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Backyard Seaside Massachusetts Wedding

All the weddings we feature here on SMP are beautiful (Pretty is in our name, after all), but every so often, I stumble upon a wedding that’s extra special. This is one of those weddings. One of the reasons why? The Fiddler on the Roof flashmob planned by the Bride’s mom and sister to kick off the reception. But there are so many more—see them all captured by Rachel Red Photography in THE VAULT!

From the Bride…Anthony and I met as seniors at Union College. After a month months of casually seeing each other, he officially asked me to be his girlfriend on March 6, 2011. Once we graduated, Anthony moved from his hometown of Wickliffe, OH, to be with me in Boston. Three years later on July 25, 2014, he proposed at my family’s beach house in Gloucester, MA!

Our wedding ceremony took place on September 12, 2015 in the same spot where we became engaged. With a huge lawn overlooking the ocean, we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Gloucester and that’s where we spend the majority of our summer weekends now. It has always held a special place in my heart, and has become one of Anthony’s favorite places as well.

We wanted to personalize our ceremony as much as possible. We walked out of my neighbor’s house during the ceremony, which is the same house where my great-grandparents met and became engaged, and our wedding date was my grandparents’ anniversary. To remember those we have lost, Anthony wore a tie clip that belonged to his grandfather, and I wore my great-grandmother’s engagement diamond in a necklace. Anthony and I decided to tie a fisherman’s knot instead of lighting a unity candle, as an ode to the culture of Gloucester. We opted to have Beatles themed music throughout the day, because the song Oh, Darling was our song in college. I walked down the aisle to In My Life, and we shared our first dance to Two of Us.

Our reception was held at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. When we first walked into the museum, we immediately knew that’s where we wanted to have the wedding. It was the perfect mix between classic and modern, a blend of both our styles, and was more unique than anything else we had seen.

Anthony’s family is Italian, and my family is part Chinese, so we tried to fuse the two cultures together. We did family style Italian food, played Dean Martin throughout dinner, and danced the traditional Tarantella. For the Chinese side, we used a traditional Chinese wedding basket to hold cards, and our cake topper was the Chinese symbol for ‘double happiness,’ which is a sign of goodness and marital joy. Our favors were the traditional Italian almonds, with a double happiness charm enclosed.

One of my favorite details was the surprise flash mob that my mother and sister had planned. We had asked our minister to give a blessing before dinner, but he instead sang Sabbath Prayer from Fiddler on the Roof. After he was finished, wedding guests started jumping from their seats singing the song To Life, from the same show. I had been in a production of Fiddler on the Roof when I was younger, along with several family members and friends. Sabbath Prayer was also sung at my mother and step-father’s wedding years ago. It was a total surprise for Anthony and I, and a great way to kick off the party!

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Photography: Rachel Red Photography | Cinematography: Well Spun Wedding Films | Floral Design: Garden Designs By Kristen | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: Sheri Nuttoli | Ceremony Venue: At Home | Reception Venue: Peabody Essex Museum | Bride's Shoes: Belk | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Vinwood | Hair And Makeup: Dellaria | Band: Chris White Band | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Flower Girl Dress: US Angels | Furniture Rentals: True North Rentals | Trolley: Salem Trolley | Veil: Nina

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Hamilton Hall Wedding in Salem, Massachusetts

Shane Godfrey never fails to capture weddings in a way that will stand the test of time, and this beauty below is the perfect example. Classic yet not stuffy, this couples’ stunning Salem soiree at the Hamilton Hall leaves us with a gallery that just shouldn’t be missed. See it all here.

From Shane GodfreyAmanda and Burt are my second couple of my 2014 season and their Hamilton Hall Wedding did not disappoint! I knew when I met them and they explained how relaxed and fun they wanted their day to be that we would be a good fit for one another. We had a ton in common aside from their wedding. They live down the street from me, work in publishing, and Burt is also in a band that the weekend prior to their wedding, played with a friend of mine’s band at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge. I had somehow never been to Hamilton Hall in Salem Massachusetts to photograph a wedding before and after this wedding I cannot wait to go back! The hall is lit by huge windows that run along the sides of the main ballroom and across the street there is a charming park which is a perfect place for photographs, especially as the sun is setting as our situation was on this day. They had both the ceremony and reception on-site, and the entire day was filled with love and laughter by both the couple and their guests as it was a smaller, more intimate wedding of a hundred or so people. I can’t say enough about this amazing couple and I can’t wait to run into them around the neighborhood!

Photography: Shane Godfrey Photography | Floral Design: Audrey's Flower Shop | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Ceremony Venue: Hamilton Hall | Reception Venue: Hamilton Hall | Caterer: Vinwood | Makeup: Rouge Cosmetics

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

Choosing your wedding venue sets the tone for your entire wedding weekend. So why not pick a locale that’s totally unique? Enter, Peabody Essex Museum. Located in the heart of historic Salem, Massachusetts, this stunning space has three incredible rooms, as well as an outdoor garden area, that will have your guests wowed.

The Peabody Essex Museum is the perfect combination of warm + historic along with clean + modern, which makes it easy for any couple to see their wedding day vision come to life! Featuring the contemporary Atrium (which transforms beautifully from daylight to dramatic evening light), the historic + elegant East India Marine Hall and the Bartlett & Copeland Galleries which open up to the stunning Asian Gardens, this venue simply has it all.  The central location puts guests close to restaurants, attractions and hotels all within walking distance!

Thanks to changes in their renovation schedule, there are still lots of Saturday night dates available at the Peabody Essex Museum in 2015. For tons more information and to book your wedding date, head over here!


Photo Credits: Ned Jackson Photography | Kevin Liang Photography | Sherrell Photography

New England Fall Wedding at the Peabody Essex Museum

There are some weddings I could cozy up with all day, and this fall New England wedding at the Peabody Essex Museum is definitely one of them. Give And Take Pictures was behind the lens to capture moment after moment of pure prettiness, leaving us with a gallery so good, you’ll need to set aside some serious time. Bonus? Their film from Long Haul Films below is equally time worthy…

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From the Bride…Our wedding was an immaculate culmination of love and hard work. Alastair and I live in Sierra Leone, West Africa. When he proposed to me in early January 2013, I knew I had to work fast and smart to have a New England Fall wedding. Alastair is British, and most of his family is in the U.K., while I am American and, although I grew up on the North Shore of Boston, my family is spread out across the States. Planning a transatlantic wedding from deep in the jungle of West Africa was no small feat. I had to rely on gut instinct and as many recommendations as I could dig up. I researched on the internet like crazed woman to find the vendors that I knew would help us create a stunning experience for our family and friends.

Finding the reception venue was the biggest hurdle. I wanted something with more character than your average hotel ballroom, and I didn’t trust New England weather for an outdoor ceremony, but I still wanted something classy that held the personality of the North Shore. The Peabody Essex Museum is like the crown jewel of Salem. I had been there to visit galleries in the past, but when I saw the opportunity to actually have a reception under the spectacular glass ceiling of the Atrium, I knew we had our location.

The church where we had our ceremony was only 100 feet from the PEM, so all of our guests walked from one spot to the other en masse. It felt as if we were parading down the streets of Salem. This was especially felt when guests were greeted outside the museum by two traditional djembe drummers!

Many guests traveled from the UK for our wedding and we did our best to combine traditional elements from British and American weddings, but also putting our own personal flare to it. The church even had both flags waving to celebrate our union. We were intent on everyone really enjoying the celebration that we had prepared. The wedding was an entire weekend event, starting with a picnic on Friday and ending with a brunch on Sunday. By the end of the weekend, continents collided and we were all one big happy family.

When trying on wedding dresses, I had a completely different vision of what I wanted to look like. I remember seeing the dress I ended up purchasing on the hanger and thinking, “No way!” But, I tried it on and it ended up being the one! So, it is important to keep your mind open when wedding planning and not stay too fixed on one particular vision. My headpiece is an original piece that was constructed from a vintage brooch.

The ceremony was incredibly sacred to us. We constructed it the way we felt best, using the Pastor from my childhood who knew and loved us. Leaving the church, we were greeted by an array of sparklers

For the reception, it was so important to us to have good food, music and an incredible vibe that made everyone feel welcome and important. The Hawthorne Hotel did an outstanding job setting up the Atrium with beautiful food stations for hors d’oeuvres and then a leisurely four course meal. Our DJ was phenomenal with all the perfect music and lighting to fit the mood of the evening.

All in all, it was the most perfect day (and weekend) for us. Our friends and families from all over the globe came together and were able to enjoy celebrating together on our behalf. Our photographer and filmographers did an exceptional job capturing the day in their creative styles. We couldn’t have imagined how emotional it was going to be to see the photos and trailer, rushing all of the memories of the day right back to us. Both were fantastic!

My advice to brides is to be true to what you want but be flexible, remember to create a meaningful day and not just an event that has a whole bunch of little pieces that only you like. Lastly, if I can do it from the back of beyond in Sierra Leone, anyone can plan a great wedding!

Photography: Give And Take Pictures | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Wedding Cake: Montilio's | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter's Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Peabody Essex Museum | Catering: Hawthorne Hotel | Makeup: Rouge Cosmetics | Hair: Brandon Salon Sage | Bridal Flowers: Bokay | DJ And Lighting: Jay Foss | Floral Centerpieces: Flowers By Darlene | Headpiece: Jo Barnes (Vintage Headdresses & Accessories) | Wedding Film: Long Haul Films

Salem Waterfront Wedding

Most Massachusites know that Salem is SO much more than the witches we learned about in grade school. It’s boating and sunsets and culture all wrapped up into one incredible little town. And when you layer in a beautiful wedding – with subtle nautical details, a couple that is all style and photos from Zac Wolf – onto the already lovely backdrop, well Salem simply gets even more lovely. Click here for more!

From the bride..My husband Anthony and I didn’t have a set place we wanted to have our wedding. Once we started touring venues, we decided that having an outdoor wedding on the water in historical Salem, MA made the most sense for us. We both love nautical style and historic New England, so Salem was the perfect spot for our wedding.

We didn’t really have a wedding theme, but we tried to include dots, stripes, and anchors into as many details as we could, without over doing it. From the striped ribbons on the flowers, to the dotted stripes on our invitations, to the anchor socks the groomsmen wore, we successfully showcased our love for nautical style. The Salem Waterfront Hotel and Marina was a perfect venue to show off these details. We were fortunate to have the first outdoor wedding at the venue and we’re so glad we got to take advantage of the beautiful backdrop of the wharf on our big day.

We can’t say enough about Zac Wolf’s photos from our wedding day. We wanted him to capture our day from a candid point of view that showed our genuine reactions throughout the day rather than just having traditionally posed photos. He did exactly that and gave us some unbelievable images that we’ll have forever to look back and remember our special day.

After months of planning our wedding day was beautiful. The ceremony was short, but incorporated some of our favorite music and the reception was a great party. We spent the whole night on the dance floor with our families and friends, which was exactly how we wanted to celebrate becoming Mr. and Mrs.

Photography: Zac Wolf Photography | Floral Design: Jeff French | Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller | Cake: D'Amici's Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Pickering Wharf | Reception Venue: Salem Waterfront Hotel | Bride's Shoes: Ann Taylor Loft | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Makeup: To Make Beautiful | DJ: White Label DJs | Grooms Attire: Astor and Black | Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew | Bride's Earrings: Nadri | Bride's Hairpiece: Serendipity Tiaras And Jewelry | Groom's Tie: Charles Tyrwhitt

Peabody Wedding at Brooksby Farm from Nathan Oldham Photography

I don’t know what it is about you Massachusetts brides, but you really have beautiful barn weddings down to an absolute science.  I suspect some hip, secret wedding society, but until I have further proof, I’ll just have to believe that know one knows how to barn bash better than you.  Proving my point whole-heartedly?  This gorgeous Peabody affair, which happens to be the perfect mix of sweet rustic details and Fall-inspired pretty, all wrapped up in one stunning Brooksby Farm setting.  See every last moment captured by Nathan Oldham in the full gallery.

And enjoy even more of this pretty, pretty affair from McElroy Weddings


From the Bride… When I began my search for a venue, I found myself drawn to the rustic feel of barn weddings. Many online blogs I read featured barn weddings where brides were able to take the natural feel of the barn and add their own touches of style and sophistication. I wanted an enjoyable event that didn’t break the bank and where guests could feel relaxed without the pressures that come with formal or lavish wedding venues. Smith Barn fit exactly what my fiancé and I had in mind. Set on a hill looking out over the North Shore area, Smith Barn was originally build in 1903 to store apples from the surrounding orchards at Brooksby Farm.

The day of the wedding was the warmest day of October. The red barn stood out as a beautiful contrast against the green of the surrounding orchards. Guests could casually mingle in and out of the barn and enjoy the beauty both inside and out. The interior of the barn included white lights wrapped around all wood beams and posts. I used burlap runners on every table and integrated burlap into table number signs as well as name tags. The florist was able to take my ideas and create beautiful wildflower arrangements of sunflowers and purple aster in a variety of containers ranging from rusted milk pitchers to tin cans. A trunk was used to collect cards and wedding pictures of parents and grandparents were interspersed throughout the gift tables. The cake was made by a teenager from my church who is an aspiring baker. She used two styrofoam layers for the bottom and a small cake on top. We put straw like material around the layers and two wedding birds on top. Guests enjoyed home made caramel apples to take home. A corner was designated for a DIY photo booth complete with a glittery backdrop and a box of funny masks and props. As the night progressed and dancing was in full swing, the cool air outside was a much needed reprise from the crowded dance floor. It was a joyful day of celebrating with friends and family in a simple and serene surrounding.


Photography: Nathan Oldham Photography | Wedding Venue: Brooksby Farm in Peabody, Massachusetts | Cinematography: McElroy Weddings | Event Planning: North Shore Weddings by Ana | Floral Design: Flowers & More | Catering: Cloverleaf Catering | Wedding Cake: Sweet Obsessions | Ceremony Music: Intermezzo Chamber Players | DJ: Perfect Sounds DJ | Wedding Invitations: DIY | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie

Peabody Wedding at Brooksby Farm from Katie Pietrowski Photography

You know what I absolutely adore?  Barn weddings.  And you know what I adore more than that?  Barn weddings filled to the brim with perfectly imperfect florals, vibrant colors and rustic details aplenty.  So, you can imagine the pure joy I was feeling when I came across all of the lovely happening in this sweet Peabody soiree captured by Katie Pietrowski Photography, which just so happens to be boasting all of the above, plus some beyond fabulous DIY details, burlap touches and a too-cute-for-words bride and groom. See it all right here.

From the Bride… Tanner and I are both laid back people, and wanted our wedding to feel fun and relaxed. I knew that I wanted a barn reception, and once I found Smith Barn, I knew immediately it was the place we were meant to get married. We wanted the wedding to be full of personal touches and really make it our own. We decided to write our own ceremony, and have a close family friend officiate. We chose an acoustic guitar player to perform the ceremony music, which really made everything come together, and gave it the intimate rustic feel we wanted.

I had a lot of fun planning the wedding, and couldn’t have done it without my mom or my Maid of Honor. My mom, a former president of our local garden club, put together all of the centerpieces and the look of the tables. My Maid of Honor and I worked out all of the mason jars for table numbers, and I decided on the skeleton keys as a fun way to do seating cards.

While we were planning, dessert was one of the largest debates, since I’m not a big fan of frosting. We ended up meeting in the middle and having both a traditional wedding cake as well as apple pie for guests to choose from.  Smith Barn was a wonderful place for the reception, and we decided to hang lanterns over the dance floor, as well as both a Canadian and an American flag to represent our families coming together. From the outdoor ceremony, to photos in the orchard, to dancing in the barn under the twinkle lights, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our marriage.


Wedding Photography: Katie Pietrowski Photography | Wedding Venue: Smith Barn, Brooksby Farm in Peabody, Massachusetts | Floral Design: Nunans Florist + the Bride  | Caterer: Affairs Catering | Wedding Cake: Queen Bee Cakery | Ceremony Musician: Jon Francoise | DJ: Jeff Stone from Get Down Tonight Entertainment | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Aria | Groomsmen Attire: JoS. A. Bank | Hair: Alisson McHale from Interlocks Salon

Salem Wedding at Lyceum Hall from The 2654 Project

As you gear up for your Thanksgiving feasts and as you watch the big parade, I hope that your appetite is just as ready for beautiful images from The 2654 Project as it is for turkey, because this wedding at Lyceum Hall – which just so happens to be as historical as it is gorgeous – is the perfect inspiration for budget-friendly and exquisitely creative weddings alike. Hands down, my most favorite part of the day would have to be the darling first look that expresses so truly these lovebirds and their love for each other. And you can see every bit in the gallery right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Carey and I met in 2007 back when he owned a coffee and juice bar named Fuel in the heart of downtown Salem. My girlfriends and I would go in for lunch and lattes, and I thought he was so handsome and sweet but that he was married. After frequenting Fuel for about a year, I learned that the woman who I thought was his wife was actually one of his business partners. One of my friends convinced him to come out with us for drinks over Memorial Day weekend, and I guess you can say the rest is history. Carey proposed in June 2011 after four years together, and we were both excited to plan a wedding day that reflected who we are while keeping it simple and sticking to a budget. First item on the list: finding a venue that matched our style. I didn’t want a space where the decor dictated what colors or style would look good, so when we decided on Lyceum Hall, an event space upstairs from a popular restaurant in Salem. I felt like we hit the jackpot — an absolutely gorgeous space that was filled to the brim with charm and history, that was beautiful on its own, and was also crazy budget friendly. The rental fee to have our ceremony and reception there was only $500 — yes, you read that correctly!

Once the venue and date was set (8/11/12), I got right to work on all of the DIY projects that I had in mind. My wedding dress was all lace, and we chose blush pink and gray as our wedding colors, so I wanted to carry all three of those throughout the decor. My bridesmaids and I decorated mason jars with yarn wraps and ribbon bows for floral arrangements in the main room, wrapped mason jars with lace to burn candles in, and glued hand-cut flags to paper straws to be placed at the bar. I designed our guest book using the photos from our engagement shoot that our guests wrote words of wisdom and advice in, and we had a candle printed to honor my father who passed away when I was a little girl. I loved working on all of the little details and then getting to see everything come together — it was truly a labor of love.

Continuing with our DIY theme, my uncle applied for a one day solemnizer license, and he married us. Having someone who really knows us perform our wedding ceremony was so amazing. He included personal stories about me as a kid and some of his own memories of Carey and me, and it made the ceremony that much more heartfelt. Standing there holding Carey’s hand and listening to my uncles advice about how to have a lasting marriage is one of my favorite memories of the day. The best piece of advice that I got was “Just remember, you don’t HAVE to do anything.” I didn’t do a bouquet toss or a garter toss, and we had cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake — just a few of the things that some people thought were weird. Keep it simple: focus on the things that are important to the two of you and everything else will fall into place.

Wedding Photography: The 2654 Project / Wedding Venue + Catering: Lyceum Hall at 43 Church in Salem, Massachusetts / Floral Design: Karla Cassidy Designs / Wedding Cake + Cupcakes: Amanda Oakleaf Cakes / Ceremony + Reception Music: DJ JT Stevens / Mr. & Mrs. Chair Signs: Always in Season on Etsy / Lace Bunting Cake Topper and Lace Flag Cupcake Picks: Jaden Rain Inspired on Etsy / “I Do” Cupcake Picks: Vintage Twee / Wedding Dress: Watters via Madeleine’s Daughter / Bride’s Veil: Borrowed from Her Sister-in-Law / Bride’s Earrings: Carolee via Macy’s / Bride’s Shoes: Lulu Townsend via DSW / Hair + Makeup: From Hair to Eternity: Special Day by Carolina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters via Blushing Bride / Men’s Tuxedos: Ralph Lauren via J. Gibley Tuxedos

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Peabody Wedding at Smith Barn from Kat Braman Photography

Just when I think rural Massachusetts weddings can’t get any prettier, we get a whopper of a gorgeous wedding in our mailbox. Yup, this barn wedding captured flawlessly by Kat Braman Photography has got me crushing on my home state again big-time. We’re talking super cute chicken inspired table markers, beyond beautiful flowers, and just a general sense of awesomeness that this adorable couple put together. It’s rustic chic perfection in our eyes and you can see even more right here!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… It was really important to Tommy and me that our wedding feel like “us.” We didn’t want anything really formal. We wanted our day to be beautiful but also put our guests at ease. Early on, we had the idea of getting married at a barn. Though we live near Boston, both of us grew up in rural areas, so a barn felt like the perfect blend of our two backgrounds. I rode horses. Tommy picked potatoes. Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm was absolutely perfect on all counts. It is also, coincidentally, one town over from where we live, and it enabled our friends and family to see the area, some for the first time. Tommy and I decided on a small wedding party — just his brother and my best friend. She and I picked the sapphire blue color for her dress, and it became a constant throughout the wedding. It created cohesion through all of the different elements. Her dress, my shoes, my sapphire earrings (as well as a sapphire necklace that Tommy surprised me with), our invitations and the favors all reflected that color.

Once we had the location settled, we started thinking more about the details. I met with Cyndi from Petals Inc, and she was so much fun to work with. I told her that I wanted really juicy, saturated colors and she went to town. She was so enthusiastic and had such great suggestions for flowers that worked with the colors I had in mind. She understood the location and my wish for the flowers to look and feel like they had just been gathered from outside. I got my family involved in collecting jars of all sizes and shapes, and Petals created centerpieces and bouquets that looked so pretty and organic. There were a lot of fun little details that helped us feel like the venue was really ours for the day. We purchased the lanterns that hung in the barn which added an extra glow. We decided to name our tables after different breeds of chickens as a nod to the location (some of my friends and family had fun choosing which chicken they wanted for their table), and Tommy and I had rooster and hen figurines as our cake topper. My maid of honor wore a pair of earrings that I’d given her when we were 12. I walked down the aisle to “Somebody to Love” by Queen (played beautifully by Bryan Hilliard and his crew from Occasional Brass & Strings), and the original version was our last song of the night. A close family friend polished up his 1975 Rolls Royce to drive me to and from the ceremony. We displayed our parents’ wedding photos, along with photos of our grandparents. Our officiant, Deacon, urged us to write some personal vows, and we were so glad that we did. All of these choices made our day feel so personal and special.

And all of this was captured by our amazing photographer, Kat. She and Tommy have known each other for years. She is not just a talented photographer, but also a godsend for a bride to have around on her wedding day. Kat was so calm, had such helpful suggestions, and knew the answers to questions I hadn’t anticipated. Each of her photos is beautiful, but our first-look photos in the orchard are my favorite. She captured perfectly all of the emotion and anticipation in that moment. To us, our wedding was the right blend of elegant and easy. We couldn’t have imagined a better outcome; everyone who participated helped us create exactly what we wanted and made sure that our guests had fun, were relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings. Everything came together so well, and the whole day truly felt like it was made just for us.

Wedding Photography: Kat Braman Photography / Wedding Venue: Smith Barn in Peabody, Massachusetts / Venue Coordination: Tammy Messina (978-204-6345) / Floral Design: Cyndi of Petals Inc. / Officiant: Reverend T.S. Deacon Economos / Catering: Creative Catering / Wedding Cake: Konditor Meister / Ceremony Music: Occasional Brass & Strings / DJ: Zeke Stern of Murray Hill Talent / Getting Ready Location: Salem Waterfront Hotel / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals via Wishing Well Bridal / Bride’s Hair Flower: Misun Bridal / Hair: Fringe Salon (978-745-5500) / Makeup: Laura Lanes / Film Developing + Scanning: Richard Photo Lab

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
The Peabody Essex Museum Wedding by Ashley Garmon Photographers

I absolutely adore a bride who isn’t afraid to rock a little color on her big day… And I get a little giddy each and every time I see it here on Style Me Pretty.  So, it pretty much goes without saying that this stunning Salem bride just rocketed to the top of my fabulous list for taking the color notion up a notch with a vibrant red (and uber-stunning) Oscar de la Renta gown.  I know… She’s my new hero, too.  And if that amazing dress weren’t enough to have me completely smitten (it is), there’s those seriously gorgeous blooms, the sleek and sophisticated reception space, one cute as can be Koala cake and brilliant images by Ashley Garmon Photographers.  Sounds like a good way to spend a Tuesday, no?  Join me in the gallery for even more!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Ashley Garmon PhotographersThis beautiful wedding was an intimate affair held in Salem, Massachusetts.  The ceremony was held at St. Peters Episcopal Church and the reception was at The Peabody Essex Museum.  The bride is in a indie rock band called Shearwater.  She was able to enlist some very talented musician friends to lend a hand.  Members of Hospital Ships played during ceremony and cocktail hour.  Much to the delight of many independent music fans in attendance, Damien Jurado and Ted Leo each played and sang during the reception.   The bride and groom’s nicknames for each other are “Koala and Tree,” which were reflected on the bride’s custom made wedding hanger and on the wedding cake as well.

Wedding Photography: Ashley Garmon Photographers / Wedding Ceremony Location: St. Peters Episcopal Church / Wedding Reception Location: The Peabody Essex Museum / Catering: Capers Catering / Wedding Gown: Oscar de la Renta / Musicians: Ted Leo, Damien Jurado, Hospital Ships

Hamilton Hall Wedding by EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design

I have a serious obsession with historical buildings (yep, I am a nerd), so when I saw that these beyond lovely Salem nuptials were held at Hamilton Hall (Originally built in 1805!), I literally jumped for joy.  And the giddiness didn’t stop there, because each and every amazing moment crafted by the geniuses at EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design is out-of-this-world fabulous… And most definitely of the jumping for joy kind.  And with a fresh color palette of yellow and blue, gorgeous lantern centerpieces, stunning florals by Studio 539 Flowers and breathtaking images by Eric Barry Photography, there’s so much more lovely just waiting to be adored.  Join me in the gallery for even more!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From EFD Creative – Event Planning & DesignJackie and Carolyn were thrilled to be engaged, but they lived in Atlanta, Georgia where same-sex marriage is not legal. The couple immediately thought of Massachusetts, which not only recognizes same-sex marriages, it is where Carolyn attended college at Boston University, and where they both had personal ties – making it the perfect destination wedding! They wanted a venue that had elegance as well as a historical feel to match the region. What could be more perfect than Hamilton Hall in historic Salem, Mass.?

Originally built in 1805 as an assembly hall, Hamilton Hall was named in honor of the famous American forefather, Alexander Hamilton, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. The design of the Grand Ballroom has unique detailed touches with imported Russian mirrors, Palladian (European style) windows, and Italian sconces and chandeliers. The old kitchen, known as the Brick Hearth Room, has the original oven built into the wall. Altogether, this captured the old New England essence perfectly. Jackie and Carolyn were very excited to incorporate the history of New England into their special day.

Their wedding dresses were classically timeless…soft and flowing. To bring in elements that enhanced the feel of the era, tea was the theme for favors and place cards were displayed in loose tea, which not only looked beautiful but also left an aroma in the air. The wedding was in early April. Bright yellows and blues were the accent colors along with lanterns (think Paul Revere) placed on each table. The lanterns alternated between flowers inside the lantern encircled by candles, or a candle inside the lantern surrounded by old milk bottles filled with flowers. The brown pin-tuck linen and gold chiavari chairs finished the look. The signature drink of the evening was none other than “The Alexander Hamilton.” Instead of a traditional guest book, the couple continued with the theme by having a restored old-fashioned typewriter displayed with matching note paper. Guests enjoyed typing out special messages to be later placed in a memory album.

Jackie and Carolyn’s wedding offers a great example of how to incorporate the charm of a bygone era through a few well thought-out touches and the right venue. While New England has so many options for an early American-style wedding, the wonderful appeal of New England is its diversity. Between the history, the scenic beaches and mountains, and the four seasons, New England offers the perfect destination for any type of wedding.

Wedding Photography: Eric Barry Photography / Event Design + Planning: EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design / Floral Design: Studio 539 Flowers / DJ: Beat Train Productions / Calligraphy: Megan Chapin Calligraphy / Wedding Ceremony + Reception Location: Hamilton Hall / Wedding Dress: Anjolique / Wedding Cake: Bella Cakes / Beauty: radiance AVEDA / Caterers: Vinwood / Rentals: Peterson Party Center / Transportation: Local Motion of Boston

Vintage Chic Wedding In Salem From Generations Cinemastories

This first week in 2011 has brought so many more wonderful examples of just how fantastic this wedding world is! We have an over-abundance of occasions to share with you this year … don’t even know how to fit them all in! We’re also going to be including lots and lots of wedding films. What better way to immerse yourself in the love and romance of the day! We’re very proud to bring you our first 2011 wedding film feature from Naomi Raiselle and Generations cinemastories.

From the beautiful bride … The entire day was a dream from beginning to end. We started out on Derby Wharf in Salem, where our photographers, Tara and Ben (who were the best!) from Hitched Studios took pictures of the entire bridal party with five HUGE paddle balloons. My mom has her own balloon business, Balloon Creations, and supplied us with the balloons. Then we all headed via Salem Trolley to the church. The minister, who is not only good friends with Judd, but Judd is also the god father of one of his children, performed a wonderful, worshipful, and funny wedding service. Then we went right down the street to the Peabody Essex Museum to eat, drink, and dance! Every single detail was captured by Generations cinemastories. They were everywhere, documenting everything. Not only are they fantastic at what they do, they are very special people whom we just love! It was by far a night to remember and we couldn’t have done any of it without the help of our family and friends.

Jana & Judd Wedding Trailer from GENERATIONS cinemastories on Vimeo.

From Naomi at  Generations cinemastories The clip we feature here is the trailer we just sent to Jana and Judd. We opted to give a retro look to the piece in response to the retro influences in the wedding and chose to film with different types of cameras in order to accomplish this look. The grain and texture of certain scenes are an intentional departure from the crisp, bright look of much of the DSLR footage we’ve been seeing recently – even though we shot a fair amount of the wedding with DSLR cameras and special lenses.

Jana and Judd met on a blind date in Salem MA. Jana is an artist and Judd is an history buff, so their choice of the Essex Peabody Museum in Salem as a reception venue for their December 11 wedding was perfect. The reception was held in the East India Marine Hall (the same room seen in the movie, Bride Wars). The couple held their ceremony in the United Methodist Church with plenty of parking, also in Salem, a wonderful, warm circular church with graded seating – offering each guest a perfect view of the ceremony and great sound.

Jana’s dress was gorgeous. And with a birdcage veil anchored by a white maribou feather, and an antique mink stole, this bride was everything right about retro. The dress was a trophy from Filene’s Basement’s Running of The Brides.

There were also tiny notes of brilliant cobalt blue throughout the décor, beginning with Jana’s fabulous blue suede high-heeled pumps and continuing through the blue cobalt water goblets on the black and white tables in the reception.

Jana, her mom, and Judd hand-created Christmas ornaments of clear balls with peacock feathers and decorated the tables as a gift to each of her guests. Each ornament included a note telling of a donation in the guest’s name to Starfish Africa, (founded by one of the groomsmen) which helps put Kenyan youth through high school.

In Jana’s own words:
“This past summer I, along with a few killer- athlete girlfriends, my mom AND dad (he’s a champion) met me downtown Boston in the wee hours of the morning prepared and ready to attack! We had a plan that went out the window the second they opened the doors. It took us 29minutes flat to find ‘the dress’ and to wind up interviewed about our exciting experience on TV.

Judd’s mom, Sandy, was in charge of the wedding plans and coordination, leaving the artistic design up to me. The palette for the wedding suddenly emerged after our first tasting with Capers Catering. They fed us a red beet salad with fresh goat cheese, garnish and a purple & white orchid. I loved the flowers and colors so much they became the inspiration for everything moving forward. I wanted the girls to look unique and love their dresses. All the bridesmaid’s dresses were different shades and styles and most came from Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor. My mother wore an eggplant dress from Nordstrom and my mother-in-law wore an eggplant dress from Ultimate Bride in Milwaukee.

The invitations, that I drew myself, had the orchid motif as well.

Judd’s college friends came from all over to be his groomsmen and ushers. With eleven groomsmen, four ushers and one best man (Judd’s dad), coming from around the country, the Men’s Wearhouse was a great solution for well-fitting, formal tuxes that looked modern and young. I loved the way the light grey and purple played off the colors of the bridal party. The bridal party also picked up the groomsmen’s light grey in their matching grey suede pumps.

Peter Barter Florist, (my uncle) special ordered flowers from Holland. For the centerpieces I wanted simple arrangements, classy but elegant -and something that made a statement. I knew exactly what I wanted: curly willow in tall 18″ glass vases with white orchids cascading down the sides. (They were BEAUTIFUL.) As for the bouquets I wanted simple straight up astilbe.

My uncle called me two days before the wedding and told me they looked breathtaking. Then he called me one day before the wedding (almost in tears) and told me they ALL turned brown overnight. Enter, simple, but very elegant, roses.

The food, created by Capers Catering, was outstanding. Then we all danced the night away to music, by our fabulous DJ from NuImage Entertainment. The DJ was off the hook awesome. The night ended with family and friends circled around Judd and me as we danced.