Photos from top left; Bride | Joseba Sandoval, Cake | Maggie Austin (photo Emma Willetts)
Bride on ladder | Anne Robert, Flowers | Ryan Ray, Tray of drinks | The Bojon Gourmet, Flower girl | Ryan Ray
Ok this venue – Dunton Hot Springs - is my dream kinda place to get married! In the mountains, rustic buildings, beautiful surrounding! Tick, tick, tick! And then to have Laura Murray document all the proceedings… yep totally dream! With the bride hailing from Scotland but currently living in Texas, the groom’s family from Minnesota and friends scattered all across the United States, choosing a venue was no easy feat. Once Dunton was suggested by her parents who had bought a property near by, they booked it sight unseen… in fact they didn’t even see it until two days before the ceremony!
How did you meet? Through friends; though we started dating after training for a half-marathon together. We would spend time after our runs walking through neighborhoods, cooking dinners, and watching movies – this time allowed us the chance to get to know each other in a genuine way. Plus its an easy way to vet someone out quickly if they still like you after a long 12 mile run – there’s no way I was still looking good at that point!
Tell us about your proposal: It was simple and sweet. Carl proposed to me after drinks at a local restaurant while walking in the neighborhood where we had just bought a house. I’m sure he said something beautiful but I was so stunned and shocked, I think I just stood there tearing up and saying yes over and over!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I bought my wedding dress from the wonderful store BHLDN – we are very lucky to have a brick & mortar location in Houston because the experience, the staff, and the time spent there made buying a wedding dress much less stressful. I wanted something with a vintage feel and they pulled together the perfect piece for me- they paired a sheath column dress with a beautiful lace overlay; it was simple, feminine and slightly bohemian – perfect for a mountain wedding.
Describe your wedding flowers: My wedding flowers were these beautiful creams in a wild gathering – I let Tess Jordan , who was working as a consultant for April’s Gardens have free range with just the simple guidance of keep it simple, free, and play with textures and unexpected elements. She couldn’t have pulled them better.
Favourite detail of the day: Can I be cheesy and say marrying my best friend Otherwise, looking around the table at dinner and realising that for that moment, I was the luckiest woman in the world – to be seated next to my new husband, surrounded by so many wonderful friends and family members who had traveled so far to be there with us.
Most memorable moments? I think my favorite memories of Dunton were those simple ones – waking up in the morning and eating breakfast at the community tables with everyone, playing lawn games outside, and having big family dinners for both the rehearsal and the wedding dinner. We were incredibly lucky we had so many of our family and friends that came on such short notice and they made the weekend so special. Our favorite story is of trying to cut the cake – mum still doesn’t quite know what went wrong with the icing but we couldn’t cut through it alone – it was really hard. Quite the team effort only hours in the marriage! all those pictures from the day are some of our favorite to look back on as you can see the laughter coming through the photos.
There’s nothing nicer on a crisp winters evening than a cosy gathering with your closest friends and family and that’s just what Martha Hatfield had in mind when she planned this winter dinner party. Luckily for us she’s made it easy to replicate with a flower recipe to follow.
From Martha: December is always such a busy month and before you know it we’re heading towards spring! To celebrate the end of winter why not plan to host an intimate dinner party for close friends or family? What could be better than an evening spent enjoying each other’s company and relaxing around a beautifully set table? Create an elegant centerpiece using this easy flower recipe. Boxed up macarons double as a place setting and a favor for your guests to take home. You can purchase or try home-made macarons. Small clear boxes and ribbon can be purchased at your local craft store if you decide to make your own. You can print out or hand write guest’s names on plain card stock. Best of all make sure you enjoy yourself!
Holly & Andy wanted a wedding that was simple and classy but overly polished… a little rough around the edges I guess you could say! They wanted to be thoughtful with their decisions without overdoing it, and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree they’ve achieved just that. Whilst in the planning process they kept reminding each other that it was less about the details than it was about the meaning of it all.
Thanks so much to the Ely Brothers for their lovely photography.
How did you meet? We met through mutual friends at our church. Apparently we had quite a few friends thinking that we would be great together. However, it took us quite a bit longer to figure that out. We remained friends for quite sometime. He eventually asked me to be a part of his band, which looking back I think that may have been a part of his strategy. And that’s where we grew closer. Music was and I suppose still is a vulnerable thing for me, so it was a perfect path to my heart.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: The dress didn’t come easy. I ordered several online to try on and returned all of them. They were beautiful but not quite right. I think all of my bridesmaids even had their dresses before I did. I finally buckled and went to a couple wedding dress boutiques – still nothing. Then, about a month before the wedding – yes, a month – one of my bridesmaids connected me with a friend of hers who had a few wedding dresses that she wasn’t going to use. I tried them on and then WOO-HOO! One of them was it. It was simple and elegant with a timeless feel.
Describe your wedding flowers: I loved my flowers. They were a combination of white roses, coral roses, white lisianthus, white freesia, succulents, seeded eucalyptus, and asparagus fern wrapped in muslin. Our florist was a breeze to work with.
Any DIY/Budget elements? Lots! We are creative people who know lots of other creative people, so we utilized our resources and had lots of help. I am a graphic designer, so I made all of our invitations. We went to antique stores to pick up decorations such as candleholders and wooden boxes. I made a simple flower backdrop for the ceremony. We used bunches of greenery and draped muslin on top of the larger tables. The venue was beautiful, so luckily we didn’t have to do too much. We also had a ‘Stock the Bar’ couples party instead of a traditional bridal shower to help stock the reception bar. We had recommended beverages to help unify things. We tried to do as much as we could ourselves, but it did get overwhelming at times.
What advise would you give out to a couple planning their wedding? Keep your main focus on one another. Prepare your hearts as best you can so that you can be fully present that day you say, “I do.” Don’t be afraid to ask for help, be intentional and thoughtful about your decisions, and embrace the imperfections – there’s beauty in those too. And lastly, you will most likely disappoint people, but it’s okay. I can confidently say that it is impossible to make everyone happy, especially on your wedding day. But hopefully everyone will find a way to enjoy that sweet day.
What could be better than an engagement session in romantic Rome? Having Rochelle Cheever, an amazing fine art photographer who is Italy based herself, capture it all on film, that’s what! And of course including your little pups is just the ultimate!!
Ok this is one story you simply have to read!! I LOVE the story about how Mollie & Aaron met… it sounds like something out of a movie!! Sarah from 428 Main Vintage Rentals sent this gorgeous forest elopement by Hyer Images our way and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with you. Mollie had a clear vision of what she wanted their day to be like, with most of her inspiration coming from their favourite books and her personal collection of ‘dusty, old and treasured things‘. As it took place just prior to Christmas she designed it around a rich – but slightly non-traditional – colour palette of bordeaux, brown, green, peach, and pink. The forest on the grounds of the The Inn at Middleton Place provided the perfect backdrop to their ceremony, ensuring they were surrounded by endless beauty and inspiration.
To add to the magic of the day, they also incorporated traditional Irish handfasting into their ceremony. “Our handfasting cord (or “Crios”) was hand-woven in Ireland by Niamh Trua. Each color within the Crios had a special meaning, as did the pattern in which it was woven. On a whole, our ceremony was beautiful and emotional, but I think the handfasting was the most wonderful part of all.”
From Sarah of 428 Main Vintage Rentals: ”Mollie & Aaron’s intimate & romantic winter afternoon elopement was one of the most unique and heartfelt events that I have ever had to opportunity to witness. Every detail of the day was perfectly suited to the couple and had so much sentiment behind it. This wedding was the epitome of a couple having a wedding for themselves and not for the fanfare of the day. The Theodore table from 428 Main anchored the vignette that was nestled into the Southern Lowcountry forest surrounding The Inn at Middleton Place. Every piece of the decor was lovingly selected by the bride to represent their relationship. The rich color palette for the day was carried beautifully throughout the florals, decor, the bride’s gown, & even the bride’s gorgeous red hair & fair complexion.”
How did you meet? “Online” is the answer we typically give when people ask us how we met. It’s true; before meeting face-to-face late in the summer of 2011, we exchanged a week’s worth of witty emails in which we discussed everything from beards to dinosaurs to George R.R. Martin. I thought he was charming and well-read, and I believe he thought the same of me, so we decided to meet for a pint at our favorite Irish pub. (How we hadn’t caught each other’s eye there prior to this meeting, I have no idea!) As far as first dates go, it was stellar. He played the bagpipes, was an avid reader, and taught Latin. I was really Irish, loved to read and write, and could easily hold my own in a conversation of the classics. We occupied a booth for nearly 7 hours, sharing stories, laughing, and quoting The Big Lebowski (among other more respectable works) while enjoying a few pints. It was absolute perfection.
The Proposal: A little more than two years after that wonderful first date, I had a rougher than usual week at work that left me feeling drained and exhausted. On a cloudy Saturday morning, in an attempt to rid me of my unusual melancholy, Aaron suggested we head downtown to browse in my favorite store before enjoying a nice dinner together. Since it had been a rainy day that ultimately cleared up after we finished our meal, he suggested we take a walk together along the water before heading home. On a bench overlooking the Charleston Harbor at sunset, Aaron got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife. He cried. I cried. Some of our more sensitive onlookers cried. It will forever be one of our most cherished memories.
The decor: Outside of 428 Main Vintage Rentals’ ‘Theodore’ table, a 3-tier dessert stand, and a few pretty odds and ends from Owner Sarah Murdoch’s personal collection, everything there was ours and had significant meaning to us. Aaron, who is an amazing artist, illustrated the wooden chalkboard with white paint and a saying in Latin: “Let us live and let us love”. I then tied fresh rosemary and lavender sprigs on with jute. Since we worked on that little project together, it was one of my favorites. In lieu of a cake, I purchased a variety of breads, berries, candies, chocolates, fruit, and tarts to decorate with (and later eat!). Every book we used was from our library and chosen not only for color, but for the story it told or the story of how we found it. I stamped our names onto the pages of old encyclopedias that once belonged to my grandparents, and then bound them together with lace. We filled one of our old suitcases with hand-painted wooden flowers from Company Forty Two, who also crafted the custom drink stirrers and wooden banner for us. As a gift, I gave Aaron a bottle of Glenmorangie Ealanta Private Edition Highland Single Malt Scotch to enjoy after the ceremony. We incorporated it into the vignette with the help of some pretty glasses and a small wooden trunk. Small details like a found wooden letter ‘L’, lace ribbon, engraved wooden buttons and vintage Christmas ornaments (that I’ve been collecting since my teens) helped complete the look.
The flowers, as I suspected, turned out to be the real show stopper. Beth Leon Guerrero of Wildflowers, Inc. immediately understood my vision and executed the floral design perfectly. I wanted flowers and foliage that looked natural, were very loosely structured, and had lots of different textures. And, since flower crowns (or wreaths) have long been associated with ancient celebrations, I knew I needed to wear one. As with the other arrangements, Beth surely didn’t disappoint. At one point, I remember her telling me that she did everything ‘big’. I didn’t quite fully understand what she meant until I had to hold my massive bouquet up for a few hours! The combination of the astilbe, chocolate lace, hanging amaranth, roses, and seeded eucalyptus was simply divine. I had never seen a more stunning arrangement of flowers in my life.
Other than the fact that I got to marry my sweet and wonderful husband that day, there are a number of other memories we will always hold dear. Having Rachel and Billy Hyer of Hyer Images there with us, not only as photographers but as cheerleaders and friends, was a wonderful experience. Having a close friend of Aaron’s preside over the ceremony made it that much more personal, every word really resonating as it was spoken. And having the luxury of relaxing together before, during, and after the ceremony (thanks to our veritable “dream team” of amazing friends and vendors) made this the most wonderful experience ever. It was laid-back, otherworldly, and romantic – all wrapped up in one tiny little package and tied with jute! There isn’t a single thing we would have changed and love being married to one another!