on for the brides’ bit of advice for every couple on their wedding day!
From the Bride…Michael and I met at a fraternity party in college 8 years ago. The odds of us meeting were slim and we feel lucky our paths crossed. To give you some context, Michael is Irish and grew up in Europe. He moved to Connecticut in high school and lived just 15 minutes from me in Greenwich. Ironically, we didn’t meet until we were students at Elon University in North Carolina. Fast forward 7 years, Michael proposed in Central Park and we began our wedding planning journey. The first step was choosing a date and venue. We were set on June because the weather is typically beautiful in New England and as a teacher I have summers off. Although we live together in New York City, we have always considered Greenwich home, which made our decision easy. We got married in the church I attended growing up and our reception was held at Greenwich Country Club where my parents were married 32 years ago.
I was excited to begin planning and one of the first decisions I made was my dress. I am known to be indecisive, so my mom and sister were shocked when I fell in love with the first dress I tried on at The Plumed Serpent. It was Monique Lhuillier’s “Severine” gown. I loved the soft tulle skirt and floral appliqué, but the v-neckline and spaghetti straps didn’t feel like me. I tried on some other styles, but couldn’t get the first dress out of my mind. After making a few phone calls, my bridal consultant delivered exciting news. Monique Lhuillier agreed to design a custom gown for me with a strapless sweetheart neckline, lace bodice, and the tulle skirt I loved. I ended up buying a dress that didn’t yet exist, but I trusted the professionals would work their magic.
From the very start of planning, I envisioned a classic, elegant, romantic wedding with touches of blush pink, white, and gold. Thanks to my amazingly talented team of vendors, including planner Stacie Shea, all of my visions came to life. Sandy of Roseville Designs created our paper story. Invitations were really important to me because they set the tone for the event. Sandy and I designed timeless invitations with gold foil and gold edging on double thick paper. They were tied together with a blush pink ribbon and a tag with our custom monogram (which The Mrs. Box was able to engrave on my ring box!) Barbara of BL Calligraphy hand-wrote every address in a soft blush hue to match the envelope liner and ribbon. Each envelope was sealed with a custom gold wax seal. The vintage postage was my favorite aspect of our invitation suite. The old, unique, stamps embodied New York City, our wedding color scheme, and florals. Beth of Blush Floral Design truly delivered in the flower department. My number one request was lots of peonies. I carried a bouquet of blush pink peonies down the aisle and my bridesmaids held white sweet peas. My sister’s bouquet incorporated a touch of pink to distinguish her as Maid of Honor.
After a year and a half of planning, it felt surreal when our big day finally arrived. It began at Greenwich Country Club where Michael and I got ready in separate rooms. My bridesmaids and I spent the morning with J.Kinford Beauty Group for hair and makeup. Before leaving, owner and make-up artist Jen gave me a small touch up bag with lip gloss, makeup wipes, bobby pins, etc. Our photographer, Kelsey Combe, suggested we do a first look and it was one of the best decisions we made. Not only did it allow more time for photos with our wedding party and families, but it also helped calm our nerves. A part of me worried that I would regret seeing Michael before I walked down the aisle with my dad, but that moment was still incredibly special. Seeing each other before the ceremony allowed us to relax and spend some time together before all of the craziness began. Kelsey sought out a prime location at the club where we took photos before heading to the church.
Michael and I exchanged traditional vows in front of our family and friends at First Presbyterian Church. We decided to write our own personal vows to share with one another prior to the ceremony. It was really special to keep those words between the two of us and read them privately before our first look. One of my favorite moments from our ceremony was lighting the unity candle. My mom and mother-in-law lit candles at the alter after their processional. Michael and I used the flames from those candles to light our unity candle together. Another highlight was the Irish blessing. Michael’s uncle is a priest in Ireland and we were honored to have him co-officiate our ceremony. He read the beautiful Irish blessing that McKenzie seamlessly incorporated into our wedding highlight video.
After the ceremony, guests headed to GCC where they were greeted with Moscow Mules (Michael’s personal favorite) upon arrival. We were able to be fully present and mingle with guests during cocktail hour because we had already taken most photos before the ceremony. After guests were escorted into the ballroom for our reception, Michael and I had about 15 minutes on our own. The biggest piece of advice I received leading up to the wedding was to escape the crowd for a few minutes to simply be together as a married couple. I am so glad we did this and I would give the same advice to all future brides. Michael and I made our entrance and danced to Blaire Reinhard Band’s rendition of How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding. My dad made the most thoughtful speech and we danced to My Girl by The Temptations. During sunset, Michael and I ducked out to take photos on the golf course during golden hour. Michael is an avid golfer (borderline obsessed), so taking photos here was certainly fitting! Kelsey and McKenzie Miller’s team captured some seriously stunning photos and footage. After cutting the cake (fun fact: only the top layer of our cake was edible and guests received individual mini cakes), we spent hours on the dance floor singing along to our amazing band (who guests are still raving about to this day!) We topped off the evening with a sparkler send-off followed by an after-party in GCC’s pub 1892.
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Photography: Kelsey Combe Photography | Cinematography: McKenzie Miller Films | Floral Design: Blush Floral Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Roseville Designs | Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church Of Greenwich | Reception Venue: Greenwich Country Club | Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Rings: A E Betteridge Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Hair And Makeup: Jennifer Kinford | Calligraphy: Belles Lettres Calligraphy | Band: Blaire Reinhard Band | Groom's Attire: Richard's of Greenwich | Transportation: Test | Bridal Boutique: The Plumed Serpent Bridal Salon | Groom's Tie: The Tie Bar | Musician: Randall Atcheson | Planning: Stacie Shea Events | Rentals: Smith Party Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Robes: Piyama