Sweet E-sesh at The Swan House in Atlanta

May 31, 2011

Thought I'd break things up a little with a darling engagement session. Louisa and Brian are currently planning their August 13 wedding in Atlanta and recently had their e-sesh in the gardens of The Swan House at The Atlanta History Center. Louisa incorporated sweet Georgia peaches, vintage Coke bottles {Atlanta is the home of Coca-cola} and a burlap banner which read "cuddle fish," the couple's nickname for each other. Enjoy:

 Lovely. Thanks to Louisa for sharing and congrats to you and Brian! xox.

Location: Swan House, Atlanta, Georgia
Photographer: Tina Rowden Photography

Sneak peek: Loire Valley

May 30, 2011

From humble to not-so-humble abodes, we meandered through the Loire Valley, enjoying every twist and turn. I'll be working on a few honeymoon-inspired posts this week about our roadtrip so if you have any questions or topics you'd like me to discuss, let me know!

{Images by me}

Off to the Loire Valley {with a fitting Normandy inspiration shoot!}

May 12, 2011

Hi lovelies! I'll be heading out soon on a girls' road trip through the Loire Valley in France ... lots of fairytale castles + châteaus ahead for us! We'll also be visiting Mont Saint Michel, Versailles {Eeeeee!!! Just finished watching Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette in anticipation!} and finishing with the Saint Ouen flea market in Paris! I can't wait ... and, of course, I'll be sharing lots of details with you on my return! I have a feeling the Loire Valley would be an incredible honeymoon escape so I'll make sure to take notes so I can share any good tips with you! ;o)

As serendipity would have it, French photographer Béatrice de Guigné just recently sent me a lovely inspirational shoot she did in Normandy. I thought it would be a great send-off for us so I hope you enjoy and we'll chat soon! xox.

Here's a little backstory on the shoot from Béatrice:
This photoshoot was done in two parts. I was first inspired by Kanye West's music video "Runaway," especially the dinner scene where the girl wore a fantastic headpiece. So a Parisian jewelry designer called Joe Weller created a headpiece [for the shoot].
Then for the second part, I wanted something sweeter, a "picnic under the tree." The designer of the dress I used inspired me. Her dresses are light and simple. So I wanted something in this way. I created myself some feather balls and "love cards" to hang in the tree and bought a vintage wicker basket and some jars with pink candy and flowers.
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Béatrice! You can check out more of her lovely work right here.

Photographs by Béatrice de Guigné

Kelly + Juan's regal chic wedding in Ireland!

May 9, 2011

Some weddings just have a magical quality to them ... this is definitely one of them. Kelly and Juan both share Irish heritage and both enjoyed spending time in Ireland as they grew up so having their wedding on the island just seemed right.

They chose St. Coca’s Church and the Carton House in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland, to host their beautiful day. Scroll down for all the eye candy and for an in-depth chat with Kelly about all the details ... 

Aren't those grounds just amazing?!?! Okay, let's hear all about the day from the beautiful bride ...

From Kelly:
I had always dreamed of getting married in Ireland not only because its rolling green hills would provide a stunning backdrop, but also because it’s such a huge part of who I am. Although I grew up in New York, my parents are both from Ireland so the majority of my family is over there and my family spent every summer there. Luckily for me my dream of getting married in Ireland became a reality when I fell in love with someone who was half Irish (and half Spanish) and spent just as much time there growing up.

Juan and I grew up in the same home town but him being six years older and therefore a senior when I was a sixth grader, we didn’t know each other. We crossed paths later on when I worked at his firm in NYC as a summer intern and then ran into each other a few years later at a friend’s bar-b-que. A few years later, when deciding where to have our wedding, it was a pretty simple decision to have it in Ireland. We had 100 people in the US and 100 people in Ireland so regardless people would be traveling. Planning a wedding in Ireland all the way from New York posed its challenges but we were lucky to have a lot of people on the ground over there to help.

In coming up with a vision for the wedding, it was very easy to be inspired by Ireland and by the old estate we had chosen as the wedding venue. We wanted the wedding to be vintage chic. Because the house was an old stately home for a duke, it was very romantic and old world so I wanted to reflect that in the theme of the wedding. Juan and I wanted to keep it simple because the house was so beautiful; it didn’t need much dressing up.

For our guests, I almost wanted it to feel like they were attending a glamorous party 100 years ago. We decided on lots of candle light, ivory rose petals and soft fabrics. We decided on ivory avalanche roses, white hydrangea and white snapdragons for the flowers to keep it simple and soft. We didn’t really do a color theme because the different rooms in the estate had different décor and we wanted to embrace that and not clash. We kept the menus, place cards and table names simple on ivory stock with black simple cursive.

For the table names we used important places to us in Ireland for the US guests and important places to us in New York City for the Irish guests.

For the Save the Dates, we decided to go DIY in order to make it feel more like a real postcard from Ireland. We got postcards made by Zazzle.com of an old map of Ireland and put a gold star over Kildare where the wedding was being held. For the other side we got a rubber stamp made by an amazing little Irish man in the East Village and hand stamped and addressed 250 postcards ourselves! For the invitations we went with a simple ivory and dark turquoise design by Smock Paper. The design nicely matched the period theme of the estate.

To keep with the vintage theme, I wanted my gown to look very old world so when I found the chantilly lace mermaid gown at Vera Wang I knew it was the one. I picked a simple veil with a silk edge and went to Regina B to pick out beautiful gold and crystal vintage style hair combs to add to my updo. For the bridesmaids, we picked Amsale empire waist long chiffon gowns that were looked very 1800’s. We chose Pacific Blue as the color because it was so striking and different and would be a wonderful contrast the plush greenery in Ireland. We found the flower girl dresses at a tiny little boutique in Soho and they were just so whimsical and fairy-like I loved them.

In order to infuse a bit of Irish culture into our wedding, after the rehearsal dinner we decided to have a traditional seisiún (session) with a live Irish band and lots of Guinness and Irish Coffee. It was wild and we had all the guests doing ‘Riverdance’ type moves all night! The day of the wedding we rented a red double decker bus to take the wedding party and our families to and from the ceremony, it was a hit! Definitely went along with our vintage Ireland theme. We also included some traditional Irish dishes like Leek & Potato soup and Irish Smoked Salmon on the dinner menu.

Not only did Juan and I want to reflect our Irish heritage into our wedding day but Juan’s father is from Spain and therefore he is half Spanish and wanted to incorporate this into the day. We decided to make the cocktail reception Spanish themed and got a traditional Spanish guitarist to play. We served sangria as the signature drink and passed Spanish tapas hors d’oeuvres. Although he looks 100% Irish, Juan’s name is Juan Carlos Vives and Spain is also a big part of who he is. This was a nice way to incorporate that into our wedding day, and the guests loved it.

The ceremony was probably my favorite part of the day. It’s a part of the day that usually doesn’t take a huge part of planning compared to the reception, but in reality it’s really the most important component. From the moment I stepped into the church I was blown away by the emotion inside. The music of the string quartet filled the space beautifully and standing in front of the church with Juan, it almost felt like it was just us at times. Exchanging vows was emotional and exciting and as a surprise I had engraved in Juan’s ring, ‘Le Gra Go Déo’ which means ‘With love forever’ in Gaelic. Because it was in Gaelic, it would be a special reminder of our amazing Irish wedding and would also be something only we understood.

Overall, from the beginning to end the day was perfect. Planning from afar was hard but having a destination wedding in a place so special to us was so worth it. The part I loved about a destination wedding was that all the guests get to spend a few quality days together and really get to know each other. Seeing my Irish great uncle chatting away with my best friend from college warmed my heart. It’s basically one day where you have your entire life in one room. It was an exciting, romantic and amazing day and Juan and I genuinely had a blast. On that day my name changed from O’Brien to Vives and Vives means ‘to live’ in Spanish, and that’s exactly what Juan and I are excited to take on together.

Thanks for sharing, Kelly! And I really love that Kelly points out that your wedding is "basically one day where you have your entire life in one room." It's so true ... I think that was one of my favorite memories from my own wedding - looking around and seeing everyone that we loved and cared about mingling together ... so much love! :o) Congrats Kelly and Juan!! And thanks to Farnaz K for sharing these lovely images with us! xox.

Photography by Farnaz K Studio

Harry + Peggy's Timeless Roslyn, NY, wedding by G.E. Masana

May 2, 2011

Today I'm sharing an incredibly timeless wedding as well as introducing you to one of CB's new sponsors, NY-based photographer G.E. Masana. I love how moody and dramatic these photos come across ... the tone seems perfect for the regal backdrop. Enjoy the eye candy and scroll down for the cutest "meet" story ever between dashing groom Harry and darling bride Peggy!

Aren't they adorable? When G.E. shared the story of how this couple met, I knew I had to include it ... read on but prepare to melt just a tad! ;o)

From photographer G.E. Masana:
The groom, Harry, told me {the story of how he met Peggy}.

Harry coaches for a kid's sports team and sustained an injury. Needed physical therapy and a good friend of his happened to run such a clinic. So he checked himself in.

Peggy was one of the therapists assigned to him. He was smitten by her and asked her out.

Every time he asked her out she replied she's not permitted to date patients.

This went on for several weeks.

Harry called his friend who ran the clinic.

He said to him, "Guess what? I'm all better now - and I'm checking myself out."

Then he asked Peggy out.

And she said yes.

How sweet is that?! Many thanks to CB's lovely new sponsor, NYC-area photographer G.E. Masana, for sending over this wonderful wedding and great story! Check out this post for more on this wedding as well as G.E.'s blog for more photo inspiration.
Reception: Swan Club, Roslyn NY
Photographer: G.E. Masana
G.E. Masana is a current sponsor of Classic Bride.