For their wedding day, Elen and Nikolay dreamed of creating a warm, at-home ambience, a celebration that felt like a summery homemade dinner in the countryside with their nearest and dearest. A series of thoughtful touches and beautiful details created a serene atmosphere, a cozy celebration that was a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Fluttering ribbons and graceful lace, rustic wooden signage with flowing, handpainted script, airy floral compositions in the English garden style – details that reflected the pair’s relaxed alfresco vision in shades of ivory, caramel and honey. Escort cards were attached to a board of flowers, creating a deconstructed bouquet that tied in perfectly with the bridal party’s exquisite florals.
The couple ensured there was plenty to entertain their guests once the waterside ceremony was complete. On the green grass near the marquee that housed their wedding dinner, they placed a sweet bar and a hookah lounge, where guests could mingle beneath the trees. They could also try weaving wreaths, or having their portraits drawn by a specially commissioned artist. At the end of the night, a spectacular fireworks display lit up the night sky, before guests were treated to a same day edit of the wedding film, in the best tradition of watching a movie with family and friends.
Elen invited her guests to participate in the chic country dress code by publishing inspiring images on her social networks. The bride herself wore a breathtaking Elie Saab gown, the delicate Louisse, which perfectly suited her garden wedding style with its softly flared skirt and cap sleeves adorned with flowers and gemstones.v
From Michelle: “Spring is always a glorious time in the South as the horizon becomes dotted with soft whites and pinks as though the clouds have come to rest among the trees. This was the main inspiration for a softly feminine bridal and boudoir shoot that calls to the sweetly pretty palette of the landscape and sophisticated elegance of the South.
Our team of talented vendors worked hard to create a beauty that most women would find relatable. We call this collection of photographs “La Femme,” and during the shoot, this character took a life of its own. Our bride was swathed in layers of lace and tulle to accompany a bouquet in the silkiest pinks to celebrate all that is feminine. She chose to get ready in a bathroom with an antique style tub surrounded by her perfumes and cosmetics. After getting dressed, we photographed in her a garden and open field, and she was perfectly at home in both environments.“
Abbie & Andy met at the tender ages of fourteen and sixteen when they were both cast in a musical together. However it wasn’t until a decade later that they reconnected and after he ‘hit on her relentlessly‘ they finally went on a date. Both born and raised in Colorado they wanted to incorporate the outdoorsy adventurous lifestyle they live into their wedding. “Natural beauty and community were a few of our inspirations, such as getting married at the base of a 14,000 ft mountain and spending time in the natural hot springs at Mt. Princeton.” MICHELE HART was on hand to capture their gorgeous day. I love the bride’s beautifully simple but elegant bouquet of lavender. And if you’re looking for some first hand tips from some newly weds, they have some great tips below!
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: Wonderfully, Andy’s sister designs and sews custom wedding dresses. We worked together on the style, fit and fabric. I became slightly obsessive on Pinterest (because it’s too easy to do) and fortunately, Andy’s sister was able to reel in her enthusiasm. It was an honor to wear a dress that represented such talent, teamwork, artisanship, love and meaning.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Our proposal: on a sailboat in the Bay Islands in Honduras (where we went to learn how to scuba dive). Andy proposed at 6:30am (I’m a morning person, Andy’s not…. that’s love), on a catamaran in the Caribbean Sea. There was no cell phone or email service, so we had the rest of the day to sail, relax, be engaged and in love. Andy was so cute and made sure we had coffee (a must), so he cut out the top of a soda can, cleaned it out, and made it into a “to-go” coffee mug. Also a plus: he didn’t drop the ring into the ocean (he proposed while we were lying on the front trampoline of the boat).
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS:In three words: calming, inspired, personal. We chose lavender grown at a farm where we went peach and wine-tasting in Palisade, CO. We fell in love with the dried lavender hanging everywhere. And yes, there is a farm that grows fields of lavender, has orchards of peaches, and also happens to be a winery (Colterris Wines) in Grand Junction, Colorado. It’s one of our ultimate happy places. Also, the lavender bouquets smelled like spa-heaven during the wedding, serving as instant aromatherapy for my bridesmaids and I.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING: – Keep in mind, it’s a party. Enough food, music, seating, booze, ambient lighting and strategically placed plants and flowers can turn anywhere into a romantic and fun party atmosphere. Details – and the energy they entail – are best saved for small things you and your significant other can appreciate.
- Love on your person. It’s easy to fight over silly, but “really significant things at the time” things (like centerpieces and flowers, etc.). The whole point is… each other. Keep that in mind. Before you blow your top over chair covers, take a deep breath, step back and remember what your wedding is all about – love and partnership.
- Pick your “top three goals” of the wedding, and focus on those. Ours were: Fun and relaxation (for us and our guests), community (venue on site with accommodation, friends and family meeting each other), overall vibe (comfortable yet elegant).
- Hire a photographer whose photos you love, and who you connect with. Don’t ask your friends or family to do it; let them celebrate and relax with you!
- Do whatever you can to have no responsibility the day of. Seriously. Andy spent an hour dealing with audio equipment. In hindsight, he would have hired someone to do the job for him.
- Take several intentional moments to step back with your signifiant other, observe and appreciate. Literally, stop dancing with your new spouse, hold their hand, step off the dance floor, and just see how much fun everyone is having.
- Videography, although expensive, was worth it to us. Trust your gut on this one; it may not be for everyone, but we are grateful to have it
- LOVE. ENJOY. have FUN. Whatever that means to you!